Constantine, Crow Give ‘em Hell on Disc

Timed perfectly to catch Comic-Con attendees as they return home from San Diego, a pair of comic-book adaptations arrive on DVD and VHS this week. Topping the list is the Keanu Reeves supernatural thriller, Constantine, based on DC Comics’ Hellblazer graphic novels by Kevin Brodbin, Mark Bomback and Frank Capello. Also hitting shelves is the direct-to-video entry, The Crow: Wicked Prayer, the fourth movie inspired by the Dark Horse comic-book franchise created by James O’Barr.

Directed by popular music video helmer Francis Lawrence, Constantine has Reeves playing John Constantine, a mystic detective who has literally been to Hell and back. He teams up with skeptical policewoman Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) to solve the mysterious suicide of her twin sister, and together they investigate a world of demons and angels that exists beneath the city of Los Angeles. Adding to the showdown between good and evil are many effects shots provided by Tippet Studio, CIS Hollywood, Hatch, ESC Ent., Furious FX, Hydraulx, The Farm, Pacific Title and Fantasy II Film Effects.

The single-disc release of Constantine includes 18 minutes of deleted scenes, including an alternate ending. Those who want a bit more can pick up the deluxe set, which includes an exclusive collectible reprint of Hellblazer Issue #41 “Dangerous Habits” and a Hellblazer short story. Other extras include commentary by comic creators Lawrence, Cappello and Brodbin, as well as Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman. There are also a behind-the-scenes documentaries titled The Production From Hell, Imaging the Underworld, Conjuring Constantine–From the Comic Book to Film, Constantine Cosmology–The Mythology Behind the Movie and Foresight: The Power of Pre-Visualization. The Warner Home Video release lists for $28.98 for the single-disc version and $30.99 for the deluxe edition.

Terminator 2 star Edward Furlong is the latest to become O’Barr’s goth avenging angel for the screen in The Crow: Wicked Prayer. He plays Jimmy Curevo, an ex-con trying to straighten out his life when he and his girlfriend are killed by a biker gang in a satanic ritual. Infused with the spirit of a crow, he rises from the grave to administer his dark justice. The film also stars Tara Reid, David Boreanaz, Dennis Hopper and Emmanuelle Chriqui. Bonus materials include commentaries, deleted scenes, storyboards, galleries and a behind-the-scenes featurette. Released by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, the R-rated pic retails for $29.99.

Also coming home today is Earth 2: The Complete Series, a three-disc set featuring all 21 episodes of the short-lived, Emmy-winning sci-fi series. The Universal release lists for $49.98 and includes deleted scenes, extended scenes and outtakes. For kids, there’s Dora The Explorer: Super Babies, which includes four installments of the popular animated series. Paramount has given it a suggested retail price of $16.99.