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November 29, 2004

"I've had more fun watching slush melt."

Another Thanksgiving weekend gone...hope everyone had a good one. We did; the wedding (congrats Wendy/David!) was fantastic and we also had a good visit with Shades' brother's family. AND, I was able to avoid all retail this weekend. Feels very good. At the box office this past weekend, the top two films stayed the same despite a newcomer or two. Gee, Oliver Stone sure pooped with Alexander , didn't he? Sounds like a real stinker and this sort of film suffers financially when reviews are as lousy as they were for this one.

1. National Treasure $33.1M
2. The Incredibles $24.1M
3. Christmas with the Kranks $22.7M
4. The Polar Express $20.1M
5. The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie $17.8M
6. Alexander $13.4M
7. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason $6.8M
8. Finding Neverland $4.71M
9. Ray $3.9M
10. After the Sunset $3.33M


Another batch of new DVDs tomorrow:


* Allegedly
* Breakout
* Courage to Love
* Daredevil: SE
* Faster
* Food for the Heart
* Happy Gilmore
* Happy Gilmore & Billy Madison Collection
* Henry Jaglom's Eating - A Very Serious Comedy About Women and Food
* Hero
* High School Boot Camp
* Inbred Rednecks Alien Abduction
* Josh Groban in Concert
* Lost in Space: Season 2 Volume 2
* Luther
* Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: Limited Edition DVD Box
* My Flesh & Blood
* National Lampoon's Lost Reality
* Northern Exposure - The Complete Second Season
* Prisoner Cell Block H
* Protectors: Season One
* Ray Harryhausen Giftset
* Spider-Man 2 - Superbit
* Spider-Man 2 - Widescreen SE
* Spider-Man 2 Gift Set
* Tru Calling - The Complete First Season


DVD Savant takes a look at Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí's L'Age d'Or

November 23, 2004

"You know I always wanted to pretend I was an architect."

Disney has Ladder 49 coming on 3/8.

Universal has announced the DVD release of Ray for 2/1 (SRP $29.98). Video will be anamorphic with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. No word yet on extras. There will also be a 2-disc Ray: Limited Edition (SRP $44.98) that same day.

Columbia TriStar has Spike Lee's She Hate Me on 2/1/05. Also streeting on that date from the studio are the animated Wind in the Willows and a School Daze: Special Edition.

BTW, if you're wondering who has the latest Harry Potter DVD (out today) cheap, Circuit City has it for $14.99, Target and Best Buy are selling it for $15.99.

If any of you are crazy enough to brave the hordes in friday morning, I ran across a board listing a lot of the sales that day...check it out here

And finally, a review of the new Seinfeld sets (out today as well).

November 22, 2004

"Yes, we're gonna have to go right to ludicrous speed."

As Thanksgiving rears its head once more, this year I do have "plenty to be thankful for." Besides my wife, family, friends, pets, and so on, I am also lucky enough to not have to work retail this coming weekend for the first time in many years. Plus, I won't have to go near a shopping center on black friday since we're all getting prepared for some good friends' wedding this coming weekend. Very cool.

More holiday season box office fun...SpongeBob vs. Jerry Bruckheimer:

1. National Treasure $35.3M
2. The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie $33.5M
3. The Incredibles $26.8M
4. The Polar Express $15.2M
5. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason $10.1M
6. After the Sunset $5.28M
7. Ray $4.6M
8. The Grudge $3.8M
9. Seed of Chucky $3.14M
10. Saw $3M

And this week's DVDs:

* Boy Meets World - The Complete Second Season
(pardon me, barf break)
* Cloak & Dagger
* Colossus: The Forbin Project
* Commandments
* Cure
* Dependencia sexual - Sexual dependency
* Doing Hard Time
* Ethics and the World Crisis - A Dialogue with the Dalai Lama
* Golden Girls: Season 1
(paging my sisters!)
* Gozu
* Gypsy 83
* Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
* Home Improvement: Season 1
* Inugami
* Jackhammer Massacre
* L'Age D'Or
* Little Miss Marker
* The Lizzie McGuire Show Boxed Set - Volume One
* Lust for Dracula
* Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase
* New Found Glory - This Disaster: Live In London
* Nirvana - With The Lights Out
[3CD Box Set + DVD] [BOX SET]
* Oasis
* Powwow Highway
* Rambo: Ultimate Collection
* Ranch
* Seinfeld - Season 3
* Seinfeld - Seasons 1 & 2
* Seinfeld Gift Set
* Sleepover
* Star Wars Animated Adventures: Droids
* Star Wars Animated Adventures: Ewoks
* Star Wars Ewok Adventures: Caravan & Battle for
* Stealing Sinatra
* Strayed
* Terminal
* Touching Evil: Set 1-3
* Unstoppable
* Witch Who Came From the Sea
* Zhou Tu's Train

MGM has the following titles coming in 2005 as special edition DVDs:

Hoosiers, The Graduate, Spaceballs, Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and Duck You Sucker.

A review of the upcoming Hero DVD (11/30).

November 17, 2004

"Well I can't take ANYTHING you say seriously with that stupid accent."

The DVDs for '05 roll on...

Disney has a new release list for the Miyazaki films they were supposed to released this year. Porco Rosso and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind will street as new 2-disc special editions on 2/22/05 (SRP $29.99 each), along with the previously unannounced The Cat Returns (not Miyazaki, but another Studio Ghibli title). It appears that My Neighbor Totoro has been delayed for release in a future Miyazaki, Wave 3.
All three of these titles will be presented in anamorphic widescreen video (1.85:1) and will be THX-certified. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind will feature the original Japanese and English audio in Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, with English subtitles. Extras will include the Behind the Microphone with Voice Talent from the Film and The Birth Story of Studio Ghibli featurettes, complete storyboards and the original Japanese theatrical trailer. Porco Rosso will feature the original Japanese, English and French audio in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround, with English subtitles. Extras will include the the Behind the Microphone with Voice Talent from the Film featurette, complete storyboards, an interview with Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki and the original Japanese theatrical trailer. Finally, The Cat Returns will feature the original Japanese, English and French audio in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround, with English subtitles. Extras will include The Making of The Cat Returns documentary, the Behind the Microphone with Voice Talent from the Film featurette, complete storyboards and the original Japanese theatrical trailer.

Disney has Mr. 3000 coming on 2/1. The studio will also release a new series of Walt Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites DVDs on 1/11 (SRP $14.99 each). Volume 1: Starring Mickey Mouse will include the shorts Mickey's Circus, Mickey's Garden, The Little Whirlwind, On Ice, Hawaiian Holiday, Moving Day and Orphan's Picnic. Volume 2: Starring Donald Duck will include Inferior Decorator, Don Donald, Golden Eggs, Bee at the Beach, Donald's Dog Laundry, Donald's Vacation, Old MacDonald Duck and 8 Chef Donald. Volume 3: Starring Goofy will include The Art of Skiing, How to Fish, How to Swim, Baggage Buster, How to Dance, Lion Down, The Big Wash, Hold That Pose and Father's Day Off. The last set, Volume 4: Starring Chip 'n Dale, will include Chicken in the Rough, Chip 'n Dale, Out of Scale, Two Chips and a Miss, Food for Feudin', Working for Peanuts, Out on a Limb, Three for Breakfast and Dragon Around. These appear to be scaled-back cartoon DVDs like the Treasures sets, but with less stuff (and half the price).

Warner has more TV shows coming on 2/8: The Fresh Prince of Bel Air: The Complete First Season, Full House: The Complete First Season, The Jamie Foxx Show: The Complete First Season, Murphy Brown: The Complete First Season, Night Court: The Complete First Season and The Wayans Bros: The Complete First Season. Each will be a 2-disc set and will carry a SRP of just $29.98 each. Looks like bare-bones treatment here, but really, who needs bonus features for The Wayans Bros.?!

Sony has more stuff coming: Head in the Clouds, Bunny Lake is Missing, a 2-disc Monster: Special Edition, Spider-Man: The New Animated Series - Extreme Threat, Married with Children: The Complete Third Season and Soap: The Complete Third Season, all on 1/25/05.

Reviews:

An early review of Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban (out on 11/23)
and
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: The Complete Epic Series

DVD Savant looks at Creature from the Black Lagoon: The Legacy Collection and Ragtime

"This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it."

Going a bit off-topic today and veering into the world of PVR (personal video recorders) and consumer rights. I'm posting about this due to two different developments that may effect the PVR and perhaps DVD.

tivoads.jpg

The first is an announcement by Tivo that it would make changes in its software to insert banner ads when you skip past the ads on shows. The idea is that you would be compelled to hit the select button (the Tivo equivalent of the mouse click) and it would show a specific ad or something directly targetted to you. An overview of this can be found in this LA Times article.

I personally find this to be a bad thing, but I'm not ready to condemn it as the end of the Tivo paradise like some have, until I've seen it in action. However, if this is the only way Tivo, who is the best bar-none at the PVR game, can stay afloat (they have yet to make a profit) then I will grudgingly accept it and hope it isn't too annoying. I've seen the ads that populate the screens of my folks' cable box menus; Tivo will have to work pretty hard to get as bad as that. PVRBlog.com, where I got the sad Tivo graphic, has some good commentary on this as well.

The other thing that's going on is a bill in the Senate right now that could have some really disasterous effects for consumers. Wired has an article on it; go read it. How about these apples:

"The bill would also permit people to use technology to skip objectionable content -- like a gory or sexually explicit scene -- in films, a right that consumers already have. However, under the proposed language, viewers would not be allowed to use software or devices to skip commericals or promotional announcements 'that would otherwise be performed or displayed before, during or after the performance of the motion picture,' like the previews on a DVD. The proposed law also includes language from the Pirate Act (S2237), which would permit the Justice Department to file civil lawsuits against alleged copyright infringers."

I would like to think that most people would find this bill to be utter nonsense, but enough politicians are being paid by the media companies that it is being seriously looked at. OK, Mr. President: you guys hate Hollywood so much? Veto this piece of legislative garbage and put your money where your mouths are. This is an area where I think the Democrats, which I am normally proud to include myself as one, are on the wrong side. Do they really need the payola from these guys that much? Isn't it possible that they could score some points with the public by standing up to these companies? I'm probably expecting too much...

November 15, 2004

"This is espresso - it's like Coffee-zilla."

1. The Incredibles $51M
2. The Polar Express $23.5M
3. After the Sunset $11.5M
4. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason $8.9M
5. Seed of Chucky $8.77M
6. Ray $8.4M
7. The Grudge $7.1M
8. Saw $6.4M
9. Shall We Dance $4.08M
10. Alfie $2.77M

Wow, another big weekend for The Incredibles, which couldn't be taken out of first by The Polar Express. It wouldn't surprise me if Express had a larger ad budget than production budget, but it was no match for the Pixar juggernaut. Shades and I caught The Incredibles the other night and really liked it. We both felt it was up there with the best Pixar has produced, yet it went in a somewhat new direction, straddling both the super hero satire and tribute lines quite adeptly. I also liked how the actors who did the voices didn't overpower the characters with their own personas as is the case with a number of Pixar features. This isn't really a bad thing, but I find it hard to not see Billy Crystal animated as a one-eyed ball-thing instead of a character whereas in the newest film, I was able to get into them much easier. This is director Brad Bird's second feature, his first being the much-overlooked The Iron Giant and I look forward to seeing what he does next.

Here's the DVD release list for tomorrow:


* Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Attack of Twonkies
* All Grown Up: O Brother
* Andy Griffith Show: Complete First Season
* Batman the Animated Series & Justice League
* Battle Beyond Sun & Star Pilot
* Blue Remains
* Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice
* Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: Complete Epic Series
* Buffy The Vampire Slayer - The Complete 7th Season
* Challenge Superfriends: Legion Doom & United Stand
* Chronicles of Riddick
* Clive Barker Presents Saint Sinner
* Commish: Season 1
* Control Factor
* Fanny & Alexander
(Criterion, both 1 and 5 DVD sets)
* Short Cuts
* The Diary of Alicia Keys
* Director's Label Series Boxed Set - The Works of Spike Jonze, Chris Cunningham, and Michel Gondry
* Dog Years
* Elf
* First Snow of Winter
* Foul Play
* Frasier: Complete Final Season
* Hebrew Hammer
* Henry VIII
* Home Movies: Season One
* Howard Hughes - The Real Aviator
* I Ain't Dead Yet #*%$#@!! Uncensored
* I'll Sleep When I'm Dead
* Iron Giant: Special Edition
* Kangaroo Jack: G'Day Usa
* Kids in the Hall: Complete Season Two
* Late Night Shopping
* Legong: Dance of the Virgins
* Lingerie Bowl 2004: The Ultimate Catfight
* Live Aid
* Loveless
* National Lampoon's Holiday Reunion
* No Vacancy
* Office Collection
* Office Special
* On Fire at the Bowl
* Pee Wee's Playhouse 1
* Pee Wee's Playhouse 2
* Peter Gabriel - Play
* Pickle
* Promises
* Ragtime
* Riverworld
* Rockets Redglare!
* Saddest Music in the World
* Samurai Deeper Kyo: Complete Collection
* Smallville - The Complete Third Season
* Smallville: Complete Third Season
* Space Ghost Coast To Coast - Volumes 1 and 2
* Space Ghost Coast to Coast 2
* Teenage Cavegirl
* Tiger - The Authorized DVD Collection
* Troma's Edge TV Vol 2
* Wetherby
* A Wrinkle in Time
* Wubbulous World of Dr Seuss: The Cat's Fun House
* Yu-Gi-Oh: The Movie

November 12, 2004

"You know, if I could freeze the two of you, I would, often."

The weekend is upon us once more and another holiday blockbuster has arrived. This one, The Polar Express is interesting as it has gotten really mixed reviews; some love it, some hate it. Check out a sample over at Rotten Tomatoes.

And more DVDs one the way:

Paramount has announced that MacGyver: The Complete First Season will hit DVD on 1/25/05, 6 discs. Also coming on 1/25 is The Jamie Kennedy Experiment: The Complete Third Season (featuring all 21 episodes with with never before seen "second marks"). Charmed: The Complete First Season gets into the hands of my sisters on 2/1/05 (all 22 episodes on 6 discs). Cheers: The Complete Fourth Season and I Love Lucy: The Complete Third Season will also street on 2/1. I Love Lucy will feature 31 episodes on 5 discs, and will include flubs, lost scenes, restored music, behind-the-scenes audio featurette, original series openings, original animated sequences, script excerpts, production notes and promotional spots.

From the "Who asked for this" department, comes MGM's 2-disc Get Shorty: Special Edition on 2/22/05 (SRP $29.98). The film will be presented in anamorphic widescreen video with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Extras will include audio commentary by director Barry Sonnenfeld, 3 featurettes (including Get Shorty: Look at Me, Get Shorty: Wiseguys and Dolls and Deleted Graveyard Scene), the Danny's No-Cut Day outtakes reel, a Get Shorty party reel, a sneak peel of Be Cool, a photo gallery and Bravo's Page to Screen: Get Shorty special.

MGM announced the rest of its February lineup, which will include Body and Soul (1981), Body and Soul (1999), Dempsy, Monkey on My Back, new single-disc editions of Rocky, Rocky II, Rocky III and Rocky IV (all featuring new HD transfers), Rocky V, Rocky Marciano, The Adventures of the American Rabbit, That Championship Season, Our Winning Season and Winner Take All (all on 2/8/05). Previously announced for 2/8 are The Martin Scorsese Collection, Raging Bull (movie only), Raging Bull: Special Edition and New York, New York: Special Edition. A pair of additional catalog titles will street a week earlier (on 2/1), including True Heart and Courage Mountain.

November 11, 2004

"I'm a resident alien here from England - you know, the country that used to own you people."

Some DVDs that are coming out next year, but aren't totally set in stone.

2/1 - Cheers: The Complete Fourth Season, Frasier: The Complete Fifth Season, Taxi: The Complete Second Season

2/8 - America's Next Top Model: Cycle 1(what the hell?), 7th Heaven: The Complete Second Season (after last week, I guess we know the audience for these DVDs)

2/22 - Alfie

3/1 - South Park: The Complete Fifth Season, The Brady Bunch: The Complete First Season

3/15 - Star Trek: First Contact - Special Edition, Hogan's Heroes: The Complete First Season, Survivor: The Australian Outback

3/29 - Team America: World Police

4/19 - Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

5/3 - Star Trek: Enterprise - Season One, Touched by an Angel: The Complete Second Season

5/10 - The Longest Yard: Special Edition

5/14 - The Daily Show with John Stewart (I don't know whether this is a best-of set or what)

5/17 - Coach Carter, Island in the Sky: Special Edition, The High and the Mighty: Special Edition

6/14 - War of the Worlds: Special Edition

7/12 - Face/Off: Special Edition

And finally, DVD Savant looks at Joseph Goebbels' Münchhausen (no, really...he personally oversaw its production!)

November 10, 2004

"I really must be getting home. We're having squab this evening."

Some odds and ends...

More TV product from Universal (they own a lot of TV shows); no dates yet, but these should all be out in 2005.

Leave it to Beaver, Amazing Stories, Woody Woodpecker (I assume this would be the Universal shorts), Kojak, The Six Million Dollar Man, and The Bionic Woman.

More Universal... they've announced the high-school football film Friday Night Lights for 1/18 (SRP $29.98). The film will be available in separate full frame and anamorphic widescreen versions. Extras on each will include deleted scenes and 3 behind-the-scenes featurettes (including Tim McGraw: Off the Stage, Player Cam and Real Life, Real Games, Real People).

Does anyone give a rip about the details on Miami Vice: Season One (2/8 - SRP $59.98)? Well too bad, here they are: the 3-disc set will include all 21 first season episodes (plus the 2-hour pilot) in their original full frame aspect ratio (with remixed Dolby Digital 5.1 audio). Extras will include 5 behind-the-scenes featurettes (Series Introduction from Michael Mann, The Vibe of Vice, Back-Story: Miami Vice, The Fashion and The Music). The first season episodes include classic music from the likes of Phil Collins, U2, The Police, Peter Gabriel, Elvis Presley, Eric Clapton, Tina Turner and more. More 80s pop culture than you can shake a stick at.

Columbia TriStar has announced the DVD release of The Forgotten, Never Get Outta the Boat, Rosenstrasse and Stella Street for 1/18. The Forgotten will include anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, 2 different versions of the film (the theatrical version and a never-before-seen extended cut with deleted scenes and an alternate ending incorporated), audio commentary by director Joseph Ruben and writer Gerald DiPego's commentary, 6 separate deleted scenes, trailers and 2 featurettes (The Making of The Forgotten and Remembering the Forgotten).

"Sturgeon, he's a doctor cuts you open when-a you sick."

231918.jpg

A DVD box set was released this week that contains one the greatest comedies of all times, Duck Soup. Here's a review of The Marx Brothers – Silver Screen Collection which contains their first five films, which were done for Paramount, now the property (like all Paramount films produced prior to 1948) Universal. These films, unlike the later MGM titles like A Night at the Opera, were released in 1997 through a third party. The previous DVDs were made from analog (probably) laserdisc video masters and looked pretty rough. I haven't gotten the new set yet, but the word seems to be that Duck Soup looks quite a bit better than before and the rest marginally improved. The old DVDs have been out of print for a few years, so this is a good thing.

I find it unlikely that better versions will be forthcoming as most of the pre-war Paramount library is in horrible condition. Many of the negatives are gone and restorations have to be done from worn release prints. This is partly the result of the catalog changing owners back in a time when video didn't exist and preservation wasn't much of a concern; as long as the films played OK on 1950s TV (these film library selloffs were done primarily for TV use and as a one-time cash generator for the then-beleaguered studios), it didn't matter. This is also a problem with the RKO catalog.

There is also a review up of the new Gone With the Wind 4 DVD set. This film has been issued more times than I can count, but apparantly this is the bee's knees, so to speak with two discs devoted to bonus features including the The Making Of A Legend: Gone With The Wind documentary that ran on cable a while back. I don't have a burning desire to see this film right now, but it sounds like a great set.

November 8, 2004

"Whatever happened to raping and pillaging?"

It turned out that there were some interesting things hitting the 'net today, so here's a follow-up to my regular "here's what's coming out this week" business.

Warner keeps the catalog titles flowing in the new year. This batch starts on 2/8/05 with a 2-disc Malcolm X: Special Edition. Chain of Fools, Arthur 2: On the Rocks, Disorderlies, Fandango, The Ice Pirates, Oh God! Book 2, Oh God! You Devil!, Other People's Money, Richie Rich and Young Einstein will all follow on 2/15. Finally, the oft-delayed Heat: Special Edition will round things out on 2/22.

The Malcolm X: Special Edition (SRP $26.99) will include anamorphic widescreen video (aspect ratio 1.85:1), Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, audio commentary (with director Spike Lee, Ernest Dickerson, Barry Alexander Brown and Ruth Carter), 10 deleted scenes with optional director's audio commentary, the feature-length 1972 Malcolm X documentary, the By Any Means Necessary: The Making of Malcolm X documentary and the film's theatrical trailer.

Universal has Miami Vice: Season One coming on 2/8/05 (SRP $59.98). The 3 disc set will include all first season episodes in their original full frame aspect ratio (with remixed Dolby Digital 5.1 audio). No word yet on extras or whether they got the music clearances resolved.

Fox has announced the Taxi DVD for 2/15.

On 2/8 look for HBO to release The Cherokee Kid and The Last Outlaw.

Paramount has I Love Lucy: The Complete Third Season set for 2/1/05, with John Knowles' (tee hee)A Separate Peace (1972) following on 2/8/05. Also coming in February from the studio is Cheers: The Complete Fourth Season (street date TBA).

Finally, Manga Entertainment is set to release a new Ghost in the Shell: Special Edition on 1/11/05 (SRP $34.95).

Robert Harris has another interview up with a studio archives exec. This time it's Columbia's Grover Crisp...like the last one, this is well worth a read, so check it out here.

DVD Savant has a review of the new Looney Tunes Golden Collection 2 up and he has an amusing note on the front of his page: "It just so happened that my personal political problems cleared up the other night, just like that. VeePee Cheney sent me a nice big green seed pod in the mail, suggesting that I sleep with it nearby, 'for homeland security.' Gosh darn if I didn't wake up feeling totally relieved of my burden. Everything's fine now. All those political problems are really the duty of people more important than me to take care of, anyway, ya know? I think I'll go and watch some relaxing broadcast reality shows, and get into serious stuff, like major league sports. And may heaven keep me an honest, clean-thinking American boy...."

"I have some very definite pear-shaped ideas that I'd like to discuss with thee."

I've been in a state of low blog activity for a few days, but the DVD/Movies realm doesn't sit still, especially on the verge of a holiday buying frenzy season, so to start out, here's this past weekend's box office numbers with the first big hit of the season...Pixar strikes again!

1. The Incredibles $70.7M
2. Ray $13.8M
3. The Grudge $13.5M
4. Saw $11.4M
5. Alfie $6.5M
6. Shall We Dance $5.65M
7. Shark Tale $4.6M
8. Friday Night Lights $3M
9. Ladder 49 $2.62M
10. Team America: World Police $1.85M

And tomorrow is new release day (unless you're releasing Shrek 2) in addition to the day the Berlin Wall officially came down...plus another small event.

* Ace High
* Alila
* Arrowhead
* Batman Beyond: The Movie & Return of the Joker
* Before Sunset
* Bridget Jones's Diary
(special edition)
* Clearing
* Dead End
* Eddie Izzard: Definite Article
* Eddie Izzard: Glorious
* Eddie Izzard: Unrepeatable
* Falling From Grace
* Forces of Nature
* Friends: Complete Eighth Season
* Fritz Lang Epic Collection
(includes Spies, Metropolis, Woman in the Moon, Die Nibelungen)
* Gone With the Wind: 4 Disc Collector's Edition
* Jesus of Montreal
* Ju-on (The Grudge)
* The L Word - The First Complete Season
* Last Train From Gun Hill
* Legally Blonde Platinum
* Lost Junction
* Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection
(Finally, the Paramount films come out including Animal Crackers, The Cocoanuts, Duck Soup, Horse Feathers, Monkey Business)
* Munto
* Naked Jungle
* Official Story
* Popeye's Voyage - The Quest for Pappy
* Princess Blade Special Edition
* Something Corporate:Live at the Ventu
* Spanish Fly
* Star Trek Voyager: Complete Fifth Season
* Stepford Wives
* Strip Tease:World's Most Famous Strip
* Suspicious River
* WC Fields Comedy Collection
(includes The Bank Dick, International House, It’s a Gift, My Little Chickadee, You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man)
* Zatoichi: Blind Swordsman - Sonatine

November 2, 2004

"Ben, superheroes that pray together stay together."

So here it is...Election Night and while I sit here in a coffee shop waiting for Shades to get out of rehearsal, I'm posting a few DVD bits while listening to a live stream from Air America to keep up with the races. I'm sipping a tasty triple mocha to get juiced for the rest of the evening's follies...and heck, if it ends earlier than predicted, I can always play Hordes!

Columbia TriStar has four interesting titles for release on 1/11/05 - Silver City, Touch of Pink, The Fifth Element: Ultimate Edition (jeez, how many times are they gonna milk that one?!) and Léon: The Professional - Deluxe Edition. Each will carry an SRP of $24.96. The Fifth Element: Ultimate Edition (2 discs) will include anamorphic widescreen video, both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio, a factoid trivia track, 4 behind-the-scenes featurettes (The Star Element, The Visual Element, The Alien Element and The Digital Element), film galleries, camera, costume and set tests and more. Léon: The Professional - Deluxe Edition (2 discs), will also include anamorphic widescreen video and both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio, along with 3 behind-the-scenes featurettes (The Professional: Ten Year Reunion, Trial by Fire: Natalie Portman as Mathilda and Birth of a Star: Jean Reno as Léon) and more.

The Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow DVD will now be released on 2/1/05 (it had previously been slated for 1/25/05). No word yet on extras.

Trey Parker's Orgazmo: Special Edition will street on 2/15/2005 (SRP $19.98) in anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. Newly announced for 1/25/05 from Universal are an October Sky: Special Edition (SRP $14.98 - anamorphic widescreen with both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio) and the delayed Backbeat: Special Edition (SRP $19.98). No details yet on extras.

Criterion has a bunch of titles newly announced for release in January (exact street date TBA). Look for Seijun Suzuki's Fighting Elegy (SRP $29.95, catalog #269) and Youth of the Beast ($29.95, #268), Jacques Becker's Touchez pas au grisbi ($29.95, #271) and Casque d'or ($39.95, #270), and Akira Kurosawa's Kagemusha ($39.95, #267). Kagemusha will be a 2-disc set with video in anamorphic widescreen (from a new HD transfer), Dolby Digital 2.0 audio, audio commentary by Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince, a 40-minute documentary on the making of Kagemusha (part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create), new video interviews with executive producers Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas (Helping a Master: Coppola, Lucas, and Kagemusha), the Image: Kurosawa's Continuity featurette on reconstructing the film through Kurosawa's paintings and sketches, and a booklet featuring new essays by scholars Darrell Davis and Peter Grilli, as well as biographical sketches by Japanese film historian Donald Richie.

Wonderfalls: The Complete Series will be out on 2/1/05 from Fox (SRP $39.98) featuring 3 discs in anamorphic widescreen video and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Extras will include audio commentary on several episodes by the show's cast and crew, and the Greetings from Wonderfalls and Fantastic Visual Effects featurettes.

Fox also has Angel: Season Five, 2/15/05 (SRP $89.98) on 6 discs (anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital 2.0 audio) with commentary on several episodes (participants include Joss Whedon, David Boreanaz and many of the cast and crew) and the Angel: The Final Season, Hey Kids! It's Smile Time, Angel 100, Angel: Choreography of a Stunt, To Live & Die in L.A.: The Best of Angel, Halos and Horns: Recurring Villainy and Angel Unbound: The Gag Reels featurettes.

DVD Savant has been really busy lately...did I mention I think he's the best web-based DVD reviewer out there? He writes well and is one of the few reviewers of DVDs, in print or on the web, whose writing about the films themselves is worth reading. He's a bit light on the techie aspects of the discs, but he's always got something interesting to say. Here's what he has today:

That's Entertainment (the box with all three films)

Fox's latest Studio Classics release, The Three Faces of Eve (1957).

And Warner's new 2 DVD set of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954 with *both* the 'Scope and the flat versions!).

November 1, 2004

"If that battery's dead, it will have company!"

Here's a few fun things coming after the holidays...

It's been a long wait, but Warner is finally releasing James Cagney's White Heat on 1/25/05, along with Angels with Dirty Faces, Little Caesar, The Petrified Forest (1936, Bogart), The Public Enemy and The Roaring Twenties (SRP $19.97 each). They'll all be available together in the Warner Gangsters Collection box set (SRP $68.92) the same day.

Also newly announced by Warner are Broadway Melody of 1929 (Best Pic winner and one of the very first Hollywood musicals; possibly the first after Jazz Singer, The (1927)), The Life of Emile Zola, China: The Panda Adventure (IMAX), Hidden Dimension (IMAX), Mark Twain's America (IMAX), and Oz: The Complete Fourth Season (all for 2/1/05).

Okay, so this is turning into a Warnerfest, but there's one more of note:

They've got a 2-disc Chariots of Fire: Special Edition on 2/1/05 (SRP $26.99). The previous and out of print DVD release was full frame only, but this new version will be anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Over 3 hours of extras will be included. Expect audio commentary with director Hugh Hudson, 11 deleted scenes, screen test footage for Ben Cross and Ian Charleson, the Wings on their Heels: The Making of Chariots of Fire and Chariots of Fire: A Reunion documentaries, 2 Easter eggs and the theatrical trailer.

Some good DVD Savant reviews:

Dr. Strangelove 40th Anniversary Edition (yes, the third DVD release so far) and
Conquest of Space (1955)

"Pray for mercy from Puss... in boots."

Ah, Election day approaches and all is groovy and funky...with a lot of DVD releases as the holiday season begins to heat up.

Ali G indahouse
Animal Farm
(50th Anniv.)
Around World 80 Days
(2004)
Babes in Toyland
(2004)
California Split
Castle Keep
(WS)
Cirque du Soleil: Fire Within
Cirque du Soleil: La Nouba
Criterion Collection 2004 Gift Set
Dazed and Confused
Dr. Who: Lost in Time Collection
Dr. Strangelove
(40th Anniv)
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
Facing Windows
Fast Times Ridgemont High
Festival Express SE
George Harrison: Dark Horse Years
The Grissom Gang
Harry for the Holidays
High Commissioner
Home at the End of the World
Looney Tunes: Golden Collection 2
Looney Tunes: Spotlight Collection 2
Monster Island
The More the Merrier
Mulholland Falls
Othello
(1990/TV)
Philadelphia
(Anniv. Ed.)
Pirates of the Caribbean Gift Set
Proof
(1992)
Rainbow Brite & Star Stealer
The Rapture
Renegade
Shrek 2
Simple Life 2
Simpson Christmas 2
Star Trek:TOS - Season 2
Three Coins in the Fountain
Three’s Company: Season 3
Too Close for Comfort: Season 1
Traffic: Miniseries (Dir. Ed.)
West Wing: Season 3
Whatever Happened/Aunt Alice?

And this past weekend's box office (enjoy the numbers...before Pixar crushes everyone next weekend):


1. The Grudge $22.4M
2. Ray $20.1M
3. Saw $17.4M
4. Shark Tale $8M
5. Shall We Dance $6.29M
6. Friday Night Lights $4.1M
7. Ladder 49 $3.33M
8. Team America: World Police $3.1M
9. Surviving Christmas $2.6M
10. Taxi $2.15M

And in case you haven't heard this enough...GET OUT AND VOTE TOMORROW!!!