Latest Reviews:

ARCHIVE NEWS - 15th - 21st DECEMBER 2003

20th December 2003

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will be releasing a special Family Guy DVD Collection box set on February the 23rd. 

The set will contain all three series, together with two additional discs of bonus materials, which would contain fourteen episodes with audio commentary, twenty-eight deleted scenes, the Pilot Pitch featurette, Series Overview, an Uncensored featurette and a behind-the-scenes featurette. 

The commentary tracks are for the following episodes: 

Season 1 - Death Has A Shadow, The Son Also Draws, Peter Peter Caviar Eater and Holy Crap

Season 2 - Fifteen Minutes of Shame, Let's Go To The Hop, He's Too Sexy For His Fat, E Peterus Unum, and When You Wish Upon A Weinstein

Season 3 - Death Lives, Mr Saturday Night, Ready, Willing and Disabled, Mr Griffin Goes To Washington, and Brian Wallows and Peter Swallows.

Much - if not all - of this material has been available in the two Family Guy DVD box sets released in the US. It seems as if, rather than re-authoring the Family Guy DVD Collection set from scratch, Fox will simply be re-issuing the existing UK discs, and adding the bonus materials on two new DVDs. This approach would make it easier for Fox to make the two bonus discs available separately to the eager fans who have already bought the existing sets, but it seems unlikely that Fox plans to do this. RRP for the new set is £49.99.  

Tartan has sent over the sleeve artwork for the three titles announced yesterday (see below). Here they are...

19th December 2003

Tartan have announced three new discs for January the 26th: the highly-acclaimed animated feature Belleville Rendez-vous (a.k.a. Les Triplettes de Belleville), Italian drama Respiro and Asia Extreme title A Snake of June

DVD extras on the Belleville Rendez-vous disc include a Making of.. documentary, an interview with the director; an animation lesson; three scenes with commentary; Belleville Theme by M and a trailer. There are two chances to see the film in the next couple of weeks, incidentally: on BBC 2 on Christmas Day at 7pm, and on the 28th, on BBC 4, at 11.40pm.

The Respiro and A Snake of June discs will include a trailer. 

The three discs will all feature a choice of Dolby Digital 2.0, 5.1 and DTS 5.1 tracks, and have an RRP of £19.99. 

The Jeepers Creepers 2 DVD review is back! You can find it by clicking on the sleeve image, left, or here. The disc is due on January the 19th.

There are some menu screens for the 2-disc League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Special Edition DVD available, which can be seen by clicking here. Details of the disc were released last week - you can find them here.

I've updated the Hammer DVD Guide with updated comments on the AWOL Anchor Bay double-bill DVDs, more details about DD Video's forthcoming titles, and adding Warner Home Video's upcoming Region 2 version of Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires, and the US release of One Million Years B.C.

Fox has supplied details of the The Best of Buffy The Vampire Slayer DVD, which will be released on March the 1st. Apparently 1.2 million people voted for their favourite episodes in Fox's online poll between September and October, and the result is a disc that contains Hush, The Gift, Becoming Part I and Graduation Day Part II

Far be it for me to question the wisdom of including two episodes that each form half a different two-part stories on the disc, especially as the disc is presumably being targeted at casual fans of the show, but that's how the voting went. It is, nevertheless, an interesting selection, but one no doubt weighted by the fact that fans without satellite TV would not have seen many episodes of the seventh series, which at that time had yet to be aired by the BBC. Perhaps if Fox had included one of the seventh series episodes, it might have given fans more of an incentive to buy it?! The disc will include "some extra special value-added material, including a preview featurette from the forthcoming Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Season 7 DVD collection". RRP for the disc is likely to be £12.99.

The Best of Buffy... disc will be joined on March the 1st by four discs collectively titled The Slayer Collection, showcasing the best episodes for Spike, Angel, Faith and Willow. Why The Slayer Collection? Because Spike, Angel, Willow and Faith are Slayers! Except for Spike, of course. And Angel. And, err, Willow. D'oh!

Each disc will contain four episodes:

Spike - School Hard, Lie To Me, Lover's Walk and Fool For Love.

Faith - Bad Girls, Consequences, Graduation - Part 1 and Who Are You?

Angel - Angel, Innocence, I Only Have Eyes For You and Amends

Willow - Phases, Dopplegangland, Wild at Heart and New Moon Rising

Each disc will also feature a fifteen-minute profile of the character in question, and a Buffy / Angel "trailer" (advert). We featured the cover art for the Slayer Collection last week: you can find them here. RRP for the four discs is £12.99 each.

Personally, I won't be happy until I get The Principal Robin Wood Collection (a.k.a. Season 7!!)

18th December 2003

Universal Pictures Video will release a new version of John Landis's seminal campus comedy National Lampoon's Animal House on January the 26th.

Bonus materials on the disc include Where Are They Now - A Delta House Update (10m), Did You Know That? (Trivia Pop Ups), The Yearbook - An Animal House Reunion (48m), and the theatrical trailer. The disc will also feature newly-upgraded audio tracks. RRP for the new disc is £15.99.

17th December 2003

The first two series of A Touch of Frost are being released by Universal Playback on January the 19th. There are two box sets: Series 1 is spread across three DVDs, Series 2 is on four.

Series 1 comprises Care & Protection, Not with Kindness and Conclusions; Series 2 includes A Minority of One, Widows and Orphans, Nothing To Hide and Stranger In The House

RRP for Series 1 is £22.99, Series 2 is £24.99. Further sets are promised, containing series three to five. 

Further to the announcement reported here on December the 14th, here are the sleeve images for three of Warner Home Video's Awards Winners range, due on February the 16th...

16th December 2003

Warner Home Video has announced their intentions to delve deep into their formidable archive in 2004. 

It's worth repeating their statement in full, I think...

Warner Home Video, owners of arguably the greatest film vaults in the world announce their intentions for the year ahead to excite DVD enthusiasts with special editions of sweeping classics and cult favourites in 2004. The following titles are a mere teaser of the offering for the forthcoming year from the pioneers of the DVD format. Many releases will be digitally remastered where possible and stunningly repackaged and loaded with bonus materials. Full details on each title will be released accordingly.

In January the legend of Robin Hood is explored with two contrasting special editions in Errol Flynn's classic The Adventures of Robin Hood and Kevin Costner's Robin Hood Prince of Thieves - Extended Version. Classic movie lovers can expect an exhaustive edition of Casablanca in time for Valentine's along with two Humphrey Bogart box sets setting the challenge for Bogart appreciation and discussion. 

Academy Award winners from the 1930's and 1940's making their DVD debut in February are Mutiny on the Bounty, Mrs Miniver, Grand Hotel, Great Zeigfeld, Gaslight and Goodbye Mr Chips. With so many multi award winning epics in their library, Warner Home Video will be offering a 2 for £20 offer across 32 DVD titles through the January/February awards season leading up to the Academy Awards. Titles will include Batman, Ben-Hur, JFK, L.A. Confidential, The Perfect Storm and many more. Choose from BAFTA, Golden Globe and Academy Award Winners to build an enviable collection.

The 40th Anniversary of the smash hit musical My Fair Lady starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison will be celebrated with a special edition DVD release and coincides with an Audrey Hepburn season at the NFT from March. To mark the 60th anniversary of D-Day, Warner Home Video presents a collection of classics tackling the subject of War at the end of May to mark the heroics of the nation's soldiers.

June sees the release of six Westerns, from the classic The Searchers to the hilarious Blazing Saddles Special Editions. Three Godfathers, Mogambo and Shalako join the gritty Wyatt Earp providing enough inspiration for yehaws! all around.

The critically acclaimed science fiction classic THX-1138 made by film student George Lucas is due in June.

Three seasons of World Cinema greats from Akira Kurosawa, Luis Buñuel, Jean-Luc Godard, Jean Renoir, John Cocteau, Jean-Pierre Melville and more finally arise from the vaults of Studio Canal beginning in March and with further sets in June and September.

In July Michael Mann's critically acclaimed cult classic Heat starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino gets even hotter on a two-disc special edition. The most eagerly anticipated release of the year however will surely be the two-disc special edition DVD of Goodfellas with extensive input from Martin Scorsese alongside his films After Hours, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore and Who's That Knocking at my Door? currently planned for September.

A season of monster mashing in June marks the arrival of Van Helsing on the silver screen with The Hunger, Fearless Vampire Killers and more from Hammer. Comedy fans are in for a treat with Police Academy's 20th Anniversary Special Edition along with The Complete DVD Box Set of all 7 films!

August offers two discs to get your hips swinging if you visit Elvis at Jailhouse Rock and in Viva Las Vegas. Beat your chest and get ready to swing from the curtains with a Tarzan extravaganza as Warner releases the classic Tarzan the Ape Man and a Johnny Weismuller box set plus Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan starring Christopher Lambert as the vine ape out of water in Edwardian England.

With Tarantino's Bruce Lee influenced Kill Bill wowing audiences Kung Fu gets even more lethal with a two-disc special edition of Lee's Enter the Dragon plus a debut for Cleopatra Jones DVD Double and Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires completing a bumper summer in August.

Warner hit a real purple patch in August with a trilogy of Prince musicals including a two disc special edition of the mega-hit Purple Rain, based on his best-selling album plus it's sequels Under the Cherry Moon and Graffiti Bridge.

1980's cult favourite vampire chiller The Lost Boys will receive the special edition treatment in September.

15th December 2003

There are a few changes to note today. 

I'd like to welcome Ceri Laing to team Zeta Minor! Ceri will be writing and maintaining two new pages: a list of forthcoming UK DVD releases ("Incoming"), and a list of special offers currently being promoted by most of the UK's major online DVD retailers ("Offers"). 

To accommodate these changes, I've restructured part of the site, so that all the DVD-related pages are accessible from one place: here. You can also access the DVD main page using the "DVD" button, left. This page will remain your first port of call for the latest DVD news. We hope you'll find both of the new pages useful. If you have any feedback, we'd appreciate hearing it: drop us an email using one of the links dotted around the place! 

Two new CDs might interest visitors to this site. The first is the second disc in Silva Screen's "historic" series of Gerry Anderson CDs, this one containing Barry Gray's music from the 1967 series Captain Scarlet. The disc contains 79 minutes of music, taken from more than a dozen episodes (as was usual at the time, not all the episodes had new music composed for them: in the case of Captain Scarlet, Gray wrote music for eighteen of the series' thirty-two episodes). Most of the disc is mono, but there are one or two stereo tracks, including a version of the Captain Scarlet Theme. Gray's scores, performed by a small ensemble of between four and sixteen musicians, were primarily designed for percussion and brass, giving the series a characteristic feel distinct from the more-string-heavy Thunderbirds.

New York-based record label TVT has released numerous discs of American TV themes, including the virtually definitive seven-disc Television's Greatest Hits collection. their latest release is NBC - A Soundtrack of Must See TV. It contains fifty tracks created or programmes broadcast by the network, including music by Mike Post, Henry Mancini, Miklos Rozsa and Howard Shore. Highlights include the themes for Friends, Seinfeld, Will and Grace, I Dream of Jeannie, Hill Street Blues, Ironside, Dragnet, Law and Order, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Banana Splits (The Tra La La Song) and The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. The disc is being made available as an import here, and can be bought from Amazon, amongst other places.

After some unseemly begging, Carlton has, somewhat reluctantly, sent over more information on their Best of British New Wave DVD collection, which is being released on January the 26th. The collection includes five titles: All Night Long (1961), Hell Drivers (1957), The League of Gentlemen (1960), Séance on a Wet Afternoon (1964) and Victim (1961).

Further details are still sketchy, but it seems that all the discs will be mono, except for Victim, which is stereo. All the films except All Night Long will be 16:9 anamorphic transfers, probably in 1.78:1 ratio.  All Night Long is letterboxed. All the discs will feature English HoH subtitles, as is Carlton's custom. The League of Gentlemen disc will also contain the film's trailer, and Victim, which is listed as a Special Edition, has "extra footage". Scratching around various retailers listings indicates that the Hell Drivers disc will include a trailer, a location report, and an interview with Stanley Baker; All Night Long will have a trailer and stills gallery; Séance on a Wet Afternoon will have featurettes and an interview with director Bryan Forbes; and Victim will have an interview with Dirk Bogarde and a stills gallery. RRP for these titles is £9.99 each. As soon as Carlton announce the titles officially, I'll pass on the full details.

Finally, for those of you with scratched Amicus Collection discs, here's Anchor Bay's official statement about how you can obtain replacements:

On behalf of ABUK we would like to express our bitter disappointment for this packaging fault, which was out of our hands. In the event that you have any damaged discs in your box please email with your name, address and in turn we will then ask you to send the faulty discs back to ABUK. We will exchange them free of charge and reimburse you for any postage. "PLEASE DO NOT THROW AWAY OR DESTROY THE BOX"

We would like to apologise for any inconvenience

The PO box address is as follows:

Anchor Bay Entertainment UK Ltd
PO BOX 4425

Please send your faulty discs (via normal post - recorded and registered items cannot be signed for) with your name and address to the above address and ABUK will exchange them and refund you for your postage and packing.

Previous News entries can viewed be by following this link.



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.

Site content copyright © J.A.Knott - 2002-2004