Just forget the words and sing along

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Blogworthy DVD Announcements

So I was perusing through some upcoming DVD releases, and one in particular caught my eye.

Ally McBeal: The Complete First Season and Ally McBeal: The Complete Series are both coming on October 6.

This is quite surprising because it was thought for the longest time that Ally McBeal would never be released on DVD. Why? Because the music clearance fees would be astronomical.

A little more backstory is required here. As you all know, it's quite popular to stick current hit music in TV shows. However, that becomes a bitch when it comes time to release that show on DVD, because a music clearance fee (i.e. royalties) need to be paid to the artists. And more often than not, the music clearance fees are so high, that it makes television producers give pause, take a second look at the budget, and go, "We can't afford that."

There are many ways to get around this. The most common way is to remove the song from the sound mix, and replace it with a cheaper soundalike. A good example is House. The producers use the song Teardrop by Massive Attack as the opening theme. They couldn't afford it for DVDs, so on the complete season DVDs, they use...a cheaper soundalike!

Of course, this method does have its detractors. For Quantum Leap: The Complete First Season, several songs were replaced with cheaper soundalikes, and several fans screamed bloody murder, as the cheaper soundalikes wound up ruining the moods of the scenes.

There's also the worst-case scenario, which is the producers could simply completely edit out the scene where the song is used. An example of that is WKRP in Cincinnati: Season One, which edited out some scenes. Some fans said the episodes were incredibly badly butchered. However, series creator Hugh Wilson did say he was "satisfied" with the effort.

And hence the surprise that Ally McBeal is finally coming to DVD. The show used popular songs in just about every episode, usually 3 or 4, so it's long been assumed that Ally McBeal would simply be too expensive to release on DVD.

But now, with it's October 6 release, it's going to be interesting to see how the episodes had to be changed. Whatever the case, some of the originally music will doubtlessly be used, in which case, Vonda Shepard will probably make out like a bandit.

And hey! Another DVD announcement that I wanted to share.

Warner Brothers finally released all the official details on their next DC Universe straight-to-DVD animated film, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies.

For those who don't remember, let me refresh your memory on the plot. A giant kryptonite meteor is heading towards the Earth and could wipe out all life as we know it. President Lex Luthor decides to turn this negative into a positive: he blames the whole thing on Superman and Batman, declares them Public Enemies #1 and #2, and puts a $1 billion bounty on their heads. Superman and Batman are then on the run from the government-sanctioned superheroes ordered to bring them in and bounty hunting supervillains, while they work to clear their names, stop the meteor, and bring down Luthor. It's based on the storyline from the Batman/Superman comic book.

Anyway, the big announcement had to do with the voice cast. Kevin Conroy, who's been voicing Batman since Batman: The Animated Series, will be back voicing Batman. Clancy Brown, who's been voicing Lex Luthor since Superman: The Animated Series, will be back voicing Lex Luthor. And Tim Daly, who voiced Superman on Superman: The Animated Series, will be back voicing Superman.

Anyway, it'll be available in single-disc movie-only editions, a 2-disc special edition, and Blu-Ray.

2-disc special edition bonus features:
- Preview of the next DC animated movie, which is TBA at this time.
- A featurette on The Blackest Night, which is DC Comic's big event storyline for this year.
- a featurette on the many Superman/Batman team-ups that have happened over the years.
- 2 episodes of Justice League, selected by Bruce Timm.

And it might be time to spring for Blu-Ray. In addition to all that, on the Blu-Ray you also get:

- a featurette about the voice cast. (This is the first time that Conroy, Daly, and Brown have worked together since the 1990s, so it's quite awesome.)
- 4 episodes of Justice League, chosen by Bruce Timm.

It all comes out September 29!

And I should say that this is really the next next DC animated film. The next one is Green Lantern: First Flight, coming out at the end of this month.

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