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(Archived Posts 11/13/06 - 10/18/06)
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Afternoon folks! It took a little while to get today's post up, but I
think you'll see that it was worth the wait.
A lot of you have wondered when we were going to start reviewing
high-definition titles here at The Bits,
in addition to regular DVD releases. The fact is, we've been trying to
be very cautious thus far. We've reviewed a few titles, but mostly we've
been trying to really get a sense of HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc - to live
with them, to kick the tires and to let their strengths and weaknesses
sink in. There's been a real rush to judgement about these formats, with
supporters of each quick to declare their favorite the superior choice
based on quality issues. But with only a handful of players available
for each format, it's just too early to know for certain what quality
issues are related to specific equipment and what are representative of
the formats themselves. The fact is, BOTH formats deliver the goods in
terms of high-quality video and audio. In our experience, the
differences between them are mostly in the technical specs (slightly
favors Blu-ray), the special features available (slightly favors
HD-DVD), the support of the studios and manufacturers (strongly favors
Blu-ray), and the price (strongly favors HD-DVD). So while both formats
are ready for prime time quality-wise... neither can be considered the
clear winner at the moment.
Understandably, with two competing high-def formats and no obvious
choices, we recognize that most of you are likely going to wait before
risking your hard-earned money on one of them. We don't blame you. In
fact, that's what we recommend the vast majority of you should do.
Standard DVD isn't going anywhere... and the longer you wait, the
greater the chance becomes that one format or the other might move
ahead. Prices will drop, the selection of available players and movie
discs will improve, new features will be added and the technical bugs
will gradually be worked out. With any luck, by this time next year,
we'll have a better idea as to which format is the superior option. In
any case, even with the debut of Sony's Blu-ray Disc-ready PlayStation 3
(on Friday) and Microsoft's HD-DVD add-on drive for the Xbox 360 (now
available), it's really just smarter for most of you to wait and see.
And if you ARE going to buy one of these new game systems, we recommend
you base your decision primarily on the game software... not the movies.
All that said, we also recognize that some of you are interested in
HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc RIGHT NOW, and are willing to risk your money
for the privilege of watching films at home in the highest possible
quality. So we're pleased today to announce the debut of a new regular
column from our own Barrie Maxwell...
Classics and Beyond! The
installment features 11 HD-DVD reviews, including classic films
Adventures of Robin Hood,
Dirty Dozen and Paramount's
25th Anniversary Edition, as well as more recent films like
Polar Express and
Impossible III and Universal's
We've been evaluating the best way to do high-def reviews here at The
Bits, and we think we've struck a nice balance of information
and accessibility with Barrie's column. If you spot errors in the specs,
let us know and we'll
correct them. This is all pretty new, so we ask your patience.
As for the rest of you, never fear... Barrie's going to continue
reviewing lots of standard DVDs in his Classic
Coming Attractions, as will the rest of us elsewhere around
the site. Always remember, The Digital Bits
isn't just a DVD website... we're about celebrating films in the digital
age. That word 'digital' covers a LOT of ground these days! But we'll
always be here to try and help sort it all out for you.
We hope you enjoy Barrie's column, and we'll be back tomorrow with more
news, some new DVD reviews and Todd's Weekly
Release Round-up. Until then...
Well... there's more sad news to report today, I'm afraid. Word has
just come in that actor Jack Palance has died today of natural causes at
the age of 87 (read more
His list of film credits was long and varied, but it'll probably be for
his role in City Slickers, and a
series of Oscar night push-ups, that he'll be best remembered. Also
today, we'd like to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of film
composer Basil Poledouris (more
whose film scores included Conan the
Barbarian, The Hunt for Red
October, Starship Troopers
and many others. Both will be missed.
Now then... we've got a bit of high-def news today. Warner has finally
confirmed the 12/5 HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc release of A
Christmas Story and National
Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. We've updated the
Release List accordingly.
Also today, on the standard DVD front, Warner has set Foster's
Home for Imaginary Friends: Complete Season One for release
on 3/6/07 (SRP $19.98).
In addition, Universal has announced the 1/30 release of Murder,
She Wrote: The Complete Fifth Season (SRP $49.98) and Law
& Order: Special Victims Unit - The Third Year (SRP
$59.98). The studio has also set a Danielle
Steel 2 DVD Collection (SRP $19.98) for release on 1/9,
including the films Palomino, Secrets,
Star and The
Promise. Tell you right now, Mom's gonna be thrilled.
By the way, a lot of you have been asking what's up with Warner's
promised Stanley Kubrick special editions - the ones that we talked
about back in January when we attended the studio's 2006 catalog DVD
event. I've checked in with Warner reps and have learned that they're
definitely still on the way. They're being completely remastered and
will have all-new special features. They're now planned for release
sometime in 2007... but most of you probably already guessed that. Just
know that they're still coming and they should be pretty cool. We'll say
more when there's more to say.
We've got a little bit of new cover art to show you this afternoon.
Here's Warner's National Lampoon's Christmas
Vacation on HD-DVD, along with Universal's Brokeback
Mountain: Collector's Edition (1/23) and Fox's The
Finally today, I wanted to take a moment to send a big shout-out to all
those of you who are participating in our very own
Forum BBS group. I haven't had nearly as much time as I'd like
to check in over there, but there's a good group of DVD fans who are
keeping things interesting. All of us here at The
Bits would like to encourage our readers to sign up (it's
totally free!) and participate in the ongoing DVD and high-def
discussion over there. We'll try to drop by a little more often to say
hello as well.
Now then... we've got some great stuff coming next week. I'll have some
DVD reviews, including Superman Returns
and Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut,
and possibly some new high-def format reviews too. Todd will check in
with his regular Weekly Roundup.
And our own Barrie Maxwell will debut his brand new High
Definition Classics column, featuring reviews of several
classic films on HD-DVD. It should be a lot of fun. Plus we'll have all
the latest DVD, HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc news too.
So have a great weekend in the meantime, and we'll see you back here on
Monday. Stay tuned!
Afternoon, folks. First up this afternoon, we wanted to take a moment
to acknowledge the death of longtime CBS newsman and 60
Minutes correspondent Ed Bradley (read more
The news business has certainly changed over the years. Where TV
journalists once strove to remain unbiased and simply report the facts,
reporters today are now as concerned with entertaining you as informing
you. They make glib comments, crack wise or act buddy-buddy with those
they interview and wear their bias on their sleeves. Ed Bradley was a
true newsman of that rarified old school, in the mold of Murrow and
Cronkite. There are precious few of them left, and we're all the poorer
for it. Bradley was just 65, but had been fighting a battle against
leukemia. He'll be missed.
Now then, some new DVD announcements. Universal has set the first wave
of a series of classic film releases and re-releases for 2/6. Included
in the first batch will be All Quiet on the
Western Front, Arabian Nights,
Going My Way and The
Heiress (SRP $14.98 each). In addition, Universal's Idlewild
has officially been set for release on 12/5 (SRP $29.98).
Meanwhile, New Line has set Undisputed II:
Last Man Standing for release on 1/1 (SRP $19.97).
Warner has set a Literary Classics
Collection for release on 3/6 (SRP $59.92). The 5-disc set
will include Billy Budd, Captain
Horatio Hornblower, Madame Bovary,
Prisoner of Zenda (1937/1952) and
The Three Musketeers (1948). All
of the titles will be available separately as well for $19.97 each.
Warner has also announced single-disc, individual volumes of a pair of
Hanna Barbera classics. The Yogi Bear Show:
Volume 1 and Huckleberry Hound:
Volume 1 will carry an SRP of $14.94 each. In addition, the
studio has announced The State Within
(for the BBC) and Secrets of Jerusalem's
Holiest Sites (for National Geographic) as well. Both titles
street on 2/27. Also coming from Warner (for the BBC) are a pair of new
Doctor Who titles - Doctor
Who: Ep. 46 - The Invasion and Doctor
Who: Ep. 77 - The Sontaran Experiment, both on 3/6.
Morning, everyone! Any of you out there in the mood for some new DVD
reviews? I've just posted an in-depth look at a trio of new and recent
re-issues of previously released titles on disc. Among them are
Criterion's new anamorphic widescreen updating of their already terrific
Three-Disc Special Edition (now available), Warner's awesome
Planet: 50th Anniversary Two-Disc Special Edition (due on
11/14) and Paramount's newly-remastered
a Wonderful Life: 60th Anniversary Edition (also now
available). All are well worth a look.
then... I want to take a moment to talk about something that's pretty
exciting for all of us at The Bits.
In addition to our work around here, I'm pleased to say that Todd
Doogan and yours truly (Bill Hunt) have joined the staff of the new
as Contributing Editors! Geek is
a great new magazine by the fine folks at CFQ Media, and the
brainchild of Mark Altman (publisher of CFQ
Magazine and Femme Fatales,
and producer of Free Enterprise).
It's dedicated to coverage of all things 'geek', including
entertainment topics, lifestyle, tech and all sorts of fun obsessions.
You'll find a new regular column by Todd and myself in every issue
called, appropriately, Geek Bits.
Issue #1 (December) is arriving on newsstands now (that's it on the
left there), and we think you'll really enjoy it.
Our first Geek Bits is an
introduction of sorts, in which Todd and I lay out our diabolical
plans for the column. Future installments will delve into various DVD
issues, including the high-def format war, and other interesting film
related topics. We may highlight the work of great filmmakers on disc,
offer interviews with industry insiders - the sky's the limit. We
encourage you all to check out Geek
subscribing if you dig it. Geek Bits
will be a lot of fun, so we hope you'll join us.
then... we've got a little more announcement news to report today.
First, Warner has announced a pair of new pro football DVDs... NFL
Greatest Follies: 1997-2000 and NFL
Greatest Follies: The Classics. Both street on 12/12.
Sony has informed us that their All the
King's Men: Special Edition DVD (due 12/19 - SRP $28.95),
will include deleted scenes and 5 featurettes (An
American Classic, La.
Confidential: On Location with All the King's Men, Shake
Hands with the Devil, The Legend
and Lore of Huey Long and The
Making of All the King's Men). We believe the Blu-ray Disc
version will be movie-only (SRP $38.95).
Meanwhile, Universal has announced a new 2-disc Brokeback
Mountain: Collector's Edition for 1/23/07 (SRP $26.98),
featuring anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital and DTS audio, 6
featurettes (A Groundbreaking Success,
On Being a Cowboy, Directing
from the Heart: Ang Lee, From
Script to Screen: Interviews with Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana,
Sharing the Story: The Making of Brokeback
Mountain and Music from the
Mountain) and a stills gallery. The film will also be
available as a DVD/HD-DVD Combo format release (SRP $34.98). We've
Release List accordingly.
Also today, we've learned that Paramount's Jackass
Number Two (due 12/26) will be available in three versions...
R-rated full frame and anamorphic widescreen, and Unrated anamorphic
widescreen. Extras on all three will include audio commentary by Johnny
Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Ryan Dunn, Wee Man, Preston Lacy,
Dave England, Ehren McGhehey, Jeff Tremaine and Dimitry Elyashkevich,
The Making of Jackass Number Two
featurette, bloopers, outtakes, TONS of deleted scenes, Easter eggs,
trailers, TV spots, a photo gallery and much more.
In addition, Paramount's World Trade Center
(due 12/12) will be available in three versions as well... a standard
edition in full frame and anamorphic widescreen, as well as a 2-disc
commemorative edition in anamorphic widescreen. Extras will include
audio commentary with director Oliver Stone, interviews, deleted scenes
and more TBA.
Here's a look at the cover art for Fox's Little
Miss Sunshine (12/19), Sony's All
the King's Men on DVD and Blu-ray Disc, Paramount's Jackass
Number Two: Unrated Edition and World
Trade Center: 2-Disc Commemorative Edition, and Universal's
The Black Dahlia (12/26)...
One other note today... Matt's posted some great music news over at our
affiliate site. It seems that the ENTIRE Genesis catalog is currently
being remastered for release on the high-resolution SACD format next
year! Just when you thought SACD was dead, good news indeed.
Well... there's not a great deal of news to report today, either on the
standard DVD or the high-def front. We do have a couple of new
announcements, however, so we'll get to that in a second.
First up today, own own Todd Doogan has checked in again with his
Release Roundup, taking a look at some of the great DVDs
hitting store shelves this fair Tuesday. Some of you might be standing
in line to vote today, yes? Well... Todd's already in another kind of
line, and he's got a bunch of gamers with him. Be sure to check out his
column - it's always worth a read.
Also today here at The Bits,
we've kicked off FOUR new
giving each of you the chance to take home copies of Warner's
The West Wing:
The Complete Seventh Season and
The Signature Collection, Paramount's
Hills 90210: The Complete First Season, Dark Sky's
Chainsaw Massacre: Two-Disc Ultimate Edition and IFC Film's
The contests will run until Noon (Pacific) on Sunday, November 12th.
Click on the links to get started and good luck!
Now that news... Warner has just announced the HD-DVD/DVD Combo and
Blu-ray Disc release of the CG-animated The
Ant Bully on 11/28, day and date with standard DVD. The
HD-DVD/DVD Combo version will feature Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 and Dolby
TrueHD 5.1 audio (SRP $39.99). The Blu-ray Disc will include Dolby
Digital 5.1 audio (SRP $34.99). Extras should be the same as on the
standard DVD. We've updated the
Release List accordingly.
Warner has also announced the standard DVD release of Crooks
(aka Errors, Freaks and Oddities) on 1/23/07 (SRP $19.97).
Told you there wasn't much news. Watch for reviews soon.
We've got some good DVD and high-def news for you today... but first a
brief movie recommendation. If you haven't seen Borat
yet, then go see Borat as soon as
you can (here's the
official website). I'm not kidding - it's one of the funniest
things I've seen in years, and one of the sharpest satires in recent
memory. Think the kind of social commentary you find in South
Park, matched with the balls-out attitude of Jackass,
performed live in the mold of an Andy Kauffman or a Peter Sellers. It's
WELL worth your time, just trust me on this. I don't want to give
anything away or say too much about it, because you need to just
experience it for yourself. But I will say this... if you think the best
parts of the film have already been given away in the trailers, you're
in for a surprise. Sacha Baron Cohen has balls. BALLS, I tell you! We
can't WAIT for this DVD, and it had better be jam packed with extras
(including LOTS of deleted scenes, because there are a LOT of deleted
scenes). You listening Fox?
Okay, let's get to that news: First up this afternoon, Sony has set the
DVD release of King of Queens: The Complete
Seventh Season for 1/16/07. Also coming on that day are
Blu-ray Disc versions of Crouching Tiger,
Hidden Dragon and Winged Migration.
Sony has also confirmed today that they'll release Blu-ray Disc versions
of Kung Fu Hustle on 12/12 and
All the King's Men on 12/19...
which of course means the DVD version of All
the King's Men will street on 12/19 as well. We've updated
Release List accordingly.
Meanwhile, Warner will release Loonatics
Unleashed: Season 1 on 3/13/07. Also newly announced (for
HBO) are Lucky Louie: The Complete First
Season on 1/30, and Def Comedy
Jam: Volume 1 and Def Comedy Jam:
Volume 2 on 2/6.
Shout! Factory has set World Series 2006:
Tigers vs. Cardinals for release on 11/21 (SRP $19.98 - note
that this is not a DVD release of the complete games).
Finally, 20th Century Fox has set The
Illusionist and Bandidas
for release on 1/9.
You'll find additional upcoming street date information for major
anticipated January titles in
Rumor Mill today, so don't miss it.
Here's a look at cover art for Fox's X-Men:
The Last Stand on Blu-ray (11/14) along with Warner's A
Christmas Story HD-DVD (TBA) and Criterion's The
Double Life of Veronique DVD (11/21)...
We also want to remind you all to take a few moments tonight to
research your local issues and candidates in the mid-term elections
tomorrow (your local newspapers should have print and online guides to
all the issues and positions)... and, or course, to be sure to get out
there and vote. It's easy, it's painless, it only takes a moment and
it's patriotic too. 'Nuff said.
We'll be back tomorrow with new disc reviews and a new Doogan's
Views Weekly Roundup as well, so be sure to check back then.
(LATE UPDATE - 11/2/06 -
11:45 AM PST)
Well... we've got still MORE high-def news for you today. It seems the
studios are eager to make as much of a splash with HD-DVD and Blu-ray
Disc as they can before the holidays, so the title announcements just
don't stop coming. The latest is that Warner Home Video is about to
announce the simultaneous release (on BOTH formats) of A
Christmas Story, National
Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and Scooby-Doo:
The Movie. Warner hasn't finalized the street date yet, but
we expect to have it shortly. You can reasonably expect the titles late
this month or early in December.
Also today, we have some more details for you on 20th Century Fox's
X-Men: The Last Stand Blu-ray
Disc. Fox claims that it's their first Blu-ray Disc title with 100%
high-definition content. The 11/14 release will SRP for $39.98. From the
studio's press release: "Authored in HDMV
with AVC (MPEG 4 compression) and exceptional 6.1 DTS ES HD Lossless
Master Audio, the X-Men: The Last Stand BD release boasts two
commentary tracks (director Brett Ratner with writers Zak Penn and Simon
Kinberg; separate track featuring producers Avi Arad, Lauren Shuler
Donner and Ralph Winter), 12 alternate/extended scenes presented in 5.1
Dolby Digital audio (with optional director/writer commentary) and
enhanced Marvel Trivia Track - with this feature activated, color
graphics pop up throughout the film giving inside information from the
Marvel universe on characters and events, plus favorite Marvel Comics
are referenced and Marvel characters and graphics are incorporated into
the presentation." We'll post art as soon as it's available.
Still not done. Paramount has just revealed that they'll be releasing
Ridley Scott's Black Rain on
HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc on 1/23/07. Also on that day, they'll be
releasing We Were Soldiers and
The Manchurian Candidate on
Blu-ray Disc (both titles are already available on HD-DVD). And on 2/6,
they'll follow with Failure to Launch
on both HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc. Hey Paramount... where's Braveheart?
You know Braveheart, right? How's
about some more GOOD high-def catalog? Like Braveheart.
And while we're talking Ridley Scott, how come 1492
isn't even out on standard DVD yet? D'oh! Anyway, the
Release List has been updated to reflect all the above news.
And on the standard DVD front today, we have still more good news from
The Mountain. Paramount will release The
Animation Show: Volumes 1 & 2 on 1/16/07 as a 2-disc set,
featuring 20 animated shorts selected by Mike Judge and Don Hertzfeldt,
including The Cathedral, The
Rocks, Mt. Head,
Judge's Early Pencil Tests and Other
and more. Better still, Paramount will release Beauty
and the Beast: The Complete First Season on 2/13 - yes,
that's the cult fave TV series starring Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman
(that collective gasp you just heard was the sound of the ladies out
there swooning). Also streeting on that day is Reno
911!: Reno's Most Wanted Uncensored. And following on 2/20 is
Family Ties: The Complete First Season.
Here's a look at cover art...
(EARLY UPDATE - 11/2/06 -
12:01 AM PST)
Morning, Bits-ers! We've got some
interesting high-def and standard DVD news today. Let's talk high-def
We've just learned that 20th Century Fox will officially announce today
the Blu-ray Disc release of X-Men: The Last
Stand on 11/14 (SRP $39.98). The disc is timed to street just
a few days before the 11/17 debut of Sony's BD-enabled PlayStation 3
game system. The title is expected to feature 1080p AVC video, DTS HD
6.1 audio, audio commentary with director Brett Ratner and writers Zak
Penn and Simon Kinberg, audio commentary with producers Avi Avrad,
Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter, 12 deleted/extended scenes, a "Marvel
Trivia Track" and more. All of the extras will reportedly be in
high-definition. You can read more
at Home Media Retailing.
Fox has also just announced its first January Blu-ray Disc titles (due
1/23), including Alien vs. Predator,
Under Fire and Men of Honor,
as well as its first February Blu-rays as well (due 2/13), including
Planet of the Apes (2001), Broken
Arrow, Entrapment, The
Sentinel, Phone Booth
and Chain Reaction. We're told to
expect many of these discs to include at least some of the previous DVD
extras. Alien vs. Predator will
also include both the theatrical and unrated editions of the film via
seamless branching. We believe this is the first time this feature has
been used on a high-definition release.
Not done yet: MGM (via Fox) has announced a pair of their own February
Blu-ray Disc releases (also due 2/13), including The
Princess Bride and The Usual
We've updated the
Release List with all of these titles (and LOTS of new Amazon
pre-order links) accordingly. In the meantime, here's a look at the
cover art for a sampling of these newly-announced discs:
A couple other bits of high-def news... DVD International will release
an HD-DVD version of
Video Essentials: High Definition on 11/14. No word yet
on a Blu-ray Disc release, but one is likely on the way. Also, the first
Weinstein Company HD-DVDs (due 12/5) are now available for pre-order on
Movie 4 and
On the standard DVD front today, Universal has announced the release of
a Steve Martin: The Wild and Crazy Comedy
Collection on 1/23 (SRP $19.98), which will include
newly-remastered versions of The Jerk,
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid and The
Lonely Guy. Also coming that day is a Tom
Hanks: Comedy Favorites Collection (SRP also $19.98),
including remastered versions of The Money
Pit, The 'Burbs and
Meanwhile, Warner has added All Creatures
Great & Small: The Complete Series 1 Collection, All
Creatures Great & Small: The Complete Series 2 Collection,
All Creatures Great & Small: The Complete
Series 3 Collection, All Creatures
Great & Small: The Complete Series 5 Collection and All
Creatures Great & Small: The Complete Series 6 Collection
to its 11/14 DVD slate (for the BBC). In addition, they're releasing a
pair of documentary titles for National Geographic in February... Wetback:
The Undocumented Documentary (on 2/6) and Eye
of the Leopard (2/20).
Warner has also announced a new line of catalog DVDs, called the Triple
Features Collection. Each will be priced at SRP $14.98 and
will include 3 classic films. Due on 11/7 are a pair of John Wayne
collections including The Telegraph
Trail/Somewhere in Sonora/The Man from Monterey and The
Big Stampede/Ride Him Cowboy/Haunted Gold, a pair of Randolph
Scott collections including Colt 45/Fort
Worth/Tall Man Riding and The Man
Behind the Gun/Thunder Over the Plains/Riding Shotgun, and
several additional releases including catalog action and family titles.
Most interesting among them is Never So
Few/Go for Broke!/Objective, Burma!, in which Go
for Broke! is new to DVD. All the other titles have been
Just FYI, we've also confirmed today that MGM's 5-film Rocky
Anthology DVD box set (due on 12/5) will NOT include the new
2-disc Rocky: Collector's Edition.
You'll only be able to purchase that separately for now.
And around the site this morning, we've posted a new
Bits Power Buy on Pioneer's Elite Pro-FHD1 that some of you
might be interested in.
Back with more later, so stay tuned!
Afternoon, folks! Hope you all are doing well. I'm at least starting to
feel human again from this cold, so you know... you take what you can
As promised, our own Barrie Maxwell has checked in with a look at the
current state of Humphrey Bogart films on DVD in his latest
Coming Attractions. Barrie also reviews 8 classic titles on
disc, including Warner's
Bogart: The Signature Collection - Volume 1,
Bogart: The Signature Collection - Volume 2, the
X/The Return of Doctor X double feature and the
Legends of Horror Collection, along with Universal's
75th Anniversary Edition,
75th Anniversary Edition,
Boris Karloff Collection and
Sanctum Mysteries: The Complete Movie Collection. As always,
he runs down the latest classic film DVD and high-def release
announcements as well. It's another great column so do check it out and
Also today, Universal has finally re-announced the 12/26 HD-DVD release
of The Breakfast Club and The
Deer Hunter. The Breakfast Club
will be a DVD/HD-DVD combo format disc. We've updated the High-Def
Release List accordingly.
Warner has set 2-packs of The Batman: The
Complete Seasons 1 & 2 and Teen
Titans: The Complete Seasons 1 & 2 for release on 12/5.
In other news, Pioneer has just announced that they're going to follow
Sony's lead and postpone the release of their $1500 set-top Blu-ray Disc
player, the BDP-HD1, until December. According to Pioneer's Andy
Parsons, "We just want to make sure the
player does what it's supposed to do." You can read more
at Video Business.
Meanwhile, Toshiba, which will be releasing its 2nd generation HD-DVD
players around the time that Pioneer and Sony are releasing their 1st
gen Blu-ray players, has announced a plan to boost its sluggish hardware
sales by offering three free HD-DVD titles with the purchase of their
here for the details from Home Media
While we're talking about the new high-def formats, Fortune
magazine has just listed HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc
the "Scariest tech of 2006". That's not exactly good
news for either format, but you can hardly blame senior editor Peter
Lewis for the comment, given the format war and each format's uncertain
future. It's certainly an interesting time for movie fans, that's for
Finally today, we've updated a lot of the DVD format stats we track (above)
DVD Player Sales numbers for the first half of October. We've
also updated Jim Taylor's
DVD FAQ to its most recent version, dated 9/12.
Yes... it's Halloweenie Time again - that fateful day most loved by
dentists, mask makers and sweet shops everywhere!
As luck would have it, I'm living in an appropriately mucus-coated
nightmare at the moment, so I'm pretty much stuck in bed for the day. I
couldn't even taste a piece candy right now if I wanted to, and I'm
pronouncing it "caddy" to boot.
But as some of you know, Halloween is our old pal Todd's favorite
holiday of the year. So in honor of all the spooky fun, he's checked in
again with a new
Views Weekly Roundup to run down all the big DVD releases
hitting store shelves today. He's even tucked an actual DVD review in
there... Subversive Cinema's
Limited Collector's Edition. What's not to love, right?
Okay... as there's no other real DVD news to report at the moment, I'm
off to bed before this cold turns me into a full-on zombie. However,
I'll be watching some discs while stuck between the covers, which means
reviews'll be posted later this week of Warner's new Forbidden
Planet: Collector's Edition and yes... Paramount's M:i:III
among others. Plus, we have a new Classic
Coming Attractions column from Barrie that should be up
We hope you all have a happy and safe Halloween, and we'll see you
Afternoon, folks! Sorry today's post is a little late. We've been
having these damn Santa Ana winds here in So-Cal lately, not to mention
a couple really nasty wildfires, and the combination has me struggling
to fight off a massive head cold.
Anyway, first up today, I'm pleased to present a trio of new DVD
reviews for you. I've taken an in-depth look at Sony Wonder's
The Complete Collection (due 11/7), along with Universal's
Night Live: The Best of Saturday TV Funhouse and Criterion's
absolutely first-rate new 3-disc special edition of
Samurai (reviewed with Todd Doogan). I'll tell you, Seven
Samurai is one of those rare special editions that's so good,
it belongs in every Bits reader's
DVD collection. No kidding. We can't wait for more Akira Kurosawa films
on DVD from Criterion - some of the older titles that have yet to find
their way to disc, like Dodesukaden
perhaps. Criterion also has new re-issues of Yojimbo
and Sanjuro coming in January,
We've got some new DVD announcements to report today. First up,
Universal has set Jet Li's Fearless
for release on 12/29, in separate Unrated full frame and anamorphic
widescreen DVD versions, along with an HD-DVD/DVD Combo release that
contains the Unrated version in high-definition on Side A, and both the
unrated and theatrical versions in standard definition anamorphic
widescreen on Side B. Extras on all three releases will include a
deleted scene and the "making of" featurette, A
Fearless Journey. Also newly announced by Universal for
release on 12/26 is The Black Dahlia,
in separate full frame and anamorphic widescreen DVDs (an HD-DVD version
is expected, but has yet to be officially announced).
Meanwhile, Sony has set The Covenant
for release on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on 1/2/07, with Quinceanera
and Van Gogh (1992) set to follow
on DVD on 1/9. We've updated the
Release List accordingly.
Also today, New Line has announced the 1/23 DVD release of Undisputed
2 (SRP $19.97).
Finally, Lionsgate's November slate will include Shockwave,
Jekyll + Hyde, Koala
Brothers Outback Christmas, Care
Bears: The Nutcracker and a Clifford
Gift Set on 11/7, Cheatin' Hearts,
Bedroom Window, Martial
Arts Master, The Life of Bruce Lee, Untamed
Antarctic: The World of Luc Jacquet and Leonard
Cohen: I'm Your Man on 11/14, Dark
Harvest 3: Scarecrow, Blood Stains
and The Punisher: Extended Cut on
11/21, and Chasing Christmas, See
No Evil and a Van Wilder: Van Gone
Wilder Edition on 11/28.
Around the Bits today, we've
kicked off FOUR new
giving each of you the chance to take home copies of HBO's
Hitchhiker: Volume Three, Lionsgate's
Volume 5, Paramount's
Collector's Edition and 20th Century Fox's
Legal: Season Two. All of these contests will run until Noon
(Pacific) on Sunday, November 5th. Click on the links to get started and
We'll be back tomorrow with a new Weekly
Roundup from Todd, more news and (with a little luck pending
my cold) a review of Paramount's M:i:III,
which hit stores on DVD, HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc formats today.
It's been rather slow news-wise these last couple of days, so we've
been spending our time preparing a bunch of DVD reviews that we'll start
posting on Monday. In the meantime, however, we do have a couple of
things to report today.
First of all, we've gotten our hands on Classic Media's Harveytoons:
The Complete Collection DVD and we have a couple comments
about it. The bad news is that these are NOT the original Harveytoon
shorts per se, but rather this 4-disc set contains episodes of the more
recent The Harveytoon Show (each
episode of which contained 3 or 4 Harveytoon shorts) as seen on Fox
Family Channel and more recently on Boomerang as Casper
and Friends. The OTHER bad news is that there's no list of
the episodes and shorts included anywhere on the packaging, and even
when you pop the DVDs in, they're only identified by a number. A booklet
would have helped this set immensely. What fans will consider even WORSE
news, however, is that the set only includes 52 episodes, while there
were 78 episodes of the show in all. On top of that, while the episodes
are listed by number, they don't always even correspond to the original
series' episode numbers. Disc One seems to correspond to
Wikipedia episode list fairly well, but then the set starts to
skip episodes and jump around like crazy. And while the original series
occasionally duplicated some of the same shorts over different episodes,
new episodes seem to have been edited together such that there's little
to no duplication... and yet a LOT of the original shorts even from this
series are missing. Obviously, there are many more original Harveytoon
shorts that were never included in this series as well. The one bit of
good news that we can report about Harveytoons:
The Complete Collection is that the video and audio quality
here is very good. But calling this set "complete" is terribly
misleading to say the least. Despite its problems, however, this is
still a decent collection of great and classic shorts on DVD. If your
kids haven't had the chance to see these before, this is a good way to
expose them to a lot of wonderful animation. But with a little more
attention to detail, this could have been a truly great DVD release,
ranking right up there with Warner's Looney
Tunes Golden Collections and Disney's Walt
Disney Treasures sets. What a shame. Animation historian
Jerry Beck has more information on this Harveytoons
DVD over at his Cartoon
Brew website (check the 10/26 post).
In other news today, Paramount has confirmed the 12/12 release of World
Trade Center on DVD, HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc. Also due on
12/26 from Paramount is The Last Kiss
on standard DVD. The studio has confirmed that Jackass
Number Two will be released on 12/26 as well.
Here's a look at the cover art for World
Trade Center on HD-DVD, along with Warner's Superman:
The Movie on Blu-ray Disc (11/28) and Paramount's The
Last Kiss on standard DVD...
Also today, Samsung has finally issued their first official public
firmware update for the BD-P1000 Blu-ray Disc player. You can find it
at this link on their website. It corrects the Genesis chip issue
and adds functionality for new BD Java features among other things. You
simply download the zipped archive, then burn the unzipped file onto a
CD-R via the "burn image" option. Once you insert the disc
into your player, it should recognize the file and begin updating the
firmware automatically. It takes about 15 minutes, after which point the
disc will pop out and the player will turn itself off. Then just fire it
up again and the player should be updated. I've done it myself, and it
worked like a charm. Good luck with the update.
We'll be back with more if breaking news warrants it. Otherwise, have a
great weekend and we'll see you Monday. Stay tuned...
We've got a quick Godzilla update
for you today. As some of you know, Classic Media recently released a
nice 2-disc DVD set of the original Godzilla
film (aka Gojira), which includes
both the original Japanese version of the film as well as the dubbed
American version, along with audio commentaries and other extras. The
follow-up releases, Mothra vs. Godzilla
(aka Godzilla vs. The Thing) and
Godzilla Raids Again, each also a
2-disc set (with both the Japanese and American versions), were to have
been released on 11/7, but have now been delayed. Those of you who had
pre-ordered them on Amazon have been (or will be) receiving an e-mail
notice saying that the titles are "no longer available". They
haven't been cancelled... just delayed until Spring 2007. However, you
CAN still buy them starting on 11/7 online, but only on the
promotional website. In the meantime, here's a look at the artwork
for all three...
In other news today, Warner has announced the DVD release of the Dark
Castle Horror Collection on 2/20 (SRP $42.92). The set will
include Ghost Ship, Gothika,
House of Wax (2005), House
on Haunted Hill (1999) and Thirteen
Ghosts. Also announced by Warner (for National Geographic)
are The Hunt for Zarqawi and Triple
Cross: Bin Laden's Spy in America on 1/30.
The following is again Rumor Mill-worthy,
but our industry sources have informed us that Fox will release Flyboys
on 1/23, Lionsgate will release Crank
on 1/9, Universal will street Jet Li's
Fearless for Rogue Pictures on 12/19 as well as The
Black Dahlia on 12/26, Sony will release The
Covenant on 1/2, Velocity Home Entertainment's Farce
of the Penguins will street on 1/30 and the Yari Film Group's
The Illusionist will arrive on 1/9
(DVD distributor MGM via Fox).
And on the high-def front, Sony has re-announced their Kung
Fu Hustle Blu-ray Disc for release on 12/12.
Also, we've confirmed with Buena Vista that in addition to their
upcoming Pearl Harbor Blu-ray Disc
being a 50GB dual-layered title, both Enemy
of the State and Flightplan
will be 50GB as well. We've updated the
Release List accordingly.
Afternoon, folks. We're a little later today that expected with our
post, but for good reason. We're very pleased to say that Todd Doogan's
back and he's resurrected his
Roundup to help all of you sort out the many DVD releases that
come out each week. He starts with a look at the titles hitting stores
today, including new releases, catalog double-dips, box sets, TV on DVD
and even the latest Criterion discs. We're certainly glad to have Todd
back in business, so we hope you enjoy his Roundup!
Be sure to drop him an
e-mail and say hello!
Now then... there's a little bit of DVD announcement news to report
this afternoon. First, Sony has set a 2-disc release of Shottas
and a repackaged 2-disc Glory: Special
Edition for on 1/2/07.
Also, Warner has announced the DVD release of The
Wicker Man (2006) on 12/19 (SRP $28.98). Hustle:
The Complete Season 2 will follow on 2/13/07 (for the BBC),
with What's New Scooby-Doo: Complete First
Season due on 2/20/07.
As a quick follow-up, we've gotten word that those First Look Baywatch
"season" DVDs we mentioned yesterday (due on 10/31), will not
include all of the episodes, apparently because First Look doesn't own
the rights to four episodes that have been released on DVD previously by
other companies. Just so you know.
has unfortunately revealed that they're delaying their BDP-S1
Blu-ray Disc player again. It had been expected on 10/25 (tomorrow), but
it's now tentatively due to be released on 12/4. According to a company
spokesperson, Sony is working on fine-tuning the player's firmware. I'll
tell you, it's getting a little old hearing about these hardware delays.
Hopefully, Sony's player will be out before the end of the year.
We'll leave you today with a look at a trio of those newly-announced
Disney Blu-ray Disc titles (due on 11/21 and 12/14)... Pearl
Harbor, Enemy of the State
Morning, everyone! Boy, have we got some good announcement news today!
Both DVD and high-def.
But first, did any of you happen to catch Friday night's episode of
Battlestar Galactica? DAMN! That
was one of the best hours of television I've seen in YEARS. What an
outstanding piece of drama! I'll tell you what, if the Television
Academy overlooks this show for an Emmy nod again this year, those folks
are smoking something funny. If you didn't get the chance to see it, I
highly recommend that you check it out.
Okay, sorry. Just had to get that out there.
Let's start with the DVD news. You knew this was coming eventually, so
repeat after me: Hasselhoff, Hasselhoff! Yeah, that's right. Baywatch
is finally coming to DVD! Baywatch: Season
One and Baywatch: Season Two
street on DVD on 10/31 (SRP $34.99 each) from First Look Home
Entertainment. Each 5-disc set includes all of the season's episodes
along with bonus material, most of which are TBA. But expect photo
galleries, trivia tracks and even lost episodes. What else can you say,
but happy days indeed.
The following would normally go in The Rumor
Mill, so salt accordingly. But our studio sources are telling
us to expect Miramax's The Night Listener
on 1/9/07, as well as Paramount's Jackass 2
and The Last Kiss on 12/26. The
Last Kiss will include audio commentary by Zach Braff, Tony
Goldwyn, Jacinda Barrett, Rachel Bilson and other members of the cast
and crew, the Cary Brothers' Ride
music video (directed by Braff), deleted scenes, a gag reel and more.
Also today, Sony has officially announced The
Covenant for release on 1/2.
And Genius Products has announced the 1/23 release of IFC Films' This
Film Is Not Yet Rated.
Now then... we've got some VERY interesting high-def news today. Buena
Vista has just officially announced Waves 3 & 4 of their Blu-ray
Disc slate. As we posted a while back, Wave 3 streets on 11/21 and
includes Annapolis, Flightplan,
High and The Wild.
Newly added to the 11/21 line-up, however, is Enemy
of the State. Better still, Wave 4 streets on 12/14 and
includes Invincible (BVHE's first
day and date Blu-ray Disc release) and Michael Bay's Pearl
Harbor (the studio's first 50GB release). These titles are
official and confirmed with the studio. Additional details and artwork
will follow soon.
One more note on Buena Vista: There's a rumor circulating around the
Net (that originates from the
Disney website) that the forthcoming Cars
DVD includes a trailer that promotes many of the Disney animated
Platinum Edition titles for release on Blu-ray Disc format. This is
apparently true, however I spoke with the studio this morning, and was
told in no uncertain terms that there are currently no plans to release
any Platinum titles on Blu-ray Disc at least through the first half of
2007. I'd be surprised if they weren't released eventually but, as of
now, don't expect them until later in 2007 at the earliest.
Meanwhile, Warner has officially announced the HD-DVD release of Smallville:
The Complete Fifth Season on 11/28 (SRP $79.98). The 5-disc
set will include all of the same extras as the DVD release that's
As expected, we've updated the High-Def
Release List accordingly.
Also today, Target Corp. has announced that they've started to begin
stocking both HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc movie titles in many of their
retail locations, side by side, in anticipation of the forthcoming
release of the Sony PlayStation 3 and the Microsoft Xbox 360 HD-DVD
add-on drive. They're actually offering pretty great pricing according
report at Home Media Retailing. Blu-ray Discs are $29.99
for new releases and $19.99 for catalog films, while all HD-DVDs are
$19.99 except DVD/HD-DVD Combo titles, which are priced at $29.99. I
have to say, I'm impressed. I still think two formats scare most people
away, but at those prices, people who buy the new game systems MIGHT
actually take a look if they happen to see that one of their favorite
films is available.
Finally this morning, we'd like to take a moment to acknowledge
passing of actress Jane Wyatt on Friday. Wyatt was familiar to
many for her roles in such films as Great
Expectations, Lost Horizon
and Gentleman's Agreement, and on
TV's Father Knows Best. Perhaps
even more fame came to her as a result of playing Spock's mother,
Amanda, on both TV's original Star Trek
series and the feature film Star Trek IV: The
Voyage Home. She was 96.
We don't have a ton of news for you today, but there are a few
interesting items to report, all of it high-def related.
First up, MGM (via Fox) will release Rocky
and Bulletproof Monk on Blu-ray
Disc format on 12/5 (SRP $39.98 each). Both titles will apparently
include English DTS HD 5.1 among the audio options. Windtalkers
is also set for release on 11/28.
What's more, we've learned that future MGM titles on Blu-ray Disc will
include The Usual Suspects
(possibly also for release on 11/28) and Rocky
Balboa (day and date in 2007).
We've also learned that Fox is currently working on Blu-ray Disc
releases of Phone Booth, Planet
of the Apes (2001) and Flyboys,
among other titles.
Meanwhile, while visiting Paramount's DVD production facilities
yesterday to preview Monday's HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc release of M:i:III
(watch for reviews Monday), I was able to confirm that Oliver Stone's
World Trade Center will be
released day-and-date on both high-def formats (on 12/12, according to
their press site). The Blu-ray Disc will be a 50GB release. The studio
is also planning to release most new films day-and-date on both high-def
formats going forward, and is working to develop plans for their large
slate of catalog titles for 2007.
I also learned that the reason the HD-DVD version of M:i:III
includes the enhanced commentary, but the Blu-ray Disc version doesn't,
is that when production started on the title, the Blu-ray Disc/BD-Java
authoring toolset wasn't quite ready to do it. That's about to change,
however, so expect future releases to include similar such features on
both formats. With regard to the lack of more advanced audio options
(beyond standard Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus) on Paramount
releases, the studio wants to be able to hear and test these audio
formats on actual consumer hardware before including it on their
releases. They do, however, expect to add such audio options eventually.
One other interesting note - I was told that both HD-DVD and Blu-ray
Disc are now capable of seamless branching, though no title has yet
taken advantage of it. Basically, all of the same basic functionality
that the existing DVD format is capable of is now ready to go on the
high-def formats. What's left to be worked out in authoring software and
hardware testing are the more advanced interactive features that are new
to HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc. You'll start to see a lot more of that on
titles from the various studios early next year.
Meanwhile, we've got official word on the audio specs for Warner's
just-announced HD-DVDs of Forbidden Planet,
Mutiny on the Bounty and Casablanca
(street date 11/14). Forbidden Planet
will include Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 (in English) and 1.0 (in French and
Spanish). Mutiny on the Bounty
will include Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 (in English and French) and 1.0
(Spanish). Finally, Casablanca
will include Dolby Digital Plus 1.0 (in English, French and Spanish).
All of the standard DVD extras will be included on the HD-DVDs.
Here's cover art for Warner's Forbidden
Planet, Mutiny on the Bounty
and Casablanca on HD-DVD,
Universal's The Breakfast Club
DVD/HD-DVD Combo (TBA) and MGM's Rocky
and Bulletproof Monk on Blu-ray
Naturally, we've updated our
Release List with all of the new title and date information.
One last note today... our friends over at
Script to DVD.com have posted a list of all the places you can
see Disney's A Nightmare Before Christmas
in 3-D, starting this weekend. It should be pretty cool, so do check it
out if you have the chance.
We MAY be back later today with a little bit more. If not, we'll
definitely see you back here on Monday with the latest news and some
disc reviews too.
Stay tuned (and have a great weekend)!
We've got some interesting standard DVD and high-definition news for
you today. First, let's get the HD news out of the way. There are rumors
going around the Net that Apple may have decided to support both the
HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc formats in version 10.5 of its Mac OS X
operating system. The rumors originated from the
Secret website. It's interesting news if true but, to our
knowledge, Apple has issued no confirmation at this point. It's also
probably no surprise, given that both formats seem determined to stick
around, at least for the foreseeable future. Computer software giants
like Apple and Microsoft would be foolish not to support both
eventually. It's worth noting, however, that
to CNet, Microsoft claims that its new Windows "Vista"
operating system will support neither HD-DVD or Blu-ray Disc out of the
box. Its Windows Media Player 11 software will obviously support the VC1
codec, but playback of discs in either format will apparently require
third-party software, like Cyberlink's
In other high-def news (well... sort of news anyway), Universal briefly
announced on their press website yesterday that they plan to release
The Breakfast Club and The
Deer Hunter on HD-DVD on 12/26. The
Breakfast Club will be a DVD/HD-DVD Combo disc (SRP $34.98),
while The Deer Hunter will be
HD-DVD only (SRP $29.98). Both titles will feature Dolby Digital Plus
5.1 audio. Unfortunately, Universal pulled the news from their database
later in the day. I think we can safely assume the titles are coming,
and we've added them as TBA for 12/26 in our
Release List, but it's probably best not to consider them
official until the studio gives the final word.
By the way, don't forget to check out yesterday's post
for the details of Warner's new catalog high-def announcement - some
GREAT titles were just added to Warner's November slate for both
Now then... we've got some great standard DVD news today. To start,
Criterion has just announced their January release slate. The
newly-announced titles include Allison Anders, Kurt Voss and Dean Lent's
Border Radio (Cat #363), upgraded
editions of Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo
(#52) and Sanjuro (#53), Robert
Bresson's Mouchette (#363) and
producer Richard and Alex Gordon's Monsters
and Madmen 4-disc box set (#364), which will include The
Haunted Strangler, Corridors of
Blood, The Atomic Submarine
and First Man into Space. Separate
discs of First Man into Space/The Atomic
Submarine (#365) and The Haunted
Strangler/Corridors of Blood (#366) will also be available.
For those who might be wondering, according to
website, Yojimbo and Sanjuro
will now feature new, high-definition digital transfers from restored
elements and optional Dolby Digital 3.0 soundtracks (preserving the
original Perspecta simulated-stereo effects). Each will also now include
audio commentary by film historian and Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince,
a documentary on the making of the film (created as part of the Toho
Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is
Wonderful to Create), theatrical and teaser trailers, photo
galleries and new and improved English subtitle translation. Sanjuro
will also include a booklet featuring an essay by critic Michael Sragow,
along with notes and statements from Kurosawa and his cast and crew.
Here's some of the Criterion cover art (that Monsters
and Madmen cover is bad-ass)...
Not done yet, folks. Warner has officially announced the DVD release of
more catalog titles, including Blume in Love,
The Clock, Crossing
Delancey, Miracle in the Rain
and A Summer Place for 2/6/07,
with The Butcher Boy, Ginger
& Fred, Performance
and The Loneliness of the Long Distance
Runner following on 2/13.
We also have a couple of street date changes to report today. Sony has
moved An Evening with Kevin Smith 2: Evening
Harder from 11/7 to 11/28. And Universal has pushed Sherrybaby
from 1/16 to 1/23.
A lot of people have asked whether Fox's 11/21 release of MGM's A
Fish Called Wanda: Collector's Edition will be different from
Sony's recent almost release (some copies of which were shipped by
Amazon). As far as we can tell from Fox's spec list, the only change
(aside from the cover art) is that the preview trailers are slightly
different. The Sony disc included previews for Creature
Comforts: The Complete Series, Fun
with Dick and Jane, Monty Python
and the Holy Grail and The Pink
Panther (2006). The new DVD ditches Creature
Comforts and Fun with Dick and
Jane in favor of trailers for The
Princess Bride and Casino Royale.
Otherwise, the 2-disc set appears to be identical right down to the
Speaking of Fox and MGM, we've learned that Fox will be releasing a new
2-disc Rocky: Collector's Edition
on 12/5 (SRP $26.98). Disc One will include the film in anamorphic
widescreen video with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, along with new audio
commentary by writer/star Sylvester Stallone, a second new commentary by
boxing legends trainer Lou Duva and commentator Bert Sugar, and 3
featurettes (3 Rounds with Legendary Trainer
Lou Duva, Interview with a Legend:
Bert Sugar and The Opponents).
Disc Two will add the 3-part In the Ring: The
Making of Rocky documentary, deleted scenes, 4 additional
featurettes (Steadicam: Then and Now,
Make Up! The Art and Form with Michael
Westmore, Stacatto: A Composer's
Notebook with Bill Conti and The
Ring of Truth) and more. All of this is different from the
extras included on the previous Rocky
DVD releases, so you'll need to keep those too if you want it all. Fox
will also be releasing (for MGM) the same 5-disc Rocky
Anthology box set that's been available previously (SRP
$49.98) - the one that came out a couple years ago with all new high-def
anamorphic transfers for all the films. This is clearly all timed to
promote the 12/22 theatrical release of Rocky
While we're on the subject, here's the cover art for the Rocky:
Collector's Edition, along with Fox's Family
Guy: Volume Four (11/14) and M*A*S*H:
Martinis & Medicine Collection box set (11/7)...
Finally this morning, in case you missed it, be sure to check
yesterday's post for SIX new DVD reviews by yours truly. Told you I'd
get them up eventually. There's good news in there for you fans of
Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet too.
'Nuff for now. Stay tuned...
Hey... how 'bout some DVD reviews? It took me a while, but I've finally
managed to complete no less than SIX reviews of new and recent DVD
releases, including Disney's
Little Mermaid: Platinum Edition, Vice Films'
Vice Guide to Travel, BCI/Eclipse's
Gordon: The Complete Series, Universal's
Racer: Volume 5 and, last but not least, Hip-O/Universal
Stares: The Police Inside Out. There's definitely something in
there for everyone, so I hope you enjoy them. We're hoping to have more
reviews posted in the next day or two as well, so be sure to watch for
In the news today, I've spoken with Warner Home Video and learned that
they've completed the telecine process for a long-awaited release of
Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet. Work is
now underway on special edition content, with the goal of releasing a
worthy DVD release sometime in 2007. Good news indeed.
Also today, on the high-definition front, Warner has announced the
release of SIX more great catalog titles on 11/14: Casablanca,
Mutiny on the Bounty and Forbidden
Planet on HD-DVD, and Million
Dollar Baby, The Last Samurai
and ATL on Blu-ray Disc. All of
these titles will sell for $28.99 except ATL,
which will sell for $34.99. At least Casablanca
and Mutiny on the Bounty will
include all of the standard DVD extras. But here's the best news: The
Forbidden Planet HD-DVD will also
be available in the same 50th Anniversary
Collector's Edition tin set packaging as the DVD! So you'll
be able to purchase the tin set either on DVD or HD-DVD (SRP $59.92)!
We'll post additional details as they come in. In the meantime, we've
Release List accordingly.
Finally today, we've kicked off FIVE new
here at The Bits, giving each of
you the chance to take home copies of Warner's
Season Two, Rhino's
Terror: Land of the Minotaur/Terror,
Drive-In Theater: The Madmen of Mandoras (aka They Saved Hitler's
Brain)/The Devil's Hand,
the Phone!, Genius Products'
Unrated and Manga's
Ghost in the
Shell: S.A.C. 2nd Gig - Volumes 6 & 7! All of these
contests will run until Noon (Pacific) on Sunday, October 29th. Click on
the links to enter and good luck!
Back tomorrow with more, so stay tuned...
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