Home Video are going to release four very tempting double bill DVDs on
April 14th, showcasing eight classic British movies. Each disc will
contain two complete movies, with an RRP of £15.99. There are two comedy
double bills: one starring the lad 'imself Tony Hancock (in The Rebel and
The Punch and Judy Man), the other featuring Alistair Sim (in The
Green Man and School For Scoundrels). There are also two BAFTA-winning
David Lean movies, The Sound Barrier and Hobson's Choice,
and a pair of children's favourites, The Railway Children and Swallows
a look at the box and disc art for Signs, which is being released
on March 31st. The film is another terrific thriller from M. Night
Shyamalan, and it looks like the disc will be packed with bonus material,
and will feature a DTS audio track that's not on the Region 1 version! The
film will also be released as part of a five-disc set, which will include
the existing two-disc versions of The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable.
Vista Home Entertainment will release Mimic 2 on May 5th. The disc
will feature 5 Days of Mimic 2 (about a quarter of an hour of
behind the scenes footage), Behind The Sound (a five-minute
featurette about the film's audio mix) and some deleted scenes.
taken a brief look at ClearVision's forthcoming Quatermass DVD, and
sad to report it's not looking terribly impressive.
clear that that there's been very little, if any, restoration work carried
out, and it's likely that the discs may have been sourced from existing
video transfers, rather than going back to the original 35mm elements
(which might have given results comparable to those of any relatively
recent feature film, but is a much more expensive option). There may have
been a conscious decision to use a muddy colour palette, but even shots
that should be natural look drab. The episodes have poor contrast. The
level of detail isn't too bad - certainly much better than previous home
video formats - but often patches of the picture look smeary, perhaps
indicating sloppy encoding. The three discs are all DVD5s. Analysis of the
bitrate shows an almost flat baseline of 4.5Mb/sec, and the average isn't
much above that. This is definitely a sign of poor compression: the highs
should be higher, and the lows lower. The SF Channel Nigel Kneale
interview is on the Quatermass Conclusion disc, and runs for just
under twenty minutes. In lieu of a complete review, which I'll add at the
weekend, here are a couple of menu
are releasing the "intense story of love, lust and an obsession
spiraling out of control", Killing Me Softly on April
all accounts the film is a grade A turkey, but it does apparently offer
plenty of opportunities to ogle Heather Graham's womanly curves, so it
can't be all bad!
film will be presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1 ratio), with 5.1
audio. The disc will also include a theatrical trailer, and a featurette, Killing
Me Softly. The disc will have a suspiciously low £9.99 RRP.
Tristar will be adding four high-profile titles to their Superbit range on
May 12th: Gladiator, The Fast and the Furious, Shakespeare
in Love and Das Boot. Quality freaks may also like to know that
Play.com are also offering sixteen Superbit titles at a knock-down £9.99
at the moment, including Gattaca, Godzilla and Bram
of my favourite UK series are being released over the next couple of
months, on VCI's budget label, Cinema Club. The four series are from the
Granada library: Poirot, Sherlock Holmes (the definitive TV
series, starring Jeremy Brett), Prime Suspect and Cracker.
The discs each have an RRP of £9.99, but there are substantial discounts
available if you buy them as box sets (released simultaneously with the
first batch of each title).
a look at some example sleeve images, and a breakdown of what episodes are
being released when...
Poirot box set (RRP £199.99)
The Adventure of the Clapham Cook / Murder in the Mews
The Adventure of Johnnie Waverly / 4 & 20 Blackbirds
The Third Floor Flat / Triangle At Rhodes
Problem At Sea / The Incredible Theft
The King of Clubs / The Dream
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Lord Edgware Dies
Hercule Poirot's Christmas
Peril At End House
- Parts 1 & 2
The Veiled Lady / The Lost Mine
The Cornish Mystery / The Disappearance of Mr Davenheim
Double Sin / The Adventure of the Cheap Flat
The Kidnapped PM / The Adventure of the Western Star
How Does Your Garden Grow? / The Million Dollar Bond Robbery
The Plymouth Express / Wasps' Nest
The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor / The Double Clue
The Mystery of the Spanish Chest / The Theft of the Royal Ruby
The Affair At The Victory Ball / The Mystery of Hunter's Lodge
The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb / The Underdog
Yellow Iris / The Case of The Missing Will
The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman / The Chocolate Box
The Dead Man's Mirror / Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan
The Mysterious Affair at Styles
The ABC Murders
Hickory Dickory Dock
Murder On The Links
Death In The Clouds
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
Murder in Mesopotomia
Evil Under The Sun
Sherlock Holmes box set (RRP £159.99)
The Hound of the Baskervilles
The Master Blackmailer
Sign of Four
The Eligible Bachelor
The Last Vampyre
The Mazarin Stone / The Cardboard Box
The Golden Pince-Nez / The Red Circle
The Three Gables / The Dying Detective
The Illustrious Client / The Creeping Man
Shoscombe Old Place / The Boscombe Valley Mystery
The Problem Of Thor Bridge / The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax
Wisteria Lodge / The Bruce Partington Plans
The Devil's Foot / Silver Blaze
The Man With The Twisted Lip / The Six Napoleons
The Musgrave Ritual / The Abbey Grange
The Priory School / The Second Stain
The Final Problem / The Empty House
The Greek Interpreter / The Norwood Builder
The Red-Headed League / The Copper Beeches
The Blue Carbuncle / The Resident Patient
The Crooked Man / The Speckled Band
The Naval Treaty / The Solitary Cyclist
A Scandal in Bohemia / The Dancing Men
Prime Suspect box set (RRP £49.99)
Suspect 4 - Inner Circles
Suspect 4 - Scent of Darkness
Suspect 4 - The Lost Child
Cracker box set (RRP £69.99)
Mad Woman In The Attic
Say I Love You
Day A Lemming Will Fly
Be A Somebody
forthcoming Cinema Club TV drama titles include Traffik (14th
April, 2-disc set, £12.99 RRP), The Jury (14th April, 2-disc set,
£12.99 RRP), The Camomile Lawn (14th April, 2-disc set, £12.99
RRP), Shackleton (14th April, £9.99 RRP), Renny Rye's 1999
adaptation of Oliver Twist (12th May, £9.99 RRP), the 2000 version
of Anna Karenina (12th May, £9.99 RRP), Micawber (12th May,
£9.99 RRP), A Dance To The Music of Time (12th May, 2-disc set,
£12.99 RRP) and Bloody Sunday (16th June, £9.99 RRP).
few interesting feature film releases also feature in Cinema Club's
lineup, all with an £9.99 RRP: Jan Svankmajer's Little Otik (16th
June), Peter Greenaway's Pillow Book (16th June), Richard
Loncraine's 1985 adaptation of Dennis Potter's Brimstone
And Treacle (14th April), the Director's Cut of Natural
Born Killers (12th May), and Larry Clark's controversial Bully (16th
have released a revised list of features for the upcoming Die Another
Day DVD (see 20th February, below), noting that this is a "very
much work in progress" list. They have also clarified that there
won't be any deleted scenes on any disc, from any region.
here to see the revisions
to the spec, which are listed at the bottom of the page.
new review for you today! This time Mosaic Entertainment's Cube 2:
Hypercube DVD (see yesterday's news, below, for more details) comes
under scrutiny. The original 1997 film was a brilliant high concept idea,
and very nicely executed. However, it left plenty of unanswered questions,
so does Cube 2: Hypercube live up to the potential? Read the
Tomorrow People Scrapbook has been in touch to confirm that it's
actually actress Anne Curthoys (who played Tricia Conway in
Secret Weapon) who will join Nicholas Young and Peter
Vaughan-Clarke on the commentary track for The Tomorrow People - Volume
3.1. (Let's hope that Revelation get the sleeve credits sorted out
before it hits stores!) Jackie
also tells me that Curthoys will also be on the Revenge of Jedikiah disc,
and that Peter Davison has somehow been persuaded to contribute his
thoughts to the A Man For Emily disc, which should be a lot of fun!
Films launch the third series of The Tomorrow People with volume 3:1
Secret Weapon on April 28th. The disc will feature a commentary track,
but there's conflicting information about who will feature on it (stars
Nicholas Young and Peter Vaughan-Clarke seem certain, the third
contributor may be Philip Gilbert or Elizabeth Adare). The story marks the
introduction of a new cast member, Dean Lawrence, as Tyso.
will also be releasing the acclaimed ITV thriller series Wire In The
Blood, adapted from the novels by Val McDermid, and starring Robson
Green and Hermione Norris. The company will release a three-disc DVD
Collector's Box Set that contains the complete series on May 5th, with a
RRP of £29.99. A sample episode from the series is currently being
offered attached to Total DVD magazine, which also contains trailers for
forthcoming releases Crime Traveller (see News, 4th February,
below, and 11th November) and
Steve Gallagher's Oktober.
will also release material from the Thames television series Freddie
Starr's Comedy Express, and nine episodes of Dogtanian and the
Three Muskehounds on DVD on April 28th.
will issue another standalone disc of The Simpsons on April 7th,
titled Risky Business. The disc will contain four episodes with a
work-related theme: Realty Bites (season 9), Homer The Smithers (season
7), Deep Space Homer (season 5) and Marge Gets A Job (season
4). The disc will also contain a never-before-seen bonus Chief Wiggum
featurette. RRP is £15.99.
had a quick look at Mosaic's Cube 2: Hypercube DVD, which will be
released on 21st April. The disc will initially be exclusively available
from Virgin Megastores and Virgin Express stores, until October. The disc
is presented in 1.78:1 ratio, with anamorphic enhancement, and boasts 5.1
Dolby Digital audio. The disc features terrific animated menus, a
commentary track from producer / co-writer Ernie Barbarash and film editor
Mark Sanders (not, as been reported elsewhere, by director Andrzej Sekula),
extensive behind the scenes material, a trailer and two TV spots. Unless
they're contained within the Making of... featurette, or hidden as Easter
Eggs, there's no sign of the deleted scenes listed on the press release.
Look for a full review soon.
- the sleeve art for the second Ealing DVD Collection box
set! Clicking on the image will lead to an expanded shot of the
whole pack. For a detailed description of the contents, see the entry for
19th February, below.
UK has unveiled the details of their Die Another Day DVD, which
will be a two-disc set, released on Friday the 2nd of May. You can read the full
press release here. It sounds like a real winner, but there are a couple
of nagging concerns. The first is that the first disc apparently contains both
widescreen and full-screen versions of the two-hour film, as well as two
sets of 5.1 audio, two commentary tracks, three sets of subtitles and
nineteen "MI6 DataStream" featurettes (running for a total of
twenty-three minutes, according to the BBFC). This seems to be a lot to
cram on to a single dual-layer disc, and might unnecessarily compromise
picture quality. I would have thought that this title was big enough to
support separate full-screen and widescreen versions.
UK has always tried to add content to their discs to give them the edge on
Region 1 imports (and they've often succeeded - several major Special
Edition titles, like Thelma & Louise and Raging Bull were released here
first, or are still exclusive to the UK). The last James Bond movie, The
World is Not Enough contained an exclusive featurette, Bond Down
River. In the case of Die Another Day the UK will have an
exclusive fifty-minute documentary (From Script To Screen). The
only thing that's conspicuously absent from the UK specifications are any
deleted scenes. If these were added to the Region 2 disc, fans would have
to buy both versions!
has brought forward the release date of The
X-Men 1.5 Special Edition to the 31st of March.
UK retail release of Big Brother-style horror flick My Little
Eye is shaping up nicely.
two-disc set from Momentum Pictures will offer the viewer two viewing
options. In normal mode the film will be presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic
ratio, with 5.1 audio. In interactive mode the film appears in a window,
alongside menu options which allow the viewer to switch between
contestants and locations (this will include several key sequences with
film is supported by a commentary track from director Marc Evans and
producer Jon Finn.
second disc will contain half an hour's worth of deleted scenes with
commentary, a thirty-minute Making of... documentary, photo gallery
disc is due for release on 21st April, with an RRP of £19.99.
got a great new competition for you today: we've got three copies of Pathe
Distribution's new Dog Soldiers DVD up for grabs. Although not
officially a "Special Edition", the disc is crammed with bonus materials,
including two commentary tracks, deleted scenes and a Making of... featurette!
To enter, click on the banner above! I'll be adding a review of the
disc later this week, but, trust me, this is definitely a disc that horror
and action fans will want for their collections.
our Dark Angel competition is still running: you can find that here.
some time now BBC Worldwide have been releasing a series of exemplary Doctor
Who DVDs, each lovingly created, and packed with bonus materials. The
series even has a team of dedicated restoration experts working on it,
resulting in several new techniques that have redefined the cutting edge
of archive television preservation and re-mastering. Their latest disc, The
Seeds of Death is reviewed here,
and a new feature article about some of the work that goes into
re-mastering 1960s black and white episodes of the series can be found here.
Home Video will be releasing a second boxed set of Ealing comedies on
April 28th. The new set will contain three classic films: Hue and Cry,
The Titfield Thunderbolt and the sublime Passport to Pimlico.
Not as stellar a lineup as the first set, perhaps, but two superb films
and one that's pretty good is a decent enough lineup! Each film will be
presented in full-frame format, with mono sound. As further incentive (and
to justify the rather steep £40 RRP), the set also comes with bonus disc,
containing the recent fifty-minute Forever Ealing documentary
(shown at the end of last year by Channel 4), which is narrated by Daniel
Day Lewis, grandson of Michael Balcon, the man who ran the studio during
it's most fertile period. The fourth disc will also contain trailers for Passport
to Pimlico and The Titfield Thunderbolt, and introductions to
four Ealing classics by Martin Scorsese (The Lavender Hill Mob),
Terry Gilliam (The Ladykillers), Stephen Frears (The Man in the
White Suit) and John Landis (Kind Hearts and Coronets). (These
were probably shot at the same time as the Forever Ealing documentary).
The set will also contain four poster art postcards, and a DVD-ROM section
featuring original campaign brochures.
to earlier reports, the UK version of Road to Perdition will not
now feature DTS audio. Also, the twenty-six-minute HBO Making of... documentary
has been dropped from Region 1 DTS disc (it wasn't on the copies that hit
the shops last week). The DTS variant does, however, feature a 5.1 Dolby
Digital track, so the choice between the different versions now boils down
to a straight decision to get DTS audio or the HBO documentary. All the
discs have the deleted scenes and Sam Mendes' audio commentary.
and a little belatedly, here's a good look at the sleeve of ClearVision's
three-disc Quatermass box set. ClearVision has also kindly supplied
a series of fill-size frame enlargements from the series, which you can
see by clicking on the sleeve.
some reason the whole X-Men phenomena pretty much passed me by
until the movie version arrived. The film largely confounded people's
expectations, and certainly revived interest in a genre that had been
almost obliterated by Joel Schumacher's execrable Batman & Robin.
On April 7th Fox UK release a new DVD version with a whole disc full of
bonus material, confusingly titled X-Men 1.5. What's more, the new
disc also boasts DTS audio! Read
our review of the new X-Men disc here.
if that wasn't enough, you lucky, lucky people, here are the sleeves for
another two of DD Video's forthcoming Hammer DVDs. The Abominable
Snowman sleeve is quite attractive, but the Frankenstein and the
Monster From Hell one is pretty grim!
some clarification on yesterday's Hammer announcements. Quatermass II will
have a single commentary by Nigel Kneale and Val Guest (almost certainly
the same one that's on the American Anchor Bay disc). The
"documentary" that was supposed to be on The Quatermass
Xperiment disc is indeed an episode from the dire World of Hammer
series, but it's now been moved to the X - The Unknown disc. From
now on I'm refusing to refer to it as a documentary, since it's merely a
clip show loosely cobbled together with voice-over that imparts about as
much useful information on the studio as the Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the
Galaxy does about Earth. DD Video plan to use about half a dozen
episodes spread across their sixteen titles, and also plan to release the
with Quatermass, ClearVision Video has announced more details of its Quatermass
set (which we featured in our 17th
January news update). The three-disc set will include a History of
Quatermass booklet, and a previously unseen Sci-Fi Channel interview
with Kneale. The set, which will be released on April 7th, has a rather
steep RRP of £34.99 (considering that the Quatermass Conclusion compilation
is essentially just a glorified bonus feature).
looks like The Goodies are finally going to get a proper home video
release (following a couple of poorly-promoted BBC Video tapes and a very
rare release of some of the ITV shows, in the early days of sell-through
video). Network are releasing eight episodes which were selected by fans,
believed to be Kitten Kong (the Golden Rose of Montreaux Special), Superstar,
The Goodies and the Beanstalk, Movies, Kung-Fu Capers, Black
and White Beauty, Saturday Night Grease and the show's very
first episode, Tower of London. The two-disc set is already
available for pre-ordering at several online stores (MVC even has a sleeve
image!) More news as I receive it!
BBFC continues to be a great source of information about forthcoming
releases. Often things turn up there before they've been officially
additions to their database include several bonus features for the Buffy
The Vampire Slayer Season 6 box set: outtakes, an "A&E
TVography" [43'02"], a 30m season overview titled Life is the
Big Bad, an Academy of Television Arts and Sciences panel discussion,
running just under an hour, Karaoke singalongs (presumably for Once
More With Feeling, but possibly destined for the standalone disc), and
a five-minute featurette titled Buffy Goes To Work.
BBFC also has commentary
tracks for Grave (James A. Contner), Normal Again (Rick
Rosenthal), Hell's Bells (David Soloman), Smashed (Turi
Meyer), Bargaining (David Grossman) and Once More With Feeling (Joss
Whedon) listed. These listings also confirm that the version of Once More
With Feeling will be the extended version, and that the season opener, Bargaining, might be presented as
it originally aired - as one double-length (85-minute) episode.
also seems that Universal is lining up episodes from Law and Order for
release here in the UK, and Fox UK are to release NYPD Blue. Good
news for fans of these series, but little consolation for the hard done by
followers of the mighty Homicide: Life on the Street, which has
been released on disc in France, but only with French audio. And don't
think I've forgiven you for dropping the show, Channel 4 bastards!
Where where we? VCI has certificated Russell Harty Goes... Upstairs,
Downstairs, which originally broadcast on Boxing Night 1975 and
featured interviews with the cast members of the popular LWT series. This
is doubly welcome news for fans of the series, who will be delighted that
VCI is finally adding some bonus material to their discs, and also that
the company is continuing to release the series (the last disc was
released in August last year).
two commentary tracks for the recent James Bond movie Die Another Day have
been scrutinised by the ever-vigilant staff at the Board, one with
director Lee Tamahori and producer Michael G. Wilson, the other with stars
Pierce Brosnan and Rosamund Pike. The Shaken And Stirred...On Ice
featurette has also been certificated, and is widely believed to be the
first of many extras that will form part of a two-disc set.
I got a special treat for you today?! ("Yes", is the
answer!) Here's an exclusive look at the sleeves for two of the
eagerly-awaited Hammer films coming from DD Video on March 17th: The
Quatermass Xperiment and Quatermass II. I think the sleeves are
rather charming, and nicely capture the spirit of the two movies.
company is planning to release sixteen Hammer movies during 2003,
including X - The Unknown,
The Abominable Snowman, Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter and Frankenstein
and the Monster From Hell. DD Video is also planning to release many
of the studio's popular comedy films, including I Only Arsked, Nearest
and Dearest, Up The Creek, Further Up The Creek, Life
With The Lyons and The Lyons in Paris. They also have a trilogy
of Dick Barton spy thrillers: Dick Barton at Bay, Dick
Barton Secret Agent and Dick Barton Strikes Back and Robert
Aldrich's rarely-seen bomb-disposal drama Ten Seconds From Hell.
Video seem to be well aware that Hammer fans are a demanding bunch, and
promise that, wherever possible, the films will be presented in their
original aspect ratio, and will have bonus materials. The Quatermass
Xperiment will feature an interview with director Val Guest, a
"documentary on Hammer SF" (let's hope it's not simply an
episode of the feeble World of Hammer TV series) and a 24-page
guide book. Quatermass II will also feature a Val Guest interview,
commentaries" and a 24-page guide book.
- The Unknown and The Abominable Snowman are due in April, Frankenstein
and the Monster From Hell and Captain Kronos in May. RRP for
each disc is £15.99.
wish DD luck with their range. There's obviously still a thriving market
for Hammer's horror films, but it remains to be seen if there's much
demand for the rest of the studio's output. (Very few of their comedy and
drama films have ever received a home video release). DD is also up
against a well-established collection of discs from American label Anchor
Bay, which includes some of the same titles.
few bits and pieces of news:
Films have announced that they're going to release the recent ITV
psychological thriller series State of Mind, which starred Niamh
Cusack and This Life's Andrew Lincoln. No date, specifications or
extras have been finalised yet.
will release Season 6 of The X-Files in the UK on March 17th. The
six disc set contains all twenty-two episodes, including the award-winning
Agua Mala, presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen ratio, with
2.0 Dolby Digital surround sound. Recommended retail price will be
£79.99. Bonus features include a commentary track for Triangle (by
Chris Carter), fourteen deleted scenes (which can be viewed separately -
with or without commentary from Frank Spotnitz - or watched as part of the
relevant episode, via branching).
the press release is to be believed, the UK version of the set will have
one less deleted scene than the American set (one from The Unnatural seems
to be AWOL). A featurette that appeared on the standalone UK One Son DVD,
The X-Files Profile: The Cigarette-Smoking Man, is also absent, as
are the forty-odd American TV spots. Kim Manners' commentary for Milagro
isn't specifically mentioned by the press release, but it has already
been certificated by the BBFC, and there's a reference to
"commentaries from creator Chris Carter and other writers", so
its inclusion seems a safe bet. Perhaps the greatest loss - if it turns
out that the press release is correct - will be the series of thirteen
mini-featurettes showcasing the series' special effects, with commentary
by Paul Rabwin.
here to read our review of
Carlton's The Second Coming disc. If you were planning to watch
this (on ITV) on Sunday and Monday, you're in for a rare treat, but don't
be surprised if you also feel the urge to pick up Carlton's DVD the
following Monday (the 17th)...
are the sleeves for Revelation's 24th March releases.
further volumes of Gerry Anderson's Terrahawks will be released,
which will also be available in a boxed set with an RRP of £34.99. Volume
4 contains the episodes To Catch A Tiger, The Midas Touch,
Operation SAS and Ten Top Pop, with profiles of Ninestein,
Mary Falconer, Kate Kestrel and Hawkeye, record covers, scripts, Kate's
song list, a press photo shoot history and continuity stills from To
Catch a Tiger. Volume 5 contains Unseen Menace, A
Christmas Miracle, Midnight Blue and Play It Again Sam,
and will also include profiles of Yungstar and Yuri, voice cast details,
scripts, The White House, continuity stills from Thunder Road, updated
Gerry Anderson biography and a history of unfilmed scripts. Volume 6
completes the show's first season, with My Kingdom For A Zeaf, Zero's
Finest Hour, The Ultimate Menace, Gold and Ma's
Monsters. The disc also contains profiles of Treehaw, Hawkwing and The
Overlander, as well as scripts, press brochures, an explanation of noughts
and crosses, unfilmed scripts and continuity stills from Happy Made Day.
RRP for the individual discs is £15.99.
are also releasing the first four episodes of Crime Traveller on
March 24th, as a two-disc box set, with an RRP of £19.99. The episodes
are Jeff Slade and the Loop of Infinity, Death in the Family,
Fashion Shoot and Revenge of the Chronology Protection
Hypothesis. Extras are disappointingly thin - biographies of Michael
French and Chloe Annett, an episode guide and synopsis.
the latest sleeve image for Carlton's forthcoming The Second Coming DVD.
(The old version has now been archived in the Alternative
Reality section). The logo could do with a bit more work, to make it
more legible, but otherwise it's a vast improvement!
disc is due for release on February 17th.
the update on 24th January, below, for more details.
SG-1 junkies must be suffering from extreme withdrawal symptoms at the
moment (the last new release was back in September!)
a peek at the sleeve for the first of the series six releases, Volume
you're wondering who that chap on the left is, then you really, really
need to see Volume 25...
would like to point out that this image is subject to change.
Jeffries' fine period ghost story The Amazing Mr Blunden is being
released on DVD by Anchor Bay, on February 24th, with an RRP of £16.99.
You can read our review of this disc by clicking here.
and November 2002