The News Archive

August 31st, 2000.

If all goes as planned, the next version of DVD Genie should be released sometimes this upcoming weekend (think Sunday).

The new version fixes quite a few bugs, most important of which is the Windows 2000 GPF (hopefully this is the last we'll see of it). And introduces several new interested features such as the WinDVD 2.2 Headphones support.

Stay tuned.

He's back.

If you're an animation fan like myself, you should be well familiar with the new Batman Beyond franchise.

I believe I touched it a bit before when the Initial disc was released a while back. Batman Beyond is a look into the future of batman, where bruce have grown old and a due to a similar circumstances a new Batman is created. This show is very edgy and the animation is superb.

And now to the new feature,
Return of the Joker is a direct to Video (or in this case DVD) feature-film starring Mark Hamil as the new joker.

If you're a fan of the series (or good animation), it's a must-have.
Amazon is currently retailing it at $17.49 with an October 24th release date.

August 29th, 2000.

The Digital Bits's rumor mill is reporting that the X-Men DVD release will be announced any day now, possible even tomorrow!

The disc will hold both DD and DTS audio tracks with cut-scenes and some easter eggs (hopefully the joke reel showed around the cons in the last couple of weeks).

Will X-Men eclipse The Matrix in DVD sales? Probably not, but it will be a biggy.

August 27th, 2000.

Can you feel the weather getting chilly? The holidays are closing fast and all the major studios are announcing their holiday release blockbuster schedule.

This time around it's the Paramount's turn with probably their biggest DVD release ever.

Paramount in making their biggest DVD release to date has made sure that Mission Impossible II is packed with the latest in DVD-Available features including:

  • Anamorphic Widescreen (of course).
  • Animated menus.
  • Interviews with director John Woo and Tom Cruise.
  • Metallica's Video-Clip "I Disappear".
  • The MTV Move Awards Spoof.
  • Explanation of how the stunt shots were carried out.
  • And lots more.

You can see that Paramount are very serious about this release. Amazon is currently retailing the Mission Impossible II DVD at $17.99 (40% off).

And here's something tricky. You can't actually order the movie from the movie-specification page. I believe this is due to a lack of an official release date (it should be released in mid-November). The trick to bypass this is to browse through the 100 Best-Sellers DVDs page and find the movie title listing and click on the pre-order button within the listing page itself.

If you really want this movie, then I suggest doing it quickly, Amazon have been changing prices left and right lately and the 40% off might not last for long (heck, this movie started at 15% off within the first few hours).

August 25th, 2000.

In the usual Disney Fanfare, Disney have announced the release date of both the original Fantasia and the newly released Fantasia 2000 on DVD.

Frankly, I feel these movies are mostly suited to music (classical) lovers and Animation fans. These are not your usual "Plant kids infront of TV" kind of Disney movies.

The movies should have both Dolby Digital and DTS audio (kind of a must for such a title really...).

Here's a partial specification:

  • 60th Anniversary Edition
  • Fullscreen
  • Dolby & DTS 5.0
  • Never-before-released, uncut, restored original theatrical version of Walt Disney's film includes the original narration and intermission ``Clair de Lune'' animated segment.
  • The Making of Walt Disney's Fantasia featurette
  • Audio Commentary by Walt Disney (created from rare archival interviews with Walt Disney, spanning three decades)
  • Audio Commentary by Roy E. Disney, Maestro James Levine and John Canemaker, animation historian

Amazon lists the release date as November 14th (right in time for Disney to milk your holiday money) and both titles are currently priced at $20.99.

August 24th, 2000.

The WinDVD 2.2 review was somewhat delayed in order to fix a few issues and add a section on the new Dolby Headphone support introduced to WinDVD 2.2. The review is big, covering everything in more detail than the previous review. It's probably the most in-depth review to date.

Still here? Go check it out!

August 21st, 2000.

Work is almost done on the review for WinDVD v2.2, expect it tomorrow. You can also see that the front page has been restructured a bit.

August 20th, 2000.

No, the official date for the X-Men movie has not been announced yet. Instead, I borrowed the X logo for another newly announced title.

X-Men - Animated Series: Dark Phoenix Saga is part of the kick-ass X-Men animated series that ran in the 90's.

Released on October 24th, it should more or less coincide with the release of the full-feature film on DVD. If you're an X-Men fan, this is a great title. The only thing I would have appreciated more if they were to release the entire series in a box-set, that would have been fantastic.

August 18th, 2000.

Updated the FAQ page with a couple more question in a futile attempt to alleviate my ever-growing batch of daily eMails.

August 16th, 2000.

Shooting straight to number one in the sales listing, The Patriot has been given an October 24th release date.

One of the funny things about the Patriot is it's trailer. I actually saw the movie without viewing the trailer, and later on in another movie I've seen the trailer. And man, the trailer was so much more dramatic than the actual movie.

Amazon is currently retailing this movie at $19.57.

And in other Mel news, the Region 2 release date for Chicken Run (mel does the voice of the lead chicken if you didn't quite get the connection) has been set to December 4th, BlackStar is currently retailing it for £15.99 (shipping is free).

August 15th, 2000.

The time is upon us campers, the kick-ass Sci-Fi show Farscape is coming out on DVD again in several more episodes, the forth double-disc set is coming out September 4th.

Having seen the first season (and most of the 2nd) in it's entirety, I can tell you it simply rocks. Farscape is one of those innovative shows that isn't bound by those silly goody-goody acting and script. The characters on Farscape have real depth, they have real motivations and they act upon them, making for a much more entertaining show for all of us who've been a little jaded television recently.

Further on into the year, on October 2nd, the season ending fifth set will be released (it ends with a nice cliffhanger).

For more details check out:
Farscape #4
Farscape #5

Check out how Chrichton goes crazy as the show progresses, it's intentional and supposidly will be resolved in future episodes (beyond the first season).

August 13th, 2000. have updated their special's page with some nice DVD titles all going for £11.99. And unlike the usual trifle of titles you get with such special offers, Blackstar has opted to take the highroad (they always seem to do that) and shell out some nice titles.

And as always, shipping is free world wide.

Check these £11.99 titles at
DVD Name:Date:Price:Discount:
The Last Boy ScoutNow£11.99N/A
Mars AttacksNow£11.99N/A
The Big LebowskiNow£11.99N/A
Passenger 57Now£11.99N/A
Notting HillNow£11.99N/A
Citizen Kane (Yes it's out on DVD)Now£11.99N/A
What Dreams May ComeNow£11.99N/A
Escape From New YorkNow£11.99N/A
The GraduateNow£11.99N/A
Demolition ManNow£11.99N/A
Purple RainNow£11.99N/A
The Witches Of EastwickNow£11.99N/A
Bonnie And ClydeNow£11.99N/A
The Bonfire Of The VanitiesNow£11.99N/A
Psycho (1998)Now£11.99N/A
My Favorite MartianNow£11.99N/A
Ace Ventura - Pet DetectiveNow£11.99N/A
The BroodNow£11.99N/A
Leaving Las VegasNow£11.99N/A
Die Hard With A VengeanceNow£11.99N/A
Mickey Blue EyesNow£11.99N/A

Ouch, 28 movies, but most of these are really good movies, usually when you see this type of special offer, it's for movies that's been gathering dust on shelves for months and the vendor is in a hurry to get rid of them. But in BlackStar's case, they really put out some great movies, well done BlackStar.

August 12th, 2000.

Here's another movie which caused a bit of controversy,
In the tradition of great sub-films, U-571 tells a gripping tale of the fictional exploits of a World War II U.S. submariners. The movie itself is very well done, but the funny thing is, one of the movie's premises that the Cryptography machine stolen in the movie by the American was actually stolen by the English in real life.

You can imagine how the brits felt about this one.

The DVD will hit retail on October 24th and currently Amazon retails this movie at $19.95, with only 26% off! It seems that the demise of reel has hurt the eTailing DVD market hard, and competition is starting to slow down and prices to go up. At least some of the studios are reducing their initial prices making the actual price of movies stay more or less the same.

August 11th, 2000.

Fox have finally announced an official pricing for Titan A.E., it being $18.89 at for the moment.

Titan A.E. was to have been the first realistic fully computer generated movie, but due to cost concerned it was scaled down so that most of the characters were cell-drawn standard animation while the environment and some of the evil characters were left CGI.

In the end, the script didn't really leap off the pages and the end result was a lack laster movie which flopped at the theaters, caused FOX's animation studios to be closed and several spin-off PC and Console games that were to be released with the movie to get the axe.

While the movie itself is not that bad, it could never live to the hype machine that fox rolled out for it. And in the end, it looks as if the Final Fantasy movie will in fact be the first realistically rendered full length movie (Disney's dinosaur being filmed at real locations with only the dinos being computer generated).

August 10th, 2000.

Announcing the release of DC Genie v1.10.

Fixed a few bugs and introduced a new feature to add any custom display mode (within reason), and also to manually remove any modes listed by the card.

For the complete history list go here.
To download DC Genie v1.10, click here.

August 8th, 2000.

Congratulations go the WB studios for their outstanding sales of The Matrix. Sales of the movie surpassed the three million count, making it the highest selling DVD Movie of all times (it doesn't really say much considering the age of the industry, but still, the numbers are staggering). It was also the first movie to get a platinum disc for passing two million units sold.
In other news according to this Yahoo Press Release, Panasonic is rolling out their first line of commercial set-top DVD Recordable devices. List priced at nearly $4000, and each disc listed at nearly $35, this one isn't for the faint of heart (or wallet). Containing 4.7gb of data-storage space, which comprises of about 160 minutes of DVD-Quality footage and possibly far more at lower qualities. Heck, this recorder/player can even do Inverse-Telecine (converting film images back to 24fps) for improved image quality and progressive scan output!

Hopefully the prices will come done once more competition arises in the near future. Oh and look out for a new format war as it seems each manufacturer is making an incompatible disc format (didn't anyone learn from betamax?).

August 1st, 2000.

Kelly Garvey has done it again, the new in-depth review of VaroDVD 2000 v2.03 is now up. Is this new version any good, find out here.
In other news, I think I've finally caught the weird exception in DVD Genie, so next version should not give that weird bug under Windows 2000. I made some other small fixes and should release a maintenance release within the next two weeks.

July 31st, 2000.

It seems there's another rare Region 2 title that's coming out in the U.K. while not being available first as Region 1 (U.S.) It makes some sense as it's a movie that was partially made by the Monty Python crew. What's weird about it is I couldn't even find a U.S. VHS reference to it.

The movie itself is a tale by the Monty gang of Eric the Viking, he's not the best of vikings, can't really do his raping and pillaging like the rest of them, but he goes on a glorious quest non-the-less. This Terry Jones book to movie adaptation carries well (Terry wrote the original book and directed the movie). If you're a python fan, this one's for you.

BlackStar has Erik the Viking on pre-order for an August 7th release, and it's currently retailing at £12.79. And as always with BlackStar, world-wide shipping is free.

The image to the right is actually from the Book as I couldn't find an image of the actual title.

July 30th, 2000.

Final work is being done on the latest in-depth review of VaroDVD 2.03, expect to see it some time tomorrow.

July 26th, 2000.

While there seems to be a trend of online vendors to raise their prices on DVD titles, the studios themselves seem to be slashing prices on quite a few recent releases.

Here are a few gems being released at cutthroat prices at
DVD Name:Date:Price:Discount:
Air AmericaJuly 25th$11.98(20%)
Alice In Wonderland (miniseries)July 25th$11.23(25%)
The ArrivalJuly 25th$10.49(30%)
ChaplinJuly 25th$11.23(25%)
Cleopatra (miniseries)July 25th$11.23(25%)
The Crying GameJuly 25th$11.23(25%)
Cutthroat IslandJuly 25th$11.23(25%)
Gulliver's Travels (miniseries)July 25th$10.49(30%)
The Langoliers (miniseries)July 25th$13.99(30%)
Noah's Ark (miniseries)July 25th$11.23(25%)
The SubstituteJuly 25th$11.98(20%)
MiseryAugust 1st$13.99(30%)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2August 1st$13.99(30%)
Erin BrockovichAugust 15th$16.98(37%)
FargoAugust 15th$13.99(30%)
Jason & The Argonauts (miniseries)August 15th$13.99(30%)
KaliforniaAugust 15th$13.99(30%)
King of New YorkAugust 15th$10.49(30%)
PlatoonAugust 15th$13.99(30%)

July 25th, 2000.

The DC Genie online documentation is now fully functional.

You can read it here.

July 24th, 2000.

The Polish DVD Genie language file have been updated to v3.75.

July 23rd, 2000.

Announcing the release of DC Genie v1.00.

Two short days after the initial DC Genie release, I'm pleased to announce version 1.00. A few bug fixes, some slight interface changes and an attempt to support OEM drivers (and more...).

For the complete history list go here.
To download DC Genie v1.00, click here.

July 21st, 2000.

Announcing the release of DC Genie v0.99 beta.

I'm happy to announce the first version of DC Genie, DC Genie is the new program I announced several days ago, I originally planned to have it finished in two to three weeks, but instead I sat down to a few seriously long programming sessions and an open beta is ready now!

DC Genie is a tool for tweaking your Display Card. It allows easy access to hard to reach functionability and undocumented features. Presently it allows to add DVD-Specific video modes to display cards and almost every known tweak known for the NVIDIA series of cards.

If you know of tweaks for NVIDIA or other cards, supply me with a detailed information and I may be able to include that, making DC Genie the ultimate free display card tool.

For the complete history list go here.
To download DC Genie v0.99, click here.

July 20th, 2000.

The Hungarian DVD Genie language file have been updated to v3.75.

July 19th, 2000.

I am currently working on a new undisclosed tweaking tool, this is much more time than I initially planned, but hopefully the result will be well received.

I expect this new tool and further details to be available within two to three weeks, with a possible open-beta a bit earlier.

Oh, and it has nothing to do with DVD-per-say, and I expect it to be similar in size to DVD Genie (if all goes well).

And on an unrelated note, it seems that someone has bypassed the download limitation on microsoft's supposedly secured streaming ASF format. Similar to StreamBOX VCR which was a program that allowed you to save RealVideo streaming content to your hard disk for later viewing, this new ASF Recorder tool allows you to do the same with Microsoft streamed media.

The legality of this program is unknown, but the author's page claims it breaks no patents and no copyright violations were made during it's creation.

You can find this ASF Recorder (and the source code) here.

July 15th, 2000.

The Brazilian/Portuguese, German and Swedish DVD Genie language files have been updated to v3.75.

July 13th, 2000.

I have written another little nifty program. Similar to the AutoZoom program, the new AutoZoomIn program allows you to "Zoom In" on a window by simply supplying a percentage. I personally use it when playing through the TV-Out (when it's sometimes useful to zoom-in on a movie), but heck, you can use it anywhere you want.

July 12th, 2000.

Ok, I FUBARed a bit, I listed the Harry Potter deal on without actually listing the code! Silly me.

The coupon code is: "HARRYPTTRSPC", and it's good till the end of this month.

While still a while off, the forth installment in the Farscape DVD release schedule have been given a September 4th date. BlackStar is currently selling it at £19.99 (20% off pre-order and free shipping as always).

I couldn't find an episode listing (a bit early I guess), but one can assume it holds the next 5 episodes according to the BBC listing. This would give us the following episodes:

  1. Durka Returns
  2. A Human Reaction
  3. Through the Looking Glass
  4. A Bug's Life
  5. Nerve

The Spanish DVD Genie language file has been updated to v3.75.

July 11th, 2000.

Kelly Garvey has written up another great In-Depth review, this time of MGI's SoftDVD MAX with Dolby Headphones.

On a personal note, the Dolby Headphones thing is a really neat audio-trick. Works rather well, but you need to have a good piece of headphones if you don't want your ears to suffer through a whole movie.

Erwin van den Berg of VisualDomain has released a new version of Drive Info. Version 1.1 contains the following fixes:

  • Problems with ASPI layer detected: Usually caused by faulty IDE drivers on motherboards with VIA chipset.
  • Missing ASPI layer detected: Usually the case on Windows NT and 2000.
Drive Info is a utility that allows you to check if your DVD Drive is region locked in hardware. It also lets you know which firmware is currently installed within your drive.

You can download Drive Info v1.1 here.

July 10th, 2000.

Here's a good one, is giving away a $10 of $20 purchase coupon. They are doing it as a promotion for the new Harry Potter book, but also encourage you to buy Kids movies, books and audio CDs.

Frankly I've been told that it's not limited to Kids movies, but heck, I picked up my copy of Toy Story & Toy Story 2: The Ultimate Toy Box to keep up with the giving spirit.

This coupon expires on August 1st, so hurry up!

July 9th, 2000.

The French and Slovakian DVD Genie language files have been updated to v3.75.

July 7th, 2000.

Announcing the release of DVD Genie v3.75.

I'm happy to announce the next version of DVD Genie, it's a major release, and for the first time, it has internal support for changing the Windows 98 Second Edition and Windows Millennium Edition region code.

That's not all, there are lots of other fixes and goodies in this release, just look at the history page for the complete roundup.

For the complete history list go here.
To download DVD Genie v3.75, click here.
To download additional language files, click here.

July 4th, 2000.

Sorry for the lack of updates, been a bit preoccupied. In any case, the Dutch translation of DVD Genie v3.50 is up on the DVD Genie language page, and our in-house reviewer Kelly Garvey is working up a review of the latest SoftDVD (the version that actually works on the vast majority of computers for a change).

I am hoping for some background technical issues to be resolved so I can release the next version of DVD Genie, so far it looks pretty nice, I even redesigned the on-line documentation a bit. If all goes well I will release it this weekend.

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