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MonDVDay News Update

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In the player: Fist of Fury HKL


On the box: Something about kilts...


Heavy rotation: Dr Dre: Concrete Roots






Holy Batshit, Batman!




It’s the first week of November of NOVEMBER, for Christ’s sake and there’s another frigging news drought. Sure, my second week skipping the release list doesn’t help, but come on.




Still, I guess it gives me no excuse but to finish the next review, a wrestling one, WHICH WILL BE POSTED ON WEDNESDAY! Cue fanfare and mild applause. All I’ve gotta do is grab, and we’re ready to roll. I put a little warning at the head of the review, but it’s probably worth hammering home a little more just to be sure it goes in: THE REVIEW WILL MAKE YOU THINK OF A CERTAIN INTERNET PERSONALITY WHO USED TO RANT ON THIS SITE (well, before it went through “the big bang”, anyway). It’s osmosis, nothing more you read a lot of any writer’s style, and it starts to influence your own. So before everyone starts calling me a “(ahem) wannabe” I just wanted to make it clear that, plagiarism being the highest form of flattery notwithstanding, I’m no more ripping off “the man” than he was ripping off Herb whatshisface. Well actually, he freely admits that he blatantly ripped off Herb, but I think you get my drift.




Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve done play-by-play, so it’s a little rough around the edges, but I’m sure I’ll be forgiven. And if not… well, fuck ya.




Bonfire night tomorrow. That’s Guy Fawkes’ Night to you Yanks he’s the guy who tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament with about a million kegs of gunpowder (hence “The Gunpowder Plot”). “Remember, remember, the fifth of November; Gunpowder, treason and plot.” So if you want to wow any of your teachers/lecturers tomorrow, you might want to point out that the British are celebrating the anniversary of the burning of the only man who went to the Houses of Parliament with honorable intentions. Of course, if you want to REALLY impress them, you’ll point out that the whole thing is actually a smokescreen created by James I, who created a brand new all-singing, all-dancing national holiday on November 5th in order to stop his subjects celebrating the coronation of the previous monarch on November 9th. TheSmartMarks.com: fun, AND educational.




Anyway, the long and short of all that is a really good excuse to spend a couple of hundred quid on fireworks and blow some shit up in the garden. And being as I’ll actually be at Uni for it this year, it’s probably gonna be REALLY FUCKING LOUD. Although the idea of pissed-up students and explosives isn’t incredibly appealing…




So how else can I burn some time… um, so, I bought some Pringles yesterday. No olestra! And there I was all ready to spend all day on the crapper. I don’t know do American Pringles still have olestra in them, or is it just us lucky folk in the UK who get to eat the snacks shit-free? Or maybe OH FUCK they just call olestra something else over here, in which case I’m in major trouble because I’ve eaten three tins of the stuff in the last 24 hours…




On that note, SHIT HAPPENS~!












Something that has been long overdue is interactive game shows on DVD. Just think how cool it’d be you could play along as one of the contestants, and whenever a question is asked, you select a multiple choice answer using your remote. That brings up the answer on the corresponding chapter of the DVD, and you play along answering questions to your heart’s content, JUST LIKE YOU WERE REALLY ON A GAME SHOW!




Okay, it’s not quite that cool. But it’s a cool idea, and it’s yet to be put into practice. Until now! Yes, joy of joys, ZOO Digital Publishing have broughrt interactive DVD game shows to the home in the form of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? (the original British incarnation of Millionaire) and The Pepsi Chart Music Quiz. Both are available this week on Region 2, so check out an importer like Play to get cracking and WIN THAT VIRTUAL CASH!




Thanks to the DVD Times.












… the other makes you bombed out of your mind and swat at bats out of the back of a drop top. Yes, every student’s favourite novel-turned-movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is getting the unbelievable Criterion treatment it SO RIGHTEOUSLY deserves.




On January 28th, Terry Gilliam’s superb adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s classic book hits US shores just packed to the doped-up eyeballs with neat stuff. Confirmed for the set so far are a spanky new, widescreen-enhanced digital transfer approved by ol’ Monty Python himself, as well as a tasty DTS 5.1 track.




We’ll get TWO commentary tracks, one with Gilliam and one with Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro and producer Laila Nabulsi, deleted scenes (hopefully including a couple that were omitted from the original release) with commentary by Gilliam, an audio interview with the man Thompson, production designs and storyboards, as well as art from illustrator Ralph Steadman, the BBC documentary 'Fear and Loathing on the Road to Hollywood' featuring messrs Thompson and Steadman, Johnny Depp-read Thompson material, and a look at Oscar Zeta Acosta, on whom Dr Gonzo is based.




HOLY SHIT! That’s a loaded DVD! And the official site suggests there’s even more supplemental features to be announced! My exclamation marks convey my excitement! Forty bucks buys a lot of drugs, but it also buys this DVD, so get saving now and you can buy both!




Thanks to every DVD site on the planet.












Ever-ready to capitalise on the hapless Christmas spending power of the public, DVD houses are eagerly slapping together boxsets and trilogies ten-to-the-dozen. Particularly Hong Kong Classics and Tokyo Bullets (fairly poorly performing, Hong Kong Legends wannabes), whose The Stormriders Trilogy and The “Beat” Takeshi Trilogy respectively are both ready for a November 18th Region 2 release. Of course, the big hoo-haw is the fact that neither of these sets are actually trilogies at all.




The Stormriders Trilogy features The Stormriders, A Man Called Hero and The Duel three films that have no relation whatsoever, save the fact that Ekin Cheng stars in all three, and two of them are based on comic books. I haven’t actually seen The Duel, but the other two are pretty awesome, so fans of Hong Kong fantasy swordplay (imagine Final Fantasy with a little less plot, but just as many special effects and real actors) should probably look into the six-disc set, retailing for only £30 (about US$45). They’re the same two-disc efforts that were released individually, which were largely the same as their Region 0 counterparts, only with full subtitling on all the extra features, so if you’re multi-region, it’s well worth checking out.




Amazingly enough, The “Beat” Takeshi Trilogy is even less of a trilogy. At least before, there was a spiritual, Conan-esque sense of relation (in the way that TimeSplitters is the spiritual sequel to GoldenEye). In fact, the only thing that at all relates these three (albeit classic) Takeshi films is that they’re the only ones Hong Kong Classics has the rights to. MMM, BEEFY~! Anyway, the films themselves Violent Cop, Boiling Point, and Sonatine are all pure gold, but HKC has given them such diabolical treatment that you’re probably better off waiting until the rights pass on to a decent publisher who can do them justice. Check out the reviews over at DVD Times if you like, but take my word for it they’re pretty shite.








And that is that. I’m tired and I want my bed, and I’ve got to get up for a 9 o’clock lecture tomorrow.













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