On the box: CSI: Miami
In the player: An Evening With Kevin Smith
Heavy rotation: The Crow OST
Sore thumbs: Fire Pro Advance 2
Holy shit, it is HOT. I know we don’t have it quite as hot as some other areas of Europe or the US, but you have to understand: the English are NOT equipped to handle sunshine. 100° isn’t a big deal to a lot of folks, but believe me: it brings the UK to a helpless standstill. Part of the problem is that this country just doesn’t know what to do with a hot weather system, so it’s never just hot, it’s always humid and clammy to boot, and this is the most frustrating thing about it. On top of that, here in my little part of the world we’re in a valley, so the humidity lingers longer and gets worse than it should do.
That said, it was nice to be able to go out in shorts for a change. It was our six-and-a-half month anniversary on Saturday, so of course we went out for a meal and did all kinds of sickening couples-stuff. I bought her a couple of really cute plush toys that she just went goo-goo over, and she bought me a GameBoy Advance SP, which really sums up our relationship (i.e. we know each other really well and know exactly what to get each other, and she’s a richass lawyer who can afford to drop a bunch of cash on me while I buy her plush toys). I’m totally hooked on the thing, but now my I’m just overloaded with portable shit that I have to lug with me everywhere two celphones, MiniDisc player, GBA, laptop… oh well, there’s people in the world who can’t even afford to eat, so I guess my problems are all relative.
On Sunday we headed into the countryside to watch the Horse Trials showjumping, dressage, racing, all that crazy stuff. It was an awesome day, but I made one major mistake. Y’see, being fairly dark-skinned and traditionally very resilient to the sun, I’ve never had to bother wearing sunscreen before. I always used to tan great, and I can’t remember ever being burnt. However, I’m an unapologetically anti-sunshine fellow, and over the past few years have tried my hardest to stay as far away from that big bright fucker as possible.
Unfortunately, that has made me rather less impervious to sunlight than I remember.
It didn’t really occur to me that it was 90-something°, or that I would be spending the better part of six hours sitting in the sunshine watching horses. But, after applying copious amounts of Hawaiian Tropic Aloe Aftersun to my arms and ears for the fourth time today, I can only wonder just how fucking stupid you’d have to be to sit in blazing heat and sunshine that long without putting anything on. So suffice it to say, my arms are sore as hell writing this damn update, so I hope you people appreciate the tremendous sacrifice I’m making just to let you know what’s happening in DVDland.
The high point of my day had to be getting Tom Nook to stump up 1,400,000 bells for turnips in Animal Crossing. On Sunday, Sow Joan was flogging turnips for a ridiculous 74 bells each, so I went ahead and bought 2,400 of them right there. Yesterday Nook was only buying them for 78 bells, but today he was offering 600 bells, so I made quite the profit. Sure, it’s pretty sad to be so stoked about getting imaginary currency from a videogame racoon, but last Thursday he was buying them for 760 belles apiece and I’d only bought 300, so I’ll be damned if I don’t stock up big time from now on.
Anyway, enough rambling. Something that might be of interest to you guys is the DVD Glossary that’s just been posted over at the DVD Times. If terms like anamorphic, RSDL, 1.78:1, DTS, and DVD-18 give you a headache, you’ll find this little guide immensely helpful to understanding DVD geekspeak. And of course, don't forget to check out my review of Viewtiful Joe, fully screen-shotted for YOUR pleasure!
And if anyone here is at all familiar with the Scotsman and remembers his feud with former Smark Jay Bower and Ken Anderson, you’ll be highly amused by what's happening to his website for the next couple weeks…
And with that, let’s HIT THE CONTENT~!
WHAT’S HOT THIS WEEK
Same lacklustre lineup as they've all been recently, but there's a couple of nice DVDs buried in there.
I’m guessing that the biggest (and also, simultaneously, most frustrating) release to the hardcore contingent will be the Halloween 25th Anniversary Edition that I covered here a while back. I’m not a Halloween fan by any means, but there seems to be a lot of contention over this disc and how it stacks up to the thirty or so other editions that are out there, so you might want to do a little research on it before you pick it up. It comes with the now legendary Criterion Collection commentary, but I think the issue is how much of the footage from the TV cut is/isn't included.
Casablanca SE is something that my dad’s been gagging for ever since I bought him a DVD player. In addition to a new digital transfer you get a commentary track by Roger Ebert and another one by a film historian, 10 minutes of deleted scenes, two documentaries hosted by Lauran Bacall, interviews with various members of the Bogart and Bergman families, the pilot to the Casablanca TV show, the Looney Toons Casablanca parody, the original radio production, galleries and the theatrical trailer. Shit, Father’s Day’s already been and gone, hasn’t it?
Season Four of Deep Space Nine is another one that’s likely to be on most people’s shopping lists, and the extras (or rather, lack of them) are the same as always. There’s a Special Edition of Agent Cody Banks which, while the film strikes me as a shameless ripoff of Teen Agent, comes on a loaded DVD with commentary, deleted scenes and outtakes, a bunch of featurettes and more. There’s a two-disc set of Dragnet that’s just screaming to be bought, and if I gave a shit about SuperBit I’d be hankering for The One, Starship Troopers and The Quick And The Dead too. Burn Hollywood Burn is a flick that I always wanted to check out, but a friend of mine strongly advised me against it. I know that he went in expecting the three stars on the cover Stallone, Jackie Chan and Whoopie Goldberg to be starring in some sort of action flick as opposed to a mockumentary, and that obviously tainted his opinion. I might check it out now just for curiosity’s sake.
Digital Versatile Dick
Any other week, The Omega Man would’ve been the clear cut winner. I know it’s a cult classic and all, but the first time I saw it I thought it was the funniest thing I’d ever seen. Charlton Heston battling an army of brothers with talcum powder on their ‘fros and white contact lenses that keep slipping off their eyes? That’s pure WrestleCrap, baby.
But that doesn’t win the prize this week, because there’s something even funnier: Breakin’. Have you seen it? Did you laugh your ass off? Well, obviously you weren’t paying close enough attention. The next time you watch it, look closely and you might just notice a very young Jean-Claude Van Damme getting his groove on. Play that funky music, white boy.
PHANTOMS LIKE A MOTHER FUCKER!
Headed our way on September 9th is a slinky new two-disc Ultimate Edition of The Phantom of The Opera. The set contains the two versions of the film: the original 1925 feature running 110 minutes with Jon Mirsalis score, and the restored 1929 version that runs 98 minutes and comes with a stereo score by Carl Davis or the original, mono soundtrack.
The set is pretty stacked with extras: you get an audio commentary by film historian Scott MacQueen, a video interview with Carla Laemmle, trailers from 1925 and 1930, “Faust Opera Extract from the 1929 Tiffany Sound Feature, Midstream”, stills gammeries which feature missing and deleted scenes, nine “bonus dialogue scenes” from the 1929 restoration, and an interview with cinematographer Charles Van Enger.
It’s a niche product, sure, but it’s a cool-looking DVD nonetheless.
Props as always to the DVD Times.
GOLDFISH SHOALS NIBBLING AT MY TOES
Fans of cult sci-fi Britcom Red Dwarf have been treated to superb DVD editions of the show, including everything from Japanese episodes to full cats commentaries. And season 3 of the series, due for an R2 release on November 3rd, is shaping up to be just as awesome. From the Official Red Dwarf website, here’s the full list of specs:
- Cast commentary with Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules, Robert Llewellyn and Hattie Hayridge.
- All Change All new, episode-by-episode documentary on the making of Red Dwarf III.
- 20 minites of deleted scenes
- Smeg Ups (outtakes/gag reel)
- Hattie’s DJ Diary The star’s experience of the 2003 Red Dwarf Fan Club Weekend
- Building A Better Universe Tribute to Mel Bibby, Dwarf’s production designer
- Food Featurette - ?!?
- Backwards-Forwards The entire episode played in reverse
- Two rare trailers for the show
- Compilation of raw special effects footage
- Isolated Music Cues
- Talking Book Chapters Selections from the books that expand on the Dwarf universe
- Photo Gallery
- Three Easter Eggs
- Collector’s booklet
Props to the BBC Red Dwarf has an utterly religious, die-hard cult of fans, and they are truly being given everything they could ask for (unlike the way the boxsets of the Star Trek series have been treated on DVD).
HULK NO NEED ROIDS, HULK HIT BY GAMMA RAYS!
Or was that the Fantastic Four? I forget.
Anyway, Universal have officially announced The Hulk for an October 28th release in both anamorphic and fullscreen editions. I can’t believe there are nimrods who’d buy a fullscreen version of this movie.
The two-disc set includes an Ang Lee commentary and deleted scenes, and a load of ominously-titles featurettes:
- Hulk Cam: Inside the Rage
- Superhero Revealed: The Anatomy of the Hulk
- Evolution of The Hulk
- The Incredible Ang Lee
- The Dog Fight Scene
- Ang Lee Editing Style
- The Making of Hulk
The set looks pretty featurette-heavy, which will either be awesome or it will be two hours worth of fluff pieces and HBO-style nonsense. You can also expect DVD-ROM crap of some kind, although no specifics have been released.
Cheers to the DVD Times once more.
THE TRUTH WHO THE EYES MET BEFORE
Transformers was a fucking ace franchise. I mean, there’s just so much to love giant robots beating the shit out of each other, an amazingly deep backstory about an ancient civil war, awesomely well-defined characters… oh yeah, and really cool toys.
One thing I’ll never forget as a young lad growing up in the Transformers universe is going to see the feature-film at the cinema. The watered-down, Saturday morning rendition of the conflict where no-one gets hurt and everything’s a little bit camp was gone here were these giant, badass, robotic war machines not only fighting, but killing each other. And we’re not just talking one or two casualties there was a LOT of death. Sure, they only killed off the entire first generation of characters in order to introduce and pimp a new line of toys, but sitting there in that packed theatre when Optimus Prime bit the bullet… that was my “I am your father!” markout moment.
Unfortunately, while the series has been given a truly excellent treatment recently, the movie itself is stuck on a barebones DVD with virtually no extras and it’s not even widescreen. But all of that might be about to change, if the current rumours are to be believed.
According to ToonZone.com, a two-disc special edition of Transformers: The Movie is on the way in 2004, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the franchise. No further details or specs were revealed, but it’s certainly been enough to whet the appetite of many Transfans.
As many others have pointed out, however, there isn’t really a wealth of stuff they could put on the set to actually fill two DVDs unless they shortchange us and one disc is the previous fullscreen version with a new widescreen version on disc two. Apart from that? Well, pretty much everything else has found its way onto the season boxsets. They could have a commentary, maybe some more footage from BotCon, interviews with the TF braintrust, the rare footage from the Japanese trailer… but none of that would really justify a whole extra disc.
Not that I don’t want a two-disc set, just making sure I’ve provided ample quantities of salt for you guys to take with this info in case it doesn’t pan out. That said, if this set does materialise, then maybe Infogrames will reconsider their decision not to bring the PS2 Transformers Tataku to the States.
OO-OOOOH, CHILD, THINGS ARE GONNA GET EASIER
FINALLY, Columbia TriStar have put us out of our misery and announced specs for the two-disc Boyz ‘N’ The Hood: Anniversary Edition that’s set to street on Spetember 2nd.
The flick is included in anamorphic and fullscreen editions with Dolby 2.0 sound. We’ll get a commentary by John Singleton, deleted scenes, an exclusive documentary “Friendly Fire: Making of an Urban Legend”, music videos by Compton’s Most Wanted and Tevia Campbell, trailers, filmographies and production notes.
What I find interesting is that, despite the unstoppable success of The Matrix, Columbia TriStar are using a sepia-toned print of the original cover for the boxart, and haven’t featured Lawrence Fishburne on the cover at all. Not complaining, just an observation.
Thanks to the DVD Times.
MAURA TIERNEY MILF
Well, anyone who’s ever ventured into our DVD Forums will know that there is a small but hardcore contingent of Newsradio fans here at TSM. Well, thanks to TSM all-star Youth N Asia, it is my privilege to make the following announcement:
NEWSRADIO IS COMING TO DVD.
Yes, according to a bulletin at TVShowsOnDVD.com, seasons 1&2 will be released in early 2004 as a three-disc boxset containing all 28 episodes, but likely little or nothing in the way of extras. No extras is a bit of a shitter, although some sort of cast tribute piece to Phil Hartman will probably materialise. To be fair though, I don’t think there’s any amount of extras that could equal the greatness of having MAURA FUCKING TIERNEY on a DVD for me to pause and… um, take screenshots of. Now, if only they’d put Fly By Night on DVD so I could enjoy her classy acting and tits-out scene.
This is easily the best news I’ve heard in some time.
And what a great note to end on.
I’m contemplating a review of the Brock Lesnar DVD that’s out next week, but other than that I really haven’t got anything planned, so if there’s something you’d like to see from me just drop me a line with a suggestion.
Other than that, take care kids, and remember:
PEACE THROUGH TYRANNY~!
Read my archives, biatch.