For June 1997
and Contents of Issue 1:1
We wanted to say thanks to Robert Fuchs at SHORT cinema journal corp. for providing us with the
following information on their upcoming DVD product (we can't wait to see
Venice, CA (June 5, 1997) --- SHORT cinema journal, a bold new DVD publication distributed through Polygram Video, is coming to stores near you on June 24th. SHORT is the ultimate in independent filmmaking; on SHORT, every track is an article and every article is a short film. Each DVD issue is filled with more than an hour and a half of award winning short films, mind blowing animation, thought provoking documentaries, artistic monologues, challenging interviews and more.
SHORT is packed with unparalleled entertainment. The first DVD issue entitled "Invention" features the 24 minute short that inspired Sling Blade -- featuring Billy Bob Thornton and Molly Ringwald. Also included in issue 1: an interview and musical piece by two time Grammy Award winner John Lee Hooker; a passionate monologue by Musician/Performance Artist Henry Rollins; an Academy Award winning short film from Germany called Black Rider; award winning 3-D animation and 10 other great shorts. With interactive menus, crystal clear video, AC3 Dolby Sound, and alternate audio and video tracks on some of the short films, SHORT is a cinematic experience that needs to be seen to be believed - and it is only available on DVD.
inside SHORT 1:1 Issue: INVENTION
Experimental- Sponsored by Levi's
DUE TO MISSING SUBTITLES
Columbia TriStar's April laserdisc release of Big Night (#81016) has been recalled due to a subtitling error in which the subtitles were left off of the several Italian language sequences.
A remastered version of Big Night is scheduled for release on June 24, 1997 with a new catalog number (#25206).
Many of you have been wondering the delay has been with Star Trek: First Contact.
Pioneer has been stating that due to a mechanical defect with their machines that punch the center hole in laserdiscs, several titles will be unavoidably delayed.
This problem is currently causing a known delay in the release of Star Trek: First Contact (Paramount) and Young Master (Tai Seng), and will likely affect several other titles as well.
OPENS DVD WEBSITE
BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 3, 1997--To provide consumers with the latest DVD information and title offerings, Warner Home Video (WHV) is launching a DVD website. This interactive site will allow users to search by actor, genre or director, access background information on DVD titles and preview both theatrical trailers and sample interactive menus. The site also allows consumers to search for retailers in their area who carry DVD titles.
For the DVD novice, informational documents are available that discuss features and benefits, as well as answer general questions. Consumers will now have access to up-to-the-minute information on DVD titles at their fingertips.
The site also offers direct links to consumer electronic manufacturers where consumers can learn about DVD hardware. Similar in size and shape to a CD, DVD provides consumers with exceptional picture and theater-quality Dolby Digital(TM) Surround sound. This easy-to-use, highly collectible packaged medium, can deliver movies in multiple screen formats including the original, theatrical widescreen version.
In addition, an interactive, on-screen menu system allows DVD users to switch between multiple language tracks and/or subtitles, or choose to watch the original theatrical trailer, as well as explore material about the cast, director and making of the film.
DVD releases are available through selected retailers in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C. DVD titles carry a suggested retail price of $24.98.
RELEASING GODZILLA AND RELATED
MONSTER FILMS ON LASERDISC!
THE FUTURE IS DVD ONLY!
We initially heard of this several months ago, and thought we should mention it again since the word has apparently spread around a bit.
Japan's Toho Films, known for releasing the Godzilla series and numerous other science fiction and monster-related epics, is apparently going to stop issuing laserdisc versions of their titles in the near future.
Toho is rumored to be releasing a slew of titles in early 1998 in the DVD format only to capitalize on the new formats popularity.
The really bad news with this decision is that US Godzilla fans will theoreticallly no longer be able to import any titles, since the Japanese discs will likely be encoded for Region 2 only (unless we've very lucky and the discs are issued without the regional coding)!.
More information when we obtain it...
|We've heard rumors of this, but apparently a legit Hong Kong import DVD of Mr. Mumble was recently released and should be available shortly from your local import laserdisc dealer. Mr. Mumble is supposedly mastered directly from a theatrical print, which means that Cantonese and English subtitles will appear directly on the print. The disc will apparently retail for approximately $29.95 in the U.S. We'll publish more information when we receive it...|
RELEASED ON LD BY ELITE ENTERTAINMENT!
Well, here it is...the OFFICIAL announcement. However, if you're looking for particulars, the answer is WE DON'T KNOW ....yet.
Pre-production is now underway for what is sure to be one of the most popular laserdisc titles ever released from Elite Entertainment. If all goes well (and since when does that happen?) the plan is to release Evil Dead II towards the end of the summer. We are presently investigating all possible "extras" that might be included in the package. The one thing that we do know is that it is not our intention to put this title out for $89.95 or $99.95. Chances are it will wind up being a $59.95 title and comparable to our Re-Animator release as far as the amount of "extras" is concerned.
The exact pricing and info will be posted as soon as possible.
- Vini Bancalari, President, Elite Entertainment
VIDEO WRITE-IN CAMPAIGN
The following information comes from the "Babylon 5 FAQ" dated 05/24/97:
In Europe, Australia, and Japan, the Babylon 5 pilot movie has been released on home video (and on laserdisc in Japan, available as an import in the USA). A videotape of "A Voice in the Wilderness" is also available in these countries and in Russia. The first season and second seasons are available on tape in the UK and as an import elsewhere. Some season 1 episodes are now available in Australia.
In the USA, videotapes of the series will hopefully be appearing someday, though Warner Bros. seems to be hedging because they don't think there's a market for the tapes/discs. The fan club may be able to release the videos.
According to co-producer George Johnsen, Babylonian Productions is currently negotiation with WB on the idea of releasing B5 on the new DVD format, since B5 would be ideal for that format. Further details are not yet known.
Though it seems they can't be shown the light, you might wish to write a POLITE letter supporting the release on video to:
|Well, we knew it was only a matter of time, but the first import bootleg DVD has apparently been manufactured. Walt Disney's classic Lady and the Tramp was released last month in Hong Kong, which is one the major producers of bootleg media. This HK$49 disc supposedly does not have any regional codes, allowing it to be viewed in any player.|
THE SIXTH ANNUAL CONSUMER AWARDS
Consumer choices for the "Best of '96" in laserdisc, and a set of "Early Excellence" awards to the inaugural lineup of DVD titles, will be conferred at the Sixth Annual Consumer Awards gala to be held during the Video Software Dealers' Association (VSDA) annual convention in Las Vegas.
Making the presentations will be Leonard Maltin, film historian and critic for the popular Entertainment Tonight television program and the first winner of the OVDA's prestigious Laser Beam award, given to an individual or entity who has kept the light focused on video disc.
Set for Friday, July 11, 1997, at 4:30 p.m. in the Las Vegas Hilton, the annual gala is the industry's occasion to recognize the talent and creativity that have made optical video disc the premier
way to view movies in the home. Winners of the 1996 Consumer Laser Disc Awards competition will be recognized at the Sixth Annual awards gala to be held July 11 at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas.
Co-sponsored by LaserViews Magazine, Laser Video Guide, and the Optical Video Disc Association, the event will also fete DVD's trailblazers with a series of "Early Excellence" awards for outstanding DVD releases and marketing efforts.
There is still time to help choose the laser disc winners by printing out the Sixth Annual Ballot,(located at the Optical Video Disc Association website) and faxing it back to 505-890-3743. And, if you believe a particular DVD is a candidate for recognition, let us know what it is and why you believe it is unusually good.
AnimEigo has announced that an effort is underway by anime fans to gather support for the release of a subtitled version of Otaku No Video on laserdisc.
In order for AnimEigo to justify the costs involved in doing this, they need to be sure that there are a sufficient number of people who will buy it so that they can recover the cost of remastering, resubtitling and pressing the laserdisc edition.
If AnimEigo gets 500 people to preorder the Otaku No Video laserdisc, they will undertake the job. The cost will be $40.00 per laserdisc. Once enough preorders are received, they will contact each individual for confirmation of your order. You will not be charged anything until the disc is actually finished and shipped. Preproduction is expected to take approximately three to four months. AnimEigo is only going to be making enough laserdiscs to fulfill preorders, plus some extras for replacement of defective discs. If they have any leftovers, they will be available for sale later on at a high price.
If you are interested in preordering Otaku No Video, please visit AnimEigo's web page at http://www.animeigo.com/Products/VideosAll/~ONV.html for preordering signup and information.
TV SERIES PREORDER UPDATE
As we originally mentioned back in our April 1997 Cool Stuff column, an effort is underway by anime fans to gather support for the release of the Kimagure Orange Road TV Series in subtitled form on laserdisc and VHS in the United States.
AnimEigo can obtain the rights to the series. However, before they can do this, they need to be sure that there are a sufficient number of people who will buy it so that they can recover the large cost of licensing the entire series.
The magic number is 1,500 - if AnimEigo gets 1,500 people to preorder the entire series, they will do the job. The set would be available in two forms: laserdisc ($400.00) and VHS tape ($360.00). At least 500 of the preorders must be for the laserdisc edition in order for a laserdisc set to be made. There will be a total of 12 laserdisc/tapes in the set. Once they get enough people who preorder the set(s), they will contact each individual to confirm your order. You will then be required to pay 50% when AnimEigo commences production of the set, with the remainder due upon shipment. Preproduction is expected to take approximately 8 months from the time of notification.
As of June 1, 1997, AnimEigo has received a grand total of 630 preorders for Kimagure Orange Road (507 for the laserdisc, 123 for the tape).
AnimEigo is only going to be making enough laserdisc sets to fulfill preorders, plus some extras for replacement of defective discs. If they have any leftovers, they will be available for sale later on at a high price.
If you are interested in preordering Kimagure Orange Road, please visit their web page at http://www.animeigo.com/Products/Videos/All/~KOR.html for preordering signup and information.
SPECIAL ADULT LASERDISC SALE!
|LaserDisc Entertainment is having a special sale on a number of their catalog adult laserdisc titles. Please contact your local retailer for pricing and availability. The titles are as follows:|
PACT WITH IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT
FOR DVD OUTPUT DEAL IMAGE
TO RELEASE NEW & CATALOG TITLES
CHATSWORTH, Calif., May 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Image Entertainment, Inc., the largest laserdisc distributor in North America, and Central Park Media today announced their agreement to bring all of Central Park Media product to DVD through an exclusive distribution contract with Image Entertainment.
Central Park Media is the foremost licensor of Japanese animation in North America. This programming is highly coveted by a large and growing number of collectors. Under the terms of the agreement, Image will assume sales responsibility for the first Central Park Media DVD title, Battle Arena: Toshinden, which CPM had already released on May 19th. The release on videocassette is currently enjoying success on the Billboard Top-20 Video sell-through charts. The laserdisc release will follow shortly from Image Entertainment.
Additional titles in CPM's rich catalog slated for DVD release include a number of serial programs such as Project A-Ko, Dominion, Record of Lodoss War and MD Geist: Death Force. Many of these titles were released previously by Image on laserdisc. On a go forward basis, new acquisitions will be offered simultaneously on DVD and laserdisc from Image Entertainment.
John O'Donnell, Managing Director of Central Park Media, commenting on the deal stated, "I am extremely confident that Image Entertainment is the correct choice to bring our programming to market via the new DVD technology. Their past success with our titles on laserdisc has shown their expertise and efficiency in selling This collectible library into the marketplace."
Martin W. Greenwald, Image's chairman and CEO added, "As Image continues to aggressively pursue rights to a wide variety of programming for DVD, I am delighted to add Central Park Media to our growing line up of properties. Central Park Media's titles are sought out by a devoted and growing market of Japanese animation fans. I look forward to fueling the new DVD market with this product while continuing to satisfy the entrenched laserdisc community. Image's goal is to become a supplier of DVD programming from a wide variety of sources and Japanese animation will certainly be one of the cornerstones of programming to be offered."
Image Entertainment, Inc. is the largest licensee and distributor of laserdiscs in the United States, with the most extensive library of titles in the industry. Image has exclusive agreements with Disney's Buena Vista Home Video, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, MGM/UA Home Entertainment, New Line Home Video, Metromedia Home Video, PolyGram Video, The Voyager Company, Playboy Home Video, Hallmark Home Entertainment, and other suppliers.
TEST DISC NOW AVAILABLE
The Dolby DVD Demo and Test Disc provides information about Dolby Digital, and comprises mostly test tones and signals. Please note: the demo disc is NOT a demonstration of surround effects and it does NOT include film clips from theatrical releases. Ordering information is below.
Demo and Test Disc Contents
The "Dolby Digital Story" - This opening section is a 6-minute video which explains Dolby Digital and how it applies to laser disc and DVD audio. Discussion includes information for retailers and consumers regarding the features available in Dolby Digital home theater systems. This section was designed for training retail staff, for in-store consumer presentations, or as an introduction to other demo material.
Trailers and Music Demo Material - Contains Dolby Digital "Canyon" and Egypt" trailers. Also has material to demonstrate a 5.1 channel mix, a Dolby Surround compatible downmix and a stereo downmix, all derived from the same 5.1 channel mix.
Test Tones and Signals - Contains a set of signals which can be used by technicians to design and test Dolby Digital decoder performance. Some tests require test equipment not generally available to the retailer or consumer in order to provide useful information. The DVD disc contains full scale signals and may cause damage to equipment or hearing.
How to Order
The Dolby DVD Demonstration and Test Disc is available from Proxy, and is available ONLY in the United States and Canada. Cost is $40.00 plus $5.00 handling per order. Credit card orders can be placed by calling 800-983-6529 - ask for Product Line number 22707. Please do not contact Dolby for copies of the disc.
Orders are processed and shipped within 48 hours of receipt. Dolby pays freight via UPS ground. Rush shipments via next day air and 2nd day air are available; you will be charged for the actual shipping cost.
ALL NEW HBO, NEW LINE & WARNER
For reasons unknown, many Best Buy stores nationwide have hiked the prices on all new HBO, New Line and Warner DVD titles that were released from May 24. Although Best Buy was charging $19.95 for releases from these studios, their new pricing scheme has raised that to $25.95 each - that's $1.00 OVER the Suggested Retail Price of $24.95!
On a personal trip over to a local Best Buy store, the video ordering clerk I spoke with told me the $25.95 was definitely incorrect, and proceeded to change the price tags on all DVD shelf copies. A short while later, the store manager came by and told her to change the pricing back to $25.95. I thereafter asked the manager why their store was selling DVDs for more than the Suggested Retail Price, especially since their store advertises "the lowerst prices in town." The manager just told me that that was the way it was, and that I was welcome to shop elsewhere.
Which of course I will...
For the record, at least in the Los Angeles area, Tower Records, Circuit City and Fry's Electronics locations are still pricing most titles at $19.99.
The Good Guys home electronics stores are now carrying their own The Good Guys DVD Demo Disc Sampler. We do not know what features the disc has at this time, but it does come in the standard plastic & cardboard "keep case" packaging.
Although this disc is apparently available at all The Good Guys locations the title is unfortunately not for sale to the public - it is available for free only with the purchase of a player. In a bad move, several The Good Guys locations I visited proudley displayed copies of the demo disc all over the place. There was an average of about 20 or so copies thrown in among their regular DVD titles in the "for sale" rack, but when I tried to purchase the disc, it was usually grabbed out of my hands by a rude saleman who usually stated "It's not for sale, and we don't give out anything for free...if you want it, you'd better buy a machine." My my my, does The Good Guys training program specifically train their employees to be rude?
If anyone knows of a location where this title is actually being given away or can be purchased, please let me know at email@example.com.
The following laserdisc titles were cancelled during the month of June 1997:
The following DVD titles were cancelled during the month of June 1997:
The following laserdisc titles were discontinued during the month of June 1997:
Last Updated: 11/30/97