Godzilla vs. Kong - Blu-ray Review

Michael Scott

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Godzilla vs. Kong


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Movie: :3.5stars:
Video: :4stars:
Audio: :5stars:
Extras: :3.5stars:
Final Score: :3.5stars:



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Movie

Ahhh, the Avengers of the monster movie world. It’s been 3 separate films leading up to this point, but we’re finally here with the face off that has been teased to us ever since King Kong came out a few years back. King Kong vs. the King of the Titans in an epic battle. Well, just with a twist that we all see coming a mile away, and the inclusion of stupid humans which has been the bane of the series up to this point.

Human garbage that bogs down the film:. Kong is under super strict monitoring by Monarch on his little island and kept away from the rest of the Titan battles that have been happening in the previous Godzilla films. He gets visitations from a deaf orphan named Jia (Kaylee Hottle) who teaches him to sign, and Dr. Andrews (Rebecca Hall) has pretty much been keeping everything under control. However, Monarch Scientist and hollow earth theorist Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgard) has been approached by the mustache twirling villain of the movie (of course he’s a villain. He has an accent and he’s a rich business owner. They’re always villains), one Walter Simmons (Demian Bichir) who believes that there is a hollow earth, and that there is something special down there to explore. He convinces Nathan to go with him on a journey to the center of the earth (yes, pun intended) with him, but they both need a Titan to get there. So naturally Nathan approaches Dr. Andrews and convinces her to allow them to use Kong as a sort of guide to get there.

Simultaneously we have a silly story involving Apex conspiracy theory loving employee Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry) attempts to pull information about a super secret project going on by Walter Simmons, and with the help of Madison Russell (the same girl from Godzilla: King of the Monsters) and her reluctant friend Josh (Julian Dennison) they find out that Apex is up to something big. REALLLY big.

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As much as I’d like to say that’s it, that’s just the beginning of it all. The stupidity goes on for like an hour 25 minutes as humans start going to the center of the Earth to explore, Bernie and Madison start making wise cracks and digging into Apex, and all the while we’re just yelling at the screen “show the monster fighting!”. However, there are some fun battles to watch for that hour and a half both upstairs on in hollow earth, but it’s really the last 30 minutes that we want to see, and that 30 minutes is TOTALLY worth it. Godzilla and Kong destroying an entire city with abandon, and we get to eagerly hold our popcorn bucket and watch it unfold on screen. Plus, we also get to see Kong and Godzilla team up part way through to pull a WWF tag team battle on Mecha Godzilla as well (sorry, not a major spoiler, it’s in the description). It’s booms, it’s smashes, it’s Kong wielding a super powered radiation fueled axe, and it’s FUN.

Like most things, humans really do drag the story down, and the story is just LITTERED with plot holes and contrivances. I was literally howling at the screen when we go to hollow earth and see that Kong has a whole culture down there complete with a throne and a super powered axe made from one of Godzilla’s scales. An axe that can absorb radiation and be super powered up. Then there’s the humans jump starting Kong’s heart with an aerial vehicle. Kong shooting a radiation beam down to the center of the earth and kong just crawling out, and stupid wise cracks that are just PAINFUL to listen too. Still, it’s got more smashing and destroying than we could hope for and that last 30 minutes is nothing but one gigantic version of Pacific Rim just with an ape, a mech, and a lizard.




Rating:

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of creature violence/destruction and brief language




Video: :4stars:
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As I said in my 4K UHD video review, I’m not sure whether studios are slacking with Blu-ray releases, or just getting REALLY good with 4K UHD releases, but the Blu-ray just can’t hold a candle to the 4K UHD release. It’s good and all, but it suffers from milky blacks, lack of color saturation without the HDR, and generally the detail levels aren’t as strong.

That out of the way, Godzilla vs. Kong is a perfectly satisfying Blu-ray release. The colors and strong and well saturated, with bright neon blues of radiation and the red lights of Mechagodzilla coming through amazingly well. As I said above, blacks are only ok, especially when we go into hollow earth and check out Kong’s throne room. They get more than a bit washed out and milky there. Otherwise general detail levels are good, with outdoor and daylight shots showing the best clarity. It’s a good enough transfer, but not as shockingly good as I would have expected.



Audio: :5stars:
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As with most Warner Atmos tracks, the Blu-ray and the 4K UHD disc (well, except for the 3D disc, which has a 7.1 DTS-HD MA track to save space) both have the same Atmos track, and it is a doozy. As impressive as the video score is for Godzilla vs. Kong, it wouldn’t be a Godzilla movie if the audio track doesn’t just take the cake. This is a sonic attack by every definition of the word, and it doesn’t ever let go throughout. Dialog is always clean and clear, and quiet moments certainly aren’t imbalanced, but boy howdy, when the action kicks off (and there is a LOOOOT of action), this is a sonic boom aimed straight at your listening position. The scene where Godzilla faces off against Kong on the boats is an incredible scene, with heavy artillery fire mixed with an ape roar, and copious smashes as the two titans duke it out. The surrounds get massively used throughout the film, and the overheads use tons of discrete sounds throughout the flick (especially in underground earth, or during the final massive battle between the 3 titans). Bass is devastating as you would have guessed, but luckily it’s not overly bloated and clipping every 2 seconds like the original Godzilla was prone to. Simply put, this is audio nirvana for those of us who like big massive action blockbuster mixes.




Extras: :3.5stars:
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• Audio Commentary by Director, Adam Wingard
• Kong Discovers Hollow Earth
• Kong Leaves Home
• Behold Kong's Temple
• The Evolution of Kong, Eighth Wonder of the World
• Godzilla Attacks
• The Phenomenon of GŌJIRA, King of the Monsters
• Round One: Battle at Sea
• Round Two: One Will Fall
• Titan Tag Team: The God and the King
• The Rise of MechaGodzilla





Final Score: :3.5stars:


Godzilla vs. Kong is just what you’d expect if you’ve seen the other films. It’s big, got two of the big boys beating each other up, and it’s full of stupid human interactions that drag the film down like the previous films. The best way I can sum up the film for you is that it should be re titled Pacific Rim: Kong vs. Godzilla and just sit back and watch the destruction. It’s hilariously goofier than any of the previous movies, but it’s the biggest, the baddest, and the most satisfying with the ending as well. The Blu-ray isn't as good on the video as I would have liked, but the audio is INSANE, and the movie itself is big dumb fun. So grab away monster lovers.


Technical Specifications:

Starring: Alexander Skarsgard, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Lance Reddick, Kyle Chandler, Demian Bichir
Directed by: Adam Wingard
Written by: Terry Rossio, Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields (story by), Eric Pearson, Max Borenstein (screenplay by)
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos (English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Core), English, French, Spanish DD 5.1, English DVS
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Studio: Warner Brothers
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 113 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: June 15th, 2021
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Recommendation: Great Monster Watch

 
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seedeeshopper

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Hi Michael, can you explain/ clearify this statement -"Bass is devastating as you would have guessed, but luckily it’s not overly bloated and clipping every 2 seconds like the original Godzilla was prone to. "
 

Michael Scott

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Hi Michael, can you explain/ clearify this statement -"Bass is devastating as you would have guessed, but luckily it’s not overly bloated and clipping every 2 seconds like the original Godzilla was prone to. "

The original Blu-ray track for Godzilla was cooked EXTREMELY hot at the master level. It was actually so filled with bass and recorded so loud that clipping and distortion was present in the track at a default level, and there was nothing at fault with the user playing too loud, or pushing their bass too hot. As a result it was kind of a flawed track that sounded distorted no matter how low or how high you had the volume level. It was a loud and POWERFUL track, but it was also one that a lot of audiophiles were frustrated with because of the clipping and distortion that couldn't be tweaked away because it was part of the original source material
 

seedeeshopper

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Thanks for the explanation. Its interesting because I experienced none of that when I watched godzilla 2014. I thought it was a great (one of the best) track and heard no clipping or distortion from my subs -just ultra low and subsonic bass at its best.. It makes me wonder if it is more of a sealed vs. Vented box thing and that it was a unloading and lack of tightness of the ported boxes because it had so much ultra low and subsonic bass? Whereas my thoughts on godzilla vs. Kong were the opposite. That sounded bloated with a tad of overuse of bass and the bass wasn't as low -like they made the decision to not go ultra low (or subsonic) and to add a lot more in the 25 to 40hz range and made it sound a little bloated. I also thought godzilla king of the monsters had better bass than godzilla vs kong.. That said all three movies have great bass and are great fun for people with subs (and sub amps) that can handle it. -lets just say you know your not watching a pitiful disney /marvel soundtrack!
 

Michael Scott

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Thanks for the explanation. Its interesting because I experienced none of that when I watched godzilla 2014. I thought it was a great (one of the best) track and heard no clipping or distortion from my subs -just ultra low and subsonic bass at its best.. It makes me wonder if it is more of a sealed vs. Vented box thing and that it was a unloading and lack of tightness of the ported boxes because it had so much ultra low and subsonic bass? Whereas my thoughts on godzilla vs. Kong were the opposite. That sounded bloated with a tad of overuse of bass and the bass wasn't as low -like they made the decision to not go ultra low (or subsonic) and to add a lot more in the 25 to 40hz range and made it sound a little bloated. I also thought godzilla king of the monsters had better bass than godzilla vs kong.. That said all three movies have great bass and are great fun for people with subs (and sub amps) that can handle it. -lets just say you know your not watching a pitiful disney /marvel soundtrack!

it's not that it was clipped in the subwoofer department, the ENTIRE track was clipping at the source. They did an audio waterfall over at AVS and Data-bass and the graphs showed that clipping was baked into literally 70% of the audible audio. (not to mention the annoying 20hz subsonic filter they put on the track). They cleaned up the track a good bit with the Dolby Atmos mix for the 4K UHD (original Godzilla) and it sounds a lot cleaner

and don't remind me of neutered Atmouse tracks. Nothing hurts my feelings more than listening to Disney's take on Atmos tracks, and the bass killing they did with the Marvel films
 
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Michael Scott

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seedeeshopper

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Do you have a link to the avs clipping info-I could not find it anywhere? I just don't here it on my copy with dts -HD master audio??
 

Michael Scott

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Do you have a link to the avs clipping info-I could not find it anywhere? I just don't here it on my copy with dts -HD master audio??

let me see if I can dig them up since they were done around 2014-2015 era by MaxMercy
 
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