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MonDVDay News Update

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I like being on summer break. We’ve even had some uncharacteristic British sunshine, which is always a bonus. I’ve just arranged to spend a few days in Scotland with the missus (sixteen hour road trip, baby!), so I prey to God Scotsman’s not around, or I’ll have one hell of an explanation to make.




Other than that, pretty chilled week. Contemplated downloading Episode 2 and Spider-Man, but the download time was something ridiculous like 32 hours (!!!) on my home connection, so I didn’t bother. Instead, I spent an unhealthy amount of time watching Bruce Lee movies and playing with my L'espion. I’ve been taking pictures of damn near anything Christ, I even took a picture of my DINNER earlier. Though it was a very nice dinner…




Speed: SE (or Speed: Five Star Edition as it’s called over there) is a bit of a disappointment, with the extras disc that looked so very loaded actually being quite dry and boring there’s a good review over at the Times if you’re interested. Buffy Season 4 comes highly recommended though (when it finally gets released over there). Of course, the picture is anamorphic, and the extras on these Buffy sets are improving all the time some of the commentaries are a little dry, but when Joss Whedon gets on the mic (yo) business really picks up, and the commentary for ‘Hush’ in particular is well worth a listen. Other than that, I’m just biding my time until Blade 2. September 10th, baybee!




'Confidential' the other night just makes me crave Wrestling With Shadows on DVD more than ever. After the stellar Beyond The Mat DVD (which, as luck would have it, you can find my review of HERE), there is so very much that could be done with it; Paul Jay commentary, Bret Hart commentary, hell, they could even hook up with RF Video and have clips of Bret and Shawn’s shoot videos. And whatever happened to The Thing That Should Not Be? I guess, some things just should not be…
















Big release of the week is Harry Potter. Wow, this isn’t out on R1 yet? It’s been available here for a while. Speaking of which, those of you who bought or imported the Region 2 disc might want to know that (thanks to the rushed manufacturing due to huge demand for the discs), some bonus discs don’t work properly on certain players. If this applies to you, get in touch with Warner on 020 8948 5345, where one of their friendly fellows will pop a new disc in the post to you. Anyway, the presentation of the film itself is great, but the extras disc suffers from Memento syndrome it’s just a bitch to navigate. In addition, the supplemental stuff is fairly lightweight, and the whole set is totally geared towards kids (well, they ARE children’s books I guess), so there’s not a lot here for the home cinema enthusiast. One for the fans, then.




The Rambo Trilogy makes its long-awaited appearance, in anamorphic, with commentaries and documentaries for each film as well as a bonus disc just brimming with featurettes. For those of you that missed out on this Rambo nonsense first time out, this is a good opportunity to catch up. Starship Troopers: SE hits stores everywhere, but the addition of one commentary may not actually be worth the purchase if you’ve already got the original disc. Although, it does come split across two discs now, instead of two sides of one, which is always a bonus. Let me also say that, after listening to the new RoboCop: SE commentary a few times, Ed Neumeier is REEEEEALLY annoying - we’re talking Michael Cole annoying. Only without Tazz or Lawler to flat out call him a dick.




There’s a VERY nice Criterion edition of Traffic out this week too, which happily enough is also Region-free. The two-disc set features no fewer than THREE commentaries, TWENTY-FIVE deleted scenes, additional footage and multi-angle features, film processing, editing and dialogue editing featurettes, and US Customs trading cards(!) featurette. And did I mention the film’s in anamorphic? Go get it, fool.




The SuperBit Deluxe range kicks off with The Patriot. The idea with the Deluxe series is that the first disc is the same, stripped-down version of the film with blowaway picture and sound on the first disc, and on the second disc are all the extras from the regular Special Edition. Which would be great, but on a disc such as this, where one of the main features of the original release was a commentary track, this has to be excluded because of the room needed for the audio-visual funk. So it’s a bit of a double-edged sword, but it’s there if you want it.




The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Box Set, featuring all 13 episodes, hits stores this week for about 60 bucks. It’s not my cup of tea, but a lot of people seem pretty excited about the set, which also features a photo gallery, drawings and artwork, and some more information on the series. The five-disc set is, forgivably, full-screen. Another popular collection this week is the Captain Scarlet boxset, containing all 32 episodes, and retailing for around sixty bucks. Now, the Region 2 releases came in separate season 1 and season 2 collections, and each came with a fairly comprehensive set of extras, but the only extras listed on this set are a history of the series and a production stills gallery, so if you’re a fan of the show you might want to investigate more thoroughly before handing over your readies.




Dragon Lee VS The Five Brothers is worthy of mention not only because it’s another Bruce Lee-ripoff era martial arts pic, but also because all my black friends have taken to calling all black people “brothers”, which gives the film’s title a whole new meaning. It’s also interesting that, of the hundreds of DVDs released every week, a startling number of them are C- and D-movie martial arts films like Macho Man and Ninja VS Bruce Lee (starring another Bruce Lee clone, Bruce “Le”).




Another release which might be misconstrued thanks to its definition is Gladiator Challenge: Collision at Colu which, while listed as “Starring Kenneth Williams”, appears to be an ultimate fighting-type thing rather than a Carry On film. Ooh, Matrix.




Hype Williams: The Videos Vol. 1 is a nice collection of some of the Hip-Hop director’s best work. In addition to videos such as Wu-Tang’s “Can it be all so simple”, TLC’s “No Scrubs” and LL Cool J’s “Doin’ it”, there is an ‘expose’ for each video, an interview with Hype, as well as information and a videography (that’s a new one on me). Looks pretty dope, homie.



And since we’re a wrestling site and all, may as well mention that the WWF (not a sic) have an nWo DVD out this week, New World Order: Back in Black. Only problem is, it seems to focus on the original trio of Hogan, Hall and Nash make your own punchline. Little seems to be known about the disc, although it’ll almost certainly include the original formation of the stable at the Bash, and the nWo’s Federation debut at No Way Out. And given Vince’s love for Uncle Eric, it’s probably a safe bet that the footage of Nash Jacknifing him off the stage will be on the disc, too.




Daddy of The Week: Who’s your daddy? WHO’S YOUR DADDY? Termination Man, that’s who. “Terminate the threat, before it terminates you!” Classic shite, absolutely classic shite. ~!.












The final specs have been unveiled for Artisan’s Reservoir Dogs: 10th Anniversary Edition, due to drop on August 27.




Now, the first question on everyone’s lips will be ‘does THIS Quentin special edition have a commentary?’ And the answer is yes… kinda. I’ll give you the quote: “select scene commentaries, mini commentaries with filmmakers, cast and critics.” Ridley Scott’s commentaries are always listed as “scene specific”, which might lead you to believe that they aren’t feature length, when in fact they are, so this may be another case of confusing PR talk. Then again, given that the upcoming Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown DVDs are bereft of any form of commentary, maybe we shouldn’t get too excited.




That said, the rest of the extras are definitely worth getting excited over: Deleted scenes and outtakes, alternate camera angles of the ear cutting scene, ‘Real Life Reservoir Dogs’ and ‘Getaway Cars’ featurettes, interviews with Quentin and the cast and crew members, film noir retrospective, documentary on action figure development, tributes to actor Lawrence Tierney, indie filmmakers, and writers and directors influenced by RD, production notes, poster gallery, and some other stuff.




Perhaps the coolest thing about the sets is the packaging. Here, take a look:




If you were too damn lazy to click (or if I’ve posted a bum link, which wouldn’t be a first), I’ll tell you that the discs will come in packaged in five different covers: Mr Blonde, Mr White, Mr Pink, Mr Orange, and a limited run of Mr Brown. Inside you will find bios, photos and quotes specific to that character, as well as a standard supplemental booklet on the film.




All this… for only TWENTY EIGHT BUCKS? Are you gonna bark all day little doggy, or are you gonna go place a pre-order?




Thanks to Video Premiere, courtesy of The Times.












Here’s something cool - well, it came out of E3, so it MUST be cool.




From Conspiracy Entertainment comes Video Visions, a neat little disc that features a bunch of looping landscapes and pretty screensavers that you can just whack on your DVD player when you’re feeling stressed (or smoked) out. A fish tank, beach, fireworks display, virtual lava lamp even a 3D kaleidoscope with 3D glasses! The disc will only cost about ten bucks, so it’ll make a quirky little purchase during a quiet DVD month.




On a completely unrelated note, this reminds me of a really cool desktop I saw once, where this guy’s Windows wallpaper was a live camera feed of New York city (a la Dave Letterman), with people and cars buzzing round while he clicked icons. That was awesome. And so was that LucasArts wallpaper of the Golden Gate Bridge with the Death Star II visible in orbit very, very cool. Nothing to do with DVDs, but cool.












Schlock B-movie fans will be happy to know that Beuna Vista have got quite the treat planned for Region 2 users.




The four-disc From Dusk Till Dawn Trilogy features the very cool 2-disc FDTD Collector’s Edition as well as the two barebones and progressively dire sequels which are admittedly, in a RoboCop Trilogy/Alien Legacy kind of way, a must for completists. The will retail for £34.99 (about $50), which makes it a good pickup if you don’t already own the original (which, despite being the only film on DVD featuring QT but not directed by him, DOES feature him on commentary).




And, although they aren’t being offered in a boxset (yet), all three chapters of The Prophecy trilogy are also being re-released, at £15.99 (about $23) each. No details on the special features, although they are likely to be the same barebones editions as before, but hopefully the Mouse House will slap them into a nice collection to look pretty on the shelf.




Both discs are released on July 1st, Region 2 only check your importer or Play.com for info.




Thanks to the Times Massiv.












Oh mercy, look what’s headed our way.




Hollywood Hogan’s finest moments are getting the Digital Versatile treatment, with Suburban Commando and Mr Nanny set to drop on September 3rd. All we need now is Santa With Muscles and we’re ready to rock. No word on special features, and there probably won’t be any (although a Hogan commentary would be GOLD), but like The Ultimate Weapon, that’s really not what it’s about (for those unfamiliar with TUW, it stars Hogan, and it’s about two mercenaries called Ben and Vince. BEN AND FUCKING VINCE!).




Continuing our theme of wrestlers on film, also due on September 3 are Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 and 3. As if you need reminding, the REAL star of TMNT2 is Hogan’s buddy Hollywood Kevin Nash (as Super Shredder). Anyone wondering why the Turtles were so big, THAT’S your answer right there. Again, no word on extras, but these are two of the most requested discs, and they’re New Line releases, so we might be surprised.




Hot Shots and Hot Shots Part Deux will be arriving from Fox on August 8th as part of their new budget line, including a featurette each. K-9:P.I. is due to drop at the end of July from Universal, with Teen Wolf and Teen Wolf Too at the end of August. John Carpenter's The Fog arrives on August 27th from MGM, with a shiny new anamorphic transfer, director’s commentary, outtakes and making-of, for only twenty of your Earth dollars.




And lastly, The Beatles’ classic A Hard Day’s Night finally gets DVD’d. While Region 2ers once again get screwed with a barebones release, Region 1 fans are getting a 2-disc Special Collector’s edition on September 24th. FEEL MOD FURY~!












Yup, time for our weekly dose of Back To The Future Trilogy news.




In addition to rumours that the Region 1 release may be pushed forward to mid-November as opposed to mid-December, it also appears that it may include a little more than the international release.




A report over at The Bits explained that there was a screening of a new print taken from the remastered DVD transfer at USC. In addition to words from Universal’s reps on the push to get the set out as a Thanksgiving release, a fairly extensive Q&A was held and recorded for possible use on the discs. Of particular interest was Zemeckis’ first open discussion on exactly why Eric Stoltz was dropped from the films - since he publicly stated that nothing to do with Stoltz will make it onto the DVDs, this portion of the conversation may never see the light of day, but it would certainly add a lot to the set if it was.




Another interesting note was the revelation that the reason BTTF - one of the most popular movie franchises of all time - has taken so long to make it onto our beloved format is thanks to studio politics. Since Universal were one of the last companies to embrace and commit to DVD, they held off on releasing their popular properties and instead licensed a number of films to Columbia. After Columbia’s international release of Jaws made huge sums of cash, Universal thought it;d be smart to wait until the contract expired (June 30th) so they could release their big properties and rake in the dough. Well, it’s not quite Montreal, but it’s certainly interesting.








Yikes, an informative update for once. Must be the water.


Addy’s at the bottom if you want to drop me any feedback, so until next week:










Jay Spree

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