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Kong: Skull Island

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    81
    from 6 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Dumb action movie with superb UHD Blu-ray quality.

    Kong: Skull Island 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

    2K Upscale
    HDR10
    Dolby Atmos
    DTS-HD MA
    Dolby TrueHD
  • Video
    86
  • 4K with WCG and HDR enhances colors and details, like in sunsets and the Kong graveyard, making scenes more vivid and lifelike, though UHD resolution improvements are subtle, they notably enrich textures in clothing and action sequences, adding a three-dimensional pop.

  • Audio
    91
  • The 4K disc of K:SI features an immersive Dolby Atmos mix, showcasing brilliant surround effects in dogfights and helicopter sequences, with detailed sounds from height channels and a powerful LFE presence enhancing the action.

  • Extra
    76
  • Explore the 'Kong: Skull Island' experience with Tom Hiddleston's insightful journey across Hawaii, Vietnam, and Australia, enriched by a 4K and Blu-ray collection featuring director's commentary, in-depth documentaries, and interactive content.

  • Movie
    80
  • In a shift to Kong's jungle realm, a diverse group unites for a perilous expedition on Skull Island, amidst monumental creatures and war echoes, paving the way for epic showdowns.

    Video: 86

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation of "Kong: Skull Island" exhibits a notable enhancement in visual quality, particularly when leveraging Wide Color Gamut (WCG) and High Dynamic Range (HDR) technologies. These advancements bring to life the vividness of the movie's various settings, especially apparent in scenes like the Kong graveyard, where the lushness of greens and the depth of shadows create a more immersive and detailed viewing experience. The added vibrancy and life-like clarity elevate the film's digital grading schemes, making sunsets pop with color and enhancing visual depth. Such improvements over the 1080p version are commendable, enriching the overall visual feast the film provides.

    Detail and texture receive a significant boost in this 4K upgrade. Every thread in clothing, stitch in knapsacks, and piece of debris in action-packed sequences is rendered with greater clarity. This manifests not only in the more discernible individuality of tentacle suckers on the massive squid that challenges Kong but also in the overall three-dimensional pop of characters and scenery. Certain visually captivating shots, such as peering down the barrel of a gun or observing the intricate shades of brown on the squid's body, benefit immensely from these enhancements, offering a more engaging and vivid presentation that pulls viewers into the heart of the action.

    However, it's worth noting that the resolution increase from the standard Blu-ray edition to Ultra HD is not profoundly stark. This is partly due to the original production resolution and the fact that the Ultra HD version is upsampled. Despite this, the 4K UHD Blu-ray's meticulous attention to enhancing color, detail, and depth—where every element on screen is given a moment to shine—ensures a visually superior viewing experience. While the jump in quality may not revolutionize perceptions of the film's visual narrative, it certainly enriches them, making "Kong: Skull Island" a potent demonstration of how 4K technology can subtly but effectively elevate cinematic art.

    Audio: 91

    The audio presentation of "Kong: Skull Island" on its 4K UHD Blu-ray edition delivers an aural experience that is as massive and immersive as the titular character itself. Right from the opening credits, the sound design meticulously crafts a surround sound environment that pulls the viewer into the heart of the action. The dogfight between two aircraft sets a high bar with its engine roars and rapid machine gun fire, showcasing the Dolby Atmos track's capacity for nuanced sound placement and depth. This level of sonic immersion is a constant throughout, making excellent use of the format's capabilities to match and enhance the visual spectacle on screen.

    The Atmos mix shines particularly in scenes featuring intense aerial dynamics, such as the dramatic entrance of a helicopter squadron into the island's airspace. The precision with which sounds are positioned in the 3D space around the viewer is noteworthy; rotors buzz convincingly overhead, while fauna and other environmental sounds fill the landscape, creating a convincing auditory canopy. This execution not only enhances the visual depth but also significantly boosts the viewer’s sense of immersion in the film’s diverse settings.

    Equally impressive is the handling of the LFE (Low-Frequency Effects) channel. It robustly supports the onscreen action, from Kong’s earth-shattering roars to the thundering steps of the Skull Crawlers, and every explosion, gunfire, and heavy impact in between. The LFE channel serves as the backbone of the audio mix, offering a visceral weight to the cinematic experience that can be felt as much as it is heard. This creates a compelling audio landscape that engages audiences, fully realizing the towering presence of Kong and the tumultuous environment of Skull Island in a way that is both technically impressive and thrillingly cinematic.

    Extra: 76

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray edition of "Kong: Skull Island" reinforces its visual spectacle with a bounty of extras that extend considerably beyond the norms of typical supplementary content. Noteworthy is the inclusion of the same director’s commentary that offers an in-depth look into the movie's creation, enriching viewers' experience by providing context and insights directly from the filmmaker's perspective. The extras stand out for their thoughtful documentary material, especially the video diary feature "The Intrepid Traveller" with Tom Hiddleston showcasing the diverse shooting locations in a vivid and personal manner. Additionally, synchronized content during movie playback enhances the viewing experience by overlaying engaging details such as actor biographies and scene-specific trivia directly on screen. This comprehensive suite of extras not only enriches the understanding of the film's production but also offers an engaging, interactive element that keeps the viewer informed and entertained throughout.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Director’s Commentary: In-depth insights and anecdotes from the director.
    • Creating a King: Realizing an Icon: A look at the design and significance of Kong in cinema.
    • Creating a King: Summoning a God: Exploration of the film's visual effects and Kong's portrayal.
    • Monarch Files 2.0: In-universe documentary about the secretive organization.
    • The Intrepid Traveller: Tom Hiddleston's video diary from shooting locations.

    Movie: 80

    Kong: Skull Island" represents a striking shift in the narrative focus of the King Kong saga, by transporting viewers not to the familiar skyscraper-filled skyline of New York, but deep into the creature's home territory—a vividly rendered, perilous jungle where humanity is far from the top of the food chain. The 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation accentuates this lush, dangerous island ecosystem with mesmerizing clarity, bringing to life an array of gigantic creatures and breathtaking landscapes that encapsulate the essence of adventure and survival. This movie, through its superior visual storytelling, immerses the audience in the raw, untamed beauty of Skull Island, making it exceptionally engaging.

    Assembling a diverse cast of characters including scientists, soldiers, and thrill-seekers, the film embarks on a journey of exploration and discovery that quickly spirals into a fight for survival against the island's formidable denizens. The Vietnam War era-setting introduces a unique backdrop for the story, adding a layer of complexity to the characters' motivations, particularly the embittered Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) who finds a new war to fight on the island. The narrative does more than just reimagine the Kong mythos; it sets the stage for an expansive monster universe, where Kong's story is a prequel hinting at future titanic clashes.

    Warner Bros.' decision to release "Kong: Skull Island" in 4K UHD is a testament to their evolving strategy towards home entertainment, offering an immersive experience that showcases the film's spectacular visuals and sound design. The attention to detail in the transfer captures every nuance of the island's dangerous beauty and the chaotic elegance of its action sequences. Unlike the somewhat dispassionate reception of previous films in this new monster universe, "Kong: Skull Island" resonates emotionally and visually, providing a compelling reason to revisit this classic monster tale through a modern lens.

    Total: 81

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation of "Kong: Skull Island" delivers an experience as colossal as the titular character itself, yet it treads familiar ground with its narrative and thematic elements. Warner Brothers Home Entertainment brings this monster movie to life with a package that boasts reference quality Ultra HD video alongside excellent high definition audio/video, including a highly satisfying Dolby Atmos soundtrack. While the movie dives into socio-political satire and character drama, it falls short of fully exploiting these aspects, leaning heavily into the realm of a conventional action movie with customary clichés. The visual improvement offered by the 4K resolution, sourced from 2K Digital Intermediates (DIs), presents a subtle enhancement that may leave some questioning the noticeable difference from its Blu-ray counterpart. Nonetheless, the presentation respects its source material and its audience, providing a delightfully unexpected experience that stays true to its roots.

    The set’s small range of supplements complements the technical dazzle with content aimed at enthusiasts and monster movie collectors. Despite shortcomings in its narrative depth and innovation, "Kong: Skull Island" in 4K UHD excels in delivering an auditory and visual feast, fulfilling the expectations for a film of its genre and scale. The attention to detail in the audio-visual department ensures every roar and rumble is felt, encapsulating the viewer in the thick of the island's mysteries and dangers.

    In conclusion, while "Kong: Skull Island" might not break new ground in storytelling, its 4K UHD Blu-ray release stands as a testament to the capabilities of home cinema technology. The package is certainly worthwhile for collectors and fans of larger-than-life cinematic experiences, offering top-notch visuals and sound that enhance the overall enjoyment of this action-packed adventure. It honors its monumental protagonist with a presentation that’s as powerful and striking, making it a valuable addition to any 4K library.