My Two Cents
We’re rounding out the week with a bit of new announcement news here at The Bits...
I’ll have a review of Akira Kurosawa’s Ran in 4K Ultra HD for you later today as well, but first I wanted to jump in early with some breaking news.
Universal Monsters fans may be pleased to learn that Tod Browning’s Dracula (1931) is now available for purchase on iTunes/Apple TV in 4K UHD with HDR. And the SRP is just $4.99. It looks fantastic—the high dynamic range really does make a difference in subtle things, like shadow detailing, candle and moonlight luminance, Dracula’s glowing white eyes, and the like.
As I mentioned in my review of the complete Universal Monsters Blu-ray Collection back in 2018, all of these films were remastered from new 4K scans. So potentially, they could all be made available in native 4K, both digitally and on disc. And in fact, we’ve had Dracula on our 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Bits for many months now. Both Dracula and Frankenstein celebrate their 90th anniversaries this year. The Mummy turns 90 next year, while The Wolf Man celebrates its 80th anniversary in 2021. [Read on here...]
All right, we’ll have a bit of additional announcement news for the week tomorrow here at The Bits, and I’ll be spending the afternoon working on a review of Akira Kurosawa’s Ran in 4K UHD, which will be posted then as well.
But today, I want to talk about Denis Villeneuve’s DUNE.
I had the opportunity last night to attend one of Warner and Legendary’s IMAX sneak peek events for the film as a member of the press.
A little background first... I would definitely go so far as to call myself an expert on the subject of science fiction cinema. I’ve been reading literary science fiction my entire life (including DUNE many times), I’m known in some circles to be well-versed on the topic human spaceflight, and I’m a life-long student of science in general. I read physics and astronomy research papers like some people read comic books.
So as I noted in my recent review of Voyagers in 4K, I have certain critical expectations of science fiction films and TV series. Is the story and its science setup plausible, or does it require too many contrivances or conveniences? Is the story logically consistent? Is the world-building credible and convincing? And most importantly, is the story entertaining, engaging, or thought-provoking? The vast majority of genre programming fails on one or more of those criteria. In other words, on both the big and small screen, truly great science fiction is rare. [Read on here...]
We begin our post today with a few more new disc reviews...
Dennis has posted his thoughts on the 1945 musical revue classic Ziegfeld Follies, an MGM title now available on Blu-ray from the Warner Archive Collection.
Dennis has also reviewed Billy Wilder’s The Emperor Waltz (1948), an old Paramount title that’s coming on Blu-ray in August from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.
And Stephen has checked in with his look at the latest entry in the Saw franchise, Darren Lynn Bousman’s Spiral (2021) on 4K Ultra HD from Lionsgate.
Speaking of 4K Ultra HD, the big news today is that Kino Lorber Studio Classics has just revealed that it’s going to be releasing Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs (1991) on 4K Ultra HD (with Blu-ray) on 10/19, featuring Dolby Vision HDR, a new audio commentary with film historian Tim Lucas, and lots of legacy extras. You can see the cover artwork at left. [Read on here...]
We’re starting this on today with more new disc reviews...
Tim has turned in his thoughts on Dario Argento’s The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) also in 4K Ultra HD, this time from Arrow Video.
Dennis has offered a look at Delbert Mann’s Fitzwilly (1967), which stars Dick Van Dyke and is coming on Blu-ray in August from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.
More reviews are on the way this week, so be sure to check back for them. [Read on here...]
All right, we’ll likely have at least one more review for you to check out later today, and we’re all working on more over the weekend. But in the meantime, we have a couple of quick site updates for you and some big announcement news to catch you all up on...
First, our own Michael Coate has delivered a great new History, Legacy & Showmanship column here at The Bits, featuring a look back at the theatrical release of Richard Lester’s Superman II. The retrospective includes an interview with our old friend Jim Bowers of the excellent Caped Wonder website. And we’d like to dedicate the piece to the memory of director Richard Donner, without whom the film would not be possible. So here’s Battle on Planet Houston: Remembering Superman II on its 40th Anniversary. Enjoy!
Also today, we’ve just posted a major update of our Release Dates & Artwork section, featuring lots of new Blu-ray and 4K UHD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, whenever you order literally anything from the retailer after clicking through to them from one our links, you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it.
Now then, let’s have some news... [Read on here...]