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Old 12-06-2012, 02:49 AM
Past Tense

This week we travel with an occult gumshoe, search for the Spear Of Destiny and try to prevent the end of the world and other things in "Constantine"...



The motion picture opened on February 18th, 2005. It was made with a budget of $100,000,000 (estimated) and grossed over 75 million during its U.S. theatrical run. It made its money back with profits when including foreign receipts, nearly 231 million total. The film opened number two at the box office, the following week it dropped to number three.

The feature opened against "Pooh's Heffalump Movie", "The Aviator", "Million Dollar Baby" and "Hitch".



The first pressing of the "2 - Disc Deluxe Edition" came with a fifty page graphic novel anthology "John Constantine: Hellblazer". It collects the comics: "The Beginning Of The End: Dangerous Habits - Part One", "The Gangster, The Whore And The Magician" and "The First Time" along with character bios; from Vertigo DC Comics for $30.99 (see further down for street).

The DVD case and graphic novel came in an oversized cardboard slipcase (mirrored the wraparound) to hold both. It was also released without the comic for $29.99. Later pressings removed both the slipcase and comic. The film was also released as a single disc.

This set originally did not come with any inserts.

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Time to take a ride on the nightmare merrygoaround. Best Buy had an exclusive, a preview disc. It streeted on December 7th, 2004. The bonus DVD has a run time of 11:47 minutes, a lone featurette, "Constantine: Sneak Peek" (full screen); no menu screen - it just plays. I have since moved the two discs set into a three disc case and have the bonus disc's sleeve inside the replacement case.



The preview disc was free... if you purchased "The Ultimate Matrix Collection", regular set or Limited Edition; $52.99/$89.99. I found it cheaper at Wal-Mart were I bought the regular. I was fortunate to have gotten that bonus disc, I don't remember, but I bought a movie on sale from Best Buy and ask if I could keep the preview - the cashier said yes. The bonus was not attached to the box sets, they were in a large cardboard display; fifty copies per store.



Wal-Mart sold the single disc edition, side packed with the paperback novelization, this streeted on July 19th, 2005. Sorry, I do not know the price. I did not buy this set. The book is 336 pages, published by Pocket Star Books.

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Footnotes.

I have to talk about this, since it's part of the main subject, "Ultimate Matrix Collection".



The Limited Edition came with a mini-Neo bust as seen above and an eighty-four page collector's book (metallic green 3D covers). It includes a reprint; the introduction written by the Wachowski Brothers. The book outlines the content of the ten disc set (same ten discs as in the regular box set) and showcases various images; production pixs, conceptual art and trivia.

Why not?

There was another exclusive, but for "Ultimate Matrix Collection", not at any store, but through an infomercial. If you bought it from the TV offer (sixty bucks plus shipping), you would get three scripts from each movie - I remember them looking nicely printed.

What I would've liked to have seen is a lenticular cover for the 'Ultimate', moving Matrix code, that would've been cool.

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Still talking about "Ultimate Matrix Collection". Something you need to know if you're an über fan, compleatist. You still need the original "The Matrix" DVD (streeted September 21st, 1999 for $24.98, a cardboard snapper case). Why?

Missing from Ultimate are two commentaries. The first is a commentary by special effects supervisor John Gaeta, editor Zach Staenberg and actress Carrie Anne-Moss. The second is a commentary by composer Don Davis that includes an isolated music score. He talks when there is nothing playing. Also missing is "Making The Matrix" featurette (twenty-five minutes), but it's purely redundant, eclipsed by the massive bonus features in the box set. Think of it like the 1979 documentary "Giger's Alien", which was not included in either box sets, "Alien: Quadrilogy" DVD (2003) or "Alien: Anthology" Blu-Ray (2010), though it was released on laser disc in Japan in the 1990s; footage from that doc does appear in the various making-of featurettes. It's redundant.

Okay. There is one other thing is missing. This is from "The Matrix: Reloaded" DVD (two disc set), the 2003 MTV Movie Awards parody (uncensored). Why is that absent? Don't know, it was cute, kinda funny.

Sure, "The Matrix" DVD was released in two different snapper cases. One was the standard black frame, the other, much harder to find was a transparent frame. I've only ran into that twice in my DVD purchases (2003 - present).

Just so you know, Wachowskis did not contribute a commentary on any of their "Matrix" films.

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Rant.



I'm kinda bummed that a sequel didn't happen. I rather enjoyed the film. Granted, I've read complaints where people were unhappy with the way the feature took liberties on the source material. Does the changes make an entertaining experience? Yes, yes it did. Hell, there were some who were pissed by the changes/omitting a character from the "Lord Of The Rings" novels. Not going to name him, but that hobbit was written in by the author for his child, he served absolutely nothing to the story. And he would've became the next Jar-Jar Binks. It was wise to axe him.



The underground bar owned by Midnite (Djimon Hounsou) reminds me a lot like the club, "Caritas" owned by Lorne (Andy Hallett) from the TV series "Angel", the spin-off from "Buffy The Vampire Slayer". Yes, I'm sure the television club had its inspiration from the "Constantine" comics.

I didn't see this in the theaters, I saw it on home video. I remember seeing Tilda Swinton as Gabriel trying to remember where I first saw her. It bugged the hell out of me. Later I realized the point, the 1991 movie, "If Looks Could Kill". A Richard Grieco vehicle that bombed at the box office (it made less than 8 million), which is too bad, it was a nice popcorn flick (I have the CD soundtrack). Sure - a flunking high school student, Michael Corben (Grieco), is given a second change to graduate by accompanying a French language class to France. Things go wrong when he's mistaken for an American spy. It's all fun and games (gadgets and girls) until people start getting killed. It also starred Gabrielle Anwar. There is a DVD-R release, an official one from the Warner Archive Collection. It's widescreen. Sorry, nope, it's not her character, a British government contraption tech. In fact, Swinton isn't even in that movie. *shrugs*

Anyhow, there is a stinger at the end credits for "Constantine"; what became of Chas (Shia LaBeouf) after the events. It's short and fits quite well.

There you go. The next PT could be Past Tense if that Mayan calendar is correct. I may OR may not see you here on December 20th.

This is something I should've given more thought on before that write up in March of this year, "The Day After Tomorrow" entry. It would've been perfect for this month. *shrugs*
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