UPDATE - 1/10/03 - 12:30 PM PST)
We're going to be back with more in just a little while, but we have a
few quick things to update you on this morning.
First, those Police SACDs from Universal have been pushed back until
3/4, but they've now been officially announced. Every
Breath You Take - The Classics is a hybrid SACD/CD with
digipack packaging, and will be both stereo and multi-channel. All the
other titles in the catalog will be stereo SACD only in jewel cases, but
will be released separately as remastered CDs in digipacks as well. With
any luck, the next time we'll mention them is when we post our reviews.
Also this morning, we want to give you official warning on Disney's
recently released The Absent-Minded Professor
DVD. Not only is it presented in full frame (its original aspect ratio
was 1.75:1), it's also been released COLORIZED. No kidding. Someone's
really got a screw loose over there to make a decision like that. And as
you can imagine, a lot of fans are furious. Apparently, the notes that
the film have been aspect ratio modified and colorized appear on the
back of the packaging, so we suggest that you look closely at the
packaging whenever buying a Disney DVD.
I've got to tell you... many of here at The
Bits are starting to reluctantly believe that DVD is slowly
going to Hell in a handbasket, now that it's become such a financial
windfall for the studios. It's not a surprise, of course - the signs
have been there for a while now. But it's sad nonetheless. Every
mid-level studio exec with a mail-away business or marketing degree is
suddenly trying to get their fingerprints on every DVD project that goes
through their department. Now even the upper-level guys, who've never
paid attention to DVD before and who have no idea how to do it well, are
issuing silly proclamations from on high. I've even recently learned
that at least one studio that will not be mentioned has an exec who
makes it personal business to read DVD sites like this looking for bits
of "unauthorized" news. You've got studios cutting back on
extras (hey... why do a great special edition if an okay one will get
you more profit?). You've got every decision being made by committee.
You've got the Blockbusters and WalMarts of the world using their muscle
to get full frame releases of every title. You've got agents demanding
huge paychecks and other perks for talent participation. Hell... even
some DVD producers are taking agents now.
We hate to say it, but a LOT of the fun of this format is slowly being
bled away, by people who have absolutely no love of, or interest in, the
MOST IMPORTANT THING... the films themselves.
By the way, if you've still decided to tough this DVD thing out with
us, we've got some word on a couple of big upcoming titles in
Rumor Mill today. And we've announced the winners of our
as well. Congrats to all.
Stay tuned if you dare!
(LATE UPDATE - 1/9/03 -
4:30 PM PST)
Here's a nice little surprise for your afternoon... a first look at the
cover art for two more classic Fox Sci-fi titles coming on 3/4 with Day
the Earth Stood Still... Journey
to the Center of the Earth and Quest
As with Day, both titles are
available for pre-order at DVD
Planet.com. Not a bad way to end the day. Love that Quest
cover cover art. ;-)
(EARLY UPDATE -
1/9/03 - 11 AM PST)
We've got a good old fashioned news round-up for you this morning.
First up, we've got word that Fox's Buffy
the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Fourth Season will debut in
June. That comes straight from the packaging insert for Buffy:
Season Three. And judging by the number of readers who
e-mailed me to remind me about it, there's a lot o' fans out there.
In another nifty bit of title news, there's word from
Waters Online that Roger's manager has confirmed the March release
of Live at Pompeii on DVD. Thanks
to Bits reader Alphonse T. for the
And how about this -- a look at the DVD cover art for Fox's upcoming
The Day the Earth Stood Still: Studio
Classics release (due 3/4)! On a related note, Kino's Metropolis:
Restored Authorized Edition (2/18) is now available for
pre-order at DVD
Planet.com. Two classic robot flicks in the space of a month!
Zoinks! Now if Warner would just release their long-rumored Forbidden
Planet: Special Edition, we'd have the pulp Sci-fi hat trick!
In other news today, there's
story about the fight over 321 Studio's DVD X Copy software. The
legal battle continues.
USA Today has
interesting piece on the ClearPlay DVD player, coming this Fall,
which (for under $100) will neatly sanitize all of the "offensive
material" from the movies you watch on it. Remind me to watch the
5-minute version of Caligula on it
From CES today
word that Toshiba is debuting a pair of new portable DVD players,
a high-def video projector and a DVD player that doubles as a Tivo later
In case you missed it last year, USA Today
nice timeline of events in the development of DVD. Ah... we
remember it well.
And how 'bout this... according to the latest numbers (released at
CES), consumers spent more than $12.1 billion dollars last year buying
DVDs, and another $8.2 billion renting them. Those combined numbers are
up more than 11% from 2001. Is there anyone left who doubts that DVD is
truly the fish that saved Pittsburgh (aka: the disc that saved
Hollywood)? Somewhere out there... we hope Warren Lieberfarb's got a big
ol' smile on his face. For more on the numbers,
(LATE, LATE, LATE
UPDATE - 1/8/03 - 5:30 PM PST)
Okay... last post today before we collapse from fatigue. We're trying
to get back in the DVD review swing of things around here. So our own
Adam Jahnke has hammered out our first four reviews of 2003. This time
out, he takes a look at a set of classic action flicks from the Far
Mission Part 2: Aces Go Places,
Mission Part 3: Our Man From Bond Street and
Mission Part 4: You Never Die Twice. All four films are
available in a recently released box set from Anchor Bay.
In more new release news, Buena Vista has set Perfect
Game, That Darn Cat,
Summer of the Monkeys, Toothless,
Operation Dumbo Drop, Tom
and Huck, God Said Ha!,
and Mrs. Bridge, The 6th Man,
Simple Twist of Fate, Straight
Talk and Oscar for
release on 5/6. And the company will reissue the A
Bug's Life: Collector's Edition on 5/27.
Also, be aware that we've made a correction to the Confessions
report in our earlier
Rumor Mill post. Several people who were at the screening last
night have checked in with more accurate information, so you might want
to re-read if you're interested. Just FYI.
And that's all for Wednesday. See ya'll back here tomorrow...
(LATE, LATE UPDATE - 1/8/03 - 4:30 PM PST)
We've got a new column today in Bob Banka's
Buttered Popcorn for the Movie Lover's Soul series. This time
around, Bob takes a look at the work of actor Robert DeNiro. So enjoy...
it Isn't So, Mr. DeNiro!.
One last update is coming, so check back soon...
(LATE UPDATE - 1/8/03 - 1 PM PST)
Next update... we've got details in
Rumor Mill today on a delay for those R2 Looney
Tunes DVDs, and word from director George Clooney on
potential extras for the eventual DVD release of his Confessions
of a Dangerous Mind.
Also, we've got an update on those Peter Gabriel and Police SACDs.
Peter Gabriel's Up
stereo/multi-channel SACD has indeed been delayed by Universal Music
until later in the first quarter, but the good news is that Peter
Gabriel's ENTIRE catalog will be released on stereo SACD this year,
including 1, 2,
Plays Live, Birdy,
and Us. And The Police catalog
release (tentatively set for 2/25) will include Every
Breath You Take: The Classics in stereo/multi-channel SACD,
and Outlandos d' Amour, Regatta
de Blanc, Zenyatta Mondatta,
Ghost in the Machine, Synchronicity
and The Police: Live all in stereo
SACD. There is some reason to believe that these Police discs will also
include a hybrid CD layer, although Universal's press release isn't
entirely clear on this point. Look also for the company to announce
upcoming SACD releases from Three Doors Down, The Wallflowers and The
And in the last bit of news for this update, International CES begins
tomorrow in Las Vegas, so watch for interesting DVD-Video, DVD-Audio,
SACD and HDTV news throughout the weekend.
has a page dedicated to coverage of the show, and
usually has good coverage too. You can also visit
the official CES
website, and the Consumer
Electronics Association (CEA) site as well.
We're not even close to finished today, so be sure to check back...
(EARLY UPDATE - 1/8/03 - 11:45 AM PST)
We've got lots more for you today, including some reviews and a new
special feature column. So be sure to check back throughout the day.
But first of all, we've got a new
for you this morning, which gives 10 people a chance to win a copy of M.
Night's Shyamalan's Signs on DVD.
You've got until early Friday morning to enter, so get your entries in!
(LATE UPDATE - 1/7/03
- 10:45 AM PST)
There's been a ruling in the Norwegian courts in the case of that kid
kid who, at age 15, wrote and distributed the DeCSS software that
cracked DVD's encryption scheme. Jon Johansen, now 19, was sued by the
MPAA on behalf of the Hollywood studios. But in a unanimous verdict
today, he was acquitted of wrong doing. The news is all over the Net
this morning - you can read more
for starters. How this will affect similar cases here in the States
(like the one
were reporting on last week, in which the U.S. Supreme Court
executed a stay in a lower court ruling, and then retracted it) remains
to be seen.
In other news today, we've gotten word from director P.T. Anderson, via
and Coffee website, that Columbia TriStar's upcoming Punch-Drunk
Love DVD (set for 4/1) will be a standard edition. A more
elaborate special edition will be released at a later date. The delay is
due to the added time needed by the director and others to compile
worthwhile added value material for the release. Thanks to Greg for
Finally this morning, we've got the final cover art for A&E's UFO:
Set 2 (1/28 - which includes the complete second season of
the British TV series) and Buena Vista and Miramax's upcoming Cinema
Paradiso: The New Version (2/18 - which will include both the
new cut of the film and the original version). That Paradiso
art is so fresh off the presses, this is probably the first place you'll
see it. So enjoy!
(EARLY UPDATE - 1/7/03 -
12:01 AM PST)
We've got LOTS of ground to cover this morning, so hang onto your hats
First up, we've got a rundown of MGM's April DVD slate. On April 1st,
look for the studio to release a West Side
Story: Special Edition Collector's Set ($39.98). The 2-disc
set will include the film in anamorphic widescreen video, with Dolby
Digital 5.1 audio. You'll be able to play the film with or without the
original intermission. Also included is the hour-long West
Side Memories documentary, an archive of rare footage, the
original intermission music in 5.1 and more. Plus, you'll get a
collectible scrapbook featuring the film script and a reproduction of
the original lobby brochure.
Also streeting on 4/1 from MGM are Checking
Out, The Couch Trip,
Fatal Instinct, How
to Get Ahead in Advertising, Married
to It, Memories of Me,
The Missionary, Palookaville,
The Perez Family, A
Private Function, Popi,
Privates on Parade, Sibling
Rivalry and Undercover Blues.
Then, on 4/15, you'll get Absolute Beginners,
Chorus Line, Lambada,
Beat Street, Breakin'
2, Roadie, Salsa,
Psych-Out/The Trip, Angel
Unchained/Cycle Savages, Muscle
Beach Party/Ski Party, Invisible
Invaders/Journey to the Seventh Planet and Cry
of the Banshee/Murders in the Rue Morgue. All the titles just
listed will carry an SRP of $14.95 SRP.
Just FYI, MGM has also added Killing Me
Softly (3/25) and Personal
Velocity (3/18) to its March release slate (SRP 26.98 each).
In other fresh DVD announcement news, Warner Bros has revealed that
Babylon 5: The Complete Second Season
will street on 4/29. Buena Vista will release a box set of Krzysztof
Kieslowski's Three Colors Trilogy
DVDs (Blue, White
and Red) on 3/4 for an SRP of
$39.99 (they'll be available individually the same day, as we've
reported previously). Buena Vista will also release Below
and Moonlight Mile on 3/11. Troma
will debut Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger,
Part IV in both R-rated and Unrated versions on 3/18 (we'll
finally get to see if
cameos Frankie and I did made the final cut). Artisan will release
The Locket on 3/18 as well, along
with a Trading Spaces DVD
(featuring the "greatest moments" from TLC's popular room
And we've got details on Buena Vista's Who
Framed Roger Rabbit: Vista Series DVD (due on 3/25 for
$29.99). Look for the film in both anamorphic widescreen and full frame
versions, Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio, audio commentary with the
filmmakers, a deleted scene, the Who Made
Roger Rabbit featurette, the Behind
the Ears: The True Story of Roger Rabbit featurette, set-top
games and trivia, a production art gallery and 3 cartoon shorts (Tummy
Trouble, Rollercoaster Rabbit
and Trail Mix-Up).
Here's the DVD cover art for West Side Story,
along with the final art for Roger Rabbit
and Fox's Futurama: Volume One (3/25)
and Family Guy: Volume One, Seasons 1 & 2
(4/15). All are available for pre-order now from our software sponsor,
Around the site today, one of our staffers has uncovered an interesting
rumor about a long awaited classic from Warner that's possibly coming to
DVD in 2003. Accordingly, you'll find it in today's update of
Rumor Mill, so off you go to check it out.
On the high-resolution audio front this morning,
has officially announced that it will begin releasing more titles
in DVD-Audio format. The company took a first baby step last month with
the release of a DVD-Audio version of Elvis
30 #1 Hits. The release has sold more than 15,000 copies so
far. Expect at least 12 additional DVD-A titles to be released in 2003,
with more to follow. Just another reason for you music fans to buy a
combo player that does both DVD-A and SACD.
And while we're talking audio, it turns out that Peter Gabriel's UP
SACD has been delayed until later in the 1st Qtr. Not long after we
linked to Universal Music's site yesterday, the title was removed from
the 1/14 release listing. We'll update you as soon as we can. In the
meantime, if someone associated with UMusic or Gabriel would
contact us with the
official skinny, that would be great. ;-)
That's about enough for now, I'd say! Stay tuned...
(LATE UPDATE - 1/6/03
- 3:30 PM PST)
We've got even MORE new DVD announcements for you this afternoon, and I
think you're really going to be excited by some of these titles.
First up, ADV Films will release Farscape:
Season 3, Volume 1 on 4/8, with Andromeda:
Season 2, Volume 1 following on 4/22. A&E will release
the complete Fireball XL5 on 2/25.
Buena Vista will release Beyond Science,
Four Days in September, Inkwell,
Innocent Man, Last
Dance, Life with Mikey,
Marrying Man, My
Father the Hero, New York Stories,
from a Mall, Stella,
Tom and Viv, Two
Much and Zentropa (aka
Europa) all on 4/8. 20th Century
Fox will release American Family: Season One
(6-discs) on 4/29. Universal weighs in with some classic catalog titles,
including Countess from Hong Kong,
Man's Favorite Sport/Strange Bedfellows,
The Money Pit, Send
Me No Flowers and Thrill of it All
on 2/4, Lady Jayne Killer (aka
Betrayal) on 3/25 and Andromeda
Strain, Continental Divide,
Fahrenheit 451, Legal
Eagles, Sixteen Candles
and Weird Science on 4/1. And
Warner will debut their recent Ghost Ship
on 3/28. Not a shabby list of discs if I do say so myself.
Speaking of Farscape, word is if
the last 11 episodes do well in the ratings, there's a possibility of
the show getting a second look by the Sci-Fi Channel. The final episodes
begin airing on Friday on the network. So if you want to try and help
save the show, be sure to get all your friends to tune in.
(EARLY UPDATE - 1/6/03 -
11:30 AM PST)
Hope you all had a good weekend! We've got some more upcoming DVD
announcements for you this morning, along with a couple new pieces of
Columbia TriStar has officially announced the DVD release of the
following titles for 4/1: Brainscan,
Dawson's Creek: The First Season
(3 discs), Dream with the Fishes,
Married... with Children: The Most Outrageous
Episodes! - Volume 2, The Crime of
Padre Amaro and P.T. Anderson's Punch-Drunk
And here's a first look at the cover art for a couple of Columbia
titles we mentioned last week, Maid in
Manhattan (3/25) and Auto Focus
Rumor Mill today, we've got what may prove to be the street
date for the 2-disc Lord of the Rings: Two
Towers DVD. Don't wanna miss that, do you?
A lot of people have been asking us about that Peter Gabriel - UP
SACD that we mentioned on Friday. Apparently it's not available for
pre-order anywhere, even though it's supposed to street on 1/14. It may
be that the disc is being delayed so as to be released along with the
other planned Peter Gabriel catalog titles. But as of this morning,
Music is still saying on their website that 1/14 is the date (click
here for the main site and look in "new formats"). We'll
update you when we know more.
Around the horn today, there are a couple stories about the DeCSS case
again today. Apparently the Supreme Court has decided not to get
involved after all and has thrown out the stay.
for more on that.
And in the category of personal experience, I saw a truly wonderful
film this weekend that I want to recommend to all of you - About
Schmidt. It was written and directed by Alexander Payne (who
also made Election), and it
actually reminded me a lot of the Coen Brothers' Fargo,
in that it's sharply funny, but also very painful at times. The film is
about a newly-retired insurance actuary (Jack Nicholson) who finds
himself looking back at his life and trying to find the meaning of it
all. It makes you feel, which is a lot more than you can say about most
films these days. And the filmmakers definitely understand the
experience of living between the coasts in this country, because they
absolutely get everything right. If you want to see a film that Jack
Nicholson could win a Best Actor statue for, and deserve it, here it is.
I'll leave you with this: "Dear Ndugu..."
Back later with more. Stay tuned!
(LATE UPDATE - 1/3/03 -
4 PM PST)
Okay... I just had to jump in here and post this. Our own music guru,
Matt Rowe (also of MusicTAP),
just sent this update in and it's got me really excited.
first posted news of this in very early December, but I think you
fans of Peter Gabriel and The Police will be really happy with the
First up, Peter Gabriel. Not only will his latest album, UP,
be released on stereo/multi-channel SACD on January 14th from Universal
Music (with at least four more catalog SACDs from Gabriel due later in
the first quarter), now we're about to get the first Peter Gabriel DVD!
Yes indeed, his Secret World Live
will arrive in stores on 2/11. The disc will feature the concert in full
frame video (the original aspect ratio), with newly-remixed audio
formatted in Dolby Digital 2.0, 5.1 and DTS 5.1 as well! Bonus material
will include time-lapse footage of the stage set-up in Berlin, Germany,
The Making of Peter Gabriel's Secret World
Live documentary with interviews with Gabriel and his band,
and a behind-the-scenes photo gallery. The DVD will also be all region
compatible. Songs included in the performance are: Come
Talk to Me, Steam, Across
the River, Slow Marimbas,
Shaking the Tree, Blood
of Eden, San Jacinto,
Kiss That Frog, Washing
of the Water, Solsbury Hill,
Digging in the Dirt, Sledgehammer,
Secret World, Don't
Give Up and In Your Eyes.
And here's the DVD cover art...
Not done yet! You Police fans will be very pleased to learn that Outlandos
d'Amour, Reggatta de Blanc,
Zenyatta Mondatta, Ghost
in the Machine, Synchronicity,
Every Breath You Take: The Classics
(the greatest hits release) and The Police:
Live (which includes live performances from the Reggatta
and Synchronicity tours) will all
be released on SACD format on 2/25 from Interscope/A&M (via
Universal Music). All will be in jewel cases except Every
Breath You Take, which will be in a digipack. There's no word
yet on price or whether these will be formatted for stereo or
multi-channel or both, although it's reasonable to assume they'll at
least be stereo. I am now, officially, a SERIOUSLY happy camper. ;-)
While we're on the subject of SACD, Matt and I recommend that anyone
interested in these new high-resolution audio formats invest in a combo
player that's compatible with both DVD-Video, DVD-Audio and SACD
formats. There are several on the market with more on the way. And some,
Elite DV-45A, are available online for less than $400. By buying a
combo unit as your next player, you can be sure of having full
compatibility, no matter which of these new audio formats wins out. I
have to tell you though that both Matt and I, as well as many
audiophiles, are starting to lean in the direction of SACD for a variety
of reasons, not the least of which is that it seems to be really hitting
its stride in terms of quality releases. The format is also somewhat
easier to use that DVD-Audio - at least the discs we've seen thus far -
and seems to have been more thoughtfully conceived. And some SACD discs,
recent Rolling Stones reissues, feature both SACD and standard CD
formats on the same disc, meaning that the discs are compatible with
both new SACD players as well as existing CD players - a BIG plus for
consumers looking to upgrade in the future. Rest assured, we'll look
much more closely at high-resolution audio in the weeks ahead.
Have a great weekend!
(EARLY UPDATE -
1/3/03 - 11:30 AM PST)
We've got some updated Warner information for you today. First of all,
I've been told by the studio that The Color
Purple: Special Edition (due 2/18) is NOT a director's cut,
although Spielberg was "intricately involved in this release".
The disc does, however, contain four all-new documentaries (Conversations
with Ancestors: The Color Purple from Book to Screen, A
Collaboration of Spirits: Casting and Acting The Color Purple,
Cultivating a Classic: The Making of the
Color Purple and The Color Purple:
The Musical) featuring new interviews with Oprah Winfrey,
Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Quincy Jones, Spielberg, Alice Walker and
more. Other features include photo galleries, the theatrical trailer and
two teaser trailers. The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen with
audio in Dolby Digital 5.1.
Next up, Warner is planning to release a host of musicals on DVD on
4/22. These include Broadway Melody of 1940,
The Great American Songbook, High
Society (16x9), Kiss Me Kate,
Les Girls (16x9), Silk
Stockings (16x9). All are being presented in their original
aspect ratios. Note that the three titles with (16x9) are widescreen,
and will be enhanced for anamorphic widescreen TVs. Also set for release
on 4/22 is The Great American Songbook.
On the Fox front, we've got word on the extras to be included with
their Quest for Fire and Journey
to the Center of the Earth DVDs, both due on 3/4. Quest will
include audio commentary by director Jean Jacques Arnaud, Michael
Gruskoff, Ron Pearlman and Rae Dawn Chong, the Quest
for Fire Adventure featurette, the theatrical trailer, and 15
photo galleries with commentary by Arnaud. Journey
will include a restoration comparison, the theatrical trailer and
trailers for a number of other Fox Sci-Fi films.
We've got a couple of new pieces of upcoming DVD cover art for you.
Here's Buena Vista's Full Frontal
and Columbia TriStar's The Fast Runner
Around the Net today, there's
good story on the Supreme Court's involvement with the DeCSS case
at Yahoo (via PC World).
is reporting that they've picked up more subscribers this year.
video industry's early estimates place DVD sales at a whopping
$8.9 billion for 2002, up 65% from 2001.
And that's all for now. We'll be back next week with new reviews and
more. Have a great weekend and stay tuned!
Welcome to 2003 folks! With the holiday-shortened week, we expect this
to be a pretty slow news day DVD-wise. But we have a couple of
interesting items for you, and a few new title announcements as well.
On the news front, it seems Warren Lieberfarb isn't the only exec
leaving a major studio home video posting this holiday season. Fox Home
Entertainment president Pat Wyatt has left the company to start her own
production company. Industry insiders expect her to be replaced by Mike
Dunn, Fox Home Entertainment's executive vice president of domestic
sales and marketing. And speaking of Lieberfarb,
Business has an updated report on his dismissal, which is
expected to be the start of major restructuring at Warner Home Video.
We'll have to wait and see if (and how badly) the new kids screw up the
good DVD work Warner's been doing.
And in other news,
Store has a piece on Blockbuster's falling stock prices in
light of declining rentals this holiday season. Seems more and more
folks are choosing to buy DVDs rather than rent them. No surprise there.
On the new announcement front, Columbia TriStar will release the recent
I'm with Lucy and Maid
in Manhattan on 3/25, along with a pair of catalog titles...
Troop Beverly Hills and The
Howards of Virginia.
And speaking of Fox, look for Family Guy:
Season One on 4/15, with American
Family: Season One following on 4/29. The studio has also
announced that Wave 4 of its Studio Classics line will include The
Ghost and Mrs Muir, streeting on 4/1.
Today's update will be brief, because there just isn't a lot going on
to report. But we do have word that the U.S. Supreme Court has granted a
stay in the court case over DVD copying (read more on this
and may get more heavily involved after the New Year's holiday. The stay
puts on hold the California Supreme Court's decision restricting the
entertainment industry's ability to sue people posting programs that
crack DVD encryption codes online.
Around the site today, we've updated the
DVD Player Sales charts again to include the 463,549 players
that shipped to retail in the third week of December, ending 12/13. All
charts have been updated accordingly (but be aware that we're still
working to resolve the discrepancy in the November numbers).
And that's just about all she wrote for 2002. It's been a good year
DVD-wise, all things considered. And 2003 looks to be even better. The
coming year could finally see the DVD release of long-awaited favorites
like Raiders of the Lost Ark and
The Lion King, and will certainly
see many more great classic films coming to our favorite format. And
then there's new films like Matrix: Reloaded,
The Hulk, Daredevil,
The Two Towers... just think of
So we'll be back on Thursday with our first report of 2003. In the
meantime, all of us here at The Digital Bits
hope you and your loved ones enjoy a wonderful and SAFE celebration
tonight. Happy New Year!
I'm afraid we've got some sad news today for you L.A. area readers. A
long-time fixture in the laserdisc and DVD community is now gone. Dave's
Video: The Laser Place officially closed its doors last week. Thursday
was the store's last day. I received an e-mail from store manager Paul
Prischman on Friday morning, and store co-owner Linda Lukas e-mailed on
Saturday to confirm the news. Here's Dave and Linda's last message to
"To Our Dear Customers,
After nearly twenty years of business, Dave's Video, The Laser Place is
forced to close its doors. Here at Dave's, we have always taken pride in
providing you with the best selection, fair prices, and above all, the
best service in town. This industry has changed drastically over the
past couple of years, but what has changed the most is profit margin. We
have tried very hard to adjust to the poor profit margin that has taken
over this market, but we have come to realize that it would be
impossible for us to continue to serve you in the manner in which you
have expected, you deserve, and we have been proud to give. This is
certainly a sad time for all of us, and please know we are deeply sorry
for any inconvenience this may cause you. We truly appreciate your
loyalty over the years and wish you and your families good health and
As many of you know, Dave's was not just a great place to buy DVD
software and hardware... it was the location of many a great DVD event,
from their annual Studio Day (in which consumers could meet and speak
directly with Hollywood studio reps about the format) to the many talent
signings they held for charity (just scan through our
event coverage page for a sampling of their recent events). The
folks at Dave's were long-time friends of The
Digital Bits, and ardent supporters of the DVD format in
general, and I know I speak for all DVD fans here in Southern California
when I say that we're VERY sad to see them go. Our hats off to everyone
there - Dave, Linda, Paul, Hobie and all the rest. We'll miss you!
Lest one think the DVD news is all bad this holiday season, we've got a
nifty little Disney animation tidbit for you. As you should all know if
you've been reading The Bits for
the last few months, The Lion King
is slated to be Disney's next Platinum Edition release in November 2003.
Now we've got confirmation that Aladdin
will be the Platinum Edition title for 2004. How so you may ask? Well,
when you go see the "giant screen" release of The
Lion King (now in theaters), you'll also see a preview
trailer for "giant screen" Aladdin
coming next Christmas. The DVD release generally follows a year later,
as was the case with Beauty and the Beast
earlier this year.
In a bit of news that makes me a very happy camper, Columbia TriStar
will release Wind on 3/11. Wonder
how many times I've asked for that title in this column? Do me a favor
and buy a copy when it comes out so I don't look like an idiot. ;-)
In other Columbia TriStar news, their recent I
Spy remake will also street on 3/11, as will Sasquatch,
Sniper 2, Desert
Bloom and The Awful Truth.
Following on 3/18 will be Care Bears Movie
II: A New Generation, The
Eighteenth Angel, In a Lonely
Place, Auto Focus and
The Man from Elysian Fields. And
earlier in March, on 3/4, Columbia TriStar will release Half
Past Dead, Quitting,
Best of The Muppet Show: Harry Belafonte,
Best of The Muppet Show: Peter Sellers,
Luc Besson's Atlantis, Born
Free and Living Free,
as well as all those new SuperBit titles we mentioned a few days ago.
Warner's got some good news too. They'll release Friends:
The Complete Third Season to DVD on 4/1. And look for The
Color Purple: Special Edition 2-disc set on 2/18, featuring
the director's cut of the film, along with 4 new behind-the-scenes
documentaries and more. Here's the artwork for Friends,
along with The Color Purple, I
Spy and Wind.
Around the Net today,
Revolution is reporting that Pink Floyd's Dark
Side of the Moon will be released on SACD format, but no
DVD-Audio version has as yet been confirmed.
And finally today, we've updated the
DVD Cover Art section once again, to add more than 60 new
cover scans. You'll find Best Little
Whorehouse in Texas, CB4,
Born in East L.A., To
Wong Foo..., Above the Rim,
Coupling: Season One, Banger
Sisters, Bliss, Complete
Musketeers, Good Times: Season One,
Predator 2, Angel:
Season One, The Man Who Fell to
Earth, Lady Jane, Knockaround
Guys, Fear Strikes Out,
Spy, White Oleander,
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Season Two
and lots more. There's new art on almost every page, so don't miss it!