My Two Cents

Afternoon, folks! I hope you all had a fine weekend. My wife and I have had family visiting for the past few days, so it’s been a nice to catch up. And it seems to have finally stopped raining here in Southern California, so we’ve had nice weather in which to do it.

We’ve got a bunch of interesting new announcement news for you this afternoon, as well as some interesting leaks and pre-order listings for titles that have yet to be announced but could be soon. Let’s get right to it...  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show is finally under way in Las Vegas today, with a number of the major CE manufacturers holding big press conferences to announce their product line-ups for the year. In fact, I’ve just now sat through Samsung’s big press event (more on that in a minute). I’ll check back in with more tomorrow, but for now let’s get to what news we have so far concerning 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray at the show...

In terms of new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player hardware, obviously Oppo Digital has just launched their debut player on the format, the UDP-203 (SRP $549). I’ve been testing this unit for about a week now and it’s just tremendous. For a first-generation player, it’s very solid, very fast, and it plays just about everything – Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, DVD-Audio, CD, and SACD, plus a wide variety of digital video and audio formats via network and USB. It’s compatible with HDR-10 right out of the box, and it’s also hardware compatible with Dolby Vision; a firmware update in the months ahead will add full Dolby Vision compatibility (keep in mind that no Dolby Vision UHD BD software is yet available, though software is forthcoming – again, more in a moment – and you can stream it now via Netflix and Vudu). Oppo is also working on an audiophile-upgraded version of this player, the UDP-205 (SRP around $1K), due for release later this year. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Okay, we’ve got some good stuff for you today here at The Bits...

First up, our own Michael Coate has just turned in another new History, Legacy & Showmanship column here at the site, this time featuring a look back at Michael Todd’s Around the World in 80 Days in honor of the film’s 60th anniversary! His roundtable discussion includes film historians Sheldon Hall, Martin Hart, and Kim Holston. Do give it a look, as we think you’ll really enjoy it. And, believe it or not, Michael has one last retrospective History, Legacy & Showmanship column for 2016 coming tomorrow afternoon, so be sure to check back then for it.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
Friday, 28 October 2016 00:01

Pick-Ups for the Week of October 24, 2016

Welcome to a new edition of Pick-Ups!

I hope you’re all enjoying your various Halloween marathons, parties, and other activities. I’ve been busy getting a lot of reviews ready as this has been a heavy couple of months for horror releases, as I’m sure you already know. I know I won’t get to all of it before the month is out, but I’ll get to as many of them as I can. I have some good titles lined up for the rest of this week and, hopefully, we won’t have a repeat of Friday and we can stay on schedule.

Anyways, let’s move on to some reviews. [Read on here…]

Published in Dailies
Thursday, 06 October 2016 12:00

Pick-Ups for the Week of October 3, 2016

Welcome to a new edition of Pick-Ups!

Welcome to October! I’ve been gone on vacation for the past couple of weeks, but it’s good to be back. I have a lot of reviews to get in this month, including both new and older titles that we haven’t covered here previously, so be prepared for that. I also have a new bi-weekly feature at the beginning of next month, and if you’re a Scream Factory fan, you will definitely appreciate it.

And since it’s the Halloween season, I’ll be attending several theatrical events this month. This weekend we checked out Tim Burton’s latest, which is Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and anybody who follows me on Facebook knows how I felt about it... not good. Anyways, Rifftrax is doing a live riffing of Carnival of Souls later this month as well, which I’m a little torn over, but I never miss one of their shows. Also, on October 5 (Wednesday), Fathom Events is presenting Young Frankenstein in theaters for a one night event, which includes a live introduction from Mel Brooks himself. I’m also attending a marathon of all of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies on October 29 at my local Alamo Drafthouse. Needless to say, Halloween certainly keeps me busy every year.

And if you’re staying in for much of Halloween this year, then there’s plenty on TV to check out. As a matter of fact, you might want to clear your DVRs as there is a ton of Halloween programming, especially on Turner Classic Movies. They’re showing quite a range of monster movies, slashers, and everything in between. You can read all about it here.

Anyways, let’s move on to some reviews. [Read on here…]

Published in Dailies

All right, today’s post is going to be a quick one, as I’m celebrating my 26th wedding anniversary with my lovely wife, Sarah. But we do have a couple bits of very good news for you…

The first big announcement today is that CBS, Paramount, and the estate of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry are officially releasing a 3-disc Blu-ray collection on 12/13 called Star Trek: The Original Series – The Roddenberry Vault. Produced by our old friend Roger Lay, Jr., who created many of the amazing features for the recent Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek: The Next Generation Blu-rays, this set will contain 12 classic Original Series episodes (specifically The Corbomite Maneuver, Arena, Space Seed, This Side of Paradise, The Devil in the Dark, The City on the Edge of Forever, Operation – Annihilate!, Metamorphosis, Who Mourns for Adonais?, Mirror, Mirror, The Trouble with Tribbles, and Return to Tomorrow) along with 3 new documentaries, including Inside the Roddenberry Vault (featuring Rod Roddenberry looking at long-lost film reels), Star Trek: Revisiting a Classic (a retrospective look at back at the making of the series), and Strange New Worlds: Visualizing the Fantastic (a look at the series’ visual effects and futuristic technology).  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

First up today, our own Russell Hammond has updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray and DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, whenever you order items from Amazon after clicking through one of our links you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we truly appreciate it.

Now then… a quick Lord of the Rings update: We’ve learned from sources that it’s unlikely Warner has created much in the way of new disc-based content for these new Middle Earth Blu-ray box sets that have appeared on Amazon. We’re going to have to wait for official announcements, but more likely these are just repackages of existing discs in new packaging, probably with all-new swag items – a typical Warner move on Ultimate Collector’s Edition catalog releases in recent years. But we’ll see soon enough.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’re starting the week with a new Blu-ray review from Tim Salmons, who has checked out Criterion’s The Kid for you today. Do give it a look.

I’m currently working on my reviews of Batman v Superman, Watchmen, and Man of Steel in 4K, but it might take a few days to get them finished. Sarah and I have had a never-ending stream of family visitors here in SoCal this summer, so it’s been tricky to get a lot of work done. The last of these visitors arrives tonight for a few days, so I appreciate your patience.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Congratulations to Eric Klein from Astoria, New York! He’s the winner of our 4K Ultra HD Giveaway featuring the complete Divergent Trilogy (Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant)! We’ll contact you shortly Eric to arrange shipping your prize.

Divergent (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)    Insurgent (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)    Allegiant (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)

Thanks again to Lionsgate for providing the titles (which arrive in stores tomorrow) and thanks to all those of you who entered!

- Bill Hunt (@BillHuntBits)

Published in My Two Cents
Friday, 03 June 2016 10:48

Pick-Ups for the Week of May 31, 2016

Welcome to a new edition of Pick-Ups!

Thank you for tuning in. This past week, I caught a screening of The Nice Guys and I’m happy to report that it’s one of my favorite films of the year. Movie studios need to ignore its not-so-great box office reception and continue to let Shane Black write and direct more movies, in my opinion. He’s done very few, and that needs to change because they’ve all been excellent, especially this new one. [Read on here...]

Published in Dailies
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