My Two Cents
Monday, 11 October 2021 16:13

An EPIC Raiders retrospective, plus Arrow’s Legend & more reviewed, No Time to Die pre-orders & the new T2 4K is 100% NOT remastered

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We’re starting out the new week today here at The Bits with a trio of new disc reviews...

First up, Tim and I have taken a look at Arrow Video’s terrific new Limited Edition Blu-ray of Ridley Scott’s Legend. The 2-disc set is absolutely loaded with vintage and new extras, and it includes the US Theatrical Cut newly-remastered from a 4K scan, as well as the Director’s Cut. Legend is a challenging title for a lot of reasons, but Arrow’s done a really great job with this one. If you’re a fan of the film, this is as good as it’s ever looked, and this is essentially a complete archive of all the previous special features and more.

Also today, Stephen has reviewed Chloe Zhao’s first film, Songs My Brothers Taught Me, newly-released on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber. If that name is familiar, it’s because Zhao is the filmmaker who’s just made The Eternals for Marvel Studios. It sounds like this earlier work is pretty terrific.

And finally, Dennis has given Wallace Worsley’s 1923 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame a look on Blu-ray from Kino Classics. As many of you will already be aware, this version features the great Lon Chaney in the role of Quasimodo. It’s worth a look if you haven’t seen it yet.

While we’re on the subject of Universal Monsters, I’m currently working on a review of the Universal Classic Monsters: Icons of Horror Collection in 4K and should have that up by the end of the week. I’m giving myself the week to work on it, however, because I’m attending a studio screening of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune tomorrow afternoon. And I have a sneaking suspicion that’s going to occupy my mind for the next few days afterwards. I’ll definitely post a few non-spoiler thoughts about that film as well this week, rest assured. [Read on here...]

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Now then, I am absolutely thrilled today to be able to present you all with Michael Coate’s latest History, Legacy, and Showmanship column here at The Digital Bits, and its one he’s been working on all year: A look back at 40 years of Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark! Trust me when I say that this is Michael’s most epic film retrospective yet by far (which is why it took so long to assemble), featuring 12 pages, 21 chapters, and the contributions of a whopping 65 cinema experts and historians! This is a really terrific longform reflection film’s impact and its enduring legacy that I think Indiana Jones fans are really going to appreciate. So pour yourself a beverage of choice, sit back, and enjoy!

It’s Not the Years, It’s the Mileage: Remembering “Raiders of the Lost Ark” on its 40th Anniversary

Also today, Amazon and Amazon UK are now taking pre-orders on the Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD versions of the latest James Bond film, No Time to Die. Street date is not yet officially announced, but it’s anticipated to be 12/21. You can pre-order via these links: US Blu-ray, US 4K, US 4K Limited Edition, UK Blu-ray, UK 4K, and UK 4K Limited Edition.

And finally, we have some disappointing news for you today: I’m saddened to have to report that I’ve confirmed 100% with sources that Lionsgate and StudioCanal’s recently announced Terminator 2 4K Ultra HD release does NOT feature a new and improved transfer (despite what you may have read elsewhere online), but rather the same DNR-scrubbed 3D master that was released on Ultra HD back in late 2017. This despite the fact that the press release boldly claims, “Stunningly restored for modern viewers by Cameron himself.” Trust me when I say that I’ve been digging into this and have spoken with people directly in the know. It turns out that statement is technically accurate, as Cameron did approve the 3D mastering. However, using that DNR-scrubbed 3D master for a 4K release runs counter to the entire point of Ultra HD. It’s certainly not aligned with the spirit of quality catalog film remastering that enthusiasts have come to expect from the format. And you don’t have to take my word for it: Visit any major home video review website online and you’ll see that—almost across the board—the original T2 4K release got dinged for poor image quality because of the DNR. I actually refused to review the title here at The Bits on principle. Speaking from my experience with not just the 4K format but from nearly 25 years as the founder and Editor in Chief of The Digital Bits, T2 remains one of the most disappointing Ultra HD releases I’ve ever seen, PERIOD. What I find even more frustrating about all this is the fact that StudioCanal refuses to acknowledge that anything was wrong with it, and specifically chose not to correct it for this new edition. Honestly, that’s just shocking. Regardless, fans must obviously now choose for themselves whether or not to purchase this new edition. But in our opinion here at the site, this film and its fans deserve much better.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Enjoy the Raiders retrospective!

And as always, stay tuned…

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