We'll begin by presenting you with Lucasfilm's official trailer for the Indiana Jones Blu-ray release...
Not bad. Again, we expect more official details in the weeks ahead. Maybe more at WonderCon next month, DEFINITLEY more at Comic-Con in July.
Now then... we've got a couple of other quick bits of release and announcement news...
First up, Warner Home Video has announced the Blu-ray Disc/DVD/UltraViolet Combo and Deluxe Edition DVD release of Dr. Seuss: Green Eggs and Ham and Other Stories on 6/26 (SRP $24.98 and $19.97). In addition to Green Eggs and Ham, the set will include the animated shorts The Sneetches and The Zax.
Also newly announced by Warner Home Video for DVD only release are Pretty Little Liars: The Complete Second Season on 6/5 (SRP $59.98) and The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Complete Fifth Season on 6/12 (for the BBC - SRP $19.98).
Meanwhile, IFC Films has set House of Pleasures and Loosies for DVD only release on 3/13, followed by A Lonely Place to Die on Blu-ray and DVD and Sidewalls on DVD only on 3/20.
Film Chest has set episodes of the classic game show People Are Funny for DVD only release on 3/20.
Millennium Entertainment will release High Road on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/6.
Well Go USA Entertainment has Blade of Kings coming on Blu-ray/DVD Combo on 3/6 as well.
Magnolia Home Entertainment has set Angels Crest for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/3.
Image Entertainment has set Memorial Day (featuring James Cromwell) for Blu-ray release on 5/29 (SRP $27.97).
And Anchor Bay Entertainment will release Go Beyond on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/22.
Here's a look at the Blu-ray cover artwork for Universal's Contraband (due 4/24), Warner's Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham and Lionsgate's Dirty Dancing Collection (5/8)...
Happy Leap Year Day, true believers! We've got BIG official release news for you guys today! But first...
Our very own Barrie Maxwell has spent a little time with Best Picture nominee Hugo on regular 2D Blu-ray, and he's got a review with his thoughts on the film. I'll confess I haven't seen The Artist yet, but I have a hard time believing it's better than Scorsese's tribute to the dawn of cinema. In my opinion, Hugo was the best of the nominated films from 2011. Read on to see if Barrie agrees with me. (And enjoy!)
Now then... time for that BIG breaking news: Paramount Home Entertainment and Lucasfilm have officially announced (just as we first reported last year) that The Complete Indiana Jones Blu-ray Collection WILL arrive in stores this fall in time for the holidays! From the official press release: "The Complete Indiana Jones Blu-ray Collection will be excavated in the fall of 2012 and will include all four of Indy's thrilling adventures, using the highest possible high definition picture and audio presentation - along with a "best of" collection of documentaries, interviews, featurettes and a few new surprises." No other details are as yet announced or available, but we expect more in the weeks ahead. Nevertheless, this IS official - the 100% genuine real deal. So start cracking your whip and grab the dusty old fedora, 'cause Indy is definitely on the way to Blu-ray in 2012! Here's an image from the press release until we have something better to show you...
Now then, I'm sorry to say there's a sad bit of news to report this morning. According to Reuters, Monkees actor and singer Davy Jones has passed away today at the age of 66. I haven't seen any other details yet, but obviously he'll be missed by the many fans who grew up with his music and watching him on TV.
Finally this morning, we've got another "odd end" from around the Net, but this one is pretty cool. Some of you may be familiar with TED, which sponsors regular conferences where experts from a wide variety disciplines gather to talk about the future of science, technology, art - you name it. Well this year, in a damn savvy bit of cross-promotion, TED and director Ridley Scott have delivered video of an "expert talk" from a far-flung future TED2023 conference! That expert is none other than mega-mogul Peter Weyland (played by Guy Pearce)... as in Weyland-Yutani. That's right, this video is a damn clever bit of Internet buzz creation for Scott's forthcoming Alien prequel, Prometheus, which arrives in theatres in June! Do NOT miss it. Man, I can't wait for this film...
That's all for now. Stay tuned...
Okay, today's daily column is going to be a quickie but we've still got a LOT for you to check out and enjoy this afternoon...
First, 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 through our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it.
Next up, our very own Dr. Adam Jahnke had the opportunity to take a trip up to Universal recently to tour their film vault and learn a little more about their Centennial Blu-ray classic film restoration efforts. He's written up a summary of his thoughts on the experience in his latest Bottom Shelf column: Inside the Vault at Universal. Enjoy!
Also this afternoon, Jeff Kleist takes a spin in the Wayback Machine (set for the late 80s!) with a look at the recent release of Captain Power: The Complete Series on DVD! The only thing missing on flatscreens is the ability to "shoot" at your TV while watching the discs with an old Mattel Captain Power toy (it DOES still work on regular analog displays). Do check it out.
Finally today, there's one bit of release news I wanted to mention this afternoon and it should make you Trek and soundtrack CD fans pretty excited: Our friends at Intrada have just released their long-awaited, 2-disc, limited edition Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country complete soundtrack CD! Their online store seems to be down at the moment, but be sure to check the link later to see all the details and order yourself a copy. Pretty awesome!
Back with more news and cover art tomorrow. Stay tuned...
Afternoon, folks! Well... another Oscars are in the can and it looks like The Artist took all the big awards while Hugo swept the technical categories. As you'd expect, there's been a couple Oscar nominated title announcements today. Also, look for The Artist to get announced by Sony in the next few days complete with "Best Picture Winner" lettering all over the cover art.
Now then, 20th Century Fox has announced The Descendants for release on Blu-ray Disc Combo Pack and DVD on 3/13. The DVD will include a trio of featurettes (Everybody Loves George, Working with Alexander and Hawaiian Style). To this, the Blu-ray will add 5 more featurettes (The Real Descendants, Casting, Working with Water, Waiting for the Light and A Conversation with George Clooney and Alexander Payne), deleted scenes with introduction by director Alexander Payne, a short silent film (The World Parade: Hawaii), 3 music videos (Will I Ever See You Again, Postcards from Paradise and Honolulu's Whisper) and a Digital Copy.
Meanwhile, Warner Home Video has set Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close for release on Blu-ray/DVD/UltraViolet Combo Pack and DVD (SRP $35.99 and $22.97). The Blu-ray Combo streets on 3/27, while the DVD only rental version follows on 4/24. The Blu-ray will include 4 documentary featurettes (Making Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Finding Oskar, Ten Years Later and Max Von Sydow: Dialogues with The Renter).
Warner has also set TNT's Falling Skies: The Complete First Season for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/5 (SRP $49.99 and $39.98). All 10 episodes will be included, along with a sneak peek at Season Two, 2 featurettes (Animating a Skitter and Falling Skies from Pencils to Print: The Comic Book Revealed), audio commentary tracks, a collectible trading card (in the Blu-ray set only) and more. The release is timed to support the series' Season Two debut on TNT later this summer (TBA for mid to late June).
And Warner and TCM have announced a trio of new TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection DVD sets for release on 6/26 as well (SRP $27.92), including TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Joan Crawford (Mildred Pierce, Humoresque, Possessed and The Damned Don't Cry), TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Humphrey Bogart (They Drive by Night, Across the Pacific, Action in the North Atlantic and Passage to Marseille) and TCM Greatest Gangster Films: Humphrey Bogart (The Petrified Forest, The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse, High Sierra and All Through the Night).
In other announcement news this afternoon, Lionsgate has set Haywire for Blu-ray and DVD release on 5/1, followed by the Dirty Dancing Collection on Blu-ray on 5/8 (includes Dirty Dancing and Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights), the post-apocalyptic Descendents on DVD only on 5/15 and Black Cobra on DVD only on 5/22. Lionsgate's Descendents is in no way related to the Clooney film announced today by Fox... though I'd pay to see a post-apocalyptic version of the Clooney film, wouldn't you?
Sony has set The Big C: The Complete Second Season for release on DVD on 5/8.
For you 80s music fans, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release The B-52s with the Wild Crowd!: Live in Athens, GA on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/20. It presents the band's live concert in their home town in February 2011.
Shout! Factory has set Designing Women: The Complete Sixth Season for DVD release on 4/3 (SRP $44.99).
Shout has also set Roger Corman's Cult Classics: Night Nurses Collection for DVD release on 4/17, including the films Candy Stripe Nurses, Night Call Nurses, Private Duty Nurses and The Young Nurses. So you know... there's nurses.
And Cohen Media Group has set the documentary Chasing Madoff for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/3.
Also, our very own Barrie Maxwell wanted me to pass on the following to all of you RE: his recent and forthcoming Classic Coming Attractions columns. Here's Barrie...
"My thanks to my regular readers for their always-helpful and much-appreciated feedback on my classics columns. Here's some further information, courtesy of Brent Seguine, on the forthcoming Sony release of The Three Stooges: The Ultimate Collection. The new DVD box set, actually scheduled for release on June 5th not March 27th, will include the already released 8 volumes of Stooges shorts plus a 9th volume entitled The Three Stooges: Rare Treasures From the Columbia Pictures Vault. The latter will contain 2 feature films - Rockin' in the Rockies (1945) and Have Rocket - Will Travel (1959); 28 solo Columbia short subjects with Shemp Howard (14 shorts from 1938 - 1947, but not Not Guilty Enough from 1938), Joe Besser (10 shorts from 1949 - 1956, but not Cuckoorancho from 1938) and Joe DeRita (4 shorts from 1946 - 1948); and 3 Columbia Color Rhapsody cartoons with Three Stooges characters/caricatures. According to Sony Home Entertainment's Facebook page, this 3-disc 9th volume will be released separately at a later date TBD.
I'd also like to take this opportunity to alert readers to the fact there there will be a quick followup to last week's Classic Coming Attractions column in the form of a new such column that will update a much earlier edition that focused on the films of David O. Selznick and also include reviews of about half a dozen recent Blu-ray releases of his titles from Kino and MGM (Nothing Sacred, Spellbound, etc.)."
All right... Bill here again. Here's a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Fox's The Descendants and Warner's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Falling Skies: The Complete First Season...
(STILL EARLY UPDATE - 2/24/12 - 7 AM PST)
Morning, folks... back again early today to close out the week with another review.
Our very own Todd Doogan has checked in with his thoughts on Shout! Factory's fine new Underdog: The Complete Collector's Edition. This 9-disc DVD box set collects every episode of The Underdog Show and even reconstructs the series' first three seasons complete with every installment of the Go Go Gophers, Klondike Kat and Commander McBragg as well. If you grew up with (and loved) these cartoons as we did, you really owe it to yourself to check the box out. It's now in stores. And don't forget that Shout! is following the set up on 3/6 with a Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales: Complete Collection DVD box set as well. Don't miss 'em!
Also here at The Bits this morning, be sure to check out Barrie's excellent new Classic Coming Attractions column that we posted late last night, featuring new reviews of 7 classic DVD titles and 5 classic Blu-rays. It's another fine read, as always.
Now then... today is Friday the 24th, which means this weekend is Oscar Sunday. We've been steadily working to catch up on all the Best Picture nominated films. Just last night, Matt and I went to a 3D screening of Martin Scorsese's Hugo. I have to say it might just be my pick to win the big prize of the nominees I've seen thus far (which include Tree of Life, Moneyball, The Help and Midnight in Paris), though I also really liked Midnight in Paris. I haven't seen The Descendants, War Horse, The Artist or Extremely Noisy (Etc, Etc) yet but hope to catch at least one or two more of them before Sunday night. My guess is that Hugo and The Artist could split the same Academy voter demo and something else will sneak in for the win - maybe War Horse - but that's just a quick spitball take on the situation. I'm usually pretty good about picking these things, but not having seen all the films yet, it's tough to be sure. Sadly, I've kind of found the Oscars not to be worth their hype (or watching) in the last few years. Fingers crossed host Billy Crystal will at least keep it mildly interesting. Of course, for the amusement of those who do choose tune in, our very own Dr. Adam Jahnke will be issuing his annual live commentary stream of disdain and delight on his TwitterSpace (follow @DrAdamJahnke), so be sure to check him out if you're interested. If nothing else his impersonation of Statler and Waldorf is always good for a chuckle or two. Meanwhile, you'll find his Oscar predictions here on the Electric Theatre Facebook page.
Anyway, enjoy the Oscars and the Jahnkeisms and may all your favorites win! We'll see you back here on Monday with another new column and a DVD review from Jeff as well.
(EARLY UPDATE - 2/24/12 - 12:01 AM PST)
All right... technically it's still the 23rd as I post this, but it's so close to Midnight we'll just go ahead and call it the 24th.
Enjoy and back later with a news update! Stay tuned...
Afternoon, folks. We're going to try for a couple updates today. First up, some release news...
Our friends at Criterion have announced their May Blu-ray and DVD release slate as follows. Look for Mathieu Kassovitz's La haine (Cat #381 – Blu-ray only) on 5/8, Spike Jonze's Being John Malkovich (#611 - Blu-ray & DVD) on 5/15, Abbas Kiarostami's Certified Copy (#612 - Blu-ray & DVD - note that this release will not be available in Canada) on 5/22 and Ingmar Bergman's Summer Interlude and Summer with Monika (Cat #613 and #614 respectively - Blu-ray & DVD) on 5/29. Also coming to DVD only is Eclipse Series 33: Up All Night with Robert Downey Sr. on 5/22, including Babo 73, Chafed Elbows, No More Excuses, Putney Swope and Two Tons of Turquoise to Taos Tonight. That's another great batch of titles, as always.
Lionsgate has set Albert Nobbs for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/15 (SRP $39.99 and $27.98). Extras will include an audio commentary and deleted scenes. Lionsgate has also set Dark Tide for Blu-ray and DVD release on 4/24, followed by the DVD only release of Felicity: Season One, Felicity: Season Two, Dirty Sexy Money: Season One, Dirty Sexy Money: Season Two, Samantha Who?: Season One and Samantha Who?: Season Two all on 5/1.
Universal has set Baltasar Kormákur's Contraband for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/24. Extras will include deleted scenes, audio commentary by Kormákur and producer Evan Hayes, 2 featurettes (Under the Radar: The Making of Contraband and Reality Factor: The Stunts and Action of Contraband) and the usual vast range of BD-Live and BD-Java features offered by studio, including Picture-in-Picture access to storyboards and pre-viz material.
And we've learned that Ken Burns' The War on Blu-ray (due from PBS and Paramount on 5/15 - SRP $129.99) will include all 7 episodes, the Making The War featurette, audio commentary by filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, deleted scenes and additional interview footage.
Meanwhile, Image Entertainment has set The Witches of Oz for Blu-ray and DVD release on 4/10 (SRP $29.97 and $27.97). They'll also release the thriller Episode 50 on DVD on 4/17.
And Shout! Factory has set The Tribe: Series 1, Part 1 for DVD only release on 3/13. This is the first time the sci-fi series has been released in North America.
In other news, the TechRadar website has a story up about how Panasonic is already working with Fox and Lucasfilm on the Blu-ray 3D release of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, which is due in stores later this spring. Looks like it will come bundled with a Panny 3D kit. More here.
Here's a look at the BD cover art for Criterion's Being John Malkovich and Summer Interlude, Paramount/PBS' Ken Burns' The War and Kino Lorber's Girl on a Motorcycle (due 4/24), Justine (4/24) and The Asphyx (4/17)...
Back later with more. Stay tuned...
First up today, our own Tim Salmons has turned in new reviews of a pair of his favorite films from 2011 on Blu-ray Disc - Sony's Drive and MPI's Super. Both are well worth your time. Of the two, I've only seen Drive but I agree with Tim that it's one of the best films I saw all last year. It's a visually and tonally fascinating piece of work, with a great dramatic performance by Albert Brooks (among others) and gorgeous cinematography on top of it. Do check it out.
Also today, Russell has delivered the weekly update of 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 them through our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it.
The big announcement news today is that Paramount has officially set Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol for release on 3-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo, 2-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD on 4/17 (SRP $34.99, $29.99 and $19.99 respectively). The single-disc DVD will include a pair of Impossible Mission featurettes (The Sandstorm and Props) and deleted scenes with optional commentary by director Brad Bird. The 2-disc BD/DVD Combo will add a pair of Mission Accepted featurettes (Heating Up in Dubai and Vancouver Fisticuffs) and an alternate opening. The 3-disc BD/DVD Combo will add a second Blu-ray of bonus content, including an additional Mission Accepted featurettes (Suiting Up in Prague), 9 more Impossible Missions featurettes (The Russian Prison, Shooting in IMAX, Art Department, A Roll of Film, Life Masks, Stepping into the Storm, Dubai Car Crash, Lens on the Burj and Composer) and trailers.
Speaking of Paramount, they (along with PBS) will be releasing Ken Burns' The War documentary series on Blu-ray Disc on 5/15. All the extras from the DVD set will carry over.
Meanwhile, as expected Disney has just officially confirmed the 4/3 release of Steven Spielberg's War Horse on 4-disc Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo, 2-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD only (SRP $45.99, $39.99 and $29.99, respectively). Extras on the Blu-ray will include the War Horse: The Journey Home and A Filmmaking Journey documentaries, plus 4 additional behind-the-scenes featurettes (including Through the Producer's Lens, An Extra's Point of View, Editing & Scoring and The Sounds of War Horse).
20th Century Fox has set Shame for Blu-ray and DVD release on 4/17. The film stars Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan.
Speaking of Fox (along with MGM), the studio has just announced the next wave MGM's Limited Edition Collection MOD DVD-R titles which will be available online starting on 2/28. They will include The Big Night (1951), Southwest Passage (1954), Three Bad Sisters (1956), Timbuktu (1958), The Wonderful Country (1959), Sinful Davey (1969), Hell's Boats (1970), Hornet's Nest (1970), Savage Sisters (1974), Wanda Nevada (1979), The American Snitch (1983), Number One with a Bullet (1987), Summer Heat (1987), Spellbinder (1988) and Cool Blue (1990).
Also, Warner Home Video has set My Babysitter's A Vampire: Season One for DVD only release on 5/22.
Universal has announced Contraband and Pariah for Blu-ray and DVD release on 4/24.
And Magnolia Home Entertainment has set Roadie for Blu-ray and DVD release on 3/20.
Here's a look at the final Blu-ray and DVD cover art for Paramount's Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and Disney's War Horse, as well as Fox's Shame and Warner's New Year's Eve (due 5/1)...
Hope you're all enjoying the long President's Day weekend - at least you Stateside readers. Totally forgot about it myself. As such, here's some release news for you...
Still waiting on an official street date for Sony's The Artist on Blu-ray and DVD, but we know what the BD extras will be. Look for 3 featurettes (Q&A with the Filmmakers and Cast, The Artist: The Making of a Hollywood Love Story and Hollywood As a Character: The Locations of The Artist) and a blooper reel.
We also have another list of new MOD titles that Sony is releasing via Amazon.com on 4/3, including Chapter Two, Die Die My Darling, Fast Forward (1985), It's My Turn, Wilder Napalm, Gas Food Lodging, The Lone Wolf Meets a Lady, Starman: The Complete Series, My Boys: The Complete Fourth Season and Brothers: The Complete First Season (2009).
Meanwhile, retail sources tell us that Disney is expected to officially announce the 4/3 4-disc Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo, 2-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD only release of Steven Spielberg's War Horse sometime over the next few days (SRP $45.99, $39.99 and $29.99, respectively). Extras on the Blu-ray are tentatively set to include the War Horse: The Journey Home and A Filmmaking Journey documentaries, plus 4 additional behind-the-scenes featurettes (including Through the Producer's Lens, An Extra's Point of View, Editing & Scoring and The Sounds of War Horse). Note that the TBA street dates have already been leaked by Best Buy.com.
Anchor Bay has set The Iron Lady for release on Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD on 4/10 (SRP $39.99 and $29.98). Extras will include 5 featurettes (The Making of The Iron Lady, Recreating the Young Margaret Thatcher, Battle in the House of Commons, Costume Design: Pearls and Power Suits and Denis: The Man Behind the Woman). A reminder: Anchor Bay is also releasing Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/27. And the company has set Xavier Gens's post-apocalyptic thriller The Divide for Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD release on 4/17.
Warner has set Happiness is... Peanuts: Team Snoopy for DVD only release on 5/8.
Some other title updates from indie and smaller distributors...
New Yorker Films has set Daniel & Diego Vega's Octubre for DVD release tomorrow (2/21), followed by Mercedes Álvarez's The Sky Turns on 2/28.
Image Entertainment's Track 29 streets on DVD tomorrow (2/21) as well.
Blue Underground has set A Bullet for the General for Blu-ray release on 5/22 - the title is already available on DVD.
A&E Home Entertainment has set The History of the World in Two Hours and Titanic: The Complete Story for DVD only release on 3/13.
Entertainment One will release Todd & the Book of Pure Evil: The Complete First Season on DVD on 2/28. Other forthcoming DVD-only releases from eOne include The Manions of America and Felipe Esparza: They're Not Gonna Laugh at You on 2/28, followed by Luchino Visconti's Bellisima (1951) and La Terra Trema (1948), Call Me Fritz: The Complete Second Season and Black Butterfly on 3/13, and The Broken Tower, The Kate Logan Affair, Die and Sebastian Maniscalo: What's Wrong With People on 3/27.
And finally, Troma Entertainment has announced that they're bringing the indie horror titles Kill (street date TBA in April) Purge (TBA May) and Where Evil Lives (TBA May) for DVD only release over the next few months.
Here's a look at the Blu-ray Disc cover art for Anchor Bay's The Iron Lady and The Divide, along with Universal's About a Boy (due 5/1)...
Back tomorrow with reviews. Stay tuned...
Okay, let's close out the week with more new announcements and cover art, and then we'll check back in on Monday with new disc reviews...
First up today, Warner Home Video and the BBC have finally announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of the Torchwood: Miracle Day series on 4/3 (SRP $59.99 and $49.98). We don't have details yet on extras, but we'll provide them when they come in. This is the 10-episode series that ran on Starz here in the States last year.
Also newly announced by Warner for Blu-ray/DVD/UltraViolet Combo release on 5/1 is Garry Marshall's New Year's Eve (SRP $35.99). Extras will include audio commentary with Marshall, 3 featurettes (The Magic of Times Square, New Year's Eve Secrets of the Stars and Jon Bon Jovi & Lea Michele Rock New Year's Eve), deleted scenes and a gag reel. The "rental window" DVD only version will follow a month later on 5/29 (SRP $22.97).
Warner has also set Rizzoli & Isles: The Complete Second Season for DVD only release on 5/22.
And for those who are interested in the studio's Lethal Weapon Collection Blu-ray box set (due 6/12 - SRP $79.98), the set will include commentary on all four films by director Richard Donner, deleted scenes and theatrical trailers for all four films, soundtrack music videos by Honeymoon Suite and Sting with Eric Clapton, the 1989 Stunts & Action Cinemax special, the 1998 HBO First Look: Pure Lethal! New Angles, New Scenes and Explosive Outtakes special and an entirely new bonus disc containing the feature-length I'm Too Old for This Sh*t: Lethal Weapon and the Hollywood Monster It Created documentary (includes Pt. 1 - Pulling the Trigger: Expanding the World of Lethal Weapon, Pt. 2 - Psycho Pension: The Genesis of Lethal Weapon, Pt. 3 - Maximum Impact: The Legacy of Lethal Weapon and Pt. 4 - A Family Affair: Bringing Lethal Weapon to Life). Note that this appears to be identical to the region-free version already released in the U.K. and available from Amazon.co.uk.
Meanwhile, Universal has Night Gallery: Season Three coming on DVD on 4/10, followed by Covert Affairs: Season Two and Suits: Season One on DVD on 5/1.
Lionsgate has set a Mimic 3-Film Set for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/1, including Mimic: The Director's Cut, Mimic 2 and Mimic 3: Sentinel (SRP $29.99 and $19.98). Also coming that day on DVD only is Fight the Fight (SRP $26.98).
And Anchor Bay has set Robin Hardy's The Wicker Tree for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/24 (SRP $29.99 and $26.98).
A couple other things today...
I've received the region-free copy of the BBC's Sherlock: Series Two Blu-ray that I ordered from Amazon.co.uk. The quality is excellent and the set plays fine on my Oppo BDP-83. HOWEVER, you should note that your ability to play and view the disc will depend on your particular Blu-ray player model, because the video is presented in 1080i/50hz rather than the 1080i/60hz common here in the States. Amazon.co.uk has now specified this on their order page for the title as follows: "Please note that this product will not play on US spec 60i Blu-ray players as the Blu-ray discs are authored to UK 50i specs." That said, many U.S. BD players WILL play the disc by converting the material to 60Hz, including all models from Oppo and Samsung, some Panasonic models and others. It appears, however, that Sony players and the PS3 will not. You should also have no trouble playing the disc on your BD-equipped PC. Our friends over at Blu-ray.com have a running thread that lists all the U.S. player models confirmed able to display 1080i/50Hz material so give it a quick check before you order. Thanks to several Bits readers who sent in their own experiences and compatibility information about the discs. For those of you who can't play back 50i, never fear: Warner and the BBC will release Series Two (as Season Two) on Blu-ray here in the States in late summer or early fall, following the already scheduled May broadcast run (on 5/6, 5/13 and 5/20 respectively) of the episodes on PBS's Masterpiece Mysteries. I'll tell you, Sherlock has my hands-down vote for the best thing currently on TV. It's just a brilliant show. The series producers have confirmed that a third season is already commissioned and will air in 2013, once stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman finish up work on other projects (Cumberbatch is playing the villain in the new Star Trek sequel and Freeman will star as young Bilbo in the forthcoming Hobbit films - Cumberbatch has a couple minor parts in the Hobbit films as well).
Also, our friends over at TV Show on DVD have a report up that the classic 1970s In Search of... TV series (narrated by Leonard Nimoy) is coming to DVD later this year from VEI. Of course, the show is so badly out of date by now that it's value is mostly nostalgia and kitsch, but if you loved the show like I did it'll be fun to see again. That Bigfoot episode is a gem.
And for you audio fans, there's an excellent podcast you can listen to online from last week's NPR Science Friday, in which a couple of audio experts discuss the quality of music on CD and vinyl, and why some vinyl recordings sound better than CD and vise versa. Here's a hint: It's not really about the format per se, but rather about whether the original music was recorded in analog or digital format and how it was then mixed and mastered for release (loudness = bad!). It's a great discussion on a regularly great radio program. If you enjoy the high-quality music experience as much as I do, I think you'll appreciate it.
Now then... we'll leave you with a look at the BD cover art for Warner and the BBC's Torchwood: Miracle Day, Anchor Bay's The Wicker Tree and Lionsgate's Mimic: 3-Film Set...
Thanks again for all the wonderful e-mails about Winnie and Sarah's mom. We're reading them all and will try to reply to as many as we can over the next few days.
Have a great weekend and we'll see you back here on Monday. Peace out.
All right, I'm trying to get back to some kind of normal around here. Let me just thank you all up front for your kind emails about the passing of Sarah's mom and our cat Winnie. They've been hugely appreciated. I just don't even have the words to express how much it's meant to us. You guys are the best.
Now then, let's get some release news covered...
Paramount has officially set The Adventures of Tintin for release on Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD Combo, Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD on 3/13 (SRP $44.99, $39.99 and $29.99). The DVD will include just the film, but the Blu-rays will feature over 90 minutes of documentary extras including Toasting Tintin: Part 1, The Journey of Tintin, The World of Tintin, The Who's Who of Tintin, Tintin: Conceptual Design, Tintin: In the Volume, Snowy: From Beginning to End, Animating Tintin, Tintin: The Score, Collecting Tintin and Toasting Tintin: Part 2. All versions are enabled with UltraViolet as well, so you can watch the film on the go if you wish. Here's a look at the cover art for all three SKUs...
Speaking of Paramount, the studio has set Young Adult (starring Charlize Theron) for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/13.
Lionsgate has set Breaking Wind: Unrated Director's Cut for release on DVD only on 3/27.
Shout! Factory has set Fantasy Island: The Complete Second Season for DVD release on 5/8. Shout! has also set a Route 66: The Complete Series box set for release on DVD on 5/22. All 116 episodes will be included on 24 discs. The special features are still TBA, but the set will include the Great Cars: Corvette bonus disc.
And Disney is getting ready to release new anniversary edition Blu-rays of Bringing Down the House (10th) and Father of the Bride (20th) sometime in mid-May (street date TBA, but retailers tell us to expect them on 5/15). Father of the Bride will include both the original film and the sequel.
Here's more cover art for Sony's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011 - due 3/20), A Dangerous Method (3/27) and In the Land of Blood and Honey (also 3/27), Warner's Lethal Weapon Collection (6/12) and U.S. Marshals (6/5), and Universal's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011 - street date 3/20)...
One more bit of release news(ish) today: Has anyone else noticed that the cable network Encore has been running James Cameron's True Lies in HD lately? Perhaps it's a sign that we're finally going to get a Blu-ray version in the near future. Fingers crossed.
Also today... our hats off to a few other notable entertainment industry luminaries who have passed away in the last couple weeks, including Soul Train's Don Cornelius, singer Whitney Houston, actor Dick Tufeld (the voice of the Robot from TV's classic Lost in Space) and others. All will be missed.
And finally... because a number of you asked... here's a picture of our cat Winnie, also known as Pooh Bear. I can't even begin to count the number of hours she spent laying on my arms as I typed up Bits posts. We miss her dearly.
Back with more tomorrow and we've got a bunch of new reviews and a column or two coming next week as well. Stay tuned...
All right, I'm going to keep it fast and furious today. Awful, gut-wrenching day here. Not 12 hours after posting the lines "The time we get get to spend with the people we love is finite and immeasurably precious. Spend it well." here on the site, and just 4 hours after welcoming Sarah home after her long ordeal, our cat Winnie passed away. No, I'm not kidding. She was totally fine one moment and then she just collapsed and died in my arms. And I want to say something important now about her - something worthy of all the love she gave us and what she meant to us. But I'm just empty. All I can think right now is how much life can go fuck itself. Well... that and if I hear one more thing about Whitney Houston I'm going to throw a brick through my TV. Sorry to vent and for the momentary insanity of being un-PC, but that's all I've got right now. What can I tell you. Sorry to be so depressing lately.
Anyway, here at the site today, our own Russell Hammond has posted his weekly update of the Upcoming Release Dates & Artwork section, which we appreciate and you know the drill on that.
Some key release news...
Warner has set the Lethal Weapon Collection (all four films) for BD release on 6/12 (SRP $79.98). Also announced by the studio for BD release on 6/5 are Blood Work, A Perfect World and U.S. Marshals (SRP $19.98 each). On the DVD front, the studio has set Maverick: The Complete First Season for DVD release on 5/29 (SRP $39.98).
Universal has set their Pillow Talk: 100th Anniversary Collector's Edition for Blu-ray and DVD release on 5/1. In addition, the studio will release the catalog tiles About a Boy, Definitely, Maybe and Meet Joe Black on BD on 5/1 as well.
Sony has set A Dangerous Method for BD and DVD release on 3/27 (SRP $35.99 and $30.99). A 2-disc BD/DVD Combo of In the Land of Blood and Honey is also set for 3/27 (SRP $45.99). And it appears that the studio is gearing up to release The Artist on Blu-ray and DVD on either 4/10 or 4/24 (exact street date and details are TBA).
Meanwhile, 20th Century Fox has Tooth Fairy 2 set for BD/DVD Combo and DVD release on 3/6, followed by Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked on both formats on 3/27. And in a quick to disc move, the studio has We Bought a Zoo due on BD/DVD Combo and DVD on 4/3.
Also, The Weinstein Company has announced The Iron Lady for release on BD/DVD Combo and DVD on 4/10 (SRP $39.99 and $29.98).
And I know there's more titles to report, but that's about all I have gas for right now. Back tomorrow with a couple of reviews from Tim, provided I can muster up the energy to crawl out of bed. The odds are about 50/50 at the moment. We'll see.
Well... I'm finally back here in Orange County attempting to resume something like a normal routine.
Obviously it's been a week since my last post here on The Bits. The reason for my absence you may be able to guess based on that last post. I'm sorry to have to say that Sarah's mom passed away on Friday afternoon. Michal spent a couple of difficult nights in a hospital emergency room in Puerto Rico, followed by a couple of marginally more comfortable nights in a private room in the same hospital, during which time the three of us (Sarah, myself and Michal's husband Paul) were at her side around the clock. On Wednesday morning she had to be placed on life support and a Medevac flight was arranged for Thursday morning, which took Michal, Paul and Sarah to Philadelphia. (The small jet could only hold two passengers, so I stayed behind to tie up loose ends. But let me just say that the Medevac people were extraordinary. Just some of the most competent and compassionate people I've ever met.) Unfortunately, the doctors in the hospital in Philly did a range of tests and concluded that there was just nothing more to be done for her. So Michal was taken off life support and passed away a short time later with Paul and Sarah at her side. That's the quick version of course, which doesn't even begin to describe the difficulties of this past week. I don't think any of us have ever been as physically and emotionally exhausted as this before.
Michal grew up in Ottumwa, IA and studied sociology at the University of Iowa and University of Illinois. She was an author and professor of sociology at Macalester College in Minnesota (Bob Mould of Hüsker Dü was one of her many students there) and more recently taught at Temple University in PA. I first met Michal when Sarah and I began dating in 1986 and she immediately made me feel welcome - like I was part of the family. Sarah and I were inseparable almost from the start, and I think Michal knew our relationship was for keeps pretty early on. At some point in those first few weeks, I'd been invited over for dinner at Sarah's house and Michal and Paul made Eggs Benedict. Having grown up in North Dakota, a dish like that wasn't exactly in my range of experience at the time. But I tried and enjoyed it, and happily described it as "Pretty good... kinda like an Egg McMuffin." Anyone else might have been offended, but Michal saw that I was being honest and thought it was sweet and more than a little funny. Naturally "Eggs McMuffin" became a regular meal for special occasions over the years and Michal was always amused by it. Months later, it was Michal who drove Sarah and me to see the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison when we were thinking of transferring there together - something she encouraged - and she was always supportive of us. Michal was just an amazing woman... smart, caring, generous. My life is infinitely richer for having known her. We'll dearly miss her. I'll tell you, the best piece of advice I can offer after going through something like this is: The time we get get to spend with the people we love is finite and immeasurably precious. Spend it well.
Michal McCall-Meshejian (1942 - 2012)
All right... it's going to take the better part of the week for me to catch up on news, sort through (and attempt to answer) e-mails and just generally get back into the swing of things. But thanks for all your patience and your kind words of support. I certainly appreciate it and I know it means a lot to Sarah and Paul as well.
Back later and tomorrow with the usual. Stay tuned...
Morning, everyone. Just wanted to jump in here for a quick news update.
As you may have noticed, updates here at The Bits have been sporadic the last couple of days. Sarah and I have been visiting her parents in Puerto Rico for the past week. Sarah's mom has recently been undergoing cancer treatment, so her parents rented a place here on the island to allow her to recover in a warm climate. They were scheduled to be here another month, but in just the week we've been here, her mom's health has declined so sharply that she's in a local hospital and is unable to fly home to Philadelphia. So we're extending our trip to be with her, and to see if we can help arrange some way of getting her medevaced home. As such, if I go a couple days without posting an update here, you'll know why and I appreciate your patience. Been a REALLY tough week here, as you can probably imagine.
Meanwhile, I do have a little bit of news to update you with this morning...
First up, we have confirmed that the U.K. release of Cleopatra from Fox is a region A/B/C release, so if you just can't wait for a U.S. release this one should work on most players. The 251-minute film is split over two discs, with DTS-HD MA audio. It's apparently the "roadshow" presentation of the film, complete with Overture. Thanks to Bits reader Roger M. (and many others) for the confirmation.
Speaking of U.K. Blu-rays, for those of you who may (like me) have recently discovered the BBC's outstanding updating of Sherlock, you'll be pleased to learn that Season Two (which just aired on the BBC last month) is now available on Blu-ray Disc in the U.K. and it's reportedly all region. So if you can't wait until PBS Masterpiece Mystery airs the season's three episodes in May, you don't have to. Let me tell you, the season's debut episode (A Scandal in Belgravia) is one of the best pieces of TV I've seen in a long time. It's just a brilliant show that I can't recommend more highly.
In release news today, Warner Home Video has confirmed that A Streetcar Named Desire will arrive as a Blu-ray Book edition on 4/10 (SRP $34.99). It's now available for pre-order on Amazon.com. All the DVD extras should carry over.
Sony has set Carnage for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/20 (SRP $35.99 and $30.99). Extras will include a trio of featurettes (Actors' Notes, An Evening with John C. Reilly & Christoph Waltz and On the Red Carpet).
Summit Entertainment has set The Three Musketeers (2011) for release on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD on 3/13. Extras on all three formats will include deleted and extended scenes, 2 featurettes (Cast & Crew Stories and 17th Century Action) and audio commentary with director Paul W.S. Anderson.
Paramount has officially confirmed the release of Clueless on 5/1.
Image Entertainment will release Robotropolis on DVD on 4/17. The company also has the catalog titles The Odessa File and The Order on Blu-ray on 5/15. And they'll release the Something Weird Video double feature Wizard of Gore and The Gore, Gore Girls on Blu-ray on 5/1.
CBS (via Paramount) has set Vegas: The Third Season, Volume 1 for DVD only release on 5/8.
Here's something awesome: Acorn Media is releasing the classic, 1979 BBC miniseries version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy on Blu-ray - starring Alec Guinness - on 4/24 (SRP $59.99).
Kino Lorber has set Griefwalker and Nobody's Perfect for DVD release on 4/3, followed by Littlerock and Charlotte Rampling: The Look on both Blu-ray and DVD on 4/10, The Getting of Wisdom on DVD and The Asphyx on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/17, and Marquis de Sade's Justine, Girl on a Motorcycle and the Jezebel double feature of Primitive London and London in the Raw on both formats on 4/24.
Here's something our own Todd Doogan is going to be happy about: Shout! Factory has announced the 4/17 DVD release of Ernie Kovacs: The ABC Specials. This is a single disc of their previous Ernie Kovacs Collection DVD box set.
Also, retail sources tell us that Disney is soon to announce a Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray Combo of James Cameron's Ghosts of the Abyss documentary. Street date is TBA.
And Koch Entertainment has set Rookie Blue: The Complete Second Season for release on Blu-ray on 5/8, followed by Hell on Wheels: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray on 5/22.
That's about all I have time to post for now. I'll try to check in again tomorrow.
First up today, HBO and Warner Home Video have set Cinema Verite for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/24. They've also set Treme: The Complete Second Season for Blu-ray and DVD release on 4/17.
Meanwhile, Warner and the BBC have set The BBC High Definition Natural History Collection: Special Edition Blu-ray and The BBC Natural History Collection: Special Edition DVD box sets for release on 3/27, including the documentary series Planet Earth, Wild China, Galapagos and Ganges.
And Universal has set the 2011 version of Tinker Tailor Solider Spy for release on both formats on March 20th. Nominated for 3 Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Gary Oldman, the Blu-ray will sport the usual Ultraviolet Digital Copy, 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio, BD-Live and pocket Blu support. Traditional supplements will include an audio commentary with director Tomas Alfredson and Gary Oldman, as well as a behind the scenes featurette, cast interviews, an interview with author John Le Carré and a selection of deleted scenes. SRP is $34.98 for Blu-ray and $29.98 for DVD and both versions are now available for pre-order on Amazon at the links provided (for a 30% discount).
By the way, RE: Cleopatra, our own Jeff Kleist notes that Fox released Tora Tora Tora long before it came out here so it's quite possible that the studio will wait to release it here in the States until next year - the actual 50th anniversary of the film. Meanwhile, we're getting reports from readers in the U.K. that the Blu-ray released there is all-region. There's also a more elaborate box set version available in Japan (for around $80) that includes a book and more. (Thanks to Bits reader Graham S. for the link.)
In other news today, Vizio has finally applied a date to their 21:9 (2.39:1 native) HDTV display that allows you (without an expensive anamorphic lens and processing system) to watch CinemaScope ratio movies without the black bars. Unfortunately, unlike its projection brethren, no allowance is able to be made for 16:9 or 4:3 ratios to similarly avoid the darkness, so the appeal of such $3499 (as this first one retails for) sets will likely be limited.
Also as a follow-up our story yesterday, NASA has released video of the far side of the moon, which is impossible to see from Earth. A quick tour from the North to South Pole, the material will be part of the educational outreach program of the GRAIL lunar mapping mission. Students will be able to designate targets for higher resolution photography later in the program. Pretty cool.
It's a bit of a slow news day, so we're going to keep it short.
Warner Home Video has just announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of Chuck: The Complete Fifth and Final Season on 5/8 (SRP $49.99 and $39.98). All 13 episodes will be included, along with 2 audio commentaries, 6 featurettes (Chuck: The Final Episode, Sandwiches and Superfans: The Saving of a Show, Spy Tunes: Scoring the World of Chuck, Chuck: The Beginnings, Chuck: Through the Years and Chuck: The Future), deleted scenes, a gag reel, full versions of the Buy More commercials and an extended version of the series finale.
Our friends at Trek Movie have posted an update on the expected Blu-ray release schedule for the remastered Star Trek: The Next Generation TV series. Season One is tentatively due in late summer or early fall of this year. The idea after that is to release about two seasons per year, with a goal of having the complete series out by 2015. Once the project is done, there's also likely to be at least consideration given to applying the same process to Deep Space Nine and Voyager, presumably if interest (and disc sales) allows.
Meanwhile, Lionsgate has announced Madonna: Truth or Dare for release on Blu-ray on 4/3.
Shout! Factory has set the animated Astonishing X-Men: Dangerous for release on DVD only on 4/10. The company has also announced the MOD DVD-R release of Mystery Science Theater 3000: Girl in Gold Boots and Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Wild World of Batwoman on 3/20, available directly from the Shout! website.
FilmWorks Entertainment has set Blind Turn for release on DVD on 4/24.
Also, it appears that the 1963 version of Cleopatra (staring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton) has just been released on Blu-ray in the U.K. as a 2-disc set for its 50th anniversary, which means you may expect 20th Century Fox to release the film on disc here in the States as well later this year. Interestingly, 2012 is actually the film's 49th anniversary. Still, if Fox has U.S. release plans one would expect an official announcement in the coming weeks. Thanks to several Bits readers who sent over the link.
There's also hints at Hit Fix (thanks to Bits reader Albert G. for the link) that Peter Bogdanovich's At Long Last Love may be coming to Blu-ray and DVD.
And in other news, while Netflix agreed to delay stocking new Warner Home Video releases on disc for 56 days as requested by the studio, Home Media reports that Redbox has refused and will be offering the movies on the day of release. They'll obtain product through "alternate means", which in the past has meant running over to Best Buy and coming out with an armful of discs to stock their kiosks. How long the rebellion will last is anyone's guess, but the truce between bargain rentailers and the studios (who wish to exploit the first 90 days of home video release to the fullest) may be coming to an end.
Also, to coincide with yesterday's release of Transformers: Dark of the Moon 3D, NASA has announced that they may have found the crash site of the lost Lunar Orbiter 2 probe on... you guessed it, the far side of the moon. Originally tasked with finding landing sites for the Apollo missions, the probe lost contact with Earth back in 1967. Now, thanks to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's high resolution mapping mission, they think they may have located its final resting place. Either that, or Michael Bay was way ahead of the science curve and slumbering giant robots await. You decide.
Morning, everyone. We've got a new Blu-ray Disc review for you this morning. But first...
Our own Russell Hammond has once again updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the week's latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover art and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, any orders you make from Amazon after clicking to them through our links helps to support our work here at The Bits and we greatly appreciate it.
Now then... our resident classic films expert and esteemed colleague Barrie Maxwell has checked in today with a review of Paramount's new Wings Blu-ray - the kick-off BD title for the studio's 100th anniversary celebration! Having seen both the disc and a recent screening of the film at the Academy, I can tell you personally that it's well worth your time and money. So do check it out and enjoy!
Also, a quick search of Amazon.co.uk reveals that Eureka Entertainment is releasing a trio of classic films on Blu-ray in the coming months as part of their Masters of Cinema collection, including Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat (1944 - due 4/23) and Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity (1944 - 6/25) and The Lost Weekend (1945 - also 6/25). One would hope (and suspect) that corresponding U.S. releases are in the offing as well.
Here in the States, the 1953 Clifton Webb version of Titanic is due on Blu-ray on 4/3 from 20th Century Fox.
And Film Chest has also set The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) for BD release on 5/29.
Here's a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Magnolia's Melancholia (due 3/13), Universal's The Deer Hunter (3/6) and Sony's U.K. art for David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (due 4/23 - TBA here in the States)...
Afternoon, folks. Let's get to the announcement news, because there's a major announcement to report today...
Paramount has officially set Martin Scorsese's Hugo for release on Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and DVD on 2/28 (SRP $44.99, $39.99 and $29.99). An hour of bonus features will be available on the Blu-rays, including 5 featurettes (Shoot the Moon: The Making of Hugo, The Cinemagician, Georges Méličs, The Mechanical Man at the Heart of Hugo, Big Effects, Small Scale and Sacha Baron Cohen: Role of a Lifetime). Audio on the BDs will be 7.1 DTS-HD MA.
I'm trying to recall... is this the first time Paramount has released a title on Blu-ray 3D format? That would seem to bode well for a Blu-ray 3D (and regular BD) release of Titanic later this year. [Editor's Note: A few of you have correctly pointed out this evening that Paramount released Thor, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Captain American in BD3D. Still, it's nice to see them embracing the format and we do think it bodes well for Titanic eventually.]
Meanwhile, Warner Home Video will release One Tree Hill: The Complete Ninth and Final Season on DVD on 4/10 (SRP $39.98). The 3-disc set will include all 13 episodes plus 5 featurettes, an audio commentary, deleted scenes and a gag reel.
RaroVideo has set a number of Italian catalog titles for release on DVD in February and March, including Alfredo Giannetti's The Automobile (1971) on 2/28, and Luchino Visconti’s Conversation Piece (1974), Antonio Pietrangeli's The Visitor (1963) and Fernando di Leo's Young Violent Dangerous (1976) on 3/13.
Well Go USA has set the creature feature Splintered for release on Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD on 3/20 (SRP $26.98 and $19.98). Extras will include behind-the-scenes footage, deleted scenes and trailers.
And Outsider Pictures has acquired the U.S. video release rights to "the first Cuban zombie comedy Juan of the Dead" and will be releasing it on disc and download later this year. Sound interesting.
In other news, it appears that some are having audio sync issues with MGM's new Annie Hall Blu-ray. We've heard from several readers that this the case. No word yet from the studio.
Here's a look at the BD and DVD cover art for Paramount's Hugo...
Back tomorrow with a review of Paramount's Wings Blu-ray from Barrie. Stay tuned...
All right, we've got a couple more announcements for you today...
First, Warner Home Video has confirmed that the long-awaited The Magnificent Ambersons, which has been available as an Amazon-exclusive with purchase of the Citizen Kane: 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition Blu-ray, will now be available as a DVD only release starting on 1/31 (SRP $14.96). Keep in mind, this isn't any kind of special edition. But if you've been looking for the title on DVD, here it is.
Also available from WHV starting on 2/7 are disc-only versions of the Ben Hur: 50th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition, including a Blu-ray/DVD Combo (SRP $34.99), a Blu-ray only (SRP $19.98) and DVD (SRP $19.94).
And Tom & Jerry: Around the World streets on DVD only from WHV on 5/8 as well (SRP $19.97).
Meanwhile, Sony has announced another batch of MOD DVD-R titles to be made available on 3/6, including The Gene Krupa Story, Fat City, Just for Fun, Mr. Winkle Goes to War, The Three Stooges (the 2000 Movie of the Week), Ring-A-Ding Rhythm, Spin a Dark Web and Combat Hospital: Season 1.
And Lionsgate has set Crew 2 Crew and Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns: Season 5 for DVD only release on 4/17.
Finally, most of these aren't officially announced yet, but a quick survey of Amazon.com reveals a few interesting catalog titles on the way to Blu in the next few months, including Jeremiah Johnson (due 5/1) and Gremlins 2: The New Batch (5/8) from Warner Home Video, The Prophecy Collection (4/3) and Halloween: Resurrection, In Too Deep, Operation Condor 2: The Armour of God (all 4/17) from Echo Bridge, Truth About Cats & Dogs (4/10) from Anchor Bay/Starz, the 1975 The Invisible Man: The Complete Series (5/1) from First Look Pictures and the 1947 Red House (4/24) from Film Chest.
Here's a look at the DVD art for Warner's The Magnificent Ambersons and Ben-Hur, and the Blu-ray/DVD Combo art for Ben-Hur as well...
Quick update today, but some good announcement news nonetheless...
20th Century Fox has set the Jonah Hill comedy The Sitter for Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD release on 3/20. Extras on the Blu-ray will include an unrated Totally Irresponsible cut of the film, 10 deleted and extended scenes, a gag reel, outtakes and 3 featurettes (For Your Consideration, The Making of The Sitter and Jonah the Producer).
Image Entertainment has set National Lampoon's The Legend of Awesomest Maximus for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/20 (SRP $29.97 and $27.97).
Shout! Factory has announced Transformers Prime: The Complete First Season for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/6. The Blu-ray will be a 4-disc Limited Edition that includes the 96-page IDW graphic novel (SRP $64.99). The DVD is a 4-disc Deluxe Edition (SRP $29.93 ). All 26 episodes will be included, along with an original "making of" special, 15 audio commentaries with the cast and crew, a featurette on the toys and the Season Two teaser trailer shown at New York Comic-Con last year. You can pre-order now on Amazon (via the links provided) and at the Shout! website.
Well Go USA Entertainment has set Blade of Kings (starring Donnie Yen and Jackie Chan) for Blu-ray and DVD release on 3/6 (SRP $29.98 and $24.98). Extras will include a featurette, a music video and an English-dubbed audio option.
Jackie Chan also appears on Mandrill, coming from Magnolia Home Entertainment and Magnet on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/28.
Scholastic has set the animated Stellaluna for DVD only release on 2/14.
And Lionsgate has set the drama Answers to Nothing for DVD only release on 2/28.
Also today, retail sources have informed us that David Fincher's American remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is tentatively set for Blu-ray and DVD release by Sony in late March. (Note that Amazon.co.uk has the street date there set for 4/23.) One would expect an official announcement soon.
Here's a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Fox's The Sitter, Image's National Lampoon's The Legend of Awesomest Maximus and preliminary art (from retail sources) for Disney's yet-to-be-announced War Horse...
All right, first up today, our own Russell Hammond has posted the weekly Release Dates & Art update here at The Bits, featuring all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover scans and Amazon.com pre-order links. Ordering stuff through our links helps to support our work here at the site, and we surely do appreciate it!
Now then, the big entertainment news today is obviously the announcement of the Academy Award nominations. You'll find them all here, but the 9 films up for Best Picture include The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life and War Horse. The winners will be announced on the official ABC broadcast on 2/26.
Some more title announcement news today...
Lionsgate (for Miramax) has set Bounce and a Kate and Leopold: Director's Cut for release on Blu-ray on 4/10. Also coming from them on 4/3 on DVD are the Angelina Ballerina: Ultimate Dance Collection, Fireman Sam: Rescue on the Water, Enter Nowhere, the Gwyneth Paltrow: 4-Film Collection (Shakespeare in Love, Emma, Bounce and View from the Top), the Nicole Kidman: 4-Film Collection (Cold Mountain, Rabbit Hole, The Others and Dogville) and Renee Zellweger: 4-Film Collection (Bridget Jones's Diary, Chicago, Cold Mountain and New in Town).
Warner Home Video has set the IMAX title Born to Be Wild for release on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack on 4/17, with a DVD release to follow on 5/2.
Magnolia Home Entertainment has set I Melt With You for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/28.
Paramount and Comedy Central have set Patton Oswalt: Finest Hour for DVD only release on 4/24.
Cartoon Network has announced Redakai: Conquer the Kairu - The Journey Begins for DVD only release on 2/28 as well.
For classic TV fans, Film Chest has set That Show with Joan Rivers: Volumes 1-3 and Lawrence Welk Classic Episodes: Volumes 1-4 for DVD only release on 2/21.
And Image has the family values title Trinity Goodheart on the way to DVD only on 3/27.
Here's a look at the cover art for Lionsgate's Bounce and Kate and Leopold: Director's Cut, as well as Warner's new Blu-ray book version of Citizen Kane (now available) on Blu-ray...
All right, I hope you all had a fine weekend, that your football team of choice won (sorry to those whose team didn't!) and that this post finds you all well. It's a wet one here in SoCal, so the coffee's brewing and it's a perfect day for a BD/DVD release news update.
In news today, remember how details leaked out of Sony a couple weeks ago that they were about to release Monty Python and the Holy Grail on Blu-ray Disc, but then they said that some of the details were wrong, and to watch for an official announce soon? Well, soon is today! The studio has just officially set the title for release on Blu-ray/UltraViolet on 3/6 (SRP $19.99). The only difference from what we reported back then is that this is not a 35th anniversary edition. It looks like the extras we posted back on 1/6 were exactly right, as the list includes audio commentaries by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones (plus "General Complaints and Back-Biting by John Cleese, Eric Idle and Michael Palin"), The Quest for the Holy Grail Locations documentary (featuring Palin and Jones), the Japanese version, the LEGO version, a cast directory photo gallery, 3 "Mindless Sing-Alongs", the How to Use Your Coconuts (An Educational Film) short, 8 featurettes (BBC Film Night, Meanwhile, King Arthur & Sir Bedevere..., Elephant & Castle, Run Away!, The Tale of Sir Robin, The Tale of Sir Lancelot and Henry 4th) and Blu-ray credits. But that's not all: According to Sony's official press release, exclusive to the Blu-ray will be the The Holy Book of Days Second Screen Experience, Lost Animations with introduction by Terry Gilliam and Outtakes & Extended Scenes with introduction by Terry Jones. The film will also be remastered for high-definition in quality never before available. The Holy Book of Days is accessed via an iPad app that costs $4.99 in the Apple store, but for a limited time Sony will offer a $5 rebate for those who purchase the BD and the app together. Android users are apparently out of luck.
Also today, the BBC (via Warner) has updated their February Blu-ray and DVD release plans as follows: Look for The Hour (BD and DVD), The Song of Lunch (DVD) and Steve Coogan Live (DVD) on 2/7, followed by Doctor Who: The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe (BD and DVD), Doctor Who: The Sensorites (DVD) and Doctor Who: The Caves of Androzani - Special Edition (DVD) on 2/14, The Fades: Season One (BD and DVD), Last of the Summer Wine: Vintage 1991 (DVD) and The Story of Ireland (DVD) on 2/21, and Top Gear 17 (BD and DVD) on 2/28.
And Paramount has set Jason Reitman's Young Adult for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/24.
Here's a look at the cover art for Sony's Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Jack and Jill (due 3/6) on Blu-ray, as well as their Steven King's Bag of Bones on DVD (3/13)...
We've got a last few title announcements for you today...
20th Century Fox has set Bob's Burgers: Season One for DVD only release on 4/17. Extras will include audio commentaries, audio outtakes, the original show demo, the Louise and the Burger Menu story extension and the Lifting Up the Skirt of the Night music video.
Fox also has The Rebound for on Blu-ray and DVD release on 2/7.
Here's something cool: Turner Classic Movies, Sony and The Film Foundation are collaborating on a third DVD-R/MOD set of Sony film noir catalog films. Called Film Noir Classics III, it will include My Name is Julia Ross (1945), Drive a Crooked Road (1955), The Mob (1951), Tight Spot (1955) and The Burglar (1957), all restored and with introductions by Martin Scorsese, founder of The Film Foundation. SRP is $49.99. The set is available exclusively at TCM Shop with a ship date of 1/25.
Meanwhile, Pathfinder has set Bicycle Bride for release on DVD only on 3/27 (SRP $24.98).
And Paramount has teased a few more of the classic catalog titles it expects to release on Blu-ray Disc this year as part of the studio's 100th anniversary celebration. In addition to the already announced Wings (due 1/24), Love Story (2/7), To Catch a Thief (3/6) and Chinatown (4/3), look for Clueless (5/1), Hondo (6/5), Barbarella (7/3) and Clue (8/7). Retail sources tell us that you can also tentatively expect Titanic (on Blu-ray 2D/3D Combo - the film is returning to theatres in 3D on 4/6) and possibly the classic Indiana Jones Trilogy at some point later in 2012 as well. Paramount's anniversary titles are being released one per month throughout the year. Let's hope they add some additional catalog as well to supplement the slate.
By the way, Wings? Pretty terrific. Joined by the inestimable Dr. Jahnke, I had the chance to take in a special Academy screening of the restored film this past Tuesday night, complete with live organ accompaniment. (As it happens, we found ourselves sitting right next to Taylor Hackford and Helen Mirren as well, which was lovely.) The actual film restoration - done by the Academy and Paramount in collaboration - is delightful. It's well worth your time if you're a fan of classic film. We'll post a review of the Blu-ray soon.
Here's a look at the cover art for Fox's Bob's Burgers on DVD, Anchor Bay's Corman's World and Camel Spiders (due 3/27), Sony's London Boulevard (2/21), Paramount's Like Crazy (3/6) and Universal's Buck Privates (4/17)...
Have a great weekend and we'll see you back here on Monday with a new column from Barrie. Cheers!
[Late Update: A tip of the hat to R&B legend Etta James, who passed away this morning. She will be missed. Have a listen in her memory.]
All right, the big news this afternoon is that Disney has OFFICIALLY announced the Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy/Soundtrack Combo, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, DVD/Soundtrack and DVD only editions of The Muppets for release on 3/20 (SRP $49.99, $39.99, $34.99 and $29.99 respectively). The versions with "soundtrack" include a card in the package good for a digital download of the film's soundtrack. The DVD version will include The Longest Blooper Reel Ever Made (In Muppet History--We Think). The Blu-ray versions will add audio commentary with Jason Segel, James Bobin and Nicholas Stoller, 8 deleted scenes, a Disney Intermission, 3 featurettes (Scratching the Surface: A Hasty Examination of the Making of Disney's The Muppets, Explaining Evil: The Full Tex Richman Song and A Little Screen Test on the Way to the Read Through), the popular "spoof" trailers for the film and hidden Easter eggs.
The other big news today is that the BBC and Warner Home Video have announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of the sequel to the award-winning Blue Planet and Planet Earth documentary series, Frozen Planet, on 4/17. The 3-disc Blu-ray will include all 7 episodes, along with the Science at the Ends of the Earth documentary special, the On Thin Ice featurette and 6 behind-the-scenes Freeze Frame video dairies. The series chronicles and illuminates the landscapes and lifeforms of the frozen Arctic and Antarctic landscapes, which are slowly disappearing as a result of climate change. The series will air in the U.S. on the Discovery Channel starting on 3/18. It will be narrated by Alec Baldwin in the States, while the final episode (on climate change) will be hosted by British naturalist David Attenborough.
Meanwhile, Sony is releasing London Boulevard on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/21.
Image Entertainment is releasing Beneath the Darkness on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/28. The film stars Dennis Quaid.
We mentioned yesterday the Blu-ray and DVD release of Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel and Corman's Camel Spiders on 3/27. They're coming from Anchor Bay - not Image as we posted yesterday (we've corrected the original post).
And here's a bit of AWESOME Blu-ray news: Britain's Hammer Studios has announced that more than 30 classic films from their library are going to be restored for release on Blu-ray in the months ahead. Among them are Terence Fisher's Dracula, The Curse of Frankenstein, The Plague of the Zombies, Dracula: Prince of Darkness, Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter, The Mummy, Frankenstein Created Woman, The Lost Continent, The Reptile Slave Girls and The Vengeance of She. The Blu-rays will apparently include newly-filmed material (interviews and the like). Hammer Studios is also hoping film collectors among the public can help them track down lost footage, deleted scenes and other gems from the films for inclusion on disc. Apparently a few rare gems have already been unearthed, including the original U.K. title sequences on couple of the films. You can read more on this here at the BBC. Special thanks to Bits reader James W. for the heads-up!
We'll leave you today with a look at the Blu-ray cover art for the BBC's Frozen Planet, Universal's Dragonheart (due 3/27), Kino Lorber's The Hills Have Eyes 2 (3/20) and Virgin Witch (3/13) and both Blu-ray versions of Disney's The Muppets...
All right, a couple quick words about today's SOPA/PIPA protest around the Internet. As you may have noticed, many sites around the Net have gone dark or commented today on the issue. All of us here at The Digital Bits (and MusicTAP as well) are writers and artists of one kind of another and so appreciate and support the need to protect copyright. However, the SOPA and PIPA legislation now being pushed through Congress is heavy-handed, far-reaching and gives way too much control to powerful special interest groups. Not surprisingly, it was largely written by the same folks who argued to Congress back in the 1980s that VCRs should be banned for similar reasons. The legislation as it stands would be akin to dealing with urban crime by dropping cluster bombs on neighborhoods. There is far too little oversight in the legislation, and most technical and security experts agree that digital pirates would be able to easily circumvent it anyway. If these bills pass, the potential for abuse is great. Think it wouldn't happen? Google a company named "Rightshaven" and you might be surprised. In any case, it's our hope that SOPA and PIPA will be set aside, and that all parties involved - including Hollywood, the recording and publishing industries and leading Silicon Valley tech companies - will sit down together and craft common sense legislation that will actually deal with the problem of piracy effectively without stifling many of the Internet freedoms upon which we've all come to depend. We encourage you all to learn more about all these issues and take a stand. We suggest starting here, here, here, here and (because we also have a sense of humor - thank you, Doogan) here. Enough said.
Now then, as promised today, we've posted a review of CBS's cool new Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Next Level Blu-ray sampler disc (due on 1/31). Yeah, there's no denying it - TNG in high-def is way cooler than it has any right to be. We're officially excited. Read on, Trekkers!
In release news today, Kino Lorber has announced their March Blu-ray and DVD slate, set to include Meeting Spencer (BD and DVD) and The Search for One-Eye Jimmy (BD and DVD) on 3/6, My Joy (DVD) and the Redemption Films titles Virgin Witch (BD & DVD) and Killer's Moon (BD & DVD) on 3/13, Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes: Part 2 (BD & DVD), This Is Not a Movie (BD & DVD) and Lost Keaton: Sixteen Comedy Shorts - 1934-1937 (2-disc BD) on 3/20, and El Bulli: Cooking in Progress (DVD), The Found Footage Festival: Volume 3 (DVD) and The Found Footage Festival: Volume 4 (DVD) on 3/27.
Also, Music Box Films has set Mozart's Sister for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/14.
IFC Films will release The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/14 as well.
Shout! Factory will release Roger Corman's Cult Classics: Lethal Ladies Collection - Volume 2 on DVD only on 1/24 (including The Arena, Cover Girl Models and Fly Me).
20th Century Fox has set Breakout Kings: Season One for DVD only release on 3/13.
Anchor Bay Entertainment has set Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/27, along with Corman's Camel Spiders on both formats that same day.
And Breaking Glass Pictures has set 5 Star Day for BD and DVD release on 2/7.
Here's a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Lionsgate's Wallace & Gromit's World of Invention: The Complete Series (due 3/13), Paramount's South Park: The Complete Fifteenth Season (3/27) and CBS's Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Next Level BD sampler (1/31)...
We've got a few good things for you here today...
First up, as always, our own Russell Hammond has posted the Release Dates & artwork update with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover art and Amazon.com pre-order links. A portion of anything you order from Amazon through our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it very much.
Also today, I've just turned in a pair of new Blu-ray reviews, including Lionsgate's new upgrade of Miramax's Best Picture-winning film The English Patient (due in stores on 1/31) and Eagle Rock and Image's recent Peter Gabriel: New Blood - Live in London on Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD Combo. Both are well worth a look, so do check them out.
Speaking of cool review discs, CBS's long-awaited Star Trek: The Next Generation - Remastered BD sampler disc just arrived here at The Bits' offices this afternoon, so rest assured I'll have a full review of that on the site sometime tomorrow.
Now then... in other release news...
Warner Home Video has announced a new Casablanca: 70th Anniversary 3-Disc Blu-ray + DVD Combo Edition for release on 3/27 (SRP $64.99). All of the previous DVD and Blu-ray content will be included, and the new set will add a pair of new documentaries (Michael Curtiz: The Greatest Director You Never Heard Of and Casablanca: An Unlikely Classic). Additionally, the set will compile a trio of additional, previously-released documentaries (including 2008's You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story and The Brothers Warner and the 1993 doc Jack L. Warner: The Last Mogul). It will also come packaged in a "double-wide giftbox, with brand-new collectibles created for this release including a 60-page production art book with never-before-seen photos, personal memos and archival documents about the production. A reproduction of the original 1942 film poster and a set of four collectible drink coasters from in a special keepsake box." Here's a look:
Warner has also officially set Happy Feet Two for release on Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo, Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo and DVD on 3/13 (SRP $44.95, $35.99 and $22.97).
Meanwhile, Universal has set Buck Privates: Universal 100th Anniversary Collector's Series for release on Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD on 4/17. Extras will include Abbott and Costello Meet Jerry Seinfeld and 3 featurettes (100 Years of Universal: Restoring the Classics, 100 Years of Universal: The Carl Laemmle Era and 100 Years of Universal: Unforgettable Characters).
Also newly announced today for DVD release on 2/28 by Lionsgate are Answers to Nothing and King of Triads.
Image has set Betty White: Champion for Animals for DVD release on 3/27.
MTI Home Video has Killer by Nature due on DVD on 2/14.
And Warner and the BBC will release Doctor Who: The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/14 (SRP $19.89 and $14.89).