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ARCHIVED NEWS - 3rd - 9th MAY 2004


7th May 2004

There are two new reviews today! Ceri has taken a look at two classic British films being released by Carlton, both of which feature Hayley Mills: Tiger Bay and Whistle Down The Wind. Click on either of the sleeve images, right, or here to read the review. The discs are released on May the 17th.

Contrary to information that's being passed on by various retailers, Carlton's forthcoming DVD of North West Frontier, due on May 17th, is presented in its original Cinemascope format. Unfortunately it's not anamorphic. The film has Eastmancolour cinematography by Geoffrey Unsworth. The DVD transfer looks very nice, so it's a real shame that Carlton fell at the last hurdle.

Carlton's disc of the 1971 Alistair MacLean spy thriller adaptation When Eight Bells Toll is also presented in 2.35:1 format, but this disc is also anamorphic.

The BFI have two unusual releases scheduled for May the 24th: a supernatural drama, To Sleep With Anger, and an award-winning film about Autism.

Charles Burnett's film To Sleep With Anger, which stars Danny Glover and Paul Butler, will feature a full-frame 1.33:1 transfer. The disc will come with a Director's biography. RRP is £19.99.

A is For Autism is an animated eleven-minute film by Tim Webb, offering insight into the world of the autistic. The disc will feature biographies of the producer and director, a picture gallery and optional subtitles. RRP is £5.99.

Here are the sleeve images:

 

Columbia has added a few titles to their schedule, including the Halle Berry horror flick Gothika, which should be released on August the 9th. Due the same day is the second season of The Shield.

Roman Polanski's Tess, the Burt Lancaster World War II thriller Castle Keep, the third season of Dawson's Creek and Errol Morris' Oscar-winning documentary The Fog of War are due on August the 23rd.

Here's Tartan's DVD schedule for the next few months:

26th April  -  Party Monster; Visitor Q; Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary; Lucas Belvaux' Trilogy

24 May  -  Agitator; Visitor Q; Wisconsin Death Trip; Tattoo; Hoover Street RevivalManiacts

28th June  -  Infernal Affairs: The Hired Hand; Audition - Collectors Edition; Black and White.

26th July - Capturing The Friedmans - Special Edition (two-discs); Bad Guy; The Cockettes; Argentinian comedy-drama Suddenly; Bergman's All These Women and Three Strange Loves

23rd August - John Holmes biopic Wonderland; Heimat - Series 1 (five-disc box set); Twilight Samurai; The Eye - Special Edition (with new Dolby Digital 5.1and DTS tracks); Carnages; Truffaut's Tirez Sur Le Pianiste; Baisers Voles

27th September - Battle Royale II: Requiem; Hard Boiled - Collector's Edition (with new Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS audio mixes, and both dubbed and Cantonese subtitled versions); Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter... and Spring (released theatrically on May 14th); Ozu box set (Tokyo Story, Late Spring and A Taste of Green Tea); Basque Ball; Irreversible Special Edition (two discs).

Clearvision will release the eighth season of Minder on DVD on July the 4th. The four-disc set will contain twelve episodes from the 1991 season, which introduced a new minder for Arthur Daley, his nephew Ray (Gary Webster). Special features include an exclusive interview with George Cole, covering the early years of Minder, a guide to season eight extracted from The Phenomenon That Was Minder book, and trailers for season nine. Guest stars in the eighth season include Michael Gambon, George Costagin, Kenneth Colley, Lee Montague and Trevor Peacock. RRP for the set is £39.99.

Reader Richard Gregory has kindly supplied some information about Revelation's plans for the rest of the Thames science-fiction series The Tomorrow People. Apparently the plan is to initially release series six, seven and eight as one MVC-exclusive box set on the 23rd of August.

Here's a look at the sleeves for three of the Entertainment in Video releases that were mentioned in the News update for 5th of May, below.


5th May 2004

Umbrella Entertainment will release the second series of The Saint on July 21st. The six-disc set will feature twenty-four black and white episodes (episodes 25 to 48), complete, uncut and digitally-re-mastered.

The set will feature two exclusive commentary tracks: one by star Roger Moore, and Producers Robert S. Baker and Johnny Goodman (on The Saint Plays With Fire), and another by Director Roy Ward Baker and guest star Sue Lloyd (on Luella). Other bonus materials include an interview with Roger Moore, text from the original ITC press-book, isolated music and sound effects tracks on some episodes, production notes, memorabilia, cast and crew profiles, image and galleries. RRP for the set is AU$119.95 (approximately £48, but that includes their local equivalent of VAT, which gets knocked off when you order).

Click here for a larger sleeve image, which will appear as if by magic in a pop-up window (assuming I can get it to work!)

My thanks to John Baker for pointing out that Amazon.com are listing two box sets of Mike Leigh TV plays, including some that aren't available on disc in the UK. The Mike Leigh Collection Volume One will feature Abigail's Party, Grown Ups and Hard Labour. A second volume will be released on June the 29th, featuring Nuts in May, Who's Who and Bleak Moments.

Acorn's latest press releases arrived here late, and some of the information has already been dutifully reported over at The Mausoleum Club, so I don' propose re-hashing the information here. Check here for information about Granada's excellent period detective series Cribb, and here for information about To The Manor Born -  Series 3.

The seventh, final series of Rumpole of the Bailey will be released by Acorn on June the 14th. The two-disc set will feature all six episodes of the 1992 run, along with the usual filmographies, and "exclusive" interview with series creator Sir John Mortimer. The disc has an RRP of £24.99.

Entertainment in Video has announced another shovel-load of back catalogue titles, for release on June 28th. No technical specifications were announced. The titles involved are the Ice Cube thriller Dangerous Ground; the rather charming chick flick Now and Then, which features Demi Moore, Rosie O'Donnell and Melanie Griffith; the Hughes Brothers' inner city drama Menace II Society (being released uncut in the UK for the first time, with 11" of cuts reinstated); Keith Gordon's World War II spy thriller Mother Night; Ernest Dickerson's 1994 adaptation of The Most Dangerous Game, Surviving the Game; the quirky health farm comedy The Road To Wellville; the undercover narcotics cop thriller Deep Cover; and John Avildsen's 1994 rodeo drama 8 Seconds. Apart from a trailer on The Road To Wellville, there was no information about bonus materials listed on the press releases. These are probably bare-bones releases that will soon be cannon fodder for various "Buy X for £XX" offers.

Three new titles will be released by EiV to rent on 14th June, and to buy two weeks later, each with an RRP of £19.99. They are The Anniversary Party, Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys and the critically-mauled British comedy Sex Lives of The Potato Men. No bonus materials were mentioned. The US version of the Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cummings-directed Hollywood schmoozing comedy The Anniversary Party  has a commentary track by Leigh and Cummings and an Anatomy of a Scene featurette). The Region 1 DVD of Jodie Foster's acclaimed Catholic boys school coming of age story Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys has extensive extras, including deleted scenes and a commentary track).

Nouvelle Pictures release of Walerian Borowczyk's The Story of Sin has been delayed to June the 7th.


4th May 2004

Thanks to John Pettigrew for pointing out that the BBC's forthcoming House of Cards Trilogy box set, (which will contain the three Francis Urquart drama serials House of Cards, To Play The King and The Final Cut), is being offered as a pre-order by DVDPlus for a bargain £17.87, about half the £34.99 RRP being listed by some retailers (the disc hasn't officially been announced yet!)

John McElroy has been in touch to let us know that the first season of the Elaine Stritch / Donald Sinden sitcom Two's Company will be released soon by Acorn's US division very soon. Amazon.com has it listed as being released on May the 11th, other sources say June. He also points out, for the benefit of anyone who's interested, that the Gwen Taylor sitcom Barbara has also been released in the US.


3rd May 2004

As you can see, there have been a few changes around here this week. Most importantly, Zeta Minor and Roobarb's DVD Forum have moved to a new server!

In the last couple of months the site has grown in popularity at an exponential rate, requiring several upgrades to the site's hosting package in order to keep pace with the increased bandwidth demands. For what is still essentially a personal website, it was starting to become very expensive!

Well, to the rescue comes Karl Von Randow, who made me a hosting offer that I couldn't refuse.

As a result of the change you might find things a bit flaky for the next few days, as the updated information permeates through whatever systems this sort of stuff permeates through. (Stop me if I'm getting too technical!)

Naturally, I've taken the opportunity to complicate things even more than strictly necessary by doing a bit of re-jigging behind the scenes. This was mainly to tidy up directories that were becoming unwieldy. Hopefully you won't notice any difference, but I apologise if you come across any broken links, missing images, poorly-reasoned arguments or bad grammar.

The move to a new server will allow Zeta Minor to become a bit more ambitious. You should notice some subtle improvements in the next couple of weeks, as I come to grips with some new tricks and techniques.

My thanks to Adam, for brokering the new arrangement, and to Karl for his generous offer, and for making the switch as painless as possible.

And now, I return you to the programme already in progress...

In amongst the turmoil of all this activity I've managed to put together a review of Universal's Region 2 release of the hit comedy School of Rock, which stars Jack Black as a loser who gets fired from his band, but falls into a job teaching school kids. It's a really good family film, as long as you can stomach Black's shtick! Click on the sleeve image, right, or here to read the review. The disc is due on July the 12th.

DD Video is releasing a collection of 50s and 60s public service warnings, civil defence training films and other American government films designed to advise its citizens about how to survive an H-bomb attack. The disc, Nuclear Scare Stories of the Cold War, will include the famous "Duck and cover" Bert the Turtle training film, the Glenn Ford-narrated CBS television film The Day Called X, which showed how civil defence operations would minimise casualties in a typical city (in this case Portland, Oregon, which must have freaked its inhabitants somewhat!) The disc is being released on June the 14th, with an RRP of £12.99. An equivalent title featuring similar British films, Protect and Survive, is already available.

And now over to Ceri, for his roundup of all the News that didn't reach us through official channels, and details of new bargains being listed by the online retailers...

Hi everyone, itís been a few weeks since the TV releases headed this column, but this week some really cool new TV titles have been added to Incoming, as well as news of a very good sale from Virgin on the Offers page.

Right, letís get cracking with those juicy TV titlesÖ.

The BBC Shop has listed more of BBC Worldwideís forthcoming releases. Two greatly-anticipated comedy titles, Little Britain Ė Series 1 and The Office Specials, have listed dates of October the 11th and 25th respectively, both have an RRP of £19.99.

A second four-disc Jonathan Creek box set, featuring Series 3 and 4, has an RRP of £39.99 and is listed for August the 2nd.

Thereís a little clarity on what extras will be included on Sellers On Sellers which is also listed for August the 2nd. The press release states it will include: a unseen and uncut interview with Peter Sellers; I Say, I Say, I Say Ė a home movie film made by Peter Sellers in which he appears together with Princess Margaret, Lord Snowdon and Britt Ekland; a picture gallery taken from Peter Sellers' family collection and themed menus - The Pink Panther and The Look of Love (which presumably means the two music tracks will be used to back the menus). This release is the 2002 special entitled The Peter Sellers Story: As He Filmed It, re-edited from the original 1995 three part documentary series, Sellers on Sellers. It has an RRP of £15.99.

Another press release, this time for  the 1974 version of The Secret Garden, says the DVD version will include extra footage (whatever that may be), a special reunion interview with the original cast, and a biography of author Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Acorn have quite a few new titles showing. The third series of To The Manor Born and The Good Life have respective dates of June the 14th and July the 12th. Both have RRPís of £24.99.

The first series of Sam, Granadaís drama set in the 1930s and 40s, is also showing for July the 12th. Originally spanning three series between 1973 and 1975, the series starred Kevin Moreton and Mark McManus. All thirteen episodes of  the first series are to be released in Acornís standard format: over three parts - Part 1 - A Way Of Life, Part 2 - The Cost Of Living and Part 3 Ė Where The Heart Is Ė with five episodes in Part 1 and four each in Part 2 and 3. All three parts are listed for July the 12th.

Thanks to Analogueman for letting me know that Acornís Tenko Ė Series 3 box set had slipped again, and is now being listed for July the 12th. The first individual volume - Tenko - Series 3 Part 1 Ė is now also listed for the same date. Joining them is Tenko - Series 3 Part 2 on August the 9th. Only Choices Direct is listing all three releases at the moment, and they have the Tenko Ė Series 3 complete box set with an RRP of £49.99, Part 2 at £24.99 and Part 1 at £19.99. This is almost certainly a mis-price for Part 1 as all Tenkoís previous individual parts have had an RRP of £24.99 Ė Choices Direct are offering it at £16.99.

The 9th of August sees Rumpole Of The Bailey - The Specials, featuring the BBC Play for Today episode which marked the character's first TV appearnace, and the later special, Rumpoleís Return. It has an RRP of £24.99.

Acornís release of Love For Lydia Ė Part 2, which was due today, has been put back a week until the 10th of May.

June sees a flurry of activity by Network, with bare-bones releases of Soldier Soldier - Series 2 on June 14th and Dick Turpin - Complete Series 2 on June the 21st (both with RRPs of £19.99).

The second series of Third Rock From The Sun will dawn on June the 21st. The set will feature season 2 promos, behind the scenes of Nightmare on Dick Street, bloopers, an unaired season ending and the special Nightmare on Dick Street 3D episode (the set comes packaged with two sets of free 3D glasses), all for an RRP of £29.99).

Next up are Press Gang - Series 2 and Strange Report Ė The Complete Series both showing for June the 28th. Press Gang with feature behind-the-scenes footage, and other material still to be cleared, for an RRP of £19.99. The box set of Strange Report will feature digitally-restored episodes, generic and episodic trailers; an on-location interview with co-star Anneke Wills and Roger Lloyd Pack; stills and promotional gallery with Roger Webb's original music soundtrack; an interview with co-star Kaz Garas; Kaz Garas's On-Location photo gallery; original script PDFs; restoration featurette; and a Robert Hardy introduction, for an RRP of £49.99. It looks like being a busy month for Network! Letís hope the dates donít slip too much!

Talking of Billy Pilgrim-style release dates, the complete series box set of Ever Decreasing Circles has been put back again, to May the 24th, but Virginís sale (more of which later!) includes the four series releases at £6.99 and £7.99. As the box set has an RRP of £49.99, itís far better to buy the discs separately in Virginís sale if you can find them.

Rising Damp Ė The Complete Works, which was previously exclusive to WH Smith, is now being listed by other retailers. Whether or not - as is being claimed - it will offer the ďentireĒ series, remains to be seen. When it was released to WH Smith it was missing one episode, the 1975 Christmas special, For The Man Who Has Everything. Chances are the new set will be the same. It has a date of June the 14th and an RRP of £29.99.

VCI are preparing a release of the second series of BBC sitcom My Family for June the 7th with an RRP of £19.99.

Last week we said that Playback would be releasing Three Up, Two Down today. Thatís what the press release said, but it appears to be wrong. All the retailers have a date of May the 17th. It will probably follow the format of Playbackís other sitcom releases and be Series 1 and 2, with the remaining Series 3 and 4 appearing at a later date. Playbackís release of Sorry! and Just Good Friends, both of which were at one time due out today, have been put back to May the 17th and 24th respectively.

Twentieth Century Fox are lining-up more Buffy The Vampire Slayer Collection titles for August the 16th. The four titles will focus on Cordelia, Dawn, Giles and Xander, and have an RRP of £12.99 each.

New bonus material for The Simpsons has been cleared by the BBFC. This is for presumably destined for the Season Four box set which, so far, has not been listed anywhere. There are multi-angle sequences for three episodes: A Streetcar Named Marge (9m36s); Homerís Triple Bypass (8m19s) and Itchy and Scratchy: The Movie (7m51s). There appears to be four different angles cleared, although Homerís Triple Bypass only has three cleared against it (so far), with the angles being Animatic, Main Color, Storyboard and untitled (which probably is the completed sequence from the episode). There are also deleted scenes: four for Homerís Triple Bypass (untitled (6s); Homer in the ambulance (9s); Krusty Cannon (7s) and Homer eating pizza (14s)). The Front has six deleted sceness: untitled (17s); I will learn to ski (20s); Richy and Kathy (8s); Dynamite in the cat (16); Sit and play with my teeth (12s) and Nickel for the trolley (15s). In addition there are three featurettes: A Word From Matt Groening (1m53s); Promotional Stuff (13m53s) and The Cajun Controversy (2m7s), together with a thirty-second piece entitled Unforgettable Classics, which is listed as a promo. Finally, a bonus commentary has been cleared for the episode Marge Vs The Monorail.

The track listing for Warner Music Videoís new Later With Jools Holland release, Cool Britannia, is now showing on some of the retailers. It will feature 34 performances, from between 1993 to 2003, which are: Ash - Shining Light, Blur - Tender, British Sea Power - Remember Me, Catatonia - Bleed, Coldplay - In My Place, Cornershop - Brimful of Asha, Doves - The Cedar Room, Echo And The Bunnymen - Nothing Lasts Forever, Elastica - Connection, Elbow - Fugitive Motel, Embrace - All You Good Good People, Feeder - Just The Way Iím Feeling, Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out, Keane - This Is The Last Time, Manic Street Preachers - A Design For Life, Morrissey - Boy Racer, Oasis - I Am The Walrus, Paul Weller - Sunflower, Primal Scream - Moviní On Up, Pulp - Disco 2000, Radiohead - The Bends, Spiritualized - Come Together, Starsailor - Good Souls, Stereophonics - More Life In A Tramps Vest, Suede - So Young, Super Furry Animals - Something For The Weekend, Supergrass - Caught By The Fuzz, 22-20s - Devil In Me, The Beta Band - Human Being, The Charlatans - Just When Youíre Thinkiní Things Over, The Darkness - I Believe In A Thing Called Love, The Libertines - Up The Bracket, The Verve - The Drugs Donít Work, Travis - All I Wanna Do Is Rock. The release will also include an interview with Doves (which is listed as being exclusive to DVD), an interview with Travis and a feature to programme your 6 favourites tracks. It has a date of June the 7th with an RRP of £14.99.

Volume 2 of the 1980s cartoon series Ulysees 31 is showing for the 5th of July from Contender. It has a £12.99 RRP.

Delta have Series 4 of Henry's Cat listed for June the 21st with an RRP of £5.99.

And finally, for the TV releases, is Space Rangers for July the 26th. This US science-fiction series from 1993 only lasted 6 episodes and was created by the same people behind the new version of The Outer Limits. Thereís no information yet on which label is releasing it, but it has an RRP of £24.99.

Now the film releasesÖ

Play are listing November the 1st as the release date for the delirious Jim Carrey fantasy film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, currently on release at a cinema near you. There are no clues about what special features the DVD release from Momentum will contain, but it has an RRP of £19.99. The Region 1 version is due on June the 1st. Knowing Momentum the UK disc will have some unique bonus materials.

Anchor Bay are releasing the 1979 version of The Cat and the Canary, which starred Honor Blackman and Edward Fox. Itís listed as having 5.1 and DTS sound options, with an audio commentary and biographies. The release has a date of June the 28th and an RRP of £14.99.

If you thought November seemed a long way away, how about Disneyís Alice In Wonderland, which is being listed for release on January the 31st? Itís being listed by Play, who are also showing it to contain the same special features as the recently-deleted version. Itís likely that Play have just lifted the information from the old release, and that this new version will contain brand new features, inherited from the recent Region 1 version. It has an RRP of £19.99.

Finally for the film releases is Ken Russellís adaptation of The Whoís Tommy from Odyssey Video. We would have featured this in the News last week, but requests for a sleeve image, which is available elsewhere online, went unanswered. It will feature a specially-restored widescreen print, an audio commentary from director Ken Russell hosted by film critic Mark Kermode, exclusive interviews with Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, Ann-Margret and Ken Russell, a Sound Restoration featurette and a Recollections featurette, where original technical personnel, including music editor Terry Rawlings, reflect on their experiences with the movie. It has an RRP of £15.99 and a date of June the 14th.

Right, letís have a look at the changes to OffersÖ.

Amazon have unfortunately cottoned onto their mis-price of the Battle Of The Planets box set, and itís now been corrected to the right RRP with the pre-order price of £67.49. Iíve added Lovejoy Ė Series 1, The Norman Conquests and Third Rock From The Sun Ė Series 1 all at £22.49 (£7.50 off); Without A Clue at £4.97 (£5.02 off) and The Saint Ė The Complete Series 1 at the pre-order price of £44.99. dvd.co.uk have stopped their Buffy box set promotion. They had the slightly better price on the Season 1 set, so Iíve added Amazonís listing of it, which is now the best deal. Amazon also has a new DVD sale with titles at either £6.97 or £7.97. Have a look at the Amazon section on the Offers page for the full list of highlights from this sale.

Iíve added the Tenko - Series 3 Part 1 mis-price at £16.99 from Choices Direct.

As already mentioned, dvd.co.uk have stopped their Buffy promotion, but they have the Fox Animated TV Box Sets promotion with some of the best prices around Ė The Simpsons and Futurama sets at £14.99 and the Family Guy sets at £9.99 Ė shaving a further £1.00 off the prices offered at most other retailers.

Loaded247.co.uk has Vincent Priceís Theatre of Blood at £5.99 (£7.00 off).

Play have converted their buy one get one free offer for the Alien special editions to now include all the recently reissued Fox two-disc special editions. So, you can pick up two for £17.99.

And finally thereís Virginís sale, which, as ever - because they have a terrible on-line shop - is in store only, so itís on a basis of whatever the store has in stock, and first come first served. There are lots of Network titles included in the sale as well as the six-film Hammer Resurrected box set at £39.99 (£20.00 off). Iíve provided a full list of what Iíve seen and what has been reported on the Virgin thread of Roobarb's DVD Forum Ė thanks to Richard Spurr and MikeW for posting! Have a look at the Virgin section on the Offers page for the full list.

And thatís it from me.


Previous News entries can viewed here.

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