My Two Cents

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...]

Published in My Two Cents

I’ve posted my thoughts on Disney and Marvel’s new Guardians of the Galaxy release on 4K Ultra HD this morning. This following yesterday’s review of Doctor Strange on the format.

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...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got a couple more disc reviews and some news updates for you today...

First up, Tim has posted his thoughts on Scream Factory’s new Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release of John Carpenter’s Vampires.

And Dennis has take a look at Billy Wilder’s The Major and the Minor on Blu-ray, a Paramount title from Arrow Academy.

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...]

Published in My Two Cents

Evening, folks!

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.

Available now for your reading enjoyment are my thoughts on: Gremlins (Warner Bros), Zombieland (Sony), Iron Man 3 (Marvel/Disney), Ratatouille (Pixar/Disney), and Daybreakers (Lionsgate)

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...]

Published in My Two Cents

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...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right. So first things first: Apologies for the lack of a post yesterday and on Friday. My wife and I have both been dealing with different types of family crises over the past week, so those have been demanding my attention.

But… in order to get a little bit of a break from the stress of it all, I went to see Ad Astra yesterday in Dolby Cinema.

WOW, do I wish I had my $20 back.

Now, I love the realistic spaceflight/science fiction genre. It’s kind of my whole milieu.

And I was really looking forward to Ad Astra, encouraged by all the rave reviews and the promising trailers.

But having now seen it, I really have to get my thoughts about it out before I have a brain aneurysm. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We’ve been talking about this release for months now based on industry sources and retail leaks, but it’s finally official: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and MGM have set 007: The Daniel Craig Collection for release on 4K Ultra HD on 10/22.

The set will include Casino Royale (in its extended unrated version), Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and SPECTRE.

Audio is DTS-HD Master Audio, but the discs will include Dolby Vision HDR.

Extras will be limited to audio commentary by the crew on Casino Royale, and two audio commentaries (one by director Sam Mendes and another by producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli and production designer Dennis Gassner) on Skyfall. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

So I spent a couple hours up in Hollywood yesterday afternoon to cover something pretty interesting…

At a press event at the Screen Actors Guild, members of the UHD Alliance, three major consumer electronics manufacturers, and leading Hollywood filmmakers officially announced a new partnership effort to implement Filmmaker Mode as an extension of the 4K Ultra HD spec.

The idea is to ensure that when you watch a movie at home in 4K on your new Ultra HD display, whether from a disc, stream, or cable/satellite broadcast, it will look exactly as it should. UHD Alliance research suggests that as many as 80% of people who buy 4K TVs never change the settings out of the box. This means irritating features like motion smoothing and unnecessary processing are being applied to the image by default – processing that actually takes the picture away from the filmmakers’ intent.

What the Filmmaker Mode will do is to allow the user – either with one push of a button on the remote, or with a very easy and obvious menu setting – to set the TV’s display parameters to most accurately display the 4K content. This would be a baseline setting for the image – any added adjustments signaled by HDR10, HDR10+, or Dolby Vision metadata would happen on top of that setting. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Okay, we’ve got some big news for you today...

First though, we’ve posted a few new disc reviews in the last couple of days, including my own takes on Godzilla: King of the Monsters in 4K from Warner Bros, Air Force One in 4K from Sony Pictures, and Jonny Quest: The Complete Original Series on regular Blu-ray from Warner. Tim has also posted his thoughts on Shout! Factory’s new The Harder They Come: Collector’s Edition. All are work a look, so do check them out at the links provided.

Now then, let’s get to that news. First, this is not yet officially announced (even though we revealed it on social media a couple days ago), but retail links from various online sources confirm what we’ve been saying for a while now here at The Bits, namely that Warner will release The Wizard of Oz on 4K Ultra HD in October in honor of the film’s 80th anniversary. [Read on here...]

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