My Two Cents
Monday, 01 July 2024 14:53

Universal sets The Fall Guy for 7/23, Shout!’s September slate, Reacher: Season 2 on disc & and no, Sony is not quitting the Blu-ray business

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Morning everyone, and welcome to the first week of July!

I’ve been very busy over the weekend working on new disc reviews, frankly probably a little too hard—I should probably have taken more of a break to recharge. Nevertheless, I’ve completed a trio of new reviews for you all to enjoy, so today we present...

My take on Luc Besson’s La Femme Nikita (1990) new on 4K Ultra HD Steelbook from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment—a great 4K remaster of one of my favorite films.

My look at Ron Frank’s funny and poignant documentary Remembering Gene Wilder (2023) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber—which covers the actor’s life and career in detail, and features interviews with Mel Brooks and other friends.

And finally, my review of a surprise title that just arrived on Sunday morning: Jan de Bont’s Twister (1996) in 4K Ultra HD from Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment—a terrific remaster that leaves this film looking and sounding better than it ever has before.

I’m also working to finish another review today, which is Alex Garland’s Civil War. I expect to have that up here by tomorrow. And of course, the rest of the Bits team is working on new reviews as well, so be sure to check back for those over the coming days.

Now then, in announcement news this afternoon, Universal has officially set David Leitch’s The Fall Guy (2024) for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 7/23. The package will include both the Theatrical Cut and an Extended Cut of the film with 20 minutes of additional footage. Extras will feature audio commentary on both of those with director Leitch and producer Kelly McCormick, a gag reel, alternate takes, the 5-part Stunts on Stunts: Breaking Down the Action documentary, and 6 featurettes (Making a Meta Masterpiece, How to Break a World Record, Nightclub Mayhem, The Art of Doubling, Making Metalstorm, and Falling for The Fall Guy with Rob Reese). You can see the cover artwork at left and also below. [Read on here...]

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Shout! and Scream Factory have begun to announce some of their September titles, which so far include Andrew Douglas’ The Amityville Horror (2005) in 4K + Blu-ray, William Brent Bell’s The Boy (2016) in 4K + Blu-ray, a 4K + Blu-ray Steelbook reissue of George A. Romero’s Creepshow (1982), and a Blu-ray Steelbook reissue of Rhys Frake-Waterfield’s Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey on 9/3, followed by Joseph Ruben’s The Stepfather (1987) on 4K + Blu-ray, Bryan Bertino’s The Strangers (2008) in 4K + Blu-ray, and a Blu-ray Steelbook re-issue of Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves (1990) on 9/10, Neil Marshall’s Doomsday (2008) on 4K + Blu-ray on 9/17, and finally John Carpenter’s Village of the Damned (1995) in 4K + Blu-ray and R. J. Daniel Hanna’s Succubus (2024) on DVD only on 9/24.

Sony will re-release Tom Tykwer’s Run Lola Run (1998) on 4K Ultra HD on 7/30—this is a single-film SKU of a title that was first released on the format back in 2022 in the Sony Pictures Classics 30th Anniversary 4K Ultra HD Collection. It will feature Dolby Vision HDR, the original German 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, and the legacy Blu-ray extras.

Also, Blue Underground is releasing Lindsay Shonteff’s The Million Eyes of Sumuru (1967) on 4K + Blu-ray on 9/24. The title will include Dolby Vision HDR, DTS-HD Master Audio, and a ton of new and legacy extras.

Paramount is now taking pre-orders on the Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD release of Michael Sarnoski’s A Quiet Place: Day One (2024). Click on the format links to visit their respective pre-order pages.

And Paramount has also just announced the Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD release of the Amazon Prime Video original series Reacher: Season Two on 9/17. You can see the Blu-ray cover art below, and we’ll share the 4K art (and its Amazon link) when it becomes available.

Finally today, we need to address a bit of news that’s been circulating over the weekend. Our friends at Media Play News are reporting this morning—and accurately, as I would expect, because they actually know what they’re doing—that Sony is reportedly laying off as many as 250 workers from a manufacturing plant in Japan (specifically in Tagajo, Miyagi Prefecture) that produces recordable disc media including Blu-ray, and that also does research and development for Blu-ray overall. The original reporting comes from the Japanese news daily The Mainichi.

Unfortunately, a number of geek culture and movie websites and social media figures (which I will not link to here) took The Mainichi reporting, kicked into panic mode, and reported it as the beginning of the end of physical media and Sony’s commitment to their own Blu-ray format. Um... no.

Let me be perfectly clear here: Sony’s commitment to releasing movies on physical media (Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD) remains unchanged.

First of all, a key point here is that this plant deals primarily with recordable media. As in BD-R. But to the extent that packaged media declines are also at play in this decision, keep in mind that this is not simply about movies on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD. As well reported by True Trophies back in May, Sony’s sales of PS4 and PS5 videogame titles on physical Blu-ray discs have also been in decline. Year over year, the decline has only about 3%, but the larger issue is that (as of early 2024) only 30% of PlayStation game sales are on discs now—70% are purchased digitally and downloaded. Given that, it’s only prudent for Sony to make some adjustments to their overall disc business. Nevertheless, it’s very important to note here that this decision doesn’t somehow spell the end of physical media—which is what far too many people have casually been suggesting over the weekend.

And hopefully, that’s all that needs to be said for now.

All right, we’ll leave you with a look at the cover artwork for a number of the titles mentioned above and more, with pre-order links if available...

The Fall Guy (Blu-ray Disc) The Fall Guy (4K Ultra HD) Reacher: Season Two (Blu-ray Disc)

The Amityville Horror (2005) (4K Ultra HD) The Strangers (4K Ultra HD) Run Lola Run (4K Ultra HD)

The Stepfather (4K Ultra HD) Village of the Damned (4K Ultra HD) Magnum PI: The Complete New Series (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

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


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