My Two Cents

We’ve some interesting release news today, starting with a little heads-up: Sources say that the long-anticipated official announcement of Ridley Scott’s Alien on 4K Ultra HD is happening very soon. So be sure to watch for that. We’ll have all the details here as soon as they’re official.

In other 4K announcement news, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has made Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down official for release on the format on 5/7.

It will include both the Theatrical and Extended cuts of the film newly remastered in 4K from the original camera negative and featuring an HDR grade approved by Scott. Both will also feature a new Dolby Atmos sound mix. [Read on here...]

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All right, Disney has just officially announced the Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD release of Rob Marshall’s Mary Poppins Returns on 3/19, with their Digital 4K and Movies Anywhere release set for a week earlier on 3/12. There will apparently also be a “Digital Bundle” of the film with the original 1964 Mary Poppins (we don’t know what resolution that original film will be). Audio on the Blu-rays will be English 7.1 DTS-HD MA. Assume standard HDR10 at least on the physical 4K (the digital 4K may offer Dolby Vision).

In terms of extras, the Blu-rays will include the deleted song The Anthropomorphic Zoo, the 4-part The Practically Perfect Making of Mary Poppins Returns documentary (includes Introduction, (Underneath the) Lovely London Sky, Can You Imagine That?, and Nowhere to Go But Up), the 4-part Seeing Things From a Different Point of View: The Musical Numbers of Mary Poppins Returns documentary (includes Trip a Little Light Fantastic, The Royal Doulton Music Hall/A Cover Is Not the Book, Turning Turtle, and Can You Imagine That?), Back to Cherry Tree Lane: Dick Van Dyke Returns, Practically Perfect Bloopers, 3 deleted scenes (Leaving Topsy’s and Trip a Little Light Fantastic), and a Sing-Along Mode. The Digital version only will also feature exclusive audio commentary by director Rob Marshall and producer John DeLuca.

You can see the cover artwork at left and also below. [Read on here...]

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All right, a quick update with some big breaking news...

It should surprise no one, as we’ve been talking about it (and we’ve had it in our 4K Ultra HD Release List) for a couple months now. But Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has just officially set Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 3/19, with the Digital release expected on 2/26.

It does not appear that at Blu-ray 3D release is planned. You can see the cover artwork at left and also below.

Both the Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD release will include Dolby Atmos audio. HDR10 is likely for the 4K (the press release makes no mention of Dolby Vision). [Read on here...]

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There’s some new release news to report today, and then we’re going to return to the topic of physical media in the wake of the news about Samsung on Friday.

But first, late on Friday afternoon, Criterion announced their May Blu-ray release slate, which is set to include William Wyler’s The Heiress (Cat #974 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 5/7, an updating of David Mamet’s House of Games (Cat #399 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Michael Haneke’s Funny Games (Cat #975 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 5/14, Claire Denis’ Let the Sunshine In (Cat #976 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 5/21, and Agnès Varda’s One Sings, the Other Doesn’t (Cat #978 – Blu-ray and DVD) and David Lynch’s Blue Velvet (Cat #977 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 5/28. We’ve updated our Criterion Spines Project page here at The Bits to include these titles and you can read more about them here.

Speaking of Criterion, we also learned on Friday that the Russian film studio Mosfilm has completed a new 2K restoration of Sergei Bondarchuk’s epic 1966-67 film adaptation of War and Peace. The 7-hour/4-part series is legendary in cinema history as the biggest production ever mounted, besting even David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia by having an essentially unlimited budget, a bottomless supply of props and costumes from the country’s state museums, and a cast of thousands. The film was shot on Russian Sovscope 70mm film stock, but unfortunately it’s suffered from preservation issues over the years. That’s meant the only good options available for viewing in recent years have been DVD versions of modest quality. [Read on here...]

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All right, today’s Bits update offers 4K Ultra HD news, some of it good and some of it bad, as well as some good standard Blu-ray news...

The good news first: We’ve learned from our studio and industry sources that Disney is bringing Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War to physical 4K Ultra HD in April. Our retail sources suggest the street date is likely to be 4/23. This makes sense as it’s the same week that Avengers: Endgame hits theaters. Keep in mind, Captain America: The First Avenger hits the format next Tuesday, 2/26. It appears that Best Buy will have exclusive Steelbook packaging and Zavvi is already taking pre-orders on a Captain America Trilogy 4K set.

We’ve also learned from our sources that essentially all of the other Marvel Cinematic Universe titles not yet released on physical 4K are coming over the next year or so. This includes Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011), Iron Man 3 (2013), Thor: The Dark World (2013), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Ant-Man (2015), and Doctor Strange (2016). We would expect the next batch to arrive with the home release of Captain Marvel, somewhere around Q2 2019. [Read on here...]

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Let’s start with the big news first: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has just set Clint Eastwood’s The Mule for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 4/2, with the Digital release expected on 3/19. There’s no indication of Dolby Vision in the press release, so I would assume HDR10. Audio on both the Blu-ray and 4K is expected to be DTS-HD MA. Extras will include the Nobody Runs Forever: The Making of The Mule featurette and a Toby Keith music video. You can see the cover artwork at left and also below.

Also today, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has just announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk on 3/26, with the Digital release expected on 3/12. No physical 4K UHD release is currently planned. Audio on the Blu-ray is DTS-HD MA with extras including audio commentary by Barry Jenkins, the If Beale Street Could Talk: Poetry in Motion featurette, and deleted scenes. Again, you can see the cover artwork below. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We’ve got some more interesting 4K Ultra HD release news for you today, and some Blu-ray news as well...

First up, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has just officially set Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla (1998) for release on 4K Ultra HD on 5/14, complete with Dolby Atmos audio. The film has been remastered in 4K from the original camera negative. The 4K disc will include a trio of trailers. You’ll also get the film on Blu-ray with all of its legacy extras, and a Digital copy will be included as well. You can see the cover artwork at left.

While we’re on the subject of Sony, this is both good news and bad news: Sony has recently made Sir David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia available in 4K... as a digital exclusive (on iTunes, Amazon Prime, and elsewhere). To which we reply: WHAT THE HELL?! The download reportedly doesn’t have HDR, but so what? Sony... what the hell are you waiting for?! [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has officially set director James Wan’s Aquaman for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 3/26, with the Digital release expected on 3/5. Amazon and a couple of other retailers (including Zavvi and Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) are currently listing a Blu-ray 3D SKU, but one wasn’t not mentioned in the studio’s official press release. So we’ll have to wait and see if it actually appears. US Retail exclusives including book packaging at Target, Steelbook packaging at Best Buy. Note that the 4K will feature Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio (the Blu-ray will also include Atmos).

Extras will include 12 featurettes (Going Deep Into the World of Aquaman, Becoming Aquaman, James Wan: World Builder, Aqua Tech, Atlantis Warfare, The Dark Depths of Black Manta, Heroines of Atlantis, Villainous Training, Kingdoms of the Seven Seas, Creating Undersea Creatures, A Match Made in Atlantis, and Scene Study Breakdowns) and an Exclusive Sneak Peek of Shazam!

Now then... before we get into more release news, we have some new Blu-ray reviews for you here at The Bits today. Tim has checked in with his thoughts on Severin Film’s All the Colors of Giallo and Dread Central Presents’ Dry Blood. Enjoy! [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, it’s not officially announced yet but we expect it to be at any time. At left you can see the official final cover artwork for Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse on 4K Ultra HD. It’s available for pre-order now on Amazon (see this link) and the street date is listed as 3/19 (SRP $38.99 but Amazon has it listed for just $22.95, which is a whopping 41% off). We don’t know yet what the HDR will be, but you can certainly expect Dolby Atmos audio. You can also bet that this film is going to look amazing in high dynamic range.

We don’t yet know if there will be a Blu-ray 3D release in the States, but stay tuned. We’ll post the official details as soon as they come in.

Before we continue, we’ve got three new Blu-ray reviews for you today, including Tim’s look at the Out of Time: Special Edition from MVD and All the Colors of the Dark (1972) from Severin Films. Dennis has also checked in with his thoughts on So Dark the Night (1946) from Arrow Academy. Enjoy! [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Good afternoon, Bits readers. We’re doing a little bit of research today and we want to hear from you.

We get emails and messages almost every day from readers and consumers who are frustrated about this issue or that regarding digital media, whether on disc or streaming/download.

Lately, we’ve been hearing from 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray consumers who wish the studios were being more aggressive with deeper catalog releases on the format, and from digital consumers frustrated by the so-called “walled garden” nature of the many different streaming services available and the exclusive content found on each.

For example, I access streaming and digital content via Roku – my set-top device is the last model of Oppo 4K disc player and it doesn’t have streaming options. So I run a Roku Ultra through it in my home theater. But the Roku doesn’t have access to iTunes/Apple TV content, which means I can’t watch any of the 4K content exclusive to that service (Star Trek II, the Bond films, etc). That’s frustrating as hell. [Read on here...]

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