My Two Cents
Tuesday, 07 January 2014 12:18

Dallas Buyers, Sorcerer, Twin Peaks update, Oldboy & more from CES, plus Run Run Shaw RIP

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All right, we’ve got a very quick Rumor Mill post for you this morning, featuring an update on CBS’ anticipated Blu-ray release of Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery.  Don’t miss it.

Speaking of CBS, note that we’ll be back later this afternoon with a review of their new Star Trek: Enterprise – Season Three on Blu-ray Disc.  The set streets today and, if you’re a Trek fan, it’s worth the money.  They’ve packed it with tons of great content, as always.

In announcement news today, Universal has set Dallas Buyers Club for Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 2/4.  The only extra is a featurette (A Look Inside Dallas Buyers Club).  [Read on here…]

Universal has also set About Time for Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 2/4.  Extras will include audio commentary with director Richard Curtis and actors Domhnall Gleeson, Bill Nighy, Vanessa Kirby, Lydia Wilson, and Tom Hollander, deleted scenes with intros by Curtis, a blooper reel, 2 music videos, and 3 featurettes (About Tim and Time Travel, The Look, Style and Locations, and The World of Richard Curtis).

Meanwhile this is great news: Warner has officially announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of William Friedkin’s remastered Sorcerer on 4/22 (SRP $27.98 and $12.96).  The Blu-ray will arrive in BD Book packaging that will include photos and excerpts from the book The Friedkin Connection: a Memoir.  The film has been remastered in 4K from the original 35mm camera negative under the supervision of Warner’s chief preservation officer, Ned Price, as well as both director William Friedkin and his longtime colorist, Bryan McMahan.  The soundtrack has also been restored from the original 35mm 4-track stereo masters.  We’ll post cover artwork as soon as it’s available.

Warner Home Video has also set Clint Eastwood’s The Bridges of Madison Country for Blu-ray release on 5/6 (SRP $19.98).  It’s a fine film, but where are catalog titles like Wuthering Heights and The Magnificent Ambersons, or Paramount catalog entries (which they control) like the original War of the Worlds and When Worlds Collide?

Moving on... Sony has announced director Spike Lee’s remake of Oldboy for Blu-ray and DVD on 3/4 (SRP $40.99 and $30.99).  Extras will include extended and alternate scenes, and 3 featurettes (The Making of Oldboy, Talking Heads and Transformation).

They also have the spoof The Hungover Games set for Blu-ray and DVD on 3/11.

And Sony has also set Adventure in Sahara, The White Squaw, And So They Were Married, Bait (1954), The Boy from Stalingrad, The Burglar (1947), Mr. Soft Touch, Passion Flower, and Side Out for MOD DVD release on 3/4 as part of their Sony Pictures Choice Collection.

Meanwhile, at CES in Vegas today, all the buzz seems to surround the so-called “Internet of Things” which is the idea that every electronic device you purchase – and some unusual things like LED light bulbs, clothing and other items – will all feature built-in computers that will send and receive data from the Internet.  Essentially, everything becomes “smart.”  It’s a fascinating idea, but I have to imagine that’s a security nightmare (see this piece at Wired).

Also big at CES again this year are Smart TVs, including “curved” 4K displays (a total gimmick – the whole point of a flat TV is that it takes up less space and can be hung on the wall – on an amusing side note, see director Michael Bay’s onstage promotional meltdown during the Samsung event from yesterday here), THX-certified 4K TVs, Roku TVs (that feature Roku content access built-in), and more of the same.

And though it’s still little more than a high-end, niche market curiosity, 4K and/or UHD continues to be widely promoted at CES by display manufacturers, with numerous content providers promising 4K streamable content that you can play on your outrageously expensive new 4K set.  Netflix says it will begin 4K streaming with the new season of House of Cards, Amazon promises that its Prime streaming service will have 4K content (with partners Samsung, Lionsgate and Warner Bros), and Comcast, DirecTV and studios like Paramount are promising to make 4K content available to Samsung UHD TVs as well – select Samsung TVs will even come pre-loaded with Paramount 4K titles.  It’s all very fascinating, but I still strongly suspect that regular HD will be more than enough for the vast majority of consumers for the next 5-10 years.  I’ve said it many times before: 4K and 3D are here to stay, but adoption rates are going to be very, very slow.  My guess is that only when truly high-quality 4K autostereoscopic 3D is finally ready for primetime will you really see it begin to take off, and then only after prices drop significantly – at which point one wonders what “next big thing” TV manufacturers will already be onto.  (Hint: We already know.  It’s 8K.  And one suspects the Sony Brainman – a.k.a. “The Internet in Your Head” – is already on the drawing board.  LOL.)

Finally today, on a completely different note, we must take a moment to acknowledge the passing yesterday of legendary Shaw Brothers Studios co-founder Run Run Shaw.  It should go without saying that the Shaw Brothers had a tremendous influence on martial arts films, but Shaw also helped to produce Ridley Scott’s 1982 Blade Runner.  He was a whopping 106 years old.  Our hats off to him.

We’ll leave you this morning with a look at the Blu-ray cover artwork for Universal’s Dallas Buyers Club, Warner’s The Bridges of Madison County and Universal Music’s The Velvet Underground: White Light/White Heat Blu-ray Audio release (due 2/11)…

Dallas Buyers Club (Blu-ray Disc)    The Bridges of Madison County (Blu-ray Disc)    The Velvet Underground: White Light/White Heat (Blu-ray Audio)

Don’t forget to check back for our Star Trek: Enterprise BD review.  Stay tuned…

- Bill Hunt


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