Even though what I’m really going to write about here is today’s usual spate of DVD news and rumors; I’m also about to take a line and a half or so out my alloted space to address what I can only refer to as an open letter to one of my favorite film directors . . . I.E. Michael Mann . . . Michael, you’ve almost certainly heard before now that the state of your films as presented on DVD, with the exception of Thief, is just plain freakin’ pathetic . . . With that in mind, could you do your numerous regularly amazed by your various filmmaking skills fans the favor of correcting the issue . . . you know, throw some extras and an audio commentary on The Insider . . . maybe include both versions and that making of special from the VHS version on Last of the Mohicans. . . and could you maybe at least recommend that that someone collect all three (or is it four) versions of Manhunter into one reasonably priced set? I say this because Warner Bros TBA Heat: Special Edition is apparently looking to hit the mean streets of your town and mine ‘round about the end of this year, perfectly timed to coincide with the DVD release of Collateral, and seeing as how I’m really looking forward to buying both I’d hate to be disappointed by the list on the back of a box again. Ok?

Meanwhile, I’ve been hearing (well, reading) that those “wonderful” folks over at 20th Century Fox, who traded in the memories of some flat out incredible films earlier this year to produce the execrable Alien vs. Predator (or AVP for the ADD impaired), now plan on attempting to pick our collective pockets again by releasing said travesty onto DVD on January 5th, 2005 in a single-disc theatrical edition that may or may not include an alternate opening and a couple of deleted scenes but no sincere apology. Rest assured that once there’s an official announcement I’ll be unable to resist the urge to take shots at it again.

And lastly on the “just rumors” front at least, the nice people over at Warner Bros are apparently hard at work producing a not all that in demand box set featuring all four live-action Batman films, that’s reportedly slated to include a brand new Batman: Special Edition.. Just in case you haven’t already guessed that there set will be released to coincide with Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins next summer. I can’t wait.

On the “actual announcements” front we’ve got HBO Films having set a January 11th, 2005 release date for their “ensemble cast featuring, telling the interconnected stories of racially diverse New Yorkers in a venerable Brooklyn diner whose Jewish owner has just sold the place to make way for condominiums” drama Everyday People. In case you’re still wondering . . .

Disc Features Will Include:

• An Anamorphic Widescreen Presentation

• English DD5.1 Surround

• English, French and Spanish DD2.0 Surround Sound Tracks

• English, French and Spanish subtitles

• Audio commentary from director Jim McKay and executive producer Nelson George

• A Featurette entitled "The Process"

When it does arrive it’ll be bearing the appropriately “gentrified” price of around $26.99.

And finally, Warner Bros has officially announced a December 28th, release date for Clayton Rohner, John Rhys-Davies and the Oscar Winning Special Effects creator of Independence Day’s strait to video adventure Coronado. No word on extras and specs just yet, but the disc will reportedly include at least a making of featurette and a selection of deleted scenes. For some reason or other it will be retailing for around $19.99.