My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got a good sized regular Blu-ray update for you all today here at The Bits.

First up though, we have a nice 4K Ultra HD surprise from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment… look for them to release a Moon: 10th Anniversary Edition on 7/16. Audio will be Dolby Atmos. In addition to the previous extras included on the Blu-ray in the package, look for three all-new items on the actual 4K disc: Retrospective Conversation with Duncan Jones and Joe Utichi, never-before-seen Deleted Scenes, and a Fan Art Poster Gallery. You can see the cover artwork to the left. We’ve updated our 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Bits accordingly.

And Lionsgate’s Apocalypse Now: Final Cut, officially due on 4K Ultra HD on 8/27, will include all three versions of the film (the Theatrical Cut, the Extended Cut aka Redux, and the Final Cut) on BOTH Blu-ray and 4K on 4 discs. That’s not a typo, we’ve confirmed it with Lionsgate – all three versions fully-remastered in 4K. The 4K will offer Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio, while the Blu-rays will include 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Note that, per the press release, the Final Cut audio has also been “enhanced with Meyer Sound Laboratories’ newly developed Sensual Sound a technology engineered to output audio below the limits of human hearing.” [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, I’m back on Facebook finally and things seem to be settling back to some kind of normal. So today’s post is going to have a lot of 4K news, with a bit of Blu-ray too, and then we’ll have a big Blu-ray catch up post tomorrow...

First though, we’ve got a couple more new Blu-ray reviews for you: Tim has taken a look at Scared Stiff from Arrow Video, while Dennis has offered his thoughts on The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970) from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. Enjoy!

Now then, we have a bunch of great 4K Ultra HD release news for you, starting with confirmation that Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth is officially coming to the format from Warner and New Line in July. We don’t yet have a street date, but it’s already up for pre-order here on Amazon (you can see the cover artwork at left and also below). And I must say, of all the titles that could benefit from 4K, wide color gamut, and HDR, this is near the top of the list! Of course, we’ll post more details when they’re officially announced. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents
Thursday, 02 May 2019 16:54

Rest in Peace John Singleton and Peter Mayhew

Today’s post is a brief one, as I’m still grappling with this Facebook hacking issue. I’m pleased to report that progress is being made, finally, but very slowly. With a little luck, hopefully this will all be straightened out by next week. Thanks for all your kind words of support – they’re much appreciated.

In the meantime, you’re all welcome to follow me on Twitter here (and The Bits here) for social media updates. Note that The Digital Bits Facebook page is unaffected.

Also today, we continue to post new Blu-ray reviews for you to enjoy, recently including my looks at Apollo 11 from Universal and Baa Baa Black Sheep: The Complete Series from Elephant Films, Tim’s take on Mondo Bizarro and Mondo Freudo from Severin, The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire from Arrow, and Tarantula! from Scream, and Chase’s thoughts on Jackie Chan’s Police Story and Police Story 2 from Criterion. And more reviews are on the way. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Sorry for the strange topic of today’s post, but I’ve had an insane thing happen to me over the weekend.

In between brief periods of enjoyment of Avengers: Endgame and last night’s amazing “Battle of Winterfell” on Game of Thrones, a pair of clever misanthropes in Hanoi, Vietnam tried to steal my identity (and my wife’s) on Facebook. They managed to take control of my wife’s Facebook business page and group, and then when we reported this to Facebook (which wasn’t easy), the hackers created fake duplicate personal pages, posting as us, and then reported our actual pages as the fakes.

So while we slept, both of our personal accounts were closed and now we have to prove who we are in order to get back online there. Now, of course, it would have been simple for Facebook to simply look at the fact that we’ve been on Facebook for years, while the new fake accounts have only sprung up in the last 24 hours. But no… that would require common sense. Meanwhile, there is literally NO ONE at Facebook you can talk to if you’re having this sort of problem, and the hackers know that, so they cleverly game the system and are always ten steps ahead. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Today’s update is a very quick one, as I’m still recovering from the flu while also trying to get the new Marvel 4K titles reviewed here on The Bits.

The first of those reviews is up now: My take on Captain America: Civil War in 4K Ultra HD. It’s a worthy upgrade of the previous Blu-ray, with a new Dolby Atmos mix and HDR10 (but only in 2.39:1 – no IMAX ratio).

My thoughts on Captain America: The Winter Solider are coming soon as well, so be sure to watch for them. And don’t forget, I posted my review of Ridley Scott’s Alien in 4K on Friday.

In the meantime today, Tim has posted reviews of Scream Factory’s Warning Sign and The Manitou on Blu-ray, along with Shout! Factory’s Hang ’Em High: 50th Anniversary Edition. And we have a Blu-ray review from David too, this of Indicator’s Take a Girl Like You. Enjoy! [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We’ve got a couple things for you today, starting with a pair of additional Blu-ray reviews...

Dennis has taken a look at Joseph Pevney’s The Strange Door (1951) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. He’s also turned in his thoughts on John Ford’s The Whole Town’s Talking (1935) on Blu-ray from Twilight Time. Both titles are well worth a look, so do check them out.

In announcement news today, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has just revealed that they’re bringing Edward Zwick’s Glory to 4K Ultra HD on 7/30 in honor of its 30th anniversary. The film will also return to theaters briefly on 7/21 and 7/24. The new 4K Ultra HD presentation was scanned from the original camera negative and features an HDR grade approved by Zwick. It will also feature a new Dolby Atmos sound mix, along with the original theatrical audio mix. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, I’m afraid I’m fighting a little bit of a cold or flu here today, but I do have a quick post for you...

First up, though, Tim has posted two more Blu-ray Disc reviews featuring his thoughts on Dick Clement’s A Severed Head (1970) from Powerhouse Films and Indicator, as well as Dennis’ take on Michael Anderson’s The Quiller Memorandum (1966) from Twilight Time.

Also, a quick plug: Our friend John Schuermann runs The Screening Room AV in Colorado Springs, CO. He’s having a big 4K projector shootout event April 26-28th, which is a chance to compare the best 4K projectors from JVC and Sony in controlled conditions, each properly calibrated, and see how they perform first hand. Kris Deering from Sound & Vision Magazine is hosting. If you live in the area, and you’re a fan of front projection (like I am), it should be an interesting event. It’s free to attend, you just have to register. Visit projectorexpo.com for the details and tell them Bill from The Bits sent you. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got a few things to cover today...

First up, we have a pair of new Blu-ray reviews for you this afternoon from Dennis, including his thoughts on M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass and Mimi Leder’s On the Basis of Sex, both from Universal. Enjoy!

Also today, and this is the big news: Late on Friday we caught wind that HBO might finally be planning to release the Tom Hanks-produced miniseries From the Earth to the Moon on Blu-ray in July. The online retailer ImportCDs was showing a listing for the title as streeting on 7/16. A quick retailer search over the weekend led to more corroborating evidence: Best Buy and Barnes and Noble are both showing listings as well for the title – B&N’s sale price is $31.99, while Best Buy’s is $27.99. There are no details available yet, nor is there cover artwork, and the title has not been officially announced by HBO. But we believe it’s reasonable to assume it’s coming. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’re closing out the week with a trio of interesting stories... all of which have a long shadow.

First up is a report, from the Motion Picture Association of America, that reveals a shocking 50% decline in global physical media sales over the last five years. The market data comes from both the DEG (Digital Entertainment Group) and IHS Markit. The drop is in dollar amount, from $25.2 billion in 2014 to just $13.1 in 2018. And there is no sign whatsoever that physical 4K Ultra HD or any kind of 8K Blu-ray format is going to recover those losses. 4K, though popular with enthusiasts, is just 5.3% of current physical disc sales (regular DVD still accounts for nearly 60% of all disc sales worldwide). You can download the report here in PDF format.

This disc decline aside, overall home entertainment spending was up 16% last year, and the difference seems to be not individual digital media sales but rather cable subscriptions and subscriptions to online streaming services. The latter is obviously expected to continue growing in the years ahead, with Disney+, AppleTV+, and AT&T/WarnerMedia all launching new services. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents
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