THE DARK KNIGHT, DR. SEUSS' HORTON HEARS A WHO! and the fourth season of LOST arrive on DVD and Blu-ray, plus Oscar-winning Best Animated Short PETER & THE WOLF makes its U.S. DVD debut, and more.
THE DARK KNIGHT On DVD And Blu-ray
This year’s must-own movie, the critically-acclaimed blockbuster THE DARK KNIGHT, hits the street on December 9 as Warner Bros.’ first home entertainment release to include Internet-enabled interactive features exclusive to the Blu-ray format. THE DARK KNIGHT Blu-ray takes advantage of next-generation technology through BD-Live, which is accessible through internet-connected Blu-ray players (including PlayStation 3).
The follow-up to Batman Begins, THE DARK KNIGHT (vfx by Double Negative, BUF, Gentle Giant Studios and New Deal Studio) reunites director Christopher Nolan and star Christian Bale, who reprises the role of Batman /Bruce Wayne in his continuing war on crime. With the help of Lt. Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to destroy organized crime in Gotham for good. The triumvirate proves effective, but soon find themselves prey to a rising criminal mastermind known as The Joker, who thrusts Gotham into anarchy and forces Batman closer to crossing the fine line between hero and vigilante. Heath Ledger stars as archvillain The Joker, and Aaron Eckhart plays Dent. Maggie Gyllenhaal joins the cast as Rachel Dawes. Returning from BATMAN BEGINS are Gary Oldman as Gordon, Michael Caine as Alfred and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox.
Visual Effects Producer Joyce Cox and VFX Supervisor Nick Davis oversaw a global effort that involved vendors based in America, England and France. "Chris Nolan had had a very positive experience with the work that had been achieved on the first movie [BATMAN BEGINS], and he wanted to maintain the same gritty, super realistic approach to the visual effects," Davis explains. "He wanted a movie to be as 'un-effectsy' as possible. The shots had to feel real. To this purpose, we did a lot of location work, whereas on the first movie, the majority of the scenes had been captured on stage. The fact that we shot on location, notably in Chicago and Hong Kong, allowed us to ground the movie in reality. We shot as many real elements as possible."
DVD Two-Disc DVD Special Edition Features Include:
-- Two Segments of Gotham Uncovered: Creation of a Scene*The Evolution of the Knight*The Sound of Anarchy-- The IMAX Experience -- Using the highest resolution that can be achieved, Director Christopher Nolan shot six scenes in this incredibly immersive format and the biggest possible canvas to tell the story.-- Gotham Tonight -- Gotham Cable News premier investigative news program presents hard hitting stories about Gotham and the influential people that make the headlines.-- Galleries, Trailers and Digital Copy
Blu-ray Special Features Include:
-- Gotham Uncovered: Creation of a Scene -- Director Christopher Nolan, along with some of the best talents in special effects, stunts and visual effects, offer a rare opportunity to witness the incredible detail and planning that went into creating the real time, live “in camera” stunts and effects.-- Warner Bros. BD-Live -- This unique and comprehensive feature will expand the Blu-Ray experience to a whole new level. Create your own profile with a personalized avatar, check out exclusive content from the media center, review new trailers, and express yourself though Live Community Screening and My Commentary.-- Batman Tech -- Delve deep inside the Batcave to examine the incredible gadgets and tools used by Batman that were inspired by state-of-the-art advances in military technology-- Batman Unmasked: The Psychology of The Dark Knight -- Go inside the psyche of Bruce Wayne and the world of Batman, as well as many of his adversaries, through real world psychotherapy.
Extras:-- Gotham Tonight-- The Galleries-- Digital Copy-- Trailers
DR. SEUSS' HORTON HEARS A WHO! On DVD And Blu-ray
Escape to the Jungle of Nool with the loveable and 100 percent faithful Horton the elephant as Twentieth Century Fox Home Ent. releases the animated DR. SEUSS' HORTON HEARS A WHO! as a Two-Disc Special Edition DVD and Blu-ray including Digital Copy December 9.
One of Dr. Seuss' all-time classic children's books, HORTON HEARS A WHO (1954), comes to life with the help of an all-star voice cast including Jim Carrey, Steve Carell and Carol Burnett. Dr. Seuss' whimsical tale imparts to children and adults alike the meaning of compassion, forgiveness and faith.
DR. SEUSS' HORTON HEARS A WHO! also stars Will Arnett, Seth Rogen, Jesse McCartney, Amy Poehler and Jaime Pressly. The DR. SEUSS' HORTON HEARS A WHO!
In many ways, the success of an animated film can be judged by how well it brings its characters to life. Casting the right voice actor is key, but finding the right lead animator can be just as important. For the lead character in its fourth animated feature, HORTON HEARS A WHO!, Blue Sky Studios turned to David Torres, who has been with the company since the first ICE AGE and helped shape the character of Diego, the saber-toothed tiger.
Two-Disc Special Edition DVD and Blu-ray including Digital Copy are loaded with bonus features, big and small, including commentary with directors Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino, eight featurettes, exclusive deleted footage and the debut of the ICE AGE short SURVIVING SID. Additionally, a DR. SEUSS' HORTON HEARS A WHO! DVD Gift Set featuring the Two-Disc Special Edition with Horton plush will be available. DR. SEUSS' HORTON HEARS A WHO! DVD is presented in a flipper disc featuring both full screen (1.31:1 aspect ratio) and widescreen format (1.85:1 aspect ratio) with English 5.1 Dolby Surround, Spanish/French Dolby Surround with English and Spanish subtitles.
DVD Special Features Include::
Single Disc Flipper -- Widescreen and Pan & Scan Version-- Directors' Audio Commentary w/ Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino-- Ice Age short SURVIVING SID: A new animated short focusing on the ICE AGE characters Sid and Scrat.
Two-Disc Special Edition Including Digital Copy:Includes all above single-disc content with the following extra material featured on the second disc:-- Deleted Footage and Animation Screen Tests (with introductions and optional audio commentaries by the directors)-- "That's One Big Elephant: Animating Horton" -- In an animation-focused featurette, learn how Blue Sky brought Horton to life.-- "Bringing the Characters to Life" -- Watch the animators' hilarious initial performances recorded as a reference to assist in animating the film.-- "Meet Katie" -- Discover how the character "Katie" was developed by Blue Sky-- Elephant Fun: The Facts -- Fun and informative featurette about elephants.-- "Our Speck: Where Do We Fit In?" -- Using interviews with everyday kids, we'll learn how even small actions can help make the world a better place.-- "A Person Is a Person: A Universal Message" -- Featuring interviews with cast and crew, take a closer look at the characters, the story and interpret the meanings of HORTON HEARS A WHO!-- "Bringing Seuss to Screen" -- Learn how Hayward and Martino maintained the authentic look and feel of Dr. Seuss' world.-- "The Elephant in the Room: Jim Carrey" -- Profile on Jim Carrey voicing Horton-- "We Are Here!" Game -- Memory game in which you have to repeat the correct pattern of Who-noises.
Blu-ray Special Features Include:
"Watch HORTON HEARS A WHO! with a Who!" and all above two-disc special edition content with the exception of the DVD-Rom "Create Your Own Animation."
Blu-ray Disc features include the following:-- Bonus View technology "Watch HORTON HEARS A WHO! with a Who!" -- Watch the movie with the smallest Who of all -- Jo Jo
PETER & THE WOLF On DVD
The 2007 Academy Award Winner for Best Animated Short PETER & THE WOLF arrives on DVD December 9 from Magnolia Home Ent.
Based on the classic musical composition PETER AND THE WOLF by Sergei Prokofiev, this spellbinding new interpretation combines stop-frame model animation and state-of-the-art digital technology, along with a new orchestra recording to create a magical world in which little boys can find the strength and courage to overcome their fears.
Director Suzie Templeton's take on how little boys can find extraordinary courage, set to Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev's famous score, offers the latest in stop-motion animation, particularly effective here in the tale's updating into the grim realities of a more contemporary Russia. Hugh Welchman produced the Breakthru Films release.
Magnolia previously released PETER as part of an animated shorts collection DVD in May, but the new version will have extras, including a making-of documentary, commentary with Templeton and featurettes "The Musical Themes," "The Story in Pictures" and "The Making of PETER & THE WOLF."
PETER & THE WOLF -- By The Numbers:
5 -- Number of years it took to complete the PETER & THE WOLF, from conception to completion.250 -- Number of people who worked on the film.2 -- Average number of seconds each animator did in a 12 hour shift.3,000 -- Number of photos the director, Suzie Templeton, and co-writer, Marianela Maldonado, took as well as 14 hours of video footage on their trip to Moscow11 -- Number of days to animate shot of bird falling into potatoes90 -- Number of distributors who turned down the film before it was made700 -- Number of pitching and finance meetings to get the film off the ground17/9 -- Number of financiers / number of countries they originate from80/1,700 -- Created on the biggest animation set ever made. The forest set was over 80 feet long, and contained 1,700 trees, each of which are 6 feet high3,000 -- Number of emails producer Hugh Welchman received the day after the Oscars6 puppets, 2 test skeletons, 18 jackets, 33 sculpts, 12 skin tests, 60 full character drawings -- To create the Peter puppet$4 million -- Final budget
LOST: The Complete Fourth Season -- The Expanded Experience On DVD And Blu-ray
The survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 come closer than ever to solving the mysteries of their remote island prison when LOST: The Complete Fourth Season -- The Expanded Experience comes to DVD and Blu-ray from Walt Disney Studios Home Ent. on December 9, 2008.
In addition to all 14 captivating one-hour episodes from the show’s unforgettable fourth season, this six-disc compilation is packed with mesmerizing bonus features that will take fans even deeper inside this award-winning series. Teeming with the kind of astounding discoveries and riveting plot twists that have made LOST television’s most compelling adventure, LOST: The Complete Fourth Season -- The Expanded Experience arrives just in time for fans to catch up on their favorite episodes before the exciting fifth season begins.
More than three months after their fateful crash, the stranded passengers of the ill-fated transcontinental flight learn that the only thing more dangerous than the Island itself might be the people who have come to save them from it. Every twist and turn, and all the secrets and clues of the boldest show on network television come together in one place, revealing some of the dark mysteries at its heart.
LOST: The Complete Fourth Season’s acclaimed cast features Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Josh Holloway, Terry O’Quinn, Michael Emerson, Jorge Garcia, Daniel Dae Kim, Henry Ian Cusick, Emilie de Ravin, Elizabeth Mitchell, Naveen Andrews, Yunjin Kim and Harold Perrineau as a group of castaways thrown together by fate. LOST is produced by ABC Studios. In its first three seasons, the series earned seven Emmy Awards and 20 more Emmy nominations, plus a Golden Globe and five additional Golden Globe nominations.
Since the first half of the series was primarily about building a foundation for what was to come, there were not a lot of creatures or other new vfx designs. "It was mostly transitioning Hawaii to whatever we needed it to be," explains Mitch Suskin, the new vfx supervisor on LOST, noting that several scenes took place in locations such as Los Angeles, Berlin or the desert. "It's about making the most of Oahu, and removing Oahu when we needed to. In the first half of the season, vfx was playing a supporting role."
The lack of showy creatures did not mean the vfx crew was not busy, however. "It was mostly the invisible type of vfx," says Suskin. Viewers probably were not aware that underwater scenes or shots of Faraday parachuting included vfx shots, for example, or that the satellite phone or GPS tracking devices that play a central role in the series are almost all vfx.
"Whenever you see that [GPS device], it's a block of wood, basically," Suskin adds. In the beginning, the producers didn't realize the device would be used so much, so they didn't build a prop, using vfx to fill in the backlit screen and other details.
DVD Bonus Features:
-- Lost Bloopers-- Audio Commentaries-- Deleted Scenes-- LOST on Location -- Go on location with the cast and crew of LOST for a behind-the-scenes look at the making of some of Season Four’s most gripping episodes.-- The Freighter Folk -- Where did the folks on the freighter come from? Get to know them and find out what the show runners looked for in new cast members.-- The Oceanic Six: A Conspiracy of Lies -- Controversial underground documentary questioning the survivors of Oceanic 815.-- The Island Backlot: Lost in Hawaii -- From the deserted beach to urban Los Angeles, Hawaii serves as a global backdrop for the excitement and intrigue of LOST. Join the small army of technicians that transforms Hawaii to the Island as they go about their duties.-- The Right to Bear Arms -- LOST features a formidable array of firearms. Get real life gun profiles and find out what it’s like working with so much firepower.-- Course of the Future: The Definitive Flash Forwards-- Soundtrack of Survival: Composing for Character, Conflict & the Crash -- The Honolulu Symphony performs Michael Giacchino’s award-winning score live for the first time ever. Witness the power of the show’s many musical themes as well as its innovative use of instruments -- and learn how music affects the production, from writing to directing.
Blu-ray Special Features:
All the bonus features on the DVD, plus...-- Course of the Future: The Definitive Flash Forwards -- Additional insider information, including script pages and an introduction by the show’s executive producers.-- Season Play-- More from the Symphony -- includes "The Others Theme" (uncut)
JET LI'S FEARLESS On Blu-ray
Inspired by the true story of a real-life hero, FEARLESS is a thrilling masterpiece from action superstar Jet Li. When an ill-advised fight destroys the reputation of a renowned martial arts champion (Li) and his family, his difficult path to redemption will bring him face-to-face with the most ferocious fighters in the world. Orchestrated by Yuen Wo Ping, the legendary choreographer of THE MATRIX and KILL BILL, this sensational, riveting epic is from Universal Studios Home Ent. (vfx by Menfond Electronic Art & Computer Design Company).
Special Features Include:
-- A Fearless Journey -- With interviews with Li and Yu
THE MASK On Blu-ray
Mild-mannered Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) takes Edge City by storm when he stumbles upon a mysterious and ancient mask. This 1994 theatrical release makes its Blu-ray debut December 9 from Warner Home Video.
Special Features Include:
-- Commentary by Director Chuck Russell-- Commentary by filmmakers-- Return to Edge City-- Cartoon Logic-- Introducing Cameron Diaz-- What Makes Fido Run-- Deleted Scenes -- "Death of Peggy" and "Viking Scene"
I AM LEGEND Ultimate Collector's Edition On DVD And Blu-ray
The last man on Earth is not alone. Will Smith portrays that lone survivor in I AM LEGEND, the action epic fusing heart-pounding excitement with a mind-blowing vision of a desolate Manhattan, now on Ultimate Collector's Edition DVD and Blu-ray from Warner Home Video.
Somehow immune to an unstoppable, incurable virus, military virologist Robert Neville (Smith) is now the last human survivor in New York City, and maybe the world. But he is not alone. Mutant plague victims lurk in the shadows, watching Neville's every move, waiting for him to make a fatal mistake. Perhaps mankind's last, best hope, Neville is driven by only one remaining mission: to find an antidote using his own immune blood. But he knows he is outnumbered, and quickly running out of time.
Ever since its publication in 1954, I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson has remained one of the most revered works of science-fiction literature. A unique combination of tense action and philosophical reflections, the book tells the gripping story of Robert Neville, a man who escaped a worldwide pandemic that turned the whole humanity into nightly, blood sucking creatures. Neville has become the one and only human being on Earth, the last of its kind: a true legend for the new species that has emerged on the planet.
After two previous adaptations (in 1964 and 1971), Warner Bros. enlisted director Francis Lawrence (CONSTANTINE) to deliver the most ambitious film version yet, starring Will Smith as Neville (opening Dec. 14). In order to visualize Matheson's world, more than 800 visual effects shots were required. Overseeing the challenging effort was Janek Sirrs, with Jim Berney serving as vfx supervisor for Sony Pictures Imageworks: "On a project this complex, with the success of the movie relying heavily on the quality of the vfx shots, it couldn't be any other way. For example, during production, we had to able to cover multiple effects shoots simultaneously, meaning that we both had to be working off the same game plan."
Special Features Include:
Exclusive 44-Page Concept Sketch Book10 Concept Illustrations6 Art Cards Showing International Cities Devastated by the Plague VirusCollectible LenticularLetter from the DirectorNew Movie Commentary by Director Francis Lawrence and Screenwriter/Producer Akiva GoldsmanDeleted Scenes with CommentaryAlternate Version of the Film with a Controversial EndingCreating I Am Legend Minidocumentary GalleryCautionary Tale: The Science of I Am Legend4 Awesome Animated Comics (4 Animated Comics Not Rated and May Contain Material Unsuitable for Minors)2 Live-Action Shorts Directed by Jada Pinkett SmithWill Smith Rehearsal Footage of Alternate EndingPrevisualizations of Key Special Effects SequencesVisual Effects FeaturetteDigital Copy of Theatrical Version
GUNBUSTER VS DIEBUSTER AIM FOR THE TOP! THE GATTAI!! Movie Box Set On Blu-ray
The GATTAI!!! movie brings two milestones from acclaimed anime studio GAINAX. Hideaki Anno's GUNBUSTER AND Kazuya Tsurumaki's DIEBUSTER (aka GUNBUSTER 2) are presented in their theatrical release formats in full HD, together with a special disc containing 90 minutes of bonus materials from Bandai Visual USA.
DIEBUSTER: THE MOVIE On Blu-ray
In a future where the Space Monsters resume their invasion of the Sol System, the abilities of young men and women known as the Topless, and their Buster Machines, are mankind's final line of defense! One day, runaway girl Nono sets out for the capital to become a space pilot, and meets the fighter ace Lal'C... neither realizing that the future of humanity rests on the both of them!
This 2006 theatrical release is now available on Blu-ray from Bandai Visual USA.