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Quint interviews DVD Producer Michael Pellerin about the KONG EE and the upcoming LOTR Box Set!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with an interview I did last week with Michael Pellerin, DVD producer and the man behind such DVD releases as the LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY, TOY STORY, the '33 KING KONG release from last year and all the KONG discs, including the big 3 Disc Extended Edition that comes out today. I've interviewed Pellerin before (you can read that here!!!), for the release of the '33 KONG and Production Diary DVD set last year and on this one I've tried to steer clear of covering the same ground, so we mostly focus on the development of the new disc, but we do talk a bit about what to expect in the big RINGS box set, what they were holding back. He told me that Peter Jackson knew the studio was going to demand many releases of the film and there was nothing he could do about that, so he went out of his way to try to make each release unique, without repeating material. So far, he's been true to his word and this KONG DVD is pretty nice, too. After the interview I'll write a little review of the 3 discer, but first... here's the interview from Mr. Pellerin's Hollywood offices, a bit before I saw the discs for myself. Enjoy!!!





QUINT: The first question anybody is going to have about the new KONG DVD is going to be about the features. It's a 3 disc set, right?

MICHAEL PELLERIN: It's 3-discs. The tricky thing was Universal wanted to release it on 3 discs. They wanted it to be 3, not 4.

QUINT: Do you know why?

MICHAEL PELLERIN: I don't. You know, it's the alchemy of... you know?

QUINT: Like cost per disc, etc?

MICHAEL PELLERIN: Yeah, exactly. It's that whole world of the cost of packaging versus the discs versus the shelf space. Not my world, but that was their thing. They wanted it to be three.

But this is the disc we started planning back in 2003, before RETURN OF THE KING even had come out, before we'd started work on KONG. This is the disc we were planning all these years. This is what we started out doing.

There's been the Production Diaries DVD and there's the Theatrical DVD, which had the rest of the production diaries, but that was the product that just kind of evolved, that was never in the original planning stages. So, we always knew from the beginning that there was going to be this DVD that was like the LORD OF THE RINGS DVDs in terms of scope, but we were planning it as 4 discs, just like LOTR.

So, we had to basically backwards engineer how to fit the same amount of content onto 3 discs, not 4. Fortunately, KONG is not as long a movie as the Extended Editions of the RINGS films, even at its Extended Stage.

So, they split the movie over 2 discs, but that also meant that we had a lot of room on those 2 discs. So, what would have been a 4th disc is really on discs 1 and 2, spread apart. And the 3rd disc is all (extra features).

QUINT: So, instead of the appendices having two discs to themselves you have one disc split on the actual Extended Movie discs.

MICHAEL PELLERIN: Yeah. The King Kong Archives... that's what we call it, like the appendices, but it's The King Kong Archives. Instead of having a bunch of bonus stuff, we wanted to have some sort of organization. The 3rd disc is really the 3 hour documentary split into, I think, 6 or 8 parts, so you don't have to watch it all in 3 hours. You could watch it in sections, but it was designed as a three hour (piece)... one thing flowing to the other to the other to the other.

Basically, the act breaks are where commercials would be. That was the thing that Peter (Jackson) always wanted to do. And we were, by the way, carefully protecting some of the best stories and the coolest stories, we were protecting them from the production diaries and the previous DVD release. It was always like, "Nope, nope, nope... that's for when we do the big DVD at the end of the line."

So, all the stuff like Peter's original attempt to make KONG when he was a kid on Super 8, the 1996 KING KONG story, including everything done on it, all the Bernie Wrightson stuff, all the footage they shot, in terms of test footage, CG footage, all that finally had a home. If you notice, we stay away from all that stuff... You know, the story of how they made King Kong as a character and the creature we completely steered away from.

There were a few things we could talk about that Peter was okay with, but the rest was, "Nope, we're saving that for the DVD."

And everything on it, we carefully made sure there was no repeat. Like, Peter went to go see Fay Wray, before she died, and the Empire State Building. He climbed up to the very top, the very top-top-top... all of that, footage from that, is on the DVD. It's all these treasures...

It's so funny... this is the 3rd DVD release and this is the one we were saving all this stuff for. So, the third disc is really mostly that documentary and the artwork, which we did differently this time. We did video galleries, as opposed to galleries that you navigate. You hit play and you get music and sound effects. It's basically like watching the movie through artwork, with music and sound effects which start at the beginning of the movie and rolls right to the end. Except for one that's devoted entirely to the 1996 film.

This is again one of those Peter Jackson things where there is literally no space left anywhere... not one more thing. We carefully moved everything around so we just had enough room to fit everything... but we got it all on there.

It's interesting because this DVD release is somewhat different than the LORD OF THE RINGS because on LORD OF THE RINGS we were still holding back stuff for the box set, which we still plan to do. We talked about it recently, talked to Peter about it.

QUINT: Are you going to wait for the next gen format or an anniversary?

MICHAEL PELLERIN: I'm not sure. This one's going to be very... it's a whole other topic to talk about, but this one is going to be super Peter hand's-on. He's planning on making his own feature length documentary... like, for theatrical release. That'll be heavy-duty. If you notice there were a lot of things that never appeared anywhere, like the deleted scenes, the gags... that was on purpose.

Eventually this thing is going to HD and they're going to repackage it again, but let's continue the decision on not screwing people over on these releases. Let's make it so when you get the HD box set of all three films again, let's fill it with completely different stuff. Like not, "Oh, they're calling this the Uber-Doober whatever" edition. That's so lame.

The last time I looked, I'd say there's... I don't know... it's insane, there's like 36 hours of content or something crazy like that.

QUINT: Thirty-Six hours of all new content?

MICHAEL PELLERIN: This is new. I know it sounds insane... but it won't be that much. It won't be that much. That's in the ridiculous area, but there's certainly, I'd say, no less than 12 to 18 hours. It's a monster.

QUINT: Would you say that the LORD OF THE RINGS films are the most documented films ever made?

MICHAEL PELLERIN: Well... yes... or maybe KONG. Because we shot, from the very beginning when KONG started in earnest in 2003 we shot every day up until it's release in 2005. And I had multiple cameras. As you know, there's not just a director and a set. It's a director and a set, then over here there's second unit over here and over here is mini shooting and there's 2 minis units and there's Weta Digital and there's the Workshop...

I had 5 shooters... that was as big as it got, but still that's a lot of people covering a lot of stuff. So, LORD OF THE RINGS is absolutely the most documented film series, but KONG... man, I don't know how you can document more than what we did on KING KONG. There was 3400 tapes of behind the scenes footage shot. Three thousand four hundred, for KING KONG.

I remember for LORD OF THE RINGS we estimated... between the behind the scenes footage and interviews there was 14 million feet of footage. I know we've got some huge number like that on KONG. It was insane. Just thousands of tapes. And that's just behind the scenes stuff. That doesn't include the interviews and all the other raw materials. That's just our DV cam stuff.

All that stuff... yeah, it served us well for the production diaries, but this was the DVD set we were all working for because when you shoot like that... what it gives you is... I mean, it's a bit indulgent in that it's a heck of a lot to shoot for a behind the scenes, but with something as cool as KING KONG or LORD OF THE RINGS, where it takes so many years and there's so many interesting things that happen along the way it means that any time anyone has an anecdote or a story... more than likely there is footage to accompany. If you ask any editor, that's incredibly rare.

Usually stories are someone sitting in front of a camera going, "I remember a day when we did this..." and blah-blah-blah-blah-blah, talking heads. But you can't show it because no one was there shooting. Chances are we were and that is a beautiful way to do a documentary because it's so... You don't think about it nor should you be thinking about it when you're watching the docs, but almost everything everyone is talking about you're actually seeing. If you do the math that means you have to be there all the time.

QUINT: I've been on a few sets where you hear someone... the director, actor, producer, whomever go, "That was great? Where the hell were the behind the scenes guys? The camera's here, but where the guy?"

MICHAEL PELLERIN: (laughs) You need a dedicated crew working all the time and Peter's been able to do that on this project. It's been a great way to work, but it's demanding. I mean, you're going 7 days a week. But at the end when you're sitting in that editing room, you've got all the footage.

You know... I was talking about the (LOTR) box set. We were always holding stuff back for the box set, but this KONG release I think Peter basically went, "You know? We're doing it up for this." In other words, this is sort of the no holding back, no regrets release, meaning everything and the kitchen sink is on this one. When this is out... I mean, I'm not speaking for Peter in some ways here, but I think it's kinda done. It's not like we're hiding the blah-blah-blah... I don't know what else.

He put the deleted scenes on this. He didn't do that for LORD OF THE RINGS. There's 37 minutes of deleted scenes, truly deleted, not the extended stuff. This is completely deleted. He didn't do that for LOTR. There are deleted scenes, but they have not surfaced yet. And he did intros for all of (the KONG deleted scenes) for all of them, so that you can understand where they were in the movie, what they're supposed to do...

QUINT: And this is the kind of material you said you're putting on the first 2 discs of the set.

MICHAEL PELLERIN: That's right. That's exactly right. The deleted scenes are there, all the original pre-vizs. Those HAD to be on the DVD. But the first two discs is stuff like that. Deleted scenes, it's pre-viz animatics, the blooper reel... We always wanted to do a piece that was sort of an expose on all the references to the original KING KONG in the movie, some of which are really subtle and if you didn't know... there's now way you'd know. We were able to string that together and point all of that out, like the entire web of the references.

And there is actually... hidden somewhere on the disc, is the very last... well, not the last, but a production diary that no one's ever seen, nowhere on the internet. And it's a funny one that was done by the cast members. They cooked it up. This was the final production diary to see the light of day and it was a doozy.

It was so funny when they were cooking it up, but we never got around to putting it together. We had all the footage, but it just kind of fell to the wayside, even though it was cooked up by Jack (Black) and Adrien (Brody) and Andy (Serkis) and Colin (Hanks)... they cooked up this... thing. This story of obsession and addiction and god knows what.

And somewhere on there is an original song by Jack Black. I think it's like 6 minutes long. It's epic. It's an epic...

Also, Peter was adamant, he wanted to put the '96 script on there and the 2005 script, which is good. They're printable. What else? Did you see the cast film... the film they made for Peter for his birthday?

QUINT: Nope.

MICHAEL PELLERIN: They put together a whole film called THE PRESENT, which was a present for Peter's birthday. All of them, Naomi, Andy, Jack and Adrien, Jamie... the whole gang of them. We were able to put that together and include it on the disc.

It's literally everything and the kitchen sink. I mean, there's nothing left out there... Universal probably doesn't want me to say that, but nothing that we came up and nothing the cast came up with and nothing that Peter came up with.

We've always approached it this way, but if the cast and crew picks up this thing and watches it, it's like their scrapbook. It's like their school yearbook for those couple years. All those goodies, all those bits and all those anecdotes.

QUINT: That's how the LOTR discs felt, too. It's really like getting to share the experience.

MICHAEL PELLERIN: We always thought that if we're happy and Peter's happy and the cast and crew watch this... Because before we're done with anything, we'd show it around to everybody. Like, we'd show it to guys at Weta Digital and Weta Workshop. We'd show it to cast members and go, "What does everybody think?" If that was the fun thing they wanted to watch, then we knew we got it.

To Universal and New Line's credit, we've never received one note, nothing. Complete creative freedom. Absolutely everything you want to do. It's incredible and I don't take it for granted. That is an incredible thing. It's part of the reason why I've stayed in this medium. Two things: Peter and that kind of freedom. Because I've done television and man... I used to save all my old cuts because by the time they actually went to air they were nothing like what I originally intended. I mean nothing like it. It was off on another planet by the time they'd have gone through a string of notes from various executives.

But DVDs, man. It's, "Peter, you okay with it? Good. I'm okay with it. Can we have fun watching this? Okay. Let's go make a few million copies."

QUINT: Well DVDs are pretty much guaranteed big income, right? So, I'd imagine the studios would want to put as much as they could in the way of special features to move copies...

MICHAEL PELLERIN: It's different at different studios. I know that there are studios that (have) executives that are very, very, very controlling.

QUINT: Oh yeah?

MICHAEL PELLERIN: Yeah.

QUINT: Studios that start with "Dis" and end with "ney"?

MICHAEL PELLERIN: (laughs) It's definitely like... whoa, man... Of course, when I did discs with them it was before it became like that. So, like, FANTASIA and TOY STORY and that stuff... again, it was like Peter's stuff. It was great. Working with Roy Disney and working with John Lasseter and making discs you're happy with and then you release it.

I worked with them during what I would consider the Golden era, like the best time to be a DVD producer working with Disney was back then because it was complete creative freedom and you could just have a blast. It was fun. If it stops being fun, then forget it. I mean, it's hard. God knows KONG '33... that was... Doing that on top of the Production Diaries and on top of all the other behind the scenes DVD duties was probably the most challenging thing I've ever done in my life.

All of a sudden you have a little film unit. You had the live-action shoot on the weekends and the animation units doing stop motion during the weeks and you had all the other stuff.





Man, that Collector's set with the Weta Kong piece looks great. Gonna have to order one. Anyway, that was the interview. I have since been able to check out the discs and the 3 plus documentary on disc 3 is fantastic. Everything you'd come to expect from this team. Of particular interest are the segments on the beginning and ending of the 1996 version Jackson was trying to make and the lengthy piece towards the end focused 100% on how they brought KONG to life as a digital character in the 2005 film they made. The Gag Reel (called THE EIGTH BLUNDER OF THE WORLD) is great, almost 30 minutes and filled with laughs and flubs. The Present film made for Jackson for his birthday is hilarious. The deleted scenes show you a great deal of insight on what Jackson was building his characters to, especially fleshing out the Hayes/Jimmy relationship a bit more, which it really needed. As for the cut itself, I haven't watched the extended edition without the commentary by Peter Jackson and Philippa Boyens, so I can't comment on how it flows as a story, but watching the scenes play out you'll wonder how the hell could he have cut out the raft sequence? There's also a great moment I won't spoil during Kong's rampage in New York. However, sorely lacking was the extra 3 minutes of silent character work that fat guy on the trolley was rumored to have delivered. Word is the pain of depression-era living was etched on his chubby features, telling a little 3 act story itself in as many minutes. Anyway, thanks to Mr. Pellerin for spending his time talking with me about this release and thanks to you guys for sitting through it all. I'm about to unleash the flood gates here... tons of reviews and interviews... plus my holiday guide. Speaking of which, thanks to all of you who have contributed suggestions. Please keep them coming. The list is growing quite long, but I'm always open to hear more thoughts on what should be included. Email me at the link below! -Quint quint@aintitcool.com



Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 14, 2006, 5:49 a.m. CST

    WELL

    by THE KNIGHT

    hardy har har har... Kong baby...!

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 5:50 a.m. CST

    WELL

    by THE KNIGHT

    I really want to get some Peter Jackson dvds, but i really don't feel like seeing another version six months later... anyone with me here?

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 6:09 a.m. CST

    I feel that Jackson really screwed up this

    by emeraldboy

    movie by re-structuring the narrative of the original screenplay and adding characters that were there for no understandable reason as well as changing the characters of Cal Denham and Jack Driscoll and going bact to jurassic park didnt really help either. been there seen that bought the tee-shirt. I have no interest in seeing this movie again.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 6:12 a.m. CST

    How long... 'til all the "Too Long" hilarity starts?

    by half vader

    Not long, I'll bet.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 6:38 a.m. CST

    Kids won't watch anything longer than 100 minutes...

    by DerLanghaarige

    ...when it's not made by Tarantino. :P<br> I love King Kong, but i'm still skeptical about the Extended Version.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 6:40 a.m. CST

    I'll wait for the HD LOTR....

    by Abin Sur

    You can only watch so many hours of hobbit feet being attached...

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 6:39 a.m. CST

    Honk if you think...

    by DerLanghaarige

    ...that Braindead needs a 4 or 3 disc edition, too!<br> <b>Honk!</b>

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 6:46 a.m. CST

    Jimmy and Hayes should've been cut

    by Mattapooh

    Why a talented, successful director like Jackson would decide himself to leave that in is beyond me, let alone why the studio didn't say "Peter, it doesn't work, cut it". Sometimes a filmmaker can have too much control and things get wonky. Really though, those sequences added NOTHING to the film aside from length and audience groans. Also, the spider pit sequence was creepy :(

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7 a.m. CST

    Thanks, Peter Jackson

    by Franklin T Marmoset

    This Peter Jackson certainly knows how to spin out these films onto as many discs as possible. Who knew a fun little film like King Kong would one day become a triple disctacular megajumbo pack with bonus lump of plastic? Not to mention the inevitable 'Ha! I finally got what I wanted!' quadruple disctastic ultra version in genuine gorilla fur slipcase. That's some pretty impressive stuff there, Mr Jackson.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 6:58 a.m. CST

    Too soon........

    by NachoNegro

    I respect what he's saying about wanting not to duplicate the extra material etc - but there's nothing that's going to make me buy these again outside of a HD-DVD / Blueray release for the extended versions. I fully understand the economics of it - but that doesn't mean I'm going to buy them again without a good reason. And to be frank, I haven't seen all of the extras on the discs I've got.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:08 a.m. CST

    I'm growing fonder of Kong...

    by Boba Fat

    over time and really looking forward to the extended cut. A bit of distance and no hype helps this film a lot.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:09 a.m. CST

    I wonder did Peter Jackson make have a 15hr print

    by emeraldboy

    of the Lord of the rings Trilogy? i only ask cause someone somewhere keeps deciding we want these things. The 200 euro SE was enough. That came after the directors cut. We we all shout stop maybe someone will listen. In an interesting aside since these films were released in Ireland a row has erupted between EFD(entertainment film distributors) and ward anderson who own half of Irelands Cinema companies and some cinemas in the UK. Anyhoo, EFD, a london based company control the distribution rites to New line films in the UK and Ireland. As well as dvd Distribution rites also. It remains to be seen if this Deluxe lord of the rings DVD will be available in Ireland.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:11 a.m. CST

    BringingSexyBack

    by Boba Fat

    King Dong is another film altogether. Not extended or cut to my knowledge

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:11 a.m. CST

    I wonder did Peter Jackson make have a 15hr print

    by emeraldboy

    of the Lord of the rings Trilogy? i only ask cause someone somewhere keeps deciding we want these things. The 200 euro SE was enough. That came after the directors cut. IF We we all shout stop maybe someone will listen. In an interesting aside since these films were released in Ireland a row has erupted between EFD(entertainment film distributors) and ward anderson who own half of Irelands Cinema companies and some cinemas in the UK. Anyhoo, EFD, a london based company control the distribution rites to New line films in the UK and Ireland. As well as dvd Distribution rites also. It remains to be seen if this Deluxe lord of the rings DVD will be available in Ireland.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:15 a.m. CST

    So....

    by BanAllFIRSTPosters

    What's left to put on the LOTR trilogy? I have the EEDVD's and really feel like this triple dip they're doing is a screw job for the fans.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:41 a.m. CST

    If KK aint 4 hours long, then why call it extended?

    by triplefive

    Where's my 12-disc, 92 hour version of King Kong and The Masters of the Universe vs. MechaKong?

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:48 a.m. CST

    the "too long hilarity" begins here

    by omarthesnake

    PJ's Kong was too damned long. There wasn't a single sequence that couldn't have been trimmed by about a third. The pit of monsters sequence, the dinosaur stampede, Kong's romantic ice skating escapades... every one of them was numbingly long and took away from the flow of the film. It was a lovely piece of work, but it sure doesnt need to be longer!

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 8:06 a.m. CST

    King Kong is too long!

    by Franklin T Marmoset

    No one uses full names anymore, Mr Kong. Can I suggest K.Ko instead?

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 8:15 a.m. CST

    MCMLXXVI IS A WANKER

    by Seph_J

    MCMLXXVI IS A WANKER

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 8:17 a.m. CST

    More bloated than Dom Deloise's Lower Haunches. Blech!

    by Behemoth

    We really need a THEATRICAL RELEASE of ANOTHER LOTR documentary??? Good lord, man, leave LOTR be and put the energy into making The Hobbit. The self-indulgence of these bloated DVDs is really getting a bit sickening. In the case of LOTR, it starts to detract from the film itself after awhile. Move on, Mr. Jackson! Move on!

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 8:20 a.m. CST

    I think my head just blew up!

    by Talkbacker with no name

    I want this NOW! Love or hate the movie, nobody does a dvd like Peter Jackson! ...for the record I love KONG with all my heart.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 8:46 a.m. CST

    Look guys! The studio will put out LOTR DVD's anyway...

    by Talkbacker with no name

    SO Peter might as well get in there and give us something that is at least worth it. It's either that or it's crappy run of the mill DVD releases. You don't want it, don't buy it. that's the only way the studios will stop doing thing slike this. I thank Peter for at least caring that we don't get ripped off.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 8:50 a.m. CST

    If they insist

    by Leopold Scotch

    on releasing more LOTR DVDs with even more footage, they should cut it like a mini-series box-set. With hour-long "episodes", it would make more sense and be more accessible: like watching the 24 and Lost DVDs. One volume can stretch over one or two weeks and lots of cool stuff could be included. Altering the format of the movies would make them a bit more fresh. Plus, I must see a gag reel.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Sweet! You know what this means?

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    More Ringw(b)earer9 insanity! Bring it on, Ringodoodle!

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 9:46 a.m. CST

    so Quint are you guys being paid for this

    by oscarmike

    all the shameless advertising that you guys are doing I mean. you had Jackson do what was essentially a sales pitch when the first DVD came out and now you're sorta doing the same. I hope you guys are getting some nice cash from Universal for all this promotion

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 10:18 a.m. CST

    "it's a bit indulgent"

    by robogeek.com

    Thankfully so. ;-)

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Less is more

    by SkeletonParty

    <p>I watched K.Ko. again without the hype and I noticed that I only cared about K.Ko. Lumpy and Naomi Watts....and I have to skip the ice skating scene altogether.</p> <p>K.Ko. is one of those movies that I find myself editing as I go, like I do with all of the new Star Wars movies. "Cut that, trim that, delete that, change that, kill whoever thought of that..."</P> <p>I would love a DVD that allowed you to edit the movie into something enjoyable.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 10:58 a.m. CST

    Okay guys, don't EVER bitch about Lucas again!

    by moto

    I don't want to hear one more complaint about George Lucas releasing DVDs. Not one. This is frickin' ridiculous. At least Lucas waits between releases and lets us enjoy what we bought for awhile and anticipate more. Jackson releases way too many versions in a short period of time. It's getting old. Yeah, he can blame the studio and say that, "I'm looking out for the fans..." but he really could help us out and tell the studio he won't contribute to these multiple releases in such a short time span. The studios would release bare bones editions and they woud see that sales would be horrible without his involvement. I like Jackson, but these Rings movies are becoming a bit too much. Do we really need to know that much about the movies?

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:18 a.m. CST

    There's a difference here, moto

    by Vi

    Lucas has almost complete control over his property. LOtR is not Jackson's property.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Here's an idea - too late - done it.

    by The Reef

    I stopped reading the talkback and went out and spent some dough. I hadn't bought any of the KKDVDs before because this site let slip that the EE was on its way. So can I just say, wait for what you want rather than spending dough on the pre-EE stuff and then bitching about it here when you realise what you've done. Hail PJ!

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:55 a.m. CST

    moto is right

    by CTU Mole

    Lucas doesn't have any more control over distribution than Peter. 20th Century Fox releases the Star Wars DVDs. The only difference is that Lucas made two versions of the original trilogy. He didn't make 30 different cuts of it, one where Vader dies and one where they just don't mention him again, etc.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 12:24 p.m. CST

    Peter Jackson´s King Kong could have been a great movie

    by MasterKenobi

    If he hadn´t added all those needless characters. Most of the action was great, Naomi Watts with Kong was brilliant. And Quint even says he can´t understand why the raft scene wasn´t in the film. Instead of Hayes-Jimmy love story Jackson should have fleshed out the Ann-Jack love story, it didn´t even seem like a love story anymore, and added more action and more kong. It´s too late now. Mr Jackson had the chance to do something really great with this new dvd, by cutting a more to the point version - adding only raft scene and at the same time cutting away all the "Heart of darkness" bullshit between Jimmy-Hayes and Hayes saying, "I found him in the cages, he was wilder than the animals..." or whatever shit he was saying. I´ll somehow see the extended version for the raft sequence, but I won´t fucking pay for it. There you have it Universal and Jackson. Sue me!

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 12:28 p.m. CST

    SkeletonParty

    by MasterKenobi

    That was good: "Cut that, trim that, delete that, change that, kill whoever thought of that..." Exactly my feelings about Kong. The whole fucking film could have been 2 hours, maximum 2,5 hours and it would have told a much better story.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Good work Quint... as always

    by Darth Thoth

    PJ is the man. You can tell he's a real dude if you know what I mean. I have mad respect for him. And Michael Pellerin is really at the top of his craft. I was a little disappointed with King Kong '05 theatrical. But I plan on picking this disc up and checking out what I expect to be pure excellence.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Let me rephrase...

    by Darth Thoth

    I was terribly disappointed with KK '05 and I'm hoping this extended cut improves the film. I trust Peter Jackson so I'm going to give this one a spin.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 1:43 p.m. CST

    Moooo -- Mooooo.

    by veritasses

    Looks like it's milking time on the Hollywood dairy farm again. I'll wait for the super extend special edition HD redux version with the lost footage of the making of PJ's birthday bloopers.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 1:49 p.m. CST

    the studios are going to release these dvds

    by slappy jones

    with or withour jackson. so isn't better that he is involved in them to make sure we are getting good stuff?jackson has no say over what New Line want to do with LOTR dvds...i'm glad he gets involved in them myself. and they always let peopel know well in advance that there are going to be further releases. the extended LOTR sets were not a secret. plus if you don't want to buy something then don't buy it.it is as simple as that. Why does everyone act like it is such a crime for studios to try and make money?? try and find a film that hasn't double dipped on dvd...every week something comes out that I have already and sure it pisses me off but fuck it...thats what the studios do. make money.look it sucks but thats all the studios want...money and this is how they make it. I just don't know why everyone blames lucas and jackson.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 2:08 p.m. CST

    I'm just hoping the extra footage exists...

    by NNNOOO!!!

    ...to reconstruct something resembling the original film. Drop the vaudeville prologue, drop "Heart of Darkness", drop the ice-skating. Gimme Ann's screen test-- after all, it was in the damn trailer.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 3:49 p.m. CST

    I think I found a t shirt that sums it up...

    by SkeletonParty

    http://tinyurl.com/yfe3dq

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Extended Cut

    by Cobbio

    Thanks for the interview, Quinty. Good to hear about the nuts and bolts of PJ's production, even if I didn't enjoy Kong nearly as much as the LOTR films. My problem stems from the fact I just don't care that much about apes. I don't find them cute or cuddly or intriguing in any way, especially in the lead role in a film, so my interest level was already lowered before I went to see the film.<p> That said, I do enjoy behind the scenes WETA stuff, production diaries, and actor testimonials. Especially from Jack Black. I'll probably pick up this version of the film for these things.<p> By the way, what is Jackson's next project? I've heard conflicting reports and read about failed Microsoft deals. But that's it. Does anyone know?

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Damn you MCMLXXVI

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Damn you MCMLXXVI

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:15 p.m. CST

    Make it an hour longer

    by winebot

    Keep the "Heart of Darkness" bit, keep the ice-skating, keep the vaudeville bits--keep everything. The whole thing was perfect. I never thought I'd say this, but this film was the first of it's type where I thought to myself "Even Speilberg could not have done better". The action sequences set a new standard for pacing and choreography, the music was hertfelt and powerful, and the characters(primarily Kong) and the motives and emotions behind their actions have not been this well balanced with action and suspense since "Jaws". A truly wonderful film that may need some time, during which truly bloated, indulgent and unentertaining movies can be released and remind some people what a great thing we had with Kong.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:25 p.m. CST

    Interesting idea, BSB.

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    But it will never happen. After reading some of Lucas's statements when he was asked about LOTR, it was obvious that he felt outshined and embarrassed by Jackson's deft handling of the story, effects, and direction. I believe he said that it was clear that Jackson really cared about the story first and foremost. When asked about ROTK, he basically said he could not have pulled it off. Lucas is a lot of things, but one thing he is not is a good communicator or collaborator. Anybody read CHUD's interview with Darabont regarding the script for "Indy 4"?! WOW. Talk about being an asshole. Not even Spielberg could rescue that debacle. *** Hey BSB - what's up with Phategod2 calling you BBCB in the Spidey TB? You guys need to get your story straight ASAP. ;)

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 10:10 p.m. CST

    Peter Jackson made three fundamental mistakes:

    by one9deuce

    1) He designed King Kong to look like a gorilla. King Kong isn't a gorilla, he is a totally unique entity. If you see a picture of King Kong, no matter what scale or backround, you should know that it's Kong. Not just a large gorilla. KONG IS COMPLETELY UNIQUE LOOKING IN THE ORIGINAL FILM. 2) The running time. I love long epics, but this story ultimately works better as a tightly paced and fast moving adventure movie. THE ORIGINAL'S RUNNING TIME IS 84 MINUTES. 3) Making Kong sympathetic to the audience. Peter's biggest mistake, and the one that sunk the film's box-office more than anything. His film is depressing. The scene in the film that illustrates this best is after Kong breaks through the door to the village. In the 1933 film the audience is supposed to be scared for the humans as Kong rampages toward the beach. In the 2005 film the audience is supposed to be feeling sorry for Kong in the same scene. Big difference. KING KONG IS A MONSTER THAT ANN IS TERRIFIED OF IN THE ORIGINAL FILM. Peter Jackson departed from three of the biggest things that make the original a classic, which is why his film will never attain that status.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 10:23 p.m. CST

    Correction above

    by one9deuce

    104 minutes not 84 minutes, DER.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:17 p.m. CST

    Kong - an atrocity

    by Neutron

    I just saw Kong for the first time and I have to say it was embarassingly bad. Even the FX weren't up to snuff with some very obvious greenscreen shots. And who knew you could run for 3 or 4 minutes underneath stampeding brontosauruses (brontosauri?) and not get squashed, or that a running man can body-check a raptor out of the way? Watching Ann do her vaudeville routine for Kong was cringe-inducing, and the Hayes-Jimmy book club/gay porn storyline was amateurish and unnecessary. Talk about tacked-on. I enjoyed the LOTR extras on the regular and EE versions, but the less said about Kong, by Jackson, the crew or anybody else, the better.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:37 p.m. CST

    BSB that suggestion is actually brilliant...

    by NoHubris

    ...and VERY inspired. Kudos, sir.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:47 a.m. CST

    gay porn

    by winebot

    I'm a little amused that so many of you have assigned a homoerotic subtext to the Jimmy/Hayes relationship. It was so clearly nothing of the sort, and leads me to believe that some of you may be longing to see a young blonde kid get buggered by an older black man. A very strange observation about this film that, oddly enough, neither I nor anyone I know thought of until I started reading this talkback. And to one9deuce: The thing that made the original Kong look so different wasn't because the director wanted it to look like no other gorilla, it's because the creators knew very little about primate behavior, and clearly never consulted an expert. I wish people would stop romanticizing every bad special effect from way back when in an attempt to sound authoritative. Though ground breaking for it's time, it simply looks quaint today. Along with the Upright-walking, stop-motion dinosaurs, the giant ants in "Them!", and the creatures from "Clash of the Titans".

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 4:23 a.m. CST

    Glad I waited ...

    by Mace Tofu

    but still do you think they will put out a set with all the production diaries, both cuts of the feature and all the extras ? Because I would still have to go back and buy two other DVDs to get everything that is not in this new 3 disc set. I almost picked it up today at Target for $25 but wanted to check online first to see what was in this one. Boy was I glad to find this up : ) Thanks. The New KKEE DVDs come in a thick clear plastic case that feels cheap and looks you could fit 6 disc in it so what is up with the "only room for 3 disc"? Should I wait for the 7 disc boxset? speaking of crazy boxsets those Bond sets are killing me with their choice of titles your forced to buy lol Damn Studios!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 4:27 a.m. CST

    Still holding out for...

    by The Brewhammer

    A much shorter than theatrical release Editor's Cut.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 5:43 a.m. CST

    It just isn't enough.

    by dundundles

    I just burned through these discs last night, and while I still havn't watched the extended cut, or the commentary, I am very dissapointed with this set. There seems to be a weatlh of information, and their really is. But... Everything in the 3+ hour documentary that makes up disc 3, is centered around design. Art design, sculpting, minitures, and ultimatly computer design. This is fine and all but how can you not even mention such very important things, such as editing, scoring, sound efects. And for Michael to say this is everything... that they threw in everything and the kitchen sink, it is just plain wrong... Unless they didn't cover these aspects of production. And there wasn't even anything on the adapting process. How did they come to the decisions they came too, to make the film so bloody long? They never defended why they had such a long theatrical cut. These are the things that really keep this set from being great. And the packiging is so lame. So cheap. Damn you universal.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 6:48 a.m. CST

    Settle down Beavis/Winebot, and Dundundles

    by half vader

    "I'm a little amused", "homoerotic subtext" etc. Dude, you sound like a prat with no sense of humour. "I find it encumbent upon me to point out the failings and scatalogical obsessions, toilet humour and other childish tomfoolery of my fellow talkbackers does not reflext on civilised society at large". And here I am thinking for once the TB was having a bit of stupid fun and not letting the usual hate overwhelm a Kong talkback! Silly me. Jimmy DOES fucking suck though. Not only that but what's-his-name Billy Elliot guy the actor was the same whiney tool in real life through the whole shoot! Poor guy, earning good money to moan like he'd be doing in his own damn house. Bah. Hayes was fine I thought, with what he had! Oh, and while I'm with you on 9deuce's silly ramblings, I agree to disagree about Medusa from lash of the Titans. She's still fantastic. Harry Hamlin in abad wig and toga is quaint. God I hope it was a wig anyway!_____________ Dunny, why don't you read the 96 script (to understand the adaptation process) and listen to the commentary first before you rush to post then? Personally I thought the editing and especially sound and mixing was covered really well in the production and postproduction diaries. Subjective, I guess.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 6:53 a.m. CST

    'reflext'

    by half vader

    Ha ha. It's like Dunny saying 'packiging'! I was going write "coming off like" rather than "sound like" but that would have been homoerotic subtext creeping in again I guess. Whee! I'm rambling and really should go to bed. Nobody's reading at this hour anyway.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 11:06 a.m. CST

    I have some interesting news...

    by emeraldboy

    MGM is in talks with Peter Jackson to make two, thats right two Hobbit movies. One will be a film based on the book and the other will be a film based on source notes taken from lord of the Rings. So says MGM's Harry Sloan. But I have some bad for the people in Ireland who visit this site. The Owners of the savoy Cinemas, IMc, Cineplex and omniplex and screen cinemas ie ward anderson and entertainment film distibutors who own the distribution rites for UK and Ireland are locked in a row, which has been ongoing for the 15 months(it looks likely to continue) they also hold the dvd rites too. Hopefully it will be over by the time this these films are made. Who knows?

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 2:25 p.m. CST

    "lash of the Titans"

    by DocPazuzu

    I'd buy that for a dollar.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:09 p.m. CST

    winebot

    by one9deuce

    Why would Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack consult a "primate expert" when they had been in the jungles of Africa themselves? They didn't want Kong to walk with his hands like a real gorilla, they wanted him bipedal. He wasn't supposed to look just like a gorilla, he was supposed to look like nothing anyone had ever seen. That's the whole idea!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:38 p.m. CST

    ONE9DEUCE

    by winebot

    That may well be, but honestly, do you think that such disregard for realism would have been a wise choice for the new Kong? And just for the record the new Kong didn't look like just any other gorilla. First of all, he looked old and battered, with a broken jaw and exposed tooth, to say nothing of the fact that he was 25 feet tall. To make a gorilla bipedal doesn't make it look like a different species, it just makes him look unrealistic. The mere size of Kong alone implies his incredible uniqueness, and the attention to realism makes this otherwise unrealistic idea seem actually plausible. Just like in Jaws. A 25-foot White shark? Never. But if Speilberg had also given it the ability to fly, it would have strained credibility.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 8:09 p.m. CST

    winebot, I see what you're saying

    by one9deuce

    but Jaws is supposed to be a Great White (and they can get quite big, up to 20+ feet), but King Kong is completely unique in the world. The original gives you that feeling. Only the size of Kong in the 2005 version does. I think the word that would illustrate what I am saying best is iconic. He should have been unique looking, that wouldn't take away from him looking realistic. The xenomorphs in Aliens don't look like anything on earth, but they sure are believable.

  • Nov. 24, 2006, 3:29 p.m. CST

    But Kong was too long anyway!!?

    by Avon

    Don't get me wrong, it was enjoyable but too long. And now it's padded with more stuff. This should be a TV mini-series, not a movie.