NEWS ARCHIVE - 3rd to 9th JULY 2006


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6th July 2006


More details about Momentum's Angel Heart Special Edition DVD - which is due on August the 21st - are now available.

Disc one features the film, in anamorphic 1.80:1 format with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio (at 192kbps) and optional English subtitles. The film's average bit-rate is 7.28Mb/sec.

The film is accompanied by a commentary track by Parker, which was carried over from the previous Director's Chair Collection. Other bonus features on disc one are an introduction by director Alan Parker (1m); three short Making of... snippets (The Reality of Voodoo (3m), Creating The Look (2m) and Choreographing a Voodoo Ritual (2m)); an on-set Interview With Alan Parker (5m); and three contemporaneous Personality Profiles (Mickey Rourke (4m), Lisa Bonet (4m) and Alan Parker (3m)).

The new extras on the second disc are bountiful, but few of them relate directly to the film (they're about voodoo and it's role in New Orleans culture) and so are likely to disappoint anyone who wants more information about the movie. They are: New Orleans Voodoo Connection (20m); Voodoo - The Truth (12m); Dance As Worship (6m); Guided Tour (10m); Voodoo Macumba Dance Ensemble (3m); Voodoo Macumba Dance Ensemble 'Damballah' (6m); and an Interview With Alan Parker (8m). Menu screens from the two discs can be found here.

Spike Lee's heist film Inside Man will be released by Universal Pictures on July the 31st. The film stars Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster and Clive Owen.

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

There are no bonus features. The Region 1 edition has a commentary track, deleted scenes, and a Making of... featurette. What a shame that Universal ditched the film's distinctive theatrical poster design in favour of a Phone Booth rip-off! The RRP is £19.99.

The fifth series of Smallville will be released on DVD by Warner Home Video on August the 28th.

The six-disc set will feature twenty-two episodes, a featurette, Smallville's 100th Episode: Making of a Milestone; unaired scenes; a Vengeance Chronicles Webisode Gallery and "much, much more!" No technical spec's were announced. The RRP is believed to be £54.99.

Speaking of all things Superman, the third season of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman will also be released by Warner Home Video on August the 28th. The set will feature an excerpt from the Look Up in the Sky! The Amazing Story of Superman documentary (which is available now in its entirety in the US for a few dollars). The episodes will be offered in 4:3 format, with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. The RRP is believed to be £40.99.

Metrodome will release Mark and Michael Polish's offbeat 1999 film Twin Falls Idaho on DVD on August the 7th.

The film, about conjoined twins who live in a secluded hotel, stars real-life twins Mark and Michael Polish (who also wrote and directed the film), Michele Hicks, and Lesley Ann Warren.

The disc will feature a commentary track by the Polish brothers. It has an RRP of £15.99.

For a couple of quid more, you can get Twin Falls Idaho as part of a double bill with the Polish brothers' follow-up film Northfork, which stars Nick Nolte, Daryl Hannah, James Woods, Anthony Edwards, Claire Forlani, Peter Coyote and Kyle McLachlan. The Twin Falls Idaho / Northfork set has an RRP of £19.99 (if you can find anyone listing it!)

Infinity Arthouse will release Fellini, a box set of three Federico Fellini films on August the 21st.

The set will feature Orchestra Rehearsal, And The Ship Sails On and Ginger and Fred. These will be presented in Italian with English subtitles.

The bonus features are as follows:

Orchestra Rehearsal

Fellini’s Autobiography
Fellininiana Part 2: 10th Anniversary Of The Death Of Fellini
La Felliniana - Frederico In The City (Frederico In Citta)
La Felliniana - Powder Of Rimini (Polvere Di Rimini)
La Felliniana - That Train To Rome (Quel Treno Per Roma)
La Felliniana - Target The Director (Tirate Sul Regista)
La Felliniana - The Line Of The Shadow (La Linea D'ombra)

Ginger and Fred

La Felliniana: The Final Walk
La Felliniana: Silence
Marcello Mastrioianni: A Self Portrait
(black and white)

And The Ship Sails On

La Felliniana: A Star Is Born
La Felliniana: A Genius at Work
Federico Fellini: A Self Portrait
(black and white)

No other technical information was released. The RRP is £39.99.

Menu screens from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's Hostel DVD can be seen here.

Optimum Releasing will release a six-disc Collected Adventures of Asterix box set on July the 31st.

The set will include Asterix The Gaul (1967), Asterix and Cleopatra (1968), The Twelve Tasks of Asterix (1976), Asterix and Caeser (1985), Asterix in Britain (1986) and Asterix and The Big Fight (1989).

The set has an RRP of £29.99.




3rd July 2006


I've added to the notes I published on June the 23rd about the James Bond Ultimate Edition DVDs (which are due on sale in two weeks' time).

Sony (who have effectively licensed the films from MGM) has spent a lot of money re-mastering the films, and, generally, they've done a fine job. The new transfers are vibrant and clean, and they've rectified some of the irksome glitches that marred the 2000 editions. However, anyone expecting that these discs would be flawless must be very naive indeed, given MGM's patchy track record.

There'll be plenty of reviews around of the new discs, and I really don't have the time to examine them to the degree I'd like to if I was to review them myself, so I've decided to concentrate on the nitty-gritty aspects of the discs: the sort of things that might interest the more demanding consumer: things that most reviews will probably miss, because they're simply not looking for them, or because they're not even aware that they should be looking for them!

Last time I offered some initial thoughts on the new transfers, and the various edits that have and haven't been rectified. This weekend I turned my attention to an aspect of MGM's disc authoring that has regularly blighted the Region 2 versions of their discs: their replacement of captions and subtitles.

Like most companies, MGM services a number of countries in the Region 2 area. To save having to author dozens of variants, they usually create one pan-European disc to sell in them all. Unlike their competitors, though, they often choose to use textless transfers of their films (i.e.: without the original theatrical captions or subtitles) to facilitate this. Then they add player-generated subtitle captions for each different language. I understand why they do this, but certainly don't approve.

It's not always possible to precisely replicate a film's original captions using player-generated captions (for one thing, you can't fade them in and out), but there's no excuse for not at least trying to mimic the colour, font, screen placement and duration of the original captions. Unfortunately, MGM simply can't be bothered, and their player-generated captions usually look nothing like the ones in the theatrical presentation of the film.

The new James Bond Ultimate Edition discs are a mix of films with the original captions, and films with truly horrible player-generated captions. Let's hope this is the last time the Bond films are compromised in this way, and that next time they're released (probably as high definition titles on Blu-Ray), they'll fix these problems.

Click here to read my notes on the new Bond discs. A handy index to the film's Incoming links can be found by clicking on the 007 Ultimate Edition logo' in the left-hand column.

I'd like to welcome a new contributor to the site! Ben Mott has been drafted in to help maintain our Incoming database. Welcome Ben!

The Incoming page offers a selected list of forthcoming titles that should be of interest to this site's visitors. With Ben's help, the Incoming page will be a bit more comprehensive, and there'll be fewer mistakes! The page is now being updated virtually every day: sometimes with a few new interesting additions, sometimes with huge swathes of new titles!

Please check the page regularly to keep abreast of the latest additions and changes, and use our affiliated etailer links to get yourself the best deal, and to help support the site!


Optimum Home Entertainment will release Tommy Lee Jones' acclaimed feature film directorial debut The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada on DVD on August the 7th.

The film, a tale of loyalty about an epic journey made by a moody ranch foreman (Tommy Lee Jones) to bury a murdered friend, features stunning cinematography by British Director of Photography Chris Menges (who won Oscars for two Roland Joffé films: The Killing Fields and The Mission).

The film is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic format, with a choice of Dolby Digital 2.0 or 5.1 (at 448kbps) audio tracks. There are no subtitles.

There's a fair bit of debate among the etailers as to what the bonus features are. Here's the definitive list: a commentary track (by Tommy Lee Jones and co-stars Dwight Yoakam and January Jones); a Making of... featurette (26m); a Making of the Music featurette (8m); press conference-style interviews with Tommy Lee Jones and writer Guillermo Arriaga (14m); and extended and deleted scenes (27m). A fine effort by Optimum that puts the R1 version to shame. The press release mentions an interview with composer Marco Beltrami, (in the same breath as "Tommy Lee Jones and Guillermo Arriaga interviews"), but this seems to be missing from the disc. The RRP is £17.99.

Momentum will release the first half of season two of CSI: New York as a three-disc DVD set, on July the 17th.

The set will feature the first twelve episodes of the season, which saw a degree of re-vamping, as the team relocate to new premises, and a new character, Lindsay Monroe (played by Anna Belknap), is introduced.

As before, the episodes are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio (at 448kbps).

Unusually, there are no special features on the set (perhaps because the season hasn't been released in the US yet?) The RRP is £39.99.

Warner Home Video will release the memorable 1990 Stephen King miniseries It on DVD on August the 7th.

The two-disc (2 x DVD-5) set offers the film in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio (at 192kbps), and optional English and English HoH subtitles.

The three-hour presentation is split evenly across the two discs. The series is accompanied by a full-length "director and cast" commentary track. The RRP is believed to be £18.99. Menu screens from the release 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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