My Two Cents
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 18:14

Mary Poppins 50th, plus Transformers: Age of Extinction, Squirm, new details on Cowboy Bebop & MPI Sherlock, plus more

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We’re stating today’s post here at The Bits with a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our very own Michael Coate, featuring a look back at the theatrical debut of Disney’s Mary Poppins on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary. The TWO PAGE column features a great roundtable interview with authors/film historians Sheldon Hall, Kim Holston, Matthew Kennedy, Jeff Kurtti and Charles Solomon, and lots more release information. Enjoy!   [Read on here…]

The big release news today is that Paramount has officially set Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction for Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo, DVD, and VOD release on 9/30, with the Digital HD release due on 9/16. The 3-disc Blu-ray Combo will include the film in both 1080p with 7.1 Dolby TrueHD audio and DVD, plus  a bonus disc containing a huge batch of extras. Among them will be: The Bay on Action interview featurette, the 8-part Evolution within Extinction documentary (includes Generation 2, Drive Like Hell, Small Town, Big Movie, Shadow Protocol Activated, The Last Stand, The People’s Republic, Rise of the DINOBOTS, and The Finishing Touch), 3 additional production featurettes (Just Another Giant Effin’ Movie, A Spark of Design, and T.J. Miller: Farm Hippie), 2 animated shorts (KRE-O Transformers: Take Us Through the Movies! and The Angry Birds Transformers: Origin Story), and theatrical trailers. Finally, the Blu-ray 3D Combo will include all of that, plus the IMAX version of the film on Blu-ray 3D. Here’s a look at the cover artwork for all three disc versions…

Transformers: Age of Extinction (Blu-ray 3D)    Transformers: Age of Extinction (Blu-ray Disc)    Transformers: Age of Extinction (DVD)

Paramount has also set the Sundance documentary Ivory Tower for Blu-ray and DVD release on 9/30.

Now then… we have some new information for you on the FUNimation-exclusive “premium” version of Cowboy Bebop: The Complete Series that will be available on their website on 12/16. It will include the series on both Blu-ray and DVD, will come in limited edition “tri-fold” packaging in the style of a vintage LP cover with a display easel, will include 4 exclusive artwork cards and will also include a 5th exclusive car with the foil-stamped autograph of series creator Shinichiro Watanabe (currently available on the FUNimation shop site for $64.98). There will also be an Amazon-exclusive “premium” edition that includes both Blu-ray and DVD in limited edition “clamshell art box” packaging, with a 140-page B&W artwork book of early concept sketches for the series, and also a 48-page color artwork book (currently available for pre-order for $89.98 on Amazon). Keep in mind, however, that if those are too rich for you, Cowboy Bebop: The Complete Series will also be available on 12/16 in regular Blu-ray and DVD editions without the swag and special packaging. Final cover artwork isn’t available yet, nor is the list of disc-based special features, but we’ll post an update when FUNimation finalizes the details. We can’t wait – if you haven’t seen it yet, Cowboy Bebop is an all-time, genre-bending classic of Japanese anime.

In other release news today, Warner Home Video has set Jersey Boys for Blu-ray and DVD release on 11/11.

Olive Films will release Billy Wilder’s Fedora on Blu-ray on 10/28.

Shout! Factory and Scream have set the Squirm: Collector’s Edition for Blu-ray release on 10/28 (SRP $29.93). Extras will include audio commentary with writer/director Jeff Lieberman, 2 new documentary featurettes (Eureka! and Digging In), a still gallery, the theatrical trailer, and a TV spot.

And Lionsgate has set the documentary America: Imagine the World Without Her on Blu-ray and DVD on 10/28.

Finally today, after hearing some concern from Bits readers about MPI’s upcoming Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes Blu-rays (due on 9/30), we spoke with MPI and confirmed that they’re going to be presented in the original frame rate of 25 fps, which would be correct given the original broadcast was on British television. The possible exception is The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (which MPI tells me MAY be 24 fps, but they’re going to confirm that).  So it does look as if they’re making every effort to get it right.

All right, we’ll leave you with a little more good Blu-ray cover artwork today, including a couple of the big box sets coming on the format in the next few months (note that the new 2014 version of the Breaking Bad: The Complete Series "barrel" set is identical to the previous version except that it includes a Better Call Saul promo matchbook)…

Squirm: Collector's Edition (Blu-ray Disc)    Fedora (Blu-ray Disc)    Out of the Past (Blu-ray Disc)

Breaking Bad: The Complete Series (Blu-ray Disc)

Stanley Kubrick: The Masterpiece Collection (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

- Bill Hunt


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