Great news for Kurosawa fans! Criterion has just added the director's
The Lower Depths to their August
DVD release slate (8/19 - SRP $39.99)! The disc will include a new
high-definition digital transfer (original aspect ratio 1.33:1), audio
commentary featuring Kurosawa expert Donald Richie (author of A
Hundred Years of Japanese Cinema), the original theatrical
trailer, a new essay by Keiko McDonald (author of From
Book to Screen: Modern Japanese Literature in Films) and
Thomas Rimer (author of A Reader's Guide to
Japanese Literature), cast biographies by Stephen Prince
(author of The Warrior's Camera: The Cinema
of Akira Kurosawa) and new and improved English subtitle
translation by renowned Japanese-film translator Linda Hoaglund. Here's
the cover art...
Led Zeppelin's apparently scored a hit with there recent Led
to Billboard, the title has set a record for highest
debut-week and highest single-week sales for a music DVD.
DeCSS case came back into court here in California last week, with
prosecutors arguing that free speech was not the main concern when
engineer Andrew Bunner published the DVD decrypting code on his website.
In other news, Universal will be releasing the recent TV miniseries
Helen of Troy (in anamorphic
widescreen and full frame), Chris Rock's Head
of State (also anamorphic widescreen and full frame) and Walk
the Talk on 8/12. And we have more details on their American
Pie: Beneath the Crust DVDs. Each film, American
Pie and American Pie 2,
will be re-released in both their rated and unrated, as well as their
full frame and anamorphic widescreen versions. Each version will be a
2-pack, with a bonus disc of new supplemental materials - Beneath
the Crust, Volume 1 will be attached to all versions of American
Pie and Beneath the Crust, Volume
2 will be attached to all versions of American
Pie 2. Confused yet? Don't worry, you're not alone. Who
knows... maybe you CAN have too much pie after all.
Anyway, here's come cover art for the above mentioned titles, along
with Universal Music's Roger Waters: The Wall
- Live in Berlin (street date 6/24 - a CD and SACD will also
be available that day):
Columbia TriStar has announced a slate of new releases for 8/26. Look
for Levity, Raising
Victor Vargas, El Mariachi:
Special Edition, Desperado:
Special Edition, a 2-pack of the El
Mariachi and Desperado
SEs, Bingo, Mute
Witness, Snowboard Academy,
The Best of Ripley's Believe It or Not,
The Devil Commands, The
Story Teller Collection and John
Denver and the Muppets: A Rocky Mountain Holiday.
Also today, we've got new information on Disney's upcoming The
Lion King: Platinum Edition in
Rumor Mill today. There also word on a possible reason for the
delay of Warner's The Iron Giant: Special
Edition as well. And we even have tentative word on a street
date for 24: Season Two.
Definitely worth a look.
We have some new DVD cover art for you. Criterion's Indiscretion
of an American Wife/Terminal Station (street date: TBA
August), and New Line's Run Ronnie Run
(9/16) and A Man Apart (9/2).
It seems people are having a problem with the packaging on Artisan's
T2: Extreme Edition DVD. The discs
itself come in a standard keepcase, enclosed in a stamped metal outer
sleeve. Unfortunately, a lot of folks say that the outer sleeve fits so
tightly that when you try to remove the keepcase, the case's plastic
artwork window (and sometimes even the cover art insert) gets badly
torn. We recommend that 1) you take care when removing the outer cover
and 2) store the disc on the shelf without it. It's cool and all, but
it's not worth damaging your package over.
Finally this morning, just a quick reminder. Todd and I haven't been
writing DVD reviews for the last couple of months while we've been
working to finish the book, but we expect to be done with it at the end
of the month. So we'll get back into the review swing of thing soon
enough, and catch up on lots of great titles that have come out
We've got another new column for you today, this one from Adam Jahnke.
In his latest edition of
Bottom Shelf, he reviews a trio of interesting Sixties
cultural movies on DVD - Criterion's
Am Curious - Blue and
Am Curious - Yellow, as well as Home Vision's
Vallée. See? We'll get back in the review swing of
We've kicked off a new
this morning - one that you Bond fans are going to like. Five winners
will take home MGM's Die Another Day: Special
Edition. And one of them, a grand prize winner, will also win
a set of limited edition collector's cars from Corgi! You'll have until
12:01 AM PDT on Saturday, June 7th to enter. Our own in-house "Q"
(aka Sarah) has cooked up another fun word search puzzle, so don't miss
Also today, we've updated a lot of the data charts (sales, rentals,
etc) that we keep track of (you'll find them
complete transcript of a live chat our friends over at
Home Theater Forum held with Anchor Bay Entertainment. There's
lot's of interesting news about upcoming titles from the studio, so be
sure to check it out.
We're also pleased to let you all know that our forthcoming book,
Digital Bits: Insider's Guide to DVD, is finally
from Amazon for the 30% discount we've been expecting. So how does
$12.57 sound? Much cheaper than a single DVD! The discount that appears
on the listing seems to come and go, but if you keep checking back, it
should be there permanently soon. And all those of you who have already
pre-ordered the book should get the discount when the book ships. Just
In other news, Criterion has officially announced the August DVD
release of Vittorio De Sica's Indiscretion of
an American Wife and Terminal
Station (as a 2-disc set).
Also, we have information you fans of director Ridley Scott should heed
ASAP. DreamWorks is going to soon re-issue Gladiator
as a single-disc edition... meaning that the excellent DVD special
edition is going to disappear from store shelves. So if you don't have
it already, get a copy while you still can.
And finally today, a lot of you have been asking about the re-release
of MGM's James Bond DVD Collections,
now that Die Another Day is out on
disc. We've spoken to MGM and have been told that the studio plans to
make an announcement about this issue later this summer. Our best guess
is that the sets will be available again, for a limited time, for the
holidays. But we'll post the official details as soon as they become
(LATE UPDATE - 6/2/03 - 4 PM PDT)
Okay... as promised, we're back with more great stuff for you to enjoy
this afternoon. Our own Robert A. Harris has checked in with another new
edition of his
Layer Failure, Vinegar Syndrome and Miscellaneous Musings
column. In this piece,
takes a look at Sergio Leone's classic Once Upon a Time in America,
and reviews the new 2-disc DVD special edition from Warner.
And for you Western fans, our own Barrie Maxwell's new
Coming Attractions column features a look at Paramount's
contribution to the genre over the years. As part of the piece, he also
reviews no less than 8 new DVDs from the studio:
at the O.K. Corral,
Big Man, Rio
Man Called Horse. So for those of you who have been
complaining that we haven't posted many DVD reviews recently, that's a
total of 9 new ones for you to check out today! And, as usual, Barrie
runs down all the latest news about classic films that are on the way to
DVD later this year.
Finally, before we sign off today, there's one other important bit of
info we need to drop your way. Our software sponsor,
Planet, is going to be holding a special celebrity DVD signing
event at their Orange County, CA store location later this month. The
guest of honor will be none other than stop-motion/special effects
legend Ray Harryhausen! The event will take place on June 24th, from 5-7
PM PDT, at the DVD Planet store (16672 Beach Blvd in Huntington Beach,
CA). At least a couple Bits
staffers will be on hand, and we expect a good time will be had by all.
So if you're in the L.A./Orange County area, don't miss it!
Back tomorrow with more! Stay tuned...
(EARLY UPDATE - 6/2/03 - 1 PM PDT)
This is just the first of a couple updates we're going to post today.
Check back later this afternoon for a pair of new columns from Barrie
Maxwell and Robert Harris.
In the meantime, we've announced the winners of our Trivia
answers. The next contest will start tomorrow, and will feature
MGM's Die Another Day: SE. You
don't want to miss that!
Now then, we have word on a number of new DVD announcements. A&E
will release The Nazi Officer's Wife
and New Avengers: Season One on
7/29. Anchor Bay has Fear No Evil
due on 7/22, with Highlander: Season Two
on 7/29. Columbia TriStar has Caught,
Double Vision, Implicated
and Nightstalker due on 8/5. First
Run Features has set Seduction: The Cruel
Woman (German) and The Trials of
Henry Kissinger for release on 8/19. MGM has announced Brimstone
and Treacle, Brother from Another
Planet, Eureka, Images,
Jump Tomorrow, Lianna,
of the Secaucus 7, Sunday Bloody
Sunday and Tough Guys Don't Dance
all for 9/16, with the Fargo: Special Edition
following on 9/30. Universal has announced Killing
Emmett Young for 8/19, and Cheech
and Chong's Next Movie, Eddie
Izzard: Glorious, Fletch Lives,
Ghost and Mr. Chicken, How
to Frame a Figg, Into the Night,
Love God?, More
American Graffiti, The Reluctant
Astronaut and The Shakiest Gun in
the West on 9/2. Warner will release Casablanca,
What a Girl Wants (full frame and
widescreen) on 8/5 and E.R.: The Complete
First Season on 8/26. Wellspring Media will release Dick
Francis Mysteries: Twice Shy, Blood
Sport and In the Frame
on 6/3, Maryam, Short
Eyes and This is Not a Love Song
on 8/12, and Agatha Christie's The Pale Horse,
Dark Habits, Ethics
for a New Millennium: A Talk by the Dalai Lama, The
Game is Over (French), In Search
of Dracula, Kaaterskill Falls,
Russian Ark (Russian), Terror
is a Man (aka: Blood Creature),
Terror of Frankenstein and What
Have I Done to Deserve This (aka: Qué
He Hecho yo Para Merecer Esto) on 9/9.
Back later with more... stay tuned...
Morning, disc-spinners! We've got some very interesting upcoming DVD
information for you today. First up, on the Warner front, the good news:
the studio has just announced the DVD release of E.R.:
The Complete First Season. The 4-disc set will street on
August 26, for an SRP of $59.98. All 25 episodes from the first season
will be included, including the series' 90-minute pilot. How they're
squeezing 25 episodes onto 4 discs I don't know, but there it is. Here's
more info from the press release:
"The set will include "personal notes"
from series creator and best-selling author Michael Crichton and two new
documentaries produced exclusively for the DVD release. One concentrates
on the pilot episode with interviews from Steven Spielberg and executive
producers Michael Crichton and John Wells. The second highlights the
entire first season, including interviews with the amazing ensemble cast
of Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Sherry Stringfield, Noah Wyle and
Other extras include The First Year Intern
Handbook interactive feature (containing complete character
profiles, 45 "patient" histories on the various guest stars
and a medical terminology glossary), 2 commentary tracks on the pilot
episode (one with Crichton and Wells and another from pilot director Rod
Holcomb and key production crew), a featurette with the medical
consultants and writers, a featurette about the post-production process,
key production crew and director commentaries on the episodes Love's
Labor Lost and Sleepless in
Chicago, outtakes and unreleased scenes, and hidden bonus
materials. Not a bad little set all in all.
Also, Warner will release What a Girl Wants
on August 5th (SRP $27.95) in both widescreen and full frame versions.
Now for the bad news from Warner... the long-awaited special edition of
The Iron Giant, which had been set
for release on August 26th, has now been delayed until 2004. No specific
reason has been given for the delay.
On the New Line front, the studio has announced the DVD release of Run
Ronnie Run, also known as the Mr.
Show movie. Look for that on September 16th (SRP $24.98). The
disc will be in anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.
Extras will include deleted scenes, the Three
Times One Minus One music video, lots of hidden Easter eggs,
and the theatrical trailer.
Also coming from New Line are A Man Apart
(SRP $27.98) and Once Were Warriors
($19.98) - both street on September 2nd.
We've got MGM news too, and this is all good. First up, just FYI, the
studio will release the Agent Cody Banks:
Special Edition on August 5th, with the 2002 TV version of
Carrie following on August 12th. Take or leave that, we're frying the
small fish first here.
Better still, the studio has finally rescheduled their Bowling
for Columbine: Special Edition for release on August 19th
(SRP $26.98). The disc will include over 4 hours of bonus material,
including a exclusive interview with director Michael Moore on his Oscar
win and controversial acceptance speech, an introduction to the film by
Moore, audio commentary by "the production office receptionist and
interns" introduced by Moore, the Return
to Denver/Littleton featurette, the Film
Festival Scrapbook featurette, Marilyn Manson's Fight
Song music video, a teacher's guide, an interview of Moore
conducted by former White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart at HBO's
Comedy Arts Festival, The
Charlie Rose Show interview with Moore, Mike's
Action Guide and weblink, photo gallery, the theatrical
trailer and more. Looks to us like the delay in the DVD release was for
good reason. There's some interesting new stuff on this thing.
Moving on, MGM will release a long-overdue Fargo:
Special Edition on September 30th (SRP $24.98). The film will
appear in anamorphic widescreen with remixed Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.
Extras will include the Minnesota Nice
documentary, an interview with the Coen Brothers and Frances McDormand,
a trivia track, audio commentary with D.P. Roger Deakins, a
behind-the-scenes photo gallery, hidden menus and "other surprises".
Having actually grown up in Fargo, this film is a huge favorite of mine,
so it's about time it got the treatment it deserves. Note that the
release is timed to coincide with the theatrical debut of the Brothers'
new film, Intolerable Cruelty.
September is also set to be a big month for fans of director John
Sayles. MGM will release his Lianna,
The Return of the Secaucus 7 and
The Brother from Another Planet on
September 16th (SRP $19.98 each).
Also on the way on September 16th are Brimstone
& Treacle (starring Sting and featuring a soundtrack by
The Police), Images, Jump
Tomorrow, Eureka, Oleanna,
Sunday Bloody Sunday, Tough
Guys Don't Dance (SRP $19.98 each) and Prizzi's
Honor, Article 99, The
The Boost, There
Goes My Baby (SRP $14.95 each). On September 2nd, look for
Hello Kitty Tells Fairy Tales,
Hello Kitty Plays Pretend, the
Hello Kitty box set, Stargate
SG-1: Season Four (SRP $69.96) and The
Outer Limits: The Original Series - Season Two (SRP $69.96).
Finally this morning, we've been given the heads-up on a batch of great
20th Century Fox TV DVD titles that are expected to announce soon for
release before the end of 2003. Anyone interested in Lost
in Space: The Complete First Season, 24:
Season Two, The Family Guy, Volume
Two, Dark Angel: Season Two,
The X-Files: The Complete Eighth Season,
King of the Hill, Volume Two and
M*A*S*H: Season Five? Well watch
for them to be revealed soon. Classic Lost in
Space on DVD? Danger Will Robinson! Danger, Danger!!
Here's cover art for a few of the titles mentioned above...
Finally this morning, a lot of people have e-mailed me to point out the
fact that Samsung's DVD player that up-converts standard definition DVD
video to high definition DVD video has a feature that will not allow it
to up-convert copyrighted material. Meaning that most movie titles will
appear as 480p only. Although a few have rightly noted that the same
effect can be achieved using a home theater PC.
Now then... don't forget that Disney and Pixar's Finding
Nemo appears today in theaters. Be sure to take your little
ones out for a good time at the movies this weekend. We'll be back on
Monday with two new columns and more, so stay tuned!
It's amazing how some movies make more money in their home video
release than they do in theaters - a sign of the times I suppose.
to the Hollywood Reporter, Fox's Antwone
Fisher sold more than 1 million DVDs in its first week. On
DVD and VHS combined, the title made some $26 million in its first week,
which is $5 million more than its entire $21 million domestic box office
gross. Paramount's Star Trek: Nemesis
has also done well in its first week of release on DVD, selling more
than 1.2 million copies on disc.
Some new DVD information for you today. Warner will release The
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1960) on 8/26. Friends:
The Complete Fourth Season is due on 7/15. Justice
League: Paradise Lost follows on 7/22. Ken
Burns' America: Brooklyn Bridge arrives on 9/30. Of
Unknown Origin streets on 8/5. Warner and the BBC will debut
The Weather on 7/29 and Yes,
Prime Minister: The Complete Collection on 8/26. And just
when you thought we were safe from 'reality', New Line debuts The
Real Cancun on 7/1. You know... it's almost hard to believe
there was no script and no real actors in that film.
In other release news, Columbia TriStar has announced All
the Real Girls, Out for a Kill,
Cover Girl, Roughnecks:
Starship Troopers Chronicles - The Zephyr Campaign, See
No Evil and The Three Stooges:
Stooges in History for release on 8/19. They also have He
Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, Children
of the Night and Die Die My
Darling due on 8/12. Look also for new SuperBit versions of
John Carpenter's Vampires, Starship
Troopers, The One and
The Quick and the Dead on 8/5,
along with Caught, Implicated,
Double Vision and Nightstalker.
interesting press release for you. Samsung is going to be
launching a new DVD player, the DVD-HD593, that will take a 480
interlaced, standard definition video signal - like one you'd find on a
regular DVD disc - and up-convert it to HD resolution at 720 progressive
or 1080 interlaced for viewing on an HDTV. We should note here that
Samsung already has a professional level player, the
that does the same thing. And they also have an additional consumer
player, the 931, that will do this via the DVI connection. This is a
nice 'in-between' step until full HD-DVD is ready for primetime. Now,
clearly the video signal isn't going to look as good as it would if it
were truly mastered in high-definition. But still, this is an intriguing
idea and we're very much looking forward to seeing this player in action
here at The Bits. It's definitely
an idea worth keeping your eye on.
Well here's an interesting twist on the videogame console wars. Sony
has just introduced an upgraded version of their PS2, dubbed the PSX,
which comes with a built-in DVD recorder, a TV tuner and 120 gig hard
drive. It's also designed to let you download movies and other
multimedia content from the Internet. It's expected to street next year
in the States after a Japanese rollout before the end of 2003. The idea
is to make the PSX the centerpiece of your home entertainment system.
You can read more
In other news today, Warner Bros. is going to be releasing a new 2-disc
Casablanca: Special Edition on
August 5th. The film has been completely digitally remastered from the
original elements using the same techniques brought to bear on Citizen
Kane and Singin' in the Rain.
In addition, a bevy of new bonus features will be included, among them
10 minutes of newly discovered deleted scenes and outtakes, audio
commentary with Roger Ebert and film historian Rudy Behlmer, a new
introduction by Lauren Bacall, original trailers for the film, the You
Must Remember This: The Making of Casablanca documentary, the
Bacall on Bogart documentary, The
Children Remember featurette, the Carrotblanca
Looney Tunes cartoon homage, the premiere episode from Warner's 1955
Casablanca TV series, production
notes and history, photo galleries, press materials, studio
correspondence and more. The set will also include audio of rare scoring
sessions from the film, as well as the Screen Guild Players radio
production featuring the film's stars. SRP will be $26.99.
Just FYI, we've been hearing rumors that this release could be timed to
coincide with additional Bogart titles that are expected to be released
on DVD later this year by Warner Bros, including The
Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
Speaking of Warner, is anyone out there interested in potential cover
artwork for The Matrix: Reloaded
DVD? The studio has apparently run a brief online survey asking fans to
pick the cover art they prefer. Here are a few of the possibilities
under consideration. There's no date announced yet for the DVD, but you
can expect it to be in stores prior to the theatrical release of The
Matrix: Revolutions in November.
Whichever art is finally chosen, clicking on the links provided will
take you to a page at our retail sponsor,
Planet, where you can sign up to be notified when the titles is
available for pre-order. Thanks to Bits
reader Jeremy H. for the heads-up on this.
Finally this morning, you fans of TV's Wiseguy
will be pleased to know that StudioWorks Entertainment will be relasing
the entire series on DVD, with the first season set to debut on August
26th. Additional seasons will arrive about every three months after
We have more interesting info. on the way for you tomorrow, so stay
Hey everyone! Hope you all had a great long holiday weekend. We, of
course, completely forgot about the long weekend, thus the post today
rather than yesterday as expected. Sometimes, you work so hard you
forget what day it is. ;-)
Let's run down the news. Does this drive anyone else crazy? Best Buy
has conjured up another DVD exclusive bonus disc offer, this time with
Warner Home Video. If you
South Park: The Complete Second Season with Best Buy,
you'll receive an exclusive bonus disc that contains the complete,
unaired version of the episode Cartman Gets
an Anal Probe. Why in the heck can't this stuff just be on
the original DVD in the first place? Thanks to Bits
reader Johnnie Y. for bringing this to our attention.
In other news this morning, ADV Films has announced the DVD release of
Farscape 3.4 on 8/12. Anchor Bay
will release Thomas and Friends: Thomas'
Snowy Surprise on 9/23. BCI-Eclipse/Brentwood will release
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
(4 episodes), The Andy Griffith Show #1
(4 episodes), The Andy Griffith Show #2
(4 episodes), Anthrax: Soldiers of Metal,
The Beverly Hillbillies #1 (5
episodes), The Beverly Hillbillies #2
(5 episodes), Bon Jovi: Wild in the Streets,
Bonanza (4 episodes), The
Dick Van Dyke Show (8 episodes), Kiss:
You Wanted the Best, You Got the Best, The
Lone Ranger (17 episodes), The
Lucy Show (4 episodes), Petticoat
Junction (4 episodes), Poison:
Nothing But a Good Time and Scorpions:
Rock You Like a Hurricane all on 6/24. Columbia TriStar has
announced Better Than Sex, I
Love You to Death, Loving
and Spider for 7/29. Paramount
will release 10,000 Black Men Named George,
Daisy Miller, The
Hunted (full frame and widescreen versions), Paper
Moon and Targets on
8/12. Red Distribution will street DIO: Evil
or Divine on 7/1. Sony Music has added Rocky
and Bullwinkle and Friends: The Complete First Season to
their 8/12 slate. And finally, Warner Home Video has added Cradle
2 the Grave (widescreen and full frame) to its 8/12 slate,
with The Big Bounce, Are
You Being Served: Volumes 7-13, You're
Invited to Mary-Kate and Ashley's Favorite Parties, You're
Invited to Mary-Kate and Ashley's Greatest Parties, You're
Invited to Mary-Kate and Ashley's School Dance Party and You're
Invited to Mary-Kate and Ashley's Vacation Parties following
on 9/2, All Creatures Great and Small: Series
Three, All Creatures Great and
Small: The Specials, Monarch of
the Glen: Complete First Season, The
Old Grey Whistle Test, Real
Wheels: Mega Truck Adventures and Real
Wheels: Rescue Adventures on 9/16.
Also today, we have new cover art this morning for Fox's Solaris
(7/29) and M*A*S*H: The Complete Fourth
Season (7/15), as well as Paramount's The
In case you haven't seen it yet, Paramount, Lucasfilm and Apple have
made a trailer for The Adventures of Indiana
Jones: The Complete DVD Movie Collection available online via
here to check it out.
And finally, we've kicked off a new
this morning which will give you all the chance to win
NINE great DVDs from 20th Century Fox, MGM and DreamWorks!
The contest is nice and easy too - all you have to do is guess the
titles based on the visual clues we provide. There will be FIVE
winners in all. You'll have until 12:01 AM PDT on Saturday,
May 31st to enter.
(LATE UPDATE - 5/23/03 -
4 PM PDT)
This is just a quick update to let you all know that Universal Music
has just announced the DVD and SACD release of Roger Waters' The
Wall: Live in Berlin on 6/24 (a remastered CD will be
released as well). Here's an excerpt from the release:
"All three formats feature a newly
remastered stereo mix produced by Nick Griffiths, the original engineer.
Each package also boasts new artwork, photos and liner notes. The SACD
and CD formats contain two discs with the entire two-hour-plus concert.
The SACD also offers a SACD Surround Sound layer and a SACD Stereo layer
which are only compatible with SACD players. Both the DVD and SACD
include a 5.1 Surround mix produced from the original multi-tracks by
Bonuses added to the complete concert DVD are a new 30-minute
documentary on the event, footage never used during the concert of actor
Rupert Everett portraying Pink, some of Gerald Scarfe's animation
footage, set and character designs, and production stills "
Now then... have a great weekend!
(EARLY UPDATE - 5/23/03 - 11 AM PDT)
Afternoon all. I just wanted to post a quick note to let you know that
book work and visitors have keep me from making regular updates
yesterday and today. But I'll be posting a new Trivia
Contest over the weekend, along with more news and cover art
on Monday. And next month, we'll be getting back into the review swing
of things - we'll catch up on looking at a lot of great titles that have
recently been released. So thanks for your patience. Have a great
It looks as though Criterion has a nice slate of titles in the offing
for the remainder of 2003. Criterion's new Throne
of Blood DVD includes a brochure for titles that have already
been assigned catalog numbers for release as part of The Criterion
Collection this year. Here's what to look forward to (catalog numbers
are noted, as are the directors):
199 - Schizopolis (Steven
202 - Indiscretion of an American
Wife/Terminal Station (Vittorio De Sica)
203 - Fassbinder's BDR Trilogy
box set including:
204 - The Marriage of Maria Braun
(Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
205 - Lola ("")
206 - Veronika Voss ("")
In addition, we have a list of upcoming Universal and DreamWorks titles
for the next few months (note that both studios are distributed by
Universal - list includes new titles and reissues of existing discs at
new price points). Here's a complete rundown...
7/1 - Spliced, The
Babe, Baseball Triple Play,
Brighton Beach Memoirs, Casual
Sex?, Cold Comfort Farm,
The Dream Team, Dudley
Do-Right, Ed, Junior,
Man's Favorite Sport?, Mr.
Baseball, Strange Bedfellows
7/15 - The Hitcher II: I've Been Waiting
7/22 - Crazy Little Thing and
The Life of David Gale
7/29 - American Pie & Beneath the Crust
- Volume 1 and American Pie 2 &
Beneath the Crust - Volume 2
8/12 - Backbeat, Blue
Crush, The Bourne Identity,
A New Beginning, Duel,
Erin Brockovich, Ffolkes,
For Love or Money, The
Frighteners, Galaxy Quest,
Hard to Hold, The
Hard Way, The Jackal,
Last Castle, The Last Starfighter,
Leave it to Beaver, Mask,
Mercury Rising, The
Mexican, The Night of the
Following Day, Playing for Keeps,
Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The
Shadow, Streets of Fire,
Truth About Charlie, The Tuxedo,
The Ugly American, Undercover
Brother, Waterworld and
8/19 - Back to School with Franklin
and Killing Emmett Young
8/26 - Law & Order: Badge of Dishonor
and Law & Order: Organized & Unsolved
9/2 - 12 Monkeys, An
American Werewolf in London, Army
of Darkness, The Birds,
The Bone Collector, Bride
of Chucky, Cape Fear
(1991), Eddie Izzard: Glorious,
The Emperor's Club, Empire,
End of Days, Fear,
The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, The
Haunting, How to Frame a Figg,
The Love God?, Play
Misty for Me, Psycho,
Psycho (1998), Rear
Window, Red Dragon,
The Reluctant Astronaut, The
Scorpion King, The Shakiest Gun in
the West, Shocker, Vertigo,
Videodrome and The
10/21 - Steven Spielberg Presents: Taken
You alien abduction fans will be pleased to know that DreamWorks has
officially announced the DVD release of Steven
Spielberg Presents: Taken miniseries - the one that debuted
on the Sci-Fi Channel last year. The 6-disc set will street on October
21st (MAP $89.95). All 10 episodes of the miniseries will be included in
anamorphic widescreen video, with audio will be Dolby Digital 5.1. The
extras will appear on Disc Six - the bonus disc - and will include the
The Cast of Taken, A
New Reality: The Visual Effects Team, A
Singular Vision: The Directors, Time
Warp and Inside Taken
featurettes, plus cast and crew bios and more. Here's a look at the DVD
cover artwork for the box set. And while we're at it, how about a few
other new titles as well?
That's Columbia TriStar's Spider
(7/29), Buena Vista's Piglet's Big Movie
(7/29) and Felicity: Season Two(7/22),
HBO's Live from Baghdad (6/24) and
The Old Grey Whistle Test from
Warner and the BBC (9/16). A little something for everyone in that
batch. I have to say, The Old Grey Whistle
Test has me particularly excited. It includes more than three
hours of classic performances by the likes of John Lennon, Elton John,
Bob Marley, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rory Gallagher, The Police, U2, REM and
more. Very cool.
In addition, ADV will release Gene Roddenberry's Earth:
Final Conflict - No Refuge and NOIR
#5: Terminal Velocity on 8/5. Anchor Bay has added Hatred
of a Minute, Tell Death Us Do Part
and Who Done It? to its 7/8 slate.
Columbia TriStar will release Big Trouble
and Read My Lips on 7/22. MGM has
announced Nicholas Nickleby for
7/22, XX/XY for 7/29 and 20,000
Leagues Under the Sea (animated), Agent
Cody Banks, Globehunters: An
Around the World in 80 Days Adventure (animated) and My
Fair Madeline (animated) all for 8/5. And Warner will release
Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie
on 6/3, National Geographic: 21 Days to
Baghdad on 7/1, National
Geographic: Asteroids - Deadly Impacts and National
Geographic: Volcano - Nature's Inferno on 7/29, and The
Kid Stays in the Picture on 8/19.
In other news,
Wire is reporting that Universal has plans to finally release
the complete original Battlestar Galactica
TV series on DVD this fall, to coincide with the debut of the new Sci-Fi
miniseries version of the show and a videogame as well.
Our friends at Home Vision want you to know that IFC is going to be
showing the first seven Zatoichi films throughout this month and into
June. They're also holding an online sweepstakes that gives you the
chance to win the Zatoichi films on DVD and more.
sure to check out IFCTV.com for all the details. Just can't get
enough of the blind swordsman!
For those of you interested in the technology of digital filmmaking,
Wars.com has a great feature up on the new 24p high-definition
digital video cameras they're going to be using on Episode
III - even more advanced than the ones used for Episode
II, with greater resolution.
And finally this morning, we're pleased to bring you
new edition of Robert Harris' regular Yellow Layer Failure,
Vinegar Syndrome and Miscellaneous Musings column here at The
Digital Bits. In this piece, Robert looks at the work of
classic cinematographers, the history of CinemaScope films and the
movies of John Wayne and Bob Hope. As always, it's well worth a read. So
Morning folks! Welcome to a brand, spanking new week. Hope the weekend
treated you all well. I myself picked up a touch of a cold, so today's
post will be strictly news. But don't worry. Tomorrow we have a new
column coming and maybe a little more as well.
In the meantime, we've announced the winners our our
Contest. Congratulations to all of you who won, and thanks to
everyone who entered. We have another new contest starting later this
week, so be sure to stay tuned for that.
In news today,
has a brief story up on the whole Disney EZ-D format. Not much
that's new, just another summary.
In other news,
has unveiled a DVD-ROM rewritable drive which is compatible not
only with the DVD-R and DVD-RW formats (which the company has been a
staunch backer of) but also the competing DVD+R and DVD+RW formats.
Pioneer says it's making the move to "eliminate consumer confusion"...
to which we here at The Bits say, "Bravo."
Yet another reason we think Pioneer's a class act among consumer
electronics manufacturers. And no, we aren't getting paid to say that.
according to CNN and the Wall Street
Journal, there are rumors circulating that AOL Time Warner is
in talks with German conglomerate Bertelsmann about a possible merger of
the Warner Music and BMG/EMI music businesses.
has a new story up (via Yahoo) about Artisan's upcoming Terminator
2: Extreme Edition DVD, which includes a Windows Media 9
high-definition version of the film that can be played on high-end
computers via DVD-ROM. Keep in mind, this is NOT HD-DVD. But it's a cool
idea nonetheless. We're looking forward to seeing the disc and we'll let
you know what we think of this when we do.
Finally this morning, just FYI,
book is finally back up on Amazon.com, and we expect the 30%
discount to be in place tomorrow. Also,
a brief story up about the book at Video Store magazine
for those who are interested.
Well... apparently the death of Divx just wasn't enough for some
studios to get the hint.
to Reuters (via Yahoo), Disney is going to be launching a new
disposable "rental" disc format this August, called EZ-D,
using a process developed by Flexplay Technologies. You buy the disc at
a rental store for a low price. When you open the package, a chemical
reaction begins between the disc and oxygen in the air such that it
becomes unreadable after 48 hours. Basically, the outer surface of the
disc rusts and becomes cloudy so the laser can't read through it. Then
you just throw it away. The idea is that it makes the rental process
easy - you never have to return the disc. Of course, one suspects that
all those discarded discs aren't exactly beneficial to the environment.
In any case, never fear - Disney's commitment to standard DVD seems
plenty firm. We really feel that this is absolutely nothing to worry
about. And our guess is EZ-D will be a TRK-E.
One last thing today - a lot of people have been asking why our book
has disappeared from Amazon. Apparently, when they first listed the
book, they forgot to include the 30% off discount. They've corrected
this and the listing is being recycled back into the system. We're told
it should be back up on Tuesday, so our Amazon links will be back to
normal by then. Don't worry - all those of you who have pre-ordered the
book already WILL get the 30% discount. We should also note that the
book is also available for pre-order from other book retailers as well.
Now then... have a great weekend everyone!
Well... Matrix: Reloaded
certainly didn't live up to the hype, at least for most of us here at
The Bits. Todd, Matt, Frankie,
Brad and I all went out last night to first showings, and most (but not
all) of us were less than impressed. The effects have certainly been
given a lot of attention - they're a lot more advanced. But that isn't
necessarily a good thing. While everyone was working on animating all
those Agent Smiths, someone forgot to work on the story a little. And
not all the effects are realistic looking - there are a few fight scenes
with entirely CG characters. The whole coolness of wire-fu is that it's
real people doing these amazing stunts. And when it isn't anymore, it's
hard to stifle a yawn. To be fair, there are plenty of cool little
moments. But they really don't add up to much. Did we really need a
10-minute rave scene in Zion? I found myself almost wishing the machines
would destroy the place. The film definitely doesn't match the
original... at least for us anyway. Lower your expectations and you'll
probably enjoy it. But don't expect to leave the theater with that same
blown-away feeling you had from the first Matrix
Okay... raise your hands if you're hauling your butts out to the
theater tonight to see the first showing of The
Matrix: Reloaded. Yep... just what I thought. Some of us are
too. We're not proud of it, but there it is. ;-)
In news today, Variety's DVD Exclusive
magazine has revealed (in an interview with comedian Jerry Seinfeld)
that the Seinfeld TV series is
currently being considered for DVD release by Columbia TriStar. Word is
interviews and outtakes from the series may be included as extras.
Around the Net, Warner Bros is asking DVD fans on AOL's Movies area to
choose which classic films they'd like to see released on disc in
January of next year. Among the films up for the vote are The
Actress, After the Thin Man,
The Asphalt Jungle, The
Blackboard Jungle, Days of Wine
and Roses, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,
Executive Suite, For
Me and My Gal and Night of the
Iguana. The top 5 selections will be released in January.
Reportedly, the studio plans to release more than 100 catalog titles
before the end of 2003.
Also this morning, Toshiba and NEC have announced that they'll
presenting their new blue-laser based Advanced Optical Disc format at
the Optical Data Storage conference in Vancouver this week. The discs
can hold up to 36GB of data, and the format is backwards compatible with
existing DVD. You can read more on this via
How's about another new
for you today? We're giving away 5 copies of Fox's The
X-Files: The Complete Seventh Season on DVD this time, and
Sarah's cooked up a fun word search puzzle. So get your thinking caps on
and sharpen up those eyes. Eewww... there's an unpleasant mental image.
In other news, we have word from Variety's
DVD Exclusive magazine that DVD editions of Tomb
Raider 2: The Cradle of Life, Star
Trek V: CE, Star Trek VI: CE
and 24: The Complete Second Season
are already in production. You can bet X2
is well under way as well. Also Paramount has announced a street date of
August 12th for Peter Bogdanovich's Paper
Moon, Targets and Daisy
Miller. Each of the discs will feature new audio commentary
by the director.
The same publication sites rumors that the 4th disc of Paramount's The
Adventures of Indiana Jones: The Complete DVD Movie Collection
will feature a batch of deleted scenes from all three of the films,
including an extended Cairo fight scene between Indy and the swordsman.
And Lucasfilm is reportedly hard at work on DVDs of the Young
Indiana Jones TV series for next year.
Morning folks! Hope you all had a darned fine weekend. We've announced
the winners of our Trivia
Contest this morning, so be sure to check it out if you
entered. Better still, we've got another new contest that will kick off
tomorrow morning, giving each of you the chance to take home a copy of
Fox's The X-Files: The Complete Seventh
Season on DVD. Don't miss it!
In the meantime this morning, we've got a whole mess of new DVD
announcements for you. Anchor Bay has set Thomas
and Friends: James and the Red Balloon for release on 7/22.
Artisan Entertainment will deliver And God
Spoke, Best of Bonanza #1,
Blood on the Sun, Clifford
the Big Red Dog: Look Out, Clifford
the Big Red Dog: Big Fun, Colorz
of Rage, Degree of Guilt,
Double Life, Drop
Dead Fred, Four Faces West,
Guilty by Association, Hook'd
Up (aka: Personals),
Red Pony, Rio
Diablo, Shanghai Surprise,
Target (aka: The
Piano Player) and Tons of Trouble
(aka: Maiaika), also on 7/22.
Buena Vista will deliver The Love Bug
and The Rescuers on 5/20, with
Piglet's Big Movie following on
7/29. Central Park Media is releasing Nightmare
Campus #3 and Venus Fire
on 7/8, Demon Beast Resurrection #1:
Purgatory and Nightmare Campus #4
on 8/12, and Night Shift Nurses: RN's Nurses
on 9/9. Columbia TriStar has Burnt by the Sun
and Laurel Canyon set for 7/15,
with Spun (R and Unrated versions)
following on 7/22. Criterion/Home Vision has announced Honeymoon
Killers, The Pornographers
and Umberto D. for 7/22, Day
of the Dolphin, I. M. Pei: First
Person Singular/Museum of the Mountain, Mary
Cassatt: A Brush with Independence and Vengo
following on 7/29. Kino is working on American
Film Theatre: Delicate Balance, American
Film Theatre: Home Coming, American
Film Theatre: In Celebration, American
Film Theatre: Man in the Glass Booth and American
Film Theatre: Three Sisters for 7/22, Shark
Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl
Moving on, Lions Gate is releasing Mary
Higgens Clark's All Around the Town, Mary
Higgens Clark's You Belong to Me and Robocop:
Meltdown on 7/8, American
Kickboxer 2, Blood of Heroes,
Intimate Power (aka: The
Kickboxer 2: The Road Back and
Kickboxer 5: Redemption on 7/15,
Shattered Image, Two
Family House and Countryman
on 7/22, and Last Minute (R and
Unrated versions) on 7/29. MGM has set Carrie
for 8/12, Clownhouse, Comedy
of Terrors/The Raven, Countess
Dracula/Vampire Lovers, The Ghoul,
Ghoulies/Ghoulies 2, Haunted
Palace/Tower of London, The
Howling: Special Edition, I,
Madman, Once Bitten,
Poltergeist II: The Other Side/Poltergiest
III, Raw Meat, Squirm,
Tomb of Ligeia/Evening with Edgar Allan Poe
and Troll/Troll 2 for 8/26. New
Video has Full Frame: 7 Complete Documentary
Shorts and Maya Lin: A Strong
Clear Vision set for 5/27. Paramount has obviously announced
The Adventures of Indiana Jones: The Complete
DVD Movie Collection for 11/4. Red Distribution is releasing
The Man Show: Complete Season One
on 6/24. Rhino has Scourge of Worlds: A
Dungeon and Dragons Adventure set for 6/10. Universal has
announced Hitcher II: I've Been Waiting for
You for 7/15, and Crazy Little
Thing and The Life of David Gale
(full frame and widescreen) for 7/22. And finally, Warner Home Video
will debut Gods and Generals for
7/15, with 4th Tenor, Framed,
The Gristle, Caillou:
Caillou's Train Trip and Other Adventures, Caillou:
Caillou's Treasure Hunt and Other Adventures, Sagwa:
Feline Friends and Family and Sagwa:
Great Purr-formances and Monte
Walsh set for 7/29, Mucha Lucha:
Heart of Lucha following on 8/19, and Kim,
Yes, Prime Minister and Little
Women (1949) on 8/26.
Continuing yesterday's topic of choice, Yahoo's got an interesting
story up on the rush to develop an HD-DVD format by electronics
manufacturers. It's titled
Discs Aim to Outshine DVDs, by Patrick Seitz, and it provides
an interesting business perspective on the situation. It's also backs up
much of Scott Hettrick's editorial this week, which we mentioned
yesterday. Here's an interesting passage:
Publicly, consumer electronics executives say
it's too soon to talk about a replacement for DVD products that are
selling so well and only recently broke into the mainstream.
But analysts say hardware makers behind the scenes are eager to gain an
edge in next-generation disc technology.
One reason is that low-cost producers, especially in China and South
Korea (news - web sites), already have commoditized DVD gear, cutting
profits for today's products. Also, consumer electronics makers want to
get the royalties and licensing fees that come from having the winning
standard for a new technology.
There's also an interesting note that Toshiba's intended replacement
for current DVD is being called "Advanced Optical Disc", and
it can be made on existing DVD replication equipment (whereas Sony's
Blu-Ray requires retooling). Both are blue laser based formats.
Reportedly, Pioneer, Philips and Matsushita would rather HD-DVD devices
were not released until 2005. The piece is definitely worth a read.
In other news, you Pearl Jam fans need to get yourselves to one of
their shows. The reason is that
band is apparently selling a new concert DVD (of the 12/6/02
Seattle Showbox gig) at dates on their current North American tour.
Don't fret if you can't make it though... it's also available at
the band's official
website, just FYI.
is licensing a basic version of its service to DVD player
manufacturers, which would allow players pause and replay live TV
shows. Toshiba is the first manufacturer stepping up to the plate.
Remember, our Trivia
Contest ends at 12:01 AM tonight, so get your entries in
quick. The next contest will feature X-Files:
Season Seven and other great titles on DVD, so be sure to
Have a great weekend everyone!