two-disc edition of Sidney Lumet's incendiary 1975 bank-robbery-gone-wrong
thriller Dog Day Afternoon will be released by Warner Home Video on
February the 13th.
The film, which was based on a real-life
robbery in Brooklyn, in 1972, will be accompanied by two hours of bonus
material, including an in-depth documentary, Based on a True Story
(72m); an audio commentary by Lumet; a featurette celebrating Lumet's
career (10m); and four other documentaries focussing on The Story
(10m), Casting The Controversy (13m), adapting the story for the
screen (Recreating The Facts, 21m), and After The Filming
(about the film's release, 9m); and a theatrical trailer.
The film will be in "widescreen 16:9"
format, with optional English subtitles (no details about the audio
configuration were announced). RRP for the set is £19.99.
two disc edition of the Robert Redford / Dustin Hoffman thriller All
The President's Men will be released by Warner Home Video on February
The film, about the two journalists who
broke the Watergate scandal, has been newly re-mastered, with enhanced
audio (sadly, there were no additional details about this).
The disc will include a commentary track by
Redford; a half-hour documentary, Telling The Truth About Lies: The
Making of All The President's Men; featurettes titled Out of the
Shadows: The Man Who Was Deep Throat (16m), and Woodward and
Bernstein: Lighting The Fire (18m); an archive featurette titled
Pressure and The Press: The Making of All The President's Men (10m); a
vintage Jason Robards interview from a chat show, Dinah!, hosted by
Dinah Shore (7m); and a gallery of trailers for films directed by Alan J.
Pakula. The RRP is £19.99.
Four Oscar-winning films will make their UK
DVD debut on February the 13th, courtesy of Warner Home Video, just in
time for the 2005 Oscar ceremony. They are...
David Lean's Ryan's Daughter will be
released as a two-disc set which will include an audio commentary by cast
and crew members; and an "extensive" four-or-five part anniversary
documentary (the press release has contradictory information). The film
will be presented in 2.4:1 widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 5.1
audio, and optional English subtitles. The RRP is £19.99.
Paul Newman stars in the prison drama
Cool Hand Luke, alongside fellow Oscar-winner George Kennedy. The film
will be in "widescreen 16:9" format (make of that what you will). The RRP
The 1945 pot-boiler Mildred Pierce
earned Joan Crawford an Academy Award for her portrayal of a woman
struggling to provide for her daughter. The disc will include a
documentary about Crawford titled The Ultimate Movie Star. The RRP
The 1937 adventure Captain's Courageous
was nominated for Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Film Editing
Academy Awards. Its star, Spencer Tracy, won an Oscar for playing the role
of a humble fisherman, who rescues and has to care for a spoilt rich boy
(child star Freddie Bartholomew) who's fallen overboard from a luxury
liner. There are apparently no extras. The RRP is £15.99.
Here's the sleeve art for three of the
Optimum has announced four interesting
titles with strong cult appeal: Guillermo Del Toro's Cronos; Colin
Eggleston's 1978 eco-horror movie Long Weekend; and two Studio
Ghibli titles, Miyazaki's Porco Rosso and Isao Takahata's Pom
Long Weekend used to make regular
appearances on TV during the eighties, and probably made quite an
impression on anyone who saw it. The film, about a young couple who go on
a camping trip, where they are terrorised by the forces of nature, will be
presented in its original theatrical ratio of 2.35:1. There are apparently
no bonus features. RRP for the disc is £15.99. Look for it from January
Long Weekend was released on DVD in
its native Australia recently, by Umbrella. Their disc had an excellent
new transfer, a commentary track, a trailer and stills gallery, so the
Optimum version is up against strong competition. The film is also due to
be released in the US by Synapse.
Cronos, Del Toro's debut film, about
a mysterious device that turns its owner into a vampire, will be presented
from a "restored print" in 1.85:1 ratio, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio and
English subtitles (hopefully better ones than those available on the
Region 1 disc, which were intended for the hard of hearing). The disc will
also feature a five-minute Making of... featurette; an interview
with Del Toro; and a short film by the director. (Sadly there's no sign of
the commentary track that's on the US disc, which you can pick up for
peanuts). Optimum's disc, which is due on February the 13th, has an RRP of
Two Studio Ghibli classics will be released
by Optimum on January the 30th: Porco Rosso and Pom Poko.
Both titles will be known to anime fans. Technical details were not
released, and there was no mention of any bonus features. Both discs have
an RRP of £19.99.
first series of the Sky One drama-comedy series Mile High will be
released on DVD by Target Entertainment Drama (an imprint of Anchor Bay
(UK)) on January the 30th.
The series features various soap refugees,
including James Redmond (Casualty, Hollyoaks), Sarah Manners
(Casualty; Hollyoaks), Naomi Ryan (Coronation Street),
Jo-Anne Knowles (Hollyoaks) and Tom Wisdom (Coronation Street).
You have to wonder if they had a casting director, or simply relied on a
swift shufty through the pages of TV Quick.
The four-disc set will feature a choice of
Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo or Dolby Digital 5.1. It has an RRP of £24.99.
second season of the terrific sitcom Arrested Development will be
released by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment on January the 23rd.
The three-disc set will feature eighteen episodes, which include guest
appearances by Ben Stiller, Seinfeld's Julia Louis-Dreyfuss,
Heather Graham and Liza Minnelli.
The press release is sketchy about the
bonus features, but does say that they will include deleted scenes and
commentaries. RRP for the set is £34.99.
Blue Dolphin will release Israel's entry
into the 2001 Academy Awards, Time of Favor, on DVD February the
6th. The film, a love story that won six Israeli Academy Awards, has an
RRP of £17.99. No technical details were available.
extended version of Cathy Henkel's 2005 documentary The Life and Legacy
of Spike Milligan will be released on DVD by Ventura International on
February the 6th.
The documentary features tributes and
interviews from friends, family, fans and colleagues, and
previously-unseen home movies.
The disc will also feature "alternative
commentaries" by the director and Spike's daughters; six
mini-documentaries; bonus home movie footage "and more".
The disc will have an RRP of £15.99.
Paramount has set up a promotional
micro-website for the Special Edition DVD release of Star Trek -
Nemesis (see the
News entry for the 28th of November for more details). You can find
will release the epic fantasy mini-series Sword of Xanten on DVD on
January the 9th. The series will be presented in anamorphic 1.78:1 format,
with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio and optional English subtitles. The series,
which was based on the same Germanic and Nordic mythology as Wagner's Ring
cycle and Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, features West German star
Benno Fürmann, Terminator 3's Kristanna Løken, Fun's Alicia
Witt, Julian Sands, Samuel West, and Max von Sydow.
The disc includes sixty minutes of extra
footage, plus a bonus disc featuring five behind-the-scenes featurettes.
The disc will have an RRP of £19.99.
Tartan has re-scheduled the release of
Vital, a "body-horror from Japan's Cronenberg" (Tetsuo: Iron Man's
Shinya Tsukamoto). It will now be released on February the 20th. Several
additional bonus features have been added to the disc since it was
originally announced: it will now feature an exclusive commentary by
Midnight Eye's Tom Mes (author of books on Miike and Tsukamoto); an
interview with Tsukamoto; cast and crew Q&A; behind-the-scenes
documentary; making the props featurette; music video (Cocco's Blue
Bird); and footage from the film's world premiere. The film will be
presented in anamorphic widescreen format, with a choice of Dolby Digital
or DTS 5.1 tracks. The Region 0 disc will have an RRP of £19.99.
Other Tartan Asia Extreme titles have been
re-scheduled: the limited edition Battle Royale 2: Revenge two-disc
set will now be released on March the 27th; Tell Me Something will
be released on April the 24th.
controversial drama Harry and Max will be released on DVD by TLA
Releasing on January the 23rd. The movie,
which is about the incestuous relationship
that develops between two brothers,
made its debut at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, where it was nominated
for the Grand Jury Prize.
The disc will be presented in anamorphic
widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio and optional English HoH
subtitles. The disc will include a commentary track by director
Christopher Munch; behind-the-scenes footage; a stills gallery; and
trailer. The RRP is £19.99.
5th December 2005
ZETA MINOR NEWS
There's a new review on the site today,
courtesy of contributor Richard Spurr. It's of Universal's The 40 Year
Old Virgin DVD, which is released today! Although at a casual glance
it might look like another American Pie-like teen drama, it's actually a
rather subdued comedy for grown-ups. It has a fine pedigree, too: it was
written by Judd Apatow, creator of the acclaimed TV series Freaks and
Geeks. Click on the sleeve image, right, or
here to read the review.
You can see a trailer for the disc
A promotional website for the DVD can be found
Ceri has updated the
Incoming page, adding numerous titles
that should interest Zeta Minor visitors, including Network's
The Champions box set, a Godzilla DVD from the BFI, and the
first releases of Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere.
I've added links to a number of TV episode
guides to the Cult Television index
page. These are in Microsoft Word format.
I don't usually update the News page
on Friday, or at the weekend, because then the information is only on the
front page, as it were, for a couple of days. I made an exception last
week, though, so if you missed the news about the
Hammer DVD Guide update, the
release of Frankenstein Reborn, Home Improvement - Series 3,
The Golden Girls - Series 3, Wheels on Meals, The Asphalt
Jungle, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, the first season
of The Gilmore Girls, Gerry Anderson's Captain Scarlet,
The Essential Steve McQueen, The Greta Garbo Signature Collection
and Every Which Way But Loose / Any Which Way You Can,
then check out last
Video's sales and distribution deal with French film library Studio Canal has ended, resulting in dozens
- perhaps hundreds - of DVDs being deleted (mainly British
titles, from the sixties and seventies).
In lieu of a definitive list, I can only
suggest which specific titles might be affected. It will include some
movies released theatrically by
EMI Films (like
Sweeney!, Sweeney 2, The Deer Hunter, Highlander,
Cross of Iron and the On The Buses films); some films
distributed by British Lion
Film Corporation /
British Lion Films Ltd (including
The Wicker Man,
The Man Who Fell To Earth,
the St. Trinians films, The Third Man, the two Peter Cushing
Doctor Who films and I'm Alright Jack); and some
films theatrically distributed by
Associated British Picture
Ice-Cold In Alex, The Third Man, The Dam Busters, and
the Cliff Richard films); and some titles from Anglo-Amalgamated
Productions (including many early Carry On films and Peeping Tom).
It will also include most of the
Ealing Studios classics
(including The Man in the White Suit, The Ladykillers, The
Lavender Hill Mob, Kind Hearts and Coronets and Passport to
Most of Warner Home Video's Hammer films
will be affected. For more details, see the updates to the
Hammer DVD Guide.
Studio Canal has licensed titles from their
library to numerous labels, including Granada Ventures and 2 Entertain, so
just because a film was made by a particular production company, or
distributed theatrically by a particular company, it doesn't automatically
mean that the DVD is going out of print: it's just the titles licensed to
Warner Home Video.
It's likely that they'll be looking for a
new sales and distribution partner, who will doubtless re-release many of
the titles being deleted by Warner Home Video (particularly as many of
them are perennial favourites). It's possible that some of the more
obscure titles might not be re-issued, so if you wanted a specific title,
you'd be well advised to pick it up now.
Of course many of the affected titles are
available - and will continue to be available - in other territories
(often in better editions, like Criterion's The Man Who Fell to Earth,
It's also worth keeping in mind that DVD is
a format whose days are numbered. (Certainly when you consider that films
are usually licensed for lengthy periods, like five or ten years). We're
in a difficult transitional period at the moment. Companies will be
considering how they're going to move from DVD to whichever high
definition format prevails. Within a couple of years new titles will be
released in both formats. Will Studio Canal be licensing their titles for
DVD and HD exploitation, or just DVD? If they're licensing for both
formats, it's going to take a company with deep pockets to invest in
titles that are likely to offer only modest return until the new format
will release the Deliverance-style thriller Calvaire (The
Ordeal) at the Odeon, Panton Street, London, on December the 9th.
Tartan has kindly allowed us to use an interview with the director, and
biographies, from the film's production notes. Click
to read them.
Last week's Zeta Minor News
can be viewed here.
Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed