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Okay… you guys have been waiting for this news for a long while:  Warner Home Video has just officially announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Extended Edition on 11/5!

The release will be available as a 5-disc Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray set (SRP $54.98), a 3-disc Blu-ray set (SRP $35.99) and a 5-disc DVD set ($34.99).  All will include Ultraviolet.

The film itself has been extended by 13 minutes (total running time 184 minutes), and the set features nearly 9 hours of new special feature content, produced by Michael Pellerin and the same team who created the bonus content on The Lord of the Rings: Extended Edition sets.

Here’s a look a the packaging for all three (extras details follow)…  [...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, first up today we’ve got a pair of new Blu-ray Disc reviews for you…

Our own Dr. Jahnke has looked at Scream Factory’s fine new Blu-ray Collector’s Edition of John Carpenter’s The Fog.  The disc is now available in stores, and the release is pretty darned nice, as you’ll see in the review.

Also, Tim Salmons has checked out Charlie Chapin’s classic Monsieur Verdoux courtesy of Criterion’s fine new Blu-ray release.  Don’t miss it!  [...]

Published in My Two Cents

We’ve got a couple of new announcements for you today, and word of major new titles now available for pre-order on Amazon.com…

First up, Warner Home Video will release Mike and Molly: The Complete Third Season on DVD only on 8/20.

The BBC has set The Thick of It: Seasons 1-4 for DVD release on 8/6, followed by Doctor Who: The Complete Seventh Series on Blu-ray and DVD on 9/24.

PBS is releasing a Downton Abbey: Seasons 1, 2 & 3 – Limited Edition box set on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on 10/1 (SRP $99.99 and $89.99).  It will include a bonus disc featuring the Secrets of Highclere Castle documentary.

Published in My Two Cents

Warner Home Video and Lucasfilm have today announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Complete Season Five on 10/15 (SRP $59.97 and $49.98), including all 20 episodes (two presented as extended director’s cuts) and three hours worth of extras (cast and crew interviews, deleted and alternate scenes and more).  Also coming that day is a Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Seasons 1-5 Collector’s Edition box set on Blu-ray and DVD (SRP $149.99 and $119.98) containing all 108 episodes of the series, plus an exclusive The Art of The Clone Wars book, filled with never-before-seen concept art.  The question is, what’s happening with all the content created for Season Six, which was cancelled in the wake of the Disney purchase of Lucasfilm?  It doesn’t appear that it’s going to be included here.  Perhaps they’ll turn it into a mini-movie?  Who knows?  Anyway, more here.  And here’s the trailer…

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First up today, our own Tim Salmons has checked in with reviews of Criterion’s excellent new Blu-ray editions of a pair of sci-fi classics from different eras of the cinema: Alex Cox’s Repo Man and William Cameron Menzies’ Things to Come.  Both reviews (and the discs too) are well worth your time… so enjoy!

In announcement news today, CBS and Paramount have set The Honeymooners: Classic 39 Episodes for Blu-ray Disc release on 10/15.

Paramount has also set Gentle Ben: Season One for DVD only release on 10/15, starring Clint Howard and Dennis Weaver.

Published in My Two Cents

All right, let’s catch up on some other release news from the last few days…

As you’ll recall, we  mentioned yesterday that Pacific Rim is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com (on Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray).  So too is World War Z (Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray) and The Lone Ranger (on Blu-ray).

Meanwhile, 20th Century Fox, MGM and History Channel have set Vikings: Season One for Blu-ray release on 10/15.

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All right, looks like it’s going to take us a few days to completely catch up on news from and post Con, because the announcements keep coming in…

First up though, our very own Dr. Adam Jahnke has turned in the latest edition of his excellent Burnt Offerings MOD DVD column, featuring an update on Warner Archive releases for this week (including the classic Captain Caveman animated series) and upcoming MOD/DVD-R releases too!  He’s also reviewed Warner Archive’s The White Dawn on MOD DVD-R.  Don’t miss it!

Also here at The Bits today, Russell Hammond has once again 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 your 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… let’s get to some announcements news…

Published in My Two Cents

Well… we’re back from Comic-Con!  There’s lot of entertainment news to report from the event these days (including word that the next Man of Steel film will be a team-up with Superman and Batman), but the Blu-ray/DVD release news is excellent and abundant too…

First up, on our own Digital Bits BD Producers panel, we exclusively revealed that Shout! Factory is currently hard at work on a fully-remastered Blu-ray box set of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse: The Complete Series.  The show was originally finished on 1-inch analog tape, but it was shot on film and star Paul Rubens has all the original 16 and 35mm negative.  So it’s all being scanned in full HD and then digitally restored and remastered.  Rubens himself is working closely with producer Brian Ward and the Shout! team to create new special features, so it should be pretty terrific.  We showed a special video preview during our panel that offered fans a glimpse of the restoration work, with before and after comparisons.  It looks absolutely amazing!  (We’ll see if there’s any chance we can show it to you here.)  The set is expected to be released sometime in early 2014.  The exact time frame will depend on how long it takes to finish the restoration properly – they don’t want to rush it, they want to get it right.  Watch this space for more details.

Published in My Two Cents

All right, for the next three days, some of The Bits crew is going to be making our yearly pilgrimage down to Comic-Con in San Diego.  As you know, we’re holding our regular Blu-ray panel down there on Thursday afternoon (4-5 PM in Room 5AB) so if you’re down there, we’d sure love to see you there.

Meanwhile, we have a couple things for you while we’re away…

Published in My Two Cents

All right, quick one for you today…

First up here at The Bits this morning, 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 to them through our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we surely do appreciate it!

Finally, I believe we promised you some reviews, did we not?  Okay… here’s a couple.  Our very own Todd Doogan has just checked in with a look at a pair of recent Blu-ray releases from the folks at Kino Lorber.  To be specific, he’s reviewed a pair of classic Jean Rollin titles from Redemption Films in HD, including The Grapes of Death (1978) and Night of the Hunted (1980), both of which star a former French porn star by the name of Brigitte Lahaie.  They’re fascinating film, so do give them a look.

Enjoy and see you back here tomorrow with more!

Back tomorrow!  Stay tuned…

- Bill Hunt

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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