Freddy Vs. Jason
New Line Cinema slices and dices its way through another jam-packed Platinum Series DVD with the bloody two-disc release of the horror battle royal Freddy Vs. Jason. Presented in both the 2.35:1 widescreen image and chopped up full-screen versions of the film, the disc delivers a pristine transfer of the film, whose gorgeous visual aesthetics can now be appreciated on the small screen. Sound options aren't quite as full, though there shouldn't be too many folks disappointed with the Dolby Digital EX 5.1 Surround Sound track, sure to please most horror audiophiles with its wet and juicy splatter effects and rip-roaring mix (which is also supplied in the discs' well-done 2.0 Stereo Sound option). Extras on disc one begin with a commentary track from director Ronny Yu, here joined by both Robert Englund and the new Jason Vorhees himself, Ken Kirzinger. Englund hams it up and takes over the track from minute one, throwing out anecdote after anecdote, all the while obnoxiously breaking out in his Freddy laugh as much as the other two will allow (and, both of them being quite soft-spoken, they allow a lot). After you've impatiently sat through that track, you can find some instant gratification in New Line's patented Jump to a Death feature (which, funny enough, points to just how bland most of the kills were, seeing that six out of 13 kills were all done by a machete -- yawn!). Disc two brings on a bevy of extras that range from utterly fantastic to completely worthless. Sadly, the anticipated 20 deleted/alternate scenes that start the disc off can be lumped into the latter. Even with optional commentary from Yu and executive producer Douglas Curtis, the scenes make no sense and give little insight to the production other than to say that they cut out the right stuff. Extras continue in the Production area, where you can find two articles from Fangoria magazine wonderfully detailing the film's long road to development, featuring full-color scans and easy-to-read reprinted text. Inside the Production Featurettes section, there's over 50 minutes of footage covering various aspects of the production, including its genesis, stunts, makeup, locations, and art direction. Additionally, inside the Visual Effects Featurettes, visual effects supervisor Ariel Velasco-Shaw and visual effects producer Kevin Elam take you through a 35-minute step-by-step look at 12 of the film's big effects shots, which can be viewed together through the Play All feature or by themselves. Endlessly insightful, each featurette in both sections provides wonderful behind-the-scenes glimpses at the filmmakers and is a staple of why the Platinum Series is so successful. A packed Galleries section is also supplied, featuring storyboards and various behind-the-scenes stills of the film. The highlight of the disc can be found inside the Publicity and Promotions section, where the much-hyped Pre-fight Press Conference held at Bally's Casino awaits you. Hosted by Michael "Are You Ready to Rumble" Buffer just one month before the film was released, the clip is 100 percent cheese, but oozing with exactly the kind of fun and outrageousness that colossal pairing deserved. Another tasty bit is some raw footage of Ain't It Cool News' Camp Hacknslash summer camp -- a promotional stunt wherein a horde of young Texans got together and partied like they were teens in a Friday the 13th flick before being treated to an outdoor premiere of the film. Also included in the section is the original theatrical trailer, along with TV spots and a stomach-turning Elm Street-inspired rap-metal music video. Finally, the DVD contains trailers for the laughable The Butterfly Effect, along with the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the two later (and worst) entries in each series -- Jason Goes to Hell and Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare. DVD-ROM extras include a script-to-screen comparison; sound bytes from the film; and a Cutting Room Floor Editing feature, where you can reedit the two icons' dream fight sequence using a collection of shots in the movie. Animated screen menus add to the fun, as does the packaging (which includes a nice insert that could double as an alternate cover). In the end, New Line delivers on its Platinum promise, providing enough bells and whistles to quench even the most hardened fans' desires -- sadly, that's something the film has a hard time boasting about itself.