My Two Cents

Citizen Kane: 75th, Magnificent Seven, Tim’s Scream for a Week & a 4K Ultra HD format update

November 7, 2016 - 6:27 pm   |   by
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All right, first up today... we have a new feature here at The Digital Bits. Tim has just added a new wrinkle to his already good column, called Scream for a Week. Therein, about every other week, he’ll be reviewing a few new Scream Factory titles and calling attention to some we’ve reviewed in the past that you may have missed. To kick the feature off this week, he’s posted new reviews of Scream’s Blacula/Scream Blacula Scream and Bubba Ho-Tep: Collector’s Edition. Do give them a look!

Also today, our own Jim Hemphill has turned in his thoughts on Martin Scorsese’s Boxcar Bertha from Twilight Time – also well worth a look.  [Read on here…]

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In announcement news today, and speaking of Scream Factory, the company has officially set the Black Christmas: Collector’s Edition and the Dreamscape: Collector’s Edition for Blu-ray release on 12/13, both mastered from new 2K film scans. Each will offer a ton of special features both new and legacy (see here and here for a complete list), including the Film and Furs: Remembering Black Christmas (with Art Hindle) and Victims and Virgins: Remembering Black Christmas (with Lynne Griffin) featurettes on Black Christmas, as well as The Actor’s Journey (with Dennis Quaid), the Dreamscapes and Dreammakers retrospective (with director Joseph Ruben, co-writer David Loughery, actor David Patrick Kelly and other members of the special effects team), Nightmares and Dreamsnakes (with Craig Reardon, David Patrick Kelley and others), and a new In-Depth Conversation Between Bruce Cohn Curtis and Co-Writer/Producer Chuck Russell on Dreamscape.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros Home Entertainment has announced a new Citizen Kane: 75th Anniversary Blu-ray for release on 11/15 (SRP $19.98), though it doesn’t look like it’s going to include any new special features.

Sony and MGM have just announced the Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven remake for 12/20, with a Digital HD release due on 12/6. The 4K release will include Dolby Atmos audio. Extras will include Vengeance Mode, deleted scenes, and 6 featurettes (Gunslingers, The Taking of Rose Creek, Magnificent Music, Directing the Seven, The Seven, and Rogue Bogue).

20th Century Fox and DreamWorks have announced that they’re releasing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, and more on Digital HD starting tomorrow (11/8).

Lionsgate will release Con Man: Season One with Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion on Digital HD tomorrow as well.

And Kino Lorber is releasing Oren Shai’s noir thriller The Frontier on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/6, with a digital release again due tomorrow via all the usual outlets.

Also today, I mentioned that I spent some time up at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment last week talking with some of the people working on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format, and I’ve learned a few interesting things. First of all, more than 80,000 stand-alone 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players have been sold here in the States in the 9 months since the format first launched. Nearly 90 titles are now available, with that number expected push well past 100 by Christmas. More critically, the 1 millionth 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc has just sold at retail here in the States, representing more than $25 million in consumer spending. And shipments of 4K Ultra HDTVs have increased by more than 80% this year, which means that by the end of the year the displays will be installed in some 16% of US households (a number that’s expected to increase to 35% by 2019). What does all this mean? Well, the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format is actually well ahead of the adoption curve of regular Blu-ray in the first 9 months of its launch – probably not surprising as there’s no format war for consumers to contend with this time. I’ve also learned – separately, I might add, from other industry sources – that the final remaining holdout studio, Disney, is quietly preparing to begin releasing titles on the format in 2017. I’ll post more on that as I’m able.

One message that you can rest assured I passed on to the powers that be, is the need for all of the studio to release a better slate of A and B-list catalog titles on the format – titles that people really actually want to buy, and that would be attractive in 4K with HDR. While I’m sure that Sausage Party, Pineapple Express, and The 5th Wave have their fans, no one actually wants to own them on 4K.

In any case, it does seem that consumers are responding well to 4K and that the format has a bright future. At the very least, I’m told that there’s pleasant surprise at all of the major Hollywood supporting studios at how strongly consumers have embraced the format thus far.

All right, here’s a look at a couple more titles on Blu-ray and 4K – all three are available for pre-order on Amazon by clicking on the covers...

The Magnificent Seven (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)   The Magnificent Seven (Blu-ray Disc)   Sully (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)

I’ll be back in the morning to distract you all from Election Day (and don’t forget to vote, whatever your preference!) with a couple new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray releases. See you then...

Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt (@BillHuntBits)


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