my two cents 1000

All right, we’ve got some cool news for you anime fans. FUNimation has officially announced that their planned Cowboy Bebop: The Complete Series will finally arrive on Blu-ray Disc (and also DVD) in December. Four versions are planned: A DVD standard edition, a Blu-ray standard edition, an Amazon-exclusive BD/DVD combo premium edition, and a second BD/DVD Combo premium edition that will be exclusive to the FUNimation.com site. The exclusive versions will include different packaging and collectable swag items TBA. The exact street date and further details will follow in the weeks ahead, so we’ll be sure to update when they do.  [Read on here…]

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We’ve got some cool stuff for you today, Bits readers!

First up, we have a trio of Blu-ray reviews for you.  Dr. Jahnke has upgraded his reviews of a pair of cheesy horror/sci-fi films on Blu-ray, including Midnight Legacy’s Alien 2: On Earth and FUNimation’s Alien vs. Ninja.  Told you they were cheesy.

Also, Tim Salmons has checked in with an in-depth review of 1428 Films’ fantastic new Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th documentary on Blu-ray/DVD Combo.  It’s SEVEN HOURS of Friday the 13th behind-the-scenes goodness, and how can any self-respecting slasher film fan pass that up?  Enjoy!  [Read on here...]

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All right, we’re wrapping up a week of reviews with still more reviews!

Our own Tim Salmons has turned in a look at Disney’s new The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh on Blu-ray, which is not only a terrific classic animated film but it looks like the disc is pretty good too.  Don’t miss it!

Also today, we’ve upgraded nine more older Blu-ray reviews from The Original Bits into the new database, including Terry Gilliam’s The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, David Lynch’s Blue Velvet: 25th Anniversary Edition and Richard Rush’s The Stunt Man from Dr. Adam Jahnke, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s El Topo and The Holy Mountain from Doogan, Danny Boyle’s Sunshine from the late great Barrie Maxwell and my own reviews of a pair of great space documentaries, The Wonders of the Solar System and The Wonder of It All, as well as Zhang Yimou’s visually stunning and poetic Hero.  Enjoy!

Also here at The Bits today, we’ve now got a complete and official listing of all the extras that will be included on Warner’s newly-announced Blu-ray Disc versions of Pacific Rim (due on 10/15).  Here’s what to look for...  [Read on here...]

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Hey, weren’t we just talking about this title today?  Well, now it’s official...

Warner Home Video is releasing Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim on Blu-ray 3D Limited Edition Gift Set, Blu-ray Combo and DVD on October 15th (SRP $44.95, $35.99 and $28.98).  According to the press release, extras on the Blu-ray versions will include audio commentary by Guillermo del Toro, a Prologue by del Toro, 4 Focus Points (The Directors Notebook, Drift Space, The Digital Artistry of Pacific Rim and The Shatterdome), deleted scenes and a blooper reel.  We’re double-checking to see if that’s the complete list of special features or just a “Cliff’s Notes” version, and also if there’s any retail exclusive Bonus Disc nonsense and whatnot.

[Late Update: We’ve heard back from WHV – here’s the final confirmed and detailed list of extras on the Blu-ray versions:  Audio commentary by Guillermo del Toro, The Directors Notebook, 3 documentary featurettes (Drift SpaceThe Digital Artistry of Pacific Rim and The Shatterdome), 17 Focus Points featurettes and features (A Primer on Kaijus & JaegersIntricacy of Robot DesignHonoring The Kaiju TraditionThe Importance of Mass and ScaleShatterdome Ranger Roll CallJaegers Echo Human GraceInside the DriftGoth-TechMega Sized SetsBaby Kaiju Set VisitTokyo Alley Set VisitOrchestral Sounds from the AnteverseThe Shatterdome (a Production Database), The Wall of Life/RationsExcuse MeTheft and “Catch You In The Drift, Dad”), deleted scenes (some 30 minutes worth according to del Toro in recent interviews) and a blooper reel.]

As you can see, the Blu-ray 3D version comes in special “Jaeger” packaging, which I hope looks a little better in person than it does in the pictures below.  Here’s a look at Warner’s final cover art for all three versions, hot off the wires...  [Click here for the artwork]

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Afternoon, folks!  We’ve got still more Blu-ray reviews for you today...

First up, our own Dr. Adam Jahnke has checked in with his thoughts on Warner Archive’s new BD release of Sidney Lumet’s Deathtrap from 1982.  Do check it out.

Also, Tim Salmons has given Disney’s The Great Mouse Detective: Mystery in the Mist Edition a look for you on Blu-ray Disc.  Sounds like it’s far and away better than their recent Sword in the Stone BD, so thank goodness for that.

And we’ve added 8 more classic Blu-ray Disc reviews from The Original Bits website into our new review database here, including Universal’s Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series and Battlestar Galactica: The Plan, MPI’s Baraka, Blue Underground’s The Final Countdown, Warner’s King Kong (1933), A&E/New Video’s The World at War, Vivendi’s Monty Python: Almost the Truth – The Lawyer’s Cut and the original Bandai Visual release of Katsuhiro Otomo’s landmark anime Akira.  Enjoy!

Now then, let’s get to today’s release news... [Read on here...]

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Today is Blu-ray review day here at The Bits...

First up, we have a couple of brand new reviews for you.  From our own Todd Doogan comes a look at Criterion’s excellent special edition of Brazil, lovingly upgraded for high-definition and so better than ever.  Don’t miss it!

Also, Tim has turned in his thoughts on Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man, which is a darned fine special edition release produced by our old friend Charles de Lauzirika.  And the movie’s not half bad too!

Plus, we’ve also upgraded a whopping ten previous Blu-ray reviews from The Original Bits into our new review database.  This includes Sony’s Ghostbusters, Dr. Strangelove: 45th Anniversary Special Edition and the Close Encounters of the Third Kind: 30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition, Warner’s Barry Lyndon, Heat, Contact and 2010: The Year We Make Contact, Universal’s Dune, DreamWorks’ Galaxy Quest and A&E’s Space: 1999 – Season 1.  Good stuff all.  We have many more classic Blu-ray reviews that we’re gradually upgrading into our review database, so be sure to check them all out and watch for lots more.  [Read on here…]

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All right, we’ve got a screaming new server for The Bits now – just a few little DNS issues here and there need to be worked out and we’ll be completely back to normal.  Let us know on The Bits Facebook page if you notice anything amiss.  And thanks again for your patience.

First up here at The Bits today, we’ve got a pair of new Blu-ray Disc reviews for you:  Tim Salmons has checked in with his thoughts on Disney’s disappointing new The Sword and the Stone: 50th Anniversary Edition.  Sadly, it looks like the studio dropped the ball on the remastering.  And our own Todd Doogan has turned in his two cents on Michael Bay’s new Pain & Gain on Blu-ray from Paramount.  As with the case with Star Trek Into Darkness, it appears you get great A/V quality and bupkis for extras – in this case (given the apparent lack of retail exclusive versions) it probably means a double-dip is in the offing.  Anyway, enjoy the reviews.  [Read on here…]

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Quick important note:  Because of all the extra traffic this week, we’re going to be upgrading our server this evening to be able to handle these kinds of traffic spikes more easily.  We may be down for a couple hours later tonight but we should be back up by tomorrow morning better than ever.  Certainly by Monday, Scotty tells us that the warp core should be purring like a kitten again.  So thanks for your patience and know that things will be much better soon.

Now then, there’s big release news today…

Our friends at Kino Lorber have announced their November Blu-ray and DVD release slate and there are some real gems, including a Nosferatu: 2-Disc Deluxe Remastered Edition (DVD & Blu-ray) and a Russian Ark: Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray and DVD) on 11/19!  F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu will include two versions of the 1922 classic, the original German Intertitles (with optional English subs) or English Intertitles, Hans Erdmann’s original 1922 score in 5.1 Surround or 2.0 Stereo, the 53-minute The Language of Shadows documentary chronicling Murnau’s early career, clips and highlights from other Murnau films and a photo gallery.  Features on Russian Ark are still TBA.  [Read on here…]

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Well... I guess it’s been a while since we went on a good old fashioned Blu-ray or DVD related rant, so yesterday’s post here at the site was probably going to happen sooner or later.  As longtime readers know, it wouldn’t be The Digital Bits without such rants every once in a while – we’ve been doing it since 1997.  But I still think what I said needed saying.  Whenever we go on rants here at The Bits, it’s for a good reason – because in our experienced point of view, something is amiss.  And after more than 16 years of working in and around the home video industry (not to mention having correctly predicted and advised our readers through two format wars), we certainly have that experience.  [Read on here…]

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Okay, just a quick one today to round out the week...

First up, check this out... Syndctd Entertainment and International Films Management are releasing Perry Henzell’s cult classic The Harder They Come back into theaters for a limited time in the U.S. and U.K. starting on 9/5.  The film stars Jimmy Cliff.  Then later this year, Xenon Pictures is releasing the film on Blu-ray Disc.  All this is in honor of the film’s 40th Anniversary.  More information is available here.  Remember: “The hero can’t dead till the last reel!”

Warner Home Video is releasing the Paramount catalog title Terms of Endearment on Blu-ray Disc for the first time on 12/3 (SRP $19.98).  […]

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In 50 years or so, the @Criterion edition of The Interview will make a nice bookend with The Great Dictator.

by Adam Jahnke