film will release Richard Elfman's delirious fantasy movie
Forbidden Zone on DVD on August the 14th.
The 1980 film defies description, so in
this case I'll defer to the press release: "Welcome to the Forbidden Zone,
a bizarre world ruled by a sex-crazed midget king and populated by his
domineering wife, their beautiful topless daughter, a giant dancing frog
butler, a chicken boy, obese bikini-clad maidens, a machine gun-toting
schoolteacher, a human chandelier, the irrepressible Hercules Family and
Satan himself, and a place where degraded beings of every imaginable kind
run riot!" Sweet!
The film features a score by Danny Elfman
and the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, and stars cult icon Susan
Tyrell and The Man With the Golden Gun's Hervé Villechaize.
Arrow's disc comes from a high definition
widescreen source, with "restored and re-mastered" Dolby Digital 5.1
The disc will feature a commentary track
with director Richard Elfman and writer/actor Matthew Bright; A Look
Into The Forbidden Zone - an "extensive" documentary featuring
interviews and archive footage (including scenes from Elfman's lost film,
The Hercules Family); outtakes and deleted scenes; two complete
scenes from The Hercules Family; Oingo Boingo music video for
Private Life; and a theatrical trailer.
The RRP is £15.99.
Apparently the sleeve image for Optimum's
Collected Adventures of Asterix DVD box set that the etailers are
using isn't the finished one. This is...
Two forthcoming signings of interest at
Forbidden Planet's Shaftesbury Avenue, London store...
Terry Gilliam will be promoting his next
movie, Tideland, on Saturday the 5th of August, between 1 and 2pm
(he'll be signing copies of Mitch Cullin's novel, amongst other things,
Neil Gaiman will be signing copies of
Fragile Things on Tuesday the 26th of September, between 5.30 and
6.30pm. The book will be offered for £14.99 (RRP £17.99).
Signed copies can be ordered from Forbidden
Planet's Mail Order division, on 020 7803 1900.
Sunday I attended a screening of Bryan Singer's eagerly-awaited
Superman Returns at the BFI's IMAX cinema at London's Waterloo.
The film begins with Superman returning to
Earth, after a lengthy absence (visiting the burnt-out remains of his home
planet, Krypton). He finds that things have moved on while he's been away.
Most notably, the woman he loves (Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lois
Lane), has become engaged to Richard White, the son of the Daily Globe's
editor; and the villainous Lex Luthor has been released from
incarceration, because Superman missed an important parole hearing. Does
the world still need Superman? What do you think!
The film is virtually a punchier remake of
the 1978 film, which starred Christopher Reeve. There's less about Clark's
childhood and teenage years (that's what Smallville is for), but
essentially the plot is the same.
The film is generally very satisfying. The
effects are, unsurprisingly, far more elaborate than they were in 1978,
and the set pieces much are much more spectacular. Brandon Routh is great
as Clark and Superman; Kate Bosworth is appealing, as Lois Lane; and Kevin
Spacey successfully walks a fine line between genuine menace and
scenery-chewing. There are some nice cameos (by Jack Larson and Noel Neill
- Jimmy Olson and Lois Lane to George Reeves' Superman), and plenty of sly
in-jokes (including a nicely-staged recreation of the cover of the very
first Superman comic book).
If you've got an inkling to see the film,
there's little chance that you'll be disappointed - it does, to borrow a
horrible phrase, what it says on the tin. If you see it at a IMAX
cinema, you're sure to enjoy the ride. Not only are there the usual
benefits of seeing the film in IMAX DMR format (a huge image, and
effortlessly-controlled 12,000 watt audio), you'll also be able to
experience about twenty minutes of the film in 3D (using the polarised
glasses provided). Flashing on-screen icons alert the viewer to put on -
and then take off - the 3D glasses.
There are four sequences in 3D, including a
couple of the film's big action scenes. The 3D works extremely well for
the most part (there's the usual problem of the eye / brain not quite
keeping up with some of the fast-moving action), and extremely well when
the camera keeps still, or relatively still, for any length of time. The
3D is often quite spectacular, making the difference between seeing the
film and experiencing it.
There are several more 3D feature films due
at the IMAX before the end of the year, but the others are animated films.
This may be your only opportunity to experience a grown-up live-action
feature film in 3D in the foreseeable future!
Superman Returns opens at the IMAX on
Friday. More details can be found at the
IMAX website, or on 0870 787
10th July 2006
Network will release
Champions - The Complete Series Special Edition on DVD on July the
The popular ITC adventure series, about
three special agents given supernatural powers after being rescued from a
plane crash in the Himalayas, stars Stuart Damon, Alexandra Bastedo and
The nine-disc set contains all thirty
episodes of the 1968-69 series, which was created by Monty Berman and
regular Doctor Who contributor Dennis Spooner.
To tempt owners of the individual discs
(2000) and the previous box set (2004, both from Carlton), Network have
added some mouth-watering bonus features to their box set, including a
brand new documentary about the series, We Are The Champions, which
includes contributions from Stuart Damon, Alexandra Bastedo, William
Gaunt, Associate Producer Johnny Goodman, Production Manager Malcolm
Christopher, Assistant Director Ken Baker, Director Cyril Frankel and
writer Brian Clemens.
Other bonus features include three
commentary tracks (Alexandra Bastedo, Stuart Damon and William Gaunt on
The Beginning and Autokill; and a second on Autokill by
Malcolm Christopher, Ken Baker and director Roy Ward Baker); an extended
version of The Beginning featuring especially-shot bookend
sequences; Artistes test footage; nearly thirty-minutes of incidental
music by Edwin Astley, Robert Farnon and Albert Elms, prepared as a
musical suite, to accompany an extensive image gallery, including many
behind-the-scenes stills; The Legend of The Champions movie-length
compilation (of The Beginning and The Interrogation), made
by ITC in the early 80s; episodic trailer gallery (nineteen trailers, with
American and UK soundtracks - especially-transferred for this set);
generic trailer gallery (again, especially-transferred); specially-shot
Channel 9 promo's; merchandise gallery (including the front and backs of
The Champions trading cards); Annual material PDF (featuring the
ongoing Joe 90 Top Secret comic strip); reconstructed ad-caps;
variant title sequence, featuring unused title music by Robert Farnon; and
a commemorative booklet, featuring an in-depth essay on the series,
written by Mike Richardson.
RRP for the set is £59.99. Best online
price at the moment seems to be
Amazon's: they have it for £39.99!
Gate Home Entertainment will release supernatural shocker
American Haunting - which is based on the only documented case of
a person being killed by a spirit - on August the 28th.
The film, which is set in Tennessee in the
1800s, stars Donald Sutherland, Rachel Hurd-Wood, James D'Arcy and Sissy
The disc will be offered in 5.1 Dolby
Digital format, with optional English HoH subtitles (the aspect ratio is
The disc will feature an interview with
director Courtney Soloman and Sissy Spacek; eight deleted or extended
scenes; four alternate endings; and a gag reel. The RRP is £19.99.
will release the multi-BAFTA-winning two-part Channel 4 drama series
Traffic on DVD on September the 4th.
The three-hour series, which starred John
Simm as a charity worker investigating the plight of young European and
Balkan women being exploited in the sex industry, won BAFTA awards for
Best Drama Serial and Best Actress (for Romanian actress
The series will be presented in its
original 16:9 anamorphic widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.
The RRP is £15.99.
Last week's Zeta Minor News
can be viewed here.
Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed