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WednesDVDay News Update, Sepember 3, 2003
Guest_TSMAdmin_*
post Sep 21 2003, 04:58 PM
Post #1





Guests






On the box: Lolita

In the player: Returner

Heavy rotation: Fear and Bullets

Sore thumbs: Fire Pro Advance 2





Well it’s about 2am Wednesday morning, so I’m nearly on time. Besides, since I didn’t update until Thursday last week and it was Labour Day on Monday, it wouldn’t have been much of an update if I’d posted last night.



Anyone who’s taken a trip to Scotsmanality.com lately – and if you haven’t yet, you really should, although you might want to put on some sort of protective clothing – might have seen TSM’s first banner ad. I was just about to tell you to go there and click it, but that would just bring you right back here… hmm. Oh well, go over there and let me know what you think, anyway. While you’re there, you can check out Scots’ recaps of Friends, Playboy TV’s 7 Lives Xposed, or any of the other wholesome, work-safe, family-friendly goings on.



Pretty much arse-all going on here, as I'm just churning out more work and getting psyched about going on holiday – not least of which because I can break my diet and eat shitloads of chocolate and KFC. Shit, I'm only a skinny 185 lbs – I need to bulk back up! I'm taking the missus to a sweet oriental restaurant next weekend, and I'm gonna eat that fucking place out of business.



I got hugely pissed of last week because I lost an auction for CKY Volume 2 (the album, not the DVD) by 50 cents to some asshole who sniped me at eBay, so I went out and made up for it by buying a hideously expensive CD/MP3 player for my girlfriend’s car. Having discovered the joys of MP3, she’s now given me a list of stuff to download as long as a horse’s dick, but it’s all freaky goth metal shit so that’s cool. What I want to know, though, is does anyone know a freeware program I can download that converts regular CD tracks into MP3s? You know, so I can take an album, turn the tracks into MP3s and burn them onto a CD for her. I’ve got about forty albums that she wants copies of for the car, so obviously it’d be better if I could have four MP3 albums instead of 40 CD-Rs. Any help would be appreciated, because I’m gay at computers.



Well, there’s actual content here for a change, so let’s get ON WITH THE SHOW~!








WHAT’S HOT THIS WEEK?




It’s actually a really, really good week for DVDs with a shedload of stuff to buy, although it’s mostly in the form of older stuff like movies and TV shows from a few years ago.



I guess the biggest release of the week is probably the Boyz N The Hood 10th Anniversary Edition. It’s a toss-up between this and Menace II Society for “Best Ghetto” honours, but Menace has got a crap disc and this one rocks: John Singleton commentary, documentary, music videos and deleted scenes. Oh, and Ice Cube, performing one of his many “anger and scowling” roles. Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life SE has been released again, and I’m not entirely sure how it’s any different from the last Special Edition which is readily available as a budget title in the UK for £7.99. Still, it is a particularly loaded DVD, so if Python’s your thing, knock yourself out gumby.



Good week for TV content, as Saved By the Bell Series 1 & 2 finally arrive on DVD, which should make Scotsman all kinds of happy. What might make him a little sad is that everything I’ve seen indicates that the set is barebones. Oh well. Wow, you guys haven’t got Alias on DVD yet? Whoa. Well, series one of that is out this week, as is season 2 of Angel. And anyone looking at picking up The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror should probably scroll down and read the Simpsons news before doing so, in case you want to boycott Fox or something.



Vin Diesel crapfest A Man Apart is out, although I don’t know why anyone would care. John Hughes’ teen dream flicks The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles and Weird Science are on shelves now (with fully restored terrible ‘80s soundtrack!), and you can pick them up individually or as part of the High School Reunion Collection. Oh me oh my. Hot Shots! and Hot Shots! Part Deux are yours for the taking, although aside from a couple of little featurettes they look pretty naked, so unless you really dig Charlie Sheen and/or Airplane! style laffs, you might want to think twice. It’s funny – my girlfriend only really knows Charlie Sheen from Spin City, and Hot Shots 2 was on TV last week and there’s that scene where he’s in Rambo mode looking all cut. “Is that Charlie Sheen?” “Yeah.” “What, from Spin City?” “Mmm hmm.” “What the fuck happened to him?” Priceless.



I’ll plug Johnny Dangerously, largely because I want to plug Marilou Henner, but also because it’s a neat little film. I remember trying to do that thing Michael Keaton does with his hat using my baseball cap, and just looking like a complete dick. There’s a shitload of Olsen Twins DVDs out for those of you into… that sort of thing. I watched Lolita last night for the first time – freaky shit. Kinda like Leon, but with less guns and more tragedy. However, I can no longer watch Jeremy Irons in ANTHING without either “Mac-layyyyyyne” or visions of Dungeons & Dragons popping into my head. For some reason MTV Cribs has got a DVD release, as if it’s not on MTV all day long anyway, and Once Were Warriors is great if you wanna see Jango Fett show some acting sack.








GOOD ONE GANDOLF




Looks like the cranky old wizard managed to work his magic on the new LoTR: TTT DVD – unfortunately, it’s a bad spell that manages to mess up one of the most anticipated releases of the year.



Yup, the current press of the new LoTR DVD has a major production error that causes the disc to spaz out. The problem occurs on ALL of the affected discs at the exact same place: chapter 51, when Gandolf says “The battle for Helm’s Deep is over; the battle for Middle Earth has begun.” The disc will start skipping like crazy – up to an hour back, in some cases – and doesn’t correct itself until chapter 52.



According to IGN, Sony DVD players – both the dedicated systems and the PS2’s playback feature – are the most commonly affected, but Panasonic, Toshiba and Apex players have had problems too. That said, it’s amazing no-one seems to have had trouble on an Xbox. ANd on that note, I'd just like to point out that while the other consoles are always having various errors and problems reading discs, my Panasonic Q has never once refused to play a disc, DVD, VCD or otherwise. Good old Nintendo.



Anyway, this is a huge problem affecting nearly every disc from the first batch. Apparently, people have had to go back and exchange the DVD up to three times before finding a working copy, so I’m not really sure what to suggest you do. IGN advise picking up a copy from a store with DVD players on display, so you can test your copy right there on the spot. If you’ve already got a faulty copy… well, I hope you’ve got a lot of gas in the car, cause it looks like you might be going back to the store a few times. News directly from New Line is supposed to be forthcoming, although if it results in another shambolic return-and-replace procedure à la Back To The Future, there’s gonna be a lot of pissed of punters.



As an aside, whenever I’m talking about Gandolf (not that I do it often, you understand, and it’s usually in a derogatory fashion), I keep getting his name mixed up with GOWRON, Klingon badass, so I get these weird looks from people wondering why the hell I’ve started talking about Star Trek. If you ever want to turn a girl completely off, drop that into a conversation and kill any sexual potential you might have by demonstrating that not only do you have knowledge of two uber-geeky fanboy franchises, but that you don’t even know which one is which. The only thing less attractive than a geek is a confused geek.








NO BUFFY SEASON 7 ON DVD THIS YEAR




Title says it all, really.



While ads for the VHS boxset of the final season of Buffy have started to appear, they note that the DVD release will not be until next year – likely the traditional May release, with Angel season four likely dropping in its usual March spot.



It’s a shitter, but I guess it’s one way to crank up sluggish VHS sales. And just in case any of you have heard that wacky rumour about Buffy series seven being a super-duper-16-disc set… I wouldn’t get my hopes up if I were you.



Cheers to the DVD Times.








SOLID SNAKE




I know nothing about Escape From New York, but I do know that it’s achieved a frighteningly passionate cult-like status, and as such, I must respect it (even though other such cult films – Big Trouble In Little China, Evil Dead etc. – are just a complete mystery to me). Nonetheless, a shiny new Special Edition is on its way to stores in December 16th, even though I’m fairly sure that there's already been an SE before. I’m sure someone will set me straight.



Whether it has or not, this new release will have the anamorphic/5.1 double whammy, the requisite John Carpenter/Kurt Russell commentary, another commentary with the producer and production designer, the 10-minute deleted Robbery Sequence with optional commentary, the documentary ‘Return To Escape From New York’ and the featurette ‘Making of John Carpenter’s Snake Plissken Chronicles’. In addition, there will be galleries, trailers, and a full-colour “mini comic insert”. Um, cool.



I should point out that there’s a great thread over in the DVD Times comments section where this real markish guy is telling everyone that EFNY should be remade with Vin Diesel as the star, and they’ve just been ALL over his ass. I know I said I know nothing about the film, so you might think I’m a hypocrite not fit to comment, but he then went on to say that Hollywood remakes aren’t all bad, stating that Jet Li’s Fist of Legend is better than the original.




Jet Li’s Fist of Legend is better than the original.





Jet Li’s Fist of Legend is better than the original.



Hehe, that was fun. But I won't do it again.








SIMPSONS: TREEHOUSE OF BROKEN PROMISES




In an update/correction from last week, TSM guru Jesse Baker dropped me a line to clarify the Simpsons controversy.



Apparently, it is not Fox’s decision to re-release Treehouse of Horror #1 and Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire as single-discers that is the problem in itself, although both of them are already on the series box sets (series two and one respectively).



The problem is that Fox are including bonus content exclusive to these discs – namely in-depth profiles of major Simpsons universe characters – that they had promised would be featured on the season sets. Obviously, it’s bad enough that Fox assed out on their original promise, and worse still that they are releasing standalone discs as the only way to see these features. If the episodes in question had been excluded from the boxsets entirely, at least there would have been some incentive to buy the extra discs for sake of completion; now consumers have to buy two DVDs with episodes they already own just to see some supplementals. Bull sheet.



According to Jesse, it’s not the first time Fox have fucked everyone about – the one that pissed the most people off was when they said that all 49 of the rare Simpsons Tracy Ullman shorts would be included on the first season. Then they pussied out and only included the first one. So a lot of Simpsons fans have got a bitter taste in their mouth about Fox’s treatment of the DVDs, not helped in the least by the HUGE, one-year delay in releasing the third series. In an IGN interview, Al Jean stated that the delay was in order to wait for the producers to record commentary tracks, and they were all busy working on the latest TV series. Fair enough, but if there’s gonna be that kind of wait each for each season… well, there’s at least 12 more left to go, and somewhere in there they’ll be working on the Simpsons movie, so who knows how long that’ll delay the commentaries for that DVD.




To be honest, I think we just have to accept the fact that we’re usually going to get screwed when it comes to TV product on DVD, way more than we do with feature films. It’s entirely possible that there were huge rights issues involved with including all of the Ullman shorts; perhaps the only way they are licensed to distribute them is as part of The Simpsons Tracy Ullman Collection or something, I don’t know. Hell, you can buy both series of Twin Peaks on DVD, but you have to buy the pilot separately because of rights issues. Kevin Smith can never have a Jersey Trilogy boxset because all his flicks are from different distributors. And while it sucks all kinds of ass that the promised extras are being included on single-episode releases, well hey, at least they’re not double-dipping us for the ENTIRE season. Surely it’s better only to have to buy two cheap DVDs, rather than having to re-purchase the whole series all over again in a Special Edition format? It doesn’t make it right, or okay, but double-dipping is how DVD works – this situation could have been worse, trust me.




At least you guys don’t live in the UK, where the majority of DVD releases – if they even make it over here at all – are stripped down of commentaries, DTS tracks and featurettes for literally NO REASON. We got Family Guy season one and two months before you did, but season three has had all the extras completely removed. Why? Who knows. Perhaps you can take some solace in our misery.








Okay, that wraps it up for another week.




I’ve been intending to get a review of something up before I go away, but in addition to all my work writing I’ve just been asked to help out with some freelance illustration, so time’s a little tight. I’ll try for something next week, but no promises… as always. Anyone wanting to drop me a line can do so at the usual, so take care, and remember:




REVIEW WCW OH NO RANDOM FAG INVASION~!





Peace.



Jay



Read my archives, biatch.

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