30th AUGUST - 5th SEPTEMBER 2004

3rd September 2004

Warner Home Video has announced the details of an Alfred Hitchcock - Signature Collection box set, which offers several important films from the director's catalogue, all making their DVD debut. However, the UK version is not as comprehensive as the US set, released next week.

Their ten-disc set features three films not included in the UK set: Foreign Correspondent, Suspicion and Mr and Mrs Smith. This is probably a good thing as far as casual Hitchcock fans are concerned, since these movies are certainly minor works. In any case, the US set can be bought for less than the UK version, so it's rather academic. The sleeve art here is the one offered by Warner's PR company. It's the US artwork, but it'll probably be the same as the UK version, once the BBFC certificates have been added.

The UK set features six classic Hitch movies: Stage Fright, I Confess, North by Northwest, The Wrong Man, Dial M for Murder and Strangers on a Train. Two of the films are presented as Special Editions: North by Northwest and Strangers on a Train. The set features the existing version of  North by Northwest (reviewed here), but, although it features many of the same features,  the new Strangers on a Train special edition boasts a new transfer and additional bonus material. RRP for the new set is £59.99. Strangers on a Train will be released separately, with an RRP of £19.99.

Here's a breakdown of the special features:

Strangers on a Train - Special Edition: two versions of the film (the preview (UK) version, and the regular US version); commentary by Peter Bogdanovich, Joseph Stefano, Andrew Wilson and others; theatrical trailer; Strangers on a Train: A Hitchcock Classic (37m); Strangers on a Train: The Victim's P.O.V. (7m); Strangers on a Train: An Appreciation by M. Knight Shyamalan (12m); The Hitchcocks on Hitch (11m); and Hitchcock's Historical Meeting (1951 archive newsreel, 1m).

Stage Fright: Hitchcock and Stage Fright (20m)

I Confess: Hitchcock's Confession - A Look at I Confess (23m); and Gala Canadian Premiere for I Confess (1m)

Dial M For Murder: Hitchcock and Dial M (23m); and 3D: A Brief History (5m)

The Wrong Man: Guilt Trip: Hitchcock and The Wrong Man (20m); and a theatrical trailer.

North by Northwest: Destination Hitchcock: The Making of North by Northwest (39m); commentary by screenwriter Ernest Lehman; TV spot and trailer and production stills gallery. This disc is featured in our Hitchcock capsule review roundup, here.

1st September 2004

Some Star Trek news...

As you may know, James Doohan (Scotty), is not in good health. Last weekend he made his last convention appearance, at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, Los Angeles, at an event held as a celebration of his life and career. The event also coincided with the launch of the original Star Trek series on DVD (in the shops now!)

Doohan has also been honoured by the presentation of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which was unveiled on Tuesday. The event was attended by Doohan and his wife, Wende, members of Doohan's family, friends and, from the cast of Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Walter Koenig and Grace Lee Whitney. Sadly, this will be Doohan's last appearance, as he is retiring from public life.

Below are a couple of photo's from the event. If you let you mouse pause over them, the captions will appear, as if by magic!

Photo's by Alberto Rodriguez, courtesy of Paramount.

Johnny Grant, Walter Koenig, Grace Lee Whitney, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols and James Doohan Johnny Grant, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols and Leron Gubler
James Doohan and his wife, Wende. Grace Lee Whitney, George Takei and Nichelle Nichols

Paramount is re-issuing Star Trek - Deep Space Nine and Star Trek - The Next Generation as complete series box sets on September the 27th and October the 18th respectively. Each set is limited to a thousand copies, and each has an RRP of £449.99 (according to, which is selling them for £337.49).

Here's a look at the boxes! (Apologies for the blurry DS9 image - that's how it arrived!)

Warner Home Video will unleash Wolfgang Petersen's sword and sandals epic Troy on October the 25th - more than two months before the film is released in the US!

The two-disc set will present the film in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio and English and English SDH subtitles.

The second disc will feature two featurettes (In The Thick of Battle, about how the battle sequences were created and Troy: An Effects Odyssey, about the special effects), and a documentary (From Ruins To Reality, about how the filmmakers recreated ancient Troy based on the city's ruins). The disc will also feature a trailer and an Easter Egg. None of these have been certificated by the BBFC yet.

The press release for the US version of Troy promised multiple Easter Eggs and a feature titled Gallery of the Gods (a CGI tour of Mount Olympus): these apparently aren't included on the UK version. RRP for the set is £22.99.

Buena Vista will release the Coen Brothers' remake of Ealing comedy The Ladykillers on DVD on October the 25th. The film, about a team of crooks planning to tunnel into a casino's money vault, stars Tom Hanks (in the Alec Guinness role), Spider-Man 2's J.K. Simmons (giving full vent to his comedic skills), and Marlon Wayans (nowhere near as annoying as usual). Extras and technical spec's are TBC (hardly worth announcing it at all, was it!)

VCI will release Comfort and Joy, Bill Forsyth's BAFTA-nominated 1984 film about the rivalry between two Glaswegian ice-cream vendors, on October the 4th. The disc will feature a commentary track by Forsyth and producer Clive Parson. RRP is £9.99.

It's looking likely that the UK release of Warner Home Video's Scorsese Collection box set (News, 2nd of August) may be delayed until next year.

The sound fault that apparently affects copies of Network's The Lives and Loves of a She Devil DVD (released this week) has been brought to their attention. All copies of the two-disc set are incorrectly labelled - disc one is labelled as disc two, and vice versa. It is likely that Network will be correcting these faults - more information as it becomes available. A thread discussing the problem has been started over at Roobarb's DVD Forum.

VCI's forthcoming Elvis Costello DVD will contain much more than just a comprehensive collection of pop videos. It will also feature archive live appearances from programmes like The Tube, So It Goes, Get It On and Whats In.

Another Scooby Doo DVD, Scooby Doo and The Loch Ness Monster, is being released by Warner Home Video on the 25th of October, and apparently it's their "scariest mystery yet" (apparently these PR people take their market research responsibilities very seriously).

By now you've probably seen the official spec's of the UK versions of The Matrix box sets. They were leaked all over the place after HMV listed the standard version of the set on its website. Now they're official. You can find the verbatim press release and images here.

A member of the Mobius Home Video Forum has explained that the new German DVD version of Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell (there known as Frankensteins Höllenmonster) is a composite version that has restored some of the material missing from the DD Video (UK Region 0) and Paramount (US Region 1) disc. There are still a few frames (about two seconds) missing from the throat-slashing scene, but some of the other missing material has been reinstated. You can read his post here. Amazon's German operation stocks the disc - you can order it here.

Sleeve images for four of Fox's classic box sets (which we reported on on August the 23rd) are now available...

30th August 2004

It's going to be a very laid-back update today, because even website owners sometimes get to enjoy a lazy Bank Holiday. Ceri's on holiday, so the Incoming and Offers pages won't be updated today.

Not everyone's slacking off this weekend, thankfully. Mark Frost has reviewed Warner Home Video's recent re-re-release of the Bruce Lee classic Enter The Dragon, which has now been upgraded to a two-disc Special Edition. Click on the sleeve image, right, or here to read his review.

Network is releasing their two-disc Till Death Us Do Part DVD set today, which contains all the episodes of the 1974 season (including the never-repeated The Royal Wedding). The second disc features a bunch of worthwhile bonus materials, including the only surviving portion of the original Comedy Playhouse pilot episode, and the whole of the series' first episode, 1966's Arguments, Arguments.

I'll be back tomorrow or Wednesday with more News!

Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed here.



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