27th July 2009
David Lloyd will be signing copies of the new Absolute edition of V For
Vendetta at Forbidden Planet's shop at 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London,
SE1 OUP between 6 and 7pm on September the 24th. Signed copies can be
ordered on 020 7803 1900. The book's RRP is £59.99. More details can be
Forbidden Planet's website.
Graphic artist and comic-book illustrator
Kevin O'Neill has an exhibition of original artwork from projects like
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Marshall Law, Nemesis
the Warlock and Judge Dredd running at The Illustration
Cupboard, 22 Bury Street, St James's, London, until August the 8th. More
20th July 2009
Bazillions of titles have been added to our
Incoming database in the last week or so. Some of the highlights are...
...a gazillion different versions of
Terminator: Salvation (namely the
HMV Exclusive DVD and
Steelbook DVD editions, and the
Steelbook Blu-ray editions); a Director's Cut edition of
Charlie Brooker's zombie series
Dead Set; a 25th anniversary edition of This Is Spinal Tap,
with special Marshall Amp packaging (available on
Blu-ray); long-overdue releases for Michael Winterbottom's kinky
Butterfly Kiss and
Twilight Zone: The Movie (which appears to be exclusively
available via HMV); a three-disc special edition version of
Hot Fuzz (also available in some shape or form on
Blu-ray); three different editions of the Mighty Boosh - Live -
Future Sailors Tour (a
Limited Edition version, a
Normal version, and a
Special Edition version); Night at the Museum 2 (on
Blu-ray); Henry Selick and Pete Kozachik's wonderful stop-motion
fantasy Coraline (in 3D!) on
Blu-ray (a more modest - cheaper -
DVD edition is also being released); X-Men Origins - Wolverine
Blu-ray; and Angels and Demons on
Forthcoming back-catalogue Blu-ray releases
American Werewolf in London;
Easy Rider; Guy Ritchie's
Snatch; and Jim Henson classics
The Dark Crystal and
Newly-added highlights from Network include
the fondly-remembered detective series
Sergeant Cork; Andrew Marshall and David Renwick's savage sitcom
satire on tabloid newspapers,
Hot Metal; a Blu-ray release of
Ballon Rouge (The Red Balloon); and stand-alone releases
for ITV plays
Ready When You Are, Mr McGill and
Another Sunday and Sweet F.A. (both previously available in the
Jack Rosenthal at ITV box set).
This week's additions mean that there are
now more than eleven thousand titles in the Incoming database, so
now would seem to be a good time to offer special thanks to Graves for his
sterling contribution over the last few months. Thanks, too, to all those
who have worked on the database over the last few years, especially Ceri,
Ian and Ben.
13th July 2009
FSM has been especially industrious
recently, and has released a number of new CDs that I'd like to draw your
label has pressed an unusually small number of copies - 1500 - of Angela
Morley's impressive score for M-G-M's 1969 fantasy
Captain Nemo and the
Underwater City, so my advice is to not hang around, if you're
inclined to buy it.
The film was, as all good Doctor Who
fans know, co-written by hack scribes Pip and Jane Baker), and directed by
The Avengers veteran James Hill (who was, coincidentally, for some
time attached to the aborted 70s Tom Baker / Vincent Price Doctor Who
movie project). Indeed, the whole production has a distinctly British
feel about it because, although it starred The Wild Bunch's Robert
Ryan and The Rifleman's Chuck Connors (the exceptionally poor man's
Kirk Douglas), the movie was shot at Borehamwood, and is thus, of course,
largely populated by British cast members, including bumbling comedy
villains Kenneth Connor and Bill Fraser. Italian Thunderball
redhead Luciana Paluzzi and Britain's premiere posh totty Nanette Newman
provide the glamour.
The film had a healthy budget, but
exhibited little artistry. The score, by Oscar nominee Angela Morley (then
billed under her pre-op name, Walter 'Wally' Stott) is one aspect of the
film that really excels. It's full of rich textures, often suggestive on
being underwater, as you might expect from someone who later went on to
orchestrate for some of John Williams' most popular scores. There's more
than a touch of Russell Garcia's The Time Machine about the score,
with its bubbling woodwind, shimmering harp, and the ever-effective ondes
Martenot. The Brahms-influenced music also appears to weave The Skye
Boat Song into Martineau and Organ. It seems pretty plain to
me, but it's not mentioned by Jeff Bond and Alexander Kaplan in their
excellent twenty-page sleeve notes, so I'll just suggest it, and move on!
FSM's disc offers the complete hour-long
score, sourced from the half-inch three-track scoring masters, which
includes a piece of Morley-composed source music, All Seas Day.
1965 World War II action film
None But The Brave has earned itself
several footnotes in the history of cinema. Firstly, as the only film
directed by Frank Sinatra (who, unsurprisingly, also has a supporting role
in the movie). It was also the first American / Japanese co-production (it
was made by Sinatra's production company in association with a
sub-division of Toho Film, for distributors Warner Bros). Finally, it,
along with John Goldfarb, Please Come Home, marked the transition
from television to feature films for rising star John Williams (then still
billed as Johnny Williams - a convention that FSM rather sweetly - if not,
perhaps contractually - perpetuates).
The film tells of the conflict of two bands
of soldiers, both stranded on an un-named Pacific island. Both groups have
their own tonal representation in Williams' score, with several
oriental-flavoured cues. The score features many brooding and melancholy
cues, some reminiscent of his work on the Lost in Space TV series,
others show signs of his later mastery (a flash of The Witches of
Eastwick in Uneasy Peace / Okuda and Craddock, for example).
FSM's Silver Age Classics disc presents the
complete score, in virtually pristine stereo, from the original half-inch
three track scoring masters. Bonus tracks offered include Williams' music
for the film's trailer, and a choral version of the main theme, which was
released as a single at the time of the film's release - the only music
from the film that has been released until now. The single's B-side, a
syrupy David Raskin-penned song from the film Sylvia, is also included.
FSM have licensed 3000 copies of this disc. Several previous 3k edition
Williams FSM discs are now sold out (and, it might be noted, fetching
three figure sums when they do show up for sale), so this isn't one you'd
want to put off buying indefinitely, if you're a Williams fan, or if
you're trying to build a complete collection of FSM discs. The disc
features the clever original poster art of Jean Mascii, and comes with a
sixteen-page booklet featuring notes and track analysis by Jeff Eldridge.
not an awful lot of Arthur B. Rubenstein's music available on CD, so FSM's
release of his cheery score for John Badham's 1981 euthanasia drama
Whose Life Is It Anyway? - about an artist (Richard Dreyfuss)
recovering from a paralysing car accident - is very welcome. The film
marked the first of many collaborations between composer and director,
perhaps most notably on Blue Thunder and War Games.
Rubinstein aimed to bring a good deal of
energy to the film with his restless, busy, elegant woodwind-led Baroque
score, whilst also remaining upbeat, going against the somewhat depressing
subject of the film.
Recorded under less-than-idea
circumstances, FSM's CD has been carefully re-mixed in stereo from the
original half-inch three-track elements kept by Warner Bros. Bonus tracks
include a sharp, upbeat interpretation of the popular hit Jump in the
Line (Shake, Senora) - used more memorably in Beetlejuice -
demo tracks, and alternate versions. Sleeve notes, with new comments from
Rubenstein himself, are by Jeff Bond; the very detailed track-by-track
breakdown is by Alexander Kaplan and Jonathan Z. Kaplan.
somehow got it into my head that Richard Mulligan's 1965 biographical
Inside Daisy Clover
was a full-fledged musical - a genre I'm not
particularly interested in - rather than a drama that simply included a
couple of songs.
The film starred Natalie Wood as a teenager
who dreams of - and achieves - overnight Hollywood stardom in the 1930s.
The film, telling of Daisy's meteoric rise to fame, and equally rapid fall
from grace, boasts a stately score by Andre Previn, in what was one of his
last Hollywood assignments.
Mulligan's had a long-standing relationship
with composer Elmer Bernstein, but chose Previn for this project, perhaps
swayed by his twelve Academy Award nominations, which included two for
original songs. The composer was asked to create three songs for Inside
Daisy Clover, which he wrote in collaboration with his wife, Dory. In
the event, only two of the songs, You're Gonna Hear From Me and
The Circus is a Wacky World appeared in the film: a third, A Happy
Song, hit the cutting room floor. All three, of course, feature on the
new CD, in various versions (in the film Wood's vocals were replaced by an
un-credited Jackie Ward).
I can't possibly more succinctly paraphrase the
disc's technical notes, which offer a concise explanation as to its
contents, and how the two-disc set has been arranged, so here's the
This premiere CD of Inside Daisy Clover
has been newly remixed and re-mastered from no less than 34 rolls of
half-inch four-track tapes at Warner Bros. (Usually the fourth track is
blank but occasionally contains a vocal or instrumental solo.) The
recording, engineered by Dan Wallin, arguably represents the pinnacle of
live three-track orchestra recoding for film (prior to the introduction of
multi-track tape in the 1970s). With Alexander Courage doing the
arrangements for the songs, the recording presents a rare juxtaposition of
classical M-G-M musical orchestrations (Courage was one of M-G-M's finest
staff musicians) with the bright acoustics of the Warner Bros. scoring
stage. Disc 1, tracks 1-27 offer a chronological presentation of Previn's
score in its most complete form; disc 1, tracks 28-34 feature song
alternates. Disc 2 features the Warner Bros. Records LP sequence [tracks
1-12] plus demos, early (and alternate) recordings of the film's songs,
and source cues [tracks 13-28].
A handful of short inserts recorded by
Previn at the final recording session (on, presumably, a "35th" scoring
reel) could not be located. These missing fragments were mostly designed
to shorten cues, so if anything had to be lost, this was the best possible
Fans of the film, or of films of the era in
general, should be bowled over by the new FSM Silver Age Classics CD,
which is surely a labour of love. The sound quality is outstanding, and
the thought and care that's gone into the presentation is obvious. The
disc comes with a thirty-two page booklet, which features a fascinating
look at the making of the film, by Scott Bettencourt, and detailed track
notes by producer Lukas Kendall.
on much more familiar ground discussing another of the jewels in FSM's
catalogue: their excellent new expanded CD of Jerry Goldsmith's score for
Twilight Zone: The Movie.
If you're a Goldsmith fan, or a fan of the
movie, then the new FSM is an essential purchase. As well as including an
additional eight minutes of score from the film, the new disc offers more
than twenty-five minutes of additional music, including two source songs
from the Time Out section of the film, and alternate versions of
several cues, reflecting changes in the running order of the film's
Previously only available on CD as an
European import, with cues joined together to form suites from each of the
film's segments, the new CD offers radically improved sequencing, much
better sound (it's been remixed by the original recording engineer, Bruce
Botnick, from the original 24-track elements). The new disc has also been
arranged so that you can program the original album presentation, if you
wish to do so. The extensive liner notes are by Mike Matessino and Jeff
Bond. Botnick and co-Director (and de facto musical producer) Joe Dante
also contribute their memories, both paying tribute to the maestro.
It's a wonderful disc, and unquestionably
worth upgrading to, if you have the old Warner Bros. version.
latest release from FSM is Quincy Jones'
Split, which was written for Gordon Flemyng's groundbreaking 1968
crime drama about dishonour among thieves (based on one of the Parker
novels by author Donald E. Westlake). The film made movie history, as the
first ever to receive an R-rating from the MPAA.
The Split finds Quincy Jones at the
top of his game (during production he received two Oscar nominations,
including one for heist drama In Cold Blood, and he'd just
completed work on In The Heat of The Night). Considerable effort
was apparently made at the time to capitalise on Jones' growing fame and
reputation, but plans for an LP release were ultimately shelved.
The new CD presents Jones' pulsating jazzy
score ("angular, funky and irresistible", according to the blurb), in its
entirety, mastered from the original half-inch three track stereo masters.
It includes three original songs: The Split, It's Just a Game,
Love and A Good Woman's Love. This is another disc with a
smaller-than-usual print run of 1500, so don't be too surprised if it
sells out quite quickly.
9th July 2009
It's becoming Torchwood Central around here
this week! Here's the press release for two signing sessions taking place
John Barrowman, Eve Myles and Gareth
David-Lloyd celebrate the DVD and Blu-ray release of the action-packed
Torchwood Children of Earth with two signing sessions on Friday 17th
* The first at HMV's flagship store on
Oxford Street in London's West End between 12.30 - 2pm*
* The second at HMV Cardiff, 53-57 Queens
Street, Cardiff between 5 -6pm
Our heroes will make a typically Torchwood
arrival to their native city. Keep a watchful eye on the skies as the
Torchwood team will jet in to Cardiff by helicopter landing on top of the
Torchwood hub itself in the Oval Basin.
In the spectacular third series the team
face their greatest threat yet, - one which throws the future of Torchwood
and the entire human race spiralling into danger.
An ordinary day becomes a world of terror,
as every single child in the world stops. A message is sent to all the
governments of Earth: "We are coming". But as a trap closes around Captain
Jack, sins of the past are returning, as long-forgotten events from 1965
threaten to reveal an awful truth.
Torchwood are forced underground, as the
government takes swift and brutal action. With members of the team being
hunted down, Britain risks becoming a rogue state, with the mysterious and
powerful 456 drawing ever closer. Captain Jack, Gwen and Ianto are
helpless, as events escalate until mankind faces the end of civilisation
Packed with extras, Torchwood Children
of Earth is released on DVD and Blu-ray on 13th July.
*Fans can pick up free wristbands at HMV
which allow entry to the signing. 250 wristbands will be available only
from HMV London from 9.00am on Friday 17th July onwards. One wristband per
customer maximum, in person only, while stocks last, subject to
availability, at participating store only.
7th July 2009
Hundreds of new titles have been added to
our forthcoming releases database in the last week or so, thanks to
stalwart contributor Graves.
We're starting to see titles that are aimed
at the Christmas market, including lots of "Complete" series box sets.
Notable new additions include
Robot Chicken - Series 1-3;
Moonlighting - Season 5 and
Moonlighting - The Complete Series;
Wild at Heart - Series 1-3;
- The Complete Collection;
Ashes to Ashes - Series 1 & 2; a
Monty Python - 40th Anniversay box set;
Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (bypassing individual
series releases, it seems); Roseanne
seasons 5 & 6, 7
& 8 and
9; a sixth collection of Lynda La Plante's crime drama series
Trial and Retribution; Crank 2: High Voltage on
Blu-ray; a 25th anniversary edition of
The Jewel in the Crown;
Lewis - Series 1-3;
Kavanagh QC - The Complete Collection;
The Royle Family Album - The Complete Collection; the animated
Spider-Man series from the 1960s; the early 80s Granada drama
series A Kind of Loving, from Network; ; the second series of
Flight of the Conchords; the Rolling Stones'
The Wilde Alliance; the Dan Brown blockbuster Angels and Demons,
Banana Splits Adventure Hour - Complete Season 1.
Newly-added Blu-ray catalogue titles
The Wizard of Oz, Lawrence Kasden's excellent 80s western
Silverado, Terry Gilliam's
Monkeys, and Clive Barker's influential horror classic
Finally, both Amazon and Play have a new
date for the Blu-ray release of
Prisoner: September the 21st. Play have also added the number of
discs it will be on (five). Despite this, the title still hasn't been
officially announced, so, until then, take this with a pinch of salt.
month's Zeta Minor News
can be viewed here.
Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed