• It’s true: Universal will release The Back to the Future Trilogy on 4K Ultra HD in 2020 for its 35th anniversary
    It’s true: Universal will release The Back to the Future Trilogy on 4K Ultra HD in 2020 for its 35th anniversary
  • Criterion’s January Blu-ray slate includes classics by Godard, Lumet, Cukor, and Almodóvar
    Criterion’s January Blu-ray slate includes classics by Godard, Lumet, Cukor, and Almodóvar
  • Michael Coate and Matthew Kennedy celebrate the 50th anniversary of the classic musical Paint Your Wagon
    Michael Coate and Matthew Kennedy celebrate the 50th anniversary of the classic musical Paint Your Wagon
  • Marvel and Disney’s Infinity Saga Collector’s Edition BD/4K box set is a Best Buy exclusive (for half a grand)
    Marvel and Disney’s Infinity Saga Collector’s Edition BD/4K box set is a Best Buy exclusive (for half a grand)
  • Tim Salmons goes web-slinging with Jon Watts’s Spider-Man: Far From Home in 4K UHD from Sony & Marvel
    Tim Salmons goes web-slinging with Jon Watts’s Spider-Man: Far From Home in 4K UHD from Sony & Marvel
  • Bill reviews Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining in a stunning new 4K restoration from Warner Bros.
    Bill reviews Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining in a stunning new 4K restoration from Warner Bros.
  • Bill reviews James Gunn’s original Guardians of the Galaxy on 4K Ultra HD from Marvel & Disney
    Bill reviews James Gunn’s original Guardians of the Galaxy on 4K Ultra HD from Marvel & Disney
  • Lionsgate sets producer Guillermo del Toro’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark for BD, DVD & 4K on 11/5
    Lionsgate sets producer Guillermo del Toro’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark for BD, DVD & 4K on 11/5
  • Bill checks out Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange, now available in 4K from Disney and Marvel
    Bill checks out Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange, now available in 4K from Disney and Marvel
  • Michael Coate celebrates the 50th anniversary of TV’s The Brady Bunch with historian Herbie J Pilato
    Michael Coate celebrates the 50th anniversary of TV’s The Brady Bunch with historian Herbie J Pilato
  • Bill checks out Joe Dante’s Gremlins in 4K UHD from Warner Bros. in honor of the film’s 35th anniversary
    Bill checks out Joe Dante’s Gremlins in 4K UHD from Warner Bros. in honor of the film’s 35th anniversary
  • Bill spins the original Zombieland in 4K Ultra HD from Sony, just in time for the sequel in theaters next month
    Bill spins the original Zombieland in 4K Ultra HD from Sony, just in time for the sequel in theaters next month
  • The UHD Alliance unveils the Filmmaker Mode initiative to ensure 4K TVs display movies properly at home
    The UHD Alliance unveils the Filmmaker Mode initiative to ensure 4K TVs display movies properly at home
My Two Cents
October 21, 2019 - 1:10 pm

All right, first things first today...

I’m currently at work on a 4K Ultra HD review of MGM’s 007: The Daniel Craig Collection, which includes all four of the existing Craig Bond films. That will be up either later today or first thing AM.

The quick preview is that the films look very good, a nice uptick from Blu-ray in terms of the video quality, with a restrained HDR grade. For video, I’d score the films as follows… Casino Royale: B+, Quantum of Solace: A-, Skyfall: A, SPECTRE: A. The first two are 2K upsamples, while the latter two are native 4K DIs. Watch for more details in the review.

Now then... the big news today has to do with Universal and Amblin’s Back to the Future films. Universal Brand Development (a division of Universal Studios) has revealed today that The Back to the Future Trilogy will officially be coming to 4K Ultra HD next year (in 2020) in honor of the original film’s 35th anniversary. [Read on here...]

October 17, 2019 - 5:34 pm

We’ve got another new disc review for you to enjoy today...

I’m just posted my thoughts on HBO’s Deadwood: The Movie, written by David Milch and directed by Daniel Minahan. If you’re a fan of the original Deadwood TV series (reviewed here on Blu-ray), you should really appreciate what a fine piece of work it is (and what a miracle it is that it finally happened).

I should note here though that HBO has informed us they’re no longer sending out review product for most of their physical media releases (they’re deciding it on a title by title basis, essentially the same thing). That is a sorry state of affairs for a network of HBO’s pedigree. In any case, it means that we had to purchase our own copy of this title for the review, something will certainly not be doing often in the future. Sadly, we can only see this as yet another sign that physical media is waning.

In any case, we do thankfully have some good physical media news for you today... [Read on here...]

October 16, 2019 - 4:34 pm

We’ve got a quick update for you today, to report that Criterion has just announced their January 2020 Blu-ray and DVD titles.

They include: George Cukor’s Holiday (Spine #1009 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 1/7, Sidney Lumet’s The Fugitive Kind (Spine #515 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 1/14, Jean-Luc Godard’s Le petit soldat (Spine #1010 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 1/21, and Sidney Lumet’s Fail Safe (Spine #1111 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Pedro Almodóvar’s All About My Mother (Spine #1012 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 1/28.

We’ve updated our Criterion Spines Project page here at The Bits to include them, and you can read more about each title on the Criterion website. You can also see the cover artwork below. [Read on here...]

October 14, 2019 - 2:25 pm

All right, thanks for your patience while I was away at the end of last week. My father-in-law passed away, so my wife and I flew across the country to attend his memorial and see family.

But there’s a good deal to catch up on today news-wise, so let’s get right to it. First things first...

Yes, we are aware of the rumors that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is planning to bring The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films to 4K Ultra HD. They originated on the excellent 4K Filme.de website, which (I’m told) found the titles briefly listed on a Warner B2B website for German retailers. All six films were indicated for release on UHD (with the Extended Editions included) and with a tentative street date given of June 25, 2020. All right, now let’s put this in context...

First of all, there’s no doubt that Warner Bros. is going to release these films on physical 4K Ultra HD. These are literally their most demanded catalog titles on the format. Also, 2021 is the 20th anniversary of Fellowship of the Ring. And Amazon’s new Lord of the Rings prequel series, which reportedly begins production next month and will apparently be in production for two years, is likely to debut on Amazon Prime in late 2022. So the studio is certainly going to want to get those films ready for 4K release by then. [Read on here...]

October 14, 2019 - 1:00 am

This is a quick post to let you all know that Russell Hammond has just posted the weekly update of our Release Dates & Cover Artwork section here at The Digital Bits with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As a NEW feature, the section now lets you search for upcoming Blu-ray titles, DVD titles, AND 4K Ultra HD titles seperately to help you find exactly the ones you’re looking for. Just click on RELEASE DATES & ART on the menu bar above to visit the page, and use the search options in the red bar (at the top) to sort by format and date. Once you find a title you like, just click on the cover art and you’ll be taken right to the Amazon.com pre-order page. Thank you for shopping through our links!

- Bill Hunt

October 8, 2019 - 4:43 pm

All right, we start today with a bit of news for gamers that will also make physical media fans happy... or at least it should.

Sony has begun to reveal details about its forthcoming PlayStation 5 game console (and yes, that is the official name), which is due in late 2020 (in time for the holidays), and the great news is that they’ve confirmed it will have an optical 4K Ultra HD disc drive for movies and 100 GB optical game discs.

Other details include an SSD drive, an AMD Ryzen CPU, Navi GPU hardware with ray-tracing acceleration, controllers with adaptive triggers and improved speakers to boost haptic feedback, and more. You can read all the details here at Wired.

Now, here’s the thing: Physical media is in decline. There’s just no doubt about it. Sales are down, studios are getting more choosy about what they release on disc, and studios like Disney are dumping catalog titles on 4K disc ahead of paywalling them all as Digital 4K streams with HDR on Disney+. [Read on here...]

October 7, 2019 - 11:46 am

All right, we’ve got some big news for you MCU fans today.

But first...

Our own Tim Salmons has just completed his review of Sony and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Far From Home in 4K Ultra HD.

And I’ve turned in a review of Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War in 4K (which slipped through the cracks when it first came out), this hot on the heels of last week’s catalog MCU 4K reviews.

With those reviews, we have now reviewed nearly the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe in 4K Ultra HD here at The Digital Bits. [Read on here...]

October 3, 2019 - 12:45 pm

I’ve posted my thoughts on Disney and Marvel’s new Guardians of the Galaxy release on 4K Ultra HD this morning. This following yesterday’s review of Doctor Strange on the format.

And yes, you can expect my review of Ant-Man in 4K today.

Tim is also working on a review of Sony and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Far From Home in 4K, so watch for that soon.

Next up on my review plate are Warner’s Pan’s Labyrinth and The Shining in 4K, so watch for at least one of them tomorrow (and both by next week).

In announcement news today, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has revealed that Easy Rider is now available in Digital 4K with HDR on various streaming platforms in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary. There appear to be no plans to release it on physical 4K. [Read on here...]

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