My Two Cents
Friday, 18 August 2017 19:36

Close Encounters 4K will include all 3 versions, new Buffy & Firefly sets & more, plus enjoy Monday’s Total Eclipse!

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All right, it’s been a busy week here at The Digital Bits...

Just in the last 24 hours, we’ve posted three new disc reviews, including Tim’s thoughts on René Laloux’s classic animated film Fantastic Planet on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection, as well as my two cents on Ridley Scott’s Prometheus in 4K Ultra HD from 20th Century Fox and also Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ Kong: Skull Island in 4K Ultra HD from Warner Bros. All of them are worth a look, so we hope you enjoy the reviews.

Now then, we have some new announcement news to run down for you today...

First up today, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has officially set Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind for release on 4K Ultra HD (in both regular and Limited Edition versions) and Blu-ray formats on 9/19, featuring a new 4K restoration of all three versions of the film (included on BOTH the Blu-ray and 4K editions). Both editions will also include a pair of new featurettes: Three Kinds of Close Encounters, featuring Spielberg with directors J.J. Abrams and Denis Villeneuve, and Steven’s Home Movies & Outtakes. Also included will be legacy features, among them The Making of Close Encounters of the Third Kind documentary, the Steven Spielberg: 30 Years of Close Encounters featurette, deleted scenes, the 1977 featurette Watch the Skies, Storyboard to Scene Comparisons, an extensive photo gallery, “A View From Above”, and theatrical trailers. [Read on here…]

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Sony has also set James Whale’s The Old Dark House, starring Boris Karloff, for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 10/24.

Meanwhile, 20th Century Fox has just announced a new Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Series 20th Anniversary Edition DVD boxed set for release on 9/19. The 39-disc set will include all episodes and extras (the same discs as before), packaged with a new Buffy Dark Horse comic book. Also coming that same day is a new Firefly: 15th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray box set that includes all the episodes and extras (again, the same discs as before), packaged with a new poster and collectible character cards.

Lionsgate has set Gavin O’Connor’s Warrior for release on 4K Ultra HD on 10/24.

For music fans, Arthaus is releasing Benoît Jacquot’s film production of Puccini: Tosca for release on 4k Ultra HD on 10/6.

HBO’s Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season is still up for pre-order on Blu-ray and DVD from Amazon with a street date or 11/12 (SRP $79.99 and $49.99). Speaking of which, you fans are in for a treat this Sunday. I’ve seen the episode already, which leaked accidentally online a few days ago, and it’s a whopper. Phew!

Kino Lorber Studio Classics is releasing Sam Peckinpah’s Junior Bonner and Paul Wendkos’ Cannon for Cordoba on Blu-ray on 10/31. They also have Steven Hillard Stern’s Rolling Vengeance coming on Blu-ray on 10/17 and Gary Marshall’s The Flamingo Kid and Young Doctors in Love due on 10/10.

Paramount is re-releasing the original Marathon Man on Blu-ray on 10/24.

Shout! Factory has just set Werner Herzog’s Queen of the Desert for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/5. The film stars Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Damian Lewis, and Robert Pattinson.

Image Entertainment has set Shane Abbess’ The Osiris Child for release on both formats on 12/5.

And here’s a surprise: Jerome Bixby’s The Man From Earth is being released on Blu-ray on 11/21 as a new special edition.

Now then... there’s going to be no daily news post here at The Bits on Monday and Tuesday. We will, however, have a few Blu-ray reviews going up then from Tim, including Criterion’s Multiple Maniacs and One-Eyed Jacks. The reason for the lack of a news post is that I’m going to trekking across the country to Idaho with my brother to take in Monday’s Total Solar Eclipse. We’re packing a tent, I’m bringing a big-ass telescope (with a solar filter of course) and we’re going to make an adventure weekend of it. It should really be an amazing sight. On that note, here are some resources for you:

Click here to see where you can watch the eclipse streaming live online.

Click here for the Great American Eclipse website, with tips and clips for those of you heading out to see it directly.

Remember, except when the eclipse is total, you MUST use proper solar safety glasses to watch the eclipse safely or risk causing serious damage to your eyes. Make sure they’re ISO certified for the purpose! (A list of reputable manufacturers can be found here and here.) Whatever you do, don’t put on solar eclipse glasses and look at the sun through a telescope or binoculars. My friend Scott W. Roberts of Explore Scientific (the maker of my telescope) will show you why here...

The eclipse is going to be broadcast live by NASA, on the Discovery Channel, PBS, and likely CNN and other 24-hour cable news outlets. It should be a lot of fun – this is the first Total Solar Eclipse to be visible in the US in nearly 100 years, so there’s probably going to be a lot of folks out there. Watch for traffic, check your local weather reports for the best viewing locations, be safe and have a great time!

We’ll leave you with a look at some new Blu-ray and 4K cover artwork, with Amazon pre-order links if available...

Bowfinger (Blu-ray Disc) Jabberwocky (Criterion Blu-ray Disc) Close Encounters of the Third Kind (4K Ultra HD)

Desert Hearts (Criterion Blu-ray Disc) Le Samurai (Criterion Blu-ray Disc) The Philadelphia Story (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)

100 Years of Olympic Films (Criterion Blu-ray Box)

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the eclipse!

- Bill Hunt

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


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