NEWS - JANUARY 2003
seems like Fox Central around here sometimes, but - hey, don't knock it! -
at least their PR company is doing a decent job!
will be releasing a standalone Buffy The Vampire Slayer disc
featuring the musical episode Once More With Feeling on 14th of
April, almost exactly a month before they release it as part of the Buffy
The Vampire Slayer - Season Six box set, (where was this disc a year
ago, when we really wanted it??!) There are no details available at
present, but I sincerely hope that they're not considering putting
anything on it that won't be replicated on the box set version...
there anyone still buying stuff like The X-Files on VHS, even
though they must know that a DVD version is on the horizon? Perhaps Fox
should bite the bullet and release the new series simultaneously on DVD
and VHS? Anyhoo, The X-Files Season 9 is released on VHS on April
the rest of Fox's current schedule:
McBeal - Season 5 - 10th February
Angel - Season 1 - 24th February
- Season 3 - 3rd March
X-Files - Season 6 - 17th March
Simpsons - Ricky Business [sic] - 7th April
The Vampire Slayer - Once More With Feeling - 14th April
The Vampire Slayer - Season 6 - 12th May
Guy - Season 3 - 12th May
Angel - Season 2 - 19th May
- Season 3 - 2nd June
Home Video has postponed the release of Badlands and Big
Wednesday to 26th May. Both discs will feature the original theatrical
trailer and all-new documentaries (The Absence of Malick, on Badlands,
Capturing the Swell on Big Wednesday). Big Wednesday will
also have a commentary track, by director John Milius.
coincide with the release of the Robin Williams and Al Pacino remake,
Freemantle Media and Arrow Films are issuing the original 1997 Norwegian
version of Insomnia, directed by Erik Skjoldbjaerg. The film will
have an anamorphic transfer (actual ratio TBC), and an RRP of £15.99.
Bonus features will include a photo' gallery and trailer.
looking forward to seeing Nick Broomfield's acclaimed documentary Kurt
and Courtney again, and Optimum Releasing's DVD release on March 31st
will present an ideal opportunity, particularly since the disc will
feature some interesting-sounding bonus features, according to the press
release: "Ten extra scenes introducing ever
more eccentric characters from the Seattle and LA underworld, an interview
with Broomfield reflecting on the response to the film¹s release and
gripping footage from the Sundance Film Festival where Robert Redford
announces the cancellation of the world premiere following legal threats
from Courtney Love." The disc, will also feature a Broomfield
commentary track and a stills gallery. The disc has an RRP of
here's a look at the two Clearvision box sets, for Taggart and Fox
(full details listed below, on January 21st).
The Fox box set is the VHS version, but I don't suppose the DVD version
will be much different!
March releases include a slew of classic Hollywood epics, including old
favourite The Vikings (perhaps the only film in the batch that has
worn well). The others are A Passage To India (1.85:1 anamorphic,
Dolby Surround), The Greatest Story Ever Told (ratio TBC, 5.1
audio), Alexander the Great (no details listed) and Khartoum (ratio
TBC, stereo audio). Each will be released on March 31st, with an RRP of
worryingly The Vikings sleeve lists its ratio as 1.66:1 (the sleeve
also says "Full Frame Version 4:3, which would be even worse!) The
film's original theatrical ratio (as seen on the US disc) is 2.35:1.
Rather worryingly, there's also a note about the mono audio on the sleeve,
to saying that "Every effort has been made to restore the original
audio track to the highest fidelity possible with modern mastering
techniques", which seems like code for "brace yourself!"
The UK disc also seems to be missing the featurette that's on the Region 1
disc, so this is starting to look like a disc worth crossing the road to
avoid. None of the other discs have any bonus features listed, except for
31st is also the release date for the highly anticipated Fargo
Special Edition, which will be presented with 5.1 audio, along with an
audio commentary (by Director of Photography Roger Deakins), Minnesota
Nice, a documentary featuring interviews with the cast and
crew, an interactive guide to "The Coen Brothers Fanmily Tree",
an article reproduced from American Cinematographer magazine, photo
gallery, trivia tracks ("all you need to know about the key points of
the movie") and trailers. RRP is £19.99.
times Oscar winner Network (Sidney Lumet's prescient drama about
the fall from grace of a television news anchorman) is being released on
March 17th with an RRP of £12.99, but no further details are available.
March marks the return of Stargate SG-1, after a protracted break
which gave the producers a chance to get a few episodes in the can before
MGM UK wanted to release them on DVD!
SG-1 Volume 26 will feature the
first four episodes of the sixth season: Redemption parts 1 and 2, Descent
new discs will feature more of MGM's terrific Director Series
featurettes. Upcoming installments will focus on script development, prop
and set creation. The discs will also feature commentaries, stills
galleries and trailers. The Stargate SG-1 production team, via
MGM's DVD series, continues to do a terrific job of giving its fans access
behind the scenes.
are also releasing Stargate SG-1 Season 4 as a box set on 31st
March with an RRp of £59.99. This is a simple repackaging exercise, at a
more attractive price point. The six discs (each containing four episodes)
will be the same as the existing individual discs).
has indefinitely postponed the release of The Blue Max, which was
due for release on March 3rd. The other catalogue titles due on the
3rd (see 22nd January update, below) will still be released on that
Tarantino fans must be in hog heaven following the release of two of his
films as feature-packed Special Edition discs, (Jackie Brown and Pulp
Fiction from Buena Vista), so the release of another Tarantino-penned
Special Edition DVD should send them into orbit!
Home Video is releasing Tony Scott's sparky 1993 movie True Romance on
February 24th. Extras will include no less than three commentary tracks
and eleven deleted scenes.
here to read the Zeta Minor review.
your TV set full of lizards? Fear not! Soon, you're going to
be very, very happy indeed!
T. Davies' controversial drama series The Second Coming, (about a
man, played by Christopher Eccleston, who disappears for five weeks, only
to reappear claiming he's the Son of God) is being released on DVD by
Carlton on February 17th (a day after the three part series finishes
airing). The disc will also contain a commentary track by Davies (creator
of Queer as Folk and Bob & Rose) and director Adrian
Shergold, and more than half an hour of deleted scenes. RRP is
have been a few changes to Anchor Bay UK's release schedule. Wim Wenders' The
American Friend (which was due in February) has been postponed
indefinitely. Michael Armstrong's Mark of the Devil and Herzog's Stroszek
(which were due in March) have also been postponed. Luigi Cozzi's Contamination
will be released on March 24th. Steel Dawn and Vampyres
(aka Daughters of Darkness) have been delayed until April 21st.
the most intriguing of Anchor Bay UK's forthcoming releases is a new
version of David Wickes' 1988 TV mini series Jack The Ripper, which
starred Michael Caine (as Chief Inspector Abberline), Armand Assante, Jane
Seymour and Lewis Collins.
new disc will present the series in anamorphic widescreen format,
with a choice of Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0 audio. The disc will have a
commentary track from Wickes (who also wrote the series) and researcher
Sue Davies, moderated by Jonathan Southcott. The disc will also feature
twenty minutes of previously unseen footage featuring Van Der Valk star
Barry Foster in the Abberline role.
starred in the series when it was intended as a three-part Thames
Television series, shot on video. An innovative deal with an American
broadcaster (CBS) meant that work on the series was halted, and plans were
upgraded to produce a four-part series shot on film. This deal required
someone with a higher international profile, so Foster was ditched, and
Michael Caine was brought in. The
disc is currently scheduled for release on February 24th, with an RRP of
to James Reader for spotting that the BBFC certificated a commentary track
(by Tim Minear and Mere Smith) for the Angel episode Lullaby.
This is on the forthcoming Region 2 Season 3 DVD Box Set,
but, like the other bonus features on disc three, it wasn't listed on
Fox's press release.
are releasing four "classic" films on the 3rd of March (each
with an RRP of £15.99). These are The Day The Earth Stood Still, The
Blue Max, Buffy The Vampire Slayer (previously available
exclusively from WH Smith), the taut Kurt Russell thriller Breakdown and
Sidney Lumet's gritty 1991 cop drama Q&A.
Day The Earth Stood Still - Special Edition is presented in 4:3
format. The other titles will have 16:9-enhanced transfers (Breakdown and
The Blue Max are 2.35:1, Buffy... and Q&A are
1.85:1). Breakdown will have a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track, the
others are 2.0.
film will come with the theatrical trailer and English subtitles. Buffy
The Vampire Slayer also features two TV spots and a featurette. The
Day The Earth Stood Still - Special Edition has a commentary track,
Movietone News clip and Restoration Comparison.
here to read our Day The Earth
Stood Still - Special Edition review!
UK release date for The Road To Perdition has been moved back a week, to March 17th.
January 2003 - Update
- here's what's going on with Dark Angel. The pictures
released by Fox UK yesterday are in fact of the Region 1 box sets. The
image I added on January 9th is the correct packaging for the UK - three
cases, six discs, the complete first season.
there has been a change to the release date for Season Two - it's
now been pushed back to the 19th of May.
sure I'm not the last person to know, so in case that happens to be you,
here's some news about Taggart and the popular 1980 Euston Films
drama Fox being released on DVD (and the "other format").
thirteen hour-long episodes of the BAFTA-nominated series Fox,
about the lives of 'King Billy' Fox (Peter Vaughan) and his Clapham-based family
(including The Two Towers star Bernard Hill and Ray Scum
Winstone), will be released by ClearVision on March
10th, in a four-disc box set retailing for just under £40. The discs will
not feature any significant extras. The series was written by Trevor
Preston and Executive Produced by Verity Lambert.
year it will be twenty years since acid-faced Glaswegian copper Taggart
hit British screens, and ClearVision will be releasing four feature-length
stories, following on from the twenty-nine episodes they've already
released on VHS. The box set includes Babushka (a 1997 story about
Russian mail-order brides), Berserker (an amphetamine-type drug is
killing body-builders, from January 1998), Out of Bounds (a
skeleton is discovered in a boys' boarding school, written by series
creator Glenn Chandler, and directed by one of the most talented directors
working on the series, Sarah Hellings) and Dead Reckoning (from
July 1998, Taggart investigates a series of murders among women working
for an escort agency).
four-disc sets will be released on March 10th, and have an R.R.P. of
I've updated The Wicker Man DVD
review to add details of the recent Silva Screen CD,
up who knows what's going on at Fox with Dark Angel? Not me,
and I've read their press release! No
sooner do I think I've got it nailed, then they throw a spanner or two in
On January the 9th I posted a picture
(below) showing a box set that contained what looked like three two-disc cases, containing the whole of
the first season (the spines clearly say "Discs 1 & 2 - Episodes
1-7" etc. Now I get some new images, and it looks like the first
season will be released in two three-disc box sets, with each case
containing only three episodes. WTF?
a look at the Dark Angel Season One Collection - Part Two box set, and
an image of the Part One and Part Two boxes side by side. I now
have no idea if the "Season Two Released 21/04/03" on the press
release actually refers to Part Two, or if all of Season One will be
released on February 24th, and Season Two really will be released on April
wait! There's more bad news! A mere couple of days after Fox announced the
UK release of Dark Angel, Fox's US division announced the Region 1
release. Although their domestic releases will have the distinct
disadvantage of being presented in 4:3 format, this is compensated for by
a slew of bonus features that won't be available to fans of the series who
buy the UK sets. The US Season One set will contain four commentary tracks
(including one by stars Jessica Alba and Michael Weatherly on ...And
Jesus Bought A Casserole), three featurettes, audition tape clips, and
a blooper reel. To add insult to injury, the US set is a fraction of the
price of the UK set...
new review today, and this time it's a genuine golden oldie (the movie,
not the review). Click here to
read the Zeta Minor review of Eureka's new two-disc Region 2 version of
Fritz Lang's 1927 masterpiece Metropolis, which is due out next
Monday (although copies are filtering through to some suppliers already -
it was originally going to be released today!)
has announced a 3rd March release date for the Angel - Season Three (a
week earlier than currently listed by some online retailers). In addition
to the twenty-two episodes, the six-disc set will contain an array of
bonus bonus materials. Having had a skim through some of them, this seems
to be the best Buffy-related box set yet! The set contains commentary
tracks on Billy (by Tim Minear and Jeffrey Bell) and Waiting in
the Wings (by Joss Whedon). There are a couple of deleted scenes, with
optional commentary, from Birthday (an extended version of the
Cordy! sitcom, which admirers of Charisma Carpenter are going to love!)
and Waiting in the Wings (a hilarious fantasy sequence where Wesley
dreams that he and Fred replace the ballerinas on stage!) There are three
featurettes: Darla: Deliver Us From Evil (12m), the Season 3
Overview (32m) and Page To Screen (14m). Two screen test tapes
are offered (for actors Amy Acker and Vincent Kartheiser), and there's a
bunch of outtakes (5m). There are also trailers for the previous sets, and
a photo' gallery. The episodes themselves are in 16:9 anamorphic format,
with 2.0 stereo audio (at 192kbps). Click on the logo' to see a couple of
menu screens, and shots from the deleted scenes (the picture quality of
the deleted scenes is a bit murky, and they aren't representative of the
Stephen King mini-series are being released by Warner Home Video on
Emmy nominated haunted house epic Rose Red makes its DVD debut
before it airs on British television. The two disc set will include two
featurettes, Unlocking Rose Red: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer (23m)
and Bad House: The Making of Rose Red (28m, half the length
of documentary of the same title on the US disc!) The press release also
mentions something called Inside Rose Red (this may just be a
generic heading for the supplements), but there's been nothing with that
title submitted to the BBFC).
episodes will be presented in 4:3 format, with 5.1 Dolby Digital audio.
The commentary track and storyboard comparisons that are on the much
cheaper Region 1 disc, from Trimark seem to have been dropped for the UK
King's The Shining, which won three Emmy awards in 1997, when it
was originally transmitted, is also presented on two discs, in 4:3 format,
with 5.1 Dolby Digital audio. The series will be supported by a commentary
track by King, director Mick Garris, and stars Steven Weber and Cynthia
Garris. The disc will also contain eleven deleted scenes (totalling about
sets will be issued in digi-pack packaging, and have an RRP of £19.99.
Warner Home Video's eagerly awaited special editions of Badlands and
Big Wednesday have been pushed back from the 31st of March, to the
end of May.
exciting news for fans of British TV SF!
(the company behind archive TV releases like Minder and Van Der
Valk) are releasing Euston Films' remarkable 1979 series Quatermass
(aka Quatermass IV) on DVD in April. The series starred John
Mills in the title role, supported by Simon McCorkindale, Barbara
Kellerman and Ralph Arliss (whatever happened to him!?).
three disc box set will contain all four episodes of the original series
(each approximately 50m each), as well as the drastically edited
theatrical version, re-titled The Quatermass Conclusion, (which was
previously released on VHS by Thames Video in 1986, and running just
UK version of Sam Mendes' Road To Perdition is being released by Twentieth
Century Fox Home Entertainment and Dreamworks on March 10th with a
full complement of bonus materials, including a commentary track (by the
director), eleven deleted scenes, an HBO Special (The Making of Road to
Perdition), the "CD soundtrack - International Version",
photo gallery and the usual text-based resources. Fox's disc will be
letterboxed only, in 2.35:1 ratio, with anamorphic enhancement.
disc will also offer a choice of Dolby Digital and dts 5.1 soundtracks. It
looks like the UK division has ditched the rather hideous "giant
head" sleeve design of the US release, and are going with this image,
which is altogether classier (although not as classy as the stunningly
elegant theatrical art!)
couple of news snippets:
Steven Spielberg's miniseries about UFO abductions (currently being shown
by BBC2 and BBC Choice) will get a UK DVD release from Universal Playback
(who released the recent Twin Peaks box set). It's currently
scheduled for April, but no other details are available.
fans, and the many admirers of Barry Gray's music, will doubtless be
thrilled to hear that Silva Screen are releasing a CD of music from the
series, on March the 3rd.
was no RRP information on the press release, but Amazon (for example) have
it listed for a very reasonable £7.99!
disc contains score cues from nine episodes: Sun Probe, The
Perils of Penelope, The Cham Cham, Vault of Death, The
Man From MI5, Desperate Intruder, Pit of Peril, The
Imposters and Trapped in the Sky. As a bonus, there's the
original music from four 1965 Lyon's Maid Thunderbirds TV commercial!
the track list for the album (with my own annotations in square
Main Titles (1.36)
Sun Probe (2.05)
Tracy Island and International Rescue
Monorail to Disaster from The Perils of Penelope (2.10)
Thunderbirds are go! (4.28) [from Trapped in the Sky]
Dangerous Game – Latin Rhythm instrumental from The Cham Cham
Suite from Vault of Death (8.47)
The Man from MI.5 (4.28)
Suite from Desperate Intruder
Commercial Break (2.46)
[ad bumper music and music from four commercials]
Dangerous Game from The Cham Cham (1.51)
Let’s Play Ad Lib from The Cham Cham (2.20)
Lady Penelope on the move (1.37) [Stereo - deleted track from Thunderbirds
from Pit of Peril
14. The Fate of the Sidewinder (2.01)
15. Pit of Peril (2.49)
16. Rescue! (2.04)
Jeremiah and Lady Penelope from The Impostors
Trapped In The Sky
18. Deadly Plot – The Hood and the Fireflash (4.09)
19. Fireflash Landing (1.15)
20. FAB1 Pursuit (1.00)
21. The Tracy Lounge Piano (2.00)
End Titles 1.09 [long version
used on Trapped in the Sky]
have announced more details about the Carry On... series of discs.
Other commentary contributors will include regulars Peter Rogers, Jack
Douglas, Patsy Rowlands, June Whitfield, Dave Freeman, Jacki Piper, Alan
Hume, Peter Gilmore, Richard O’Callaghan and Carry On England's
the episodes of the Carry On Laughing TV series will be included as
extras. The others will be on Camping, Dick, Behind, Up
The Khyber, Loving, Up The Jungle, At Your
Convenience, Matron and England.
On Follow That Camel will feature a contemporary interview with
American guest star Phil Silvers. Two discs will feature behind-the-scenes
footage: Carry On Henry (10 mins) and Carry On Girls (24
mins). A 40th Anniversary tribute TV documentary, filmed in 1998, will be
added to Carry On Emmanuelle.
shots from the two forthcoming BFI Archive Television releases, Culloden
and The War Game can be seen here.
day, another Carry On... disc has turned up! This time it's Carry
On Abroad, and there's some actual news to report: the film has a
commentary track by John Clive, Sally Geeson, Carol Hawkins and David
Kernan. Now, no doubt many of you, perhaps even some of the Carry On...
fans will be saying "who?" at this point. Well, seeing as
almost all of the A-list stars of the film are no longer with us, I think
the choice is a wise one. A quick listen to the track confirms that the
contributors, who were pretty well-known faces to 70s sitcom viewers, have
plenty of interesting stories.
disc also contains another episode of Carry On Laughing, (Short
Knight, Long Daze), the trailer, photo gallery and trivia. The
transfer is anamorphic.
January 2003 - Afternoon Update
a big fan of Terry Gilliam's deliriously off-kilter movies, and so am
looking forward enormously to seeing the documentary about the
disintegration of his most recent project, The Man Who Killed Don
in La Mancha was created by the same team that made The Hamster
Factor, the superb behind- the-scenes documentary on the 12 Monkeys
disc. The documentary is being released to buy (on DVD and "the
other format") on February 24th, (just over three weeks after
it opens theatrically in the US, incidentally!)
for the DVD is £19.99.
disc comes stuffed with bonus material:
interviews with Terry Gilliam and star Johnny Depp
deleted scenes and two alternative openings
Man Who Killed Don Quixote costume designs
Gilliam's full storyboards, including the puppet, giants and windmill
auditions and rehearsal material
Carry On... disc has appeared, and so the spec's for Don't Lose
Your Head can be revealed: once again Jim Dale provides a commentary
track, the Carry On Laughing episode is The Prisoner of Spenda,
and there's a stills gallery and theatrical trailer. The disc is
- more details on the Dark Angel Season One Collection, which is
being released on February 24th. The six-disc set contains all the
episodes from the first season (including the 90m Pilot episode,
written by James Cameron and directed by The X-Files maestro David
Nutter), and appears to mirror the Australian version. The only bonus
material is four interview segments (producers James Cameron and Charles
Eglee, and stars Jessica Alba, Michael Weatherly and John Savage). The
discs will be 16:9 anamorphic (an improvement on the Japanese discs), and
have 2.0 surround sound. RRP is £60, but online retailers like Play.com
are already listing it for about £45 (marginally cheaper than the Region
4 release!) The second season will be released on April 21st.
a look at the UK Dark Angel box set! More details will follow
in the next day or three...
that it's one of the most popular reviews on the site, I've updated my
review of "the Citizen Kane of horror movies" The
Wicker Man, expanding it to include a little about the film's
back-story, and adding a couple of frame-grabs. I've also updated it to
mention the recent DVD and CD box set. If you don't already own this
movie, what are you waiting for? Play.com
have it for an astonishing £7.99! Go, buy it!
label VCI (not related to the company with the same initials in the UK)
has announced its new releases for February, which include one of the best
non-Hammer British horror movies, an 80s slasher flick, and a classic Fu
The Horrors of the Black Museum, starring Michael Gough and Shirley
Anne Field, is a gruesome Grand Guignol thriller from schlockmeisters Samuel
Z. Arkoff and Herman Cohen. For many viewers VCI's new disc will
offer the first opportunity to see the film in its original 'scope
ratio (2.35:1), and VCI's disc will have anamorphic enhancement. VCI's
version, running approximately 95 minutes, should also be considerably
longer than the 78 minute version released by Lumiere in the UK in 1993
(which replicated the BBFC edited theatrical release). The new disc will
feature the film's original Hypno-Vista opening, a photo gallery,
theatrical trailer and "commentaries" by Cohen, composer Gerald
Schurmann and film historian David Del Valle.
than twenty years separate Horrors of the Black Museum from Bloody
Birthday, the loopy 1981 tale of three ten year old killers born
during a total eclipse, but they're more alike than unlike at heart: pure
exploitation! The film, which features Susan Strasberg and José Ferrer,
will arrive on disc with an anamorphic 1.78:1 transfer, and will be
supported with an interview by former Amicus head honcho Max J. Rosenberg
and bonus trailers.
of Fu Manchu, one of the best of the Republic serials of the 30s and
40s, stars German born actor Henry Brandon in the title role (Brandon was
the first actor to tackle the role after Boris Karloff's starred in the
classic 1932 film The Mask of Fu Manchu). VCI is releasing the
fifteen-part serial using a new digital film transfer, on two DVD 9 discs.
Bonus materials include video commentary and photo gallery.
three discs are due for release on February 25th. RRP is $20 each for the
two films, and $30 for Drums of Fu Manchu.
I've added a whole new section to the website, which I've somewhat grandly
christened "Alternative Reality". There you'll find a gallery of
rejected VHS sleeve designs that I've squirreled away over the years.
There should be something there to interest fans of many different cult TV
series, including Doctor Who and Twin Peaks. As far as I can
tell, many of the sleeves are being displayed in public for the first
hoping to add a few others as and when I find them (I've got a couple of
cracking Doomwatch ones somewhere!) There's
a link to the new section in the navigation bar above.
and November 2002