ARCHIVED NEWS - 12th TO 18th APRIL 2004

16th April 2004

Optimum Releasing will issue two acclaimed films about and inspired by the work of underground comic strip artists Robert Crumb and Harvey Pekar on May the 24th: American Splendour and Terry Zwigoff's award-winning documentary Crumb

The American Splendor disc will feature introductions from the creator of the comic book that the film is based on, Harvey Pekar, a commentary track by directors Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Bergman and Harvey¹s long-time friend Toby Radloff, an interview featurette, Harvey Meets the BBC Collective, the Sundance Channel's Road to Splendor featurette, trailers, and mini-featurettes on characterisation, the title sequence and Robert Crumb (who appears in the film). RRP for American Splendor is £19.99. No technical details are available for either disc, and there's currently no further information about the Crumb disc.

Revelation will release the third season of the BBC action series Bugs on June the 21st. The three-disc box set will include ten fifty-minute episodes, including three episodes written by Oktober's Stephen Gallagher. The series was originally broadcast in July 1998. The set will also feature character biographies, background information, and profiles of allies, villains and organisations. RRP for the set is £24.99.

The first three adventures of the fifth series of Thames Television's science-fiction series The Tomorrow People will also be released by Revelation on June the 21st. The disc will contain three two-part stories, The Dirtiest Business, A Much Needed Holiday and The Heart of Sogguth. The discs will feature character biographies, picture galleries, fact files, and a commentary track by stars Nicholas Young, Peter Vaughan-Clarke and Flintlock heart-throb Michael Holoway. RRP for the disc is £15.99.

Revelation have also re-scheduled the four-disc Crime Traveller box set (originally due for release last October), for June 21st. The new set will contain both series of the show, together with a new, exclusive, interview with series creator Anthony Horowitz.

Here are sleeve images for the Revelation releases.

15th April 2004

Here's a look at Momentum's Reservoir Dogs Killer Limited Edition two-disc DVD sets. There are five characters to choose from, or a regular edition that features the complete lineup (with bonus Chris Penn!)

Each set contains two discs: the first features the film and a commentary track (by Tarantino, producer Lawrence bender and various cast and crew members). The second disc contains the other extra features: deleted scenes, including two angles of the famous 'ear' scene; interviews with Chris Penn, Kirk Baltz, Michael Madsen, Lawrence Bender, Tim Roth and Quentin Tarantino; Class of '92 interviews; Sundance Institute's Filmmaker's Lab; Tributes and Dedications; An Introduction to Film Noir; and Securing The Show - Location Scouting with Billy Fox . Each set will also contain an art-card specific to the sleeve character. The sets are due on June the 7th. The RRP is £19.99.

Entertainment in Video has officially announced that the final instalment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Lord of the Rings - Return of the King, will be released in the UK on May 25th (the same day as the Region 1 version).

The disc will have an anamorphic widescreen transfer, with Dolby Digital EX 5.1 audio. The second disc will feature three "in-depth programmes": The Quest Fulfilled - A Director's Vision, A Filmmaker's Journey - Making The Return of the King, and the National Geographic special, The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King. There are also six featurettes (created for Aragorn's Destiny, Minas Tirith: Capital of Gondor, The Battle of Pelennor Fields, Samwise The Brave, Éowyn: White Lady of Rohan and Digital Horse Doubles. It will also include two theatrical trailers, the Lord of the Rings Trilogy Supertrailer, a preview of the Battle For Middle-earth video game, and thirteen TV spots.

The two-disc set will have an RRP of £27.99. That's three pounds more than the last entry in the series! Hefty retailer discounting is expected to push this down to a more reasonable £15-or-so, though. Separate widescreen and full-screen versions will be available, so be careful you don't pick up the wrong one by mistake! The Two Towers. A box set containing all three films will also be available. It has an RRP of £49.99.

14th April 2004

Umbrella have changed the design for their forthcoming Minder - The Complete Second Series box set (see the News entry for the 24th of March for more details).

Improvements include flopping the photo' so that it's the right way round (a problem that also plagued Clear Vision's release of the series). Another bonus feature has been added to the set: a DVD-Rom pdf file of Thames' original studio synopsis for the series one and two episodes.

The set is due on May the 19th.

More details about  the Cheers - Season Two box set have been released by Paramount. (See the News entry for the 8th of April for more details).

The set will feature five bonus features (although the press release doesn't specify what type they are): Strictly Top Shelf: The Guys Behind The Bar, Cliff's Notes: The Wisdom of Cliff Clavin, Carla The Comeback Queen: Insults for Every Occasion, Di Another Day: Diane Chambers from A-Z and Gag Reel featuring bloopers from season one.

The online retailers are slowly whittling away at the pre-order price of the Star Wars Trilogy box set. MVC's sister company Streets Online is offering free postage on all orders above £19, so their price of £26.99 is inclusive. Thanks to Jack De Voil for spotting that. The Offers page has been updated.

12th April 2004

Sanctuary Visual Entertainment, the company behind the recent two-disc editions of Dune and Blue Velvet, will release Michael Cimino’s Golden Globe-nominated police thriller Year of the Dragon on May the 31st.

The 1985 film stars Mickey Rourke (caught between Roeg’s mesmerising Eureka, and the trashy 9½ Weeks) as a racist cop investigating the head of a New York Chinese mafia gang. The disc will feature an anamorphic presentation of the film (presumably in it’s original 2.35:1 ratio), with Dolby Digital 5.1 and stereo audio tracks. RRP is £15.99.

HBO Video will release the second series of Six Feet Under, the offbeat drama series about a family running a funeral parlour, on June the 21st. The set will contain thirteen episodes, spread across five discs. The set will feature audio commentaries on five episodes by series creator Alan Ball, the writers and directors (on episodes 1, 7, 19, 12, and 13, if it’s the same as the Region 1 version), and a behind-the-scenes featurette titled The Making of a Working Stiff. RRP is £49.99.

To promote interest in the series, the first season will be available during June for the knockdown price of £29.99 (the normal RRP was £49.99).

The final series of The X-Files, season nine, will be released in the UK on June the 7th. The seven disc box set will contain deleted scenes (which can be branched back into the episodes), international clips, and audio commentary on three episodes (on Improbable, by Chris Carter, Jump The Shark, by Vince Gilligan, John Shiban and Frank Spotnitz, and The Truth, by Kim Manners). Two discs are entirely devoted to bonus features, including two character profiles (for Monica Reyes and Brad Follimer), thirty promo’ slots, and nine special effects sequences, with narration by Paul Rabwin and Mat Beck. There are also four documentaries: The Truth About Season Nine (30m), Secrets of The X-Files (45m), More Secrets of The X-Files (45m) and Reflections on The X-Files (20m). Also included on the disc are promo featurettes for forthcoming Fox theatrical releases I, Robot and Alien vs Predator. The episodes will be presented in 16:9-enhanced 1.78:1 ratio, with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. RRP is £79.99.

And now, over to Ceri, for his weekly roundup of all the news that can be gleaned from scouring various unofficial sources, and his summary of this week's best DVD offers, from the online retailers. You lucky people!

Hello! Well, after the last gargantuan update this week’s is thankfully much smaller!  There are a few new titles, plenty of information on extras, a new sale and a couple of juicy bargains, so, as ever, let’s begin with the additions and changes to Incoming.

HMV and Play are listing the movie version of Starsky & Hutch starring the pale imitators Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. No word on the content of the release, but it has a date of July the 19th and an RRP of £19.99.

There’s a director’s cut version of Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor now showing for May the 24th from Optimum Home Entertainment. Special features listed include in-depth interviews with the director, producer Jeremy Thomas and actor Peter O'Toole, The Making of The Last Emperor featurette and an artwork gallery. It has an RRP of £19.99.

There are new releases of two animated films listed both with a date of June the 7th June. Buena Vista has a special edition of Pocahontas, and from Universal there’s Shrek – 3D, which features a new short voiced by Mike Myers and Cameron Diaz entitled Shrek – 4D. According to the BBFC, the short has a run time of a little over 14 minutes. Both releases have an RRP of £19.99.

The Japanese tale of revenge Lady Snowblood Blizzard From The Netherworld, is getting a release with it’s sequel, Lady Snowblood 2 - Love Song of Vengeance. These films were among those that inspired Quentin Tarantino to create Kill Bill. The box set of Lady Snowblood 1 and 2 is listed for a couple of week’s time, on April the 26th, with extras including a stills gallery; profiles of director Toshiya Fujita and actress Meiko Kaji; artwork stills; trailers and The Russo-Japanese War, a text-based featurette detailing the background of the historical period depicted in the films. [So, nothing substantial, then?  JK] The RRP for the set is £14.99

In some related Tarantino news, following the example of the R1 version of the Reservoir Dogs - Special Edition, limited edition slipcase editions are now being listed for Mr. Blonde, Mr. Brown, Mr. White, Mr. Orange, Mr. Pink and Mr. White. They have the same content and date as the standard version, due on June the 14th. Their RRP is £19.99.

Play are showing that Eureka’s two disc release of  Dr Mabuse - The Great Gambler will include a three part documentary, photo gallery, biographies and facts and dates. It’s listed for the 24th of May with a £24.99 RRP.

The BBFC has cleared Laurel and Hardy – A Tribute to the Boys. Running to 94 minutes this is presumably the main feature of the bonus disc in the forthcoming mega set. The release date for the release is May the 3rd and it has an RRP of £199.99. [See the Offers page for the best deal available].

It’s been another busy week for Warner at the BBFC. There’s another extra cleared for the Blazing Saddles – Special Edition. A three and a half minute piece entitled an Intimate Portrait: Madeline Kahn. The release has a date of July the 19th and an RRP of £15.99. They’ve also cleared extras totalling 9 minutes and 19 seconds for a release of the The Monkees’  film Head. So far, this hasn’t been listed by the retailers.

Last week I wrongly cited that the forthcoming six disc Marx Brothers set was from Paramount it is in fact from Warner. How to Sleep (10m38s) and Sunday Night at the Trocadero (20m16s) have been cleared for A Night At The Opera, and Where There’s Music (3m10s) has been cleared for The Big Store. The set has a date of  August the 23rd and a £59.99 RRP.

That’s it for the Films, now the TV releases…

We start off with the disappointing news that BBC Worldwide’s problems with their Blake’s 7 – Series 1 release continue a pace. The re-pressing, which was due out today has been delayed a month until May the 17th. Never has such an anticipated release been so troubled!

In more positive news we have some extras information on two of Worldwide’s Dennis Potter Collection titles. Just listed as cleared at the BBFC is the Did You See...? – Brimstone and Treacle Special (running to 26 minutes). This special, which covers the troubled history of Brimstone and Treacle, which was banned by the BBC when it was made in 1976, was broadcast with the play when it finally aired, in 1987.

In addition to that some retailers are now listing that Pennies From Heaven will include a commentary on episodes one and six of the serial with director Piers Haggard and producer Kenith Trodd as well as a picture gallery. There’s nothing in the BBC Worldwide’s belated press release to indicate that the other Potter release, Casanova, will feature any bonus materials, sadly. The Dennis Potter titles are due on May the 31st, together with The Dennis Potter Collection box set (which also includes The Singing Detective, which is already available).

Warner’s Music Vision label has another Later With Jools Holland release planned, entitled Cool Britannia. No word of content yet, but with a title like that you would presume classic performances by the likes of Oasis, Blur and Pulp will be included. It is listed for the 7th of June with a £14.99 RRP.

As a follow-up to last weeks report of Acorn’s release of Cribb, the Complete Series box set has appeared for the 14th of June, which is the same day as the Part 1 of the series. The RRP of the box set is £59.99.

Now some further information on Carlton’s Cadfael and Kavanagh QC releases. The respective Series 4 of these series are now being listed for July the 19th and Series 5 of Kavanagh QC for August the 16th. The Cadfael release has a £14.99 RRP and the Kavanagh QC releases are at £19.99 each.

Play is listing three volumes of Jupiter Moon, one-time satellite broadcaster BSB’s science-fiction soap opera. Volume 1 is apparently due on June the 21st with an RRP of £14.99, Volume 2 follows on August the 23rd and Volume 3 is scheduled for October the 25th, both with an RRP of £24.99. It isn’t known which label is releasing the series, but it is known that the releases were planned to be double disc sets with around 10 episodes per set plus extras. This seems to be the case with Volumes 2 and 3, but Volume 1’s RRP seems to indicate it will be a single disc introductory release, although it could also be a mis-price.

Last week we were informed by Network that their Public Eye release would be delayed again till May, and some of the retailers are now listing May the 10th as the new date. The content of the first two discs has been finalised, but work is still ongoing for the special features on the third disc. Some of Network’s other titles have been put back as well: The Adventures of Robin Hood – The Complete Series 2 has a new date of the 26th of April; Charley Says - Volume 2 (both standard and Limited Edition versions) and Peak Practice – The Complete Series 2 are now listed for the 17th of May; the Ever Decreasing Circles – Complete Series box set is due on the 10th of May, and Two In Clover - The Complete Series is listed for the 19th of April. Finally, the episodes of Hazell – The Complete Series 1 have been listed as cleared by the BBFC. The date for this series so far remains the same – 26th of April. 

Right, that’s that yer lot for Incoming! Now the additions to the Offers page!

Most of the retailers are carrying Fox's offer on the Buffy The Vampire Slayer box sets. These are apparently going to be packaged in 2-disc Amaray cases, rather than the original book-style design, but they're also a lot cheaper! is cheapest for the Season One set (they've got it for £15.99). The other seasons are available from several places, including Amazon and, for £29.99.

Most retailers are offering the four two-disc Alien series Special Edition DVDs for £16.99, in a buy-one-get-one-free-type offer, but Amazon are listing them individually for £8.99 each, so if you only wanted one of them, Amazon seems to be your best bet. has Clear Vision’s The Quatermass Conclusion box set for £15.99 (£19.00 off). DVDSource also have the set, but for £18.99.

As well as Pennies From Heaven, the BBC Shop also have a mis-price on Casanova. It has an RRP of £19.99. They think it has an RRP of £15.99 and have a pre-order price of £12.79.

Benson’s World has knocked down their prices for DD Video’s releases. They have the The Abominable Snowman / X The Unknown, Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell / Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter and Quatermass / Quatermass 2 double packs at £14.99 (£8.00 off); All Gas and Gaiters at £12.99 (£8.00 off) and Secret Army – Series 1 and 2 and Survivors – Series 1 all at £34.95 (£15.04 off). are taking pre-orders for The Lord of The Rings – Return Of The King two disc set at £14.99 (£13.99 off). has a box set sale running – some of the bargains on offer are Agatha Christie's Partners In Crime - The Complete Collection Box Set at £15.99 (£14.00 off); A Bit Of A Do - Series 1 And 2, Flambards - Complete Box Set, Lillie - The Jersey Lily / The Sailor Prince - Complete Box Set, Mapp And Lucia Collection - Box Set all at £17.99 (£12.00 off); Maigret - The Complete Series 1 And 2 Box Set at £20.99 (£9.00 off) and Prime Suspect - Complete 1-5 Box Set at £29.99 (£20.00 off). This sale ends on the 30th of April 2004. Thanks to John Pettigrew for posting that they also have Bill Bailey’s Bewilderness at £6.99 (£13.00 off) and to Baz for posting that they have the Minder – Series 1-4 box sets at £15.99, that’s £24.99 off.

Finally, thanks to Ed Parsons for posting that MVC have the Star Wars Trilogy set for £27.99, including £1 postage (£17.00 off).

Previous News entries can viewed be by following this link.



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