NIGHT WATCH and DAY WATCH hit Blu-ray for the first time, plus the release of THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM on DVD/Blu-ray, more CHIPMUNKS with some SYLVESTER AND TWEETY MYSTERIES, all on home video today.
THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM On DVD And Blu-ray
Individually, they've starred in the most adrenaline-pumping martial-arts adventures ever. Together for the first time from Lionsgate, Jet Li and Jackie Chan join forces to create the greates epic of them all -- THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM. As ancient Chinese warriors, they must train and mentor a 21st century kung-fu fanatic who's been summoned to fight a centuries-old battle and free the imprisoned Monkey King. If you're a fighting fan, the wait is over. The team is ready. The Kingdom has arrived.
But bringing to life THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM required a lot of work in a very short timetable, especially when it came to using visual effects to mix the film's Hong Kong-style martial arts action with the storybook fantasy of the original myth.
Director Rob Minkoff says he wanted the visual effects to evoke the feel of classic Hong Kong films. It also needed to balance the story's sense of storybook fantasy and realism. "The audience is a little more sophisticated, so some of the fog-machine effects with the dry ice obviously weren't going to cut it with us," he adds. "We obviously wanted something that was slightly more contemporary."
Minkoff says the effects work ended up staying largely in Asia, thanks to Exec Producer Rafaella DeLaurentiis, who was impressed by the high quality and low cost of some work done by a Korean house. "She thought that would be an interesting option for us," continues Minkoff. "It's a Chinese story, Asian-themed, and would require a sensitivity that might be a natural fit with Korea."
Work ended up being spread around a number of vfx studios, with a trio of South Korean houses leading the charge: Macrograph, DTI and Footage.
2-Disc Special Edition DVD Special Features Include:
--The Kung Fu Dream Team--Dangerous Beauty--Discovering China--Filming in Chinawood--Monkey King and the Eight Immortals--Blooper Reel--Deleted scenes with commentary by Rob Minkoff and John Fusco--Feature commentary with Rob Minkoff and John Fusco--Previsualization featurette with commentary by Rob Minkoff
Single-Disc DVD Special Features Include:
Blu-ray Special Features Include:
--Bonus View Picture-in-Picture Feature: Exploration into the film's casting, locations and other filmmaking secrets with interviews by director Rob Minkoff, writer John Fusco, producer Casey Silver and actors Jackie Chan and Jet Li--The Kung Fu Dream Team--Dangerous Beauty--Discovering China--Filming in Chinawood--Monkey King and the Eight Immortals--Blooper Reel--Deleted scenes with commentary by Rob Minkoff and John Fusco--Feature commentary with Rob Minkoff and John Fusco--Previsualization featurette with commentary by Rob Minkoff--MoLog: Blu-ray Live application that allows users to insert and animate shapes, text, audio and other graphics into the film to create "blogs" to share with other MoLog users
NIGHT WATCH On Blu-ray
From director Timur Bekmambetov (WANTED) and 20th Century Fox, comes NIGHT WATCH to Blu-ray, the most successful film in Russian history when it was released in 2004.
Among normal humans live the "Others" possessing various supernatural powers. They are divided up into the forces of light and the forces of the dark, who signed a truce several centuries ago to end a devastating battle. Ever since, the forces of light govern the day while the night belongs to their dark opponents. In modern day, the dark Others actually roam the night as vampires while a "Night Watch" of light forces, among them Anton, try to control them and limit their outrage.
The most unusual aspect of NIGHT WATCH -- by Russian standards -- was the exceptional scope of its visual effects. Producing several hundred digital effects shots in an industry that had never produced any "visual effects movie" represented a major challenge for the director. The task of putting Bekmambetov's vision on screen was assigned to visual effects supervisor Vladimir Leschinski.
"It is true that we didn't have much experience in terms of vfx for feature films, but when we started NIGHT WATCH, we had more than 10 years of experience of creating CGI for commercials, Leschinski said. "So, there was a real pool of talents out there. The problem was that there was no existing structure that could handle the whole project. So, we decided to gather 16 different vendors and several freelancers, all based throughout the country. The work was split among them based on the know-how of each studio and each freelancer in a particular technology or in certain types of vfx.
"We didn't use the western approach of awarding complete sequences to individual studios. Instead, we turned the whole Russian effects industry into one giant virtual studio in which everybody was doing what he did the best on any given shot. It meant, for instance, that one artist in Saint Petersburg would rotoscope and match-move a shot, another one in Ukraine would do the character animation for the same shot, and the whole thing would be put together by a third artist in Moscow."
Special Features Include:--Commentary by director Timur Bekmambetov--Subtitle commentary by novelist Sergei Lukyanenko--Deleted scenes with optional commentary by Timur Bekmambetov--Night Watch trilogy featurette looks at planned sequels, including DAY WATCH.--Making-of featurette (in Russian with subtitles) with cast and crew interviews and on-set footage--"Characters, Story and Subtitles" featurette--Comic book still gallery--Poster gallery--Fox Trailers
DAY WATCH On Blu-ray
Like THE MATRIX, DAY WATCH combines cutting-edge digital effects and mind-blowing action to create a stunningly original world. This Unrated Edition from 20th Century Fox takes you on an even wilder ride with more intense thrills and incredible effects.
Only one thing stands between peace and Armageddon: the supernatural agents of Day Watch, who fight to control the armies of light and darkness. When the son of a senior Day Watch officer turns to the darkness, forces beyond the imagination are unleashed and the fate of the world hangs in the balance.
Visual effects supervisor and owner of Moscow-based vfx company Dr. Picture Studios, Vladimir Leschinski spoke to VFXWORLD about DAY WATCH.
"We used a lot of 3D for wide shots of the castle in the beginning. Again, for the airplanes and for the red car, a Mazda. As far as character animation, again we have the spider doll from NIGHT WATCH. And we have a lot of castle guardians and a lot of riders who are taking the castle. Technology-wise, it was the same as NIGHT WATCH and the management was oriented around the headquarters in the production house where [director] Timur [Bekmambetov] was doing his cut. Again, we got together maybe 20 vendors to do the job and 180 people altogether. We had 800 shots compared to NIGHT WATCH's 400 shots. So it took about a year to finish the visual effects. Color correction was done here at Encore Hollywood. It was a large amount of work but pretty much the same challenge," Leschinski said.
Special Features Include:
--Commentary by director Timur Bekmambetov--Russian Trailers--Making-of featurette with interviews with cast, producers and the technical crew with on-set footage--U.S. Trailer--Russian TV Spots
KILL BILL: VOL.1 On Blu-ray
Four years after taking a bullet in the head at her own wedding, The Bride (Uma Thurman) emerges from a coma and decides it's time for payback... with a vengeance. Having been gunned down by her former boss (David Carradine) and his deadly squad of international assassins, it's a kill-or-be-killed fight she didn't start... but is determined to finish.
From Buena Vista Home Ent. and director Quentin Tarantino, KILL BILL: VOL. 1's vfx were by Centro Digital Pictures.
Special Features Include:
--Documentary: "The Making of Kill Bill: Vol. 1"--The "5, 6, 7, 8'S" Musical Performances--Trailer Gallery
KILL BILL: VOL 2 On Blu-ray
Having dispensed with former colleagues O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu) and Vernita Green (Vivica A. Fox), the Bride (Uma Thurman) resumes her quest for justice. With those two down, she has two remaining foes on her "Death List" to pursue -- Budd (Michael Madsen) and Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah) -- before moving on to her ultimate goal... to kill Bill (David Carradine).
From Buena Vista Home Ent. and director Quentin Tarantino, KILL BILL: VOL. 2's vfx were by Centro Digital Pictures.
Special Features Include:
--Documentary: "The Making of Kill Bill: Vol. 2"--"Damoe" Deleted Scene--"Chingon" Musical Performance
THE FALL on DVD And Blu-ray
Filmed over a period of four years in 18 different countries, director/writer Tarsem's THE FALL is an unforgettable movie experience, now on DVD and Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Ent. with vfx by Duboi.
In 1920s Los Angeles, Alexandria (Catinca Untaru), a 5-year-old girl hospitalized from a fall, strikes up an unlikely friendship with Roy (Lee Pace, TV's PUSHING DAISIES), a Hollywood stuntman shattered by a near-fatal movie set accident and his lover's betrayal. To pass the time, he tells Alexandria the epic story of Governor Odious and the five remarkable heroes determined to defeat him -- a dazzling world of magic and myth. Only when the line between reality and fantasy begins to dissolve does Alexandria realize how much is truly at stake. Presented by David Fincher (FIGHT CLUB) and Spike Jonze (ADAPTATION), THE FALL is an awe-inspiring, cinematic tour de force.
Special Features Include:
--Deleted scenes--Featurettes--Commentaries with filmmakers and cast--Enhanced photo gallery (Blu-ray exclusive)
THE BEST OF BARNEY On DVD
Everyone's favorite purple dinosaur, Barney, along with Baby Bop, BJ, Riff and all his endearing playground friends, is celebrating with an all new bonus-filled DVD, THE BEST OF BARNEY, dancing into stores on September 9 from Lionsgate and HIT Ent.
The special release, available exclusively on DVD, features the best BARNEY moments of all time and more than 20 songs, including performances by a young Demi Lovato (now starring in Disney Channel's CAMP ROCK) and Selena Gomez (from Disney Channel's WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE) from their days as cast members on BARNEY & FRIENDS.
Barney is opening his magical memory chest to share the best and brightest moments-- from the charming songs and piano tunes, to the engaging adventures of the heart involving elephant rides, car racing and more. See the stories that have made Barney the most beloved dinosaur by children for 20 years.
Special Features Include:
--"Barney's Favorite Memories" featurette--Barney's I LOVE YOU song from around the world--Seven Sing-Alongs--Interactive games
THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN: ATTACK OF THE LIZARD! On DVD
The web-slinging super hero returns in an all-new-to-DVD, full length animated adventure THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN: ATTACK OF THE LIZARD!, arriving on DVD September 9 from Sony Pictures Home Ent. and Sony Pictures Television.
The first of four full length Spider-Man animated adventures to be created from episodes of the hit TV series on the KidsWB!, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN: ATTACK OF THE LIZARD! is exec produced by Stan Lee and produced by Greg Weisman and Diane A. Crea. The DVD, which also contains an exclusive bonus feature THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN Music Video, is perfect for collectors of all ages.
The action-packed THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN: ATTACK OF THE LIZARD! tests Peter Parker's ability to tackle an onslaught of new menacing super-villains while still finding time to study Biology. Having just spent an exciting summer using his newly found powers to battle criminals, the not-so-typical 16-year-old Peter is now entering his junior year of high school. Here he encounters a new kind of terror: he must keep his Spider-Man identity concealed while dealing with the multiple pressures of teenage life at home and school and combating even bigger, badder super villains in the outside world.
DVD Special Features Include:
--Wide Screen Presentations--Audio: English--Subtitles: English, French--Featurette: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN Music Video--Closed Captioned
BARBIE & THE DIAMOND CASTLE On DVD
For the first time, Barbie teams up with best friend Teresa to co-star in a movie together, BARBIE & THE DIAMOND CASTLE, premiering exclusively on DVD on September 9, 2008, from Universal Studios Home Ent.
Barbie and Teresa tell us the magical tale of Liana and Alexa, best friends who share everything, including their love of music. One day their simple lives change when they are given an enchanted mirror and befriend the girl trapped inside. To save their new friend, Liana and Alexa embark on a dangerous journey to the hidden Diamond Castle that will put their friendship to the test. But through the power of song and with the companionship of two adorable puppies, the girls face their challenges together and learn that friendship is the true treasure.
Special Features Include:
--Hilarious Bloopers from the Movie--Magical Music Video "Connected"--Sneak Peek of "Barbie In A Christmas Carol"--Trailer Gallery
SYLVESTER AND TWEETY MYSTERIES: Season 1 On DVD
Sylvester the cat and Tweety Bird, two of Looney Tunes' biggest stars, team up to headline Warner Home Video's latest animated DVD release, titled SYLVESTER AND TWEETY MYSTERIES: Season 1, which will be available to consumers September 9, 2008. Viewers will be wrapped up in several intriguing mysteries that will take them all over the world with a lively cast of animated characters in this two-disc release, which will feature 13 entertaining episodes.
Originally airing on the Kids' WB Saturday morning lineup, SYLVESTER AND TWEETY MYSTERIES had a five-year run. WHV now brings consumers 13 episodes from the show's first season. The series features sweet natured Granny, who opens a detective agency, unleashes her mystery-solving talents and embarks on a globe-trotting adventure along with her beloved pets Sylvester the cat, Tweety Bird and bulldog, Hector.
Together, the gang investigates everything from disappearing objects to bizarre events. Their cases take them all over the world, including Japan to investigate the theft of the world's largest tuna; Monte Carlo in search of a missing platinum roulette wheel; Denmark, where Granny herself is accused of stealing rare Danish pastries; Ireland, where they must find the world-famous Blarney Stone and much, much more. On top of having to help Granny, Sylvester and Tweety still find time to engage in their old antics with Tweety constantly having to outsmart Sylvester's attempts to trap and have him as a meal. Familiar Looney Tunes faces make cameo appearances along the way, including Yosemite Sam, Pepe le Pew, Hubie and Bertie, Witch Hazel and several others.
ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS GO TO THE MOVIES: DAYTONA JONES AND THE PEARL OF WISDOM On DVD
From Paramount Home Ent., get ready for non-stop action and laughter with the world famous ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS send-up of some of Hollywood's greatest adventure movies.
The Chipmunks are back and this time they are starring as the heroic "Daytona Jones, "Batmunk" and "Robomunk". Follow the Chipmunks as they battle villains, fight crime and keep city streets clean.
UNSTABLE FABLES: TORTOISE VS. HARE On DVD
The exciting racing duo, Tortoise and Hare, return again for another match in the upcoming release of The Jim Henson Company animation, UNSTABLE FABLES: TORTOISE VS. HARE. Brought to you by Genius Products and The Weinstein Company, this revamped children's classic will be debuting on DVD September 9.
Once again, the highly respected Jim Henson Company, Prana Animation Studios and Flame Ventures, bring together the third CGI animated film in the charming UNSTABLE FABLES collection.
Clever and quick-witted, UNSTABLE FABLES: TORTOISE VS. HARE boasts edgy humor that appeals to adults and children alike. It's been 15 years since the illustrious race between Walter the Tortoise (Danny Glover) and Murray the Hare (Jay Leno) but the passing of time hasn't tempered their bitter rivalry.
When they hear about the upcoming Mt. Impossible Nature Adventure Race, they can't resist the opportunity to challenge each other to a rematch. This time they enlist their children to be their teammates, but the kids don't share their parents' competitive nature. When Walter and Murray get separated from their kids, the two dads must team up to find them and learn there are far more important matters than winning a race.
Special Features Include:--The Voices Of TORTOISE VS. HARE--How To Draw A Character With Director Howard E. Baker--Sneak Peek At The Next UNSTABLE FABLES Title -- THE GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS SHOW
THE CHOSEN ONE On DVD
The award-winning animated feature film, hot off its launch at the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con, will be premiering on DVD Tuesday, September 9 from Indican Pictures. DVDs can be rented or purchased at all major outlets or directly from the filmmakers at special pricing via their website: https://www.thechosenonemovie.com/buy/.
A down-on-his-luck lab technician is informed by the eccentric Church of Frank that he's "The Chosen One" -- the savior from prophecy who must travel to Kansas, speak to God and deliver the world into a new age. Together with his elderly roommate Zeb (Chris Sarandon), his best friend Donna (Danielle Fishel) and Lucifer himself (Tim Curry), Lou (Chad Fifer) must master his budding super-powers to overcome Ninjas, Thugs, Femme Fatales (Traci Lords), Religious Zealots (Lance Henriksen), his obsession with his sci fi star ex-girlfriend (Laura Prepon), Giant Monsters and a Posse of Kung Fu Robots in order to fulfill his destiny.