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





page updated: 6/4/12



My Two Cents
(Archived Posts 5/18/12 - 4/2/12)


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5/18/12

All right, we're pleased today to present a new DVD review from our own Todd Doogan, featuring Shout! Factory's Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales: The Complete Collection. Like their recent Underdog set, the set is well worth your time so do check it out.

In release news today, Warner Home Video and Adult Swim have announced that Children's Hospital: The Complete Third Season will arrive on DVD on 7/24.

Shout! Factory has set the "cult exploitation thriller" Fear City for Blu-ray release on 7/17 (SRP $19.99), but it's only available online at ShoutFactoryStore.com

Speaking of Shout! Factory, the company has just announced that they've acquired Timeless Media Group whose library of classic movie and TV titles includes the likes of The Gene Autry Show, The Virginian, Wagon Train, Laramie, Roy Rogers: King of the Cowboys Western Movies Collection, Aspen: The Complete Miniseries, Once An Eagle Miniseries, Red Skelton, Snapped and Peter Gunn.

Not sure if we've mentioned this one yet, but Universal has set its Born on the Fourth of July: Universal 100th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo set for release on 7/3.

Finally, 20th Century Fox and MGM have announced the next wave of MGM's Limited Edition Collection MOD DVD-R titles that will be available from various online retailers starting in June. Look for Mr. Wong in Chinatown (1939), One Thrilling Night (1942), Mystery of the 13th Guest (1943), The Cat Burglar (1961), Operation Bikini (1963), The Outside Man (1972), Six-Pack Annie (1975), New Year's Evil (1980), The Children of An Lac (1980), Windows (1980), Leave 'Em Laughing (1981), Bitter Harvest (1981), The Children of Times Square (1986), Lisa (1989), Caged Fury (1989), Hangfire (1991) and Boris and Natasha: The Movie (1992).

In completely unrelated (but cool) news today, the private spaceflight company SpaceX is attempting its first unmanned Dragon capsule flight to the International Space Station tomorrow morning. If all goes well, they hope to launch just before 5 AM Eastern (2 AM Pacific) and dock with the ISS in a few days. You can watch live streaming coverage online (starting about an hour before launch) at NASA TV, Spaceflight Now, SpaceX itself, Space.com and possibly Spacevidcast.

But that's not all: On Sunday evening, there will be a partial solar eclipse that should be visible to most of the central and western United States. You can find all the details here at Space.com. Be extremely careful viewing it however - you can damage your eyes looking at it directly. The best thing to do is watch it indirectly with special viewing tools you can make here, or via one of many live online video streams including this one from Panasonic, this one from the Hong Kong Observatory, and this one live from Area 51 in Nevada. More live online links are available here from Sky and Telescope magazine.

Back next week with more reviews, including a new contributor here at The Bits as well as a brand new Classic Coming Attractions column from Barrie. Enjoy the space stuff, have a great weekend and see you Monday!

5/17/12

All right, we're very pleased this afternoon to be able to present a new Blu-ray Disc review from our very own Barrie Maxwell. Barrie's been watching a lot of movies to keep himself busy during his on-going battle with a brain tumor. And he's felt good enough to turn in a review of Entertainment One's new Hell on Wheels: The Complete First Season Blu-ray set. The series airs on AMC here in the States. Please feel free to drop Barrie an e-mail as well - it really means a lot to him hearing from you guys at a time like this. Enjoy the review!

In announcement news today, Warner Home Video has set Wrath of the Titans for 3D Blu-ray/Blu-ray/DVD/UltraViolet Combo Pack and Blu-ray/DVD/UltraViolet Combo Pack release on 6/26 (SRP $44.95 and $35.99). A rental DVD version will follow on 7/24 (SRP $22.97). Extras on the Blu-ray versions will include a pair of Maximum Movie Mode interactive viewing options (The Path of Men and The Path of Gods - featuring storyboard comparisons, Picture-in-Picture video, Focus Points and more), plus deleted scenes. Each "path" will include a number of mini-featurettes as follows: The Path of Men will include Battling the Chimera, Who Are The Titans?, Agenor: The Other Demi-God, The Cyclops Fight, Prison of the Titans, Minotaur: The Human Nightmare and The Heavens Raise Hell on Earth. The Path of Gods will include Hephaestus: God of Fire, Lost in Tartarus' Labyrinth and Creatures of the Titans. You'll find cover art for both BD versions below.

Warner has also set Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation for DVD release on 8/14, along with (for the BBC) Doctor Who: Episode 51 - Spearhead from Space: Special Edition and Doctor Who: Episode.155 - Greatest Show in the Galaxy. They also have Bleach Uncut: Set 14 set for DVD release on 9/11 (for VIZ Media).

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will release Thin Ice on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/12.

Our friends at Blue Underground have moved the street date for the Django Kill... If You Live, Shoot! Blu-ray to 7/3 (from 6/19). The company has also set Midnight Movies: Sci-Fi Double Feature (Contamination/H.G. Wells' The Shape of Things to Come) for DVD release on 8/28. Also coming that day to DVD are Midnight Movies: Car Crash Double Feature (Cannonball/Fast Company) and Midnight Movies: Crime Double Feature (Grand Slam/Revolver).

Lionsgate has set William & Catherine: A Royal Romance DVD only release on 8/7, along with Blue Like Jazz on both Blu-ray and DVD.

Vanguard Cinema has set Wan Chai Baby, Invisible Ink, Beyond the Steppes and Possession for DVD release on 7/24.

Pathfinder Home Entertainment will release Sophie's Revenge and Good Morning President on DVD on 7/10.

Millennium Entertainment has set A Little Bit of Heaven for Blu-ray and DVD release on 6/12.

Green Apple Entertainment will release Elephant Sighs on DVD on 6/12, followed by Identical on 6/26.

Shout! Factory will release The Rookies: The Complete Second Season on DVD only on 8/7. They'll follow with the animated Astonishing X-Men: Torn on 8/14.

For you music fans, Shout! Factory will also release Los Lobos: Kiko 20th Anniversary Edition on CD and Kiko Live on CD, DVD and Blu-ray on 8/21.

Also on the music front, MPI is releasing the concert/documentary John Mellencamp: It's About You on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/5 (SRP $29.98 and $24.98). The film "follows the singer on tour and in the recording studio."

And for your soundtrack CD fans, our friends over at La-La Land Records (working with Sony Music and Paramount Pictures) are getting ready to release a new 3-CD Star Trek: The Motion Picture limited edition soundtrack set. The score for the 1979 film will be presented fully restored and remastered, along with "the legendary early "rejected" cues that Goldsmith recorded prior to composing his famous main theme". Additional audio extras will include "a collection of early takes of the Main Title (including extensive stage chatter), isolated segments featuring Craig Huxley's famous "blaster beam" and assorted synthesizer excerpts, the domestic CD debut of Bob James' disco cover version of Goldsmith's theme and Shaun Cassidy's vocal version of the love theme, A Star Beyond Time." You'll also get a 40-page booklet with liner notes by reissue co-producer Mike Matessino and our old friend Jeff Bond. The release date is 6/5 and the set will be limited to 10,000 units. More details on that, plus a special L.A.-area release event, can be found here at Trek Movie.

Here's a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Warner's Wrath of the Titans and 20th Century Fox's Margaret (due 7/10)...

Wrath of the Titans (Blu-ray 3D)Wrath of the Titans (Blu-ray Disc)Margaret (Blu-ray Disc)

Back tomorrow with a DVD review from Doogan. Stay tuned...

5/16/12

All right, we had a bit of work happening on the server yesterday, which explains the downtime. But let's get you caught up on release news and whatnot...

First however, our own Russell Hammond has turned in the weekly update of the Release Dates & Cover 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 you click through to them from our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it.

Now then, we've got some great new Blu-ray and DVD reviews coming for you starting tomorrow and through the rest of the week. Doogan's checked in with one, Barrie's feeling good enough to send one in as well and we have a new staff reviewer contributing too. So be sure to check back in over the next couple days for those.

Meanwhile, here's some new title announcements...

Criterion has just unveiled their August Blu-ray and DVD slate and as always there are some really great titles. Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums (Cat #157) gets a Blu-ray Disc upgrade on 8/14. That same day, Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne's La promesse (#620) and Rosetta (#621) arrive on both Blu-ray and DVD as well. Andrew Haigh's Weekend (#622) follows on Blu-ray and DVD on 8/21. And on 8/28, look for Paul Fejos' Lonesome (#623) and The Who's Quadrophenia (#624 - directed by Franc Roddam) on both Blu-ray and DVD. Also on 8/28, watch for Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone and Other Films by Norman Mailer on DVD only, featuring Maidstone, Wild 90 and Beyond the Law.

Kino Lorber has announced their August slate too. On their Horizons label, look for Mr. Hush (DVD & BD) on 8/7. On the Kino Lorber label, look for Foreign Parts (DVD only) and Derek Jarman's Sebastiane (BD) and The Tempest (BD) on 8/7, followed by Post Mortem (DVD & BD) on 8/21. From Kino Classics, look for Louis Feuillade's Les Vampires (2-disc DVD & 2-disc BD) and Andrzej Wajda's Korczak (DVD & BD) on 8/14. And rounding out the slate, look for the Redemption titles Visions of Ecstasy (BD - the film was made in 1989 but was banned for over 20 years in the U.K.) and Renato Polselli's Black Magic Rites: Remastered Edition (DVD & BD) on 8/21, followed by Jean Rollin's The Living Dead Girl: Remastered Edition (DVD & BD) and Two Orphan Vampires: Remastered Edition (DVD & BD) on 8/28.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has set Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret for release on Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack on 7/10. It'll be available exclusively at Amazon.com for a limited time, and will include the theatrical cut and (on a bonus DVD disc) a never-before-seen extended cut as well.

Universal has set the direct-to-video crime thriller 4.3.2.1 for Blu-ray and DVD release on 7/31. Extras on both versions will include a "making of" featurette.

Sony has set the Hallmark Channel's The Note 3 for DVD release on 7/10, followed by Drew Peterson: Untouchable on DVD 7/24. Lasse Hallstrom's Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is also due from Sony on both Blu-ray and DVD on 7/17. It features Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt and Kristin Scott Thomas.

Paramount has set Clue for Blu-ray only release on 8/7. Extras will include three different endings (with the option to watch them all at once or one at random) and the theatrical trailer.

Meanwhile, CBS and Paramount have Gunsmoke: The Sixth Season, Volume One due on DVD on 8/7, followed by Vegas: The Third Season, Volume Two and Vegas: The Complete Series Pack on 8/14.

And Showtime and Paramount have set Dexter: The Complete Sixth Season for Blu-ray and DVD release on 8/14.

In other release news, a company called Neptune Media is releasing Kenji Misumi's original The Last Samurai on DVD on 6/26. Misumi is best known for directing Shogun Assassin and several of the Zatoichi films. The film will be presented in anamorphic widescreen, and will include the original theatrical trailer, a photo gallery, actor bios and an essay by Tom Mes, author of Agitator: the Cinema of Takashi Miike.

Also, Warner Home Video has announced that the street date for their Lethal Weapon Blu-ray Collection has moved up from 6/12 to 5/22. Adjust your plans accordingly.

And our friends over at TV Shows on DVD have confirmed that 2 seconds of film footage from the Season One episode We'll Always Have Paris still haven't been located by CBS in the Paramount vaults and so will have to be upconverted in the forthcoming Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season One remastered Blu-ray, due on 7/24. That's still not bad given how much of the previously missing footage from other episodes has been located. Meanwhile, a couple of the remastered TNG episodes are going to be screened in theatres around the country in July to promote the release.

Here's a look at the cover artwork for Neptune's The Last Samurai DVD, Kino Lorber's Saphead BD (due 7/10) and Mr. Hush DVD (8/7), CBS' Dexter: The Complete Sixth Season BD and Criterion's The Royal Tenenbaums and Quadrophenia BDs...

The Last Samurai (DVD)Saphead (Blu-ray Disc)Mr. Hush (DVD)

Dexter: The Complete Sixth Season (Blu-ray Disc)The Royal Tenenbaums (Blu-ray Disc)Quadrophenia (Blu-ray Disc)

Back tomorrow with reviews and lots more news. Stay tuned!

5/14/12

All right, let's get an early start this week, shall we?

To start with, Bits reader Charles N. spotted something pretty cool on the AnimEigo website, which is an explainer on the differences between the vintage Lone Wolf & Cub films and the later Shogun Assassin. Essentially, the latter was created by editing the first two Lone Wolf & Cub films together and dubbing the result into English. Shogun Assassin is currently available on Blu-ray and DVD from AnimEigo. But here's the best news: According to the company's website... a Blu-ray Disc release of the original Lone Wolf & Cub films is set for Fall 2012! That's pretty awesome. Speaking for Doogan and myself, we sure wish AnimEigo would make their Zatoichi films available on Blu-ray Disc as well. Fingers crossed. (If you'd like to see them on BD too, drop them an e-mail and let them know!) Anyway, great spot Charles and thanks for the heads-up!

Couple other bits of release news today...

Warner Home Video has set Project X for release on Blu-ray/DVD/UltraViolet Combo on 6/19 (SRP $35.99). The DVD only version follows on 7/17 (SRP $22.97). WHV has also set the animated Superman vs. The Elite: Special Edition for DVD only release on 7/24.

HBO Home Entertainment has set the 4-part documentary series The Weight of the Nation for DVD only release on 7/31.

Magnolia Home Entertainment will release the comedy The Yankles on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/5.

Eagle Rock Entertainment will release Kasabian: Live! - Live at the O2 on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/26.

Inception Media Group has set Decisions for DVD release on 6/12. The film features the final appearance of the late actor Corey Haim. Inception will also release Titanic's Final Mystery on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/29.

MTI Home Video will release the war film Normandy on DVD on 6/5 (SRP $24.95).

And for you sports fans, A&E Home Entertainment has set Highlights of the 2012 Masters Tournament for release on DVD only on 5/29 (SRP $19.95).

Here's a look at the BD cover art for Warner's Project X, Universal's Being Flynn (due 7/10) and Kino Lorber's The Last of England (7/24)...

Project X (Blu-ray Disc)Being Flynn (Blu-ray Disc)The Last of England (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

5/11/12

All right, we've got a couple more things for you today to close out the week...

First, this is going to irritate the heck out of many of you: Hollywood and the U.S. Government have officially cooked up a pair of new anti-piracy warning screens that are soon going to appear on new Blu-ray and DVD releases from the six major Hollywood studios. No big deal, right? Here's the problem: There are two new screens, each of which will run for 10 seconds. They'll be displayed back to back when you first boot up the disc in your player... and you will NOT be able to skip them. So that's 20 second of unskippable irritation, on top of the time it already takes Blu-rays to load BD-Java and check for BD-Live updates, plus all the already unskippable studio logos and trailers you have to endure. Yeah, we hate this too. Seriously, we REALLY hate this. And it will do absolutely noting to curb piracy. Apparently Hollywood is trying very hard to drive the physical media business right into the ground. Anyway, more here at Ars Technica. Ugh.

[Our own Jeff Kleist notes: "The people who bought the disc legally are not the ones who need to see this message." He's come up with an interesting proposal: "The industry has been pushing UltraViolet as its catch-all digital locker of choice, so why not reward those first-week paying customers who register their BDs on UltraViolet - as long as you're hooked into the Internet your disc will automatically bypass those annoying warnings and load straight into the menus. This not only gives customers a tangible benefit in purchasing new titles versus renting, but also introduces more people to UltraViolet which the studios want anyway. Combine that with a merging of all these separate studio accounts into one master UV account, and in theory everyone wins."] It's not a bad idea. Which naturally means Hollywood will never go for it. Unfortunately, those customers who don't use UltraViolet (or Digital Copy of any kind) or who don't have Net-connected players are still out in the cold. Anyway...

Here's another bit of news that's a potential irritation for you Windows PC users: Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system is going to ship without the ability to play DVD and Blu-ray movie titles in Windows Media Center. You'll have to download an upgrade from Microsoft (for a "nominal" and as-yet-unannounced fee, of course) to play them. This is probably not a surprising development, because the vast majority of PC users who watch movies on their systems do so via third-party software like PowerDVD. It might just be that Microsoft doesn't feel like paying license fees to Hollywood up front anymore when most of their consumers don't use Windows Media Center to watch discs anyway. Nevertheless, it's another irritation. More here at Tom's Hardware.

Okay, let's have a little bit of new announcement news...

Warner Home Video and Cinemax have set Strike Back: Cinemax Season 1 for Blu-ray and DVD release on 8/7 (SRP $59.96 and $49.98). All 10 episodes will be included, along with audio commentary and more.

Paramount has set Eddie Murphy's A Thousand Words for Blu-ray and DVD release on 6/26.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will release Mirror Mirror on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/26 as well. They also have Leverage: The 4th Season set for DVD only release on 7/17 and The Glades: Season 2 on DVD due on 7/10.

Anchor Bay Entertainment will release On the Inside on Blu-ray and DVD on 7/24, followed by Lake Effects on DVD only on 8/14.

IFC Films will release the "apocalyptic romance" Perfect Sense, staring Ewan McGregor and Eva Green, on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/22.

Also, Shout! Factory has set the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season One, Volume One for DVD only release on 8/21. The 3-disc set (SRP $19.93) will include the first 30 episodes. Shout! Factory and Time Life are also making the 6-DVD Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Complete Season One set and the 40-DVD Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Seasons One-Seven box set available online only directly to fans starting on 7/30.

By the way, Shout! also has Diff'rent Strokes: Season Three coming to DVD only on 7/17, followed by The Smurfs and The Magic Flute on DVD only on 8/14.

And EOne Entertainment will release Babar: The Classic Series - The Complete First Season on DVD on 6/5 (SRP $19.98).

In other release news, Bits reader Jason B. has let us know that a pair of John Wayne classics from 20th Century Fox are now available on Blu-ray only at Walmart as retail exclusives: The Big Trail and The Barbarian and the Geisha. SRP is $12.96 each. The Chuck Norris titles The Delta Force, Missing in Action and Missing in Action 2: The Beginning are also available on Blu-ray exclusively at Walmart for $9.96 each.

And that's all for this week. We'll leave you with a look at a little more Blu-ray cover art: Disney's Grosse Pointe Blank: 15th Anniversary Edition, IFC's Perfect Sense and Lionsgate's The Flowers of War (due 7/10)...

Grosse Pointe Blank: 15th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Disc)Perfect Sense (Blu-ray Disc)The Flowers of War (Blu-ray Disc)

See you next week!

5/10/12

All right, sorry about missing yesterday's post. We had a whole behind-the-scenes thing going on here. Much busy work I won't bore you all with. Anyway, we've got some pretty good release news to report to you all today...

First of all, Lionsgate has revealed more of its July Blu-ray and DVD release slate and it includes some good titles. Look for Battle Force (DVD) on 7/3, Barney: All About Opposites (DVD), Yimou Zhang's The Flowers of War (BD & DVD), Thomas & Friends: Schoolhouse Delivery (DVD) and You're Nobody Till Somebody Kills You (DVD) on 7/10, Friends With Kids (BD & DVD) and Timmy Time: Happy Birthday Timmy (DVD) on 7/17, Boss: Season One (BD & DVD) and The Monitor (DVD) on 7/24 and the Total Recall: Mind-Bending Edition (BD), La Grande Illusion (BD) and Cole Younger and the Black Train (BD) on 7/31.

Total Recall (SRP $14.99) will feature "an all-new director approved, high-definition transfer from the original film negative" and both new and legacy extras, including an all-new interview with director Paul Verhoeven, an all-new Restoration Comparison featurette, audio commentary with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Paul Verhoeven, the Imagining Total Recall documentary, 2 featurettes (Models and Skeletons: The Special Effects of Total Recall and Making of), a photo gallery and the film's theatrical trailer.

La Grande Illusion (SRP $29.99) will include a trio of articles (La Grande Illusion: Success and Controversy by Olivier Curchod, La Grande Illusion by Ginette Vincendeau and The original negative of La Grande Illusion by Natacha Laurent), the Restoring La Grande Illusion featurette, a John Truby film presentation, and trailers from 1937 and 1958.

And The Flowers of War (SRP $29.99) will include the 5-part Making of The Flowers of War documentary.

Meanwhile, Warner has announced that the BD/DVD version of Ben Affleck's The Town recently released in the UCE box set will be available in standard BD Digi-Book packaging on 6/5 (SRP $34.99).

Also, Warner and Adult Swim have set Squidbillies: Volume Five for DVD only release on 8/7, the same day as Warner's The Cat in the Hat: Deluxe Edition Blu-ray and DVD.

Universal has set American Reunion for Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo Pack and DVD on 7/10. Extras on both versions will include 7 deleted scenes, a gag reel, 3 featurettes (The "Reunion" Reunion: Re-Launching the Series, Jim's Dad and Ouch! My Balls!) and commentary with co-writers/co-directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg. The Blu-ray will exclusively add 13 extended scenes, alternate scenes, an Out of Control Track (featuring the cast appearing in pop-up video during the film), 4 more featurettes (The Best of Biggs, Lake Bake, Dancing with The Oz and American Gonad-iators: The Fight Scenes), an interactive American Reunion Yearbook and all the other usual BD-Live and BD-Java bells and whistles.

Universal will also release Being Flynn on Blu-ray and DVD on 7/10. The film stars Robert De Niro and Paul Dano.

Here's a look at the BD cover art for Lionsgate's Total Recall: Mind-Bending Edition and La Grande Illusion, and Universal's Mystery Men (due 7/24)...

Total Recall: Mind-Bending Edition (Blu-ray Disc)La Grande Illusion (Blu-ray Disc)Mystery Men (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

5/8/12

All right, we've got a couple important things for you today...

First, our own Russell Hammond has once again updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, a portion of anything you order from Amazon after clicking through to them from our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it.

Now then, before we get to today's announcement news, I wanted to give you a bit of an update on a beloved member of our very own Digital Bits family. Some of you may have noticed that it's been a few weeks since Barrie Maxwell's last review post here at the site. The reason is a health issue. You might recall that last year Barrie learned he had a brain tumor, which doctors were fortunately able to remove. However, a couple weeks ago during a follow-up check, Barrie learned that he had a new tumor in a part of the brain that can't be operated upon - a part that began to cause him difficulties in writing. The good news is that doctors quickly started him on a new clinical trial to treat just the kind of tumor he's got. I spoke with him on the phone a few days ago and he's in good spirits. In an e-mail just yesterday, Barrie reported to me that the new treatment seems to be having a positive effect. He's already noticed an improvement in his ability to write and compose his thoughts. Barrie and his wife Sue have been watching LOTS of movies these last few weeks to pass the time and he wants you all to know that he's already working on new reviews. I told him not to worry about it, of course, but he's determined to get back to business as usual. From Barrie's latest e-mail: "It's fair to warn readers about some unpredictability in my schedule, but there will definitely be new columns and reviews. In fact I've got new stuff coming along in the works!" Please feel free to drop Barrie an e-mail (barriemaxwell@thedigitalbits.com) to wish him well and send him your supportive thoughts and comments - I know he and Sue would really appreciate it. Do keep them both in your thoughts and prayers. With that, a little luck and some good cutting edge medical science, Barrie will pull through this with flying colors. From all of us here at The Bits, thank you for your support of Barrie and his family!

One other quick note today: Matt's MusicTAP website unfortunately got hacked again last night, so if you notice that the site is down, that's why. Any of you guys website security experts that might be able to help him out? Give him an e-mail here (I know he'd appreciate it): tapstuff@gmail.com

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

Warner Home Video has announced a new classic animated Blu-ray and DVD release set to hit stores on 8/28 - Looney Tunes: Chuck Jones Mouse Chronicles (SRP $34.99 and $26.99). The set will include 19 remastered animated shorts featuring vintage Looney Tunes mice (Naughty but Mice, Little Brother Rat, Sniffles and the Bookworm, Sniffles Takes a Trip, The Egg Collector, Bedtime for Sniffles, Sniffles Bells the Cat, Toy Trouble, The Brave Little Bat, The Unbearable Bear, Lost and Foundling, Hush my Mouse, The Aristo Cat, Trap Happy Porky, Roughly Squeaking, House Hunting Mice, Mouse Wreckers, The Hypo-Chondri-Cat and Cheese Chasers) plus additional features. You'll find the BD cover artwork below.

Warner has also announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of Project X on 7/17.

Paramount will release A Thousand Words on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/26.

ABC Studios and Disney have set Revenge: The Complete First Season for DVD only release on 8/21, along with Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray and DVD that same day. Grey's Anatomy: The Complete Eighth Season will follow on DVD only on 9/4. Private Practice: The Complete Fifth Season and Castle: The Complete Fourth Season street on DVD only on 9/11. Body of Proof: The Complete Second Season and Army Wives: The Complete Sixth Season street on DVD only on 9/18. And Desperate Housewives: The Complete Eighth and Final Season and Desperate Housewives: The Complete Collection hit DVD only on 9/25. Of those, you're probably most interested in the Once Upon a Time Blu-ray, which will include 5 featurettes (Exploring Tall Tales: True Origins, Fairy Tales in the Modern World, Welcome to Storybrooke, Tell Me a Story and Building Character), deleted scenes, bloopers and "an interactive archive of fairytale favorites". See the cover art below.

Also today, Anchor Bay Entertainment has set Black Limousine for DVD release on 7/10.

TLA Releasing has set The Walerian Borowczyk Collection for DVD only release on 6/26 (SRP $34.98). The 3-disc set will include Immoral Women, Art of Love and Private Collections.

Synapse Films has set the Hammer Horror classic Twins of Evil for Blu-ray/DVD Combo release on 7/10 (SRP $29.95). Extras will include a feature-length documentary (The Flesh and the Fury: X-Posing Twins of Evil), The Props That Hammer Built: The Kinsey Collection featurette and (on the BD only) a motion still gallery, a deleted scene and an isolated music and effects track.

And Shout! Factory has set Kathy Griffin: Pants Off and Tired Hooker for DVD only release on 8/7.

Finally today, we want to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of author Maurice Sendak, whose Where the Wild Things Are is and always will be a children's classic. He was 83.

Here's a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Warner's Looney Tunes: Chuck Jones Mouse Chronicles, ABC/Disney's Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season and Disney's High Fidelity (due 8/7)...

Looney Tunes: Chuck Jones Mouse Chronicles (Blu-ray Disc)Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray Disc)High Fidelity (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

5/7/12

Afternoon, folks! Hope you all had a great weekend. Me and Matt took in a screen of The Avengers on Saturday morning, and I know Doc Jahnke saw it this weekend too. Pretty darn good. I've noted before that I'm not a big fans of superhero films anymore, but I certainly enjoyed this film a lot more than I expected to. The action is fine as you'd expect but it's really the little character interactions and funny character moments that make Avengers worth seeing. We chose a 2D digital screening and that was more than sufficient for our needs, especially since we saved about $8, though your mileage will no doubt vary. Whichever viewing option you choose, be sure to stay all the way through the very end of the credits. 'Nuff said.

Okay, once again we've got a little bit of announcement news for you today...

Sony has officially confirmed the Blu-ray and DVD release of 21 Jump Street on 6/26 (SRP $35.99 and $30.99). Both will feature UltraViolet. Extras on the BD version will include audio commentary with the directors and cast, a gag reel and 7 featurettes (Not So Slim Shady, Cube-O-Rama, Back to School, Brothers in Arms, Johnny Depp on Set, The Rob Riggle Show and Peter Pan on the Freeway).

We now have official details of the content and extras that will be includes on EMI's The Beatles: Yellow Submarine Blu-ray and DVD release due on 6/5. Extras will include audio commentary by art director Heinz Edelmann and producer John Coates, the original theatrical trailer, the 8-minute Mod Odyssey documentary, 3 storyboard sequences (Sea of Monsters, Battle of the Monsters and Pepperland), galleries of original pencil drawings and behind-the-scenes photos, and interviews with Paul Angelis (voice of Ringo and Chief Blue Meanie), John Clive (voice of John), David Livesey (key animator), Millicent McMillan (Heinz Edelmann's assistant), Jack Stokes (animation director) and Erich Segal (co-writer). Audio options will include the original mono, English Dolby Stereo and English, German and Italian 5.1 DTS-HD, with subtitles in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Finnish and Japanese).

Also today, 20th Century Fox has set Leverage: Season Four for DVD only release on 7/17.

Image Entertainment has The American Dream on DVD only on 7/3.

Disney has set the original Disney Channel movie Let it Shine: Extended Edition for DVD release on 8/7.

Entertainment One has Carol Channing: Larger Than Life on DVD on 5/22.

Shout! Factory has My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic - Royal Pony Wedding coming on DVD only on 8/7.

And Warner Home Video has set Green Lantern: The Animated Series - Rise of the Red Lanterns: Season 1, Part 1 for DVD only release on 8/28 (SRP $19.97).

Here's a look at the BD cover art for Sony's 21 Jump Street, EMI's The Beatles: Yellow Submarine and Fox's Coen Brothers Collection Blu-ray Collection (already available), which includes Blood Simple, Fargo, Miller's Crossing and Raising Arizona. The reason for posting that last one today is that Amazon currently has it for just $24.99 or 64% off the regular price. The special price is good until 5/12...

21 Jump Street (Blu-ray Disc)The Beatles: Yellow Submarine (Blu-ray Disc)Coen Brothers Collection Blu-ray Collection (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

5/4/12

All right, we've got just a few more items for you today...

First though, we've kicked off a new Giveaway offering each of you the chance to take home some great MGM MOD DVD titles provided by our friends at Classic Movies Now, including The Quatermass Xperiment, The Thousand Plane Raid and Getting It Right. Entries will be accepted until 5/21.

Now then... Anchor Bay Entertainment has set Wilson and the Ice Cream Fair for DVD release on 5/15.

Shout! Factory has set Designing Women: The Complete Final Season for DVD release on 7/17.

Here's something for you Star Wars fans that may not yet have picked up the new Blu-ray set: Amazon has it as their Deal of the Day for just $79 (a very nice 44% off), so act fast if you want a copy for a good price.

Speaking of great Amazon deals, you can also get A&E's Farscape: The Complete Series on Blu-ray for just $69 right now (or a whopping 66% off). Again, don't miss out if you've been thinking about picking it up.

Back to Anchor Bay for a moment: For you L.A.-area folks, the company is holding a special Madison County DVD signing with the cast and crew at Dark Delicacies in Burbank next Tuesday (on 5/8 - 3512 W. Magnolia Blvd.). The event will start at 7PM. On hand will be star/producer Ace Marrero, producer Daniel Dunn and stars Matt Mercer, Natalie Scheetz, Joanna Sotomura and Marshall Yates. Be sure to drop on by if you're interested.

And then there's this: Season Two of the absolutely fantastic British TV series Sherlock FINALLY hits PBS here in the States this weekend. The first episode of Season Two airs this Sunday on PBS' Masterpiece Mystery! (check your local listings). To call his show terrific is like calling water wet. ("Well duh, Sherlock!") It's just a brilliant and highly entertaining series and it's well worth your time. Season One is available on Blu-ray, DVD and Netflix now and it's just three 90-minute episodes long so it's easy to catch up before Sunday (we highly recommend doing so as the new season picks up right where the first season cliffhanger left off). The second season is just three more 90-minute episodes, and the show has already been picked up for two more seasons. Trust us when we say that if you take the time to give Sherlock a look... you will not regret it.

Also today, Matt's poses a fun question today over at MusicTAP: If you knew you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, which one you choose? Head on over there and weigh in with your picks.

Finally today, this is just breaking as we post this, but Rolling Stone is reporting that Beastie Boys co-founder Adam "MCA" Yauch has died of cancer. He was just 47. Well that blows. Pretty sick of this cancer thing. Think I'm gonna spin up Licensed to Ill in his honor today. Rest in peace, brother.

All right, on a lighter note... get out there and check out Avengers this weekend. We hear it's pretty good. See you Monday.

5/3/12

Slow news day today so there are just a couple of title announcements to mention...

Image Entertainment has set Home Run Showdown for Blu-ray and DVD release on 8/21.

Lionsgate Home Entertainment will release Friends with Kids on Blu-ray and DVD on 7/17.

A&E Home Entertainment will release Titanic at 100: Mystery Solved on DVD on 6/5, along with Pawn Stars: Volume 4 and American Pickers: Volume 2. Following on 6/12 are Dog the Bounty Hunter: Taking It to the Streets, Gene Simmons Family Jewels: Season 6, Parts 1 & 2 and Brad Meltzer's Decoded: Season Two.

Universal has set The Women of SNL and American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars for DVD release on 7/3, followed by The Jungle Bunch: The Movie on 8/28.

And Icarus Films will release the documentary The Loving Story on DVD on 5/14.

Also, we've learned a little bit more about the extras you can expect to find on Disney's Cinderella: Diamond Edition when it streets on Blu-ray/DVD Combo on 10/2. Extras will include an alternate opening sequence, a new Disney Second Screen Experience/personalized digital storybook called Bibbidi-Bobbidi-You, 3 featurettes (The Magic of the Glass Slipper: A Cinderella Story, Behind the Magic: A New Disney Princess Fantasyland and The Real Fairy Godmother), an introduction by Diane Disney Miller and the Tangled Ever After animated short film. Audio will include the restored original theatrical soundtrack and a 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix.

And a reminder: Shout! Factory will release Fantasy Island: The Complete Second Season on DVD on 5/8.

Stay tuned...

5/2/12

Okay... we've got a few more bits of announcement news for you today...

First, Universal has set a pair of additional catalog Blu-ray titles for release on 8/7, including Blues Brothers 2000 and Evan Almighty. See cover artwork below.

Meanwhile, Amazon is now taking pre-orders for Uni's American Reunion on Blu-ray. A number of sources (including retail) have e-mailed us hinting at a 7/10 street date, though we caution that the date is not confirmed yet by the studio.

In other release news, Warner Home Video and the BBC have set Madame Bovary (2000) and The Secret Diaries of Miss Lister for DVD only release on 7/3.

Eagle Rock Entertainment has set Lee Ritenour's Overtime for Blu-ray release on 6/19. Audio will be included in DTS-HD Master Audio and LPCM Stereo.

PBS will release the documentary American Masters Johnny Carson: King of Late Night on Blu-ray and DVD on 7/17. The program will have its broadcast debut on Monday, May 14 at 9 pm (ET/PT) on PBS (check your local listings).

Several Bits readers thought we should remind you all that in addition to This Is Cinerama and A Trip to the Moon, Flicker Alley has also released Louis De Rochemont's 1959 classic Windjammer on Blu-ray/DVD Combo.

And Cartoon Network has set The Amazing World of Gumball "The DVD" for DVD release on 8/28. All 12 episodes will be included.

In Rumor Mill-worthy news today, industry sources are telling us that Disney and Pixar's Finding Nemo will finally arrive on Blu-ray Disc and Blu-ray 3D in time for the holidays, following the film's 3D theatrical re-release in September (on 9/14). The official trailer for the theatrical re-issue can be found here.

Also, Home Media Retailing has just announced the winners in their annual Home Media Awards. Warner's Ben-Hur: Ultimate Collector's Edition captured top honors (Title of the Year, Best Catalog Title and Best Restoration), along with Fox and Lucasfilm's Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Blu-ray Disc of the Year, Best Extras, Best Boxed Set, Best Catalog Collection and Best Title Upgrade), and Warner's Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume One (Best Animation Title) and Smallville: The Complete Series (Best Complete-Series TV DVD Set). You can read the complete list of winners here. Congrats to all of them!

Finally, with all the Dark Shadows DVD and remake film news in the media these past few weeks, Bits reader Kevin S. rightly thought we should take a moment to acknowledge the recent passing of actor Jonathan Frid, who played the original Barnabas Collins on the classic TV series. He was 87.

Here's a look at the BD cover art for Universal's Blues Brothers 2000 and Evan Almighty, as well as Fox's Bad Ass (due 6/5)...

Blues Brothers 2000 (Blu-ray Disc)Evan Almighty (Blu-ray Disc)Bad Ass (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

5/1/12

All right, more announcement news today...

First though, our own Russell Hammond has updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, a portion of anything you order through Amazon after clicking to them through our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it.

Now then...

CBS has officially confirmed that the newly remastered Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season One will street on Blu-ray Disc on 7/24. The 6-disc set will include all the episodes in 1080p high-definition scanned from the original negatives and fully digitally remastered. Aspect ratio will be the original 1.33:1 broadcast ratio and audio will be upgraded in English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio with English Stereo Surround (and French, Japanese and German Mono - subtitle options will include English SDH, French, German, Castilian, Italian, Japanese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish). All 26 first season episodes will be included. Extras will include original episode promos, a pair of newly-created HD documentaries (Energized! Taking The Next Generation to the Next Level and the 3-part Stardate Revisited: The Origin of Star Trek: The Next Generation), a gag reel, a vintage 1987 launch featurette and launch promos, a Season One promo and 4 Archival Mission Logs carried over from the original DVD release (The Beginning, Selected Crew Analysis, The Making of a Legend and Memorable Missions). So it appears that everything from the original DVDs is retained here, other than obviously the original SD presentation of the episodes themselves. More at Trek Movie and Star Trek.com, and you can find the original cover artwork provided by CBS below.

Also today, Paramount has set Jeff, Who Lives at Home for Blu-ray/DVD release on 6/19.

Anchor Bay and Endgame Entertainment have set Seeking Justice for Blu-ray/DVD Combo release on 6/19. The film stars Nicolas Cage, January Jones and Guy Pearce.

A reminder: HBO has set Too Big to Fail and Entourage: The Complete Eighth Season for Blu-ray and DVD release on 6/12.

20th Century Fox will release Bad Ass (staring Danny Trejo, Ron Pearlman and Charles S. Dutton) on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/5.

Image and Something Weird are releasing Chesty Morgan's Bosom Buddies on Blu-ray on 7/3 (SRP $24.98). The set will include the films Deadly Weapons, Double Agent 73 and The Immoral Three, plus the Doris Wishman Trailer Show and a gallery of Wishman exploitation art.

Screen Media Films released And They're Off (staring Sean Astin) on DVD today - 5/1.

And The Cinema Guild will release director Bela Tarr's final film, The Turin Horse, on Blu-ray and DVD on 7/17.

Also, here's something cool for your music fans: Peter Gabriel.com has announced that the outstanding 1994 live concert film Secret World Live is going to be released on DVD and Blu-ray on 7/2 by Eagle Rock Entertainment (for Real World)! The original 16mm film of the event has been scanned in 2K resolution and fully digitally remastered and graded. One would expect new lossless audio and there are new extras to be included as well. The song Red Rain was not originally included in the film but it's been added here as an extra. There's also a vintage featurette, a time lapse video of the stage setup, a restored photomontage set to the "quiet" version of Steam and more. In addition, Eagle Rock is releasing the 2-disc Live Blood CD on 4/24, recorded at the Hammersmith Apollo in March 2011 (a single disc CD version of this concert was included in the New Blood: Live in London - Deluxe Edition BD package). And if that isn't enough to excite Gabriel fans, it's also been revealed that a remastered So: 25.½ special edition CD set is on the way in September.

And for you trailer fans, there's a new HD trailer for The Dark Knight on YouTube that was just released yesterday by Warner Bros. Do check it out here in lovely HD. Guess it looks pretty good.

And finally, a bit of sad news today: Composer Joel Goldsmith (son of the famed and late composer Jerry Goldsmith) has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 54. Joel is perhaps best known to Stargate fans for his work on hundreds of TV episodes from that franchise.

Here's a look at the Blu-ray Disc cover artwork for CBS' Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season One, along with Paramount's Jeff, Who Lives at Home and Kino Lorber's The Devil's Needle and Other Tales of Vice and Redemption (due 7/10)...

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season One (Blu-ray Disc)Jeff, Who Lives at Home (Blu-ray Disc)The Devil's Needle and Other Tales of Vice and Redemption (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

4/30/12

Okay... we're back. My brain's still not working on all cylinders yet, but still. Let's start with more release news today...

First up some Star Trek: The Next Generation Remastered - Season One Blu-ray news: EW is reporting today that the first season is going to street on 7/24. Here's one other piece of good news not included in the linked article: Sources tell me that at least some of the missing film footage (that resulted in a few shots in the BD demo disc having to be up-converted rather than scanned in HD) has been found. The hope is that as CBS digs deeper into future seasons, all of it will eventually be located.

All right moving on... the big Disney news today is that the studio has officially set John Carter for release on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo pack and DVD on 6/5 (SRP $49.99, $39.99 and $39.99). Confirmed extras on the Blu-ray will include Disney Second Screen, 360 Degrees of John Carter, audio commentary with director Andrew Stanton and the filmmakers, deleted scenes with optional commentary, Barsoom Bloopers and the 100 Years in the Making documentary.

Disney has also now officially set their Cinderella: Diamond Edition for release on 3-disc Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo Pack and 2-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack on 10/2 (SRP $44.99 and $39.99). Extras on Cinderella are still TBA. There will also apparently be a 6-disc Jewel Box Set (SRP $89.99) that will apparently include BD and DVDs editions of Cinderella, Cinderella 2: Dreams Come True and Cinderella 3: A Twist in Time, plus a Cinderella Digital Copy disc. The HD versions of Cinderella 2 and 3 will apparently be included on the same BD disc, this the 6-disc total vs 7-disc.

In other release news today, Anchor Bay has Mother's Day coming to Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD on 5/8, followed by Demoted on BD and DVD on 6/12.

CBS has set The Untouchables: The Fourth Season, Volume One and The Untouchables: The Fourth Season, Volume Two for DVD release on 7/24, followed by Melrose Place: The Final Season - Volume 1 and Melrose Place: The Final Season - Volume 2 on 7/31.

Millennium Entertainment has set Act of Vengeance for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/5.

Our friends at Shout! Factory will deliver Jem and The Holograms: Season Three on DVD on 7/10. They also have G.I. Joe: Renegades - Season 1, Volume 1 due on DVD only on 6/5, followed by Law & Order: Criminal Intent - The Seventh Year on 6/26, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero - Series 2, Season 2 on 7/10 and Transformers Prime: One Shall Stand on 7/31.

Film Chest (on the HD Cinema Classics label) will release a Blu-ray/DVD Combo edition of the 1946 film noir classic The Strange Love of Martha Ivers on 5/29.

Nassar Entertainment and Vivendi Entertainment will release their remake of the western Dawn Rider on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/29.

The Cinema Guild has set Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Once Upon a Time in Anatolia for Blu-ray and DVD release on 6/26.

And here's something interesting: Bits reader Bill M has just lest us know that Flicker Alley is now taking pre-orders on a BD/DVD Combo edition of the 1952 film This Is Cinerama. SRP is $39.95 but if you pre-order now it's just $29.96. Looks like some cool extras on the set too, so do check it out. Not to be outdone, Flicker Alley also has a Blu-ray/DVD Combo of Georges Méliès'1902 A Trip to the Moon now available, presented in its original hand-painted colors.

By the way, for you Star Trek fans... a quick word of warning. There are now MAJOR and CONFIRMED spoilers floating around the Net for next year's J.J. Abrams big screen sequel to Paramount's successful the 2009 reboot. I mean MAJOR spoilers. I'm sure as hell not going to ruin them here, but I just wanted to warn all those of you who are hoping to go into the film unspoiled. You MAY want to stop reading the Internet for the next year of so. Yeah, good luck with that. Curse you, Internet! ;)

Here's a look at the BD cover art for Disney's Cinderella: Diamond Edition (both versions) as well as Flicker Alley's A Trip to the Moon...

Cinderella: Diamond Edition (3-disc Blu-ray Disc)Cinderella: Diamond Edition (2-disc Blu-ray Disc)A Trip to the Moon (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

4/27/12

Okay... the good news is that I'm finally back in Pacific time and am slowly working my way through e-mails, press releases and other news. Before I get going today, a big thank you again to all of you for your patience while I've been away helping our family deal with the death of my father. I'd like especially to thank you for all the many kind, warm and supportive e-mails and Facebook messages I've gotten in the last week or two. They really mean a lot and I can't begin to thank you enough for that. You guys rock.

Today's post is just going to be a quick one with some of the key bits of announcement news from the last couple of weeks, and I promise I'll be back up to full speed on Monday. Meanwhile, just to let you know, we uploaded Russell Hammond's weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section here at The Bits yesterday, so be sure to check it out.

Now then...

Our friends at Warner have announced some good new Warner and New Line catalog Blu-ray titles for release in the months ahead as follows: Look for The Island of Dr. Moreau: Unrated Director's Cut on 7/24, The Incredible Mr. Limpet on 8/7 and Shaft, Fallen, Romeo Must Die, A Man Apart, Cradle 2 the Grave and New Jack City on 8/14. They'll also release their new Casablanca: 70th Anniversary Limited Edition on single-disc Blu-ray and DVD (sans box 'o swag - SRP $24.98 and $14.96) on 5/1.

Universal has set Warehouse 13: Season Three for DVD only release on 7/10.

Sony has a double-feature 2-pack BD release of The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth set for 6/12 (SRP $30.99). Also, their In Darkness arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/12, followed by Damages: The Complete Fourth Season on DVD only on 6/26.

Lionsgate has set The Flowers of War for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 7/10. They also have Hatfields & McCoys: Bad Blood and Rogue River due on DVD only on 6/5.

Magnolia and Magnet have set Goon for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/29.

And 20th Century Fox will release the Chronicle: Director's Cut on Blu-ray Combo and DVD on 5/15 (SRP $39.99 and $29.98). Extras will include a deleted scene, pre-viz and camera test footage and the theatrical trailer.

One other Fox note today: Prompted by inquiries from readers, we've asked the studio for a quick update on their plans for a U.S. Blu-ray Disc release of the classic 1963 version of Cleopatra and have been assured that it's definitely coming. We expect more details in the coming weeks, so be sure to stay tuned.

Couple other quick notes: Amazon is now taking pre-orders for Warner's Singin' in the Rain: 60th Anniversary Collector's Edition and Fringe: The Complete Fourth Season, Disney's Cinerella: Diamond Edition, Universal's Blues Brothers 2000, Life and Mystery Men, BBC's Being Human: Season 4, Image's Lovely Molly, Paramount's Clue and Olive Film's High Noon: 60th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray. Thanks to all those readers who sent in links.

Speaking of Amazon, they also have the ENTIRE updated Battlestar Galactica series now available on Blu-ray for just $120 total if you purchase each season and movie individually. That's a good $50 off Amazon's box set price. Here's purchase links for Season One (just $18.99), Two ($19.49), Three ($19.49), Four ($19.99) and 4.5 ($19.99), plus Razor ($10.99) and The Plan ($11.99). Thanks to Bits reader David M. for the heads-up! [Editor's Note: Bits readers JK and Timothy L. remind us that Razor is contained in the Season 4.5 set, so there's no need to order it separately. This means you can actually get the complete series for under $90.]

And speaking of Fringe, some of you may be excited to learn that Fox has officially renewed the series for a final 13-episode fifth season. More here.

That's all for now. We'll be back on Monday and back to business. Until then, peace out...

4/24/12

Afternoon, folks. Just wanted to check in and give you a quick update.

Things have been more than a little crazy here as you can imagine. Dad unfortunately passed away early Saturday morning, so we've been busy making arrangements - all the things you'd expect to have to deal with when something like this happens and some you don't expect too. But all his kids are here helping, as are friends and neighbors, and so it's also been a nice time with everyone pulling together. It's been amazing to see how many lives dad touched in the community here and people have been wonderful.

Later today is the wake and the funeral is tomorrow morning, then I'm back home on Thursday. So I'll probably check in with a news update on Friday afternoon, and then we'll be back to regular business here at The Bits on Monday.

Meanwhile, I'm sitting here thinking that I should say something about dad that's meaningful, but my brain is just a bit overwhelmed so that will have to come later. I will share one thing with you all that's been pretty special, however. Last night, our family all gathered together to have dinner provided by the neighbors. As it happens, I have this little app on my phone that tells me when the Northern Lights might be visible - something I've been checking every day I'm here in North Dakota. During dinner my phone buzzed as it alerted me that they might be visible after sunset. So my brothers and I drove out into the country north of town to see if we could see them. Sure enough, they were just stunning - probably the best Northern Lights display I've ever seen! And we had a warm and perfectly clear night with the moon just a sliver too - the ideal viewing conditions. We quickly called and texted the whole family to come out and join us so they could share in the experience with us... and share we did. The point of all this that dad was a huge astronomy buff. One of my best memories of dad is of just such a night under the stars, watching the Northern Lights with him. If he were still here, he'd certainly have been out there with us and would have enjoyed it more than anyone. So for a few hours last night, it actually felt like he WAS with us. It's a memory none of us will ever forget.

Anyway, thanks again for your patience... and especially for all your kind words and e-mails. They are very much appreciated.

Back on Friday. Stay tuned...

4/18/12

Okay... this is a quick one. I'm afraid to say that this is probably going to be my last post here at The Bits for a few days. Sadly, the reason is that my dad appears to be nearing the end of his battle with cancer, so I'm rushing back to North Dakota to be with him and with family. Sorry to leave you guys hanging, but some things are just more important to me right now than Blu-ray and DVD news, as you can probably imagine.

Meanwhile, I do have one last thing to offer you this week: Our own Barrie Maxwell has checked in with a pair of new disc reviews (thank you, Barrie!). First up is his look at History Channel and A&E's new Titanic: The Complete Story collection on DVD. The other review is a look at Entertainment One's new Blu-ray edition of the recent 4-part Titanic: The Miniseries written by Julian Fellowes of Downton Abby fame. From Barrie's comments it sounds like the miniseries in particular is well worth your time so do check it out. And enjoy the reviews.

Don't forget: If you're a fan of the ship's lore and history, James Cameron's Titanic is tentatively due on Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D on 9/14 from Paramount, though that has yet to be officially confirmed by the studio. Criterion just released their new Blu-ray edition of the 1958 film A Night to Remember as well. And again, we've confirmed with the studio that Fox's 1953 film version of Titanic is now due on Blu-ray later in 2012.

All right, that's all for this week. I've got to rush off to pack to make an early morning flight. I wish you all the very best and I'll see you back here as soon as I'm able to return to business. And for all those of you who have e-mailed kind words of support either here or on Facebook (my page and The Bits page)... thank you. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your thoughts and well wishes. I'll leave you with a couple pictures we took with dad and the whole family last Tuesday on his 73rd birthday... a happy day.

Dad's 73rd Birthday

Dad's 73rd Birthday

Best and stay tuned until I get back...

4/17/12

All right, first up today our own Russell Hammond has updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover art and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, a small portion of any order you make on Amazon after clicking to them through our links will go to help support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it.

Now then, Universal has officially announced the Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD release of the family film Big Miracle for 6/19. In addition to the usual digital copy and interactive bells and whistles, the Blu-ray version will include audio commentary with director Ken Kwapis, deleted scenes with director introductions and 2 featurettes (A "Big Miracle" in Alaska and Truth is Stranger than Fiction).

Universal has also set the all-new animated Despicable Me Presents: Minion Madness for DVD only release on 7/10, and they have the catalog titles Mystery Men and Life (starring Eddie Murphy) due for release on Blu-ray on 7/24.

Meanwhile, Sony will release Agnieszka Holland's In Darkness on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/12.

Paramount and CBS have set Father Dowling Mysteries: The Second Season for release on DVD on 7/10, followed by Bonanza: The Official Third Season, Volume One and Bonanza: The Official Third Season, Volume Two on 7/17.

Image Entertainment has set The FP for Blu-ray release on 6/19, followed by Bullhead on 6/26 and Chesty Morgan's Bosom Buddies on 7/3.

Anchor Bay has Seeking Justice due on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/19.

Also, not sure if we've posted this recently, but Warner Home Video is releasing The Big Bang Theory: The Complete First Season and The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Second Season on Blu-ray for the first time on 7/10. Specifically, they'll be Blu-ray/DVD Combo Packs (SRP $39.99 and $54.97 respectively). Season One will include "a new never-before-seen gag reel, along with all special features from the original DVD release, including a behind-the-scenes look into geek chic and the featurette Quantum Mechanics of The Big Bang Theory." Season Two will include "all special features from the original DVD release, including a gag reel and two featurettes: Physicist to the Stars: Real-Life Physicist/UCLA Professor David Saltzberg's Consulting Relationship to the Show and Testing the Infinite Hilarity Hypothesis in Relation to The Big Bang Theory: Season Two's Unique Characters and Characteristics." Both will also include UltraViolet digital copy versions.

And a quick heads-up: Disney tells us that their Bambi: Diamond Edition and Beauty and the Beast: Diamond Edition are "headed back into the Disney Vault" on 4/30, so grab your Blu-ray copies soon if you want them.

Finally, a number of you have asked about the status of Fox's Titanic (1953). It was set for BD release on 4/3, but many retailers (including Amazon.com) failed to receive their stock of discs on that date and it's no longer up for pre-order on the site. We're told by studio sources that the title has simply been delayed until later in 2012, and we would guess that it's to better capitalize on Paramount's TBA BD release of James Cameron's Titanic (tentatively expected on 9/14). So it's still coming, just not for a few months yet. Adjust your plans accordingly.

Here's a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Lionsgate's Meatballs (due 6/12), Summit's Man on a Ledge (5/29), and Warner's The Big Bang Theory: The Complete First Season...

Meatballs (Blu-ray Disc)Man on a Ledge (Blu-ray Disc)The Big Bang Theory: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

4/16/12

Well, I'm back in Southern California after a three week trip visiting family in North Dakota and Minnesota. I got to spend a good two and a half weeks with my dad, who is unfortunately losing a battle with cancer. Tough as this time is, the whole family gathered to celebrate his 73rd birthday, and it was definitely a special day. As it happens, Sarah and I also participated in her mother's memorial service over the weekend, also attended by the whole family. So it was a good trip, but stressful and draining too. In any case, I'm in recoup mode today so the update will be a little brief until I can get back into the swing of things here.

Anyway, the big news today is that Amazon.com has officially started taking pre-orders for both the 2D and 3D versions of James Cameron's Titanic on Blu-ray/DVD Combo pack. Though it has yet to be officially announced by Paramount, Amazon is showing a street date of 9/14 with SRPs of $54.99 for the 3D version and $44.99 for 2D (the actual sale price is currently 51% off - $27.99 and $21.99 respectively). There's no word yet on extras, but here's the official artwork for both BD versions. Note that a DVD is also due on 9/14 (SRP $29.99). Keep in mind the cover art and details are subject to change until Paramount makes their official announcement...

Titanic (Blu-ray 3D)Titanic (Blu-ray Disc)The Artist (Blu-ray Disc)

As you can see, we've also included Sony's final Blu-ray cover artwork for The Artist, due on 6/26. Note that Sony has also set The Woman in Black for Blu-ray and DVD release on 5/22 and is expected to announce 21 Jump Street for Blu-ray and DVD release on 6/19.

Meanwhile, Criterion has announced their July Blu-ray and DVD slate which will include Jim Jarmusch's Down by Law (Cat #166 - Blu-ray and DVD upgrade - due 7/17), Whit Stillman's The Last Days of Disco (Cat #485 - Blu-ray and DVD upgrade - due 7/24) and Metropolitian (Cat #326 - Blu-ray and DVD upgrade - due 7/24), and Aki Kaurismäki's La Havre (Cat #619 - Blu-ray and DVD - due 7/31). They'll also deliver Eclipse Series 34: Jean Grémillon During the Occupation on DVD only on 7/24 (includes Remorques, Lumière d'été and Le ciel est à vous).

Finally this afternoon, Bits reader Michael R. has let us know that Ridley Scott's White Squall is finally going to be released on Blu-ray Disc on 5/15 by Mill Creek Entertainment. Can't attest to the potential quality, but the $9.98 SRP probably says it all. Still, it'll be on BD. Now if only we could get The Duellists and 1492: The Conquest of Paradise. On a similar note, Bits reader Bill M. is also reporting that Amazon is taking pre-orders on Warner's Singin' in the Rain: 60th Anniversary Collector's Edition on Blu-ray with no street date yet listed.

That's all for now. More tomorrow. Stay tuned...

4/13/12

Okay, slow news day but we're gonna round out the week with a last few street date announcements...

First up, Fox has set Wilfred: The Complete First Season for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/19.

Universal has Warehouse 13: Season Three due on DVD only on 7/10.

Shout! Factory has Hazel: The Complete Third Season set for DVD on 5/15. For you music fans, they also have Grateful Dead's All The Years Combine: The DVD Collection Box Set coming on 4/17.

Anchor Bay will release Syfy's Doomsday Prophecy on Blu-ray and DVD on 7/17.

Inception Media Group has The Kane Files due on DVD only on 5/22.

Breaking Glass Pictures has The Fields due on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/24.

Sony has The Woman in Black coming on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/22.

And Warner Home Video has announced a couple of Blu-ray 3-film packs for release on 6/5, including a Martin Scorsese Collection (includes The Departed, Goodfellas and The Aviator) and an Oliver Stone Collection (includes Natural Born Killers: Director's Cut, Any Given Sunday and JFK). SRP is $24.98 each.

Don't forget that Twilight Time and Screen Archives Entertainment start taking pre-orders on Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959) and The Big Heat (1953) today at 4 PM Eastern. Act fast if you want to secure one of those Pat Boone signed copies of Journey.

And in other news, Home Media is reporting that Dolby and Philips have apparently collaborated on a new 3D format for home use, including glasses-free displays. More here.

That's all for this week. See you back here on Monday. Stay tuned...

4/12/12

I'm on the road a lot the rest of the week, so time to get in a quick release news update...

Twilight Time will apparently begin taking pre-orders for their BD version of Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959) this Friday afternoon. The first 100 orders will get a copy of the disc signed by actor Pat Boone. The Big Heat (1953) is also up for pre-order this weekend. See their Facebook page for more information. Thanks to Bits reader Adam J. for the heads-up!

Lionsgate has set a pair of Summit Entertainment titles, Man on a Ledge and Gone, for Blu-ray and DVD release on 5/29 (SRP $30.49 and $26.99 for the BD and DVD versions respectively). Lionsgate will also release One for the Money and Albert Nobbs on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/15, along with the DVD only release of the horror title Descendents. Following on 6/19 will be The Legend of Hell's Gate on DVD only. And Battle Force will follow on DVD only on 7/3.

Warner Home Video and BBC Video will release the documentary The Diamond Queen on DVD only on 5/29.

Sony has set Franklin & Bash: The Complete First Season for DVD only release on 6/19.

Shout! Factory has set a 16-disc Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids: The Complete Series DVD box set for release on 7/31. Not only will this set include all 36 Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids episodes, you'll get all 24 episodes of The New Fat Albert Show and and all 50 episodes of The Adventures of Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids (some of which have never been available on DVD before). Special features will include audio commentary by series creator Bill Cosby, a documentary on the history of Fat Albert by Bill Cosby and a 20-page book featuring an essay by Dr. Gordon Berry who was the show's educational advisor. Pretty awesome. SRP is $119.99 but Amazon has it up for pre-order now for just $83.99.

Also, Music Box Films will release all 13 episodes of the Swedish TV series Henning Mankell's Wallander in a 7-disc deluxe DVD box set on 5/29.

Stonelock Media Group and Tripod Entertainment will release Chasing Happiness on DVD on 4/24.

For your music fans, Image Entertainment will release the concert title Chicago in Chicago on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/12.

And Time Life has The Dean Martin Variety Show: Uncut set for DVD only release on 5/22.

That's all for now. Stay tuned...

4/10/12

There's more big release news for you today, but first...

Our own Russell Hammond has once again updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray and DVD 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 sure do appreciate it.

Now then... Universal Studios Home Entertainment has just officially set Steven Spielberg's Jaws for Universal 100th Anniversary Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy/UltraViolet Combo release on 8/14. The set will include the fully restored film with audio in 7.1 DTS-HD MA. Extras will include the all new The Shark is Still Working: The Impact & Legacy of Jaws documentary (102 minutes), the all new Jaws: The Restoration featurette, the 2-hour vintage The Making of Jaws documentary, the From the Set featurette, deleted scenes and outtakes, the Jaws Archives gallery (of storyboards, production photos and marketing materials) and the theatrical trailer, along with all the usual interactive BD-Live and BD Java bells and whistles. The DVD in the package will also include the Spotlight on Location: The Making of Jaws featurettes (which is a cut-down version of the full-length documentary on the BD). Here's a look at the cover artwork - you can pre-order the title now on Amazon.com. You can also watch an official trailer for the release here on YouTube along with a video on the restoration.

Jaws (Blu-ray Disc)Safe House (Blu-ray Disc)

As you can see above, Universal has also set Safe House for Blu-ray and DVD release on 6/5. Extras on both versions will include 4 featurettes (Making Safe House, Hand-to-Hand Action, Building the Rooftop Chase and Inside the CIA). To this the Blu-ray will exclusively add 3 more featurettes (Behind the Action, Safe Harbor: Cape Town and Shooting the Safe House Attack). You'll also get Digital Copy and UltraViolet versions.

And Universal has set Cat Run for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/19 as well.

Also today, Magnolia Home Entertainment has set Playback for Blu-ray and DVD release on 5/8.

And a quick Three Stooges Ultimate Collection update. As we've noted in yesterday's post, sources tells us that the three bonus discs included in the new set (due on 6/5) may be released separately later this year, so those of you who already have the previous volumes of shorts can complete your collection without having to purchase the new box. We'll post official details as they become available.

Finally, a personal note: I'd like to wish my stepdad, Dan Smith, a big Happy Birthday! He turns 73 today.

Stay tuned...

4/9/12

Morning, folks! As always, we hope your weekend was a good one.

First up here at The Bits today, our own Barrie Maxwell has turned in an authoritative and truly in-depth review of Warner's new Casablanca: 70th Anniversary Limited Edition box set (which was released on 3/27). Sounds like it's another fine WHV box set for cinemaphiles and classic film buffs. Even if you purchased the previous UCE Blu-ray, the new 4K scan of the film alone may make the upgrade worth doing. Enjoy Barrie's review!

Speaking of Warner Home Video, that gets us to today's big classic release news. The studio has informed us that they're planning on releasing a new 25th Anniversary Blu-ray Book edition of Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket on 7/3 (SRP $34.99). In addition to all the extras that were included on the previous Blu-ray and DVD releases (among them audio commentary by Adam Baldwin, Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey and critic/screenwriter Jay Cocks, the Full Metal Jacket: Between Good and Evil featurette and the theatrical trailer), this new edition will include - for the first time ever on disc - Jon Ronson's excellent Stanley Kubrick's Boxes documentary! What's more, the 44-page Blu-ray Book packaging will offer "a personal letter and intimate reflections from star Matthew Modine, as well as behind-the-scenes photos specifically selected for this release." Not bad. In combination with the recent news from our friends at Kino Lorber that they intend to release Kubrick's Fear and Desire, The Seafarers, Day of the Fight and The Flying Padre on Blu-ray and DVD (fully remastered from archival prints), 2012 is shaping up to be a great year for Kubrick fans. Here's a look at the packaging for the new release...

Full Metal Jacket: 25th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Disc)

There's one other way in which this becomes interesting. Some of you might recall a post I made back in February of last year, in which I noted my suspicion (based on information from our industry sources) that WHV intended to revisit many of its Kubrick films in new special editions over the next four years given the fact that virtually all of them were going to be celebrating new anniversaries during that timeframe. To be specific, here's a list of them:

2012 - Lolita (50th), Full Metal Jacket (25th - BD/DVD already announced)

2013 - 2001: A Space Odyssey (45th)

2014 - Eyes Wide Shut (15th)

2015 - Barry Lyndon (40th), The Shining (35th)

As you can see, Full Metal Jacket has indeed been announced as predicted. So, we suspect, will most of these others come to pass. Obviously we'll post more information as it comes in.

Our other big piece of news today is that Sony has finally set the Best Picture-winner The Artist for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/26. Extras on both version will include a blooper reel, a Q&A with the cast and filmmakers and 6 behind-the-scenes featurettes (Hollywood as a Character: The Locations of The Artist, The Artist: The Making of an American Romance, The Artisans Behind The Artist: The Costumes, The Artisans Behind The Artist: The Cinematography, The Artisans Behind The Artist: The Production Design and The Artisans Behind The Artist: The Composer).

Also, Sony has set Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance for release on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD on 6/12. The DVD will include deleted scenes. To this, the Blu-rays will add Directors' expanded video commentary, the 6-part The Path to Vengeance: Making Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance documentary (includes Blazing a New Path, Patience Is Not a Virtue, We Will Burn This City to Bitter Ashes, To Hell and Back: Production, Walking in Both Worlds: Moving into Post-Production and The Fires of Hell Will Purify You: Release). To all that, the Blu-ray 3D disc will add an exclusive 3D featurette... Riding Into Another Dimension.

By the way, Sony's newly-announced The Three Stooges Ultimate Collection 20-disc DVD box set (due 6/5 - SRP $95.99 but just $89.99 on Amazon) will include all 190 shorts plus 3 full DVDs of previously unreleased content including "28 never-before-released short films starring Stooges actors Shemp Howard, Joe Besser, and Joe DeRita, as well as the feature length films Have Rocket, Will Travel and Rockin' in the Rockies available for the first time on DVD." You'll also get a trio of animated Stooges shorts including Bon Bon Parade, Merry Mutineers and Hollywood Detour. [Editor's Note: Aa number of sources have informed us that Sony intends to release the three bonus discs in their own separate package later this year, so those of you who already have all the volumes of shorts can complete your set without having to purchase the whole collection. We'll post official details as they become available.]

Couple other quick announcements...

Image Entertainment will release Midnight Son on DVD only on 7/17.

Freestyle has set A Bird of the Air for DVD release on 4/10.

Shout! Factory will release Steve Niles' Remains: Uncut Edition on Blu-ray and DVD on 7/10. Niles is best known for writing the original graphic novel 30 Days of Night (which was later adapted into a film from his own screenplay).

Shout! has also set Mystery Science Theatre 3000: XXIV for DVD release on 7/31, including the episodes Fugitive Alien, Star Force: Fugitive Alien II, The Sword and the Dragon and Samson Vs. the Vampire Women, all previously unreleased on DVD.

And Eagle Rock Entertainment has set Phil Collins: Live at Monreux 2004 for 2-disc DVD release on 5/1.

Finally today, we'd like to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of veteran CBS News investigative journalist Mike Wallace. He was 93.

We'll leave you today with a look at the cover artwork for Sony's Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance on Blu-ray and The Three Stooges Ultimate Collection on DVD...

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (Blu-ray Disc)The Three Stooges Ultimate Collection (DVD)

Stay tuned...

4/6/12

Okay, sorry about missing Thursday's post. As I've said recently, I've been spending a lot of time with my dad (who's been fighting cancer) and things got a little busy yesterday. Never fear though - we'll catch you all up on the latest news now.

First up today, 20th Century Fox has set Act of Valor for Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD release on 6/5. Extras will include audio commentary by the director, 6 deleted scenes, interviews with many of the real Navy SEALS involved in the making of the film, a director's introduction, Keith Urban's For You music video and 5 featurettes (Making of Act of Valor, Real Bullets, Real SEALs Real Tactics, Silent Warriors and Making of the Music Video).

Fox has also set Louie: Season 2 for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/19.

Universal has set a Born on the Fourth of July: Universal 100th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray/DVD combo for release on 7/3. Extras will include audio commentary with director Oliver Stone, the From the NBC News Archives - Backstory: Born on the Fourth of July documentary and a pair of featurettes (100 Years of Universal: Academy Award Winners and 100 Years of Universal: The '80s).

HBO (via Warner Home Video) will release the documentary Too Big to Fail on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/12 (SRP $24.99 and $19.97). They'll also release When It Was a Game 2 on DVD only on 4/24 (SRP $14.97).

Meanwhile, Warner will release The Big Bang Theory: The Complete First Season and The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Second Season on Blu-ray/DVD Combo on 7/10 (SRP $39.99 and $54.97 respectively). Extras will include featurettes and gag reels.

And for you catalog BD fans, the studio has announced The Outlaw Josey Wales for release on 5/30 in regular BD packaging (SRP $14.98). Like the already available Digibook version, extras will include the new documentary Clint Eastwood's West, audio commentary by Richard Schickel, an introduction to the film by Eastwood, 2 legacy featurettes (Hell Hath No Fury: The Making of The Outlaw Josey Wales and Eastwood in Action) and the film's trailer.

Disney has set The River: The Complete First Season for DVD only release on 5/22. GCB: The Complete First Season, Missing: The Complete First Season and Scandal: The Complete First Season are all set to follow on DVD only on 6/12.

Magnolia Home Entertainment (via their Magnet label) will release Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/8.

Shout! Factory has a Blu-ray double feature of Traveller and Telling Lies in America due on 5/29 (SRP $14.97).

Image Entertainment will release The Theatre Bizarre on DVD on 4/24, followed by Rags to Riches: The Complete Series on DVD on 6/5.

Hen's Tooth has set Dogs in Space for DVD release on 6/12.

And Barnholtz Entertainment has Hatfields & McCoys: Bad Blood due on DVD on 6/5.

In unofficial release news (Rumor Mill-worthy stuff), remember our post about the German Blu-ray 3D release of Avatar from the other day? Well, Amazon.de is also now taking pre-orders on the Blu-ray 3D release of James Cameron's Titanic, apparently set to debut in Europe on 12/31 from 20th Century Fox. The retailer even posted cover artwork, which you can see below. Expect a U.S. version to be eventually announced for release around the same time from Paramount.

Also today, Bits readers Jacob R. e-mailed to say that the E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: 20th Anniversary Edition is going to be running on HDNet Movies in May. We expect this means an official announcement will be coming fairly soon from Universal regarding a late Summer or early Fall release of the film on Blu-ray.

And one last note: Some of you have noticed the recent listing for a Spartacus: Universal 100th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray on Amazon (due on 6/5). We've double checked with Universal and have confirmed that this is NOT a new remaster à la Out of Africa. This is the same disc already available, just repackaged with a Digital Copy. Spread the word and make note.

Here's a look at the BD cover art for Act of Valor, Paramount's Barbarella (due 7/3), Universal's Born on the Fourth of July, Kino Lorber's Little Lord Fauntleroy (6/26), Blue Underground's Django Kill... If You Live, Shoot! (6/19) and the German BD art for Fox's Titanic 3D (as listed on Amazon.de)...

Act of Valor (Blu-ray Disc)Barbarella (Blu-ray Disc)Born on the Fourth of July (Blu-ray Disc)

Little Lord Fauntleroy (Blu-ray Disc)Django Kill... If You Live, Shoot! (Blu-ray Disc)James Cameron's Titanic (German Blu-ray 3D)

See you back on Monday with a new review from our own Barrie Maxwell. Happy Easter to all those of you who celebrate it! Stay tuned...

4/4/12

All right, let's get right to it this morning...

First up today, Warner Home Video has just set Journey 2: The Mysterious Island for release on Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo and DVD (SRP $44.95, $35.99 and $22.97 respectively). The Blu-rays are due on 6/5 and the DVD will follow on 7/3. Extras on the Blu-ray versions will include the Are You Strong Enough to Survive Mysterious Island? featurette, a gag reel and deleted scenes.

Shout! Factory will release Astonishing X-Men: Dangerous on DVD on 4/10.

And Eagle Rock Entertainment has set Pink Floyd: The Story of Wish You Were Here on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/26. Extras will include additional interviews with the band members and others, plus footage of Roger Waters and David Gilmour performing excerpts from the Wish You Were Here album.

There's been some question as to what the exact extras will be on Sony's new Spider-Man trilogy Blu-rays (due on 6/12), so here's the rundown:

Spider-Man will include the Spider Sense Trivia Challenge and the Spider-Man Cutting Room (both all new), cast/filmmaker audio commentary (with Sam Raimi, Laura Ziskin, Grant Curtis and Kirsten Dunst), visual effects audio commentary (with John Dykstra and the effects crew), cast commentary (with Tobey Maguire and J.K. Simmons), various documentaries and featurettes (Spider-Man: The Mythology of the 21st Century, HBO's Making of Spider-Man, E! Entertainment's Spider-Mania, Director Profile: Sam Raimi, Composer Profile: Danny Elfman, Costume Design and 7 Behind the Scenes of Spider-Man featurettes), screen test (with Tobey Maguire, J.K. Simmons and CGI Spider-Man), costume and makeup tests, a gag/outtake reel, 6 multi-angle Webisodes and 2 music videos (Chad Kroeger's Hero and Sum 41's What We're All About).

Spider-Man 2 will include both the theatrical and extended versions, cast and crew commentary (on the theatrical version), technical commentary (also on the theatrical version), audio commentary (with Laura Ziskin and Alvin Sargent on the extended version), a blooper reel, the 12-part Making the Amazing documentary, 2 featurettes (Hero in Crisis and Ock-Umentary) and a 5-part Visual Effects Breakdown.

And Spider-Man 3 will include director and cast commentary, a second filmmaker commentary, bloopers, 3 Concept galleries (including Sketches, Paintings and Sculptures), 2 photo galleries (Special Effects and Director and Cast) and Snow Patrol's Signal Fire music video.

Speaking of Sony, actor Dan Aykroyd has apparently let it slip (via Twitter) that the studio may have a new Ghostbusters 2 Blu-ray in the works for release later this year that includes a new audio commentary with the cast and more. We're waiting to hear back from Sony for confirmation.

Here's something else interesting for you Avatar fans: Our own Jeff Kleist just spotted this on Germany's Amazon.de store. The retailers is now taking pre-orders for an Avatar Blu-ray 3D combo set for release in Germany on 12/24. That means you can likely expect the U.S. release around the same time.

In more soundtrack CD news, several Bits readers have let us know that GNP Crescendo is releasing the complete Jerry and Joel Goldsmith score for Star Trek: First Contact.

Finally, this is something fun for you Battlestar Galactica fans: The IFC comedy series Portlandia just had a pretty funny skit about how addictive watching the show can be. Ron Moore, Edward James Olmos and James Callis all make cameo appearances. Be sure to check out out here. Thanks to Bits reader Bill M. for the heads-up!

We'll leave you with a look at the Blu-ray Disc cover artwork for Sony's Spider-Man, Warner's Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2D version), the German/Amazon BD art for Fox's Avatar Blu-ray 3D Combo and (hot of the presses) new cover art for Kino Lorber's upcoming Redemption BD titles The Demoniacs, Requiem for a Vampire and The Rape of the Vampire (all due 5/22)...

Spider-Man (Blu-ray Disc)Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (Blu-ray Disc)Avatar (German Blu-ray 3D)

The Demoniacs (Blu-ray Disc)Requiem for a Vampire (Blu-ray Disc)The Rape of the Vampire (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

4/3/12

All right... at some point later this afternoon, we'll post Russell Hammond's weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section, featuring all the the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, a portion of anything you order after clicking through to Amazon from our links goes to help support our work here at the site and we truly do appreciate it.

Now then, there's some interesting release announcement news to report today...

First up, Sony has announced new Blu-ray/UltraViolet editions of Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3 for release on 6/12 (SRP $19.99 each), timed to promote the theatrical release of The Amazing Spider-Man on 7/3. Most but not all of the previous DVD special features will carry over. Spider-Man will also include a pair of new extras: The Spider Sense Trivia Challenge and The Spider-Man Cutting Room. Each will also include a free ticket offer to see the new film and a sneak preview of the film.

Sony has also announced The Vow for Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD release on 5/8 (SRP $40.99 and $30.99) and has set a 20-disc Three Stooges Collection: Complete Series Box Set for release on DVD on 6/5 (SRP $95.99) as well.

Meanwhile, Paramount has announced the Blu-ray Disc release of Barbarella on 7/3, along with (for CBS) the DVD releases of Dynasty: Season Six, Volume One, Dynasty: Season Six, Volume Two, Mannix: The Seventh Season, Streets of San Francisco: Season Three, Volume One and Streets of San Francisco: Season Three, Volume Two. Also on 6/12 (for Comedy Central) they have tosh.O: Hoodies due on Blu-ray and DVD.

Speaking of Paramount, Amazon.com is already taking pre-orders for the 8/7 BD release of Clue.

Warner Home Video has set all three Blade films for Blu-ray release in June and July. Blade and Blade: Trinity - Unrated are expected on 6/19 while Blade 2 is apparently due on 7/10 (SRP $19.98 each). No word on why Blade 2 is due almost a month later than the others.

For those who still care, HBO has Entourage: The Complete Eighth and Final Season due on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/12. They've also just announced Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Eighth Season for DVD only release on 6/5.

Disney hasn't announced the street date yet for its John Carter Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo and DVD releases, but you can pre-order them now on Amazon.com at the links provided. The Blu-rays will include audio commentary by director Andrew Stanton and the filmmakers, Disney Second Screen, something called 360 Degrees of John Carter, deleted scenes with optional commentary, Barsoom Bloopers and the 100 Years in the Making featurette.

We've had some readers recently asking about Universal's Harvey Blu-ray Disc, which had been initially expected for release earlier this month. The studio tells us today that the film is now tentatively scheduled for U.S. release on Blu-ray in the 3rd Quarter of this year. Watch for an official announcement in the weeks ahead.

Here's something that makes us excited: Film Chest has announced that they're releasing Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp on DVD on 5/29. This is the complete series - all 17 episodes on 3 DVD discs - transferred from the original studio ABC masters. To make this even cooler, Los Angeles' Wildlife Waystation will receive part of the proceeds from DVD sales as that's where the chimp that played Lancelot currently lives in retirement.

In other release news... 20th Century Fox has set The Glades: Season 2 for DVD only release on 7/10.

Anchor Bay will release The Aggression Scale on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/29.

Wolfe Video has Private Romeo and the French film Tomboy due on DVD on 6/5.

Millennium Entertainment will release A Little Bit of Heaven on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/12 as well.

Any Benji fans out there? A company called Gaiam Entertainment has set For the Love of Benji for BD release on 6/5 (SRP $14.98 each). They've already released the original Benji on the format. And Gaiam has also set a John Wayne Collection for release on Blu-ray on 6/5 as well (SRP $14.98). We wouldn't expect much in the way of quality, however, because at that bargin bin price the set includes McClintock!, John Wayne: American Hero of the Movies, The Dawn Rider, Texas Terror, The Trail Beyond, The Star Packer and The Hurricane Express.

Also today, Breaking Glass Pictures will release The Fields on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/24.

And MGM and 20th Century Fox have added 15 new titles to the MGM: Limited Edition Collection MOD/DVD-R library of offerings. Available starting this month via Amazon.com (and other online retailers) will be Outlaw Trail (1944), Robbers' Roost (1955), Running Target (1956), Run For the Sun (1956), War Drums (1957), Tomahawk Trail (1957), Toughest Gun in Tombstone (1958), The Last Mile (1959), Noose for a Gunman (1960), Saintly Sinners (1962), The Winds of Kitty Hawk (1978), The House on Garabaldi Street (1979), Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love (1979), Portrait of an Escort (1980) and Gas Pump Girls (1985).

Finally, for those of you who have been waiting for it: Amazon.com is now taking pre-orders for EMI Music's Blu-ray release of The Beatles: Yellow Submarine due on 5/29. Get your orders in!

We'll leave you with a look at the Blu-ray cover artwork for all three of Warner's forthcoming Blade film releases...

Blade (Blu-ray Disc)Blade II (Blu-ray Disc)Blade: Trinity (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

4/2/12

Morning folks! Hope your April Fool's weekend was a good one. No jokes here at The Bits this year (but last year's is still pretty good). Today's news is all the 100% genuine article. Still, I'm sure there's plenty of April Foolery around online for your amusement today.

Let's start things off with the BIG news today: Warner Home Video has announced that they've acquired the home video release rights to a whopping 74 films from the Samuel Goldwyn library, including such classics as The Best Years of Our Lives, the long out-of-print Wuthering Heights, The Pride of the Yankees, Guys and Dolls, Hans Christian Andersen, The Bishop's Wife and more. Some of these may be released on Blu-ray and/or DVD as early as the 4th Quarter of this year. The complete list of titles includes: The Adventures of Marco Polo, Arrowsmith, The Awakening*, Ball of Fire, Barbary Coast, Beloved Enemy, The Best Years of Our Lives, The Bishop's Wife, Bulldog Drummond, Come and Get It, Condemned, The Cowboy and the Lady, Cynara, Cytherea*, Dark Angel*, Dead End, The Devil Dancer*, The Devil to Pay!, Dodsworth, Edge of Doom, Enchantment, The Goldwyn Follies, Guys and Dolls, Hans Christian Andersen, His Supreme Moment*, The Hurricane, In Hollywood with Potash & Perlmutter*, I Want You, The Kid from Brooklyn, The Kid from Spain, Kid Millions, The Little Foxes, The Magic Flame*, The Masquerader, My Foolish Heart, Nana, The Night of Love*, One Heavenly Night, Our Very Own, Palmy Days, Partners Again with Potash & Perlmutter*, Potash and Perlmutter*, The Pride of the Yankees, The Princess and the Pirate, Raffles, Raffles (1930), The Real Glory, The Rescue*, Roman Scandals, Roseanna McCoy, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Secrets, A Song Is Born, Splendor, Stella Dallas, Stella Dallas* (1925), Strike Me Pink, Tarnish*, These Three, They Got Me Covered, They Shall Have Music, A Thief in Paradise*, This Is Heaven*, Two Lovers, The Unholy Garden, Up in Arms, We Live Again, The Wedding Night, The Westerner, Whoopee!, The Winning of Barbara Worth*, Woman Chases Man, Wonder Man and Wuthering Heights. Note that films marked with * are silent. Whew!

In other release news today, Image Entertainment has set The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series and The Twilight Zone: Fan Favorites for Blu-ray Disc release on 6/5. The Complete Series will include all 156 episodes (5 seasons) on Blu-ray in one 24-disc box set (SRP $399.98). All the extras from the individual season BD sets will carry over. Fan Favorites will include a sampling of 19 of the show's best episodes on 2 BD discs (SRP $34.98).

Our friends at Synapse Films have announced the Blu-ray/DVD Combo release of Red Scorpion (staring Dolph Lundgren of course) on 6/12 (SRP $29.95). Created from a new 2K master of the 106-minute uncensored version of the film, the set will include audio commentary with director Joseph Zito and Mondo Digital's Nathaniel Thompson, a new 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio mix done just for this release, 3 featurettes (including Hath No Fury, Assignment: Africa and Scorpion Tales), rare on-set video, an animated still gallery, the film's trailer and TV spots, a booklet with liner notes by Jérémie Damoiseau and reversible cover artwork.

Synapse also has 42nd Street Forever set for Blu-ray release on 5/8 (SRP $24.95). The collection includes more than 80 trailers for classic grindhouse and exploitation film from the 1970s and 80s - essentially everything that was included in the first two discs of the DVD series with new material added.

Not to be outdone, Blue Underground has set Django Kill... If You Live, Shoot! for release on Blu-ray Disc on 6/19. The film is already available on DVD.

Meanwhile, Raro Video has set Ubaldo Terzani Horror Show for release on Blu-ray on 4/24.

Kino Lorber has acquired the home video rights to Bear Nation (2010) and will release the film on DVD on 6/5.

Also, Universal has moved up the street date for The Grey on Blu-ray Combo and DVD to 5/15 (from the originally announced 5/22). Adjust your plans accordingly.

In European BD news, Warner's Signin' in the Rain: 60th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray has been announced for release in the U.K. on 7/16. Watch for and official U.S. announcement soon.

In music news, our friends at La La Land Records have produced a new 2-CD Limited Edition soundtrack set featuring the score of John Williams' Hook. It includes more than 65 minutes of previously unreleased music. The set is now shipping (SRP $29.98). Order here. Thanks to Bits reader Trent B. for the heads-up.

And here's something interesting: Amazon is now taking pre-orders for The Tim Burton Collection - a retailer exclusive Blu-ray set due on 5/1 (SRP $59.99 but just $47.99 on Amazon) that includes Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Batman, Batman Returns, Mars Attacks!, The Corpse Bride and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. According to Amazon, it will also include "an all-new premium hardcover book".

We'll leave you with a look at the BD cover artwork for Warner's Chariots of Fire (due 7/10), Synapse's Red Scorpion and Warner and Amazon's The Tim Burton Collection...

Chariots of Fire (Blu-ray Disc)Red Scorpion (Blu-ray Disc)The Tim Burton Collection (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!


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