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News Date: Monday 31st January 2000
Today's Top Headlines:
The Last Broadcast - Spielberg

  • Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace Laserdisc Announced In Japan
    Time: 19:22 EST/00:22 GMT News Source: E-Mail Posted By: Byron Hinson

    So George Lucas won't release Episode 1 on DVD anytime soon, yet he finds time to release the Laserdisc version, which is planned for an April 7th release in Japan.

    ----------------------------------------------------
    STAR WARS Episode I: THE PHANTOM MENACE

    Release Date: Apr 7, 2000. (same as VHS in Japan)
    Cat#: PILF-2830
    Price: 7800 Yen
    Studio: PIONEER LDC
    CLV 2 discs, 3 sides
    THX Certified
    ----------------------------------------------------

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  • Blair Witch To Hit Region 2 In April
    Time: 18:30 EST/23:30 GMT News Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron Hinson

    It’s the DVD everyone’s been anticipating, speculating about and desperately wanting to get their hands on.. it’s The Blair Witch Project and it’s yours to own on DVD from 17 April 2000 from Pathe Distribution Ltd for £19.99.

    Containing newly discovered footage, director and producer commentary, interviews, excerpts from psychological experts and a host of additional ‘extras’, The Blair Witch Project is a ‘must own’ DVD, and is sure to be the No.1 choice for every DVD fa!

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  • Spielberg Titles To Finally Hit DVD In 2000
    Time: 18:23 EST/23:18 GMT News Source: DVD File Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Alright, I don't need to say it anymore. Sure, Hook is nice, Duel may be cool and 1941 has its charms, but we all want the big "A" list Steven Spielberg titles on DVD, don't we? Whether you are a longtime reader or just got a player this Christmas, you've undoubtedly noticed the lack of Spielberg titles on the shelves, or followed the story's twists and turns over the past couple of years. We've all heard the rumblings of the big Spielberg guns coming in 2000, and of course Mr. S himself saw fit to finally release some serious DVD offerings recently, most notably the stellar edition of Saving Private Ryan last November.

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  • ActiveDVD: The Last Broadcast: Special Edition - Review
    Time: 07:37 EST/12:37 GMT News Source: ActiveDVD Posted By: Byron Hinson

    I have posted my review of the recently released creeper The Last Broadcast. Here is a snippet from the review:

    There has been some recent controversy surrounding The Last Broadcast. Why you may ask, well there was some animosity between The Last Broadcast and "The Blair Witch Project" camps. They are similar to each other in the way that they were filmed, both are done in a documentary style but the one that actually came first was The Last Broadcast, not perhaps surprisingly The Blair Witch Project. But as the final credits say "The story and characters depicted in this movie are entirely fictitious. But please don't tell anyone."

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  • ActiveDVD Community
    Time: 07:37 EST/12:37 GMT News Source: ActiveDVD Posted By: Byron Hinson

    We have started up an ActiveDVD community on MSN. This community will allow you to ask questions, join chats and post up your recommendations for DVD, DVD-ROM and any other DVD related information.

    You can reach the community right here: http://communities.msn.com/ActiveDVD

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News Date: Wednesday 26th January 2000
Today's Top Headlines:
The Iron Giant

  • ActiveDVD: The Iron Giant: DVD - Review
    Time: 13:43 EST/18:43 GMT News Source: ActiveDVD Posted By: Byron Hinson

    I have posted my review of the Warner Animation DVD title, The Iron Giant. Here is a snippet from the review:

    I remember reading the book "The Iron Man" by Ted Hughes when I was much younger, it was one of the few books that I have read that I can actually remember anything about. The Iron Giant was somehow largely overlooked on by the viewing public when it was released in cinema's in the US and Europe (Recently went on release here in the UK). The Iron Giant did open to critical acclaim everywhere though.

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  • ActiveDVD Community
    Time: 13:41 EST/18:41 GMT News Source: ActiveDVD Posted By: Byron Hinson

    We have started up an ActiveDVD community on MSN. This community will allow you to ask questions, join chats and post up your recommendations for DVD, DVD-ROM and any other DVD related information.

    You can reach the community right here: http://communities.msn.com/ActiveDVD

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News Date: Sunday 23rd January 2000
Today's Top Headlines:
Community

  • DVD Plus: DVD/CD Hybrid
    Time: 13:43 EST/18:43 GMT News Source: DVD File Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Speaking of new disc thingees, but on a positive note, Dieter Dierks, Mawa Film & Medien and Sonopress have announced the arrival of the first DVD/CD hybrid disc, which they are dubbing DVD Plus. Though perhaps the idea of a DVD/CD may seem confusing at first, remember that CDs can play in DVD players but not vice versa (i.e., you can't play a DVD on your CD player and just hear the sound).

    A hybrid DVD/CD overcomes that obstacle, by having separate DVD and CD tracks on the same disc. While a DVD player could play both the DVD and CD portions, a CD player would just access the CD portions. This would be a great plus for music video titles, because conceivably you could buy your favorite Britney Spears DVD and get the CD, too, all on one disc. Whether record companies would go for this is another matter, but just last year as high a profile an artist as Garth Brooks was looking into just such technology for a live concert video (which never came to pass).

    Anyway, technical details on DVD Plus are slim...I only received an ad for the first DVD/CD release, The Best Of Caught In The Act (who I've never heard of). If any more news comes my way, I'll surely post it. In the meantime, it is still certainly another exciting new development for the DVD format...

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News Date: Friday 21st January 2000
Today's Top Headlines:
Inspector Gadget

  • Upcoming Titles List
    Time: 21:46 EST/02:46 GMT News Source: Various Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Warner: Eyes Wide Shut (March 14th), Three Kings (April 11th), Three to Tango, House on Haunted Hill (both April), The Green Mile (May) and Any Given Sunday (June)

    New Line: The Bachelor (April) and Seven: Platinum Series (TBD)

    Fox: Anna and the King (April 4th), Fight Club (April 18th), Boys Don't Cry (April), Anywhere But Here (May), Light it Up and The Beach (June)

    Universal: For Love of the Game, End of Days (both April), Man on the Moon (May), The Hurricane (June)

    DreamWorks: American Beauty (late April/early May)

    Paramount: Superstar (April), Bring Out the Dead, Sleepy Hollow, Braveheart (all May), Angela's Ashes and The Talented Mr. Ripley (both June)

    Buena Vista: Music of the Heart, Mumford, The Insider (all April), Mystery Alaska, The Straight Story, Princess Mononoke (all May)

    USA: Being John Malkovich (April)

    MGM: The World is Not Enough: SE (May)

    Columbia TriStar: Dogma (April 25th), Stuart Little, Leon, The Big Blue, The Messenger (all April or May)

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  • Inspector Gadget: DVD - Review
    Time: 14:22 EST/19:22 GMT News Source: ActiveDVD Posted By: Byron Hinson

    Inspector Gadget: ReviewI have posted my review of Disney's recently released DVD, Inspector Gadget. Here is a snippet from the review:

    Inspector Gadget was one of my favorite cartoons on TV when I was younger, it was different, funny and had some ingenious gadgets to keep kids amused, so when I first heard of a big screen version I wondered who they would get to play Gadget, stars such as Robin Williams and Jim Carrey jumped into my head. Then I heard Matthew Broderick had been chosen and despite Broderick being one of my favorite actors, I was a little disappointed with the choice.

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  • U.S. Judge Orders DVD Hack Off Internet Sites
    Time: 14:29 EST/19:29 GMT News Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron Hinson

    A U.S. District Court has ordered three people to remove from their Web sites a software program that could allow copying of DVD movies. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in New York issued a temporary injunction late on Thursday forbidding the Web sites from carrying the DeCSS program that would allow users to bypass the encryption scheme used on DVDs (digital versatile discs) to prevent unauthorized copying.

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News Date: Tuesday 18th January 2000
Today's Top Headlines:
The Haunting

  • The Haunting: DVD - Review
    Time: 13:26 EST/18:26 GMT News Source: ActiveDVD Posted By: Byron Hinson

    The Haunting: ReviewI have posted my review of Dreamworks, The Haunting directed by Jan De Bont of Speed fame. I have also redesigned the review pages to include more information about the DVD and to improve the look. Here is a snippet from the review:

    I'll get the basic story out of the way first so I can talk about the actual DVD content. The movie is based on the old story "The Haunting Of Hill House" and features the excellent Lili Taylor as Nell, a shy woman who has been looking after her sick mother so long she has started to lose her mind and has trouble sleeping, next up we have Theo played badly by Catherine Zeta-Jones a bisexual woman who is also having trouble sleeping...Finally we have Liam Neeson who takes the part of Dr. Marrow and Owen Wilson who plays another sleep deprived character called Luke.

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  • Upcoming Titles
    Time: 10:59 EST/15:59 GMT News Source: Various Posted By: Byron Hinson

    MGM: April 4th is the 1999 animated version of Tom Saywer, It is full frame and only $19.95, with no extras, Then on April 18th comes the 1983 version of Breathless starring Richard Gere, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, the classic musical Guys & Dolls, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, and the Michael Keaton comedy Mr. Mom. Of the above, Breathless and Mr. Mom are full frame only, while the other three are non-anamorphic widescreen. None have 5.1 remixes.

    Finally, on April 25th is a special edition (but not anamorphic) of Mel Brooks' Spaceballs. It features a 1.85:1 widescreen transfer and full frame version on the flip, as well as an audio commentary by director Mel Brooks; some behind-the-scenes footage, a trailer and the usual MGM collectible booklet. Then, look for the 80's cult, er, fave The Idolmaker, Thunder Road, the Polygram acquiree Honeymoon In Vegas, and what is probably Kevin Costner's best film, No Way Out. None of the above are widescreen except for No Way Out and Spaceballs, and they all have trailers and booklets.

    Columbia: Dogma is now due on May 2nd.

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  • Dvd Is Called Fastest-Selling Electronics Product Ever
    Time: 10:49 EST/15:49 GMT News Source: New York Times Posted By: Byron Hinson

    With the Consumer Electronics Show safely behind us, it's a good time to note that the show's sponsor, the Consumer Electronics Association, has now declared DVD the fastest selling consumer electronics product ever.

    Electronics companies sold 349,000 DVD players in the product's first year, 1997, then jumped to 1.08 million units in 1998. Final figures for 1999 are expected to top out around 3.5 million, and that doesn't count millions more DVD-ROM drives installed in computers of even modest cost, such as those by budget-conscious e-Machines and Avatar Technologies' V-Box.

    Overall, about 5 million DVD players have already been sold, compared to about 1.1 million VCRs between 1975 and 1977, and 1.2 million CD players between 1983 and 1985.

    For comparison, CEA officials said, almost 10 times as many DVD players were sold in their first year as CD players were, back in 1983. Of course, DVD players are helped by the fact that they are backward compatible, in that they can also play CDs, whereas CD players definitely couldn't play cassette or 8-track tapes or vinyl records.

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News Date: Sunday 16th January 2000
Today's Top Headlines:
DVD Charts

  • Top 15 DVD Titles - 01/14/00
    Time: 07:45 EST/12:45 GMT News Source: DVD Express Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Here are the latest DVD Express charts for this week.

    Week ending: 01/14/00
    1. The Thomas Crown Affair
    2. American Pie: Collector's Edition (Unrated)
    3. Mystery Men
    4. The Shawshank Redemption
    5. Deep Blue Sea
    6. The Matrix
    7. The General's Daughter
    8. Lake Placid
    9. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me: Platinum Series
    10. Saving Private Ryan
    11. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
    12. Entrapment
    13. Universal Soldier: The Return
    14. Eagles: Hell Freezes Over (DTS DVD)
    15. Mickey Blue Eyes

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  • Samsung, Toshiba planning Net-connected DVD player
    Time: 07:41 EST/12:41 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    The Internet may soon be riding into U.S. homes on the coattails of your DVD player.

    DVD players from the likes of Samsung and Toshiba will start to act more like a PC and should be hitting the market soon.

    Through the use of chip technology from a company called VM Labs, Samsung will offer a new $499 DVD player this quarter that will enable users to play games with graphics capabilities equal to that of current game console systems. Samsung said that later this year users will also be able to access the Internet.

    Toshiba has announced support for the technology but hasn't yet said when it will ship a product.

    With DVD players as one of the hot consumer electronics items of 1999 and probably of 2000 as well, companies offering Internet access devices such as America Online and WebTV as well as PC companies offering simplified Web browsing terminals may all be facing a formidable new competitor for consumers' dollars.

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  • Hollywood studios allege DVD piracy in suit
    Time: 05:59 EST/10:59 GMT News Source: News.com Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Eight major movie production studios, including Disney and Paramount Pictures, have asked a federal judge to stop three New Yorkers from distributing software that allows bootleggers to copy DVD film disks.

    In a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the studios charged the defendants have posted the software on their Web site along with messages encouraging DVD copying. The copying program, DeCSS, unscrambles a security code on DVDs that is supposed to prevent their duplication, said Richard Taylor, a spokesman for the Motion Picture Association of America.

    "I am not responsible at all," said Roman Kazan, of Manhattan, one of the defendants.

    Two weeks ago, a separate coalition representing the consumer electronics industry filed suit in California against 72 programmers and Web sites seeking to block the distribution of DeCSS, posted on the Internet by a 16-year-old Norwegian student in October.

    The New York suit, along with a similar one filed in Connecticut today by the motion picture association, are the first brought by the studios. The Connecticut suit, which was filed in federal court, names one defendant, Jeraimee Hughes.

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  • Review: Peeping Tom
    Time: 05:00 EST/10:00 GMT News Source: DVD Post Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    DVD Post has added a full review for the recent Criterion's release Peeping Tom.

    Peeping Tom, Michael Powell's (The Red Shoes) film about a young filmmaker who is also a serial killer, has quite a history. Reviled by British critics of the late 50's and early 60's, it faded away, rarely talked about for the next 30 years. Then it was rediscovered by modern film enthusiasts (including Martin Scorsese) and heralded as a masterpiece. Even today, those critics that hated it so much when it was released see the error in their judgment. They, now, see it as an important, and ultimately influencial film of it's time.

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