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April 27, 2004

"I never drink wine."

Another new release day is upon us so here's the lot (quite a bit of stuff, particularly in the horror category!):

Adventures Sherlock Holmes (1939)
All Things Fair
Best Boy
Big Fish
Book of Love
Boys of St. Vincent
The Cooler
Dick Van Dyke: Season 4
Dracula: Legacy Collection
(includes Dracula (1931), Dracula (1931 Spanish), Dracula¬’s Daughter, Son of Dracula, House of Dracula.
Dracula Risen from the Grave
ER: Season 2
Fast Company
Fat Man & Little Boy
Frankenstein: Legacy Coll.
(includes Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstein, Ghost of Frankenstein, House of Frankenstein.)
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed
Ghosts of the Abyss
Hammer Horror Collection
(includes Curse of Frankenstein, Horror of Dracula, The Mummy, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, Dracula Has Risen From the Grave, Taste the Blood of Dracula.)
Helen of Troy
Hound of the Baskervilles
Ingmar Bergman SE Collection
(includes Persona, Shame, Hour of the Wolf, Passion of Anna, Serpent¬’s Egg.)
Jericho Mansions
Kids In the Hall: Season 1
The Last King
Like Father, Like Son
Love Actually
Love Don'’t Cost A Thing
Medicine Show
Molly Maguires
Monster: Legacy Coll. Set
(includes all the films in the Dracula/Frankenstein/Wolf Man Legacy Collections. Plus three hand-cast, hand-painted busts of the three principals.)
My Little Eye
My Side of the Mountain
Natl.Geo:Beyond the Movie:Troy
The Pixies
Popeye: 75th Anniversary Coll.
(note that there are no Max Fleischer cartoons in this collection, —just TV animation from the 1960s.)
Profiler: Season 3
Saved By The Bell:Seasons 3&4
The Statement
Stuck On You
Taking Sides
Taste the Blood of Dracula
Thomas and Sarah
Twist & Shout: Zappa
Vice Versa
Wolf Man: Legacy Collection
(includes Wolf Man, Werewolf of London, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, She-Wolf of London.)
Wrestlemania XX

Warner has announced some more of their classic catalog with The Film Noir Classic Collection. Featuring five classic noir titles never-before released on DVD: Murder My Sweet, The Set Up, Out of the Past, John Huston¬’s The Asphalt Jungle and Gun Crazy. Available individually or as a box set, each features audio commentary, from directors Robert Wise and Martin Scorsese and actor James Whitmore as well as other film noir experts including Alain Silver, Jim Ursini and Glenn Erickson. Other extras include a new intro on The Asphalt Jungle, and theatrical trailers on each flick. All are remastered in their original aspect ratios, and retail will be $19.95 a pop or $49.95 for the entire collection.

All you fans of celebrity governors get a new special edition of the Schwartzenegger/Ventura "classic" Predator. Fox has loaded this one up with an anamorphic widescreen film transfer, Dolby Digital/DTS 5.1 surround tracks and tons 'o extras on this two disc set including audio commentary with director John McTiernan, a subtitled trivia track, the "If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It" documentary and seven-part "Inside The Predator" featurette, a deleted scene, three outtakes, three "Red Suit" special effects vignettes, two Predator "Camouflage Tests," a still gallery, the "Predator Profile," multiple easter eggs, and new Alien Vs. Predator sneak peeks. Retail will go for $26.95.

There's word spreading that Warner is contemplating releasing the unrated cut of Eyes Wide Shut (1999), which was shown outside the U.S. (without the stupid CG censorship). This would be cool, but I really wish they'd just done this the first time!

Speaking of goofy directors, it looks like David Lynch's Wild At Heart (1990) will be released late this year as a special edition disc by MGM. Also in the works by MGM (of which there are rumors going on about them being bought out by Sony) are Judgement at Nuremberg: Special Edition, a David Lean Collection featuring Blithe Spirit, Brief Encounter, Great Expectations, In Which We Serve, Madeleine, Oliver Twist, Passionate Friends and This Happy Breed, The Burning Bed, Gotham (aka The Dead Can't Lie - 1988 TV movie), Moving Target Pursuit, and Alexander the Great (1956).

And in the land of TV comes a release of V: The Complete Series (1983) on 7/27. Minimal extras and mono sound, though I suppose it's good for the fans to have this out at all. Plus MGM is supposedly going to release The Martian Chronicles (the 1980 miniseries) this Fall.

And reviews:

Gilmore Girls: The Complete First Season (out on 5/4).

Another Fox Studio Classic entry, The Desk Set (1957).

Blaze (1989, Paul Newman)

April 22, 2004

"Do I laugh now, or wait 'til it gets funny?"

I'm going to veer off topic here just for a bit...

Since I'm a minor transatlantic ocean liners geek, (it's a long story) I was pleased to note that the new Queen Mary 2 arrived in New York this morning on her first England to New York voyage. That something like the QM 2 would even be built at all is amazing and top of that, she is intended for actual transatlantic duty. As far as I know, no one else does this; the Queen Elizabeth 2 (built in 1969), had been the one vessel of note to have this job and it generally only did this route during the warm weather months. Now the QE2 will be doing cruising. The QM2 is the largest passenger ship ever built. At 151,400 tons, she's almost twice the size of the original Queen Mary and three times the size of the Titanic. She's completely dwarfed however, by an oil tanker, the Jahre Viking weighing in at a Ford Excursion-like 564,700 tons. Seems appropriate, doesn't it?

Here's hoping she is a success and that I can someday manage to sail on her (the "cheap" rooms are $1,800/person).

Disney will be releasing The Human Stain on 7/20 with a few extras. Universal spits out a few more of their catalog/noir titles on 7/6 including The Big Clock (1948), Black Angel (1946), Criss Cross (1949), This Gun For Hire (1942), and a reissue (the earlier DVD has been out of print for several years) of Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity.

Disney has announced the other animated title it's going to be pushing this Fall alongside Aladdin. On 10/26, they'll be releasing Mulan as a 2 disc set with loads 'o bonuses...all hands, prepare to be marketed to!

This next one just cracked me up, so bear with me here...the indie distributor Blue Underground will be releasing a new DVD of the "cult fave" Uncle Sam: I Want You...Dead! (1997) on July 27. Hey c'mon, it's got Isaac Hayes in it!!! I love the short plot summary:

"Desert Storm vet who was killed in combat rises from the grave on July Fourth, to kill the unpatriotic citizens of his hometown..."

I'll resist further comment on that one!


South Park: Season 3 (out now)

The Last Samurai (out on May 4)

April 14, 2004

"I'm on Shag Highway heading West."

I was lying in bed this morning watching the morning news (Tivo rules!) and they had a piece on about DVD movie "Easter Eggs". In case you didn't know, these are little hidden bits on DVD menus, usually consisting of short features or trailers. So, in my half asleep stupor, it occurred to me that I have been meaning to post on the one that's one the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - Extended Edition DVD. The one here is an acceptance speech by Gollum at the MTV Movie Awards. If you happen to own the set, do give it a look as it's pretty damn funny. From the site are the instructions to find it:

"Insert disc 1 (the one with the first half of the movie) and choose the 'select a scene' option.

From the list of chapters on the right of the screen, choose scenes 29-30.

Press down on your remote to highlight scene 30 ("Of Herbs And Stewed Rabbit").

Press down once more and a small ring will appear. Press ENTER to see Peter Jackson introduce Gollum's MTV awards acceptance speech. "

This site also has instructions for finding the egg hidden on the Fellowship set as well.

Here's an advance review of the Love Actually DVD (out on 4/27).

And while Pirates of the Caribbean was a surprisingly good theme park adaptation, The Haunted Mansion apparently wasn't. But if you are curious about the DVD, check it out here.

And Roger Ebert has added the silent classic Sunrise (1928) to his "Great Movies" list. Read about it here.

April 12, 2004

"I call it... the hot dog tree, because... it's a hot dog tree."

I don't have a ton of new stuff today, but I wanted to get something out to test out the UofM Libraries blog function. I'm thinking of moving Dregs over there since it has more options, sending to multiple email addresses for one, and is totally ad-free. I'm going to start by publishing to both for now and see how it goes. So getting on with it...

Paramount has announced some more catalog titles with their usual pattern of new film transfer, zero bonus features, and low price. I'm actually OK with this since they've done good work on them so far, the price is right, (they often sell for around $10 at retail) and this gets the titles out there that might otherwise not get out if they have to wait to do work on supplements or justify the expense of a big release for a title that has a smaller audience. The latest batch includes (on 7/6): Big Top Pee-Wee, Crazy People, Critical Condition, First Monday in October, and Heartburn.

Following on 7/13, will be Danger: Diabolik, The Assassination Bureau, The Counterfeit Traitor, and , The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.

Star Trek: Voyager - The Complete Third Season will be out on 7/6.

Also in July will be The Untouchables: Special Collector's Edition and a Star Trek: The Next Generation - Captain Picard box set (I have no idea what's in this yet..).


The Chaplin Collection, Volume 2 (out now)

DVD Savant takes a look at Robert Altman's 3 Women (1977, out on 4/20).