Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Disney Treasures -- Wave Seven News

There's an interview with Leonard Maltin up at Jim Hill Media. The main topic of discussion is the upcoming 20th edition of his annual movie guide, but more interesting (to you and me at least) is the brief mention of the upcoming wave seven of the Disney Treasures DVDs (which come out December 11):

"First up is 'Oswald the Lucky Rabbit,' " Maltin continued. "This two-disc set will feature several newly restored versions of these black & white silent cartoons. Some of which will now have an full orchestral track while others will feature just organ accompaniment. This DVD will also include Leslie Iwerk's great documentary, 'The Hand Behind the Mouse,' about her grandfather Ub Iwerks."

Also included in this "Disney Treasures" release is the oft-delayed "Disneyland: Secrets, Stories and Magic" as well as "The Chronological Donald -- Volume 3." Which will include intriguing extras like a featurette that documents Donald's many cameo appearances in feature films as well as an interview with noted Disney character sculptor Rubén Procopio. Who will demonstrate how you take a two-dimensional character like Donald Duck and change him into a 3D sculpture.

More on the Alvin and Horton trailers

At his blog, Mark Mayerson has posted his thoughts on the recently released trailers for Alvin and the Chipmunks and Horton Hears a Who. His blog post is titled "Two Trailers; Two Tragedies" -- can you guess what he thought of them? About the Chipmunks, he says:

What is it about toilet humour and animated films? We've gone from fart jokes to characters defecating on screen in Open Season to characters eating each other's waste material now. When did family films look to John Waters and Pink Flamingoes as a model? When did a porn fetish become children's entertainment? And who, at the MPAA, approved this trailer for all audiences?

My objection is not to the obscenity, it's the complete and total lack of imagination. In a medium where characters can do anything, they choose to do this? With the entire history of film comedy to draw on, this is the best they could do?

He's not much kinder to Horton Hears a Who:

Furthermore, whoever is behind the screenplay doesn't understand how to write for animation. There's way too much dialogue and the animators are stuck looking for gestures to keep the characters alive while the dialogue drones on. I don't envy the animator stuck with that Steve Carell scene. It's a tough challenge, but he or she is making it worse by using gestures to illustrate words and phrases as opposed to thoughts. The character is overly busy and the gestures are mostly empty of emotion.

At his own blog, Michael Sporn gives some of his comments on the trailers. Here's some of what he says about Alvin and the Chipmunks:

My immediate reaction to the ugly cg chipmunks was absolutely negative. There is nothing that could make me go to that film. The designs of the characters are completely off kilter. To think back to those limited animation but beautifully designed Format film originals, I can only sigh when I look at what a bastardization of ugly design people do today. It’s sad, really.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Smurfs on DVD

Good news for all you Smurfs fans: it's looking like the complete first season of the Smurfs is going to be released on DVD at some point this year. There's no official announcement yet, but apparently there's a promo on the new Popeye DVD. Jaime J. Weinman has posted the video on his blog. He also ponders what made the Smurfs so popular:

Interesting question is why kids love "The Smurfs." I attribute it to that whole "village" concept, the idea that the Smurfs lived in a secret village whose location was a secret to most non-Smurfs. That taps into kids' longing to have a secret place where adults can't find them and where adult rules don't apply; even though Papa Smurf is sort of an authority figure, it really feels like they're all kids and Gargamel is from the adult world. This concept was so successful that other cheesy '80s kids shows tried to do something similar; remember how on the Pac-Man cartoon, Pac-Man had a secret "power forest" that the villains were always trying to find.

At Cartoon Brew, Jerry Beck posted an image of a temporary tattoo being distributed at the Warner Brothers booth at the San Diego Comic-Con, which confirms that the DVD will be out this year:

The commenters at the Brew -- aside from debating the procreational logistics of a community containing only one female -- seem somewhat ambivalent. Larry T is pleased, though:

Seriously you guys, take a look at the artists’ credit list the next time you watch one of those things- it’s jam-packed full of whomever was held over from H-B studios, WB, and MGM. There’s some pretty funny stuff in there if you watch some of the better ones, especially in the first two seasons.

David Gerstein prefers the Smurfs in their original iteration:

Were the Smurfs’ Hanna-Barbera series their entire body of work, I can’t say I’d be very interested in them. But the Smurfs were earlier in Pierre Culliford’s brilliant series of semi-sophisticated comic albums—Asterix-style stories, even translated to English in the late 1970s by the Asterix team. Some earlier H-B cartoons were dumbed-down versions of the album stories; but the originals included such scenarios as Smurf civil war, Smurf political turmoil, and Smurf drinking binges… no kidding!
(It’s the same story as with Mickey Mouse; once the American public perceives the brand as being for preschoolers, the original version of the characters comes across as almost a dark parody of the version with which more people are familiar.)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Popeye DVD early opinions

Well, the much-anticipated Popeye DVD doesn't officially come out until tomorrow, but it looks like a few people have already gotten their hands on a copy. At the Golden Age Cartoons forum, J. Lee posts some of his early observations:

I'm starting with Popeye, Vol. 1, Disc 1 and working through. Picture quality on "Popeye the Sailor" looks good, though they didn't go though the painstaking process of perfectly recreating the Paramount opening. The menu layout is similar to the ones for the LTGC -- no surprise there -- using still photos of the characters and the opening music bed to "I Eats Me Spinach" for the background.

Chris_1988 weighs in with a few of his opinions:

Packaging is good I like the popped out look of popeye on the front cover. Upon Opening I notice it is overlapping discs in the same packaging way as LTGC vol. 4. I like the screenshots along the middle of the interior of the set with descriptions of all that is on each of the 4 discs above and below the screenshot. I thought it was cute that they had an insert inside of a coupon for 25 cents off popeye spinach and 2 recipes for popeyes party pizzas, and popeyes party dip. ... As for the cartoons themselves I watched a few and the the picture and sound quality are great. I really like how you can see the details in the characters especially. the discs do open with a written disclaimer worded pretty much exactly like in LTGC vol 4.

At the Animation Show forum, Mrmcdermott shares some of his opinions on the DVD:

Sat up late Saturday, watching the first four of the cartoons with commentary. Everything looks totally spiffalicious. Highly doubtful one would see DVNR. I believe a frame in greyscale needs a lot less data than one in color. Everything I stillframed looked for all the world like it was shot from an original cel setup...

But wait! On "Blow Me Down!" On the scene where Olive is frantically dancing to dislodge two spittoons on her feet: One frame seems to show Olive with... NO EYEBROW! Oh, the humanity!

So there you go. Once tomorrow rolls around we should be seeing a lot more comments pop up on this DVD (I know I'll be picking up my copy).

Comic-Con Wall-E info

It looks like Andrew Stanton has revealed a bit of info on Pixar's upcoming film, Wall-E, at the Disney/Pixar presentation at the San Diego Comic-Con. It sounds interesting:

First, Stanton talked about the film, which he described as basically "R2-D2 the movie," tells the story of a "trash-collecting robot named Wall E" who gets a chance to finally leave a world where he's been alone for years and go into space. Once there, "he falls in love and its this love that may allow him to save mankind." He also talked about the challenges of making a film like Wall E, one where the main character is a robot who communicates with a series of sounds and doesn't have a traditional voice. ...

Next, they decided to show a completed sequence from the film, complete with sound effects and music from composer Thomas Newman, who Stanton confirmed was doing the music for the film. The sequence, like most anything Pixar does, was great. Being able to convey such depth of emotion and tell a story so effectively by using only images and sounds and without dialog, takes a special kind of talent that Stanton and Pixar obviously have in spades. In short, the clip was great and I can't wait for the film.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Sour Puss -- Underrated?

Hammerson has posted a bunch of pictures from Bob Clampett's "the Sour Puss" on his blog, and wonders why the film has such a bad reputation:

Ladies and gentlemen, here's a cartoon usually regarded as the worst thing that Bob Clampett has ever done at Warners. So often I've seen the opinion that "The Sour Puss" represents a real nadir, a big stinky blot in an almost faultless filmography of a great director. I've also seen it mentioned on various lists of the worst classic cartoons of all time... and I wonder why? What's the matter with you, people?!?

John Young agrees:

This is one of my favorites. I had no idea people hated this one, I find that extremely puzzling. There are so many funny drawings in there it's almost ridiculous. It makes me feel alone in the universe 'cuz this is one of those cartoons I show my my non-cartoon friends so they can see why i like cartoons so much.

J. Lee offers his opinion on why the cartoon is so derided:

I like the first half of the cartoon -- the cartoon deserves respect if for no other reason than the "Now I've seen everything" suicide gag debuts here -- but the second half comes across as something Ben Hardaway would have done if Cal Dalton designed wilder poses for the animators.

Clampett was obvously feeling constrained by 1940 at having to use Porky in every cartoon, and one of the ways to liven things up was -- as Hardaway did in "Porky's Hare Hunt" -- take the Avery-Clampett Daffy Duck model and stick it into a different body. So here we get the original Daffy in a fish suit, and in "Paitent Porky" we get the original Daffy in a cat costume. There are some good gags in both cartoons, but neither of Porky's antagonists are Daffy Duck, which takes away from both shorts.

Taz and Marvin -- what's the deal?

Oceansoul, posting at the Golden Age Cartoons forum, wonders why the Tazmanian Devil and Marvin the Martian receive so much marketing hype despite their relatively sparse filmography:

Actually when you see any Looney Tunes merchandise or ad, you probably recognise either of the two very overrated character faces there. What's the legacy of the two characters to become so big merchandise faces of the golden series? OK, Marvin has one memorable episode (Duck dodgers), which I always considered a bit of overrated, but there are a lot others have even more: Michigan Frog, Gossamer, Henery Hawk, Rocky, Sniffles, Sylvester Jr, Witch Hazel... all of them are secondary stars but never got the same spotlight that Marvin got. As for Taz, he is even worse. Neither of his five shorts were great, Ducking the devil was average to good, but that's all. And he was hyped after the end of LT series, even got an own series, Taz-Mania.

Matt the Y provides a prompt response:

Taz was overrated even from the start. Even studio boss Eddie Selzer found him annoying to the point where he ordered McKimson not to make anymore cartoons featuring the character after "Devil May Hare". Jack Warner, however, thought that ol' Taz was absolutely hilarious and asked Selzer to reconsider his anti-Taz edict and he did. Thus, we got "Bedevilled Rabbit" and the remaining Taz shorts. Why J.L. found the character so delightfully funny is a complete mystery to me; sure, he's kind of funny but not that funny; what difference would it have made if he starred in more shorts or not?!

Anyway, to answer your question as to why Taz is just so popular in merchandising and otherwise, Jerry Beck virtually summed it up in his audio commentary for "Devil May Hare" on the first GC DVD; people can actually relate to Taz because he's the ultimate slob. He's always hungry, he's completely unbridled and untamed, and, as Mr. Beck himself put it, if you can actually bring yourself to imagine Taz's personal bedroom at his home, you can almost bet that it would be an absolute mess. People think that's cool; hence the bountiful merchandise of the character.

As for Marvin the Martian; I honestly never noticed that the character was that heavily merchandised. I certainly noticed the extreme over-merchandising of Taz; that's undeniable. Marvin much less so. But to answer your question, I can see how general audiences could find Marvin "cool"; he's an outer-space oriented science-fiction cartoon character with seemingly hostile motives (i.e. in two cartoons, he's intent on destroying the Earth; in one cartoon, he's intent on bringing back a helpless Earth rabbit to his home planet). That probably adds to his popularity; hence his bountiful merchandise.

Ben Hardaway -- the Birth of the Screwball

At the Golden Age Cartoons forum, Lonesome-Lenny shares his theory about Ben Hardaway:

It seems pretty clear to me that he is the creator of the "daffy" screwball character, as we know it, in classic Hollywood cartoons. He had a strong hand in creating Bugs Bunny, and it's evident that he played an equally strong role in creating Woody Woodpecker. I'm uncertain if he contributed to any of Daffy Duck's early appearances, but I'd guess it's likely he did. Hardaway was truly onto something with this notion of the anti-social, screwball character. It was a fresh wind of influence in animation. It helped others give up trying to create an imitation Mickey Mouse, and fanned the flames of the brash, lively spirit of 1940s animation.

J. J. Hunsecker disagrees with this theory (and doesn't seem to be a very big fan of Hardaway's cartoons, either):

I wouldn't credit Hardaway with the creation of the "daffy" screwball character. I give that credit to Tex Avery, with Porky's Duck Hunt (the writing is credited to Rich Hogan for that cartoon. Though sometimes the credits on the Schlesinger cartoons are wrong). From the interviews I've read it seems that Hardaway decided to imitate Porky's Duck Hunt with Porky's Hare Hunt, by putting Daffy in a rabbit suit. The "daffy" hare eventually evolved into Bugs Bunny thanks again to Tex Avery. Woody Woodpecker is also based on Avery's version of Daffy Duck.

Hardaway's entire style -- from writing, drawing, and directing -- was crude and unsophisticated. Avery might not have been a great draftsman himself, but he was a terrific gagman and director. Shamus Culhane wrote that to Hardaway a joke was a joke, and it didn't matter if it fit the character or not.

Lonesome-Lenny responds:

I do agree that Avery deserves the credit for the basic creation and refinement of the screwball character in animation. Hardaway had his own formula, which he tried out at WB, in competition with Avery's (and Clampett's) and ran amok with at Lantz. What fascinates me is that Hardaway kept pursuing his heavy-handed path, while other writers and directors continued to refine the zany character in animated cartoons.

I re-read portions of Culhane's memoirs last night, and refreshed my memory of how much the director disliked Hardaway's writing. So did co-storyman Milt Schaffer. Culhane describes story meetings in which Hardaway kills himself with his lengthy puns, while Schaffer just rolls his eyes toward the ceiling... I really wonder how Hardaway was able to have such influence in the animation world when his work was so checkered. Perhaps Lantz liked him personally, and wanted to give him steady work?

Sogturtle replies:

Actually Hardaway's cartoon career goes all the way back to Iwerks' Flip the Frog cartoons and we can credit him with a lot (if not all) of the lovably strange and weird humor in those cartoons. His hiring and influence at Schlesinger's is definitely attributable to Friz Freleng. Ben's gag-influence during his six plus years at Schlesinger's really only became recognizable when he graduated up to director and particularly the second time around. Honestly his writing there (or story-editing) is SO submerged into the "omelettes" that the directors and two story crews created that a person can't really detect a clear "Hardaway cartoon mindset" until he took the director's chair.

Whether Ben had any contribution into "Porky's Duck Hunt" is and will remain unknown since the story-crews alternated and the cartoon bears no story credit. As such we really can only credit Tex Avery with Daffy's creation (and Tex always sat in with the story crew so regardless which crew helped with the cartoon, the demented duck had to have been Tex's baby). HOWEVER as well documented, Hardaway loved the idea of Daffy being a looney-tooney character and latched onto it with the oft quoted line "I'm going to put that duck into a rabbit suit". And THAT is where Ben's weakness is most obvious as he and the crews came up with some fine and funny gags in his and Dalton's two rabbit cartoons, but he showed NO understanding of HOW to create a LIKABLE character. His rabbit is not just looney but patently obnoxious in those cartoons.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Horton Hears a Who trailer

Jerry Beck has posted a link to the new trailer for Blue Sky's upcoming Dr. Seuss adaptation, Horton Hears a Who. The reaction is less than positive. Esn thinks it's too "hip":

What’s with this urge to make everyone and everything “hip”? Horton is not “hip”, and never was. Neither were Goofy or Charlie Brown, and yet they are both beloved characters (both of them also suffered some attempts by people who didn’t get it to make them “hip”).

Fred Sparrman thinks that Hollywood should leave Dr. Seuss alone:

Out of all the countless adaptations of his books, what actually “works”? Chuck Jones’ Grinch special. Maybe Clampett’s Horton film, been too long since I’ve seen it. But nothing else! Live action Grinch film? Doesn’t work. Seussical the Musical? Doesn’t work. Daisy-Head Mayzie, the manuscript he wrote and set aside which got released posthumously with faux-Seuss knock-off illustrations? Doesn’t work.

Katie laments the presence of celebrity voices:

I agree with the posters above, it’s not Horton anymore. It’s Jim Carrey in an elephant suit. It’s Carrel in a Who suit. His acting does not appeal to me at all. I still stand by my belief that he can only play Ace Ventura, and nothing else. He just gets way to bizarre and takes most of his roles over the top. It breaks my heart when the integrity of the character is sacrificed to adapt to the “voice” actor’s own style.

It's not all gloom and doom, though. Dav-Odd in particular seems to really love the trailer, or at least certain parts of it:

Wow! You know what I like about this? The camera work. And I like how the speck of pollen looks stuck on top of that big flower. Good job, Blue Sky! On the flower, and the camera!

(Though depending on how you read that, it could be seen as really positive or really sarcastic. I think the guy was trying to be positive, though.)

Woody Woodpecker DVD -- Worth buying?

At the Animation Show forum, Ironhorse asks Stephen Worth if he's checked out the new Woody Woodpecker DVD, and if so, if it's worth buying. Worth replies:

I got a copy of the Woody set. I'm going to do some frame grabs and return it to the store. I'll post on it tomorrow.

Am01ne takes offense to this:

No offense to Steve, (with whom I happen to agree in most cases pertaining to digital restorations of most animated releases)... but he seems to put more energy into criticizing and complaining about landmark events (Imagine Universal actually releasing official licensed sets of uncut Lantz material?!) than appreciating the classic films that are sop deserving! These are some of the greatest cartoons from the golden age of Hollywood's studios. Never have they been compiled and collected uncut and in better condition for public consumption before. Overall the set does have some minor faults. Most DVD's do (with the exception of the upcoming Popeye set, I can think of no piece of classic animation released to DVD yet that was not in some way flawed). But all on all, this is a release to be celebrated and enjoyed!

Brandon seems a bit confused by Worth's comments:

You're.... you're gonna BUY a copy... make screengrabs..... then return your copy to the store....???

What is the point...??? I'd frickin keep my copy!!!

Worth's comments must have really struck a nerve for Am01ne, because he comes back later in the thread:

Anyone who buys this just to take screen grabs and return it the next day... well I have to question how much you actually ENJOY watching the cartoons or whether it's become about something else. It's like people working in record stores. I see the same thing all the time. Guys who supposedly love and are passionate about music but spend all day long trashing it! They've put themselves on these high pedestals where they look down upon everything with a snooty attitude if it doesn't fall into their constantly demoded elitist hipster code. Same thing has happened with DVD. Cinephiles turned dorky videophiles that have forgotten the purpose of why we buy movies in the first place... THE FILMS THEMSELVES!

I love these cartoons and this is the only way we're going to get them (and hopefully more if the sales prove a profitable venutre for the studio) and truth be told, they look damn acceptable.

Stephen Worth responds:

The problem I have is with "reviewers" who say that we should buy a DVD set, whether or not it is a quality product, in the hopes that it will encourage the studio to release more. This approach just hasn't worked. Transfers were more accurate and artifact free back in the laserdisc era- plus there were more complete sets than you could shake a stick at. Where are all those cartoons now? Telecine technology today is much better, so why aren't the transfers better? The reason is that the studios think we'll accept whatever they dish out to us.

There's only one way to encourage the studios to improve the quality of their product. And that's to shine a light on their mistakes. If there's digital artifacting, don't make excuses for it. Point it out. Post a frame grab so everyone can see if it's something that they can't live with. Don't make that determination for them.

Cartoon Brew in San Diego

Jerry and Amid over at Cartoon Brew have both been checking out the San Diego Comic-Con. Jerry seems to be having a good time. The ever-crotchety Amid, on the other hand, is stirring up a bit of controversy. In a post entitled "Overheard in San Diego...", he describes an "obese fanboy with a thick accent hailing from Mexico," who apparently said the following:

“Animation just isn’t what it used to be. I really prefer the classic animation, the way it used to be in the old days. When I was growing up, we had quality animation like GI Joe and Transformers.”

He then goes on to explain why he had to leave the convention:

Needless to say, I lasted barely a day at the Con this year before heading back on Thursday evening. The stench of the event—both figurative and literal—was overwhelming. There was simply too much crass commercialism on display, and too little appreciation or joy for any art form.

Some of the commenters at the Brew don't seem too impressed. Smitha notes:

I think this comment was completely out of line. The last paragraph alone would have been fine–but why resort to mocking a fan of 80s cartoons by pointing out his weight and ethnicity? Is that supposed to be the punchline of the joke? That’s horrible and in extremely poor taste that you would point those out as characteristics to be mocked.

I’m 25, and I grew up watching cartoons in that same time period. I run a fan site for The Pirates of Dark Water, the short-lived but high-quality Hanna-Barbera show from the early 90s. I’m not at all embarrassed to admit that I’ve loved shows like She-Ra and Thundercats since I was a little girl. That doesn’t make me any less of an animation fan. Those were the shows that have inspired the love of animation I’ve had throughout my life, and the same can be said for many other people in my age group.

Amid responds:

Since when is describing somebody’s weight or ethnicity considered mocking them? I was describing the person making the asinine comment for the benefit of our readership. There was no need to mock or make fun of this guy; his words speak for themselves.

Matt disagrees:

Wow Amid, take it on the chin man. The “who” is redundant. I feel you’re being a bit disingenuous with your reply to Smitha. If you set out to talk about con attendees bringing the stereotyping on themselves, fine. If the point was taste in animation (or lack thereof) then the irony of the quote doesn’t seem to be dependent on the type of person who said it. ... Another comic-con/animation enthusiast stereotype is the elitist. THERE’S a pertinent stereotype for you AND he. Don’t throw stones my friend.

Not everyone is offended, though. Darren:

This is the funniest post I’ve read in ages! Since when is describing a person’s characteristics considered mockery? I used to think it was a part of good storytelling. Are we wound up so tight that laughing at the faults of someone who is slightly different than us is impossible? And since when is B.O. socially acceptable? Since when is ignorance and arrogance not the target of ridicule? Have we gone so far down the P.C. slope that everything is okay, every viewpoint is valid, everyone is accepted, and “everything is beautiful in it’s own way”?

Stephen Worth also agrees with Amid:

It’s fine to feel all sentimental about cartoons of your childhood, whether they are He-Man and Pirates of Dark Water or Batfink and Groovie Ghoulies. But don’t make the mistake of thinking just because they mean something to you personally that they have some sort of intrinsic quality that makes them unassailable.

As someone who worked on cartoons that you probably watched as a kid, I can truthfully say that almost all of the animation of the late 70s and 80s was complete and utter crap. It was fine for someone like me who was just starting out to work on shows like that and learn the ropes, but I have nothing but sympathy for the old-timers who had cut their teeth on Disney features and Tom & Jerry cartoons. They were forced to stoop incredibly low just to accumulate enough time on the job to retire and get the hell out of the hell hole that the artform they loved have become. It must have felt like destroying the thing you love for the almighty dollar. No wonder so many old guys were bitter and cranky.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Alvin and the Chipmunks teaser

There's a teaser up for the upcoming Alvin and the Chipmunks film, and while it doesn't look quite as bad as the poster might lead you to believe (and it could certainly be worse), it doesn't exactly make me want to count down the days to its December 14th release date. But hey, if you've always wanted to see Alvin eat Theodore's poop, today is your lucky day.

Source: Cinematical

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Censored Eleven

There's a discussion about which six of the censored eleven cartoons they'd like to see released at the Golden Age Cartoons forum. The two constants among the bunch seem to be Tin Pan Alley Cats, and Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs. Speaking of Coal Black, at his blog, Jaime J. Weinman ponders whether that controversial cartoon will ever see a release:
I'm not sure how to get around that, because in all honesty, if "Coal Black" were released and a controversy erupted, that probably would be bad for the marketing/franchising of WB cartoons. I don't think the controversy over "Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips" did Turner any favors back in the '90s (Turner released it on a laserdisc but then, foolishly, released it on a mass-market VHS as well, and people who bought this thing for their kids were understandably outraged). To get a release, someone would probably have to convince WB executives that there won't be any controversy, and I'm not sure that anyone can guarantee that. "Coal Black" is a great cartoon, but I've seen the reactions to it of people who are not cartoon buffs, and it does make many people very uncomfortable and, yes, even angry.

The Little King DVD shipping

At the Golden Age Cartoons forum, Steve Stanchfield has announced that the latest Thunderbean DVD, The Complete Animated Adventures of the Little King, is now shipping. Given the high quality of the previous Thunderbean releases, I would say this is a must-buy if you're interested in these cartoons. There's a review of the DVD at Animated Views, and it's looking good:

...otherwise there is nothing to fault here; image is just as good as one would expect from early 1930s material that has passed through many hands over the years and has been widely sourced to present the best available elements. Slightly windowboxed to present the entire original frame and progressively transferred, folks who seek titles like these out know what to expect, and I think will be pleasantly surprised here.

The DVD can be purchased directly from Steve himself, or from

Beowulf trailer online

There's a trailer online for Robert Zemeckis' latest mo-cap abomination, Beowulf. Someone needs to explain to me why this needs to be animated if all they're trying to do is artlessly emulate real people. I just... well, I think this perfectly sums up my reaction to this trailer: