and Commentary

Release Calendar

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Poll of the Month

Are you going to buy the Japanese Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Laserdisc?

Yes
No

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2/29/00 - Want further proof that End of Days will not be the last Pioneer LD release?  Well, Pionner has just announcedBringing Out the Dead (LBX) for release in May.  Bringing Out the Dead (LBX) is directed by famed director Martin Scorsese and stars Nicolas Cage as an ambulance driver.  The Laserdisc is tentatively scheduled to street on May 9th and it will retail for $29.98.

2/25/00 - Been wondering why there hasn't been any updates recently?  Well, that's because there hasn't been any significant Laserdisc news (no announcements and no releases for that matter).   However, next week we should see the release of Runaway Bride (LBX), The Wood(LBX) and (hopefully) The Best Man (1999,LBX,DD).

With the used LD market staying relatively robust, there has been a few requests for a list of Laserdisc titles that are prone to Laser rot so buyers will know which titles to look out for.   There is an old Laser rot list available at http://www.thadlabs.com/LD_info/rotlist.txt  but that list is 3 years out of date.  I'm willing to expand that list with a little of your help.  You can send me information on the LDs that have rotted on you and I will compile an updated and expanded list.  You can submit titles either by email or by using the blank review page.

2/12/00 - A few months back, I reported that Pioneer had ceased to produce Laserdiscs at their Carson, California plant.  Now Pioneer is selling the entire plant to Deluxe Video Services.  Deluxe Video Services will produce DVD's at the plant.  With the sale of the Carson facilities, Pioneer has no optical disc factories (LD or DVD) in the US.  Maybe the sale of the factory sparked the Widescreen Review rumor (even though Pioneer ceased LD production there months ago).  Personally, I'm going to miss the Carson plant since it was responsible for the bulk of LD produced in America (and they did a whole lot better job making LD's than Sony DADC).

2/11/00 Update - I emailed Pioneer about the Widescreen Review rumor and found out that End of Days (LBX,DD) will NOT be the last Laserdisc released since Pioneer plans on releasing Jim Carrey's Man on the Moon.  In fact, the email seemed to indicate that LD production will continue for a little while longer.

Still, continue to support Laserdisc by buying new releases.  There is no better message to convince Pioneer to continue to release Laserdiscs than good sales.

2/11/00 - Image Entertainment has released their third quarter results, which is usually pretty boring stuff.  However, this one had a few tidbits of information that proves to be interesting:

Still no official announcement yet . . .

Also, Widescreen Review says that End of Days is rumored to be the last Laserdisc Pioneer releases.  We'll see if that is true soon enough.  At any rate, Laserdisc's future seems bleak at this point.  However, I would continue to buy Laserdiscs as a show of support.  If sales are strong enough, the powers than be could change their minds.

2/5/00 - Image Entertainment has announced their April releases and for a third month in a row, there are no Laserdisc releases.  Therefore, a domestic version of The Phantom Menace LD does not appear to be forthcoming.  So your two choices are the Japanese Laserdisc or VHS. There will be no DVD release anywhere in the world except for the inevitable bootleg version from Asia (which you won't buy, right?).  In addition, the lack of releases for a third month in row is troubling since there are other "smaller" movies like the Sixth Sense and Eyes Wide Shut that could be released on Laserdisc but are not.

So is Image still in the Laserdisc business or not?  Well, there has been no official or unofficial word from Image (even though I have been badgering them for weeks).  It appears Image has not made a definite decision yet regarding Laserdisc's fate.  However, the lack of any sort of statement at all leads me to believe that Image is renewing or renegotiating contracts with one or more of the studios.  How did I conceive this wacky theory (other than having too much time on my hands)?  Well, Image has always said that they had the right to release Laserdiscs until the year 2000 (which is, gasp, this year).  Furthermore, there is no reason to be so hush-hush and secretive about Laserdiscs fate.  The only time companies (in general) are this quiet is when they are in negotiations (where it is bad form to discuss the goings on).  So am I right?  Only time will tell.

March is no longer empty as two Laserdisc releases originally scheduled for this month have been pushed back to March.  Those two titles are Double Jeopardy (LBX) and The Story of Us (LBX,DD).  You can check on the release date of any upcoming title by clicking on the Release Calendar link above.

Finally, this age of mega-mergers and huge conglomerates seems to be breeding lawsuits at an insane rate. After gobbling up USSB and Primestar, satellite TV provider Direct TV is being accused of anti-competitive practices by rival Echostar. Quite frankly, I hope there will be again more than two players in the satellite TV market.



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