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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Biography > Art > Artist > Filmmaking > Stop-Motion Animation > Industry > Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan (2011/MVD Visual/Arrow Films Blu-ray)

Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan (2011/MVD Visual/Arrow Films Blu-ray)

Picture: B Sound: B Extras: B Film: B+

PLEASE NOTE: This is the same exact release from Arrow U.K. and Umbrella Entertainment in Australia down to the menus, but one supplement is encoded differently.

Hollywood Heavyweights weigh in on arguably the most influential special effects artist of all time: Ray Harryhausen. Giles Penso's insightful documentary Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan (2011) features interviews from Steven Spielberg, Guillermo Del Toro, Peter Jackson, John Landis, James Cameron, Tim Burton, John Lasseter, Nick Park, Terry Gilliam, Phil Tippet, Steve Johnson, Joe Dante, Edgar Wright, Henry Selick, Rick Baker and the late Harryhausen himself amongst several others. Creative editing, rare photographs, and smart documentary filmmaking make this a must for fans of cinema history.

Ray Harryhausen's ever-distinctive stop-motion animation has influenced Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Avatar, Army of Darkness, Mars Attacks! and countless other classic films and pioneered the world of stop motion animation. Ray's trademark imagination and impeccable style not only gave dinosaurs and mystical creatures life, but imagination and movement as well. This documentary takes you through Ray's career and shares some of his techniques as well as several filmmakers from directors to Special Visual Effects artists weigh in on how the original Clash of the Titans, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, The Beast From 2,000 Fathoms, It Came From Beneath the Sea, and more inspired them. You'll find many of them reviewed elsewhere on this site.

Presented in 1080p High Definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a nice-sounding LPCM 2.0 Stereo track, the film looks and sounds great on the Blu-ray format. Some clips used are of lower quality due to age, but for the most part everything is crisp and clear, while some older audio is monophonic from archival footage.

Special Features include:

Interviews with Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, Peter Lord, Rick Baker

12 Interview outtakes with Joe Dante, John Lasseter and Nick Park, et al

A message to Ray

Deleted Scenes

On the Set of Sinbad

Paris Cinematheque Q&A

London Gate Theater Q&A (in PAL analog video format only on the U.K. & Australian editions)

Audio commentary with the filmmakers

Original Trailer

Ray Harryhausen Trailer Reel

Reversible DVD cover sleeve with excellent artwork

This is a great release that is really well done and has some great special features. Highly recommended!

- James Lockhart



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