For April 1997
"Tai Seng is planning to release Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) of Hong Kong films in the future, but not before pending issues such as copyrights, region coding and piracy prevention, and technical limitations are resolved. Because of the difference in region coding, the Asia-made DVDs will not be playable on US/Canadian DVD players and vice versa, therefore even if DVDs of Hong Kong films are available in Hong Kong, Tai Seng may not carry them because they are not compatible to the players in North America. We will announce DVD titles for US distribution should they become available."
- Tai Seng Video Marketing, Inc.
LATEST EDITION ANNOUNCED
The newest edition of the Laser Video Guide ($9.95) will be available at your local laserdisc retailer on May 16, 1997. This Summer 1997 (Vol. 2 #1) publication features:
Elite Entertainment has announced that two additional Hammer Film titles will be added to their forthcoming Hammer Collection laserdisc releases:
The following press release says it all:
"We are so enthusiastic abut our upcoming release of The Trial that we are having it pressed in a Special Gold Edition as an added incentive...The beautiful gold laserdisc will be a first for The Roan Group and will be used on selected releases in the future. This new added attraction is an effort to show our support to the laserdisc format." -- The Roan Group
|Pioneer has introduced a value-priced program for the laserdisc catalog titles. Over 300 titles are now permanently reduced to retail prices ranging from $14.98 to $29.98, and additional titles will be added each month. The following titles are now available at your local retailer at the new pricing:|
BETTY BOOP: THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION
|Due to consumer demand, Republic Pictures Home Video is releasing Betty Boop: The Definitive Collection, an eight-disc set containing 115 original Betty Boop shorts. This collection is packaged in two distinctive laserdisc volumes, each containing four discs. Each laserdisc features classic Betty Boop cartoon shorts which are themed around the various stages of her career. Also featured is a special tribute from Richard Fleischer, son of animation pioneer Max Fleischer.Each volume retails for $99.98, and is scheduled to be released on June 17, 1997.|
|Warner Home Video is recalling The Glimmer Man laserdisc (AC-3, LB, #14479) because of a defective AC-3 Track on side 2. Warner has announced a new pressing with a new ID# (#15326). No street date has been yet set for this corrected pressing.|
PLACED ON MORATORIUM
Effective May 30, 1997, all three laserdisc versions of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial will be placed on moratorium until further notice:
"NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD" TO DVD
Elite Entertainment, known for their restored laserdisc versions of classic horror/science-fiction titles, will be joining the DVD market this Spring with their first DVD title. Echoing their premiere laserdisc, Elite will be releasing the cult classic Night Of The Living Dead. on June 28, 1997.
Other DVD titles currently in the planning stages include Maniac, Re-Animator, Maniac Cop and Lady in White.
In 1968, director George A. Romero terrified moviegoers
around the world with visions of complete and utter horror - the bodies
of the recently deceased rising to seek human flesh. Now, 25 years later,
Night of the Living Dead is considered to be the forerunner of the modern day Horror flick.
This fully authorized DVD is remastered from the original 35mm camera negative
using THX technologies (it is one of the very first DVD titles mastered
and released through the THX Digital Mastering Program). Lock your doors
and board up the windows. "Look.....here comes one of them now!"
|Image Entertainment is recalling their recent DTS remastered laserdisc of Waterworld (#43118) because of a defect in the DTS audio track on side 2. Replacement discs will be available shortly.|
CLASSIC HAMMER FILM TITLES!!!
Fans rejoice! Elite Entertainment has made a deal to release 14 classic Hammer Film titles on laserdisc. As many film buffs are aware, Hammer is best known for their classic horror thrillers. All of these titles in this collection will be digitally transferred from Hammer's archival uncut elements, will retain their original theatrical aspect ratios, and many will feature supplementary materials.
The following first batch of Hammer titles is schedule for release during Spring 1997:
Elite Entertainment will also be releasing these following titles (information regarding disc features and release dates is forthcoming):
As if that wasn't enough, Elite has several other titles current in pre-production (disc features and release dates will be announced when available):
ANNOUNCES FIRST GROUP OF
Columbia TriStar Home Video will release its first group of four titles in the DVD format on April 29, 1997.
The initial DVD release slate will include Fly Away Home starring Oscar winner Anna Paquin and Jeff Daniels, In the Line of Fire starring Clint Eastwood and John Malkovich, Jumanji starring Robin Williams and Legends of the Fall starring Oscar-winner Sir Anthony Hopkins.
Retail price on the above titles should fall into the $24.98 to $26.98 range (although it should be noted that apparently all of the just released Warner/MGM titles are priced at $19.98 by retailers).
Columbia TriStar Home Video remains committed to releasing more than 20 titles during the first 12 months from the initial release of its DVD titles. Subsequent release packages will street on a regular basis, approximately every six to eight weeks. The next three release packages will consist of the following:
Each DVD will give consumers various playback options such as dubs in Spanish and French, subtitles in Spanish and Korean, English closed-captions and chapter stops. Attractive onscreen menus are included to provide clear and easy access to these options. In addition, Columbia TriStar Home Video releases will feature Dolby Digital 5.1 multi-channel sound whenever possible. This feature maximized the potential of even the most sophiticated home theater equipment.
Columbia TriStar Home Video releases will be authored at the Sony Picture digital authoring facility in Culver City, California.
Additionally, to meet the needs of retailers and consumers during this initial release phase, Columbia TriStar Home Video will be offering each DVD release in two package formats - the "VSDA-recommended size package" (the "keep case", a plastic-and-cardboard case roughly about the size of a very thin paperback book) and the traditional jewel case similar to that used by the music industry today (i.e., the hard, clear plastic case used for compact discs).
Columbia TriStar Home Video say they are committed to providing as many titles as is possible in the DVD format, including new theatrically released feature films.
JOINS FORCES WITH ENCORE ENTERTAINMENT
The English (PAL) laserdisc industry received a welcome boost a short while ago with the announcement that Buena Vista Home Entertainment joined forces with Encore Entertainment, England's largest larserdisc distribution company. This union will result in a host of new titles appearing from March onwards on the PAL laserdisc format.
March and April will see the release of the following blockbuster films from the Touchstone, Miramax and Hollywood Pictures labels:
as well as the following Disney animated titles:
A move that brings more family entertainment than ever before into the PAL laserdisc marketplace, this latest deal also serves to strengthen Encore Entertainment's leading position in the industry.
Disney is delighted to be working with Encore Entertainment. "We have considered the laserdisc format very carefully and have spent many months discussing our options with Encore Entertainment," said James Thickett, Marketing Director for BVHE, Disney's home entertainment division. "We are now looking forward to March when the first Disney, Touchstone, Hollywood Pictures and Miramax titles will appear on laserdisc."
"It has long been my ambition to see the Disney Classics on the laserdisc format," commented Stephen Haynes, Managing Director of Encore Entertainment. "This is a great start to 1997 - a year when laserdisc will truly deliver to all of its fans."
Discs will be priced from £24.99 to £34.99, and virtually every title will come with an original theatrical trailer or a "making-of" documentary. In the case of Pulp Fiction, two of the original scenes which were later deleted have also been included.
Further titles resulting from this deal will be announced later this year.
An effort is currently underway by Anime Fans around the nation to gather support for the release of the entire Kimagure Orange Road TV Series from Japan in subtitled form on LaserDisc and VHS in the United States.
AnimEigo has stated that they can obtain the rights to the series. However, due to the large cost involved in licensing the whole series, they need to be sure that there are a sufficient number of people who will buy such a set prior to any licensing agreements.
AnimEigo has stated that the magic number is 1,500 - if they can get 1,500 people to pre-order the entire series, they will undertake the licensing and mastering duties. The set would be available in two forms: on laserdisc ($400 estimated cost) and VHS tape ($360 estimated cost). At least 500 of the orders must be received for the laserdisc set in order for a laserdisc set to be manufactured. There will be a total of 12 laserdisc/tapes in the set.
AnimEigo has a form located here (click me!) for people wishing to express their interest in ordering the set. Once enough people show interest, they will contact you to confirm your order. You will be charged 50% when they commence preproduction on the set, and the remainder will be due upon shipment. Pre-production is expected to take about 8 months.
AnimEigo replacements for defective discs. If there are any leftovers remaining, they will become available to the general public for sale at a higher price.
As of April 1, 1997, 292 people have signed up (228 for the laserdisc version, 64 for the tape).
FILMS IN JAPANESE
"SLEEPY EYES OF DEATH" SERIES
AnimEigo has begun releasing the Japanese Sleepy Eyes of Death live-action film series as part of their Samurai Cinema collection of laserdisc titles.
Sleepy Eyes of Death is one of the longest-running and best-loved samurai series of all times, comprising 13 films. Raizo Ickikawa (who died at the age of 37) masterfully portrays Nemuri Kyoshiro, "the son of the Black Mass," a half-breed warrior in search of a perfect death, driven by his hatred of Christianity and the society in which he lives.
Like all of AnimEigo's Samural Cinema releases, Sleepy Eyes of Death is uncut, unedited, and presented in the original theatrical aspect ratio. "Not a single drop of blood has been omitted!" The first film in the series, The Chinese Jade, was released this past January 1997 (#AD097-10, $35.95). The current release schedule has the remaining twelve films being released at the rate of one every four months, with titles having an expected retail price of $35.95.
The other films in the series include:
The following recently-announced U.S. titles were cancelled during April 1997:
The following U.K. titles from Elite Entertainment have been discontinued:
The following U.S. titles have been discontinued:
Last Updated: 11/30/97