Also today, Universal has officially launched a new Universal Essentials Collection of 4K catalog titles, with the first two releases set to include Jack Arnold’s It Came from Outer Space (1953) and a re-issue of George Roy Hill’s The Sting (1973) on 10/3!
It Came from Outer Space will include the film in 4K UHD with HDR10 high dynamic range and DTS-HD Master Audio, as well as on Blu-ray 3D. Extras will include The Universe According to Universal, the film’s theatrical trailer, and an audio commentary with historian Tom Weaver, plus art cards, a film cell replica, and a booklet. Here’s what that package looks like (and you can pre-order it now on Amazon by clicking on the image)...
Meanwhile, The Sting will essentially be the same disc released previously back in 2021 (and reviewed here on The Bits), featuring the film in 4K with HDR10 and DTS-HD Master Audio. But the package will also include the film on Blu-ray, as well as art cards, a film cell replica, and a booklet. Here’s what that looks like (and again, you can pre-order it now on Amazon by clicking on the image)...
Also today, DreamWorks has set the CG-animated Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken for Blu-ray and DVD release on 9/26.
CBS and Showtime will release Yellowjackets: Season Two on Blu-ray and DVD on 10/10.
Mill Creek Entertainment will release a Director Spotlight double feature of Kevin Macdonald’s Black Sea (2014) and State of Play (2009) on Blu-ray on 9/19, along with God’s Country Song on DVD only. And following on 9/26 is a DVD-only double feature of The Apostle (1997) and At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1991).
And it appears that Warner Bros. has finally decided to give Greta Gerwig’s Barbie (2023) a 4K Ultra HD release after all, day and date with the Blu-ray and DVD. The street date is not yet officially announced, but retail sources are suggesting that it will happen on 10/3 or thereabouts.
In a bit of industry news today, our friends at the 8K Association have announced that they’re going to be holding a panel called 8K: Understanding the Content Perspective at the CEDIA Expo in Denver, Colorado in September (on Friday 9/8 at 10:50 AM to be exact). The panel will be moderated by 8K Association executive director Mike Fidler, and it will include Joel Korpi (Head of Product, Amazon Prime Video) and Greg Ciaccio (Senior Director, Post-Production Original Content & Image Capture at IMAX). It should definitely be worth checking out, so if you’re attending CEDIA, don’t miss it.
Also today, our friend Adam J. Yeend has posted a great feature with filmmakers Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner, and Simon Wells looking back at their work on the animated The Prince of Egypt (1998) as well as its recent 4K Ultra HD restoration and release from Universal and DreamWorks. You’ll find that here at Oscar.org’s excellent A.Frame website and it’s well worth a read.
Finally today, we must certainly take a moment this afternoon to acknowledge the passing of the great director William Friedkin, who died on Monday in Los Angeles at the age of 87. Friedkin was a tenacious, original, and sometimes irascible filmmaker who, along with contemporaries like Francis Ford Coppola, rose to prominence in the 1970s with a series of films influenced by the French New Wave, Akira Kurosawa, and Italian neo-realist filmmakers like Fellini, De Sica, and Rossellini. Of course, these include The French Connection (1971), The Exorcist (1973), and Sorcerer (1977), each of them gritty, modern in style, and superlative. And he followed them a few years later with To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) which, like those earlier works, helped to re-define its genre.
As difficult as it is to lose such an influential artist, we should consider ourselves fortunate to have one last Friedkin film to appreciate, the forthcoming The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial (2023), which is currently set to make its debut next month at the 80th Venice International Film Festival (Showtime and Paramount should release it widely thereafter). We’re fortunate too that To Live and Die in L.A. and The Exorcist are both arriving on 4K Ultra HD this year. (To Live and Die in L.A. has been reviewed here in 4K on The Bits. And here’s hoping that The French Connection and Sorcerer follow them on the format sooner than later.)
In the meantime, I highly recommend a great interview that our own Greg Suarez did with Friedkin here at The Digital Bits back in 2000, which was focused specifically on the DVD release of The Exorcist: The Version You’ve Never Seen. There’s also a fine longform interview with him over at Deadline from 2015, in which every bit of the filmmaker’s personality is on display. Do give them both a look.
We’ll leave you here today with a peek at the cover artwork for several of the titles mentioned above and more, with Amazon pre-order links if available...