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Site created 12/15/97.




page updated: 11/19/04



My Two Cents
(Archived Posts 11/9/04 - 10/17/04)


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(LATE UPDATE - 11/9/04 - 12:30 PM PST)

We also have a few new details for you on Paramount's forthcoming Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow DVD (due 2/1/05). The film will be released in separate anamorphic widescreen and full frame versions, each with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Extras will include 5 behind-the-scenes featurettes (on the production, the film's special effects, the vision behind the film's animation and more), the original short that inspired the film, deleted scenes, a gag reel and other features TBA.

Stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 11/9/04 - 11:30 AM PST)

We've got some more details for you on 20th Century Fox's Taxi. The DVD, which will street on 2/15 as we said the other day, will be released in a single version with full frame on one side of the disc and anamorphic widescreen on the other (SRP $29.98). Extras will include audio commentary by director Tim Story and star Jimmy Fallon, deleted scenes and 5 behind-the-scenes featurettes.

Meanwhile, Universal has announced the high-school football film Friday Night Lights for 1/18 (SRP $29.98). The film will be available in separate full frame and anamorphic widescreen versions. Extras on each will include deleted scenes and 3 behind-the-scenes featurettes (including Tim McGraw: Off the Stage, Player Cam and Real Life, Real Games, Real People).

We have a few more details on Universal's Miami Vice: Season One (2/8 - SRP $59.98) for you today. As we said yesterday, the 3-disc set will include all 21 first season episodes (plus the 2-hour pilot) in their original full frame aspect ratio (with remixed Dolby Digital 5.1 audio). Extras will include 5 behind-the-scenes featurettes (Series Introduction from Michael Mann, The Vibe of Vice, Back-Story: Miami Vice, The Fashion and The Music). The first season episodes include classic music from the likes of Phil Collins, U2, The Police, Peter Gabriel, Elvis Presley, Eric Clapton, Tina Turner and more.

Also today, Columbia TriStar has announced the DVD release of The Forgotten, Never Get Outta the Boat, Rosenstrasse and Stella Street for 1/18. The Forgotten will include anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, 2 different versions of the film (the theatrical version and a never-before-seen extended cut with deleted scenes and an alternate ending incorporated), audio commentary by director Joseph Ruben and writer Gerald DiPego's commentary, 6 separate deleted scenes, trailers and 2 featurettes (The Making of The Forgotten and Remembering the Forgotten).

Here's a look at the artwork for Friday Night Lights, Miami Vice: Season One and The Forgotten...

Friday Night LightsMiami Vice: Season OneThe Forgotten

Stay tuned...

11/8/04

Morning, everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend as usual. Like many of you, a few of us here at The Bits went and saw The Incredibles this weekend. It was, as expected, incredible. Well worth your time.

Before we get started, I wanted to mention a great new DVD that I checked out this weekend. Matt will have a more detailed review of it soon, but I was so excited about it that I wanted to mention it here this morning. It's Warner Music's new Peter Gabriel: Play. The disc streets on 11/16, and it's absolutely outstanding. It features some 23 classic and new music videos from Gabriel, all presented in their original aspect ratios (some are 4x3, some are 16x9). Each of the videos has an introduction by Gabriel, some of which include vintage behind-the-scenes footage. The audio for each of the videos is available in the original stereo (Dolby Digital 2.0), and you also get new surround sound mixes in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1. Better still, the DTS mixes are encoded in full 96/24! Let me tell you, the DTS sounds absolutely amazing - subtle, immersive and richly textured. Gabriel's music is perfectly suited to surround presentation and trust me... you won't be disappointed. I'll tell you, Gabriel's DVD production team continues to impress the hell out of me. If you're a fan, Play is absolutely a must-have.

Now then, we're very pleased today to present you with another great industry interview by our own Robert A. Harris. This time, Robert chats with Columbia's Grover Crisp about the studio's new 2-disc Dr. Strangelove: 40th Anniversary Special Edition (see Todd's review here). I think you'll find the interview fascinating as usual, so definitely don't miss it.

Also today, our MusicTAP crew has posted a new DVD-Audio review for you: Frank Zappa's QuAUDIOPHILIAc from DTS. Be sure to check it out.

We've got some great new DVD announcements to tell you about you this morning. First up, Warner has announced a nice batch of catalog titles that we know a lot of you have been waiting a long time for. It all starts on 2/8/05 with a 2-disc Malcolm X: Special Edition. Chain of Fools, Arthur 2: On the Rocks, Disorderlies, Fandango, Ice Pirates, Oh God! Book 2, Oh God! You Devil!, Other People's Money, Richie Rich and Young Einstein will all follow on 2/15. Finally, the long awaited Heat: Special Edition will round things out on 2/22.

The Malcolm X: Special Edition (SRP $26.99) will include anamorphic widescreen video (aspect ratio 1.85:1), Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, audio commentary (with director Spike Lee, Ernest Dickerson, Barry Alexander Brown and Ruth Carter), 10 deleted scenes with optional director's audio commentary, the feature-length 1972 Malcolm X documentary, the By Any Means Necessary: The Making of Malcolm X documentary and the film's theatrical trailer. Details are more sketchy for the Heat: Special Edition at the moment, but we expect anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, audio commentary, deleted scenes, multiple documentaries and the film's theatrical trailer. SRP will be $26.99 for that as well.

Universal's got some great news for you fans of power blue suits. You guessed it... Miami Vice: Season One is finally coming to DVD on 2/8/05 (SRP $59.98). The 3 disc set will include all first season episodes in their original full frame aspect ratio (with remixed Dolby Digital 5.1 audio). No word yet on extras.

20th Century Fox has announced a few new titles for February. On 2/15, look for Taxi and Frostbite. And following on 2/22 is Love's Enduring Promise. No word yet on extras for any of these.

On 2/8 look for HBO to release The Cherokee Kid and The Last Outlaw.

Also, Paramount will release Hysteria: The Def Leppard Story on 1/25/05. I Love Lucy: The Complete Third Season is set for 2/1/05, with A Separate Peace following on 2/8/05. Also coming in February from the studio is Cheers: The Complete Fourth Season (street date TBA).

Finally, Manga Entertainment is set to release a new Ghost in the Shell: Special Edition on 1/11/05 (SRP $34.95). No other details on the release are available at this time.

Around the site this morning, we've updated all the DVD format stats we track (above). The CEA DVD Player Sales chart has been updated with the latest numbers from the third week of October (ending 10/22). With this update, the number of DVD players sold into retail in the U.S. (since the format began back in early 1997) moves past a whopping 80 million!

We've also kicked off THREE new Contests today, giving each of you the chance to win copies of Warner's Friends: The Complete Eighth Season, Before Sunset and the new 4-disc Gone with the Wind: Collector's Edition. Plus, don't forget that the Shout! Factory contest for the Toronto Maple Leafs jersey signed by the stars of SCTV (including Martin Short, Catherine O'Hara, Joe Flaherty, Dave Thomas, Rick Moranis, Tony Rosato, Robin Duke and producer Andrew Alexander) is still on for another week. All of these contest will run until Noon PDT on Sunday, November 14th. Good luck!

Around the Net today, there's a good article over at PC World.com that you're going to want to check out. It seems one of their staffers was able to get his hands on two of the new Blu-ray Disc player/recorders that are currently available in Japan, and he's given them both a test drive. Definitely worth a read.

We'll leave you this morning with some more new upcoming DVD cover art. Here's Universal's Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy - Unrated Edition and Anchorman: Wake Up Ron Burgundy (available together in The Ultimate Ron Burgundy 2-Pack on 12/28), along with Warner's Heat: Special Edition, Malcolm X: Special Edition, Fandango and Ice Pirates...

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy - Unrated EditionAnchorman: Wake Up Ron BurgundyHeat: Special Edition

Malcolm X: Special EditionFandangoIce Pirates

Stay tuned...

11/5/04

Well, the big news today I suppose is that Shrek 2 is in stores and is sure to be a massive seller. You can all pick that one up on the way to (or the way home from) seeing The Incredibles.

Around the site today, we've got some 8 new DVD reviews for you from Todd in his latest Doogan's Views column. He's checked in with a look at Home Vision's Animal Farm: Special Collectors Edition, Columbia TriStar's Castle Keep, Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb: 40th Anniversary Special Edition and Philadelphia: Anniversary Edition, Universal's Dazed & Confused / Fast Times at Ridgemont High: Ultimate Party Collection and New Line's Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Proof and The Rapture. Enjoy.

Finally today, this is just a reminder to all of you out there with high-definition TVs: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is being shown in HD on the WB network starting this Sunday (11/7) at 8 PM Eastern & Pacific (7 PM Central - click here for details). We don't know if this is the theatrical version or the extended version, but it should be pretty freakin' cool to see nonetheless. We believe that the WB plans to show the rest of the trilogy in HD in the months ahead, so don't miss it!

We'll be back on Monday with more, including another new insider interview from Robert Harris. So have a great weekend and we'll see you then!

11/4/04

Afternoon, folks!

So you Star Wars fans are probably giddy with excitement today. The trailer for Episode III is now available to Hyperspace members on Star Wars.com, and if you subscribe to AOL, you can now view it there as well. It will also be shown on MTV's TRL and Access Hollywood later today. Star Wars.com will have high-quality versions available for free next Monday (11/8). Plus, as I said yesterday, you'll be able to see it in theaters this weekend. Todd and I have seen the online version and I have to admit, it's a bit cool. We're cautiously optimistic about the flick. It definitely looks dark in tone, so cross your fingers.

Moving on, we've got a bit of new information in The Rumor Mill today about a possible Titanic: Special Edition that may finally be coming your way for 2005. Don't miss it.

On the new announcement front, Buena Vista will release Mr. 3000 on DVD on 2/1/05 (SRP $29.99).

Universal has also announced that it will release more new catalog titles on 3/1/05, including D.C. Cab, Ghost Dad, Paradise Alley, White Palace and Yanks. Most will be anamorphic widescreen (Ghost Dad is unknown) and they'll SRP for $9.98 each.

Finally today, there's a rumor that's been circulating around for a couple of days, to the effect that Warner, Paramount and Universal are working on making an announcement (by the end of 2005) that they'll adopt HD-DVD as their HD disc format of choice. The story actually originated in Business Week of all places, giving it seeming legitimacy. Our sources within both the industry are telling us that it's rubbish. Virtually everyone we talk to in the Hollywood community (including studio sources) tell us that for any studio (other than Columbia TriStar and perhaps Warner, given their obvious ties to the electronics industry) to back either of these formats in the next few months would be foolhardy. Hollywood is keenly aware that if two, competing HD disc formats are launched simultaneously at consumers, the result will be an almost complete disaster for the continuing development of the market for movies on packaged media. So for the time being, we advise you all to take these rumors with a HUGE grain of salt. Rest assured, we'll keep you up to date on this issue.

Stay tuned...

(LATE UPDATE - 11/3/04 - 4 PM PST)

We're back this afternoon with a new Classic Coming Attractions column from Barrie Maxwell. Barrie checks in today with his regular rundown of the latest classic release announcements. Don't miss it!

Also today, we've kicked off FIVE new Contests, giving each of you the chance to win copies of Warner's The West Wing: The Complete Third Season, The Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Volume 2 and A Home at the End of the World, Universal's remade Dawn of the Dead, and a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey signed by the stars of SCTV (including Martin Short, Catherine O'Hara, Joe Flaherty, Dave Thomas, Rick Moranis, Tony Rosato, Robin Duke and producer Andrew Alexander) courtesy of Shout! Factory. How cool is that? Very! The contests will run until Noon PDT on Sunday, November 14th. Good luck!

Stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 11/3/04 - 12:01 AM PST)

Morning everyone! We'll be back later today with our usual post, but I just wanted to jump in here to let you all know that the Star Wars: Episode III trailer is going to be shown on Access Hollywood tomorrow night (Thursday), in addition to being available on Star Wars.com (only to paying Hyperspace members of course). It will also be in theaters this weekend with The Incredibles. And you can reasonably expect that ripped copies of it will be available to download everywhere around the Net soon enough. Just FYI.

Back later. Stay tuned...

11/2/04

You know... it's amazing how hard it is not to have Internet access for even just a day or two. It's really pretty shocking how much we've come to depend on it these days. Online news, sports scores, the latest DVD announcements, e-mail... I felt like I was naked in the dark without my cable modem. Needless to day, it sure is nice to be back.

Speaking of the latest DVD announcements, we have a BUNCH of cool new ones to tell you all about today. So let's get started, shall we?

Columbia TriStar has revealed four interesting titles for release on 1/11/05 - Silver City, Touch of Pink, The Fifth Element: Ultimate Edition and Léon: The Professional - Deluxe Edition. Each will carry an SRP of $24.96. The Fifth Element: Ultimate Edition (2 discs) will include anamorphic widescreen video, both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio, a factoid trivia track, 4 behind-the-scenes featurettes (The Star Element, The Visual Element, The Alien Element and The Digital Element), film galleries, camera, costume and set tests and more. Léon: The Professional - Deluxe Edition (2 discs), will also include anamorphic widescreen video and both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio, along with 3 behind-the-scenes featurettes (The Professional: Ten Year Reunion, Trial by Fire: Natalie Portman as Mathilda and Birth of a Star: Jean Reno as Léon) and more.

Paramount has announced that its Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow DVD will now be released on 2/1/05 (it had previously been slated for 1/25/05). No word yet on extras.

Universal has checked in with a few new announcements that might get you excited - one in particular. At long last, the Orgazmo: Special Edition will street on 2/15/2005 (SRP $19.98) in anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. Also due on 2/15 are separate full frame and anamorphic widescreen versions of the Half Baked: Fully Baked Edition (SRP $19.98), each with both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio. Newly announced for 1/25/05 from Universal are an October Sky: Special Edition (SRP $14.98 - anamorphic widescreen with both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio) and the delayed Backbeat: Special Edition (SRP $19.98). And coming from the studio on 2/1/2005 are the Playa' Pack box set ($39.98, containing The Best Man, How to Be a Player, Deliver Us from Eva and Trippin') and The Life in separate R and Unrated editions ($27.98 each). We have no word yet on the extras for any of these releases.

Moving on, New Line has announced Bright Young Things for 2/8/05 (SRP $27.95). The disc will include anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, audio commentary with writer/director Stephen Fry and the From the Bottom Up behind-the-scenes documentary.

Criterion has a fantastic slate of titles newly announced for release in January (exact street date TBA). Look for Seijun Suzuki's Fighting Elegy (SRP $29.95, catalog #269) and Youth of the Beast ($29.95, #268), Jacques Becker's Touchez pas au grisbi ($29.95, #271) and Casque d'or ($39.95, #270), and the one we're most excited about here at The Bits... Akira Kurosawa's Kagemusha ($39.95, #267). Kagemusha will be a 2-disc set with video in anamorphic widescreen (from a new HD transfer), Dolby Digital 2.0 audio, audio commentary by Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince, a 40-minute documentary on the making of Kagemusha (part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create), new video interviews with executive producers Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas (Helping a Master: Coppola, Lucas, and Kagemusha), the Image: Kurosawa's Continuity featurette on reconstructing the film through Kurosawa's paintings and sketches, and a booklet featuring new essays by scholars Darrell Davis and Peter Grilli, as well as biographical sketches by Japanese film historian Donald Richie. Visit the Criterion website for the rest of the details on features and extras.

20th Century Fox has just revealed a number of interesting new early 2005 releases. First Daughter will street on 1/25/05 (SRP $27.98) in separate full frame and anamorphic widescreen editions. Each will feature Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, audio commentary by director Forest Whitaker, another commentary with the cast (including Katie Holmes), deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes featurettes and more.

Wonderfalls: The Complete Series will follow on 2/1/05 from Fox (SRP $39.98) featuring 3 discs in anamorphic widescreen video and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Extras will include audio commentary on several episodes by the show's cast and crew, and the Greetings from Wonderfalls and Fantastic Visual Effects featurettes.

Murder One: Season One will street on 2/8/05 (SRP $59.98) on 6 discs (full frame video, Dolby Digital 2.0 audio) with audio commentary on 2 episodes by director Randall Zisk and actor Jason Gedrick, and the Making the Case: Season One featurette.

The Grid mini-series also streets on 2/8/05 (SRP $26.98) on 2 discs (full frame video, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio) with audio commentary by director Mikael Salomon and executive producer Tracey Alexander, deleted scenes and the Factual Fiction and The Globe of The Grid featurettes.

Angel: Season Five arrives on 2/15/05 (SRP $89.98) on 6 discs (anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital 2.0 audio) with commentary on several episodes (participants include Joss Whedon, David Boreanaz and many of the cast and crew) and the Angel: The Final Season, Hey Kids! It's Smile Time, Angel 100, Angel: Choreography of a Stunt, To Live & Die in L.A.: The Best of Angel, Halos and Horns: Recurring Villainy and Angel Unbound: The Gag Reels featurettes.

Fox has a 2-disc Donnie Darko: Director's Cut set for 2/15/05 as well (SRP $26.98). The 253-minute version of the film will be presented in anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Extras will include audio commentary with writer/director Richard Kelly and Kevin Smith, the Donnie Darko Production Diary (with optional commentary by director of photography Steven Poster), a storyboard-to-screen comparison, the Director's Cut theatrical trailer, and the They Made Me Do It Too: The Cult of Donnie Darko and #1 Fan: A Darkomentary featurettes.

Finally, Fox will release The Shield: The Complete Third Season on 2/22/05 (SRP $49.98) on 4 discs (full frame video, Dolby Digital 2.0 audio). Extras will include audio commentary on several episodes with the cast and crew (including series star Michael Chiklis), deleted scenes (with optional commentary) and several behind-the-scenes featurettes.

How about a little new upcoming DVD cover artwork for you this morning? Here's Columbia TriStar's Léon: The Professional - Deluxe Edition and The Fifth Element: Ultimate Edition, Warner's Chariots of Fire: Special Edition (2/1/05) and 20th Century Fox's Paparazzi (1/11/05) and both the widescreen and full frame cover art for Alien vs. Predator (1/25/05)...

Léon: The Professional - Deluxe EditionThe Fifth Element: Ultimate EditionChariots of Fire: Special Edition

PaparazziAlien vs. Predator (widescreen)Alien vs. Predator (full frame)

Around the site today, we've updated all the DVD hardware and software sales and rental stats we track, including the CEA DVD Player Sales numbers for the second week of October (ending 10/15). All charts and listings (above) have been updated accordingly.

In other news today, Ralph Tribbey and Video Store Magazine's excellent industry resource, The DVD Release Report, has reported that we've officially crossed the mark of 40,000 DVD titles released or announced since the format launched back in early 1997. That includes the 39,123 number you see in the listing above, along with some 2,000 titles that have been discontinued over the years. Very cool news indeed.

By the way, in a side note, Video Store Magazine is soon to change their name to Home Media Retailing (so when we mention it in the future, you'll know what we're talking about).

Okay... that's all today. Be sure to get out and vote, then stop on by your local video store to pick up some of the great new DVD releases available today as a reward for good citizenship. There's Star Trek: The Original Series - Season Two, The Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Volume Two, Festival Express, the new Dr. Strangelove: SE and lots more. And despair not if your candidate doesn't win today. There's lots of great stuff coming in the weeks and months ahead to keep your mind off how things are going to hell in a hand basket... like The Incredibles in theaters later this week, a new U2 album later this month, the Return of the King: Extended Edition in December, one last Star Wars movie next year, etc. As the Pythons (Monty) say, "Always look on the bright side of life!"

Feel free to start whistling.

We've got more from Robert, Barrie and Doogan coming later this week (plus some reviews from me too).

Stay tuned...

11/1/04

Hope you guys all had a great weekend. Sorry for the lack of a post today. Right after I uploaded Friday's post (late Thursday night), my cable modem died on me. I was able to get a replacement from Cox late on Friday afternoon, but there was some kind of glitch with their database that prevented them from provisioning the new modem during the weekend. I was finally able to get it all resolved just a few minutes ago, after about 20 calls to tech support. So, I'm finally just able to access the Net for the first time since Thursday night.

We'll be back with our regular post tomorrow. Thanks for your patience and stay tuned!

10/29/04

Morning, disc spinners! Yes, we've got cover art for most of those awesome Warner Gangster Collection titles that were announced yesterday for 1/25/05! Get a load of this, folks...

Warner Gangsters CollectionWhite HeatLittle Caesar

Angels with Dirty FacesThe Petrified ForestThe Roaring Twenties

If that ain't the bee's knees, we don't know what is. We'll show you Public Enemy as soon as it comes in. Sure is good to see those classic flicks finally on the way to DVD. Been waiting too long.

We've got a bit of a surprise for you today. No, it's not Star Wars on DVD. That already happened. This is even more shocking... Doogan's back! Yessir, after more than two full months of recoverin' time, Todd has returned with a new Doogan's Views column. In this edition, he gives you his unique spin on 5 new DVD releases, including Columbia TriStar's The China Syndrome: Special Edition and White Chicks: Unrated & Uncut, Universal's Dawn of the Dead: Unrated Director's Cut, Synapse's The Deadly Spawn: Special Edition and Anchor Bay's 21 Jump Street: The Complete First Season. Enjoy!

Speaking of Star Wars, Lucasfilm officially released the teaser poster for Revenge of the Sith yesterday. You'll find that here. Cue the heavy breathing. And don't forget that the teaser trailer will be available next week online (and in theaters with Disney and Pixar's The Incredibles - as if you needed another reason to go see that).

Don't panic!

If those two words (or the number 42) mean anything to you, here's a bit of news you're going to love. The BBC Radio website has posted the transcript of a chat with Dirk Maggs. He's the director of the new Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Tertiary Phase radio series. For those of you who haven't been tuned into the Sub-Ether lately (or who may have lost your Babel Fish), the 6-episode Tertiary Phase features nearly all of the same voice cast as the original Hitchhiker's series, and continues the adventures of Arthur Dent through the events of Douglas Adams' Life, the Universe and Everything. You can buy both the original radio series and the new Tertiary Phase on CD right now at Amazon.co.uk BUT... here's the great news: In the chat, Maggs says that they're currently working on two more series that will air next year (covering the last two books in the Hitchhiker's series, So Long and Thanks for All the Fish and Mostly Harmless). When that's done, Maggs hints that they'll release a 5.1 surround version of the complete Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on DVD-Audio. How cool would that be? Almost as cool as a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster after a hard's day slog through Vogon poetry, that's how cool.

Finally, don't forget (as if you could), this coming Tuesday is Election Day here in the States. I think I speak for all Americans when I say, thank GOD this will all be over soon. Maybe. Hopefully. At least this is the beginning of the end. With a little luck, and a LOT of legal maneuvering, we might know who our next President will be by this time next month. Maybe.

Democracy is a messy bit of work, isn't it?

Anyway, I bring it up because your local Sunday papers this weekend should have nicely printed and detailed voting guides, explaining all the issues and propositions and candidates' positions. So we want to encourage all of you to be good little citizens and do your Patriotic duty. Take ten minutes to research those issues and propositions and candidates' positions, and make sure you go to the polls on Tuesday to cast your vote. We'd give you a sticker or something, but you get enough of those damn things already every time you crack the wrapper on a new DVD these days.

As for us... well, Matt, Sarah and I have already cast our absentee ballots to the winds of Fate. Therefore, I'm going to spend this weekend spinning discs so as to dazzle you all with some long overdue reviews next week.

In the meanwhile, have a great weekend and we'll see you next Wednesday! Or was that Monday? Sorry... got all Landis on you there for a moment. Definitely Monday.

Oh... and much love out to all you Sox fans! Glad your curse thingie was finally kaboshed. You're next Cubs fans.

Stay tuned...

10/28/04

Afternoon, folks!

You Oscar film fans will be pleased to learn that Warner has just announced that they'll release a 2-disc Chariots of Fire: Special Edition on 2/1/05 (SRP $26.99). The previous and out of print DVD release was full frame only, but this new version will be anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Over 3 1/2 hours of extras will be included. Expect audio commentary with director Hugh Hudson, 11 deleted scenes, screen test footage for Ben Cross and Ian Charleson, the Wings on their Heels: The Making of Chariots of Fire and Chariots of Fire: A Reunion documentaries, 2 Easter eggs and the theatrical trailer. Should be a good release.

Boy, I've been waiting for this. Warner will finally release James Cagney's White Heat on 1/25/05, along with Angels with Dirty Faces, Little Caesar, The Petrified Forest, The Public Enemy and The Roaring Twenties (SRP $19.97 each). They'll all be available together in the Warner Gangsters Collection box set (SRP $68.92) the same day. Top of the world, ma!

Also newly announced by Warner are Broadway Melody of 1929, The Life of Emile Zola, China: The Panda Adventure (IMAX), Hidden Dimension (IMAX), Mark Twain's America (IMAX) and Oz: The Complete Fourth Season (all for 2/1/05), followed by Scooby-Doo: Aloha Scooby-Doo! and Yogi the Easter Bear (on 2/8/05).

Our MusicTAP crew has posted a new DVD review of Eagle Vision's The Who: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970. George Bennett gives the release high marks, so it's well worth a look if you're a music fan.

By the way, Robert Harris has also sent us an update to his recent column in which he interviewed Warner Home Video's George Feltenstein. The update can be found at this link at the end of the second page of the interview, and pertains to the details of the 1978 George Eastman House fire (and the films that were thought to be lost in it). Be sure to check it out.

Stay tuned...

10/27/04

We're very pleased this morning to present you with Barrie Maxwell's latest edition of Classic Coming Attractions here at The Digital Bits. In today's installment, Barrie reviews a whopping 15 classic DVD releases (more than 22 films/programs in all), including Paramount's Fancy Pants, The Country Girl, Goodbye, Columbus, The Black Orchid and The Counterfeit Traitor, 20th Century Fox's Alexander's Ragtime Band, The Snake Pit and The Boston Strangler, MGM's Judgment at Nuremberg: Special Edition and The Charlie Chan Chanthology (6 films), Warner Bros.' That's Entertainment!: The Complete Collection (3 films) and The Spencer Tracy Legacy documentary included in Tracy & Hepburn: The Signature Collection, Aircraft Films' The Memphis Belle: 60th Anniversary Collector's Edition and finally Music Video Distributors' Swing Era: Duke Ellington in Hollywood and The Frank Sinatra Show: Welcome Home Elvis.

By the way, with those reviews, our database of DVDs reviewed here at The Digital Bits has officially passed the 2,000 titles mark!

Around the Net today, CNN Money has a brief story on this week's launch of DualDisc.

Video Store has stories about alternate effects being prepared for a Spider-Man 2.5 DVD release (you knew that was coming, double-dippers) as well as alternate endings for The Grudge's eventual DVD release.

Thank God for Buena Vista Home Entertainment president Bob Chapek. He seems to be the loudest and clearest industry voice warning anyone who will listen about the damage the impending HD-DVD/Blu-ray Disc format way is going to cause the home video market. This week's Video Business has an article about Chapek's latest comments on the issue at yesterday's North American DVD Forum Conference. Well worth a read. I hope you HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc guys are listening, but I'd be surprised if any of you are taking his message to heart.

Stay tuned...

10/26/04

We've just gotten the official word from MGM that their Martin Scorsese Film Collection, which had previously been announced for 12/14 (but was then delayed indefinitely) has been re-announced for release on 2/8/05. The set will include the New York, New York: Special Edition, a new, 2-disc Raging Bull: Collector's Edition, the previously released The Last Waltz: Special Edition and Boxcar Bertha. The New York, New York: Special Edition will be presented in 1.66:1 letterboxed widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1 and mono audio (SRP $19.98 separately). Extras will include audio commentary, alternate takes, deleted scenes, a photo gallery, and the film's theatrical and teaser trailers. The Raging Bull: Collector's Edition will be presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 surround audio (SRP $29.98 separately). Extras will include audio commentary by Scorsese and editor Thelma Schoonmaker, a separate cast and crew commentary, a "storytellers" commentary, 3 documentaries (including Before the Fight: The Writing and Casting of Raging Bull, Inside the Ring: The Making of Raging Bull and The Bronx Bull), 3 featurettes (After the Fight: Creating a Classic, La Motta Defends Title and De Niro vs. La Motta) and the theatrical trailer. The Last Waltz: Special Edition is the same disc that was previously released by MGM (read our review here). Boxcar Bertha is also the same disc as previously released.

Here's a title I've really been looking forward to. HBO will be releasing Deadwood: The Complete First Season on 2/8/05 (SRP $99.98). The 6-disc set will include the episodes in anamorphic widescreen video with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Extras will include HBO's 30-minute Making of Deadwood special, the 45-minute History of Deadwood documentary, a 45-minute inteview with series creator David Milch conducted by Keith Carradine and audio commentary on 4 episodes (participants include David Milch, Molly Parker, Keith Carradine, Brad Dourif, Robin Weingart, Ian McShane and Tim Olyphant). Can't wait!

Also today, we have word on some new titles coming from Paramount. On 1/18/05, look for William Wyler's Carrie (starring Laurence Olivier and Jennifer Jones), Joseph Anthony's The Matchmaker (with Shirley Booth, Shirley MacLaine and Anthony Perkins) and Melville Shavelson's A New Kind of Love (with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward). The SRP for each will be $14.99.

New Line has announced Bright Young Things for release on 2/8/05 (SRP $27.95). The disc will include the film in anamorphic widescreen video with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, audio commentary with writer/director Stephen Fry and the From the Bottom Up behind-the-scenes documentary.

Here's cover art for HBO's Deadwood: The Complete First Season, MGM's Raging Bull: Collector's Edition and Warner's We Don't Live Here Anymore (12/14)...

Deadwood: The Complete First SeasonRaging Bull: Collector's EditionWe Don't Live Here Anymore

We'll be back early tomorrow morning with a new column from our own Barrie Maxwell. Stay tuned!

(LATE UPDATE - 10/25/04 - 2:30 PM PDT)

We're very pleased today to being you Robert A. Harris' latest Yellow Layer Failure column here at The Digital Bits. In this edition, we present an in-depth interview Robert has conducted with George Feltenstein, Warner Home Video's Sr. VP of Marketing for Classic Catalog. If you're a fan of classic films, you definitely don't want to miss this. It's a great read, and you'll learn quite a lot about the process Warner engages to restore and release its great classic titles on DVD. Robert and George talk in depth about Warner's new That's Entertainment Collection, as well as the Looney Tunes shorts and numerous other films. You'll also get a sneak peek at many of the classic titles you can expect to see from Warner in 2005 and beyond. We hope you enjoy it!

And when you're done, click on over to this thread at The Home Theater Forum to discuss the interview with Robert and other classic film enthusiasts.

Stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 10/25/04 - 12:01 AM PDT)

Is it Monday already? Sheesh! Hope you all had a great weekend.

I wanted to talk a little bit more about the new DualDisc format this morning. While I've been busy keeping my eye on the latest developments with HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc, I have to confess, DualDisc kind of snuck up on me. I talked briefly about it the other day, and was a little skeptical about yet another new music format. Well, Matt informs me that the best way to think of DualDisc is that it's basically DVD-Audio v 2.0. We've gone most of the year now with few (if any) really major releases on DVD-A, and it seems that DualDisc is the reason. DualDisc is basically a DVD disc on one side and a regular CD on the other. It's intended to go after much the same market as a hybrid SACD disc (which contains both SACD and regular CD content on the same disc), except that it can also include video material. You don't need a special player for it - DualDiscs should work on all existing DVD players. Many of the releases will contain high-resolution audio in addition to video material. 5.1, EMI, Sony BMG, Universal Music and Warner Music are all supporting DualDisc (although Sony releases on the format will not include high-resolution audio - you'll find that only on their SACD releases). So anyway, there you have it. Here's a link to the official format website for more. I'm frankly still pretty skeptical, but you can be sure we'll talk more about DualDisc in the weeks ahead.

We've got a bit of interesting information in The Rumor Mill today. It's something you Twin Peaks fans will certainly want to check out, so don't miss it.

In DVD release news this morning, Universal has announced that they'll debut Vanity Fair on DVD on 2/1/05 (SRP $29.98).

Also, Columbia TriStar has announced Little Black Book, Magic in the Water, Ride the Wild Surf, Slappy and the Stinkers, Augustus, Riding Giants: Special Edition and Forever Knight: The Trilogy Part 2. All will street on 1/4/05.

Later this morning, we're going to post a new interview our own Robert Harris conducted last week with George Feltenstein, the Senior Vice President for Classic Catalog titles at Warner Home Video, so be sure to check back for that.

Speaking of "our very own", we also want to let you all know that Dw. Dunphy of our MusicTAP.net site has just released an album of HIS very own! It's called Proud Sons of the Suburbs and it's available now via this link at CafePress.com. Well done, Dunphy!

Back later. Stay tuned...

10/22/04

Well, another Friday is here at least. Sure will be nice to have a couple of days to relax, won't it?

We've got a few things for you today. First up, 20th Century Fox has just officially announced the DVD release of Alien vs. Predator for 1/25/05 (SRP $29.98). The theatrical version of the film will be presented in anamorphic widescreen video, with both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio. Extras will include audio commentary (by Paul W.S. Anderson, Lance Henriksen and Sanaa Lathan), a second commentary (by Alec Gillis, Tom Woodruff Jr. and John Bruno), the ability to watch the film with an alternate opening, 3 deleted scenes (The Other Mexico, O Sole Mio and Predator Humor), The Making of AVP featurette, "Inside Look" previews of Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Elektra, a Darkhorse Comics AVP cover galley (with 65 stills), a DVD-ROM version of Darkhorse's first edition of the AVP comic book and a preview of the first 16 pages of the up-coming AVP graphic novel. Sure hope that's better than the film was.

Also newly announced by Fox for 1/11/05 is Paparazzi (SRP $27.98). The disc will include full frame on one side and anamorphic widescreen on the other, each with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Extras will include audio commentary by director Paul Abascal, 2 deleted scenes with optional commentary, a "making of" featurette, the film's theatrical trailer and a BTS Stunt featurette.

Warner has announced that they'll release Gilligan's Island: The Complete Second Season on 1/11/05 (SRP $39.98). Also on the way from Warner are Kung Fu: The Complete Second Season (1/18/05 - SRP $39.98), One Tree Hill: The Complete First Season (1/25/05 - $59.98) and The Dukes of Hazzard: The Complete Second Season (also 1/25/05 - $39.98).

Buena Vista and ESPN will release the 3: Collector's Edition on 12/14 (SRP $29.99). The 2-disc set includes the film itself (in anamorphic widescreen video) along with more than 5 hours of material on the life and racing career of Dale Earnhardt. You'll get exclusive interviews with Earnhardt from the ESPN archives, racing footage from his best races, the 3 Nation: The Life and Legacy of Dale Earnhardt documentary, rare Earnhardt TV appearances, a featurette on the making of the film and more.

Around the Net today, Apple.com has a good story on Lowry Digital's restoration work on the recent Star Wars Trilogy DVDs. The story features before and after screenshots of the films. Having seen clips of the films before restoration personally, while visiting THX recently, I can definitely vouch for the quality of this effort. It's nothing less than amazing.

Speaking of Star Wars, Lucasfilm has announced that the first teaser trailer for Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith will be attached to most prints of Disney and Pixar's The Incredibles when it opens in theaters on 11/5. So in just two weeks, fans will get their first look at the last Star Wars film ever. The official Star Wars website has also let it be known that paying subscribers to their exclusive Hyperspace website will get to see the trailer online first on 11/4. Just FYI.

Finally today, don't forget that Star Trek: Enterprise is all new tonight on UPN (broadcast in HD in many markets), and it's even better this season than last thanks to new head writer Manny Coto. The crew of the Enterprise finally returns home after their successful mission to save Earth from the Xindi, while Trip and T'Pol pay a visit to Vulcan. Better still, next week's episode begins a three-part story arc in which Archer and his crew must prevent a Hannibal Lector-like scientist from resurrecting the genetic supermen from the Eugenics Wars. The scientist is played by none other than Brent Spiner (Data of Star Trek: The Next Generation). The genetic supermen should ring a pretty big bell with Trek fans - they were first depicted in The Original Series episode Space Seed (Khan was one of them). Also appearing in this arc are another race Trek fans haven't seen since The Original Series - the Orion slavers. And the next three episodes after that will deal with a civil war on Vulcan, including an appearance by Original Series characters T'Pau (Amok Time) and Surak (The Savage Curtain). Don't miss it!

We'll be back on Monday with a new behind-the-scenes interview from Robert Harris. For Tuesday, we have a review column planned from the one and only Barrie Maxwell. Our very own Todd Doogan will make his long-awaited return next week (after recovering from knee surgery) with a host of new DVD reviews, and you might even get one or two new DVD reviews from me as well.

In the meantime, have a great weekend, enjoy the start of the World Series and, as always, stay tuned!

10/21/04

First things first today. Congrats to you Sox fans. The Bambino's curse is well on its way to being lifted, so go win yourselves a World Series, will you?

Things are a little hectic around The Bits today I'm afraid. As some of you may know, we've been having torrential rains here in Southern California these last few days. Unfortunately, we've got a little bit of flooding in one of the rooms of our house. Not a lot, but the room in question is our home theater, so you know... priorities.

In the meantime, the music industry is set to debut the new DualDisc format this week. Since high resolution audio seems on the wane, the music industry is (of course) eager to find new ways to get your money. DualDisc is basically a combo format - it's a regular CD disc on one side, then you flip it over and it's a DVD disc on the other. So you could get a band's album on one side, and then all the music videos, a documentary on the making of the album and a live performance on the other.

It sounds good at first, sure. But if you're thinking, "Well isn't this sort of like what DVD-Audio was supposed to give us?" you'd be right. Except that with DualDisc, you don't necessarily always get a high-resolution version of the music (some discs do include a 96/24 version of the album on the DVD side, but there's no guarantee that all of them will). And knowing how cheap the record companies are, you won't get much DVD video content either. You know, they love to sell you the music CD and the concert DVD separately to squeeze a little more blood from the stone.

Personally, I think it's lame. We'd much rather the record companies strengthened their commitment to the existing SACD and DVD-Audio formats. Unfortunately, thanks to the fact that the industry launched two competing formats, consumers haven't really gotten on board. So a revitalized commitment to either format now seems unlikely any time soon, if ever.

Sound familiar? We might be in for the same with high-definition video. Video Business' Scott Hettrick has a good editorial column this week (registration required). The gist is that if Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD cannibalize each other, the real winner of all this might be the Video On Demand and Pay Per View forces.

Moving on, we have some bad news for you Tom and Jerry fans. It seems that a few of the animated shorts included on their just released Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection were edited (they're supposed to be original and uncut). All three of the shorts are on Disc One of the collection. The shorts in question are The Milky Waif, The Truce Hurts and The Little Orphan. The good news, however, is that Warner Bros is aware of this issue and says that it was unintentional. Steps are being taken to remaster Disc One with the original uncut shorts, and to make replacements available to those who purchased the set at no cost. Click here for comments on the problem from producer Jerry Beck (via the Animation Show forum - slide down to his post about halfway down the page). We'll post replacement details as soon as we have them.

In other news today, the winners or the first ever TV DVD Awards were announced last night at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles. Three nominees were chosen in each of twelve categories (from over 150 entries), by a panel of experts that included myself, USA Today’s Mike Snider, veteran home video journalist Bruce Apar, TV Shows on DVD.com's Gord Lacey and DVD Talk's Geoffrey Kleinman, and the final winners were selected by the public through online voting. Here's the official press release announcing the winners, and here's complete list:

Best 1950s Series - I Love Lucy: The Complete Second Season (Paramount)

Best 1960s Series - Star Trek: The Original Series Season One (Paramount)

Best 1970s Series - Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Epic Series (Universal)

Best 1980s Series - The Kids in the Hall: Complete Season One (A&E)

Best 1990s Series - The Simpsons: Complete Fourth Season (20th Century Fox)

Best 2000s Series - 24: Season Two (20th Century Fox)

Best Animated Series - The Simpsons: Complete Fourth Season (20th Century Fox)

Best British TV Release - The Office (BBC)

Best Compilation - The Ultimate Johnny Carson Collection (R2 Entertainment)

Best Made-for-TV Documentary - The World at War (A&E)

Best Miniseries or TV Movie - Shogun (Paramount)

Best Special Feature - 24: Season Two: Exposed Part One & Part Two featurette (20th Century Fox)

In addition to the awards listed above, Image Entertainment and producer Paul Brownstein received a well-deserved Best of Show Award for their five "complete season" sets of The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Carl Reiner received a TV DVD Lifetime Achievement Award. Congratulations to all of the winners!

Stay tuned...

10/20/04

Okay, that's it. I am SO rooting for the Boston Red Sox. What a great ALCS! And this is a Twins fan saying that. Here's hoping you Sox fans will finally get that curse off your backs. My fingers are crossed for you. Can't wait for tonight's Game 7.

We've got a few more new DVD announcements for you today. First up, Universal has announced that they'll release an Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Collector's Edition on 1/4/05. The 2-disc set will feature anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio, audio commentary with director Michel Gondry and writer Charlie Kaufman, deleted scenes, 2 featurettes (A Look Inside Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and A Conversation with Jim Carrey and Director Michel Gondry), Polyphonic Spree's Light & Day music video and the Lacuna commercial. A commemorative photo book will also be included. Additional features are still TBA. There's no SRP set yet.

Universal will also release a 4-disc Monk: Season Two set on 1/11/05 (SRP $59.98). The studio has more direct-to-video animation on the way as well, with The Land Before Time XI: The Invasion of the Tinysauruses due on 1/11/04 and Balto III: Wings of Change following on 2/1/05.

Our friends over at TVShowsonDVD.com have learned more about Lions Gate's forthcoming Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars. The DVD will street on 1/18/05 (SRP $19.98). Look for anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, the 30-minute The Making of The Peacekeeper Wars documentary, an interactive concept art gallery, production storyboards, a spacecraft gallery and more.

20th Century Fox will release Pauly Shore Is Dead on 1/25/05 (the film will get limited release in theaters starting 10/29). The DVD will feature audio commentary by Shore (who directed), along with deleted scenes (introduced by Eminem and Proof and hosted by Shore, Charlie Sheen and the Hilton sisters), a parody of the Aaron Lewis song It's Been a While and a making-of featurette both (introduced by Eminem and Proof). Click here to read more via Video Business.

By the way, we've confirmed with the studio that Fox's Millennium: The Complete Second Season (1/4/05 - SRP $59.98) WILL feature anamorphic widescreen video (our previous information was that this was a full frame title). Just FYI.

Paramount has something to crow about today. According to VideoScan and retail sources, its recent Chapelle's Show: Season One - Uncensored has become the all-time best-selling TV series release on DVD, with over 2 million units sold. To celebrate the news, they've just announced that Chapelle's Show: Season Two - Uncensored is already slated for release on DVD on 2/8/05.

Around the site today, we've updated all the DVD hardware and software stats we track (above), including the CEA DVD Player Sales numbers, which are now up to date through the first week of October (ending 10/8). Note that the final month-to-date sales numbers from August and September have been adjusted by CEA (our chart reflects these changes).

Okay, that's enough news for today. How about a little more new cover art, hmmm? Here's Universal's Shaun of the Dead, final art for Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries (12/28) and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Collector's Edition, 20th Century Fox's Garden State (12/28), Lions Gate's Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars and what the hell... how 'bout a cool music title? Rhino's David Byrne: Live at Union Chapel (10/26)...

Shaun of the DeadBattlestar Galactica: The MiniseriesEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Collector's Edition

Garden StateFarscape: The Peacekeeper WarsDavid Byrne: Live at Union Chapel

As always, stay tuned...

(LATE UPDATE - 10/19/04 - 1 PM PDT)

We're back again this afternoon with word on a whopping TEN new Contests that we've just kicked off here at The Bits. You will each have the chance to win copies of Warner's The OC: The Complete First Season, the Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection, Wacky Races: The Complete Series, Helter Skelter: Director's Cut and Salem's Lot: The Miniseries, Universal's Van Helsing, Paramount's The Ren & Stimpy Show Uncut: The First and Second Seasons, Shout! Factory's SCTV: Volume 2, Anchor Bay's Xena: Season Five and a Warner Halloween DVD collection featuring Dead Ringer, The Bad Seed, Freaks, Village of the Damned/Children of the Damned and The Lost Boys: Special Edition. Entries will be accepted until Noon PDT on Sunday, October 31st (that's Halloween, folks). Good luck!

Also today, we have a pair of new Digital Bits Power Buys up, featuring special pricing on Sony's VPLHS51 3-chip LCD HDTV projector and DirecTV's HR10-250 High Definition satellite receiver/HD-TiVo! Don't miss out on these great deals.

Stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 10/19/04 - 12:01 AM PDT)

Morning, everyone! Congrats to you Sox fans on your team staying alive for at least one more match-up with the Yankees. Some pretty damn good baseball last night, I'll tell you.

We've got a bunch of new DVD announcements to cover today. First up, Image Entertainment has announced that it will release The Twilight Zone: The Definitive Edition - Season 1 on 12/28 (SRP $119.99). This 6-disc set will include all 36 episodes mastered from new high-definition transfers using the original camera negatives, audio in the original mono, audio commentaries (by Earl Holliman, Martin Landau, Rod Taylor, Martin Milner, Kevin McCarthy, Ted Post and William Self), vintage audio "recollections" (with Burgess Meredith, Douglas Heyes, Richard Bare, Buck Houghton, Anne Francis and Richard Masterson), Rod Serling audio lectures from Sherwood Oaks College, isolated music scores (featuring the work of Bernard Herrman, Jerry Goldsmith and more), Rod Serling's promos for "next week's show", the original unaired pilot episode (Where Is Everybody?) featuring Serling's network pitch, a rare Serling blooper, the 466-page Twilight Zone Companion book by Marc Scott Zicree and more! Is that an amazing list of extras for this set or what?

Image is also releasing The Twilight Zone (1985): Season 1 on 12/28 as well (6 discs, SRP $69.99), which will include a Wes Craven video interview, over a dozen audio commentaries (by the likes of Craven, Philip DeGuere, Alan Brennert, Bradford May, James Croker, JD Feigelson, William Wu, Harlan Ellison and Greg Bear), photo galleries and more.

Columbia TriStar has revealed that it will release a 2-disc Resident Evil: Apocalypse - Special Edition on 12/28 (SLP $28.96). The set will include audio commentary with the director and producer, a cast commentary with Milla Jovovich and others, a writer and producer commentary, 23 deleted scenes, outtakes, the Game Over: Resident Evil Reanimated multi-part documentary, Corporate Malfeasance featurettes, the Game Babes and Symphony of Evil featurettes, a poster gallery and previews. Video will be available in both anamorphic widescreen and full frame (mastered from an HD transfer), and audio will be Dolby Digital 5.1. You'll also be able to buy a 2-pack, containing the special edition versions of both this film and the original Resident Evil, for SLP $39.95.

Also on tap for 12/28 from Columbia are Tour of Duty: The Complete Second Season, Trois: The Escort, a Trois 3-pack (containing the R-rated version of Trois, Trois 2: Pandora's Box and Trois: The Escort), Wake of Death, Cyber Bandits and Venus Rising.

Universal will release Shaun of the Dead on 12/21 (SRP $29.98). Extras will include extended scenes, outtakes, casting tapes, Simon Pegg's video diary, Edgar & Simon's pitch to the studio, a special effects comparison, extended scenes from the television shows that Shaun watches in the film and galleries of production photos, ad campaign art and theatrical poster designs. Look also for both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio.

Universal will also release Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence and Wimbledon on 12/28. Ghost in the Shell 2 will feature 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen video and the original Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 audio (with English subs). Wimbledon will feature 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio, audio commentary with actor Paul Bettany and director Richard Loncraine, the Wimbledon: A Look Inside, Welcome to the Club, Ball Control and Coach a Rising Star featurettes, the theatrical trailer and DVD-ROM features. Both will SRP for $29.99.

Evil Remains will street from Universal on 1/11/05.

New Line has announced the DVD release of a 3-disc Blade Exclusive DVD Set for 11/9 (SRP $26.98 SRP). The set will include both the original Blade and Blade II DVDs along with a 3rd disc of all new bonus material including a preview of the forthcoming Blade: Trinity’s action sequences, video of the panel discussion with director David Goyer and stars Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds from this year's Comic-Con, an exclusive preview of the film's soundtrack and theatrical trailers.

New Line has also revealed that it will release the Cellular: Platinum Series on 1/18/05 (SRP $27.95), including anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, audio commentary (with director David Ellis, writers Larry Cohen and Chris Morgan), deleted scenes with optional director's commentary, the Celling Out, Dialing Up Cellular and Code of Silence: Inside the Rampart Scandal featurettes, the theatrical trailer, and a DVD-ROM script-to-screen option.

Also in January, New Line will release The Story of the Weeping Camel (on 1/25/05).

Not done yet. Criterion has announced that they're working on a soon-to-be-announced DVD release of Akira Kurosawa's Kagemusha, featuring new interviews with filmmakers George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola (you can bet Todd and I are jazzed about that)!

Last, but certainly not least, Paramount has announced that they'll release Jonathan Demme's remade The Manchurian Candidate on 12/21.

Anyone up for some cover artwork? Here's Universal's Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, New Line's Cellular: Platinum Series, Columbia TriStar's Resident Evil: Apocalypse - Special Edition, Image's The Twilight Zone: The Definitive Edition - Season 1 and Paramount's The Manchurian Candidate and Star Trek: The Original Series - Season Three (12/14)...

Ghost in the Shell 2: InnocenceCellular: Platinum SeriesResident Evil: Apocalypse - Special Edition

The Twilight Zone: The Definitive Edition - Season 1The Manchurian CandidateStar Trek: The Original Series - Season Three

Whew! Stay tuned...

(LATE UPDATE - 10/18/04 - 2:45 PM PDT)

We're back as promised with the latest edition of Adam Jahnke's The Bottom Shelf! In this go-round, Adam reviews 9 recent DVD releases, TV titles all, including... Warner's Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Volume One, Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Volume Two, Sealab 2021: Season One and Babylon 5: The Movie Collection, Rhino's Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Essentials, Anchor Bay's Sledge Hammer! Season One and MGM's Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds: International Rescue Edition 2-pack, which includes Thunderbirds Are Go and Thunderbird 6 (both are also available separately). Enjoy!

Stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 10/18/04 - 12:15 PM PDT)

Afternoon, everyone! We'll be back in a few hours with Adam's latest edition of The Bottom Shelf, but first we wanted to check in with some cool information on a few upcoming Paramount SCEs tentatively planned for 2005. You'll find that in The Rumor Mill today, so don't miss it!

Stay tuned...

10/17/04

This is just a quick reminder to all you Farscape fans, that the first part of the concluding miniseries airs tonight on the SciFi Channel. Part one of Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars will be shown at 9 PM (8 PM Central). Part Two will follow tomorrow night at the same time. I've seen the miniseries, and I can tell you that if you love Farscape, you'll really enjoy this. Don't miss it.

By the way, Bits reader Seth D. e-mailed me this weekend to let me know that he recently received a postcard advertising tonight's miniseries with this message: "Look for Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars on DVD from Lions Gate Home Entertainment in early 2005." We had previously assumed it would be released by either ADV or Universal (we've corrected Friday's post accordingly). So there you go. Thanks, Seth!

See you tomorrow!


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