NEWS ARCHIVE - 22nd-28th MAY 2006


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26th May 2006


4DVD will release the second season of Steven Bochco's groundbreaking cop show Hill Street Blues on June the 12th.

The five-disc box set will feature eighteen episodes from the 1981-82 season, which included guest appearances by Danny Glover, CCH Pounder, The Simpsons' Pamela Hayden, Star Trek - The Next Generation's Jonathan Frakes, Meg Tilly, Millennium's Robin Gemmell, Edward James Olmos, Morgan Woodward, and Cheers' John Ratzenberger.

The set will include four DVD-9 discs, and a DVD-5. Sadly it seems it will not include the two commentary tracks and four featurettes that are on the (much cheaper) US edition. The RRP is £34.99.

Stay, a psychological thriller starring Ewan McGregor, Ryan Gosling and Naomi Watts will make it's UK DVD debut on July the 3rd, courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The film was directed by Marc Forster (Monster's Ball and Finding Neverland).

The disc offers an "uncut" version of the film, apparently longer than the version released to theatres. The film will be presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio and English HoH subtitles.

Bonus features include two commentaries, one by Forster and Gosling, and another by "director and crew". The disc will also include a featurette, Departing Visions. The RRP is £19.99.

Alexandre Aja's recent remake of Wes Craven's hillbilly shocker The Hills Have Eyes will be released on DVD by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment on June the 26th.

The film, about a family whose camper van is attacked by a family of inbred mutants, stars The Silence of the Lambs' Ted Levine,  Lost's Emile de Ravin and X-Men 2's Aaron Stanford.

The disc will include a version of the film with "brand-new and previously unseen footage".

The disc includes two commentary tracks (one by Aja, writer Gregory Levasseur and Wes Craven's long-time producer Marianne Maddalena, and another by Craven and producer Peter Locke); Surviving the Hills: Making of The Hills Have Eyes; Casting Session; a music video, Leave the Broken Hearts by The Finalist; Thank You for Smoking trailer, and a preview for The Omen 666. The RRP is £19.99.

All the details in our Incoming guide to HBO Video's release of Rome (here) have been confirmed by the press release.


I attended a press screening of Wolfgang Petersen's Poseidon on Wednesday, at the IMAX theatre at London's South Bank.

The film, a remake of the Ronald Neame's 1972 adaptation of Paul Gallico's potboiler novel, stars Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell, Richard Dreyfuss and Phantom of the Opera ingénue Emmy Rossum.

Petersen's film is a much leaner version of the story, paring twenty minutes off the old version's running time. There are fewer featured characters, and one or two fewer set pieces, but essentially it's the same.

Seen on the giant IMAX screen - the only way I'd recommend seeing it - the film's set piece (the giant wave) is awesome indeed. The theatre's 12,000 watt sound system offers deafening - but carefully nuanced - sound. Thankfully, the film's model work (CGI?) stand up pretty well to the IMAX screen's close scrutiny (there's nothing as jaw-droppingly bad as the effects in Petersen's Air Force One here!)

Poseidon often demands atmospheric and claustrophobic settings, and these work surprising well on the huge screen. The intimate moments contrast nicely with the cavernous ballroom sequences, which, it probably goes without saying, are quite spectacular on the twenty-metre high screen..

Exterior shots of the ship are most impressive, although the sweeping opening shot (which swoops in to follow Lucas' character as he jogs around the deck), suffers from stuttery movement, a side-effect of the translation to IMAX DMR format, I'd wager.

The film's a by-the-numbers remake, with few surprises, and a cast of characters even more cardboard and disposable than the ones in the original film. If you're going to see it, see it at the IMAX - I imagine it will at least double your enjoyment!

The film opens at the IMAX on June the 1st. Booking details can be obtained from the bfi London IMAX Cinema website.


I've avoided mention of UMD discs here so far, and I don't intend making a habit of it now, but I thought it was worth mentioning that Red Dwarf - Smeg Ups will be released on the format by 2 Entertain on July the 10th. The disc has an RRP of £12.99.

22nd May 2006


Well, well, well, we have been busy!

In addition to today's bumper edition of News, below, the Incoming list has been updated, and is well worth a visit if you haven't taken a look at it for a few days.

Ceri has updated the Offers page, with a whole slew of new bargains, including Spooks sets for less than £9, and sets of The Outer Limits for less than a tenner. There's loads of new stuff, so check it out!


Warner Home Video has announced the 31st of July as the release date for V For Vendetta, the controversial film about a masked anarchist's attempts to bring down a oppressive totalitarian British government. The film stars Natalie Portman (as a young woman who gets caught up in V's plans, and The Matrix's Hugo Weaving, as V). The film was based on a classic comic strip, and was directed by James McTeigue, under the watchful gaze of producers The Wachowski Brothers and Joel Silver.

The film will available in two versions: a single-disc version that will contain a featurette (Freedom Forever!: Making V For Vendetta, which has cast and crew recounting "the intense filmmaking process"), and a two-disc version which will be exclusive to HMV (with, no doubt, a bloated RRP - gee, thanks, WHV!)

The two disc set will apparently have identical features to the US edition: three additional featurettes (Designing The Near Future, Remember, Remember: Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot and England Prevails: V For Vendetta and the New Wave in Comics), a theatrical trailer and a Cat Power montage music video.

RRP for the single-disc edition is believed to be £19.99. HMV aren't listing either edition yet. Equivalents of both versions (and a single-disc full-frame edition) will be released in the US on August the 1st - all three versions will be widely available.

Warner Home Video will release the classic 1979 Stephen King mini-series Salem's Lot on July the 10th.

The series, about a novelist (David Soul) who returns to his home town, and finds it under the thrall of a vampire. It also featured James Mason as a mysterious antique shop owner.

Few details are available. There's currently no confirmation as to whether this will be the original three-hour miniseries, or the 105-minute theatrical version - unofficial sleeve art (at, for example) suggests it will be the miniseries. We do know that it will have optional English subtitles! The RRP is believed to be £17.99.

Warner Home Video will also be releasing the Stephen King miniseries It, which stars Tim Curry as a malevolent clown, on July the 26th.

Incidentally, while we're on the subject of Stephen King, it appears that the UK DVD of The Stand miniseries is now deleted.

Clips from Nucleus Films' 12th June release, Gwendoline (a.k.a. The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak) are available here...

Clip one  (Kung Fu Action!)  -  High   Medium   Low

Clip two  (Jailbreak!)  -  High   Medium   Low

Clip three  (Mutiny!)  -  High   Medium   Low

Clip four  ("Take your clothes off!")  -  High   Medium   Low

Clip five  (Bondage!)  -  High   Medium   Low

NB: These clips feature mild nudity, mild violence, and are not safe for work environments!

The award-winning South African adaptation of Bizet's opera Carmen, U-Carmen e-Khayelitsha, will be released on DVD by Tartan on July the 21st.

The disc will feature Tartan-exclusive interviews with director Mark Dornford-May and lead actress Pauline Malefane; an interview with assistant director / translator Andiswa Kedama; Making of... featurette; and a trailer. The disc will have an anamorphic transfer, and a choice of three sound tracks, offering Dolby Digtal 2.0, 5.1 and DTS 5.1 audio. The RRP is £19.99

The forthcoming BBC4 documentary Silent Britain, which tells the story of the first three decades of British cinema, will be released on DVD by bfi Video on June the 1st. (It will be transmitted on BBC Four on May the 31st, as part of the channel's Silent Cinema season).

Only a fifth of the British films made before the 1929 advent of sound have survived, and the documentary, presented by Matthew Sweet, visits the sites of former studios in Hove, Muswell Hill and Walton-on-Thames, and looks at some of the films of the period.

The disc features a bonus interview with silent film music composer Neil Brand; a short film spoof of 1920s censorship, Cut It Out; and a stills gallery. Something of a missed opportunity there, I think - wouldn't it have been possible to showcase a few of the films excerpted in the documentary? The disc has an RRP of £19.99.

Goodnight Sweetheart - The Complete Series Five will be released on DVD by Revelation Films on July the 24th.

The two-disc set will feature commentary tracks (by Laurence Marks, Maurice Gran, Gary Lawson, John Phelps and John Bartlett) and an exclusive interview with David Benson (who plays Noel Coward).

The sixth and final series will be released in September. The first series is currently being promoted with a reduced RRP of £9.99 (prices at the etailers vary wildly, so it's not clear how this offer is being implemented!)

Hooligan, the landmark Thames Television documentary that influenced Alan Clarke's drama The Firm, has been re-released on DVD by Revelation Films at the promotional RRP of £5.99. It's a while-stocks-last kind of deal, which will run while the World Cup is on.

A fourth David Carradine fitness DVD, An Introduction For Beginners to AM & PM Tai Chi, will be released by Revelation Films on July the 24th. The disc features original music by Carradine, and includes a bonus interview with the star. The RRP is £12.99. Previous An Introduction For Beginners To... releases (Kung Fu & Tai Chi, Chi Energy Work Out and Shaolin Cardio Kick Box) are being promoted at a reduced RRP of £6.99.

Universal Pictures and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment have teamed up to offer a collection of seven new Screen Legends DVD box sets, each focussing on the work of a particular actor. Each of the sets, which are due on June the 5th, contains four films.

The sets are:

Fred Astaire - You'll Never Get Rich, You Were Never Lovlier, Top Hat and Swing Time

Bing Crosby - Pennies From Heaven, Road To Zanzibar, Holiday Inn and Going My Way

Cary Grant - The Awful Truth, Holiday, Bringing Up Baby and Father Goose

Robert Redford - The Way We Were, The Sting, The Natural and Out of Africa

James Stewart - Mr Smith Goes To Washington, It's A Wonderful Life, Rear Window and Harvey

James Stewart Westerns - Destry Rides Again, The Man From Laramie, Two Rode Together and Shenandoah

Orson Welles - Citizen Kane, The Lady From Shanghai, A Man For All Seasons and Waterloo

Each set has an RRP of £24.99.

A new version of the classic story The Adventures of Greyfriars Bobby will be released by Universal on June the 12th.

The film, directed by John Henderson (Loch Ness, The Borrowers), stars a host of British talent, including James Cosmo, Gina McKee, Ardal O'Hanlon, Sean Pertwee, Greg Wise and Christopher Lee. The press release didn't say what format the film would be presented in, and there don't appear to be any bonus features. The RRP is £15.99.

Brett Leonard's darkly comic serial killer thriller Feed, about an internet sub-culture of men who seek out obese women, will be released by Showbox Home Entertainment on May the 29th.

Clips from the film - which are definitely not safe for work - are available here...

Clip 1  -  High   Medium   Low

Clip 2  -  High   Medium   Low

Clip 3  -  High   Medium   Low

The disc will feature a commentary track (by director Brett Leonard); an original theatrical trailer; alternative ending with optional audio commentary; ten deleted scenes with optional audio commentary; behind-the-scenes (including the fitting of the Fat Suit); an interview with star Jack Thompson; Final Day interview with Brett Leonard; a photo gallery; Easter Eggs; and previews for other Showbox releases. The RRP is £15.99.

Anthony Hopkins stars in The World's Fastest Indian, Roger Donaldson's film about a 68 year-old man who sets out to set a new world speed record with his 1920s Indian Scout motorcycle - a film based on a remarkable true story. The film will be released on DVD by Icon Home Entertainment on July the 3rd.

The film will be presented in 2.4:1 anamorphic widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. The disc will include a Making of... documentary and a trailer. The RRP is £17.99.


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

Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed here.

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