-Website est. 12/15/97-
(Archived Posts 9/20/06 - 9/6/06)
to Previous Archives
to Current Posts
Afternoon, folks! Today's post is going to be a quick one, pending any
other major breaking news. However, I wanted to jump in here this
afternoon with a look at the tentative cover art for Warner's upcoming
(and still TBA) Superman Returns
DVDs. Here's what the 2-disc special edition and single-disc DVDs are
expected to look like when they reach store shelves later this year.
Note that this art leaked out of Warner in Europe, and comes to us from
fine DVD Active (all region) website. Warner here in the
U.S. hasn't released it (or even officially announced the title) yet, so
it should be considered unofficial. Regardless, we're reasonably
confident that it's the real deal. We also have the OFFICIALLY released
cover art for Superman II: The Richard Donner
Cut DVD (due 11/28). Here you go...
Rest assured we'll have all the official specs and details on Superman
Returns (and any other Superman-related
titles) when they're announced by Warner.
In the meantime today, Universal has officially announced the DVD
release of Law & Order: Criminal Intent -
The Second Year as a 5-disc set on 12/12 (SRP $59.98). Look
for video in full frame with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.
We also have a number of street dates for major upcoming titles in
Rumor Mill today, along with a bit of information on upcoming
50GB Blu-ray Disc releases.
(LATE UPDATE - 9/19/06 - 2
Wow... what was I saying about this being a busy day? Talk about
We're checking back in here this afternoon, because we now have the
exact details and cover art for Buena Vista's just announced Pirates
of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (12/5). As we mentioned
earlier, the single-disc edition (SRP $29.99) will include audio
commentary with screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, plus the
Bloopers of the Caribbean gag
reel. The 2-disc special edition (SRP $34.99) will include all that with
"limited availability holographic packaging", plus the Charting
the Return and According to Plan:
The Harrowing and True Story of Dead Man's Chest
documentaries, 6 featurettes (Captain Jack:
From Head to Toe, Mastering the
Blade: Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport, Meet
Davy Jones: Anatomy of a Legend, Creating
the Kraken, Dead Men Tell New
Tales: Re-Imagineering the Attraction and Fly
on the Set: The Bond Cage), Jerry Bruckheimer's photo diary
and video of the film's premiere. Video on both versions will be
anamorphic widescreen with audio in Dolby Digital 5.1. Here's a look at
the cover artwork for both versions...
As you can see, we've also included art for Sony's Seinfeld:
Season 7, due on 11/21.
Also today, we've got still MORE high-def news for you: Buena Vista
Home Entertainment has just confirmed with us the line-up for their
third wave of Blu-ray Disc titles. Due on 11/21 are Annapolis,
High and the CG animated The Wild.
We've updated the
Release List accordingly. We should have additional details in
the next couple of days.
(LATE UPDATE -
9/19/06 - 12:15 PM PDT)
Okay... just a little follow-up on the Warner high-def announcements
from this morning. As we already mentioned in our first post today, all
of the Warner HD-DVDs and Blu-ray Discs due on 10/10 will include all of
the special features that were on the standard DVD versions, and we've
already told you about the IME features on the Batman
Begins and Charlie and the
Chocolate Factory HD-DVDs. On the audio side of things, Willy
Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie
and the Chocolate Factory and The
Polar Express will feature Dolby Digital Plus 5.1. Charlie
and the Chocolate Factory will also feature a music-only
track in Dolby TrueHD 5.1. Batman Begins
will feature in both Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1.
Finally, The Corpse Bride will
feature audio in Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 EX, along with a music-only
track in Dolby Digital Plus 5.1. On the Blu-ray Disc side, Syriana
and 16 Blocks will both feature
audio in Dolby Digital 5.1.
Here's cover art for all 6 Warner HD-DVD titles, along with Paramount's
DVD release of An Inconvenient Truth
(due 11/21 - in packaging made from recycled materials)...
(LATE UPDATE - 9/19/06 -
10:15 AM PDT)
Boy... it's shaping up to be a busy day here at The
Bits. Hot on the heels of Warner's big HD-DVD and Blu-ray
Disc announcement this morning comes word that Universal has announced 4
more HD-DVDs for release in November. Due on 11/28 are An
American Werewolf in London (as a DVD/HD-DVD Combo - SRP
$34.98), David Lynch's Dune, Meet
the Parents and Stephen Sommers' The
Mummy (all HD-DVD only - SRP $29.98 each). FYI, Dune
will contain the 137-minute version of the film. All will include Dolby
Digital Plus 5.1 audio.
I have to say, I'm pretty impressed by how aggressively the HD-DVD
supporting studios are working to get some of their major, eye-candy
films out. King Kong, The
Mummy, Batman Begins...
those are the kind of titles that motivate people to buy new hardware
and try out a new format. I've said it before, but it's worth mentioning
again... the Blu-ray Disc supporting studios REALLY need to start
announcing some better titles and soon if they want to stay competitive
in this format war.
recent announcements were a good start, but the rest of that camp
needs to step up to the plate with a more early-adopter friendly slate
of releases. I get the distinct sense that there are a lot of people in
the Blu-ray camp who figure that they've got the advantage over the long
haul in terms of hardware and computer industry support, and that
they're counting on the PS3 to really tip the balance in their favor.
But without the kind of dazzling, eye-candy movie discs that are going
to get early adopters (read: high-end movie buffs) excited, none of that
is going to matter. The PS3 is awfully expensive, and there's no
guarantee that anyone who buys a PS3 is going to do so to watch Blu-ray
Disc films. Appealing to the HOME THEATER early adopters, in terms of
both A/V quality and eye candy title selection, is the key here just as
it was with DVD almost 10 years ago. The HD-DVD group is definitely
doing a better job in that regard at the moment. Know you audience,
On the standard DVD front, Universal will release Airwolf:
Season Two on 12/26 as a 5-disc set (SRP $39.98).
Also today, Paramount has set the animated Barnyard
for release on 12/12.
(LATE UPDATE - 9/19/06
- 9:30 AM PDT)
More standard DVD news this morning: Disney is expected to announce
today that Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead
Man's Chest will arrive on 12/5 in two versions... a
single-disc edition (SRP $29.99) and a 2-disc collector's edition (SRP
$34.99). Extras on both will include audio commentary by screenwriters
Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, and a gag reel.
to Home Media Retailing, the collector's edition will add
"10 featurettes, including a profile on star
Johnny Depp, an inside look at the movie's theatrical premiere on
Disneyland's Main Street, a photo diary from producer Jerry Bruckheimer,
a feature on re-imagineering the Disneyland theme park's
popular Pirates of the Caribbean attraction into a movie, and an
extensive making-of documentary." Meanwhile, work on the
final film in the trilogy, Pirates of the
Caribbean: At World's End, is already underway. Expect a box
set of all three films on DVD in time for the holidays next year.
By the way... a lot of you have been e-mailing us about word that's
leaked out of Australia in the last few days about
13-disc Superman: The Ultimate Collector's Edition set
that's due to be released there on 12/6. The set contains the 4-disc
Superman DVD, a 3-disc Superman
II DVD (the 2-disc DVD that's already announced here, plus
The Donner Cut DVD), the
single-disc Superman III and Superman
IV discs, a 2-disc Superman
Returns DVD, the Look, Up in the
Sky!: The Amazing Story of Superman documentary DVD and a
brand new bonus documentary DVD entitled You
Will Believe: The Making of a Saga, along with other cool
swag in tin case packaging. As you might expect, we're hearing all kinds
of reader freak-outs via e-mail about this:
"Hey, man... are we getting that awesome tin here in the States?"
"What's up with this Australian box set anyway?"
"Is the 8-disc Chris Reeve box set the best we're getting in
"OH MY GOD, WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE WITHOUT THE AUSTRALIAN SUPERMAN
Okay... remember how
couple months ago I told you that Warner Home Video had suggested
that their previously-announced 14-disc box set might still happen?
Well, that's still true. Keep in mind that the DVD release of Superman
Returns hasn't even been officially announced yet, so the
revelation of any kind of box set that might include it would logically
have to wait for that to happen first. Bottom line... just keep yer
stretchy red and blue pants on a little bit longer if you can, folks.
Rest assured, we'll follow up with any official details as soon as
(EARLY UPDATE - 9/19/06
- 12:01 AM PDT)
Morning, folks! We've got very cool high-def news for you this morning!
Remember how we told you yesterday that Warner had announced the HD-DVD
release of Batman Begins and The
Polar Express for 10/10 at CEDIA last week? Yeah... well it
turns out that wasn't the whole story. HERE'S the whole story: On 10/10,
Warner will release Charlie and the Chocolate
Factory (with In Movie Experience), Tim
Burton's The Corpse Bride, the original Willy
Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the aforementioned Batman
Begins (also with In Movie Experience) and The
Polar Express on HD-DVD format (SRP $28.99 each), along with
Syriana and 16
Blocks on Blu-ray Disc format (SRP $34.99 each). From
Warner's press release:
"The IME for Batman Begins gives
viewers a window into director Christopher Nolan's personal journey
bringing a new look and new direction to Batman, illustrated with
comics, cast comments and behind the scenes footage that gives each
scene new meaning. The IME for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
offers rare glimpses into director Tim Burton's creative process, scene
by scene, that is at once insightful and turned on its head with comic
Oompa Loompa interjections, unexpected chocolate fun facts and pop-ups."
Note that all of the standard-definition DVD features will be included
on these high-def releases. Additional details as to audio formats and
other specs will follow in the next few days. As you can imagine, we've
Release List accordingly. By the way, with this latest set of
announcements on each format, Warner Home Video will officially pass the
50 titles released on high-def disc mark (we count 56 released or
announced titles through the end of 2006).
And while we're talking high-def again this morning, here's an
interesting idea: A trio of engineers, including two who work for Warner
Bros, have updated a 2005 patent application for a hybrid optical disc
that would include both an HD-DVD layer and a Blu-ray Disc layer on the
same side of a disc. The other side of the disc could also include a
standard DVD layer. Manufacturing would cost more, but then studios like
Warner would save money ultimately because they wouldn't have to release
three separate versions of titles (like The
Lake House, for example, which is being released on all three
formats individually on 9/26). Just as importantly, retailers already
pressed for shelf space wouldn't have to stock three versions. You can
read more on this
at Home Media Retailing. Fascinating...
In other news today, we've got a closer look for you at Time Life's
awesome new 25-disc Get Smart: The Complete
Series DVD box set, which will be
exclusively through Time Life until late next year, when
individual seasons will be available at normal video retailers. The box
set begins shipping on 11/15 ($199.96). You'll find more about the set's
this post (slide down a paragraph or two for the details).
Also this morning, here's the cover artwork for MGM's James
Bond: Ultimate Edition - Volume 3 and James
Bond: Ultimate Edition - Volume 4 box sets (both due 12/12
from Fox), as well as Paramount's Mission:
Impossible - Ultimate Missions Collection box set (10/30)...
(LATE UPDATE - 9/18/06 -
12:15 PM PDT)
Okay... we've got a few more new standard DVD announcements to report
today. First up, 20th Century Fox will release Family
Guy: Volume 4 on 11/14. A Miracle
on 34th Street: Special Edition follows on 11/21, and St.
Elsewhere: Season 1 rounds out the month on 11/28. Charlie
Chan: Volume 2 kicks off the month of December on 12/5
(including Charlie Chan at the Olympics,
Charlie Chan at the Opera, Charlie
Chan at the Race Track and Charlie
Chan at the Circus). A Garfield:
Behind the Scenes DVD release streets that same day. Finally,
The Simple Life: Season 4 - 'Til Death Do Us
Part has also been announced for release on 12/26.
Meanwhile, Criterion has set William Greaves's Symbiopsychotaxiplasm
Take One documentary for release in December (Cat #360),
along with Albert Maysles' The Beales of Grey
Gardens (#361) and a new 2-disc edition of the original Grey
Moving on today... a lot of you have asked for my impressions about the
new CG remastered Star Trek: The Original
Series, which debuted in broadcast syndication around the
country this weekend. I have to say, I have really mixed feelings. On
one hand, the transfers of the original episodes look absolutely
gorgeous. The vibrant color, the fine detail, the light texture of the
print grain... it's just exceptional. The new HD transfers offer really
a great looking image. On the other hand, the new CG effects aren't
nearly what I'd hoped they'd be. The producers have gone to such great
lengths to replicate the original shots, that they've left in all the
strange camera moves and overly-bright lighting. Rather than keeping the
spirit of the original shots, but making them look more realistic...
more atmospheric, they've simply taken the cheesy original effects
shots... and made them look just as cheesy, only cleaner and more
detailed. It just doesn't look or feel right to me. The ships still move
in that awkward, sometimes flying sideways way they always did - a
limitation of how effects artists could move the camera in relation to
the models back in the 1960s. And the new CG models are VERY brightly
and generically lit - way more than would be natural in actual deep
space - so much so that they actually look drab. The original models
back in the 60s had to be brightly lit to allow the optical printing
process to work properly, but that's not necessary with CG ships. And
because the new CG models are SO detailed, with this same lighting they
actually look more like cheesy models than the originals did. At least,
in the original shots, the lack of detail helped sell the scale of the
ships. I guess I was really hoping that the new effects would be more
realistically lit, and that the ships would move more accurately, like
big lumbering ships really would - more like they do in the more recent
series. I really loved how the original Constitution class looked in the
2-part Enterprise episode In
a Mirror, Darkly. But these new effects are... well, somehow
disappointing to me. If you're going to replace all the original effects
with new effects... do it right. I find myself wishing that CBS had gone
with EdenFX or Daren
Dochterman after all, instead of trying to do this in-house
themselves. All you have to do is click on that link to Daren's website
and look at any of his test footage to see how this project SHOULD be
done: respectful, but realistic.
Here's an illustration to better make my point. This is a screen shot
of the new CBS Digital effort:
And here's the Enterprise as test-rendered by Dochterman:
Not to toot Dochterman's horn, but this is what I'm talking about. You
tell me which one looks more real, more dimensional and is lit more
naturally? (FYI, click on the bottom image for a wallpaper sized
version). I actually think the producers involved in this new effort at
CBS Digital are being TOO respectful, believe it or not. So faithful to
the original, that they're actually missing the point, if that makes
sense. Ah well. I really hope the new effects get better and soon,
because this is otherwise a MAJOR missed opportunity. I really wanted
WOW factor... and other than the stunning quality of the HD transfers,
I'm sorely wanting for the 'wow' at the moment. You can see before and
after shots of the new CG effects
Trek Movie.com (along with other comments, news and
reviews related to the project).
(EARLY UPDATE - 9/18/06 -
12:01 AM PDT)
Hope you all had a fine weekend. We'll have another update later today,
but we wanted to check in early this morning with news that Warner Home
Video, at the CEDIA Expo in Denver on Friday, officially announced that
they'll be releasing Batman Begins
and The Polar Express on HD-DVD
format on 10/10. Batman Begins
will feature Warner's In Movie Experience (IME) picture-in-picture
commentary, among other extras. We'll have more details on both titles
Also announced for HD-DVD release at CEDIA were The
Eagles: Live in Melbourne, Cream:
Live at the Royal Albert Hall and James
Taylor: A MusiCares Person of the Year Tribute on 11/14 from
DVD International has added a trio of new DVD/HD-DVD Combo format
titles to its 10/31 slate, including Antarctica
Dreaming: Wildlife on Ice, Fireplace:
Visions of Tranquility and Visions
of the Sea.
And in a surprise bit of additional high-def news this morning,
Paramount has revealed that its Reds: 25th
Anniversary Edition, which has already been announced for DVD
release on 11/7, will be available on both HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc
formats that day as well.
We've updated the
Release List accordingly.
On the standard DVD front today, Buena Vista and Disney have announced
the 11/28 release of the Robin Hood: Most
Wanted Edition (the 1973 animated feature film). And on
12/19, look for 4 new Walt Disney Treasures
releases, including Your Host, Walt Disney,
More Silly Symphonies, The
Complete Pluto: Volume 2 and The
Mickey Mouse Club Featuring The Hardy Boys.
Here's a little new cover art for you as well this morning... Warner's
The Christopher Reeve Superman Collection
on DVD (11/28), Universal's Dr. Seuss' How
the Grinch Stole Christmas on HD-DVD (11/21) and Fox's The
Omen (2006) on Blu-ray Disc (11/14)...
We've also kicked off a pair of new
today, giving you each the chance to take home copies of Warner's
The Complete Fifth Season,
Girls: The Complete Sixth Season and
Degeneres Show: Ellen - DVD-licious! These contests will run
until Noon (Pacific) on Sunday, September 24th. Click on the links to
get started and good luck!
Wow... can you believe another week's in the can? Time sure does fly
when you're busy covering a format war. Speaking of which, there's an
interesting development in the HD front today, plus some new DVD release
First though, we follow up my DVD reviews from yesterday with a review
of another much-loved trilogy that's recently been re-released on DVD...
Lord of the Rings Trilogy: Limited Editions. Are they worth
picking up if you already have the previous DVDs? Read the review and
By the way, speaking of Lord of the Rings,
the film industry trade
recently reported that MGM (which owns the theatrical release
rights) and New Line (which owns the production rights) are tentatively
planning to team up on a big-screen version of The
Hobbit and they're hoping Peter Jackson will direct. VERY
interesting and fantastic news if true. However, our sources tell us
that the studios had better hurry up and ASK Jackson to do it, because
the director's production schedule is getting pretty full. If they're
going to do The Hobbit, it would
also be great if they'd do it soon enough so that Ian Holm, Ian McKellen
and Christopher Lee can participate somehow.
Right... now for that HD news. At the CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design &
Installation Association) convention going on this week in Denver,
Toshiba officially unveiled its second-generation of HD-DVD players...
the HD-A2 ($499) and HD-XA2 ($999). Both of these units will boast
faster disc load times, better remote controls, increased bandwidth and
improved color enhancement. The XA2 will also feature an HDMI 1.3
output, will pass true 1080p video signals, will handle virtually all of
the latest audio codecs and will allow you to adjust a variety of
picture settings for better calibration of your system. Sounds like a
videophile's dream. You can read more on this
at Ultimate AV.
We've also updated our
Release List with the latest information from Lionsgate as to
their Blu-ray Disc release plans for the rest of 2006 and early 2007.
The main thing to know is that their Wave 3 titles, which had been
slated to street next month (on 10/17 and 10/26 respectively) have been
delayed until January and February of 2007. We also have tentative
Blu-ray release dates for titles like The
Descent and Saw III. Do
check it out.
Okay... moving on to standard DVD, we have updated details for you on
Time Life's Get Smart DVD release.
Get Smart: The Complete Series
arrives on DVD on 11/15, in a box set that's only available
from Time Life for $199.96. You won't be able to buy these discs
in stores until Fall 2007 (individual seasons will be available later).
The episodes are uncut, remastered and feature new introductions by
series star Barbara Feldon. Video is the original full frame, with audio
in English (and English closed captions). The set comes packaged in a
replica phone booth, and features 9 hours worth of extras including
audio commentary on 8 episodes (various participants include Mel Brooks,
Buck Henry, Barbara Feldon, Leonard Stern, Bernie Kopell, Don Rickles,
James Caan and Bill Dana), new video interviews with Buck Henry, Barbara
Feldon, Leonard Stern, Bruce Bilson and Bernie Kopell, bloopers, an
excerpt from the legendary Museum of Television & Radio's Get
Smart seminar in 2003, Barbara's Top Brass Hair Care
commercial, 2 1965 NBC promos for Get Smart,
Get Smart's Emmy Award Wins, Don's
75th Birthday Party and Roast at the Playboy Mansion, a syndication
promo, Don and Barbara as Rose Bowl Parade Grand Marshalls, Don Adams'
memorial service, a clip reel, 5 production featurettes (including The
Secret History of Get Smart, Barbara
Feldon: Real Model to Role Model, Spooks,
Spies, Gadgets and Gizmos, Code
Words and Catchphrases and Fans,
Fans, Fans), a schematic of The Chief's office, blueprints
for Max's apartment, a guide to What's in
99's Purse?, plans of Max's Sunbeam, original scripts, NBC
standards memos about Get Smart
and other TV appearances by the cast including Don as Byron Glick on
The Bill Dana Show, a trio of
appearances by Don on The Andy Williams Show,
the 1965 NBC Season Preview hosted
by Maxwell Smart, and Milton Berle's Wild,
Wild World of Comedy. Would you believe how cool THAT sounds?
DAMN! I can't WAIT to get my hands on that baby. Next to Star
Trek, Get Smart is my
all-time favorite classic TV series, and I know I'm not alone. You can
read more about the DVDs
at the fan site Would You Believe.com. Thanks to Bits
reader Kenneth P. for the heads-up.
In other news today, Universal has just announced the DVD release of
Woody Allen's Scoop on 11/21 (SRP
Also, Genius Products will release Feast
on 10/17, with a Cinema Paradiso: Limited
Collector's Box Set following on 11/7.
In more general news, Nintendo has announced that their new Wii
videogame system will debut on 11/19 for $250, bundled with the game
title Wii Sports.
Media Retailing is reporting that Ben Feingold has stepped
down as president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment after serving in
that position for 12 years. Taking over the reigns from Feingold is
David Bishop, the former MGM Home Entertainment chief.
Finally today, this weekend will see the debut of the newly-remastered,
CG-enhanced Star Trek: The Original Series.
The first two episodes, Balance of Terror
and Miri, will start airing on
broadcast stations around the country tomorrow. On Star
Trek.com today you'll find
list of the episodes and airdates, as well as
list of stations around the country that will be carrying the new
episodes (you'll need to consult your local listings for specific
showtimes - for example, here in the L.A. area it looks as if KNBC will
play Balance of Terror at 12:05 AM
on Monday morning). You'll also find
awesome new trailer for the remastered debut of the series. Gotta
tell you, I'm looking forward to checking this out.
We'll leave you today with a little HD artwork... specifically cover
scans for some of Fox's recently announced Blu-ray Disc titles,
including the Kingdom of Heaven: Director's
Cut, Speed, Ice
Age: The Meltdown, The League of
Extraordinary Gentlemen, Fantastic
Four and The Transporter
(all due 11/14 except Ice Age,
which is due 11/21). All are now available for preorder at Amazon.com at
the links below...
Have a great weekend! Stay tuned...
(LATE UPDATE - 9/14/06 - 5:30 PM PDT)
Just a quick update to let you know that I've just posted my reviews of
Wars Trilogy: Limited Edition DVDs from Fox and Lucasfilm,
along with a look at Warner's new
Runner: The Director's Cut - Remastered Limited Edition. And
be sure to check back tomorrow for reviews of ANOTHER much loved trilogy
that's recently been given a new spin on DVD (plus more news and whatnot
too). Enjoy and stay tuned!
(EARLY UPDATE - 9/14/06 -
12:30 PM PDT)
Afternoon, folks! We've got a couple interesting DVD release
announcements for you today.
To start, First Run Features has just announced that they're going to
be releasing director Michael Apted's latest installment in the
acclaimed UP documentary series,
49 UP, on DVD on 11/14 (SRP
$29.95). The 134-minute film opens theatrically in 50 cities around the
country on 10/6. DVD extras will include a video interview of Apted by
film critic Roger Ebert, a director biography and a photo gallery. Keep
in mind that all of the previous films in the series, from Seven
Up through 42 UP, are
currently available in
DVD box set from First Run.
Meanwhile, BCI has officially announced the DVD release of another
great animated series. Groovie Goolies: The
Saturday "Mourning" Collection streets on 10/24
(SRP $29.98). All 16 classic episodes will be included, along with the
brand new 45-minute Goolians "docu-comedy,"
audio commentary on 2 episodes hosted by Wally Wingert (and featuring
producer Lou Scheimer, head writer Jack Mendelsohn, Filmation historian
Darrell McNeil and our favorite Hollywood monster expert Bob Burns), an
image gallery (featuring original model sheets, animation cels,
storyboards, backgrounds and PSAs), a Goolie-Get-Together
sing-a-long, a candid story from Scheimer on The
Creation of Filmation, series trivia, an episode guide, and
DVD-ROM extras (including scripts and the original series bible for The
Kookie Spookies). Nice.
BCI will also release the Spooky House
live action feature film on 10/24 (SRP $14.98), featuring the voice
talents of Sir Ben Kingsley and Mercedes Ruehl. Video will be anamorphic
widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1 EX audio.
While we're talking BCI, the company tells me that they've delayed
their first HD-DVD releases, That's the Way
of the World, Galaxina
and Golgo 13, which had been
expected to street yesterday. We'll let you know when they advise us as
to a new, firm street date. We've updated the
Release List accordingly.
In other news today, Video Business
has followed up on that Samsung firmware info we posted yesterday.
to their report, the update is now set for LATE October, but will
address the Genesis (noise reduction filter) chip issue and will add
compatibility with new BD-Java features that are expected on Blu-ray
Disc releases later in 2006. You'll be able to download it online, or
have an update disc sent to you via mail. Make sure you sign up with
Samsung and they'll e-mail you when the update is available. To do so,
to this page on the Samsung website, and then click on the "Blu-ray
Software Upgrades" button on the right-hand side.
Media Retailing has posted an interesting story on The
Weinstein Company's planned DVD release slate for 2007, which is
expected to see a whopping 250-300 titles! Among the few specific titles
mentioned, it notes that Kevin Smith's Clerks
II is now expected to street on 11/28.
We'll be back with our reviews of the new Star
Wars DVDs (and maybe one or two other titles) later this
afternoon. Stay tuned...
(LATE UPDATE - 9/13/06 -
4 PM PDT)
Okay... obviously, the BIG news from yesterday is
announcement that they're going to be launching a broadband movie
download service via their iTunes software (starting with Disney/BVHE
titles). More importantly, the company is working on a new set-top
device (the $200 iTV, available by 2nd Qtr 2007), that will allow you to
download movies and other video programming right to your TV. This is a
big deal, folks. You can bet that Apple isn't the only company that's
going to be doing this, and it signals potential trouble for Blu-ray
Disc and HD-DVD. There are few details so far on the iTV, but eventually
it's reasonable to expect that high-definition programming will be
available for downloading on this and other services. It'll have a hard
time competing with either high-def disc format in terms of sheer
quality, but it might be seen by the wider consumer audience - who isn't
as concerned with the very highest quality, but rather wants convenience
and portability - as the more attractive choice for getting HD
programming. We've been expecting just such a development for a while
now, and what it could mean is that the window for Blu-ray Disc and
HD-DVD to catch on and gain traction in the market with consumers is
going to be short indeed. Which is why it's all the more important for
both camps to start showing their stuff, particularly by offering more
desirable titles now (rather than holding them for later to allow for
more advanced features). Universal and Fox deserve credit for their
recent announcements of Peter Jackson's King
Kong and Ridley Scott's Kingdom of
Heaven (on HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc, respectively). Those are
EXACTLY the kinds of titles that are going to sell hardware, so we hope
lots more such announcements are in the offing and soon.
Speaking of HD-DVD and Universal, the studio has just announced the
release of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole
Christmas on 11/21 as an HD-DVD/DVD combo title (SRP $34.98).
Also today, Sony has announced the Blu-ray Disc release of Monster
House (10/24) and Little Man
(11/7). We've updated the
Release List accordingly.
By the way, as a follow up on a story we've reported on previously, I
can tell you with confidence now that 50GB BD-ROM discs DO work on the
Samsung BD-P1000. I visited one of the Hollywood studios yesterday
before the taping of Attack of the Show,
and got the chance to see a production movie title (can't say what it
was unfortunately, but you'll know soon enough) on the dual-layered
Blu-ray Disc media. I held it in my hands and watched it play
successfully with my own eyes. I even watched the seamless switch
between layers occur without a glitch. Apparently the problem we
reported on previously was related to BD-R media only - check discs that
were being used to test authoring, that the player was having difficulty
with. Just know that the final product 50GB BD-ROMs SHOULD work on your
players without problems.
On a related note, I'm being told that Samsung's first public firmware
upgrade for the BD-P1000 is tentatively expected sometime later this
month or early in October. We'll let you know when it's available and
how to get it.
And on the HD-DVD end of things, Toshiba has just announced the
development of a single-sided, triple-layered DVD/HD-DVD combo disc
configuration, that allows for 30GB of data storage on the HD layers and
4.7GB on the standard DVD layer. You can read more
Moving on to standard DVD, Sony has revealed a 7-disc Seinfeld:
The Complete Seventh Season for release on 11/21. Extras will
include 11 deleted scenes, a blooper reel, audio commentary on 10
episodes with members of the cast and crew, factoid tracks on all 24
episodes, 15 Inside Look
featurettes on the making of various episodes, as well as 5-more
production featurettes (including Larry
David's Farewell, Queen of the
Castle: The Elaine Benes Story, Dr.
Cosmo on Marriage & Family, Sein-Imation:
George & the Whale and Where's
Larry?: Seinfeld's Secret Guest Star).
Meanwhile, Fox has set Boston Legal: Season
Two for release on 11/21 (SRP $59.98). Extras on the 7-disc
set will include the Legal Pad: The Words of
Boston Legal and The Look of
Boston Legal featurettes.
Fox is also releasing both M*A*S*H: Season
Eleven (the final season - $39.98) and a 36-disc M*A*S*H:
Martinis & Medicine Collection box set containing the
complete series on DVD along with the 2-disc original feature film
release (SRP $199.98) on 11/7.
And Warner will release The Ant Bully
on DVD on 11/28 in separate full frame and anamorphic widescreen
editions (SRP $28.98 each), along with Supergirl.
Here's a look at cover art for Boston Legal:
Season Two, Supergirl,
Monster House, final art for BCI's
forthcoming Ark II: The Complete Series
(TBA), The Ant Bully and, for
those of you wondering what HD-DVD TV series packaging will look like,
HBO's The Sopranos: Season 6, Part 1
(EARLY UPDATE - 9/13/06 -
2 PM PDT)
Afternoon, folks. First of all, thanks to all those of you who watched
my appearance on Attack of the Show's
The Loop segment yesterday. I've gotten a lot of nice e-mails today from
readers who tuned in. I have to admit, it was a lot of fun - not just
the appearance itself, but talking DVD and Star
Wars with Film
Threat's Chris Gore and The
Force.net's Josh Griffin in the green room. Chris even brought
his copy of Star Wars on Super-8
film for show and tell. The boy's probably funded a wing at the
Skywalker Ranch with all his Star Wars
purchases. Anyway, for those of you who didn't see the segment, you can
watch it below, via G4's The Pile. Thanks to everyone at Attack
of the Show for the invitation.
to Current Posts