My Two Cents
Thursday, 08 September 2016 18:46

Finding Dory official for 11/15, plus Constantine, Amazon sale on Trek BDs today, PS4 Pro follow-up & more

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All right, first up today: Be sure to check out Michael Coate’s Still Boldly Going: Celebrating “Star Trek“ on its 50th Anniversary column in the event you missed it yesterday. It’s a fun and fascinating roundtable discussion featuring some of the very best Treksperts in the business. Don’t miss it.

Now then... we have some new announcements today...

Disney and Pixar have just set Finding Dory for Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand release on 11/15, preceded by the Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere release on 10/25.  [Read on here…]

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Extras on the Blu-ray will include the Piper theatrical short film, audio commentary (with director Andrew Stanton, co-director Angus MacLane, and producer Lindsey Collins), deleted scenes (with Stanton introduction, including Losing Nemo, Little Tension in Clown Town, Dory Dumped, Sleep Swimming, Meeting Hank, The Pig, and Starting Over – note that the digital versions have 2 exclusives: Tank Gang and Hidden Secrets of Finding Dory), the Marine Life Interviews short film, and 9 featurettes (The Octopus That Nearly Broke Pixar, What Were We Talking About?, Casual Carpool, Animation & Acting, Creature Features, Deep in the Kelp, Skating & Sketching with Jason Deamer, Dory’s Theme, and Rough Day on the Reef). You can see the cover artwork above and below.

Also today, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has set Nine Lives for Blu-ray and DVD release on 11/1, with the Digital HD release expected on 10/25.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has set Joshua Marston’s Complete Unknown for DVD only release on 10/4, with a digital release due on 9/27. The film stars Rachel Weisz, Michael Shannon, Danny Glover, and Kathy Bates.

PBS has set Downton Abbey: The Complete Collection for Blu-ray release on 10/18 (SRP $149.99). It includes all 52 episodes and over 5 hours of all-new bonus content, including The Story of Downton Abbey, 7 Character Documentaries, Downton Abbey Creator’s Favorite Scenes, Nine Supercuts, Great Houses with Julian Fellowes, The Manners of Downton Abbey, and More Manners of Downton Abbey.

If you’re a Star Trek fan, Amazon is selling a pair of new Trek Blu-ray titles for larger than usual discounts today, including Star Trek: The Original Series (just $59.99 or 29% off) and Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Complete Series (just $122.70 of 41% off). Act fast if you want to take advantage.

Speaking of Star Trek, there’s still no official update on the release of Star Trek Beyond or Star Trek: The Animated Series, though we expect them to be announced soon. Updated word from retail sources suggests early November for Beyond (possibly 11/1) and mid-November for TAS (11/15), but we’ll have to wait and see.

Fans of the NBC TV series Constantine will be pleased to learn that The Warner Archive will be releasing the series on Blu-ray and DVD soon. Details are still TBA.

Kino Lorber has revealed that it’s working on the Blu-ray and DVD release of A Game of Death (1945), The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959), The Skull (1965), and Daredevils of the Red Circle (1939). They’re involved in a new 4K restoration of One Million Years B.C. (1966) as well – Kino’s eventual disc release will have both the British and U.S. cuts of the film. Also newly announced by Kino for Blu-ray and/or DVD are The Neptune Factor (1973), Luna (1979), and Something For Everyone (1970) on 12/6, and The Man Called Noon (1973) and Moving Violations (1985) on 12/13.

Meanwhile, Olive Films has just announced its two new Olive Signature Blu-ray/DVD Combo titles for November, which include Orson Welles’ Macbeth (1948/1950) and Burt Kennedy’s Hannie Caulder (1971). Street date for both is 11/15.

And in other news, I wanted to take a moment to follow up on yesterday’s revelation that the Sony PlayStation 4 Pro will support 4K/HDR gaming but not the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc format. Here’s the thing to keep in mind: Unlike the situation in 2006, at the dawn of Blu-ray, Sony Corporation has undergone a good deal restructuring of its vast operations of late, splitting its business into smaller self-operating units. This means that Sony Consumer Electronics (which handles set-top A/V devices and displays) is not as closely aligned with Sony Interactive Entertainment (which handles gaming) as it once was. In 2006, it made sense for the two companies to support the Blu-ray format at any cost. Today, however, our industry sources tell us that Sony Consumer Electronics doesn’t want a UHD-capable PlayStation 4 Pro to undercut sales of its forthcoming set-top 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, which is expected in early 2017 and the prototype of which was on display at the IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin last week (see this link). However, it’s been noted around the Net in the last day or so that the actual disc structure and drive hardware are essentially the same between regular Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. So it seems very possible that, once Sony Consumer Electronics’ set-top Ultra HD Blu-ray player finally arrives in stores and sells through for a while, you could see Sony Interactive Entertainment surprise people with a firmware update that adds full 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc compatibility to the PlayStation 4 Pro.

While we were busy focusing on Star Trek’s 50th yesterday, my old friend Guido Henkel (and a fellow veteran of the early days of DVD and Blu-ray reporting) wrote a great editorial on the PS4 Pro/4K UHD subject over at DVD Review, and I strongly encourage you all to give it a read here. I think it’s very possible that he’s right.

Finally today, I’ve decided that I’m going to be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek tonight by watching a classic episode of The Original Series (or two) on Blu-ray starting at 5:30 PM Pacific (which would coincide with the show’s original 8:30-9:30 PM Eastern debut timeslot on NBC). However, I can’t bring myself to watch The Man Trap, the actual episode which aired in that time slot 50 years ago today. So what’s it to be: The Doomsday Machine, The Devil in the Dark, The City on the Edge of Forever, Amok Time, Operation: Annihilate!, Journey to Babel, The Trouble with Tribbles, The Enterprise Incident, The Ultimate Computer, Balance of Terror, Space Seed? At the moment, I have no idea. But I’m sure looking forward to it!

All right, we’ll leave you with a look at the Blu-ray Disc cover artwork for some of the titles mentioned above, with pre-order links if available...

Finding Dory (Blu-ray 3D Combo)   Finding Dory (Blu-ray Disc)   Star Trek: The Original Series (Blu-ray Disc)

Downton Abbey: The Complete Series (Blu-ray Disc)   Orson Welles' Macbeth (Blu-ray Disc)   Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Complete Series (Blu-ray Disc)

Here’s to 50 great years of Star Trek and the hope of many more! Stay tuned…

- Bill Hunt (@BillHuntBits)


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