Displaying items by tag: Media Play News

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...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we have a new update on the health of the home entertainment market from the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) for the first half of 2020. And the numbers are not entirely unexpected...

According to the DEG, total home entertainment spending (all categories) was up about 26% for the first half of 2020 (through the end of June) compared to the same period last year.

Total digital spending was up 36% during that period (the specific breakdown was +33% for electronic sales, +33% for VOD, and +37% for subscription streaming). That’s the good news.

The bad news—which by now should not be unexpected—is that packaged goods (read: discs) were down 17.2% in the first half of this year from the same period in 2019. Specifically, Q2 2020 was down 11.11% from Q2 2019, this after a 22.4% decline in Q1 2020 (as we reported here back in early July). [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we have one last post here at The Bits for this week... and it’s a bit of a bummer. But let me start at the beginning...

Early last week, I started to receive word from retail and industry sources that Disney had made an internal decision to suspend the 4K Ultra HD release of live action catalog titles from both their own vaults and those of their newly acquired 20th Century Fox label.

In essence, my sources said, beyond new release theatrical titles, animated fare from Disney and Pixar, or Star Wars and Marvel-related projects, there were no plans at the studio going forward to release titles on physical 4K Ultra HD—future releases would be 4K Digital only.

The rumor began to leak elsewhere online last weekend, so readers understandably started asking me about it.

But that’s a fairly significant piece of news, so I wanted to take my time in trying to get to the bottom of it before commenting. And that’s exactly what I’ve spent much of this past week doing. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We’ve got a bit of fun news today, some release news and some other...

First up though, we also have a new disc review. Dennis has just turned in a look at director George Marshall’s classic Destry Rides Again (1939) now on Blu-ray from the Criterion Collection. It’s a classic western starring James Stewart and Marlene Dietrich that’s well worth your time.

And while we’re speaking of Criterion, that brings us to our first bit of release news, which is that Criterion has just announced a Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits Blu-ray box set (Spine# 1036), which is set to include The Big Boss (1971), Fist of Fury (1972), The Way of the Dragon (1972), Enter the Dragon (1973), and Game of Death (1978). [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

There’s some new release news to report today, and then we’re going to return to the topic of physical media in the wake of the news about Samsung on Friday.

But first, late on Friday afternoon, Criterion announced their May Blu-ray release slate, which is set to include William Wyler’s The Heiress (Cat #974 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 5/7, an updating of David Mamet’s House of Games (Cat #399 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Michael Haneke’s Funny Games (Cat #975 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 5/14, Claire Denis’ Let the Sunshine In (Cat #976 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 5/21, and Agnès Varda’s One Sings, the Other Doesn’t (Cat #978 – Blu-ray and DVD) and David Lynch’s Blue Velvet (Cat #977 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 5/28. We’ve updated our Criterion Spines Project page here at The Bits to include these titles and you can read more about them here.

Speaking of Criterion, we also learned on Friday that the Russian film studio Mosfilm has completed a new 2K restoration of Sergei Bondarchuk’s epic 1966-67 film adaptation of War and Peace. The 7-hour/4-part series is legendary in cinema history as the biggest production ever mounted, besting even David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia by having an essentially unlimited budget, a bottomless supply of props and costumes from the country’s state museums, and a cast of thousands. The film was shot on Russian Sovscope 70mm film stock, but unfortunately it’s suffered from preservation issues over the years. That’s meant the only good options available for viewing in recent years have been DVD versions of modest quality. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got a bit of release news to start the week for you, and we’ll be back with new disc reviews tomorrow.

First up, Walt Disney Home Entertainment has set Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 6/5, with the Digital release expected on 5/29. The Blu-ray version will feature English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, while the 4K UHD will include English Dolby Atmos. We believe that the 4K disc will have Dolby Vision HDR as well, but we’re awaiting confirmation of that.

Extras on both Blu-ray versions will include the A Journey Through Time featurette, audio commentary (with director Ava DuVernay, producer Jim Whitaker, co-screenwriter Jennifer Lee, production designer Naomi Shohan, 1st AD Michael Moore, editor Spencer Averick, and VFX supervisor Rich McBride), 4 deleted scenes, bloopers, 2 music videos (I Believe and Warrior). You can see the Blu-ray cover art above left and below. We should have the 4K Ultra HD cover art in the next couple days. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

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