Loading...

Chang, Grass, King Kong: Special Edition 

Thursday, Nov 24 2005
Comments
The original King Kong (1933) makes its long-awaited DVD debut this week, riding on the early buzz for Peter Jackson’s upcoming remake. Or maybe it’s the other way around, with Jackson hoping for a boost from a newly stimulated Kong fan base. Indeed, Jackson is all over the extra features of Warner Brothers’ two-disc special edition. Among other things, he supervised the re-creation of a long-lost special-effects sequence deleted from the original film, and now included in a seven-part documentary about the 1933 movie’s making. (Other extras include an extensive commentary by stop-motion master Ray Harryhausen, a protégé of Willis O’Brien, the special-effects pioneer who brought the first Kong to life.) Whichever two-ton gorilla is scratching the other’s back, however, it’s nice to see that some of the littler guys in the DVD jungle are able to get in on the symbiotic simian action. Milestone Film & Video has taken the opportunity to re-release two early silent works by Kong creators Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack: Grass: A Nation’s Battle For Life (1925) and Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness (1927). Documentaries both, Grass and Chang find in reality the same spirit of adventure that so informs the fantasy of Kong. In Grass, Cooper, Schoedsack, and journalist Marguerite Harrison record the mass migration of 50,000 Persian tribespeople through fearsome, yet stunningly gorgeous, terrain to find fertile grazing land for their livestock. In Chang, the life of a farming family at the edge of a Siamese jungle teeming with critters great and small provides the directors with plenty of material for a riveting saga of man versus beast. Getting up close and personal with wild tigers and a herd of rampaging elephants, Cooper and Schoedsack tap into the primal fear and fascination with the natural world that they would later expand to gargantuan proportions.

Other recommended new releases: Black Girl/Borom Sarret (DVD); House by the River (DVD); Punishment Park (DVD); Scarlet Street (DVD); Sins of the Fleshapoids (DVD)

VHS/DVD: Polar Express; War of the Worlds.

DVD: 8mm 2 (Rated); A Dog’s Life; Á Double Tour; Aeon Flux: The Complete Animated Collection; Andy Griffith: The Complete Fourth Season; Architectures IV; Batman vs. Dracula; Cheaper By The Dozen: Special Edition (2003); CSI: Miami: The Complete Third Season; The Fernando Arrabal Collection: Viva La Muerte, I Will Walk Like a Crazy Horse, The Guernica Tree; The Fifth Reaction; Havoc; The Honeymooners; King Of The Hill Season 5; Kong: King Of Atlantis; La Ronde; Life In The Freezer; Mighty Joe Young; Naked City: Box Set 2; The Ninth Day; Novo; The Official 2005 World Series DVD; Old Believers; Ran; Ringers: Lord Of The Fans: Special Edition; Seinfeld - Season 5; Seinfeld - Season 6; Shirley Temple Collection Volume 2: Bright Eyes, Baby Take A Bow, Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm; Skeleton Man; The Son of Kong; Spike & Mike: Sick And Twisted Festival Of Animation - Contagious; Steve + Sky; The Tales Of Hoffman; Therese Raquin; The Woman of the Port; Tracey Takes On: The Complete First Season; Vasya; Wall.

Related Stories

Related Content

Now Showing

  1. Thu 10
  2. Fri 11
  3. Sat 12
  4. Sun 13
  5. Mon 14
  6. Tue 15
  7. Wed 16

    Find capsule reviews, showtimes & tickets for all films in town.

    Sponsored by Fandor

Box Office

Scores provided by Rotten Tomatoes

Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, concert and dining info & more!

Slideshows

  • 10 Movies You Should See This Summer
    The phrase "summer movies" will never not mean broad, action-driven crowd-pleasers to me: I counted the days until Batman (June 23, 1989), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (July 3, 1991), and Jurassic Park (June 11, 1993) were released. For every Dark Knight there are 10 Prometheuses — and that's just among the films that are actually trying to be good — but the hype and anticipation of summer movies remains a fun spectator sport. (More fun than sports, anyway.) Here, 10 from Memorial Day weekend and after for which I have, as the song says, high hopes. By Chris Klimek
  • Doc Docs: 8 Powerful Medical Documentaries
    Code Black is the latest in a string of powerful documentaries examining the domestic health care system's flaws and profiling its physicians, caretakers and patients. In this film -- which will be released in select theaters on June 20 -- the cameras are pointed at the nation's busiest emergency room, that of L.A. County Hospital. Here are seven moving medical docs. Click on the film name to read the full review.

    See also:
    35 Music Documentaries Worth Seeing

    15 Documentaries That Help You Understand the World Right Now
  • Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel in Lego
    A Lego replica of The Grand Budapest Hotel was unveiled this past Saturday, June 14, by builder Ryan Ziegelbauer and star of the film Tony Revolori at The Grove in L.A. Ziegelbaur and his team built the 7-foot, 150-pound structure from over 50,000 Lego bricks. The celebration was held in honor of the Blu-Ray and DVD release of Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel on June 17th by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. All photos by Mary Bove.

Movie Trailers

View all movie trailers >>

Now Trending