Good news - it turns out Reel.com is
NOT selling Divx now, or at any time in the future. Upon sending e-mail
to the on-line retailer regarding the Divx issue, readers have been
receiving the following response:
Dear Reel.com Customer,
Thank you for your note and we would like to apologize for this
misunderstanding. To dispel the rumor, Reel.com does not sell DIVX. It
was a simple mistake made by Discover Card and they have now fixed the
Please visit our site if you still don't believe us. Again, we
apologize for this confusion.
I've personally spoken with the folks over at Reel.com, who say they
have no intention of supporting Divx. They understand how the statement
on the Discover web site could have caused confusion, and regret any
misunderstanding. I think they deserve credit for correcting the
misleading information promptly (and for their stance against carrying
I have confirmed (by examining the box art anyway) that Logan's
Run, Lord of Illusions
and Westworld are all in
anamorphic widescreen. I haven't seen Leviathan
yet, but I've been told its anamorphic as well. What a nice surprise! I
definitely have to give MGM some credit for this. Hopefully, they will
continue adding anamorphic to all of their widescreen releases, as
Columbia TriStar currently does (or at least to the big titles). Now if
we could just get them to release Chitty
Chitty Bang Bang, Kingpin
and Fish Called Wanda in
Finally today, it looks as if DTS may finally have gotten themselves
together on the DVD front. You'll find the complete comments by DTS CEO
Dan Slusser on the DTS
page in the Studio
& DVD News section.
Well, there's not a whole lot going on DVD-wise today. This is, of
course, new release Tuesday, and there are a ton of good new DVD titles
in stores today. I'm working on a number of stories, and a host of new
reviews for the near future. In the meantime, there's a couple of
interesting items of note to be found on the Net.
First of all, you can read a couple of articles over at the
The first is called Video
Discontent, and the next is
DVD Releases Do for For Collectors. They run down some the
differences between DVD and Divx, and the features found on DVD
story over at Yahoo on the
future of the financially beleaguered Polygram. It seems that Seagram
may end merging the studio into MGM.
Speaking of MGM, I've been hearing that some of the new titles out
today from the studio are SURPRISE... in anamorphic widescreen. Titles
in question are Logan's Run, Westworld
and Leviathan (but not Carrie).
I have yet to confirm this, but if true, it would be major points with
me. None of these titles were originally due to be so enhanced. Maybe
MGM has gotten the message DVD fans have been sending about anamorphic
widescreen? One can hope...
Finally, it looks like Reel.com has
had the poor taste to decide to carry Divx movies... but they're not
exactly going out of their way to advertise the fact, probably fearing
the public outcry among those on the Net. But check out
this page (at Discover
Card) and you'll see what I mean. Here's a
of Reel.com e-mail addresses... do DVD a favor and let 'em know
EXACTLY what you think about Divx.
LATE UPDATE (9/28/98 - 12 PM PST)
OK, a bit of news and a couple of rants...
First of all, there's something of a mystery over some new Titanic
DVD information, which you can read in today's Rumor
Rant Number One - I've just learned something that will likely make you
angry (I'm pretty steamed over it). Buena Vista DVD titles are now
available in Region 2, and guess what... they are ALL ANAMORPHIC!
Currently available are 101 Dalmatians
(live action), Nothing to Loose,
You Were Sleeping, and Crimson
Tide. Many others are on the way.
I've already been flooded with angry e-mails from readers regarding
this issue. Why Buena Vista would choose to withhold one of DVD's most
important features from consumers in Region 1 is a complete mystery. The
studio has been releasing over-priced, under-featured DVD product from
day one. What's worse, it has come to my attention, that their new line
of Miramax Special Edition DVDs will also eschew anamorphic enhancement.
Reportedly, Miramax wanted very badly to include this feature, but Buena
Vista overruled them. This is very disappointing. I have invited a
spokesperson for Buena Vista Home Video to comment officially here on
the Bits. In the meantime, I'd
like to ask everyone to use the contact information in my
section to let Buena Vista know exactly how you feel about this problem.
Rant Number Two - It is being reported that DTS has threatened to sue
the DVD Forum over what they feel is a lack of consideration for the DTS
format in the new DVD-Audio specifications. You can read at least
story on this over at Twice.
Does anybody else wish DTS would pull themselves together, and just
start releasing those DVDs we've been expecting FOR OVER A YEAR NOW?
Again, I've invited a DTS spokesperson to comment. Stay tuned.
OK, I'm calm.... I'm calm...
EARLY UPDATE (9/28/98 - 1 AM PST)
Hope everyone had a great weekend. I've got a couple more new DVD
reviews up, including Thunderheart
and another of the new Paramount titles, Kiss
the Girls. The last two will be up soon. I've also posted a
list of the extras
you'll find on HBO's upcoming From the Earth
to the Moon DVD set.
In case you hadn't heard, there's big news for Star
Wars fans. Word from the official
Star Wars web site is
that old George has finally decided on the name for the new film (see
the production update
section). Try this one on for size: Star
Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. Scratching your head
yet? Me too. I must say, however, that I am intrigued...
Finally today, a word of congratulations to our sponsor
They are now officially the largest DVD rental store in the world, with
more than 2,000 available titles. You can read the
release to prove it. Take that Divx!
So... anybody in the mood to read reviews of some Paramount DVDs? They
are, in a word... impressive. Paramount is really going to make a nice
splash with their first batch of titles (street date October 6th). I've
had a chance to review two of them so far:
Trek: First Contact and
I'm working on reviews of Kiss the Girls,
Twilight and The
Saint for later this weekend.
Some initial observations on the video quality - all of the first batch
are very dark films, but the encoding is nicely done (not too much
artifacting). All of the first batch except Twilight
are anamorphic widescreen (Twilight
is non-anamorphic). As for the audio, all of the Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes
are very good, and First Contact,
in particular, is fantastic.
Overall, Paramount's done a nice job, and has managed to really impress
me with their premiere DVD offering. If this is any indication of their
future commitment to the format... well, let's just say I can't wait to
see Braveheart and Titanic.
I'd say Paramount has gotten themselves off to the best running start of
any major studio thus far. I hope a few people over at Buena Vista and
Fox take notice - THIS is how you do DVDs.
In other news, the new CEMA numbers are in: 11,426 DVD players sold to
retailers for the week ending September 18. The running total is now up
to 818,613. I've also updated the Canadian numbers, and the VideoScan
Top Ten DVDs as well.
Be sure to check out Andy Patrizio's latest
article over at TechWeb.
This one deals with the DreamWorks announcement, Divx and a host of
other DVD topics.
Finally, get those Trivia Contest
entries in for your chance to win The Blues
Brothers on DVD - just a few more days left. And after seeing
the disc first-hand, I've decided that Star
Trek: First Contact will be the prize for next month's
Now get out there and enjoy the weekend!
OK, today in the Rumor
Mill, you will find a complete list of Paramount's November
DVDs, including release dates and disc features for each. Not a bad way
to follow a day that gave us DreamWorks...
Around the Net today, you can find Divx's official national launch
release on all the wire services, including
Yahoo. It includes a full list of
titles Divx expects to have available soon. Who cares is what I
want to know. Also, C-Net's News.com
has yet another
on Divx being carried at those Future Shop stores.
Finally today, HBO has a spanking new DVD
site, which is currently featuring a detailed look at their
upcoming From the Earth to the Moon,
including a look at the packaging and a very cool preview trailer which
plays via QuickTime. Dig
the music! "Come and take a trip on my rocket ship... we'll have a
lovely afternoon. Kiss the world goodbye and away we'll fly...
All right, folks... this is you mission should you choose to accept it:
go out and have yourself a great weekend! And if you're just dying to
see a good flick, I hear De Niro's Ronin
is nothing to sneeze at...
LATE UPDATE (9/24/98 - 2 PM PST)
Well, by now you've probably heard the news... DreamWorks is in. I'm
sure all of us know how important this is for the DVD format. But let's
take a moment to examine exactly what it means in the larger scheme of
First of all, if you are a consumer, who has delayed purchasing a DVD
player in the fear that your favorite film may not appear on the format,
you need no longer worry. Today's announcement by DreamWorks SKG (along
with DVD release announcements by Paramount and Fox, and Amblin's recent
decision to allow The Mask of Zorro
on DVD), means that you can now reasonably expect that all of your
favorites will eventually make their way to the format. As the DVD
market continues to grow, it seems only a matter of time until such
films as Braveheart, Star
Wars, Aliens, Amistad,
Saving Private Ryan,
Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic
Park and many others are released on DVD.
It also means that consumers no longer have to fear the threat of Divx.
Prior to these announcements, there was legitimate reason to believe
that certain titles would only be made available on Divx, and not on
open DVD. This is no longer the case. In fact, given Divx's recent
financial disclosures, it seems unlikely that the pay-per-view format
can viably compete with DVD.
For video retailers, the picture is now that much clearer. As more and
more consumers adopt the format, the market for sales and rentals of DVD
software will only increase. And the best way to end the Divx threat to
the existing video distribution model, is to start renting DVD titles in
your stores now. With a tremendous array of new hits and quality catalog
titles appearing on the format during the 4th quarter, and with DVD
players selling like hotcakes (according to CEMA numbers), there will be
more demand than ever for DVD this fall.
In short, my advice to everyone who would like to see Divx go the way
of the dodo, is to jump on the DVD bandwagon now. Whether you are a
consumer or a retailer, there are simply no longer any good reasons to
Now... to the folks at DreamWorks, here's what it takes to do right by
DVD: anamorphic widescreen (and preferably all-digital) film transfers,
film-themed menu screens, theatrical trailers, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio
(whenever possible), Closed Captioning, and the full range of
Region-determined language and subtitles choices (in Region 1, that
means English, French and Spanish). Packaging should be Amaray keep
case, period. Use RSDL dual-layered discs whenever necessary, to prevent
disc flipping, and to include additional materials. Whenever possible,
include a full-frame or pan & scan version for those who prefer it,
but ALWAYS include anamorphic widescreen, so that your consumers will
continue to enjoy the best viewing quality in the future, when
widescreen TVs become more common. Provide commentary tracks,
behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes and the like for at least
your major titles, to maximize value. And please don't get greedy - keep
disc prices to $29.99 and under (with $24.99 being ideal).
Now, all that said... I can't wait to spin The
Peacemaker in my player. Bravo to DreamWorks and Spielberg,
for making the jump to DVD (it's about damn time)!
EARLY UPDATE (9/24/98 - 8:30 AM PST)
And then there were none.
I have just confirmed that DreamWorks SKG has officially announced
their DVD support this morning. You can find the full transcribed text
of their press release by checking the
page in my Studio
& DVD News section (click here). There will be three titles
from the studio on DVD in December, with more coming next year.
I'll post more later. Stay tuned...!
Well folks, today is a bit light on the hardcore DVD news, and most of
the special feature stuff we're working on here at the Bits
is still not-ready-for-primetime. So I'm just gonna give you a rundown
of what's up DVD-wise around the Net.
First of all, in what must qualify as the single oddest DVD release
is exclusively offering the
Grand Jury testimony on DVD, for .02 cents plus shipping (read the
official press release
Talk about bizarre. OK, I suppose the Pamela and Tommy Lee sex DVD makes
for some pretty weird viewing too. But hey... at least the Clinton thing
is only .02 cents, right? And no, I will NOT be reviewing this DVD
anytime soon (although I do not rule out April Fools Day). Now if we can
just get that Roswell Alien Autopsy film on DVD, we'd have quite the
trailer trash triple feature!
Actually, regarding the Clinton DVD, there's an amusing side note to
report (related to Divx) in today's Rumor
Mill, so be sure to check that out.
In other news, there's a good DVD/home theater article over at Business
a Bijou in your Basement. The San
Francisco Chronicle has a report on
travelling roadshow, to promote the launch of DVD rental in their
And finally today, Peter Bracke has written a nice article over at
DVD File, called
Today & Tomorrow: A Prognosis. It's all about the future
of DVD, and why some of the studios are making the decisions they are
with regards to the format - good reading (by the way, Happy B-Day
All right, I'm sure there will be lots more interesting DVD news
tomorrow, so stay tuned...!
[Editor's Note: Some of today's comments were tongue-in-cheek. No
slight of any kind is intended towards Pamela and Tommy Lee, President
Clinton, anyone who lives in a trailer, or Grey alien life forms.] ;-)
LATE UPDATE (9/22/98 - 2:45 PM PST)
Just a quick update: Divx has announced officially that Future Shop
will be carrying Divx players and movies at their whopping 23 U.S.
stores (don't mind the sarcasm). You can read the
release at Yahoo.
EARLY UPDATE (9/22/98 - 9 AM PST)
For over a month now, I've been reporting in the Rumor
Mill, that my sources were telling me that Steven Spielberg
was finally moving to embrace open DVD, and that his DreamWorks SKG was
close to announcing DVD support. Sure enough, Spielberg gave Columbia
TriStar the go ahead to release the Amblin-produced title The
Mask of Zorro day-and-date on DVD, on Dec 1. Now comes
confirmation from Video Business
magazine, that the director is green-lighting DVD on a wider basis.
In the latest issue of the trade publication (Sept. 21), an article by
Brett Sporich reveals, "DreamWorks SKG, another Spielberg company,
is expected to announce "any day now" that it will release its
first titles on open DVD, according to company officials." With
regards to the Zorro decision,
Amblin spokesman Martin Levy is quoted as saying, "We're still
looking at DVD releases on a case-by-case basis, but this certainly
shows that we've taken a first step." Levy also says that the Zorro
decision "opens the door" to other Amblin titles. The article
also reveals that Paramount and Amblin officials have confirmed that
they are negotiating a DVD release of Deep
Impact, one of the summer's only major box-office hits.
It looks as though the day that every Hollywood studio supports open
DVD, is finally close at hand. I think we all recognize how important
that will be for the format.
In other news, if you check the
HBO page in my
Studio & DVD
News section, you'll get a first look at HBO's upcoming 4 disc
release of From the Earth to the Moon.
Finally today, a reader has informed me that film critic Roger Ebert has
responded (in his
in the Chicago Sun-Times)
to a reader's question about MGMs recent move to release pan and scan
only versions of their popular films on DVD. I think most of you will
agree with his comments (look about halfway down the page to find them).
Well, I hope everyone had a great weekend. Sorry for the lack of
updates, but there were some family things going on here, and frankly, I
needed a bit of a break. My wife and I attended Taste of Newport (a
music and food festival in Newport Beach, CA this weekend), and my wife
got the chance to meet Rick Springfield (yes, THAT Rick Springfield),
who was playing there. She was thrilled. I come to found out, after 10
years together, that she had a major thing for old Rick in high school
(you learn something new every day). Sing it with me now: "Jessie
was a friend, yeah you know he was a good friend of mine..."
On to DVD... there's a bevy of new DVD articles out in the press this
weekend. First of all, if you pick up the latest issue of Entertainment
Weekly (Sept. 25 - with Calista Flockhart and Dylan McDermott
on the cover), you'll find a three page article on DVD, entitled
Move Over, VCR. The gist is that the folks
over at EW feel DVD is here to
stay, and provide a rundown of facts and features. Unfortunately, I do
not believe the article is available on the EW
web site, so you'll have to read
the magazine itself.
There's another good Andy Patrizio
Divx over at TechWeb. Popular
Science magazine has a brief article on DVD recording formats
which is interesting, including pricing and features. There a couple of
different formats in development. The article is available on-line, by
Finally, the San Jose
Mercury News has an
on the advantages of DVD, with it's Dolby Digital surround sound. It
makes for interesting reading.
There's a rumor buzzing around the Net, that a retailer called Future
Shop has decided to carry Divx. More on this as it emerges.
Finally, in some non-DVD related news, check out the always excellent
web site, for some interesting
news on X-Files creator Chris
Carter's latest project in development for Fox - a new series called
New CEMA numbers are in for the week ending September 11th: 6,173 DVD
players sold to retail. The tracking numbers (above) have been updated
There's new information on upcoming DVD titles in today's Rumor
Mill. You'll find information on Buena Vista, Fox and
Be sure to check out an interesting
on Divx over at ABCNews.com.
And there's a bit of
news over at Yahoo, on how
Matsushita is marketing a car navigation system that uses DVD discs.
Finally, I've got a couple of thanks to send out today. First to Bruce
Tannehill, for his much appreciated help in locating a hard-to-find item
for a gift I'm giving. And second, to Jeremy Moore, for taking the time
(while on a recent visit to Richmond, VA) to snap a shot of the Divx HQ
for all of you to see. My thanks to both of you!
Have a great weekend everyone!
I've been doing some more housekeeping work around the Bits
today. First of all, I've archived both the Rumor
Mill, and my recent daily columns (see the link at the bottom
of this page), so that the pages will load faster. I've also updated
Official DVD FAQ, to the most recent version (Sept. 11), so be
sure to check that out.
In today's Rumor
Mill, you'll find a couple of new tidbits about a pair of
upcoming DVD titles I've just learned are in the works. You will also
find some new DTS information, as well.
Around the Net, be sure to check out DVD
File's well done look at
Pricing, which will help explain just what MSRP (also abbreviated
SRP) and MAP stand for. Hollywood
Online has a look at MGM and Polygram's current financial woes
The Los Angeles Times has
article on Divx's money problems as well.
Finally today, as many of you know, in addition to my work here at the
Digital Bits, I also write reviews
of new DVD titles (and the occasional article) for Video
Store magazine. Video Store
is an excellent industry news weekly, but unfortunately, it isn't
available to the public at large. I'm pleased to say, however, that my
writing will now be accessible to a wider audience than just those on
the Internet, or involved in the film industry. Starting with the new
Laser Magic 1998 special edition
issue, I am now a contributing editor for Widescreen
Review magazine. My new column, Inside
DVD, will appear regularly in future issues. I'm very proud
to be working with the folks at Widescreen
Review. Anyone who has read this bimonthly publication, knows
the high level of quality and detail editor Gary Reber and his staff
work to achieve. I am particularly happy that my first column appears in
the Laser Magic 1998 issue (on
massive tome, which is arriving on newsstands now, weighs in
(literally) at an impressive 498 pages. In it, you'll find everything
you ever wanted to know about DVD and Laserdisc, including a history
of the optical disc, an interview with its inventor, discographies of
THX and widescreen releases (in both formats), the print version of
Jim Taylor's DVD FAQ, a digital sound filmography, a lesson in how to
read film credits, a studio executives forum on DVD, a look at special
editions and boxed sets, articles on interactive annotated releases
and roadshow movies, 2,000+ DVD and Laserdisc reviews, and more. As an
extra perk, there's even a mail-in coupon inside, for a FREE (while
supplies last) copy of DTS's Demonstration
DVD #3, which features clips from Titanic
and Apollo 13 (you must have an
outboard DTS decoder, and a DVD player equipped with the DTS Digital
Out feature). Not too bad for just $9.95 U.S. (new subscribers get the
My goal with Inside DVD, is to
provide readers of WSR with a look
at what's in-store for DVD in the months ahead. You'll find information
about the latest DVD titles in production, or in the planning stages,
interesting news, commentary and more. Those of you who read my Rumor
Mill section here at the Bits,
will no doubt find the column familiar - they cover much of the same
territory. What I can finally tell you, is that the majority of what you
read in the Rumor
Mill (and will find in Inside DVD)
comes directly from authorized studio sources. I choose to categorize it
as rumor however, because it is unofficial (meaning that it's not yet
announced, or involves plans that are still tentative, or otherwise
subject to change). In other cases, one of my sources (a studio or
industry insider) will send me a tip (about a particular title in the
works, for example), and I'll check with other sources to corroborate
it. I am by no means perfect, but rest assured that I work very hard to
ensure the quality of the information. In any case, I think you'll find
Inside DVD worth a read.
Well, that's about it (and I'd say that's enough for one day!). As
always, best wishes until tomorrow...
I've posted some interesting information I've heard the last few days
in today's Rumor
Mill, pertaining to DreamWorks, new Paramount DVDs and those
upcoming Fox titles. Also found there, are some interesting details sent
to me by a couple of none-too-happy consumers who made the mistake of
actually trying Divx first-hand.
You'll find the officially announced list of titles from Fox by
checking their page in the Studio & DVD News
section (click here).
Todd has been working hard on those John Carpenter DVD reviews, which
should be ready over the next few days. Also, we're getting ready to
debut Todd's new column here on the Bits...
Doogan's Views. You'll find interviews
with actors, directors and lots of other interesting things there. Check
back for that soon.
Finally, over at E-Town, you'll
find an interesting report (see
2) on the recent CEDIA '98 show in New Orleans (CEDIA stands for
Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association... home theater
experts in other words). Also, Stereophile
Guide to Home Theater has an interesting
on the sinking Divx ship, so be sure to check that out.
Have a great day! More tomorrow...
Major News: Columbia TriStar has finally announced that Mask
of Zorro DVD, that I've been telling you about for weeks. I
reported yesterday morning in the Rumor
Mill that this was about to happen, and was pleased to see the
announcement made. You can read the official press release
here. This of
course, means that Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment is finally
starting to re-enter the DVD market. There's more interesting
information on this in today's Rumor
Mill update, plus new word on DTS DVDs. You will also find the
relevant James Cameron comments from the latest issue of Rolling
Stone magazine, as pertains to Titanic
The CEMA numbers are in for week 35 (ending September 4): 9,811 DVD
players sold to retailers. That means that the number sold to retail
since the format was launched is now up to 801,014. It also means that
the oft-mentioned one million players goal is definitely within reach by
the end of 1998. I've also updated the Videoscan Top 10 DVDs chart as
I've put together a
of my experience at a local Good Guys store this weekend, which now has
Divx on display. I think you'll find it interesting and amusing.
Also, I've spoke yesterday with an executive at Columbia TriStar Home
Video, who confirms that Godzilla
is being price-reduced to an MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) of $19.95
for DVD. This does not mark a new price point for the studio however.
Similar price reductions will be considered in the future on a title by
Finally today, the Trivia Contest for
September is now up and running. This month, we're giving away 5 copies
of Universal's The Blues Brothers:
Collector's Edition on DVD. One grand prize winner will also
PlayRight Trio for DVD kit, and copy of the Blues
Brothers 2000 soundtrack on CD. One of the runner's up will
also win a copy of the CD. So get those entries in!
OK, I've got that Divx information I mentioned this weekend ready. This
is some great stuff. First of all, in today's Rumor
Mill, I have some very trustworthy information about the total
number of Divx players sold by The Good Guys from the start of the test
run, through to this past Saturday. And, here's the best part: this
weekend, a would-be Deep Throat anonymously sent me a copy of the video
Divx is giving to their retailers to train their sales people. You'll
find a transcript of it
and I think you'll get a huge kick out of it. Wanna know how Divx is
coaching its sales people to answer those tough consumer questions? Look
no further. I'm also working on a report of my first-hand experience,
seeing Divx displayed at a local store. Yes indeed, Divx is starting to
Over at the Image
announced a number of titles on Friday, including Casablanca
and those South Park DVDs I told
you about. But I'm told more big announcements may be made in the next
few days - check the Rumor
Mill for the details.
Finally, there are a number of good new DVD articles on the Internet.
Over at Techweb, you'll find:
Not Too Late For Circuit City to Forestall Its Divx 'Experiment',
Past Clouds Divx's Future -- Lackluster Sales Test, DVD's Strength
Foretells Rough Road, and
Circuit City Can Fix What Ails Divx. You'll also find an
Video Comes Thundering Back over at
Postnet, the St.
Louis Post Dispatch's on-line site. Thanks to all the readers
who notified me of the articles.
As reported by Yahoo, Spelling
Entertainment has folded its Republic Entertainment subsidiary and is
licensing its library to Artisan Entertainment. This means that eventual
DVD release of the entire Republic catalog of films will now be
controlled by Artisan, which has done admirably with DVD thus far. You
can read the official press release
I'm (at last) catching up on posting DVD title information from studio
press release materials that I've received, but which have been piling
up lately. You can read the latest on upcoming
TriStar. You can also access it in the
Studio & DVD
Finally today, I've been made aware of some very interesting Divx
information, which will require some work to prepare for the Bits
today and tomorrow. But this is some great inside stuff, so it should be
well worth the wait. I'll post it as early as possible - late Sunday or
Monday morning latest. In the meantime, have a great weekend!
Well, yesterday's John Carpenter signing at Dave's Video: The Laser
Place was absolutely fascinating. It was great to meet the folks at
Dave's, a host of readers who attended the event, and of course, to have
a chance to chat with the man himself. You can see some pictures of the
event by clicking
It was also great to meet Peter Bracke from DVD
File, who was also in attendance. I can now tell you from
first-hand experience that Peter's a great guy, and I've long been
impressed with his writing. So be sure to stop his site, check out his
fine work, and say hello.
In other interesting news, Peter and I were privy of a piece of very
intereting Spielberg information at last night's event. It definitely
belongs in today's Rumor
Mill, but I think you'll find it interesting.
Around the Net, you'll find yet another reprinting of that Wall
article over at the Detroit
News. Andy Patrizio over at TechWeb
has written yet another fine
on how DVD is beginning to dominate, while Divx sinks into obscurity.
Absolutely a must read. Also, the DVD Forum has apparently (finally)
agreed on the specs for v1.0 of the DVD Audio format (read the press
Finally, in the whole John Carpenter theme, Todd Doogan is working on
reviews of every Carpenter film thus far released on DVD. So you can
look forward to those over the next couple of weeks.
Have a great weekend!
There's a host of interesting DVD news on the Net today. First of all,
the Kansas City Star has
the Wall Street Journal DVD
article from the other day. Also EMA
Multimedia has been given an award for "most creative use of
the DVD format" at the DiVi Awards, for the title Spawn
(see the press release
CD PlayRight has scored
another major supporter in the DVD industry, namely Hewlett Packard. As
you may recall, I
their kit for protecting and repairing CD and DVD discs, and found it to
be the real deal. Anyway, you can read their press release
here. In the
print realm, DVD fans should pick up the latest issue of Rolling
Stone, which has an interview with Titanic
director James Cameron, in which he indicates that Titanic
should be on DVD around Christmas.
The Bits own Todd Doogan has just
finished a look at
Diaries, so be sure to read his two cents.
Finally, I'll be dropping by the John Carpenter signing tonight at
Dave's Video, The Laser Place in Studio City, CA. It runs from 6-8 PM,
two items signed only (one of which must be a copy of The
Thing on laser or DVD, purchased on site), and you have to be
in line to get the autographs. The address is 12144 Ventura Blvd, Studio
City, California 91604. So if you're in the neighborhood, I'll see you
PREVIOUS NEWS (9/9/98)
I'm very pleased to finally announce, on behalf of Image Entertainment,
that their DVD version of Dance With Wolves
will be released on November 18. As many of you know, I've been
following the progress of this title since quite early in the DVD
production process, and have been looking forward to it for some time.
It promises to be worth the wait. You can read the full press release
to Image's Garrett Lee for keeping me up to date, and for allowing me
the pleasure (and honor) of helping to announce the title.
Speaking of Image, as of early this morning, the
Laserviews web site is now a
part of the Image
Entertainment site. Garrett tells me that Image is very committed
to maintaining the same high quality DVD release information you've
always expected from Laserviews, including the invaluable DVD Calender.
In fact, the Laserviews information will continue to be maintained by
the same folks who have always done so. The only hitch? Garret tells me
that readers should be patient for the next 48 to 72 hours, as they work
out all the code bugs on the new site, and ensure that their server can
handle all of the traffic. Here's a list of what you can find on their
new site, by section:
New Releases - now includes both
Image and non-Image DVD and Laserdisc information.
Image Preview - the same, on-line
version of their monthly Preview
Catalog - this is where you'll
find much of the Laserviews information, including listings of Dolby
Digital 5.1 Laserdiscs, DTS Laserdiscs, DVDs, Dolby Digital 5.1 DVDs,
Anamorphic DVDs, and DTS Compact Discs.
Retailers - a listing of Image's
retail stores nationwide.
News - this is where you'll find
all of the Laserdisc and DVD news and announcements, as well as news on
DTS and Image Entertainment corporate information.
Search - just like it sounds -
search for DVDs and Laserdiscs by title or release date.
FAQ - the Laserviews explanation
of abbreviations, and more.
Now... in other news, there's a
article on how the tides of the DVD vs. Divx format war seem to be
shifting in favor of DVD, over at ZDNet.
You can even post your own comments there. AOL and DVD Express have
announced a new deal regarding DVD marketing (see the
release). Closer to home, I'm pleased to offer some more new DVD
release information in today's Rumor
Mill, including Universal's December release line-up. I've
also updated the
100 Films on DVD list, to include Birth
of a Nation, which is coming from (appropriately) Image in
Finally, the day wouldn't be complete without acknowledging Mark
McGwire as baseball's new 'king of swing'. Last night in St. Louis, he
broke Roger Maris's single season home run record (which stood for 37
years) by hitting his 62nd homer of the year. Now, I know this isn't a
sports site, and this isn't DVD news. But this was perhaps sports'
greatest and most hallowed record. And originally coming from Fargo, ND
myself (the town Maris claimed as his own, and where he is now buried),
I can't help but feel a little bit in awe of the whole thing. In this
time of salary holdouts and player strikes, it's nice to see that there
are still a few decent guys like McGwire and Sosa in professional
sports. Now, if they'd just vote Maris into the Hall of Fame, where he
belongs, all would be right with the world.
OK, that and a Star Wars DVD, and
life would be just grand. Stay tuned...!