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page updated: 3/15/01



My Two Cents
(Archived Posts 2/21/01 - 2/6/00)


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(LATE UPDATE - 2/21/01 - 4 PM PST)

All right... our domain routing troubles have been resolved and I even managed to sneak in a couple of new DVD reviews this afternoon. So here's a look at Artisan's cool Inside the Space Station documentary and VCI's DVD version of the 1939 Buck Rogers 12-episode serial - a little "Sci" and a little "Sci-fi". They're both well worth a look. See you back here tomorrow...

(EARLY UPDATE - 2/21/01 - Noon PST)

Well... technically, we haven't been missing. You just haven't been able to find us thanks to some Internet routing problems at our hosting service. But if you can read this, you can safely (we hope) assume that the problems have cleared up. We should be fully back in operation by tomorrow. In the meantime, thanks for your patience. Did you know we reviewed Ben-Hur? Hey... check out our Ben-Hur review...!

Stay tuned... ;-)

2/20/01

All right! We're very happy to bring you an early look at MGM's sprawling and massive epic film, Ben-Hur, which is soon to be released on DVD by Warner Home Video (street date 3/13). And let me tell you... it's definitely a must-have disc. Probably the first disc of 2001 that you just can't afford to miss. I've spent literally hours watching the film on disc, both with and without commentary, and going through its supplements. What a treat! As I said yesterday, I think you're going to be very happy with what you see on this disc - the film has simply never looked better.

We've got more great reviews coming tomorrow, so stay tuned...

(LATE UPDATE - 2/19/01 - 3:30 PM PST)

Well, we're in review mode here at the Bits on this lazy President's Day. Todd and I are each spinning discs and taking notes this afternoon. I've just posted my thoughts on the latest entry in A&E's British TV DVD cannon, Space: 1999 (Set 1 & 2). More reviews are on the way. I'd planned on putting up a couple more today, when (lo and behold) we got our hands on a final copy of Warner's Ben-Hur. So look for our review of that first thing tomorrow morning. I'll just say this for now - it looks awesome. Very impressive video quality for a 1959 film... and presented in all its ultra-wide, 2.76:1 glory (and in full anamorphic widescreen to boot). Amazing. This is the kind of thing we live for here at the Bits.

Stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 2/19/01 - 12:01 AM PST)

Morning! We've got an early update for you today with the promise of more later. First up, we've updated The Rumor Mill to include lots of new just-announced or soon-to-be-announced titles. Among them are The Legend of Baggar Vance, All the Pretty Horses, El Cid, Jaws 2, Rio Bravo and more. Be sure to check it out.

Also this morning, we've posted some 13 new covers to the Upcoming DVD Cover Art section. We've got artwork for The Legend of Baggar Vance, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, Bamboozled, Men of Honor, Ghost, Billy Elliot, Love Story, Finding Forrester, Rio Bravo, Just Looking, Agent Red, Tokyo Raiders and The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking (mostly, but not all, in April). We've also got street dates for Space Cowboys and all of those previously TBD Criterion titles (again, mostly for April), so we've moved those covers to the appropriate pages. Don't miss 'em.

Elsewhere around the site, we've updated our authorized mirror of Jim Taylor's Official DVD FAQ to the most recent version, and we've done a bunch of archiving of The Rumor Mill and the My Two Cents archives, so those pages should now load faster.

We'll be back later this morning with reviews, so be sure to check back. But in the meantime, we've got something you should enjoy - an early look at a couple of menu screens from Fox's upcoming Cleopatra: 5 Star 3-disc set (street date: 5/1). The images are of the main menu pages for Disc One and Disc Three respectively. Enjoy and we'll see you back here later!

Cleopatra - Disc One Main Menu

Cleopatra - Disc Three Main Menu

(LATE UPDATE - 2/16/01 - 5 PM PST)

The winners of our Valentine's Trivia Contest have been announced - congratulations to the 5 winners and thanks to everybody who played. Our next contest will start next week, so be sure to check back.

We've also posted three new DVD reviews for you to check out. I've given Columbia TriStar's new Dr. Strangelove: Special Edition a spin (this is the disc that will be included in Warner's revised Kubrick Collection and it's definitely worth picking up), Greg's got a review of Criterion's Chasing Amy disc and Brian's given us his thoughts on Docudrama's cool 2-disc release of Michael Moore's The Awful Truth: The Complete First Season.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

(EARLY UPDATE - 2/16/01 - 1:45 PM PST)

We've just posted some information on upcoming Paramount titles in today's update of The Rumor Mill - Marathon Man and Mommie Dearest anyone? Also, we've updated the CEA DVD Players Sales charts to include the numbers for players shipped in the 2nd week of February. And we've also updated the AFI Top 100 Films on DVD list to include the addition of A Place in the Sun (which is now in production). Don't forget that Forrest Gump was also recently added as in production (more on that in the Rumor Mill).

We'll be back with reviews and to announce the Trivia Contest winners later this afternoon. Stay tuned...

(LATE UPDATE - 2/15/01 - 1 PM PST)

We wanted to jump in here and make a quick clarification about the aspect ratios of the Kubrick titles. Barry Lyndon and A Clockwork Orange will be presented on DVD in the intended 1.66 aspect ratio, so they're technically widescreen. But the difference between 1.33 and 1.66 isn't enough that anamorphic enhancement would improve your viewing experience. Here's an official explanation I've received: "1.66 active picture area is not compatible for the 1.78 anamorphic aspect ratio. Down-conversion to 1.33 television sets would induce a black matte all around the 1.66 feature image." Dr. Strangelove is presented on DVD in an aspect ratio that correctly varies between 1.33 and 1.66. It's not anamorphic and rightly so. Lolita shares this same presentation, so while it's technically widescreen, it also doesn't require anamorphic enhancement (although it will be hard matted at 1.66, as it was on the original DVD). Kubrick intended Eyes Wide Shut, Full Metal Jacket and The Shining to appear at home in the 1.33 ratio. This isn't pan & scan - you're seeing virtually the entire filmed image. The new Spartacus and 2001 discs will both be anamorphic, given their far wider aspect ratios. It's our belief at The Digital Bits that these new DVDs will present these films correctly (by and large), exactly as Kubrick intended them to be seen at home. Again, there WILL BE NO rebate or exchanges for those who purchased the earlier set. None of the films will feature longer cuts - you're getting exactly what was released before, albeit in superior audio and video quality. And Lolita will feature mono audio - not Dolby Digital 5.1 (the press release is unclear, but this is confirmed).

(EARLY UPDATE - 2/15/01 - 11 AM PST)

Hi guys... we've got more details on Warner's new Kubrick Collection - these ARE confirmed officially by the studio. All of the films will be in full frame (as Kubrick intended them to be seen at home - you're seeing the whole filmed image), except Lolita (which will be B&W widescreen but not anamorphic) and 2001 (which will be in full anamorphic widescreen). The packaging will be identical to the original set (Eyes Wide Shut and Dr. Strangelove will feature new art but in the same style), but each disc's packaging will note that the film has been digitally restored and remastered, and will list the new specs as appropriate (Dolby Digital 5.1, 16x9, etc...). Eyes Wide Shut will NOT be the unrated/unaltered version (as released in Europe) - it will be the same theatrical edition as before. Dr. Strangelove WILL be Columbia's new special edition disc. We've also confirmed that, because of the addition of Eyes Wide Shut, Dr. Strangelove and the Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures disc to the collection, there will be no exchanges or special offers to those who purchased the set initially. Warner considers this situation the same as the many titles that have been re-released in improved versions before (understandable from their perspective I suppose, but it's bound to upset people who paid the hefty price for the original collection). So there you go - that should answer the many questions you probably have (it certainly answered ours).

We'll be back with more later, so stay tuned...

(LATE UPDATE - 2/14/01 - 8 PM PST)

Well... I think after the disaster that was the original Stanley Kubrick Collection on DVD, we all suspected this was coming. Warner Home Video has officially announced the new and improved Stanley Kubrick Collection (a.k.a. Stanley Kubrick Gift Set), which will debut on DVD on June 12. The new set will include 8 of Kubrick's best works on disc, along with a 9th disc (exclusive to the box set) which contains the 2 hour and 20 minute documentary, Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures, narrated by Tom Cruise. Every film in the set will feature newly remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, along with brand new digital transfers and fully-restored picture quality. All the titles will also include theatrical trailers. The set will SRP for $199.92, and will include the following titles: Barry Lyndon, A Clockwork Orange, Full Metal Jacket, The Shining (includes the 30 minute documentary, The Making of the Shining), 2001: A Space Odyssey (in anamorphic widescreen at 2.1:1 Super Panavision 70 aspect ratio, includes a rare interview with Arthur C. Clarke), Lolita (with a new B&W widescreen transfer - no word on anamorphic yet), the Eyes Wide Shut: Collector's Edition and Columbia's new Dr. Strangelove: Special Edition (which includes the documentary The Art of Stanley Kubrick from Short Films to Strangelove, the Inside the Making of Dr. Strangelove featurette, an original split-screen interview with Peter Sellers and George C. Scott, a gallery of original advertising art, theatrical trailers and talent files). Note that each film (aside from the bonus documentary) will be available separately for an SRP of $24.98. This is basically the same Kubrick Collection as before, simply with the addition of Eyes Wide Shut, the new Dr. Strangelove disc and Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures, and with the kind of video and audio quality we should have gotten in the first place. I'll say one thing here - I do hope that Warner makes some kind of exchange offer to those who purchased the original boxed set, because otherwise those folks are gonna be hopping mad (and rightly so).

Also today, Warner has officially announced the DVD release of Miss Congeniality for May 1st (SRP $26.98 - see the cover artwork on page 6 of the Upcoming DVD Artwork section). The disc will include anamorphic widescreen video and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, along with 2 feature-length audio commentaries (one with producer/star Sandra Bullock and co-screenwriter Marc Lawrence, and another with director Donald Petrie and editor Billy Weber), 2 documentary shorts (Preparing for the Pageant and The Pageant, which provide a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film including outtakes, gag reels and deleted scenes) and the film's theatrical trailer.

Stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 2/14/01 - 3:30 AM PST)

Happy Valentines Day, everyone! We've got a bunch of things for you to check out today, beginning with a new special feature story. Our own Todd Doogan recently had the chance to chat with Bring It On director Peyton Reed, and I think you'll find their conversation well worth a read. Don't miss it.

Also today, we've got Todd's review of Universal's Bring It On: Collector's Edition DVD, as well as Greg Suarez's look at both versions of Columbia TriStar's Sleepless in Seattle on disc.

We've also updated the Upcoming DVD Artwork section to include some 16 new DVD covers including a whole bunch of Criterion titles. We've got a look at Spartacus, The Rock, Mona Lisa, Coup de Torchon, Rugrats in Paris, Anatomy, For Pete's Sake, Little Nicky, Princess Caraboo, Threesome, Miss Congeniality, Father Ted: Series One, Mon Oncle, The Scarlett Empress, Rififi and M. Hulot's Holiday.

Finally today, we've updated The Rumor Mill with a whole slew of new information from our sources, as well as some new official announcements. We've got word on Babylon 5 DVDs from Warner (finally!), Fox's Big Trouble in Little China: Special Edition, Disney's The Emperor's New Groove, MGM's Buckaroo Banzai and more. You definitely don't want to miss that.

Now then... don't forget to pick up that Valentine for your significant other! Gotta keep your priorities, right? Have a great day and stay tuned... ;-)

(LATE UPDATE - 2/13/01 - 4 PM PST)

We're going to be back later this evening with a special feature story Todd's been working on, but I wanted to check in with this quickly first. We've received an official statement from Buena Vista Home Entertainment regarding the problems with their Dinosaur, Scary Movie and The Kid DVDs, so here it is:

"Buena Vista Home Entertainment is aware of and very concerned about the DVD hardware/software incompatibility issues that the home entertainment industry currently is experiencing. Like other studios, we have been working diligently to minimize such problems and will continue aggressively to eliminate these problems in the future. We believe any solution ultimately will require a partnership between hardware and software manufacturers. In the meantime, we will ensure that all of our consumers are 100% satisfied with any product that is affected by these issues. The Walt Disney Company is committed to its customers and fans to deliver a quality of excellence across all formats that is synonymous with its name."

Statement issued by Robert Chapek
President of Buena Vista Home Entertainment


I think you can assume that the problems people have been having with these discs have to do with players not conforming to the DVD spec 100%, particularly in more complicated authoring situations. And I think you can further assume that if you have any problems with a disc, Buena Vista's Customer Relations Hotline (1-800-723-4763) will do everything possible to exchange it for a working disc.

Now then... while we were preparing this quick update, we figured you might like to get a first look at the cover artwork for a pair of major upcoming Criterion Collection DVDs - The Rock (street date: 3/13) and Spartacus (4/24). Enjoy!

The Rock: Criterion CollectionSpartacus: Criterion Collection

Back soon...

(EARLY UPDATE - 2/13/01 - 10 AM PST)

Yessir... it's Oscar nomination day here in Hollywood. And for those of you who didn't bother to get up early to hear them announced, check out the skinny from the official Oscar website. For those who care, the Best Picture nominees are: Traffic, Gladiator, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Erin Brockovich and Chocolat. Now... I'm psyched that Crouching Tiger got a nod, but anyone else think Almost Famous got robbed? Ggrrrr.

Speaking of awards, we've had a lot of readers ask us if we're going to be doing our Bitsy Awards again this year (click here for last year's awards). The answer is absolutely. We're gearing up for the awards now and we'll have more to tell you soon. Stay tuned...

Well how do you like this? Turns out the International Space Station (a.k.a. Alpha) is all region! Knowing that its crewmembers would likely be originating from more than 16 different countries participating in the project, NASA decided not to play favorites and ordered Sony FX1 players modified to be all region. And the supplier? A European company called Techtronics - check out their website for the complete story. I wonder if NASA has a mission specialist opening for DVD player operator? Knew there was a reason I wanted to be an astronaut! Very cool. Thanks to Bits reader Steve Matty for that information.

Now then... we've had a LOT of people ask us what the problem is with Disney's Dinosaur (both the single and 2-disc versions), Scary Movie and The Kid. Apparently, there's some kind of authoring error that results in buggy disc performance on certain models of DVD player. For example, on my Sony 7700, the 2-disc version Dinosaur glitches and pauses of its own accord when you reach the layer switch point while watching the movie disc. Some with Panasonic and RCA players are having the same problem. Other people have difficulty accessing various menu features of the discs using Pioneer players. Not everyone is having problems, but many people are. If you are among them, you can call Buena Vista's Customer Relations Phone Number: 1-800-723-4763. The studio is aware of the problem, and I've been told that they are re-authoring the discs. A recall may be initiated, but no date has been determined, pending completion of the new discs. The studio can arrange to make exchanges for your defective copies. Or you can simply return the discs where you purchased them and await the re-authored product. And if you're NOT having any problems, don't worry about it.

Finally this morning, any of you get Entertainment Weekly magazine? The new issue (2/16) features an interview with director Oliver Stone, who reveals why MGM's Platoon isn't in Warner's new Oliver Stone Collection. It seems there's some ill will between the studios, going back to the time when Warner distributed MGM DVD product. MGM wasn't happy, and eventually got out of the deal, but lost many of their classic catalog movies to Warner in the process. So when Warner asked them to add Platoon to the box, MGM basically said go jump in a lake. Here's Stone's quote: "You know, MGM stiffed [Warner] on Platoon and Salvador. They had a big fight. I don't know much, I just know there's a lot of bad blood." When the interviewer mentions that it's "kinda nice having people fight over your work", Stone replies: "You could say I'm glad they have some library value, although a lot of people don't remember Salvador. I know that because the people at MGM said, "What is it?" But I did a commentary for it. I think [MGM] is going to [release Salvador and Platoon on DVD] midyear." OUCH. So there you have it. Anyone who doubts that ego, pettiness and stupidity is often the rule instead of the exception in Hollywood - there you go.

Back later...

(LATE UPDATE - 2/12/01 - 6:30 PM PST)

Here's a little more in the way of details on Fox's May 8th The X-Files: The Complete Third Season DVD set. The set includes an all new 20-minute documentary entitled The Truth About Season Three. Each episode is presented with English and French stereo language tracks and English and Spanish subtitles. Added features include a deleted scene from The Blessing Way (Scully looks for comfort), a deleted scene from Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose (Mulder wishes for real psychic), a deleted scene from The List (Neech goes to the chair), a deleted scene from Revelations (Mr. Crotter talks about Armageddon), a deleted scene from Avatar (CSM threatens Skinner, Skinner visits his wife), international clips from Paper Clip, The Walk, War of the Coprophages, Piper Maru, Talitha Cumi and Pusher, audio commentary by director Kim Manners on Apocrypha, audio commentary by director Rob Bowman and writer Darin Morgan on Jose Chung's From Outer Space, 12 interview clips with series creator Chris Carter and special effects clips with commentary by effects supervisor Mat Beck. Whew!

In other news, we fans all think DVD is out of this world... but did you know that's now literally a true statement? A number of readers who work for NASA have let me know that Space Station Alpha is equipped with a portable DVD player from Sony - their DVP-FX1 model. And it's getting plenty of use. According to this report from Space.com, when the crew isn't working, they exercise and watch movies. Expedition One crewmember (and cosmonaut) Yuri Gidzenko reportedly favors Arnold Schwarzenegger movies on disc. And thanks to their fellow astronauts aboard the space shuttle Atlantis, which just delivered the station's new Destiny module and is currently docked there, they've got even more viewing choices. The BBC reports that among the many items carried aboard Atlantis to the station were "supplies and gifts to the Alpha crew, including a computer, cables for the laboratory, food, water, clothes and about 20 DVD movies." So next time you make a late night run to your local Blockbuster, take a moment to look up at the stars. You never know... somebody up there might just be watching the same discs you are. Betcha microwave popcorn's a mess in zero gravity! Thanks to the many readers who sent that information along. Wonder what region code the space station is?

Stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 2/12/01 - 9 AM PST)

We missed Friday's update due to Internet access problems, so we're gonna give you all a quick round up of what's new in terms of news and interesting information.

First of all, we've learned that Disney does have plans to remaster their defective Dinosaur and The Kid DVDs - work is currently underway. There may also be a recall, but be aware that it's going to be a few weeks until the fixed discs are available. Our suggestion - hold off on buying them, return your already purchased copies or wait to exchange them at the store you purchased them when the good ones finally ship. We'll have official details on this soon.

Fans of MGM's forthcoming (or existing, if you live in Region 2 or 4) Terminator: Special Edition may be surprised to learn that there's an official website for the disc, with details on content and more. Click here to check it out. And remember that those of you in Region 1 have a long wait (Q4 2001) until you can get the disc in your hands.

If you're a fan of Fox's The Simpsons TV series, EPoll.com is conducting a poll on behalf of Fox that directly pertains to the series' forthcoming DVD release. You'll be asked questions like "How important are the following special features in purchasing a Simpsons DVD release?" You can directly influence the resulting DVDs, so click on over there ASAP and let them know what you think.

Cinescape Online has a brief conversation with director Robert Wise pertaining to Paramount's forthcoming (Q3 or 4 2001) Star Trek: The Motion Picture - Director's Special Edition, so be sure to check that out.

After a tremendous restoration effort, The Criterion Collection has officially announced their DVD release of Stanley Kubrick's gladiator epic Spartacus. The 2-disc special edition will arrive in stores on April 24th for an SRP of $49.95. Disc One will include a stunning new anamorphic widescreen transfer of the 1991 fully-restored, Super Technirama version, audio in Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1, audio commentary by producer-actor Kirk Douglas, actor Peter Ustinov, novelist Howard Fast, producer Edward Lewis, restoration expert Robert A. Harris, and designer Saul Bass, scene-by-scene analysis by screenwriter Dalton Trumbos, additional Alex North score compositions, English subtitles and a restoration demonstration. Disc two will feature rare deleted scenes, vintage newsreel footage, 1960 promotional interviews with Jean Simmons and Peter Ustinov, a 1992 video interview with Peter Ustinov, behind-the-scenes footage of the production's gladiatorial school, the 1960 documentary The Hollywood Ten, archival documents about the blacklist, original storyboards by Saul Bass, a gallery of hundreds of production stills, lobby cards, posters, print ads and a comic book, production sketches by director Stanley Kubrick himself and the film's original theatrical trailer. The set should be nothing short of awesome, and I expect that it will be worth every penny of its hefty retail price. It just might even erase the memory of Warner's lackluster Kubrick Collection on DVD.

And finally, we've updated the CEA DVD Player Sales numbers to include the 1st week sales from February. Do check it out (all totals on the site have been updated).

We'll be back this afternoon with more, so stay tuned...

(LATE UPDATE - 2/8/01 - 4:30 PM PST)

Dan Kelly's got a review of Universal's quirky documentary on DVD, The Eyes of Tammy Faye. We've also posted two transcripts of live chats from this week held over at the Home Theater Forum - one with Brent Butterworth of Dolby Labs (from Tuesday) and another with Missy Davy, Mark Akinson, Bob Buchi and Paige Johnson of DreamWorks Home Video (held last night). I think you'll find them worth a read - thanks to Ron, Parker and the rest of the guys at HTF for sending them over. Also today, we're kicking off a fun Valentine-themed Trivia Contest. All you have to do is name the 6 celebrity couples (based on picture clues) and 5 winners will take home copies of Universal's Bring it On: Collector's Edition. You've got a week to enter... so what are you waiting for? ;-)

Stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 2/8/01 - 1 AM PST)

I wanted to jump in early this morning, to take a better look at Fox's upcoming The X-Files: The Complete Third Season 7-disc set, which streets on May 8th. The set retails for $149.98 and will feature all 24 third season episodes (including the classics Jose Chung's From Outer Space, Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose and Pusher), along with The Truth About Season Three featurette, more exclusive interviews with series creator Chris Carter about third season episodes, trailers, deleted scenes, "behind-the-scenes" footage, international clips and a DVD-ROM interactive game. And here's a look at the DVD cover artwork for the set (click on each image for a larger view)...

The X-Files: The Complete Third SeasonThe X-Files: The Complete Third Season

Back later...

2/7/01

Okay, we've gotten some official details on the contents of the Superman discs via a press release to retailers. The Superman: Special Edition will include a newly-edited 151-minute cut of the film, audio commentary by director Richard Donner & Tom Mankiewicz, 4 "behind-the-scenes" documentaries (The Magic Behind the Cape, Making Superman: Filming the Legend, Screen Tests and Taking Flight: The Development of Superman), deleted scenes, audio outtakes, an isolated music track in 5.1, two trailers, cast & crew bios and DVD-ROM enhancements including storyboards. Audio will be Dolby Digital 5.1 on Superman, but Dolby Digital 2.0 on the sequels. All discs will feature anamorphic widescreen video and will be dual-layered. The sequels will include a trailer. Superman will SRP for $29.98, while the sequels will SRP for $24.98. The 4-disc boxed set will SRP for $94.90. The prices we had listed a few days ago were Canadian prices (what we've just given is U.S. SRPs).

Now then... every once in a while, you discover a film that really sticks with you. Such is the case with Waking the Dead. I was editing Brian's review the other day to post it on the site, and his thoughts on the film really intrigued me. I dug the title up and finally watched it last night. It's a simple story, but it's so hauntingly beautiful and well acted that it really lingers in your mind for a long while - it stays with you. I was so captivated by it that I stayed up until 3 AM last night watching not just the film, but all 45 minutes of deleted scenes and then listening to the commentary track as well. Brain's right - it's one of the true gems of filmmaking last year, and most people completely missed it. If you can find a copy, I definitely recommend it.

Now then... work is being done on the cable in our neighborhood, so I'm going to loose my Internet access for the rest of the day. I'm going to take the opportunity to watch and review a few discs myself. But we'll be back tomorrow with more, so stay tuned...

(LATE UPDATE - 2/6/01 - 2:30 PM PST)

Today we've got another trio of DVD reviews for you. Our own Brad Pilcher and Brian Ford Sullivan take a look at the films of actor/director Ed Burns, which have recently been released on DVD: She's the One and The Brothers McMullen from 20th Century Fox and No Looking Back from USA Films. All three are also available in a 3-disc boxed set, called Stories from Long Island.

We've also updated the CEA DVD Player Sales chart to include the numbers for January. Some 572,031 players have shipped from manufacturers to retailers this month, bringing the format total to date (here in the States) to 14,494,362 players. Hopefully, we'll be able to get the numbers on a weekly basis again, so we'll try to update the stats a little more often.

It seems that Alien 5 story that was running on the newswires the other day was bogus... thank God. Our friends over at Coming Attractions have the skinny.

Also, don't forget that The Home Theater Forum is hosting a pair of live chats, the first of which is tonight at 6 PM PST, with representatives from Dolby Digital. Then, tomorrow at 6 PM PST, there will be a chat with DVD staffers from DreamWorks. Don't miss 'em!

And finally, you'll probably be happy to learn that Criterion has officially announced the release of their long-awaited, 2-disc DVD version of Buena Vista's The Rock. The title will street on March 13th, for an SRP of $39.99. The set will include the film in anamorphic widescreen video, with dual Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio tracks. Extras will include featurettes, documentaries, audio commentary, interviews, storyboards, outtakes, deleted scenes, trailers, TV spots and more. Now THAT'S a Michael Bay film I can really get in to. Can't wait!

Stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 2/6/01 - 10 AM PST)

You'll all be very excited to know that Warner's Superman: Special Edition is on the way (as if you didn't already know that)! I spoke to the studio this morning, and learned that the title HAS NOT been officially announced, nor is it likely to be announced for a few weeks at least. So all the information you're hearing on the Net right now is tentative. However, retailers are saying the disc will be available on May 1st, for an SRP of $24.98. According to retailers, a Superman: Gift Set will be released the same day containing the special edition along with Superman II, II & IV (SPR $79.92). All 3 sequels will also be available separately (SRP $19.98 each). Word is that all will be anamorphic widescreen. Superman will NOT be a DVD-18 disc as we all originally heard, rather it will be 2 discs instead. There have been TONS of reports on the disc specs for these titles, but we're going to wait for an official announcement, because everything we've heard thus far could change. However, you can generally count on the first film to include numerous behind-the-scenes featurettes, new interviews with the cast & crew and lots of deleted footage. The sequels discs are largely movie-only. And since I know you all love DVD artwork so much, here's your first look at the titles...

Superman: Special EditionSuperman II

Superman IIISuperman IV


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