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-Newsletter est. 4/15/97-
-Website est. 12/15/97-





page updated: 1/4/12



My Two Cents
(Archived Posts 12/15/11 - 11/15/11)


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12/15/11

All right, we've got some really great release news for you today...

Our friends over at Criterion have just announced their terrific March slate of Blu-ray and DVD titles. Included will be Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ (Catalog #70 - a Blu-ray upgrade of a previously-released DVD) on 3/13, D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hedges' The War Room documentary (Cat #602 - on Blu-ray and DVD) and Mikhail Kalatozov's Letter Never Sent (Cat #601 - Blu-ray and DVD) on 3/20, the David Lean Directs Noël Coward box set [Cat #603 - on Blu-ray and DVD - includes Brief Encounter (Cat #76), In Which We Serve (#604), This Happy Breed (#605) and Blithe Spirit (#606)] and Roy Ward Baker's A Night to Remember (Cat #7 - on Blu-ray and DVD) on 3/27. A Night to Remember is timed, no doubt, to take advantage of the 4/6 3D re-issue of James Cameron's Titanic to theatres. (As well as the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic on 4/15 - thanks to Bits reader Mike S. for that reminder!) As always, a great batch of titles. Here's a look at some of the BD cover art...

The Last Temptation of Christ (Blu-ray Disc)The War Room (Blu-ray Disc)Letter Never Sent (Blu-ray Disc)

David Lean Directs Noël Coward (Blu-ray Disc)A Night to Remember (Blu-ray Disc)The Big Year (Blu-ray Disc)

Also today, Warner Home Video has officially announced that it's releasing the classic Logan's Run: The Complete Series on DVD on 4/10 (SRP $32.95). The 3-disc set will include all 14 original episodes. This had been originally planned as an MOD title, but apparently the studio decided to go full retail on it.

Warner has announced the catalog Blu-ray Disc release of The Bodyguard and Don Juan DeMarco on 4/10 as well. And from Warner and the BBC, look for Doctor Who: 2011 Christmas Special on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/14.

Meanwhile, Lionsgate has set Answers to Nothing and King of Triads for DVD release on 2/28, followed by the DVD release of Mercenaries and the Blu-ray Disc and DVD release of 54 and Reindeer Games: The Director's Cut all on 3/6.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has set The Big Year for Blu-ray and DVD release on 1/31 (see artwork above).

Universal will release Hercules: The Legendary Journeys - Season Three and Xena: Warrior Princess - Season Three on DVD on 3/13, followed by Eureka: Season 4.5 on 3/27. Universal has also set Johnny English for Blu-ray and DVD release on 2/28.

Sony Picture Home Entertainment will release The Mighty Macs on DVD on 2/21.

The Collective and Bloody Disgusting will release the controversial shocker The Woman on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/24.

And Warner Home Video and Adult Swim have set Delocated! Seasons 1 & 2 for DVD only release on 1/17. The series' third season begins airing on Adult Swim in February.

In other news today, our old friend Simon Brew over at the fine Den of Geek! website has posted new comments from director Brad Bird (whose Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol opens in theatres tomorrow) to the effect that he's currently talking with Warner Home Video about producing a new Blu-ray edition of The Iron Giant! Good news indeed - we've been waiting for that one in HD for a long time. Let's hope it finally happens in 2012. Thanks, Simon!

In other news today, I wanted to bring your attention to a great new article in Science News about the future of 3D television. Called Out of the Box, it's basically a look at the cutting edge science and technologies that are being applied to make true autostereoscopic displays a practical reality, and some of the challenges involved in the effort. Definitely give it a read if you're interested in such things. It's a great piece.

And finally, we wanted to take a moment today to doff our caps in honor of the passing of the legendary comic book writer and artist Joe Simon, who was the co-creator of Marvel's Captain America. He was 98. More here via the USA Today.

Stay tuned...

12/13-14/11

All right... today's post is kind of both yesterday's and today's, as I ended up getting caught up in a whole bunch of unexpected stuff on Tuesday. Ah, the holidays.

Anyway, first up today, Barrie's got a couple of great new reviews for you of a couple of great new Blu-ray titles: Warner's Meet Me in St. Louis and Image's Michael Feinstein: The Sinatra Legacy! Sounds like both are well worth your time, the first for classic film lovers who appreciate gorgeously-restored Technicolor in HD and the latter for crooner buffs. Enjoy!

Also here at the site today, Russell Hammond has posted the weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section, featuring all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover art and Amazon.com pre-order links. As usual, you can help support our work here at The Bits by purchasing titles (or anything) after clicking to Amazon through our links - and we appreciate it!

We've also kicked off a pair of new Giveaways for you guys this week. Thanks to our friends at Kino Lorber, we're giving away copies of a whole mess of great titles on Blu-ray and DVD, including City of Life and Death, Giorgio Moroder presents Metropolis, the Sophia Loren Award Collection, Buster Keaton's Seven Chances, Nothing Sacred, The Artists, A Farewell to Arms and Robber! There are some real gems in there. Also, BBC America is offering you the chance to win a collection of great items from the BBC Shop, including Doctor Who, Planet Earth and Top Gear on disc, collector's mugs and more! Entries in both Giveaways will be accepted until Noon (Pacific) on Sunday, December 25th and the winners will be informed via e-mail. So click on the links to enter and good luck!

In release news today, Lionsgate has sent us a list of the initial titles they have available for MOD/DVD-R pre-order on Amazon.com right now. The first batch includes The Chorus, Camilla, Citizen Ruth, Boys and Girls, Dear Frankie, Shall We Dance? (1996), Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead, Smoke, Project Greenlight: Seasons 1 & 2, The Pallbearer, The Amazing Howard Hughes, The Dam Busters, Clockwise, Summer Holiday and Blood from the Mummy's Tomb. More titles are on the way, and we expect to have additional details on them soon.

Speaking of MOD, Fox and MGM have just added more titles to their program as well, including The Magnetic Monster (1953), Vice Squad (1953), The Big Caper (1957), Jungle Heat (1957), Something Wild (1961), You Have to Run Fast (1961), Diary of a Bachelor (1963), Savage Wild (1970), Busting (1973), A Small Town in Texas (1976), Up the Creek (1984), Inside Out (1986), Nutcracker: The Motion Picture (1986), Opposing Force (1986), Mercenary Fighters (1988), Getting it Right (1989) and Bullseye (1990).

Also today, Inception Media Group is releasing The Jazz Singer (a musical tribute to the 1927 Al Jolson classic staring Jerry Lewis) on DVD only on 2/7.

And on another film-related note, our friends at Intrada have just debuted a special restored soundtrack CD release of the complete Leonard Rosenman score to Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home! It's available here now at their website for just $19.99.

We'll leave you today with a look at the "fresh off the wires" cover artwork for Warner's just-announced A Streetcar Named Desire: The Original Restored Version - 60th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Book (due in stores on 4/10), as well as Universal's Billy Elliot (due 1/10) and Dream House (1/31)...

A Streetcar Named Desire (Blu-ray Disc)Billy Elliot (Blu-ray Disc)Dream House (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

12/12/11

We've got some more good title announcements to kick off the new week...

First of all, Warner Home Video has set A Streetcar Named Desire: The Original Restored Version - 60th Anniversary Edition for Blu-ray Book release on 4/10/2012 (SRP $34.99). This version of the Elia Kazan classic (staring Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh) is the "uncensored" version, which includes 3 additional minutes of footage that was cut by the studio in an effort to comply with the wishes of the "Legion of Decency" just prior to the film's original theatrical release. The set will also include an audio commentary (featuring Karl Malden, film historian Rudy Behlmer and Jeff Young), 6 documentaries (A Streetcar on Broadway, A Streetcar in Hollywood, Desire and Censorship, North and the South, An Actor Named Brando and Elia Kazan: A Director's Journey), Marlon Brando's screen test, film and audio outtakes, a Kazan trailer gallery and a 40-page book filled with photos and text notes. Legion of Decency... now THAT sounds just a bit evil, doesn't it?

Warner has also set the original animated Justice League: Doom for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/28 (SRP $24.98 and $19.98).

Also, we may have posted this before, but Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has set The Ides of March for Blu-ray and DVD release on 1/17 (SRP $35.99 and $30.99). Extras on both version will include 2 featurettes (Believe: George Clooney and On The Campaign: The Cast of Ides of March) and audio commentary with George Clooney and Grant Heslov. The Blu-ray will also add 2 more featurettes (Developing the Campaign: The Origin of Ides of March and What Does a Political Consultant Do?).

Coming on 3/6 from Sony is The Skin I Live In on Blu-ray and DVD. The Mighty Macs, Retreat and London Boulevard will follow on DVD on 2/21 (at least London Boulevard will also be released on Blu-ray as well).

Meanwhile, Shout! Factory has set Transformers Prime: The Complete First Season - Limited Edition for release on 4-disc Blu-ray or DVD on 3/6 (SRP $64.99 and $29.93 respectively). You can pre-order these now at Amazon.com (see cover art links below).

The BBC (and Warner) will release An Idiot Abroad on DVD only on 1/10, along with Primeval: Volume Three on both Blu-ray and DVD and Doctor Who: Invasion of the Dinosaurs on DVD only. Following on 1/12 is Doctor Who: The Android Invasion on DVD. And on 1/17, look for Merlin: The Complete Third Season and Waking the Dead: The Complete Season Six on DVD only.

The BBC has also announced that they're bringing the British, puppet-based comedy series Mongrels to the U.S. exclusively via Hulu. The first two seasons of the series are now available on Hulu and Hulu Plus.

Cinema Libre Studio has set Jean-Jacques Beineix's Moon in the Gutter on Blu-ray on 12/20 (SRP $29.95).

Well Go USA has set Kim Han-Min's Korean historical epic War of the Arrows for release on Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD on 2/21 (SRP $29.98 and $24.98). Extras will include actor and director interviews, deleted scenes, The Making of War of the Arrows featurette and theatrical trailers.

Image Entertainment has set Decision for DVD only release on 3/6 (SRP $27.97).

Lionsgate will release Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns: Season 4 and Tales of an Ancient Empire on DVD only on 1/24.

And Eagle Rock Entertainment and Kayos Productions will release Styx: The Grand Illusion/Pieces of Eight - Live on DVD, Blu-Ray and DVD/2CD on 1/31.

Here's a look at the cover art for both versions of Shout!'s Transformers Prime: The Complete First Season - Limited Edition and Warner's Justice League: Doom on Blu-ray...

Transformers Prime: The Complete First Season - Limited Edition (DVD)Transformers Prime: The Complete First Season - Limited Edition (Blu-ray Disc)Justice League: Doom (Blu-ray Disc)

Finally today, something completely different: Dr. Jahnke and I have been having a lot of fun on Facebook recently. Be sure to check out the good Doctor's Electric Theatre page on Facebook. And on my own personal page over there, I've been getting into the holiday spirit by looking back at some classic toys from the 1970s, thanks to old Christmas catalogs from Wards, Sears and JCPenny. There's also The Bits' official Facebook page as well. So feel free to join us over there as well for all the fun!

Stay tuned...

12/9/11

All right, looks like it's a bit of a slow news day announcement-wise, but here's a quick rundown of what's come in today...

Lionsgate has set Saving Private Perez and Answer This! for DVD only release on 1/10.

Shout! Factory has announced that their Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXIII DVD box set will be released on 3/27, including 4 episodes of the show not previously released on disc: King Dinosaur, The Castle of Fu Manchu, Code Name: Diamond Head and Last of the Wild Horses. You'll also get a new introduction by Frank Conniff, vintage MST3K promos, 4 featurettes (The Incredible Mr. Lippert, Life After MST3K: Kevin Murphy, Code Name: Quinn Martin and DARKSTAR: Robots Don't Need SAG Cards) and 4 exclusive mini-posters by artist Steve Vance.

Disney has revealed that they're going to be repromoting their previous Studio Ghibli DVD and Blu-ray animated releases on 2/5, presumably tied to their 2/17 theatrical release of Ghibili's 2010 animated film The Secret World of Arrietty. Titles included are Castle in the Sky, The Cat Returns, Howl's Moving Castle, Kiki's Delivery Service, Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, My Neighbors the Yamadas, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Pom Poko, Ponyo, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Tales from Earthsea and Whisper of the Heart, most of which have been released here in the States on DVD only. We would HOPE that more of them will find their way to Blu-ray in 2012, either in February or later in the year when The Secret World of Arrietty arrives on Blu-ray and DVD. We've begun asking around, so we'll let you know if we hear anything. Note that many of these HAVE been released on Blu-ray in Europe, and Whisper of the Heart is set to arrive on Blu-ray in the U.K. on 1/9. However, Optimum Home Entertainment - and not Disney - owns the home video release rights there. One would assume these discs are region locked. If any of you readers have imported these discs, we'd love to hear what you think of them.

And comedian Christopher Titus is releasing his own comedy special DVD box set, Get a Real Job, Numbnuts, on DVD on Monday 12/12. It will be available exclusively at his website, christophertitus.com.

In other news today, Home Media is reporting that additional UltraViolet digital copy titles are going to be announced at CES next months. They've posted a good write up of the issues related to UltraViolet here, the lack of iTunes compatibility being one of the biggest consumer complaints.

And finally today, we forgot to mention this the other day and so wanted to make up for it his afternoon: Actor Harry Morgan, who played Colonel Potter on TV's M*A*S*H and Officer Bill Gannon (opposite Jack Webb) on Dragnet, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 96. He also appeared in many other film and TV roles, but I can't think of any for which he'll be more deservingly remembered than that of Colonel Potter. As far as I'm concerned, M*A*S*H still sets the bar for TV dramedy and he was an absolutely indispensable member of the series' acclaimed ensemble cast. Thanks to Morgan, the words "Mule fritters!" always bring a smile to my face. He will be missed. More here at the New York Times.

We'll leave you with a look at a little more new Blu-ray cover art: Here's Paramount's Love Story (due 2/7), MTV's Beavis and Butt-Head: Volume 4 (2/14) and Fox's In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds (12/27)...

Love Story (Blu-ray Disc)Beavis and Butt-Head: Volume 4 (Blu-ray Disc)In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds (Blu-ray Disc)

Don't forget: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy opens in limited release this weekend - word is it's pretty damn great. Also, for those of you who live in western North America, there's a total lunar eclipse happening around dawn tomorrow that should be nicely visible. Click here for NASA's advice on when and how to check it out.

Have a great weekend!

12/8/11

All right, here's a piece of news some of you guys have been waiting a while for: Paramount has officially revealed that the Blu-ray 3D version of Transformers: Dark of the Moon will finally arrive in stores on 1/31. Specifically, it will be a Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo. We have no other details yet - it might just be the same release as before, just with a new 3D disc added, and not the fully-loaded special edition that's also in the works for release next year. In any case, at least a 3D option will be widely available for those who want it.

In other news today, The Asylum will release the SyFy original film Zombie Apocalypse on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/27 (SRP $24.95 and $14.95). Does anyone remember when SyFy actually broadcast sci-fi? Yeah, me either.

Meanwhile, Osiris Entertainment will release another zombie-themed film, Ashes, on DVD only on 2/7.

And here's a bit of Blu-ray-related news that should surprise no one: Sony Picture Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton has admitted that Blu-ray 3D isn't going to be enough to drive the adoption of 3D technology in the home. This is pretty much exactly what we expected all along. The next generation of 3D gaming will help, but the simple fact is that until autostereoscopic 3D displays are practical, affordable and widely available, 3D at home is going to remain a "niche of a niche" market. Most people just don't like or want to wear the glasses. 3D at home might also get a small boost if Hollywood was creating more compelling 3D movies, but the backlash against 3D by theatre-goers (which includes frustration over much higher 3D movie ticket prices) is telling we think. Anyway, more on this here at Home Media.

Finally today, here's a link to a trailer that will either thrill you with unbridled glee or make you cringe at the sheer offense to the original actors: Yes, it's the Farrelly Brothers' teaser trailer for The Three Stooges. Nuk, nuk, nuk...

Stay tuned...

12/7/11

We've got some interesting classic TV announcements for you today...

First, Shout! Factory has set Police Woman: Season Two for DVD release on 2/7. Following on 2/21 from Shout! is Hazel: The Complete Second Season. And Here Come the Brides: The Complete Second Season will round things out on 2/28.

Meanwhile, Warner Home Video has set Scarecrow & Mrs. King: The Complete Third Season for DVD only release on 2/20 (SRP $39.98). All 22 episodes will be included on 5 discs.

Warner and Adult Swim will deliver Chris Elliott's Eagleheart: Season One on DVD on 4/3 (SRP $19.97), including all 12 episodes, deleted scenes, cast and crew commentary on each episode and video of the panel at the 2011 New York Comic-Con.

Anchor Bay Entertainment has set Screwball: The Ted Whitfield Story for DVD only release on 3/13 (SRP $22.98).

Image has set The Double for Blu-ray and DVD release on 1/31 (SRP $29.97 and $27.97).

Magnolia Home Entertainment will release Limelight on DVD only on 1/24.

20th Century Fox has set Mama, I Want to Sing for DVD only release on 2/14.

Fox has also set Shark Night for Blu-ray and DVD release on 1/3.

And Entertainment One has set The Pool Boys for Blu-ray and DVD release on 12/27 (SRP $29.98 and $24.98).

Finally today, here's something interesting: Home Media is reporting Futuresource market data that indicates that Blu-ray Disc movie sales are up a whopping 35% so far in 2011, compared to the same timeframe in 2010. Total unit sales for BD discs are expected to to 110 million units. Sales are also up some 42% in Europe. More here.

Stay tuned...

12/6/11

All right, sorry today's update is a little late. Things here have been a little crazy in the last months or so. As you may recall, my grandmother passed away just before Thanksgiving. Since then I've had a couple more extended family members dealing with serious health issues, so that's kept me awfully busy in addition to my regular work here on The Bits - a lot of time on the phone and possibly some additional travel might be involved. So if posts here on the site seem to happen at irregular times, that's why and I ask for your patience.

Now then... as always, our own Russell Hammond has posted the weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section, featuring all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover art and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, a portion of any order you make from Amazon after clicking through to them from our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we really appreciate it.

In announcement news today, Universal has announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of a pair of stage musical titles on 2/7, including Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies and The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall.

Sony has set Fireflies in the Garden for DVD only release on 2/7 (SRP $30.99).

And Image Entertainment has announced a new slate of Blu-ray releases, including Arctic Mission: The Great Adventure on 2/7, Nude Nuns with Big Guns, All Things Fall Apart and 3-D Triple Feature: Dinosaurs Alive!/Wild Ocean/Mummies (IMAX) all on 2/14 (the last one is a Blu-ray 3D title), Vanya on 42nd Street and Beneath the Darkness on 2/28, Monster Brawl on 3/15, National Lampoon's The Legend of Awesomest Maximus on 3/20 and Mayday!: Season 3 and 4 on 4/3.

Vivendi Entertainment and Indomina Releasing have set Punished for DVD only release on 1/24.

And Magnolia Home Entertainment will release Happy Happy on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/24.

In other news, Lionsgate has announced that they're going to be releasing a nice library of DVD-R/MOD through CreateSpace and Amazon.com's DVD on Demand service. The initial slate will include some 100 titles, with many more coming in 2012. The first batch will be available next week, on 12/13, and will include "award-winning film and television, world cinema, cult classics and fan favorite" titles. Among them are Pedro Almodóvar High Heels, the classic film Brighton Rock and Wildfire: Season Four (the long-awaited final season of the series).

Finally today, director Ridley Scott has written a short editorial column over on The Huffington Post, in which he describes the sustaining value of physical media, why Blu-ray Disc remains the best way to watch a movie at home, and how both Blu-ray and physical media in general will still be around for a long time to come. To quote from the piece: "Far from being dead, physical media has years of life left and must be preserved because there is no better alternative. Pundits aside, Blu-ray for the foreseeable future remains the finest technology to preserve the impact and enjoyment of watching movies at home." Well said, Ridley! Having admired his work for a long time, and having had the pleasure to meet and speak with him several times now, I know that Ridley understand trends and technology well. More importantly, he remembers what that technology is meant to be used for - he remembers the point of it all. His words are well worth reading, so do give them a look. Special thanks to Bits reader John H. for sending over the link today.

Stay tuned!

12/5/11

All right, afternoon folks! There's not a lot of official announcement news yet today that we haven't already reported. That said...

Paramount has set Love Story for release on Blu-ray on 2/7 (SRP $19.99). The disc will include audio commentary by director Arthur Hiller, the Love Story: A Classic Remembered featurette and the film's trailer.

Paramount and CBS have also set Mission: Impossible - The '89 TV Season for release on DVD only on 2/28.

Sony will release Jeff Nichols' Take Shelter on DVD on 2/14.

Well Go USA has set Yakuza Weapon for Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and DVD release on 2/7 (SRP $29.98 and $24.98).

And retail sources have been checking in over the weekend with word that 20th Century Fox and MGM are about to unleash horde of new classic catalog films on Blu-ray disc in January and February. These will include Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca, Notorious and Spellbound, as well as Woody Allen's Manhattan and Annie Hall, on 1/24. That will be followed by Casino Royale on 2/7. Sure enough, all are now available for pre-order on Amazon.com by clicking on the links provided. We expect official press releases soon.

Meanwhile, Fox has also set more recent, romantic comedy fare for pre-Valentine release on Blu-ray on 1/10 as well, including John Tucker Must Die, Just Married, Shallow Hal, Never Been Kissed, Fever Pitch and Just My Luck. Also, don't forget that Futurama: Volume 6 is due on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/20, followed by Archer: The Complete Season Two on 12/27.

Here's a look at the BD cover art for Fox's Futurama: Volume 6 and Archer: The Complete Season Two, as well as Sony's Midnight in Paris (due 12/20)...

Futurama: Volume 6 (Blu-ray Disc)Archer: The Complete Season Two (Blu-ray Disc)Midnight in Paris (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

12/2/11

All right, another week's almost in the can. Does anyone else need the weekend as much as I do? I'm exhausted. Couple days of sleeping in and watching movies sounds all right by me.

First things first today: You guys all know what a HUGE fan I am of the new Battlestar Galactica TV series. Well, if you've always wanted to check it out but just haven't been able to afford the $299.99 SRP, Amazon has a Deal of the Day on the title! Today only, the Blu-ray is just $94.99, and the DVD set is just $79.99. Trust me though - you want Blu-ray. Battlestar is a series that was absolutely meant for Blu-ray viewing. So be sure to jump in there and get yourself a copy if you can!

Now then... the big release news today is that Warner Home Video has announced the Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and DVD release of Steven Soderbergh's Contagion on 1/3/2011 (SRP $35.99 and $28.98). Both versions will include the Contagion: How a Virus Changes the World featurette. The Blu-ray adds 2 more exclusive featurettes (False Comfort Zone: The Reality of Contagion and The Contagion Detectives).

Also, Universal has set the thriller Dream House (starring Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz) for Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD release on 1/31. Extras on both versions will include 4 featurettes (Buring Down the House, The Dream Cast, Building the Dream House and A Look Inside). The Blu-ray will add all the usual interactive bells and whistles, as well as an UltraViolet Digital Copy.

And the other major bit of release news is that Disney has confirmed the 1/24/2012 release of Real Steel on 3-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack, 2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD (SRP $44.99, $39.99 and $29.99 respectively). The DVD will include 2 featurettes (Making of Metal Valley and Building the Bots), plus bloopers. The 2-Disc Blu-ray will add a Second Screen interactive viewing option, 2 Deleted and Extended Scenes (with introductions by Shawn Levy) and 2 more featurettes (Countdown to the Fight: The Charlie Kenton Story and Sugar Ray Leonard: Cornerman's Champ). It will also include a DVD copy. The 3-Disc Blu-ray will include all that, plus a Digital Copy disc.

In other news today, Kino Lorber (inc. Redemption Films) has announced their January and February release slates. January's line-up includes the documentary Swastika on DVD only on 1/3, Film Socialisme on both Blu-ray and DVD on 1/10, United Red Army and Caterpillar both on DVD only on 1/17, and The Mill & the Cross Blu-ray and DVD on 1/31. These are all in addition to the Blu-ray and DVD release of the Jean Rollin titles already announced for 1/24, including Fascination, The Nude Vampire, Lips of Blood, The Shiver of the Vampires and The Iron Rose. Then in February, look for: A Star Is Born: Kino Classics Edition on Blu-ray and DVD and Michelangelo Antonioni's Story of a Love Affair: 2-Disc Special Edition on DVD only on 2/7, the Sasha Grey-produced Grindhouse title Modus Operandi and the thriller Suspicion both on DVD only on 2/14, the documentary Blank City on Blu-ray and DVD and the drama The Little Death on DVD only on 2/21, and Fritz Lang's Scarlet Street: Kino Classics Edition on Blu-ray and Lang's Spiders: Kino Classics Edition on DVD on 2/28. Pretty damn fine batch there if you ask us.

Moving on, MPI Entertainment will release The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret: Series One on DVD on 12/27.

Vivendi Entertainment and Nassar Entertainment will release A Mile in His Shoes on DVD only on 1/10.

Anchor Bay entertainment has set The Chateau Meroux for DVD only release on 1/3.

Also, note that the street date for Shout! Factory's Underdog: The Complete Collector's Edition has moved from 1/24/2012 to 2/21/2012. Adjust your plans accordingly.

Finally today, we'll leave you with a look at the cover art for Kino Lorber's United Red Army DVD and Film Socialisme Blu-ray, Fox's There Be Dragons (due 1/10) and The Whistleblower (1/24) on Blu-ray, Disney's Real Steel 3-Disc Blu-ray Combo and Warner's Contagion Blu-ray Combo....

United Red Army (DVD)Film Socialisme (Blu-ray Disc)There Be Dragons (Blu-ray Disc)

The Whistleblower (Blu-ray Disc)Real Steel (3-Disc Blu-ray Disc)Contagion (Blu-ray Disc)

Have a great weekend, everyone!

12/1/11

Morning, folks... and welcome to December. Damn, already? Well, there it is. It so happens that, for a variety of reasons, I'm up before the sun this morning. So we've got a nice early post for you, complete with a couple of good pieces of announcement news.

First though, our own Barrie Maxwell has checked in with another new classic stand-alone review. This time, it's a DVD - specifically a DVD-R MOD title from the Warner Archive: the Jean Harlow 100th Anniversary Collection. Enjoy!

Also here at the site today, we've kicked off a new Giveaway, offering each of you the chance to take home a copy of Universal's Michael Jackson: The Life of an Icon on Blu-ray. Entries will be accepted until Noon (Pacific) on Sunday, December 11th. Click on the link to get started and good luck!

All right, let's get to that release news...

Universal has officially set the 2011 prequel The Thing for release on Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD on 1/31/2012. The Blu-ray will include feature commentary with director Matthijs Van Heijningen and producer Eric Newman, deleted and extended scenes, 2 featurettes (The Thing Evolves and Fire & Ice), a U-Control Picture in Picture viewing mode, an UltraViolet digital copy and the usual interactive bells and whistles.

Not to be outdone, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has officially set the thriller Colombiana for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/20 (SRP $35.99 and $30.99). Both the Blu-ray and DVD will include the Unrated version of the film and a pair of featurettes (Colombiana: The Making of and Cateleya's Journey). The Blu-ray will exclusively add 3 more featurettes (Assassins, Training a Killer and Taking the Ride). You'll also get an UltraViolet digital copy.

Also, HBO and Warner Home Video have announced (via Entertainment Weekly) the Blu-ray and DVD release of Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season on 3/6/2012 (SRP $79.98 and $59.99 respectively). Both versions will include all 10 episodes, along with the Complete Guide to Westeros interactive compendium, 15 Character Profiles, 5 featurettes (Making Game of Thrones, Creating the Show Open, From the Book to the Screen, The Night's Watch and Creating the Dothraki Language) and audio commentaries on 7 episodes with the cast and crew (including including David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, George R.R. Martin, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, and more). The Blu-ray version will add 24 exclusive histories of the Seven Kingdoms (as told by the characters, to the Complete Guide to Westeros feature), an interactive In-Episode Guide with on-screen information, the Anatomy of an Episode featurette (about the making of Episode 6: A Golden Crown) and hidden Dragon Eggs (aka Easter eggs).

Speaking of Warner, the studio has announced that the street dates for their recently announced Striptease, 9 1/2 Weeks and Disclosure Blu-rays have been moved up from 3/20/2012 to 3/6. Adjust your plans accordingly.

Finally this morning, here's a look at the fresh Blu-ray cover artwork for Universal's The Thing (2011), Sony's Colombiana and HBO's Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season...

The Thing (2011 - Blu-ray Disc)Colombiana (Blu-ray Disc)Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

11/30/11

More release news for you today...

First, Warner Home Video has moved the street date for The Town: Ultimate Collector's Edition on BD/DVD Combo from 2/7/2012 to 3/6/2012. Adjust your plans accordingly.

Warner has also set Tom & Jerry: In the Dog House for DVD only release on 3/6, and the studio has slated the CG-animated Lion of Judah for release on Blu-ray 3D format on 3/27.

In addition, Warner and the BBC have set The Fades: Season One for Blu-ray release on 2/21.

Meanwhile, Sony has set The Whistleblower for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/24. Extras will include cast and crew interviews.

Image Entertainment has set Track 29 for DVD only release on 2/21 (SRP $14.98). The film stars Gary Oldman.

20th Century Fox has announced There Be Dragons for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/10/2012, along with What's Your Number. In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds also streets on both formats on 12/27. There Be Dragons will include the Facing Your Dragons: Inspiring Testimony from Wes Bentley featurette and deleted scenes. In the Name of the King 2 will include 2 behind-the-scenes featurettes, plus writer's commentary and director's commentary.

Also today, Shout! Factory has announced another DVD Action Double Feature title for release on 1/17 that will include The Last Hard Men and Sky Riders, both of which star James Corburn.

And FUNimation Entertainment has announced that they've acquired the U.S. home video release rights to Kenneth Bi's 2010 Chinese film Girl$, and will release it on DVD in the fall of 2012.

In other news today, it seems that Universal is offering an exchange program for those of you who purchased their recent Halloween II Blu-ray. As some of you may know, the previous version featured a credit alteration in which the original "Moustapha Akkad presents" credit was replaced with "Universal - an MCA Company presents". Bits reader Matty D. tells us (thanks Matty!) that the studio has now corrected this error and is making replacement discs available. So if you've got the original disc, contact Universal Studios Home Entertainment Consumer Relations by email at USHE.ConsumerRelations@bydeluxe.com to arrange your replacement copy.

All right, we're going to leave you with some great new Blu-ray cover artwork today. Here's a look at Milestone Film's newly-announced On the Bowery (due 2/7) and five of those great Jean Rollin Blu-ray titles that Kino Lorber is releasing in January (all on 1/24), including Fascination, Lips of Blood, The Shiver of the Vampires, The Iron Rose and The Nude Vampire. Enjoy!

On the Bowery (Blu-ray Disc)Fascination (Blu-ray Disc)Lips of Blood (Blu-ray Disc)

The Shiver of the Vampires (Blu-ray Disc)The Iron Rose (Blu-ray Disc)The Nude Vampire (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

11/29/11

Let's get today's news update going, shall we?

First up, our own Russell Hammond has once again posted the weekly Release Dates and Artwork update with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover artwork from Amazon.com, as well as the appropriate pre-order links to get your copies. As always, a portion of anything you order from Amazon after clicking to them from our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we truly do appreciate it.

Now then... Paramount has just kicked off its 100th Anniversary celebration by launching a new Paramount Film Club Facebook page. From their press release:

"Featuring unseen images, timeless quotes, little-known trivia, star-studded celebrity Vodcasts and much more - the Paramount Film Club is committed to delving into the incredible stories behind some of Hollywood's finest films."

And no doubt they will promote their anniversary year Blu-ray and DVD releases there as well, hopefully set to include some true classics from the Paramount archive (if their recent announcement of Wings is any indication). We already know that Titanic and the classic Indiana Jones Trilogy will be among them. Here's hoping for lots more.

Speaking of classic films, Milestone Film & Video has officially announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of Lionel Rogosin's On the Bowery on 2/7/2012 (SRP $39.95 and $34.95)! The film has been mastered in 2K from the Cineteca del Comune di Bologna restoration. Extras will include an introduction by Martin Scorsese, the 45-minute The Perfect Team: The Making of On the Bowery documentary, additional restored films by Rogosin - Out and Good Times, Wonderful Times, 4 featurettes and short features (A Walk Through the Bowery, Street of Forgotten Men, Bowery Men's Shelter and Man’s Peril: The Making of Good Times, Wonderful Times) and the trailer for On the Bowery.

In other release news, 20th Century Fox has set What's Your Number for Blu-ray and DVD release on 1/10/2012. Extras will include an extended cut of the film, extended deleted scenes and "Flashback Dates" and a gag reel.

BBC Video will debut The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Complete Fourth Season on DVD on 12/6 (SRP $29.98).

Lionsgate has set Nurse Jackie: Season Three and Weeds: Season Seven for Blu-ray and DVD release on 2/21/2012. That same day, they'll also release Borgia: Season One on DVD only.

Image has set the horror film Don't Let Him In for DVD release on 1/3/2012. Image will also release "the first Israeli horror film" Rabies on DVD on 2/28.

And for music fans, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release Owl City: Live from Los Angeles on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/7/2012.

Also today, an event reminder: Don't forget that TONIGHT is the big Chillerama Blu-ray and DVD signing event up at the Dark Delicacies bookstore in Burbank, CA. The event starts at 7PM and lots of the cast and crew will be on hand to sign copies, which will be available for sale at the store. Dark Delicacies is located at 3512 W. Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank (818-556-6660).

Finally today, (speaking of 100th anniversary releases) we're very pleased to bring you what might be your first look at the cover artwork and packaging for Universal's 100th Anniversary Blu-ray Book editions of All Quiet on the Western Front and To Kill a Mockingbird, both due on 2/14 and 1/31 respectively. Enjoy!

All Quiet on the Western Front (Blu-ray Disc)To Kill a Mockingbird (Blu-ray Disc)

All Quiet on the Western Front (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

11/28/11

Welcome to Cyber Monday, folks! Hope you've all had a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving holiday... and gotten lots of great deals on Blu-rays, DVDs and such on Black Friday. You can expect lots more deals all through Christmas, as it seems as if both physical and online retailers are really being aggressive in their discounts. So if there are titles or items you're still interested in, keep your eyes peeled to Amazon.com and elsewhere. If you're going to buy stuff, you might as well get a bargain, right?

Anyway, Sarah and I certainly had a great time with family visiting over the past week, enjoying lots of food, drink and movies. As it happens, we watched Follow the Fleet and the Coen Brothers' O Brother, Where Art Thou? on Thanksgiving night. That last one might have to become a holiday tradition around here! By the way, I wasn't aware of it in advance or I'd have said something to you guys, but it seems that the cable channel Encore ran a Lord of the Rings Marathon all this past weekend, and even showed the Extended Editions of the films back to back with no commercial interruption. And in HD to boot! Not a bad way to spend a holiday, if you ask me.

All right, here at The Bits today, we've got a couple good things for you...

First, our esteemed Barrie Maxwell has turned in a stand-alone review of Sarah's Key, now available on Blu-ray from Anchor Bay and The Weinstein Company here in the States (and TVA Films in Canada). Sounds like the film is well worth your time, so do check it out. Just make sure you get the U.S. release, as Barrie says there are quality and content issues with the TVA edition.

Also, our good Dr. Adam Jahnke has just turned in a tribute column for the controversial English director Ken Russell, who sadly passed away on Sunday at the age of 84. I'll let the good Doctor handle the honors, as he can do such things justice like few others. Be sure to give his thoughts a read - it's worth your time.

In announcement news today, Sony has officially confirmed the Blu-ray and DVD release of Drive for 1/31/2012 (SRP $30.00 and $26.99). Extras on the Blu-ray will include 5 featurettes (I Drive, Under the Hood, Driver and Irene, Cut to the Chase and Drive Without a Driver: Interview with Nicolas Winding Refn) and of course UltraViolet.

Sony has also set the political thriller Ides of March for Blu-ray and DVD release on 1/17/2012 (SRP $35.99 and $30.99). Extras will include audio commentary with George Clooney and Grant Heslov, 4 featurettes (Developing the Campaign: The Origin of The Ides of March, Believe: George Clooney, On the Campaign: The Cast of The Ides of March and What Does a Political Consultant Do?) and UltraViolet.

Sony has also listed more MOD DVD-R titles for online retailer release on 1/3/2012, including Paradise Lagoon (a.k.a. The Admirable Crichton), Before Winter Comes, Luv, Take a Girl Like You, Carolina Blues, Zarak, The Black Book (a.k.a. Reign of Terror), Cocaine and Blue Eyes, There's Something About a Soldier and The Child Stealer. And on regular DVD, Sony has Last Man Standing tentatively slated for release on DVD on 2/7/2012.

Meanwhile, here's something exciting: Universal has FINALLY started to announce more of their 100th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray releases, including the long-awaited Blu-ray of To Kill a Mockingbird on 1/31/2012 and All Quiet on the Western Front on 2/14! Both will be BD/DVD/Digital Copy Combo releases. To Kill a Mockingbird will include audio commentary with director Robert Mulligan and producer Alan Pakula, 7 featurettes (A Conversation with Gregory Peck, Fearful Symmetry: The Making of To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout Remembers, Academy Award Best Actor Acceptance Speech, American Film Institute Life Achievement Award, Excerpt from Tribute to Gregory Peck and 100 Years of Universal: Restoring the Classics), along with U-Control: Scene Companion, the usual interactive options and a Digital Copy. All Quiet on the Western Front will include an introduction by TCM host Robert Osborne, the silent version of All Quiet on the Western Front, 2 featurettes (100 Years of Universal: Restoring the Classics and 100 Years of Universal: Academy Award Winners), all the usual interactive options and a Digital Copy.

Also today, Lionsgate has set Stormhouse, Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred and Project Nim for release on DVD only on 2/7/2012, followed by The Mortician on DVD only on 2/14.

Paramount and MTV will release Beavis and Butt-Head: Volume 4 on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/14/2012. [Editor's Note: We'd previously reported this as a DVD-only release, but it WILL also be released on Blu-ray. Adjust your plans accordingly.]

Paramount and DreamWorks Animation will release the animated Penguins of Madagascar: Operation Blowhole on DVD only on 1/10/2012.

And Disney is set to announce the Blu-ray and DVD release of Real Steel sometime later this week or early next. Retail sources suggest the street date is likely to be sometime in mid-February (note that the U.K. street date is reportedly 2/20/2012).

Here's a look at the cover art for Warner's 9 1/2 Weeks (due 3/20), Sony's Ides of March and Anchor Bay's Catch .44 (12/20)...

9 1/2 Weeks (Blu-ray Disc)Ides of March (Blu-ray Disc)Catch .44 (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

11/26/11

Just wanted to drop in here quickly today to say that we hope you're all having a wonderful holiday weekend with your family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving from the whole Bits family!

See you back here on Monday with the latest release news. Cheers!

(LATE UPDATE - 11/22/11 - 12:30 PM PST)

Afternoon, folks! Hope you're all enjoying a lovely Tuesday, and - here in the States at least - getting ready for your Thanksgiving festivities.

A number of you have asked us recently about the status of A&E and Network's planned Blu-ray release of Space: 1999 - Season Two. It was originally hoped that the title would be released in 2011, but that window has come and gone with no official word. Well... we asked our friends involved at A&E for an official update, and they were kind enough to oblige. So here it is...

"While we remain hopeful that we can release Season 2 of Space 1999 on Blu-ray, the significant restoration and production efforts involved are causing the project to take longer than we, and the fans, would want. We feel that it is essential that the quality of Season 2 measures up in every way to Season 1 and we are not going to release a product that does not accomplish that."

So essentially, they're working hard on it and it's currently still planned for release... eventually. We suspect you'll hear more in the new year, and with any luck it will be available on Blu-ray by the end of 2012. Meanwhile, just know that they're working on it and, with luck, good things come to those who wait. Hope that clarifies it.

In other news today... well, there really isn't a lot of other news today, given that a lot of the studio folk here in SoCal have started packing off for the holiday this week. Except this from Lionsgate...

The studio has announced the DVD-only release of Project Nim on 2/7/2012, followed by the DVD-only release of The Mortician on 2/14.

So there you go. By the way, we'll check in again tomorrow. If anything else comes up in the meantime, we'll be sure to let you know.

Cheers and safe travels to all those of you hitting the road and/or skies this week!

Stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 11/22/11 - 12:01 AM PST)

All right... we've got Barrie's new Classic Coming Attractions column ready for you, complete with 10 full classic disc reviews, a rundown of some 34 more MOD titles, and all the usual classic release announcements and updates. The 10 standard reviews include Criterion's Island of Lost Souls and Paramount's Breakfast at Tiffany's on Blu-ray, Twilight Time's Stagecoach and The Left Hand of God, TCM/Universal's Back Street double bill, Paramount's Gunsmoke: The Fifth Season, Volume 1, Rawhide: The Fourth Season, Volume 2 and Bonanza: The Official Second Season, Volume 2 all on DVD, and Warner Archive's Housewife and Juarez on MOD DVD-R. Enjoy!

Also, sometime later this morning, our own Russell Hammond will update 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 truly do appreciate it.

Speaking of Amazon, don't forget to keep checking Amazon's Black Friday Week deals on Blu-ray and DVD titles. There are lots of titles on sale all week, and there are new Lightning Deals that are updated every couple of hours. There's some great sale prices involved on popular titles, so be sure to take advantage if there are any you've been looking for.

In other news today, Sony has revealed that it's releasing Das Boot: The Director's Cut (208 mins) on Blu-ray Disc on 1/31/2012 (SRP $19.99). Extras will include audio commentary with director Wolfgang Peterson. Note that this is essentially just Disc One of the previously-released Das Boot: 2-Disc Collector's Set Blu-ray, so if you already have that, there's no need to purchase this new release.

Meanwhile, CBS and Paramount have set CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Grave Danger for release on 2-Disc DVD/BD Combo on 2/7/2012. As some of you may already be aware, this was the episode directed by Quentin Tarantino. Also, Paramount has set Father Dowling Mysteries: The First Season for DVD release on 2/7 as well.

Finally, 20th Century Fox has announced the Blu-ray Disc/DVD Combo release of the 1952 classic Stars and Stripes Forever on 12/13 (SRP $27.99).

Here's a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Fox's Stars and Stripes Forever, Warner's Fort Apache (2/21), Lionsgate and Miramax's The Piano (1/31) and Frida (1/31) and Sony's Restless (1/24) and Courageous (1/17)...

Stars and Stripes Forever (Blu-ray Disc)Fort Apache (Blu-ray Disc)The Piano (Blu-ray Disc)

Frida (Blu-ray Disc)Restless (Blu-ray Disc)Courageous (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

11/21/11

Afternoon
, folks! Welcome to the new week. Little bit crazy around here. Let's just say that holiday celebration preparations are dropping on me at unexpected times, in unexpected quantities. Not to mention, it's just hard to believe it's already almost Thanksgiving!

First up today, we're working on Barrie's new Classic Coming Attractions column and it should be up in a few hours. So stay tuned for that.

Second, I wanted to bring to your attention the fact that Amazon is having special Black Friday deals ALL THIS WEEK on Blu-ray and DVD titles, and pretty much everything else you can imagine. Among the current deals available are The Lord of the Rings: Extended Trilogy BD for just $49.99 (almost 60% off), the Star Trek: Motion Picture Collection BD for just $39.99 (60% off), the Jurassic Park Trilogy BD for just $29.99 (63% off), and on and on. There are really great titles on sale all week for HUGE discounts, so be sure to click on this link (or the banners at the top of the page) ALL WEEK LONG to take advantage of the savings.

All right... third, how's about some more release news?

Lionsgate has finally officially set Shakespeare in Love, The English Patient and Cold Mountain for Blu-ray Disc release on 1/31/2012. Shakespeare in Love and Cold Mountain will both sell for $14.99 each, while The English Patient will be $19.99. According to the press release, all three titles WILL include special features. Shakespeare in Love will include commentary with director John Madden, a second commentary with the cast and crew, 2 featurettes (Shakespeare in Love and On Film and one on costumes), deleted scenes, TV spots and a theatrical trailer. Cold Mountain will include audio commentary with screenwriter/director Anthony Minghella and editor Walter Murch, 5 featurettes (Words & Music of Cold Mountain: Royce Hall Special, Climbing Cold Mountain, A Journey to Cold Mountain, Sacred Harp History and Storyboard Comparisons) and deleted scenes. And The English Patient will boast audio commentary with director Anthony Minghella, audio commentary with screenwriter-director Anthony Minghella, producer Saul Zaentz and author Michael Ondaatje, and 9 featurettes (CBC Documentary: Making of The English Patient, A Historical Look at the Real Count Almásy, The Formidable Saul Zaentz, From Novel to Screenplay, About Michael Ondaatje, The Work of Stuart Craig: Production Designer, The Eyes of Phil Bray: Still Photographer, Filmmaker Conversations With: Anthony Minghella, Saul Zaentz, Michael Ondaatje and Walter Murch and Master Class with Anthony Minghella: Deleted Scenes). Here's a look at the cover art...

Cold Mountain (Blu-ray Disc)Shakespeare in Love (Blu-ray Disc)The English Patient (Blu-ray Disc)

Meanwhile, Sony has set Courageous for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/17/2012 (SRP $35.99 and $30.99).

Fox has set There Be Dragons for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/10/2012.

Warner Home Video will release Cartoon Network's It Came from the Nightosphere on DVD on 3/6/2012 (SRP $19.82). Warner will also release Striptease, 9 ½ Weeks and Disclosure on Blu-ray only on 3/20/2012 (SRP $19.98 each).

In other release news, Menemsha Films has set the Israeli comedy A Matter of Size and the documentary Inside Hana's Suitcase for DVD release on 12/6.

Image will release I Ain't Scared of You: A Tribute to Bernie Mac on DVD on 2/21/2012. Image has also set Greece: Secrets of the Past for release on Blu-ray on 1/20/2012.

And A&E Home Entertainment will release Vietnam in HD (BD and DVD) and Swamp People: Season Two (DVD) on 12/13.

Finally this morning, the Dark Delicacies bookstore in Burbank, CA is going to be holding a special Blu-ray and DVD signing event on November 29th, with the cast and filmmakers of Chillerama. The signing will start at 7PM. Attending will be directors Adam Green and Joe Lynch, stars Kane Hodder, Lin Shaye, Ray Wise, Kristina Klebe and Anton Troy, and composer Bear McCreary (Bear will also be signing the Zom-B CD). You have to purchase discs at Dark Delicacies for the event, but the participating guests MAY also sign one additional item at their discretion. A few copies of the BD pre-signed by director Adam Rifkin will also be available, along with free posters. Additional details and directions can be found here. If you're a fan of Chillerama... be there!

All right, back with Barrie's column later. Stay tuned...

11/17/11

All right, we've got a few more new announcements to report this morning...

First, Universal is going to start releasing a series of new and reissue Universal: 100th Anniversary Editions of their various catalog titles on Blu-ray and DVD next year, starting with Billy Elliot on Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack on 1/10/2012. Billy Elliot hasn't been released on Blu-ray in the U.S., though import versions are available. All the new titles will include those not yet released on Blu-ray. We expect to learn of more soon.

In addition to the Blu-ray release of Honey on 2/21/2012, Universal will release Honey 2 on Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack that same day.

Vanguard has set Fat City, New Orleans, Lost River: Lincoln's Secret Weapon, The Evolution of Andrew Andrews and Behind the Glass for DVD release on 1/31/2012 (SRP $19.95 each).

Synapse Films will release the Japanese horror film Gurozuka on DVD only on 1/10/2012 (SRP $24.95).

Shout! Factory has set Hey Dude: Season 2 for release on DVD on 1/31/2012.

The Cinema Guild will release Cristi Puiu's Aurora on DVD 1/10/2012 (SRP $29.95).

And Anchor Bay Entertainment will release Dirty Girl on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/17/2011.

Stay tuned...

11/16/11

All right, we've got a few more quick title announcements for you today...

The big news this morning is that Criterion has announced a great new batch of titles that will join its Collection in February 2012, and once again they've impressed the hell out of us. On 2/7, look for Chris Marker's La Jetée and Sans Soleil (1963/1983, #387, BD and DVD). 2/14 will bring Hideo Gosha's Three Outlaw Samurai (1964, #596, BD and DVD) and Lena Dunham's Tiny Furniture (2010, #597, BD and DVD). Following on 2/21 are Otto Preminger's Anatomy of a Murder (1959, #600, BD and DVD) and Rainer Werner Fassbinder's World on a Wire (1973, #598, BD and DVD). Finally on 2/28, look for Louis Malle's Vanya on 42nd Street (1994, #599, BD and DVD). How cool to have Otto Preminger on BD!

Also today, in addition to their recently announced Unforgiven: 20th Anniversary Edition, Warner Home Video has set the classic western Fort Apache for release on Blu-ray on 2/21/2012.

HBO and Warner have set Thurgood and The Josephine Baker Story for release on Blu-ray on 1/17/2012 (Thurgood will also be released on DVD - The Josephine Baker Story is already available on the format), followed by The Sunset Limited on both formats on 2/7/2012.

Universal will release Honey on Blu-ray on 2/21/2012 (it's already available on DVD).

Sony has set Moneyball for Blu-ray/DVD Combo, Blu-ray and DVD release on 1/10/2012 (SRP $40.99, $35.99 and $30.99). Extras will include 4 featurettes (Billy Beane: Re-Inventing the Game, Drafting the Team, Moneyball: Playing the Game and Adapting Moneyball), a funny outtake and a PS3 wallpaper. Sony has also set tentatively set Drive for release on 1/31/2012 (more details to follow). And expect The Adventures of Milo and Otis for Blu-ray/DVD Combo release on 1/24/2012.

20th Century Fox and MGM are releasing more deep catalog titles as part of MGM's Limited Edition Collection DVD-R/MOD slate - 18 more titles in all. Available on 11/22 via major online retailers will be Gog (1954), The Big Caper (1957), Three Came to Kill (1960), You Have to Run Fast (1961), Hostile Witness (1968), The 1,000 Plane Raid (1969), The Bed Sitting Room (1969), The First Time (1969), Hannibal Brooks (1969), Impasse (1969), Halls of Anger (1970), Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You (1970), What Do You Say to a Naked Lady? (1970), Manchu Eagle Murder Caper Mystery (1975), A Small Town in Texas (1976), Zone Troopers (1985), Opposing Force (1986) and Getting It Right (1989).

Meanwhile, Lionsgate has officially announced the DVD releases of Thunder Soul, LeapFrog: Number Land and You and I on 1/31/2012, along with the Blu-ray and DVD release Frida and The Piano that same day. (No word on the other Miramax titles we mentioned yesterday, but watch for details soon.) Following on 2/7 is the DVD release of Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred and Stormhouse. Lionsgate has previously set Warrior and Margin Call for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/20. Neither Frida or The Piano is indicated to have any extra features, but we'll double-check that.

Image Entertainment has set MacGillivray Freeman's Arabia for release on Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray and DVD on 12/6 (SRP $24.98 and $19.98).

Our friends at Blue Underground seem to have a never ending supply of great little B and Z-grade Italian horror titles to release on Blu-ray, and on 3/27/2012 they'll deliver another: Strip Nude for Your Killer (SRP $29.98). Extras will include the Strip Nude for Your Giallo interview featurette (which includes actress Solvi Stubing and co-writer Massimo Felisatti) and the trailer.

First Run Features has set Making the Boys and Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven for DVD only release on 11/22.

And Hen's Tooth Video will release James Whale's The Man in the Iron Mask (1939) on DVD only on 2/14/2012 (SRP $19.95), mastered from a 35mm fine grain print.

And in other news today, our old friend and Bits reader Wilson T. sent us a link to a pretty interesting bit of film news this morning from First Showing.net and Bleeding Cool. It seems that filmmaker Douglas Trumbull wants to make 120 fps space epic film in 3D. Trumbull, as many of you know, was the man who created the stunning visual effects in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, and later directed Silent Running. Most recently, he worked with filmmaker Terrence Malick on the "Origin of the Universe" sequences of Tree of Life. We sure as hell hope he gets the chance. Fingers crossed he finds major studio backing for such a daring and original endeavor, which seems to be all too rare these days.

We'll leave you with a look at a trio of those newly-announced Criterion BDs, including Three Outlaw Samurai, Anatomy of a Murder and World on a Wire, as well as Warner's Unforgiven: 20th Anniversary Edition, Blue Underground's Strip Nude for Your Killer and Sony's Moneyball. Enjoy!

Three Outlaw Samurai (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)Anatomy of a Murder (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)World on a Wire (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)

Unforgiven: 20th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Disc)Strip Nude for Your Killer (Blu-ray Disc)Moneyball (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

(LATE UPDATE - 11/15/11 - 3 PM PST)

All right, to get things started this afternoon, 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 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 truly do appreciate it.

Now then...

In announcement news today, here's some great classic film news: Paramount has officially revealed that they intend to release the very first Best Picture-winning film, William Wellman's 1927 Wings, on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/24/2012! The WWI air combat classic has been fully restored from a duplicate negative housed in the Paramount archive (the original was lost many years ago). From the official press release:

"Because the original negative was lost decades ago, contemporary audiences have only seen Wings in a compromised form. The restoration process utilized a duplicate negative housed in the Paramount archive, but despite this being the best element available, the negative was beset by damage, including entire reels that were strafed with scratches and printed-in nitrate deterioration that was literally eating into the edges of the frames. Using state-of-the-art digital tools normally used to create special effects, the film was meticulously restored frame-by-frame. Original tints and effects, such as colors that were embossed onto the film strip to give flames and explosions a fiery look, were also digitally recreated based on a detailed continuity script that still existed and tinting/toning guides from the period.

For this release, the film's original paper score was procured from the Library of Congress and recorded with a full orchestra. Like many silent film scores, the music was a combination of original composition, popular songs of the period and themes from classical music. Musicians with expertise in silent film music were chosen to recreate a truly orchestral experience.

In addition, Academy Award-winning sound designer Ben Burtt (Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark) and the outstanding team of sound engineers at Skywalker Sound added World War I sound effects as authentically as possible using library sounds from earlier eras to give viewers a true-to-the-period experience."


That's just awesome news as far as we're concerned. Extras on the release will include a trio of featurettes - Wings: Grandeur in the Sky, Dogfight! and Restoring the Power and Beauty of Wings. SRP will be $29.99 for BD and $24.99 for DVD. You'll find the official BD cover art for this release below.

Here's another bit of great classic news: Walt Disney Studios has officially confirmed what we've been saying for a while now, specifically that Lady and the Tramp and Cinderella will both arrive on Blu-ray Disc as part of their Diamond line of classic animated titles in 2012. Lady and the Tramp has officially been set for release on 2/7/2012 in 3-disc BD/DVD/Digital Copy combo pack, 2-disc BD/DVD Combo and DVD (SRP $44.99, $39.99 and $29.99, respectively), while Cinderella will arrive in Fall 2012. We've posted the official cover art for the 2-disc Blu-ray of Lady and the Tramp below.

Disney has also set the CG-animated holiday title Prep & Landing for DVD only release on 11/22 (SRP $19.99).

Meanwhile, Warner Home Video has set their Unforgiven: 20th Anniversary Edition for release on 2/21/2012 in Blu-ray Book packaging (SRP $34.99). Extras will include audio commentary by Eastwood biographer Richard Schickel, 4 featurettes (All on Accounta Pullin’ a Trigger, Eastwood... A Star, Eastwood & Co.: Making Unforgiven and Eastwood on Eastwood), the Maverick TV series episode Duel at Sundown (from 1959, guest starring Eastwood) and the film's theatrical trailer.

In other release news, Adult Swim and WHV will bow Superjail! Season 2 on DVD on 3/13/2012.

According to pre-orders now open on Amazon.com, Lionsgate has slated a number of Oscar-winning, Miramax catalog film titles for release on Blu-ray Disc on 1/31, including The English Patient, Cold Mountain, The Piano, Shakespeare in Love and Frida. We expect additional details soon.

Meanwhile, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has set Gus Van Sant's Restless for release on Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack on 1/24/2012 (SRP $45.99). Extras will include deleted scenes, Van Sant's optional Silent Film version and several featurettes.

20th Century Fox has set Glee: A Very Special Christmas for release on DVD on 11/15.

Anchor Bay Entertainment has acquired the home video distribution rights for the horror film Mother's Day, and will release it on disc in the months ahead. Anchor Bay has also set The Littlest Angel on DVD on 11/15.

Image Entertainment has set Half Pint Brawlers: Season 1 on DVD on 11/15 as well. They also have Little Deaths coming on DVD on 12/13. What's more, Image has set Nude Nuns with Big Guns for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/14/2012.

And The Collective and Bloody Disgusting.com have announced that the next entry in the Bloody Disgusting Selects series will be the horror-comedy Chop, available on DVD on 12/27.

Also this afternoon, for those of you who may be excited about CBS's forthcoming BD release of Star Trek: The Next Generation in HD, there's a new preview trailer that reveals a little more new HD footage, including a couple new and improved effects shots. Be sure to watch it in 720p resolution for the full effect. As many of you know, TV Shows on DVD has also posted word that a few shots in select episodes may not get the fill HD upgrade because - occasionally - the original film elements are proving difficult to find. But the hope is that as CBS continues combing the Paramount film vault for future seasons, at least some of that material will be located eventually, having simply been mislaid.

Finally today... while I was away for the weekend there were LOTS of e-mailed responses to my comments regarding the end of the CD format in 2012 (from last week). There were a whole range of responses, especially to my comments about preferring vinyl versions of my favorite albums to CD. It turns out that this is one of those technical topics of debate that - in enthusiast communities online - is nearly as controversial as the HD disc format war was. Several people said they believe 24-bit recordings aren't necessarily better, that vinyl isn't always better than CD, etc, etc. Let me clarify my comments: It's true, vinyl isn't always better, especially when you're talking about older recordings. LP and CD are essentially delivery media. What matters is how the recordings were mixed and mastered in the first place. But what's most certainly true, is that many recordings released on CD (and in lossy digital formats like MP3 as well) employ something called dynamic range compression. What this essentially does is reduce much of the "space" in the recording, making them sound brighter and louder, so that they sound better on cheap car speakers, on headphones and earbuds, over the radio, etc. But if you have very good speakers and audio equipment (of the likes which make up MANY home theatre systems these days), what dynamic range compression does is to remove much of the sonic clarity and quality in the original recording - the very things that make the recording sound clear, natural and "live". What's also true is that, in recent years, limited-edition LPs have enjoyed a bit of a resurgence among audiophiles. This is because a number of indie and boutique labels have been releasing LP versions of popular new and catalog albums specifically WITHOUT dynamic range compression and on heavier weight vinyl, essentially making them audiophile recordings and ensuring that they sound significantly better than the regular CD and digital versions. THOSE are the vinyl recordings I've been trying to collect, as someone for whom the high quality music experience has grown ever more important. And yes, these do sound better than CDs. I would be quite happy if the major labels released such titles on Blu-ray or some other lossless disc format, or simply as lossless digital files. But that hasn't happened widely yet. Anyway, I just wanted to clarify that point - something I should have done last week, but in all the chaos of the last few days didn't have time to do until now.

One last note today: Barrie wants you all to know that he's doing well and is hard at work on a new Classic Coming Attractions column. We should have it up here on The Bits on this coming Monday morning.

We'll leave you today with look at new cover art for Disney's Lady and the Tramp: Platinum Edition, Paramount's Wings and Lionsgate's The English Patient on Blu-ray. All three titles are now available for pre-order on Amazon.com by clicking on the cover art...

Lady and the Tramp: Platinum Edition (Blu-ray Disc)Wings (Blu-ray Disc)The English Patient (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 11/15/11 - 11 AM PST)

All right, I'm back and regular news posts will resume here shortly. Thanks again for your patience.

The reason for my mysterious disappearance Friday and yesterday, is that my grandmother passed away on Friday morning. She was 91 and in failing health, so it was not unexpected, but you're obviously seldom ready to deal with such things. It became clear that this was about to happen early last week, and so I spent a couple days frantically arranging a trip home to the Dakotas to see her. My grandparents were a huge part of my life growing up, so I pretty much had to drop everything and go. I flew to Rapid City, SD early Thursday morning, and just got back last night. Anyway, tough as it was, it was really nice reconnecting with family and sharing memories of my grandparents with them. Anyway, I just wanted to give you all a quick update. I'll check back in an hour or two to catch up on all the latest news.

Meanwhile, this is for grandma: Vivian Des Lauriers (May 29,1920 - November 11, 2011)

Louis and Vivian Des Lauriers - my grandparents. Rest in Peace.

Back soon...


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