Action movies have become increasingly sophisticated but the advent of CGI hasn’t completely taken over. The summer’s best threequels took radically different approaches: The Bourne Ultimatum was almost completely shot in camera; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End was a bravura usage of CGI. Then there was the summer’s one fourquel, Live Free or Die Hard, which relied heavily on practical effects to underscore that its hero was an analog guy in a digital world.
Hey Everyone, one of my studio friends sent over a review for Blade Runner. He’s a studio plant, but the review is good, and I’m interested in this DVD. I’ll admit, I never got the Blade Runner thing. I’ve tried to watch a couple of times in the past and can’t make it past the first 1/2 hour. I’m going to give it one more try when the new DVD set hits next week. My plant wanted to let you know that he does freelance stuff for Universal and has nothing to do with Warner Brothers. If he keeps up with the good review, I may give him his own byline. Continue reading Blade Runner – The Final Cut DVD Review from a Plant!
Hey Everyone, I’m finally getting around to starting that new HD column. Let’s start by saying at the moment I’m platform agnostic, I don’t particularly see much difference between Blu-Ray or HD-DVD. I actually have both, I use my PS3 to play Blu-Ray and a Toshiba A3 and X-Box HD-DVD Drive for my HD-DVD Player. When I have to choose formats, I generally select the HD-DVD version because I think the PS3 isn’t that great of a player and I do like the navigation features on HD-DVDs. The drawback to the 360 HD is the lack of HDMI support, no DVD upscaling and the fact that the 360 is loud as heck. A way to minimize the noise on the 360 is to make sure there’s no disk in the 360 itself. You still notice the sound, but it’s tolerable. But I love the 360 remote, it glows in the dark, nice big buttons and it has, gasp, a power off button. I’m mixed on the Toshiba, it’s certainly thinner and lighter than that monstrosity that was the A2, it takes about 30 seconds to load a disk and requires a firmware upgrade right out of the box – but I can’t get the damn thing to connect to the internet for the update. It came packed with 300 and Bourne Identity, two great films that truly show off the format. I am pissed at the miss-advertising, supposedly you get 5 free DVDs in the mail with a purchase. I bought my 360 HD-DVD in August and haven’t received squat, now I’m getting ready to fill out the forms for my 5 free HD-DVDs for my Toshiba purchase and am not holding my breath. To start this column off right, we have some great titles starting with. This amazing Harry Potter HD-DVD set from Warner Brothers.
Warner Brothers is releasing the ultimate Harry Potter movie collection. This set includes all five films in glorious HD and features a ton of extras including Special Trunk Packaging,Two-Disc Editions of Harry Potter 1-5,Harry Potter Interactive DVD Game,5 Collectible Bookmarks and16 Collectible Trading Cards. When are they going to finally include commentary tracks? This is a great set, but I wish they included the extended versions that were shown on TV. The movies already look amazing in standard def, so I fully expect to be blown away by the HD version and both the Blu-Ray and HD copies include true High-Def sound quality.
Wow, Fox has been taking it on the chin from Film Critics lately because this summer they started playing games with screening access and while they have been ticking me off with their new policy – it’s why I refused to see or review The Simpson’s Movie, I can’t fault the Home Video division, so with that said, we have five copies of the recently released Live Free or Die Hard Unrated, 2 Disc Special Edition DVD (what a mouthful) to giveaway! Check out our reviews of the movie here. To win, let us know what your favorite Bruce Willis film is, or your fondest memory of the Die Hard Trilogy. We’ll run this contest until December 12, 2007. On that date shoot us an email with your Full Name, Address, and User ID. Be sure to check out the amazing Blu-Ray version of LFDH, it includes an unlocked digital copy of the movie that you can play on your portable devices. And yes, I’m aware that I probably misspelled Kayay!
Hey, hey, we have another fantastic contest for you. Because we’ve been such good whores for all things BSG, the folks at Universal Home Video have given us five copies to give away. The DVD hits the street on Dec. 4 and will be a two disk extravaganza. This contest will run for the next two weeks. On Wednesday, Dec 12 shoot me an email with your full mailing address and User ID. That’s it. Post a comment about BSG, or the SCI-Fi Network for a chance to win, it’s that simple.
In the meantime check out some of these exclusive SFX shots! These shots are not your typical approved artwork, this comes directly from the pipeline of production at Universal Studios. Our source had a chance to meet with the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA editors, and they pulled this actual step-by-step visual effects sequence from the show. Warning, these are nice huge pictures. Continue reading Battlestar Galactica: Razor DVD Giveaway and Exclusive SFX Shots!!
Rescue Dawn is one of the year’s best films, don’t be surprised if Christian Bale doesn’t get some award nominations for his steller performance as Dieter Dengler, one of the first American pilots shot down during the early stages of the Vietnam War. Not only did he survive an horable ordeal but he managed to escape as well. Bale is absolutely amazing in this film, it’s a shame that it got lost in the summer blockbuster season. But courtesy of MGM Home video you have a chance revisit this excellent film and get a free copy of the DVD. I really hope MGM is smart enough to launch an award campaign around this film, it is one of the year’s best. Also you can check out my interview with Christian Bale, Director Werner Herzog, Steve Zahn and others. To win this DVD, read the Press release and leave a comment about your favorite Christian Bale movie and why. Personally I know many of you will say Batman Begins, but my favorite CB film is the little know Equilibrium he was really bad ass in that part. Then of course there’s American Psycho and his love of Huey Lewis and Phil Collins. We have five copies of this DVD the contest will run November 12 to 27, 2007. Continue reading Rescue Dawn DVD Contest!
Talk about triple dipping, one of my all time favorite movies – The Princess Bride has a yet another DVD Edition coming out in honor of its 20th anniversary. I think this DVD, this is a 2 disk feature packed set. I’m not sure what those features are, but it’ll probably contain everything that was on the last set, which was an AMAZING package! It’s one of the most flawless movies you’ll ever see – it has action, romance, drama, and is hysterically funny. I LOVE this film and if you don’t already own one of the many versions of this film.
Courtesy of our friends at MGM Home Video and the Geek Acres Podcast – run by long time EM Reader Doug Rapson you can win this DVD. I want to give this to someone who loves this film as much as me, so to win, post a comment about the film – extra points goes to comments about your first time seeing it and your fondest memory. This contest will run for 2 weeks from November 7, 2007 to Tuesday November 20th, 2007. I will select five winners at random, but to qualify you must post at least one comment here about The Princess Bride. This DVD hits the stores November 13, 2007!!
If you didn’t see Transformers in a theatre, you missed one of the biggest treats of this last summer’s crop of blockbusters. Simply put, Transformers is the best live action film to have been based on a line of toys, or an animated TV series.
Okay, kiddies… We’ve got all manner of strangeness for you, today. First up is Quentin Tarantino’s fusion of cars & babes flicks with slasher movies, Death Proof – in it’s extended [by which we mean full] version. Then there’s the new repackaging of the first two Resident Evil movies in what they’re calling the Resurrection Edition. Hey! Zombie dogs! Next we’ve got the original 3:10 To Yuma – a much different version than the recent, excellent film – but just as twisted. Finally, Jim Henson’s first full length feature with only puppets, the amazing The Dark Crystal – in this spiffy 25th Anniversary Edition!
Welcome to the first edition of our new semi-regular feature, “”Ask The DVD Executive.”” Our goal for this monthly feature is to take you behind the scenes of Studio Home Video departments. If you ever wanted to know how a studio selects pricing for DVDs, decide which DVDs will be released and when, like to find out the status on your favorite film property this feature is for you. The first guinea pig in this little experiment will be our friends at Paramount Home Entertainment.
EMI like to start all my interviews off with my basic overly broad question. Tell us who you are and why we’re speaking with you today? ParamountMartin Blythe, Vice President, Publicity for Paramount Home Entertainment. EMWhat exactly is your role in the home video group? ParamountMy primary role is liaison with the press (magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, the Web) although to be honest, much of that is filtered through PR agencies. I also work on corporate and trade PR, grassroots marketing efforts, stunts and events — retail and industry events included. These frequently involve working with actors, directors, producers and other interested parties. It’s a lot less glamorous than that of course; it’s mostly dealing with an endless stream of e-mails, phone calls and press releases. EMHow closely do you guys work with the studio proper on DVD releases? ParamountWe begin working on DVD releases before films have been released theatrically. The key reason for this is that it can take 6 months or more to get a DVD ready (allowing for shooting interviews, editing the bonus features and securing approvals, and then the technical areas of authoring, compression and replication). In short, DVD is a lot more complicated and expensive than VHS. EMHow do you decide DVD Pricing – especially on your boxed sets? For instance your Star Trek DVD Sets retail for more than $100, while a set like Buffy will cost $60. ParamountAlthough studios set wholesale prices, retailers decide what prices work for them. That is why we frequently don’t have SRPs (suggested retail prices). If you ask, well why are the wholesale prices high, the only answer I can give you is that it all depends on what the market will bear. Most high priced DVDs drop in price over time; the fans have to decide how urgently they need something. EMWell it’s been officially announced that the Indiana Jones Series is finally coming to DVD. What are your plans for it’s release, besides giving us a bunch of copies to give away (wink, wink, nudge, nudge…)? ParamountWe are still holding a few things up our sleeve on this one. Let’s just say that it will be our largest DVD marketing campaign ever. What I can tell you is that the three films have been through the most intensive technical clean-up process that I have ever seen. That doesn’t mean we have altered the films; only that extra care has been taken with these films to get them to the point where they look and sound incredible. EMWhy did it take so long for this series to finally see the light of day? ParamountWe weren’t in any hurry to release them to DVD and nor was Lucasfilm. In previous years we have released most of the crown jewels of the Paramount collection: The Godfather films, Forrest Gump, Braveheart, and so on. This year it is the turn of the Indiana Jones films and we’re gratified that DVD penetration rates are now reaching 50 million homes. It is the right time. EMDid you shoot all new material just for the DVD? What archival stuff will be on it? ParamountThe 4th disc contains new interviews with almost everyone involved in the three films and substantial archival material from Lucasfilm. There is some amazing material there but I can’t spill the beans just yet. It’s only June after all. EMHow difficult is it to go back and find all the original archival footage for a property like Indiana Jones? ParamountIt wasn’t that difficult since Lucasfilm have plenty of material. The dilemma was what to put on the 4th disc. But it’s also important for readers to know that by and large older films do not have a lot of archival material associated with them. It is not like we have a lot of material just sitting there in the vaults. This is an unusual case. EMHow closely was George Lucas and Steven Spielberg involved in the creation of this DVD Set? ParamountThey have been closely involved at every step of the way. That is how we do things. EMWill Paramount do a Theatrical re-release to coincide with the DVD release? ParamountNo EMOne of the complaints that I hear from people is that Paramount has always been lacking in the special edition department. How do you decide which DVDs get the Special Edition Treatment and which one doesn’t? Why doesn’t Paramount have a special DVD Brand for their “”super special DVDs,”” I.E. New Line’s “”Infiniti Series,”” or Columbia’s “”Superbit”” series? ParamountMany of our new theatrical releases are “”special editions”” – e.g. The Hours came out this week as a special edition. This complaint you are referring to is usually directed to our catalog releases and it’s true that we don’t often make special editions out of our catalog releases, but it’s a bottom line issue. Many fans have no idea of how the economics work and want their favorite obscure title to be a special edition when we won’t sell enough to recoup costs. I would also counter that we don’t often “”double-dip”” by re-releasing titles as special editions – I have heard just as much praise of Paramount for this policy. EMWhat are some of your other big tentpole releases for the rest of the year? What features can we look forward to? ParamountSome highlights, if not necessarily the largest titles, between now and the end of the year would be: CSI: Season 2, Shogun (the mini-series), a SpongeBob Squarepants box set, the original The Honeymooners TV series, some Hammer horror films, and Star Trek 5: Special Collector’s Edition. But that’s as much as I’m prepared to spill… Obviously there’s a lot more. EMNow that you can scratch Indiana Jones off your to-do list, what are the top 3 or 4 requests that have yet to hit the DVD Shelves? What is the status and the hold up?Paramount Frankly there’s not much left of the A titles. Once Upon a Time in the West and Reds are two that spring to mind (the former will beat the latter to market). Many fans are now requesting TV series or that we revisit some DVDs with Special Editions e.g. Titanic and Top Gun. Maybe those will come sooner rather than later. Or maybe not. One thing to bear in mind in this business is that things change! EMOut of all the movies, and film studios, which two films would YOU most like to see released on DVD? ParamountWell, they belong to another studio so I’m not going to name them! Feature byMichelle AlexandriaOriginal date – July 1, 2003