UPDATE - 12/6/01 - 4 PM PST)
Just a quick update to let you know that we've launched two new Trivia
Contests here at The Bits.
gives you a chance to win copies of Fox's The
X-Files: The Complete Fourth Season and Universal's Jurassic
Park 3: Collector's Edition.
give you a shot at great prizes from our friends at
Speaking of that, you should also know that
Displays is offering all readers of The
Digital Bits a $10 off coupon this holiday season (click
here to obtain the coupon), which can be used towards the purchase
of their home theater accessories. They have movie poster frames,
backlit cases, sound system/logo signs and more. Be sure to take
advantage of it.
We've also just learned that one of our favorite HBO shows, the fab
Mr. Show with Bob and David, is
finally coming to DVD. There will apparently be three release "waves",
with each set featuring 10 episodes plus extras (including audio
commentary on every episode). Look for the DVDs to hit stores in early
2002, with the first discs arriving on Feb. 27th. The news comes direct
and David's very own gee-whiz web page. Now if we could just get
Tenacious D on disc...
(EARLY UPDATE - 12/6/01 - 1 AM PST)
Well... they're a few hours later than expected, but we've just posted
reviews of Buena Vista's
Harbor: 60th Anniversary Commemorative Edition and Columbia
Boy: Special Edition (both of which are newly available),
along with a long overdue look at Columbia's
on the River Kwai: Limited Edition. Look for more reviews on
Friday... earlier this time! ;-)
We'll be back this evening sometime to kick off no less than two new
Trivia Contests, which will give
you a chance to take home cool prizes from
Displays, as well as copies of Fox's The
X-Files: The Complete Fourth Season and Universal's Jurassic
Park III: Collector's Edition (widescreen, of course).
And in the meantime, we've got word on more newly announced titles from
Buena Vista. Look for The Legend 2
on 2/12, Corky Romano on 3/2, Iron
Monkey on 3/12 and (for you 'NSync-ers) On
the Line on 3/26. Peter Pan II:
Return to Neverland is also forthcoming (street date TBD).
Universal has also finally announced their American
Pie 2 (street date January 15th). As expected, the collectors
edition DVD will be available in both rated and unrated formats, with
each version available in both full-frame and widescreen aspect ratios
(SRP $26.98 each). Here's a note on the extras, from the press release:
"The unrated American Pie 2 has been
re-edited to include scenes never before seen by the public. Both
versions of the American Pie 2 DVD will feature 10 hours of
in-your-face entertainment including: a Jason Biggs faux public service
announcement warning consumers of the dangers of confusing lubricant
with Ultra-Glue; home video footage shot by the stars on the
behind-the-scenes craziness of the making of American Pie 2;
never-before-seen casting tapes from the original American Pie
auditions; an industry-first American Pie Poll where consumers
voted on MSN.com for their favorite American Pie and American
Pie 2 scenes and a brand new Universal Access DVD-ROM
feature which allows consumers the opportunity to access
never-before-seen clips from their favorite films..."
Finally this morning, Dave's Video - The Laser Place here in L.A. is
going to be holding another DVD signing event on Saturday, December 15th
(from 1 to 3 PM PST), this time with Rush
Hour 2 director Brett Ratner. As always, you can get two
items signed, one of which must be a copy of the DVD purchased at
Dave's. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to a charity of the
special guest's choice. Thanks to Bits
reader Guy for the FYI. Dave's Video is located at 12144 Ventura Blvd.
in Studio City, CA.
Before we get to reviews (sometime this afternoon), I wanted to post
some more upcoming DVD information from the studios. First up though,
we've added word on a possible 2002 street date for The
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings (no kidding)
and news about the release of Batman: The
Animated Series on DVD from Warner. You'll find that in
today's update of The
Now then... you Larry Sanders
fans will be thrilled to learn that Columbia TriStar is releasing The
Larry Sanders Show: The Entire First Season on DVD on
February 26th. The extras are basically limited to something called Gary
Shandling Talks... "No Flipping". Other upcoming
Columba titles include Brother and
California Suite (1/2), Zebra
Lounge (1/8), You Light Up My Life
(1/22), The Man Who Loved Women
(1/29), Roughnecks: Starship Troopers
Chronicles - The Hydora Campaign and Roughnecks:
Starship Troopers Chronicles - The Tophet Campaign (2/5),
Mrs. Winterbourne, The
Legend of Red Dragon and Sexual
Predator (2/12), Jo Jo Dancer,
Your Life is Calling, Punchline
and Advertising Rules! (2/19) and
Haiku Tunnel, Madame
Butterfly and Va Savoir
Anchor Bay newly announced titles include Enigma
of Kaspar Hauser and Lesson of
Darkness/Fata Morgana (both due on 1/8). 20th Century Fox has
added Don't Say a Word to its 2/19
slate, along with Glimpse of Hell
on 2/26. Urban Vision will release Vampire
Hunter D: Bloodlust on 2/12. Warner Bros has announced Walking
with Prehistoric Beasts (2/12), Split
Second, Bruce Lee: A Warrior's
Story, Love Beat the Hell Out of
Me and Scooby Doo and the
Reluctant Werewolf (all 3/5), Samurai
Jack: The Premiere Movie (3/19), and Blast!,
Tom and Jerry: The Movie, Tom
and Jerry: The Magic Ring and the classic Watership
Down (3/26). They've also got National
Geographic: Inside the Vatican on 3/5.
Back this afternoon...
We've added some 15 new covers to the
Upcoming DVD Cover Art page, including all the Beverly
Hills Cop films, the Bad News
Bears films, The Larry Sanders
Show: The Entire First Season and more.
We've also updated the
DVD Player Sales chart to include the 466,033 players shipped
to retailers in the third week of November (ending 11/16). That takes
the format total to date well past the 24 million mark. All charts have
been updated accordingly.
And we've posted
the winners of our second Trivia Contest for November.
Look for our next one to start very soon. We've got great stuff to give
away, including copies of The Sopranos: The
Compete Second Season, The
X-Files: The Complete Fourth Season, Jurassic
Park III and more.
Now that we're caught up on site issues, we've got reviews on the way
for a number of major new and upcoming DVDs over the next few days. Stay
Well... we've had a busy weekend here at The
Bits, and we've gotten a lot of that behind-the-scenes work
done. So look for us to be back to our normal posts starting tomorrow.
In the meantime, we do have one thing for you this afternoon, which is a
rundown of Paramount's complete January schedule, as well as official
word on Star Trek: The Next Generation
coming to DVD. Here goes...
So... Paramount's January slate will include Prophecy
(1/8 - 16x9), Seconds (1/8 - 1966
- 16x9, John Frankenheimer commentary), Daria:
The Movie - "Is it Fall Yet?" (1/15 - full frame, 2
bonus episodes, music video), Sabrina
(1/15 - 1995 - 16x9), Cousins
(1/15 - 16x9), Falling in Love
(1/15 - 16x9), An American Rhapsody
(1/22 - 16x9), Rat Race (1/29 -
16x9, interviews, featurette, gag reel, 6 deleted scenes, outtakes),
WWF Tough Enough: The First Season
(1/29 - full frame), Behind WWF Tough Enough
(1/29 - full frame), Vampire in Brooklyn
(1/29 - 16x9), Harlem Nights (1/29
- 16x9), Beverly Hills Cop (1/29 -
16x9, audio commentary, interviews, 2 featurettes, interactive map,
photo gallery), Beverly Hills Cop 2
(1/29 - 16x9, interviews, 2 featurettes, deleted scene with director
introduction) and Beverly Hills Cop 3
(1/29 - 16x9, interviews).
And now for that Star Trek news.
Paramount has confirmed that the Star Trek:
The Next Generation: Season One - Collector's Edition will
arrive on DVD in March. The 7-disc set will include all 26 episodes of
the show's first season, along with more than 2 hours worth of cast &
crew interviews and rare behind-the-scenes footage (much of which has
never been seen before). And just FYI, if you happen to pick up Star
Trek: The Original Series, Volume 40 (which completes the
entire original series on DVD), you'll find a preview trailer for the
See you back here tomorrow...!
Okay... we're rounding out the week with
column from Todd, in which he reviews TLA Releasing's
You'll find that in the
Views section, along with
List of 10 DVDs Coming Next Week.
Now for a couple of quick personal notes... Sarah and I want to send
out congratulations to our friends Jed and Deeanna, who had a new baby
daughter earlier this week. Rock on, guys!
Also, my kid brother Jason back in Minneapolis has asked to play his
trusty nepotism card. So he wants me to mention to all of you that he's
currently appearing in a stage performance of Six
Degrees of Separation (presented by
Limina) at the Old Arizona Studios (2821 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis
MN). The show runs from November 29th to December 13th, 2001. Tickets
are $15 and can be purchased
at this link at TicketWorks.com.
And Todd's wife Erin is appearing in a production of The
Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society's
Production of "A Christmas Carol" at Atlanta's
(whew!). It runs from December 6th to the 16th.
here for directions and to reserve tickets. Todd's even helping
out with the sets on this - keep your eyes peeled for him if you happen
In a brief DVD news note,
apparently sending DVDs to the troops in the Middle East to keep
their spirits high.
And finally this morning, some sad news for music fans. Former Beatle
Harrison has passed away of cancer at the age of 58. I don't
suppose there's much else that can or needs to be said.
See you back here next week...
We've got a few new items for you today. First up, we've just posted
Game Buyer's Guide, which takes a comparative look at
Microsoft's XBox, Nintendo's Gamecube and Sony's PS2 systems. There's
detailed specs of the systems themselves and a look at some of the games
that are available for each. If someone in your family is asking for one
of these systems this holiday season, you'll find it worth a read.
Next up, I've just reviewed Interscope and Universal Music's new
Elevation 2001 - Live in Boston 2-disc set. It's available now
at Best Buy stores, and it streets everywhere else on December 4th. If
you're a fan of the band, I think you'll enjoy it as much as I am.
We've also added some interesting new rumors to
Rumor Mill, including whisperings from Europe about Back
to the Future, Episode II
and other titles. They DEFINITELY fall in the rumor category, but are
worth checking out.
We've also updated the
Top 100 Films on DVD list to reflect the release of Doctor
Zhivago, and the fact that Universal has all up admitted that
E.T. is on the way.
And from the front lines in the DeCSS war, we've got a report that
Hollywood's won a major battle. It seems that a federal court upheld a
ban on DVD copying software, saying it violated the Digital Millennium
Copyright Act (read more about that
As you may know, in a related case in California, a state appeals court
earlier this month overturned an order that barred hundreds of people
from publishing DeCSS online. Something tells me this battle will be
fought well into the 21st century.
(LATE UPDATE -
11/28/01 - 1:15 PM PST)
MGM's just sent us word of their March 2002 DVD slate, along with
details on a pair of additional February titles. Let's start with the
latter first. Ghost World streets
on February 5th, for an SRP of $26.98. The disc will include anamorphic
widescreen video, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, deleted and alternate scenes,
The Making of Ghost World
featurette (featuring cast and crew interviews) and a rare music video
from the 1965 film Gumnaam, which
showcases the music of Mohammed Rafi's Jaan
Pehechaan Ho. MGM's The Smokers
streets the same day for an SRP of $26.98. The disc will include
anamorphic widescreen and full frame video options and English Dolby
Digital 2.0 Surround audio.
Now for the March titles - look for Eat,
Drink, Man, Woman, Electra,
Mademoiselle and A
Tale of Springtime (aka Conte de
Printemps) on March 5th. SRP will be $19.98 for each. All
will be letterboxed widescreen except for Eat,
Drink, Man, Woman, which will be in anamorphic widescreen.
All will feature a theatrical trailer, and Eat,
Drink, Man, Woman includes an interview with the director.
Following on March 19th (also for $19.98 each) will be Impromptu,
Romeo is Bleeding, Angels
& Insects, Bar Girls,
Boxcar Bertha, De
Sade and The Locusts.
All will be anamorphic widescreen except Angels
& Insects and Impromptu.
All will include a theatrical trailer. De
Sade will also include a featurette.
(EARLY UPDATE - 11/28/01 - 11:45 AM PST)
Hi everyone! A couple things this morning. First up, we've got a lot of
yearly maintenance work going on behind the scenes here at the Bits
this week. So just bear with us if content isn't quite up to par this
week. The site won't be down at all, but our attention may be focused
elsewhere a little more than normal for the rest of the week.
In the meantime, we are working on reviews, many of which will be
posted this week. And Greg Suarez, being the avid gamer that he is, is
creating a buyer's guide to the major video game systems of this holiday
season. We'll have that for you tomorrow.
In the meantime, we've got word that could be confirmation that The
Back to the Future Trilogy is indeed on its was to DVD. The
website reports that Universal has submitted
total of 3 minutes of commercial advertising programming for the DVD
release to the British Board of Film Classification (the British
equivalent of the MPAA ratings board). No word on even a UK street date
yet, but I'd say we'll know soon.
Also this morning, Paramount has confirmed that Hardball
is on the way on February 19th. The disc will include anamorphic
widescreen, English 5.1 and English and French 2.0 surround tracks,
audio commentary with director Brian Robbins and writer John Gatins,
The Making of Hardball featurette,
3 deleted scenes, the Hardball
music video (by Lil Bow Wow, Lil' Wayne, Lil' Zane & Sammie), the
theatrical trailer and TV spots. SRP is $29.95.
And in other news, Don May, Jr. from
e-mailed us yesterday with word that their Grapes
of Death: Special Edition will be released on January 29th.
The disc will include anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital mono
audio (in French with optional, newly-translated English subtitles), the
film's theatrical trailer, a video interview with director director Jean
Rollin and star Brigitte Lahaie, a director biography, liner Notes by
Nigel J. Burrell and a photo gallery. SRP will be $24.98. Synapse has
new online store (complete with a secure shopping cart feature) to
their website, so you can order all their great titles on DVD directly
from the source.
I wanted to send out a quick warning to all those of you out there who
use Microsoft's Outlook or Outlook Express e-mail programs. There's a
nasty little computer virus that's going around right now. It's called
the Badtrans.b worm, and it's been causing problems all over the place
beginning this weekend (here's
a story about it from yesterday on CNN.com). You receive it as an
e-mail attachment, that launches itself when you go to read the e-mail.
You don't even have to click the attachment, it opens when you highlight
the e-mail's subject line in Outlook. It hides in your Windows\System
folder and records all the keystrokes you enter (passwords, credit card
information) and sends it out to the Net. Then it goes through your
address book and sends out lots of copies of itself to infect your
family and friends. Most companies can block the virus-bearing e-mails
using firewall software, but home computers are vulnerable. Todd and I
have been getting hammered with this thing for a few days now. Luckily,
anti-virus software catches it pretty easily, so we haven't been
infected - it's more a nuisance than anything else. But judging by the
amount of e-mails we're getting with this virus attached, a lot of you
may be infected. Our recommendation is that you update your anti-virus
software with the latest virus definitions and scan your systems. And if
you don't have anti-virus software, get some right way. There are lots
of great programs you can buy and there are plenty of freeware and
shareware programs too (visit
this page at Download.com to check them out). Just FYI.
So did you all have a great holiday weekend? Get in some shopping? Take
advantage of the numerous sales on DVDs? I happened to check out Best
Buy on Friday morning, and man - I've never seen lines so long at that
store! By the way, we're hearing from lots of people who were able to
get their hands on the Fox Demo Disc #1
- glad you're enjoying it. We'll be giving away lots more copies in
December, so stay tuned.
Speaking of giving away, we've just posted the winners from our last
Contest and have also kicked off the new
which gives 5 lucky winners a chance to take home copies of How
the Grinch Stole Christmas and more. Be sure to check it out.
We've also posted
List of 10 DVDs Coming Tomorrow in the
Views section, and updated the
DVD Player Sales numbers to include the 416,015 players sold
in the second week of November (ending 11/9) - all charts have been
In other news today, we've got more upcoming DVD announcements. ADV's
Farscape, Volume 10 streets on
January 22nd. Columbia TriStar's added The
6th Day: Special Edition, Brian's
Song (TV version) and Lagaan
to their January 22nd slate, Groundhog Day:
Special Edition, The Man Who Loved
Women, The Princess and the
Warrior, Richard Pryor: Here and
Now and When Strangers Appear
to their January 29th batch and Roughnecks:
Starship Troopers Chronicles 3 & 4, Blind
Date, Funny Lady, Grateful
Dawg, Life Without Dick
and Used Cars to their February
5th releases. DreamWorks has given a January 29th street date to their
Curse of the Jade Scorpion. HBO
has announced Do You Believe in Miracles? The
Story of the 1980 U.S. Hockey Team (January 8th) and Split
Second (March 5th). Lion's Gate's "O":
Special Edition arrives on February 19th. Paramount's
announced Beverly Hills Cop I-III,
Harlem Nights and A
Vampire in Brooklyn for January 29th and Bad
News Bears, Bad News Bears Go to
Japan, Bad News Bears in Breaking
Training, Hot Pursuit
and Intersection for February
12th. Universal's Captain Corelli's Mandolin:
Collector's Edition arrives on February 5th, with The
Long Run and Musketeer
following on February 26th. Warner has The
Bad and the Beautiful, Designing
Women, Klute, Summer
of '42 and Touch of Class
coming on February 19th. Warner BBC titles in the offing include Absolutely
Fabulous: Complete Series 4, French
& Saunders: At the Movies, French
& Saunders: Gentlemen Prefer French & Saunders and
Blue Planet: Seas of Life (all
February 5th), Walking with Prehistoric
Beasts (February 12th) and Father
Ted: The Complete Series 2 (March 5th). And Warner Music
titles on the way include AC/DC: Stiff Upper
Lip Live, The Cure: Greatest Hits
and Red Hot Chili Peppers: Off the Map
(all December 4th).
Also, we've heard from fans of director Kevin Smith. The director has
announced that the upcoming Jay and Silent
Bob: Special Edition DVD will include audio commentary with
Smith, Jason Mewes and Scott Mosier, over an hour of cut scenes,
extended footage and gag reels, 2 behind-the-scenes featurettes, music
videos, the Comedy Central Reel Comedy with
Jay and Silent Bob special and various trailers and TV spots.
Smith has also revealed that he's working on a Clerks:
Special Edition for release later in 2004 - the 10th
anniversary of the film's release.
We've got a few more new DVD reviews for you today before we break for
the week. Okay... not entirely true. We may post a thing or two on
Friday. But otherwise, we're gonna be spinning lots of great discs and
crashing out in a turkey induced stupor like the rest of America. So to
tide you over, we've just posted
latest column in the Doogan's
Views section. Included are reviews of Image's
Matrix Revisited and
Dirty Harry Collection, featuring
Dead Pool. Enjoy!
And with that, we bid you farewell until Friday. Everyone here at The
Digital Bits would like to wish you and yours a very happy
and safe holiday. Eat lots of great food (I can already smell the
rhubarb pie!), watch lots of great movies and make sure to pick up a few
new DVDs for your collection during the many sales on Friday. Peace!
Boy... seems you guys have some strong opinions as to which game system
you think is going to rule the planet - GameCube or Xbox. Right now, the
opinions seem pretty evenly split, with a few people throwing PS2 into
the mix. But we've gotten hundreds of responses this far. So many, in
fact, that we're going to be doing a "shopping guide" for
these new systems next week. And we'll post the results of our informal
In the meantime, Greg's been a busy beaver this week. We've just posted
his reviews of DreamWorks'
Special Edition, MGM's
for the Holidays (the perfect Thanksgiving title) and Warner's
of the Sun. And more reviews will follow tomorrow.
Okay... first a few bits of news. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts
and Sciences is expected to approve adding a Best Picture Oscar for
Animated Film category to the next Academy Awards, which (according
to Business Week Online via Yahoo) is sure to sponsor a marketing
war between Monsters, Inc. and
Shrek. Battle aside, we think it's
great that feature-length animation will finally get its due.
word from the BBC that a final novel from author and humorist
Douglas Adams will be published next May, on the first anniversary of
his death. Salmon of Doubt is
reportedly the "sixth" episode of the much-loved Hitch
Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy "trilogy". The author
had apparently been working on the novel for more than a decade, but
never completed it. So it will be published that way - edited but
unfinished - along with a collection of Adams's final writing, which
will include magazine and newspaper articles, lectures, writings from
his website and some of his work with BBC Radio 4. The book will also
reportedly include his screenplay for the long-awaited (and
yet-to-be-realized) film version of Hitch
Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Count me in.
In terms of DVD news, we've got more details on Columbia's Groundhog
Day: Special Edition, which streets on January 29th. The disc
will include audio commentary by director Harold Ramis, The
Weight of Time documentary, trailers and talent files,
anamorphic widescreen video and audio in English Dolby Digital and DTS
5.1 versions. SRP will be $24.95.
We've got word on a number of forthcoming Paramount & Universal
titles in today's
Mill update, along with Jay and
Silent Bob news. Don't miss it.
We've updated the
DVD Player Sales numbers to include the 549,290 players
shipped to retailers in the first week of November (ending 11/2). All
charts have been updated accordingly.
I got an e-mail from a Best Buy staffer with official word on the Fox
DVD Demo #1 giveaway:
"Just a little inside info on that juicy
little DVD promo that will be available at Best Buy on Black Friday
(11/23). It will be available FREE to the first 500 costumers per store.
I believe that all of our stores open at 7 a.m. and that most stores
will have at least 500 copies (probably more)." So there you
go - thanks Darryl. As we've mentioned before, we'll also have at least
50 copies of the disc to give away here at The
Digital Bits. Stay tuned for that...
And finally... with both Nintendo's GameCube and Microsoft's Xbox
finally in stores, we'd like to know which system you think is better
positioned for success. From a hardware standpoint alone, Xbox seems to
have an edge, coming equipped with a hard-drive, an Ethernet port that
will eventually allow broadband Internet play and the ability to play
back DVDs. GameCube has none of these, but Nintendo has greater
experience in the gaming world and their system sells for $100 less than
the Xbox's $299 price tag. So
give us an e-mail with your two cents on this issue. Which system
is better? Which do you intend to buy? We'll report the completely
unscientific results here later this week.
Now then... this week is going to be pretty slow with the Thanksgiving
holiday on Thursday. So we're going to be concentrating on reviews.
We've got lots of them in the works, so be sure to stay tuned...
Amazing! Did anyone else brave the cold late Saturday night and early
Sunday morning to go out an catch
Leonid meteor shower? My buddy Matt and me took a van full of
teenagers up to the high desert here in California to see what
scientists were predicting was going to be a literal meteor storm - the
best show in more than 30 years. And we weren't disappointed. All across
North America last night, stargazers were treated to a tremendous
display of the power of nature. It's no exaggeration to say that we
easily saw more than 1,000 meteors an hour, some so bright they lit up
the night sky and cast shadows on the ground. We even saw a couple
explode into pieces. We got to our viewing location at about 2:30 AM and
stayed until shortly after dawn and the show never let up for a moment,
even with the sun coming up. Sometimes, there were 4 and 5 at a time -
your eyes literally couldn't follow them all. Definitely a once in a
lifetime experience. I truly hope many of you were lucky enough to
partake in it. If not, there's still a chance over the next few nights
for you to see the tail end of the shower - do try to take a few minutes
and check it out.
So that's it. Not DVD related, I know. But hey - even here at The
Bits, there's more to life than just DVD. Hope your weekend's
been as great as mine! See you tomorrow... ;-)
(LATE UPDATE - 11/16/01 - 12:30 PM PST)
Afternoon all! Bits reader John
G. sent us a link to Universal's E.T.
20th Anniversary website this morning, which contains the
press release about the theatrical run. This press release also
specifically mentions "the movie's first-time release on DVD,
featuring both the original version of the film and the 20th anniversary
enhanced version, as well as exclusive supplementary materials."
Guess that makes it official. Thanks for the link, John!
In other news, we've figured out the goofy street date thing for the
U2: Elevation 2001 DVD. It will be
available exclusively at Best Buy stores on November 20th, and then will
street widely on December 4th.
Also this afternoon, Retuers has
story on the Episode II exclusive DVD preview via Yahoo.
And there's word that the upcoming Nine Inch Nails DVD release (Live:
And All That Could Have Been) has been delayed until January
Now then... there's lots of new movies and DVDs for you guys to check
out, so there's no excuse for you all not have a great weekend. We'll
see you back on Monday with some major upcoming DVD reviews and another
great week of chocolaty DVD goodness. See you then!
(EARLY UPDATE - 11/16/01 - 3:45 AM PST)
Morning, kids! Thought I'd get a jump on things for a change... beat
you all to the coffee machine. My lovely wife, Sarah, and I have just
returned from a jam-packed Midnight showing of Harry
Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Darned good movie that!
Wicked one might even say. It's rare that a movie lives up to its hype,
but aside from being just a tad long in spots, Harry's
a winner. I can certainly see why it needed to be 152 minutes long. If
it wasn't, kids everywhere would be complaining that stuff from the book
was left out. And having read all the Harry
Potter books thus far, that's the thing I'm most pleased to
say - the movie is VERY faithful to the book. So much so, in fact, that
almost everything about it makes you say, "Yup... that's just how I
pictured it." Take the kids and have a great time.
If you do, you should also be lucky enough to see the Episode
II teaser trailer, version 3.0 (a.k.a. "Forbidden Love").
Which, I might add, is NOW available for download at
The acting still feels a bit stiff, but this flick looks WAY better than
Episode I, that's for sure. Meet
you in line. ;-)
One other Star Wars note -
director George Lucas has officially confirmed that he's shot additional
scenes to be added into the original film Trilogy
to "complete the story". This explains why it's unlikely that
we'll see the original films on DVD until after Episode
II and III have been
released on disc. Hopefully, he'll remember to include the original
theatrical versions of the films on the discs as well. Otherwise, there
will be howls of outrage. Personally, I just want him to un-tweak the
scene where Greedo shoots first in Star Wars.
That's it - just fix that and I'm happy. In any case, this information
comes direct from an interview with Lucas on E!
Don't forget to check out
interview with John Landis, which we posted last night. And
List of 10 DVDs Coming Next Week is now available in the
Views section. Don't miss it!
Okay... now I'm gonna play the Episode II
trailer a few dozen more times and hit the sack. See you in the morning!
Or should I say afternoon? Definitely afternoon. Or maybe evening...
(LATE UPDATE - 11/15/01 - 4:45 PM PST)
A quick note - we've just heard from our friends at 20th Century Fox
Home Entertainment. They report that Demo
Disc #1 will be available at Best Buy stores on Friday,
November 23rd, on a first-come, first-served basis. Best of all, there's
no purchase necessary to get the disc.
Now then... the good stuff. We've just posted our own Adam Jahnke's
in-depth interview with one of our favorite directors here at The
Digital Bits... John Landis. Just a few days ago, Adam got
the chance to sit down with Landis for an hour-long, face-to-face chat.
We think you'll really enjoy both their lively discussion and the wide
ranging subjects they touched upon. So without further bru-ha-ha, adieu
and pontificating... we give you Adam Jahnke's
Monkeys and Music with John Landis. Enjoy!
(EARLY UPDATE - 11/15/01 - 10:45 AM PST)
Morning all! There's a couple things to go over this morning. First up,
word is that the final, full teaser trailer for Episode
II will be available for download at
tomorrow. This is the trailer that will appear in theaters, also
starting tomorrow, with Harry Potter.
We're told that
need to register at the site to download it, so if you want to see
the trailer tomorrow, you might want to get the registering done today.
It's free, so what the heck.
Next up, you may or may not have seen this yet, but a
German DVD site
claimed yesterday to have shots of the packaging for the first Star
Trek: The Next Generation DVD boxed set. They've taken it
down, but here's what it looks like...
We've got calls into Paramount as to whether or not this is ledgit. We
expect to hear back from them soon, so we'll keep you posted.
And finally, we've been hearing from a lot of readers that they're
having trouble finding copies of the newly released widescreen version
of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
It seems many stores have been slow to stock it. I have no idea why that
would be and I certainly don't think it's deliberate. But if you can't
find it in your area, we recommend you try ordering it
this link at DVD Planet (for $18.74 plus shipping). Good service
and a decent price too.
We'll be back in a couple of hours with a very special interview by our
own Adam Jahnke. Stay tuned...
(LATE UPDATE - 11/14/01 - 3:45 PM PST)
We've just posted
new weekly column in the
Views section, which includes reviews of Paramount's
Raider: Collector's Edition (available now), both the
frame playset and
versions of Universal's How the Grinch Stole
Christmas: Collector's Edition (November 20th), Anchor Bay's
Taste: Limited Edition (November 20th) and Fantoma's
Educational Archives, Volumes 1 & 2 (available now).
Back tomorrow with a new special feature piece. See you then...
(EARLY UPDATE - 11/14/01 - 12:45 PM PST)
We've got more DVD cover artwork for you today - we've posted several
new cover scans in a
Artwork section. These include Jeepers
Creepers, Ghost World,
Evil Dead: Book of the Dead Edition,
Farscape, Volumes 8 & 9 and
We've also posted
look at the menus screens for the M*A*S*H:
TV Season One, M*A*S*H: 5-Star
Edition and Moulin Rouge
DVDs from Fox.
And there's news today about recordable DVD.
a Comdex press conference yesterday, the Recordable DVD Council (a
coalition of nearly 75 DVD technology developers and manufacturers)
expressed support for all 3 recordable DVD formats (DVD-RAM, DVD-R,
DVD-RW) that comply with the recordable standards established by the DVD
Forum. Will this cause consumer confusion about recordable DVD? It's too
soon to tell. Hopefully, a format war can be avoided, although different
manufacturers continue to support different formats. Still Sony, Pioneer
and Philips all expect to launch home DVD recorders next year.
has just launched a line of recordable DVD media in anticipation
In other news, U2's forthcoming live DVD, which streets on November
20th, will be a 2-disc set. The release, titled Elevation
2001 - Live From Boston, will include the following songs
performed live: Elevation, Beautiful
Day, Until the End of the World,
Stuck in a Moment, Kite,
York, I Will Follow,
Sunday Bloody Sunday, In
a Little While, Desire,
Stay (Faraway, So Close), Bad,
Where the Streets Have No Name,
Bullet the Blue Sky, With
or Without You, The Fly,
Wake Up Dead Man and Walk
On. Disc One will feature the complete 107-minute show. Disc
Two will feature the show again, but with the "Another Perspective"
option - the concert was shot with more than 20 different camera angles,
and Disc Two will give you the option to view many of them. There are
also a number of bonus tracks, a 5-minute time-lapse segment and a
25-minute behind-the-scenes featurette. SRP is $32.97. I actually saw
U2's Anaheim, CA performance and was lucky enough to score a floor spot
inside the "heart" shaped stage. If this disc is half as cool
as the concert was, it should be terrific.
Okay... we've got some news for you today. First of all, we've updated
DVD Player Sales numbers for the complete month of October -
some 1,516,211 players shipped to retail during the month (week ending
10/26), making the total for the year thus far 9,062,764 players, and
pushing the format total to date to a whopping 22,985,095 players. All
charts have been updated accordingly.
In other news, we've got word from our friends at Dave's Video that
they're going to be holding a special signing event on Tuesday, November
20th, 2001 from 7 to 9 PM. The guest of honor will be director Richard
Rush, and he'll be signing copies of Anchor Bay's new The
Stunt Man DVD. 2 items may be signed per person, 1 of which
must be a copy of the DVD purchased at Dave's. Should be a fun evening.
Columbia TriStar has just announced their The
6th Day: Special Edition DVD for release on January 22nd. The
2-disc set (SRP $24.95) will contain anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby
Digital 5.1 audio, audio commentary by composer Trevor Rabin with 5.1
isolated music score, the On the 6th Day
behind-the-scenes featurette, the Showtime special The
Future is Coming, storyboard comparisons, animatics, the
RePet infomercial and TV spot, theatrical trailers and more.
Highlander website has just revealed that Highlander:
Season One will arrive on DVD on December 10th. You can order
it there now for $129.95. The 8-disc set will contain all 22 first
season episodes of the TV series, along with Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0
sound, a "Slate button" feature that lets you access newly
created on-camera commentary from executive producer Bill Panzer for
each episode, a "Watcher Chronicles button" feature that opens
biographical and historical information on each episode's mortals,
Immortals, weaponry and the Watchers themselves, "Flashback buttons"
that activate each episode's flashback scenes, a " Q button"
that takes you straight to the Quickening, a blooper reel, a
behind-the-scenes featurette (the original series promo created to
launch the show's first season) and a CD-ROM of all of the scripts for
the first season's episodes.
Next up, we're pleased to announce that 20th Century Fox will be giving
a free promotional DVD at Best Buy stores, starting first thing on the
morning of Friday, November 23rd. I'm not sure if it will be completely
free or free with a purchase (any purchase or a specific title), so I'll
try to find out. It's called Demo Disc #1,
and the idea is to introduce newcomers to DVD to some of the many
special features the format offers. There are samples of video and sound
quality, as well as special feature demonstrations, from over 20 popular
Fox DVD titles. You get demos of audio and text commentary, deleted
scenes, documentaries and vignettes, even Easter eggs. There's a piece
on film restoration and a sample of other interactive features as well.
You also get a THX Optimizer, the THX "Cavalcade" and "Tex"
trailers, and the trailer for Fox's upcoming Ice
Age. The staff of The Digital Bits
was invited to contribute content to the disc as well, for a section
called DVD for Beginners. We've
taken our popular
Guide to Anamorphic DVD and created a slimmed-down version
that works in menu page format. And Todd's compiled a Glossary
of more than 50 common DVD terms, with explanations that even
non-techies can understand. The disc is sure to disappear fast, so be
sure to get yours quickly when it becomes available. We'll also be
giving away a number of copies of the disc here at The
Digital Bits, so watch for that later this month.
Zoinks! What's that other piece of art you ask? Well Bits
faithful, that's a sneak peek at the just created prototype for the DVD
case for Anchor Bay's forthcoming Evil Dead:
Book of the Dead Edition that's due sometime early next year
(tentatively February 2002). You have permission to salivate...
And finally, Roger Waters fans will be pleased to hear that Roger
Waters: In the Flesh will be released on DVD on December 18th
by Sony Music (SRP $19.98). The disc will include all the tracks listed
on the CD set, along with Dolby Digital 5.1 and PCM stereo audio, a
30-minute "behind-the-scenes" documentary, band biographies,
still photos, projected images, lyrics and even a "technical sound
system set-up guide". Very cool. Thanks to Joseph for the heads up.
Morning all. Everyone have a good weekend? Obviously the morning's
brought with it some more tragic news, so our best wishes out to all
those affected. In the meantime, we've posted
column from Friday in the
Views section, which includes reviews of Fox's
Special Edition (street date 11/27), MGM's
the Cat (12/11) and Columbia TriStar's
Sweethearts (11/13) DVDs. We've also posted Greg's look at
Warner's recently released
And we intend to catch up on lots more news discs this week, so keep an
eye out for more reviews.
We have word from Columbia TriStar this morning that You
Light Up My Life will arrive on DVD on January 22nd. The disc
will include anamorphic widescreen and full frame video and Dolby
Digital mono audio. SRP is $24.95. Buena Vista's added The
Adventures of Huck Finn and Rudyard
Kipling's The Jungle Book (live action) to their January 15th
slate. Other newly announced titles include Belle
de Jour, Bubble Boy,
Dragstrip Girl, The
Hunchback of Notre Dame (live action), Purple
Noon, Young Girls of Rochefort
and Robinson Crusoe (all January
22nd). And Criterion's announced another title for release on January
22nd as well - Me and Isaac Newton.
By the way... finally saw that Episode II
"Mystery" trailer this weekend, with the help of Lucasfilm.
Damn thing looks VERY cool. We're also pleased to say that Lucasfilm and
Apple have worked out a way you Mac users can view the trailer via
here for all the details (and kudos to them for doing this). Can't
wait to see the final teaser trailer in theaters this Friday with Harry
Well... there's a new Episode II
trailer online. It's called "Mystery" and it's a more
traditional trailer than the "Breathing" trailer we've already
seen, with dialogue and lots of new footage. That's the good news. The
bad news is that you can only get it if you have a Windows equipped PC,
with a DVD-ROM drive and the Episode I
disc. I've seen about half of the new trailer, and I'd love to see more.
Why only half you say? Because Interactual's PC Friendly software keep
crashing my computer. Actually, it crashes both of the computers we have
here at The Bits. The best I can
do is to get about halfway through the trailer, and then it locks up on
me. Ah well.
We're gonna try to get those reviews up shortly. They're ready to go,
but we seem to be having the latest in a seemingly endless run of server
problems. If we can't get them up today, we'll put them up tomorrow some
time. Stay tuned...
Okay... no sooner do we finish uploading all that new
DVD Cover Art, we get 20 more hot new covers from Paramount
and 20th Century Fox! Some of this art is so new, we guarantee you won't
find it anywhere else online (and if you do find it elsewhere, it
probably came from us!). So enjoy your very first look at the cover art
for the last 4 volumes of Star Trek: The
Original Series, What's Eating
Gilbert Grape, Pootie Tang,
'Til There Was You, Soapdish,
The Score, Frankie
& Johnny, The Elephant Man,
Medium Cool, Seconds,
Away, Rookie of the Year,
The Sandlot, Dimples,
Bright Eyes and Heidi!
Just FYI, the pages with additional art from what we posted yesterday
In other news this morning, there's word that the DVD version of America:
A Tribute to Heroes will arrive on December 4th from Warner
Music. The disc will feature the entire telethon as broadcast on TV,
including all of the musical performances. Proceeds from the event will
go to the September 11th Telethon Fund. The complete list of tracks are
as follows: Bruce Springsteen - My City of
Ruin, Stevie Wonder and Take 6 - Love's
In Need of Love Today, U2 - Walk
On, Faith Hill - There Will Come a
Day, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - I
Won't Back Down, Enrique Iglesias - Hero,
Neil Young - Imagine, Alicia Keys
- Someday We'll All Be Free, Limp
Bizkit with Johnny Rzeznik - Wish You Were
Here, Billy Joel - New York State
of Mind, Dixie Chicks - I Believe
in Love, Dave Matthews - Everyday,
Wyclef Jean - Redemption Song,
Mariah Carey - Hero, Bon Jovi -
Living on a Prayer, Sheryl Crow -
Safe and Sound, Sting - Fragile,
Eddie Vedder - Long Road, Paul
Simon - Bridge Over Troubled Water,
Celine Dion - God Bless America
and Willie Nelson and guests - America the
And here's the big news today. The numbers are in on Shrek's
recent sales performance and it should come as no surprise to anyone.
Some 2.5 million copies of the DVD were sold in the title's first 3 days
of release, making it the fastest selling DVD title of all time. It
beats records set only very recently by Fox's Star
Wars: Episode I (which sold 2.2 million copies in its first
week) and Universal's The Mummy Returns
(2 million first week). Recession or no... people sure do gobble up
their DVDs these days, don't they?
Finally, to all you PC users out there, don't forget to keep your Episode
I DVD handy tomorrow. The online Episode
II preview goes live tomorrow morning on the special DVD-ROM
website. Should be cool. Wonder how long it'll take to log in?
Now then... I'm damn tired after prepping all this artwork! So I'm
gonna take the rest of the morning off and sleep in. Todd, myself and
the rest of The Bits review staff
will be spinning discs this afternoon and evening, and we'll be back
tomorrow with a look at a whole slew of new and forthcoming discs. So
until then... peace.
Betcha thought I was gonna say "stay tuned..." didn't ya? ;-)
(LATE UPDATE - 11/7/01 - 7:15 PM PST)
You wanted an
DVD Cover Art update? Well... you got one! We've just
completed a major updating of the entire section, adding more than 150
new covers. And more art is on the way over the next few days. The list
of new titles is way too long to post here, but highlights include The
Stunt Man, U2 Elevation 2001: Live
from Boston, Twin Peaks: Season
One, Sting: All This Time,
Bram Stoker's Dracula: SuperBit,
Mists of Avalon, Evolution,
The Glass House, Ken Burns' Mark
Twain, Love Affair,
Miss Evers' Boys, The
Object of My Affection, Kiss of
the Dragon, Groundhog Day: Special
Edition, The Hunchback of Notre
Dame and many more. We suggest you just
out the complete update for yourselves. EVERY page has new art, so
A quick update from earlier - I didn't realize that the links I gave in
the 11:45 AM post (re: Mac DVD-ROM access) were out of date. So I've
removed the links and revised the comments accordingly. A lot of people
blame the studios for the lack of Mac DVD-ROM content, and a lot of
people blame Apple. I can only tell you what DVD producers themselves
are telling me, which is that the tools and software support they need
to produce Mac DVD-ROM content just aren't available yet. Take it as you
And one last note this evening. Criterion has just announced that
they'll release Marcel Carné's Children
of Paradise on DVD on January 22nd. The 2-disc set will SRP
for $39.95, and will include B&W, full frame video (the original
aspect ratio, made via a new digital transfer of restored elements),
Dolby Digital mono audio (in French with optional English subtitles),
audio commentary by film scholars Brian Stonehill and Charles Affron, a
video introduction by director Terry Gilliam, a restoration
demonstration, Jacques Prévert's film treatment, production
designs by Alexandre Trauner, a production stills gallery, the U.S.
theatrical trailer and filmographies for both Carné and Prévert.
(LATE UPDATE - 11/7/01 - 11:45 AM PST)
You know, while I'm working to finish the artwork update, I wanted to
make a quick comment on the subject of access to DVD-ROM materials on
Apple machines. I've been getting a lot of e-mails from readers who are
upset with the Hollywood studios for the fact that most of the DVD-ROM
content on current DVDs are designed for Windows PCs only. The fault
here doesn't lie with the studios... the problem is with Apple itself.
It's my understanding, from talking with DVD producers and content
providers, that Apple isn't letting 3rd party software companies have
access to their OS code to produce software agents to view ROM content.
So while Macs now support DVD-Video playback, the studios are still
having trouble creating ROM applications. Hopefully, Apple with get more
aggressive with its DVD-ROM support, because I can tell you that DVD
producers would like very much to be able to create material for Macs
(most of them use Macs themselves!). Hope that explains it.
(EARLY UPDATE - 11/7/01 - 10:15 AM PST)
First up this morning, a reminder. Star
Trek: The Motion Picture director Robert Wise will be signing
copies of The Director's Edition
DVD tonight here in LA, at the Virgin Megastore at the corner of Sunset
and Crescent Heights. He'll be there from 7 to 9 PM PST, so be sure to
get there early! Don't forget, Paramount is going back to all the Trek
films and turning them each into 2-disc special editions. You'll have
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in
your hands by this time next year.
there's new word that both Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner have
agreed to provide audio commentary for future discs. Very cool...
Okay... here's the plan. I've been gathering lots of
DVD Cover Art over the last few days, so look for a MAJOR
update of that section by late this afternoon. And if you work for a
studio and have any good art for us,
send it over. So
that's what I'm working on today.
In the meantime, I've just posted
Next List of 10 DVDs Coming Next Week in the
Views section. Normally, today would be his regular column,
but poor Todd's got anthrax... uh, I mean the flu... and so we're
reversing the order this week. We've also just posted
complete transcript of last night's live chat with New Line over at
The Home Theater Forum.
In other news, if any of you enjoyed NBC's recent Jon Avnet miniseries,
Uprising (I know I did), you'll be
happy to know that the entire miniseries will arrive on DVD on December
18th. The 2-disc release will feature the program in anamorphic
widescreen video with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Also included will be two
documentaries (Resistance and Breaking
Down the Walls) which look at the actual historical events
and the effort to recreate them, and a pair of audio commentaries (one
with director Jon Avnet and another with actors with Leelee Sobieski,
Hank Azaria, David Schwimmer and Jon Voight). SRP will be $24.98.
Now then... just FYI, the plan for the rest of the week (Thursday and
Friday) is to catch up on a number of new and upcoming DVD reviews. So
look for Shrek, Monty
Python, Willow and
Be sure to check back for that
DVD Cover Art update later today. Stay tuned...
(LATE UPDATE - 11/6/01 - 5 PM PST)
We've just launched our new
which gives 5 lucky winners the chance to win great DVDs from MGM &
Fox, including the Legally Blonde: Special
Edition, Dr. Doolittle 2
and The Woody Allen Collection, Volume 3!
We've also got a little more DVD news for you this afternoon. Buena
Vista and Miramax have announced the release of Young
Girls of Rochefort, The Hunchback
of Notre Dame (Live Action) and Belle
Du Jour for January 15th. Dragstrip
Girl and Bubble Boy
will follow on January 22nd. They've also revealed a number of new
titles that they're readying for February 2002 release, including Hav
Plenty, Fresh, The
Glass Shield, Squeeze,
Strictly Ballroom, Basquiat,
The Jungle Book (Live Action) and
The Adventures of Huck Finn. March
titles will include The Hunchback of Notre
Dame (animated) and The Hunchback
of Notre Dame 2 (animated). And coming later in the year are
Robinson Crusoe (TBD) and The
Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (May 7th).
(EARLY UPDATE - 11/6/01 - 11 AM PST)
We've got a whole bunch of upcoming DVD news for you today. First up,
Columbia TriStar has added Brother
to their January 2nd release slate. MGM has set After
the Fox, Cast a Giant Shadow,
Girl with Green Eyes, Hallelujah,
I'm a Bum, Kings Go Forth,
Saturday Night, Sunday Morning and
Town Without Pity for February
5th. Paramount has MTV: Behind Tough Enough
and WWF Tough Enough: The First Season
due on January 8th, Cousins, Daria
Movie: Is it Fall Yet?, Falling in
Love and Sabrina on
January 15th and American Rhapsody
and Rat Race on January 22nd.
Universal's Shaolin: Wheel of Life
is set for January 8th, with Bingo Long
Travelling All Stars and Motor Kings and Muhammad
Ali: Through the Eyes of the World following on January 29th.
And finally, Warner has set January 15th as the street date for its
3-disc Roots: 25th Anniversary Edition.
Star Wars fans will be pleased to
know that there's more Episode II
video on the way in November. On November 9th, your Episode
I DVD will unlock a special Episode
II online preview (via the special DVD website) with all-new
footage from the film. Then, on November 16th, the full Episode
II teaser trailer will appear on Harry
Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, featuring an additional 2
minutes of never-before-seen Episode II
footage (you'll also be able to download it at the official site). And
all this is just the beginning. Check
Wars.com for the complete details.
(LATER UPDATE - 11/5/01 - 5 PM PST)
Okay... we've just posted 4 more DVD reviews, including a look at Fox's
of Honor: Special Edition and both versions of Universal's
Pie: Ultimate Edition. And we've got reviews of a number of
great forthcoming titles on the way.
We've also just posted
rest of the pictures from the Paramount's studio screening of the
Star Trek: The Motion Picture - The
Director's Edition DVD last week. Shots of all the actors and
guests, including William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy are included.
Following up on our story from earlier about the "sticker goo"
problem with the Shrek DVD, a
number of readers have suggested a product called
Gone. You can pick it up cheaply at K-Mart, Target and most other
stores, and it's designed remove leftover sticker goo from plastic and
other surfaces. Give it a try.
In other DVD news, there's been a ruling in the lawsuit over the DeCSS "DVD
cracking" code that's been published widely on the Internet. A
California court of appeals has determined that the code qualifies as
protected free speech. The ruling came on Friday.
a link to the story via Yahoo.
(LATE UPDATE - 11/5/01 - 11 AM PST)
This is just a quick FYI-type of update. First of all, the Episode
II "Breathing" trailer is now officially available
for download at Star
Wars.com. Just be patient, because the servers are overloaded
at the moment with everyone trying to download it. You can also try a
mirror site at Apple's
Also, we've got that link for you with producer Kathleen Kennedy's
quote about the E.T. DVD having
two versions of the film.
out it's at MSNBC.com. Thanks to Bits
reader Lowell for the link!
(EARLY UPDATE - 11/5/01 - 12:01 AM PST)
So... everyone have a good weekend? Mine, not so shabby. Saw some good
movies (Monsters, Inc. and Riding
in Cars with Boys), talked with lots of family on the phone
(even Grandma!). Can't complain. And watching a thrilling conclusion to
a fun World Series was the clincher. It comes down to the last at bat in
the bottom of the 9th inning in Game 7, and the winners were behind
going into the inning. Gotta love that. Congrats to you Arizona fans.
And to you New Yorkers, you gotta admit, 3 (damn near 4) championships
in a row is nothing to sneeze at. Hell, my Twins have only won it twice
and they're talking about folding the team!
A bit of DVD news this morning... or at least a rumor.
is reporting a comment in USA Today
by producer Kathleen Kennedy, that when Steven Spielberg's E.T.
arrives on DVD from Universal next summer, it will feature both the
original theatrical version and the new director's cut that will be in
theaters in March. We can't find the original article that contains the
quote, but if anyone else can, let us know. That would be great news for
movie fans if true. Maybe George Lucas will take note for future Star
One other DVD note - many fans who picked up DreamWorks' Shrek
DVD on Friday were pissed to discover that it has an X-Box contest
sticker on it... that's stuck right on the keep case cover itself and
not on the cello wrapping. Many people are reporting that they 1) can't
get the sticker goo off the case or 2) that the clear plastic artwork
sleeve on the case gets ripped or damaged when they try to get the
sticker off. Okay... so whose bonehead idea was that?
We'll be back later this morning with more DVD reviews. And just FYI,
we'll have a massive
DVD Artwork update up by mid-week. I know a lot of people have
been asking for it.
But I wanted to remind all of you that, word is, the Star
Wars: Episode II teaser trailer is going to be all over the
place this week, starting today. If you didn't have the chance to see it
this weekend with Monsters, Inc.,
look for it on MTV's TRL later
this afternoon, and probably Entertainment
Tonight and other shows too. It should also be available for
download sometime today at Star
Wars.com, and probably other places as well. Our friends over
at The Force.net
are keeping a close eye on things, so check there for the latest.
(EARLY UPDATE - 11/2/01 - 6:30 PM PDT)
We've just posted 6 new DVD reviews from Dan and Greg. We've got
Man: Special Edition, Warner's
Killing Fields, New Line's
Nicky: Platinum Series, DreamWorks'
Road to El Dorado: Special Edition, Image's
Live! and Pioneer's
Complete Sam Kinison. Hollow Man,
Little Nicky and Manilow
Live! (the horror!) were meant to be scary Halloween reviews,
so consume with that in mind. Enjoy!
With that... spin a few DVDs, go out and see some movies and, most
important, have a great weekend!
(EARLY UPDATE - 11/2/01 - 3:45 PM PDT)
Okay... back from the movies. For the record, Episode
II officially looks like it's gonna be a WAY better film than
The Jar Jar Binks Story, at least
based on what little can be seen in the teaser trailer. I was
particularly pleased to note that the CGI work in evidence seems much
more detailed and natural than Episode I.
And we've got word from Apple now that the trailer will be available for
download next week at Star
Wars.com. Monsters, Inc.
is pretty cute - well worth seeing. Better still, the CGI animated short
on the front of Monsters (it's
something about Birds - can't
recall the title) is very funny.
Now then... we've just posted Todd's
REAL List of 10 DVDs Coming Next Week. Anyone who thinks we
posted anything different this morning was mistaken. Nothing to see
here. Move along... move along. ;-)
Also this afternoon, we've gotten official word from Warner about their
virus-infected Powerpuff DVD:
"It has been determined that the DVD-ROM
portion of THE POWERPUFF GIRLS: MEET THE BEAT-ALLS DVD (available to
consumers as of October 23, 2001) contains a virus that could cause
damage to computer operating systems.
Warner Home Video (WHV) has notified its sales divisions of the
problem, and retail accounts will be apprised of the situation
immediately. All further shipments of the title have been suspended, and
retailers will be offered a 100% refund on all returned THE POWERPUFF
GIRLS: MEET THE BEAT-ALLS DVDs. Retail accounts, moreover, are
encouraged to return all unsold DVD copies of this title as soon as
WHV is planning to offer a corrected version of THE POWERPUFF GIRLS:
MEET THE BEAT-ALLS DVD, which should be in stores within the next few
Thank you for your continued support of Warner Home Video."
And our friends at Columbia TriStar have just informed us that director
John Singleton will be making a personal appearance at the Wherehouse in
Ladera Heights in Los Angeles (5390 Centinela Ave) on November 7,
between 6-8 PM to promote the DVD release of Baby
Boy. Be there or be square.
Okay... back with those reviews shortly. Stay tuned...
(EARLY UPDATE - 11/2/01 - 9:30 AM PDT)
Don't forget that today marks the release of Pixar and Disney's Monsters,
Inc. to theaters. That means that you'll be able to get your
first look at the trailer for Star Wars:
Episode II - Attack of the Clones, which is attached to the
film. And out friends at The
Force.net have word that you may be able to download Quicktime
versions of the trailer at Star
Wars.com on Monday.
Around here this morning, we've just posted
few pictures we took last night at the special premiere screening
of the Star Trek: The Motion Picture - The
Director's Edition DVD at Paramount last night. There were
lots of honored guests, including director Robert Wise himself. I think
you'll get a kick out of the pix, especially if you'd like a better look
at the Enterprise. Enough said.
We'll be back this afternoon with a few reviews... after we get back
from seeing that Star Wars trailer
first, of course! Gotta have priorities.
See? What do you know... Halloween happened and no one blew up. Gotta
love those Internet rumors. We're back today with that special feature
article I mentioned yesterday, which is
look behind the scenes at the recording of the audio commentary
for Paramount's new Tales from the Darkside:
The Movie DVD. The film's director, John Harrison, and the
legendary George Romero (can you even say his name without using the
words "the legendary"?) were both involved, so I think you'll
We've also announced the winners of the Halloween
- you'll find that above. Those reviews we were planning to put up today
will have to wait until tomorrow however. We're having some server
issues again. Will it never end? ;-)
Happy Halloween, everyone! As you can probably tell, the staff here at
The Digital Bits are big fans of
this particular holiday. Today, we've got reviews of 9 more great DVDs -
some campy, some spooky - in
weekly column in the
Views section. So look for
of the Living Dead,
Instinct: SE and all of Universal's new Classic Monster Double
Feature discs, including
Ghost of Frankenstein/Son of Frankenstein,
Meets the Wolf Man/House of Frankenstein,
Daughter/Son of Dracula,
of London/She-Wolf of London,
Mummy's Hand/The Mummy's Tomb and
Mummy's Ghost/The Mummy's Curse. Whew! Just to let you know,
we'll be extending our Halloween festivities until tomorrow, so we can
squeeze in a few more reviews and present a cool special feature article
as well. And we're happy to say that today's additions push us past the
900 reviews mark here at The Bits.
Here's a wacky first for DVD - it seems that you might want to think
twice before you pop Warner's new Powerpuff
Girls: Meet the Beat-Alls DVD into your PC DVD-ROM drive.
The discs are all infected with the
W32.FunLove.4099 virus. No kidding - I've scanned it myself with
Norton AntiVirus and it's definitely there. Warner is aware of the
problem and is repressing the discs. There will likely be a recall, and
some way for people to exchange their infected copies, although the
studio is still working out exactly how this will happen. In the
meantime, DO NOT insert the disc in your DVD-ROM drive. If you have
already, you should immediately scan your computer for viruses. And if
you've got a copy of the disc, we recommend that you return it as
defective to the retailer where you purchased it right away.
In other news, we've got word today that Anchor Bay will release The
Evil Dead: Book of the Dead Limited Edition on February 19th.
The disc will feature anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital 5.1 EX
and DTS 6.1 ES audio, THX-certification and audio commentary (among
other things). It will be packaged in a special case that's a replica of
The Book of the Dead. A standard
edition will also be available. Also, their Army
of Darkness: Director's Cut - The Official Bootleg Edition
was slated to be released yesterday (see the artwork below)...
Don't forget - our Trivia
Contest ends tonight at 11:59 PM PST, so get your entries in
Now then... everyone please have a happy and (most of all) SAFE
Halloween. Watch lots of scary movies on DVD, spend time with family and
friends and (of course) be sure to eat lots of candy (although we
recommend against putting anything white and powdery into your mouth
these days). There's even
rare full moon to trick-or-treat by tonight. ;-)
See you tomorrow!
(LATE UPDATE - 10/30/01 - 5:30 PM PST)
Okay... it's almost Halloween, folks! And we've got new reviews of 12
great DVDs from Adam, Florian and Greg to get you in an appropriately
spooky, campy or creepy mood. Just posted are reviews of
Dead II: Dead by Dawn (both versions),
Haunting (DD & DTS),
Rocky Horror Picture Show and a trio of Hammer Collection camp
Viking Queen and The
Vengeance of She.
And just a quick update - we've heard back from Columbia TriStar about
Holy Grail. They're working to
correct the subtitle problems now and will replace the defective discs
(no details are available yet). They're also looking into the missing
(EARLY UPDATE - 10/30/01 - 10:30 AM PST)
We've got a bunch of reviews that we want to post today, but first some
news. A&E's just reminded us that they've got a number of cool DVD "mega-sets"
out for the holidays. The Complete Monty
Python's Flying Circus DVD Mega-Set contains all 45 episodes
(SRP $199.95). The Complete Emma Peel DVD
Mega-Set contains 51 original Avengers episodes (SRP
$199.95). The Complete Prisoner DVD Mega-Set
features 17 episodes (SRP $149.95). Then they've got their Pride
& Prejudice: Special Edition for (SRP $39.95) and The
History Channel's Pearl Harbor
(SRP $29.95). You'll be happy to know that A&E will release the
complete second season of Space: 1999
next year, with the first sets slated for Spring and the last two coming
in the second half of the year.
Other cool recently announced titles from 20th Century Fox include Boondock
Saints, Deep Water and
Silent Trigger (12/18), Carmen
Jones, Five Heartbeats
and Kiss of the Dragon (1/22), and
Baby's Day Out, Breaking
Away, My Bodyguard and
a trio of Shirley Temple titles, including Heidi,
Dimples and Bright
Eyes (1/29). Warner's announced Rock
Star for 1/22 as well. Anchor Bay will release Werner
Herzog's Heart of Glass, Little
Deiter Needs to Fly and Stroszek
on 1/8. And Buena Vista's added Bravo Two
Zero, Artemesia and
Snapper to its 12/18 slate.
In other news, the Los Angeles Virgin Megastore will hold a special DVD
signing event with director Robert Wise for Paramount's new Star
Trek: The Motion Picture - The Director's Edition on
Wednesday, November 7th.
here for the latest.
And speaking of Star Trek, we'll
be attending the premiere of the Star Trek:
The Motion Picture - The Director's Edition DVD at Paramount
this Thursday night, and we'll be sure to take lots of pictures.
Finally this morning, a lot of people are reporting subtitle problems
with Columbia TriStar's Monty Python and the
Holy Grail: Special Edition DVD. It seems that on many
players, the subtitles occasionally will not stay turned off. This is
known to occur with many Toshiba and Sony players, along with a few
other brands. We still haven't gotten our review copy of the disc, so we
can't verify this, but a lot of people do seem to be having problems.
There also seems to be a missing title during the film's opening
credits. When the film's title appears, there should be a second,
burned-in subtitle that reads: "Mønti Pythøn ik den Hølie
Grãilen". It's not there. We've contacted Columbia to see
what the story is, and we'll let you know when we hear anything.
Back soon with more...