I don't have time for a lot of hogwash and bull-honkey this evening so I'll get right down to brass tacks. There are a couple of DVDs you should pick up tomorrow. They include Ed O'Neil in Dutch, the Sylvester Stallone/Dolly Parton ode to country music Rhinestone, Johnny Travolta and that other Phoenix sibling in Ladder 49, Sweet Valley High season 1, Friends season 9, and everyone's favorite Warrior Princess Xena in her sixth complete box set.
Now, onto the news…
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
And we'll start with a biggie: HE-MAN and the MASTERS of the UNIVERSE are finally coming to DVD. Both old and new. We just received a press release stating that NAVARRE'S BCI has signed an exclusive distribution agreement that'll bring everyone's favorite muscle man and his doped-up minions into our home. Here are some excerpts from that release...
"Navarre Corporation a leading publisher and distributor of a broad range of home entertainment and multimedia software products, today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, BCI Eclipse Company, LLC ("BCI"), has acquired certain exclusive distribution rights to Entertainment Rights' classic animation series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and The New Adventures of He-Man."
"Under the terms of this agreement, BCI will exclusively promote and distribute both classic animated series on DVD throughout the U.S. and Canada. The first release will be a "10 Best Episode" 2 DVD set from the original He-Man and the Masters of the Universe series which is scheduled to be launched at retail in July 2005 in conjunction with the 2005 San Diego Comic-Con International convention. This release will be followed later in the fall of 2005 with the first of multiple DVD box sets of the complete series in "season" format, plus comprehensive and generous special features."
"He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is a landmark in children's television history, being the first nationally syndicated television program based on a successful toy line. Originally produced from 1983-1985 by world renowned Filmation studios and syndicated until 1990, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe has experienced consistent popularity over the years, demonstrated by its two subsequent animated series which aired in 1990 – 1991 and 2002 – 2004 as well as its multi-year run as an exceptionally successful toy and merchandising line for Mattel."
"BCI is thrilled with the opportunity to bring these classic animated series to DVD for the first time in North America. Our acquisitions team has been focused on this property for quite some time based on its 25+ year history of being one of the strongest and most collectible toy and animation properties ever produced. BCI intends to give each DVD release the historical treatment it deserves."
For fans of both the toy line and the series, that's some pretty sweet news. It means, "No more horrible bootlegs!" Let's move on, shall we…
I've been looking forward to this one for a long time: FUNKY MONEY. Yeah, it's about a Secret Agent that also happens to be a super chimp. It was supposed to be theatrically released a while ago. I guess someone came to their senses…Oh, wait. I'm thinking about the film Spymate. You mean to tell me there are two secret agent spy monkey films headed my way in the near future? It's truly a glorious day to be alive. I can't wait! This one stars Matthew Modine, Bodhi Pine Elfman, Fred Ward and Jeffrey Tambor (damn, what a cast!). It should be as cheap as $19.97. The disc will be presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, with an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track. So far, no extras have been announced. Now, that's just a crying shame. I want chimp commentary.
In other animal related news, the "lets get high and watch talking animals" super feature RACING STRIPES is also being released on the 10th. I bet David Berkowitz can't wait for this one. I mean; it's got Snoop Dogg and Frankie Muniz acting as voice talent. Awesome! It'll cost about $27.95, which, I guess, will kind of dig into your dime bag stash. You gotta do what you gotta do. The disc will be presented in anamorphic widescreen, with an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Extras include an audio commentary, additional scenes including alternate endings, a How to Make Animals Talk documentary, an Animal Acting 101 Featurette, a Music of Racing Stripes with Sting and Bryan Adams Featurette, outtakes, interactive challenges, trailers and some Easter eggs.
The Green Butchers
I have no idea what the GREEN BUTCHERS is about, but I suspect cannibalism. Think Motel Hell with a cheekier attitude. Someone on this very site gave it high praise, but I doubt that means much in the over-all scheme of things. I'd pick it up based on the artwork alone. It stars no one you've ever heard of. And it was directed by some Danish guy. Look for a $29.95 price tag. The disc will be presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, with a Danish Dolby Digital 5.1 track. English subtitles are included…But I'm not sure…Is this thing in another language? I guess I'll just have to wait and see.
The Son of the Mask
Also on the 17th comes a quick-turnaround for SON OF THE MASK. Critics were harsh, but I've heard word that it wasn't so bad. Jamie Kennedy, Alan Cumming, Bob Hoskins and Traylor Howard headline this live-action cartoon. It should run you a mean $27.95. The disc will be presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, with an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Extras include director/writer commentary, deleted scenes with optional director commentary, a Chow Bella: Hollywood's Pampered Pooches Featurette, a Creating Son of the Mask: Digital Diapers and Dog Bytes Featurette, a Paw Prints and Baby Steps: On the Set of Son of the Mask Featurette, a storyboard and conceptual art gallery and the films theatrical trailer. English and Spanish subtitles included.
The Sea Inside
If lame comedy isn't your thing, maybe you'd rather act on the prestige of THE SEA INSIDE, also being released by New Line on the 17th. Based on a true story, this Academy Award winning film stars Javier Bardem, Belén Rueda and Lola Dueñas. It's about a Spanish poet who fought for euthanasia, and it carries a steep price tag of about $27.95. The disc will be presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, with a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Extras include an audio commentary, a behind the scenes documentary and deleted scenes. English and Spanish subtitles included.
Baa Baa Black Sheep: Volume One
Baa Baa Black Sheep: Volume One makes its debut. I personally don't remember much about this, other than my Dad liked watching it. The show starred Robert Conrad as Major Greg "Pappy" Boyington, and was on the air from 1976-1978. $39.98 is the retail price. It will be a two-disc set, running a total of 584 minutes. Each episode will be presented in 1.33:1 full frame, with English Mono tracks. English, French and Spanish subtitles included. No word on extras as of yet.
Also on the 24th comes the long-awaited Ernest Borgnine classic AIR WOLF. Fans eager to see Jan-Michael Vincent before the train wreck that became his life should check it out. This two-disc set will be priced at $39.98. Episodes arrive in 1.33:1 full frame, with English Mono tracks. English, French and Spanish subtitles included. There hasn't been any mention of extras on this set either.
In conjunction with the big screen arrival of this Summer's Fantastic Four film comes this release from Buena Vista Home Entertainment. It's the four-disc boxset of the FANTASTIC FOUR cartoon, which ran on television from 1994-95. It'll cost you about $49.99, roughly the same price as a subscription to the actual comic book or a family-of-four pass to the theater. No extras have been announced yet. In fact, the release date is looking a little iffy for this one. Other info is floating around, but will go with what Amazon has listed on their site.
That's it for today. Until later, watch more DVDs. And remember, "If we aint givin' it to you, you shouldn't be getting it."