Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Latest Bonus Specs on the 'Monkees' Blu-ray Box

OK, so it's disappointing that the "Monkees Complete Series" Blu-ray set, which was originally supposed to be released last January before being bumped up to late this April, has been delayed once again to June 27, but it sounds like Andrew Sandoval and John Hughes have been hard at work adding more content to this set. They recently appeared on the "Zilch" podcast to express their embarrassment over the delays, assure us that this is the last one, and go into greater detail about what we can expect from the set. You can listen to the full podcast here, but this is the gist of the bonus content:

  • Uncut versions of the screen and camera tests previously issued on Criterion's Head DVD/Blu-ray, as well as almost-a-Monkee Dallas Williams's screen test.
  • Fully restored color version of the original "Monkees" pilot (which Hughes goes out of his way to note cost Rhino a few extra thousand dollars to restore).
  • Restored Kelloggs bumpers and commercials and a Yardley commercial.
  • Outtakes from the romps for "Last Train to Clarksville", "Saturday's Child", and "Gonna Buy Me a Dog" and unused romp clips of Davy directing traffic and riding on a block of ice set to "I Can't Get Her Off My Mind".
  • Restored footage of Monkees monkeying with the Monkeemobile at a Screen Gems block party that had previously circulated on VHS.
  • Clips and audio of Monkees making a trip to San Juan Capistrano to promote the series premier that includes interviews with The Monkees and people who were present on the trip.
  • While the alternate song tracks that will be included for ten episodes were initially announced to be from Saturday Morning re-runs, Sandoval now indicates that alternate songs from at least one summer '67 prime-time re-run will be included, specifically mentioning "Royal Flush". He also mentions that the Saturday morning re-run alternate song ("Steam Engine") will be included for "The Monkees on Tour". Sandoval and Hughes explain that they only included alternate song tracks when the original footage was available and decided not to recreate alternate tracks for episodes when the footage was not available (I personally would not have minded such recreations though). Other Saturday morning alternate songs mentioned are "French Song","I Never Thought It Peculiar", "Midnight Train", "Do You Feel It Too?", and "All Alone in the Dark".
  • Uncensored and censored versions of bikini scene in "Too Many Girls".
  • Show promos, some in hi-def, some in standard def.
  • Spanish language version of opening theme ("Los Monkees").
  • Color backstage footage of Monkees at the Emmy Awards set to an unissued backing track of my personal favorite Monkees song, "The Door Into Summer", which they'd recorded a couple of days earlier. 
  • Color unissued "Randy Scouse Git" promo originally shown on "Top of the Pops".
  • The 5.1 audio restoration of Head included on Criterion's "BBS Story" Box Set, including its audio commentaries with Mike, Micky, Davy, and Peter.
  • Alternate clips for the "Porpoise Song", "Can You Dig It?", "Daddy's Song", and "Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again?" sequences in Head.
  • Behind-the-scenes footage from the "Daddy's Song" sequence.
  • Outtakes from Head that include Mike's birthday party scene, the bathroom mirror scene, and the diner scene.
  • A completely restored version of "33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee", as well as the broadcast version complete with original commercials and a Spanish language version.
  • Alternate and/or extended clips for "I Go Ape", "Goldilocks Sometime", "String for My Kite", Bach's "Solfeggietto", and "Listen to the Band" (a 14-minute version) from "33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee" (the broadcast version complete with original commercials is also included, as is a Spanish language version). 
  • Monkees on "The Glen Campbell Show", "The Johnny Cash Show", and "Laugh-In".
  • Davy performing "Someday Man" on "Music Bag".
  • Restored "Oh My My" promo directed by Micky.
  • Kool Aid promos.
  • All of the commentaries from the previous DVDs.
  • New commentaries with Micky Dolenz, Donna Loren (from "Everywhere a Shiek Shiek"), Rodney Bingenheimer (Davy's body double in "The Prince and the Pauper"), Valerie Karys (serial "Monkees" extra and star of "Monkees a la Mode"), and "Monkees expert" Gary Strobel.
  • The lenticular packaging is styled after Rhino's Monkees Super-Deluxe CD box sets.
  • Also: Next week the full specks and new photos of the set will be officially released and a full hi-def episode will be released on the Monkees' official You Tube channel.
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