NEWS ARCHIVE - 14th-20th NOVEMBER 2005


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18th November 2005

Here's a very quick update about Cinema Club's Lost Highway DVD, which was one of the titles they announced yesterday (below).

The disc will feature "a 2005 interview with David Lynch and multi angle navigation; 1996 interview with David Lynch; interviews with Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette and Robert Loggia; featurette; teaser; trailer; and The Making of..."

This seems to be a replica of the two-disc edition being released in France on Wednesday, from Mk2.

17th November 2005

Warner Home Video will release a four-disc edition of William Wyler's 1959 biblical epic Ben-Hur on February the 13th.

The film has been newly re-mastered from the original 65mm film elements, and the set will feature more than ten hours of bonus material.

The film will be split over two discs. It will have Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, and a commentary by film historian T. Gene Hatcher, with scene-specific comments by Charlton Heston. Another audio track will carry Miklós Rózsa's superb score. Discs one and two will also feature screen tests; a Vintage Newsreels Gallery; highlights from the 1960 Academy Awards ceremony (where the film won eleven Oscars); and a theatrical trailer gallery. The film will have optional English subtitles.

Disc three will feature the 1925 'silent' version of the film, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, in the version restored by Thames Television, which features a stereo score by composer Carl Davis.

The fourth disc will feature a new documentary, Ben-Hur: The Epic That Changed Cinema (which features luminaries like George Lucas and Ridley Scott); the 1994 documentary, Ben-Hur: The Making of an Epic, which was hosted by Christopher Plummer; Directed by William Wyler, the 1986 Emmy Award-nominated documentary, which features Wyler's last interview; and Ben-Hur: A Journey Through Pictures, a new audio-visual recreation of the film via stills, storyboards, sketches, music and dialogue.

The four DVD-9 set will have an RRP of £24.99.

The new edition of Ben-Hur will be released alongside Special Editions of six other Oscar-winning films: Dog Day Afternoon, All The President's Men, Ryan's Daughter, Mildred Pierce and Captain's Courageous (the latter two making their UK DVD debut). More details will follow.

Cinema Club has announced their provisional release schedule for the first two months of 2006:

23rd January: On The Up - Season 3 (£15.99); Chef - Season 3 (£15.99); Alexei Sayle's Stuff - Season 2 (£15.99); Hamish McBeth - Season 2 (2-discs - £19.99)

30th January: Are You Being Served - Season 3 (2-discs - £19.99); Terry and June - Season 2 (£15.99); As Time Goes By - Season 6 (£15.99)

6th February: You Rang My Lord - Season 1 (2-discs - £19.99); Lost Highway (2-discs - £19.99)

13th February: Buster Keaton - College / Steamboat Bill Jr / Three Ages (3-discs - £29.99); The Art of Harold Lloyd (2-discs - £19.99); 3 of a Kind - Season 2 (£15.99); It Ain't Half Hot Mum - Season 3 (£15.99)

20th February: Ballykissangel - Season 3 (3-discs - £24.99); Between The Lines - Season 2 (3-discs - £24.99); Juliet Bravo - Season 3 (4-discs - £29.99)

27th February: Drop The Dead Donkey - Season 4 (2-discs - £19.99); John & Yoko (£9.99); The Trial (£12.99); Lulu on the Bridge (£12.99); Private Lessons (£12.99); Day of the Dolphin (£12.99); Endless Nights (£12.99)

Here's the sleeve art for some of the new titles...

Spirit Trap, the haunted house movie starring Billie Piper, Sam Troughton, Luke Mably, Emma Catherwood, and Russian R&B singer Alsou, will be released on DVD on Monday.

The film will be presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic format, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio (at 448kbps). The film is supported by a documentary, The Ghost Story (22m), but this is about psychic phenomena, and doesn't feature interviews with the filmmakers, or any behind-the-scenes footage.

The disc also features a five-minute look at the work of one of the world's best Steadi-Cam operators, in David Smith - Steadi-Cam; ten minutes of cast interviews (including Ms. Piper); and a theatrical trailer. You can read more about the film here. Menu screens from the new disc can be found here.

More on The Frighteners: it looks like the German edition might be a better bet than the UK version. They're getting a four-disc edition, which seems to have the same bonus features as the UK set, and identical spec' for the Director's Cut version of the film, but but also contains the theatrical cut of the film (presumably without the BBFC cut). You should confirm the spec's first, but if you're interested, you can order the German version from CD-Wow for £13.99 here. Note, too, that I've added an updated image of the UK edition's sleeve to the News report below.

Incidentally, CD-Wow are also a good source for another hot import title at the moment - a German edition of Scream which features the director's cut edition of the film, and with an anamorphic transfer, too. You can order it for £10.99 here. You should be aware, though, that 2006 is the film's tenth anniversary, so a new Ultra-Super Edition version might be just around the corner!

A trailer for the Madagascar DVD can be found here.

16th November 2005


Momentum Pictures has kindly allowed me to use a syndicated interview with The Devil's Rejects director Rob Zombie. Full details of the DVD, which is due on sale on Boxing Day, can be found in our News entry for the 7th of November. Click here to go to the Rob Zombie interview.

Here's some good news about Universal's forthcoming DVD of The Frighteners Director's Cut: the disc has a DTS audio track!

I have copies of two of the three discs now, and can confirm that the disc definitely features the Director's Cut version of the film (which runs for 117'36" - the old UK DVD runs for 105'16", after the BBFC cut).

The film is presented in anamorphic 2.35:1 ratio, with a choice of Dolby Digital 5.1 (384kbps) or DTS 5.1 (768kbps) audio tracks, and optional English subtitles. The average bit-rate is a very healthy 7.92Mb/sec.

Apart from an introduction by Peter Jackson (3m) and his commentary track, all the other bonus material is on the second and third discs.

The third disc features: Dee Wallace Stone & Jake Busey (7m); Trini's Bruises (2m); Slimeface & Blobman (7m); Wallpaper & Portraitman (4m); Acceleration (4m); The Worm (4m); The Gatekeeper, The Judge & Other Deleted Scenes (17m); Music (24m); Bloopers (12m); Ratings & Final Thoughts (9m); and the Theatrical Trailer (2m).

The three-disc set is due on December the 26th, with an RRP of £19.99. A Roobarb's DVD Forum thread discussing the release can be found here. Menu screens from the new set can be found here.

Shane Carruth's brain-bending time travel movie Primer will be released on DVD by Tartan on February the 27th.

The acclaimed film, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, will be presented in anamorphic widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio, and English HoH subtitles. The disc will also feature two commentary tracks (one by the director, and one by the cast and crew) and a trailer.

Carlos Rygadas' controversial film about a man whose life disintegrates after the death of a child he has kidnapped, Battle In Heaven, will be released on disc by Tartan on February the 20th.

The film will be released in anamorphic widescreen format, with a choice of Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1 audio tracks. The disc will contain exclusive interviews with Carlos Reygadas and star Ananpola Mushkadiz.

Further to the announcement on the 7th November about the DreamWorks animated film Madagascar comes news of a two-disc edition of the film, which will add the short film The Madagascar Penguins in A Christmas Caper (which has been accompanying the theatrical release of Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit).

The two-disc set will be available for a limited time only, from the 28th of November, with an RRP of £24.99.

Jane Campion's The Piano will be re-leased by Optimum as a two-disc Special Edition DVD on February the 6th.

The film will be presented in "16:9 anamorphic" format, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. The disc will include a commentary track (by Campion and producer Jan Chapman); a UK-exclusive interview with composer Michael Nyman; Jane Campion and Jan Chapman in conversation; a Making of... documentary; and trailers. RRP for the new set is £19.99.

Roland Joffé's Academy Award-nominated war-zone drama The Killing Fields will be released by Optimum as a two-disc Special Edition DVD set on February the 6th.

The set will feature a commentary track by Joffé; an Omnibus programme, The Killing Fields; a recently-filmed interview with Producer David Puttnam; and a trailer. No technical details were announced. RRP for the set is £19.99.

HBO Video will release Everybody Loves Raymond - The Complete Third Season on January the 16th. The five-disc set will feature twenty-six episodes (two accompanied by commentary tracks by star Ray Romana and series creator Phil Rosenthal); a Museum of TV and Radio panel discussion with cast and crew members; bloopers and deleted scenes. The RRP is £34.99.

Promotional microsites for two imminent Fox DVD titles are now online: Mr and Mrs Smith and The Sound of Music.


Ray Harryhausen will be signing copies of his new book, The Art of Ray Harryhausen, at the Cinema Store, Unit 4b / 4c, Upper Saint Martin's Lane, London, WC2, on the 10th of December, between 11am and 1pm.

This is in addition to the signing at the Forbidden Planet Megastore, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, on Saturday.

14th November 2005


The Incoming page has been updated today. All the titles due out today have been checked against a couple of online retailers, to see if they're still expected in stores today. A lot of titles due today and next week have been postponed, often pushed well into next year.


Universal Pictures will unleash the smash-hit comedy The 40 Year Old Virgin on December the 5th (a week before the US edition).

The film, which stars Anchorman's Steve Carrell and Being John Malkovich's Catherine Keener, will arrive on disc in an "XXL" version, which features seventeen minutes of footage not in the theatrical edition (the DVD version runs for 127m). There's no option to play the theatrical version (available on a separate disc in the US, but only in full-screen format).

There are bountiful bonus features: You Know How I Know You're Gay? (5m); Andy's Fantasies (2m); Cal and Paula (3m); Deleted Scenes (13m); Advice From Mooj (1m); Waxing Doc (4m); Date-a-Palooza (deleted scenes from speed dating scene, 9m); Line-O-Rama (alternate takes, 6m); My Dinner With Stormy (Seth Rogan meets porn star Stormy Daniels, 2m); Gag Reel (5m) and an Easter Egg, Whack It (3m). Many of these features have optional commentary by director / co-writer Judd Apatow and actor / co-producer Seth Rogen.  The press release mentions a couple of other things, including audition tapes, but these seem to be missing from the disc (the press release is also in error about one of the other bonus features, and seems to have been drafted before the disc contents were finalised). The list above is from a review copy of the disc.

The film is presented in 1.85:1 ratio, with anamorphic enhancement, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio (at 384kbps), and English subtitles. The RRP is £19.99. Menu screens from the disc can be seen here.

If there was a prize for the Least-Anticipated Box Set Ever, there's a good chance that it might be given to Anchor Bay, who are releasing the Creature Triple Feature box set on January the 24th.

The set will include three movies: Deadly Swarm (wasps, with Shane brolly and Kaarina Aufranc), Gargoyles' Revenge (flesh-eating gargoyles, directed by Jim Wynorski, using the pseudonym Jay Andrews, starring Michael Pare and Sandra Hess) and Snakehead Terror (carnivorous fish, starring Bruce Boxleitner and Carol Alt).

All three films are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen format, with a choice of Dolby Digital 2.0 or 5.1 (448kbps) tracks, or a DTS 5.1 (768kbps) track. There are no bonus features. The set will have an RRP of £19.99. Menu screens for the three films can be seen here.

Last week's Zeta Minor News can be viewed here.

Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed here.

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