UPDATE - 7/22/02 - 5 PM PDT)
The first two DVD reviews of the week are now online, including Matt
Rowe's look at MGM's recent
Last Waltz: Special Edition and Dan Kelly's take on Buena
Vista's recent Swiss
Family Robinson: Walt Disney Treasures 2-disc set. Watch for
more reviews tomorrow.
Also this afternoon, we've got a look at the DVD cover artwork and
specs for Fox's upcoming Malcolm in the
Middle: The Complete First Season (street date 10/29 - SRP
The 3-disc set will include all 16 first-season episodes (including the
new-for-DVD extended pilot episode), along with the Malcolm
in the Middle: A Stroke of Genius featurette, running audio
commentary on select episodes, the first season gag reel, deleted
scenes, alternate show openings, the original cold open for The
Bots and the Bees, the Malcolm "TVOgraphy",
"Malcolm Vision" widescreen bloopers, Behind
the Middle (a behind-the-scenes sneak preview of Season Two),
Dewey's Day Job featurette (a
portrait of Erik Per Sullivan) and first season promotional TV spots.
Video is full frame (1.33:1), with audio in English 4.0 Surround, French
Dolby Surround and Spanish Dolby Surround.
(EARLY UPDATE - 7/22/02 - 10:45 AM PDT)
We've just announced the winners of our FAB Fox
Trivia Contest. Congratulations to them and thanks to all 933
people who entered.
In the meantime, this week is going to be all about reviews. So we'll
be back this afternoon with the first of many this week.
(LATE UPDATE - 7/19/02 - 2 PM PDT)
We're going out with a nifty little bang this week! Here's your first
look at the final DVD cover artwork and spec list for Fox's 24:
The Complete First Season, which streets on 9/17 (SRP
The 6-disc set will include all 24 first season episodes, along with
video of Kiefer Sutherland introducing Season
One and teasing Season Two,
and an alternate ending to the season's final episode with optional
audio commentary. Video is anamorphic widescreen. Audio is English Dolby
Surround, with Spanish and English subtitles.
By the way, the press release Fox is sending out today says full frame
1.33:1, but I have CONFIRMED officially with the studio this afternoon
that the release is incorrect - the discs are indeed anamorphic
widescreen. Just FYI.
We'll be back Monday with some great new disc reviews, including New
Line's Blade II: Platinum Series.
See you then! ;-)
(EARLY UPDATE -
7/19/02 - 10:30 AM PDT)
Okay... we've been getting a TON of e-mail over the last couple days
from people who are complaining that Buena Vista's upcoming Heavenly
Creatures DVD (street date 9/24) will be in full frame only.
It seems BVHE's press site inadvertently had it listed as 1.33:1 and
that's been spreading all over the Net, getting fans of director Peter
Jackson all twisted up in knots. The capper was an "outraged"
on Ain't-it-Cool just this morning.
It seems in all this outrage, no one actually bothered to contact Buena
Vista directly to confirm this. So we did a few minutes ago. Guess what?
We've been firmly assured that the studio press site was in error, and
that Heavenly Creatures will
indeed be released in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 on DVD. So
everyone can relax now. Put down your pitch-forks and hangin' ropes.
Repeat after me, "Everything's gonna be all right..." ;-)
Now then... we've got a little more cool upcoming DVD artwork for you:
Warner's The Salton Sea and Monday
Night Mayhem (both 9/10), and Columbia TriStar's Snatch:
SuperBit Deluxe and The Mask of
Zorro: SuperBit Deluxe (both 9/17)
(LATER UPDATE - 7/18/02 - 3 PM PDT)
This afternoon brings a nice little treat for you Friday
the 13th fans... a look at the DVD cover artwork for New
Line's Jason X: Platinum Series
and Jason Goes to Hell (which, as
we reported a few days ago, both street on 10/8).
Both titles can now be preordered from our software sponsor DVD
(LATE UPDATE - 7/18/02 -
11 AM PDT)
We've got a look at four new titles on the way from our friends at
Criterion: Hopscotch (street date:
8/20), Ratcatcher (8/20), Spellbound
(9/10) and Man Bites Dog (9/10).
Hopscotch will include a new
high-definition anamorphic widescreen transfer (2.35:1), video
introduction with interviews by director Ronald Neame and novelist and
screenwriter Brian Garfield, the original theatrical trailer and TV
spot, Dolby Digital mono audio and English subtitles for the deaf and
hearing impaired (SRP $29.95).
Ratcacher will feature a new
digital anamorphic widescreen transfer (1.85:1), a 2002 video interview
with director Lynne Ramsay, three short films by Lynne Ramsay (Gasman,
Kill the Day and Small
Deaths), a stills gallery, Dolby Digital stereo audio and
English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired (SRP $29.95).
Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound
will include a new digital film transfer in the film's original full
frame aspect ration (1.33:1), with both film and sound restoration
(includes new theater entrance and exit music cues by composer Miklos
Rozsa), audio commentary by Hitchcock scholar Marian Keane, a definitive
illustrated essay on the Salvador Dali dream sequence by James Bigwood,
the complete 1948 Lux Radio Theatre
adaptation starring Joseph Cotton and Alida Valli, essays by Hitchcock
scholars Lesley Brill, Leonard Leff and Dan Auiler, excepts from a 1973
interview with composer Miklos Rozsa, a gallery of hundreds of photos
and documents on the film's production, the theatrical trailer, Dolby
Digital mono audio and more (SRP $39.95).
And finally, Man Bites Dog will
feature a new digital anamorphic widescreen film transfer (1.66:1), a
1993 video interview with the filmmakers, the filmmakers' short film
No C4 for Daniel-Daniel, a stills
gallery, the original theatrical trailer, Dolby Digital mono audio and a
new and improved English subtitle translation (SRP $29.95).
By the way, I wanted to make note of something here. A lot of you have
been asking if Columbia TriStar's Spider-Man
DVDs will include the teaser trailer that featured the World Trade
Center twin towers. I've asked the studio about this, but they aren't
saying anything officially. I'm guessing they don't want to stir up
controversy whether the trailer is in the disc or not. But as soon as we
know for sure, we'll post it here.
(EARLY UPDATE - 7/18/02 - 12:01 AM PDT)
We've updated our authorized mirror copy of Jim Taylor's
DVD FAQ to its latest version this morning, dated July 7th.
We've also done a little archiving around the site to make things run a
We'll be back later this morning with more, but I wanted to make a
quick personal note here first. If you live in the Minneapolis area and
you frequent the theater, my younger brother, Jason Smith, is going to
be performing a one-man show over the next couple of weekends. It's
Mavis... or How I Got My Ass Out of North Dakota and Remained Sane.
You may have seen this banner, which we currently have running around
The show is playing July 19th, 20th, 26th and 27th at the Center for
Independent Artists (4137 Bloomington Avenue South, in the new El
Colegio Charter School building in South Minneapolis). Showtime on each
night is 8PM and tickets run $15 each. I'm told they're selling fast, so
click on the links above (or
if you're interested. You can also e-mail for tickets at:
Hey... what's a big brother for if he can't plug your latest gig,
(LATER UPDATE -
7/17/02 - 4 PM PDT)
We're very pleased to bring you the latest column on film and DVD by
our own Robert Harris. This week, Robert covers a lot of ground, from
Vinegar Syndrome and film grain to digital restoration and aspect
ratios. So be sure to read
Syndrome is a Gas, Gas, Gas and then click on over to
link at the Home Theater Forum
to discuss what he's got to say this time.
Also, we've just launched the new
Contest, giving each of you the chance to take home a 4-pack
of great FAB spy flicks from 20th Century Fox.
And we've got a surprise for you this afternoon too - a look at a pair
of DVD menu screen shots from Columbia TriStar's upcoming Spider-Man
DVD! Here you go...
Also, we have a few details on those Disney TV boxed sets. Felicity
and Once and Again will each
include their entire first seasons, plus the pilot episodes for each
show. As we said before, Sports Night
will include the entire two-season series. All three will be presented
in their original full frame TV broadcast aspect ratios.
(LATE UPDATE - 7/17/02
- 11:30 AM PDT)
We've got some cool news direct from the DVD Entertainment Group (DEG)
today. In only its 5th year as a viable format, the one-billionth DVD
software unit is anticipated to ship to retail here in North America
this month! Pre-recorded video cassettes took nearly 10 years to reach
this same benchmark. The DVD Entertainment Group also expects more than
20 million DVD players to have shipped in 2002 by year's end. If
growth continues at the current rate, DVD will be in more than 40
million households by the end of 2002," says Reid Sullivan, DEG
board member and Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. vice president,
entertainment group. When you also include the growing number of
PCs with DVD-ROM drives and game consoles with DVD capability, nearly 50
percent of U.S. homes will have the format by year-end."
And that's something to crow about. You early adopters remember when
you had the only DVD player in your neighborhood or even your town?
DVD's definitely come a LONG way in 5 short years!
Back with a Trivia Contest and
Robert Harris' new column this afternoon. Stay tuned...
(EARLY UPDATE - 7/17/02 - 10 AM PDT)
As we first reported here in
Rumor Mill last month, Buena Vista has officially announced
the DVD release of Sports Night,
Felicity and Once
and Again for November 5th. Each title will carry an SRP of
$79.99. Sports Night will include
the entire series (2 seasons of 30-minute episodes), while the other
sets will include the first seasons of each series. All of these shows
were produced by Imagine Entertainment. Once
and Again and Sports Night
were shown on ABC, while Felicity
appeared on the WB Network. There's no word yet on features and extras,
but we'll let you know as soon as we do.
Also today, the studio has revealed its second wave of Walt Disney
Treasures. Look for Mickey Mouse in Black and
White, The Complete Goofy
and Behind the Scenes at the Walt Disney
Studio, all on December 3rd. There's no word yet on whether
Wartime Cartoons is still planned
for release, or if it will be replaced with another title.
Oh, but there's more! New Line has officially announced the DVD release
of Jason X: Platinum Series, which
is set to street on October 8th (SRP $26.98). You'll get anamorphic
widescreen video, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 audio, the theatrical
trailer, commentary (by director Jim Issac, writer Todd Farmer and
producer Noel Cunningham), 2 original documentaries (The
Many Lives of Jason Voorhees and By
Any Means Necessary), the "jump to a death"
feature, and a DVD-ROM "script-to-screen" feature, along with
the original website.
Also available that same day will be Jason
Goes to Hell for $19.98 (with anamorphic widescreen and full
frame versions of both the R-rated and Unrated versions of the film,
along with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, audio commentary with director Adam
Marcus and writer Dean Lorey and the "jump to a death"
feature). And New Line has also announced Brother's
Keeper for 10/8 (SRP $24.98).
Finally this morning, if (like me) you ran out to get yourself a copy
of The Dave Matthews Band's new Busted Stuff
CD yesterday (which is a studio re-tooling of the infamous Lillywhite
Sessions), you got a little bonus: a DVD Video disc that
includes video of Bartender and
When the World Ends performed
live, along with a 5.1 studio mix of Busted
Stuff. Not a bad little incentive to buy a CD, if you ask
Back with more later...
20th Century Fox has announced the DVD release of 24:
The Complete First Season on 9/17. This marks the first time
a studio will release a TV series to DVD prior to a syndication run. "We
wanted to get this DVD out there before season two started and really
give the audience out there a chance to find this show," says Peter
Staddon, senior VP for Fox Home Entertainment marketing. "The DVD
is going to be a way to solidify and build on its core audience."
The set will carry an SRP of $59.98, and will include the series on 6
discs, with 4 episode on each disc. The episodes will also be presented
in anamorphic widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Because
of the short amount of prep time for the set (some 2 1/2 months vs. the
usual 6 months), the set will feature only a handful of extras. These
will include an alternate ending for the season's final episode, audio
commentary on "never-broadcast" scenes by executive producers
Joel Surnow and Cochran, a preview of season two and an "impact
card" featuring the second season premiere date. Future seasons
will include greater extra material and will be released promptly
subsequent to each season's broadcast run. You can read more
Variety at this link at Yahoo.
And don't miss our major update of the
DVD Cover Artwork section, which we posted last night.
(LATER UPDATE - 7/15/02 - 9 PM PDT)
Okay... last post today! We've just updated the
DVD Cover Artwork section with more than 100 new scans of
upcoming titles. There are titles from Columbia TriStar, Image
Entertainment, Warner Bros, MGM and more. We've got huge titles,
independent titles, feature films, documentaries, cheesy horror flicks,
music titles - you name it. Every page has at least some new art, and
you can preorder most of it right now from our software sponsor,
Planet, with the links provided. And don't forget - we very
much appreciate your continuing support of DVD Planet, which is a big
supporter of us here at The Digital Bits.
So enjoy the art and we'll be back tomorrow!
(LATER UPDATE - 7/15/02
- 3 PM PDT)
Here's a quick post with good news for you South
Park fans. Warner Home Video will release their South
Park: The Complete First Season DVD boxed set on 11/12. Also,
Babylon 5: The Complete First Season
now has an official street date on 11/5.
(LATE UPDATE - 7/15/02 - NOON PDT)
All right... we're still working on that Upcoming DVD Artwork update
for you today, but with these announcements coming in, we've been
scrambling a little bit this morning. But it's all worth it for this -
we've got your first look at the DVD cover art for the just announced
Spider-Man! Here it is:
(EARLY UPDATE -
7/15/02 - 10 AM PDT)
Well... we knew it was coming. And sure enough, Columbia TriStar this
morning announced the details on their forthcoming Spider-Man
DVD release. Set for Friday, November 1st (yes, Friday), the 2-disc set
will include a plethora of bonus features, and will be available in both
anamorphic widescreen and full frame editions (note that the SRP was not
Disc One will include the film in either anamorphic widescreen or full
frame video, with audio in English & French 5.1 Dolby Digital,
subtitles in English, French & Spanish, the Weaving
the Web subtitle factoid track, audio commentary (with
director Sam Raimi, producer Laura Ziskin, actress Kirsten Dunst and
co-producer Grant Curtis), a SFX audio commentary (with SFX designer
John Dykstra and the visual effects crew), "branching web-i-sodes"
(access via Spider-Sense), trailers & TV spots, filmographies &
character files, 2 music videos (Chad Kroeger featuring Josey Scott -
Hero & Sum 41 - What
We're All About), plus DVD-ROM features including a
comic/feature comparison, a record your own commentary option, a Countdown
to Spider-Man 2 and weblinks.
Disc Two will deliver the HBO Making of
Spider-Man special, Spider-Mania
(an E! Entertainment Special), a director profile on Sam Raimi, a
composer profile on Danny Elfman, screen test footage for Tobey Maguire,
J.K. Simmons and CGI Spider-Man, costume and makeup tests, a gag/outtake
reel, conceptual art & production design gallery, the Spider-Man:
The Mythology of the 21st Century historical documentary,
The Spider-Man Comic Book Archives,
a "Rogues Gallery", The Loves of
Peter Parker, a comic book artist pin-up gallery, Activision
game hints & tips and DVD-ROM features including 2 PC-playable
levels of the Activision Game, 3 exclusive Marvel dot.comics (Spider-Man:
Blue #1, Black Cat #1
and Peter Parker: Return of the Goblin)
and the Spider-Man "visualizer".
You can read more on this
this Variety story at Yahoo.
Also announced today is Trimark's Frailty
(street date 9/17, SRP $24.99). Look for the disc to include anamorphic
widescreen video, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, subtitles in English &
Spanish, audio commentary with director Bill Paxton, a second audio
commentary (with Paxton, producer David Kirshner, composer Brian Tiler
and editor Arnold Glassman), a third audio commentary by writer Brent
Hanley, a "making of" featurette, the Sundance Channel
presents Anatomy of the Scene, a
photographic presentation by James Hamilton, deleted scenes and the
theatrical trailer. Here's a look at the cover artwork:
Back with more later...
(LATER UPDATE - 7/12/02 - 2:30 PM PDT)
Well... our studio sources have checked in with so much new upcoming
DVD cover artwork, that it's going to take a lot longer to get it all
prepped for the site. So look for that on Monday morning, along with the
next column from Robert Harris.
In the meantime, though, we've got more new DVD announcements for you
today. Look for ADV to release Farscape:
Season 2, Volume 2 on 9/17. Anchor Bay will release Near
Dark on 9/10. Artisan's Within
These Walls is set for 8/20. Paramount's announced its slate
of September DVDs, including Boomerang,
Festival in Cannes, The
History of Bevis and Butt-Head (a 32-episode collection),
The Read World: Exotic Vacations,
The Real World - New York: The Complete First
Season and Trading Places
(all on 9/24), and I Love Lucy: The 50th
Anniversary Special, I Love Lucy:
Season 1, Volume 3 and I Love
Lucy: Season 1, Volume 4 (on 10/1). Rhino will bow Transformers:
Beast Wars #2 on 8/13. And Sony Music will release Underdog:
Chronicles and Underdog: Nemesis
Now then, we'll be back Monday with artwork and Robert Harris's new
column. Also next week, we'll have several new DVD reviews and all the
announcements from this year's VSDA Convention in Las Vegas.
So have a great weekend and stay tuned...!
(LATE UPDATE - 7/12/02
- NOON PDT)
We've got word on another great batch of Warner titles on the way. Look
The Bourne Identity (1988 - TV) on
8/27, Little Big League on 9/3,
Death to Smoochy on 9/17, Murder
by Numbers on 9/24, Stephen King's
It, Auntie Mame, Bloodsport,
Stephen King's Cat's Eye, The
Curse of Frankenstein, Firefox,
Heartbreat Ridge, Horror
of Dracula, The Shop Around the
Corner, Strange Brew,
The Thin Man and A
Perfect World on 10/1. And we've also got word that New
Line's Jason Goes to Hell will hit
DVD on 10/8, along with Warner's Richie
Rich's Christmas Wish. And finally, Fingers
will street on 11/5.
We also have word today on a new upcoming title from MGM - you'll find
that in The
Around the Net today, Yahoo has a couple of interesting DVD-related
stories. The first is on how
piracy is flourishing in Asia and the second deals with
growing popularity of DVD - DVD player sales are expected to
outpace VCR sales for the first time this year and Borders Books and
Music as joined Circuit City in no longer carrying VHS titles.
And we've got something you Speed Racer
fans should consider today.
Cool Stuff.com is offering a limited edition DVD release of
the complete series in a boxed set. The good is that all 52 episodes are
included. The bad is that they're all included on just 5-discs (don't
ask me what the video compression must be like) and the set runs a
Okay... we'll be back with another Upcoming
DVD Artwork update this afternoon.
(EARLY UPDATE - 7/12/02 - 12:01 AM PDT)
We've got a little somethin' cool for you Babylon
5 fans out there this morning. How about your first look at
the box art for Warner's upcoming Babylon 5:
The Complete First Season on DVD? Here it is...
We've don't have details on the set yet, but we expect an official
announcement shortly, so stay tuned.
Back later with more... ;-)
DVD Player Sales numbers seem to be a little screwy these
days, what with all the adjustments happening because of the addition of
DVD/VCR combo players. So if they happen to change, you'll know why. But
we've nevertheless updated our charts with the number of players
shipping in the week ending 6/21 - 390,900 players.
Also today, we're hearing reports from a number of sources that Region
2 street dates for the Star Wars: Episode II
DVD are starting to be announced by various international distributors.
Denmark and parts of Europe will apparently see the disc on 11/15. We'll
keep you up to date on this, and we'll let you know as soon as a Region
1 announcement is made.
Fans of Columbia TriStar's Resident Evil
will be surprised to learn that a more deluxe, 2-disc DVD version of the
film will be released later this year. This comes from director Paul
Anderson (via Empire
There was a different ending to start with,
says Anderson, so thatll be on the disc. Therell be a
lot of additional commentary, a lot of documentary stuff on the visual
effects. We did a special feature where I got together with Marilyn
Manson and we talk about scoring the movie, which is an additional shoot
that we did, so therell be a tonne of stuff. In America theyre
doing two versions, the first version is the regular movie with directors
commentary and trailers and stuff like that but then later in the year
theres going to be a special, special edition with
theres so much stuff itll be on two DVDs.
The initial, single-disc special edition version streets on 7/30.
Last, but not least this afternoon, we've got a look at Image
Entertainment's upcoming DVD release slate through the end of September.
Look for Don't Try This at Home: The Steve-O
Video: Special Edition (8/27), Asylum
of Satan/Satan's Children: Special Edition, Hills
Have Eyes 2, Island of the Sharks:
IMAX, Kidsongs: Boppin' With the
Biggles, Kidsongs: Cars, Boats,
Trains and Planes, Kidsongs: Ride
the Rollercoaster, Kidsongs: We
Wish You a Merry Christmas, Prowler:
Special Edition, Shackleton's
Antarctic Adventure: IMAX, Shock
Waves: Special Edition, Tabu: A
Story of the South Seas: Special Edition, Toolbox
Murders: Special Edition and Underwaterworld
Trilogy: Deep Encounters/Ocean Allies/Blue Voices (all 9/3),
Adrenaline Fix: White Knuckle Extreme,
Griffith: Years of Discovery 1909-1913: Special Edition, Death
in Venice: Britten, Dracula, Dirty
Old Man/Guess What Happened to Count Dracula: Special Edition,
Fox: The Blockbuster Years, Hardly
Angels: White Knuckle Extreme, John
Lee Hooker: Live in Montreal: Montreal Jazz Festival and Naked
Evil/Exorcism at Midnight (all 9/10), Bobby
Vinton: Live: Songs from My Heart, Cologne
Music Triennale: Britten/Debussy/Ravel/Rihm, Embrace
the Darkness 3, John and Yoko's
Year of Peace, Keith Jarrett/Gary
Peacock/Jack DeJohnette: Standards #2, Paul
Anka: Night of a Lifetime, Penthouse
Eurogirls: Sexual History #1, Playboy
Exposed: Sports Girls, Playboy TV:
Adult Stars Close Up: Private Lives and Playboy:
Wet and Wild Live: Backstage Pass (all 9/17) and finally Frankenthumb:
Special Edition, Blood Drinkers:
Special Edition, Blood Freak:
Special Edition, Brides of Blood:
Special Edition, Clark Terry: Live
in Concert, Crimson,
Mad Doctor of Blood Island: Special Edition,
Night of the Bloody Apes/Feast of Flesh:
Special Edition, Poncho Sanchez: A
Night at Kimball's East, Reggae
Session, Ronnie Milsap: Live,
Shawn Colvin: Live in Bora Bora: Music in
High Places, Slam from the Street
#3: New York City: 25 Best Playground Dunks! and Slam
from the Street #4: West Coast: Venice Beach: Hoops by the Beach
(all 9/24). Whew!
(LATE UPDATE - 7/10/02 - NOON PDT)
Well... looks like the Ranch has weighed in on the Star
Wars DVD insert scans. Lucasfilm politely asked that they be
removed from the site that originally posted them, which is a surefire
hint that they hit pretty close to home. Just FYI.
We've also posted three more DVD reviews - Matt's look at Sony Music's
Waters: In the Flesh - Live and Adam's two cents on Warner's
Kane and Elite's
of the Living Dead: Millennium Edition.
By the way, our main news search engine on the home page is finally
working again. We're still working on the review search engine, but
we'll let you know as soon as it's fixed.
(EARLY UPDATE - 7/10/02 - 6 AM PDT)
Morning all. Some of you might have missed yesterday's
Mill post, but we've got purported specs on the upcoming Star
Wars: Episode II DVD release (TBA - due later this year). I'm
gonna go out on a limb and say I think they're the real deal. The
details are just too specific, and seem to corroborate everything we've
heard about the title in recent weeks from our sources. And there are
odd little things like the DVD only including the trailer for R2-D2
Beneath the Dome, rather than the entire 3-part "mocumentary"
itself (which is available on Star Wars.com).
If someone were faking this, using a laundry list of the things they'd
LIKE on the DVD, you'd think they would just include the whole thing. It
sounds suspiciously to me like a real disc space issue. Obviously, this
is all still in the category of rumor, and even if it is legit,
EVERYTHING is still tentative until officially announced by Lucasfilm.
But I'll wager that this is darned close to the spec list we'll see when
the title IS announced in the coming weeks.
(LATER UPDATE - 7/9/02 - 4 PM PDT)
Okay... we've taken a closer look at these so-called Episode
II DVD insert scans. We don't know if this is real or not,
and we're looking into it. But the purported spec list is interesting
enough that we've decided to post it in
Rumor Mill. We're working to verify this, and we'll let you
know what we learn. Just FYI...
(LATE UPDATE - 7/9/02 - 1:30 PM PDT)
Three new DVD reviews are now available. Our own Matt Rowe's given
Townshend: Music from Lifehouse a good spin. Jeff Kleist has
checked in with a review of Columbia TriStar's new
Genius. And Adam Jahnke takes a look at MGM's recent
Special Edition. Watch for more reviews coming tomorrow.
In other news, I'm afraid we have another sad note to report today.
Actor Rod Steiger has died here in Los Angeles. The actor will be
remembered for his work in films such as In
the Heat of the Night, On the
Waterfront and Doctor Zhivago.
You can read more
And one last note this afternoon - a number of scans of what purports
to be the case insert (with chapter stop listing) from Fox and
Lucasfilm's upcoming (and as yet unannounced) Star
Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones DVD have been
appearing around the Net. The 2-disc release is definitely in production
(for release in time for the holidays), but whether these scans are the
real deal or not remains to be seen. We'll wait until we can confirm
something official. In the meantime, take everything you're hearing
about the disc with a healthy grain of salt.
(EARLY UPDATE -
7/9/02 - 11 AM PDT)
We've got details on Warner's new 2-disc special edition DVDs today.
Each set will be released on 9/24 in slipcase packaging (like Citizen
Kane) and will include the following extras:
Amadeus: Director's Cut -
anamorphic widescreen video featuring a new director's cut of the film
with more than 20 minutes of added footage, Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0
audio, audio commentary by director Milos Forman and writer Peter
Shaffer, The Making of Amadeus
(37-minute behind-the-scenes documentary), the theatrical trailer and
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest -
anamorphic widescreen video and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, audio
commentary by director Milos Forman and producers Michael Douglas and
Saul Zaentz, The Making of One Flew Over the
Cuckoos Nest (48-minute documentary), eight additional
scenes, the theatrical trailer and cast/crew film highlights.
Singin' In The Rain: 50th Anniversary Edition
- full frame video (OAR) and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, audio commentary
by Debbie Reynolds, Donald O'Connor, Cyd Charisse, Rita Moreno,
screenwriters Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Rudy Behlmer, Stanley
Donen, Baz Luhrman and Kathleen Freeman, the theatrical trailer, the
What a Glorious Feeling
(30-minute) documentary, the Musicals Great
Musicals: The Arthur Freed Unit at MGM (96-minute
documentary), excerpts of movies from which Arthur Freed/Nacio Herb
Brown songs originated, the outtake musical number You
are My Lucky Star, sound stage sessions and a stills gallery.
Unforgiven: 10th Anniversary Edition
- anamorphic widescreen video and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, audio
commentary by Time Magazine film
critic and Eastwood biographer Richard Schickel, the All
on Account of Pullin a Trigger featurette (hosted by
Morgan Freeman), the Eastwood & Co.
Making Unforgiven behind-the-scenes documentary, the Eastwood
on Eastwood retrospective by critic/biographer Richard
Schickel, the classic Maverick TV
series episode Duel at Sundown
(airdate February 1, 1959 - in which Eastwood plays a virtual younger
incarnation of his Unforgiven
role), interviews with Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman and Richard Harris,
the theatrical trailer and cast/crew highlights.
True Romance: Unrated Director's Cut
- anamorphic widescreen video and Dolby Digital 5.1 & 2.0 and DTS
5.1 audio, three separate audio commentaries (with Christian Slater and
Patricia Arquette, director Tony Scott and Quentin Tarantino, 30 minutes
of deleted or extended scenes with optional director commentary,
alternate ending with optional director and writer commentaries,
selective commentaries with Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Brad Pitt and
Michael Rapaport, multi-angle featurette, animated publicity and photo
galleries, vintage 1993 production featurette, theatrical trailers and
TV spots, cast/crew highlights, DVD-ROM screenplay viewer with
storyboards, original production notes and web links.
That's a pretty damn nice batch of bonus material on these discs. By
the way, here's the cover art for True
Romance and Unforgiven,
along with New Line's Teenage Mutant Ninja
Turtles 2 & 3 (both of which street on 9/3).
Also this morning, we've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating.
You'll be happy to know that when MGM's first set of James Bond titles
come back again on 10/22, they'll SRP for just $19.98 each... and these
are the SAME special editions that were available previously! The titles
include Dr. No, GoldenEye,
to Kill, The Man with the Golden
Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me
and Tomorrow Never Dies. All seven
titles are also available in a boxed set for $124.96.
Back soon with reviews, so stay tuned...
(LATE UPDATE - 7/8/02
- 2 PM PDT)
Okay... as promised, we've got a huge
DVD Cover Artwork update for you this afternoon. We've got
more than 60 new cover scans, including Better
Off Dead, In Like Flint,
Our Man Flint, John
Q, Storytelling, Crossroads,
Damage, Dragonfly, Super
Troopers, Deuces Wild,
The Jeffersons, Ed
Wood, Showtime, Revenge
of Frankenstein, Hopscotch,
Van Wilder, The
Sweetest Thing, We Were Soldiers,
High Crimes, Casino
Royale, Blade II, all
the upcoming Outer Limits titles,
Changing Lanes, Grease,
Room, Flashdance, Footloose,
Staying Alive, Urban
Cowboy, Exodus, all the
forthcoming James Bond reissues,
Back to the Future, Ice
Age and lots more. And you can preorder nearly all of them
right now at DVD
Planet.com by clicking on the links on each cover.
There's new art on every page, so don't miss it!
(EARLY UPDATE - 7/8/02 - 12:01 AM PDT)
Let's kick this new week off right, shall we? We're gonna start with a
rundown of newly announced upcoming DVDs. And there are some good ones
in this batch!
Buena Vista starts us off with a re-issue of Buzz
Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Continues on 9/17,
followed by Legend of the Swordsman,
Project Greenlight, Wrong
Guy and Stolen Summer
on 9/24. Columbia TriStar has added The Road
to Wellville to its 9/10 slate. Criterion chimes in with Man
Bites Dog and Spellbound
on 9/10. Lions Gate will deliver R-rated and unrated versions of Vulgar
on 9/3, with their Frality: Special Edition
(yes!) following on 9/17 and Spiders II:
Breeding Ground on 9/24. MGM will release CQ:
Special Edition on 9/10, Spring
Forward on 9/17, Big Bad Love
on 9/24, 8 Heads in a Duffle Bag,
American Ninja 2/American Ninja 3,
Billion Dollar Hobo, Clean
Slate, Longshot/They Went
That-A-Way and That-A-Way, The
Mechanic and Missing in Action
2/Missing in Action 3 on 10/8, and Angel
Levine, Barbary Coast,
The Big Knife, Casino
Royale, Exodus, Hoodlum
Priest, How to Murder Your Wife,
The Russians are Coming, The Russians are
Coming and The World of Henry
Orient on 10/15. New Line will debut Carmen:
A Hip Hopera on 8/20. Paramount will release Star
Trek: The Next Generation - Season Five on 11/5. Showtime
will street Further Tales of the City
on 9/17, with Scotland, PA
following on 10/22. And Warner is releasing a spate of great new titles
and special editions on 9/24, including Amadeus:
The Director's Cut (2002 version), Murder
by Numbers, Once Flew Over the
Cuckoo's Nest: Special Edition, Singin'
in the Rain: 50th Anniversary Edition, True
Romance: Director's Cut and The
Unforgiven: 10th Anniversary Edition. Okay... so maybe Murder
by Numbers doesn't rank well in that group. What's a studio
Speaking of Warner, here's the DVD cover art for their new Amadeus,
Once Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
and Singin' in the Rain DVDs
(2-disc special editions each - all 9/24).
And surprise! That IS indeed the cover art for Columbia TriStar's Panic
Room: SuperBit DVD (street date 9/17). Don't worry though - a
2-disc special edition is also in production for release at a later
Around the site this morning, we've updated the
DVD Player Sales numbers to include the 102,186 players that
shipped to retailers in Region 1 in the week ending 6/14. That takes our
grand total up past the 32 million mark! All charts have been updated
Okay, back with more later this morning. Stay tuned...
Hey gang! Well, I hope you all had a great Fourth of July weekend,
'cause I've had better. I went to bed on Wednesday night with a
splitting headache, and woke up with terrible vertigo. Damn near thought
I'd had an aneurysm or something. It got better as the day went on, but
my holiday was pretty well shot. I spent both Thursday and Friday in
bed, praying for the world to stop spinning. Nothing like a friendly
reminder to slow down once in a while. Needless to say, Friday's post
was a no-go. Not to worry though - we'll have it ready tomorrow morning.
Anyway, part of the reason I wanted to chime in here was a sad bit of
news. Veteran Hollywood director John Frankenheimer died this weekend
here in LA at the age of 72 (see
story). His film work included Birdman
of Alcatraz, Seven Days in May,
Grand Prix, The
Manchurian Candidate, Black Sunday,
French Connection II, George
Wallace and one of my recent favorites, Ronin.
Give a couple of his flicks a spin on DVD in his honor, and we think
you'll enjoy them.
See you in the morning...
As you all know, tomorrow is a holiday here in the States. Sarah and I
have had family here since the weekend, and it's been pretty much
non-stop for about five days now. I've been up all hours working on our
initial D-VHS coverage, as well as the other content we've posted this
week, so I'm beat. And Todd celebrated a birthday this past weekend too
(be sure to drop him a
line and let him know how much you appreciate him!). So anyway,
we're going to be taking the day off tomorrow. But we'll be back on
Friday with new DVD reviews, as well as a big Upcoming
DVD Artwork update.
Speaking of family, Sarah, myself and Sarah's brother, Grant, attended
last night's Angels/Orioles baseball game in Anaheim. Just for fun, we
left our seats mid-game to see what life is like out in the right field
bleachers. In the ninth inning, Baltimore's Jay Gibbons hit a home run
right to us - it was very cool. The homer turned out to be
record setter and so we it made ESPN's Sportscenter
last night. We didn't catch the ball, but you can see us standing right
there next to the people who did. Pretty funny.
All right, kids... have a great and SAFE Fourth of July! Our best to
you and yours and we'll see you back here on Friday. Peace.
We've got in-depth reviews of three of the first D-VHS high-definition
movie releases for you today - Fox's
2: Judgement Day. And to put things in perspective, I've also
few words for you about the D-VHS format in general and what it
means for DVD in particular, as well as notes on our review grading
scale. It's all well worth a look, so don't miss it.
Around the site this morning, we've updated the
DVD Player Sales numbers to include the 199,085 players that
shipped to retailers in the second week of June (ending 6/7). All charts
have been updated accordingly.
MGM has checked in with details on their upcoming Outer
Limits DVDs. First of all, their The
Outer Limits: The Original Series box set contains the entire
first season of the classic series on 4 discs (street date 9/3 - SRP
$79.96). For the record, the episodes are Galaxy
Being, Hundred Days of the Dragon,
The Architects of Fear, The
Man with the Power, Sixth Finger,
The Man Who Was Never Born, O.B.I.T.,
Human Factor, Corpus
It Crawled Out of the Woodwork,
The Borderland, Tourist
Attraction, The Zanti Misfits,
The Mice, Controlled
Experiment, Don't Open Until
Doomsday, ZZZZZZ, The
Invisibles, The Bellero Shield,
Children of the Spider County,
Specimen: Unknown, Second
Chance, Moonstone, The
Mutant, The Guests,
Fun and Games, The
Special One, A Feasibility Study,
Production & Decay of Strange Particles,
The Chameleon and The
Forms of Things Unknown. Whew!
Next up is The Outer Limits: The New Series
- Sex and Science Fiction (9/3 - $14.95 SRP), which will
contain the episodes Caught in the Act,
Bits of Love, Valerie
23, Human Operators,
Skin Deep and Flower
Child. You'll also get The Outer
Limits: The New Series - Time Travel and Infinity (9/3 -
$14.95 SRP), containing the episodes Stitch
in Time, Tribunal, Gettysburg,
Time to Time, Deja
Vu and Patient Zero.
While we're talking about upcoming discs, we have word on a number of
other newly announced DVD releases for you. A&E will release Nicholas
Nickleby, Upstairs Downstairs: The
Complete Fourth Season and Upstairs
Downstairs: The Complete Fifth Season on 8/27. Anchor Bay
will release Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy
Campers, Sleepaway Camp III:
Teenage Wasteland and Zoltan:
Hound of Dracula on 8/20. Columbia TriStar has added The
Best of The Muppet Show: Elton John, The
Best of the Muppet Show: Mark Hamil, Cowboy
Up and Kermit's Swamp Years
to its 9/3 slate, with Green Dragon
and Son of the Bride following on
9/10. DreamWorks will deliver Hollywood
Ending on 9/17. Lion's Gate will release Hollywood
Sign on 9/17 as well. 20th Century Fox has added Big
Shot: Confessions of a Campus Bookie to its 9/24 releases.
Universal will debut Monsoon Wedding
on 9/24. And Warner will street National
Geographic: Inside the Pentagon, Statue
of Liberty and Ulysses S. Grant
on 8/27, with the first three seasons of As
Time Goes By following on 9/17.
We've also received details on HBO's In
Memoriam: New York City - 9/11/01 documentary. The disc will
street on 9/3, for an SRP of $19.98. Proceeds will be donated to the
Twin Towers Fund and other charitable institutions supporting the
victims' families. The disc will include the original full frame video
with English, French and Spanish subtitles and English Dolby Digital
5.1, English Dolby Surround and Spanish Mono sound. The disc will also
feature extended interviews with the staff of former NYC mayor Rudolph
And finally today, we've got some interesting DVD tidbits for you in
Rumor Mill on Artisan's upcoming High
Noon reissue, Warner's first South
Park full-season box set and HBO's long-awaited Band
of Brothers. Be sure to check it out.