My Two Cents
Tuesday, 14 July 2015 17:07

Blu-ray News – Spartacus remastered on Blu-ray at last, plus new Shout, Scream, Twilight, Kino & more!

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We’ve got a brand new Blu-ray review for you today from our own Jim Hemphill, who’s taken a look at Cornel Wilde’s Storm Fear (1955) from Kino Lorber. More reviews are coming, so stay tuned.

Also today, our own Russell Hammond has posted the weekly update of 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 our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we really appreciate it. [Read on here…]

I wanted to take just a moment today to elaborate on that thought. It’s no secret that a lot of websites – especially entertainment websites – are having trouble remaining viable these days. Chris Gore’s Film Threat tried to make a comeback via Kickstarter and couldn’t. Recently, The Dissolve shut down. The Bits keeps on keeping on as an independent site (not owned by some larger corporation), but after nearly 18 years now we’re operating in a very tough environment. The problem is three-fold: Internet advertising revenue has declined, physical media sales have declined (which in our case means that Amazon affiliate revenue is down), and finally website server costs have exploded due to the constant threat of hacking that’s been automated and weaponized by groups who do such things. On top of that, it costs money to create good entertainment content: While everybody wants to enjoy all their content for free, the people who create it can’t afford to work for free. This is a huge disconnect. Would you work for free? Or course not. People need to pay their bills. All that said, our margins here at The Bits are low enough that we’ve been able to pay our server, bandwidth and other costs, and make just enough on top of that to keep doing it. But they’re getting tighter all the time. We don’t want to charge people to read The Bits – that really defeats the purpose of the site. But we do ask two small favors. First, occasionally, we’re going to have to take advertising that’s a little more annoying than we’d prefer – it might have sound or video that plays automatically, or whatever. We’ll try to keep that limited, but when it happens, please be patient with us. Second, if you love what we do here and you want it to continue, please support us by using our Amazon affiliate links. It’s not just buying Blu-rays – if you or your family buy books, computer stuff, car parts, groceries, action figures, gaming accessories, whatever – all you have to do is click through ANY of our Amazon links first. Then, anything at all that you buy in that same shopping session counts for us as an Amazon affiliate. It really makes a HUGE difference in helping us to keep going here at The Bits. So thank you for doing so. 

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All right, back to our regular news…

The really big (and welcome) announcement today is that Universal has just officially set Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus for Blu-ray release on 10/6 in a new remastered edition that’s “newly restored from large format 35mm original film elements”. This is the same version that was meant to be screened at the TCM Film Festival earlier this year but was pulled at the last minute. The release will include an UltraViolet digital version of the film, along with 2 featurettes (I Am Spartacus: A Conversation with Kirk Douglas and Restoring Spartacus), as well as archival interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, vintage newsreels, an image gallery, and the theatrical trailer. You can see the cover artwork above left and also below.

Meanwhile, Universal has set Tremors 5: Bloodlines for Blu-ray and DVD release on 10/6 as well.

And Universal and Focus Films have also set Alan Rickman’s A Little Chaos for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 8/4.

Also today, Scream Factory’s Tales from the Crypt Presents: Bordello of Blood – Collector’s Edition, Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight – Collector’s Edition, and The Larry Fessenden Collection (includes No Telling, Habit, Wendigo, and The Last Winter) are all now available for pre-order on with a street date of 10/20.

I should add that Shout! Factory has also set Olympus: Season One for Blu-ray release on 10/20 as well.

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In addition, Sony is releasing new Blu-ray anniversary editions of The Indian in the Cupboard, Jumanji, and Zathura on Blu-ray on 9/22.

Virgil Films and Entertainment has set the I Am Chris Farley documentary (about the late comedian) for Blu-ray and DVD release on 8/11.

A company called Hydralux is releasing Jeffrey Morris’ Oceanus: Act One on Blu-ray on 7/15. This is an original 40-minute science fiction film set to be the first of three telling a complete story. I actually met Jeffrey at Comic-Con last week and am really excited about this project. It looks terrific. Do check it out. You can pre-order it via the linked artwork below.

In catalog news, Twilight Time has set Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, House of Bamboo, Summer Lovers, A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy, and The Little House for Blu-ray release on 8/11 (pre-order date is 7/29 at 4 PM PST on Screen Archives Entertainment and their own website).

And Kino Lorber has set Burnt Offerings, Bad Man’s River, and Captain Apache for Blu-ray release on 10/6, followed by Scissors, Shattered, and Malone on 10/13, The Oblong Box and Modern Girls on 10/20, and Heart of Midnight on 10/27. They’ve also set Highway to Hell, Love at Large, Welcome to L.A., and The Devil’s Disciple as coming soon.

Here’s a look at the Blu-ray cover art for several of the titles mentioned above. Click on the covers to pre-order them on Amazon...

Spartacus: Remastered Edition (Blu-ray Disc)    Oceanus: Act One (Blu-ray Disc)    Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight (Blu-ray Disc)

The Larry Fessenden Collection (Blu-ray Disc)    American Horror Story: Freak Shows - Season Four (Blu-ray Disc)    Tales of the Crypt: Bordello of Blood (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

Bill Hunt


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