ARCHIVED NEWS - 10th - 16th JANUARY 2005


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13th January 2005

Ventura International is releasing three Japanese horror movies under the title Asian Horror Collection. They've been licensed from Adness / Kadokawa, the production company behind the original Ringu.

The first, due on January the 24th, is Shikoku, the story of three childhood friends with a hidden secret. The disc will feature interviews with director Nagasaki Shunichi and the two main female cast members, Kuriyama Chiaki and Natsukawa Yui, a Making of... featurette, trailers and TV spots. The film will be presented in 1.85:1 widescreen format.

Masato Harada's Inugami is Ventura International's next release, due on February the 14th. The film, based on a popular novel, is about a young schoolteacher who falls in love with a woman who's family are guardians to evil spirits. The film will be presented in 1.85:1 ratio.

The third release, due on March the 7th, is Isola, about a psychic girl with telepathic powers. The disc will feature trailers, cast interviews and a Making of... featurette. The aspect ratio for Isola is 1.78:1.

All three discs are in Japanese, with English subtitles, with a choice of DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mixes, and an RRP of £15.99. Here are the sleeve images...

More details about Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment's UK Man on Fire DVD are now available. You may recall, from the News page entry for the 20th of December, that some of the information on the press release was somewhat dubious. Well, the good news is that the UK Region 2 disc does have the option of a DTS audio track (at 754kbps), and it is presented in the correct 2.35:1 ratio (the press release said it was 1.85:1). The bad news is that it definitely only has one audio commentary: the one by by producer Lucas Forster, screenwriter Brian Helgeland and co-star Dakota Fanning is missing from the UK disc, (but is included on the single-disc US edition). Still, in all other respects the UK version is certainly superior. Check here for a full review in a week or two.

Sleeve images for the James Cagney Signature Collection, which will be exclusively available from HMV, and associated titles The Petrified Forest and Little Caeser, are now available (below). See the News page entry for the 8th of December for more information. Oddly none of the new titles is listed on HMV's website yet... sigh...

The titles that Tartan were due to release on February the 21st have all been delayed a week. These are: Old Boy, Sympathy For Mr Vengeance Collectors Edition, Coffee and Cigarettes, Angel on The RightOzu Boxset 2 (Record of a Tenement Gentleman and Flavour of Green Tea Over Rice). I've amended the listing I added on Monday, below, with the new information.

In other Tartan news, the Bava box set due on March the 28th will contain Black Sunday, The Girl Who Knew Too Much and Black Sabbath. More details when we get them...

Optimum have released details of a four-disc, digitally-re-mastered box set of Jay Ward's wacky cartoon series The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends, featuring all twenty-six episodes from the first series. The set will also feature more than thirty minutes of bonus material: Bullwinkle puppet segments; TV promotional spots; rarely-seen US Savings Stamp Club special episode; specially-created Many Faces of Boris Badenov short; sneak preview at The Complete Season 2. The set is due on February the 14th. RRP for the set is £24.99.

Film Score Monthly has released another two limited edition soundtrack CD collections, thanks to their ongoing agreement with Turner Classic Movies Music.

The new Silver Age Classics disc combines two jaunty scores from the 60s: Penelope, by Johnny Williams, and Bachelor in Paradise, by Henry Mancini. Baby boomers might not realise that Williams and Mancini were working side by side on projects throughout the sixties (Williams performed on the incredibly popular LP version of Peter Gunn, for example). It's just that Mancini found fame first, with scores like Hatari!, Charade, and Experiment in Terror. Williams rose to prominence later, with his string of breathtaking late 70s scores, including Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Jaws.

Penelope was a lightweight, sparkling comedy caper movie, made as a vehicle for the luminous Natalie Wood. The film was directed by Arthur Hiller, who went on to direct a couple of films scripted by playwright Neil Simon, and who hit the jackpot with Love Story in 1970.

The music for Penelope was composed by John ("Johnny") Williams, in the middle of his period scorring fantasy TV shows for Irwin Allen (Lost in Space, The Time Tunnel, etc).

The new FSM Penelope CD knocks spots off the previous CD editions, from Chapter III (where it was paired with Vic Mizzy's Don't Make Waves), and a bootleg (paired with Williams' Not With My Wife, You Don't). The original LP featured re-recorded source cues and variations of the jazzy main theme. The FSM offers much more than that: it includes Williams' original score recordings, remixed and re-mastered from the original three-track film session recordings, the complete album recording, and alternate and source cues. Many of the cues are extended versions of the music heard in the film itself. The new disc includes the film's title song, which had lyrics by Leslie Bricusse, sung by The Pennypipers. All in all there's almost ninety minutes of music from the film on the new disc.

Bachelor In Paradise is FSM's first Mancini release, and it's a good partner to the Williams score. The film was a Cinemascope vehicle for the wise-cracking Bob Hope, playing an author of books about relationship rituals in various cultures. The score was recorded a few weeks before Mancini had the hit of his career, with Breakfast at Tiffany's Moon River. The new CD features the complete original score (a rare event in itself: almost all Mancini LP releases were re-recordings), amounting to almost an hour of music, including about twenty minutes of source cues, alternate and demo tracks. The disc comes with a twenty-four page, lavishly-illustrated booklet, with liner notes and track breakdown by Lukas Kendall. 

FSM's Golden Age Classics release pairs two fine 1954 score by Miklós Rózsa: Valley of the Kings, for a hoary Indiana Jones-style Egypt-based adventure movie starring Ivanhoe's Robert Taylor, and Men of the Fighting Lady, a Korean war movie set on board a US Navy carrier.

Valley of the Kings was previously available as a CD from Tickertape, a label with somewhat dubious claim to the rights to many of their albums. FSM's authorised version is, naturally, in a different league, not only offering much-improved audio quality, but also more material.

Rózsa composed an extraordinary twenty-minute "tone poem" suite for Men of the Fighting Lady, titled Blind Flight, and this, together with the Main Title and End Title tracks (which weren't written by Rózsa), are featured on the new CD. The new disc also includes music composed by Rózsa for the trailer for the 1950 version of King Solomon's Mines. (This is in mono - the rest of the album is in stereo, remixed and re-mastered from the original three-track film recordings). The disc comes with a twenty-page booklet with notes and cue breakdowns by Lukas Kendall and Jeff Bond.

The next batch of releases from the label haven't been announced, but we know they will be by Andre Previn (the Golden Age Classics release) and Lalo Schifrin (the Silver Age Classics release). Label boss Lukas Kendall has also revealed that there'll be at least one vintage Maurice Jarre score released by FSM in 2005.

FSM discs are available from specialist retailers. The label has now farmed out its distribution to Virginia-based soundtrack retailer Screen Archives Entertainment, a company I've used many times, and can thoroughly recommend.

11th January 2005

Anchor Bay (UK) have released more details of the forthcoming release of cult hit Bubba Ho-Tep. As expected, the UK release will feature some exclusive content, specifically aimed at tempting people who imported the US version, which was released back in May 2004, to upgrade to their Region 2 edition.

The two-disc UK version will include all the bonus features from US disc, as well as "a host of amazing and totally exclusive additional extras, many of which were produced especially for this release with the co-operation of Don Coscarelli and star Bruce Campbell. The two discs also feature specially created 3-D animated menus, again exclusive to the UK release.":

The full line-up:

Disc 1
Feature presentation (widescreen); exclusive introduction by Bruce Campbell (Easter egg); audio commentary by director Don Coscarelli and Bruce Campbell; audio commentary by "The King" (Easter egg); optional 5.1 and DTS audio; SDH subtitles.

Disc 2
Joe R. Lansdale reads from his original short story "Bubba Ho-Tep"; deleted scenes with optional audio commentary (as Easter egg) by Don Coscarelli and Bruce Campbell; "The Making of Bubba Ho-Tep" featurette; "To Make a Mummy" – make-up and effects featurette; "Fit for a King" – Elvis costume featurette; "Rock Like an Egyptian" – featurette on the music of "Bubba Ho-Tep"; music video; "The King and I" – an in-depth excavation with Don Coscarelli; UK Premiere Q&A with Don Coscarelli; "Bruce Talks Bubba" – an interview with Bruce Campbell; theatrical trailer; photo gallery; TV spot; cast and crew biographies; character biographies.

The disc will be released on March the 21st, with a RRP of £19.99.

Optimum Releasing will release the 1998 Jude Law comedy Music From Another Room on DVD on February the 7th. The RRP is £12.99.

Optimum will also be releasing a collection of vintage Westerns on February the 21st: James Stewart's Broken Arrow, John Ford's Young Mr Lincoln, Fritz Lang's Western Union, Garden of Evil, and two films from Edward Dmytryk: Broken Lance and Warlock. The discs have an RRP of £9.99 each.

Ask and you shall receive...sometimes!  Thanks to Cinema Club for sending over this collection of sleeve art for their forthcoming releases. Even better is the news that the Cypher disc will retain its Making of... featurette, the deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes material, commentary track and cast and crew interviews. (See yesterday's News update, below, for more information).

10th January 2005

There's a new - if slightly belated - review for you today: Mike Hadfield has taken a look at DD Video's release of the second season of Terry Nation's 1970s TV series Survivors. You can read the review by clicking on the sleeve image, right, or here.

Sadly there's not been enough time to do anything more than a cursory update to the Incoming pages today. Hopefully we can rustle up something mid-week. I've verified that the titles listed as coming out today are still due today (at least they are as far as are concerned). Titles that were due today that seem to have been postponed are: Hex - Season 1 (moved to 3/10/05); and the Peanuts box set (now 24/1/05). Acorn's complete Tenko - Series 1-3 box set, also due today, seems to have been removed from retailers' listings. There are a few formatting glitches on the pages, which I apologise for. I'll have a bash at tidying them up soon!

The Offers page hasn't been updated today. As always, you can check the very latest bargains in Roobarb's DVD Forum's The High Street forum.

Tartan, celebrating their twentieth anniversary this year, will release Delphine Gleize's award-winning Carnages on DVD on March the 28th. The film will be offered with a choice of Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 audio tracks, with a collection of the director's short films as a bonus. The disc will also contain a trailer, and will have notes by Demetrious Matheou. RRP is £19.99.

Tartan seem keep to corner the market in films about real-life serial killers, and on March the 28th they will add Chuck Parello's The Hillside Strangler to their catalogue.

The film, about a pair of killers who terrorised Southern California for two years, stars The Hitcher's C. Thomas Howell and NYPD Blue's Nicholas Turturro.

The disc will offer a choice of DTS 5.1 or Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks, and will feature a director's commentary track, cast interviews and deleted scenes. Notes for the release have been written by Jason Arnopp. The RRP is £15.99.

Ring director Hideo Nakata's labyrinthine horror film Chaos will be released on DVD as part of Tartan's Asia Extreme collection, as a two-disc set with the director's TV series Curse Death and Spirit. The set, also due on March the 28th, will include a Making of... documentary, and notes by Firecracker Festival's Erika Franklin. Chaos will be in anamorphic widescreen format. The RRP is £19.99.

Oddball Korean science-fiction comedy Save The Green Planet, about a fiendish alien plot to invade the Earth, will be released on the Asia Extreme imprint on March the 28th. The disc will feature a choice of Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio tracks, and an anamorphic widescreen transfer. The disc will feature an audio commentary, cast and crew interviews, a behind-the-scenes documentary, deleted scenes, and notes by SFX's Jayne Dearsley. The RRP is £19.99.

Other March 28th releases from Tartan include My Architect, Catherine Breillat's Anatomy of Hell, Milwaukee Minnesota and a Mario Bava box set. (It actually says Maria Bava on the press release, but I'm assuming that's a mistake!) More details on these as I get them!

More titles coming from Tartan:

Jan 24th - Phone, 16 Years of Alcohol, Falcons, Dans Ma Peau, Days of Being Wild, As Tears Go By, Chinese Odyssey 2002

Feb 28th - Old Boy, Sympathy For Mr Vengeance Collectors Edition, Coffee and Cigarettes, Angel on The RightOzu Boxset 2 (Record of a Tenement Gentleman and Flavour of Green Tea Over Rice)

Fox Home Entertainment is re-promoting its collection of Rodgers and Hammerstein DVDs for Mother's Day. For a limited time they'll be offering Carousel, State Fair, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, The King & I and The Sound of Music (single disc edition) at an RRP of £7.99 each. Since some of these already sell for £7.99 at retailers like, it's likely that you'll be able to pick up some of them for as little as £5.99!

Wienerworld will release The Very Best of Sweet on January the 17th. The disc will feature previously-unseen behind-the-scenes footage, exclusive interviews with Producer / Manager Phil Wainman and Writer / Manager Nicky Chinn, as well as material from the original 16mm films Sweet shot to promote their singles. The production of the disc has been overseen by original band member Andy Scott. The disc has an RRP of £17.99 (it's available for £7.99 here at, if you're interested!)

Here's a schedule for forthcoming Cinema Club titles (including several that haven't formerly been listed here yet). RRP is £9.99 unless noted.

7th February - Cypher, Buffalo Soldiers, The Soldier (1998), Red Sun, Honky Tonk Freeway, Slayground

21st February - Henry VIII and His Six Wives, Dentist on the Job, Percy

7th March - Homer and Eddie, Candy (RRP £12.99), Can't Stop The Music (RRP £12.99), Resting Place, Ricochet, License To Kill (Denzel Washington), Winter Kills

21st March - Warlords of Atlantis (RRP £12.99), At The Earth's Core (RRP £12.99), The Land That Time Forgot (RRP £12.99), Doug McClure Triple (3-disc, Amaray cases, RRP £29.99)

28th March - The Lone Ranger - Colour Episodes (5-disc Digipack, RRP TBC), The Lone Ranger - Feature Film, The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold

Here are some sleeve images - sorry about the size and quality - they're all that's available at the moment...


The following titles have been deleted by US label VCI Entertainment: Adventures of Frank Merriwell, Adventures of Rex and Rinty, Great Alaskan Mystery, Queen of the Jungle, Radio Patrol, Red Berry and Scarlet Horseman.

The release of controversial Channel 4 hospital drama series No Angels has been postponed by VCI. The disc, which will feature commentary and other bonus material, will now be released on March the 21st.

Headpress books are having a New Year sale, which ends on January the 21st. All their Headpress, Diagonal and Critical Vision titles are 50% off. Click here for details.

MGM Home Entertainment will release Stargate SG-1 Volume 38 on February the 28th. The season 8 discs will feature the usual combination of commentary tracks on all episodes, cast profiles and behind-the-scenes featurettes.

Volume 38 features the episodes New Order (Parts I and II), Lockdown and Zero Hour.  Extras on the disc include part one of The Lowdown, "a featurette detailing the journey from Stargate to Atlantis", The Director's Series featurette, and photo and production galleries. RRP is £19.99.

The six-disc Stargate SG-1 Season 7 DVD box set is also released on February 28th, with an RRP of £59.99. The set will include the feature length episode The Lost City, which sets up the Stargate Atlantis spin-off series.

Other forthcoming MGM releases:

February 7th - Moonlight and Valentino (£12.99), Time For The Seesaw (£12.99), Wuthering Heights (Timothy Dalton / Anna Calder-Marshall, £12.99), Peter Bogdanovich's Texasville (£12.99), Echo Park (£12.99), The Object of Beauty  (£12.99), Not Without My Daughter (£12.99)

February 14th - Woody Allen's Anything Else (£15.99)

February 21st - Saved! (£15.99), Chains of Gold (£12.99), Across 110th Street (£12.99), Dog Soldiers (Nick Nolte, £12.99)

All the MGM sleeves I was sent are already available on, so there's no point in adding them here, and since nothing printed on them can be taken as gospel, anyway, there's not much more I can tell you about them. MGM generally do a pretty decent job, with no bells and whistles. Speaking of sleeve art, does that sleeve for Chains of Gold remind you of anything....cough - rip-off - cough!  If you don't know what I'm talking about, try rolling your mouse over the image...

Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed here.

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.

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