Those "retro" Force Awakens posters.
We’re kicking off the day here at The Bits with a pair of new Blu-ray reviews from yours truly.
First up is a look at FUNimation’s brand new Cowboy Bebop: The Complete Series release – the standard edition on Blu-ray. If you’re a fan of the series, picking this one up is a no-brainer. Not only is it one of the best anime of all time, FUNimation’s new release features best-available A/V quality, nearly all the extras from the previous DVD editions, and some new bonus content too.
The second review is something pretty cool: A few of you may recall that, in my review of Warner’s Batman: The Complete Series – Limited Edition, I mentioned a great documentary on actor Adam West that’s as good or better than anything included in Warner’s BD box set. I’m happy to say that this documentary – James E. Tooley’s Starring Adam West – is finally available for purchase on its own on both Blu-ray and DVD (here at this website) and I’ve had the chance to review it here. If you’re a fan of classic TV Batman, it’s well worth a look. [Read on here…]
Okay... today’s Bits post is a very quick one, as we’re gearing up for tomorrow’s big Halloween finale for The Hell Plaza Oktoberfest Se7en. BUT...
The mad Dr. Jahnke’s Oktoberfest review for today is a gem – a preview of an upcoming DVD release from our very dear friend Bob Burns. It’s Bob Burns’ Hollywood Halloween! The 2-disc set looks back at all the great Halloween haunted houses that Bob and Kathy have held over the years at their home in Burbank! It includes a documentary by Lindsey Keith Jackson, footage of the actual haunted house experiences, interviews with the likes of John Landis, menus produced by our friend Van Ling, cover art by Vincent Di Fate and much more! The DVD is not quite ready for wide release yet, and distribution is still TBA. BUT... [Read on here...]
Here at The Bits, we’ve been so fortunate and honored to meet and befriend the legendary keepers of Hollywood’s attic, Bob and Kathy Burns. Hell, the truth is, we love them dearly – they’re like family to us by now, and we’re certainly not alone in feeling that way.
Anyone who read Starlog magazine back in the day knew of Bob and Kathy, but we first met them through our old friend Paul Prischman and the folks at Dave’s Video in Burbank. Paul worked on one of the last Halloween Extravaganza shows – based on the classic sci-fi/horror film The Thing from Another World – that Bob and Kathy held back in 2002. [...]
Okay… LOTS to cover today to close out the week. First up though, I wanted to call attention to Bud Elder’s new View from the Cheap Seats column from yesterday in case you missed it. It’s another fine read and includes a tribute to the late Jonathan Winters. Don’t miss it!
Now then… let’s hit some announcement news…
As most of you know Iron Man 3 has just arrived in theaters. I plan to see it tomorrow sometime. I’ll admit… while I’ve mostly enjoyed the Marvel movies (especially The Avengers and the first Iron Man), I’m really not a huge superhero film fan. But the fact that Iron Man 3 was directed and co-written by Shane Black (of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang fame) is more than enough reason to get me into the theater this weekend. Here’s hoping it’ll be a fun film. Speaking of which, Iron Man 3 is already available for pre-order on Amazon on Blu-ray/DVD Combo. No street date is yet available, but you can bet it will be out in time for Thanksgiving. Click on the link to get your orders in.
Warner has announced that their Blu-ray release of Shane is moving to a new street date: 8/13 (delayed from 6/4). Before you get bent out of shape, you’ll be very please to know that this is being done in order that the film can be remastered in the proper 1.37 aspect ratio. Good news indeed!
A number of Bits readers have informed me that Amazon.com is now taking pre-orders for CBS’ Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Four on Blu-ray with a street date of 7/30 (SRP $129.99 but $114.99 on pre-order). Also coming that day is a new “movie” edit of the episodes Redemption, Parts 1 & 2 (SRP $24.99 but just $19.99 on Amazon). You can see the cover art for both below.
While we’re talking Star Trek, it’s worth reminding everyone that the new Trek classic movie Blu-rays just released by Paramount are the same discs that were released previously, just in new single-edition packaging. So don’t expect new cuts of the films or new extras – there aren’t any.
Synapse Films has set Peter Sasdy’s Hands of the Ripper for release on Blu-ray/DVD combo on 7/9 (SRP $29.95) in a restored and uncut edition from the Hammer Films Collection. Extras will include The Devil’s Bloody Plaything: Possessed by the Hands of the Ripper featurette, 2 “motion” image galleries, the U.S. TV introduction, the original trailer and TV spots and even an isolated music and effects audio track.
Nickelodeon has set the CG-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Enter Shredder for DVD only release on 7/9 (SRP $14.99).
Shout! Factory has set the 1989 Japanese TV series The Jungle Book: Adventures of Mowgli – Complete Collection for DVD only release on 6/18, including all 52 original episodes.
Hen’s Tooth Video has set Jeffery for DVD only release on 7/9 (SRP $19.95).
Freestyle will release Norman on Blu-ray/DVD Combo on 5/7.
Best Buy has listed Disney’s The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh for Blu-ray and DVD release on 8/27, though this has yet to be officially confirmed by Disney so take it with a grain of salt.
Speaking of Disney, retail sources tell us the studio is gearing up for a 40th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray release of their animated Robin Hood. No street date is yet available, but we’ll let you know when more details are in.
And Kino Lorber have set the following titles to their July release slate, including The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu (DVD) and Taika Waititi’s Boy (BD/DVD) on 7/2 from the Kino Lorber label, Hanging for Django (BD/DVD) on 7/23 on the Raro Video USA label, Mario Bava’s Black Sabbath: Standard Edition Remastered (BD/DVD) and Alfredo Leone presents Mario Bava’s Kidnapped: Standard Edition Remastered (BD/DVD) on 7/16 plus Foolish Wives (BD) on 7/30 from the Kino Classics label, and finally Combat Girls (DVD) on 7/9 and Vanishing Waves (DVD) on 7/23 from the Artsploitation label. You’ll find some of the cover artwork below.
In other news from around the Net today, it seems as if Disney heard your complaints (and probably read my rant from the other day) about the Oz: The Great and Powerful Blu-ray 3D release including no 2D Blu-ray version. Home Media reports that the studio is offering those who purchase the 3D version a 2D Blu-ray copy for $5.99 (plus shipping and handling) via a special mail-in offer in the package. For those of you at Disney reading this, we’re still hearing TONS of complaints about this via e-mail from readers, so heads-up. Here’s the studio’s official statement:
“We strive to give our consumers the best in-home experience and consistently evolve our mix of product offerings. We know that our 3D consumers enjoy that experience as well as the ease of use and functionality of digital copy. With Oz the Great and Powerful we’re offering a single, simplified version for their in-home and on-the-go viewing needs. And, for those desiring a 2D Blu-ray version of the film, there’s an offer included in the package.”
I’m fairly sure that isn’t going to appease Blu-ray 3D fans much, but the studio must be hearing your complaints at least so that’s something.
And speaking of Home Media, they’ve just announced the winners of their recent 2013 Home Media Awards voting so do check it out.
Finally today, I’d like to take a moment to send out a big cheery Digital Bits hello to our very dear friends Bob and Kathy Burns, just because. I know you’re reading this Bob, so hugs, cheers and best wishes to you both from all of us here at The Bits!
We’ll leave you with a look at art for those two Trek BDs, as well as Kino’s Kidnapped, Black Sabbath, Boy and Hanging for Django. Just click the cover art to pre-order on Amazon, as always…
Have a great weekend!
- Bill Hunt