BLU-RAY REVIEW: The Wolfman
Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins transform a classic...
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The classic 1941 monster film The Wolfman both scared and thrilled movie-goers more than a half century ago and now, thanks to modern technology and some amazing modern-day actors, The Wolfman has once again impressed fans. Thanks to director Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer, Jumanji) and Academy Award winning actors Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins, this classic gets a modern day retelling that's just as fun, intense, and heart-stopping as its predecessor.
While the story isn't anything original (it's a remake after all), the art direction and special effects are both fairly impressive. Considering there are now hundreds of werewolf movies, this one could be considered somewhat obsolete due to it's story, but thankfully actors Del Toro and Hopkins and their relationship onscreen keeps one watching.
The video thankfully is beautiful, with rich darks and vibrant bright colors. The film - in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio - delivers plenty of eye-candy thanks to impressive effects. Likewise, the film's 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is alive with the sounds of a massive mansion, a wild forest, a gypsy camp, and each of the film's various settings. Frightening at times, impressive all the time, the audio truly makes the home video experiance in this case and those without a surround sound system are missing out.
Bonus material here includes two versions of the film: the original theatrical release and an unrated director's cut which adds approximately 16 minutes of film. The Blu-ray also includes U Control (theatrical version only) with two different modes: a "Take Control," which allows you to view crew members discussing the film; and a "Legacy, Legend and Lore" mode with pop-ups which explore the history of the character. The Blu-ray also includes two alternate endings as well as numerous deleted and extended scenes.
Other bonus features include numerous featurettes like "Return of the Wolf Man," 12+ minutes of cast and crew talking about the film; "The Beast Maker," a 12 minute spot featuring make-up man Rick Baker talking about the creature; "Transformation Secrets," a 15 minute piece on the differences between the original wolfman's change and the modern wolfman's change; and "The Wolfman Unleashed," a 9 minute short focusing on how the film's larger scenes were made.
The Wolfman Blu-ray also comes with D-Box and BD Live, meaning those connected to the internet and those with that spendy "my chair is shaking" tech will be able to enjoy some additional bonuses. Likewise, for those who haven't seen the original film (heaven forgive you!), you're be able to watch the 1941 The Wolfman on BD Live.
While it might not be an original monster movie, The Wolfman is a solid remake with plenty of pretty effects, an awesome soundtrack, beautiful visuals, and good acting. So what if you've read/watched/heard this story before, it's a treat to see it again and considering both Del Toro and Hopkins are along for the ride, you won't want to miss it.
The Wolfman is available on DVD and Blu-ray hi-def wherever fine home video is sold.
- Jess C. Horsley