My Two Cents
Friday, 15 March 2024 16:31

Criterion’s June has Blue Velvet in 4K, plus new Powerhouse/Indicator titles, A24’s Pi Ultra HD, updates on Godzilla Minus One & Boy and the Heron, new Queen & Pink Floyd releases & more!

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We’re closing out the week here at The Bits with a bunch of release news and more new disc reviews as well. The reviews include...

Tim’s take on Rocky Morton & Annabel Jankel’s Super Mario Bros. (1993) in 4K Ultra HD from Umbrella Entertainment—the deluxe Trust the Fungus edition.

Stuart’s look at Hal Ashby’s Coming Home (1978) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics, as well as his review of Kino Lorber’s Homicide Hills: The Complete Series on DVD.

And Dennis’ reviews of Frank Lloyd’s Blood on the Sun (1945) and Alfred L. Werker and Anthony Mann’s He Walked by Night (1948), both on Blu-ray also from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

Also, just to let you know, we’ve been sharing some additional content for our supporters over on Patreon, including essays on Godzilla Minus One’s visual effects Oscar win and the difficulty in creating or evaluating home video transfers for film, along with an exclusive tease about a trio of forthcoming 4K Ultra HD catalog titles that are in the works for later this year, my in-depth film review of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two, and a little behind-the-scenes on a visit with some friends of The Bits who just so happen to have been involved with the Star Trek franchise for over 38 years.

Supporting The Bits on Patreon is a really great way to help us keep the site going, and doing so makes it possible for us to continue our work in support of physical media and disc fans everywhere. So please consider joining us there! [Read on here...]

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Now then, our friends at The Criterion Collection have just unveiled their June slate of Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD titles, which is officially set to include an upgrade of Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) (Spine #175 – 4K + Blu-ray) on 6/4, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Querelle (1982) (Spine #1221 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 6/11, Lana and Lilly Wachowski’s Bound (1996) (Spine #1220 – 4K + Blu-ray and Blu-ray) and Emilio Fernández’s Victims of Sin (1951) (Spine #1222 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 6/18, and Barry Jenkins’ The Underground Railroad (2021) (Spine #1223 – Blu-ray and DVD) and an upgrade of David Lynch’s Blue Velvet (1986) (Spine #977 – 4K + Blu-ray) on 6/25. You can read more on these here at Criterion’s website.

Circling back to a title I mentioned a minute ago, a lot of you have asked about the physical media status of Takashi Yamazaki’s Godzilla Minus One (2023). Toho is officially releasing the film on Blu-ray, DVD, and various 4K Ultra HD SKUs in Japan on 5/1, but none of these have English subtitles. To our knowledge—and we’ve asked the US PR team several times now—there’s no official US home video distributor yet. But we’ll keep asking and hopefully the situation will sort itself out soon.

Also, be aware that GKids (via Shout! Studios) will be releasing Hayao Miyazaki’s newly Oscar-winning The Boy and the Heron (2023) on physical media here in the US later this year. But first, the film is returning to theaters on 3/22 (complete with separate original Japanese language and dubbed English presentations, as well as bonus content with composer Joe Hisaishi and supervising animator Takeshi Honda). Watch this space for news about the disc release in the weeks ahead.

Meanwhile today, the good folks at A24 have just unveiled Darren Aronofsky’s Pi (1998) for release on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD. Both are now available as of yesterday. The discs will also include Pi: The Guerilla Diaries by Aronofsky. You can pre-order the title here exclusively from their online shop. The film was remastered in 8K resolution in 2023 and will include Dolby Atmos audio, two commentaries, behind-the-scenes footage, deleted scenes, and more.

Our friends at Powerhouse in the UK have just unveiled their June slate of Indicator Blu-ray releases, which are set to include Fernando de Fuentes’ The Phantom of the Monastery (1934), John Guillermin’s The Whole Truth (1958), Edward Dmytryk’s Obsession (1949), and George King’s The Shop at Sly Corner (1947) and Tomorrow We Live (1942). The street date for all of these is on or about 18 June. You can read more here at their website.

Kino Lorber Studio Classics has announced a couple of new Blu-ray titles: Jeremy Kagan’s Big Man on Campus (1989) is coming on 5/14, along with Sidney J. Furie’s The Lawyer (1970).

For you music fans, Mercury Records will be releasing Queen Rock Montreal + Live Aid (1981) in 4K Ultra HD on 5/10. Scanned from original 35mm negative, the package will be a 2-disc set that includes Rock Montreal and the Live Aid performance in full frame and widescreen. Rock Montreal will be available with HDR, and audio options will include LPCM Stereo, DTS-HD Master Audio, and a new Dolby Atmos mix. You can learn more about this at Queen’s official website here.

Also for you music fans: Legacy Recordings has just set Pink Floyd: Animals Remix for Blu-ray Audio release on 5/17. This 2-disc set will include the 2022 Dolby Atmos mix, the 2018 5.1 and stereo mixes, and the 1977 stereo mix as well, plus the album in CD.

Universal will release Zelda Williams’ Lisa Frankenstein (2024) on Blu-ray and DVD on 7/31.

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment has set Joe Wright’s Cyrano (2021) for Blu-ray release on 4/23

HBO has set True Detective: Night Country – Season 4 for Blu-ray and DVD release on 7/9.

Synapse Films will release Sompote Sands’ Crocodile (1978) on Blu-ray on 7/9.

Severin Films has set Lee Frost’s The Scavengers (1969) for Blu-ray release on 4/30.

Blue Underground has just listed Dick Mass’ Amsterdamned (1988) for Blu-ray on 7/25.

And our friends at Turbine Media in Germany have just announced a new 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray edition of David Hogan’s Barb Wire (1996) for release in Germany on 3/21. The disc will include Dolby Vision HDR, improved 5.1 and 2.0 sound, new interviews, and more. The package will also be available in two different Steelbook with slipcase versions. You can learn more and pre-order them here.

Finally today, a number of you have asked about the status of James Cameron’s The Abyss, Aliens, and True Lies in 4K Ultra HD, because many people have simply been unable to get their hands on the discs even after the 3/12 street date. For the record: No, the street date has not in any way been delayed. The discs are simply selling like hotcakes.

Demand seems to have so vastly outstripped Disney’s expectations, and thus initial supply, that literally every retailer—whether brick and mortar or online—is running out of stock and requesting more to fulfill their backlog of customer orders. My Disney sources have privately confirmed this and also confirmed that they’re racing to replicate more copies and get them into distribution. But it’s probably going to take two or three weeks to get it all sorted out. So if you haven’t been able to get your 4K copies yet, rest assured that plenty more are on the way.

The good news is that this is clearly a sign that there’s still plenty of demand out there for physical media and especially for catalog 4K Ultra HD titles. And I feel more confident than ever that Disney is finally getting the message.

We’ll leave you today with a look at the cover artwork for a few of the titles mentioned above and more (with Amazon pre-order links if available)...

High Noon (4K Ultra HD) Glory (4K Ultra HD Steelbook) Pink Floyd Animals Remix (Blu-ray Audio)

Steel Magnolias (4K Ultra HD) Star Trek III 40th Anniversary (4K Ultra HD Steelbook) True Detective: Night Country (Blu-ray Disc)

Have a great weekend!

Stay tuned...

(You can follow Bill on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook)



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