ARCHIVED NEWS - 31st MAY to 6th JUNE 2004

4th June 2004

Ceri has spotted that HMV are listing a Millennium Season 2 box set for release on September the 27th, and a box set of Steven Bochco's gripping courtroom drama series Murder One for September the 6th, both with an RRP of £29.99.

I've now received copies of the three forthcoming R2 Warner Home Video Hammer discs (Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, Taste the Blood of Dracula and Dracula Has Risen From the Grave), and can confirm that the version of Taste The Blood of Dracula is the extended version. The BBC screening was 91'12", and the new DVD is 91'25", but that includes an eleven-second Warner Home Video logo' at the beginning. The disc looks very nice indeed!

There's a new DVD review for you today. Matt West has had a look at the Region 1 release of Bubba Ho-tep, the latest film to star genre icon Bruce Campbell. Click on the sleeve image, right, or here to read the review. The film has been picked up here by Anchor Bay, who will be giving it a theatrical release in . 

The City of Lost Children's Dominique Pinon stars alongside Darren Day - I kid ye not - in Hellbreeder, a straight-to-video British horror film about an escaped mental patient who's investigating a spate of child murders. Horror fans who love films about evil clowns might want to check it out! The film is being released by Mosaic Entertainment. It will be available to rent on July the 26th, and to buy on DVD on September the 6th. The disc will feature a stills gallery - almost, but not the lamest bonus feature possible - and will have an RRP of £12.99.

Mosaic is also releasing a police corruption crime thriller starring Jeff Daniels, James Spader and Ally McBeal's Portia DeRossi, I Witness. The film will be available to rent on July the 19th, and to buy on September the 6th. Even though it sounds like one of those "Three for £5" discs you see cluttering up bookshops, the disc will have an RRP of £12.99.

Details of Columbia Tristar's Boyz N The Hood Special Edition DVD, which is due on July the 19th, are now available.

The two-disc set will feature a commentary track, by Director John Singleton; a documentary titled Friendly Fire: Making of an Urban Legend (43m); two music videos (Growing Up In The Hood by Compton's Most Wanted and Just Ask Me To by Tevin Campbell); deleted scenes; filmographies and the theatrical trailer. The disc will be presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 3.0 Surround audio (stereo front channels, and a mono surround channel). RRP for the disc will be £19.99.

Columbia Tristar have added a double-bill of cult favourite The Gods Must Be Crazy and its 1989 sequel The Gods Must Be Crazy II to their September schedule. The set will be released on September the 6th.

Finally, Contender Entertainment has scheduled the DVD release of the second series of the BBC spy series Spooks (known as MI-5 in the US) for the 30th of August. RRP for the ten-episode set will be £39.99.

3rd June 2004

Columbia Tristar have released their schedule for September, although, as usual this far in advance, there are few details.

50 First Dates, the well-received Drew Barrymore / Adam Sandler comedy, about a chap trying to romance a woman who has short-term memory problems, will be released on September the 13th, as will Satoshi Kon's animated family drama Tokyo Godfathers.

Radio, which stars Ed Harris as a high school coach who nurtures a student (played by Cuba Gooding Jr) with learning difficulties , will be released on September the 20th.

You have to read the description of the TV movie Boa Vs. Python, Columbia's other release for September the 20th: "Two of nature’s biggest and most terrifying scaled predators square off in an action- filled battle of fangs. When a gigantic python gets loose on a private reserve, the FBI must release an equally large boa to track and capture it as a group of wealthy big game hunters try to bag the python as a trophy themselves." It sounds freakin' hilarious!

The 1965 adaptation of Joseph Conrad's sweeping adventure novel Lord Jim, which stars Peter O'Toole, James Mason and Jack Hawkins, rounds off Columbia's September offering: it's due on September the 27th.

Fox are plundering their back catalogue again for another batch of £9.99 catalogue titles, which will be released on July the 19th. Six titles are being released for the first time on DVD in the UK: Ed Burns' Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize-winning ensemble Irish comedy The Brothers McMullen; William Wyler's art forgery caper movie How To Steal a Million, which stars Peter O'Toole and Audrey Hepburn; Richard Linklater's 1920s bank robbers drama The Newton Boys; Jennifer Aniston's romantic comedy Picture Perfect and the 1959 film interpretation of The Diary of Anne Frank. Other titles joining the collection are Kung Pow: Enter The Fist, Pi, Don't Say A Word, Home Alone 4, 24 Hour Party People, Austin Powers - International Man of Mystery and The Hole (which features rising star Keira Knightley).

No technical spec's were released, and there's no indication whether or not the new discs will contain the bonus features that are on the Region 1 versions (a commentary on The Brothers McMullen, and extensive supplements on The Diary of Anne Frank). (How to Steal a Million isn't due for release in the US until December, and the spec's for that are currently unknown).

Here are the sleeves for the new titles...


1st June 2004

I've reviewed Momentum Pictures' Region 2 version of Sofia Copolla's terrific relationship drama Lost in Translation. The film, which was nominated for four Oscars (and won one, for Sofia Coppola's screenplay), stars Bill Murray and the luminous Scarlett Johansson.

The disc has a pretty decent transfer, considering the conditions under which it was made, and a nice collection of bonus material, including deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette and a Kevin Shields music video. Click on the sleeve image, right, or here, to read the review! The disc is released on June the 28th, with an RRP of £19.99.

31st May 2004

What better way to start the week than a review of a film about the one thing that generally preoccupies us all whenever a Bank Holiday is imminent: the weather! Lee Medcalf has seen Roland Emmerich's summer blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow, and wasn't too impressed. Click on the poster image, left, or here, to read his review. This will be the last film review for a couple of weeks, while Lee takes paternity leave!

There's a new competition today, offering the chance to win a copy of Warner Home Video's new Police Academy- The Complete Collection box set, or a runners-up prize of a copy of the Police Academy - 20th Anniversary Special Edition DVD. Click on the banner above, or here, to go to the competition page.

I'm keeping the Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King competition open for another week. It will close on June the 6th.

The winners of last week's American Splendor and Crumb DVDs are Max Preston and Damian A, who both knew that the very talented Paul Giamatti stars as Harvey Pekar in American Splendor. The winner of the Minder competition was Neil Emrys. I can't remember what the question was, but the answer was Arthur Daley! Congratulations to the winners, and my thanks to Optimum Home Entertainment and Umbrella Entertainment for providing the prizes.

A new DVD label, the ironically-named Maximum Entertainment, is launching on June the 28th with a collection of Marvel Classics DVDs. Each disc will contain "four classic episodes plus a bonus episodes" (i.e.: five episodes, for those of you gifted with the correct number of fingers). The five titles, as seen below, are: Sub-Mariner, Captain America, Iron Man, The Mighty Thor and The Avengers. The discs will be presented in Ultrapack format "to reflect the superb animation", and will have an RRP of £12.99. The Region 2 discs will be presented in 4:3 format.

Since everyone directly connected with Marvel is apparently dead, and because he's apparently got nothing better to do, Maximum will be promoting the range with interviews with "Marvel comic book fan" Mike Read DJ.

Maximum Entertainment are also releasing DVDs of Transformers, Digimon, Teenage Hero Turtles (what happened to "Ninja" and "Mutant"?), Action Man and Care Bears on July 28th. The Transformers disc will feature eight episodes, and has an RRP of £12.99.


Tartan Video is releasing another two Ingmar Bergman films on June the 28th: 1949's Three Strange Loves (aka Thirst) and Bergman's first colour film, 1964's All These Women (aka Now, About These Women). Each disc will feature a four-page booklet by Bergman expert Philip Strick, and each has an RRP of £19.99.  Three Strange Loves is presented from a fully-uncut, restored print. No further technical details were available.

And now, Mr Laing will regale you with the latest news and offers from the online retailers...

Hello folks, back again! As promised this weeks update….

I’ve overhauled the Offers page and there are quite a few new titles and bits of information added to Incoming, so, as ever, lets start there…

There are some special features cleared by the BBFC for two interesting titles, neither of which are currently unlisted.

Secret Window, from Columbia Tri-Star, will feature three featurettes: From Book to Film (19m4s), A Look Through It (44m1s), and Secrets Revealed (but listed as being 00m0s, so there’s something not right there!); Animatics (7m) and Deleted Scenes (totalling 5m54s).

It looks like Steven Spielberg’s Duel might be nearing release, at least on this side of the Atlantic. Three featurettes have recently been cleared at the BBFC: A Conversation with Steven Spielberg (35m41s); Steven Spielberg and the Small Screen (9m26s) Richard Matheson – The Writing of Duel (9m22s).

Special features from a special edition version of Backbeat, also from Universal, were previously cleared by the BBFC, and now the actual release is being listed. It has a date of July the 12th, with an RRP of £15.99.

There are more titles from Paramount. The next Star Trek film to get the special edition treatment, Generations, has a date of September the 27th and an RRP of £24.99. There’s a Special Edition of The Untouchables listed for the 6th of September, with an RRP of £19.99. Paul Anderson’s Event Horizon is also being prepared as a special edition for October the 11th, also at £19.99. There’s no word on the content of these three releases as yet. A box set collecting together Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown and The Tennant has a date of July the 12th, with an RRP of £24.99. Paramount also has a new release of the original version of The Stepford Wives, to tie in with the theatrical release of the Nicole Kidman remake. The current Anchor Bay DVD has just been deleted. The new version is listed for July the 26th, with an RRP of £12.99. It looks like Paramount’s disc will have the same bonus featurette as the Anchor Bay edition: The Stepford Life (17m23s, according to the BBFC), which features interviews with director Bryan Forbes, interview with producer Edgar J. Scherick and interviews with stars Katherine Ross, Paula Prentiss, Nanette Newman and Peter Masterson.

Other special features cleared at the BBFC include some for Warner Home Video’s so-far unlisted Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan box set, and for the release of Martin Scorsese’s 1980s film After Hours. There are two archive featurettes for the Tarzan set: Sun-Kissed Stars at Palm Springs (20m9s), which is a 1936 promo film highlighting the virtues of Technicolor (which features lots of Hollywood stars gadding about, including Weissmuller), and MGM on Location: Johnny Weissmuller (which runs to 10m55s). For the After Hours release there is a featurette running to 18m52s entitled Filming for Your Life: Making After Hours.

Warner Home Video’s three Hammer films for June the 21st - Dracula Has Risen From The Grave, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed and Taste The Blood of Dracula – will be released as a Hammer Horror Collection three disc set exclusively by HMV. The set is listed for £22.99 by HMV, which makes it a very attractive purchase, as the cheapest the three individual releases are currently listed for is £9.99 each. Here’s a link if you’re interested in ordering: Click! The other good news is that the BBFC are now listing Taste The Blood of Dracula as being an extended version of the film, which is about five minutes longer than the old video version. The new disc should be the same uncut version as broadcast by the BBC, and used for the recent Region 1 DVD release.

Warner Home Video also have listed three box sets featuring the work of Jean Renoir, Luis Bunuel and Jean-Luc Godard. Each includes three of their films: the Jean Renoir Box Set includes La Bete Humaine, La Grande Illusion and The Crime of M. Lange; the Luis Bunuel Box Set includes Belle De Jour, Diary of a Chambermaid and The Milky Way; and the Jean-Luc Godard Box Set includes Alphaville, Une Femme Est Une Femme and Le Petite Soldat. All three sets have a date of the 16th of August, and will retail for about £29.99 each.

Now that they’ve completed release the Basil Rathone and Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes films, Orbit move on to the Charlie Chan series starring Warner Oland. First up is Charlie Chan in London, on July the 19th, with £13.99 as it’s RRP. In a similar b-movie oriental detective flavour, Instant Vision are releasing three Mr Wong thriller’s with Boris Karloff in the title role: The Mystery of Mr Wong, Mr Wong In Chinatown and Mr. Wong Detective – all three of which I recently reported as cleared by the BBFC. They’re listed for the same date, July the 19th at £9.99 each.

MGM’s Special Edition release of Rain Man has had some of it’s extras cleared by the BBFC. These are: three featurettes - The Journey of Rain Man (21m11s), Lifting the Fog: A Look at the Mysteries of Autism (19m22s), and an Original Featurette (6m52s); a deleted scene (1m54s) and something entitled Rain Man (2m06s), which at a guess is a trailer. The release is due on August the 30th, with an RRP of £19.99.

Road to Hong Kong, the final film in the Bing Crosby and Bob Hope Road to… series (well… more like a comeback film for the series) is also being lined-up by MGM for September the 6th, at £12.99.

Cinema Club have Frankie Howard’s Up the Front (the third spin-off film from the TV series Up Pompeii) listed for the 9th of August at £9.99. Warner Home Video previously released the first two films, Up Pompeii and Up the Chastity Belt, as a double bill. As we suspected might be the case, Cinema Club’s release of An Inspector Calls, starring Alistair Sim, didn’t make it out last week and we don’t have a new date for it.

Right, now the TV releases, and a follow-up on some of BBC Worldwide’s titles.

The press release for the 50 Years of BBC News states that it will contain five half-hour programmes each covering a decade, with each narrated by Charles Wheeler, Michael Buerk, Kate Adie, John Simpson and Jeremy Bowen. In addition to that the DVD will contain three extra programmes showing how the production of television broadcast news has changed, with the first made in 1953, the second (present by Michael Aspel) from 1963, and a modern one from this year, entitled A Day in the Life of a Newsroom, presented by Huw Edwards. It’s listed for July the 5th with an RRP of £9.99.

It’s looking increasingly like both The Borrowers - Series 2 and The Secret Garden  have been put back to October the 11th, as several retailers are now listing this new date. The BBFC continues to clear extras though, as just cleared for The Borrowers - Series 2 is a newly-produced cast interview running to 13m38s. Both releases have an RRP of £14.99.

Special features for Five Children and It are now up on some of the retailers. It will include a cast interview taken from Blue Peter, a photo gallery, and quiz. It’s due the 6th of September with an RRP of £14.99.

The BBFC has also cleared an Irish TV Interview (running to 26m3s) for Sellers On Sellers. The release is listed for August the 2nd at £17.99.

The recent hit for BBC 3, Monkey Dust, is showing for September 27th. Listed as Series 1 it has an RRP of £19.99.

Series 2 of Lovejoy is now listed for the 19th of July from Delta. It has an RRP of £29.99. Delta’s next Henry’s Cat release, Series 5, is also showing for the 19th of July at £5.99.

Carlton has two box sets of their Cadfael and Kavanagh QC releases lined-up, once the individual volumes are out. Cadfael – Series 1-4 has a date of August the 16th at £54.99 and Kavanagh QC - Series 1-5 is due September the 6th for £99.99.

The BBFC has recently cleared three featurettes produced by Jaz Wiseman, presumably destined for future ClearVision Minder DVDs, covering the history of the programme - Memories of Minder – The Early Years (20m55s), Memories of Minder – The Middle Years (18m29s) and Memories of Minder – The Gary Webster Years (16m49s).

The subtitle of Oracle Home Entertainment’s Jupiter Moon - Volume 2, which features episodes 12-20¸ is The Plasma Ball. Listed extras include The Science behind the Series, with William Smethurst; Ilea Design Notes 2 by Professor Bob Parkinson; and The Basics of Space Navigation. The next three Jupiter Moon volumes are now being listed by some retailers: Volume 4 is listed for January the 24th 2005, with Volume 5 following on the 21st of March and Volume 6 for a year’s time, on May the 24th. (Volume 3 was already listed, for the 25th of October). They all have an RRP of £24.99.

There are two volumes each of The Beverly Hillbillies and Bonanza from Elstree Hill Entertainment - The Beverly Hillbillies Collection - Volumes 1 & 2 and Bonanza – Gunmen Fear Merchants and Blood on the Land / Desert Justice – listed for the 21st of June at £4.99 each. HMV are the only retailer listing these at the moment, so they could be an exclusive.

Fans of the Manchester band The Stone Roses will be pleased to hear there is a juicy two disc set being lined up from music label BMG’s video division, particularly as it includes their infamous The Late Show appearance, where the band blew the programme’s fuses. The full content is: Blackpool Live (58 Mins): I Wanna Be Adored; Elephant Stone; Waterfall; Sugar Spun Sister; Made of Stone; She Bangs The Drums; Where Angels Play; Shoot You Down; Going Down; Mersey Paradise; I am The Resurrection. Promo Videos: Waterfall; Fools Gold; I Wanna Be Adored; One Love; She Bangs The Drums; Standing There. TV Performances: The Late Show - Made of Stone; Top of the Pops - Fools Gold; The Other Side of Midnight Waterfall; Music Box - Elephant StoneHit Studio International - One Love; SNUB TV - I Wanna Be Adored (Live at The Hacienda); SNUB TV - Sugar Spun Sister (Live at The Hacienda). Extras: Rapido - The Stone Roses feature; Ian Brown & John Squire Interview; Behind The Scenes Home Video. The discs will be presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. Its release date is June the 28th, with an RRP of £19.99.

Now to the changes to the Offers page….

101cd have added a few new titles to their Deal of the Week sale. Thanks to Stuart Flanagan for posting that both the four-disc extended versions of Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring and Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers are on offer at £13.99, along with Blake’s 7 – Series 1 (the original version NOT the repressing) at £17.99. The sale also has the ten disc Marilyn Monroe – The Diamond Collection set at £39.99 (£40.00 off!).

As I said in the update last week, Amazon are the only retailer at present known to be selling the repressing of the Blake’s 7 – Series 1 box set, and, unfortunately, they have put the price of the set up to £37.48. Thanks to several people for mailing me that the recent Buffy – Series 7 set has been added to the box set promotion by a few different retailers, so I’ve added Amazon’s offer at £29.97. Thanks also to Mark Aldridge for posting that Amazon have Jeeves and Wooster - The Whole Jolly Lot at £21.97. I’ve also added their listing of Third Rock From The Sun - The Complete Second Season at £22.49. For those of you interested in Radio programmes (thanks to the posting by Sean Marsh) I’ve added Journey into Space - Operation Luna at £49.99, Round the Horne - Series 2 at £48.99, Round the Horne - Series 3 at £55.99 and Round the Horne - Series 4 at £48.99.

Benson’s World have a new Cinema Club Sale which includes Agatha Christie`s Partners In Crime at £18.99, The Beiderbecke Collection at £15.99, A Bit of a Do - Series 1 And 2 at £18.99, Flambards at £18.99, Lillie at £18.99, Maigret - Series 1 and 2 at £18.99; Mapp and Lucia at £17.99 and The New Statesman - Series 1-4 at £17.99.

I’ve removed Blockbuster completely from the Offers page as they’ve decided to concentrate solely on the rental market for the time being.
Choices Direct have The Man From Uncle box set at £14.99.

HMV have a 3 for £20 sale, with some very interesting titles include – I’ve highlighted some of them on the Offers page. They also have the recent MASH – Series 3 box set at £19.99 (£10.00 off).

I’ve decided to change the listing of MVC over to it’s sister site Street’s Online, as both sites are identical apart from one aspect – Street’s Online offer free delivery within the UK on orders above £19.00, whereas MVC do not. has added some new Acorn titles to their ongoing BBC sale. These include Tenko – Series 1 Parts 1 & 2 at £13.99 each, When the Boat Comes In – Series 1 Parts 1-3 (there’s a better price for these three at Virgin at the moment – see below) and Series 2 Parts 1-3 at £11.99 each, Campion – Case of the Late Pig / Death of Ghost at £13.99.

I’ve some new Region 1 offers from These include Best of Mr Ed - Volume One at £18.99, Carry On Laughing at £20.99; Dawson's Creek - Third Season at £28.49. Dead Like Me - The Complete First Season at £28.49, Gilmore Girls - The Complete First Season at £33.49, Just Shoot Me - Seasons One & Two at £21.99, Kids in the Hall - Complete Season 1 at £32.49, Knight Rider - Season One at £25.49, La Femme Nikita - The Complete Second Season at £48.99, Little House on the Prairie - Seasons 1-5 at £30.49 each, M*A*S*H - Season 6 at £20.99, Nip/Tuck: The Complete First Season at £29.99, Quantum Leap - The Complete First Season at £28.99; The Simpsons – Season 4 at £25.99, Sliders - Seasons 1 & 2 at £39.99, Tour of Duty - Season One at £26.49, V: The Complete TV Series at £21.49 and Xena: Warrior Princess - Season Four at £40.49.

As mentioned in the report last week, I’ve added Sendit’s price of £44.99 for the forthcoming box set of The Forsyte Saga (the BBC version) – that’s £25.00 off.

And finally, Vigin have started another sale (as ever in store only!). This is a 4 for £20 offer and includes the same stuff you’d find in their sales which are usually 3 for £20, but also included are some Acorn and Cinema Club titles. In my local branch I saw all three volumes of When the Boat Comes In - Series 1, some Midsomer Murders, along with the individual volumes of Jeremy Brett’s Sherlock Holmes, Poirot, Cracker, Prime Suspect, Please Sir and On the Buses. As I said, that was just my branch, so there could be more titles at other branches.

Previous News entries can viewed here.


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Released 12th July 2004.



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