My Two Cents

KL Studio Classics bows Good, Bad and Ugly in 4K, plus Stargate SG1 on BD, Akira 4K exchange program, MGM open to sale & more

December 22, 2020 - 4:42 pm   |   by
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Hey, looks like we do have a little bit of new announcement news for you today...

First up though, we’ve got a quick Amazon Deal of the Day to report: Network’s Monty Python’s Flying Circus: The Complete Series Blu-ray is just $75 for today only on Amazon (42% off). It’s the same 7 discs found the Deluxe Edition (reviewed here on The Bits), just without the books and deluxe packaging. So strike fast if you’re interested. Here’s the Amazon link.

Also today, we have word that FUNimation’s Akira 4K Ultra HD release doesn’t have HDR. The version released in Japan does, but apparently the discs released in the US and the UK do not. FUNimation has now established an exchange program to get a proper 4K with HDR disc sometime in February via the mail. You can find those details here and here (below):

“For those of you who would like to request the 4K HDR version of AKIRA, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (US/CA) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (UK/IRE) with “AKIRA 4K” as the subject, and provide your name, mailing address, email address and proof of purchase (receipt or confirmation email and photo of the disc).”

Okay, now for that announcement news: Kino Lorber Studio Classics has just officially set Sergio Leone’s The Good, The Bad and The Ugly for release on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray combo on 4/27. You can see the cover artwork above left. [Read on here...]

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The 4K disc will feature the 179-minute Extended Cut in 4K with “over 30 hours of extensive shot-by-shot color grading.” Note however that the presentation will be SDR only. (Some film negatives from this period simply don’t have sufficient contrast information to allow for HDR, but as long as Kino does proper clean-up and remastering the film should still look good.) The 4K will be featured on a UHD100 disc for maximum video data rate, with audio in 5.1 DTS-HD MA. There will also be a Blu-ray disc featuring the Theatrical Cut of the film (the 2017 color grade) plus all of the legacy extras (the actual 4K disc will also include the two existing audio commentaries, one by Sir Christopher Frayling and the other by Richard Schickel). We’ll add the Amazon pre-order link for this when it’s available.

Also newly revealed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment for 4K—in addition to yesterday’s GATTACA announcement—are Monster Hunter and Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, both due on 3/30. We’ve updated our 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Bits accordingly.

And here’s something interesting: Visual Entertainment has just released Stargate SG-1: The Complete Series on Blu-ray Disc (SRP is 135.99 on Amazon, which isn’t so bad given the amount of episodes provided the quality isn’t terrible). We don’t have the discs in hand, but word from readers is that the early seasons are upsampled while Seasons 6 and up are actual HD (all in 1.78:1). And quality is at least a modest improvement over DVD. Here’s the Amazon link for that as well.

Finally today, there’s word from Variety that MGM is once again exploring the sale of their studio catalog to right its difficult financial situation. We suspect (based on long contacts with industry sources) that WarnerMedia and Apple are the two most interested parties. WarnerMedia probably wants MGM more (the catalog would make a fine addition to HBO Max), but isn’t in a strong financial position to buy it right now, especially until AT&T divests itself of DirecTV (which is bleeding customers fast). Meanwhile, Apple has much deeper pockets (aiming to add it to their AppleTV+ offerings), yet can afford to be patient and is more likely to drive a harder bargain. So this could go either way. Anyway, you can read more on this here.

And that’s all for today! Stay tuned...

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

 

 

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