For May 1997
Adult DVD Plans!
In a decision that is sure to please many, LaserDisc Entertainment has announced their support of the DVD format. LaserDisc Entertainment will begin releasing their adult film product in the DVD format at the end of June 1997. Titles, disc features and prices are forthcoming.
Welcome aboard, LaserDisc Entertainment, and the best of luck!
First Two DVD Titles!
Republic Home Video has announced that they will be begin releasing DVD product in the near future. Their first two titles, Freeway (starring Keifer Sutherland, Reese Witherspoon, Dan Hedaya, Amanda Plummer and Brooke Shields) and Killer: A Journal of Murder (starring James Woods) will be released on August 19, 1997 at a $24.98 retail price. Disc features for these two titles are forthcoming.
It's great to see Republic Home Video join the DVD bandwagon, and they have some terrific catalog titles that we hope to see announced for DVD release sometime soon (like It's a Wonderful Life, Highlander: Director's Cut, Highlander 2: Renegade Version, The Quiet Man, and many more...).
Animation DVD - "Battle Arena Toshinden"
Central Park Media has made history as the first American company ever to release a Japanese Animation DVD with Battle Arena Toshinden, released on May 19, 1997 at $29.95 (Catalog #DUSM-1630). Battle Arena Toshinden can be viewed in English, Japanese, or Japanese with English subtitles (all audio is in stereo). The DVD also includes a story synopsis and bonus character profiles.
Currently, it appears that Battle Arena Toshinden is available only through Central Park Media directly. They are taking initial orders through their website (http://www.centralparkmedia.com), and are asking to allow several weeks processing time for these first orders. We have contacted Central Park Media for more release information regarding this title and distribution, and will keep you updated.
Central Park Media's annoucement is exciting, to say the least, especially considering their large catalog of Japanese Animation titles. We're hoping that Battle Arena Toshinden is a rousing success and that more titles will be forthcoming from them on DVD.
the DVD Bandwagon
UAV Entertainment, a supplier of budget-priced VHS tapes for chains such as Wal*Mart and Target, has announced that they are entering the DVD marketplace with nine of their popular titles.
Scheduled for release on July 15 are Deadly Peaks / Killer Volcanoes (documentary), Fists of Fury (pan & scan only), Invaders from Mars (1953), McLintok! (pan & scan only), Night of the Living Dead (1968), Red Sun, Royal Wedding (Fred Astaire), Where the Red Fern Grows, Young Hercules / Young Pocahontas (animated). All titles are in English only, contain no subtitles, will play in all regions (1-6), and are encoded for Dolby AC-3 stereo audio. The discs are all priced at $14.95 suggested retail and are packaged in a "keep case."
It is unfortunate that UAV is choosing to release the anamorphic widescreen version of Fists of Fury and McLintok! in pan & scan versions only. For those of you wishing to write to them stating that you want these DVDs properly letterboxed, address your letters to: UAV Corporation, 2200 Carolina Place, Ft. Mill, SC 29715, USA. Their telepone number is (803) 548-7300.
All of you who have been needlessly whining about Warner Bros.' cancellation of The Wild Bunch: Special Edition laserdisc can now rest easy - Warner has reannounced the title for an August 26, 1997 release. Contrary to what most of you have been hearing and/or believing, Warner did not "cancel" the laserdisc in favor of a DVD-only release. The original postponement was due to the lengthy process of compiling all the additional materials that will be present in the laserdisc collection, many of which will not be present on the already-announced DVD.
In addition to containing the restored, full-length, original 145m director's cut, The Wild Bunch: Special Edition (#14035, $129.98) also includes the following features:
We have heard several reports that Panasonic has issued a recall on its base DVD UNIT, the A-100. We are currently trying to get a confirmation of such a recall. The unit reportedly has the following problems:
One of our readers forwarded to us an e-mail from MGM/UA's Technical Dept. regarding audio problems that some people have been experiencing with their various DVD releases:
Another of our readers recently wrote to LucasFilm asking about the availability of the THX WOW! laserdisc. He kindly forwarded to us their reponse:
We just thought you might be interested...
"We have hundreds of masters to work from for laserdisc. We will continue to release lasers as long as our customers will support us. The Roan Group has no plans to release on DVD. We do not like the format for classic movies. Laserdisc has stood the test of time. Why change?"
- Cary M. Roan, The Roan Group
DUE TO RIGHTS PROBLEMS
The anticipated upcoming U.S. laserdisc releases of a number of Cult Video titles have been cancelled due to rights problems.The titles cancelled were 100 Girls by Bunny Yeager, Cannibal Holocaust, Eaten Alive and New York Ripper.
Although announced for release by Cult Video through U.S. distributor CAV Distribution, it was unfortunately discovered that Cult Video didn't actually have the U.S. distribution rights for these titles that they claimed to, thus no U.S. laserdisc release is forthcoming.
This problem does not affect Cult Video's release of The Betty Page Collection, however, which will be available in stores on May 13, 1997.
DVD SALES AND RENTALS
The Blockbuster Video chain has begun renting and selling DVD titles as of April 29, 1997. Initially, they have selected 97 stores throughout the United States to carry the DVD's. The first Blockbuster locations will be in the following cities and their surrounding area: Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.
As of April 29th, there will be approximately 40 titles in these stores for rental and sale. More titles will follow as they become available.
Please feel free to contact Blockbuster at 1-800-800-6767 if you have any further questions.
"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 laserdisc titles were cancelled during the month of May 1997:
The following DVD titles were cancelled during the month of May 1997:
The following laserdisc titles were discontinued during the month of May 1997: