Cover Art and Menus: 4/10
Would I have this cover as a poster? No. It’s boring and so uninspired. They have so many cool images they could have used, even just the wolfman in front of the moon, or JUST the full moon. Then again, I reckon there are deals made in Hollywood about whose face goes where. I can always go get a poster of the original movie, now that’s cool stuff. Oh, the menu is just navigation in the Blu-Ray style, nothing special.
- 2 Alternate Endings – Two fully fleshed out (sorry, had to do it) endings that seem only slightly different from the one they used, but then again, the subtle differences totally change the whole essence of the end of the story, so that’s cool.
- Deleted & Extended Scenes – This is a collection of scenes that I say would work fine in the movie but you know how those editors and directors can be, picky picky.
- U-Control (Rick Baker Special Effects/Legacy,Legend, Lore) – This is a very extensive collection of tid bits about the original story, the making of the movie, warewolf lore, and lots of behind the scenes goodies. A very good U-Control offering, and I don’t even like U-Control. See the short clip below for an idea of what this feature has instore.
- Pocket Blu – Take the movie on the go some how, some way. It’s a miracle of modern technology.
- Digital Copy – Take the movie with you on your laptop, another miracle? Not really.
- Original 1941 Version Of The Movie Via BDLive – You can log into BD live, or just go on the site to watch the full 1941 flick, which is AWESOME.
The Movie: 7/10
I almost thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Almost because it does have it’s low moments. Overall I was intrigued, interested, captivated, and genuinely entertained. I love creature features, or old school horror flicks, monster movies, whatever you call them. I like that stilted kind of acting, those awesome early days special effects, and the newness of the idea of using monsters in movies to scare audiences, to thrill and amaze us. The original Wolfman movie was in 1941. It wasn’t dark and brooding. I think it was meant to be more of a show case for the latest special effects, like many movies today. It had an almost cheery look and feel about it. This Wolfman isn’t like that at all.
From the very beginning with the darkness filling every frame, this is not the creature feature of the 40’s. This is more of a sullen, serious look at the torment of man, the struggle between good and evil. Oh, you do know that’s what the Wolfman is all about, right? Just like Jeckle and Hyde, Frankenstein, Dracula. Men struggle with their inner beast, tortured by their natural instinct to be a beast, but pushed to be civilized by the world…etc. Or so it seems to be the heart of these stories. I felt that whole idea very very present in this movie.
The father is hold up in a decaying old mansion while one of his sons has been gruesomely murdered by some kind of animal attack, or a lunatic. The ‘prodigal son’, a famous actor, returns upon the request of the fiancé of the dead brother. I know the vibe is supposed to be from the old time flicks, but this relationship is fairly flimsy. They have a lot of stolen glances, intense moments, but it’s hard to grasp the bond, for me anyway.
So, the son returns and soon the rural people are being mutilated by the same beast. The actor son is bitten and slowly starts to feel the changes inside him. We all know the story, so it’s not like you are on the edge of your seat, however, I was so compelled by the mood of this movie, it didn’t matter that the story is a retell. I liked Del Toro, and Hopkins, they had their moments of over-actorlyness, but they are professionals so I’ll give them a break. The woman though, she steals the show for me. Emily Blunt was engaging and subtle but with enough of that big drama to hold the dark brooding mood together in every scene. She kept me interested even when there were eye-rolling moments of questionable CGI.
I won’t go into the specifics of the occasional poor special effects. Let’s just say if you choose to like this movie just get over the missteps. It will serve you well.
I really did enjoy this movie. It was creepy without being spooky. The scene with Del Toro in the medical chamber changing from man to beast before our vary eyes, that’s pretty intense and one of the high lights for me. Then again, it might be because I wonder how many strange and horrible things really did happen back in those days when medical science was trying to “learn” more about the human body..ick.
Overall I really do recommend this to any classic horror fan. It’s not perfect, but it’s got enough goodness to be a quality 21st century telling of the story of a man bitten by a beast who can’t control his urges and succumbs to the darkness…or does he?
Audio & Video: 8/10
Director Joe Johnston uses a stylish Noir style palette to bring The Wolfman to life, or should I say too dark. This is a really dark movie that is full of atmosphere and the Blu-Ray does not disappoint. Super dark looking movies such as The Wolfman used to look a mess on DVD given the limited amount of data on the disc, but on Blu-Ray the shadow detail and black levels are simply stunning. There are many scenes here with smoke and fog rolling across dimly lit shots and there is not one instance of ringing, macro noise or edge enhancement it really is a treat for the eyes.
The DTS-HD Master audio track ranks amongst the top tier of audio presentations this year. Dialog is always clear and up front where it matters. Special mention should be made to Danny Elfman’s score which really sets the scene and uses the surround channels accordingly. The final battle in the movie has some really subtle sound cues that shift around the room. It really is a treat and you will probably find yourself demoing your sound system with that scene alone. Overall while I liked The Wolfman I feel the technical presentation is slightly better than the movie itself. If I had to recommend a Wolfman film myself grab “An American Werewolf In London” also available on Universal Blu-Ray.
If you are a huge classic horror fan you will buy this movie no matter what and if you do you are getting a pretty good deal. Lots of extras, a solid creep show, even access to the original movie. If you are just a fan of monster movies I say rent it and the old flicks to feed the need for blood…mowaaahhhahahaha
Overall Score 7/10