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VSDA 2000
Well we're back from a long tiring weekend at VSDA. The show itself was a real slow down from last year, with Universal, MGM and Columbia Tri-Star all opting out of having booths at the show.

We did have a number of great meetings with the studios. All of them were very well acquainted with DVD Talk and many of them regularly read posts made to the forum. There were a TON of titles announced from each studio and lots of different rumors. Unfortunately with many of the title announcements there weren't exact release dates or title details. So we'll give you what we got, which in some cases is a little sketchy.

In terms of new DVDs we actually got to see, T-2 Ultimate Edition truly rocks! Artisan made the smart move to add a DTS audio track to the DVD which sounded fantastic. The movie has been completely remastered with one of the most pristine anamorphic prints we've seen yet. The DVD is so packed with extras, it will probably take over a week of viewing to make it through all the goodies on this DVD. DVD producer Ving Ling mentioned that in addition to the 2 versions of T-2 advertised on the disc (Theatrical and Special Edition) there is also a third version of T-2 with ANOTHER 20 mins added in. It's an easter egg and as soon as we get the DVD and figure out where the heck it is we'll let you know.

We also had a chance to catch a sneak peek at some footage from the new 2 Disc Criterion Edition of Beastie Boys Video Anthology (October 2000) and it looks fantastic! In addition to watching a little of the DVD I had a lengthy discussion with the producer of the DVD (who also did the Criterion editions of Rushmore, The Orphic Trilogy, Carnival of Souls and The 39 Steps) and we were blown away with all the cool stuff slated for the DVD. The Beastie Boys Video Anthology will have 18 videos with alternate camera angles and multiple audio tracks (including new surround mixes, a cappella versions, and more than 40 remixes. A ton of rare footage, photos and unreleased music tracks as well as an immense amount of commentaries. This is one DVD to look out for!

When we met with all the studios, one of the issues we discussed with them was DTS support. Almost all of the studios (INCLUDING Criterion) said that they've got at least one DTS title in the works. This was pretty exciting news given our recent addition of the new DTS section on DVD Talk. On the show floor I heard that FOX was going to be re-releasing Last of The Mohicans with an anamorphic transfer and DTS audio, but it wasn't mentioned in our meeting so I don't know if it's true.

Note: We've included title and releases dates below, some from studios, most from rumors ALL subject to change, but we thought you'd like to know them.

In our meeting with Universal there were a number of interesting title releases which they mentioned including Special Editions of - Somewhere in Time, U-571, Legend and a the Restored version of A Touch of Evil (10/31) including - a 57 min making of documentary and 58 page memo from Orson wells to Universal with details on how the film should have been re-cut (which it has been for this edition!). Additionally we heard from Universal that Back to The Future is no go for 2000, but looks good for early 2001.

NewLine Cinema Fans will be excited about what we heard from them. They've confirmed that indeed there will be a Seven 2 DVD Platinum Edition, and they are targeting its release for later this year. Releases to look out for from New Line this year include Love and Basketball, Frequency (10/31), Final Destination Platinum. Early next year look for a John Waters Box Set including Pecker, Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble and more. I got to meet John Waters at a New Line Party and he said he's recorded commentaries for the films in the box set.

We had a fantastic meeting with Fox who is a big fan of the DVD Talk Forums. They went over a lot of their DVD releases and thinking 'off the record' so out of of respect for that I'm not going to publish things they talked about that I wasn't hearing on the floor.... What we can share from them is: The Planet of The Apes Box Set is a limited edition, the extra DVD in the set was only licensed for 100,000 printings so once that set is sold out, you won't see that DVD again. They shared details about The Omen and The Omen Box Set and both look VERY exciting. I asked them about Star Wars Phantom Menace and they groaned.... sticking to the official story that it won't be out in 2000....

That's the info I can share from the Official meeting with Fox... what WASN'T discussed in the meeting and what I got from another source is.... Star Wars Phantom Menace is slated for 2001 and George Lucas is reportedly going to add some footage back into the film to make it a Special Edition... But it's just another Star Wars Rumor so believe it at your own risk. Look for special editions this fall for Titan: AE (11/7) and X-Men (11/21) and also a DVD release of Me Myself & Irene (12/5) Big Mama's House (11/21)

While we didn't have a chance to catch up with DreamWorks we did hear that they are planning Gladiator (11/14), Road To El Dorado (10/31) and a release of Prince of Egypt in DTS. In other DreamWorks DTS News The Haunting DTS will be the first ever 6 discrete channel DTS release on DVD, from what I hear it sounds AMAZING! Rumors for DreamWorks point to a fall release of their latest hit Chicken Run (11/21) .

Warner Brothers was one of the few studios to have a booth at the show and it was mainly focused on autograph stations with people like Jet Lee and Jamie Foxx. We did however have a good source for some of their news..... This fall expect ALL THE SUPERMAN MOVIES on DVD! Also an Oliver Stone Box Set with JFK, Heaven and Earth, Born on the Fourth of July, Talk Radio, Wall Street, Nixon, The Doors, and U-Turn - the box set will include a documentary Oliver Stone's America by Charles Kiselya and tons of supplemental material and commentaries on each. Of special note is an overhaul of JFK a 2 DVD set with the 200 min directors cut and a second DVD with 190 mins of content including 45 mins of deleted scenes. Also look for Any Given Sunday, Battlefield Earth (10/24), Ready to Rumble and.... A PERFECT STORM (11/21)!

No meeting with Columbia Tri-Star who had an ultra low profile at the show but news and rumors none the less :) This fall look for The Patriot (10/24) to be one of their MAJOR releases! Also Heavy Metal 2000 (10/17), Bridge over The River Kawai (11/7 both Limited and SE edition), Donnie Brasco:SE (11/7), Monty Python and the Holy Grail:SE (11/21), TimeCode (10/10), 28 Days (9/19) .

From Paramount the news was more sketchy outside their major release for this year (aside from Braveheart) of Mission Impossible 2 (11/14) other titles not mentioned by them but rumored to be coming to DVD this fall include: Airplane with a fantastic commentary track and Virgin Suicides (9/19) and Rules of Engagement (10/17). We did get the official word from them that The Godfather will NOT be released in 2000 and they are still trying to decide which major catalogue DVD to release on 2001, so it may be a while for Godfather fans.

Other than presenting Disney with our Princess Mononoke petition (with over 3500 signatures!!!!) we didn't really have a chance to talk to them about their upcoming releases, however we've got the scoop for you from our hot source: Keeping The Faith (10/10), High Fidelity (9/19), Shanghai Noon (11/14), Fantasia 2000 (11/14), Dinosaur (2/2001), Dusk till Dawn Box Set (10/3) All 3 movies and and extra 4th Disc w/ extras and Scream Box Set.

From Criterion comes big news of Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing. The folks at Criterion said that Spike has been VERY involved with the Criterion Edition and has overwhelmed them with his willingness to contribute to the DVD Release. In addition to the aforementioned 2 Disc Criterion Edition of Beastie Boys Video Anthology also look for a beautifully restored version of the Rolling Stones Film Gimmie Shelter. In the future look for possible Criterion Editions of Big Deal on Madonna Street, Children of Paradise, Cocktail Molotov, Coupe De Torchon, Cousine Cousine, Dodes' Ka-Den, Double Suicide, Haxan, The Horses Mouth, Ivan's Childhood, Knife in the Water, The Lady Eve, Mon Oncle, Mona Lisa, Monsieur Hulot's Holiday, My Man Godfrey, Playtime, Rashmon, The Rock, The Ruling Class, The Scarlet Empress, The Shop on Main Street, Sisters, Spartacus, The Tales of Hoffman, and Le Touro. Sadly we hear that Trainspotting may go on hold depending on Buena Vista.

Other Release info: USA will be releasing the Neil Young Documentary Year of the Horse as well as 4 amazing sports DVDs one for NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL. Each of the sports DVDs is in 5.1 DD and is packed with more stats and info than you can ever possibly consume! ADV Films has a fantastic version of the Anime Title Sin which features both the English dub, and a subtitled Japanese version. What's neat about the Sin DVD is that the story for the English dub and Japanese version are significantly different and the DVD is the first opportunity to really see both of them! ADV also announced that they are working with Jim Henson productions to bring the Farscape Series on to DVD. They are shooting for a release in 2000 buy may have to slate it in 2001 depending on what additional content they can get for the DVD (which they think will be a significant amount).

That's pretty much all the major news from VSDA. In all it looks like a stellar fall for DVD with some pretty great releases. We'll bring you more info on all these releases and links to pre-orders when they become available!

- Geoffrey Kleinman

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