My Two Cents

Displaying items by tag: The Digital Bits

We’re starting the new week here at The Bits, as always, with more new disc reviews...

Stephen has turned in his thoughts on Albert Magnoli’s celebration of all things Prince, Purple Rain (1984), in 4K Ultra HD from Warner Bros. Discover Home Entertainment. The film celebrates its 40th anniversary this summer, and the city of Minneapolis has been partying all weekend in honor of it (more on that here).

Also, I’ve shared my thoughts on Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999) in 4K Ultra HD from Paramount Home Entertainment. I’m not sure the title actually needed a 4K upgrade, but what the heck—blame Canada. You can read all the details here.

And Dennis has shared his perspective on The Wachowskis’ Bound (1996), which is new on Blu-ray (and 4K UHD) from our friends at The Criterion Collection.

More reviews are forthcoming this week, so be sure to stay tuned for them.

Now then... we’ve got a pretty significant piece of industry news to share with you today. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has completed an “umbrella” distribution deal with Studio Distribution Services (SDS) that covers not only their own Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD product, but also titles from Lionsgate and Disney (along with 20th Century Studios, Touchstone, Hollywood Pictures, and the other Disney-owned labels), which Sony produces for those studios. We first broke the news of this for our Patreon subscribers over the weekend.

The reason this deal is important is that it guarantees Sony, Disney, 20th Century Studios, and Lionsgate a direct and stable distribution channel for their physical media product into Walmart stores. And as we’ve reported previously, Walmart is the biggest disc retailer in North America with a whopping 45% share of the disc sales market (as of earlier this year—that number may have grown a bit with the recent exit of Best Buy, which had approximately 4% of the business). [Read on here...]

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We’ve got two more new disc reviews for you to enjoy today, including...

My take on Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s Team America: World Police in 4K Ultra HD from Paramount, which streets this coming Tuesday.

Also, my review of Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity (2013), which is available in a new reissue Blu-ray (essentially a repackage of the 2015 Diamond Luxe Edition with Dolby Atmos audio) from Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment.

I’m working on more disc reviews for early next week, including South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut (1999) and also The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare (2024), both in 4K UHD. And the rest of the review team will be back next week as well with a bunch more.

In announcement news today, Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment has officially set Ishana Night Shyamalan’s The Watchers (2024) for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 8/27. Expect the Digital release to become available on 6/28. Extras will include 4 featurettes (Welcome to the Show: The Making of The Watchers, Creating The Watchers, Constructing the Coop, and Ainriochtán and the Irish Fairy Folklore) as well as a deleted scene. You can see the cover artwork at left and also below. [Read on here...]

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We’ve got some great news to report for you today folks...

20th Century Studios is officially announcing the Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD release of Wes Ball’s highly-successful sequel film, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (2024) today!

And here’s the official word, straight from the studio...

THE SUMMER EPIC HIT, KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, REIGN CONTINUES

Be The First To Watch at Home When 20th Century Studios’ Impressive Action-Adventure Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
Becomes Available to Buy at Digital Retailers on July 9 and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD on August 27

The 4K Ultra HD Package Contains Over 3 Hours of Content
Plus An Alternate Cut of the Movie

BURBANK, CA (June 20, 2024) – The fate of the world is at stake when 20th Century Studios’ Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes arrives to digital retailers (Prime Video, Apple TV and Fandango at Home) on July 9 and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on August 27. Director Wes Ball’s stunning new entry into the Planet of the Apes series has been heralded by critics as “a jaw-dropping spectacle” (Matt Neglia, Next Big Picture) and “a visual masterpiece” (Mark Hughes, Forbes). It is Certified-Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and has thrilled audiences worldwide, becoming one of the biggest global box office successes of the year and marking the beginning of a new era for the epic Planet of the Apes franchise.

Set generations after Caesar’s reign in a world where apes are the dominant species, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes follows an ape named Noa and a human named Mae as they emerge to define the future of how apes and humans will coexist.

Fans can delve deeper into the franchise on 4K UHD editions with Inside the Lens: The Raw Cut, a full-length alternative cut with a split-screen comparison between the final cut of the film and a version with unfinished VFX with optional audio commentary by director Wes Ball, editor Dan Zimmerman and VFX supervisor Erik Winquist. The never-before-seen alternate cut gives fans a unique opportunity to see the actors’ performances before the visual effects were completed. [Read on here...]

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We’ve got several new disc reviews to share with you today, including...

My take on Michael Apted’s Thunderheart (1992) in its first-ever U.S. Blu-ray release from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Stephen’s look at Adam Wingard’s Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (2024) in 4K Ultra HD from Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment.

Dennis’s thoughts on Adam Egypt Mortimer’s Daniel Isn’t Real (2019) on Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome and Jeremy Kagan’s Big Man on Campus (1989) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

And Stuart’s reviews of Ingmar Bergman’s Face to Face (1976) on Blu-ray from Imprint Films and Noboru Nakamura’s The Shape of Night (1964) on Blu-ray from Radiance Films.

We’ll have more new reviews here at The Bits tomorrow as well, so be sure to check back for them early!

In title announcements today, the big news is that Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment has officially set George Miller’s Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga (2024) for release on Blu-ray, DVD, 4K Ultra HD, and 4K + BD Steelbook on 8/13. The Digital release is expected on 6/25. [Read on here...]

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Welcome to a new week here at The Bits!

We certainly hope you enjoyed your weekend. And special thanks to all those of you who joined us for our members-only live chat on The Bits’ Patreon on Saturday. Lots of good questions were asked and answered, and it’s something we’re going to be doing more often in the future.

We’ve got some good announcement news here at the site today, starting with word that The Criterion Collection has just officially unveiled their September release slate, which will include a 4K upgrade of Alex Cox’s Repo Man (1984) (Spine #654 – 4K UHD + Blu-ray) on 9/3, Andrew Haigh’s All of Us Strangers (2023) (Spine #1234 – 4K UHD + Blu-ray and Blu-ray) on 9/10, a 4K upgrade of John Mackenzie’s The Long Good Friday (1980) (Spine #26 – 4K UHD + Blu-ray and Blu-ray) on 9/17, and Gregg Araki’s Teen Apocalypse Trilogy—including Totally F***ed Up (1993), The Doom Generation (1995), and Nowhere (1997)—(Spine #1233 – 4K UHD + Blu-ray and Blu-ray) and Todd Solondz’s Happiness (1998) (Spine #1235 – 4K UHD + Blu-ray and Blu-ray) on 9/24. [Read on here...]

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We’re rounding out the week here at The Bits with a pair of additional disc reviews, including...

Stephen’s thoughts on Yuzuru Tachikawa’s anime Blue Giant (2023) on Blu-ray from GKids via Shout! Studios.

And Dennis’ take on Sophie Compton and Reuben Hamlyn’s Another Body (2023) on Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome.

Also today, we’ve updated our 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Bits with all the latest announced 4K titles as well as those we’ve learned are coming from our industry sources.

Over on our Patreon page, many of you have asked us for an Annual Membership option in order to get the best value while backing us and supporting The Bits there. So we’re very pleased to finally make it available today. Signing up as a Patreon supporter of The Bits via the Annual Membership option (at whatever support level you choose) gives you a 10% discount.

And while we’re talking Patreon, we’re going to be holding a members-only Digital Bits: “Ask Us Anything” Live Chat on Patreon tomorrow (Saturday, June 15th) at 11 AM Pacific (1 PM Central, or 6 PM UTC). I’ll be on hand to participate, along with Tim Salmons and Stephen Bjork. You can ask us about physical media, 4K, Blu-ray, film in general, our work, our interests—pretty much any topic other than politics is fair game. While there may be a few questions (about specific upcoming titles) that we can’t answer, we’ll do our best to tackle all questions as they come in. Our goal is to go live for at least an hour. And if everything goes smoothly, we’ll continue for a second hour (provided there’s enough demand/questions to warrant doing so). We hope to see you there! [Read on here...]

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We have four new disc reviews for you to enjoy today, including...

Tim’s look at Giuliano Carnimeo’s The Case of the Bloody Iris (1972) in 4K Ultra HD from our friends at Celluloid Dreams... and we mean friends literally—the company was launched by former DVD Review editor Guido Henkel and his son Lucas. (Congrats to both of them on their first successful title!)

Stuart’s take on George Roy Hill’s The Little Drummer Girl (1984) on Blu-ray from the Warner Archive Collection.

Stephen’s thoughts on John Mackenzie’s The Long Good Friday (1980) in 4K Ultra HD from Arrow Video UK, a region-free British import title.

And Dennis’ look at Chad Ferrin’s H.P. Lovecraft’s The Old Ones (2024) on Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome.

Also, we’ve just posted a massive update of our Release Dates & Cover Art section featuring all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and especially 4K Ultra HD titles that are available for pre-order on Amazon.com. There are tons of new titles, and remember that anytime you order one using our links you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits (and we really do appreciate it)!

We’ve also got some great release news for you today, starting with word that Arrow Video has just announced their forthcoming Shawscope: Volume Three Blu-ray box set, which will street on 11/26. [Read on here...]

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We’re starting the new week with more new disc reviews, as always, plus we have some great release news to share with you today as well! Reviews first...

Tim has taken a look a Bob Clark’s Deathdream (1974, aka Dead of Night) in 4K Ultra HD from our friends at Blue Underground.

Dennis has offered his thoughts on Alan J. Pakula’s Starting Over (1979) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

And Stuart has weighed in with a review of Luigi Comencini’s The Sunday Woman (1975) on Blu-ray from Radiance Films. He’s also revisited his 2012 review of Sony’s The Three Stooges: The Ultimate Collection (1934-1958) on DVD in anticipation of the studio’s forthcoming The Three Stooges Blu-ray Collection.

More reviews are forthcoming, so be sure keep checking back for them!

The big announcement news today is that Sony has officially set Gil Kenan’s Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire for release on Blu-ray, DVD, 4K Ultra HD, and 4K Steelbook on 6/25. There will also be a Walmart-exclusive Blu-ray Steelbook, as well as a Limited Edition 2-Movie 4K Giftset that includes this film plus Ghostbusters: Afterlife. [Read on here...]

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We start today with more new disc reviews, including...

Stephen’s look at John Flynn’s Rolling Thunder (1977) and Kimberly Peirce’s Carrie (2013) in 4K Ultra HD, as well as Jonathan Kaplan’s Over the Edge (1979) on Blu-ray, all from Shout! Factory.

Stuart’s take on Ken Loach’s documentary The Spirit of ‘45 (2013) on Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome and Alain Cavalier’s Le Combat dans l’île (1962) on Blu-ray from Radiance Films.

And Dennis’ thoughts on Kino Classics’ Vitagraph Comedies Blu-ray, featuring 40 classic shorts on three discs.

Now then, in terms of actual announcement news, we’ve got a couple of items for you and they’re pretty great. But there’s even more unofficial news, that’s no less exciting! Let’s get to the actual announcement news first...

It starts today with word that Janus Films will be debuting a brand new 4K restoration of Akira Kurosawa’s legendary epic Seven Samurai (1954) next month in New York and Los Angeles! You’ll be able to see it on 7/5 at the Film Forum in NYC and on 7/7 at the American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles. This is only my favorite film of all time. I will absolutely be at that Egyptian Theatre screening, and the fact that this restoration is now complete surely means that a physical 4K Ultra HD is coming later this year from Criterion as well. You can see the poster for this release at left, and the trailer is available for reviewing below the break. [Read on here...]

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Our second news update of the day starts with a little bit of breaking news: Paramount has just made David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker’s Top Secret! (1984) and David Fincher’s Zodiac (2007) available in 4K Digital on Apple TV, Vudu, Kaleidescape, and more. Given the amount of effort Fincher puts into his remasters, we believe it’s safe to assume that Zodiac will be coming to physical 4K Ultra HD from Paramount sooner than later as well.

Zodiac, it should be remembered, was shot mostly in 10-bit RAW in 1080p HD (4:4:4) using the Thomson Viper FilmStream camera, along with some footage in 35 mm photochemical film (Super 35 format). But anyone who doubts that it could look great upscaled and remastered in 4K would do well to take a look at HBO’s Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season in 4K UHD (which we’ve reviewed here). The advantages of high data rate and low compression, combined with an HDR grade, could really make a difference. Zodiac in particular was very well lit and photographed. Personally, I’m eager to get a look at it.

Also today, Arrow Video has announced their August slate, which includes a UK-only 4K Ultra HD release of Michael Lehmann’s Heathers (1988) on 8/5, followed by a slew of titles on 8/26. Among them are Robert Rodriguez’s Desperado (1995) in 4K Ultra HD and The Mexico Trilogy box set (both in the UK, US, and Canada), which includes El Mariachi (1992) and Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003) in Blu-ray, as well as the Desperado 4K. [Read on here...]

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