bundle of James
Bond - Ultimate Edition check discs arrived today, and I've spent
a few hours investigating the differences between the new versions and the
2000 editions (specifically, the Region 1 editions, which didn't have some
of the problems the UK versions had).
I'm not going to have time to review them
in any depth - to do the job properly would take me a couple of days per
film - but I will offer some initial thoughts that might help you decide
if they're worth getting! Click
here for some notes!
I was going to upload a whole slew of menu
screens from the new discs, but
is doing a fine job with those - I suggest you give them a visit!
few words about Tartan's new Special Edition version of
Funny Games, which is released next week.
The new re-mastered version improves over
the old in several respects: it's a new anamorphic transfer - this time
without burnt-in subtitles - and it's on a DVD-9, rather than a DVD-5. The
average bit-rate is a lot more adaptive, and, at 6.4Mb/s, has more data
allocated to it than the old version, which had an average bit-rate of
5.58Mb. Contrary to the press release, though, it does not have 5.1 audio
- it's a 2.0 track. Note, too, that the disc is coded for Region 2 only
(the sleeve says Region 0).
The new disc has a new eighteen-minute
video interview with the director (the old version's Director Interview
was a text article). The Special Edition also contains a trailer for the
film (1m), and trailers for Guy X, Primer, The
Proposition and Battle in Heaven.
Director Michael Haneke's on a roll right
now, with the success of his most recent film, Hidden (Cache).
Tartan will be co-producing an English language version of Funny Games
for release next year, with Haneke directing, and Naomi Watts
starring. Menu screens from this release can be seen
I've added a better pack-shot for The
Tribe - The Complete Series 4, below, if you're interested!
22nd June 2006
ZETA MINOR NEWS
A new review...
and no-one's more surprised than I am! What began as a quick plug for this
page turned into something a bit more substantial. It's of Replay's DVD
for the BBC sitcom Joking Apart. Click
here, or on the sleeve
image, left, to read the review! The disc marks the debut of a small
independent DVD label that deserves your support. Read the review to find
I have some
more details about the eagerly-awaited batch of BBC telefantasy titles
that is being released on July the 24th (re-scheduled from July the
17th). All the
links have been updated (click on any
title to find the best price from our affiliated etailers).
Forget all the
hints and rumours: I've had a chance to browse all the discs, and here is a
list of the contents:
sixteen of the seventeen episodes from the first season (Ticket To
Terror is no longer in the BBC archive), and the two surviving
episodes of the thirteen second season episodes (Black Echo and
A Sinister Sort of Service, the season finale).
Commentary tracks for A Vintage Year For
A Sinister Sort of Service (by
Verity Lambert, Gerald Harper and Juliet Harmer)
Outtakes reel from A Vintage Year For
Outtakes reel from Sing a Song of Murder
(21m) – with optional information subtitles
This Man Is The One – 52m
documentary hosted by Mark Gatiss, with contributions from scriptwriter
Brian Clemens, director Moira Armstrong, producer Verity Lambert, stars
Gerald Harper and Juliet Harmer, cult TV expert Kim Newman, Make-up artist
Jo Young, fight arranger Derek Ware and guest star Jerome Willis
Photo Gallery – 13m, with music and
sound effects from the series
Radio Times Articles (PDF files)
Scripts form Missing Episodes and Intro
Scripts (PDF files)
A For Andromeda – 147m
reconstruction of the seven-part series, using telesnaps, existing clips
and film inserts, including the available (as transmitted) footage from
episodes two (The Machine - seven intact scenes), six (The Face
of the Tiger, exists in its entirety), and seven (last two reels
survive). The surviving edited footage has optional commentary by director
Michael Hayes and star Peter Halliday.
Points of View (with Robert
Robinson) – 2m
Andromeda Memories – 35m documentary, with actors Peter Halliday,
Frank Windsor and Susan Hampshire, director Michael Hayes and Sir
P is for Photo Gallery – 10m – set to music and sound effects from
Radio Times Articles - PDF files
Scripts For Series 1 – PDF files
The Andromeda Breakthrough - Episodes 1-4 (Azaran Forecast -
45m, Storm Centres - 43m, Hurricane - 42m and The Roman
The Andromeda Breakthrough - Episodes 5 and 6 (Cold Front
- 44m and Gale Warning – 43m)
Century Falls, and
Season are all bare-bones, single-disc sets. You can find a
selection of menu screens from all these titles
here (lots of images - may
take a while to load on dial-up connections!)
will add F.W. Murnau's 1926 adaptation of
Faust to their Masters of Cinema range on July the 3rd.
The film exists in several different
To save wear and tear on the delicate film
elements, the film was shot with two cameras side-by-side. From this
footage Murnau assembled his preferred version, which would be used for
domestic distribution, and a secondary version, for export.
care was taken with the domestic version, which boasts superior
composition and tighter editing. One amusing difference between the two
versions is the use of a real bear in the domestic version, but a man in a
bear suit in the export version.
Both versions are on the two-disc set. The
recently re-discovered domestic version was restored by Luciano Berriatua
for Filmoteca Espanola.
The disc boasts a progressive transfer,
with the original German intertitles (by acclaimed poet Gerhart Roehrig),
accompanied by a new harp score by Stan Ambrose, in addition to the
Timothy Brock orchestral score, recorded by the Olympia Chamber Orchestra.
Bonus features include a full-length
commentary by critics David Ehrenstein and Bill Krohn; Tony Rayns on
Faust featurette (20m); Faust - The Different Versions (video
comparison by R. Dixon Smith, 20m); production stills and promotional art
gallery; a twenty-eight-page booklet with a new essay by Peter Spooner,
and an article about the different versions of the film, by R. Dixon
Smith. The RRP is £22.95.
Films will release
Tribe - The Complete Series Four on August the 21st.
The seven-disc set will feature fifty-two
episodes of the popular five TV series, in 16:9 anamorphic
widescreen format, with Dolby Digital stereo audio.
Bonus features include printable scripts
from every episode, and a photo' gallery. The RRP is £34.99.
Incidentally, Revelation's sales notes state that the first DVD set of
The Tribe has sold nearly 13,000 units so far. That's not too shabby
for a relatively obscure series that's had very little support from the
genre or mainstream press!
20th June 20006
AUDIO BOOK NEWS
As promised, more July 3rd releases from
There are three new Doctor Who audio
books: adaptations of novels recently published by BBC Books. These are
read by David Tennant. The titles are The Feast of the Drowned, by
Stephen Cole, The Resurrection Casket, by Justin Richards, and
The Stone Rose, by Jacqueline Rayner. Each two-disc set also features
an interview with the author, conducted by Doctor Who Magazine's
The RRP is £9.99.
Amazon.co.uk have these at £5.99 each at the moment (if you buy all
three, you'll get free postage!)
BBC Audiobooks completes the Spiderwick
Chronicles trilogy on July the 3rd, with the release of The Wrath
of Mulgarath, a two-disc set read by Star Wars' Mark Hamill.
The RRP is £9.99 (the same as the previous two releases: The Field
Guide & The Seeing Stone and Lucinda's Secret & The Ironwood Tree).
Maureen Lipman, who recently appeared in
Doctor Who, reads Jill Tomlinson's The Gorilla Who Wanted To Grow
Up, a single-disc release which has an RRP of £5.99.
Saving the best until last, a new
Classic Radio Sci-Fi collection is launched on July the 3rd, with the
release of three titles that should have fans of the genre salivating....
The Day of the Triffids is Giles
Cooper's six-part dramatised adaptation of John Wyndham's classic novel.
It stars Gary Watson, Quatermass and the Pit's Barbara Shelley,
Paul Temple's Marjorie Westbury, and a host of names that will certainly
be familiar to Doctor Who fans: Last of the Summer Wine's Peter Sallis,
Peter Pratt, Christopher Bidmead and David Brierly. The three-disc set
will include ten minutes of material that was removed prior to the
serial's sale overseas.
Aliens in the Mind is a six-part SF
thriller from 1977, based on a story by the great Robert Holmes. It pairs
two genre greats, Peter Cushing and, making a rare BBC appearance, Vincent
Price. It also features the late Richard Hurndall, who took on the role of
the first Doctor in the Doctor Who story The Five Doctors.
This title has an RRP of £15.99.
The Quatermass Memoirs is a terrific
five-part series from 1996 which re-tells Nigel Kneale's classic
Quatermass stories, using archive news material to put the series in
context, and narration from Kneale himself. This two-disc set has an RRP
All three titles are also available for
download, for £10.80 each, but do yourself a favour, and get the CD
versions, which come with booklet notes by Andrew Pixley, and sleeve art
by fan favourite Chris Achilleos.
Besides, they're cheaper at Amazon:
The Day of the Triffids
Aliens in the Mind - £9.58
The Quatermass Memoirs - £7.79
There's a Roobarb's DVD Forum thread
about the Classic Radio Sci-Fi collection
19th June 2006
A good selection of interesting titles to
report on today...
Pictures will release a two-disc Special Edition version of Alan
Parker's atmospheric Louisiana-based thriller
Angel Heart on August the 21st.
The film, which stars Mickey Rourke and
Robert De Niro, will be presented in anamorphic 1.85:1 format, with Dolby
Digital 5.1 audio (the current
Director's Chair version has a 2.0 audio mix).
The bonus features are listed as follows:
Disc One - Introduction by Alan Parker; three Making of...
documentaries; interview with Alan Parker; Personality Profiles; Behind
the Scenes of Angel Heart; Photo Gallery; Disc Two - Interviews with
Cast; Voodoo and Dance featurettes; Guided Tour; Featurettes. The RRP is
Contender Home Entertainment will release
the eighth and last season of
& Grace on August the 7th. The set has an RRP of £49.99. There'll
also be a forty-eight disc
Complete Series box set, which will feature all 190-odd episodes,
as well as "Never before seen extras!" (This is not to be confused with
the earlier 2004 "complete" (series 1-4) or 2005 "complete" (series 1-6)
box sets. Since the series has now ended, it's safe to assume that they
mean "complete" this time!
Pictures will release the intriguing-sounding supernatural thriller
Sean Bean and A History of Violence's Maria Bello,
on DVD on September the 4th.
The film, which was directed by Ginger
Snaps' John Fawcett, is about a couple coping with the death of their
daughter. They discover that she died on a site formerly occupied by
pagans, and, furthermore, there's a local legend that suggests that
there's a link there to a mythical Celtic underworld - The Dark -
where one of the dead can be exchanged for one of the living...
The disc will feature interviews, an
alternate ending and a trailer (the US disc, from Sony, has only the
alternate ending). No technical spec's were released. The RRP is £17.99.
Century Fox Home Entertainment will release the latest Farrelly Brothers'
Ringer, on DVD on July the 24th.
The film, about a betting scam involving a
ringer in the Special Olympics, stars Jackass's Johnny Knoxville,
and Red Dragon's Brian Cox.
The disc will feature a message from
Special Olympics chairman Tim Shriver; commentary track by director Barry
Blaustein (presumably the same one that's on the US disc - i.e. by Barry
Blaustein, screenwriter Ricky Blitt, producer Peter Farrelly, Johnny
Knoxville, Edward Barbanell and John Taylor); a Special Olympics
featurette; Let The Games Begin - A Look At The Ringer; sixteen
deleted scenes and an Inside Look at the forthcoming Michael
Douglas / Kiefer Sutherland film The Sentinel. The RRP is £15.99.
fourth film in the Scary Movie trilogy,
Scary Movie 4 (well, duh), will be released on DVD on August the
Scary Movie 4 - Uncut and Unsanitized
(sic) offers a version of the film with additional material
that was "deemed to risqué" for the theatrical version - where,
presumably, they expected a more juvenile audience than would watch the
film on DVD.
The film features several returning cast
members, including Anna Faris and Carmen Electra. This time the producers
spoof recent films including Saw, The Village, The Grudge,
War of the Worlds, Million Dollar Baby and Brokeback
Bonus features include a commentary by
director David Zucker, producer Robert Weiss and writer Craig Mazin;
deleted and extended scenes; bloopers; a featurette on Zucker, The Man
Behind The Laugh; several things that seem to be featurettes (Zany
Spoof Humour - Zucker Style; An Interviewee's Worst Nightmare;
The Visual Effects of Scary Movie 4; The Youngbloodz and
Rappers...Actors); an NBA / Scary Movie 4 spot; and a theatrical
Kong Legends will release a Special Collector's Edition of John
Woo's war movie
Heroes Shed No Tears on July the 17th.
The film, about a Chinese mercenary who is
hired to kidnap an infamous Thai drugs baron, and bring him to justice,
stars Eddy Ko.
The disc offers the film in "digitally
restored and re-mastered" anamorphic 1.85:1 format (from an HD source),
with a choice of audio tracks: Cantonese and English-dubbed Dolby Digital
5.1 versions, and a Cantonese Dolby Digital 2.0 track, with the option of
English and Dutch subtitles.
The disc will feature an interview with
Woo; a Tribute to Lam Ching Ying featurette; and a trailer gallery.
The RRP is £16.99.
company called Dogwoof will release Jaume Balagueró's acclaimed
award-winning horror film
Nameless (Los Sin nombre) on DVD on July the 31st (not the
24th, as some sources are quoting).
The 1999 film, (an adaptation of Ramsey
Campbell's 1981 novel The Nameless), is also about a couple
grieving for the loss of a young child. The hook in The Nameless,
though, is that, five years after the child's death, the mother gets a
phone call, saying "They wanted you to believe I was dead".
No technical spec's were announced (it
should be 1.85:1, with 2.0 Spanish audio, if the Region 1 (anamorphic) and
Region 4 (non-anamorphic) versions are a guide. There are no bonus
features listed on the press release, but most of the etailers are listing
deleted scenes, a gallery and a trailer (other territories' versions
feature a director's commentary track, a music video, and a Making
of... featurette). So, either the press release is in error, or the
etailers are. If I get any more information, you'll have it! The RRP is
Pictures will release a 2 Disc Special Edition version of Franc
Roddam's 1979 film
Quadrophenia on August the 7th.
The film is presented in "digitally
re-mastered widescreen" format, with a "brand new stereo audio track".
Bonus features on the new edition include a
documentary titled A Way of Life: Making Quadrophenia; a location
visit with the director, On Location With Franc; and a commentary
track, by Franc Roddam and stars Phil Daniels and Leslie Ash. The RRP is
BBC Audiobooks have announced their July
3rd releases. They are...
...the third instalment of Lindsey Davis's
Marcus Didius Falco first century Rome mysteries, Venus in Copper
(three discs, RRP £15.99)
...The Navy Lark - Series Three, a
ten-disc set, featuring nineteen mostly-unreleased, digitally re-mastered
episodes, originally broadcast between November 1960 and March 1961, and a
bonus Radio Lives programme about Jon Pertwee (the sleeve art
suggests this is called Radio Roots). The RRP is £65.
... three full-cast Dorothy L. Sayers
dramatisations starring Ian Carmichael as the dapper Lord Peter Wimsey:
The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club, Murder Must Advertise
and Clouds of Witness. Unpleasantness and
Murder Must Advertise are two-disc sets, Clouds is a three-disc
set. All have an RRP of £12.99.
... and a two-disc Churchill Remembered
set, featuring unique BBC archive material, including contributions
from Nancy Astor, Oswald Mosley and Churchill himself. The RRP is £12.99.
Here's some sleeve art...
Last week's Zeta Minor News
can be viewed here.
Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed