17th February 2005
will release a two-disc Special Edition disc of the Paul Verhoeven's 1991
science-fiction movie Total Recall on May the 30th. The disc will
feature a widescreen transfer, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.
Bonus features for the new disc include a
commentary track by star Arnold Schwarzenegger and Verhoeven; commentary
by cinematographer Jost Vacano; teasers and trailers; a Making of...
featurette; Imagining Total Recall featurette (30m); Visions
of Mars feature; The Worlds of Science Fiction Literature
documentary; Virtual Vacations; Storyboard / Film comparisons;
photo' gallery and conceptual artwork. RRP for the set is £19.99.
Momentum has Mike Hodges' recent thriller
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead lined up for release on May the 2nd. The
film, which stars flavour of the month Clive Owen (did nobody see
King Arthur?), Charlotte Rampling and Malcolm McDowell will be
presented in anamorphic widescreen format (1.78:1), with Dolby Digital 5.1
audio, and optional HoH subtitles (on the feature only). Bonus features
are a commentary track by Hodges and outspoken writer Trevor Preston; a
BBC documentary - Mike Hodges & I'll Sleep When I'm Dead; deleted
scenes and a trailer. According to the press release, this will all be
crammed on a single-layer disc.
16th February 2005
Well, well, well, here we are again,
with a bumper crop of news! There's surely something
for everyone today, including details of two new UK Hammer DVDs and a
few titles of interest to fans of British archive television.
Zeta Minor also a new navigation
button block, left,
which some of you may be seeing for the first time. The old version relied
anyway, so it wasn't working for them, either. Hopefully, the new version,
which is basic HTML, will work for everyone. I've changed the
navigation buttons on the site's key pages, but there will be a lot of old pages
which still have the old buttons (most notably DVD review pages). You'll just
have to rely on the "Back" button if you stumble upon one of those!
And now, as Ronnie Barker used to say, the
Channel 4 Video has announced details of
its forthcoming The Comic Strip Presents... DVD box set, which is
currently pencilled in for release on June the 6th.
The nine-disc box set will feature all
thirty-nine episodes of the series, include the Famous Five spoof Five
Go Mad In Dorset, the Golden Rose of Montreaux-winning Strike!
and the popular - if you will - rockumentary, Bad News. It will
also include the theatrically-released feature film spin-off, The
The ninth disc in the set will feature more
than two and a half hours of bonus material, including brand new,
exclusive interviews (participants include Dawn French, Adrian Edmondson,
Peter Richardson, Pete Richens, Lenny Henry, Leslie Philips, Ruby Wax and
Phil Cornwell), and Julien Temple's 1981 behind-the-scenes look at the
original stage show, The Comic Strip (30m), and cast interviews
RRP for the set is likely to be £49.99
The full episode list: Five Go Mad in
Dorset, War, The Beat Generation, Bad News Tour,
Summer School, Five Go Mad on Mescaline, Dirty Movie,
Susie, Fistful of Travellers Cheques, Gino - Full Story
and Pics, Eddie Monsoon - A Life?, Slags, The
Bullshitters, The Supergrass, Consuela, Private
Enterprise, The Strike, More Bad News, Mr Jolly Lives
Next Door, The Yob, Didn't You Kill My Brother,
Funseekers, South Atlantic Raiders (Parts 1 and 2), GLC,
Oxford, Spaghetti Hoops, Les Dogs, Red Nose of
Courage, The Crying Game, Wild Turkey, Detectives On
The Edge of a Nervous Breakdown, Space Virgins From Planet Sex,
Queen of the Wild Frontier, Gregory - Diary of a Nutcase,
Demonella, Jealousy, Four Men In A Car and Four Men
In A Plane.
Cinema Club has kindly provided details of
a whole slew of titles due in April, including a few
Perhaps the most uncharacteristic release
is Antonio Margheriti's Apocalypse domani, which is probably better
known to UK gorehounds as Cannibal Apocalypse (or Invasion of
the Flesh Hunters). The disc, due on April the 4th, will feature
exclusive documentary featuring Margheriti, stars John Saxon and "John
Morghen", titled Cannibal Apocalypse Redux; a video tour of
filming locations, Apocalypse in the Streets; an alternate US
opening sequence (8m); European and Japanese trailers; a poster and stills
gallery; filmographies; a new text essay, The Butchering of Cannibal
Apocalypse; and notes by film journalist Travis Crawford. The film has
been cut for animal cruelty, Details aren't available, as the record
hasn't yet appeared in the BBFC database. RRP is £15.99.
A two-disc Collector's Edition of
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is also due on April the 4th. The set
will include the original 8mm Attack of the Killer Tomatoes,
sing-a-long songs, deleted scenes and "much much more". I wonder if it
will feature the sleeve copy I wrote for the last UK VHS edition: "Before
there was the Alien, there was... the tomato", or some such nonsense! RRP
The 1970 Roger Moore doppelgänger movie
The Man Who Haunted Himself is also due on the 4th of April. The disc
will include an audio commentary track by Moore and un-credited writer /
producer Bryan Forbes (presumably inherited from the US Anchor Bay disc);
stills and storyboards galleries; trailer and publicity materials. RRP is
Hammer's crime thriller Hell is a City
will get a well-deserved release on April the 4th. The BAFTA-nominated
film stars Stanley Baker and John Crawford, and features Donald Pleasence
and Billie Whitelaw. Sadly there are no extra features (perhaps Cinema
Club don't realise director Val Guest is alive and well, and has
contributed commentary and interviews to several DVDs recently?) RRP is
£12.99. Wouldn't it be worth an extra £3 for a Guest commentary track? Is
it just me, or has the sleeve art (below) got a Sin City vibe?
The classic 1954 adaptation of
J.B.Priestley's morality play An Inspector Calls is scheduled for
DVD release on April the 4th. Cinema Club's press notes claim the film,
which stars Alastair Sim, has been "digitally enhanced from the original
35mm prints". RRP is £12.99.
Moving on to April the 18th, Cinema Club
are offering the Golden Globe-nominated Steve Martin / Lily Tomlin
body-swap comedy All of Me. The disc will feature a trailer, and
has an RRP of £9.99.
Cinema Club will also release the pitch
black Robin Williams / Ed Norton comedy Death To Smoochy on April
the 18th. Presumably this will be a straightforward re-issue of the
existing Film Four disc, with all its bonus materials intact. The press
release mentions: trailer, cast and crew interviews, director's
commentary, behind-the-scenes, additional scenes and songs. bloopers and
outtakes. RRP is £9.99.
It's "Hi-Yo Silver!" on April the 25th,
when Cinema Club release The Lone Ranger - The Colour Episodes. The
five-disc digi-pack set will feature all thirty-nine episodes from the
show's fifth and final season, which starred Clayton Moore as The Lone
Ranger and Jay Silverheels as Tonto. The RRP is £39.99.
A re-mastered version of the 1982 BBC
adaptation of Anthony Trollope's The Barchester Chronicles will
also be released on April the 25th. This is the version that features Alan
Rickman, Donald Pleasance and Nigel Hawthorne. RRP is £24.99 - about twice
the price of the R1 version.
I've lost track of the number of times that
the BBC has released the plays in Cinema Club's Oscar Wilde Collection
on DVD. Certainly The Picture of Dorian Gray has been released
at least three times since 2002! The Cinema Club set will include four BBC
plays: The Importance of Being Earnest (a 1986 version featuring
Joan Plowright as Lady Bracknell, with Paul McGann and Rupert Frazer),
The Picture of Dorian Gray (a 1976 Play of the Month version,
with a script by John Osbourne, starring Sir John Gielgud, Peter Firth and
Jeremy Brett), An Ideal Husband (a 1969 Play of the Month,
directed by Rudolph Cartier, and starring Keith Michell, Jeremy Brett and
Susan Hampshire) and Lady Windermere's Fan (a 1985 version,
featuring Kenneth Cranham and Helena Little). The set will also include
the hour-long BBC documentary The Life and Loves of Oscar Wilde.
RRP for the set, which is due on April the 25th, is £24.99.
The BAFTA-nominated Scottish TV series
McCallum, about a forensic pathologist (played by John Hannah), will
be released as a five-disc box set on April the 25th. Apparently this will
include the complete series, but it's not yet clear if this encompasses
the pilot episode, The Key To My Heart, which was broadcast two
years before the rest of the series, in 1995. The RRP is £39.99.
The acclaimed three-part conspiracy
thriller about genetically-engineered crops, Natural Lies, will be
released on disc on April the 25th. The 1992 series, starred Bob Peck,
Sharon Duce and Denis Lawson. RRP for this title is £15.99.
Here's the sleeve art for some of these
Warner Home Video will release a two-disc
Special Edition version of Samuel Fuller's 1980 war movie The Big Red
One on May the 2nd, tying in with an engagement at the National Film
Theatre, between April the 29th and May the 5th.
The film has been restored by critic and
filmmaker Richard Schickel, to Fuller's original shooting script and
70,000 feet of vault material. Special features for the set will include a
commentary track by Schickel, a featurette, The Fighting First a War
Dept (13m); Reconstruction Trailer - 2004 (2m); Alternate Scenes
(31m); Anatomy of a Scene (18m); a documentary, The Men Who
Made Sam Fuller (55m); another documentary, The Real Glory:
Reconstructing The Big Red One; the Original Promo' Reel (30m) and a
stills gallery. Running time of the new version is 156 minutes. The film
will be presented in 1.85:1 ratio, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. RRP will
be announced later.
Acclaimed biopic The Life and Death of
Peter Sellers will be released on DVD by Warner Home Video on April
The disc will feature two audio commentary
tracks (one by star Geoffrey Rush and director Stephen Hopkins, the other
by screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeeley); a Making
of... documentary; and eight deleted scenes. The film will be
presented in 1.85:1 widescreen format, with 5.1 channels of Dolby Digital
audio. RRP is
Here are sleeve images for the two Warner
Home Video releases...
Optimum will release two films written and
directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz on April the 4th. These are his 1946
debut feature, Dragonwyck (which has never been released on
any home video format in the UK), and the Oscar-winning satire A Letter
To Three Wives, from 1949. Technical details were not released. Each
film has an RRP of £9.99. A restored version of A Letter To Three Wives,
which also includes a commentary by the author of a Makiewicz
biography, and a documentary about star Linda Darnell, is available for
about £6 in the US.
Play.com are listing Hammer's 1972
psychological thriller Fear In The Night as a release for May the
30th. You can find their listing
here. They don't list an RRP, but they're selling it for £5.99, which
can't be bad. Thanks to Richard Downs for the tip-off!
will release a two-disc Special Edition version of Pocahontas on
March the 7th.
The film has been restored and re-mastered
(just as well, because previous home video versions have been blighted by
grain). The disc will feature an array of games and nonsense aimed at
kids, along with Vanessa Williams' music video for
Colours of the Wind; a Making of... documentary; a featurette
on The Music of Pocahontas; a featurette about the If I Never
Knew You music video, and the video itself; Creating Pocahontas
with Glen Keane; Early Presentation Reel with introduction by
producer James Pentecost; a storyboard-to-film comparison; and
Abandoned Concepts and Deleted Animation (including Below The Deck
After Thomas' Rescue, Dancing to the Wedding Drum,
Transition to Just Around The River Bend and Pocahontas Dresses as
an Englishwoman). No technical details were released, and the RRP
wasn't mentioned, but it's believed to be
Details of the Doug McClure Fantasy
Adventure Triple Bill DVD set (which contains three of my favourite
childhood movies: The Land That Time Forgot, Warlords of
Atlantis and At The Earth's Core) have been released by Cinema
Club. The set features a theatrical trailer, thumbnail biographies and
very modest stills galleries for each movie, and a promotional
behind-the-scenes featurette for The Land
That Time Forgot called Master of Adventure (12m).
Considering that these movies boasted some of
the best poster art of the 70s, this is the best that Cinema Club could do
for the sleeve? Personally I think colour-blind people should be barred
from working in graphic design, but hey, what do I know?
All three discs have anamorphic
The Land That Time Forgot is 1.77:1.
At The Earth's Core is about 1.6:1, and Warlords of Atlantis
is about 1.73:1.
has an RRP of £24.99. The films will also be available separately, for
£12.99 each. You can see menu screens for the three discs
Speaking of crappy sleeve art, the BBC Shop
website has published images for the BBC's highly-anticipated forthcoming
collection of science fiction TV shows. Apart from the sleeve for the
three-disc Quatermass Collection set, they all have a similar spine
layout. The Invisible Man sleeve could have been extremely
striking, if the designer had had the confidence to stick with the primary
image. Instead, we get a bunch of other heads, as if the designer hadn't
watched the programme, and had no idea which characters were important,
and which weren't, and with no regard to
perspective or any sense of symmetry. The Nightmare Man and
Dominick Hide sleeves aren't too bad, especially considering that
there probably aren't many photo's available from either programme, but
neither of them say anything about what the programme's about. The Day
of the Triffids sleeve is simply terrible, especially the death ray
that appears to be shooting out of the Triffid's sting.
To cheer you up, there's a fascinating
article about the restoration of the Quatermass serials
A second documentary about the weird world
of Star Trek fandom, Trekkies 2, is being released by Paramount
Home Entertainment on March the 7th. Highlights from the disc include an
interview with the chap who put up his starship-style flat for sale on
Ebay, and an interview with "the Spock of Germany", whatever that means.
The documentary is hosted by Star Trek - The Next Generation star Denise Crosby.
The disc will be in "full screen format" (is that a 4:3 screen or a 16:9
screen?) and has Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. The disc will feature a
commentary track by director Roger Nygard and deleted scenes. The RRP is
Optimum will release the 1985 British
comedy Restless Natives on April the 11th. The film, about a couple
of Scots who embark on a Bonnie and Clyde-style string of robberies, will
have an RRP of £12.99. Special features are "TBC".
seems like only a few weeks since I reviewed Gore Verbinski's remake of
The Ring, but evidently
enough time has passed for the filmmakers to have made a sequel, and for
Universal Pictures to have revamped the DVD to accommodate features to
promote it. The new film is due in cinemas on April the 1st, and a couple
of days earlier, on March the 28th, they'll release a Special Edition
version of The Ring.
The new disc offers little that the old
version didn't. There's a short film titled Rings (a.k.a. The
Ring Bridge Story), which apparently fills in the gap between the
first film and its sequel (it's about a group of young adults pushing
their luck by playing chicken with the curse). This runs for sixteen
minutes, and is better than you might expect it to be (it's very slick and
professional, with a 5.1 Dolby Digital audio mix). There's also eight
minutes of cast and crew interviews, masquerading as a Making of...
featurette, a theatrical trailer for The Ring, and two for Ring
2. To accommodate this extra material, the bitrate on the film has
been reduced (from 7.7Mb/s to a much more modest 6.14Mb/s). RRP for the
new disc is £17.99. The retailers that are listing this title are listing
it as being due on March the 21st, incidentally.
Francis Ford Coppola's quixotic 1982
romantic comedy One From The Heart will be released on DVD by Buena
Vista on March the 14th. The disc will feature a commentary by Coppola;
documentaries (The Dream Studio (29m), Tom Waits - The Music of
One From The Heart (13m), Electronic Cinema (10m) and a 1982
Making of... (24m)); deleted scenes; Alternate Takes of Tom Waits'
score; Found Objects (Press Conference at the Studio (7m)
and Francis Speaks to Exhibitors (2m)); One From The Heart
music video; Rehearsals and Trailer and Galleries. RRP is
believed to be £15.99. The spec's are a bit vague (and don't mention the
technical aspects of the disc), but they seem broadly in line with the
two-disc R1 disc, from Fantoma. Running times are from the BBFC records.
Film Score Monthly has released two more
limited edition soundtrack CDs which are worthy of your attention.
Silver Age Classics release is Lalo Schifrin's score for Brian
Hutton's spectacular WWII heist movie Kelly's Heroes (a film,
trivia fans, based on an original screenplay by Edge of Darkness's
Troy Kennedy Martin called The Warriors). As Jeff Bond and Lukas
Kendall's typically excellent liner notes report, Schifrin had a tough
time getting the right mood for the film's music, which needed to match
the movie's odd mix of military drama and goofball comedy. The result is a
jazzy, lightweight "march for whistlers and percussion".
FSM's disc features three pop music tracks
used in the film: Burning Bridges, which replaced Schifrin's main
title cue, co-written by Schifrin and the then head of MGM records, Mike
Curb, Schifrin's laid back country tune All For The Love of Sunshine,
which was performed by Hank Williams Jr (it underscores the scene where
Oddball (Donald Sutherland's hippie character) takes on might of the
German infantry), and the French cocktail music track Si Tu Me Dis,
performed by Monique Aldebert. As the film becomes more comedy than drama,
Schifrin's music switches gear, becoming much more quirky (some of the
later cues riff on Morricone's The Good, The Bad and The Ugly).
More importantly, FSM's disc features the
original score recordings (previous releases have used re-recorded pop
arrangements created for the original album, with only a few cues that
were featured in the film). It also includes cues written for the film,
but not used, including the original main title theme. The seventy-nine
minute disc also features the original album recordings (albeit some of
them mastered from an LP, because the album masters were in poor shape).
The bulk of the disc has been taken from the original half-inch stereo
Golden Age Classics release is a score that will probably be more familiar
to jazz fans than film music buffs: André Previn's popular score for the
1960 Arthur Freed-produced drama The Subterraneans, which was based
on a Beat Generation novel by Jack Kerouac. I must confess to being way
out of my depth with jazz titles, so hopefully a résumé of some of the
soloists will assist potential buyers: Carmen McRae (Vocals), Red Mitchell
(Bass), Dave Bailey (Drums), Russ Freeman (Piano), Bob Enevoldsen (Trumbone),
Gerry Mulligan (Baritone sax), Shelly Manne (Drums), Art Farmer (Trumpet),
Buddy Clark (Bass), Art Pepper (Alto sax), Bill Perkins (Sax) and Jack
Unusually for a FSM disc, the album is not
presented in film order. Instead the tracks that made up the original
album are presented first, and then there are a dozen additional cues from
the recording sessions, making two distinct programmes, each lasting about
forty minutes. Most of the album has been remixed and re-mastered from the
original 35mm three-track recordings, and sounds just peachy. A couple of
source cues are mono, from 17.5mm film, but even they sound fine. I'm sure
that collectors with an affinity for jazz will love it, and I'm sure
hardcore jazz fans will dig it, too!
Both discs are limited editions, of 3000
copies each, and both come with full liner notes, illustrated with rare
stills and posters. The liner notes for The Subterraneans were
written by Lukas and Jeff Eldridge. As usual, there are audio samples
FSM's website. The discs are available via the usual specialist
retailers, most notably FSM's outlet of choice (and mine)
The label has, once again, provided a
couple of hints as to their next releases: "Sci-fi/fantasy/horror marks
both out Golden and Silver Age releases!" and "Four
scores and three composers on two discs, featuring music from far ends of
the earth...and beyond!" The smart money seems to be on a long-overdue
release of Tiomkin's brilliant The Thing (From Another World)...
Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed