My Two Cents
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 14:00

Criterion’s June includes Fisher King & more, plus Apollo 13: 20th, Parks and Rec & When Marnie Was There

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All right, sorry for the lack of a news post yesterday, but I’ve been wrapped up in Blu-ray review work. Some big titles are coming out over the next few weeks and a number of them are well worth diving into.

Speaking of which, though it took all day yesterday to go through everything, I’ve posted my in-depth review of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar on Blu-ray from Paramount. The disc streets on 3/31. For those of you who experienced problems (in theaters) with the sound mix making lots of the dialogue unintelligible amid the sound effects and music, I can report that’s much less of a problem here. The mix is still pushed toward the low end, and there are still one or two lines where you have to listen more closely than normal, but this does seem to be a deliberate artistic choice. Still, I can attest that this is a much better audio experience than the one I had at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. And the extras are pretty terrific. Do check it out.  [Read on here…]

Also here at The Bits today, our own Russell Hammond has posted weekly update to the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray and DVD cover artwork, plus pre-order links. As always, whenever you order literally anything from Amazon through any of our links, you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it.

Speaking of spaceflight films, we have word that Universal is releasing a new Apollo 13: 20th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray on 6/2 (SRP $19.98). All of the existing extras from the previous Blu-ray and 2-disc DVD edition will be included (including the theatrical trailer this time and except for the IMAX version of the film which, in my opinion, isn’t much of a loss). But you also get the brand new Apollo 13: Twenty Years Later featurette. We’re working to confirm that the film will be the new 4K remastered presentation (the one that’s set to debut at the TCM Festival in Hollywood later this month). We strongly suspect that it is.

By the way, Universal has also set Parks and Recreation: The Farewell Season and Parks and Recreation: The Complete Series for DVD release on 6/2.

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The other big news is that Criterion has announced their June Blu-ray and DVD slate, and it’s terrific as always. The titles include the André Gregory and Wallace Shawn: 3 Films box set (Cat #TBA – Blu-ray and DVD – featuring My Dinner with André, Vanya on 42nd Street, and A Master Builder), plus single film editions of Jonathan Demme’s A Master Builder (Cat #762 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Louis Malle’s My Dinner with André (Cat #479 – Blu-ray, DVD and Hulu Plus) on 6/16, Bernhard Wicki’s The Bridge (Cat #763 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Terry Gilliam’s The Fisher King (Cat #764 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 6/23, and Bob Rafelson’s Five Easy Pieces (Cat #546 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (Cat #761 – Blu-ray, DVD and Hulu Plus) on 6/30. You can find more details here, plus all of the cover artwork is available below.

Meanwhile, Anchor Bay Entertainment and RADiUS have set The Last Five Years for Blu-ray and DVD release on 5/5.

Warner Home Video has set Batman: The Second Season, Part 2 for DVD release on 7/14 (SRP $39.98). It includes another 30 episodes of the classic series, which is already available as a Complete Series set on Blu-ray and DVD.

PBS Distribution is releasing Ken Burns’ 3-part Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies documentary series on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/28.

And Shout! Factory and Timeless Media are releasing Gerry Anderson’s Joe 90: The Complete Series on DVD on 4/14. Extras will include commentaries with designer Mike Trim and director Ken Turner, and the Gerry Anderson: Lew Grade to the Rescue interview featurette.

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In other news, FUNimation Entertainment has announced that they’ve got the North American distribution rights to Toei’s upcoming Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ animated film, so look for that to be released here on various formats later in 2015.

While we’re talking animation, we’ve learned that GKids (via Universal) will be releasing Studio Ghibli’s latest feature film, When Marnie Was There, on Blu-ray and DVD later this year. The film was directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi.

And here’s one our own Todd Doogan will be happy about: Sentai Filmworks is releasing the original Ninja Scroll animated film on Blu-ray on 5/19. The disc will include feature-length commentary with the director and animation director (in Japanese with English subs).

Finally today, a quick follow-up on Doogan’s message (from last Thursday) about young Evan Kupersmith and his efforts to raise money for cancer research for St. Baldrick’s in Atlanta. A local TV station did a story on Evan’s efforts – seems like he did well! Our hats off to him.

All right, here’s a look at a bunch of new cover artwork (all with clickable Amazon pre-order links), including the new Criterion titles and more...

The Fisher King (Criterion Blu-ray)    Ninja Scroll (Blu-ray Disc)    Apollo 13: 20th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Disc)

Five Easy Pieces (Criterion Blu-ray)    The Bridge (Criterion Blu-ray)    Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (Criterion Blu-ray)

Gregory & Shawn: 3 Films (Criterion Blu-ray box set)    My Dinner with Andre (Criterion Blu-ray)    The Master Builder (Criterion Blu-ray)

Stay tuned...

Bill Hunt


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