No... we're not kidding. Warner Bros. is releasing The
Matrix: Revisited on DVD on November 20th (SRP $19.98). As
near as we can tell, the new disc doesn't include the film - it's just a
separate, behind-the-scenes disc with additional material on the making
of the film. Here's an excerpt from Warner's press information:
"Been in The Matrix? Now take the
next leap of understanding with The Matrix: Revisited.
Experience the nuts, the bolts, the creative thunder of the
cyberthriller that thrust moviemaking into an astonishing new dimension
with never-before-seen footage from the original movie and exclusive
reflections by those who lived it. Then go deeper with a look forward
into the reality that is unfolding in real time: the sequels simmering
to life at hidden locations around the world; an eye-popping first glace
into The Matrix Anime - new dimensions that explain more about
The Matrix. The Matrix: Revisited is the who, what,
where, when and wow of a phenomenon that has just begun. It will make
you dream in bullet time."
Specifically, here's what you'll get: What
is to Come? (which takes you behind-the-scenes on Matrix
2), What is Animatrix?
(anime preview), What is the Matrix.com?
(preview of new website), The True Followers
(interviews with hardcore fans), The Dance of
the Master (fight choreography of Wu Ping), The
Bathroom Fight and Wet Wall (scene study with
behind-the-scenes footage), But Wait, There's
More (music montage with never-before-seen footage from The
Matrix) and 4 Easter eggs (Chase
in the Alley, The Woman in Red,
Gun Training and Juke
Box-audio only). Interesting, no?
In other news this morning,
has a good story up on the forthcoming Star
Trek: The Motion Picture - The Director's Edition DVD (street
date November 6th, SRP $29.99), which features interviews with the
title's producer. The film has been re-edited and fine-tuned under the
supervision of director Robert Wise. The
Director's Edition has a running time of 136 minutes,
compared to 131 minutes for the original release. The visual effects
have also been given an extensive overhaul. In some cases, this was done
to clean up optical mattes, and in other cases, the shots have been
completely redone using today's CGI technology. There are some 90
altered shots in all, 20% of which are completely new. A new Dolby
Digital 5.1 audio mix has also been created which includes many newly
added sound effects, nearly all of which were originally created for the
movie but were unused due to lack of time.
Disc One includes the film in
anamorphic widescreen, with newly-recorded audio commentary by director
Wise, special photographic effects director Douglas Trumbull, special
photographic effects supervisor John Dykstra, composer Jerry Goldsmith
and actor Stephen Collins, along with a text commentary by Michael
Okuda, co-author of The Star Trek
Disc Two includes 3 new
retrospective documentaries, the original teaser and theatrical trailer,
a new Director's Edition trailer,
8 TV spots, 5 additional scenes from the 1979 theatrical version, other
trims and outtakes, 11 deleted scenes from the 1983 TV broadcast
version, a storyboard archive and a promo for the new TV series Star
(LATE UPDATE - 8/17/01 - 2 PM PDT)
This is just a quick update to let you all know that we've just posted
4 more new and upcoming DVD reviews this afternoon. We start with my
look at MGM's new
Bride: SE (street date 9/4), along with Todd's take on Manga's
the Last Vampire (8/28), Greg's 2-cents on Fox's
the Vampire Slayer (9/4) and Dan's comments on Fox's
Enjoy and have a great weekend!
(EARLY UPDATE - 8/17/01 - 10:30 AM PDT)
At long last, we've got a look at the DVD cover artwork for Columbia
TriStar's upcoming 2-disc Monty Python and
the Holy Grail: Special Edition DVD. On it you'll get a brand
new high-definition, anamorphic widescreen film transfer "with pink
frilly edges", the soundtrack in "glorious 5.1 Dolby Digital",
subtitles in English, French and Spanish, subtitles "for people who
don't like the film" (you get the text from Shakespeare's Henry
IV instead), an "on-screen screenplay" feature
which lets you read the screenplay as you watch the film, enlightening
commentary by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones (plus general complaints and
back-biting by John Cleese, Eric Idle and Michael Palin), "extraordinary
animated menus with very loud 5.1 Dolby Digital sound", an exciting
Follow the Killer Rabbit feature,
an additional "mono soundtrack in glorious old fashioned mono"
and an extra 24 seconds of film "absolutely free". And that's
just on Disc One. Disc
Two gives you "Three Mindless Sing-Alongs", The
Quest for the Holy Grail Locations documentary, the How
to Use Your Coconuts educational film, Monty
Python and the Holy Grail in Japanese (with English
subtitles), the On Location with the Pythons
1974 BBC Film Night report, an
interactive cast directory, tons of Terry Gilliam's original sketches,
behind-the-scenes photos, "a load of rubbish" mystery items,
unused ideas and other material, trailers and weblinks. The film will be
the 21st Anniversary Edition
created in 1996 for a U.K. video release (and which was restored for
U.S. theatrical release this year), which includes 24 seconds of
previously unseen footage. Added bits feature more lines from Zoot
(Carol Cleveland) in Castle Anthrax, reaction shots of a crowd yelling "Get
on with it!" and God shouting the same phrase. Street date is
October 23rd. SRP will be $29.95. Oh... and here's that artwork...
In other news,
Store magazine has announced the finalists for its Fourth Annual
DVD Awards. Gladiator, Se7en,
The Sopranos: The Complete First Season,
This is Spinal Tap and Toy
Story: The Ultimate Toy Box are all up for Best
of Show. There are 22 categories in all. I was asked to serve
as one of five judges for the event, and the winners will be announced
on Aug. 22 by Entertainment Tonight
film critic Leonard Maltin, as part of the DVD Entertainment 2001
conference here in Los Angeles. Click the link above for a full list of
In other Video Store news, senior
reporter Enrique Rivero has a good story on
efforts to restore Citizen Kane for its upcoming DVD release.
Just thought we should post that, because it's an excellent read and
also shows that Warner is still doing a LOT of good DVD work with its
non-family and non-TV titles. Balanced reporting and all that. I must
say, I'm personally really looking forward to Citizen
Hettrick of Variety has a good story (via Yahoo) on the
reason for the delay between Disney releasing its multiple versions of
Pearl Harbor on DVD - the time
needed to create all the extras for the Vista
Series version. For more on this, you might want to check out
disc producer David Prior's comments about his work on this title from
Producers 2001 panel.
Finally this morning, remember those Princeton scientists who cracked
SDMI/RIAA's digital music encryption scheme in response to a challenge
from SDMI (Secure Digital Music Initiative) earlier this year? You may
recall that the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) first
claimed they hadn't actually managed to crack the watermarking
technology, then quietly sued the scientists to prevent them from
publishing the results of their work. Well... now the scientists have
gone public anyway. Read
story from CNN and
one from The Standard.com (also via Yahoo) for more.
(LATE UPDATE - 8/16/01 - 1:45 PM PDT)
We've gotten word from a number of readers that
Films will be making that cool collection of car
commercial/mini-movies available on DVD later this year, and that you'll
be able to get a copy for free. These include Ambush
(directed by John Frankenheimer), Chosen
(by Ang Lee), The Follow (by Wong
Kar-Wai), Star (by Guy Ritchie)
and Powder Keg (by Alejandro González
Iñárritu). All are viewable online as well. Will you have
to test drive a BMW to get a disc? Who knows. A commercial's still a
commercial, but these WOULD be cool to have on DVD...
In other news, we've learned that Roger Waters will be releasing a live
DVD later this year or early in 2002. Roger
Waters: In the Flesh features hi-def-mastered concert video
with 5.1 Dolby Digital and LPCM Stereo music mixes, a 30-minute
behind-the-scenes documentary, band biographies, still photographs,
projected images, lyrics, and more. The release date is still TBA. We're
still looking into the status of Pink Floyd's Pulse.
In other music news, Journey fans can look for a live concert DVD from
the band in November. Journey 2001
will feature a live performance recorded in Las Vegas at the start of
their recent Arrival tour.
Any fans of
Days in Roswell here? We know you're out there! We're pleased
to announce that the film's star, Rich Kronfeld, now has his own TV
series on Comedy Central. The hilarious
Bowl (excerpts from which can be found on the Roswell
DVD) debuts Sunday, August 19th (visit the link provided above for local
times). I feel like I'm back home in Minnesota already. Roll on, Rich!
We've got an important Criterion Collection update for you. Look for
Peter O'Toole in The Ruling Class
on DVD on October 16th. The disc will feature a new anamorphic
widescreen transfer, restored to the original full-length version never
before seen in the States. Also on board will be an audio commentary
(with O'Toole, director Peter Medak and writer Peter Barnes), Medak's
home movies from the set and the film's trailer. Also due on October
16th is Häxan: Witchcraft Through the
Ages. Expect the disc to include both versions of the film
(the restored 1922 Häxan, as
well as the 1968, 74-minute version of the film called Witchcraft
Through the Ages), along with commentary by Danish silent
film scholar Casper Tybjerg, outtakes, a director's introduction to the
1941 re-release, newly re-recorded music from the original Danish
premiere in 5.1 and more. Both discs will SRP for $39.95.
And that's not all Criterion's got coming on October 16th - this
deserves a whole paragraph to itself. Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious
will include a new digital transfer of the restored film, commentaries
by Marian Keane and historian Rudy Behlmer, the complete 1948 Lux
Radio Theater adaptation broadcast, rare production and
publicity photos, promotional poster and lobby card artwork, production
correspondence, trailers and teasers, script excerpts of deleted scenes
and alternate endings, excerpts from the short story The
Song of the Dragon (which inspired the film), rare newsreel
footage of Hitchcock and Ingrid Bergman, liner notes by Hitchcock
scholar William Rothman, an isolated music and effects track and more.
Spellbound and a 2-disc release of
Rebecca are also in production for
DVD from Criterion. Rebecca will
include a new transfer of the restored film, commentary by historian
Leonard J. Left, hair, make-up and costume tests, hundreds of
behind-the-scenes photos, poster and lobby card artwork, audio excerpts
of conversations between Hitchcock and filmmaker François
Truffaut, audio interviews with stars Joan Fontaine and Dame Judith
Anderson, three complete radio adaptations and more. Spellbound
will feature a new transfer of the restored film, commentary by
Hitchcock scholar Marian Keane, a definitive illustrated essay on the
Salvador Dali dream sequence, an interview with composer Miklos Rozsa,
the complete 1948 Lux Radio Theater
adaptation broadcast, hundreds of photos and production documents and
more. Street date for Rebecca and
Spellbound is still TBD.
We've also got more details from Image today on their Thumb
Wars DVD (street date also October 16th, to coincide with the
release of Fox's Star Wars: Episode I).
Look for it to include full frame video, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, a "Gabba
the Butt" video interview, audio commentary with Steve Oedekerk and
producer Paul Marshal, trailers for Thumb
Wars, Thumbtanic and
Blair Thumb, storyboards and cast &
crew bios. Best of all, SRP is only $9.99.
Anyone want a first look at the artwork for Columbia TriStar's Jabberwocky?
Here you go. The disc will include anamorphic widescreen and full frame
video, Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 audio, audio commentary by Terry
Gilliam and Michael Palin, an international photo gallery,
sketch-to-screen comparisons (sketches created by Gilliam) and the
theatrical trailer. Street date is October 23rd.
Finally, this afternoon, we've confirmed that those
menu screens are the real deal, so be sure to check 'em out.
(EARLY UPDATE -
8/16/01 - 2 AM PDT)
Morning all. Universal e-mailed us the following official statement
regarding the defective Jurassic Park
Some listeners have noticed that the initial
release of the Jurassic Park-DTS DVD differs in bass level from
other home-video versions. While every effort is made to maintain
accuracy and consistency across various releases, source and process
issues sometimes lead to differences which are noticeable in direct
Universal Studios Home Video strives to ensure customer satisfaction,
and accordingly has implemented a running change for this title, using
the original master soundtrack. The earlier production run can be
identified by the code number D2R1 on the inside hub. The newer, current
version can be identified by the code D2R2 and will contain a red
technical grid on the back of the packaging as part of the running
Consumers who have purchased the "D2R1" discs will have the
option of making an exchange. Please send in the disc only (without
packaging), along with name, address and telephone number, to: Universal
Studios Home Video, PO Box 224468, Dallas TX 75260 or Universal Studios
Home Video, 8801 Autobahn Drive, Dallas, TX 75237.
Please note: This offer for exchange applies only to the DTS version of
Just FYI. Also, that Newsweek
article we mentioned yesterday is now available online.
visit this link and read away.
Back later this morning...
(LATE UPDATE - 8/15/01 - 2:30 PM PDT)
We've gotten some vague word from Warner regarding the release of more
Best of Friends DVDs as opposed to
complete seasons. Apparently, complicated legal, actors' rights and
syndication rights issues are preventing the release of complete seasons
of Friends on DVD here in the
States. This would be similar to what happened with Buffy
the Vampire Slayer: The Complete First Season, which came out
first in Europe and is only now soon to be announced for the U.S. from
Fox. Still, that doesn't explain South Park
"best of" discs or these other full frame-only disasters. The
latest on that front is that the studio's upcoming Cats
& Dogs DVD will also be full frame only, as was Willy
Wonka (groan!). FYI, that
widescreen petition is up to more than 10,000 signatures in a less
than 2 weeks.
In other news, we just wanted to head off some potential confusion. On
August 21st, 20th Century Fox is re-releasing the original Planet
of the Apes on DVD, along with the original Planet
of the Apes: The Evolution box set, which contained all the
films in the series and a bonus documentary disc. Press releases issued
by the studio for this re-promotion mistakenly indicated that these
discs will now feature anamorphic widescreen video (the original discs
did not). We've confirmed that this was a mistake in the press release.
These discs are the exact same ones originally released by Fox, with
non-anamorphic letterbox widescreen video.
Fans of the Japanese anime film Spriggan
will be delighted to learn that ADV Films has just acquired the U.S.
home video and DVD release rights to the title. The company expects to
release the disc very late this year or early in 2002. Watch
Finally, this week's issue of Newsweek
magazine (the August 20 issue, on newsstands now - Senator John McCain
on the cover) features a great article on DVD, calling it The
Disc that Saved Hollywood. The article is fascinating and is
ABSOLUTELY worth a read to anyone who wants to learn more about the "behind-closed-doors"
deals that had to happen to make DVD a reality. Don't miss it. Warren
Lieberfarb... you the man. ;-)
(EARLY UPDATE -
8/15/01 - 12:30 PM PDT)
Okay... we're pretty blown away by this. Buena Vista has just
officially announced the DVD release of Michael Bay's Pearl
Harbor... in no less than 3 separate versions. The Pearl
Harbor: 60th Anniversary Commemorative Edition will be
released as a 2-disc DVD set on December 4th, "three days before
the 60th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor bombing". The set will
include an introduction by Director Michael Bay, a documentary on the
real life Pearl Harbor veterans and their return to the U.S.S. Arizona
Memorial for the film's premiere, insightful interviews with the cast, a
dynamic bonus documentary on the real attack on Pearl Harbor and the
Faith Hill music video for There You'll Be.
The film will be THX-certified and will be presented in anamorphic
widescreen video (2.35:1 aspect ratio), with DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1
surround sound options. SRP is $29.99.
Oh... but that's not all. The Pearl Harbor:
60th Anniversary Commemorative DVD Gift Set contains all the
features of the 60th Anniversary
Commemorative Edition, plus the fascinating companion movie,
National Geographic Beyond the Movie: Pearl
Harbor, "a unique and engrossing way to explore the
story behind the epic film". Also included is National
Geographic's 60th Anniversary Commemorative map: one side of
the map provides a detailed overview of what happened at Pearl Harbor on
December 7, 1941. The other side of the map is an authentic replica of a
world map from this time period, displaying political boundaries. SRP
for this is $49.99.
Oh... but we're still not done. On January 15th, Buena Vista will
release the Pearl Harbor: Director's Cut -
Vista Series as a 3-disc DVD set. All the special programs,
documentaries and featurettes from the 60th
Anniversary Commemorative Edition will be included, but the
set will feature a special R-rated, 5-minute longer cut of the film,
which is more graphic than what was seen in theaters. Disc
One will feature custom 3D-animated menus, an introduction an
explanation of letterbox by the director, Part I of Pearl
Harbor: The Director's Cut, an Intermission Sequence (with
score), 3 selectable audio commentaries by the director, the cast and
the producer, and various crew members. Disc
Two will feature Part II of Pearl
Harbor: The Director's Cut. And the rest of the extras will
be split over Disc Two and Disc
Three. They are expected to include 8 different Making
of Pearl Harbor featurettes (including Battleship
Row Attack, Sandbag Explosion,
Dorrie Miller at the Guns, The
Airfield Attack, Scramble to the
Planes, The Dud Bomb,
Oklahoma Gimble and The
Doolittle Raid), a 30-minute multi-angle exploration of the
Surprise Attack (featuring
director introduction, and multiple video, audio and commentary tracks),
a Pearl Harbor timeline, the Faith Hill music video, a Boot
Camp featurette that follows the actors preparing for their
roles, a montage of unseen super-8 footage (shot for potential use in
the movie by Michael Bay's visual assistant, Mark Palansky) and animatic
concept footage. Video will be anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) with audio
in Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1. Look also for the set to include a custom
THX logo, THX Optimode test signals and possibly even a Dolby Headphone
feature (which allows simulated 5.1 sound using stereo headphones for
portable DVD players). SRP for the Vista
Series Director's Cut will be $39.99.
Whew! Here's the cover artwork for the Pearl
Harbor: 60th Anniversary Commemorative Edition and the Pearl
Harbor: Director's Cut - Vista Series. Note that both are
styled to look like World War II-era Captain's log books, complete with
(LATER UPDATE - 8/14/01 - 1:30 PM PDT)
As promised, we've just updated the Upcoming
DVD Cover Artwork section with some 90 new cover scans - no
kidding! We've got Benny Hill,
we've got Valdez and we've got
Comes a Horseman. There's Return
of the King and Suspiria,
Crocodile Dundee and The
Luzhin Defence. How about Barbarians
at the Gate, Clambake,
Shiloh and Not
Without My Daughter? Or Bridget
Jones's Diary, The Crimson Rivers,
Town & Country and Funny
Girl? Anyone for Sword Fish,
Final Fantasy, On
the Waterfront or Shrek?
Or how about Pearl Harbor, TRON,
Newsies and Empire
of the Sun? Okay... you get the idea. There's a lot to see
and EVERY page has been updated with new covers. So there you go. ;-)
(LATE UPDATE - 8/14/01 - 9:30 AM PDT)
Morning all! Any Samurai Jack
fans out there? We've got good word that the time-travelling swordsman
is headed to DVD - that's in today's update of
We've also got what may be your first look at the
menu screens from Paramount's forthcoming Godfather 1 & 2
discs, so be sure to check that out.
(EARLY UPDATE - 8/14/01 - 1 AM PDT)
Yep... it's official! Columbia TriStar has confirmed that their Monty
Python and the Holy Grail: Special Edition will street on
October 23rd, the same day as Jabberwocky.
There are no details yet on the disc's contents, but you can at least
expect the longer version of the film that was recently re-released to
theaters... and (at long last!) an anamorphic widescreen transfer. We'll
have more details as they become available. We've also learned that
Columbia will release America's Sweethearts
on DVD on November 13th, with The Breed
following on November 20th.
In other upcoming title news, look for Beethoven's
4th from Universal on December 4th, along with The
Land Before Time 8: The Big Freeze. Warner will release Cats
& Dogs on October 23rd, along with Shiloh
and Shiloh 2. And New Line's Pink
Flamingos/Female Troubles double feature will street on
October 2nd, with Town and Country
following on October 16th.
Finally, Image Entertainment is going to be releasing Steve Oedekerk's
hilarious Thumb Wars: The Phantom Cuticle -
Special Edition on October 16th. You may have seen it on Fox
a couple of years ago. If you did see it... well, it's pretty hard to
forget. And if you didn't, just take one look at this cover artwork and
tell me you aren't at least a little curious...
You should also be aware that Thumb Wars
is just the first release in a whole series of Steve Oedekerk Thumb
projects on DVD. The Blair Thumb,
BatThumb and Thumbtanic
are all coming soon! Watch the Thumb.com
website starting on September 1st for all the latest.
Speaking of cover art, check back later this morning for a massive Upcoming
DVD Cover Artwork update. We've got no less than 90 new cover
scans for you, including a number of major upcoming releases, so don't
(LATE UPDATE -
8/13/01 - 8 PM PDT)
Okay... we said earlier that Warner was dropping the ball with regard
to releasing more South Park on
DVD. That's not entirely true, we've discovered. They are releasing more
South Park on DVD. They're just
not doing it right. Yep... you guessed it - two more "best of"
discs are on the way. On November 6th, look for South
Park: Timmy and South Park: Winter
Wonderland. Each will SRP for $19.98. Timmy
will contain three episodes: Timmy 2000,
4th Grade and Helen
Keller: The Musical. Winter
Wonderland will contain four episodes: A
Very Crappy Christmas, Are You
There God? It's Me... Jesus, Cartman's
Silly Hate Crime 2000 and Something
You Can Do with Your Finger.
Is it just too much work for some exec over at Warner to plan a South
Park: The Complete First Season set, or what? I am REALLY not
happy with Warner these days. Stay tuned...
(LATE UPDATE - 8/13/01 - 3:15 PM PDT)
We've just posted three new DVD reviews this afternoon. We've got
Todd's take on MGM's forthcoming
Klowns from Outer Space (which streets on August 28th - a disc
we've been working to get released FOREVER), along with Greg's thoughts
on a cool new music title, Pioneer's
Kinks: One for the Road, and guest reviewer Adam Jahnke's look
at the new
Wives: Silver Anniversary Edition from Anchor Bay.
We've also just gotten word from Warner of (gasp!) another DVD
disappointment - The Best of Friends, Volumes
3 & 4, which will be released on November 20th (SRP
$34.98 for both volumes, individually for $19.98 each or in a 4-disc set
with the previously released volumes as well for $69.98). The 2 new
discs will again include 6 episodes each, which will feature never
before seen footage. The episodes are as follows:
Volume 3 - The
One with the Blackout, The One
with the Candy Hearts, The One
Where Ross and Rachel... You Know, The
One with the Football and The One
That Could Have Been, Parts 1 & 2
Volume 4 - The
One with Chandler in a Box, The
One Hundredth, The One with All
the Resolutions, The One Where
Ross Got High and The One with the
Proposal, Parts 1 & 2
It seems Warner will just never get the message that fans of Friends
would rather have complete box sets of ALL the episodes rather than just
a "best of" collection as picked by some studio marketing
executive. And I suppose you guys at Warner have decided not to follow
up on the existing South Park DVDs
too? Despite the fact that Warner is doing SOME very good DVD work (Ben-Hur,
Citizen Kane, Doctor
Zhivago), recent bad decisions on the studio's part have them
in a neck and neck race with Universal for WORST
DVD STUDIO in next year's
Awards. Shape up, guys!
(EARLY UPDATE - 8/13/01 - 10:45 AM PDT)
Okay, we've got several posts coming today. First up, we wanted to
report that Universal is definitely replacing defective copies of the
Jurassic Park DTS disc. We're
getting a lot of e-mails from people who are swapping discs.
Business magazine even posted a story on Friday about this
subject. So if you've got bad discs, be sure to get them upgrades to the
new, fixed version.
Now two quick title announcements. Columbia TriStar has just revealed
that Barbra Streisand's Funny Girl
will be released on DVD on October 23rd. And Richard Pryor will follow
on November 13th, with The Toy.
And finally, we've updated the
DVD Player Sales numbers to include the 169,573 players
shipped to retail here in the States in the first week of August (ending
8/3). All charts have been updated accordingly.
Back soon with lots more...
Hey all. Sorry we've been gone a couple of days. I had a sudden family
obligation that needed attending to, so that kept me from posting. But
today, we're going to run down some recent DVD news that you may have
missed. Here goes...
First of all, a number of people have been e-mailing us to say that
they're definitely getting help in exchanging their problem Jurassic
Park DTS discs when they call the Universal customer service
number. Someone calls them back promptly and gives them an address to
send the old disc to. Reportedly, they'll get the new disc sent to them.
Once again, the number to call is: 972-293-5903.
There's no word on replacement of non-Region 1 copies of the disc. If
you have a non-U.S. copy of the disc, I would first check to see if the
serial numbers on the disc match those
discussed previously (for identifying defective discs).
Next up, we've gotten word from Willy Wonka
producer J.M. Kenny, who reports that Warner is apparently "entertaining
the idea of possibly releasing a widescreen version" of the film.
Cool, but we say keep signing that
petition in the meantime in the hope that they'll get the message
that we want it ASAP. When last I checked, it was up to 8,000
signatures. Not too shabby...
Now for some upcoming DVD announcements. First of all, DreamWorks has
finally announced its 2-disc Shrek
for release on November 2nd (SRP $19.95). The disc will feature all new,
custom animated 3D menus and an extended ending, among other things.
Here's an excerpt from the official press release:
"Developed exclusively for the home video
release, the new footage picks up where the movie left off and continues
the party with more than 150 Shrek characters showing us what
goes on after the fairy tale ending. Created directly from its original
digital format, the Shrek double disc DVD represents this
groundbreaking movie in the most pristine presentation existing. The DVD
offers more than 11 hours of entertainment and features 15 minutes of
all-new animated material including interactive menus created by the
movie's directors. Just as the movie broke new ground in technology, the
DVD features Shrek's ReVoice Studio, a never-before-used DVD ROM
program available for the first time ever that enables viewers to voice
the lines of their favorite characters."
There's also director's commentary, "technical goofs", a
behind-the-scenes documentary, music videos from the film and LOTS more.
Also, each disc in the 2-disc set contains a different version of the
film - one in full frame and the other in anamorphic widescreen. Audio
will be provided in English Dolby Digital 5.1, French 2.0 and Spanish
2.0, with DTS 5.1 added for the widescreen version. VERY cool. We're
predicting that this disc is gonna give Snow
White a serious run for its money, and may even become the
biggest selling animated DVD yet released.
Now then... here's a look at MGM's November slate: Of
Mice and Men, Choose Me,
Gregory's Girl, Dominick
and Eugene, The Woody Allen Gift
Set, Volume 3 (includes Broadway
Danny Rose, Hanna and Her Sisters,
A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy,
The Purple Rose of Cairo, Radio
Days and Zelig) (street
date for all, November 6th), The Dogs of War,
An Eye for an Eye, Gang
Related, Lone Wolf McQuade,
Lord of the Flies,
Invasion U.S.A., The
People That Time Forgot, Strange
Invaders, The Angry Planet,
Morons from Outer Space, I
Bury the Living, War-Gods of the
Deep, Empire of the Ants
and At the Earth's Core (street
date for all, November 20th). Whew!
We're not done yet. Fox's just announced the DVD release of Freddy
Got Fingered for October 23rd. Better still, look for Someone
Like You on September 18th. And Doctor
Doolittle 2 will debut on October 23rd.
From A&E, look for Upstairs Downstairs:
The Complete First Season and Monty
Python Live! (street dates TBD).
Artisan's rolling out Doctor Who and the
Daleks in November, and the complete first season of the Twin
Peaks TV series on December 4th. Look for the set to include
every episode but the pilot (which is embroiled in a rights battle),
bonus DTS audio and a rare Lynch audio commentary. Also, look for a Reservoir
Dogs: 10th Anniversary Special Edition in January.
Columbia TriStar's announced the release of Terry Gilliam's Jabberwocky
for October 23rd (SRP $24.95). Extras will include audio commentary by
Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin, "sketch-to-screen"
comparisons, a poster gallery, a photo gallery, the theatrical trailer,
full frame and anamorphic widescreen video and audio in Dolby Digital
5.1. And I'd be surprised if the studio's new Monty
Python and the Holy Grail: SE doesn't street the same day,
although that has not yet been announced.
We've also got a list of the disc specs for Columbia's 2-disc Final
Fantasy: SE (10/23). The set will include audio commentaries
(by co-director Moto Sakakibara, sequence supervisor Hiroyuki Hayashida,
sets and props lead artist Tatsuro Maruyama and phantom supervisor Takoo
Noguchi and by animation director Andy Jones, editor Chris S. Capp and
staging director Tani Kunitake), storyboard/Playblast selections of the
film with optional commentary, an interactive documentary with alternate
opening sequence and a mini-movie, workshops that include seven
character files, three vehicle scale comparisons, two face wraps,
character morphs, matte art exploration and a re-editing function to
alter the film's final scene, an isolated score with commentary by
composer Elliot Goldenthal and DVD-ROM elements. Again... whew!
Anchor Bay's got SpaceCamp and
Heathers coming September 25th,
followed by Bad Boys, Timerider
and Halloween 4 on October 9th.
Heathers and Timerider
will both be available in dual editions - standard and limited. Can't
wait for Timerider!
And finally, Warner's got a number of good new titles on the way,
including Angel Eyes (10/16), The
Mummy (1959 - 10/2), Little Women
(1933? - TBD), Now Voyager (TBD),
Swordfish (10/30) and Steven
Spielberg's Empire of the Sun
(11/6). Empire will SRP for
$24.98, and will include an anamorphic widescreen transfer from
refurbished elements, newly remixed Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 audio, the
behind-the-scenes documentary A China
Odyssey: Empire of the Sun, cast/director career highlights
and the theatrical trailer.
Here's a look at teh cover artwork for a few of the titles we've just
mentioned. Look for a major art update on Monday. Enjoy...
Have a great weekend!
(LATE UPDATE -
8/7/01 - 10 AM PDT)
Hi everyone! Two things to kick off the morning. First of all, there's
online petition for those of you who are upset about Warner's
decision to release the new Willy Wonka
DVD in full frame only. At the very least, if the petition gets enough
signatures, it'll send Warner's Family executives a message. Rest
assured that we've spoken with several people at the studio, to stress
what an error in judgement this decision was. I've been told they're
aware of the concern, and are taking it seriously. So we'll see what
comes of it. We've also created this animated gif that you can use to
link from your own websites to the petition. It's based on an idea that
someone sent Ron Epstein over at
Theater Forum (not sure who, but it really cracked me up so we
took it a step further). We don't plan to let this issue drop anytime
Also today, we've finally got a customer service phone number for you
to call at Universal to get your defective Jurassic
Park DTS DVDs exchanged. When you call, you'll get the
opportunity to leave a message with your problem and call back number.
Someone should get back to you within 24 hours. Two things - first, be
polite! The guy who will call you back is a decent fellow, and he'll try
his best to help you. Second, be patient. I suspect he's gonna get a LOT
of calls over the next few days. Simply explain that the low frequency
sound on the disc is defective, and that you'd like to exchange it for
the corrected version. That said, here's the phone number to call: 972-293-5903.
I'm trusting you guys to represent well, so y'all behave now! ;-)
(EARLY UPDATE - 8/7/01 - 2 AM PDT)
Anyone awake out there? We'll have a larger post for you later this
morning, but first... try this on for size Star
Oddly enough, it's already growing on me. Interesting timing for
announcing the title, given all the
stories on human cloning this week.
So that's all. Nothing DVD related at 2 AM. We'll save that for the
morning. You know, it's funny - some yahoo e-mailed me all angry this
afternoon for even mentioning the fact that Lucasfilm had announced the
title of the next Star Wars film,
complaining that the title was a spoiler and we'd ruined it for him. I
can understand wanting to stay spoiler-free, but I'm guessing you'd have
to cut your head off to keep from hearing this title from just about
every news source imaginable over the next few days. Ah well... you
can't please everyone. ;-)
We now resume your regular DVD website, already in progress.
(LATER UPDATE - 8/6/01
- 2:15 PM PDT)
Some housekeeping stuff - we've just posted the winners for our
Congratulations to all and watch for the next contest to start very
We've also updated the
DVD Player Sales numbers to include all 4 weeks of July. The
grand total for the month is 693,013 players shipped to retail in Region
1. That takes the year-to-date total up to 5,103,806 players, and the
format-to-date total to 19,026,137. All charts have been updated
accordingly. 20 million, here we come...
Also, in a bit of additional (and better) Warner news, the first
Babylon 5 DVD release is expected
on December 4th (SRP $19.98). It will be a double feature disc, and will
include the complete TV movies In the
Beginning and The Gathering.
The latter will reportedly be a special edition version that was shown
on TNT (a different edit than the original, with new music). More B5
product will follow on DVD in 2002. Thanks to Bits
reader Steven G. for the heads-up.
Also, we've officially confirmed that The
Goonies will be anamorphic widescreen. That is for sure,
absolutely, 100% confirmed - I've seen the disc myself. Which makes this
full frame crap on Wonka all the
Finally, here's a bit of news for you Star
Wars fans. Star
Wars.com has officially revealed the name of the next film:
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones.
Which just completely lacks... well, I find the title lacking. It's
definitely got that Flash Gordon,
1930s serial feel to it. At least we didn't get Star
Wars: Episode II - Flaming Pit of Death! Oh well... watcha
gonna do? I still believe the movie will be cool.
(LATE UPDATE -
8/6/01 - 1 PM PDT)
Well... this is not the good news I'd hoped to have for you about
Warner's upcoming Willy Wonka and the
Chocolate Factory: 30th Anniversary Edition DVD. As recently
DVD panel, our information was that this DVD would feature both
anamorphic widescreen and full frame video options. Now... we're
absolutely stunned to learn that, in fact, the DVD will ONLY include
full frame! And fans of the film are rightly very upset. Frankly, we
can't believe this. But it's been confirmed by the studio. It seems
several studios have a little bit of a different attitude when it comes
to their "family films". Just as Warner's A
Christmas Story and MGM's Chitty
Chitty Bang Bang have only been released in full frame, yet
another edition of Wonka gets
chopped. When are the studios going to realize that the MAIN audience
for these films isn't just kids? It's adults who grew up loving the
films... and who now want to see them in their original widescreen
aspect ratios! At the very least, TWO viewing options should be included
- anamorphic widescreen and full frame. All right... we're now
officially PISSED OFF! Screw it. Somebody call Warren Lieberfarb...
Warner and MGM... if you're reading this, how about doing these films
RIGHT? And PRONTO!
(EARLY UPDATE - 8/6/01
- 11 AM PDT)
Morning all! Hope you all had a great weekend. I've got some quick but
exciting news to start the day, and then we'll be back soon with more.
Note that we'll also be announcing the Trivia
Contest winners in a little bit.
We've learned that Winstar Home Video is going to be releasing the
acclaimed Joseph Campbell/Bill Moyers PBS special, The
Power of Myth, on DVD on September 11th. I can't tell you how
excited we are about this here at the Bits.
The special will be released on 2 discs, which will include all 6 hours
of the series (The Hero's Adventure,
The Message of the Myth, The
First Storytellers, Sacrifice and
Bliss, Love and the Goddess
and Masks of Eternity), along with
complete transcripts of each episode, a bonus interview with director
George Lucas on mythology, biographies, bibliographies and a gallery of
artwork. SRP for the set will be $59.98. If you've never seen it, it's
really an amazing series. We can't recommend it more highly.
In other quick news this morning, we've gotten our hands on the DVD
cover artwork for HBO's The Sopranos: The
Complete Second Season, which streets on November 6th. Thanks
to Bits reader Mike for sending it
in. We've also got new cover artwork for The
Power of Myth, Columbia TriStar's Final
Fantasy: The Spirits Within (street date 10/23) and Buena
Vista's Pearl Harbor (street date
TBD), along with a look at the main menu art for Final
(LATER UPDATE - 8/3/01 - 4:30 PM PDT)
Okay... last update today. We've just posted two reviews from our own
Brain Ford Sullivan - 20th Century Fox's
Fugitive: Special Edition. Look for a more reviews on Monday.
Everyone have a great weekend!
(LATE UPDATE - 8/3/01 - 12:30 PM PDT)
Next update in today's series... we've also just posted a
transcript of the live chat with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment's
Peter Staddon, which was held over at the
Theater Forum a few nights ago. If you're a fan of ANY Fox film as
yet unreleased on DVD, I think you'll want to read it carefully. Peter
spills the beans on TONS of great titles coming in 2002 to our favorite
format. So don't miss it.
Also, a note regarding the Hannibal: Special
Edition DVD, as already released in Region 4. Apparently,
there is some controversy. Note that if you
haven't scene the film, SPOILERS FOLLOW. Many in Region 4 believe
that the film on the disc has been edited to delete a graphic shot of
Lector removing a portion of brain from Paul Krendler. I've just spoken
with the DVD's producer, Charles de Lauzirika, who wants to reassure
everyone that this isn't the case at all. The key point to make is that
the film NEVER HAD this shot... EVER. The way the film was edited, you
see Lector cutting the brain sac, cut to a reaction shot of Clarice
grimacing, cut to a shot of Lector holding the tissue, then cut to the
brain tissue "hitting the pan" so to speak. The proof of this
is on the DVD itself. If you watch the Reaction
segment of the Breaking the Silence
documentary, you'll actually be taken INSIDE the theater during the L.A.
premiere, to see the audience reacting to this very scene. It plays,
uncut, on the theater screen as the audience watches... and you'll see
that there NEVER was a shot of the brain being removed. Hope that
explains it. Thanks to Charlie for settling that straight.
(EARLY UPDATE -
8/3/01 - 11:30 AM PDT)
This is the first of a couple of posts we'll be making today. This
morning, we'll start with some DVD news.
But first, don't forget that this is the last day for you to enter the
for a chance to win one of 2 signed copies of the Dogma:
SE and more.
Now then... some of you may have heard that Columbia TriStar plans to
launch their own line of "premium" DVD titles, under the SuperBit
moniker. The line, which debuts on October 9th, will feature a number of
the studio's most popular titles, remastered at the highest video bit
rates possible. By omitting added value material, all that extra data
space can be used to include more picture and sound information. So
while most DVDs are mastered with an average video bit rate of 3 or 4
mbps, SuperBit DVDs will feature an average bit rate of 7+ mpbs. Also,
by leaving off extras, there's room for both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1
audio options as well. Columbia claims that all SuperBit DVDs will be
created from high definition masters - that's a little misleading. MOST
DVDs today are mastered using high definition transfers. It's the added
bit rate here that counts. So will that added video bit rate make a
difference? I'm not sure. But it will be interesting to see. To us, this
could be just another studio attempt to gain additional shelf space for
their product (like New Line's Infinifilm brand, Buena Vista's Vista
Series and Universal's Ultimate line of discs). Or it could truly
improve quality. My big questions are these: Will there be a noticeable
difference? And will non-SuperBit DVDs seem to suffer by comparison?
We'll see. In any case, look for The Fifth
Element, Crouching Tiger, Hidden
Dragon, Desperado and
Air Force One to be among the
first releases in this new line.
here for more info.
In other Columbia news, look for the following titles on DVD in the
coming months: The Greatest: Ali
(10/2), The Crimson Rivers
(10/16), Jackie Chan Adventures: The Search
for the Talismans (10/23), See No
Evil, Hear No Evil (10/30), Prince
of Tides and The Blue and the Gray
Back soon. Stay tuned...
(LATE UPDATE - 8/2/01 - 3 PM PDT)
Now that I'm able to compare the existing DTS version of The
Lost World against a known corrected DTS copy of Jurassic
Park, it's my firm belief that the DTS version of The
Lost World is NOT defective. I've come to that conclusion
based upon careful consideration of the quality and quantity of the low
frequency sound in the mix throughout the film, as compared to the
corrected Jurassic Park. This has
not been confirmed officially by the studio, but I suspect it's a moot
point. Our reviews of these films have been corrected accordingly. We'll
post an update here when we hear back from the studio about getting your
defective discs replaced.
(EARLY UPDATE - 8/2/01 -
1 PM PDT)
Okay... remember about this time last year, when Universal released
Jurassic Park and The
Lost World on DVD in several different combinations of aspect
ratio and sound format? When many reviewers got our hands on the DTS
versions of these discs, we were surprised to find that there was
something decidedly missing from the audio - any kind of serious low
frequency sound. Whether it was missing from the mix, or the audio was
encoded improperly so that DTS decoders were unable to render it, the
DTS tracks completely lacked the outrageous bass we all heard in the
Some people immediately claimed that we must all have our audio systems
improperly adjusted - there were tons of reasons why there was nothing
wrong. But Universal remained oddly silent on the issue. Fast forward to
one year later. There is now conclusive proof that the first pressings
of the DTS DVD version of Jurassic Park
featured defective 5.1 audio. That proof, is that Universal has quietly
corrected the DTS sound and repressed the disc. We at The
Digital Bits have been receiving e-mails about this for a few
weeks now, but we've remained silent on the subject until we could
verify the claim. Now, however, the new pressing of this disc is
starting to appear in stores... and we've gotten our hands on a copy.
The difference in the low frequency sound between the fixed and original
defective discs is startling. Whereas before, I had to manually adjust
both my receiver and subwoofer to obtain any kind of worthwhile bass,
this new disc simply rumbles with it. My subwoofer is now far more
active - THIS is the audio experience I recall from the theater. The new
DTS audio easily rates an A+ for quality.
Unfortunately, there is no sure-fire way to identify the new disc from
its packaging alone. The original release of the disc had two stickers
on the front, one which promoted the Jurassic
Park III weblinks the disc provided, and one which promoted
the disc's PlayStation 2 compatibility. Some people are reporting that
the new discs don't have the PS2 sticker. Mine didn't have either. One
thing you should look for is the spine label at the top of the keepcase
- on the new discs, it should read: Jurassic
Park (WS) (DTS). That said, THE ONLY SURE WAY TO IDENTIFY THE
FIXED VERSION IS BY THE NUMBERS ON THE INSIDE RING OF THE ACTUAL DISC.
The FIXED disc will read: PEMC-D2R2.
The earlier pressings - the defective ones - read either PEMC-D2R0
or PEMC-D2R1. Unfortunately, it
still hasn't been ascertained whether the studio has repressed the
defective Lost World DTS discs.
I haven't been given many official answers from Universal, despite
repeated attempts. Still, I have several calls into the studio and I
hope to hear back from then within the next 24 hours or so. Will the
studio replace defective discs free of charge? Is The
Lost World DTS sound also being fixed? At this point, your
guess is a good as mine. I've been given a customer service number to
call, which I have. When they get back to me, and I've confirmed that
they will be able to help consumers with this problem, I'll post it
In other news, It looks like we've been able to confirm that Disney's
Beauty and the Beast will be the
studio's next Platinum title. The reason is that multiple industry
sources, and many readers, have e-mailed us to say that the studio is
working on an IMAX re-release of the film for March of next year, which
will apparently include a newly animated musical number. One
qualification on my comments from yesterday: A few people took offense
to my "yech!" with regard to Beauty
and the Beast. It isn't that I don't like the film, it's just
that I'd much rather see Aladdin
and The Lion King first - just a
personal preference. Regardless, it looks like Beast
is in the hopper for DVD in 2002, so you fans can rest easy.
Also, just FYI, we are working on a bunch of reviews, but I literally
had to spend most of yesterday driving around to different DVD merchants
to find the corrected Jurassic Park
disc. And I really want to lay this issue to rest ASAP, so I'm working
hard to get some answers. Look for reviews tomorrow.
Finally, a note that has really nothing to do with DVD. If you've
followed this website for any length of time, you no doubt know that I'm
a huge Minnesota Vikings fan. And yesterday was a little tough for all
of us, with the heat-related death of Viking offensive tackle Korey
Stringer. So to all Vikes fans out there - I feel your pain. Best wishes
to his family, his teammates and Vikings fans everywhere.
We've gotten word from a number of distributor sources on Disney's next
few animated Platinum titles. But we've rightly put it in
Rumor Mill, where it belongs. In fact, I don't want the 2002
title to be true. Sing along with me: "Tale as old as time..."
(LATE UPDATE - 7/31/01 - 4 PM PDT)
This is just a quick update to let you know that Columbia TriStar has
revealed that they'll debut their 2-disc Final
Fantasy: Special Edition on DVD on October 23rd. No other
official details are yet available.
(EARLY UPDATE - 7/31/01 - Noon PDT)
At long last... our complete coverage of
Producers 2001 at Comic-Con is done! It took us longer than
expected (doesn't it always?), but as we said yesterday, I think you'll
see why when you start going through it. Not only do we have a full,
blow by blow transcript of the nearly 90-minute panel discussion, we've
also got an exclusive sneak peek at the menus designs and special
edition content for three very cool upcoming DVDs - stuff you won't see
anywhere else until the discs are in your hands. So what are you waiting
In other news, we've got word in
Rumor Mill about the street dates for DreamWorks' Shrek
and Universal's Jurassic Park III
Also, one notice today - our friends over at the
Theater Forum are holding an online chat with Peter Staddon of
20th Century Fox Home
Entertainment tonight (6 PM PST). Peter's a great guy and a big
DVD fan, so if you've got some good DVD questions you want him to
answer, be sure to check it out. We'll have a transcript available here
after the event for those who are unable to participate.
We'll be back tomorrow with a whole bunch of new DVD reviews, so thanks
for your patience and enjoy the panel coverage. Stay tuned...
We're working hard on the Comic-Con Panel transcript and hope to have
it up tonight. It's taking a lot of work, but I think you'll see why
soon enough... and agree that it was worth the wait.
In the meantime, we wanted to chime in here with word that HBO has
officially announced the DVD release of The
Sopranos: The Complete Second Season. The 4-disc package will
street on November 6th, for an SRP of $99.98. All 13 episodes will be
presented in the 16x9 widescreen format. DVD special features will
include 4 exclusive audio commentaries delivered by the directors of
selected episodes. The commentaries, given by Tim Van Patten, Henry J.
Bronchtein, Allen Coulter and John Patterson, reveal insights into the
production of the episodes and the interpretation of the directors.
Other features include on-screen interviews with the cast and creator
David Chase, a featurette entitled The Real
Deal (with discussions about The
Sopranos with critics, psychiatrists, former FBI agents and
other experts), a first season recap, episodic synopses, previews and
recaps, cast and crew bios, web links and an episode index. Audio will
be in English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Surround Sound and
Spanish and French stereo.
Damn! Just when I thought it was safe to step away from the computer
for the weekend, more hot upcoming DVD artwork rolls in. This time, it's
DreamWorks' upcoming 2-disc Shrek
(street date TBA in November), Disney's 2-disc TRON:
20th Anniversary Collector's Edition (street date 1/15/02)
and Warner Bros. A.I.: Artificial
Intelligence (street date 12/18)!
We have it on good authority that DreamWorks and Pacific Data Images
(PDI) have created entirely new 3D animation (not seen in the film) for
Shrek's animated menu screens. And
TRON is expected to include
anamorphic widescreen video (from the newly-restored 70mm print), Dolby
Digital 5.1 EX sound, multiple audio commentary tracks, early video
tests, conceptual artwork galleries, never-before-seen "behind-the-scenes"
footage, 2 documentaries about the history of computer animation for
film, new interviews, deleted scenes, a "making-of"
featurette, a storyboard-to-film comparison of the light cycle chase and
MUCH more (including many of the extras created for the previous
laserdisc release). SRP will be $29.99.
SWEET! Stay tuned...
(LATE UPDATE - 7/27/01 - 11:45 PM PDT)
Okay... we couldn't resist one last post today. Anyone want a first
look at the DVD cover art for Paramount's Star
Trek: The Motion Picture - The Director's Edition (11/6) and
Crocodile Dundee (9/18)? Well,
here ya go...
And what the heck... here's another upcoming cover for you just for the
fun of it: Bridget Jones's Diary
(EARLY UPDATE -
7/27/01 - 1:30 PM PDT)
Oh happy day! Columbia TriStar has just announced that they're
releasing a pair of much-desired classics on DVD on October 23rd - On
the Waterfront and From Here to
Eternity! Both discs will be special editions, although the
details are still TBA. Also coming in October from the studio are White
River, The Greatest
(10/2), When a Stranger Calls
(10/9), Peep Show, The
Three Stooges: Healthy, Wealthy and Dumb (10/16), The
Animal: Special Edition, Divided
We Fall and The Road Home
(10/30). Here's a look at the menus from Waterfront
and Eternity. Now if Columbia
would just announce Wind, I'd be a
really happy camper... ;-)
In other news today, we've got word on a "whip-cracking" good
flick coming to DVD next year in
Rumor Mill, as well as clarification on Shrek.
And we've updated the
Top 100 Films on DVD list as well.
Finally, we're still waiting on a studio to send us one last batch of
DVD screen shots, and then our DVD Producers
Panel transcript will be complete. So we're officially going
to post it on Monday morning. Trust us - it will be well worth the wait.
We'll also have a trio of new DVD reviews on Monday as well.
So go forth, all ye film fans, to The Planet
of the Apes. And we'll see you back here in a couple of days
with a tall, refreshing drink of DVD goodness. Have a great weekend!
We've gotten the full details on the multitude of extras to be included
on Fox's The X-Files: The Complete Fourth
Season, which streets on November 13th. Here's what you're
gonna get, disc by disc:
Episodes: Herrenvolk, Home,
Teliko and Unruhe
(note that audio had been edited out of the original 1996 broadcast of
the Home "teaser"
because it was deemed "too harsh for TV." That full audio is
now restored, and is accessible with a special button to turn it on in
the episode), Extended Scene: Unruhe
(Scully asks about Mulder's mother), Deleted Scene: Home
(Humorous Banter), International Clips: Home
(one-minute clips in German, Japanese, Castillian)
Episodes: The Field Where I Died,
of a Cigarette-Smoking Man and Tunguska,
Deleted Scene: The Field Where I Died
(Giving Melissa a ride), Deleted Scene: Tunguska
(Scully elaborates to Skinner), Deleted Scene: Tunguska
(CSM talks to Well Manicured Man), International Clips: Tunguska
(one-minute clips in German, Japanese, Castillian)
Episodes: Terma, Paper
Hearts, El Mundo Gira
and Leonard Betts, Deleted Scene:
Paper Hearts (John Lee Roche
kidnaps Caitlin), International Clips: Paper
Hearts (one-minute clips in German, Japanese, Castillian)
Episodes: Never Again, Momento
Mori, Kaddish and Unrequited,
Deleted Scene: Momento Mori
(Scully is visited by her mother and brother), Deleted Scene: Momento
Mori (Scully and Mulder's first on-screen kiss),
International Clips: Momento Mori
(one-minute clips in German, Japanese, Castillian), Audio Commentary by
Frank Spotnitz for Momento Mori
Episodes: Tempus Fugit, Max,
Synchrony and Small
Potatoes, Deleted Scene: Max
(Scully is held up by bureaucracy), Audio Commentary by Vince Gilligan
for Small Potatoes
Episodes: Zero-Sum, Elegy,
Demons and Gethsemane,
International Clips: Gethsemane
(one-minute clips in German, Japanese, Castillian)
Documentary: The Truth About Season Four
(30 min), Interview Clips (approx. 3 min. each): Herrenvolk
with Frank Spotniz, Unruhe with
Vince Gilligan, Home with James
Wong, Paper Hearts with Vince
Gilligan, Tunguska with Chris
Carter, Special Effects Clips with Audio Commentary by Paul Rabwin: Herrenvolk
(Twin Boys motion control), Leonard Betts
(Rebirths), Momento Mori (Cloning
the actors), Momento Mori
(Tiling), Max (Hanging Triangle),
Max (Sucked out of the Plane),
Synchrony (Ice Hand Effect), All
Additional Deleted/Extended Scenes Re-presented with Optional Audio
Commentary by Chris Carter, 13 Behind the
Truth Spots, 48 :10 and :20 TV spots (1 each per episode),
DVD-ROM game Urbs Tertia
Whew... looks like another great box set. Can't wait!
In other news, strong sales of DVD players in the first half of the
year have pushed the 4-year-old format into nearly 20% of all TV
households. That's the latest according to research by the DVD
Entertainment Group. So far this year, 5.2 million new DVD players have
been shipped to stores (almost a 70% increase over the same period last
year), with another 10 million DVD players are expected to ship in the
second half of the year.
all the details here at Yahoo.
We'll be back with the complete transcript of the DVD Producers Panel
tomorrow - don't miss it!
Okay... last night, I made the ultimate sacrifice. I fell on my sword,
as it were, for my better half. I took my wife to an *NSync concert.
Now... before you laugh, understand that I've been married almost 12
years. Wanna know how you do it? Sometimes, if your wife wants to go see
an *NSync concert, you say, "Okay, honey... when do we go?"
That's how you stay married. I even took digital pictures for her.
Don't ask me which one is which. I wouldn't admit to knowing that even
if I did. And what the heck... it was actually kinda fun. Unfortunately
though, given that I was up until 2 AM fighting concert traffic, the
head cold I've been barely holding off since I returned from Comic-Con
has now gotten the better of me. So I'm taking today off to recuperate.
Blame it on *NSync. You know, I wonder if any of those guys have ever
read The Bits. I've heard they're
big DVD fans. Hhhmmmmm....
In the meantime, our own Greg
Suarez has written a little editorial of his own. He's also got an
announcement about an upcoming music-related DVD release, so we'll start
with that first. Here it is:
"The good folks at Pioneer have informed The
Bits that they are working on a DVD release of a Queen live
concert film from 1981. The original audio elements have been restored,
and the concert will be released in separate Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS
5.1 versions, each THX-certified. The original video elements have also
been painstakingly restored to ensure the best viewing quality. Pioneer
is hoping to include a commentary track by one or more members of Queen,
along with a potential commentary by the film's director, but these
features have yet to be confirmed. Other very cool features are being
planned, but are still in development, and also have yet to be
confirmed. Pioneer is shooting for a release date of September 18th for
Okay... now here's Greg's editorial. I think he's getting a little
antsy about Universal's recent DVD offerings and he wants to vent. Can't
say I disagree with him.
Well, now that studios like Buena Vista and Paramount are consistently
(finally) adding extra features and anamorphic widescreen transfers to
their DVDs, we at The Bits felt
confidant that the days of title re-releases were finally drawing to a
close. Sure, the studios still have about three years worth of DVDs in
their catalog that are less than stellar, and will undoubtedly (and with
open arms) be reissued with newer transfers, better sound, and loads
more extra features (examples include Warner's Batman:
SE and Paramount's Mission:
Impossible: SE, both slated for 2002). But titles like Unbreakable
and Forrest Gump have been done
(more or less) right the first time, and what we've got are most likely
the first and (thankfully) last editions of these titles. But then
that's what we thought about feature-packed discs like The
Mummy, American Pie,
Notting Hill and Patch
That's right, I'm speaking of Universal's new Ultimate Editions. The
previously mentioned four titles, along with Meet
Joe Black have been re-issued as 2-disc Ultimate Edition
sets. With the exception of Meet Joe Black
(which now includes the full-length original film the 1998 version was
based on), does the DVD community really need new 2-disc editions of
titles that were done right the first time? I understand that Universal
is trying to cash in on the theatrical premieres of The
Mummy Returns, American Pie 2
and the public's insatiable appetite for Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt,
but c'mon! The public, and especially all of you dear, loyal readers of
The Bits, aren't gullible. We've
already plunked down the cash for these titles, so why should we bother
paying again only a few minor added features, and a DTS track that's
nearly indistinguishable from the Dolby Digital track included on the
Don't get us wrong, Universal, we're ecstatic that you're willing to
punch the throttle and release balls-out 2-disc sets. But how about
giving the Ultimate Edition treatment to some of your earlier, less
pleasing efforts instead? We don't know about anyone else, but we at
The Bits would love to sink our
eyes and ears into a brand spanking new 2-disc edition of Field
of Dreams, featuring a fresh anamorphic transfer and 5.1
soundtrack. You could even include the wonderful 90-minute documentary
on a second disc. Start prepping it now so it can be ready for the start
of spring training 2002! Raise your hand if you would like to ditch the
eyesore that was the original Scarface
disc with one that features a brand new 16x9 transfer and 5.1 audio. And
let's not ignore the fact that Casino
and Carlito's Way were bare bones
DVDs, and the latter title could really benefit from a visual upgrade.
How about sci-fi classics like David Lynch's Dune
and Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century?
What about TV episodes of that latter title, along with Battlestar
Galactica? And while we're on the subject, don't forget about
Dazed and Confused, Sneakers
and (if American Pie can rank
anamorphic widescreen, Ultimate Edition status) why not Happy
Please, Universal: before you release a Meet
the Parents: Ultimate Edition or The
Mummy: Super Duper Mega Ultimate Edition, I implore you to
consider Ultimate Edition treatment for a few of your earlier, misguided
DVD efforts. If any of you readers of The
Digital Bits feel the same way, take action. E-mail Universal
and let them know what you think. To do so,
this link, click "Accept" and then select "Home
Video & DVD" under the "Entertainment" section. And
remember that you'll attract more bees with honey than with vinegar.
Thanks for your time!
Back to you, Billster!"
Okay... it's back to bed for the Billster. See? You just never know
what to expect around here at the old Bits,
do you? Anyway, have a great day and we'll see you back here tomorrow.