Bits BD Review - Jim Hemphill checks out Twilight's House of Bamboo http://t.co/kzbXaCuDbg
All right, we’re closing out the week today with another new Blu-ray Disc review. I’ve checked in with my own thoughts on Sony’s Zero Dark Thirty, which offers excellent A/V quality and a darned good film as well, in my humble opinion. The disc streets on Tuesday (3/19). I’ll be back on Monday with a review of Warner’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, so be sure to watch for it.
In announcement news today, Shout!’s Scream Factory label has announced the Blu-ray/DVD Combo release of The Burning and The Town That Dreaded Sundown on 5/21. The Burning (SRP $29.93) will include audio commentary with director Tony Maylam and journalist Alan Jones, a second commentary with stars Shelley Bruce and Bonnie Deroski, 4 featurettes (Blood ‘n’ Fire Memories, Slash & Cut, Cropsy Speaks and Summer Camp Nightmare), additional behind-the-scenes footage, galleries of Make-Up Effects and Posters & Stills images, and the film’s trailer. And The Town That Dreaded Sundown (SRP $26.99) will include audio commentary with Justin Beahm and Historian Jim Presley, 3 featurettes (Small Town Lawman, Survivor Stories and Eye of the Beholder), and essay by Brian Albright, a Poster & Still gallery and the trailer. You’ll also get director Charles B. Pierce’s The Evictors in the package on DVD only.
In other news, Shout! Factory Kids has set the animated Monsuno: Power for DVD only release on 5/21.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release The Great Magician on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/19.
Magnolia Home Entertainment has set The Sorcerer and the White Snake for BD and DVD release on 4/9. Magnolia has also set Don Coscarelli’s John Dies at the End for release on both formats on 4/2.
Well Go USA Entertainment will release the martial arts epic fantasy The Four on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/9.
BrinkVision has set the “European road comedy” Robert Mitchum is Dead for DVD release on 5/21.
Finally, Image and RLJ Entertainment are releasing Ghost Hunters: Season 8, Part 2 on DVD on 6/11 (SRP $24.98). They also have Barrymore coming on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/7. The film stars Christopher Plummer.
Here’s a look at the Blu-ray art for CBS’s Star Trek: Enterprise – Season Two (TBA), Fox’s Panic in the Streets (3/26) and Kino’s The Grapes of Death (4/23)…
Have a great weekend!
- Bill Hunt
Our Blu-ray review of the day is none other than Jean Rollin’s School Hitchhikers from Kino Lorber! Tim has posted his thoughts for you all to check out here. Meanwhile, know that I’m at work on Blu-ray reviews of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Star Trek: Enterprise – Season One for the next few days, so be sure to check back.
Meanwhile, in announcement news today, Warner Home Video has officially set a pair of gangster box sets (which we’ve known about since last year) for Blu-ray release on 5/21. The Ultimate Gangster Collection – Classic will include The Public Enemy, Little Caesar, The Petrified Forest and White Heat, plus the Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Drama documentary, while The Ultimate Gangster Collection – Contemporary will include Mean Streets, The Untouchables, GoodFellas, Heat and The Departed (SRP $49.99 each). All of the Classic collection titles (which are new to Blu-ray) will also be available individually for $19.98 each.
Anchor Bay has set Syfy’s 2012 remake of The Philadelphia Experiment for Blu-ray and DVD release on 6/11 (SRP $24.99 and $19.98). It stars Nicholas Lea, Michael Paré (yes, of the original film), Gena Holden and Malcolm McDowell.
Wolfe Video will release Face 2 Face on DVD on 5/14.
Lionsgate will release The History Channel’s Ultimate Guide to Presidents on DVD only on 5/28, followed by Mountain Men: Season 1 on DVD only on 6/4.
First Run Features has set the documentaries Gottfried Helnwein and the Dreaming Child and Fatherland for DVD only release on 3/19, followed by Errol Garner: No One Can Hear You Read and The Last Flight of Petr Ginz on 4/9 and Orchestra of Exiles on 4/14.
And finally for those who might be interested, MHz Networks has just released the Danish political drama series Borgen: Season 1 on DVD – street date was yesterday, 3/12 (SRP $49.95).
Also, there appears to be a small delay on shipments of some copies of the Blu-ray release of Disney’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit?: 25th Anniversary Edition. Amazon currently lists a shipping time of “9 to 12 days” and claims it’s “due to a manufacturing issue”. In any case, just know that there may be slight delays in finding copies depending on the retailer you purchased the title from.
Here’s a sneak peek at the open Blu-ray cover packaging for Warner’s two Gangster Collections…
- Bill Hunt
We’ve got a couple more new Blu-ray Disc reviews for you today. Tim has checked out another pair of great Scream Factory titles for your reading enjoyment: Don Coscarelli’s Phantasm II and Stuart Gordon’s From Beyond. Both discs are long overdue and well worth your time, so do give them a look.
Also here at the site today, our own Russell Hammond has posted the weekly 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 here at The Bits and we greatly appreciate it.
Now then... today’s a little slow announcement-wise, but Lionsgate has set Mountain Men: Season One for DVD release on 6/4.
Warner Home Video has set Scooby-Doo! Mystery Inc: Season 2, Part 2 - Spooky Stampede for DVD release on 6/18. Warner has also announced that the street date for Rizzoli & Isles: The Complete Third Season on DVD has moved from 5/14 to 6/11. Adjust your plans accordingly.
PBS Distribution will release the Masterpiece series Mr. Selfridge on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/23.
And Inception Media Group will release The Colombian Connection on DVD only on 4/16.
Also, here’s a bit of other news that might get you Sherlock fans excited – the BBC series’ third season begins shooting in London next Monday and is tentatively set to air before the end of 2013. Even better yet, star Benedict Cumberbatch has officially confirmed to Radio Times that the series is coming back for a fourth season as well! One word: AWESOME.
Back with another new Blu-ray review tomorrow. Stay tuned!
- Bill Hunt
All right, we’re kicking off a new regular column here at The Bits this week: Bud Elder’s View from the Cheap Seats! Bud is a longtime movie reviewer and has been associated with Hollywood for many years as the film commissioner for the state of Oklahoma. He’s also been a Bits reader almost since the very beginning of the site, and was a friend of Barrie Maxwell. So we’re thrilled to welcome him to the team. Bud’s column will cover a range of topics, especially including interesting and funny behind-the-scenes stories from his many years in the industry. In this first piece, he’d got a great Godfather story we think you’ll get a kick out of. We hope you enjoy it!
In announcement news today, PBS has revealed that they’re distributing Ken Burns’ The Central Park Five on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/23 (SRP $29.99 and $24.99). PBS will also release NOVA: Australia’s First 4 Billion Years on BD and DVD on 6/25.
Shout! factory will release Electra Glide in Blue on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/4,
Disney will release Disneynature: Wings of Life on Blu-ray on 4/16.
Image has set Magic Journey to Africa for BD and DVD release on 4/23. Image will also release Numbers Station on BD and DVD on 5/28 and The Dick Van Dyke Show: Season 3 on Blu-ray on 6/11.
Millennium will release Upside Down on Blu-ray 3D Combo and DVD on 6/18.
And Dark Sky Films will release the horror film Stitches on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/2.
Here’s a look at the BD cover artwork of Kino Lorber’s Jacob (due 4/16), Paramount’s Not Fade Away (4/30) and Lionsgate’s A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III (5/14)...
- Bill Hunt
We’re closing out the week here at the site with a quick 3D Dimension column update from Jeff Kleist. It seems some of the online natives are a bit restless regarding the color timing of the new Top Gun 3D Blu-ray master, so Jeff did a little digging on the subject and presents his findings. Do check it out.
In announcement news today, Warner Home Video has set TNT’s Major Crimes: The Complete First Season for DVD only release on 6/4 (SRP $39.98).
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will release Cheech & Chong’s Animated Movie on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/23. Extras will include “Joint” commentary featuring Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong, a second commentary with Branden Chambers, Eric D. Chambers and Lou Adler, a third commentary with Tommy Chong and Paris Chong, a Low Maintenance Listening Mode, video of Blind Mellon’s recording session for Medical Marijuana Blues and a Cheech and Chong gallery.
And that’s pretty much it, except to say that Home Media magazine has opened up the voting for their 2013 Home Media Awards. Click here and you can vote for your picks, which will be combined with the official judges selections to select the final winners. Voting is open until 4/14. (In the interests of full disclosure, Bits editor Bill Hunt - yours truly - is part of the panel of judges.)
We’ll leave you with a look at the Blu-ray cover artwork for Fox’s Cheech & Chong’s Animated Movie and The Bible (due 4/2), as well as Universal’s In the Name of the Father (5/7)...
Have a great weekend!
- Bill Hunt
Our own Tim Salmons been a busy fellow of late – in addition to the other reviews he’s already done this week, Tim has just turned in his thoughts on Fox’s new Die Hard: 25th Anniversary Collection Blu-ray box set. Do check it out. It’s now available in stores. Yippee-ki-yay!
In announcement news today, Warner Home Video has set Gangster Squad for Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 4/23 (SRP $35.99 and $22.97). Extras on the Blu-ray version will include audio commentary with director Ruben Fleischer, deleted scenes, 17 The Gangland Files featurettes (The Set-Up, The Real Story, James Brolin on O’Mara, One Continuous Long Shot, Fashion of the 40s, Ryan & Emma Reunited, Emma Stone on Grace, The Real Mickey Cohen, Ryan Gosling on Wooters, The Real Gangster Squad, The Real Locations, Nick Nolte on Chief Parker, Inside Slapsy Maxie’s, Ryan & Emma on the Set, Bringing Back Gangsters, Park Plaza and Then and Now: Locations), plus 2 more featurettes (Rogues Gallery: Mickey Cohen and Tough Guys with Style).
Warner and HBO have set True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season for Blu-ray and DVD release on 5/21 (SRP $79.98 and $59.99). The Blu-ray version will offer all 12 episodes with an “enhanced viewing mode” that gives you access to audio commentary and numerous interactive features on each episode including character bios, True Blood Lines, Anatomy of an Episode, Authority Link-outs, Inside the Episodes, Flashbacks/Flash Forwards and Hints/FYIs.
Also, while we’re talking about Warner, their upcoming The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Blu-rays include a card (with a special URL and code) that grants special access to an exclusive live online event on 3/24 (3 PM EDT) with director Peter Jackson to preview the upcoming sequel The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Meanwhile, PBS has just announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of the 2-hour NOVA: Earth from Space documentary. I actually watched this when it originally aired on PBS recently and it’s pretty extraordinary. I highly recommend it, especially to those of you who may have enjoyed Planet Earth and other similar series. The graphics and visuals are really stunning, including absolutely gorgeous imagery of the nighttime Earth as seen in time-lapse from the International Space Station. Street date is 4/30 (SRP $29.99 and $24.99).
Shout!’s Scream Factory label has announced another great Blu-ray and DVD release today – Dead Souls. Look for it on 6/25 (SRP $19.97 and $14.93). Extras will include commentary, bloopers, a set tour and TV spots.
And Kino Lober have just announced much of their May Blu-ray and DVD release slate. From their Kino Lorber label, look for If I Were You on DVD only on 5/7. Redemption titles for May will include The Sinful Nuns of Saint Valentine: Remastered Edition and Enzo G. Castellari’s Cold Eyes of Fear: Remastered Edition, each available on both Blu-ray and DVD on 5/21. The company’s Alive Mind label will release A Good Day to Die on DVD only on 5/28. Finally, their Raro Video USA brand will release Fernando Di leo’s Shoot First Die Later: Remastered Edition on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/28.
And in news from around the Net today, Bloomberg Businessweek has a great piece up on the process by which Bob Iger and Disney convinced George Lucas to sell them Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise. Definitely worth reading, if only for the confirmation that all three major actors (Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford) from the original Star Wars films are expected to return for the new sequels.
We’ll leave you with a look at the BD cover artwork for Warner’s Gangster Squad, HBO’s True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season and Kino Lorber’s Cold Eyes of Fear…
- Bill Hunt
Here at The Bits today, we’ve got another new Blu-ray Disc review and a pair of older ones as well. Tim Salmons has checked out Criterion’s new BD release of Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate. Tim has also updated a pair of his older Criterion BD reviews as well - Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes. Enjoy!
The big release news today is that Paramount has finally announced Jack Reacher for Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 5/7 (SRP $39.99 and $29.99). The Blu-ray version will include audio commentary by Tom Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie, a second commentary by composer Joe Kraemer and 3 featurettes (When the Man Comes Around, You Do Not Mess with Jack Reacher: Combat & Weapons and The Reacher Phenomenon). The official cover artwork is below.
Also today, Shout!’s Scream Factory label has announced another pair of great catalog titles coming in June, including Joe Dante’s The Howling: Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray Combo and DVD Combo on 6/18 (SRP $29.93 and $19.93) and Ninja III: The Domination on Blu-ray Combo on 6/11 (SRP $26.99). The Howling will include audio commentary with director Joe Dante and actors Dee Wallace, Christopher Stone and Robert Picardo, the multi-part Unleashing the Beast: The Making of The Howling documentary, deleted scenes and outtakes, 2 featurettes (Making of a Monster: Inside The Howling and Horror’s Hallowed Grounds), a photo gallery and theatrical trailers. Extras on Ninja III are still TBA.
Olive Films has announced another couple waves of deep catalog classic Blu-rays for release in April, including Wake of the Red Witch, Red Pony, Champion, Magic Town, Copacabana, War of the Wildcats, Fighting Seabees and City That Never Sleeps on 4/23, and Lonely Trail, Enforcer and Cloak and Dagger on 4/30.
Meanwhile, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has set Broken City for BD release on 4/23. Fox will also release the History Channel’s new epic miniseries The Bible on 4-disc Blu-ray and 4-disc DVD on 4/2 (SRP $69.99 and $59.98).
Disney has set Super Buddies for Blu-ray Combo release on 8/27.
Starz and Anchor Bay have Down the Shore coming to BD and DVD on 4/9.
Merlin: The Complete Fifth Season is due on BD and DVD from Warner and the BBC on 4/9 as well, along with the nature documentaries One Life and Planet Ocean.
Entertainment One has set The Sweeney for Blu-ray and DVD release on 4/2.
Blue Underground has set Fifty Shades of de Sade for DVD only release on 4/23.
The Cinema Guild will release the Brazilian film Neighboring Sounds on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/30.
RLJ Entertainment and Image Entertainment have set Day of the Falcon for BD and DVD release on 3/26.
And Image Entertainment is releasing the comedy/spoof Paranormal Movie on DVD on 4/9. The film stars Kevin Darley. You can watch the trailer here.
Finally, we’ve got a look at the official Blu-ray Disc cover artwork for The Weinstein Company’s Django Unchained (due 4/16). You can find that below along with BD art for Shout!’s The Howling and Ninja III, Olive’s The Fighting Seabees and Paramount’s Jack Reacher, as well as DVD art for Image’s Paranormal Movie...
- Bill Hunt
All right, the big announcement news today is that Disney has officially set Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln for Blu-ray and DVD release on 3/26. There will be a 4-disc Blu-ray Combo, a 2-disc Blu-ray Combo and a 1-disc DVD (SRP $28.00, $24.50 and $17.99 – surprisingly low prices). The DVD will include The Journey to Lincoln featurette. The 2-disc BD will add another featurette (A Historic Tapestry: Richmond, Virginia). The 4-disc set will add another 4 more featurettes (In the Company of Character, Crafting the Past, Living with Lincoln and In Lincoln’s Footsteps). You’ll find the final cover BD artwork below.
More news in a second, but first our own Russell Hammond 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 through to them through our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we surely do appreciate it.
Also here at the site today, Tim Salmons has posted two more Blu-ray Disc reviews. The first is a new title – Disney’s Peter Pan: Diamond Edition. Sounds like the high-def upgrade is well worth your time and money. Tim has also added another of his Blu-ray reviews from the old site to our new review database – Criterion’s House. Don’t miss it!
In more announcement news, Lionsgate has set The History Channel’s WWII from Space for Blu-ray and DVD release on 5/7. The studio has also set Dark Circles, H.P. Lovecraft’s Cool Air and Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn for DVD only release on 5/21, along with Stand Up Guys on both Blu-ray and DVD that same day.
And Universal has set the horror film Mama for Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 5/7. Extras will include the Matriarchal Secrets and The Birth of Mama featurettes, deleted scenes, feature commentary with director/co-writer Andy Muschietti and producer/co-writer Barbara Muschietti, and an original short with introduction by Guillermo Del Toro.
Here’s a look at the final Blu-ray cover artwork for the 4-disc BD version of Disney’s Lincoln, as well as Lionsgate’s Stand Up Guys and Warner’s Enter the Dragon: 40th Anniversary Edition (due 6/11)…
- Bill Hunt
All right, we’ve got another new Blu-ray Disc review for you today. Our own Joe Marchese has given Twilight Time’s new The Rains of Ranchipur a spin and has his thoughts for you here. Watch for more reviews over the next few days from Joe, Tim Salmons and others.
The big announcement news today is that 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has finally set the Cleopatra: 50th Anniversary Collection for release on Blu-ray here in the States on 5/21. The 2-disc set includes the 243-minute version of the film fully restored, along with audio commentary with Chris Mankiewicz, Tom Mankiewicz, Martin Landau and Jack Brodsky, 6 documentary featurettes (Cleopatra Through The Ages: A Cultural History, Cleopatra’s Missing Footage, Fox Movie Channel presents Fox Legacy with Tom Rothman, The Cleopatra Papers: A Private Correspondence, Cleopatra: The Film That Changed Hollywood and The Fourth Star of Cleopatra), 2 Fox Movietone News segments (archival footage of the New York and Hollywood premieres) and theatrical trailers. The set comes packaged in a full-color book featuring rare images from the making of the film. You’ll find cover artwork below.
In addition, Fox has set American Horror Story: Season Two (a.k.a. Asylum) for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 9/24 (SRP $59.99 and $49.98). Fox has also set Sons of Anarchy: Season Five for Blu-ray and DVD release on 8/27 (SRP $69.99 and $59.98), as well as Homeland: The Complete Second Season (SRP $69.99 and $59.98 – for Showtime). And Fox will also release Wilfred: Season Two on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/18.
Fox and Anchor Bay have also set a number of new deep catalog titles for BD release on 5/28, including Bedazzled, Airheads, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Dying Young, The Star Chamber, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, The Newton Boys, Chasing Papi, Black Knight, Best Laid Plans and Simply Irresistible.
Meanwhile, Warner Home Video has announced an Enter the Dragon: 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition gift set for Blu-ray release on 6/11 (SRP $49.99). Extras will include audio commentary by producer Paul Heller, 3 all-new featurettes (No Way As Way, The Return to Han’s Island and Wing Chun: The Art that Introduced Kung Fu to Bruce Lee), an interview gallery featuring Bruce Lee’s wife Linda Lee Caldwell, 5 vintage featurettes (Backyard Workout with Bruce Lee, Curse of the Dragon, Location: Hong Kong with Enter the Dragon, Blood and Steel: The Making of Enter the Dragon and Personal Profile Bruce Lee: In His Own Words), 5 trailers and 7 TV spots.
Universal has set 30 Rock: Season 7 and Royal Pains: Season Four for DVD only release on 5/7. They’ve also announced Márcio Garcia’s Open Road for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/21.
Sony has set Revenge for Jolly, Left to Die: The Sandra and Tammi Chase Story and Lifetime’s modern updating of Steel Magnolias for DVD only release on 5/7 as well.
Well Go USA Entertainment has the “martial arts fantasy epic” The Four due for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/9.
Image Entertainment begins releasing individual seasons of The Dick Van Dyke Show on Blu-ray on 4/9 starting with Season One (SRP $59.98).
Image Entertainment and Acorn Media are releasing the George Gently Collection: Series 1-4 and George Gently: Series 5 on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/28.
CBS has set Rawhide: The Sixth Season, Volumes One and Two for DVD only release on 6/4.
And in news from around the Net today, our friend Adam Walker over at TrekCore has posted a great multi-part interview with producer Roger Lay, Jr. about the fine work that he and Robert Meyer Burnett are doing on the Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek: The Next Generation Blu-ray special features. I’m a big fan of Enterprise in particular, and I’ll tell you – their documentary work on the upcoming Season One set (and it sounds like the future seasons too) is second to none. Everything you ever wanted to know about the show is being explored in these features they’re producing. Hats off to TrekCore for a great interview.
Here’s a look at the Blu-ray cover artwork for Fox’s Cleopatra: 50th Anniversary Collection and American Horror Story: Asylum, and Disney’s Shanghai Noon/Shanghai Knights double feature (due 5/7)…
- Bill Hunt
Happy Friday, folks! Hope you’re all ready for the weekend. Sorry for missing yesterday’s post – lots of things going on behind-the-scenes at The Bits this week. Good stuff, but stuff that kept us all away from the office yesterday. Life happens!
Meanwhile here at the site today, our own Tim Salmons has posted another new Blu-ray Disc review for you from Scream Factory: it’s the Prison: Collector’s Edition – an early Renny Harlin film (from 1988) starring a fellow you might recognize… Viggo Mortensen. Do check it out!
In announcement news today, Lionsgate has set The Last Stand for Blu-ray and DVD release on 5/14 (SRP $39.99 and $29.95). Extras will include 4 featurettes (Not in My Town: Making The Last Stand, Cornfield Chaos, The Dinkum Firearm and Historic Weaponry Museum and Actor-Cam Anarchy: with Johnny Knoxville and Jaimie Alexander) and deleted, extended and alternate scenes.
Lionsgate will also release Texas Chainsaw on Blu-ray 3D Combo and DVD and A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/14 as well. Extras on A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III will include audio commentary with writer/director Roman Coppola and 2 featurettes (The Making of Charles Swan and A Glimpse Into the Mind of Charles White).
Inception Media Group will release the Brit comedy On Approval on Blu-ray on 3/19.
Meanwhile, Warner Home Video and TNT have set Falling Skies: The Complete Second Season for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/4 (SRP $49.99 and $39.98). The BD will be a 2-disc set and the DVD a 3-disc set, but each will include all 10 episodes plus extras. No word yet on extras. Season Three of the series is set to begin airing this summer, so you can probably expect the 6/4 street date is designed to let people catch up beforehand.
Universal has announced a trio of new catalog films for release on Blu-ray on 5/7, including Babe: Pig in the City, Jesus Christ Superstar and In the Name of the Father.
And Magnolia Home Entertainment has A Royal Affair coming on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/19.
Here’s a look at the cover art for Lionsgate’s The Last Stand, Warner’s Falling Skies: Season Two and Universal’s Promised Land (street date 4/23 – retail temp art)…
Have a great weekend and see you Monday! Stay tuned…
- Bill Hunt