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July 29, 2004

"Everything's so clear to me now. I'm the King of the Cheese, and you're the Lemon Merchant."

Today, it's more upcoming fun as Paramount, Universal, and Columbia-Tristar have a bunch of release announcements.

So let's begin with Paramount, who has spewed out most of its Fall release schedule, including a number of PBS titles which were previously available through Warner (they seem to change distributors every few years). I've mentioned some of these before, but here's the whole thing:

On 9/7 - Murder on the Orient Express, Whispers in the Dark, Keen Eddie: The Complete Series, Eddie Murphy: Raw, The United States of Leland, The Sports Pages, Mork & Mindy: The Complete First Season, Star Trek: Generations - Special Collector's Edition, and The Creation of the Universe

On 9/14 - Survivor: All-Stars, Bug, I Married a Monster from Outer Space, Orca: The Killer Whale, Body Parts, G.I. Joe: Valor vs. Venom, and 7th Heaven: The Complete First Season (Woo Hoo!!!)

On 9/21 - The Rose Tattoo, The Country Girl, and Mean Girls: Special Collector's Edition

On 9/28 - Star Trek: Voyager - The Complete Fourth Season, Crank Yankers: Season 1 Uncensored, Strangers with Candy: Season 3, Tonka: Tough Truck Adventures - The Biggest Show on Wheels, Ken Burns' America Collection: Empire of the Air, Ken Burns' America Collection: Huey Long, Ken Burns' America Collection: Thomas Heart Benton, Ken Burns' America Collection Gift Set (7 discs), Blue's Clues: Bluestock, and Footloose: Special Collector's Edition

The stuff for October is pretty solid, but final dates aren't quite set yet:

The Stepford Wives
(2004), Deep Impact: Special Collector's Edition, The Untouchables: Special Collector's Edition, Friday the 13th: From Crystal Lake to Manhattan - Ultimate Edition DVD Collection, The Jamie Kennedy Experiment: The Complete Second Season, Taxi: The Complete First Season, All I Want for Christmas, Black Beauty, Bebe's Kids, Conquest of Space, D.A.R.Y.L., Explorers, Fire in the Sky, The Thing Called Love, Jimmy Hollywood, Brain Doners, The Nutty Professor: Special Collector's Edition, Cinderfella, The Bellboy, The Disorderly Orderly, The Delicate Delinquent, The Errand Boy, The Family Jewels, The Ladies Man, The Patsy, The Stooge, Love Me if You Dare, Fairly Oddparents: Channels Chasers, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete Second Season, Dora the Explorer: Dora's Fairytale Adventure, Dora the Explorer: Dora's Christmas, Dora the Explorer: Dora's Ultimate Adventure DVD Collection, Blue's Clues: ABC's 123's and More DVD Collection, Max & Ruby: Max & Ruby's Christmas, The Amanda Show: Amanda Please - Volume 1, The Amanda Show: Girl's Room - Volume 2, C.S.I.: The Complete Fourth Season, Ren & Stimpy: The Complete First & Second Season, Transformers: Energon - Battle for Energon, Transformers: Energon - Return of Megatron, Secret Central: Have You Heard?, MTV Punk'd: The Complete Second Season, MTV's Viva la Bam: The Complete First Season, Wildboyz: The Complete First Season, Peanuts: I Want a Dog for Christmas, In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great, RFK, The Fight, Broadway: The American Musical, Cyberchase: Starlight Night, and Boohbah: Snowman (holy crap, is this that creepy kids show that I see on PBS?!)

Universal has some new stuff and a few release date changes: The Gatekeeper on 10/12, Spartacus: The Miniseries on 10/26, and Northern Exposure: The Complete Second Season and Traffic: The Miniseries for 11/2. Van Helsing changes to 10/19, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is now set for 9/28, and Dawn of the Dead is now due on 10/26.

Columbia TriStar has announced the DVD release of Cameron's Closet for 10/5, along with Dawson's Creek: The Complete Fourth Season and What's Happening: The Complete Second Season


And then we have Devo: Live in the Land of the Rising Sun - Japan 2003 on October 5th. The 75-minute concert will feature thirteen tracks presented in 4:3 full screen and Dolby Digital 5.1, plus audio commentary by band members Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald V. Casale, backstage footage and never before seen material from 1981. Retail=$14.95.


Reviews:

A batch of Disney live-action DVDs, which have been on DVD before, but released by third parties. Now Disney has decided to do it themselves...all to be released on 8/3

The Black Hole

The Watcher in the Woods

Something Wicked This Way Comes

July 27, 2004

"You refused to follow the ABCs of professional killing!"

You know, there's nothing like a long weekend away to let one forget about work, clear the mind, spirit, bowels, and.....let a whole bunch of DVD stuff pile up! So here it is, starting with this past weekend's box office numbers:

1. Bourne Supremacy, The (2004) $52.5M
2. I, Robot (2004) $21.7M
3. Catwoman (2004) $16.7M
4. Spider-Man 2 (2004) $15M
5. Cinderella Story, A (2004) $7.83M
6. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy (2004) $6.97M
7. Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) $4.76M
8. Notebook, The (2004) $4.27M
9. King Arthur (2004) $3.04M
10. Shrek 2 (2004) $2.32M

Today's new DVDs:

* Adventures of Jim Bowie
* Bill Plympton's The Tune
* Blue Spring
* Breaking the Habit
* Celebration
* Conquest
* Contraband
* Devil's Backbone
* Garfield & Friends 1
* Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
* Hellboy
* High Art
* Jeff Foxworthy Show: Complete First Season
* Living Hell
* Ned Kelly (2003)
* Nero Wolfe Season 1
* New Avengers Season 2
* Pablo Francisco: Bits and Pieces: Live from Orange County
* Pennies From Heaven
(1978) - BBC
* Pennies From Heaven
(1981)
* Rocked With Gina Gershon
* Rocket Power: Island of the Menehune
* Showgirls Vip Edition
* Sledgehammer: First Season
* V:Complete TV Series
* Whole Ten Yards
* You Bet Your Life - The Best Episodes
* Zombi 2
* Zombie


I wanted to briefly comment on the recent passing of film composer Jerry Goldsmith. Goldsmith has always been one of my favorite film music composers. From his list of work on IMDB, you can see that he pretty much worked until the end. He left behind a huge body of work that dates from the early days of television to modern action blockbusters. There is no doubt that his work in the Sci-Fi/Action genre was quite significant (Star Trek anyone?). Like most people working in his field, he did some clunkers and often repeated himself, but some of his scores are not only great on their own, but contributed immensely to the films they were written for. No question, he will be missed.

The big upcoming DVD news right now is that Warner has put out the details of the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban DVD, out on 11/23. The 2-disc DVD will be available in separate full frame and anamorphic widescreen versions (SRP $29.95), each with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Extras will include interviews with the cast, crew and creator J.K. Rowling, deleted scenes, interactive games and more. I'm sure a more complete bonus list will be forthcoming.

AND fairly final details have been released about the Return of the King extended edition DVD set, expected in December.

The set will feature more than 50 additional minutes of footage, including some 300 additional effect shots. Among the new scenes confirmed are: the final confrontation between Gandalf and Sarumon at Isengard, the "mouth" of Sauron at the Black Gate, Aragorn revealing the sword Anduril to Sauron's eye in the Seeing-stone, the confrontation between the Witch King and Gandalf at Minas Tirith, more battle footage on the Pelennor fields, Frodo and Sam marching with Sauron's forces disguised as Orcs, Faramir telling Denethor that he would never use the power of the Ring, Aragorn looking down upon a fleet of Corsair ships from a ridgetop, Faramir and Éowyn at the House of Healing, Merry pledging allegiance to King Theoden at Gondor, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli narrowly escaping an avalanche of skulls deep inside the Dwimorberg and MUCH more. Also indicated is that the set will feature more than 20 hours of supplemental content.

In addition to the 4 disc set, there will also be another special collector's gift set, that will include the 4-disc Extended Edition along with a bonus DVD - Howard Shore: Creating the Lord of the Rings Symphony - A Composer's Journey Through Middle-earth - and a miniature Sideshow/Weta statue of Minas Tirith, which doubles as a trinket box.

And in the "lesser trilogies" department, Lucas, Inc has officially announced the title of Episode 3....Revenge of the Sith. Well, it beats the previous two titles at least.

But also announced by Lucasfilm head of Fan Relations Steve Sansweet was the arrival, sometime in 2005, of three other Star Wars properties long requested by fans: The Clone Wars and Droids animated series, plus The Ewok Adventure and Ewoks & Droids Adventure Hour television movies. (What!? No Star Wars Christmas Special with Bea Arthur audio commentary!?!?).

Paramount has most of the details on the upcoming Star Trek: The Original Series DVDs, which will at last be released in season-by-season sets. All of the box sets will feature remastered 4:3 full screen transfers and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround tracks (the original mono tracks are also included), a wealth of extras, and sport a $129.95 price tags (there's Paramont gouging the fans again). The Complete First Season hits on August 31st and includes five new featurettes: "The Birth of a Timeless Legacy," "Life Beyond Trek: William Shatner," "To Boldly Go...", "Reflections on Spock" and "Sci-Fi Visionaries." The original cast have contributed all-new interviews.. And following on November 2nd is The Complete Season, with The Complete Third Season soon thereafter on December 14th. Both will also include multiple making-of featurettes, with exact details to be announced soon.

More Paramount TV stuff coming on 10/12: The Andy Griffith Show: The Complete First Season and Taxi: The Complete First Season, CSI: The Complete Fourth Season, The Jamie Kennedy Experiment: The Complete Second Season, and Ren & Stimpy: The Complete First & Second Season - Uncut.

A&E is releasing Ellen: The Complete First Season on 9/28.


Reviews:

The new re-release of Predator (out on 8/10)

Steve Martin's Pennies From Heaven (out today).

DVD Savant takes a look at two collections of vintage/obscure movie trailers, one presented by the "Chucky Lou AV Club"....it can be found here.

July 21, 2004

"Come on you miserable fat-head, get that fat-ass truck outta my way!"

Today, a bunch of odds and ends in DVDland.

There's still no official announcement about the Return of the King extended DVD set, but one is expected very soon.

From the premium channel shows category comes Showtime's controversial drama The L Word complete first season on 11/9. The five-disc set will include all fourteen episodes presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and Dolby Digital 5.1, plus audio commentaries on select episodes, never-before-seen footage, a blooper reel, and an original puppet show performed by the cast(!). Retail will be $69.95.


In Living Color: The Complete Second Season comes out on 9/28 (SRP $49.98).

Roswell: The Complete Second Season streets on 10/5 (SRP $59.98) on 6 discs, which include audio commentary tracks (by the writers, producers and directors), the "A Little Something Extra for the Fans" video montage, a storyboard to scene comparison, and the featurettes "Here with Me: Making of Roswell Season 2", "The Shiri and Majandra Show", and "Art of Composing Roswell".

Garfield (2004) will street on 10/19 (SRP $27.98) including a behind-the-scenes featurette, sneak peeks of additional films and the Baha Men Holla music video.

Arrested Development: The Complete First Season also hits DVD on 10/19 (SRP $39.98). This 3 disc set includes the unaired pilot episode, audio commentary tracks, deleted/extended scenes, audio of original songs, behind-the-scenes featurettes, video of The Museum of Television & Radio Q&A (with creator Mitchell Hurwitz and the cast), promos, Easter eggs and more.

Fox throws another TV hit onto DVD with That 70s Show: The Complete First Season, which is due on 10/26 (SRP $49.98) as a 4-disc set, including audio commentary on 8 episodes, featurettes, a trivia quiz, cast audition tapes, promos, a Cheap Trick music video and 2 Easter eggs (isn't it kinda silly to include Easter Eggs, which are by definition 'hidden', in a press release?).

Fox also will release The Simple Life (ooo, sign me up for THAT!) on 11/12.

Now some rumor-like fun:

There has been talk for a couple of years now about an uber-edition of Blade Runner, a title that has been on DVD basically unchanged since its 1998 debut. Warner has indicated that it is indeed prepping a new special edition. The bad news is that instead of the 3 or 4-disc ultimate edition fans hoped for (featuring all the different versions of the film), the title is now likely to be one of the studio's 2-disc editions, featuring only the recent "director's cut" version of the film (remastered from a new HD transfer), the Channel 4 "On the Edge of Blade Runner" documentary and perhaps a few other odds and ends. Look for it sometime in the first half of 2005. In any case, an update for this title will be most welcome.

More Seinfeld news: the first two seasons of the show should be out in November. Since it hasn't been officially announced, bonuses are as yet unknown.

There is some interesting speculation about a possible Gone with the Wind: 65th Anniversary Special Edition set that will probably be out this Fall. The latest word is that it will be a 4 DVD set and that the film has yet again been "restored" (according to many experts, the last "restoration" that was done in the 1990s was a disaster). The current version of the film on DVD isn't really bad, but has no bonuses and according to some, doesn't represent the look of the film as it appeared in 1939 (particularly with regard to color). Now, I'm not the greatest fan of this film, but it IS a classic and an important piece of cinematic history, so it should be presented well. A 4 DVD set would allow a generous bitrate for the video, bonuses, and even room for the vast amount of deleted scenes, should they surface. Some form of re-release will be out this Fall, it's just a matter of how big.

And finally, another amusing word about the upcoming Matrix box set. Supposedly the Wachowski brothers were asked to do commentaries but refused, "fearing that whatever they said would turn into dogma." Uh, yeah....


Here's a review of the upcoming Duel (8/17)

And Port of Shadows (1938)

July 19, 2004

"Women can't be gay. Because if men were gay and women were gay they'd cancel each other out."

More of the usual stuff this time, but I *will* get to the "Good/Bad DVDs" list soon...(yes, I've decided to list some stinkers too).

Last weekend's box office numbers:

Rank Title Weekend / Gross

1. I, Robot (2004) $52.2 $52.2M
2. Spider-Man 2 (2004) $24.2M $302M
3. Cinderella Story, A (2004) $13.8M $13.8M
4. Anchorman (2004) $13.4M $56.5M
5. Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) $7M $93.8M
6. King Arthur (2004) $6.93M $37.9M
7. Notebook, The (2004) $5.45M $53.7M
8. White Chicks (2004) $3.4M $63.4M
9. Dodgeball: (2004) $3.23M $105M
10. Terminal, The (2004) $3.1M $71.2M


And the new DVDs for Tuesday:

* All in the Family: Complete Third Season
* The Big Bounce
(Widescreen Edition)
* Boomtown - Season One
* Broken Wings
(Ws Sub Dol)
* Castle Keep
(Full Sub Dol)
* Combat: Season 1 - Campaign 1
* Combat: Season 1 - Campaign 2
* Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen
* Crimson Gold (2003)
(Ws Sub)
* Dirty Dancing:Havana Nights
* Early Summer
* Early Summer
- Criterion Collection
* Goodbye Girl
* Highlander 2 (Special Edition)
* How's Your News
* Human Stain
* K Street: Complete Series
* Kennedy Mystique: Creating Camelot
* Millennium - The Complete First Season
* Miss Lettie & Me
* Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Kids
* Munchhausen
* Out of Reach
* People I Know
* Port of Shadows
- Criterion Collection
* Rides - The Complete First Season
* Sealab 2021: Season 1
* Secret Lives: Hidden Children & Their Rescuers
* Soap: The Complete Second Season
* Starsky & Hutch (2004)
* Starsky & Hutch - The Complete Second Season
* Stellaluna
* Thunderbird 6
* Thunderbirds International Rescue Edition
* Vector File
(Ws Sub Dol)

Coming soon, the "Super-Economy McGreaseBucket" edition of Super Size Me...on 9/28.

Warner has some more stuff coming, including a Seven Brides for Seven Brothers: Special Edition on 10/12. Look for the 2-disc set to include the film presented in anamorphic widescreen video (2.35:1) with Dolby Digital 5.1 and the original mono audio (additional extras TBA). Other titles newly announced by the studio include Salem's Lot: The Miniseries (16x9 - also for 10/12), and Doctor Who: Lost in Time - Patrick Troughton Years, Doctor Who: Lost in Time - William Hartnell Years and Doctor Who: Lost in Time Collection (all for 11/2).

And, The Day After Tomorrow will be out on 10/5.


DVD Savant takes a look at 1918

July 13, 2004

"I'm freezing my ball-bearings off!"

Some pretty important Universal announcements. Some of them are even good!

So we have Battlestar Galactica out on DVD, so why not Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: The Complete Epic Series announced for release on 11/16 (SRP $89.98). No extras yet, but word has it that the great Gil Gerard has done some commentaries!

Next up in the TV column, we have Quantum Leap: The Complete Second Season, out on 10/26 (SRP $59.98).

And the catalog titles keep coming....details on their second wave of the Monsters Legacy Collections. On 10/19 (SRP $29.98 each), look for the following 2-disc sets: The Mummy: The Legacy Collection, The Invisible Man: The Legacy Collection and Creature from the Black Lagoon: The Legacy Collection. The Mummy set will include The Mummy (1932), The Mummy's Curse, The Mummy's Ghost, The Mummy's Hand and The Mummy's Tomb. The Invisible Man set will include The Invisible Man, Invisible Agent, The Invisible Man Returns, The Invisible Man's Revenge and The Invisible Woman. Finally, the Creature set will include Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Creature Walks Among Us and Revenge of the Creature.

Universal, who owns the entire output of Paramount Pictures prior to 1946, has been horribly slow to release much of the catalog. Finally they've picked up things a bit for this Fall for there will be at least two important releases: the W.C. Fields Comedy Collection (11/9 - SRP $59.98) which includes The Bank Dick (already on DVD from Criterion), International House, It's a Gift, My Little Chickadee and You Can't Cheat an Honest Man.

On the same day, we get The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection (SRP $59.98) which includes Animal Crackers, The Cocoanuts, Duck Soup, Horse Feathers and Monkey Business. Yessssss!

Finally they have the Howard Hughes epic, Hell's Angels (1930) on 12/7 - SRP $14.98.

And a review of Starsky & Hutch (out on 7/20).

July 12, 2004

"Twelve days of Christmas! One day of Christmas is loathsome enough!"

This week's bucket 'o fun:

The 5th Musketeer
Against The Ropes
Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London
Assassination Bureau
Barbarian Invasions
The Bourne Identity
Counterfeit Traitor
Dreamers
(2003): NC-17
Dreamers
(2003): R
Evilspeak
Farscape: Season 4 Collection 5
Hercules the Legendary Journeys: Season 4
I Like It Like That
Justice League: Starcrossed
Love Object
Manchurian Candidate
(anniversary edition)
Never Die Alone
Project Greenlight 2
Rides: Season 1
Slasher
The Spy Who Came In from the Cold
Tempo
Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise

This past weekend's box office:

1. "Spider-Man 2," $46.0m
2. "Anchorman," $28.0m
3. "King Arthur," $15.2m
4. "Fahrenheit 9/11," $11.0m
5. "Notebook," $6.6m
6. "White Chicks," $6.5m
7. "Dodgeball," $5.4m
8. "Terminal," $5.0m
9. "Shrek 2," $4.5m
10. "Sleepover," $4.2m

The latest Harry Potter film has fallen out of the top ten and what's really sad is that it has been the lowest grossing of the series. It's also the best, IMO.


And the classic animation keeps coming: Warner has announced a 2-disc Tom and Jerry: Spotlight Collection, The Premiere Volume for 10/19 (SRP $26.99). The set will include 40 classic restored and remastered shorts, along with audio commentary by Jerry Beck (on The Zoot Cat, Kitty Foiled and Heavenly Puss), the Behind the Tunes: The MGM Orchestra documentary, the How Bill and Joe Met Tom & Jerry documentary and 2 film excerpts (Jerry Dances with Gene Kelly from Anchors Aweigh and Tom and Jerry Swim with Esther Williams from Dangerous When Wet). Video will be full frame with Dolby Digital 1.0 mono audio.

reviews:

The Lower Depths (both 1936 and 1957 versions)

Six Feet Under: The Complete Second Season

Coming soon: a survey of DVDs that I really like. Naturally they're ones that have seen or own. I'll mainly be covering the DVDs themselves and not so much the quality of the film therein although the film itself is always a factor. On top of that, it'd be fun to generate some comments from others and suggestions. This should be up later this week.

July 6, 2004

"Mysterious visitor with unknown powers on our planet for supplies.... A six-pack of tuna?"

Here's a fun quote about Micheal Moore's latest film: "deport michael moore and his anti-american views to some 3rd world country where the only means to surive is eating other humans"

'Cause that worked SOOO well with Charlie Chaplin!

So I missed the boat yesterday...oh well, here it is anyhow.

And another round 'o Tuesday releases...with tons of catalog titles.

Asphalt Jungle
Balloon Farm
Batman Animated Series: Vol. 1
Big Clock
Big Top Pee Wee
Black Angel
Butterfly Effect
Cat From Outer Space
Challenge of the Super Friends: Season 1
Charlie Chan Chanthology
(includes The Chinese Cat, Charlie Chan in the Secret Service, The Jade Mask, Meeting at Midnight, The Shanghai Cobra, The Scarlet Clue)
Charlie the Lonesome Cougar
Crazy People
Criss Cross
Critical Condition
Don Knotts Reluctant Hero Pack
(includes The Ghost & Mr. Chicken, The Reluctant Astronaut, The Love God?, The Shakiest Gun in the West)
Film Noir Collection Volume 1
(includes The Asphalt Jungle, Gun Crazy, Murder My Sweet, Out of the Past, The Set-Up)
First Monday in October
Fly By Night
Greatest Story Ever Told
Greyfriars Bobby
Gun Crazy
Heartburn
History of Rock & Roll
Hot Lead and Cold Feet
Kotch
La Belle Noiseuse
Lovers and Other Strangers
Monsieur Ibrahim
Murder, My Sweet
My Voyage to Italy
Name of the Rose
Napoleon and Samantha
Never a Dull Moment
No Deposit, No Return
North Avenue Irregulars
One & Only Original Genuine Family Band
Out of the Past
Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Red Sonja
The Set-Up
The Show
Side Out
Six Feet Under: Season 2
Star Trek-Voyager: Season 3
Suppose They Gave a War & Nobody Came?
Take the Money and Run
The Three Lives of Thomasina
The Ugly Daschund
This Gun For Hire
Wholly Moses!
Woody Allen 4 Movie Comedy Collection
(includes Anything Else, Curse of the Jade Scorpion, Hollywood Ending, Small Time Crooks)

And this past weekend's box office numbers:


1. "Spider-Man 2," $115.8m

2. "Fahrenheit 9/11", $21.0m

3. "White Chicks," $12.0m

4. "Dodgeball," $10.5m

5. "Notebook," $10.3m

6. "Terminal," $10.2m

7. "Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban," $8.1m

8. "Shrek 2," $7.9m

9. "Two Brothers," $3.7m

10. "Garfield," $3.6m

Hmm, not only did "Fahrenheit 9/11" stay up there on the list, it's now expanded to 1,700 screens...

One of the most overlooked animated films in recent memory, the instant cult classic The Iron Giant will make a return engagement to DVD on September 7th. Warner Home Video will give the Brad Bird (who is directing the upcoming Pixar film, The Incredibles)-directed pic a much-need new special edition, complete with anamorphic widescreen transfer, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track, eight never-before-seen additional scenes with introductions by Bird (including an alternate opening sequence), 13 mini-documentaries revealing the origin and development process, interviews with creative consultant Teddy Newton, "The Voice Of The Giant" featurette with Bird and Vin Diesel, and theatrical trailers. Retail will list for $26.95.

Fox's latest Studio Classics release will be The Three Faces of Eve (1957). Due to street on October 19th, this first-ever DVD release boasts a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo remix, new audio commentary by Aubrey Solomon, a Fox Movietone Newsreel, and a theatrical trailer gallery.

MGM has out their October slate of catalog releases, which is another typically eclectic lineup of the new and old.

Leading the pack is the 1956 epic Alexander the Great (1956, Richard Burton). Remastered in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, there are no extras aside from trailers, and retail will list for $14.95. Street date is October 19th.

Also making their DVD debuts on the 19th are a batch of other classics: Charly, The Garden of Allah, I'll Be Seeing You, Intermezzo, Made for Each Other, Portrait of Jennie, Ruby Gentry, Since You Went Away and The Young in Heart. All are presented in 4:3 full screen only and Dolby mono, and include trailers. List price will go for $14.95 a pop.

For more modern film fans, MGM will also release a trio of favorites on the 19th: a movie-only edition of Sam Peckinpah's controversial Straw Dogs (the earlier Criterion DVD is out of print), the Oscar-winning They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, and Michael Crichton's Pursuit. They are presented in anamorphic widescreen, non-anamorphic widescreen and full screen, respectively, and include trailers. Retail will also go for $14.95 each.

On September 28th, the summer disappointment Van Helsing will hit DVD.

Universal Studios Home Video will release the CGI-fueled monster mash in separate anamorphic widescreen and full screen versions, each with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround tracks plus two audio commentaries with Sommers and producer Bob Ducsay, and actors Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale, Richard Roxburgh and Shuler Hensley, the "Creating the Characters and the Monsters," "Van Helsing's Monster Map," "New World Technology vs. Old World Monsters," "You Are in the Movie" and "Anatomy of a Scene: The Masquerade Ball" featurettes, a "The Filmmaker's Diary" chronicle, deleted scenes, outtakes, the "Designing Van Helsing" 360-degree IPix set tour, time-lapse set comparisons, a "Love Bites" parody and theatrical trailers. And PC enhanced content includes more expansive and interactive set tours and more to be announced. Retail will list for $26.95.

Universal will also release the Van Helsing: Ultimate Edition on the 28th, which includes the same two-disc set above, but also inlcudes a third disc with the bonus, full-length features Dracula, Frankenstein and The Wolf Man. There are no additional extras, and list price will be $39.95.

More TV: Columbia's September 14th lineup includes two new TV on DVD releases: Sanford & Son: The Complete Fifth Season and, making its first-ever digital disc debut, Diff'rent Strokes: The Complete First Season. Each is a three-disc set with 4;3 full screen transfers, Dolby Digital mono tracks and episode synopses. List will be $29.95 apiece.

And Mo' Moore: There's a little information on those Michael Moore DVDs that have been mentioned. According to the latest issues of Video Business and Video Store(trade mags), it's still unknown who will be distributing the DVD of Fahrenheit 9/11 (apparently, Lions Gate does NOT have the DVD release rights which will likely go to one of the major studios, possibly even Buena Vista). However, word is Moore's production company has already completed many of the special features for the disc. In addition, word has it that the director has recorded a new commentary for The Big One, due from Miramax on 9/28. And the DVD rights for Moore's only other unreleased project, TV Nation, belong to Sony, but the studio is sitting on the title at the moment.

Review 'O The Day:

DVD Savant looks at the forthcoming (7/13) DVD re-release of The Manchurian Candidate

July 2, 2004

"I'm not really a wicked fairy. I'm just wicked."

"Bitter Dregs" is kind of in transition right now...I've moved it over to the UofM libraries Moveable Type system, so expect the look to change a bit here and there. I'm hoping that it'll work out. This system has a lot more flexibility and I can send email notifications to multiple addresses (those of you not on MGROE who get this and don't want the notifications, let me know)! Anyhow, here's today's update:

Coming on September 7th is the next in the Fox Studio Classics series, Alexander's Ragtime Band. Presented in remastered 1.33:1 full screen and Dolby 2.0 stereo, extras include audio commentary by Ray Faiola, the 45-minute Biography: Alice Faye" TV special, three deleted scenes, a still gallery, premiere footage and theatrical trailers.

Lost in Space: Season 2 Volume 1 hits stores on September 14th and includes 16 episodes, each presented in 4:3 full screen and Dolby mono. There are no extras, and list price will be $39.95. And, Angel: Season 4 will boast 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfers, Dolby 2.0 surround tracks, plus a host of extras: audio commentary on six episodes, the "Prophecies: Season 4 Overview," "Angel and the Apocalypse," "Unplugged: Season 4 Outtakes," "Last Looks: The Hyperion Hotel," "Fatal Beauty and the Beast" and "Malice in Wonderland: Wolfram & Hart" featurettes. List price is the nominal $59.95.

Details are surfacing on an upcoming Matrix Ultimate Collection box set? U.K. retailer HMV has posted details on what would be a 10-disc set, which would include:

1 - The Matrix (with all-new transfer & audio commentary)
2 - The Matrix Revisited (the original version with behind-the-scenes footage)
3 - Matrix Reloaded: Extended Version (new cut with 55 minutes of new footage inserted back into the film)
4 - Matrix Reloaded Revisited (all new interviews, scene dissections and more)
5 - Matrix Revolutions (original cut with audio commentaries)
6 - Matrix Revolutions Revisited (a host of all-new extras)
7 - The Animatrix
8 - The Roots of the Matrix (3 hours of features)
9 - The Burley Man Chronicles (the people behind The Matrix discuss their work)
10 - The Zion Archive (a tour of Matrix design concepts, storyboards & drawings)

Chances are a similar set will be announced shortly here in region 1.

Sony is getting around to releasing Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends: The Complete Second Season on 8/31.

On other news, word has it that Sony has been very interested in acquiring MGM to get ahold of its extensive library of films (ca. 4,000 features and 10,000 TV shows). The reason: Sony is revving up for a format war with other other companies over the next generation high-definition DVD format (Blu-Ray) and the more software it controls, the better chance it has of pushing its format of choice. Now Time-Warner is also bidding for MGM and guess what? They're behind the other format (HD-DVD). As an aside, if Warner manages to get control of MGM, it would clear up a lot of the rights confusion that's kept Peter Jackson and New Line from going ahead with a film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. New Line is a Time Warner company, and while the studio owns the rights to produce a film of The Hobbit, MGM currently owns the rights to distribute it.

Reviews:

DVD Savant takes a look at Warner's The Tarzan Collection which includes Tarzan the Ape Man, Tarzan and His Mate, Tarzan Escapes, Tarzan Finds a Son, Tarzan's Secret Treasure, Tarzan's New York Adventure

The Name of the Rose (out on 7/6

And....Who's the Boss?: The Complete First Season I KNOW you've all been waiting for that one!

Have a great 4th of July...and what better way to celebrate than to sing along with Bing in a rousing rendition of "Song of Freedom"?!

Freedom, freedom
That's my song for today
Listen to this American troubador from the U.S.A.

I'm singing a song of freedom
For all people who cry out to be free

Free to sail the seven seas
Free to worship as we please
If the birds up in the trees can be free
Why can't we?

I'm bringing a song of freedom
To all people wherever they may be

Free to speak and free to hear
Free from want and free from fear
Sons of freedom far and near who agree
Sing with me
That all God's children shall be free

[As sung in film:]

-Freedom! Freedom!
-Here comes the Freedom Man

On this day of independence
On this Independence Day
Listen to an American troubador from the U.S.A.

I'm singing a song of freedom
For all people who cry out to be free

Free to sail the seven seas
Free to worship as we please
If the birds up in the trees can be free
Why can't we?

I'm bringing a song of freedom
To all people wherever they may be

Free to speak and free to hear
Free from want and free from fear
Sons of freedom far and near who agree
Sing with me
That all God's people shall be free