Saturday, January 24, 2009

King Kong - Peter Jackson's Production Diaries

King Kong - Peter Jackson's Production Diaries
The King Kong - Peter Jackson's Production Diaries is an impressive set geared directly toward fans, collectors, and those interested in the film-making process. In all likelihood Peter Jackson and co. are going to release a King Kong set bulging with extras, so why buy the "extras" now? Fair question. However, if you're aching with anticipation for a major glimpse into the 6-month production process of this modern day extravaganza, the King Kong - Peter Jackson's Production Diaries is an absolute "must have." Housed in a sturdy, faux clip board complete with a 52-page production memoir and art prints, this two DVD set opens up a three and a half hour window into what goes on in the making of a major blockbuster film. The bulk of the footage consists of the 54 "production diaries" (which can be sorted and viewed by production date or production location) culled from the "Kong is King" website. These hand held video diaries are candid peeks into the complex, humorous, detailed and involved world of the movie making process. There are a lot of Peter Jackson interviews, but over the six month time frame you eventually hear from every single person involved in the film--actors, the WETA team, animal trainers, assistant camera people, lighting technician, set crews, miniatures, make-up, etc. It is safe to say that not a stone is left unturned in revealing what goes on behind the scenes on a major motion picture set. Extremely careful not to give anything away, the King Kong - Peter Jackson's Production Diaries, though heavy in the production process, is very light on showing the final product. Nothing is revealed to ruin the movie experience. Well, almost nothing. One bonus video diary is "The Making of a Shot - The T-Rex Fight." In this 16 minutes diary you get to witness what goes on in creating the chilling "T-Rex Fight" from conception to special effects construction to the final jaw-dropping product. It is amazing to see two years of work unfold before your very eyes in two and a half minutes. --Rob Bracco 

Product Description
Peter Jackson invites his fans on an unprecedented entertaining journey with this ground-breaking 2-Disc DVD release in which fans are transported onto the set of King Kong to experience the entire 6-month production process with the cast and crew.

300 Limited Collector's Edition

300 Limited Collector’s Edition is available while supplies last and includes a brand NEW documentary about the 300 Legend, filtered through History, Graphic Novel and Film, a Digital Copy of the theatrical version, a 52-Page Hardcover Art Book with Personal Message from Director Zack Snyder, Lucite Display with Motion Film Clip, 6 Collectible Photo Cards and all contents from the 2- Disc Special Edition.

The Dark Knight: Limited Edition with Batpod

Actors: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Limited Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
Language: French (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Number of discs: 3
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: December 9, 2008
Run Time: 153 minutes

On the Blu-ray disc
The Dark Knight on Blu-ray is a great home-theater showoff disc. The detail and colors are tremendous in both dark and bright scenes (the Gotham General scene is a great example of the latter), and the punishing Dolby TrueHD soundtrack makes the house rattle. (After giving us only Dolby 5.1 in a number of big Blu-ray releases this fall, Warner came through with Dolby TrueHD on this one.) One of the most interesting elements of The Dark Knight was how certain scenes were shot in IMAX, and if you saw the movie in an IMAX theater the film's aspect ratio would suddenly change from standard 2.40:1 to a thrilling 1.43:1 that filled the screen six stories high. For the Blu-ray disc, director Christopher Nolan has somewhat re-created this experience by shifting his film from 2.40:1 aspect ratio (through most of the film) to 1.78:1 in the IMAX scenes. While the effect isn't as dramatic as it was in theaters, it's still an eye-catching experience to be watching the film on a widescreen TV with black bars at the top and bottom, then seeing the 1.78:1 scenes completely fill the screen. The main bonus feature on disc 1 is "Gotham Uncovered: The Creation of a Scene," which is 81 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage about the IMAX scenes, the Bat suit, Gotham Central, and others. You can watch the film and access these featurettes when the icon pops up, or you can simply watch them from the main menu. A welcome and unusual feature is that in addition to English, French, and Spanish audio and subtitles, there's an audio-described option that allows the sight-impaired to experience the film as well.

Disc 2 has two 45-minute documentaries on Bat-gadgets and on the psychology of Batman, both in high definition. They combine movie clips, talking heads, and comic-book panels, but aren't the kind of thing one needs to watch twice. More engaging are six eight-minute segments of Gotham Central, a faux-news program that gives some background to events in the movie, plus a variety of trailers, poster art, and more. The BD-Live component on disc 1 is more interesting than on some earlier Blu-ray discs, which could be simply a matter of the content starting to catch up with the technology. There are three new picture-in-picture commentaries, by Jerry Robinson (creator of the Joker), DC Comics president Paul Levitz, and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.--he's a Batman fan who's made some movie and TV cameos), plus you can record your own commentary and upload it for others to watch. There are also three new featurettes ("Sound of the Batpod," "Harvey Dent's Theme," and "Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard") and two motion comics ("Mad Love," featuring Harley Quinn, and "The Shadow of Ra's Al Ghul"). Last, there's a digital copy of the film compatible with iTunes and Windows Media (standard definition, expires 12/9/09). --David Horiuchi

From the Back Cover
The follow-up to Batman Begins, The Dark Knight 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.

Blu-ray features:

Limited-edition Batpod
Movie with Focus Points (picture in picture)
Explore your favorite movies through BD-Live™, an interactive gateway to exclusive content
2.40:1 aspect ratio, with IMAX sequences in 1.78:1
Gotham Uncovered: Creation of a Scene: Director Christopher Nolan and creative collaborators unmask the incredible detail and planning behind the film, including stunt staging, filming in IMAX®, and the new Bat-suit and Bat-pod.
Batman Tech: The incredible gadgets and tools (in HD)
Batman Unmasked: The Psychology of The Dark Knight: Delve into the psyche of Bruce Wayne and the world of Batman through real-world psychotherapy (in HD)
Gotham Tonight: 6 episodes of Gotham Cable's premier news program
The Galleries: The Joker cards, concept art, poster art, production stills, trailers and TV spots
Digital Copy of the feature film