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October 30th, 2000

MONSTER UPDATE! Plus Playstation 2 Madness!

Hello everyone, we're not dead! I would like to apologize and thank all of you for your patience as DVDlaunch updates again. It's been about two weeks since the last update, all due to some computer trouble. I sent my computer in for the weekend two Fridays ago, and was going to have it back for the next update. I did. But the only problem was when I got my computer back, the modem was busted so the new repairs took a lot longer than I expected. Then I had some server trouble. Bah! Still, we're back, all things are smooth now and we got quite a lot of reviews to share with you. Before I do however, let's get down to some news, shall we?

Unless you've been living in a hole, you should be aware from major media coverage that after much anticipation, the Sony PlayStation 2 launched last Thursday in North America, with a somewhat small shipment of 500,000 units (then again, Sony only shipped 100,000 Playstation 1 units back in 1995). The original shipment was supposed to be 950,000 units, however, Sony had some parts shortage and the demand has been insane. Most places began taking pre-orders last February, and some major chain stores didn't have reserves, but got in a few units yesterday which were snatched up. A lot of people on eBay are selling the machine, and they're going for insane prices. I'm a big gaming fanatic myself, and I did reserve a system and recieved it (plus a memory card and Tekken Tag Tournament and Fantavision). I will actually be writing up a report about the system soon, to be featured in a new site section I will be launching. I must be honest though. While I think the system is very good, when I got my Sega Dreamcast launch day, I was a bit more excited and more content with what it can do. Still, you can play your PlayStation 1 games with the machine and use accessories from the original too. Heh, I remember getting the original PlayStation on launch day... I've been with Sony from the start I guess. So what does this all have to do with DVD even? Well, whenever you buy Playstation 2, it's a full functioning DVD player as well (complete with Dolby Digital and DTS sound outputs). So a whole new legion of game players have a brand new DVD player or an additional one. You use the controller to function through everything, but a 3rd party company has a seperate remote if you plan to use the player non-stop. Again, the madness won't stop for it, and I'll give more impressions soon.

Release news... release news. I'm sure you've heard it all by now from other DVD sites, so I'm not sure if I should bother, but one note I would like to make is that after much waiting and delays, the Japanese animated masterpiece (and one of my favorite films of all time from my favorite animation director of all time) Princess Mononoke will be released on December 19th (YES!). If you've been following this title as closely as I have, you should know their is quite a long history behind it. Originally scheduled to be released last May, Princess Mononoke was then delayed to an unconfirmed date of June 13th. Disney never confirmed this date and it was delayed yet again to August 29th, right with a side by side rental video release. However, their was outcry from many fans that the disc would not have the Japanese language track. In a couple of days, thanks to sites such as nausicaa.net and DVDTalk, thousands of names were made with an online petition, and Disney got the message, so once again they delayed the disc to include the Japanese (and to think - the region 2 version isn't due out for two more years!). Well, the final specs are in. While they remain unchanged basically, the whole big deal is the Japanese language track. So you got that, the well done dub track, the French dub track, the ORIGINAL English subtitles (not for the dub, for the original Japanese script thankfully), a featurette (Disney's featurettes suck, it's like the trailer mixed in with an interview as most of us know) plus the trailer for the dub. I am a HUGE Hayao Miyazaki fan, so I am really looking foward to this disc. I also loved the movie and traveled a good distance to see it in the theater last October (it's actually been one year this coming weekend). The story follows Ashitaka, a young warrior as he heads to a strange land to get rid of a curse that has been bestowed upon him. There he meets Lady Eboshi, a woman struggling to help her workers and people build a better life for themselves by tearing down the forrest. Ashitaka also meets San, also known as Princess Mononoke, as she lives with Wolf Gods and other animals in the forrest. The film basically follows the two clashing sides, as they struggle to co-exist in peace. Great animation, great story, great music (and pretty lengthy). You may have heard of it, you may have not. Still, it's a film I definently reccoemend to everyone (except the kiddies, it is a pretty gory animated film). If Disney delays this disc again... I'll blow their heads off.

Now on to the usual Monday Box Office, and in a major shock, Meet The Parents beat out what many thought was going to be the clear winner, Book Of Shadows Blair Witch 2. This proves that the movie going audience doesn't run right for a brand name franchise sequel. I expected it to do a lot more than 13 million, but maybe people are sick of the whole Blair Witch madness. I didn't like the first one so much despite the huge phenomenon it was, and this sequel isn't really a sequel so much... a new cast and it sorta mocks the whole powerhouse the original was. Still, the director and co-writer is a very good, you may have noticed he did the excellent documentary "Paradise Lost" which HBO shows often. Be sure to check out Anthony's review of the original movie on DVD by clicking here. Other new movies opened up poorly. The aniticipated Nora Ephron comedy Lucky Numbers, which was due out last July, was not so lucky to make about 4.7 million. Johnathon "Cute Kid From Jerry Maguire" Lipnicki beat out the dark comedy in New Line's kid friendly The Little Vampire with a little over five million.

Now, on to the new reviews. I'm almost done with Toy Story: The Ultimate Toy Box review (it should be up sometime soon, I just have to finish covering the features) as well as American Beauty, but I have prepared for you last Spring's comedy hit (and a nice movie), Keeping The Faith. Also, I've added two more South Park reviews, for Volumes 3 and 4. I'll try to post the remaning volumes soon to conicide with the new ones which are due out next Tuesday.

Anthony takes a look at Warner's first DVD-18 title, A Star Is Born as well as the horror classic Rosemary's Baby. Anthony also looks at two different editions of another horror classic, Night Of The Living Dead. So check those out and see which one is worth buying. Also, Ren gives a good look at summer 1999's shark thriller Deep Blue Sea.

James has prepared a ton of reviews for the site, and they're all great to read, so check them out. They include Addicted To Love, Get Shorty, The Doors: Collector's Edition, The Graduate Special Edition, Caddyshack (20th Anniversery Edition), Stop Making Sense, The Original Three Tenors Concert and True Stories. WHEW! Great job James!

Eric has reviewed The Mask: Platinum Series while David checks out the three Die Hard films. If you're thinking of picking up the Die Hards, don't! I hear they are being re-released next year with anamorphic enhancment and DTS sound. Or at least the first one...

Well, it's great to be back, up and running. Enjoy everyone, and look for more constant updates now and loads of more reviews.

- Zach B.

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