Okay... so let's get right to it this morning with an early news post. We've got some good announcement news for you, especially if you like catalog Blu-rays.
First, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and MGM will be releasing more MGM catalog titles on Blu-ray Disc on 3/29, including All Dogs Go to Heaven, All Dogs Go to Heaven 2, Picture This, The Secret of NIMH, Material Girls, Teen Wolf and Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde (SRP $19.99 each). They're also releasing Norman Jewison's musical Fiddler on the Roof on Blu-ray as a new 40th Anniversary Edition on 4/5 (SRP $29.99).
Speaking of MGM, Deadline Hollywood is now reporting that Sony and MGM are near to closing a deal that would allow Sony to become the official distributor of the new James Bond film (a.k.a. Bond 23), while MGM would gain a co-financing stake of Sony's currently filming, David Fincher directed American adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and other productions. This would give MGM badly needed cash flow to finance other productions (for example, the long awaited and in-the-can Red Dawn remake). Here's the bigger problem however: Fox currently has an agreement with MGM to distribute MGM's catalog titles on DVD and Blu-ray, but that arrangement expires later this year. And word from The Hollywood Reporter is that Fox isn't interested in renewing its arrangement with MGM without the Bond film. So if the Bond 23 deal does go through, later this year MGM's catalog home video distribution situation may get a lot more complicated. It could be that if the deal happens and Fox drops MGM catalog in response, Sony could pick that up too. At stake obviously is the fate of additional classic Bond Blu-ray releases and obviously much more. But we'll have to wait and see. Check out the linked stories for more. [UPDATE: The L.A. Times is now reporting that under the new arrangement for Bond, Sony would assume distribution of the MGM catalog on DVD and Blu-ray from Fox.]
Meanwhile, Universal is getting ready to announce the Blu-ray and DVD release of Little Fockers (SRP $39.98 and $29.98), likely for sometime in March or April. Extras will include an alternate open and ending not seen in theatres, a gag reel, additional deleted scenes, The Making of a Godfocker featurette and more.
Sources at Paramount are still claiming that Jackass 3 will NOT be available as a general Blu-ray 3D release (although retail sources still suggest that a Best Buy BD3D exclusive is a possibility). When asked why the studio isn't doing a Blu-ray 3D release, this was the official response: "In an effort to bring the 3D home viewing experience of Jackass 3 to as wide an audience as possible, Paramount is releasing the film in anaglyph 3D on DVD with four pairs of 3D glasses in both the Blu-ray/DVD Combo package and in the Limited Edition Two-Disc DVD available on March 8. This ensures that all consumers with a DVD player will have the opportunity to experience the film in classic 3D at home." Probably not the answer any of you wanted to hear, but there it is.
Also today, Lionsgate has announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of Rabbit Hole on 4/19. Also available on 5/3 from Lionsgate on DVD only are Boy Meets World: The Complete Fifth Season, According to Jim: The Complete Third Season and The PJ's: The Complete First Season.
And Image Entertainment has set The Way Back for Blu-ray and DVD release on 4/19, followed by Passion Play on both formats on 5/24. Don't forget that they also have Twilight Zone: Season 3 due for release on Blu-ray next week (on 2/15).
Here's a look at the cover art for MGM's The Secret of NIMH, Teen Wolf and the Fiddler on the Roof: 40th Anniversary Edition, as well as Universal's The Bionic Woman: Season 2 on DVD (5/17) and Sony's Legends of the Fall and A River Runs Through It Blu-rays (both streeted this week - the former is new to BD and due in at Amazon on 2/11, the latter is a re-issue without BD Book packaging)...
Morning, folks! All right... we've got a new column for you today...
We've also got a look for you at Paramount's new cover artwork for The Fighter on both Blu-ray and DVD (street date 3/15), as well as the DVD art for South Park: The Complete Fourteenth Season on DVD (due 4/26)...
Also, pre-orders are now open on Amazon for all versions of Warner's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (due 4/15). Just click on the cover art below...
All right... we've got a few more announcements for you today...
First though, Russell Hammond has once again updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover art and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, a portion of anything you order after clicking to Amazon through our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate the support very much.
Now then... the big news today is that Paramount has finally officially announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of The Fighter for 3/15, as we first mentioned last week. The DVD will include feature commentary by David O. Russell and The Warrior's Code: Filming The Fighter documentary. The Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack will add deleted scenes, a Digital Copy and the Keeping the Faith featurette on the real life Micky and Dicky. SRP will be $19.99 for the DVD and $29.99 for the Blu-ray.
Meanwhile, Magnolia Home Entertainment has set Four Lions for Blu-ray and DVD release on 3/8 (SRP $29.98 and $26.98). Extras will include interviews with the director and cast, behind-the-scenes featurettes, "background material" and deleted scenes.
Image will release A Beautiful Life on DVD on 3/1 (SRP $27.97).
Maya Entertainment has set The People I've Slept With for DVD release on 3/22 (SRP $27.98).
And for you MMA fans, UFC: Best of 2010 streets on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/29 from Anchor Bay.
Speaking of Anchor Bay, you may recall that last week we mentioned that The Bay and the Dark Delicacies bookstore up in Burbank, California were going to be holding a special Blu-ray/DVD signing event for I Spit on Your Grave tonight. Cast and crew of the recent remake will be on hand, as will the writer/director of the original 1978 version. The signing starts at 7PM (Pacific) and the store is located at 3512 W. Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank (818-556-6000). Click here for more on the Dark Delicacies website, and be sure to drop on by if you're a fan or will be in the area!
Okay, back tomorrow with High-Def Matters. Stay tuned...
Afternoon, folks! Okay... congrats to you Packers fans. That's about all this Vikings fan can say about the Superbowl, but my hats off you to guys. Your team did it the hard way, and deserved the win.
We've got a little bit of release news for you today...
Warner Home Video has set The Man Who Would Be King for Blu-ray release on 6/7 (SRP $34.99) in Blu-ray Book packaging. Extras will include the Call It Magic: The Making of The Man Who Would Be King featurette.
Warner has also set a Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood - Limited Edition for DVD release on 4/26 (SRP $39.92). The documentary disc will come packaged with a companion book.
Warner and Adult Swim are releasing Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Season Cinco on DVD on 5/17 (SRP $19.97).
And Warner and HBO are releasing Wartorn 1861-2010 on DVD on 5/17, followed by Public Speaking on 5/24. Both are documentaries.
Sony has set How Do You Know for Blu-ray and DVD release on 3/22 (SRP $234.95 and $28.95). Extras on the Blu-ray version will include commentary with director James L. Brooks, select scene commentary with Brooks and Owen Wilson, deleted scenes with optional commentary, an interactive script gallery, 3 featurettes (A Conversation with James L. Brooks and Hans Zimmer, Extras Innings and The George) and a blooper reel.
Sony has also set The 19th Wife for DVD only release on 4/19.
Paramount will release the Steven Seagal film Born to Raise Hell on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/19.
Also newly announced by Paramount and Comedy Central is South Park: The Complete Fourteenth Season, which is due on both Blu-ray and DVD on 4/26. Once again, you'll get mini-commentaries by Trey Parker and Matt Stone on all episodes.
Meanwhile, Paramount and CBS have set The Lucy Show: The Official Fourth Season for DVD release on 4/26.
Entertainment One has set Dark Fields for DVD release on 3/22 (moved from 3/15), along with The Big I Am and Consinsual. Following on 3/29 is The Archive of American Television Presents: Anything Goes on DVD, along with Heaven Ain't Hard to Find on DVD and Apocalypse: World War II on both Blu-ray and DVD. A note on Apocalypse: World War II - the 6-part documentary series includes rare archival footage but much of it has been colorized.
And Disney is expected to release a Home Improvement: The Complete Collection DVD box set on 5/10 (SRP $129.99). All eight seasons will be included on 25 discs, and they'll come in custom "toolbox" packaging.
Finally, Shout! Factory has set the Roger Corman's Cult Classics: Jackson County Jail/Caged Heat! - Double-Feature Collector's Edition for DVD only release on 3/22. Both will include new anamorphic transfers. In terms of special features, Jackson County Jail will include audio commentary (with director Michael Miller, producer Jeff Begun and director of photography Bruce Logan), the Leonard Maltin Interviews Roger Corman featurette, the theatrical trailer and more New World trailers. Caged Heat will include commentary (with writer/director Jonathan Demme, director of photography Tak Fujimoto and actress Erica Gavin), a poster and stills gallery, another Leonard Maltin Interviews Roger Corman featurette, the theatrical trailer and more New World trailers.
Shout! has also set the Roger Corman-produced Capone for DVD only release on 3/29 as well, which will include commentary by director Steve Carver and trailers.
Here's a look at the Blu-ray and DVD cover art for Sony's The Tourist (3/22), along with an sneak peek at the BD art for Warner's The Man Who Would Be King Blu-ray...
All right, check back tomorrow for a new High-Definition Matters from Barrie. Stay tuned...
(LATE UPDATE - 2/4/11 - 4PM PST)
All right... a couple of other things for you today...
One other bit of announcement news that we wanted to mention this afternoon: Universal has set The Bionic Woman: Season 2 for release on DVD on 5/17. Look for it to be a 5-disc set, with extras TBA.
Now then... don't forget, there's another new episode of Fringe on Fox tonight! The ratings for the last two week's since the show's move to Friday have been very strong, so let's keep it up. A few more weeks like those and it's likely the network will pick Fringe up for a fourth season. Which would be awesome, because the show's simply never been better. Like I've said before, I highly recommend it, so do check it out - live if you can, and definitely set your DVRs.
Also, I suppose it's no secret that the Super Bowl is this Sunday. I've got no horses in this race this year - my Vikings crapped out of the running early. I've struggled with who to root for - the Packers or the Steelers. Now, as a Vikings fan, rooting for the Packers at ANY time is almost as bad has going and having my gallbladder removed. But I've never really been a huge Steelers fan either. No offense to fans of either team, it's just that your team of choice is your team and that's a serious and personal thing. BUT... I guess it's nice to see an NFC North team representing the division in the big game, even if it isn't the Vikings. And the fact is, the previous season, the Vikings pretty much ate the Packers' lunch and with Brett Favre at the QB position to boot. Very sweet for me, very sour for you Packers fans. So I've decided to give back a little love for you Wisconsin-ites, whom I know so very well, having gone to college at the UW-Madision. Hard as it is for me to say this, here it is: Go Packers.
Wow, that's ever harder than I imagined.
Speaking of the Superbowl, there are always great TV commercials to be enjoyed during the game (all too often they're better than the actual game). But seldom have I seen one that tickled me more than this one, leaked early by the folks at Volkswagen. Whoever came up with this idea, I tip my hat to you. This is a gem - so good I almost hope Lucasfilm includes it as an Easter egg on the upcoming Blu-ray set...
All right, have a great weekend, enjoy the game... and Go Packers. (And don't expect me EVER to say that again.)
(EARLY UPDATE - 2/4/11 - 2PM PST)
Okay, this will be the first of two posts today...
First up, we've got a LOT more details for you on the Blu-ray and DVD release of TRON Legacy and TRON: The Original Classic. There's no official street date announced yet, but retail sources are telling us to expect 4/5 in the U.S. and 4/11 in the U.K. (dates are obviously subject to change until they're officially announced). TRON Legacy will be offered in the following configurations: 1-disc DVD (SRP $29.99), a 2-disc Blu-ray+DVD Combo Pack (SRP $39.99), a 4-disc Blu-ray 3D+Blu-ray+DVD Combo Pack (SRP $49.99) and a 5-Disc 2-Movie Collection of both TRON Legacy and TRON: Classic (SRP $79.99). As we saw yesterday, that 5-Disc Ultimate TRON Experience will also be offered in a special limited edition with the discs packaged in a light-up Identity Disc (this MAY be an Amazon-exclusive or at least limited to select retailers - SRP $99.99). Extras on the TRON Legacy DVD will include a first look at the TRON Uprising Disney XD animated series and 2 featurettes (Visualizing TRON and Installing the Cast). The Blu-ray versions will add the exclusive The Next Day: Flynn Lives Revealed added footage, the Disney Second Screen option to watch the film on a 2nd portable device with exclusive interactive features, Daft Punk's Derezzed music video and 2 more featurettes (Launching the Legacy and Disc Roars - the latter was recorded during last July's panel at Comic-Con). The 4-disc Blu-ray will include add the Blu-ray 3D disc, plus DVD and Digital Copy discs. The 5-Disc 2-Movie Collection will include everything in the 4-disc TRON Legacy Blu-ray, and will add the TRON: The Original Classic Blu-ray as well.
Speaking of which, TRON: The Original Classic will street the same day on 2-disc DVD (SRP $29.99) and 2-disc Blu-ray (SRP $39.99). The DVD will include most of the previous DVD special edition features, along with audio commentary by director Steven Lisberger and others, and the all-new The TRON Phenomenon featurette. To this, the Blu-ray will add the exclusive Photo TRONology. The Blu-ray will also include a bonus DVD.
So that's all the latest information we've been able to confirm. With so much leaking so quickly, I wouldn't expect it to be more than a few days before Disney makes their official announcement, but all but the street date is pretty much accurate above. We'll post any additional details as they are officially released. In the meantime, if you skip down to yesterday's post, you'll see that we've updated ALL the cover art options and all of them should now be available for pre-order on Amazon.com by clicking on the images.
Now then, here's the other great piece of title information today: We've been sitting on this for a little while as we've worked to gather details, but now Amazon.com has leaked the news we can confirm that Anchor Bay Entertainment is getting ready to release Alejandro Jodorowsky's El Topo & Holy Mountain on Blu-ray on 4/26 (SRP $34.98 each)! Retail and industry sources are indicating a solid package of extras for each. El Topo will be included in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio, with audio in the original Spanish in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English dubbed audio and commentary by Jodorowsky. Look also for an interview with the director, a gallery and the trailer. Meanwhile, Holy Mountain has been given a new 2K restoration and will be presented in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Audio will also include English/Spanish 5.1 DTS-HD MA. You'll also get commentary by Jodorowsky, deleted scenes, the trailer, another gallery, a look at the restoration process and something called The Tarot. Pretty darned cool. All of this is still subject to change and has yet to be officially announced, but we expect Anchor Bay to confirm the details via press release very soon. In any case, AWESOME news - especially coming so soon on the heels of Severin's release of Santa Sangre on Blu-ray! We don't have cover artwork yet, but Anchor Bay's El Topo and Holy Mountain Blu-rays can both now be pre-ordered at Amazon.com at the links provided.
All right, we'll be back with more in a bit, including a new Classic Coming Attractions from Barrie. Stay tuned...
All right, Disney hasn't yet officially announced this title, so all information should be taken with a grain of salt. However, lot of official U.S. cover artwork has now leaked from retail sources. Amazon.com has some (we posted some from Amazon.co.fr way back in December) and Bits reader Isny e-mailed some over he obtained from retail sell sheets (he's also posted them on various forums around the Net). The picture that's emerging is exactly what you'd expect. Disney's TRON Legacy and TRON: The Original Classic will be available in a variety of Blu-ray and DVD configurations. [Editor's UPDATE: Multiple retail sources are suggesting to us today that the street date will be 4/5 in the U.S., but that's still officially TBA. All configurations can now be preordered at Amazon.com by clicking on the cover art. Note that we've also added the DVD versions of both films below.] Among those we know for sure: TRON Legacy will be available in a Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo Pack (SRP $49.99) as well as a standard Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD (SRP $39.99) and DVD only (SRP $29.99). (Street date TBA, likely in late May or early June) TRON: The Original Classic will also be available in a Blu-ray/DVD Combo (SRP $39.99) and 2-disc DVD (SRP $29.99) the same day. You'll also be able to buy TRON Legacy 3D and TRON: The Original Classic in a 5-disc Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo 2-Movie Collection (SRP $79.99 - the 5 discs would presumably include a TRON Legacy Blu-ray 3D disc, a TRON Legacy Blu-ray, a TRON: The Original Classic Blu-ray, a DVD disc (one or both films) and a Digital Copy (one or both films), and that same collection will also be available in The Ultimate TRON Experience: Limited Edition (SRP $99.99) with the discs packed in a replica Identity Disc prop that glows. We'll certainly post all the final details when Disney makes their actual announcement. Meanwhile, here are the picture of the cover art we believe is official (or at least near-final)...
Also today, Warner Home Video and Adult Swim have announced the DVD release of Childrens' Hospital: The Complete First & Second Seasons on 5/24 (SRP $29.98). All 22 episodes will be included along with audio commentary with creators and cast, a gag reel, outtakes and deleted scenes, additional "gagging" outtakes the Breaking the Fifth Wall featurette, video of Rob Corddry interviewing his character Dr. Blake Downs and the actor who plays Dr. Blake Downs, Cutter Spindell, Dr. Owen Maestro Answers Questions from Kids, Adult Swim wraparounds, operation footage (with cast commentary) and the I Cured Cancer music video.
Microcinema International has set Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum, Rocaterrania, Merce Cunningham Dance Company: Robert Rauschenberg Collaborations - Suite for Five, Summerspace and Interscape (3 Disc Set) and The Nude in Art on DVD on 2/22.
The Cinema Guild has announced that they're launching a new Blu-ray line with the 4/12 Blu-ray and DVD release of Jeff Malmberg's award-winning documentary Marwencol (SRP $34.95 and $29.95). Extras will include an introduction by film critic Elvis Mitchell, 7 additional story sequences, deleted scenes, Mark Hogancamp's Reaction to the Film, Mark at the "Red Carpet" Premiere, a stills gallery, a theatrical trailer and a collectible Marwencol mini-print by Mark Hogancamp.
Finally, Amazon.com is now taking pre-orders for a 4/5 Blu-ray release of Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Again, watch for the official announcement soon.
(LATE UPDATE - 2/2/11 - 2 PM PST)
Okay, just a quick update: We've added the official cover artwork for The King's Speech to the early post this morning (see below).
Also, Vivendi Entertainment has announced that The Reef will street on Blu-ray Disc on 3/8 (SRP $24.99), followed by Battle of the Warriors on 3/15 and Scary Movie 4 on 3/22 (SRP $19.97 each - both also on Blu-ray).
(EARLY UPDATE - 2/2/11 - 12:01 AM PST)
Morning, folks! Let's get an early post on the books for you guys...
Anchor Bay Entertainment and The Weinstein Company have just officially announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of The King's Speech on 4/19 (SRP $39.99 and $29.98). Extras will include audio commentary with director Tom Hooper, the 20-minute Making of The King's Speech featurette, archival footage of the actual King George VI and more TBA. It's a damn fine film by the way - I just had the pleasure of seeing it the other night. Colin Firth has a pretty good shot at the Best Actor Ocsar for his performance, and Geoffrey Rush is excellent too. Cover artwork will follow shortly, but click on the links above for the Amazon.com pre-order pages. [Updated with official cover artwork.]
Meanwhile, Paramount has set The Fighter for release on Blu-ray/DVD Combo, Blu-ray only and DVD on 3/15. The DVD will include audio commentary by director David O. Russell and The Warriors Code: Filming the Fighter featurette. To this, the Blu-ray will add deleted scenes with optional commentary, the Keeping the Faith featurette and the theatrical trailer. Again, cover art will follow soon but Amazon pre-orders are open now.
And while 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and Fox Searchlight haven't yet officially announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of Darren Aronofsky's The Black Swan, expect official word of the release soon, as Amazon.com is already taking pre-orders for both (SRP $39.99 and $29.98). Here's the cover art Amazon has up...
All right, another day... another round of announcement news...
First though, our own Dr. Adam Jahnke has turned in a new Bottom Shelf review of MPI and Severin Film's fine new Blu-ray edition of Alejandro Jodorowsky's Santa Sangre! It's a great film and a great disc too - one that's well worth your attention - so do check out Adam's thoughts on it.
Also, before we get to the regular news, our own Russell Hammond has just posted his weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. Remember: All three formats can now be searched and accessed on the same page via the handy-dandy drop-down selection menus, so give it a try. 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 really do appreciate it very much.
Okay... let's get to that release news. We've got a couple big items for you today...
First up, Warner Home Video has finally announced that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 will arrive on Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo pack and single-disc DVD on 4/15 (SRP $35.99 and $28.98). The single-disc DVD will include additional scenes. The Blu-ray Combo will add an interactive Maximum Movie Mode (hosted by Jason Isaacs who plays Lucius Malfoy), additional scenes, an exclusive sneak peek at a scene from Part 2 (due in theatres this summer), 4 documentary featurettes (Dan, Rupert and Emma's Running Competition, The Seven Harrys, On the Green with Rupert, Tom, Oliver and James and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 - Behind the Soundtrack), The Wizarding World of Harry Potter promotional trailer, a standard-definition DVD copy and a Digital Copy. WHV will also release new Harry Potter Years 1-7: Part 1 Giftsets on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/15 as well, including the initial releases of each film on disc (not the UCEs). Speaking of which, there's no word yet on the next two Ultimate Edition Blu-ray and DVD releases, but we expect the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: UCE and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince UCE to be available in time for the holidays. Meanwhile, here's the final cover artwork for both versions of this first release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, as well as the Blu-ray version of the Harry Potter Years 1-7: Part 1 Giftset...
Warner has also announced a few more great Clint Eastwood catalog films for release on Blu-ray, including a pair of double features - Every Which Way But Loose/Any Which Way You Can and Heartbreak Ridge/Firefox (SRP $19.98 each) - as well as a Blu-ray "book" release of The Outlaw Josey Wales (SRP $34.99). All will street on 6/7. Here's a look at the cover artwork...
Warner has announced the 4/19 Blu-ray release of Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (SRP $19.98 each). It looks as though all the DVD features will carry over.
Now then... the other big announcement today is that 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has finally (officially) revealed that The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of The Dawn Treader will arrive on Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo, 2-disc DVD Special Edition and single-disc DVD on 4/8 (SRP $39.99 and $29.98 for the Blu-ray combo and 2-disc DVD). Extras on the single disc DVD will include audio commentary by director Michael Apted and producer Mark Johnson, and deleted scenes. The 2-disc DVD SE will add The Untold Adventures of The Dawn Treader animated short, the King Caspian's Guide to the Dawn Treader: Legends and Lore of the Great Ship feature, 5 Islands Explorations, 7 Narnian Discoveries: Friends and Foes of Narnia featurettes, 4 Fox Movie Channel Presents featurettes and a Sword Game. The Blu-ray will include all of the above (much in HD) and will add a Digital Copy.
Also, we don't yet have an official street date or cover artwork, but Amazon.com is already taking pre-orders for the Coen Brothers' remake of True Grit on Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD. If I had to take a guess, my guess is that both will street on or around 3/29, the same day as Paramount's DVD Special Collector's Edition re-release of the classic John Wayne version of True Grit, with cover art that matches the recent Blu-ray release. We'll post official details as soon as we get them.
But while we're talking Paramount, the studio has just informed us that the Blu-ray release of Steven Spielberg's A.I. Artificial Intelligence has been moved from 2/5 to 4/5. As always, adjust your plans accordingly.
And here's something you guys have been asking about: We've confirmed that Amazon.com is among the official retail partners for Fox and MGM's MOD program with Allied Vaughn. So a number of MGM catalog DVD-R titles should now be available for pre-order on Amazon, including Futureworld and others.
In other news today, we wanted to share something with you that we think is pretty damn cool. The New Yorker has just posted a great new and in-depth interview with writer/director Guillermo del Toro that is absolutely worth your time. It's hard not to love Guillermo - not only is he a genuinely sweet human being, he's one of the most talented and creative thinkers and visualists working in the business today. In the article, you'll not only get to learn more about him, but also take a tour of his own personal "house of horrors" AND learn more about his past and future film work, including At the Mountains of Madness and his involvement on The Hobbit. If you're a fan - and I think even if you're new to his work - it's absolutely a must-read. So click here and enjoy!
All right, that's all for today. We'll be back with more tomorrow, and we also have a new Classic Coming Attractions column from Barrie on tap for later this week as well.
And by the way, thank you again for all the well wishes I've continued to receive as I recover from this surgery. They are very much appreciated. I'm finally feeling more myself today, and am enjoying my first cup of coffee in more than a week. It's the little things!
Afternoon, folks! Hope your weekend was a good one.
As for me, I've been in pretty serious pain. The surgery went well, thankfully (and thanks to all those of you who sent well wishes - they were much appreciated!) , but the doctors had to make slightly larger incisions than they expected - even using laparoscopic and all that. Anytime someone cuts through the muscles of your stomach and abdomen you're going to be awfully sore. So while the surgery itself was fairly easy, I felt like 20 guys beat me up afterwards. But the pain has gotten a little better each day, and at least I'm up and around this morning. I should be able to make my usual daily posts this week, but you'll have to forgive me if they're a little shorter than normal. There's only so much gas in the tank right now.
All right... some title announcements...
Sony has set S.W.A.T.: Firefight for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/1 (SRP $30.95 and $24.96). Extras include the Sharp Shooting: On the Set featurette.
Sony has also set The Tourist for release on Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, Blu-ray and DVD on 3/22 (SRP $38.96, $34.95 and $28.95). Extras on the Blu-ray will include director's commentary, 5 featurettes (Canal Chats, A Gala Affair, Action in Venice, Bringing Glamour Back and Tourist Destination) and an outtake reel.
Also newly announced by Sony for release on 3/29 is Made in Dagenham on Blu-ray and DVD ($34.95 and $28.95). Extras will include commentary by director Nigel Cole, The Making of Made in Dagenham featurette and outtakes.
A reminder: Universal will release a slate of double feature catalog Blu-rays on 3/22, including Alpha Dog/Assault on Precinct 13, Elizabeth/Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Friday Night Lights/The Express, Jet Li's Fearless/Unleashed, Mercury Rising/The Jackal and Spy Game/State of Play.
Water Bearer Films is releasing the erotic vampire film Eulogy for a Vampire on DVD on 3/8 (SRP $19.95). Extras will include deleted scenes, screen tests, the Evidence Remains music video and more.
And Entertainment One will release the WWII conspiracy drama Glorious 39 on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/15.
In other news, Remember how we first revealed last year that Fox is preparing to release James Cameron's The Abyss and True Lies on Blu-ray? More confirmation has arrived in the Norwegian magazine Release.no's latest interview with Vincent Marcias from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (marketing), which indicates that both titles are expected to be released in 2011. By the way, the text also apparently indicates that the Star Wars Blu-rays will include "only the latest special edition" versions. Don't kill the messenger. You can read the magazine here (see page 8).
Sony has finally unveiled their new PlayStation Portable handheld gaming system, the NGP (Next Generation Portable) which is said to be nearly as powerful as the PS3. Here's more details at TG Daily.
In even news, those of you who live in the L.A. area and are horror film fans might want to drop by the Dark Delicacies bookstore in Burbank on Tuesday night, February 8th, as they're going to be hosting a special DVD/BD sighing event with the cast and crew of I Spit on Your Grave (2010 - a couple members of the 1978 production might also be on hand). Both titles street on DVD and Blu-ray from Anchor Bay on 2/8. More information will be posted here soon.
Finally today, we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of legendary film composer John Barry, who died yesterday at the age of 77. His film scores included work for such films as Dances with Wolves, Out of Africa, Midnight Cowboy, King Kong (1976), The Black Hole, Somewhere in Time and Chaplin. But it's for his acclaimed work on the James Bond films that he'll always be best remembered, including the scores for Dr. No, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Diamonds Are Forever, The Man with the Golden Gun, Moonraker, Octopussy, A View to a Kill and The Living Daylights. It goes without saying that Barry will be missed, and we tip our caps in his honor today.
All right, folks... this is going to be my last post for the week. I'm taking Friday off, not to be all lazy and sneak off to the beach and such, but because I'm having surgery to remove my gallbladder later this morning. Damn thing's been a pain in the ass for the last couple of years and the experts say you don't need it anyway. So I say, yank it and GOOD RIDDENCE. Well... the process is a little more involved than that, of course. But it should only take an hour or two, and then I'll be back in my bed later this evening to start a weekend-long process of complaining, watching Fringe, catching up on my reading (via Kindle) and generally being a wimp to the pain. Good times.
Anyway, some release news today...
Our friends at Blue Underground are delivering Dario Argento's Deep Red on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/26. They've also announced that Argento's The Cat o'Nine Tails will arrive on Blu-ray Disc on 5/31 (it's already available on DVD). Extras will include the Tales of the Cat featurette (interviews with the director and others), theatrical trailers, TV and radio spots, and radio interviews with stars James Franciscus and Karl Malden.
E1 Entertainment has set Everyday Black Man for DVD release on 2/15 (it had previously been set for 2/1). Adjust your plans accordingly.
Virgil Films & Entertainment is releasing Eyes of the Mothman on DVD on 2/22 (SRP $29.99).
Also, don't forget that the final installment of Stieg Larsson's Dragon Tattoo trilogy - The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - arrived on Blu-ray and DVD this past Tuesday. This is the original Swedish version, so there will be subs, but the films have been pretty good this far. I'm looking forward to seeing it.
Shout! Factory has set a double-feature DVD of Gamera vs. Zigra and Gamera: The Super Monster (the last two films in the franchise) for release on 3/15. Each film in the set will feature a new anamorphic widescreen transfer and a publicity gallery.
Anchor Bay and the Weinstein Company are expected to release The King's Speech on Blu-ray and DVD in April. Our friends over at Blu-ray.com are suggesting a street date of 4/19. We should have official details shortly.
And Image Entertainment has set Beauty & the Briefcase for Blu-ray and DVD release on 2/8.
In other news, I wanted to recommend a new book to you. Our friend Sven Davison (who used to work in DVD production at 20th Century Fox) has written a science-fiction novel called State of Mind, which comes out on 3/1. It's a near-future, cyberpunk-style police thriller, set in Los Angeles, so it's right in Philip K. Dick and William Gibson territory. I've had the privilege of reading it, and it's pretty damn good. So if that's your genre, I think you'll enjoy it. Sven's created a pretty cool promotional website for the book here.
Speaking of books, our old friend Guido Henkel (of DVD Review) has also just published the 9th volume of his Jason Dark: Ghost Hunter series of gothic horror novels. They're pretty fun reading, so if you have a taste for clever heroes battling sinister forces, check them out at his website here.
Finally, we'll leave you with a bit more new Blu-ray cover artwork: 20th Century Fox's The Bible... In the Beginning (due 3/22), Blue Underground's The Cat o'Nine Tails and Warner's Papillon (5/24)...
So there you go. Have a great Friday, a fine weekend and with a little luck I'll see you back here on Monday with the usual. Peace out!
Morning, folks... we've got a quick one for you this morning, but early for a change!
First up though, our own Mark A. Altman returns with a new MOS DEF column for you, featuring his picks for The Best Discs of 2010. It's an interesting read as always, so do check it out.
Now then... I've confirmed with sources that A&E, Network (etc) are hard at work on a Blu-ray release of Space: 1999 - Season Two. Much work remains, but the hope is that you might see it on store shelves by the end of the year. Rest assured, we'll post updates and official details as we get them in the months ahead. Bottom line: If you're a fan of the series and you loved Season One on Blu-ray, the good news is that Season Two is moving forward. [Editor's Note: We removed the street date we posted last night, as it's apparently very tentative and still subject to change. The text has been updated to reflect the situation more accurately.]
Also today, Anchor Bay has set Megan Is Missing for DVD only release on 5/3.
IFC Films will release High Lane, A French Gigolo and Unmade Beds on DVD on 2/8, followed by Leaving, Change of Plans and Room in Rome on 2/22.
Warner Home Video is soon to announce the Blu-ray release of Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker, Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase and Scooby-Doo: Aloha Scooby-Doo! (street dates TBA).
Universal is releasing more Universal Cinema Classics titles on DVD only on 5/10, including Christmas in July, Hail the Conquering Hero, My Little Chickadee and The Sign of the Cross.
And 20th Century Fox is releasing a few more catalog titles on Blu-ray on 3/22, including a Garfield: Double Feature (includes the original Garfield as well as Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties) and John Huston's The Bible (1966).
Also, the Narnia Fans website has posted the final cover art for the Region 1 Blu-ray and DVD versions of The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The title will be released by 20th Century Fox, likely sometime in April (Amazon.co.uk has the R2 release date as 4/18). Thanks to Bits reader Paul M. for the link. Here's a look...
As you can see, we also included the DVD cover art for Universal's Friday Night Lights: The Fifth Season (due on 4/5).
In other news, there's word that director Orson Welles' last film, The Other Side of the Wind (1972), may finally see the light of day in theatres and on disc. The unedited film has been locked away in a vault as the result of a decades-long ownership dispute. But according to Deadline, negotiations for its release may soon be wrapped up. Fingers crossed, as it would certainly be interested to see.
Finally, our old friend Chris Tribbey posted a good story a few days ago on Home Media that I meant to link to. It looks at the emerging tug-of-war between 3DTVs that use active shutter glasses vs. less expensive (but slightly less quality) passive glasses. Worth a read. Just speaking strictly objectively, I have a feeling most average consumers (early adopters aside) are going to prefer the cheaper option - even at the loss of a little bit of quality - until glasses are no longer needed.
All right, we've got some more interesting news for you today, and a review as well...
First, our own Russell Hammond has once again updated our Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest cover art and Amazon.com pre-order links. He's also reconfigured the section so that you can browse and search for Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game all from the same page! All you have to do is select your format of choice from the drop-down menus right above the cover art, then use the menus to sort the results as you like. We think this will make the section much more useful and easy to use. As always, a portion of anything you order from Amazon after clicking to them from our pages goes to help support our work here at The Bits, and we REALLY do appreciate it.
Also today, our own Barrie Maxwell has checked in with a new review of 20th Century Fox's 18-disc and amazing Elia Kazan Collection box set on DVD. The set contains a whopping 15 films directed by Kazan, along with a 22-page folio and a 100-page hardback companion book. Do check it out.
We've also kicked off a pair of new Giveaways, giving each of you the chance to take home copies of Warner's E.R.: The Complete Fourteenth Season and Walking Shadows' The Nature of Existence on DVD! Entries will be accepted until Sunday, January 30th at Noon (Pacific). Click on the links for instructions on how to enter the drawing, and good luck!
In news today, it looks like Best Buy has arranged more exclusive Blu-ray catalog titles for release in the months ahead. Visiting this page on their site currently reveals some 17 titles, including (in addition to those we've already mentioned) the following from MGM: Hotel Rwanda, Leaving Las Vegas, The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), The Manchurian Candidate (1962) and Dead Man Walking (all due 5/3).
In other release news, 20th Century Fox has set Danny Boyle's 127 Hours for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/1 (SRP $39.99 and $29.98). The DVD will include commentary with Boyle, Christian Colson & Simon Beaufoy and deleted scenes, while the Blu-ray will add 2 featurettes (Search & Rescue and 127 Hours: An Extraordinary View), Luke Matheny's short film God of Love and a Digital Copy.
Fox has also set Love & Other Drugs for Blu-ray and DVD release on 3/1 (SRP $39.99 and $29.98). The Blu-ray version will include deleted and extended scenes, 4 featurettes (An Actor's Discussion, Beautifully Complex, Reformed Womanizer and Selling Love & Other Drugs) and a Digital Copy.
Meanwhile, Shout! Factory has finally set ReBoot: Seasons 1 & 2 for DVD release on 3/1 (SRP $29.93). The 4-disc set will include all 23 episodes with commentary. Meanwhile, ReBoot: The Definitive Mainframe Edition 9-disc DVD set will be available exclusively at ShoutFactoryStore.com and the official fan site (ReBoot.com) in March, and then will arrive on store shelves later in 2011.
Image Entertainment has announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of the HandMade Film titles Five Corners and A Private Function on 2/8 (SRP $17.97 for Blu-ray and $14.98 for DVD).
Disney has released a little more information about their 3/29 release of Tangled on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD (see details and artwork here). The discs will include 3 deleted scenes (The Jaunty Moose, Chemistry Develops and Vigor the Visionary) along with a pair of extended songs (When Will My Life Begin and Mother Knows Best). You'll also get two alternate versions of the film's opening, 9 teaser commercials and a 50th Animated Feature Countdown celebrating Tangled's status as the 50th animated film from The Walt Disney Studios.
Lionsgate has set My Girlfriend's Back for DVD release on 3/1, followed by Hyenas on 4/19.
And Severin Films is releasing Birdemic on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/22 (SRP $29.98 and $24.98), featuring a pair of audio commentaries, deleted scenes and featurettes.
Here's a look at the Blu-ray cover art for 127 Hours, Love & Other Drugs and A Private Function...
Afternoon, everyone! Hope the day finds you all well...
In announcement news today, Universal has set Friday Night Lights: The Fifth Season for DVD only release on 4/5. No word yet on extras if any, but the 3-disc set will include all 13 episodes of the series' final season. These episodes have been airing on DirecTV's The 101 since October, and will wrap on February 9th. They'll air on NBC sometime later in 2011.
Meanwhile, Warner has set Papillon for release on Blu-ray Disc on 5/24 (SRP $34.99) in a new Blu-ray Book edition completed with 32-pages of text and photos. Extras will include the vintage The Magnificent Rebel featurette.
Warner is also releasing the 7-episode TCM series Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood on DVD on 4/26 (SRP $39.92). The set will include a book with 40 pages of vintage photos and other material.
Sony has announced a bunch of catalog film titles for release (and in some cases, re-release) on DVD only on 4/5. These include The Bedford Incident, Buck and the Preacher, The Heroes of Telemark, Lost Command, The Night of the Generals, Sahara, Texas Cyclone, Enigma (2001) and The Longest Drive.
DreamWorks will re-issue Kung-Fu Panda on Blu-ray/DVD Combo on 4/5. Also coming from Paramount on DVD only on 4/5 are Wallenberg: A Hero's Story and iCarly: Season Two, Volume 3, followed by Go, Diego, Go!: Diego Saves the World, Max & Ruby: Rainy Day Play and The LXD: Seasons 1 & 2 on 4/12. By the way, Paramount is releasing The Brady Bunch Movie Collection on DVD only on 3/22, which will include (The Brady Bunch Movie, A Very Brady Sequel, Growing Up Brady and The Brady Bunch in the White House).
Vanguard has set a number of titles for DVD only release on 3/29, including Afterlife, Becoming Eduardo, Tiny Little Lies and The Waterhole.
Trinity is releasing the Swedish film Involuntary on DVD on 2/28.
Image Entertainment is releasing Chain Letter on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/1.
Well Go USA's The Man from Nowhere will debut on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/8. The actioner was South Korea's highest grossing film of 2010.
And Maya Entertainment is releasing The Zombie Farm on DVD on 3/8.
In other news today, our friends over at The Blu-ray Blog.com have some interesting information on upcoming Blu-ray versions of MGM's Blue Velvet (which we first revealed was coming to Blu-ray back in December) and Warner's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (due sometime in April). As always, any information about upcoming titles should be taken with a grain of salt until they're officially announced, but it information is all accurate to our knowledge. Do check it out.
Finally, remember our news about the Extended Versions of the Lord of the Rings films coming to Blu-ray later this year? Well, our friends over at The One Ring.net posted a little bit more information. The expectation is that the release will be an exact or near-exact port of the previous Extended Edition DVD sets, with the films obviously now in HD video with lossless audio. It's remotely possible that you might also see some kind of teaser video for The Hobbit. I'd personally be happy if the set just included everything that was on the 4-disc DVD sets, along with those 3 newer documentaries that were only on the more recent Limited Edition DVD sets. (The Limited Editions were the DVDs that included BOTH the theatrical and extended cuts via seamless branching - see our DVD review here. Each also had a second disc with a NEW documentary on that making of the film.) That way, at the very least, you could count on being able to ditch all your previous DVDs when you upgrade to Blu-ray. As for the future "ultimate" editions, don't look for those until after the Hobbit films are finished, as Jackson likely won't have a lot of time to create new bonus content until then... and no truly "ultimate" set could be released without the Hobbit films anyway.
Okay, we've got a last few bits of announcement news for you this week...
First, a quick update on a comment from yesterday: I mentioned Sony's 2/8 reissues of Legends of the Fall and A River Runs Through It on Blu-ray. Turns out (as a couple of readers correctly pointed out) Legends of the Fall has NEVER been released on Blu-ray before! It's funny - there's cover art for such a release everywhere, and as I recall it was announced once before a couple years ago, so for some reason I thought it HAD been released already. Just shows you how hard it is to keep track of all the titles that are announced, released, rumored or announced but then unreleased on two formats! Ah well...
Meanwhile, Warner Home Video will release an animated Batman 3-Pack on DVD on 3/22 (SRP $19.97), featuring Batman: The Brave and the Bold - Volume One, The Batman: Training for Power - Season One, Volume One and The Batman/Superman Movie.
Alpha Video has announced a bunch of serial and deep catalog DVD titles for release on 1/31, including Cult Movies TV, Chaplin and his Impersonators, Randolph Scott: Man of the Forest, Lost Treasures of the West: Desert Man, Lost Treasures of the West: Rainbow Riders, Wally Wales: The Sundown Trail, Tom Mix: In the Days of the Thundering Herd, Bob Steele: Ridin' the Lone Trail, Bob Steele: South of Santa Fe, Timber Terrors, Hypnotized, Cowboy G-Men: Volume 4, Meet Corliss Archer: Volume 6, In Old Santa Fe and The Rawhide Terrors.
And Paramount and Nickelodeon will release Invader Zim: Operation Doom on DVD only on 2/22.
In other news, don't forget that J.J. Abrams' Fringe returns to Fox on its new night this evening (at 9PM/8 Central - see my recommendation of the show from earlier this week here). If you love the show, make sure to tune in LIVE tonight to help keep the ratings up! DVR, iPhone, streaming and DVD/BD viewing - good as it is - doesn't count as much as raw live numbers in the ratings and saving the show for more seasons to come. More here and here's a video of the show's producers discussing the movie to Friday night...
Finally, did any of you happen to see Warner's recent live action/CG Yogi Bear? You might have felt differently about it had the theatrical cut included this "joke" ending devised by independent animator Edmund Earle. Pretty clever (and slightly creepy)!
Back on Monday with a new British Beat from Barrie. Good luck to your NFL teams of choice in the NFC and AFC Championship Games this weekend!
Afternoon, folks! We've a few more interesting title announcements for you today...
Shout! Factory has announced that the classic TV Dennis the Menace: Season One will arrive on DVD for the first time ever on 3/29. The 5-disc set will include all 32 original uncut episodes for just $29.93. Extras will include new interviews with Jeannie Russell and Gloria Henry, vintage radio interviews with Russell and Henry, a bonus episode of The Donna Reed Show featuring Jay North as Dennis Mitchell and Joseph Kearns as Mr. Wilson and original TV promos.
Lionsgate will release I Love You Phillip Morris on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/5, along with the DVD release of KJB: The Book That Changed the World and Tyler Perry's House of Payne: Volume Seven. Muay Thai Fighter and Mandrake will follow on DVD only on 4/12.
Warner Home Video has set The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: The Complete Sixth Season for DVD only release on 4/19.
Anchor Bay will release the Roger Corman produced Dinoshark on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/26 (SRP $24.99 and $19.98). Keep in mind, this is different than Corman's Sharktopus, which streets on both formats on 3/15. Speaking of Sharktopus... best promotional swag item ever:
Now then... Vivendi and Weinstein will release The Reef on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/8, followed by Battle of the Warriors on both formats on 3/15 and Scary Movie 4: Unrated on both formats on 3/22.
First Run Features will release the documentary Kings of Pastry on DVD on 2/22.
MVD has confirmed a 3/22 street date for Midnight Legacy's Alien 2: On Earth on DVD and Blu-ray.
Image Entertainment has set the ABC family film Beauty and the Briefcase for Blu-ray and DVD release on 2/8.
And Phase 4 Films has set Adventures of Power for DVD release on 1/25.
By the way, for those of you wondering about Sony's 2/8 Blu-ray re-issues of Legends of the Fall and A River Runs Through It, they're just re-promotes with new cover art. The actual disc-based content and transfers are the same. Meanwhile, still no revised street date for Ishtar, though I'm told one is expected soon.
Speaking of Sony, it looks like the company is finally releasing Heavy Metal on Blu-ray, but as a retailer exclusive title at Best Buy. Watch for it to arrive at your local Best Buy store on 2/1 (SRP $19.95). Also coming as Best Buy exclusive Blu-ray releases on 2/1 are Lionsgate's The Cove, Still Waiting... and Rules of Attraction, along with Universal's Out of Sight (though unless it's an exclusive version, the latter might be an error, as it's already been widely announced). Following on 2/8 is Rogue's My Soul to Take. Best Buy also lists The Manchurian Candidate as a 5/3 exclusive, but since the Denzel Washington version is already available on Blu-ray this could mean the MGM original film directed by John Frankenheimer. Or it could just be an error. We'll see.
And in other news, for those of you interested in Nintendo's new 3DS handheld 3D gaming system, the company has announced that it will hit stores on 3/27 for around $250, with about 30 game titles expected by this summer. Mashable has more.
Here's a look at a little more BD cover art: Universal's Daylight (due 4/26) and Sony's The Cable Guy: 15th Anniversary Edition (3/1) and Stand by Me: 25th Anniversary Edition (3/22)...
We've got a couple more title announcements for you today...
First, Disney's Tangled will now officially street on Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo, Blu-ray/DVD Combo and single-disc DVD on 3/29 (SRP $49.99, $39.99 and $29.99). The DVD will include the film's original Storybook openings. The Blu-ray versions will add deleted scenes, extended songs and the Untangled: The Making of a Fairy Tale featurette. Here's a look at the cover art for all three versions...
Also, 20th Century Fox has announced a few more catalog titles for release on Blu-ray on 3/22, specifically geared towards younger and family audiences. Among them are the animated Anastasia, Because of Winn-Dixie, Dr. Dolittle [the Eddie Murphy version, sadly - not the 1967 Rex Harrison version most of you really want], Flicka, Robots and The Sandlot (SRP $24.99 each).
Meanwhile, Warner and the NFL have set The Top 10: NFL Greatest Players on DVD on 2/1 (SRP $24.98).
HBO (via Warner) will release Teenage Paparazzo on DVD on 3/29.
Pathfinder has set Claude Chabrol's The Twist (Folies bourgeoises) for DVD release on 3/22, along with René Gainville's The Associate (L'associé).
Acorn Media will release the British programs Discovering Hamlet, Garrow's Law, Single-Handed and the Blue Murder Complete Collection on DVD on 3/1.
CAV Distributing will release Impulse Picture's Aphrodisiac! on DVD on 3/8.
Image Entertainment will release Ronald Reagan: An American Journey on DVD on 2/1 (SRP $19.98).
And First Run Features has just released Love Kittens: Four Sexy Classics from the 60s on DVD (SRP $49.95 - includes The Nude Set, The Twilight Girls, Sweet Ecstasy and Daniella by Night). It's available now.
A couple other things today...
We wanted to give a nod to the mastering folks at MGM and 20th Century Fox. They've been doing a helluva job with both studios' catalog releases of late, including the Alien Anthology set, The Sound of Music, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Raging Bull, Dances with Wolves and even the recent MGM/Target-exclusive releases - Four Weddings and a Funeral, Honeymoon in Vegas, The Cutting Edge, etc. The quality on the Target deep catalog titles is better than we would have expected - especially for just $9.99 each. Some actually have bonus features that were never included on DVD (previously-unseen featurettes and even HD trailers). And the A-list titles have been terrific almost across the board. We do wish that Fox in particular would revisit a few of its earliest BD releases in better quality, including Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World and Patton (which badly needs a new HD transfer sans noise-reduction). That said, we're very impressed with the high quality of the work they've been doing lately, and we certainly hope it continues. Hats off!
Finally this evening, I wanted to give shout out for a great TV series you should all be watching that returns with new episodes this Friday night (at 9PM/8 Central): Fox's Fringe. This J.J. Abrams produced series (created by the same team behind the Star Trek big screen revival) owes a debt to the classic The X-Files, in that you've got a coed pair of FBI agents investigating paranormal activity. But Fringe is WELL on its way to surpassing The X-Files in terms of the quality of its ongoing storyline, not to mention the fact that the Fringe creative team really seems to understand - and have well-planned in advance - the show's overarching mythology. The show knows where it's going dramatically, and has been layering clues in right from the start. Series stars Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson and John Noble (you might recall him as Denethor in The Lord of the Rings) deliver terrific performances each week (as Special Agent Olivia Dunham, FBI consultant Peter Bishop and Peter's slightly-mad scientist father Walter), and this season's storyline has been absolutely riveting. Imagine that our world is suddenly under siege by a nearly-identical world from another dimension, so the good guys find themselves in conflict with alternate-universe versions of themselves. Meanwhile, strange "observers" watch events in both dimensions unfold and occasionally manipulate them in puzzling ways. Bottom line: Fringe is just fantastic - one of the best things on TV and, for my money, the best genre show since Battlestar Galactica. The reason I mention it, is that because of the return of American Idol, Fox has moved Fringe to the infamous Friday night "death slot" that claimed Firefly, The Lone Gunmen, Dark Angel, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Dollhouse and so many other Fox genre series of recent years. In fact, only The X-Files has ever thrived in that time slot. The good news is that the network claims it's aware that Fringe does well in DVR and streaming viewing, so all it has to do is maintain its Thursday night audience numbers to live on for many seasons to come. Needless to say, it's VERY important that fans who love the show actually tune in to watch live starting this Friday night. Fringe made a TON of TV critics' Top 10/Best of TV lists recently and has won some awards too (E! Online, New York Post, Entertainment Weekly, IMDB (see #4), Time.com, People's Choice Award, TV Overmind) - trust me, it's worth watching. The show is only 9 episodes into Season Three, and both Seasons 1 and 2 are now available via DVD, Blu-ray and Digital Download, so it's easy to catch up. Trust me: If you love genre TV and you're not watching Fringe - you should be! Tune in on Friday night and give it a try. Here's a promo...
All right - back tomorrow. Stay tuned...
Afternoon folks! We've got a couple more announcements for you, along with a few other interesting items.
First though, our own 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.
Now then... Universal has announced another new catalog Blu-ray release: What Dreams May Come, which is expected to street on 5/3.
Here's a quick to disc title: Sony has set Burlesque for release on Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack and DVD on 3/1 (SRP $34.95 and $28.95). Blu-ray extras will include director's commentary, movieIQ +sync (featuring the Burlesque playlist), an alternate opening, a blooper reel, The Burlesque Lounge: Alternate Full Musical Performances and 5 featurettes (Burlesque is Back!, The Performers: The Cast of Burlesque, Setting the Stage: Production Design & Performers, Inside the Dressing Room: Creating the Burlesque Look and The Set List: The Music & Choreography of Burlesque).
Sony has also set Faster for Blu-ray and DVD release on 3/1 (SRP $34.95 and $24.96). Extras on the Blu-ray will include a PS3 theme, movieIQ+sync, deleted scenes and an alternate ending with director's introduction and 2 featurettes (Weapons and Wheels: The Guns, Cars and Stunts of Faster and Bank Heist).
The studio will also release the documentary Inside Job on both formats on 3/8 (SRP $34.95 and $28.95). Extras will include audio commentary with director Charles Ferguson & producer Audrey Marrs, The Making of Inside Job featurette and deleted scenes.
Meanwhile, Revolver Entertainment will release the romantic comedy French Film on DVD only on 2/7.
Eagle Rock Entertainment will release Jeff Beck: Rock 'N' Roll Party Honoring Les Paul on DVD and Blu-ray on 2/22 (SRP $19.98 and $14.98).
And Warner has just released a statement saying that the previously-announced 1/25 Blu-ray release of Malcolm X has been delayed because of a music clearance issue. All parties are apparently working toward a resolution, but until that happens WHV is no longer distributing the title. Hopefully, the situation will get resolved soon.
On the music Blu-ray front, are any of you out there fans of The Social Network, and the film's amazing soundtrack by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross? Well... Null has released the soundtrack in a whole bunch of disc and digital versions, including a $20 Blu-ray Audio disc that includes the music in both 5.1 and 2.0 lossless. If you buy the Blu-ray Audio version, you also get an immediate free download of the 2.0 soundtrack as well in your choice of 320kbps MP3, FLAC or Apple Lossless. Not bad. It's a great soundtrack, and it's winning a lot of awards right now, so if you're interested, here's your chance to check out a Blu-ray Audio disc at a good price and get some nice perks too. I've purchased a copy myself and am really looking forward to it. Meanwhile, the instant downloads sound pretty great.
In other, related news today, do you guys recall that a few months ago, we mentioned that crazy amazing (and expensive - $1500) book that Taschen did for Stanley Kubrick's Napoleon? Well... the good news is that a mass market version (containing all of the same contents) is now finally set to be released on 4/1 for just $69.99. Better still, it's already available for pre-order on Amazon.com for just $44. So if you were interested the first time around, but rightly said "That's nuts!" to the $1500 price tag, here's you're chance to pick it up for a much more reasonable price.
Finally today, ars technica has a good summary up from CES on the latest developments in 3D HDTV without the glasses. It's a nice little round-up and a look at where the technology is going, so it's well worth a read. I still think fully-refined 3D sans glasses is good decade away yet, but it's clear to me at least that 3D is here to stay and that's the direction we're ultimately going... even if it's going to take a while to get there.
Here's a look at some more new Blu-ray cover artwork: Disney's Tangled (TBA), Warner's Arthur/Arthur 2 double feature (due 4/5), Sony's Burlesque and Faster, and Paramount's Jackass 3 (3/8) and Morning Glory (also 3/8)...
Afternoon, folks. I know some of you have today off, but for those of you who are checking in today, let's have some news shall we?
First of all, Paramount has announced that it's releasing another interesting retailer-exclusive catalog title on Blu-ray: Almost Famous Untitled: The Bootleg Cut will be available on Blu-ray exclusively at Best Buy stores starting on 1/30/11. In addition to the director's cut of the film, you'll get audio commentary with director Cameron Crowe, an intro by Crowe, The Making of Almost Famous featurette, an interview with Lester Bangs, Cameron Crowe's Top Albums of 1973, Love Comes and Goes and Small Time Blues, the Fever Dog music video, a number of vintage Rolling Stone articles, B-Sides, video of the Cleveland Concert, Stairway, the script and the theatrical trailer - in short, a lot of what was on the previous DVD version. SRP is $29.99. The new version isn't up on the Best Buy website yet, but here's what it looks like...
As you can see, I also posted a picture of one of those Target-exclusive MGM Blu-ray catalog titles (which include Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Cutting Edge, Honeymoon in Vegas, Overboard, The Magnificent Seven, A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More). We're getting reports that they aren't available at all Target stores at the moment, and strangely they aren't listed on the Target.com online store. But at least some stores do have them, for $9.99 each. As you can see, they're marked with an "Only at Target" sticker.
Let's have some new titles announcements...
Criterion has revealed their April release slate, which is set to include Claire Denis' White Material (Cat #560) on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/12, Ken Loach's Kes (#561) on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/19 and Brian De Palma's Blow Out (#562) on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/26, along with Blu-ray upgrades of Jean-Pierre Melville's Le cercle rouge (#218 - on 4/12), Jane Champion's Sweetie (#356 - on 4/19) and Terry Gilliam's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (#175 - on 4/26). Yet another great month for the Collection!
Warner Home Video has set a double-feature Blu-ray of Arthur/Arthur 2: On the Rocks for release on 4/5.
Warner has also set a Tracy and Hepburn: The Definitive Collection DVD box set for release on 4/12, but sadly there's no Blu-ray planned. The set will include Woman of the Year, Keeper of the Flame, Without Love, Sea of Grass, State of the Union, Adam's Rib, Pat and Mike, Desk Set and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. SRP will be $59.92. This is the first time that Keeper of the Flame and Sea of Grass have been available on DVD, so they'll also be available separately for $19.97 each.
And Ariztical Entertainment is releasing Vampire Boys on DVD on 3/8.
Meanwhile, here's a look at some new Blu-ray cover art for recently announced titles: Lionsgate's The Next Three Days (due 3/8), 20th Century Fox's Unstoppable (2/15), Universal's Skyline (3/15), Paramount's The Ten Commandments (3/29), Criterion's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and early U.K. cover art for Disney's as-yet-unannounced TRON: Legacy/TRON: The Original Classic Blu-ray 2-pack (TBA)...
Here's also a look at Paramount's The Ten Commandments boxed gift set...
All right... we've got some pretty interesting things for you today...
First, I've heard back from Universal here in the States. The situation is actually kind of amusing. Over the years, we've discovered that the studio operations in Europe are MUCH more likely to leak details of upcoming titles (prior to official announcements) than their counterparts here in the States. Obviously, the marketing director for Universal in France has done just that (see yesterday's post), indicating that the Jurassic Park films, Scarface and several other titles are on the way to Blu-ray in 2011. The official U.S. studio response is a little more cagey. Essentially, I've been told that Universal IS actively planning to release more of its catalog titles on Blu-ray this year, and the studio acknowledged that the titles mentioned by Eric Legay are under active consideration. So you've heard of a "non-denial denial"? What we have here is a "non-confirmation confirmation". We expect you'll begin to see official announcements over the coming weeks and months. We would imagine that something as big as the Jurassic Park trilogy would be a big late 3rd or early 4th quarter release. So make your (tentative) plans accordingly.
Speaking of leaks out of Europe, there's now word spreading around the Net that Warner will be releasing Stanley Kubrick's Lolita and Barry Lyndon on Blu-ray Disc in Europe on 5/18. Warner hasn't officially announced them yet, obviously, but they've previously acknowledged that they're coming. On that note, we've checked in with our industry sources on this again today, and they've confirmed that Warner Home Video IS going to be releasing Lolita and Barry Lyndon on Blu-ray this Spring (here in the States and elsewhere) as part of a larger Kubrick promotion. Watch for official news in the coming weeks.
What's more, our sources are NOW telling us that WHV (and their now in-house New Line label) is ALSO planning to release Peter Jackson's long-awaited The Lord of the Rings Trilogy: Extended Editions on Blu-ray sometime this year. No kidding. We suspect that, now that The Hobbit films are finally about to begin filming, the studio is eager to get more product on store shelves to keep the franchise fresh in the minds of fans. The Extended Rings films on BD are the obvious choice for this year. Farther down the line, of course, there will be the obvious Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D versions of The Hobbit films, and sooner or later an "ultimate" box set of all the films with all new extras custom created by Jackson. Anyway, we're told to expect some kind of official news from the studio on their extensive plans on this title in the next several weeks.
Not bad for a Friday, huh?
Meanwhile, Image Entertainment will release the first 3 titles in their catalog Blu-ray distribution deal with Sony on 3/22: Against All Odds, Awakenings and Random Hearts. This will be followed by Short Circuit II on 4/19. SRP is $19.97 each. I'm hoping they do Thunderheart, Heavy Metal, Lost Horizon and a number of other catalog titles if Sony doesn't (Heavy Metal was rumored for BD release previously but still hasn't materialized).
Speaking of catalog titles, MGM has just quietly released a few interesting catalog Blu-ray singles exclusively at Target stores, including Overboard, The Magnificent Seven, Four Weddings and a Funeral, A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, Honeymoon in Vegas and The Cutting Edge. SRP is apparently just $9.98 each. Thanks to Bits reader Mark S. for the heads-up.
Also this morning, Shout! Factory and Best Brains are releasing Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies and Mystery Science Theater 3000: Beginning of The End on DVD on 2/15, exclusively at ShoutFactoryStore.com.
Microcinema International has set John Cage: How to Get Started for release on CD (yes, it's a music title) on 1/25, along with Cartune Xprez (animated shorts), Resistance[s] III (experimental films and video art) and Conditioned (Turkish and Kurdish video and film works that explore the shaping of the minds of children).
Acorn Media will release Upstairs, Downstairs: The Complete Series - 40th Anniversary Edition on DVD on 3/29 (SRP $199.99). All 5 series (read: seasons) will be included on 21 discs, along with a 5-part behind-the-scenes documentary, 24 commentaries, the 25th anniversary retrospective, interviews with the cast and crew, and more.
Lionsgate will release The Switch, starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman, on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/15.
And here's a bit of good news for you Rocky & Bullwinkle fans. As many of you know, Vivendi recently released Rocky & Bullwinkle: The Complete Series on DVD, which included the previously unreleased Season 5. Well... for those of you who have already purchased Seasons 1-4 on DVD individually, Vivendi will release Season 5 by itself on 3/29. That's confirmed directly with company reps.
Finally this morning, those of you who are fans of Fox's Sunshine on Blu-ray - and have Sony players (or the PS3) recently firmware upgraded to be Blu-ray 3D compatible - will no doubt be aware that there's been some problems playing the Sunshine disc since the upgrade. The resolution to the problem apparently requires that Fox reauthor the disc to be compatible... and thanks to the lobbying effort of a group of fans of the film on Facebook, the studio has now done so. To arrange a replacement copy, call 1-888-223-4369. They'll need your name, mailing address, and the make/model of your Blu-ray player. Replacement discs should be mailed out in 1 to 2 weeks. Click the link for more details. And special thanks to Bits reader Michael B. the link and his efforts on this, as well as to Fox for addressing it.
That's it for now. Have a great weekend, folks! Back Monday...
Well... we expected this and now at least this much is official: Universal Studios is re-issuing the DVD version of To Kill a Mockingbird on 4/5, on the same days as those Gregory Peck single titles. We expect a new Blu-ray edition of Mockingbird will be announced very soon, with all the extras from the previous DVD version carrying over carrying over.
Speaking of Universal, the French website Ecranlarge.com posted a video interview with the marketing director for Universal France, Eric Legay, in which he indicated a number of likely 2011 Blu-ray releases from the studio including the Jurassic Park films, Scarface, Winchester 73, Shenandoah, High Plains Drifter and possibly one or more additional Hitchcock titles. We believe it's legit and it generally jives with what our sources have been saying, but we've checked in with official reps here at Universal in the States for confirmation. We'll let you know when we hear back.
Here's something cool for you classic TV fans: Our own Dr. Adam Jahnke has learned that Warner is going to be releasing Logan's Run: The Complete Television Series on DVD via their Warner Archive MOD program, including a couple of episodes that never aired during the show's original network run! Limber up, runners!
Meanwhile, Warner and the BBC are releasing Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/15 (SRP $19.98 and $14.98). The Doctor Who: The Movie Special Edition is also coming to DVD on 2/8 (SRP $34.98) along with Doctor Who: The Mutants (SRP $24.98), both remastered.
As we suggested the other day, Warner Home Video has officially announced the release of Life Unexpected: The Complete First and Second Seasons on DVD on 4/5 (SRP $59.98), including all 26 episodes on 6 discs. No Blu-ray has yet been announced however. Extras will include a pair of featurettes.
HBO and Warner have also set Spike Lee's 2-part documentary If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise for DVD release on 4/19.
20th Century Fox has announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of Mao's Last Dancer on 3/29. Extras will include a making of featurette. Fox will also release A Shine of Rainbows on DVD on 3/15.
Shout! Factory has set Captain Planet and the Planeteers: Season One for DVD release on 4/19 (SRP $29.93). The 3-disc set will include tons of bonus content. The animated series features the voice talents of David Coburn, LeVar Burton, Joey Dedio, Whoopi Goldberg, Frank Welker, Meg Ryan, Martin Sheen, Kath Soucie, Dean Stockwell, Jeff Goldblum, Sting and more.
RHI and Vivendi will release Erich Segal's Only Love on DVD on 2/8, with Clover due to follow on 2/22.
Acorn Media will release Man in a Suitcase: Set 1, Pie in the Sky: Series 4, Wish Me Luck: Series 2 and The Agatha Christie Hour: Set 2 on DVD on 1/25.
Severin Films has set Paul W.S. Anderson's first film, Shopping, for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/8 (SRP $24.98 and $19.98). The film also marks Jude Law's film acting debut.
Passion River Films will release the documentary What's the Matter with Kansas? on DVD on 1/25.
MTI Home Video will release the horror film Respire on DVD on 2/15.
Sony will release Woody Allen's You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/15 as well.
And Dark Sky Films will release the B-grade The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu on DVD only, also on 2/15 (SRP $24.98). Looks like it's both a comedy and a scare-fest. Should be interesting.
Finally this morning, Home Media has an interesting story up on anticipated Blu-ray player sales for 2011. Market analysis firm William Blair & Co. and DTS apparently see the possibility of format hardware sales surpassing 32 million units this year.