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2nd March 2005

I've uploaded updated versions of the Incoming and Offers pages today. I've corrected a few errors in the Incoming page, and added a few new bits and pieces. The Offers page hasn't been updated properly for some time. I've spent a few hours bringing some of the information up to date, but it still needs a lot of work. All the information up to and including's listings should be current - although because I've not been through the entire list, there may be a few better prices available elsewhere. You might well find a few bargains you weren't aware of, though!

American label Blue Underground will release Venice Film Festival Grand Special Jury prize winner Bad Boy Bubby on DVD on April the 26th. The notorious 1993 film, about a man who's been kept locked up by his depraved mother for his entire life, will be presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

The disc will feature an interview with director Rolf de Heer, Christ Kid, You're A Weirdo; an interview with star Nicholas Hope, Being Bubby; a short film starring Hope, Confessor Caresser; a theatrical trailer, and a poster and stills gallery. RRP for the disc, which will be Region 0, is $19.99.

Other forthcoming Blue Underground titles include a single-disc edition of Tinto Brass's Nazi brothel movie Salon Kitty and Gillian Armstrong's romantic drama My Brilliant Career, which is due in May (no further details are available). The new Salon Kitty disc drops most of the bonus features from the Limited Edition two-disc set: all that remains is the trailer and the Brass bio. The 1975 film will be presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic ratio, with Dolby Digital mono audio. RRP for the new version is $29.95 - the same as the Limited Edition version.

Here's a roundup of what Revelation are releasing in the next month or two. A couple of dates have shifted since titles were originally released.

25th April

Around The World With Willy Fog - The Complete Collection

(5 discs / 26 episodes); RRP £24.99

The Tomorrow People - Series 7 (6 episodes); £15.99

7th March

Bugs - The Complete Series (40 episodes); £39.99

Dirty Sanchez - Complete Series 1 (Limited edition with T-Shirt); £24.99

Dirty Sanchez 2: Jobs For The Boyos; £9.99

Wire In The Blood - Complete First and Second ITV Series; £29.99

The release date of the third season of Lost In Space has been rescheduled from the 28th of March to the 25th of April.

Channel Four will release Derren Brown - Trick of the Mind on April the 18th. The disc will include all six episodes of this recent series, which featured guest appearances by Stephen Fry, Martin Kemp, chef Michael Roux, Jr. and conductor Robin Stapleton. Exclusive extras on the DVD include an interview with Derren; a behind-the-scenes video diary; commentary on all six episodes by Derren and key members of the production team, including Derren's brother, Dominic. RRP for the DVD is £19.99. Incidentally, don't be alarmed if you see a running time of "74 minutes" quoted elsewhere - it was a typo on the press release: the correct running time is "174 minutes".

Derren will be touring in the UK form March until June with a new stage show, Something Wicked This Way Comes (see his website for more details). A new Derren Brown series will air on Channel 4 in April.

Warner Home Video will release the third season of Smallville on DVD on April the 18th. The six-disc set will feature all twenty-two episodes of the series, in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

The set will feature commentary tracks on three episodes (by producers Alfred Gough and Milers Millar, and cast members Michael Rosenbaum, Allison Mack and John Glover); Producing Smallville: The Heroes Behind the Camera featurette; The Chloe Chronicles: Volume II web video diary segments; unaired scenes with optional commentary; gag reel; Easter Egg ("Michael Rosenbaum interviews one of the crew as they role play a DVD executive interview" - sic); and a DVD-ROM link to the Smallville website. RRP for the set is £54.99.

28th February 2005

Ceri has updated the Incoming page, to include more new titles, and more information about previously-listed titles. This includes the latest information from Network, from their recently-updated website. Click here to read that.

Paramount will release a Special Edition version of Top Gun on April the 4th. The two-disc set features a re-mastered version of the film, with DTS 6.1 audio. (No additional technical details were released).

The new set will include a commentary track (by Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Director Tony Scott, Screenwriter Jack Epps and Navy experts); five music videos (Kenny Loggins' Danger Zone and Playing With The Boys, Berlin's Take My Breath Away, Loverboy's Heaven In Your Eyes and Harold Faltermeyer and Steve Stevens' Top Gun Anthem); a seven-part, two-hour documentary, Danger Zone - The Making of Top Gun; Best of the Best - The Real Top Gun featurette (8m); Visionary Alliance - Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer featurette; Top Guns of the Sky featurette; vintage Behind The Scenes featurette (6m); vintage Survival Training featurette (8m); Tom Cruise interviews; storyboards (with optional commentary and multi-angles, 14m); a vintage Production Photography featurette; and trailers and TV spots. The set will come with a fourteen-page booklet. RRP for the set is £19.99.

The release of the first season of the quirky sitcom Arrested Development heads a slew of announcements from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment today.

The three-disc set features all twenty-two episodes of the series, about a dysfunctional family whose opulent lifestyle comes to an end when the patriarch (The Larry Sanders Show's Jeffrey Tambor) is sent to prison for fiddling the books. It also features an extended version of the show's pilot episode. The show also features Jason Bateman, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind's David Cross and Ally McBeal's Portia de Rossi. It's a fine series, and if you've not seen it yet, it's currently airing on BBC2 and BBC4.

Bonus features include commentary tracks by cast and crew members on "selected episodes" (the US set has three); fourteen deleted and extended scenes (22m); Breaking Ground: Behind The Scenes of Arrested Development featurette (17m); original song segments (audio presentation of 25m of cues written by David Schwartz for the series); Museum of Television and Radio Q&A featurette with creator Mitchell Hurwitz and cast members (10m); featurettes TV Land: Arrested Development - The Making of a Future Classic (7m), TV Land Awards - The Future Classic Award (4m); Sneak Peek at Season 2 (2m); and Easter Egg: Tobias Outtake (2m). Apart from a missing trailer, these spec's seem to be identical to the R1 version (the Sneak Peek is titled Inside Look on the packaging for the R1 set, but it's titled Sneak Peek on screen).

The episodes will be presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. There are English SDH subtitles. The set will be released on March the 21st, with an RRP of £34.99.

Alexander Payne's terrific offbeat comedy Sideways will be released by Fox on May the 2nd. The film, about a wine-tasting road trip undertaken by two buddies (Thomas Haden Church and American Splendor's Paul Giamatti), will feature "commentaries" by its two stars; a behind-the-scenes featurette, seven deleted scenes, with introductions; three Easter Eggs; and an Inside Look featurette about Ridley Scott's forthcoming Crusades epic Kingdom of Heaven.

The film will be in anamorphic 1.85:1 format, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio and English HoH subtitles. RRP is £19.99.

Fox will release last year's hi-tech terrorist thriller mini-series The Grid on March the 14th, as a two-disc box set. The series featured ER's Juliana Margulies, Dylan McDermott, Bernard Hill and Jemma Redgrave.

The globe-trotting six-part series will be split across two discs: the first four parts on disc one, the other two on disc two. Bonus features include commentary on episodes three and four (by Director Mikael Salomon and Executive Producer Tracey Alexander); sixteen scenes with narration by Dylan McDermott; twenty scenes with narration by Julianna Margulies; thirteen deleted scenes; three featurettes: Decoding The Grid, VFX - Secrets of The Grid and Race Against Time (total: 18m, assuming they're the same as the R1 versions).

The episodes will be presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen format, with 5.1 Dolby Digital audio, and English SDH subtitles. The set has an RRP of £15.99.

Fox will release a two-disc Conan The Barbarian Special Edition box set on April the 18th.

The film will be presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, and optional English HoH subtitles.

The disc will feature several bonus features carried over from previous versions (including a commentary by Director / Writer John Miluis and star Arnold Schwarzenegger); the Conan Unchained: The Making of Conan documentary (53m); deleted scenes sequence (5m); special effects split-screen video (2m); The Conan Archives stills gallery (11m); cast and filmmaker biographies; production notes "and much more". In addition the new set will feature a "brand new documentary about sword and sorcery / fantasy films".

Unlike Conan The Destroyer, the UK DVD releases of Barbarian have been uncut, even thought the film was cut for its theatrical and VHS releases. The film is owned by Universal in the US, and their Region 1 discs have mono audio. RRP for Fox's new R2 set will be £19.99.

More Arnie news: the new two-disc Total Recall set from Momentum (which was originally due in October last year) has been delayed again, but only by two weeks, to the thirteenth of June. I've had a very quick look at the set, and can report that the set comprises of a DVD-9 for the feature and its commentaries, and a DVD-5, for the rest of the bonus material; (which was listed in the News item for the 17th of February). There are a couple of things that you might want to know, especially bearing in mind that this UK set will sell for about three times the price of the R1 disc, which was released in September 2001: the second commentary on the disc, by cinematographer Jost Vacano is in German, with optional English subtitles. It's moderated by Marko Kregel, explaining his credit on the disc's menu screens. The other featurette that's apparently exclusive to Momentum's pan-European edition (licensed in from Kinowelt / Studio Canal) is the World of Science Fiction Literature featurette, which is in French (again, with optional English subtitles). This is a ten-minute look at the science fiction genre's fascination with la Planète Rouge, presented by SF book shop owner Stéphane Bourgoin. The disc has an 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer, with 5.1 audio at 448kpbs. The average bit-rate is 8.45Mb/s.

Universal Pictures has submitted the Hammer (Herbert Lom) version of The Phantom of the Opera to the BBFC, indicating that a "widescreen" DVD release is on the cards, perhaps to tie in with the release of Joel Schumacher's recent adaptation (which is due on May the 2nd, according to some of the retailers).

Tartan will release the second series of Edgar Reitz's TV series Heimat on May the 23rd. The eleven disc box set, subtitled Chronicle of a Generation, will feature Hermann's adventures in Munich during the 1960s. RRP for the new set will be £99.99.

In a somewhat unusual move, Tartan announced that the first series was "a best seller", and and that they sold out of their initial pressing of 5000 copies. A second batch has recently been manufactured.

Pathé will release Zhang Yimou's BAFTA and Academy Award-nominated martial arts film House of Flying Daggers on May the 2nd, as a two-disc set. Bonus features on the set include a forty-five minute Making of... featurette, a fifteen minute Inside Look featurette, a director's commentary; Lovers' music video; cast and crew interviews; storyboard-to-film comparison; location scout visits; trailers and TV spots. The film will be presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen format, with Chinese 5.1 audio (presumably Dolby Digital), and English subtitles  RRP is £19.99.

Finally, Kaleidoscope has updated the schedule for it's archive TV event on March the 12th. You can find the details in this thread over at Roobarb's DVD Forum.

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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