Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection First Time Ever on Blu-ray!

FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, A LANDMARK COLLECTION SHOWCASING THE LEGENDARY MONSTERS IN MOTION PICTURE HISTORY

UNIVERSAL CLASSIC MONSTERS: COMPLETE 30-FILM COLLECTION AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY ON AUGUST 28, 2018 FROM UNIVERSAL PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT

Universal City, California, August 22, 2018 – Thirty of the most iconic cinematic masterpieces starring the most famous monsters of horror movie history come together on Blu-ray™ for the first time ever in the Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection on August 28, 2018, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Featuring unforgettable make-up, ground-breaking special effects and outstanding performances, the Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection includes all Universal Pictures’ legendary monsters from the studio that pioneered the horror genre with imaginative and technically groundbreaking tales of terror in unforgettable films from the 1930s to late-1950s.

From the era of silent movies through present day, Universal Pictures has been regarded as the home of the monsters. The Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection showcases all the original films featuring the most iconic monsters in motion picture history including Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Phantom of the Opera and Creature from the Black Lagoon. Starring some of the most legendary actors including Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., Claude Rains and Elsa Lanchester in the roles that they made famous, these films set the standard for a new horror genre and showcase why these landmark movies that defined the horror genre are regarded as some of the most unforgettable ever to be filmed.

Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection includes a 48-page collectible book filled with behind-the-scenes stories and rare production photographs and is accompanied by an array of bonus features including behind-the-scenes documentaries, the 1931 Spanish version of Dracula, Featurettes on Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., and Jack Pierce, 13 expert feature commentaries, archival footage, production photographs, theatrical trailers and more. The perfect gift for any scary movie fan, the collection offers an opportunity to experience some of the most memorable horror films of our time.

The Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection includes Dracula(1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Werewolf of London (1935), Dracula’s Daughter (1936), Son of Frankenstein (1939), The Invisible Man Returns (1940), The Invisible Woman (1940), The Mummy’s Hand (1940), The Wolf Man (1941), The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942), The Mummy’s Ghost (1942), The Mummy’s Tomb (1942),Invisible Agent (1942), Phantom of the Opera (1943), Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), Son of Dracula (1943), House of Frankenstein (1944), The Mummy’s Curse (1944), The Invisible Man’s Revenge (1944), House of Dracula (1945), She-Wolf of London (1946), Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951), Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954, and includes a 3D version), Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955), Revenge of the Creature (1955 and includes a 3D version) and The Creature Walks Among Us (1956).

 

BONUS FEATURES:

  • Behind-the-Scenes Documentaries
  • 3D Versions of Creature from the Black Lagoon and Revenge of the Creature
  • 1931 Spanish Version of Dracula
  • Featurettes on Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., and Jack Pierce
  • 13 Expert Feature Commentaries
  • Archival Footage
  • Production Photographs
  • Theatrical Trailers

 

Visual Effects Legend Ray Harryhausen Dead at 92

James Cameron. Steven Spielberg. John Lasseter. Rick Baker. Peter Jackson. No, the category isn’t Oscar winners. It’s a list of people whose careers were influenced by one of films true legends: Ray Harryhausen. Harryhausen, whose career spanned six decades, died today in London. He was 92.

Beginning with 1942’s “Tulips Shall Grow” and ending with his best known film, 1981’s “Clash of the Titans,” Harryhausen inspired moviegoers throughout the world.

Born in Los Angeles on June 29, 1920, Harryhausen’s life changed when, in 1933, he saw the original “King Kong.” Interested in filmmaking, and experimenting in animation, a friend introduced him to Willis O’Brien, who had created Kong. He showed O’Brien some of his work and was soon taking classes in sculpture and graphic arts. In 1939 he and an author friend joined a local Science Fiction League which was presided over by Forrest J. Ackerman. The author was Ray Bradbury and the three remained friends up until their deaths. One of my most cherished autographs!

After securing a job working on George Pal’s “Puppetoons” he was drafted into the United States Army, where he was placed in the Special Services Division under the command of Colonel Frank Capra. He was a jack-of-all-trades for Capra, filling in wherever a hand was needed on his film crew. After his discharge Harryhausen went to work on his first big film, 1947’s “Mighty Joe Young,” which allowed him the chance to work with his idol, O’Brien, who went on to win that years Academy Award for Best Special Effects. He went on to produce the visual effects for such films as “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms,” “Earth vs the Flying Saucers,” “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad” and it’s sequels, “One Million Years B.C.” and “The Valley Gwangi.”

I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Harryhausen on a couple of occasions and a nicer man with a genuine affection for his fans you will never find.

In 1992 he received the Gordon E. Sawyer award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. But perhaps a greater honor came in PIXAR’s hit film “Monsters, Inc., where Mike Wozowski takes his dinner date to the best place in town. It’s name: Harryhausens.

Film Review "Side Effects"

Starring: Jude Law, Rooney Mara and Catherine Zeta-Jones
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hour 46 mins
Open Road

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

An empty room. On the floor, a set of bloody footprints. Fade to black.

Martin (Channing Tatum) has just been released from prison where he did time for insider trading. His wife, Emily (Mara), appears to be happy that he’s home though the combination of a husband in prison and an uprooted life has given her an anxiety condition that is out of control. After a car accident Emily meets Dr. Banks (Law), a psychiatrist who feels the accident was anything but. He offers to help Emily, unaware that soon he will be the one needing help.

An old fashioned thriller in every sense of the word, “Side Effects” gives you just enough clues to stay in the game but never reveals enough to get you to drop your guard. The clever script, by Scott Burns, is full of twists and turns that take you from one character to the next, silently scratching your head and wondering who do you believe?

The storyline is helped by a cast just as serious as the material. In his best work since “Cold Mountain,” Jude Law is brilliant. He gives Dr. Banks a heart that one normally doesn’t see in the typical Hollywood shrink. With a wife (Vinessa Shaw) and step-son at home he strives to do what he can for both his family and his patients. Mara continues the great promise she showed in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Emily is sometimes happy, sometimes sad and, sometimes, both at the same time, which is very hard to portray believably on screen. You want to root for her but you take a step back, unsure if you should. Zeta-Jones is well cast as a former doctor of Emily’s while Channing Tatum continues the run of fine performances that started last year.

For a director supposedly mulling retirement, Steven Soderbergh has kept busy. This is his fifth feature film since 2011 and, after roles in the recent “Haywire” and “Magic Mike,” Side Effects” completes a Channing Tatum trilogy! Busy or not, Soderbergh is still at the top of his game, crafting a film that gives you clues that may or not tell all that you need to know.

Todd Tucker talks about working make-up effects for "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" and The Smurfs 2"

Todd Tucker is the owner of special make-up effects studio, Illusion Industries. He has worked on films like “Hannibal”, “Pirates of the Caribbean  The Curse of the Black Pearl” to TV shows like “Soutland” and “Hannah Montana”. 2013 is a very busy year for him with seven projects aiming to be released including “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” and The Smurfs 2″.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Todd about these projects and what we can expect.

Mike Gencarelli: Let’s breakdown your projects for 2013, first let’s chat about your role working on “G.I. Joe: Retaliation”?
Todd Tucker: Unfortunately with this film, I can’t tell you exactly what we did yet but I can describe our experience. What I can say about “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” is that I think the fans are really going to dig what we did on this one. We did a number of different aspects including character looks etc. The first film was cool but it felt a little too much like a video game. It was very CG heavy. Jon Chu, the director, really made this film look like it was happening. Everything is very practical and it feels like you are really experiencing what you are seeing, as oppose to playing a game. The actors are really good at locking in their characters and not making it cheesy. I think this film is going to be very cool and also visually off-the-charts.

MG: Tell us about your work on “The Smurfs 2” and how does it compare from the first film?
TT: It cool since right when I started Illusion Industries, we got called to work on “The Smurfs” and we designed and created the look for Hank Azaria. We made all the appliances. He has a fake nose, dentures, ears, eyebrows and hair. So he looks pretty different. For the first movie, I wasn’t able to be on set. We created everything, did the make-up tests and then handed it off to somebody else. For “The Smurfs 2”, I got to go to Montreal and worked on Hank Azaria’s make-up for the whole show. It was interesting since we started to used the same nose and ears from the first film but Hank had lost some weight and was a little more buffed out. So we had to go in and re-sculpt the nose and downscale it a little bit to adjust for the look. For that point on, we had to just maintain him daily. He is just such a great actor and perfect for the role. He really brought it to life for sure.

MG: We go from action to animation to drama, tell us about your role in “The Iceman”?
TT: Originally we were going to do all sorts of character age make-ups for this film but then we found out it was not going to help the film. We then created all these period looks. We made all the wigs, mustaches and hairpieces. We did a few things on the lead actor, Michael Shannon, for the film. I can tell you this, I saw it at the Toronto Film Festival and I am not a big mafia movie fan but this movie is intense and the performances are great. I was very proud to have my name at the end of this movie.

MG: If you had to choose out of these three films above, which was the biggest challenge?
TT: The most challenging was “G.I. Joe: Retaliation”. We have our main studio here in Burbank but I also have another in New Orleans. The only problem is for “G.I. Joe: Retaliation”, the build was kind of big and they wanted us to relocate everyone to our Burbank studio to there. So we had to all relocate and move into a haunted house for three months [laughs]. So that was a fun but also a challenge. But it was a really cool project to work.

MG: Can you give us an idea about your work on “Fright Night 2”?
TT: The DP on the film I co-wrote and directed “Monster Mutt” is also the DP on “Fright Night 2”. They were filming the movie in Bulgaria around Christmas time last year. They were going through some changes and need us to come up with a creature design for the finale scene. So two of my guys here put it together very quickly and traveled it down. I think it is going to be very cool.

MG: With the films mentioned above and TV shows like “Southland”; do you enjoy the variety of genres?
TT: The thing that is cool is that all different movies and TV shows that we have coming out this year are ranging all across the board. We have family, horror, action, drama and TV shows. We occasionally work on “Sons of Anarchy” and do a lot for the Disney Channel. We are also working currently on Conan O’Brien’s show doing these zombie skits. So yeah, we really like to dapple in all the different genres.

MG: Tell us what else you got planned for 2013?
TT: This year alone in 2013, we have seven films coming out. We got “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” and “The Smurfs 2”. We just finished “Fright Night 2”. we did a movie called “Deadlock Pass”, which was shot in Russia by Renny Harlin. Just did a film called “The East”, which I saw at Sundance and it was a really great flick. Also did a movie called “Fort Bliss”, which is a drama. We are still also doing some TV with Disney Channel. We also have an in-house production company that we produce, direct and come up with in-house projects. We did a family film that I mentioned called “Monster Mutt”, which just came out on DirecTV, iTunes and Vudu this month. It is also available on Walmart.com, Target.com and Amazon.com. So that is doing pretty well. We also have two in-house projects that I am directing this year. One of them is an action/horror film and the other is a very dark fantasy. We are looking forward to that.

Interview about “Real Steel” with Legacy Effects’ John Rosengrant

John Rosengrant is co-owner of Legacy Effects (formerly known as Stan Winston Studios). He had worked with Stan Winston since 1983. He recently created the animatronics robots in the film “Real Steel”. In 2012, Legacy Effects has a bunch of major films in the works including, “The Hunger Games”, “The Amazing Spider-Man”, “Total Recall” and “The Avengers”. Media Mikes had a chance to ask John some questions about his work on the film “Real Steel”.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you end up working into the movies and in your particular field?
John Rosengrant: Ever since I was five years old, I wanted to make monsters. I was an art major in college but I really wanted to do this type of special effects. I moved out to California to pursue that dream and Stan Winston hired me on the first Terminator and gave me that opportunity. I worked for Stan for 25 years until his untimely passing. With my three other partners that ran Stan’s shop, we formed Legacy Effects in his honor and to carry on his legacy.

MG: What are the challenges of mixing CGI and animatronics?
JR: I think the challenges are you want to make it seamless. Shawn Levy, the Producers, and the team over at Digital Domain lead by Erik Nash, we all went into this with a team mentality that we are going to help each other and really make it believable, even in shots where it wasn’t going to be practical and was going to be CG. The practical robot gave it great lighting and size reference. In the shots that it was practical, it also helped the performance all around by giving the actors something to react to.

MG: How long does it take to make and prepare animatronics as the ones you see in this movie?
JR: The process took five months. Six weeks of it was designing and sculpting the robots digitally and breaking down all the pieces to be rapid prototypes. Each hero robot consisted of about 300 parts. The remaining time was the actual building of the robots.

MG: Was there any technology you had to force into existence to make the movements work?
JR: As far as new technology, we used what is called our stealth control system. We developed a special hydraulic pump that was very portable and light weight and, coupled with an intuitive control system, enabled us to set the robots up for shooting in about ten minutes.

MG: How different is to work with animatronics than to work with actors?
JR: The challenge with animatronics is to get a believable performance from something that is a machine. And our background, besides being artists and engineers, is that we’re puppeteers and performers too. So we sort of channel that energy to bring the characters to life.

MG: Which was the most complex sequence you had to face while making the movie?
JR: As with many special effects movies there are many. But one that jumps to mind is when they first power-up Atom when he is pulled from the junk yard. We had to cover the hero robot in mud, and make him sit up. There wasn’t as much prep time as one would like to have had but I think the scene turned out terrific. And I’m very proud of it.

MG: Can you explain your job as an Animatronic Supervisor?
JR: It’s building of the animatronic robots by sculpting, molding, engineering, selecting paint finishes, developing control systems and managing the overall performance of them on set.

MG: What are the robots made of?
JR: The panels and shells are made of fiberglass and custom blend of urethane. The mechanical structure inside is a combination of steel and aluminum and there are several of the robots that are machined aluminum parts. The Heroes are a combination of hydraulically powered and rod puppeted.

MG: Which robot was your favorite?
JR: They are all your babies. You put just as much time and energy into all of them. But I think Atom in this case displayed a lot of heart and soul for a robot. So I guess I lean towards Atom.

MG: What was the most challenging character to make?
JR: It was Atom. There are a lot more parts to him than others and more complicated scenes to do with him.

MG: How many people are involved in Atom`s creation?
JR: There was a couple from my team that were really imperative to brining Atom to life. Jason Matthews was the key artist in charge of Atom. Ian Joyner was the key digital sculptor that translated Tom Meyer’s production design artwork into 3D. Of course, there was a team here at Legacy of engineers, mechanics and model makers led by Dave Merritt. Mold makers, artists and painters were also involved in the total execution of Atom.

MG: Who got to keep the robots after the movie?
JR: We keep the robots at Legacy Effects.

MG: In your opinion, what did Stan Winston bring to the business and the art of cinema? What is the essence of his… legacy?
JR: The essence of Stan’s legacy is that he taught me what our job is to create characters. It’s not so much special effects but more so to create a memorable character. Stan was a makeup artist and a fine artist but he originally came to Hollywood to get into acting so I think he really stressed the performance aspect. Whether it was the queen alien or the Terminator, or the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, they always had an attitude and always seemed to be alive.

MG: In what way did your work change since “The Terminator”?
JR: On this movie, we built real robots and on the first Terminator we were pretending to build real robots. Also, the state of the art technology that has allowed us to sculpt robots and their parts digitally and rapid prototype them into the real world has allowed us to do things that were never possible back then

MG: For a person who dreams of wanting to get into your line of work, what advice would you give them?
JR: You have to be artistically rounded. Nowadays that includes knowing digital art programs as well as practical, and art techniques. If you’re coming at this more so from a mechanical side, you need machining skills, welding, and a sense of robots and computer control systems.

MG: What do you think is the future of animation and animatronics?
JR: It has a place because we figured out on “Real Steel” that it provides a fantastic reference for the CG robots and gave the actors something to really play off of and react to. Good acting comes from reacting. By having something real there, the actors can connect to something.

MG: On the Blu-ray, in the feature “Building the Bots,” director Shawn Levy talks about how Steven Spielberg emphasized that the use of practical effects was important to the film’s success. Do you feel as if filmmakers with that sort of insight into practical effects are a dying breed? Also, has Legacy Effects been approached to go back to robots for Spielberg’s upcoming “Robopocalypse”?
JR: Animatronic effects still have a very important place in this type of filmmaking. Some of the young filmmakers don’t have any experience with practical side of visual effects, but once they see what it can bring to their film, I think they embrace it. Spielberg’s “Roboapocalypse”, would be an amazing project to be part of.

MG: What’s a specific example of something you do that’s actually much harder than most people realize?
JR: In this movie we created 27, 8 foot tall robots. Some hero, stunt and background. But there were literally thousands of parts that had to all fit together and look like real metal and had to perform like a real robot. Noisyboy for example, had nearly 2,000 LED lights alone that were programmed with random sayings in Japanese which appeared on his forearm. That’s an example of one small complicated thing that may go unnoticed when you watch the film.

MG: John, any final thoughts on “Real Steel” before we close?
JR: It was a real pleasure to work on this film as it felt like a harmonious team effort from the start. Everybody understood their role, and everyone that is part of the film was treated with great importance. Shawn Levy, the Director, had a great energy that he brought to the film. The producers were very effects savvy. I’ve had a great history working with Producer Josh McLaglen who has worked on epic effects films from Titanic to Avatar and effects producer, Ron Ames was integral in bringing us together and organizing all of the visual effects on the film. My colleagues that I’ve been nominated with were outstanding in their contributions. My team here at Legacy worked tirelessly in creating the robots. I’d like to give a special nod to my right-hand man Jason Matthews who became Atom. Last but not least, thanks to my great mentor, Stan Winston, who gave me a great opportunity in this business.