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May 25, 2004

"Wake up. Wake up. Wake up, sleepies. We must go, yeeees, we must go at once."

Today's big release, in case you hadn't noticed, is Return of the King, the theatrical version. For those who have to get it (as opposed to the rest of you who are waiting for the 4 DVD extended set), Target seems to have the best price: $14.99. Be sure to get it in widescreen, kiddies!

Here's the rest of the pile released today:

Battle Hymn
Boy Meets Boy: Season 1
Brady Bunch in the White House
Bubba Ho-Tep SE
Buffy Vampire Slayer: Season 6
Cheers: Season 3
Club Dread
Crash Dive
Cruel Intentions 3
Custer of the West
Duel in the Sun
The Enemy Below
Frasier: Season 3
Growing Up Brady
Guns of the Magnificent Seven
Hell in the Pacific
Hunters: The Story of PJ
Junior Bonner
Larry Cohen Collection
(includes: Q: Winged Serpent, God Told Me To, Bone)
Last Valley
LOTR: Trilogy
(includes all three theatrical cuts)
Lost Treasure Sawtooth Island
Magnificent Seven Ride
Minute to Pray, a Second to Die
No Man is an Island
Nora’s Hair Salon
Northern Exposure: Season 1
Operation Scorpio
Price For Peace
Prodigal Son
Raiders of the Secret Stone
Royal Warriors
Saving Pvt Ryan-60th Anniv. D-Day Edition
(reissue of previous DVD with more bonuses and no DTS track)
Shooting War
Smiles of a Summer Night
(Bergman, Criterion)
Stray Dog
(Kurosawa, Criterion)
To Hell and Back
Too Late the Hero
Underworld- NR Extended Cut
Wake Island
Weather Underground
Welcome to Mooseport
What Price Glory?
Winds of War
World War II Collection
(includes: Price for Peace, Shooting War, Saving Private Ryan (D-Day Edition) and a collectible book)
You Were Never Lovelier
Young Master

I guess the theme this week is Hobbits and Veterans!

Warners has announced the street date for Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed: 9/14 as a single disc release, minimal bonuses.

The studio will also release Lassie Come Home, Son of Lassie and The Courage of Lassie, plus the 1996 update of Flipper and Flipper's New Adventure on August 24th.

Fox announced some more TV stuff: Harsh Realm: The Complete Series and Futurama: Volume 4, both out on 8/24.

Not yet announced, but rumored is a 9-disc The Matrix Trilogy DVD box set for Region 4 (street date TBA). This would supposedly include 3 discs for The Matrix, 3 discs for The Matrix Reloaded, 2 discs for The Matrix Revolutions, and the single-disc Animatrix DVD. Features of the set are reported to include new HD film transfers of the films, an extended version of Reloaded with an hour of additional footage and new documentaries, commentaries and other newly created special edition content. I'd expect some variant of this to make its way here, but we'll see...


Mystic River (out on 6/8)

Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)

May 21, 2004

"You have nowhere to go. I am here to protect you."

Most of you probably don't care about this, but UPN has released their Fall 2004 season and it includes Enterprise. There was word that the network was going to cancel the show, but they kept it on, moving to a Friday night time slot. There was a fan call-in campaign that might have changed Enterprise's fortunes, but UPN certainly wouldn't admit that. Enterprise isn't great Star Trek, but it's still Trek, which is enough for some. I personally find it the weakest of all the shows, but it has been improving. However, there's only so much that can be done with a mediocre cast (overall) and the restrictive universe of "Viacom Trek." We'll see if the show can do better not having to compete with shows like The West Wing or if its move to the land of TGIF will be the end.

MGM has a few new releases announced: On 9/14, look for Coffee & Cigarettes. 9/21 will see Unspeakable. And on 9/28, watch for The Saddest Music in the World.

They also have acquired the rights to the Selznick-produced Alfred Hitchcock titles, some of which were on DVD before from Anchor Bay and Criterion (the Criterions have numerous bonuses and are out of print, but still available from some web retailers). They will be issued again this November; they include The Lady Vanishes, Notorious, The Paradine Case, Rebecca, Sabotage, Spellbound, The Thirty-Nine Steps and Young & Innocent.

This Fall is turning out to be the season of "digital face-lift." George Lucas is issuing his first feature, THX 1138 on DVD September 14 with a limited theatrical run starting on 9/10. The version released this Fall will have digital alterations, natch and available as a single disc or 2 disc "collectors edition" set.

Faithful reader Bette T. wanted to see this, so here's her chance: The Prince & Me will be out on August 10.

Universal does the reissue thing again with Dazed and Confused: Flashback Edition and Fast Times at Ridgemont High on September 14.

For reviews, I have a couple from DVD Savant:

Volker Schlondorff's controversial The Tin Drum (1979, out now, from Criterion). You may recall that this is the film that became a best-seller in Oklahoma after it was labeled child porn by some activist antipornography group who got the police to illegally search private homes for copies of the film and even get warrants to go through the rental logs from Blockbuster stores. There's some bonus material on the DVD that goes into all the issues surrounding this film. I've seen it (not recently) and while it has disturbing images, it is far from porn, IMO.

The Ingrid Bergman Joan of Arc (1948, out now).

And more recent fare, Calendar Girls (out now...hey wait, didn't they used to work at the Mall of America?!) and a new 2 disc edition of Wyatt Earp (1992, out now).

May 19, 2004

"Don't make me use my stuff on ya, baby! "

I'll start out today with a wee bit of reader mail:

Dear Dr. Dregs,

I just want to say thanks and keep it up! You're doing the people's work sir. Ever since I got Netflix I have a new and inspired interest in Bitter Dregs. I was updating my queue just the other day and kicked myself for deleting the most recent edition. What good can come of it? Well, I did not know until today that I can get the second (and presumably the first) season of Soap. Cool!

Wendy Turner
Chicago, IL

Hi Wendy,

I'm really glad you're enjoying efforts--I think it's kinda fun doing it so that's all good. FYI, all the stuff I've done on the web is archived, just go to the site and click on the archives...when I move the blog over to the U of M service, it should have a functional search feature as well. And Soap Season 1 has been out since 9/16/03. Thanks for reading/eating/spending money!

'Ol Doc Dregs

So we all know that Lucas has been making more changes to the Star Wars films for DVD release this Fall. Well, here's a screenshot that apparently has been confirmed by those in the know:

Paramount has let slip some more upcoming stuff; truly a mixed bag.

8/31 - Come Back Little Sheba (1952)

9/7 - Whispers in the Dark, Star Trek Generations: Special Collectors Edition, Murder on the Orient Express, Eddie Murphy: Raw

9/14 - Orca: The Killer Whale, I Married a Monster from Outer Space, Bug, Body Parts, Friday the 13th: From Crystal Lake to Manhattan - The Ultimate Edition DVD Collection (the first 8 movies on 5 discs)

9/28 - Footloose: Special Collector's Edition

Coming in October - 10 classic Jerry Lewis films, Explorers, Deep Impact: Collector's Edition, Fire in the Sky, The Conquest of Space, D.A.R.Y.L., Black Beauty, The Untouchables: Special Collector's Edition, The Godfather, Part II (movie only), The Godfather, Part III (movie only).

They've also announced a raft of TV show stuff:

Happy Days: The Complete First Season arrives on 8/17, featuring all 16 episodes of the show's first year on 3 discs. Also on 8/17, look for Laverne & Shirley: The Complete First Season featuring 15 episodes on 3 discs. That same day, you'll also get a more recent show - Al Franken's Lateline: The Complete Series, which will feature all 19 episodes of the series (including 4 that never aired) on 3 discs.

And, Touched by an Angel: Season 1, Survivor All Stars and I Love Lucy: Season 2 will all be out on 8/31, with Mork & Mindy: Season 1 following on 9/7. 7th Heaven: Season 1 (Ooo, sign me up for that!) and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 4 are expected on 9/14. Frasier: The Final Season (yes, they're going to release the 11th season after the third one...) is due on 9/21. Finally, The Andy Griffith Show: Season 1, Taxi: Season 1, The Jamie Kennedy Experiment: Season 2, Hogan's Heroes: Season 1 and CSI: Miami - Season 2 are all expected to arrive on 10/12.

Still no word on Newsradio though...

August 10 will see the release of Tarantino's Kill Bill: Vol. 2 with minimal features. It's expected that Q.T. will reissue the films in more feature-laden form further down the road.

Hellboy will get the 2 disc special edition treatment on 7/27 and Warners will release a bunch of Elvis films: It Happened at the World's Fair, Double Trouble, Speedway, Spinout, Harum Scarum and The Trouble with Girls. Each in widescreen and minimal features, retailing for $14.95.

An early review of Bubba Ho-Tep (out 5/25)

The Enemy Below (1957).

The Office: The Complete Second Series (out now)

May 17, 2004

"'Mephistopheles' is SUCH a mouthful in Manhattan."

Bummer news from Universal: Double Indemnity has been dropped from the release list (it was due out on 7/6). Let's hope it was for a good reason.

The Sid and Marty Krofft "epic" TV series, Land of the Lost: The Complete First Season will be released on 6/29.

And some reviews:

A new special edition of Underworld (out on 5/25)

Cheers: The Complete Second Season (out now)

Popeye 75th Anniversary Celebration Collector's Edition with some interesting notes on Popeye throughout its film and TV history.

DVD Savant checks in with his review of Walt Disney Treasures: Tomorrowland Disney in Space and Beyond (out 5 18)

And the stuff that hits stores tomorrow:

Angel Heart SE
Around the World in 80 Days SE
The Day After
The Embalmer
Enter the Dragon SE
Farscape: Season 4 Vol. 4
Gene Krupa Story
Good, Bad, Ugly SE
Great Escape SE
Hee Haw Collection
Joan of Arc (1948)
Kill Chiba Collection
MacArthur Park
Providence Collection
The Reagans
Samurai Trilogy (Criterion)
Sex & the City: S6 Part 1
Shoot or Be Shot
Smallville: Season 2
Speed Racer: Volume 2
Star Trek Voyager: Season 2
Stay Hungry
The Tin Drum (Criterion)
Testament of Dr. Mabuse (Criterion)
Undercover Brother Anim. Series
Walt Disney Treasures
(This wave of Walt Disney Treasures includes: Chronological Donald Volume 1, Mickey Mouse in Living Color Volume 2, Tomorrowland, Walt Disney on the Front Lines.)
West Wing: Season 2
Wyatt Earp SE
You Got Served

May 14, 2004

"One thing I'll say for him, Jesus is cool. "

And the wave of TV shows to DVD continues with:

Dallas: The Complete First & Second Seasons; August 24th.

Columbia-Tristar has also announced Soap: The Complete Second Season, Starsky & Hutch: The Complete Second Season and All in the Family: The Complete Third Season. Each is presented in 4:3 full screen and Dolby mono, and include no extras aside from airdate info and episode synopses. Retail will be $49.95 for Starsky & Hutch, and $29.95 a pop for the others.

Debuting on September 28th is a new special editions of Robert Zemeckis' cult classic I Wanna Hold Your Hand. Remastered in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and Dolby 5.1, extras include a new audio commentary by Zemeckis and co-writer Bob Gale, filmographies, production notes and the theatrical trailer. Also due on the 28th is the Beatles pseudo-bio-pic Backbeat, which includes a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, Dolby 5.1 surround track, audio commentary with director Iain Stanley, additional interviews with Stanley and actor Ian Hart, deleted scenes, a still gallery, casting footage, a director essay, and theatrical trailers. Retail is $19.95 a pop.

Universal has also released the full specs for the just-announced Jesus Christ Superstar special edition, which will be reissued on August 31st with a new 2.35;1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track, audio commentary with director Norman Jewison and actor Ted Neeley, production notes, filmographies and the theatrical trailer. Retail will be $14.95.

And, Jerry Seinfeld mentioned this week on The Tonight Show that the first season of Seinfeld should be out by November.

Some reviews:

DVD Savant checks in with an advance review of On the Front Lines: The War Years(out on 5/18), one of the upcoming Walt Disney Treasures series. This one sounds really interesting, IMO.

And his review of the new special edition The Great Escape (also out 5/18).

Das Boot: The Original Uncut Version (out on 6/1)

Walt Disney Treasures: Tomorrow Land (out on 5/18)

May 11, 2004

"Return of the Passion of the King Christ"

Just a quickie for today: apparently New Line has set today as the first day that websites can post reviews of the forthcoming (May 25) Return of the King DVD as they've all posted them in the last 12 hours. Of course this is the 2 disc theatrical version. The consensus is that the picture and sound are very good, but it's expected that the extended edition (not yet announced, but expected in late fall) will better it due to it being spread over two DVDs and the addition of a DTS sound mix. Extras are very minimal, but we expected this, no? For me, it's a no-brainer: I'm getting both as I like having both cuts of the film, but some may want to only spring for the 4 disc booty.

DVDFILE.com's review

thedigitalbits.com's review

The one bit of release news for today is that Fox has gotten the rights to release Sir Mel G's The Passion of the Christ on DVD, which should net them dumptrucks 'o cash. For those who wish to enjoy this torturefest in their own homes, the DVD will be available in Wal-Marts everywhere on 8/31. Few, if any extras will be included to maximize the video bitrate; hey, don't you want Passion as your home theater reference disc?! There's also a DTS track included so you can hear those spikes driven in with 6.1 channel digital glory!

Ah, good times...

"Although she lives with seven other men, she's not easy."

And we're off with another week of new releases... 300 Spartans And Starring Pancho Villa/Himself Born to Defence The Code Down to Earth (1947) Fog of War Friends: Series Finale Godfather (this is the same DVD that was in the boxed set, sold seperately) God is Great, I’m Not Gunsmoke Movie Collection Gunsmoke: Last Apache Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge Gunsmoke: To the Last Man Have Gun Will Travel: S1 In America SE Independence Day LE Japanese Story SE Jetsons: Season 1 Jonny Quest: Season 1 Julius Caesar (1950) Long Day’s Journey Into Night (1962) Man of La Mancha Nighthawks Night of the Following Day Posse Prince Valiant Renegades Rustler’s Rhapsody Scary Movie 3 Shrek/Shrek 3-D (oddly, the 3D feature is in widescreen, but the film is pan&scan only...) Survivor: Season 1 Tin Star Two’s Company: Season 1 Van Helsing London Assignment Waltons: Season 1 X-Files: Season 9

The big release news this week is Warner Bros' Goodfellas: Special Edition for 8/17, as well as a 5-title Martin Scorsese Collection box set (SRP $59.92) that includes Goodfellas along with After Hours, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Who's Knocking at My Door? and a Mean Streets: Special Edition.

The 2-disc Goodfellas: Special Edition (SRP $26.99) will include audio commentary with Scorsese and members of the cast and crew, another commentary featuring ex-gangster Henry Hill and ex-FBI agent Edward McDonald. 4 "making of" documentaries and the film's theatrical trailer. Mean Streets: Special Edition (SRP $19.97) will include audio commentary with Scorsese, a "making of" featurette and the trailer. After Hours (SRP $19.97) will include audio commentary with Scorsese, deleted scenes, a "making of" featurette and the trailer. Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (SRP $19.97) will include audio commentary with Scorsese and cast members, a documentary and the trailer. And Who's Knocking at My Door? (SRP $19.97) will include audio commentary with Scorsese and Mardik Martin, and a "making of" featurette. All the films will be anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) and will feature Dolby Digital 1.0 mono audio, except Goodfellas which will have Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

May 6, 2004

"We are sure that the familiar sounds of Verdi will come back to you tonight, and Mrs. Claypool's checks will probably come back in the morning."

I'm a bit late on the new release stuff, but here's what came out this week (reviews are linked): Adventures of Ma/Pa Kettle Vol. 2 Back to Bataan Battleground Bernie Mac Show: Season 1 Best of Abbott/Costello Vol. 2 Big Green Bloodhounds of Broadway Calendar Girls Campion: Season 2 Chasing Liberty A Day at the Races Desk Set Elephant Flying Leathernecks Gilmore Girls: Season 1 Girl With a Pearl Earring Herbie Goes Bananas Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo Herbie Rides Again Incred.True Adv.Two Girls 'n Love K-9 Patrol Pack The Last Samurai Law & Order: Season 2 Love! Valour! Compassion! Marx Brothers Collection: includes A Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races, A Night in Casablanca, Room Service, At the Circus, Go West, The Big Store Miracle in Lane 2 Monarch of the Glen: Series 2 Monarch of the Glen: Series 1 & 2 A Night at the Opera A Night in Casablanca Now You See Him, Now You Don√‚’t On the Road w/ Hope & Crosby The Osbournes: Season 2 1/2 Party of Five: Season 1 **Peter Pan Plain Dirty (Killing Edgar) Samurai Jack: Season 1 Strongest Man in the World Three of Hearts Three√‚’s Company: Season 2 Tomorrow Torch Song Trilogy Triplets of Belleville Willie Nelson: Live at Billy Bob√‚’s

More superhero TV animation is on the way. On 6/29 comes Spider-Man: The '67 Collection which includes all 52 episodes from the 1967 run.

July 6 will find Warners releasing both Batman: The Animated Series - Volume One and Challenge of the Superfriends: Season One (yes, the old saturday morning staple of my youth-sans Wonder Twins I think).

You know, I'm really glad the TV shows with cult followings are getting good releases on DVD these days (Freaks and Geeks is about as well done a set as can be expected), but was anyone realclamoringing for Punky Brewster Season 1?! If anyone was, they'll be able to pick it up on 6/1.

Warner has more catalog stuff coming out on August 10 including a two disc special edition of The Lost Boys (1987), Dead Ringer (1964), Village of the Damned (1960), the sequel Children of the Damned" (1963), and the bizzare Tod Browning film Freaks (1932).

This is supposedly the region 2 packaging for the upcoming Star Trek: The Original Series sets. The features so far (again region 2, but are expected to be similar here) are:

All episodes in broadcast order, plus both the color and B&W versions of The Cage (full frame, Dolby Digital 5.1), episode TV previews, text commentary by Michael and Denise Okuda (coauthors of The Star Trek Encyclopedia) on 3 episodes, The Birth of Star Trek featurettes (including new interviews with the cast and crew), the Life After Star Trek: William Shatner featurette, the To Boldly Go: Season One production documentary, a Leonard Nimoy interview on Spock, the Love in Star Trek featurette on the history of relationships in the franchise, a featurette focusing on Kirk, Spock and McCoy, the Science Fiction Visionaries featurette on the creative forces and influences on the series, the Imagining the Final Frontier production design featurette, Star Trek Connections information and a photo gallery.

I really hope they include the teaser trailers that were on the individual DVDs that are out now. Of course I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't as they haven't seen fit to do them on the other season sets so far. :-(

DVD Savant has some new reviews up (generally worth a look):

The Wolf Man: The Legacy Collection
(out now)

Man of La Mancha (1972, out now)

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Extended Version Collector's Set ( out on 5/18)