THE NEWS

Will ROGER RABBIT live again?

Will XMEN 1.5 deliver the goods?

Will Hugh Grant ever see his face on the New Release shelf again?

Academy Award winning WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT will finally get the top shelf DVD release worthy of it when Touchstone releases it as a deluxe Vista Series 2-disc set, March 25.
Presented in THX certified 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen and 1.33:1 Fullscreen, with 5.1 DDS sound, the set will also feature a wealth of extras material. Here is the breakdown:

DISC 1 – FAMILY FRIENDLY
– 1.33:1 Fullframe version
– 3 short films – TUMMY TROUBLE, TRAIL MIX-UP and ROLLERCOASTER RABBIT
– WHO MADE ROGER RABBIT? – A kid friendly behind-the-scenes feature
– Interactive game – TROUBLE IN TOONTOWN

DISC 2 – FOR THE ENTHUSIAST
– 1.85:1 Widescreen version
– Audio commentaries from Robert Zemeckis and crew
– BEHIND THE EARS – An intensive making-of do*censored*entary
– THE VALIANT FILES – Photo galleries
– ON SET – The creation of a scene
– BEFORE AND AFTER – a look at a scene with and without animation elements
– TOONTOWN CONFIDENTIAL – Pop-up trivia track
– TOON STAND-INS – How to rehearse for a toon scene
– THE PIG HEAD SEQUENCE – Deleted scene

Just in time for Easter, kids! March 25!

Eddie Murphy stinker THE ADVENTURES OF PLUTO NASH will get yet another lease at life on December 24, when Warner Brothers releases the film to DVD. 5.1 DDS sound and a 1.85:1 AW transfer will be rounded out by extras including deleted scenes, a making-of doc, trailer and music video.

Another day to give thanks for being a Canucklehead!
The prototypical 1974 slasher classic BLACK CHRISTMAS will get the deluxe treatment from Canadian distributor Critical Mass. A no-frills pan n’ scan version is currently available, but Critical Mass is readying a new remastered 1.66:1 AW transfer featuring commentaries from Director Bob Clark and actors John Saxon and Keir Dullea, an alternate title sequence, still gallery, an interview with John Saxon, TV spots, a brand new do*censored*entary entitled BLACK CHRISTMAS REVISITED and a reversible cover featuring new artwork on one side and the original 1974 art on the other. This will be a CANADIAN region 1 release, so all you guys on the south side will have to order from us for a change. (There is an AMAZON.CA if you’re looking to order this one – also where I found SHAOLIN SOCCER and BIO ZOMBIE!)

Sony Music has ROBIN WILLIAMS: LIVE ON BROADWAY on deck for November 19.
Presented in a 4:3 Fullframe transfer with 5.1 DDS and PCM 2.0 stereo audio tracks, the extras include an interview with the funnyman and a BACKSTAGE BEFORE THE BROADCAST NOISES featurette.

Also on the list for November 19 is KORN LIVE which features 16 of the band’s hits also in Fullscreen and featuring 5.1 DDS and 2.0 PCM stereo tracks. Also included are behind-the-scenes footage, a discography and multi-angle on some chapters.

Wal-Mart has announced their soon-to-launch mail-order DVD rental service under the name WALMART DVD RENTALS (original!).
The new service will include 12,000 titles for rent, from indies and foreign films to new studio releases. A limited number of customers are being signed up now at www.walmart.com for a test phase, after which Wal-Mart plans to roll out the program nationwide next spring.

After screening Kurosawa’s IKIRU at this years Chicago International Film Festival, Home Vision Entertainment has announce that IKIRU will be released on DVD as part of the Criterion collection in 2003 with Home Vision taking distribution duties. The 1952 film follows a dying Japanese bureaucrat as he decides to do one great and meaningful thing before his death. Roger Ebert has endlessly championed this film and frequently commented that it has “one of the greatest closing shots in the cinema.”
Based on Criterion’s track record with Kurosawa films, you can bank on this being another amazing disc.

Fox Home Entertainment will release a 2-disc set entitled XMEN 1.5 COLLECTORS EDITION on February 11 presumably to drum up excitement for the May release of the sequel X2.
The 2-disc set will feature the same version of the film as the previous release (2.35:1 AW with 5.1 DDS and DTS sound) along with a new intro to the film by director Bryan Singer, 24 deleted scenes, and audio commentary from Singer, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and Hugh Jackman. Disc 2 will include another intro from Singer, 5 featurettes, 3 trailers, 13 TV spots, 11 Web ads, the X2 trailer and a behind-the-scenes look at X2.

Also from Fox H.E. is the Jennifer Aniston indie THE GOOD GIRL. The disc will include both AW and Fullscreen transfers with 5.1 DDS sound, audio commentary by Aniston, director Miguel Arteta and acclaimed writer Mike White, 9 deleted scenes, an alternate ending and the trailer. January 7.

Fox H.E. also has the Robin Williams creep-fest ONE HOUR PHOTO ready for debut January 28.
1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen transfer with 5.1 DDS sound, audio commentary by Williams and director Mark Romanek, a Charlie Rose interview with Williams, a Cinemax making-of and a Sundance Channel Anatomy of a Scene special, as well as trailers.

Finally from Fox is the M*A*S*H: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON set, on February 18.
This will be a three-disc set with all of the third season episodes presented in the original Fullframe with mono sound and no extras. The one interesting perk? You can watch the episodes with or without laugh track.

Last on my list today is the ongoing saga of ABOUT A BOY. Twice scheduled and twice postponed, hopefully the third time is the charm for the Nick Hornby adaptation that stars Hugh Grant.
After sorting out problems with rights to the song “Killing Me Softly”, the disc is now set for a January 7 release. Look for a scene-specific commentary from co-directors Chris and Paul Weitz, deleted scenes, an ‘English’ to English dictionary, ‘Santa’s Super Sleigh’ lyrics, music videos from Badly Drawn Boy as well as trailers and DVD-Rom content. Separate AW and Pan n’ Scan releases will be available.

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