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Panic Room Special Edition Raises DVD Bar

The recently released PANIC ROOM three-disc special edition (Columbia TriStar Home Ent. $39.95) sets a whole new standard in virtual film school education on DVD. Director David Fincher reveals his obsession with details, which is a prevalent theme throughout the individual commentary tracks that accompany the slick-looking thriller on disc one. The second disc focuses on pre-production, particularly the groundbreaking previs animated storyboards utilized by previs supervisor Ron Frankel. There's also a production doc that's nearly an hour in length that provides a nifty inside view of the process, and a brief glimpse of Nicole Kidman, whose early departure because of an accident paved the way for the casting of Jodie Foster. The third disc is devoted to an hour-and-a-half of vfx, including 21 docs and featurettes, in-depth sequence breakdowns and a text-and-diagram explanation of Super 35mm. Kudos to DVD producer David Pryor.

Extras include:

* Commentary by director David Fincher, Jodie Foster, Forest Whitaker and Dwight Yoakam* Commentary by writer David Koepp and special guest William Goldman* Six featurettes on the pre-production phase* Interactive previsualization* "On Sound Design" with Ren Klyce* "Digital Intermediate" featurette* A multi-angle look at the scoring session conducted by Howard Shore