May 14, 2011

News: The Adventures of Tintin DVD sets to be released through Shout! Factory

This is three-day-old news by now, but I haven’t seen much commentary on this story.  The Adventures of Tintin, a co-production between Canada’s Nelvana and France’s Ellipsanime, will see its 39 episodes released on DVD through Shout! Factory.  This “multi-year agreement” will exploit the upcoming 2011 release of The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn, the Steven Spielberg/Peter Jackson/Weta Digital motion-capture film.

This news is notable for the American company attached to the Adventures of Tintin DVD releases.  Shout! Factory has released Canadian content before, most notably SCTV, ReBoot and Transformers: Beast Wars.

More Tintin after the jump

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May 7, 2011

News: Alliance Home Entertainment TV-on-DVD Releases, April-June 2011

Yeah, I know.  My neglect of URBMN means these Alliance Home Entertainment titles, if not already out, are coming very soon.  Hey, a few of you are actually purchasing these titles through my links, so I must be doing something right…that or Americans are cross-border shopping.

The titles for April to June 2011, plus a selection for August:

Titles After the Jump

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January 29, 2011

News: Testees complete series DVD to come out in 2011

Testees, Kenny Hotz and Derek Harvie’s 2008 Showcase/FX sitcom, has earned a two-disc series set in 2011, through Entertainment One Home Video.  The show stars Jeff Kassel and Steve Markle as Ron and Peter, two human guinea pigs testing products for TESTICO.

Kenny Hotz is long-tenured guinea pig Larry, while Joe Pingue carves a niche as obnoxious schemer Nugget.  Kim Schraner appears as bar owner Kate…at least until she’s written off midseason, presumably to make room for more Nugget.

Testees fans might remember this URBMN article, which debunked rumours of a Canada-only second season.  FX Productions and Blueprint Entertainment originally produced the series, and Blueprint has since folded into Entertainment One.  I’d consider Testees‘ cancellation official now.

Both TVShowsonDVD.com and eOne Home Video’s site give the release date as April 26, 2011.  Amazon.ca has it as February 22, 2011.  I assume the amazon.ca date is wrong, but hey, the Testees DVD is out.  That’s more than I can say for Less Than Kind right now.


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January 16, 2011

News: Alliance Home Entertainment TV-on-DVD Releases, Feb.-Mar. 2011

Yes, it’s another round of Alliance Home Entertainment’s Canadian TV-on-DVD releases.  There’s an increased reliance this year on relatively obscure shows with one-or-two-season runs.  The Adventures of Sinbad, The Outer Limits and other well-known CanCon quota quickies have been burned through, so Alliance has to reach deeper into its barrel.

With that in mind, here are Alliance’s February 2011 releases, plus a March 2011 release that hasn’t been formally announced:

Dead Man’s Gun: Season 1 (February 15, 2011) | Season 2 (March 15, 2011)
La galère: Season 3 (February 8, 2011)
Amazon: Complete Series (February 22, 2011)
The Adventures of the Black Stallion: Season 3 (February 22, 2011)
The Crow: Stairway to Heaven: Complete Series (February 15, 2011)
Total Recall 2070: Complete Series (February 22, 2011)

The packaging for Dead Man’s Gun is encouraging.  Alliance has finally realized how awful the six-disc Digipak it’s been using since 2010 is, and has opted for a multi-disc keepcase.  I hope this is a permanent change.

If you’ve been keeping score, Night Heat and Da Vinci’s Inquest haven’t been touched yet, while Total Recall 2070 and Amazon (a/k/a Peter Benchley’s Amazon) have.  Eventually, Alliance is going to have to get to Night Heat, just so I can end this running joke.  You can’t hide from the 1980s forever.

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October 26, 2010

News: Alliance Home Entertainment TV-on-DVD Releases, Nov. 2010-Jan. 2011

It’s been a while since I posted anything about Alliance Home Entertainment’s Canadian TV-on-DVD releases.  This listing consists of five new releases, two box set repacks, and one oft-delayed title.  To wit:

Andromeda: Season 5 (January 4, 2011)
C.A. Conseil d’administration: Complete Series (November 9, 2010)
Passe-Partout: “Coffret” (November 16, 2010)
TekWar: Complete Series (?)
The Adventures of Sinbad: Season 2 (January 4, 2011)
The Adventures of the Black Stallion: Season 2 (November 9, 2010)
Trailer Park Boys: “Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys” DVD | Blu-ray (December 7, 2010)

You will notice Passe-Partout‘s box set listed as “Coffret.”  From what I can tell, Alliance Vivafilm is re-releasing its Passe-Partout volume sets, packaging them as a collection.  At around $200, I can’t see a market for the set, even though Passe-Partout is encoded into the DNA of every French-speaking Quebecer born in the late 1970s and 1980s.

I question the wisdom of Alliance releasing the TPB special two years after its airdate.  I see no point in releasing Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day before the special that preceded it.  I guess Countdown to Liquor Day is a bigger commercial lure, being the third TPB film.  I don’t know.

As for The Adventures of Sinbad and Andromeda, they finish their runs on January 4, 2011.  This begs the question: which shows will Alliance mill through next?  I mean, the world is at the point where Airwolf‘s fourth season is worthy of release.

Seriously, the Vancouver season of Airwolf!  A lot of Airwolf fans count the fourth season as a separate show, but here we are.  It’s 2011 and you get to see tons of stock footage of a Bell 222, plus Barry Van Dyke!  Night Heat can’t come to DVD why?

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August 22, 2010

News: The Red Green Show‘s Global seasons on DVD November 2010

On November 2, 2010, The Red Green Show‘s fourth through sixth seasons will be released on DVD through Acorn Media, under the title The Red Green Show: The Toddlin’ Years.  The title shows up on quite a few retail sites, including amazon.ca, amazon.com and DeepDiscount.com.

The Red Green Show: The Toddlin’ Years is also mentioned in an Acorn Media wholesalers’ listing.  I don’t think the title has been formally announced at this point.  The November 2 street date, of course, is subject to change.

The Red Green Show “rebooted” itself as The New Red Green Show for its three seasons on Global.  Despite the fact that The Red Green Show had to pay its way on Global, to the point of selling its own advertising, the Global era is when the show started to take off.  Despite the modifier “new,” The New Red Green Show‘s formulae and running jokes were by and large set by 1994.

The Red Green Show: The Toddlin’ Years is formatted like The Red Green Show: The Infantile Years, with three 24-episode seasons on a total of nine discs.  The price is the same as The Infantile Years – $99.99 US/$124.99 CDN.  As I said in my piece on The Red Green Show: The Infantile Years, this release is just for the hardcores.

I honestly don’t get the “Infantile/Toddlin’” way of selling the early years of The Red Green Show.  The show’s format never underwent any major changes over 15 seasons.  Who’s the target market for The Red Green Show: The Toddlin’ Years?  Are the hardcore fans that snobby that $100 US for three seasons of television is acceptable?  I don’t get it.  I blame PBS for this.

 
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August 15, 2010

News: Alliance Home Entertainment TV-on-DVD Releases, October 2010

You know the drill by now.  Tags are here and here.  Here are the new season sets of shows from the Alliance vaults, ’cause capitalism is as subtle as Kevin Thompson’s acting.

Andromeda: Season 4 (October 19, 2010)
Earth: Final Conflict: Season 5 (October 26, 2010)
F/X: The Series: Season 2 (October 26, 2010)
Les Invincibles: Complete Series (October 19, 2010)
Mutant X: Season 3 (October 26, 2010)
The Adventures of Sinbad: Season 1 (October 19, 2010)
The Adventures of the Black Stallion: Season 1 (October 19, 2010)
The Outer Limits (1995): Season 7 (October 5, 2010)

Koch Canada gave The Adventures of Sinbad a first-season release in 2004, then abandoned the title.  Not surprisingly, The Adventures of Sinbad will be quickly ground through the Alliance video mill, as the show only lasted two seasons.  I forget if the first season is the one where Sinbad and Doubar fight toilet paper in one episode.

The Alliance releases are finally showing signs of slowing down.  Earth: Final Conflict, Mutant X, F/X: The Series and The Outer Limits (1995) have been exhausted.  Andromeda has one more season to go.

The Adventures of the Black Stallion already has a complete series set out, through Echo Bridge Home Entertainment.  Echo Bridge Entertainment bought Alliance Atlantis’ international distribution arm after Alliance Atlantis was dismantled in 2007.

To be honest, The Adventures of the Black Stallion is the first redundant title Alliance has released in a while.  Echo Bridge is rereleasing the series in season volume sets right now.  Not a good move, for either Echo Bridge or Alliance.

My prediction: you’re going to see Neon Rider and Bordertown very soon.  Mark my words.  These rush releases have their problems, but better this than letting the titles rot in archive hell.  I still want Night Heat.

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July 28, 2010

News: Three Mike MacDonald CBC/Showtime comedy specials on DVD October 5, 2010

Mike MacDonald: A Comic Stripped will be released by VSC on October 5, 2010.  The single-disc compendium of his CBC/Showtime specials will MSRP for $19.98 CDN.  The listed running time is 130 minutes.

Mike MacDonald: A Comic Stripped covers MacDonald’s three CBC/Showtime standup comedy specials, On Target, My House! My Rules!, and Happy As I Can Be.  Extras include a commentary track and Mike MacDonald performing air guitar.

Mike MacDonald is the star of the 1989-91 CBC series Mosquito Lake, though he can hardly be blamed for that show being an epic comedy abortion.  More importantly, he’s the voice of Rip Friend in the Teletoon/Fox Kids cartoon Ripping Friends (2001-02.)

MacDonald is one of Canada’s great standup comics, and it’s too bad he hasn’t become bigger than he is.  How CBC goes from Mike MacDonald and The Kids in the Hall to Ron James and The Ron James Show, I’ll never know.  At least one of Mike MacDonald’s old films is out on DVD, even if it is Loose Screws.

Here’s Mike MacDonald from the 1987 Just For Laughs Festival.  You may remember 1987 as the year Eddie Windsor spent a few minutes desperately trying to wring laughs from a dog and a hoop.

Ten years later, Eddie Windsor was featured on The Worst of Just For Laughs.  WoJFL aired just after The Just For Laughs 15th Anniversary Special.  Guess who hosted The Just For Laughs 15th Anniversary Special?

Yeah, Kevin Bacon!  You sons of bitches.


 
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