My Two Cents
Monday, 08 June 2020 16:54

Arrow UK’s The Game, Lawrence & Strangelove 4K reviews, interesting odds & ends, and Hellenica: Leaders & Legends!

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We’re kicking off a new week with a pair of 4K Ultra HD reviews from Sony’s terrific new Columbia Classics 4K Collection: Volume 1 box set, which streets on June 16th. Now available for your reading pleasure are my thoughts on Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove (1964) and David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia (1962). Both look and sound better than ever. Before you ask, these films are ONLY available in this box set for now, and it does not appear that Sony has any plans to release them individually this year (though it’s certainly possible that could change later in 2020 or 2021).

Also up here at The Bits today is a review of Dorothy Arzner’s Dance, Girl, Dance (1940) on Blu-ray from Criterion by Dennis, and my own look at Kino Lorber’s animated The Inspector (1965-69) on Blu-ray—part of a larger series of reviews on the DePatie-Freleng Collection I hope to post over the coming weeks.

In other news today, Arrow Films has announced a UK only release of David Fincher’s The Game for Blu-ray on July 24th (SRP £44.99). It’s limited to 3K units and will include a 200-page hardback book. On this side of the Pond, Universal controls the title, so we’ll have to wait and see if Arrow Video has licensed it for release here in the States at some point. [Read on here...]

CLICK HERE to BACK THE BITS in our fight to preserve Physical Media Shopping on Amazon? START HERE!

Meanwhile, here’s a look at what the UK edition will include:


  • 2K restoration from the original negative by The Criterion Collection supervised and approved by director David Fincher and cinematographer Harris Savides
  • Original 5.1 & 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Isolated Music & Effects track
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • New audio commentary by critic and programmer Nick Pinkerton
  • Fool’s Week: Developing The Game, a newly filmed interview with co-writer John Brancato
  • Men On The Chessboard: The Hidden Pleasures of The Game, a new visual essay by critic Neil Young
  • Archive promotional interview with star Michael Douglas from 1997
  • Alternatively-framed 4:3 version prepared for home video (SD only), with new introduction discussing Fincher’s use of the Super 35 shooting format
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Teaser trailer
  • Image gallery


  • Standard definition DVD (PAL) presentation
  • 5.1 Dolby Digital audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Audio commentary with director David Fincher, actor Michael Douglas, screenwriters John Brancato and Michael Ferris, director of photography Harris Savides, production designer Jeffrey Beecroft and visual effects supervisor Kevin Haug
  • Behind The Scenes featurettes – Dog Chase, The Taxi, Christine’s House, The Fall (with optional commentary by Fincher, Douglas, Savides, Beecroft and Haug)
  • On Location featurettes – Exterior Parking Lot: Blue Screen Shot, Exterior Fioli Mansion: Father’s Death, Interior CRS Lobby and Offices, Interior Fioli Mansion: Vandalism, Exterior Mexican Cemetary (with optional commentary by Fincher, Savides, Beecroft and Haug)
  • Theatrical trailer (with optional commentary by Fincher)
  • Teaser trailer
  • Teaser trailer CGI test footage (with optional commentary by designer/animator Richard Baily)
  • Alternate ending
  • Production design and storyboard galleries

You can learn more about the release here at the Arrow Films website.

Meanwhile, we’ve got a few other things for you today...

First, are any of you Star Wars fans? Well, is currently running a sale on the Kindle Enhanced versions of JW Rinzler’s terrific Making of Star Wars book trilogy. You can get the eBook versions of The Making of Star Wars, The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, and The Making of Return of the Jedi for just $21.97. And keep in mind that each of these includes nearly an hour of exclusive and rare audio/video content, totaling nearly 90 minutes of content in all (viewable on your Kindle tablet, iPad, and other mobile device). Click here for that.

Also, there’s a great video that’s just been posted on YouTube of George Lucas talking with director Christopher Nolan (at the Director’s Guild back in 2011) about the impact of the Star Wars films. It’s well worth your time, so do give it a look.

Now then... some of you may know that I studied film at the University of Wisconsin in Madison back in the late 1980s (under David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, whose excellent Observations on Film Art website and video series on The Criterion Channel are highly recommended). Well, the reason I mention it is that the UW Cinematheque (of their department of Communication Arts, where I was a film projectionist in Vilas Hall for a while before I became a student in the department) has a terrific Cinematalk Podcast with Schawn Belston, who for years was the Executive Vice President of Media and Library Services at Twentieth Century Fox, and is now a Senior Vice-President at the Walt Disney Company involved in restoration and preservation. The podcast is a great listen for its information content, plus there’s the fact that Belston is just a great guy. If you have any interested in film preservation I think you’ll really enjoy it, so do give it a listen here.

Finally today, some of you may recall that a while back I mentioned my old friend from high school back in North Dakota, Scott DeMers, who has become a board game designer. About a year ago, Scott Kickstarted his latest game, Hellenica: Story of Greece (which is well reviewed now on BoardGameGeek). The game launch was so successful that Scott and his partner, Mr. B Games, have just launched another Kickstarter for the first expansion to the game, Hellenica: Leaders & Legends! Hellenica is a really cool game with a tremendous AI component, allowing a solo player to have just as good a time playing as those involved in a multi-player game (up to 7 players). And if you’re into history, the game explores the rise and development of ancient Greece, Athens, Sparta, Corinth, Troy, Byzantium, Corcyra, and Thebes, with real historical details and a mythological element too. The Hellenica: Leaders & Legends Kickstarter was funded in just 6 hours and there are 17 days left to support the project. If you think you might be interested, I highly recommend the game. You can learn more here and by clicking on the image below. Proud of you, Scott!

Hellenica: Leaders & Legends Kickstarter

All right, that’s all for now. Stay tuned...

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



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