It may not be one of the Eight Wonders of the DVD World, but the new three-disc “King Kong: Extended Edition” will top many a Christmas list, just as surely as Kong topped the Empire State building. Adding more footage to Peter Jackson’s three-hour redo may seem a tad unnecessary, but the extra scenes (as well as some truly Kong-sized bonus features) make this an indispensable trophy for DVD junkies.
With a new running time of three hours and 21 minutes (the 1933 original ran just 100 minutes), it’s no wonder the pic’s extras are larger-than-life as well. The set has 38 more minutes of deleted footage that didn’t make the extended cut; even the bloopers, primarily of thesp Jack Black clowning on set, run for an unusually long 18 minutes.
Disc three is dominated by “Re-creating the Eighth Wonder: The Making of King Kong,” a three-hour collection of featurettes detailing the genesis of the project through the film’s exhaustive physical production.
“Kong” has always been Jackson’s pet project; the docu includes tantalizing glimpses of the helmer’s first attempt to remake the giant ape pic — at age 12.
Jackson’s sly sense of humor and contagious sense of wonder helps hold all the sprawling extras together. The one area where the set doesn’t shine is its packaging. Paling in comparison with the sturdy “Lord of the Rings” packages, this set proffers discs that look like screeners in an ordinary plastic case with a cheap cardboard slipcase. Surely, Jackson would not approve.