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page updated: 10/27/04



My Two Cents
(Archived Posts 10/15/04 - 9/24/04)


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10/15/04

Morning everyone! We've got some new information on a few DVDs you sci-fi fans are going to appreciate today.

First up, our friends over at TVShowsonDVD.com have confirmed our information that Paramount does indeed plan to release all four seasons of Star Trek: Enterprise on DVD next year. They've sniffed out the tentative release schedule for the series, which currently calls for Season One in May, Season Two in mid Summer (around July), Season Three in early Fall and the just underway Season Four right before Thanksgiving.

Next up, we've got word on the extras to look forward to on Universal's Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries (12/28). As we mentioned yesterday, the DVD will feature the mini in anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. You'll also get audio commentary with director Michael Rymer and executive producers David Eick and Ron Moore, deleted scenes and the Battlestar Galactica: The Lowdown featurette.

In other news today, we've got details on the extras to look for on Fox's 6-disc Millennium: The Complete Second Season (1/4 - SRP $59.98). The episodes will be presented in full frame with Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround audio. Bonus material will include audio commentary on The Hand of Saint Sebastian by Tom Wright, audio commentary on The Mikado by Michael R. Perry and a pair of documentaries - The Turn of the Tide: Making of Season 2 (33 mins) and Academy Group: Victimology (24 mins).

This falls in the category of rumor, but we're hearing that work has already begun on an eventual DVD release (due in early 2005) of the upcoming Farscape: Peacekeeper Wars miniseries. Look for that to be released by Lions Gate.

For you animation fans today, look for The Brak Show: Volume One on 2/1/05 (SRP $29.98) from Warner. The 2-disc set will include full frame video, audio commentary, Easter eggs, episodic recaps and extended takes.

Warner has also announced the release of Westender, We Don't Live Here Anymore and Blessed for 12/14, with Coronado following on 12/28.

HBO will release the Emmy Award-winning Something the Lord Made on 1/25 (SRP $26.98).

Artisan/Lions Gate will release the Rambo: Ultimate Collection 3-disc box set (including First Blood, Rambo: First Blood Part II and Rambo III) on 11/23 (SRP $44.98). The films will also be available individually for $19.98 each. The DVDs will include all-new extras, including audio commentary with Sylvester Stallone, deleted scenes (including the never-before-seen "suicide" alternate ending to First Blood), enhanced/interactive "Meta" modes for viewing the films (allowing you access to additional content while watching the films), a playable Full Spectrum Warrior Xbox game demo and Portable Media Center versions of the films.

MGM will release The Ranch in R-rated and Unrated editions on 11/23 (SRP $25.98).

And here's a bit of news that makes me personally very happy... Wellspring is releasing a Breaker Morant: The Masterworks Edition on 11/23 (SRP $34.98 - note that Amazon has the date listed wrong). The DVD will include newly-remastered anamorphic widescreen video (1.85:1) from a new HD transfer, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, an interview with actor Edward Woodward, audio commentary by director Bruce Beresford, the original theatrical trailer, a character breakdown, a director biography and filmographies.

Here's cover art for Millennium: The Complete Second Season, the Rambo: Ultimate Collection and Breaker Morant: The Masterworks Edition...

Millennium: The Complete Second SeasonRambo: Ultimate CollectionBreaker Morant: The Masterworks Edition

Finally today, we missed this when the news first broke a couple of weeks ago (how I don't know, but it slipped by us nonetheless). We'd like to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of Psycho star Janet Leigh. She was 77.

See you back here on Monday with a new column from Adam Jahnke. Have a great weekend!

10/14/04

Well... how do you like this. I got called up for jury duty today. Doh! Naturally, being one of those big pro-civic responsibility types, I'm going in like a good citizen. Deferments are for wimps!

There's not much news today anyway, but we do have word that the Writers Guild just reached a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on the issue of DVD residuals (although the Screen Actors Guild is still sticking to its guns).

Image Entertainment expects to post a nice boost in earnings for its second fiscal quarter - very good news for the independent retailer given the tough market. Well done, guys.

In terms of DVD news, we have word that DreamWorks' Collateral (due 12/14) will feature an in-depth documentary, City of Night: The Making of Collateral, which will cover Tom Cruise's weapons training, Jamie Foxx's stunt driving practice and director Michael Mann's private exchanges with the cast and crew. There's also gag feature called Special Delivery, which is video of Cruise in a Fed-Ex uniform delivering a package in L.A. on hidden camera. Video for the release will be anamorphic widescreen and audio will be available in both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1.

On the Universal front, you Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries fans will be pleased to know that the DVD release (12/28) will feature anamorphic widescreen video and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

Let's see... some other news. Anyone have a crush on Kristy McNichol back in the 1970s? Me too (you better believe I never missed an episode of Apple's Way as a kid)! Well then, you'll be pleased to hear that Anchor Bay's finally going to be releasing The Pirate Movie on DVD in mid-2005. Also on the way in 2005 from our friends at The Bay are Return to the Batcave (Holy smokes, Batman!), George Romero's Season of the Witch, Turk 182, Dario Argento's uncut version of Trauma, Rob Lowe in The Specials, Peter Fonda in Race with the Devil, a new special edition of Free Enterprise, Alex Winter's Freaked, Peter Yates' Eyewitness and much more. Click here for all the details.

Now if we could just get The Double McGuffin, Hangar 18, The Last Chase (Lee Majors, Burgess Meredith), Under the Rainbow (Chevy Chase and Carrie Fisher, man!), Robinson Crusoe on Mars, The Man Who Saw Tomorrow, Damnation Alley, Sasquatch, the Legend of Bigfoot, Up the Academy and The Incredible Shrinking Woman on DVD, we'd really have something. And why the hell isn't someone doing an anamorphic special edition reissue of Capricorn One? I mean, come on! If not for us, how 'bout for all those kooks out there who believe we never landed on the moon! And since TV on DVD is all the rage these days, how about box sets of Quark, Salvage 1, Supertrain, Space Academy, Jason of Star Command, Ark II and the Logan's Run TV series? You can't tell me any of those would take more than a couple of discs each. How about Clutch Cargo remastered on DVD? What about the COMPLETE Davey and Golaith? How about The Banana Splits Adventure Hour? How about Lancelot Link/Secret Chimp for crying out loud? Image? Anchor Bay? VCI? Bueller? Bueller? Anybody?

Who says there aren't classics yet to be mined on this format? Get busy DVD producers! There's plenty of work yet to be done.

Yeah... it REALLY is a slow news day. ;-)

By the way, we've heard Paramount's finally looking into Robinson Crusoe on Mars at least, so cross your fingers.

Stay tuned...

10/13/04

As promised, we're very pleased to bring you Robert Harris' latest Yellow Layer Failure column. In this edition, Robert discusses American Pantheon filmmakers, the latest Fox Studio Classics titles, new titles from Miramax and Disney, the two aspect ratios of The Country Girl, new film noir titles from Warner, Lord Jim in 70mm, David Mamet, new Michael Moore on DVD and the Ken Burns America collection from Paramount. Don't miss it!

We've got lots of new announcements to cover today, so here goes... Columbia TriStar has announced Anacondas: The Hunt For the Blood Orchid (SLP $26.96), an Anaconda/Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid 2-pack (SLP $37.95), Pursued and Stander (both SLP $24.96) for release on 12/21.

Columbia TriStar is also re-releasing Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights: Special Edition in special "holiday" packaging on 12/21 (SRP $19.94).

Buena Vista has announced the contents of The Lost Disc on the Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curese of the Black Pearl 3-disc gift set (due on 11/2 - SRP $29.99). Look for 8 new featurettes (including Becoming Captain Jack, Becoming Barbarossa, Thar She Blows!, The Monkey's Name Is Jack, Pirates Around the World, Fly On the Set, Spirit of the Ride and Sneak Attack Animatic).

MGM has announced more of their December and January DVD slates. Look for Kitchen Stories and This So-Called Disaster (both 12/14), De-Lovely: Special Edition (12/21), Wicker Park and Code 46 (both 12/28), King (2-discs - 1/11/05), Fall, Nobody's Fool, Something Short of Paradise, Until September, Jeremy, Paperback Romance, The Boyfriend School, Anna Lucasta and a One More Time/Salt & Pepper 2-pack (all 1/25/05).

And Warner has an impressive slate of newly announced titles. Look for Everyday People (16x9, DD 5.1, audio commentary with director Jim McKay and executive producer Nelson George, The Process featurette - SRP $26.98), Ice Station Zebra (16x9, DD 5.1 - SRP $19.97), Ivanhoe (full frame, DD 1.0 - SRP $19.97), King Solomon's Mines (1950 - full frame, DD 1.0 - SRP $19.97), The Letter (1940 - full frame, DD 1.0 - SRP $19.97) and Random Harvest (full frame, DD 1.0 - SRP $19.97) all on 1/11/05. The studio will release Zolar: The Extreme Sports Movie on 1/11/05 as well (16x9, DD 5.1 - SRP $14.96). Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Third Season will follow on 1/18 (2-discs, 4x3, DD 2.0, video of U.S. Comedy Arts Festival panel with the cast and crew, episodic previews - SRP $39.98). On 1/25, watch for Coupling: The Complete Fourth Season (2-discs - SRP $24.98), Men Behaving Badly: The Complete Series 1, Men Behaving Badly: The Complete Series 2 (SRP $19.98 each) and a Men Behaving Badly: The Complete Series 1 and 2 2-pack (SRP $39.96). Finally, look for the 2-disc Sealab 2021: Season Two on 2/1/05 (SRP $29.98).

Finally, we have some new cover art for you. Here's Warner's Sealab 2020: Season Two, Ice Station Zebra and Ivanhoe, New Line's The Notebook: Platinum Series (2/8/05) and Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (1/4/05), and MGM's De-Lovely: Special Edition...

Sealab 2020: Season TwoIce Station ZebraIvanhoe

The Notebook: Platinum SeriesHarold and Kumar Go to White CastleDe-Lovely: Special Edition

See you tomorrow! Stay tuned...

10/12/04

Okay... we've nearly got our server issues resolved. Seems like once a year or so, we end up moving the website for whatever reason, and then there's always about a 30-day settling in period. So thanks to everyone for your patience.

We WILL be back with Robert Harris' new column tomorrow, and we have a new one from Adam Jahnke on the way this week as well.

In the meantime, we've got some very cool news that you Alien vs. Predator fans are going to like in The Rumor Mill today. Be sure to check that out.

Also, we've got a little bit of new cover art for you today. Here's temp art for Universal's Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries (12/28), Miramax's The Buried Secret of M. Night Shyamalan (1/11/05) and Criterion's Fanny & Alexander 5-disc box set (11/16)...

Battlestar Galactica: The MiniseriesThe Buried Secret of M. Night ShyamalanFanny & Alexander (Criterion)

Around the Net, our friends over at the always excellent TVShowsonDVD.com have posted word that Warner expects to start releasing Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman on DVD next year. There's also word of a forthcoming Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids DVD release. Don't miss it.

And finally, we've kicked off two new Contests today, giving each of you the chance to win copies of Warner's Gothika: Special Edition and That's Entertainment box set! The contest will run until Noon PDT on Sunday, October 17th. Good luck!

Stay tuned...

10/11/04

I'm afraid we have some very sad news to report today. Actor Christopher Reeve has passed away of heart failure at his home in New York. He was 52. Though he was confined to a wheelchair in recent years after a riding accident left him paralyzed, Reeve will forever be remembered as the one and only Man of Steel. It's almost impossible to measure the impact Superman had on a generation of young moviegoers, myself included. Perhaps it's best to simply link to my review of the film on DVD, and recommend that you give it a spin (along with Somewhere in Time). I'd like to post something more fitting, but I'm sure I speak for a lot of you out there today when I say that... well, it's just hard to find the words right now.

I should also take a moment to acknowledge the passing (last week) of another actor and comedian much loved by film fans, Rodney Dangerfield, who appeared in such classics as Caddyshack and Back to School. He'll get nothing but respect from us, that's for sure. He was 82.

Well... as you might have noticed, we've been having a little bit of server troubles around The Bits this weekend. The site's been very slow and we're getting reports of graphics loading wrong. That's to be expected I suppose with a new server. We're having some adjustments made, so hopefully things will be back to normal in the next 24 hours or so. As a result, we'll save Robert Harris' column for tomorrow, when hopefully you'll all actually be able to view the site correctly and read it.

In the meantime, we're going to keep the update light today. But we do have some DVD release news. We've gotten word from Paramount that the studio expects to release Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow on DVD on 1/25/05. Also coming in January from Paramount is Without a Paddle on 1/11. No details yet on specs, but we'll have them for you as soon as they're available.

Also, just to let you know, we've updated all the DVD player and software stats we track here at The Bits (see the list above), including the CEA DVD Player Sales chart.

Our MusicTAP crew has turned in reviews of four new music DVD titles: Abkco's The Rolling Stones: Rock & Roll Circus, Warner's Wattstax: Special Edition, Universal Music's Abba: In Concert and Epic's Los Lonely Boys: Texican Style - Live in Austin. Be sure to check those out.

Finally, we've got a couple of pieces of new cover art for you. Here's a look at 20th Century Fox's The Simpsons: The Complete Fifth Season (12/21) and Criterion's M and King of Kings (both 12/7)...

The Simpsons: The Complete Fifth SeasonM (Criterion)King of Kings (Criterion)

Back tomorrow. Stay tuned...

10/8/04

Afternoon, folks! First up, thanks for all the kind words yesterday. Much appreciated.

We've got something for you today that I know many of you really look forward to... our latest Upcoming DVD Cover Art update. And thanks (as always) to the hard work of our in-house art guru, Russell Hammond, this is our biggest update ever. Over 300 new cover scans have been added in one fell swoop. There's tons of great art for you to check out, some of which you most certainly haven't seen before, so enjoy!

There's also one interesting bit of news today. According to the Hollywood Reporter (as reported by the CBC), filmmaker Michael Moore has set a new record for documentary success on home video. Love it or hate it, his Fahrenheit 9/11 sold roughly two million units (on VHS and DVD combined) in its first day of release. We don't have DVD numbers broken out yet, but those are certainly big numbers. Combined unit sales are expected to top three million by the end of the week.

One last note today - tonight is the season premiere of Star Trek: Enterprise on UPN. I envy those of you who get to watch this in high-definition. UPN 13 here in L.A. hasn't joined the 21st Century yet unfortunately. But tonight's episode, Storm Front, Part 1 starts to wrap up last season's Xindi plotline (it's a decent ep - I've seen it). The Xindi arc will conclude next week in Storm Front, Part 2, and then I predict this show will start really getting interesting (so stick with it). The third episode of the season will take us to Vulcan, then we'll get a 3-episode arc about the Eugenics Wars (you remember - that's where Khan came from in the classic episode Space Seed) co-starring Brent Spinner and featuring the return of the Orions from The Original Series. Following that, there's a 3-episode Vulcan Civil War arc planned that will set our favorite purveyors of logic back on the straight and narrow path, a single-ep story about the guy who invented the transporter, and then a 3-episode arc that has those damn Andorians up to no good (with the Tellerites along for good measure). All this will lead up to the beginnings of the Federation later in the season. New show runner Manny Coto is really working hard to make this season a Trek fan's dream, so be sure to tune in and see for yourself. I think you'll enjoy it.

Okay... that's it for another week. Everybody have a great weekend. We'll be back on Monday with updated stats and a new column from Robert Harris. See you then!

10/7/04

Today's update is going to be brief. It's my birthday and I could used a day off, you know?

Anyway, I'm not going to leave you completely empty handed today. I know how much you've all been looking forward to this title, so I can't disappear for a day without letting you know that Warner's announced Catwoman for release on 1/18/05 (SRP $27.95). You'll get anamorphic widescreen video. You'll get Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. You'll get deleted scenes and alternate endings. And you'll get The Many Faces of Catwoman documentary and an HBO First Look. And of course, you'll get the movie... which may or may not be a good thing (I'll let you decide).

Here's better news - Fox has announced the DVD release of The Simpsons: The Complete Fifth Season for 12/21 (SRP $49.98). Extras are way too numerous to list at the moment, but expect audio commentaries (featuring the likes of Matt Groening, Al Jean, Hank Azaria, Jon Lovitz, Jeff Martin, Mark Kirkland, Jon Vitti, David Mirkin, James L. Brookes, Conan O'Brien, Jim Reardon, David Silverman, Greg Daniels, Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein), animation showcases, animatics, TV commercials, deleted scenes and much more.

How can I leave you without a little artwork? Here's Fox's I, Robot (12/14) and M*A*S*H: Season Seven (11/9) and of course, Warner's aforementioned Catwoman. Meow...

I, RobotM*A*S*H: Season SevenCatwoman

I'll be back tomorrow with a major Upcoming DVD Cover Art update and more, so stay tuned!

10/6/04

There's been a lot of speculation over the last few days about 20th Century Fox's recent announcement that it's joining the Blu-ray Disc Association in an advisory capacity (here's a story on the official launch of the Association, listing the companies that have so far joined). We mentioned this the other day, and commented on it then, but it seems a LOT of people missed it. We want to make it COMPLETELY clear that Fox says this is NOT an official endorsement of the format. This does NOT mean that Fox is going to start releasing its films exclusively in Blu-ray Disc when the format launches late next year. The studio simply (and understandably) wants to have a say in how these next-generation videodisc formats develop, so that when they do finally come to market, the Hollywood studios' opinions and considerations are taken into account as much as the electronics manufacturers' have been (the latter having been almost the sole driving force behind the development of Blu-ray Disc up to now). Keep in mind, Fox is already a longtime member of the DVD Forum, which is responsible for the development of HD-DVD. Fox has been actively working with the HD-DVD people as well. This is simply a studio wisely hedging its bets. As I said the other day however, the news services immediately blew this story out of proportion by claiming that Fox has now officially adopted the Blu-ray Disc format. Not so.

One other thing to note: There's been a rumor going around these last couple days that Paramount was about to follow Fox's lead in joining the Blu-ray Disc Association. According to studio representatives I've spoken with, this is not true. It's just a rumor.

I've said before on this site that I think it's very important that only a single, unified high-definition disc format be presented to consumers as an ultimate replacement to standard DVD. Right now, unfortunately, two competing formats are almost inevitably going to be launched. We don't think this, we KNOW it to be true - that's a mistake of massive proportions. Unfortunately the electronics manufacturers simply aren't listening to reason. Personally, I've been more impressed with the Blu-ray Disc technology (I'm still waiting for the HD-DVD people to show me that they have their act together as much as the Blu-ray people do - or show me ANYTHING for that matter). Ultimately, I don't really care which format wins... just that the BEST FORMAT FOR CONSUMERS wins (keep in mind that the manufacturers all say that players of both formats are going to be backwards compatible with existing DVD software). I'll tell you this - if the two groups don't start working together, or if one of these competing formats doesn't win and win quickly, the market for high-definition movies on disc is going to collapse and languish for years. How do I know? Here's how... high-resolution audio discs have been available for almost 4 years now. They represent a massive quality improvement over existing music CDs. Despite this, how many of you have upgraded to either DVD-Audio or SACD? Not too many. Why? Because there are two competing formats.

Mark my words... unless sanity prevails, high-resolution movie discs will fall into the very same abyss. If that happens, you just watch how fast the broadband/Video-On-Demand folks take advantage of the situation.

Stay tuned...

(LATE UPDATE - 10/5/04 - 1:30 PM PDT)

Afternoon, folks! I wanted to check in here this afternoon with a couple of quick things.

First of all, MGM has just announced the DVD release of De-Lovely for 12/21 (SRP $26.98). The disc will include audio commentary with director Irwin Winkler and Kevin Kline, a second commentary with Winkler and writer Jay Cocks, the Making of De-Lovely and Music of De-Lovely featurettes, 2 Anatomy of a Scene featurettes, deleted scenes, and a never-before-seen alternate ending.

Coming on 12/14 from MGM are Kitchen Stories and This So-Called Disaster (SRP $29.98 each).

On 12/28, look for the studio to release Wicker Park (SRP $26.98), featuring audio commentary, bloopers/outtakes, deleted scenes, music videos, the theatrical trailer and a photo gallery. Also on 12/28, look for Code 46 (SRP $26.98), with new interviews of Tim Robbins, Samantha Morton and director Michael Winterbottom, the Making of Code 46 featurette and deleted scenes.

Finally today, we've kicked off a new Contest, this one giving you the chance to win copies of Warner's 2-disc Shawshank Redemption DVD. Entries will be accepted until Noon PDT on Sunday October 10th. Good luck!

Stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 10/5/04 - 12:01 AM PDT)

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending a special screening at Paramount of the first Star Trek episode ever to be shot in high-definition video. The screening (which was attended by Star Trek: Enterprise's producers, much of the production staff and nearly the entire cast) was billed as a sort of kick-off celebration in honor of the new season, and the show's recent move to fully-digital production.

The first thing I can tell you is that the high-definition footage looks absolutely amazing. For the new season, Enterprise is shooting with Sony's HDW-F900 digital camcorder, on HDCAM videotape and using Sony's CineAlta 24P processing instead of the usual 35mm film and photochemical processing (note that this is the exact same camera system recently used to film Paramount's Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow). The resulting picture quality is absolutely outstanding. When you watch the episode (Storm Front, Part 1, which debuts this Friday night on UPN stations around the country) note that the "Previously on Enterprise" recap at the start is almost entirely shot-on-film material from last season. The rest of the episode, however, is all HD originated material. You simply can't tell the difference. Keep in mind, we were watching the episode on a full-sized theater screen via a 2K DLP digital projection system. Anyone concerned that the quality of this series might suffer for the switch to HD video needn't worry. Enterprise is going to look better than it ever has this season (now if only UPN 13 here in L.A. would get off their asses and start broadcasting in HD, we'd really have something).

In a Q&A session following the screening, director of photography Marvin Rush noted that not only is the quality as good (for TV production) as 35mm film, it's actually better in some respects. There are a number of very dark, night scenes in the episode, and yet you never miss out on shadow detail. There's even one scene that's lit entirely with two flashlights held by the actors... and you still don't want for image detail. Rush and the episode's director, Allan Kroeker, also noted that being able to see the final shot on HD monitors on set, without having to wait for film dailies, means that if something's not working with a shot, it can be fixed immediately to everyone's satisfaction. That translates not only to production time and money saved, but also to extra time for experimentation and more camera set-ups completed per day.

On the DVD front, as we expected this week there was good news. It wasn't quite the typical studio announcement, but in the Q&A, series co-creator and executive producer Brannon Braga confirmed that Enterprise is indeed coming to DVD in 2005 as we've been saying. When I asked for additional information about the DVD release, Braga said he thought the current plan was for the episodes to begin arriving in May of next year. He and new (for season four) executive producer Manny Coto also noted that the first round of interviews for the DVD extras have already been completed. Coto joked that his personal home movies would appear as an Easter egg (it was, of course, just a joke... but Manny, we're game if you are).

I also spoke briefly with actors Scott Bakula (Captain Archer) and Connor Trinneer (Commander Tucker) at a reception following the event. Bakula told me that he'd just finished participating in the initial round of interviews for the DVDs. Trinneer hadn't yet been involved with the DVD production, but said that he expected to participate at some point in the near future.

You can bet we'll keep you up to date on all the Star Trek: Enterprise DVD news in the weeks and months ahead. A quick reminder to you Paramount Home Video folks: Repeat after me... deleted scenes, audio commentaries and outtakes. Since this series is currently in production, fan expectation for these DVDs is a lot higher. Do keep that in mind, will you? The usual featurettes, trailers and photo gallery isn't going to cut it this time.

By the way, in case you were wondering about Storm Front, Part 1... it's a fun way to kick off what promises to be the best season of Trek in many years (and if that promise is met, you can thank Coto for that). The episode is a nice change of pace from last season's Xindi arc, and by the time it's done, the resolution of the Xindi arc and the show's long-standing Temporal Cold War storyline is well underway. Fans should really enjoy it. And, like I said... the episode damn sure looks great. If your local UPN affiliate broadcasts Enterprise in HD, definitely be sure to watch it that way.

That's all for now. Stay tuned...

(LATE UPDATE - 10/4/04 - 9:30 AM PDT)

We're very pleased this morning to bring you Barrie Maxwell's latest Classic Coming Attractions column. In this edition, Barrie reviews some 22 Westerns including Zorro Rides Again, Zorro's Black Whip/The Bold Caballero, Duel in the Sun, Angel and the Badman, Blazing Across the Pecos, The Man from Colorado, Cow Town, Sons of New Mexico, Indian Territory, Texans Never Cry, Whirlwind, Hangman's Knot, Have Gun - Will Travel: The Complete First Season, They Came to Cordura, Shalako, Guns of the Magnificent Seven, The Magnificent Seven Ride!, Junior Bonner, The Gunsmoke Movie Collection (including Return to Dodge, The Last Apache and To the Last Man), and the John Wayne, American Legend documentary. Enjoy!

Also this morning, New Line has officially announced the DVD release of The Notebook for 2/8/05, along with Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle for 1/4/05. The Notebook (SRP $27.95) will include both anamorphic widescreen and full frame video, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, 12 deleted scenes, 4 production featurettes, audio commentary with director Nick Cassavetes, another commentary with novelist Nicholas Sparks, Rachel McAdams' screen test, the theatrical trailer and a DVD-ROM script-to-screen option. Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (also $27.95) will be available in separate R-rated and Extreme Unrated versions. Both will be anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Extras on the R-rated version will include deleted/alternate scenes, 4 interview/production featurettes, audio commentary with director Danny Leiner and actors John Cho and Kal Penn, another commentary with writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, the theatrical trailer and a DVD-ROM script-to-screen option. The Extreme Unrated version will include these extras plus "extreme" outtakes, a bonus "extreme" commentary by Danny Bouchard and All Too Much's Yeah music video.

Finally, in case you missed it (and you're interested), SpaceShipOne's 2nd X-Prize flight this morning was successful, winning the $10 million purse for Burt Rutan's team.

Stay tuned!

(EARLY UPDATE - 10/4/04 - 12:01 AM PDT)

Morning, everyone! Hope you all got the chance to relax a little this weekend. Maybe spin a good DVD. Casa Hunt (otherwise known as The Digital Bits - West Coast office) is getting a new roof today, so as you can imagine, things are gonna be a little busy around here.

Because of the whole roofing deal, I decided against attending SpaceShipOne's final X-Prize flight later this morning. Kinda bummed about that, but life does have a way of making these decisions for you. Anyway, you can bet I'm going to be watching the proceedings live - there's a webcast planned as well as a live broadcast on the Discovery Science channel. Take off is set for 7 AM PST (the webcast starts at 6 AM). If all goes well, Burt Rutan and Paul Allen's little project will win $10 million this morning... and the rest of us will be a lot closer to the dream of spaceflight. Good luck, guys!

In DVD news today, Lions Gate has officially announced the DVD release of the fascinating documentary on the Arab news network Al Jazeera, Control Room, on 10/26. I saw this doc at the Film Forum when I was in New York earlier this year, and I'll tell you it's well worth a viewing. Absolutely fascinating. You can visit the film's official website here. Also coming from Lions Gate is Open Water on 12/28.

Miramax has officially announced the release of M. Night Shyamalan's The Village: Vista Series for 1/11/05 in full frame and anamorphic widescreen versions. Also on the way are The Buried Secret of M. Night Shyamalan documentary (also 1/11/05) and Shall We Dance? (for 10/12).

Universal has announced that it will release Bullfighter on 1/4/05.

Columbia TriStar will release Son of Godzilla (1967) on 12/14, along with a Godzilla 3-pack that includes Son of Godzilla (1967), Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003) and Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974).

Finally this morning, 20th Century Fox is expected to announce that it's joining the Blu-ray Disc Association in an advisory capacity. Fox says this is NOT an official endorsement of the format, but the studio wants to have a say in how these next-generation videodisc formats develop (Fox is already a longtime member of the DVD Forum, which is responsible for the development of the Blu-ray Disc rival, HD-DVD). The news services, of course, have already blown this story by claiming that Fox has now officially adopted the Blu-ray Disc format. Doh!

Here's the cover artwork for Control Room, The Village and Universal's Las Vegas: Season One - Uncut & Uncensored (1/4/05)...

Control RoomThe VillageLas Vegas: Season One - Uncut & Uncensored

We'll be back later this morning with Barrie's long-awaited Classic Coming Attractions column - promise!

Stay tuned...

10/2/04

We've posted this cover art a few times already over the last couple of months, but we're posting it again now. The reason? New Line's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - Special Extended DVD Edition is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com (street date 12/14). Here's the art for the 4-disc set, the gift set (which includes the 4-disc set, the bonus Howard Shore: Creating The Lord of The Rings Symphony - A Composers Journey Through Middle-earth DVD and the Minas Tirith gift box) and the box set of all three Special Extended DVD Editions covering the entire Lord of the Rings: Motion Picture Trilogy...

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - Special Extended DVD EditionThe Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - Special Extended Edition Gift Set The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy - Special Extended DVD Edition Gift Set

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - Special Extended Edition Gift Set

According to New Line's press release, here's a sampling of some of the new scenes you can expect to find in the Extended Edition (contains SPOILERS):

"With close to 50 minutes of added footage and 300 new special effects shots, fans can expect several extended sequences that did not appear in theaters. A central character in the Trilogy, not seen in the theatrical edition of The Return of the King, makes a final appearance as the evil wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee) is confronted by Gandalf The White (Sir Ian McKellen) at the ruins of Isengard. One of the most powerful and treacherous figures in all of Middle-earth, Saruman will at last get the fate he so richly deserves.

Entirely new to viewers is the Mouth of Sauron, one of the Dark Lord's most grotesque and horrifying physical manifestations. When Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) leads the charge on the Black Gate at Mordor in order to create a diversion for Frodo (Elijah Wood), the gate opens to reveal a terrifying figure on an enormous black horse. With an armored face like a skull mask, this figure, known as the Mouth of Sauron, reveals Frodo's mithril shirt to the assembled warriors, leading them to believe Frodo has died pursuing his quest.

Another sequence that can be seen only in the Special Extended DVD Edition occurs between Faramir (David Wenham) and Éowyn (Miranda Otto). After his deranged father Denethor (John Noble) attempts to burn him alive, Faramir is taken to the Houses of Healing - a Middle-earth-style hospital - where he has an emotionally charged encounter with Éowyn.

Finally, fans will relish a surprising cameo by Peter Jackson. Though the mastermind behind the Trilogy could be glimpsed in the theatrical cut playing one of the pirates whose ship is overtaken by Aragorn and the newly raised Armies of the Dead, in the Special Extended Edition, Gimli (John-Rhys Davies) causes one of Legolas's (Orlando Bloom) arrows to misfire, accidentally hitting and killing Jackson!"


Sounds pretty damn great to me. Can't wait!

Stay tuned...

(LATE UPDATE - 10/1/04 - 11:30 AM PDT)

So... any of you out there slaving away like drones in the corporate sweat farm? Any of you get chewed out recently for leaving the cover sheets off your TPS reports? Anyone ever miss work, but not really "miss" it, if you know what I mean? Well kids... unroll your Jump to Conclusion mats and get ready to leap, cause we've got some cool news for you in The Rumor Mill today. But before you click on over there, turn off that damn Michael Bolton CD, will you? Seriously, it's just better that way.

Stay tuned!

(EARLY UPDATE - 10/1/04 - 12:01 AM PDT)

Boy, can you believe we're into October already? The days and weeks sure seem to fly by, don't they? Anyway, I wanted to jump in here early this morning with some cool DVD release news and cover artwork.

First up, Universal has announced the DVD release of Las Vegas: Season One for 1/4/04, with Land Before Time XI: The Invasion of the Tinysauruses following on 1/11. Las Vegas will include uncut/uncensored versions of the episodes on 3 discs in anamorphic widescreen video with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio (SRP $59.98).

Next up, Warner has just announced We Don't Live Here Anymore (starring Laura Dern, Mark Ruffalo, Naomi Watts and Peter Krause) for release on 12/14 (SRP $27.95).

Also, 20th Century Fox has announced that Millennium: The Complete Second Season will street on 1/4/05 as a 6-disc set (SRP $59.98). Extras will include audio commentary by Tom Wright on The Hand of Saint Sebastian, audio commentary by Michael R. Perry on The Mikado, the 33-minute The Turn of the Tide: Making of Season 2 documentary and the 25-minute Academy Group: Victimology featurette.

Finally this morning, here's that cover art I mentioned... your first look at Paramount's Top Gun: Special Collector's Edition (12/14), Fox's Napoleon Dynamite (12/21) and Warner Music's Peter Gabriel: Play (11/16). All are available for pre-order now from Amazon.com...

Top Gun: Special Collector's EditionNapoleon DynamitePeter Gabriel: Play

Back with more later, so stay tuned!

9/30/04

At the risk of incurring Barrie Maxwell's wrath, we're going to hold his latest Classic Coming Attractions column one more day. The reason is that we've discovered a little server glitch that we're sorting out as we speak. If you're reading this now, you're seeing The Digital Bits on its brand new server. The transition has been nearly flawless. The one minor issue is that when the domains were re-routed, www.thedigitalbits.com was pointed toward the new server, but www.digitalbits.com wasn't! We didn't realize this until last night, when we started getting a few e-mails from worried readers who wondered why we hadn't updated the site in a week. Turned out they'd been using the digitalbits.com address. Anyway, we should have this straightened out by the end of the day, so we'll post Barrie's column tomorrow. We've gotta make sure ALL our readers get the chance to see it and not just some!

In news today, The Washington Post website has the transcript of a chat with an old friend of The Bits, DVD producer Van Ling, who was involved with the recent Star Wars DVDs. It's well worth a read. Among the many interesting points Van makes is that (as we expected) the next likely release of these films we'll get will be for the 2007 30th anniversary of A New Hope. We first interviewed Van back in 2000, right after he finished work on the T2: Ultimate Edition (you can read the full transcript here). He's also produced the DVD releases of such films as The Abyss, Independence Day and the original Terminator.

While we're on the subject of the Star Wars DVDs, we've been getting many, many questions and complaints about the audio changes and "music issues" on A New Hope. All we can tell you is that Lucasfilm claims the audio on the disc is exactly as they intended it to be. HOWEVER, we are also getting a lot of complaints from readers who have been experiencing a disc playback problem with A New Hope. Apparently, on many players, the disc freezes for a few seconds (we suspect near the layer switch point) and then skips ahead several minutes. Fox Customer Service is taking the names and addresses of people who are experiencing this problem so they can arrange to send you a fixed replacement disc. You can call them at 888-223-2FOX. Again, this addresses the freezing problem only. This is not a replacement for any sound issues. Just FYI.

We've got some interesting Blu-ray Disc news to catch you up on. First of all, PC World magazine is reporting that Sony will announce next month that it has developed an 8-layer version of the Blu-ray Disc, capable of storing a whopping 200GB of data. Sony also plans to "commercialize" a 4-layer 100GB version as early as 2007. Standard dual-layered Blu-ray Discs (which are nearly ready for prime time) have a storage capacity of about 54GB, while standard dual-layered HD-DVD discs have about 30GB.

DTS has also announced that their audio format will be mandatory technology for inclusion in both the Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD formats. That means a DTS decoder will be built into every next generation player that incorporates either HD-DVD or Blu-ray Disc.

I'll tell you, the Blu-ray Disc folks are moving and shaking. All this, along with Sony's pending acquisition of MGM (and thus its catalog) and the announcement that the PlayStation 3 is going to use Blu-ray Discs to play videogame and movie software? The HD-DVD group had better get busy or this format war is going to be over before it began.

On that front, PC World magazine is also reporting that the official DVD Forum has just approved the physical disc specifications for the rewritable version of HD-DVD.

Finally, in DVD release news today, Spacecraft Films will debut another of its From the NASA Archives DVDs on 10/15. Apollo 13 will be a 3-disc set (SRP $39.99) featuring complete TV transmissions and onboard film taken during the mission, footage of mission training, launch and recovery, extensive Mission Control and Press Conference footage during the in-flight emergency and more. Other titles on the way from Spacecraft Films are sets featuring Apollo 7, Apollo 9 and Apollo 10 and more. Should be awesome for you space nuts (like me) out there! You can learn more about these forthcoming releases at the Spacecraft Films website.

Stay tuned...

9/29/04

Morning, everyone! We've got a brief update for you this morning. First of all, there's word that the DGA (Directors Guild of America) has reached a new 3-year deal with the studios which basically leaves the issue of DVD residual payments to directors unchanged (meaning the residual payment terms stay as they were in the previous agreement). You can read more here at Video Business.

Here's more evidence that Star Trek: Enterprise DVDs are on the way (as reported in The Rumor Mill the other day). Over at the official Star Trek website, there's a production report for the forthcoming episode The Augments (note that the report contains spoilers). In the text, it's mentioned that a special camera crew was on set to conduct interviews and shoot behind-the-scenes footage for "a future Star Trek: Enterprise DVD set." We should have the first official details from Paramount next week.

In DVD news today, Universal has moved the street date for its Relative Evil up to 12/14 (from 12/21).

Disney has announced the DVD release of The Princess Dairies 2: Royal Engagement for 12/14 (SRP $29.99). Extras will include bloopers, deleted scenes with introduction by director Gary Marshall, "making of" featurettes, interactive games, Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway music video and more.

Also this morning, we have a street date for Peter Gabriel: Play, which we mentioned in yesterday's post. It's due on 11/16 from Warner Music.

Over at our MusicTAP site, while Matt drowns his sorrows over the lackluster performance of his Chicago Bears (you asked for it Matt), staff reviewer George Bennett has turned in his thoughts on a recent a music DVD release, Los Lonely Boys: Texican Style - Live from Austin, available now from Epic.

We've got a new Classic Coming Attractions column on the way from Barrie Maxwell for later this evening/early tomorrow morning, so be sure to watch for that.

Finally, this has nothing to do with DVD, but some of you may remember that a few months back that I attended the first ever private manned spaceflight. Well... the little spaceship that could, SpaceShipOne, is making its first attempt to win the Ansari X-Prize this morning, and you can watch it live online at the official prize website. I may be attending the second flight on 10/4, so if I do, I'll be sure to post more pictures then.

Stay tuned...

9/28/04

Fans of Peter Gabriel will be happy with the news we have for you today. The musician's official website has revealed that a new DVD is in the works featuring all of Gabriel's music videos over the years. Peter Gabriel: Play hasn't yet been slated for a specific release date, but you can likely expect it sometime in late 2004 or early 2005. The disc will feature 23 music videos, with fully restored video and new 5.1 mixes by Gabriel and Daniel Lanois in both Dolby Digital and 96khz/24bit DTS (a Dolby 2.0 Stereo mix is also included). Each video will have a short introduction featuring behind-the-scenes footage and/or Gabriel interview footage over the years. There's also an option to allow you to create a custom play list of up to 18 tracks, which can be viewed once or looped to repeat. The DVD will include 3 bonus videos in addition to the main 23, also in 5.1 sound. Finally, you'll get trailers for the DVD releases of Growing Up Live, A Family Portrait (a documentary look behind the scenes on the Growing Up Live tour directed by Anna Gabriel - available through the website) and Secret World Live. The specific list of videos on the DVD includes Father, Son, Sledgehammer, Blood of Eden, Games Without Frontiers, I Don't Remember, Big Time, Lovetown, Red Rain, In Your Eyes, Don't Give Up, The Barry Williams Show, Washing of the Water, Biko, Kiss That Frog, Mercy Street, Growing Up, Shaking the Tree, Shock the Monkey, Steam, The Drop, Zaar, Solsbury Hill and Digging in the Dirt. The bonus videos will include Games Without Frontiers (recorded live in 2004), Modern Love and The Nest That Sailed the Sky. All in all, pretty damn cool. Thanks to Bits reader Dan for the heads-up.

In other news today, Paramount has revealed that they'll be releasing Jonathan Demme's remade Manchurian Candidate on 12/21. No word yet on extras. Also coming in December from the studio (street date TBA) is the well-received Metallica: Some Kind of Monster documentary.

DreamWorks will release Michael Mann's Collateral on 12/14 (SRP $29.99) in separate, 2-disc full frame and anamorphic widescreen editions, each with audio in both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 surround. No word yet on extras. We're betting that the announcement of Collateral means that you can reasonably expect Warner to reveal its long-awaited Heat: Special Edition soon. We'll be sure to let you know.

We certainly expected this... New Line has announced that the 4-disc Special Extended DVD Editions of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King will all be available in a single box set on 12/14 (SRP $119.97). So if you haven't gotten them yet, here's the perfect chance. Basically, the three separate 4-disc sets will be packaged together in a new outer slipcase. There's nothing new in this release - no exclusive bonus discs or anything. This is just a way to sell all the Extended Editions in one package for those who may wish to purchase them that way.

Moving on this morning, Columbia TriStar has announced the DVD release of Anacondas: The Hunt For the Blood Orchid, an Anaconda/Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid 2-pack and Naked Fish for 12/7.

You may be pleased to learn that film critic Roger Ebert let it slip on Ebert & Roeper this weekend that Criterion might be giving Beyond the Valley of the Dolls special treatment on DVD next year. Ebert apparently recorded an audio commentary for the disc a while back (Ebert wrote the script for the film, which was directed by Russ Meyer who just passed away last week). Thanks to Bits readers Charles L. and "Wilson" for that.

Also today, we have word on the extras for Universal's Thunderbirds, which we mentioned yesterday is on the way for 12/21. Look for audio commentary with director Jonathan Frakes, behind the scenes featurettes (including Secrets of Tracy Island Revealed, Lady Penelope's Pink World, Creating the Ultimate Action Sequence, Lady P. & Parker Lose Their Cool: Fun & Stunts and FAB1: More Than Just a Car), a music video by Busted and the film's theatrical trailer.

Around the site today, we've kicked off one more Contest, giving you each a chance to take home copies of Universal's I Wanna Hold Your Hand on DVD. Like the others we're currently running, this contest runs until Noon PDT on Sunday, October 3rd. Good luck!

Finally this morning, I wanted to mention this because I know a lot of you are really looking forward to it. I had the chance to see the forthcoming Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars this past weekend. The 2-part mini-series debuts on the Sci-Fi Channel on Sunday, October 17th (click here to view the trailer and more). Trust me when I say that if you're a fan of Farscape, you're going to absolutely love it. The mini-series wraps up most of the loose ends from the series, including the finale's brutal cliff-hanger ending, and gives each major character, relationship and story arc (and even many minor ones) a satisfying resolution. It also marks a potential new beginning for the character of John Crichton (if the mini-series does well, the folks at Henson say there's the potential for more adventures to follow). The scale is bigger and grander than ever before, and the effects work is spectacular. Most importantly, the characters are all back just as you know and love them. Each is given due attention and an important part to play in the story. I'll tell you, I thoroughly enjoyed all 200+ minutes of Peacekeeper Wars and I can't wait for the eventual DVD release. You can read a more in-depth review of the mini-series over at Genre Online.

That's all for now! Stay tuned...

9/27/04

We've got some damn good news for you Tolkien fans today. New Line has just finally, officially announced the DVD release of the 4-disc The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - Special Extended DVD Edition! As we expected, the DVD will street on 12/14, featuring a 250 minute version of the film with over 50 minutes of new footage and scenes. The film will be presented in anamorphic widescreen video (2.35:1) with audio in both Dolby Digital 5.1 EX and DTS 6.1 ES surround sound. The film will be presented on Discs One & Two, complete with four newly-recorded audio commentaries by the director and writers, the design team, the production team and the cast. These will feature more than 30 participants (including Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Orlando Bloom, Richard Taylor, Howard Shore and many more). The cast commentary will also feature a dialogue between split-personality characters Gollum and Smeagol (Andy Serkis).

Discs Three & Four (The Appendices) will include the usual in-depth documentaries and other features. Disc Three (The War of the Ring) will include a video introduction by Peter Jackson, the final part of the J.R.R. Tolkien: The Legacy of Middle-earth documentary, the From Book to Script: Forging the Final Chapter documentary, an abandoned concept featurette: Aragorn Battles Sauron, the final parts of the Designing Middle-earth, Big-atures, Weta Workshop and Costume Design documentaries, design galleries with more than 2,100 images (divided into The Peoples of Middle-earth, The Realms of Middle-earth and Miniatures), the Home of the Horse Lords documentary, and more interactive Middle-earth Atlas: Tracing the Journeys of the Fellowship and New Zealand as Middle-earth interactive maps (with production footage).

Disc Four (The Passing of an Age) will include a video introduction by Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan, the final part of the Cameras in Middle-earth documentary on the making of the film, a production photo gallery with more than 60 images, the last part of the Weta Digital visual effects documentary, a multi-angle The Mumakil Battle interactive demonstration, the Editorial: Completing the Trilogy, Music for Middle-earth, The Soundscapes of Middle-earth and The End of All Things documentaries, The Passing of an Age documentary, the Cameron Duncan: The Inspiration for Into the West documentary, the DFK6498 and Strike Zone short films and finally the usual DVD-ROM content on all discs.

Whew! Can't think of a better way to spend the holidays, can you? Pre-orders for the title begin on 10/1. You can read more here at the official Lord of the Rings website.

In other news today, Universal has announced the DVD release of the live-action Thunderbirds and Jean-Jacques Annaud's Two Brothers for 12/21 (SRP $29.98 each). Two Brothers will be available in dual full frame and anamorphic widescreen editions, with audio in Dolby Digital 5.1. Extras will include audio commentary with director Annaud, the director's journal, the Call of the Wild, Wild About Tigers, Tiger Brothers, Tiger Trainers, Tiger Tech, Tiger Cam, Location Scouting and Costume Design featurettes, a gallery of storyboard art and DVD-ROM weblinks. Thunderbirds will also be available in dual full frame and anamorphic widescreen editions, with audio in Dolby Digital 5.1. Extra features are still TBA. Also announced for 12/18 is Drunken Jackasses: The Quest (SRP $27.98) in four versions - full frame and anamorphic widescreen in both R and Unrated editions.

Disney has announced its direct-to-video Mulan II for release on 2/1/05 (SRP $29.99). No word yet on extras, but we've heard that the entire original voice cast was reunited for the release. Buena Vista has also announced The Hole (staring Kiera Knightley and Thora Birch) for 10/19 (SRP $29.99).

If you're a fan of Criterion DVDs, you should know that the company has just announced that two of its titles, Paul Morrisey's Flesh for Frankenstein and Blood for Dracula, are now officially out of print. If you want them and you haven't gotten them yet, you'd best head to your local video store before they're gone.

20th Century Fox has announced the release of Garden State on 12/28 (SRP $29.98). We believe the disc will include both anamorphic widescreen and full frame video with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Extras will include audio commentary with writer/director Zach Braff and Natalie Portman, a second commentary with Braff, director of photography Lawrence Sher, editor Myron Kerstein and production designer Judy Becker, 16 deleted scenes with optional commentary, The Making of Garden State featurette, outtakes and bloopers, and a soundtrack promo spot. Also newly announced by Fox for December are M.A.S.H.: TV Season 7 and Garfield and Friends: Volume 2 (both 12/7), along with Reba: Season 1 (12/14).

By the way, we've received word that Warner's Batman: The Animated Series - Volume Two and Superman: The Animated Series - Volume One, both of which had originally been announced for release on 12/7, are now expected to street on 1/25/05. Adjust your Bat-plans accordingly.

On the Contest front today, we've kicked off two new ones, giving each of you the chance to take hope copies of Universal's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and a 12" limited edition and retired Angel figure from Sideshow Collectibles! The contests will run until Noon PDT on Sunday, October 3rd, so get your entries in quick.

Finally this morning, we've got some cool new cover art to show you. Here's a look at Image Entertainment's Pee-Wee's Playhouse: Volumes 1 & 2 (11/16), Disney's Mulan II, Universal's Thunderbirds and Two Brothers, and Anchor Bay's 21 Jump Street: Season One (10/26). All are available for pre-order now from Amazon.com, and doing so through our links helps support our continuing work here at The Bits (so we appreciate it!)...

Pee-Wee's Playhouse: Volume 1Pee-Wee's Playhouse: Volume 2Mulan II

ThunderbirdsTwo Brothers21 Jump Street: Season One

Stay tuned...

9/24/04

Sorry for the late post today, but I think you'll agree it was worth the wait. I spent the day with the The Home Theater Forum folks again, on their last full day in Los Angeles, visiting our friends over at Paramount Pictures. We spent the morning touring the studio lot (always fun - Paramount is the last original studio in Hollywood and there's plenty of history to see). We also attended a digital mastering demonstration given by Ron Smith, the Senior Project Manager in the studio's Digital Mastering department. We've spoken to him in the past - click here for our feature on Ron's remastering work for the original Star Trek DVDs from back in 2000. Thanks to Ron and the whole DVD/technical staff over at Paramount for a great presentation.

Anyway, here's the good news - we've finally got an official street date for Paramount's 2-disc Top Gun: Special Collector's Edition. The title had originally been expected in November, but it's now officially set to hit store shelves on 12/14. By the way, we hear the DTS soundtrack on the disc is to die for. ;-)

The other cool bit of news we have for you this afternoon isn't official yet, so you'll find it in The Rumor Mill today. But... well, let me put it to you this way. You Star Trek: Enterprise fans are about to get really, really happy. Nuff said. ;-)

That's all for this week. Have a great weekend and we'll see you back here on Monday!


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