Displaying items by tag: Back the Bits

All right, we have just a couple of quick updates for you here at The Bits today, but first we have a new disc review...

Stephen has taken a look at Stephen Sommers’ G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009) as newly-released on 4K Ultra HD by Paramount. Sounds like it’s a modest but decent upgrade over the existing Blu-ray, so do give it a look if you’re a fan.

Now then, in terms of announcement news, Lionsgate has set writer-director Janicza Bravo’s Zola for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital on 9/14. Extras will include audio commentary with Bravo and editor Joi McMillon, the Y’all Wanna Hear a Story: Making Zola featurette, and deleted scenes with optional audio commentary.

Lionsgate will also release Twist on Blu-ray and DVD on 9/28. The film stars Lena Headey and Michael Caine. Extras will include The Artful Dodger: Twist’s Underworld featurette. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right folks, this is a day a lot of us have been waiting a very long time for. Let’s get right into what is arguably the year’s biggest news...

Our friends at The Criterion Collection have finally announced that their first titles on the physical 4K Ultra HD format will include David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr., Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane, Jane Campion’s The Piano, Allen and Albert Hughes’s Menace II Society, Emeric Pressburger and Michael Powell’s The Red Shoes, and Richard Lester’s A Hard Day’s Night! The first of these is expected to arrive in November (we believe it will be Mulholland Dr.) and will be officially detailed next week when Criterion announces its full November slate. The rest will follow in subsequent months (starting—we believe—with Citizen Kane in December, given that 2021 is the film’s 80th anniversary). Per Criterion, each of their 4K titles will include the film on both 4K and Blu-ray (with most extras on the Blu-ray, allowing the 4K disc to have maximum room for video and audio data). Select films will also feature Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos sound.

Any way you slice it, this is outstanding news. We actually knew (thanks to our longtime industry sources) about three of those titles and had a pretty good line on a fourth. But by our reckoning, the fact that the company has announced no less than SIX 4K titles tells us that Criterion is seriously ALL IN on the Ultra HD format at long last. And that is the best news we’ve had all year for physical media.

But that’s not all of the news we have for you today, so let’s keep going! [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We’re starting today’s post as always with more new disc reviews...

In anticipation of Zack Snyder’s Justice League (I should have that 4K disc in hand for review sometime in the next few days), I’ve gone back to take a look at the director’s recently-remastered new 4K edition of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Ultimate Edition which was released in March by the Warner Archive Collection. The disc includes a revised HDR grade and a new variable aspect ratio presentation that includes 1.43 IMAX framing for select scenes. There’s a new commentary with the director as well, so it’s definitely worth a look if you’re a fan of the film.

Also today, I’ve given Gunpowder & Sky’s new US 4K release of the indie sci-fi film Prospect a look (an Ultra HD release that’s being distributed by Vinegar Syndrome). It offers a higher video bitrate than the German 4K release I’ve reviewed previously here, along with newly-produced extras and a nifty little in-universe booklet in the packaging. It’s highly recommended for fans of the film.

And because we’ve been getting a lot of questions about it: Yes, I will be reviewing Paramount and Lucasfilm’s Indiana Jones: 4-Film Collection in 4K Ultra HD. The disc streets next Tuesday, we should have our review copy in hand sometime over the next several days. Rest assured, as soon as we have it, I’ll get that title reviewed here on The Bits post-haste. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Let’s close out the week today with another new disc review and more release news...

First, Dennis has just turned in his thoughts on Cecile B. DeMille’s The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) on Blu-ray from Paramount Home Entertainment, the 16th title in their Paramount Presents line. It sounds as if the remaster is a nice one, so do give it a look.

A quick disc update: FUNimation is now shipping out fixed replacement discs for their recent release of Akira in 4K Ultra HD. As some of you know, the original discs lacked the HDR option they were supposed to include. The new fixed discs correct this. My own replacement copy arrived a couple of days ago and I’m really pleased with the HDR grade overall, so I’m going to try to get a review of the fixed version up here at The Bits next week.

On a similar note, Amazon UK has just listed Speed for pre-order in 4K and naturally the cover artwork they’ve posted has caused still more confusion in that it correctly lists DTS-HD MA audio in the features grid on the back, but also (incorrectly) shows a Dolby Atmos logo. What’s more, there’s no mention of any special features. [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

All right, so... I’ve got some interesting follow up on our Disney and Warner news from the past few days.

First though, we’ve got another review for you and more announcement news...

Tim has just turned in his thoughts on Steve Beck’s Thir13en Ghosts (2001), coming soon to Collector’s Edition Blu-ray from Scream Factory. Check that out here.

In release news, Lionsgate has just officially announced the 4K Ultra HD and Digital 4K release of Mamoru Oshii’s landmark anime Ghost in the Shell (1995) on 9/8, as expected. The 4K presentation will include Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio (in both English and Japanese, along with the original Japanese 2.0 LPCM audio), as well as both new and legacy special edition material. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Today’s post is just a quickie because I’m working hard to finish up some long overdue Blu-ray reviews.

I should add a note here to acknowledge the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has proven quite a challenge for all of us, and it’s no different here at The Digital Bits. Title announcements have been delayed, many of our studio and industry contacts have either been working at home or furloughed, screener product has been delayed or cancelled, etc. And of course, as is probably the case with many of you, our own lives have been turned upside down. It’s required a lot of shifting of schedules, workflow, energies, and effort. And some of the review work I usually do personally has gotten waylaid by having to deal with other issues to keep the site going.

The good news is that we seem to be rolling with it all fairly well, and Tim, Dennis and our other Bits team members have been doing yeoman’s work filling in. That said, I do very much appreciate whatever support you guys—our readers—can provide in this difficult time, either by continuing to purchase items through our Amazon links and/or making contributions by a PayPal in our Back the Bits program. And I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you all for sticking with us. We have the best readers on the Internet. Some of you have been with us all the way back to the beginning of the site back in 1997. And we appreciate each and every one of you. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, many of you have asked about (or otherwise understandably bemoaned) the lack of big or significant announcements relating to catalog films on 4K Ultra HD lately. So today’s update here at The Digital Bits is about addressing that concern.

And while we still have little in the way of official announcements at the moment, I can confidently report that at least some of titles you’re waiting for are on the way in 2020.

The information in today’s post should be considered unofficial until the studios in question make their actual announcements. But we believe it to be a reliable gauge of titles currently in the production pipeline or planning stages.

First, we know for sure that Disney is going to be releasing Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga on 4K coinciding with the Blu-ray and 4K release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, likely in March. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got a few things to cover today...

First up, we have a pair of new Blu-ray reviews for you this afternoon from Dennis, including his thoughts on M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass and Mimi Leder’s On the Basis of Sex, both from Universal. Enjoy!

Also today, and this is the big news: Late on Friday we caught wind that HBO might finally be planning to release the Tom Hanks-produced miniseries From the Earth to the Moon on Blu-ray in July. The online retailer ImportCDs was showing a listing for the title as streeting on 7/16. A quick retailer search over the weekend led to more corroborating evidence: Best Buy and Barnes and Noble are both showing listings as well for the title – B&N’s sale price is $31.99, while Best Buy’s is $27.99. There are no details available yet, nor is there cover artwork, and the title has not been officially announced by HBO. But we believe it’s reasonable to assume it’s coming. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents
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