Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Galaxy Rangers and Jayce & The Wheeled Warriors - A Sordid DVD History

Man, this is already shaping up to be one AWESOME year for 80's cartoon releases on DVD. With all the 80's cartoons getting uber deluxe releases over the past few years (Transformers, He-Man, Thundercats...just to name a few), a lot of fans were left wondering when the heck we would see two particular 80's gems show up on DVD with similar treatment - namely, The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers and Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors.

Well, a few years back we DID get DVD releases of both of these shows. But the presentation definitely left something to be desired. Let's take a look back at how these two shows have fared on DVD over the years, to FULLY appreciate how exciting it is for us fans to FINALLY have both shows being done right!

Galaxy Rangers got 4 single-disc volumes, each containing a random selection of 4 episodes.

They looked and sounded GREAT, mind you, but what fans REALLY wanted was the complete series in proper, chronological order.

Around the same time, there was a 3-volume set released in Germany which contained the complete series.

As a particular bonus, it contained the English audio track as an option! So the complete series WAS available at long last, but only in Region 2 PAL video format. We wanted a proper, Region 1 NTSC release (NTSC being the video standard it was originally created in). Well, if you scroll down a bit to my blog entry from a few days ago, you'll see that Galaxy Rangers is finally getting the treatment it deserves, in the form of two boxed sets which will contain all 65 episodes in the correct order!

Here's the cover again, just because it looks so darned awesome:

But what about Jayce? Well, we got even LESS on DVD a few years ago, in the form of a single disc release that contained episodes 1-3 and 6.

Here's a nicer look at the cover art:

Hey, at least the first three were in the right order... But once again, what fans had been craving was a proper, complete series release.

There were a few other DVD releases that featured a variety of cartoons, among which was the occasional episode or two of Jayce. But once again, completely random selection. There is no real point in going into detail with these half-assed releases.

Hope sprang a couple of years ago when there was a French release of the complete series.

But, unlike the foreign Galaxy Rangers release, there was no English audio track to be found. So even though we could see Jayce in the best picture quality EVER, we wouldn't understand a word they were saying unless we spoke French...

Until NOW!

Yes, AT LONG LAST Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors is being released in its entirety, in the form of two boxed sets that will contain all 65 episodes! Here's the cover for Volume 1:

So, as I say, this is looking like a good year for 80's cartoon releases so far. Now if only DiC would get off their asses and release some of their old gems. I want a proper DVD set of Starcom: The U.S. Space Force (also only available as a single disc random episode compilation), Inspector Gadget (there IS a set of the first 22 episodes, but no more on the schedule...looks like it's back to random episode discs for the forseeable future), and the rest of C.O.P.S. (again, there's a set of the first 22 episodes, but no more on the horizon...)

C'mon already! The Filmation and Sunbow libraries have received the royal treatment for their catalog of kick-ass 80's cartoons, let's see the DiC stuff too!

While we're waiting, though, we can all finally be enjoying the complete runs of two of the most fondly remembered cartoons from the mid 80's - The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers and Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors (I know, I can't stop saying it - I'm just THAT excited!) It's about time these two shows got the respect they deserve!

No Guts, No Glory!
Lightning STRIKES!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Unwanted Guests

We have bugs. Ants, to be precise. And I'm not talking an ant farm. Nope, these little critters are free-running. And they're EVERYWHERE!

You see, we live in a quaint little house just inside a fairly sizeable forest, and right next door to a local park. It's not a bad place, except it's in dire need of renovating. The insulation is virtually non-existant, the doors and windows aren't sealed properly, so our houseguests literally could have gotten in from pretty much anywhere.

Oh well, such is life in the country!

So. Step 1, we bought some of those Ant Bait thingies. The idea with these is that the ants waltz on into the little "bait hut," walk around for a bit, get this chemical crud all over them, and take it back to the nest. Then, any OTHER ants they come in contact with get infected and continue spreading the chemical throughout the nest. Until, finally, the whole lot of 'em is wiped out.

But these are like, SUPER ANTS or something. Because we tried it for almost a week, and the sheer numbers of ants we were seeing crawling all over our walls, floor, furniture, dishes, etc. just did NOT seem to be diminishing.

On a sidenote, have you ever tried stepping on an ant? They are TOUGH! They've got, like, uber insect armor or something.

Then, from the most unlikely of sources, inspiration struck. I threw together a quick Video Blog about it today, so you can watch that for the low-down:

And there you have it. So at this point, it is ALL OUT WAR with these little armor plated devils. I refilled the "Juice Trap" and literally within 5 minutes there were 3 ants screaming for life preservers. It's 5:35 pm at the time of this writing, and it's almost as full of ant bodies as it was this morning.

But the good news is - ALREADY I've noticed a marked decrease in the number of ants roaming around the place. So methinks the plan is working. I was thinking earlier today, that the ants I'm mercilessly slaughtering are basically the Worker ants. The food gatherers. So, logically, cut off their food supply by killing the gatherers, and the rest of the nest shall soon fall. It's a war of attrition, folks!

Anyhoo, just thought I'd share my new level of hell with you all.

In celebration, here's a famous ant-based movie from the past for you to enjoy!


From now on, whenever I see a movie about giant, swarming ants I will have fond memories of our quaint little house in the country...

Am I glad we're moving in two weeks? HMMMMM! I WONDER!!!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

New DVDs! Woohoo!

This is actually quite happy-making for me, as we're on a ridiculously tight budget so my DVD purchases have been quite minimal over the past few months. Fortunately, the gods were smiling and when we went out today there were lots of great sales for folks like me who are trying to save a penny and build their collections all at the same time.

Okay, ready? Here we go! The latest additions to my collection are............

Not Another Teen Movie - Special Edition

Not Another Teen Movie DVD Cover

I actually used to own this one a while back, but SOLD it when I found out the Unrated Director's Cuthad come out! And the unrated version CLAIMED to have all the extras. And it did - except for the two terrific commentaries (one by the director, one by the cast) from the original edition. I can sort of forgive them for that, since the commentaries WERE done for the original version, after all, and the unrated version is about 10 minutes longer, so the timing would be all messed up. But come on - don't go SAYING it has ALL the extras from the previous edition when missing something like COMMENTARIES is clearly significant. Anyhoo, I now own BOTH versions because I love this movie and want everything.

Ace Ventura Deluxe Double Feature

I've always had a softspot for Jin Carrey's zany stuff. And Ace is about as zany as it gets. This is by far THE set to get, as it contains both movies in widescreen (the only time the original movie has been released in widescreen on DVD), PLUS a Bonus DVD of 3 episodes from the Ace Ventura cartoon! Honestly, I was never a fan of the cartoon. But it's nice to have a few episodes as examples of what it was like, if only for the sake of providing a complete look at the full spectrum of Ace's various incarnations.

Dances with Wolves - Extended Cut (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)

This is another one I used to own a while back, but sold. I can't exactly remember why... Oh yeah, I was trying to scrape together enough for a new computer, so I was hitting ebay like no tomorrow. I never did get enough for the computer I wanted, but I did clear a lot of shelf space for future DVD purchases. Once again, THE set to get. Nearly an hour of additional footage not in the theatrical version, and every minute of it well spent.

Lady in the Water (Widescreen Edition)

Well, I figured I have all of M. Night Shyamalan's other movies, so I might as well complete the set. I've heard mixed reviews of this one, but I like his other stuff so I'm happy to give it a shot. Yes, I often buy movies/TV shows without having seen them before. I'm rarely disappointed, I can usually tell if it's the kind of thing I'm likely to enjoy. Uh...I guess being relatively easy to please doesn't hurt either.

And last, but most certainly not least...

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002 Series) - Volume One

Now THIS is one I've been looking forward to for a while. I freely admit that I was never a big fan of the original 80's series, as I always felt it was somewhat lacking in plot. But by the same token, I always felt that the mystical land of Eternia and its inhabitants would lend itself VERY easily to a grand, sprawling, action-packed fantasy adventure EPIC. Enter the 2002 revival series. THIS is what He-Man should have been from the start! Great stuff, highly recommended even if you weren't a fan of the original but enjoy an exciting fantasy adventure.

And that about does it! So now the grand total of DVDs in my collection has reached 564 (remember, there's a couple I couldn't include in the main listing because amazon.com doesn't carry them). Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a ton of new stuff to watch...