My Two Cents
Saturday, 05 November 2022 15:10

Paramount may be preparing to release John Huston’s THE AFRICAN QUEEN (1951) in 4K Ultra HD in early 2023

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I hope all of you are having a good and relaxing Saturday afternoon, or are at least enjoying the weekend in your own unique manner.

We’ve got just two quick news items to report for you this afternoon, a quick site update, and another new disc review to share with you. As always, the review comes first...

I’ve just posted our very in-depth review of Michael Curtiz’s classic cinema masterpiece Casablanca (1942) as newly remastered in 4K Ultra HD by Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging and released on physical disc by our friends at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

There are precious few films that—no matter how often you see them—you finish watching and just immediately think, “Well, that’s a masterpiece.” Casablanca is one of them. The film never gets old. It’s one of the all-time classics. There’s a real argument to be made that it’s the single best film produced in the Golden Age of the Hollywood studio system.

Longtime Bits readers will probably remember that our dear friend and Classic Coming Attractions columnist Barrie Maxwell—who passed away in 2012—wrote a terrific review of this film here at The Bits when it first appeared on HD disc in 2007. Barrie’s enthusiasm for the film shines through in every word, so I’ve taken his thoughts on the film and updated them to include my own commentary on the A/V quality and extras on Warner’s new 4K release.

Whether you’ve seen this film a hundred times or never before, it’s an experience that’s not to be missed, and the new 4K disc is certainly the best way to do so. So I hope you enjoy both the review (linked here) and the disc when you get your hands on it this coming week. [Read on here...]

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More reviews are on the way soon, and we have a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column coming from Michael Coate next week as well. So be sure to keep checking back for them!

One quick site update before we continue: We’ve just posted a big new update of our Cover Art section, featuring lots of new Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD titles, complete with cover artwork and pre-order links. As always, whenever you order literally anything from Amazon after clicking though to them from one of our links, you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we really appreciate it.

And don’t forget that you can also support our work here at The Bits by making a donation to our efforts via PayPal using this link—also very much appreciated!

CLICK HERE to BACK THE BITS in our fight to preserve Physical Media

Now then... our first big piece of news today is this: Retail and industry sources are beginning to signal plans by Paramount Home Entertainment to release John Huston’s The African Queen (1951) in 4K Ultra HD early next year. Both (Germany) and (France) already have listed the title for pre-order via StudioCanal. (Click the links to see each listing.) The latter has a placeholder date, but Amazon Germany is reporting that the local date there will be 23 Feb 2023, which would indicate a likely US street date of 2/21/23. Note that the title is distributed by StudioCanal in Europe, but it seems unlikely they would be moving forward with a physical 4K release without Paramount doing the same here in the States.

We believe the film was 4K restored by Paramount in 2019 in anticipation of its 70th anniversary last year (when it received a brief theatrical run via Fathom Events). It was previously restored in 4K in 2009 for its 2010 debut on Blu-ray. Watch for official details on the physical 4K UHD release in the weeks and months ahead from Paramount (and StudioCanal in Europe).

And finally, we have one additional bit of Paramount 4K UHD news for you today: The studio is officially releasing the Amazon Original series Reacher on 4K Ultra HD on 12/13, with the debut of Reacher: Season One. You can pre-order it here on Amazon now.

That’s all for today. See you back here on Monday.

Stay tuned!

(You can follow Bill on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook)



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