my two cents 1000

All right, we’re closing out the week with a new Blu-ray review that will be of interest to you Trek fans: My take on CBS’s new Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Two which arrives in stores next Tuesday.  The extras on this season are outstanding, including an absolutely terrific cast reunion documentary – don’t miss it!

In announcement news today, IFC Films has set the romantic drama Liberal Arts for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/18 (SRP $29.98 and $24.98).

Amazon.com now has Fox’s Laura (1944) available for pre-order on Blu-ray Disc with a street date of 2/5 (SRP $24.99).  Thanks to multiple Bits readers who sent this in.  Note that Amazon also has Fox’s Gentleman’s Agreement (1947), How Green Was My Valley (1941) and Wild River (1960) set for BD release on 1/15.  MGM’s Hanna and Her Sisters and Sleeper (both Woody Allen films) are due on BD on 1/15 according to the retailer.

In other news today, this will make some of you nostalgic: IHS Screen Digest is reporting that digital projection has officially surpassed traditional film projection around the globe – truly the end of an era.  Analog film projection will represent just 37% of all theatrical projection around the world by the end of this year, with that number expected to decline to just 17% by 2015.

Along those lines, Wired has a piece up today on the efforts of photographer Joseph O. Holmes to document analog film projection booths before they’re gone for a new coffee table book called The Booth.  I spent many an hour in just such a booth in college at UW – Madison back in the day.  Digital projection is terrific, but I’m sure going to miss the clatter of those old projectors.

Also today, Anchor Bay Entertainment and the Dark Delicacies bookstore in Burbank, CA are holding a special signing event on 12/4 featuring some of the cast and crew of the remade Silent Night.  The event starts at 7PM.  Dark Delicacies is located at 3512 W. Magnolia Blvd in Burbank (818-556-6660).

Have a great weekend everyone!

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

All right, here at The Bits today, our own Dr. Jahnke has turned in a review of Kino’s new Santa Claus Conquers the Martians on Blu-ray. Don’t miss it!

We’ve also got a bunch of title announcement odds and ends for you...

Sony has revealed the list of extras that will be included on their Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD release of Hotel Transylvania on 1/29. All three will include audio commentary (with director Genndy Tartakovsky, producer Michelle Murdocca, and visual effects supervisor Daniel Kramer), 3 deleted scenes, Tartakovsky’s Goodnight, Mr. Foot mini-movie, the Problem (Monster Remix) music video by Becky G Featuring will.i.am and a “making of” the music video featurette. To this the Blu-ray versions will add 3 animation progression reels and 2 featurettes (Meet the Staff and Guests: Voicing Hotel Transylvania and Making the Hotel).

Warner Home Video has announced the 22-episode DVD only release of Scarecrow & Mrs. King: The Complete Fourth Season on 1/22 (SRP $39.98).

Well Go USA Entertainment is releasing the steampunk/martial arts actioner Tai Chi Zero on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/22 (SRP $29.98 and $24.98), from the creators of the IP Man films.

Lionsgate Home Entertainment will release Titanic: Blood & Steel on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/4. They’ve also set Anger Management: Season One for release on both formats on 1/8.

Artsploitation Films has Hard Romanticker set for DVD release on 1/22.

Anchor Bay Entertainment has set Officer Down for Blu-ray and DVD release on 1/22, starring Stephen Dorff and James Woods. Look also for Pascal Hérold’s reimagined Cinderella on DVD only on 12/26. And of course, their recent remake of the Christmas horror classic Silent Night is due on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/4.

Paramount and Comedy Central are releasing Gabriel Iglesias Presents Stand-Up Revolution on DVD on 12/21. They’ve also set Tosh.0: Deep V’s for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/21. In addition, Tosh.0: Cardigans Plus Casual Jackets will be released on DVD only as a Walmart exclusive that same day.

Paramount and Nickelodeon will release Nickelodeon Favorites: Rootin’ Tootin’ Wild West! on DVD only on 1/29.

Vanguard will release Here’s the Kicker and Scape on DVD on 1/29.

Pathfinder will release the Korean apocalypse tale End of Animal on DVD on 1/22.

Shout! Factory has set Slugterra: Return of the Shane Gang Makes for DVD release on 2/12. Shout! has also confirmed the Blu-ray release of The Seven-Per-Cent Solution on 1/22, followed by Ridley Scott’s The Duellists on BD on 1/29.

Here’s an odd-ball release: Entertainment One has set the Osama Bin Laden/zombie flick Osombie: The Axis of Evil Dead for release on Blu-ray/DVD combo on 12/11. Nope, not kidding.

IFC has Sleepwalk with Me coming on DVD only on 12/19.

For you music fans, MVD Entertainment Group will release the 2-disc concert tour film The Yardbirds: Making Tracks on DVD on 12/11.

Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

All right first up today, our own Tim Salmons has delivered a new Dailies column with a look at a pair of new Scream Factory titles from Shout! – The Island and Death Valley. Enjoy!

We also have a number of new announcements to report today, as follows…

Paramount has Top Gun 3D coming to Blu-ray 3D on 2/19 (SRP $39.99). The should be about a week after it’s planned February 3D theatrical release. Best Buy has it available for pre-order, though it’s not yet up on Amazon.

Best Buy also has Ben Affleck’s Argo listed for Blu-ray Combo release on 2/19 (SRP $29.98 for BD). Obviously that title isn’t yet officially announced by Warner (and there will certainly be a DVD as well) but we’d expect the press release soon.

Meanwhile, Disney has relisted their delayed Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One – Avengers Assembled 10-disc/6-film BD box set for release on 4/2/2013. (SRP $219.00). Amazon current has it up for pre-order for $197.10. The set includes The Avengers, Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor on BD and BD3D, as well as Iron Man, Iron Man 2 and The Incredible Hulk on BD. The set will include exclusive looks at Iron Man 3 and other forthcoming Phase Two films, plus swag.  Here’s a look at the revised briefcase packaging (click on the image to go to the Amazon.com pre-order page)…

Marvel Cinematic Universe - Phase One (Revised BD Box Set)

Warner has announced a trio of new TCM Greatest Classic Films: Legends DVD collections for release on 3/12, including Judy Garland (For Me and My Gal, The Harvey Girls, In the Good Old Summertime and Summer Stock), Natalie Wood (Splendor in the Grass, Gypsy, Sex and the Single Girl and Inside Daisy Clover) and Sidney Poitier (Blackboard Jungle, Edge of the City, Something of Value and A Patch of Blue). SRP is $27.92 each.

Warner also has a host of animated titles coming to Blu-ray on 3/12, including Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, Superman: Brainiac Attacks, Scooby-Doo and the Legend of the Vampire, Scooby-Doo and the Loch Ness Monster, Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico, Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword and Tom and Jerry: Shiver Me Whiskers. SRP is $14.98 each.

And here’s something cool for you classic fans: Warner is gearing up to release The Best Years of Our Lives on Blu-ray Disc in 2013. Amazon.ca currently has it listed for 11/5/2013, which seems like a strange date. Nevertheless, we know it’s coming and that IS official artwork (see below).

20th Century Fox has set the comedy 30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/15. Extras will include a behind-the-scenes featurette.

Sony has set Seven Psychopaths for Blu-ray and DVD release on 1/29 (SRP $35.99 and $30.99). No word yet on special features but both will feature UltraViolet. Here Comes the Boom and Celeste and Jesse Forever will follow on both formats on 2/5 (SRP also $35.99 and $30.99). Look also for Searching for Sugar Man on Blu-ray and DVD from Sony on 1/22.

Sony will also release Charlie Chase Shorts: Volume 1 as an MOD DVD-R title on 1/1. Included will be Man Bites Lovebug, The Mind Needer, The Chump Takes a Bump, Rattling Romeo, Skinny the Moocher, The Awful Goof, The Heckler, South of the Boudoir and A Nag in the Bag.

Lionsgate has set Caught on Tape and Celebrate with Clifford for DVD only release on 2/5, followed by Black Game and Storage Wars: Volume 4 on DVD and The Perks of Being a Wallflower on both Blu-ray and DVD on 2/12.

Also today, Shout! Factory has set Tiny Toon Adventures Crazy Crew Rescues! for DVD release on 1/8 (SRP $19.97).

And Anchor Bay Entertainment will release Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/8 (SRP $24.99 and $19.98). The film recently debuted on the National Geographic Channel.

Here’s a look at the cover artwork for Fox’s 30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (BD), Image’s recent The Dick Van Dyke Show: The Complete Series (now available) and Warner’s The Best Years of Our Lives (BD - TBA)...

30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Blu-ray Disc)    The Dick Van Dyke Show: The Complete Series (Blu-ray Disc)    The Best Years of Our Lives (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

Afternoon, movie fans! Hope you all had a wonderful and LONG Thanksgiving holiday week and weekend. As most of you probably know, today is Cyber Monday which means there are still lots of great holiday shopping deals to be found online on places like Amazon.com, where you can get Farscape: The Complete Series on Blu-ray for just $60 - a whopping 70% off the regular SRP. That’s just one of hundreds of BD and DVD titles on sale at Amazon today, so do check it out. Barnes and Noble has many titles on sale for 60% off as well. Good deal hunting!

In announcement news today, Warner and the BBC have set the Brit drama Ripper Street for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/12 (SRP $34.98 and $29.98).

Universal will release Pitch Perfect on Blu-ray Combo and DVD on 12/18.

Disney has set Marvel Ultimate Spider-Man: Avenging Spider-Man for DVD only release on 2/5, followed by Marvel the Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! Volume 6 on DVD on 2/19.

Cult Epic has set Hysteria for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/12 (SRP $29.98 and $24.98).

Magnolia will release Sushi Girl on both formats on 2/19 (SRP $29.98 and $26.98).

PBS has slated Nova: Ultimate Mars Challenge for release on BD and DVD on 2/19 (SRP $29.99 and $24.99).

And Inception Media has set the classic On Approval (1944) for Blu-ray release on 2/12 (SRP $34.98).

Finally today, we’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of actor Larry Hagman, best known to millions of TV viewers as J.R. Ewing on both the classic and recent revival series Dallas. I’ll always fondly recall him for playing the astronaut Tony Nelson on the classic I Dream of Jeannie. And of course Hagman had many other parts on TV and in film over the years. He was 81.

Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

All right, this is just a quick Black Friday update with news about a few more great new BD and DVD title announcements.

First, Amazon.com is now taking pre-orders for MGM’s Skyfall on Blu-ray, distributed by Fox. There’s no street date yet but we hear March is the likely timeframe. (Retail sources tell us 3/12 is the likely date, though remember it’s officially still TBA.) SRP is $39.99 but Amazon has it for $27.99. See the cover artwork below.

Also, Universal has announced End of Watch, Death Race 3: Inferno and For a Good Time, Call... for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/22. On DVD only they also have The Six Million Dollar Man: Season 3 coming on 2/19, followed by Law & Order: The Twelfth Year on 2/26.

And finally, Warner has officially set Westworld for release on Blu-ray on 3/5 (SRP $19.98).

Here’s a sneak peek at the fresh new BD cover art for Skyfall, Westworld and End of Watch. Again, all are now available for pre-order on Amazon.com by clicking on the covers...

Skyfall (Blu-ray Disc)    Westworld (Blu-ray Disc)    End of Watch (Blu-ray Disc)

Have a great weekend!

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

We’ve got a couple things for you to enjoy today after your turkey and stuffing…

First, our own Tim Salmons has turned in a new Dailies column with reviews of a pair of great Blu-ray titles from Criterion featuring the legendary Charlie Chaplin: The Great Dictator and Modern Times!

Also, Russell has updated the Release Dates & Artwork section 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 to them through our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it.

Now then… hope you’re having a great day with family and friends, eating lots of food and enjoying a ton of excellent movies on Blu-ray, DVD and in your local theater. Happy Thanksgiving!

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

Afternoon, folks! We've got a couple good news items to report for you today…

First, our friends over at Shout! Factory have announced a terrific batch of new Scream Factory titles coming on Blu-ray and DVD in 2013. Some have already been revealed but there are great new titles as well.  Look for The Island and Death Valley on 12/11, Deadly Blessing on 1/22, The Nest, Prison and a TerrorVision/The Video Dead double feature on 2/19, and From Beyond and Phantasm II in March (street date TBA). And here’s the great news: There are LOTS more great titles coming later in 2013 (street date TBD) including Vampire Lovers, Town that Dreaded Sundown/The Evictors, The Incredible Melting Man, X-ray (aka Hospital Massacre), Schizoid, The Godsend, Scanners II, Scanners III, The Horror Show, The Vagrant, The Fog, The Howling, Lifeforce, Night of the Comet, The Burning and Day of the Dead! Watch for more details on those TBD titles in the weeks ahead.

Also, here’s something interesting: As we’ve reported previously, Sony is gearing up to start selling 4K Ultra HDTVs in 2013 and the company is now promising that it will make free Sony 4K theatrical films available for viewing on them as a way of solving the “chicken and egg” content problem. Presumably these would be delivered digitally but specific details haven’t yet been revealed. More here at ars technica.

In other news, this was interesting: Paramount Pictures’ EVP of Operations Mark Christiansen told theatre owners at the Showeast conference recently that they should make the switch to digital projection as soon as possible because the various manufacturers of physical film stock are gradually stopping production. The implication is that at some point in the near future, digital will be the only option for film production and distribution. Interesting. More here at Digital Trends.

Finally today, a quick shout out: As it happens, our friend Guido Henkel of DVD Review is also a video game producer. He’s just started a new Kickstarter to fund his latest game project – an RPG called Thorvalla! Do check it out.

Here's a look at a couple of those upcoming Shout!/Scream BD titles, as well as the 2D Blu-ray of Sony’s Hotel Transylvania (due 1/29)...

From Beyond (Blu-ray Disc)    Prison (Blu-ray Disc)    Hotel Transylvania 3D (Blu-ray Disc)

All right, we’ll probably still check in regularly over the next few days, but we know a lot of your are traveling to visit family for the Thanksgiving holiday. So from all of us here at The Digital Bits, we’d like to wish you and yours safe travels and a wonderful holiday!

Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got a couple more bits of announcement news for you today on a couple major titles...

First up, Sony has set the sci-fi action thriller Looper for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/31 (SRP $35.99 and $30.99). Both versions will offer audio commentary with director Rian Johnson and actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt, 2 featurettes (Looper: From the Beginning and Scoring Looper), 5 deleted scenes with optional commentary (by Johnson and actor Noah Segan) and an animated trailer. To this, the Blu-ray will add an additional featurette (The Science of Time Travel) and 17 more deleted scenes with optional commentary (by Johnson and Segan). You’ll find BD cover art below.

Sony has also set Hotel Transylvania for release on Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo and DVD on 1/29/2013  (SRP $55.99, $40.99 and $30.99). Extras will include audio commentary with director Genndy Tartakovsky, producer Michelle Murdocca and VFX supervisor Daniel Kramer, 4 featurettes (Goodnight Mr. Foot, Prologue, Cast and Making the Hotel), 3 Progression Reels (Genndy Blur, Mavis Ventures Out and Look of Picture), a music video, making of the music video and links to online content. You’ll find cover artwork for the BD3D version below.

For you MOD fans, Sony will release the following titles on DVD-R on 1/1/2013: Dead by Sunset, How to Save a Marriage (and Ruin Your Life), I Dream of Jeannie: 15 Years Later, Love Walked In, Once More, With Feeling, Who Was That Lady?, It’s All Gone Pete Tong, Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing, Flight Into Nowhere, Charlie’s Angels: The Complete Fifth Season and The Three Stooges: Rare Treasures from the Columbia Pictures Vault.

And Sony has set Pan Am: The Complete First Season for release on standard DVD on 1/29/2013 (SRP $30.99).

Also, HBO and Warner have set Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/19/2013 (SRP $79.98 and $59.99). Extras on both versions will include 3 featurettes (Creating the Battle of Blackwater Bay, Game of Thrones: Inner Circle and The Religions of Westeros), 7 Character Profile clips and 12 audio commentaries with the cast and crew (including David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, George R.R. Martin, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington and more). The Blu-ray will exclusively add the War of the Five Kings interactive guide, 19 Histories & Lore clips, an In-Episode Guide to characters, locations and histories and hidden Dragon Eggs (aka Easter eggs). See the BD cover artwork below.

By the way, Amazon currently has a deal for $8 off Disney’s Peter Pan: Diamond Edition on Blu-ray Disc (due 2/5/2013). Just click on the link and look for the “Save $8.00 with this Coupon” text.

Here’s a look at the BD cover art for Looper, Hotel Transylvania 3D and Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season. All three titles can now be pre-ordered on Amazon.com by clicking on the covers...

Looper (Blu-ray Disc)    Hotel Transylvania 3D (Blu-ray 3D0    Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

Morning, folks! All right, the Thanksgiving holiday is nearly upon us. As you know, that means this is Black Friday week! And that means that you’ll find all kinds of crazy great deals on Blu-rays and DVDs and other goodies over on Amazon.com - at prices up to 70% off on many items! Some examples: You can get Thor, Monty Python and the Holy Grail for just $10 each, E.T. and Prometheus (2-disc) for just $13 each, Jaws for $14, Titanic, Prometheus 3D and Avengers (2-disc) for $15 each, Alien Anthology and Brave for $19 each, Looney Tunes Platinum: V1 for just $25, The Dark Knight Trilogy for $30, Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures for $49, the Star Wars Saga for $70 (etc, etc - click on the links to order). You get the idea. Hell, Bond 50 is just $129 - 57% off! If there’s a title you’ve been wanting, now’s the time to buy because the prices will never be better!

There are new deals going up each hour throughout the entire week, so we’ve created a couple of links for you to use to make it easier to take advantage of all the savings. First of all, you can check out Amazon’s Black Friday page for Blu-ray and DVD here...

Amazon Black Friday Deals on Blu-ray and DVD

And here’s a link for you to check out the home theatre deals as well...

Amazon Black Friday Deals on TV, Video and Audio Gear

Remember, any time you purchase something from Amazon after clicking through to them from our links, not only will you get a great deal but a portion of the sale goes to help support our work here at The Bits. It really makes a difference and we surely do appreciate it! 

Get great BLACK FRIDAY WEEK deals on Amazon and support The Bits in the process!

We’ll be back later this morning with our regular news update, so we’ll see you then. In the meantime, happy deal hunting!

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got some exciting (and as yet unofficial) Disney Blu-ray news. Retail sources have informed us that not only are they preparing to announce the Blu-ray and DVD release of Frankenweenie, they’re also gearing up to release Pixar’s Monsters, Inc. 3D in Blu-ray 3D Combo format. Street date and details on features are still TBA, but we have a sneak peek at the cover artwork below.

Also today, 20th Century Fox has set Taken 2 for release on Blu-ray Combo and DVD on 1/15 (SRP $39.99 and $29.99). No word yet on extras. Fox has also set French Kiss and One Fine Day for Blu-ray release on 1/8 (SRP $16.99 each).

Meanwhile, MGM has set Sleeper and Hannah and Her Sisters for Blu-ray release on 1/15 (SRP $24.99 each).

Lionsgate will release Brothers Grimm (2005) on BD on 1/8.

Shout! Factory has set Joshua Tree for release on Blu-ray/DVD Combo on 2/26/2013 (SRP $19.93). They also have a Prison: Collector’s Edition and The Next (we’ve mentioned that one before) due on BD on 2/19.

And Kino will release 15-disc The Ultimate Buster Keaton Collection Blu-ray Box set for release on 12/22 (SRP $299.95). It’s set to include(BD - includes Buster Keaton: Short Films Collection - 1920-1923, The Saphead, Our Hospitality, Sherlock Jr., Three Ages, The Navigator, Seven Chances, Go West, Battling Butler, The General, College (exclusive to this set until next year), Steamboat Bill, Jr. and Lost Keaton) on 12/11.

In other news, don’t forget there’s a new installment of the Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome web series on Machinima today.

Also, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln arrives in theaters today, as does the final Twilight film Breaking Dawn. I wonder how many parents today are going to drop their kids off at Twilight and then sneak in to see Lincoln...

Finally, here’s something cool: Our friends at Trek Movie have confirmed that the first trailer for next year’s Star Trek into Darkness is going to be attached to non IMAX screenings of The Hobbit on 12/14, while IMAX screenings of The Hobbit will have the first 9 minutes of the Trek film as a preview. That’s a twofer right there. Count us in!

We’ll leave you this week with a look at the BD cover artwork for Disney’s Frankenweenie, Disney and Pixar’s Monsters, Inc. 3D, Fox’s Taken 2, Kino’s The Ultimate Buster Keaton Collection and Baron Blood (due 12/11), and Warner Archive’s Deathtrap (available online on 11/20)...

Frankenweenie (Blu-ray 3D Combo)    Monsters, Inc. 3D (Blu-ray 3D)    Taken 2 (Blu-ray Disc)

The Ultimate Buster Keaton Collection (Blu-ray Disc)    Baron Blood (Blu-ray Disc)    Deathtrap (Blu-ray Disc)

Have a great weekend and we’ll see you back here on Monday!

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents
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In 50 years or so, the @Criterion edition of The Interview will make a nice bookend with The Great Dictator.

by Adam Jahnke