May 27, 2008

Random Intelligence Dispatches: More Catching Up

Catch Up With Chuck On DVD reports that the truncated first season of Chuck will hit DVD on September 16, from Warner Home Video. In addition to the thirteen Season One episodes, extras include deleted (er, declassified) scenes, the featurettes "Chuck On Chuck" (series stars join creators for some point/counterpoint) and "Chuck's World" (character development and original casting sessions), "Chuck vs. the Chuckles" (gag reel) and "Chuck's Online World" (gallery of web-originated mini-featurettes). The site also has the rear cover art. Retail is a little steep for such a short season at $39.99, but of course it can be found for much less.

In other Chuck news, there's now another venue, besides the previously mentioned comic book, to fill the Chuck void in your life over the summer hiatus: NBC has announced Chuck webisodes, set to begin airing in July.

Benson Spies Again

James Bond author Raymond Benson's newest spy novel, based on the videogame Metal Gear Solid, is in stores now! According to the Amazon description, the novel finds the game's hero, Solid Snake, "called out of retirement to do what he does best–neutralize a crisis of epic proportions. A deadly team of renegade FOXHOUND operatives has taken over the nuclear disposal facility on Shadow Moses Island in the icy Aleutians. If their demands aren’t met, a powerful, top-secret weapon will be unleashed upon the world... But nothing is as it seems. Somebody is hiding something. Somebody has a hidden agenda. And somebody wants Snake to learn secrets about his dark past." I'm not familiar with the game, but having enjoyed Benson's Bond novels and his previous stabs at espionage videogame adaptations (Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, written as David Michaels), I'm in! Check it out at Amazon or visit Benson's website for more details.

The Bank Job Coming To DVD

According to DVDActive, Lionsgate will release the excellent period spy/heist/conspiracy thriller The Bank Job on Region 1 DVD on July 15. It will be one of those annoying "Digital Copy" dealies (like Hitman), where the single disc version boasts no features, and if you want them you have to spring for the two-disc version, even though all the features are just crammed onto Disc 1 with the movie, and all that the bonus disc includes is a useless copy of the film for your iPod. (Do people really watch movies this way?) Alright, sorry for the rant there. It was a great movie with a spot-on cast, and I'll be picking up the "Digital Copy Version" regardless, because I hope for some good featurettes on the actual events that inspired the film. (Or what little is known of them.)

Interestingly, Lionsgate has opted not to use the film's wonderfully Sixties theatrical poster artwork, but instead make this movie look like every other Jason Statham DVD...

Devil May Care Limited Editions

In the doldrums because that awesome-looking Bentley-designed limited edition of the new Bond pastiche Devil May Care costs so damn much? Take heart! CBN reports that slightly less expensive limited edition will also be offered, for the slightly less discriminating (or deep-pocked) Bond collector. And this one, signed and numbered (up to 500) with a slipcase and printed boards, sounds pretty cool in its own right.

Felix Leiter Forums

The internet is such a wonderful place that now there is an actual board where fans can go to exclusively discuss Felix Leiter! recently opened up its forums section. Head on over and debate Van Nutter vs. Linder!

Fleming's Final Film

Charles Helfenstein, erstwhile publisher of the excellent Spies Magazine back in the 90s (when we still had to wait for information to reach our mailboxes rather than just logging onto the whatsitnet), has written an excellent new piece for CommanderBond.Net tracing the history of Ian Fleming's story contributions to the Terrence Young film The Poppy is Also a Flower. I once heard that this film was the inspiration for the British series Traffik, which in turn inspired the bigscreen Steven Soderbergh remake with a C. I'm not sure if there's any truth to that rumor (although the identical central premise of exploring the drug trade from the growers to the users is undeniable), but it's neat to think of Fleming as the originator of the concept!

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