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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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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June 27, 2010

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

Alliance Home Entertainment is continuing its TV-on-DVD clusterbombing, as mentioned here and here.  The titles being monetized for late June-August 2010:

Andromeda: Season 2 (August 10, 2010)
BeastMaster: Season 2 (August 24, 2010)
Earth: Final Conflict: Season 1 (June 29, 2010) | Season 2 (July 27, 2010)
Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town: Complete Series (August 3, 2010)
Lexx: Season 2 (July 20, 2010) | Season 3 (August 24, 2010)
Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal: Season 2 (August 10, 2010)
TekWar: Complete Series (August 31, 2010)
The Outer Limits (1995): Season 4 (July 6, 2010) | Season 5 (August 3, 2010)
White Fang: Complete Series (August 17, 2010)

Amazon.ca is very spotty with its updates.  Admittedly, I use its affiliates program to drum up sales, which is why pieces like this exist.  The entries are still shambolic.  Items listed “the outer limits ssn 5″ or “Lexx S3″ are not uncommon.  An Amazon offshoot should not be that unprofessional.

TekWar‘s release date has been pushed back three times by now.  It was initially set to come out June 13.  August 3 and August 10 release dates will not be met.  I wonder what’s causing the delays, since it’s been mentioned that this set will not include the made-for-TV films.

One thing Alliance Home Entertainment needs to do is revisit TV-on-DVD sets its predecessor company, Alliance Atlantis, abandoned.  Cold Squad and Traders are two such titles, abandoned after their first seasons.  AA sat too long on Da Vinci’s Inquest, a title Acorn Media has since capitalized on.

I actually can’t believe Alliance Home Entertainment is as active as it is right now.  That’s good.  While the company isn’t perfect, this situation is a lot better than when AHE quietly released the odd Trailer Park Boys season and a few other titles.  I’m in awe that it’s keeping to its clusterbomb title strategy.  I question why shows like White Fang, but the good with the bad.

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April 26, 2010

News: Alliance Films Home Entertainment TV-on-DVD Releases, June-July 2010

As mentioned in the last Canadian TV-on-DVD Roundup, Alliance Films Home Entertainment is unleashing a torrent of its television titles.  The titles being monetized for late June-July 2010:

Andromeda: Season 1 (July 13, 2010)
BeastMaster: Season 1 (July 13, 2010)
Earth: Final Conflict: Season 2 (July 27, 2010)
Emily of New Moon: Season 3 (June 22, 2010) | Season 4 (July 20, 2010)
Lexx: Season 2 (July 20, 2010)
The Outer Limits (1995): Season 4 (July 6, 2010)
PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal: Season 1 (July 13, 2010)
RoboCop: The Series: Season 1 (July 27, 2010)
TekWar: Complete Series (July 13, 2010)

The only shows I’m interested in are The Outer Limits, RoboCop: The Series and maybe TekWar.  No Made in Canada yet?  I’m sure that show is in Alliance Films’ catalogue.  Hell, so is CODCO.  AFHE might want to take hints here.

For those following URBMN, BeastMaster and Andromeda had sets put out by ADV Films.  I’m not sure about the American home entertainment rights to Alliance Films’ shows, as these releases are Canada-only.

On a related note, Gord Lacey of TVShowsonDVD.com has reviewed Relic Hunter‘s first season.  He doesn’t like the video quality and hates the packaging.  Three discs per panel?  Yikes.  Captions and subtitles are also absent.

Thanks to TVShowsonDVD.com for breaking the news on Alliance’s TV-on-DVD slate.  I don’t know how that site can stand all the news it gets.  There’s only so much enthusiasm you can fake for shows like Jon & Kate Plus 8 and Real Housewives of West Mifflin, Pennsylvania.

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March 15, 2010

News: C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures in receivership

As mentioned at Canadian Animation Resources, computer animation studio C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures has gone into receivership.  The studio was created by Bob Munroe, John Mariella, Kyle Menzies and William Shatner in 1994.

In its sixteen-year history, C.O.R.E. has rendered various special effects on films like Splice (2009), SUCK (2009), Silent Hill (2006), Cube (1997), Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004) and X-Men (2000.)  Television shows like Wonderfalls (2004) and The Tudors (2007- ) have also been touched by C.O.R.E.

C.O.R.E. has tried its hand at film and television production.  Among C.O.R.E.’s film production credits are Santitos (1999), The Wild (2006) and Firehouse Dog (2007.)  Television credits include Angela Anaconda (1999-2002), Iggy Arbuckle (2007) and CTV miniseries Would Be Kings (2008.)

As this story is only a few hours old by the time I post this, there’s no official word on why C.O.R.E. Digital has gone into receivership.  The current rumour is that financing from Royal Bank of Canada fell through, breaking C.O.R.E.’s poorly-managed back.  Employees were called into a meeting around 3:00 PM ET today, told to take their personal items and leave the C.O.R.E. building.

It boggles my mind how C.O.R.E.’s in such terrible financial shape.  Vincenzo Natali’s Splice will be given a summer 2010 release by Warner Bros.  SUCK debuted at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival.  C.O.R.E. Toons’ Planet Sheen has yet to debut on Nickelodeon.  It’s not like the company’s irrelevant.

I hope C.O.R.E.’s receiver can keep the company afloat.  Not everything C.O.R.E. touches is great (Planet Sketch and Iggy Arbuckle? come on), but it’s a decent special effects house.  C.O.R.E. has come a long way from TekWar.

Addendum (March 17, 2010) | Not much in the way of new information, other than Canadian Animation Resources’ update on C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures’ financial problems.  As much as $2 million in debt?  How much was C.O.R.E. making/losing a year that $2 million was an insurmountable hurdle?

The Ontario Liberal government was going to help relieve C.O.R.E.’s debt load, but balked after due diligence.  I don’t normally post hearsay on URBMN, but something smells about this story.

C.O.R.E. shouldn’t have relied on government tax breaks to stay aloft, if that is how they remained in business.  I don’t see why the company couldn’t have merged with DHX Media, E1 Entertainment or Shaftesbury Films, unless its size (around 150 employees) was a deal-breaker.

DHX Media makes the most sense, aside from DHX Media having about 68 employees total.  There’s a history between DECODE Entertainment and C.O.R.E.  I don’t know.  It’s all speculation until a business move is made.

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