My Two Cents

Today we’ve got a new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review for you. I’ve taken a look at Morten Tyldum’s Passengers from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. It’s not a particularly great science fiction film, but it’s gorgeous to look at and both the 4K disc and the Blu-ray 3D in the package are first rate A/V demo material. Do give that a look here.

In announcement news today, BBC Home Entertainment has finally made the Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD release of Planet Earth II official for 3/28 (SRP $44.95, $35.99, and $59.99 respectively). The series is narrated by the legendary Sir David Attenborough. From the press release “bonus content includes Planet Earth Diaries, a look behind the scenes with each episode’s production team, revealing the astounding challenges they encountered and their incredible experiences while filming Planet Earth II. For DVD and Blu-ray, these are 10-minute bonus clips at the end of each episode and for the 4K UHD, it will be a 54 minute disc accompanying the series.” The UHD will present the series in native 4K with HDR, though the sound is 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio only. [Read on here…]

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In announcement news today, Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate have just officially announced the Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of Damien Chazelle’s almost Best Picture La La Land on 4/24. The Digital HD release is due on 4/11. It looks like the disc will actually include a nice batch of extras, starting with an audio commentary by Chazelle and composer Justin Hurwitz. You’ll also get 11 behind-the-scenes featurettes (Another Day of Sun: They Closed Down a Freeway, La La Land’s Great Party, Ryan Gosling: Piano Student, Before Whiplash: Damien Chazelle’s Passion Project, La La Land’s Love Letter to Los Angeles, The Music of La La Land, John Legend’s Acting Debut, The Look of Love: Designing La La Land, Ryan and Emma: Third Time’s the Charm, Epilogue: The Romance of the Dream, and Damien & Justin Sing: The Demos) and a song selection option. You can see the official final cover artwork to the left and below. [Read on here…]

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All right, just a quick one today, but we do bring you another pair of new Blu-ray reviews this afternoon…

Tim has checked out Scream Factory’s new IFC Midnight release, the B-horror title Hellions.

Also, our old friend Matt Rowe has revisited a classic in Giuseppe Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso, finally available in the U.S. in the form of Arrow Academy’s terrific 2-disc Special Edition Blu-ray (formerly available only in the U.K.) that includes both the restored Theatrical Version and The Director’s Cut plus extras. It’s not to be missed. [Read on here…]

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Good afternoon, folks! We’ve just posted a pair of new Blu-ray reviews here at The Bits, starting with Tim’s take on John Brahm’s The Mad Magician, now available on Blu-ray 3D from Twilight Time. It’s an overlooked Vincent Price gem.

I’ve also posted my two cents on Mamoru Oshii’s classic anime Ghost in the Shell (1995), newly-reissued on Blu-ray by Starz/Anchor Bay in exclusive Mondo Steelbook packaging to take advantage of the live action remake’s debut in theaters.

Also, we’ve just posted the weekly Release Dates & Artwork section update with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray cover artwork 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 appreciate it enormously. So thank you! [Read on here…]

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Afternoon, folks. We’re starting off the new week with a pair of new Blu-ray reviews for you to enjoy. Tim Salmons has turned in his look at Scream Factory’s The Legend of Hell House and longtime Bits veteran Todd Doogan has returned with a look at Kino Lorber’s terrific new One Million Years B.C. Blu-ray. Both are well worth your time, so be sure to check them out.

In release news today, first up a biggie: 20th Century Fox’s Logan is now available for Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD pre-order on Amazon (via the links in this sentence and also the temp cover artwork below). We hear it’s pretty damn good, so go check it out in theaters and use our links to pre-order (we appreciate it!) if you enjoy the film. [Read on here…]

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Yes, folks, it’s true… this month marks the 20th anniversary of the beloved DVD format. The exact date is a matter of debate; some technically consider March 1, 1997 as the official date, though our records show that March 19 technically marks the official start of the U.S. launch, and the format was actually launched first in Japan in November of 1996. Either way, the first players and movie discs weren’t available in the seven initial U.S. test markets (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, New York, Seattle, and Washington) until much later in March 1997.

Specifically, the first DVD titles appeared at Best Buy, Tower Records, The Good Guys, and other video/electronics stores in those markets on March 24, and the first actual players didn’t arrive in stock until March 26. Warner launched the format with an initial slate of 25 titles, including Blade Runner: The Director’s Cut (as it happens, the first title I purchased – you can see it below), Twister, Batman, GoldenEye, Eraser, The Fugitive, The Glimmer Man, The Mask, and Space Jam, among others. Those titles sold for $19.95 to $24.98. Tell me... do these old Snapper cases (below) look familiar to you? [Read on here…]

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All right, after our UHD Alliance update this morning, we’ve got a little more new release news for you this afternoon…

But first, we’ve just posted the weekly Release Dates & Artwork update with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray 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 very much.

Now then... 20th Century Fox has just officially announced the Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of Hidden Figures on 4/11, with the Digital HD release set for 3/28. The 4K release will include English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Extras on the Blu-ray versions will include audio commentary by director Theodore Melfi and actress Taraji P. Henson, the 5-part It All Adds Up: The Making of Hidden Figures documentary (includes No Limits: The Life of Katherine Johnson, The Right People for the Job, Recreating an Era: The Look of Hidden Figures, A Spiritual Journey: The Music of Hidden Figures, and Moving the Decimal: Honoring Katherine Johnson), deleted scenes, the Hidden Figures: Filming in Georgia featurette, and a gallery. [Read on here…]

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Morning, folks. We’ve got a bit of interesting information this morning from the UHD Alliance worth sharing today, which is that they’ve just defined the HDR “premium viewing experience” for battery-powered devices.

Here are the details from their official press release…

BARCELONA – Feb. 28, 2017 – The UHD Alliance (UHDA), the inter-industry group charged with fostering an ecosystem that fully realizes and promotes the consumer benefits of Ultra HD and HDR entertainment technology, announced today its specification and logo for portable devices: ”MOBILE HDR PREMIUM.”

Enjoying high-quality programming on portable devices including laptops, notebooks, tablets and smartphones has become a primary mode of content consumption for a large and ever-growing segment of the consumer entertainment audience. The UHDA’s MOBILE HDR PREMIUM designation confirms that a device meets UHDA- defined performance criteria for resolution, dynamic range, color space and bit depth and delivers a consistent premium experience.” [Read on here…]

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Kicking off a new week here at The Bits, we’ve got a couple of things for you today...

First up, Tim has reviewed another new Blu-ray release for you in the form of Franco Propseri’s Wild Beasts (1984 – aka Belve Feroci) from Severin Films.

Also, Mark Altman has a few thoughts, in his latest MOS DEF column today, on good catalog titles that ought to get released in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray this year to help the format get on track.

In announcement news today, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has set A League of Their Own: 25th Anniversary Edition for release on Blu-ray on 4/18. It includes the new Bentonville, Baseball & the Enduring Legacy of A League of Their Own featurette, as well as legacy extras including 15 deleted scenes, a 9-part documentary, audio commentary with the filmmakers, Madonna’s This Used to Be My Playground music video, and the film’s theatrical trailer. [Read on here…]

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