All right, thanks for your patience while I was away at the end of last week. My father-in-law passed away, so my wife and I flew across the country to attend his memorial and see family.

But there’s a good deal to catch up on today news-wise, so let’s get right to it. First things first...

Yes, we are aware of the rumors that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is planning to bring The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films to 4K Ultra HD. They originated on the excellent 4K Filme.de website, which (I’m told) found the titles briefly listed on a Warner B2B website for German retailers. All six films were indicated for release on UHD (with the Extended Editions included) and with a tentative street date given of June 25, 2020. All right, now let’s put this in context...

First of all, there’s no doubt that Warner Bros. is going to release these films on physical 4K Ultra HD. These are literally their most demanded catalog titles on the format. Also, 2021 is the 20th anniversary of Fellowship of the Ring. And Amazon’s new Lord of the Rings prequel series, which reportedly begins production next month and will apparently be in production for two years, is likely to debut on Amazon Prime in late 2022. So the studio is certainly going to want to get those films ready for 4K release by then. [Read on here...]

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I’ve posted my thoughts on Disney and Marvel’s new Guardians of the Galaxy release on 4K Ultra HD this morning. This following yesterday’s review of Doctor Strange on the format.

And yes, you can expect my review of Ant-Man in 4K today.

Tim is also working on a review of Sony and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Far From Home in 4K, so watch for that soon.

Next up on my review plate are Warner’s Pan’s Labyrinth and The Shining in 4K, so watch for at least one of them tomorrow (and both by next week).

In announcement news today, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has revealed that Easy Rider is now available in Digital 4K with HDR on various streaming platforms in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary. There appear to be no plans to release it on physical 4K. [Read on here...]

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All right, we’ve got a couple more disc reviews and some news updates for you today...

First up, Tim has posted his thoughts on Scream Factory’s new Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release of John Carpenter’s Vampires.

And Dennis has take a look at Billy Wilder’s The Major and the Minor on Blu-ray, a Paramount title from Arrow Academy.

Also, I’m working on reviews of Pan’s Labyrinth, The Shining, and Toy Story 4, all in 4K. And again, I’ll post Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, and Doctor Strange in 4K as soon as the discs arrive from the Disney Movie Club.

Speaking of the DMC, we’ve learned that the studio has pulled The Black Hole on Blu-ray from their online store. The reason is that they’re fixing the disc to correct for the authoring error that prevents you from seeing the film’s Overture (see our review of the Blu-ray here). [Read on here...]

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All right, the big news today is that our friends at the Criterion Collection have just announced their December Blu-ray and DVD release slate. And it includes a film that I’ve been waiting for a long time on Blu-ray... the extended director’s cut of Wim Wenders’ melancholy sci-fi road movie Until the End of the World.

I have so much love for the film and managed to record a TCM showing of it a couple years ago on my DVR. I’m glad I’ll finally be able to free up the drive space! Here’s the full slate...

Look for Stephen Roberts’ The Story of Temple Drake (Spine #1006 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Ronald Neame’s Tunes of Glory (Spine #225 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 12/3, followed by Wim Wenders’ Until the End of the World (Spine #1007 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Kelly Reichardt’s Old Joy (Spine #1008 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 12/10. We’ve updated the relevant pages of our Criterion Spines Project here at The Bits accordingly. [Read on here...]

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We’ve got some more new reviews for you today, and some interesting news as well. So let’s get to it.

First up, the reviews...

I’ve offered my thoughts on Luc Besson’s Anna on 4K Ultra HD from Summit and Lionsgate.

And Tim has turned in looks at Roy Ward Baker’s Scars of Dracula (1970) on Blu-ray, a Hammer title from Scream Factory, as well as Scream’s Humanoids from the Deep Steelbook Blu-ray.

With a little luck, we’ll have at least a couple more reviews tomorrow as well, so be sure to check back.

We’ve also got a street date update for you on a few titles: Look for Warner’s It: Chapter Two on BD, DVD, and 4K on 12/10. Lionsgate will release Red Heat on 4K on 10/8 (coming from Studio Canal in the UK). And Fox is expected to release The Art of Racing in the Rain on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K on 11/5. [Read on here...]

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We certainly hope you’re all enjoying the long Labor Day weekend here in the States. And Happy Monday for the rest of you!

Given the holiday, we’re taking a much needed break today. But we do have a couple of new Blu-ray reviews for you to enjoy...

Tim has just turned in his in-depth thoughts on the long-awaited Scooby-Doo: Where Are You? Complete Series Blu-ray set from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. The package streets tomorrow, and it sounds like it’s pretty good. You can read that review here.

Also, Tim has posted his thoughts on Gary Sherman’s Vice Squad (1982) from Scream Factory, as well as the Akio Jissôji: The Buddhist Trilogy box set from Arrow Academy, both on Blu-ray.

And Dennis rounds things out with his thoughts on A Dog’s Journey on Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

So enjoy those and we’ll be back tomorrow with our regular news update and more. Stay tuned!

-Bill Hunt

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

 

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All right, a quick update today...

First, we’ve just posted a trio of new Blu-ray reviews, including my thoughts on Dome Karukoski’s Tolkien from Fox, Tim’s take on Leszek Burzynski’s Trapped Alive from Arrow Video, and Dennis’ look at Michael Chaves’ The Curse of La Llorona from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

And I’m just finishing a review of Zhang Yimou’s Shadow in 4K Ultra HD from Well Go USA and should have that up before the end of the day.

Speaking of reviews, several of you have asked if we’re going to cover the new Disney and Marvel MCU titles that street tomorrow in 4K, including Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Thor, and Thor: The Dark World. We would love to, but unfortunately Disney isn’t making them available to reviewers, which means we’d have to go out and buy them. That puts indie sites like The Bits in a pickle. So the answer is, I don’t know. Maybe. [Read on here...]

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All right, we’ve got more interesting news for you today...

But first, Tim Salmons has posted some new Blu-ray reviews here at the site (yesterday and this afternoon), including his own thoughts on Weird Science from Arrow Video and Quartermass and the Pit from Scream Factory, as well as Dennis’ take on Michael Radford’s 1984 from the Criterion Collection.

We’ve also updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, anytime you order literally anything from Amazon after clicking through one of our links, you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it.

And tomorrow morning, be sure to watch for a new History, Legacy and Showmanship column from Michael Coate here at The Bits, this one honoring the recent 30th anniversary of the James Bond film License to Kill. [Read on here...]

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We’ve got a quick but terrific update for you today…

As you know, Jeff Nelson, Brian Ward, and I held the Inside an Indie Studio: Shout! Factory panel at Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday night, and we announced a ton of great titles that Shout! and Scream are working on for release in the months ahead (through March 2020).

From Shout!, you can expect The Anne Bancroft Collection (includes Don’t Bother to Knock, The Miracle Worker, The Pumpkin Eater, The Graduate, Fatso, To Be or Not to Be, Agnes of God, and 84 Charing Cross Road), Twins (1988), The Wizard: Collector’s Edition (1989), Brewster’s Millions: Collector’s Edition (1985), and a vinyl re-issue of Mystery Science Theater 3000: Clouds in the Sky. [Read on here...]

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