Exclusive: New PSP UMD Titles, Details
Modojo launches its first edition of Portable Hollywood with this exclusive look at upcoming titles and details on new UMD movies!
While at first it was only Sony Pictures Home Entertainment that was supporting PSP's UMD format, there's now a lot of activity from big home entertainment companies. Buena Vista Home Entertainment (BVHE), Lions Gate Home Entertainment, and Bandai Home Entertainment have all jumped on the UMD bandwagon. And other big companies like 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and DreamWorks Home Entertainment are rumored to be next in line. Factor in Sony's recent acquisition of MGM Home Entertainment's library and it probably won't be too long before franchises like Rocky and James Bond hit UMD.
The first major home entertainment company to talk openly about the UMD business is BVHE. The UMD format, which holds 1.8 GB of data, is about half the size of a traditional DVD. What that means for fanatics who have grown accustomed to DVDs that pack tons of extras is that PSP won't be supporting a lot of extras.
BVHE's Executive Director of New Business Development, Dan Silverberg, took some time out of his busy schedule to talk in-depth about the UMD format. He said BVHE will include bonus features, both from the DVD versions of the film, as well as original content created for the UMD version, when space allows. Longer films, like National Treasure and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, won't have any room for extras.
Three of Buena Vista's first wave of UMD movies include bonus content. Kill Bill Vol. 1 includes a 22-minute "The Making of Kill Bill, Volume 1" and a six-minute bonus musical performance by the 5,6,7,8's. Hero will feature a 14-minute "Inside the Action: A Conversation with Quentin Tarantino & Jet Li" and four storyboards (six minutes long). For Reign of Fire, an eight-and-a-half-minute "Breathing Life Into The Terror" Making-of featurette and a 12-minute "Conversations with Rob Bowman" will be included.
More Disney movies are on the way this summer. BVHE has added June and July releases to its UMD slate. On June 21, King Arthur (The Director's Cut) , TRON, Hostage and Cursed will ship. Kill Bill Vol. 2, Gone In 60 Seconds (Director's Cut), From Dusk Till Dawn, and Armageddon will follow on July 19.
June's second wave of UMD films will have some extras. TRON, the original CGI film set in the world of videogames, will have deleted scenes with introductions by Steven Lisberger and Harrison Ellenshaw, as well as a Light Cycle scene showcase. The Bruce Willis action movie, Hostage, will include a behind-the-scenes featurette as well as deleted and extended scenes. Cursed will include four featurettes, including "The Cursed Effects," "Behind The Fangs: The Making of Cursed," "Creature Editing 101," and "Becoming A Werewolf." King Arthur will not have any bonus materials.
July's third wave of UMD movie extras includes a deleted scene from Kill Bill Vol. 2. Three featurettes, "Zero to 60," "Wild Rides" and "Action Overload" come packed on the director's cut of Gone in 60 Seconds. From Dusk Till Dawn includes a "Hollywood Goes to Hell" featurette, deleted scenes, a look on the set and music videos for "After Dark" by Tito and the Tarantulas and "She's Just Killing Me" by ZZTop. Armageddon will not have any bonus materials.
Features like director and cast commentaries can be done on UMD, but at the expense of an extra track like Spanish. The first wave of BVHE UMDs will not include any commentaries.
"The (home entertainment) industry will hear quickly if consumers want more extras on UMD," said Silverberg, who added that consumer feedback will help movie studios mold future UMD releases.
Because of the portability factor of PSP, Silverberg believes the UMD format will give new life to some films that might not have found an audience on DVD. He said the studio will look at its release schedule and bring day-and-date UMD releases with DVD where it makes sense, as they will do with National Treasure, Hostage and Cursed.
Silverberg doubts that two-disc UMDs will be released, which would be required to pack the type of extras DVD owners are accustomed to. But one area where UMD may follow in the lucrative footsteps of DVD is in boxed TV sets..
Looking further ahead, Silverberg said that because PSP is a videogame machine, there may be opportunities to take advantage of Sony's device through interactive bonus features. He said the studio is exploring options for an upcoming X-Games-type UMD, which might have behind-the-scenes footage from ESPN, as well as interactive play.
With Microsoft already working with home entertainment companies to include playable Xbox game demos on DVDs like The Hulk and the Star Wars Trilogy, including interactive levels on future Hollywood-licensed UMDs could be the wave of the future. Of course, disc limitations in space will remain a factor. The top priority of all the home entertainment companies is to deliver a picture as crisp as that Spider-Man 2 UMD that came packed with the PSP.