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MonDVDay News Update

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Guest TSMAdmin

Hey yo.

I’ve had a remarkably fun week. Of course, no more University = more games, more sleep and more time to generally do nothing. But it’s been a little less docile than that aside from staying with my girlfriend for a few days and having a couple of days out to enjoy the freak bout of good British weather, I just made my most fun purchase in recent memory: a L’espion Digital Dream.

Now, of you’ve never heard of that before, let me explain: it’s a digital camera, it cost £40 ($56), and it’s HALF THE SIZE of a credit card. It is, to put it simply, fucking awesome. It hasn’t got a flash, but it’s synced to the 50hz cycles of the lights here, so it works pretty well without one. It can take 20 high quality shots or 80 low quality, it can transfer them into short .AVI clips, and best of all, it works as a webcam. FOR FIFTY BUCKS! It even comes on a damn keyring, for Christ’s sake. It’s just the coolest thing ever, and if I could be arsed to figure out how to post pictures, I’d show you just how cool. As I’m far too lazy to do that, I’ll just give you a link to somewhere you can buy one.

Anyway, enough shilling. It’s been a really slow news week, since everyone’s busy talking about Spider-Man and Episode II (both of which being disturbingly abundant for download at certain sites). It’s kind of interesting that, since Episode II got slightly cut here in the UK, demand for the Region 1 version are probably going to be even greater than usual. God bless grey imports.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be reposting all my old reviews. Since there’s a Bruce Lee continuity throughout this update, I’ll start with my Game of Death review, and next week’ll probably be Beyond The Mat or RoboCop: SE, depending on how I feel. I’m still in two minds about reposting Clerks Uncensored though, since I’ve no wish to spend the next month or so deleting all the hate mail from Kevin Smith fans…

Lastly, there’s a really cool article over at the Times on the transition of the DVD format from high-end home cinema enthusiasts to mass-market commerciality and its consequences. It’s a good read and worth checking out.

With that said, let’s get down to bidness. BABY~!.


It’s a pretty healthy week of releases, with over 230(!!) DVDs out tomorrow.

Legend: Ultimate Edition is probably the biggest release of the week, and for good reason: the two-discer includes both the original, butchered theatrical cut with the Tangerine Dream score and the director’s cut with twenty minutes or so extra footage and Jerry Goldsmith score. It also features a Ridley Scott commentary, a Tangerine Dream isolated score, “The Fairy Dance” assembly of storyboards and music depicting the lost scene, a making of, music video, storyboards, and comes in anamorphic widescreen. Yikes.

Another big release this week is Memento: Limited Edition, although the disc’s plusses are far outweighed by the horrible layout of the extra material. It’s not that the kind of interactivity that discs like this and Harry Potter offer are poor or unwelcome, but whatever else they are, DVDs are supposed to offer immediate access to materials, which is not possible when you have to wade through masses of puzzle crap every time through. There definitely needs to be an option on these discs to use the interactive stuff or just jump straight to the material. Oops, bit of a rant there. Commentary, script, high definition transfer, yadda yadda.

The fourth (!!!!) release of Men In Black, the Deluxe Edition, is a shallow and utterly inevitable marketing tool to pimp MIB2. Jeez, at least with X-Men they’re going to give us a commentary and some deleted scenes (and maybe a whole new score), but just slapping on a new trailer and re-releasing the disc as a Whatever Edition is just fucking cheeky. Sex and the City The Complete Third Season is out tomorrow, and the set is, as always, completely barebones (albeit nicely presented), so unless you’ve got a hard-on for the chicks (and I really can’t argue with that), there’s not a lot on offer here.

Stuart Little: Deluxe Edition looks like fun, with two commentaries, screen tests, deleted scenes, gag reels, featurettes, multi-angle stuff, music video, Stuart Little 2preview and more. It even comes with a free movie ticket for the sequel, which is pretty awesome. See, if you’re going to shamelessly shill a sequel with a DVD release, at least make it good.

Vanilla Sky gets a pretty good DVD, with a commentary (featuring Tom Cruise… kinda), two documentaries, gag reel, Paul McCartney interview, music video (AFRIKA BAMBAATAA~!) and other such goodness. Plus it’s got Cameron what else do you want?

The Bruce Lee: The Master Collection box set gets re-released, but whatever you do, DO NOT BUY THIS SET! The picture and sound quality is just plain awful, and there are absolutely no extras whatsoever. If you’re a Bruce Lee fan, I would seriously recommend importing the ultra-cool Region 2 Hong Kong Legends releases, which feature crystal-clear remastered transfers, commentaries, deleted scenes, interviews and absolutely shedloads of extras there really is no comparison. Those of you looking to import should check out Play.com, where the HKL Bruce Lee boxset consisting of The Big Boss (or Fist of Fury, as it was called in the US), Fist of Fury (The Chinese Connection) and Way of The Dragon (Return of The Dragon) is available for only £25 ($35), as is the two-disc Game of Death: Platinum Edition. And as always, check out JT's very awesome forum for anything Bruce-related.

Speaking of DVDs you shouldn’t buy, a bunch of Fox’s bastardised fullscreen releases are out this week, including two-disc gems such as Independence Day and The Abyss which have inexplicably had the second disc removed. Unbelievable. Whatever you do, don’t buy them, and especially don’t buy Predator, since next month it’s getting a LOADED Special Edition release in Region 2.

The Jack Ryan Thriller Set hits stores this week, consisting of barebones editions of Clear & Present Danger, Patriot Games and The Hunt For Red October, which are also available separately. I can honestly say that I’ve never read a Tom Clancy novel, and I only vaguely remember Patriot Games (that bit where the SAS wiped everyone out was boss. The SAS kick ass). A commentary or deleted scene wouldn’t have gone amiss, but nonetheless, fans will probably be happy enough.

Max Fleischer's Superman/Superman: The Lost Episodes looks like a good pickup. The two-disc set contains over 200 minutes of material and every episode of the 1941 Superman animated shorts distributed by Paramount. The animation was WAY ahead of its time, and fans of comic books or animation history should certainly check it out. And while we’re on a superhero tip, the Supergirl Special Limited Edition two-discer also streets this week. The set includes the 125 minute international print as well as a 140 minute extended version, two commentaries, a making of, and is both fullscreen AND anamorphic.

Ever since the disappointment of The Wash not having a commentary, I’ve been praying that the same fate wouldn’t befall How High. Thankfully, they realised that the success of this DVD rested more on the smoked out ramblings of Red and Meth than the “film” itself, and have granted us a full commentary by the spliff brothers. In addition, there’s deleted scenes, outtakes, a making of, music video, and a DVD game, “Hide The Stash”. It’s even anamorphic! Hell, I’m there.

Daddy of The Week: With more than 200 discs, you’d have thought there’d be a good twenty or so terrible DVDs to choose from, right? Christ. Still, there’s always something just aching for some kerosene and a box of matches, and this week I thought it was going to be 13 Erotic Ghosts, which sounds thoroughly wonderful. But no “there is another.” And it’s the ALL-POWERFUL SIR CLIFF RICHARD~! Yes, this week you lucky punters can lay your hands on The Cliff Richard Collection and croon along to your heart’s content! Piss off your neighbours! Get committed! Joy!


Well, well, well. The Back To The Future Trilogy now has an official Region 4 (Australian) release date, August 21st almost FOUR MONTHS before its US release. So if you don’t want to be left in the dirt, find an importer and put in your pre-order now.

However, if you’d rather wait for the official release, then this information might be of interest to you. According to the guys at IGN, a release schedule was leaked from Wal-Mart today listing big release between now and Christmas. Dubious, I know, but everything on the list through August has been verified as accurate, so while everything must always be considered a rumour until officially confirmed, this is the most accurate info we’ve got for Episode II, Spider-Man, Scorpion King and more. Check it out:


10/02 The Scorpion King

10/15 Scooby Doo

10/22 E.T.

10/22 Mr. Deeds


11/05 Spider-Man

11/12 Ice Age

11/19 Men in Black II

11/26 Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

11/26 Spirit


12/03 Stuart Little 2

12/10 Lilo & Stitch

12/17 Back to the Future Trilogy

12/17 Spy Kids 2

So there you have it. Fuck Spidey November 26th is the date to mark in your calendars for Star Wars. Unless I get testy and go to Kazaa before then…


In very exciting news for DVD users, Tartan have confirmed the re-release of Battle Royale on a progressive scan disc.

The press release bills it as the first progressive scan-compatible DVD, which I’m not 100% about, but it's still impressive nonetheless. For those unfamiliar with the term, progressive scan essentially improves the picture quality tenfold. Although it is a feature that only high-end TVs can take advantage of, it really does make an incredible difference in visuals, as certain lucky Rogue Leader players will attest.

To make the most of the technology, a spanking new anamorphic NTSC (as it must be for progressive scan) transfer has been issued, as has a new 5.1 audio track. The press release also promises “digitally enhanced subtitles”, which… well, it sounds cool.

It doesn’t appear that there are any extra supplemental features on the disc, so it looks like fans of the film will have to choose between Tartan’s ultimate audio/visual presentation and the Special Edition being put out by M6 Video. Both are Region 2 releases, so don’t forget to check your multi-region-ness before putting that money aside.


In something that may either be looked back on as a milestone in widescreen DVD presentations or as just a “nice try”, Crash Cinema are following in the footsteps of Hong Kong Legends to redress the serious OAR mistreatment of Hong Kong action movies on DVD.

“The Crash Cinema Quality Assurance Program” will be a self-imposed ratings system displayed on the packaging so consumers can see the quality of the transfer before purchase. The program will see up to five releases a month starting in September, and featuring HK stars such as Yuen Woo Ping, Sonny Chiba, Casanova Wong, Bruce Li and others, with occasional box sets and special editions.

While it is great news that these films’ original aspect ratio will be preserved, it is concerning that these releases only seem to feature a dubbed English language track, with the original Cantonese track and subtitles (the only way HK films “should be seen”) nowhere to be found. I guess it’s the less of two evils, but it seems that once again (after the subpar releases from Tokyo Bullets) Hong Kong Legends are the only label who seem able to do right by HK classics.

Thanks to the Times for the heads-up.


Speaking of Hong Kong Legends, they're going to be very busy boys over the next couple of months; their new release schedule is full of surprises, with no fewer than THREE Platinum Edition releases.

August: Avenging Fist: Platinum Edition

September: My Lucky Stars (Jackie Chan)

October: The Killer: Platinum Edition (John Woo), The Story of Ricky Oh Uncut

November: Way of The Dragon (Return of The Dragon): Platinum Edition (Bruce Lee)

While I’m kind of pissed that WoTD is getting Platinumed (since I’ve literally just bought the loaded, but nonetheless non-Platinum version), more Bruce is always good news. And as for The Killer, well everyone’s been waiting for this one.

Big props to Bullets&Babes.

That’s all folks, I’m done - time to go make .AVIs of me having a dump.

To the three or so people who asked, yes, the wrestling column should be back to business as usual (touch wood), although since WrestleWire.com is no more, you won't be finding it there.Take it easy folks, and remember:



Jay Spree


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