ARCHIVED NEWS - APRIL 2003

29th April

As you can see, I have a new competition for you today, where you could win a copy of Universal's Taken DVD box set! Click on the banner above to enter.

Momentum's two disc special edition of The Hitcher has been delayed by two weeks, and is now due on July 14th.


28th April

Described as a cross between The Matrix and 1984, the interesting-sounding Equilibrium will be released as a rental title by Momentum on July 28th, following a very successful UK theatrical release. Reviews indicate that the film is terrific eye-candy, which seems to be supported by the film's trailer. I'm told that the disc will be presented in it's original 2.35:1 theatrical ratio, with anamorphic enhancement. The title has a sell-through window of  six months, meaning that there won't be a UK version to buy until January 2004, but this might be the sort of film that it's better to rent before buying anyway. The rental disc will have "interactive" trailers (ones that can be skipped using the appropriate button, I presume) and production notes, but there's no sign of the commentary track or the short Making of... featurette that will appear on Buena Vista's Region 1 release, which is due on the 15th of May. Anyway, here's a picture of the UK sleeve art. If Momentum's recent releases are anything to go by, their retail disc might well be worth waiting for... 

Momentum are also releasing 29 Palms, one of those "we've just stolen a bag full of the mob's money"-type comedy thrillers, on July 28th. The film has an interesting cast (including Rachael Leigh Cook,, Chris O'Donnell, Bill Pullman and Michael Rapaport), but I mention it mainly because the disc will feature an unusual bonus feature: the pilot episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. It strikes me as a rather clever move (assuming its inclusion won't be to the detriment of the main feature, on what's otherwise a basically feature-less disc). 


 27th April

One of the admirable things about the Film Score Monthly soundtrack label is that they recognise that a film doesn't have to be popular to have a great score. You could even go as far as to say that many of the scores they release come from films that are downright obscure. The label divides its releases into two eras, Golden Age Classics (music released before the late 50s) and Silver Age Classics (from the late fifties to the early 70s). The Golden Age collection includes scores by many of the legendary names, including Alfred Newman, Miklůs Růzsa and Franz Waxman. The Silver Age collection includes scores by relative newcomers, like Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams and Lalo Schifrin.

The label's latest releases include one disc from each collection, each containing music from two scores. The Golden Age disc contains music from two MGM  films, composed by Hungarian-born Miklůs Růzsa: Green Fire and Bhowani Junction, both of which starred Stewart Granger. The score for the 1954 film Green Fire has a vaguely Latin flavour, and is typically lush and lyrical. His score for the 1956 movie Bhowani Junction, is more atypical, but the composer's skill with ethnic instrumentation shines through. The disc is limited to 3,000 copies.

The Silver Age disc contains two scores by Alex North, whose reputation has grown among collectors in recent years following the release of a lot of his less familiar work on CD. Most fans will have been familiar with his monumental scores for Spartacus and Cleopatra, but his work for lesser films like Dragonslayer (1981), and his rejected score for Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) have proved to be no less impressive. His score for All Fall Down, an intimate family drama starring Warren Beatty, and directed by John Frankenheimer, is quite unusual. It's unlike his most famous work, and more similar to his memorable score for Elia Kazan's 1951 film adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire. Film Score Monthly's new CD contains the entire score, in stereo, complete with alternate takes. The disc also contains a suite from the 1964 film The Outrage, a remake of Kurosawa's 1950 classic Rashomon. The film is sparsely scored, and the CD contains all the music North that wrote for it. The disc is a limited edition of 3000 copies.

Both discs are available from specialist retailers, or you can help support the label by ordering directly from the Film Score Monthly website.

 


26th April

Fox will release the third season of Futurama on June 2nd. As before the episodes are presented in the order they were produced, rather than the order they were transmitted, so the four-disc set contains twenty-two episodes which originally aired in the third and fourth series. 

Each of the episodes is supported by a commentary track from an assortment of cast and crew members, and there are deleted scenes from most episodes. Easter eggs include an audio recording of a table reading (for A Tale of Two Santas) and alternate show opening captions. Other bonus materials include a still gallery, animatics for Anthology of Interest II and a guide to drawing two of the characters. The episodes are presented in 4:3 format, with 2.0 Dolby Digital soundtracks.

The episodes includes are: Disc One - Amazon Women In The Mood, Parasites Lost, A Tale of Two Santas, The Luck of the Fryish, The Birdbot of Ice-Catraz and Bendless Love. Disc Two - The Day The Earth Stood Stupid, That's Lobstertainmen, The Cyber House Rules, Where The Buggalo Roam, Insane In The Mainframe and The Route of All Evil. Disc Three - Bendin' In The Wind, Time Keeps on Slipping, I Dated A Robot, A Leela of Her Own and A Pharoah To Remember. Disc Four - Anthology of Interest II, the Emmy-winning Roswell That Ends Well, Godfellas, Future Shock and The 30% Iron Chef.


23rd April

I've been asked to remove the 28 Days Later review, because Fox are doing exclusive coverage with another website (the BBC, since you ask) until nearer the release date. If you didn't see the review, that'll teach you to check here more often! I'm sorry for any inconvenience it may cause, but not as sorry as I am that I spent all day Bank Holiday Monday reviewing it. 

OK. To compensate, I've got some terrific news about two classic BBC drama series coming to DVD later this year from DD Video, the company that recently released a couple of Hammer discs. 

First up is Terry Nation's Survivors, the thought-provoking series about a band of misfit humans struggling to rebuild their lives after a pandemic has killed 95% of the population. (Hey. Danny Boyle should make a movie of it!) 

Survivors ran for three series, from 1975 to 1977. Two previous attempts to release the series (on VHS) both stalled after the first season (the first time it wasn't due to poor sales, it was down to a certain High Street retailer dragging their feet while they decided whether or not they wanted the second series as an exclusive). It's not surprising that the second attempt, a few years later, by Sovereign, was thwarted by poor sales, since most people who wanted to buy the tapes of the first season had already done so.  

DD Video will be releasing the three seasons in box set format, on both DVD and VHS.  The first season, of thirteen fifty-odd minute episodes, is scheduled for release in October.  Special features have not been finalised, but the company hopes to include a photo gallery, new interviews and commentary tracks by cast members (hey - let's not forget those people who worked behind the cameras!) The release will also be supported by "a full colour guidebook to the series containing much exclusive material and stills". Sounds great! Let's all hope that we're still around to buy it...

This Winter DD Video will also be releasing season one of Oh Doctor Beeching, which is more in keeping with the bulk of their catalogue, which is train-oriented. Oh, and they're also going to be releasing season one of Secret Army. As soon as I hear anything else, you'll read it here.

Volume 3:2 of The Tomorrow People, containing the three part story Worlds Away will be released on June 23rd, with an RRP of £15.99. The disc is already available as part of the Season 3 box set (which is exclusive to MVC),. The episodes are accompanied by a commentary track by cast members Nicholas Young and Peter Vaughan-Clarke. The disc comes with a free CD, containing Big Finish's audio adventure The New Gods

 


 22nd April

Those of you with eagle-eyes may have spotted that I've made a few cosmetic changes to the site over the weekend. A few banners have been tweaked, and I've optimised some of the more commonly-used images so that they should load faster. 


19th April

If you've never seen Aardman Animation's Angry Kid, do yourself a favour and scoot over to the official website, and discover what all the cool dudes have been talking about (requires Flash 6). You may think that now he's made the transition from Internet cult star to appearing in his own BBC 3 series that his career is in decline (sorry, small joke at the expense of the BBC's digital-only channels there!), but the truth is that he's about to cross over into the real world, courtesy of Pathť, who will be releasing a collection of all twenty-five episodes on DVD on June 9th. 

The disc will also feature a making of... documentary (Inside Angry Kid), three "foreign language" films, a director's cut of one of the episodes, a teaser trailer for season two, an image gallery, and copies of Angry Kid's school and police reports. The disc will arrive in special interactive packaging, which features flaps that flip over, so that you can change Angry Kid's expression. (I'm sure it will be a lot more thrilling and interactive than it sounds!)

The episodes will be presented in 4:3 format, with Dolby Digital audio of some description and HoH English subtitles. RRP is £15.99. 

 


17th April

"Blithe Spirit"Carlton have announced the addition of a couple of exciting titles to their £9.99 Classic Collection film range. 

The film version of Whoops Apocalypse and two classic David Lean movies, Blithe Spirit and This Happy Breed, are released on May 12th. Nicolas Roeg's devastating Bad Timing will be released on June 16th. 

Other titles in the range include Silver Dream Racer, Wombling Free, Just Like A Woman and Carve Her Name With Pride. Hey - I didn't say they were all exciting! 

Isn't it absurd that the film version of Whoops Apocalypse has had numerous home video releases since 1986, while the far superior TV series hasn't been widely available for more than a decade? 

There's far too little Roeg available, so Bad Timing is very welcome, (particularly if Carlton are going to release the film with an anamorphic widescreen transfer). 

 


15th April

DVDFile has posted a review of the Region 1 version of Daredevil, more than three months before it's release, on July 29th. As of yesterday, the plan was to release the UK Region 2 version a few weeks earlier, on July 7th. 

Universal are releasing Red Dragon on DVD on May 19th (the same day as Momentum release their two-disc Manhunter DVD!) 

The exciting news is that the UK version will feature a DTS audio track, making it a more attractive proposition than the US disc. 

The two-disc set will feature the film on disc one, with a commentary track by director Brett Ratner and scriptwriter Ted Tally (who won an Oscar for his script for The Silence of the Lambs). The film also has an isolated score track, with commentary by composer Danny Elfman. 

The second disc will feature the following bonus materials: FBI Profile: Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer Hosted by John Douglas (8m); The Burning Wheelchair (4m); A Director's Journey: Brett Ratner's Video Diary (50m); Makeup (1m); Screen and Film tests (12m); Storyboards to Final Feature comparison (8m); Brett Ratner's (untitled) student film; The Leeds House Crime Scene (4m), Red Dragon teaser trailer (2m) and theatrical trailer (3m); Additional Scenes (deleted scenes, alternate versions and extended scenes) with optional commentary (13m); Visual Effects (4m); The Hulk teaser trailer (1m); Anthony Hopkins' Lecter and Me (4m); and the Making of Red Dragon (14m).

At the moment it seems that the bonus features for the Region 2 disc closely match the Region 1 release, and may even better them. (The sleeve design is certainly better!) Expect a full review here nearer the release date. 

 

There have been a few changes in Cinema Club's plans for their Granada TV detectives series. Cinema Club have added several retailer-exclusive box sets to the range. 

If you weren't planning on buying the full-series box sets, the new lineup offers much more flexibility, and should enable buyers to build a collection, while still taking advantage of multi-disc box sets. 

The HMV sets will be Digi-Packs, the MVC sets simply group Amaray-style cases.  All of the individual discs have an RRP of £9.99.  

Here is the current schedule:

Sherlock Holmes

 

April 28th:

 

The Hound of the Baskervilles

The Master Blackmailer

The 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 following box sets contain three discs, either containing three movie-length episodes or six fifty-minute episodes. For the sake of convenience I'll refer to each disc by the title of the first episode.  RRP for these sets is £24.99.

 

Box Set 1 - Baskervilles / Master Blackmailer / Sign of Four  (MVC Exclusive)

Box Set 2 - Eligible Bachelor / Last Vampyre / Mazarin Stone  (MVC Exclusive)

Box Set 3 - The Golden Pince-Nez / Three Gables / Illustrious Client  (MVC Exclusive)

Box Set 4 - Shoscombe Old Place / Problem Thor Bridge / Wisteria Lodge  (MVC Exclusive)

12th May:

The Complete Sherlock Holmes Box Set  (23 discs - RRP £159.99)

HMV are releasing four box sets grouping together the episodes as they were originally transmitted, season by season, adding the two short seasons together to make one set:

 

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (6-disc Box Set - HMV Exclusive, RRP £40.99)

The Return of Sherlock Holmes (5-disc Box Set - HMV Exclusive, RRP £40.99)

The Casebook & Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes  (6-disc Box Set - HMV Exclusive, RRP £40.99)

Sherlock Holmes Classic Feature-Length Episodes  (5-disc box set - HMV Exclusive, £40.99)

Cinema Club has re-authored the discs in the HMV season box sets, so that the The Final Problem and The Empty House episodes are now split across two three-episode discs (allowing each episode to appear in the correct season box set). This means that there are only 22 discs in the five HMV box sets, but this still includes all the episodes. 

Here's a picture of four of the HMV packs...

9th June: 

 

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

The following box sets contain three or four discs, containing six or eight fifty-minute episodes. I'll refer to each disc by the title of the first episode.  RRP for these sets is £24.99.

 

Box Set 5 - Devil's Foot / Twisted Lip / Musgrave Ritual  (MVC Exclusive)

Box Set 6 - Priory School / Final Problem / Greek Interpreter / Red-Headed  (MVC Exclusive)

Box Set 7 - Blue Carbuncle / Crooked Man / Naval Treaty / Scandel Bohemia  (MVC Exclusive)

You can read my review of several of the Sherlock Holmes discs here.

Poirot

12th May:

The Complete Poirot  -  31-disc 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 following box sets contain three discs, containing six fifty-minute episodes. I'll refer to each disc by the title of the first episode.  RRP for these sets is £24.99.

 

Box Set 1 - Clapham Cook / Johnnie Waverley / Third Floor Flat  (MVC exclusive)

Box Set 2 - Problem at Sea / King Clubs / Roger Ackroyd  (MVC exclusive)

Box Set 3 - Lord Edgware / Poirot's Christmas / Peril at End House  (MVC exclusive)

Box Set 4 - Veiled Lady / Cornish Mystery / Double Sin  (MVC exclusive)

Box Set 5 - Kidnapped PM / Garden Grow / Plymouth Express  (MVC exclusive)

16th June: 

 

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

The following box sets contain three discs, containing six fifty-minute episodes. I'll refer to each disc by the title of the first episode.  RRP for these sets is £24.99.

 

Box Set 6 - Marsdon Manor / Spanish Chest / Victory Ball (MVC exclusive)

Box Set 7 - Egyptian Tomb / Yellow Iris / Italian Nobleman  (MVC exclusive)

Box Set 8 - Dead Man's Mirror / Affair at Styles / ABC Murders  (MVC exclusive)

14th July:

 

Hickory Dickory Dock

Dumb Witness

Murder On The Links

Death In The Clouds

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

Murder in Mesopotomia

Evil Under The Sun

The following box sets contain three discs, each containing three or four feature-length episodes. RRP for these sets is £24.99.

 

Box Set 9 - Hickory Dickory / Dumb Witness / Murder on the Links (MVC exclusive)

Box Set 10 - Death in Clouds / One, Two... / Mesopotamia / Under The Sun  (MVC exclusive)

 

Cracker

12th May:

The Complete Cracker - 10 DVD box set  (RRP £69.99)

 

The Mad Woman In The Attic

To Say I Love You

One Day A Lemming Will Fly

To Be A Somebody

The Big Crunch

Men Should Weep

Brotherly Love

Best Boys

True Romance

White Ghost

The following box sets contain three or four discs, each containing one complete story. RRP for these sets is £24.99.

 

Box Set 1 - Mad Woman / To Say I Love You / One Day A Lemming Will Fly (MVC exclusive)

Box Set 2 - To Be A Somebody / The Big Crunch / Men Should Weep  (MVC exclusive)

Box Set 3 - Brotherly Love / Best Boys / True Romance / White Ghost  (MVC Exclusive)

 

Prime Suspect

12th May:

7-disc Prime Suspect box set  (RRP £49.99)

 

Prime Suspect 1

Prime Suspect 2

Prime Suspect 3

Prime Suspect 4 - Inner Circles

Prime Suspect 4 - Scent of Darkness

Prime Suspect 4 - The Lost Child

Prime Suspect 5 - Errors of Judgement

 

 


 

14th April

Momentum should win some sort of award for this very classy looking sleeve for their forthcoming two-disc version of The Hitcher (see news, 11th April, below).

Here's a look at the sleeve artwork for the next couple of ClearVision titles: Out and the box set of Taggart, containing volumes 34 to 37. (For more details, see 5th April, below).

Warner Home Video is releasing episodes of three popular TV series on June 9th.

There were three attempts to get a Wonder Woman TV series off the ground. The first was a 1974 TV pilot movie starring Cathy Lee Crosby. Eighteen months later ABC screened three TV specials starring former Miss World-USA Lynda Carter. 

The following year ABC launched a series of hour-long episodes which were faithful to the character's comic strip roots, and set during World War II. 

The series was commissioned as a filler, a replacement for The Bionic Woman, which had entered hiatus when its star, Lindsay Wagner, was injured in a car accident. When ABC cancelled the show after twelve episodes, the production company took the series to CBS, who made and aired forty-six episodes between 1977 and 1979. The period setting of the ABC series had made it relatively expensive, so the CBS series was set in the present day. 

Warner Home Video are releasing the first three episodes from the revamped CBS series (titled The New Adventures of Wonder Woman): The Return of Wonder Woman (the show's feature-length pilot episode), Anshluss 77 and The Man Who Could Move The World. Two of these episodes appear to be from scripts developed for the ABC series, since they deal with World War II themes (plans to clone Hitler in Anshluss 77, a Japanese soldier bent on revenge in The Man Who Could Move The World). The DVD will feature cast profiles, a photo' gallery and a look at some Wonder Woman memorabilia.  

Freddy's Nightmares, the 1988 anthology show based on the Nightmare on Elm Street films, and starring Robert Englund, is also being launched on the 9th of June. Volume 1 contains the first three episodes: No More Mr Nice Guy, It's A Miserable Life and Killer Instinct. The DVD includes a look at Freddy merchandise, a photo' gallery and an article on The Legacy of Freddy Kruger.

The third series is The Dukes of Hazzard. Volume one contains three episodes: Treasure of Hazzard, Officer Daisy Duke and Mason Dixon's Girls, and has similar features to the Wonder Woman and Freddy's Nightmares discs. 

Each disc will be in the original 4:3 ratio, with mono sound, and have an RRP of £12.99.


11th April

Momentum will release a new two-disc special edition version of The Hitcher on June 30th. The 1986 film was one of the first movies to become a huge home video seller, gathering a loyal cult following long after it had ended its theatrical release.

The new two-disc set will feature a new anamorphic transfer (in 2.35:1 ratio), with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio (contrary to what you might read elsewhere, it does not have DTS audio). The first disc contains the movie, with a full-length commentary track by director Robert Harmon and writer Eric Red. It also has scene-specific commentary by Harmon, executive producer Edward S. Feldman, Eric Red, composer Mark Isham, cinematographer John Searle and stars C. Thomas Howell and Rutger Hauer.

The second disc will feature a brand new forty-minute documentary, The Hitcher - How Do These Movies Get Made?, which includes interviews with all the key cast and crew members, with the regrettable exception of Jennifer Jason Leigh. The documentary is in 1.78:1 anamorphic format. Disc two will also contain two trailers, filmographies, script extracts (including two deleted scenes), and two short movies: Robert Harman's 1980 debut China Lake (34m) and Rutger Hauer's 2001 film The Room (11m). Both shorts are presented in non-anamorphic 2.35:1 ratio and have optional director's commentary.  China Lake has a 2.0 soundtrack, The Room is in 5.1. 

Click here to see a selection of menu screens from the new disc. RRP for the new disc is £19.99.

The review of Resident Evil has been updated. Apparently the German 2-disc set does not, after all, feature deleted scenes. It looks like the definitive Resident Evil DVD has yet to appear...

 


10th April

Here's a better look at the Taken box set, which is due for release on May 5th.


9th April

The second - final - season of James Cameron's Dark Angel will be released by Fox on June 3rd. The six-disc set will contain all twenty-one episodes, including the feature-length finale Freak Nation. Contrary to what you might read elsewhere (the press release is incorrect) the episodes will be presented in anamorphic widescreen format (1.78:1), with 2.0 Dolby Surround audio. The sixth disc will feature the set's only bonus feature, a six minute featurette Seattle Ain't What It Used To Be.  RRP for the set is £59.99. Click here to have a look at a selection of menu screens from Season 2.

Terry Gilliam's fabulous dystopian black comedy Brazil - my stock answer to the question "what's your favourite movie?", which may explain why I'm still single - will be released by Fox on May 19th. 

The disc will have an anamorphic widescreen transfer (at 1.85:1), making it a useful companion piece to Criterion's awsome three-disc Brazil Region 1 box set.  The UK disc will have 2.0 surround audio, and will also feature the very funny What Is Brazil? featurette and the film's theatrical trailer. RRP for the disc is £15.99.


8th April

Columbia Tristar's June schedule has been released, although details are thin on the ground. The label is releasing two new versions of The Fast and the Furious on the 9th of June. One will be a new Special Edition (probably with similar spec's to the "Tricked Out Edition" announced a few weeks ago In the US). The other is a Superbit version (pictured, left), which strips away all the extras and re-allocates that space to allow for better picture quality. Also on the 9th is a Dan Dare DVD, presumably episodes of the Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future CGI TV series currently airing on Saturday morning on channel five.

June the 15th sees the release of the 1960 Steve McQueen war romance movie The War Lover and the 1966 Burt Lancaster /  Lee Marvin action Western The Professionals

On June 26th Columbia will release a Charlie's Angels box set (containing the first series of the 70s TV show), the Eddie Murphy / Owen Wilson version of I Spy, the anaemic James Caan TV movie Blood Crime, and Dana Carvey's box-office misfire Master of Disguise (great trailers, lousy film, by all accounts).

With a line-up like that, the only Columbia Tristar disc I might consider spending my money on in June is the classic Ray Harryhausen giant octopus flick It Came From Beneath The Sea. The film is released on June 16th, and will feature The Harryhausen Chronicles documentary and This Is Dynamation featurette (for heaven's sake, Columbia, stop wasting disc space on these - we already have half a dozen copies of each!) The film will be presented in anamorphic widescreen ratio of 1.85:1, with mono audio.  Here's the front and back of the sleeve:

Astute readers - which is all of you, right? - will have noticed that once or twice I've added a soundtrack CD to the news lineup. I don't think you can truly love films without an appreciation for film music, so I hope you won't mind me mentioning one from time to time. 

The latest is the soundtrack for George Lucas's cold 1970 science fiction film THX 1138. The music was composed by Lalo Schifrin, the man who scored Enter The Dragon and four of the five Clint Eastwood Harry Callaghan movies, among many others. (You may have seen him recently, conducting the orchestra at the beginning of Red Dragon). Schifrin's typically adventurous score has been given its first ever commercial release by the good offices of Film Score Monthly magazine's own label, joining dozens of neglected gems given a new lease of life (including such essential purchases as Ron Grainer's The Omega Man, music from three of the Planet of the Apes sequels, Jerry Goldsmith's The Illustrated Man and Jerry Fielding's The WIld Bunch). The label usually releases a couple of discs every month (this month the other one is Bronoslau Kaper's 1960 score for Home From The Hill). Each of the discs is strictly limited edition (a couple of discs by John WIlliams have already sold out, as has The Omega Man). In the case of THX 1138 this is a pressing of 3000 copies (as is Home From The Hill). The discs can be purchased from specialist soundtrack outlets, but it's probably easier to order them from the magzine's website: Film Score Monthly.

 


6th April

I have two new reviews for you today, both of memorable British TV productions. 

The first is the latest title in the BFI's Archive Television series: Jonathan Miller's dream-like BBC adaptation of Alice In Wonderland, originally broadcast in 1966. The second is of three discs containing early episodes from the superb Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes series. The first batch of Sherlock Holmes discs, and a box set containing the entire series, are due for release by Cinema Club's on April 14th. The three discs under review are part of the batch due on the 9th of June (but are included in April 14th's box set). For more details on Cinema Club's release schedule, see the news updates for 25th February and 3rd April (below).

Here's a picture of Cinema Club's forthcoming Poirot box set, which is due on May 12th. The Sherlock Holmes box set (see news entry for 22nd March) was pugg-ugly, but the Poirot one looks fabulous.

 


5th April

The last of Columbia Tristar's Ray Harryhausen movies, It Came From Beneath The Sea, will be released in the UK on June 16th. No further information is available.

The BFI's Alice in Wonderland, Year of the Sex Olympics and Bande ŗ part discs have been postponed by a week, and will now be released on the 28th of April.

Another batch of Taggart releases have been scheduled for release by ClearVision Video on the 2nd of June. The four stories in question are Volume 34 - For Their Sins (a woman whose daughter died of a drug overdose is suspected when there's a drugs-related murder on the local housing scheme), Volume 35 - A Fistful of Chips (Ross vows to avenge the murder one of his friends), Volume 36 - Fearful Lightning (a woman working for a spiritualist is found electrocuted in a a church) and Volume 37 - Ghost Rider (a police officer is found dead in a burnt out car, and the police suspect a convicted murderer). The four discs will be available separately, with an RRP of £12.99 each, or as a box set for £39.99. 

ClearVision are releasing writer Trevor Preston's terrific 1978 Euston Films / Thames Television series Out, which starred Tom Bell as Frank Ross, a hardened villain who's just spent eight years in prison for his role in a bank robbery. Ross is completely disorientated when he's released, but determined to extract revenge on whoever it was who grassed him up. 

The six episodes of the BAFTA award winning series will be released as a two-disc set on June 2nd, with an RRP of £24.99. 


4th April

Cinema Club will be releasing a collection of horror b-movies on July 14th, including a number of Al Adamson titles. 

The collection comprises of Angel's Wild Women, Blood of the Vampires, Horror And The Blood Monsters, Brides of Blood, The Blood Drinkers, Mad Doctor of Blood Island, Satan's Sadists, Dracula Vs Frankenstein, Brain of Blood, The Dynamite Brothers and Raiders of the Living Dead.

Warner Home Video has confirmed that the second Babylon 5 box set has been delayed until May 26th.


1st April

I've spent all day today researching and writing a new review for you today, so I hope you appreciate my efforts!  The film in question is Manhunter, Michael Mann's adaptation of Thomas Harris's first Hannibal Lector novel Red Dragon. When you read the review you'll realise why it's taken me so long. There have been several versions of the film released on DVD, so is this one worth buying? Well, yes... and no. Read the review to find out why this might be one of 2003's great missed opportunities.

[EDIT - The new Cinema Club Sherlock Holmes sleeves can now be seen in the review page.]


PREVIOUS NEWS PAGES:

March 2003

February 2003

January 2003

December 2002

October and November 2002

 


 

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