Bourne Again... Again
Lots of exciting DVD news today! First up, DVDActive reports that Universal has announced yet another Jason Bourne collection: The Bourne Trilogy. While this one features the snazziest package art yet of their twice-yearly Bourne collections, it's vastly inferior because it's missing the awesome "Ludlum Files" bonus disc included in the previous two sets. This will be out November 4 and retail for $34.99.
The Pink Panther Redux
In the same tradition of milking every last cent out of existing product catalog before releasing the stuff on Blu-Ray, Fox and MGM have announced the ultimate Christmas gift for all Pink Panther fans: The Pink Panther Ultimate Collection. This impressive box set contains a whopping eighteen discs comprising every Pink Panther movie from the original up through the Steve Martin version, including all the weird ones like Inspector Clouseau with Alan Arkin and Curse of the Pink Panther with Roger Moore as Clouseau, but excluding-of course-one of the series' best films, Return of the Pink Panther. Since that one was financed by Lew Grade and ITC, it's never been a part of the MGM library and is currently available on DVD on a Universal imprint. In addition to all the movies, the Ultimate Collection will also include over 190 Pink Panther cartoons! This includes the first four volumes (previously available as a set), the Ant and the Aardvark volume, and the previously available Inspector volume... as well as the previously unreleased Inspector Volume 2, Roland and Ratfink and a mysterious ninth disc! Best of all, this new set will also include a new Special Edition of Blake Edwards' original Pink Panther film, including over sixty minutes of never-before-seen bonus material, all exclusive to this set. The studio hasn't provided artwork yet, but I'm hoping for a neat package. I wasn't very fond of the "puffy" cases for the previous Pink Panther collections, and will be happy to consolodate all my discs into one set if it's well-packaged. The only real oversight here is not doing a new Special Edition of A Shot In the Dark as well. I'd have loved to have heard a commentary with Edwards, Elke Sommer and Herbert Lom.
The Oft-Promised Return Of Fu Manchu
Finally, DVD Drive-In reports that Warner Bros. will at long last make one of the good Christopher Lee Fu Manchu films available in America! Sadly it's not the best one, The Face of Fu Manchu, but it's a close second: The Brides of Fu Manchu, also directed by Don Sharp, and co-starring Douglas Wilmer and two-time Bond Girl Tsai Chin. It will be available as a double feature, paired incongruously with Chamber of Horrors (1966). The latter features a cameo by future Persuader Tony Curtis. Like the recent Warner Sci-Fi double features, this will be a Best Buy exclusive (annoying!), available October 7. That same day, the site reports, the Sci-Fi double features (including Lois Maxwell's pre-Bond star vehicle Satellite In the Sky and the Catherine Schell Hammer flick Moon Zero Two) will cease to be exclusive to the store.
The only Christopher Lee Fu Manchu movies previously available in the States were the later... badder... Jess Franco ones. The first three, superior entries are available in excellent transfers in the UK.