August 2020

All right, we’ve got some very interesting ground to cover today...

First, we’ve posted a review of Richard Donner’s Timeline (2003), which has just been released on Blu-ray for the first time ever by Paramount. Our own Dr. Adam Jahnke reviewed the DVD way back in 2004, so I’ve revived his film review and added my own comments on the Blu-ray’s A/V quality. Timeline is cheesy and paper-thin to be sure (I would never call it a great film, or really even a very good one), but I still kind of enjoy it. So it’s nice to finally have it on Blu-ray, especially for just $9.99 SRP.

Also, later today or tomorrow morning I expect to finish my review of Zack Snyder’s 300 in 4K Ultra HD from Warner Bros. So watch for that to be posted very soon.

Now then, in release news today, we’ve got a few things for you. None of this is yet official—as in no press releases have been issued, but we expect them to be shortly—but we’ve got updates today on a few new 4K catalog titles that we know many of you have been eagerly awaiting. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got a couple new disc reviews to start the proceedings here at The Bits today...

I’ve taken a look at the first season of HBO’s new His Dark Materials series on Blu-ray, which is pretty good. Fans of the Philip Pullman books will be pleased to know that this is a solid adaptation. I just wish HBO would release the series in 4K, because the film was shot natively in 4.5K and 6K and finished in 4K, so it should look tremendous. Anyway, the Blu-ray release is solid enough (and Season Two starts in November).

Also, I’ve reviewed Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element as newly released in 4K by StudioCanal in the UK. And here’s the thing: Though the disc has no extras (and its remastered Blu-ray is Region B locked), StudioCanal’s 4K features a new and better encode than the previous Sony Ultra HD release, with much higher data rates, and Dolby Vision HDR. It’s a notable improvement in image quality. So serious fans of the film may want to consider it. Click here for all the details. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Afternoon, folks! Hope you all had a lovely weekend.

We’ve got some new disc reviews for you to enjoy today...

I’ve taken a look at Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes (2009) on 4K Ultra HD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. It’s a nice (if modest) image upgrade on the format that fans of the film especially should appreciate. HDR gives the proceedings a nice boost.

Also, Dennis has taken a look at David Lynch’s The Elephant Man, which is now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection. Sounds like it’s a very worthy upgrade, mastered from the new StudioCanal 4K transfer. And for those of you wondering, the “missing” fade from the StudioCanal 4K is also missing here. But do keep in mind that Lynch approved the remaster, so it’s possible he made the change himself (meaning it might not be an error).

Now then, we’ve got more reviews coming over the next few days. Two are already to go for tomorrow and more should follow. So stay tuned for that. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right Bits readers, we’ve got a pretty significant news update for you today...

We’ve been tracking many of these titles, but a few of the 4K catalog titles we’re going to talk about today are breaking news, thanks to our old friends over at Media Play News.

They’ve just issued the September 2020 Digital edition of their magazine, which features an extensive look at the recent surge of 4K Ultra HD catalog releases. The publication’s editor, Stephanie Prange (who, full disclosure, I’ve known for many years), wrote a great longform piece for the issue called 4K Ultra HD: Into the Vaults about the process of preparing classic catalog films for release on the format.

Not only is it informative (and I should note that I was among the people interviewed therein), it includes some great news about forthcoming titles. [Read on here...]

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We’re starting today with another new disc review...

Dennis has taken a look at Elliot Nugent’s The Cat and the Canary (1939), starring Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard, on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. The film is now available.

In announcement news today, Lionsgate has just officially set Schitt’s Creek: The Complete Collection for release on DVD only on 11/10, hot off the series’ recent Emmy Awards sweep. The set includes all 6 seasons of the series, along with deleted scenes, bloopers, Inside Schitt’s Creek and Behind the Episode segments, additional featurettes, and the A Schitt’s Creek Farewell documentary. I know what you’re all going to ask: No, there is unfortunately no word of a Blu-ray release at this time. In any case, you can see the DVD cover artwork above left. [Read on here...]

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All right, we’ve got some pretty significant announcement news to cover here at The Bits today...

But first, I’ve posted my thoughts on Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s new 4K Ultra HD remaster of Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket. The disc streets today and it’s pretty solid (though it’s not quite up to the level of some of the other recent Kubrick 4K remasters simply because of the nature of the film itself). You can find that here.

And more Blu-ray and 4K reviews are forthcoming.

Now then... the big news this morning is that Paramount has officially announced the 4K Ultra HD release of Beverly Hills Cop on 12/1. A remastered Blu-ray came out earlier this year, and of course the film is already available digitally in 4K.

But that’s not all: The studio is also releasing Coming to America on 4K Ultra HD in both regular and Steelbook packaging, along with a remastered Blu-ray, that same day. This is tied to their upcoming sequel film, Coming 2 America, which is still tentatively due to arrive in theaters in December. [Read on here...]

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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...]

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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...]

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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...]

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