22nd March 2007
Paramount has announced that they're
releasing Lindsay Anderson's
if... on DVD on June the 11th. It will be a single-disc
set, and all other details are TBA, except that it will come "with a realm
of extras" (perhaps enough to rival the American two-disc release from
which is also due in June).
celebrate the 100th anniversary of John Wayne's birth, Paramount will
release a collection of titles made by the Duke's production company,
Batjac, on May the 14th. These are...
High and the Mighty - Two-disc special edition featuring
introduction by Leonard Maltin; commentary by Leonard Maltin, William A
Wellman, Pedro Gonzales-Gonzales and Vincent Longo; The Batjac Story;
Stories from the Set; On Director William A Wellman; The Music
and World of Dimitri Tiomkin; Restoring a Classic; A Place
in Film History; Ernest K. Gann- Adventure; Author and
Artist; Flying in the Fifties; theatrical trailer; TV trailer;
Batjac Montage; The High and Mighty Premier Footage and a
Hondo - Special edition featuring commentary by Leonard Maltin,
Western Historian Frank Thompson, and Actor Lee Aaker; A Special
Introduction by Leonard Maltin; The Making of Hondo;
Profile: James Edward Grant; The John Wayne Stock Company: Ward
Bond; From the Batjac Vaults; The Apache; photo gallery;
original theatrical trailer and a Batjac Teaser.
McLintock! - Special edition featuring commentaries by Leonard
Maltin, Frank Thomson, Maureen OíHara, Stefanie Powers, Michael Wayne,
Andrew McLaglen; Special Introduction by Leonard Maltin; The
Batjac Story: The Legacy Michael Wayne; Maureen OíHara and Stefanie
Powers Remember McLintock!; A Good Olí Fashioned Fight; The
Corset: Donít Leave Home Without One!; Two-Minute Fight School;
photo gallery; original theatrical trailer and a Batjac teaser.
Island in the Sky - Special edition featuring Introduction by
Leonard Matlin; Commentary by Leonard Matlin, William Wellman, Jr., Darryl
Hickman, James Lydon and Vincent Longo; Dooley's Down: The Making of
Island In The Sky; Ernest K. Gann - Adventurer, Author & Artist;
Flight School - The Art of Aerial Photography; The John Wayne
Stock Company: Harry Carey, Jr.; Flying For Uncle Sam;
theatrical trailer; newsreel footage of Premiere; Introduction to
Gunsmoke TV Promo; Batjac Montage and a photo gallery.
will release Joe Carnahan's crime thriller Smokin' Aces on
HD-DVD on May the 7th.
The film will be presented in "16 x 9"
format, with "stereo with 5.1 audio available", and English ENNHOH
No bonus features were mentioned in the
press release, but some etailers - Play.com, for example - are listing a
commentary with writer/director Joe Carnahan & editor Robert Frazen;
Shoot 'Em Up: Stunts and Effects; The Big Gun; The Line-Up;
Cowboy Ending; outtakes; deleted and extended scenes and the Hot
Fuzz International trailer. The RRP for the DVD is £19.99. RRP for the
HD-DVD version is £24.99.
Finally, I am indebted to James Lee for
pointing out that Optimum's forthcoming Masque of the Red Death DVD
(more details below) features the same cut version as the US DVD.
According to the IMDb, this version is "missing a shot where Francesca is
slapped across the face and also edits a later scene where she is stripped
and thrown into a bathtub". According to James, these shots were in the
pan-and-scan version used for the UK VHS and original UK DVD releases, and
in Image's NTSC laserdisc version.
20th March 2007
Century Fox Home Entertainment will release
Addams Family - Volume One on DVD on April the 9th.
The three-disc set will feature twenty-two
episodes, in their original 4:3 format, with mono 2.0 audio, and optional
Bonus features include "audio commentaries
by the cast" (on three episodes, by Lisa Loring, Ken Weathermax, Felix
Silla and The Addams Chronicles author Stephen Cox, according to
Play.com); a selection of featurettes (You Rang, Mr Addams,
Snap, Snap and The Addams Family Portrait); a stills gallery,
and a theme song karaoke feature. The RRP is £34.99
30,000 square-foot exhibition of original props, models, artwork, vehicles
and costumes from the Star Wars movies will open at the County Hall,
Westminster, London on May the 5th.
The exhibition has been seen by more than a
million visitors during its tour, which has taken in Japan, France and
Star Wars: The Exhibition features
nearly three hundred items, including a life-size Naboo N-1 Starfighter
prop, R2D2 and C3P0, the original model of Yoda, an original Darth Vader
costume and mask, Darth Maul's costume, Queen Amidala's wardrobe and
Anakin Skywalker's pod racer.
Tickets are £16.50 adults, £12.50 child,
Under 5 free. Ticket Sales and more information:
Star Wars: The Exhibition will be open seven days a week, from 10am
and 8pm, until September the 1st.
19th March 2007
had a look at the Optimum's
Masque of the Red Death disc: the first release in their Roger Corman
The new disc boasts a 2.34:1 anamorphic
transfer, which is something of a relief, after the hideous
pan-and-scanned 2003 version, in the Zoltan Hound of Dracula /
The Masque of the Red Death / Night of the Eagle box set, from
Warner Home Video (both transfers were sourced from Studio Canal).
print carries a modern MGM logo (even more recent than the one on their
Region 1 disc), and looks very nice indeed. There's still some grain - no
more than you'd expect - and the usual anamorphic lens distortion, but
otherwise the print is very clean, and cinematographer Nic Roeg's
often-delicate colours look very natural. In short, it's a very
Sadly, there's no sign of the Corman
interview or the theatrical trailer which are on MGM's Region 1 disc.
Optimum's disc has an RRP of £9.99, so I suppose it would be churlish to
complain too much.
That's the good news. The bad news is that
Optimum have cancelled the release of another film in the Corman
Collection, A Bucket of Blood.
Menu screens and a few sample screen-grabs
for the new Masque disc can be found
menus from the 2003 disc can be found
will release Andrew van den Houten's horror thriller
Headspace on DVD on April the 16th.
The film, which is described as "combining
the gruesome imagination of H.P. Lovecraft with the fierce and disturbing
intelligence of David Cronenberg", stars Olivia Hussey, Ghostbusters'
William Atherton, Blade Runner's Sean Young, Mark Margolis, The
Howling's Dee Wallace Stone and genre icon Udo Kier.
The disc will feature a director's
commentary track; a Making of... featurette called Fractured
Skulls (27m); and a trailer (substantially less than the Region 1 version,
which has two commentary tracks, amongst other additional bonus features).
Audio is offered in Dolby Digital 2.0 and
5.1 formats (at 192 and 448kbps, respectively). The film is presented in
1.78:1 anamorphic format. The RRP is £15.99.
A clip from Freemantle's forthcoming
The Wind in the Willows - The Complete First Series DVD set can be
have clarified some details of their forthcoming
Napoleon DVD, which I will reproduce verbatim, since there seems
to be little to be gained from paraphrasing it: "the version that we are
releasing is the silent version restored by Francis Ford Coppola in 1980
with a new score composed by his father Carmine. The running time is 223
mins and the DVD has been encoded with a 16:9 aspect ratio. For those of
you that know the film, you will be aware that Abel Gance shot it
envisaging a three screen Polyvision projection technique to create a huge
panorama for some scenes. This proved impractical and so this was only
actually used by Gance for the final 20 minutes or so of the film. In our
release, the 16:9 encoding allows for the three screens to be viewed as
one widescreen for these last 20 minutes as Gance originally intended,
with the preceding footage appearing as 4:3 on a 16:9 widescreen"
Century Fox Home Entertainment will release the second (and final) season
of the Emmy Award-nominated black comedy
Dead Like Me on DVD on April the 2nd.
The set will feature fifteen episodes,
spread across four discs. They will be presented in 4:3 format, with Dolby
Digital 5.1 audio.
The set will also contain "a number" of
deleted scenes; a Dead Again... Again featurette; Putting Life
Into Death special effects featurette; and a photo' gallery. The RRP
will release all thirty-nine hour-long episodes of the 1962-63 ITC
Squad on DVD on April the 23rd.
The series, which chronicled the work of a
top secret government spy organisation which trained operators to work
independently, and deep undercover, ran for two series (of thirteen and
twenty-six episodes, respectively), before spinning off into sequel series
The series starred Michael Quinn, Donald
Wolfit and Angela Browne. Guest cast members include a host of ITC
regulars, including Alfred Burke, Honor Blackman, Warren Mitchell, Joseph
Furst, John Carson, Anton Diffring, Hazel Court, Leonard Sachs, Roger
Delgado, Edwin Richfield, Geoffrey
Bayldon, Douglas Wilmer, and dozens of others. The series also
provided Doctor Who star William Hartnell with his only ITC role,
in the episode High Wire.
There was plenty of Doctor Who
talent behind-the-scenes, too, with episodes written by Robert Holmes,
John Lucarotti, Louis Marks and Malcolm Hulke. Other contributors include
Minder's Leon Griffiths, The Avengers creator Brian Clemens,
and his fellow Avengers regulars Roger Marshall and Philip Levene.
The series, which has not been seen since
its first broadcast, will be presented on ten discs, along with the insert
film footage from GS5 - all that survives, apparently - and an
The RRP is £59.99.
Home Video will release a digitally restored and re-mastered two-disc
version of the Howard Hawks classic
Bravo on DVD on May the 28th.
The film will be presented in anamorphic
1.85:1 format, with 1.0 audio.
The set will feature an audio commentary
(by Hawks aficionado John Carpenter and Richard Schickel), a vintage
documentary about Hawks (1973's The Men Who Made The Movies - Howard
Hawks), two new featurettes (Commemoration - Howard Hawks' Rio
Bravo and Old Tucson - Where the Legends Walked), and a trailer
gallery. RRP is £15.99.
2 Entertain has confirmed that the
Ronnies DVD being released on April the 30th is indeed of the
complete first season, which originally aired in 1971 (it's the series
with Hampton Wick as the running story).
2 Entertain are quoting a running time of
"354m approx" for the eight-episode series. The RRP is £15.99.
week I attended a press screening at the IMAX for Zach Snyder's Battle of
Themopylae epic 300 (a faithful adaptation of Frank Miller's stark
If you've seen anything of the film, you'll
probably have a very good idea of what it's like: loud, brash, dynamic and
If you plan on seeing the film, and can get
to the IMAX, then I thoroughly recommend seeing it on their giant screen.
I've seen quite a few feature films at the IMAX, and 300 has the
best audio mix I've heard there so far.
The film opens at the London IMAX on March
The BFI IMAX is located at South Bank,
London SE1. For information on tickets and showtimes, please call 0870 787
2525 or visit the website at
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