My Two Cents
Tuesday, 25 June 2019 14:34

Pokémon Detective Pikachu, Scooby-Doo: 50th, Long Shot, Space: 1999 review, new Kino, Pixar 4K & much MUCH more

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All right, we’ve got a big update for you today, with lots of news, a few rumors, and some announcements too. But first...

I’ve just posted my in-depth review of Shout! Factory’s long-awaited Space: 1999 – The Complete Series Blu-ray set, which marks the first time Year Two of the series has been available on the format here in the States. It includes all 48 remastered episodes (sourced from the recent Network remaster) with a bunch of legacy extras and some good new content too. You’ll find that here.

Also here at The Bits today, we’ve updated our 4K Ultra HD Release List with some new titles that we have reason to believe are coming (more on that in a minute), along with pre-orders for a couple of titles we’ve already confirmed are coming (Men in Black International and more). We also have a street date for Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story 4 from our retail sources (tentatively look for it on 9/24). [Read on here...]

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Now then, in announcement news today...

Warner Bros Home Entertainment has officially set Pokémon Detective Pikachu for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 8/6, with the Digital release expected on 7/23. The 4K will feature Dolby Atmos audio. Extras on the Blu-ray versions will include a Detective Mode, an Alternate Opening, audio commentary by Mr. Mime, 2 featurettes (My Pokémon Adventure and Ryan Reynolds: Outside the Actor’s Studio), the 5-part Creating the World of Detective Pikachu documentary (includes Welcome to Ryme City, Uncovering the Magic, Action, Colorful Characters, and Bringing Pokémon to Life), and Rita Ora and Kygo’s Carry On music video.

Warner Bros Home Entertainment has also announced the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: 50th Anniversary Mystery Mansion Blu-ray release due on 9/3, featuring all 41 remastered episodes of the classic animated series available for the first time in HD. The set will include legacy special features as well as 3 new featurettes (My Life with Scooby: Frank Welker’s Animated Journey, A Scooby-Doo for Everyone, and 50 Years of Scooby Snacks), plus the trailer for the all new stage production Scooby-Doo and the Lost City of Gold. The package will also come with an exclusive Scooby-Doo Funko keychain and a mini Scooby-Doo Encyclopedia. Here’s what the set looks like...

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: 50th Anniversary Mystery Mansion (Blu-ray Disc)

Warner has announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of The Curse of La Llorona on 8/6 as well, with the Digital release expected on 7/16.

Lionsgate has set Long Shot for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 7/30, with the Digital release expected on 7/16. There had been talk of a 4K release for this title, but it appears that’s been shelved. Extras will include 11 featurettes (among them All’s Fair in Love & Politics: Making Long Shot, Seven Minutes in Heaven: Seth + Charlize Uncensored, Secret Weapons, Epic Flarsky Falls, Prime Minister Steward O-Rama, Hanging with Boyz II Men, Just Kinda Crushing It!, The First Mister: A Portrait, An Imperfect Union, Love & Politics, and Friends Like These).

Lionsgate has set The Spanish Princess for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 8/13. Look for the Digital version on 7/29.

The company has also set The Professor for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital on 7/9.

Scream Factory has officially announced the Blu-ray release of the Hammer Film titles Quartermass and the Pit and Quartermass II on 7/30. Extras on the former will include a new audio commentary with film historian Bruce G. Hallenbeck, a new audio commentary with filmmaker Constantine Nasr and author/film historian Steve Haberman, new interviews with actor Hugh Futcher, special effects artist Brian Johnson, clapper loader Trevor Coop, and focus puller Bob Jordan, vintage interviews with author Judith Kerr, actor Julian Glover, actor/writer Mark Gatiss, filmmaker Joe Dante, author/film historian Kim Newman, and author/Hammer Film historian Marcus Hearn, an audio commentary with director Roy Ward Baker and writer Nigel Kneale, the World of Hammer: Sci-Fi featurette, trailers, TV spots, alternate U.S. credits, and a gallery. Quartermass 2 will include a new 2K scan of a pristine archival film print, a new audio commentary with filmmaker/film historian Ted Newsom, a new audio commentary with author/film historian Steve Haberman and filmmaker/film historian Constantine Nasr, new interviews with special effects artist Brian Johnson and assistant director Hugh Harlow, a vintage interview with director Val Guest, audio commentary with director Val Guest and writer Nigel Kneale, the World of Hammer: Sci-Fi featurette, the US trailer for the film (aka Enemy of Space), and a gallery.

Kino Lorber Studio Classics have announced a whole bunch of titles for release on Blu-ray and/or DVD, including Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), and The Man in the White Suit (1951) on 9/3, Blindfold (1966), Mirage (1965), Reap the Wild Wind (1942), The Spoilers (1942), and Pittsburgh (1942) on 9/10, Support Your Local Sheriff (1969) on 9/17, and Not Wanted (1949), Never Fear (1949), The Hitch-Hiker (1953), The Bigamist (1953), and the Ida Lupino: Filmmaker Collection (1949-1953) Limited Edition Boxed Set on 9/24. Also coming soon are Not for Publication (1984), She (1984), Endless Night (1972), and Alistair MacLean’s The Secret Ways (1961).

Speaking of Kino, this is interesting... Director David Lynch has taken to his Twitter page to report this (see the original post here): “Dear Twitter Friends, A Blu-ray of LOST HIGHWAY will be released very soon. It was made from old elements and NOT from a restoration of the original negative. I hope that a version from the restoration of the original negative will happen as soon as possible.” He’s speaking of course of Kino Lorber Studio Classics’ new release, due in stores today. Here’s the thing: Yes, there’s probably a better version coming at some point. But this film has been so long awaited in HD that I can’t imagine this one couldn’t be worth picking up, especially for just $20 on Amazon here. So wait if you want to, but otherwise don’t feel too bad about snagging a copy here in the meantime.

And speaking of Twitter, the official Monty Python page keeps teasing their “big announcement” which we continue to believe will be a new remastered Blu-ray release of the complete series for its 50th anniversary. But we’ll have to wait and see.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment is apparently planning an Amazon-exclusive Inglourious Basterds: 10th Anniversary Limited Edition Blu-ray release, featuring a 36-page booklet, 4 postcards, 8 character cards, and 8 playing cards, plus the disc-based features. No word on a 4K release.

Also, Universal Pictures Germany is apparently preparing to release the TV mini-series version of Stephen King’s The Stand, mastered from a new HD scan. (Thanks to Bits reader Andrew D. for the heads-up!)

Film Movement has set Wolfgang Fischer’s Styx for release on DVD and Digital on 7/2.

The Cinema Guild will release Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s The Wild Pear Tree on Blu-ray and DVD on 8/20.

Well Go USA will release Mojin: The Worm Valley on Blu-ray and DVD on 7/9. They also have Furie coming on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital streeting today (6/25).

And for you German readers, Turbine Media Group has announced that they’re working on a Blu-ray edition of David Cronenberg’s Crash. Street date is TBA.

All right, now we’re getting into Rumor Mill territory...

A bunch of cover artwork purporting to show a next big wave of Disney/Pixar 4K titles was leaked on the Internet last week. We’re working with our sources to confirm, but they look legit. And given how aggressive Disney has been with Marvel 4K catalog releases this year (we expect them to have the entire MCU series out on the format by the end of this year), it makes sense that Pixar would be their next effort. If true, the titles would appear starting in November and into early 2020, and would include Finding Nemo, Finding Dory, Cars, Cars 2, Brave, Ratatouille, Inside Out, and The Good Dinosaur. We’re still waiting to hear back from our sources, but we’re going to tentatively call this legit. Here’s a sampling of the artwork as posted and we’ve added them to our 4K Ultra HD Release List for the time being.

Inside Out (4K Ultra HD) Ratatouille (4K Ultra HD) Finding Nemo (4K Ultra HD)

The main reason we think this is likely to be true is this announcement from Disney, made just today: “Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios (WDAS) are gearing up for an exciting weekend of announcements and presentations—sharing never-before-seen footage—plus interactive displays, artist autograph signings, sharable photo opportunities, and giveaways for 2019’s D23 Expo in Anaheim, California.” D23 takes place August 23-25. So the timing makes sense. Let’s stay tuned on this one for the time being.

Now then... when you visit our 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Bits to look at the Pixar titles... you’re also going to notice that we’ve added all of the Star Wars films. More and more, our sources are hinting that Disney and Lucasfilm are likely to release The Complete Star Wars Saga in Blu-ray/4K Ultra HD box sets next year. It makes sense for a number of reasons. First, the final film in the Skywalker saga, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, will be arriving on Blu-ray, DVD, 4K, and Digital early in 2020. That’s reportedly going to be the last such film to be released in the franchise for at least a few years, so it would make sense that they’d release a complete box set of everything to that point. Also, The Empire Strikes Back celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2020. And once Disney is done releasing all of their Marvel and Pixar product in 4K, there’s only one big franchise left untapped on the format. For all of these reasons, we think it’s likely that we’ll see these films in 4K next year. We already know that the classic trilogy has been scanned from the original negatives (new 4K masters are done and ready), and the prequels will no doubt be upsampled and digitally restored. Whether Disney and Lucasfilm would consider including the original theatrical versions of those classic films is the $24,000 question. My gut tells me to assume they won’t, at this point. Then, if they do, you can be pleasantly surprised. So take that all as a rumor for now and stay tuned for more here as it comes in.

We’ll leave you today with a look at the cover artwork for the new Criterion Blu-ray titles for September, all of which are available for pre-order on Amazon here (by clicking on the covers)...

Polyester (Blu-ray Disc) Local Hero (Blu-ray Disc) The Circus (Blu-ray Disc)

Fists in the Pocket (Blu-ray Disc) Cluny Brown (Blu-ray Disc) The Cloud-Capped Star (Blu-ray Disc)

That’s all for now. Stay tuned...!

-Bill Hunt

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


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