UPDATE - 4/15/02 - 12:15 PM PDT)
We've got additional word today on upcoming Buena Vista live action
DVDs, in addition to those we mentioned earlier this morning. On July
2nd, look for Temptress Moon, The
Harmonists and Kolya in
addition to titles previouslly announced. On September 3rd, look for
Captain Ron, Celtic
Pride, The Program,
The War at Home, Prefontaine,
My Boyfriend's Back, Betsy's
Wedding, Mr. Destiny,
Disorganized Crime, Washington
Square, Ernest Goes to Camp,
Ernest Scared Stupid, Ernest
Goes to Jail, Ernest Saves
Christmas, First Do No Harm,
The Puppet Masters, Indian
Summer, Spaced Invaders,
Aspen Extreme, Heartbreak
Hotel, Baby: Secret of the Lost
Legend, Cabin Boy, Gross
Anatomy and Swing Kids.
That same day, you'll also get Basquiat,
Iris Blond, Children
of Heaven, Hard Boiled,
The Killer and Hidden
Assassin. Then, on October 8th, look for Billy
The Grifters, A
Midsummer Night's Dream, Two Bits,
Of Love and Shadows, Unhook
the Stars, Since You've Been Gone,
The Muppet Christmas Carol, Honey,
I Shrunk the Kids, Honey, I Blew
Up the Kids, Honey, We Shrunk
Ourselves and Jungle 2 Jungle.
Before you ask, there's no word yet on features on these discs,
particularly whether or not they will be released in their original
widescreen aspect ratios.
(EARLY UPDATE - 4/15/02 - 11:30 AM PDT)
We've updated the
DVD Player Sales charts today with player sales numbers from
the last two weeks of March (245,433 and 359,241 units respectively).
With those additions, the grand total for the format to date has
officially passed 29 million DVD players in the United States. At this
rate, the format is well on track to reach 40-45 million units by the
end of the year. And THOSE are impressive numbers.
In news which some may find good (and others bad), Disney has
officially acquired the theatrical and home video release rights to
Hayao Miyazaki's animated feature Spirited
Away, which has become the highest-grossing Japanese film of
all time. That means you can expect it to find its way to DVD this year
or early next year, following in the footsteps of Miyazaki's Princess
Mononoke. Unfortunately , it also means that, like Mononoke,
the DVD will probably be as thread-bare as a stripper on a Saturday
night. You can read more on this
And finally this morning, some upcoming release street dates. A&E
will release The Saint, Volumes 5 & 6
on 5/28, with Space: 1999, Volumes 7 & 8
following on 6/25. Buena Vista will release Another
Stakeout, Beaches, Big
Business, Can't Buy Me Love,
and Out in Beverly Hills, Ed Wood,
Serenade, Preacher's Wife
and Stakeout on 8/13, with Peter
Pan II: Return to Neverland expected on 8/20. Columbia
TriStar has added Mo' Money, Mountain
Men, Snake in the Eagle's Shadow
and Zebrahead to its 6/18 slate,
with Gardens of Stone and Last
Command due on 6/25. HBO will release The
Vagina Monologues: Eve Ensler on 6/11. And Universal Music is
releasing Rossini: La Cenerentol - Cecilia
Bartoli on 4/23, The Carpenters:
Greatest Hits on 4/30, 98 Degrees:
The Collection and Blink 182:
Uretha Chronicles #2 on 5/7 and Bryan
Adams: Unplugged, Jethro Tull:
Living in the Past and Mussorgsky:
Boris Godunov on 5/14.
And I think we've mentioned this before, but here's just another
reminder that DVD really is out of this world.
is the crew of the International Space Station chills out when
their work day is done by watching movies from the station's growing DVD
library. This includes a complete set of Fox's Alien
movies starring Sigourney Weaver. Says astronaut Dan Bursch, "I
kind of thought the best one was the first one, and they kind of went
downhill from there..." That's what we need... an astronaut review
staffer for The Bits! Any of you
space guys interested? ;-)
Here we are on a balmy Saturday afternoon for a rare weekend post. A
lot of people have been asking us about Universal's recent DVD release
of David Lynch's Mulholland Drive.
So Todd wanted to address your questions about the disc:
Todd here. I just want to make two quick notes about
Mulholland Drive. First, there are
no chapter stops on the DVD. It's NOT a defect of the disc. Lynch has
said in the past that films arent books and therefore shouldn't
have chapters. His films will all be offered on DVD without chapter
stops in the future. The old version of Blue
Velvet is the exception, but that will be replaced soon.
Second, there's the issue of the blurring of Laura Herring's nether
region during the first love scene between Rita and Betty in
Drive. I personally think it was
done during the original theatrical printing and no one noticed. It's a
very dark and quick shot - even my wife originally thought she saw
something and when we went back she was shocked to see a quick blur.
Even if it wasn't done theatrically and was done for the DVD, David
Lynch himself said he did it personally and he did it to keep people
from downloading and spreading the image online. On Lynch's own site he
recently discussed the issue and when asked if the new
Blue Velvet DVD will be censored
as well (for Isabella Rossellini's full frontal nudity) he said no,
because the technology wasn't available back then. Confusing, but I
think with that statement he confirms that he did the blurring in
Drive for the original prints of
the film. As further fortification, I found a children's protection
this link) that notes an instance of "silhouette/shadowed
nudity", and if they didn't catch full frontal nudity, then I
believe it wasn't there.
Of course, if you feel the need to debate this issue, head over to our
Peaks Gazette and their forum on the subject and debate away.
Thanks to Jordan and The Gazette
for pointing us to the forum.
Okay... Bill here again. One other thing I wanted to mention today -
Columbia TriStar sent over this statement regarding their forthcoming
Black Hawk Down DVD:
"As announced last week, Columbia TriStar
Home Entertainment is releasing Black Hawk Down on DVD and
videocassette on June 11. In addition, CTHE and director Ridley Scott
are in the process of creating a special-edition DVD of the critically
acclaimed film. In addition to the film itself and a behind-the scenes
documentary, both of which are included on the June 11 DVD, this new
special edition of Black Hawk Down will feature a wide range of
added-value elements, including a feature-length commentary by Mr. Scott
and other behind-the-scenes material that bring new insight into this
important film. The release date for the special-edition DVD of Black
Hawk Down will be announced in the future."
So there you go - don't say Columbia TriStar didn't warn you that
another version is coming. I can tell you that some of the stuff they're
putting into the TBA special edition is pretty amazing. I have no doubt
it will be well worth the wait.
Okay - that's all. Have a great weekend and see you back here on
We're closing out the week today with more DVD reviews! We've got a
look at Buena Vista's
Tracy from Greg, along with New Line's
Ghosts from Todd. And on Monday, watch for reviews of A&E's
Shackleton and more.
Have a great weekend and stay tuned!
We've got a pair of new DVD reviews for you today. Dan Kelly's given
Port South a spin, and I've got a look at HBO's upcoming
Show with Bob and David: The Complete First and Second Seasons
(street date: 6/11).
We've also got a couple of news items to report today. First up,
Microsoft has officially chosen sides in the recordable DVD wars.
They've come down on the DVD+RW side (joining Philips, Sony,
Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Ricoh, Yamaha and others). You can
more here. Also today, Sony has sued Apex for DVD patent
infringement (you'll find that story
As you may remember, Apex made those DVD players that could be made all
region by a special "hidden" menu option.
Back with more reviews tomorrow. Stay tuned...
Widescreen advocates are up in arms with Buena Vista this week. A
number of the studio's upcoming titles (among them Max
Keeble's Big Move) are being released full frame only on DVD.
According to calls to the studios consumer hotline (1-800-72-DISNEY),
this is due to complaints from the masses (read: soccer moms) who don't
like black bars. Scuttlebutt is that the final edict apparently came
down from Eisner himself to give 'em what they ask for. Since the studio
rarely includes both widescreen and full frame on the same disc, that
means a choice must be made on a title by title basis. In recent
conversations with studio representatives, only very kid-focused films
will be released full frame only. Other titles, and particularly
classics (like Pollyanna and the
studio's other upcoming Disney live action classics), will all be in
their original widescreen aspect ratio on DVD. Still, many DVD fans are
concerned and even upset. Word is that the consumer hotline has been
flooded for a couple days now with their complaints. Give 'em a call and
let the mouse know how YOU feel if this is important to you. Just
remember... be POLITE. You can also e-mail them at:
In other news today, Synapse
has announced the DVD release of Invasion USA
(5/7) and Castle of Blood (7/2).
Invasion USA (SRP $24.98) will
include a brand new windowboxed (1.33:1) digital transfer, two original
Civil Defense Department audio recordings on the alternate DVD audio
tracks (The Complacent Americans &
If the Bomb Falls: A Recorded Guide to
Survival), the 1956 re-issue theatrical trailer, the original
controversial Red Scare short film Red
Nightmare (starring Jack Webb), the Conelrad
100: Film Encyclopedia of the Top 100 Best Atomic Films Ever Made
and new video interviews with stars Dan OHerlihy, William
Schallert and Noel Neill, made specifically for this DVD release. Castle
of Blood (also $24.98) will feature the uncensored
international version containing scenes removed from the original U.S.
theatrical release, a brand new digital 1.78:1 transfer enhanced for
widescreen televisions, English and French audio with new English
subtitles for the newly restored French language footage, the original
U.S. theatrical trailer, the original U.S. opening credit sequence, a
still gallery and liner notes from film historian Tim Lucas. Here's a
look at the cover art for both titles...
Also this afternoon, an update on The Final
Countdown. Pacific Family Entertainment is now saying the
disc will ship sometime this month. We'll see.
All right, I'm starting to feel more human again, so tomorrow's post
will be more normal in terms of content. But I wanted to post a couple
more quick notes today.
First of all, a lot of people have been wondering about Pacific Family
Entertainment's The Final Countdown
DVD, which was to have been shipped early this year but which still
hasn't been received by those who ordered it. I wish I could help you on
this, but PFE isn't returning my calls. There is some speculation that
since the company handled promoting the title so poorly, they didn't get
as many orders as they might have, and so had to wait until after they
had received everyone's payment to have the discs pressed. The official
story seems to be that there was an error in the disc that's being
corrected. Be that as it may, a lot of people have been charged for the
disc and PFE isn't being very good about letting them know the reason
for the delay. In any case, if it starts shipping soon, I'll be sure to
let you know.
In other news today, we've got more good resources for you to check out
on the digital copyright issue I mentioned yesterday and the efforts to
protect your rights of fair use. First up is the
Recording Rights Coalition, which lobbies in Washington to
protect your right to but and use audio and video recorders, players and
computers. Next, you'll find DigitalConsumer.org
useful in reading up on the issues and latest news. There's an FAQ, a
consumer technology "Bill of Rights" and a list of ways you
can get involved in the effort to protect them. Finally,
news at USA Today online that a new HDTV advocacy group is
being created to weigh in with Washington and the industry on behalf of
consumers, particularly in an effort to kick the slow HDTV rollout in
the pants. The story also talks about Hollywood's effort to frame the
battle over copy protection as, "You're either in the camp of the
pirates or in the camp of Hollywood." As DigitalConsumer.org
co-founder Joe Kraus says, "There is a difference between copying
and piracy. Making a copy of a song from your CD to take to the gym or
in your car is not piracy." But not if the entertainment industry
gets its way (here's
last link for you at MSNBC on the subject).
On that very note today,
has announced that it will begin using "copy-protected"
CDs when it sends out discs for promotional purposes (click
here for more). The problem with these CDs is that in some cases,
the digital watermarking technology either detracts from the quality of
the music or renders the disc unplayable in regular CD players and PC
computer drives. When new CDs by Natalie Imbruglia and Celene Dion were
rolled out in Europe last month,
were reports that some even crashed computers and damaged stereo
equipment. The madness continues...
Thanks to Bits reader Frank T.
for many of the links above!
And finally, the first people who took advantage of Universal's Jurassic
Park bonus disc offer are starting to report that they're
finally beginning to receive their discs. Just FYI.
Morning all! Hope you had a great weekend, and that you remembered the
whole clock forward thing on Sunday. Nothing like losing an hour of
sleep, but gaining an hour of daylight again!
I seem to have picked up a touch of the flu this weekend unfortunately,
so today's post will be brief. But we do have word that at next week's
National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas, a new kind
of DVD will be shown off - holographic DVD! InPhase's new storage format
can hold as much as 100GB of data on a single disc. Other
next-generation disc formats that will be on display include
Matsushita's two-sided optical rewritable disc (using violet lasers) as
well as Fluorescent Multi-layer Disc (FMD) technology. Both of those
formats can handle data in the neighborhood of 100GB per disc as well.
What does all this mean for you? Well... HD-DVD as a practical format is
well on its way to becoming a reality.
here for the whole story via CNet.
a good editorial over at Yahoo on a bill by Senator Fritz
Hollings [D-S.C.], that would boost the growth of broadband by
prohibiting the sale or distribution of almost all computer devices and
software that display copyrighted work unless they include
government-mandated copyright-protection restrictions. That's due to the
belief that Hollywood's fear of making copyrighted content (read:
movies) available online is what's causing all the problems. You should
be very concerned about this, because if Hollywood gets its way, the
online landscape will be a very different place.
even better editorial on the issue of the entertainment industry and
copyright in the digital age over at Arts
& Farces. It's written by Michael Fraase, and I think
it's a must read for everyone who loves digital entertainment, be it
music on CDs, movies on DVDs or what have you. This is a huge issue,
that will have a tremendous impact on the course of digital
entertainment in the 21st Century. As citizens, you should decide how
you feel about it and act accordingly. Here at The
Bits, our feeling is that this effort by the entertainment
industry to eliminate nearly all your rights as consumers of copyrighted
digital entertainment is outrageous. You think Divx was bad? That's
nothing compared to what's coming if this bill or others like it should
pass. Whether you agree or not, you should definitely educate yourself
about this issue - it's that important.
In other news this morning,
word that the theatrical re-release of Steven Spielberg's E.T.
has been a major bust. Despite all the hype surrounding the
re-release, the film has taken in only $25 million in ticket sales in
the last three weeks. Universal is now hoping the title will fare much
better on DVD. And I believe it will... but making sure the DVD includes
BOTH the new version and the original version is critical to winning
over collectors (that is what is expected to happen according to recent
comments by both Spielberg and producer Kathleen Kennedy). That's a
piece of advice Star Wars creator
George Lucas should heed as well, when he eventually delivers the
original Trilogy on DVD (sometime
after the release of Episode III).
Film fans don't seem to have too much of a problem with filmmaker
revisionism as long as the original theatrical experience is preserved
as well. Although we at The Bits
still think George's made Star Wars
fans wait long enough for the original films on DVD. A basic, movie-only
release would suit us just fine for now, until he has time to work on
his super-deluxe DVD plans for the films. If Episode
II is any good, we may have to start banging that drum again
One last note this morning. A buddy of mine in the industry (whose
opinion I trust) has seen a bunch of the new Spider-Man
movie, and claims that what he's seen so far pretty much rocks. Can't
wait for THAT disc! 2002 is shaping up to be a really amazing year for
both rollercoaster/popcorn films and DVD! ;-)
Damn, look at that. And I planned to keep my comments brief today. Doh!
We have word this afternoon on some major upcoming MGM titles for June
and July. First up, look for the Rollerball:
Special Edition on June 18th (SRP $26.98). The disc will
feature anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, "the
Horsemen" cast audio commentary, the Future
Sport and Stunts of Rollerball
featurettes, a Rollerball
interactive yearbook, the Rob Zombie music video and more.
On June 25th, MGM will release A Rumor of
Angels (SRP $22.50) with anamorphic widescreen and full frame
video and Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround audio. And in July, the two main
new DVD releases you can look for are No Such
Thing and the Hart's War: Special
Edition. Both of those should be announced in a couple of
weeks. A lot of previously released MGM DVDs will be repriced in July as
Here's a look at the cover artwork for a few of the above titles...
Also this morning, we've got tentative details on some of the specs for
a few recently announced Buena Vista DVDs. The
Shipping News (6/18 - $29.99) will include anamorphic
widescreen video, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, the Dive
Beneath the Surface of the Shipping News featurette, a photo
archive and audio commentary with the filmmakers. In
the Bedroom (8/13 - $29.99) will include anamorphic
widescreen video an Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, along with a French audio
track. And Iris (8/20 - $29.99)
will feature anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, a
French track and the A Look at Iris
featurette. All other features are TBA.
In other news, Paramount has set 6/18 as the street date for its Orange
County. As we've mentioned in The
Rumor Mill recently (on
I Love Lucy - Season One, Volumes 1 & 2
will street on 7/2, along with Jimmy Neutron:
And finally today, we've got some new DVD reviews for you, including
Todd's look at New Line's
Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and Universal's
Drive, as well as Dan's take on New Line's
Platinum Edition and Greg's review of all three versions of
Usual Suspects from MGM and Polygram (including the new
special edition). And with those new entries, we're proud to say that
The Digital Bits has officially
topped 1,000 DVD reviews. Enjoy!
Have a great weekend!
(LATE UPDATE - 4/4/02 - 11:30 AM PST)
A couple more things for you today... we've got artwork for Warner's
2-disc V: The Final Battle DVD
which streets later this year (date TBA).
We've also confirmed that the studio will release a Blazing
Saddles: Special Edition DVD sometime in 2002 as well, along
with Strange Brew, new Poltergeist
and Gremlins DVDs, Gremlins
2 and Meet Me in St. Louis.
Good news to be sure!
In other news, we've contacted Buena Vista and be aware that there is
no delay in shipments of Dick Tracy
on their end. It may just be that some retailers are slow to get them
out to stores and on to shelves.
And finally, speak of Buena Vista we've updated
Rumor Mill with word of their upcoming Walt
Disney Treasures, Wave 2 DVDs, which are expected late in
(LATE UPDATE -
4/4/02 - 12:01 AM PST)
We've got details for you this morning on a pair of newly announced DVD
releases. First up is Miramax's Amélie,
which is due on July 16th (SRP $29.99). Look for anamorphic widescreen
video, French Dolby Digital 5.1 audio with optional English subtitles,
The Amélie Effect and A
Look at Amélie featurettes, The
Fantasies of Audrey Tautou, Q&A with the director and
cast, cast audition footage, a storyboard comparison, An
Intimate Chat with Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Inside
the Making of Amélie home movies, the A
Quai music video, trailers and TV spots, The
Amélie Scrapbook featuring behind-the-scenes photos
and artwork, The Garden Gnome's Travels
and storyboards and more. Note that many of the video extras are in the
original French audio, with English subtitles.
Also on the way is Lion's Gate's Monster's
Ball, which streets on June 11th (SRP $24.99). The disc will
feature anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, audio
commentary by director Marc Forster and director of photography Roberto
Schaefer, a second audio commentary by Halle Berry, Billy Bob Thornton
and director Marc Forster, deleted scenes, outtakes, the Making
of the Music featurette, the theatrical trailer and more.
Gotta say, I'm really looking forward to that actors' commentary. Bravo
to Halle and Billy Bob for agreeing to do it.
In other upcoming DVD news, we've gotten word that USA's already
announced releases of Gosford Park
and Orgazmo have been put on
temporary hold. As we've mentioned recently, USA Home Entertainment is
being folded into Universal, which is re-evaluating the release dates
for the USA's previously announced titles. Look for new street dates to
be announced soon.
Those of you waiting for Digital Cinema to make film go the way of the
dodo at your local cineplex will be happy to learn that a new coalition
of Hollywood's seven major studios has been formed to establish
technology standards (see
this link for details via Yahoo). There are a lot of issues to be
resolved, including just who will fund the conversion of theaters to
digital. Current digital projectors cost more than $150,000 each, but
that price is expected to decline as manufacturing gets more active.
Right now, only 27 screens here in the U.S. are so equipped, a number
that's expected to rise at least slightly in time for the May 16th debut
of Star Wars: Episode II, which is
the first major film to be shot totally digitally (click
here for more on that from MSNBC). Those of you who have seen a
digital projection know that while it doesn't look quite as good as film
yet, the day will come (sometime in the not too distant future) when
it's film's equal. You can't beat the fact that the film looks great
every time you see it, free of scratches and other wear and projection
related problems. And you guys thought it was just TV that was going
Speaking of digital projection, film critic and famous thumb Roger
Ebert's not exactly a fan of the trend (read his rant on the subject
Gotta say, I couldn't disagree with you more, Roger. I appreciate your
points, but I know you agree with my belief that desktop digital
filmmaking is allowing a whole new generation of young filmmakers to
express themselves, injecting the industry with a badly needed hit of
creativity. Sure, some will suck like bad cable access, and there will
be way too many Star Wars &
Star Trek fan films. But one only
needs to look at such big-budget studio fare as Battlefield:
Earth to realize that Hollywood's already perfected the art
of sucking with $100 million budgets. Who knows? The next Kubrick,
Kurosawa or Spielberg might be reading these very words. And digital
projection is only the natural extension of that process. Maybe it's
been a while since you've been to a theater where 20 screens are being
run by one poorly paid, teenaged projectionist, but projection quality
is really suffering at a lot of places these days. All that said, I'd
love to see that MaxiVision48 system myself. ;-)
Speaking of Episode II, the line
at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood officially begins this evening at 7
PM PST, just FYI. No kidding (click
here for details). 42 days and counting...
And finally this morning, we've added more new
DVD Cover Art for you to enjoy (on pages
including Monster's Ball, Star
Trek: The Next Generation - Season Four, S.O.B.,
Deep, South Park: Insults to
Injuries, Wolfen, Time
After Time, the rest of the Warner art from yesterday, the
final Kate & Leopold art and
new temp art for other titles yet to be announced (but slated for this
year) including the Star Trek II: Collector's
Edition, E.T. and A
A big shout out to all our DVD homies. And for you readers in the Holy
Land on both sides of this mess (and I know there are at least a few of
you), please keep your heads down and stay safe. Our thoughts and
prayers are with you all.
(LATE UPDATE - 4/3/02 - 1:30 PM PST)
One last post today barring some surprise announcement. We've got the
final DVD artwork for Columbia TriStar's Black
Hawk Down movie-only edition (6/11), along with a sneak peek
at artwork for a trio of upcoming Warner DVDs (street date TBA) - Clash
of the Titans, Collateral Damage
and The Majestic. Enjoy!
You'll also be happy to learn that Warner plans to release The
Iron Giant: Special Edition and a Gremlins:
Special Edition later this year, along with DVD editions of
Time After Time and Wolfen.
(LATE UPDATE -
4/3/02 - 11 AM PST)
We've gotten details on Columbia TriStar's Black
Hawk Down DVD (street date 6/11). The initial release will be
basically a movie-only edition, including anamorphic widescreen video,
Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, an On the Set
featurette, theatrical trailers and filmographies (SRP $27.96). Fans of
the film may want to hold off however, as a more elaborate special
edition version of the film on DVD is already in the works for late in
the year or early next year. You'll get audio commentaries and lots more
if you're patient. Just FYI.
Columbia TriStar's DVD release strategy these days seems to follow this
pattern - a standard edition initial release, followed by a special
edition later and eventually a SuperBit or SuperBit Deluxe release for
some select titles. And that would be fine... if they told you they were
doing it so you could wait for the version you want, rather than buying
multiple versions of the same film on DVD. Is it driving anyone else
crazy? Let's hope this doesn't hold true for Panic
Room and Spider-Man.
(EARLY UPDATE - 4/3/02
- 10:30 AM PST)
A lot of people have been asking why they can't find Buena Vista's Dick
Tracy DVD in stores this week (it was supposed to street
yesterday). I'm looking into this with the studio as we speak, but I
expect the disc to arrive in stores any day. We've gotten a few e-mails
from readers who have gotten copies at CostCo stores, just FYI. But
you'll be happy to learn that when you do get your hands on the disc,
you'll find both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio options AND anamorphic
widescreen video. I checked this myself, with my copy. Watch for a
Also this morning, we've got word on Columbia TriStar's 2-disc Starship
Troopers: Special Edition DVD (street date 5/28, SRP $27.95).
The disc will include anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital 5.1
audio, audio commentary by Paul Verhoeven and cast members, a second
commentary by Paul Verhoeven and Ed Neumeier, the film's isolated Score,
cast and crew filmographies, deleted scenes, the Death
from Above documentary, a "behind-the-scenes"
featurettes, screen tests, scene deconstructions by Paul Verhoeven and
special effects comparisons for eight sequences. Hoo-rah, marines!
And here's a cool surprise - Wellspring is working to replace Fox
Lorber's crappy old DVD version of Akira Kurosawa's Ran
with a new Ran: Masterworks Edition.
No word yet on features (except 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen video), and
the disc won't be available until 2003... UNLESS you happen to preorder
their Limited Edition Kurosawa Collection
boxed set which is only available on
(street date 9/9 - SRP $129.98 - Amazon's price is $99.89). This 3-disc
set will include the Ran: Masterworks Edition,
along with Madadayo and the Kurosawa
documentary (Madadayo is already
out and Kurosawa streets
separately on 4/23). You'll also get a Ran
mini-poster, 4 5x7 photographs, a multi-page booklet, a Japanese-style
miniature shoji screen and a certificate of authenticity. Only 5,000
numbered limited edition sets will be made, so pre-order yours quick!
Thanks to Jason M. for the heads up!
(LATE UPDATE - 4/2/02 - 4 PM PST)
To finish off our update for today, we've got lots more
DVD Cover Artwork for you to check out. Almost every page of
the section has been updated with new art, including Thumbtanic,
Not Another Teen Movie, Macbeth,
Corky Romano, Memento:
Limited Edition, Men in Black:
Deluxe Edition, Mr. Deeds Goes to
Town: Keepsake Edition, Starship
Troopers: Special Edition, Muppet
Treasure Island, The Shipping News,
20 Million Miles to Earth, Star
Trek: The Next Generation: Season Three, The
Imposter, Tarzan & Jane,
the new SuperBit titles, The Lord of the
Rings and more. We've also got temporary artwork in place for
titles like Black Hawk Down and
Amelie that have been announced,
but that have no official cover art yet. Enjoy!
Also this afternoon, we've got details on Home Vision's planned DVD
release of Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman.
The first five episodes (of seventeen total) will be released this year,
including 1. Zatoichi Monogatari (The Life
and Opinion of Masseur Ichi), 2.
Zoku Zatoichi Monogatari (The Return of Masseur Ichi), 3.
Shin Zatoichi Monogatari (Masseur Ichi Enters Again), 4.
Zatoichi Kyo Jyo Tabi (Masseur Ichi, the Fugitive) and 5.
Zatoichi Kenka-Tabi (Zatoichi on the Road). The first two
titles (see artwork above) will street on May 14th, with the other three
following in October and the rest in 2003. Expect each disc to include
restored video in the original aspect ratio, remixed sound, a
collectable poster and a stills gallery (SRP $19.95 each). More details
will follow when they become available.
(LATE UPDATE - 4/2/02 - 1:30 PM PST)
We've got official street dates on several Oscar-nominated Buena Vista
titles. Look for Amélie on
7/16, In the Bedroom on 8/13 and
Iris on 8/20.
And there are lots of other recently announced DVDs too. Columbia
TriStar upcoming titles include Mr. Deeds
Goes to Town: Keepsake Edition (5/21), Real
Genius (6/11) and 20 Million Miles
to Earth (6/25). A&E has added The
Avengers '68, Sets 3 & 4 to its 4/30 slate. Artisan will
release John Wayne's Dakota on
5/21. HBO's War Stories is coming
on 5/21 (and yes, they will release Band of
Brothers on DVD later this year). Trimark will bow Monster's
Ball on 6/11. MPI has a Dark
Shadows 4-disc set due on 5/28 (DAMN I'd love to see that!).
And Rhino will release Death Machines
and Super Chick on 5/14.
Around the site today, we've updated the
Top 100 Films on DVD list (to make red The
African Queen) and the
DVD Player Sales chart (with March week 3 numbers), so do
check them out.
Back soon with more...
(EARLY UPDATE - 4/2/02 - 12:01 AM PST)
Okay... I'm officially falling out of my seat laughing. I can't believe
how many e-mails I got from people either complaining about the features
on the A Beautiful Mind: Collector's Edition
Full Screen DVD Interactive Playset, or excited about the
Supertrain DVD "news".
Seriously, I'm not kidding - a lot of people didn't get that it was an
April Fools joke. Which, frankly, is funnier than the joke itself as far
as we're concerned! Go back and read it a little closer folks... ;-)
We'll be back later this morning with our usual post. Stay tuned.
Hey, gang! Hope you all had a great holiday weekend. In the spirit of
the day today (wink!), we've just gotten the complete list of details on
Universal's forthcoming A Beautiful Mind:
Collector's Edition Full Screen DVD Interactive Playset,
which streets on 6/12 (SRP $99.95).
Special features include a new high-definition, digital transfer of the
PG-13, 134-minute cut in rental friendly full screen (1.33:1 aspect
ratio - because Blockbuster demanded it), custom "pop-up"
playset packaging recreating three scenes from the film: John's
Game Theory (move the characters in on the cute blonde girl),
Charles and John Desk Throw
(Charles and John throw a desk out of a window) and John
and the Baby (move Alicia to the tub to take the baby out of
the water), HBO Spotlight on Location
featurette, 3 deleted scenes (including John and Bender sharing an
intimate kiss, a conversation between William Parcher and John about
John's fear of deli meat and Clint Howard playing one of John imaginary
friends), Gag Reel (featuring
Russell Crowe and company breaking out in hysterics while Ron Howard
talks about directing Eat My Dust),
Crowe meets Nash featurette
(featuring Russell Crowe meeting John Nash for the first time and the
subsequent "altercation"), Make-Up
Application and Design featurette (showing the elaborate
Oscar nominated make-up work of Greg Cannom), Window
Math photo gallery (an in-depth look at the window math
created by the set department with Do Your
Own Window Math tutorial), Visual
Effects breakdown for "Pentagon Office" sequence,
the Are You Schizophrenic, Are You
Schizophrenic Too? featurette (Dr. Harold Rosenfeld walks you
through a series of Rorschach Tests to help you both determine if you
might need professional help), My Mind is
Beautiful music video by Dwight Yoakam, Beautiful
Day music video by U2, multi-angle footage of John Nash's
actual Nobel Prize acceptance speech and Russell Crowe as Nash giving
same speech from film, complete text of Russell Crowe's BFI Best Actor
acceptance speech including his reading of Sanctity
by Patrick Kavanagh, John Nash's Top 10
Rejected Truly Original Ideas, 2 Universal Theme Park
commercials, By the Numbers fact
sheet, theatrical trailer, production notes, cast and crew bios,
recommended titles, DVD newsletter, John's
Playhouse section with human calculator game and secret code
Easter eggs (look through magazine articles for clues to unlocking
additional bonus material on the DVD), How to
Find Things on This DVD menu instructional overview, Ron
Howard's Baseball Caps interactive dress-up game, DVD-ROM
features (including A Beautiful Mind
X-Box "first person shooter" game demo, weblinks and screen
savers), DVS (Descriptive Video Service) audible menu navigation
feature, animated film-themed menu screens with sound, audio in English
(DD & DTS 5.1) and French (DD 5.1) and English subtitles. The
packaging also includes a wax crayon and a set of collectible, limited
edition flash cards depicting potential imaginary friends of your very
own. Should be a hoot! ;-)
Also this afternoon, there's very nearly unreliable word that a classic
NBC TV series may be on its way to DVD... Supertrain:
The Complete First and Only Season! More on that next April
And in a more reality-based note today (seriously), there's word that
Warner is planning a restored DVD re-release of Singin'
in the Rain for the film's 50th Anniversary. Look for the
disc to include a new documentary as well, and to street this fall.
here for more on this via Yahoo.
One last note... our e-mail's been a little buggy this weekend and
today, so be patient if you're trying to contact us.
All right. First up, Greg and Dan have checked in this afternoon with a
pair of new DVD reviews - Dimension's
Monkey and New Line's
Also today, our own Todd Doogan's got another
Views column for you. This week, he debuts the first of our
new videogame reviews, this time for the XBox. Todd looks at All
Star Baseball 2003, Blood
or Alive 3, Genma
Onimusha and RalliSport
Challenge. Once a month he'll take a look at more games, and
every now and then we'll review PS2 and GameCube titles as well. Look
for those in the new
section of our Review Page.
Todd's also got his
of 10 DVDs Coming Next Week, so be sure to check it out.
We've been getting a few e-mails from readers mentioning that the
Region 2 press releases for The Lord of the
Rings 4-disc edition claim that DTS will be on the discs.
These readers are therefore assuming it's a certainly that DTS will be
on the discs. Keep in mind that... well, DVD spec information often gets
released awfully early in R2. In my opinion, far too early to be
accurate. New Line is still working on these discs. They've indicated
that their plan is to add DTS on the 4-disc set, but this is only
tentative at the moment. They'll confirm when they can. Unless the
people who wrote the press releases in R2 are working on the discs,
which I very much doubt, I'd say we ought to give New Line the benefit
of the doubt and just be patient. I know that's tough for some to do,
but there it is.
Now then... please have a safe and happy holiday weekend, whether you
celebrate Easter or Passover or what have you. Don't eat too much candy,
give your loved ones a hug and take the time to really appreciate what's
most important to you. See you back here on Monday. ;-)