On the box: Live tennis, biyatch
In the player: X-Men 2
Heavy rotation: HIM… again (because they’re so fucking good)
Sore thumbs: WrestleMania X8 (noooooooo!)
Party people in the hizouse!
Since I was at a loose end, I went back to my high school yesterday. Holy shit, that was weird. Not quite as weird as when I went back to my primary school, where the buildings seemed absolutely tiny and everything was in fucking miniature (seriously, the urinals were at fucking knee level), but weird. The last time I went back, I was in full-on rocker mode with leather trousers and my (then) really long hair down, so everyone thought I’d completely lost it and all the kids heckled the shit out of me. So this time I was more laid back, just jeans and t-shirt and with shorter, more respectable hair (bearing in mind this is a school where you can’t have anything shorter than a .3 buzz cut or anything longer than collar-length hair), and received more respect from everyone concerned.
It’s just such a strange experience; everything outside of those buildings has been changing people getting older, graduating, moving on, moving away, the usual sort of stuff. But in there, it’s like a complete timewarp mostly the same old faces, mostly looking exactly the same as they did all those years ago, and mostly doing the same frigging job. It was cool seeing some of the younger teachers who were about the age I am now when they were teaching me, especially one Miss Charlotte Yeomans, who went nuts and decided to get married, but nonetheless still looks amazing. Anyway, it’s tough to talk about the experience without referencing a bunch of people that nobody here will know, so I won’t. But it really kickstarted a nostalgia trip and I’ve called up a couple of good pals that I haven’t spoken to in a while, and I'm sure there's a message in there for all of us. I've fallen out of touch with some good people, and I'm making an effort to bring back some of that old magic.
Couple of plugs before we get going.
If anyone’s interested in picking up the latest flicks on VCD or SVCD, I can heartily recommend TSM reader Paul Marshall. For £5 (about $8 US) plus shipping, you can have an SVCD of Matrix Reloaded, X-Men 2, The Animatrix, Bruce Almighty and most other flicks that are still in theatres. Older flicks such as Spider-Man and LoTR Two Towers are only £3 a pop, and Paul’ll even do you a special deal on a job lot of all the films available. He’s also offering VCDs of Buffy Series 7 or Angel Series 4 for £22 ($35 US), Clerks Animated for £6 ($9.50 US), and Six Feet Under Series 3 for £14 ($22 US). I’ve had a lot of VCDs and SVCDs in the past that are really shitty homemade discs that don’t read properly, pixellate horribly or even crash out in the middle of films, but these are great and run with no probs. Most DVD players can play VCD/SVCDs these days, but you can download the excellent STHSVCD program for free and run them on your PC. So if you're interested, give him a holla: [email protected]
And now a plug for me. Alas, there were no takers for my Alien 3 workprints on eBay, which is a fucker because when I wanted them they were as rare as goldust and I had to beat others off with a shitty stick to get them. So, if anyone wants a PAL or NTSC copy of the elusive Alien 3 workprint with a shitload of deleted scenes, drop me a line.
I must also apologise to the TSM reader who very kindly sent me the specs for the ER: Season One DVDs last week. I said I’d run the item in this week’s update, but since I’m a fuckup I’ve deleted the email and can’t even apologise to the guy by name. So sorry dude I didn’t forget you, I’m just incompetent.
So then, I’m out of banter, so let’s hit the content.
WHAT’S HOT THIS WEEK
Pretty dry week if you’re not into blonde vampire slayers or Kevin Costner.
Yup, Buffy season four should be on store shelves as you read this, although as I’ve pointed out in a thread on the boards, both seasons five and six are already out in the UK, in full anamorphic widescreen, so real Buffy heads should import now and fight the Region 1 fullscreen tyranny. Kevin Costner and Alan Rickman campfest Robin Hood Prince of Thieves receives the long-awaited special edition treatment this week. From what I understand it’s a loaded set with great documentaries and two fun commentaries, but the transfer isn’t as good as previous releases (or it’s just a bad transfer, one or t’other).
There’s a bunch of big name flicks that I haven’t seen out this week too, such as Old School, the Once Upon A Time in America SE, and The Right Stuff SE. Alas, my PC’s on the blink and I can’t get specs for them, but hey, I can’t do all the work for you people. Frida is out, but I don’t think it’s the Salma Hayek version, as is Jungle Book 2 and The Brady Bunch Movie for all the keedz. There’s a few music DVDs in the form of Bjork (actually, THREE Bjork DVDs), Nas and Frank Sinatra. I’m guessing that Starship: Latest and Greatest isn’t a DVD about the old Scott Hall tag team, which is a shame. And I know nothing about Pete Rose other than he shows up now and then at WWF PPVs and gets tombstoned by Kane; nonetheless, Pete Rose: Playing To Win is out to buy now for those who know a little more about the dude. The Entertainers Basketball Classic 2 is probably worth a look for the SLAM generation, while Grease 2 isn’t worth looking at no matter who you are.
There’s a couple of anomalies this week too. Amazon are listing a DVD that’s only described as Jesus Film Commemorative Edition, with no other details or explanation. Even more bizarre is The Gay Games VI Sydney 2002. Despite my best efforts, I have no fucking idea what these Gay Games entail. Even checking Amazon’s product listing yields no joy indeed, you could be forgiven for mistaking it for gay porn:
In November 2002, twelve thousand athletes from every corner of the globe came to Sydney, Australia to play hard and compete in the Gay Games. Join them as you get a glimpse into the heart of the World’s most inclusive sporting event. Share their elation, exhilaration, and joy as we uncover what it means to participate in the Gay Games. Professionally filmed and produced, this 2-DVD set contains the very best 5 hours captured during the event. This DVD will help you experience the magic of this memorable event even if you weren’t there. It’s the most comprehensive coverage of the Gay Games in its history. Widescreen, Dolby Digital 5.1 Sound, 24 Sport Featurettes, 16 Amazing Slideshows, Over 500 Photos of Sports, Ceremonies, and Parties, KD L:ang at the Opening Ceremony, Comprehensive Sport Results Listing, Volunteer Featurette as tribute is paid to the thousands of men and women who helped make the event possible
So, after all that, I still have no genuine idea what Gay Games are all about, but hey it’s there if you want it.
Digital Versatile Dick
Hoo boy, there’s a couple of gems here. Let’s start with Love is Colder Than Death, which I initially thought was funny because the lead actor’s name sounds a bit like The Simpsons’ leading man Rainier “McBain” Wolfcastle. However, upon second reading, I realised that Rainer Warner Fassbinder is just a fucking funny name on its own merits. More crap in the way of Cellblock Sisters Banished Behind Bars, which irks me because it sounds like a really bad female rap duo’s debut album. But like Highlander, there can be only one, and this week’s winner is Monkey Monkey Bottle of Beer, How Many Monkeys Have We Here? I shit you not.
I’m guessing that, as a primarily wrestling website, most people here will be familiar with the funniest wrestling site on the net, WrestleCrap.com. Before bandwidth issues caused R.D. to streamline the service, it was simply the most comprehensive, pant-pissingly entertaining encyclopaedia of the worst wrestling gimmicks and angles in history Big Show’s coffin surfing, Steven Regal: Real Man’s Man, Kwang, Repo Man, The Shockmaster, and all the other classics.
Well, old R.D. landed himself a book deal, and WrestleCrap: The Very Worst Of Pro Wrestling is now available for pre-order from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other such e-tailers. It’s not due for release until October, but if you’re planning on getting the book at all, I’d urge you to pre-order, as the publisher is basing demand for a follow-up book on the strength of pre-order numbers, so let’s do our part.
Meltzer doesn’t really count in my opinion as he was already getting paid for his writing, but with Keith and now R.D., It’s just really neat to see internet writers entering the world of legitimate publishing. Power to the smart marks and dirt sheet geeks!
SEX-MEN 2 DIRTY SANCHEZ
Here’s something cool from the forums. TSM regular Yuna Firerose posted a link to a summary of the X-Men 2 outtakes/gag reel that’s being shown at the X2 Q&As. If you enjoyed the infamous Spider-Man Easter Egg on the X-Men DVD, you’ll freaking love this… the only downer is that, thanks to its profanity-laden, gay innuendo vulgarity-fest, it isn’t too likely that it’ll make it onto the DVD. But if someone going to a Q&A sneaks in a camcorder and posts it to Kazaa…
Here are the highlights:
- Masturbating Nightcrawler’s tail
- Mystique and Magneto sucking off a hot dog from both ends (should be interesting to see who gives better head out of these two cigar smokers)
- Collage of each cast member screaming FUCK
- Brian Cox swearing like a dirty sailor
- Mystique in spanking action (alas, giving, not receiving)
- Rogue, Iceman and Pyro running around the mansion and finding a giant birthday cake
- Logan and
Picard Patrick Stewart camping it up
- Stewart and McKellan in drag (hmm…)
- Logan whips out a condom and does an Austin Powers impression
- McKellan mouthing “amateur” into the camera behind Brian Cox’s back
- Professor X wheelchair derby
- Logan kicking ass while wearing X-ray specs
- Actual non-gag deleted scene where Jean comes back and reveals she is engaged to Scott
- Logan doing his berserker rage while screaming FUUUUUCK and doing his own sound effects
- McKellan taking out a cameraman
Check out the complete description here?.
This’d be an awesome extra for the DVD, though the coarseness will probably mean it won’t be included. That said, it would give Fox an opportunity to double-dip us with Rated and Unrated versions, so there’s a vague chance, which is better than none.
WHO ATE ALL THE PIES?
Whoever ate them, Universal is sure happy to bake up some more, fill them with shite, and sell them as new DVDs. Yes, no sooner does the thirtieth-or-so re-release of The Fast And The Furious hit shelves than the thirtieth and thirty-first versions of American Pie and American Pie 2 are released in order to pimp American Wedding.
Dear lord, Universal are becoming by far the worst offenders when it comes to doing this, along with Anchor Bay (see the story on the Evil Dead re-releases below).
Anyway, from July 29th, all four versions of American Pie and all four versions of American Pie 2 (rated/unrated//widescreen/fullscreen) will come with a bonus DVD Beneath the Crust: Vol. 1 The Essential Ingredients of American Pie for AP1 and Beneath The Crust: Vol. 2 Missing Pieces: The Lost American Pie 2 Scenes for AP2. Each disc contains a handful of newly-shot featurettes and bonus features, as follows:
Beneath the Crust: Volume 1 The Essential Ingredients of American Pie
"A tour of American Pie locations including:"
- Shooting the Infamous Pie Scene
- The Tongue Tornado
- Bathroom Etiquette
- “Say My Name”
- The Tube Sock Story
- Nadia Vision
- The Infamous Pale Ale
Beneath the Crust: Volume 2 Missing Pieces: The Lost American Pie 2 Scenes
“Reveals lost storylines including:”
- The Main Ingredients
- The Temptation of Oz
- The Big One
- Stifler’s Dad Moves In
- The Solution: Bringing the Pieces Together
Looking at the list of extras on the second disc, it’s all stuff that’s covered in the AP2 commentary tracks, so it doesn’t honestly look like you’re missing out if you decide, having already bought both flicks at least once, not to spend another $50 on them. That said, there is a mail-in rebate to allow you to see American Wedding for free(which seems generous, but don’t forget they’re going to give us the same twenty-or-so re-releases of THAT when it comes out on DVD, so they know they’ll make their money back), so if you don’t own the first two, this is probably the set to get. Well, until the AP Trilogy and AP Ultimate Trilogy come out at Christmas, that is.
Kind thanks to the DVD Times.
BIG EVIL DEAD
Bearing in mind that I’m not a Sam Raimi fanboy and I actually can’t stand the Evil Dead series, I know that the words “Evil Dead” and “never before seen deleted scenes” will still get some folks excited.
The four-disc Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead Trilogy is due for a Region 2 release on July 28th for £30 (about $45 US), and includes some all-new extras that are exclusive to the set. Since I’m not particularly interested in this one, I’ll just copy and paste the specs for you. SHORTCHANGE THE PUBLIC~!
Disc One - The Evil Dead
- 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
- English DD5.1 and DTS-ES 6.1 Surround Audio
- English and French DD2.0 Surround Audio
- Audio commentary by writer-director Sam Raimi and producer Robert Tapert
- Audio commentary by star Bruce Campbell
- Biographies of Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Robert Tapert
- Theatrical trailer
- TV spots
- "Fanalysis" a 26-minute documentary by Bruce Campbell
- "Discovering The Evil Dead" featurette
- Outtakes and deleted scenes
- Gallery containing 137 stills
- A hidden "Easter egg"
Disc Two - Evil Dead II
“Special features include audio commentary by Sam Raimi, Robert Tapert and Bruce Campbell, trailer and making-of featurette.”
Disc Three - Army of Darkness
- Director's cut presented in 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
- 15 minutes of additional footage including the original ending
- Audio commentary by Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and writer Ivan Raimi
- 4 never-before-seen deleted scenes and director's storyboards
Disc Four - The Evil Dead
The fourth disc in the boxed set presents the eponymous first film in The Evil Dead trilogy in its original 4 x 3 format (1.33:1 Full Screen Unmatted) and includes several extras exclusive to this edition, making it a must-have for all Evil Dead fans and collectors.
- Original 4x3 format presentation
- English DD2.0 Stereo Audio
- Optional DD5.1 and DTS-ES 6.1 Surround Audio
- Sam Raimi interview from "The Incredibly Strange Film Show"
- "The Living Love The Dead" featurette
- "Dead Good Marketing" all new featurette that examines the Evil Dead 1 and 2 UK Advertising Campaign
- "Bruce Campbell: Geek or God?" all new featurette that examines the continuing appeal of Evil Dead's charming superstar, Bruce Campbell
- "Antihero" Stravinsky Gave Me Nightmares Evil Dead inspired Music Video
- "Gallery of Decay"
These Anchor Bay releases are notorious for licensing issues preventing extras being exactly duplicated in different territories, so I’m not sure about a US release for the set. So if you’re hankering for some B-movie schlock, make sure you’ve got a multi-region player and head on over to Play.com to grab yourself a copy.
Speaking of Anchor Bay, here’s the low down on their upcoming Halloween 25th Anniversary Edition, due for release on August 5th for $30. Aside from an all-new high-definition widescreen DiViMax (?!?) transfer, the big pull of the set is the commentary track from the OOP Criterion disc.
A somewhat murkier issue is whether the additional scenes from the TV cut of the film will be included on the disc initial reports coming from the studio suggested that the scenes would be included in some form, but the latest set of specs don’t specify WHICH cut of the film it will be, or even if it will be some sort of ultimate cut with everything re-integrated.
So, disc one contains an unspecified cut of the flick in HD DiViMax widescreen, along with the legendary commentary by John Carpenter, Jamie Lee Curtis and producer Debra Hill.
Disc two hosts an all-new 87-minute documentary entitled Halloween A Cut Above The Rest, featuring interviews with just about everyone involved in the picture. Then there’s another all-new featurette, On Location 25 Years Later. This one clocks in at only 10 minutes, and features P.J. Soles and Debra Hill revisiting Casa De Myers. There’s poster and stills galleries, bios, trailer, TV and radio spots. There are a couple of DVD-ROM extras in the form of the original screenplay and some screen savers, and the set comes with a 16-page booklet.
Just a quickie on this one, but it may be of interest to those keeping tabs on the development of HD-DVD.
In the latest issue of Video Business there’s a good piece on the next-gen, HD race that’s currently taking place. It mentions that Columbia TriStar might possibly start releasing products on Sony’s Blu-Ray format in 2004, though no other studio has similar plans.
Sony’s monopolitic mass-market maneouvres are nearly as brazen and shameless as Microsoft’s. They’re always trying to push their own overpriced, underpowered formats to assert whatever control they can over the consumer, whether it’s in the consumer’s best interests or not. Why the hell are they already trying to phase out the current generation of DVD technology? It’s the most profitable revenue stream studios and manufacturers have had in years why try and replace a medium that has only just become established? Most people’s attitudes aren’t going to be “great, let’s all go out and spend more money to buy a new system to replace the one we bought four months ago!”, it’s going to be the same apathy that cripples all format wars and only ends up hurting consumers in the long-run either through reduced choice or purchase of an unsustainable format.
It’s about time Sony realised that they don’t have to own the patent on every new piece of hardware that comes out, and those bastards at Columbia TriStar aren’t helping that message get through if they’re going to support Blu-Ray. The industry needs to slow the fuck down and wait for the right time to release an appropriate HD format, and Sony need to get back with the DVD consortium and start working WITH them to develop the best format, not throw a hissyfit every time one of their ideas gets shot down and go make their own just to prove they can. Then again, with Sony struggling to make a profit these days (see last week’s update), perhaps they’ll hold back on releasing needless shit for the hell of it.
Thanks to the Digital Bits for winding me up.
Sue me for picking up a copy of The Enquirer, but that story about Larry Wachowski getting a sex change in order to live out a life of debauchery with his domme girlfriend was just too damn funny. Anyhoo, word from the Digital Bits' Rumor Mill is that the Matrix Reloaded DVD is shaping up for an October release, in time to whet appetites for Matrix Revolutions in November.
Now, whether or not it will actually be worth picking up is another matter. Of course, it’s going to be a huge seller, but if you stop and think about it, you just KNOW they’re going to put out a Matrix Trilogy when Revolutions is done. Plus Joel Silver wants to re-release the original Matrix with a better transfer, and the Wachowskis want to put out a re-release with a new (i.e. good) commentary track. Which means that, at the very least, the first press of Reloaded is not going to be worth picking up, because you know they’re going to re-release it in a Trilogy at least once, probably with more stuff on it. After that, I’d imagine they’ll release a four-title set that includes The Animatrix as well (presuming that Matrix Revisited is going to be disc two of the Matrix form now on, otherwise I guess they’ll release a five-title set).
So it’s up to you whether you want to pick up the title in October “just to have it on disc”, knowing you’re going to be double-dipped. My advice is to pick it up on SVCD nice and cheap and wait for the box set. And wouldn’t you know, you can do just that right here: [email protected]
And that would appear to be that.
Thanks to all the kind folks who wrote in with news items or DVD specs for me especially the one I deleted. If anyone wants to send in anything of that nature, go ahead and drop me a line. Anyone who wants to tell me what a dick I am… well, I get that a lot, so feel free to drop me a line as well.
I’m done, so take care folks, and remember:
WE LOVE WHAT YOU’VE DONE WITH YOUR HAIR~!