My Two Cents
Tuesday, 18 July 2017 18:57

Criterion’s October, Bridge on the River Kwai, Starship Troopers, E.T. & T2 all announced for 4K & MUCH more

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All right, we’ve a LOT of ground to cover today: Tons of news and announcements, plus some good stuff here at The Bits for you too. Let’s start with the latter...

Tim has turned in new reviews of Meteor (1979) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber and also Dave Parker’s It Watches on DVD from Uncork’d Entertainment. Both are worth your time. And if you like It Watches, be sure to check out Dave’s Sweet Tooth from Tales of Halloween, as well The Hills Run Red and The Dead Reborn too.

Also today, in honor of the late George Romero, I wanted to share a special feature we did here at The Bits way back in 2001: Telling Tales with John and George. I had the honor of spending an afternoon with George and filmmaker John Harrison (Frank Herbert’s Dune) while they recorded the audio commentary for Paramount’s Tales from the Darkside: The Movie DVD. It really gives you a good sense, I think, of who George was as a person: Truly one of the kindest, warmest, and most engaging people I’ve had the pleasure to meet in my 30+ years in this industry. I hope you’ll enjoy it. [Read on here…]

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Now then... the day’s big news...

The Criterion Collection has unveiled their October slate of Blu-ray and DVD releases, which is set to include an updating of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Vampyr (Cat #437 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 10/3, Agnieszka Smoczyńska’s The Lure (Cat #896 – Blu-ray, DVD, and iTunes) and Orson Welles’ Othello (Cat #870 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 10/10, Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon (Cat #897 – Blu-ray and DVD) and David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (Cat #898 – Blu-ray, DVD, and iTunes) on 10/17, and Olivier Assayas’ Personal Shopper (Cat #899 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 10/24. We’ve updated the relevant Criterion Spines Project page here at The Bits accordingly. We’ve also posted the cover artwork and Amazon pre-order links below.

Meanwhile, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has officially announced the long-awaited 4K Ultra HD release of Sir David Lean’s The Bridge on the River Kwai, in honor of the film’s 60th anniversary. The disc will include Dolby Atmos audio and HDR-10 High Dynamic Range. Extras in the package will include the Crossing the Bridge: Picture-in-Picture Graphics Track, the Making of The Bridge on the River Kwai documentary, 4 featurettes/clips (The Steve Allen Show with William Holden & Alec Guinness, The Bridge on the River Kwai Premiere Narrated by William Holden, An Appreciation by Filmmaker John Milius, and Rise and Fall of a Jungle Giant), a USC Short Film introduced by William Holden, a photo gallery, and theatrical trailers. You can see the cover artwork to the left and below (we’ll add the Amazon pre-order link as soon as it goes live).

Sony has also set a Starship Troopers: 20th Anniversary Edition for release on 4K Ultra HD on 10/19, featuring Dolby Atmos audio and all the legacy special features. They’ll also have a direct-to-video sequel: Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars for release on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD that same day. The 4K edition of Traitor of Mars will also include Dolby Atmos audio and also Dolby Vision HDR. Best Buy will have a retail-exclusive Steelbook edition of Starship Troopers in 4K that same day.

FYI, Sony has also announced Robert Englund’s 976-Evil for Blu-ray release on 10/3.

Also today, Lionsgate has just officially announced the 4K Ultra HD release of James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day on 10/3 (SRP $22.99). According to the press release, audio will be 5.1 DTS-HD MA with HDR (likely HDR-10). Extras will include the all-new T2: Reprogramming the Terminator 55-minute documentary (including exclusive interviews with Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Cameron, Edward Furlong and more), seamless branching to view 3 different versions of the movie, 2 feature commentaries (including 23 members of the cast and crew, including director James Cameron and co-author William Wisher), The Making of T2 30-minute featurette, 2 deleted scenes with audio commentary, and trailers. [Editor’s Note: We believe it’s the theatrical cut in 4K only on the UHD disc, and all three cuts in HD on the included Blu-ray, but we’re checking to confirm this.] There will also be a special Limited Collector’s Edition (just 6,000 units – SRP $174.99) packaged with a life-sized replica T-800 EndoArm mounted on a uniquely numbered stand with James Cameron’s signature. Some of you have asked why no Blu-ray 3D version is mentioned in this announcement, as a Blu-ray 3D has been announced internationally. The answer is we’re not sure, but it could be that a U.S. Blu-ray 3D is retail-exclusive. [Editor’s Update: We’re told by studio PR reps there is no U.S. Blu-ray 3D planned – no reason given.] In the meantime, here’s a look at the EndoArm version, with the regular cover artwork below (we’ll add the Amazon pre-order links as soon as they go live). You can also view a promo trailer for the release below...

Terminator 2 EndoArm (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)

Now then... our friends at Twilight Time have just announced their October Blu-ray slate as well, which is set to include Wild Bill (1995), Play Dirty (1968), The Captain from Castile (1947), and The Pirates of Blood River (1962) all on 10/17.

Universal’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is now available for pre-order on Amazon in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format in regular and Limited Editions. Both will include the film in 4K with HDR-10 and DTS:X audio, plus all the legacy BD extras. The Limited Edition will also include a collector’s booklet and a soundtrack CD. You can see the Limited Edition here and the regular edition below (click on the images to pre-order them on Amazon)...

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: Limited Edition (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)

Amazon is also taking pre-orders on HBO’s Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season on Blu-ray, due on 12/12. No doubt there will also be a DVD version (and MAYBE 4K too) but we’ll have to wait for HBO’s official announcement to be sure.

Walt Disney Home Entertainment has unveiled a new The Lion King: The Circle of Life Edition – Walt Disney Signature Collection Blu-ray release due to street on 8/29, with Digital due on 8/15. The package “includes over three hours of classic bonus material and exclusive, brand new features inviting viewers to sing along with the film’s award-winning music, observe recording sessions, step inside the story room, witness the evolution of a villain, and join Nathan Lane (voice of Timon) and Matthew Broderick (voice of Adult Simba) for an extended conversation regarding the legacy of The Lion King.”

Finally, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has announced Vikings: Season Four, Volume Two for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 10/3.

Here’s a look at the cover artwork for some of the titles mentioned above and more, with pre-order links if available...

The Bridge on the River Kwai (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray) Terminator 2: Judgment Day (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray) E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)

Barry Lyndon (Criterion Blu-ray Disc) Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (Criterion Blu-ray Disc) Bram Stoker's Dracula (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)

The Lure (Criterion Blu-ray Disc) Personal Shopper (Criterion Blu-ray Disc) Vampyr (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)

I’d say that’s enough for one day! Stay tuned...

- Bill Hunt

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


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