Afternoon, folks. We’ve got some news reviews for you today, plus a couple of release announcements, a new special feature column and more!

First, the Blu-ray reviews... Tim has just posted his thoughts on Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria (2018) from Lionsgate. And Dennis Sueling has offered his take on Rob Marshall’s Mary Poppins Returns from Disney. Both are worth a look, so we hope you enjoy them!

Also here at The Bits today, our own Michael Coate has just a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column looking back at Ken Hughes’ Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary. The piece features a great interview with film historian John Cork, an expert of all things Ian Flemming-related. Do give it a look. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, let’s get right down to it. I’ve been reluctant to talk about the prospects of James Cameron’s The Abyss and True Lies arriving on Blu-ray (and dare we hope 4K) in 2019 because we’ve had SO many solid reports that these films were finally coming only to see them evaporate. And when I’ve tried to find out why, Fox always pointed at Cameron and Cameron always pointed back at Fox. What I finally figured out is that Cameron has just been too distracted with other projects to approve new transfers of these films, first with diving to the bottom of the ocean and more recently with his Avatar prequels.

As longtime Bits readers will be well aware, both films were expected for their last major anniversaries in 2014. We know for a fact that 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment had even prepared new Blu-ray releases (most recently rumored for release in 2017), but Cameron never got around to approving the new transfers, so the Blu-ray releases never happened. The transfers were quietly released to the pay cable movie channels only.

Well, now it’s five years later. 2019 officially marks the 30th anniversary of The Abyss and the 25th of True Lies. Naturally, that means Bits readers have been asking me for weeks about the prospects of finally seeing these films released on Blu-ray (and, again, dare we hope 4K). I’ve even spoken to studio sources about this recently. And again, what I learned was that the ball was still in James Cameron’s court. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents
Published in My Two Cents

(As I am writing this month’s column, word spread that the world had lost Nick Redman, a man of incomparable vision and love of classic films. He was a friend of mine and this entire website. I’ll write more next time.)

Maybe it was the mustache. Or the unscripted quips. Or the genteel Southern manner.

Or just maybe it was that laugh, a bombastic cackle delivered by one comfortable in his own skin – inviting his audience gut bust with him, as though they were all in a private joke.

That’s our Burt. And he’s, unbelievably, gone. [Read on here...]

We’ve some interesting release news today, starting with a little heads-up: Sources say that the long-anticipated official announcement of Ridley Scott’s Alien on 4K Ultra HD is happening very soon. So be sure to watch for that. We’ll have all the details here as soon as they’re official.

In other 4K announcement news, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has made Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down official for release on the format on 5/7.

It will include both the Theatrical and Extended cuts of the film newly remastered in 4K from the original camera negative and featuring an HDR grade approved by Scott. Both will also feature a new Dolby Atmos sound mix. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, Disney has just officially announced the Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD release of Rob Marshall’s Mary Poppins Returns on 3/19, with their Digital 4K and Movies Anywhere release set for a week earlier on 3/12. There will apparently also be a “Digital Bundle” of the film with the original 1964 Mary Poppins (we don’t know what resolution that original film will be). Audio on the Blu-rays will be English 7.1 DTS-HD MA. Assume standard HDR10 at least on the physical 4K (the digital 4K may offer Dolby Vision).

In terms of extras, the Blu-rays will include the deleted song The Anthropomorphic Zoo, the 4-part The Practically Perfect Making of Mary Poppins Returns documentary (includes Introduction, (Underneath the) Lovely London Sky, Can You Imagine That?, and Nowhere to Go But Up), the 4-part Seeing Things From a Different Point of View: The Musical Numbers of Mary Poppins Returns documentary (includes Trip a Little Light Fantastic, The Royal Doulton Music Hall/A Cover Is Not the Book, Turning Turtle, and Can You Imagine That?), Back to Cherry Tree Lane: Dick Van Dyke Returns, Practically Perfect Bloopers, 3 deleted scenes (Leaving Topsy’s and Trip a Little Light Fantastic), and a Sing-Along Mode. The Digital version only will also feature exclusive audio commentary by director Rob Marshall and producer John DeLuca.

You can see the cover artwork at left and also below. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We’ve got some more interesting 4K Ultra HD release news for you today, and some Blu-ray news as well...

First up, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has just officially set Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla (1998) for release on 4K Ultra HD on 5/14, complete with Dolby Atmos audio. The film has been remastered in 4K from the original camera negative. The 4K disc will include a trio of trailers. You’ll also get the film on Blu-ray with all of its legacy extras, and a Digital copy will be included as well. You can see the cover artwork at left.

While we’re on the subject of Sony, this is both good news and bad news: Sony has recently made Sir David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia available in 4K... as a digital exclusive (on iTunes, Amazon Prime, and elsewhere). To which we reply: WHAT THE HELL?! The download reportedly doesn’t have HDR, but so what? Sony... what the hell are you waiting for?! [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We’ve got a nice bit of official 4K news to start the new week: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is releasing The Karate Kid on 4K in honor of the film’s 35th anniversary. Look for the disc to street on 4/16, following the film’s limited return to theaters across the US on 3/31 and 4/2.

The disc will feature the film remastered in native 4K from the original camera negative, along with a new Dolby Atmos audio mix (you will also get the original stereo and 5.1 mixes). In terms of extras, legacy content will include a “Blu-Pop” Pop-Up Track (with trivia, interviews, and more secrets from the film), audio commentary (with director John G. Avildsen, writer Robert Mark Kamen, and actors Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita), The Way of the Karate Kid multi-part featurette, 3 additional featurettes (Beyond the Form, East Meets West: A Composer’s Notebook, and Life of Bonsai) and the theatrical trailer (on the 4K disc). You’ll also get the all new Remembering The Karate Kid retrospective (featuring new interviews with Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, and Martin Kove – on the 4K disc).

Now then... a quick bit of regular site business: Tim has posted a trio of new Blu-ray reviews for you guys to enjoy today, including his thoughts on Hammer Films’ The Plague of the Zombies (1966) from Scream Factory and Horror Express (1972) from Arrow Video, as well as Dennis’ take on the Joseph H. Lewis/Columbia film My Name Is Julia Ross (1945) from Arrow Academy. Enjoy! [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

The big news today is that our friends at The Criterion Collection have officially announced the launch date for their forthcoming streaming service, The Criterion Channel. Look for it to debut on 4/8. And those who signed up to be Charter Subscribers can create their accounts today and start watching a new Movie of the Week series until the launch.

Not a day after we hinted at it in our daily column, Lionsgate has officially set Man on a Ledge for release on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on 4/9. Look for it to include both Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite on 3/5, with the Digital release expected on 2/12. Extras will include deleted scenes and The Favourite: Unstitching the Costume Drama featurette.

Fox will also release the Melissa McCarthy drama Can You Ever Forgive Me? on DVD only on 2/19 with Digital due on 2/5. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

[Editor’s Note: We know the cover artwork at left is the same as yesterday. We’ll fix it soon.]

All right, we’ve got just a quick news update for you today, as we’ve got family visiting here this week.

A couple of notes though: I will be reviewing Disney’s Lion King and Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout on 4K Ultra HD. Both releases are worth your time. The latter film is absolutely terrific, and the 4K release does preserve the shifting aspect ratio for scenes filmed in IMAX (which look great).

And though Disney didn’t send out Lion King for review, I did pick up a copy and have given it a cursory look. The HDR grade is restrained, but the wide color gamut makes a big difference for this film, even though it’s traditional hand-drawn animation. And I do believe that a bit more detail is visible in the image (especially in the backgroud artwork) than the Blu-ray. I’ll try to have both reviewed by this time next week, but don’t hesitate to pick up either if you’re interested. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents
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