2nd July 2004

Momentum Pictures will release the first half of the first season of CSI: Miami on September the 6th. The series features former NYPD Blue stars David Caruso and Kim Delaney, and The West Wing's Emily Proctor.

The set will contain the first twelve episodes, as well as a trailer, a commentary track on the series' first episode, Golden Parachute, and what are probably two featurettes: Creating CSI: Miami and CSI: Miami Uncovered. No technical details were available.

HBO Video will release Mike Nichols' mini-series adaptation of his Pulitzer Prize-winning play Angels in America on DVD on September the 13th. The two-part, six-hour "movie event", which featured Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, Michael Gambon and Simon Callow, will be presented on a two-disc set, in 16:9 anamorphic widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. RRP for the set is £24.99.

HMV is listing a ten-disc Matrix Megaset, for release on December the 6th.

This seems to tie in with information that's been circulating for a while, but HMV's listing adds some credence to the rumours.

The set will also contain a 20-page softcover booklet. HMV's RRP is £44.99.

The ten discs seem to be:

1 - The Matrix - With All-New Transfer & Audio Commentary

2 - The Matrix Revisited – Original Version With Behind-The-Scenes Footage

3 - Matrix Reloaded Extended Version – New Cut With 55 Minutes Of New Footage Inserted Back Into The Film

4 - Matrix Reloaded Revisited – All New Interviews, Scene Dissections And More!

5 - Matrix Revolutions – Original Cut With Audio Commentaries

6 - Matrix Revolutions Revisited – A Host Of All-New Extras

7 - The Animatrix

8 - The Roots Of The Matrix – 3 Hours Of Features

9 - The Burley Man Chronicles – The People Behind The Matrix Discuss Their Work

10 - The Zion Archive – A Tour Of Matrix Design Concepts, Storyboards & Drawings

And here is HMV's list of special features for the new discs:


All-New Transfer & Audio Commentary

All-New transfer supervised by The Wachowskis and director of photography (DP), Bill Pope

Audio commentary by Keanu Reeves, Carrie Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, DP Bill Pope and other cast and crew

The Matrix Revisited – Original version with behind-the-scenes footage

The Matrix Revisited (180 Minutes) - Same special features as previous release

Offers comprehensive behind-the-scenes look at the first film in the trilogy.



Extended Version – New Cut With 55 Minutes Of New Footage Inserted Back Into The Film

Matrix Reloaded Revisited – All New Interviews, Scene Dissections And More!

Matrix Reloaded Extended Version (190 Minutes) - New Special Features new cut incorporating 55 minutes of footage shot for the 'Enter The Matrix' Game

Audio Commentaries by Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Production Designer Owen Paterson, 2nd Unit Directors David Ellis And Kimble Rendall and other cast and crew

Matrix Reloaded Revisited - Special Features (180 Minutes)

Includes All New Footage Including Dozens Of Never-Before-Seen Cast And Crew Interviews, Scene Dissections, Explorations Of The Production Design And Special Effects, And More



Matrix Revolutions – Original cut with audio commentaries

Matrix Revolutions Revisited – A host of all-new extras

Matrix Revolutions - new special features:

Audio commentaries by Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Special Effects Supervisor, John Gaeta; editor, Zach Staenberg and other cast and crew

Matrix Revolutions Revisited - Special Features (180 Minutes)

Includes all new footage, including dozens of never-before-seen cast and crew interviews, scene dissections, explorations of the production design and special effects, and more


Same Special Features As Previous Release


The Roots Of The Matrix – 3 Hours Of Features:

 The Roots of the Matrix - Special Features (180 Minutes)

The Matrix and the History of the Action Genre - Examines The Many Influences Of Action Cinema That Make Up The Matrix

Brainiacs’ Revenge - Scholars, Philosophers, Theorists, And Charlatans Deconstruct The Intellectual Underpinnings Of The Trilogy

The Science Behind The Fiction – Is The Notion Of A Real Matrix Plausible? An Investigation Of The Technologies That Inspire The Metaphor Of The Matrix


The Burley Man Chronicles – The People Behind The Matrix Discuss Their Work:

The Burley Man Chronicles - Special Features (75 Minutes)

The Burley Man Chronicles - The “Human” Story Of The Making Of The Matrix, As Well As The Game Enter the Matrix

Rave Reel - A Club-Oriented Montage Of Unused And Newly Edited Footage From Reloaded

Spoofs of The Matrix -The “Best-of” these various clips


The Zion Archive – A Tour Of Matrix Design Concepts, Storyboards & Drawings

The Zion Archive - Special Features

Zion Archive - Production Assets Developed For The Matrix Universe, Including Concept Artwork, Storyboards, Drawings, Etc

Basic ROM Features

Matrix-related submissions to the BBFC this year are as follows (these items appeared on the Matrix Revolutions 2-disc set):

The Matrix Revolutions - Future Gamer: The Matrix Online (10'58")

The Matrix Recalibrated (27'02")

The Matrix Revolutions - Neo Realism the Evolution of Bullet Time (12'22")

The Matrix Revolutions - Mind Over Matter (8'03")

The Matrix Revolutions - Double Agent Part 1  (7'09")

The Matrix Revolutions - Super Big Mini Models  (8'45")

The Matrix Revolutions - Super Burly Brawl Storyboard (6'16")

The Matrix Revolutions - CG Revolution (15'30")

1st July 2004

I've taken a quick look at Optimum's Region 2 disc of David Cronenberg's mind-bending 1991 film Naked Lunch. The film was loosely adapted from a novel by William Burroughs.

The disc, due on July the 26th, features Chris Rodley's fifty-minute documentary, Naked Making Lunch and an excellent original theatrical trailer (ostensibly narrated by Burroughs). If, as claimed by the press release, the disc contains an "Interview with Producer Jeremy Thomas", I wasn't able to find it. Curiously, a twenty-minute interview with Thomas about the film was certificated by the BBFC at the end of May, so it certainly looks like Optimum meant to include it! 

The commentary on Optimum's disc is by Cronenberg alone, so is probably different from the one on the two-disc Criterion edition released recently, which is a composite of contributions by Cronenberg and star Peter Weller. The disc also features a pretty decent photo' gallery, and trailers for American Splendor, Elephant and Roger Dodger.

The film is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio (at 224kbps). There are no subtitles available. RRP is £19.99. Some menu screens from the disc are available here.

Here's some additional information about Universal's Special Edition re-release of Pitch Black. We covered most of the bases in the News entry for June the 18th, but here are some durations, and some technical information: The Game Is On (1'46"); The Johns Chase Log (14'10"); The Chronicles of Riddick visual encyclopaedia (4'41"); Dark Fury: Advancing The Arc featurette (1'28"); and A View Into The Dark (4'04"). The disc also features the first nine minutes of the film's sequel, The Chronicles of Riddick, in non-anamorphic widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

The Special Edition version of Pitch Black is presented in anamorphic widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio (at 384kbps). The original Region 1 release of the film had the option of DTS 6.1 audio, but neither of the UK Region 2 versions, nor the new Region 1 Special Edition release, have a DTS track. The new Special Edition has English subtitles on the film and on the supplements (including the two commentary tracks). The disc, and the animated spin-off story The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury, are due on August 16th. Menu screens from the new DVD are available here.

The forthcoming DVD collection of miscellaneous 60s episodes of Doctor Who apparently has an official title, according to information provided by BBC America. The set, which has not formerly been announced in the UK, was informally known as the Orphan Episodes Collection, but is now apparently titled The Lost In Time Collection. The set will include about sixteen William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton episodes, from stories where the majority of the episodes no longer exist. The set should include all the surviving 'orphan' episodes, except those where more than half of the story still survives (so, nothing from The Tenth Planet, The Reign of Terror or The Ice Warriors). The set will include the recently re-discovered episode of The Daleks' Master Plan, Day of Armageddon. The set is expected later this year.

Choices Direct have the first two seasons of Lost in Space on offer at £29.99 each. Here's Season One and here's Season Two.

Warner Home Video will release the Babylon 5 Movie Collection on August the 16th. The three-disc set will include three of the four post-series TV movies: Thirdspace, River of Souls and A Call To Arms. (The fourth, In The Beginning, is already available on DVD). Each film will be accompanied by an introduction by series creator J. Michael Straczynski, and a commentary track (by director Jesus Treviño, stars Bruce Boxleitner, Jeff Conway, Steven Furst and Patricia Tallman on Thirdspace; by J. Michael Straczynski, director Janet Greek and star Tracy Scoggins on River of Souls; and by Straczynski and director Mike Vejar on A Call To Arms). The movies will be presented in 16:9 anamorphic widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. The set will have English and English HoH subtitles, and an RRP of £34.99.

And now, here's a special mid-week news update from Ceri. Oh, you lucky people!

Hi everyone! There’s been a lot going on in the past week or so whilst I’ve been off, so we’re playing catch-up….

Let’s kick off with some cracking information on DD Video’s forthcoming release of Survivors – Series 2, collated from Andy Priestner’s excellent Survivors website. The box set has a provisional release date of October the 4th, and, as with the Series 1 release, also has some nice special features. This time around this is only one episode commentary, on fan favourite Lights of London - Part 2, featuring actor Denis Lill (who joined as regular character Charles Vaughan in Series 2 after an appearance in Series 1) and director Pennant Roberts. Interviews have also been recently recorded with Lill and Roberts along with Heather Wright (who played Melanie) and Lorna Lewis (who played Pet Simpson). An accompanying booklet will also be included, which, if it’s anything like the one included with the Series 1 box set, will be very detailed. The episodes have been digitally re-mastered and have just appeared at the BBFC as cleared. Future updates on the release can be found on the site’s Series 2 DVD Release Latest News page, which also has some photographs from the recording session for the interviews and commentary. The Series 1 box set had an RRP of £49.99, so expect this new box set to be the same. If you’ve not seen the series, and are interested in picking up the Series 1 box set (which is heartily recommended), the cheapest offer at the moment is from Benson’s World at £34.99 – here. It’s also appeared in at least one in-store sale recently, for an even-more reasonable £19.99.

DD Video has also had some other clearances as the BBFC recently - all nine episodes from the first series of the BBC comedy Oh Doctor Beeching! (The series’ pilot, which was broadcast a year before the first series, isn’t included in the material cleared). They have also submitted Orde Wingate, the 1976 three-part BBC 2 serial about a World War II soldier, produced by Innes Lloyd and starring Barry Foster, Denholm Elliott and Nigel Stock. DD Video have also had cleared the two horror films which are known to be lined up for release - The Blood Beast Terror (as The Vampire-Beast Craves Blood) and Island of Terror.

There is some new information about forthcoming Network titles. Their releases of Star Cops – The Complete Series, The Life and Loves of a She Devil and Till Death Us Do Part – The Complete 1974 Series are now being listed by Play. Till Death Us Do Part has a date of August the 23rd and an RRP of £15.99. The other two are for a week later on the 30th. The Life and Loves of a She Devil has an RRP of £19.99 and Star Cops hasn’t got an RRP listed, but Play are offering it for £31.99, which probably means the set will have an RRP of £39.99. No word on any special features for any of them (it is known that at least some are being prepared for Star Cops) and of course, being Network releases, these dates are liable to slip.

Acorn is preparing a release of the BBC’s 1960s adaptation of Vanity Fair. Originally aired in December 1967 on BBC 2, this five-part serial starred Susan Hampshire and Roy Marsden. Unfortunately, only part three exists in it’s original 625 PAL VT format, the other parts are held as conversions of 525 NTSC VT format material (the other original PAL tapes were lost in the great purge during the 70s). A six and half minute segment of part one does exist in 625 PAL format. Hopefully this will be edited back into the 525 material. The release has a date of September the 13th and an RRP of £24.99.

Acorn has also recently had two more Midsomer Murders stories – The Straw Woman and The Maid in Splendour - cleared at the BBFC. So, far these are not being listed by the retailers.

There is some very interesting news regarding BBC Worldwide’s Hancock’s Half Hour – Volume 1. Some retailers are now listing that the set will contain the existing episodes from Series 2 and 3. These are The Alpine Holiday, (the only remaining episode from Series 2) and Air Steward Hancock: The Last of the Many, The Lawyer: The Crown Vs Sidney Jamse, Competitions: How To Win Money And Influence People, There's An Airfield At The Bottom Of My Garden and Hancock's Forty-Three Minutes: The East Cheam Repertory Company, which was an extended variety format Christmas special (all from Series 3). If correct, this indicates that BBC Worldwide are going for a complete chronological release of all the episodes, as these are the earliest surviving episodes. In addition to that, There's An Airfield At The Bottom Of My Garden and Hancock's Forty-Three Minutes are two episodes which have previously been restricted from broadcast and release, due to perceived quality issues (with the shows themselves and not the recordings). So, this is fantastic news if it's true, and will make lots of Hancock fans very happy! In addition to that the RRP for this release, and that of Steptoe and Son - Series 1, has been revised to £12.99. Amazon has them both at £9.74, if you’re interested - Hancock's Half Hour - Volume 1 at £9.74 and Steptoe and Son - Series 1 at £9.74. Both have a release date of September the 13th.

Other new titles listed for BBC Worldwide include…

The fantastic fantasy drama series The Box of Delights (part of their Children’s Classics range), for November the 1st, with an RRP of £14.99.

Michael Palin’s next travelogue, Himalaya, to coincide with its broadcast, on October the 1st, with an RRP of £24.99.

The Only Fools and Horses Christmas special from last year - Sleepless in Peckham – on October the 4th at £17.99.

There are three other new titles where the label isn’t known…

Play is showing a release just entitled Kenny Everett, with a listed run time of approximately two hours. I’m guessing this is a compilation from some of his BBC shows. It has a date of September the 13th and an RRP of £15.99.

A box set of the drama series created by Jean Marsh and Eileen Atkins for the BBC in the early 90s – The House of Eliott - also for the September the 13th with an RRP of £59.99.

October the 17th sees a release (presumably the first series) of Clocking Off, which has an RRP of £19.99.

These could be from BBC Worldwide. September the 13th is their big release date for the final quarter. However, Acorn is also releasing a lot of titles on the 13th, and £59.99 is more of an Acorn-style box set RRP, so The House of Eliott could also be from them. Equally, Clocking Off, could be from an independent like Contender. When we know more we’ll let you know.

BBC Worldwide are also going in for some collected box sets…

There’s a exclusive of The Stephen Poliakoff Collection featuring the already released Caught On A Train, Shooting The Past and Perfect Strangers packaged together in a box set. It has a date of July the 12th with a price of £39.99. It is, however, cheaper to buy all three individually from Play!

A complete Jonathan Creek box set, featuring both Series 1 & 2 and 3 & 4 boxes, for September the 27th at an RRP £74.99. It’s interesting to note that when the series was first listed last year as complete box set (albeit with only one episode of the recently aired second half of Series 4, as the last two episodes hadn’t been filmed yet) it had an RRP of £49.99! So, that’s worked out at £25 for two extra episodes! The box set was pulled last year because of the incomplete nature of Series 4. The newly-listed Series 3 & 4 box set will also contain all of the Series 4 episodes and the two Christmas specials – Black Canary and Satan’s Chimney. Because of this it will probably be a five disc set, and this has necessitated an RRP revision to £44.99. Ironically it seems the only retailer to who hasn’t changed the RRP yet is the BBC Shop. They still have it at the old RRP of £39.99 and are offering at £29.99. Even with the BBC Shop’s shipping costs it still works out cheaper than the other retailers. If you want to get an order in click here! The set is due on the 2nd of August.

There’s a box set if both Series 1 & 2 of The Borrowers for the 4th of October. It has an RRP of £24.99.

The two series and Christmas specials of The Office are collected together for a complete box set on November the 22nd. It has an RRP of £39.99.

And finally, for BBC Worldwide; there’s a complete box of Michael Palin’s travelogue programmes, with an RRP of £69.99 and a date of 1st of November.

There are two new titles up from VCI – Series 3 of Black Books for the 14th of October and another recent Channel Four’s comedy, Peep Show, for November the 8th. No word on any special features yet. Their RRP’s are £19.99.

VCI’s forthcoming The Adam and Joe Show release has had 37m 28s worth of extras cleared at the BBFC. These include: Vinyl Justice (6m41s); Baaad Dad Revisited (8m31s); Ken Korda: Making it in Hollywood (8m33s); Ken Korda: Making the Band (6m19s) and Toytanic: The Movie (7m21s). The release has a date of September the 6th and an RRP of £16.99.

Carlton’s Timeslip box set has slipped a little on some retailers to August the 16th.

Now onto some American titles….

Anchor Bay is preparing a release of the season one of Michael Mann’s Crime Story, which ran for two seasons (42 episodes) between 1986 and 1988, and a total of 42 episodes. The series was commissioned on the back of the success of Miami Vice, but unfortunately was not as successful, and it was cancelled at the end of season two. The first season has 21 episodes, which Anchor Bay has spread over five discs for an RRP £29.99.

Five volumes of The Lucy Show have appeared on for October the 25th from an unknown label at an RRP of £9.99. The only clearances of I Love Lucy at the BBFC in recent times are six volumes from company named Direct Entertainment UK Ltd, who may linked with Direct Video Distribution, who released the Sam Arkoff library titles here. The six BBFC clearances contain four episodes apiece which would suggest an RRP like £9.99. The six volumes cleared for Direct Entertainment UK Ltd comprise of the first 24 episodes of Season 1.

Warner Home Video has a box set of Season 1 of The Waltons for November the 8th with an RRP of £39.99.

Extras for the Season 1 release of Star Trek - The Original Series are being listed by some of the retailers, with some of them also cleared at the BBFC. All the discs feature a preview trailers to each episode (possibly the cast member introductions that were recorded for the re-mastered VHS tapes). There are also text commentaries by Michael and Denise Okuda on Where No Man Has Gone Before, The Menagerie, Part 1 & 2 and The Conscience of the King. Disc 8 of the set contains all the main extras: The Birth of a Timeless Legacy (24m13s); Life Beyond Trek: William Shatner (10m26s); To Boldly Go…Season One (18m58s); Reflections of Spock (12m11s); Sci-Fi Visionaries - A look at Star Trek's famous writers (16m38s); Four Red Shirt Logs: (4m15s), (1m53s), (1m34s), (4m19s); Envisioning the Future; Kirk, Spock and Bones: Trek's Great Trio; a Photo Log; a Trek Connections Game and trailers for TNG, DSN and Voyager. The 8 disc box set has a date of August the 30th and an RRP of £84.99. Choices Direct has mis-priced the box set and have it at £52.49 – click here if you wish to order it. Thanks to Analogueman for spotting this! Amazon is also listing that Disc 7 of the Season 3 box set will feature both the colorised and hybrid colour / b&w versions of The Cage.

A shed load of new animation titles have been added, let’s have a look at those next...

First up is The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection, from an as yet unknown label –probably MGM. No word on the content yet, but it has an RRP of £29.99, so it looks like it’ll be quite extensive. This set coincides with a reissue of The Pink Panther Collection movie set (this was deleted at the beginning of May). This reissue appears to be identical to the previous release, and has an RRP of £59.99. Both have a date of the 29th of November.

Universal’s release of the original series of The Wombles has now been subtitled Orinoco And The Big Black Umbrella and had a episode listing put up (ten episodes in total) - Orinoco And The Big Black Umbrella; The Rocking Chair;. A Sticky Ending; Great Uncle Bulgaria's Keep-Fit Lessons; A Safe Place; Peep Peep Peep; The Purple Paw Mystery; Bungo's Birthday Party; The Invisible Womble and Orinoco Sees The Light. The release has a date of July the 12th and an RRP of £5.99.

There are six volumes of classic cartoons coming from Delta on the 16th of August, all with an RRP of £5.99 each. These are the usual Public Domain titles, so expect the quality to match the price-point.

A ten episode release of Felix the Cat - Felix in Hollywood, featuring the episodes: Felix In Hollywood, Felix Doubles For Darwin, Felix Goes West, Felix Finds Out, Felix All Puzzled, Felix Monkeys With Magic, Felix Gets The Can, A Felix Comic, Felix The Cat & The Goose That Laid The Golden Egg and Felix The Cat In Neptune Nonsense.

There are two volumes of Max Fleischer Superman Cartoons from the 1940s. Volume 1 has nine episodes: Superman, The Mechanical Monsters, The Billion Dollar Limited, The Arctic Giant, The Bulleteers, The Magnetic Telescope, The Electric Earthquake, Volcano and Terror On The Midway. Volume 2 has eight episodes: Japoteurs, Showdown, Eleventh Hour, Destruction Inc., The Mummy Strikes, Jungle Drums, The Underground World and Secret Agent.

And three volumes of classic Popeye cartoons. Volume 1 has nine episodes: With Little Swee' Pea, Popeye Meets Sinbad The Sailor, I'm In The Army Now, The Paneless Window Washer, I Never Changes My Altitude, Popeye Meets Ali Baba's Forty Thieves, A Date To Skate, Customers Wanted and Aladdin And His Wonderful Lamp. Volume 2 has eleven episodes: Me Musical Nephews, Shuteye Popeye, Big Bad Sinbad, Ancient Fistory, Floor Flusher, Popeye's 20th Anniversary, Taxi-Turvey, Bride And Groom, Greek Mirthology, Fright To The Finish and Private Eye Popeye. Volume 3 has twelve episodes: Gopher Spinach, Cooking With Gags, Ot To Punch, Assault And Flattery, Insect To Injury, Parlez Vous Woo, I Don't Scare, A Haul In One, Nearlyweds, Patriotic Popeye, Spress Lunch and Spooky Swabs.

Disney’s film Mickey, Donald and Goofy in The Three Musketeers has it it’s special features put up. It will include a cast audio commentary, in which Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Pete comment on a scene from the movie and explain how they approached their performances, and what really went on behind the scenes; deleted scenes: Disney Toon Studios executive Brian Snedeker lets us in on the reason why four scenes were cut from the movie [because they weren’t up to the high standards set by the rest of the film? – JK]: Original Storybook Opening, Troubadour Intros Pete, Pete On Bridge, and Another Rescue; Operatoonity: produce your own opera with this humorous activity set in the film's classic opera house; The Many Hats Of Mickey: discover Mickey's different movie roles through his long and illustrious film career; Get The Scoop: an intrepid Disney reporter is on a mission to find out why this is Mickey's first full-length animated movie; and a Sing-along to the songs from the movie with on-screen lyrics turned on or off. The release has a date of September the 20th and an RRP of £19.99.

Right, catch yer breath for a moment, and onto the film releases proper. This is mainly information about extras, but there are a few new titles thrown in for good measure…

Kill Bill - Volume 2 has a date of August the 16th and it’s special features have been cleared at the BBFC. There’s a deleted scene (running to 3m 44s); The Making of Kill Bill - Volume 2 featurette (at 26m02s) and the Chingon performance from the Volume 2 premiere (11m38s). It has an RRP of £19.99.

Play is also listing a special edition of Killing Zoe for July the 26th with an RRP of £15.99. The other retailers aren’t listing it, so as we’re into July now, I wouldn’t be surprised if the listing it s a little erroneous.

A special edition of Memento has appeared for the 27th of September. No word on content yet, but it has an RRP of £24.99. It might bring the UK disc – from Pathé – into line with the Region 1 Special Edition, from Columbia Tristar.

Extras for three of MGM’s forthcoming special editions are now being listed…

The 13th of September sees the release of the Species – Special Edition. Its special features are listed as: audio commentaries; HR Giger At Work - Designing Species; The Origin of Species; The Concept of Species; The Discovery of Species; Designing a Hybrid; an Alternate Ending and Species 3 - Set Invasion Special behind-the-scenes featurette.

The Ronin – Special Edition has a date of October the 11th. Its listed extras are a combination of those that appeared on the first Region 2 release and some new ones. The full list is: audio commentary with Director John Frankenheimer; an alternate ending; an interview with the Stunt Coordinator*; In the Cutting room with Tony Gibbs*; Filming in the Fast Lane; Cinematography of Ronin*; Natascha McElhone - An Actor's Process*; Composing the Ronin Score* and animated Photo Gallery*. The new features are the ones with a * next to them.

The features for the Four Weddings And A Funeral - Special Edition are listed as:

audio commentary; Four Weddings and a Funeral In the Making featurette; The Wedding Planners (a look back from cast and crew); Actors and Director featurette; deleted scenes, with an introduction; promotional spots with Hugh Grant and Andie Macdowell; and an original theatrical trailer. It has a date of the 29th of November.

All three MGM special editions have an RRP of £19.99.

Both HMV and Choices Direct are listing a Charlie Chan - Chanthology box set, which is a collection of some of the Sidney Toler films (Orbit are just about to begin a series of releases of the films with Warner Oland in the title role). The set is listed as containing three discs, with two films per disc. The films are: The Chinese Cat (1944); Charlie Chan in the Secret Service (1944); The Jade Mask (1945); Meeting at Midnight (1944); The Scarlet Clue (1945); and The Shanghai Cobra (1945). There is a discrepancy in the prices the two retailers are listing – Choices Direct has an RRP of £49.99 and HMV has a Chart Price Crash of £22.99 (which usually means the RRP is £29.99). So, one of ‘em is wrong! If you want to, try you luck with HMV, though there is no guarantee they will honour the price if it does turn out be wrong – click here! The set has a date of November the 1st.

Also listed for the 1st of November (again by Choices Direct) is two volumes of The Woody Allen Collection.

The Woody Allen Collection - Volume 1 contains Annie Hall, Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex, But Were Afraid To Ask, Love And Death, Hannah And Her Sisters, Zelig and Broadway Danny Rose.

The Woody Allen Collection - Volume 2 contains Manhattan, Sleeper, Bananas, Crimes And Misdemeanours, The Purple Rose Of Cairo and Radio Days.

Presumably these are just box set collections of the existing releases from MGM. Woody Allen is notoriously reticent to include bonus features on his DVDs. Choices Direct are quoting an RRP of £49.99 for each of the sets. The films can usually be picked up in five-for-£30 deals, so it’s not a particularly attractive offer.

A special edition release of Matt Damon’s spy thriller The Bourne Identity is being prepared by Universal for release on August the 9th. Extras cleared at the BBFC include: The Speed of Sound Pt. 1 (12m23s); The Bourne Mastermind – Robert Ludlum (5m42s); The Bourne Diagnosis (3m22s); The Bookend Series: Intro (3m29s), Opening (2m13s), Ending (4m53s); From Identity to Supremacy – Jason and Marie (3m34s) and Access Granted – An Interview with Screenwriter Tony Gilroy (4m0s). It has an RRP of £15.99.

Universal also have Shopping, Paul Anderson’s 1994 film starring Sadie Frost, Jude Law and Jonathan Pryce, scheduled for the 26th of July. Special features cleared at the BBFC include interviews (running to 7m3s) and B Roll footage (at 6m7s). Retailers are also indicating that the release will include a mini featurette and trailer. Its RRP is £15.99.

Now some Warner Home Video titles…

The Butterfly Effect is being prepared for the 13th of September for an RRP of £15.99. Extras cleared at the BBFC totalling sixty four and a half minutes include: The Creative Process (17m46s); Behind the Visual Effects (16m03s); Chaos Theory (8m56s); Time Travel (13m22s); Deleted Scenes: Scene 11 – Where’s My Puffer? (1m02s), Scene 32- Kids Discuss Art (29s); Scene 48 – The Mute in the Yellow Hat (23s); Scene 55 – Once Bitten, Twice Catatonic (23s); Scene 71 – Get My Memories Back (17s); Scene 112 – Original “You’ve Been Acting Weird Evan” (1m17s); Scene 41 – Noon Day Stalker (22s), Alternate Ending: Stalker Ending (54s), Alternate Ending: Happy Sappy Ending (50s); Trailer (2m22s). Warner will have a tough job matching the feature-packed Region 1 Infinifilm release from New Line, which is due out next week.

I’ve previously reported that a special edition release of Prince’s Purple Rain is being prepared by Warner Home Video for the 18th of October. Now being listed for the same date are his two other Prince films: Graffiti Bridge and Under The Cherry Moon. Both have had music videos cleared at the BBFC. Graffiti Bridge has Thieves at the Temple (running to 4m5s) and Under The Cherry Moon has Another Lover (at 3m17s). Both releases have an RRP of £12.99. The Purple Rain SE is at £19.99.

Warner Home Video also has a new release of The Goonies listed for October the 4th. Whether or it will be a straight reissue of the previous release or a new version like the Region 1 Special Edition (which has a commentary, and other supplements) remains to be seen. Its RRP remains the same - £12.99.

The collector’s edition of Philadelphia from Columbia Tri-Star now has its special features being listed by the retailers. It will include an audio commentary; deleted scenes; documentary; Making of… featurette; Bruce Springsteen’s award-winning Streets of Philadelphia music video; filmographies; an interview; a TV spot; and trailer. It has a date of the 19th of July and an RRP of £12.99.

Paramount is releasing the Richard Pryor film Critical Condition on August the 16th. It has an RRP of £15.99.

There’s a double bill of two early 70s horrors being listed for September the 27th from an as yet unknown label. The Bloodsuckers (also known as Incense for the Damned, amongst other titles) is a dire UK film from 1972 which stars a plethora of British genre talent, including Patrick Macnee, Peter Cushing, Edward Woodward, Patrick Mower, Imogen Hassall, William Mervyn, David Lodge and John (I didn’t get where I am today without knowing I’m one of the best in British genre talent) Baron. Blood Thirst is a US film from 1971 and doesn’t really star anyone of note. The release has an RRP of £12.99.

And, finally…

The Hollow, a follow-up of sorts to Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, has a straight-to-DVD appointment with 25th of October, and an RRP of £12.99. Its label is as yet unknown.

And that’s yer lot from me.

Thanks, Ceri! There'll be another update from Ceri on Monday. 

28th June 2004

VCI's Cinema Club label has signed a deal with French archive Canal Plus which includes the rights to re-release The Avengers TV series on DVD.

In some ways this is a disappointment, because it probably means that the series will follow the Sherlock Holmes pattern of two episodes on each disc, with few, if any new bonus features. In an ideal world the series would have lain dormant for a couple of years while it gathered potential sales value. Then someone like Network could have re-released it in digitally re-mastered form, with the early Honor Blackman episodes VidFIRED, and with all sorts of commentary tracks and bonus supplements to tempt fans who already own the Contender or A&E versions to upgrade.

Unless Cinema Club is going to re-master the episodes (and correct the odd errors in Canal Plus' masters), there'll be precious little incentive for fans to pick up the new versions. The Cinema Club versions will probably be on sale for at least a couple of years, further eroding what potential value they still have for another label to acquire. Cinema Club's plans mean that there probably won't be a suitable opportunity to properly re-launch and re-market the series until the next format comes along.

On the positive side, the deal will also mean UK DVD releases for some classic (and not so classic) films from the same package. Titles mentioned on the Cinema Club website are Britannia Hospital, Santa Claus The Movie, Entertaining Mr Sloane and the Alistair Sim version of An Inspector Calls (which was scheduled for release in May, but postponed). The Frankie Howerd film Up The Front (due on August the 9th) is also likely to have been part of this deal. The Canal Plus package might also include other AWOL titles from the old EMI catalogue, like At The Earth's Core (already available as a R1 release from MGM), The Land That Time Forgot (available in Spain) and Warlords of Atlantis (not available anywhere, as far as I know).

The fourth season of The West Wing will be released in the UK on September the 13th. The set will feature the episodes in 1.78:1 format, with English and English HoH subtitles. There will be no bonus features on the set, so potential customers who aren't in a hurry are advised to wait and see what might turn up on the Region 1 edition.

Thunderbirds is another series under the spotlight at the moment, thanks to the impending release of the Thunderbirds movie (which Lee reviewed here).

Silva Screen will follow up last year's Thunderbirds CD (more details here) with a second volume, which is due for release on July the 17th.

The disc features just under an hour of music, meticulously re-mastered from Barry Gray's own archive. The disc includes tracks composed for many episodes, including Danger at Ocean Deep, Thirty Minutes After Noon, End of the Road, The Duchess Assignment, Terror in New York City, Give or Take a Million and Security Hazard, as well as pieces recycled from earlier shows, like Supercar and Stingray.

Tracks on the new disc include a clean version of the Main Title theme (stripped of Peter Dyneley's voice-over and the sound effects); an extended version of the Spoke City Jazz theme heard in Thirty Minutes After Noon; a suite of French-themed music titled Penelope in France; a vocal version of Dangerous Game, which many fans will know as the opening theme from the Mime Theatre Show's Thunderbirds FAB show; the Century 21 mini-album track Century 21 March; a piano version of the oft-used and oft-recorded cue Dangerous Game; Sleepy Time, the music box version of the Thunderbirds theme from Security Hazard; and the abandoned end titles theme with vocals by Stingray's Gary Miller, Flying High (which eventually turned up as a source cue in Richochet).

The disc features the second part of a detailed overview of the music for Gerry Anderson's series, which will be concluded with Silva Screen's forthcoming Space:1999 Year One CD. Silva Screen's website features a complete track listing, and an offer to buy both volumes for £11.95.

The Hammer DVD Guide has been updated. New discs include Warner Home Video's Love Thy Neighbour DVD, and a Japanese box set which includes Scream of Fear (aka Taste of Fear).

Two Warner Home Video releases that were due today, Gods and Generals and Gettysburg, have been re-scheduled for release on July the 5th.

Apologies to those of you waiting for the Millennium  Season One review I promised last week. It's mutated into a review and an episode guide, and so it's going to take another couple of days. Hopefully this selection of Millennium - Season One menu screens will tide you over...

Ceri's back from his holiday, but there'll be no big update this week, because he's been wasting time relaxing and the like. I have added a few bits and pieces to the Incoming page, and checked with one of the online retailers that the titles that we have listed are still expected today (those that aren't have been moved to their new release dates, with a "NEW DATE" button next to them). I haven't done anything to the Offers page. There are a few updates in the High Street section of Roobarb's DVD Forum, so have a poke around there for the latest offers. The biggie this week is the arrival of HMV's latest sale. (Has it really been a whole week since the last one?) There are usually a few real bargains to be had there.

Previous News entries can viewed here.


Released 12th July 2004.



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