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)

 

Published in My Two Cents

So I spent a couple hours up in Hollywood yesterday afternoon to cover something pretty interesting…

At a press event at the Screen Actors Guild, members of the UHD Alliance, three major consumer electronics manufacturers, and leading Hollywood filmmakers officially announced a new partnership effort to implement Filmmaker Mode as an extension of the 4K Ultra HD spec.

The idea is to ensure that when you watch a movie at home in 4K on your new Ultra HD display, whether from a disc, stream, or cable/satellite broadcast, it will look exactly as it should. UHD Alliance research suggests that as many as 80% of people who buy 4K TVs never change the settings out of the box. This means irritating features like motion smoothing and unnecessary processing are being applied to the image by default – processing that actually takes the picture away from the filmmakers’ intent.

What the Filmmaker Mode will do is to allow the user – either with one push of a button on the remote, or with a very easy and obvious menu setting – to set the TV’s display parameters to most accurately display the 4K content. This would be a baseline setting for the image – any added adjustments signaled by HDR10, HDR10+, or Dolby Vision metadata would happen on top of that setting. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

“This is a 1983 film with the director of the highest-grossing film of 1980, the cinematographer of the highest-grossing film of 1981, and Sean Connery starring as James Bond. What could go wrong?” – John Cork, author of James Bond Encyclopedia

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of Never Say Never Again, the remake of 1965’s Thunderball and the final film in the long-running series to feature Sir Sean Connery as Agent 007.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include Live and Let DieOctopussy, Casino Royale (1967), Tomorrow Never Dies, Die Another Day, Dr. No, The Living Daylights, The Spy Who Loved Me, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, Casino Royale, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, GoldenEye, A View to a Kill, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Goldfinger, and 007… Fifty Years Strong.

The Bits continues the series with this retrospective featuring a Q&A with an esteemed group of film historians and James Bond authorities who discuss the virtues, shortcomings and legacy of 1983’s Never Say Never Again. [Read on here...]

All right, yesterday’s My Two Cents post apparently got corrupted somehow after we posted it. So we’re going to cover much of the same ground today, plus a lot more.

We start things off (again) today with another new Blu-ray review from Tim Salmons. He’s taken a look at the new 3-disc The Last House on the Left: Limited Edition Blu-ray set from director Wes Craven and our friends at Arrow Video. Sounds like it’s pretty damn solid, so do give it a look.

In announcement news, Shout! Factory has unveiled some great new Blu-ray titles, including a Dragnet: Collector’s Edition (street date 10/30) and The Man in the Iron Mask: 20th Anniversary Edition (due 10/9), both as Shout Select releases. The extras are TBA.

Meanwhile, their Scream Factory label chimes in with a House on Haunted Hill: Collector’s Edition (the 1999 film obviously) which is due to street on 10/9. Extras are TBA, but material from the previous DVD release will carry over. Look also for The Wasp Woman (10/30), a Trick ’r Treat: Collector’s Edition (10/9), The Bride (1985) and an Exorcist II: The Heretic – Collector’s Edition (both on 9/25). [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We start things off today with another new Blu-ray review from Tim Salmons. He’s taken a look at the new 3-disc The Last House on the Left: Limited Edition Blu-ray set from director Wes Craven and our friends at Arrow Video. Sounds like it’s pretty damn solid, so do give it a look.

In announcement news, Shout! Factory has unveiled some great new Blu-ray titles, including a Dragnet: Collector’s Edition (street date 10/30) and The Man in the Iron Mask: 20th Anniversary Edition (due 10/9), both as Shout Select releases!

Meanwhile, their Scream Factory label chimes in with a House on Haunted Hill: Collector’s Edition (the 1999 film obviously) which is due to street on 10/9. Extras are TBA, but material from the previous DVD release will carry over. Look also for The Wasp Woman (10/30), a Trick ’r Treat: Collector’s Edition (10/9), and The Bride (1985) and an Exorcist II: The Heretic – Collector’s Edition (both on 9/25). [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

It’s official. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has just set Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey for release on 4K Ultra HD on 10/30 (SRP $41.99).

The new 4K UHD presentation will feature high dynamic range in both HDR10 and Dolby Vision, with an image newly mastered from the original 65mm camera negative.

The 4K disc will also include both a remixed and restored 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack, as well as the original 1968 6-track 70mm theatrical audio mix (also in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio format).

This will be a 3-disc set, with the film in 4K UHD, a movie Blu-ray Disc of the film (also remastered from the new 4K presentation), a special features Blu-ray Disc, and a Digital Copy. The packaging will include a collectible booklet and art cards featuring iconic images from the film. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Today’s is a quick update here at The Bits as I have my mother visiting from North Dakota until tomorrow afternoon. Thanks for your patience!

Note, however, that I’m going to start posting my reviews of Paramount’s Mission: Impossible films in 4K Ultra HD tomorrow night and I should have them all up by the end of the week. We’ll have more new Blu-ray reviews from Tim as well.

Okay, with that out of the way…

In announcement news today, Studio Canal has just announced the UK release of a new 4K restoration of Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter that’s set for Blu-ray and Digital release on 8/20 and 4K Ultra HD on 10/15, both in the UK. It will also be released in theaters in the UK on 7/4. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got a few interesting things for you today...

First up, be sure you check out the reviews we’ve posted over the last couple days. To recap, my take on Sony’s Fury and Universal’s Pacific Rim: Uprising in 4K, plus Tim’s look at A Pistol for Ringo/The Return of Ringo from Arrow and Zombie 4: After Death from Severin. Enjoy!

Also here today, we’ve updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all kinds of new Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com links. Shopping through our links helps us keep going here at The Bits, so please do (and we appreciate it)!

And we have a couple of 4K Ultra HD title updates for you. First, it looks like 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is releasing the original Predator in 4K on 8/7. Zavvi currently has it available for pre-order in the UK on 8/6, and Amazon US has a new Predator Trilogy Blu-ray box set listed for 8/7, so it’s likely that the 4K disc will be available then as well. Zavvi is also listing a Predator 3-Movie Collection 4K set that would include Predator, Predator 2, and Predators for release that same day. We’ll have to wait and see if Fox announces this officially. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, let’s talk about the latest news from CES 2018 in Las Vegas related to 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and HDR…

First up, the HDR10+ Alliance has announced that Warner Bros. has joined Samsung, Panasonic, 20th Century Fox, and Amazon in supporting their open standard “dynamic metadata” competitor for Dolby Vision. Any content producer who wants to use HDR10+ for their media needs only to pay an small annual fee, but there are no royalty fees, unlike Dolby Vision which requires a license fee for every use.

It will be interesting to see what impact Disney’s purchase of 20th Century Fox might have on this alliance, if any. Will Disney join or will Fox’s participation become more passive?

On a related note, our friends at Scenarist – which creates software and systems for Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, and Ultra HD title authoring – is adding HDR10+ support into the work flow of its Scenarist UHD authoring system, currently used to create many Ultra HD Blu-ray releases. They’re actually demonstrating it in person at CES 2018. So you can expect movie software that supports HDR10+ to start arriving this year. Word is that Amazon will be adding HDR10+ to its 4K streaming offerings in the next few months as well. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
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