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Life is a Bundle of Blu-Rays

June 23, 2009 Written by Azariah Ellington II

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Blu-Ray has steadily been gaining momentum with the constant release of blockbuster titles and the decreasing costs of both players and discs. A constant complaint has been the lack of certain catalogue releases. And Paramount has been listening carefully.

The former HD-DVD defector has published release dates for the Blu-ray versions of Forrest Gump, Gladiator, and Braveheart, arguably three of the biggest movies in recent history. And they are definitely some of Paramount’s crown jewels. Braveheart and Gladiator will be released on September 1st, while Forrest Gump will get the blu treatment on November 3rd. Admit it, you’re just excited as I am.

Details of the titles are below:

Gladiator Blu-ray Details

The Blu-ray presentation will include both the original theatrical version of the film as well as the extended version in 1080p High Definition with English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, as well as English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Korean subtitles.

The two-disc set also will feature over four hours of bonus material including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Audio Commentary: Two separate commentaries accompany the original theatrical version and extended version of the film.
  • The Scrolls of Knowledge: The original trivia track has been newly enhanced with focus points allowing viewers to access a series of new behind-the-scenes featurettes exploring key scenes and how they relate to the historical accuracy depicted in the film. The extended version of the film also includes a deleted scene marker.
  • Visions From Elysium: Topic Marker: Viewers can tag moments of interest throughout either version of the film, allowing them to create “shopping lists” of topics to learn more about. Thanks to the Blu-ray player’s memory, the topics will automatically be loaded when Disc 2 is inserted, giving viewers immediate access to featurettes and galleries of interest.
  • Strength and Honor: Creating The World of Gladiator: The definitive documentary on the origin, production and impact of the Oscar(R)-winning classic. The documentary includes an all-new Enhanced Viewing Mode allowing viewers access to additional interviews and behind-the-scenes material.
  • The Making of Gladiator: HBO First Look special.
  • Gladiator Games: The Roman Bloodsport: Learning Channel special.
  • Hans Zimmer: Scoring Gladiator: An exploration of the rousing soundtrack.
  • My Gladiator Journal: Personal diary of the young actor who played Lucius.
  • Image & Design: Featurettes and galleries covering the production design, storyboards, costumes and more.
  • Abandoned Sequences & Deleted Scenes
  • VFX Explorations: Germania & Rome: Shot deconstruction with the visual effects artists.

Braveheart Blu-ray Details

The film will be presented in 1080p High Definition with English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD, French 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English, English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.

Among the more than two hours of new special features to be included on Braveheart are:

  • Interactive Timelines: Three distinct timelines featuring a combination of video, images, text and audio that can be accessed linearly or randomly.
    • Production: A comprehensive chronology of the motion picture from conception through theatrical release, from a behind-the-scenes point of view.
    • Historical: Chronological modules feature Scotland’s greatest patriot, along with historical places, figures and events surrounding his life and struggle.
    • Fiction: A comprehensive timeline identifying the chronological events of the film.
  • Braveheart: A Look Back: Features new interviews with members of the cast and crew reminiscing about their experiences making the film and its enduring impact on cinema.
  • Smithfield: Medieval Killing Fields: Relates the remarkable history of Smithfield, which for centuries was regularly filled with the roars of crowds, regal fanfares and rowdy games. Smithfield is also known as the site of William Wallace’s execution, along with other terrifying spectacles when heretics, rebels and criminals were put to death.
  • Battlefields of the Scottish Rebellion: Two major Scottish battlefields, Falkirk and Bannockburn, will be presented as 3D models that can be explored for further investigation into the military strategies and timetables employed in each. Topography, weapons, troop movements, and leadership data can also be accessed. An alternate playing mode will allow the story of each battle to unfold in an “automated” fashion, much like the interactive dioramas displayed at historical site museums around the world.

Forrest Gump
Celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2009, ‘Forrest Gump’ will feature new material including a brand new roundtable discussion. More details will follow later in the year.

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