My Two Cents
Tuesday, 18 July 2023 09:17

Babylon 5: The Complete Series & Ralph Bakshi’s American Pop are coming to Blu-ray, plus word on The Train, more KLSC catalog titles & Prey in 4K Ultra HD!

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In reviews this morning, Dennis has taken a look at Raphael Sbarge’s 2022 Laemmle Theatres documentary Only in Theaters on DVD from Kino Lorber. The film chronicles the 80+ year history of the family-owned cinema chain, which is based in L.A., and looks at the family’s efforts to see it survive the current challenges facing the industry.

More reviews are coming, so be sure to watch for them.

Now then... the big news today is two-fold: First, Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment has just revealed that Babylon 5: The Complete Series is coming to Blu-ray Disc for the first time ever on 12/5! Of course, the series was originally produced and finished in SD resolution only. But its live-action footage was shot on film, so that’s been scanned in 4K and downsampled to HD, while the CGI and VFX shots have been upsampled to HD from SD. But if you’ve seen the series recently as it appears on the Max streaming app, you’ll be familiar with the quality. (Note that it’s presented in the original 1.33 broadcast aspect ratio, and will include English SDH subtitles.) All 110 episodes of the show will be included, along with the 1993 pilot film, The Gathering. It appears that this title will be available via online retailers only, so don’t expect to find it at your local brick-and mortar shop. SRP is $99.99. You can see the cover artwork at left and also below. (Oddly, it doesn’t actually include an image of the Babylon 5 space station itself, which.. ahem... seems like very strange marketing choice.)

And second, here’s some exciting news for fans of 1980s animation: The great Ralph Bakshi has announced on his Facebook page that American Pop (1981) is finally coming to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on 8/22! [Read on here...]

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As some of you may know, the film was produced using rotoscoped live-action footage mixed with other forms of animation. The film’s soundtrack includes music from The Doors, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Mamas & The Papas, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Pat Benatar, Lou Reed, Bob Seger, and more. You can see the cover artwork at left and also below.

Also today, A24 has revealed a new shop-exclusive 4K version of Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022) for release on 8/8. It will include Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos Audio, along with a number of exclusive special features—among them a mini-documentary profiling the band Son Lux (which composed the score) and a look at the film’s visual effect—plus custom packaging. You can pre-order it here.

Kino Lorber Studio Classics has finally set John Frankenheimer’s The Train (1964) for release on 4K Ultra HD on 9/26. The company first revealed that it was “coming soon” just over a year ago, so it’s great to finally have a firm street date. Look for Dolby Vision HDR and an image mastered from a 4K scan of the original camera negative.

Newly revealed as “coming soon” to 4K UHD from KLSC is M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit (2015). Meanwhile, a new Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema XVII Blu-ray box set is also coming soon, featuring three films starring Edward G. Robinson: Vice Squad (1953), Black Tuesday (1954), and Nightmare (1956).

And the company has further confirmed that J. Lee Thompson’s Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987) and Allan A. Goldstein’s Death Wish V: The Face of Death (1994) are coming to Blu-ray on 9/26.

On the topic of anime, Crunchyroll has set The Rising of the Shield Hero: Season Two for Blu-ray + DVD release on 8/29, in both regular and Limited Edition versions.

And while we’re on the subject, Discotek Media has set Cromartie High School: The Complete Series for Blu-ray release on 8/29 as well.

Finally today, we’re hearing from multiple industry sources now that 20th Century Studios is preparing Dan Trachtenberg’s successful Predator prequel Prey (2022) for release on Blu-ray and... even better... physical 4K Ultra HD! The film has, up to now, been available only via streaming on Hulu here in the States (and via Star on Disney+ internationally). We’ve been quietly tracking this one for a few months, but we’ve heard it now from multiple independent sources, so we’re confident that it’s legit. As soon as we have firmer or official details, rest assured we’ll let you know. But it would certainly be very welcome news indeed.

Here’s a look at the cover art for Babylon 5: The Complete Series and American Pop on Blu-ray. pre-order links will be added as soon as they’re available...

Babylon 5: The Complete Series (Blu-ray Disc) American Pop (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

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