Bits BD Review – Bill takes a look at Universal's new Spartacus: Restored Edition http://t.co/Ms7prL0nTE
Afternoon, folks. Hope you all had a fine weekend. I haven’t had the chance to see Ben Affleck’s Argo yet, but all the word from friends who have is that it’s pretty darned good. Instead, Sarah and I spent time helping get Mom settled into her new home. And then we had an interesting little adventure on Saturday night. Some of you may have heard that the Space Shuttle Endeavour was being driven across Los Angeles to its new home at the California Science Center this weekend. It was supposed to be a quick overnight trip and it turned into a two and a half day marathon. As it happens, on Saturday night the shuttle got stuck at the intersection of Crenshaw and MLK for over six hours. So about 11 PM we decided to drive up from Orange County to get a closer look at it. Many thousands of people were there to do the same – it was almost like an impromptu street carnival. It was pretty cool.
We even took Mom along for the ride - her first big L.A. adventure. Given what a big fan of the space program Dad was, he would have been proud. Here’s a couple pictures Sarah took. You can almost read the small print on the tiles there...
All right, down to business. To get things started here today, our very own Dr. Adam Jahnke kicks off this third week of The Hell Plaza Oktoberfest with a review of director Roger Spottiswoode’s debut film Terror Train, now available on Blu-ray Disc from the folks at Shout! Factory via their Scream Factory label.
Also today, Tim Salmons has looked at another recent Steven Spielberg film on Blu-ray Disc in the form of Universal’s new E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: Anniversary Edition.
Both films are well worth a look on Blu, so we hope you enjoy the reviews.
In announcement news today, Lionsgate has set The Expendables 2 for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 11/20 (SRP $39.99 and $29.95, respectively). For your money, you’ll get audio commentary with director Simon West, 4 behind-the-scenes featurettes (Gods of War: Assembling Earth’s Mightiest Anti-Heroes, Big Guns, Bigger Heroes: The 1980’s and the Rise of the Action Film, On the Assault: The Real-Life Weaponry of The Expendables and Guns for Hire: The Real Expendables), deleted scenes and a gag reel. The special edition content was produced by our old friend Cliff Stephenson, so it should be pretty cool.
Lionsgate will also release Arbitrage on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/21 (SRP $24.99 and $19.98). Extras will include audio commentary with writer/director Nicholas Jarecki, 2 featurettes (Who Is Robert Miller? and A Glimpse Into Arbitrage) and deleted scenes with optional writer/director commentary.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has set Hope Springs for Blu-ray and DVD release on 12/4 (SRP $35.99 and $30.99). Bonus features will include commentary with director David Frankel, 6 featurettes (An Intimate Look at Making Hope Springs, An Expert’s Guide to Everlasting Passion, The Doctor Is In: Steve Carrell on Dr. Feld, Inside the Perfect Marriage: Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, The Passionate Performer and Museum of Acting Introduction by Director David Frankel), 4 Museum of Acting Alternate Takes and a gag reel.
In addition, Sony has set Sparkle for BD and DVD release on 11/30, followed by Blue Lagoon: The Awakening on DVD only on 12/18 and Premium Rush on BD and DVD on 12/21.
Sony has also set the sequel to Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth miniseries, World Without End, for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/4 (SRP $75.99 and $65.99). Both will include all 8 episodes on 2 discs along with The Making of Ken Follett’s World Without End documentary.
Meanwhile, Warner and HBO have set Enlightened: The Complete First Season and Game Change each for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/8/2013.
CBS and Paramount have set Perry Mason: The Eighth Season - Volume Two for DVD only release on 1/15/2013.
Image Entertainment has announced a number of interesting new and catalog Blu-ray releases. Look for Spike Lee’s Red Hook Summer and Stephen Sondheim’s Company on 11/13, the Frank Sinatra film Suddenly on 12/4, Miami Connection on 12/11, All Superheroes Must Die on 1/1/2013 and Lightning Bug and Wake in Fright on 1/15/2013.
And PBS has set Downton Abbey: Season 3 for Blu-ray and DVD release on 1/29/2013 (SRP $54.99 and $49.99). The new season is currently airing in the U.K. and starts running on PBS’ Masterpiece Classics on 1/6/2013.
In other news today, a number of readers are reporting problems with Fox’s Prometheus Blu-ray. Throughout the second half of the film, some copies are plagued with macro-blocking and will occasionally cause players to simply shut down. It appears to be a manufacturing error and isn’t affecting all copies, so if you’re having trouble we recommend you exchange it with your retailer. You can also contact Fox Customer Care at 1-888-223-4369.
Finally today, we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of cinematographer Harris Savides, who helped pioneer digital cinema with his work on David Fincher’s Zodiac. He also shot Ridley Scott’s American Gangster and Gus Van Sant’s Milk among others. He was just 55. Also, actor Gary Collins has died at the age of 74. Collins was master of ceremonies for the Miss America Pageant and the host of Hour Magazine and The Home Show. He also appeared in guest roles on many TV series in the 1970s and 80s. Both will be missed.
Here’s a look at the Blu-ray Disc cover artwork for Lionsgate’s The Expendables 2, Warner’s The Jazz Singer (due 1/8), Sony’s Hope Springs and The World Without End, Universal’s temp art for ParaNorman (11/27) and PBS’ Downton Abbey: Season 3…
Have a great weekend and stay tuned.
- Bill Hunt