Yeah, okay... despite being all tuckered out over yesterday's
Awards, we just couldn't leave you completely hanging today
without a post. We've decided to check in with some cool upcoming DVD
First up, Columbia TriStar has announced the DVD release of Party
of Five: The Complete First Season for May 4th. The 5-disc
set will include all 22 episodes along with audio commentary with the
cast and creators of the show, the 9-part Party
of Five: A Family Album "making of" documentary,
the Party of Five: A Look Back
featurette and more. SRP is $49.95.
Also coming from the studio on May 4th is The
Triplets of Belleville, which is nominated for two Academy
Awards including Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song. The film
will be presented in anamorphic widescreen video with Dolby Digital 5.1
audio. Extras will include 5 featurettes (The
Cartoon According to writer/director Sylvain Chomet, The
Making-of The Triplets of Belleville, Opening
Sequence, Restaurant Performance
and Tuning the Wheel - some of
which will feature optional commentary) along with the theatrical
In other news today, Warner Bros will release Torque
on DVD on May 18th. Universal will release Law
& Order: The Second Year on May 4th. And Paramount has
officially confirmed that May 18th is the day to expect Star
Trek: Voyager - Season Two on disc.
We have word in
Rumor Mill today about Fox's In
America, and a number of awesome new special edition titles
on the way from Warner Bros. Don't miss it.
Over at our MusicTAP
site, Matt's got a report from a reader who has tried one of the new "DualDisc"
music releases, which include both high-resolution DVD-Audio and
standard CD versions of an album on the same disc. This is designed to
emulate SACD hybrid discs which also feature both high-resolution and
standard CD music on the same disc.
We've also kicked off a new
today that gives you all a chance to win copies of Buena Vista's Spy
Kids 3-D on DVD. That will run until Saturday, February 28th,
so get your entries in.
Finally today, here's the cover art for Triplets
of Belleville, Party of Five
and Torque, along with Universal's
Win a Date with Tad Hamilton
(4/20), and Fox's Cheaper by the Dozen
(4/6) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The
Complete Sixth Season (5/25).
We're done! We've been wringing our hands for weeks over the nominees,
we've polished up the virtual statues and at long last, the winners are
5th Annual Digital Bits Bitsy Awards are here! We've been up
all night tweaking the text, and we've got some very sore fingers and
tired brains. But we think all the hard work was worth it. You may not
always agree with our picks, but we think you'll find them fascinating
as we honor the best and worst that the DVD format had to offer in 2003.
And we hope you'll be exposed to some great titles that you might have
overlooked last year as well.
Just FYI, as you may have noticed, traffic's a little high right now.
So just be patient if you're trying to get to all the Bitsy
goodness. It'll still be there tomorrow. ;-)
We, however, will not. We're going to take the day off tomorrow for
some badly needed rest. So enjoy this year's awards, and we'll see you
back here on Wednesday!
(LATE UPDATE - 2/20/04 - 3 PM PST)
Okay... we just want to remind you to check back in on Monday morning.
Why you ask? Well... how about The 5th Annual
Digital Bits Bitsy Awards? We'll announce our picks for the
best DVDs of 2003, and take a look at both the good and bad the format
had to offer. It's always a lot of fun, so don't miss it.
So as not to leave you without any DVD news this afternoon, we've got
word that DreamWorks and Universal will release Win
a Date with Tad Hamilton on April 20th (SRP $26.99). Extras
will include a gag reel, deleted scenes and "outtakes featuring
celebrity Paris Hilton". Kinda sad to think that's an actual
selling point these days. It's funny... the guy who plays Tad Hamilton -
Josh Duhamel (also on NBC's Las Vegas)
- is actually from the same small town in North Dakota I'm from. I find
it interesting because... you know... you can count on one hand the guys
from North Dakota who work in Hollywood. Time to pass the rhubarb and/or
Anyway... a couple other bits of DVD news today. Record companies and
movie studios are soon going to start putting FBI warning stickers on
all CDs and DVDs, in yet another effort by the entertainment industry to
scare their own customers. You can
all about that here.
Also today, a federal court has ruled in favor of the MPAA in their
lawsuit against 321 Studios. The ruling means the company must stop
selling their DVD copying software. You can
more on that here.
Okay... 'nuff for today. See you back here on Monday for all the award
show fun! Have a great weekend!
(EARLY UPDATE - 2/20/04 - 12:01 AM PST)
Morning folks. I wanted to jump in early with a bit of interesting news
from director Guillermo del Toro about the forthcoming DVD release(s) of
the forthcoming Hellboy. In
interview over at Countingdown.com, del Toro reveals that the film
will be released as a movie-only edition in August, and then as a
fully-loaded 2 or 3-disc special edition in December. The SE will also
include a longer version of the film, as well as "a special box
with a bust of Hellboy with the gun." Nice. Here's to hoping the
flick rocks. Cudos to Bits reader
Imran H. for the spot and link.
Tune in later for more. Same Bat channel...
Afternoon, folks! We've got a few new goodies for you to check out
today, so we'll get to that in a minute. But first, we're pleased to
learn that our new DVD book, The Digital
Bits: Insider's Guide to DVD, has gotten some nice
recognition in the press. If you're a big movie-goer north of the
border, you'll know all about Tribute
magazine. It's a movie magazine that's distributed in many movie
theaters in Canada. In the publication's
issue (the February issue), The A-List
column has recommended our book. Here's a look at the cover of the
issue, and the actual mention in the column:
Thanks very much to the folks at Tribute,
and to Bits reader Dan C. for
letting us know about it!
By the way, if you've purchased our book, thank you! Every book that
sells helps fund this website, so we really appreciate your support.
Second, if you've found the book worthwhile, we'd appreciate it if you'd
give it a review on
(there are almost 40 reviews at Amazon, but only 1 at Amazon.co.uk).
We're not exactly getting Oprah Show-style
promotion - it's word of mouth that means everything. So if you like the
book, please spread the word!
Now then... we're pleased to bring you
Bottom Shelf column from our own Adam Jahnke. This time
around, Adam takes a look at short-lived TV shows that deserve their
moment in the DVD sun. He also reviews Warner's recent
Ben Stiller Show.
Rob Hale has checked in today with new DVD reviews as well. He's taken
a look at a pair of films from director Hal Hartly, now on disc from
Columbia TriStar -
Finally, we've got a new DVD-Audio review from our
MusicTAP crew -
Green's Fleetwood Mac Live at the BBC (newly released by
Speaking of TAP, Matt wanted me
to let you know that it might be a couple of days before he makes
another post. He unfortunately got hit with a nasty new virus that's
wreaking havoc on his computer. So wish him luck as be gears up to do
battle with his digital dragons.
One last thing for you TV DVD fans today. Here's the cover art for
Universal's Quantum Leap: The Complete First
Season (6/8), along with Warner's Babylon
5: The Complete Fifth Season (4/13) and Columbia TriStar's
Charlie's Angels: The Complete Second Season
Back with more tomorrow. Stay tuned!
(LATE UPDATE - 2/18/04 - 2 PM PST)
We've just confirmed that those Return of
the King DVD images we posted earlier this afternoon are
indeed the real deal. There's a pop-up
this page over at the official Lord of the Rings website,
which indicates that an announcement is going to be made about the DVD
release on March 8th. There's also a slightly larger version of the
And here's another Rumor Mill-worthy
bit of info.
Force.net has gotten wind that Lucasfilm's French press release
for the Star Wars Trilogy DVDs
says the set will include "exclusive cut scenes." Also,
actress Carrie Fisher was apparently on U.K. TV yesterday, and
reportedly confirmed that she's going to be doing audio commentary for
the release. With any luck, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford will chime in
(EARLY UPDATE -
2/18/04 - 12:30 PM PST)
We've got a bunch of cool new title announcements for you today, so
let's get to it!
HBO has announced the DVD release of Six
Feet Under: The Complete Second Season for 6/8 (SRP $99.98).
The 13 episodes will be presented in their full frame aspect ratio, with
audio in English, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0. Extras will
include audio commentary on 5 episodes with the cast and crew, the Anatomy
of a Stiff documentary and more.
Columbia TriStar has also announced the DVD release of Tim Burton's
Big Fish for 4/27 (SRP $28.95).
The film will be presented in anamorphic widescreen video with Dolby
Digital 5.1 audio. Extras will include audio commentary with director
Tim Burton, 3 "character journey" featurettes (Edward
Bloom at Large, Amos at the Circus,
and Fathers and Sons), 4 "filmmakers'
path" featurettes (Tim Burton: The
Storyteller, A Fairytale World,
Creature Features, and The
Author's Journey), an interactive trivia quiz and bonus
Also streeting on 4/27 from the studio are The
Statement, Like Father, Like Son
and Vice Versa.
Oh... we're not done yet. Universal has announced the DVD release of
its recent, live-action Peter Pan
remake for May 4th (SRP is $26.98). The video will be in anamorphic
widescreen (a separate full frame version will also be available) with
Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Extras will include alternate endings, deleted
scenes, outtakes and more.
Any Northern Exposure fans out
there? Good, 'cause Universal's bowing Northern
Exposure: The Complete First Season to DVD on 5/25. Extras
will include deleted scenes, a documentary, "mock movie"
footage and "unexposed" footage. You'll also get some pretty
interesting, "zippered" packaging.
Universal is also officially releasing Quantum
Leap: The Complete First Season on DVD on June 8th (SRP
here to see the title listed on the studio's consumer video
Here's a bunch of cover art for you, 'cause we know how much you all
like that. We've got Big Fish,
Northern Exposure, Six
Feet Under and Peter Pan,
as well as Universal's Love Actually
(4/27) and Zatoichi in Desperation
(now available from AnimEigo).
This would normally go in The Rumor Mill,
so all disclaimers apply. But
posted cover artwork the other day - that they claim came from
Lord of the Rings website - which seems to show the full
frame and anamorphic widescreen versions of The
Return of the King (theatrical edition), as well as the VHS
version. We can't find it over there, so while this looks like the real
deal, we'll have to wait until New Line announces the title to be sure.
On another Rumor Mill-worthy Rings
Galactic Hunter website (a Star
Wars toy collecting site) has posted an image that's been
circulating around the net (see above left). It's a Rings
tie-in promotion sign from this year's Toy Fair. Of note on the sign is
notice that The Lord of the Rings DVD Trilogy
is coming in 2005. This likely means a box set of all three extended
editions, along with some new material (rumored to be a bonus disc of
additional deleted scenes that weren't restored to the films for the
longer versions). A box set release is logical and should come as no
surprise to anyone, but again nothing is official until New Line
Finally today, we're pleased to present
complete transcript of that live chat with Lee Kline of The Criterion
Collection that was held on the HTF
on Monday night. There's some new title announcements in there
(including word that Stray Dog,
Tin Drum, Testament
of Dr Mabuse, The Leopard,
Mamma Roma, Smiles
of a Summer Night and A Woman is a
Woman are all coming this summer), as well as updates on a
lot of great titles that are in various stages of production. Thanks to
Ron Epstein and his crew for sending it over.
We'll be back tomorrow with another new column from our own Adam
Jahnke, as well as a few new DVD reviews. And just to let everyone know,
The 5th Annual Bitsy Awards will
be held on Monday. We're just polishing up the statues now, and... you
know... writing that lame banter for our presenters. ;-)
We've got another great
Coming Attractions column for you today, from our own Barrie
Maxwell! We know how much a lot of you have come to enjoy Barrie's
column, and we're proud to feature it here at The
Bits. In this edition, Barrie takes an in-depth look at the
long history of famous sleuths on film, including the likes of Sherlock
Holmes and Charlie Chan. As always, he also looks ahead and runs down
the latest classic DVD release announcements. So enjoy
Holmes and Other Detectives!
If this is your first day back after the long President's Day weekend,
be sure to check out yesterday's post as well, which included a big
DVD Cover Art update and lots of new DVD news too.
Speaking of cover art, we've got word that the cover for Warner's The
Last Samurai is going to be changing, so we'll post the
revised art later this week. In the meantime, here's a look at
Paramount's Star Trek: Voyager - Season Two
(5/18 - tentative), Warner's Marx Brothers
Collection (5/4), and HBO's Angels
in America (6/1).
Okay... now while you guys are catching up at the office, I'm off to
the dentist. So have a great day (or at least a better one than me,
which shouldn't be all that hard).
Well... most of you probably have today off, at least here in the
States. But we're busting out a post anyway, for the rest of you poor
bastards who are stuck in the office today. Don't say we never do
anything fer ya. ;-)
First up today, we've added more than 80 new cover scans in the
DVD Cover Art section. There's some great stuff, including
titles you might not have seen before - so many we can't begin to list
them all. Special thanks to Bits
reader Johnnie Young for his continued assistance in gathering the
Now then... let's hit some news. MGM has informed us that the transfers
of two of their new Bergman titles were formatted at the wrong aspect
ratio, so the discs have been recalled. Hour
of the Wolf and Shame
will be re-released on 4/20 in the correct ratio. The
Ingmar Bergman DVD Collection has also been pulled and will
be re-released on that date as well. Here's the studio's official
It has come to our attention that the transfers
utilized for the release of Ingmar Bergman's Hour of the Wolf:
Special Edition DVD and Shame: Special Edition DVD are not
representative of the intended theatrical presentation. In order to
provide customers with the best quality product available, we are
recalling the product at retail and will be releasing both films in a
1:37:1 aspect ratio on April 20, 2004. The Ingmar Bergman DVD
Collection will also be available on that date. MGM Home
Entertainment always strives to provide the highest standard of product
and customer care. For additional information or comments, please
contact our customer service at 877-646-4968.
We've also gotten word today that Paramount has moved up the street
date on Timeline. It had
tentatively been set for 4/27, but now look for it on 4/13. Also, we've
got word that the studio is highlighting some great Western-themed
titles in May. On 5/11, look for Have Gun
Will Travel: The Complete First Season (6 discs, 39
episodes), Posse (Kirk Douglas,
Bruce Dern), Rustler's Rhapsody,
The Tin Star, Gunsmoke:
Return to Dodge, Gunsmoke: The
Last Apache and Gunsmoke: To the
AnimEigo has just
made more of their Samurai Cinema titles available for sale exclusively
on their website (SRP $25.48 each), including Zatoichi
in Desperation, Lady Snowblood,
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in Peril
and Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades.
They'll be available on Amazon and at your local video store later this
This next bit would normally go in The Rumor
Mill, but just for ease of posting, it's going here today.
The boys over at
it Cool News have word that MGM is going to be releasing Bubba
Ho-Tep on 5/25. Word is that the extras will include an audio
commentary with Bruce Campbell in character as Elvis. Nice. Too bad the
film wasn't a little better.
Around the site today, we've updated all of the format stats we track,
DVD Player Sales numbers (which includes the complete sales
figures for January), the DVD title
rental data and the
Top 100 Films on DVD list.
We also wanted to call your attention to our latest
of the Month - Matt Wolf! Matt does some great comic book art
and other illustrations, so be sure to check 'em out.
Finally today, we've kicked off a pair of new
which give you all a chance to win copies of Rhino's H.R.
Pufnstuf as well as Warner's NBA
Street Series: Dunks! Volume 1 and NBA
Street Series: Ankle Breakers Volume 1 on DVD. You have until
Saturday to enter, so get your entries in!
Don't forget, the Home Theater Forum
is holding a live chat with Lee Kline, the Technical Director for The
Criterion Collection, at 6 PM PST tonight (9 PM EST).
here for all the details.
We've got a little something for you Star
Trek fans today. I've given Paramount's new
Trek: Voyager - Season One DVD a look. The DVD streets on
Also today, we've got information on a number of Chris Carter TV series
coming to DVD, including word on the final X-Files
DVD release. You'll find that in
Rumor Mill. There's also word on when we might expect another
great Fox SciFi series on DVD - Space Above
and Beyond - so don't miss it.
Finally, Warner Bros. has officially announced the DVD release of Smallville:
The Complete Second Season for May 25th (SRP $59.98). The
6-disc set will include all episodes in anamorphic widescreen video,
with Dolby Digital 2.0 surround audio. Extras will include deleted
scenes and audio commentary on several episodes, behind-the-scenes
featurettes (including The Chloe Chronicles,
Faster Than a Speeding Bullet: The Visual FX
of Smallville and Christopher
Reeve: Man of Steel) as well as a gag reel. Here's the cover
Now then... that's all for this week. We've got a LOT of stuff coming
for next week, including a new column from Barrie Maxwell, another big
Upcoming DVD Cover Art update,
several new DVD reviews... AND (if all goes well)... The
5th Annual Digital Bits Bitsy Awards!
Have a great Valentine's Day weekend, and we'll see you back here on
You wanted my thoughts on the Star Wars
got 'em. If you've been following the whole saga of these films on
DVD here at The Bits over the
years, you'll probably want to check it out. That is, unless you're sick
of the whole thing already. ;-)
Just a quick bit of news this afternoon - our friends at the Home
Theater Forum are going to be holding a live chat with Lee
Kline, who works as the Technical Director for The Criterion Collection.
That's this coming Monday, February 16th, at 6 PM PST (9 PM EST).
here for all the details.
Back tomorrow. Stay tuned...
Afternoon, folks. We've got another big DVD announcement for you today,
which is that Warner has revealed the DVD release of The
Last Samurai for May 4th. The disc will be released in
separate anamorphic widescreen and full frame editions, both of which
will feature Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Extras will include audio
commentary by director Ed Zwick, deleted scenes, the History
vs. Hollywood: The Last Samurai History Channel documentary,
the Edward Zwick: Director's Video Journal
(narrated by Zwick and Tom Cruise), multiple featurettes (including Tom
Cruise: A Warrior's Journey, A
World of Detail: Production Design with Lilly Kilvert, Silk
and Armor: Costume Design with Ngila Dickson, Imperial
Army Basic Training: From Soldier to Samurai - The Weapons
and Making an Epic: A Conversation with
Edward Zwick), footage from the Tokyo & Kyoto premieres,
DVD-ROM features and more.
Here's the cover art for Last Samuari,
along with art for Buena Vista's Bad Santa
(6/22), The Haunted Mansion (4/20)
and ESPN Playmakers (4/20), as
well as Columbia TriStar's Eating Raoul
(4/13) and A League of Their Own: Special
Now then... predictably, we've been getting a TON of e-mails about
yesterday's Star Wars DVD
announcement. I'm talking many, many hundreds of messages. A lot of
people are furious about the lack of the original theatrical versions,
many feel ambivalent about the SE versions and many more have unanswered
questions about the release. It seems everyone has an opinion, and a lot
of you have asked what my opinion is about the release. Well... I've
been doing some research, and looking back over the long and arduous
history of this title in relation to DVD. So tune in tomorrow, because
I'll tell you exactly what I think... not just about this release, but
what I think is coming next as well.
In the meantime, there's no shortage of interesting stories on this
subject on the Net today, including
story I was interviewed for at The Boston Globe, as well
as another interesting
discussion on the DVDs at Ain't it Cool News.
Until tomorrow, stay tuned...
(LATER UPDATE - 2/10/04 - 10:30 AM PST)
Okay, I've just spoken with Lucasfilm's Vice President of Marketing and
Distribution, Jim Ward, and I can confirm some details about the Region
1 DVD release of the Star Wars
films, which will arrive in stores on September 21st. What follows is
everything that's specifically set as of this time.
The release will be a 4-disc set, encompassing 3 movie discs and a 4th
bonus disc of supplemental material. All three films will be
digitally-remastered and THX-certified, and will be available in
anamorphic widescreen video (there MAY also be a separate full frame
edition, but this is still TBD). The audio for the films will be English
Dolby Digital 5.1 (they may also be EX, although again this is still
TBD), with subtitles in English, French and Spanish. The films will also
be closed-captioned. Each film will include new audio commentary with
creator George Lucas, along with various members of the cast and crew
(the specific participants will be announced at a later date). The
highlight of the bonus disc will be an all-new, feature-length
documentary about the making of the films, which will include
never-before-seen footage and other material. There may also be DVD-ROM
weblinks to the official Star Wars
website (TBD). There WILL be additional supplemental features, which
will be announced at a later date. The films will only be available as a
box set, the retail price for which has yet to be decided (despite
reports to the contrary). I have officially confirmed that the films
will be the 1997 Special Edition
versions, as determined by Lucas himself. You should also know that, as
with the Indiana Jones DVDs, the
folks at Lowry Digital are once again involved in the remastering
process. They're doing digital restoration and clean-up work on the new
So there you have it. We expect cover art to be available in the months
ahead, as the packaging is finalized. We'll keep you up to date on all
the bonus material details as soon as they become available.
Also today, we're pleased to be able to bring you Todd's review of
The Festival of Fire DVD. So we now have reviews of every Ichi
film that's currently available on DVD (you can find
complete list here).
(LATE UPDATE -
2/10/04 - 8:30 AM PST)
Just so you don't think it's all Star Wars
around here today, we've got three new pieces of cover art for you to
check out. Here's Fox's Master and Commander:
The Far Side of the World (4/20), Buena Vista's Calendar
Girls (5/4) and Paramount's Timeline
(EARLY UPDATE -
2/10/04 - 7 AM PST)
Hey, what do you know?! Lucasfilm FINALLY went ahead and did it! Just
as we'd been hearing from our sources in the last few weeks, The
Star Wars Trilogy was officially announced this morning for
release on DVD on 9/21. And as we've been
in The Rumor Mill since last September, it's going to be a
4-disc set of all 3 films - one per disc - plus a 4th disc of all new
bonus material, which will include an newly-produced documentary on the
making of the films.
That's the good news. The bad news is that the press release was pretty
short on details - things like specific disc specs (other than that the
films will be THX-certified, will have Dolby Digital 5.1 EX audio, and
will only be available as a set). There's no list of the supplemental
materials, no cover art and (most importantly) no official word on which
version of the films will be released on the discs - the original
theatrical versions, the 90s special editions or the ultimate "archive"
editions. But we'll have more on that in a minute. Here's the exact text
of the press release so you can all read it yourselves:
The Star Wars Trilogy on DVD
February 10, 2004
The most requested films for the DVD format will finally become a
reality this September as Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox
present the eagerly-awaited Star Wars Trilogy for the ultimate
home entertainment format. The four-disc collection will be released on
September 21 in the U.S. and Canada, with international release dates
"We know how long fans have waited for this release and how much
they have been looking forward to it, so everyone has been working
overtime to make sure that the Star Wars Trilogy on DVD is an
awesome experience," said Jim Ward, Vice President of Marketing and
Distribution for Lucasfilm Ltd. and the DVD collection's Executive
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Episode V: The Empire
Strikes Back and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi will be
available in a four-disc set that includes a bonus disc filled with
all-new special features -- including the most comprehensive
feature-length documentary ever produced about the Star Wars
saga and never-before-seen footage from the making of all three films.
Each of the three films in the Star Wars Trilogy has been
digitally restored and re-mastered by THX for superior sound and picture
"First and foremost, the DVDs will deliver the very best possible
sound and picture and take advantage of everything the medium can offer.
On top of that, we are creating added-value material that gets inside
the creation of the Star Wars films in a fresh and fun way,"
Ward said. "We want watching this DVD collection to be as memorable
as seeing the movies for the first time."
The films of the Star Wars Trilogy will be available
exclusively as a collection and will feature Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
EX. All three films are closed-captioned and subtitled in English,
French and Spanish in the U.S. Internationally, sound and subtitling
specifications will vary by territory.
Keep checking starwars.com over the coming months for more specific
details about the content of this must-own DVD set.
here to see the announcement on the official Star
has posted a quick story on the announcement, which includes a few
more details (although until it comes straight from Lucasfilm, it's not
official). According to the story, the DVDs will feature new audio
commentary tracks with members of the cast and crew, including George
Lucas. The story also says that the films will be "special edition
versions" (although what that means exactly has yet to be
determined) and that the original theatrical versions of the films will
NOT be included (which is pretty much what we expected). Finally, word
is the set will be priced around $50.
As you can imagine, we'll be watching this story pretty closely. We'll
bring you all the details as they come in. Tell you this much... these
DVDs had darn well BETTER be worth the seven year wait. We wanna see
some deleted scenes, flyboy.
See? And I'll bet some of you guys thought we were pulling your leg
again with all these Star Wars DVD
(LATER UPDATE - 2/9/04
- 5 PM PST)
Okay... we've got one last update for you today, with word on some new
20th Century Fox DVD announcements.
Fox will release Stuck on You on
4/27 (SRP $27.98), in both full frame and anamorphic widescreen versions
with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Extras will include audio commentary with
Peter and Bobby Farrelly, 3 behind-the-scenes featurettes (including
It's Funny: The Farrelly Formula,
Bringing Stuck on You to the Screen
and The Makeup Effects of Stuck on You),
8 deleted scenes, a blooper reel, the film's teaser and theatrical
trailers, and promo trailers for Man on Fire
and Day After Tomorrow.
The studio will also release Master and
Commander: The Far Side of the World on 4/20 (SRP $29.98),
also in seperate anamophic widescreen and full frame versions with Dolby
Digital and DTS 5.1 audio. The following extras have been announced for
Region 2, so it's reasonable to assume they'll be on the R1 disc as
well: the The Hundred Days, Peter
Weir on Directing, Sound Design
and Canon Sound: Interactive Sound Recording
featurettes, the Cinematic Phasmids: Special
Effects documentary, an HBO First
Look special, The Last Battle
multiangle studies, camera setups and split screen vignette, still
galleries, and bonus trailers for Man on Fire,
Day After Tomorrow and I
Robot. We'll confirm the R1 extras when the info comes in
from the studio.
Also, you Buffy fans can look forward to Buffy
the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Sixth Season on 5/25
($59.98). The 6-disc set will include all episodes in full frame format
with Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround audio. Extras will include audio
commentaries on select episodes (by Joss Whedon, Marti Nixon, David
Fury, Drew Z. Greenberg, David Soloman, Rebecca Rand Kirshner, Rick
Rosenthal, Diego Gutierrez and James Contner), behind-the-scenes
featurettes, Easter eggs, outtakes, the Academy of Television Arts and
Sciences panel discussion, 3 music videos (I've
got a Theory/Bunnies/We're Together, I'll
Never Tell and Walk Through the
Fire), an interactive game trailer and DVD-ROM material.
Okay... that's it for today. Check back tomorrow morning, and maybe
we'll have some Star Wars news.
(LATE UPDATE - 2/9/04 -
1:30 PM PST)
We've got some more new DVD announcements to report this afternoon.
First up, Columbia TriStar will release Tube,
Wild Things (Unrated), Wild
Things 2, a Wild Things/Wild
Things 2 2-pack, A League of Their
Own: Special Edition and King of
Queens: Season Two on 4/20.
Paramount has announced the DVD release of Timeline
for 4/27 in both full frame and anamorphic widescreen editions. Extras
will include the Making Their Own History,
The Knights of La Roque and Setting
Time featurettes and more.
HBO has set their epic, 6-hour Angels in
America for DVD release as a 2-disc set on 6/1 (SRP $39.98).
James Cameron's Ghosts of the Abyss
(4/27) will include the original 62-minute version, along with an
extended 92-minute version, and a multi-angle exploration of the Titanic
Buena Vista will also release ESPN's Playmakers:
The Complete First Season on 4/20.
Blue Underground is working on David Cronenberg's Fast
Company for 4/27.
20th Century Fox has set As Young as You
Feel, Let's Make it Legal,
Love Nest and We're
Not Married for 4/20.
Finally, Warner Bros and the BBC will release The
Office: Season Two on 4/20.
And around the site this morning, we've kicked off a 3 of new
giving you a chance to win copies of Xena:
Season Three, The Lion King 1 ½,
Capturing the Friedmans and American
Splendor. You have until Saturday, February 14th to enter.
Be sure to check back tomorrow to see if Lucasfilm finally announces
Star Wars on DVD. Stay tuned!
(EARLY UPDATE -
2/9/04 - 12:01 AM PST)
We've got more information for you today on upcoming Buena Vista and
Disney DVD releases for 2004, including word on extras (these titles are
in addition to Calendar Girls,
Bad Santa and Aladdin,
which we've already mentioned). Let's run 'em down.
The Haunted Mansion (4/20) will be
available in separate anamorphic widescreen and full frame versions, and
will include a virtual tour of the mansion, bloopers, a deleted scene,
the Superstition music video,
production featurettes and more.
The Osbournes 2 ½ (5/4) will
be a 2-disc set of the second half of Season 2. Extras will include a
never-before-seen "Lost 200th episode" (unaired on MTV),
censored and uncensored audio tracks, interactive games and more.
Spider-Man: The '67 Classic Collection
(6/29) is a 6-disc set that includes all 52 episodes of the classic
animated TV series, fully restored for DVD. Nice.
Spider-Man vs. Doc Ock (6/29) in a
new animated feature release. The DVD includes a classic 1967 episode
featuring Doc Ock, an introduction by Stan Lee, Stan
Lee's Soapbox, and a preview of the upcoming Spider-Man:
The Venom Saga.
Felicity: Season 3 (7/20) includes
17 episodes on 5 discs, plus audio commentaries, outtakes,
behind-the-scenes featurettes, a "where are they now"
retrospective and more.
Popular: Season 1 (7/20) is a
6-disc set of all the first season episodes, also including audio
commentaries, outtakes, behind-the-scenes featurettes, a "where are
they now" retrospective and more.
The Three Musketeers (8/17) is a
new animated musical adventure starring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and
Goofy. Extras will include interactive games, song selection,
featurettes and more.
Boy Meets World: Season 1 (8/24)
will include all the first season episodes, plus audio commentaries,
outtakes, behind-the-scenes featurettes, a "where are they now"
retrospective and more.
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride - Special
Edition (8/21) is a new 2-disc special edition of the
previously released, direct-to-video sequel. Extras will include all the
usual games and interactive features for the kids and a new short from
the makers of The Lion King called
One by One.
Finally, Alias: Season 3 (9/7)
will be a 6-disc set including all 22 third season episodes, along with
the Burbank to Barcelona
production design featurette, deleted scenes, outtakes, a look at the
creation of the show's gadgets, a "script scanner", audio
commentaries (including one featuring the "biggest Alias
fan" - oh joy - who will be chosen in a contest), The
Alias Diaries featuring the craftsmen and technicians who
work on the show and more.
In terms of catalog releases, we should also let you know that the
original Freaky Friday and Ernest
Goes to School are on the way for June, The
One and Only Genuine Family Band, The
Three Lives of Thomasina and The
Ugly Dachsund are coming in July, Darby
O'Gill and the Little People, The
Shaggy Dog, The Black Hole
and Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow
will follow in August, and The Island at the
Top of the World (a big fave of mine when I was a kid), Tex
and The Christmas Star will round
things out in September.
Also today, we've got a possible spec list in
Rumor Mill for the R2 theatrical version release of New Line's
Return of the King, based on what
may be the R2 cover artwork. Don't miss it.
Back with more later. Stay tuned...
Well... the big news today is that Buena Vista has officially announced
the DVD release of the Aladdin: Platinum
Edition for October 5th. The 2-disc special edition DVD will
retail for $29.99 (SRP). Extras will include the deleted song Proud
of Your Boy (by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken) featuring
newly produced animation, 2 audio commentaries, a virtual carpet ride, a
3-D tour of the Genie's lamp, interactive games, a "pop-up"
trivia track, musical postcards, sing-along songs, the A
Whole New World music video (featuring Disney Channel stars)
and more. We expect to have cover artwork next week. Here's an
the Variety article:
"The 1992 film, which has been off the
market entirely for 10 years, has been newly restored for its inaugural
digital presentation and 5.1 surround sound and enhanced home theater
sound mix. To accommodate the sharper DVD image quality, more than 20%
of the original artwork has been enhanced, with some characters redrawn
to add more facial detail, and background colors in many scenes touched
up for color and for detail. Stars in the sky presented perhaps the
biggest challenge, with a total of 92 star scenes reworked to be more
believable on the TV screen."
One thing's for sure - there's no shortage of big DVD announcements at
the moment. Aladdin today,
Wars likely on Tuesday, all the recent Warner animated
releases. 2004 might end up being the most expensive year for DVD fans
ever. Seems like we say that every year, and every year it turns out to
Speaking of big titles soon to be announced, we have word in
Rumor Mill today of a street date for Return
of the King, along with additional information. Don't miss
Around the site today, we've posted 6 new Zatoichi
DVD reviews for you to check out, including Zatoichi
and the Chest of Gold, Zatoichi's
Flashing Sword, Fight,
Zatoichi, Fight, Adventures
of Zatoichi, Zatoichi's
Revenge and Zatoichi
at Large. While we're on this note,
has just released the trailer for the new Beat Takashi Zatoichi
remake, which is due in theaters here in the States this summer. Very
cool! Yeah... we do like our favorite blind swordsman here at The
Bits, we surely do.
Finally, our MusicTAP
affiliate has a new DVD-Audio review for you today - T. Rex's Electric
And that's all she wrote. I'd say it's been a pretty good week here at
The Bits! An interview, a feature
story, some reviews, an artwork update and a BUNCH of great news and
Rumor Mill items. Not too shabby.
Have a great weekend, folks! And get your lightsabers humming, 'cause
next week might see a pretty serious disturbance in the Force.
(LATE UPDATE - 2/5/04 - 6 PM PST)
Okay... we've just updated the
DVD Cover Artwork section with more than 50 new cover scans.
And this is just the first of several such updates - we'll have more
next week (over 150 more covers still to post!). Our plan is to update
this section once a week, so we'll see how this works out.
Also this evening, we have a couple of new announcements. Buena Vista
will release Bad Santa on June
22nd (SRP $29.99) in anamorphic widescreen video with Dolby Digital 5.1
audio. Extras will include deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes
featurette, outtakes and bloopers, a special tribute to John Ritter and
Also on the way from the studio is Calendar
Girls on May 4th (SRP $29.99), also in anamorphic widescreen
with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Extras include The
Naked Truth documentary, deleted scenes and a
(EARLY UPDATE - 2/5/04
- 3 PM PST)
Howdy, kids! There's some news and rumors floating around this
afternoon that we wanted to jump in here to post ASAP.
First up, Warner Bros. has announced the DVD release of the Samurai
Jack: Season One - Collector's Series on 5/4 (SRP $29.98).
The 2-disc set will include all 13 episodes in their original full frame
aspect ratio with Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround audio in English, French
and Spanish. No word yet on extras if any. Here's the cover art:
Next up, Criterion has just announced a pair of new DVD releases for
April, as well as a re-issue of a previously available title. On April
20th, look for Robert Altman's 3 Women
(SRP $39.95 - Cat # 230) in anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Digital 1.0
mono audio, audio commentary by the director, a photo gallery and the
theatrical trailer. Next up is Yasujiro Ozu's A
Story of Floating Weeds/Floating Weeds (SRP $39.95 - Cat
#232) both in their original full frame with Dolby Digital 1.0 mono
audio, audio commentary by Japanese film historian Donald Richie (on
A Story of Floating Weeds) and
another with film critic Roger Ebert (on Floating
Weeds), a new score by silent-film composer Donald Sosin
(also on Floating Weeds), and a
theatrical trailer. Finally, April 20th will also see the re-issue of
Stanley Donen's Charade (SRP
$39.95 - Cat #75) with all the same extras as before. However, this new
version will feature a new anamorphic widescreen transfer (the original
release - still available on Amazon - was letterbox widescreen only).
Here's the cover art for those:
And now we get to the big one today... we've got word on when Star
Wars is going be announced for DVD release. If it's true, a
September DVD release will be official before the end of next week.
We've got that for you in
Rumor Mill today. I'm just guessing most of you don't want to
miss it. ;-)
So there you go. Back in an hour or two with that Upcoming
DVD Cover Art update. Stay tuned...
(LATE UPDATE -
2/4/04 - 4 PM PST)
Yes, it's true... Universal has announced the DVD release of Love
Actually on April 27th (SRP $26.98), in both anamorphic
widescreen and full frame versions. Special features will include audio
commentary with director Richard Curtis and some of the cast, deleted
scenes, The Music of Love Actually
featurette and (as they say) more. We'll post cover art as soon as it
As we mentioned this morning, we have that new special feature for you
this afternoon. Matt Rowe (who runs our
MusicTAP affiliate) and I
have been wading through the wild and wonderful world of satellite radio
for a few months now. We even did a little investigating at CES on the
subject, in between all those HD-DVD and SACD happenings. So we're
pleased to bring you the result:
You Sirius? A Look at Satellite Radio. It should give you a
pretty good idea of how a subscription satellite radio service works,
and what the average experience with the technology is like. So enjoy!
Back tomorrow with that long-overdue Upcoming
DVD Cover Art update. No really, we're not kidding! ;-)
(EARLY UPDATE - 2/4/04 -
12:01 AM PST)
Okay... we have a couple of new announcements for you this morning.
First of all, Warner Bros. has officially announced the DVD release of
The West Wing: The Complete Second Season
for May 18th (SRP $59.98). The 4-disc set will include all the episodes
in full anamorphic widescreen video (the second season was when the
production began post-producing the show in widescreen for HD broadcast)
along with audio in English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround (with subs in
English, French and Spanish). Extras will include audio commentary with
the producers, directors, writers and cast members on 4 episodes,
deleted scenes, the Correspondent's Dinner
documentary, the Constructing Two Cathedrals
featurette (with Aaron Sorkin, Tommy Schlamme, Martin Sheen and others),
the Access Granted featurette, the
Gag Order gag reel and more. NICE.
Here's the cover art... along with Universal's Gray
Lady Down (5/25) and HBO's And
Starring Pancho Villa as Himself (5/11)...
In other news, Columbia TriStar has announced the DVD release of Eating
Raoul, She's Out of Control,
Velocity of Gary, Booty
Call: The Bootiest Edition and Tokyo
Godfathers. All are expected to street on April 13th.
And Universal has announced a whole new slate of catalog titles for
June. On June 1st, look for Albuquerque,
No Name on the Bullet, The
Plainsman, The Spoilers,
War Arrow, When
the Daltons Rode, Whispering Smith,
Coogan's Bluff and Breezy
(all SRP $14.98 each). Also coming on that date for an SRP of $19.98 is
The Adventures of Francis the Mule: Volume 1
(which includes Francis the Talking Mule,
Francis Goes to the Races, Francis
Goes to West Point and Francis
Covers the Big Town).
We've also got a little more information on a few of those May 4th
Universal titles we mentioned last week. The
Best of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello: Volume 2 (SRP $24.98)
will include Hit the Ice, In
Society, Here Come the Co-Eds,
The Naughty Nineties, Little
Giant, The Time of Their Lives,
Buck Privates Come Home, The
Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap and Abbott
and Costello Meet Jerry Seinfeld. On
the Road with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby (SRP $24.98) will
include Road to Singapore, Road
to Zanzibar, Road to Morocco
and Road to Utopia. Finally, the
The Adventures of Ma and Pa Kettle: Volume 2
(SRP $19.98) will include Ma and Pa Kettle at
the Fair, Ma and Pa Kettle on
Vacation, Ma and Pa Kettle at Home
and Ma and Pa Kettle at Waikiki.
That's it for now. If you missed it yesterday, be sure to check out
Jahnke's interview with director Francis Ford Coppola. Just to let
you know, we've got another special feature coming for you this
afternoon, so fill up your coffee cups and stay tuned!
(LATE UPDATE - 2/3/04 - 4 PM PST)
We've got one last update for you today, and it's a pretty decent one
if we do say so ourselves. Our own Adam Jahnke just had the good fortune
new interview with director Francis Ford Coppola about the DVD release
of his One from the Heart from Zoetrope and Fantoma. We
think you'll enjoy it.
And when you're finished with that, don't forget to check out
review of the DVD as well.
Finally today, we have one last bit of news for you. We've just heard
from our friends over at Spacecraft Films about the next pair of NASA
Archives DVD releases they're working on with 20th Century
Fox. On April 13th, look for the following:
Apollo 15: Man Must Explore - a
6-disc set with the complete television transmissions, on-board film,
footage from training, suit-up, rollout, multi-angle launch, recovery,
features over 21 hours of material from the first lunar mission to carry
The Mighty Saturns: The Saturn V -
a 3-disc set featuring an original 43-minute documentary with new
interviews with Saturn veteran engineers, footage from every Saturn V
launch, plus engine testing, onboard pod cameras, and an extensive
collection of pad camera footage, all made from new transfers and with
reconstructed Saturn launch audio.
It's a pretty good time for NASA buffs, I think. For more information
on these releases, be sure to visit the
Back tomorrow. Stay tuned!
(LATE UPDATE - 2/3/04
- 12:30 PM PST)
Okay... we've got another post coming later this afternoon. But in the
interest of helping as many of you find copies of the Ed
Wood: Special Edition as possible, without having to buy it
on eBay for $100+ from would-be profiteers (which is just plain wrong),
we wanted to update you on where readers are finding it. Supposedly,
Borders and Blockbuster have put it up for sale, along with many Costco
locations (and probably other warehouse retailers as well). We've had
readers tell us that a few Best Buys locations have also made it
available for sale. Some Fred Meyer store locations apparently have it
available, and many of those who were smart enough to pre-order the disc
on Amazon are being told via e-mail that their discs have shipped. The
message is that the disc is out there, and you should act fast if you
Vista has finally spoken on the record with Video Business,
and claims that they're looking for a "better date to release the
DVD". Given the amount of money the studio and retailers stand to
lose by pulling the disc at the 11th hour, it stretches credibility to
believe that's the only reason. We've now heard off the record from
sources that the title was pulled over a rights issue regarding material
that was included in the supplements. If that's true, it would mean that
any future release will likely be altered in some way (some extras might
be edited or dropped entirely from the disc). VB
has also apparently heard a rumor that director Tim Burton wasn't happy
with the extras. In any case, it seems likely that whatever the reason
is, the disc will be released again in the future but not with the same
bonus material. So use that information as you will.
Back soon with more.
(EARLY UPDATE - 2/3/04 - 12:01 AM PST)
Yet another Ed Wood update: we've
now heard from a few Best Buy store managers, who tell us that they too
have been told not to place copies of the Ed
Wood: Special Edition on their shelves for sale later this
morning. It seems that the circulars were printed weeks ago, prior to
the recall going into effect. So while I suspect there will be retailers
who missed the memo and start selling the disc tomorrow, you'll be hard
pressed to find copies at Best Buy or any of the Musicland Group stores
(Suncoast, Sam Goody, etc). In any case, if you're going out looking for
it, good luck. And we'll post anything we heard from the studio as soon
as it comes in.
Back with more later. Stay tuned...
(LATE UPDATE - 2/2/04 - 4:30 PM PST)
We have a late update for you on the Ed Wood
DVD. Several store managers and staffers have e-mailed us this
afternoon, since our last post, with word that Suncoast locations HAVE
been told NOT to put copies of Ed Wood
on the floor for sale tomorrow. Word is, the stores will be sending back
the copies they received in the next couple of weeks. Just FYI. Thanks
to everyone who e-mailed us with this information.
(LATE UPDATE - 2/2/04 - 3 PM PST)
How's this for a screwed up situation? Despite Buena Vista's insistence
to us that the Ed Wood: Special Edition
has been indefinitely postponed, it seems that several retailers may
still be planning on putting it up for sale tomorrow. Best Buy has been
advertising it in their weekend circulars, and it seems likely that
other chains will have copies for sale as well. All this despite the
fact that it's no longer available from many online retailers.
Honestly, we have no idea what to think at this point. Buena Vista
STILL hasn't issued an official public statement, or given a reason for
the supposed postponement. So the best we can tell you is, if you want
the disc, get out to your local retailers tomorrow morning. You may just