Afternoon folks and Happy Halloween!
This is just a quick post to offer our best wishes for a happy and safe evening of spooks, specters, candy, and scary movies.
And to let you all know that I’ve just posted my in-depth review of Warner’s stunning new restoration of The Wizard of Oz in 4K Ultra HD. Trust me, this disc is well worth your time and it’s just $22 on Amazon right now. Don’t hesitate.
I’ve also updated a pair of previous reviews, including Disney Movie Club’s The Black Hole on Blu-ray and Mill Creek Entertainment’s A Beautiful Planet IMAX in 4K, both of which were released originally with errors that have now been corrected. Fixed discs are available in each case, and we’ve updated our original reviews accordingly.
Okay, that’s it. Happy Halloween everyone!
All right, we begin today with some new disc reviews...
I’ve just turned in my thoughts on Paramount’s stunning new 4K restoration of Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, one of those films I’d take to a desert island if I had to be stranded there with only a few. The film has never looked better and the disc even offers some tremendous newly-created extras, though the included Blu-ray version is a puzzler. Still, fans should agree that the restoration is worth every penny and it’s just $19 on Amazon right now. Don’t hesitate.
I’m working to finish my review of Warner’s The Wizard of Oz next and I’m also checking out the first couple of discs of Network’s new Monty Python’s Flying Circus Blu-ray set. So watch for those reviews soon.
Meanwhile, Tim has posted his thoughts on Scream Factory’s new Collector’s Edition Blu-ray of Chuck Russell’s 1988 remake of The Blob. Fans will definitely want to give it a look.
And Dennis has weighed in on Ari Aster’s Midsommar on Blu-ray from A23 and Lionsgate, so do give that a look as well. [Read on here...]
We’re busy working on reviews here at The Bits this week, including The Wizard of Oz and It’s a Wonderful Life in 4K, as well as Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Batman Beyond on Blu-ray (and more).
But there’s breaking news we wanted to jump in a post right away...
First, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has officially announced the Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD release of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood on 12/10, with the Digital release expected on 11/25.
The film was finished as a native 4K Digital Intermediate, so it should look terrific. Audio will be 7.1 DTS-HD MA on 4K (with HDR10 high dynamic range) and 5.1 DTS-HD MA on Blu-ray. [Read on here...]
We’ve got a few interesting news items to report today, but first some more reviews...
Tim has posted his thoughts on Scream Factory’s new The Omen Collection Blu-ray box set and it sounds like it’s pretty fantastic. The title is well worth a look and you’ll find the review here.
And I’m working on a review of Warner’s The Wizard of Oz in 4K Ultra HD, which looks absolutely fantastic. The title streets on Tuesday and I hope to have my review posted on Monday. So stay tuned for that. [Read on here...]
Okay, I posted my review of MGM’s 007: The Daniel Craig Collection in 4K Ultra HD last night here on The Bits. It’s pretty darned good image-wise. You can read all the details in the review.
Also today, Tim has posted a review of the new An American Werewolf in London: Limited Edition Blu-ray from Arrow Video. He’s also posted a look at Severin Films’ new Killer Crocodile 1 & 2 Limited Edition Blu-ray.
And I’ve started working on a review of Warner’s incredible new 4K Ultra HD release of The Wizard of Oz. The film was scanned in 8K from the original Technicolor camera negative and I’ll tell you, it’s never looked more luminous and dimensional. For an 80-year-old film, it’s pretty stunning. So watch for that review in the next couple of days. [Read on here...]
All right, first things first today...
I’m currently at work on a 4K Ultra HD review of MGM’s 007: The Daniel Craig Collection, which includes all four of the existing Craig Bond films. That will be up either later today or first thing AM.
The quick preview is that the films look very good, a nice uptick from Blu-ray in terms of the video quality, with a restrained HDR grade. For video, I’d score the films as follows… Casino Royale: B+, Quantum of Solace: A-, Skyfall: A, SPECTRE: A. The first two are 2K upsamples, while the latter two are native 4K DIs. Watch for more details in the review.
Now then... the big news today has to do with Universal and Amblin’s Back to the Future films. Universal Brand Development (a division of Universal Studios) has revealed today that The Back to the Future Trilogy will officially be coming to 4K Ultra HD next year (in 2020) in honor of the original film’s 35th anniversary. [Read on here...]
We’ve got another new disc review for you to enjoy today...
I’m just posted my thoughts on HBO’s Deadwood: The Movie, written by David Milch and directed by Daniel Minahan. If you’re a fan of the original Deadwood TV series (reviewed here on Blu-ray), you should really appreciate what a fine piece of work it is (and what a miracle it is that it finally happened).
I should note here though that HBO has informed us they’re no longer sending out review product for most of their physical media releases (they’re deciding it on a title by title basis, essentially the same thing). That is a sorry state of affairs for a network of HBO’s pedigree. In any case, it means that we had to purchase our own copy of this title for the review, something will certainly not be doing often in the future. Sadly, we can only see this as yet another sign that physical media is waning.
In any case, we do thankfully have some good physical media news for you today... [Read on here...]
We’ve got a quick update for you today, to report that Criterion has just announced their January 2020 Blu-ray and DVD titles.
They include: George Cukor’s Holiday (Spine #1009 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 1/7, Sidney Lumet’s The Fugitive Kind (Spine #515 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 1/14, Jean-Luc Godard’s Le petit soldat (Spine #1010 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 1/21, and Sidney Lumet’s Fail Safe (Spine #1111 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Pedro Almodóvar’s All About My Mother (Spine #1012 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 1/28.
We’ve updated our Criterion Spines Project page here at The Bits to include them, and you can read more about each title on the Criterion website. You can also see the cover artwork below. [Read on here...]
All right, thanks for your patience while I was away at the end of last week. My father-in-law passed away, so my wife and I flew across the country to attend his memorial and see family.
But there’s a good deal to catch up on today news-wise, so let’s get right to it. First things first...
Yes, we are aware of the rumors that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is planning to bring The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films to 4K Ultra HD. They originated on the excellent 4K Filme.de website, which (I’m told) found the titles briefly listed on a Warner B2B website for German retailers. All six films were indicated for release on UHD (with the Extended Editions included) and with a tentative street date given of June 25, 2020. All right, now let’s put this in context...
First of all, there’s no doubt that Warner Bros. is going to release these films on physical 4K Ultra HD. These are literally their most demanded catalog titles on the format. Also, 2021 is the 20th anniversary of Fellowship of the Ring. And Amazon’s new Lord of the Rings prequel series, which reportedly begins production next month and will apparently be in production for two years, is likely to debut on Amazon Prime in late 2022. So the studio is certainly going to want to get those films ready for 4K release by then. [Read on here...]
All right, we start today with a bit of news for gamers that will also make physical media fans happy... or at least it should.
Sony has begun to reveal details about its forthcoming PlayStation 5 game console (and yes, that is the official name), which is due in late 2020 (in time for the holidays), and the great news is that they’ve confirmed it will have an optical 4K Ultra HD disc drive for movies and 100 GB optical game discs.
Other details include an SSD drive, an AMD Ryzen CPU, Navi GPU hardware with ray-tracing acceleration, controllers with adaptive triggers and improved speakers to boost haptic feedback, and more. You can read all the details here at Wired.
Now, here’s the thing: Physical media is in decline. There’s just no doubt about it. Sales are down, studios are getting more choosy about what they release on disc, and studios like Disney are dumping catalog titles on 4K disc ahead of paywalling them all as Digital 4K streams with HDR on Disney+. [Read on here...]