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page updated: 3/23/05

My Two Cents
(Archived Posts 3/4/05 - 2/10/05)

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There's some new Star Trek news today. Paramount has just officially announced the DVD release of the 2-disc Star Trek: Insurrection - Special Collector's Edition for 6/7. You'll get anamorphic widescreen video, both Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound, a text commentary by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda, 7 Production featurettes (including It Takes a Village, Location, Location, Location, The Art of Insurrection, Anatomy of a Stunt, The Story of Insurrection, Making Insurrection and Director's Notebook), 2 Star Trek Universe featurettes (Westmore's Aliens and Star Trek's Beautiful Alien Women), 3 Creating the Illusion featurettes (Shuttle Chase, The Drones and The Duck Blind), 7 deleted scenes (Ru'afo's Facelift, Working Lunch, Flirting, The Kiss, Status: Precarious, Disabling the Injector and Alternate Ending), galleries of storyboards and production photos, the film's teaser and theatrical trailers, plus an original promotional featurette and the Borg Invasion 4-D trailer. We're trying to find out of director Jonathan Frakes has recorded another commentary track as well. No art is yet available, but we'll post it as soon as it is.

Word is circulating from across the pond that the U.K. version of Star Trek: Enterprise - Season One will include an additional featurette not available on the U.S. release: Celebrating Star Trek: A Look at Star Trek Conventions and Fans. Never fear though... U.S. residents can get the featurette on DVD too, albeit as yet another Best Buy/Media Play/Musicland-exclusive bonus disc (available when you purchase the Season One set at those retailers).

Here's one more piece of encouraging Trek news. The Boston Herald is reporting that Spike TV may be considering picking up a fifth season for Enterprise. It's a long shot, but you never know. Spike already carries syndicated re-runs of previous Trek series, so it'd be a nice fit.

Our friends over at TV Shows on DVD have a great picture of the "limited edition wheel packaging" for Lions Gate's upcoming Speed Racer: Limited Collector's Edition - Volume 3 (due 5/24). Very cool.

Around The Bits today, we've got several new Power Buys to offer you in conjunction with DocDVD. These include great HDTVs, HD projectors and DVD players, so do check them out.

We've also got a great new Artist of the Month for March - our first who works in metal. His name is Jason Mernick. If you're on the East Coast, you can see Jason and his art in person this weekend at the New York Art Expo (March 3-6th at the Jacob J. Javits Convention Center in New York City). Todd White (our Artist of the Month from October 2003 and a Bits fan favorite - click here for his website) will also be at the Art Expo, so if you're in the area, be sure to stop by to check out their work and say hello. Tell them The Bits sent you!

Okay, back it's back to work for us. No rest for the weary. Have a great weekend, and we'll see you back here on Monday morning for The 6th Annual Digital Bits Bitsy Awards - The Bitsys Reloaded! Look for lots of great new DVD reviews next week as well. See you then!


Afternoon, folks. We're pleased to announce that The 6th Annual Digital Bits Bitsy Awards will be here on Monday morning. We wanted to take a little extra time to make sure everything is ready to go, plus Monday is our biggest day in terms of daily readership. So you can look forward to that then.

There's not a great deal of news today, but we do have a couple of things for you. Buena Vista has announced that they're releasing the complete 1994-95 animated Fantastic Four TV series (SRP $49.99). The street date information from the studio is a little confusing - we've seen both 6/28 and 7/5 dates on official materials. We believe the actual date is 7/5, but we'll update you when we have final information.

Paramount will be releasing The Machinist on DVD in June. We're waiting for the official street date. Also coming in June from the studio (on 6/7 to be exact) is George Cukor's Heller in Pink Tights. And you Western fans will be pleased to learn that the studio has finally re-scheduled Have Gun - Will Travel: The Complete Second Season for release on 5/10.

Around the site today, we've updated some of the DVD format stats we track (above), including the software sales and rental charts, as well as our AFI Top 100 Films on DVD list.

Here's more new cover art for you: Buena Vista's Fantastic Four, Paramount's Have Gun - Will Travel: The Complete Second Season and New Line's Vera Drake (3/29)...

Fantastic FourHave Gun - Will Travel: The Complete Second SeasonVera Drake

Stay tuned...


We're hard at work on The Bitsy Awards here at The Digital Bits. Just to let you know, we're tentatively planning to post the awards on Friday (Monday at the very latest). We'll let you know tomorrow.

In the meantime, we've got some interesting DVD news for you today. First up, Disney has informed us that its Bambi: Special Edition has sold nearly a million copies in its first day of release on VHS and DVD. We don't have exact numbers for each format, but still an impressive achievement.

Criterion has announced a trio of new DVD releases for May: Steve James, Fredrick Marx and Peter Gilbert's Hoop Dreams (#289), Les Blank's Burden of Dreams (#287) and Luis Buñuel's The Phantom of Liberty (#290).

Anchor Bay has revealed to Home Media Retailing (formerly Video Store) that it plans to release the TV sitcoms Rosanne and 3rd Rock from the Sun on DVD in the 3rd Qtr, starting with the first season of 3rd Rock on 7/26.

Meanwhile, Lions Gate has revealed that their Speed Racer: Collector's Edition - Volume 3 is set for release on 5/24. Presumably this will include the next 10 or 12 episodes of the classic Japanese animated series.

And HBO's The Sopranos: The Complete Fifth Season is officially set for release on 6/7 (SRP $99.98 ). Extras will include 4 audio commentaries (with directors Steve Buscemi, Peter Bogdanovich, Mike Figgis and Rodrigo Garcia) and more.

More TV news today - Home Media Retailing has also revealed that Buena Vista's Desperate Housewives: The Complete First Season will hit DVD on 9/20 (SRP $59.99). Extras will include an alternate ending to the season's final episode, unrated versions of the episodes, cast commentaries, a documentary and a fashion show and more. Also Lost: The Complete First Season should hit DVD on 9/6 (SRP $59.99), featuring "five hours of bonus material, including the original pilot, behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the show; audio commentaries, a blooper reel, roundtable discussions with cast and crew, and a Matthew Fox photography featurette." Both Desperate Housewives and Lost are expected to be announced officially in the next few weeks.

Speaking of TV shows, Wired has an excellent online story on how music copyrights are keeping a lot of great shows from being released on DVD, or forcing studios to replace original music (a practice we despise here at The Bits). It's well worth a read.

And around the site today, we've posted FIVE new Contests giving each of you the chance to win copies of Warner's Friends: The Complete Ninth Season, Coupling: Seasons 1-4, Wonder Woman: The Complete Second Season, The Rutles 2: Can't Buy Me Lunch and The Exorcist: The Beginning, Shout Factory's SCTV: Volume 3 and Fox's Flight of the Phoenix. All of the contests will run until Noon PST on Sunday, March 13th. Click on the links to get started and good luck!

Finally today, hgre's a little new cover art for you: HBO's The Sopranos: The Complete Fifth Season, 20th Century Fox's The Day After Tomorrow: Collector's Edition (5/24) and Criterion's Burden of Dreams...

The Sopranos: The Complete Fifth SeasonThe Day After Tomorrow: Collector's EditionBurden of Dreams

Back tomorrow. Stay tuned...

(LATE UPDATE - 3/1/05 - 2:30 PM PST)

We're back as expected with another outstanding Classic Coming Attractions column from our own Barrie Maxwell. If you love vintage films on disc, you're going to love this edition. Barrie reviews 10 recently released classics on DVD, including Warner's Dinner at Eight, Libeled Lady and The Letter, Fox's Laura, Satan Never Sleeps and The Agony and the Ecstasy, Image's Mourning Becomes Electra and Columbia (Sony)'s It Happened to Jane, Strangers When We Meet and Behold a Pale Horse. Plus he updates you on all the latest classic title announcements and rumors. There are some really BIG titles mentioned in there (including the next wave of Walt Disney Treasures), so you absolutely don't want to miss it.

Speaking of BIG news, here's some: The effort to save Star Trek: Enterprise just got a huge boost. Three anonymous doners working in the aerospace industry have offered a combined contribution of $3 million. According to their official statement: "We think Star Trek and especially its latest incarnation, Enterprise is the kind of TV that should be aired more often. The people responsible at Paramount think this is just a show and we want to tell them, it is not. We are in the commercial space flight industry and would like to testify that at least one out of two of all the actual entrepreneurs involved in this industry has been inspired by Star Trek; and we are not only good at watching TV sci-fi , we are also good at writing checks, big checks. [EDIT] Enterprise needs to be renewed, for the sake of fan loyalty, for being quality TV, for bringing imagination and hope for a better future to our homes, but over all that, for inspiring us so strongly that we have fought all our adult lives to bring that future closer to our children and to us."

BRAVO! Congrats to everyone at Save Enterprise, The Enterprise Project and Trek United for keeping hope alive. Click here to read the complete statement at Save Enterprise. Eat that UPN.

Back with more tomorrow. Stay tuned!

(EARLY UPDATE - 3/1/05 - 12:01 AM PST)

Wow... is it really March already? How the time does fly...

We've got a couple of quick things for you this morning. First up, some new announcements.

20th Century Fox will release The Man Who Never Was on DVD on 6/7.

Universal has announced that it will release Screen Media's Pitcher and the Playmate on 6/7, with Shallow Ground following on 6/28.

Paramount has set Enduring Love for release on 5/3, with Coach Carter and The Wool Cap due on 6/14.

Also, Sony Pictures (Columbia TriStar) has announced William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice and Motorcycle Mania 3: Jesse James Rides Again for release on 5/10. Note that they've moved the street dates for American Chopper: The Series - Season One, American Chopper: The Series - Season Two, Monster Garage: Season One and Monster Garage: Season Two to 5/10 as well (they had previously been announced for 5/3).

Some quick non-DVD news, just for fun: There's a new Internet-only trailer for Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy over at that's well worth a look. It's narrated by the Guide, and features your first taste of Marvin's downcast personality (movie version).

Plus, it's now official: The final trailer for Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith will be tagged to prints of Fox's Robots when it hits theaters on 3/11. The better news however, is that you'll be able to see it first during next Thursday's broadcast (3/10) of The O.C.. I'm hoping it will be in high-def like the episode itself. Cross your fingers.

Here's a little new cover art for you. New Line's The Agronomist (6/7), Universal's Casino: 10th Anniversary Edition (6/14) and the aforementioned William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice...

The AgronomistCasino: 10th Anniversary EditionWilliam Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

We'll be back with Barrie's new Classic Coming Attractions column later today. Stay tuned...


Morning all. I have to lead with this today just because. Anyone see The O.C. last night? I'll tell you, Sarah and I absolutely lost it when Seth climbed up on his roof and struck that classic Spider-Man pose. Just too funny. What a great little show that's become. Sorry, couldn't resist. ;-)

Okay... we've got a big post for you this morning, so let's get to it.

Anyone into a little cover art today? Well, our own Russell Hammond has just completed a big update of the Upcoming DVD Cover Art section with over 250 new cover scans! Some great titles in there, almost all of them available for pre-order now from, so be sure to check it out. And remember, purchasing discs from our links helps to support our work here at The Bits. We surely do appreciate it.

How's this for a surprise? The always interesting Jim Hill Media website claims that Disney is preparing to finally release its controversial Song of the South on DVD in 2006. Consider that Rumor Mill worthy until the studio officially confirms it, but we think it's about damn time. We've never understood the desire some have for this film to simply disappear. Native Americans were played by white guys with red-painted faces in many classic Hollywood films, and black slaves were often depicted as stupid or content with their lot in life. It's absolutely a sad, ugly part of Hollywood's legacy. But rather than wishing films like Song of the South out of existence, why not turn them into an opportunity to tackle those important issues head on? Reach out to all sides, bring people into the process and donate a portion (or all) of the profits to appropriate charities and civic groups. History, film history included, is what it is... good and bad, warts and all. Seems to us that you've gotta appreciate the good and confront the bad head on to really learn any truly valuable lessons from the past. Anyway, that's just our opinion. With any luck it'll be an interesting special edition.

We've got some more information today on the extras you can expect from Touchstone and Criterion's forthcoming The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou DVDs (due on 5/10). Both discs will feature anamorphic widescreen video (from a new HD transfer supervised by director Wes Anderson), with Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound. Both will also include "select scene commentary" with Anderson, 10 deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with the cast and crew and the film's theatrical trailer. The 2-disc version will include all of that, plus 10 David Bowie songs performed by Brazilian actor and recording artist Seu Jorge, an interview with composer (and DEVO band member) Mark Mothersbaugh, the Mondo Monda Italian TV interview, the This is an Adventure making-of documentary by Albert Maysles, an Intern Video Journal by actor and real-life intern Matthew Gray Gubler, a fold-out insert cutaway diagram of The Belefonte (featuring Eric Anderson's original illustrations) and galleries of behind-the-scenes photos and production artwork. All you need now is a red cap and a Speedo and you're ready to hit the high seas.

Let's see... what else? Oh yeah. Universal's about to announce the release of In Good Company for 5/10. Also due on 5/10 is Racing Stripes from Warner (sure didn't take that one long). A week later (on 5/17), look for New Line to deliver its recent Son of the Mask. That's all Rumor Mill-ish until it's official, but it's about to be official so there you go.

Speaking of official, Warner HAS just announced Batman: The Animated Series - Volume Three for DVD release on 5/24 (SRP $44.98). Also coming on that day are Superfriends: The Complete Second Season ($26.99) and The Batman: Training for Power - Season One, Volume One ($14.97). And get this... Thundercats: Season One, Volume One is also soon to be announced by Warner. Thundercats hhhoooooooooo!!!

Some cool Fox news today... look for A Farewell to Arms, Drums Along the Mohawk, Forty Guns (1957), The Frogmen (1951), The Bravados, Broken Lance, In Old Arizona (1929) and M*A*S*H: TV Season 8 on 5/24.

Remember how we said Fox's Man on Fire: Collector's Edition was on the way in the Rumor Mill yesterday? Well, it's officially coming on 5/24 as a 2-disc release (SRP $26.98). You'll get a longer director's cut of the film in anamorphic widescreen video, with Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound, audio commentary by director Tony Scott, a second commentary with Lucas Foster, Brian Helgeland and Dakota Fanning, the Vengeance is Mine: Reinventing Man on Fire documentary (including the Twenty Year Odyssey, The Business of Kidnapping, Caught in the Crossfire, City of God and Fire and Passion featurettes), 14 deleted scenes and an alternate ending (with optional commentary by Scott), a multi-angle sequence examining the "Pita's Abduction" scene (with optional commentary by Scott) as well as storyboards and a script excerpt of the scene, a production photo gallery, Kinky's Oye Como Va music video and several trailers and TV spots.

Fox also has The Day After Tomorrow: Collector's Edition coming on 5/24 ($26.98) as a 2-disc set, featuring anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound, audio commentary with director Roland Emmerich and producer Mark Gordon, a second commentary with writer Jeffrey Nachmanoff, Ueli Steiger, editor David Brenner and production designer Barry Chusid, 7 featurettes (including Pre-Visualization, Pre-Production Meeting, Two Kings and a Scribe, Pushing the Envelope: Visual Effects, Scoring, Audio Anatomy: The Final Mix and The Force of Destiny: The Science and Politics of Climate Change), an interactive audio demo (with 8 tracks of audio), a storyboard gallery, deleted scenes (with optional director's commentary), a concept art gallery and theatrical trailers.

Fox has one more surprise for you on 5/24... a 2-disc I, Robot: Collector's Edition (SRP $26.98). Once again, you'll get anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound, audio commentary by director Alex Proyas and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, a second commentary by members of the production and effects crew, a third commentary with composer Marco Beltrami, The Making of I, Robot featurette, a production photo gallery, theatrical trailers, the Day Out of Days: The I, Robot Production Diaries multi-part documentary, the Three Laws Safe: Conversations About Science Fiction and Robots documentary, The Filmmakers' Toolbox compositing breakdowns (covering the visual effects work of Digital Domain, Rainmaker Digital and WETA Digital), deleted scenes and alternate endings, and 5 Easter eggs. Whew! Dare you to say all that five times fast.

Around the site today, we've updated the DVD rental and sales stats we keep (above).

We've also got a pair of new DVD reviews from our own Jeff Kleist. I've loaned him my usual Spin Sheet, so he can give you all his thoughts on Anchor Bay's The Greatest American Hero: Season One and Paramount's MacGyver: Season One. Both are now available in stores.

One other bit of news this morning. Our good friends over at The Home Theater Forum wanted us to let you know that they'll be hosting a live online chat with staffers from Warner Home Video on Monday, March 14th. We'll post more details as we get closer to the date. As usual, we'll have a complete transcript of the chat here at The Bits the next morning.

Okay... with that, another week bites the dust.

Don't forget that The 77th Annual Academy Awards will be announced on Sunday night. May all your favorites win.

Just to let you know, we're going to be dark on Monday, but we'll make it up to you on Tuesday with a brand new Classic Coming Attractions column from Barrie Maxwell. We'll also deliver more great DVD news and reviews next week, as well as The 6th Annual Digital Bits Bitsy Awards!

Good luck to all you Star Trek fans heading out for the protest rallies in New York, L.A. and elsewhere around the world today (and London tomorrow). Keep on keepin' on!

Enjoy the Oscars, have a great weekend and we'll see you all back here on Tuesday morning.

Peace out.


Some big DVD news today. Universal has officially announced the DVD release of the recent Assault on Precinct 13 remake for 5/10. Separate full frame and anamorphic widescreen versions will be available (SRP $29.98 each), each with Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound. Extras will include audio commentary (with director Jean-Francois Richet, writer James DeMonaco and producer Jeffery Silver), deleted scenes and a number of behind-the-scenes featurettes (including Armed and Dangerous, Behind Precinct Walls, Plan of Attack, The Assault Team and Caught in the Crosshairs).

Also announced by Universal is a Casino: 10th Anniversary Edition due on 6/14 (SRP $22.98), also available in separate full frame and anamorphic widescreen versions with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. No details are available yet on extras.

By the way, Universal has let it be known that Airwolf: Season One and The Big Lebowski Special Edition are on the way. Street dates and features are TBA. Lebowski... NICE.

How about some Paramount catalog DVD news? The studio has just announced The Winning Season (for 4/26), American Dreamer, With Six You Get Eggroll, Table for Five and Back Roads (all for 5/3), Bad Apple (for 5/10) and The Wool Cap (for 6/14).

By the way, we've officially confirmed with Sony that Christmas with the Kranks has been delayed until the 4th Qtr. We'll post more later this year when the title is re-announced.

Okay... now for some serious Rumor Mill goodness. We've got a big update for you today from our industry sources on titles that 20th Century Fox is working on for later this year. Some great stuff in there, so you DEFINITELY don't want to miss it.

Here's a little more cover art today - temp art for Universal's Assault on Precinct 13 and White Noise (5/17), as well as final art for Sony's The Partridge Family: The Complete First Season (5/3)...

Assault on Precinct 13White NoiseThe Partridge Family: The Complete First Season

Now, on to a few non-DVD matters. For those of you jonesing for the latest Star Wars: Episode III news, word is that the final theatrical trailer for the film will be tagged to prints of Fox's Robots, which hits theaters on 3/11.

As I mentioned last week, Star Trek fans are going to be staging a number of rallies tomorrow morning (Friday) in an effort to save Star Trek: Enterprise from cancellation. Here in L.A., fans will be gathering outside the gates of the Paramount Pictures studio lot at 9 AM PST. There's expected to be a LARGE turnout, and if that's the case, we've been told that some of the cast and crew will come out to show their support for the effort. The last day of production on the show is 3/8 and the sets will start coming down shortly thereafter, so time is of the essence. In New York, fans are going to be gathering at the Ice Rink (at 30 Rockefeller Plaza) at 7 AM EST to march on CBS, Viacom and the SciFi Channel. If you're a Trek fan reading this post and you're in L.A. or N.Y., please do whatever you can to make it. Given our successful fight against Divx back in the day, I'm a real sucker for a good grassroots effort. So let's see how many Bits readers we can fill the crowd with. Saving the show might be a long shot, but you never know. In any case, you can at least send a helluva message to the powers that be at Paramount and UPN. The lousy bastards. Visit Save Enterprise, The Enterprise Project and Trek United for more. Save Enterprise in particular has all the details on the rallies. Maybe I'll see you there.

Finally today, we'll close with something we've been meaning to mention. We meant to do this sooner, but we've just been so busy these last few days it slipped by us. I wanted to take a moment to pour a little love out for actress Sandra Dee, who passed away a couple of days ago at the age of 63. Dee appeared in many films over the years, and was probably best known for her role as the title character in Gidget. You can read more about her passing (and her career) here at She'll be missed.

Back tomorrow. Stay tuned...


We're pleased today to present Adam Jahnke's latest installment of The Bottom Shelf. This edition is entitled Ask And You Shall Receive... L'il Adam's Wish List Revisited. In it, Adam reviews four titles that he's been waiting a long time for on DVD (in fact, he asked for them to be released on DVD in a previous column back in 2003)... Warner's After Hours and Pennies from Heaven, the BBC's 1978 mini-series version of Pennies from Heaven and Ventura Distribution's La Comunidad (Common Wealth). There's still a LOT of great films out there that haven't yet appeared on our favorite 5-inch disc format, but you've gotta start somewhere, right? Don't miss it.

Elsewhere around the site today, we've kicked off no less than FOUR new Contests, giving each of you the chance to win copies of Warner's Around the Bend and IMAX NASCAR, as well as Fox's Angel: Season Five, Lost in Space: Season Three, Volume One and Star Wars: Clone Wars - Volume One. Entries will be accepted until Noon PST on Sunday, February 27th. Click on the links to get started and good luck!

We've also updated Jim Taylor's invaluable Official DVD FAQ to its most recent version today, and done some archiving of other columns and things, so the site should load a little faster.

Back tomorrow with more news and reviews. Stay tuned...


Afternoon, Bits-ers! Hope you're all well... and staying DRYER than we are here in Southern California. I think I just saw I guy in a boat rowing past my second story office window... ;-)

I wanted to start today off on a personal note. Our own Matt Rowe (Mr. MusicTAP himself) and his wife Debbie just celebrated their 27th wedding anniversary. Their kids put together a big surprise party for them this past weekend. It's a funny story: Their actual anniversary is in December. You might be wondering, "Why not celebrate in December, and why make a big deal about the 27th?" Well... it turns out they were busy in December, and they didn't get to do anything special for their 25th anniversary, so this was sort of a 25th + 2 celebration. Sarah and I were there along with many of their family and friends, and we all had a lot of fun. I seriously considered posting Matt and Deb's original wedding photo today, but I thought better of it. Let's just say, Matt was wearing a bow-tie as wide as his grin and the boy was sporting a SERIOUS 'fro. Hey... that was the 70s, baby. Bug Matt and maybe he'll post it himself. Anyway, congratulations to Matt and Debbie from everyone (else) here at The Bits and MusicTAP!

On to the DVD news. We've gotten word from 20th Century Fox that their Mel Brooks promotion has been delayed indefinitely. This means that High Anxiety will NOT street on 3/29 as originally expected. We'll post further details as soon as they're available.

Also today, Image Entertainment and the National Film Preservation Foundation have announced that the original 4-disc Treasures From American Film Archives box set will be re-issued on DVD on 5/10 (SRP $69.95) due to popular demand. Certainly good news for a great DVD release.

New Line has recently announced a few more good titles. As you may know, Vera Drake is expected to street on 3/29 (SRP $27.95) in anamorphic widescreen with both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio. The Assassination of Richard Nixon streets on 4/26 (SRP $27.95) with anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital 2.0 audio and audio commentary with writer/director Niels Mueller. Hair Show streets on 5/10, with anamorphic widescreen video and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. On 6/7, look for Jonathan Demme's The Agronomist documentary (SRP $27.95) in anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

And Buena Vista and Dimension have announced the DVD release of Jaume Balagueró's Darkness on 4/26 in both PG-13 and Unrated editions (SRP $29.99 each).

Here's a little more cover art. THIS is the art for the 2-disc Criterion edition of The Life Aquatic (what we posted yesterday was the single-disc version. Also, here's the Darkness: Unrated Version and slightly revised art for Sony's House of Flying Daggers (4/19)...

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2-disc Criterion Edition)Darkness: Unrated VersionHouse of Flying Daggers

We'll be back tomorrow with a new column from Adam Jahnke, and we'll have a couple of new DVD reviews as well. Stay tuned...


Well... not a lot going on today with the President's Day holiday. Everybody's off here in the States. But there is some news today, both bad and good.

The bad first. No doubt you've heard by now... legendary counterculture author/gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson committed suicide over the weekend at the age of 67. There aren't any details yet on what the circumstances might have been that led him to this action. It's really hard for me to describe what a loss this is. Thankfully, Matt's found the words and posted something fitting over at TAP today. Maybe Todd will chime in later this week with his thoughts as well. In the meantime, we recommend spinning Criterion's absolutely outstanding 2-disc version of Terry Gilliam's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, based on the Thompson book (you can read Todd's review of the DVD here).

The big (and good) news on the DVD front today is that Buena Vista and Touchstone have officially announced The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou for release on 5/10. There will be 2 versions - a single-disc release (SRP $29.99) and a 2-disc Criterion Collection edition (SRP $32.99). Both versions will contain audio commentary with director Wes Anderson and deleted scenes. The Criterion edition will include that, plus a video journal by an "on-set intern", musical performances of Seu Jorge, a making-of featurette, interviews and much more TBA. We'll post the complete details as soon as they're available. I'm really excited about this title. Gotta get me one of those red "Team Zissou" caps...

Also today, Sony Pictures (Columbia TriStar) has announced the following titles for release on 5/3: Dogtown and Z-Boys: Deluxe Edition, Chupacabra Terror, Motorcycle Mania 3: Jesse James Rides Again, Vampires: The Turning, a Vampires Box Set (including Vampires: The Turning, John Carpenter's Vampires and Vampires: Los Muertos) and several new TV releases including American Chopper: The Series - Season One (3 discs), American Chopper: The Series - Season Two (3 discs), Dawson's Creek: The Complete Fifth Season (4 discs), Monster Garage: Season One (3 discs), Monster Garage: Season Two (3 discs) and The Partridge Family: The Complete First Season (3 discs with a bonus music CD).

Here's cover art for The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (the singled-disc version), Warner's Samurai Jack: Season 2 (5/2) and temp art for Universal's Meet the Fockers (TBA for 4/19)...

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (single-disc version)Samurai Jack: Season 2Meet the Fockers (Temp Art)

Finally today, here's our big news. The 6th Annual Digital Bits Bitsy Awards are on the way! Usually, the Oscars are the last big event of awards season, but not this year. We expect to post The Bitsy Awards sometime mid to late next week. We'll give you the exact date as soon as things shape up a little more. I just wanted to jump in here today to let you all know that it's coming, because a LOT of you have been asking about it. So there you go.

Back tomorrow. Stay tuned...


Well... we've reached the end of another week, haven't we?

Couple of things today. First of all, we've posted some more street date info for a few as-yet-unannounced titles in The Rumor Mill. Some good stuff there, so don't miss it.

We've got some more officially announced street dates for Fox May DVDs... look for King of the Hill: Season 4, Paul Rodriguez: San Quentin, The Sandlot 2 and The Sandlot/The Sandlot 2 2-pack (on 5/3), In Living Color: Season 3 (on 5/10), Kinsey, Kinsey: Special Edition, Call Me: The Rise and Fall Heidi Fleiss and Simpsons: Bart Wars (on 5/17), Anna & the King of Siam, The Best of Everything, Big Black Comedy: Volume 2, Earthquake: About Got Damm Time! and The Razor's Edge (on 5/24) and finally, Bratz: The Video (on 5/31).

Meanwhile, Warner has announced that it will release Samurai Jack: Season 2 on 5/24 (SRP $29.98) as a 2-disc set (no word yet on extras). And for you Patriots fans, look for NFL Super Bowl XXXIX Champions on 3/1 (SRP $24.98), containing every play from the "World TV" broadcast of the Super Bowl featuring Dick Stockton and Daryl "Moose" Johnston, the complete halftime show, a look behind-the-scenes at Media Day, plus all the post-game press conferences and interviews with the players and coaches.

Buena Vista will release Miramax's The Chorus (Les Choristes) on 5/3 (SRP $29.99).

And Universal has announced White Noise for 5/17 (I must have blinked and missed its theatrical release). The studio has also moved the street date for Seed of Chucky to 6/7. By the way, look for them to announce Meet the Fockers early next week as well.

Around the Net, the Disney Database website has compiled all the artwork that's been floating around for Disney's upcoming Cinderella: Platinum Edition. Nothing has been officially released yet by the studio, so any one (or none) of these could be the final design. Still, cool to see. Should get your blood pumping if you're a classic animation fan.

In other news, Bits reader Chris M. sends word that the trailer for Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is now up at the film's official site in a much larger Quicktime version. Just click on that "larger trailer" button for your choice of viewing options. Man... the DVD for this flick had better kick ass...

By the way, the trailer for Frank Miller's (and Robert Rodriguez's) Sin City is now up at the official site for that film as well. Todd and I are certainly intrigued.

Given that it's Friday, you know what that means. Yep, my weekly plug for Star Trek: Enterprise and Battlestar Galactica. Both keep getting better and better, so tune in and enjoy.

Back on Monday! Peace out.


How's about an early post today? Something for you East Coast guys to enjoy over your morning coffee for a change.

Universal has announced that it expects to release Quantum Leap: The Complete Third Season on 5/10 (SRP $49.98). You'll get all 22 episodes in their original full frame video, with Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio. No word yet on extras.

Also, Paramount will release the original 1974 version of The Longest Yard: Lockdown Edition on 5/10. You can also look for the one-hour special The Carol Burnett Show: Let's Bump Up The Lights! on 5/3.

And Warner's announced Everybody Loves Raymond: The Complete Third Season and Gilmore Girls: The Complete Third Season for release on 5/3, with Year of the Dragon following on 5/31.

By the way... this would normally go in The Rumor Mill, so take that into consideration. But sources are telling us to expect Lions Gate to release Kevin Spacey's Beyond the Sea sometime in June. We're also expecting Universal to announced Meet the Fockers for release on April 19, with In Good Company following on April 26th. Just FYI.

Around the site this morning, we've updated the CEA DVD Player Sales data with the final totals for the month of January. Some 669,389 players shipped to retail during the 4-week period. All charts have been updated accordingly.

Here's a little bit more cover art. Paramount's The Longest Yard: Lockdown Edition and the theatrical version of the Team America World Police: Special Collector's Edition (5/17), along with MGM's Steve McQueen Collection (also due 5/17)...

The Longest YardTeam America World Police: Special Collector's EditionSteve McQueen Collection

Stay tuned...


Now, I've no doubt some of you are already excited having read the headline above. But the rest of you are wondering, "HHGTTG? What in Zarquon's name is that?" It's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, baby... and the full trailer for the long awaited film is FINALLY online over at Amazon! Gotta tell you, I'm a Douglas Adams fan from WAY back in the very early 80s, when his BBC radio show and books first broke over here on this side of the Pond. It's funny... while Todd was visiting L.A. from Atlanta over the holidays, he, Sarah and myself happened to stop by an old book store and I found a SIGNED copy of So Long and Thanks for All the Fish. Damn near wet myself. It goes without saying that I'm looking forward to this flick as much if not more than Star Wars: Episode III. So enjoy the trailer, 'cause I sure did.

Some other news today - HBO has finally announced the DVD release of Six Feet Under: The Complete Third Season for 5/17 (SRP $99.98). The 5-disc set will deliver all the episodes in anamorphic widescreen video, with Dolby Digital 5.1 & 2.0 audio. Extras will include audio commentary with show creator Alan Ball (and the writers and directors) on 5 episodes, the A Birdseye View of the Third Season interview featurette with Alan Ball (including the original HBO trailer) and more.

Also today, MGM has officially announced the DVD release of Hotel Rwanda, the film Don Cheadle's been getting all kinds of acclaim for recently, on 4/12 (SRP $19.95). Look for anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, the A Message for Peace: Making Hotel Rwanda and Return to Rwanda documentaries, selected scene commentary by Don Cheadle, select commentary with musician Wyclef Jean, and full-length audio commentary by director Terry George and the real-life subject of the film, Paul Ruesabagina.

Here's cover art for Six Feet Under: The Complete Third Season, Hotel Rwanda and New Line's Blade: Trinity - Platinum Edition Unrated Version (4/26)...

Six Feet Under: The Complete Third SeasonHotel RwandaBlade: Trinity - Platinum Edition Unrated Version

We're working on some more reviews and such things for the rest of the week, so stay tuned...

(LATE UPDATE - 2/15/05 - 4:15 PM PST)

We're back as expected this afternoon with another great Classic Coming Attractions column from our own vintage film expert, Barrie Maxwell. In this edition, Barrie reviews some 14 classic titles newly released on DVD, including Warner's Little Caesar, The Public Enemy, The Petrified Forest, Angels with Dirty Faces, The Roaring Twenties, White Heat (contained collectively in the Warner Bros. Pictures Gangsters Collection) and Random Harvest, Paramount's The Matchmaker and A New Kind of Love, Columbia's We Were Strangers, Bunny Lake is Missing and My Sister Eileen, Fox's Return to Peyton Place and Shanachie's Across the Bridge. Some great stuff there, so enjoy.

Also today, we've kicked off a pair of new Contests, giving each of you the chance to win copies of Warner's Murphy Brown: The Complete First Season, Full House: The Complete First Season and Night Court: The Complete First Season, as well as Universal's The Motorcycle Diaries. Entries will be accepted until Noon PST, on Sunday, February 20th. Click on the links to get started, and good luck!

Back tomorrow. Stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 2/15/05 - 11:30 AM PST)

Well, as expected, it seems that Star Trek fans are not taking UPN's cancellation of Enterprise lightly. If you open up a copy of the L.A. Times today, you'll find a full page ad encouraging people to contact Viacom president Leslie Moonves (who made the cancellation decision) and the head of Paramount Network Television to save the show (see story here), as well as the VP of the Sci-Fi Channel about picking it up. The ad contains cutout, pre-addressed forms that you can sign and mail to each of the above. The ad also announces a rally outside the Paramount studio gates on February 25th (at 9 AM PST). It's been suggested to me by insiders that if enough people attend and make their presence felt, some of the cast and crew will come out to say hello and to show their support as well. We also understand that a rally is planned outside CBS and Viacom headquarters in New York City as well, starting at 8 AM (EST) on February 21st.

I mention all this, because based on the amount of e-mails I get from you I know there are a LOT of you Trek fans out there who work in the entertainment industry in BOTH New York and L.A. who read this website. So come on guys... it's time to lay a little rubber on the road. What's say we all have a sudden case of "blue flu" and turn out in force on the 21st and 25th? You never know what might happen. In the Internet age, an organized and riled-up fan base can be a powerful thing.

Our hats off to the folks at SaveEnterprise and The Enterprise Project for putting all this together.

We'll be back shortly with a new Classic Coming Attractions column from our own Barrie Maxwell. Stay tuned...


Morning, everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend, and that you have a wonderful Valentine's Day planned. Gotta remember to appreciate the ones you love once in a while, right?

We have a couple things for you today. First up, we'd be remiss if we didn't take a moment to acknowledge the passing of playwright Arthur Miller on Thursday. Among his writings were such landmark stage works as The Death of a Salesman and The Crucible. Miller also wrote the screenplay for ex-wife Marilyn Monroe's last film, The Misfits. He was 89.

In DVD news today, New Line has announced the release of the 2-disc Blade: Trinity - Platinum Edition on 4/26. Separate R-rated and Unrated versions will be available (SRP $29.95 each), both of which will include a limited edition Marvel comic book. The Unrated edition will feature 10 minutes of added footage - the film will be anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS ES 6.1 audio. The R-rated edition will feature both anamorphic widescreen and full frame video, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio (no DTS). Extras will include 2 audio commentary tracks with writer/director David Goyer (including one with actors Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds), the 16-part Daywalkers, Nightstalkers and Familiars: Inside the World of Blade: Trinity documentary, a blooper reel, an alternate ending, the Goyer on Goyer: The Writer Interviews the Director featurette and more. Visit the excellent Bloody Disgusting website for further details.

Meanwhile, Warner has officially announced the release of its recent musical remake of Phantom of the Opera for 5/3 (SRP $29.95). The 2-disc Special Widescreen Edition will include anamorphic widescreen video, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, 2 documentaries on the story and the musical's legacy, and 3 "making of" featurettes. A single disc edition will also be available (for $27.95) in both full frame and anamorphic widescreen versions.

Paramount has officially announced its Team America World Police: Special Collector's Edition for release on 5/17. Also available that day will be Team America World Police: Special Collector's Edition - Uncensored and Unrated. We'll have more details on features soon.

Speaking of Paramount, we have word that the studio's Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (due 4/26) will be available in THREE different versions: single disc full frame and anamorphic widescreen editions, as well as a 2-disc special collector's edition. Among the extras you'll get are audio commentary with director Brad Siberling, deleted scenes, "making of" featurettes and more. We'll post all the details as soon as they come in.

Also today, Columbia TriStar/Sony Pictures has announced the release of Wild Things: Diamonds in the Rough, a Wild Things Box Set (including Wild Things: Unrated, Wild Things 2 and Wild Things: Diamonds in the Rough), Leonard Part 6 (staring Bill Cosby), Cirque du Soleil: Solstrom Superbit Edition (5 discs), Trading Spaces: Creative Home Decor with Designer Doug Wilson and Trading Spaces: Great Kitchen Designs and More!, all for 4/26.

And in an interesting bit of news, Sony has also announced that it plans to release movies in a "mini-disc" format compatible for viewing on the new Sony PSP (PlayStation Portable) game system. Titles are expected to be available within a month of the PSP's 3/24 launch date here in the U.S., and will include XXX, Hellboy, Resident Evil 2 and Once Upon a Time in Mexico. Spider-Man 2 will actually be bundled with the first 1 million units of the PSP - a nice little perk.

In other news, The Washington Post has a good story today on how the industry is finally starting to see the light on downloading. According to many industry observers (and at least some insiders as well), digital downloads are arguably the future of music consumption - not DVD-Audio, SACD, DualDisc or ANY other new physical formats. Interesting. Now if we could just get high-resolution/multi-channel downloads, we'd really have something.

Around The Bits today, we've updated the CEA DVD Player Sales chart with the final numbers for December and 2004 (just in from CEA!), along with all the other DVD format stats we track (above). Some 1,653,278 players were shipped to retailers here in the States in the month of December, bringing the final total for 2004 to a hefty 19,999,913 units. This is the second highest yearly total in the history of the format (2003's total was slightly higher, at 21,994,389 units). That, plus the sales numbers for the first three weeks of January 2005 (382,306 units), takes the U.S. Grand Total (format to date) to a whopping 86,095,346 players. All charts have been updated accordingly.

We'll leave you today with a bit of new DVD cover art. Here's Fox's Elektra (4/5), Warner's Phantom of the Opera: Special Widescreen Edition and Paramount's Team America World Police: Special Collector's Edition - Uncensored and Unrated...

ElektraPhantom of the Opera: Special Widescreen EditionTeam America World Police: Special Collector's Edition - Uncensored and Unrated

Back tomorrow with more. Stay tuned!

(LATE UPDATE - 2/11/05 - NOON PST)

We're closing out the week with cool news for you Trek fans - Paramount has officially announced the special features on the DVD release of Star Trek: Enterprise - Season One (due on 5/3 - SRP approx. $100). The 7-disc set will include all 26 episodes in anamorphic widescreen video with Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 audio (plus English subs and closed captioning), along with audio commentary on Broken Bow (the series pilot) by producers Brannon Braga and Rick Berman, text commentary on Broken Bow, The Andorian Incident and Vox Sola by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda, deleted scenes, Enterprise outtakes (9 mins) and 7 behind-the-scenes featurettes including Creating Enterprise (12 mins), O Captain! My Captain! A Profile of Scott Bakula (10 mins), Cast Impressions: Season One (12 mins), Inside Shuttlepod One (8 mins), Star Trek Time Travel: Temporal Cold Wars and Beyond (8 mins), Enterprise Secrets (2 mins) and Admiral Forrest Takes Center Stage (5 mins). The total running time for the set's episodes is a little over 19 hours. As with previous Trek DVD sets, we expect there will be another Best Buy/Media Play-exclusive bonus disc (we'll post details on that as soon as they're available).

Look for more audio commentaries, deleted scenes and the like on Seasons Two, Three and Four when they're released later in 2005 (on 7/12, 9/6 and 11/1 respectively - dates official but subject to change).

Star Trek: Enterprise - Season One

On that note, be sure to set your TiVos for new eps of Enterprise and Battlestar Galactica tonight!

More DVD release news - Universal will deliver a Marlon Brando 4-Movie Collection on 5/31 (SRP $26.98), which will include The Night of the Following Day, The Ugly American, A Countess from Hong Kong and The Appaloosa. All will be presented in anamorphic widescreen video with Dolby Digital 2.0 mono audio. Extras will include theatrical trailers for each film, and The Night of the Following Day will have commentary with director Hubert Cornfield as well.

That same day Universal will also release The Gary Cooper Collection (SRP $26.98), including Design for Living, Peter Ibbetson, The General Died at Dawn, Beau Geste and The Lives of a Bengal Lancer. All will be full frame with Dolby Digital 2.0 mono audio. Extras (if any) are TBA.

Also, Disney has announced the direct-to-DVD animated Tarzan II on 6/14 (SRP $29.99).

We'll wrap things up today with some hot new cover art... Paramount's Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (4/26) and Suspect Zero (4/12) and Warner's The Big Red One: Special Edition (5/3), Rebel Without a Cause: Special Edition, East of Eden: Special Edition and The Complete James Dean Collection (all 5/31)...

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate EventsSuspect ZeroThe Big Red One: Special Edition

Rebel Without a Cause: Special EditionEast of Eden: Special EditionThe Complete James Dean

That's it for today. Have a great weekend and we'll see you Monday (don't forget... it's Valentine's Day)!

(EARLY UPDATE - 2/11/05 - 12:01 AM PST)

Morning all! We're hitting you up with an early post today, just to keep you off balance.

The big deal this morning is that Todd's finally back! In fact, not only is he back, but we're kicking off his new Doogan's Views Blog to boot! Todd chimes in today with a review of Synapse's new Budo: The Art of Killing DVD and a film review as well... Ong Bak. With this new Blog, Todd should be able to check in a lot more often. Just bare with us while we get the Blog's formatting up to speed. FYI, all of Todd's previous columns can be accessed here (or by clicking on the Doogan's Views - Archive text on the side of his Blog page).

Also, Lindsay Planner has a quick review of Nick Drake's A Treasury on SACD over at MusicTAP.

While you're over there at TAP, Matt's also also posted word that Sting's Bring on the Night (directed by Michael Apted) will be released on DVD on 3/29 by A&M. There's also a whole mess of R.E.M. DualDiscs due from Rhino on on 3/1, including Green, Out of Time, Monster, Automatic for the People, New Adventures in Hi-Fi, Up, Reveal, Around the Sun and In Time: The Best of R.E.M..

Back with more later this morning. Stay tuned!


The big news today (no, not the North Korean nuke thing, although that's certainly got us plenty creeped out) is actually news from yesterday - the DVDX Award winners have been announced. In a ceremony on Tuesday night in Hollywood, sponsored by DVD Exclusive, the winners of this year's DVD awards were announced as follows in these top categories:

Overall DVD, New Movie (including all bonus features)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - Special Extended Edition (New Line/Warner)

Overall DVD, Classic Film (including all bonus features)
Star Wars Trilogy (Fox)

Overall DVD, TV Program (including all bonus features)
Seinfeld: Seasons 1 & 2 (Sony)

Overall DVD, Music Program (including all bonus features)
Hilary Duff: The Girl Can Rock (Disney)

Best Deleted Scenes, Outtakes and Bloopers
Capturing the Friedmans (HBO/Warner)

Best Behind-the-Scenes Program
Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy - Kevin Burns
Star Wars Trilogy (Fox)

Best Audio Commentary
Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - Special Extended Edition (New Line/Warner)

Best New Movie Scenes
Peter Jackson
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - Special Extended Edition (New Line/Warner)

Best Menu Design
Van Ling
Star Wars Trilogy (Fox)

Several additional awards were also announced. Click here to see the complete list. Congratulations to all!

Now then... here's the real goodies we have for you today: We've just updated The Rumor Mill again with new information on a number of great upcoming Paramount titles, including Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Team America: World Police, Titanic: Special Collector's Edition and more. We've also got an update on the status of Star Trek: The Animated Series (a lot of you have been asking about it these last couple of days). There's some good stuff in there, so don't miss it.

We also wanted to let you know that Matt over at our MusicTAP site has posted the results of his Best of 2004 Reader Survey, compiling reader opinions (via e-mail) on the best music releases of 2004. There are some very interesting titles on the list. It's well worth a read, so enjoy!

Back in a little bit with more. Stay tuned...

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