My Two Cents
Tuesday, 12 January 2016 18:43

Blu-ray News – Peanuts Movie, Night Will Fall, Lionsgate goes UHD, & Oppo plans a UHD BD player

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Let’s start with a couple of new Blu-ray reviews here at The Bits for you today...

First up, Joe Marchese has checked out Lewis Allen’s 1955 A Bullet for Joey, which is now available on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio classics. And Jim Hemphill has given Arrow Video’s What Have You Done to Solange? a spin on Blu-ray as well. Do check them out.

Also here at the site today, our own Russell Hammond has updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray and DVD cover artwork as well as pre-order links. As always, a portion of anything you order from Amazon after clicking through to them from our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we greatly appreciate it!  [Read on here…]

Now then, the big news today is that Lionsgate has just announced the release of their first Ultra HD Blu-ray titles for release on March first, timed to coincide with the release of Samsung’s Ultra HD Blu-ray player. The titles in question are: Sicario, The Last Witch Hunter, Ender’s Game, and The Expendables 3. Each will come packaged with a Blu-ray and a Digital Copy code. All will be in full 4K, with high dynamic Range (HDR). The Last Witch Hunter will feature DTS:X Audio, while the others will include Dolby Atmos. Sicario and The Last Witch Hunter will have an SRP of $42.99, while Ender’s Game and The Expendables 3 will be $22.99. They’re not up for pre-order on Amazon yet, so it will be interesting to see what the Amazon price is for each. From Lionsgate’s press release:

“As we were with Blu-ray, we are proud to again be at the forefront of a new format and excited to offer consumers the highest quality home viewing experience possible with the 4K disc being the premiere showcase,” said Ron Schwartz, President, Home Entertainment. “These four films are uniquely suited to show consumers how incredible this new format can be with a truly immersive experience complementing the new hardware capabilities.”

Not exactly a thrilling slate, but I guess you have to start somewhere.

By the way, while we’re talking Ultra HD, I contacted our friends over at Oppo Digital to see if they have any plans for the format. As many of you know, Oppo players are favorite by a lot of people – especially industry insiders – for their quality and feature set. The bad news is that they have nothing to announce at this time. But the good news is that they are developing an Ultra HD Blu-ray player and hope to have one ready for shipping in time for the holidays. I’m told that they really want to take the time to get it right. So there to go.

In other news today, 20th Century Fox has officially set The Peanuts Movie for Blu-ray and DVD release on 3/8, with a a digital release due on 2/12. The Collector’s Edition Blu-ray will come packaged with a stuffed Snoopy toy, and the disc will include Snoopy Snippets, You Never Grow Up, Charlie Brown, Snoopy’s Sibling Salute, Learn to Draw Snoopy, Woodstock and Charlie Brown, the Get Down with Snoopy and Woodstock music video, Meghan Trainor’s Better When I’m Dancin’ music video with and without lyrics, Behind the Scenes of the video, and Snoopy’s Playlist.

Universal and Syfy have set The Expanse: Season One for Blu-ray and DVD release on 4/5.

The Warner Archive has set the Bogart/Bacall classics Key Largo and The Big Sleep for Blu-ray release probably in February. See the cover art for Key Largo below. Note that the Archive is also releasing the camp sci-fi classic Ice Pirates on Blu-ray on 1/19.

Also, Warner Home Video and the Warner Archive have announced plans to release André Singer’s Holocaust documentary Night Will Fall on DVD (SRP $21.99) and Digital HD on 1/26, following its broadcast debut on HBO. The film was made in 1945 and has been rarely seen since then. Extras on the DVD will include an Interview with Professor Rainer Schulze, the Oświęcim (Auschwitz) Soviet propaganda film about the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, and the Death Mills U.S. propaganda film about the Nazi concentration camps by Hanuš Burger and Billy Wilder.

Finally today, we’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of actor Angus Scrimm, best known as the Tall Man from the Phantasm movies. He was 89. You can read more here at EW.

Here’s a look at a little bit of cover artwork...

The Peanuts Movie (Blu-ray Disc)    The Expanse: Season One (Blu-ray Disc)    Key Largo (Blu-ray Disc)

All right, back with more tomorrow including that long-promised review of Fox’s The X-Files Blu-ray set. Stay tuned...

Bill Hunt


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