Well... looks like Warner Bros. is really kicking things up a notch for
November. The BIG news is that the studio has just officially announced
its long-awaited, 4-disc Looney Tunes: Golden
Collection, Volume 2 for 11/2 (SRP $64.92). Final details on
the shorts to be included in this new volume, as well as the other
special features, have yet to be revealed. You can bet it will all be
available soon though, and we'll bring it to you as soon as we can. We
do, however, have cover art for you this morning (see below).
By the way, you should know that Warner will release the 2-disc Looney
Tunes: Spotlight Collection, Volume 2 on 11/2 as well (SRP
$26.99). Like last year's edition, we expect this will include two of
the Golden Collection discs for
those who want just a taste.
If you're a fan of these Looney Tunes
DVDs, we'd advise you to keep a close eye on animation historian Jerry
Beck's outstanding Cartoon
Research website. Jerry's been closely involved in the
creation of this set, so you can bet he'll have a lot to say in the days
ahead. Besides, if you love animation as much as we do, his site is not
to be missed.
We said Warner was busy didn't we? Well, we weren't kidding. The studio
has also announced Friends: The Complete
Eighth Season for release on 11/9 (SRP $44.98). The 4-disc
set will include all the episodes from the show's eighth season in their
longer versions. The video will be the original full frame, with audio
in English Dolby Digital 5.0. Like Looney
Tunes, there's no word on extras yet, but we'll be sure to
let you know.
We're not done yet, folks. Warner has announced The
West Wing: The Complete Third Season as well for release on
11/2 (SRP $59.98). This will also be a 4-disc set with video in
anamorphic widescreen and audio in English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround.
Once again, there's no word on extras, but they'll all be included on
Disc Four of the set.
Here's the cover art for Warner's Looney
Tunes: Golden Collection, Volume 2, Friends:
The Complete Eighth Season, The
West Wing: The Complete Third Season, Aqua
Teen Hunger Force, Volume 3 (11/16) and Space
Ghost Coast to Coast, Volume 2 (11/16), along with Columbia
TriStar's Seinfeld Gift Set
Moving on, just a day after posting details from Comic-Con about
Warner's 10-disc The Ultimate Matrix
Collection, we've got still MORE information on the set for
you... plus we have PICTURES. Interested? It's in
Rumor Mill, kids. Go get it.
While we're talking new releases, we wanted to give you a little more
information on Disney's recently announced, 2-disc Walt
Disney Treasures - Wave Four titles (all due on 12/7, SRP
$32.99 each). Mickey Mouse in Black and
White: Volume Two will contain classic Mickey shorts released
between 1928 and 1935, along with featurette looks at rare collectibles
and artifacts, production artwork, Mickey's portrait artist John Hench
and much more. The Complete Pluto: Volume One
will feature classic Pluto shorts from the 1930s and 40s, along with
The Story of Dogs featurette,
galleries of character design and production art and more. Finally, The
Mickey Mouse Club: Week One will include an entire week's
worth of episodes (we believe the first week): Monday's Fun with Music
Day, Tuesday's Guest Star Day, Wednesday's Anything Can Happen Day,
Thursday's Circus Day and Friday's Talent Round-Up Day. Also look for a
retrospective featurette with original Mousketeers, a look at
merchandising and publicity materials and more. All three titles will
once again be hosted by film historian Leonard Maltin.
In case you missed it, we posted SEVEN new disc reviews yesterday
afternoon, including some in new columns by both Todd and Adam. Be sure
to check 'em out if you haven't done so already.
Finally this morning, we wanted to let you know that many of the titles
we've mentioned in the last week or two are now available for pre-order
These include the
Seasons 1 & 2,
with the Wind: Collector's Edition,
Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,
Impact: Special Collector's Edition,
in the Sky,
O.C.: The Complete First Season and much more. Ordering DVDs
through the links around our site helps to support our efforts here at
The Digital Bits, so we very much
(LATE UPDATE - 8/11/04 - 4 PM PDT)
Last update for today. We've just posted a pair of new reviews from our
own Rob Hale (who, along with his wife, has just become a new home owner
- congrats guys!). Up for today are his thoughts on Warner's
Also this afternoon, we've posted the latest edition of Adam Jahnke's
Bottom Shelf, in which he looks at a pair of new Lions Gate
Night with Conan O'Brien: 10th Anniversary Special and
Night with Conan O'Brien: The Best of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.
That makes SEVEN new disc reviews we've posted today in all, including
those in Todd's column from earlier and the SACD review from this
morning. Don't miss 'em.
See you tomorrow!
(LATE UPDATE -
8/11/04 - 2 PM PDT)
Okay... we've just posted Todd's
Release Roundup for today. In this edition, Todd takes a quick
look at a pair of releases from last week - Disney's
Black Hole and Columbia TriStar's
Going on 30: Special Edition. He runs down the major titles
that his stores last week as well. Todd will be back on Friday with a
look at THIS week's releases, and he's going to catch up on the last
couple of weeks of August releases next week (along, of course, with
next week's releases). Got all that? Whew!
Around the Net today, Business Week Online
has just posted
very interesting article - an editorial commentary by Ronald
Grover on the forthcoming next-generation format war. The gist is
exactly what we've been saying, specifically that if there IS a format
war, both Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD are going to languish amid consumer
caution and even apathy. It's definitely worth a read. And my definitly
worth a read, I MEAN YOU GUYS AT THE STUDIOS AND ELECTRONICS
How's about a little more new cover art before we go post more reviews?
Here's Columbia TriStar's just announced Hellboy:
Director's Cut (10/19), along with 20th Century Fox's That
70s Show: Season One (10/26) and Garfield:
The Movie (10/19)...
Just a quick
(EARLY UPDATE - 8/11/04 - 12:30 PM PDT)
Afternoon, folks! Well howdy, we're gonna have SEVERAL posts for you
today, as we work to get Todd's column and some of these reviews posted.
But first, we wanted to check in with some official details on Warner's
The Ultimate Matrix Collection
coming in December. We've posted it in
Rumor Mill today, because the 10-disc set hasn't officially
been announced by the studio yet, although this information comes
straight from the Wachowskis who appeared at a panel discussion held by
Warner Bros at Comic-Con... right before the big Star
Wars event, of course, so it seems hardly anyone was there.
Thankfully, however, one of our readers WAS there. So now we've got all
the details for you, including some cool new information you haven't
heard before. Enjoy!
Also, we've got a new SACD review for you this morning from our
TAP crew - The Allman
a Peach. Do check it out.
Okay... see you later this afternoon with more. Stay tuned...
(LATE UPDATE - 8/10/04 - 2
Okay... we've gotten a bunch more reviews in today, so we're busy
formatting them for tomorrow. Todd says he'll have his Weekly
Release Roundup for tomorrow afternoon as well.
In the meantime, we have a little more news and cover art for you
First up, we're sad to report that famed
Kong star Fay Wray has passed away in New York at the age of
96. One can only hope that Warner managed to interview her in recent
months for their forthcoming special edition DVD, so her memories of the
film can be preserved. Our hats off to her.
Speaking of Warner, the studio has announced that it will release Teen
Titans: Divide and Conquer and Static
Shock: The New Kid on 9/28 (SRP $19.97 each). Each disc will
feature selected episodes from the WB animated series, along with
And how's this for cover art? We've got a look for you at Disney's
forthcoming Mary Poppins: 40th Anniversary
Edition (12/14), The Island at the
Top of the World: 30th Anniversary Edition (9/7), the remade
Around the World in 80 Days
(10/12) and all three newly announced Walt
Disney Treasures titles - Mickey
Mouse in Black and White: Volume Two, The
Mickey Mouse Club: Week One and The
Complete Pluto: Volume One (all 12/7). Enjoy!
See you tomorrow!
(EARLY UPDATE - 8/10/04 - 12:01 AM PDT)
We've got another early update for you today with some interesting new
Here's the big one: Universal will release The
Chronicles of Riddick on 11/16. As you might expect, there
will be 3 different DVDs - separate full frame and anamorphic widescreen
theatrical versions, and an anamorphic widescreen unrated director's cut
(SRP $29.98 each). Audio will be available on each in English, French
and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1. No word yet on extras, but we expect that
soon, along with cover art.
HBO's just announced the DVD release of Carnivale:
The Complete First Season. Look for that on 12/7 (SRP
$99.98), including a behind-the-scenes featurette on the production
design, a Museum of TV and Radio panel discussion with the cast and
crew, 3 audio commentaries with series creator Daniel Knauf and
executive producer Howard Klein, episode previews and re-caps, and more.
Hopefully, HBO's Deadwood isn't
In other news this morning, Warner will release the BBC's 2-part The
Office Special on 11/16 (SRP $25.98). Extras will include
director's commentary, a behind-the-scenes documentary, audio of the
Freelove Freeway single, a
featurette on the making of the single and the If
You Don't Love Me By Now music video.
And just in case you didn't get enough Halle Berry in Catwoman,
look for Warner's 2-disc Gothika: Special
Edition on 10/12 (SRP $26.99). Video is 1:85:1 anamorphic
with audio in Dolby Digital 5.1. Extras will include audio commentary,
behind-the-scenes featurettes, and a bunch of other stuff.
(LATE UPDATE - 8/9/04 -
1 PM PDT)
We've got one more thing for you today. Now that Todd's new PC is up to
speed, he was able to send me the photo he took at Comic-Con of the
packaging on display in New Line's booth for the 4-disc Lord
of the Rings: The Return of the King - Special Extended DVD Edition,
along with the Collector's DVD Gift Set
that includes the Extended Edition
plus the Howard Shore: Creating The Lord of
the Rings Symphony bonus disc and a miniature Sideshow/Weta
statue of Minas Tirith. Street dates and more details should be
available soon from New Line, so stay tuned.
Back tomorrow with reviews and more. See you then!
(EARLY UPDATE - 8/9/04 -
12:01 AM PDT)
We wanted to jump in early this morning with a couple of interesting
things. First up, a lot of people have been asking us when the Buck
Rogers in the 25th Century feature film is going to be
released on DVD. The good news is this... when Universal's Buck
Rogers in the 25th Century: The Complete Epic Series arrives
on DVD on 11/16, the original "pilot" film will be included
among the 32 episodes that make up the show's first and second (and
only) seasons. It will be one of 5 double-length episodes in the set,
and we believe it will be the TV version of the film. The bad news is
that there are subtle differences between the film version and the TV
version, so we hope the film version will be released eventually as
well. We hope to have cover art for the TV set soon.
We DO however, now have your first look at the cover art for Columbia
TriStar's Seinfeld: Volumes 1 & 2
which were announced last week for release on 11/23 (actually titled:
Seinfeld: Seasons 1 & 2 and
Seinfeld: Season 3). We also have
new art for Universal's Envy (9/28
- which interestingly doesn't use the actors' images), Paramount's
recent remake of The Stepford Wives
(10/26 - which will include director's commentary and 13 deleted scenes)
and The Andy Griffith Show: The Complete
First Season (11/16 - includes 32 episodes) and
Touchstone/Buena Vista's Raising Helen
(10/12 - includes audio commentary and deleted scenes).
Also this morning, we've kicked off a trio of new
giving each of you a chance to win copies of Miramax's
Volume 2, Lions Gate's
One and a cool
bust from Sideshow Collectibles! The contests for the DVDs will
run until Noon PDT on Sunday, August 15th. The Sideshow contest will run
for two weeks, until Noon PDT on Sunday, August 22nd. Good luck!
We may be back later with more, so stay tuned...
(LATE UPDATE - 8/6/04 -
12:30 PM PDT)
One last quick update for you today, and it's a good one. Columbia
TriStar will release Seinfeld: Volume 1
and Seinfeld: Volume 2 on 11/23
(SRP $49.95 each), just in time for "Festivus" (as George
might say). Each volume will feature some 12 hours of content, including
interviews with the cast and creators (Inside
Looks), outtakes and bloopers (Not
That There's Anything Wrong With That), audio commentaries
with the cast members (Yada Yada Yada),
deleted scenes (In the Vault),
original NBC promotional ads and trailers (Sponsored
by Vandelay Industries), behind-the-scenes "scoop"
and production notes (Notes About Nothing),
and never-before-seen stand-up comedy footage of co-creator and star
Jerry Seinfeld (Master of His Domain).
Volume 1 will also include the
hour-long How It Began documentary
along with original Tonight Show
footage, while Volume 2 will
include the Kramer vs. Kramer: Kenny to Cosmo
featurette (on the real Kramer). The two volumes together include 40
episodes (Volume 1 will include
all 18 episodes of the first and second seasons, while Volume
2 will include all 22 episodes from the third season). There
will also be a Seinfeld: Deluxe Holiday Gift
Set of both volumes (SRP $119.95), which will also include a
limited edition script from co-creator Larry David, Monk's Diner
salt-and-pepper shakers and a deck of playing cards. You'll be glad to
know that additional seasons are already in production for release on
DVD in 2005. We'll post cover art as soon as it's available.
Online has a good story up on this, and you'll find the news
elsewhere as well.
Disney has announced a 2-disc Mary Poppins:
40th Anniversary Special Edition for release on 12/14 (SRP
$29.99). The film will be presented in 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen.
Extras will include the never-before-heard deleted song Chimpanzoo,
a 50-minute behind-the-scenes documentary, new interviews, an
interactive game, a new animated short based on an original P.L. Travers
story, and the first ever reunion of Dick Van Dyke, Julie Andrews and
co-composer Richard Sherman (the trio also provides audio commentary for
the film). Nice.
Around the net this afternoon,
word that 321 Studios is closing its doors. Makers of the DVD X
Copy DVD copying software, the company apparently couldn't continue
operating under the threat of numerous lawsuits from the studios. All
this comes even as the HD-DVD camp says it might be willing to allow
limited fair use copying of its future high-def movie software. Go
Any KISS fans out there? It seems the band is prepping a new concert
DVD. The band is going to be taping its August 17th show in Palacio de
los Deportes, Mexico for release on DVD in the future. Visit
for more on that.
All right, that's it. Kill the lights, the show's over. Go out and have
yourselves a helluva good weekend and we'll catch you on the flipside.
(EARLY UPDATE - 8/6/04 -
12:01 AM PDT)
We're checking in early this morning with a nice surprise for you
guys... hot-off-the-presses cover art for a trio of major fourth quarter
releases, newly announced all. Here's DreamWorks' Shrek
2 (11/5), and Warner's Gone with
the Wind: Collector's Edition (11/9) and Harry
Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (11/23)...
By the way, a lot of you have been asking us when we can expect to see
Warner's long in the works Heat: Special
Edition. This would normally go in The
Rumor Mill, but it's pretty obvious, so we'll post it here.
Expect it in time for the holidays, when Michael Mann's current Collateral
hits DVD. Likewise, you can reasonably expect Warner's King
Kong: Special Edition next year, timed with the theatrical
(or DVD) release of Peter Jackson's remake.
That's all for now... ahhhhh, screw it. Just 'cause we love you guys,
here's three more covers many of you have been dying to see: Paramount's
Deep Impact: Special Collector's Edition
(10/5), Explorers (10/19) and The
Ren & Stimpy Show: The First and Second Seasons - Uncut
Enjoy your coffee! Back with more later...
(LATE UPDATE - 8/5/04 -
4:30 PM PDT)
Just a quick update on DreamWorks' Shrek 2.
It's looking like the Shrek: The Story So Far
box set (SRP $54.99) will include only the full frame versions of Shrek
and Shrek 2. Shrek
3-D is only available in anamorphic widescreen, so that's
what will be included in the box. Unfortunately, we believe that in
order to get the bonus disc of Shrek 2
extras... you have to buy the box. We'll post more on this as we learn
(EARLY UPDATE - 8/5/04 - 11:30 AM PDT)
Morning, folks! We've got a couple things for you today. First of all,
we have a new reviewer who will be contributing occasionally to The
Bits - Joseph Massaro. For his first review, Joe's given
Kronos: Vampire Hunter on DVD. Welcome Joe!
Here's the big news today - DreamWorks has officially announced the DVD
release of its Shrek 2 for
November 5th (yes, a Friday). There will be separate full frame and
anamorphic widescreen versions (SRP $29.99 each), each a single-disc
release and each with audio in English and French Dolby Digital 5.1 &
2.0. Look also for a Shrek: The Story So Far
box set (SRP $54.99) which will include Shrek,
Shrek 3-D, Shrek
2 and an exclusive Shrek 2
bonus disc only available in this collection (boy, DVD fans are gonna
hate that). We'll bring you artwork and all the details on the extras as
soon as they're available.
Around the Net, there's
good article over at The New York Times about dual-layered
DVD burners, which are just now starting to arrive in stores in larger
We've also got a little bit of new upcoming DVD cover art for you.
Here's Columbia TriStar's Radio Flyer,
Betty Blue: Director's Cut and
Stephen King Presents Kingdom Hospital
(all street on 10/12)...
A lot of you have been asking what happened to Todd's Weekly
Release Roundup. Don't worry, Todd should be back next week.
As you may recall, both Todd and Matt have had virus problems on their
PCs in the last couple weeks. Todd's finally took a dive a few days ago.
Thankfully, he's just received his brand new Dell, so he's going to
spend the weekend getting it up to shape. Rest assured, he'll definitely
be back soon.
Also I wanted to just say a quick word about our advertising.
Obviously, we run a number of banner and pop-up ads for the studios for
major upcoming releases. Occasionally, those ads have noisy music or
sound effects. We know that some of you out there dislike them, and we
certainly appreciate your feelings. Unfortunately, given the amount of
traffic we receive and bandwidth we use here at The
Bits, running this website is a very expensive proposition.
There's just no other way we can keep it going without accepting such
advertising. We're very much stuck between a rock and a hard place -
it's either accept such advertising, or start asking our readers for
money which we'd rather not do. We work VERY hard to bring you the best
DVD news, reviews and editorial commentary we can, and we work just as
hard to serve as an advocate for consumers with the DVD industry - it's
something we believe in deeply. So we ask for your understanding with
regards to the advertising that helps make The
Bits possible. Note that we ARE looking into reports that the
full page ads can't be skipped - we've pulled those ads from the site
until such time as they're fixed. Thanks for your patience.
We've got a couple of cool things for you today. First up, Universal
has officially announced the re-release of their Born
on the Fourth of July: Special Edition for 10/16 (SRP
$19.98). The good news is, this time the disc is anamorphic widescreen.
Audio will be available in Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1. Expect the
extras to be basically the same as what was on the previous edition.
Here's a look at the cover art...
As you can see, that's also the cover art for Synapse's just announced
The Deadly Spawn: Special Edition
(street date 10/26 - SRP $19.95). The film will be presented in its
original full frame aspect ratio with audio in Dolby Digital mono.
Extras will include 2 audio commentaries, still galleries (of
behind-the-scenes photos, make-up effects, and the premiere in New York
City), a comic-style prequel with its own musical score, the original
theatrical trailer, an alternate opening sequence with new effects and
credits, an outtake reel and cast and crew biographies.
We've also posted the art for Anchor Bay's Creepshow
2: Special Divimax Edition which we mentioned yesterday
(street date 9/28).
We've got an interesting piece of Blu-ray Disc news today. It seems
Sony's forthcoming PlayStation 3 game console will use Blu-ray Disc
media. No surprise there, but it means that the system will likely be
able to play the Blu-ray movie discs as well.
here for more on this via GameSpot.
Thanks to Bits reader Kevin A. for
Around the site today, we've posted another BIG
DVD Cover Art update, featuring dozens of new cover scans.
Special thanks to our resident cover art guru Russell Hammond for that.
And finally this afternoon, we've kicked off a pair of new
giving each of you the chance to win copies of Disney's
and Shout! Factory's
Comedy Series. Entries will be accepted until Noon PDT on
Sunday, August 8th. Good luck!
(LATE UPDATE - 8/3/04 - 1:30 PM PDT)
We're pleased to present Robert Harris'
Yellow Layer Failure column this afternoon. In this
edition, Robert muses over The Spy Who Came
in from the Cold, beautifully shot B&W films, three-strip
Technicolor, director Martin Scorsese, a Miramax mystery, The
Cary Grant Collection, Bernardo Bertolucci's The
Dreamers and more. Don't miss it!
Finally today, MGM has revealed their catalog line-up for November. On
11/2, look for the animated Babes on Toyland,
The Grissom Gang, The
High Commissioner, Last Rites,
Mulholland Falls and What
Ever Happened to Aunt Alice?. Then on 11/9, look for a Barbershop:
Collector's Set (which includes both films), along with a
Legally Blonde: Collector's Set
Back tomorrow. Stay tuned...
(EARLY UPDATE - 8/3/04 - 11:30 AM PDT)
We've got another quickie for you this morning, and we'll be back with
a column this afternoon. First up, Criterion has announced a nice slate
of DVDs for release in October. Look for Robert Altman's Tanner
'88 (#258) and Secret Honor
(#257), Georges Franju's Eyes Without a Face
(#260) and Catherine Breillat's Fat Girl
(#259). Each will carry an SRP of $29.95, except Secret
Honor which is $39.95.
Also, Anchor Bay Entertainment will release both the Children
of the Corn: Special DiviMax Edition and the Creepshow
2: Special DiviMax Edition on 9/28.
We've updated the
DVD Player Sales charts with the latest sales data. We've
updated the month of June with a fifth week of data (ending 7/2) and
we've also added the data for the first two weeks of July (ending 7/9
and 7/16). That takes the format to date number to over 73 million
players in the States.
By the way, I want to thank you guys who have been responding to the
Fahrenheit 9/11 comments I made
yesterday. We've actually been getting a lot of very funny e-mails from
people calling is liberal commie bastards as a joke, then saying lots of
nice things about the site. We've been laughing all day around here, so
Back with more soon...
(LATE UPDATE - 8/2/04 - 4 PM PDT)
More new artwork for you this afternoon... and we know some of you out
there have been dying for this one. Here's Columbia TriStar's Fahrenheit
9/11 (due 10/5). We've also got temp art for Warner's Everybody
Loves Raymond: The Complete Second Season (12/14) and Fine
Line's Maria Full of Grace
We're still waiting for official details on the special features, but
we're told the Fahrenheit 9/11
disc will include the film in anamorphic widescreen video with Dolby
Digital 5.1 audio. Bonus material will tentatively include
behind-the-scenes featurettes (The Release of
Fahrenheit 9/11, Outside Abu
Ghraib Prison, Eyewitness Account
from Samara, Iraq, Lila Lipscomb
at the Washington D.C. Premiere and Arab-American
Comedians: Their Acts and Experiences after 9/11), a video
montage (The People of Iraq on the Eve of
Invasion), a new scene (Homeland
Security: Miami Style), an extended interview (Moore
with Abdul Henderson), video of Condoleezza Rice's 9/11
Commission testimony and video of the "Rose Garden press briefing
after 9/11 Commission appearance". These extras are subject to
confirmation, so stay tuned.
Bet you five bucks we get at least a dozen angry e-mails from people
accusing us of having a liberal bias for posting this. Every single time
we mention Fahrenheit 9/11 we get
angry e-mails calling us liberal commie bastards for giving the title
press. We've even gotten a few calling us ultra right-wing wackos for
not talking about it enough. Doh!
Back tomorrow. See you then!
(LATE UPDATE - 8/2/04 - 1:30 PM PDT)
We've just posted Barrie Maxwell's latest
Coming Attractions column. In this edition, Barrie runs down
all the latest classic film DVD announcements. Don't miss it!
Just FYI, we've got another column from Barrie on the way for later
this week, featuring reviews a number of forthcoming and recently
released classic DVDs. We've also got a new Robert Harris column coming
later this week too. And with any luck, Todd's Weekly
Release Roundup will be back on track as well in the next
couple of days.
By the way, we've updated some of the DVD format stats we track today (see
the charts above). We'll have the CEA data updated tomorrow as
(EARLY UPDATE - 8/2/04 -
11:45 AM PDT)
We'll be back with more later, but I wanted to jump in here early with
word on more new DVD announcements, as well as to show you all some new
Let's start with the announcements. As we first reported in
Rumor Mill on 7/12, Warner Bros has revealed that they're
going to be releasing a Gone With the Wind:
65th Anniversary Special Edition on 11/9 (SRP $39.92). The
4-disc set will include some 5 hours of old and new documentaries,
interviews and other bonus features. The film has been restored with
Warner's "Ultra-Resolution" process and the film has been
spread over 2 dual-layered discs. Audio will be available in the
original mono and a new Dolby Digital 5.1 mix as well.
here for more on the release via Variety.
Now then... Columbia TriStar will release the Breaking
All the Rules: Special Edition on 10/12, along with the Betty
Blue: Director's Cut, Radio Flyer,
Wackiest Ship in the Army, Stephen
King Presents Kingdom Hospital and Harold
and the Purple Crayon: The Complete Series.
Buena Vista will release Valentin
on 10/12, I'm Not Scared on 10/19,
and the 3-disc Tiger Woods: The Authorized
DVD Collection on 11/16.
20th Century Fox has announced its next Studio Classics title, Three
Coins in the Fountain, for release on 11/2. Also on that day,
you'll get The Simple Life 2 and
The Simpsons Christmas 2 (which
will include the episodes Homer vs. Dignity,
Skinner's Sense of Snow, Dude
Where's My Ranch? and 'Tis the
Finally, Universal has announced The Last
Ride for 11/2, with Hell's Angels
following on 12/7 and All Night Long
expected on 12/14.
Here's a look at more new cover art. We have Miramax's final art for
the Clerks X: 10th Anniversary Edition
(9/7), Columbia TriStar's Easy Rider: 35th
Anniversary Deluxe Edition (9/28) and Super
Size Me (9/28), and Universal's Northern
Exposure: The Complete Second Season (11/2), Eternal
Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (9/28) and The
Marx Brothers: Silver Screen Collection (11/9)...
Back this afternoon with more. Stay tuned...
I wanted to let you all know that if you're a Hellboy
fan and you're going to be in L.A. tomorrow (Saturday, July 31st),
you're definitely going to want to drop by Golden Apple Comics (7711
Melrose Avenue). From 2 to 4 PM (PDT), director Guillermo del Toro,
stars Ron Pearlman and Doug Jones, Mike Elizalde and the special effects
crew from Spectral Motion, and DVD producer Javier Soto will all be on
hand to sign copies of the 2-disc Hellboy:
Special Edition. It's definitely going to be an event you
don't want to miss.
here for all the details.
Matt and I had the chance to take in a screening of Richard Linklater's
charming Before Sunset last night,
and let me tell you, it's one of the best films I've seen all year.
You've heard me talk about it before, and particularly Linklater's
Sunrise (Sunset is the
follow-up, catching up with Jessie and Celine some ten years later).
It's every bit as satisifying as I'd hoped it would be - as good as the
first film and with one of the truly great endings I've seen in a long
time. Be sure to catch it if you can, but do spin the original first.
You won't be sorry.
Before we go today, I've got some hot-off-the-presses Paramount cover
art that a lot of you have been dying to see. So here's your first look
at Fire in the Sky and Conquest
of Space (both due 10/19). We've also got the cover art for
Full Boost Vertical: The Supercar Story,
a new documentary on the making of the classic Gerry Anderson TV series
that's available now from
See you back here on Monday with columns, news and more. Stay tuned!
Well... we knew it was coming sooner rather than later. Columbia
TriStar will release Michael Moore's controversial Fahrenheit
9/11 on October 5th. The first documentary ever to take in
more than $100 million at the box office will carry an SRP of $28.95. No
word yet on extras.
Anyone else live here in The O.C.
like some of us here at The Bits
do? Well... you'll be thrilled to know that the first season of the hit
Fox series arrives on DVD on October 26th from Warner Bros. The 7-disc
set will include all 26 episodes in anamorphic widescreen video. Extras
will include commentary on the pilot episode, unaired scenes with
introductions by the show's creators, 3 featurettes, an "onscreen
music guide" for 6 episodes and more. Now excuse us while Matt and
I go pick a fight on the beach...
Disney has announced the DVD release of its re-made Around
the World in 80 Days for 11/2 (SRP $29.99). Extras will
include cast & filmmaker commentary, deleted scenes, an alternate
opening, behind-the-scenes featurettes on Jackie Chan's stunts and
production, a music video and more.
Here's the cover art for The O.C.: The
Complete First Season, Paramount's final art for Friday
the 13th: From Crystal Lake to Manhattan - The Ultimate DVD Collection
(due on 10/5) and Universal's Spartacus
We've got official word from Warner Bros. today on the extras to look
for on their Harry Potter and the Prisoner of
Azkaban DVD (due on 11/23 - SRP $29.95). The 2-disc set will
be available in both anamorphic widescreen and full frame versions, each
with audio in Dolby Digital 5.1. Extras on each edition will include an
interview with J.K. Rowling and the filmmakers (Creating
the Vision), 3 interactive games (including Magic
You May Have Missed, Catch
Scabbers and an "unexpected quest with Sir Cadogan"),
iPIX tours of Honeydukes and Professor Lupin's Defense Against the Dark
Arts classroom, interviews with the cast (lead by Johnny Vaughan and the
Shrunken Head), footage of the animal trainers from the movie, a Choir
Practice sing-along, a Hogwarts Portrait Gallery, an in-depth look at
the making of key scenes from the film (Conjuring
a Scene), theatrical trailers of all three Harry
Potter films, an Electronic Arts game preview and more
DVD-ROM extras (including Wizard Trading Cards and a Hogwarts timeline).
Also today, a number of European DVD retail sites (including
this Italian site) have begun to list specs on Warner's
forthcoming Troy DVD. The disc
(still TBA here in the States) will reportedly include audio commentary
with director Wolfgang Petersen, audio commentary with various cast
members, the In the Middle of the Battle
documentary, several Troy's Special Effects
featurettes, a 3-D exploration of the greek gods, trailers and more.
Thanks to Bits reader José
Luis Alva P. for that. We'll let you know when Warner officially
announces the disc. It's due to be released on 10/20 in Italy at least.
We've got another great DVD review for you this afternoon from Dw
Dunphy of our MusicTAP
site... 20th Century Fox's 2-disc
Collector's Edition which hits stores on 8/10. Don't miss it.
Also today, our own Adam Jahnke has checked in with
Bottom Shelf column in which he reviews a trio of great "direct-to-video"
DVD releases... Touchstone's
Springs, New Line's
Game and Fantoma's
Tragedy. All are available now. Enjoy!
We had meant to have a big post up today, but both Todd and I are now
having some virus troubles (Matt's been dealing with them for a week or
two now), so we're doing a little computer maintenance today. We'll be
back with our full post tomorrow, rest assured. We've got at least one
review and several columns to post before the week is out.
I did want to chime in here today with word on a Star
Wars DVD related issue. It seems that a number of clips
and/or screen shots have been leaking around the Internet (particularly
on European websites) purporting to show some of the changes made on the
upcoming DVDs. It should be noted that Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox
have NOT yet issued review copies of these discs to the press. So if
these images ARE the real deal, they can only be coming from stolen or
pirated discs. We are, therefore, choosing not to show them or link to
them or discuss them here, until we believe it's appropriate and proper
to do so. Anyone who does post these are no doubt going to be asked to
remove them anyway. So that's our position on the matter for the time
being. We'll let you know when it changes.
Back tomorrow. Stay tuned...
Afternoon, folks! We've gotten official word from Paramount about all
of their great DVD releases from September and October. Let's start with
9/7 - Murder on
the Orient Express, Whispers in
the Dark, Keen Eddie: The Complete
Series, Eddie Murphy: Raw,
The United States of Leland, The
Sports Pages, Mork & Mindy:
The Complete First Season, Star
Trek: Generations - Special Collector's Edition, The
Creation of the Universe
9/14 - Survivor:
All-Stars, Bug, I
Married a Monster from Outer Space, Orca:
The Killer Whale, Body Parts,
G.I. Joe: Valor vs. Venom, 7th
Heaven: The Complete First Season
9/21 - The Rose
Tattoo, The Country Girl,
Mean Girls: Special Collector's Edition
9/28 - Star
Trek: Voyager - The Complete Fourth Season, Crank
Yankers: Season 1 Uncensored, Strangers
with Candy: Season 3, Tonka: Tough
Truck Adventures - The Biggest Show on Wheels, Ken
Burns' America Collection: Empire of the Air, Ken
Burns' America Collection: Huey Long, Ken
Burns' America Collection: Thomas Heart Benton, Ken
Burns' America Collection Gift Set (7 discs), Blue's
Clues: Bluestock, Footloose:
Special Collector's Edition
Now here's a look at some of what's coming in October (final street
The Stepford Wives (2004), Deep
Impact: Special Collector's Edition, The
Untouchables: Special Collector's Edition, Friday
the 13th: From Crystal Lake to Manhattan - Ultimate Edition DVD
Collection, The Jamie Kennedy
Experiment: The Complete Second Season, Taxi:
The Complete First Season, All I
Want for Christmas, Black Beauty,
Bebe's Kids, Conquest
of Space, D.A.R.Y.L.,
in the Sky, The Thing Called Love,
Jimmy Hollywood, Brain
Doners, The Nutty Professor:
Special Collector's Edition, Cinderfella,
The Bellboy, The
Disorderly Orderly, The Delicate
Delinquent, The Errand Boy,
The Family Jewels, The
Ladies Man, The Patsy,
The Stooge, Love
Me if You Dare, Fairly Oddparents:
Channels Chasers, SpongeBob
SquarePants: The Complete Second Season, Dora
the Explorer: Dora's Fairytale Adventure, Dora
the Explorer: Dora's Christmas, Dora
the Explorer: Dora's Ultimate Adventure DVD Collection, Blue's
Clues: ABC's 123's and More DVD Collection, Max
& Ruby: Max & Ruby's Christmas, The
Amanda Show: Amanda Please - Volume 1, The
Amanda Show: Girl's Room - Volume 2, C.S.I.:
The Complete Fourth Season, Ren &
Stimpy: The Complete First & Second Season, Transformers:
Energon - Battle for Energon, Transformers:
Energon - Return of Megatron, Secret
Central: Have You Heard?, MTV
Punk'd: The Complete Second Season, MTV's
Viva la Bam: The Complete First Season, Wildboyz:
The Complete First Season, Peanuts:
I Want a Dog for Christmas, In the
Footsteps of Alexander the Great, RFK,
The Fight, Broadway:
The American Musical, Cyberchase:
Starlight Night, Boohbah: Snowman
In case your eyes went into overload at that list, let me point out the
gem you might have missed: Ren & Stimpy:
The Complete First & Second Season. Nice. By the way,
Amazon has street dates for a lot of these titles, but until we get the
final dates from Paramount consider them tentative.
Now then, after announcing that Warner will release Harry
Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on DVD on 11/23, we also
learned that the studio will release a 3-pack of the widescreen versions
all three of the movies on DVD on the same day (SRP $59.92) for those
few of you who don't have them yet. We'll post art as soon as it's
Universal has announced The Gatekeeper
for 10/12, Spartacus: The Miniseries
for 10/26, and Northern Exposure: The
Complete Second Season and Traffic:
The Miniseries for 11/2. Also, be aware of a few street date
changes - Van Helsing will now
arrive on 10/19, Eternal Sunshine of the
Spotless Mind is now set for 9/28, and Dawn
of the Dead is now due on 10/26.
Columbia TriStar has announced the DVD release of Cameron's
Closet for 10/5, along with Dawson's
Creek: The Complete Fourth Season and What's
Happening: The Complete Second Season.
Finally, MGM has announced that it will release Saved!
and Unspeakable on 10/5.
Back tomorrow with new columns. Stay tuned...
(LATE UPDATE - 7/26/04 - 10
We've learned that Warner Bros. will release Harry
Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on DVD on 11/23. The
2-disc DVD will be available in separate full frame and anamorphic
widescreen versions (SRP $29.95), each with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.
Extras will include interviews with the cast, crew and creator J.K.
Rowling, deleted scenes, interactive games and more. A similar report is
Video Store (although no additional details are included).
(LATE UPDATE - 7/26/04 -
10 AM PDT)
With all the news and hype we were sifting through while at Comic-Con
last week, we were stunned to learn of
death of legendary Hollywood film composer Jerry Goldsmith on
Wednesday. It would be hard to imagine the Star
Trek films without Goldsmith's music, or Ridley Scott's Alien
sans his hauntingly spare contribution. All you have to do is take a
look at his
list of credits on IMDB, and you'll know just how big a loss this
is for film fans. He will truly be missed, and our hats off to him.
In other news today,
has posted an interesting story by its Nick Nunziata on how DVD
fanaticism has gone mainstream.
reports that the HD-DVD group is FINALLY coming out swinging in
its war with Blu-ray Disc to win the hearts and minds of consumers.
Toshiba and NEC Corp announced today that they plan to start launching
HD-DVD compatible products next year. Toshiba reportedly has plans to
debut a home player and maybe a recorder, while NEC plans an HD-DVD-ROM
drive for use with computers. This would be the first major push by the
HD-DVD camp - recently the news has been all Blu-ray Disc (for example
recent announcement that it will build the first Blu-ray Disc
production lines in the U.S. this fall so that the Hollywood studios can
offer their input in the manufacturing process).
That's not all.
has just announced that its forthcoming, next-generation operating
system (code-named "Longhorn") will be HD-DVD compatible. That
of course is no surprise, but it's another shot in the arm for HD-DVD.
Todd and I have been watching the news, hearing inside opinions from
the industry and generally debating the whole format war subject for a
while now. We're betting that a major factor (if not THE major factor)
in deciding the winner is going to be which studio gets their hands on
the MGM library (Warner which supports HD-DVD, or Sony which is backing
Blu-ray Disc). We'll have to see in the next few weeks which bidder
walks away with that prize.
(EARLY UPDATE - 7/26/04 -
12:01 AM PDT)
Morning everyone! Well, we're back from Comic-Con and another
successful DVD Producers panel. But first, I assume you've all heard the
BIG news to come out of the weekend...
Yes... Todd and I were on hand on Saturday afternoon as Lucasfilm's
Steve Sansweet revealed the name of the final installment in George
Lucas' Star Wars saga... Revenge
of the Sith. Ever wonder what it sounds like when 6,000 fans
blow the roof off a convention center with their enthusiasm? Well, we
don't anymore, that's for sure. The weekend's biggest event included
special guests like producer Rick McCallum, and actors Hayden
Christensen and Carrie Fisher, much to the delight of fans.
The event also produced some new DVD information that Star
Wars fans are sure to be happy about, like the fact that 20th
Century Fox is going to be releasing the animated Droids
and Ewoks TV series on DVD, as
well as both Ewok live-action TV movies (The
Ewok Adventure and Ewoks: The
Battle for Endor), in November and December (the exact street
dates are still TBA). In addition, it was revealed that the first 20
chapters of Cartoon Network's animated Star
Wars: Clone Wars shorts will arrive on DVD around next spring
(sometime around Easter 2005). Unfortunately, little more was revealed
about the original trilogy DVDs, although several clips from the
documentary and featurettes on the set's bonus disc were shown.
Todd and I were also on hand this weekend as New Line finally revealed
more details about the forthcoming The Lord
of the Rings: The Return of the King - Special Extended DVD Edition
(currently set to street in December - date TBA). The set will feature
more than 50 additional minutes of footage, including some 300
additional effect shots. Among the new scenes we were able to preview
this weekend were: the final confrontation between Gandalf and Sarumon
at Isengard, the "mouth" of Sauron at the Black Gate, Aragorn
revealing the sword Anduril to Sauron's eye in the Seeing-stone, the
confrontation between the Witch King and Gandalf at Minas Tirith, more
battle footage on the Pelennor fields, Frodo and Sam marching with
Sauron's forces disguised as Orcs, Faramir telling Denethor that he
would never use the power of the Ring, Aragorn looking down upon a fleet
of Corsair ships from a ridgetop, Faramir and Éowyn at the House
of Healing, Merry pledging allegiance to King Theoden at Gondor,
Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli narrowly escaping an avalanche of skulls deep
inside the Dwimorberg and MUCH more. From what we've seen, this final
extended cut promises to be every bit as good as the previous two. We
also learned that the set will feature more than 20 hours of
That's not all. In addition to the 4 disc set, there will also be
another special collector's gift set, that will include the 4-disc Extended
Edition along with a bonus DVD - Howard
Shore: Creating the Lord of the Rings Symphony - A Composer's Journey
Through Middle-earth - and a miniature Sideshow/Weta statue
of Minas Tirith, which doubles as a trinket box. Todd took some photos
of the DVD packaging, so we'll get those posted as soon as we can.
I should tell you that our DVD Producers
2004 panel was a blast. Many hundreds of people turned out
for the event, so thanks to all of you who attended. Todd and I
moderated, and we were joined by producers Charles de Lauzirika, Javier
Soto, Robert Meyer Burnett and Susie Lee for a lively and entertaining
discussion. Soto gave the audience a sneak peek at the Hellboy
DVD (set to street tomorrow), and there was lots of Q&A with the
crowd. We recorded the event with a small tape recorder - if the quality
is good enough, we're going to see if we can get a transcript posted in
the days ahead. We'll let you know if and when that comes together. In
the meantime, our friend Jessica Wolf has posted
article about the panel over at Video Store magazine
(thanks Jessica!). We've got a group shot of all the panel participants
too, so we'll post that later as well.
Back with more later. Stay tuned...
We've got some interesting news today on upcoming DVDs thanks to
Video Store magazine. The latest
issue is reporting that DreamWorks' Anchorman:
The Legend of Ron Burgundy may arrive on DVD (later this year
or early next) in two versions. Director Adam McKay believes there will
be a single-disc movie only release, followed by a 2-disc special
edition. Reportedly, the original cut of the film was over 4 hours long,
so McKay is using the extra footage to make an entire second film, set
to be called Wake Up, Ron Burgundy,
that will clock in at an hour and forty minutes. Look for that to be
included on the more elaborate edition.
In addition, Video Store is
reporting that director Antoine Fuqua is cutting a harder-edged, R-rated
version of his King Arthur for
DVD, likely to be released by Buena Vista simultaneous to the PG-13
theatrical edition. The R-rated cut will include more graphic battle
footage, and also explores the historical inspirations for the Arthurian
Finally, Video Store is reporting
that The Punisher director
Jonathan Hensleigh was preparing supplemental materials for the film's
eventual DVD release even before it was released in theaters. This
includes an in-depth audio commentary track, that the director scripted
before recording so as to include the maximum amount of information
about the making of the film. The Punisher
arrives on DVD on 9/7 from Lions Gate.
Around the site today, we're pleased to bring you Todd Doogan's
Release Roundup. In it, Todd examines the best of the titles
newly available in stores this week, and reviews 10 of them. Sorry it's
a couple of days late, but Comic-Con preparations have kept us pretty
busy as you can imagine! Even as I write this, Doogan's on a westbound
plane. Not enough hours in the day...
Also this morning, we're pleased to bring to a DVD review from Dw.
Dunphy, who usually writes for our MusicTAP
site. Dunphy brings you his thoughts on MGM's
Manchurian Candidate: Special Edition, which is in stores now.
Finally, we've kicked off a trio of new
today, giving each of you a chance to win copies of Shout! Factory's
International Rescue Edition 2-pack and Universal's
Identity: Explosive Extended Edition. All the contests will
run until Noon PDT on Saturday, July 31st. Good luck!
That's all for this week. There won't be a post tomorrow, as Todd and I
will be knee-deep in all the festivities at Comic-Con. But we'll be back
on Monday with a full report, and to bring you all the latest DVD
We'll see some of you later today in San Diego, and we'll catch up with
the rest of you on Monday.
Well, we finally know why Warner's La Femme
Nikita: The Complete Second Season was delayed. According to
Store, there was a last minute music clearance issue. Despite
the studio mandated delay, copies of the disc were still available on
store shelves today at Best Buy and other retailers. Many readers
reported to us yesterday that they had no trouble getting their hands on
the set with a little effort. In any case, look for the discs to be
returned to stock rooms as the word trickles around. We'll let you know
when the studio announces a new release date.
In other news this morning,
Business is reporting that Anchor Bay is in talks with Fox
about forming a distribution partnership for its titles. Fox already
handles physical distribution for Lions Gate.
Now then... around the site today, we've got a BIG
Mill update that you fans of Shrek
2, Spider-Man 2, The
Matrix, Blade Runner,
Seinfeld and White
Chicks are definitely not going to want to miss. So, you
know... don't miss it.
We've got still more new upcoming DVD cover art for you to check out
today. Here's Fox's Lost in Space: Season
Two, Volume One (9/14), Roswell:
The Complete Second Season (10/5), In
Living Color: Season Two (9/28) and Arrested
Development: Season One (10/19), along with Buena Vista's
Jersey Girl (9/7) and Warner's
Wacky Races: The Complete Series
By the way, we inadvertently gave the wrong street date in yesterday's
post for That 70s Show: The Complete First
Season. It should be 10/26 (we had listed it as 11/26). We've
corrected the post. Thanks to Bits
reader Michael B. for catching that.
We also wanted to mention briefly that Matt over at our
MusicTAP site is having
a real bear of a time dealing with a virus problem on his computer. So
if updates over there are a little sparse for the next few days, you'll
know why. Rest assured, Matt's crew is working on lots on content to
post when he's back up to speed. I know he appreciates your patience.
Back with Todd's column later. Stay tuned...