In the player: Father Ted
On the box: Dr. NO
Heavy rotation: Weirdass German Mortis-style nonsense
Sore thumbs: Viewtiful Joe
eBay purchases: HIM Ultra Rare Trax Vol. 1, Shawn Michaels DVD, King of Comedy OST, Shaolin Soccer OST
Hello, hello, how you doing.
I’m a little pissed off right now because the seller just told me that the King of Comedy CD has got damaged. She’s offering a refund, so it’s not the end of the world or anything, but shit, it’s distressing all the same. I’ve sent her an email saying that as long as the CD itself is okay, I don’t give a fuck how messed up the case is, but if I can’t have it… I’m gonna have to buy myself something stupidly fucking expensive to make up for it.
Slight delay on the Viewtiful Joe review I fucked up and left my S-video lead at my girlfriend’s, so at the moment all I can get are shaky grabs through composite cables. So hold tight this time next week, we should be getting somewhere. And on the subject of Joe, it’s heartening that the game blew through its initial batch of 100,000 units in its first week, shifting 26,000 in its first day. Not PS2-threatening numbers by any means, but Capcom have got to be happy with that, and hopefully this will lessen the blow of the relatively lacklustre performance of P.N.03.
I don’t have a whole lot interesting to say this week (well, no less interesting than usual I guess, just that I’m not really in the mood to type much more), so let’s kick this baby up the ass and get ON WITH THE SHOW~!
WHAT’S HOT THIS WEEK
The UK, that’s what’s hot, mofo. Well, actually it’s just kinda close, which is why hot UK summers suck even more ass than wet, rainy ones. At least when it rains all June you can go “great, British summer again”, but when it gets hot like it has been this year, it’s just so fucking humid. Most sensible countries have summers that are hot in the sunshine, but when you go indoors it’s just nice and pleasant. But oh no, here in the UK, if it’s hot and sunny, you KNOW you’re going to be peeling bedsheets off your ass all night and sticking to your partner’s sweaty flesh when you roll over.
I can’t wait to move back to LA.
Aaaanyway… DVDs. Couple of goodies, actually, but then a whole lot of nothing. There’s a sweet restored Director’s Cut of Manhunter, which comes with an HD DiviMax transfer and a spanking new commentary, but there’s already a pretty tasty two-disc version of the flick available, so be sure to check the specs of both before you slap down the cash. Phone Booth gets a criminally underwhelming DVD release, with only a commentary track and a trailer. Which usually isn’t a big deal, speaking as someone who’d buy pretty much any film if it’s got a good commentary, but there’s a lot of stories that can and should be told about this film (like the fact that it only took 10 days to shoo the damn thing), so if you pick this up now, prepare to be double-dipped down the line.
There’s another Charlie Chaplin boxset available this week, comprising some of his earlier short films in fully restored fashion along with a documentary, so fans should give that a look. There’s the obligatory Spurs Championship DVD on this year’s NBA Finals, and if only I cared about the League any more, I’d pick it up. And Iron Monkey gets another release, and I’ll say it again, BUY THE REGION 2 HONG KONG LEGENDS VERSION BECAUSE IT FUCKING RULES.
And that’s it, really. Go see if the new Manhunter is as good as the old one, and do your best not to succomb to buying Phone Booth unless you really, really have to.
Digital Versatile Dick
Ah, my old friend, how the devil are you? Another instalment of RoboCop: The Prime Directives is released, and no I still haven’t got around to reviewing that bad boy, although I did watch some choice moments with the missus last week and she nearly pissed herself with laughter. This is just some of the worst filmmaking I have EVER seen, and it’s quite distressingly and unintentionally entertaining. There have been rumours for the longest time that Julian Grant would record a commentary for the Region 1 release and good lord, I would just love to see if even he can sit through that fucker without giggling.
ANOTHER COLOSSAL UNIVERSAL FUCKUP
Remember when those no-good, deceptive, money-grabbing thieves at Universal had transfer problems with their Back To The Future DVDs, but were more concerned with selling units than serving their customers that they knowingly shipped defective product to consumers anyway? Remember how they offered to replace defective copies, and the ludicrous process by which consumers were returning their faulty goods and getting nothing back?
Well, here’s the next enthralling chapter in the “how badly can those morons at Universal screw up now?” You see, with such a colossal blunder on arguably one of the most anticipated DVD releases of all time, you would have thought that they would correct the problem and send out absolutely PERFECT replacement discs right away, wouldn’t you? Well actually no, you would have thought that they would just delay the release and get it right the first time to save themselves mass consumer discontent. But if you didn’t think that then yes, you would expect them to at least be competent enough to get the replacement discs right. Right?
Well guess what those crooks have fucked the consumers again, right up their asses. The reissued Region 2 and 4 copies of Back To The Future 3 suffer from even more appalling and embarrassing transfer issues, which you can see by heading over to this article at the DVD Times. JUST WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH YOU, UNIVERSAL? ARE YOU SO INEPT, INCOMPETENT AND INCAPABLE THAT NOT ONLY IS CONSUMER CONCERN BEYOND YOU, BUT YOU ARE UNABLE TO MASTER A SIMPLE DVD TRANSFER CORRECTLY? It’s bad enough that you let commercial imperatives and profits get in the way of providing quality goods to consumers, bad enough that you willingly deceived customers by knowingly releasing defective product for purchase, and bad enough that you then offered a woefully inadequate replacement service. But to then issue REPLACEMENT PRODUCT (i.e. error-free, quality goods that are free from the defects that plagued the initial release and prompted re-issue in the first place) that is similarly defective? You people are criminals, plain and simple. You can complain all you want about piracy destroying your industry and hurting your bottom line, but the fact is that the bootleg BTTF DVDs that have been available for years are not plagued with these baffling, avoidable, and utterly unacceptable defects that you are pushing onto consumers. If pirated goods are the only way to enjoy Universal releases, then you will understand if people choose not to purchase official, inferior Universal product.
INDIANA JONES AND THE DIGITAL TEMPTATION
Hey, don’t be surprised if Indy gets an all new CGI sidekick integrated into the films along with some newly shot scenes that he added “to finish the film”. I love the way that, when Star Wars got Special Editioned the last time around, George was harping on about all this “I’ve finally been able to finish the films” as his defence for adding and changing everything, and now he’s shooting even more crap because apparently they still need more work even though his justification for fucking about with them last time was that he needed to “finish them”. Fucking loony.
Well, George isn’t altering anything in the Indy flicks yet, but the allure of digital fiddling has again proven too much for Spielberg, who will be retouching at least one scene in order to remove an obvious piece of movie magic. While it can be argued that yes, this doesn’t really impact the film in the same way as, oh I don’t know, HAN SHOOTING FIRST might, the fact is that once a director makes the decision to go back and “clean up” or “finish” a movie, it’s awful hard to know when to stop. Especially when you’ve got Lucas shouting in your ear to CG everything. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Spielberg’s gone all Lucas in another aspect too the Indy films are all being subtly renamed. Remember how the Star Wars flicks used to be “Star Wars”, “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of The Jedi”, and then Lucas decided they should all be called “Star Wars Episode X: ...”? Well, now you can damn well refer to Spielberg’s films as “Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Lost Ark”, “Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom”, and “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade”.
WOO FUCKING HOO.
On the plus side, here’s how the extras for the set are shaping up, courtesy of those fine PC fellows at the BBFC:
The Making of the Indiana Jones Trilogy - Part 1: Raiders of the Lost Ark (51 mins)
The Making of the Indiana Jones Trilogy - Part 2: The Temple of Doom (41 mins)
The Making of the Indiana Jones Trilogy - Part 3: The Last Crusade (35 mins)
The Stunts of Indiana Jones (11 mins)
The Light and Magic of Indiana Jones (12 mins)
The Music of Indiana Jones (12 mins)
Until Lucas and co. confirm them, they’re still technically unofficial, but not in the same way as the Episode II artwork was when you submit stuff for BBFC approval, it means you’re putting it on the DVD.
Thanks to the Digital Bits for pointing us in the right direction.
FURIOUS AMERICAN HULK ALMIGHTY
According to the Digital Bits’ Rumour Mill, here are a couple of likely release dates for the summer flicks.
2 Fast 2 Furious is due to drop on September 30th, The Hulk will, um, smash his way into stores on October 28th, Bruce Almighty arrives on November 25th, and American Wedding should hit on December 30th. Did I ever mention that I REALLY want to nail Alyson Hannigan?
And maybe I’m missing something, but I’ve always thought that releasing big name DVDs the week AFTER Christmas is really retarded. Surely a better idea would be to have it on shelves a week or two BEFORE so that everyone goes and buys it to put under a tree? Especially a franchise like American Pie, since the holidays are the best time to release super-duper boxsets and get people to overlook the fact that they’ve already bought the first two movies a few times already.
But then again, what do I know, I’m just an internet writer. Go ahead and ask Vince McMahon we don’t know dick about anything. Because much like spending months booking a show around a feud and then pissing off the talent and having him leave you high and dry or allowing “The McMahon-Helmsley Era” to become reality, releasing DVDs the week after Christmas and refusing to educate the public about the benefits of widescreen transfers are actually really good ideas and thoroughly sound, profitable business decisions. Everyone on the internet is just an idiot who doesn’t get it.
Man, I’m pissed off about my King of Comedy CD.
THIS IS THE BBC
Not much in the way of details or specs (in fact, most of these look to be and in all probability will be barebones), but here’s what’s on the way from BBC’s Region 2 division:
Doctor Who: Earthshock (loaded with specs, click here)
Dr. Terrible (likewise with a fair few extras)
Two Pints of Lager (And A Packet of Crisps) Series One and Two
The Best of Not the Nine O’clock News
The Young Ones, Series 2
Bottom, Series 1
The Fast Show, Series 2
In Search Of Shakespeare (extras here)
Well, that’s that. Barring illness or lawsuits from Universal, I’ll be back here next week, hopefully with a Viewtiful Joe review on the front page and a King of Comedy CD in the post.
So take care until then, and remember:
SOMEBODY TURN THAT FUCKING SONG OFF~!
Read my archives, biatch.