My Two Cents
Tuesday, 18 November 2014 17:37

Miyazaki BD reviews, Criterion’s Feb, Boxtrolls, Big Hero 6/Homeland pre-orders, Dragon 2 sales & more!

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We’ve got a few things for you today here at The Bits, so let’s get to it.

First, Doogan and I have reviewed a pair of new Blu-rays from Disney featuring animated films by Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. Todd’s taken a look at a favorite of his, Princess Mononoke, which is a classic from 1997. Unfortunately, Disney has made a major error on the disc’s English subtitles that they really need to correct. See the review for details. Meanwhile, I’ve reviewed Miyazaki’s latest effort from 2013, The Wind Rises, which fares better on disc quality-wise. It’s a fascinating film, with much more complex and mature than Miyazaki’s previous works. Plus, it’s beautiful, hand-drawn animation in HD – you should definitely check it out.  [Read on here…]

Also today, Todd has turned in his weekly Doogan’s Queue column featuring his thoughts on the best of this week’s new Blu-ray and DVD releases.

And of course, our own Russell Hammond has updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray and DVD covert artwork and Amazon pre-order links. Anytime you order anything from Amazon after you click through to them from our links, you’re helping to support The Bits and we really appreciate it.

The big announcement news today is that Criterion has revealed their February 2015 slate of Blu-ray and DVD titles, and as always it’s a winner. On 2/3, look for Jean-Luc Godard’s Every Man for Himself (Cat #744 – Blu-ray and DVD). That’s followed on 2/10 by Jean Renoir’s gossamer A Day in the Country (Cat #746 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now  (Cat #745 – Blu-ray and DVD). On 2/17, you’ll get Yasujiro Ozu’s An Autumn Afternoon upgraded to Blu-ray at last (Cat #446 – Blu-ray and DVD). Finally, the month finishes with a flourish in the form of Federico Fellini’s landmark Fellini Satyricon (Cat #747 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Martin Rosen’s animated classic Watership Down (Cat #748 – Blu-ray and DVD). That is a helluva great slate for one month. You can see the cover artwork below.

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Universal has also made Laika’s The Boxtrolls official for release on Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo, and DVD on 1/20 (with a digital release on 12/23). All versions will include audio commentary with directors Anthony Stacci and Graham Annable, The Dare to Be Square: Behind the Scenes of The Boxtrolls documentary (includes Voicing the Boxtrolls, Inside the Box, The Big Cheese: Allergy Snatcher, Deconstructing the Dance, and Think Big: The Mecha Drill), plus and 5 additional featurettes (The Nature of Creation, Trolls Right off the Tongue, Allergic to Easy, Let’s Dance, and On the Shoulders of Giants). Exclusive to the Blu-ray versions will be 6 scenes viewable in as Preliminary Animatic Sequences with optional commentary. Cover artwork isn’t available at the moment, but we’ll post it as soon as it is.

Also today, Amazon is now taking pre-orders on Disney’s Big Hero 6 on Blu-ray and also Fox and Showtime’s Homeland: Season Four. Street dates for both are TBA but the preliminary cover artwork is below.

Speaking of Amazon, the retailer is currently selling Universal’s Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series on Blu-ray for 70% – this is the new Ron Moore series.

And in news from around the Net today, it looks like DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2 is breaking sales records on Blu-ray and DVD – more here at Variety. I’m not surprised. The first film was pretty terrific.

All right, here’s some of that Criterion cover artwork (they’re not up for pre-order yet on Amazon, but we’ll add the cover links as soon as they are), that temp art for Homeland: S4 and Big Hero 6, and a link to the on-sale Battlestar set too…

Watership Down (Criterion Blu-ray)    Fellini Satyricon (Criterion Blu-ray)    An Autumn Afternoon (Criterion Blu-ray)

Big Hero 6 (Blu-ray Disc)    Homeland: Season Four (Blu-ray Disc)    A Day in the Country (Criterion Blu-ray)

Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series (Blu-ray Disc)

Back tomorrow with more. Stay tuned…!

Bill Hunt


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