My Two Cents
Whew! Yesterday was a big day, was it not? I was up all night prior to the announcement, formatting the post for 7 AM Pacific release, and man was it ever good to finally share that! I’ve been sitting on some of that information for months, so I’m very glad to finally be able to speak about it openly. And after thirteen years, it’s damn good to finally confirm that those James Cameron titles are indeed coming to 4K and Blu-ray at long last.
We have more new disc reviews to share today here at The Bits, and there’s more release news today as well. But first, I wanted to let you all know that I’ve just done a new blog post over on Patreon: My Two Cents on the New Abyss Trailer, and the Subject of DNR and Film Grain. It’s based on an impromptu Q&A thread I was involved in over on Twitter/X this morning, but with some added detail that will definitely be of interest to fans of these James Cameron films in remastered 4K. So if you’re a backer of The Bits’ new Patreon—and if you’re not, you should be, as we really need and appreciate the support!—I think you’ll certainly enjoy that. But for the rest of you, rest assured: Much of the substance of that post will be shared here on The Bits website when we review The Abyss, True Lies, Aliens, and Titanic in 4K, first on Digital in a few weeks and then in a few months on actual 4K UHD disc.
Now then, speaking of reviews... Stephen has posted his thoughts on Roger Spottiswoode’s The Best of Times (1986) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.
Dennis has reviewed Éric Gravel’s Full Time (2021) on Blu-ray from Music Box Films and Vinegar Syndrome, as well as Jared Moshe’s Aporia (2023) on Blu-ray from Well Go USA.
Stuart has weighed in with his take on Roy Del Ruth’s Du Barry Was a Lady (1943) on Blu-ray from the Warner Archive Collection, along with Jules Dassin’s Uptight (1968) on Blu-ray from Imprint Films.
And for you Peckinpah fans, Tim has shared his in-depth look at Sam Peckinpah’s Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974), also on Blu-ray from Imprint Films.
As always, more new disc reviews are on the way for tomorrow and all next week, so be sure to watch for them. [Read on here...]
All right, Digital Bits readers...
Having reported on the long and twisted saga of The Abyss and True Lies on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD for over thirteen years now—and having first broken news of this release all the way back in March—it gives me enormous pleasure to be able to share this with all of you: The day has come at last!
Not only are The Abyss and True Lies finally coming to 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray, so too are Aliens, the recently-announced Titanic, and new versions of both Avatar (with all three versions of the film) and Avatar: The Way of Water!
Here’s the full text of Disney and Lightstorm’s official press release today…
SIX ICONIC JAMES CAMERON FILMS INCLUDING FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER ON 4K UHD™ ALIENS, THE ABYSS AND TRUE LIES!
IN ADDITION, SPECIAL COLLECTOR EDITIONS FOR TITANIC, AVATAR AND AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER WITH:
BURBANK, CA. (November 15, 2023) – A piece of cinema history comes home this year when six box-office juggernauts from Oscar®-winning director James Cameron are released. The six titles—The Abyss, True Lies, Aliens, Titanic, Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water—will be made available in 4K Digital and 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray.
Cameron, who has helmed three of the five highest grossing movies of all time, says “There’s a world of emotions in revisiting these films and I hope we’ve captured some of that in the new bonus materials we created for our fans.”
Oscar®-winning producer Jon Landau added, “We really wanted to deliver the best possible experience at home so viewers could immerse themselves both in the films and the journeys we went through to make them.”
The 4K transfer for each release will be presented in superb Dolby Vision HDR and with an immersive Atmos audio mix. Additionally, most of the releases will arrive with several hours of captivating all-new bonus features. From the eight hours of Avatar: The Way of Water bonus including all-new deleted scenes to the five hours of new and legacy Titanic extras, fans will delight in the numerous hours of never-before-seen materials. [Read on here...]
Good afternoon, Bits readers and welcome to a new week! If all goes well, it’s shaping up to be a pretty exciting one—but more on that soon.
First up today, we’ve got an exclusive early 4K Ultra HD review for you: I’ve just taken an in-depth look at Christopher Cain’s fan-favorite western Young Guns (1988) in a long-awaited new Ultra HD release from our friends over at Lionsgate! The A/V quality is excellent, the disc includes original theatrical stereo and a great new Atmos mix, legacy extras carry over (including the commentary, a historical featurette, and trailers), and there’s a terrific new doc as well called How the West Was Wild: Making Young Guns. It’s a fine release that fans of the film should really love.
Now then, our friends at Kino Lorber Studio Classics have announced that Rod Lurie’s The Last Castle (2001) is “coming soon” to 4K Ultra HD.
Also newly revealed for Blu-ray from KLSC are Ted Kotcheff’s Split Image (1962), Joseph Sargent’s To Hell with Heroes (1968), Norman Panama’s The Road to Hong Kong (1962), and Douglas Sirk’s Has Anybody Seen My Gal (1952) on 1/9, followed by Andrew V. McLaglen’s The Devil’s Brigade (1968) on 1/16. And coming soon is Mitchell Leisen’s No Man of Her Own (1950). [Read on here...]
We’ve got a trio of new disc reviews to round out the week today, including...
My thoughts on David Anspaugh’s Rudy (1993) which streets in 4K Ultra HD from Sony next Tuesday (11/14), featuring not only the original Theatrical Version but also a new Director’s Cut that’s 13 minutes longer.
Stephen’s take on Chuck Russell’s 1988 remake of The Blob in 4K UHD from Shout! and Scream Factory.
And Dennis’ take on Ron Winston’s The Gamblers (1970) on Blu-ray from VCI Entertainment.
More reviews are on the way, including my own look at Billy Wilder’s Stalag 17 (1953) in 4K from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. So be sure to watch for those soon.
Also today, over on our Patreon we’ve kicked off an in-depth poll asking our supporters what video, audio, special features, and packaging options 4K Ultra HD fans value most on their catalog titles on the format. The poll will remain open until next Friday (11/17) at Noon Pacific, so if you sign up as a supporter between now and then, you can weigh in with your picks. And we’ll share the results here on the website.
We’re going to run these kind of polls regularly on Patreon, both for our own edification and also to provide that information to studio sources who might ask for it, so this is a great chance to make your opinions heard. [Read on here...]
Heads-up Bits readers! I’ll be participating in a Facebook Live stream later this afternoon (November 9, at 5:30 PM PST), hosted by our friends John Schuermann and Steve Crabb of THE SCREENING ROOM AV, and joined by famed AV calibrator Kris Deering (of DEEP DIVE AV) to talk about:
- The future of physical media – DVD vs. Blu-ray vs. UHD Blu-ray
- The future of “special features”
- Licensing titles to the boutique labels
- The latest on upcoming releases
- Best Buy’s actual market share
- How good is streaming vs. physical / Kaleidescape / “Purestream”?
- Plex / Zappiti
- ...and more! We’ll also be doing Q&A, taking live viewer and listener questions.
You can read more here at The Screening Room A/V’s promo page for the event:
And you can join us live this afternoon at this link:
We hope to see you all there! –BH