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page updated: 8/1/05



My Two Cents
(Archived Posts 7/20/05 - 7/5/05)


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7/20/05

It saddens me to learn today that actor James Doohan, who played Scotty on TV's Star Trek, has passed away. You can read more here at CNN. Doohan made his farewell public appearance at a convention here in L.A. last year, and was suffering from both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. He was 85. Having met the man on several different occasions over the years, at conventions and other non-Trek events... well, let me tell you that he was just a helluva good guy, and someone with truly amazing life stories to tell (click here for a short biography of his life). Doohan stormed Juno beach on D-Day and lost a finger during the action. He was a pilot in the Canadian Air Force, and later became an actor. He worked for many years in radio before becoming famous as the starship Enterprise's chief engineer and resident miracle worker. The words "Beam me up, Scotty" may have immortalized him in popular culture, but perhaps his best legacy is the fact that he inspired untold numbers of young students over the years to become engineers themselves, including many who now work at NASA to make Star Trek's hopeful vision of the future a reality. Jimmy... the word is given. Warp speed.

We've got a few things for you today here at The Bits. First up, Todd's checked in with a brand spankin' new Doogan's Views column this afternoon, featuring reviews of 7 classic samurai films just released on DVD. Among them are Home Vision's Hanzo the Razor Trilogy (Sword of Justice, The Snare and Who's Got the Gold?) and Ronin Gai, Criterion's The Sword of Doom and AnimEigo's Samurai Assassin and Incident at Blood Pass. All are now available.

Around the site today, we've updated our list of UMD titles for Sony's PSP with more than a dozen new titles and street dates, including Disney's Toy Story on 9/6. If you're into UMD, be sure to check the list for all the changes (all the new titles have been added in ORANGE text).

Next, we finally have official word from Universal on the DVD release of Battlestar Galactica: Season One. As many of you know, the 4-disc U.K. DVD release of the complete first season (all 13 episodes) has been reformatted for NTSC and will be available exclusively at Best Buy stores next Tuesday (7/26 - SRP $49.99). Video is anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, and extras on the U.K./Best Buy release include 50 minutes of deleted scenes.

BUT... if you can wait a couple of months... the OFFICIAL U.S. release of Battlestar Galactica: Season One will be widely available from Universal on 9/20 (SRP $59.98) and the 5-disc set promises to be well worth the wait. Not only will you get all 13 hour-long episodes in anamorphic widescreen video with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, and the 50 minutes of deleted scenes, you'll get a lot more as well. Disc One will include the complete 4-hour TV miniseries with the previously released audio commentary with director Michael Rymer and executive producers David Eick and Ron Moore. Discs 2-5 will feature many additional episodes with optional audio commentary (by various combinations of Rymer, Eick and Moore) including the Pilot, Bastille Day, Act of Contrition, You Can't Go Home Again, Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down, The Hand of God, Colonial Day, Kobol's Last Gleaming: Part 1 and Kobol's Last Gleaming: Part 2 (we believe these include all of the podcast commentaries that have been available on SciFi.com). Disc 5 will also include a behind-the-scenes featurette, the aforementioned deleted scenes, a gallery of production sketches and artwork, a Battlestar Galactica Series Lowdown featurette and 1 of 3 collectible trading cards. The cover artwork will be different that the U.K./Best Buy art (which we've shown previously here) - you'll find the new art below. So now at least we know why there's been a delay. The U.S. release will feature MUCH more bonus material than the U.K./Best Buy edition.

As you may remember, we talked the other day about news from Comic-Con, including a report on Lucasfilm's Star Wars event. Well, the official Star Wars website has posted their own report with information (nothing we didn't give you here, but there are screen shots from that Episode III deleted scene that was shown).

Other DVD news today... 20th Century Fox has delayed the DVD release of The Fly: Collector's Edition and The Fly II: Collector's Edition by one week, from 9/27 to 10/4. Adjust your plans accordingly.

Finally, we'll leave you today with a look at the cover art for Universal's Battlestar Galactica: Season One (U.S. version) and Wallace and Gromit in Three Amazing Adventures (9/20), and Image Entertainment's Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag - IMAX (9/27)...

Battlestar Galactica: Season One (U.S. version)Wallace and Gromit in Three Amazing AdventuresFighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag - IMAX

Stay tuned!

7/19/05

Okay, let's give you some details on those upcoming Warner animated titles we mentioned yesterday, then we'll run down more new announcements.

Warner's Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 3 (SRP $64.92) will street on 10/25. The 4-disc set will include 60 more animated shorts presented uncut and uncensored, including some that have never appeared on video before. Disc One will feature Bugs Bunny, Disc Two will "lampoon Hollywood", Disc Three features Porky Pig and Disc Four will feature Daffy Duck and other characters. According to early information, this 4-disc set will contain some material that "may not suitable for children." We hope to have specific details on the shorts themselves soon.

The 2-disc Looney Tunes Movie Collection: Volume 3 will also street on 10/25 (SRP $26.99) and will include a pair of films - The Bugs Bunny/Road-Runner Movie and 1001 Rabbit Tales.

The Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection: Volume 2, also due on 10/25 (SRP $26.99), will include 40 restored and remastered shorts on two discs, along with audio commentaries on Saturday Evening Puss, Puss N' Boots, The Night Before Christmas and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Mouse by MADtv's Nicole Parker and animation historian Earl Kress, the Animators as Actors documentary, The Comedy Stylings of Tom and Jerry featurette, an introduction by Whoopi Goldberg and a side-by-side comparison of the color episode and B&W pencil sketches for the 1941 short Midnight Snack.

Warner will also release Tom and Jerry: The Fast and the Furry on 10/11 and Tales from the Crypt: The Complete Second Season on 10/25. In addition, according to their press website, classic Hanna-Barbara animated titles soon to be announced by Warner include The Flintstones: The Complete Fourth Season, Huckleberry Hound: Volume 1 and Yogi Bear: The Complete Series.

Moving on, 20th Century Fox will release Arrested Development: Season 2 on 10/11, Author! Author! and Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat: Special Edition on 10/18, and Point Pleasant: The Complete Series and In Living Color: Season 4 on 10/25.

Disney is expected to release a new Toy Story 2: Collector's Edition later this year (to follow up on their Toy Story: 10th Anniversary Edition due on 10/26).

Sony will release Creature Comforts: The Complete First Season, Lords of Dogtown, Lords of Dogtown: Unrated Extended Cut, an Oliver: Back to Back Giftset, an Oliver: Side to Side Giftset and Stephen King Presents Kingdom Hospital: Making the Rounds (2 discs) all on 9/27.

New Line has set 11:14 and The Bridge of San Luis Rey for release on DVD on 10/11.

Newly announced Criterion DVDs for September (street dates TBA) include Nicolas Roeg's Bad Timing (#303) and The Man Who Fell to Earth (#304), Jane Campion's An Angel at My Table (#301), Jean-Luc Godard's Masculin féminin (#308) and Mike Leigh's Naked (#307).

Also, Universal has announced Kicking & Screaming for release on 10/11 (SRP $29.98). Extras will include a number of featurettes (including The Red Cards: Deleted Scenes, The Yellow Cards: Outtakes, Alternate Takes, Kickin' It with the Kids, Soccer Camp, From Rome to Hollywood and Behind the Net: The Making of Kicking & Screaming).

Other titles newly announced by Universal include It's All About Love (9/13), Brothers (9/20), a Carlito's Way: Ultimate Edition and Noel (both on 10/25).

Here's cover art for Buena Vista's Alias: The Complete Fourth Season (10/25), Warner's Veronica Mars: The Complete First Season (10/11 - studio specs claim the series will feature 16x9 video) and Universal's The Interpreter (10/4)...

Alias: The Complete Fourth SeasonVeronica Mars: The Complete First SeasonThe Interpreter

Back with Todd's column later tonight (for tomorrow's early post). Stay tuned...

7/18/05

Well... Todd's returned to Atlanta, I'm back here in Orange County and we're all recovering from another successful and fun Comic-Con for The Digital Bits. It was a fun gathering of many of The Bits' staff this weekend - Sarah, Adam Jahnke, Russell Hammond and Jeff Kleist were all down for the festivities.

I'm going to talk first about our panel, then the weekend as a whole, and finally I've got a few other quick news updates for you along with some VERY cool new cover art.

First of all, right up front, I really have to thank Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Sideshow Collectibles for their support of our panel, Sony as a sponsor and Sideshow by donating a bunch of great items that we gave away to the crowd. The support of both companies was critical to the success of our panel, and we're extremely grateful to everyone involved. Thank you.

Sony Pictures Home EntertainmentSideshow Collectibles


Now then... I'm pleased to say that DVD Producers 2005 was a BIG success. Despite the fact that our panel was one of the first major events on Thursday (the first day of the con), a sizable crowd of convention attendees (many of them Bits readers) gathered to take it in, and the crowd continued to grow during the entire 90-odd minutes we were on.

Todd and I kicked off the panel with something that our old friend (and DVD producer) Michael Pellerin managed to arrange for us. Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson appeared via a 10-minute video in which, along with Pellerin, he greeted the crowd and answered a number of DVD-related questions that we'd sent him in advance. During a break in shooting interviews for an upcoming DVD project in New Zealand, the two prepared the Q&A for us, and it was a nice surprise for the audience - something we'd managed to keep secret beforehand. Among the things that Peter revealed, aside from a little bit about King Kong, is that he's starting to think about an eventual über-LOTR box set, and that he's hoping to prepare new special editions of some of his older films in the next couple of years.

After that, we got right into a good discussion with the panelists, which included Sony's Robby Huckell (Manager of DVD Programming and Content) and DVD producers Charles de Lauzirika, Susie Lee, JM Kenny and Robert Meyer Burnett. We talked about how the process of producing great DVD special editions has changed over time, the importance of the producer/studio and producer/filmmaker relationship, the changing impact of DVD on Hollywood, the looming high-definition format war, how high-def production of DVD extras is becoming the standard these days, the growing pressure of ever shorter DVD release windows (which explains the dreaded "double-dip" on some titles) and much more. Each of the panelists also talked about the projects they're currently working on. Charlie showed off clips from DreamWorks' amazing new 3-disc Gladiator: Extended Edition (coming on 8/23). Robby treated the crowd to a peek at a decidedly unrated featurette of material from Lords of Dogtown that the MPAA didn't quite approve of (it'll be on the new DVD release of that film, tentatively due in October).

We'd arranged another fun surprise for the audience as well. Thanks to the efforts of Robert, director Bryan Singer also participated in our panel via video, greeting Bits readers and the Comic-Con crowd from the set of Superman Returns in Australia. Singer offered a tour of the Daily Planet set, talked about casting Brandon Routh as the Man of Steel and answered a few questions about DVD. He even revealed his current favorite DVD (for the record, it's the new 2-disc Jaws: Special Edition). Singer also noted that actor Kevin Spacey had just begun shooting on the film. We got a quick look at Spacey from behind (in costume as Lex) and, in a very funny moment, we ALMOST got an even better look at him. I'll talk more about Singer and Superman Returns in a moment.

The remainder of the panel session was given over to Q&A with the audience (I wish we'd had MORE time for that) and a raffle in which we gave away 3 DVD players, a whole mess of fun DVD special editions and box sets (including several donated by Sony and the panelists themselves), great Sideshow Collectibles busts and other fun prizes, and even a couple of movie posters (one of them signed by director Ridley Scott). The panel was great fun for all of us on stage, and it seems that a good time was had by all. You can read reports on the event at the Sideshow website (part of their regular coverage of the con), IGN DVD, Home Media Retailing, and very quick reports at Blue Tights and Superhero Hype. You'll probably find other reports around the Net in the next few days as well (if you do, let us know). I also want to thank Quint over at Ain't it Cool News for his nice comments about The Bits in his Comic-Con preview last week. Hope you got to drop by the panel, Quint!

Let me take another opportunity to thank Sony and Sideshow once more, as well as Peter Jackson, Bryan Singer, Michael Pellerin (and everyone at Pellerin Multimedia) and all our panelists - Charlie, JM, Susie, Robbie and Robert. Thanks to all those of you who were able to join us for what turned out to be a very special afternoon for all of us. Thanks also to our old friend Paul Prischman for his efforts on the day, and Gary Sassaman and his crew at Comic-Con for their hard work as well.

Now then, as I mentioned last week, if all the stars line up just right, we're going to offer you all a downloadable MP3 "podcast" version of our panel discussion in the next couple weeks. If things work out, we'll also have the Peter Jackson video available for viewing online. I can't promise anything just yet, other than that we're working as hard as possible to make it happen. We'll let you know, so stay tuned.

By the way, the Future of Star Trek panel was also a lot of fun. It was hosted by CFQ's Mark Altman, and panelists included Robert Meyer Burnett (director of Free Enterprise), Daren Dochterman (who was involved in the restoration of Star Trek: The Motion Picture for DVD), Jeff Bond (author of The Music of Star Trek and an editor at CFQ), Marco Palmieri (Pocket Books' projects editor on the Trek novels) and myself (here at The Bits, I campaigned vigorously for Star Trek: Enterprise to be released on DVD in the hopes of saving the show - we finally got the DVDs released at least). My personal opinion is that Trek is alive and well creatively, but (on film and TV anyway) needs to take a few years off, so that all those execs at Paramount who have been making bad decisions about the franchise can clear out. But I also believe that the future of the franchise if a bright one. Star Trek needs to find ways to reconnect with its audience in ways that remain true to its core principles (particularly its message of hope for the future of humanity), but those principles have never been more relevant than they are now. Star Trek will be back better than ever... one day. In the meantime, as it was in the early 1970s, the fans will keep the torch alive. My thanks to Mark Altman for the invitation to participate in the lively discussion.

Now let's talk about the rest of the weekend. Oddly, the Star Wars: Episode III DVD announcement we had expected failed to materialize. What I've learned is that the specs for the 2-disc set have apparently not quite been finalized, so Lucasfilm decided at the last minute to delay their announcement. The company's rather lackluster presentation on Friday revolved around the theme "Star Wars is Forever!", and the message was clearly meant to reassure fans that there's still plenty of Star Wars (and plenty of Star Wars PRODUCTS) on the way even though the last film is over and done. Still, although he was deliberately vague, spokesman Steve Sansweet did offer a few nuggets of DVD related information. First, Episode III will be released on DVD this fall (again, we've heard unofficial street dates of either 11/1 or 11/8). The 2-disc set will feature video mastered directly from the original digital files for the film, like the previous Episode II disc. There will be an audio commentary with director George Lucas and members of his production crew, along with a new long-form documentary on the making of the film, several shorter featurettes and a number of newly-completed deleted scenes. One of these was shown to the audience, and featured Padme, Bail Organa, a young Mon Mothma and other senators discussing the birth of the Rebel Alliance.

Other DVD information learned during the presentation: There WILL be a 6-film box set of the complete Star Wars saga on disc, but not in the immediate future (meaning not this fall at least, and probably not in early 2006 either). Additional tweaks and changes will probably be made to the films by Lucas before all is said and done, but that's for Lucas to determine. Two years of work has already been completed on an eventual DVD box set of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles: The Complete Series, but it likely will not be released until the eventual theatrical or DVD debut of Indiana Jones 4. And the second volume of Star Wars: The Clone Wars will be released on DVD by the end of this year (no specific date is available yet), featuring audio commentary with creator Genndy Tartakovsky and a few extras. Also revealed was the beginnings of work on a new 30-minute, CG/anime-style Star Wars animated series to be set between Episodes II & III (look for that in late 2007), to be followed by an eventual live-action series set between Episodes III & IV. Lucas is working personally to get both projects up and running in the right direction.

So that's the Star Wars news from Comic-Con. I have to say that, aside from our own panel, the highlight of the weekend for me was finally getting my hands on the new Harry Potter book.

Kidding.

Seriously, the best moment of Comic-Con by far (for me at least) happened during the Superman Returns presentation on Saturday. Director Bryan Singer made the lengthy flight from the Australian set of the film to answer fan questions. Over six thousand convention attendees gathered in the San Diego Convention Center's largest hall for the hour-long event, during which Singer revealed a lot of interesting information about the film and, in a MAJOR surprise, showed a video that turned out to be the public debut of the defacto first trailer for the film. I'm going to describe some of what Singer revealed, and a little of what the trailer contained below, but I'm going to do it in black text so as not to upset those who of you who wish to remain spoiler free. Highlight the text with your mouse if you DO want to hear about it all, or just scroll down for the spoiler-free remainder of our post today.

Singer noted that the upcoming film very much uses Richard Donnor's original 1978 Superman: The Movie as its launching point, placing both it and Superman 2 into a kind of vague but reverent history. It thankfully assumes that the awful Superman III and Superman IV never happened. The look and spirit of the film is also very influenced by the Max Fleischer animated shorts from the 1950s. And yes... the John Williams theme WILL be featured. The film deals with issues of fathers and sons, the need for hope and what happens when people come to depend on a 'messiah' too much. It's also very much a romantic story, dealing with Clark Kent and Lois Lane's relationship. It seems that Superman's been away for the last 15 years on a pilgrimage to his long dead home planet Krypton. While he's been away, the people of Earth (and Lois) seem to have given up hope and moved on. When he finally returns, looking younger than when people last saw him, Superman must deal with the changes in his adopted society and try to find his place in it again. Naturally, Lex Luthor has plans of his own. There will be some humor, but plenty of action and a dark edge to the film, particularly with regard to the character of Luthor. Marlon Brando WILL reprise his role as Jor-El, but the part will be very small and will be voice only (culled from audio originally recorded, but not used, for Superman II). And according to Warner Bros. chief Alan Horn (see this link at Fox news), the film will be dedicated in memory of Christopher Reeve.

Now for that trailer. Singer described it as "a quick reel we put together for you", but clearly he was just having fun with the crowd. It opens with shots of the Kent farm - amazingly, Singer has managed to capture the EXACT texture and feel of Donner's film. Over this, we hear Superman's mother asking, "Why Earth, Jor-El? They're primitives, thousands of years behind us." The response comes from a voice that is unmistakably Brando's: "He will need that advantage to survive..." Next we see what seems to be the return of Superman to the Kent farm, via crashed spaceship... Clark's return to the Daily Planet... reacquainting with Lois, and meeting people we assume are her son and husband - a husband who seems to be jealous of Lois' previous feelings for Clark... some kind of disaster in the offing... and a bald-headed Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor holding up one of those gleaming-green Kryptionian memory crystals with an ominous look on his face. All of this as Williams' unmistakable music plays softly. By the way, the casting - at least based on this trailer - is spot-on perfect. Everyone seems to fill out their roles perfectly, including Routh and Kate Bosworth as Lois. And let me tell you, Spacey is going to tear up the house as Lex. Mark my words. The trailer ends with a shot of Superman in space, hovering over the Earth, seeming to be contemplating his next move. Suddenly, he makes a decision and rockets down out of view with a look of determination. The camera cuts to watch his departure... he's already just a speck glowing with plasma as he re-enters the atmosphere. Suddenly, we hear a sonic boom... and Williams' signature theme plays as we see the words: "On June 30, 2006... Look to the Skies!" and then the stylized "S" logo hits to end the clip.


I have to tell you, the reaction to the trailer was amazing. There was this sort of collective gasp in the crowd, as it began to sink in what they'd just seen... and then the entire place was on its feet cheering and applauding. Singer seemed so pleased by the reaction that he said, "Rather than me standing here talking some more, do you want to see it again?" So he ran the trailer a second time, and the reaction was just as enthusiastic. I'll tell you, I went into this event wondering how the hell Singer was going to be able to re-launch this franchise, but thinking that if anyone could do it, he could (given his previous X-Men films). And I left thinking, "Damn... he may actually pull this off." I'm betting there were a lot of doubters going into Singer's appearance, but most of them were put at ease by his presentation. Very, very cool.

Okay, enough with Comic-Con. On the DVD news front, Warner Bros. announced a number of MAJOR new upcoming releases while we were away, including the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume Three (due on 10/25) and the Tom and Jerry: Spotlight Collection - Volume Two (also set for 10/25). Here's cover art for those two, along with Warner's recently announced The Wizard of Oz: Three-Disc Collector's Edition (again, due on 10/25, which is shaping up to be quite the expensive day for animation fans). We'll have more details on these releases and more in tomorrow's update.

The Wizard of Oz: Three-Disc Collector's EditionLooney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume ThreeTom and Jerry: Spotlight Collection - Volume Two

We'll be back early tomorrow with another Doogan's Views column from Todd (featuring a number of new DVD reviews), along with news and more. Stay tuned!

7/14/05

Hey! Look, what do you know? It's Thursday already!

Actually it's not, but I need to get this post done early, because things are going to get a little hectic this evening as we prepare for our panel tomorrow (here are the details again for those of you attending - just click on the link and scroll down a hair). If I don't do this now, I might not get the chance later. So PRETEND it's already Thursday morning, or just click away and come back when it actually is Thursday morning. ;-)

Anyway, we're still looking into that Titanic issue (see below), and hopefully we'll have more to report next week when we get back. We should also have some Star Wars news for you. We WILL have a bunch of new DVD reviews from Todd. So you've got something to look forward to.

Today, we've got that update of the Upcoming DVD Cover Art section that so many of you have been waiting for. We'll try to keep it a little more up to date from here on out. Special thanks to our own Russell Hammond, The Bits' resident cover art guru, for that.

By the way, there's lots of great details on the Mallrats: 10th Anniversary Extended Edition we mentioned yesterday over at Kevin Smith's always excellent News Askew website, so do check it out. Also, we'll have the producer of the DVD, JM Kenny, with us on our panel tomorrow.

Before we sign off, I've got a favor to ask of you. We're going to be making an audio recording of our Comic-Con panel, and we're contemplating making it available to you guys after the show as an MP3 "podcast," so that those of you who can't be there with us will still be able to enjoy some of the fun. We're also going to be showing a few short videos during the event (created specifically for our panel), and we'd like to offer these in streaming online form after the show as well. We're looking for someone (an individual, a company, etc) who can donate hosting/sever space and bandwidth for these, so that we can make them available to our readers without busting our decidedly small budget here at The Bits. Ideally, we'd like to create a Comic-Con-themed page here at the site with links to these files for our readers to access. We'd be happy to give you advertising and a logo in exchange for this. Anyway, if anyone out there can help us with this, please drop me an e-mail (I'll respond early next week when I get back).

Okay, that's all for now. Have a great weekend, we'll see you back here on Monday... and MAYBE we'll see a few of you at Comic-Con as well. Peace out!

(LATE UPDATE - 7/13/05 - 11 AM PDT)

Okay... as you can imagine, we've been getting bombarded with angry Titanic questions this morning, that go something like this: "Hey... why does the Paramount R1 artwork say 3-disc, while the Fox international art says 4-disc? What's going on with that?!" The answer is we don't know, but we've put questions to the right people to find out. Here's the artwork in question. The R1 "special edition" art (which we posted earlier) is on the left (3-discs). The international "deluxe" edition is in the middle (4-discs), while the international "special edition" version is at right (2-discs). This does look to be a tad troubling (or at least puzzling) for Region 1 fans of the film. HOWEVER, it could simply be that the two "special editions" are basically the same and we have yet to see the R1 "deluxe" artwork.

Titanic: Special Edition (Paramount 3-disc Region 1)Titanic: Deluxe Collector's Edition (Fox 4-disc internationalTitanic: Special Edition (Fox 2-disc international

We'll let you know as soon as we hear anything. By the way, we WILL be back tonight with an update of the Upcoming DVD Cover Art section before we slip off to Comic-Con, so stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 7/13/05 - 12:01 AM PDT)

Morning, everyone! It's a big day around here at The Bits. We're getting ready to head down to Comic-Con tomorrow morning. Todd and his wife fly out here to L.A. tonight. Lots to do, lots to do!

In the meantime, we've got some more new DVD reviews for you today. First up, since we dumped so much Star Trek news on you yesterday, it seems only fitting that we give you an early review of Paramount's Star Trek: Enterprise - The Complete Second Season as well. The 7-disc set streets on 7/26, and is every bit as good as as the first season in terms of the quality of its video, audio and extras.

Also today, our own Adam Jahnke has checked in with a new edition of The Bottom Shelf. This time around, Adam reviews FIVE DVDs including New Line's A Dirty Shame (NC-17 Version) and Run Ronnie Run, Universal's Assault on Precinct 13, Blue Underground's My Brilliant Career: Special Edition and Fantoma's Forbidden Zone.

In news today, Universal has officially announced the Mallrats: 10th Anniversary Extended Edition for release on 9/20 (SRP $26.98). The DVD will feature two versions of the film via seamless branching - the original theatrical version and a new extended version that includes 30 minutes of new footage. Extras will include new cast interviews, a 'multi-angle' commentary, the A Look Back at Mallrats, The Making of Mallrats and A Cast Reunion featurettes and more.

Paramount's revealed a number of new titles for release in September and October. In September, the newly announced titles include MacGyver: The Complete Third Season (9/6), Winter Solstice (9/13), The Ren & Stimpy Show: Seasons Five & Some More of Four (9/20), Anything Goes and Hogan's Heroes: The Complete Second Season (9/27). Newly slated titles for October include The Warriors: Ultimate Director's Cut (10/4), Hondo and Mclintock! (10/11), Darling Lili, Detective Story, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers and the Titanic: Special Edition (officially set for 10/25). The Honeymooners (2005) and South Park: The Complete Sixth Season are also set for release in October (street date TBA). Here's a sneak peek at some of the cover artwork, including the Region 1 Titanic packaging (same as the international art, only with Paramount markings on the spine)...

Anything GoesTitanic: Special Edition (Paramount 3-disc Region 1)The Warriors: Ultimate Director's Cut

South Park: The Complete Sixth SeasonThe Ren & Stimpy Show: Seasons Five & Some More of FourThe Longest Yard (2005)

Also today, Video Business is reporting that New Line and Showtime will both begin releasing UMD titles for Sony's PSP system later this year. New Line's Elf, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Butterfly Effect, Freddy vs. Jason, Blade and Secondhand Lions will street on 10/4 (SRP $19.98). Showtime will release four episodes each of the series Free for All and Family Business on 12/27, along with the feature film Shelter Island (SRP also $19.98 each). Our UMD Release List has been updated accordingly.

In a completely non-DVD related note, NASA's getting ready to launch the first space shuttle mission in over two and a half years, since the Columbia accident. From your many e-mails, I know we've got a LOT of readers throughout the space agency, so good luck and Godspeed to you guys. You can bet a lot of fingers are crossed for your success today here at The Bits.

Now then... one last thing. I'm going to try to make a post tomorrow before we head out for the show, but if for some reason we're absent until Monday, you'll know why. We expect to have a lot of big news to offer you when we get back, including details on Star Wars: Episode III and more.

So stay tuned, and if you don't hear from us before then, have a great weekend!

7/12/05

We've got a LOT of news for you Star Trek fans today. As we first reported in The Rumor Mill a few weeks back, Paramount has finally unveiled the Star Trek: Nemesis - Special Collector's Edition for release on 10/4. The 2-disc set rounds out the studio's special edition treatment of the Trek films on DVD. Extras are still to be announced, but are expected to include all-new interviews with the cast and crew, deleted scenes and 9 behind-the-scenes featurettes. Also as reported in The Rumor Mill, Paramount's announced an updated Star Trek: The Motion Pictures Collection box set that will include the 2-disc SCEs of all the feature films (a similar box set was released back in 2003 with the single-disc versions of all the films). Look for that on 10/4 as well (SRP is TBA). Here's a look at the cover art for Star Trek: Nemesis, along with both sides of The Motion Pictures Collection...

Star Trek: Nemesis - Special Collector's EditionStar Trek: The Motion Pictures Collection (one side of box)Star Trek: The Motion Pictures Collection (other side of box)

While we're talking Trek, is anyone interested in the COMPLETE DVD specs for Star Trek: Enterprise - Seasons Two, Three and Four? Here they are (all confirmed by the studio)...

Star Trek: Enterprise - Season Two (26 episodes - street date 7/26) will include audio commentary with writer/producers Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong on Dead Stop and Regeneration, text commentary by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda on Stigma and First Flight, 5 behind-the-scenes featurettes (including Enterprise Moments: Season Two, Enterprise Profile - Jolene Blalock, LeVar Burton: Star Trek Director, Enterprise Secrets and Inside A Night in Sickbay), 11 minutes of outtakes, 8 deleted scenes (from Minefield, A Night in Sickbay, Dawn, Stigma, Cease Fire and The Expanse), 3 NX-01 Files Easter eggs, a photo gallery and the Borg Invasion trailer. Also available on the U.K. set (and available to U.S. fans on a Best Buy/Musicland Group-exclusive bonus disc) is the Shooting Future Tense featurette.

Star Trek: Enterprise - Season Three (24 episodes - street date 9/27) will include audio commentary with assistant director Mike DeMeritt on North Star, audio commentary with writer/executive producer Manny Coto on Similitude, text commentary by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda on The Xindi, Impulse and Countdown, 4 behind-the-scenes featurettes (including The Xindi Saga Begins, Enterprise Moments: Season Three, Enterprise Profile: Connor Trinneer and A Day in the Life of a Director: Roxann Dawson), 6 minutes of outtakes, 6 deleted scenes (from Similitude, Chosen Realm and ), 3 NX-01 Files Easter eggs, a photo gallery and the Borg Invasion trailer. Also available on the U.K. set (available to U.S. fans on a Best Buy/Musicland Group-exclusive bonus disc) are the Shooting Behind the Camera: Marvin Rush and Enterprise Secrets featurettes.

Star Trek: Enterprise - Season Four (22 episodes - street date 11/1) will include audio commentary with writer Michael Sussman and Tim Gaskill on In a Mirror, Darkly - Parts I & II (the podcast commentary), audio commentary with writers Garfield Reeves-Stevens and Judith Reeves-Stevens and Tim Gaskill on Terra Prime (the podcast commentary), text commentary by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda on The Forge, In a Mirror, Darkly - Part II and These Are the Voyages, 6 behind-the-scenes featurettes (including Enterprise Moments: Season Four, Inside the Mirror Episodes, Enterprise Secrets, Visual Effects Magic, That's a Wrap! and Links to the Legacy), 2 minutes of outtakes, 3 deleted scenes (from Storm Front, The Aenar and In a Mirror, Darkly - Part II), 1 NX-01 File Easter egg, a photo gallery and the Borg Invasion trailer. Also available on the U.K. set (and available to U.S. fans on a Best Buy/Musicland Group-exclusive bonus disc) are the Enterprise Goes to the Dogs and Westmore's Aliens: Creating Dr. Phlox and Beyond featurettes.

All of the episodes for all three seasons will be presented in anamorphic widescreen video with English Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 audio, and English subtitles. All three sets will also include an insert booklet.

As if all that weren't enough, there IS some non-Trek DVD news today as well. First up, Universal has set Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - The Second Year for release on 9/27.

Sony has announced It's All Gone Pete Tong, Turtles Can Fly, Shackles and Ned and Stacey: The First Season for release on 9/20.

Coming from MGM (via Sony) on 9/20 are After Midnight, Die, Monster, Die!/The Dunwich Horror, Dolls, From a Whisper to a Scream, The House Where Evil Dwells, Lady in White, Night Visitor, Panic in Year Zero/The Last Man on Earth, Tales of Terror/Twice Told Tales, Voodoo Island/The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake, War Gods of the Deep/At the Earth's Core, and the Species Collection box set (including Species, Species 2, Species 3 and a bonus disc).

Also coming from MGM (via Sony) on 9/20 are Mr. Deeds and Big Daddy in UMD format for Sony's PSP system. We've updated our UMD Movies for PSP Release List accordingly (there are several other street date updates as well, so you might want to check it out if you're into UMD).

Speaking of UMD, Video Business is reporting that Buena Vista and Touchstone's Lost: The Pilot Episode will hit the portable format on 9/2. You can read more on that over at TV Shows on DVD.com.

Buena Vista has also announced the DVD release of Alias: Season 4 for 10/25 (SRP $59.99). We expect more details on the set to follow soon.

In other news, our own Russell Hammond has informed me that there's now an official website dedicated to the forthcoming Live 8 DVD release. You can sign up to receive more information on the release (your name will also be listed on the site as a show of support). By the way, Russell is hard at work on an update of the Upcoming DVD Cover Art section, so look for that in the next couple of days.

And in another quick bit of DVD news from around the Net, The New York Times posted a good feature yesterday on the looming high-definition format war. It's well worth a read, but I think it's a little optimistic at the end with this statement: "Most Hollywood executives who attended the conference here remained optimistic that ultimately they could reach a consensus and use their collective weight to persuade hardware makers to devise a hybrid solution." Sadly, I just don't see that happening, but we'll see...

One last thing for you today... we've kicked off a whopping SEVEN new Contests here at The Bits, giving each of you the chance to take home copies of HBO's The Autopsy Files and Tales from the Crypt: The Complete First Season, Warner's A Very Long Engagement and Sealab 2021: Season Three, 20th Century Fox's Charlie, Dodgeball: Unrated and Lost in Space: Season 3, Volume 2, Universal's Cleopatra 2525: The Complete Series, Earth 2: The Complete Series, Sliders: The Third Season and Cry-Baby: Director's Cut, Anchor Bay's Freaked, Paramount's The Ren & Stimpy Show: Seasons Three and Half-ish, South Park: The Complete Fifth Season and Team America: World Police - Uncensored and Unrated, and finally a promo pack for Warner's forthcoming Must Love Dogs that includes a baseball hat, a one-sheet poster, a tote bag, a T-shirt and dog tag. All of these contests will run until Noon (Pacific) on Sunday, July 24th. Click on the links to get started and good luck!

We'll be back tomorrow with new DVD reviews from both myself and Adam Jahnke. Stay tuned!

(LATE UPDATE - 7/11/05 - 3:30 PM PDT)

We've got four new DVD reviews for you today. Our own Adam Jones has checked in with a look at a trio of new DVDs from Oracle Films (available now only on their website). They include Spoonaur, Faded and The Standard v1.5. Our old buddy Matt over at TAP has given a new music DVD a spin as well - Venice: Live at the Royal Carre Theatre. Enjoy!

I'll be back tomorrow with at least one new DVD review and more, so stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 7/11/05 - 12:30 PM PDT)

Afternoon, folks! I trust you all had a nice weekend. Matt and I spent the day on Saturday taking in a couple of good flicks.

The first is George Romero's Land of the Dead. The critical response to the film has been very polarized - people either like it or hate it. For my part, I have slightly mixed feelings about the film. In one sense, it certainly doesn't stand up to more recent zombie thrillers like 28 Days Later and the remake of Romero's own Dawn of the Dead. Both of those films have, in part, reinvented the zombie concept by daring to actually make the creatures a terrifying threat once more. Both are outstanding and genuinely scary in their own way. On the other hand, I think Romero deliberately chooses not to take his latest creation in that direction. For Romero, the zombie film has always been a medium for satire and commentary on the human condition. In order for that to work most effectively, the audience must empathize with zombies. It's an ironic twist - the idea that the "monsters" are really the ones you should feel sorry for, while the REAL monsters are the humans who are left alive (and who typically stab one other in the back to stay that way) - but it's a twist that has featured prominently in every zombie film Romero's ever made. In his first new genre entry in many years, Romero's commentary is again front and center. In this post-apocalyptic world, the rich have isolated themselves in a perfect little high-rise community, keeping out not only the zombies, but also the working-class types who must risk contact with the zombies in order to obtain all the luxuries the rich crave. To keep this underclass from rebelling, the rich offer all kinds of vices and excesses to keep them entertained and their minds occupied. One needn't look overly hard to find parallels in today's society - the disparity between rich and poor is getting wider all the time, our entertainment media is rife with trashy, mind-numbing programming and there's no shortage of people willing to backbite each other (and make fools of themselves) on TV for 5 minutes of infamy and a chance at a million bucks. Yes, Romero's Land of the Dead isn't nearly as thrill-inducing or frightening as 28 Days Later, but it's also a richer experience intellectually. It's interesting that Romero chooses to stick to his guns, and I for one am glad he did. Land of the Dead isn't a trill-a-minute, but it's arguably Romero's most well-rounded film to date. I hope Universal lets him make another... AND gives him a bigger budget next time. B-

The other film Matt and I saw this weekend was a sneak preview of Michael Bay's new The Island, which opens in theaters widely later this week. Now, those of you who have read The Bits for any length of time will know that I'm not a big fan of Bay. In my opinion, his last (and only) great film was The Rock. Don't even get me started on Armageddon. So it was with very low expectations that I went into this film. On the other hand, I'm a real sucker for high-concept science fiction, so I also went into the film with the hope of being surprised. Well, color me surprised. I don't want to give away too much about the film, but I will tell you that for really its entire first half, it's really more of a sci-fi thriller than an action film, and it's a very effective one at that. Scarlett Johansson, Sean Bean and particularly Ewan McGregor are excellent from start to finish. The film does start to break down a little bit in the middle. About halfway in, it becomes a bit of a 'race for your life explosion fest', and the concepts the film has been exploring up to that point get set aside for a while. The action is actually pretty good at first, including a thrilling highway chase, but Bay just can't resist taking things into the air... and over the top... and you start to shake your head at the unbelievability of it all. There's also an implausible infiltration subplot late in the film, and its conclusion feels awfully rushed. Think of an updated THX-1138 or Logan's Run crossed with just a little too much of The Rock or Spielberg's Minority Report, and that's The Island in a nutshell. All that said, the first half of the film is SO good that the narrative not only manages (just) to stick together, you actually walk out of the theater feeling like you've seen something worthwhile for a change. Imagine that? A Michael Bay film with real IDEAS at its heart. Who would have thought? I can't call The Island a great film, but it's a damn good try at one. I'm willing to give any filmmaker credit for tossing his or her hat over the high concept wall and really trying to go after it. Even Michael Bay. B

Okay... I promised you all some Comic-Con DVD panel news today. The final line-up for DVD Producers 2005 will include DVD producers Charles de Lauzirika (Alien Quadrilogy, Spider-Man 2, Kingdom of Heaven, Domino), JM Kenny (Midnight Cowboy: 35th Anniversary Edition, Stealth, An Evening with Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder, Mallrats:10th Anniversary Edition), Robert Meyer Burnett (X-Men 1.5, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Superman and director of Free Enterprise), and Susie Lee (The Lord of the Rings, King Kong). The panel will also include Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's Robby Huckell (Manager, DVD Programming and Content) to offer the studio perspective. Todd Doogan and I will moderate the discussion. We expect to have a couple of nice surprises to show you (on video), and the producers may offer you sneak peeks at titles they're currently working on during the panel. We'll be giving away DVD players (yes, PLAYERS... as in plural) and great movie titles, and we'll have time for Q&A with the audience as well. The panel will be held on Thursday, July 14th from Noon to 1:30 PM PDT, in room 6CDEF of the San Diego Convention Center. It's going to be a lot of fun, so we hope you can make it!

By the way, Robert Meyer Burnett and I will also be participating in the Is It Dead, Jim? Star Trek: 1966 - 2005, R. I. P. panel discussion, moderated by CFQ Magazine's Mark A. Altman (3-4 PM on Thursday in room 6A). It should be a hoot, so if you happen to be a Star Trek fan, don't miss it. Click here for the complete schedule of events at this year's Comic-Con.

Now then, we'll be back later this afternoon with news and more. Stay tuned...

7/9/05

Well, we expected Star Wars: Episode III to hit DVD on either 11/1 or 11/8. Now we have some confirmation. The USA Today has posted a story on summer movies coming to DVD in the 4th quarter, and how crowded the quarter is becoming with big titles. The paper confirmed the 11/8 date, along with street dates to a couple of other titles we already knew about. So there you go.

One note on the article - it states that Robots will street on 9/20. We've just learned from Fox that the title has been delayed a week. It will now street on 9/27. Plan accordingly.

By the way, we expect OFFICIAL news and details from Lucasfilm and Fox about the DVD release of Star Wars: Episode III (and probably Star Wars: Clone Wars - Volume 2 as well) this coming week during Lucasfilm's planned event at Comic-Con in San Diego. We expect Fox to announce Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven this week as well.

See you Monday!

7/8/05

Well, I'd planned to post this yesterday, but Comic-Con panel planning got the better of me. More on that in a bit.

First of all today, let me take a moment to let all you U.K. readers know that our thoughts are with you guys. Yesterday was obviously very sad and unsettling, and I'm guessing a lot of you have been glued to you TV sets watching as events continue to unfold. We hope that you and your loved ones haven't been affected by yesterday's tragic events, and our hearts go out to all those who have been.

Okay... we've got some more DVD reviews for you today, including Warner's A Very Long Engagement, Paramount's R and Unrated versions of Team America: World Police, and MGM's Bill & Ted's Most Excellent Collection, which features the existing Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey DVDs, along with a new disc of extras entitled Bill & Ted's Most Excellent Collection - Non-Bogus Disc. Both versions of Team America are already available, while the other two titles street next Tuesday (7/12).

Also today, some DVD news. Warner has revealed that it will debut new 2-disc and 3-disc versions of The Wizard of Oz on DVD on 10/25. The 2-disc edition will SRP for $29.99, while the 3-disc will be $39.92. Both editions will include newly-remastered video (using Warner's Ultra Resolution process) and audio, audio commentary with historian John Fricke, 4 documentaries (including one on the restoration), deleted scenes and outtakes, composer Harold Arlen's home movies from the set, recording session materials, radio shows and promo spots. The 3-disc version will add a documentary about Oz author L. Frank Baum, 5 pre-1939 Oz movies and reproductions of the film's premiere invitation and program. You can read more here via Reuters.

Universal has announced The Big Lebowski: Collector's Edition for release on 10/18 (SRP $19.98). The title will be available in separate anamorphic widescreen and full frame versions. A Collector's Gift Set will also be available (SRP $49.98). We expect to have details on the extras to be included soon.

In other news today, surprise! The DVD-Audio format's Content Protection for Pre-recorded Media (CPPM) encryption has been circumvented. A patch of application tools for InterVideo's WinDVD software allows the MLP track data of DVD-Audio discs to be copied (in WAV format) onto a user's hard-drive. Watermarks remain in the data that prevent these files from being copied back onto DVD-ROM discs and played in DVD-Audio players (the players will sense the watermarks and stop playing after 30 seconds), but this is still a rather major blow for the industry. You can read more here at High Fidelity Review.

There's also a good overview at The Seattle Times on the looming format war between HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc, and some of the consequences the war may have on consumers, retailers and the industry as whole.

By the way, here at The Digital Bits we just don't see any way in which a format war is going to be avoided at this point. The industry forces (manufacturers and replicators) behind these two competing formats just have way too much invested financially... and MASSIVELY over-inflated egos... to back down. It's going to get ugly, consumers are going to be confused, the studios are going to lose money, the conversion to HD is going to be slowed, retailers are going to have an even harder time than they already do finding shelf space for titles in DVD, HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc formats... and ultimately one of these format groups is going to lose out in a big way.

It's awfully hard not to be disgusted with Sony, Toshiba, the Hollywood studios and the rest of their ilk right now. If you still needed proof that potential profit means a lot more to these corporations than the needs of their consumers, here it is.

Back to Comic-Con for a moment... we'll have the final details on our DVD Producers panel for you all on Monday. Let me just say that it's shaping up to be a pretty fine event, complete with great, expert conversation, cool prizes to give away and maybe even a fun surprise or two.

We'll also have more reviews on Monday from our own Adam Jones and Matt Rowe, so be sure to check back then. And for all those of you who have been asking, we'll have a long-overdue update of our Upcoming DVD Cover Art section next week as well.

Have a great weekend and stay tuned!

(LATE UPDATE - 7/6/05 - 7 PM PDT)

Okay, we've just posted a trio of new DVD reviews from yours truly, including Universal and NBC's Revelations mini-series, Cartoon Network and Warner's Samurai Jack: Season 2 and Image Entertainment's new Sasquatch Horror Triple Feature (which includes the schlock classics Sasquatch, The Legend of Bigfoot, Snow Creature and Snow Beast). All are now available on disc, so read and enjoy.

We'll have more reviews tomorrow as well, including Warner's soon-to-be-released DVD edition of director Jean-Pierre Junet's A Very Long Engagement.

Stay tuned!

(EARLY UPDATE - 7/6/05 - 11:30 AM PDT)

Don't worry... those reviews are coming later today. But first I wanted to check in with a little bit of news and some new artwork as well.

First, 20th Century Fox has announced the release of The X-Files: Colonization - 4-Disc Mythology Collection, Volume 3 on 9/27 (SRP $39.98). Video will be anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround audio. Extras are currently expected to include audio commentary on Patient X with Kim Manners, audio commentary on The Red and the Black with Rob Bowman, audio commentary on Two Fathers with Kim Manners, audio commentary on One Son with Frank Spotnitz, audio commentary on Closure with Kim Manners, audio commentary on Within with Kim Manners and actor Robert Patrick and the Threads of the Mythology - Colonization documentary.

In other news today, Criterion has revealed that they're preparing the following titles for September release (street date TBA): Bad Timing (Nicolas Roeg - 1980), An Angel at My Table (Jane Campion - 1990), Naked (Mike Leigh - 1993), Masculin féminin (Jean-Luc Godard - 1966) and The Man Who Fell to Earth (Nicolas Roeg - 1976). Official details will follow on the company's official website.

Finally, Paramount has announced the following titles for 9/27: Anything Goes (with Bing Crosby, Donald O'Connor and Mitzi Gaynor), We're No Angels (with Humphrey Bogart and Peter Ustinov), Branded (with Charles Bickford and Alan Ladd) and Chuka (with Ernest Borgnine, John Mills, Rod Taylor and Lucianna Paluzzi).

Here's some new DVD cover art for you, including a look at Universal's Best Buy-exclusive Battlestar Galactica: Season One (7/26 - $49.99 - reportedly the same as the "UK Version", but in NTSC, featuring 13 episodes plus deleted scenes on 4 discs) and Fox's The X-Files: Colonization - 4-Disc Mythology Collection, Volume 3 and The Cabinet of Caligari (1962 - 9/6)...

Battlestar Galactica: Season OneThe X-Files: Colonization - 4-Disc Mythology Collection, Volume 3The Cabinet of Caligari

Back later this afternoon. Stay tuned...

(LATE UPDATE - 7/5/05 - 1:30 PM PDT)

We're checking in with a quick update this afternoon, to bring you some new information from our sources in The Rumor Mill. We've got tidbits on the impending announcement of the Star Wars: Episode III DVD, Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven and the long-awaited Office Space: Special Edition, so be sure to check it out.

Stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 7/5/05 - 10:30 AM PDT)

Let's get started with some more DVD news this morning.

First of all, we have specific details on the extras to be included on Touchstone's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (street date 9/13 - SRP $29.99). The DVD will include The Making of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy featurette, deleted scenes, 'fake' deleted scenes, audio commentary (with executive producer Robbie Stamp and Douglas Adams' colleague Sean Solle), a second commentary (with director Garth Jennings, producer Nick Goldsmith and actors Martin Freeman and Bill Nighy), the So Long & Thanks for All the Fish sing-along and the Marvin's Hangman interactive game. Separate full frame and anamorphic widescreen versions will be available. Audio will be available in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 surround.

In other DVD announcement news, Sony has set Rock School, Today You Die, an I Know What You Did Last Summer/I Still Know What You Did Last Summer double feature, a La Bamba/Buddy Holly Story double feature and a Soccer Dog/Soccer Dog: European Cup double feature for release on 9/13, along with MGM's Madison and Nobody Knows.

Sony has announced MGM's Be Cool, Bulletproof Monk, Beauty Shop and Stargate Atlantis: Pilot Episode for release in UMD format on 9/13 as well (our UMD Movies for PSP Release List has been updated accordingly).

Around the site this morning, we've updated a number of the DVD format stats we track (above) including the CEA DVD Player Sales numbers for 3 more weeks of June. All charts have been updated accordingly.

We've also kicked off FIVE new Contests here at the site, giving each of you the chance to win copies of Warner's Million Dollar Baby, Universal's Monk: Season Three and Revelations, RYKO's Nick Frost's Danger 50,000 Volts!, Fox's Hide and Seek and a slate of UMD titles (for your Sony PSP) from Fox as well including Dodgeball, i, Robot, Napoleon Dynamite, Predator and Super Troopers. The contests will run until Noon (Pacific) on Sunday, July 10th. Click on the links to get started and good luck!

Here's some more new upcoming DVD cover art (a section update is coming soon): Fox's The Fly II: Collector's Edition (9/27) and The Simpsons: The Complete Sixth Season (8/16), as well as Universal's The Deer Hunter: Legacy Series (9/6)...

The Fly II: Collector's EditionThe Simpsons: The Complete Sixth SeasonThe Deer Hunter: Legacy Series

In case you missed it, we posted a fairly substantial update yesterday, despite the July 4th holiday, featuring news on a Live 8 concert DVD from EMI and the BBC's Hitchhiker's Guide radio series coming to 5.1 DVD-Audio format. Be sure to check it out.

We're working on several new DVD reviews for either later tonight or tomorrow, so stay tuned...


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