My Two Cents

My Two Cents

All right, there’s some good stuff here at The Bits today, kicking off a week of new reviews and the like here at the site. First up, Dr. Jahnke kicks off the last full week of his annual Hell Plaza Oktoberfest with a review of John Carpenter’s They Live, as newly delivered in high-definition from our friends at Shout! Factory. Do give it a look!

Also today, Tim Salmons checks in with a review of one of my favorite films of the year so far: Wes Anderson’s quirky and utterly charming Moonrise Kingdom. Don’t miss it.

In release news today, Amazon now has AMC and Anchor Bay’s The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season available for pre-order on Blu-ray and DVD (SRP $69.99 and $59.98, minus Amazon’s discount). Street date and features are still TBA.

Anchor Bay has also set a DVD double feature of Silent Night, Deadly Night and Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 for release on 12/4 (SRP $14.98). That same day you’ll also get the Blu-ray and DVD release of the recent Silent Night remake (SRP $29.99 and $24.98).

Sony has set Premium Rush for Blu-ray and DVD release on 12/21 (SRP $35.99 and $30.99). Extras will include 2 featurettes (The Starting Line and Behind the Wheels).

Sony has also announced a number of new MOD DVD-R titles for release on 12/4, including Full of Life, East of Sudan, ATF (1999), The Fighting Frontiersman, Legend of the Golden Gun, Bridget Loves Bernie: The Complete Series, Boy in the Plastic Bubble, UltraViolet: Code 44 - The Complete First Season, Kurozuka: The Complete First Season, Viper’s Creed: The Complete First Season and the Film Noir Collection (The Case Against Brooklyn, The Shadow on the Window, Criminal Lawyer, Escape from San Quentin and The Crooked Web).

Meanwhile, Lionsgate has set the sci-fi action film Branded for Blu-ray and DVD release on 1/15/2013.

Shout! Factory has announced Death Valley and The Island for Blu-ray release on 12/11, followed by Wes Craven’s Deadly Blessing: Collector’s Edition, The 7% Solution and The Nest on 1/22/13.

Entertainment One has set Wolf Lake: The Complete Series for DVD only release on 11/6 (SRP $39.98), followed Inside John Lennon on 11/20.

Magnolia Home Entertainment has set 2 Days in New York for Blu-ray and DVD release on 11/13. The film is written and directed by Julie Delpy and stars Delphy and Chris Rock. The company has also set The Queen of Versailles for release on both formats the same day.

Well Go USA Entertainment will release the martial arts/action flick Kill ‘Em All on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/11.

And Music Box Films has announced the Blu-ray re-release of a 2008 French film I’ve really come to love:  Guillaume Canet’s Tell No One. It arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/4 (SRP $19.95 and $14.95). This is a great little crime thriller about a doctor (played by Francois Cluzet) who is wrongly accused of murdering his wife and moves heaven and earth to find out what really happened. I highly recommend it. Extras will include deleted scenes, outtakes and the Tell No One: The B-Side featurette. The disc was first released in 2009, but has been out of print recently.

Here’s a look at the Blu-ray cover artwork for Sony’s Premium Rush (due 12/21), as well as final art for both Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D versions of Universal’s ParaNorman (due 11/27)…

Premium Rush (Blu-ray Disc)    ParaNorman (Blu-ray Disc)    ParaNorman (Blu-ray 3D)

Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt


Well folks… with all this talk of 4K and 8K high-definition televisions over the past year, this was probably inevitable. But the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has just officially “Ultra High-Definition” or “Ultra HD” as the new standard for display technology in the home. The term was approved yesterday by a vote of the organization’s Board of Industry Leaders. 

The standard technically refers to displays with a minimum of 4K resolution (“at least” 3,840 x 2,160 pixel resolution) but may also be used to refer to 8K displays as well – the term “UHDTV” is used for both resolutions in Japan. One can also expect that displays with ever higher refresh rates and autostereoscopic capabilities at 4K and 8K resolution will also likely be covered by this term. You can read more on this here via CEA’s official press release.

So are you ready for Ultra HD? The potential is certainly exciting. However, I would expect the rollout and adoption of Ultra HD displays to be very, very slow. You have to remember that the first HDTV displays appeared in the 1980s, but it wasn’t until the last 5-10 years that displays with 1080 pixel resolution finally went mainstream with consumers. Many TV stations in the U.S. still don’t broadcast in high-definition resolution, because of the high cost of upgrading cameras and other studio production equipment. There’s also the question of whether Ultra HD content can and will be delivered to consumers via Blu-ray or some other hypothetical future physical media format… or whether studios and content producers will simply choose to bypass physical media entirely in favor of direct digital distribution via satellite or the Internet. In any case, it seems that just when you thought you’d finally caught up to the state of the art in home entertainment technology… the goal posts have moved once again.

The big announcement news today is that Universal has officially set The Bourne Legacy for Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 12/11 (SRP $34.98 and $29.98). Both will include feature commentary (with director/co-writer Tony Gilroy, co-writer Dan Gilroy, editor John Gilroy, director of photography Robert Elswit, second unit director Dan Bradley and production designer Kevin Thompson), deleted scenes and 2 featurettes (Re-Bourne and Capturing Chaos: The Motorbike Chase). To this, the Blu-ray will exclusively add 5 more featurettes (Enter Aaron Cross, Crossing Continents: Legacy on Location, Man vs. Wolf, Wolf Sequence Test and Moving Targets: Aaron and Marta) plus all the usual interactive features.

Warner Home Video will release The Apparition on Blu-ray Combo and DVD on 11/27 (SRP $29.98 and $22.97). Extras will include 4 featurettes (The Dark Realm of Paranormal, Haunted Asheville, The Experiment of The Apparition and The Apparition: A Cinematic Specter).

Well Go USA Entertainment has set the Korean anthology film Doomsday Book for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/11 (SRP $29.98 and $24.98). It offers viewers three short films with different takes on the apocalypse – New World, Heavenly Creature and Happy Birthday – directed by filmmakers Kim Ji-woon and Yim Pil-sung.

Lionsgate has set the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series Collection for release as a 23-disc DVD box set on 11/13 (SRP $99.98). All 193 original episodes will be included along with all the bonus content that was found in the individual season DVD sets. The Collection will come packaged in a replica of the “Party Van”.

And Shout! Factory has set Ultra Seven: The Complete Series Collector’s Edition for release as a 6-disc DVD set on 12/11 (SRP $49.97).

Don’t forget that Dr. Jahnke’s posted his latest Hell Plaza Oktoberfest review for the day: Warner’s new Little Shop of Horrors Blu-ray Book!

And our own Mario Boucher has posted an interview with actress Dee Wallace about her work on Steven Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, now available on Blu-ray Disc from Universal (read our review of the disc here).

Here’s a look at the Blu-ray box art for Lionsgate’s Killer Joe (due 12/21), Well Go’s Doomsday Book and Universal’s The Bourne Legacy, as well as Lionsgate’s open packaging for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series Collection

Killer Joe (Blu-ray Disc)    Doomsday Book (Blu-ray Disc)    The Bourne Legacy (Blu-ray Disc)

tmntcompleteseriesdvdopen

Stay tuned...

- Bill Hunt


All right, here at the site today’s the good Doctor’s latest Hell Plaza Oktoberfest review of the day is Paramount’s big screen version of Steven King’s Pet Sematary on Blu-ray. And fans of director Frank Oz will enjoy tomorrow’s review, having a little something to do with a very large and very carnivorous plant. Be sure to check back tomorrow for that.

More release news updates today...

As you can see, we've posted cover artwork for 20th Century Fox's Beasts of the Southern Wild, due on Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 12/4 (SRP $39.99 and $29.98). They also have Ice Age: Continental Drift due for Blu-ray 3D release on 12/11 (SRP $49.99), followed by Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/18.

Shout! Factory has set Transformers Prime: Season Two for Blu-ray and DVD release on 11/27, including all 26 episodes, interviews with the creative team and footage of the Comic-Con 2012 panel.

Shout! has also set What Happened to Kerouac? for release as a 2-disc DVD on 11/6, including The Beat Goes On documentary.

Magnolia Home Entertainment will release I Wish on DVD on 11/6, along with 360 on Blu-ray and DVD the same day.

Also, New Yorker Films has set The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye for DVD only release on 10/30.

First Run Features will release The Island President, The Raw and the Cooked: A Culinary Journey Through Taiwan and Culinary Masterpieces: Four Great Foodie Films (Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven, Kings of Pastry, Guy Martin: Portrait of a Grand Chef and A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt) on DVD on 11/13.

And Eagle Rock Entertainment has set Patti Smith: Live at Montreux 2005 for Blu-ray and DVD release on 11/13.

In other news today, Disney’s Movie Club (for members) apparently now lists the Peter Pan: Diamond Edition as “Available to own on 2/5/2013”. Thanks to Bits reader Gavin C. for the heads-up!

Also, Milestone Film and Video is asking for your help in restoring a “great American independent documentary”, Shirley Clarke’s Portrait of Jason. They’ve launched a Kickstarter to fund the restoration and a release of the film back into theatres and on Blu-ray and DVD. More here.

Stay tuned...

- Bill Hunt


We’ve got some more new announcements to report today, but first…

Dr. Jahnke’s Hell Plaza Oktoberfest review of the day is none other than Tim Burton’s updating of Dark Shadows, newly released on Blu-ray by Warner Home Video.

Also, our own Russell Hammond has updated the Release Dates & Artwork update with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, a portion of anything you order from Amazon after clicking through to them from our links goes to help support our work at The Bits and we really appreciate it.

Now then…

Criterion has announced its January Blu-ray and DVD slate, highlighted by the release of Win Wender’s first foray into 3D filmmaking, the documentary Pina, on Blu-ray 3D Combo and DVD (Catalog #644 – due 1/22/2013)! As if that’s not enough, Criterion will also release Volker Schlöndorff’s The Tin Drum “in a restored director’s cut never before seen in the United States” (Cat #234 – BD and DVD – 1/15), Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much (Cat #643 – BD and DVD – 1/15), Monte Hellman’s Two-Lane Blacktop (Cat #414 – BD –1/8) and Andrei Tarkovsky’s Ivan’s Childhood (Cat #397 – BD and DVD – 1/22).

Also today, Disney has set The Odd Life of Timothy Green for Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 12/4. Extras will include the Family Roots: Bringing The Odd Life of Timothy Green to the Screen documentary, Glen Hansard’s This Gift music video, the Glen Hansard: Behind This Gift featurette, 5 deleted scenes and commentary with director Peter Hedges.

Lionsgate has set William Friedkin’s Killer Joe for Blu-ray and DVD release on 12/21 (SRP $24.99 and $19.98). The Blu-ray will feature and Unrated Director’s Cut of the film while the DVD will have the NC-17 rated Theatrical Cut. Both will include director’s commentary, 3 featurettes (Southern Fried Hospitality: From Stage to Screen, SXSW Q&A with the Cast and SXSW Intro by William Friedkin) and the “Red Band” theatrical trailer.

[Update: I've just learned that the Blu-ray will be the original NC-17 cut but now labeled "unrated" because most stores will not carry titles listed as NC-17. The DVD on the other hand will be a brand new R-rated cut. Adjust your plans accordingly.]

Shout! Factory has set Jane Campion’s The Portrait of a Lady for BD release on 12/11. Shout! has also set Hazel: The Complete Fourth Season for DVD only release on 12/11.

And Timeless Media Group (a division of Shout!) has something for you spaghetti western fans – a pair of Django! double-feature DVDs including A Man Called Django (1971)/Django and Sartana Showdown in the West (1970) and Django! Cut Price Corpses (1971)/Django Kills Silently (1967). SRP is just $6.95 each. Timeless says they’ll both feature “newly re-mastered prints and all-new bonus features”.

In addition, Synapse will release Chiller: The Complete Television Series as a 2-disc DVD on 12/11 (SRP $29.95). All 5 original U.K. episodes will be included.

Well Go USA has set the Honk Kong action film Wu Dang for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/4 (SRP $29.98 and $24.98). Extras will include a behind-the-scenes featurette, deleted and extended scenes and a trailer.

Anchor Bay Entertainment and RADiUS-TWC have set the dark comedy Butter for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/4 ($29.99 and $24.98). Anchor Bay has also set 10 Years for release on Blu-ray Combo and DVD on 12/18.

Sony has revealed that Premium Rush (coming to BD and DVD on 12/21) will include a pair of behind-the-scenes featurettes (including The Starting Line: Meet the Cast and Behind the Wheels).

Magnolia Home Entertainment has set Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview for DVD only release on 10/23.

Finally, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release Let the Music Play: The Story of the Doobie Brothers for Blu-ray and DVD release on 11/13.

Here’s a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Criterion’s Pina, The Tin Drum and The Man Who Knew Too Much

Pina (Criterion Blu-ray 3D Combo)    The Tin Drum (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)    The Man Who Knew Too Much (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt


Afternoon, folks. Hope you all had a fine weekend. I haven’t had the chance to see Ben Affleck’s Argo yet, but all the word from friends who have is that it’s pretty darned good. Instead, Sarah and I spent time helping get Mom settled into her new home. And then we had an interesting little adventure on Saturday night. Some of you may have heard that the Space Shuttle Endeavour was being driven across Los Angeles to its new home at the California Science Center this weekend. It was supposed to be a quick overnight trip and it turned into a two and a half day marathon. As it happens, on Saturday night the shuttle got stuck at the intersection of Crenshaw and MLK for over six hours. So about 11 PM we decided to drive up from Orange County to get a closer look at it. Many thousands of people were there to do the same – it was almost like an impromptu street carnival. It was pretty cool.

We even took Mom along for the ride - her first big L.A. adventure. Given what a big fan of the space program Dad was, he would have been proud. Here’s a couple pictures Sarah took. You can almost read the small print on the tiles there...

Space Shuttle Endeavour at MLK & Crenshaw in L.A. - 1/13/2012

Space Shuttle Endeavour at MLK & Crenshaw in L.A. - 1/13/2012

All right, down to business. To get things started here today, our very own Dr. Adam Jahnke kicks off this third week of The Hell Plaza Oktoberfest with a review of director Roger Spottiswoode’s debut film Terror Train, now available on Blu-ray Disc from the folks at Shout! Factory via their Scream Factory label.

Also today, Tim Salmons has looked at another recent Steven Spielberg film on Blu-ray Disc in the form of Universal’s new E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: Anniversary Edition.

Both films are well worth a look on Blu, so we hope you enjoy the reviews.

In announcement news today, Lionsgate has set The Expendables 2 for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 11/20 (SRP $39.99 and $29.95, respectively). For your money, you’ll get audio commentary with director Simon West, 4 behind-the-scenes featurettes (Gods of War: Assembling Earth’s Mightiest Anti-Heroes, Big Guns, Bigger Heroes: The 1980’s and the Rise of the Action Film, On the Assault: The Real-Life Weaponry of The Expendables and Guns for Hire: The Real Expendables), deleted scenes and a gag reel. The special edition content was produced by our old friend Cliff Stephenson, so it should be pretty cool.

Lionsgate will also release Arbitrage on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/21 (SRP $24.99 and $19.98). Extras will include audio commentary with writer/director Nicholas Jarecki, 2 featurettes (Who Is Robert Miller? and A Glimpse Into Arbitrage) and deleted scenes with optional writer/director commentary.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has set Hope Springs for Blu-ray and DVD release on 12/4 (SRP $35.99 and $30.99). Bonus features will include commentary with director David Frankel, 6 featurettes (An Intimate Look at Making Hope Springs, An Expert’s Guide to Everlasting Passion, The Doctor Is In: Steve Carrell on Dr. Feld, Inside the Perfect Marriage: Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, The Passionate Performer and Museum of Acting Introduction by Director David Frankel), 4 Museum of Acting Alternate Takes and a gag reel.

In addition, Sony has set Sparkle for BD and DVD release on 11/30, followed by Blue Lagoon: The Awakening on DVD only on 12/18 and Premium Rush on BD and DVD on 12/21.

Sony has also set the sequel to Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth miniseries, World Without End, for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/4 (SRP $75.99 and $65.99). Both will include all 8 episodes on 2 discs along with The Making of Ken Follett’s World Without End documentary.

Meanwhile, Warner and HBO have set Enlightened: The Complete First Season and Game Change each for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/8/2013.

CBS and Paramount have set Perry Mason: The Eighth Season - Volume Two for DVD only release on 1/15/2013.

Image Entertainment has announced a number of interesting new and catalog Blu-ray releases. Look for Spike Lee’s Red Hook Summer and Stephen Sondheim’s Company on 11/13, the Frank Sinatra film Suddenly on 12/4, Miami Connection on 12/11, All Superheroes Must Die on 1/1/2013 and Lightning Bug and Wake in Fright on 1/15/2013.

And PBS has set Downton Abbey: Season 3 for Blu-ray and DVD release on 1/29/2013 (SRP $54.99 and $49.99). The new season is currently airing in the U.K. and starts running on PBS’ Masterpiece Classics on 1/6/2013.

In other news today, a number of readers are reporting problems with Fox’s Prometheus Blu-ray. Throughout the second half of the film, some copies are plagued with macro-blocking and will occasionally cause players to simply shut down. It appears to be a manufacturing error and isn’t affecting all copies, so if you’re having trouble we recommend you exchange it with your retailer. You can also contact Fox Customer Care at 1-888-223-4369.

Finally today, we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of cinematographer Harris Savides, who helped pioneer digital cinema with his work on David Fincher’s Zodiac. He also shot Ridley Scott’s American Gangster and Gus Van Sant’s Milk among others. He was just 55. Also, actor Gary Collins has died at the age of 74. Collins was master of ceremonies for the Miss America Pageant and the host of Hour Magazine and The Home Show. He also appeared in guest roles on many TV series in the 1970s and 80s. Both will be missed.

Here’s a look at the Blu-ray Disc cover artwork for Lionsgate’s The Expendables 2, Warner’s The Jazz Singer (due 1/8), Sony’s Hope Springs and The World Without End, Universal’s temp art for ParaNorman (11/27) and PBS’ Downton Abbey: Season 3

The Expendables 2 (Blu-ray Disc)    The Jazz Singer (1927 - Blu-ray Disc)    Hope Springs (Blu-ray Disc)

World Without End (Blu-ray Disc)    ParaNorman (Temp art - Blu-ray Disc)    Downton Abbeys: Season 3 (Blu-ray Disc)

Have a great weekend and stay tuned.

- Bill Hunt


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