History, Legacy & Showmanship

We’ve got a quick update for you today, to report that Criterion has just announced their January 2020 Blu-ray and DVD titles.

They include: George Cukor’s Holiday (Spine #1009 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 1/7, Sidney Lumet’s The Fugitive Kind (Spine #515 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 1/14, Jean-Luc Godard’s Le petit soldat (Spine #1010 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 1/21, and Sidney Lumet’s Fail Safe (Spine #1111 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Pedro Almodóvar’s All About My Mother (Spine #1012 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 1/28.

We’ve updated our Criterion Spines Project page here at The Bits to include them, and you can read more about each title on the Criterion website. You can also see the cover artwork below. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, thanks for your patience while I was away at the end of last week. My father-in-law passed away, so my wife and I flew across the country to attend his memorial and see family.

But there’s a good deal to catch up on today news-wise, so let’s get right to it. First things first...

Yes, we are aware of the rumors that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is planning to bring The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films to 4K Ultra HD. They originated on the excellent 4K Filme.de website, which (I’m told) found the titles briefly listed on a Warner B2B website for German retailers. All six films were indicated for release on UHD (with the Extended Editions included) and with a tentative street date given of June 25, 2020. All right, now let’s put this in context...

First of all, there’s no doubt that Warner Bros. is going to release these films on physical 4K Ultra HD. These are literally their most demanded catalog titles on the format. Also, 2021 is the 20th anniversary of Fellowship of the Ring. And Amazon’s new Lord of the Rings prequel series, which reportedly begins production next month and will apparently be in production for two years, is likely to debut on Amazon Prime in late 2022. So the studio is certainly going to want to get those films ready for 4K release by then. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

“It has the personality not of a particular movie but of a product, of something arrived at by corporate decision.” — Vincent Canby, The New York Times

Blockbuster. Juggernaut. Game Changer.

The event, or tentpole, film was taken to new heights during the summer of 1989, and the industry hasn’t been the same since. Sure, there were hits — and megahits — before, but everything this did was new, unorthodox or amplified: mass-saturation marketing, title-less posters, narration-less trailers, loads of tie-in merchandise, dual soundtrack release, one-day-early sneak-preview screenings, anti-piracy electronic-coded release prints, shattered box-office records, home-video release while still in theaters, franchise. [Read on here…]

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