Alice in Wonderland, War of the Worlds and The Wolfman Arrive on Blu-ray
War of the Worlds joins the recently released Blu-rays of Minority Report and Saving Private Ryan (also from PHE) in providing a more adult kind of Spielberg HD eye and ear candy (1.85:1 1080p AVC encode; 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio): visually gritty in conveying humanity's fight for survival a family in crisis coming together. ILM's vfx is crucial under the supervision of Dennis Muren and Pablo Helman.
In keeping with Spielberg's reliance on realism, CG shots were kept to a minimum and had to seamlessly blend in with the live-action footage, which included lots of sets and models but no motion control work. The vfx shots of dust and broken glass occur behind smoke, ambience and camerawork. Taking their cues from Saving Private Ryan and Spielberg's directive that the entire movie be told from Tom Cruise's POV, the vfx crew was also limited in its reliance on blue or greenscreen work.
"This meant the camera setups and the feel were much more organic than the futuristic trappings associated with the genre." Muren explains. "This was a combat situation and we were trying to give it a feeling of dirt and chaos and to keep it intimately tied to Tom's character. It was tempting to look over his shoulder and see what was going on over the hill, so to speak, but Steven was adamant that we keep real and mysterious, which was much harder than the usual effects movie."
The BD carries over all the contents from the two-disc limited edition DVD.
Bonus features include:
- Revisiting the Invasion
- The H.G. Wells Legacy
- Steven Spielberg and the Original War of the Worlds
- Characters: The Family Unit
- Production Diaries
- Designing the Enemy: Tripods and Aliens
- Scoring War of the Worlds
- We Are Not Alone
- Theatrical teaser trailer (in HD)
The Wolfman, starring Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins, offers both the theatrical cut and an unrated one on BD (16 minutes longer and with more narrative bite in the first half). Overall, its restrained, gothic look is gorgeous and the sound is robust (1.85:1 1080p AVC encode; 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio).
MPC worked on fully animated Wolfman scenes, three gruesome transformations, all CG London rooftop scenes, enhancement of live-action Wolfman shots and the climactic waterfall environment.
Rhythm & Hues was called on for 150 shots, including some last minute adjustments; namely, having the Wolfman go from biped to quadruped.
Double Negative worked on 350 shots spread across multiple scenes, including the opening and the ending shots of the film, creating the iconic moon that is central to the theme, as well as some hallucination scenes. Much of the work, though, involved creating Talbot Hall.
Bonus features include: