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Thursday, December 28:  New Year Host. After winning both critical and audience acclaim in its own country and at film festivals abroad, the smash-hit Korean monster movie The Host is being released on DVD.  The Korean DVD will be available in two versions:  A special-edition 3-disc set, and a limited edition 4-disc set with some extra goodies.  The SE presents the film on disc 1 in anamorphic widescreen and the original Korean language in Dolby Digital 5.1 EX and DTS ES, with optional Korean and English subtitles.  It will also include multiple commentary tracks with the director, cast, and crew.  Discs 2 & 3 are packed with special features:  A "host" of featurettes on creating the monster and FX, training the actors in shooting and archery, and other "making-of" stuff; as well as auditions, interviews, animatics, test scenes, bloopers, deleted scenes w/ commentary, a music video, viewer reactions to the film, and plenty more (over 6 hours of extras!).  The LE includes all of that, along with a soundtrack CD and script book.  Both editions will be released on January 16.  They can be pre-ordered at Asian DVD sites like YesAsia and Sensasian, and will probably be listed at U.S. importers like HK Flix and Poker Industries shortly.  The DVDs are region 3 NTSC, and it's unknown whether or not the special features will be subtitled.  For more information on the film itself, check out Sci-Fi Japan for several in-depth articles, and this article at YesAsia.  Also, keep an eye on the official American website (the film is scheduled for a U.S. theatrical release on 3/9/07).  UPDATE 1/22: I received my copy of the 4-disc LE today.  The set is beautifully packaged:  A 4-disc digipak, the script (in Korean only), and a storyboard book (that shows the entire film), in a sturdy cardboard box with a thick plastic translucent slip cover.  It appears to be a numbered limited edition; I got #5,834.  Unfortunately, none of the special features on discs 2 & 3 are subtitled.  They are all in Korean 2.0 only.  (The one exception is a "Director's Short Film:  Sink & Rise" on disc 3, that has optional English subs.)  The soundtrack CD (disc 4) has 40 tracks and clocks in at 63:20.

Tuesday, December 26:  Another Classic Coupon. Just in case Santa misplaced your list and got you a bunch of emo CDs or something, Classic Media has a way to make up for it:  Through January 8, you can get 15% off any order at their official Godzilla on DVD store.  Just use the code NEWYEAR1 at checkout.

Sunday, December 24:  Send out the Search Parties. While doing my holiday shopping, I noticed several titles that have gone out of print.  It appears that all versions of the Daimajin trilogy available from ADV Films have been discontinued.  Also, The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection:  Volume 10 (which includes Godzilla vs. Megalon, Swamp Diamonds, Teenage Strangler, and The Giant Spider Invasion) has gone the way of the dodo due to rights issues.  (Guess which movie.)  Scalpers are already charging over $100 in some places.  I managed to find a copy on the shelf of a Borders bookstore; however, they won't last long.  If you're interested in any of these titles, you better sleep off the egg nog and start looking!

Tuesday, December 12:  A Classic Xmas Discount. Classic Media is making shopping for the kaiju fans on your Xmas list (or yourself) easier by offering a discount of $15 on orders of $50 or more placed through their Godzilla on DVD online store.  Just use the code HOLIDAY4 at checkout.  This offer is good through December 24.

Friday, December 8:  Gamera for Xmas! Just in time for the Holidays, our secret Santa in Hong Kong, Universe Laser & Video, is releasing the latest Gamera adventure.  2005's Gamera the Brave is coming to region 3 DVD on December 15.  The film will be presented in anamorphic widescreen, with the original Japanese audio and Cantonese dubbing in Dolby Digital 5.1.  English and Chinese subtitles will be included.  As for the film itself, some fans have expressed skepticism at its kid-centric tone (especially after the mature Heisei trilogy).  I caught the film at G-Fest, and was very pleased with the way it combines the children's POV of the Showa series with the realism and visual impact of the Heisei films.  Gamera the Brave is available for pre-order at HK Flix.  It would make a great gift for any kaiju fan.  If you don't know any other fans, you can always give it to yourself!  (Thanks to Jim Gange for another great tip.)

Thursday, December 7:  Daimajin Stomps Again. On January 9, Retromedia and Image Entertainment kick off the New Year with The Giant Majin Collection.  This disc includes the English-dubbed versions of two Daimajin films, dubbed by the legendary Titra Studios for release by AIP.  The films included are:  Majin:  Monster of Terror (aka Daimajin) and Return of the Giant Majin (aka Wrath of Daimajin).  Both are presented in fullscreen and mono, so don't expect primo quality as the source is likely old TV prints.  These are sure to be a nostalgic treat for fans who caught them on TV in their youth.  (For purists, the original Japanese versions of all three Daimajin films were released subtitled and in widescreen from ADV Films.)  MSRP for this retro double feature is $19.95.  Check out Image's product page.

Monday, December 4:  DVD Insider Does Kong. "DVD Insider" is a weekly column in the magazine-style inserts (like USA Weekend and Parade) in Sunday newspapers.  It's a critique of new DVD releases by someone whose profession relates to the movie in some way.  (In early September, they had a herpetologist comment on Classic Media's Gojira.)  The focus of this past weekend's (Dec. 1-3) column was the new King Kong (2005) Extended Edition.  The commentator has nothing good to say about the movie.  He seems to have forgotten that he's watching a monster movie, and laments that the film isn't a treatise on 1930s-era race relations.  Click here for a scan of the article.

Monday, November 27:  Heisei Universe Complete. Universe Laser & Video of Hong Kong has finished releasing the Heisei Godzilla series.  Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla, and Godzilla vs. Destoroyah are now available on region 3 DVD.  All are in widescreen, and GvMGII and GvD are anamorphic.  Language tracks are Japanese and Cantonese 2.0, with optional English and Chinese subtitles.  The HK release date was 11/24; all are available for pre-order at HK Flix.  (Thanks to Jim Gange for the tip.)

Thursday, November 23:  Spread the Kaiju Gospel this Holiday Season! Here's my own way of "spreading the faith" around the Holidays.  Whenever Godzilla toys are available in the States (on and off since the late '90s), I buy a load of them and donate them to Toys for Tots.  The benefits of this are twofold:  The extra sales will help keep more new releases coming, and more importantly, I hope to spark or encourage interest in Godzilla in the kids who ultimately receive the toys.

This is how Toys for Tots works:  Donors buy new toys and drop them off, unwrapped, at collection sites.  (Various stores, including Toys "R" Us, have drop-off boxes.)  The deadline is December 22.  Then, the Marine Corps Reserve picks up the toys and distributes them to needy kids for X-mas.  (To learn more, go to
the official site.)

I encourage all G-Fans to spread a little kaiju-themed cheer this Holiday season by donating Godzilla toys to underprivileged kids in their communities.  (G-toys available in the U.S. include 6.5" vinyl action figures, the "
Pack of Destruction" set of small figures, and the "Crumble Zone" GMK playset.  They can be found at Toys "R" UsK-B Toys / Toyworks, and K-mart.)

Thursday, November 23:  Android of Spring. Hawaii's JN Productions has announced a planned Spring 2007 release for the 1973 Toei hero series Kikaida 01, the sequel to Kikaida.  All 46 episodes will be included in a single box set, presented uncut and in Japanese with English subtitles, with plenty of extras.  Check out the official announcement at Generation Kikaida.

Thursday, November 23:  It Freaking Figures... A month ago, I said I would be able to start updating the site more frequently, and that new reviews were coming later that week.  Things didn't quite work out, because shortly after posting that, my home computer finally died for good.  Until I get a new one, I have to make do stealing time on other peeps' comps.  (You can contribute to the cause by using the affiliate links to make your DVD purchases this Holiday season.  ; ) )  Anyways, one new review is finally ready to go.  In the interest of finishing old business, this one is for Ultraman Tiga Volume 4:  Inheritance of Darkness.  Also, the review for Ultraman Tiga Special Collector's Edition Starter Box has been updated with some new photos.

Tuesday, October 24:  Stirring from Hibernation. It's been a long time since the last update, for reasons previously explained, but now it's time to get rolling again.  There won't be a major site overhaul until early next year (at least), but I will try to start updating more frequently.  In addition to the following news update, I should have some new reviews (the first in almost a year!) ready later this week.

Tuesday, October 24:  An Expanding Universe. Hong Kong-based Universe Laser & Video has recently expanded its Godzilla catalog with four new releases and two re-releases.  Their new releases are the first four Heisei G-films:  The Return of Godzilla, Godzilla vs. Biollante, Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, and Godzilla and Mothra:  The Battle for Earth.

Return and Biollante are the biggest news here.  Neither has been released on DVD in the U.S., and as of yet, there are no known plans for region 1 releases in the near future.  Return has also never been available stateside in its original form; it has only been released here as the heavily-Americanized Godzilla 1985.  All four of Universe's new Heisei discs are region 3 NTSC, in non-anamorphic widescreen.  Language tracks include the original Japanese, and Cantonese dubbing (both in 2.0), with optional English and Chinese subtitles.  (Both subtitle tracks display simultaneously, with the Chinese text above the English, but it's reportedly not bad to watch.)  These specs are an improvement over Sony's R1 versions of Ghidorah and Mothra, as their double feature DVD is fullscreen and dub-only.

The two Universe re-releases are
Godzilla 2000 and Godzilla vs. Megaguirus.  Specs are the same as the Heisei discs, with the addition of 5.1 audio.  G2K is a worthy improvement over Universe's original release.  The English subtitle track can now be viewed with the Japanese soundtrack.  (The previous edition was encoded to enable the English subs only with the Cantonese dub.)  GxM is essentially unchanged.  The only differences between the new and old discs is the way the subs are displayed, and new (and improved) cover art.  All six discs are available from HK Flix.  (Thanks to Mike D. for providing the disc specs.)

Monday, September 4:  DVD Insider Does Gojira. "DVD Insider" is a weekly column in the magazine-style inserts (like USA Weekend and Parade) in Sunday newspapers.  Basically, it's a critique of new DVD releases by someone whose profession relates to the movie in some way.  In this past weekend's column (Sept. 1-3), a herpetologist comments on Classic Media's Gojira.  Despite being a "lifetime monster movie fan," he seems none too impressed with the original Japanese version.  He even describes it as "silly" and "over-the-top," adjectives that better describe later entries in the series.  For a scan of the article, click here.

Monday, February 6:  State of the Site Address. Today is DMIís third birthday.  Instead of celebrating, Iím going to use the occasion to do what I probably should have done weeks ago:  Post an explanation of why the site has been inactive, and what the future of DMI is.  When I started this venture, I was a recent college graduate and was only employed part-time.  I had plenty of time to craft DMI into what I sincerely believe was one of the best kaiju sites on the web.  Last year, I got a full-time job.  Work, commute, and other factors combined to take up most of my time.  Compounding the problem is the fact that my aging home computer has been getting slower and less reliable.  Reviews and news updates slowed to a trickle, and then stopped altogether.

2005 was the best year yet for kaiju films on DVD.  I was unable to cover
Media Blastersí many fine Toho releases, the DVD debut of the original King Kong, and the U.S. arrival of Godzilla:  Final Wars, the way I should have.  I also havenít kept up with my email, and Iíve been out of touch with online friends for several months.  I sincerely apologize for this, and ask that you understand my reasons.

So what does the future hold?  First, let me assure you that I have no intention of ever abandoning or closing down the site.  Iíve put far too much work into it, and I still get plenty of traffic and email.  Also, I enjoy working on the site and writing about the films I love.  In the coming months, I plan to get a new computer, which will allow me to update the site much more quickly and easily.  I may never be able to match the prolific output of the siteís early days, but I can hopefully get into a schedule of regular updates and reviews.  There are also some new features Iíd like to add to the site, but I wonít promise anything specific just yet.  All in all, Iím confident that DMI will rise again someday.  Until then, consider the site as hibernating.  I thank all the kaiju fans that continue to visit the site, enjoy the older reviews, and use the affiliate links to make their DVD purchases.  Keep watching the skies!

Once again, Jen has made
a wonderful birthday cake for the siteís anniversary.  This one features Peter Jacksonís King Kong.  Thanks for the thought Jen, even if Iím not worthy.  ; )


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