16th December 2004
Entertainment will release another sequel to Vincenzo Natali's
Cube, Cube Zero, on
February the 14th, a week before the US disc is released.
The new film is directed by Ernie Barbarash,
the writer and producer of the second Cube movie,
Cube 2 - Hypercube. No
technical spec's for the UK disc were announced (it will probably be the
same as the US disc: an anamorphic 1.85:1 transfer and Dolby Digital 5.1
audio). Bonus materials on the disc are a director's commentary track, a
photo' gallery, storyboard comparisons and a behind-the-scenes featurette,
Inside The Box. The storyboard comparisons and photo' gallery seem
to be exclusive to the UK disc, but it apparently doesn't feature a music
video that's on the US version. The RRP is £12.99.
Love him or hate him, HBO Video will
release Chris Rock's "Comedy Event" Never Scared on DVD on February
the 28th, to coincide with his appearance as the host of the 2005 Academy
Awards. The ninety-three minute disc will feature a bonus Rock performance
- his first for HBO - Big Ass Jokes (25m).
I've received finished copies of DD Video's
Island of Terror and The Blood Beast Terror discs. Both
titles have been dogged by a number of delays, but it now looks likely
that they'll meet their latest target release date: January the 17th.
I've updated the site's review of John
Carpenter's The Thing, to note the recent R1 release, which has a
new anamorphic transfer. Don't get rid of the old R1 release if you have
it, however, because the new version doesn't feature Ennio Morricone's
score as an alternate audio track on the documentary. There'll probably be
a similar Region 2 release before too long.
13th December 2004
New reviews ahoy! We have three new reviews
for you today: two of them are for classic ITC TV series (the Sid James
sitcom George and the Dragon and the gritty adventure series Man
In A Suitcase); the other is a review of the smash-hit indie
nail-biter Open Water.
Click on the sleeve images, right, or
here for the Open Water
review; here for the
George and the Dragon review and
here for the Man
In A Suitcase review.
My thanks to Matthew Lee for the Man In
A Suitcase review (which is adapted from the one posted over at
Roobarb's DVD Forum), and to Sean, for the George and the Dragon
Sean has updated the
Offers page today, but there wasn't time
to do anything with the Incoming list. If you spot anything interesting
that we've missed, drop me a line at
There are a few juicy new
bargains in the Offers page, including a couple of
cheap Gerry Anderson box sets; Joss Whedon's quirky science-fiction
Western series Firefly; The Champions set for less than £25;
a half-price The Prisoner box set; the new Donnie Darko
Director's Cut for £8.99; and the forthcoming BBC science-fiction
series releases The Invisible Man and The Nightmare Man, and the two
Dominick Hyde plays for less than a tenner each. What are you waiting for
- get clicking!
And now some slightly overdue soundtrack
Thanks to delays at HM customs, I have
information about four new score CDs from Film Score Monthly to offer you
this week, including what is arguably their most ambitious project yet: a
three-disc set featuring Bronislau Kaper's masterpiece Mutiny On The
First, though, the stragglers from the last
batch: Alex North's I'll Cry Tomorrow, and The Man From
U.N.C.L.E. - Volume 3.
Alex North seems to be one of those
composers whose fine work is in danger of vanishing completely as time
erodes the appeal of many of the films he scored. Of course, his estate
will be raking in the royalties for Unchained Melody for decades to
come, but his other work would become increasingly more obscure, if it
wasn't for the sterling efforts of Lukas Kendall's adventurous label.
Daniel Mann's 1955 film I'll Cry
Tomorrow, a biopic about a young singer / actress, Lillian Roth, who
battle with alcoholism was the subject of a best-selling autobiography, is
now chiefly remembered as a film that gave Susan Heywood one of her most
memorable roles. It's also one of the first films North scored after
moving to Hollywood, and gave him the opportunity to work with Mann again,
who had earlier directed The Rose Tattoo, the first of what
would eventually be a string of collaborations with the composer.
North's complete, slightly-jazzy, melodic
score for I'll Cry Tomorrow is presented in stereo, on FSM's disc,
which also features about twenty-five minutes of bonus material, including
alternate score cues, and a selection of source music and songs (including
a recording of When The Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bob Bobbin' Along
with Sandy Ellis performing the vocals, in case the studio felt that
Heywood's own delivery wasn't up to scratch).
It's a mark of the quality of the music
composed for the Man From U.N.C.L.E. that even now, after three
packed double-disc FSM CD releases, there are no signs that the well is
running dry (this will, however, be the final release - there's only a
finite amount of music available!)
The new set features music from all four
U.N.C.L.E. seasons (by Walter Scharf,
Morton Stevens, Lalo Schifrin, Gerald Fried, Robert Drasnin, Robert
Shores, and Jerry Goldsmith), and from the single season of The Girl
U.N.C.L.E. (music composed by Dave
Grusin, Robert Shores and Jack Marshall).
The disc features an extended version of
Goldsmith's first season Man From
U.N.C.L.E. theme (arranged by Morton
Stevens), and the Girl From
U.N.C.L.E. Main Title and
End Title (based on Goldsmith's Man From
U.N.C.L.E. theme, re-arranged by
A suite of cues written by Jerry Goldsmith
for three earlier episodes were re-recorded - in glorious stereo - for the
fourth season episode The Deadly Quest, by the head of M-G-M's
music department, Robert Armbruster, and this suite rounds out the disc,
bringing FSM's superb
U.N.C.L.E. series to a close in spectacular
fashion. Stay tuned at the end of disc two for a nice little bonus!
There are two complete scores offered on
FSM's December Golden Age Classics release, both for M-G-M's 1958
Cinemascope Western, Saddle The Wind. Aside from it's score, a
relatively minor work by Elmer Bernstein, which replaced a score by Jeff
Alexander, the film is chiefly notable for the involvement of Emmy-winning
Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling (the film's co-writer), actress /
singer Julie London, and actor / director John Cassavetes (no disrespect
to star Robert Taylor).
Alexander's score is believed to have been
the victim of changes made to the film in post-production (some drastic
re-editing and re-shoots were needed to give the film a more upbeat
ending). The film also features a song performed by Julie London, which
was written into the script, and subsequently woven into both composer's
scores. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Saddle The Wind's
music - the chance to now contrast and compare the two scores aside - is
the opportunity to hear Bernstein's work for the genre a couple of years
before his best-loved score, for 1960's The Magnificent Seven,
practically typecast him for decades.
The disc offers an alternate version of
Julie London's title song from the one used in the film (and subsequently
released on numerous London compilations). Licensing restrictions have
meant that the film version isn't on the FSM album, but the alternate
version, arranged by André Previn and orchestrated by Alexander Courage,
is a fine stand-in.
film music fans will need much persuasion to secure a copy of FSM's epic
three-disc set of Bronislau Kaper's Mutiny on the Bounty - the
label's hundredth release: a landmark by any measure.
Kaper's influential score, which took more
than a year to complete, is one of the key scores of the sixties - a
powerful, sweeping thematic work with numerous memorable cues.
Several versions of the score have been
released over the years, but this new CD is by far the most comprehensive.
A huge amount of music was recorded for the
film. Because of the constant editorial changes, many cues were re-written
and re-recorded. FSM's set presents a disc and a half - more than a
hundred minutes - of the score as heard in the film; another disc and a
half - ninety-two minutes - of alternate versions, forming a virtual
second score; and forty-four minutes of source cues, versions re-recorded
for the original album and more alternate cues. The sound quality is
generally very impressive, although there's a little inherent distortion
in the louder passages.
It's an astonishing collection of
The entire soundtrack is presented in
stereo, from the original 35mm six-track masters.
Each FSM disc comes with a
lavishly-illustrated booklet containing extensive liner notes and track-by-track breakdown (I'll Cry Tomorrow
by Lukas Kendall; The Man From
U.N.C.L.E. by Jon Burlingame;
Saddle The Wind by Kendall and Jeff Bond; and Mutiny on the Bounty by
Bond, Kendall and Joe Sikoryak. The latter is a forty-eight page tome
worthy of such a monumental score. It goes into some detail about the
film's turbulent production, which rivalled that of of Fox's Cleopatra
- also in production at that time; and the self-centred petulance of its
star, Marlon Brando, whose indifferent performance almost scuppered its
chances at the box office. The booklet also includes the liner notes from
the original LP.
As usual, these discs are available through
specialist retailers, or directly from the
Congratulations to Lukas and his team on
the release of the hundredth release - and here's to many more!
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