RT on DVD: Dark Knight DVD Details and Iron Man Deleted Scene!

Plus, Russell Brand and Kristen Bell get cheeky on the set of Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

by | September 29, 2008 | Comments

News of The Dark Knight‘s December release leads a huge week for DVD lovers, and it’s only getting bigger! First, check out our exclusive extended Dubai deleted scene from Iron Man, in which Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) parties it up in the Middle East with Ghostface Killah and a bevy of bikini-clad ladies. Then, watch our exclusive behind-the-scenes video diary from the set of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, in which the ever-cheeky (and topless) Russell Brand profiles his co-stars in the hotel lobby scene, and engages in some racy chat with Kristen Bell. And did we mention all the best (and strangest) new releases of the week?

1. New to DVD: Iron Man — 93%

Marvel’s Iron Man enjoyed a smashing debut this summer (that is, until that pesky Caped Crusader smashed even harder), raking in over $570 million in worldwide sales and making Robert Downey Jr. a bona fide action hero. Expect Tony Stark’s heroic exploits to be just as dazzling on DVD, as Paramount offers plenty of extras for diehard fans this week!

Iron Man is available this week in a single-disc edition, an Ultimate 2-disc Edition, and on Blu-ray; a wealth of bonus features accompany the 2-disc and Blu-ray releases, including deleted scenes (Tony Stark in Dubai! Ghostface Killah’s cutting room cameo!), a seven-part making-of documentary, a six-part character history, and Downey Jr.’s screen test — as if there was ever any doubt that he could pull off the role of a charming, sardonic playboy-cum-superhero. And those are just the highlights. The 2-disc release also includes a look at Iron Man’s visual effects, image galleries, and more.

We’ve snagged an extended look at the deleted Dubai party scene tantalizingly leaked a few months back. “I would like to throw a party,” Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) tells Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). “So could you get the house in Dubai ready?” The rest is deleted scene history, as Tony enters his own lavish pool party, replete with celebrity guests, scantily-clad ladies, and a few unfinished green screen backgrounds. Watch it now!

As usual, the Blu-ray element should up the ante…that is, if Iron Man makes it to Blu-ray as planned. (Duh-duh-duhhhhh!) Reports late last week cited a Paramount recall of its Iron Man Blu-ray discs due to an authoring glitch, though the studio has since assured fans that retailers will have replacement discs in by September 30. Let’s hope so, since Iron Man is a movie that was always destined for 1080p High Definition. Blu-only features include a 3-D interactive look at Iron Monger and Iron Man’s suits, plus a BD-Live user-generated trivia challenge.

Next: Forgetting Sarah Marshall, plus a cheeky exclusive Russell Brand and Kristen Bell clip!

2. New to DVD: Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Although it’s not one of the superhero movies that dominated the summer box office, Forgetting Sarah Marshall was the story of another kind of hero: a doughy Average Joe (Jason Segal) who could pull both Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis, thus earning the respect of geeky boys everywhere. With Judd Apatow as its producer, Forgetting Sarah Marshall resonated like the soft sound of male genitalia slapping gently against a warm thigh…

As a special gift to you, we present an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Forgetting Sarah Marshall‘s Russell Brand as he surveys his half-naked co-stars while filming the hotel lobby scene — decide for yourself if you believe his claim that Kristen Bell has used each glimpse of his nude torso as a “masturbatory opportunity.”

Ahem. The fine folks at Universal have been quite generous with the home video treatment here, making Forgetting Sarah Marshall available in a single-disc Unrated edition ($29.98), a three-disc Unrated Collector’s Edition ($34.98) and on Blu-ray ($39.98). While casual viewers can make do with the single-disc release (which features a commentary, deleted scenes, a gag reel, and a “line-o-rama”) the Apatow faithful will be delighted to find behind-the-scenes extras on the three-disc release beyond their wildest imaginations. Here find cast audition tapes, footage from Sarah Marshall’s television show “Crime Scene,” an alternate take and table read of “Dracula’s Lament,” and two cast and crew commentaries. Finally, cap things off with Jason Segal’s “Sex-o-rama” and “Drunk-o-rama” montages and on-set video diaries filmed during production.

And we haven’t even gotten to the Blu-ray exclusive content: a Picture-in-Picture making-of feature, video and visual commentaries, a custom feature that allows you to program your own montage and six sing-along karaoke tracks!

Next: Holy Blu-ray, Batman!

3. The Dark Knight Coming to DVD/Blu-ray in December!

Mark your calendars for December 9, because that will be the day you’ll get your grubby little hands on 2008’s most anticipated DVD: The Dark Knight!

After early reports went unconfirmed for months, Warner Bros. has finally announced their release of The Dark Knight on DVD and Blu-ray this December. Expect both a 2-disc standard DVD and a 2-disc Blu-ray release, plus limited editions of both housed in a collectible “Bat Pod” case.

Special features on both the standard and Blu-ray release include all six sequences shot in IMAX, six episodes of Gotham City’s news show Gotham Tonight, image galleries, a digital copy of the film, and “Gotham Uncovered,” which shows “how Christopher Nolan and his team developed the new Bat-suit and Bat-pod and composer Hans Zimmer musically characterized The Joker’s reign of chaos.”

Additional features found only on Blu-ray include Gotham Uncovered: Creation of a Scene, a HD feature on Batman’s gadgets, and a second HD feature on perhaps the most compelling aspect of Christopher Nolan’s Batman series to date: Batman Unmasked — The Psychology of The Dark Knight. BD-Live will be enabled on the release, although content specs have yet to be announced.

Next: Hellboy II DVD details revealed!

4. Hellboy II DVD Details Released

Speaking of summer hits headed to DVD, we’ve got news of what the fall release of Hellboy II: the Golden Army will look like. Universal will release Hellboy II in a standard single-disc edition ($29.98), a three-disc Special Edition ($34.98), and on two-disc Blu-ray ($39.98) November 11, and as expected there will be a host of bonus features to behold.

For standard-disc buyers, there shall be a nice package of extras including two commentaries with director Guillermo del Toro and his cast; behind-the-scenes mini documentaries; deleted scenes with optional commentary; a look at the elaborate Troll Market set; and an animated comic-style epilogue.

Three-disc and Blu-ray buyers will get even more extras, including a peek at del Toro’s personal notebook, storyboards and concept art, and the film’s script, plus tons of Blu-ray exclusive content. (We can’t wait to build our own Hellboy comic!)

Since Christmas will be right around the corner by the time Hellboy II hits shelves, we recommend putting the limited edition Collector’s Set on your holiday wish list ($64.98), which comes with a nifty collectible Golden Army statuette. Tell Mom and Dad to preorder now!

Next: Max Payne Director saving “Gamers’ Cut” for DVD

5. Max Payne Director saving “Gamers’ Cut” for DVD

After winning his recent battle to get the forthcoming video game adaptation Max Payne reduced from an R to a teen-safe PG-13 rating, director John Moore talked to GameDaily about his plans for Max Payne‘s DVD release. Having had to make cuts to his original theatrical version to appease the MPAA, Moore is planning on giving DVD viewers something closer to his unadulterated take on the uber-violent first person shooter:

“There’s what I call the Gamer Dedicated Cut of the movie. It’s a little slower and a little more atmospheric. There are some rougher edges on it, but it’s not going to be a bloodfest. I want this to be the Max Payne that I set out to shoot. It’s not that I wanted to release one version in the theaters and make a cheap buck by following up with a blood-drenched DVD version. The movie you see in the theaters will be an intense experience and the movie you see on DVD will be as intense an experience with some extra sensibilities for people who really adore the game.”

Max Payne hits theaters October 17.

Next: David Hasselhoff is Nick Fury

6. David Hasselhoff’s Nick Fury Released “By Popular Demand”
nick fury

We should have led off this week’s column with the following HUGE news, but oh well. Best Buy has announced that this week they will release the 1998 superhero movie Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. — yes, the very same made-for-TV movie that starred none other than David Hasselhoff as Marvel’s hard boiled, cigar-chomping Army super-spy. That’s right, The Hoff himself. As Nick Fury. Take a moment to let that sink in.

More shocking than the news itself is Best Buy’s explanation for releasing the film for the first time ever on DVD, a decade after it first aired: it was “due to popular demand,” they claim. Guess ten years of daily visits to his local Best Buy really paid off for the Hoff!

The news does dig up a few interesting facts: Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. was produced by Stan Lee and Avi Arad and written by future comics-to-film fixture David S. Goyer, right between his scripting duties for Dark City and Blade, and many years before his Batman Begins and The Dark Knight turned the idea of comic book movies as we knew them inside out.

Head to Best Buy for the exclusive DVD release of Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. ($22.98).

Next: Get your steroid on with Bigger, Stronger, Faster*

7. New on DVD: Bigger, Stronger, Faster * — 97%

Also new to DVD this week is Bigger, Stronger, Faster*, a fascinating documentary about steroid use and America’s obsession with physical self-improvement. Before anyone was talking about growth hormones and juicing in professional sports, were the beefed-up action heroes of the ’80s to blame for inspiring amateur bodybuilders to push the boundaries of their natural-born bodies?

Director Christopher Bell should know — he once took steroids himself, and turns his lens on his own two brothers, who still juice without apology. Certified Fresh at 97 percent on the Tomatometer, put this doc on your must-watch list this week.

Next: Diving Bell director + Velvet Underground front man = Lou Reed’s Berlin

8. New on DVD: Lou Reed’s Berlin — 76%

Like Martin Scorsese and the Rolling Stones, and Jonathan Demme and Neil Young before him, director Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) had a cinematic vision for the musical artist who significantly inspired him; Lou Reed’s Berlin is that vision. Schnabel’s film captures the 2006 revival of Reed’s 1973 rock opera concept album Berlin, which performed poorly at the time of release but has since been recognized among the former Velvet Underground front man’s best solo work.

The top-shelf talent enlisted for the concert and film include award-winning cinematographer Ellen Kuras (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), who also pulled camera duty in Scorsese’s Stones doc Shine a Light; soul singers Antony Hegarty (of Antony and the Johnsons) and the dynamic Sharon Jones (of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings) provide back-up for Reed on stage. Song lyrics and a lengthy interview with Reed round out the DVD.

Next: Fat Jared Leto To Freak You Out on DVD

9. New on DVD: Chapter 27 — 48%

Also new to DVD this week is Chapter 27, a potentially compelling look at the inner torment and deteriorating psyche of Mark David Chapman leading up to his assassination of John Lennon. Oh, who are we kidding? We just want to see Fat Jared Leto!

The truth is, critics widely panned Chapter 27 as a jumble of quirks and psychotic episodes that ultimately didn’t answer the biggest question in their minds: Why did Chapman kill one of his former idols? A textbook festival film, this indulgent indie struggled to find theatrical distribution and made less than $60,000 when it opened stateside in limited release. But with pretty boy Leto gone full ugly, and Lindsey Lohan as a Beatles fan named Jude, this train wreck might be worth a rental.

Next: Blu-ray Pick of the Week: John Carpenter’s The Thing

10. Blu-ray Pick of the Week: John Carpenter’s The Thing

Each week more and more catalog titles get the High Def treatment, which is great for Blu-ray owners (if not for their wallets). This week our Blu pick is John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982), which Universal brings to full glory in a brand new release.

The chilling tale of an Arctic research team that stumbles upon a terrifying, shape-shifting alien being was not a hit upon initial release, but has transformed into a cult horror classic. Carpenter’s overloaded gore will simply delight horror nuts in HD; what better use is there for your 1080p screen than watching a severed head sprout legs and run off into the dark? Considering how attuned Carpenter was to the role of sound and score in his films, Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack also benefits from the disc’s lossless audio.

The Blu-ray title includes the U-Control feature, which presents pop-up trivia throughout the film, and a commentary track with Carpenter and star Kurt Russell (who collaborated with the director again on cult hits Escape from L.A., Escape from New York and Big Trouble in Little China).

To revisit past RT on DVD columns, peruse our archives here!

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