A time travel thriller that pulls no punches, directors Eric Bress and J. Mackeye Gruber's The Butterfly Effect arrives on DVD in fine form thanks to New Line Cinema's Infinifilm series. Whether the viewer chooses to watch the original, theatrical cut of the film or the newly assembled director's cut, both presentations of the feature are offered in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The transfer is clean, offering rich, vibrant colors and little evidence of artifacting or edge enhancement. Likewise, the DTS audio mix rings through, loud and clear, with effective use of surround channels and low-frequency audio that will certainly keep viewers on their toes. As can be expected from any release in the Infinifilm series, this disc is brimming with some informative and entertaining bonus materials. Director's audio commentary offers the good-humored Bress and Gruber detailing many of the film's subtle hints and messages while also discussing effects work and character development -- a matter which merited an extra modicum of attention given The Butterfly Effect's multi-layered realities. Viewers can also study the true origins of the film's central conflict with "The Science and Psychology of the Chaos Theory," which offers interviews with numerous physics experts and psychotherapists as they attempt to demystify the sometimes dense subject. "The History and Allure of Time Travel" offers a brief history of cinematic time travel while simultaneously examining the psychological implications that may result when one tries to alter the future, and though the "fact track" does offer the occasional interesting tidbit, it works best when guiding viewers toward features that will offer a better look at the filmmaking process. After learning about the complicated road to actually getting the feature before the cameras in "The Creative Process" (which offers Bress and Gruber attempting to detail how they broke from convention while scripting the film, among other details), viewers can check out how the film's visual effects were conceived and executed in a visual effects documentary that offers interviews with visual effects supervisor Ralph Maiers and visual effects coordinator Christopher Elke. A storyboards feature allows viewers to watch 11 scenes side-by-side with the rough sketches that provide a visual outline for the feature, and nine deleted scenes with optional commentary are also included. In addition to the features on the disc, viewers can go even further by accessing such DVD-ROM features as script-to-screen comparison (a fantastic film-school lesson for aspiring filmmakers) and an image gallery that's loaded with still images from The Butterfly Effect. An original theatrical trailer is also included.
Both directors' cut and theatrical version of the film
Beyond the Movie features: "The Science and Psychology of the Chaos Theory," "The History and Allure of Time Travel," "Fact Track"
All-Access Pass features: Filmmaker commentary by co-directors and co-screenwriters Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber, "The Creative Process" documentary, "Visual Effects" documentary
Original theatrical trailer
DVD-ROM content: Script-to-screen, image gallery, exclusive Infinifilm content, and more