My Two Cents
Tuesday, 14 February 2017 15:10

Fences official, plus the 4K floodgates are opening: Gladiator, Bridge on the River Kwai & more are on the way

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All right, folks... this is one of those posts it’s fun to write. None of this news has been officially announced, it comes from retail sources. But we know from our other industry sources that this information is legit. The street dates may change, but the titles should all be forthcoming.

The Swedish video retailer has just listed for pre-order a number of catalog titles that we’ve known were either in production or planning for a while now, but the news is starting to break. They include (listed by studio and European street date):

Universal – The Mummy (1999 – 5/22), The Mummy Returns (5/22), The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (5/22), Despicable Me (6/12), Despicable Me 2 (6/12), Gladiator (6/12)

Sony – The Bridge on the River Kwai (6/19), Spider-Man (6/26), Spider-Man 2 (6/26), Spider-Man 3 (6/26), The Amazing Spider-Man (6/26) [Read on here…]

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Here’s a look at the cover artwork for a couple of them (click to see the original listings)...

Gladiator (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray) bridgeriverkwai4k skew

The same site has also listed for pre-order a number of TBA new release titles, some of which have yet to reach theaters, including The Mummy (2017), Kong: Skull Island, Transformers: The Last Knight, Ghost in the Shell (2017), Spider-Man: Homecoming, Power Rangers, War for the Planet of the Apes, The Great Wall, and The LEGO Batman Movie.

None of those titles are a surprise, as we’d heard they were being mastered for 4K with HDR, including Gladiator and The Bridge on the River Kwai. I know that Braveheart has also been mastered, and I’ve seen tests of both Lawrence of Arabia and The Godfather, so those are likely coming (eventually) too.

Other titles that are unannounced but likely on the way, or at least in the planning stages, include: 187, Live by Night, the original Mad Max, Fifty Shades Darker, Passengers, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Patriot’s Day, Split, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, Monster Trucks, John Wick 2, and (possibly, based on a German pre-order listing) Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and Iron Man 3. There are probably more that we’ve forgotten to include. The point is, 2017 is likely to be a fairly good year for both new and catalog titles on the 4K format.

In regular Blu-ray news today, Paramount has just officially set Fences for Blu-ray Combo release on 3/14, with the Digital HD release expected on 2/24. Extras will include 5 featurettes (Expanding the Audience: From Stage to Screen, The Company of Fences, Building Fences: Denzel Washington, Playing the Part: Rose Maxson, and August Wilson’s Hill District).

Kino Lorber has announced that they’re working Tough Guys (1986) as a Blu-ray and DVD addition to their Studio Classics line. The title is listed as “coming soon” and we’ll post the street date when it’s announced. Other titles coming soon from the studio include John Huston’s Prizzi’s Honor (1985), and the Bob Hope classics (via a deal with Fremantle Media) My Favorite Brunette (1947), Road to Rio (1947), The Lemon Drop Kid (1951), Son of Paleface (1952) and Road to Bali (1952). Meanwhile, the studio has officially announced The Scar (1948), Sunset in the West (1950), The Crucible (1996), and The Mephisto Waltz (1971) for BD and DVD on 4/18, followed by Elijah Drenner’s Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies (1969), The Pied Piper (1972 – with optional English subtitles), and The Optimists (1973) for Blu-ray and DVD release on 4/25.

Also today, FUNimation has acquired the U.S. home video rights to the anime Seven Deadly Sins. Street date is TBA.

And Shout! Factory has set Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! (1999), starring Hugh Jackman, and Kiss Me, Kate (2003) for Blu-ray and DVD release on 5/30. And they have now officially set the Shout Select Bruce Lee titles Game of Death: Collector’s Edition and Return of the Dragon: Collector’s Edition for Blu-ray release on 5/16. Also, Scream Factory has set Serial Mom (1994) and Psycho (1998) for Blu-ray release on 5/9. You can pre-order those below.

Speaking of which, we’ve just posted the weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section, featuring all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and pre-order links. As always, anytime you order titles – or literally anything at all – from Amazon after clicking to them through one of our links, you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it very much. So thank you for doing so!

We’ll leave you with a look at the Blu-ray/4K cover artwork for a few of the titles we’ve mentioned above (click on the covers to pre-order on Amazon if available)...

Fences (Blu-ray Disc) Game of Death: Collector's Edition (Blu-ray Disc) The LEGO Batman Movie (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)

Psycho (1989 - Blu-ray Disc) Return of the Dragon: Collector's Edition (Blu-ray Disc) Serial Mom (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt(@BillHuntBits)


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