My Two Cents

Displaying items by tag: Hammer Films

Well, the new week is here. And unfortunately, in the wake of our post on Friday about Walt Disney Home Entertainment’s catalog 4K plans (or lack thereof), the news today isn’t good either...

Per Deadline this morning, WarnerMedia has begun a round of layoffs and restructuring meant to help the company survive the pandemic and its resulting economic downturn. Jeffrey R. Schlesinger (President, Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution), Ron Sanders (President, Worldwide Theatrical Distribution & Home Entertainment and EVP, International Business Operations), and Kim Williams (EVP and Chief Financial Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment) are all “exiting” the company per this arrangement. Ron Sanders has been with the company for almost thirty years, going all the way back to the early days of DVD. So his departure is a big deal. (Our friends at Media Play News have a good profile on Sanders up today here.)

But here’s the rub from the linked Deadline piece... “about 600 employees across multiple divisions are expected to be let go, starting today. Warner Bros Entertainment is believed to be heavily impacted.[Read on here...]

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All right, we’ve got major new announcements from Shout! Factory and Scream for you today...

For March, the companies have added Jack Smight’s British production of Frankenstein: The True Story (1973) to their 3/24 slate. Shout! is also releasing The Transformers: The Complete Original Series DVD box set on 3/31.

In April, in addition to the Escape from L.A.: Collector’s Edition Blu-ray on 4/28, Shout! and Scream will release Swift and Knives and Skin (for IFC) on 4/7, Homeboy and Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter on 4/14, The Spider (1958) and The Curse of the Werewolf: Collector’s Edition (1961) on 4/21, and Underdog: The Complete Series Collector’s Edition (DVD), Shatter (1974), and The Lost Continent (1968) on 4/28. [Read on here...]

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We’ve got some more new reviews for you today, and some interesting news as well. So let’s get to it.

First up, the reviews...

I’ve offered my thoughts on Luc Besson’s Anna on 4K Ultra HD from Summit and Lionsgate.

And Tim has turned in looks at Roy Ward Baker’s Scars of Dracula (1970) on Blu-ray, a Hammer title from Scream Factory, as well as Scream’s Humanoids from the Deep Steelbook Blu-ray.

With a little luck, we’ll have at least a couple more reviews tomorrow as well, so be sure to check back.

We’ve also got a street date update for you on a few titles: Look for Warner’s It: Chapter Two on BD, DVD, and 4K on 12/10. Lionsgate will release Red Heat on 4K on 10/8 (coming from Studio Canal in the UK). And Fox is expected to release The Art of Racing in the Rain on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K on 11/5. [Read on here...]

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We’re starting today with a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate, featuring a look back at the James Bond film Moonraker, on the occasion of its 40th anniversary (on June 26th). Michael’s put together a great roundtable discussion on the film featuring Mark A. Altman, John Cork, and Lee Pfeiffer. Enjoy!

Also here at the site today, we’ve got some new disc reviews for you, including Tim’s look at Universal’s Us in 4K Ultra HD, Scream Factory’s Night of the Creeps: Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray, and Warner’s The New Scooby-Doo Movies: The (Almost) Complete Blu-ray Collection.

And speaking of Scream Factory... Bits editor Bill Hunt (yours truly) will once again be moderating the Shout!/Scream panel at San Diego Comic-Con later this month! Inside an Indie Studio: Shout! Factory will be held from 8-9 PM on Saturday, July 20th in Room 23ABC. [Read on here...]

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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...]

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

We start today with the Criterion Collection, which has just announced its December slate of titles. Look for it to include Samuel Fuller’s Forty Guns (Spine #954 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Euzhan Palcy’s A Dry White Season (Spine #953 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 12/11, followed by Julien Duvivier’s Panique (Spine #955 – Blu-ray and DVD) and an update of Ingmar Bergman’s Sawdust and Tinsel (Spine #412 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 12/18. We’ve updated the Criterion Spines Project pages here at The Bits accordingly.

Our friends at the Warner Archive Collection have just announced a few new Blu-ray titles, including the Hammer films titles Dracula AD 1972 (1972) and Satanic Rites of Dracula (1974), both starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, along with Bad Ronald (1974), Robert Altman’s Brewster McCloud (1970), and The 100: The Complete Fifth Season (2018). All are coming soon. [Read on here...]

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Okay… LOTS to cover today to close out the week.  First up though, I wanted to call attention to Bud Elder’s new View from the Cheap Seats column from yesterday in case you missed it.  It’s another fine read and includes a tribute to the late Jonathan Winters.  Don’t miss it!

Now then… let’s hit some announcement news…

As most of you know Iron Man 3 has just arrived in theaters.  I plan to see it tomorrow sometime.  I’ll admit… while I’ve mostly enjoyed the Marvel movies (especially The Avengers and the first Iron Man), I’m really not a huge superhero film fan.  But the fact that Iron Man 3 was directed and co-written by Shane Black (of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang fame) is more than enough reason to get me into the theater this weekend.  Here’s hoping it’ll be a fun film.  Speaking of which, Iron Man 3 is already available for pre-order on Amazon on Blu-ray/DVD Combo.  No street date is yet available, but you can bet it will be out in time for Thanksgiving.  Click on the link to get your orders in.

Warner has announced that their Blu-ray release of Shane is moving to a new street date: 8/13 (delayed from 6/4).  Before you get bent out of shape, you’ll be very please to know that this is being done in order that the film can be remastered in the proper 1.37 aspect ratio.  Good news indeed!

A number of Bits readers have informed me that Amazon.com is now taking pre-orders for CBS’ Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Four on Blu-ray with a street date of 7/30 (SRP $129.99 but $114.99 on pre-order).  Also coming that day is a new “movie” edit of the episodes Redemption, Parts 1 & 2 (SRP $24.99 but just $19.99 on Amazon).  You can see the cover art for both below.

While we’re talking Star Trek, it’s worth reminding everyone that the new Trek classic movie Blu-rays just released by Paramount are the same discs that were released previously, just in new single-edition packaging.  So don’t expect new cuts of the films or new extras – there aren’t any.

Synapse Films has set Peter Sasdy’s Hands of the Ripper for release on Blu-ray/DVD combo on 7/9 (SRP $29.95) in a restored and uncut edition from the Hammer Films Collection.  Extras will include The Devil’s Bloody Plaything: Possessed by the Hands of the Ripper featurette, 2 “motion” image galleries, the U.S. TV introduction, the original trailer and TV spots and even an isolated music and effects audio track.

Nickelodeon has set the CG-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Enter Shredder for DVD only release on 7/9 (SRP $14.99).

Shout! Factory has set the 1989 Japanese TV series The Jungle Book: Adventures of Mowgli – Complete Collection for DVD only release on 6/18, including all 52 original episodes.

Hen’s Tooth Video has set Jeffery for DVD only release on 7/9 (SRP $19.95).

Freestyle will release Norman on Blu-ray/DVD Combo on 5/7.

Best Buy has listed Disney’s The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh for Blu-ray and DVD release on 8/27, though this has yet to be officially confirmed by Disney so take it with a grain of salt.

Speaking of Disney, retail sources tell us the studio is gearing up for a 40th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray release of their animated Robin Hood.  No street date is yet available, but we’ll let you know when more details are in.

And Kino Lorber have set the following titles to their July release slate, including The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu (DVD) and Taika Waititi’s Boy (BD/DVD) on 7/2 from the Kino Lorber label, Hanging for Django (BD/DVD) on 7/23 on the Raro Video USA label, Mario Bava’s Black Sabbath: Standard Edition Remastered (BD/DVD) and Alfredo Leone presents Mario Bava’s Kidnapped: Standard Edition Remastered (BD/DVD) on 7/16 plus Foolish Wives (BD) on 7/30 from the Kino Classics label, and finally Combat Girls (DVD) on 7/9 and Vanishing Waves (DVD) on 7/23 from the Artsploitation label.  You’ll find some of the cover artwork below.

In other news from around the Net today, it seems as if Disney heard your complaints (and probably read my rant from the other day) about the Oz: The Great and Powerful Blu-ray 3D release including no 2D Blu-ray version.  Home Media reports that the studio is offering those who purchase the 3D version a 2D Blu-ray copy for $5.99 (plus shipping and handling) via a special mail-in offer in the package.  For those of you at Disney reading this, we’re still hearing TONS of complaints about this via e-mail from readers, so heads-up.  Here’s the studio’s official statement:

“We strive to give our consumers the best in-home experience and consistently evolve our mix of product offerings.  We know that our 3D consumers enjoy that experience as well as the ease of use and functionality of digital copy.  With Oz the Great and Powerful we’re offering a single, simplified version for their in-home and on-the-go viewing needs.  And, for those desiring a 2D Blu-ray version of the film, there’s an offer included in the package.”

I’m fairly sure that isn’t going to appease Blu-ray 3D fans much, but the studio must be hearing your complaints at least so that’s something.

And speaking of Home Media, they’ve just announced the winners of their recent 2013 Home Media Awards voting so do check it out.

Finally today, I’d like to take a moment to send out a big cheery Digital Bits hello to our very dear friends Bob and Kathy Burns, just because.  I know you’re reading this Bob, so hugs, cheers and best wishes to you both from all of us here at The Bits!

Bob & Kathy Burns with Todd Doogan, Adam Jahnke & Bill Hunt of The Bits

We’ll leave you with a look at art for those two Trek BDs, as well as Kino’s Kidnapped, Black Sabbath, Boy and Hanging for Django.   Just click the cover art to pre-order on Amazon, as always…

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season Four (Blu-ray Disc)    Star Trek: The Next Generation - Redemption (Blu-ray Disc)    Boy (Blu-ray Disc)

Black Sabbath (Blu-ray Disc)    Kidnapped (Blu-ray Disc)    Hanging for Django (Blu-ray Disc)

Have a great weekend!

- Bill Hunt

 

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