Not to dwell on this too much, but it's interesting to me so sorrz!
Yet more detail has emerged on this upcoming Dr. Strangelove: 40th Anniversary Edition DVD (11/2; I'm amused that this is being released on Election Day). First of all, the bonuses on the new set will include stuff that wasn't on the existing single DVD that's out now. Second, this set will apparently include a new film transfer (more on that in a sec) so it might actually be worth a re-purchase if you like the film as much as I do. The features are (quoting the press release):
"The Anniversary Edition package includes a collectible script with an essay by Roger Ebert and original production stills. The DR STRANGELOVE 40th ANNIVERSARY EDITION also includes the following:
An interview with Robert S. McNamara, Secretary of Defense under President
Johnson at the time of DR. STRANGELOVE's original 1964 release. 'Inside Dr. Strangelove: How I stopped worrying and love the Bomb' 'No Fighting in the War Room: Dr. Strangelove and the Nuclear Threat' All new documentary
'The Art of Stanley Kubrick: From Short Films to Dr. Strangelove' documentary 'Best Sellers Or: Peter Sellers is Dr. Strangelove' featurette. Original Split-Screen Interviews w/ Peter Sellers and George C. Scott."
As for the new film transfer, Robert Harris has weighed in on the subject on the Home Theater Forum (which can be found here):
"There is more occurring with this release than meets the eye, and it is much more than a double or triple dip for the same old title.
Columbia has been meticulously working on this film to bring the quality as close to possible to the original. The original negative was nearly destroyed decades ago in error. I should note that, at the time, the studio had no preservation program whatsoever. That program began around 1990 and is now firmly under the command of Grover Crisp.
What I recall of the situation may be slightly blurred by the passage of time, but the main facts are much more than "when legend becomes fact..."
What was done to the original negative was unthinkable.
Around 1987-88, Mr. Kubrick requested that a new print be struck from the original negative for his personal use.
When elements were searched, there was no original negative to be found.
An order went out to ship remaining elements to the UK, where Mr. Kubrick could go through them and have selected sections reproduced to his specifications. Rolls of fine grain masters and dupe negatives made their way to the UK for inspection.
It should be understood that for both preservation and duplication, an original negative is copied to a fine grain master at least once and occasionally twice. Each FGM can then be used to produced dupe printing negatives, from which release prints are made. The intent in modern times is always to have the original negative guarded and printed as seldom as possible and then either for special prints or for duplicating elements.
What was discovered during inspection of the elements was as follows:
Someone, somewhere, was involved in the production of prints. Multiple dupe negatives were inspected, and none were found to be of high enough quality to service the needs of release printing. For some strange reason, they did not return to the FGM. It may also have been damaged, but this is not known for certain. So...
Someone elected to piece together all of the rolls of dupe negative to create an acceptable printing element. And in doing so...
cut up Mr. Kubrick's original picture negative, using bits and pieces as replacement sections, and combining it with multiple sections of dupes to conform to a full printing element. This is what was discovered during the element inspection.
Mr. Kurbrick...was not pleased. Work was done to remedy the situation as well as possible, but the new DVD is the first to be representative of the work done thereafter.
As no one involved in this situation is still at the studio, and Mr. Crisp and his staff have worked to overcome the film's shorcomings, this story should now be told." Verrrry intereting.
Warner has yet more TV stuff for the Fall: Friends: The Complete Eight Season, due on November 9th, this four-disc set will once again sport 4:3 full screen transfers and remastered Dolby Digital 5.0 surround tracks, plus audio commentaries on three episodes, two featurettes, an interactive map and episode synopses. Expect a list price of $59.95. And, Smallville: The Complete Third Season, arriving on November 16th.
Disney has a couple more "double dips" coming on November 2nd. A new Collector's Edition of Bridget Jones's Diary, and a new three-disc set of the mega-hit Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (that didn't take long!). What new will be on these reissues? Details have yet to be announced, but hopefully with less annoying edge enhancement on the video.
One of MGM's more profitable franchises aside from James Bond are the Rocky films. Yes, next up we have The Rocky Anthology, another Rocky box set designed to piggy-back off of the success of the new reality series The Contender. Already released before on DVD, this new six-disc set will hit stores on December 14th and boasts remastered anamorphic widescreen transfers and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround tracks for all five flicks (the first flick also gets a DTS track), plus new audio commentaries on all five films, and a sixth disc with deleted footage, the A&E's Biography episode "Sylvester Stallone: The Rocky Road to the Top," theatrical trailers and more to be announced. Retail will list for $62.95.
Also just announced from MGM are two recent limited release theatrical titles making their DVD debuts on November 9th: the "sexy thriller" Lost Junction, starring Neve Campbell (ooh, sign me up for THAT!), and The Saddest Music in the World, with by Isabella Rossellini. Each includes an anamorphic widescreen transfer, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track and theatrical trailers. There is no set list price, only an MAP of $19.95 each.
Fox has a few items: First up on November 23rd is the long-awaited (by whom?) debut of the cheesy Star Wars Animated Adventures double features: Droids, Ewoks and Caravan of Courage/The Battle for Endor. Each boasts remastered 4:3 full screen presentations and Dolby tracks (configurations not specified) and no announced extras. Retail will list for $16.95 a pop. Sadly, the epic Star Wars Christmas Special (go to the link and trust me: it's worth a read) remains unreleased. C'mon George, you *know* that's what the fans really want!
Next is Lost in Space: Season 2 Volume 2, due on November 30th. Again presented in 4:3 full screen and Dolby Digital mono, extras include original 1966 interviews, plus a still gallery. List price will go for $39.95. And on November 16th is Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Seventh Season. This set will have the same sort of stuff that the previous ones did.
For those of you who are into Farscape, the Sci-Fi Channel will be running a new miniseries, Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars (Hensen's company is still invloved) on 10/17.
Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder (9/7)
The new 2 disc special edition of Star Trek Generations (also on 9/7).
And DVD Savant's look at Lilith (1964, maybe it inspired the character on Cheers/Frasier!) and Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) which is a film I thought was pretty good in '83, but don't think would hold up so well now...