UPDATE - 7/22/03 - 2:30 PM PDT)
We've gotten a lot of e-mails from people requesting a look at the
cover art for specific upcoming DVDs - art we missed in yesterday's
update. So here's a few of them: Anchor Bay's
Halloween: 25th Anniversary Edition (8/5), Lion's Gate's
release of Rob Zombie's House of 1,000
Corpses (8/12) and Columbia TriStar's The
Tick: The Entire Series (9/30).
The Tick, by the way, includes
every episode of the series on 2 discs, presented in anamorphic
widescreen video with Dolby Surround audio. You'll also get trailers and
audio commentary by producer Barry Sonnenfeld and Ben Edlund (we'd been
hoping Patrick Warburten would contribute as well - he told us a few
months ago that he'd be willing to - but it seems it wasn't to be).
While we're on the subject of Columbia TriStar titles, in addition to
The Tick, they've just announced
the DVD release of Nowhere in Africa: Special
Edition, Scenes of the Crime,
Rudy: Deluxe Edition, Dawson's
Creek: Series Finale and The
Forbidden Dance is Lambada for 9/30.
In other news, Universal has announced a Babe:
Special Edition for 9/23 (featuring anamorphic widescreen
video). They've announced more TV titles as well. Look for Law
& Order: Criminal Intent - The First Year and Law
& Order: Special Victims Unit - The First Year both on
10/21. And while we're talking Universal, we'd be remiss if we didn't
give you a look at their Scarface:
Anniversary Edition and Scarface:
Deluxe Gift Set, both due on 9/30.
The Scarface: Anniversary Edition
will include the film in anamorphic widescreen video, with Dolby Digital
and DTS 5.1 audio. Extras will reportedly include "interview
footage presented by Def Jam featuring today's hottest music stars
commenting on how Scarface has
influenced their life and music", the Rebirth
of Scarface, Acting Scarface
and Creating Scarface featurettes,
a look at Scarface: The TV Version,
the film's alternate ending and more (SRP $26.98).
The Scarface: Deluxe Gift Set
will include the Scarface: Anniversary
Edition along with the original 1932 version of the film as
well (SRP $58).
Warner has announced National Lampoon's
Vacation: 20th Anniversary Special Edition, Roger
& Me and Memoirs of an
Invisible Man for release on 8/19. National
Lampoon's Vacation will include introductions by Chevy Chase,
Randy Quaid and producer Matty Simmons, audio commentary by the Griswold
Family and director Harold Ramis, a behind-the-scenes featurette, the
Family Truckster and Roof
Rack Easter egg featurettes, the theatrical trailer, outtakes
and more. Roger & Me will
include audio commentary by Michael Moore and the theatrical trailer.
Memoirs of an Invisible Man will
include a behind-the-scenes featurette, Easter eggs, outtakes and an ILM
And here's a bunch more upcoming DVD announcements for you. ADV will
release Around the World in 80 Days
on 7/8 and Beastmaster: Season One
on 8/26. Anchor Bay is releasing a number of double feature DVDs on 9/9,
including Blade in the Dark/Macabre,
Circus of Horrors/Theatre of Death,
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark/Transylvania
6-5000, Fade to Black/Hell Night,
Hell of the Living Dead/Rats, Night
of Terror, Initiation/Mountaintop
Motel Massacre, Mountain of the
Cannibal God/Cannibal Man, Possession/Shock,
Return of the Killer Tomatoes/Return to
Horror High and Society/Spontaneous
Combustion. Artisan has set Christmas
Box/Timepiece, Christmas Comes to
Willow Creek, Christmas Story
Keepers, Christmas Visitor,
Howling V: The Rebirth/Howling VI: The Freaks,
Kickboxer 3: The Art of War/Kickboxer 4: The
Aggressor, Love Relations,
Men Seeking Women, Miami
Models, Mrs. Santa Claus,
One Christmas, Prom
Night III: The Last Kiss/Prom Night IV: Deliver Us From Evil,
Silent Night, Strange
Affair, Sucker Punch,
To Save the Children, Watchers/Watchers
II and Waxwork/Waxwork II: Lost in
Time all for 9/23, with Barbie:
Swan Lake and Boat Trip
set to follow on 9/30.
Buena Vista has added Cool and the Crazy
to its 8/5 slate, and Junction Boys
to 9/9. They've also officially confirmed their Walt Disney Treasures
titles for 12/2: Mickey Mouse in Living Color
2, The Chronological Donald,
Walt Disney on the Front Lines and
Walt Disney's Tomorrowland.
Columbia TriStar has announced All I Want,
Anger Management, Babysitter's
Club, Enigma: Special Edition,
Enough: Special Edition, Rocket
Gibraltar and Soap: The Complete
First Season all for 9/16. They also have Bedford
Incident, Big Girls Don't Cry,
Daddy Day Care, Gas
Food Lodging, In Cold Blood,
Men with Guns and Sleepless
in Seattle: 10th Anniversary Edition set for 9/23.
Criterion/Home Vision has announced Bostonians
and Europeans for 8/19, along with Home
Movie, Zatoichi #9: Adventures of
Zatoichi, Zatoichi #10: Zatoichi's
Revenge and Zatoichi #11: Zatoichi
and the Doomed Man. HBO has set Dawg
for 9/30, and Cracker 1 and Prime
Suspect for 10/14. Kino is releasing Assunta
Spira/Last Diva and Holy Mountain
on 8/12. Madacy will release Lost World:
Complete Collection (1992 version) on 8/5, American
Born, Bikini Summer 2,
Executive Target, Intent
to Kill, Land of the Free,
No Escape, No
Return and Out for Blood
on 8/19. New Concorde has Black Scorpion: The
Complete Series due on 9/23, Future
Kick, Love Thy Neighbor,
Mortal Challenge, Sex,
Lies and Politics and Stranglehold
on 10/7 and Firefight on 10/21.
New Line has announced Blink,
Excessive Force, Heaven's
Prisoners, Lawnmower Man #2:
Beyond Cyberspace, Unconditional
Love and Willard for
10/7. Paramount will release Black Sunday,
The Browning Version, Lipstick,
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier - Collector's
Edition and That was Then, This is
Now on 10/14, and Captain Kronos:
Vampire Hunter, Dragonslayer
and Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell
Back with a little more later. Stay tuned...
(EARLY UPDATE - 7/22/03 - NOON PDT)
Okay... this is the first post of at least two or three today, so keep
checking back for more. To start with, we've updated all the data charts
we track, including the
DVD Player Sales numbers. In addition, both the DVD software
sales and rental charts are now up to date.
We've got a BIG post in
Rumor Mill today, with word from various sources on a number
of great upcoming Universal, Paramount, MGM and 20th Century Fox DVDs.
You definitely don't want to miss it.
Back with more shortly...
Evening all! Yeah, the update today is a little later than usual, but
you'll be pleased to know that we've FINALLY updated the
DVD Cover Artwork section with more than 125 new pieces of
cover art! We've got a ton of great stuff for you to see. And remember,
clicking on each cover will take you to a pre-order page for the title
with our software sponsor,
Planet.com. They do a lot to support us, so PLEASE support
them with your business.
Just FYI, we have word that Paramount's Once
Upon a Time in the West: Special Collector's Edition is due
to street on 11/18.
We're going to keep this short and sign off now, so we can start on
tomorrow's post. Have a great night and we'll see you in the morning
with news and more!
Okay... here's our last post for the week. And we've FINALLY got a new
column for you to enjoy. It's
latest edition of Barrie Maxwell's Classic Coming Attractions!
This time around, Barrie reviews a pair of lesser-known titles of
interest to classic film fans:
Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Power of Women in Hollywood
Wolfgang Korngold: The Adventures of a Wunderkind. Our thanks
to Barrie for his patience while we worked to get this posted. And for
those of you who enjoy Barrie's columns, we'll have another new entry
from him next week, so be sure to check back for it.
Also this afternoon, we've got a whole mess of new DVD-Audio and SACD
reviews from Matt and the gang over at our
Mann: Lost in Space,
Mengelberg Quartet: Four in One,
Kinks: Everybody's in Showbiz,
Kinks: Low Budget,
Waters: Folk Singer,
Rollins: Plus 4 and
Geraissati: Canto das Aguas. Enjoy!
We've got a long overdue artwork update coming on Monday, then we have
a last couple columns to post, and we should be all caught up. So then
it's back to DVD reviews late next week.
In the meantime, have a great weekend and we'll see you on Monday!
(LATE UPDATE - 7/18/03 - 11:30 AM PDT)
Once again, something's come in that was just too good not to drop
everything and post right away. Anyone interested in the COMPLETE list
of animated shorts to be included on The
Looney Tunes Golden Collection? Yeah, we thought so.
Remember, Discs Three and Four are identical to The
Looney Tunes Premier Collection as well. So here you go!
Disc One (Bugs Bunny) - 1. Baseball
Bugs 2. Rabbit Seasoning
3. Long-Haired Hare 4. High
Diving Hare 5. Bully for Bugs
6. What's Up Doc? 7. Rabbit's
Kin 8. Water, Water Every Hare
9. Big House Bunny 10. Big
Top Bunny 11. My Bunny Lies Over
the Sea 12. Wabbit Twouble
13. Ballot Box Bunny 14. Rabbit
Disc Two (Daffy & Porky) - 1.
Duck Amuck 2. Dough
for the Do-Do 3. Drip-Along Daffy
4. Scaredy Cat 5. The
Ducksters 6. The Scarlet
Pumpernickel 7. Yankee Doodle
Daffy 8. Porky Chops 9.
Wearing of the Grin 10. Deduce,
You Say 11. Boobs in the Woods
12. Golden Yeggs 13. Rabbit
Fire 14. Duck Dodgers in the 24
Disc Three (All Stars) - 1. Elmer's
Candid Camera 2. Bugs Bunny and
the 3 Bears 3. Fast and Furry-ous
4. Hair-Raising Hare 5. The
Awful Orphan 6. Haredevil Hair
7. For Scent-imental Reasons 8.
Frigid Hare 9. The
Hypo-condricat 10. Baton Bunny
11. Feed the Kitty 12. Don't
Give Up the Sheep 13. Bugs Bunny
Gets the Boid 14. Tortoise Wins by
Disc Four (All Stars) - 1. Canary
Row 2. Bunker Hill Bunny
3. Kit for Cat 4. Putty
Tat Twouble 5. Bugs and Thugs
6. Canned Feud 7. Lumber
Jerks 8. Speedy Gonzales
9. Tweety's S.O.S. 10. The
Foghorn Leghorn 11. Daffy Duck
Hunt 12. Early to Bet
13. Broken Leghorn 14. Devil
(EARLY UPDATE - 7/18/03 - 11 AM PDT)
Okay... we've got another post coming in a little while, but this just
came in from Bits reader Marcel B.
in the Netherlands, so we had to post it. This is the artwork Paramount
is using for Once Upon a Time in the West
in English speaking countries in Europe. Paramount here in the States
hasn't decided whether they're going this route yet or not, but we'd
like to STRONGLY encourage them to do so, because this artwork rocks.
Thanks again, Marcel!
Back later. Stay tuned...
(LATE UPDATE - 7/17/03
- 3 PM PDT)
We're still working on those columns, but we've had several interesting
pieces of art and information come our way today, so that's gotta take
priority. And when you see what we've got, you'll understand why. ;-)
To start with, this is the confirmed DVD art that Fox is using for the
Japanese release of X-Men 2, which
streets on 9/12. We know the release will be a 2-disc set here in the
States, and it's expected to have both Dolby Digital and DTS sound, but
we'll have to wait a couple more weeks for an official announcement. No
word yet on whether the art and street date will remain the same in R1,
but they ought to be close, if not identical.
Yep... that is Universal's final artwork for Battlestar
Galactica: The Complete Epic Series and the theatrical
version of the Battlestar Galactica
pilot episode. Both are due on 10/21 (SRP $119.98 for the series and
$19.98 for the movie). According to the excellent
Shows On DVD website, The Complete
Epic Series will include all 24 episodes of the series in
full frame video and newly remixed Dolby Digital 5.1 audio (2.0 stereo
will also be included). You'll also get "insight into the making"
of Battlestar Galactica, the Creation
of Battlestar Galactica: An Interview with creator Glen A. Larson
featurette, deleted scenes, audio commentary for selected episodes by
cast and crew members, the Visual Effects
with John Dykstra featurette, the Sci-Fi
Special: Making of the Show featurette, the Composing
the Music: Stu Phillips and Glen A. Larson featurette,
production notes, an interactive game trailer and a sneak preview of the
new Sci-Fi Channel Battlestar Galactica
mini-series. As you can see, it also comes in special packaging molded
to look like the faceplate from a Cylon Warrior.
And while we're giving you sneak peeks, how about a first look at
Paramount's Once Upon a Time in the West:
Special Collector's Edition? Yeah... we figured that'd make
yer day. We've spoken to Paramount today and gotten the latest on the
disc. This information isn't yet final, but you can expect an official
announcement next month. So here's where things are at right now. The
two-disc set will street in November. Disc One will include the 165
minute version of the film, in anamorphic widescreen video with Dolby
Digital 5.1 audio and a cleaned-up mono mix as well. I'm told that the
film looks and sounds fantastic. Disc One will also include an audio
commentary track. More on that in a minute. Disc Two will include no
less than three documentaries on the film, along with a shorter piece on
the impact of the railroad in the Old West. The three main documentaries
cover such subjects as director Sergio Leone's career, background on the
film, the writing and casting process, the location shoot, the style of
the film (both cinematographically and other), the film's impact on the
Western genre and more. Also featured in the documentary are new
interviews with John Carpenter, John Milius, Alex Cox, Claudia
Cardinale, Bernardo Bertolucci, Gabriele Ferzetti, cinematographer
Tonino Delli Colli, Leone biographer, film historian Sir. Christopher
Frayling (author of the excellent book Sergio
Leone: Something to Do with Death) and more. Many of these
individuals also participate in the audio commentary. Additional
features are TBA. If you're any kind of serious film fan, you ought to
be pickin' your jaw off the ground right now. Here's a look at
Paramount's tentative cover artwork for the German version (thanks to
the folks at DVDrome.com
for that). Note that the final English version may be quite different.
Damn... November's gonna be a GOOD month for DVD! A 4-disc Lord
of the Rings: Two Towers, a 4-disc Indiana
Jones Trilogy and a 2-disc Once
Upon a Time in the West... does it get any better than that?
We don't think so.
(EARLY UPDATE -
7/17/03 - 12:01 AM PDT)
Morning, folks! We've finally got official cover artwork on Warner's
upcoming Looney Tunes DVDs - these
should be the final cover designs.
Warner's press release was pretty sketchy in terms of disc specs, but
we hope to have those details for you soon - specifically a detailed
list of the shorts included on the sets.
Back with more later this morning. Stay tuned...
(LATE UPDATE - 7/16/03 - 11 AM PDT)
We've got a couple of interesting notes to post this morning. First of
all, several readers have informed us that
Disney website lists a new black and white/widescreen release of
The Absent-Minded Professor set to
hit DVD on 9/2, along with The Apple Dumpling
Gang, Escape to Witch Mountain
and Return from Witch Mountain. If
true, this would be in response to consumer complaints about the
original Absent-Minded Professor
DVD, which was released in January - it was full frame and colorized.
What possessed Disney to do THAT is anyone's guess. This is the first
we've heard of the release and it's not on any of the studio's sales
charts. We're trying to get official confirmation of the title with the
studio, so we'll let you know when we do.
Meanwhile, Yahoo has posted
new article from the USA Today on TV series DVD releases.
It's definitely worth a read, if for no other reason than it confirms
that both Seinfeld and Northern
Exposure are currently being prepped for DVD release (both
are TBA). And Alias: Season 2 is
reportedly due on 12/2.
Sadly, two TV series you won't be seeing on DVD any time soon are Miami
Vice and WKRP in Cincinnati.
Store Magazine has reported that Universal claims a DVD
release of Miami Vice is nearly
impossible because of the complicated music clearance issues. We have
personal knowledge that the same is true with Fox's WKRP
in Cincinnati. Both shows used a great deal of then
contemporary music as part of their soundtracks. The problem is, at the
time these shows were produced, no one was thinking about future home
video and DVD releases. So the license agreements with the music
industry to use these songs didn't apply to future home video use. That
means that they studios would have to re-license each song - which can
literally cost millions of dollars per episode. You'd like to think the
music industry would be flexible in working out new agreements to at
least make DVD releases possible, but given the sad state of the music
industry these days and their shotgun approach to enforcing copyright, I
wouldn't hold my breath.
Just FYI, we've announced the winners of the
Congrats to all!
We're working on a posting a couple of new columns from Barrie Maxwell
and Robert Harris. It might take us until tomorrow to get them both up,
but they're coming. Then, our next catch-up priority will be a massive
DVD Cover Art update for Friday. And it's all reviews after
that. So stay tuned!
(EARLY UPDATE - 7/16/03 -
12:01 AM PDT)
We've got great news today for you Star Trek
fans. Paramount has just announced the DVD release of the 2-disc Star
Trek V: The Final Frontier - Collector's Edition on 10/14
(SRP $24.99). The disc will include the film in anamorphic widescreen
video, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, audio commentary by director/star
William Shatner and Liz Shatner (his daughter and author of Captain's
Log, William Shatner's personal account of the making of the
film), another text commentary by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda,
numerous behind-the-scenes featurettes (including Herman
Zimmerman: A Tribute, Original
Interview: William Shatner, Cosmic
Thoughts, That Klingon Couple
and The Green Future?), Harve
Bennett's pitch to the sales team, The
Journey documentary, make-up tests, a look at
pre-visualization models, a look at the abandoned "rock man"
costume, video of a press conference for the film, deleted scenes,
theatrical trailers (including the teaser and theatrical trailers, as
well as the trailer for The Complete
Adventures of Indiana Jones), storyboard art and a gallery of
production photos. Be sure to visit
Trek.com for more information. And don't forget, a 2-disc
edition of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered
Country is being prepared for release early in 2004.
In other news this morning, we have an update on the new Final
Countdown DVD, finally with at least a little bit of new
information. In retrospect, our comments yesterday were a bit harsh,
reflecting our frustration with the previous DVD release. So our
apologies to Pacific Family Entertainment and Triumph Marketing for
that. The good news is, we have been in contact with PFE, and they've
officially confirmed to us that the DVD has been remastered to improve
the video quality of their original release. So the new DVD up for sale
on Amazon.com (due on 8/19) is the remastered version. The bad news is,
we have no further official details than that, and it's unlikely we'll
see the disc before its release. However, we've also been in contact
with a video retailer who we trust, who has seen the new version. He
tells us that, while the newly remastered widescreen video isn't
anamorphic, it IS an improvement on the original PFE release. We don't
know whether the audio has also been remastered, but it should be Dolby
Digital 5.1 like the original disc. The disc should also include the
film's theatrical trailer, as did the original. So while it still isn't
the special edition many of you have been waiting for, the improved
quality should make it at least worth a purchase for fans. We get at
least 2 or 3 e-mails a week about this title, so we know how badly you
guys out there want this film on DVD. Hopefully, if this disc sells
well, PFE and Triumph will revisit the title with more extras and an
anamorphic transfer in the future. Note that the disc art above is for
the original version - we don't know if the new art is identical or not.
On a similar note, the aforementioned retailer also informs us that
Convoy and The
Point are due from Triumph on 8/19. Savannah
Smiles will reportedly follow from them in September. We have
no other official details on these titles.
Back this afternoon with the Trivia Contest
winners and some columns. Stay tuned...
Today's post is going to be a little short, because I've got a dentist
visit I've gotta take care of this afternoon. Tomorrow, however, we'll
come back with a couple of new featured columns from our staff writers
and more news. We'll also try to update the Upcoming
DVD Cover Art section before the week is out, and post a few
more reviews as well. So watch for that.
The big news today is in
Rumor Mill, concerning Universal's plans for Scarface
on DVD. If you're a fan of the film, I think you'll be pleased. Don't
Also on the Universal front, the studio is releasing The
Shape of Things on 9/23 and Timecop
2: The Berlin Decision on 9/30. And 9/2 will see the release
of their "high school reunion" titles, including Sixteen
Candles, Weird Science,
Three O'Clock High, The
Breakfast Club, Fast Times at
Ridgemont High, Mallrats,
Dazed and Confused, American
Graffiti and a High School Reunion
Collection box set of all these films. Most of these titles
are obviously re-issues.
Moving on today, New Line has officially announced the DVD release of
the Willard: Platinum Series on
10/7 (SRP $27.95). The DVD will feature two documentaries, The
Year of the Rat and Rat People:
Friends or Foes. You'll also get audio commentary with
director Glen Morgan, producer James Wong, and stars Crispen Glover and
R. Lee Ermey. There's also a music video. both widescreen and full frame
video, Dolby Digital 5.1 EX audio, trailers and TV spots and the
script-to-screen DVD-ROM feature.
Other newly announced New Line DVDs include Leatherface:
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III on 9/30, followed by Unconditional
Love, Blink, Lawnmower
Man 2: Jobe's War, Heaven's
Prisoners and Excessive Force
And Columbia TriStar upcoming titles for 9/23 include Big
Girls Don't Cry: Special Edition, Daddy
Day Care: Special Edition, Gas
Food and Lodging, In Cold Blood,
Men with Guns and The
Finally this morning, you fans of director Steven Soderbergh will be
pleased to know that Criterion plans to release a DVD version of his
1996 Schizopolis late this fall
(street date TBA). You can read more at the
home page. Thanks to Bits
reader J.R. E. for the heads-up.
(LATE UPDATE - 7/14/03 - 1 PM PDT)
Jerry Beck's Cartoon
Research website has posted full specs on the upcoming The
Looney Tunes Golden Collection. Beck is actually working with
Warner on the new set, and he provides lots of disc by disc details. The
first thing to know is that Discs One and Two of The
Looney Tunes Golden Collection are exclusive to that set,
while Discs Three and Four are the same as the two discs in The
Looney Tunes Premier Collection. So if you buy the Golden
Collection, you're getting the content of both sets. The
other great news is that the Golden
Collection is just the first wave of Looney
Tunes releases on DVD. Our guess is that you'll get a new
collection every year until most or all of the shorts have been
released. Of course, all of that will no doubt depend on how these first
(LATE UPDATE - 7/14/03 -
10:30 AM PDT)
Okay... we've looked into this Final
Countdown DVD from "Triumph Marketing" and we've
discovered that they are, in fact, connected to Pacific Family
Entertainment. That means that the DVD being offered on Amazon is likely
the same disc PFE released before. We have it, and it's a real mess. The
film transfer isn't anamorphic and the video is the worst we've ever
seen on DVD. The film fades up from black (or should we say gray,
because the blacks are washed out and lifeless) to the softest DVD video
you'll ever seen. This looks like VHS tape. Hey... if you guys at PFE
HAVE fixed this disc, drop
us an e-mail and let us take a look at it. If it's better, we'll
be the first to admit it. Otherwise, our suggestion to readers is to
avoid it like the plague.
We are REALLY getting tired of talking about this film on DVD. Somebody
PLEASE just release even a passable version of this flick on disc and be
done with it! Sadly, "Triumph Marketing" also has the DVD
release rights to Convoy, directed
by Sam Peckinpah as well. 'Nuff said.
(EARLY UPDATE - 7/14/03 - 12:01 AM PDT)
Warner Home Video is today officially announcing the release of The
Matrix: Reloaded on October 14th (SRP $29.95). The 2-disc set
will be available in both anamorphic widescreen and full frame versions.
Interestingly, early press information indicates that the disc will be
available in an Amaray keep case rather than the typical Snapper
packaging Warner is so fond of. Audio on the DVD will be available in
English and French Dolby Digital 5.1 and English 2.0 Dolby Surround.
Extras will include numerous documentary featurettes, including Preload
(behind-the-scenes with the cast and crew), The
Freeway Chase (a look at the making of the complex stunt
sequence), Enter the Matrix
(behind-the-scenes on the new videogame), What
is the Amimatrix? (a promo for the animated companion DVD),
The Matrix Unfolds (a look at the
film "phenomenon") and Get Me an
Exit (a look at design advertising inspired by the film), as
well as DVD-ROM weblinks to the official site and the MTV
Movie Awards spoof video. There may also be additional
features TBA. Here's the final cover art for the disc:
We'll have more details on this title, as well as Looney
Tunes, as they come in from the studio.
In case you missed it, DTS went public last week in the biggest opening
on NASDAQ in a long time. You can read more
Criterion has announced some new titles. On 9/16, look for Roman
Polanski's Knife in the Water,
William Dieterle's The Devil and Daniel
Webster and The BDR Trilogy
4-disc set, including Rainer Werner Fassbinder's The
Marriage of Maria Braun, Veronika
Voss and Lola.
You fans of the Universal Classic Monsters series have a little new
reason to be happy. No, Universal doesn't seem to have plans to revive
the series, but Image Entertainment is releasing the original The
Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Chaney on 9/9 (SRP $24.99).
The 2-disc set will include the 1925 version (110 mins) with a score by
Jon Mirsalis, the 1929 restored version (98 mins) with a soundtrack by
Carl Davis (stereo) and the original mono soundtrack, audio commentary
by film historian Scott MacQueen, Carla
Laemmle Remembers: A Video Interview conducted by David Skal,
the 1925 and 1930 theatrical trailers, a Faust
opera extract from the 1929 Tiffany Sound feature Midstream,
still galleries of deleted and missing scenes, 8 audio-only dialogue
sequences from the 1929 version and an audio interview with
cinematographer Charles Van Enger. Very, very cool.
And we have some more cover art for you this morning - Fox's Bend
it Like Beckham (street date 9/30), Down
with Love (10/7) and From Justin
to Kelly (8/26). Beckham
will have director's commentary, featurettes, outtakes and 10
deleted/extended scenes. We threw From Justin
to Kelly in just for s&!#s and giggles. It's noteworthy
only because it's one fastest film-to-video dumps ever - the DVD streets
just 68 days after the film's theatrical release. Ouch.
Finally this morning, we've been getting inundated with e-mails from
readers who have noticed that there's a new Final
Countdown DVD available for pre-order on Amazon.com (street
date 8/19). The studio is listed as Triumph Marketing. We have no idea
whether or not this is the same disc Pacific Family Entertainment
released, but we'll try to find out.
Back with more later. Stay tuned...
You've waited a long time, folks... and now the wait is over. Warner
Bros. has officially announced their first DVD release of classic Looney
Tunes animated shorts for October 28th. Here's what to
The Looney Tunes Golden Collection
will retail for $64.92 and will contain 56 of the very best animated
shorts, restored and remastered to pristine quality, on 4 discs. You'll
also get audio commentaries, music-only tracks, behind-the-scenes
featurettes and documentaries and much more.
The Looney Tunes Premier Collection
will retail for $26.99. Its 2 discs will feature 28 of the best restored
and remastered shorts, featuring the "best of favorite characters"
and some supplemental material.
Also available that day will be Looney
Tunes: Reality Check! and Looney
Tunes: Stranger Than Fiction (SRP $19.98 each). Reality
Check features newly-created shorts spoofing reality TV,
while Stranger Than Fiction
includes new shorts spoofing sci-fi movie blockbusters and TV shows.
We don't have final cover art yet, or complete disc specs, but you can
see tentative art for the Golden Collection
and the Premier Collection
We should have all the details for you on Monday. Also... be sure to
watch this space for ANOTHER big announcement from Warner on Monday
morning. You can probably guess what it is.
We suggest you take the RED pill.
See you Monday for all the fun! Stay tuned...
"Holy s#@t, Batman! You... you mean The
Bits has actual DVD reviews again? NEW ones?!"
"That's right, Robin. Three brand new reviews. I fear the Joker is
up to his old tricks again..."
No joke, folks! Told you we'd get back on the review wagon sooner or
later! We even dusted the cobwebs off Todd for the occasion. He's been
chained to a desk working on the book for months now, but he's checked
in with a review of the awesome new documentary
in La Mancha. And Adam Jahnke's got a pair of titles comin' at
you today as well -
Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy (the unrated cut of course). So
pick your jaws up off the ground and enjoy. We might even make the
review thing a habit around here again. ;-)
Oh... but we're not done. We've also posted
complete transcript of a live chat held on Tuesday evening (over
at the Home
Theater Forum) with DVD producer Van Ling. Thanks to Ron,
Parker and the gang at HTF for
sending it over.
And finally this morning, we've got some word for you on Columbia
TriStar's new Monty Python and the Holy
Grail: Collector's Edition. It is indeed the same 2-disc
special edition that's already available. The only difference is, it now
comes in a spiffy black slip case and includes a paperback copy of the
screenplay and a collectible senitype film frame. We've got an e-mail
into CTHE to try and find out if the film disc has been fixed to correct
that missing first Swedish subtitle: "Mønti Pythøn Ik
den Hølie Gräilen?" We'll let you know what we find
So that's the way it is. Go about your business, have a great weekend
and we'll see you Monday! Peace.
(LATE UPDATE - 7/10/03 -
11:30 AM PDT)
Just in for your viewing pleasure... new Universal cover artwork for
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
(9/2), Duel: Collector's Edition
(8/12) and 2 Fast 2 Furious (TBA).
(EARLY UPDATE -
7/10/03 - 11 AM PDT)
Okay... a few retail sources have been posting this information online,
and we've confirmed that it's the real deal with Paramount. Here's the
first official details about the bonus features on the upcoming Indy
"Indiana Jones: Making the Trilogy -
The Lucasfilm archives were raided to give you unprecedented access to
the making of the Indiana Jones trilogy. Join the cast and crew
of all 3 films on an epic movie-making adventure, including all-new
interviews with Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Harrison Ford, Frank
Marshall, Karen Allen, Kate Capshaw and more. Go on set and experience
firsthand the rough-and-tumble world of the films' creation. Illustrated
with never-before-seen footage, outtakes, screen tests, production
drawings and photographs, Making the Trilogy is your first-class
ticket to behind-the-scenes movie-making history.
The Light and Magic of Indiana Jones - In an era before
computer-generated effects existed, Industrial Light and Magic managed
to bring to life the unique world of Indiana Jones by using
groundbreaking techniques in special and mechanical effects. The ILM
wizards reveal how they employed miniatures, matte paintings, morphing
and more to make Indy's spectacular quests and supernatural adventures
The Sound of Indiana Jones - Academy Award-winning sound
designer Ben Burtt takes us on what director Steven Spielberg describes
as "an adventure in sound." Discover the crucial role that
sound effects and editing play in the Indiana Jones films and
learn the aural history behind some of your favorite scenes.
The Stunts of Indiana Jones - Each Indiana Jones film
topped its predecessor with heart-stopping, perilous stunts. The stunt
crew takes you behind the scenes to witness the intense coordination
required by the entire production team to make certain a death-defying
scene looks convincing on film. Learn how the Indy films paid homage to
the past and were pivotal to the future of movie stunts.
Original trailers - Watch the original theatrical teasers and trailers
for the Indiana Jones movies along with a trailer for the Indiana
Jones and the Emperor's Tomb video game from LucasArts.
Exclusive DVD-ROM content - Each of your Indiana Jones DVDs has
the ability to unlock exclusive Indiana Jones content available
only through a special DVD-ROM Web site. In addition, you can link to
(the official site for Indiana Jones fans) and check out the
daily features and updates on Indiana Jones 4."
So there you have it. Thanks to Bits
reader Scott R., and everyone who sent this in.
And while we're talking things of a Spielberg nature, some of our best
sources have checked in with details on Universal's plan for Schindler's
List, as well as near final art and a street date for
Warner's The Matrix Reloaded!
You'll find that in
Rumor Mill today, so don't miss it.
We've got some new Fox TV street dates for you today. Look for Dark
Angel: Season 2 on October 21st, The
X-Files: Season 8 on November 4, King
of the Hill: Season 2 on November 11 and M.A.S.H:
Season Five, Firefly: The Complete
Series and Buffy: Season 5
all on December 9th.
Finally this morning, Warner has announced the films that were selected
by fans in their DVD Decision 2003 on AOL. Officially set to debut on
DVD on January 6th are Days of Wine and Roses,
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The
Postman Always Rings Twice, The
Wind and the Lion and Where the
Boys Are (SRP $19.98 each).
Back with more later this afternoon, including a new Trivia
Contest. Stay tuned...
Surprise! We thought we'd get an early start on things for a change
First up this morning, MGM has announced some of their October
releases. On 10/7, look for It's a Very Merry
Muppet Christmas Movie, Christmas
Carol: The Movie (animated), Second
Star to the Left: A Christmas Tale, A
Freezerburnt Christmas, Silkwood,
Alien from L.A., Impulse,
Street Smart, West
Side Story (Standard Edition), The
Whales of August and Straight Out
We've also gotten official word from Paramount on their October DVD
releases. Street dates are still TBA, but look for The
Italian Job (both the new and original 1969 versions in
separate editions), House of Fools,
The Original Latin Kings of Comedy,
Latham Entertainment Presents, the
first The Honeymooners: The Original TV
Series episodes, Conviction,
Black Sunday, Lipstick,
That Was Then, This is Now, The
Browning Version, Dragonslayer,
Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter,
Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell,
Dora the Explorer: Meet Diego,
Little Bear: Feel Better, Little Bear,
Jimmy Neutron: Sea of Trouble and
SpongeBob SquarePants: Season One.
Just FYI, all of the Paramount catalog titles for September are now set
for release on 9/9.
Columbia TriStar's got some new titles to announce too. On 8/14, look
for All I Want, Anger
Management: Special Edition (widescreen and full frame
versions), Enigma: Special Edition,
Enough: Special Edition, Monty
Python and the Holy Grail: Collector's Edition, Rocket
Gilbraltar, Soap: The Complete
First Season and The Babysitter's
Club. That Holy Grail
DVD is a 2-disc set and the packaging is new. We're still working to
determine if it's a completely new edition or just the previous special
edition release in new packaging (we suspect it's new).
We're working up to a major update of our
DVD Cover Art section in the next week or so. In the meantime,
here's some new cover scans for you...
And before we go this morning, we leave you with a last bit of DVD
cover art that retail sources sent our way yesterday - Disney and
Pixar's upcoming Finding Nemo
(street date: TBA).
Morning all! We're wrapping up the last of the work for our book today,
so we're damn close to officially done. But we wanted to jump in here an
great story that Mark Rahner of The Seattle Times did last
week about many of the great films that have yet to be released on DVD.
The good news is, many of them are already on the way.
Plus, and this comes straight from Paramount, we've been told that
Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West
is looking very good for release before the end of the year as a special
collector's edition. How's that for cool? Rahner also points out that,
in addition to Dragonslayer,
Paramount's Young Sherlock Holmes
is also on the way to DVD. We've been told that That
Was Then, This is Now is forthcoming as well.
Columbia TriStar has announced that a pair of Michael Apted titles,
Enough and Enigma,
are going to be re-released on September 16 as fully loaded special
editions with all new bonus features (SLP $27.95 each).
And Warner is expecting to release A Mighty
Wind on September 23rd (SRP $27.95). The film will be
presented in anamorphic widescreen video with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.
Extras will include audio commentary with director Christopher Guest and
Eugene Levy, biographies and discographies (with album art and lyrics)
for The Folksmen, The New Main Street Singers and Mitch & Mickey,
Easter eggs, 15 additional scenes, the "live TV broadcast" of
the concert in its entirety, TV appearances by The Folksmen and Mitch &
Mickey and more.
(LATE UPDATE - 7/7/03 - 5 PM PDT)
interesting (but brief) story up at Yahoo on a new wireless "DVD
product" that Gateway is developing. Basically, it sounds like a
DVD player that can connect wirelessly to your PC, allowing you to view
digital photos and videos on your TV, and listen to downloaded music in
your home theater as well.
For those of you who are interested in Sony's Blu-ray technology,
online review at the Digit Life website of one of their new
Blu-ray player/recorders. These have already been launched in
Japan. The review is written in less than... well, good English. But
it's worth a look for the features and specs of the player alone.
According to the review, this particular model is backwards compatible
with DVD-Video. Interesting. Thanks to Bits
reader Ben H. for the link.
Finally today, DreamWorks has announced that they'll be two discs of
Spin City episodes, personally
selected by series star Michael J. Fox. Spin
City: Michael J. Fox - His All Time Favorites, Volume 1 & 2
will street on August 26th (MAP $22.95 each). Each title is a 2-disc
set. The two volumes together contain some 22 episodes of the series,
each with video introduction by Fox. Also included are PSAs starting the
(EARLY UPDATE - 7/7/03 - 10 AM PDT)
So you wanna know the details about the documentaries on the Indiana
Jones bonus disc? The
Board of Film Classification's revealed them. All such materials
have to be submitted to the BBFC in order for them to be released in the
U.K., and the BBFC makes the details public. So here's what to look for
on Indy according to them.
The Making of the Indiana Jones Trilogy -
Part 1: Raiders of the Lost Ark (51 mins)
The Making of the Indiana Jones Trilogy -
Part 2: The Temple of Doom (41 mins)
The Making of the Indiana Jones Trilogy -
Part 3: The Last Crusade (35 mins)
The Stunts of Indiana Jones (11
The Light and Magic of Indiana Jones
The Music of Indiana Jones (12
Keep in mind that none of these details have been confirmed by
Paramount and Lucasfilm, but we suspect they're accurate nonetheless.
Back with more this afternoon... stay tuned...