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MonDVDay News Update

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Hey folks. This is the unofficially official welcome to the new site.








Yeah I know, it’s a little lame. But I actually wrote a proper hello and introduction last week explaining who I am, what I do, and why I’m back here and not at 411 and to be honest, it’s pretty pointless typing that out all over again when I can just give you a link to it.




There are actually a couple of worthwhile nuggets in last week’s “Lost update” including how you can get around 200 DVDs for less than half price (if you can play Region 2 DVDs), so really, go check it out.




So there we are. You’re back, I’m back, and nothing’s really changed. I haven’t got an awful lot of obligatory opening banter this week as I’ve been “tirelessly” working on my University coursework due in a week which also gives me a good excuse for the sparse news this week. Maybe next week I’ll have an amusing little anecdote on how my lame efforts to pull all-nighters tragically backfired and caused me to fail.
















Oh dear. This is one of the most awful weeks of DVD releases I’ve ever seen, with only two big releases and half a handful of worthwhile re-releases.




Season Two of Star Trek: The Next Generation streets this week, and despite the mostly glowinf reviews of the set, there are more than a few factors that make it a non-essential purchase for non-Trek completists. Firstly, despite a number of standout episodes, season 2 is one of the weaker Trek seasons, what with the writer’s strike that resulted in a shorter season and a horrible, HORRIBLE finale. Which brings me to the next point: None of this is covered in any of the extra material (which is, again, a little on the thin side). Neither the writer’s strike, nor Gates McFadden’s absence (in either worked or non-worked form) is examined, suggesting that all we can expect from the rest of the sets is a rather rosy retrospective of the series, with any unpleasantness carefully glossed over. Which, to me at least, pretty much defeats the object of having supplemental material. Still, the beauty of cult series like TNG is that fans will go out and buy everything pretty much blindly, so I’m sure Paramount isn’t too concerned about what I think.




Wow, bit of a rant there. The other big release of the week is one I don’t have nearly as much of a problem with Ocean’s Eleven. If you want to watch a shitload of cool actors being cool for a couple of hours, on a pretty cool disc that’s pretty loaded with pretty cool extras, this is for you. If it’s not… well, you’re just not cool, I guess. Both full frame (boo!) and widescreen (hooray!) editions are available, so everyone should be happy. The Parent Trap and Swiss Family Robinson get the Disney Vault treatment, with two discs’ worth of extras including lost footage and commentaries. How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way sees daylight Tuesday and, if it’s anything like the book, should be worth a look-in. Other than that, the only new release that’s worthy of note is the latest instalment of the BBC’s shit-hot documentary series The Blue Planet.




The rest of it is re-releases: A double dose of Spike Lee in Crooklyn and Clockers (ooh, Oliver Stone went all street on us), one of Bruce Willis’ finest moments in 12 Monkeys, and if you’re REALLY itching for something to buy, Ridley Scott himself says that Charge of The Light Brigade is a must-see movie, so if you trust ol’ ginger-beard, you might want to pick that up. Speaking of Ridley, I just heard that Thelma & Louise: SE has been pushed back to 2003, but it’s already had a Region 2 release, so if you’re a fan go check out somewhere like Amazon UK.




Daddy of the Week: Jeez you know it’s a rough week when you can’t even find an AWFUL disc to rag on. Well, take your pick Sure Fire might be the greatest movie in the world, but it sounds like a really bad Van Fagge flick. Or there’s Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie, which sounds so bad it needs no punchline. Failing that, there’s Support Your Local Gunfighter, which is both sage advice and stars James Garner, so it must be good.












That fountain of knowledge TheDigitalBits came up with a few exciting nuggets of information, shamelessly plagiarised presented here for your viewing pleasure.




A two-discer (what else) of Attack of The Clones is well underway at Camp Lucas, and should appear around October/November. I keep telling myself that I should wait for all six films come out so I can buy the inevitable Star Wars I-VI DVD boxset. But then, I remember that Lucas has more power over my disposable income than even Vince McMahon.




Likewise, Columbia TriStar are going hell-for leather on their DVDs of Spider-Man (which will no doubt drop within a week of AOTC) and Resident Evil: SE, now confirmed for a July 30th release. ET may see the light of day as soon as August (and with a box office so anaemic it make s Kevin Smith gross look good, the sooner the better), and the plan is still rumoured to be the original theatrical version on one disc with the 20th Anniversary Edition on the other.




Back To The Future is still strongly rumoured for release in December, and perhaps a little earlier worldwide (for the rumoured specs of the set, check out last week’s update). Dances With Wolves: SE is slated for release later this year (with both the European and American cuts), and the long-rumoured X-Men: SE (with director’s commentary and X-Men 2 trailer) is also on its way.




Alas, Paramount has stated that the Indiana Jones Trilogy will definitely not be releases this year. Now, I’ve said this before, but they asked Spielberg to do the commentary, what, three months ago? I know DVDs take a long time to put together, but if the set won’t be out this year, that seems ridiculously early to record a commentary. Could Paramount be playing WWF-style semantics with us, with “THE TRILOGY” not being released this year, but one or two of the individual films making an appearance? Hey, a guy can dream.












The usual suspects who trawl the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) website looking for info on the new Buffy DVDs have reported that the Board has passed a whole bunch of extra material for the Region 2 Ali DVD.




The page is pretty hard to decipher, but from the looks of things, there’s a lot of interview footage with Will Smith, Mrs Smith, Michael Mann and Jon Voight, clip reels, trailers, a few featurettes, and what is described as “Liston Fight” could it be an actual Ali match? Because if it is, that would be cool.




Check out the page for yourself here.












Just to demonstrate how truly desperate I am for news this week, here’s a look at the specs for a film that for some reason I utterly loathe, The Royal Tenenbaums. The one saving grace is that it’s a Criterion release, so I feel slightly less dirty writing about it.




Fans of the flick (deranged though they doubtlessly are) can look forward to the DOUBLE WHAMMY~! of an anamorphic transfer (a digital one, no less) and a 5.1 DTS track, plus a director’s commentary, the featurettes “With the Filmmaker: Portraits by Albert Maysles” and “The Art of the Movie”, deleted scenes and outtakes, trailers, and the whole thing will come packaged in a collectable slipcase with artwork by the guy who did the Criterion Rushmore release (which probably means a lot more to you than me).




Expect the set to drop July 9th, and my lunch will follow shortly thereafter.












The question I get asked more than anything else is “When is <TV series X> getting released on DVD?”




The answer I give is pretty standard: Most studios are still a little uneasy about putting out a lot of TV programs especially cult series on our beloved format. Whatever they decide to release be it Twin Peaks, Star Trek or Babylon 5 they will use to gauge the popularity of TV product on DVD, and until they are convinced there is a market for it, the chance of seeing more is pretty hit and miss. That’s why it’s important for us to support these releases whenever possible lately, that’s been made pretty easy for us, with releases like Transformers and Friends. But to be honest, Region 2 users who expect to see their favourite shows on DVD are kidding themselves if they don’t go out and buy the Knight Rider, A-Team and Incredible Hulk discs as well.




That being said, here are a few DVDs of popular shows that you should be aware of. Buffy The Vampire Slayer: The Complete Second Season streets November 6th, M*A*S*H*: TV Season 2 on July 23rd, and V: The Final Battle on June 8th.




Buffy is out here next week, so I’ll let you know what that looks like, and I’m fairly sure that V is already out here too but as I say, the bottom line is that, whenever possible, we need to go out and vote with our dollars if we want to see TV product, in the same way that we do with widescreen releases.












Great news for fans of the geeky, comic-book loving, pop-culture referencing, vulgar language using writer/director no, not Kevin Smith, Quentin Tarantino.




Both Jackie Brown and Pulp Fiction are getting the Special Edition treatment from Miramax on August 20th. No specs are available, but both sets look to be two-discers, and are pretty much guaranteed to have a commentary each and a bunch of featurettes and deleted scenes. Ahh, remember when Pulp Fiction burst onto the scene? John Travolta got cool (again), Samue-L was a bad mother hubbard, and Quentin looked to be Hollywood’s saviour. Now Danny Zucko and Quentin are starring in crap like Battlefield Earth and Alias while Sam Jackson’s slicing shit up with a lightsaber. Oh well.




Thanks to IGN for the knowledge.








Oooooooooooh… that’s that. Time to get back to the toil of essay writing. I knew I’d have to make up all those hours I lost on Monkey Ball.




Anyone who’s got my old email address can still reach me there, but I’ve got a brand spanking new address for any comments, flames, spam or porn: [email protected]



Actually, please don’t send me any flames. Or spam. But porn… porn is good.




When the work eases up I’ll drop by with a review, but until then go check out our new DVD guys and see what they’re up to. Ah, it’s nice to have a staff round here again…




Until next week:














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