NEWS ARCHIVE - 20th - 26th MARCH 2006



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NEW CD REVIEW




 

22nd March 2006

DVD NEWS

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is releasing the Ultimate Collector's Edition Ape Head Box Set of the Planet of the Apes series of films (including Tim Burton's remake), the live-action TV series, and, for the first time on DVD, the animated TV series, Return to the Planet of the Apes on April the 3rd.

The set will be sold with a boiler-suited replica chimpanzee head (pictured). The set is a limited edition of twelve-thousand UK copies. The set will include fourteen discs (including the two-disc editions of Burton's Apes and the 35th Anniversary edition of Planet of the Apes). The TV series accounts for four discs, and the animated TV series accounts for the other two.

According to the PR company, it will not include the extended version of Battle For The Planet of the Apes, which is one of the main attractions of the US edition.

The review discs for Return to the Planet of the Apes were labelled as "UK Australia Scandinavia", but were Region 1-6 NTSC discs, suggesting that a PAL version hasn't been created.

The movie discs have always been available in anamorphic format in the UK, unlike the US, where only Planet... was anamorphic. Anamorphic transfers were the main selling point of the new US editions.

Both the extended Battle... and the animated series will be available separately in the US, (the former is released next week; Fox has promised that the latter will be released on its own later).

RRP for the UK edition is 149.99. Find out which of the main etailers is offering the price by consulting our Incoming Report!

Menu screens for the two Return To The Planet of the Apes discs can be found here.

SOUNDTRACK NEWS

Two Silver Age Classics have been added to the ever-expanding Film Score Monthly collection.

The first is a double-bill featuring two light-and-breezy jazz scores, for two similar, archetypal sex comedies, both dating from 1966: Not With My Wife, You Don't! and Any Wednesday. The former was scored by Johnny (John) Williams; the latter by George Duning.

Readers who are more familiar with jazz compositions than soundtracks might know the minor jazz standard Big Beautiful Ball. It originated as one of the three songs Williams composed with famed lyricist Johnny Mercer for Not With My Wife, You Don't! You may also know Tony Bennett's cover version of My Inamorata, another song that originated in the 1966 film as a recurring love theme. Several arrangements of My Inamorata are offered on the new CD, including one sung by Mercer himself.

Any Wednesday was a New York-based bedroom farce starring Jane Fonda, Disney favourite Dean Jones and Jason Robards. It was originally developed as a vehicle for Frank Sinatra, but this plan fizzled when the script could not be adapted to showcase his character. Duning, a former dance band arranger, created a swinging score that was typical of the genre, but not one that was ideally suited for LP presentation (so he expanded it, for what became a well-crafted twenty-six minute instrumental album).

Both scores are presented in their re-recorded album versions, which were prepared for release by Warner Bros, remixed from the half-inch four-track masters.

I have to admit that this style of score is not really my cup of tea, but if you're a fan of the genre, or an admirer of John Williams' sixties compositions, I dare say it's a safe bet!

Ron Goodwin's rousing score for Force 10 From Navarone, the 1978 sequel to the 1961 blockbuster The Guns of Navarone, is music to blow the cobwebs away. Goodwin had practically invented a genre of his own, with his benchmark scores for 633 Squadron, Operation Crossbow and Where Eagles Dare (all of which have been released on CD by FSM).

Goodwin's Force 10 score has a lighter touch, perhaps reflecting that war was no longer such a serious issue as it had been twenty years earlier. It actually reminds me more of Barry Gray's brassy Thunderbirds music.

Force 10 From Navarone was eventually presented in two different edits: one lasting 126m, and an American version lasting 118m, which eliminated some sequences, and altered others (including re-recording the film's narration, with an American voice). This shorter version also played fast-and-loose with Goodwin's score, which was recorded for the longer version. The new CD presents the music as Goodwin intended it to be heard, accompanied by authoritative track notes by Jeff Bond and Lukas Kendall.

The original session recordings are long-gone, but thankfully Goodwin kept quarter-inch stereo mix-downs, and these have been used as the basis for the fifty-minute CD.

Both discs feature well-illustrated booklets, with track-by-track breakdowns and background notes. You can get them from specialist soundtrack retailers, or from FSM's trading partner, Screen Archives Entertainment.


21st March 2006

DVD NEWS

The BBC has formally announced that the first disc of Doctor Who episodes from the show's new season will be released on May the 1st.

The disc will feature the first two episodes to star David Tennant: the 2005 Christmas Day special, The Christmas Invasion, and the first episode of the series' twenty-eighth / second season, New Earth (which the press release promises will be "packed with thrills, spills and deadly diseases...")

The remaining discs will be released at regular intervals. A box set featuring "all thirteen episodes, The Christmas Invasion and a host of extras in special packaging will also be available to buy on November 20th 2006". RRP for the Christmas Invasion / New Earth disc is 15.99.

In related news, menu screens for the forthcoming Doctor Who - Genesis of the Daleks DVD can be seen here. The disc will be released on April the 10th.


20th March 2006

ZETA MINOR NEWS

Today I'm delighted to be unveiling a new-and-improved Incoming page, which has been completely re-written so that it is now compiled from a database, rather than being a simple text list.

The Incoming page now offers many additional features: clicking on any title will open a page offering additional details and (usually) a sleeve image. There are also links to any News page entry for that title, and to menu grabs, if we've featured them. It also offers a selection of up-to-date retailer links that will show you who's offering the best price!

The new system should make it much easier for us to keep up to date - no more struggling with screwy formatting errors! - and it uses a simple cookie, to make it easy for you to see everything that's been added or updated since your last visit.

If you have any comments on the new system, I'd be happy to receive them - email me here, or add your comments to this Roobarb's DVD Forum thread

Huge thanks go to Ceri Laing and Andrew Smith for their help in migrating the data from the old system; to Karl for hosting, and making the changes needed to install the database; and to Ian Palmer for the programming and unflagging patience!

DVD NEWS

Universal has announced a four-disc box set that will feature the four Airport films based on Arthur Hailey's best-selling novel: Airport (1970), Airport '75 (1975), Airport '77 (1977, one for you James Stewart completists!), and The Concorde - Airport '79.

The set marks the first time the three sequels have been released on DVD in the UK.

No technical spec's were announced, and there were no special features mentioned, either (there probably won't be any!)

The price wasn't announced, either, although a poke around the etailers suggests that the RRP will be 19.99. (You can get the US version of this set from Amazon.com for about half that).

Right Entertainment have announced that their forthcoming Camberwick Green DVD will now not feature the Windy Miller Quaker Oats commercials. See the News for 6th of March for more details.

AUDIO BOOK NEWS

The BBC has formerly announced their audio book releases for April. They are...

Mrs McGinty's Dead by Agatha Christie

A Radio 4 dramatisation starring John Moffat as Hercule Poirot, in which Poirot sets out to acquit a man accused of murder. The cast includes Julia McKenzie and George Baker.

3rd April - Two CDs - RRP 12.99

David Attenborough - The Early Years - Zoo Quest For A Dragon

An especially-recorded account of one of Attenborough's earliest adventures: a animal-collecting trip Attenborough took with the staff of London Zoo to Indonesia.

3rd April - Three CDs - RRP 15.99

Shadows in Bronze by Lindsey Davis

Murder mystery set in ancient Rome: a second case for Davis' intrepid detective Marcus Didius Falco.

3rd April - Three CDs - RRP 15.99

The History Boys by Alan Bennett

An award-winning play about students being coached for the Oxbridge entrance exams, as heard on Radio 3. Features a National Theatre cast which includes Richard Griffiths, Clive Merrison and Frances de la Tour.

3rd April - Two CDs - RRP 12.99

That Mitchell & Webb Sound

The complete second series of Radio 4 comedy sketch show That Mitchell & Webb Sound, from David Mitchell and Robert Webb, the stars of Peep Show.

3rd April - Three CDs - 15.99

Fairy Dust by Gwyneth Rees

Unabridged reading of the charming children's story about a young girl who discovers fairies living in her new house on the isle of Skye, narrated by Sophie Ward.

3rd April - Two CDs - RRP 9.99

The Navy Lark - The Very Best Episodes

Four episodes of the long-running maritime comedy series starring Leslie Philips, Jon Pertwee and Tenniel Evans, chosen by the President of the Navy Lark Appreciation Society. With especially-written sleeve notes. Episode details to follow!

3rd April - Two CDs - RRP 12.99


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

Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed here.


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