My Two Cents
Tuesday, 25 August 2020 16:19

It’s starting to look like Lord of the Rings 4K may arrive in December, plus new disc reviews, Showgirls 4K & more

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We have some new release news, announcements, and an interesting rumor to report on today. But first, we’ve got some new disc reviews here at The Bits for you, including...

Tim’s look at Terence Fisher’s 1962 Hammer Studios production of The Phantom of the Opera, available now as a new Collector’s Edition Blu-ray from our friends at Scream Factory. He’s also taken a look at John Harrison’s Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, also available on Collector’s Edition Blu-ray from Scream.

[Editor’s Note: While you’re listening to the audio commentary with Harrison and George Romero on that disc, know that I was in the booth as it was being recorded back in November of 2001. You can see my coverage of the day here on The Bits, complete with pictures. John’s become a friend over the years, and let me tell you, George was every bit as warm and lovely a human being as you’d hope. It makes me very happy to see this film and commentary get another appearance on disc for fans to rediscover.]

Not done yet with reviews... I’ve just posted my thoughts on David Twohy’s Pitch Black, soon to arrive on 4K Ultra HD from our friends at Arrow Video. The film really does benefit from both the new 4K scan of the original camera negative and the HDR grade, though the audio is the same 5.1 DTS-HD MA mix found on the previous Blu-ray. The disc is also loaded with extras, including nearly all the legacy content and new material too. It’s a worthy upgrade for fans. Note however that the title shipped without a slipcover due to a production problem. So if you happen to be surprised that your copy doesn’t have a slipcover, that’s why. [Read on here...]

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And finally today, Dennis has offered a look at Judd Apatow’s new dramedy The King of Staten Island on Blu-ray from Universal. Enjoy!

In other news today, here’s something for you 4K Ultra HD fans: Capelight Pictures is releasing Paul Verhoeven’s camp classic Showgirls on the format in Germany on October 30th. The Mediabook package will also include the film on Blu-ray and add a bonus Blu-ray of the 2019 You Don’t Nomi documentary on the making of the film. You can pre-order it here and you can see the cover artwork above left.

Sony has launched a new 4-part Outlander: End of Summer series on The Outlander Collector Facebook page. This is tied to the 9/15 Blu-ray and DVD release of Outlander: The Complete Fifth Season (available for pre-order here).

Mill Creek Entertainment has just announced that they’re releasing a 20-film Hammer Films: The Ultimate Collection Blu-ray set on 11/17, due to include The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958), The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1960), The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (1963), These Are the Damned (1962), The Old Dark House (1963), The Gorgon (1964), The Snorkel (1958), Maniac (1963), Die! Die! My Darling (1965), Scream of Fear (1961), Stop Me Before I Kill! (1961), Never Take Candy From a Stranger (1960), Cash on Demand (1961), The Stranglers of Bombay (1960), The Terror of the Tongs (1961), The Pirates of Blood River (1962), The Devil-Ship Pirates (1964), The Camp on Blood Island (1958), Yesterday’s Enemy (1959), and Creatures the World Forgot (1971).

They also have a 12-film Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate Collection Blu-ray set coming on 11/17, due to include Music in My Heart (1940), You’ll Never Get Rich (1941), Tonight and Every Night (1945), Down to Earth (1947), The Lady from Shanghai (1948), The Loves of Carmen (1948), Affair in Trinidad (1952), Salome (1953), Miss Sadie Thompson (1954), Fire Down Below (1957), Pal Joey (1957), and They Came to Cordura (1959).

Also today, it appears that Paramount is starting to return the Miramax catalog to Blu-ray availability; they’ve just set Serendipity, The Crow, The Prophecy Collection, the Scream: 3-Movie Collection, Copland, Jackie Brown, From Dusk Till Dawn, Sin City, The Faculty, Hero, Good Will Hunting, Kill Bill 1 & 2, and MANY more for release on 9/22. Basically, if it’s a Miramax title and it’s been released on Blu-ray previously, it’s coming back to print on 9/22 or thereabouts.

Meanwhile, Shout! Factory and GKids are releasing The Secret of Kells on Blu-ray on 11/3.

The Warner Archive Collection is bringing Memphis Belle and Sydney Pollack’s Jeremiah Johnson back into print on Blu-ray on 9/29. And here’s a surprise: Also coming that day is a 2-film Blu-ray containing Genesis II and Planet Earth, both 1970s sci-fi TV pilots created by Gene Roddenberry of Star Trek fame.

And finally, we’re seeing more indications from European disc retailers that Warner plans to bring The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Theatrical and Extended Editions) to 4K Ultra HD in December (12/9 is the date we’ve seen most often listed in France and Germany). This does seem to indicate that the studio has made the decision to split the two trilogies up and have Weta focus on finishing the 4K remastering of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy first in order to release it on the format in time for the holidays. My guess is that we’ll see an official press release in the next month or so, once they know for sure it can indeed be done this year. But we’ve made note of it in our 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Bits accordingly.

All right, we’ll leave you today with a look at the cover artwork for some of the titles mentioned above, all with pre-order links (Amazon Germany isn’t shipping to the US at the moment, but we hope that will change soon)...

Showgirls (German 4K Ultra HD) The Irishman (Criterion Blu-ray) Moonstruck (Criterion Blu-ray)

Genesis II/Planet Earth (Blu-ray Disc) The Memphis Belle (Blu-ray Disc) Jeremiah Johnson (Blu-ray Disc)

Outlander: Season 5 (Blu-ray Disc) The Secret of Kells (Blu-ray Disc) Rick & Morty: Season 4 (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

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