Three separate releases for Pearl Harbor

Buena Vista Home Entertainment is busy preparing not one, but three separate DVD releases for this summer’s WWII blockbuster Pearl Harbor. The 60th Anniversary Commemorative Edition will be a two disc special edition of the film with some exciting extras. The The 60th Anniversary Commemorative Gift Set will contain the same two disc set, and will additionally include a third DVD with the companion movie National Geographic Beyond the Movie: Pearl Harbor. Finally, a VISTA Series release of the film will come as a three disc set containing the director’s cut of the film and an immersive set of features.

In “Pearl Harbor”, Rafe McCawley (Ben Affleck) and Danny Walker (Josh Hartnett) are childhood friends who both dream of flying. As the world becomes embroiled in World War II in the early 1940’s, Rafe and Danny sign on with the United States armed forces, although America is still in an isolationist position. Eager to participate in combat, Rafe is compelled to join the British air fight against the Nazis, leaving his girlfriend, beautiful army nurse Evelyn Stewart (Kate Beckinsale) behind. When Evelyn and Danny are transferred to the military base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, they hear the news that Rafe has been shot down and killed. Hoping to move on after grieving, Danny and Evelyn find themselves in love. When Rafe returns alive, the three find themselves in an uncomfortable personal situation that is soon engulfed by the massive surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Putting aside their differences, Rafe and Danny join the desperate fight against the enemy invaders.

The 60th Anniversary Commemorative Edition DVD will feature the film in its original widescreen ratio with sound available in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS. The set also includes a documentary on the real attack on Pearl Harbor and that fateful day’s unsung heroes, as well as the Faith Hill music video “There You’ll Be”, an introduction by Director Michael Bay, a documentary on the real life Pearl Harbor veterans and their return to the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial for the film’s premiere, and interviews with the cast.

The Gift Set, which will be available on the same day, will feature the same disc packaged with the “National Geographic Beyond the Movie: Pearl Harbor” DVD. More than a documentary, this fascinating movie brings script, characters and footage from “Pearl Harbor” together with a look at the real events, stories, heroes and places of Pearl Harbor. Employing clips from the epic film, interviews with the stars and their real-life counterparts, filmmakers, historians and others, the film presents a truly unique way to explore one of the most provocative episodes in recent history through fact and film. Also included is National Geographic’s 60th Anniversary Commemorative map: one side of the map provides a detailed overview of what happened at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The other side of the map is an authentic replica of a world map from this time period, displaying political boundaries.

Coming a few weeks after the initial two releases, will be the special VISTA series release of the film. Due to the length of the new director’s cut, the film will be spread over the first two discs. The first disc will feature an introduction to the film and a brief explanation of the letterbox format with director Michael Bay and an intermission sequence with musical score. Three audio commentaries will accompany the film and will continue on the second disc. The first commentary will be with Michael Bay, the second with Technicians, including the DP, Production Designer, and Costume Designer. The third commentary will be voiced by Jerry Bruckheimer with stars Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett, and Alec Baldwin. Discs two and three will contain the remaining supplements which include seven behind the scenes segments of the filmmaking process presented as uncut filmmaker collaborations without interviews or film clips. The segments are Battleship Row Attack, Sandbag Explosion, Dorrie Miller at the Guns, The Airfield Attack, The Scramble to the Planes, The Dud Bomb, The Oklahoma Battle, and The Doolittle Raid. A multi-angle breakdown of the surprise attack sequence will present the exciting climax of the film with several video and audio track selections. The video selections will include pre-visualization: storyboards, artwork, animatics, effects plates, green screen, and final sequence. The audio can be switched between the final 5.1 audio, production audio, sound effects only, musical score, or commentaries from veterans of the event. A Peal Harbor Historic Timeline is a set-top interactive feature produced by documentarian Charles Kiselyak. Through an innovative animated timeline, viewers will be able to select historic videos, audio clips, text, or photos that set the stage for the events in Hawaii, or follow how they impacted world events that transpired as a result of the conflict. A special featurette entitled Boot Campfollows the actors as they take preparation for their roles to an extreme. In the first entertaining segment, Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett and their co-stars are put through grueling paces by an over-enthusiastic drill sergeant. The second segment follows Alec Baldwin through his officer training. A Super-8 Montage of unseen footage, early computer animatics and the Faith Hill music video will close out the special features. Unfortunately, the National Geographic disc will not be included with the VISTA series version.

The 60th Anniversary Edition and gift set will be available on December 4th – three days before the actual anniversary of the event and will be priced at $29.99 and $49.99 respectively. The VISTA series DVD will be available six weeks later on January 15, 2002 carrying a $39.99 suggested retail price.

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