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VFX to Collect

Today’s slate of home video released includes a handful of live-action films known for their innovative use of visual effects. You’ll find lots of commentary and behind-the-scenes featurettes devoted to those effects on the DVD releases of The Aviator, The Day After Tomorrow Collector’s Edition and I, Robot Collector’s Edition.

Director Martin Scorsese’s biographical look at the life of eccentric entrepreneur Howard Hughes, The Aviator, relies heavily on both digital and practical vfx to recreate breathtaking aerial sequences and a backdrop of Hollywood in its heyday. The film makes its home video debut with a two-disc set packed with bonus materials, including 12 making-of featurettes. Titles include The Visual Effects of The Aviator, A Life Without Limits: The Making of The Aviator, The Affliction of Howard Hughes: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, The Age of Glamour: The Hair and Makeup of The Aviator, Costuming the Aviator: The Work of Sandy Powell, Constructing the Aviator: The Work of Dante Ferretti, Scoring the Aviator: The Work of Howard Shore, The Role of Howard Hughes in Aviation History, An Evening With Leonardo DiCaprio and Alan Alda, and Modern Marvels: Howard Hughes (History Channel documentary). There’s also commentary by Scorsese, deleted scenes, a still gallery and footage of an OCD Panel discussion with Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese and Howard Hughes’ Widow, Terry Moore. The Warner Home Video release carries a suggested retail price of $29.95.

The Day After Tomorrow Collector’s Edition repackages director Roland Emmerich’s goofy but entertaining meteorological disaster pic with featurettes on the many visual effects shots and other aspects of the making of the film. In addition to commentaries by director/writer Emmerich, producer Mark Gordon, co-writer Jeffrey Nachmanoff, cinematographer Ueli Steiger, editor David Brenner and production designer Barry Chusis, the two-disc release offers footage form a pre-visualization meeting, a storyboard gallery, 10 deleted scenes, an interactive audio mix demo and two documentaries: Two Kings and a Scribe (produced by Emmerich), and The Force of Destiny: The Science and Politics of Climate Change. Fox Home Entertainment lists the DVD at $26.98.

Nominated for a 2004 Best Visual Effects Oscar, I, Robot hits retail again with a two-disc collector’s edition brimming with extras, including a CG and design featurette, compositing breakdowns, visual effects “how-tos” and commentary by animation supervisor Andrew Jones and visual effects supervisors John Nelson and Brian Van Hul. Other commentaries feature director Alex Proyas, screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, production designer Patrick Tatopoulos, editor Richard Learoyd, associate producer John Kilkenny and composer Marco Beltrami. Also included are alternate endings, deleted scenes and the featurettes The Making of I, Robot, Day Out of Days: The I, Robot Production Diaries and Three Laws Safe: Conversations About Science Fiction and Robots. And don’t forget to hunt for those Easter eggs. The Fox Home Entertainment release lists for $29.98 on DVD.

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