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1999 NEWS TIDBITS

June 1999 Headlines 

06/29/99

ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT TO OFFER FULL SUPPORT OF THE 16:9 ANAMORPHIC ENHANCEMENT

According to DVD Review, Anchor Bay Entertainment is set to full support of the 16:9 anamorphic enhancement on future releases. Of course, the only exception will be titles licensed from Disney. It is fantastic to see a company that is not a major studio fully embrace the enhancement. Of course, this news only serves to diminish the positions of the only two companies presently not supporting the enhancement. Let’s hope that 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and Buena Vista Home Entertainment (Disney, Hollywood, Touchstone, Miramax and Dimension) get with the program very soon.

Kudos to Anchor Bay Entertainment for their full support of the 16:9 anamorphic enhancement.  They are definitely becoming a company to watch in the future.

Visit The Anamorphic Wide Screen Support Page for further details on the enhancement and for ways to contact the companies not supporting the enhancement.

06/28/99

REVISED DVD RELEASE SCHEDULE FROM BUENA VISTA HOME ENTERTAINMENT

July 13

A CIVIL ACTION

August 17

PLAYING BY HEART

 

SHE'S ALL THAT

 

54

 

LITTLE VOICE

 

COLOR OF NIGHT

 

SPY HARD

 

MEDICINE MAN

 

DANGEROUS MINDS

 

THE ROCKETEER

 

 

 

EVERYONE SAYS I LOVE YOU

July 20

DOWN IN THE DELTA

 

 

 

THE ASSOCIATE

August 24

COOL RUNNINGS

 

 

 

MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS

August 3

LITTLE BUDDHA

 

ROMY & MICHELE'S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION

 

RESTORATION

 

WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT

 

THE PALLBEARER

 

I LOVE TROUBLE

 

 

 

THE THREE MUSKETEERS

August 10

SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE

 

 

 

RUSSELL MULCAHY'S TALE OF THE MUMMY

September 7

THE OTHER SISTER

 

CELEBRITY

 

TWIN DRAGONS

 

POWDER

 

QUIZ SHOW

 

 

 

THE SON-IN-LAW

 

 

 

THE ENGLISHMAN WHO WENT UP A HILL

 

 

 

ALBINO ALLIGATOR

 

 

 

THE PROPHECY II

 

 

 

PRIEST

06/24/99

FOX DROPS ANAMORPHIC SUPPORT FROM UPCOMING DVD TITLES

Reports are coming in from all over the net that 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is dropping support for the 16:9 anamorphic enhancement for upcoming titles. As of right now, none of the titles scheduled for released through the end of 1999 will have the enhancement. Personally, I think that this is a horrible development. Especially in the light of the fantastic job Fox did with the Alien Legacy collection. If you are upset by this development, do not hesitate to contact Fox with your opinion.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
2121 Avenue Of The Stars 25th Fl.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Telephone: 310-369-3900
Fax: 310-369-3318
E-Mail: feedback@tcfhe.com
E-Mail: webmaster@tcfhe.com
Web Site: http://www.tcfhe.com

06/23/99

300 DVD REVIEWS NOW ON-LINE

I am pleased to announce that THE CINEMA LASER has reached another minor milestone. There are now 300 hundred DVD reviews now on-line that I have written personally. I definitely have got to get a life. Anyway, I’d thank all of our friends in the DVD industry and every one of you that visits this site on a regular basis for the support that has made THE CINEMA LASER web site a success.

06/22/99

STERLING HOME ENTERTAINMENT IS CONVICTED WITH A MURDER OF CROWS

Academy Award Winner Cuba Gooding Jr. Headlines Powerful Suspense Thriller Co-Starring Tom Berenger, Marianne Jean-Baptiste & Eric Stoltz to hit the street July 6, 1999 as part of Sterling Home Entertainment’s DVD Millennium Series

Sterling Home Entertainment, the premier independent home video distributor for the motion picture production companies Lions Gate Films and Imperial Entertainment, presents the home video and DVD premiere release of the powerful thriller A MURDER OF CROWS on July 6, 1999. Starring Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire, What Dreams May Come, As Good As It Gets, Instinct), Academy Award nominee Tom Berenger (Platoon, Major League, Sliver), Academy Award nominee Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Secrets and Lies), and Eric Stoltz (Pulp Fiction, 2 Days in the Valley), A MURDER OF CROWS is a provocative murder mystery from writer/director Rowdy Herrington (Striking Distance, Road House, Gladiator) in the compelling tradition of John Grisham's renowned legal thrillers. Lawson Russell (Gooding Jr.) is a prominent New Orleans attorney whose legal savvy and unbeatable charm have garnered him an outstanding reputation. Yet his standing in the legal community changes drastically when he takes the chase of Thurman Parks III (Stoltz). Knowing his client is guilty of murder, Lawson throws the case and is subsequently disbarred. While taking some time off in Key West to write a book, Lawson meets Christopher Marlowe, an elderly gentlemen who confides in Lawson that he too has written a manuscript - "A MURDER OF CROWS." As he begins to read the book, Lawson is transfixed by the remarkable thriller of a man who kills five lawyers whose shady clients have been acquitted of numerous crimes. Upon learning that Marlowe has suddenly died, Lawson submits "A MURDER OF CROWS" to his publisher as his own work. The novel becomes an instant best-seller and makes Lawson a national celebrity…until he is questioned by detective Clifford Dubose (Berenger) regarding the supposed fictional murders in his book, which turn out to be brutal reality. Realizing that he has been set-up, Lawson is forced to take the law into his own hands to prove his innocence and find the real killer. Now Lawson must face the greatest trial of his life, one that could mean life or death for his most precious client - himself!

The premiere release of A MURDER OF CROWS DVD will offer viewers the following deluxe features:
The film's original widescreen presentation (1.85:1 aspect ratio)
Digitally mastered in Dolby Stereo Surround sound
Detailed production notes with cast and crew interviews
Two separate audio commentary tracks from the director & actors
Biographies and filmographies of cast members
Domestic theatrical trailers/television spots
Behind-the-scenes photo gallery
Spanish language-subtitled format
Scene index & interactive motion menus

The A MURDER OF CROWS DVD release also contains the following enhanced DVD-ROM features:
Full original screenplay (with direct scene access)
Web site access links
Legal trivia game

06/21/99

PARAMOUNT’S OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE FOR THE TITANIC DVD
TAKE THE VOYAGE HOME ON DVD IN AUGUST

On August 31, Paramount Home Video launches James Cameron's TITANIC, the chart-smashing romantic epic that won 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, on DVD in the widescreen format. The DVD of the most successful movie of all-time will feature the original theatrical trailer, a collectible 10-page fold-out booklet that features visuals of each scene selection, a full motion menu introduction and will be beautifully packaged with new cover art. TITANIC will be available for $29.99 S.R.P. in the U.S. and C$39.99 S.R.P. in Canada.

In the $1.8 billion worldwide box-office smash, TITANIC, worlds collide and passions are ignited aboard the ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic, the pride and joy of the White Star Line and, at the time, the largest moving object ever built. Amidst the thousands of passengers setting sail from Southampton, England to New York City in that fateful month of April 1912, are well-bred Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) and free-spirited Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio)- two young souls daring to flout the conventions of Edwardian society in order to be together. Once he opens her eyes to the world that lies outside her glided cage, Jack's forbidden love for Rose begins a powerful romance which echoes across the years into the present. Nothing on earth can come between them-not even something as unimaginable as the sinking of Titanic.

TITANIC was produced by James Cameron and Jon Landau, and executive produced by Rae Sanchini. The story was written and directed by James Cameron.

TITANIC on DVD is a dual layer, single disc in widescreen format and features interactive menus and scene selection. It has been digitally mastered by THX for superior sound and picture quality and features Dolby Digital English 5.1 Surround, English Dolby Surround and French Dolby Surround. In addition, this title is close captioned and features English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing, as well as Spanish subtitles. It is rated PG-13 in the United States and 14A in Canada and has a running time of 194 minutes.


WOULD YOU BUY TITANIC WITHOUT THE 16:9 ANAMORPHIC ENHANCEMENT?

Here is your opportunity to vote on the matter. Go to the DVD Resource Page and let the powers that be know if you will indeed purchase TITANIC without the 16:9 anamorphic enhancement.

06/16/99

DIVX IS DEAD!!! LONG LIVE OPEN DVD!!!

Well folks, it’s official. Divx the scourge of DVD fans everywhere is closing up shop. You can read the full press release HERE.

However, I thought that I would quote this one pertinent bit:

"Digital Video Express will provide a $100 cash rebate to all consumers who purchased Divx-enhanced players prior to June 16, 1999. Rebate forms will be available at http://www.divx.com, participating retailers and by calling 1-888-639-DIVX. The rebate will ensure that no Divx customers have paid more for the Divx-featured player than they would have paid for the least expensive, comparable DVD player available at the time of their purchase. All Divx-featured DVD players are fully functional DVD players and will continue to operate as such. All Divx discs, including those previously purchased by consumers and those remaining in retailer inventories, can be viewed on registered players anytime between now and June 30, 2001. Subsequent viewings also will be available during that period. Discs can no longer be upgraded to unlimited viewing, known as Divx Silver. Customers who have converted discs to Divx Silver can continue viewing the discs until June 30, 2001, or can receive a full refund of the conversion price at their request. Divx expects to provide registered owners with written notification of the details related to the system phase-out. Effective today (June 16, 1999), Divx will no longer register new customers."


NETFLIX.COM EMBRACES DIVX OWNERS WITH FIVE FREE DVD RENTAL OFFER

Online DVD Rental Store Launches Special Program To Offer New Customers An Appealing Alternative To Divx

(LOS GATOS, CALIF.) -- NetFlix.com, the world’s first and largest DVD rental store, will offer Divx owners five free DVD rentals as part of a program to welcome new customers to the online rental store. Offering a convenient alternative to Divx, a format which has ceased production as announced today by Digital Video Express, NetFlix.com offers a wide selection of more than 3,600 DVD titles. Effective immediately, Divx owners can log onto NetFlix.com home page (www.netflix.com) and with a special offer code: 19497315, they can redeem five free DVD rentals. This special offer is valid through December 31, 1999 and does not include shipping and handling costs.

NetFlix.com offers many consumer benefits that Divx owners are looking for: no driving to the video store, no lines at check-out, and exception availability on all DVD titles. With NetFlix.com, Divx owners can also enjoy all value-added features and benefits of open DVD, in addition to a seven-day rental period for any title in the store's vast inventory.


NETFLIX.COM ANNOUNCES IMMEDIATE AVAILABILITY OF DVD RENTALS SUPPORTING AFI’S 100 YEARS . . . 100 STARS
A CELEBRATION OF AMERICA’S GREATEST SCREEN LEGENDS

New Customers Can Rent Three DVDs For Free Including Cinematic Classics The Philadelphia Story, Casablanca And Singin’ In The Rain, As Well As Contemporary Favorites Austin Powers And My Best Friend’s Wedding At www.netflix.com

Following today’s AFI’s 100 Years...100 Stars unveiling by the American Film Institute, NetFlix.com announced the immediate availability of DVDs highlighting the careers of the winning screen legends and the contemporary stars who saluted them. As part of the celebration, AFI selected 100 films which highlight the careers of each of the 50 legends and 50 stars, 41 of which are available on DVD. Titles range from renowned classics The Philadelphia Story, starring the number one female legend, Katharine Hepburn, Casablanca (Ingrid Bergman, #4 female legend) and Singin’ In The Rain (Gene Kelly, # 15 male legend). To spotlight the work of the 50 contemporary stars, modern favorites such as Austin Powers and My Best Friend’s Wedding are also available on DVD. Three free DVD rentals of AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars films can be rented by new NetFlix.com customers when they log onto the website at www.netflix.com.

NetFlix.com salutes the AFI winners with a special AFI’s 100 Years...100 Stars section at its online store. Following are the DVD titles highlighting screen legends from the AFI’s 100 Years...100 Stars:

Ingrid Bergman (Casablanca)
Gary Cooper (High Noon)
Kirk Douglas (Spartacus)
Clark Gable (Gone With The Wind)
Judy Garland (A Star Is Born)
Rita Hayworth (Gilda)
Katharine Hepburn (The Philadelphia Story)
Gene Kelly (Singin’ In The Rain)
Vivien Leigh (A Streetcar Named Desire)
Laurence Olivier (Wuthering Heights)
Gregory Peck (To Kill A Mockingbird)
Sidney Poitier (Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner)
Elizabeth Taylor (Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?)
John Wayne (The Searchers)
Carole Lombard (My Man Godfrey)


ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT GOES 16:9 WITH THE CAR

Before Anchor Bay Entertainment’s new 16:9 re-mastered edition of the John Carpenter classic HALLOWEEN hits DVD, they will release cult classic THE CAR as their first official 16:9 enhanced title. Visit Anchor Bay Entertainment on-line at:
http://www.anchorbayentertainment.com.


SILVERADO TO BE REMASTERED

Columbia TriStar’s recent DVD issue of SILVERADO incorrectly mastered its anamorphic wide screen version at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. This is, of course, the exact ratio of wide screen televisions (16:9). The film is being remastered in its proper theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and will be re-issued in a few weeks. Columbia TriStar is not recalling the title. However, consumers will be able to exchange the current version of SILVERADO for the remastered version.


TITANIC REVISITED

Paramount's upcoming DVD release of TITANIC is confirmed as not containing the 16:9 anamorphic enhancement.  Everyone I have spoken to is not pleased by Paramount's decision, especially since they are offering full 16:9 support on all of the latest titles.  If you have an opinion, please feel free to voice it to Paramount:

Eric Doctorow, President
Paramount Home Video
5555 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038-3197
Telephone: 213-956-5000
Fax: 213-956-1100
E-Mail: 5555@paramount.com
E-Mail: webmaster@paramount.com
Email: Eric_Doctorow@paramount.com
Web Site: http://www.paramount.com/
DVD Consumer Hotline: 323-956-8070

06/15/99

TITANIC DVD TO APPEAR AUGUST 31 WITHOUT THE ANAMORPHIC ENHANCEMENT

According to a number of DVD web sites, Paramount has announced the official street date for TITANIC. The DVD will hit the street on August 31, 1999 at a suggested retail price of $29.99. It is also reported that TITANIC will not contain the 16:9 anamorphic enhancement for wide screen televisions. Considering how long DVD collectors have had to wait for this release, the lack of the anamorphic enhancement is a MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT to say the very least. Further details about the TITANIC DVD will be posted on this page, as they become available. Anyone with an opinion about TITANIC being released without the anamorphic enhancement should contact Paramount.

06/08/99

SHARPLINE ARTS DOES THE LAST STARFIGHTER

Coming to DVD today (June 8, 1999) is Universal Home Video’s DVD edition of THE LAST STARFIGHTER. Sharpline Arts (the company responsible for the supplements on the DVD editions of ALIEN, ALIENS and THE THING) produced the bonus materials for this release including the documentary, CROSSING THE FRONTIER: MAKING THE LAST STARFIGHTER, as well as a commentary with the director, Nick Castle and production designer, Ron Cobb (conceptual artist on ALIEN). According to a representative of Sharpline Arts, "this project was pure pleasure!" Sharpline arranged a 15-year reunion party and interviewed 13 cast and crewmembers while enjoying the company of some of the industry's finest artists. Since the party, we have forged friendships with Nick Castle, the film's star, Lance Guest and the crew that made film history with their digital effects innovations. For the host shoot, Sharpline re-created a full scale 'The Last Starfighter' video game with the original graphics and Lance stands beside it while he narrates the show. The documentary also contains interviews with Dennis Muren, John Knoll and Kevin Rafferty of Industrial Light and Magic. We found footage of the 1978 CGI X-Wing Fighter test completed for George Lucas by Digital Productions and it is also included in the documentary. Further details about the DVD special edition of THE LAST STARFIGHTER can be found on the Sharpline Arts web site: http://www.sharplinearts.com

06/07/99

WARNER’S DVD DEAL OF THE SUMMER

Consumers have plenty to be excited about this summer with Warner Home Video and Toshiba's DVD Deal. For the first time ever, consumers can save up to $50 off a Toshiba DVD player by renting any two VHS or DVD titles from Warner's spectacular rental lineup: -Analyze This," "Message In a Bottle," and "True Crime."

Due to the success of the previous free DVD consumer offers, Warner Home Video and Toshiba created the DVD Deal to further encourage consumers to rent multiple titles, increase awareness of new releases and expand the DVD hardware base.

Highlights of the summer releases include:

Analyze This (available on VHS and DVD August 17, Order Due July 27) "The funniest comedy in a decade " teams Robert De Niro as a powerful New York crimelord with emotional problems and Billy Crystal as the hapless psychiatrist recruited to resolve those problems and turn him into a happy, well-adjusted gangster. Lisa Kudrow and Chazz Palminteri co-star in this $105-million box office hit. Special features on the DVD include two audio commentaries one by Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro and another by Director Harold Ramis. Plus interactive menus, filmographies, access to the original theatrical trailer and a "Gag Reel" full of hysterical outtakes are also included.

Message In A Bottle (available on VHS and DVD August 3, Order Due July 13) Kevin Costner, Robin Wright Penn and Paul Newman star in this tale of a romance sparked by a woman's attempt to discover the writer of a heartfelt message she found in a bottle washed up on a beach. The film is based on Nicholas Sparks' New York Times bestseller. The DVD's enriched features include an audio commentary by Director Luis Mandoki and Producer Denise Di Novi, new scenes with director commentary, five special effects segments. interactive menus, filmographies and access to the original theatrical trailer.

True Crime (available on VHS and DVD August 10, Order Due July 20)

Clint Eastwood stars as an investigative reporter determined to save a death row inmate he knows is innocent. The DVD includes two featurettes titled "The Scene of the Crime" a behind-the-scenes look of the movie and "True Crimes: True Stories" which contains an interview with a real-life reporter who was able to clear a convicted man. Interactive menus. filmographies and the original theatrical trailers from "True Crime," "Absolute Power." "Dirty Harry" and "The Gauntlet" are also included.

ANALYZE THIS

Running Time

Catalog Number

MPAA Rating

Suggested List

Street Date

113 mins.

16988

R

$24.98

8/17

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE

Running Time

Catalog Number

MPAA Rating

Suggested List

Street Date

147 mins.

16989

PG-13

$24.98

8/3

TRUE CRIME

Running Time

Catalog Number

MPAA Rating

Suggested List

Street Date

168 mins.

16323

R

$24.98

8/10

06/01/99

$41 MILLION BOX OFFICE BLAST, THE SIEGE BURSTS TO THE NUMBER ONE RENTAL SPOT

Star-Studded, Romantic Comedy YOU’VE GOT MAIL Arrives As The Second Most Rented DVD
LOS GATOS, Calif., (June 1, 1999) -- Combining action, drama and political intrigue, Twentieth Century Fox’s spectacular, star-studded showdown, The Siege, blasts its way to the number one spot on NetFlix.com’s top ten DVD rental list for the month of May 1999, according to NetFlix.com (www.netflix.com), the world’s largest online DVD rental store. Following this action-packed DVD, the hit romantic comedy, You’ve Got Mail starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks arrived on the list as the second most rented DVD title.

The Top Ten DVD Movies Rented on the Internet are:
1. The Siege
2. You’ve Got Mail
3. Stepmom
4. A Bug’s Life
5. Star Trek - Insurrection
6. Meet Joe Black
7. Pleasantville
8. At First Sight
9. American History X
10. Bulworth

June 1999 Headlines


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