Afternoon, folks. We’re going to get you caught up on some recent release news today and we also have a preview of some interesting 4K Ultra HD titles our industry and retail sources suggest are coming before the end of the year.
But first, I want to apologize for the lack of posts late last week. On Tuesday morning, I came down with the flu. It pretty much put me out of action from Wednesday night through Friday. Seriously, I had the whole fever and body aches routine going for a good 36 hours – no fun. Moral of the story is: Get your flu shots, kids. There’s a bad one going around. In any case, thanks for your patience while I get back up to speed.
In announcement news today, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has set Daniel Espinosa’s recent sci-fi thriller Life for release on 6/20 on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD. The Digital release is expected on 6/2. The extras on all versions will include deleted scenes, unseen Astronaut Diaries, and 3 featurettes (Claustrophobic Terror: Creating a Thriller in Space, Life: In Zero G, and Creating Life: The Art and Reality of Calvin). No word yet on the 4K SKU’s audio or HDR. [Read on here…]
Well, it appears that AACS 2.0 encryption used in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray releases may have been broken by digital pirates. The first torrent ripped from a UHD disc has appeared online in the past week. It’s Sony’s The Smurfs 2 of all things. You can read more here on PC Magazine. The file is a whopping 53GB in size, however, so I’m not sure who would ever want to download such a thing. Still, it’s interesting news nonetheless.
Also today, we’ve learned that Resident Evil: Vendetta, which was recently announced by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 7/18, will be the studio’s first 4K title to feature Dolby Vision HDR. [Read on here…]
All right, I’ve got a couple things for you today…
First of all, let me just say this: Go see James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2. If you liked the first film at all, you’ll love this one too. It’s every bit as over-the-top, outrageous, and ridiculous as the original, and you’ll laugh the whole way through. I really think that for sheer originality and fun, Guardians is my pick for the crown jewel of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Much like Deadpool, it doesn’t ever really take itself seriously, but it has a ton of heart. It’s highly recommended.
Also, here at the site today, we’ve updated the Release Dates & Artwork section to include all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, whenever you order anything through our Amazon links, you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it. [Read on here…]
Before we get started today, my review of Warner’s Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them in 4K Ultra HD went live last night, so be sure to check that out if you’re interested. It’s pretty good. It’s no Harry Potter, but the film has its charms and has real potential.
Also, our own Russell Hammond has just posted the weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section, featuring all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. The section also now features the update to sort the titles by format, including by 4K Ultra HD. As always, anytime you order or pre-order literally anything at all through our Amazon links, you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we surely do appreciate it. [Read on here…]
I’ve figured out what’s wrong with movies.
This thesis prevailed on me as I went to see the 3-D Imax version of a new picture called The Great Wall. This picture opened to dismal reviews, but the previews had made it look righteous and the effects, I knew, would be fun, and they were and the whole experience wasn’t bad.
And on the way out, I was thinking of all these feckless movie reviewers who get published and why they would trash this movie. I thought to myself: “Why were they so hard on this movie? It’s just a fun “B” picture?”
And then I figured it out. They all are. 90% of what we see in the theaters are “B” pictures with “A” budgets.
Let’s discuss... [Read on here...]
I’ve about decided that a full book could be written regarding just about every produced movie – Lord knows there’s always enough behind the scenes drama to fill a daytime soap. But I love it. Who was supposed to be in what? Who wrote the script? That stuff. The success of X movie produced Y.
And here’s a story about a Robert Redford motorcycle picture called Little Fauss and Big Halsey, recently released for the first time on home video by Olive Films.
Al Ruddy came to Hollywood in the early 60s and as a young pup sold what has become a classic sitcom called Hogan’s Heroes. Ruddy and Charles Eastman wrote the script for Little Fauss and sold it to Paramount with a then hot director named Sidney Furie (who was bankable because of The Ipcress File and The Naked Runner). Redford was brought on board in the process as was my friend and lifelong Ruddy partner Gray Frederickson. [Read on here...]
We’re closing out the week with a bit more announcement news, and some more great Amazon Deals. Let’s get those out of the way first, because they’re pretty damn good and you have to act fast on one of them.
The first is a BD Deal of the Day for 20th Century Fox’s The X-Files: Complete Series Collector’s Set + The Event Series for just $119. That’s 60% off the regular SRP and yes, it does include The X-Files: Season Ten (aka “The Event Series”). You can see my review here. That one is for today only, so act fast.
Also, if you’re interested in moving up to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Amazon currently has Samsung’s UBD-K8500 3D/4K UHD Blu-ray Player for just $197 – down the already low $399! As you may know, I’ve reviewed this player in some depth recently here on The Bits (see this link). It was already a good deal at $399 and now at half that price it’s a steal. I’m still using this as my go-to 4K player here. There will be better 4K players available over the next year, but you’re going to pay a lot more than $197 for them. So I definitely recommend the UBD-K8500 at that price. [Read on here…]
We’ve got a great feature column for you today, along with some announcement news, and a couple more great Amazon Blu-ray deals to mention. Let’s start with that feature...
Our own Michael Coate has just posted a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column, offering a great look back at the James Bond film Casino Royale on its 10th anniversary. The column features another excellent roundtable discussion with film historians John Cork, Bill Desowitz, Lisa Funnell, Lee Pfeiffer, and Bruce Scivally. Don’t miss it! [Read on here…]
First up today, we’d like to send our warmest wishes to all you veterans out there on this Veterans Day 2016, whether you’re on duty now or have been in the past. From all of us here at The Bits, to you and your families, thank you for your service. Know that it’s appreciated.
All right, we’re closing out the week here at The Bits with my review of Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams, which is about to be released on Blu-ray Disc by Criterion. Look for it in stores next Tuesday. Let me tell you... it’s well worth your time and money. The film has quite simply never looked this good before and the Criterion team has once again assembled a wonderful batch of special features for Kurosawa fans. Don’t miss it. [Read on here…]
We’ve got some good announcement news to report today, a mix of new and catalog releases.
First up, Lionsgate has officially set Blair Witch for release on Blu-ray Combo, DVD, and Digital HD on 1/3/17 (SRP $39.99 and $29.95 for the discs). Extras will include audio commentary with director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett, the House of Horrors: Exploring the Set featurette, and the 6-part Never Ending Night: The Making of Blair Witch documentary (includes Primal Fear: Story Origins, Ambiguous Loss: The Cast, P.O.V.: On Location, Trapped in the Time Loop: Editing, Distorted Reality: Music and Sound Design, and The Reveal). You can see the cover artwork to the left and below. [Read on here…]