NEWS ARCHIVE - 19th - 25th JULY 2004

22nd July

More sad news today, with news that film music composer Jerry Goldsmith has died, aged 75, following a period of ill health.

Goldsmith was the guv'nor. John Williams earned his reputation through his fortuitous and fruitful relationship with Spielberg and Lucas, but never demonstrated the versatility of Goldsmith, who composed material as diverse as Alien and Chinatown.

His scores quite simply elevated every film he worked on (and, boy, did some of them need elevating!)

I was lucky enough to attend an interview with Goldsmith at the National Film Theatre, where he discussed his work in general, and on The Edge in particular. He held court magnificently, and spoke passionately and candidly about his work.

Afterwards he courteously chatted with his acolytes. One nerd had a printout of his IMDb credits, which he asked Goldsmith to sign as if it was an affidavit, but Goldsmith took it all in his stride. He kindly signed my Varèse Sarabande Planet of the Apes CD, although he did grumble something about not giving his permission for it to be released!

Earlier this year Varèse paid fine tribute to Goldsmith with a beautiful CD box set showcasing a sample of his work for Twentieth Century Fox, a fraction of his output, but full of magic: The Omen, Alien, Patton, The Sand Pebbles, and on and on. Goldsmith’s music will live forever.

Farewell, Jerry.

20th July 2004

Universal will release Edgar Wright and SImon Pegg's zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead on September the 6th.

The disc will feature four commentary tracks: one by Pegg and Wright, a second by Pegg and co-stars Nick Frost, Dylan Moran, Kate Ashfield and Lucy Davis, a third by stars Bill Nighy and Penelope Wilton, and a fourth by the zombies!

The disc will also feature extended bits "including commentary", outtakes, The Man Who Would Be Shaun (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost impersonate Sean Connery and Michael Caine) and Funky Pete (Pete's swearing sequence re-dubbed). Three comic strip sequences will fill the Plotholes (What happened to Shaun when he ran off? What happened to Diane when she left the Winchester? and How did Ed get from the cellar to the shed?) TV Bits shows extended versions of the TV shows within the movie (Coldplay on T4, Fun Dead - full version of It's a Knockout Zombies, Trisha - Your nine lives are up, Trisha - I married a monster and Remembering Z-Day - Interview with Jeremy Thompson).

There are five trailers and TV spots: Fright Fest Exclusive trailer, Official Teaser, Official Trailer, and TV spots 1 and 2.

A Raw Meat - The Making of... section includes an EPK featurette, Simon's Cam - Vignettes, Lucy's Cam - Vignettes, Joe's Diary - Vignettes, Edgar and Simon's Flip Chart (presentation of the first draft), an SFX Comparison from Double Negative and Make-Up Tests.

Three Zombie Galleries are devoted to Photo's (by Simon, Lucy and Charlotte), the 2000AD comic strip There's Something About Mary and Poster Designs.

There will be two features using the subtitle option: a storyboard comparison and a Zomb-O-Meter trivia track.

Is that all? RRP is £19.99. You can discuss this release in this thread at Roobarb's DVD Forum.

I've added menu screens and a comparison between the old 1998 Anchor Bay release of Zombie and the new Blue Underground version, which you can find here.

As you may know, there are two competing versions of Zombie being released soon (the other is from Shriek Show). The Blue Underground version may lack the bonus features of the Shriek Show disc, but their version will have to be pretty smart if the transfer is an improvement on the Blue Underground version.

Comparisons between the new Blue Underground version and the old Anchor Bay version are a bit unfair. No-one would claim that the Anchor Bay version was a good transfer. It was a very early release, using a recycled non-anamorphic laserdisc transfer. Comparing the two discs is like night and day, though. Check out the screen grabs!

Doctor Who fans might want to know that the British boxing movie The Calcium Kid, which features Billie Piper as Orlando Bloom's girlfriend, will be released on DVD by Universal on August 30th. I imagine Orlando Bloom's fans might be interested, too! The disc will feature deleted scenes and outtakes featuring Frank Bruno and Chris Eubank. RRP is £15.99.

Warner Home Video is re-promoting a range of Superhero titles during July and August. The following will be available at the promotional price of £5.99: Batman (1989), Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman and Robin, Superman II, Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, Justice League: Secret Origins, Justice League: Justice on Trial, Justice League: Paradise Lost, and three X-Men: Evolution titles (Unexpected Changes, X Marks The Spot and Xposing The Truth).

Warner Home Video have provided a summary of their recent release date changes:

Their collection of Elvis Presley movies (Jailhouse Rock, Viva Las Vegas, and the two Elvis DVD box sets) will be released on August the 30th.

The European Director Triple DVD box sets (the Jean Luc Godard, Jean Renoir and Luis Buñuel titles announced on June the 17th), will now be released on September the 6th.

Far From The Madding Crowd is now due on September the 13th.

The Babylon 5 Movie Collection box set is now expected on September the 27th.

HBO will release the Chris Rock - Bigger & Blacker stand-up concert on October the 4th. The disc, which runs for a meagre 65 minutes (although some would argue that's about 65 minutes too much Rock), has an RRP of £15.99.

19th July 2004

Blue Underground has announced the full specifications of the eagerly-awaited Alan Clarke Collection. The five-disc set will contain the BBC and theatrical versions of Scum, Made in Britain, The Firm, Elephant and documentary Director: Alan Clarke.

Specifications are as follows  (all 4:3, mono, unless noted):

Scum - BBC version - audio commentary with stars Phil Daniels and David Threlfall, and producer Margaret Matheson; selected scenes with commentary by Ray Winstone.

Scum - Theatrical version - audio commentary by Ray Winstone; interviews with producer Clive Parsons and writer Roy Minton; poster and stills galleries; theatrical trailer; 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen, 5.1 Dolby Digital audio.

Made in Britain - Audio commentary by star Tim Roth; second audio commentary by writer David Leland and producer Margaret Matheson; archive interview with Tim Roth; poster and still gallery.

The Firm - still galleries

Elephant - Audio commentary with producer Danny Boyle; Memories of Elephant (interviews with Gary Oldman, David Hare and Molly Clarke).

Director: Alan Clarke - Clarke bio.

The release date is 31st August, the "List Price" is $99.95.

Future Blue Underground releases include: Cannonball and Circle of Iron in September, Fire & Ice in October and The Loveless and Smithereens in November.

Tomorrow I'll post menu screen images for two of Blue Underground's July 27th releases: Zombie and Conquest. In the meantime, here's a look at the Alan Clarke Collection!

If you haven't visited since Friday, you missed a lot of good stuff that I added at the weekend: stuff about Star Cops, Till Death Us Do Part, Tartan's forthcoming titles, The Lost Boys Special Edition and other goodies. Click here to see last week's News.

Ceri has been very busy this week. Not only has he brought you updates to the Incoming and Offers pages, but he's also written a terrific review of BBC Audiobooks' box set of the classic science-fiction radio series Journey Into Space. The series still has fans from its original transmission in the 1950s, has earned new admirers from it's re-appearance in the late 80s, and continues to impress today. Click on the image, left, or here to read Ceri's review. You can discuss this release in this thread at Roobarb's DVD Forum.

I've been too busy with this week's updates to contribute any news today, but that matters little when the industrious Mr Laing has also contributed the following guide to the titles revealed in the last week, and to the latest retailer bargains. On your marks. Get set!  Go!!

Hello folks! Here’s this week’s highlights in the changes to the Incoming and Offers pages…

Let’s get cracking with the film titles…

Paramount are preparing a special Commemorative D-Day 60th Anniversary Edition two-disc set of Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan. It will feature an introduction from Spielberg; Looking Into The Past: in which Spielberg explains the research, the screenplay and his intentions; Miller and His Platoon: Spielberg, Tom Hanks and the cast introduce the characters they played; Boot Camp: memories from the participants about the intense boot camp under the supervision of military advisor Dale Dye; Making Saving Private Ryan: a look at the production, costumes and photography; Recreating Omaha Beach: how the famous opening battle was constructed. Music and Sound: information from the Oscar-winning team who scored the film; and Parting Words: Spielberg and Hanks conclude on their respective experiences. It has a date of November the 1st and an RRP of £19.99.

Following on from last week’s report of Anchor Bay’s collection of the Hellraiser films, a complete eight-disc collection from them of the Halloween films is now being listed for September the 20th. There’s no word on the full content yet, but it has an RRP of £54.99.

Hellraiser V – Inferno has appeared from Buena Vista for the 11th October with an RRP of £15.99.

And finally for the films, the Spaced team’s spoof Shaun of the Dead is listed for September the 6th (coinciding with the release of the new version of the Dawn of the Dead and Arrow’s new releases of the original Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead). Shaun of the Dead will be released by Universal, with an RRP of £19.99. No word on any special features as yet.

Now on to the TV releases…

I’m pleased to say BBC Worldwide are ramping up number of DVDs they release. Now listed for October the 4th are Going Straight (the follow up series to Porridge and never before released on any home video format), Open All Hours - Series 3, Porridge – The Christmas Specials (bit of a fest there Ronnie Barker fans!) and Yes, Prime Minister - Series 1. Following on from releases of earlier series of these programmes it was expected they would be scheduled for September, but when Hancock’s Half Hour – Volume 1, Steptoe and Son – Series 1 and Dad’s Army – Series 1 & 2 appeared in their place it was feared that BBC Worldwide where not continuing with them. So, it is extremely gratifying that BBC Worldwide have decided to increase their commitment to the DVD format and won’t disappoint fans of Ronnie Barker or Yes, Prime Minister. The four titles have an RRP of £12.99 each.

It addition to that (and with the Christmas market in mind), also being listed are three new box sets collecting together previous individual releases on November the 15th: Yes Minister - Complete Series 1 -3, Only Fools and Horses – The Final Trilogy and Only Fools and Horses - Complete Series 1 – 7. The latter has an RRP of £89.99 and the other two are £29.99.

Special features are now showing for BBC Worldwide’s release of Little Britain - Series 1. These include deleted scenes; the Pilot episode; outtakes; the best of Rock Profiles (the mockumentary interview series Lucas and Walliams did for now defunct cable channel UKPlay); a behind-the-scenes documentary; and a video recording of the Radio 4 series. Little Britain - Series 1 is listed for October the 11th and has an RRP of £19.99.

Two titles which DD Video recently had cleared at the BBFC – Hawking (the BBC 2 drama about the life of Stephen Hawking) and the first series of sitcom Oh Doctor Beeching! – are both now being listed for release on September the 13th, with Hawking at £14.99 and Oh Doctor Beeching! - Complete Series 1 at £16.99.

Parts 2 and 3 of the first series of The House of Eliott from Acorn have dates of the 11th of October and 8th of November, respectively. Both retail at £19.99. The complete box set of the series and Part 1 are listed for the 13th of September.

Delta is preparing Series 3 of Lovejoy, together with a Lovejoy - Complete Series 1 – 6 box set for September the 20th. The Series 3 release has an RRP of £29.99 and the complete box set is at £129.99. Joining them on the 20th September are The Henry’s Cat Collection (a five-disc set of all episodes of the 1980’s animation from Roobarb creator Bob Godfrey) at £24.99; over fifty adventures of The Mr Men and Little Miss in a four-disc Volume 1 collection at £19.99; and The Worzel Gummidge Collection – Volume 1, which includes the first four series at £29.99.

Series 6 of A Touch of Frost is being shown by Sendit for September the 6th. Strangely it’s listed as from Carlton and not Universal Playback, who have released the first five series. It may be a mistake on Sendit’s part. The release has an RRP of £24.99.

What is from Universal Playback is the first series of Victoria Wood’s sitcom Dinnerladies. It has an RRP of £19.99 and a date of the 15th of November.

The previously reported Kenny Everett release for September the 13th has had some additional information put up. It’s now listed as Kenny Everett - The Complete Naughty Bits, which is the same title as the Region 4 compilation of his ITV series, so it’s possibly a UK version of that release. It has an RRP of £15.99.

Extras for the two-disc release of Clocking Off - Series 1 are listed as being interviews with script-writer Paul Abbott and director Nichola Schindler; cast biographies; and production notes. It’s still not known which label is releasing this. It has a date of October the 18th and an RRP of £19.99.

Revelation is to release a four-disc Dogtanian – The Complete Series box set on September the 20th at £19.99.

Also on the 20th September, Fabulous Films have listed a Monkey - The Complete Box Set, with an RRP of £99.99.

There’s news of some extras for the Black Books – Series Three DVD: trailers (2m), outtakes (13m) and deleted scenes (22m).

And finally, for Incoming, is a listing of a Heidi - Series 1 Box Set for September the 13th at £19.99. No other information is known about it yet – so it could be anything. It’s worth reporting as it may be release of the European 1970s version, which the BBC bought and showed in an endless cycle of repeats throughout the 70s and 80s (usually as a summer filler).

Now on to the Offers page…

Amazon has the Beverly Hills Cop Collection at £9.97 (£20.02 off) and Twin Peaks - Season 1 at £20.97 (£29.02 off). Together with two good pre-order prices - Cadfael - The Complete Collection at £41.24 and Jonathan Creek - Series 3 And 4 Box Set at £29.99. They’ve also shaved two pounds off their Buffy – Season 1 box set, so it’s now at £14.97.

Thanks to Stuart Flanagan for spotting that CD-Wow have two of the Dennis Potter Collection titles – Brimstone and Treacle and Casanova at £7.49 each.

And finally… has Elvis Presley - Aloha From Hawaii (Deluxe Edition) at £9.99 and A Nightmare On Elm Street 1-6 Collection at £17.99.

That’s yer lot from me this week!

Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed here.


Released 12th July 2004.




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