My Two Cents

My Two Cents

Afternoon, folks. Welcome to the last week or October... and the final three days of Adam’s Hell Plaza Oktoberfest!

In case you missed them on Thursday and Friday, Adam’s delivered reviews of the Steven King’s Sleepwalkers and the Hammer Films classic Twins of Evil, and his Oktoberfest review for today is none other than Jess Franco’s Exorcism (a.k.a. Demoniac)! Just two more Oktoberfest reviews to go for this year, so be sure to check back tomorrow for the penultimate entry!

In release news today, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has set the FX series Justified: The Complete Third Season for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/31 (SRP $65.99 and $55.99). You’ll get all 13 episodes along with deleted scenes, outtakes, cast and crew commentary on nine episodes and 3 featurettes (Crossing the Line: Making Season 3, Ellstin’s Joint: Nobles Holler Set Tour and Anatomy of a Stunt). The Blu-ray version will exclusively include one additional featurette (In Conversation:  Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins). You’ll find the cover artwork below.

Also, Warner Home Video has announced the Blu-ray Combo and DVD release of Clint Eastwood’s Trouble with the Curve on 12/18 (SRP $35.99 and $22.97). Extras will include a pair of featurettes (Rising through the Ranks and For the Love of the Game) plus an UltraViolet digital copy. Again, you’ll find the cover artwork below.

In other news today, Saban Entertainment and Lionsgate have set Power Rangers Samurai: A Team Divided - Volume 3 and Power Rangers Super Samurai: Rise of the BullZooka - Volume 3 for DVD only release on 1/15, followed by Lionsgate’s Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft on DVD only on 1/22.

Lionsgate has also set the Sam Raimi produced horror tale The Possession for Blu-ray and DVD release on 1/15 (SRP $39.99 and $29.95). Both versions will include audio commentary with director Ole Bornedal, a second commentary with writers Juliet Snowden and Stiles White and The Real History of the Dibbuk Box featurette. See the artwork below.

Image Entertainment has set Syfy’s Ghost Hunters Academy for DVD only release on 1/15 (SRP $24.98).

The BBC as set the original U.K. version of Call the Midwife: Season One for Blu-ray and DVD release on 11/6 (SRP $39.98 and $34.98).

Shout! Factory will release The Sarah Silverman Program: Season Three for DVD only release on 12/18. The set includes the final 10 episodes of the series plus commentaries, audition videos, deleted scenes, the original pilot and the Writers Conversation featurette.

And our friends at Blue Underground (via Entertainment One) have announced some February 2013 releases (all due 2/26), including a Midnight Movies Mondo Triple Feature DVD of Mondo Cane, Mondo Cane 2 and Women of the World, a Midnight Movies Suspense Triple Feature DVD of The Fifth Gord, The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion and The Pyjama Girl Case and a Midnight Movies Shockumentary Triple Feature DVD of Africa: Blood & Cuts, Goodbye Uncle Tom and The Godfathers of Mondo. SRP is $19.98 each

In other news this afternoon, we’ve got some very cool soundtrack CD news: GNP Crescendo is releasing the complete score for Star Trek: Generations in a terrific 2-disc Expanded Collector’s Edition set. It’s due on 10/29 for $24.98. Pre-orders are being accepted now here at their online store.

We’ve learned that Costco currently appears to have an exclusive on DVD versions of Wuthering Heights and The Best Years of Our Lives from Warner Home Video. These will be released widely either right before Christmas or early next year. No word yet on Blu-ray versions (rest assured we’re trying to find out) but if you’ll recall these long out of print titles were part of Warner’s deal to acquire the home video release rights to some 74 titles from the Samuel Goldwyn library, which we first reported on way back in May. Warner’s going to be awfully busy in 2013. Thanks to Bits reader Ric. T for the heads-up on the Costco spot!

Lot of you have asked about my review of Prometheus - it’s coming very soon along with other big reviews. Working all the little bugs out of the redesigned site has taken up a lot of time, but I’ve now diving into review work so check back over the next few days.

Finally, we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of actor and Native American activist Russell Means, who appeared in such films as The Last of the Mohicans, Natural Born Killers, Into the West and others. He died last week at the age of 72. More here.

Here’s a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Sony’s Justified: The Complete Third Season, Lionsgate’s The Possession and Warner’s Trouble with the Curve...

Justified: The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray Disc)    The Possession (Blu-ray Disc)    Trouble with the Curve (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt


Evening, folks! We’ve some news plus a few interesting items here at the site for you today...

First up, Adam’s Hell Plaza Oktoberfest review for the day is a little bit of giallo from Italy via Kino Lorber’s Redemption line - none other than Mario Bava’s Hatchet for the Honeymoon on Blu-ray. Adam’s also got a little write-up for you in his Bottom Shelf column about his recent jaunt up to the Lucasfilm Archives at the Skywalker Ranch for the Indiana Jones press event. Some cool pix in there, so do give it a look.

Our own Russell Hammond has also updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover art and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, a portion of anything you order from Amazon after clicking through to them from our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we certainly appreciate it!

Now then... the big news today is that Warner Home Video has set Easter Parade for Blu-ray release on 2/19 (SRP $19.98), including commentary by Ava Astaire McKenzie and John Fricke, 2 featurettes (Easter Parade: On the Avenue and American Masters - Judy Garland: By Myself), outtakes and dailies for Mr. Monotony, a radio promo, the Screen Guild Theater broadcast and the theatrical trailer.

Warner has also set Southland: The Complete Second, Third and Fourth Seasons for DVD only release on 2/5/13, followed by Family Matters: The Complete Third Season on DVD on 2/12.

Also, Warner and the BBC have announced The Hour: Season Two for (BD and DVD) release on 1/8/13, followed by Last of the Summer Wine: Vintage 1997 (on DVD) and Merlin: The Complete Fourth Season (BD and DVD) on 1/15 and Misfits: Season 2 (DVD) on 1/29.

Meanwhile, HBO will release Angry Boys on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/4, along with We Can Be Heroes on DVD only.

Image Entertainment has set the 1999 London/West End stage version of Oklahoma! (starring Hugh Jackman) for release on Blu-ray on 12/4.

Lionsgate has announced some of their January release slate, currently set to include Angelina Ballerina: Dance Around the World, Barney: Let’s Go to the Moon, Dance Moms Season 2: Volume 1, Dance Moms Season 2: Volume 2, The Inbetweeners Movie and Love Notes on 1/8/2013 (all DVD), and Branded (BD and DVD) and Counterpunch on 1/15.

Universal will release Guns, Girls and Gambling on BD and DVD on 1/8.

Shout! Factory has set Paul Newman’s directorial debut, Sometimes a Great Notion, for Blu-ray release on 12/18.

Paramount and Showtime have set Episodes: The Complete First & Second Seasons for DVD release on 1/8 as well.

Virgil Films will release the documentary High Ground on DVD only on 11/6.

And Saltwater Collective has set Minds in the Water for DVD only release on 11/13.

Finally, a quick note: I’ve corrected the text of yesterday’s post to reflect that the recent Warner/Paramount catalog deal EXCLUDES some 100 of Paramount’s key tent pole titles - not includes them as I’d originally written. What can I say, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends for a while now and that post, which was written at about 5AM, obviously suffered for it. I’ve since had about 14 hours of badly needed sleep, so all’s well. Like the feller says, “Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes, well... he eats you.” Or some such.

Back tomorrow. Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt


We’ve got a couple more Blu-ray reviews for you today, plus a bit of fascinating recent industry news. Let’s start with the reviews…

First up, Dr. Jahnke’s Hell Plaza Oktoberfest review for the day is a bit of a stinker – a little something called 247°F, newly released on Blu-ray by Anchor Bay. Adam always likes to include at least one “dud” title in the Oktoberfest review mix so you really appreciate the good titles. This one is definitely it. Enjoy!

Also today, our own Joe Marchese has written up his in-depth thoughts on a fascinating Alfred Hitchcock classic, now available on Blu-ray from Warner Home Video – Strangers on a Train. It’s well worth a look.

And now for that industry news I mentioned. It initially broke as we were re-launching the redesigned site earlier this month, but it’s worth mentioning now. Paramount Home Entertainment has agreed to a three-year deal to license some 600 catalog titles to Warner Home Video for distribution on Blu-ray, DVD and digital via Warner’s Flixster service. Not just any catalog titles either, but gems like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Airplane!, Terms of Endearment. It does however, EXCLUDE tent pole titles as the Transformers, Star Trek and Indiana Jones films. New release films will also be included after the initial 26-week release window. The deal starts on 1/1/2013. So in other words, a major Hollywood studio has essentially outsourced much of their catalog home video operation to another major Hollywood studio. Fascinating. And all this is in addition to Warner’s own 90th Anniversary release slate in 2013. Here’s more at the Hollywood Reporter and Variety. [Editor's Note - It appears that the deal excludes 100 key tent pole titles, including all the biggest ones. Just FYI.]

Finally this morning, Marvel and Disney have just released the first trailer for the forthcoming Iron Man 3, due in theatres on 5/3/2013. Check it out here:

That’s all for now. Stay tuned...

- Bill Hunt


All right, there’s some good stuff here at The Bits today, kicking off a week of new reviews and the like here at the site. First up, Dr. Jahnke kicks off the last full week of his annual Hell Plaza Oktoberfest with a review of John Carpenter’s They Live, as newly delivered in high-definition from our friends at Shout! Factory. Do give it a look!

Also today, Tim Salmons checks in with a review of one of my favorite films of the year so far: Wes Anderson’s quirky and utterly charming Moonrise Kingdom. Don’t miss it.

In release news today, Amazon now has AMC and Anchor Bay’s The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season available for pre-order on Blu-ray and DVD (SRP $69.99 and $59.98, minus Amazon’s discount). Street date and features are still TBA.

Anchor Bay has also set a DVD double feature of Silent Night, Deadly Night and Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 for release on 12/4 (SRP $14.98). That same day you’ll also get the Blu-ray and DVD release of the recent Silent Night remake (SRP $29.99 and $24.98).

Sony has set Premium Rush for Blu-ray and DVD release on 12/21 (SRP $35.99 and $30.99). Extras will include 2 featurettes (The Starting Line and Behind the Wheels).

Sony has also announced a number of new MOD DVD-R titles for release on 12/4, including Full of Life, East of Sudan, ATF (1999), The Fighting Frontiersman, Legend of the Golden Gun, Bridget Loves Bernie: The Complete Series, Boy in the Plastic Bubble, UltraViolet: Code 44 - The Complete First Season, Kurozuka: The Complete First Season, Viper’s Creed: The Complete First Season and the Film Noir Collection (The Case Against Brooklyn, The Shadow on the Window, Criminal Lawyer, Escape from San Quentin and The Crooked Web).

Meanwhile, Lionsgate has set the sci-fi action film Branded for Blu-ray and DVD release on 1/15/2013.

Shout! Factory has announced Death Valley and The Island for Blu-ray release on 12/11, followed by Wes Craven’s Deadly Blessing: Collector’s Edition, The 7% Solution and The Nest on 1/22/13.

Entertainment One has set Wolf Lake: The Complete Series for DVD only release on 11/6 (SRP $39.98), followed Inside John Lennon on 11/20.

Magnolia Home Entertainment has set 2 Days in New York for Blu-ray and DVD release on 11/13. The film is written and directed by Julie Delpy and stars Delphy and Chris Rock. The company has also set The Queen of Versailles for release on both formats the same day.

Well Go USA Entertainment will release the martial arts/action flick Kill ‘Em All on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/11.

And Music Box Films has announced the Blu-ray re-release of a 2008 French film I’ve really come to love:  Guillaume Canet’s Tell No One. It arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/4 (SRP $19.95 and $14.95). This is a great little crime thriller about a doctor (played by Francois Cluzet) who is wrongly accused of murdering his wife and moves heaven and earth to find out what really happened. I highly recommend it. Extras will include deleted scenes, outtakes and the Tell No One: The B-Side featurette. The disc was first released in 2009, but has been out of print recently.

Here’s a look at the Blu-ray cover artwork for Sony’s Premium Rush (due 12/21), as well as final art for both Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D versions of Universal’s ParaNorman (due 11/27)…

Premium Rush (Blu-ray Disc)    ParaNorman (Blu-ray Disc)    ParaNorman (Blu-ray 3D)

Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt


Well folks… with all this talk of 4K and 8K high-definition televisions over the past year, this was probably inevitable. But the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has just officially “Ultra High-Definition” or “Ultra HD” as the new standard for display technology in the home. The term was approved yesterday by a vote of the organization’s Board of Industry Leaders. 

The standard technically refers to displays with a minimum of 4K resolution (“at least” 3,840 x 2,160 pixel resolution) but may also be used to refer to 8K displays as well – the term “UHDTV” is used for both resolutions in Japan. One can also expect that displays with ever higher refresh rates and autostereoscopic capabilities at 4K and 8K resolution will also likely be covered by this term. You can read more on this here via CEA’s official press release.

So are you ready for Ultra HD? The potential is certainly exciting. However, I would expect the rollout and adoption of Ultra HD displays to be very, very slow. You have to remember that the first HDTV displays appeared in the 1980s, but it wasn’t until the last 5-10 years that displays with 1080 pixel resolution finally went mainstream with consumers. Many TV stations in the U.S. still don’t broadcast in high-definition resolution, because of the high cost of upgrading cameras and other studio production equipment. There’s also the question of whether Ultra HD content can and will be delivered to consumers via Blu-ray or some other hypothetical future physical media format… or whether studios and content producers will simply choose to bypass physical media entirely in favor of direct digital distribution via satellite or the Internet. In any case, it seems that just when you thought you’d finally caught up to the state of the art in home entertainment technology… the goal posts have moved once again.

The big announcement news today is that Universal has officially set The Bourne Legacy for Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 12/11 (SRP $34.98 and $29.98). Both will include feature commentary (with director/co-writer Tony Gilroy, co-writer Dan Gilroy, editor John Gilroy, director of photography Robert Elswit, second unit director Dan Bradley and production designer Kevin Thompson), deleted scenes and 2 featurettes (Re-Bourne and Capturing Chaos: The Motorbike Chase). To this, the Blu-ray will exclusively add 5 more featurettes (Enter Aaron Cross, Crossing Continents: Legacy on Location, Man vs. Wolf, Wolf Sequence Test and Moving Targets: Aaron and Marta) plus all the usual interactive features.

Warner Home Video will release The Apparition on Blu-ray Combo and DVD on 11/27 (SRP $29.98 and $22.97). Extras will include 4 featurettes (The Dark Realm of Paranormal, Haunted Asheville, The Experiment of The Apparition and The Apparition: A Cinematic Specter).

Well Go USA Entertainment has set the Korean anthology film Doomsday Book for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/11 (SRP $29.98 and $24.98). It offers viewers three short films with different takes on the apocalypse – New World, Heavenly Creature and Happy Birthday – directed by filmmakers Kim Ji-woon and Yim Pil-sung.

Lionsgate has set the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series Collection for release as a 23-disc DVD box set on 11/13 (SRP $99.98). All 193 original episodes will be included along with all the bonus content that was found in the individual season DVD sets. The Collection will come packaged in a replica of the “Party Van”.

And Shout! Factory has set Ultra Seven: The Complete Series Collector’s Edition for release as a 6-disc DVD set on 12/11 (SRP $49.97).

Don’t forget that Dr. Jahnke’s posted his latest Hell Plaza Oktoberfest review for the day: Warner’s new Little Shop of Horrors Blu-ray Book!

And our own Mario Boucher has posted an interview with actress Dee Wallace about her work on Steven Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, now available on Blu-ray Disc from Universal (read our review of the disc here).

Here’s a look at the Blu-ray box art for Lionsgate’s Killer Joe (due 12/21), Well Go’s Doomsday Book and Universal’s The Bourne Legacy, as well as Lionsgate’s open packaging for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series Collection

Killer Joe (Blu-ray Disc)    Doomsday Book (Blu-ray Disc)    The Bourne Legacy (Blu-ray Disc)

tmntcompleteseriesdvdopen

Stay tuned...

- Bill Hunt


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