The latest from the home-video front
— TITANIC ON THE DVD DOCKET? In a move that made Twentieth Century Fox the last major studio holdout, Paramount announced April 27 that it would start issuing DVDs. The studio gave the word even before deciding what titles to put out or when, prompting industry speculation — and hope — that a certain ship with a tech-savvy director at the helm will boost DVD sales by year’s end. Meanwhile, the industry wonders how long Fox can remain the non-digital lone wolf.
— THE SEVEN YEARS ITCH Was Brad Pitt‘s Seven Years in Tibet a remake? That’s the impression you might get from the coming Kino video labeled The Original Seven Years in Tibet, a 1957 documentary that combines mountaineer/Nazi ski coach Heinrich Harrer’s 16 mm footage of the Dalai Lama — including his flight from the Red Army — with a reenactment of Harrer’s own escape from a British prison camp. Admits a Kino spokesperson, ”The title’s the same, and that’s about it.”
— ID4.2 Fox’s long-delayed (by a year) special laserdisc edition of Independence Day, which is due July 1, the film’s second anniversary, will have eight minutes of extra footage edited back in — including scenes in the alien mothership, the White House, and Vivica A. Fox‘s strip club. But the PG-13 rating probably won’t change, according to a spokesperson for Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich‘s Centropolis Entertainment, despite the strip-club addition: ”Well, you know, it’s these guys. They don’t really do anything too racy.”
— HERE’S ONE ON THE Q.T. AND VERY HUSH-HUSH… The DVD of L.A. Confidential keeps flying off the shelves. A conspiracy among rabid fans and Warner Bros.? Heavily laden with extras, the movie comes on a dual-layer disc that’s trickier to produce, which means a lot more hit the trash heap, sometimes as many as one out of three, says a leading DVD retailer — a high body count even for film noir. The initial shipment in early May disappeared quickly. Ditto a second batch two weeks later. The same source also predicts a shortfall for the new James Bond DVD, Tomorrow Never Dies. So if you see one, jump but fast.