NEWS ARCHIVE - 9th - 15th AUGUST 2004

10th August 2004

Amazon is now listing the ten-disc Matrix box set, which is due on December the 6th. They've got it listed for £44.99. Click here for more details. The title has been added to the Offers page!

9th August 2004

Ceri's been delving into the nooks and crannies of the UK DVD industry, and has unearthed all sorts of interesting information (and dirt!) Here's his guide to the news gathered from unofficial and semi-official sources, and some tips about where you'll find the latest DVD bargains...

Hi everyone!

Not many bargains have appeared this week, so there hasn’t been much of an update to the Offers page. However, there has been particularly good information on some juicy titles in both Film and TV added to Incoming which I hope will more than make up for it…

First, is the news that Spider-Man 2 is now being listed for November the 26th. No word on the special features yet, but Columbia Tri-Star’s release has an RRP of £24.99.

Universal’s release of Shrek 2 (as a special edition) is also now up for a few weeks earlier – November the 2nd. Again there is no information on the special features yet, but it has an astonishing RRP of £27.99.

Van Helsing also now has a date – the 11th of October. This is no great surprise: it’s the same date as the Universal Monster Legacy Collection, which I reported last week. Universal are to release single disc (RRP £19.99) and two disc (RRP £24.99) versions. Some of the special features have already been cleared through the BBFC, but nothing has been officially confirmed (those with timings are BBFC cleared):

Two commentaries: one with Stephen Sommers and editor / producer Bob Duscay and one with Richard Roxburgh, Will Kemp, Shuler Hensley

Explore Dracula’s Castle featurette (3m36s)

Explore Frankenstein’s Lab featurette (11m28s) and Lab Detail Reel (2m29s)

The Legend of Van Helsing featurette

Bringing the Monsters to Life featurette

You are in the Movie! Featurette

The Music of Van Helsing featurette (9m39s)

Darkness Falls – Dracula’s lab is transformed featurette (2m38s)

Outtakes (5m36s)


Superbowl Spot

Interactive Map: Building Dracula’s Castle (7m47s), Frankenstein’s Lab (6m29s), The Burning Windmill (6m34s), The Village (8m6s), The Vatican Armoury (5m25s)

The Story, The Life, The Legend: Dracula (11m35s), Frankenstein’s Monster (9m22s), The Werewolves (12m26s), The Women of Van Helsing (14m26s).

Choices Direct is listing an Alfred Hitchcock box set, entitled Hitchcock - The Master of Suspense, for release on November the 1st. There's no word on the content, or confirmation of the label. However, the cast list they've listed indicates that the set will include Stage Fright, Strangers on a Train and The Wrong Man (all of which fall within the listed dates 1950-1956). The site also says that the RRP is £29.99, and that the  running time is 310 minutes (which is more or less right for these three films). This is odd, because it was expected that those three titles would be included in the UK version of Warner Home Video’s eagerly-awaited nine-disc Hitchcock – Signature Collection set (which will virtually complete the Hitchcock canon on DVD). Perhaps Warner Home Video (who has released those films on VHS in the past, and apparently still owns rights to them, at least in the US), are splitting the US set into three chunks for the UK market? Since the nine-disc US set is going to be available (on September the 7th) for about £35, it looks like UK consumers are going to be exploited yet again!

The special edition release of Total Recall has now been confirmed as being from Momentum. Special features include an audio commentary with Arnold Schwarzenegger and director Paul Verhoeven; Imagining Total Recall documentary; Rekall's Virtual Vacations; Visions Of Mars Featurette; Visual Storyboard Comparisons; Conceptual Art; Photo Gallery; Production Notes; Theatrical Trailers & TV Spots; and Cast and Crew Information. It has an RRP of £19.99 and a date of the 25th of October.

Momentum’s release of Wondrous Oblivion is now up for September the 27th, with an RRP of £17.99. Special features include a director’s commentary; a Cast and Crew featurette (9m49s – already cleared at the BBFC) and a trailer.

Paramount has collector’s editions of The Godfather - Part 2 and Part 3 showing for the 4th of October. No word on the special features yet, but expect them to be similar to the Collectors Edition of Part 1 - director's commentary; period-inspired packaging; four collector's postcards with vintage photographic effect; and Family Tree poster - which is due on the 13th of September. All three have an RRP of £17.99.

A so far unknown label is to release Eric Sykes’ 1967 film, The Plank, and the 1971 fill spin-off version of the ITV sitcom Please Sir! on the 18th of October. They both have RRPs of £12.99.

A release entitled Méliès The Magician has appeared on the schedules for October the 25th. It’s yet to be confirmed, but this could a Region 2 release looking at the work of pioneering French filmmaker Georges Méliès, which is already available in the US. That release features fifteen restored Méliès short films (which includes his famous A Trip to the Moon) coupled with a 130m French TV documentary - The Magic of Méliès. We’ll confirm once we known more. It has an RRP of £19.99.

Now onto the TV releases…

Columbia Tri-Star has submitted some special features to the BBFC for their as yet unlisted Seinfeld – Season 1 box set. These include three The Tonight Show appearances: Jerry Seinfeld 5/6/81 (6m30s), Michael Richards 3/2/89 (5m19s) and Jerry Seinfeld 5/30/90 (7m5s); a Blooper Reel: Not that There’s Anything Wrong With That (13m55s); and an Easter Egg (2m) comprising of two sections: split screen re-master comparison (56s) and untitled (1m3s).

Quite a few of Universal’s box sets just released or just about to be released in the US are now being listed here (though there’s no listing of Quantum Leap – Season 1 yet! Grrr!). These include The A – Team – Complete Series 1 (fourteen episodes, which includes the two-part version of the pilot), Columbo - Complete Season 1 (the Pilot, the first TV movie and seven episodes) and Magnum P.I. - Complete Season 1 (eighteen episodes). All three sets have RRPs of £34.99. There is also a Knight Rider - Complete Season 1 (twenty-two episodes) at £49.99, which has had a couple of items previously cleared at the BBFC. The full content of the Region 1 set (which is yet to be confirmed for the R2 version) is: Knight of the Phoenix commentary with David Hasselhoff and writer / creator Glen Larson; Knight Moves – stunts featurette (6m6s – cleared at the BBFC); Knight Sounds; Knight Rider 2000 (TV Movie); Knight Rider: Under the Hood; Photo Gallery (2m48s – cleared at the BBFC); Blueprints Gallery (3m4s – cleared at the BBFC); and a K.I.T.T. Owner's Manual. Play are listing all four box sets for the 13th of September, whereas Choices Direct has a date of the 25th of October for all bar The A-Team set (which it isn’t listing yet). Once things have shaken down we’ll let you know.

There are some new titles as well as some special features now known for some of Twentieth Century Fox’s forthcoming releases.

Special features for the Millennium - Season 3 box set will include two audio commentaries: one on The Innocents episode, from Lance Henriksen and third season co-star Klea Scott and one on Collateral Damage episode from director Tom Wright; together with an Inside Look: Season 3 featurette. The X-Files crossover episode Millennium, which tied up some of the loose ends of the series, will also be included. The set has an RRP of £39.99 and a date of October the 25th.

The Roswell - Season 3 box set will have four commentaries: executive producer / director Jonathan Frakes provides commentaries on two episodes, executive producer / writer Ronald D. Moore contributes another, as does executive producer / writer Jason Katims. The set also has a Class of 2002 featurette. It will retail at £39.99, and has a date of the 11th of October.

Season 5 of MASH is now up for November the 1st with the usual RRP of £29.99.

A Futurama – Complete Seasons 1 - 4 Collection is now being listed for October the 25th. It has an RRP of £89.99.

A month later, on November the 22nd, Fox have scheduled a Buffy The Vampire Slayer - Complete Seasons 1 - 7 box set with an RRP of £199.99.

Fox’s next four Buffy The Vampire Slayer Collection titles – Cordelia, Dawn, Giles and Xander – which were due on August the 16th, have been put back to November the 1st on some retailers. They all have RRP’s £12.99.

There are two new titles from Network being listed for September the 20th - The Adventures of Robin Hood – The Complete Series 3 and Dick Turpin – The Complete Series 3. Both are showing with RRPs of £39.99, with Play stating that Dick Turpin – The Complete Series 3 has five discs. This is very odd (and possibly a mistake) as all that forms Series 3 is the five-episode story Dick Turpin’s Greatest Adventure, which has the standard run-time of approximately 25m per episodes, so could easily fit on a single disc. More news when we get it.

BBC Worldwide have submitted more extras for some of their forthcoming releases.

The behind the scenes documentary previous listed by some of the retailers on Little Britain – Series 1 is entitled How to Make a Little Britain and runs to 36m16s. Albert Hall sketches running to 15m47s have also been cleared. The two-disc set has a date of October the 11th and an RRP of £19.99. Amazon is currently listed it for £11.99 – click here!

The Office - The Christmas Specials will also include a documentary, called Closed for Business and running to 22m35s. It’s due on October the 25th with an RRP of £19.99. Again Amazon is offering it at £11.99 – click here!

Absolutely Fabulous - Series 5 feature out-takes at a runtime of 20m57s. It is being prepared for September the 27th with an RRP of £19.99.

Two featurettes have been cleared for Series 6 of Red Dwarf, as yet unlisted, but expected next February. These are a Behind the Scenes (6m59s) and Making the Visual Effects (6m25s).

Possibly from BBC Worldwide, but as yet unconfirmed, is a box set of BBC 2’s docu-drama series Seven Wonders Of The Industrial World for the 27th of December. It has an RRP of £39.99.

Again, unconfirmed as from BBC Worldwide (but they did release the previous VHS version), is the 1996 adaptation of Iain Bank’s novel The Crow Road for October the 25th. It will include a commentary from producer, director and screenwriter; together with an interview with Iain Banks. It has an RRP of £19.99.

The Best of Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em (featuring five episodes) has appeared for October the 25th. Presumably, Sight Second still has the rights (the cover sleeve certainly matches the style of there previous series releases), so it should be from them. It has an RRP of £15.99.

Choices Direct have now put up DD Video’s Secret Army - Series 3 for the 4th of October with an RRP of £49.99.

Fabulous Films are to release two volumes of the Australian children’s TV series Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, which ran from 1966 and 1968, and featured a young Liza Goddard amongst the cast. The two volumes between them will include fifteen episodes from the thirty-nine episode run of the first series. Play is listing both for the 18th of October at £14.99 each. Fabulous Films has also submitted the content of both releases to the BBFC: Volume 1 includes seven episodes: Skippy, No Time for Clancy (the first episode with Liza Goddard), The Honeymooners, Double Trouble, The Last Chance, No Trespassers and The Bush Rangers. Together with the following extras: Which way did they go Skip? Mark Hammond reveals all (9m52s); Skippy Club TV Commercial (29s); and Skippy’s Playground TV Special (24m16s). Volume 2 includes eight episodes: The Marine Biologist, The Swagman, Summer Storm, Surf King, Mayday Part 1, Mayday Part 2, The Empty Chair and The Long Night. The extras are: Gentler Times – an interview with actor Tony Bonner (12m32s); Tony Bonner sings the Skippy the Bush Kangaroo theme (13s); and Skippy Comic Book (3m17s).

An unknown company is to release Series 1 and 2 of Caroline Quentin’s recent ITV drama Blue Murder – Series 1 & 2 on October the 25th with £19.99 as its RRP.

Momentum is to re-issue both volumes of its Creature Comforts - Series 1 releases as a complete set. Special features include Creating Creature Comforts featurette; Bringing Creature Comforts to Life featurette: follow characters from storyboard, character stills, LAV tests to finished footage; Who's Missing?; Wallace and Gromit in Project Zoo; DVD-ROM section including posters, soundbites, wallpapers and much more; Favourite Bits - the director's choice of best clips; TV Extras - ITV1 channel idents and National TV Awards clip; Who Said That? - a game; Downloadable Wallpapers - for your desktop; and Say That Again - downloadable phrases from favourite characters plus Weblinks. It has a date of November the 1st, with £19.99 as its RRP.

There’s more A Touch of Frost from Carlton (who seem to have reclaimed the series from Universal Playback). Box sets of Series 7, 8 and 9 (these are Specials rather than full series) is showing for the 27th of September and Series 10 for the 18th of October. Both have RRPs of £24.99.

The BBC’s 1998 play A Rather English Marriage, which starred Albert Finney, Tom Courtney and Joanna Lumley, was previously released by Carlton, but as yet it isn’t confirmed if they are behind a DVD release that’s appeared for the 27th of September, with an RRP of £12.99.

We’ve had word that the Definitive Collector’s Edition of Spaced from VCI will feature a brand new eighty-minute documentary titled Skip To The End, among other new bonus features, which include a music video and raw footage. The set has a date of September the 27th and an RRP of £24.99.

It was listed for earlier in the year by some of the retailers before disappearing, but Poirot – The Hollow has now re-appear for September the 13th. VCI has given it an RRP of £12.99.

And finally, for Incoming we’re also had word that VCI are preparing a new collection of Elvis Costello promo videos, which will include twenty-two tracks from Costello's Demon Records-era material. The track listing is Only Flame in Town, I Wanna Be Loved, New Lace Sleeves, Misunderstood, Only Flame in Town – 2, Everyday I Write The Book, Let Them All Talk, Peace Love and Understanding, Oliver’s Army, Radio Radio, Pump It Up, (I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea, Sweet Dreams, Accidents Will Happen, Love For Tender, High Fidelity, I Can’t Stand Up (For Falling Down), Possession, Clubland, New Amsterdam, You Little Fool, and Good Year For The Roses.

There was a previous compilation released by Palace, entitled Elvis Costello – The Man, which also featured 22 tracks. Missing from the new version are Green Shirt and Watching the Detectives, with the two new tracks being Misunderstood and Only Flame in Town – 2 (perhaps an alternate version?) Watching the Detectives was released by Stiff Records, so might be owned by someone else, which may explain its omission. It’s possible that the track listing will change. We’ll let you know!

Now the additions to Offers...

Thanks to Chris K for letting me know that Amazon has the Robin of Sherwood – Season 2 box set at £11.97.

Sendit has Open All Hours – Series 3, Porridge – The Christmas Specials and Yes, Prime Minister – Series 1 at £8.99. Sendit are also offering these as double discount bundles where you can order two titles at the same time for a further 50p off. Look out for this option on each of Sendit’s entries for these releases.

Thanks to Mike W for posting that MVC has put up their exclusive The Tomorrow People - Series 6, 7 & 8 box set for at £35.99. Their sister site Streets Online are also listing it and they offer free P&P above £19, whereas MVC don’t.

That’s it from me this week – I’m off next week, so the next update will be in two weeks time. But as ever keep an eye on The High Street forum for postings of news about bargains from myself and the other members of Roobarb’s DVD Forum. Until then…

Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed here.




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