There’s some new release news to report today, and then we’re going to return to the topic of physical media in the wake of the news about Samsung on Friday.

But first, late on Friday afternoon, Criterion announced their May Blu-ray release slate, which is set to include William Wyler’s The Heiress (Cat #974 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 5/7, an updating of David Mamet’s House of Games (Cat #399 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Michael Haneke’s Funny Games (Cat #975 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 5/14, Claire Denis’ Let the Sunshine In (Cat #976 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 5/21, and Agnès Varda’s One Sings, the Other Doesn’t (Cat #978 – Blu-ray and DVD) and David Lynch’s Blue Velvet (Cat #977 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 5/28. We’ve updated our Criterion Spines Project page here at The Bits to include these titles and you can read more about them here.

Speaking of Criterion, we also learned on Friday that the Russian film studio Mosfilm has completed a new 2K restoration of Sergei Bondarchuk’s epic 1966-67 film adaptation of War and Peace. The 7-hour/4-part series is legendary in cinema history as the biggest production ever mounted, besting even David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia by having an essentially unlimited budget, a bottomless supply of props and costumes from the country’s state museums, and a cast of thousands. The film was shot on Russian Sovscope 70mm film stock, but unfortunately it’s suffered from preservation issues over the years. That’s meant the only good options available for viewing in recent years have been DVD versions of modest quality. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

So… this is going to be an interesting post for you longtime Bits readers. It’s been interesting for me to compose, certainly, writing it as I do from the perspective of someone who’s covered the home video industry now for more than twenty years (and followed it since the 1980s). I hope it will be at least thought-provoking to you all. But I’ll get to the meat of it in a moment.

First, let me take care of a bit of routine business: We’ve posted (in the last 24 hours) no less than seven new Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD reviews, beginning with my own in-depth look at Damien Chazelle’s First Man in 4K, a film which I believe is a masterpiece and one that will come to be regarded as such with time.

Also newly posted here are Tim’s thoughts on one of my favorite François Truffaut films, Jules and Jim, as released on Blu-ray from Criterion, along with Tony Williams’ Next of Kin from Umbrella Entertainment. You’ll find too Dennis Seuling’s take on Drew Goddard’s Bad Times at the El Royale on Blu-ray from Fox and the documentary Tea with the Dames on DVD from MPI. Finally, we have David’s take on Anne of the Thousand Days from Twilight Time and Godard Mon Amour from Cohen Media, both on Blu-ray. All of these films are worth a look and we hope you enjoy them. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents
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