My Two Cents

All right, let’s have more on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from CES 2017, plus a bit of regular Blu-ray announcement news too...

First up, we have reliable word that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is listing Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element for release on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format on 7/11. That makes a ton of sense, because Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017) arrives in theatres on 7/21 (from STX Entertainment).

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has also just officially set Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk for 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo, and DVD release on 2/14. The 4K release will be presented in full 4K and 60 fps, with HDR and Dolby Atmos audio. It features an exclusive 4K Featurette with Ang Lee and Tim Squyres discussing the film’s groundbreaking frame rate technology. The Blu-ray versions will include delete scenes and 4 featurettes (Into Battle and Onto the Field: Stepping Inside Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Recreating the Halftime Show, The Brotherhood of Combat, and Assembling a Cast). You can see the cover artwork to the left.  [Read on here…]

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All right, the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show is finally under way in Las Vegas today, with a number of the major CE manufacturers holding big press conferences to announce their product line-ups for the year. In fact, I’ve just now sat through Samsung’s big press event (more on that in a minute). I’ll check back in with more tomorrow, but for now let’s get to what news we have so far concerning 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray at the show...

In terms of new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player hardware, obviously Oppo Digital has just launched their debut player on the format, the UDP-203 (SRP $549). I’ve been testing this unit for about a week now and it’s just tremendous. For a first-generation player, it’s very solid, very fast, and it plays just about everything – Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, DVD-Audio, CD, and SACD, plus a wide variety of digital video and audio formats via network and USB. It’s compatible with HDR-10 right out of the box, and it’s also hardware compatible with Dolby Vision; a firmware update in the months ahead will add full Dolby Vision compatibility (keep in mind that no Dolby Vision UHD BD software is yet available, though software is forthcoming – again, more in a moment – and you can stream it now via Netflix and Vudu). Oppo is also working on an audiophile-upgraded version of this player, the UDP-205 (SRP around $1K), due for release later this year. [Read on here…]

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Today’s update is quick one, as we’re doing a lot of disc review work here this week.

To wit... our own Tim Salmons has just checked in with his thoughts on Shout! and Scream Factory’s new limited edition Blu-ray titles, including Message from Space, The Velvet Vampire, and Time Walker. They’re only available from the Shout! website and are limited to 1,000 copies each. Do give the reviews a look. Message from Space in particularly is worth your time.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Okay, there isn’t a ton of release news to report early this week, so we’re going to be focusing mostly on review work...

As such, I’ve just posted my thoughts on Warner’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Ultimate Edition on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format. It’s a complicated film to discuss, and one that’s neither as bad nor as good as the most ardent critics would have you believe. But at least it’s a better experience than the theatrical cut. Do check it out. I’ve taken a look at Shout! Factory’s new Humpback Whales on 4K as well. And yesterday, in case you missed them, we posted regular Blu-ray reviews of Bite from Shout! Factory via our own Tim Salmons, as well as Diary of a Lost Girl (1929) from Kino Lorber Studio Classics via Jim Hemphill. Enjoy.  [Read on here…]

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We’re kicking things off today with a great new View from the Cheap Seats column from our own Bud Elder in which he muses over classic film scores, catches up on some of the recent deep catalog releases coming out on Blu-ray from the indie distributors, and has a few things to say about a fella named George Hamilton too. Do check it out!

Also available today is a new Blu-ray review from Jim Hemphill, none other than Fernando Leon de Aranoa’s A Perfect Day (2015), now available on disc from IFC Films and MPI Media Group.

Now then, in announcement news this afternoon… [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

[Editor’s Note: Be sure to follow us on Twitter @thedigitalbits @BillHuntBits and on Facebook here and here. And you can help support The Bits by pre-ordering Blu-rays and other items from Amazon through this link.]

All right, today’s update is a quickie, but we do have a trio of new disc reviews for you to enjoy…

First up, Tim Salmons has checked in with a new Pick-Ups column review of the new The Taking of Pelham One Two Three: 24th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. The disc streets on 7/5. Also, Jim Hemphill has turned in his thoughts on Twilight Time’s new Blu-ray edition of Jerry Schatzberg’s 1971 film The Panic in Needle Park. And finally, I’ve just completed my in-depth review of Ridley Scott’s terrific new The Martian: Extended Edition, which streeted on DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on 6/7. Specifically, I’ve looked at the 4K release, which Fox has finally just provided for review. It was worth the wait. I think you’ll enjoy all three reviews and all three titles too, so do give them a look. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

[Editor’s Note: Be sure to follow us on Twitter @thedigitalbits @BillHuntBits and on Facebook here and here. And you can help support The Bits by pre-ordering Blu-rays and other items from Amazon through this link.]

All right, hope you all had a fine weekend. We begin today with a new Pick-Ups column from our own Tim Salmons, featuring the first of several new Blu-ray reviews this week: Grindhouse Releasing’s Pieces: Deluxe Edition, which is now available.

In announcement news today, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has set Risen for release on the Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray formats on 5/24. [Read on here…]

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[Editor’s Note: Be sure to follow us on Twitter @thedigitalbits @BillHuntBits and on Facebook here and here. And you can help support The Bits by pre-ordering Blu-rays and other items from Amazon through this link.]

We’re closing out the week with just a quick update, but first things first...

Congratulations to Elon Musk and everyone Space-X today, for successfully launching a Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station and safely landing the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket back on Earth (on a platform out at sea)! That is some serious steely-eyed missile man magic right there.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

[Editor’s Note: Be sure to follow us on Twitter @thedigitalbits @BillHuntBits and on Facebook here and here. And you can help support The Bits by pre-ordering Blu-rays and other items from Amazon through this link.]

As promised, we’ve got another great new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate, this time featuring a look back at Michael Ritchie’s The Bad News Bears on its 40th anniversary. Michael details the film’s original theatrical release and offers a new interview with baseball historian and Walter Matthau biographer Rob Edelman. Do give it a look.  [Read on here…]

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