My Two Cents
Wednesday, 15 April 2020 14:35

Criterion bows its full July Blu-ray slate including Marriage Story and classic War of the Worlds

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The big news today is going to make some of you very happy. The Criterion Collection has just unveiled its full July slate of Blu-ray titles, and it’s set to include the classic War of the Worlds! The full slate is as follows...

Look for Byron Haskin’s War of the Worlds (Spine #1037 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 7/7, the previously-announced Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits box set (Spine #1036 – includes The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, The Way of the Dragon, Enter the Dragon, and Game of Death – Blu-ray only) and Preston Sturges’ The Lady Eve (Spine #103 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 7/14, and Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story (Spine #1038 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Abbas Kiarostami’s Taste of Cherry (Spine #45 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 7/21. [Read on here...]

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For those wondering, War of the Worlds will be mastered from the recent 4K restoration with mono audio and also a new “alternate” 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack created by Ben Burtt, the 2005 audio commentary (with filmmaker Joe Dante, film historian Bob Burns, and author Bill Warren), Movie Archaeologists (a new program on the visual and sound effects in the film featuring Burtt and film historian Craig Barron), From the Archive (a new program about the film’s restoration featuring Barron, Burtt, and Paramount Pictures archivist Andrea Kalas), an audio interview with producer George Pal from 1970, The Sky Is Falling (a 2005 documentary about the making of the film), The Mercury Theatre on the Air radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds from 1938 (directed and narrated by Orson Welles), a 1940 radio program featuring a discussion between Welles and H. G. Wells, author of the 1897 novel The War of the Worlds, the film’s trailer, and an essay by film critic J. Hoberman. And EVERY bit of that is outstanding. You can see the cover artwork above left and also below.

Before we continue, we have a new 4K Ultra HD review here at The Bits. Tim has taken a look back at Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas on the format, which was release by Warner back in late 2016. You can find his thoughts here.

In other news today, we’ve confirmed that Shout! Factory’s forthcoming The Deer Hunter 4K Ultra HD release will include high dynamic range in both HDR10 and Dolby Vision. We’ve updated our 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Bits accordingly.

Also today, RLJE Films and AMC are releasing Creepshow: Season One on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/19. Extras will include cast and crew interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, a Creepshow: Season 1 Easter Eggs featurette, audio commentaries with the cast and crew, episode and comic art photo galleries, a comic art booklet, and more.

Lionsgate is releasing the thriller Vivarium, starring Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg, on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/12. The Digital version is already available. Extras include audio commentary with director Lorcan Finnegan and executive producer Brunella Cocchiglia, and the Creating the Suburban Nightmare of Vivarium featurette.

For UK readers, Eureka! has set Masaki Kobayashi’s Kwaidan for release on limited edition Blu-ray in the UK on April 27 as part of its Masters of Cinema line-up.

On the Digital front, Disney has announced that a broad range of its films will be available in HD and/or UHD for just $4.99 each starting on 4/14 and running through 4/25. The list of films is huge and is organized by theme, starting with Feel Good Movies on 4/14, Earth Day with Disneynature on 4/21, Family Fun Flicks on 4/21, the Star Wars-themed May the 4th on 4/28, sports films in a Game Changers batch on 5/5, Action Movies on 5/21, and a Disney Princess Collection on 5/19. The films in each batch will be discounted for about a week starting on the day listed. Note that it includes Fox titles as well as Disney.

Finally today, Paramount is holding “virtual screening events” streaming online via, allowing viewers to watch together online and interact with each other. Each will also include special guest hosts. The first is Tommy Boy on Saturday 4/18 (at 5pm) with director Peter Segal. Then on Saturday 4/25 (also 5pm) you can watch Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan with our friends the Inglorious Treksperts Mark Altman and Daren Dochterman. And finally, on Saturday 5/2 (5pm) watch for Breakfast at Tiffany’s with Andrea Kalas, the head of the Paramount Archives. Visit for the details. Each screening costs $1.99 to access.

All right, we’ll leave you with a look at the cover art for the new Criterion titles, along with Creepshow: Season One (click on each to pre-order from if available)...

Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits (Criterion Blu-ray Disc) War of the Worlds (Criterion Blu-ray Disc) Marriage Story (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)

The Lady Eve (Criterion Blu-ray Disc) Taste of Cherry (Criterion Blu-ray Disc) Creepshow: Season 1 (Blu-ray Disc)

Back tomorrow. Stay tuned!

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