Click here to learn more about anamorphic widescreen!
Go to the Home Page
Go to The Rumor Mill
Go to Todd Doogan's weekly column
Go to the Reviews Page
Go to the Trivia Contest Page
Go to the Upcoming DVD Artwork Page
Go to the DVD FAQ & Article Archives
Go to our DVD Links Section
Go to the Home Theater Forum for great DVD discussion
Find out how to advertise on The Digital Bits

Site created 12/15/97.

page updated: 4/14/99

Studio News -
Columbia / TriStar

Here's the full text of Columbia TriStar's LOOOONG new press release on the Ghostbusters DVD, packed with detail on the discs features:



Culver City, CA (4/14/99) - Columbia TriStar Home Video has announced the much anticipated June 29, 1999 DVD release of the blockbuster comedy Ghostbusters, which stars Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson. This ground-breaking DVD release features the most extensive and sophisticated interactive options ever offered on DVD releases to date from CTHV. Besides the original theatrical trailer and interviews with the film's principals, the DVD version includes:

- Animated, 3-D action menus
- Contemporaneous feature-length film commentary by Harold Ramis, director Ivan Reitman and producer Joe Medjuck
- Many "never-seen-before" deleted scenes
- Two new featurettes including Dan Akroyd & the original visual effects team
- Split-screen comparison of film to animated original storyboards
- SFX "before & after" comparison, utilizing angles feature
- Various trailers
- Feature-length production notes
- Production photo, storyboard & conceptual art galleries
- DVD-ROM with weblink
- and more!

This exciting DVD package represents a benchmark in value-added options offered to consumers and marks CTHV's on-going commitment to maximizing this format's entertainment potential.


"Live" feature-length Video Commentary. We have filmed Harold Ramis, Ivan Reitman (director) and Joe Medjuck (producer) in silhouette, watching the entire film, and commenting on it. The viewer can choose to watch the commentary with or without their silhouettes pointing and gesturing as they watch the film.

Feature-length production notes. We have taken the text of The Making of Ghostbusters by Don Shay and put it into a subtitle stream, so that the viewer may choose to watch the film with anecdotes, trivia and bits of interviews that pertain to particular points in the film.

Three complete featurettes:

A. 1984 featurette of the making of Ghostbusters with interview of cast and crew.
B. 1999 Star featurette: New interviews with Harold Ramis, Ivan Reitman and Dan Aykroyd talking about the origins of Ghostbusters, how it changed their lives and careers, and how their kids like it.
C. Meet the SFX Team: 1999 interview with more than a dozen of the original visual effects team. Includes original production photos and conceptual art.

Storyboard to Film compare: this has a split-screen comparison of three scenes in the film next to animated original storyboards.

Before and After SFX utilizing ANGLES feature of DVD. With the ANGLES feature of DVD, the viewer can toggle back and forth from the rough cut to the final cut of the film to see three scenes before and after the final visual effects were added. (This kind of creative utilization of the ANGLES feature is something that many DVD consumers are looking for.)

Three still photo galleries, including:

A. More than 50 original pencil and chalk conceptual drawings of ghosts and monsters. (Three of these have been selected to be given away in CTHV contest.)
B. Many original storyboards.
C. Hundreds of production photos taken of the SFX team sculpting monsters, creating and destroying sets, and generating animation.

Ten deleted scenes.

DVD-ROM: Includes the following:

A. Filmographies of cast and crew… these will be hyper-linked to detail pages of most of the CTHV DVD titles through filmographies with degrees of separation.
B. Original Final Shooting Script: This will also be hyper-linked to the film so that the viewer may jump from the script to that point in the film in order to compare it to the final partially-improvised film.
C. Web-link: There will be various links from the DVD-ROM to the SPE site, the CTHV site and to

Three-dimensional animated menus. The main menu is a 3-D view of the Manhattan skyline, with the StayPuft Marshmallow Man wandering through the buildings.

Four original trailers (These will be accessible through the DVD menus, and can also be played from the detail pages of these titles in the DVD-ROM catalogue of CTHV DVD's)

A. Ghostbusters
B. Ghostbusters II
C. Groundhog Day
D. Stripes


Bill Murray (Groundhog Day), Dan Aykroyd (Academy Award-nominee, Driving Miss Daisy), Harold Ramis (Parenthood) and Ernie Hudson star as a maniacal band of parapsychologists who try to save Manhattan from ghosts on the rampage. Also stars Sigourney Weaver (Alien) and Rick Moranis (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids).

Rated PG
Feature: 105 minutes
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Format: Widescreen (Enhanced for 16x9 TV's)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
Price: NSL/ M.A.P. $24.95
DVD #01439




Sidelined for five years since their spectacular save (and near destruction) of New York City, the superstars of the supernatural (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis) spring back into action when the infant son of single mother Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) becomes the target of a powerful demonic force. Reunited with the no-nonsense Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson), nerdy, near-sighted Louis (Rick Moranis) and their ever industrious secretary Janine (Annie Potts), the heroes of the hereafter must put a stop to an enormous underground river ready to rot the roots of the entire Big Apple.

Rated PG
Feature: 102 minutes
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby 2 Channel
Format: Widescreen (Enhanced for 16x9 TV's)
Languages: English, Spanish and Portuguese
Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean and Thai
DVD #50169


Columbia TriStar has just announced the following DVD titles for February 2nd, 1999 release:

The Alarmist - day-and-date, 92 minutes, Dolby Surround Sound (English), widescreen (16x9 enhanced), theatrical trailer, subtitles in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean and Thai, Close-Captioned, MAP $24.95

Jackie Chan's Who Am I - day-and-date, 108 minutes, Dolby Surround Sound (English and Spanish), widescreen (16x9 enhanced), theatrical trailer, subtitles in English and Spanish, Close-Captioned, MAP $19.95

Devil in a Blue Dress - 101 minutes, Dolby Digital 5.1 (English) and Dolby Surround Sound (English and French), full screen and widescreen (16x9 enhanced), theatrical trailers for Devil in a Blue Dress, One False Move and A Soldier's Story, subtitles in English and French, cast screen tests, Close-Captioned, MAP $24.95

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner - 108 minutes, Dolby Surround Sound (English and French), full screen and widescreen (16x9 enhanced), theatrical trailer, subtitles in English and French, Close-Captioned, MAP $24.95

One False Move - 106 minutes, Dolby Surround Sound (English, French and Spanish), full screen and widescreen (16x9 enhanced), theatrical trailer for One False Move and Devil in a Blue Dress, subtitles in English, French and Spanish, director's commentary, Close-Captioned, MAP $24.95

Three Stooges: Curly Classics - 108 minutes, B&W, Dolby Digital Mono (English, French and Spanish), full screen, contains the episodes Men In Black (1934), Micro-Phonies (1945), Punch Drunks (1934), Three Little Pigskins (1934) and Woman Haters (1934), subtitles in English, French and Spanish, MAP $19.95


Columbia TriStar yesterday faxed me the text of their press release, announcing their DVD release of The Mask of Zorro. So here it is. Enjoy!


To Be Released On DVD By Columbia TriStar Home Video On December 1, 1998

DVD Release Day And Date With VHS And Laserdisc

Culver City, CA (9/14/98) On December 1, 1998, Columbia TriStar Home Video will release The Mask of Zorro on DVD. This disc will carry a minimum advertised price of $24.95 and will be available in Keep Case packaging.

The Mask of Zorro disc will present the film in the widescreen format. Additional features include a photo gallery, a "making of" featurette and a theatrical trailer.

Movie Synopsis

Don Diego de la Vega (Anthony Hopkins, Academy Award-winner, The Silence of the Lambs) is a wealthy nobleman who leads a double life as the legendary hero, Zorro. His efforts to assist the people of Mexico in their fight for independence from Spain win him the respect and admiration of the common people and the hatred and fear of the Spanish noblemen. The fiercest of the Spanish tyrants, Don Raphael Montero (Stuart Wilson, The Age of Innocence), sets a trap to discover the identity of Zorro. The scheme succeeds more horribly than Don Raphael could have foreseen, as in their zeal to capture Don Diego, the Spanish soldiers kill Don Diego's wife, Esperanza, and kidnap his infant daughter, Elena.

Don Diego spends two decades in prison and finally escapes only to discover that Don Raphael has taken Elena as his own daughter and raised her to believe that he was married to her mother, Esperanza. Desperate to avenge the loss of his freedom and his family, Don Diego searches for a successor and finds him in Alejandro Murieta (Antonio Banderas, Evita), a bandit with a troubled past. Although Alejandro's only knowledge of the sword is that "the pointy end goes into the other man," he enters into his training with enthusiasm and is soon transformed into an elegant hero.

With Don Diego posing as his servant, the new Zorro infiltrates Don Raphael's inner circle. An unforeseen complication arises when Alejandro meets the now-grown Elena (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a feisty young woman who has inherited her mother's beauty and her father's expertise with a sword. Alejandro is drawn to Elena and finds himself courting her both as the sophisticated nobleman and as his roughish counterpart, Zorro.

Armed with his mask, sword, whip and jet-black stallion, Tornado, the new Zorro embarks on a mission to stop Don Raphael's plot to buy California, set right 20 years of wrongs, bring justice to the people ensnared by Spanish greed and win the heart of Elena.

TriStar Pictures presents an Amblin Entertainment Production. The Mask of Zorro was produced by Doug Claybourne and David Foster and directed by Martin Campbell. Story by Ted Elliot, Terry Rossio and Randall Jahnson and screenplay by John Eskow, Ted Elliot & Terry Rossio. Steven Spielberg, Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald are the executive producers. John Gertz co-produced.

Suggested List Price: $24.95
Catalog Number: 21699
Running Time: 136 Minutes
Rating: PG-13
Closed Captioned: Yes
Sound: Dolby Surround Sound and Dolby Digital 5.1
Format: Letterbox only
Languages: English
Subtitles: English


Columbia TriStar has forwarded me the details of several of their upcoming DVD releases.

On October 13th, look for the following titles:

Fright Night - full frame and 16x9 widescreen, DD Surround, theatrical trailer, audio and subtitles in English and French, Close Captioned

In God's Hands - full frame and 16x9 widescreen, DD 5.1, theatrical trailer, audio and subtitles in English and French, Close Captioned

Dancer, Texas - full frame and 16x9 widescreen, DD Surround, audio and subtitles in English and French, Close Captioned

October 20th will see The Big Hit and Midnight Express. The Big Hit will include both 16x9 widescreen and full frame, and will also have three deleted scenes, a theatrical trailer and audio commentary with the director, executive producer and screenwriter. Audio will be full Dolby Digital 5.1. Audio and subtitles in French and English are included, and there is Close Captioning.

Midnight Express will include a special making of featurette with the real Billy Hayes. It will be in full frame and 16x9 widescreen. Look for English and French subtitles and audio in DD 1.0 mono, a theatrical trailer, and Close Captioning.

October 27th will see a number of new titles, including:

Nowhere to Run - full frame and 16x9 widescreen, DD Surround, a theatrical trailer, theatrical trailers for Knock Off, Maximum Risk and Double Team, English and French audio and subtitles and Close Captioning

Sniper - full frame and 16x9 widescreen, DD Surround, theatrical trailer, audio and subtitles in English and French, Close Captioning

Stripes - full frame and 16x9 widescreen, DD 1.0 mono, theatrical trailer, audio and subtitles in English and French, Close Captioning

NOTE: Stripes will also include trailers for Groundhog Day and the long-awaited Ghostbusters.

To Die For - full frame and 16x9 widescreen, DD 5.1 audio, theatrical trailer, audio and subtitles in English and French, Close Captioning

The Wild One - B&W, DD 1.0 mono, theatrical trailer, trailer for On the Waterfront, audio and subtitles in English and French, Close Captioning

Godzilla arrives in stores on November 3rd, for a minimum advertised price (MAP) of $24.95. The disc will be 16x9 widescreen, and will include: audio commentary by the special effects supervisor, a photo gallery, theatrical teaser trailers and a full-length trailer for the film, trailers for the classic Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth and Godzilla vs. King Ghidora, biographical material on the producer and director, cast filmographies, a Making of Godzilla featurette, a Godzilla Takes New York photo feature, and the Heroes music video by the Wallflowers.

NOTE: I'm told this will be Columbia TriStar's first RSDL dual-layered DVD.

November 3rd will also see the following titles:

Les Miserables (1998) - full frame and 16x9 widescreen, DD 5.1, theatrical trailer, audio and subtitles in English and French, Close Captioned

Godzilla vs. Mothra / Godzilla vs. King Ghidora - full frame and widescreen (16x9?), both films on one disc, DD 1.0 mono, two theatrical trailers, audio and subtitles in English only, Close Captioned

Geronimo - full frame and 16x9 widescreen, DD Surround, trailer, audio and subtitles in English and French, Close Captioned


Columbia/TriStar has informed me that their Gattaca DVD has been postposed due to production capacity issues. It will be rescheduled as soon as possible.


The March 31st issue of Daily Variety featured an in-depth look at the DVD format's first year. Among the other things in the issue, were pictures of upcoming releases, including these two of Starship Troopers and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen from Columbia/TriStar. Enjoy!


Columbia/TriStar has finally announced a release date for their bugs-on-a-rampage SciFi flick Starship Troopers. Look for it to hit store shelves on May 19th. I expect the disc will be a sonic litmus test of your surround sound system (more explosions than the campfire scene from Blazing Saddles)! Some advice: make sure the kids are in bed for this one (unless you don't mind 'em seeing the arms, legs and heads flying). And be sure to stock up on that bug spray!


Well, word is that Air Force One has sold more than 200,000 copies on DVD, ranking it with Goldeneye and Twister as one of DVD's best sellers. Still no word on an exact release date for Starship Troopers, but you can probably expect it sometime in May or June. In the meantime, here's a rundown of upcoming Columbia/TriStar titles for the next few months:

March 17

In the Company of Men, The Assignment, Look Who's Talking and Single White Female

March 31

Absense of Malace, Double Team, High School High, Only You, U-Turn

April 14

Chances Are, Guarding Tess, The Karate Kid, Multiplicity and My StepMother is an Alien

May 5


May 12

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Maximum Risk, My Girl and No Mercy

For all you folks at Columbia/TriStar (who I know read these pages), how about getting started on DVD versions of Lawrence of Arabia, Ghostbusters and Thunderheart? And someone let me know what's up with your plans for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I know it's a Spielberg film, but as far as I know Columbia/TriStar owns full rights to it. And it is one of a handful of titles people tell me they want most on DVD. So can we expect to see it anytime soon?


Here's a quick Columbia/TriStar update for today. Word is that the studio has received preorders for 80,000 units of Air Force One. Big Night was apparently postponed due to production capacity issues, but will be rescheduled in the near future. Finally, look for Absence of Malice, Assignment, Double Team, High School High, I Know What You Did Last Summer: Special Edition, In the Company of Men: Special Edition, and Only You to be released between mid and late March. The two Special Edition discs will include Director's Commentaries.


Effective immediately, Columbia/TriStar has decided to discontinue releasing its DVD product in jewel case packaging. The decision was apparently motivated by low sales numbers, as compared to its keep case packaged product. DVDs already packaged and warehoused in jewel cases WILL continue to be shipped until supplies are gone. There is a chance that boxed collections of Columbia/TriStar's jewel case DVDs will appear as supplies dwindle.

In other news, Columbia/TriStar is expecting big things from its upcoming hit film-to-DVD release Air Force One. This disc has apparently been their biggest production pressing thus far, and sales are expected to be brisk. 2/10 can't come fast enough for me!

As I announced last month, The Professional, Single White Female, The Devil's Own, Fools Rush In, and Look Who's Talking are all on schedule for release to DVD on February 24th [Remember, you heard about these titles here first, folks!]. Unfortunately, Big Night has been postponed, and as of 1/21, has yet to be rescheduled.

Finally, as evidence of Columbia/TriStar's continued commitment to DVD, look for Starship Troopers, Gattaca and Seven Years in Tibet [titles also announced here first] to be released day-and-date with VHS. Expect Starship Troopers to appear tentatively sometime between April and June.


Columbia/TriStar continues to release (in my opinion) the very best looking DVD titles available. Disc image and sound quality definitely seems to be their highest priority. According to a source within the studio, Columbia/TriStar is going to great lengths to ensure that each of their DVD releases measures up to their high standards. This often means taking longer to master and produce each title, which can occasionally lead to release delays and fewer titles per month. If a release is found to be substandard in any way, it's pulled and remastered, rather than being released. I, for one, am extremely glad they take the time to do it right. Have you seen A Few Good Men? It's an outstanding DVD - definitely not to be missed. I also own four of their other titles (Dr. Strangelove, Jerry Maguire, In the Line of Fire, and Legends of the Fall), and every one of them is reference quality.

For those who would complain about the lack of disc features on their releases, rest assured. That is definitely beginning to change. Many upcoming titles (like Air Force One and Anaconda) will feature film-specific graphic menus, theatrical trailers and more. And Columbia/TriStar has been rock solid in their support of 16x9 enhancement, which many home-theater buffs consider the most important improvement of DVD over laserdisc.

As for the future… well, it looks bright indeed. Here is a rundown of DVD releases to expect in the next couple of months:

Already announced for 1/20 are Anaconda, Donnie Brasco, Flatliners, Glory, Groundhog Day, The Mirror Has Two Faces and Much Ado About Nothing.

On 2/10, look for Big Night, The Devil's Own, Fools Rush In, The Professional, Single White Female and Look Who's Talking, in addition to the previously announced Air Force One.

Best of all, is the news that Columbia/TriStar is currently planning to release more than 100 new DVD titles in 1998, at a rate of 8-10 per month. Rest assured that Starship Troopers, Seven Years in Tibet and Gattaca are all on the fast track for release to DVD early next year. Other (as yet unannounced) titles you can look forward to in the coming months: I Know What You Did Last Summer, Guarding Tess, Maximum Risk, Multiplicity, Karate Kid, and My Stepmother is an Alien.

Can you imagine Starship Troopers on DVD? Jeez, I'm not sure my system can handle that level of mayhem! To all you folks at Columbia/TriStar, keep up the good work!

E-mail the Bits!

Don't #!@$ with the Monkey! Site designed for 800 x 600 resolution, using 16M colors and .gif 89a animation.
© 1997-2015 The Digital Bits, Inc., All Rights Reserved.