Warner Archive reveals Operation Crossbow, Bad and the Beautiful, Teen Titans & more, plus Deadwood: The Movie reviewedby Bill Hunt
We’ve got another new disc review for you to enjoy today...
I’m just posted my thoughts on HBO’s Deadwood: The Movie, written by David Milch and directed by Daniel Minahan. If you’re a fan of the original Deadwood TV series (reviewed here on Blu-ray), you should really appreciate what a fine piece of work it is (and what a miracle it is that it finally happened).
I should note here though that HBO has informed us they’re no longer sending out review product for most of their physical media releases (they’re deciding it on a title by title basis, essentially the same thing). That is a sorry state of affairs for a network of HBO’s pedigree. In any case, it means that we had to purchase our own copy of this title for the review, something will certainly not be doing often in the future. Sadly, we can only see this as yet another sign that physical media is waning.
In any case, we do thankfully have some good physical media news for you today... [Read on here...]
We’ve got a quick update for you today, to report that Criterion has just announced their January 2020 Blu-ray and DVD titles.
They include: George Cukor’s Holiday (Spine #1009 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 1/7, Sidney Lumet’s The Fugitive Kind (Spine #515 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 1/14, Jean-Luc Godard’s Le petit soldat (Spine #1010 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 1/21, and Sidney Lumet’s Fail Safe (Spine #1111 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Pedro Almodóvar’s All About My Mother (Spine #1012 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 1/28.
We’ve updated our Criterion Spines Project page here at The Bits to include them, and you can read more about each title on the Criterion website. You can also see the cover artwork below. [Read on here...]
“Paint Your Wagon is remembered as a standalone oddity in the careers of Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood.” — Matthew Kennedy, author of Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s
The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Paint Your Wagon, the Oscar-nominated cinematic interpretation of the Lerner and Loewe stage musical which starred Lee Marvin (Cat Ballou, Point Blank), Clint Eastwood (Dirty Harry, Unforgiven) and Jean Seberg (Pendulum, Airport).
Paint Your Wagon — directed by Joshua Logan (South Pacific, Camelot) and which also featured Harve Presnell (The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Fargo) and Ray Walston (My Favorite Martian, Fast Times at Ridgemont High) — opened 50 years ago this month. For the occasion, The Bits features an historical reference listing of the film’s major-market roadshow engagements and a Q&A with film historian Matthew Kennedy, who discusses the film’s virtues, shortcomings and legacy. [Read on here...]
An LOTR/Hobbit 4K update, new 4K catalog, Shout, Scream & KL Studio Classics titles, Monty Python & moreby Bill Hunt
All right, thanks for your patience while I was away at the end of last week. My father-in-law passed away, so my wife and I flew across the country to attend his memorial and see family.
But there’s a good deal to catch up on today news-wise, so let’s get right to it. First things first...
Yes, we are aware of the rumors that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is planning to bring The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films to 4K Ultra HD. They originated on the excellent 4K Filme.de website, which (I’m told) found the titles briefly listed on a Warner B2B website for German retailers. All six films were indicated for release on UHD (with the Extended Editions included) and with a tentative street date given of June 25, 2020. All right, now let’s put this in context...
First of all, there’s no doubt that Warner Bros. is going to release these films on physical 4K Ultra HD. These are literally their most demanded catalog titles on the format. Also, 2021 is the 20th anniversary of Fellowship of the Ring. And Amazon’s new Lord of the Rings prequel series, which reportedly begins production next month and will apparently be in production for two years, is likely to debut on Amazon Prime in late 2022. So the studio is certainly going to want to get those films ready for 4K release by then. [Read on here...]
PlayStation 5 will have a 4K UHD drive, plus Fox’s Simpsons S1-20 DVD box & Adam Jahnke’s Tribulationby Bill Hunt
All right, we start today with a bit of news for gamers that will also make physical media fans happy... or at least it should.
Sony has begun to reveal details about its forthcoming PlayStation 5 game console (and yes, that is the official name), which is due in late 2020 (in time for the holidays), and the great news is that they’ve confirmed it will have an optical 4K Ultra HD disc drive for movies and 100 GB optical game discs.
Other details include an SSD drive, an AMD Ryzen CPU, Navi GPU hardware with ray-tracing acceleration, controllers with adaptive triggers and improved speakers to boost haptic feedback, and more. You can read all the details here at Wired.
Now, here’s the thing: Physical media is in decline. There’s just no doubt about it. Sales are down, studios are getting more choosy about what they release on disc, and studios like Disney are dumping catalog titles on 4K disc ahead of paywalling them all as Digital 4K streams with HDR on Disney+. [Read on here...]
Marvel’s Infinity Saga 4K/BD box set is Best Buy exclusive, Far From Home reviewed, plus Disney animated 4K, Cotton Club & moreby Bill Hunt
All right, we’ve got some big news for you MCU fans today.
And I’ve turned in a review of Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War in 4K (which slipped through the cracks when it first came out), this hot on the heels of last week’s catalog MCU 4K reviews.
With those reviews, we have now reviewed nearly the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe in 4K Ultra HD here at The Digital Bits. [Read on here...]
And yes, you can expect my review of Ant-Man in 4K today.
Tim is also working on a review of Sony and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Far From Home in 4K, so watch for that soon.
Next up on my review plate are Warner’s Pan’s Labyrinth and The Shining in 4K, so watch for at least one of them tomorrow (and both by next week).
In announcement news today, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has revealed that Easy Rider is now available in Digital 4K with HDR on various streaming platforms in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary. There appear to be no plans to release it on physical 4K. [Read on here...]
The Kitchen, Disney Movie Club’s Black Hole fix, 31 Nights of Horror, Midsommar 4K, Swan Princess & moreby Bill Hunt
All right, we’ve got a couple more disc reviews and some news updates for you today...
Also, I’m working on reviews of Pan’s Labyrinth, The Shining, and Toy Story 4, all in 4K. And again, I’ll post Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, and Doctor Strange in 4K as soon as the discs arrive from the Disney Movie Club.
Speaking of the DMC, we’ve learned that the studio has pulled The Black Hole on Blu-ray from their online store. The reason is that they’re fixing the disc to correct for the authoring error that prevents you from seeing the film’s Overture (see our review of the Blu-ray here). [Read on here...]
This is just a quick update here at The Bits to let you all know that we’ve posted FIVE new and recent 4K Ultra HD title reviews here today and over the weekend.
Those first two street tomorrow. So enjoy those and know that more reviews (including more regular Blu-ray reviews) are on the way tomorrow and later this week. [Read on here...]
We’ve got a bunch of new disc reviews coming over the next week or so, starting with a couple later today. So be sure to watch for them.
We do have a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate today, celebrating the 50th anniversary of TV’s classic The Brady Bunch. It features a new interview with historian Herbie J. Pilato, and is well worth a read if you’re a fan. You’ll find it here.
Meanwhile, we’ve got a bunch of release news to report today, so let’s get started...
First up, our friends at The Home Theater Forum have revealed that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is going to be releasing Farscape: The Complete Series – 20th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray on 11/19. The set will include all 88 episodes of the series along with 15 hours of extras and – at long last on BD here in the States – the series finale miniseries Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars. The aspect ratio is 1.33 for most of the series, but the last season and film are 1.78. Audio will be DTS-HD MA 5.1. Extras will include audio commentary, featurettes and documentaries, director’s cuts, TV promos, etc. We don’t know if this will be a complete carry-over of the previous DVD and BD extras, but we’ll have to wait and see. You can see the cover artwork at left. [Read on here...]