December 24, 2007 |
Don't mess with "Star Trek." That was my first reaction when word came down that the new HD-DVD release of the classic 1960s series would not merely be remastered from the original camera negative. In addition to sleek new high-definition video, the discs would also feature -- ye gods! -- "updated" and "enhanced" special effects. Didn't Hollywood learn its lesson when George Lucas "improved" the visual effects of his sainted "Star Wars" movie for rerelease?
December 17, 2007 |
It was originally to be called "The Young Detectives." Maybe if it had been, it would have gone the way of the short-lived "The Young Lawyers" and "The Young Rebels" that soon followed. But somewhere during the show's development, in that halcyon year of 1968, the title got changed to the catchier, kitschier "The Mod Squad," a name promising something other than young versions of our same old elders.
December 16, 2007 |
In terms of home entertainment, viewers had an embarrassment of riches to choose from this year. Among 2007's best releases were restored old favorites and newly discovered rarities, television classics past and present, and at the top of the heap, the most expansive box set ever devoted to a single director. What follows is a look at the best of the best: Ford at Fox (Fox). John Ford made more than 50 films in his 32-year tenure at Twentieth Century Fox.
November 12, 2007 |
American video stores have new-release sections. Chinese video stores have not-yet-released sections. On a recent weeknight here, four people entered a neighborhood shop, where a clerk escorted them through a back door to a closet-sized room. Floor-to-ceiling shelves brimmed with some of the latest Hollywood movies, including "Ratatouille," which had just reached Chinese theaters a week earlier and wasn't due out on DVD until January.
November 8, 2007 |
Two Hollywood rivals are joining forces to fight rampant movie piracy. Paramount Pictures will sell freshly released DVDs through Warner Bros. outlets in China in hopes of bringing low-cost, legitimate goods to market quickly. Warner, Paramount and Paramount's DreamWorks affiliate will sell new titles for $3 in China as little as two months after their U.S. theatrical release, the firms said. They said that would be the earliest release and lowest price in any market worldwide.
October 28, 2007 |
For a series so widely acknowledged as a television landmark, David Lynch's "Twin Peaks" has received conspicuously shoddy treatment on the home-video front. The eight-episode first season was released in 2001 without the pilot; the second (and final) season arrived on DVD only last spring after extensive delays.
October 28, 2007 |
Every so often in the collaborative art called television a little miracle happens. There is a meeting of minds, a confluence of vision, a gathering of particular talents. The planets align, the cards fall into place, and something is born whose worth is instantly apparent to all involved, not as a generator of revenue -- at which it might fail completely -- but as an ennobling refraction of some little bit of the Truth, of what it means, or could mean, to be alive.
October 8, 2007 |
NEW YORK -- It's not your typical "Sesame Street" episode. There are no lessons in letters or numbers, but there are plenty of hugs and lots of talk about feelings. Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization that produces the hit kids' show, is working on a DVD that will be distributed to military families. It's designed to help injured veterans talk about their disabilities with their children. Gary E.
September 27, 2007 |
A long-anticipated technology that will let consumers burn downloaded movies to DVDs is expected to be announced today, representing a potential milestone in the development of online movie services. Sonic Solutions Inc. of Novato, Calif., said it had won approval for its technology, which makes it possible for people to record homemade DVDs containing the same copy protection found on professionally made DVDs. The approval came after protracted negotiations with the DVD Copy Control Assn.
September 21, 2007 |
The organization that licenses DVD security software cleared the way Thursday for movies bought over the Internet to be burned onto a DVD that can play on any machine -- a move that could dramatically change the way movies are sold. Industry executives hailed the decision by the DVD Copy Control Assn. to license software designed to allow content to be burned to one disc but not copied to others. "This is great news," said Curt Marvis, chief executive of movie download service CinemaNow.