On the box: Wimbledon, bongggggg
In the player: Starship Troopers SE
Heavy rotation: System of A Down
Sore thumbs: Gamecube demo disc
Well, it’s Bon Jovi this weekend, Lord help me. If I make it out alive, I’ll be here this time next Tuesday. If you don’t hear from me… assume the power of ageing, crunchy-permed pussy-rockers was too much for me. Obviously, the missus is majorly amped about it, although the thought of standing up for four hours in Hyde Park through a band I don’t care about on my creakyass knees makes me a little less enthusiastic. I can take some solace in the fact that I won an eBay auction last night for a rare-as-fuck HIM CD with a bunch of demos, deleted, orchestral and acoustic remixes, EP tracks, and rare songs from The Agents days. If there’s any justice, it’ll arrive on my doorstep Friday morning so I can copy it to a MiniDisc and at least listen to something decent while Jon Bon’s wailing away.
I was watching Starship Troopers in bed last night, and I left the old Verhoeven/Neumier commentary on to send me to sleep (I’m one of those people who absolutely HAS to have the TV on to nod off). The track’s a little quiet, so I clicked up the volume and rolled over to catch some Zs. Thing is, I forget that about an hour into the commentary, Paul kindly demonstrates his aural motivation for the actors who are performing in front of absent CG effects, and lets out a fucking terrifying death cream that lasts about eight seconds. And fuck, with the volume up it was LOUD. I jumped the fuck out of bed, banging my head on the dresser, grabbed a pair of nunchucks and legged it out onto the landing, because I was in a fucked up headspace where I thought someone had broken into the house and was killing my dad. After a couple of minutes of adrenaline-fuelled confusion, I figured out that it was everyone’s favourite Nazi fetishist director, and got myself the fuck back into bed. Thanks Paul.
Thanks to everyone who sent me feedback/compliments on both my Animal Crossing review and the
Et Cetera piece on the new wrestling channel. And I should make it clear, since people have asked, that alas there are no plans to bring back ETC as a weekly column. Much as I’d love to, the wrestling business is just in too big of a hole right now for me to be motivate to write anything other than hatchet jobs on it every week. Maybe when the new wrestling channel does start up, I’ll have something to work with, but right now with just a steady diet of RAW is POOR and SmackDownRightShit!, it’s just too negative an experience.
Alas, no release list for this week since my net access has been a little sporadic, but if you head on over to the forums I’m sure C.H.U.D. or one of the other fellows has got it covered. That said, there are specs below for the Shawn Michaels DVD that I’m sure everyone here is going to buy. Also, from this week on, I’m going to be linking to my TSM archives since my main man Will has put so much damn work into doing them and I’ve been rude enough not to even mention them. So if anyone want to check out any of my old DVD reviews (like the RoboCop Trilogy SE, Predator SE, or the ECW DVDs), videogame reviews (like Def Jam Vendetta or Legends of Wrestling 2), or even a couple of Et Ceteras (including the very funny (and error-ridden) Survivor Series Booking Meeting), head on over to my archives NOW!
Well, once you’ve read what’s going on in DVDs this week. ON WITH THE SHOW~!
WHERE EVERYBODY LOSES THEIR SMILE
Outside of the ring, Shawn’s a dick. Inside it, he’s the man. Even today after losing a couple of steps and with a gay haircut, he can still light it up, but he’s had some absolute classics in his career, and a selection of his greatest matches can be found on the two-disc WWF From The Vault: Shawn Michaels DVD, out this week.
Here are the specs, courtesy of my old mucker Mike Johnson of 1Wrestling.com:
- The Beginning: AWA Tag Team Championship. The Midnight Rockers vs. Playboy Buddy Rose & Doug Summers (September 2, 1986)
- Ladder Match: Wrestlemania X. Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match. Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon (March 20, 1994)
- Iron Match: Wrestlemania XII. WWE Championship. Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart (March 31, 1996)
Extras Disc 1:
- Bloodbath: Aftermath of the Tag Team Championship
- Be Ready: Shawn cuts a promo, AWA Style
- Barbershop: The Rockers pay a visit to Brutus Beefcake - The Rockers break-up
- There are No Rules: Ray Rougeau interviews Shawn Michaels on the February 26, 1994 episode of Superstars
- Two Champions: The events surrounding the disputed Intercontinental Championship between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon
- Piper's Announcement: Acting WWE President "Rowdy" Roddy Piper declares that the championship match will be a one-hour Iron Man Match
- Training Video: Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart prepare for the biggest match of the year
- Iron Match TV Spot: Promotional Spot for Wrestlemania XII
- Match of the Year: 1997 Slammy Awards Show
- Before They Were Superstars: The HBK Story
- Tell Me a Lie: Music Video
- Easter Egg: Buddy Rose "Blow Away" Diet Ad (Go to the Extras Menu, Go to the title "Be Ready" then hit left on the control)
- No Holds Barred: In Your House: Good Friends, Better Enemies. WWE Championship. No Holds Barred Match. Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel (April 28, 1996) Mind Games: In Your House: Mind Games. WWE Championship. Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind (September 22, 1996)
- Hell in a Cell: In Your House: Badd Blood. Hell in a Cell. Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker (October 5, 1997)
- The Comeback: Summerslam. Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H (August 28, 2002)
Extras Disc 2:
- Alternate commentary by Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash on their No-Holds-Barred Match
- Diesel Interview: Backstage, from Germany
- Big Daddy Cool: Diesel Cuts a promo on Shawn Michaels and the Kliq
- Good Friends: Promotional TV Spot
- Better Enemies: Promotional TV Spot
- In Your House: Shawn Michaels and Diesel History
- Have a Nice Day: Behold the insanity of Mankind
- Slam Jam Promo: Shawn Michaels and Jose Lothario >(August 31, 1996)
- Mankind Promo: Will I be a sexy boy?
- Brain Surgeon: Shawn Michaels has a message for Mankind
- Pre-Match Interview: Kevin Kelly and Shawn Michaels
- Hell in a Cell TV Spot: Badd Blood Promotional TV Spot
- Building Hell: Construction of the Cell
- Blaze of Glory: Jim Ross interviews Shawn Michaels on RAW (September 15, 1997)
- Good News, Bad News: Pre-match interview
- Badd Blood: Promotional TV Spot
- Nothing Left: Shawn Michaels and Triple H history
- Hammered: The post-match attack by Triple H
- Photo Gallery
- Easter Egg: Shawn Michaels infamous "I Lost My Smile" speech, February 1997 (Go to the Extras Menu, Go to the title "Photo Gallary" then hit left on the control to)
That’s a sweet looking set kinda like the HBK version of Hulk Still Rules, only with less rare matches (although in fairness, the only attraction of the rare Hogan matches was that they were rare; all of Shawn’s matches are good to great). You know, now that they own the ECW footage, if the WWF is smart they’ll capitalise on Mick Foley’s recent appearances and put out a Special Edition release of the two Foley DVDs with additional WCW and ECW matches. Of course, the issue is “if the WWF is smart”, which kind of answers itself.
I was thinking who else should be in line for these kind of DVD sets next. Two obvious choices would be Chris Jericho and RVD, who have both got WCW and ECW footage to draw upon, as well as the potential to licence a couple of matches from the Japanese promotions. Goldberg would be a half decent bet, as would Brock Lesnar not too far down the line. Bret Hart would be a good one if Bret and Vince are really as “patched up” as people say, and you know, I wouldn’t even mind seeing a Big Poppa Pump DVD. Cram it full of WCW and WWF Steiner Brothers matches, stick some Steiners in ECW and Japan footage on there for good measure, and there you go.
Anyway, Shawn’s DVD is out right now, and you can pick up a copy from 1WrestlingShop.com, along with a bunch of other wrestling merchandise, CDs, ring gear and more.
THE LIONHEART JEAN RENO
Ah, the film that started it all. The truly frightening 13 year-old Natalie Portman obsession, including the infamous Countdown To Legality. This is one that slipped right under my radar, even though it’s a flick I’ve wanted a better version of for aaaaaages.
Luc Besson’s Leon: The Professional (well, it was called The Professional in the US and Leon everywhere else) has suffered a couple of very disappointing DVD releases. First there was the barebones disc of the theatrical version, followed by a barebones disc of the Director’s Cut with the additional 24 minutes of footage. Well, those of you with multi-region players might be interested in a Region 3 edition, the Leon 2 Disc Special Edition.
Spread across the two discs you’ll find the 109-minute theatrical cut as well as the 133-min Director’s Cut presented in ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN AND DOLBY 5.1 BIYATCH, a making-of featurette (see IMPORTANT NOTE below), music video (presumably the signature Sting song), biographies, galleries, and theatrical trailer.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: My main man and TSM staffer O.R. Polk has informed me that the making-of featurette is actually NOT present on this release, contrary to various retailers and eBayers claiming otherwise. Be warned!!! Now, that may no sound like a great deal of extras. That said, getting both cuts of the flick in full anamorphic/5.1 glory is good enough for me, and since no-one has really shown any interest in cranking out a better domestic SE of this (hell, if Besson won’t even authorise a better release of sure-thing The Fifth Element…), this is probably the best you’ll find for a while. There are a couple of copies floating around on eBay, or HKFlix.com are selling them for $19 + shipping. Benne. Go get it now.
LORD OF THE RINGPIECE
Well, I’ve made no bones about the fact that I’m not a huge fan of the Lord of The Rings films and hence, I’m going to be even more unapologetic about my lackadaisical cut & paste cribbing of these specs with minimal interest from yours truly. Enjoy!
Discs One & Two: Feature (approx. 214mins)
A new version of the second installment in the epic trilogy! The film includes over 40 minutes of never-before-seen footage incorporated into the film, made especially for this video release:
- Widescreen (2.35:1) version of the Special Extended Edition
- Dolby Digital EX 5.1 Surround Sound
- DTS ES 6.1 Surround Sound
- Stereo Surround Sound
- Four audio commentaries by director and writers, the design team the production team and the cast featuring more than 30 participants including Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Orlando Bloom and Academy Award® winners Richard Taylor, Howard Shore, Randy Cook…and many more
You can learn more about the additional footage in this recent article from USA Today (spoilers inside).
Discs Three & Four: The Appendices
Two discs with hours of original content including multiple documentaries and design/photo galleries with thousands of images to give viewers an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers:
- Adapting the book into a screenplay & planning the film
- Designing and inspiration for locations in Middle-earth
- Storyboards to pre-visualization
- Weta Workshop visit - See sculptors in action as they create the weapons, armor, creatures and miniatures from the film
- Atlas of Middle-earth: Tracing the journey of the Fellowship
- An interactive map of New Zealand highlighting the location scouting process
- Galleries of art and slideshows with commentaries by the artists
- And much more!
- Sending actors to battle - preparation for sword fighting
- Principal photography: Stories from the set
- Digital effects including motion capture and "Massive" (a program to create armies of Orcs)
- "Bigatures" - A close-up look at the detailed miniatures used in the film
- Galleries of behind-the-scenes photographs and personal cast photos
- Post-production - editing it all together
- Sound design demonstration
- DVD-ROM Content: Includes access to exclusive online features.
As with Fellowship of the Ring you will also be able to purchase a Special Collectors Gift Set Edition of The Two Towers that contains the following items presented in packaging illustrated by famed artist, Alan Lee:
- 4-disc Platinum Series™ Special Extended DVD Edition of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
- Collectible Gollum polystone statue created by Sideshow Weta
- "The Evolution of Gollum" exclusive: Bonus DVD on the Weta Workshop and how the Gollum statue was created, featuring interviews with Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, the cast and more! Plus, a printed companion piece showing how Gollum evolved from pencil sketch to sculpted maquette to digital character
The set is due for a simultaneous November 18th release worldwide. So, um, yay. Hooray for Orks and hit points.
Thank you to the DVD Times for the shameless stealing of info.
THE DEER HUNTER HEARST HELMSLEY
Region 2 mofo, BOOYA.
Ahem. In celebration of De Niro’s 60th birthday, heading our way on August 17th is a Region 2-exclusive two-disc Special Edition of The Deer Hunter.
The set will feature the obligatory anamorphic/5.1 double whammy, a commentary track by director Michael Cimino, and the featurettes ‘Realising The Deer Hunter’ (interview with Cimino), ‘Shooting The Deer Hunter’ (interview with cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond), and ‘Playing The Deer Hunter’ (interview with John Savage). In addition, there’s the theatrical trailer, picture gallery, and DVD-ROM content in the form of a “downloadable original press brochure”.
It’s a shame there’s no involvement from De Niro, Christopher Walken or Meryl Streep, but it’s still a pretty tasty looking set. If you’re multi-region capable, head on over to Play.com to get yourself a copy.
Thanks to the DVD Times.
DVDs ON THE WAY
Here’s a few one-liners that will surely be of interest, but weren’t really enough to make news items in their own.
According to the DVD Times, Columbia TriStar are putting out a two-disc Boyz ‘N’ the Hood Anniversary Edition on September 2nd, retailing at $28. Word from the Digital Bits is that the long-awaited Special Edition of Star Trek: Generations is on its way sometime next year in time for its 10th Anniversary. In more Patrick Stewart action, you can also expect to be able to grab X-Men 2 in September this year, 2 Fast 2 Furious on September 30th, and Finding Nemo in November. You know the best thing about 2F2F? Playing Def Jam Vendetta and taking out all your frustrations on Ludacris after watching that piece of shit movie. And finally, the oft-delayed, long-overdue, and apathy-inducing The Simpsons: The Complete First Season is slated for an August 26th release, although that could change at any moment (again).
NA NA NA NA, HEY HEY HEY, GOODBYE
Interesting factoid from the Video Software Dealers Association: DVD has officially overtaken VHS in terms of home video rentals. For the week ending June 15th, 28.2 million DVDs were rented, outdoing the 27.3 million VHS rentals. Additionally, weekly DVD rental revenue has been greater than that generated by VHS since the third week of March, and as of last month, DVD has also overtaken VHS in terms of year-to-date figures.
According to the President of the VSDA Bo Andersen: “Home video is the most popular way for Americans to watch movies, rental is the most popular home video option, and now DVD is the most popular rental format… Video renters are attracted to the quality, convenience, and special features of DVD.”
But they aren’t counting out the ageing, crappy, tape-based format, as Director of Research Brad Hackley continues: “According to the Consumer Electronics Association, approximately 50 million American homes have a VCR but no DVD player. That's a very large market, and the home video industry will continue to serve those consumers.” As many have pointed out though, mere ownership of a VCR is not a requisite for potential home video renting, the same way that ownership of a record player does not necessarily mean continuing vinyl sales. Many people own VCRs simply to watch their own compiled library of tapes, or just to record programmes from TV. Hell, my grandparents and all their oldass friends own a VCR but not a DVD player, and that doesn’t mean that they’re all of a sudden going to go out and start renting tapes. The fact is that the people who are interested enough in movies and home video to go out and rent movies are the forward-thinking technology conscious. Further, as people videos start to break down, more and more people are going to replace them with DVD players, particularly with the growing popularity of TiVO and increasingly affordable DVD-recorders. I honestly can’t see this trend reversing any time soon, which is a GOOD thing let’s drag the rest of the technologically ignorant world kicking and screaming into the, um, current century.
Thanks to IGN, who also have a nice breakdown of the DVD vs VHS numbers for the past three years, and the frankly awesome job the format has done of catching up with its predecessor.
And with that, we’re about done for this week. Anything to say to Jay? Shoot me an email. I’m friendly, and I reply to everything! And don't forget to check out my archives, baby.
Until next week, take care folks, and remember:
THE ONLY GOOD BUG IS A DEAD BUG~!
Read my archives, biyatch.