ARCHIVED NEWS - 5th-11th SEPTEMBER 2005



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7th September 2005

DVD NEWS

Contender Home Video will release a box set containing the fourth season of Farscape on October the 10th.

The set will contain all twenty-two episodes. Bonus features include commentary tracks (Gigi Edgley and Andrew Prowse on Crichton Kicks; Tony Tiles and Sean Masterson on John Quixote; Anthony Simcoe and Prowse on Unrealised Reality and A Constellation of Doubt; and Prowse and Edgley on Bad Timing); deleted scenes; outtakes, stills gallery; The Story of Farscape, VFX Crew, Moya's Menu, and Farwell (sic) featurettes; never-before-seen make-up testes; Terms of Farscape's uncharted territory interviews; Farscape facts and Alien Slang. The RRP is 99.99.

Incidentally, Farscape fans of the series might not realise that it is currently being re-released on DVD in the US, as a series of two-disc sets, with lots of bonus features that weren't on the initial US sets, or the UK box sets, including additional commentary tracks. What's more, the price is very attractive. Each season is made up of three of the new Starburst Edition two-disc sets, which retail for about 8 each. The first season is already available, and they're part-way through the second. Well worth considering if you've not already bought the series, or fancy an upgrade.

Tartan Video will release Dig!, Ondi Timoner's award-winning documentary about Courtney Taylor, lead singer of The Dandy Warhols, and Anton Newcombe, who fronts The Brian Jonestown Massacre, on November the 14th.

There will be single-disc and two-disc editions (RRP 15.99 and 22.99 respectively). The two-disc set will feature a Tartan exclusive interview with Timoner; Q&A with The Dandy Warhols; Music Documentary panel discussion; commentary; trailer and deleted scenes. The single-disc version has the trailer only.

The disc will offer a choice of Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0 and DTS 5.1 audio tracks.

Tartan will release John Sayle's acclaimed political conspiracy thriller  Silver City on November the 14th. The film, which stars Danny Huston, Chris Carter, Daryl Hannah, Kris Kristofferson and Maria Bello, is about a private eye who investigates a corpse found in a lake, leading to a cover-up involving illegal migrant workers, disused mines and environmental damage.

The disc will be presented in its original theatrical ratio, with a choice of Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0 and DTS 5.1 audio tracks, with optional English HoH subtitles. Bonus features include exclusive interviews with Sayles, producer Maggie Renzu and Danny Huston; a Making of.. documentary, and a John Sayles commentary track. The RRP is 19.99.

The Screen Goddesses box set collection, which was announced on August the 18th, has changed release date again. The Doris Day, Katharine Hepburn, Mae West and Rita Hayworth sets will be available on October the 3rd, and the Barbara Stanwyck, Sophia Loren and Marilyn Monroe sets will be released on October the 17th.

Optimum Releasing will issue a two-disc Special Edition version of the Ealing classic Whisky Galore on October the 10th. The film has been "digitally restored & re-mastered".

The disc will come with a sixty-four page book featuring extracts from Faber's Alexander Mackendrick On Film-making book. Other bonus features include an introduction by George Perry (author of Forever Ealing); commentary by British cinema expert John Ellis; trailers; a fifty-two-minute documentary, Distilling Whisky Galore, which includes interviews with Mackendrick and his crew; Whisky Galore: A Personal History recounting of the actual events, from islander Angus Campbell (20m); and a recently-filmed interview with Alexander Mackendrick's wife, Hilary.

AUDIOBOOKS

Belated - but official - word on BBC Audiobooks' September and October releases...

Douglas Adams fans will no doubt be studying their bank balances on October the 3rd, when BBC Audiobooks releases a box set that contains all five radio series of The Hitch-hiker's Guide To The Galaxy.

The new set will be housed in a "delectable box with magnetic lid". It will include the Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Quandary and Quintessential Phases, which make up the entire full-cast BBC Radio 4 canon.

The fourteen-disc set will also include a bonus disc, featuring two programmes from the BBC archives: a 1980 edition of Kaleidoscope, which goes behind-the-scenes on the second series; and an instalment of a 2002 series titled Six Characters In Search of an Author: Arthur Dent.

RRP for the set is 80, but Play.com is offering it for half that, here, which makes it somewhat more attractive!

Doctor Who fans should be thrilled by the Volume 3 of Doctor Who At The BBC, which has apparently been released this week.

The two-disc set will feature rare material from the BBC's archives, including a real scoop: a ten minute Doctor Who mini-drama recorded in 1974 for Glorious Goodwood, featuring Jon Pertwee and Elisabeth Sladen (who also narrates the discs). Other items include extracts from Wavelength, interviewing the cast and crew of The Two Doctors; Nationwide on the Radiophonic Workshop, from 1983; a spoof from The Grumbleweeds titled Dr Nobbut-Just; Jane Asher playing the Doctor's granddaughter in Whatever Happened to... Susan Foreman?; Nationwide's 15th anniversary interviews; Lalla Ward on Swap Shop; and a mid-eighties radio interview with Sarah Sutton. RRP for the set is 13.99.

I must say it's a bit disappointing to see so much TV material plundered for these discs. The Doctor Who At The BBC discs should concentrate on radio or audio-only material, and leave the video material to the DVDs.

Other September the 5th releases are:

I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue Nine - With guest panellists Jack Dee, Tony Hawks, Jeremy Hardy - RRP 12.99

Only Fools and Horses 4 - Featuring It's Only Rock and Roll, Sleeping Dogs Lie, Watching The Girls Go By and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? - RRP 12.99

Hancock's Half Hour - The Very Best Episodes - Volume 1 - Featuring four episodes chosen by Galton and Simpson: Sid's Mystery Tours, The Wild Man of the Woods, 23 Railway Cuttings (a.k.a. Sunday Afternoon at Home) and The Poetry Society. The set will feature new sleeve notes written by Galton and Simpson. RRP is 12.99.

Hancock: The Economy Drive, The Emigrant and Two Other TV Episodes - the two others being The Cold and The Baby Sitters. RRP is 12.99.

Eyewitness - The 1990s - the final release of BBC Audiobook's history of the twentieth century, with commentary by historian Joanna Bourke and presented by Tim Pigott-Smith. RRP 17.99.


6th September 2005

DVD NEWS

Warner Home Video will release Robert Zemeckis' impressive CGI movie The Polar Express on November the 14th. No other details were announced, but the pack shot reveals that it will be a "Two Disc Edition".

The RRP is expected to be 17.99.

If you needed more proof that Christmas was upon us, the DVD box sets are beginning to stack up like crates outside Pete Doherty's dressing room.

Warner has been the box set champion since the early nineties, when they released a range of themed VHS sets, offering quality movies, attractively re-packaged. Other companies had done box sets before, but no-one had done it with the calibre of films that Warner owned, and no-one had done it with so much style.

Nowadays box sets are commonplace. Usually they simply gather together product that's already available, offering nothing more than a few quid off and a couple of square feet of cardboard to tempt potential customers.

Warner Home Video are still the box set kings.  Over the decades they've built up an unrivalled library of titles, meaning they're able to summon A-grade movies on just about any theme imaginable. Unlike some other studios I could mention, they've retained an enormous amount of peripheral archive footage, meaning that deleted scenes for films like Casablanca are still around. They also have an ongoing programme where they're conducting archives with actors and crew members who have worked for the studio, effectively creating a resource they'll be able to tap into for decades to come.

It's true that they've been lazy with some of their box set releases (the Hammer Originals set springs to mind, for example), but lately they've been releasing some great sets. And now they have a couple more to announce...

Errol Flynn - The Signature Collection will appear on October the 17th, and it will be exclusively available via HMV.

It will feature five films making their UK DVD debut, plus one that's already available, Dive Bomber. The new titles are Captain Blood, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, The Sea Hawk, They Died With Their Boots On and Dodge City. It will also include a brand new, exclusive,  feature-length documentary, The Adventures of Errol Flynn, put together by Emmy-Award winning documentarians Joan Kramer and David Heeley. It's narrated by Ian Holm, and traces Flynn's life from his childhood in Tasmania, to Hollywood stardom. Olivia de Havilland, who co-starred with Flynn eight times, is among the contributors..

Each disc will feature bonus material:

Captain Blood - Newsreel; comedy short All-American Drawback; cartoon Billboard Frolics; featurette Captain Blood: A Swashbuckler Is Born; theatrical trailer.

The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex - Leonard Maltin hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1939 (which includes Newsreel; musical short The Royal Rodeo; cartoon Old Glory; 1939 trailer gallery); and a new featurette: Elizabeth and Essex: Battle Royle.

The Sea Hawk - Newsreel; short Alice In Movieland; new featurette The Sea Hawk: Flynn in Action; theatrical trailer.

They Died With Their Boots On - Newsreel; short A Tale of Two Kitties; featurette They Died With Their Boots On: To Hell or Glory; theatrical trailer

Dodge City - Newsreel; Oscar-winning short Sons of Liberty; cartoon Dan McFoo; featurette Dodge City: Go West, Errol Flynn; theatrical trailer

Dive Bomber - documentary Dive Bomber: Keep 'Em In The Air; theatrical trailer

Each film will be presented in its original aspect ratio. RRP for Errol Flynn - The Signature Collection is 49.99.

The Spencer Tracy Collection box set is designed to complement the Tracy and Hepburn Signature Collection box, which is due in HMV stores on September the 19th (see News entry for July the 25th). It features three Tracy classics: Boys Town (for which he won his second consecutive Oscar), the perennial Father of the Bride, and John Sturges's 1958 adaptation of Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea.

Each film will be presented in 4:3 format, with mono audio. The RRP is 29.99.

Granada Ventures will be promoting and re-promoting a number of box sets for Christmas. The new sets are:

The Jacqueline Wilson Collection: Girls in Love Series I; Girls In Tears (Girls in Love - Series 2) and Best Friends. October 17th - RRP 19.99

Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet - details 11th August - October 17th - RRP 29.99

ITV 50 - celebrating fifty years of ITV drama with the "best" episodes of A Touch of Frost, Inspector Morse, Prime Suspect, Poirot, Cracker, Sharpe, Sherlock Holmes and Kavanagh QC. That's a span between 1984 and 1995, if anyone's wondering. It's completely ridiculous that there's nothing from the 60s and 70s, but not so surprising that there's nothing launched in the last decade. No Callan? No The Sweeney? No Public Eye? Who put this set together, a twelve-year-old? Due October 17th - 29.99.

Norman Wisdom - 17th October - RRP 59.99. The press release didn't mention which titles would be included. Could be a re-packaging of the existing Carlton box set (it has similar, but not identical, packaging, judging by the crappy thumbnail-size colour photocopy I was sent).

Will Hay - 17th October - RRP 49.99. No titles for this in the press release, either. There's a picture of a policeman on the box. You do the math. Probably a re-packaged version of the existing set.

Terry-Thomas - 17th October - RRP 29.99. No titles listed, again. The box set art doesn't even feature the famous hyphen in Terry-Thomas's name, for Zarquon's sake. According to the press release the set will include films featuring Kenneth Williams and Peter Sellers "who make this the ultimate comedy box set to own". Sometimes I think that press releases are generated by machines, who just spit out random stock hyperbole phrases.

A Touch of Frost - Series 11 and 12 - 24th November - 24.99

Ray Winstone - 21st November - 29.99. Includes Births, Deaths and Marriages, Henry VIII and his imminent PI drama series Vincent (which has already been commissioned for a second series).

Poirot - 21st November - 24.99. Contains the latest four programmes in the series.

Rising Damp - 21st November - 29.99. Bringing together the contents of the 14.99 series box set and the 5.99 Rising Damp movie. "Fantastic value for money".

Re-promotions include Inspector Morse; Sharpe (announced on August the 2nd, released 19th September); Brideshead Revisited (announced on July 18th, due 19th September); and Thunderbirds (announced on August the 2nd, released 19th September).

ZETA MINOR NEWS

Ceri has updated the Incoming page today. In fact, it's been completely overhauled, virtually from scratch, and all the information should be up to date. Hopefully this will also have eliminated the formatting errors that have accumulated over the last few months. I'm sure Ceri would welcome any comments you have: email Ceri.


5th September 2005

ZETA MINOR NEWS

It's going to be a threadbare update this morning, as work commitments over the weekend have left me little time to add to the site. 

DVD NEWS

The weird CGI-animated comedy series Father of the Pride will be released on DVD on September the 26th, by Universal Pictures UK.

The innuendo-laden series, about Siegfried and Roy's Las Vegas big cat show, is aimed at an adult audience. It features the voices of John Goodman, Curb Your Enthusiasm's Cheryl Hines, and Orlando Jones.

The two-disc set will feature fourteen episodes, including three that have never been seen (the Original Pilot, The Siegfried and Roy Fantasy Movie Experience Movie and Stage Fright. Bonus features include commentary (by writers Jonathan Groff, Jo Pollack, Jon Ross, Cheryl Holliday and Rob Cohen, and a featurette titled The Lost Tale, which features "storyboards, partially-animated sequences and voice-overs for a new story line". The RRP is 19.99.

Mosaic will release No Way Up, a thriller about a man trapped in an underground car park being attacked by a mysterious truck, with tinted windows, on DVD to rent on November the 14th, and on sell-through on February the 20th, 2006. The film stars Grayson McCouch, Highlander's Adrian Paul, Amy Locane and Dun Mundell.

Technical spec's and bonus features for the retail version are TBC. The RRP will be 12.99.

A company called 4DVD will release a documentary-drama titled Alien Worlds on October the 3rd, a few days before a two-part version of it is due to be screened by Channel 4.

The documentary speculates as to what life on other planets might be like, by profiling two theoretical worlds, and deciding what sort of creatures might live there.

The disc will have an RRP of 19.99

 

More News soon!!


Last week's Zeta Minor News can be viewed here.

Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed here.


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