My Two Cents
Wednesday, 18 January 2023 18:31

The Star Trek: TNG films are indeed coming in 4K on 4/4, plus Flashdance, a Cameron UHD update, Coppola’s B’Twixt & Tencent’s Three-Body series

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Well, there’s never a dull moment in this business and today is certainly a perfect example that. We’ve got some good Star Trek 4K news for you this afternoon, and a little bit of James Cameron 4K news too. Plus some other good announcements and links on top of all that! But first, more new disc reviews...

We start with Stephen, who’s turned in a look at Ivan Passer’s Cutter’s Way (1981), new on Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome.

Next up, Dennis has delivered his take on Don Owen’s Nobody Waved Goodbye (1964) on Blu-ray, also from Vinegar Syndrome.

Last but not least: Tim has taken a deep dive into Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan, and Corey Yuen’s Dragons Forever (1988) which is new on 4K Ultra HD from the good people of 88 Films.

Keeping on the 4K theme today, retail sources are finally starting to confirm word we first broke here at The Bits back on December 19th (see here), specifically that the Star Trek: The Next Generation feature films are going to be arriving from Paramount on 4/4, just in time for “First Contact Day” and also the final episodes of Terry Matalas’ Star Trek: Picard – Season Three! [Read on here...]

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Right now, it looks like we’ll be getting individual 4K SKUs of Star Trek: Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, and Star Trek: Nemesis, along with a Star Trek: The Next Generation Motion Picture Collection.

Not only have our friends over at HD Movie Source just listed them for pre-order, sources at a couple of other major online retailers have informed us that the titles are now appearing in their internal databases, which means they should start showing up on the Best Buy, Target, and Amazon websites in the coming weeks.

And while we’re taking Paramount, retail sources are also reporting that Adrian Lyne’s Flashdance (1983) is coming to 4K Ultra HD from the studio on 4/11.

Naturally, all of these titles are to be considered unofficial until the studio makes its actual announcement, which we would expect to happen in the next few weeks.

But hey... we’re not done with 4K news yet, and this is a big one. We first broke the news many months ago that Disney and 21st Century Fox would be releasing James Cameron’s original Avatar in 4K Ultra HD sometime this year, timed to coincide with the home release of the new sequel Avatar: The Way of Water. But the home video street date for that has been (and continues to be) in a state of flux, because the film is still performing very strongly at the box office, and Disney would like to keep it in theaters for as long as that continues. We’ve also reported that Cameron’s The Abyss (1989) would finally be coming to 4K Ultra HD and probably remastered Blu-ray this year as well, and it was initially confirmed by Cameron—in recent press interviews amid the PR blitz for The Way of Water—that fans should expect this to happen by March.

Now... a little side note with a bit of home video history for context: Even as I’ve worked to chase down more details on all of this here at The Bits, my industry sources have also begun to tell me to expect Disney and Fox to release Cameron’s True Lies (1994) on 4K Ultra HD and remastered Blu-ray too sometime later in 2023. But I’ve been sitting on that news until I can get additional confirmation. It’s just always a good policy, especially with these particular titles, which have taken a long and convoluted road to Blu-ray and 4K going all the way back to 2017 (see here) and indeed as far back as 2013 (click here for that). The gist of all that was, then 20th Century Fox actually prepared new Blu-ray special editions of both The Abyss and True Lies in 2014, but Cameron refused to approve them. (And I was later able to confirm all of this directly with senior Fox Home Entertainment executives before the studio was absorbed by Disney.)

Well, cut back to three days ago at the 2023 Critics’ Choice Awards: Cameron was once again asked about True Lies and The Abyss finally coming to 4K and he replied that both were due sometime in “the second half of 2023.” Thanks to Bits reader Jon H. (and several others) for the heads-up on this.

Given the convoluted home video history of all these Cameron titles, I’m sure there will be a plenty of “Yeah, right” and “I’ll believe it when I see it” responses. Totally understand. But I have confirmed with multiple sources now that these films are being worked on for 4K Ultra HD release. So I’m just dropping that here, and we can all compare notes again on December 31st, 2023 to see what’s happened by then.

(Believe me, I’m just as sick of reporting about these titles as you guys are of hearing about them. I’m very much looking forward to the day when we can all just watch them in 4K and stop talking about them.)

A couple of other release notes today...

Lionsgate has informed us that Francis Ford Coppola’s B’Twixt Now and Sunrise Blu-ray, which is due to street on Blu-ray and Digital on 2/28, will include one special feature: Twixt: A Documentary by Gia Coppola. You can see the cover art below.

Also, Crunchyroll is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Cowboy Bebop with a new complete series Blu-ray box set on 4/4. This limited edition will include a metal collector’s box packaging, 5 character art cards, a new 25th anniversary celebration video, and all of the previous Blu-ray extras. Here’s what that looks like...

Cowboy Bebop: The Complete Series 25th Anniversary Edition (4K Ultra HD)

I’ve also been informed by Vinegar Syndrome and OCN Distribution that the two sister companies have just made new distribution partnership deals with Umbrella Entertainment, XYZ Films, and The Film Desk. This in addition to the over 20 other partner labels the companies already work with, like AGFA and Canadian International Pictures. So watch for a ton more great titles from Umbrella, XYZ, and Film Desk to start becoming available via Vinegar Syndrome and OCN in the year ahead. Very cool news indeed!

Finally today, do we have any fans of literary science fiction in the house? That’s a rhetorical question—I know for a fact we do. Well, you guys are probably aware of Chinese author Liu Cixin’s fantastic Three-Body Trilogy. Two different television adaptations of these books have been commissioned, including a Chinese version by Tencent Video and an American one by Netflix (produced by David Benioff and DB Weiss, with Alexander Woo). The reason I mention this today, is that the Chinese adaptation just premiered a couple of days ago, and Tencent is actually making the episodes available for free with English subtitles on YouTube! And having seen the first few episodes now, let me tell you: It’s pretty damn good. You can watch them yourself here, and I highly recommend checking the series out:

All right, that’s all for today. And yes, I know it was a lot!

We’ll leave you with a look at the cover artwork for the April Criterion titles—all of which are now available for pre-order on Amazon—along with B’Twixt Now and Sunrise and The Core 4K (what you see below is indeed the final official cover artwork)...

The Fisher King (4K Ultra HD) The Seventh Seal (4K Ultra HD) Triangle of Sadness (4K Ultra HD)

Small Axe (Blu-ray Disc) The Core (4K Ultra HD) B'Twixt Now and Sunrise (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...!

(You can follow Bill on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook)



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