UPDATE - 7/20/04 - 11:45 AM PDT)
We've got new details for you today on a number of DVDs just announced
by 20th Century Fox. To start with, the 4-disc In
Living Color: The Complete Second Season streets on 9/28 (SRP
Roswell: The Complete Second Season
streets on 10/5 (SRP $59.98) on 6 discs, which include audio commentary
tracks (by the writers, producers and directors), the A
Little Something Extra for the Fans video montage, a
storyboard to scene comparison, and the featurettes Here
with Me: Making of Roswell Season 2, The
Shiri and Majandra Show, and Art
of Composing Roswell.
The Garfield Movie will street on
10/19 (SRP $27.98) including a behind-the-scenes featurette, sneak peeks
of additional films and the Baha Men Holla
Arrested Development: The Complete First
Season also debuts on 10/19 (SRP $39.98) on 3 discs,
including the unaired pilot episode, audio commentary tracks,
deleted/extended scenes, audio of original songs, behind-the-scenes
featurettes, video of The Museum of Television & Radio Q&A (with
creator Mitchell Hurwitz and the cast), promos, Easter eggs and more.
Greg the Bunny: The Complete Series
arrives on DVD from Fox on 10/19 as well (SRP $26.98) on 2 discs,
including 2 unaired episodes, audio commentaries, deleted/extended
scenes, promos, behind-the-scenes featurettes, interviews, a publicity
gallery, Easter eggs and much more.
The big title in this batch is That 70s
Show: The Complete First Season, which is due on 10/26 (SRP
$49.98) as a 4-disc set, including audio commentary on 8 episodes,
featurettes, a trivia quiz, cast audition tapes, promos, a Cheap Trick
music video and 2 Easter eggs.
Moving into November, the studio will release The
Simple Life on 11/2 (SRP $19.98).
Finally today, we've got more hot new cover art for you. Here's a first
look at Universal's new The Mummy: The Legacy
Collection, The Invisible Man: The
Legacy Collection and Creature
from the Black Lagoon: The Legacy Collection (all due on
Back tomorrow with Todd's Weekly Roundup.
(EARLY UPDATE - 7/20/04 -
12:01 AM PDT)
We're very pleased today to bring you yet another massive
DVD Cover Artwork update. Well over 100 new scans have been
added to the section today, many of which you haven't seen before (and
most of which can be pre-ordered now on Amazon.com to support The
Bits). We've got titles big and small, mainstream and
off-beat, including these...
There's lots of cool covers to see, so you definitely don't want to
miss it. Special thanks to our own Russell Hammond for his usual
yeoman's work in finding and formatting all the art.
In other news today, we have word that Warner's Everybody
Loves Raymond: The Complete First Season has been delayed
until 9/14 (it was originally scheduled to be released last week).
is reporting that Warner Vision International will release the
historic 1985 Live Aid concert on
DVD on 11/1 (note that
is reporting a 11/10 street date). Performers included U2, Sting,
David Bowie, Elton John, George Michael, The Who, Neil Young, Madonna,
Queen, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Phil Collins and the surviving
members of Led Zeppelin to name but a few, and permission to release the
concert on DVD had to be obtained from each individually. The 4-disc DVD
set is expected to include the documentary Food,
Trucks & Rock 'n' Roll, along with additional
performances from related events around the world.
Before we go this morning, we have final details about our DVD
Producers 2004 panel discussion at ComicCon on Thursday. Both
Todd and I will be on hand to host the event and moderate the
discussion. The final list of producers scheduled to participate
includes Charles de Lauzirika (Alien
Quadrilogy, Spider-Man 2),
David Prior (Panic
Room: SE, Master and Commander),
Javier Soto (Devil's
Robert Burnett (X2,
The Chronicles of Narnia) and Suzie
Lee (Lord of the Rings,
King Kong). We'll discuss how the
DVD format is changing and where the technology is headed, our panelists
will talk about projects they currently have in production, and we'll
have lengthy Q&A with the audience. If all goes well, some of our
producers will give you exclusive sneak peeks at never-before-seen DVD
materials (from existing and forthcoming titles). We're even going to
give away a Mitsubishi DVD player, great movie discs and signed copies
of our book, The Digital Bits: Insider's
Guide to DVD. The panel will be held on Thursday,
July 22nd from 1:30 to 3:00 PM at the San Diego Convention Center (Room
6AB). We hope to see you all there!
(LATE UPDATE - 7/19/04 -
Just a quick update...
is reporting that Warner may be closing in on a deal to buy MGM.
Sources inside Warner are telling us that things are "looking good"
for the deal to happen, and word is Nobuyuki Idei (chairman of original
bidder Sony) is claiming that the deal is "up to the MGM management
now." We'll keep an eye on this situation and let you know if
anything goes down.
(EARLY UPDATE - 7/19/04 - 11 AM PDT)
Morning, folks! Hope your week's starting off well... and not, you
know, mired in dreary board meetings and the like. Sarah and I spent the
weekend with family visiting Phoenix, AZ... and let me tell you, it was
HOT. Beautiful, but HOT. You Arizonians... I don't know how you do it.
My sunburns have sunburns.
Anyway, we have some interesting news this morning. DVD-wise, Columbia
TriStar has announced that it will release Super
Size Me on 9/28, along with Sniper
3, Best of the Best,
My New Gun, Sherlock:
Undercover Dog, Tess: Special
Edition, The Big Town,
227: The Complete First Season,
Christine: Special Edition, Easy
Rider: 35th Anniversary Special Edition, Little
Women: Limited Collector's Series (with book), Persuasion:
Limited Edition (with book), Sense
and Sensibility: Limited Edition (with book) and Tess:
Limited Edition (with book). So get ready to do a lot of
reading in late September.
A lot of people have been asking us what's up with New Line's The
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - Special Extended DVD Edition.
We know that the 4-disc set will be released in December, and that it
will include more extras than either of the 4-disc editions of the
previous films. We also expect it to be officially announced by New Line
at a special panel discussion on Friday at ComicCon in San Diego. We
should get the street date, a look at some of the extras AND a first
look at some of the newly-added footage. So if you're going to be at
Comic-Con, be sure to check it out. You can bet I'll be there, so expect
to hear all the details on Monday after the show.
A lot of people are also asking us about Warner's La
Femme Nikita: The Complete Second Season, which had been set
to street tomorrow. A number of online retailers have sent e-mails to
their customers that they've already shipped pre-ordered copies of the
DVD. We've also heard from many retailers that the discs are in stock,
ready to be placed on the shelves tonight. We honestly don't know what
the story is - we have a review copy in our hands as well. I expect this
is going to end up like what happened when Buena Vista yanked Ed
Wood at the 11th hour earlier this year - some retailers got
the recall order, some didn't and sold the disc anyway, and many copies
ended up on eBay for way too much money. In any case, here's the exact
wording of the recall notice from Warner:
"Please be advised that the DVD release of
La Femme Nikita: The Complete Second Season, which was scheduled
for July 20, 2004, has been delayed until further notice due to
That's a new notice that we received just today. Note that instead of
using the word 'cancelled', the studio is now telling us the title is
only delayed. In any case, if you're a fan of the series and have been
dying to get your hands on the set, head on out to your favorite video
retailer tomorrow morning anyway. You never know - you just might get
In other news,
has posted a story on Fox's Millennium:
The Complete First Season DVD, which features comments by
series creator Chris Carter and star Lance Henriksen.
And while this has nothing to do with DVD, we think it's pretty swell
news anyway... X-Men director
Bryan Singer has been tapped to helm the next Superman
movie. FINALLY, Warner's placed this languishing franchise in the hands
of someone who might actually be able to breathe a little life into it
(while also respecting the character, the fans and the genre). You can
more on this at CNN.
Just one last quick post before we go for the weekend: The
2004 Home Entertainment DVD Technical Awards were announced
yesterday at the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) show in Las
here for the complete press release). Todd and I were among the
many industry judges involved in the awards this year, and we were
honored to be part of the event. Here's the complete list of winners -
congratulations to all!
Best Overall Presentation - Theatrical Release
The Adventures of Indiana Jones -
Paramount Home Entertainment
Best Overall Presentation - Foreign Language Release
La Femme Nikita: Special Edition -
MGM Home Entertainment
Best Overall Presentation - Television Release
The West Wing: The Complete First Season
- Warner Home Video
Best Overall Presentation - Direct-to-DVD Release
The Lion King 1 1/2 - Buena Vista
Best Overall Presentation - Adult Release
Space Nuts - Wicked Pictures
Best Audio Presentation
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Extended Edition - New Line Home Entertainment
Best Use of Menu Features
Alien Quadrilogy - Twentieth
Century Fox Home Entertainment
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Extended Edition - New Line Home Entertainment
Best Direct Digital Transfer
Finding Nemo - Buena Vista Home
Best Video Transfer from a Non-Digital Source
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the
Black Pearl - Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Best Re-Mastered DVD
The Adventures of Robin Hood -
Warner Home Video
Best Supplementary Material Presentation
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Extended Edition - New Line Home Entertainment
Best Use of DVD-ROM Features
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Warner Home Video
Best Music DVD Non-Theatrical Release
The Grateful Dead: The Closing of Winterland
- Monterey Video
Best Music DVD Theatrical Release
The Who: The Kids Are Alright -
Have a great weekend and we'll see you Monday!
Morning, folks! We're kicking things off today with word that 20th
Century Fox has officially announced the DVD release of The
Day After Tomorrow on 10/5 (SRP $29.98). The disc will be
available in anamorphic widescreen and full frame versions, and will
include audio commentary by director Roland Emmerich and producer Mark
Gordon, a second commentary by writer Jeffrey Nachmanoff,
cinematographer Ueli Steiger, editor David Brenner, and production
designer Barry Chusid, deleted scenes, an interactive audio demo,
DVD-ROM weblinks and more. We posted the cover art
Tuesday, so be sure to check it out.
In other news today, Buena Vista has announced Raising
Helen for release on 10/12 (SRP $29.99). The disc will be
available in separate anamorphic widescreen and full frame editions,
both of which will include bloopers and outtakes, deleted scenes, audio
commentary by the director and writers, and Liz Phair's Extraordinary
Warner has announced that it will release a Seven
Brides for Seven Brothers: Special Edition on 10/12. Look for
the 2-disc set to include the film presented in anamorphic widescreen
video (2.35:1) with Dolby Digital 5.1 and the original mono audio
(additional extras TBA). Other titles newly announced by the studio
include Salem's Lot: The Miniseries
(16x9 - also for 10/12), and Doctor Who: Lost
in Time - Patrick Troughton Years, Doctor
Who: Lost in Time - William Hartnell Years and Doctor
Who: Lost in Time Collection (all for 11/2).
Here's the cover art for Warner's Seven
Brides for Seven Brothers, Salem's
Lot: The Miniseries, Return of the
Living Dead, Part II (10/5) and That's
Entertainment: The Complete Collection (10/12), MGM's Stargate
SG-1: Season 7 (10/19), and HBO's Gia:
Unrated (8/24 - which I have to say, some Bits
staffers are looking forward to a little more than is probably healthy,
but what the hell)...
Around the site today, we're pleased to bring you Adam Jahnke's latest
Bottom Shelf column...
Idiot Disc, or I'll Be a Son of a Witchiepoo: More Cult TV on DVD.
In it, Adam reviews Rhino's H.R. Pufnstuf:
The Complete Series and HBO's The
Hitchhiker, all while waxing philosophic about the recent
trend toward heavy doses of nostalgia on disc. Don't miss it.
Finally this morning, remember that King of
the Ants DVD signing we told you about a couple of weeks ago
(held on 6/29 here in L.A.)? Well, we're pleased to bring you a couple
of photos from the event. The first picture is of producers Duffy Hecht,
Stuart Gordon, and David Michael Latt (L to R). The second picture
features the cast and director (L to R), Chris McKenna, Vernon Wells,
Stuart Gordon and Lionel Mark Smith.
We're going to be dark tomorrow, as we continue to prepare for our
ComicCon DVD panel next week. But we'll be back on Monday with lots of
news and more. So have a great weekend, and we'll see you then!
Here's some interesting news... according to
and the BBC
(and some of the video industry trades), a deal has reportedly been
struck between a number of studio and hardware partners in the HD-DVD
camp (including Time Warner, Matsushita, IBM, Microsoft, Disney, etc)
that would allow users of the next-generation DVD format to make legal,
fair-use back-up copies of their discs to play on portable devices. The
agreement is only in principle at the moment, but it would still mark a
significant shift in the way the industry approached the copying issue.
Click the links for more (but not MUCH more).
Along the same lines, there's
recent story up at The New York Times on the on-going
battle over DVD copying relative to 321 Studios and the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act. It's worth checking out.
Back with more later. Stay tuned...
(LATE UPDATE - 7/13/04 - 3
One last update for all of you this afternoon - Buena Vista has just
re-announced their Ed Wood: Special Edition
for release on 10/19 (SRP $29.99). The disc will reportedly include
audio commentary (with director Tim Burton, actor Martin Landau, the
co-writers, the costume designer and the cinematographer), 5 deleted
scenes, the Let's Shoot This F#%@R!
documentary, a music video, 4 featurettes (including Making
Bela, Pie Plates Over Hollywood,
The Theremin and When
Carol Met Larry) and the theatrical trailer. Video will be
1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, with audio in Dolby Digital 5.1. Near as
we can tell, it's the same as the disc that was originally (nearly)
released earlier this year.
We've also just posted Todd's latest
Views/Weekly Release Roundup. In this edition, Todd runs down
the major titles arriving in stores today, and reviews five of them,
Identity: Explosive Extended Edition, 20th Century Fox's
Dreamers, Anchor Bay's
for Dummies, Home Vision's
Deux Trois Soleil and AnimEigo's
Meets the One-Armed Swordsman and
Wolf & Cub: White Heaven in Hell. Enjoy!
(LATE UPDATE - 7/13/04 - 11 AM PDT)
We've got some breaking news that's gonna bum out you La
Femme Nikita fans. Warner has just cancelled (until further
notice) the release of La Femme Nikita: The
Complete Second Season, which had been slated for 7/20.
There's no word on exactly why this happened, although we suspect a
legal snafu. Warner's message to retailers states only:
"unforeseen circumstances have prevented
this title from being released." We'll keep you up to date
as we learn more.
Also today, the great B-movies-on-DVD website
is reporting that MGM's August batch of Midnight
Movies double-feature discs will be Best Buy exclusive
titles. Yes, that's right... you'll ONLY be able to buy them at Best Buy
stores, which is certain to piss lots of people off. Check the website
for the complete list.
(EARLY UPDATE - 7/13/04 - 12:01 AM PDT)
We've got some very cool new upcoming DVD cover art for you this
morning. Here's your first look at 20th Century Fox's The
Day After Tomorrow (TBA October), along with Universal's The
Thing: Collector's Edition (10/5), Warner's MAD
TV: The Complete First Season (9/21), The
Hunger (10/5) and North and South:
The Complete Collection (10/5) and Miramax's The
Big One (9/28)...
Around the site today, we've updated the
DVD Player Sales numbers to include data for the entire month
of June. In addition, we've also updated the software sales and rental
We've kicked off THREE new
today, giving each of you the chance to win copies of Anchor Bay's
Season Four, Warner's
Animated Series - Volume One and
the SuperFriends: The First Season, and Red Distribution's
Show: Season Two. The contests will run until Noon PDT on
Sunday, July 18th.
And Matt and the crew over at our MusicTAP
site have posted a trio of new SACD reviews:
Wallflowers' Red Letter Days,
Hermits' Retrospective and
Be sure to check out Barrie's latest
Coming Attractions column as well, which we posted late
yesterday afternoon. Barrie reviewed 5 recent box set releases,
including more than 25 classic films. Don't miss it!
(LATE UPDATE -
7/12/04 - 5 PM PDT)
We've got one last update to make this afternoon. We've just posted
Barrie Maxwell's latest
Coming Attractions column. This edition is another Classic
Reviews Roundup, which includes in-depth reviews of 5
recently released classic film box sets, including Kino's
Douglas Fairbanks Collection and
Fanny Trilogy, MGM's
Ingmar Bergman Collection, and Warner's
Grant: The Signature Collection and
Tarzan Collection. That's 25 films in all! As you'll see in
the reviews, all are well worth your time and money.
See you tomorrow!
(LATE UPDATE - 7/12/04 - 3:15 PM PDT)
We've got MORE big news today. Universal has announced the second wave
of their new Monsters Legacy Collections.
On 10/19 (SRP $29.98 each), look for the following 2-disc sets: The
Mummy: The Legacy Collection, The
Invisible Man: The Legacy Collection and Creature
from the Black Lagoon: The Legacy Collection. The
Mummy set will include The Mummy
(1932), The Mummy's Curse, The
Mummy's Ghost, The Mummy's Hand
and The Mummy's Tomb. The
Invisible Man set will include The
Invisible Man, Invisible Agent,
The Invisible Man Returns, The
Invisible Man's Revenge and The
Invisible Woman. Finally, the Creature
set will include Creature from the Black
Lagoon, The Creature Walks Among
Us and Revenge of the Creature.
Didn't we just talk about this earlier? Universal has now OFFICIALLY
announced a 5-disc Buck Rogers in the 25th
Century: The Complete Epic Series release for 11/16 (SRP
$89.98). No word yet on extras, but we've heard that series star Gil
Gerard was tapped to do audio commentary for a few episodes. Also,
there's no word yet on whether the theatrical film will be released on
Additional Universal titles newly announced by the studio include Quantum
Leap: The Complete Second Season (10/26 - SRP $59.98), the
W.C. Fields Comedy Collection
(11/9 - SRP $59.98 - includes The Bank Dick,
International House, It's
a Gift, My Little Chickadee
and You Can't Cheat an Honest Man),
The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection
(11/9 - SRP $59.98 - includes Animal Crackers,
The Cocoanuts, Duck
Soup, Horse Feathers
and Monkey Business) and Hell's
Angels (12/7 - SRP $14.98).
(LATE UPDATE - 7/12/04 - 1
We've just gotten word from A&E/The History Channel that the
acclaimed series The World at War
will be released on DVD on 8/24 (SRP $149.95). The 11-disc set will
include all 26 episodes of this documentary look at WWII, in the
original full frame video with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. Extras will
include over 12 hours of bonus materials, such as a number of
documentaries (Secretary to Hitler,
The Two Deaths of Adolf Hitler,
Germany: 1932-1939, Hitler's
Germany: 1939-1945, The Final
Solution and From War to Peace),
a 30th anniversary feature-length retrospective film, biographies, a
timeline, galleries of photos from the Imperial War Museum collection
and more. This edition is expected to be MUCH more in-depth (in terms of
extras) than HBO's previous DVD release, which was issued in 2001 as a
We've got an update in
Rumor Mill today on new Warner plans for Gone
with the Wind on DVD. Don't miss it.
Store is reporting that Warner is indeed quietly phasing out
its much-derided Snapper packaging. This is due to internal research
conducted by the studio that discovered (surprise!)
"a portion of consumers do prefer the
Amaray-style packaging." Amazing that it only took, what...
SEVEN years to figure this out? You just have to scratch your head
bit of other news from Video Store, word is Columbia
TriStar has signed a deal to distribute Discovery Communications titles,
which would mean documentary material from Discovery Channel, TLC,
Animal Planet, The Travel Channel, The Science Channel, Discovery's
Wings and Home Channels and Discovery HD Theater (can you say Blu-ray
More release news this afternoon... First Look Home Entertainment will
street Stateside (staring Val
Kilmer) on 10/12 (SRP $24.98). Artisan will release Lars von Trier's
Dogville on 8/24 (SRP $26.98).
Dogville will include audio
commentary with the director and cinematographer. Showtime will release
DC 9/11: Time of Crisis (a film
based on events in the White House immediately after the 9/11 attack) on
8/10. A&E/New Video will also release the 3-disc Benny
Hill: The Naughty Years - Complete & Unadulterated, Volume 1
on 8/24 (SRP $49.95 - featuring all 11 hour-long episodes from 1969-71,
including 3 rare shows in B&W, plus extras). And Lions Gate will
release Godsend (staring Greg
Kinnear, Robert De Niro and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) on 8/17 (SRP $26.98).
Audio commentary and alternate endings will be included.
We also have an update on a story we posted earlier.
to Video Business today, Columbia TriStar HAS officially
acquired the DVD release rights to Michael Moore's Fahrenheit
9/11. No other release details are available yet.
Finally, word is that there's a framing error on Universal's recent DVD
release of Airport 1975 (which was
part of the studio's Airport Terminal Pack
of all the films in the series), that results in the image looking a
little stretched vertically even if you have your DVD player set to the
correct type of TV. Reportedly, if you compare the new Universal DVD to
the previously released Goodtimes edition, the difference is obvious.
We're looking into this and we'll let you know what's up as soon as we
(EARLY UPDATE - 7/12/04 - 11 AM PDT)
We're going to have a number of posts today, but we've got some good
news to tell you about with this first one.
is reporting that Universal and NBC are expanding their great slate of
classic TV series on DVD. Set for release in the months ahead are Miami
Vice, Buck Rogers in the 25th
Century, Amazing Stories,
Night Gallery, Murder,
She Wrote, Columbo,
Magnum P.I., The
Munsters and Knight Rider
(some of which have already been announced). A number of new series are
on the way too, including Las Vegas,
the various Law and Order series,
American Dreams and The
Apprentice. Many of you will also be glad to know that the
recent miniseries version of Battlestar
Galactica will be released sometime between August and
November, just in time for the debut of the new series on the Sci-Fi
Speaking of Sci-Fi, the much-maligned (often deservedly so in our
opinion) network has just announced that it will debut the new 4-hour
Farscape miniseries, Farscape:
Peacekeeper Wars, on 10/17. What do you wanna bet ratings
will be through the roof? Hhhhhmmmm... Farscape...
Tremors: The Series. Which would
you have cancelled?
Warner Bros. has announced that it's releasing a 4-disc That's
Entertainment!: Complete Collection on 10/12. The films will
be remastered and the set will include more than 5 hours of extras on a
fourth disc of bonus materials called That's
Entertainment: Treasures From the Vault. Among the items to
look for on the bonus disc are the new The
Masters of the Musical documentary, several never-before-seen
deleted musical numbers and footage from the original premiere of That's
Entertainment! in Beverly Hills. You can read more
While we're on the Warner front, there's also word that the heirs of
late director Francois Truffaut have launched legal action against Time
Warner and its French subsidiary over the DVD release rights to
Truffaut's 1973 film La Nuit Americaine
(a.k.a. Day for Night). Read more
In other news today, 20th Century Fox will release Harry Thomason's
documentary The Hunting of the President
on DVD on 9/28 (SRP $19.98). The disc will include both full frame and
anamorphic widescreen versions with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. Extras will
include audio commentary, deleted scenes and the trailer.
Columbia TriStar has announced the DVD release of Asylum
of the Damned, Carandiru
and Twenty Bucks on 9/21.
Also on the Columbia TriStar front today,
have been circulating that the studio's home entertainment
division is close to acquiring the DVD release rights to Michael Moore's
Fahrenheit 9/11. Other bidders
apparently include Lions Gate (which distributed the film theatrically)
We're also hearing that the street date for MGM's Walking
Tall has been moved up from 9/28 to 9/14.
Back with more soon. Stay tuned...
Morning, folks! Sorry we disappeared for a day there. We got caught
nose-deep in preparations for our upcoming ComicCon DVD Producers panel,
and time unfortunately got away from us.
Anyway, we wanted to jump in here this morning to catch you all up on
the big news from yesterday, namely Universal's announcement of the
release of Van Helsing on 9/28.
There will be 3 versions of the film on DVD - separate single-disc, full
frame and anamorphic widescreen editions (SRP $29.98 each), both with
Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, and a 3-disc Ultimate
Collector's Edition (SRP TBA) containing the film in
anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio (Disc One),
behind-the-scenes bonus materials on the film (Disc Two), and the
original classic film versions of Dracula,
Frankenstein and The
Wolf Man (Disc Three) in full frame with 2.0 mono audio.
We'll post the artwork as soon as it's available. Additional titles to
be released or re-released by the studio to coincide with Van
Helsing are the 1979 version of Dracula,
An American Werewolf in London,
the recent The Mummy and The
Mummy Returns and the animated Van
Helsing: The London Assignment.
In other news, Columbia TriStar will release Baadasssss!,
Young Adam, Blazing
Across the Pecos, Hardcore,
Watermelon Man, Diff'erent
Strokes: The Complete First Season and Sanford
& Son: The Fifth Season all on 9/14. Due on 9/7 are Decoys,
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring,
Jim Henson's The Storyteller: Greek Myths,
Music in My Heart, Naked
in New York, Peep Show,
single disc versions of Bad Boys II
and The Missing, the Resident
Evil: Deluxe Edition and The Best
of Beakman's World.
Meanwhile, as we all wait for the extended Return
of the King to be announced, New Line has unveiled DVD
releases of Iron Eagle III: Aces,
Detonator II: Night Watch and Live
Wire: Human Timebomb, all for 10/5.
Here's some big news - Warner has announced a 2-disc Tom
and Jerry: Spotlight Collection, The Premiere Volume for
10/19 (SRP $26.99). The set will include 40 classic restored and
remastered shorts, along with audio commentary by Jerry Beck (on The
Zoot Cat, Kitty Foiled
and Heavenly Puss), the Behind
the Tunes: The MGM Orchestra documentary, the How
Bill and Joe Met Tom & Jerry documentary and 2 film
excerpts (Jerry Dances with Gene Kelly
from Anchors Aweigh and Tom
and Jerry Swim with Esther Williams from Dangerous
When Wet). Video will be full frame with Dolby Digital 1.0
In other Warner news, look for D-Day:
Reflections of Courage and Rainbow
Brite and the Star Stealer on 11/2, with HBO's Handful
of Dust and Henry VIII
following on 11/16. Additional recently announced Warner titles include
The Hunger, The
Fearless Vampire Killers, Frosty's
Winter Wonderland/Twas the Night Before Xmas, He
Knows You're Alone, It's Alive,
It Lives Again/It's Alive III: Island of the
Alive, North & South: The
Complete Collection - Collector's Edition, Return
of the Living Dead 2, Rudolph and
Frosty's Christmas in July, To
Grandmother's House We Go and Tom
and Jerry: Paws for a Holiday all on 10/5, and Batman:
The Animated Series - Secrets of the Caped Crusader, Justice
League: The Brave and the Bold, Superman
Animated Series: A Little Piece of Home and Wacky
Races: The Complete Series all on 10/29.
That's it for today. We'll see you all on Monday with Barrie's next
column and lots more. Have a great weekend, everyone!
We've just posted Todd's
Release Roundup, featuring a rundown of the major DVDs hitting
store shelves this week, along with reviews of three of them: New Line's
The Butterfly Effect: Infinifilm Edition,
Warner's Film Noir Collection and
Shout! Factory's Unprecedented: The 2000
Also today, we have Adam Jahnke's in-depth review of Disney's recent
Disney Treasures: Mickey Mouse in Living Color, Volume 2.
In case you missed it, late yesterday afternoon, we posted Barrie's
Coming Attractions column as well, featuring reviews of 14
more titles, all of them classic war films.
In terms of DVD news today, we've got the latest for you on Columbia
TriStar's forthcoming Hellboy: Director's Cut,
straight from director Guillermo Del Toro himself. This comes from his
latest post (dated 7/5) on the studio's official
"DVD (Director's cut): Comes out in
November (3 discs) all the same extras (minus commentary track original)
but with an extra disc full of features. The special box edition will
have a Sideshow Hellboy mini-bust. This disc has my preferred cut (15
extra minutes but they go a long way in terms of story and character)
and a new commentary track that I feel very happy with.
Devil's Backbone DVD: for those of you that love this movie as
much as I do, this one will have a better transfer, more extras than any
international edition, including a unique and really useful
doodle-storyboard-final shot comparison of several key sequences. The
commentary track in this disc is new and it is my favorite of any disc
You can read more from Guillermo (alias GDT) on the board. Special
thanks to Bits reader Imran H. for
sending us the link.
(LATE UPDATE - 7/6/04 - 4:30 PM PDT)
We've just posted Barrie's
Classic Coming Attractions column, in which he reviews 14
classic war films newly released on DVD by 20th Century Fox, MGM and
We'll be back in the morning with Todd's Weekly
Release Roundup and a new DVD review from Adam Jahnke. Then
on Thursday, we expect to have yet another Classic
Coming Attractions column from Barrie.
Lots of stuff to look forward to, along with the usual DVD news, so be
sure to stay tuned!
(EARLY UPDATE - 7/6/04 - 12:45 PM PDT)
Any Zatoichi fans out there?
Yeah, we thought so. To kick things off right today, we've got some more
new cover art for you. Let your eyes make sweet, sweet love to this...
Is there anything better than Ichi on DVD? We just don't know. Those
are, of course, the final three Ichi releases expected from Home Vision
(barring a miracle, at least), due on 8/24. We believe there's a chance
that Home Vision owns the rights to Zatoichi
14: Zatoichi's Pilgrimage (the only film in the series that
will NOT be on DVD in the U.S. after 8/24) as well, but we're going to
have to wait and see.
Anyway, you probably also noticed Lions Gate's The
Punisher (9/7), MGM's Soul Plane:
Unrated Edition (9/7) and BCI Eclipse's New
Zoo Revue: Season 1 (8/24). And here's one last tasty little
cover for you today... yep, the final art George Romero's 4-disc Dawn
of the Dead: The Ultimate Edition from Anchor Bay (due
By the way, we've got a quick update for all of you on a title we
mentioned yesterday. The Miramax press release for the Clerks:
10th Anniversary Edition listed the original unaired Clerks
TV pilot as an extra. However, director Kevin Smith is reporting on his
website that it will NOT be included after all. Just FYI.
Finally, we've got a little information on those Michael Moore DVDs we
mentioned yesterday as well. According to the latest issues of Video
Business and Video Store,
it's still unknown who will be distributing the DVD of Fahrenheit
9/11 (apparently, Lions Gate does NOT have the DVD release
rights which will likely go to one of the major studios, possibly even
Buena Vista). However, word is Moore's production company has already
completed many of the special features for the disc. In addition, Bits
reader Chris M. recently had the chance to speak with Moore in person,
and learned that the director has recorded a new commentary for The
Big One, due from Miramax on 9/28. Chris also learned that
the DVD rights for Moore's only other unreleased project, TV
Nation, belong to Sony, but the studio is sitting on the
title at the moment (we'll keep you up to date on plans if and when they
Back later with more. Stay tuned...
Morning everyone! Hope you all enjoyed the weekend, and that you
American readers had a great 4th of July holiday. There's not a lot of
news to report today, as Hollywood is "out to lunch" so to
speak on a day like this. But there are some cool things to tell you
First of all, Miramax has officially announced the DVD release of Kevin
Smith's Clerks: 10th Anniversary Edition.
The 3-disc set will street on 9/7 for an SRP of $39.99. The set will
include the original theatrical version of the film as well as the
extended, Sundance version. Both will feature audio commentary by
director Smith and the cast and crew (the Sundance version will feature
video commentary as well). The video/audio specs are listed as
1.85:1/16x9 enhanced and Dolby Digital 5.1, but I don't know if this
applies to both versions or just the theatrical version. Extras will
include the 150-minute Snowball Effect
documentary, an animated missing scene, the Mae
Day: The Crumbling of a Documentary featurette, the original
unaired Clerks TV pilot
[Editor's Note: since we first posted this, we've
learned that the pilot will not be included after all], Jay
& Silent Bob TV spots, the Flying
Car short film seen on the Tonight
Show, video of the 10th Anniversary screening Q&A,
original audition tapes, theatrical trailers and TV spots, music videos
for Soul Asylum's Can't Even Tell
and Girls Against Boys' Kill the Sex Player,
a still photo gallery, DVD-ROM "enhanced" playback, Kevin
Smith's original journals, and 7 articles about the film by critics and
film historians. Knowing Smith, you can bet there's lots of hidden
material as well, and other items not listed in the press release. We'll
have the final official artwork as soon as its available. Should be a
very cool release. Out hats off to Kevin for all the TLC he puts into
Speaking of which, we should mention that Miramax is also releasing
Smith's Jersey Girl on DVD on 9/7
(SRP $29.99), but we're told that the director is working on a more
elaborate special edition version that will be released at a later date.
Here's a great bit of news for fans of director Michael Moore. Not
wanting to miss a trick when it comes to cashing in on the recent
blazing success of Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11,
Miramax has announced that it will release his earlier The
Big One on DVD on 9/28 (which would lead you to wonder if
maybe Fahrenheit 9/11 will be out
on, or shortly after, 9/28 from Lions Gate as well). The film will be
released in anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.
No word yet on extras, if any.
In other DVD news, Universal has delayed the street date for Eternal
Sunshine of the Spotless Mind by a week, moving the release
from 9/28 to 10/5. The studio has also postponed the Backbeat:
Special Edition indefinitely (no reason given), and announced
a pair of documentary releases: The War Room
(10/12) and Twin Towers (9/7).
We've got a few details on the extras to look for on a trio of upcoming
Paramount DVDs. The Footloose: Special
Collector's Edition (9/28) will include audio commentary by
Kevin Bacon, audio commentary by producer Craig Zadan and writer Dean
Pitchford, 3 documentary featurettes (Footloose:
A Modern Musical - Part 1, Footloose:
A Modern Musical - Part 2 and Footloose:
Songs That Tell a Story), and the theatrical trailer. The
Untouchables: Special Collector's Edition (10/5) will include
several newly-produced featurettes (The
Script, The Cast, Production
Stories, Reinventing the Genre
and The Classic), the original
featurette The Men and the
theatrical trailer. And The Prince & Me:
Special Collector's Edition (8/10), will feature audio
commentary by director Martha Coolidge, 3 featurettes (The
Lawnmower Race of The Prince & Me, The
Look of The Prince & Me and Inside
The Fairy Tale: The Prince & Me), 8 deleted/extended
scenes, a gag reel and the theatrical trailer.
20th Century Fox has announced The Three
Faces of Eve as the 22nd release in its Studio Classics line.
Expect the title to be released on 10/5 (SRP $19.98). Extras will
include feature commentary by Aubrey Solomon, the theatrical trailer and
a Fox Movietone News short.
Warner Bros. has revealed that it will release National
Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2 on 10/5 (SRP $19.97).
Bits reader Dave P. reports that a
number of current Dark Horse comics issues (including Star
Wars: Empire #21) have full page ads for Universal's Van
Helsing on DVD, listing 10/19 as the street date. That falls
in line with the expected street dates
reported on Friday.
Classic Movies is holding another DVD Decision online poll on
their website, allowing you to choose 5 favorite films from a list
of 20 potential titles. Those selected will be released on DVD in
January 2005. Get on over there and get voting, because there are some
real gems in the lot, including Greed
(1924), Ice Station Zebra (1968 -
GOTTA have this on disc!), International
Velvet (1978) and Ivanhoe
(1952). The winners will be announced in August. Thanks to Bits
reader Jeff S. for alerting us to this.
Finally this morning, there's
new report from The New York Times on that bidding war
between Sony and Time Warner to buy MGM. Warner has indeed put together
an offer challenging Sony's, reportedly worth $4.7 billion. Whichever
rival wins, the final purchase deal for the studio isn't expected to be
closed for several weeks. The article has interesting details on the
bids of each potential buyer, so do check it out.
Back tomorrow with columns, reviews and more news. See you then!
(LATE UPDATE - 7/2/04 -
11:30 AM PDT)
Some very sad news to report today. Legendary actor Marlon Brando has
passed away in Los Angeles. Among his films were such classics as The
Godfather, On the Waterfront
and A Streetcar Named Desire. He
was 80 years old. I just don't know what else to say about this, but
he'll be missed.
here for more from CNN.
Now for some interesting DVD news, particularly for you fans of classic
animation. Here's Todd to tell you about it:
Hey kids. I know that Columbia TriStar's upcoming
2-disc Hellboy DVD is going to be a must-own for most of you,
but while doing my notes for the review in my upcoming column, I
stumbled on a very neat extra that all you classic cartoon collectors
will want to know about. I haven't heard this mentioned anywhere else,
but there are four great UPA cartoons from Columbia's archives on Disc
One of the set (listed as "recommended by Hellboy"). First, we
get the original Gerald McBoing-Boing from 1950. As many of you
know, the sequel, Gerald McBoing-Boing's Symphony, is already
available on the DVD release of 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. Joining
the original on Hellboy are the other two films in the four film
McBoing-Boing series: How Now Boing Boing and Gerald
McBoing-Boing on Planet Moo. Neater still, the classic and
oft-touted as "one of the greatest cartoons ever made" short
The Telltale Heart is on the disc as well. I was in cartoon geek
heaven when I found these, and I just wanted to tell you guys in case
you're on the fence about getting Hellboy. If you love toons as
much as me, it's now a must-have.
Thanks, Todd. That is pretty damn cool. Nice to have that whole series
on disc finally.
And finally today, could this be actual information about a forthcoming
Matrix Ultimate Collection box
retailer HMV has posted details on what would be a 10-disc set,
which would include:
1 - The Matrix (with all-new
transfer & audio commentary)
2 - The Matrix Revisited (the
original version with behind-the-scenes footage)
3 - Matrix Reloaded: Extended Version
(new cut with 55 minutes of new footage inserted back into the film)
4 - Matrix Reloaded Revisited
(all new interviews, scene dissections and more)
5 - Matrix Revolutions (original
cut with audio commentaries)
6 - Matrix Revolutions Revisited
(a host of all-new extras)
7 - The Animatrix
8 - The Roots of the Matrix (3
hours of features)
9 - The Burley Man Chronicles
(the people behind The Matrix
discuss their work)
10 - The Zion Archive (a tour of
Matrix design concepts,
storyboards & drawings)
The set would also include a 20-page booklet. Click on the link above
for additional extras details. Obviously, this would be a U.K. release,
but these generally mirror the R1 release pretty closely. We'll have to
wait and see if Warner makes an announcement in the coming weeks.
Have a happy and safe 4th of July weekend everyone. See you Monday!
(EARLY UPDATE - 7/2/04 -
12:01 AM PDT)
We've got some new street dates (and tentative release months) to give
you today, for major studio titles through the end of 2004 (including
some titles now in theaters). I want to let you know that most of these
dates have yet to be announced, so consider them unofficial until we
tell you that a studio has confirmed them. This would definitely
normally go in The Rumor Mill, but
for ease of posting they're in the daily column today. Here goes...
September - Mean
Girls (9/21), Jersey Girl
(9/7), Saved (TBA), Super
Size Me (TBA)
October - The
Day After Tomorrow (10/27), Troy
(10/12), Van Helsing (TBA), Dodgeball:
A True Underdog Story (TBA), Garfield:
The Movie (10/19), The Stepford
Wives (TBA), The Terminal
(TBA), Raising Helen (TBA), Fahrenheit
9/11 (TBA), The Notebook
(10/19), Around the World in 80 Days
(TBA), Two Brothers (TBA)
November - Shrek
2 (11/5), Harry Potter and the
Prisoner of Azkaban (TBA), White
December - The
Chronicles of Riddick (TBA)
Also this morning, we've got some cool new cover art for you to check
out. Here's Paramount's Footloose: Special
Collector's Edition (9/28), Untouchables:
Special Collector's Edition (10/5), Eddie
Murphy: Raw (9/7), Mork &
Mindy: The Complete First Season (9/7) and Friday
the 13th: From Crystal Lake to Manhattan - The Ultimate DVD Collection
(9/14), Sony Music's Rocky & Bullwinkle &
Friends: Complete Season 2 (8/31), MGM's Walking
Tall (9/28) and Species: Special
Edition (10/19) and 20th Century Fox's Man
on Fire (9/14)...
How's that for a cool way to round out the week, huh?
Have a great weekend, folks! See you back here on Monday.
(LATE UPDATE - 7/1/04 - 5 PM PDT)
You know how we've been telling you that Sony's ongoing bid to buy MGM,
and obtain the MGM library of catalog films, was all about giving the
edge to their next generation Blu-ray Disc format in the battle with
HD-DVD? Well, here's the proof... now Warner Bros. is after MGM as well.
According to published reports, Time Warner Inc. is hastily putting
together a nearly $5 billion cash and stock offer to obtain the studio.
As you know, Warner has a vested interest in the HD-DVD format seizing
the high ground in the looming format war - they receive significant
royalty payments based on current DVD technology, and HD-DVD is simply
an extension of that. You can bet your asteroids that Blu-ray Disc and
HD-DVD are a big part of the reasoning behind the scenes for both Warner
and Sony's interest. Whoever gets the MGM catalog instantly gets a BIG
leg up for their format.
As a side note, if Warner manages to get control of MGM, it would clear
up a lot of the rights confusion that's kept Peter Jackson and New Line
from going ahead with a film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The
Hobbit. New Line is a Time Warner company, and while the
studio owns the rights to produce a film of The
Hobbit, MGM currently owns the rights to distribute it.
Anyway... this is a very interesting development for a number of
to read more about it.
DEFINITELY stay tuned...
(EARLY UPDATE - 7/1/04 -
12:01 AM PDT)
Well, I'm afraid we've got some bad news for you fans of animation
legend Hayao Miyazaki. Disney's recently delayed 2-disc special editions
of My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaa
of the Valley of the Wind and Porco
Rosso, which had been slated for release on 8/31, have now
been bumped into early 2005. No official reason was given to us by the
studio, but we believe it's to coordinate with the U.S. theatrical
release of the currently in the works film by Miyazaki, Howl's
Moving Castle. Rest assured, we'll post anything else we hear
on this in the coming weeks and months.
In other news today, Warner has just announced a new slate of horror
titles for 10/5, just in time for Halloween. Look for The
Hunger, It's Alive,
It's Alive II & III, Fearless,
Vampire Killers, Return
of the Living Dead, Part II and He
Knows You're Alone (SRP $19.97 each).
Lions Gate has announced the DVD release of The
Punisher on 9/7. There will be a limited edition (just 10,000
copies) with a special comic book-style cover, along with a regular
edition. As far as we know, extras will be the same on both versions.
All will come with a 28-page prequel comic, written by Garth Ennis and
illustrated by Tim Bradstreet. We'll post cover art as it becomes
And around the Net today, Bits
reader Dave F. found
report over at PCWorld.com - Panasonic has just unveiled a
Blu-ray Disc Recorder that will be available in Japan at the end of this
month. The player will sell for about $2780, with the blank BD-ROM media
costing between $35 and $50 depending on the capacity. With the more
expensive, 50GB discs, the unit will record some 4.5 hours of
high-definition video. It will also be compatible with DVD-R and DVD-ROM
Finally this morning, cover art guru Russell Hammond has helped us to
assemble another huge
DVD Cover Art update. We've added more than 150 additional
cover images, including many you haven't seen before, so don't miss it.
And remember, clicking on each cover allows you to pre-order the disc
which supports our work here at The Bits.
We surely do appreciate it!
(LATE UPDATE - 6/30/04 - 4 PM PDT)
Back as promised with Todd Doogan's latest
Release Roundup! This week, Todd checks out some 13 new DVD
releases that you'll find in stores now, including Warner's
Saddles: 30th Anniversary Special Edition, Paramount's
Park: The Complete Fourth Season and much more. Don't miss it!
We'll be back tomorrow morning with another big update of our Upcoming
DVD Cover Art section and more. Stay tuned...
(EARLY UPDATE - 6/30/04 - 4 AM PDT)
Well, here we are, kicking off the last day of June. The summer's
barely started and we've already killed the first month! Time does fly.
Matt and I just caught a Midnight screening of Spider-Man
2 - because that's the kind of film geeks we are - and let me
tell you, it's a great ride. As critics have been saying, it IS even
better than the first film. I would say it's a fuller and richer film
emotionally. The action is great, the effects are great, but it's the
characters that shine through here without a single weak link. Whereas
in the first film, the story was about Peter Parker learning to use his
new super powers, this film turns the tables and becomes his struggle to
learn how to be Peter - a seemingly normal guy - at the same time as
he's having to save everybody's day. There's plenty of the humor of the
first film (even more this time actually), and a few wink-and-nod
moments for the True Believers out there. Alfred Molina brings great
humanity to the role of Dr. Octavius - his sinister transformation (and
internal struggles thereafter) balance Parker's personal conflicts
nicely. The film also opens up the comic book mythology in a big way and
sets the stage for plenty of great sequels to come. I think you guys are
going to love this flick. Like the original, it's one of those rare
summer blockbusters that actually delivers everything it promises (and
then some). The lines will be long at your local theater these next
couple of weeks, but the payoff is definitely worth it.
Rumor Mill post when we mentioned that a new special
edition of The Thing was on the
way from Universal? Well... the studio has just announced The
Thing: Collector's Edition for 10/19. The extras look to be
virtually identical to those on the previous release, except that this
re-issue features anamorphic widescreen video (the original was
non-anamorphic). Other features include Dolby Digital 5.1 audio,
commentary with director John Carpenter and star Kurt Russell, the John
Carpenter's The Thing: Terror Takes Shape documentary,
galleries of photos, storyboards and artwork, behind-the-scenes footage,
outtakes and the theatrical trailer. Just FYI, both the R and unrated
versions of the new Dawn of the Dead
are being rescheduled for release on 10/19 as well. Universal has also
announced Dream On: Seasons 1 & 2
and The 5th Wheel: Naked Dating - Volumes 1 &
2 for 10/12.
Here's a bit of news some of you guys are gonna love: Trey Parker and
Matt Stone have just re-launched the
official Orgazmo DVD site. According to the boys, the disc
(street date TBA soon) will include 3 audio commentary tracks, a
40-minute documentary, 60 minutes of deleted scenes, and tons of other
cool supplements. Check out the site for more details. Thanks to Bits
reader Charles L. for sending us the link.
Here's another huge bit of DVD news... Warner has finally re-slated
their Iron Giant: Special Edition
for 9/7 (SRP $19.97). The title, which was delayed from its original
release date last year (to precede the theatrical release of Brad Bird
and Pixar's The Incredibles in
November), will include tons of cool extras. Look for the film in
anamorphic widescreen video (from an all-new transfer) with Dolby
Digital 5.1 audio, commentary by the director and filmmakers, 8 deleted
scenes (including an alternate opening, all with director's commentary),
13 "mini-documentaries" on the making of the film and The
Voice of the Giant featurette (hosted by Vin Diesel), a "motion"
gallery of original animation, a letter from author Ted Hughes, DVD-ROM
weblinks and Easter eggs.
Not to be outdone,
has announced a great slate of new DVD releases for September.
Look for a fantastic 3-disc special edition of Gillo Pontecorvo's The
Battle of Algiers (we seriously can't wait to get our hands
on it - check out
list of supplements!) and a 8-disc box set of John Cassavetes
films, labeled John Cassavetes: Five Films.
The package will include Shadows,
Woman Under the Influence, The
Killing of a Chinese Bookie and Opening
Night, along with extras. We'll post the exact street dates
as soon as they're available.
While we're at it this morning, here's the cover art for The
Iron Giant, The Battle of Algiers
and Columbia TriStar's Resident Evil: Deluxe
Edition (due on 9/7)...
We've got more cool news for those of you planning to attend our
DVD Producers 2004 panel. We've added an additional person to
our list of producers scheduled to participate in the discussion - Robert
Burnett, who crafted such special editions as The
Usual Suspects, X-Men 1.5
and X2, and who is currently at
work on the future DVD release of The
Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
An already great event has just gotten even better, so be sure not to
miss out on it.
One final bit of news this morning has absolutely nothing to do with
DVD, but we'll tell you about it anyway. NASA's Cassini-Huygens probe
will arrive in orbit of Saturn this evening, after almost 7 years
traveling across our solar system. If all goes well, the first close-up
pictures of the ringed planet should start coming in tomorrow. These are
gonna be some AMAZING photos, let me tell you. Head on over to the
website when you've got a moment today for all the details.
Back with Todd's column and more later. Stay tuned...