My Two Cents
Friday, 16 March 2018 12:51

Star Wars: Last Jedi reviewed, plus Maze Runner: Death Cure, Criterion’s June, Game of Thrones in 4K & more!

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First up today, we have no less than three new disc reviews for you, starting with Tim’s thoughts on Fangs of the Living Dead from Scream Factory as well as The Hospital and Harry and Walter Go to New York from Twilight Time.

We’ve also got a big one for you today: My own in-depth thoughts on Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Disney and Lucasfilm. The disc is a reference-quality experience and it includes some of the best special features we’ve seen on a new release Blu-ray in years. This one is definitely worth your time. Enjoy!

We’ve also updated our Release Dates & Artwork section here at The Bits with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray cover artwork and pre-order links. As always, we appreciate it when shop Amazon through our links as it helps us a great deal in keeping the site going. So thank you! [Read on here...]

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Now then… the big release news today is that 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has set Maze Runner: The Death Cure for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 4/24. We’re waiting on the official press release with additional details, which we’ll bring to you as soon as they’re available.

The other big announcement news today is that The Criterion Collection has revealed their June Blu-ray release slate, which is expected to include Lino Brocka’s Manila in the Claws of Light (Spine #926 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 6/12, Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine (Spine #928 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Víctor Erice’s El Sur (Spine #927 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 6/19, and John Waters’ Female Trouble (Spine #929 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring (Spine #321 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 6/26. All of these titles are now available for pre-order on Amazon and you can see the cover artwork below. We’ve updated the Criterion Spines Project page here at The Bits accordingly.

On the 4K Ultra HD front, we now have cover artwork for 20th Century Fox’s Die Hard on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, which is due on 5/15. You can see it below.

Fox is also going to be releasing Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs on 4K Ultra HD the same day as the Blu-ray and DVD edition (street date TBA). And we have word from retail sources that Fox’s Red Sparrow is coming to Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 5/22, though the title has yet to be officially announced.

Also on the 4K front, here’s a nice surprise: Amazon France is now taking pre-orders on HBO’s Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season on the format with a street date of 6/6. This release makes perfect sense, given HBO’s brief effort to re-issue the early seasons of this show with Dolby Atmos on standard Blu-ray. It will be interesting to see if we hear an official announcement from the network soon.

In other release news, Kino Lorber Studio Classics has set A Lady Takes a Chance (1943), Mastermind (1976), A Pyromaniac’s Love Story (1995), The Crew (2000), The Sacrifice (1986), and How Do I Love Thee? (1970) for Blu-ray release on 5/15. Look also for Seven (1979), Special Delivery (1976), Feast of July (1995) and Roommates (1995) on Blu-ray on 5/8. And watch for Play It to the Bone (1999), Mafia! (1998), and Big Business (1988) on 5/1.

Here’s big news: Kino will also release Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars (1964) on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/22, mastered from the 2014 4K restoration. Extras will include all the previous Blu-ray content, along with the following all-new material: audio commentary by film historian Tim Lucas, an interview with actress Marianne Koch, Trailers from Hell with John Badham, original outtakes, re-takes & hidden gems, 3 animated image galleries (A Fistful in Pictures, Promoting a Fistful of Dollars, and A Fistful of Dollars: On the Set), and the restored opening UA logo.

Full Moon is releasing Puppet Master 4 and Puppet Master 5 on Blu-ray on 7/10. The Puppet Master Collection box set is also due on Blu-ray on 6/12. And Curse of the Puppet Master is coming to Blu-ray that same day.

And we have word that the BBC’s forthcoming Doctor Who: Tom Baker Season 1 (aka Season Twelve) Blu-ray set will include 20 restored (and upscaled) episodes, the hour-long Tom Baker in Conversation interview, Behind the Sofa, 2 new “making of” documentaries, 5.1 audio mixes for two episodes (The Ark in Space and Genesis of the Daleks), optional updated visual effects (for Revenge of the Cyberman), the Omnibus movie edition of Genesis of the Daleks, The Tom Baker Years, and an archive of production material. The previous DVD special features will also be included. The set streets on 6/19 (SRP $69.99).

We’ll leave you with a look at the cover artwork for a number of the titles mentioned above, with pre-order links if available…

Die Hard (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray) Maze Runner: The Death Cure (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray) Maze Runner: The Death Cure (Blu-ray Disc)

A Fistful of Dollars (Blu-ray Disc) Doctor Who: Tom Baker - Season 1 (Blu-ray Disc) El Sur (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)

Female Trouble (Criterion Blu-ray Disc) Bowling for Columbine (Criterion Blu-ray Disc) The Virgin Spring (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)

That’s all for this week. See you Monday!

- Bill Hunt

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

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