Latest Reviews:


ARCHIVED NEWS - 9th - 15th FEBRUARY 2004

14th February 2004

Tartan will release Hong Kong action pic Full-Time Killer on March the 29th. The film stars Internal Affairs' Andy Lau as a ruthless assassin. The disc will feature a choice of Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio tracks, as well as a behind-the-scenes documentary, trailer and filmographies. RRP is £19.99.

Tartan also have Olivier Megaton's Red Siren (La Sirène rouge), as another assassin, who teams up with a twelve-year-old girl who has accused her mother of murder. The film, which stars The Big Blue's Jean-Marc Barr, XXX's Asia Argento and Brit diva Frances Barber, will be offered with a choice of Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 tracks, with trailer and filmographies. Red Siren is also being released on March the 29th, with an RRP of £15.99.

The Incoming page has been updated to reflect a number of changes from VCI: date changes for Cypher (now due March 29th). I've also added forthcoming film titles Touching The Void, Death to Smoochy and A Decade Under The Influence. The latter is a documentary about the great films of the 70s, which features interviews with luminaries like Robert Altman, Francis Ford Coppola, Paul Schrader and Martin Scorsese.

13th February 2004

My Family - The Complete First Series has been formerly announced by VCI.

It will contain all eight episodes of the first series, originally broadcast in 2000: Serpent's Tooth, Pain in the Class, Droit de Seigneur Ben, The Last Resort, Farewell to Alarms, Death Takes a Policy, Awkward Phase and Much Ado About Ben. The episodes are expected to be in 4:3 format. There are no bonus features listed. The sleeve depicted here may not be the final version. RRP is £19.99.

The show returns to BBC One with new episodes on March the 6th, incidentally.

The West Wing - The Complete Third Season is being released by Warner Home Video on March the 29th. The episodes will be presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen format. RRP is £59.99.

Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment has added a few titles to their May schedule: a Muppet Movies Box Set on May 3rd (containing The Muppet Movie, Muppets in Space, The Muppets Take Manhattan and The Great Muppet Caper); and Anatomie 2 and Ignition for May 10th. As Ceri mentioned earlier this week, the Das Boot - Mini-series is now listed for May the 17th.

The Umbrella Entertainment Thames Television comedy DVDs featured yesterday (below) are now due on March the 24th.

Ceri is on holiday next week, so I've made a few amendments to the Incoming page, and will continue to tweak it until the next complete update. It looks like Fox has moved the release date of the individual two-disc Alien series sets back to April the 12th.

12th February 2004

Heavens to Betsy! Another new review?! Is it Christmas already? Nope, it's a just a review of the Coen Brothers' latest comedy, Intolerable Cruelty. The disc, from Universal, is released on February 23rd. Click on the sleeve image, left, or here, to read the review.

Australia's Umbrella Entertainment has updated their specifications for their forthcoming Thames Television comedy series (which were featured in the News column for the 15th of January).

The Man About The House - Complete Series Two disc will feature commentary tracks by Sally Thomsett on While The Cat's Away and Colour Me Yellow, and by Thomsett and Brian Murphy on Did You Ever Meet Rommel?

George and Mildred - Complete Series Two will have commentary by Brian Murphy on The Unkindest Cut of All and No Business Like Show Business. The artwork for this disc has changed, and is featured here.

Bless This House - Series 2 - Part 1 will feature the first episode of Sid James' 1969 sitcom Two In Clover, which featured Sid James and Victor Spinetti as two insurance clerks who give up the rat race to run a farm. The second episode of the series will be included on Bless This House - Series 2 - Part 2.

These discs will also feature production notes.

Father, Dear Father - Complete Series 1 and Father, Dear Father - Complete Series 2 will feature biographies and production notes.

These discs, which are being released on March 10th, are being discussed in this thread at Roobarb's DVD Forum.

The first season of Danger Man will be released by Carlton Visual Entertainment on April the 5th. The set contains thirty-nine thirty-minute black and white episodes from 1960 and 1961 in digistack packaging.

Guest stars for the series amount to a virtual Who's Who of character actors from the period, including Hazel Court, Donald Pleasence, Warren Mitchell, Patrick Troughton and Rupert Davies. The set will also contain "stills galleries, biographies, original merchandise and booklets, programme trailers". RRP is £49.99.

11th February 2004

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has confirmed that they'll be releasing a four-disc DVD box set of the original Star Wars Trilogy on DVD on September 21st, ending years of speculation, and months of leaks and substantiated rumours. The films will been digitally restored and re-mastered by the THX division of Lucasfilm. The four-disc set will include a bonus disc of all-new behind-the-scenes material.

I'm sure I'm not the only person feeling a trifle under whelmed, especially in the wake of Fox's epic nine-disc Alien Quadrilogy set. Surely the Star Wars films deserve similar treatment? The Phantom Menace merits a two-disc set, and The Empire Strikes Back doesn't? Of course, it's all rather academic to the purists, who won't be happy until the three films are released in their original theatrical versions: no extra Jabba The Hutt, no Han shoots first, and no cuddly Wampa. Has any other artiste ever been so wilfully dismissive of the patrons who most admire their art? George Lucas can tamper with his films to his heart's consent for all I care, but I would like to have copies of the films I saw in the cinema available, for old time's sake.

UPDATE: The Digital Bits has prised more details from Lucasfilm: the discs will be in Dolby Digital 5.1, and will feature a commentary track by Lucas and cast and crew members. More bonus materials will be announced later. The discs will feature the 1997 Special Edition versions.

Yesterday was composer Jerry Goldsmith's 75th birthday, and he's still going strong! Jerry's music has been the icing on the cake of so many great movies: everything from Gremlins to The Omen, Planet of the Apes to Chinatown and Alien to Star Trek - The Motion Picture.

Among his peers he's the most admired composer currently working. John Williams (who's 72 this week, incidentally) may have more currency as a household name, thanks to his partnership with Spielberg, but Goldsmith is, and shall remain, The Guv'nor.

If you've got ninety-quid or so knocking around, you could do worse than consider buying Varèse Sarabande's mouth-watering Jerry Goldsmith at 20th Century Fox box set, which is being released in honour of his birthday (and marking a long and close association with the label). The six disc set, which is limited to 1500 copies, contains highlights from his long association with the studio. The set contains music from thirty-nine films, and includes a dozen films whose music is being presented on CD for the first time, including much sought-after scores like Damnation Alley, Von Ryan's Express and the remake of The Vanishing. The set will come with a sixty-page booklet, detailing Goldsmith's contribution to the studio. Other highlights include unreleased material from Alien, and tracks from several soundtracks released on Varèse's limited edition Soundtrack Club imprint, including Magic. The set has an RRP of $130. Postage to the UK is another $20 (and you may have to pay import duty and VAT on top of that). The set is likely to sell out very quickly, and is bound to become a hot Ebay item! You can find the track listings for the set and more details at Varèse Sarabande's website.

Staying with film music for a few moments more, there are two new releases from the Film Score Monthly label that deserve your attention. They were released a few weeks ago, but arrived during the recent spell of downtime, and I haven't had the opportunity to plug them since then. Both of Film Score Monthly's new CDs feature music with a British theme.

Ron Goodwin's music has been very popular on this side of the Atlantic, but until now the original recording of his rich orchestral music for Where Eagles Dare has not been available. (The contemporary MGM Records LP and subsequent CD versions featured a re-recording). Film Score Monthly's new disc presents the film's complete snare drum, timpani and brass underscore in stereo (taken from original half-inch, three track safety recordings), as well as the complete source music (i.e.: music not composed especially for the film) and alternate cues. The two-disc set also includes forty-five minutes of music from the 1965 film Operation Crossbow. These have been sourced from the composer's own reel-to-reel recordings. The audio quality isn't perfect, but it's entirely reasonable.

Film Score Monthly's addition to the their Golden Age Classics range is Miklós Rózsa's typically lyrical, melodic score for Fritz Lang's 1953 MGM Cinemascope swashbuckler Moonfleet. The new CD features the entire score in stereo, supplemented by alternate score cues and source tracks. The film had a troubled production, and creative control was wrested from Lang, allowing the studio to impose a new cut, complete with a cheerier coda. This explains why the disc includes no less than three alternate finale cues! the disc was mastered from the original three-track 35mm magnetic film.

As usual, both discs are limited editions (3000 copies of each), and both come with extensive, lavishly-illustrated sleeve notes. You can buy Film Score Monthly's CDs at specialist retailers, or directly from the Film Score Monthly website.

10th February 2004

We don't usually feature rental releases, but I know there are a few people itching to see Vincenzo Natali’s Cypher, the Director's first film since sleeper hit Cube, in 1997. The film, a futuristic spy thriller, starring Gosford Park's Jeremy Northam, Lucy Lui and Forever Knight's Brian Bennett, will be released by Pathé Distribution Ltd to rent on March 29th.

The film will have a 1.77:1 anamorphic transfer, and 5.1 Dolby Digital audio. There are no extras on the rental disc (there should be some on the retail version), but if you're desperate to see trailers for Gerry, In The Cut, Good Bye Lenin, Spun, Miranda and It's All About Love, you'll be very happy!

9th February 2004

Let's start with Ceri's weekly DVD news roundup, and summary of the latest offers from the online retailers. Cue Ceri...

Loads of information added to Incoming this week, but after the flurry of activity in the last update to the Offers page there are only a few new bargains.

As always we’ll begin with the additions to Incoming and there’s some particularly interesting new TV titles, so let's start with those.

BBC Worldwide have several new releases being listed. Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews’ hit and miss BBC 2 sketch show Big Train will finally makes it video from BBC Worldwide on the 17th of May. It has a listed RRP of £24.99, and at that price it should hopefully mean both series will be included. Also for May the 17th are reissues of BBC Worldwide’s Comedy Greats compilations - Frankie Howerd, Les Dawson, Spike Milligan, Tommy Cooper - they all have a £9.99 RRP. The 24th of May sees another another Only Fools And Horses release. This time the 1992 Christmas special, Mother Nature's Son, with an RRP of £15.99.

The second series of ITV’s Love Thy Neighbour is released by Pegasus, as four volumes and a complete box set on the 19th of April. The box set has an RRP of £24.99, and the individual volumes are £7.99. Alan Ayckborn’s three-part interconnected play from 1978, The Norman Conquests, is listed also for the 19th of April, with an RRP of £29.99. The three plays are subtitled Table Manners, Living Together and Round & Round The Garden. They directed by Herbert Wise and star Tom Conti, Richard Briers, Penelope Keith, David Troughton, Fiona Walker and Penelope Wilton, and detail the events of a weekend from the perspective of the different characters.

There are more escapades to be enjoyed in Sherwood Forest as Network are preparing the second series of Sapphire Film Productions’ The Adventures of Robin Hood. It is currently listed for March the 22nd with an RRP of £39.99. Also for March the 22nd is the volume two of Network’s Public Information Films releases, Charley Says, with an RRP of £9.99. Some Network’s other releases have revised dates: Peak Practice – The Complete Series 2 and Special Branch – The Complete Series 4 are both now listed for February the 23rd. The Ever Decreasing Circles - Complete Series Box Set is now listed for the 15th of March. We’ve also had word that Series 4 of Ever Decreasing Circles won’t be out in February, so this may also be put back to the 15th of March. In addition to that, some of the retailers are also now listing Public Eye as being a four disc release. We expect to have clarification of what this set actually contains this week.

Acorn are to release Midsomer Murders - Killings At Badger's Drift on the 19th of April with an RRP of £16.99.

The previously reported Jim Henson’s Storyteller, for March the 22nd, is now listed by retailers as Volume 1 and a Volume 2 is showing for May the 17th. Both are to be release by Columbia Tri-Star with an RRP of £12.99 each. Columbia Tri-Star are also to release the mini series version of Wolfgang Petersen’s Das Boot, again listed for the 17th of May, with an RRP of £24.99 .

Eight episodes of the second series of  Secret Army have been cleared by the BBFC. The rest are expected to be cleared as well as DD Video are rumoured to be releasing the series as a box set in April.

The special features for Black Books – Series 2  are now being listed on the retailers and cleared by the BBFC. It will have a commentary; two deleted scenes, both of which run to around a minute; 11 minutes of out-takes; a trailer and a stills gallery lasting a minute and a half. This release has a date of the 15th of March from Channel 4 Video.

We’ve had word on some of VCI’s releases. Double Take and Trigger Happy US were planned but have been pulled and My Family – Series 1 has been revised to March the 22nd.

There are two volumes of the classic American series The Lone Ranger listed for February the 16th. They both have an RRP of £4.99, so I wouldn’t really expect much for the quality to be up to much.

And finally for the television releases, a round-up of animation: Revelation are lining up Volume 3 of Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds, which includes episodes 16-20, for the 22nd of March with a £5.99 RRP; a Peanuts - Volume 1 is also listed for the 22nd of March, again with a £5.99 RRP, featuring the episodes It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown and Life is a Circus, Charlie Brown; and there is Ulysses – Volume 1 showing for the 24th of May with an RRP of £12.99. The only other information I have for this release is that it’s rated U, which means it is possibly the 1980s series Ulysses 31. I’ll confirm either way when I have more information.

Now the Film releases.

As reported yesterday, the three-disc Deluxe Edition of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man from Columbia Tri-Star is showing for May the 24th with an RRP of £24.99. The content is yet to be confirmed. The Superbit version is listed for the same day with an RRP of £12.99. This will have a DTS track. There is information on the special features contained on Columbia Tri-Star’s Dark Crystal and Labyrinth Collector's Editions. Dark Crystal will have deleted scenes, a Making of... featurette, storyboards, a photo gallery, the theatrical trailer and teaser trailer. Labyrinth has a Making of... featurette, a photo gallery, filmographies, storyboards and the theatrical trailer. They are both listed for April the 19th with £12.99 RRPs.

We now have information the extras on Sanctuary’s special edition releases of the David Lynch classics, Blue Velvet and Dune. Blue Velvet will have a documentary entitled Strange Desires which runs to 35 minutes, featuring archive interviews with David Lynch and new interviews with producer Dino De Laurentiis and star Dennis Hopper; an archive review from the BBC's Moving Pictures series, with J.G. Ballard, and the theatrical trailer. The extras for Dune are a documentary entitled Impressions of Dune which runs to 45 minutes and includes interviews with star Kyle MacLachlan, cinematographer Freddie Francis, editor Anthony Gibbs, producer Raffaella De Laurentiis; an on-set promotional film featuring director David Lynch; a BBC archive interview with author Frank Herbert and the theatrical trailer. Both are listed for April the 5th with £19.99 RRPs.

The Wild Geese – Special Edition now has it’s extras being listed a – a commentary featuring Roger Moore, a Making of... documentary and footage from the film’s charity premiere. The extras for the film version of Dennis Potter’s The Singing Detective, are showing as a Making of... documentary, cast and crew interviews and the trailer. Both films are listed as released by Warner Home Video during April, The Wild Geese – Special Edition on the 5th and The Singing Detective the 26th.

The BBFC has cleared some more extras for The Fog from Momentum. A documentary entitled Tales from the Mist - Inside The Fog, which runs to 28 minutes and a storyboard gallery which lasts for just over a minute. The release is currently listed for the 5th of April with a £15.99 RRP.

Tartan are releasing two Ingmar Bergman films on the 29th of March, Crisis from 1946 and 1951’s Summer Interlude. Both have an RRP of £19.99.

Two of Spencer Tracey’s 1960s films are being lined-up by MGM. Inherit The Wind and Judgment At Nuremberg are both listed for May the 3rd with RRPs of £12.99.

Bob Dylan’s 1965 tour of England was documented by the film, Don’t Look Back, and this is listed for March the 1st with an RRP of £17.99.

VCI’s release of the Jeremy Northam and Lucy Liu film, Cypher, is scheduled for March the 29th. Expect a modest array of bonus features.

Klaus Kinski’s Jack the Ripper, which was due to be released last week by Anchor Bay, was pulled and there is no new date showing at the moment.

And finally for the Film releases, there are two volumes of the 1944 Zorro:  Black Whip chapter serial listed for February the 16th. Like The Lone Ranger releases mentioned above, they have an RRP of £4.99, so don’t expect much.

The update to the Offers page isn’t quite so extensive as last week. Amazon have another box set sale running with at least 40% off, which includes the Prime Suspect Collection  for £24.99 (£25.00off), The Hornblower Collection  for £39.99 (£30.00 off), MASH – Seasons 1 & 2 for £14.99 each (£15.00 off)  and Family Guy – Season 1-3 for £14.99 each (£10.00 off) – thanks to Chris and JohnR for posting about some of the items in this sale on Roobarb’s DVD Forum. [Don't forget there's a nine-disc Family Guy Collection set due on February 23rd, which contains an extra disc of bonus materials]. Amazon also have the Angel – Season 4 box set for £54.99. Benson’s World are offering some more good pre-order or recently released prices – Cadfael – The Complete Series 1 for £9.99 (which is either £3.00, £5.00 or £20.00 off, depending on what the RRP actually turns out to be); three Network titles, Ever Decreasing Circles - Series 4 and Press Gang – Series 1 both for £12.99 (£7.00 off) and Chancer – Series 1 for £22.45 (£7.54 off); and the Shogun release at the mis-price pre-order of £12.99. Both Play and Blackstar are now listing Shogun at the full RRP, which could be £37.99 or £39.99, there’s still some confusion. have the Buffy – Season 7 box set for £53.99 (£26.00 off). Whereas, HMV have Angel – Season 4, Buffy – Season 7 and The X-Files – Season 8 all at £54.99 (£25.00 off each).  And finally, MVC have The Best of One Foot In The Grave, which contains six episodes and a documentary for £5.99.

Thanks, Ceri!

I suspect there are a few titles in there that people will be very happy to see listed. It looks like there are all sorts of interesting things happening, and more than a few bargains to be snapped up!

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