RT on DVD: I'm Not There is Here! Plus, News of the Blu-Ray Xbox 360 Rumors...
A dose of DVD news with your weekly release round-up!
Microsoft comments on rumors that they'll be putting Blu-Ray players in Xbox 360s and the MPAA's best anti-piracy agents have bounties on their heads. Read more of this week's DVD news, plus find out what's new in stores!
This week in DVD news:
Format Wars: Episode II
Microsoft has denied a recent rumor that they'd be putting Blu-Ray players into their Xbox 360 consoles following Blu-Ray's victory over HD-DVD in the format wars of 2008. Too bad, because the debunked rumor sparked the salivary glands of next-gen home entertainment nuts worldwide when it broke last week via the Chinese-language Economic Daily News. For now, Xbox 360 owners will have to make do with their in-console HD-DVD players --- but hey, at least HD-DVDs will go on sale soon!
Then again, Blu-Ray releases are looking sweeter and sweeter as former HD-DVD supporters Paramount and Universal start catching up their slates. Coming soon from Paramount are catalog titles Face/Off, Next, and Bee Movie (all May 20), with recent releases Cloverfield and There Will be Blood following shortly (June 3). The Spiderwick Chronicles will be their first day-and-date Blu-Ray release on June 24.
Likewise, Universal has announced that their first day-and-date release will be Neil Marshall's Doomsday, hitting shelves in DVD and Blu-Ray on July 29.
Format Wars: Episode III?
Perhaps the HD-DVD-Blu-Ray squabble was small potatoes compared to what's on the horizon: downloadable viewing vs. DVD. (Duh-duh-duhhhhhhhhn!) Lobbying the first volley in a sure-to-be skirmish was Apple, who announced last week that new releases would now be available for purchase and download to iTunes, superseding the need for physical DVDs. Somewhere, Blockbuster execs are weeping, free microwaveable popcorn in hand.
In happier news for DVD executives, Malaysian forces "smashed" an illicit DVD-pirating ring last week, destroying an operation that could have yielded "seven million pirated discs, potentially generating criminal revenues of more than US$22 million," and arresting all three (three!) men running the joint. Long live legitimate DVD production! In a separate article, such busts are credited to two crack MPAA agents in particular: a pair of black Labradors named Lucky and Flo. The two DVD-sniffing dogs are so good that they've had doggie hits put out on them to the tune of $30,000, reports the Houston Chronicle.
-- South Park: The 11th Season hits DVD August 12 -- you know the one. The season with Guitar Hero! In the spirit of the episode called "Guitar Queer-o," the Comedy Central release will reportedly come with all-uncensored episodes and three downloadable Rock Band songs.
-- DigitalBits names the best titles of 2007, with the Blade Runner: 5-Disc Collector's Edition taking top honors. (Watch it in Blu-Ray/HD for details remastered with pinpoint precision.)
-- Mark your calendars for September's release of the most so-wrong-it's-hilarious show on TV: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Season 3. The three-disc release with all 15 episodes will retail for $39.98 and include 3 featurettes, a gag reel, two episode commentaries, and more.
-- In the market for DVDs of your favorite shows not yet released on DVD? LA Times Gold Derby blogger Tom O'Neill has taken time off of waging war against LA film critics to play consumer guide for shoppers. He's got the skinny on Emmy screeners for sale on EBay for such hot television shows as Entourage, the complete TNT/TCM/TBS slate, and The Closer, which sold to the highest bidder for $7.49 in cool, hard, Paypal dollars. Read more here.
Finally, drool over this piece of DVD swag: a desktop-sized bust of Christian Bale as Batman to be packaged with the Blu-Ray version of Batman Begins...but only in Japan. (Via Gizmodo.)
Click for this week's new releases!