My Two Cents
Thursday, 06 August 2015 15:30

Blu-ray News – New Hobbit: Five Armies – EE details, plus Holy Grail, Spy, W.C Fields, Garp & Dressed to Kill update

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We’ve got more interesting Blu-ray and DVD release news for you today…

First, while Warner Home Video hasn’t yet announced the Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Extended Edition yet (tentatively due on either 11/3, 11/10 or 11/17), we do know a few things about the release. First, it’s going to be about 20 minutes longer than the theatrical cut (in the neighborhood of 164 minutes long). Jackson had said previously the extended matertial would be about 30 minutes, but I’ve managed to confirm the 164 minute runtime with sources directly involved at WingNut Films, who tell me that the footage is “significant” and most of it has been added to the battle at the end. Second, it’s going to be screened in theaters in October, as part of a worldwide, week-long The Hobbit: Extended Edition screening event in theaters (you can see the AMC listing here, which includes the 3 hour run time, and The One has more here). The Extended Edition of An Unexpected Journey will screen on 10/5, followed by the EE of The Desolation of Smaug on 10/7, and finally the EE or The Battle of the Five Armies on 10/13. Third, we now know that The Battle of the Five Armies – Extended Edition has received an R-rating from the MPAA (more here at Rope of Silicon). We expect an official Blu-ray release announcement from Warner any time now. Of course, we’ll post the details as soon as we have them.  [Read on here…]

[Editor’s Note: The text above was edited to reflect the confirmed accurate runtime of 164 minutes (checked with WingNut Films), rather than the previously reported and incorrect 180 minutes (which came from WHV). Please take note.]

Also today, In honor of its 40th anniversary, Sony Pictures is bringing Monty Python and the Holy Grail back to theaters in the U.K. and U.S. this fall for a one-night-only, sing-a-long event. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is also working to release a new 40th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray (street date TBA, but expect it in time for Black Friday Week). You can read more on that here at CNN.

In new release news, Fox has set the comedy Spy for Blu-ray and DVD release on 9/29 (SRP $35.99).

Fox is also re-issuing Alvin & The Chipmunks, Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, and Alvin & The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked on Blu-ray on 10/6. Fox and MGM are also releasing a Rocky: 40th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray that same day (SRP $14.99).

Warner Home Video is releasing a National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: 25th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray on 12/1 (SRP $19.98). Warner has also set the Paramount catalog titles Naked Gun 2 & 1/2 : The Smell of Fear and Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult for first-time Blu-ray release on 12/2 (SRP $14.98 each). The two Naked Gun sequels have been released internationally on Blu-ray, but this is their appearance on the format here in the States.

Meanwhile, Warner Archive is releasing The Hunger on 8/18 and The World According to Garp on 8/25, both on Blu-ray Disc. SRP is $19.79 each.

We finally have a look for you at Lionsgate’s Mad Men: The Complete Collection box set. Swag will include a pair of bourbon glasses, a book, and drink coasters. Click on the image to pre-order...

Mad Men: The Complete Series (Blu-ray Disc)

Here’s something awesome for deep catalog DVD fans: Universal is releasing a W.C. Fields Comedy Essentials Collection on DVD only on 10/13. It will include 18 of his classic films, among them Million Dollar Legs, Alice in Wonderland (1933), The Old Fashioned Way, Poppy, My Little Chickadee, If I Had a Million, Six of a Kind, It’s a Gift, The Big Broadcast of 1938, The Bank Dick, International House, Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch, Mississippi, You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man, Never Give a Sucker an Even Break, Tillie and Gus, You’re Telling Me!, and Man on the Flying Trapeze.

A problem has been discovered with Criterion’s new HD transfer of Brian De Palma’s Dressed to Kill (there are significant color and geometry issues) and are correcting the Blu-ray release. The title had been set to street on 8/18. It may still street on that day, but Criterion has issued this statement on their website:

“In our haste to respond to customer concerns about the anamorphic compression on our release of Dressed to Kill, we posted incorrectly that the change had been made at the behest of the director. Brian De Palma did ask for a change to the geometry of the scan, but it was to address the distortion he saw in the image, not to apply it. Unfortunately, that change was never carried over in the final product, and the resulting discs are wrong. Therefore, we are reauthoring discs without the squeeze and will make them available to all purchasers of our release of Dressed to Kill free of charge. Simply e-mail Jon Mulvaney (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) with your name, address, and some proof of purchase, such as a receipt, and we will send you a corrected copy. We regret the inconvenience, but we hope that in the end all of our customers will end up with a copy of Dressed to Kill that accurately reflects the film as well as the director’s intentions.”

Finally today, Image Entertainment has set Dark Was the Night for Blu-ray release on 11/3, followed by Return to Sender on the format on 12/1.

We’ll leave you with a look at a bunch of new and recent Blu-ray cover artwork (with clickable Amazon pre-order links if available)…

W.C. Fields Essential Collection (DVD)    The Hunger (Warner Archive Blu-ray)    The World According to Garp (Warner Archive Blu-ray)

The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear (Blu-ray Disc)    The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (Blu-ray Disc)    Spy (Blu-ray Disc)

Tremors 5: Bloodlines (Blu-ray Disc)    Hard Target (Blu-ray Disc)    Sudden Death (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned…

Bill Hunt


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