The big news today is that our friends at The Criterion Collection have officially announced the launch date for their forthcoming streaming service, The Criterion Channel. Look for it to debut on 4/8. And those who signed up to be Charter Subscribers can create their accounts today and start watching a new Movie of the Week series until the launch.

Not a day after we hinted at it in our daily column, Lionsgate has officially set Man on a Ledge for release on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on 4/9. Look for it to include both Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite on 3/5, with the Digital release expected on 2/12. Extras will include deleted scenes and The Favourite: Unstitching the Costume Drama featurette.

Fox will also release the Melissa McCarthy drama Can You Ever Forgive Me? on DVD only on 2/19 with Digital due on 2/5. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Afternoon, all. We’ve got a couple interesting items for you today...

First, Tim has posted a new review of Powerhouse Films and Indicator’s outstanding William Castle at Columbia: Volume Two Blu-ray box set, which streeted late last month and includes Zotz!, The Old Dark House, 13 Frightened Girls!, and Strait-Jacket. Do check it out and if you haven’t seen these films, they’re a hoot.

Also today, we have a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate featuring a look back at the James Bond film Quantum of Solace in honor of its 10th anniversary. The column features another terrific roundtable discussion, this time with historians Robert A. Caplen, John Cork, and Lisa Funnell. Enjoy!

And we’ve also posted the weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, whenever you order literally anything from Amazon after clicking through one of our links, you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we greatly appreciate it. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We had some content that we’d planned to post today here at The Bits, but we’ve decided to push it until Monday as a result of a bit of terrible news that’s come our way this afternoon.

We’re very sad to report that Nick Redman passed away yesterday. Nick was the co-founder (with Brian Jamieson) of the great Twilight Time indie Blu-ray label and a longtime documentary filmmaker, soundtrack producer, and film historian.

Redman produced and directed A Turning of the Earth: John Ford, John Wayne, and The Searchers (1998 – which you can find on Warner’s The Searchers: 50th Anniversary Special Edition DVD and on Blu-ray) and the feature-length Becoming John Ford documentary (2007 – available in the terrific Ford at Fox DVD collection or by itself on DVD), among other shorts and features.

He co-founded Twilight Time in 2011, which has since released hundreds of great classic cinema titles on Blu-ray, many with new commentaries featuring the likes of Redman, writer and film historian Julie Kirgo (who became Nick’s wife last July) and others. [Read on here...]

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We have more new announcements for you today...

First, Universal Studios Home Entertainment has set Christian Rivers’ Mortal Engines for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K on 3/12. The 4K release will include both Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio. Extras will audio commentary by the director and 5 featurettes (Welcome to London, End of the Ancients, Character Series, In the Air, and Film New Zealand).

Here’s an interesting item: Lionsgate has just set Otto Bathurst’s bombastic Robin Hood (2018) for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 2/19, with the Digital release due on 2/5. This will be the first physical 4K release to include both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. You’ll also get Dolby Atmos audio. Extras will include the 7-part Outlaws and Auteurs: Reshaping Robin Hood documentary, outtakes, and deleted scenes. [Read on here...]

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We’ve more big release news to report today...

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and MGM have just officially set Steven Cable Jr.’s Creed II for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 3/5 (SRP $44.95, $35.99, and $28.98 respectively), with the Digital release expected on 2/12. The 4K release will include Dolby Vision HDR. We suspect the audio will be Dolby Atmos as well, but the press release doesn’t specify. Extras on both the Blu-ray and 4K editions will include 4 featurettes (From Father to Son, Blood Runs Hot, Finding the Authentic, The Women of Creed II, and The Rocky Legacy), plus deleted scenes.

Warner has also announced that Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be released on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 3/12, with the Digital release due on 2/15. The 4K will include Dolby Vision HDR and both Blu-ray versions will feature Dolby Atmos audio. Extras will include 9 featurettes (J.K. Rowling: A World Revealed, Wizards on Screen, Fans in Real Life, Distinctly Dumbledore, Unlocking Scene Secrets: The Return to Hogwarts, Unlocking Scene Secrets: Newt’s Menagerie, Unlocking Scene Secrets: Credence, Nagini and the Circus Arcanus, Unlocking Scene Secrets: Paris and Place Cachée, Unlocking Scene Secrets: Ministere des Affaires Magiques, and Unlocking Scene Secrets: Grindelwald’s Escape and the Ring of Fire), plus deleted scenes. You will also get an Extended Cut of the film with 7 minutes of additional footage as a Digital download only. [Read on here...]

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We’ve got a big release news update for you today, but first we have a couple new Blu-ray reviews for you...

First, Tim has taken a look at Scream Factory’s Steelbook re-issue of The Thing: Collector’s Edition. He’s also reviewed Scream’s new Urban Legend: Collector’s Edition. And we also have a Blu-ray review from Dennis of What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. Enjoy!

Note that we’ve also posted this week’s update of the Release Dates and Artwork section featuring all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. And we’ll be updating the 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Bits in the next day or so as well.

Now then... the big news today is that Criterion has just announced their planned April additions to the Collection, as follows. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

So… this is going to be an interesting post for you longtime Bits readers. It’s been interesting for me to compose, certainly, writing it as I do from the perspective of someone who’s covered the home video industry now for more than twenty years (and followed it since the 1980s). I hope it will be at least thought-provoking to you all. But I’ll get to the meat of it in a moment.

First, let me take care of a bit of routine business: We’ve posted (in the last 24 hours) no less than seven new Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD reviews, beginning with my own in-depth look at Damien Chazelle’s First Man in 4K, a film which I believe is a masterpiece and one that will come to be regarded as such with time.

Also newly posted here are Tim’s thoughts on one of my favorite François Truffaut films, Jules and Jim, as released on Blu-ray from Criterion, along with Tony Williams’ Next of Kin from Umbrella Entertainment. You’ll find too Dennis Seuling’s take on Drew Goddard’s Bad Times at the El Royale on Blu-ray from Fox and the documentary Tea with the Dames on DVD from MPI. Finally, we have David’s take on Anne of the Thousand Days from Twilight Time and Godard Mon Amour from Cohen Media, both on Blu-ray. All of these films are worth a look and we hope you enjoy them. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’re back finally. We were sort of back last week, but a combination of server work and various houseguests kept me from really diving back into things here at The Bits, though Tim and the crew have been active in posting reviews. I’ve also been up to something very exciting over the last few months, which I’ll talk more about in a minute.

We have a trio of recent Blu-ray reviews for you to check out today, including Tim’s look at Cutting Class from Vinegar Syndrome, Dennis’ review of Not Without My Daughter from MVD, and David’s look at Topper Takes a Trip from VCI.

And I am about to embark on an in-depth review of Damien Chazelle’s recent Neil Armstrong biopic First Man, which was one of my favorite films of 2018. I’ve gotten my hands on the 4K Ultra HD from Universal and it’s tremendous. So watch for that review later today or first thing in the morning. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

First day back from the holidays for us here at The Bits and I hope you all had a terrific break.

I actually caught up on a few films and plan to get back to reviewing myself, especially 4K Ultra HD. A great number of good ones have come in recently and I pledge to review as many as I can over the coming weeks.

Speaking of reviews, Tim and the crew have turned in a bunch of good ones lately, including the Dragnet: Collector’s Edition from Shout! Factory, The House with the Clock in Its Walls and Operation Finale from Universal, the Maniac: Limited Edition from Blue Underground, the Waterworld: Limited Edition from Arrow Video, The Adventures of Hajji Baba from Twilight Time, and the Mantovani: The King of Strings – Special Edition from Filmrise. Enjoy!

We’ll get back to new release news tomorrow, but last night I had the chance to watch Tony Zierra’s tremendous new documentary Filmworker. It actually came out in 2017, but I only caught it last night on Netflix (you can also see it on DVD from Kino Lorber). It tells the life story of Leon Vitali, a young up and coming actor in the UK in the 1970s, who was cast by Stanley Kubrick in the role of Lord Bullingdon in Barry Lyndon (1975). [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Happy Thursday, Bits readers!

There’s very little in the way of news to report today, given that Hollywood is essentially shut down until next week for the holidays.

But we do have a couple things I wanted to share with you today.

First, Tim has turned in a pair of new Blu-ray reviews, and they’re good titles… a pair of Hammer Films classics starring Christopher Lee: Dracula Prince of Darkness (1966) from Scream Factory and Horror of Dracula (1958) now available from the Warner Archive Collection. Both are well worth your time, so enjoy the reviews.

Also today, our own Michael Coate has turned in a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column looking back at The Odd Couple (1968) in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary. The piece features a good interview with historian Rob Edelman. I think you’ll enjoy that too.

Now then… I’ve been very busy with a number of things these past few weeks, but I plan to return to reviewing Blu-ray and 4K titles in a big way right after New Year’s, likely starting with a look at Universal’s First Man. And I’m going to knock out a whole bunch of new and recent titles on both formats throughout the month of January.

In the meantime, I hope you’re all having a great and safe holiday break with your family and friends.

So enjoy every minute… and stay tuned!

(You can follow Bill on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook)

 

Published in My Two Cents
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