June 2020

Today’s big release news...

Our friends at the Criterion Collection have just officially announced their October Blu-ray and DVD release slate, which is set to include a new edition of Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot le fou (Spine #421 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 10/6, John Berry’s Claudine (Spine #1052 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 10/13, Henry King’s The Gunfighter (Spine #1053 – Blu-ray and DVD) and an updated version of Stephen Frears’ The Hit (Spine #469 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 10/20, and finally Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite (Spine #1054 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 10/27.

We’ve updated our Criterion Spines Project page here at The Bits accordingly.

You can see the cover artwork for Parasite at left, and all the others are down below the break. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We’ve got still more release news to report today, though much if it we’ve already talked about here at The Bits. The point is, it’s all now official.

First up, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has just set four catalog titles for release on 4K Ultra HD (with Blu-ray and Digital Copy) on 9/1...

These include Richard Donner’s The Goonies (1985), Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice (1988), and Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011). All four were shot on film, so appear to have been mastered from new 4K scans of the original camera negatives (the two Sherlock Holmes titles were shot on film but finished as 2K DIs, so it’s possible new 4K DIs were built from scans of the camera neg and VFX film outs).

All four titles will include the previous Blu-ray extras. In addition, Beetlejuice will offer a new English Dolby Atmos sound mix. There’s no indication of Dolby Vision HDR in Warner’s press release, so assume HDR10 for the time being. Both The Goonies and Beetlejuice will also be available in new Deluxe 4K Giftsets exclusive to Amazon.com. [Read on here...]

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All right, we’re kicking off the new week with more Blu-ray reviews and some GREAT release news too...

First, Tim has offered his thoughts on a pair of new Blu-ray releases, including Bert I. Gordon’s The Spider (1958 – aka Earth vs. the Spider) as well as Freddie Francis’ 1964 Hammer Films classic The Evil of Frankenstein, both available from our friends at Scream Factory.

Speaking of Scream Factory, they’re starting us off with the release news today as well...

Scream has just officially announced that they’re going to be releasing a definitive 16-disc Blu-ray collection of the Friday the 13th series. The Friday the 13th Collection: Deluxe Edition box set will arrive on October 13 and will include all 12 original films from Paramount and New Line Cinema. [Read on here...]

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This is just a quick update to let you all know that there are some great sales on now for Blu-ray and DVD releases…

The Criterion Collection has just kicked off their annual Summer 50% off sale at Barnes and Noble. So if there are Criterion Blu-ray titles that you’ve been looking for, now is the time to snag them at a great price. Be aware though, titles are going in and out of stock (and then back in stock) by the hour. So if there’s a title you’re looking for and it shows as out of stock the first time you check, check back often—it will become available again fairly quickly. And that sale will run until August 2nd, so there’s plenty of time to take advantage.

Also today, the Warner Archive Collection is running its popular 4 titles for $44 sale on WB Shop, with more than 2800 titles to choose from. That sale runs until Monday, July 13 at 11:59 PM PST.

And not to be outdone, Arrow Video is running their own Summer sale with titles up to 70%. That sale will run until July 21 at 12 PM BST. (FYI, that’s British Summer Time for my fellow Americans film enthusiasts).

So stock up, happy disc shopping… and have a great weekend!

(You can follow Bill on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook)

 

 

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got some GREAT release news to report for you today. But first, we a couple more new Blu-ray reviews...

Dennis has taken a good long look at Criterion’s lovely new edition of Byron Haskin’s 1953 classic The War of the Worlds on Blu-ray. He talks about the film, the extras (as compared to the recent Imprint Blu-ray) and more. And it looks like Criterion did indeed correct the 4K remaster’s color grade issue (so the opening shot of Mars is now properly red, as it should be). You can find that here.

Also today, Tim has reviewed Jean-Marie Pallardy’s outlandish actioner White Fire (1984), newly released on Blu-ray by Arrow Video. Enjoy!

Now then, on to that big release news...

It’s official: HBO and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment have set Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection for release on 4K Ultra HD on 11/3 (SRP $254.99, though expect the usual retailer discounts to be applied soon). There will also be a Best Buy-exclusive Steelbook box set that same day (SRP $285.43, though again expect the usual discount to be applied to that). [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

So... a friend of mine asked me last night on social media what impact the pandemic was having on physical media sales so far this year. Specifically, he wanted to know if there had been any kind of a bump in disc sales resulting from all of the coronavirus lockdowns, what with so many people suddenly forced to stay at home.

I knew, of course, what we’ve been seeing here at The Digital Bits in terms of those trends—also what we’ve been hearing from you guys, our readers, as well as our retail sources. But the question got me thinking. And then I really wanted to know: Do the actual sales numbers reflect our assumptions? Or might something be happening because of the pandemic that’s surprising in terms of physical media sales?

With that in mind, I started digging. Before long, I found myself neck deep in data—actually a pretty good place to be if you really want to get to the bottom of questions like this.

I turned to a pair of sources that are always reliable: The Digital Entertainment Group’s excellent (and quarterly) Home Entertainment Reports, and also Media Play News’ in-house home entertainment market research. [Read on here...]

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All right, we’ve got a couple things to report on for you today here at The Digital Bits.

First, European retail sources have begun sending us information suggesting that a trio of additional Paramount catalog titles is on the way to physical 4K Ultra HD later this year, at least in Europe. Those titles are: Collateral (2004), Beverly Hills Cop (1984), and Coming to America (1988). I’ve asked Paramount for confirmation that they’re coming to disc here in the States as well. I’ll post an update here when and if they respond.

Meanwhile, the Italian DVD retailer DVD-Store IT has started listing them (here, here, and here) with no street date given.

Also today, call this one Rumor Mill worthy: MGM’s physical media distribution deal with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment officially expired on 6/30, and word on the street within the industry is that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will now pick up those rights. There’s been no official announcement of this, and as yet no news reporting on it from the other industry trades, but that’s what we’re hearing through the grapevine. More on that as it comes in too. [Read on here...]

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We’re rounding out the last weekday before the 4th of July holiday here in the States with just a little bit more release news.

First, an update: Lionsgate’s Ghost in the Shell (1995) 4K Ultra HD release is officially due on 9/2 (SRP $22.99). And it will include Dolby Vision HDR (along with regular HDR10) and Dolby Atmos audio. Pre-orders are just starting to appear around the Net, so we’ll update you here when we have an Amazon.com link and also final cover artwork.

Also, Blue Underground has announced that they plan to release Harry Kümel’s 1971 erotic vampire film Daughters of Darkness on 4K Ultra HD sometime this fall. The package will include the film in 4K and Blu-ray, along with a soundtrack CD. [Read on here...]

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Before we get to the headline of today’s post, we have another new Blu-ray review...

Dennis has taken a look at Michael Curtiz’s The Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933) on disc from our friends at The Warner Archive Collection. Enjoy!

Now then, a while back here at The Bits I reviewed with great surprise HBO’s Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season on 4K Ultra HD (you can find that here) and I was really taken aback by how good the upsampled image quality was. It was a genuine revelation.

But then, while HBO did release the final season of Game of Thrones on the format (day and date with the Blu-ray and DVD), that was it. No sign of further seasons in 4K whatsoever. Until now. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We have a bit more 4K Ultra HD news for you today...

But first, another new disc review: Tim has given Calvin Floyd’s In Search of Dracula (1975) a review on Blu-ray Disc, from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. The film stars Christopher Lee.

Now then, that 4K news... Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has officially set Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash for release on 4K Ultra HD on 9/22 (SRP appears to be $30.99). Audio will be Dolby Atmos with HDR10 high dynamic range.

Extras will include audio commentary with writer/director Damien Chazelle and J.K. Simmons, An Evening at the Toronto International Film Festival with Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, and Damien Chazelle, Timekeepers: Famous Drummers Discuss Their Craft and Passion for Drumming, the Whiplash Original Short Film with optional commentary, a deleted scene, and the film’s theatrical trailer. You can see the cover artwork at left and also below. [Read on here...]

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