NEWS ARCHIVE - 30th April to 6th May 2007



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AUDIOBOOK REVIEWS



2nd May 2007

DVD NEWS

The acclaimed drama Notes on a Scandal will be released on DVD by Twentieth Century Home Entertainment on June the 4th.

The film, a psychological blackmail thriller about an elderly teacher who fixates on a colleague who is having an affair with one of her pupils, stars Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett, who were both nominated for Oscars for their roles.

The disc will feature a commentary track by director Richard Eyre; three featurettes (The Story of Two Obsessions, Behind The Scenes and In Character With Cate Blanchett); three webisodes (Judi and Cate - Behind the Scandal, The Screenplay - Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett); and Four Conversations with Cate Blanchett and Bill Nighy (Casting, Characters, On Set and Love Scenes).

The disc has an RRP of £19.99.

Michael Gondry's eagerly-awaited follow-up to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the romantic fantasy The Science of Sleep, will be released on DVD by Warner Home Video on June the 25th.

The film will be presented in 1.85:1 format, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

Bonus features include a commentary track by Michael Gondry and cast (Gael Garcia Bernal, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Sacha Bourdo, assuming it's the same as the R1 version); two featurettes (The Making of... and Lauri Faggioni -  Creator of Animals and Accessories); and a music video, Rescue Me, by Linda Serbu. Other features being listed by some sources - a short film by Linda Serbu, Adopt Some Love, and a trailer - were not mentioned in the press release (they are on the US edition, however).

RRP for the UK version is £19.99.

Fabulous Films will release two cult favourites starring the amazing Reiko Ike on DVD on May the 28th: Sex & Fury, and its sequel, Female Yakuza Tale.

The films, which were recently featured in the Jonathan Ross show Japanorama, are widely acknowledged as one of the inspirations for Tarantino's Kill Bill movies.

Both films will be presented in their original uncut glory, with a theatrical trailer and promotional material archive as bonus features. No technical details were announced. RRP for each disc is £15.99.

Some of the etailers are using the US versions of the sleeves in their listings. Here are the UK versions...

 

Optimum have once again moved back the release dates for their James Mason and Dirk Bogarde Screen Icons sets: they'll now be released on July the 23rd. They still haven't announced the fifth title in the Mason set or the extra "titles" (sic) in the Bogarde set (which currently includes four known titles).

Optimum's Henri-Georges Clouzot Collection has been re-scheduled for release on June the 25th.

The set will feature three "fully re-mastered" films (Le Corbeau, Quai Des Orfevres and The Wages of Fear), Le Corbeau will have an introduction by film critic Ginette Vincendea, and an artwork gallery; Quai Des Orfevres is supported by a trailer; and The Wages of Fear is supplemented by stills and poster galleries, cast and crew biographies, and an original trailer for Les Diaboliques.

All three films will be presented in 4:3 format, with mono French audio and English subtitles.

Momentum will release an uncut version of recent theatrical hit Hannibal Rising on DVD on June the 25th.

The new version of the film will feature fourteen minutes of new footage, making eight previously-unseen scenes. It will be presented with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio (no other technical details were announced).

The disc will feature a trailer; a Making of... featurette; and (TBC) deleted scenes, and an audio commentary with director Peter Webber and producer Martha De Laurentiis.

The disc will be released to rent on June the 11th. RRP for the retail edition will be £17.99. Play.com is offering exclusive art cards with the disc.

Russia's entry for the Best Foreign Film at the 2007 Academy Awards, the epic war movie 9th Company, will be released as a two-disc Collector's Edition deluxe DVD by Contender Home Entertainment on June the 11th.

The film, Russia's highest-grossing film to date, features fifteen-hundred extras, thirty T-64-B tanks, ten MI-24 and ten MI-8 helicopters, and twenty-two AN and MIG fighter planes.

The film will be presented in anamorphic 2.35:1 format, with Russian DOlby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 audio tracks, with optional English subtitles.

Disc two's bonus features include a Making of... documentary; a 20 Years Later documentary (which examines the real-life events depicted in the film); footage from the premiere; and a trailer gallery. The RRP is £19.99.

An action-packed clip from the film can be found here.


30th April 2007

ZETA MINOR NEWS

We have a new review on the site today. It features two of the titles in BBC Audiobooks' Classic Sci-Fi range: adaptations of John Wyndham's The Chrysalids & Survival and The Midwich Cuckoos. Click on the sleeve images, left, or here, to got to Ceri Laing's review.

The Incoming guide to new and forthcoming DVD releases continues to be updated, with lots of newly-listed titles, and links to our affiliated retailers (enabling you to find the best etailer offers!)

DVD NEWS

Andre Morell and Peter Cushing, in the tense Hammer bank robbery thriller "Cash on Demand".Not much time for news today, sorry, but what there is, is GREAT news!

The official Hammer Films website is reporting that DD Home Entertainment has signed a deal with Sony Pictures that will allow them to release thirteen Hammer movies that were originally distributed by Columbia.

The films in question are The Camp On Blood Island (1958, Val Guest), Cash on Demand (1961, Quentin Lawrence), Creatures the World Forgot (1971, Don Chaffey), The Damned (1963, Joseph Losey), Donít Panic Chaps! (1959, George Pollack), The Gorgon (1964, Terence Fisher), Maniac (1963, Michael Carreras), Never Take Sweets From a Stranger (1960, Cyril Frankel), The Stranglers of Bombay (1960, Terence Fisher), Sword of Sherwood Forest (1960, Terence Fisher), Taste of Fear (1961, Seth Holt), The Terror of the Tongs (1961, Anthony Bushell) and Watch It, Sailor! (1961, Wolf Rilla).

Hammer fans will be familiar with most of these titles, if not some the films themselves (I doubt that anybody has seen Don't Panic Chaps! or Watch It, Sailor! in the last twenty years!) Many, including Cash on Demand (pictured), have never been available on any home video format.

The deal is wonderful news for Hammer fans because it will plug some significant gaps in their collections.

Many fans speculated that some of the less politically correct films that Hammer made (The Stranglers of Bombay, The Terror of the Tongs and The Camp on Blood Island, specifically) were unlikely to be released by the studio that currently owns them, Sony Pictures. This deal allows their release without drawing attention to the company's involvement.

DD Home Entertainment has already released numerous titles from the Hammer library on DVD in the UK (including Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell and Captain Kronos). They've generally been excellent discs, with solid bonus features, and accompanied by very nice collector's booklets. However, several of their releases have been plagued by nagging technical problems (incorrect anamorphic flagging, and non-anamorphic transfers), which betray the company's relative inexperience in releasing widescreen movies.

The Hammer DVD Guide has been updated accordingly.

The new deal means that only a handful of Hammer's horror, science-fiction and fantasy films won't be available on DVD.

Notable by their absence are: The Two Faces of Doctor Jekyll (another Columbia title, available on VHS in the US), The Shadow of the Cat, The Old Dark House (last seen in the UK on a VHS release licensed to Encore Entertainment by Columbia), MGM's little-seen Hysteria, goofy 2001-inspired sci-fi 'Western' Moon Zero Two (Warner Bros), 1971 thriller Crescendo (Warner Bros, I think), When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth (Warner Bros), and the out-of-print official Satanic Rites of Dracula (rights seem to be in limbo - may be Warner Bros or Studio Canal). How ironic that it now seems to be Warner Home Video, who pride themselves on the depth of their catalogue releases, and who released many of Canal Plus' Hammer titles, are now the studio that controls the lion's share of unreleased Hammer movies.

As if DD Home Entertainment's Hammer news wasn't enough, the Hammer site also reports that they will also be releasing a Special Edition of Columbia's classic 1957 horror film Night of the Demon.


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

Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed here.


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