King Kong Peter Jackson

King Kong Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson has unceremoniously yanked the blockbuster crown out the hands of Spielberg, Lucas, Cameron and Bay, first with The LOTR trilogy and now with this 800-pound remake behemoth. But in addition to being the most exciting and accomplished filmmaker alive, able to deftly balance large-scale technology with personal storytelling, with his dedication to the DVD format, Jackson is opening new windows into the creation of his work. After chronicling the process, from book to premiere, for Lord of the Rings in painstaking detail on three four-disc sets, the first strike from King Kong comes in one- and two-disc incarnations; given the lack of Jackson commentary, it seems clear that an even more elaborate, extensive DVD issue is to follow before year's end. But like the initial two-disc releases of LOTR, Jackson does right by his fans. The most extensive extras here come from the on-going production diaries originally posted on KongIsKing.net; having already released a two-disc version of diaries up to post-production, here they pick up where they left off and continue up to the release of the film. Remarkably, Jackson manages to pull out fascinating material without being hamstrung by (or perhaps, here he's liberated from) showing clips from the film, since it wasn't finished. It's most fascinating for being such an on-the-fly document — these diaries were posted weekly on the fan site; the intimacy they offered show little of the vanity that goes into DVD presentations these days. The disc is fleshed out by a mockumentary on Skull Island, called A Natural History, which explains why dinosaurs have existed and evolved unnoticed, and on the creation of an authentic 1933 New York City — actually, more a look at what defined the city itself than how Jackson incorporates it. From any other director, this would be exhaustively comprehensive; from experience, we know that Jackson will bring Kong back for another, even more detailed kick at the DVD can. (Universal)