ARCHIVE NEWS - 23rd - 29th AUGUST 2004
27th August 2004
There's a new film review for you today:
Lee has reviewed one of the most eagerly-awaited films of the last decade:
Alien vs Predator. The film seems to have met with decidedly
lukewarm reviews, which is perhaps not surprising, since it would be
difficult for any filmmaker to make a film as exciting as the one
you could imagine, let alone a journeyman hack like Paul W.S. Anderson. To
read the review, click on the sleeve image, left, or
here. The film opens here
on October the 22nd, so forget about any hopes you might have had that it
will be released here on DVD before Christmas. This is bad news for
American DVD buyers, who will now almost certainly have to wait until well
into the New Year before it's released, making it one of the longer recent
Wednesday I attended the press screening of Spider-Man 2 at the
IMAX cinema on London's South Bank. (You may remember that last year I
reported on the IMAX Experience version of The Matrix Reloaded: you
can read that review here).
Most of what I wrote about The Matrix Reloaded applies to
Spider-Man 2, too.
I wasn't very impressed with the original
Spider-Man film, especially it's dodgy CGI effects, so I was very
curious to see the sequel, which is generally regarded as a better film. I
was especially curious to see how the new film's effects would stand up to
the intense scrutiny that the giant IMAX screen offers.
The answer is, surprisingly well. The
effects are much improved this time around: they're better integrated into
the backgrounds, and generally much more fluid. It's certainly more
difficult to tell where the pixels end and Tobey McGuire starts!
There are, however, one or two ambitious
shots that looked absolutely terrible: a CGI version of Doc Ock that takes
up a fraction of the frame is rendered virtually life-size on the IMAX
screen, and the results look very shoddy indeed. There was also one very,
very short shot where you could clearly see the individual pixels.
Of course, aside from the sheer spectacle
on offer, the IMAX screen offers sundry other delights, like making it
possible to read things like the newspaper headlines in the background in
the Daily Bugle's offices, and the titles of the books stacked on Harry
Osborn's coffee table! It also made Stan Lee's fleeting cameo (as "Man
Dodging Debris") easier to spot. Despite that, though, I missed seeing
John Landis, and didn't recognise Homicide - Life on the Street's
On the downside, it would have been hard to
make Kirsten Dunst look any skankier than she does in this film,
especially when blown up a hundred-and-twenty feet wide. Also, Tobey
McGuire has a little horseshoe shaped scar on one cheek that's often very
distracting: it also makes it very easy to see which shots have flopped
back to front, for whatever reason. You'll also have fun trying to spot
McGuire's contact lenses!
The IMAX cinema continued to impress me
with it's effortlessly muscular twelve-thousand watt audio presentation.
The cinema has better acoustics than any of the first rank West End
screens (the main failing of the Empire's screen one, for example).
And the best news was saved until last:
later this year the IMAX will be screening Peter Jackson's epic Lord of
the Rings trilogy in a buttock-numbing triple bill! Start queuing now!
Spider-Man 2 is screening at the
IMAX, London SE1 from August the 27th. You can book tickets on 0870 787
2525, or online at
Home Entertainment will release a Special Edition version of the
1998 asteroid-collision disaster movie Deep Impact on October the
The film will be presented in anamorphic
2.35:1 widescreen format. The audio is encoded in Dolby Digital 5.1 format
The new disc will feature a commentary
track by director Mimi Leder and special effects supervisor Scott Farrer;
four featurettes: Preparing For The End (9m), Making An Impact
(12m), Creating The Perfect Traffic Jam (9m) and Parting
Thoughts (5m). Preparing For The End wasn't mentioned in the
press release, but it is definitely on the disc. The disc also features a
theatrical trailer (the only bonus feature on the old disc) and a photo'
The disc has English subtitles on the film,
and for the bonus materials (including the commentary).
RRP is £14.99. Menu screens from the new
disc can be viewed
The third season of Black Books will
be released by Channel 4 Video on October the 4th. The disc will include
twenty-two minutes of deleted scenes, outtakes and trailers, as well as a
black and white short scene titled Bernard's Letter, which features
Bernard ranting in reply to a publisher's rejection letter. RRP for the
disc seems to be £19.99. A set containing the first three seasons of
Black Books is also due on October the 4th, with an RRP of £39.99
(according to Play.com).
(which seems to be an imprint of Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment) will
release a four-disc box set of the Discovey Channel's Great Crimes &
Trials series on September the 27th. The set will feature twenty-six
episodes of the Robert Powell-narrated series:
The Lindbergh Kidnapping,
Lucky Luciano, Capone, Son of Sam, The Hillside
Stranglers, John Dillinger, The Manson ‘Family’ Murders,
The Jonestown Massacre, The Boston Strangler, The
Yorkshire Ripper, The McKay Kidnapping, Jack the Stripper,
Murf the Surf, The Black Panther, John Christie of
Rillington Place, Haigh the Acid Bath Murderer, The Great
Train Robbery, The Case of Dr Crippen, The Massacre of the
Tsar, The Trail of Adolph Eichmann, The Case of Gary Gilmore,
Ted Bundy, John Gacy, Neville Heath, The Trials of
Dr Samuel Sheppard and The Green Beret Killer.
first Italian feature film ever made, 1911's L'Inferno, long
believed lost forever, is being released on DVD by Snapper Music on
October the 11th.
The film, which apparently features some
ground-breaking special effects sequences and "awe-inspiring" set designs,
is loosely based on the first third of Dante Alighieri's 14th century
masterpiece The Divine Comedy, and on Gustav Dore's equally
acclaimed illustrations. The film has been restored - according to the
press release - and features music performed by Tangerine Dream. RRP is
You can see menu screens for Sanctuary's
imminent Conan The
Destroyer - Collector's Edition
have more information on this title tomorrow.
Entertainment in Video has delayed the
release of two titles that were due for release on August the 30th.
Willard and The Reckoning will now be released on September the
Entertainment in Video is releasing two box
sets on September the 27th: a Rush Hour / Rush Hour 2 set
and a Blade / Blade 2 set, both with an RRP of £19.99. The
press release did not indicate whether these would be re-issues of the
existing discs (with all the attendant bonus materials).
is releasing Patty Jenkins' critically-acclaimed, Oscar-winning serial
killer film Monster on October the 11th, which, as the press
release takes pains to point out, is almost two years to the day after the
film's subject, Aileen Wuornos, was executed. (These marketing people have
Punters who didn't buy the Region 1 version
back in June will be rewarded by a two-disc Special Edition that will
feature "maximum bit-rate encoding" (oh, really?); audio commentary by
star Charlize Theron, director Patty Jenkins and producer Clark Peterson;
a twenty-five minute documentary, Monster: The Vision and the Journey,
with optional commentary by Jenkins; The Making of a Monster (UK
exclusive 22m documentary); deleted and extended scenes (with optional
commentary by Jenkins); Filmmaking demo ("create your own scene using
dialogue or music or effects"); and an interview with Jenkins and composer
The disc will have a choice of Dolby
Digital 5.1 or DTS audio tracks. RRP is £19.99.
Fans of the genre should definitely buy
themselves a copy of Jim Harper's book Legacy of Blood - A Comprehensive
Guide to Slasher Movies. The book is officially published in November, by
Critical Vision (an imprint of Headpress), but it seems to be on sale
already, at places like The Cinema Store.
The book is broadly divided into three
sections. The first sixty pages or so contain a number of essays, each
focussing on a particular aspect of the genre, exploring its origins, and
studying its conventions and clichés. The bulk of the book is comprised of
about two hundred reviews, each averaging about two-thirds of a page. This
obviously doesn't lend itself to in-depth analysis, but Harper succinctly
covers the most interesting aspects of each production, whether they're
plot-related, or, more usually, some nugget of behind-the-scenes
information. The reviews seems to cover all the key films, but it's not
hard to find unfortunate omissions (Anthony Waller's Mute Witness,
The final section of the book presents a
handful of useful appendices, including a list of the so-called video
nasties, which indicates which are now available in the UK (and whether or
not they're cut). Finally, there's a comprehensive index.
The book is illustrated throughout with
film posters, photo's and video sleeves. The illustrations are in black
and white, and reproduced as faithfully as the quality of paper they're
printed on allows. The choice of images is not adventurous, and many are
commonplace images that have been seen many times before.
24th August 2004
A couple of bargains cropped up at
Roobarb's DVD Forum, just after I uploaded yesterday's pages, and
they're well worth checking out.
Many thanks again to Analogueman for posting that
Amazon have knocked the price of
Star Trek - The Original Series: Season 1
box set down to £49.99.
Thanks to Lissa for posting that Play BBC
The Complete Sherlock Holmes CD Box Set
for £119.99 (a whopping £60.01 off!) Play.com
are running a promotion with the Sun at the moment, offering a free DVD.
If you participate in this offer they'll also email you a voucher code for
10% your next order, so that's worth looking into. You can find more
details about it in
this thread at Roobarb's DVD Forum. Thanks to
seagull for bringing that to everyone's attention!
soundtrack label TVT has just released the soundtrack CD to shark thriller
Open Water, a film that's gathering pretty decent reviews, and
looks like being an unexpected smash hit. The disc is a "spooky
combination of old Caribbean blues and chain gang songs, south pacific
religious and celebratory hymns", and about eleven minutes of score
material by Graeme Revell.
23rd August 2004
Let's kick off this week with two brand new
I'm very pleased to welcome Andrew Foxley
as a contributor to Zeta Minor. He's reviewed the new The Supercar
Story - Full Boost Vertical DVD, which is now available to order. It
tells the behind-the-scenes story of one of Gerry Anderson's most beloved
series, and features a wealth of rare archive material and brand new
interviews with cast and crew members.
Not to be outdone, fellow Roobarb's DVD
Forum contributor - and popular man about town - Matt West has reviewed
the Oscar-winning film The Snake Pit, which is being released by
Optimum this week. The film, about a young woman committed to an insane
asylum, stars Olivia de Havilland.
Click on the sleeve images, right, or
here for The Supercar Story
review, or here for The
Snake Pit review.
Underground has published the full spec's for their two September titles:
two 1970s films starring David Carradine, Cannonball (aka
Carquake) and Circle of Iron.
Trans-America Grand Prix action movie
Cannonball, which also stars Hill Street Blues' Veronica Hamel,
Deliverance's Bill McKinney, Phantom of the Paradise's Gerrit
Graham and Mary Woronov, will be presented in 1.66:1 ratio, with
anamorphic enhancement. (The film was shot by The Silence of the Lambs
/ The Sixth Sense's cinematographer Tak Fujimoto). The disc will
have re-mastered Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Bonus materials will include
Kicks and Crashes (interviews with Carradine, Woronov and legendary
producer Roger Corman), a theatrical trailer, TV spots, and poster and
kooky 1978 martial arts epic Circle of Iron (which was conceived by
Bruce Lee, with acolytes James Coburn and prolific screen-writer Sterling
Silliphant), is perhaps better known here as The Silent Flute. The
film has been re-mastered from the original negative, and will be
presented in 1.78:1 ratio, with 16:9 enhancement, and Dolby Digital (mono)
The disc will feature an interview with
star David Carradine, titled Playing The Silent Flute; a commentary
track by director Richard Moore; a "History by Davis Miller and Klae
Moore" titled Bruce Lee's Silent Flute; an alternate title
sequence; a theatrical trailer; TV spots; poster and stills galleries; and
a DVD-Rom presentation of the first draft script.
The two discs will be Region 0 titles, with
an RRP of $19.99. Release date is September 28th.
Forthcoming Blue Underground releases
include Jess Franco's The Bloody Judge (currently only available in
the company's Christopher Lee box set), The Killer Nun, Michael
Armstrong's Mark of the Devil and Aldo Lado's nasty Night Train
Murders, in October, and Kathryn Bigelow's 1982 debut The Loveless
and Susan Seidelman's debut Smithereens in November.
The release date for the first season of
Without A Trace, originally due on August 30th, has been
confirmed as October the 25th.
(The Hole) Hamm's thought-provoking
thriller Godsend, about the dangers of cloning, which stars Robert
De Niro, Greg Kinnear and Rebecca Romijn Stamos barely caused a ripple at
the UK box office. Pathé will release the film on DVD on November the 8th.
The film will be presented in 2.35:1
widescreen format, with anamorphic enhancement, with 5.1 Dolby Digital
audio, and English HoH subtitles.
The disc will feature a commentary track,
by director Hamm and cinematographer Kramer Morgenthau; four alternate
endings (with optional commentary); cast interviews; storyboards; the
director's video diary; TV spots and a theatrical trailer. The press
release didn't mention an RRP.
Brace yourselves, folks, box set season is looming, as
DVD companies hustle for your Christmas cash! Fox is releasing box sets
containing films starring Marilyn Monroe, Shirley Temple, a set of Rodgers
and Hammerstein films, and a Die Hard collection on October 25th.
Each will have an RRP of £39.99, and will have English HoH subtitles.
There will be two Monroe box sets, each
containing seven films. Marilyn Monroe: The Classic Collection Volume 1
contains Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Niagra, Bus Stop,
River of No Return, Don't Bother To Knock, and two films new
to DVD: the 1952 Ginger Rogers comedy We're Not Married and Love
Nest. Volume 2 contains How To Marry a Millionaire,
The Seven Year Itch, Monkey Business, Let's Make Love,
and another two new-to-DVD movies, the 1951 Claudette Colbert romantic
comedy Let's Make It Legal and As Young As You Feel.
The Shirley Temple set will feature
colorized versions of six of her films, all making their UK DVD debuts:
Heidi, The Stowaway, Captain January, Poor Little
Rich Girl, Our Little Girl and The Blue Bird. Since we
don't countenance colorizing movies, that's the last you'll hear about
The Rodgers and Hammerstein set will
feature Carousel, State Fair, Oklahoma!, South
Pacific, The King & I and The Sound of Music. The press
release doesn't say whether the set will include the bonus materials on
the existing releases (The Sound of Music is currently available as
a two-disc sets, for example), but does say, rather ominously, that
they've been "exclusively repackaged and re-released".
Fox's six-disc Die Hard Trilogy box
set will contain the existing three special edition Die Hard DVDs (Die
Hard, Die Hard 2: Die Harder and Die Hard With A Vengeance),
bundled with with a collector's booklet and a numbered, limited edition
Senitype film cel. RRP is £34.99.
third season of Roswell is being released by Twentieth Century Fox
Home Entertainment on October the 11th. The five-disc set will feature
four episodes with commentary tracks: Secrets and Lies and
Behind The Music (by executive producer / director Jonathan Frakes),
I Married an Alien (by executive producer / writer Ronald D. Moore)
and Graduation (by executive producer / writer Jason Katims). The
set will also contain a featurette: Class of 2002. As before, the
episodes will be presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, with Dolby
Digital 5.1 audio. The set will have English subtitles. Fox has been using
the pack shot shown here to promote the release, but it's probably the art for
the US release.
A box set containing all three seasons of
Roswell will also be released on October the 11th, with an RRP of
Redbus Home Entertainment is releasing
Sundance 2004 hit Grand Theft Parsons on DVD on September the 20th.
The film, which stars Johnny Knoxville, Christina Applegate and Robert
Foster, is loosely based on the legendary story of how the manager of
country-rock superstar Gram Parsons, Phil Kaufman, stole Parsons' body, so
that he could fulfil the singer's wish to be cremated in the Joshua Tree
The disc will be presented in "16:9
widescreen", with Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio tracks. The disc will
feature a commentary track by Kaufman and director David Caffrey, as well
as director and cast interviews, and a trailer.
we guessed last week, Fox has confirmed that their recent eco-drama
The Day After Tomorrow
will be released here in two
versions: a single disc edition and a two-disc Special Edition.
This follows the pattern established by
Fox's The League of
Extraordinary Gentlemen release, which was released in the UK as a
two-disc edition, but only as a single-disc edition in the US.
The UK version of The Day After Tomorrow
will have a 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer, with a choice of Dolby Digital
and DTS audio tracks.
The disc will have English and English HoH
subtitles. Other stuff we didn't
know about: the second disc will feature three Day After Tomorrow
trailers (the teaser and theatrical trailers A and B), and trailers and
adverts for the Alien Quadrilogy, Alien Vs Predator,
Independence Day and Man on Fire. See
last week's News
for more details.
Due to some hitches with the bespoke
packaging, Tartan's release of Heimat - Series 1 has been delayed
until October the 25th.
of my favourite films of last year - of the last few years, for that
matter - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, will be released by
Momentum on October the 4th. Their disc looks set to mimic the Region 1
version, which is due on September the 28th.
The UK disc will
feature A Look Inside Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; A
Conversation With Jim Carrey and Director Michael Gondry; a commentary
track by Gondry and writer Charlie Kaufman; deleted scenes; the Polyphonic
Spree Light & Day music video; and the Lacuna commercial, seen in
the film. (None of this has turned up at the BBFC yet). The disc will have
a choice of Dolby Digital and DTS audio tracks, and English HoH subtitles.
CERI'S NEWS AND BARGAINS COLUMN!
Hey everyone, the wanderer returns, and
this week I’ve got some particularly juicy information for you. Apart from
some very, very good TV titles that we’ve been waiting for now being
listed, there are some fantastic bargains that have appeared in the past
couple of weeks.
So, you guessed it, we’re starting with the
TV titles added to Incoming…
It’s DD Video to begin with and a
title everyone has been hankering after for literally years. For some time
we’ve known that it was on their slate, but it’s finally appearing on the
retailers: Rudolph Cartier’s seminal production of
for BBC TV in 1954. Nigel Kneale adapted the story (a year after he and
Cartier made The Quatermass Experiment) and it starred Peter
Cushing as Winston Smith and Andre Morell as O’Brien.
Yvonne Mitchell also appeared as Julia with Donald Pleasance as Syme. The
production comes from a time when television was ostensibly all live. It
appeared in a play strand for BBC TV, where it was performed once on a
Sunday evening and then again later that week on the Thursday evening. If
the Sunday performance was seen as success a 35mm telerecording of the
second performance was taken for posterity. This was certainly the case
for Nineteen Eighty-Four,
but more than that, like the Quatermass serial before it, it had a
massive impact as and stretched the boundaries of what television could
achieve. Not only in only in terms of the drama, but also in acceptable
levels in taste – in this case psychological horror in the form of
O’Brien’s torture of Smith in Room 101. As such it has long been held-up
as a landmark in British Television. The rights to release the TV play
have long been thought to be tied-up due to Michael Radford’s 1980s film
production (due for release in its own right in couple of week’s time), as
the BBC 2’s The Late Show team had to get special clearance to
broadcast it ten years ago, in 1994. Thankfully these rights issues seem
to have been resolved, or they’ve expired, and DD Video has stepped in
release this classic of British television in its 50th Anniversary year. A
commendable action! The release is currently being listed for 8th of
November with an RRP of £16.99.
DD Video have also lined up two other BBC
titles Fall of Eagles and Orde Wingate. Fall of Eagles
was a thirteen-part 1974 BBC 1 costume drama based around three of the
great monarchies of Europe in the lead-up to the First World War. It has a
date of October the 18th and a listed RRP of £49.99 (not £39.99 as
previously thought). The box set will also feature interviews with stars
Gayle Hunnicutt, Charles Kay and director David Cunliffe, together with a
forty-page full-colour historical companion booklet. The three-part BBC 2
serial from 1976, Orde Wingate, starred
Denholm Elliott, Barry Foster and
Nigel Stock, and was produced by Innes Lloyd, and centred on the exploits
of the World War II soldier. The release has an RRP of £19.99 and a
release date of October the 4th.
Next up we have some new titles from
Python luminaries Terry Jones and Michael Palin created nine episodes of
the brilliant Ripping Yarns between 1976 and 1979, which used
Boy’s Own Adventure-style material as the structure to hang their
superb flights of comedic fantasy.
The episodes included Tompkinson’s
Schooldays (a sort of Pilot episode, from 1976); The Testing of
Eric Olthwaite, Escape from Stalag Luft 112B, Murder at
Moorstones Manor, Across the Andes by Frog and The Curse of
the Claw (all from 1977). In 1979 three further episodes were
broadcast: Whinfrey’s Last Case, Golden Gordon and Roger
of the Raj.
It’s been known for some time that Network
were lovingly putting together a definitive collection of these episodes,
and this has now appeared for October the 11th. There was a previous DVD
release, from Revelation, a few years ago, but these were using the poor
VHS masters they’d licensed from BBC Worldwide during the 1990s (which had
originally been used for releases back in the late 80s), so the transfers
in those releases were far from the best they could be. It’s known that
Network is putting together some special features for the release. So far,
it is known that Terry
Jones and Michael Palin have recorded commentaries for Tomkinson's
Schooldays, The Testing of Eric Olthwaite, Golden Gordon
and Roger of the Raj. No doubt more details will follow. Choices
Direct is listing the set for £24.99, which sounds a very nice price for
what you’re getting!
Here’s something that will delight
fans of Sid James. Network is releasing a mammoth box set that will
contain the complete Series 1-4 of Sid’s ATV sitcom
George and the Dragon,
which ran for twenty-six episodes between 1966 and 1968. The series
co-starred Peggy Mount and John Le Mesurier. This massive set has an RRP
of £49.99, so hopefully there’ll be a series of individual series release,
too (akin to what happened with the Every Decreasing Circles box
set), which are yet to be listed. Otherwise, that’s a lot of Sid to fork
out for all at once, which is bound to have an impact on sales from the
casual buyer, or someone who doesn’t know the series and wishes to
purchase a tester first. Perhaps the set will also include a sampler
episode of Network’s recent Two in Clover DVD release?
A big thank-you to
Roobarb’s DVD Forum
member Analogueman for letting me know that the Series 4 and a
complete Series 1-4 box set of The Sweeney are now being
listed. The Series 4 box set (no word on extras yet) has a date of
the 18th of October and the usual RRP of £39.99 and the Series 1-4
for set is due a week later on the 25th of October for £119.99.
A box set collecting
together the previous releases of Series 1 & 2 of
Chancer has also appeared.
It’s listed for 13th the September at an RRP of £39.99.
More is now known about the special
features that will be included in VCI’s release of Spaced - Definitive
Collector's Edition, which is has a date of the 27th of September and
an RRP of £24.99. The Series 1 disc will include the extras from
the previous release (outtakes, trailers, a commentary track, cast and
crew biographies and deleted scenes), combined with some new ones: a
Homage-O-Meter (a feature that uses a subtitle stream to indicate which
films, TV series and books are being referenced, which introduced for the
old Series 2 disc), new outtakes and raw footage.
The Spaced - Series 2 disc features
the same extras as its previous release: commentary, Homage-O-Meter,
outtakes, deleted scenes, trailers, raw footage, biographies, photo
The meat of the new special features is on
the new bonus Disc Three. These are music promo’s;
extended cuts of cast
interviews, and a seventy-minute documentary featuring interviews with
cast members, (including Simon Pegg, Jessica Stevenson, Nick Frost), cameo
actors (Bill Bailey, David Walliams, Mark Gatiss, Reece Shearsmith) and
even journalists (Boyd Hilton from Heat and James Delingpole, from
The Sunday Telegraph). The documentary also includes a tour made by
Simon, Jessica and Edgar of different locations (featured in the show)
with clips of archive footage from the very first programmes Simon and
Jess appeared in together. The documentary also includes new footage which
reveals what happened to Tim and Daisy after the second series! No sign of
the rumoured script book – but not bad at all!
VCI has also let us know that they are
planning a release of the Auf Wiedersehen Pet Christmas Special
(due to be screened by the BBC at some point over the forthcoming festive
period), on the 27th of December. It has an RRP of £19.99.
Universal have some more US TV titles now
up. Listed for November the 8th are box sets of Buck Rogers in the 25th
Century - Season 1 (thanks to JamieC460 for spotting this) and
Quantum Leap - Season 1. The former has an RRP of £39.99. The
nine-episode Quantum Leap - Season 1 box set has an RRP of £24.99
and some extras for it have been cleared at the BBFC: introductions to
each episode and three Easter Eggs.
A week later on the 15th of November
sees more box set releases, of the quirky detective series Monk –
Season 1 (RRP £27.99) and
Sliders - Season 1 & 2 (RPP £39.99). As
these are Universal titles, don’t be surprised if they are quickly added
into the ongoing Universal sales that do the rounds – see my summary to
the update to the Offers page below…
Universal’s sub-label Playback also has
some new titles up. August the 30th sees a release of Series 1 &
2 of the 1980s British sitcom, Brush Strokes, starring Karl
Howman (who has appeared in The Sweeney and Blake’s 7
amongst other things, but is best known now for his Flash
commercials). A collection of the previously-released Series 2 and
soon-to-be-released Series 1 of Victoria Wood’s Dinnerladies
is showing for November the 15th, with an RRP of £29.99. Series 1
of the sitcom is also expected on November the 15th. Finally, for
Universal Playback, they are trying to squeeze some more sales out of
their licensed series of A Touch of Frost they have a Series 1-5
box set listed for October the 18th (the same day as Carlton’s Series
6-10 box set) for the substantially reduced RRP of £39.99 (Play had
the Series 1-5 box set as an exclusive earlier on in the year at
the whopping RRP of £110.99).
Warner Home Video now has listed a
Babylon 5 - The Complete Series 1-5 and Three Movies box set for the
1st of March next year. It’s has an RRP of £199.99.
Fremantle Home Entertainment is lining up a
Region 2 release of US kid’s series from the late 60s H.R. Pufnstuf.
The series is very psychedelic fare featuring the adventures of a young
boy named Jimmy who gets stuck on Living Island, and is then helped out
buy the local mayor - a six foot dragon named H.R. Pufnstuf.
(Drugs? Who said anything about drugs? I didn’t say anything about
drugs…). The series had a couple of airings in the UK during the 1970s and
is quite fondly remembered by some. [Especially rich child
psychotherapists, presumably – JK] The Complete Series box set has
an RRP of £39.99 and is due on
the18th of October. The box set has been out a while
in the States and can be obtained cheaper from there. For example, you can
pick it up brand new through Amazon’s marketplace for £17.41 – click
here if you are interested!
Now a follow-up to a previous report: BBC
Worldwide’s DVD re-issue of one of their old VHS compilations, The Best
of Alas Smith and Jones, looks certain to have been put back to August
of next year (the August slot has traditionally been BBC Worldwide’s
release time for it’s Alternative Comedy titles). I wouldn’t be surprised
if this was down to some problems with rights clearances, which have
changed since the VHS release, but it may be that BBC Worldwide have
revised their plans and are now prepping a full series releases of the
comedy show (we can but hope, eh!?)
Originally scheduled towards the end of
last year, with the complete The Chronicles of Narnia box set and
the individual release of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe,
before being pulled, individual releases of Prince Caspian / Voyage of
the Dawn Treader and The Silver Chair have reappeared for
October the 11th at £12.99 each. However, don’t forget that the complete
The Chronicles of Narnia box set is being offered by Amazon at
£19.97 – click
here if you are interested!
Also up for release is a box set of Kenneth
Clark’s epic examination of the cultural impact of art through the ages,
Civilisation, which was originally broadcast by BBC 2 in 1969. This
hasn’t got a label listed for it, but following the previously appearance
of Alistair Cooke’s America which is definitely from BBC Worldwide,
it’s likely that this is the same. The box set has an RRP of £49.99 and is
showing for the 8th of November. The Alistair Cooke’s America box
set has had its RRP revised, so it is now also £49.99. It’s gratifying
that such important programmes as these are being released (having never
been before), as it shows that the BBC are now beginning to fully
appreciate the significance of all aspects of their archive material, as
well as it tying in with their recent pledge of making quality programming
and not chasing ratings anymore.
There are some more titles from Delta, all
of which are for October the 18th…
of Lovejoy has an RRP of £39.99.
Those of you wishing for a fix of The
Goodies before Network’s next release will be pleased to know their
1980s voiced cartoon series Bananaman is getting an Ultimate
Collection release for the princely sum of £14.99.
There’s a second volume of
The Mr Men and Little Miss Collection,
with another 50 episodes, for an RRP of £19.99, and
The Worzel Gummidge Collection – Volume
2 (which features Series 5 and 6 of the UK-based series, the A Cup
O'Tea An' A Slice O'Cake Christmas special and Worzel Gummidge Down
Under – Series 1 & 2) for an RRP of £29.99.
The Brittas Empire – Series 6
is up from Eureka for January the 24th 2005. It
has the usual RRP of £19.99.
As a follow-up to my report about the
appearance of the 1996 BBC adaptation of Iain Bank’s novel The Crow
Road, the label releasing it is Second Sight and not BBC Worldwide as
I initially thought.
Carlton’s release of the first series of
Thriller (which includes the first ten episodes) is looking like it’s
had it’s RRP revised to £24.99, as some of the retailers have change it to
this. It’s possible that the set has had an extra disc added to it, to
spread the episodes over more discs. Those companies still listing prices
relating to the original RRP of £19.99, and therefore offering the
cheapest pre-order price include: DVD Popcorn who have the set at £13.99,
though they charge you credit
card when you order (click
here if you are interested!) and Powerplay Direct who also have the
set at £13.99, but only charge on despatch (click
here if you are interested!
If you’ve not heard of Powerplay Direct before
don’t worry, there’s information about them in my summary of the update to
the Offers page below.
Finally, for the TV releases,
Prism is to release the 1984 TV dramatisation of the life of pioneering
airwoman Amy Johnson. It features Harriet Walter in the lead role, with
support from Clive Francis and the ever wonderful Patrick Troughton. It’s
due next week on the 30th of August, with an RRP of £5.99.
Right, before we get onto the Film
releases proper, on the cusp of both the Film and TV releases is the
previously reported Méliès The Magician.
This has now been confirmed as being a release of the 130m French TV
documentary, The Magic of Méliès
combined with fifteen of his films which have been restored.
1. The Four Troublesome Heads
2. A Trip To The Moon (1902)
3. The Infernal Cakewalk (1903)
4. The Scheming Gambler's Paradise
5. The Music Lover (1903)
6. The Infernal Boiling Pot
7. The Man With The Rubber Head
8. Playing Cards (1904)
9. Hilarious Poker (1905)
10. The Devilish Tenant (1909)
11. Untameable Whiskers (1904)
12. Imperceptible Transmutations
13. Bluebeard (1901)
14. Fat and Lean Wrestling Match
15. The One-Man Band (1900) -
with original music by Eric La Guen
The release looks like it’s going to be a
direct port of the US release as it’s listed as being Region 0 and in NTSC
format. It’s due on October the 25th with £19.99 as its RRP.
Now, the Film releases…
The latest Harry Potter film, still
pulling ‘em in at the multiplexes, The Prisoner Of Azkaban, is now
up on some of the retailers for the 19th of November. There’s no word on
the special features as yet, but Warner Home Video’s release has an RRP of
While we’re on the subject of multiplexes,
Will Smith’s adaptation of Asimov’s I, Robot is also up from
Twentieth Century Fox for the 3rd of December. Again no word on the
special features, but it will be available as a single disc Regular
Edition (at an RRP of £15.99) and a two disc Special Edition
(at an RRP of £24.99).
Entertainment in Video’s release of the
2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead has been put back to the 4th of
October. Its RRP is still £19.99.
Arrow’s new releases of the original
version Dawn of the Dead
and Day of the Dead, which were due on the same day as the 2004
remake of Dawn… (the 6th of September) have also been revised. The
extras listed for the original Dawn Of The Dead is now been changed
to an audio commentary from director George
A. Romero and producer Richard P. Rubenstein; The Dead Will Walk: a
bonus documentary; biographies; filmographies; original radio spots; photo
gallery and reviews. There is now some confusion of its RRP. It’s either
£12.99 (according to Choices Direct and Sendit) or £15.99 (according to
Play). There is also a Dawn of the
Dead / Day of the Dead box set from Arrow
now being listed as well, again with some confusion over its RRP: £15.99
(at Choices Direct) or £19.99 (at Play / Sendit). Arrow’s individual
Day of the Dead
is now not appearing at all! However, this is all academic as the four
disc version of the original
Dawn of the Dead, currently being prepped for release Stateside
will be the way to go…
Delta has a three-disc set entitled
Masters of Horror now showing for the 18th of October. This is
listed as including The Ape Man
(1943) starring Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff’s The Ghoul (1933) and
Indestructible Man (1956) with Lon Chaney Jr. The set has an RRP of
£9.99, so don’t hold out much hope for the quality. Be especially wary of
their version of The Ghoul, which is unlikely be be taken from the
practically-pristine elements used for MGM’s region 1 disc.
And, finally, for the Film
Direct Video have
five more titles being listed as part of
The Arkoff Film Library range.
These are The Bonnie Parker Story, Dragstrip Girl, Girls
in Prison, Motorcycle Gang and
(which stars a young Robert Vaughn). All five have RRPs of £12.99 and are
listed for two weeks time on the 6th of September.
Right, now onto the update to the
This week I’ve added a new retailer, the
aforementioned Powerplay Direct. They are
Guernsey based, and have a
similar set-up to Play. They deal in DVDs, CDs, Games, and, though they
are still clinging on to VHS, don’t let that put you off. The only ship to
the UK at present, offer free P&P and only charge on despatch. For a lot
of titles they offer some of the best pricing around: they have
Dad's Army -
Series 1 & 2
Kenny Everett - The Complete Naughty Bits at £10.99 each;
Filthy, Rich and
Half Hour - Volume 1 and
Steptoe and Son
- Series 1
all at £8.99; Frankie Howard’s
Up the Front
at £6.99 and
the Thriller - Episodes 1-10 set at £13.99 (a big thank-you
to James Hemery for posting about this!) These are all a pound less than
most other places.
Just as a reminder…
Powerplay Direct do have Open All
Hours – Series 3, Porridge – The Christmas Specials and Yes,
Prime Minister – Series 1 at £8.99 as well. But Sendit have them at
this price also (but not Going Straight which is out at the same
time, unfortunately) and, additionally, they are offering a Double
Discount deal where you can purchase two of the three titles together for
a further 50p off. See the individual entries of these titles at Sendit –
there are links to them on the
– for more
Now what else has been added to the
Amazon has the Universal’s recently listed
US TV box sets of
The A-Team -
Columbo - Season 1 and
Magnum PI -
Season 1 at £26.24, with the
Knight Rider -
Season 1 at £37.49. Thanks to Mark Alridge for spotting that
the Buffy the
Vampire Slayer - The Complete Season 1-7 Collection is at
£139.99 (£60.00 off). They also have The Charmer at £7.97; the
Hellraiser set in the special Puzzle Box packaging for £22.49;
Series 3 and 4 of Lovejoy, Minder – Series 9,
and Murder One – Season 2 are all at £29.99 (£10.00 off); DD
Video’s Oh Doctor Beeching – Series 1 is at £12.74; and
Shaun of the Dead in the standard sleeve and an exclusive Amazon
sleeve are both at £12.99. There’s also another Amazon exclusive in the
form of the pairing of Spooks – Series 2 with the book Spooks:
Confidential at £29.99 (£10.00 off the RRP and the same price as the
standard version of Spook – Series 2, so you are effectively
getting the book for free). Tenko – Series 3 is at £37.49. The new
full version release of David Attenborough’s The Trials of Life is
at £22.49. All nine season box set re-issues of The X-Files are at
£29.99 each (£10.00 off).
In Audiobooks Amazon have the CD box
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Collector's Edition,
which includes the two original radio series, together with
The Guide to the
Guide to the Galaxy documentary at £29.99 (£20.00 off). In
Books they have Andrew Pixley’s newly published book on The Avengers,
entitled The Avengers Files, at £11.19.
Choices Direct also has
Shaun of the Dead and Michael Moore’s
for £12.99 each.
Play has re-jigged their
Brilliant Box Sets sale, taking some titles out, adding some new ones and
dropping the prices still further on others. A big thank-you to Martin
Ball for spotting that Universal’s Battlestar Galactica (Standard
Packaging) box set has been added at £24.99 (which is half the retail
price). As this was only released in January of this year, it hasn’t taken
that long for the price to drop. Universal titles have ongoing sales with
many of the retailers (Play included), so if you’re interested in any of
Universal’s recently listed US TV box sets it may be prudent to hold off
until next year to wait for them to be added to these sales. Other
additions / further price drops to the Brilliant Box Sets sale include
Shogun at £17.99; Allo Allo - Series 3 & 4, As Time Goes By,
Citizen Smith - Series 1 & 2, Citizen Smith - Series 3 & 4,
Hi De Hi - Series 1 & 2, Bread - Series 1 & 2, Bread -
Series 3 & 4, Solo, The Liver Birds - Series 2 all at
£9.99; Northern Exposure - Series 1 at £9.99; the Cagney and
Lacey Box Set at £9.99; and The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin -
The Complete Collection at £25.99.
And that’s it for me! I’m off
again next week (boo! hiss!). Yes, I know, I know… but please forgive me –
it is the holiday season after all! And this week’s update has been quite
a good one… hasn’t it? Keep an eye on the News page, though – I’m sure
Julian will have some goodies for you in the meantime!
Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed