My Two Cents
Monday, 17 April 2017 16:48

Voice from the Stone, Rockford Files, OSS 117, Thunderbirds, MST3K Season 11, Slither: CE from Scream & more

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Okay… Star Wars Celebration weekend has ended with… well, not much in the way of Blu-ray release news related to the Star Wars films. Not that we expected any, per our recent posts, but still. Lucasfilm’s John Knoll did show off some interesting behind the scenes material on The Making of Rogue One panel at the event, including a rare extended cut of the Death Star briefing room scene from the original Star Wars, as well as virtual recreations of a number of classic Death Star settings that didn’t make the final cut of Rogue One, but there was no indication as to when (if ever) any of that material might be released on Blu-ray, nor was there any indication of a more elaborate Rogue One: Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release later this year. (The Making of Rogue One panel also doesn’t seem to have been live-streamed for some reason, though probably to keep the footage shown there from appearing online.) At any rate, it seems that Disney and Lucasfilm are just going to do whatever they’re going to do, with regard to releasing these films on Blu-ray, and fans will simply have to deal with it.

I will say that I thought the teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi looked interesting. It was visually striking, with echoes of The Empire Strikes Back of course, but there seems to be a genuine mystery to the story too. We’ll see. [Read on here…]

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Meanwhile, here at The Bits today, we’ve got a bunch of interesting announcement news on upcoming indie, deep catalog film, TV, and anime titles for you, so let’s get right to it…

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has set the period thriller Voice from the Stone for release on Blu-ray on 6/6. It stars Emilia Clarke and Marton Csokas. Sony has also set Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman for Blu-ray release on 5/2 in conjunction with Amazon Studios – however the title does NOT appear to be an Amazon exclusive. And Sony has set The Comedian as an MOD BD-R release on 5/2.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has set MindGamers for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/2.

Mill Creek Entertainment is digging deeper into the Universal TV catalog to release The Rockford Files: The Complete Series on Blu-ray on 6/27. They’re also releasing the series on DVD on 6/13.

Kino Lorber Studio Classics is releasing Zaza (1923) on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/6, followed by Night People (1954) on Blu-ray only on 6/13. In addition, the company has Cornet Blue: The Complete Series (1967) coming on DVD only on 6/20. Due on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/20 is 8 Million Ways to Die (1986). And on 6/27, look for Blu-ray and DVD editions of John Boorman’s Hell in the Pacific (1968) complete with the rare alternate ending. Additional titles expected in June include The Man in the Glass Booth (1975) and Three Sisters (1970) – street dates are TBA. Kino has also announced that they’re working on new Blu-ray and DVD box set releases of the OSS 117 films, including OSS 117 Is Unleashed (1963), OSS 117: Panic in Bangkok (1964), OSS 117: Mission for a Killer (1965), OSS 177: Mission to Tokyo (1966), and OSS 117: Double Agent (1968).

In addition, Kino Lorber has just announced the extras you’ll get on their 6/20 double feature Blu-ray and DVD release of Thunderbirds Are Go and Thunderbird 6. Thunderbirds Are Go will include audio commentary with producer Sylvia Anderson and director David Lane, audio commentary by film historians Jeff Bond and Nick Redman, 3 featurettes (History and Appeal, Factory of Dolls and Rockets, and Epics in Miniature) and more. Thunderbird 6 will include audio commentary with producer Sylvia Anderson and director David Lane, audio commentary by filmmaker Greg Ford and cartoon writer William Hohauser, 3 featurettes (Lady Penelope, Building Better Puppets, and Tiger Moth) and more.

Meanwhile, Arrow Video has set Kinji Fukusaku’s Doberman Cop for release on Blu-ray/DVD Combo on 6/27. The film stars Sonny Chiba.

For anime fans, Sunrise and RightStuf are releasing the Mobile Suit Gundam Movie Trilogy on Blu-ray on 6/6 (SRP $42.99) via Bayview Entertainment, including Mobile Suit Gundam, Mobile Suit Gundam: Soldiers of Sorrow, and Mobile Suit Gundam: Encounters in Space.

Also, Discotech Media has announced the Blu-ray and DVD release a Captain Harlock: Arcadia of My Youth – Special Edition on 5/30.

Grasshopper Films has set Hong Sangsoo’s internationally-acclaimed romantic comedy Right Now, Wrong Then for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/2.

Cult Epics has set Pim de la Parra’s Obsessions (1969) for release on Blu-ray/DVD Combo on 5/9. For you cinephiles, the film was co-written by Martin Scorsese and features music by composer Bernard Herrmann.

For those of you who like to import titles on Blu-ray, a UK company called Powerhouse Films is releasing a nice slate of deep catalog films on 5/5 via their Indicator label, including To Sir, with Love, Experiment in Terror, Bunny Lake Is Missing, The Anderson Tapes, 10 Rillington Place, John Carpenter’s Christine, Body Double, and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Nearly all of these have been released on Blu-ray in the States by Twilight Time, save for The Anderson Tapes which is only available on DVD here. [Update: The Anderson Tapes has been released here as part of a BD double feature with Physical Evidence by Mill Creek.]

For you fans of streaming content, Shout! Factory has just released their new Kickstarted season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 on Netflix (Season 11 to be exact). Do give it a look.

Speaking of Shout, their forthcoming Game of Death: Collector’s Edition and Return of the Dragon: Collector’s Edition – both Shout Select releases – are due on Blu-ray on 5/16.

And on a related note, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has just revealed the following Scream Factory information via his Facebook page:

“I’d like to officially announce that after MANY YEARS of waiting, and me endlessly bitching to the rights holders, FINALLY my directorial debut Slither will be available on Blu-ray. The wonderful folks from Scream Factory will be distributing a brand new edition on July 25 of this year. It will have lots of cool extras including a NEW COMMENTARY FROM ME AND THE CAST. It’s like “When Harry Met Sally” only it’s “When Gunn Met Rooker (and Fillion and Banks and Henry).” These people all changed my life. And Slither is how they did it.

You can buy it here or soon on Amazon, Best Buy, and other online retailers.

Oh and check out the cool new artwork. I love it.”

So there you go. Thanks to Bits reader DA Marshall for the heads-up.

Back tomorrow with more. Stay tuned...

- Bill Hunt


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