Now that Jet Li’s Hero’s finally found its way off studio shelves to great success in theatres and with Warriors of Heaven and Earth, Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence, Goodbye Dragon Inn, and Infernal Affairs looking set to follow in its long-delayed footsteps, perhaps stateside DVD distributors will finally get the message our theatrical distributors have missed and spend a little more time trying to put those “evil bootleggers,” doing their level best to try and steal away my hard earned cash at Wizard World every year, out of business. I doubt it, but here come today’s announcement’s anyway . . .

First off, Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment will at long last be release three new-to-DVD Godzilla titles on October 19th 2004 to commemorate the angrily radioactive reptile's 50th anniversary. Godzilla vs. Gigan, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla and the Green Party's all time favorite monster movie Godzilla vs. Hedorah will all make their debuts featuring new anamorphic widescreen transfers and both Japanese and English Stereo soundtracks (with optional English and French subtitles). They’ll be retailing for around $24.96 apiece. Two of those new-to-DVD titles, Godzilla vs. Hedorah and Godzilla vs. Gigan, will be packaged with Godzilla (98)in a 3-pack box, priced at $53.95. Additionally, a 5-pack will be available for $92.95 SLP which includes all three new to DVD titles as well as Godzilla 2000 and Godzilla (98). And lastly, a separate 7-pack Godzilla Collector’s Box Set will be available for $121.95 and will includes nine films: Godzilla 2000; Godzilla vs. Megaguirus; Godzilla (1998); Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack; Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah; Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla; and Godzilla and Mothra: the Battle for Earth and Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla and Godzilla Vs. Destoroyah. I’m still waiting for the folks at Columbia to get around to releasing Godzilla vs. Monster Zero, Godzilla Raids Again, and the original Mothra – but I suppose beggars can’t be choosers.

The folks over at Miramax Home Entertainment have announced that Takeshi Kitano’s Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman will be arriving in shops this November 9th. The disc will also include the Kitano's excellent earlier film Sonatine. It starred Kitano,Tetsu Watanabe and Aya Kokumai. No details yet re: the discs technical specs, or proposed extras. But, it should set you back about $29.99.

Not wanting to be left out of today’s theme, the folks over at Artsmagic have announced plans to release two of Ichi the Killer auteur Takashi Miike's Young Thugs flicks, namely: Young Thugs Innocent Blood and Young Thugs Nostalgia -- on or about October 28th. Both films will be released on unrated, all region NTSC discs and feature a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround tracks, scene selections, filmographies, original trailers and an exclusive interview with Miike. Young Thugs Innocent Blood will carry the documentary Osaka History and Culture, and Young Thugs Nostalgia will feature a documentary called Osaka People. The discs will hit the streets with 24.99 price tags.

Meanwhile, in a sweeping statement of just how fruitless my search for worthy upcoming foreign releases was, I’m forced to mention that Buena Vista Home Entertainment has announced November 2nd release date for Hong Kong export Jackie Chan's remake of Jules Verne’s classic Around the World in 80 Days. The film, which didn't do even reasonably well at the box office, will be available for around $29.99. It will presented with a THX certified 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and English Dolby Digital 5.1 track, the disc will include a cast and filmmaker audio commentary, deleted scenes (including an alternate opening) with optional director commentary, a making of Around The World In 80 Days featurette and a Around the World of Jackie Chan stunt choreography featurette. Completing the package will be the All Over The World music video performed by Dave Stewart and the Sylvia School Children’s Choir.

And last but not least (or so my nephew keeps insisting) Warner Brothers will be unleasing Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie, in which titular Yugi squares off against archrival Kaiba in an adventure that gets more and more dangerous as the imaginary monsters on their playing cards become very real. (or at least as real as this sort of anime gets) The disc will be available to own from November 16th (just in time for the holidays, according to that same nephew) and should retail for about $27.95. As for the film itself, it will presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and English Dolby Digital 5.1 track, the disc will include a Yu-Gi-Oh Monster Challenge: Memory Game, two music videos from the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie Soundtrack and the films theatrical trailer will also be included.

By the way, if anyone from over at Universal Home Entertainment happens to be reading this -- if you guys could get on the stick and finally release Christophe Gan's live-action Crying Freeman stateside, I'd really appreciate it.