My Two Cents
Monday, 13 July 2015 15:02

A Comic-Con 2015 update with a Bits panel report, new Die Hard set, X-Files, Marvel TV titles & MUCH more!

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Comic-Con 2015 is a wrap and there’s plenty of good geek news to report for you today!

First though, our own Mario Boucher posted a new Inside Cinema column back on Thursday (in case you missed it) looking back at The Terminator films. Do check it out.

Now then... our Digital Bits Comic-Con panel went very well on Thursday afternoon! We had a packed room with lots of Bits readers asking great questions about Blu-ray. Our friend Charles de Lauzirika revealed that he’s officially working on the forthcoming Blu-ray of Ridley Scott’s The Martian. Cliff Stephenson is busy working on the Hannibal: Season Three Blu-ray for Lionsgate. And of course Robert Meyer Burnett has just completed the Prelude to Axanar Blu-ray for backers of that project on Kickstarter. Rob is also working with executive producer Alec Peters and myself on the full Star Trek: Axanar feature film – Rob is going to direct the film and I’m co-writing it with Alec. (As it happens, Charles de Lauzirika is helping to produce the film, and Cliff is going to produce the forthcoming Blu-ray special features, so quite literally everyone on our Bits panel is involved in the Axanar project.) You can view the project’s IndieGoGo page here (it launched during Comic-Con). More on that in a moment. As the panel wound on, we discussed the future of Blu-ray and indie studio releases on the format, we talked a little about Ultra HD Blu-ray (we’ll have more on that later this month), and we took questions from the audience. [Read on here…]

We also gave the audience its first look at the final Blu-ray for Prelude to Axanar, which will be available via Kickstarter shortly, and we debuted the first 2-minute scene from the Star Trek: Axanar feature film – a scene that I actually helped write – starring Gary Graham (Alien Nation, Robot Jox) reprising his role from Star Trek: Enterprise. You can view that below and also on the IndieGoGo page (where you can also donate to fund the film):

Meanwhile, here’s the 6-minute pitch-video for the project, for those of you who might like to know more and perhaps get involved yourself:

The goal is to make the best non-profit, independent Star Trek feature film possible – featuring an original story set firmly in the prime Star Trek canon we all know and love (about 90 years after Star Trek: Enterprise and 24 years before The Original Series) with all-new crew, starring veteran actors, and produced by a team of dedicated Hollywood professionals – and to prove to the industry that not only is there still plenty of life in the Trek franchise, but that good Trek can be made for less than 1% of the massive $100 million-plus budgets of the recent Paramount/Bad Robot-produced films.

The rest of the Axanar film will debut for completely-free viewing online in 2016, which is the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise. Meanwhile, the Prelude Blu-ray will include the complete 20-minute “in universe” documentary short in 5.1 and 2.0 audio (with many subtitle options including Klingon), the 40-minute Dispatches from Dispatches from the 23rd Century: Making Prelude to Axanar “making of” documentary, a Sizzle Reel, and the trailer. The disc also includes the teaser scene from the final Axanar film as a teaser with you first insert the disc.

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Some other cool Blu-ray-related news broke at Comic-Con over the weekend too…

Fox Home Entertainment revealed the final packaging for their forthcoming Lost in Space: The Complete Series Blu-ray set, which is due on 9/15 (SRP $199.99). We’ve already posted extras details, but the set will include a booklet, art cards, blueprints of the B-9 Robot and other items. Here’s what that looks like…

Lost in Space: The Complete Series (Blu-ray Disc)

Fox also revealed the 10/13 release of Nakatomi Plaza: The Die Hard Collection (SRP $89.99), a 6-disc set which includes all 5 films – Die Hard, Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Die Hard: With a Vengeance, Live Free or Die Hard (includes the unrated version for the first time on BD), and A Good Day to Die Hard (includes the unrated version) – plus the Decoding Die Hard bonus disc, 5 villain cards, and a 32-page booklet, all of it packaged in a replica of the Nakatomi Building from the first film… which just so happens to be the actual building on the Fox studio lot in which Fox Home Entertainment has its offices. Here’s what that set will look like…

Nakatomi Plaza: The Die Hard Collection (Blu-ray Disc)

Fox has revealed that American Horror Story: Freak Show and Vikings: Season Three will arrive on Blu-ray and DVD on 10/6 as well.

And here’s a Fox-related surprise from X-Files creator Chris Carter. When asked on Twitter last Wednesday: “Will we ever see The X-Files on Blu-ray?” Chris Carter replied: “I imagine you will.” That’s not exactly definitive word, but still… it’s encouraging. Thanks to Bits reader Jack R for spotting that.

Sadly, there was no official news regarding a Blu-ray release of The Iron Giant: Remastered from Warner, though we all now know that its theatrical release is scheduled for 9/30 as a Fathom event. Our industry sources confirm that a Blu-ray is coming too, though the studio hasn’t said anything on the record about it.

In other release news today, Disney and Marvel have set Marvel’s Agent Carter: The Complete First Season and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Complete Second Season as Amazon exclusive Blu-ray releases on 9/18. You can pre-order them by clicking on the cover artwork below.

Meanwhile, Paramount will release Good Kill on Blu-ray and DVD on 8/25.

Universal has Grimm: Season Four due on Blu-ray and DVD on 9/29.

Scream Factory’s Army of Darkness: Collector’s Edition is now available for pre-order on Amazon with a street date of 10/27. (See the artwork below.)

Scream has also announced the Blu-ray release of Human Centipede 3: The Final Sequence (SRP $29.99) and Human Centipede: The Complete Sequence (SRP $59.99) on 10/13, along with Eli Roth Presents The Stranger and Gravy on 10/6.

Sony will release the documentary Lambert and Stamp – on the two men who helped create The Who – on Blu-ray and DVD on 8/18.

Lionsgate is re-issuing Jacob’s Ladder and many other catalog titles on Blu-ray on 8/25.

Severin Films will release Nightmare Castle (with Castle of Blood and Terror-Creatures from the Grave) on Blu-ray Disc on 8/18.

Kino Lorber’s September Blu-ray slate will include Defiance, Vigilante Force, Hornets’ Nest, The Honey Pot, and The Epic of Everest on 9/8, followed by House of the Long Shadows, Billy Two Hats, Unforgettable, and Hidden Agenda on 9/15, Lisa, Satan Bug, Busting, and The Destructors on 9/22, and Savage Weekend, The Wonderful Country, Man with the Gun, and Young Billy Young on 9/29.

And finally, a bit of bad release news: We’ve checked with Lionsgate and learned – unfortunately – that the Zatoichi Blu-ray we mentioned previously (as listed for release on 9/8 on Amazon) is simply be a re-issue of the Miramax Beat Takeshi film. Ugh.

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Speaking of Amazon, July 15th is Prime Day over on Amazon. What that means if that if you’re an Amazon Prime member, there are supposedly going to be one-day deals better than you’ll find on Black Friday. It’s worth checking out here.

Also, the Blu-ray of Ex Machina (which streets tomorrow) is today’s Deal of the Day on Amazon for just $17. It’s a great little sci-fi film – act fast if you want it.

We’ve got a few more things to report from you from Comic-Con (from around the Net)...

Disney has released the amazing behind-the-scenes video they showed in Hall H during their Star Wars: The Force Awakens panel on Friday. You can watch it here and – trust me – you’ll want to do so big, loud, and in full HD:

Also available online is Warner and DC’s new trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, also shown first in Hall H at the Con. I wasn’t terribly big on this film based on previous trailers, but this one looks a little more interesting to me. Watch that here…

Something else interesting from Comic-Con: While I was having my copy of the Academia Waltz and Other Profound Transgressions book signed by Berkeley Breathed at the IDW booth, he told me that he was about to re-launch Bloom County as an all-new digital strip on his Facebook page, in the artistic style of 1985! Sure enough, the first new strip appeared there today. Very cool news.

In completely unrelated news, NASA’s New Horizons probe finally makes its closest approach to Pluto tomorrow (at 4:50 AM Pacific), after a 9.5-year journey across the Solar System. NASA TV will have live webcasts here, and you can get all the latest on the mission here.

And finally today, we need to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of Omar Sharif on Friday. The legendary Egyptian actor was best known for his roles in Sir David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago. He was 83. You can read more here via the BBC.

We’ll leave you with a look at some new Blu-ray cover artwork…

Ex Machina (Blu-ray Disc)    Army of Darkness: Collector's Edition (Blu-ray Disc)    Mad Max: Fury Road (Blu-ray Disc)

Agents of SHIELD: Season Two (Blu-ray Disc)    Agent Carter: Season One (Blu-ray Disc)    Good Kill (Blu-ray Disc)

Back tomorrow with more. Stay tuned...

Bill Hunt


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