Announcements from Columbia
Columbia continue their busy release schedule with the recent announcement of a multitude of titles for the rest of this year and next.
Firstly, Columbia will release Luc Besson's 1985 thriller Subway on the 6th of November. The movie stars Christopher Lambert as a safe-blower hiding out in the Paris Metro system whilst extorting money from Helena (Isabelle (Possession) Adjani). The film is already available in R1 on an inexpensive but pan & scanned DVD released by UAV, however Columbia's version will include an anamorphic widescreen transfer, English and the original French 2.0 surround audio tracks, English subtitles, production notes and trailers. The retail price will be $24.95.
Columbia will also release a three-disc special edition of the 1982 Civil War mini-series The Blue and the Gray on the 6th of November. One of many series (along with, for example, 1985's North and South) that depicted life in America during the period when North was cast against South, this six-and-a-half hour epic starred, amongst many others, Gregory Peck, Stacy Keach and Geraldine Page (The Beguiled). The Blue and the Gray DVD set will feature digitally remastered audio and video in the original televised fullscreen ratio and mono audio track. There will be no extra features. The set will retail at a bargain $27.95.
The 13th of November sees the release of the comedy The Cheap Detective. Directed by Robert Moore (Murder by Death), written by Neil Simon and starring Peter Falk (Columbo), the movie was released in 1978 and is a spoof of Bogart movies such as The Maltese Falcon. The disc will feature an anamorphic widescreen and full frame transfers, English and Spanish mono audio tracks, "A Conversation With Neil Simon" featurette, talent files and trailers. The retail price will be $19.95.
Previously announced for the 20th of November, The Breed will retail at $24.95 and will feature anamorphic widescreen and full screen transfers, English 5.1 and 2.0 surround audio tracks, an audio commentary with director Michael Oblowitz and actor Adrian Paul (Highlander: Endgame), talent files and trailers. Released this year in America, the movie sees an FBI Agent (Bokeem Woodbine) assigned to track a renegade vampire that plans to expose a government plan to integrate vampires into everyday society.
Columbia continue their release of Barbra Streisand movies with The Owl and the Pussycat on the 27th of November (along with the previously announced Funny Girl and The Prince of Tides on the 23rd of October and 6th of November respectively). This 1970 comedy, directed by Herbert (Steel Magnolias) Ross and co-starring George Segal (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) and Robert Klein, sees Streisand starring as a prostitute locked in a war of words with her neighbour (Segal). The disc will retail at $19.95 and feature an anamorphic widescreen transfer, English and French mono audio tracks, closed captioning, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean and Thai subtitles, filmographies and trailers.
Paul (Down and Out in Beverly Hills) Mazursky's 1984 comedy-drama Moscow on the Hudson will also be released on the 27th of November, again at a retail price of $19.95. The disc will feature a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and full frame transfers, English 4.0 and 2.0 surround audio tracks, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean and Thai subtitles, closed captioning, an audio commentary by Mazursky and trailers. Starring Robin Williams and Maria Conchita Alonso (The Running Man), Moscow on the Hudson tells the tale of a Russian musician (Williams) who must come to grips with a new life after defecting during a trip to America and falling in love with an Italian immigrant (Alonso).
Nominated for the 2000 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, Divided we Fall is also released on the 27th of November. Directed by Jan Hrebejk and starring Bolek Polivka, Csongor Kassai, Jaroslav Dusek and Anna Siskova, the acclaimed drama about a Czechoslovakian couple whose village is taken over by Nazis during World War II will be presented in anamorphic widescreen and Czech 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital surround audio tracks with English subtitles, with filmographies and trailers as extras, and will retail at $29.95.
The last title announced for release on the 27th of November is Zhang (Raise the Red Lantern)Yimou's award winning The Road Home. Zhang Zi Yi (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) stars in this romantic drama of a young man returning to the village of his childhood following his father's death, where he learns the story of his parents' love affair in a time where arranged marriages were the expected start to family life. The disc will feature anamorphic widescreen and full frame transfers, Mandarin and French Dolby Digital 5.1 surround audio tracks, English and French subtitles, filmographies and trailers. The retail price will be $29.95.
The 4th of December will see the release of this year's panned John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars, which is not released at UK cinemas until the 30th of November. Starring Natasha Henstridge, Ice Cube and Jason Statham, the movie is set 200 years in the future and sees an intergalactic cop (Henstridge) and her team escorting a dangerous criminal (Cube) to an incarceration centre on Mars. Needless to say, things do not proceed entirely as planned when they reach Mars... The disc will feature an anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen transfer, English 5.1 and English and French 2.0 surround and subtitle tracks, an audio commentary with director John Carpenter (which alone will arguably be worth buying the disc for), three featurettes entitled "Video Diary: Red Desert Nights," "SFX Deconstructions" and "Scoring Ghosts of Mars," production notes, talent files and trailers. The retail price will be $24.95.
Columbia will also release a few movies which have earned the title "cult classic" and a couple of others that honestly never will on the 4th of December. The movies are 1982's Silent Rage directed by Michael Miller and starring Chuck Norris and Ron Silver, 1983's Spacehunter: Adventures In the Forbidden Zone directed by Lamont Johnson and starring Peter Strauss (Soldier Blue) and Molly Ringwald, 1984's Sheena directed by John Guillermin (The Towering Inferno) and starring Tanya Roberts, 1987's White Water Summer directed by Jeff Bleckner and starring Kevin Bacon, 1993's Weekend at Bernie's II directed by Robert Klane and starring Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman, and 1994's Mixed Nuts directed by Nora Ephron and starring Steve Martin. All of these discs will feature anamorphic widescreen and full screen transfers, English 2.0 surround audio tracks (except for Silent Rage, which is presented in mono only), and trailers. Each disc will retail at $19.95
Next up are the next three titles in Columbia's controversial Superbit series, due for release on the 11th of December at $27.95 each. Like the previously announced Superbit releases, there will be no extras since the entire disc space will be used for improved picture and sound (which again will be both DTS and Dolby Digital). The three titles are Gattaca, The Patriot and Bram Stoker's Dracula. Reviews of the current R2 Columbia releases can be found by clicking the relevant links.
The Daman Wayans comedy Blankman, released in 1994 and directed by Mike Binder, will be released on the 8th of January 2002. Blankman stars Wayans (The Last Boy Scout), along with David Alan Grier and Robin Givens, as an inventor who discovers a way to make his clothes bulletproof and becomes a crime-fighting superhero. The disc will retail at $24.95 and will feature an anamorphic widescreen and full frame transfers, English 5.1 and English and French 2.0 Dolby Digital surround audio tracks, production notes and trailers.
In a major oversight on my behalf, it has come to my attention that I never actually posted the specifications of Columbia's 2-disc Special Edition of Monty Python and the Holy Grail - sorry about that! Anyway, in case anyone reading this somehow hasn't read the full specifications, the 1975 classic will be released on the 23rd of October at a retail price of $29.95. The set will feature a new high definition widescreen transfer, English Dolby Digital 5.1 and mono audio tracks, English, French and Spanish subtitles, a subtitle track for "People Who Don't Like the Film" - taken from Shakespeare's Henry IV, part II, and the following extras:
- Commentaries by Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones, plus "general complaints and back-biting" by John Cleese, Eric Idle & Michael Palin
- "Follow The Killer Rabbit" Feature
- A special version for the Hard of Hearing
- "A glorious extra 24 seconds absolutely free"
- On-screen Screenplay allowing you to read it while you watch the movie
- Three sing-alongs
- "The Quest for the Holy Grail Locations" documentary with Michael Palin and Terry Jones
- "How To Use Your Coconuts" - an educational film
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail in Japanese, with English subtitles
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail In Lego
- "On Location with The Pythons" - an 18-minute location report made in 1974 by BBC Film Night (broadcast December 19, 1974)
- Interactive Cast Directory
- Terry Gilliam's original sketches plus posters
- Behind-the-Scenes Photos
- "A Load of Old Rubbish - a surprise package of mystery items specially included for the mentally challenged"
- Unused Locations & Ideas
- Weblinks for nerds
Sounds like a fantastic set!
And lastly, two titles where only the release dates are available. On the 4th of December the long-awaited Jerry Maguire Special Edition will be released, while on the 26th of December this year's (although I could not find a UK cinema release date) Two Can Play That Game is released. More details will be posted here when they become available.