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-Newsletter est. 4/15/97-
-Website est. 12/15/97-





page updated: 8/18/06



My Two Cents
(Archived Posts 8/14/06 - 7/27/06)


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(LATE UPDATE - 8/14/06 - 4:15 PM PDT)

Okay... we've got a VERY cool late update for you high-def fans this afternoon. We've spoken to Paramount and learned that BOTH the HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc versions of Mission: Impossible 3 (due 10/30) will be 2-disc sets. The first disc in each set will include the film, while the second will include the majority of the extras. And both discs in each set will be high-definition discs. We've got a complete breakdown for you this afternoon of the extras on the HD versions. All the extras are identical on both high-def versions except where noted (specifically, the commentary). Bonus features actually in 1080 high-definition are indicated with (HD) - the rest are standard definition. Here's the specific details:

The Blu-ray and HD DVD presentations will each be 1080p High Definition with English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital (Dolby Digital Plus on HD-DVD only), with English, English SDH+, French and Spanish subtitles and includes the following special features:

Disc One - audio commentary by Tom Cruise and director J.J. Abrams (enhanced with picture-in-picture for HD DVD, audio-only for Blu-ray Disc)

Disc Two - The Making of the Mission documentary (HD), deleted scenes (all in HD including: Ethan fights at the top of the stairs, Zhen fights in the computer room, Musgrave cemetery conversation, Lindsey graduates and Vatican entry extended), Inside the IMF featurette, Mission Action: Inside the Action Unit featurette (HD), Visualizing the Mission featurette (HD), Mission: Metamorphosis featurette (HD), Scoring the Mission featurette (HD), Moviefone Unscripted: Tom Cruise/J.J. Abrams, Launching the Mission (New York, Rome, Paris, London, Tokyo), Mission Marketing: theatrical trailers (HD), TV spots & photo gallery

So this marks the first time we'll see 2-disc sets in either HD format, much less both. Very cool indeed. Should be something to see. You'll find the cover art for both HD versions below. FYI, the 2-disc DVD special edition features the very same extras (save the enhanced part of the commentary) only in standard-definition video.

Stay tuned...

(LATE UPDATE - 8/14/06 - 2:15 PM PDT)

Okay... a couple more things for you today. First up, Sony has announced more new DVD releases for 10/24, including The Road to Guantanamo, Bewitched: The Complete Fourth Season, Creature Comforts: The Complete Second Season, Creature Comforts: Merry Christmas Everybody!, a Creature Comforts: Seasons 1 & 2 2-Pack, The Facts of Life: The Complete Third Season and new releases of The Snowman and Father Christmas.

Also today, we have word that the first HD-DVD title has been released in Europe. The animated film Elephants Dream, from Imagion AG, becomes the first title available on the format outside of the U.S. and Japan (price is € 14,90). The title includes a picture-in-picture documentary, audio commentaries and a script-to-screen feature, in addition to 1080p video. You can learn more about the title here, and here's a look at the cover artwork...

Elephants Dream (HD-DVD)Mission: Impossible 3 (HD-DVD)Mission: Impossible 3 (Blu-ray Disc)

As you can see, we've also posted the HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc cover art for Paramount's Mission: Impossible 3, due on 10/30. We posted the single-disc DVD art last week, and we'll have the 2-disc SE DVD art soon.

We've updated the High-Def Release List with the Imagion title.

Stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 8/14/06 - 11:15 AM PDT)

Morning all! Hope your weekend worked out to your satisfaction. Ours was certainly good. Sarah and I had a friend and his family in town. Plus, the Vikings play on ESPN HD tonight, so it doesn't get much better for me.

We've got a couple interesting pieces of DVD-related news to report for you this morning.

First up, Sony is expected to imminently announce the release of the CG-animated Monster House on 10/24. Additional details will follow.

Also, Sony BMG is going to be releasing a 2-disc Transformers: The Movie - 20th Anniversary Special Edition on 11/7 (SRP $21.98). The set will be packaged with a 3-D lenticular cover that features the robot characters transforming. Video will be presented in both full frame and newly-remastered anamorphic widescreen. Extras will include an "Autobot Matrix of Knowledge" trivia track, exclusive interviews, commentaries and much more - more than 5 hours of bonus material in all. You'll find more information here. Here's a look at the cover art...

Transformers: The Movie - 20th Anniversary Special EditionBeverly Hills 90210: The Complete First SeasonMelrose Place: The Complete First Season

And as you might have noticed, Paramount has also released the cover art for its Beverly Hills 90210: The Complete First Season and Melrose Place: The Complete First Season, both of which are due to street on 11/17.

One last thing we wanted to point out this morning: We've updated the details on the high-definition release of M:i:III which we reported on Friday. ONLY the HD-DVD version of the film on disc will include the "enhanced" commentary. The Blu-ray Disc version will apparently include just the same audio commentary seen on the regular DVD. Just FYI.

Stay tuned...

8/11/06

Hey, what do you know? Guess what just got officially announced by Paramount today... M:I:3 (actually it's M:i:III). Just a day after we broke details about the DVD release and extras, Paramount has officially confirmed that Mission: Impossible 3 will street on 10/30 in DVD, HD-DVD AND Blu-ray Disc formats. This will mark the second time a major new theatrical film release has launched simultaneously on all three formats on the same day (the first will be Warner's The Lake House on 9/26). Just as we told you yesterday, there will be an anamorphic widescreen 2-disc collector's edition (SRP $24.99). The HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc versions will both sell for SRP $29.99. All three will include 5 deleted scenes, 4 featurettes (The Making of the Mission, Mission Action: Inside the Action Unit, Visualizing the Mission and Scoring the Mission), Easter eggs and trailers. The 2-disc DVD will also include audio commentary with Abrams and Cruise, a Moviefone Unscripted segment, "tribute montages" and a photo gallery. The high-def releases will add 1080p video and Dolby Digital Plus audio. The HD-DVD version will also feature an "enhanced" picture-in-picture version of the commentary (this will not be available on the Blu-ray Disc version). There will be a single-disc DVD version as well (SRP $19.99), available in both full frame and anamorphic widescreen, that will include only the commentary, The Making of the Mission featurette and the deleted scenes. You can read more here at Home Media Retailing.

While we're talking Paramount, they've announced another cool DVD release today as well... a single-disc Scrooged: Yule Love It! Edition, due on 10/31. We'll post more details on that when they're available.

Here's a look at the cover artwork for M:i:III (the standard DVD edition) and the Scrooged: SE, along with Sony's Art School Confidential (due on 10/10)...

Mission: Impossible 3Scrooged: Yule Love It! EditionArt School Confidential

Speaking of the new high-def formats, BBC News has posted a story in which research firm Screen Digest predicts that the format war between HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc is going to end in a stalemate. Whatever perceived advantages supporters may see for one format or the other, the prediction may very well end up being right. Why? Having recently spoken to players on both sides in this format war, I can tell you that neither camp has any intention of throwing in the towel any time soon. We'll see.

Also today, just a little Blu-ray-related FYI: Sony has informed us that because the distribution of MGM titles has moved to 20th Century Fox, they'll no longer be releasing the Blu-ray Disc version of RoboCop. It's been pulled from their schedule. Look for it to be rescheduled for release by Fox later this year, once Fox officially announces their first Blu-ray Disc releases.

Note that we've updated the High-Def Release List accordingly with all of the above news.

We've got a little bit of TV news for you today. The Sci-Fi Channel has announced that they'll be airing Season Two of the BBC's new Doctor Who TV series starting in September, kicking off with "a two-hour premiere that will include the Christmas Invasion special in which David Tennant (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) was introduced as the tenth Time lord." Nice. I can almost forgive them for cancelling Farscape now. Almost.

Also, and this is cool news if you're a Battlestar Galactica fan, Best Buy stores are going to be offering a retail exclusive bonus disc with the forthcoming DVD release of Season 2.5 (due 9/19). The disc will include the hour-long Battlestar Galactica: The Story So Far recap special, which will be seen on NBC this Sunday night (on the West Coast, after NFL Pre-Season Football), and about a month later on Sci-Fi, HDNet and other venues (click here for dates and times).

In other news today, Matt has learned over at MusicTAP that the much ballyhooed DualDisc audio format... which was the bastard stepchild of the previously much ballyhooed DVD-Audio format... is soon to give up the ghost. The record labels have decided to scale back on what few DualDisc format releases they've done due to low sales. Gee, how did we KNOW that was coming? Hhhmmm...

Finally today, for those of you who live in the Chicago area, I'll be participating in a short segment about new and upcoming DVD releases on the Dean Richards' Sunday Morning radio show on WGN Radio (720 AM on your local radio dial). I'll be on with Dean for about 10 minutes between 9:30 and 10 AM (Central). If you're living in the Windy City, be sure to tune in and give us a listen. As for the rest of you, you'll be able to hear the show too... streaming live on the Internet via RealPlayer. Just visit the WGN Radio website and click on "listen now" on the top left corner of the page (make sure you install the RealPlayer software first if you don't already have it). Hope you all tune in and enjoy!

Anyway, have a great weekend and we'll see you Monday. Peace out.

8/10/06

Pretty slow news day today. Well... maybe not so much a SLOW news day, as a slow DVD news day. You folks flying in and out of the U.K. probably WISH it were a slow news day. Nothing like waking up to see the plot of a typical episode of 24 playing out on CNN. Speaking of which, we'd just like to doff our caps at this time to all you fine folks over at MI5, MI6 and Scotland Yard. Kudos.

Pfff... terrorists. Always with the shoe bombs. What are you gonna do?

For those of you stuck at the gate at Heathrow (and all the rest of you too), we do have a couple interesting things to keep your mind occupied this afternoon.

First up, M:I 3. (Or should we say MI3?) This would normally go in The Rumor Mill, but for ease of posting this afternoon here's where you'll find it (qualified as unofficial appropriately): Paramount has now set 10/30 as the street date for their DVD (and very likely HD-DVD) release of Mission: Impossible III. Yes... you read that right. It's a Monday. "Mission Monday" as the studio is calling it. There will be two versions on DVD - a single-disc including the movie along with audio commentary by star Tom (not Pablo!) Cruise and director J.J. Abrams, The Making of the Mission featurette, 5 deleted scenes and more. Then there will be a two-disc edition that includes the disc just mentioned along with a second platter of additional bonus material: 8 featurettes, marketing campaign material (poster art, trailers and TV spots), a production photo gallery and more. Watch for the official announcement from Paramount very soon.

While we're talking Abrams properties, also just announced for DVD release by Buena Vista Home Entertainment is Alias: The Complete Collection - Seasons 1-5 (due 11/21, SRP $199.99). The set is expected to include all five seasons as previously released on DVD (complete with all of the extras therein), along with a hidden bonus disc that includes 6 new featurettes: Head of Security (an interview with Abrams and Jennifer Garner's first interview after being given the role of Sydney Bristow), Case Closed (the final on-set cast reunion during the show's last week of filming), Identity Theft (Sydney's best disguises), Secret Agents (a tribute to the fans), Dossier 47 (on the show's infamous number) and the Alias in Overdrive action montage. You also get a hardcover book with introduction by Abrams, and a stamp of authenticity. All of this will be contained in a foil-embossed replica of The Rambaldi Box (a key prop from the series). Here's what it'll look like (photo by ComingSoon.net of the packaging on display at Comic-Con):

Alias: The Complete Collection - Seasons 1-5 - Rambaldi Box packaging

The other interesting news today is all high-def related. HBO has apparently confirmed to Video Business that their first HD-DVD format release will be The Sopranos: Season Six, Part One (due 11/17, SRP $129.95). That's day and date with the standard DVD version (SRP $99.95). HBO will apparently release additional seasons of the series on HD-DVD in 2007, along with Blu-ray Disc versions as well.

Also today, Disney CEO Bob Iger let it be known that his studio has no plans to release major A-list titles like Cars and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest on Blu-ray Disc format this year. They're apparently waiting for greater market penetration for the format down the line to release their bigger titles. We think that's a bit of a mistake. If either of these formats is going to take off, someone is going to have to start releasing some really serious eye-candy, box-office powerhouse and critically acclaimed titles. Dinosaur and Eight Below are all fine and dandy, but I can't think of many early adopters who are just dying to watch either of them, even in HD. How about Kill Bill? Armageddon? An Oscar flick like The English Patient? Something with a little more appeal to the folks who are actually BUYING these discs right now. Anyway, just our take. You can read more on this here, also at Video Business.

Stay tuned...

8/9/06

There's a little more high-def news from the Entertainment Media Expo event here in L.A.. Warner Home Video's Steve Nickerson claimed yesterday that "consumer spending on HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc titles will total $10 million, jumping to between $225 million and $500 million during the fourth quarter." Unfortunately, it will be hard to independently verify those numbers. Hardware sales numbers for the new high-def formats are tough to come by. We're hoping soon that the Consumer Electronics Association will begin tracking HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc sales numbers, as they currently do with DVD. Unfortunately, it's up to the manufactures themselves to make those numbers available - something they've been reluctant to do thus far. And the studios are even more cagy with software sales numbers. Nickerson went on to say that, “Sales of the two formats will be faster than DVD, which has been up to this point the most successful consumer electronics product launch." A bold prediction to be sure. You can read more on Nickerson's comments here at Video Business.

On the DVD front, Criterion's latest e-mail newsletter teases this news: "Janus Films. Fifty Years, Fifty Films. One Book, One Box. Coming This October." Plan accordingly.

The Weinstein Company (via Genius Products) is going to be releasing the Wordplay documentary (on New York Times/NPR "puzzle master" Will Shortz and crossword puzzle fans) on 11/11 (SRP $24.95). Extras will include commentary with Shortz, an interview gallery and a featurette on The Five Greatest Puzzles Ever Made.

Also today, you might be interested to know that The Horror Channel is going to be hosting a broadband screening of Re-Animator this Friday night (8/11 - 9 PM Pacific), featuring a live chat with director Stuart Gordon and producer Brian Yuzna. Click here for more details on how you can participate. In honor of the event, we're going to be giving away a copy of the Re-Animator DVD signed by Gordon and star Jeffrey Combs, along with some cool T-shirts. Click here for details on the contest (which ends THIS Sunday), and be sure to tune in this Friday night!

Click here for details on The Horror Channel's Re-Animation Chat!

Finally this morning, we've got more tentative street dates in The Rumor Mill for upcoming theatrical film DVD releases. Think Miami Vice, Snakes on a Plane, etc...

Stay tuned!

8/8/06

We've got more news for you today on both the DVD and HD-DVD fronts, so let's get right to it. We'll start with DVD...

Warner has announced a trio of great new box sets featuring classic film actors. The first is the 6-disc Gary Cooper: The Signature Collection due on 11/7 (SRP $49.92). It will include the Sergeant York: Two-Disc Special Edition, along with The Fountainhead, Springfield Rifle, The Wreck of Mary Deare and Dallas. All will be exclusive to the collection except Sergeant York and The Fountainhead (SRP $26.99 and $19.97 individually).

Next up is The Marlon Brando Collection (SRP $59.92) also due on 11/7. Look for it to include a new Mutiny on the Bounty: Two-Disc Special Edition, along with Julius Caesar, The Formula, Reflections in a Golden Eye and Teahouse of the August Moon. All will be exclusive to the collection except Mutiny on the Bounty and Julius Caesar (SRP $26.99 and $19.97 individually).

Following on 11/14 is The Paul Newman Collection (SRP $59.92), a 7-disc set that will include Harper, The Drowning Pool, The Left-Handed Gun, Mackintosh Man, Pocket Money, Somebody Up There Likes Me and The Young Philadelphians. All are exclusive to the set except Harper (SRP $19.97 individually).

Also newly announced by Warner are the suspense thriller Avenger (10/3) and the Dukes of Hazzard: The Complete Seventh Season box set (12/5), which marks the series' final season to be released on DVD.

In another cool bit of DVD news today, our friends over at TV Shows on DVD.com have some good news for you Speed Racer fans. It seems that Lionsgate is releasing Volume Five (the final volume of the series on DVD) sooner and cheaper than expected. Can we hear an "amen"? It's due on 10/31 for just SRP $19.98 (that's about $3 cheaper than the previous sets). Of course, there's no extras (other than a collectible miniature license plate), but I'm glad just to FINALLY have the last volume and be done with it! You'll find the cover art below.

Now on to the high-def news: At the Entertainment Media Expo event here in L.A. yesterday, Warner, New Line, Paramount and Universal revealed a little bit more about their HD-DVD release plans through the end of the year. Here's the relevant details:

Warner - Expects to release between 35 and 50 additional HD-DVD titles before the end of the year (in addition to the 21 already available). They'll have more Blu-ray Disc titles available as well, but weren't specific as to how many.

Universal - Plans to have a 60-title HD-DVD slate out by the end of the year.

Paramount - Has 10 HD-DVD titles available now (or soon to be available) and will likely release 10 more by the end of the year, including Mission: Impossible III. They're also expected to release at least a few Blu-ray Disc titles by the end of the year.

New Line - Is waiting until early 2007 to begin releasing titles, and plans will depend on how the fourth quarter plays out for both HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc. They'll begin with day-and-date new releases and continue with strong catalog titles like Blade and Se7en.

You can read more about the event here and here. Also at the event yesterday, Microsoft showed off their forthcoming HD-DVD add-on drive for the Xbox 360 game system. Microsoft claims that if you already own a 360, the add-on will be the cheapest HD-DVD player on the market. They also say it will be available in time for the holidays this year, although the specific price and release date are still TBA. It will connect to the 360 via the USB 2.0 port. You can listen to Microsoft's Major Nelson podcast here to learn more about how it will work (just slide down the page a bit and you'll find the specific audio links). Here's what the device will look like...

Microsoft's Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive

While we're at it today, here's some more cover art for you: Fox's The Omen (2006 - due 10/17), final art for Buena Vista's The Tick vs. Season One (8/29) and Lionsgate's Speed Racer: Volume Five...

The Omen (2006)The Tick vs. Season OneSpeed Racer: Volume Five

And be sure to check out our Upcoming DVD Cover Artwork section for a look at today's major new DVD releases - some good stuff in there! FYI, we have a new update of this section on the way soon.

Stay tuned...

8/7/06

We've got some new announcements in both standard and high-definition formats for you today.

First up, the standard DVD news: Sony has revealed the release of Hard Luck, Starsky & Hutch: The Complete Fourth Season, a re-packaged Dream for An Insomniac and the 2-disc Boris Karloff Horror Flicks Collection (SRP $24.96 - which will include The Black Room, The Man They Could Not Hang, Before I Hang and The Boogie Man Will Get You), all due on 10/17.

Also Paramount has finally re-announced the The Martin & Lewis Collection: Volume 1 for 10/31. It had been previously expected on 6/13, but was delayed. The set will include The Caddy, Jumping Jacks, Money from Home, My Friend Irma, My Friend Irma Goes West, Sailor Beware, Scared Stiff and That's My Boy.

Synapse Films will release the Street Trash: Meltdown Edition on 9/26.

And our friends over at Anchor Bay are releasing a Greatest American Hero: The Complete Series - Limited Collector's Edition tin box set on 10/3 (SRP $99.98). The set will include all three seasons of the show along with a full-size replica cape, an iron-on transfer of the hero logo, and a replica of the infamous "instruction manual". Nice.

Now for the high-def news, and it's all Blu-ray Disc today: Sony has officially set Gattaca and The Professionals for release on Blu-ray on 10/17.

Also, Lionsgate has revealed Wave 3 of their Blu-ray Disc slate, also due on 10/17. It's expected to include American Psycho, First Blood, Saw II and Young Guns.

We've updated our High-Def Release List accordingly.

Closer to home, our MusicTAP staff has checked in with reviews of Universal Music's new Rush: Replay X3 DVD, as well as RCA's Bruce Hornsby: Intersections 1985-2005 CD/DVD box set.

Finally today, we've kicked off FIVE new Contests, giving each of you the chance to take home copies of Paramount's Beavis & Butt-Head: Season 3, Magnolia's The Lost City, Logo's Noah's Arc: The Complete First Season, and Warner's James Stewart: The Signature Collection box set, Ronald Reagan: The Signature Collection box set, V for Vendetta: Special Edition, Blue Collar TV: The Complete Second Season, La Femme Nikita: The Complete Fourth Season, The Worst Week of My Life: The Complete First Season, Hong Kong Phooey: The Complete Series and Magilla Gorilla: The Complete Series! Whew! Entries for all these contests will be accepted until Noon (Pacific) on Sunday, August 20th. Click on the links to get started and good luck!

Stay tuned!

(LATE UPDATE - 8/4/06 - 6 PM PDT)

Okay... we've got just a couple of last notes for you this week...

20th Century Fox has just announced The Omen: The Complete Collection for release on 10/17, a 6-disc set (SRP $49.98) that will include The Omen (2006), the original 2-disc The Omen: Collector's Edition, Damien: The Omen II, The Omen III: The Final Conflict and The Omen IV: The Awakening.

Also, Universal has set Waist Deep for release on 10/10.

Closer to home today, our very own Russell Hammond has just posted a major update of his DVD Fanboy website, featuring lots of new information on retailer exclusives for such titles as Inside Man, Laguna Beach, Prison Break and more. Do check it out.

Finally today, there's been a bit of confusion out there about Warner's forthcoming release of The Green Mile: Special Edition. It seems that a few eagle-eyed types, who have seen the back of the DVD packaging posted on retail sites, noticed that the running time for the film was listed as 169 minutes, rather than the 188 minutes of the theatrical cut. Rest assured that this is just a typo. I've spoken with Warner and the DVD will include the full 188-minute version. The packaging is being corrected as we speak. So there you go.

We'll leave you this week with a look at the DVD cover art for Disney and Pixar's just-announced Cars (11/7), along with Touchstone's Alias: The Complete Fifth Season (11/21) and Lionsgate's Blu-ray Disc version of the Stargate: Extended Cut (8/22)...

CarsAlias: The Complete Fifth SeasonStargate (Blu-ray Disc)

Have a great weekend and we'll see you Monday!

(EARLY UPDATE - 8/4/06 - 2 AM PDT)

Just checking to see if you guys were paying attention. Have enough cups of coffee and ANYTHING will make sense after a while. You know, I've got to stop doing these things at 2 AM. ;)

Anyway... the big news this morning is that Buena Vista has officially announced the release of Disney and Pixar's Cars on 11/7. Strangely, the DVD is appallingly light on bonus material. You'll get separate anamorphic widescreen and full frame editions (SRP $29.99), each of which is single-disc. Extras will include the Mater and the Ghost and One Man Band animated shorts, 4 deleted scenes, the Inspiration for Cars featurette and a preview trailer for Pixar's forthcoming Ratatouille animated feature film. That's it. You can read more here at Video Business.

Also today, Lionsgate has revealed that they'll release a SAW II: 2-Disc Uncut Edition on 10/24 (SRP $26.98), timed to promote the theatrical release of SAW III. Look for anamorphic widescreen video, audio commentary with director Darren Lynn Bousman and other crew members, the Zombie short film (also directed by Bousman), 2 behind-the-scenes features and more.

As promised, we've got Barrie Maxwell's latest edition of Classic Coming Attractions for you this morning, in which Barrie reviews 7 new, recent and forthcoming classic film DVD releases including 20th Century Fox's Will Rogers Collection: Volume 1, The Black Swan, The Keys of the Kingdom, The River's Edge and Mr. Moto Collection: Volume 1, Unknown Video's The Silent Comedy Mafia: Volume 1 and Milestone's Beyond the Rocks. He runs down the latest classic film DVD release announcements as well.

Also today, our TAP crew checks in with a review of the long-awaited Columbia release of Pink Floyd: PULSE on DVD. They've also given Universal Music's Pure '80s: The Ultimate DVD Box a spin for you.

Finally this morning, as a follow-up to that bit about the Forbidden Planet DVD cover art we posted yesterday... it seems that Warner was attempting to recreate the look of the original Italian release poster for the film, which DID feature altered color uniforms. I'd rather they just use the artwork itself, but that's me. Here's a comparison (thanks to Bits reader John B. for spotting that)...

Forbidden Planet: 50th Anniversary Two-Disc Special EditionForbidden Planet Italian poster art

We may be back later with more release news, but if not, have a great weekend and we'll see you back here bright and early on Monday. Stay tuned...

(LATE UPDATE - 8/3/06 - 12:15 PM PDT)

We've checked with Warner and have learned that The Lake House HD-DVD will be a DVD/HD-DVD Combo format release, which explains why it's priced $5 more than the Blu-ray version. We should have guessed this, but it was pretty late last night when we were putting the post together, so it slipped by us. Thanks to those of you who pointed that out as the likely suspect.

By the way, while we're talking Warner, we've gotten a LOT of complaints about that cover art for the Forbidden Planet DVD we posted last night...

Forbidden Planet: 50th Anniversary Two-Disc Special EditionForbidden Planet: 50th Anniversary Edition - Ultimate Collector's Edition tin art

That's it on the left. As many readers have correctly pointed out, those uniform colors are have been digitally tweaked to make the cover art "pop" more visually. Both the red and green uniforms should be a blue-gray color, as they are in the film itself. Personally, I'd much prefer the studio just stick with the poster image on the right, which is the cover for the tin Ultimate Collector's Edition case, rather than the Photoshop cut and paste job on the left. Ugh. Anyway... speaking of the Ultimate Collector's Edition, here's a look at what you'll get in the tin case...

Forbidden Planet: Ultimate Collector's Edition tin contents

Looks like a very cool little package to me. Now if they'd just announce the high-def versions...

By the way, we've kicked off a new Digital Bits Power Buy today that might interest those of you interested in picking up a Pioneer Elite DV-79AVi HDMI-upconverting DVD player or a Pioneer Elite 1080P 50" PRO-FHD1 plasma at a good price. Click here for more details.

Stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 8/3/06 - 12:01 AM PDT)

Morning, all. Sorry for the lack of an update yesterday, but we've got some home improvement work going on here. I was also gathering some background information with our industry sources and the combination took up more of my time and attention than I expected. Nevertheless, we've got lots of good news this morning to make it up to you.

First up, we have more details for you today on the DVD release of Fox's X-Men: The Last Stand. The title will be available on 10/3 in separate anamorphic widescreen and full frame editions (SRP $29.98 each). Each version will include Dolby Digital 5.1 EX audio, audio commentary with director Brett Ratner and writers Zack Penn and Simon Kinberg, a second commentary with producers Avi Arad, Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter, deleted and extended scenes with optional commentary, 3 alternate endings, 3 sets of animated menus (one featuring the X-Men and one the Brotherhood), the Inside Look: A Night at the Museum featurette, trailers for Daredevil, Elektra and Fantastic Four, and promos for other Fox titles. Also available will be an X-Men: The Last Stand - Stan Lee Collector's Edition (SRP $39.98), which will include a 100-page book that features an all-new custom comic written by Stan Lee, along with reprints of Lee's 3 favorite X-Men comics. There will also be an X-Men Trilogy Pack (SRP $44.98) containing all three films. As we reported the other day, a UMD version has been announced for 10/3 as well, and industry sources are telling us to expect a Blu-ray Disc version too (TBA), once Fox officially unveils their first releases on the format.

In other Fox news, the studio has announced The Omen (2006) for release on 10/17, as we predicted in The Rumor Mill last week. Separate full frame and anamorphic widescreen versions will be available (SRP $29.98 each), each of which will include audio commentary with director John Moore, producer Glenn Williamson and editor Dan Zimmerman, an unrated alternate ending, 2 extended scenes, "Omenisms", the Abby Road Sessions and Revelations 666 featurettes, theatrical trailers and the trailer for the 1976 film version on DVD.

Meanwhile, Warner has announced that it's going to be releasing The Lake House on DVD on 9/26 (SRP $28.98), also as expected. The film will be available on HD-DVD (SRP $39.99) and Blu-ray Disc (SRP $34.99) on 9/26 as well. There's no word yet as to the extras due to be included on each version, so I wouldn't read too much into the price difference in the two high-def formats. It's quite possible that the HD-DVD will include extras while the Blu-ray won't, due to differences in compression and disc space available on each format. We'll let you know when we do.

Warner has also announced a 2-disc The Green Mile: Special Edition for release on 11/14 (SRP $20.97). You'll get anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, audio commentary by director Frank Darabont, deleted scenes, 2 documentaries (Miracles and Mystery: Creating the Green Mile and Walking the Mile: The Making of The Green Mile), 2 featurettes (Michael Clarke Duncan's Screen Test and Tom Hanks' Make-up Tests), the film's teaser and theatrical trailers and something called The Teaser Trailer: A Case Study.

Anyone interested in Warner's The Exorcist: The Complete Anthology box set on 10/10 (SRP $42.92)? The 6-disc set will include both the theatrical and 2000 cuts of the original Exorcist, along with Exorcist II: The Heretic, The Exorcist III and both versions of the most recent film (known as Dominion: Prequel to The Exorcist and Exorcist: The Beginning, respectively).

By the way, we've been told to expect a lot of these major catalog releases to be eventually announced by Warner for release in both high-definition formats. They're working hard to get them done, but there's still a lot of uncertainty associated with high-def authoring and production schedules at the moment. It's all pretty new, so they can't always announce the high-def versions at the same time as the DVDs. Anyway, be sure to stay tuned, because we expect to see a lot more of these titles in HD in the months ahead.

We're still not done with Warner this morning: The studio has also announced the release of The Last Voyage (10/24), National Geographic's Mega Structures, Thou Shalt Laugh and The Souler Opposite (11/7), and Thundercats: Season Two, Volume Two (11/28).

Speaking of high-def, there's word today that LG Electronics has decided against releasing an HD-DVD/Blu-ray Disc combo player at this time. They're sticking to just Blu-ray for now instead. You can read more here at TWICE.

While we're talking high-def, The Weinstein Company has sent us their anticipated initial HD-DVD release slate, due to arrive in December from distributor Genius Products. If all goes well, look for Clerks II, Derailed, Wolf Creek and Scary Movie 4 on 12/5, DOA: Dead or Alive on 12/12, and Pulse and The Matador on 12/26. We've updated the Hi-Def Release List accordingly. Note that these dates are subject to change.

Finally today, we've confirmed with Universal Music that Stewart Copeland's new Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out documentary will arrive on DVD on 9/12. U-Music has also confirmed the 9/19 street date for the U2: Zoo TV - Live from Sydney DVD (both a single-disc regular edition and a 2-disc limited edition will be available).

We'll leave you this morning with a look at some new cover art: Fox's X-Men: The Last Stand, the X-Men: The Last Stand - Stan Lee Collector's Edition and Ice Age: The Meltdown (11/21), Warner's The Green Mile: Special Edition, their final artwork for the Forbidden Planet: 50th Anniversary Two-Disc Special Edition (11/14 - the art we posted last week was for the limited edition tin set) and The Exorcist: The Complete Anthology...

X-Men: The Last StandX-Men: The Last Stand - Stan Lee Collector's EditionIce Age: The Meltdown

The Green Mile: Special EditionForbidden Planet: 50th Anniversary Two-Disc Special EditionThe Exorcist: The Complete Anthology

We'll be back tomorrow (bright and early) with a new Classic Coming Attractions column from Barrie Maxwell. Stay tuned...

(LATE UPDATE - 8/1/06 - 3:15 PM PDT)

We've got GREAT news to report today, folks! I just got off the phone with MGM and have learned that, just as we suspected, the studio's long-awaited A Fish Called Wanda: Special Edition will now be released on DVD by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The new street date is 10/10, so reset your plans accordingly.

What's more, MGM also confirmed with me that they're finally planning Region 1 versions of those three Sergio Leone DVD special editions that were released last year in the U.K. (A Fistful of Dollars, A Fistful of Dynamite and For a Few Dollars More) sometime in 2007, also to be distributed by Fox. Don't that just beat all?

Stay tuned...

(LATE UPDATE - 8/1/06 - 2 PM PDT)

Some more new announcements this afternoon...

Universal has set The Breakup Artist for release on 11/7 (SRP $24.98).

20th Century Fox has set Ice Age 2: The Meltdown for release on 11/21 (SRP $29.98). The disc will be available in both full frame and anamorphic widescreen versions. A UMD version will also be available, as well as a 2-pack of both the original film and the new sequel.

And Warner has officially announced the DVD/HD-DVD Combo format release of Good Night, and Good Luck for 8/22 (SRP $39.99). Also due on 8/22 is the HD-DVD release of Caddyshack and The Searchers (SRP $28.99 each). Nice to see some more deep catalog coming to the format. Suggestion to Warner: How's about high-deffin' The American President, Excalibur, Blade Runner and 2001: A Space Odyssey before 2006 is over? Actually, I think those last two at least are already in the works...

For HBO, Warner has announced the DVD release of The Hitchhiker, Volume 3 on 10/31 (SRP $34.98). Also coming on that day is a Six Feet Under: The Complete Series box set (SRP $279.99). HBO's Thin documentary will follow on 11/14 (SRP $24.98).

Finally, Anchor Bay will release a new Castle of Cagliostro: Special Edition on 8/29 (SRP $24.98).

And in a bit of fun-but-non-DVD news this afternoon, MTV officially turns 25 today. What's very cool for you Gen-Xers out there, is that if you visit their website today, you can watch the ENTIRE FIRST HOUR that MTV ever broadcast, way back on August 1st of 1981 (yes... even Todd Rundgren's hilariously primitive looking Time Heals video - it's all there). You younger types probably won't care except out of curiosity, but anyone old enough to have actually watched this hour the first time around (as I did), will get a huge kick out of it. Ahhh... music in stereo out of your TV, and you could actually SEE it. All that and Atari too. Times were good. Now, of course, MTV barely even plays music videos anymore, and I'm listening to all the original MTV VJs on Sirius Satellite Radio. Go figure.

"Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll...!"

(EARLY UPDATE - 8/1/06 - 2 AM PDT)

We've got reviews for y'all this morning, just as promised. See? Told you they were coming.

Adam Jahnke kicks off the fun in his latest edition of The Bottom Shelf, offering his thoughts on Warner's Point Blank, Universal's The Ice Harvest and Sony's The Pink Panther: Special Edition.

Next, our very own Todd Doogan checks in with a new Doogan's Views column, in which he gives his take on Warner's A Very Long Engagement, Synapse Film's Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare: Special Edition and Cult Epics' Bettie Page: Dark Angel: Two-Disc Limited Edition.

And rounding it all out today, Matt and the gang over at MusicTAP serve up a bunch of new music DVD reviews, including Atlantic's Death Cab for Cutie: Directions, MCA's Jerry Clower: Clower Power, Columbia Music's Judas Priest: Live Vengeance '82 and Hip-O's Muddy Waters: Classic Concerts, as well as reviews of the new CD/DVD remasters of Depeche Mode's Speak & Spell, Music for the Masses and Violator from Sire/Reprise.

All in all, not a bad way to kick off a bright, shinny August morning.

Don't forget to check out our late post from last night, including word of the unfortunate demise of Sony's A Fish Called Wanda: Special Edition and more. We're working to follow up on that, so we'll let you know what we learn.

Stay tuned...

(LATE UPDATE - 7/31/06 - 8 PM PDT)

After consulting with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment this afternoon, we've learned that the previously announced A Fish Called Wanda: Special Edition, which had been set to street on DVD tomorrow, has been pulled from the studio's release schedule. As of now, there's no new release date. We're just speculating, but given that the film is an MGM title, it's possible that it will eventually be released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (Fox now has the home video distribution rights to MGM titles). We expect to learn more soon. Either way, this is a major bummer. We were very much looking forward to this DVD here at The Bits, and we know a lot of you out there were too.

Speaking of Fox, the studio has officially confirmed the 10/3 street date we posted last week for the DVD release of X-Men: The Last Stand. Additional details and artwork will be available soon.

It's not exactly DVD-related, but there are a couple of interesting bits of movie news have made themselves known this evening. First up, Warner is apparently about to reveal that the next Batman feature film will be called The Dark Knight. It will be directed by Christopher Nolan and it will co-star Heath Ledger as The Joker. Official announcements are expected tomorrow, but you can read more at Collider and Coming Soon in the meantime.

Also, New Line has confirmed that actress Nicole Kidman has signed on to star in director Chris Weitz's big screen adaptation of author Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass. The film starts shooting in September and is expected to arrive in theaters in November 2007. Kidman will play the role of Mrs. Coulter, in case you were wondering. The Golden Compass (known as The Northern Lights pretty much everywhere other than the States) is the first of a trilogy of novels by Pullman. It's followed by The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass. Matt turned me on to these books earlier this year and, having now read all three, I can tell you that they're pretty great pieces of work. In fact, I'm as excited for these films as I am for almost anything else that's in the works from Hollywood at the moment, save for maybe Warner's 300 (directed by Zack Snyder) and The Weinstein Company's Grind House (directed by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino). Both productions had great showings at Comic-Con, and I was hoping New Line would have more to say about Compass at the Con, but such was not the case. Anyway, you can read a bit more on this casting news here at Variety.

FYI, those DVD reviews I mentioned earlier will be posted shortly, so if you check back first thing in the morning, you'll find them ready to go.

In the meantime, here's a little bit more cover art for you: DreamWorks' Over the Hedge (due from Paramount on 10/17) and the DVD and DVD/HD-DVD Combo versions of Universal's The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (9/26)...

Over the HedgeThe Fast and the Furious: Tokyo DriftThe Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (DVD/HD-DVD Combo Format)

Stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 7/31/06 - 12:30 PM PDT)

Afternoon, folks! Hope the weekend was good to you. Matt, Adam and I managed to take in a screening of Little Miss Sunshine on Saturday, which is a pretty good little film. Alan Arkin is very funny, and the film is well worth the ticket price for him alone. Matt and I, joined by our wives, also spent Saturday evening closing out The Orange County Fair... so it's pretty hard to complain about a weekend like that.

We've got some interesting new DVD news for you today, starting with word that Warner has officially announced the DVD release of Albert Brooks' Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World on 8/29 (SRP $27.95). The 98-minute film will be released in anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

Warner has also just announced The Tarzan Collection, Volume 2 box set for release on 10/31 (SRP 39.92). The set will include Tarzan Triumphs, Tarzan's Desert Mystery, Tarzan and the Amazons, Tarzan and the Leopard Woman, Tarzan and the Huntress and Tarzan and the Mermaids, all of which are brand new to DVD (they were never available on VHS) and are available exclusively in this box set. We believe they're all original full frame aspect ratio and will have Dolby Digital mono audio.

Meanwhile, Lionsgate has announced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Volume 5 for DVD release on 8/29 (SRP $14.98), which will include 12 episodes of the animated TV series (Corporate Raiders from Dimension X, Pizza by the Shred, Super Bebop and Mighty Rocksteady, Beware the Lotus, Blast from the Past, Leatherhead, Michaelangelo's Birthday, Usagi Yojimbo, Case of the Hot Kimono, Usagi Come Home, The Making of Metalhead and Leatherhead Meets the Rat King).

Universal will release The Ground Truth and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift on 9/26. The Ground Truth (SRP $14.98) is Patricia Foulkrod's documentary on the human cost of the Iraq war from the Focus Films label. It'll be on DVD in anamorphic widescreen. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift will be available in separate full frame and anamorphic widescreen DVD versions (SRP $29.98 each), as well as a DVD/HD-DVD Combo disc (SRP $39.98). DVD extras are expected to include deleted scenes, the Drifting School and Tricked Out to Drift featurettes and more. The HD-DVD version will also include Universal's new U-Control interactive experience, that gives you picture-in-picture access to behind-the-scenes material while you watch the film. It also allows you to use GPS to track the cars through the streets of Tokyo, AND we've heard that you'll actually be able to customize the look of one of the cars in a scene from the film and then watch it in that scene. It should be interesting to see.

Also today, Sony has announced the DVD release of Art School Confidential on 10/10.

Disney has set Hannah Montana: Volume One and Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior for release on 10/24.

Paramount will release JAG: The Complete Second Season and the PBS Warplane documentary on 11/7, with CSI: The Complete Sixth Season and NCIS: The Complete Second Season following on 11/14. They've also announced that they'll release Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit for DreamWorks on 11/28.

Finally, Home Media Retailing has posted a story today on how industry analysts expect that the winner in the HD format war won't emerge until well after the holidays at the earliest. They also have an interview with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment president Mike Dunn, in which he notes that his studio is very excited about both DVD and Blu-ray Disc moving forward.

We'll be back this afternoon with new reviews from Adam and Todd. Stay tuned...

7/28/06

We've talked to our industry sources today, and have posted a bunch of anticipated DVD street dates in The Rumor Mill for you. These are major feature film titles, some of which are currently in theaters, so do check them out. We figured that'd be a nice way to close out the week.

We've also got a bit of new HD news for you this morning. Warner has revealed that they'll soon be releasing Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket on Blu-ray Disc format. The exact street date is still TBA, but it's nice to see another title that we'll be able to compare on both Blu-ray and HD-DVD. And speaking of that other HD format (the one in the RED case), Warner has also revealed that they're readying the 2005 House of Wax remake for release on HD-DVD. We expect official details on both releases very soon.

This isn't exactly DVD news, but it's really going to get your blood pumping if you're a fan of Sci-Fi's Battlestar Galactica. The full Season Three teaser trailer is currently available for your viewing pleasure over at YouTube, and it's seriously badass (sure like to see it in higher quality though). Emmy might have overlooked Adama and company, but Peabody sure as hell didn't (and rightly so). October can't come fast enough for us.

Around The Bits today, we've just posted Adam Jahnke's latest edition of The Electric Theatre, in which he reviews Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Who Killed the Electric Car?, A Scanner Darkly and... uhh... Bollero. Yeah, that's right... that Bo Derek flick from the 80s. Only Jahnke.

And here's a bit of new DVD cover artwork for you: 20th Century Fox's Point Break: Pure Adrenaline Edition, the Return to the Planet of the Apes: The Complete Animated Series and Thank You for Smoking (all due on 10/3)...

Point Break: Pure Adrenaline EditionReturn to the Planet of the Apes: The Complete Animated SeriesThank You for Smoking

Finally, we wanted to remind you all to take a moment to check out the work of our current Artist of the Month here at The Bits. Scott Rosenberg is a fantastic nature photographer, who specializes in landscape imagery. His work is really impressive - some of these photos are absolutely stunning. You can view lots more of them in the gallery on his own website. We think you'll be glad you did.

Okay, now that we've cleared out all of the major Comic-Con and post-Comic-Con DVD announcements... we'll see you back here on Monday to kick off a full week of wall-to-wall disc reviews... DVD, HD-DVD AND Blu-ray Disc! Many of them are already in the can with that sweet, sweet factory-fresh smell, all ready to go. Among them you'll find reviews from myself, Barrie Maxwell, Adam Jahnke, Todd Doogan and much more. No, I'm not kidding.

Have yourselves a fine weekend in the meantime, and we'll see you back here on Monday! Peace out...

(LATE UPDATE - 7/27/06 - 4:45 PM PDT)

Okay... after making my Superman box set post earlier this afternoon, I've received even MORE confused e-mails. So I decided to go right to the source to help you all understand what's really happening with the whole 8-disc vs. 14-disc thing (just forget what I said earlier - in fact, I've deleted it from the post). I contacted Warner Home Video today about the whole Superman box set issue, and here's the real skinny: Basically Warner sort-of announced earlier in 2006 that they were going to be releasing a massive 14-disc Superman Legacy Collection box set with all the films and other materials... and then at Comic-Con the studio finally announced only an 8-disc Christopher Reeve Superman Collection box set. So people were left to wonder, what happened to the 14-disc set? Was it cancelled? Did the plans change and is the 8-disc set all we're getting now? The latter is what we had, in fact, been told by a number of sources and it was the logical conclusion to make. But according to the Warner Home Video representative I contacted this afternoon, there MAY still be a larger Legacy Collection release. However, it's not certain to happen, it's not yet officially announced and there are some issues that have to be resolved before it can come to fruition. Hopefully, things will play out such that we'll know more sooner rather than later. In the meantime, however, what IS for sure is that the 8-disc Christopher Reeve Superman Collection box set will street on 11/28, along with a separate release of Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut. As for Superman Returns, it will be officially announced in the weeks ahead.

So to summarize, you're getting 8 discs plus the Donner DVD for sure, along with Superman Returns (TBA, but likely due out by the end of the year), and there MAY still be an even more elaborate Superman DVD box set in 2006 or 2007, which hopefully we'll know about soon. And that's official. Sort of. It's at least as much as can be officially confirmed as of now.

Got it? Okay. Whew!

And on that perplexing note... stay tuned...

(LATE UPDATE - 7/27/06 - 2 PM PDT)

Here you go... Universal has finally sent over the complete DVD details and cover art for the King Kong: Deluxe Extended Edition, due to street on 11/14 (SRP $34.98). The 3-disc set will include a 13-minute longer version of the film in anamorphic widescreen video, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. The film will be split over the first two discs in the set. The new footage will include over 230 additional special effects shots. Some 40 minutes worth of additional deleted scenes will be included separately on the 3-disc set as well. Here's the disc by disc breakdown:

Disc One - The Film, Part One - audio commentary with director Peter Jackson and co-writer/producer Philippa Boyens, 16 deleted scenes

Disc Two - The Film, Part Two - audio commentary with director Peter Jackson and co-writer/producer Philippa Boyens, 5 featurettes (The Eighth Blunder of the World, The Present, A Night in Vaudeville, Kong Kong Homage, Weta Collectibles) and theatrical trailers

Disc Three - The King Kong Archives - introduction by Peter Jackson, 8 featurettes (The Origins of King Kong, Pre-Production, Part 1: The Return of Kong, Pre-Production, Part 2: Countdown to Filming, The Venture Journey, Return to Skull Island, New York, New Zealand, Bringing Kong to Life, Part 1: Design and Research, Bringing Kong to Life, Part 2: Performance and Animation), 5 video galleries (The 1996 King Kong, The Venture, Skull Island, New York, Kong), 5 Pre-Viz Animatics (Arrival at Skull Island, Bronto Stampede, T-Rex Fight, Kong's Capture, Empire State Building Battle), 3 Motion-Capture/Animation Comparisons (Ann Disarms Kong, Kong's Capture, Kong in New York), DVD credits, the 1996 and 2005 screenplays (via DVD-ROM) and more

In addition, as we mentioned earlier, you'll be able to purchase the same 3-disc set in a King Kong: Deluxe Extended Limited Edition DVD Gift Set (SRP $79.98) in collectible packaging, which will also include "A beautifully crafted King Kong figurine, created exclusively for the package by the Oscar-winning artists at Weta Workshop and Weta Digital, the company responsible for the film's creature design, special makeups, miniatures and dazzling visual effects." Here's a look at the DVD cover artwork for the King Kong: Deluxe Extended Edition and also the new figurine that will be found in the Gift Set...

King Kong: Deluxe Extended EditionKing Kong: Deluxe Extended Edition & Gift Set Figurine

Stay tuned...

(LATE UPDATE - 7/27/06 - 11:15 AM PDT)

There's still more new DVD news for you this morning, so let's get to it.

On 11/14, Universal will deliver the Bing Crosby: Screen Legend Collection (includes Waikiki Wedding, Double or Nothing, East of Heaven, If I Had My Way and Here Come the Waves), the Cary Grant: Screen Legend Collection (includes Thirty Day Princess, Kiss and Make Up, Wings in the Dark, Big Brown Eyes and Wedding Present) and the Rock Hudson: Screen Legend Collection (includes Has Anybody Seen My Gal?, A Very Special Favor, The Golden Blade, The Last Sunset and The Spiral Road). SRP for each is $29.98.

By the way, we've confirmed again with the studio that 3-disc King Kong: Deluxe Extended Edition will street on 11/14 (SRP $34.98). The 3-disc set will also be available in a Limited Edition Gift Set with additional premiums (SRP $79.98). More details will follow.

Buena Vista and Miramax have officially announced the DVD release of Keeping Up with the Steins on 10/31 (SRP $29.99). Meanwhile, for Disney BVHE has announced The Fox and the Hound: 25th Anniversary Edition for release on 10/10 (SRP also $29.99). Extras will include The Best of Friends sing-along, the Forest Friendship game, the New Best Friends DVD storybook, the Passing the Baton featurette on the "Golden Age Animators and the New Breed," an artwork gallery and the bonus vintage animated shorts Lambert the Sheepish Lion and Lend a Paw.

Warner has also announced a number of interesting new titles for the 3rd and 4th Quarters, including The Stephen King Thriller Collection on 9/12 (SRP $23.97, includes The Shining, The Shawshank Redemption and The Dreamcatcher), The Astaire & Rogers Collection: Volume 2 (SRP $59.92, including Carefree, Flying Down to Rio, The Gay Divorcee, Roberta and The Story of Vernon & Irene Castle), The Astaire & Rogers Ultimate Collector's Edition (SRP $119.98, including The Barkleys of Broadway, Carefree, Flying Down to Rio, Follow the Fleet, The Gay Divorcee, Roberta, Shall we Dance, The Story of Vernon & Irene Castle, Swing Time, Top Hat and the Astaire and Rogers Partners in Rhythm bonus disc), Eternal Enemies, In Search of the Jaguar, Last Stand of the Great Bear, Whales in Crisis and the National Geographic Wildlife box set (including the last four titles we just mentioned) all on 10/17, the Body Heat: Deluxe Edition on 10/24, the BBC Atlas of the Natural World: Western Hemisphere (for the BBC), Land of the Eagle, Spirits of the Jaguar and Wild South America on 10/31, The West Wing: The Complete Seventh Season and The West Wing: The Complete Series Collection (SRP $299.98) on 11/7, Friends: The Complete Series Collection (SRP $299.98), Black Books: The Complete Second Series, a Black Books: The Complete First and Second Series 2-pack, Looney Tunes: Bah Humduck and the Looney Tunes: Spotlight Collection - Volume 4 on 11/14, and finally a How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Deluxe Edition on 11/21. We expect to have more details on some of these titles soon.

FYI, we do know that The West Wing: The Complete Series Collection (SRP $299.98) will include all seven seasons on 45 discs, along with a reproduction of the script for the pilot episode with a written introduction by series creator Aaron Sorkin. Friends: The Complete Series Collection (SRP $299.98) will include all of the series' episodes on 40 discs, packaged with a 60-page book with lots of behind-the-scenes photos and other material. Otherwise, the disc-based extras on these two sets are identical to what was in the previously-released season sets.

Finally this morning... our friends over at TVShowsonDVD.com have learned that Paramount will finally be releasing a 6-disc Beverly Hills 90210: The Complete First Season on DVD on 11/17 (click here). Also coming on that date is an 8-disc Melrose Place: The Complete First Season DVD set (click here). The site also has an update today on Time-Life's plans for Get Smart on DVD later this year. Do check it out.

Stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 7/27/06 - 1:15 AM PDT)

We've covered some of the major studios over the last couple days, so how about a little indie DVD news this morning?

While participating in our DVD Sneak Peek 2006 panel at Comic-Con last week, DVD producer Andy Mangels unveiled a pretty spectacular line-up of Saturday morning animated and live-action titles that he's producing special features for on behalf of BCI Eclipse's new Ink & Paint label. In addition to his work on the just-released The Best of She-Ra: Princess of Power, Flash Gordon: The Complete Series, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: Season Two, Volume One, Prince Valiant: The Complete Series - Volume One and Ultraman: Series One, Volume One, Andy is working on the following (street dates are included as known): Blackstar: The Complete Series and Space Sentinels & The Freedom Force: The Complete Series (both 8/22), Defenders of the Earth: Volume One (10/10), Groovie Goolies: The Saturday "Mourning" Collection, A Snow White Christmas and Journey Back to OZ: Special Edition (10/24), She-Ra: Princess of Power - Season One, Volume One, Ark II: The Complete Series, Ghost Busters: The Animated Series - Volume One and Dungeons & Dragons: The Complete Series (11/7), Mission Magic: The Complete Series and The New Adventures of He-Man: Volume One (late 2006), Space Academy: The Complete Series, The Cat Pack: Waldo Kitty & Fraidy Cat - Volume One, Prince Valiant: The Complete Series - Volume Two, She-Ra: Princess of Power - Season One, Volume Two, Defenders of the Earth: Volume Two, Zorro & The Lone Ranger: Volume One and The Legend of Bravestarr: Special Edition (early 2007), Ghost Busters: The Animated Series - Volume Two, Snow White: Happily Ever After - Special Edition, The New Adventures of He-Man: Volume Two and Jason of Star Command: The Complete Series (Spring 2007) and She-Ra: Princess of Power - Season Two, Hero High: The Complete Series, The Legend of Bravestarr: The Series - Volume One, The Ghost Busters: The Complete Series (live action), Zorro & The Lone Ranger: Volume Two, Fabulous Funnies: The Complete Series, The Legend of Bravestarr: The Series - Volume Two and The Secrets of Isis: The Complete Series (Summer 2007).

That's a pretty damn impressive line-up by any measure. Here's a look at the cover artwork for select titles mentioned above...

Flash Gordon: The Complete SeriesUltraman: Series One, Volume OnePrince Valiant: The Complete Series - Volume One

Ark II: The Complete SeriesGroovie Goolies: The Saturday "Mourning" CollectionSpace Sentinels & The Freedom Force: The Complete Series

Back with more later. Stay tuned...


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