ARCHIVED NEWS - 1st - 7th AUGUST 2005


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5th August 2005

Buena Vista Home Entertainment will release the hugely successful Vin Diesel comedy The Pacifier on September the 12th.

The disc will feature deleted scenes (including "a scene in which Lt. Shane has a very amusing 'conversation' with Gary the duck"); a blooper reel; a featurette about the "hugely entertaining" Brad Garrett, titled Brad Garrett: Unpacified; another featurette titled On Set With Mr Diesel: Action Hero / Nice Guy; and a commentary by director Adam Shankman. No technical details were announced. The RRP is probably 19.99.

The excellent BAFTA-nominated BBC police drama series Conviction will be released on DVD on September the 19th. The six-episode series was about detectives investigating the murder of a twelve-year-old girl in a climate tense with threats of vigilantism. The disc will feature cast biographies and a photo' gallery. Technical details were not released. The RRP is 17.99.

There's lots of Warner Home Video news today. They're one of the most efficient companies, with a first rate PR company. You can sense that they're gearing up as they approach Christmas. Meanwhile, other companies are still working on their August releases...

If you were looking forward to the re-scheduled Steve McQueen Signature Collection box set, or the Greta Garbo Signature Collection box set, you'll have to be patient, because both titles have been postponed until later this year. (They were both due on September the 19th). Details of the McQueen set can be found here. Details of the Garbo set can be found here.

The two Garbo Silents discs, Flesh and the Devil (1927) and The Mysterious Lady (1928), will still be released on September the 19th.

The Flesh and the Devil disc will feature Settling The Score, a featurette about the TCM Young Film Composers competition (they score for silent movies, including the two TCM Garbo films); commentary by Garbo author Barry Paris; and an alternate ending. The Mysterious Lady will feature a commentary track by film historians Tony Maietta and Jeffrey Vance; the surviving nine-minute extract from The Divine Woman; and photo montages from Garbo's silent years at MGM. These two discs have an RRP of 15.99 each.

Warner Home Video will release a four-disc That's Entertainment! - The Complete Collection box set on October the 17th.

The set will include the three films in the series (That's Entertainment!, That's Entertainment! Part 2 and That's Entertainment! III), and a bonus disc, titled That's Entertainment!: Treasures From The Vault. The Vault disc will feature more than five hours of extra content, including That's Entertainment: 50 Years of MGM, That's Entertainment! III Behind the Screen (a 1994 documentary); The Lion Roars Again (footage from the That's Entertainment! premiere); excerpts from The Mike Douglas Show; and a Outtake Jukebox, which features sixteen rarely-seen deleted musical numbers. The set is presented in 1.33:1 ratio. Audio details were not available. The RRP is 29.99.

Warner Home Video will release the first season of the American version of drama series Queer As Folk on October the 17th.

The six-disc set will feature all twenty-two forty-five minute episodes, in 1.85:1 ratio, with stereo audio. Queer as Folk - The Complete First Season will be exclusively available from HMV. The RRP is 49.99.

The 17th of October also sees Warner Home Video releasing four DVD box sets, gathering together films from five of their most successful franchises: the Lethal Weapon films, The Exorcist series, the National Lampoon's Vacation comedies, the Batman series and the Superman films.

Details - especially technical details - of all four sets are thin on the ground. There are currently no details of the Batman set. Other territories  have already announced a new Batman set, featuring new two-disc editions of the first four films in the series.

It's very likely that these sets will, where applicable, contain copies of the existing individual discs, with whatever bonus features they already contain.

Perhaps the most interesting of these is The Complete DVD Resurrection - The Exorcist DVD Collection, because it will contain both versions of the most recent film in the series, Dominion: Prequel to The Exorcist / Exorcist: The Beginning (i.e.: both Paul Schrader's original version, and Renny Harlin's remix). The Schrader version isn't currently available separately. Some retailers are listing this as a four disc set. Unless they're doubling-up with two films on one disc somewhere, this is incorrect.

It looks like the set will feature the regular version of The Exorcist (i.e.: the one that was originally released as The 25th Anniversary Edition, not the Version You've Never Seen).

The Dominion: Prequel to The Exorcist disc us apparently bonus free, which is a great shame.

The RRP for The Complete DVD Resurrection - The Exorcist collection  is 32.99.

The four-disc The Complete Lethal Weapon Collection will contain all four films in the series, and has an RRP of 19.99.

Two of the National Lampoon's Vacation films make their UK DVD debut in the National Lampoon's Vacations set, which will contain National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985), National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) and National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation (1997). The RRP is 29.99.

Superman III and the dire Superman IV: The Quest For Peace make their UK DVD debut in the Complete Superman Collection set, which will, as the title suggests, also include the first two films in the series. Superman has extensive bonus features (as does the existing disc), while the other three films are relatively impoverished, with only a theatrical trailer apiece to perk them up. The RRP is 29.99.

Here are pack shots for four of the five sets...


2nd August 2005

Time for a few words about Lost, the new series from J.J.Abrams, the creator of Alias. The show is about the survivors of a plane that crashes on a tropical island. It begins airing here on Channel 4 on August the 10th. As many of you will be aware, the show is being heavily promoted, with billboard posters and a terrific especially-shot teaser trailer (set to a track from the first Portishead album).

Ain't It Cool News has just posted full details of the seven-disc Region 1 Lost DVD box set. My guess is that this set is going to be very heavily imported, because the series is very addictive. Once people become hooked, they won't want to wait for the next episode to be broadcast!

The Region 1 DVD set will feature commentary tracks on four episodes, including an augmented commentary on the first episode, which uses branching to interpolate behind-the-scenes footage as the episode unspools.

The seventh disc will feature extensive bonus materials: The Genesis of Lost (9m); Designing a Disaster (8m); Before They Were Lost (23m); Audition Tapes (28m); Welcome To Oahu: The Making of the Pilot (33m); The Art of Matthew Fox (6m); Lost@Comicon (2m); Lost on Location (behind-the-scenes featurettes on seven episodes, totalling about forty-five minutes); On Set With Jimmy Kimmel (7m); Backstage with Drive Shaft (7m); Lost Flashbacks (deleted scenes, 4m); Deleted Scenes (5m); Bloopers From The Set (4m); and Live From The Museum of Television and Radio (Q&A session with cast and crew members, 11m). The RRP for the set is $60. It's released on September the 6th.

Wienerworld is launching a mid-price music DVD label on September the 26th, with sixteen titles with an RRP of 5.99. The titles included in the first batch are: Lulu - Live; Glen Campbell - Live; Nirvana - Teen Spirit; Roy Orbison - The Anthology; Marilyn Manson - Demystifying The Devil; Roy Orbison - In Dreams: The Roy Orbison Story; 10CC Alive; Kiss - Live in Las Vegas; Suede - Introducing The Band; Luther Vandross - Journeys in Black; The Very Best of Sweet; Ray Charles - Celebrates a Gospel Christmas; Bob Dylan - 1966 World Tour - The Home Movies; Tom Jones - 40 Smash Hits; Kenny Rogers - Going Home; and The Best of Rod Stewart and the Faces.

A basic Sin City DVD will be released in the UK on September the 26th. The film, which was directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller, is a brilliant, ultra-violent, heavily-stylised film noir, based very closely on the Sin City comic books. It stars Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Clive Owen and Brittney Murphy. The US release will apparently be available with a variety of slip-case sleeves, but it looks like we're lumbered with this Photoshop-for-Beginners version. Hopefully some of the more savvy retailers will be offering their own exclusive versions?

The disc will include an eight-minute behind-the-scenes featurette, and will have English closed captions. No other technical details were released.

Robert Rodriguez has already promised that a more comprehensive DVD edition will be released at some point, which will include extended versions of the various plot strands in the film, and extensive bonus material. Unfortunately, like his buddy Quentin Tarantino (who guest-directed a few scenes of Sin City), Rodriguez is fond of making these pronouncements, but not so good at following them through (hands up who's still waiting for the promised feature-packed editions of Rodriguez's Spy Kids films, or the Kill Bill Special Edition discs...)

Granada Ventures are releasing yet another new Thunderbirds box set on September the 19th.

The eight-disc 40th Anniversary DVD Collector's Box Set is limited to five thousand individually-numbered copies. It will include all thirty-two fifty-odd minute episodes, an exclusive set of postcards and an especially-compiled twenty-track CD, featuring Barry Gray's music from the series. The RRP is 99.99.

The CD will apparently feature tracks drawn from the existing two Silva Screen CDs.

Granada Ventures is re-releasing Sean Bean's adventure series Sharpe on DVD on September the 15th. The fifteen-disc Collector's Edition set will feature all fourteen feature-length episodes of the series, and a disc featuring two featurettes, Sharpe The Legend (about Sharpe's career) and Sharpe's Shooting (a look behind the scenes). The set will also include a companion booklet, featuring cast profiles and a fold-out, historically-accurate map showing the location of Sharpe's battles. RRP for the new set is 99.99. Apologies for the poor quality of this image - it was scanned from a colour photocopy...


The second series of That '70s Show will be released by Twentieth Century Fox on September the 19th. This season saw the introduction of a popular new character, Leo, played by Tommy Chong. Guest stars include Wonder Woman's Lyle Waggoner and Happy Days' Marion Ross.

The four-disc set will include six behind-the-scenes featurettes, an interview with director David Trainer, and three episodes with commentary track (Halloween, Hunting and Cat Fight, all with David Trainer). The episodes will be presented in 4:3 ratio, with 2.0 Dolby Digital audio.

Granada Ventures will release a Special Edition version of the film version of David Mamet's play Glengarry Glen Ross on September the 13th.

The two-disc set will feature a commentary track by James Foley; a documentary about real-life salesmen, ABC (Always Be Closing) (30m); Magic Time: A Tribute to Jack Lemmon (30m); a short black-and-white student film, J. Roy: New and Used Furniture (10m); clips from The Charlie Rose Show (Jack Lemmon interview, 10m) and Inside The Actor's Studio (clip featuring Kevin Spacey, 2m); selected scenes with commentary by stars Alan Arkin and Alec Baldwin, cinematographer Juan Ruiz Anchia, and Production Designer Jane Musky. Technical details were not announced. Bonus feature durations are taken from the US edition. The RRP is 15.99.

The way the press release is worded suggests that the UK DVD might include the full-length James Foley commentary that was on Pioneer's American laserdisc edition. The Region 1 DVD has a "selected scenes"- type commentary with Foley, which lasts for about twenty-five minutes. Otherwise, it sounds like the UK disc will be the same as the US disc, which has a stunning transfer, and is available for about a fiver. Neither of these Special Edition versions include the Jack Lemmon commentary track that was also on the laserdisc (it was one of two commentary tracks Lemmon recorded before his death, in 2001).

Warner Home Video will release two classic horror films on Halloween: Donald Cammell's Demon Seed and the penultimate Hammer Dracula film, Dracula AD '72. Both discs will feature a theatrical trailer, but no other bonus material. Demon Seed will be presented in 2.35:1 ratio; Dracula AD '72 will be in 1.78:1 ratio. Both discs will have 1.0 Dolby Digital audio tracks. Sleeve art will be the same as the US editions (below), only with the likely addition of two ugly certification logo's.  RRP will be 15.99 each.

The Hammer DVD Guide has been updated accordingly.


1st August 2005

Not much to report this morning.

Ceri has updated the Offers page with a bunch of new special offers and bargains. There are also pointers to the best prices available, for titles likely to be of interest to Zeta Minor visitors.

Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed here.

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