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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

King Kong vs. Godzilla aka "Kingu Kongu tai Gojira" [Blu-ray]

 

(Ishirô Honda, 1962)

 

   

   

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Toho Company

Video: Universal

 

Disc:

Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:30:48.317

Disc Size: 33,577,607,947 bytes

Feature Size: 25,071,974,400 bytes

Video Bitrate: 33.05 Mbps

Chapters: 18

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: April 1st, 2014

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1871 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1871 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 /
48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), French, none

 

Extras:

Japanese Trailer (2:16)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: The Terrifying Battle Between The Mightiest Monsters of All Time! The two biggest monsters of all time battle in the thrilling adventure classic, King Kong vs. Godzilla. When an underhanded pharmaceutical company goes to a remote tropical island to steal King Kong for advertising purposes, they get more than they bargained for when the gigantic ape attacks an unsuspecting village and an enormous octopus. Meanwhile, far below the sea, a submarine crew unleashes reptilian terror when they melt a block of ice and release the ferocious Godzilla from his icy lair. When both destructive monsters descend on Tokyo, it's a fight that holds the future of mankind in the balance in this knock-out film that was the first theatrical release to bring its larger-than-life contenders to the big screen in glorious color.

***

Ishiro Honda directs this classic Japanese sci-fi adventure featuring a clash of the cinematic titans as King Kong and Godzilla square off for a monster showdown. At the same time as a pharmaceutical company manager undertakes an expedition in search of the mystical berries that confer gigantic size on the legendary Kong, a team of American pilots have discovered the frozen tomb of the fearsome Godzilla. When they thaw him out, the stage is set for a titanic battle between the two oversized creatures.

 

 

The Film:

King Kong vs. Godzilla - built around a preposterous battle between the huge ape King Kong and the fire-breathing dinosaur Gojira -- marked the beginning of Toho Studios aiming their monster films at children rather than general audiences. Director Ishiro Honda stages the battle scenes atop Mt. Fuji for laughs, as the two lovable beasts play ball with a large boulder and generally behave like professional wrestlers horsing around for the camera. Persistent rumors claim that there exist two different endings to this film, with Godzilla winning in the Japanese version and Kong prevailing in the American print. These rumors are incorrect, as Kong wins in both versions. Gojira survived to battle Mothra the following year in Mosura Tai Gojira, while the Asian Kong returned in King Kong No Gyakushu (1967).

Excerpt fromS B+N located HERE

King Kong vs Godzilla marks an important turning point in the Godzilla series. It isn't the first time Godzilla fought another monster (that would be 1955's Godzilla Raids Again), but it is a dramatic departure from the the serious tone and melodrama of the previous two films. Instead, King Kong vs Godzilla plays like a big colorful fantasy film, with lots of humor along the way. The movie also sacrifices some of the realism of the previous films in order to make the fights and destruction more fun.

The plot is simplicity itself: Godzilla is freed from the iceberg he was encased in at the end of Godzilla Raids Again. OK, Godzilla wasn't actually trapped in an iceberg, he was buried by an avalanche of snow on a remote island. OK, it didn't really look like an avalanche of snow, it looked more like a someone dropped a couple of bucketfuls of chipped ice on top of him.

Excerpt from StompTokyo located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

King Kong vs. Godzilla is one of the more appealing titles of this genre to arrive on Blu-ray. To get specific ,this is basically the English version (John Beck). It's dual-layered with a very high bitrate, rich colors, but still some dirt, scratches, and speckles every few frames. This Blu-ray has pleasingly visuals in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. To be honest, it looks solid in-motion - there is consistent grain, and it looks to come from the original negative. IO wasn't displeased at all - despite it laving the vibrancy of Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster.  Quite a jump over DVD, though...

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The audio is rendered in a DTS-HD Master stereo at 1871 kbps (24-bit) - only in the English DUB version - Universal does not license the Japanese track although it is a 'mixed' version with John Beck credited for the English context. Typical bombastic effects coming through with faux-crisp obviousness.  There is a typically aggressive score credited to Akira Ifukube (King Kong Escapes, Anatahan, The Mysterians, the original Godzilla - and other Godzilla features - the bulk of Zatoichi series, plus Kurosawa's The Quiet Duel and many others.) There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

 

Extras :

The are no supplements - nor a static menu.

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Kong, the underdog, against a fire-breathing dino-lizard... and the big ape kicks ass! Even hang-gliding in - wow! Great stuff... but not at the level of Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster - which I rate as one of the better of this 'Godzilla-vs.' genre... and ahead of this. The Blu-ray is desirable at less than $10 even with the poor, suit-wearing, effects. Where's Harryhausen when you need him? You may require visiting this once every other year with a similar genre double-feature Sunday afternoon. Hey man, it's King Kong vs. Godzilla

Gary Tooze

November 25th, 2017

   

   

 




 

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Gary Tooze

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