• Bill reviews Andrew Stanton’s WALL•E (2008) in a one-off 4K Ultra HD collaboration between Criterion & Disney
    Bill reviews Andrew Stanton’s WALL•E (2008) in a one-off 4K Ultra HD collaboration between Criterion & Disney
  • Bill reviews Tarantino’s masterpiece, PULP FICTION (1994), in a reference-quality 4K remaster from Paramount
    Bill reviews Tarantino’s masterpiece, PULP FICTION (1994), in a reference-quality 4K remaster from Paramount
  • Arrow Video sets Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor (1987) for UK-only 4K Ultra HD on 2/13
    Arrow Video sets Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor (1987) for UK-only 4K Ultra HD on 2/13
  • Bill reviews Quentin Tarantino’s debut, RESERVOIR DOGS (1992), in a handsome 4K Ultra HD from Lionsgate
    Bill reviews Quentin Tarantino’s debut, RESERVOIR DOGS (1992), in a handsome 4K Ultra HD from Lionsgate
  • Bob Iger replaces Bob Chapek as Disney CEO: Here’s hoping he fixes its languishing Home Entertainment division
    Bob Iger replaces Bob Chapek as Disney CEO: Here’s hoping he fixes its languishing Home Entertainment division
  • Turbine sets an all-region 4K UHD box set of Peter Jackson’s THE FRIGHTENERS (1996) for release on 12/2
    Turbine sets an all-region 4K UHD box set of Peter Jackson’s THE FRIGHTENERS (1996) for release on 12/2
  • Michael Jackson’s THRILLER and BEAT IT music videos have been restored in 4K!
    Michael Jackson’s THRILLER and BEAT IT music videos have been restored in 4K!
  • Bill reviews Steven Spielberg’s E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL in 40th Anniversary 4K UHD from Universal
    Bill reviews Steven Spielberg’s E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL in 40th Anniversary 4K UHD from Universal
  • Tim reviews Brian De Palma’s DRESSED TO KILL (1980) in 4K Ultra HD from KL Studio Classics
    Tim reviews Brian De Palma’s DRESSED TO KILL (1980) in 4K Ultra HD from KL Studio Classics
  • Criterion’s February slate offers Kieślowski’s THREE COLORS in 4K, plus Zeffirelli, Linklater, Townsend & Duras!
    Criterion’s February slate offers Kieślowski’s THREE COLORS in 4K, plus Zeffirelli, Linklater, Townsend & Duras!
  • BREAKING: Warner Bros. is working to release David Fincher’s SE7EN in 4K Ultra HD early in 2023!
    BREAKING: Warner Bros. is working to release David Fincher’s SE7EN in 4K Ultra HD early in 2023!
  • Bill reviews Bob Clark’s beloved A CHRISTMAS STORY (1983) lovingly remastered in 4K UHD by Warner Bros.
    Bill reviews Bob Clark’s beloved A CHRISTMAS STORY (1983) lovingly remastered in 4K UHD by Warner Bros.
  • Tim reviews Douglas Trumbull’s sci-fi eco-morality tale SILENT RUNNING (1972) in 4K from Arrow Video
    Tim reviews Douglas Trumbull’s sci-fi eco-morality tale SILENT RUNNING (1972) in 4K from Arrow Video
  • Bill reviews Jon Favreau’s Christmas comedy classic ELF (2003) in sparkling 4K Ultra HD from Warner Bros.
    Bill reviews Jon Favreau’s Christmas comedy classic ELF (2003) in sparkling 4K Ultra HD from Warner Bros.
  • Michael Coate celebrates THE GODFATHER at 50 with an epic 11-page/22-chapter retrospective and interview!
    Michael Coate celebrates THE GODFATHER at 50 with an epic 11-page/22-chapter retrospective and interview!
  • BREAKING: Warner to release Superman II (theatrical & Donner Cut), III & IV in 4K Ultra HD in early 2023!
    BREAKING: Warner to release Superman II (theatrical & Donner Cut), III & IV in 4K Ultra HD in early 2023!
  • BREAKING: Warner plans to release both versions of William Friedkin’s THE EXORCIST in 4K Ultra HD in 2023
    BREAKING: Warner plans to release both versions of William Friedkin’s THE EXORCIST in 4K Ultra HD in 2023
My Two Cents
Wednesday, 30 November 2022 15:43

We’ve got no less than five more new disc reviews for you all to enjoy today...

I’ve just posted my thoughts on Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs (1992) in 4K Ultra HD from Lionsgate.

Stephen has checked in with a look at Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) in 4K Ultra HD from Vinegar Syndrome.

Dennis has reviewed Julien Temple’s Earth Girls Are Easy (1988), the new Vestron Video Collector’s Series title on Blu-ray from Lionsgate.

And Tim has taken a look at Lewis Gilbert’s Damn the Defiant! (1962) on Blu-ray from Imprint Films, as well as Montgomery Tully and Dennis O’Keefe’s The Diamond Wizard (1954) on Blu-ray 3D from Kino Lorber Studio Classics, via a great new restoration by the 3-D Film Archive.

In announcement news today, Lionsgate has set Hype Williams’ Belly for release on 4K Ultra HD on 1/24/23. There will be a wide release that includes a Blu-ray and Digital copy, along with a Best Buy-exclusive Steelbook package. Look for the package to have a new Dolby Atmos mix, along with the following special features: audio commentary with Williams, Spoken Word, a deleted scene, and the Grand Finale music video. [Read on here...]

Monday, 28 November 2022 17:47

Well, today is Cyber Monday, which means there are still a number of good deals to be had on things around the Internet. So rather than repeating my comments from last week about Black Friday, I’ll just remind you that if you go looking for deals on Amazon today, please be sure to use one of our affiliate links (if you’d care to support our work here at The Bits in the process).

Now then, our own holiday was lovely here in SoCal. My wife’s cousin joined us for Thanksgiving, which involved eating some great food (both the usual turkey and stuffing, as well as mighty fine barbecue the day after), watching a lot of football as well as some terrific movies (including revisiting David Mackenzie’s Hell or High Water and James Mangold’s Ford v Ferrari) and a few TV series too (the season finale of Andor is fantastic—I haven’t enjoyed Star Wars this much since 1983). I also did a little bit of actual shopping, which amounted to picking up a hooded vest to wear in the office when it gets chilly and upgrading my old Pixel 3a phone to a new 6a thanks to an offer from Google that was too good to refuse. Finally, we got our Christmas tree up and decorated. So all in all, it was an enjoyable long weekend. And I certainly hope you all had a good one as well!

We’re starting today with a pair of new disc reviews for you to enjoy this afternoon...

Tim has posted his thoughts on the Terry Jones comedy Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (1983) in 4K Ultra HD from Universal, as well as John Badham’s Saturday Night Fever (1977) in 4K Ultra HD from Paramount. Sadly, that latter is something of a disappointment. But I’ll let Tim explain that to you.

Again, watch for more new disc reviews all this week here on The Digital Bits. [Read on here...]

Friday, 25 November 2022 12:36

Well, it’s the Friday after Thanksgiving, so I’m sure you all know what that means: There are a HUGE number of Black Friday sales going on at online stores around the Internet and at brick-and-mortar retailers near you. Seemingly everyone is offering 40 or 70% discounts, so be sure to take advantage if there’s something you’re looking for.

Here at The Digital Bits, we’re obviously an Amazon affiliate, so if you are busy shopping for online deals today via that particular retailer, we would certainly appreciate it if you clicked through one of our affiliate links first (like this one for US readers, or these for Canadian, UK, French, Spanish, Japanese, or German readers). Once you click through any of our links, literally anything you purchase in that same shopping session counts in our favor and it makes a big difference in helping to support our work here, so we really do appreciate it.

Of course, we hope all you U.S. readers had a great Thanksgiving holiday yesterday. We certainly did here at The Bits, and—given the holiday—there’s not a ton of release news to report. But we do have a few things of note to talk about, and we have a few new disc reviews as well. So let’s cover those reviews first... [Read on here...]

Tuesday, 22 November 2022 17:26

Well, the big news this week is so big that we’re going to address it right off the top: In a sudden and unexpected move, Disney’s board of directors has ousted CEO Bob Chapek and re-hired Bob Iger. The news came out of the blue on Sunday night and seems to have taken everyone by surprise. Bob Iger of course was the company’s previous CEO, who took over for Michael Eisner—the man who’d served in that role for over two decades at that point—back in 2005. It was under Iger’s watch that Disney acquired Pixar, Marvel Entertainment, Lucasfilm, and the film division of 20th Century Fox. He also laid the groundwork for the launch of Disney+ in 2019.

Chapek was no stranger to Disney, having joined the company in 1993 as the director of marketing for Buena Vista Home Entertainment. In this capacity he helped steer Disney through the “Golden Age” of DVD and eventually the launch of Blu-ray, which is how I came to know him. He was so successful in that capacity that he was promoted to president of Home Entertainment in 2006, and eventually took over at Disney Consumer Products (in 2011) and Parks and Resorts (in 2015), which seemed to make him a natural fit to become CEO of Disney himself when Iger eventually stepped down.

But apparently, Iger and Chapek did not often see eye to eye. Iger, who could (and probably should) have worked more aggressively to groom a clear successor to lead the company in his own image, failed to do so, resulting in Chapek’s elevation to CEO in 2020. But Chapek’s reign was troubled from the very start, stricken first by the COVID-19 pandemic and next by a series of public “self-owns” and media missteps. [Read on here...]

Friday, 18 November 2022 17:50

All right, I’m still working on that Criterion WALL-E 4K review and hope to have it up this weekend. Real life got in the way a little bit here over the last couple of days, not to mention some necessary behind-the-scenes work here at the site. But I will say this: Both the 4K presentation and the accompanying Blu-ray presentation, are absolutely fantastic. As in best-ever image quality for this film.

In the meantime, Tim has posted his thoughts on Rod Serling’s Night Gallery: Season Three on Blu-ray from our friends over at Kino Lorber Studio Classics. Sounds like it’s another fabulous set with more great extras.

And we do have several good pieces of release news to report here at the site today...

First, Turbine Media in Germany has finally announced their planned 6-Disc 4K Ultra HD Ultimate Edition of Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners (1996) for release on 12/2 (Yes, that is a Friday—keep in mind, this is a German release). The film has been fully remastered from the original camera negative and graded for high dynamic range (including Dolby Vision) in a process supervised by the director. [Read on here...]

Thursday, 17 November 2022 10:16

Morning, folks! We’ve got an early update here on The Bits today with a few more new disc reviews, and some interesting release news as well. First, those reviews...

I’ve just completed a look at Universal’s new E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial: 40th Anniversary Edition 4K Ultra HD release, which came out a few weeks ago. It’s interesting in that both the 4K and accompanying Blu-ray are completely new discs, each of which carries over all the extras from the previous 35th Anniversary release while adding a couple of new features too. A/V quality is essentially the same as before, though the 4K disc is now a BD-100, presumably to allow for the addition of the special features. You can learn more here.

Tim has also just completed a review of Harry Essex’s I, the Jury (1953) which is now available in 4K from ClassicFlix. The package includes a Blu-ray as well, featuring the film in HD and also 3D. And he’s posted a review of Brian De Palma’s Dressed to Kill (1980) in 4K from Kino Lorber Studio Classics for your reading enjoyment too.

More reviews are forthcoming soon, including my take on Criterion’s new 4K Ultra HD release of WALL-E from Pixar.

Also here at the site this morning, we’d like to call your attention to Michael Coate’s retrospective look at Steven Spielberg’s sci-if classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which celebrated its 45th anniversary yesterday. Michael shared a great Q&A with film historians on the occasion of its 40th anniversary in 2017, and that discussion is well worth checking out if you missed it then. You’ll also find interesting details on the film’s original theatrical release. Enjoy! [Read on here...]

Tuesday, 15 November 2022 17:44

As promised, we’re checking back in today with another trio of new disc reviews…

First, I’ve just posted my thoughts on Clint Eastwood’s rough yet riveting western High Plains Drifter (1973) in 4K Ultra HD from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

Tim has taken a look at Ardman Animations’ A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (2019), new on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory.

And Dennis has delivered his take on George Marshall’s Fancy Pants (1950) on Blu-ray, also from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

More reviews are on the way tomorrow, so be sure to watch for them. [Read on here...]

Monday, 14 November 2022 18:11

All right, it’s been a week since we’ve had a news update here at the site, and the reason is two-fold: First, there just hasn’t been a lot of news to report. And second, given that fact, we’ve all been working hard on a TON of new disc reviews here at The Bits. In fact, I’ve personally pledged to post a new 4K Ultra HD review each day all this week here at The Bits. So we’ll start today with the ones I’ve completed so far...

Now available for your reading enjoyment are my reviews of Paramount’s Halo: Season One – Limited Edition Steelbook, Kino Lorber Studio Classics’ Mystery Men, and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Elf and A Christmas Story, all in 4K Ultra HD. But the guys have been busy too...

To this, Tim has added his thoughts on Douglas Trumbull’s Silent Running (4K UHD) and The Count Yorga Collection (Blu-ray) from Arrow Video, the Species: Collector’s Edition (4K UHD) from Scream Factory, and Quiet Days in Clichy (4K UHD) from Blue Underground.

Stephen has contributed his takes on Married to the Mob (Blu-ray), Vortex (Blu-ray), and The Iceman Cometh (Blu-ray) from Vinegar Syndrome, Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons (4K UHD) from Warner, Golden Boy (Blu-ray) from Imprint, X (4K UHD) from Capelight Pictures, and The Sporting Club (Blu-ray) from Kino Lorber.

And Dennis has offered his take on the Barfly: Limited Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray) and Storm Center (Blu-ray) both from Imprint.

As I said a moment ago, still more reviews are on the way all this week, so be sure to keep checking back for them. [Read on here...]

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