UPDATE - 8/5/05 - 5 PM PDT)
A quick late update: Universal has just announced a trio of new DVD
releases for 11/29. These include The
Frighteners: Director's Cut (SRP $26.98 - 123 minutes,
unrated, anamorphic widescreen, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio), The
Mummy Collector's Set (SRP $26.98 - includes The
Mummy, The Mummy Returns
and The Scorpion King, all in
anamorphic widescreen) and a Tremors Attack
Pack ($26.98 - includes Tremors,
Tremors 2: Aftershocks, Tremors
3: Back to Perfection and Tremors
4: The Legend Begins, we believe all in anamorphic
We'll post additional details on The
Frightners: Director's Cut as soon as we can (all we know now
is what we've posted above, and that it's a single-disc release). No
doubt it's an attempt to capitalize on Peter Jackson's visibility with
his forthcoming King Kong remake,
due in theaters on 12/14 (also from Universal).
See you Monday.
(EARLY UPDATE -
8/5/05 - 2 PM PDT)
There's some big news today.
Hollywood Reporter has posted a feature story on Warner's new
2-disc King Kong DVD (yes, that's
the classic 1933 Kong), which is
at long last expected to street on 11/22. Lord
of the Rings director Peter Jackson is helping to produce
extras for the forthcoming edition, even as he works on his own
theatrical remake. Specifically, Jackson is working on a new
2-hour/7-part documentary, RKO Production
601: The Making of Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World, that
will be included on the set. Among other things, the documentary will
include a segment on the infamous "spider pit" deleted scene
(including a recreation of the lost footage). Other extras on the Kong
release will include a documentary on director Merian C. Cooper,
trailers for other films by Cooper, and audio commentary by legendary
stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen, actress Terry Moore and special
effects guru Ken Ralston. Warner's King Kong
will be available in no less than THREE versions - a 2-disc special
edition, a 2-disc collector's edition packaged in (according to the
story) "a collectable tin and including a
20-page reproduction of the original souvenir program, postcard
reproductions of the original one sheets, and a mail-in offer for a
reproduction of a vintage 27-by-41-inch movie poster", and
finally a 4-disc collector's box set which includes the 2-disc King
Kong DVD along with The Son of
Kong and Mighty Joe Young.
Each version will contain the same two Kong
discs (just the packaging and the "in the box" extras differ).
All I can say is it's about damn time. Very cool news indeed.
In other news today, 20th Century Fox has revealed that they're
releasing an Alien Vs. Predator: Unrated
Collector's Edition on 11/22 (SRP $26.98). The 2-disc set
will include both the original theatrical version and a 115-minute
unrated cut of the film on Disc One via seamless branching. Video will
be anamorphic widescreen, with Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio. Extras
will include audio commentary (by director Paul W.S. Anderson and stars
Lance Henriksen and Sanaa Lathan) and a second audio commentary (by FX
designers Alec Gillis, Tom Woodruff Jr. and John Bruno) on Disc One,
and the following on Disc Two: The Making of
AVP documentary (including Pre-Production:
AVP The Beginning, Production: AVP
Production and Post-Production:
Visual Effects Breakdown) with branching footage (including
ADI Workshop, Miniature
Whaling Station, Facehuggers &
Eggs and Trouble at the Mouth of
the Tunnel), a storyboard gallery, a concept art gallery,
additional deleted scenes with optional commentary (including The
Sister, Miller Gets Caught
and Love Scene), the HBO
First Look special, 2 featurettes (Licensing
the Franchise: Aliens vs Predator the Comic Book and Monsters
in Miniature by Todd McFarlane), 3 theatrical trailers and
promos for the Alien Quadrilogy
and Planet of the Apes: 35th Anniversary
DVDs. FYI, the added/unrated footage on Disc One includes the following
scenes: Antarctica 1904, Argument,
Chamber of Skulls, Sacrifice,
Weyland's Death and Predator
Fox has also revealed some of the extras to be included on their Office
Space: Special Edition (with More Flair) due on 11/1. In
addition to a new anamorphic widescreen transfer and audio commentary
with writer/director Mike Judge, look for the Out
of the Office: An Office Space Retrospective with Mike Judge
documentary, the film's theatrical trailer, deleted scenes (including
Peter Lies to Lumbergh, Happy
Hour and Chotchkies, Peter Goes
off on Nina and Tom's Mixed
Heritage Called into Question), DVD-ROM extras and more.
Meanwhile, HBO has announced the DVD release of the 3-disc Tracey
Takes On: The Complete First Season for 11/22 (SRP $34.98).
Warner Home Video has also announced the animated Mission
Hill: The Complete Series for 11/29 (SRP $29.98).
Around the site today, we've updated a number of the DVD format stats
we track (above)
DVD Player Sales numbers for the second week of July (ending
We're working on an update of the Upcoming
DVD Cover Art section, which we'll post on Monday, so be sure
to check back for that.
In the meantime, we'll leave you this week with a preview of more
just-released cover art. Here's Fox's Kingdom
of Heaven (10/11) and Millions
(11/1), DreamWorks' Into the West
mini-series (10/4), Warner's Sisterhood of
the Travelling Pants (10/11), MGM's 1989 version of Journey
to the Center of the Earth (10/4) and Paramount's King
Kong (1976 - 11/22 - See? TOLD you it was timed to Warner's
See you Monday!
(LATE UPDATE - 8/4/05 - 4 PM PDT)
As expected, we're back this afternoon with Barrie Maxwell's
edition of Classic Coming Attractions. This time around,
Barrie reviews some 14 new, recent and upcoming classic DVD releases,
Gary Cooper Collection and
Front Page, Warner's
Film Noir Classic Collection, Vol. 2, Milestone's
Olive Thomas Collection, Reelclassicdvd's
Smith, Home Vision's
Rocking Horse Winner and
Is Your Life: The Ultimate Collection - Volume 1, Paramount's
High and the Mighty,
Started in Naples,
Andy Griffith Show: The Complete Second Season and
#3, 20th Century Fox's
Man in the Gray Flannel Suit and Shanachie's
Wrong Arm of the Law. As always, Barrie runs down all the
latest classic release announcement news as well. Enjoy!
(EARLY UPDATE - 8/4/05 -
We've got more new DVD announcements for you today. 20th Century Fox
has revealed that it will release Danny Boyle's Millions
on 11/1 (SRP $27.98). The disc will be available in separate full frame
and anamorphic widescreen editions, each with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.
Extras will include audio commentary by Boyle and Frank Cottrell Boyce,
10 deleted scenes, the film's theatrical trailer, a soundtrack TV spot,
a BTS featurette and something
called DVD Cutdown.
Also coming from Fox on 10/18 is an Elektra:
Unrated Director's Cut (SRP $26.98). The new 100-minute
version will be in anamorphic widescreen video, with DTS and Dolby
Digital 5.1 audio (the original theatrical cut is 96 minutes long).
Extras on the 2-disc set will include audio commentary with director Rob
Bowman and Kevin Stitt, the film's theatrical and teaser trailers, 2
documentaries (including Relentless: The
Making of Elektra - Part 1: Production and Relentless:
The Making of Elektra - Part 2: Post-Production) the Showdown
at the Well: Multi Angle Daileies featurette, deleted scenes
(with optional commentary by Bowman and Stitt), alternate and extended
scenes including an alternate opening (also with optional commentary), 4
photo and artwork galleries (including Costumes,
Production Design, Weapons
and Unit Photography), and a
storyboard gallery (containing boards for 7 scenes).
Fox has announced a number of new TV DVD titles as well, including The
Bob Newhart Show: The Complete Second Season (10/4), Remington
Steele: Season Two (11/8), Murder
One: Season Two (11/15) and That
70's Show: Season Three (also 11/15).
Fox has also announced the last of its new X-Files
sets - The X-Files: Super Soldiers - 4-Disc
Mythology Collection - for 11/22 (SRP $39.98). Video will be
anamorphic widescreen with audio in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround. Extras
will include commentary on Deadalive
with Frank Spotnitz, commentary on Vienen
with Rod Hardy, the Threads of the Mythology:
Super Soldiers documentary and a preview of 24:
There's cool news for you samurai cinema fans today. Criterion has
officially announced some great titles for October, including Masaki
Kobayashi's Samurai Rebellion (cat
#310), Hideo Gosha's Sword of the Beast
(#311), Masahiro Shinoda's Samurai Spy
(#312) and Kihachi Okamoto's Kill!
(#313). Also coming in October is Jean-Pierre Melville's Le
samouraï (#306) and at long last, a more elaborate
re-issue of an earlier Criterion DVD... Henri-Georges Clouzot's
legendary The Wages of Fear (#36).
That's a nice line-up by any measure.
Finally, Buena Vista has also announced new TV DVDs for November,
including Scrubs: Season Two
(11/15), The Golden Girls: Season Three,
Home Improvement: Season Three and
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
(all on 11/22). The Extreme Makeover
DVD will feature some of the best moments from the show's first season.
Also coming on 11/19 is the recent Empire
We'll be back in a few hours with Barrie's new Classic
Coming Attractions column. Stay tuned!
Okay... we've got a few things for you today. Barrie's new column will
be up in the morning. It's been a little crazy around here today - a lot
of new information from our industry sources is coming in at the moment,
and we have a lot of things we're looking into, so we appreciate your
Let's get right into today's news. First up, 20th Century Fox will
release Mr. & Mrs. Smith on
DVD and UMD on 11/29. Extras on the DVD (available in both anamorphic
widescreen and full frame) will include audio commentary by director
Doug Liman, a second commentary by producers Lucas Foster and Akiva
Goldsman, deleted scenes and the film's teaser and theatrical trailers.
Anyone remember TV's The White Shadow
with fondness? Good news then... Fox will release The
White Shadow: The Complete First Season on DVD on 10/18.
Woody Allen's recent Melinda & Melinda
is expected to street from Fox on 10/25.
And here's news we've been waiting a long time for. Fox will release
the Office Space: Special Edition (with More
Flair) on 11/1. Look for the DVD to include a new anamorphic
widescreen transfer, deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes documentary and
audio commentary with writer/director Mike Judge. FYI, a UMD version of
Office Space will also be
available on 11/1.
While we're talking UMD, we might as well let you know that a number of
additional Fox and Paramount titles have just been announced for the
format. We've updated our
Movies for PSP Release List accordingly with all the details.
In other news, Universal and DreamWorks have announced the Into
the West mini-series (recently broadcast on TNT) for release
on 10/4 (SRP $49.99). The 4-disc set will contain video in anamorphic
widescreen, with Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 audio. Extras are TBA.
Universal will also release George Romero's Land
of the Dead on 10/25. Additional details are also TBA.
Paramount has revealed that in addition to The
War of the Worlds (1953): Special Collector's Edition they
have planned for release on 11/1, you can look for the first season of
the 1988 War of the Worlds TV
series on that day as well.
Sony has announced several new titles for release on 10/11, including
Me and You and Everyone We Know,
The Jeffersons: The Complete Fourth Season,
Soap: The Complete Fourth Season,
Stephen King Presents Kingdom Hospital: Post
Mortem, a 50 First Dates/Mr.Deeds
2-pack (widescreen) and a You Got Served/You
Got Served: Take it to the Streets 2-pack (also widescreen).
Look for the studio's recent Bewitched
to follow on 10/25.
We've got a quick update for you on that The
Police: Synchronicity Concert DVD release that
mentioned yesterday. According to P.R. rep for the title, the U.K.
street date has been moved from 9/5 to 9/12. We hope to have a U.S. date
for you soon. All of the other details we reported yesterday are correct
except the street date.
Media Blasters has set Zatoichi: The TV
Series - Volume 1 for release on 11/29 (SRP $29.95). The
2-disc set will include the first four episodes of the series in full
frame video with Japanese Dolby Digital mono audio (with English
subtitles). For the record, the episodes to be included are: A
Challenge of Chance (original airdate 10/3/74, directed by
Kazuo Mori), The Flower that Bloomed with the
Lullaby (10/10/74, directed by Yoshiyuki Kuroda), A
Memorial Day and The Bell of Life (10/17/74, directed by
Shintaro Katsu) and The Kannon Statue That
Was Tied (10/24/74, directed by Kenji Misumi). Given our
obsession with all things Zatoichi around here, you can bet we're
looking forward this release. Thanks to Bits
reader Trent S. for the information.
One last thing this afternoon... the
frame versions of Fox's Star Wars:
Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (11/1 - for just $15.98
each!) and Paramount's 3-disc
Special Edition (10/25) are now available for pre-order on
Amazon.com. Amazon also has
6-pack of all SIX Star Wars films listed for $125.92 (we
think this is the retailer selling the existing DVDs as a group - to our
knowledge there's no new content). Clicking through our links when you
do helps to support our work here at The Bits,
so we appreciate it. Thanks!
We'll leave you with some more new cover art. Here's Universal's Alfred
Hitchcock Presents: Season One (10/4), Fox's The
White Shadow: The Complete First Season and Warner's Friends:
The Complete Tenth Season (11/15)....
(LATE UPDATE - 8/2/05 -
12:30 PM PDT)
The big industry news today is that Image Entertainment has purchased
Home Vision, and the Home Vision catalog. The deal also means that Image
will be the exclusive distributor for The Criterion Collection for the
next five years. You can read more
at Home Media Retailing.
In release news, Paramount has announced that The
War of the Worlds (1953): Special Collector's Edition will
hit DVD on 11/1. That means you can reasonably expect Steven Spielberg's
new remake to street around that time as well. Following on 11/22 from
Paramount is a new edition of John Guillermin's 1976 remake of King
Kong (which is probably timed to coincide with Warner's
as-yet-unannounced release of the 1933 original on DVD).
Also today, Universal Music is FINALLY going to release a title I've
been waiting a long time for... The Police:
Synchronicity Concert (shot in Atlanta, GA in 1983 and
directed by famed 80s video makers Godley & Crème). The disc
is currently set for DVD release on 9/5 in the U.K., and Billboard
is reporting that a U.S. street date will be announced shortly for
around that time. Video will be presented in the original full frame,
with Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 audio, Extras will
include four tracks from the concert presented in multi-angle format
(including Synchronicity II, Roxanne,
Invisible Sun and Don't
Stand So Close to Me), along with a trailer and a rare
interview with the band recorded in Melbourne, Australia in 1984 at very
last full Police concert ever. You can read more
Around the Net this afternoon,
Business Daily has a good report up on the looming HD format
war. Interesting in this piece is the first real acknowledgment from the
industry that it's believed even most early adopters will wait to buy
into HD on disc until a single format emerges (a very wise move in our
opinion). If early adopters work together to send the industry a STRONG
message that a format war will not be tolerated, you just might see some
results (and sooner rather than later).
We've also got a few new music DVD reviews for you from Lindsay and
Matt over at our MusicTAP
Lennon: Lennon Legend,
Kick Out the Jams,
Stevens: Majikat - Earth Tour 1976,
Denver: A Song's Best Friend - John Denver Remembered and
Mamas & The Papas: California Dreamin' - The Songs of The Mamas
and The Papas.
Here's some more new cover artwork for you: Universal Music's The
Police: Synchronicity Concert (TBA - UK artwork), Paramount's
decidedly unappealing art for The War of the
Worlds (1953): Special Collector's Edition and the über-creepy
foam packaging for Anchor Bay's Evil Dead 2:
Book of the Dead 2 (due 9/7 and hand-crafted by Tom Sullivan
himself - we have it on good authority that the book screams when you
poke it in the eye!)...
You know... I think that Book of the Dead 2
art is actually prettier than the War of the
Worlds art. Go figure.
We're going to hold off on Barrie's column until tomorrow, given the
Batman news that we posted last
night. So check back in for that tomorrow. Stay tuned!
(EARLY UPDATE - 8/2/05 - 12:01 AM PDT)
There's big news for you caped crusader fans this morning. As we've
reported in The
Rumor Mill, Warner Home Video has finally announced the DVD
release of Batman: The Motion Picture
Anthology 1989-1997 on 10/18 (SRP $79.92). The box set will
contain new 2-disc special editions of Batman,
Batman Returns, Batman
Forever and Batman & Robin
(each 2-disc set will also be available separately for SRP $26.99). All
four films on disc will feature new digital transfers (anamorphic
widescreen video, of course), with audio in BOTH Dolby Digital 5.1 and
DTS 5.1 surround sound. All four films are the original theatrical cuts.
English and French audio options will be available, with English, French
and Spanish subtitles (feature film only). Overall, the box set will
include more than 18 hours of new bonus material. Let's run down the
extras, film by film...
The Batman: Special Edition will
feature audio commentary by director Tim Burton, 4 documentaries (some
multi-part) including On the Set with Bob
Kane, Legends of the Dark Knight:
The History of Batman, Shadows of
the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight (featuring
Part 1 - The Road to Gotham City,
Part 2 - The Gathering Storm and
Part 3 - The Legend Reborn) and
Beyond Batman (featuring Visualizing
Gotham: The Production Design of Batman, Building
the Batmobile, Those Wonderful
Toys: The Props and Gadgets of Batman, Designing
the Batsuit, From Jack to the
Joker and Nocturnal Overtures: The
Music of Batman), 3 Prince music videos (for Batdance,
Partyman and Scandalous),
2 profile galleries (The Heroes
and The Villains), the Batman:
The Complete Robin Storyboard Sequence featurette, and the
film's theatrical trailer.
The Batman Returns: Special Edition
will feature audio commentary by director Tim Burton, 3 documentaries
(some multi-part) including The Bat, the Cat
and the Penguin, Shadows of the
Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight (featuring Part
4 - The Dark Side of the Knight) and Beyond
Batman (featuring Gotham City
Revisited: The Production Design of Batman Returns, Sleek,
Sexy and Sinister: The Costumes of Batman Returns, Making
up the Penguin, Assembling the
Arctic Army, Bats and Mattes
and Dark Nights: The Visual Effects of Batman),
Siouxsie and the Banshees' Face to Face
music video, 2 more profile galleries (The
Heroes and The Villains),
and the film's theatrical trailer.
The Batman Forever: Special Edition
will feature audio commentary by director Joel Schumacher, deleted
scenes, 3 documentaries (some multi-part) including Riddle
Me This: Why is Batman Forever?, Shadows
of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight (featuring
Part 5 - Reinventing a Hero) and
Beyond Batman (featuring Out
of the Shadows: The Production Design of Batman Forever, The
Many Faces of Gotham City, Knight
Moves: The Stunts of Batman Forever, Imaging
Forever: The Visual Effects of Batman Forever and Scoring
Forever: The Music of Batman Forever), Seal's Kiss
from a Rose music video, 2 more profile galleries (The
Heroes and The Villains),
and the film's theatrical trailer.
Finally, the Batman & Robin: Special
Edition will feature audio commentary by director Joel
Schumacher, a deleted scene (Alfred's Lost
Love), 2 documentaries (both multi-part) including Shadows
of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight (featuring
Part 6 - Batman Unbound) and Beyond
Batman (featuring Bigger, Bolder,
Brighter: The Production Design of Batman & Robin, Maximum
Overdrive: The Vehicles of Batman & Robin, Dressed
to Thrill: The Costumes of Batman & Robin, Frozen
Freaks and Femme Fatales: The Makeup of Batman & Robin
and Freeze Frame: The Visual Effects of
Batman & Robin), 4 music videos (for the Smashing
Pumpkins' The End is the Beginning is the End,
Jewel's Foolish Games, R. Kelly's
Gotham City and Bone
Thugs-N-Harmony's Look into My Eyes),
2 more profile galleries (The Heroes
and The Villains), and the film's
No cover art for this collection (or the individual 2-disc special
editions) is as yet available, but we'll post it as soon Warner
finalizes it. FYI, watch for a Batman Begins
announcement very soon.
For those who may be interested, also announced today by Warner is The
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants for release on 10/11 (SRP
$28.98). Separate anamorphic widescreen and full frame versions will be
available. Extras will include 4 featurettes (Fun
on the Set, Suckumentary,
Sisters, Secrets, and the Traveling Pants: A
Video Commentary and A
Conversation with Author Ann Brashares), deleted scenes with
optional audio commentary by director Ken Kwapis, and the film's
Back later with more, so stay tuned...
Wow, can you guys believe it's August already? Seems like we only just
started this summer and now it's damn near over. Time does fly.
There's not a lot of news today, but we do have a nice big
Mill update for you this afternoon, featuring word on some of
the extras you can look forward to on Warner's forthcoming Batman
Begins 2-disc set (TBA), as well as details on the branching
content to be included on Fox and Paramount's 3-disc Titanic:
Special Edition (10/25). Don't miss it.
Around the Net this afternoon, there's a press story on VSDA's having
called for an end to the high-def format war last week. You can read
more on that from
Times. There's also
story at Home Media Retailing on how so many films are
coming out in two versions on DVD these days.
We'll leave you this afternoon with a little bit of new cover art.
Here's 20th Century Fox's Arrested
Development: Season Two (10/11) and Point
Pleasant: The Complete Series (10/25), along with Universal's
Mallrats: 10th Anniversary Extended Edition
Back tomorrow with a new Barrie Maxwell column. Stay tuned...
(LATE UPDATE - 7/29/05
- 11:30 AM PDT)
Well, we promised you we'd check back in with any major breaking news
this afternoon... and this is pretty major. We've been saying this was
going to happen for many months now, so it should come as no surprise.
However, 20th Century Fox today confirmed that it is supporting Blu-ray
Disc, rather than HD-DVD, in the upcoming high-definition format war.
The move has been expected for almost a year - last October the studio
joined the Blu-ray
Disc Association as an advisory member, but said they had yet to
decide which format they would ultimately support (Fox is, of course,
also a member of the DVD
Forum). Now their preference for the format is official. With
their decision, Fox joins Sony, MGM and Buena Vista as the major Blu-ray
Disc supporting studios. By comparison, the HD-DVD camp includes Warner
Bros., Universal and Paramount. You can read more on this
at Home Media Retailing and
at Video Business. You can also read Fox's official press
In addition to its greater data storage capacity and features that Fox
considers to be a greater technical innovation beyond the existing DVD
spec, the main reason Fox ultimately decided to support Blu-ray Disc
over HD-DVD is that the Blu-ray Disc spec calls for a particular form of
renewable copy protection, which is considered more robust. Fox and
other studios had called for the HD-DVD format to include the same
renewable copy protection, but forces within the HD-DVD camp apparently
believed that it was too expensive and unnecessary. Despite this
announcement, there's no specific word yet as to which titles will be
among Fox's initial Blu-ray Disc releases when the format officially
launches early next year.
Business has also confirmed our Batman
Begins and Batman: The Motion
Picture Anthology 1989-1997 box set information from The
Rumor Mill the last few days (click
for that), although Warner has officially declined to confirm Batman
Begins yet. Regardless, both titles are expected to street on
10/18 as predicted (the box set will reportedly carry an SRP of $79.92).
Okay... THAT should be it for today. Have a great weekend, folks!
(EARLY UPDATE - 7/29/05 -
12:01 AM PDT)
20th Century Fox has finally revealed the details on their forthcoming
DVD release of Ridley Scott's Kingdom of
Heaven (10/11 - SRP $29.98). The 2-disc set will be available
in separate anamorphic widescreen and full frame editions. Each will
include audio in English Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1, along with
French and Spanish Dolby 2.0 Surround. Extras on Disc One will include
The Pilgrim's Guide (a text
commentary of both production and historical notes), and an Inside
Look featurette on the forthcoming Tristan
& Isolde. Disc Two will contain the 45-minute A&E
Movie Real: Kingdom of Heaven documentary, the 48-minute History
vs Hollywood: Kingdom of Heaven History Channel documentary,
4 behind-the-scenes featurettes (including Ridley
Scott: Creating Worlds, Production,
Wardrobe and Orlando
Bloom: The Adventure of a Lifetime) and theatrical trailers.
But easily the highlight of Disc Two is a new feature called an Interactive
Production Grid, which offers you no less than 16 different
ways to access some 125 minutes worth of additional behind-the-scenes
material, by allowing you to choose the desired perspective (director,
cast, crew) and timeframe (presumably pre-production, production,
post-production, etc) you'd like to experience. If this feature is as
interesting as it sounds, it may be worth the price of the disc by
itself. We'll be sure to let you know our thoughts on the Grid
as soon as we get a look at it.
No cover art is yet available for Kingdom of
Heaven, but we'll post it when Fox releases it. One
additional note: This isn't official, of course, but the fact that
there's no Ridley Scott audio commentary on this release, and the fact
that the film was heavily cut prior to its theatrical release (by well
over an hour - you can read my review of the film and comments on the
should tell you that a more elaborate multi-disc DVD version is likely
to follow in 2006. So just be aware of this when making your purchase
By the way, Fox is releasing Kingdom of
Heaven on UMD format (for Sony's PSP) on 10/11 as well. We've
been updating our
Movie Release List almost daily, so we might as well continue
Okay, that's it for today. If any major news breaks later this
afternoon, we'll be back to report it. Otherwise, we'll see you back
here on Monday. Have a great weekend!
Fans of classic Hanna Barbara animation are going to be happy with
today's new announcements by Warner Home Video. The studio has made
official those titles we told you about a couple of weeks ago, namely
The Flintstones: The Complete Fourth Season,
Huckleberry Hound: Volume One and
The Yogi Bear Show: The Complete Series!
Each will street on 11/15 (SRP $44.98 each). The
Flintstones: The Complete Fourth Season will include 26
episodes on 4 discs, along with audio commentary by historians and
animation on the episodes Ann Margrock
Presents and Little Bamm-Bamm,
The Legendary Music of Hoyt Curtin
documentary and The Flintstones
featurette. Huckleberry Hound: Volume One
will feature 26 episodes on 4 discs (extras, if any, are TBA). The
Yogi Bear Show: The Complete Series will feature all 35
episodes of the series on 4 discs (once again extras, if any, are TBA).
Can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to Yogi. Haven't seen him
pilfering pic-a-nic baskets in years. Here's a look at the cover art for
Other DVD news today... some of you are going to be pleased... or
not... with this. Momentum Pictures in the U.K. is preparing a Flash
Gordon: Silver Anniversary Edition DVD... for release in the
U.K.. We're trying to find out if this will also be released in the
States and, if so, who will handle the distribution (we understand that
there's some confusion as to who owns the U.S. release rights - we've
got questions into Universal, so hopefully we'll know more soon). The
DVD will street on 10/10 in the U.K., featuring anamorphic widescreen
video, Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio, audio commentary by director
Mike Hodges and an interview with him as well, a second audio commentary
with actor Brian Blessed, a photo slideshow, the original Queen
theatrical trailer, and the first episode of the original 1940s serial
Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe.
You can read more on the
May websites (thanks to a number of Bits
readers for the links). Here's a look at the cover art...
As you may have guessed, that's also the art for MGM's The
Amityville Horror (2005): Special Edition (street date 10/4)
and Dimenson's The Adventures of Sharkboy and
Lavagirl in 3-D (9/20).
In still other news today, Anchor Bay Entertainment is going to be
releasing a new Evil Dead 2: Book of the Dead
2 special edition on 9/27 (SRP $39.98). Expect another
foul-smelling (but super-sweet) foamy package. The disc itself will
include the film in anamorphic widescreen video (Divimax-rendered), with
Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 surround audio. Extras will include audio
commentary (with writer/director Sam Raimi, star Bruce Campbell,
co-writer Scott Spiegel and special make-up effects artist Greg
Nicotero), the Evil Dead 2:
Behind-the-Screams and The Gore,
The Merrier documentaries, bios of Raimi and Campbell, a
poster and still gallery and the film's theatrical trailer.
Universal has announced the release of Imagining
Argentina for 10/11.
And 20th Century Fox has moved the DVD re-release of The
Transporter (along with the UMD version) from 8/30 to 8/23.
Movie Release List has been updated accordingly.
Around the Net today, film critic/historian Leonard Maltin has spoken
on his website
about his work on more upcoming Walt Disney
Treasures releases. In his own words, the new DVDs will
include: "The Chronological Donald Duck,
Volume 2... Walt Disney Rarities, including all of Walt's
one-shot cartoons and a handful of his silent Alice comedies... the
complete first season of Spin and Marty, including the entire
Mickey Mouse Club episode in which the serial was introduced...
and Legendary Heroes: Elfego Baca and the Swamp Fox, taken from
the Walt Disney Presents TV series." Very, very
cool. By the way, Maltin also talks about Paramount's upcoming John
Wayne releases, The High and the Mighty
and Island in the Sky, both due on
8/2. Thanks to Bits reader Cameron
M. for the heads-up.
Finally, we have a quick follow-up in
Rumor Mill today about the forthcoming 2-disc Batman
Forever DVD. There's also a bit of info on Wedding
Crashers and the new Dukes of
Hazzard remake coming to DVD, as well as a bit of Muppet
DVD news. Be sure to check it out.
Well... we've got a few interesting items for you today.
First of all, as some of you may know, the Video Software Dealers
Association (VSDA) convention is underway in Las Vegas. And you've got
to hand it to those retailers... they've issued a strong statement to
Hollywood and the consumer electronics industry regarding the looming HD
format war. VSDA president Bo Anderson called for compromise yesterday
saying, "The launch of a single
high-definition DVD format is unquestionably preferable to a 'format
war' that could cause consumer confusion and lead to a reluctance to
embrace either format." Paraphrasing Lincoln's Gettysburg
Address, Anderson continued, "Now we are
engaged in a great format war, testing whether the next generation of
packaged entertainment ... can long endure. We acknowledge that the
great battlefield of that war is not here, but across the Pacific. ...
Yet, retailers call for the elevation of compromise over conflict and a
future for all behind a unified format. It is altogether fitting and
proper that we should do this."
Tongue-in-cheek tone aside, the video retail industry MAY be in the
best position to apply pressure to force a compromise. Can you imagine
if major retailers like Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Circuit City refused to
carry titles in THREE separate formats (DVD, HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc)?
In conjunction with their official statement, the VSDA has issued a
Criteria for High Definition DVD Format (From the Retail Perspective).
In it, they not only advocate a SINGLE high-definition disc format, but
they also offer advice on features, dimensions, packaging and even how
marketing materials for the format should be designed to be most
effective in generating widespread consumer and retailer support. Click
on the link above for an HTML version, or
here for a PDF version.
I'll tell you, it's nice to see that there are at least SOME people in
our industry with a little common sense. I don't know if a format war
can be averted at this point, and I rather doubt it can be. But I'm glad
to see retailers turning up the pressure on Hollywood and the consumer
electronics manufacturers, and I hope they CONTINUE to hold their feet
to the fire on this.
As if the format war weren't bad enough, there's now some early
indications that at least the HD-DVD format will only allow playback of
full 1080 resolution video signals through HDMI connectors (or possibly
adapted DVI connections - HDMI contains both digital video and audio,
but can be adapted to connect with DVI, in which case only the video is
carried digitally - the audio must be conveyed by separate cables). This
would be a copy protection measure meant to insure that the best quality
video is only available through digitally encrypted/protected outputs
(rather than less protected or unprotected analog outputs). It's very
possible that Blu-ray Disc will follow suit. What this would mean for
consumers, is that if you've purchased your HDTV in the last year or
two, you MIGHT be okay (as most new HDTVs sold on the market come
equipped with HDMI or DVI inputs), but consumers with older HDTVs
(pre-HDMI/DVI) are out of luck. That's a VERY large percentage of the HD
market that is immediately unable to take full advantage of the new
here for more on this from the Digital
Spy website. Of course, all of this information is as yet
unconfirmed, because neither the HD-DVD or Blu-ray Disc camps have
released their complete and final spec details. The confusion and
aggravation with regard to these new formats is likely to continue...
How about some news about good old REGULAR DVD?
Dimension has officially announced the release of The
Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl for 9/20.
Universal will release The 12 Dogs of
Christmas on 11/1.
For those of you who are interested, Paramount and Fox have launched a
DVD website on what was the previous feature film site. It
confirms that again, ONLY a 3-disc version of the film will be released
on DVD, rather than the previously announced 2 and 4-disc editions. We
expect the website to be updated in the weeks ahead with more details on
Also today in
Rumor Mill, we have a bit of information on the upcoming Batman
special editions, and also Warner's eventual Charlie
and the Chocolate Factory DVD. Be sure to check it out.
Finally today, on the UMD front, HBO has announced that it will release
its first titles on the format on 9/13. These will include Da
Ali G Show: Da Compleet Second Seazon (also coming to DVD on
9/13) and Da Ali G Show: Da Compleet First
Seazon. Additional UMD titles coming later in the 4th quarter
will be Entourage: The Complete First Season,
Todd McFarlane's Spawn 1, Chris
Rock: Bigger & Blacker and Chris
Rock: Never Scared. Our
Movie Release List has been updated accordingly.
(LATE UPDATE - 7/26/95
- 11 AM PDT)
A couple of quick updates this morning. First of all, Star
Wars: Episode III (announced below). We've
learned that the 11/1 street date should hold true for all regions
around the world, so you international fans can look forward to watching
the fall of Anakin on disc on or about that same date. We've also
confirmed that the Star Wars Battlefront II
playable demo on the DVD release will be for the Xbox as expected (FYI,
the complete Star Wars Battlefront II
videogame will also street on 11/1 in Xbox, PS2, PSP and Windows PC
We've got a quick Battlestar Galactica:
Season One (U.K. Version) update for you as well. The set is
now available exclusively at Best Buy as of this morning. Keep in mind,
however, that the only extra on the set is some 40 minutes of deleted
scenes. If you can wait a couple of months, a much more elaborate
release is coming from Universal (on 9/20) with significantly more bonus
content (including featurettes, audio commentaries, etc). The 9/20
release will also be widely available in stores. Frankly, there are only
TWO real reasons that some of you might want to purchase the U.K.
version. First, it features the episodes as seen on Sky One in the U.K.,
which means that the opening title sequence for each episode is somewhat
different than what viewers saw on SciFi here in the States. Second, the
Best Buy-exclusive set includes a bonus disc that features a 13-minute
preview of Joss Whedon's upcoming Serenity
feature film. The preview featurette is in full frame only, and sadly it
doesn't include the theatrical trailer for the film (which has recently
begun appearing in theaters), but if you're a Firefly
fan, that might be enough reason alone for you to want to get your hands
on the set. We'll post more on this DVD release soon.
We've also posted another quick update to our
Movie Release List - Buena Vista has announced the release of
Pulp Fiction on 9/13.
This has nothing to do with DVD, but did any of you see that amazing
video from NASA's picture perfect space shuttle launch this morning? The
agency had placed cameras on various parts of the shuttle to watch for
falling debris that might strike the orbiter. A camera placed on the
external tank captured a beautiful video image of the launch from the
pad all the way into orbit, including shots of the shuttle separating
from the external tank and firing its thrusters to move away from it. It
was the first time those moments had ever been seen on video, and it was
pretty extraordinary. I suspect the video will be available for online
viewing on the
website later today, if it isn't already up. I'll tell you... it
feels to me at least as if the sun's shining just a little bit brighter
now that we're finally back in space again. Hats off to everyone at NASA
for a great launch, and here's to a successful mission and a safe return
(EARLY UPDATE - 7/26/95 -
12:01 AM PDT)
It will be a day long remembered... or something like that anyway.
has FINALLY officially announced the DVD release of Star
Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. The 2-disc set will
hit store shelves on 11/1, as we expected. Both anamorphic widescreen
and full frame versions will be available, each with video mastered
directly from the film's original digital master files. Audio will be
Dolby Digital 5.1 EX. Extras are not yet fully announced, but we do know
that you can expect audio commentary with George Lucas and members of
the production team, a new feature-length documentary on the making of
the film, 2 behind-the-scenes featurettes (one looks at Anakin Skywalker
as "the chosen one" and the other deals with the film's stunt
work), the 15-part Making Episode III
web documentary and a number of newly-completed deleted scenes. You'll
also get two playable levels of the Star Wars
Battlefront II videogame (for Xbox we assume). We expect
additional extras to include trailers and TV spots, photo galleries,
etc. As we learned at Comic-Con (click
this link and scroll down a bit to the Star
Wars paragraph), Lucasfilm has confirmed that a 6-film box
set will be released eventually... but not in the immediate future
(meaning not in 2005 or early 2006).
Here's a look at the cover art for both the anamorphic widescreen and
full frame versions...
In one other brief bit of news this morning, there's word that Robert
Fiveson, the director of the 1979 film The
Clonus Horror, has initiated legal action against Dreamworks
over Michael Bay's The Island. I
have to be honest, I haven't seen The Clonus
Horror myself, but based on a description of the film's plot,
it certainly seems as if The Island
is well... a clone. Doh! You can read more
at The Seattle Times.
Speaking of The Island, our
friends over at
have compiled a list of all the theaters known to be showing the
film digitally. Just FYI.
Good luck to all you folks at NASA working to get Discovery into space
this morning. Fingers crossed.
(LATE UPDATE - 7/25/05 -
5:15 PM PDT)
We've gotten official word from 20th Century Fox that Ridley Scott's
Kingdom of Heaven will street on
10/11, we as predicted in
Rumor Mill a few weeks ago. The 2-disc set (SRP $29.98) will
include the film in anamorphic widescreen video (a separate full frame
version will also be available), along with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.
Extras will include an "interactive production grid" that lets
you experience the production process from the perspective of the
director, the cast or the crew. Also included will be a text commentary
with historical and production notes, several behind-the-scenes
featurettes and more (additional features are TBA). The following
information isn't official, but industry sources have informed us that a
more elaborate 4-disc DVD release MAY follow in 2006, likely featuring
an extended version of the film which was extensively cut for its
initial theatrical release. Take that as Rumor
Mill worthy until we tell you otherwise. We expect to have
cover art and additional details on the 2-disc release in the next few
(EARLY UPDATE - 7/25/05 -
1:30 PM PDT)
Afternoon, everyone! We've got some new announcements for you today,
along with new artwork and an update for you on the Titanic
Let's start with Titanic, shall
we? According to a new story at
Media Retailing, Titanic
will ONLY be released in a 3-disc DVD version. The original plan had
been to release the film in 2-disc and 4-disc configurations, but the
magazine is reporting that it was later decided (by Paramount and Fox
presumably) simply to release a single 3-disc edition (presumably in all
regions). Titanic will reportedly
include a branching option that allows you to view deleted footage in
the place it would have been included in the film (in lieu of an actual
extended edition of the film). By the way, there are reports of 4-disc
releases of the film in some places, but we're hearing that this is
simply the 3-disc DVD set, plus the soundtrack CD. We're waiting for
official confirmation from both Paramount and Fox, so stay tuned.
By the way, the same
Media Retailing article also reports that Sony's new Oliver!
gift set (due on 9/27) will include the long out-of-print soundtrack CD.
Disney is reportedly planning new Tarzan
and The Emperor's New Groove
2-disc special editions on 10/18. Meanwhile, Fox is reportedly planning
a new 40th anniversary release of The Sound
of Music, as well as a new 30th anniversary edition of The
Rocky Horror Picture Show.
In other news today, Universal has just announced Carlito's
Way: Rise to Power for 9/27 (SRP $26.98) and My
Summer of Love for 10/4 (SRP $29.98).
Disney will release Herbie: Fully Loaded
in October and an Old Yeller: 2 Movie
Collection in November (street dates TBA).
Finally, Sony has announced a large slate of MGM titles for release on
10/4. These include The Amityville Horror
(2005) in both DVD and UMD format, the previously-delayed Jiminy
Glick In La La Wood, Stargate
SG-1: Season 8, The Fog: Special
Edition (Remastered), Billion
Dollar Brain, Cop, Dead
Cert, The Girl Most Likely to...,
Innocent Lies, Journey
to the Center of the Earth, Little
Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, The
Man with Nine Lives, Monster High,
Mortuary Academy, The
New Kids, Pulse, Robot
Jox, The Siege at Ruby Ridge,
The Spiral Staircase, Torture
Garden and a Wild Palms
2-disc set. We've updated the
release list to include The Amityville
Around the site today, we've kicked off a whopping EIGHT new
giving each of you the chance to win copies of Warner's
Island: The Complete Third Season, Paramount's
Enterprise - The Complete Second Season, Universal's
26th Anniversary Edition, Anchor Bay's
American Hero: Season Three, 20th Century Fox's
Tyler Moore Show: The Complete Second Season,
Steele: Season One, AnimEigo's
and Geneon's Gungrave:
To the Grave - Volume 7,
Dirty Plot: Volume 5 and
Ex: Ruin Hopes - Volume 4. Entries will be accepted until Noon
(Pacific) on Sunday, August 6th. Click on the links to get started and
Here's that cover art I promised you: Fox's The
Fly: Collector's Edition (10/4) and Lifeboat:
Special Edition (10/18), Paramount's Star
Trek: Enterprise - The Complete Fourth Season (11/1) and Bob
Dylan: No Direction Home (9/20), Universal's My
Summer of Love and Disney's Old
Yeller: 2-Movie Collection (11/15)...
Morning, everyone! We'll kick things off today with a post in
Rumor Mill that includes updated information on the expected
street dates for a number of major upcoming titles, including Batman
Begins, Kingdom of Heaven
and Star Wars: Episode III.
Definitely do not miss it.
In other news, Warner Bros. has announced its recent remake of House
of Wax for release on 10/25 (SRP $28.98). The DVD will
include 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.
Extras are yet to be revealed. House of Wax
will also be available on 10/25 in a 2-pack with the original 1953 House
of Wax (SRP $35.98), and also in a 2-pack with Gothika
(SRP also $35.98).
Warner has announced the DVD release of Friends:
The Complete Tenth Season as well for 11/15 (SRP $44.98). The
4-disc set will include all 18 episodes of the series' final season,
each with never before seen footage, along with "extensive bonus
features" (including audio commentaries, documentaries,
featurettes, interviews a music video and a 45-minute gag reel).
Additional details and art will follow soon. For those of you who
haven't yet begun your foray into Friends
on DVD, there's the 40-disc Friends: The One
with All Ten Seasons Collector's Box Set, also due on 11/15
(SRP $299.98). Also coming on 11/15 is Friends:
The One with All the Trivia (SRP $19.99). This is a set-top
interactive trivia game with over 3,000 questions and some 600 video
clips from the series.
Some Star Trek news for you
today... Paramount has revealed the DVD specs for their upcoming Star
Trek: Nemesis - Special Collector's Edition. The 2-disc set
will include anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1
audio, audio commentary with director Stuart Baird, audio commentary
with producer Rick Berman, text commentary by Michael and Denise Okuda,
7 Production featurettes (including Nemesis
Revisited, New Frontiers: Stuart
Baird on Directing Nemesis, Storyboarding
the Action, Red Alert! Shooting
the Action of Nemesis, Build and
Rebuild, Four-Wheeling in the
Final Frontier and Shinzon Screen
Test), 3 Star Trek Universe featurettes (including A
Star Trek Family's Final Journey, A
Bold Vision of the Final Frontier and The
Enterprise E), 5 Romulan Empire featurettes (including Romulan
Lore, Shinzon & the Viceroy,
Romulan Design, The
Romulan Senate and The Scimitar),
7 deleted scenes (including Wesley's New
Mission, Data and B-4,
The Chance for Peace, A
Loss of Self, Remember Him?
(Extended Version), Cleaning out Data's
Quarters and Crusher at Starfleet
Medical), an Archives section (featuring storyboards,
production and prop photos) and the film's teaser and theatrical
trailers. We also expect the disc to include 3 Easter eggs featurettes.
This re-release seems to include all of the featurettes from the
previous DVD release, but at least some of the deleted scenes may be
different, so it's possible that you'll have to keep the original
release to retain all of the extras. We'll try to let you know as soon
as we can whether or not this is true.
A follow-up on the Space Above and Beyond
news we posted yesterday: We've learned that Best Buy's exclusive retail
window on the title will last only a couple of months (it starts on
10/4). So in late November or December, you'll be able to purchase the
Fox-released set widely at other retailers. It will, however, be the
EXACT same DVD release as the Best Buy version (unlike Universal's Battlestar
Galactica: Season One, don't look for any additional features
to be included on the wider release). Just FYI.
Finally today, Universal has announced the DVD release of Alfred
Hitchcock Presents: Season One for 10/4 (SRP $39.98), the
same day as the studio's Alfred Hitchcock:
The Masterpiece Collection. The 3-disc set will include all
of the season's episodes in the original full frame video with Dolby
Digital 2.0 mono audio, along with the Alfred
Hitchcock Presents: A Look Back featurette.
We'll leave you today with a bit of additional cover artwork. Here's
Warner's House of Wax (2005) and
Looney Tunes Movie Collection: Volume 3
(10/25), and New Line's 11:14
Okay, that's it for this week. Have a great weekend and we'll see you
back here on Monday. Peace out.
We've got more news and cover art for you today.
First up, 20th Century Fox has announced a second edition of Fever
Pitch in addition to the regular edition (9/13 - SRP $29.98).
The Fever Pitch: Boston Red Sox Cursed
Reversed Edition (also 9/13 - SRP $29.98), will include
anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, includes all of
the extras of the regular edition (audio commentary by Peter and Bobby
Farrelly, 13 deleted scenes with optional commentary, a gag reel, the
Love Triangle, Break
the Curse and Fox Movie Channel
Presents: Making a Scene - Fever Pitch featurettes, a "comedy"
trailer, the theatrical trailer and an Inside
Look preview), along with a seamlessly-branched, extended "Red
Sox" ending to the film. Near as we can tell, the
seamlessly-branched ending is the major difference. This edition will
also only be available in widescreen, whereas the regular edition is
available in both widescreen and full frame. Artwork for both editions
can be found below.
Fans of Fox's Space Above and Beyond
series will be surprised to learn that the complete series is going to
be released as
Best Buy exclusive on 10/4 (SRP $41.99).
Universal has announced The Brat Pack Movies
and Music Collection box set for release on 11/1 (SRP
$39.98), which will include The Breakfast
Club, Sixteen Candles
and Weird Science (each in
anamorphic widescreen video with both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio)
and a music CD of classic 80s hits. This will all be packaged in a
simulated 3-ring binder.
Our friends over at
Shows on DVD have posted the complete list of shorts that will
be included on the forthcoming Looney Tunes
Golden Collection: Volume 3 (10/25). Additional details are
also available from Jerry Beck's Cartoon
Also, Access Hollywood tonight is
expected to have a short feature on whether the DVD boom is negatively
impacting theatrical ticket sales. It's probably the first and last time
I'll ever encourage you to watch Access
Hollywood ("Our top story... Brad and Angelina seen
eating oatmeal together!!"), so there you go.
Around the site today, we've updated all of the DVD format stats we
track, including the
DVD Player Sales numbers. All charts (above)
have been updated accordingly. We've also updated our mirror copy of Jim
Here's a look at the packaging for Paramount's revised Star
Trek: The Motion Pictures DVD Collection (SRP $ 166.99),
which includes the 2-disc special collector's editions of all the Trek
feature films. Note that Amazon is still using the old artwork (which
shows some of the discs as non-SEs)...
Also, here's cover art for Fox's regular and "Red Sox Curse
Reversed" editions of Fever Pitch
(9/13), the final cover art for Disney and Pixar's Toy
Story: 10th Anniversary Special Edition (9/6), New Line's
The Bridge of San Luis Rey
(10/11), Universal's Carlito's Way: Ultimate
Edition (9/20) and Warner's Tales
from the Crypt: The Complete Second Season (10/25)...