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All right, sorry for the lack of a news post yesterday, but I’ve been wrapped up in Blu-ray review work. Some big titles are coming out over the next few weeks and a number of them are well worth diving into.

Speaking of which, though it took all day yesterday to go through everything, I’ve posted my in-depth review of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar on Blu-ray from Paramount. The disc streets on 3/31. For those of you who experienced problems (in theaters) with the sound mix making lots of the dialogue unintelligible amid the sound effects and music, I can report that’s much less of a problem here. The mix is still pushed toward the low end, and there are still one or two lines where you have to listen more closely than normal, but this does seem to be a deliberate artistic choice. Still, I can attest that this is a much better audio experience than the one I had at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. And the extras are pretty terrific. Do check it out.  [Read on here…]

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We have a pair of new Blu-ray Disc reviews for you today. Doogan has checked out a bit of an Japanese live-action oddball from Drafthouse Films called R100 (2013). And Tim has given Scream Factory’s Phantom of the Opera: The Motion Picture (1989) a look too. Both reviews are well worth your time.

Speaking of reviews, Warner’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and Paramount’s Interstellar are both now in hand, so watch for my own reviews of them in the next few days.  [Read on here…]

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Here at the site today, our own Michael Coate has posted another great History, Legacy & Showmanship column featuring a look back at Robert Wise’s The Sound of Music, celebrating the 50th anniversay of the film. The piece includes details of its original roadshow release and a new interview with film historians too. Don’t miss it.

All right, we’ve got a bunch of announcement news for you today, so let’s get right to it…

First up, the BIG catalog news is that HBO is releasing The Wire: The Complete Series on Blu-ray Disc on 6/2 (SRP $199.99). Extras on the 20-disc set will include 12 audio commentaries, 3 prequel videos, a gag reel, Q&A with series creator David Simon and the creative team, and multiple behind-the-scenes documentaries and featurettes. As many of you know, the show has been reformatted from 4x3 to 16x9 for its HD release, but this has been done in consultation with Simon himself, who views it as a “valid alternate version of the series” (you can read his in-depth thoughts about this here on his blog).  [Read on here…]

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We’re starting off the day with a pair of new Blu-ray reviews. Tim has given Twilight Time’s The Dogs of War (1980) a look, along with Scream Factory’s Love at First Bite (1979)/Once Bitten (1985) double feature BD. Enjoy!

Quick review side note: I’m also working on reviews of a few new BD titles as time permits, but know that you can expect to see reviews of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and Interstellar as soon as they arrive in the post. [Read on here…]

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In announcement news today, Paramount has set The Gambler for Blu-ray and DVD release on 4/28, with digital due on 4/10. Extras will include deleted and extended scenes, plus 5 featurettes (including Mr. Self Destruct: Inside The Gambler, Dark Before Dawn: The Descent of The Gambler, Changing the Game: Adaptation, In the City: Locations, and Dressing the Players: Costume Design).

Sony has set The Wedding Ringer for Blu-ray and DVD release on 4/28 as well, with digital due on 4/14. Extras on both will include “select scenes” commentary with director Jeremy Garelick and Josh Gad, and the Going to the Chapel of Love featurette. The Blu-ray will add 15 exclusive deleted scenes, 5 outtake reels, Line-o-Rama, and Aloe Blacc’s Can You Do This music video. [Read on here…]

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We’re rounding out the week today with a pair of new Blu-ray reviews and a little more release news. First up, the reviews...

Our own Tim Salmons has checked out a pair of recent titles: Kino Lorber’s Sorceress and Twilight Time’s Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison. Both titles (and the reviews) are worth a look.  [Read on here…]

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All right, as I work to catch up on release news here at the site, we’ve got no less than four Blu-ray Disc reviews for you today.

First up, Tim has taken a look at Disney’s new 101 Dalmatians: Diamond Edition and Scream’s New Year’s Evil on Blu-ray. Both titles are now available.

Also, Doogan has also weighed in this afternoon with his thoughts on Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, which streets on Blu-ray tomorrow in a departure from the usual Tuesday release date. Unfortunately, as Amazon is currently engaged in another of its irritating pissing matches with a Hollywood studio, in this case Lionsgate, the title is not available for pre-order on Amazon. (More on that in a minute.) But you should be able to find it at your local Best Buy, Target or Walmart tomorrow morning.  [Read on here…]

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We’re back… rested, recouped, and ready to get back to business! For the record, my wife and I had a great time celebrating our anniversary early. So thanks for your patience.

It’s going to take a few days to get caught up on all the release news and whatnot, so I’ll get started with that in a moment.

First though, Tim Salmons has checked in with his thoughts on Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) on Blu-ray. As you know, the film won the Academy Award for Best Picture while we were away. Just as a heads-up, we’ve got many more new BD reviews coming over the next several days, so be sure stay tuned for them.  [Read on here…]

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We’ve got a few more reviews for you today, as promised.

Before we get to those though, I’ve got a quick note: This is going to be my last post on The Bits for a couple weeks. There are a couple reasons for this. First, I need a break. For the last several months now I’ve been working myself ragged without much of a let up. One of the problems – good to have, but problems no less – of running your own business is that there’s no end to the amount of hours you can work. So, I am sorely in need of a good staycation to recharge the batteries. The other reason, though, is that my wife and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this year. Our actual anniversary is in the Fall, but we’re going to be busy then with other things, so we’ve decided to celebrate early this year. Anyway, I hope you all understand and I appreciate your patience. I’ll be back on March 4th to resume business as usual. Meanwhile, back to those reviews… [Read on here…]

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