My Two Cents
Wednesday, 02 March 2022 12:33

Warner Bros. sets Singin’ in the Rain for 4K Ultra HD release on 4/26, a Godfather Saga restoration update & more

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We’re starting today with more new disc reviews, and then we have a major piece of catalog 4K news for you here at The Bits. First up...

Tim has taken a look at Sidney Lumet’s Murder on the Orient Express (1974) on Blu-ray from Paramount.

Dennis has reviewed J. Lee Thompson’s Eye of the Devil (1966) and Karl Freund’s Mad Love (1935), both new on Blu-ray from the Warner Archive Collection.

And Stephen has delivered his thoughts on a pair of new Umbrella Entertainment Region-Free Blu-ray releases, including Steve Jodrell’s Shame (1988) and Bruce Beresford’s Puberty Blues (1981).

Now then, let’s get to that big release news: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has set Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen’s musical comedy Singin’ in the Rain (1952) for 4K Ultra HD release on 4/26, just as we first revealed here at The Bits way back in November. [Read on here...]

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It appears that the 4K disc will feature HDR10 high dynamic range, along with the previous 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio sound mix. The previous special features will carry over, including audio commentary, the Raining on a New Generation documentary, and the trailer. You can see the cover artwork above left and also below. The title is now available for pre-order on Amazon by clicking here or on the cover below. This release is being presented in honor of the film’s 70th anniversary on April 10th.

Warner Bros. has also set Succession: The Complete Third Season for DVD and Digital release only on 5/17. Bonus material will include a trio of featurettes (Who Said It?, Roy Family Food Chain, and Succession: Controlling the Narrative).

Meanwhile, Paramount’s official press for The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance in 4K has just arrived (street date 5/17). It confirms that the film will feature HDR10 high dynamic range. The set will include an all-new Filmmaker Focus with Leonard Maltin, plus all of the legacy Blu-ray special features, including commentary with Peter Bogdanovich, selected scene commentary by Dan Ford, the 7-part The Size of Legends: The Soul of Myth documentary, and the theatrical trailer.

Speaking of Paramount, we’ve gotten an update from the studio on the remastering effort that’s gone into their new 4K Ultra HD release of The Godfather Trilogy, which is due on 3/22. Here’s the latest details:

“In preparation for the 50th anniversary of the first film’s original release on March 24, 1972, Paramount and Coppola’s production company American Zoetrope undertook a painstaking restoration of all three films over the course of three years. Every effort was made to create the finest possible presentation for today’s audiences who can watch the films using technology that has advanced dramatically since 2007 when the last restoration was completed by eminent film historian and preservationist Robert Harris. Using that work as a blueprint, the team spent thousands of hours to ensure that every frame was evaluated to create the most pristine presentation while remaining true to the original look and feel of the films.

“The monumental effort included the following:

  • Over 300 cartons of film were scrutinized to find the best possible resolution for every frame of all three films.
  • Over 4,000 hours were spent repairing film stains, tears, and other anomalies in the negatives.
  • Over 1,000 hours were spent on rigorous color correction to ensure the high dynamic range tools were respectful of the original vision of Coppola and cinematographer Gordon Willis.
  • In addition to the 5.1 audio approved by Walter Murch in 2007, the original mono tracks on The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II have been restored.
  • All work was overseen by Coppola.

“We felt privileged to restore these films and a little in awe every day we worked on them,” said Andrea Kalas, senior vice president, Paramount Archives. “We were able to witness first-hand how the brilliant cinematography, score, production design, costume design, editing, performances, and, of course, screenwriting and direction became famously more than the sum of their parts. It was our commitment to honor all of the filmmakers’ exceptional work.”

On the topic of remastering, our old friend Robert Harris has posted some additional details on the original 2007 restoration, and how this new restoration builds on his work then. Essentially, additional original film elements were located since 2007 and the film was re-scanned in 4K at 16-bit color vs. the 10-bit color that was state-of-the-art in 2007. You can read more from Robert here on The Home Theater Forum.

You can see a new trailer for this release here on YouTube...

One more 4K title for today: Universal has set their animated Sing 2 for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 3/29. The 4K will include Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio.

In regular Blu-ray news, Paramount is releasing Top Secret! on Blu-ray on 5/17. They also have a Friday the 13th, Part 3 – 40th Anniversary Steelbook Blu-ray due on 5/10. And Soapdish and Let It Ride are both coming to Blu-ray on 4/5.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has set Clint Bentley’s Jockey for Blu-ray release on 4/5.

And Ronin Flix has announced some interesting catalog Blu-ray titles for release on 6/7, including The Heavenly Kid (1985), Clifford (1994), The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue (1974, aka Let Sleeping Corpses Lie), and Highball (1997).

Here’s a look at the cover artwork for some of the titles mentioned above, with pre-order links if available...

Singin' in the Rain (4K Ultra HD) Wild Things: Limited Edition (4K Ultra HD) American Flyers (Blu-ray Disc)

Walking Dead: World Beyond - The Final Season (Blu-ray Disc) Top Secret! (Blu-ray Disc) Fandango (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...!

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