31st July

Pathe Distribution will release the Chow Yun-Fat action flick Bulletproof Monk on September the 15th. The disc will feature a commentary track (by the film's director, Paul Hunter and its producer), five featurettes under the umbrella title The Tao of Monk (Fist of Fury (7m), Enter The Monk (20m), Zen Palette (10m), Smoke and Mirrors (8m) and The Art of Score (10m)), The Monk Unrobed featurette (7m), six deleted scenes (9m) and an alternate ending (5m), a behind-the-scenes photo gallery and the theatrical trailer. The film will be presented uncut, in 2.35:1 ratio, with anamorphic enhancement, and will have Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. RRP is a modest £17.99. 

Carlton Visual Entertainment have confirmed that they are releasing all thirty-nine episodes of the classic 1962 Supermarionation Gerry Anderson series Fireball XL5 on the 20th of October. The five-disc box set will have an RRP of £39.99. Sadly it seems that the set will not include the two commentary tracks which are on the American release, from A&E.

30th July

Gore Verbinski's adaptation of The Ring is being released on September the 1st, following a month-long rental-only holdback. The film, about a reporter (Mulholland Drive's Naomi Watts) who's investing her niece's death, which seems to be linked to an urban legend about a cursed videotape, was a sizeable hit on both sides of the Atlantic. The film finally makes it to DVD in the UK almost six months after it was released in the US. 

You can read a review of the UK DVD, which has an RRP of £19.99, by clicking here. You can also take a look at screen grabs of the impressive animated menus by clicking here.

James Cameron's Titanic headlines a new batch of £5.99 titles being released by Twentieth Century Fox and Pathé Distribution on August the 25th. 

Eight titles in the new batch will make their UK DVD debut: Eight Days a Week (is that the sound of a barrel being scraped I can hear?), Exquisite Tenderness, Firestorm, Finding Graceland, Derek Jarman's Jubilee, Judicial Consent, Last of the Dogmen and Less Than Zero

The other titles are Boiling Point, the Wachowski Brothers' terrific Bound, Chain Reaction, Commando (cut by the BBFC), Conan the Barbarian (cut by the BBFC), Marked for Death (cut by the BBFC), Unlawful Entry, the 1993 remake of The Vanishing and Volcano.

Unfortunately, this re-release of Titanic will - once again - use the existing transfer, which is decent enough, but not anamorphic. Are we going to have to wait until the film's tenth anniversary, in 2007, before we get an anamorphic Special Edition version of this movie!?

The seventh season of The X-Files will be released by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment on September the 22nd, with an RRP of £79.99.

The six-disc set contains all twenty-two episodes in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, (including episodes written by stars Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny, and the crossover episode with creator Chris Carter's series Millennium). The disc has a plethora of bonus materials, including a half-hour Truth About Season Seven documentary and ten deleted scenes with optional commentary (from The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati, Orison, Signs and Wonders, Closure, Theef and En Ami), which can also be branched back into the episodes. Three episodes will carry commentary tracks: First Person Shooter (by director Chris Carter), all things (by writer/director/star Gillian Anderson).and Je Souhaite (by writer/director Vince Gilligan). There will also be thirteen special effects sequences with narration by Paul Rabwin, and profiles on two recurring characters: A.D. Skinner and Samantha Mulder, whose arc reaches its end, in Closure.

If you're considering buying Anchor Bay's new box set of the Thames Television series Danger UXB, and are curious about the controversial new 1.78:1 anamorphic transfers, you might like to take a look at these screengrabs, for comparison. Many thanks to Ed for the grabs from the Digital Entertainment version. 

It looks like the UK version of Jonathan Liebesman's shocker Darkness Falls (due on October the 13th) will feature a lot more bonus material than the US disc, which has been available for some time. (It's not unusual for Columbia to issue a practically bare-bones disc in the US, followed by a pretty packed UK release, followed by an even better US re-release, and so on, and so on - The Sixth Day, for example). 

The current US disc only has the Tooth Fairy short on it, but the UK disc will feature "writers and filmmaker's commentaries", seven deleted scenes (9m), The Legend of Matilda Dixon featurette (11m), a Making of... featurette (17m), storyboard comparisons (6m) and trailer. Cool....but do we get the Tooth Fairy short, or not? It doesn't look like it. Also, with all those features, and four Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks, it looks like the film is going to be fighting for room (it's only 82m long, so it shouldn't suffer too much!!) Still, you could always wait for the Superbit version...etc, etc...

28th July

A relatively new California-based record label, La-La Land Records, has released two excellent CDs, featuring music from two of the best horror films of the 80s: George Romero’s Creepshow and Stuart Gordon’s From Beyond.

La-La Land Records' CD of John Harrison's electronic synthesiser score for Creepshow (1982) marks its first CD release in the US and Europe (it was previously only available on LP, or as a highly-prized CD import from the Japanese branch of Varèse Sarabande). The new CD replicates the original LP’s track listing, but adds newly-recorded suites from three episodes of the Tales From The Darkside TV series (The Satanic Piano, Everybody Needs A Little Love and Sorry, Right Number, two of which Harrison also wrote and directed: the third he directed from a screenplay by Stephen King). The 65-minute disc also contains the overture from an updated version of Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman, which Romero has dreams of producing, titled Mansions of the Moon, and two songs from another unrealised Romero project, a send up of 50s monster movies, Snoobie Doobie Moon (formerly known as Attack of the Spaghetti Monsters).

Richard Band’s music for the 1986 H.P. Lovecraft-inspired movie From Beyond is a complex blend of synths and orchestral music, creating some unusual, Bartok-flavoured arrangements mainly focussed on the 35-40-piece string section. The 46-minute disc includes a lot of previously unreleased material, including an alternate Original Main Title. Previously available only on LP, La-La Land's new disc marks its CD debut, and is limited to 3000 individually numbered copies.

Both discs have very good quality sound, and are accompanied by comprehensive film notes by’s Randall Larson, with contributions from the composers, and directors George Romero and Stuart Gordon. Visit the label’s website for more information, including downloadable samples. The discs are available from soundtrack specialist retailers, or directly from La-La Land’s website. If you order from the website, you might get your copy of From Beyond signed by the composer, which is a nice bonus. 

The second half of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation's second season will be released by Momentum Pictures on the 6th of October. The three-disc set will contain episodes 2.13 to 2.23, and featurettes titled Shooting Locations and Tools of the Trade. Other features, of unspecified type, include The CSI Tour and Making of a Hit. A trailer for the third season, and DVD-Rom material will also be included. Fans of the spin-off series CSI: Miami, starring David Caruso and - all too briefly - NYPD Blue's Kim Delaney, might like to know that this set will feature the crossover episode that launched the show: Cross-Jurisdictions.

Speaking of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, you've got less than a week to enter our competition to win a copy of the first half of the second season, which you can do by clicking on the banner above.

26th July

Warner Home Video are releasing the classic 1945 horror anthology movie Dead of Night as part of their third Ealing Classics DVD Collection on the 8th of September. The set will also contain Alberto Cavalcanti's wartime thriller Went The Day Well? (about an English village being attacked by the Nazis), the studio's 1947 adaptation of Nicholas Nickelby (which starred Cedric Hardwicke and Stanley Holloway) and the thrilling Scott of the Antarctic (1948), starring Sir John Mills, James Robertson Justice and Christopher Lee.

Each film will be presented in its original 4:3 aspect ratio, with mono audio. The box set, which will also contain poster artcards, will have an RRP of £34.99.

Universal Music unveil Pink Floyd - Live at Pompeii - The Director's Cut on October the 20th, which will contain additional new footage, and unseen archive material. The 1974 movie, a record of a 1971 concert set in the town's Roman amphitheatre, in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, also includes footage of the Floyd recording their legendary Dark Side of the Moon album at Abbey Road Studios. 

The new version of Live at Pompeii features space footage from the BBC and NASA "incorporated into the original film to create an additional 'theme' to the movie". Extra features include a twenty-minute interview with director Adrian Maben "along with an option to run the original concert film", a photo gallery, album graphics and lyrics, "odds 'n' sods" and a map and history of Pompeii.

The first season of Sean Lock's BBC sitcom 15 Storey's High will be released on DVD by Carlton Visual Entertainment on October 20th. The disc will contain all six episodes of the show, which is about the conflict between the selfish owner of a flat and his thoroughly decent lodger. No extras are mentioned in the press release. The disc has an RRP of £19.99.  

Finally, various sources are reporting that Fox will release X-Men 2 on DVD on November 24th.  

23rd July

Here's some great news for Ray Harryhausen fans: according to the usually reliable DVD Drive In website Warner Home Video will be releasing The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms and The Valley of Gwangi in the US on October 21st.

These two films complete the Harryhausen collection for fans with multi-region equipment (One Million Years B.C. is available in R2, but hasn't been released in the US yet). Warner will also be releasing The Black Scorpion, which had stop-motion effects by Harryhausen's mentor Willis O'Brien. The Black Scorpion will feature a theatrical trailer, test footage and a featurette; The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms will include a featurette called The Rhedosaurus and the Roller Coaster: Making The Beast and the trailer; The Valley of Gwangi will be presented in 1.85:1 widescreen format, with anamorphic enhancement, and will feature a trailer, a featurette and Easter Eggs.

Here's a peek at the highlights of Buena Vista Home Entertainment's release schedule for the rest of the year. Buena Vista are one of the few companies that still operate a rental window for DVD in the UK, so some of these titles are already available in the US. Contrariwise, others, like City of God, will appear in the UK before the US release. BVHE are a sly bunch, and sometimes add interesting features to their retail discs, which make them more attractive than their Region 1 counterparts (the DTS track on Signs, for example).

4th August



Behind The Scenes Featurette (28m)

Deleted scene

25th August


City of God

News of a Private War (56m of bonus material, according to the BBFC)

29th September


Alias - Season 1 

6-disc set

1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen

Dolby Digital 5.1 audio

Inside Stunts 
A Mission Around The World
Marshall Flinkman’s Gadget Gallery
The Alias Phenomenon 
Deleted Scenes
Gag Reel
Audio Commentaries
PS2 Game Trailer

31st October


The Lion King  

2-disc special edition

Dolby Digital and DTS audio

Commentary track


Making of... features

Abandoned concepts 

Deleted scenes - Bug Football, "Can You Feel The Love Tonight"

6th October


Halloween: Resurrection

3rd November



The Hours

The Recruit



Bruce Almighty

Early 2004


Kill Bill

Pirates of the Caribbean

Finding Nemo


Warner Home Video has confirmed that The Matrix Reloaded will be released on DVD in the UK on the 10th of October, four days before the US version. The UK version appears to have identical features to the American version (see news for 12th July, below). Now, here's something to bring you back to the real world with a bump - the RRP is a staggering £26.99... 


A few of Cinema Club's schlock B-movies (see the news entry for May the 31st) have been knobbled by the BBFC: The Mad Doctor of Blood Island (42" of animal cruelty removed, to bring the film into line with the Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937); Satan's Sadists (cut by 57" to eliminate "a scene of sexual violence where the victim appears to enjoy the assault") and Angels' Wild Women (12", for "sight of forcible breast exposure and groping of breast, plus verbal abuse, during rape scene").


The BBFC has recently certificated bonus material for two Steven Poliakoff BBC productions: Caught on a Train and Perfect Strangers, which will be released in September. Other recent BBFC submissions of interest include a lot of extras for 2 Fast 2 Furious, second season episodes of NYPD Blue, a 1981 Ronnie Barker Wogan interview (for Readers' Digest) and introductions to episodes of Batman - The Animated Series.


Here's Anchor Bay's schedule for the foreseeable future. Anchor Bay don't take criticism on the chin like any other professional company, so they no longer send me review discs. That's a shame because - good or bad - I think visitors to this site would be interested in reading about them. Anyway, here's their schedule:


28th July


The Crazies

1.66:1 anamorphic transfer

5.1 DTS audio

Commentary track by George A. Romero

Interview with Lynn Lowry

Trailers, TV spots, poster and stills gallery, film notes


Bring Me The Head of Mavis Davis

4:3 and 16:9 anamorphic presentations




Steel Dawn

Anamorphic transfer

Optional 5.1 audio

Making of... documentary


Stills gallery



The Evil Dead Trilogy - Box Set  (RRP £29.99)

The Evil Dead

1.85:1 anamorphic transfer

5.1 Dolby Digital and 6.1 DTS audio tracks

Audio commentary by Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi

Fanalysis - Bruce Campbell documentary

Discovering The Evil Dead featurette


Deleted Scenes

Trailer, TV spots, 137-still gallery, Easter Egg

Evil Dead II

Commentary by Raimi, Robert Tapert and Bruce Campbell

Making of... featurette


Army of Darkness - Director's Cut

1.85:1 anamorphic transfer

Additional footage (including original ending)

Commentary by Sam Raimi, Campbell and Ivan Raimi

4 "never-before-seen" deleted scenes


Evil Dead Bonus Disc

4:3, unmatted presentation of The Evil Dead

2.0 or  5.1 Dolby Digital audio tracks, DTS 6.1

Sam Raimi Incredibly Strange Film Show interview

The Living Love The Dead featurette

Dead Good Marketing (UK advertising campaign featurette)

Bruce Campbell - Geek or God? featurette

Evil Dead-inspired music video: Stravinsky Gave Me Nightmares


Danger UXB - 5-disc Box Set

New 16:9 anamorphic widescreen transfers

Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 6.1 ES audio

Danger UXB The True Story

"Previously unseen behind the scenes footage"

Interviews: Anthony Andrews, Stephen Grimes, Alfie Bass

25th August


Near Dark

2-disc set

Anamorphic widescreen

Living in Darkness - 45m documentary

Commentary by Kathryn Bigelow

Deleted scene (with commentary)

Trailers, biographies, poster, storyboards and stills gallery


The Roman Polanski Collection - DVD Box Set

Knife in the Water (also available separately)

Repulsion (also available separately)

Cul-De-Sac (also available separately)

Two Men and a Wardrobe


Teeth Smile


Breaking Up The Dance

When Angels Fall


The Fat and the Lean


22nd September


The Hills Have Eyes

2-disc edition

1.85:1 anamorphic transfer

5.1 Dolby Digital audio, DTS audio

Commentary by Wes Craven and Peter Locke

New featurette, featuring cast and crew members

The American Nightmare (71m documentary)

Trailers, TV spots, stills gallery, screensavers


Hercules - Box Set

Four disc set featuring the five original TV movies:

Hercules and the Amazon Women

Hercules and the Lost Kingdom

Hercules and the Kingdom of Fire

Hercules in the Underworld

Three season one episodes:

The Festival of Dionysus


As Darkness Falls

The Men Behind The Myth documentary (75m)

5.1 Dolby Digital audio

20th October


The Osterman Weekend (2-disc special edition)

November 2003


Hercules - The Legendary Journeys - Season One


And finally, a drumroll, please.... the winners of the new 2-disc special edition of The Hitcher are Liam Brison, N. Fordham and Chris Chan. My thanks to Momentum Pictures for supplying the prizes, and congratulations to the winners. The discs should be with you by the end of the week! 


20th July

It's Monday, and those of you odd people that work the Monday to Friday shift probably need cheering up. Oh yes. Well, there's a new competition today, where you can win a CSI: Crime Scene Investigation box set, containing the first twelve episodes of the second season. To enter the competition, click on the banner above!  

Also out today is the Steven Soderbergh remake of Solaris, which is an intelligent, thought-provoking science-fiction film in its own right. You can read my review of the disc by clicking here, or on the pack-shot, left.

Winners of The Hitcher competition will be announced tomorrow. Sorry, but I simply don't have the energy this morning! 

19th July

Fox Home Entertainment will release the seventh season of The X-Files on DVD on September the 22nd (three weeks later than previously scheduled). 

The set will contain all twenty-two episodes, including episodes written and directed by stars David Duchovny (Hollywood A.D.) and Gillian Anderson (all things), and the episode which featured Frank Black (Lance Henrikson) from creator Chris Carter's Millennium.

The set will contain a thirty-minute The Truth About Season Seven documentary, ten deleted scenes (with optional commentary) which can be branched back into their respective episodes, thirteen special effects breakdowns narrated by Paul Rabwin, profiles of A.D.Skinner and Samantha Mulder, and thirty TV spots. There are also commentary tracks on First Person Shooter (by Chris Carter), all things (by Gillian Anderson), and Je Souhaite (by Vince Gilligan). The episodes will be in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio, and optional English SDH subtitles. RRP is £79.99.

18th July

Charles Chaplin and The Little tramp are trademarks and/or service marks of Bubbles Inc. S.A. and/or The Roy Export Company Establishment, used with permission (c) 2003 Warner Home Video and MK2 S.A. All rights reserved.Warner Home Video is releasing a lavish collection of classic Charlie Chaplin movies on September the 22nd. 

The collection has already been released in other territories, including the US, where there has been much praise for the restoration work, but concerns about the quality of the NTSC transfers, which were apparently sourced from the PAL masters prepared for MK2 in France. (Fans of these early classics are extremely picky about little things like frame rates!) 

Presumably the UK discs will be sourced from PAL masters, which won't eliminate the problems entirely, but will alleviate them significantly. I don't make a habit of reproducing press releases verbatim (because that's what other sites do), but in this case I'm going to make an exception, and, what's more, I'm giving it a page of its own, where you can read the full details, and see the rest of the sleeve images. 

VCI has released details of their provisional schedule for the rest of the year, and it's fair to say that there's probably something here for everyone. (This isn't the full list, just the stuff that interests me - if you want the complete list - D*v*d B*ckh*m and whatnot - you'll have to go to a proper news source!)

11th August 

Teachers - Series 1 (£24.99)

18th August

Upstairs Downstairs - Series 4 Parts 1 & 2  (£14.99 each)

Upstairs Downstairs - Series 5 Parts 1 & 2  (£14.99 each)

8th September

Queer as Folk - Collector's Box Set  (New bonus materials)  (£39.99)

22nd September

Cold Feet - Complete 1st Series  (Re-issue?)  (£24.99)

Cold Feet - Complete 2nd Series  (Re-issue?)  (£24.99)

Coupling - Series 3  (£19.99)

Michael Moore - The Awful Truth  (£19.99)

Teachers - Series 2  (£29.99)

6th October

Phoenix Nights - Series 2  (£19.99)

20th October

The Complete Cold Feet  (£69.99)

17th July

Warner Home Video is releasing a three-disc, five movie set of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movies on the 8th of September! Each film will be presented in 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Bonus features will include numerous "downloadable" DVD-Rom materials, covering the origins of the series, the creation of the movie versions, and the series' merchandise. The discs break down as follows: Disc One - The Spy With My Face and One Spy Too Many, Disc Two - The Karate Killers and The Helicopter Spies, Disc Three - How To Steal The World. There's no RRP on the press release, but various retailers are basing their prices on an RRP of £29.99.

Two John Wayne movies and Robert Altman's superb McCabe and Mrs Miller headline a collection of Westerns being released by Warner Home Video on August the 25th. Chisum will come with a commentary track by director Andrew V. McLaglen, and John Wayne and Chisum featurette; Cahill: US Marshal will feature with a commentary by director Andrew V. McLaglen and The Man Behind the Star featurette; and McCabe and Mrs Miller will have a Robert Altman commentary and a behind-the-scenes featurette. The fourth film in the collection, which sticks out like a sore thumb, is Young Guns II. Each film will be presented in 2.35:1 ratio, and will include the theatrical trailer. RRP is £12.99 each.

16th July

Fox Home Entertainment are releasing a range of themed Simpsons DVDs on September the 8th. Each disc will contain four episodes, and will have a RRP of £11.99. 

The discs are: The Simpsons Go Hollywood (When You Dish Upon A Star, Fear of Flying, Krusty Gets Kancelled and Flaming Moe's), The Simpsons -  Greatest Hits (The Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire, Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song, Bart Gets an F and Lisa's First Word), Bart Wars - The Empire Strikes Back (Mayored To The Mob, Dog of Death, The Secret War of Lisa Simpson and Marge Be Not Proud), Too Hot For TV (Treehouse of Horror IX, The Cartridge Family, Natural Born Kissers and Grandpa Vs Sexual Inadequacy) and Dark Secrets of The Simpsons (Homer To The Max, The Springfield Files, Lisa The Iconoclast and Homer Badman). 

Here's a look at the packaging for the new range...

15th July

It's not uncommon for a film to have more than one score composed for it. Even A-grade talents like Jerry Goldsmith, Bernard Herrmann and John Barry have written scores which have been unceremoniously dumped, and replaced by a score by another composer. (Recently both The Hulk and Pirates of the Caribbean have switched composer mid-way through production, for example). The absurd logic behind this practice is "if the film isn't working, it must be the music". By the time the film is in the test-screening stage, it's very difficult to change anything else. It would be extraordinarily expensive to shoot new material, so, although it can be interpreted as an act of desperation, changing a film's score is considered to be a relatively cheap option.

Sidney Lumet's obscure 1969 MGM drama The Appointment must hold some sort of record, however, since four composers wrote music for the film, creating three scores, all of which actually got to the recording stage. A new CD from Film Score Monthly features music from all three scores. 

The original score was written by Michael Legrand, who created about an hour of material around one key theme. His score was rejected before the film was completed, and he was replaced John Barry and Don Walker, who jointly composed the music for the film's theatrical release outside the US. Plans for a domestic release were shelved, however. The switch from Legrand to Barry and Walker had pushed the film beyond its projected deadline, so studio executives exercised their option to drop Lumet from the project, and then set about re-shaping the film for release as a TV movie. This required hiring another composer: Stu Phillips (best known for his contributions to the Battlestar Galactica series). Phillips was asked to bring a more rhythmic,  contemporary feel to the film, which he did, mixing two songs to his score. Some of Barry's score was re-recorded by Silva Screen for one of their compilation CDs, but Film Score Monthly's CD is the first to present music from all three versions: a nineteen-minute condensation of the Legrand score, the bulk of the Barry / Walker score (totaling about twenty-eight minutes) and about half an hour from Stu Phillips' version.

Fans of Americana will adore Jerome Moross's rousing, Copland-esque score for Michael Curtiz's lavish 1960 Cinemascope adaptation of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which has been remixed and remastered in stereo from MGM's original elements for the new Film Score Monthly CD. 

The new disc presents the complete score (running just under fifty minutes), together with several demo' cues, and  vocal versions several tracks, composed by Burton Lane and Alan J. Lerner, when the film was going to be a musical.

There's not nearly enough music by Georges Delerue on CD, especially if you discount Varèse Sarabande's three-volume London Sessions re-recordings (which included his rejected score for Something Wicked This Way Comes). 

Film Score Monthly has improved things by releasing two long-deleted 1967 Delerue LPs on CD, containing music from the Dickensian melodrama Our Mother's House (a British movie also directed by Something Wicked's Jack Clayton) and the Holocaust drama La Vingt-cinquième heure (here titled The 25th Hour). The two scores contrast nicely, demonstrating Delerue's remarkable versatility.

All three albums are presented with comprehensive sleeve notes. They're available from specialist retailers, or direct from Film Score Monthly's website, where you can listen to sample tracks (albeit in the naff Real Media format!) 

I'd like to point out that, because there are usually two discs in each batch of Film Score Monthly discs, subscribers to the series received The Appointment as a free bonus disc, an uncharacteristically generous gesture in this day and age, proving once again that Film Score Monthly is a class act.   

The winners of last week's Cult TV Legends competition are: David Buck, Katrina Denton, Steve Beck, David Piper-Balston and Kerry R. My congratulations to them, and my thanks to Carlton for providing the discs. Let's hope the rumours that Carlton are planning to release Brian Clemens' ATV series Thriller on DVD are true!

14th July

Winners of the Cult TV Legends DVDs will be announced tomorrow.

13th July

Joel Schumacher is a director I have very mixed feelings about. I've enjoyed a few of his films a great deal, but this is also the man who single-handedly destroyed Warner's Batman franchise, leaving George Clooney, who was terrific in the role, to take the blame. His latest movie, Phone Booth, is one of his better films, although it's closer in tone to Falling Down (1993) than it is to 8mm (1999). Click here to read my review of Fox's Region 2 DVD, which is released on August the 11th. 

12th July

What is.... the Matrix Reloaded?  

Well, you'll have your chance to find out on October the 14th. when Warner Home Video release the Region 1 DVD version of the eagerly-awaited - and critically panned - sequel. The specifications for the disc look promising, although it remains to be seen how extensive the various bonus features are, and the lack of commentary tracks, although not entirely surprising, is a bit disappointing. 

There'll be two versions available: a widescreen version, and a not-widescreen version. The two-disc set will have Dolby 5.1 and 2.0 audio tracks (not wildly impressed), English subtitles and the following bonus materials: Preload (behind the scenes with the cast and crew), The Freeway Chase (a breakdown of how the - errr - freeway chase was shot), Enter The Matrix (a plug for the video game), What Is The Animatrix (a plug for the Animatrix DVD), The Matrix Unfolds (looking at "the Matrix phenomenon", ahem), Get Me An Exit ("Matrix-inspired design advertising"), the MTV Movie Awards Reloaded (the cool skit from the MTV Movie Awards) and DVD-Rom links to the website (big freakin' deal!). 

Incidentally, if you missed my review of the IMAX presentation of the film - which must be by far the best way to see it - click here.

Here's an early look at the sleeve art for three forthcoming Region 2 blockbusters from Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment. 

Note that both Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines had 12A certificates for their theatrical release, which would  translate to a 12 for home video release, but both sleeves carry 15 video certificates. Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle was cut by three seconds here (to remove a head-butt), so a 15 might allow the film to be released uncut on DVD. Also, there have also been rumours that the home video version of Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle might be - to coin a phrase - "sexed up", with footage deemed too violent or sexy for our overly-sensitive American chums. 

Note, too, that Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is a Warner Home Video title in the US, so might well have different packaging and sleeve art. A twenty-four minute Making of Terminator 3 featurette was certificated by the BBFC this week, on behalf of The Daily Mirror (London Edition), so keep an eye out for that promotion... 

Warner Home Video has re-scheduled their double-bill discs of Sweeney! and Sweeney 2, and That'll Be The Day and Stardust to the 25th of August. (See the news item for the 24th of June for more details.

The A Man and a Woman disc has been shelved "until further notice".

11th July

Warner Home Video and Studio Canal are releasing a collection of British comedy movies on the 4th of August. 

There'll be a two-disc set containing the three Hammer On The Buses films (On The Buses, Mutiny On The Buses and Holiday On The Buses) and two single-disc double-bill discs, containing the two Steptoe and Son spin-offs (Steptoe and Son and Steptoe and Son Ride Again), and two Frankie Howerd movies Up Pompeii! and Up The Chastity Belt (sadly no sign of the third film, Up The Front). The two Steptoe films will be in 1.85:1 ratio; Mutiny On The Buses is 1.75:1; the other films are 1.33:1. RRP for the two-film discs is £15.99, the On The Buses set is £19.99. Here's a look at the sleeve art...break out the shades!

Revelation will release Three Sovereigns For Sarah, Philip Leacock's 1985 TV movie about the Salem witch trials, on the 22nd of September. 

The film starred Vanessa Redgrave, as a woman accused of witchcraft, and Patrick McGoohan as the Chief Magistrate. It also features Superman's Phyllis Thaxter and Planet of the Apes' Kim Hunter. The disc has an RRP of £19.99.

Gerry Anderson's Terrahawks returns with a vengeance after a six-month break, with three new discs and a box set, which contain all thirteen episodes of the series' second season.

Volume 7 includes the episodes Two For The Price of One (including footage not shown on TV), Child's Play, Jolly Roger One and Runaway. Volume 8 contains First Strike, Terrabomb, Doppelganger and Cry UFO. Volume 9 includes five episodes: Space Cyclops, Timewarp, Space Giant, Coldfinger and Operation Zero. Each disc contains scripts and text interviews.

The new discs will be released on September 22nd. The individual discs have an RRP of £15.99, the box set is £34.99. Here's a look at the sleeve art:

The Series 3 Tomorrow People box set, currently available exclusively from MVC, will be released to other retailers on September the 22nd. The set, which includes the stories Secret Weapon, World's Away, A Man For Emily and The Revenge of Jedikiah, on three DVDs, will also include a CD of a new audio adventure, The New Gods.

7th July

Here's the sleeve artwork for Volume 2 of Wonder Woman, which is due on the 18th of August. 

The BBFC has certificated three more behind the scenes featurettes for the Indiana Jones Trilogy: Making of... documentaries for Raiders of the Lost Ark (50m), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (41m) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (35m).

I've got two new competitions for you this week, courtesy of Carlton Video and Momentum Pictures. You can win copies of Carlton's new Cult TV Legends DVD, which contains episodes of The Prisoner, The Saint, Danger Man and The Persuaders, and Momentum's new, bonus-feature packed, two-disc edition of cult favourite The Hitcher. Click on the images above to go to the competition pages. You only have a week to enter the Cult TV Legends competition, so don't delay!

The Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams and The Vice competitions closed yesterday, and there was a very satisfying number of entries for both. However, a number of entries were invalidated because you're only allowed one entry per household, as per the rules! Don't make me get mediaeval on yer ass! 

Anyway, shenanigans aside, the winners of The Vice competition were Denyse Boyle, S. Daniels, Gary Hullock, J.Ramish and Sam Moore. The winners of Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams were A.Nield and Bill Meadows. My congratulations to them, and my thanks to Buena Vista Home Entertainment and Carlton Video for providing the prizes.

6th July

The seventh season of Minder is being released by Clear Vision Ltd on the 8th of September. The two-disc set contains the last six episodes starring Dennis Waterman as Terry McCann: It's A Sorry Lorry Morrie, Days of Fine and Closures, Fatal Impression, The Last Video Show, Fiddler on the Hoof and The Wrong Goodbye

Guest stars in this season include Roy Kinnear, Ken Farrington, Ronald Fraser, Del Henney, Steve McFadden, George Baker, Tony Selby. Thorley Walters, Billy Connolly, Sheila Steafel, John Abineri, Ian McShane, Rula Lenska, Ray Winston, Brian Blessed, Milton Johns, Ken Campbell, Michael Kitchen, Don Henderson, Gerald Campion, Simon Cadell, Paul Eddington and Iain Cuthbertson. Phew! The RRP is £19.99. 

I forget which episode it is that features Arthur Daly's alternate universe evil twin, but it will be one of these. Either that or whoever it is that designs Clear Vision's ugly DVD sleeves has got the photo of George Cole back-to-front... again.... 

Four more Taggart discs - volumes 38 to 41 in Clear Vision's ongoing series of oddly-numbered releases - are being issued on the 8th of September, almost exactly twenty years to the day after the series' first episode was originally shown. 

The four investigations, from the 2000 and 2001 series, are Skin Deep (DCI Jardine, DS Reid, DC Fraser, DI Ross and the team investigate the murder in a health club); Wavelength (a radio drugs counselor's wife is murdered); Football Crazy (a match referee and club director are killed at Strathclyde FC) and Falling In Love (a parachute fails during a pre-wedding party, and the team probe a dance club). The discs will be available separately, or as a box set, with an RRP of £29.99. The Taggart and Minder discs are available for pre-order at Clear Vision's web site, or by contacting their hotline, on 020 8292 4875.  

Silva Screen Records are re-releasing and re-packaging their excellent digital recording of Franz Waxman's lush, romantic score to the classic Universal movie The Bride of Frankenstein on August the 26th. The sequence of tracks has been changed a little, and suites from several other Waxman movies have been added to the one from The Invisible Ray that was on the original 1993 version. The additional tracks, taken from Silva's vast catalogue, include re-recordings of music from Prince Valiant, Taras Bulba and two Hitchcock thrillers, Suspicion and Rebecca. The new disc offers more than seventy minutes of golden age music, encoded in Dolby Surround format. 

Since I wasn't exposed to The Bride of Frankenstein as a wee nipper, I'll always associate the music Waxman wrote for the film with the classic 1930s Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon serials, where it was recycled very fittingly. Hard to believe that the BBC used to show Flash Gordon serials during the school holidays. In the olden days. Before screening anything in black and white was made illegal. 

4th July

The BBC have formerly announced their August lineup and, as usual, it's an eclectic bunch of comedy, science fiction and documentary. And, as usual there's at least one title which makes you draw breath with disappointment.
Let's get the good stuff out of the way first. 

August's Doctor Who DVD is the 1982 Peter Davison story Earthshock, which marked the return of the Cybermen to the programme, after an absence of seven years. 

The DVD will feature the usual wealth of bonus features, including a commentary track, production notes subtitle track, music-only option, a thirty-minute documentary titled Putting The Shock Into Earthshock, a clip from the arts review programme Did You See?, an easter egg, photo' gallery and something mysteriously labeled Part 5. The story has undergone considerable restoration, including new transfers for the film inserts. There'll also be seven sequences offering the option of CGI-enhanced special effects. RRP for the disc, which is released on the 4th of August, is £19.99.

The first two seasons of the sassy sitcom Two Pints of Lager (and a Packet of Crisps) are being released on a two-disc set on the 18th of August, with an RRP of £24.99. The series, about a group of young friends who regard work as something you do between visits to the pub, stars The Royale Family's Ralf Little, Will Mellor (from Casualty), Hollyoaks' Natalie Casey and ITV drama queen Beverly Callard.

Steve Coogan's six-part horror spoof comedy Dr.Terrible's House of Horrible wasn't a huge hit, but it had its moments, and a couple of the episodes, which spoofed the Hammer and Amicus movies of the 1960s and 1970s, were pretty clever. The general consensus though, was that it was material spread thinly. It also helped if you had a pretty thorough knowledge of the titles they were spoofing (films like The Vampire Lovers, Witchfinder General and Doctor Terror's House of Horrors). The DVD version will contain the whole series, and will be accompanied by a commentary track by director Matt Lipsey, and writers Graham Duff and Henry Normal. The League of Gentleman's Mark Gatiss joins them to comment on the episode he featured in (and co-wrote, if memory serves), Frenzy of Tongs. Other extras include An Appointment With Dr. Terrible, a Picture Play magazine article, Dr. Terrible's Page-a-Day Calendar, production notes and a photo' gallery. The episodes will be in 16:9 format, with stereo sound. Release date is 4th August, and the RRP is £15.99.

Archive comedy is regularly the runt of BBC Worldwide's litter. Considering they have access to a wealth of terrific material, the trickle of lacklustre releases emanating from Auntie has been embarrassing. Frankly, I'm sick of their Best of... compilations. BBC Worldwide seems to be the only DVD company on the planet that hasn't grasped that DVD is a collector's medium, and that collectors want season sets. 

Not The Nine O'Clock News - the series that made stars of Mel Smith, Griff Rhys Jones, Rowan Atkinson...and Baywatch's Pamela Anderson..?!?!True, there are three such discs out on August the 11th: the first season of Adrian Edmondson and Rik Mayall's anarchic Bottom, and the second seasons of The Fast Show and The Young Ones. Each DVD has an RRP of £15.99. However, the knee in the groin is the announcement of The Best of Not The Nine O'Clock News, ninety-five minutes highlights (presumably one of the two compilations that have regularly been aired on TV, and has previously been released on video). 

No doubt nay-sayers would claim that much of Not The Nine O'Clock News was topical, and would therefore be stale and dated, and would befuddle anyone with the mental capacity of a goldfish. Well, that's debateable, but anyone who was a fan of the series at the time will probably have a good knowledge of the then-current affairs. In any case, most of the sketches are intrinsically funny. Ironically, the Worldwide press release says that the show "still stands the test of time today". Apparently the DVD will feature "all the very best moments", so try and remember that when you favourite sketches and songs are inexplicably missing. Also, if the DVD contains "all the very best moments" what are they going to put on Volume Two, eh? 

Fans will also be avoiding The Young Ones - Series 2 if (a) they've got a multi-region DVD player and (b) they have any sense. The extras that are on the Region 1 box set aren't on the Series 1 or Series 2 discs. Once again, other regions are getting better BBC DVD releases than we are!

But wait!!  What's this?!  The BBC discs are "menu driven and feature scene selection"!  Yes, folks, they still put stuff like that on press releases. Who says Worldwide doesn't have a sense of humour?

There probably aren't too many laughs in Michael Wood's critically-acclaimed series In Search of Shakespeare, which began airing on TV this week. A DVD containing all four hour-long episodes will be released on August 25th, with an RRP of £19.99. The DVD contains "previously unseen footage of the RSC on tour, Wood's visit to the old Censor's Office, and a sequence which seeks to disprove the widespread theory that Shakespeare and his contemporary Christopher Marlow...are one and the same person. There is also an extended sequence in which Wood examines the impace that Shakespeare's father's secret Catholicism would have had on their lives in what was effectively a Protestant police state". 

Here's a look at a couple of the sleeves, including what seems to be the finished artwork for Dr. Terrible's House of Horrible.

3rd July

To mark the release of the classic BBC drama series When The Boat Comes In on DVD (the first volume is due from Acorn Media UK on July the 14th), I've added the first part of a detailed episode guide to the Cult TV section of the site. The guide will be updated as future DVD volumes are released. Click on the photo, left, to go to the When The Boat Comes In Episode Guide

Warner Home Video will release Brian De Palma's stylish  thriller Femme Fatale, which stars Antonio Banderas and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, on August the 4th. The disc will feature a 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer, and 5.1 Dolby Digital audio. 

The disc will also contain three featurettes: From Dream To Reality: Dream Within a Dream (the same duration, give or take a second or two, as the Region 1 disc's Visualising Femme Fatale featurette), Femme Fatale: Behind the Scenes (5m) and Femme Fatale: Dressed to Kill Montage (2m of stills and clips showing how Romjin-Stamos's look evolves during the course of the film), and one of the film's theatrical trailers. 

The UK disc will apparently be missing Laurent Bouzereau's twenty-four minute Femme Fatale: An Appreciation documentary, which is on the Region 1 version. The disc will be exclusively available from Virgin Megastores, and will have an RRP of £15.99. 

Here's a look at the sleeve art for Warner Home Video's forthcoming The Deer Hunter two-disc special edition (see the news entry for the 19th of June for more details). 

2nd July

Dreamworks Home Video will release Gore Verbinski's much-admired psychological thriller The Ring on September the 1st. The film, about a mysterious videotape which kills anyone unlucky enough to see it seven days later, is a remake of Hideo Nakata's Japanese film Ringu. The film features rising star Naomi Watts (left), who made a big impression on viewers and critics alike in David Lynch's Mulholland Drive

The DVD of Dreamworks' 2002 remake will feature a fifteen-minute experimental film, created by Verbinski, and animated menus. No word yet on technical specifications (the US version has a DTS track), but the RRP is £19.99. More news when I get it... 

A few extras for the Indiana Jones Trilogy set have appeared on the BBFC's website: The Music of Indiana Jones (12m), The Stunts of Indiana Jones (11m) and The Light And Magic of Indiana Jones (12m, presumably about Lucasfilm's special effects division, Industrial Light and Magic). It's beginning to sound promising, but I'm hearing rumbles that the UK box set won't be as good as sets available in other regions, and will definitely feature the censored version of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom).  

Bonus features for the second series of The Office have also appeared at the BBFC: thirteen minutes of deleted scenes, and a twenty-minute video diary. The DVD is due for release in October.

Finally, a word of caution to anyone considering picking up a copy of Pathé's new budget DVD of Peter Weir's The Cars That Ate Paris. The disc packaging states that the film is presented in 2.35:1 ratio, but in fact only the title sequence is, and the rest of the film is in 1.78:1 ratio.  My guess is that a lot of the recently-released and forthcoming £5.99 RRP titles will have shoddy transfers and technical faults, so I'll be reporting any that I hear about here. (If you have comment on any title - good or bad - I'd be happy to receive it). Watch out, too, for a host of these £5.99 titles being promoted at that price as though they'd usually be more expensive. These titles are going to crop up in a lot of 3-for-£15 deals before long, so my advice is to wait if you can! 

1st July

What's that sound? That's the sound of the clock ticking, counting down the days until the second season of 24 is released on DVD. It will hit stores on the 11th of August, the day after the season finale on UK terrestrial TV (and "well before" the US version)!

The seven-disc set will contain forty-five deleted scenes, which can be viewed separately, or branched into the relevant episodes, a two-part documentary titled 24 Exposed, running for a total of 96 minutes, and a featurette called On the Button - The Destruction of CTU.

There'll also be cast and crew commentaries (including contributions from creator Joel Surnow, star Kiefer Sutherland, his co-stars Dennis Haysbert, Sarah Wynter, Sarah Clarke, Xander Berkeley, Penny Johnson Jerald, Michelle Forbes, director Jon Cassar and writers Robert Cochran and Howard Gordon. The series will be presented in 16:9 anamorphic widescreen format (1.78:1 ratio), with 5.1 Dolby Digital sound. RRP for the set is £39.99 (again, beware of some online retailers basing their discounts on an RRP of £44.99).

Fox will apparently also be releasing a limited edition, numbered box set containing both seasons of 24 on August 11th, which will be available for one day only. RRP for this set is £79.99. 

The ubiquitous Colin (Daredevil) Farrell stars in the ingenious thriller Phone Booth, which is also being released on DVD on August the 11th. 

The disc will feature a commentary track by Joel Schumacher, and a half-hour Making of... featurette, which isn't on the Region 1 version.

The disc will be presented in anamorphic widescreen format, with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. RRP for the disc is £19.99. 

Acorn Media will be releasing five British TV DVDs on August the 11th, including two series making their UK DVD debuts. 

These are:

The first two feature-length Campion stories from the 1989 BBC series starring Peter Davison as gentlemen detective Albert Campion, and Brian Glover as his ex-convict manservant Magersfontein Lugg. The episodes included are Look To The Lady and Police at the Funeral. The two-disc set has an RRP is £24.99.

Five episodes of the popular 1974 ATV series Father Brown, starring Kenneth More as G.K.Chesterton's eponymous detective. The episodes featured are The Hammer of God, The Oracle of the Dog, The Curse of the Golden Cross, The Eye of Apollo and The Three Tools of Death. The two-disc set has an RRP is £24.99.

The company is also releasing a second volume of the classic 70's BBC drama series When The Boat Comes In, titled Empire Day on the Slag Heap. The two-disc set contains the next four episodes in the series: Empire Day on the Slag Heap, A First Time For Everything, Paddy Boyle's Discharge and Angel on Horseback

Tenko - Series 2 Part 1 contains the first half of the second season.

The fourth series of the Thames Television courtroom drama Rumpole of the Bailey, starring Leo McKern as Sir John Mortimer's irascible defence barrister Horace Rumpole, completes Acorn's August DVD lineup. The two-disc set contains all six episodes: Rumpole and the Old, Old Story, Rumpole and the Blind Tasting, Rumpole and the Official Secret, Rumpole and the Judge's Elbow, Rumpole and the Bright Seraphim and Rumpole's Last Case.

Here's a gallery of the sleeve artwork!

Finally, if you're wondering where the rest of the news went to, you need to zap over to the news archive page for June


June 2003

May 2003

April 2003

March 2003

February 2003

January 2003

December 2002

October and November 2002



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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