Bits BD Review – Bill takes a look at Universal's new Spartacus: Restored Edition http://t.co/Ms7prL0nTE
Afternoon, folks... we've got some announcement news for you today and a bit of follow-up too...
First, 20th Century Fox has announced the 12/4 Blu-ray and DVD release of The Simpsons: The Fifteenth Season. Included will be audio commentary on all the episodes, 3 featurettes (All Aboard with Matt, The Unusual Ones and Living in the Moment), a pair of sketch galleries, an Animation Showcase, a special language feature, commercial spots, deleted scenes and Easter eggs. The BD version will also include a trio of exclusive featurettes (The Otto Show, Das Bus and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marge).
Fox has also set the comedy The Watch for release on both formats on 11/13. Look for deleted scenes, a gag reel, 4 featurettes (Alien Invasions & You, Casting the Alien, Jonah Alternate Takes and Watchmakers), the theatrical trailer and a Digital Copy.
And the studio has set Ruby Sparks for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 10/30 as well. Extras will include 4 featurettes (Real-Life Couples: Co-Stars & Directors, Be Careful What You Wish For, Getting to Know the Cast and Los Angeles: The Other Character) as well as the film's theatrical trailer.
Meanwhile, HBO has set We Can Be Heroes for DVD release on 12/4, followed by Funny or Die Presents: The Complete Second Season and The Life & Times of Tim: The Complete Third Season on DVD on 12/18.
Here's one I've been looking forward to seeing: Entertainment One has set Iron Sky for Blu-ray and DVD release on 10/2 (SRP $24.98 and $19.98). This is the sci-fi comedy about Nazis on the Moon. Extras will include audio commentary with the director and producer, a "making of" featurette, behind the scenes footage and both the film's teaser and theatrical trailers.
DreamWorks Animation and Paramount have set Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted for Blu-ray and DVD release on 10/16.
Shout! Factory has set Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXV for DVD only release on 12/4. The box will include the episodes Robot Holocaust, Operation Kid Brother, Kitten with a Whip and Revenge of the Creature, along with introductions by Mike Nelson and Joel Hodgson, 3 featurettes (Life After MST3K: J. Elvis Weinstein, Jack Arnold at Universal and Life After MST3K: Bill Corbett) and a set of 4 exclusive mini-posters by artist Steve Vance.
Moving on, Lionsgate Home Entertainment has The Cup due on DVD on 10/16.
Anchor Bay Entertainment has announced new holiday-themed titles for DVD release, including Chilly Christmas (on 11/6), Icy Escapades (on 10/30) and The Dog Who Saved the Holidays and Elf-Man (on 12/4).
In other news, Amazon.com is now showing a 12/18 street date for Shout! Factory's Blu-ray release of Ridley Scott's The Duellists. Adjust your plans accordingly.
Also today, after getting a number of reader e-mails, I've confirmed that there IS a minor audio issue with Paramount's Titanic Blu-ray. About 29 seconds into the film, just as the vocal music track begins, there's a sort of "popping" sound in the audio mix. It's not overly harsh but it's definitely there on the BD and it's not on the DVD version. We've contacted Paramount to see if they're aware of it and if they have a plan to address it. We'll let you know when we hear back.
Likewise, we're getting a lot of e-mails from readers about possible video quality issues regarding Universal's Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection, due in stores on 9/25. An early review of check discs by a British reviewer for Sight and Sound magazine (see this link) has uncovered some digital remastering problems, typographical errors with titles and more. There are now rumors that the release has now been delayed, possibly to address some of these issues, with a new street date TBA. Again, we've contacted the studio for official word one way or the other and will let you know when we hear back.
Finally, it appears that Warner may have included the wrong Blu-ray version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in the Canadian release of the Harry Potter Wizards Collection. The disc apparently doesn't include both the theatrical cut and extended version as billed on the packaging - just the theatrical cut. A number of Canadian readers tell us they're unable to find the extended version on the disc. We'll let you know if Warner confirms this.
We'll leave you today with a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Fox's The Simpsons: The Fifteenth Season, Ruby Sparks and The Watch, Entertainment One's Iron Sky, Section 23's Grave of the Fireflies (due 11/20) and Sony's 2D version of The Amazing Spider-Man (due 11/9)...
Back tomorrow with more news and be sure to stay tuned for our Blu-ray review of Paramount and Lucasfilm's Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures on Monday.
- Bill Hunt