Items filtered by date: May 2021
We’re kicking off the new week with more disc reviews...
For those who missed it, I posted my thoughts on Wolfgang Petersen’s In the Line of Fire (from Sony) and Adam Wingard’s Godzilla vs. Kong (from Warner Bros.) in 4K Ultra HD on Friday. They’re very different films, but each looks and sounds terrific, so do give them a look.
Also, Dennis has turned in his comments on George Sherman’s Larceny, a 1948 film noir that’s coming on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics on 7/13.
And Stephen has reviewed Arthur Barron’s Jeremy (1973) on Blu-ray, as recently released on the format by Fun City Editions.
We also have a brand new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate, which looks back at the theatrical release of Gordon Parks’ original Shaft in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary. The in-depth piece (four pages in all!) features a new roundtable interview with historians Josiah Howard and Lee Pfeiffer, as well as Shaft super-fan Chris Utley. You’ll find that here and it’s well worth a look. [Read on here...]
“It really was Shaft that proved the true value of the Black dollar. Up until then Hollywood hadn’t seriously considered the breadth, scope and power of the Black moviegoing audience.” – Josiah Howard, author of Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide
“With Shaft, an underrepresented audience finally got the representation they were thirsty for.” – Chris Utley, Shaft fan
“While the Blaxploitation genre lasted less than a decade before burning out, I always thought the Shaft franchise could have endured indefinitely, as the Bond films did.” – Lee Pfeiffer, Cinema Retro
The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this multi-page retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Shaft, the groundbreaking, franchise-inspiring, crime thriller directed by Gordon Parks (The Learning Tree) and starring then-newcomer Richard Roundtree as the titular character.
Shaft, also starring Moses Gunn (Roots, Ragtime) and featuring Isaac Hayes’ memorable and award-winning music, was released to theaters fifty years ago this month. For the occasion The Bits features a package of statistics and box-office data that places the movie’s performance in context, along with passages from some of its film reviews, a reference/historical listing of its original theatrical engagements, and, finally, a roundtable interview segment with a trio of film historians and Shaft authorities who reflect on the movie (and franchise) five decades after its debut. [Read on here...]
This is just a very quick update with some important (and long-awaited) breaking news...
No sooner did I mention (in yesterday’s column) that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment was finally getting ready to release Zack Snyder’s Justice League on disc here in the States (likely in Q3 or Q4), the studio has just made it official.
The 4K release will be a 4-disc set including the complete film in both 4K UHD and Blu-ray in the same package.
Both versions will offer a Dolby Atmos sound mix. The 4K UHD will feature HDR10 high dynamic range.
There are no extras, and no Digital copy is included. [Read on here...]
All right, we’re starting this afternoon with a few more new disc reviews for you to enjoy...
Stephen has posted his thoughts on Curtis Bernhardt’s 1929 silent drama The Woman One Longs For, featuring only the second starring role for actress Marlene Dietrich. That’s now available on Blu-ray from Kino Classics.
Also, Dennis has offered a look at John Farrow’s 1949 film noir Alias Nick Beal, available on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. Do give both of them a look.
In Blu-ray release news today, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and DC have just set Batwoman: The Complete Second Season for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 9/21 featuring all 18 episodes along with deleted scenes, a gag reel, and 2 featurettes (Villains Analyzed and Never Alone: Heroes and Allies).
WBHE has also set the animated Straight Outta Nowhere: Scooby-Doo Meets Courage the Cowardly Dog for release on DVD and Digital on 9/14. [Read on here...]
All right, we’re kicking off the new week with three more disc reviews...
Of course, the big news is that today and tomorrow are officially Prime Day on Amazon, and what you all need to know is that there are a TON of great Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD deals to be had! The Lord of the Rings 4K Trilogy is just $59 (33% off), the Back to the Future Trilogy 4K is just $30 (46% off), Jaws 4K is just $9 (41% off), etc. Click here to start browsing and act fast if you’re interested! [Read on here...]
We’ve got a new disc review today from Tim—actually a pair of reviews, but it’s essentially the same title in two different packaging SKUs—featuring his thoughts on John McTiernan’s Last Action Hero (1993) in 4K Ultra HD and 4K UHD Steelbook from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Sounds like it’s a good release, so do give it a look.
Now then, the big news today is that Criterion has officially announced their September slate, which is set to include Neil Jordan’s Mona Lisa (Blu-ray and DVD – Spine #107) on 9/14, Gina-Prince-Bythewood’s Love & Basketball (Blu-ray and DVD – Spine #1097) and Johnnie To’s Throw Down (Blu-ray and DVD – Spine #1092) on 9/21, and Luchino Visconti’s The Damned (Blu-ray and DVD – Spine #1098) and Melvin Van Peebles: Four Films (Blu-ray only, includes The Story of a Three Day Pass – Spine #1093, Watermelon Man – Spine #1094, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song – Spine #1095, and Don’t Play Us Cheap – Spine #1096) on 9/28. You can see the cover artwork for Melvin Van Peebles: Four Films at left and also below the break. Click here for all the A/V and extras details on the Criterion website.
We’ve updated our Criterion Spines Project pages here on The Bits accordingly. [Read on here...]
We’ve got some bit 4K release news for you today, but first more new disc reviews...
Stephen has posted his thoughts on Rod Lurie’s The Outpost: Extended Director’s Cut in 4K Ultra HD from Screen Media. Sounds like it’s a good film, but be aware that this is one of those rare 4K releases that doesn’t include HDR.
More reviews are on the way for later this week. (And yes, I’m still waiting on Zack Snyder’s Justice League in 4K, but I will review that the moment it arrives.) [Read on here...]
All right... we have just a quick update here at The Bits for you today, because I have family visiting this weekend for the first time since before the pandemic.
The big thing we have for you this afternoon is of course this: I’ve posted our in-depth review of the Indiana Jones: 4-Movie Collection in 4K Ultra HD from Paramount Home Entertainment and Lucasfilm. The remastered 4K image on the first three films is spectacular, while the fourth film at least benefits some from HDR and some 4K-scanned footage from the camera negative here and there (shots without VFX). Meanwhile, the new Ben Burtt Dolby Atmos mixes are all demo-worthy across the board.
There are no new extras in the set and the packaging is terrible, but the picture and sound upgrade is so significant that most fans will be willing to overlook it. The set is definitely not to be missed, and you’ll find all the in-depth details right here in our review. [Read on here...]
All right, so we’re going to be back later today with some more new disc reviews, but there’s some potentially significant news breaking at the moment that I wanted to address posthaste this morning.
You remember how I said yesterday that I’d been interviewed for an article on Trek Report about the potential for the classic Star Trek films to be remastered and released in 4K Ultra HD? And I also said that I’d circle back to the subject, but that essentially there was no new news to report at this time?
So the short of what I indicated in the interview was that Paramount definitely wanted to remaster all of the classic Trek films in 4K, and that they’ve clearly ramped up their catalog releases on BD and 4K during the pandemic, and are continuing to remaster their classic catalog films. It was simply a matter of cost, but it was my belief that they’d get around to it eventually. Just don’t hold your breath, right? I mean, how many times have we heard that they were talking about it, and then nothing ever happens? So, sound advice.
And then just this morning, Amazon France dropped a listing for a box set of the first four Star Trek films in 4K Ultra HD with a street date of September 8. [Read on here...]
All right, we’ve got a quick update for you today. Sorry for the lack of a post on Monday, but there’s a bunch of stuff going on that’s drawn me down multiple Blu-ray and/or 4K UHD-related rabbit-holes over the last couple of days.
First up today, more disc reviews...
Also, Dennis has turned in a look at the new Criterion Collection edition of Amy Heckerling’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray. You can find that here. Sounds like it’s pretty great.
And Stephen has given Robert Altman’s Fool for Love a spin on Blu-ray from Scorpion Releasing. The film stars Kim Basinger, Sam Shepard, and Harry Dean Stanton and is well worth a look.
Now then... we’ve been informed by Paramount that our 4K review copy of the Indiana Jones 4-Movie Collection will ship out sometime around midweek. Which means the earliest we expect to have it in hand is Thursday, but it could be Friday or Saturday. Rest assured, I’ll drop everything when it arrives to get the review completed thoroughly and posted on The Bits for you all to check out. And that brings me to the main topic of today’s news post... [Read on here...]