DVD Releases: Shrek 3, Godfather And Madagascar On Blu-ray, Leatherheads On DVD
Oscar winners George Clooney and Renee Zellweger match wits in LEATHERHEADS, a rapid-fire sports comedy from Universal Studios Home Ent. with vfx by CIS Hollywood. Clooney plays Dodge Connolly, a swaggering, aging football hero who is determined to guide his team from bar brawls to packed stadiums. But after the players lose their sponsor and the entire league faces certain collapse, Dodge convinces a college football star to join his ragtag ranks.
Welcome to the team Carter Rutherford (John Krasinski), a golden-boy war hero, with dashing good looks and unparalleled speed on the field. But if Dodge thinks this new champ is too good to be true, then Lexie Littleton (Zellweger) can prove that's the case. A cub journalist playing in the big leagues, Lexie is a spitfire newswoman who sniffs holes in Carter's war story. While she digs, however, the two teammates become off-field rivals for attention. As the hilarious rivalry grows, Dodge fights to get the girl while he tries to keep his guys together. One thing is certain for Connelly, he knows that you always keep one final play from the defense.
Sole visual effects vendor CIS Hollywood completed 237 effects shots on the 1920s-era film.
Tom Smith, visual effects supervisor, CIS Hollywood, was on set during most of the North and South Carolina shoots.
"The bulk of our work included stadium extensions, crowd replications, and environmental clean up to match the period," Smith said. "It was great working with George Clooney and producer Grant Heslov. They welcomed our input and trusted us to come up solutions that were fairly authentic recreations of fan-filled stadiums and playing fields that are very much an integral part of the story."
The story progresses from early professional football to the final game at the end of the movie where 30,000 fans pack a stadium. Four playing fields and stadiums introduced throughout the film that were either enhanced or created: a Princeton college game, the first pro game played in a Duluth cow pasture, Ennis Field with 15,000 fans and Chicago Field stadium with 30,000 fans.
Smith added, "We worked closely with the production designer, Jim Bissell, who created detailed 3D renders of the stadium extensions that we ultimately used as a basis for our photo real environments. We also took great care to photograph many of the extras in their period clothing so that the final digital crowd scenes would look very authentic and match the existing extras."
Special Features Include:
--"Football's Beginning: The Making Of LEATHERHEADS": An inside look at the making of the film featuring interviews with George Clooney, Renee Zellweger and John Krasinski.
--"No Pads, No Fear: Creating The Rowdy Football Scenes": This bonus feature focuses on the preparation and execution of the film's intense football moments, featuring footage from the actors' training camp.
--"George Clooney: A Leatherheaded Prankster": This bonus feature shows one of the set's most elaborate and hilarious pranks orchestrated by director George Clooney.
--Visual Effects Sequences: A side-by-side comparison of scenes with and without their visual effects.
--Feature Commentary With Director George Clooney And Producer Grant Heslov (also available on Blu-ray)
Blu-ray Only Special Features:
--U CONTROL: U-Control puts viewers one click away from going deeper into the making of the film without ever leaving the movie.
--Picture In Picture: Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film while watching the feature.
ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS Classic Holiday Gift Set On DVD
This DVD set from Paramount Home Ent. includes three discs: "Trick or Treason," "A Chipmunk Christmas" and "Alvin's Thanksgiving Celebration."
"Trick Or Treason" DVD includes five adventurous and hilarious Halloween themed episodes from the classic ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS TV series.
--"Trick or Treason"
--"Babysitter Fright Night"
--"Theodore's Life as a Dog"
--"Nightmare on Seville Street"
--"No Chipmunk is an Island"
"Alvin's Thanksgiving Celebration" includes:
--"A Chipmunk Celebration (Thanksgiving)"