31st December 2002

I've updated The Shield - The Complete First Season review with more details of the commentary tracks and other bonus materials. 

30th December 2002

I've spent all day watching stuff from Fox's excellent Region 1 The Shield - The Complete First Season box set, and have updated the review of the Emmy promo' DVD to include two other promotional The Shield discs, and a capsule overview of the First Season box set. I've also added some screen-grabs showing the differences between the two different versions of the Pilot episode. Click here to go to the new page.  

28th December 2002

Wow! Here's a blast from the past. I barely remember Arthur and the Square Knights of the Round Table. There's precious little information on the series on the web: enough to stir some vague recollections, but not enough to prompt anything substantial. I do remember it was a fun little series. Well, we'll have a chance to get reacquainted again soon, as Revelation release four episodes (running 220 minutes???) on DVD on February 24th, at the very reasonable price of £9.99 (it's also being released on the 'other format' for £7.99).

On the same day they're also releasing two complete stories from the 1983 BBC adaptation of Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons Forever! novels. The books were always twee for me, but my interest in the TV series was sparked because it featured a fine cast, including John Woodvine, Colin Baker, Julian Fellowes and Patrick Troughton. The disc will feature a Ransome biography, and has a RRP of £15.99.

You can see the sleeves for these two titles by clicking here.

The second season box set of The Tomorrow People goes on general release on February 24th, too, along with the third individual disc, The Doomsday Men

Revelation is also releasing a six-disc box set of the anime series Star Blazers (Series One - The Quest For Iscandar), which will include all twenty-six episodes, deleted scenes, trailers, character biographies, hardware blueprints and an exclusive viewer's guide booklet. 

I don't have much interest in the genre, but I do remember how impressive the series looked when it was featured in the first couple of issues of Starburst magazine (when it was a released theatrically, as Space Cruiser Yamato). RRP for the set is £59.99.


25th December 2002

Merry Christmas! 

I've had a good look at two of Carlton's new Carry On... discs, Carry on Doctor and Carry on Again Doctor. There's some good news, and there's some bad news. Click on either title to read the combined review.  

23rd December 2002

Some more fabulous news for Carry On fans - I've received a copy of the new Carry on Again Doctor disc, and can now reveal something that Carlton's press releases forgot to mention: the disc contains a complete episode of the 1975 ATV series Carry On Laughing (in this case, One In The Eye For Harold)! The disc also contains a commentary track (by Jim Dale), a theatrical  trailer, an  animated stills gallery and a trivia quiz. 

Check back in a day or two to read a complete review! Until then, feast your eyes on this screen grab of the main menu screen!

17th December 2002

A small treat for us Carry On fans today, as we reveal the rather snazzy sleeve designs for Carlton's new disc releases, (I'm sure many fans will be glad that they've chosen to use the original poster images!) The first batch (Carry On Don’t Lose Your Head, Carry On Doctor, Carry On Follow That Camel, Carry On Abroad and Carry On Again Doctor) is being released on February 17th. We'll be reviewing a couple of the new discs very soon! 

16th December 2002

The BFI are releasing two landmark BBC documentaries on January 27th, as part of their Archive Television imprint: Peter Watkins' Culloden (recreating the last battle to be fought on British soil) and the harrowing The War Game (about the after effects of a nuclear attack). 

Culloden, originally screened in December 1964, dramatised the 1746 battle very effectively on a shoestring budget, with an astonishingly small number of extras, and minimal equipment.

The War Game was made in 1965, but was suppressed by the then Director General of the BBC, Sir Hugh Greene, under pressure from the government. It did, however, find an audience thanks to a limited theatrical release in Europe and in the US, and was rewarded by an Academy Award (Best Documentary Feature, 1967), a BAFTA Award (Best Short Film, 1967) and the Special Prize at the 1966 Venice Film Festival. It was eventually aired by the BBC in 1985. Even now, almost forty years later, the film has lost none of its power. 

Both discs will be supported by commentary tracks (although not by Watkins, sadly) and short films made by the director. Culloden will also feature some colour behind-the-scenes material. You can see the sleeves for these discs by clicking here

15th December 2002

40 Days and 40 Nights, a film about a young man who decides to give up sex to give himself a break from a string of unsatisfactory relationships, is a notch above the usual teen-oriented sex comedy, and crosses quite comfortably into the romantic comedy genre. Read our review of Universal's Region 2 disc.

9th December 2002

Heavens to Betsy!  Has it really been more than a week since the last update? Well, yes, frankly. The video industry virtually shuts down during December, (although you wouldn't know it if you've had to struggle through the milling throngs of miserable-faced shoppers in the last couple of weeks!)  Any title that's worth stocking needs to be on retailers shelves at least three weeks before Christmas if it's to achieve its full potential. Minor releases almost invariably avoid the Christmas rush, since they risk being completely lost as retailers clear space for their most popular titles.

I don't know how I missed out on the news that there are two new Bill Hicks CDs on sale: Flying Saucer Tour and Love, Laughter and Truth.  

Flying Saucer Tour - Volume 1Love, Laughter and TruthBill was the most incendiary stand-up comedian of our generation. I don't know how many times I've listened to the original four Rykodisc discs (Dangerous, Relentless and the two discs that were released after his death, Rant in E Minor and Reckless). Suffice to say, if it's possible to wear out the grooves on a CD, there's a good chance it won't be long before I have to buy another set. For the uninitiated, there's a pretty good compilation disc available: Philosophy - The Best of Bill Hicks. Braver souls should leap straight into the confrontational Rant in E Minor.

From the sleeve notes, it seems that these two discs herald a new series of discs that will comprehensively chronicle Bill's distressingly brief career. Both discs contain new material, but also routines that have already been aired on the first four discs (but from different performances). It's unlikely that Bill's many fans will mind: the minor variations and tangential deviations from the familiar are fascinating, and often as funny as anything else on the discs. There's more information, audio samples (in the horrible Real Media format) and track lists on Rykodisc's Bill Hicks page.

If you can't find them in your local Our Price / V-Shop / Whatever-The-Heck-They're-Called-This- Week store, Amazon have both listed, at a very reasonable £11.99 each.  Tell 'em I sent you!   *

1st December 2002

Congratulations to Trevor Ewles, who's won our Ali G Indahouse competition. Five runners up will receive posters.

Pathé have announced the UK Region 2 retail release of Dog Soldiers, the very entertaining flick that pits a bunch of soldiers on a training exercise against a pack of werewolves. As expected, the disc is substantially improved over the Region 1 version released a few weeks ago. The film will be presented in 2.35:1 ratio, enhanced for 16:9 presentation, with 5.1 audio. Bonus features include a "hilarious" commentary track (by stars Sean Pertwee, Liam Cunningham and Kevin McKidd, writer/director Neil Marshall, co-producer Keith Bell and cinematographer Sean McCurdy), six deleted scenes, a Making of... featurette, a gag reel, photo gallery, B-roll footage, storyboards and theatrical trailers. The disc is released on February 17th (if you can't wait, a bare-bones version is currently available to rent).



October and November 2002





* I'm kidding!












Unless explicitly stated, DVD screen captures used in the reviews are for illustrative purposes only, and are not intended to be accurate representations of the DVD image.   While screen captures are generally in their correct aspect ratio, there will often have been changes made to the resolution, contrast, hue and sharpness, to optimise them for web display.

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