August 2020

We’ll be back later today, but we just wanted to check in early this morning with a quick bit of announcement news that broke over the weekend...

FUNimation has set finally Katsuhiro Otomo’s landmark anime Akira (1988) for release on 4K Ultra HD on 12/22. We’ve known the title was coming for a while now (it returns to theaters here in the U.S. for a limited run on 9/24), but we finally have the official confirmation of the remastered disc release.

The title is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com via this link and you can see the cover artwork at left and also below.

Apparently, it’s already been released on 4K disc in Japan and there’s a bit of concern that too much DNR may have been used by the Japanese animation studio to clean the image (the title is distributed there by Bandai Namco).

But we’ll have to see what it looks like when it finally arrives on disc here in the States. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’re working on reviews here at The Bits today, so the news post is going to be a quick one.

First things first: Universal Studios Home Entertainment has just set The Office: The Complete Series for release on Blu-ray Disc on 11/10. The SRP on Amazon is current listed as $119, but we expect their usual discount to be added soon.

What’s interesting about this is that the show has become a hit among Millennials especially during COVID isolation, with Netflix and other streaming services featuring it prominently. But it’s not only Millennials—my wife and I had never watched it when it was on NBC and we binged it a few months ago on recommendation from fellow Gen-X friends who had just done the same.

Hats off to Universal for noticing this trend and taking advantage of it. I’m sure there are LOTS of fans who would love to have it in HD on disc. So now’s your chance. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We’ve got some interesting announcement news for you today...

First up, Paramount has just set Robert Altman’s Popeye (1980) for release on Blu-ray Disc on 12/1, just in time for the film’s 40th anniversary (on 12/6). No kidding! The film stars Robin Williams, Shelley Duvall, Paul L. Smith, and Paul Dooley.

From the press release: “The new Blu-ray includes access to a Digital copy of the film, along with nearly 30 minutes of all-new bonus content featuring excerpts from one of Robin Williams’ final interviews, an interview with director Robert Altman from 2014, as well as a newly conducted interview with Stephen Altman.”

Those extras will include 4 featurettes (Return to Sweethaven: A Look Back with Robin and the Altmans, The Popeye Company Players, Popeye’s Premiere, and The Sailor Man Medleys) and the film’s theatrical trailer. You can see the cover artwork at left and also below. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got some news to report today. Disc release announcements and more...

First up, the Warner Archive Collection has announced their October slate, which is set to include Hanna-Barbera’s Space Ghost & Dino Boy: The Complete Series (1966-1967) on Blu-ray on 10/13, HBO’s The Plot Against America (2020) on DVD on 10/20, DC’s Black Lightning: The Complete Second Season (2018-2019) and Black Lightning: The Complete Third Season (2019-2020) on Blu-ray on 10/27, and Head of the Class: The Complete Second Season on DVD on 10/27.

They’re also working on new Blu-ray releases of Barbet Schroeder’s Reversal of Fortune (1990), Howard Hawks’ Sergeant York (1941), and Michael Patrick Jann’s Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999). Street date for all those are TBA.

The next entry in the MVD Rewind Collection (from the MVD Entertainment Group) will be Tamra Davis’ Guncrazy (1992) on 12/15. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Good afternoon, friends. Hope you all had a lovely weekend.

We’ve got a couple things for you today, starting with a new Blu-ray review. Our own Tim Salmons has done yeoman’s work sinking his teeth into/reviewing Arrow Video’s mammoth and outstanding Gamera: The Complete Collection box set on the format.

The good news: If you’re a fan of kaiju films—and this specific giant turtle in particular—it’s an amazing box set. The bad news: It sold fast and now seems to be out virtually everywhere online. There are a few retailers getting limited stock in now and again, but they go quickly. So unfortunately, unless Arrow is able to reprint it (which I’m told is unlikely at least for now), you might be out of luck. But we couldn’t let their good work go unacknowledged.

And though the set came out on 8/18, it’s literally taken Tim this long to go through it all. Here’s his epic review and we hope you enjoy it.

Also, I posted my thoughts on Lionsgate’s new Ghost in the Shell (1995) 4K release on Friday (click here in the event you missed it). And Dennis has reviewed George Marshall’s The Ghost Breakers (1940), starring Bob Hope, on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

HBO has just officially announced the 4K Ultra HD release of their Chernobyl miniseries on 12/1. The 5-episode series was finished natively in 4K and will include the Blu-ray and Digital copies as well (SRP $44.98). High Dynamic Range will presumably be HDR10.

Extras will include 5 featurettes (Meet the Key Players, Inside the Episode, Behind the Curtain: Director Johan Renck, Script to Screen: The Divers, and Pivotal Moment: The Trial).

Best Buy will also have an exclusive Steelbook version of the set. You can see the wide-release cover artwork pictured at left and also below.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has finally announced V for Vendetta for release on 4K Ultra HD on 11/3.

This should be no surprise to Bits readers, as we’ve been talking about this disc for weeks now. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, it’s been a busy week here at The Bits so far and we’ve got a lot of ground to cover today.

First of all, sorry for the lack of daily updates. The reason is three-fold. First, we’ve been working on reviews here at the website—more on that in a moment. Second, we had 110° heat here in SoCal this past weekend, with which our AC could not keep up. That meant my home theater was close to 90°, which made reviewing unpleasant, plus there was the danger of power outages. The good news is that we’ve made up for it since the heat broke—again, more on that in a moment. (The bad news is that our skies this afternoon are an unnatural shade of apocalyptic yellow-orange due to the California wildfires, but that’s neither here nor there.) The third reason is more complicated.

We’ve been hearing from many of our readers based in the Netherlands that you’re unable to see The Bits website. The cause of this is that—apparently—a very large portion of the Internet’s DDoS attacks and cyber shenanigans either come from, or are routed through—Netherlands IP addresses. So our server team is working on a solution to block the riff-raff while allowing the rest of you actual readers to see the site. Please be patient while we sort it all out. Unfortunately, this kind of thing seems perfectly in keeping with the whole 2020 milieu. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

This is a quick post to let you all know that Russell Hammond has just posted the weekly update of our Release Dates & Cover Artwork section here at The Digital Bits with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As a NEW feature, the section now lets you search for upcoming Blu-ray titles, DVD titles, AND 4K Ultra HD titles seperately to help you find exactly the ones you’re looking for. Just click on RELEASE DATES & ART on the menu bar above to visit the page, and use the search options in the red bar (at the top) to sort by format and date. Once you find a title you like, just click on the cover art and you’ll be taken right to the Amazon.com pre-order page. Thank you for shopping through our links!

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

We’ve got another quick update for you as we work on new disc reviews today. Speaking of which...

I’ve just posted my in-depth thoughts on GKids and Shout! Factory’s new Blu-ray release of Hayao Miyazaki’s 2013 animated masterpiece The Wind Rises. It streets on 9/22, and like all of these new GKids/Shout! Studio Ghibli Blu-ray reissues, it’s absolutely the definitive release of the film on disc for fans in the US. Don’t miss it.

My review of Bill & Ted 4K is up next, and over the weekend I’ll be looking at Goonies and Beetlejuice 4K as well. Tim and Dennis are hard at work on reviews too. So be sure to watch for those.

Now then... the big 4K announcement news today is that StudioCanal has officially set the 4K Ultra HD release of Paul Verhoeven’s Total Recall: 30th Anniversary Edition in the UK for 23 November. The 16-bit 4K scan and remaster was done from the original camera negative, with color grading in HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, today’s post is a quick one because I’m spending the disc and evening working on new disc reviews.

BUT... we’ve got something fun for you fans of Friday the 13th today—the complete list of extras that Shout! Factory and Scream are packing into their forthcoming Friday the 13th Collection: Deluxe Edition box set, which is due on 10/13.

So here’s the text of their press release with the complete list:

“LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Scream Factory has just announced the full list of exciting and shockingly extensive bonus features that will be included in the Friday the 13th Collection: Deluxe Edition, to be released on October 13th, 2020 (see full list below).

“In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the original and groundbreaking 1980 film Friday the 13th, the 16-disc set is the definitive Blu-ray collection of one of the most influential horror franchises ever created and includes all 12 original films from Paramount Pictures and New Line Cinema. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents
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