September 2018

Let’s dive right into today’s announcement news, shall we?

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has just set Crazy Rich Asians on Blu-ray and DVD on 11/20, with the Digital release set for 11/6. No 4K Ultra HD is planned. Extras will include audio commentary by director Jon M. Chu and novelist Kevin Kwan, the Crazy Rich Fun featurette, a gag reel, and deleted scenes.

Walt Disney Studios has set Christopher Robin for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital on 11/6. Again, no 4K Ultra HD is planned. Extras will include 4 featurettes (In Which... A Movie Is Made for Pooh, In Which... Pooh Finds His Voice, In Which... Pooh and Walt Become Friends, and In Which... Pooh and Friends Come to Life). [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Let’s start today with some new announcement news...

Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment have just officially set Kin for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 11/20, with the Digital release expected on 11/6. The 4K Ultra HD version will include both Dolby Vision HDR and DTS:X object-based audio. The Blu-ray will also feature DTS:X.

Extras will include audio commentary with co-directors Jonathan and Josh Baker and screenwriter Daniel Casey, the Thicker Than Water: The Making of Kin 8-Part documentary, an Enhanced Visual FX Breakdown featurette, the Bag Man: Original Short (with optional audio commentary by Jonathan and Josh Baker), 10 deleted scenes, and the Learned Behavior: Special Features at Work hour-long round table discussion (with Jonathan and Josh Baker, Dan Trachtenberg, Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert, Laurent Bouzereau, and Kevin Smith). You can see the cover artwork at left. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents
Tuesday, 09 October 2018 13:29

Bud on Burt, plus New on Blu-ray

[What follows is a feature I wrote for The Daily Oklahoman about one of the greatest movie stars and human beings ever… Burt Reynolds]

Maybe it was the mustache. Or the unscripted quips. Or the genteel Southern manner.

Or just maybe it was that laugh, a cackle delivered by one comfortable in his own skin – inviting his audience gut bust with him, as though they were all in a private joke.

That’s our Burt. And he’s, unbelievably, gone.

Fame, according to Jeanine Bissinger, is “often conferred or withheld just as is love, for reasons and on grounds other than merits.” Burt Reynolds earned his fame with raw boned talent and insight into the business of filmed diversion. [Read on here...]

All right, while it hasn’t yet officially been announced by Disney, we expect that to happen very soon. So the big story today is that Disney will be releasing its animated feature The Lion King on 4K Ultra HD on 12/4. The title is already listed on Best Buy Canada and we expect it to appear elsewhere soon. Meanwhile, here’s a look at the official cover artwork (at left).

Also today, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced the 11/20 Blu-ray release of Robin and Marian (1976), directed by Richard Lester (A Hard Day’s Night, Superman II) and starring Sean Connery (as Robin Hood) and Audrey Hepburn (as Lady Marian).

MPI is releasing Fyodor Bondarchuk’s 2017 Russian science-fiction epic Attraction (aka Prityazhenie) on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/4. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Fyodor is the son of the legendary Russian filmmaker Sergei Bondarchuk (War and Peace). We’ve been wanting to get a look at this film for a while, so we’re thrilled to see it finally coming in the States. [Read on here...]

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First up today, in honor of Global Bond Day, our own Michael Coate has posted a new History, Legacy & Showmanship retrospective, looking back at Sean Connery’s last turn as 007 in Never Say Never Again. The piece features another great roundtable discussion with film historians, so enjoy!

We also have four more Blu-ray reviews for you to check out today, including Tim’s take on Russell Mulcahy’s Razorback (1984) from Umbrella Entertainment, David’s look at Sunset Society (2018) from MVD Visual and John Cassavetes’s Gloria (1980) from Twilight Time, and Dennis’ thoughts on Television’s Lost Classics: Volume One from VCI. More reviews are on the way, so be sure to watch for them.

In news today, we have more word from retailers that Disney is going to be bringing The Lion King to 4K UHD by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Wreck-It Ralph has now appeared for 4K UHD pre-order on Best Buy with a street date of 11/6, the same day as The Incredibles 2. [Read on here...]

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“This is a 1983 film with the director of the highest-grossing film of 1980, the cinematographer of the highest-grossing film of 1981, and Sean Connery starring as James Bond. What could go wrong?” – John Cork, author of James Bond Encyclopedia

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of Never Say Never Again, the remake of 1965’s Thunderball and the final film in the long-running series to feature Sir Sean Connery as Agent 007.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include Live and Let DieOctopussy, Casino Royale (1967), Tomorrow Never Dies, Die Another Day, Dr. No, The Living Daylights, The Spy Who Loved Me, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, Casino Royale, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, GoldenEye, A View to a Kill, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Goldfinger, and 007… Fifty Years Strong.

The Bits continues the series with this retrospective featuring a Q&A with an esteemed group of film historians and James Bond authorities who discuss the virtues, shortcomings and legacy of 1983’s Never Say Never Again. [Read on here...]

All right, we’re starting today with four new disc reviews for you here at The Bits...

Tim has checked in with a look at Flavio Mogherini’s The Pyjama Girl Case (1977) on Blu-ray from Arrow Video.

Also from Arrow, Dennis has offered his thoughts on Fred Zinnemann’s The Day of the Jackal (1973) on Blu-ray.

David has turned in a look at William Whitney’s A Strange Adventure (1956) on Blu-ray from our friends at Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

And we have another review addition to The Bits’ review staff today, Matthew Weflen, who’s got a look at Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige (2006) on 4K Ultra HD. You can find that in the Christopher Nolan Collection 4K box set.

Many more Blu-ray and DVD reviews are coming; I’m personally working on 4K reviews of Ant-Man and the Wasp, The Evil Dead, and Hook, with more on the way. So watch for those over the next few days. [Read on here...]

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I had the pleasure last night of attending a press screening of Damien Chazelle’s new Neil Armstrong biopic, First Man. So let me give you my non-spoiler review…

A little background first: As someone who’s been a lifelong supporter and aficionado of the space program, I’ve seen every film there is on the subject, from Apollo 13 and The Right Stuff to the most obscure documentary. I’ve listened to most of the CAPCOM recordings, I have DVDs and Blu-rays containing almost every foot of archival footage shot by NASA and the astronauts during their missions. I’ve been to NASA facilities, I’ve seen launches, and I’m fortunate enough to even know a few astronauts. It’s with that lifetime of experience that I can say this: First Man is the single most realistic dramatic film about the subject yet made.

The level of detail exceeds even Ron Howard’s Apollo 13 and by a good measure. In Howard’s film, great as it is, there are a couple of things that just aren’t quite right. For example, the mission patch plaques on the wall of Mission Control are painted versions of the souvenir patches sold to the public, not the actual patches the astronauts wore. The NASA emblems on characters’ flight suits are modern, not period accurate. They’re little things, sure, but for the knowledgable, they can throw you out of the moment. But Chazelle and his team nail all of those little details, right down to the tiniest stitch. It’s as if First Man was actually shot in the 1960s, a level of verisimilitude and immersion that’s rare, even for a film of this type. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, before I get started today, I wanted to post a quick personal note to say thank you for all the kind words and messages after my post last week. I’ve really appreciated them.

We’re going to check back tomorrow with a TON of new Blu-ray and 4K reviews (including Disney and Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp), but I wanted to check in with an update this afternoon.

First up, we’ve updated The 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Bits with Amazon pre-order links for all three of Lionsgate’s Rambo 4K titles, including First Blood, Rambo: First Blood, Part II, and Rambo III. Click on the cover art below for those.

Also Image and RLJ Entertainment has set Arizona for 4K UHD release in addition to Blu-ray and DVD on 10/16.

Paramount is releasing a Mission: Impossible – 6 Movie Collection on both 4K UHD and Blu-ray the same day that Mission: Impossible – Fallout streets on both formats (12/4). [Read on here...]

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