Category: Home Entertainment
Warner Home Video announced the Sept. 14 DVD release of a two-disc collector's edition of THX 1138 ($26.99 and $19.97 for single-disc version), George Lucas' first film from 1971. The director's cut will include not only meticulous digital audio and video restoration (a collaboration between Lucasfilm and Warner Home Video) but also digitally enhanced backgrounds, cityscapes and crowds of people, according to Jim Ward, vp marketing and distribution at Lucasfilm.
SMALLVILLE - THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON (Warner Home Video, $59.98) has made it to DVD, with all 23 episodes of the WB series on six discs. The focus shifted in season two to Clark Kent's (Tom Welling) growing and agonizing self-discovery. Episodes such as the two-parter "Heat" and "Red" deal with his past and his disturbing superpowers. Look for Christopher Reeve as a scientist who helps explain his Kryptonian origins in "Rosetta." Vfx provided by Modern Videofilm Inc. and Rainmaker Digital Pictures.
After an initial delay last December, Disney's popular WALT DISNEY TREASURES DVD series continues with the May 18, 2004, release of WAVE 3, four new, separate limited tin sets offering more uncut, uncensored and never assembled or released wonders (Walt Disney Home Ent., $32.99 each). All the volumes are fully restored and hosted by film historian Leonard Maltin.
Mel Gibson's biblical blockbuster, THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, will debut on DVD Aug. 31, 2004 (Fox Home Ent., $29.98) in a bare bones single disc edition, presented at the maximum bit rate. So don't expect any nifty bonus features for at least a year, including how Keith Vanderlaan's Captive Audience handled the numerous digital effects that were supervised by Ted Rae.
As of May 9, THE PASSION has grossed $360M domestically and $222M overseas.
Warner Home Video offers the next two entries in the "Hanna-Barbera Golden Collection" on May 11, 2004: THE JETSONS: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON and JONNY QUEST: SEASON ONE. Each four-disc set, featuring more than 11 hours of original TV programming and bonus content, retails for $64.92.
Taking THE ANIMATRIX a step further, Universal Home Ent Prods. has created an original animated DVD prequel, VAN HELSING: LONDON ASSIGNMENT, which seques right into the just released VAN HELSING feature. The unrated, 33-minute LONDON ASSIGNMENT (Universal Studios Home Video, $14.98), which streets May 11, 2004, boasts the participation of Stephen Sommers and Bob Ducsay (the exec producers who directed and produced the feature), and cast members Hugh Jackman (Van Helsing), David Wenham (Friar Carl), Robbie Coltrane (Mr. Hyde) and Alun Armstrong (the cardinal).
In a unique move showing the increased fan following for videogame stories, Square Enix has announced that it will release a DVD sequel to its 1997 hit game, FINAL FANTASY VII, reports VARIETY. The CGI animated feature, FINAL FANTASY VII ADVENT CHILDREN, will continue the story of the game, which sold more than 9 million units worldwide. No release date has been set. The first move into film for this popular gaming franchise was the 2001 photoreal feature FINAL FANTASY, which was a disaster at the box office.
At long last, SAMURAI JACK - SEASON 1 (Warner Home Video, $29.98) debuts on DVD on May 4, 2004. The UPA-inspired series from Genndy Tartakovsky, creator of DEXTER'S LABORATORY, is the tale of a young samurai cast far into the future by the evil shape-shifting wizard Aku. With award-winning artwork and intricate, action-packed plots, the many journeys of Samurai Jack are intriguing and artful. Extras include Tartakovsky commentary, a making-of doc, original artwork and original animation test.
ADV Films has announced its slate of May anime releases. The titles include BASTOF SYNDROME: FEAR AND LEMONS, ANGELIC LAYER: INHERIT THE LAYER, LEGEND OF THE MYSTICAL NINJA: LOVE IS A POWERFUL WEAPON, WELCOME TO THE KALEIDO STAGE, SAIYUKI: TROUBLE IN PARADISE and SLAYERS: PREMIUM.
French director Sylvain Chomet's highly acclaimed THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE comes to DVD on May 4, 2004 (Columbia TriStar Home Ent., $24.96) with the best opportunity to broaden its appeal. The mostly hand-drawn tale (with a pinch of 3ds max thrown in, including the wheel) of bicycling, gangsters and the music hall is a unique experience to behold.
* Three behind-the-scenes featurettes with commentaries: Opening Sequence, Restaurant Performance, Tuning the Wheel
Two new Spacecraft Film treasures, THE MIGHTY SATURNS: SATURN V (EXTENDED COLLECTOR'S EDITION) and APOLLO 15: MAN MUST EXPLORE (EXTENDED COLLECTOR'S EDITION), are now available in separate three-disc and six-disc sets (Fox Home Ent., $49.98 and $89.98). They are the latest in the most comprehensive collection every assembled to chronicle NASA's early space missions. Developed and produced by film historian Mark Gray, they contain full-length TV transmissions and complete inventories of onboard film.
Tim Burton's underrated BIG FISH, the imaginative and heartfelt father-son drama starring Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney, is sure to find renewed life on DVD (Columbia TriStar Home Ent., $28.95) when it's released on April 27, 2004. The Alabama-based yarn about reality and fantasy and the nature of storytelling features some slight yet effective vfx from Sony Imageworks, and represents the director's first foray into the world of Digital Intermediate, which is used marvelously during the fantasy sequences.
The POPEYE 75TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTOR'S EDITION, a new three-disc set (Koch Vision, $29.98), which streets April 27, 2004, features eight hours of the original King Features Syndicate classic TV cartoons from the '60s. This should not to be confused with the legendary Max Fleischer and Famous Studios theatrical shorts from '33-'57. The 85 episodes include EGYPT US, BARBECUE FOR TWO, SEA NO EVIL, INSULTIN' THE SULTAN, GIDDY GOLD and GEM JAM.
MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD arrives from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment on April 20, 2004 in its DVD and rental VHS debut. Garnering 10 Academy Award nominations, and taking home the Oscar for both Best Achievement in Cinematography and Best Achievement in Sound Editing, the $90 million box office hit journeys to DVD in a beautifully packaged double-disc Collectors Giftpack.
TOKYO GODFATHERS, the third feature by Satoshi Kon, arrived April 13 on DVD on (Columbia TriStar Home Ent., $26.96) and demonstrates further thematic and stylistic growth of this anime director. Taking inspiration from John Ford's classic THREE GODFATHERS, and produced by the Mad House animation studio, Kon focuses on Tokyo's oddest trio of homeless in search of the parents of an abandoned baby on New Year's Eve.
KILL BILL VOL. 1 slew the competition on April 13, 2004 by selling 2 million combined units on DVD and video in North America.
Rick Sands, Miramax coo, said, "We are thrilled by the response from consumers to KILL BILL VOL. 1. It is an extraordinary achievement and reaffirms that Quentin's films are true movie events. The strong sales confirm that the DVD is sought after not only by Quentin's loyal following, but also by a wide range of movie fans across the country."
Sir Paul McCartney reveals a true passion for traditional animation with his new MUSIC & ANIMATION COLLECTION (Miramax Home Ent., $29.99), a DVD first for the ex-Beatle that streets April 13. "Macca," as he's referred to on the disc, serves as exec producer, composer and voice artist on this trio of shorts directed by Geoff Dunbar devoted to childhood innocence and the celebration of animals and nature.
Buy KILL BILL, VOL. 1 on DVD April 13 (Miramax Home Ent., $29.99) and watch it again or for the first time before checking out VOL 2 in theaters this weekend. That was always the shrewd marketing plan and, if Quentin Tarantino has his way there will be an anime prequel in the future. For now, enjoy the orgasmic blood and gore of this Hong Kong samurai/spaghetti western homage with left for dead assassin Uma Thurman getting her revenge. Splashy color, anime (from Production I.G.) a climactic swordfight in black and white (to appease the MPAA), flashbacks, flashforwards - it's a '70s dream.
The recently released PANIC ROOM three-disc special edition (Columbia TriStar Home Ent. $39.95) sets a whole new standard in virtual film school education on DVD. Director David Fincher reveals his obsession with details, which is a prevalent theme throughout the individual commentary tracks that accompany the slick-looking thriller on disc one. The second disc focuses on pre-production, particularly the groundbreaking previs animated storyboards utilized by previs supervisor Ron Frankel.
ADV Films and ADV Manga will be releasing five new manga and four new anime titles as well as the third season of GENE RODDENBERRY'S ANDROMEDA on April 20, 2004. ADV Film's anime DVDs will include AURA BATTLER DUNBINE, KNIGHTS OF THE ZODIAC, MAGICAL SHOPPING ARCADE ABENOBASHI and WEDDING PEACH. ADV Manga's titles include ARIA, Volume 1 of 3, THE RULER OF THE LAND, Volume 1 of 31, TO HEART, Volume 1 of 3, AZUMANGA DAIOH, Volume 4 of 4 and FULL METAL PANIC! Volume 4 of 5.
In honor of the 40th anniversary of THE PINK PANTHER franchise, and with Steve Martin's Inspector Clouseau just around the corner along with a new animated look for the sleek panther, the April 6, 2004 DVD release of THE PINK PANTHER COLLECTION (MGM Home Ent., $69.96) couldnt be more welcome. In addition to five of the six Peter Sellers films that comprise the UA package on this six-disc set - THE PINK PANTHER, A SHOT IN THE DARK, THE PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN, REVENGE OF THE PINK PANTHER and TRAIL OF THE PINK PANTHER - there's a treasure trove of extras on the bonus disc:
On May 4, 2004, Warner Home Video wields a powerful sword with the debut of the two-disc collector's set, SAMURAI JACK: SEASON ONE ($29.98), containing all 13 original episodes from the critically-acclaimed Cartoon Network animated series currently in its fourth season.
From Genndy Tartakovsky, the acclaimed creator of Cartoon Network's animated "mocro-series" STAR WARS: CLONE WARS, comes the tale of a young samurai cast far into a high-tech future by the evil shape-shifting wizard Aku.
MATRIX REVOLUTIONS, the concluding chapter in the blockbuster MATRIX film trilogy, bows on DVD April 6, 2004 (Warner Home Video, $29.95). One of the great aspects of the two-disc set is the way it shows off ESC Ent.'s neglected vfx in the various docs and featurettes. Follow the white rabbit to go further into the elaborate features and effects.