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June 29, 2004

"I wanted to meet the man who could write such a long paper with so few adjectives."

Here's today's batch of new stuff:

(as usual, reviews are linked)

3 Way
Barbershop 2: Back in Business
Blazing Saddles: 30th Anniversary
Cheetah Girls
Cold Mountain SE
CSI Miami: Season 1
Dawson’s Creek: Season 3
Deathdream SE
Dick Van Dyke Show: Season 5
Die Mommie Die
Dracula: Dead & Loving It
Driller Killer LE
English Patient CE
Fancy Pants
Garfield as Himself
Land of the Lost: Season 1
Little House on the Prairie: Season 5
No Small Affair
The Perfect Score
South Park: Season 4
Spider-Man: ’67 Classic Collection
Spider-Man vs. Doc Ock
Wonder Woman: Season 1
World of Suzie Wong
X-Men Evolution: Enemies Unveiled

Upcoming fun:

Columbia's September 7th lineup includes two TV on DVD releases: Jim Hensen's The Storyteller: Greek Myths, which features four episodes of the acclaimed series, and The Best of Beakman's World compilation. Both are presented in 4:3 full screen and Dolby 2.0 stereo, and include no extras. Retail will be $14.95 each.

Warner Bros. has announced the anniversary DVD re-release of The Shawshank Redemption for 10/5 in two separate versions. First up is the 2-disc The Shawshank Redemption: Special Edition (SRP $26.99), which will include the film in newly-remastered anamorphic widescreen video (1.85:1) with audio in Dolby Digital 5.1. Extras will include newly-recorded audio commentary by director Frank Darabont, 2 documentaries (running about 90 minutes in all), a recent Charlie Rose Show segment, storyboards, a photo gallery, the theatrical trailer, DVD-ROM extras and the Shark Tank Redemption spoof. Also available will be The Shawshank Redemption: Deluxe Limited Edition (SRP $44.99), which will include all of the Special Edition contents plus the film's CD soundtrack and a book about the film's production by historian Mark Kermode.

The entire Star Trek: The Original Series (all three season sets) will be released in Japan in a special display case that also includes a tricorder replica that doubles as a radio. The set will street on 12/10 with a 94,200 Yen price tag (nearly $900 U.S.). And here's a look at the package with and without its plastic covering. Keep in mind that the complete series will be released in the U.S. as well on 12/3, but without the case and tricorder.

According to Michael Moore,(speaking to the USA Today) Fahrenheit 9/11 will be available on DVD by September and will include new footage and commentary not in the theatrical release. Among scenes being considered: additional footage of U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and man-in-the-street interviews Moore commissioned in 30 countries in which participants are asked what they love - and hate - about the USA.

Universal is rumored to be working on a special edition DVD of David Lynch's Dune and here's a list of the shorts to be included in the upcoming (late Fall) Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Volume 2:

"Hare-Brained Hypnotist" (Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd - 1942)
"Little Red Riding Rabbit" (Bugs Bunny - 1944)
"Stage Door Cartoon" (Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd - 1944)
"Hare Conditioned" (Bugs Bunny - 1945)
"Rhapsody Rabbit" (Bugs Bunny - 1946)
"The Big Snooze" (Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd - 1946)
"Slick Hare" (Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd - 1947)
"Bugs Bunny Rides Again" (Bugs Bunny/Yosemite Sam - 1948)
"Gorilla My Dreams" (Bugs Bunny/Gruesome Gorilla - 1948)
"Bunny Hugged" (Bugs Bunny - 1951)
"French Rarebit" (Bugs Bunny/Louis and Francois - 1951)
"Baby Buggy Bunny" (Bugs Bunny/Baby-Faced Finster - 1954)
"Hyde And Hare" (Bugs Bunny - 1955)
"Broom-Stick Bunny" (Bugs Bunny/Witch Hazel - 1956)
"What's Opera, Doc?" (Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd - 1957)
"Beep Beep" (Road Runner/Coyote - 1952)
"Going! Going! Gosh!" (Road Runner/Coyote - 1952)
"Zipping Along" (Road Runner/Coyote - 1953)
"Stop! Look! and Hasten!" (Road Runner/Coyote - 1954)
"Guided Muscle" (Road Runner/Coyote - 1955)
"Ready.. Set.. Zoom!" (Road Runner/Coyote - 1955)
"Gee Whiz-z-z-z!" (Road Runner/Coyote - 1956)
"There They Go-Go-Go!" (Road Runner/Coyote - 1956)
"Scrambled Aches" (Road Runner/Coyote - 1957)
"Zoom And Bored" (Road Runner/Coyote - 1957)
"Whoa, Be-Gone!" (Road Runner/Coyote - 1958)
"Porky In Wackyland" (Porky Pig - 1938)
"Old Glory" (Porky Pig - 1939)
"Book Revue" (Daffy Duck - 1946)
"Show Biz Bugs" (Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck - 1957)
"Kitty Kornered" (Porky/Sylvester - 1946)
"Tweety Pie" (Sylvester/Tweety - 1947)
"Back Alley Op-Roar" (Elmer Fudd/Sylvester - 1948)
"Bad Ol' Putty Tat" (Sylvester/Tweety - 1949)
"All a Bir-r-r-rd" (Sylvester/Tweety - 1950)
"Room And Bird" (Sylvester/Tweety - 1951)
"Tweet Tweet Tweety" (Sylvester/Tweety - 1951)
"A Bird In A Guilty Cage" (Sylvester/Tweety - 1952)
"Ain't She Tweet" (Sylvester/Tweety - 1952)
"Gift Wrapped" (Sylvester/Tweety - 1952)
"Snow Business" (Sylvester/Tweety - 1953)
"You Ought to Be in Pictures" (Daffy/Porky - 1940)
"Duck Soup To Nuts" (Daffy/Porky - 1944)
"Baby Bottleneck" (Daffy/Porky - 1946)
"The Great Piggy Bank Robbery" (Daffy Duck as "Duck Twacy" - 1946)
"I Love To Singa" ("Owl" Jolson - 1936)
"Have You Got Any Castles?" (1938)
"Katnip Kollege" (Johnny Cat - 1938)
"Hollywood Steps Out" (1941)
"The Heckling Hare" (Bugs Bunny/Willoughby - 1941)
"Tortoise Beats Hare" (Bugs Bunny/Cecil Turtle - 1941)
"The Dover Boys at Pimento University or 'The Rivals of Roquefort Hall'" (1942)
"The Hep Cat" (Hep Cat - 1942)
"Corny Concerto" (Doc and Champ - 1943)
"Rabbit Transit" (Bugs Bunny/Cecil Turtle - 1947)
"Mouse Wreckers" (Hubie and Bertie/Claude Cat - 1948)
"Bear For Punishment" (Henry, Ma, & Junyer Bear - 1951)
"Cheese Chasers" (Hubie and Bertie - 1951)
"One Froggy Evening" (Michigan J. Frog - 1955)
"Three Little Bops" (1957)

Fox Home Entertainment will also unleash yet another version of the original George Romero classic Night of the Living Dead on the 9/7. Presented in its original 1.33:1 full screen aspect ratio (in both black & white and colorized versions) and Dolby mono, extras include a new audio commentary by Mike Nelson of Mystery Science Theater 3000, a "Celebrity Zombie" game, and bonus horror trailers. Retail will also cost you $14.95.

Robert Harris has a new column up, check it out here.

Some reviews:

Long Days's Journey Into Night (1962)

Das Boot: the original uncut version (DVD Savant review)

Murder, My Sweet (out on 7/6)

The Asphalt Jungle (also on 7/6)

June 22, 2004

"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't on the verge of doing snoopy dances."

A pretty quiet Tuesday, a lull in the steady release of hits...

(Reviews are linked on this list)

Antony & Cleopatra
Bad Santa
Bad(der) Santa
Clinton & Nadine
Cold Feet
Devil Winds
Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii
Elvis: ’68 Comeback Special
The Joe Schmo Show
Les Miserables
Line King: Al Hirschfeld
Lonesome Dove: Series
Lost Skeleton of Cadavra
Lower Depths
Mamma Roma
Night Patrol
Perfect Strangers
Reno 911: Season 1
Scooby Doo/Loch Ness Monster
Secret Window
Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter
A Woman is a Woman

June 18, 2004

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons."

Before I dive into the usual stuff, I want to encourage you all to go read Roger Ebert's latest essay on the Sun-Times site where he answer a question concerning Michael Moore's latest film, Fahrenheit 9/11. Well worth the quick read; it can be found here.

And the release news marches on!

Universal will be reissuing John Carpenter's The Thing on 10/12 with a new film transfer and the same extras as the now-discontinued DVD, MSRP $14.99

Paramount has announced street dates for the studio's entire catalog(non-new release stuff) lineup through the end of the year. Watch for the family favorites All I Want for Christmas and Black Beauty on October 5th, along with stand-alone reissues of The Godfather Part II and The Godfather Part III, plus a new collector's edition of Brian De Palma's box office smash The Untouchables. More goodies include the comedy classics The Bellboy, Cinderfella, The Delicate Delinquent, The Disorderly Orderly, The Errand Boy, The Patsy, The Stooge, The Family Jewels, The Ladies' Man and a new special edition reissue of the original The Nutty Professor on October 12th. Sci-fi fans get Conquest of Space, D.A.R.Y.L., Explorers, Fire in the Sky and a new special edition of Deep Impact on October 19th, followed by the dramedies Brain Donors, Jimmy Hollywood and The Thing Called Love on October 26th.

Then comes Ace High, Arrowhead, Last Train from Gun Hill and The Naked Jungle on November 9th; Ridley Scott's 1492: Conquest of Paradise, Bopha!, Foul Play, Ragtime, Testament and a separate widescreen and full screen special edition reissues of Top Gun on November 16th; and It's All True, The Keep, The Lords of Discipline and Racing with the Moon on November 30th.

Finally, from TV-Land, The Andy Griffith Show: Season 1, Hogan's Heroes: Season 1 and Taxi: Season 1 on October 12th. Certainly a mixed bag, but it's always good to get this kind of stuff out....someone's gotta buy this stuff!

It seems pretty certain now that the release date for Shrek 2 will be 11/5.

Even MORE Star Trek news...Following a special screening of Star Trek: First Contact on Tuesday night at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood, co-screenwriter (and now co-creator of Star Trek: Enterprise) Brannon Braga participated in a Q&A session with audience members about the film and the Star Trek franchise as a whole. Among the interesting revelations of the evening was word that the 2-disc Star Trek: Generations - Special Collector's Edition DVD is planned for release by Paramount on 9/7. In addition, Braga also confirmed that the Star Trek: First Contact - Special Collector's Edition will be released next year.

The TV show My Favorite Martian: The Complete First Season will come out on 9/14.

And some reviews:

The English Patient (new special edition, out on 6/29)

The new special ed of Blazing Saddles (also on 6/29)

June 16, 2004

"It's all part and parcel of the whole genie gig: phenomenal cosmic powers, itty bitty living space."

OK, so yesterday's fun wasn't enough for you? Well, here's a few more bits that got announced!

Disney has formally announced the specs for the upcoming Aladdin DVD. Debuting on October 5th for the first time ever, getting the Disney "Platinum Collection" treatment (ala The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and Snow White. The film will include the deleted song "Proud of Your Boy" reintegrated back into the feature (another similarity to The Lion King/Beauty & the Beast DVDs) and a THX-certified, family-friendly (whatever THAT means) 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and Dolby Digital 5.1 "Enhanced Home Theater" remix.

The extensive extras include two audio commentaries with the filmmakers (participants not specified), a pop-up Fun Facts Track, deleted scenes, "The Making of Aladdin" documentary that is accessible directly or via an extended branching version that allows you to delve off into areas of interest, an "Aladdin Art Review" with animators giving you key audio insight into the conceptualization and animation process; the Virtual DVD Ride: Aladdin's Magic Carpet" interactive game, additional "Bizarre Bazaar" game, the "Inside the Genie's Lamp" 3-D tour, also with an interactive game, "Genie's Magical Journey" short that expands upon the film's original end credit sequence, multiple music videos including a new version of "A Whole New World" by the Disney Channel Circle of Stars, theatrical trailers and extensive still galleries with concept art, sketches, unused animation and advertising materials, and the usual Disney Song Selection access feature. List price will go for $29.95 (expect it to sell for a LOT less at retail).

And diehard fans can also pick up the $79.95 Aladdin Special Edition Collector's DVD Gift Set, which includes the Platinum Edition release plus all-new sketches by the original animators, a highly collectible film frame from the movie and the exclusive DVD Companion Book.

They're also re-releasing Mulan on October 26th as a new two-disc set. Also presented in THX-certified, family-friendly (again, is there some scientific study that concludes families prefer this particular ratio?!) 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen, along with Dolby Digital 5.1 English, French, Spanish and Mandarin surround tracks, the extras are copious. Fans can feast upon the never-before-heard deleted song "Keep 'Em Guessing," an audio commentary with the filmmakers (participants not specified), deleted scenes including an alternate ending, the "Disney Pedia: Mulan's World" featurette, three music videos, "Mulan Fun Facts" trivia, and a whole second disc worth's of documentary material broken into multiple parts: "The Journey Begins," "Story Artists Journey," "Design," "Production," "Music" and "International Mulan." Other extras include early presentation reels, storyboard-to-film comparisons, extensive still galleries with concept art, pencil sketches, unused animations and advertising materials, and finally theatrical trailers. Retail will list for $29.95.

Yep, Paramount has finally announced the release date and specs for Star Trek: The Original Series - The Complete First Season for 8/21. The 8-disc set (no SRP, but expect the price to be about $100) will include all 29 episodes of the show's first year in broadcast order (full frame video with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio). Extras on the first season will include the The Birth of a Timeless Legacy featurette (on how the show began), the Life Beyond Trek: William Shatner featurette (an interview with the actor who played Kirk on how the show has affected his life), the To Boldly Go... featurette (a discussion with cast and crew members on key episodes of the season), the Reflections on Spock featurette (a similar interview with actor Leonard Nimoy on how the role has influenced him), the Sci-Fi Visionaries featurette (on some of the famous Sci-Fi writers that have contributed to the series), original preview trailers for each episode and a photo 'log' (gallery). All these extras are contained on the 8th disc. In addition, the episodes Where No Man Has Gone Before, The Menagerie, Part I, The Menagerie, Part II and The Conscience of the King will all feature text commentary by Michael and Denise Okuda.

And YES, the trailers are going to be there! (well, I'm excited!)

And to wrap it up, they're releasing Trekkies 2 on on 8/21 as well (for about $19.99). The film will be presented in its original full frame aspect ratio with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Extras will include audio commentary (with filmmakers Roger Nygard, Denise Crosby and Mike Leahy, and composers JJ Holiday and Billy Sullivan), 20 deleted scenes, 2 short films by Trek fans Brian Dellis and Gabriel Koerner (both of whom appear in Trekkies 2).

June 15, 2004

"Time sure flies when you're changing species."

A lot of stuff to get out this time, so bear with me.

Another week, another batch of DVD goodies...

50 First Dates
The Belly of an Architect
Beverly Hills 90210: Pilot
Black Hawk Down: Superbit
Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury
Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 2
Dead Like Me: Season 1
DisneyÂ’s TeacherÂ’s Pet
HangmanÂ’s Knot
Last of the Summer Wine: Vintage 1995
Love Happy
The Man Show: Season 2
Monk: Season 1
Moulin Rouge
Nip/Tuck: Season 1
Prick Up Your Ears
Raggedy Rawney
The Simpsons: Season 4
The Station Agent
The Stepford Wives
Thin Blue Line: Complete Line-Up
To End All Wars
To the Manor Born: Complete Series
Touching the Void
Tupac: Resurrection
Wedding Banquet
The Wild Party

Some upcoming stuff:

The remake of Dawn of the Dead will be out on 10/5, available as a theatrical or "directors" cut (unrated). A new edition of the original film will be released on 9/7.

The Laws of Attraction hits DVD on August 24th.

TV stuff: Due on September 7th: Without a Trace: The Complete First Season and The Wire: The Complete First Season, out on September 21.

Warner Home Video will release a new two-disc Purple Rain: 20th Anniversary Edition on August 24th.

Remastered at last in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround, extras include a new audio commentary with director Albert Magnoli, producer Robert Cavallo and cinematographer Donald E. Thorin, three new featurettes (on the Minneapolis music scene and Prince's career prior to Purple Rain, a second on the making of the movie, and a third on Prince's fans, his legacy and impact on pop culture), no less than seven music videos (four from Prince, two from the Time and even the immortal "Sex Shooter" from Apollonia 6), 1984 MTV premiere party footage, and theatrical trailers for all three of Prince's Warner movies. Retail will be $26.95.

And if you just can't get enough, Warner will also release two other, rather horrendous Prince flicks, Under the Cherry Moon and the Purple Rain "sequel" Graffiti Bridge, on the 24th. Each is remastered in anamorphic widescreen and Dolby Digital 5.1, and extras include four music videos on each plus theatrical trailers. Retail? $19.95 each.

Disney serves up a couple of disappointments: The Alamo (2004) on 9/28 and Jersey Girl on 9/14.

Warner Home Video will be getting into the Alfred Hitchcock box set game with their own seven-disc set. Available individually or as part of the Alfred Hitchcock Signature Collection (which also includes the previously released North by Northwest, with the same content as the current disc), the titles newly restored and remastered for the collection include: Dial M for Murder (in 2-D only), Foreign Correspondent, I Confess, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Stage Fright, Strangers on a Train, Suspicion and The Wrong Man. All are presented in their original aspect ratios and include theatrical trailers. Strangers on a Train will be a two-disc set, and also include the original-release version of the film as well as the preview version newly-discovered in 1991, plus an audio commentary with director Peter Bogdanovich, screenwriter Joseph Stephano, author Patricia Highsmith and biographer Andrew Wilson, a new documentary, an appreciation by director M. Night Shyamalan, and newsreel footage. Retail will be $19.95 for each individual title, $26.95 for Strangers on a Train, and $99.95 for the nine-disc box set.

Next is the next two installments in Fox Home Entertainment's Fox Studio Classics series.

First up on August 3rd is Zorba the Greek (1964). Presented in remastered 1.33:1 full screen and Dolby 2.0 stereo, extras include audio commentary by director Michael Cacoyannis, the 45-minute Biography special "Anthony Quinn: A Lust for Life," and alternate introduction sequence, two vintage newsreels, a still gallery and theatrical trailers.

Up next on September 7th is Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938), which also gets a newly remastered 1.33:1 full screen transfer and Dolby 2.0 stereo remix, plus. Supplements include a new audio commentary by Ray Faiola, three deleted scenes, the 45-minute Biography special "Alice Faye," a still gallery, a newsreel, and theatrical trailers. Retail will list for $14.95 each.

The Ladykillers will be out on 9/14 and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind will arrive on 9/28.

And some fun rumor-like things:

Industry sources say to expect Paramount to release seasons of Star Trek: Enterprise and the complete Star Trek: The Animated Series on DVD in 2005. Word is now that Enterprise has been picked up for a fourth season by UPN (reportedly only after the studio lowered the network's price per episode for the show from $1.7 million to $800,000 - that's according to the latest issue of TV Guide. The studio believes that releasing the series on disc might help bolster the ratings and possibly extend the broadcast life of the series further. In addition, on his website former Trek scribe David Gerrold has confirmed that "plans are underway" at Paramount to release The Animated Series on DVD with features that will reportedly include commentaries with the cast and writers.

Both of these series coming in 2005 would make sense. Paramount has been releasing at least one complete Trek series a year on DVD for three years now. With both Voyager and The Original Series set to be out before the end of 2004, and TNG and Deep Space Nine already out, Enterprise and The Animated Series are all that's left.

The Harry Potter-themed fansite Wizard News has reported that one of the series' cast members has let slip that a Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: Director's Cut may be in the works. This would presumably include the added scenes that were shown on ABC recently, in addition to never-before-seen footage.

And a few reviews:

DVD Savant takes a look at Moulin Rouge (1952), Day of the Locust (1975), and The Snake Pit (1948).

DVDfile rates Bad Santa (out on 6/22)

June 9, 2004

"They're always after me lucky charms"

August 24 is the date for Disney to release Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959) including a new transfer and extras.

They're also releasing what might be the last cel-animated Disney film (correct me if I'm wrong), Home on the Range, which also tanked at the box office. The DVD will be released with minimal features.

Paramount has announced I Love Lucy: The Complete Second Season for August 31 and South Park: The Passion of the Jew. This incendiary parody of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ will also hit DVD on the 31st, featuring a 4:3 full screen transfer and Dolby 2.0 surround track, plus two bonus episodes: "Christian Rock Hard" and "Red Hot Catholic Love." All this can be yours for $19.95.

The $176-million grossing comedy Elf will hit DVD on November 16th. The latest in New Line Home Entertainment's "Infinifilm" line, this two-disc set will presented in anamorphic widescreen with DTS and Dolby Digital tracks and plenty of extras. Goodies include separate audio commentary tracks with director Jon Favreau and star Will Ferrell, a subtitle Fact Track, no less than nine making-of featurettes (both "All Access Pass" and Inifinifilm-exclusive "Beyond the Movie" varieties), deleted scenes, a soundtrack music cue index, theatrical trailers, and ROM exclusives including a Script Viewer and more to be announced. Expect a list price of $29.95.

It appears that Shrek 2 already has a somewhat solid release date: November 5.

And, the latest word is that The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - Special Extended DVD Edition will be out in early December...it would seem incredibly foolish to release this any later than that.


Battleground (1949)

The President's Analyst (1967)

Force of Evil (1948)

June 2, 2004

"We would have injected vitamin C if only they had made it illegal!"

Lots of low-end Disney today...

Adv. Francis Talking Mule Vol. 1
(includes Francis the Talking Mule, Francis Goes to the Races, Francis Goes to West Point, Francis Covers the Big Town)
Ali: Director’s Cut
The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer
Back to the Beach
Cary Grant Signature Collection
(includes The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer, Destination Tokyo, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, My Favorite Wife, Night & Day)
Catch That Kid
Cocoon: The Return
The Company
Coogan’s Bluff
Cool Dry Place
Cop Land CE
Coupling: Season 3
The Crucible (1996)
Das Boot: Original/Uncut
Destination Tokyo
Dukes of Hazzard: Season 1
Eddie Presley: 1 Disc
Eddie Presley: 2-Disc
A Far Off Place
Flight of the Navigator
Flirting with Disaster CE
For Queen & Country
Freaky Friday
Freaky Friday 2-Pack
(’77 & ’03)
The Happiest Millionaire
Herbie the Love Bug Box Set
(includes The Love Bug, Herbie Rides Again, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, Herbie Goes Bananas.)
Jumpin Jack Flash
Kiss of Death
Mr. Blandings Build His Dream House
My Baby’s Daddy
My Favorite Wife
National Lampoon Senior Trip
Night and Day
No Name on the Bullet
Pitch Black (Rated R)
Pitch Black (Unrated)
The Plainsman
Punky Brewster: Season 1
Slaughter of the Innocents
Snake Pit
Spider-Man (Deluxe)
Spider-Man (Superbit)
The Spoilers
Starship Troopers 2
Starship Troopers 1 & 2
Summer School
The Super
Trainspotting: CE
Trapped in Paradise

An early review of The Butterfly Effect (July 6)

Star Trek Voyager Season 2 (out now)

DVD Savant takes a look at Criterion's upcoming DVD of The Leopard (1963, out on 6/8)