Constantine DVD Review

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I broke down and ended up buying the two disc Collectors Edition of Constantine. Well, I didn't really break down. I wanted it since I worked on the film. :) It just came out today, and I had heard rumors that some of the color was taken out for the DVD release!

It's a shame, really. I guess it's another one of those reasons to go and see a film like this in the theatre. Here's what I mean. Below there are several screen grabs from the film. If you click on them, you'll be able to see what the publicity stills for the shots look like! The publicity stills were put up for the VFXTalk Constantine interview a while back, and they differ quite a lot!


There was a DVD review done by Bill Gibron over at DVDTalk. Here's the link. I'm just a little miffed, because it seems that he's critiquing the visual quality of the DVD of the film, and I just can't agree with his assessment.
The 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen image is flawless, with nary a pixel out of place or a single edge enhanced. However, this does not mean the movie is faultless from a visual standpoint.

Really Bill? Let's take a look at the above comparison. You're telling me that the widescreen DVD image is flawless. I beg to differ. I hope that he knows the difference between computer animators and visual effects artists. It doesn't seem that he does. Look at the color muting and desaturation!

Current computer animators do not understand the concept of restraint. If they can fill the sulfurous air of Hell with an infinite amount of smoke, ash, debris and digital froufrou, they will do it - then add just a tiny bit more to prove their Pentium processing power.

We "computer animators" always understand the concept of restraint. What may be unapparent to Bill is that we have to answer to the director and his vision, whatever it may be. We also created Hell LA on AMD processors. While I applaud his view on physical effects (Hell, I love physical effects and miniatures!), there are times when physical effects fall short and cannot be created effectively. Would you have settled for subpar effects? Could the seplavites and scavengers have been created and puppetted the way the director wanted? No. Hence the move to digital. If you're going to critique the visual quality of the film, do it without hacking down months and months of work by talent artists that create the visual effects and have no say over how, ultimately, the DVD looks.

If you click on the next couple of images, you can see some of the drastic changes to color that they did when they created the DVD. Luckily we protected for this by creating all our sequences in float space, which apparently, was a good move.



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