Blu-ray Review: THE WOLFMAN (2-Disc Unrated Director’s Cut)

Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
June 1st, 2010

Theatrical Rating: 3.5/5
Blu-ray Rating: 4/5

Writers: Andrew Kevin Walker & David Self (screenplay), Curt Siodmak (original screenplay)
Director: Joe Johnston
Cast: Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving
DVD Distributor: Universal Home Entertainment

Back in February, THE WOLFMAN tried to take a large bite out of the box office only to end up howling at the low numbers it received [budget = $150 million. Gross = $61 million (domestic)/$77 million (foreign)]. There are many factors that contributed to WOLFMAN's bad receipts, and the biggest being lack of interest due to all the reshoots that took place during the course of its productions, troubles getting a director, and three release date changes.

I truly enjoyed the theatrical release of THE WOLFMAN (my review HERE); it offered great gore and a new take on the classic horror story.  THE WOLFMAN's back, but this time on Blu-ray and DVD and with an Unrated Director's Cut that offers more back story than what the theatrical gave us.

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.

Let me go ahead and be up front with you, I've never been a fan of Director's Cut or Unrated Edition versions of a film. You can thank Richard Kelly for fucking that up for me (looking at you, DONNIE DARKO). Most of the time the Unrated Version has about 30 seconds extra with maybe a blood splatter or two and the Director's Cut is completely different than the theatrical version, which my mind is used to. Again, looking at you Richard Kelly.

THE WOLFMAN Unrated Director's Cut offers a little levity on my biased decision. In this version, we get more of a back story on Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro), how he ends up with that famous wolf cane, and a deeper look at the very strange relationship with his deceiving pops (Anthony Hopkins).  With this version, it's still obvious Hopkins is papa beast and is at fault for everything, but along with a better back story, we get more bloodshed and that's why you've watched this film right?

This 2-Disc version offers quite a bit of extra features. On the second disc, we get our Digital Copy to take with us when we're off on vacation or away from home. Below is the photo of what happens when you pop the disc in your computer (hopefully a Mac).

The Wolfman

The most disappointing feature is the alternate endings.  I'm hoping these were filmed specifically for the Blu-ray/DVD release because I couldn't help but laugh at them. Both alternate endings are set up to conclude like the original film's, but, in the first film, The Wolf Man bites Gwen Conliffe (Emily Blunt), she shoots him, he dies and she lays there bleeding.  The camera pans to the moon, cues the credits and we're left to believe she's going to turn into a wolf.  In our second alternate ending, same scenario, except she doesn't shoot him.  He stands up, the camera slows moves toward him, he turns to the camera and gives us our last second cheap scare.  Again, really really hope these were just shot for fun and for the Blu-ray.  My thoughts on this film would have made a complete 180 if either of these two were used.  Along with these alternate endings are a few extended and deleted scenes (the last one - the Extended Final Fight - is the most notable).

If you choose to buy the Blu-ray, you're able to watch the original 1941 movie, THE WOLF MAN, but you have to stream with on BD-LIVE, head to UniversalHiDef.com, or on your iPhone with the POCKET BLU app.

The rest of our features - the juicy stuff - are Return of THE WOLFMAN, The Best Maker, Transformation Secrets, and THE WOLFMAN Unleashed.  These featurettes are very detailed about the process of how our new Wolf Man was created (from both the CGI and practical effects standpoint).  These artists paid a lot of attention to detail when creating the beast, and it's interesting to hear them talk about the lighting they used in the first scene of the Beast's transformation to intensify the curiosity.

And according to one artist, Del Toro wanted more blood in the film, going so far to say, "Fill my mouth up with blood…I’m going to spit it out." Very good quote to end this review.

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  • Majortom123

    I loved it. Saw the director's cut first and though it is a bit part there is a wonderful sceen gets the silver when Tolbet gets the silver caine for an elderly gentleman played by the brilliant Max Von Sydow. There appears to bethe possibility that this character could run deeper in let us say a prequal via his comment the he had the caine made by a silver smith lifetimes ago and that it's weight was becoming too heavy. Lot's of plot possibilities. At the end theinspector is bitten and remains alive which means he becomes a werewolf. Also there is a lot of great dialogue and use of the english langauge….. Would love to see a seguel but….???

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