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We’ll be back later with our regular post, but this is just a quick heads-up: Amazon’s Blu-ray Deal of the Day is terrific one – none other than Criterion’s amazing 25-film Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman Blu-ray/DVD box set! As you know if you’ve read our review here, this set is one of our all-time favorite releases on either format. And now you can get your hands on a copy for just $97.99 – 56% off the regular SRP! That's a great deal for a whole bunch of great films, so act fast if you want to take advantage. Today only! Click on title above, here, or on the image below to order on Amazon…  [Read on here…]

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All right, there’s been no Hobbit announcement yet, but we expect it any time. Meanwhile, we do have one update concerning the running time of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Extended Edition. It is official 164 minutes – some 20 minutes longer than the theatrical cut. We’d previously reported 180 minutes, which we got from studio sources, but as is often the case the studio was incorrect. The 164 minutes comes directly from WingNut Films and the German ratings board is indicating the same. So please take note.  [Read on here…]

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We’ve got more interesting Blu-ray and DVD release news for you today…

First, while Warner Home Video hasn’t yet announced the Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Extended Edition yet (tentatively due on either 11/3, 11/10 or 11/17), we do know a few things about the release. First, it’s going to be about 20 minutes longer than the theatrical cut (in the neighborhood of 164 minutes long). Jackson had said previously the extended matertial would be about 30 minutes, but I’ve managed to confirm the 164 minute runtime with sources directly involved at WingNut Films, who tell me that the footage is “significant” and most of it has been added to the battle at the end. Second, it’s going to be screened in theaters in October, as part of a worldwide, week-long The Hobbit: Extended Edition screening event in theaters (you can see the AMC listing here, which includes the 3 hour run time, and The One Ring.net has more here). The Extended Edition of An Unexpected Journey will screen on 10/5, followed by the EE of The Desolation of Smaug on 10/7, and finally the EE or The Battle of the Five Armies on 10/13. Third, we now know that The Battle of the Five Armies – Extended Edition has received an R-rating from the MPAA (more here at Rope of Silicon). We expect an official Blu-ray release announcement from Warner any time now. Of course, we’ll post the details as soon as we have them.  [Read on here…]

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Let’s kick things off today with a pair of new Blu-ray reviews, shall we? Tim has given a pair of recent titles from Criterion a look in lovely, 1080p high-definition, including Charlie Chaplin’s Limelight (1952) and Jaromil Jireš’ Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970). Both are now available on the format from Criterion and are well worth your attention. [Read on here…]

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We’re closing out the week today with official details about our Digital Bits panel down at San Diego Comic-Con! As many of you know, the Con announced the Thursday (7/9) program schedule yesterday, and we’re on it. Here’s our official panel description:

1:00-2:00 (Thursday, 7/9/15) Digital Bits Blu-ray Sneak Peek: Star Trek: Axanar

Join Digital Bits editor Bill Hunt, veteran Blu-ray/DVD producers Charles de Lauzirika (Twin Peaks, The Martian), Cliff Stephenson (Hannibal, The Hunger Games), and Robert Meyer Burnett (Free Enterprise, Star Trek: The Next Generation Blu-rays), and executive producer Alec Peters (Star Trek: Axanar), as they discuss major upcoming Blu-ray titles and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray developments, and explain the groundbreaking process of creating studio-quality independent Blu-ray releases, including the new Prelude to Axanar: Special Edition. We’ll have audience Q & A and lots of great giveaways – don’t miss it! Room 23ABC   [Read on here…]

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Today is review day here at The Bits, and we’ve got a fine batch for you. To kick things off, I’ve updated my review of DreamWorks’ first film ever, The Peacemaker, from 2010. We’ve also updated a pair of great 2011 BD reviews from our dear friend Barrie Maxwell on the old Bits website: Warner’s Citizen Kane: 70th Anniversary UCE and Ben-Hur: 50th Anniversary UCE. Finally, we have a pair of new Blu-ray reviews today too from our own Tim Salmons, including Synapse’s fine new Prom Night: Special Edition and a Robert Altman classic that’s now available from our friends at Criterion: Nashville. All these discs are well worth your time and the reviews are pretty fine as well, if we do say so ourselves, so we hope you enjoy reading them!  [Read on here…]

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We’ve got a few things for you today here at The Bits, so let’s get to it.

First, Doogan and I have reviewed a pair of new Blu-rays from Disney featuring animated films by Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. Todd’s taken a look at a favorite of his, Princess Mononoke, which is a classic from 1997. Unfortunately, Disney has made a major error on the disc’s English subtitles that they really need to correct. See the review for details. Meanwhile, I’ve reviewed Miyazaki’s latest effort from 2013, The Wind Rises, which fares better on disc quality-wise. It’s a fascinating film, with much more complex and mature than Miyazaki’s previous works. Plus, it’s beautiful, hand-drawn animation in HD – you should definitely check it out.  [Read on here…]

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We have some sad news to report this morning, but let’s get this out of the way first…

We’ve got a couple of new Blu-ray reviews for you today. Tim has given Criterion’s recent Blu-ray release of John Ford’s My Darling Clementine a look – a fantastic film and one of my favorite westerns. And I’ve chimed in as well with my thoughts on another favorite: Yoji Yamada’s The Twilight Samurai, a samurai classic from 2002, available now on Blu-ray from Twilight Time. Both films are well worth your time.

We also have a quick new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate for you today, taking a look back at Disney’s The Little Mermaid on the week of its 25th anniversary. Do give it a look. [Read on here…]

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We’ve got a few more new pieces of release news for you today...

First, CBS and Paramount are releasing Mork & Mindy: The Complete Series and Mork & Mindy: Season Four on DVD for the first time ever on 12/9. Extras on The Complete Series will include the 2 Happy Days episodes that featured Mork. SRP is $129.99 for The Complete Series and $39.99 for Season Four.  [Read on here…]

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We’ve just a quick one for you today, as there’s not a lot of announcement news to report. But let’s clear the decks on what there is first…

Lionsgate has announced the 10/28 release of Life of Crime and The Prince on Blu-ray, DVD and digital.

Shout! Factory will release the animated Thunder and the House of Magic on Blu-ray 3D Combo and DVD on 9/30.  [Read on here…]

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