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(Archived Posts 9/28/07 - 9/10/07)
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UPDATE - 9/28/07 - 4:30 PM PDT)
Okay... Warner's PR agency just got back to us this afternoon. It's
not exactly the formal statement from the studio that we'd been told
to expect, but here's what they had to say:
"We understand you were looking for
clarification following recent reports that WHV would be
discontinuing the HD DVD combo discs. We would like to clarify that
this is not the case and that WHV will continue to release combo HD
DVD/DVD discs for the foreseeable future."
So there you go. Yeah... I know. That wasn't particularly
informative, and it doesn't help those of you who are having trouble
with Warner's Combo format discs, but there it is.
In the meantime, for those of you who ARE having trouble with
Warner's Combo format discs, you can contact their customer service
this link over at Warner Bros. Online.
Have a great weekend and we'll see you Monday.
(EARLY UPDATE -
9/28/07 - 2:15 PM PDT)
There's a bit of confusion today on the HD-DVD front. At least one
retail source has indicated that after January 2008, Warner Home
Video will no longer issue titles on DVD/HD-DVD Combo discs (you can
read more here in
post at the Home Theater Forum). According to this
source, Harry Potter and the Order of the
Phoenix is set to be the last Combo title the studio
releases. Adding to the confusion is the fact that, starting on
10/2, Warner is reissuing a number of its previous Combo titles as
HD-DVD only discs, including Superman
Returns, The Ant Bully,
The Fountain, Letters
from Iwo Jima and others. However, contrary to all this,
we've just spoken with a representative of the studio, who has
informed us that Warner still supports the Combo format and plans to
continue doing so.
As we've noted in recent weeks, a lot of our readers have been
experiencing playback problems with DVD/HD-DVD Combo discs. Indeed,
our own frustration with the Combo format here at The
Bits finally boiled over this past weekend, prompting us
appeal to the HD-DVD supporting studios on this very subject.
Those of you who recall all the replication and playback problems
with DVD-18 discs in recent years should appreciate the difficulties
involved in effectively gluing two discs together and getting them
to work properly in all players (DVD/HD-DVD Combo discs were just
that - single-sided DVD and HD-DVD discs glued together back to
back, while Warner's now indefinitely delayed TotalHD format would
have done the same with HD-DVD and Blu-ray Discs).
Anyway, we're expecting an official statement from Warner Home
Video on this issue later today, so we'll post it here as soon it
In the meantime, we've got a little bit of announcement news.
First, speaking of Warner, the studio will release Return
to House on Haunted Hill on 10/16 in R and Unrated DVD
editions (SRP $27.99 each), as well as unrated Blu-ray and HD-DVD
editions (SRP $34.99 each). The Unrated DVD will feature additional
scenes, 2 featurettes (Return to House on
Haunted Hill Confessionals and The
Search for an Idol: Dr. Richard Hammer's Quest) and
Mushroomhead's Simple Survival
music video. Both high-def versions will feature Warner's new
Navigational Cinema option, allowing viewers to chose the way they
want the story to evolve. Some 60 minutes of additional scenes and
endings were filmed, allowing for as many as 90 different versions
of the film to play out based on viewer choices.
Also today, MGM has set The Princess
Bride: 20th Anniversary Edition for release on DVD on
11/13 (SRP $19.98). The disc will include the new True
Love and High Adventure: The Official Princess Bride DVD Video Game
and 3 all-new featurettes (Princess
Bride: The Untold Tales, The
Art of Fencing and Fairytales
MGM has also announced the DVD release of the MGM
Movie Legends: Bob Hope Collection on 12/4. This 7-disc
set (SRP $39.98) will include the classics Alias
Jessie James, Boy Did I Get a
Wrong Number! and The Facts of
Life for the first time ever on DVD, along with the
previously-released They Got Me Covered,
I'll Take Sweden, The
Princess and the Pirate and The
Road to Hong Kong.
For you disaster film fans, Genius Products has announced the DVD
release of Killer Wave and
Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion
Also, our friend
over at the MTV Movies Blog e-mailed us this morning
to report that director Wes Anderson has informed them that a new
Bottle Rocket special edition
DVD release is coming from Criterion, presumably sometime in 2008.
Good news indeed (thanks for sending it, Brian)!
And around the Net today, there's a new website dedicated to the
Blu-ray Disc format that some of you might be interested in...
Do check it out if you're interested.
Here's some new cover art for you all this afternoon: Sony's Monty
Python's Life of Brian: The Immaculate Edition on Blu-ray
(11/20), DreamWorks' Shrek the Third
on HD-DVD (11/13) and, on the standard DVD front, MGM's The
Princess Bride: 20th Anniversary Edition, Warner's Return
to House on Haunted Hill: Unrated Edition, Comedy
Central's The Best of the Colbert Report
(11/6) and Paramount's The Adventures of
Young Indiana Jones: Volume Two - The War Years
We'll be back with that Warner statement as soon as it comes in.
Okay... first up today: DreamWorks Animation (via Paramount) has
officially announced the anticipated HD-DVD release of Shrek
the Third on 11/13, day and date with the DVD version.
Enhanced features will include a PiP storyboard option with
branching extra scenes, a customizable menu option and several
web-downloadable features. You can read more about the DVD and
at Home Media.
Meanwhile, Fox has announced the DVD release of Werner Herzog's
Rescue Dawn on 11/20. The DVD
(SRP $29.98) will include audio commentary by Herzog and interviewer
Norman Hill, deleted scenes with optional commentary, the 4-part
The Making of a True Story
documentary and a stills gallery. Video will be anamorphic
widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.
Warner has set the DVD release of E.R.:
The Complete Eighth Season for 1/22/08. Look for a 6-disc
set with video in anamorphic widescreen (SRP $49.98). Extras are
TBA. Also streeting on 1/8/08 is The
Waltons: The Complete Sixth Season as a 5-disc set (SRP
Image Entertainment's October slate will include Evil
Aliens (R and Unrated), Caligula
(in R, Unrated and Imperial editions), The
Comedians of Comedy, I Believe
in Santa Claus, The Paul Lynde
Halloween Special and Southern
Fried Chicks on 10/2, Comedy
Jump Off: The Latino Invasion, The
Hunchback of Notre Dame: Ultimate Edition, Mala
Noche, Mike Marino: New
Jersey's Bad Boy of Comedy, Playboy:
Naked Happy Girls - New York Babes Uncovered and Raiders
of the Damned on 10/9, a Caged
Fury/Drug Traffickers/Savage Dawn triple feature, The
Deadliest Catch: Season Two, Everest:
Beyond the Limit, Future
Weapons: Season One, Holiday
on Ice: Under the Desert Sky, Mythbusters:
Collection Two, The Nutcracker
on Ice, One Stone and Two
Birds and Treasures from
American Film Archives III: Social Issues in American Film -
1900-1934 on 10/16, Autumn
Moon, Jupiter Moon: New
Frontier and Under the Volcano
on 10/23, and Christmas at Water's Edge
Image's November slate is set to include 1,000
Places to See Before You Die: Collection One, Alien
Siege, Best of the Jammys:
Volume 2, Carry On Christmas,
The Deadly Breaking Sword,
Extreme Engineering: Collection One,
Locos y Sueltos: Volume 3 and
Manticore on 11/6, 3000
Fox Legend, Innocence,
Just For Laughs: Gags Volumes 3 & 4,
Kyle Cease: Weirder. Blacker. Dimpler.,
The Littles, A
Tale of Two Cities and Tony
Hawk's Secret Skatepark Tour 2 on 11/13, Blood
Flood, Gene Autry: The Last
Round-up, Looks and Smiles,
Playboy: 2008 Video Playmate Calendar,
Gene Autry: Riders in the Sky,
of Tomorrow: Collection 3, These
Foolish Things and Gene Autry:
Twilight on the Rio Grande on 11/20, and Day
X on 11/27.
And Image's announced December titles include 2057/Future
Car, The Killer Snakes,
Gene Autry: Last of the Pony Riders,
Secrets of Egypt's Lost Queen,
Super Comet: After the Impact
and a Thriller Chiller 10 Film Pack
(includes Sunset Grill, Scorpion
Spring, Eye of the Storm,
Xtro 2, Alone
in the Dark, Afraid of the
Dark, Relentless 3
and Relentless 4) on 12/4, and
Brigham: Savage Journey, Bugs!
A Rainforest Adventure, Playboy
Tryouts Volume 2, Suffocation,
or Alive and Whisky, Romeo,
Zulu on 12/11.
Also today, Sony has set First Snow
and Vitus for release on
11/27, with Already Dead
following on 1/15/08.
Buena Vista has set a 3-disc Disney
DuckTales: Volume 3 for release on 11/13.
Genius Products and TLC will be releasing Miami
Ink: Season One on DVD on 10/30 (SRP $34.95).
And Universal will release The Land
Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends on 11/27 (SRP
One last DVD note today: VCI has informed us that an error has been
found in their new Children Shouldn't
Play with Dead Things: Exhumed Edition. An incorrect
master was accidentally used that was cut short by several minutes
and that wasn't properly video corrected. They've recalled all the
discs and are busy replicating corrected ones. Anyone who obtained a
bad disc can contact a VCI Customer Service rep to arrange an
exchange at 800-331-4077 or email@example.com.
Exchange instructions will soon appear on their
as well. Our hats off to VCI for addressing this issue so quickly.
In other news this afternoon, word is that Microsoft's HALO
3 (for the Xbox 360) has sold a whopping $170 million in
its first day of release. You can
more at Variety.
at Home Media, you'll find a report indicating that
Sharp is preparing to release a Blu-ray Disc recorder in Japan this
December, featuring a 1 terabyte hard drive that's capable of
storing 127 hours of recorded programming. There's no word yet on
when such a player might be released in the States.
By the way, did anyone watch NBC's debut of the Bionic
Woman remake from last night? Can someone tell me what
the hell happened to the rest of the episode? Almost all character
development was shoved aside in favor of cramming way too much plot
into far too little air time. I've got to believe that when this
thing gets released on DVD eventually, we're going to learn that
there's actually like a 90-minute extended version of the premiere.
I just wish they'd shown it last night. Doogan believes the series
has the potential. I'd say that it definitely has the potential for
potential. I think
without Pity sums it up pretty well. Looks like
ratings were huge though. I'll be curious to see if the
numbers hold over the next few episodes.
Anyway... stay tuned...
It's a slow news day here at The Bits
and around the industry, but we've got a couple of items to report
today. First though, we'd like to take a moment to wish our own Adam
Jahnke a Happy Birthday. Adam's our anchor here at The
Bits and he's one of the best writers around. What we'd
do without him we have no idea. So all the best to you Adam! Many
happy returns and whatnot.
We've got a new DVD review up this afternoon that you Trek
fans might be interested in... an early look at CBS and Paramount's
Trek: The Next Generation - The Complete Series DVD box
set, in honor of the show's 20th anniversary (the series debuted 20
years ago this past Monday, on 9/24/87). It includes all 7 seasons
on 48 disc, plus a new 49th disc of new bonus content. If you don't
have the show on DVD already, it's well worth a look.
Now then... Warner has announced the DVD release of Tom
and Jerry Tales: Volume 3 on 12/4. Following on 1/8/08 is
Two and a Half Men: The Complete Second
Season, along with a Two and a
Half Men: The Complete Seasons 1 & 2 2-pack. Also set
for 1/15/08 are The Marva Collins Story
and Murder in Mississippi.
Also, there are rumors swirling around the Net that Fox is delaying
the 10/2 Blu-ray release of Fantastic
Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer due to "manufacturing
problems," but the studio tells us in no uncertain terms that
it ain't so. According to Fox, the title WILL street on 10/2 as
And around the Net today,
Media has posted a story on the results of a Best Buy
customer survey indicating that 9 out of 10 of their customers are
confused about high-definition, including more than 40% of those who
ALREADY own an HDTV display. That reflects not so much on Best Buy,
but on how terrible a job the industry as a whole has done to
explain HD to consumers. Yikes.
That's pretty much all that's going on today. Told you it was slow.
We'll have more tomorrow however so... as usual... stay tuned!
Here at The Bits today, our
own Russell Hammond has updated our
DVD Cover Art section with tons of new DVD, Blu-ray and
HD-DVD cover scans and Amazon pre-order links. Be sure to check them
The big release news today is that 20th Century Fox has set the DVD
and Blu-ray debut of The Simpsons Movie
for 12/18. The DVD (SRP $29.98) will include anamorphic widescreen
video, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, audio commentary by James L. Brooks,
Matt Groening, Al Jean, Mike Scully, David Silverman, Dan
Castellaneta and Yeardley Smith, a second commentary with directors
David Silverman, Mike B. Anderson, Steven Dean Moore and Rich Moore,
6 deleted scenes (including Russ Cargill: "Levels",
Springfield News, DMV, Sausage Truck, Emperor Moe and an alternate
ending), 5 additional features and/or featurettes (Homer's
Monologue on The Tonight Show, The
Simpsons Judge American Idol, Homer
Introduces American Idol, Let's
All Go to the Lobby and Alternate
Character Designs by the Directors and Matt Groening).
The 50GB Blu-ray Disc (SRP $39.98) will include 1080p video encoded
in AVC format, English 5.1 DTS HD Lossless Master Audio and Dolby
Digital 5.1 audio in English, French and Spanish, and all of the
standard definition DVD special features in full high-definition.
The other big release news today, is that New Line has set the DVD
and Blu-ray Disc release of Rush Hour 3
for 12/26. The 2-disc Rush Hour 3:
Platinum Edition DVD (SRP $34.99) will include the film
in anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital 5.1 EX and DTS 6.1 ES
audio, audio commentary with director Brett Ratner, deleted scenes
with commentary by Ratner, the Le Rush
Hour Trois Production Diary featurette, a gag reel and
the film's theatrical trailer. The Blu-ray Disc version (and an
HD-DVD to be released in early 2008) will add an enhanced visual
commentary. The HD-DVD will also feature Internet connectivity. Both
high-def versions will sell for SRP $39.98. As with Hairspray,
the HD-DVD version is being delayed because the format doesn't allow
for region coding, and New Line has to be sensitive to the release
plans of its international partners. A single-disc DVD edition will
also be available on 12/26 containing just the movie (SRP $28.98).
Also, Sony has set I Know Who Killed Me
for release on DVD and Blu-ray on 11/27. Both versions will include
an alternate opening, an alternate ending, a blooper reel and an
extended dance sequence.
HBO has set Jim Norton: Monster Rain
for release on DVD on 10/16.
And Allumination FilmWorks has set the family western tale Outlaw
Trail for release on 10/16 as well.
We've got one last bit of Braveheart
follow-up for you today: Industry sources are telling us to expect
an HD-DVD release of the film some time in 2008. Note that details
on the DVD extras (some of which we listed yesterday) are still
being finalized and are subject to change.
Here's a look at cover art for the DVD and Blu-ray version of Rush
Hour 3, along with Fox's How I
Met Your Mother: Season Two (10/2)...
We've also got a look for you at the contents of Fox's Ford
at Fox Collection on DVD (due 12/4)...
Around the Net today, word is that Home
Theater Specialists of America (HTSA) has officially chosen
Blu-ray Disc as its high-def format of choice. The HTSA is a
national association of home theater experts, A/V specialty dealers
and installers, representing 62 member retailers (and over 800
installers) with some $500 million in combined buying power. They
apparently announced their decision at CEDIA, after discovering in
internal studies that "92% of category
sales by HTSA members were in Blu-ray players, with the balance
comprised mostly of dual-format players that combine BD and HD DVD
playback capability." Says executive director Richard
Glikes, "The industry looks to HTSA as
an expert for custom home theater, built upon a foundation of the
top consumer electronic retailers across the country. Based on our
member research and observations in the field, it is clear that HTSA
customers have made Blu-ray Disc their preferred HD format for
movies and other packaged video content." You can read
We've been getting a lot of e-mails from readers responding to
comments from yesterday (click the link and scroll down to the
end of the column) about the DVD/HD-DVD Combo format. Based on their
feedback, it seems the playback problems with these Combo discs
aren't limited to those of us here at The
Bits by any means, though the severity people are
experiencing seems to vary. Some people are experiencing troubles
with just a select few titles, while others are having much more
widespread issues. We've gotten complaints in the last 24 hours
about titles as recent as Universal's Knocked
Up and Warner's We Are
Marshall, as well as many others going several back
months. We're also hearing from supporters of both formats, some of
whom have simply stopped buying Combo discs for their unreliability.
A couple readers e-mailed to say that they were wary of buying
Paramount's forthcoming Star Trek: Season
One DVD/HD-DVD box set for this reason. We're hopeful
that this problem will finally be resolved soon. Either way, we've
got a number of inquiries out on this issue to the various studios
and parties involved. We'll keep you updated on our own experiences.
Did anyone out there happen to catch the debut of Chuck
on NBC last night? The title character is a guy who manages a "Nerd
Herd" technical support crew at a Buy More store (clearly a
spoof of the Geek Squad folks at Best Buy). The reason I mention
this today, is because during the episode, a couple of times we saw
the inside of the Buy More, right there in the background were a
number of HDTV displays... some of which had their anamorphic
settings wrong so the video was squished. Now, THAT is a nice touch
and it gave me a good laugh, obscure though it might be. Given how
savvy the show is, I'd be surprised if this wasn't a deliberate
decision by the production crew. How many times have you gone into a
Best Buy or a Circuit City and seen the same thing? Very funny. It's
a cute show by the way. Definitely worth checking out.
Finally today, we want take a moment to acknowledge the passing of
Marcel Marceau, who died over the weekend in Paris. Marceau almost
single-handedly revived the art of mine during his long career on
stage. He also made many TV and film appearances, including Mel
Brooks' Silent Movie and the
cult classic Barbarella. He
was 84. You can read more
Okay... we've got a few new announcements for you today.
First up, Universal has set I Now
Pronounce You Chuck and Larry for release on 11/6. Look
for separate full frame and anamorphic widescreen DVD versions, as
well as a DVD/HD-DVD Combo release (SRP $39.98).
The studio has also added The Land
Before Time: Good Times and Good Friends for DVD release
Meanwhile, HBO has set the Tom Hanks IMAX title Magnificent
Desolation: Walking on the Moon for DVD release on 11/6
(SRP $19.98). Video will be anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Digital
5.1 audio. Extras will include a "Lunar
Exploration Command Center that focuses on all of the Apollo
missions and reveals newly released photographs, CGI and actual
live-action renditions of the lunar escape, a video diary, trivia
game, moon maps and more."
Also today, Genius Products and The Weinstein Company have
announced the release Michael Moore's Sicko
documentary on DVD on 11/6 (SRP $29.95). Extras will include 30
minutes of added footage, additional interview clips, a music video
and footage from the L.A. premiere for the film. There's no word yet
on an HD-DVD version.
One other quick note: We mentioned last week that Paramount would
be releasing a Braveheart: Special
Collector's Edition on DVD on 12/18. We'd said originally
that this was a reissue, but now it looks as if that's not the case.
We're still waiting on official specs, but it appears as if this
will be a 2-disc set. The film will be presented in newly-remastered
anamorphic widescreen video, with Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 audio.
The previously released audio commentary with director Mel Gibson
and 2 theatrical trailers will be included, but you'll also get 2
new featurettes (Tales of William Wallace
and A Writer's Journey),
archival interviews with the cast, a photo gallery and multiple
History Channel featurettes as well. There's no indication yet of an
HD-DVD release, but stay tuned. There's also no indication yet as to
whether the original DVD's documentary (A
Filmmaker's Passion: The Making of Braveheart) will be
included. We'll be sure to update you when we know more.
Okay... around the site today, we've kicked off FIVE new
giving each of you the chance to take home copies of Warner's
Super Heroes: Volume 1,
Two and a
Half Men: Season 1,
High-flying Adventure and
Turn 2, The Weinstein Company's
Heat, New Line's
a random "grab
bag" DVD or promo item. All of these contests will run
for TWO WEEKS, until Noon (Pacific) on Sunday, October 7th. Click on
the links to get started and good luck!
Around the Net today,
Media has another story up on how confused many
independent studios and distributors are over which high-def format
to release their titles on, and how they're trying to make their
We've got some new cover art for you to check out this afternoon:
Here's a look at HBO's Magnificent
Desolation: Walking on the Moon, a sampling of Warner's
Stanley Kubrick titles in high-definition (all due on 10/23) and
Sony's The Three Stooges Collection:
Volume One - 1934-1936 (10/30)...
Finally today, I'd like to say a few words of appeal to the HD-DVD
supporting studios. And no, this is not what some of you think. I've
said many times that I like the HD-DVD format, despite the fact that
I prefer Blu-ray. And believe it or not, it's true. Except for one
thing: I absolutely HATE the DVD/HD-DVD Combo format. I hate it with
a passion. Why? Well... let's put it this way. I've kept a bit of a
running tally. In the last two months, I've checked out 23 Combo
titles. You know how many actually worked, playing smoothly all the
way through? Just 9. In the other 14 cases, I'd be watching the
movie and about halfway through it just freezes, stutters a little
bit and then flashes an error code. What's happening, it seems, is
that in the replication stage, the bonding layer between the DVD and
HD-DVD halves is being applied too thickly. So many HD-DVD players
choke on the resulting Combo disc. This is the same problem a lot of
people had with Universal's The Good
Shepherd and Children of Men
Combo discs a few months ago. Clearly, the problem STILL hasn't been
resolved. I know it's not just my player, because not only have I
updated the firmware and still had problems, the same discs crash on
other players I've tried, as well as the HD-DVD drive on my new PC.
And I get regular complaints from readers who are experiencing the
This is a HUGE problem, folks. Nearly every new film these studios
are releasing is on a Combo disc. If less than half of them are
working properly for me, just how big is this problem market-wide?
The most recent problem I've had: Warner's We
Are Marshall, just last night. Do you have any idea how
frustrating it is to be two-thirds of the way into a movie only to
have it crash on you? Well... yeah, I suppose some of you do. How
are the studios managing the customer service problem here? I've got
so many non-working Combo discs I wouldn't even know where to start
trying to exchange them all. So this is my appeal to the HD-DVD
supporting studios: PLEASE... either fix this problem with the Combo
discs, or abandon the Combo format altogether and just release your
titles on regular HD-DVD discs. It might be a good idea for the
HD-DVD Promotion Group to create a single phone number or e-mail
address to act as a clearing house for this, where people with
defective discs can get them easily exchanged. Let's have an end to
this problem once and for all.
Okay... as many of you know, the big release for this week isn't a
DVD or high-def title, but rather the debut of Microsoft's HALO
3 for the Xbox 360. We know a lot of you guys have been
eagerly awaiting tomorrow's big debut of the game, so to all of
you... lock, load and enjoy!
Naturally, we'll be back tomorrow with more news and whatnot for
the rest of you, still remaining here in the non-virtual universe.
As always, stay tuned...
The big news today is that Sony will release Superbad
on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on 12/4. Additional details will follow.
Lionsgate has announced a number of new DVD titles as follows: Holla
(10/9), Fido (10/23), Captivity
(10/23), Wildfire: Season Two
and Danny Roane: First Time Director
(11/6), and Skinwalkers
Meanwhile, Paramount has set The Tudors:
The Complete First Season for DVD release on 1/2/08, with
Gunsmoke: The Second Season, Volume One
and The Naked Brothers Band: Season One
following on 1/8. The studio is also reissuing the Braveheart:
Special Collector's Edition on 12/18. Also coming on that
day is The Adventures of Young Indiana
Jones: Volume Two. And on the HD-DVD front, Paramount
will release an Anchorman: The Legend of
Ron Burgundy - Unrated, Uncut & Uncalled For! Edition
on 11/27 (for DreamWorks).
Also today, MGM has finally released the details of its Erik
the Viking: Director's (Son's) Cut, due on 12/4 (SRP
$19.98). Featuring a new 75-minute cut of the film created by...
yes, director Terry Jones' son... this version offers re-ordered
scenes, a tighter pace and a remixed and re-dubbed soundtrack. Says
Terry Jones in the press release: "When
the film came out in 1989 I was not happy at all with it. With the
Monty Python movies I'd been a hands-on editor, yet with
Erik the Viking I didn't get involved in the process until
too late. I've always thought there was a better film in there,
waiting to get out, and this new version is it!" The DVD
will feature anamorphic widescreen video with Dolby Digital 5.1
audio. Extras will include audio commentary with Terry Jones, the
theatrical trailer, the Behind the
Director's (Son's) Cut featurette, a vintage 1989 "making
of" featurette and the Giant Visions
in the Sky from the Gods of Valhalla photo gallery.
Finally, Warner has set On Bloody Sunday
for release on 12/18 (for Polychrome).
Around the site today, Todd Doogan has turned in
latest edition of Doogan's Views, in which he reviews
a number of Anchor Bay's recent Masters
of Horror DVDs, including
on the Stairs,
All Scream for Ice Cream,
Washingtonians. Don't miss it!
Our own Greg Suarez has checked in with a review of Sony's
Replacement Killers: Extended Cut on Blu-ray Disc as well.
Also today, Barrie Maxwell wanted me to let all of you know that
he's busy working on a new Classic Coming
Attractions column, featuring plenty of reviews - a
column that will be worth the wait and that should be up by the end
of the month. He also promises a return to normal column output
soon. As some of you may know, Barrie's been in the middle of moving
to a new house, so things have been a little chaotic for him. But
things will be back to normal soon, so he appreciates your patience
in the meantime.
We've got just a last couple of things for you today, in terms of
news around the Net. First,
Media is reporting that Microsoft will be releasing a new
HD-DVD add-on drive for the Xbox 360 next year.
Business has a good story up on how smaller studios and
distributors are struggling to decide which high-def format to start
releasing their titles on. It's worth a read.
Media has piece on a recent study by The NPD Group that
offers something of a red flag for proponents of both high-def
formats: According to their study, 73% of consumers with high-def
displays who responded to their survey were satisfied with standard
DVD and saw no need to upgrade to either HD-DVD or Blu-ray. This
suggests the truth of something we've been arguing all along: The
massive success of DVD is going to prove the biggest obstacle to the
adoption of high-def discs, not competition between the two
high-def formats themselves.
Okay, that's it for another busy week. Don't forget that Ken Burns'
The War debuts on PBS on
Sunday night. It's well worth your time.
Have a great weekend and we'll see you Monday. Stay tuned!
Okay... we've checked in with Fox this morning and we've got an
update for you on their Blu-ray Disc release slate. Despite rumors
to the contrary, only 2 titles have been delayed. Master
and Commander: The Far Side of the World has been pushed
back until 2/5/08. As we've noted before, a technical glitch was
detected during QC that would have caused problems with a small
percentage of Blu-ray Disc players. Fox probably could have gotten
away with releasing the title anyway (potentially letting hardware
manufacturers deal with the problem through firmware updates), but
the studio rightly decided to fix the problem instead. However,
given the crush by all the studios to replicate their BD titles for
pre-holiday release, there was no way to get the title back into the
replication schedule in time for fixed discs to arrive in stores
before the end of the year. The other title that's been delayed
(though not for technical reasons according to Fox) is MGM's The
Amityville Horror, which is now planned for early 2008
release as well (street date TBA). All of the other previously
announced titles are unaffected. Here is the updated Fox/MGM Blu-ray
release schedule (baring any new announcements) through the end of
10/2 - Fantastic Four: Rise of the
Silver Surfer, The Day After
Tomorrow [Editor's Note - 7PM
Update: Fox earlier today reported to us that this title would
street on 10/23, but this evening the studio has corrected the date
to 10/2 - sorry for the confusion]
10/9 - From Hell, The
Fly (1986), Edward
Scissorhands, 28 Days Later,
28 Weeks Later (previously
10/23), RoboCop (MGM)
10/23 - The Hills Have Eyes 2: Unrated
11/6 - The Battle of Britain
(MGM), A Bridge Too Far (MGM)
11/13 - I, Robot, Prison
Break: Season 1
11/20 - Die Hard, Die
Hard 2: Die Harder, Die Hard
with a Vengeance, Live Free
and Die Hard, Pathfinder:
Unrated, Red Dawn
12/4 - Mr. and Mrs. Smith,
Independence Day, Cast
Away, Ronin (MGM)
2/5/08 - Master and Commander: The Far
Side of the World (previously 10/2/07)
TBA Early 2008 - The Amityville Horror
(1979 - MGM - previously 10/2/07)
On the DVD front, MGM has announced Erik
the Viking: The Director's (Son's) Cut for release on
12/4. No kidding - you'll find the cover art below. Additional
details will follow soon.
In other release news today, Universal has set Bring
It On: In It to Win It for DVD release on 12/18, along
with a 4-disc Bring It On: Cheerbook
Collection (SRP $44.98). The Cheerbook
Collection includes the original Bring
It On, along with Bring It On
Again, Bring It On: All or
Nothing, Bring It On: In It to
Win It and finally Bring It On
One Last Time, Beotch. Okay... I made that last one up,
but you DO get all the others.
Finally, Warner has set Innocent Voices
for release on 11/27 (for Polychrome).
Okay... we've got a little more cover art for you today. First up
is the REAL final cover art for Universal's Battlestar
Galactica: Razor - Unrated Extended Edition (due 12/4). I
know it may not look different, but you'll note that the original
art we posted yesterday had the text "BSG 75" on the seal.
But fans of the show will know that the Pegasus was BSG 69... not 75
(the Galactica is 75). So the text has been corrected on the new
final art. Yeah... I know what some of you are thinking. Don't even
say it. Fans care about this stuff.
You'll also the artwork we promised for MGM's Erik
the Viking: The Director's (Son's) Cut, as well as Buena
Vista's October Road: The Complete First
Season (due 10/30)...
And here's one last news report for you today, just because we
haven't talked much format war in the last couple of days: Disney
CEO Bob Iger had this to say about his company's support of BD at
the Goldman Sachs 2007 Communacopia Conference in New York this
week: "We are formally behind Blu-ray
and haven't taken any money to do that." If I'm not
mistaken, this is the first time anyone at Disney as commented
publicly on the issue of whether or not Disney has accepted money to
remain BD exclusive. Fox's Rupert Murdoch had some strong words on
the format war at the conference as well, publicly accusing Toshiba
of having essentially bought Paramount and DreamWorks' exclusive
support for HD-DVD. You can read more on all this
at Home Media Retailing and
at Daily Variety. So for those of you who might have
thought that Fox and Disney didn't support Blu-ray at the highest
levels, there you go. Not that we expect any of this to change the
opinions of critical HD-DVD enthusiasts, but those of you who have
decided to support Blu-ray should take definite comfort in Iger and
Murdoch's comments. Both studios are into BD for the long haul.
We'll be back tomorrow with more reviews, including a new column
from Doogan. Stay tuned...
Universal has announced the DVD release of Curious
George: Plays in the Snow and Other Awesome Activities
and The Land Before Time: Good Times and
Good Friends, both on 12/4. The studio has also revealed
the cover art chosen by fans on Sci-Fi.com for their forthcoming DVD
release of the Battlestar Galactica:
Razor - Unrated Extended Edition, also due on 12/4 (see
Meanwhile, Warner has set Allo 'Allo!:
The Complete Series 7 for release on 1/15/08 (for the
BBC). Also coming are One Tree Hill: The
Complete Fourth Season and a One
Tree Hill: The Complete Seasons 1-4 (4-Pack) on 12/18.
Magnolia has set Murder Party
and Crazy Love for release on
First Run Features will release I Was
Nineteen and Trace of Stones
on 10/23, both from the collection of the legendary East German
studio DEFA. Also coming that day from First Run is a box set of 4
documentary films, entitled A Musical
Quartet (SRP $69.95), which will include From
Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China, Small
Wonders, High Fidelity: The
Adventures of the Guarneri String Quartet and The
Genius Products has set Meerkat Manor:
Season One for DVD release on 10/9.
And New Line will apparently be releasing a multi-disc New
Line Cinema's 40th Anniversary Collection DVD box set on
11/20 (SRP $274.99). Full details as to the exact titles set to be
included will be announced shortly.
Finally today, a quick heads-up: Manga has just launched
revised DVD website. Do check it out.
Here's a look at that final Battlestar
Galactica: Razor cover art, along with both DVD versions
of Warner's Harry Potter and the Order of
the Phoenix (due 12/11)...
We've updated our
DVD Cover Art section again today with new DVD, Blu-ray
and HD-DVD cover art and Amazon pre-order links. Be sure to check it
Also, our own Adam Jahnke has delivered
latest edition of Jahnke's Electric Theatre featuring
reviews of several new-to-theaters films including David
Cronenberg's Eastern Promises,
Julie Taymor's Across the Universe
and Rob Zombie's remake of Halloween,
along with Dragon Wars and
The Brave One. Don't miss it!
In terms of release news, 20th Century Fox has just informed us
that their Master and Commander: The Far
Side of the World Blu-ray Disc, which had been set for
release on 10/2, has been temporarily delayed. Apparently, during
QC, Fox discovered an authoring problem that could cause problems on
a small number of Blu-ray players, so they decided to correct it.
The studio tells me that they hope to announce the new street date
later this week.
Fox has also announced the DVD release of Love's
Unending Legacy on 12/4.
Indican Pictures is releasing the C. Thomas Howell/Slam poetry epic
Fighting Words on DVD on
10/16. Video is anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.
Extras will include bloopers, cast and crew interviews, the
theatrical trailer, a still gallery, a behind-the-scenes featurette
and a tribute to Edward Albert.
Genius Products and The Weinstein Company will release the
CG-animated family film The Reef
Genius is also releasing the documentary Deep
Water on DVD on 12/18.
And Sony has set First Snow
for DVD release on 11/27, starring Guy Pearce and Piper Perabo.
Blu-ray fans will be pleased to learn that Buena Vista has lowered
the SRP of their forthcoming Lost: The
Complete Third Season (due on 12/11) to just $96.99.
That's down from the originally announced price of $130.
Finally, though we hinted at it last week, Warner has officially
announced the Blu-ray and HD-DVD release of That's
Entertainment: The Complete Collection as a 3-disc set on
11/13 (SRP $79.98 each). All three films in the series will be
included in full 1080p video, including That's
Entertainment, Part 2 and That's
Entertainment! III. You'll also get 5 hours worth of
bonus material, including 3 documentaries, premiere night coverage,
salutes to the behind-the-camera talents, TV specials, making-of
featurettes, an extensive video jukebox of rare musical outtakes
from classic films and more. I know at least one person in NYC who's
going to rush out and buy a high-def player just for this release.
Good news indeed.
Around the Net today, there are stories at
Business suggesting that both Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD are
likely to coexist "for the foreseeable future." This comes
from a report by the U.K. research firm Screen Digest, whose belief
is that most studios will eventually decide to release their titles
in both formats, like Warner currently does. Maybe, though Paramount
and DreamWorks' recent moves would seem rather contrary to this
notion. The question is, will the studios be able to make much of a
profit doing so? And how will retailers react to the notion? In any
case, we suspect the fate of the format war will depend on their
sales performance this Christmas holiday shopping season.
(LATE UPDATE -
9/17/07 - 2 PM PDT)
Just a quick update... Warner Home Video has just officially
announced the DVD and high-def release of Harry
Potter and the Order of the Phoenix for 12/11. The DVD
will be available in single-disc anamorphic widescreen and full
frame versions (SRP $28.98) as well as a 2-disc Special
Edition (SRP $34.99). The 2-disc edition will include 17
minutes of additional footage, A&E's The
Hidden Secrets of Harry Potter documentary, 2
behind-the-scenes featurettes (Trailing
Tonks and Harry Potter: The
Magic of Editing) and DVD-ROM extras (including a
timeline, sneak peeks at the sixth film and more). The Blu-ray and
DVD/HD-DVD Combo versions (SRP $35.99 each) will include all of the
DVD extras save for the ROM content. The Blu-ray Disc will add a
number of exclusive Focus Points
featurettes, while the DVD/HD-DVD version will offer an exclusive
In-Movie Experience, along with web-enabled features (like the
ability to pick your favorite scenes and to hold live community
screenings, as well as various downloads).
This is in addition to the previously announced Harry
Potter Limited Edition Gift Set (available in DVD,
Blu-ray and HD-DVD versions -
here for more on that), which includes all FIVE films in the
series (including Order of the Phoenix)
plus additional extras (SRP $119.97 for the DVD set and $149.99 for
either high-def version).
(EARLY UPDATE -
9/17/07 - 1:45 PM PDT)
Afternoon, folks. Hope you all had an enjoyable weekend, as usual.
I've been a bit under the weather these last few days, but that
turns out to have been a okay thing, surprisingly, as I was able to
use the time to watch the first three episodes of Ken Burns'
long-awaited documentary series on World War II... The
War. The official broadcast run begins next Sunday night
(9/23) on PBS, but I was fortune enough to get my hands on a copy of
the DVD release version last week. And I'm pleased to say, it's
every bit as good as I'd hoped. You can read
review of the DVD here.
Now... let's have some announcement news...
For you direct to video fans, Universal has announced American
Pie Presents: Beta House and an American
Pie Presents: Stifler's 3-Movie Package (featuring American
Pie Presents: Band Camp, American
Pie Presents: Beta House and American
Pie Presents: The Naked Mile) for release on 12/26.
MGM has announced an American Movie
Musicals collection for release on 10/9, which will
include Hair, DeLovely
and A Chorus Line. Following
on 10/16 will be an MGM Holiday Classics
collection, due to include The Bishop's
Wife, March of the Wooden
Soldiers and Pocketful of
Miracles. And due on 11/6 is The
Coen Brothers Gift Set (SRP $49.98), featuring Blood
Simple, Raising Arizona,
Miller's Crossing, Barton
Fink and Fargo.
Fox has finally announced the DVD release of Futurama:
Bender's Big Score for release on 11/27. You'll find the
cover art below.
Paramount has set Frasier: The Tenth
Season for release on 12/11. They're also releasing a
Christmas Time in South Park
DVD on 11/13, featuring the episodes Mr.
Hankey, the Christmas Poo, Merry
Christmas, Charlie Manson, Mr.
Hankey's Christmas Classics, A
Very Crappy Christmas, Red
Sleigh Down, It's Christmas in
Canada and Woodland Critter
Christmas. It also comes in gold foil packaging that
makes it look like one of those Little Golden Books from when you
were a kid. Nice.
Finally, Criterion has just announced a pair of DVD releases for
December, including Monte Hellman's classic Two-Lane
Blacktop (Cat #415) and a 4-disc Ingmar
Bergman: Four Masterworks box that will repackage The
Seventh Seal (#11), Smiles of
a Summer Night (#237), The
Virgin Spring (#321) and Wild
Finally, we've got a little bit more new cover art for you to check
out. Here's Fox's Futurama: Bender's Big
Score and Waitress
(11/27), as well as Paramount's Christmas
Time in South Park...
Holy moley... you're not going to believe this (and for once, it
has nothing to do with the format war): Universal has just set Galactica
1980: The Complete Series for release on 12/26 (SRP
$29.98). No, I am not kidding. I even have the artwork to prove it
below. Somewhere out there, probably waiting to sign autographs at
some sci-fi convention, Herb Jefferson, Jr. is smiling today. You
Universal has also confirmed the 11/6 DVD and HD-DVD release of
I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry,
along with the 12/11 release (on both formats) of The
Bourne Ultimatum. More details and artwork are expected
to follow next week. You can read more
at Home Media Retailing.
Meanwhile, Buena Vista has Power
Rangers: Operation Overdrive - Volumes 1 & 2 due up
next week on 9/18. These are the first two volumes of what will
eventually be a five volume set. Each disc contains six episodes
Tartan has confirmed the 11/6 release of Oldboy
on Blu-ray (SRP $34.95) which comes complete with three audio
commentaries, deleted scenes with optional commentary and the
standard DVD version as well, which adds 6 featurettes, and cast and
Finally, Warner has announced The Fever
(12/4 - for HBO) and A Dennis the Menace
Christmas (11/6). And here's a late addition: Warner has
announced a 2-disc Selena: 10th
Anniversary Edition for release next week, on 9/18. This
will include an extended edition of the film, along with new extras
Around the site today, we've updated
CEA DVD Player Sales numbers to include the latest
weekly sales numbers through the third week of August. All charts (above)
have been updated accordingly.
And in one piece of other news around the Net,
Business has a story on how Target has quietly doubled
shelf space for Blu-ray in many of its retail locations.
We'll leave you with a look at the art for Galactica
1980, along with Paramount's Titanic:
10th Anniversary Edition - Two-Disc Collector's Set (due
11/20 - just a repackage, there's no new extras) and Oldboy
Have a great weekend, folks! See you Monday...
We've got just a few new announcements for you today.
Warner has set What I Like About You:
The Complete First Season for re-release on 10/2 (likely
a promotional tie-in to the 11/20 release of New Line's Hairspray,
also staring Amanda Bynes). Fallen Angels
follows on 11/13. On 1/18/08, look for a pair of new animated
titles, including The All-New
Superfriends Hour: Season 1, Volume 1 and What's
New Scooby-Doo: Complete Third Season. Also on 1/8,
you'll get a new Twister: Two-Disc
Special Edition on DVD, as well as single-disc Blu-ray
and HD-DVD editions. Finally, on 1/15/08, look for The
Royle Family: The Complete Second Season (for the BBC).
In addition, Universal has set Whisper
for release on 11/27.
And MGM will release Pink Panther: A
Pink Christmas on DVD on 11/6. It contains the original
1970s holiday special, along with two additional TV specials: The
Olym-pinks and Pink at First
Here's a look at the Twister: Two-Disc
Special Edition DVD artwork, along with the DVD and
Blu-ray art for New Line's just-announced Hairspray:
2-Disc Shake & Shimmy Edition (due 11/20). It looks
as if each format will have lenticular cover art with two different
images for Hairspray - one
with the adult cast and one with the kids (we've posted a look at
Sarah and I saw Hairspray a
few weeks ago. It's a pretty fun little film and a good updating of
the original John Waters film, but man... John Travolta seriously
creeps me out in that fat suit and Jackie-O hair. Yikes. He's damn
funny in the movie though, especially his dance number with
Christopher Walken. I'll say no more.
Afternoon, folks. There's not much real news today to report
titles-wise, but there is
good interview with Warner Home Video president Ron Sanders over
at TWICE. In it, Sanders says that TotalHD is on hold
at the moment, that the studio remains committed to both HD formats
for the time being, and that they're going to be watching sales
closely in the 4th quarter of this year. It's quick but well worth a
read. Our thanks to Greg Tarr at TWICE
for posting it.
(LATE UPDATE -
9/11/07 - 5 PM PDT)
Here's a bit of a surprise... New Line has just announced their
first high-definition title for release in November. It's Hairspray...
coming on Blu-ray only on 11/20, day and date with the standard DVD.
The HD-DVD version is being delayed until next year, because the
format doesn't offer region coding and the studio needs to be
sensitive to the release dates of "independent
international distributors," according to New Line's EVP
of marketing Matt Lasorsa. However, New Line's general policy moving
forward will be format neutral, like Warner. Here's the relevant
text from the
Media Retailing piece:
Even after Hairspray, most New Line
titles will be released the same day on both standard DVD and
Blu-ray Disc, with a lag for the HD DVD version. But for
second-party acquisitions to which we don't have international
rights, Lasorsa said, we will be day-and-date on all
The Hairspray DVD will be
released in three versions - a single-disc edition (SRP $28.98), a
widescreen 2-disc Shake and Shimmy
special edition (SRP $34.99) and a gift set edition (SRP $59.76)
that includes a metal school locker and a tote bag. The 2-disc
version will include the You Can't Stop
the Beat behind-the-scenes documentary, deleted scenes,
multiple audio commentaries, the Hairspray
Extensions featurette on the dance moves in the film, a
dance tutorial and a new musical number (I
Can't Wait). The Blu-ray will feature a Behind
the Beat picture-in-picture option (we believe the first
PiP on a Blu-ray title) in addition to the standard DVD extras. The
eventual HD-DVD will also offer these extras, along with Internet
features. You can read more
at Video Business as well.
By the way, Sony has informed us that the street date for their
Monty Python's The Life of Brian
DVD and Blu-ray has moved from 11/6 to 11/20. Just FYI.
(EARLY UPDATE -
9/11/07 - 11:45 AM PDT)
Okay, we've heard back from Warner Home Video this morning. Once
again, the official word on the studio's high-def format support
policy is there's no change. As it has for some time now, Warner
continues to support both Blu-ray and HD-DVD. Just FYI.
Here at the site today, Adam's checked in with
Electric Theatre update, featuring reviews of a pair
of new-to-theaters titles, including James Mangold's remake of 3:10
to Yuma and Michael Davis' Shoot
'Em Up. Don't miss it.
Our own Russell Hammond has updated the
DVD Cover Art section again this morning, with lots of new
DVD, Blu-ray and HD-DVD cover art and Amazon links. Be sure to check
We've also launched THREE new
today, giving each of you the chance to take home copies of Warner's
The Complete Fourth Season, Universal's
Rules, and Fox's
Is Earl: Season Two and
Unit: Season Two. The contests will run until Noon
(Pacific) on Sunday, September 23rd. Click on the links to enter and
In announcement news today, Universal has set Intimate
Affairs for release on DVD on 12/16 (SRP $24.98).
20th Century Fox has added Namesake
and Waitress to its 11/27 DVD
Warner and HBO have set Living and Dying
for release on 12/26.
And New Line has slated El Cantante
for 10/30 (Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony rejoice!).
Also this morning, we've been informed that Paramount's Titanic:
10th Anniversary Edition is basically just a repromote,
and will not include any new extras.
Finally, our friends over at The Criterion Collection seem to have
their website recently. It's pretty nice - worth checking out
when you get a chance.
That's all for now. Stay tuned...
(EARLY UPDATE -
9/11/07 - 12:01 AM PDT)
Okay... we've got just a quick update for you on the Toshiba thing
from yesterday's post. Apparently,
story in the L.A. Times (also carried in
was based on information that's a couple weeks out of date. This "offer"
from Toshiba that the piece speaks about was apparently the one made
the week Paramount and DreamWorks went HD-DVD exclusive. Our sources
are telling us that Warner rejected that offer, preferring to stay
format neutral. This offer thing being reported today is apparently
We'll try to have more on this in the next day or two, but despite
appearances - and the latest PR spin - there's no been no change in
Warner's policy with regard to either high-def format. So for the
third time: Ugh.
By the way, as might expected, we've received a few testy e-mails
from HD-DVD supporters crying foul at our generally negative
response to the idea of Toshiba attempting to pay the Hollywood
studios to support HD-DVD exclusively. Here's the thing: If you
TRULY believe that this format war should be decided by consumers
and by the marketplace, can someone please explain to us how one
side effectively paying studios to go from supporting BOTH formats
to supporting just ONE (their own) exclusively serves the best
interests of consumers? If anyone has a good answer for that, please
let us know. We'd like to hear it. Enough said.
(LATE UPDATE -
9/10/07 - 12:15 PM PDT)
Here we go again: It seems that Toshiba, fresh off their success in
paying Paramount and DreamWorks to go HD-DVD exclusive, has now made
a huge offer to get Warner Home Video to do the same. According to
story at the L.A. Times, Warner is currently
considering "a lucrative offer"
to go HD-DVD exclusive as well (if you can't see it,
has the article up too). The same piece says that Wal-Mart had
set a mid-August deadline to consider which format to continue
carrying in its retail stores, but that Toshiba has pledged to the
retailer "a large cooperative
promotional budget to support HD DVD sales." For the
second time today: Ugh.
It's all about the Benjamins, folks. Cash on the barrel head. And
there's nothing like a little cha-ching to warm a studio up to
"the merits" of your
high-def format. Anyone who actually thinks this is still about the
merits of the technology, and what consumers actually want, is
kidding themselves. It's all money. Always was, always will be.
Format wars. HUH! What are they good for? Absolutely NOTHING.
Unless you're a big studio CEO that is. "Please sir, may I
have some more millions?" MMmmmmm... millions.
(LATE UPDATE - 9/10/07
- 11:30 AM PDT)
Okay... Warner's sent over another announcement this morning. Look
for Martin Scorsese's The Aviator
to arrive on Blu-ray and HD-DVD on 11/6 (SRP $28.99 each). Extras on
each version will include audio commentary by Scorsese, an
additional deleted scene, a History Channel documentary, a still
gallery and the film's theatrical trailer in HD. The HD-DVD will
feature Dolby Digital Plus audio, while the Blu-ray will feature
Dolby Digital 5.1.
On the standard DVD front, Warner has set Harvey
Birdman: The Complete Second Season for release on 10/2,
along with Sealab 2021: Season 4
and The Brak Show: Volume Two.
A Dennis the Menace: 10th Anniversary
Edition and Dennis the Menace
Strikes Again follow on 11/13.
Meanwhile, Sony has announced the DVD release of Luc Besson's Angel-A
on 11/20 (SLP $29.95). The DVD will include "making of"
featurette. Also that same day, you'll get a Hudson
Hawk: Special Edition (SRP $19.94). The disc will offer 2
new featurettes with Bruce Willis and Sandra Bernhard,
never-before-seen deleted scenes, a trivia track and audio
commentary by director Michael Lehman.
Finally, in the "You've Got to Be F-ing Kidding Me!"
category, it seems that there's a THIRD high-def disc format on the
way. According to
story at Yahoo, a company called New Medium Enterprises is
soon to launch HD VMD (Versatile Multilayer Disc) at Amazon and
Radio Shack stores. HD VMD discs hold 30GB of data and feature a
data rate of 40 mbps using MPEG-2 and VC-1 (AVC may be added later).
The main selling point is that the cost to consumers is much lower
than either Blu-ray or HD-DVD. Their player will sell for just $150.
If I had to guess, I'd guess this will be a non factor. What studio
is going to want to sell their movies on a THIRD HD format? It sure
doesn't make decisions any easier for consumers. Ugh.
(EARLY UPDATE -
9/10/07 - 12:01 AM PDT)
Boy, is anyone else as glad as I am that football is back? The
Vikings are 1-0, Matt's Bears are 0-1... and all's right with the
world (sorry, Matt).
Speaking of Matt (before we get started today), I'm sure he'll have
more to say about this himself when he gets back from his vacation,
but in his absence we'd like to take a moment to acknowledge the
recent passing of a pair of music industry legends: famed opera
Pavarotti and CBGB founder
Kristal. Both were in their seventies and died after battles
with cancer. Each was hugely influential, though obviously in
significantly different ways, and the music world is all the poorer
for their absence.
Now then... coffee up, folks, 'cause we've got a BIG early update
for you this morning.
The major breaking news today on the DVD front is that Warner has
just revealed the 12/11 release of the Harry
Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Special Edition.
You'll be able to buy the film as a 2-disc DVD, as well as
single-disc Blu-ray and HD-DVD editions. All three versions will
include deleted scenes, an A&E documentary, numerous
behind-the-scenes featurettes and much more. The HD-DVD will
apparently also feature an IME video option. The specific details
are still TBA, but we expect the official press release from Warner
very soon. In the meantime, here's a look at the cover artwork for
the high-def versions...
Also coming, we believe on 12/11, is a Harry
Potter: Limited Edition Giftset which will include all 5
films, along with a special bonus disc of extras, the Hogwarts
Challenge interactive DVD game, collector's cards, a set
of bookmarks and more, all contained in Hogwarts steamer trunk
packaging. According to the studio's press site, this box set will
be available in DVD, Blu-ray and HD-DVD versions, and the high-def
versions of the older films will be available individually on both
formats as well. Here's a look at the contents of the DVD set...
Oh, but we're not done with Warner yet. The studio has also
own high-definition promotional website (as well as their
press site) a whole bunch of additional titles that they're working
on for both Blu-ray and HD-DVD release in the months (and year)
ahead. Here's a rundown of the titles listed as coming to Blu-ray
(as you can see, this includes a number of titles that haven't been
released into theaters yet, as well as titles that had previously
only been available on HD-DVD)...
10,000 B.C., The
Adventures of Robin Hood: Special Edition, Appleseed
Ex Machina, The Assassination
of Jesse James, August Rush,
The Aviator, Batman
Anime, Batman Begins,
Bonnie and Clyde, Brave
One, The Bucket List,
Caddyshack: 20th Anniversary Edition,
and the Chocolate Factory, The
Cincinnati Kid, Clash of the
Titans, The Complete Matrix
Cool Hand Luke, Dark
Knight, The Dead Pool,
Dirty Harry, The
Enforcer, Falling Down,
The Feast of Love, Fool's
Gold (2008), Fred Claus,
Friends: The Complete First Season,
The Fugitive, Get
Smart, The Goonies,
Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet, I
Am Legend, In the Valley of
Elah, The Invasion,
Justice League: The New Frontier,
L.A. Confidential, Lethal
Weapon: Director's Cut, Lethal
Weapon 2: Director's Cut, License
to Wed, A Little Princess,
Magnum Force: Deluxe Edition,
The Matrix, The
Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix
Michael Clayton, Mutiny
on the Bounty (1962), Natural
Born Killers, Nights in
Rodanthe, No Reservations,
The Omega Man, One
Missed Call, Phantom of the
Opera: Special Edition, Poltergeist,
Shawshank Redemption, Smallville:
The Complete First Season, The
Sopranos: Season 6, Part 1 (due 12/19), The
Sopranos: Season 6, Part 2 (already announced for 10/23),
Spring Breakdown, Sudden
Impact, Superman Doomsday,
That's Entertainment, That's
Entertainment 2, That's
Entertainment 3, a That's
Entertainment Trilogy Giftset, Twister
(December), The Ultimate Matrix
Special Edition, V for
The Wizard of Oz, Wyatt
The same site also reveals New Line's first anticipated Blu-ray
releases, which should include Hairspray
(2007), Pan's Labyrinth and
Rush Hour 3.
And here's a list of the upcoming HD-DVD titles Warner has revealed
(it's reasonable to expect that the few titles below not listed
above are also coming to Blu-ray Disc)...
10,000 B.C., Appleseed
Ex Machina, The Assassination
of Jesse James, August Rush,
The Aviator, Batman,
Batman Anime, Bonnie
and Clyde, Brave One,
The Bucket List, Casablanca,
The Cincinnati Kid, Clash
of the Titans, Cool Hand Luke,
Dark Knight, The
Dead Pool, Dirty Harry,
The Enforcer, Eraser,
The Exorcist, Falling
Down, The Feast of Love,
Fool's Gold (2008), Fred
Claus, Friends: The Complete
First Season, Get Smart,
The Goonies, The
Green Mile, Kenneth Branagh's
Hamlet, Heat, I
Am Legend, In the Valley of
Elah, The Invasion,
Justice League: The New Frontier,
King Kong (1933), L.A.
Confidential, Lethal Weapon:
Director's Cut, Lethal Weapon
2: Director's Cut, License to
Wed, Magnum Force: Deluxe
Edition, Men, Michael
Clayton, Natural Born Killers,
Nights in Rodanthe, No
Reservations, The Omega Man,
One Missed Call, Poltergeist,
The Promise (2006), Robin
Hood: Prince of Thieves, The
Shawshank Redemption, Smallville:
The Complete First Season, The
Sopranos: Season 6, Part 2 (due 10/23), Speed
Racer, Spring Breakdown,
Sudden Impact, Superman
Doomsday, Superman II
(theatrical version), That's
Entertainment 2, That's
Entertainment 3, a That's
Entertainment Trilogy Giftset, Twister,
The West Wing: The Complete Seventh
The Wizard of Oz, Wyatt
Not surprisingly, New Line's first HD-DVD releases will include
(2007), Pan's Labyrinth and
Rush Hour 3.
Details as far as specs and street dates on all these titles are
TBA unless otherwise noted. But here's a sampling of some of the
upcoming high-definition cover artwork that's just been released to
hold you over in the meantime...
Whew! That's a lot of titles. Guess that ends the rumors that
Warner plans to dump one of these formats anytime soon.
We'll expect to check in again later this morning with more details
on Potter (as they come in)
and other news too, so stay tuned...
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