NEWS ARCHIVE - MAY 2009



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31st May 2009

INCOMING

Dozens of titles have been added to the Incoming database in the last week or so, including the first and second series of Lost on Blu-ray; the first season of mind-bending new SF series Fringe, on DVD and Blu-ray; the second season of Terminator - The Sarah Connor Chronicles on DVD and Blu-ray; Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona on DVD and Blu-ray; the fifth season of Stargate Atlantis (along with the remaining single discs of the season); the seventh series of 24 on DVD and Blu-ray; the fourth series of Moonlighting; the second series of Torchwood on Blu-ray; the Ultimate Bourne Collection on Blu-ray; star-studded romantic comedy He's Just Not That Into You, on DVD and Blu-ray; off-beat arthouse hit The Good, The Bad and The Weird, on DVD and Blu-ray; Disney's likeable CGI adventure movie Bolt on DVD and Blu-ray; the DVD edition of Red Dwarf - Back to Earth (hopefully a Blu-ray version will follow at some point); and the eagerly-awaited Ghostbusters Blu-ray.

My thanks to Graves for his efforts in adding to the database this week!


25th May 2009

EVENT NEWS

An exhibition of New York City-themed film posters will be hosted at the Posteritati gallery in New York between June the 1st and July the 31st. Here's their press release...

Posteritati presents Naked City, a new exhibition showcasing The Big Apple's starring role on the silver screen from the silent era to the present. As moviegoer's prepare for this summer's blockbuster remake of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, Posteritati will take a look back at other memorable films shot in this most cinematic of cities, including the original 1974 classic starring Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw. Whether through its subways or its skyscrapers, New York City uniquely evokes our love of movies; Woody Allen's Upper West Side, Martin Scorsese's Little Italy, Spike Lee's Brooklyn, and especially relevant these days, Oliver Stone's Wall Street. Movie posters on display at Posteritati will include King Kong (1933), Sweet Smell of Success (1957), The French Connection (1971), Taxi Driver (1976), Annie Hall (1977), Manhattan (1979), Do The Right Thing (1986), Spider-Man (2002), and many others. Naked City opens on June 1 and will run thru July 31. Posteritati's own location on Centre Street may be recognized by some cinephiles, since directly across the street at 240 Centre, is the historic Police Building, shown in all its noir-ish glory in Jules Dassin's 1948 thriller masterpiece, The Naked City.

Posteritati, named "the best place to be reminded that all film art isn't on-screen" by The Village Voice, is one of the world's premier dealers of vintage and contemporary movie art. If you "need the movie poster that says 'You, You, You.' Posteritati is the place to start" (New York Times Style magazine, 2004). "Any film poster fanatic will feel more than at home at Posteritati, home to more than nine thousand fine examples of American and international film-promotion" (Vanity Fair, 2008). From the silent era to modern classics, Posteritati's downtown Manhattan gallery boasts a uniquely diverse movie poster collection from over thirty different countries, searchable via iMac customer kiosks or online at www.posteritati.com.

Posteritati owner Sam Sarowitz has co-authored several books on movie posters, culled exclusively from Posteritati's own collection. Art of the Modern Movie Poster (Chronicle Books), published in late 2008, has been called a "truly magnificent, if not monumental, work. Featuring sharp mini-essays by Dave Kehr, this beautiful, full-color 516-page doorstopper of a book is an embarrassment of riches" (Film Comment, 2009). A "stunning work of visual scholarship" (NPR, 2008). An "encyclopaedic collection...from West Side Story to In the Mood for Love via Attack of the 50ft Woman, more than 1,500 selections place film posters firmly in the Pop Art pantheon" (Harper's Bazaar, 2009). Translating Hollywood (Mark Batty Publisher), a "handsome hardcover volume" (Leonard Maltin, 2008) "highlighting fascinating local interpretations of predominantly American films" (Vanity Fair, 2008), shows the major role played by graphic design in movie poster advertising and promotion around the world.

The Posteritati gallery is located in downtown New York City at 239 Centre Street between Broome and Grand Streets, directly across the street from the historic Police Building. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am to 7 pm, Sunday from noon to 6 pm, and Monday by appointment.


21st May 2009

DVD NEWS

Walerian Borwczyk's live action debut, Goto l'ile d'amour; cult favourite Electra Glide In Blue; classic 50s British war movie A Hill in Korea (aka Hell in Korea); forthcoming BBC drama series Hope Springs; and a behind-the-scenes documentary shot on the set of Inland Empire, Lynch (one) have been added to Incoming.

I thought some of you might like to see the other side of the reversible sleeves that will adorn the new Masters of Giallo range of DVDs being released by Arrow on June the 29th. Full details of the discs can be found in their Incoming entries: Sleepless (aka Nohosonno), Macabre and The House By The Cemetery.

 

 

 

EVENTS NEWS

To mark the release of the final season of Battlestar Galactica on DVD, Jamie Bamber, who plays Captain Apollo in the series, will be signing copies at Oxford Circus branch of HMV on 1st June at 6pm. I don't have further details, sorry!


18th May 2009

DVD AND BLU-RAY NEWS

Many new titles have been added to the Incoming database this week, including a big update of titles due from Network (including a couple of important telefantasy titles which are being sold exclusively through their website).

Other notable additions include the Oscar-winning Milk, starring Sean Penn, on Blu-ray and DVD; Wim Wenders' The State of Things; the Coffin Joe movie Embodiment of Evil on Blu-ray and DVD, and a nine-title Coffin Joe box set; Bryan Singer's very popular WWII thriller Valkyrie, which features Tom Cruise as the leader of a plot to kill Hitler, on DVD and Blu-ray; and the new version of Reggie Perrin (the one starring Martin Clunes).

I've also added more details about Acorn's forthcoming Paul Temple Collection DVD set.

BOOK NEWS

A frisson of excitement meets the announcement that Telos Publishing will soon be publishing Destination: Moonbase Alpha - The Unauthorised Guide to Space: 1999, by author Robert E Wood. If that name rings a bell, it might be because of his previous book on the subject, The Future Is Fantastic!, which was only available for a short period before apparently being withdrawn from sale. I'm especially pleased to hear about the new book, as I suggested a new edition to the publishers! You can read more about the book - which will be available to order soon - from the author's website.


11th May 2009

DVD AND BLU-RAY NEWS

Dozens of new titles have been added to the Incoming database in the last week or so. Highlights include the long-overdue UK DVD / Blu-ray premiere for Richard Stanley's cult favourite Hardware; the DVD and Blu-ray versions of The Wrestler, which features a career re-defining performance from Mickey Rourke; and a trio of new exploitation classics, under the Masters of Giallo banner, Argento's Sleepless, Lamberto Bava's Macabre, and Fulci's The House By The Cemetary.

IMAX NEWS

Fresh from their phenomenal success with Watchmen (taking more at the box office than any other screen in the UK), the IMAX at the South Bank is now playing host to J.J. Abrams' remarkable new film Star Trek, which looks likely to revitalise a franchise desperately in search of new blood.

I caught the film at a press screening at the IMAX last week, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Oddly enough, despite being a fan since the early-70s, and even having attended a couple of Star Trek conventions, I've never considered myself a Trekker or a Trekkie. I suppose it's a matter of degree. On the scale of vaguely-interested to rabidly-obsessive, I fall about three-quarters of the way along: dedicated enough to know my City on the Edge of Forever from Yesteryear, but not quite at the dressing-as-your-favourite-Klingon stage (not that there's anything wrong with that!)

I must admit, I went into the film expecting the worst. I long ago lost faith in Paramount's ability to do manage their franchise competently, and was certainly sceptical that a new cast could recapture the original series' magic. Well, the film is a knockout, and every bit the kick up the exhaust outlet that Trek has needed for the last decade or so.

It's an extremely entertaining film. It's broadened Star Trek's appeal by creating realistic characters which you might conceivably empathise with; it's effortlessly ditched the shackles of forty years of continuity; and - dammit, Jim - even succeeded in making Star Trek sexy.

Paramount's earned a reputation for being rather penny-pinching with its main bread-and-butter franchise over the years. Recycling sets and models for the movies; skimping on the effects for the Director's Cut of The Motion Picture, so that they're not good enough for HD presentation; and under-funding the recent restoration of the movies for Blu-ray are just a few examples of their thrift and short-sightedness. Would the new movie be similarly hamstrung? Happily not. The film reportedly cost $150m, about the same as the last three Trek movies (First Contact, Insurrection and Nemesis) put together, and it certainly shows. The budget has enabled the new film to effectively compete in an era dominated by tent-pole movies like Dark Knight and Iron Man. With the much-boosted budget comes a new confidence, a new and exciting 'look', and an epic canvas.

It's hard to find fault with the new movie. The plot is a little complex (and initially difficult to absorb, given the sensory overload of the classy  cinematography and grade-A sound mix), but it's easy to be swept along. Almost every element works well. Perhaps the cleverest trick was pulling off a 60s retro look, and yet still making it seem futuristic and, at the same time, bold and contemporary.

Almost all of the cast work well. Christopher Pine lacks William Shatner's charisma, and has wisely decided to tread his own path, creating a Kirk that's certainly true to the character, but imbued with new energy and vigour. Heroes' Zachary Quinto, as Spock, is suitably intense, and inevitably steals almost every scene he's in. Karl Urban presents an dazzling imitation of DeForest Kelly as Doctor Leonard 'Bones' McCoy. Zoe Saldana is given more to do as Uhura in this film than Nichelle Nichols was given in eighty-four TV episodes and six movies, and more than acquits herself. I was a bit unconvinced by Simon Pegg as Scotty, who appears late in the film, giving it a bit of a boost, but perhaps adding a touch too much comic relief.

If you're a science-fiction trivia geek, it's perhaps best to go in knowing who else to look out for. Doctor Who fans, for example, might like to know beforehand that Scotty's companion, Keenser, is played by the Peking Homunculus himself, Deep Roy (the only actor to have appeared in a Star Wars film, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Blake's 7 and The X-Files - not to mention four Tim Burton movies!). Other notable cast members include: an almost-unrecognisable Winona Ryder (playing Spock's mother, Amanda); Nowhere Man's Bruce Greenford, as the second Captain of the Enterprise, Christopher Pike (a character featured in the original series' only two-part story, The Menagerie); Chariots of Fire's Ben Cross plays Spock's father; Alias' Rachel Nichols is Gaila; House's Jennifer Morrison plays James T's mother, Winona; Oscar-winning hack Akiva Goldsman plays one of the Vulcan Council members; and Tyler Perry, who's one of the biggest stars in the US at the moment (but virtually unknown in the UK), plays Admiral Barnett. Heroes' Greg Grunberg is present, too, as the voice of Stepdad.

Whether you're a Trek fan or not, I urge you to give the new film a chance, and I certainly recommend seeing the film at the IMAX, which is, without doubt, the best place to see blockbuster movies. The film has a strictly limited engagement at the IMAX. Another film - I forget which, but it's something which, given Star Trek's stellar reception, suddenly seems a lot less likely to sell tickets - is booked in in few week's time, so don't delay!

For more information about Star Trek at the IMAX, visit their website.

 

 
   

 

 

   

4th May 2009

DVD AND BLU-RAY NEWS

Among the titles added to the Incoming database this week are: the single-disc DVD, two-disc DVD and Blu-ray editions of  Watchmen; the second series of BBC sitcom Pulling, and the Pulling Series 1 and 2 box set; the DVD and Blu-ray editions of cerebral British fantasy Franklyn; new Jackie Chan action-comedy The Myth (on DVD and Blu-ray - out today!); 4DVD's documentary 1066 - The War For Middle Earth; the Michael Caine / Demi Moore film Flawless; the first volume of season five of Stargate: Atlantis; the fifth and final season of Boston Legal (and the complete Seasons 1-5 box set); the fourteenth season of medical drama ER. I've also added press release details for the fifth series of Morecambe and Wise, which is released this week.

Special features for the remaining volumes of Stargate: Atlantis Season 5, due on 25th May, 22nd June and 6th July respectively, are:

Volume 2
- Audio commentaries
- Mission directive: Whispers with Will Waring and Joseph Mallozzi
- Tricks of the trade: submerging the Stargate
- Joe Flanigan: a conversation with the Colonel
- Photo galleries

Volume 3
- Audio commentaries
- Mission directive: Tracker with William Waring and Carl Binder
- Dr Jackson goes to Atlantis
- Building a humanoid with James Robbins & Martin Gero
- Photo galleries

Volume 4
- Audio commentaries
- Mission directive: Brain Storm with Martin Gero
- The life and death of Michael Kenmore
- Deleted scenes
- Photo galleries

Volume 5
- Audio commentaries
- Stargate Atlantis goes to Vegas
- Inside the Stargate costume department
- Deleted scenes
- Photo galleries


Last month's Zeta Minor News can be viewed here.

Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed here.


 

 

   

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