My Two Cents
Wednesday, 06 December 2023 22:53

Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part One, eXistenZ 4K & more news and reviews, plus Norman Lear (1922-2023)

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We’ve got more new disc reviews from The Bits’ team for you this evening...

They start with Stephen’s look at Richard Lester’s Juggernaut (1974) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

Dennis has offered his thoughts on Tod Browning’s The Devil Doll (1936) on Blu-ray from the Warner Archive Collection, along with Jagoda Szelc’s Tower. A Bright Day. and Monument (2018) on Blu-ray from Yellow Veil Pictures via Vinegar Syndrome.

And Stuart has checked in with a look at Dušan Vukotić’s Visitors from the Arkana Galaxy (1981) on Blu-ray from Deaf Crocodile via Vinegar Syndrome, as well as Imprint’s excellent Directed by Sidney J. Furie Blu-ray box set, which includes The Lawyer, Little Fauss and Big Halsy (both 1970), Hit! (1973), Sheila Levine Is Dead and Living in New York (1975), and The Boys in Company C (1978).

As always, more reviews are forthcoming, so be sure to stay tuned for them.

Speaking of reviews... I had the chance this week to talk directly with Lightstorm about the remastering work done for James Cameron’s Titanic on 4K Ultra HD, a disc which should now be in all your of hands. If that’s the case, you’ll know for yourselves that the film looks and sounds fantastic. When I reviewed the title here at The Bits last week, I promised that I would soon be updating that review with details on exactly how the film was remastered for UHD release. And indeed, I’ll be doing exactly that here at the site tomorrow afternoon. But if you subscribe to The Digital Bits’ new Patreon, you can read those details right now. And hey—it’s a great way to help us in our work here at the website if you believe, as we do, in supporting cause of physical media. [Read on here...]

Support The Digital Bits on Patreon! CLICK HERE to shop through our links and SUPPORT THE BITS CLICK HERE to visit The Bits on Facebook CLICK HERE to visit The Bits on Twitter

So be sure to check back here at The Bits tomorrow afternoon for that.

Meanwhile, we’ve got some new release news to report...

Vinegar Syndrome has set its wide 4K Ultra HD editions (in regular Amaray packaging) of David Cronenberg’s eXistenZ (1999), Simon Wincer’s D.A.R.Y.L. (1985), and The Prophecy 1-3 4K Ultra HD Collection for release on 1/30/24. And you can pre-order them all on Amazon by clicking on the cover artwork below.

Mubi will be releasing Lars von Trier’s The Kingdom Trilogy miniseries on Blu-ray on 2/6.

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment and DC have set the animated Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part One for release on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Steelbook on 1/9 (while Parts Two and Three will follow later in 2024). Extras on the discs will include a pair of featurettes (Crisis Prime(r) and The Selfless Speedster).

Kino Lorber Studio Classics has revealed that Jonathan Demme’s The Manchurian Candidate (2004) is coming soon to 4K Ultra HD. The company has also set a BD-50 Blu-ray upgrade of Billy Wilder’s Witness for the Prosecution (1957) for release on 2/6.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release Craig Gillespie’s Dumb Money: The Gamestop Story (2023) on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/12. The Digital release is available now.

Also coming from Sony on DVD only on 12/12 is Maryam Keshavarz’s comedy/romance The Persian Version (2023).

Blue Underground has just announced that Jesús Franco’s Night of the Blood Monster (1970, aka The Bloody Judge) is coming to Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD on 3/26. It will include Dolby Vision HDR and loads of extras, among them three audio commentaries with film historians, a pair of interview featurettes, deleted and alternate scenes, and more.

And Serverin has set Frank Henenlotter’s Bad Biology (2008) and Romano Scavolini’s Nightmare (1981) for release on 4K Ultra HD on 1/30. Both of these too will include loads of special features, including audio commentaries, interviews, behind-the-scenes featurettes, and more.

Finally today, we’d be remiss if we didn’t take a moment to acknowledge the passing of the legendary screenwriter and film/TV producer Norman Lear, who died yesterday at his home in Los Angeles at the ripe old age of 101. To call the man a legend is almost to understate his impact on the medium of television. Among the many series he created or produced are such 1970s and 80s sitcom classic as All in the Family, Maude, Sanford and Son, One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons, and Good Times. And if you grew up in that period, as I did, you know how massive a legacy that is.

Lear pioneered a way of addressing social issues head-on, with fair but unflinching honestly (to a degree many young people today would find startling), often while making you laugh at the same time. And he did so while attracting massive audiences. He showed you what bigotry, discrimination, and poverty looked like firsthand, with characters who exemplified it and others who faced and overcame it. But rather than simply shaming the former, he allowed those characters the chance to grow and learn, so they too could overcome their challenges. And he did all this while entertaining his audiences and treating them like intelligent adults, rather than preaching and scolding.

As if that wasn’t enough, Lear was an executive producer of feature films as well, including Start the Revolution Without Me (1970), Fried Green Tomatoes (1991), and The Princess Bride (1987). He also helped to finance Rob Reiner’s This Is Spinal Tap (1984). And he flew fifty-two combat missions over Europe as a B-17 radio operator and gunner in World War II.

If you get the chance, I strongly recommend you give Danny Gold’s terrific documentary If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast (2017) a watch. It features Lear with fellow nonagenarian icons Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Betty White, Kirk Douglas, George Shapiro, and Dick Van Dyke, and it’s truly a lovely piece of work. You can find it on HBO Max.

Lear was, quite simply, an icon. He will be deeply missed. You can read more about his life and career today via Variety, CNN, and The New York Times.

Norman Lear (1922-2023)

All right, we’ll leave you with a look at the cover artwork for a few of the titles mentioned above and more. Click on the images below to pre-order them each on

eXistenZ (4K Ultra HD) DARYL (4K Ultra HD) The Prophecy 1-3 (4K Ultra HD)

Scarlet Street (4K Ultra HD) The Boogens (4K Ultra HD) Kindergarten Cop (4K Ultra HD)

Back tomorrow. Stay tuned...

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



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