For November 1991
Pioneer LDCA, Inc. has obtained the exclusive laserdisc distribution rights for all future LIVE Home Video/Carolco Home Video product.
Of the first batch of titles announced, the big news is Terminator 2: Judgment Day, set for release on December 11. It will be available in both CLV letterbox and pan & scan editions, each retailing for $29.95. Also available will be a special limited edition, individually numbered, 4-disc CAV box set, which includes the "behind-the-scenes" feature The Making of Terminator 2 (it retails for $89.95).
Other announced titles include Dream Machine, Drop Dead Fred, Iron & Silk, JuDou (subtitled), Mannequin Two: On the Move and Truth or Dare (letterboxed), all of which retail for $34.95.
LIVE/Carolco was formerly distributed by Image Entertainment, and Image retains the laserdisc rights for all previously-released LIVE/Carolco titles.
The long-awaited letterboxed edition of Aliens has an official release date of December 18, 1991. This exclusive widescreen collector's edition appears as a four-disc, seven-sided, CAV presentation, featuring a digital mastered film-to-tape transfer personally supervised by director James Cameron. This disc set includes 17 minutes of restored footage not seen in any theatrical or televised version (for a total running time of 154 minutes), a full-color insert including program notes and a viewer's guide to ancillary materials, and a full-blown Collector's Supplementary section. The disc also contains a digital Dolby surround stereo soundtrack and retails for $99.95 (Catalog No. 1504-85).
The restored footage includes such scenes as: trial scenes with Ripley losing her officer's license; footage of the planet before devastation and the company "generously" allowing anyone to keep what they find; Newt's family finding the alien ship and her father becoming "infected"; the real fate of Burke; and a bunch of other neat stuff.
The Supplementary Collector's Section includes an exclusive interview with director James Cameron, screenplay excerpts, rare production photographs, annotated history of the film, behind-the-scenes footage, and a presentation of original visual effects storyboards and artwork.
The long-awaited letterboxed edition of Alien will follow in a similar CAV edition with extra footage and supplementary materials, but it will probably not be ready for release until sometime early next year. Details on this title will be forthcoming.
Over the past couple of years, many people have complained about how MGM/UA neglected to chapter stop any of their releases except for musicals and the rare non-musical disc. Well, there won't be anything to complain about any longer as MGM/UA is now including chapter stops on all their laserdisc product.
MGM/UA provides a ton of chapter markers for each disc, as well as a complete chapter listing on the jacket.
Recently, MPI Home Video has started producing and releasing their own product for release on laserdisc. Titles just released include ABC News: Presidents and First Ladies ($29.95); The Beatles: The First U.S. Visit ($39.95); Dark Shadows (inc. 3 separate programs: Scariest Moments, Behind the Scenes and Music Videos, $29.95); Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer ($39.95) and The Judds: We Can Build a Bridge (w/3-D sequences, inc. 2 pairs of 3-D glasses, $29.95).
Interested parties can also order these and future titles directly from the good folks at MPI Home Video by calling 1-800-323-0441 (they accept checks/money orders/major credit cards).
For the curious, here's a listing of the supplementary features of some upcoming Criterion Collection releases:
Citizen Kane: 50th Anniversary Edition (CAV): this edition features all the great extras contained on their original 1984 release (which have been redone and visually improved) in addition to an all-new frame-by-frame transfer, producing the best-looking Kane seen since the film's original release in 1941; a new and exclusive video tribute to Kane, featuring interviews with 35 great directors and cinematographers, including Peter Bogdanovich, Costa Gavras, Martin Ritt, Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott, Penelope Spheeris and Robert Townsend; and Robert L. Carringer's definitive visual essay, with original art, the original trailer, and over 200 additional photos, sketches and storyboards.
The Devil and Daniel Webster: the only complete version of the film available anywhere, containing 22 minutes of footage cut from the 1952 re-release and long believed lost; digitally transferred, fully restored and retimed shot by shot.
Midnight Cowboy: CAV letterboxed edition, exclusive audio commentary by director John Schlesinger and producer Jereome Hellman, behind-the-scenes production photos, and the original theatrical trailer.
Tootsie: CLV/CAV letterboxed edition, exclusive audio commentary by director Sidney Pollack, behind-the-scenes photos and footage, and complete coverage of Tootsie's tumultuous production.
As owners of the Star Trek - The Movies: 25th Anniversary Collection will know, the boxed set included an mail-in offer for three free Star Trek cloissone pins. Well, we finally received our pin set, and we weren't that impressed with them. The pins ARE well-made, but they're just plain unattractive and I sure wouldn't be caught dead wearing any of them.
Rather than the pins, we would have rather wished for an 8" disc containing the Star Trek theatrical trailers (which Paramount so thoughtfully included on the videotape collection, but obviously felt that disc owners wouldn't want them - thanks for nothing).
We don't normally discuss non-laserdisc-related products, but this one was so much fun (and it will no doubt be of interest to many of you) that we thought we'd break tradition and make mention of it.
Tales Of Hollywood is a neat 45-minute, surround stereo audio tape containing a number of humorous stories about the stars and legends of Hollywood, as well as adding in a gob of Los Angeles history. The tape also comes complete with full orchestration and sound effects to highlight the narrative.
My favorite story was the one about the New York premiere of Walt Disney's Pinocchio, where the studio hired a bunch of midgets to promote the film - they were all dressed up as Pinocchio and placed on top of the theatre marquee so they could wave to the passersby. The midgets soon became very drunk from studio-provided wine, stripped off their clothes, started yelling obscenities at the public, and had to be taken away by the police! Other stories include the strange origins of the studio founders, Hollywood's glorious silent era, the infamous Red Car system (believe it or not, L.A. once DID have the best public transportation system in the country!), and tales about such stars as Charlie Chaplin, Lucille Ball, Michael Jackson, Douglas Fairbanks and others.
Tales Of Hollywood retails for $8.95. Those of you interested in the tape and visiting Los Angeles can obtain it locally at Graumann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. If you require more information regarding the tape, or wish to order it, you can contact Stephen Schochet* at 6625 Green Valley Circle #208, Culver City, CA 90230, (213) 410-9157.
(* Editor's Note: Mr. Schochet has moved several times since the original publication of this articles, and is no longer at the listed address. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of Tales of Hollywood, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get you in contact with Mr. Schochet.)
Originally Published in "Pond Scum" #26
Last Updated: 11/30/97