My Two Cents
Monday, 24 June 2024 15:25

Paramount sets Bringing Out the Dead for 4K Ultra HD, plus Sony signs a new distribution deal with SDS that includes Lionsgate, Disney & 20th Century

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We’re starting the new week here at The Bits, as always, with more new disc reviews...

Stephen has turned in his thoughts on Albert Magnoli’s celebration of all things Prince, Purple Rain (1984), in 4K Ultra HD from Warner Bros. Discover Home Entertainment. The film celebrates its 40th anniversary this summer, and the city of Minneapolis has been partying all weekend in honor of it (more on that here).

Also, I’ve shared my thoughts on Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999) in 4K Ultra HD from Paramount Home Entertainment. I’m not sure the title actually needed a 4K upgrade, but what the heck—blame Canada. You can read all the details here.

And Dennis has shared his perspective on The Wachowskis’ Bound (1996), which is new on Blu-ray (and 4K UHD) from our friends at The Criterion Collection.

More reviews are forthcoming this week, so be sure to stay tuned for them.

Now then... we’ve got a pretty significant piece of industry news to share with you today. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has completed an “umbrella” distribution deal with Studio Distribution Services (SDS) that covers not only their own Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD product, but also titles from Lionsgate and Disney (along with 20th Century Studios, Touchstone, Hollywood Pictures, and the other Disney-owned labels), which Sony produces for those studios. We first broke the news of this for our Patreon subscribers over the weekend.

The reason this deal is important is that it guarantees Sony, Disney, 20th Century Studios, and Lionsgate a direct and stable distribution channel for their physical media product into Walmart stores. And as we’ve reported previously, Walmart is the biggest disc retailer in North America with a whopping 45% share of the disc sales market (as of earlier this year—that number may have grown a bit with the recent exit of Best Buy, which had approximately 4% of the business). [Read on here...]

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This deal goes a long way in terms of giving studio executives the confidence to dig more deeply into their film vaults for new catalog remastering efforts and ultimately to release new catalog 4K titles on disc. All of this sets the stage for a very exciting slate of catalog 4K UHD titles from these studios and others in the next 12 to 24 months and beyond. In fact, I’m now more confident than ever that 2025 is going to be a big year for 4K disc fans! As always, I’ll share more on all this as it comes in from our sources in the weeks and months ahead... and as I’m able to reveal the details without disrupting any developing plans.

I should point out that this kind of insider reporting is exactly the sort of work that your support of The Digital Bitseither by shopping from Amazon through our affiliate links (like this one), or by becoming a subscriber to our Digital Bits Patreon page—makes possible. So thank you for that support! And please consider encouraging your fellow Bits readers and disc fans to join you in doing so. Together, we are all making a real difference on behalf of 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and the continuation of physical media in general.

Now then, we’ve got some good new title announcements for you today as well...

Paramount has just set director Martin Scorsese’s Bringing Out the Dead (1999) for release on 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray as a new Paramount Presents title on 9/17. The 4K is remastered from the original camera negative and approved by Scorsese, cinematographer Robert Richardson, and editor Thelma Schoonmaker. Not only will it carry over the legacy cast and crew interviews and the theatrical trailer, you’re going to get 9 all-new featurettes (including Filmmaker Focus: Martin Scorsese on Bringing Out the Dead, A Rumination on Salvation: Nicholas Cage on Bringing Out the Dead, Cemetery Streets: Screenwriter Paul Schrader on Bringing Out the Dead, City of Ghosts: Cinematographer Robert Richardson on Bringing Out the Dead, On Set with Patricia Arquette, On Set with John Goodman, On Set with Ving Rhames, On Set with Tom Sizemore, and On Set with Marc Anthony). Audio will be Dolby Atmos, and the package will include a Digital copy as well. You can see the cover artwork above left and also below...

Bringing Out the Dead (4K Ultra HD)

Paramount has also set the CG-animated Knuckles (2024) for Blu-ray, DVD, and Blu-ray Steelbook release on 9/10. Look for the discs to include 4 featurettes (Meet the Cast, Working with Knuckles, This or That?, and Cast Impressions) as well as a gag reel. Audio will be Dolby Atmos.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has set Spenser Cohen and Anna Halberg’s Tarot (2024) for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 7/9. Extras will include 3 featurettes (A Twist of Fate: Making the Film, Circle of Friends, and Killer Outtakes).

Decal and Neon are releasing Oz Perkins’ Longlegs (2024) on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD on 9/10.

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment is reissuing Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice (1988) and Todd Philips’ Joker (2019) in 4K Ultra HD Steelbook format on 8/20. These are obviously repromotes in anticipation of the forthcoming sequel films which arrive in theaters on 9/6 an 10/4, respectively.

And it looks like Via Vision in Australia is going to be releasing some good TV titles on Blu-ray on 8/14, including The Outer Limits: The Complete Original Series, Magnum P.I.: The Complete Series (2018-2024), and the Lonesome Dove: The Ultimate Collection (which includes Lonesome Dove, Return to Lonesome Dove, Streets of Loredo, Dead Man’s Walk, and Comanche Moon, plus numerous special features). These should all be all-region releases. You can pre-order them here. All of these have been released previously on Blu-ray in one region or another, except for the recent Magnum P.I. reboot series, which Paramount released here in the States on DVD only back in January.

Finally today, I wanted to share a link to a good think piece on the future of the theatrical movie-going experience from my friend Alvaro Zinos-Amaro, author of the new science fiction novel Equimedian (2024)Equimedianthe new science fiction novel Equimedian (2024). It was inspired by a recent conversation we had over a long walk, and it’s well worth your time. Titled Cinemaxtrapolation, you’ll find it here on Alvaro’s The Poppies of Terra column on the Hex Publishers website. Enjoy!

We’ll leave you with a look at the cover artwork for some of the titles mentioned above. You should find all of them listed for pre-order on Amazon by clicking on the cover artwork...

Bringing Out the Dead (4K Ultra HD) Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga (4K Ultra HD) Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga (4K Ultra HD Steelbook)

Alphaville (4K Ultra HD) Bob le Flambeur (4K Ultra HD) Le Doulos (4K Ultra HD)

Have a great weekend. Stay tuned...

(You can follow Bill on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook)



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