Werewolves, Wolverines and Van Helsings, Oh My! See What’s New on DVD/Blu-ray

See what’s new on DVD/Blu-ray this week. Bonus Features abound all-round.

AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (DVD/Blu-ray)

Universal/1981/97min/Rated R/SRP $26.98

 Director: John Landis

Cast: David Naughton, Griffin Dunne

Vfx: Effects Associates

 Video codec: VC-1

Video resolution: 1080p

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

 Subtitles: English SDH, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Spanish

Disc: 50GB Blu-ray Disc

 Summary:

Two American students are on a walking tour of England and are attacked by a Werewolf. One is killed, the other is mauled. The Werewolf is killed, but reverts to its human form, and the townspeople are able to deny its existence.

 Bonus/Special Features:

*Beware the Moon (SD/1hr 30min) –- A feature length making-of documentary written and hosted by Paul Davis, Beware the Moon is thoroughly comprehensive. this full-fledged feature covers every aspect of production, with special attention to the ground-breaking special effects, and includes interviews with almost everyone involved.

 *I Walked with a Werewolf (1080i/7min) -- Make-up artist Rick Baker talks about how his fascination with the classic Universal monster movies led to his career in Hollywood special effects, and then goes on to discuss his involvement. Finally, he briefly mentions his work on the upcoming Wolfman re-boot from Universal.

 *The Making Of (SD/5:15) -- This is a vintage promotional piece for the film that features John Landis discussing his innovations for the werewolf genre, and also shows Rick Baker at work creating make-up effects for the film.

 *Interview with John Landis (SD/18min) -- Landis talks about trying to make a contemporary version of an older horror genre and gives a history of how the film came to be.

 *Makeup Artist Rick Baker (SD/11min) -- Baker gives props to John Landis for giving him the time and money to make the transformation scene better than anyone had ever done before.

 Casting of the Hand (SD/10min) -- This is archival footage from Rick Baker's workshop as they cast David Naughton's hand in 1980.

 *Outtakes (SD/3min) -- There's some funny stuff here, but sadly the sound is missing, so we're only getting half of the experience. Still, worth a watch.

 *Storyboards (SD/2min) -- In this section, you'll see storyboards on the top part of the screen while the finished Piccadilly Circus scene plays out on the bottom in comparison.

 *Photograph Montage (SD/3min) -- Nice on-set photos during production.

 *Cast Commentary -- Naughton and Dunne watch the film together for the first time in a long time and offer comments.

 VAN HELSING (Blu-ray)

Universal/2004/132min/Rated PG-13/SRP $26.98

 Director: Stephen Sommers

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale

Vfx: Weta Digital, Digiscope, Pacific Title and Art Studio, Zoic Studios, BUF, CIS Hollywood, Cobalt FX, Howard Anderson Co., yU + Co. and Perpetual Motion Pictures)

 Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC

Video resolution: 1080p

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Disc: 50GB Blu-ray Disc/BD-Live D-Box

 Summary:

Hunter Van Helsing and his priestly sidekick travel to Transylvania to battle monsters and keep the notorious Count from bringing his undead children to life.

 Bonus/Special Features:

*Commentary by Director Stephen Sommers and Editor/Producer Bob Ducsay.

*Commentary with Richard Roxburgh, Shuler Hensley and Will Kemp.

 *Van Helsing: The Story, The Life, The Legend (SD/58min) --an EPK promo piece, making-of documentary and monster movie overview all rolled into one.

 *U-Control: A picture-in-picture icon will appear periodically throughout the film, and with a click of your remote you can access additional behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, and short, making-of featurettes.

 *Track the Adventure (SD/34min) -- This is an exploration of some of the film's sets, from the icy summit of Dracula's Castle and Frankenstein's Lab, to the Burning Windmill, Village and The Vatican Armory.

 *Bringing the Monsters to Life (SD/10min) --Vfx Supervisor Ben Snow and the special effects team explain some of the technologies used to flesh out the world of Van Helsing.

 *You Are in the Movie! (SD/4min) -- Small cameras were placed around the sets and on the larger film cameras, so as to see from the perspective of the crew members.

 *The Music of Van Helsing (SD/9min) --Composer Alan Silvestri discusses the difficulties of scoring a film before seeing finished footage and identifies different cues he created for Van Helsing.

 *Bloopers (SD/5min) -- A very funny but over-extended gag reel.

 *Dracula's Lair is Transformed (SD/2min) Here we see some time-lapse photography of the construction and teardown of some of the film's sets.

 *The Masquerade Ball Scene: Unmasked (SD/25min) --Sommers talks about trying to achieve a Circue du Soleil vibe for Dracula's masquerade ball.

 *The Art of Van Helsing (SD/5min) -- An auto-flip gallery set to music from the film.

 *Monster Eggs (SD/2min) –Lost footage that should have been showcased in the blooper reel.

 ARMY OF DARKNESS: Screwhead Edition (DVD/Blu-ray)

Universal/1993/81min/Rated R/SRP $29.98

Director: Sam Raimi

Cast: Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz, Marcus Gilbert

Vfx: Introvision International

 Video codec: VC-1

Video resolution: 1080p

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

English: Dolby Digital 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

Disc: 25GB Blu-ray Disc/Bonus View (PiP)/BD-Live

 Summary:

Forced to lead a makeshift Dark Ages army against the demonic Deadites, who possess all the deadly magic of hell, the shotgun-toting, chainsaw-armed, reluctant 20th century time traveler Ash (Campbell) must save the living from the dead, rescue his medieval girlfriend and get back to his own time.

 Bonus/Special Features:

*Universal's U-Control functionality superimposes production photos over the movie.

 *Creating the Deadites (21min) takes a fascinating retrospective look at the film's special effects with Howard Berger, Greg Nicotero and Bob Kurtzman.

 *Also included is the film's alternate ending (5min) theatrical trailer (2min), and BD-Live connectivity.

 X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE (DVD/Blu-ray)

Fox/2009/107min/Rated PG-13/SRP $39.99

Director: Gavin Hood

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Live Schreiber, Ryan Reynolds

Vfx: CEG Media, Frantic Films, Lola Visual Effects, Matte World Digital, Rotofactory, Soho VFX

 Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC

Video resolution: 1080p

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc

Two-disc set/Digital copy/BD-Live

 Summary:

See the story of Wolverine's violent and romantic past, his complex relationship with Victor Creed and the ominous Weapon X program. Along the way, Wolverine encounters many mutants, both familiar and new, including surprise appearances by several legends of the X-Men universe.

 4 DVD Editions:

*Single-Disc Edition, available in a Widescreen version only

*Two-Disc Special Edition

*Blu-ray Ultimate Two-Disc Edition

*Blu-ray Ultimate Three-Disc Edition with Blu-ray and DVD versions included

 DVD Special Features: The Single-Disc Edition

*"Wolverine Unleashed: The Complete Origins" featurette

*Anti-Smoking PSA: Bubbles

 Two-Disc Special Edition:

Disc One:

*Commentary by Director Gavin Hood

*Commentary by Producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter

*The Roots of Wolverine: A Conversation with X-Men creators Stan Lee and Len Wein

*"Wolverine Unleashed: The Complete Origins" featurette

*Deleted and Alternate Scenes

*Alternate Tag Scene: Japan

*Anti-Smoking PSA: Bubbles

 Disc Two:

*Digital Copy

 Blu-ray Ultimate Two-Disc Edition:

Disc One:

*Commentary by Director Gavin Hood

*Commentary by Producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter

*The Roots of Wolverine: A Conversation with X-Men creators Stan Lee and Len Wein *Wolverine Unleashed: The Complete Origins

*"Wolverine Weapon X Mutant Files Featurette: 10 Character Chronicles

*"The Thrill of the Chase: The Helicopter Chase Sequence" featurette

*"X Connect and On Set with Gavin Hood" featurette

*X-Facts: Trivia Track

*Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Director Gavin Hood

*Alternate Memory Erase Sequence

*Alternate Tag Scene: Japan

*Fox Movie Channel Presents: World Premiere

*IMDB BD-Live technology

 Disc Two:

*Digital Copy

 Blu-ray Ultimate Three-Disc Edition:

*Disc One: same features as Disc One of the Blu-ray edition

*Disc Two: Digital Copy of the movie

*Disc Three: DVD version

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