Kong: Skull Island 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray Review

Kong: Skull Island 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack
  • Movie8
  • Video (4K UHD)8
  • Video (1080p Blu-ray)7.5
  • Audio9
  • Special Features7
Overall7.9

WB's 4K UHD release of Kong: Skull Island is visually-stunning and an audio-lovers wet dream. The 4K transfer pops with clarity and brightness, thanks to HDR, while the 7.1 Dolby ATMOS-encoded audio track is blaring and dynamic, capturing environmental noises and dialogue with layers of detail. The special features round out the package with just enough extra goodies for those looking for more. This is a recommended release.

Jordan Vogt-RobertsKong: Skull Island is an awesome film, featuring larger-than-life action, colorful locations and a group of charismatic characters that elevate the film’s weaker moments.

Kong: Skull Island dropped into theaters earlier this year in March and at the time there wasn’t that many films that thoroughly impressed me so far, aside from John Wick: Chapter 2. With Kong, I was able to quench my summer blockbuster thirst several months before the “season” officially began and yet here I sit typing this review, standing by what I said about Kong and realizing that it’s better than almost everything I’ve seen at the cinemas this past summer.

August is quickly approaching and Kong: Skull Island still remains one of the better Hollywood blockbusters of the year and one of the best big screen adaptations of the character so far.

I also must note that I recently re-watched Peter Jackson‘s King Kong (in 4K UHD), prior to popping in the 4K UHD of Kong: Skull Island and while I enjoyed Jackson’s old time Hollywood love story of beauty and the beast, blended with the makings of a Spielberg style event film — I still prefer Vogt-Roberts’ Vietnam paranoia war film that’s action-packed, yet character driven, not to mention the humor on display by John C. Reilly.

Skull Island is less about Kong’s interaction with one person and more about his protection of the island and man’s obsession with control. Control over each other, control over other-wordly beasts and control over the unknown, at all costs.

Vogt-Roberts wisely captures that by creating a truly massive Kong, one that towers over buildings opposed to being a larger ape and he does this to both inspire shock and awe and to capture something with a respect for scope, scale and size.

This isn’t a Kong film that’s going to attempt to take down the beast and bring him home for show-and-tell — this is a Kong film that has soldiers prepping the largest of bombs in attempt to destroy and conquer the beast.

The film is the next phase in a soon-to-come cinematic universe that will eventually pit Kong up against the recently-rebooted Godzilla, which I will be looking forward to.

But as is, Kong: Skull Island is an awesome spectacle of visuals and action, with a few memorable performances to boot.

Click here to read my full theatrical review of Kong: Skull Island.

4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray Package:

Picture (2160p, HDR): Kong: Skull Island comes to the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format with a visually-pleasing 2160p transfer, with the much-loved HDR (high dynamic range) to boot, for capable sets. The film was sourced from a 2K digital intermediate, which means that it is not “true 4K”, but after having viewed over 100 4K UHD discs, I can confidently say that the sourced material isn’t all that matters when it comes to 4K. Skull Island utilizes HDR to highlight and blow up some of the film’s brighter colors. This is a film full of oranges, yellows and greens, highlighting the exotic jungle location, while drenching its characters in sweat and dirt.

Visual clarity is exceptional for the most part, with pores and skin definition remaining clear and consistent, with the occasional soft spot. I did not notice much of any juttering or image distortion.

Comparing this to its 1080p Blu-ray counterpart is tough, because WB truly has assembled a stellar Blu-ray release. The 4K is noticeably more clear and the colors pop so much better with HDR, but this disc isn’t going to be an easy night-and-day difference. Folks that have a 4K setup will want to pick up this combo pack if they want the best-looking picture possible.

Audio (7.1 Dolby ATMOS, 5.1 DTS-HD): WB has included both a 7.1 Dolby ATMOS surround sound track and a 5.1 DTS-HD track. I’m not sure why anyone would go the 5.1 DTS-HD route, because even without an ATMOS-capable player, one can get a 7.1 Dolby TrueHD core track from the ATMOS selection. The visuals might not be as easy to spot when comparing discs, but the audio definitely is. The ATMOS track is blaring and spacious, capturing the buzzing of the helicopter blades across all channels, with loud dynamic activity. Explosions are thunderous and deep, while dialogue remains crisp and clear.

I was honestly surprised by how much unique surround activity was coming from my back channels. Atmosphere and environmental noise are consistent and almost always engaging.

The following special features have been included with this combo pack:

  • 1080p Blu-ray copy of the film
  • Digital copy
  • Commentary with director Jordan Vogt-Roberts
  • Creating a King (1080p)
  • On Location: Vietnam (1080p)
  • Tom Hiddleston: The Intrepid Traveler (1080p)
  • Through the Lens: Brie Larson’s Photography (1080p)
  • Monarch Files 2.0 (Companion Archive) (1080p)
  • Deleted Scenes (1080p)

Overall, Kong: Skull Island is a fantastic film that I recommend picking up on basically any home video format. The pluses of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack definitely outweigh the price difference between the standard 2D Blu-ray release and the 4K release. The added definition and the HDR makes this disc kick all sorts of ass.

The only conflict on the table is for those that still support 3D Blu-ray. Theatrically, I absolutely loved this film in 3D and have been told that the 3D Blu-ray hits all of the high marks. But most TVs are dropping 3D support. If you have a setup that supports both 4K and 3D, then I would suggest hunting down a limited edition 4K/3D/2D Blu combo pack that is available only at Best Buy, otherwise it’s going to come down to you either preferring the higher resolution and visual pop of HDR versus the added dimension of 3D. All combo packs come with the same special features, which aren’t extensive, but are healthy enough for those looking for more.

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