NEWS - JUNE 2003
terrific Region 1 news broke yesterday: Criterion are going to release a
very special version of one of my favourite movies! The film in question
is The Devil and Daniel Webster (aka All That Money Can Buy).
The 1941 film is an adaptation of the Faust story. It tells the story of a
young farmer who makes a deal with the Devil: his soul in exchange for
seven years of prosperity. The film was edited quite ruthlessly shortly
after it's original run, and for decades the only version that circulated
was the much-abbreviated version, which was missing about twenty minutes
new Criterion DVD, which is due in September, will present a 106- minute,
digitally-remastered version of the film, apparently sourced from a
recently-discovered fine-grain print. (Criterion's excellent laserdisc
patched together a version of the film using a combination of 35mm and
16mm elements). Bonus features for the DVD include the laserdisc's
excellent commentary track (by film historian Bruce Eder and Bernard
Herrmann expert Steven C. Smith), Columbia Workshop's radio adaptations of
two Daniel Webster stories (both featuring music by Herrmann), and a
gallery of photo's and promotional materials. New features include a video
comparison of the "preview version" of the film, when it was
titled Here Is A Man, which should be fascinating.
indicated yesterday, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will be releasing
the Planet of the Apes TV series on DVD on the 18th of
August. The four disc set contains all fourteen episodes of the
series, which was made in 1974, following the release of five very successful
feature films. The set also includes promotional trailers for the Planet
of the Apes movies box set, and the theatrical trailer for Tim Burton's
2001 remake. The discs include English subtitles, and are presented in
their original 4:3 format, with mono audio. RRP is a very reasonable
£19.99 (watch out, because most online retailers are currently basing
their prices on an RRP of £24.99). Click here,
or on the photo', to see a selection of menu screens from the new set.
isn't exactly hot off the press, but it's been great to finally get in
touch with British TV specialists Acorn Media UK Ltd, who have released some terrific
material, including the excellent Lord Peter Wimsey BBC series.
July the 14th Acorn are releasing the first volume of what, for my money,
was the finest long-running BBC drama series of the 70s: When The Boat
series is set in Gallowshields, Tyneside, just after the end of the Great
War. The series' protagonist, army Sergeant Jack Ford (played by James
Bolam), returns from the front to discover - as has so often been the case
- that the government's lofty promises aren't being fulfilled. Using
his wits and considerable charm, Ford re-enters society determined to make
a better life for himself. Acorn's two-disc set contains the series' first
five episodes, originally broadcast in 1976: A Land Fit For Heroes and
Idiots, Say Hello... ...Say Tirra, Fish in Woolly Jumpers,
Swords and Pick Handles and Coal Comfort. The disc has an
RRP of £19.99. If you can't find the disc at your outlet of choice, then
Acorn will be happy to take your order on 020
an updated DVD schedule from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment:
of the Apes TV series
X-Files - Season 7
Simpsons - Series 3
- Season 4
have announced their August lineup, which includes five Francios Truffaut
films (Mississippi Mermaid, The Wild Child, Pocket Money,
The Man Who Loved Women and The Story of Adele H, all on
August 4th, with an RRP of £15.99 each).
also have a range of "thrillers", including Sidney Lumet's
adaptation of Peter Schaffer's play Equus, the 1956 version of A
Kiss Before Dying, the Farrah Fawcett rape drama Extremities,
Robert Aldrich's film noir classic Kiss Me Deadly, the overwrought
Oscar-winner Reversal of Fortune, soft porn classic Two Moon
Junction, starring Sherilyn Fenn and Bad Influence (still cut
by the BBFC, for "dangerous imitable technique", but apparently
about 30" less cut than the old Entertainment in Video VHS version).
All of these titles have an RRP of £12.99, and, apart from theatrical
trailers, no bonus features. (Apart from a few vague references MGM's
press releases do not include technical spec's, the sample sleeves they
supply aren't to be relied upon, either).
morning, at some ungodly hour, I was lucky enough to attend a press
screening of The Matrix Reloaded: The IMAX Experience at the bfi's
IMAX theatre, next door to Waterloo station. Those of you who have already
visited an IMAX screen won't need any introduction, or persuading that
it's an astonishing way to see a film! Click on the photo, above, or here
to read my special report.
Home Video has announced a couple more new releases for July.
their recent spate of Robert DeNiro releases and announcements (Once
Upon a Time in America, The Deer Hunter and City By The Sea)
is Michael Caton-Jones' 1993 film This Boy's Life, which also
features moon-faced pretty boy Leonardo DiCaprio. The film will be
presented in 2.35:1 ratio (no mention of anamorphic enhancement, but
Warner rarely drops the ball when it comes to quality transfers) and
stereo sound. Release date is 21st July, and the RRP is £12.99.
Home Video launch three World War II classics in their War In The East
collection on July 21st: Battle Cry (1955), Errol Flynn in Objective
Burma (1945) and John Wayne in Operation Pacific (1951).
films will be available separately, for £12.99 each, or in a three-disc
box set, for £29.99. Battle Cry boasts a 5.1 sound mix, and is
presented in 2.55:1 ratio. The other films are full-frame presentations
with mono sound. Each film is supported by a theatrical trailer, and
Objective Burma also features two classic Warner Bros. wartime shorts.
Wonder Woman disc is being released on August the 18th. It will
contain three more episodes: The Bermuda Triangle Crisis, Knockout
and The Queen and the Thief. The disc will also include new
text-based features, examining The History of Wonder Woman and The
Many Faces of Wonder Woman, and a photo' gallery. RRP is £12.99.
There'll also be a second volume of The Dukes of Hazzard (like I
care). Curiously, though, there's no sign of a second Freddy's
Home Video have announced another two double-bill DVDs: Sweeney!
and Sweeney 2, and two David Essex movies directed by
Michael Apted: That'll Be The Day and Stardust.
two Sweeney films will have mono audio, and be presented in 1.66:1 aspect
ratio. The two films are already available as a double bill from Anchor
Bay, in the US, but it shouldn't be difficult for Warner to improve on
their transfers, which have excessive DVNR smearing. No extras have been
announced for the UK discs: the US discs at least include the theatrical
Be The Day (which features Doctor
Who companion Deborah Watling) and Stardust (which doesn't) will have
mono audio, and will be presented in 1.85:1 ratio.
discs are being released on July 28th, with an RRP of £15.99.
Here's a look at the awful cover art:
it's Monday, it's probably time for a new competition, right? Right!
our competition gives you the chance to win a copy of the Spy Kids 2 -
The Island of Lost Dreams DVD, courtesy of Buena Vista Home
Entertainment. The film's a hoot for kids of all ages, and, especially,
for anyone who's a fan of Ray Harryhausen-style animation. The disc also
features a healthy selection of bonus material, including a commentary by
director Robert Rodriguez.
hot review for you today, this time for the Region 2 version of Steven
Soderbergh's remake of Solaris, which stars George Clooney. The
film flopped at the box office, but does it deserve to find an appreciative
audience on DVD?
The DVD is modest by Fox's standards, but includes a very
interesting commentary track and a couple of decent featurettes. The disc
is released in a month's time, on July 21st, a week before the Region 1
release. RRP is £19.99. Click on the Clooney picture, above, or here
to read the review.
more terrific soundtrack CDs have been released by the folks at Film Score
Monthly magazine, and both are well worth picking up. The first disc pairs
music from two classic seventies science-fiction movies: Fred Myrow's
score for Soylent Green and Jerry Fielding's music for Demon
Seed. The 1973 Soylent Green score includes several tracks that
were recorded for, but eventually not used in, the finished film,
including the cue originally composed for Edward G. Robinson's memorable
death scene. (This sequence eventually featured a medley of classical
music pieces by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Grieg, which is also included
on the CD). Fielding's spiky music for 1977's Demon Seed, a mixture
of electronic and treated acoustic recordings, is a fine companion piece
to Myrow's more traditional orchestral score for Soylent Green.
Both scores are taken from multi-track masters, and are presented in
stereo (although some of the bonus tracks from Demon Seed are from
mono recordings). The disc features about forty minutes of music from each
Knights of the Round Table two-disc set offers two Golden Age
scores by the great Miklós
Rózsa (the other is The King's Thief). Each disc offers more than
seventy minutes of music, including alternate cues, and unused
films were made by MGM in the wake of Ivanhoe's success, and so,
naturally, it was Rózsa, Ivanhoe's composer, the studio turned to,
in an attempt to repeat the formula. Although the score for Knights
has been available before, it was a contemporaneous, but inferior,
re-recording. Film Score Monthly's disc presents the original film
versions, in stereo. The King's Thief is a lesser movie, and,
arguably, one that didn't deserve the talents of its composer.
Nevertheless, Rózsa turned in a rousing, typically lush score. Only short
suites from The King's Thief have been released previously. This
new disc presents the complete score, from the original recordings, in
titles are available in a limited edition of 3000 copies - the same
quantity, let's not forget, as the label's now out-of-print, and now very
collectable The Omega Man CD! - and come with lavishly-illustrated
booklets containing comprehensive sleeve note.
discs are available from specialist retailers, or direct from Film
Score Monthly's website.
Home Video will release a two-disc Special Edition of Michael Cimino's
1978 film The Deer Hunter on August the 4th. The film, which won
five Academy Awards (Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, Best Sound, Best Editing
and Best Picture), will be accompanied by a commentary track (by Cimino), Realising
The Deer Hunter (an interview with Cimino), Shooting The Deer
Hunter (an interview with cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond), Playing
The Deer Hunter (an interview with John Savage, who played Steven in
the film), the theatrical trailer, a picture gallery and DVD-ROM
downloadable press brochure. The film will have a 2.35:1 anamorphic
transfer, and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. The disc will apparently be
exclusive to the UK (the US rights to the film are held by a different
studio). RRP is £19.99.
decidedly offbeat comedy Human Nature, which stars Notting Hill's
Rhys Ifans as a man who has been living in the woods since childhood, who
is discovered by a pair of scientists (Tim Robbins and Patricia Arquette),
will be also be released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment on August
The film, which was written by Charlie Kaufman (who wrote the
fabulous Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Being John
Malkovich), will be supported by several bonus features which aren't
on the American disc: a commentary track (by former pop video director
Michael Gondry), a making of... featurette and ten "weird and
wonderful" teaser trailers. The film will be presented in
"16:9" ratio, with 5.1 audio. RRP is £17.99.
the sleeve image for Carlton's Cult TV Legends DVD, which is due
for release on July the 7th. For details of which episodes are included,
see the news entry for the 4th of June, below.
red corner legend refers to the number of episodes that haven't been
previously released on DVD, incidentally, not the number of discs.
for this disc is £9.99.
got a red hot new DVD review for you today, to get the week off to a
Home Entertainment's two-disc Daredevil Special Edition is
one of the most highly-anticipated releases of the year.
is likely to be disappointed by the DVD, which offers hours of worthwhile
bonus features, and one of the best audio mixes ever to be released on
DVD. Click on the picture, left, or here
to read the review! The disc is released on June 30th.
forget that Trainspotting and Deathwatch are released today. Click here
to read the Trainspotting review, and here
for the Deathwatch review.
number of customers are reporting that their copies of the new Doctor
Who disc, The Dalek Invasion of Earth (due for release on
Monday) are missing the 4-page booklet. If you're picking a copy up in the
next couple of days, I suggest checking to make sure that it includes the
booklet! More worrying are reports that several makes of players are
having problems reading the second disc.
of The Shield might like to
know that another Emmy "For Your Consideration" disc has been
released. The new disc contains four episodes: the first season finale Circles,
and three second seasons not yet commercially released: The Quick Fix,
Dead Soldiers and Scar Tissue.
There are a lot of Emmy
promotional DVDs this year, although most are of the movie of the week
variety. Other Emmy DVDs include a five-disc box set of titles from Dick
Wolf's various Law and Order series (and episodes of his new,
unrelated, series, Dragnet)
and discs containing episodes of Third Watch, The West Wing and CSI:
have sent over the discs for the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season
Two - Episodes 2.1-2.12 DVD set, which is due for release on the 28th
looks like the set will live up to fan's hopes and expectations, (even if
it won't completely make up for the lacklustre presentation of the first
discs are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen ratio, with Dolby
Digital 5.1 audio (at 448kbps), and this time the main titles are
accompanied by the The Who's familiar Who Are You? theme music.
Click here to see some of the
set's animated menu screens. More details can be found in the news
entries for the 21st May (the sleeve artwork) and the 8th of May (the
spec's), both of which can be found here.
more titles from the Sam Arkoff Film Library have been announced for a
July 21st: The Brain Eaters and The She-Creature. As with
the first batch of titles (War of the Colossal Beast, (Earth Vs.]
The Spider, How to Make a Monster and Day the World Ended,
which are available now), each disc contains an audio recording of a
Guardian Lecture that Arkoff gave at the BFI, in 1991) and a selection of
trailers. RRP for the discs is £12.99.
will release Season Three of the Emmy-award winning animated series Family
Guy on July 21st. The three disc set will contain twenty-two episodes,
but will have the same RRP as the last, (two-disc) set: £24.99.
been widely rumoured, but now it's official: The Matrix Reloaded will
soon begin playing on the eighty-five foot wide, five-story high IMAX
screen, at London's South Bank complex, which also boasts 12,000 watts of
six-channel digital audio.
film begins screening on July 4th. For more information on getting
tickets, and show times, call 020 7902 1234, or zip over to the BFI's
an ongoing conflict between adding content to the site, and tweaking the
layout, and tidying up some of the glitches that annoy me so much, but
probably go unnoticed by 99.9% of you. Adding content is usually my
priority, but today cosmetic improvements won out! I'm sure most of you
would rather have new content. There's probably an important life lesson
in there, somewhere.
Dark Angel - Season 2 Collection DVD competition closed
yesterday... and the winners are Martin Hall and Paul Broughton.
Congratulations to them, and my thanks to Twentieth Century Fox Home
Entertainment, who generously provided the prizes. The answer to the
question "Which regular character is a new addition to Dark Angel season
2?" was Joshua. Thanks to everyone who entered. If you weren't lucky
this time, there's still a week left to enter the Babylon 5 Season
2 DVD set competition. Click on the banner - above - for details.
June - PM update
spent all day absorbing Universal's Trainspotting - The Definitive
Edition two-disc special edition, which is being released on June
16th. Click here to read
the Zeta Minor review.
I've got that out of my system, back to what I had planned for today:
A&E's Homicide: Life on the Street box set!
Tristar have announced that they will be releasing The Storyteller
Collection in the US on August 26th. No further details are available,
but let's hope that this includes the equally fabulous follow-up series, The
BBC have announced their July lineup. The Dead Ringers - Series 1
disc will include the pilot episode, originally transmitted in 2002.
Release date is July 2nd, RRP is £15.99. The remarkable series of
monologues delivered by Joanna Lumley, Up In Town, is also
released on July 7th, with an RRP of £15.99. The disc will contain
extended episodes, dream sequences and a commentary track by Co-Producer
Hugo Blick and Joanna Lumley. Finally, historian Michael Wood goes In
Search of Shakespeare, in a four-part documentary series. The disc
will be released on the 25th of August (the VHS version is due on July
7th), with an RRP if £19.99.
are sleeve images for the next Doctor Who DVD, The Dalek
Invasion of Earth, and the Steve Coogan / Rob Brydon comedy drama Cruise
of the Gods. For more details about these discs, see the news update
for the 10th of May.
will release the first season of the gritty ITV police drama series The
Vice on July 7th. The disc contains the first six fifty-minute
episodes, which were originally broadcast at the beginning of 1999. These
make up the first three stories: Daughters, Sons and Dabbling,
Worryingly, the press release refers to these as the first three episodes
(perhaps indicating that each two-part story will be compiled into one
episode). With that in mind, the disc has a suspiciously cheap RRP of
episodes of popular ITC adventure series that haven't been released on DVD
in the UK headline Carlton's Cult TV Legends compilation DVD, which
is also being released on July 7th. The disc contains the colour Danger
Man episode Koroshi and an adventure for The Saint which
pits Simon Templar against a mad scientist (in The House of Dragon's
Rock, an episode directed by Roger Moore). The DVD also includes the
opening episodes of The Persuaders (Overture) and The
Prisoner (Arrival). The press release didn't include an RRP.
new competition today! Huzzah! Click on the banner above to
enter the competition to win a box set of the second season of Babylon
5, courtesy of the nice folks at Warner Home Video. The Dark Angel competition
is still open, but will close at the end of this week.
you're looking for the lists of new Cinema Club budget DVD titles, or
MGM's July lineup, you need the archived news for May, which you can find here.
a whole new section on the site today, something that's taken the last
couple of weeks to put together. One of the aims of this site is to
publish information about neglected archive TV series; programmes so
obscure that there's virtually nothing about them on the Internet.
section on Catweazle
more or less qualified, but there were already several sites that featured
the show, and others have cropped up since Zeta Minor launched last year. Frankly, it only made the cut
because I already had most of the material to hand. It's also the reason
why I haven't yet added sections on Millennium or American
Gothic - there are already a few excellent resources out there, so
adding these series to my site is a low priority.
can safely say that there's nothing substantial on the Internet about the
1978-1980 LWT series Enemy at the Door, because I've followed about a
zillion search links, all of them either linked to retailers selling the Enemy
at the Door DVD box sets,
or to biographies of Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Anthony Stewart
Head, who featured in a couple of episodes. Although no-one would classify
it as a lost classic, Enemy at the Door is a neglected gem. Well,
no more! Visit the new section by clicking on the Cult TV button above, or
on the Enemy at the Door logo.
I'm very interested to hear from anyone who has any additional information
to add. Please get in touch if you have anything you'd like to
like to extend my thanks to Goldhil Home Media International, for
releasing the series on DVD, and for graciously allowing me to use their
synopses as the basis of the episode guide.
back tomorrow for an exciting new competition!
and November 2002