WBlogoBefore I get a flurry of e-mails from 3 friends and my Mother, I’d just like to point out that sadly, I was not present during Warner Brother’s unleashing of its 2006 DVD titles. Hopefully things like this will change over the course of the coming months, because, let’s face it – I am stupendous when it comes to recycling DVD information from the more prominent DVD websites. With all the talk of HD-DVD and Blu-ray and how many dollars it’s all going to cost in the long run with a completely unnecessary format war, it’s always good to know that a studio out there is still 100% committed to bringing regular folk the DVD titles they know and love and will have to upgrade to.

Most of us can’t even afford an HDTV set with gas prices and ladies of the night being as expensive as they are right now. But with the powers that be in Hollywood shifting alliances faster than you could thrown down a Diminishing Returns in Magic, it’s safe to say the consumer is screwed … but with choices. For the moment, at least.

Let’s get back to the crux of this ‘tweener and discuss the more pertinent issues of the day – like what’s coming this year courtesy of the house that Jack, Harry, Albert, and Sam built. There’s a lot of doozies in there, and my excitement factor runs high with the words The Searchers: Two-Disc Special Edition. Just don’t merely think of this as a list. Instead, consider it a lesson in how to move around decimals places and zeros in your bank account. You’ll be throwing a lot of money to Warner’s award-winning praise-be-to-E. Emmet Walsh Home Video Department. I’d list there address so you could send in your checks faster, but part of the fun is the waiting game for Cover Art. The other part is figuring out how your going to be paying for all of this (hopefully – it’s through our links on Amazon).

So, without further adieu on my part, here’s a sample of their upcoming titles. All of them are considered TBA, but know this – they’ll arrive in one form or another this year.

supesA 14 disc Superman Boxed set, timed to coincide with the release of Superman Returns. The biggest news in this is the announcement of the Superman II: Michael Thau Cut, which, if all sides work out their negotiations, should have Donner’s intentions brought forth via one of his right hand men – Michael Thau. Accountants will be needed (or a nice employee from their department) in explaining how WB will manage to squeeze 14 discs out of the IV films. I think there’s some of that Superman III math in there.

My caveat to this Boxed set is that after I wrote this – IGNDVD (those wonderful bastids) quickly scuffled their feet and pointed ours in the right direction. The set will include Superman, II (The Thau Cut), III, IV, Supergirl, and Superman Returns. 7 films with 2 discs each. There you go.

Ethan Huntin'John Ford/John Wayne fans should have yet another reason to hit the bottle as their heroes did with the Ford/Wayne boxed set. That right there is enough to get several knickers in a severe twist – the outcome being nothing short of jaw-dropping. Ford’s masterpiece The Searchers should be getting the old Ultra Resolution treatment. The Stagecoach: Two-Disc Special Edition should also have others bouncing up and down in their saddlebags. And with good cause, considering it’s a damn fine film worthy of the heaps of praise lavished on it. The rest of the set should include: Fort Apache, The Long Voyage Home, The Wings of Eagles, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, They Were Expendable, and 3 Godfathers.

Ford deviants also should be sprouting a massive erection with The Informer, arguably one of the finest films of the 30’s getting the WB old-timey treatment (which is to say, the goodness). The rest of that John Ford Boxed Set should have The Lost Patrol, Cheyenne Autumn, Mary of Scotland, and Sergeant Rutledge.

Shakespeare and Science-Fiction buffs are moist likely planning their escape to Forbidden Planet, which will finally trek to DVD in a Special Edition after languishing in some sort of flux for quite some time. Expect an all-new feature length documentary and many sleepless nights battling those misunderstood Krel.

KubrickianStanley Kubrick devotees will be getting a bit of the ol’ ultraviolence in regards to more thorough Special Editions of Clockwork Orange, seeing more Scatman Crothers’ getting axed in The Shining, going boldly for the ultimate trip in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the big one – seeing the hardcore sexual escapades of the couch jumpin’ man in the original unrated version of Eyes Wide Shut. Expect new documentaries and never-before-seen footage from Kubrick’s Estate and all the young kids weaned on TMNT to scratch their heads in confusion. They need learnin’s. Kubrick is here to help.

Additionally, thedigitalbits.com says to expect these fine cinematic treats:

Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) – with a new feature-length documentary and audio commentaries

The Maltese Falcon (1941) – packaged with (1931) and The Maltese Falcon – Dangerous FemaleSatan Met a Lady (1936)

The Dirty Dozen (1967)

dirtahyGrand Prix: 2-Disc Special Edition (1966)

The Astaire and Rogers Collection, Volume 2 – featuring Flying Down to Rio (1933), The Gay Divorcee (1934), Roberta (1935), Carefree (1938) and The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939)

The Busby Berkley Collection – featuring Footlight Parade (1933), Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933),
Dames (1934) and Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935)

The Warner Tough Guys Collection – featuring ‘G’ Men (1935), Bullets or Ballots (1936) – I love that film, San Quentin (1937), A Slight Case of Murder (1938), Each Dawn I Die (1939) and City for Conquest (1940)

Knute Rockne All American (1940)

The Marlon Brando Signature Collection – featuring Julius Ceasar (1953), Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967) and The Formula (1980)

WilliamsThe Bette Davis Collection, Volume 2 – including a new Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?: Two-Disc Special Edition (1962 – with new and vintage documentaries and never-before-seen footage), Jezebel (1938), Old Acquaintance (1943), Marked Woman (1937) and The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942).

The Lucy and Desi Collection (due 5/9, SRP $29.92) – featuring The Long, Long Trailer (1954), Forever, Darling (1955) and Too Many Girls (1940)

The Tennessee Williams Film Collection (due 5/2, SRP $79.92) – featuring A Streetcar Named Desire: Two-Disc Special Edition (1951), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: Deluxe Edition (1958), Sweet Bird of Youth (1962), Baby Doll (1956), The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961) and The Night of the Iguana (1964).

And even more titles have been announced, although the great guys at thedigitalbits.com say that it’s all happening, TBA style.

Clark Gable – including Mogambo (1953), Dancing Lady (1933) and Boom Town (1940)

YES!James Stewart – including The Spirit of St. Louis (1957) and The Naked Spur (1953)

Humphrey Bogart – including Passage to Marseille (1944), Action in the North Atlantic (1943), and
Across the Pacific (1942)

Lady in the Lake (1947)

Gary Cooper – including Sergeant York (1941) and The Hanging Tree (1959)

DOUBLE TRUEAlready announced for 4/18 is a TCM Archives: The Laurel and Hardy Collection (SRP $39.92), including Bonnie Scotland and The Devil’s Brother (both 1933), along with vintage excerpts and the Added Attractions: The Hollywood Shorts Story feature-length documentary.

On 4/25, look for the Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory Collection (SRP $59.92) including It’s Always Fair Weather (1955), Summer Stock (1950), Three Little Words (1950), Til the Clouds Roll By (1946) and Ziegfeld Follies (1946).

TCM Archives will also release a whole new series of Forbidden Hollywood Collections. The first release will include Baby Face (1933), Red Headed Woman (1932) and Waterloo Bridge (1931 – unseen since its original theatrical release) along with a new feature-length TCM documentary.

And there you have it.

Plan your year accordingly. Hopefully there’s a wealth of titles that make you want to jump up and scream, shouting inanities to the rest of the world. Celebrate. As Bill Murray so distinctly said – “you … you’ve earned it.”

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