All right, we've got a bit of good news for fans of Universal's Bionic Woman, who purchased the recent Season Two DVD set. Universal has apparently been able to locate improved audio elements for the episode The Deadly Ringer, Part 1 (which had significant audio problems in the existing DVD set) and is creating a "fixed" Disc 4 with better sound quality. They've sent me the following statement this afternoon, with instructions on how you can get a copy of the fixed disc:
"The initial release of Bionic Woman Season 2 was issued with the best audio elements that the studio had available at the time, which included noticeably imperfect audio from the episode, Deadly Ringer. Constructive feedback and suggestions since provided from fans has led to the uncovering of additional source material to improve the audio on this specific episode.
Consumers not satisfied with their purchase can contact Universal Studios Home Entertainment Consumer Relations by email at USHE.ConsumerRelations@bydeluxe.com or by phone at 888-882-5779 for information on returning Disc 4 which featured the episode, Deadly Ringer, in exchange for a replacement disc with corrected audio."
Glad to see they've worked to address this issue after all. Note that Universal hasn't been able to locate better elements to address a similar audio issue on the episode The Return of Bigfoot: Part 2 (in the same DVD set), but at least this is a step in the right direction. We certainly give them credit for trying to make it right. If any of you have the DVD set and want the fixed disc (and who among you wouldn't?)... there you go.
(EARLY UPDATE - 6/30/11 - 1 PM PDT)
All right, we've got a few more new title announcements and more cover art for you today...
First, Universal has set Halloween II for release as a 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Disc on 9/13. Extras will include an alternate ending and the Terror in the Asles documentary. Audio will be DTS 5.1. [Editor's Note: We're trying to confirm with the studio if Terror In the Aisles is, in fact, the long-desired trailer/scene compilation film from 1984, hosted by Donald Pleasence and Nancy Allen. We'll let you know as soon as we hear back.]
Sony will release Morgan Spurlock's Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold on Blu-ray and DVD on 8/23 (SRP $35.99 and $30.99).
Entertainment One will release John Pinette: Still Hungry on DVD on 8/2, followed by Lavell Crawford: Can a Brother Get Some Love?, Elvira's Movie Macabre: The Terror & Eegah! and Elvira's Movie Macabre: The Brain That Wouldn't Die & The Manster on 8/16, and Phantom Pain and Sinbad and the Minotaur on 8/30.
Warner Home Video will release E.R.: The Complete Fifteenth and Final Season on DVD only on 7/12 (SRP $49.98). Extras on the 5-disc set will include deleted scenes and the Previously on E.R. retrospective featurette.
Image Entertainment will release 2011 NBA Champions: Dallas Mavericks on DVD only on 7/19 (SRP $19.98).
And MGM will be releasing Stargate Atlantis: The Complete Series Gift Set on Blu-ray Disc on 7/26 (SRP $199.99, but $114.99 on Amazon.com - 43% off). Thanks to Canadian Bits reader Terry for the link!
Also today, Peter Gabriel.com has offered up a little more detailed information on the forthcoming "Autumn 2011" release of Gabriel's New Blood CD and - more relevant for Bits readers - his New Blood: Live in London concert DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D release. Click here for that. Gabriel always puts on a great show, and I can't wait to see what that Blu-ray looks like. Heck, the BD3D should be interesting too.
By the way, there have been some suggestions that Lionsgate's just-announced The Others Blu-ray will be a Walmart exclusive. Not so according to the studio's press release. It appears that the title will be a wide release on 9/20 (SRP $14.99). Some of the confusion may stem from the fact that Walmart's online website has listed the title as an exclusive, but Lionsgate recently informed us directly that some of the site's information was incorrect. Note that extras on the disc will include 4 featurettes (A Look Inside The Others, Visual Effects, Xeroderma Pigmentosum: What Is It? and An Intimate Look at Director Alejandro Amenábar), and the theatrical trailer.
Here's the cover art for Lionsgate's The Others, Sony's Legend of the Millennium Dragon (due 10/4) and MGM's Stargate Atlantis: The Complete Series Gift Set all on Blu-ray...
More new announcement news today...
20th Century Fox has set Win Win for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 8/30 (SRP $39.99 and $29.98). Extras will include deleted scenes, 9 featurettes (Tom McCarthy and Joe Tiboni discuss Win Win, David Thompson at Sundance 2011, Alex Shafer at Sundance 2011, In Conversation with Tom McCarthy and Paul Giamatti at Sundance 2011, Family, Tom McCarthy, Wrestling, Amy Ryan and Fox Movie Channel Presents: Direct Effect Tom McCarthy), The National's Think You Can Wait music video and the theatrical trailer.
The studio has also set Glee: The Complete Second Season for Blu-ray and DVD release on 9/13 (SRP $69.99 and $59.98), along with Glee: Season 2, Volume 2 on DVD only the same day (SRP $39.98). Extras on the Blu-ray version of Glee: The Complete Second Season will include the interactive Glee Music Jukebox, 11 featurettes (The Making of the Rocky Horror Glee Show, Getting Waxed with Jane Lynch, The Wit of Brittany, Glee at Comic-Con 2010, Building Glee's Auditorium with Cory Monteith, A Day in the Life of Brittany, Shooting Glee in New York City, Guesting on Glee, Stevie Nicks Goes Glee, Sue's Quips and Santana's Slams), along with a bonus song (Planet, Schmanet, Janet).
Additional TV titles just announced by the studio for release on BOTH Blu-ray and DVD include It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season 6 on 9/13 (SRP $49.99 and $39.98) and Modern Family: Season Two on 9/20 (SRP $59.99 and $49.98). Also coming to DVD only are Raising Hope: Season 1 on 9/20 (SRP $39.98), and How I Met Your Mother: Season 6 (SRP $39.98) and The Cleveland Show: Season 2 (SRP $39.98) on 9/27.
Fox and MGM will also release Dressed to Kill on Blu-ray Disc on 9/6 (SRP $24.99). You'll get the uncut version of the film, along with The Making of Dressed to Kill documentary, 3 featurettes (Unrated, R-Rated and TV-Rated Comparison, Slashing Dressed to Kill and An Appreciation by Keith Gordon), an animated photo gallery and the theatrical trailer.
Also coming from both studios on 9/6 is Madso's War on DVD only (SRP $22.98).
And Fox alone will release single-film Blu-rays of Big Momma's House and Big Momma's House 2 on 9/6 as well (SRP $24.99 each).
Meanwhile, Lionsgate will release Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition - The Workout and No Ordinary Family: The Complete First Season on DVD only on 9/6. The studio has also set Hesher for Blu-ray and DVD release on 9/13. And on 9/20, Lionsgate will release After Dark Originals: 51 on DVD only and Miramax's The Others on Blu-ray on 9/20.
Finally, actor Kevin Pollack has posted a great 2-hour-plus video interview with writer/producer Damon Lindelof (Lost, Star Trek, Ridley Scott's Prometheus, etc) that's well worth your time, if you're interested. It's part of his regular online web show. You can check it out here on YouTube.
Here's a look at the cover art for Win Win, Glee: The Complete Second Season and Dressed to Kill, all on Blu-ray...
All right, sorry for the late post. It's been a little busy around here today - lunch with friends, daily life stuff, etc. Do you guys ever find yourself wishing you had more hours in a single day? ;)
Anyway, judging from the e-mails I've been getting, and a lot of the forum reports today, most people seem to be pretty impressed with the new Lord of the Rings: Extended Edition Blu-rays. To follow up on that WHV statement yesterday, our friend Harry Knowles over at AICN had this to say today:
"Earlier this month there was some hub-bub about some of the Blu Ray forums that the FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING EE Blu-Ray mastering was completely f--ked with an ugly green hint over everything, oblitering any real whites and messing up the entire gorgeous color palate of the film. I wrote Peter Jackson to alert him to the rumors. Peter had Andrew Lesnie look into it – you see… of the 3 films, FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING EE was the only film of the trilogy that did not go through the extensive and expensive Digital Color Grading process. They did that for this. Peter had seen the new mastering of FELLOWSHIP – in fact anyone that had seen it on HD broadcasts recently was looking at the gorgeous master sans any tinting. In Peter’s opinion the film has simply never looked better – including theatrically, because this new digital color grading was something that Peter wanted from the very beginning."
So there you go. And you can now judge for yourselves. By the way, for all those of you about to embark on your own full-day marathons of these films on Blu-ray, I wish you all a great time! Having just done it myself in the last couple of weeks... well, I know that Matt, our friend Luis and I all had a blast with it. We had sore butts from sitting so long, but the thrill was well worth it.
Here at the site today, our own 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, anything your order from Amazon after clicking through to them via our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate
In announcement news today, Warner Home Video has revealed the Blu-ray and DVD release of the Tom & Jerry: The Golden Collection: Volume One on 10/25 (SRP
$34.99 and $26.99). Thanks goodness we're FINALLY seeing more classic animation in HD! Each 2-disc set will offer some 37 shorts, including Puss Gets the Boot, The Midnight Snack, The Night Before Christmas, Fraidy Cat, Dog Trouble, Puss N' Toots, The Bowling Alley Cat, Fine Feathered Friend, Sufferin' Cats, The Lonesome Mouse, The Yankee Doodle Mouse, Baby Puss, The Zoot Cat, The Million Dollar Cat, The Bodyguard, Puttin' on the Dog, Mouse Trouble, The Mouse Comes to Dinner, Mouse in Manhattan, Tee for Two, Flirty Birdy, Quiet Please, Springtime for Thomas, The Milky Waif, Trap Happy, Solid Serenade, Cat Fishin', Part Time Pal, The Cat Concerto, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse, Salt Water Tabby, A Mouse in the House, The Invisible Mouse, Kitty Foiled, The Truce Hurts, Old Rockin' Chair Tom and Professor Tom. Here's a look at the cover art...
As you can see, we also included art for WHV's Something Borrowed Blu-ray (due 8/16).
Meanwhile, Cartoon Network and Warner Home Video will release Adventure Time: My Two Favorite People on DVD on 9/27 (SRP $14.97).
Tartan and Asia Extreme have set The Matrimony for Blu-ray and DVD release on 7/26 (SRP $24.98 and $19.98). Extras will include cast and crew interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and trailers.
Image Entertainment has set The Perfect Game for Blu-ray and DVD release on 8/2 (SRP $29.97 and $27.97).
FilmBuff will release John Carney's Zonad on DVD on 7/19 (SRP $24.98). John was the filmmaker behind the indie, musical-themed classic Once, so it should be worth a look.
Back on the topic of yesterday's Jurassic Park Blu-ray announcement for a moment: Universal's just released the trailer for the set. Here it is...
And in other news today today, Bits reader Antonio L. sent in an e-mail to let us know that director David Lynch has confirmed (via Twitter) that he's working on deleted scenes from Blue Velvet - hopefully for a new Blu-ray release.
And Bits reader Klow W. also e-mailed a link to actor Greg Evigan's Twitter feed, in which he indicates that the TV series B.J. and the Bear may be coming to Blu-ray and DVD in 2011. Fascinating...
Finally today, musician Peter Gabriel has announced (via the latest Full Moon update on his website) that his New Blood album will be released this fall. It also appears that he's releasing a new concert performance - New Blood: Live in London - on DVD and Blu-ray/Blu-ray 3D this fall as well. More here.
That's all for now. Stay tuned!
(LATE UPDATE - 6/27/11 - 3:30 PM PDT)
All right... I'm sure this announcement is going to liven-up discussion around the Interwebs. As many of you are aware, Warner's new Blu-ray release of The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy - Extended Edition finally arrives in stores tomorrow. It's a damn fine box set, that we think you'll all enjoy (see our review here). Meanwhile, a few of you may be aware that there's been some controversy regarding screenshots and the color timing of the new 2K-remastered presentation of Fellowship of the Ring. Our feeling here at The Bits is that it's been blown out of proportion, as things tend to be these days. However, just to be sure, we started a process a couple weeks ago (before we posted our review) to encourage Warner Home Video and Wingnut Films to investigate the matter to make sure that the discs streeting tomorrow truly and accurately represent the creative vision of director Peter Jackson and cinematographer Andrew Lesnie. That process has been on-going, involving Wingnut and the filmmakers, and it appears it's finally concluded. Here's the studio's official statement on the issue, as of this afternoon:
"Warner Bros Home Entertainment Group confirms that The Lord of the Rings The Motion Picture Trilogy Extended Edition Blu-ray accurately represents the intended look of each of the three features.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring™ was remastered from the original digital production files in order to reproduce the full color imagery of the feature."
So there it is. We have little doubt that the controversy will continue in some quarters, and that those who are convinced there's a problem here will continue to feel that way. Nevertheless, we are told that the filmmakers have checked the discs and confirmed this is the intended look. We suspect that when the discs are actually in YOUR hands tomorrow, the vast majority of you will be very happy with them. We further suspect that many of those who've been following the controversy for the past couple of weeks will wonder what the fuss was about. It shall be interesting to see what the 'morrow brings. Much rejoicing (and a bit of talk about 'revisionism'), we predict.
By the way, one other note on Rings: For those of you who have been wondering if the downloadable Digital Copies versions of the films are the actual Extended Editions... they are. I've downloaded them myself to confirm. The quality is low compared to the Blu-rays, of course, but if you want the EEs available in more portable versions, you'll have them.
(EARLY UPDATE - 6/27/11 - 12:15 PM PDT)
All right... the BIG bit of announcement news today is that Universal has finally officially unveiled their plans (as we've mentioned here and here before) to release the Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy on Blu-ray and DVD on 10/25 (SRP TBA). It appears there will also be a Gift Set version of the Blu-ray that includes a T-Rex/park gate maquette. All three films have apparently been digitally restored and remastered, and their soundtracks will be presented in 7.1 DTS-HD MA format. It appears that all (or nearly all) of the previously-released DVD extras will carry over to the new set, and you'll also get an all-new, 6-part documentary on the making of the films (that's more than 2 hours long), as well as digital copies of all three films. The new documentary is called Return to Jurassic Park (including Dawn of a New Era, Making Pre-history, The Next Step in Evolution, Finding The Lost World, Something Survived and The Third Adventure). Previous/additional extras will include The Making of Jurassic Park, The Making of The Lost World: Jurassic Park, The Making of Jurassic Park III, Steven Spielberg Directs Jurassic Park, Early Pre-Production Meetings, The World of Jurassic Park, The Magic of Industrial Light & Magic, Location Scouting, Phil Tippett Animatics: Raptors in the Kitchen, The Jurassic Park Phenomenon: A Discussion with Author Michael Crichton, Industrial Light & Magic and Jurassic Park: Before and After The Visual Effects, Industrial Light & Magic and The Lost World: Jurassic Park Before & After, The Industrial Light & Magic Press Reel, A Visit to Industrial Light & Magic, Hurricane in Kauai, Dinosaur Turntables, The Dinosaurs of Jurassic Park III, Montana: Finding New Dinosaurs, Animatics: T-Rex Attack, The Special Effects of Jurassic Park III, The Sounds of Jurassic Park III, The Art of Jurassic Park III, Tour of Stan Winston Studio, feature commentary with the special effects team (on Jurassic Park III), Production Archives galleries (of storyboards, models, photographs, design sketches and conceptual drawings, deleted scenes, theatrical trailers and more. Plus, the Blu-ray versions will also include all the usual BD-Live, BD-Java and U-Control options. Here's a look at the cover art for both...
As you can see, we've also included art for Sony's Muppets from Space and The Muppets Take Manhattan Blu-rays (due 8/16), as well as Paramount's Top Gun BD reissue (due 8/30 - contains no new material but a digital copy) and Fox's Skateland Blu-ray (also 8/30).
Speaking of Sony, the studio has set Unanswered Prayers for DVD release on 8/9, and Smokescreen for DVD release on 8/16. Also coming from Sony are Jumping the Broom (Blu-ray and DVD) on 8/9, The Devil's Teardrop (DVD) and In a Better World (Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack and DVD) on 8/30, On Strike for Christmas (DVD) on 9/6, The Shunning (DVD) and Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown (DVD) on 9/13, and Legend of the Millennium Dragon (Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack and DVD) on 10/4.
And Warner Home Video has officially set Pee-wee's Big Adventure and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - both Tim Burton films - for Blu-ray Disc release on 10/4 (SRP $19.98 each). Pee-wee will include commentary by Paul Reubens and Tim Burton, additional scenes, production sketches and storyboards, a music-only track with commentary by Danny Elfman and the theatrical trailer. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will include an In-Movie Experience viewing option with Tim Burton, audio commentary by Tim Burton, 8 featurettes (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Chocolate Dreams, Different Faces, Different Flavors, Designer Chocolate, Under the Wrapper, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Sweet Sounds, Becoming Oompa-Loompa, Attack of the Squirrels and Fantastic Mr. Dahl), 2 previsualizations (Augustus Gloop dance and Mike Teavee dance), a Dolby TrueHD music-only track, the European club reel and the theatrical trailer.
All right, it's a quick one today to wrap up the week...
I finally had the chance to see J.J. Abrams' Super 8 last night, and I thought it was pretty enjoyable. The actual plot is just as its been described - a decent mish-mash of Close Encounters, E.T. and Cloverfield - not particularly original, but with a few mild twists. But what really makes it a fun and enjoyable experience are the young actors who play the would-be filmmakers, and of course the filmmakers' extensive effort to not only recreate a time period I remember fondly (the late-70s - specifically 1979), but also the look and style of the films of that period. Abrams and company actually do that so well that when you see modern CG elements blended with it you almost feel as if they don't belong. That aside, it's a fun little film and well worth your time.
In announcement news today, Warner Home Video has set Something Borrowed for Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD release on 8/16 (SRP $35.99 and $27.87).
Warner has also set Happiness Is... Snow Days for DVD only release on 10/18 (SRP $14.97), and they've set Barry Lyndon and Lolita for wide release as individual movie Blu-ray singles on 8/23 (SRP $19.98 each - they're currently Amazon exclusives).
And Screen Archives Entertainment will be issuing a limited release of the 1954 film The Egyptian on Blu-ray and DVD on 7/16 (SRP $39.95 and $19.95). Just 3,000 copies will be available. You can pre-order it from Twilight Time now.
Finally today, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of actor Peter Falk today. Millions of TV viewers know him fondly as the trench-coated detective Lt. Columbo, but for my money it's his film work that I'll always remember him for, including appearances in such classics as It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, The Great Race and Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire ("I can't see you... but I know you're there."). Falk was 83.
I also want to send out my best wishes to everyone in Minot, North Dakota, the city I was born, which is currently experiencing unbelievable flooding from the Souris River - flooding so bad it was thought impossible. Some 12,000 people have been evacuated and it looks like things are going to get worse before they get better. To the south, Bismarck, ND is also experiencing terrible flooding along the Missouri River. Donations to help out can be sent via the Minot and West Dakota Red Cross chapters.
We'll leave you today with a little more Blu-ray cover artwork. Here's a look at the cover art for Kino Lorber's Strike (due 8/30), and David Holzman's Diary (8/16), as well as Lionsgate's Trainspotting (9/13 - the Disney version is still available on Amazon) and Spy Kids (8/2), Twilight Time's The Egyptian and Image's Heathers (9/27 - the Anchor Bay version is also still available)...
See you Monday. Stay tuned...
All right, we've got something special for you today...
And in announcement news this morning, Kino Lorber has revealed their September Blu-ray and DVD slate. They've got Carmel set for DVD release on 9/6 (SRP $29.95). Le Quattro Volte (a.k.a. The Four Times) follows on both Blu-ray and DVD on 9/13 (SRP $34.95 and $29.95). On 9/20, look for Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow on DVD (SRP $24.95) and a 5-disc Great Italian Directors Collection DVD set (SRP $49.95) that includes Federico Fellini, Luchino Visconti, Vittorio De Sica and Mario Monicelli's Boccaccio '70: Special Edition, Monicelli's Casanova '70 and Michaelangelo Antonioni's Story of a Love Affair: Special Edition, plus extras. The Boccaccio '70: Special Edition and Casanova '70 will also be available on Blu-ray separately on 9/20 (SRP $34.95 and $29.95 respectively). Finally, on 9/27 you'll get a Buster Keaton double-feature in the Battling Butler/Go West: Ultimate 2-Disc Edition on Blu-ray and DVD (SRP $34.95 and $29.95), as well as American Mystic on DVD (SRP $24.98).
All right, we've got a couple interesting things for you this morning...
First up, no sooner had we posted the information about new Lionsgate/Miramax Blu-rays at Walmart yesterday, the studio informed us that the information was inaccurate (but also that more title announcements would be forthcoming).
The other thing that happened, however, is that we learned that the Walmart website is also showing more Mill Creek/Disney Blu-ray catalog titles that may be (for now at least) exclusive to the retailer. These include Scenes from a Mall, Miami Rhapsody, The War at Home, The Tie That Binds, Play It to the Bone, Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend, Holy Matrimony, Last Dance, Ernest Goes to Camp, Ernest Goes to Jail and Ernest Scared Stupid. And they're cheap, so if you're interested - there you go. Just know that you're likely going to get what you pay for quality-wise. Thanks to Bits reader Matt G. for the heads-up.
Also today, you may recall the recent controversy over Warner's Barry Lyndon Blu-ray Disc. If not, to recap: There's some debate over what the proper aspect ratio for the film should be on Blu-ray. Warner and the Kubrick estate's Leon Vitali (who was Kubrick's assistant in later years) insists that 1.78 is the ratio Kubrick would have wanted the film to appear in on Blu-ray. And that is in fact the ratio that the Blu-ray offers. Yet many fans believe that it should be 1.66. Now, a copy of an official letter from Kubrick to theatre projectionists - from the time of the film's original theatrical release - has been posted by film critic Glenn Kenny on his website that would seem to support the director's 1.66 intent (it's also referenced here at Jeffrey Welles' Hollywood Elsewhere). This has caused Leon Vitali to respond in some detail at Hollywood Elsewhere, insisting that Kubrick had always told him the proper ratio for the film was 1.77, which means that 1.78 is essentially dead-on accurate for the Blu-ray presentation. We're not going to weigh in on the debate except to say that it's absolutely fascinating in our opinion. Everyone on both sides of the argument obviously cares passionately about the film and its proper presentation. One wishes some of this energy were applied to curing cancer or solving the energy crisis, but still. The letter and Vitali's response are well worth a read - even if only as a valuable insight into the mind of a legendary filmmaker - so do check it out.
By the way, the winner our ticket Giveaway for last night's D23 Rocketeer screening was James Allan Young. We didn't announce it on Sunday because we didn't want to make it harder for James to pick up his will-call tickets. So congrats to James who, we're told, had a great time at the event!
Speaking of which, the prospect of a Rocketeer Blu-ray was raised during the event's cast and crew panel discussion a few times, but apparently Disney has nothing "officially" in the works - which somehow doesn't surprise me. But the panel discussion was videotaped, so one supposes there's hope that it could be used as part of a future release. Let me just implore Disney to consider releasing a Rocketeer Blu-ray. The film has, frankly, never even been given a decent DVD release. The only DVD available from Disney in the past was non-anamorphic, by my recollection, so the film certainly deserves better. Hell, at least license the film to a third party that might do it justice. Anyway...
All right, first of all, I wanted to let all those of you heading down to Comic-Con in San Diego next month know that we're going to be holding our annual Digital Bits Blu-ray/DVD panel on Thursday, July 21st, from 5-6PM in Room 5AB. We've got a good line-up of panelists this year, including special edition producers and one of the film industry's great experts on classic catalog film! We're also going to be doing lots of Q&A and more, so it promises to be informative and a lot of fun. We'll announce all the details soon, but in the meantime if you're going to be down there on Thursday afternoon, do plan on dropping by!
Now then, one other quick announcement: Don't forget that tonight is D23's The Rocketeer: 20th Anniversary screening event at the El Cap up in Hollywood. In addition to the screening itself, there's going to be Q&A with the cast and crew hosted by Kevin Smith, and there's a museum exhibit of props and costumes from the film too. Should be a blast, and tickets are still available, so here's the official web page for all the details.
Now then, here at The Bits today, our own 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 small portion of any order you make from Amazon after clicking to them through our links goes to help support our work here at the site and we really appreciate it.
In announcement news today, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has set Win Win (with Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan) for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 8/30. Extras will include deleted scenes, 4 featurettes (Tom McCarthy and Joe Tiboni discuss Win Win, David Thompson at Sundance 2011, In Conversation with Tom McCarthy and Paul Giamatti at Sundance 2011 and Family) and a music video.
Disney has now officially announced the Blu-ray Disc release of O Brother, Where Art Thou? and The Count of Monte Cristo on 9/13 (SRP $26.50 each). As expected, no new extras will be included but most previous DVD features will carry over. For O Brother, that includes a behind-the-scenes featurette, storyboard to scene comparisons, the trailer and the I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow music video. For Count, it's deleted scenes, commentary with director Kevin Reynolds and 6 featurettes (The Napoleonic World, En Garde, The Pen, Adapting a Classic, The Clash of Steel and Layer-by-Layer).
Lionsgate has announced Everything Must Go for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 9/6, followed by Blue Mountain State: Season Two and Blades of Blood on DVD on 9/13. The studio has also officially set Miramax's Trainspotting for release on Blu-ray on 9/13.
[Editor's Update - 4PM PDT: Lionsgate has just informed us that the information Walmart had posted on their website - and we reported here earlier - regarding the September/October retailer-exclusive BD release of Pulp Fiction, The Others, The Crow, Mimic and Jackie Brown is NOT accurate, but that the studio will be officially announcing more Miramax Blu-rays soon.]
Also, Image has set Born to Ride for DVD release on 7/26 (SRP $27.97). The film stars Casper Van Dien and Patrick Muldoon.
MTI Home Video will release The Frankenstein Syndrome on DVD on 7/5.
And Magnolia will release Dumbstruck on DVD only on 7/19 (SRP $26.98).
Here's cover art for Disney's The Count of Monte Cristo and The Tempest (due 9/13), and Lionsgate's Rounders (8/23) on Blu-ray...
All right, hope you guys all had a great weekend, and you dads out there a fine Father's Day.
Matt and I, and our wives, actually took time this weekend to go see Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life. It's an absolutely fascinating film, but one that I think is really going to divide audiences. I really don't want to say too much about it, in the event that you go see it. Suffice it to say that Malick is attempting to show, in a highly visual way reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick, how everything in the universe is tied together and how the struggle between Nature and Grace has been playing out since the beginning of time - even into our own daily lives. For my part, I was really blown away by it for about the first hour... maybe 90 minutes. Malick uses the camera in really interesting ways, and stitches together little moments and visuals into a loose but moving narrative. But then, again for me at least, it seems as though he loses his way. The film starts to feel a little padded, and the symbolism Malick uses toward the end gets pretty heavy-handed. Still, for all that, it's worth seeing - for the visuals, for his interesting use of cinematic technique and for the fascinating discussion the film should spark afterwards. As for Super 8, haven't seen it yet, but I'm really looking forward to it. Hopefully, I'll be able to slip away for a screening some night this week.
All right, we've got some interesting announcement news for you...
First, Warner Home Video has now officially set their Ben-Hur: 50th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition Blu-ray and DVD box sets for release on 9/27 (SRP $64.99 and $49.92). There's also a 2-disc special edition DVD version for just $20.97 that contains just the film with commentary. The UCE box sets will include the film split over two discs, newly-remastered frame by frame from the original 65mm elements in stunning 8K resolution - the highest resolution restoration ever done by the studio - with audio commentary by film historian T. Gene Hatcher, scene specific comments from Charlton Heston and a music-only track featuring Miklos Rozsa's score. Obviously, the film is in HD on the Blu-ray version. Extras on the additional discs in the set include the all-new Charlton Heston: A Personal Journey documentary (in HD on the Blu-ray), along with the 1925 silent version of Ben-Hur from the Thames Television restoration with stereophonic orchestral score by composer Carl Davis (143 min), the 2005 documentary Ben-Hur: The Epic That Changed Cinema (58 min), the 1994 documentary Ben-Hur: The Making of an Epic (58 min), the Ben-Hur: A Journey Through Pictures feature, screen tests, a vintage newsreels gallery, highlights from the 1960 Academy Awards and a trailer gallery. The set will also include an exacting reproduction of Heston's own personal diary kept during the filming, as well as an exclusive hardbound photo book. Here's a look at the packaging...
Meanwhile, Warner and Lucasfilm have also set Star Wars: The Clone Wars - The Complete Season Three for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 10/18 (SRP $59.99 and $44.98). All 22 episodes will be included, along with 5 featurettes (Creating Kamino, Hutts and the Underworld, Witches and Monsters, Secrets of Mortis and Chewbacca Returns) and another interactive Jedi Temple Archives presentation, featuring "effects footage, early concept art, 3D character and object turnarounds, early animation and more than 30 deleted/extended scenes."
Speaking of Warner, they've also moved the street date for The Middle: The Complete Second Season on DVD to 9/27 (SRP $44.98). It was originally announced for 9/20.
Here's something interesting: S'More Entertainment has announced what they're calling A Big Box of Wood for 6-disc DVD release on 7/26 (SRP $49.98), featuring a number of the films of Ed Wood. Among the titles you'll get in the set are Jailbait, Bride of the Monster, The Violent Years, Plan 9 from Outer Space, Sinister Urge, Orgy of the Dead, Snow Bunnies, Drop Our Wife, Fugitive Girls, Beach Bunnies, Hot Ice, Trick Shooting with Kenne Duncan and Cross Roads Avenger. Extras in the set will include commentary tracks, introductions, trailers, behind-the-scenes and interview footage, and more.
Lionsgate has set After Dark Originals: Scream of the Banshee, After Dark Originals: The Task and Goblin for DVD release on 7/26 (the two After Dark titles are $19.98 each, Goblin is $26.98).
Paramount is re-releasing Top Gun on Blu-ray on 8/30 (SRP $19.98) in celebration of the film's 25th anniversary, but it doesn't appear that there is any new content on the release that wasn't included on the last Blu-ray version.
Universal has set Outsourced: The Complete Series for DVD only release on 9/13. By the way, Universal is also repackaging their first four Fast and Furious films on DVD on 8/30, so it's a safe bet that Fast Five is soon to be announced for Blu-ray and DVD release that day or sometime early in September.
CBS and Paramount have set Blue Bloods: The First Season for DVD only release on 9/13, along with The Good Wife: The Second Season.
Shout! Factory has set the 2-disc Mystery Science Theater 3000 - Manos: The Hands of Fate Special Edition for DVD release on 9/13.
Shout! has also set the 80s animated M.A.S.K.: The Complete Original Series for DVD release on 8/9 as a 12-DVD box set. In addition to all 65 original episodes, you'll also get a pair of featurettes.
For you music fans, Eagle Rock Entertainment has set Deep Purple: Phoenix Rising for DVD, DVD/CD and Blu-ray release on 6/28.
And it appears that Walmart is going to be releasing a series of exclusive Blu-ray catalog titles from MGM on 7/5, including It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, When Harry Met Sally, Legally Blonde, Throw Momma from the Train and A Fish Called Wanda. Right now, each is only available for pre-order on their website (SRP is $19.99 each, but they're selling for just $9.99 or 50% off). One suspects they'll be widely available later this year.
Don't forget that tomorrow night is D23's The Rocketeer: 20th Anniversary screening up at the El Capitan theatre in Hollywood! It promises to be a pretty cool event. Speaking of which, the winner of our ticket Giveaway has officially been notified. We'll announce the winner's name on Wednesday, just to avoid confusion when he/she goes to pick up the tickets at the box office tomorrow night. Thanks to all of you who entered.
Finally today, we give a nod to the passing of The Big Man - E Street Band musician Clarence Clemons - who died on Saturday after complications from his recent stroke. He was 69. We also acknowledge the passing of Jackass star Ryan Dunn, who was killed in a car accident early this morning. He was 34.
Here's a look at the cover art for S'More Entertainment's A Big Box of Wood DVD, along with Warner's Star Wars: The Clone Wars - The Complete Season Three Blu-ray and a DVD that should give you disparaging Minnesota Twins fans a little something to be happy about - MLB and A&E's The Minnesota Twins: 1991 World Series box set (due 8/2)...
All right, we're doing a little maintenance work here at The Bits today, so our post will be limited to a quick release news round-up. As it happens, Matt and I (and our friend Luis) are also recovering from a 14-hour Lord of the Rings: Extended Edition BD marathon that we held yesterday. It was just as much fun as we recalled from Trilogy Tuesday, but I'll tell you... 14 hours is a long time for middle-aged guys to sit in chairs, no matter how comfortable! Still, I'm sure there will be lots of similar marathons in a couple of weeks, when the set finally arrives in stores. So remember to get up and stretch once in a while, folks!
Anyway, here's today's news...
Here's a surprise: Disney has just set the Coen Brothers' O Brother, Where Art Thou? for Blu-ray Disc release on 9/13 (SRP $26.50). That's the good news. The bad news is that while it appears that you'll likely get all the previous DVD special features (a couple behind-the-scenes featurettes, a music video and a trailer), there's no new content expected for the release.
Meanwhile, Universal has announced that The Event: The Complete Series will arrive on DVD on 8/23. All 22 episodes will be available on 5 discs, with extras set to include deleted scenes, a Dr. Dempsey "alternate storyline", 7 featurettes (Creating an Event, A Day in the Life with Jason Ritter, Magic Behind The Event's Special Effects, Building Collapse, The Event's Visual Effects, Visual Effects Magic for Inostranka and Enter The White House), audio commentary on 6 episodes with members of the cast and crew, episode recaps and a photo gallery.
Warner has set The Bad Seed for Blu-ray release on 10/11 (SRP $19.98).
20th Century Fox has set Skateland for release on DVD on 8/30 (SRP $22.98). Extras will include deleted scenes.
And Fox has also set Sons of Anarchy: Season 3 for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 8/30 as well (SRP $69.99 and $59.98). You'll get audio commentary on 3 episodes, deleted and extended scenes, a gag reel, featurettes and a "Bike Customizer".
Here's the cover art for Disney's O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Warner's Fringe: The Complete Third Season (due 9/6) on Blu-ray, along with Universal's The Event: The Complete Series on DVD...
Have a great weekend, everyone!
Morning, folks! We've just got a quick one for you this morning...
First, Tim Salmons has turned in a review of Universal's new Blu-ray release of Ridley Scott's Legend: Ultimate Edition. The disc is now available in stores - in many places for as low as $14.99.
Also, we've got some good announcement news for you...
Criterion has revealed their September Blu-ray and DVD release slate, due to include Blu-ray upgrades of Robert Altman's 3 Women (cat# 230 - due 9/13) and Lasse Hallström's My Life as a Dog (cat# 178 - also due 9/13), and new Blu-ray and DVD releases of Claude Chabrol's Le beau Serge (cat# 580 - due 9/20) and Les cousins (cat# 581 - also due 9/20), Olivier Assayas's Carlos (cat# 582 - due 9/27) and Victor Sjöström's The Phantom Carriage (cat# 579 - also due 9/27). Definitely a good batch there.
Meanwhile, Image has announced a few more titles for release on Blu-ray in late September, including ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2 - Unrated, Vamp and Dead Heat on 9/20, and Basket Case, Something Weird: The Blood Trilogy (Color Me Blood Red, Blood Feast and Two Thousand Maniacs!) and Heathers on 9/27. SRP is $17.97 each with the exception of ChromeSkull, which is $29.97.
Here's a look at the BD cover art for Criterion's Carlos, My Life as a Dog and The Phantom Carriage...
All right... first up today, some of you may recall our mentioning that Disney's D23 Official Fan Club is holding a special 20th Anniversary screening event for The Rocketeer at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on 6/21. The screening will include a cast/crew reunion that includes star Bill Campbell and director Joe Johnston, hosted by Kevin Smith. There will also be a museum exhibit of props and costumes from the film. We're pleased to tell you that we're giving away A PAIR OF TICKETS TO THE EVENT here at The Digital Bits! All you have to do to enter is e-mail us the correct answers to 4 questions (specific instructions are available here). Entries will be accepted until Noon (Pacific time) on Sunday, June 19th, and the winner will be notified later that evening. Their name will be added to the box office comp list the night of the event. Click on the link to get started, and good luck!
Meanwhile, let's catch you all up on some release news...
20th Century Fox has set the animated Rio for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 8/2 (SRP $39.99 and $34.98). Extras will include deleted scenes, 6 featurettes (Explore the World of Rio, Saving the Species: One Voice at a Time, The Making of Hot Wings, Boom-Boom Tish-Tish: The Sounds of Rio, Postcards from Rio and The Real Rio), music videos and the theatrical trailer.
Disney has set African Cats for release on Blu-ray+DVD Combo on 10/4 (SRP $39.99). The title will be available in both DVD and Blu-ray packaging. Extras will include 2 featurettes (Disney & Nature and Save the Savanna), the interactive Filmmaker Annotations viewing option and Jordin Sparks' The World I Knew music video.
Universal has set Jane Eyre for Blu-ray and DVD release on 8/16. Extras will include audio commentary by director Cary Fukunaga, 3 featurettes (A Look Inside Jane Eyre, To Score Jane Eyre - Cary Fukunaga and Dario Marianelli Team Up and The Mysterious Light of Jane Eyre) and deleted scenes.
HBO has set Entourage: The Complete Seventh Season for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 7/12 (SRP $49.99 and $39.98). All 10 episodes will be included, along with 2 featurettes (Inside the Hollywood Highlife and The Shades of Sasha Grey) and audio commentaries (with creator/executive producer Doug Ellin, executive producer Ally Musika and stars Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara and Jeremy Piven).
Warner Home Video has officially revealed the Blu-ray and DVD release of Fringe: The Complete Third Season on 9/6 (SRP $69.97 and $59.98). Extras will include 4 Duality of Worlds featurettes (The Other You, Visualizing an Alternate World, A Machine of Destiny and The Psychology of Duality), 2 additional featurettes (Animating the Lysergic Acid Diethylamide Episode and Constructing an Extrasensory Soundscape), commentary on 2 episodes, an interactive Maximum Episode Mode on the episode Os, the Unusual Side Effects: Gag Reel and trailers.
Warner will also release The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Second Season on Blu-ray and DVD on 8/30 (SRP $69.97 and $59.98). Extra will include featurettes, deleted scenes, a gag reel and commentaries.
Warner and the BBC will release Doctor Who: Series 6, Part 1 on Blu-ray and DVD on 7/19 (SRP $29.98 and $24.98). Also coming are Top Gear: The Complete First Season on DVD only (SRP $24.98) and Torchwood: The Complete UK Series on Blu-ray and DVD (SRP $129.95 and $119.98) on 7/19.
Warner and Adult Swim will release Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III on Blu-ray and DVD on 7/12 (SRP $19.98 and $14.98). They've also announced Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1: Season 1 for DVD only release on 10/11 (SRP $29.98).
Lionsgate has announced more Miramax catalog titles for Blu-ray Disc release, including Swingers, Hostage and Rounders on 8/23 (SRP $14.99 each), and Good Will Hunting on 8/30 (SRP $19.99). They've also set 40 Days and 40 Nights for Blu-ray Disc release on 9/6 (SRP $19.99).
Blue Underground has announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of The House by the Cemetery on 9/27 (SRP $19.98 and $29.98). Extras will include the Meet the Boyles featurette, tons of interviews with the cast and crew members, a deleted scene, the theatrical trailers, a TV spot and galleries of poster art and still photos.
Shout! Factory and Fabulous Films have announced Airwolf: The Movie for DVD only release on 9/6. Extras will include a new interview with Ernest Borgnine and still galleries.
Entertainment One will release The Royal Wedding on DVD only on 7/5, followed by Waking Madison, Maneater, Heartland: The Complete First Season, Frozen Kiss and The War of the Roses: A Bloody Crown on 7/12.
Cinema Libre Studio is releasing Rachid Bouchareb's Dust of Life and Haskell Wexler's Latino: America's Secret War on Nicaragua on DVD on 6/14.
Maya Entertainment has set Sympathy for Delicious (starring Mark Ruffalo and Orlando Bloom) for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 8/23 (SRP $29.98 and $27.98). Extras will include commentary with both actors, a behind-the-scenes featurette and deleted scenes. The Blu-ray will also include a photo gallery.
Virgil Films has set the Sean Penn presented documentary The Third Wave for DVD release on 7/12 (SRP $19.99).
Music Box Films will release director François Ozon's Potiche on Blu-ray and DVD on 7/19 (SRP $38.94 and $29.95).
Indomina Releasing will bow Bodyguards and Assassins on DVD on 7/26.
Eagle Rock will release the Bad Company: Live at Wembley concert on CD, DVD and Blu-ray on 6/28.
And Microcinema International has set Theater of Transparency for DVD release on 7/26.
Finally today, here's something we think is extremely exciting: Yesterday's installment of The Criterion Newsletter hinted pretty strongly that Krzysztof Kieslowski's acclaimed Three Colours Trilogy (Blue, White and Red) may be coming to the Collection on Blu-ray and DVD later this year. If that turns out to be true, it would be FANTASTIC news. Fingers crossed we'll see an announcement soon.
Here's a look at cover art for Lionsgate's Good Will Hunting, Disney's African Cats, Blue Underground's House by the Cemetery, and Universal's Jane Eyre on Blu-ray, along with Shout!'s Airwolf: The Movie and Kino's Strike (due 8/30) on DVD...
Back with reviews early tomorrow. Stay tuned!
All right... today's update is going to be a little light on news. But never fear - it's for good reason!
You see... I've been a little busy today, working on our in-depth review of one of the most eagerly anticipated Blu-ray Disc releases ever: Warner's new 15-disc The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy - Extended Edition box set! That's right, this hefty package finally arrived on my doorstep early this morning. And if you've been reading The Bits for any length of time, you know darned well that I simply had to drop everything and get it reviewed for you guys! All the extras from the previous Extended Edition and Limited Edition DVD releases do indeed carry over to this new set. Best of all, each of these films looks and sounds absolutely stunning... including the newly-remastered Fellowship of the Rings. All three films, in fact, look noticeably better than they did even on last year's Theatrical Edition Blu-ray release. And for anyone who thinks it wasn't a good idea to split these longer versions over two BD-50s each, just wait until you see these discs! The benefits of all that extra breathing room for the video compression REALLY show up on screen. Simply put, these films have never looked and sounded so good before... period. These discs are well worth the wait. The set arrives in stores in just two weeks, on 6/28. In the meantime, enjoy the review!
One other item today: Russell has updated the Release Dates & Artwork section again today 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 from the online retailer after clicking through to them from our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits, and we surely do appreciate it. Might I suggest ordering The Lord of the Rings on Blu-ray? ;)
Catch you up on all the latest announcements tomorrow, and we'll have more new Blu-ray Disc reviews too. Stay tuned!
(LATE UPDATE - 6/13/11 - 9 PM PDT)
All right, we're back with a late post this evening featuring a new Blu-ray Disc review: Tim's take on Universal's new American Graffiti: Special Edition, which is now available in stores. Do check it out.
Also this evening, our friend Michael Coate (a fellow ex-pat of mine from Widescreen Review magazine) has written up a nice look back at Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Arkover at the Cinema Treasures blog. The film celebrated its 30th anniversary on Sunday. Michael's compiled lots of interesting release details in the piece, so it's well worth a look. And don't forget: Our sources are telling us that the classic Raiders Trilogy is likely to arrive on Blu-ray Disc next year, as part of the 100th anniverary celebration for the Paramount studios.
Back tomorrow with more. Stay tuned...!
(EARLY UPDATE - 6/13/11 - 2:30 PM PDT)
All right, let's have a little news and then we'll post a few more new disc reviews later tonight and tomorrow...
First, Warner Home Video has officially announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of the Citizen Kane: 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition on 9/13 (SRP $64.99 and $49.92). The film itself has been remastered in 4K resolution. The set will include more than 3 hours of bonus content along with "a 48-page collector's book filled with photos and behind-the-scene details, 20-page reproduction of the original 1941 souvenir program, lobby cards, reproductions of rare production memos and correspondence." Disc One of the 3-disc set (Blu-ray or DVD) will include audio commentary by Peter Bogdanovich, a second commentary by Roger Ebert, Opening: World Premier of Citizen Kane vintage featurettes, interviews with Ruth Warrick and Robert Wise, galleries (of storyboards, call sheets and still photography - the latter with commentary by Ebert and photos of the ad campaign, press book and opening night), deleted scenes and the theatrical trailer. Disc Two (DVD) will include The Battle Over Citizen Kane documentary. Disc Three (DVD) will include the excellent HBO feature film RKO 281 which dramatizes the making of Citizen Kane. Amazon.com also has an exclusive version that comes packaged with a DVD copy of Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons on DVD (the film will be widely available by itself at a later date). Here's a look at the contents of the Amazon Blu-ray edition...
Also today, Warner Home Video has set Mike & Molly: The Complete First Season for release on (surprisingly) Blu-ray and DVD on 9/20 (SRP $54.97 and $44.98). All the episodes will be included along with interviews, featurettes, deleted scenes, a gag reel and more.
And Warner has announced Scooby-Doo! Legend of the Phantosaur as well for Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and DVD only release on 9/6 (SRP $24.98 and $19.98).
Meanwhile, Shout! Factory has set Transformers: The Japanese Collection - Headmasters for DVD release on 7/5 (SRP $29.93). You'll get original the Japanese audio with English subs, and an artwork gallery.
Shout! has also set Dennis the Menace: Season Two for DVD only release on 7/26 (SRP $29.93). The 5-disc set will include all 38 original episodes along with original promos.
Millennium Entertainment has set George A. Romero presents Deadtime Stories: Volume 1 for DVD release on 7/12 (SRP $24.99). The disc will include a trio of 30-minute, anthology-style short films, including Valley of the Shadow, WeT and House Call.
And Well Go USA has set Brother's Justice for Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD release on 7/12 as well (SRP $29.98 and $24.98). Extras include interviews with Dax Shepard and Bradley Cooper, deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette and a photo gallery.
Finally, I wanted to comment on a recent NPD report that's been circulating lately indicating that Blu-ray and DVD software sales are down so far this year (see this link at Deadline Hollywood). Predictably, a number of "experts" are already suggesting that this points to the impending death of the Blu-ray format. Look, I understand (given the quick reaction/Twitter journalism age in which we live) the tendency to want to draw instant conclusions about everything. But there are a number of flaws with this argument. First, this idea that "if Blu-ray doesn't match the growth curve of DVD, it's a failure" is completely bogus. No physical media format is ever likely to match the sales power of DVD again. DVD was a phenomenon, that happened at exactly the right time. Nevertheless, Blu-ray hardware has now hit 25% penetration in the U.S. home video market, and it's still growing steadily. That's hardly a niche format. Also, you can't forget that we're still in the middle of a pretty tough economic period. No recession of this scale occurred during DVD's growth phase. And it's unclear when a serious recovery may start to happen, or if this is simply the new normal. Finally, here's something that I think is particularly relevant to 2011: This year is heavily back-loaded with MAJOR catalog titles. Just look at the major titles that street between now and December 31st (including one or two that JUST streeted): The Lord of the Rings: Extended Editions, the Star Wars Saga, Ben-Hur, Citizen Kane, True Grit, Das Boot: Director's Cut, the Superman Motion Picture Collection, Sucker Punch, the Jurassic Park Trilogy, The Lion King, The Blues Brothers, The Big Lebowski, The Adjustment Bureau, Source Code, West Side Story, Breakfast at Tiffany's, the new Patton transfer, Dumbo, Scarface. How about all those films that we know are coming but have yet to be officially announced, including Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, Cars II, Super 8, Cowbows and Aliens, Thor, Captain America, X-Men: First Class, Bridesmaids, Hangover II, Green Lantern, etc? That's a pretty damn serious home video release slate for the rest of the year, and of course it's just the highlights. Did I mention all the great catalog BD titles in the works for next year? Raiders, Titanic, Lawrence of Arabia (etc)? My guess is, sales will increase accordingly as we head into the holidays, when retailers are going to be eager to entice buyers with great deals. So yes, home video sales are down so far this year. But drawing a direct line from that, to the demise of the Blu-ray format is absurd at best. Just my take.
All right, let's start the day off early with some of those Blu-ray reviews we mentioned yesterday, shall we?
We'll be back later today with any breaking news. And don't forget: J.J. Abrams' Super 8 hits theatres today. This is definitely a film I've been looking forward to, so here's hoping it delivers.
Well... Disney has officially confirmed the Blu-ray 3D version of their Beauty and the Beast: Diamond Edition for release on 10/4 (SRP $49.99). The 5-disc set will include Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray (2 discs - the movie and extras), DVD and Digital Copy versions of the film, and appears to include all of the content from the already released 2D Blu-ray version. Following on 11/22 will be a Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD only special edition of the sequel Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (SRP $39.99 and $29.99) and a DVD only special edition of Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World (SRP $29.99). Here's a look at the cover artwork for all three...
Also today, Bits reader Jay S. (thanks Jay!) was kind enough to inform us that Amazon.com has just begun taking pre-orders for Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. There's no street date listed, but there will be available a Five-Disc Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo (SRP $49.99) and a Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo (SRP $39.99) available in both Blu-ray and DVD packaging. It also appears that Disney is going to release a 15-Disc Pirates of the Caribbean: Four-Pack Collection (SRP $169.99) that includes ALL of the films on Blu-ray and DVD packaged in a replica treasure chest. Here's a look at the cover art for the three regular versions...
And here's the Collection box...
And we might as well include a little more new cover art as well today, so here's the final BD art for Universal's Paul and Your Highness (both due on 8/9), as well as Fox's Coen Brothers Collection Blu-ray (due on 8/30)...
Now then... the name of the game over the next few days here at The Bits is going to be Blu-ray Disc reviews. We'll be back very early tomorrow morning with the first batch, then again on Monday and Tuesday with several more. We're talking GREAT titles here, so be sure to keep checking back.
All right, we're going to start the day today with pictures that have been 30 years in the making. A couple weeks ago, a departing Soyuz crew took the first EVER photographs of the entire docked Space Shuttle and near-complete International Space Station together. How's this for cool?
There's another angle available here. People from more than 16 different nations have been involved in the work to design, build and support the station, which has had a permanent human crew since October 31, 2000. These days, the regular complement is 6 astronauts and cosmonauts. The station - which will be finished on the final shuttle flight next month - is so big you can easily spot it from space on a good clear evening or morning, as it passes overhead. And it's fun to do. NASA even maintains a website where you can put in your location and find out when the next opportunity to see the station fly over happens. I highly recommend it. Anyway, hats off to NASA, Roscosmos, ESA and everyone involved in the station project. Long may it continue!
Back to regular site news... we've got a couple of cool Amazon.com items we wanted to highlight for you today. The first is actually the Deal of the Day on Amazon - Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series on either Blu-ray or DVD for a whopping 62% off! Don't miss out! Also, we just wanted to let you know that Warner's Ben-Hur: 50th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition just became available for pre-order on both Blu-ray and DVD for the usual 31% off the SRP. Special thanks to Bits reader David M. for the heads-up on Ben-Hur!
Now then... in other news today, Warner Home Video has set Tom and Jerry: Fur Flying Adventures - Volume 2 for DVD release on 7/5 (SRP $14.97).
Warner has also announced more new TV titles, including Nikita: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray and DVD on 8/30 (SRP $69.97 and $59.98), The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fourth Season on Blu-ray and DVD on 9/13 (SRP $54.97 and $44.98) and (with the BBC) Doctor Who: The Talons of Weng-Chiang - Special Edition on DVD only on 10/11 (SRP $34.98).
Here's some cool news - Kino Lorber has announced their August release slate as follows: Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk (DVD - due 8/9 - SRP $19.95), David Holzman's Diary: Special Edition (Blu-ray and DVD - 8/16 - SRP $34.95 and $29.95), Poetry (Blu-ray and DVD - 8/23 - SRP $34.95 and $29.95), Sergei Eisenstein's Strike: Remastered Edition (Blu-ray and DVD - 8/30 - SRP $34.95 and $29.95) and The Cigarette Girl of Mosselprom (DVD - 8/30 - SRP $29.95). Features on Strike are still TBA, but how VERY cool to have another Eisenstein film in HD!
Meanwhile, Universal has set the comedy Your Highness for Blu-ray and DVD release on 8/9. More details to follow in the next day or so.
20th Century Fox has announced a new Coen Brothers Collection Blu-ray set for release on 8/30 (SRP $69.99) that includes Blood Simple, Miller's Crossing, Raising Arizona and Fargo. Raising Arizona, Blood Simple and Miller's Crossing are new to Blu-ray and are also available individually same day (SRP $24.99 each). All the DVD features will carry over. Also newly announced by Fox for Blu-ray and DVD release on 8/23 is Henry's Crime, followed by The 5th Quarter on 8/30.
Pathfinder Entertainment has set The Box/Fe: Double Feature for DVD release on 7/26 (SRP $24.98). Also coming that day on DVD is Iran Darroudi: The Painter of Ethereal Moments (SRP $24.98).
A&E is releasing DVD single editions of the America: The Story of Us episodes on 7/5 (SRP $14.95 each), including Rebels, Westward, Civil War, Rise of a Superpower, Boom and Millenium.
Virgil Films has set Forks Over Knives for Blu-ray and DVD release on 8/30 (SRP $29.99 and $24.99).
Inception Media Group has announced that My Own Love Song will arrive on Blu-ray and DVD on 7/19.
Eagle Rock Entertainment has set Miles Davis: Live at Montreux Highlights 1973-1991 for DVD only release on 6/21 (SRP $14.98).
And Millennium Entertainment has announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of David Schwimmer's Trust on 7/26 (SRP $29.99 and $28.99 respectively).
In other potential release news (though it hasn't been officially announced yet), the Australian online retailer ezydvd has posted word of an X-Men: The Ultimate Collection 10-disc Blu-ray set, tentatively due from Fox (at least down under) on 10/21 (SRP AU$149.97). Arriving in packaging shaped like a large 'X' logo, the set is expected to include the 2-disc Blu-ray releases of X-Men, X-Men 2, X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, along with a 2-disc Blu-ray+Digital Copy version of the new X-Men: First Class, now in theatres. One presumes a DVD version of the set will also be available. We'd expect an official announcement from the studio sometime in the next couple of months. Multiple readers sent that link in, so our thanks to all of them.
And on the hardware front, Pioneer has just unveiled a new line-up of Elite-branded A/V receivers, including the VSX-40 ($450), VSX-50 ($600), VSX-51 ($700), VSX-52 ($900) and VSX-53 ($1,100). From the company's press release: "All five new receivers utilize the renowned Elite audio and video technology and the VSX-50 and up have advanced network features like Pioneer’s proprietary iPhone and iPad apps including iControlAV2 and Air Jam, as well as Apple’s AirPlay, DLNA Certified® (1.5) and Internet radio to become the hub of a consumer’s home network and entertainment system." You can see all the official details, specs and product photos here.
Here's a look at the cover art for Fox's Blood Simple, Raising Arizona and Miller's Crossing, all on Blu-ray...
Afternoon, folks! I've gotten a few questions about the Superman Blu-ray set, so I'm working to answer those. I'll update the review shortly. [Editor's Note: For those of you wondering, the Superman theatrical cut DOES include optional original theatrical audio in 2.0 DTS-HD MA format. The set also appears to be region free.] Amazon has it here for just $89.99 (31% off SRP).
Also this morning, Russell Hammond has posted the weekly Release Dates & Artwork update, with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover art and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, a small portion any order you make 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.
And we've kicked off a new Giveaway here at The Bits today, giving each of you the chance to take home copies of Image's Legends of Flight on Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray. Entries will be accepted until Noon (Pacific) on Sunday, June 12th. Click on the links to get started and good luck!
Now then, Universal has officially announced the Blu-ray/DVD Combo pack and DVD only release of Paul on 8/9 (SRP $39.98 and $29.98). Each will include both the theatrical cut and an unrated versions of the film, audio commentary (with director Greg Mottola, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Bill Hader and Nira Park), bloopers, galleries of photos and poster and storyboard art, and 3 featurettes (The Evolution of Paul, Simon's Silly Faces and Who the Hell is Adam Shadowchild?). The Blu-ray version, however, will add these additional exclusive features: Between the Lightning Strikes: The Making of Paul, 8 behind-the-scenes featurettes (RV Doorway: The Cast of Paul On-Location, Runway Santa Fe: An Interview with Nancy Steiner, Smithereens, 5th Date Level Direction: The Cast on Greg Mottola, Mexico Zero: The Locations of Paul, The Many Pauls, Paul: The Musical and The Traveler Beagle) and the usual BD-Live and BD-Java interactive options.
Lionsgate has set The Lincoln Lawyer for Blu-ray and DVD release on 7/12, followed by Detroit 187: Season 1 on DVD only on 8/30.
Here's something that will make you smile: Sony has officially confirmed the Blu-ray/DVD Combo release of Muppets from Space and The Muppets Take Manhattan on 8/16 (SRP $19.99 each). Sony has also set Soul Surfer for Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD release on 8/2. Also coming from Sony on DVD only are Bloodworth on 6/28, Unanswered Prayers on 8/9 and Smoke Screen on 8/16.
Meanwhile, Paramount has announced that Better Off Dead will arrive on Blu-ray on 8/2. Also due on 8/16 is Dexter: The Complete Fifth Season on both Blu-ray and DVD. 90210: The Third Season arrives on DVD only on 8/30. Also coming that day are the first three Shrek films as Blu-ray singles.
Magnolia Home Entertainment and Magnet will release Takashi Miike's 13 Assassins on Blu-ray and DVD on 7/5 (SRP $29.98 and $26.98). Also coming from the companies that day on Blu-ray, 2-disc DVD SE and single-disc DVD is Hobo with a Shotgun (SRP $29.98, $29.98 and $26.98 respectively).
Image Entertainment is releasing The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on 9/13 (SRP $24.98 and $19.98).
MPI and Dark Sky Films will release the Hammer title Wake Wood on Blu-ray and DVD on 7/5 (SRP $34.98 and $27.98).
Synapse Films is releasing the romantic comedy debut of 80s rocker Joan Jett in The Sweet Life on DVD only on 7/12 (SRP $19.95). The film's title song is performed by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Color me intrigued.
And though it hasn't been officially announced yet, but Amazon.ca is now showing an 8/30 release date for Fringe: The Complete Third Season on Blu-ray and DVD in North America. Watch for an announcement soon. You can pre-order the American version here and here via Amazon.com. Thanks to Bits reader Pascal B. for the heads-up!
Here's cover art for the DVD version of Universal's Paul (we'll post the Blu-ray art when it's available) and Lionsgate's Detroit 187: Season 1, and the Blu-ray art for Universal's The Frighteners (due 9/13), Lionsgates's The Lincoln Lawyer, Paramount's Better Off Dead and Magnet's 13 Assassins...
Morning, folks! Hope your weekend went well. I hear X-Men: First Class is pretty great. Haven't had the chance to see it yet, but I'm hoping to sneak off to a showing some night this week.
In the meantime, while we're on the subject of superheroes... I've got a new Blu-ray review for you: A look at Warner's new 8-disc Superman Motion Picture Anthology: 1978-2006 set, which arrives on your local retailers' shelves tomorrow morning. All in all, it's a very nice high-definition upgrade of Warner's already excellent Superman: Ultimate Collector's Edition DVD box set from back in 2006. Do give it a look.
And for those of you who missed it when I posted it on Saturday afternoon, be sure to check out our confirmation that the Jurassic Park Trilogy and Jaws are on the way to Blu-ray from Universal, the former later this year and the latter sometime in 2012. We also posted a big rundown/update of some of the major catalog titles that are on the way to HD disc in the next 12 to 24 months. It's definitely well worth your time. There's great stuff coming to Blu-ray.
One last item this morning: We didn't have the chance to post this on Friday afternoon, but we'd like to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of actor James Arness, who died on Friday at the age of 88. His younger brother was actor Peter Graves. James fought the Nazis an Anzio during World War II, and was awarded the Purple Heart. As an actor, he starred in such films as Battleground, The Thing (he played the alien creature), Island in the Sky, Them!, Hondo, The Sea Chase and others. But it's for his role as Marshal Matt Dillon in the long-running Gunsmoke TV series that he'll be best remembered - a role he played for over 20 years and for which he was recommended by none other than John Wayne. The streets of Dodge City won't be the same without him. James wrote a letter that he wanted published on his official website upon his death to thank his fans for all their support over the years. You'll find it here.
All right... we've got a special Saturday report with some GREAT catalog Blu-ray release news for you!
There's been a lot of speculation among fans that - this being the 30th anniversary of the original Raiders of the Lost Ark - the Indiana Jones Trilogy would be released this year. But as you may recall, I've reported that this was unlikely, because Lucasfilm had already set the Star Wars Saga for Blu-ray release in late 2011, and it would be bad business for the company to allow their two biggest franchises to come out on Blu-ray in the same holiday season and thus compete with one another. And indeed, our industry sources have now confirmed to us that the classic Indy films are being prepped for release on the format in 2012 instead. That said, director Steven Spielberg is a well known supporter of the Blu-ray format, so it's unlikely a year would go by without at least a couple of his films being released on disc in HD. Well, now we know which ones are coming...
Back in January, we posted word that Universal's marketing director in France revealed that the Jurassic Park films were likely to be released on Blu-ray in 2011. Universal here in the States wouldn't comment. But in recent days, we've been hearing reports from retailers, both here in the States and internationally, that they're now being planned for release in October. A 10/20 street date has even been reported. We've waited to comment on this here at The Digital Bits until we'd heard back from our studio sources at Universal. We can now inform you that Universal here in the States HAS confirmed to us that the Jurassic Park Trilogy is being prepared for Blu-ray Disc release, probably late this year, in time for the holidays. However, we're told that an announcement may be several weeks away, as the studio hasn't settled on a street date yet. Nevertheless, fans can rest easy knowing that the films are indeed coming.
In a bit of related reportage, our friends over at Ain't It Cool News have posted a new interview with Spielberg, in which the director reveals that he's been working on a new HD master of Jaws for eventually Blu-ray Disc release. We asked the studio about this title as well, and they confirmed a Jaws Blu-ray release IS in the works, but the title is more likely to street in 2012.
Given all this great Blu-ray catalog release news of late, I thought it would be a good idea to provide you with a little rundown/update of some of the great titles that have been officially announced, have been officially (or unofficially) confirmed, or that we know from our industry sources are on the way to Blu-ray later this year or in 2012. Keep in mind, these are just the major highlights. MANY more good catalog titles have already been announced for Blu-ray release, and I'm certain there are titles that should be listed below that we've just overlooked (if so, we'll add them over the coming days). So here goes:
20th Century Fox/MGM - The Star Wars Saga (9/16), West Side Story (TBA late 2011), Patton (with updated transfer - TBA late 2011), more classic Bond (2012), more Rodgers & Hammerstein (2012), The Abyss (TBA 2012), True Lies (TBA 2012)
Criterion - High and Low (7/26), The Battle of Algiers (8/9), The Killing/Killer's Kiss (8/16), Orpheus (8/30)
Disney - The Fox and the Hound 1/2: 30th Anniv. (8/9), Dumbo: 70th (9/20), The Lion King (10/4), Lady and the Tramp (2012), Finding Nemo (TBA 2012)
Lionsgate - The Conversation (TBA 2011), MANY more Miramax titles (likely including Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair, The English Patient and more - TBA 2011 & 2012)
Paramount - Breakfast at Tiffany's (8/25), Titanic (TBA early 2012), The Indiana Jones Trilogy (TBA late 2012)
Sony - Das Boot (7/5), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (TBA 2011), Ishtar (TBA), The Guns of Navarone (TBA 2012), Lawrence of Arabia: 50th Anniv. (2012), The Caine Mutiny (TBA, likely 2012)
Universal - Scarface (9/3), Jurassic Park Trilogy (TBA late 2011), Jaws (2012), The Birds (TBA late 2011), To Kill a Mockingbird (TBA)
Warner - Lord of the Rings Trilogy: Extended Edition (6/28), Citizen Kane: 70th Anniv. UCE (confirmed late 2011), Ben-Hur: 50th Anniv. UCE (confirmed late 2011), The Postman Always Rings Twice (TBA 2011), A Streetcar Named Desire (TBA 2011), Meet Me in St. Louis (TBA 2011), The Right Stuff (2012), Camelot: 45th Anniv. UCE (2012), Casablanca: 70th Anniv. UCE (2012), Singin' in the Rain: 60th Anniv. UCE (2012), Whatever Happened to Baby Jane: 50th Anniv. UCE (2012), Lethal Weapon 1-4: 25th Anniv. UCE (2012), Lolita: 50th Anniv. SE (2012), Full Metal Jacket: 25th Anniv. SE (2012)
We think that's a pretty damn serious list of great films! And we also think it firmly crushes and puts the lie to these silly reports that have appeared in the "mainstream" media in recent months that the Blu-ray format either hasn't hit its stride yet, has failed to go mainstream, or is soon to be relegated to the great format graveyard. We'd bet the titles listed above are going to sell a LOT of discs and a LOT of players over the next 12 to 24 months. Niche format my ass. ;)
Back Monday. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
All right, here's something interesting: Disney has just announced a 3-Disc Blu-ray 3D Super Set version of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas for release on 8/30. Selling for $49.99, the set will include Blu-ray 3D, standard 2D Blu-ray and a DVD/Digital Copy hybrid disc. You'll also have access to a "3D movie download". It appears that extras will include nearly everything that was on the previous Blu-ray and DVD versions, including an introduction by Tim Burton, the What's This? Jack's Haunted Mansion Holiday Tour, the Frankenweenie short film, the Vincent short film, Burton's original poem narrated by Christopher Lee, audio commentary (by Burton, director Henry Selick and composer Danny Elfman), The Making of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Worlds of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, deleted scenes, a storyboard to film comparison, a poster gallery and trailers. You'll find cover art below.
Speaking of Blu-ray 3D, Anchor Bay and The Weinstein Company have announced the release of Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs Evil on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray 2D and DVD on 8/16 (SRP $39.99 for a 4-disc BD3D combo, $34.99 for the Blu-ray 2D combo and $29.98 for the DVD). Extras will include "music videos by Hayden Panettiere (I Can Do It Alone), Lavay Cole (You Know It) and CEEJ (Perfect Two); a The Voices of Hoodwinked Too! featurette; storyboard sequences; production artwork; and video game applications."
Meanwhile, Universal has set Peter Jackson's The Frighteners: 15th Anniversary Edition for release on Blu-ray on 9/13. The disc is expected to include both the theatrical version and director's cut. Everything from the previous DVD edition is expected to carry over.
Universal has also set the videogame tie-in title Red Faction: Origins for DVD only release on 8/30.
Our friends over at the Bloody Disgusting website and and The Collective Release are teaming up to make available the German zombie horror film Rammbock: Berlin Undead on DVD on 6/28 (SRP $19.99). Some 15 minutes' worth of extras will be included.
Warner Home Video has set the animated MAD Season 1, Part 1 for DVD only release on 9/20 (SRP $19.97).
Vanguard has announced the 9/27 DVD only release of Some Dogs Bite, Nature, Slaughtered and The Basement (SRP $19.95 each).
Vivendi is releasing the Syfy Original Films title Ferocious Planet on DVD only on 7/5 (SRP $14.93).
Fox and MGM will release The Magnificent Seven and The Return of the Magnificent Seven as Blu-ray singles on 8/2 (SRP 16.99 each). They had previously only been available in The Magnificent Seven Collection set. Also coming that day are Blu-ray single versions of A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More, previously available in MGM's The Man with No Name Trilogy BD set.
And Blue Underground has moved the Blu-ray and DVD release date of Torso to 8/30 (from 7/26). Adjust your plans accordingly.
Now then... here's a look at Disney's Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas on Blu-ray 3D, Universal's The Frighteners: 15th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray (temp art), and HBO's Bored to Death: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray (due 9/27)...
All right, don't forget that X-Men: First Class opens in theatres today. Word is it's pretty damn good. Have a great weekend!