My Two Cents

My Two Cents

Attention all readers of The Digital Bits. This is just a quick announcement to remind you all that The Criterion Channel officially launches in the U.S. and Canada on Monday (4/8).

That means you only have ONE WEEK left to become a Charter Subscriber of the service. Benefits include an extended 30-day free trial (starting April 8), reduced fees for the life of your subscription (for as long as you maintain it), and more.

Specifically, charter subscribers (who sign up before 4/8) will pay just $9.99 for a monthly plan or $89.99 for a yearly plan, following the trial period. After 4/8, the prices will rise to $10.99 for monthly or $99.99 for yearly.

Content includes the complete Janus Films library, plus curated and original content, with special features to supplement it.

You can watch on your desktop right now, and the official app is expected to go live for download on Monday for Apple TV 4 and newer, Amazon Fire, Roku, iOS, and Android devices. [Read on here...]


We’ve got a quick Friday post for you guys today...

First up, we have a new review for you. Tim has checked out Arrow Video’s Blood Hunger: The Films of José Larraz – Limited Edition Blu-ray box set. It includes Whirlpool (1970), Vampyres (1974), and The Coming of Sin (1978). Enjoy!

We’re going to be back on Monday with more reviews, as well as a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate, celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Wachowski’s The Matrix. So be sure to check back for that.

By the way, we’ve updated our 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Bits to reflect the fact that Ridley Scott’s Alien: 40th Anniversary Edition is FINALLY available for pre-order on Amazon.com (and–holy shit–for just $15!). [Read on here...]


Retro Release Day: Ben-Hur on DVD (2001)

March 28, 2019 - 4:58 pm   |   by

For today’s Retro Release Day here at The Bits, we’re looking at a 65 mm epic from director William Wyler: MGM’s Ben-Hur (1959), first released on DVD on March 13, 2001 by Warner Home Video.

Winner of 11 Academy Awards, the film stars Charlton Heston in the title role, with cinematography by Robert L. Surtees (Camera 65 process), music by Miklós Rózsa, and a supporting cast that includes Jack Hawkins, Haya Harareet, Stephen Boyd, Hugh Griffith, Martha Scott, Cathy O’Donnell, and Sam Jaffe.

The film is renowned for its chariot race sequence, which takes full advantage of the 2.66:1 widescreen frame (70 mm prints featured 2.76:1).

Today, Ben-Hur is often considered the second greatest American epic film behind Lawrence of Arabia. [Read on here...]


All right, we’ve got more reviews for you to enjoy today, including...

My take on James Wan’s Aquaman in 4K Ultra HD from Warner.

Dennis’ review of Dan Bush’s The Vault on Blu-ray from FilmRise.

And Chase’s look at Robert Zemeckis’ I Wanna Hold Your Hand on Blu-ray from Criterion.

More reviews are in the works for tomorrow and Friday, so be sure to check back for them.

Meanwhile, we have some new title news and announcements to report today as well...

We’ve now confirmed the 4/23 release of Captain America: Civil War and Captain America: The Winter Soldier on 4K Ultra HD from Disney. [Read on here...]


Today’s Retro Release Day title here at The Bits happens to be the very first DVD title I ever purchased and it’s also one of the very first titles released on the format.

I’m talking of course of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner: The Director’s Cut on DVD, released twenty-two years ago today on March 26, 1997.

The film stars Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, and Daryl Hannah, with cinematography by the great Jordan Cronenweth, and music by Vangelis.

This was not the first time that Blade Runner had been released in its Director’s Cut form for home viewing; it appeared on VHS and LaserDisc in 1993. It would also not be the last version of the film to reach home video. [Read on here...]


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