You know… Hollywood certainly isn't going out of its way to reassure its consumers that purchasing home video content is a good or safe investment these days, is it?
Now, we are obviously big fans of digital entertainment here at The Digital Bits, whether that entertainment is served up on a disc or a download. After all, the word “digital” is right there in our name and has been since 1997.
And despite the fact that we often expound upon the value of purchasing physical media over digital, we are no strangers to enjoying a good online streaming or download experience. After all, there’s much great digital-only content these days. Movies like Roma on Netflix, TV series like Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime… these wouldn’t exist without those streaming services and you can’t buy either of them on disc. Digital is convenient and it’s awfully nice to be able to access it anywhere from any device.
But like any format, it has its drawbacks… and once again today, those drawbacks have made themselves rather inconveniently obvious for the 30 million customers of DECE’s UltraViolet digital movie locker service. You know… the service that managed all those codes that came on slips of paper with your Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K titles for years. [Read on here...]
The Criterion Channel launches in April, plus The Favourite, Man on a Ledge 4K, new Blu-ray reviews & moreby Bill Hunt
The big news today is that our friends at The Criterion Collection have officially announced the launch date for their forthcoming streaming service, The Criterion Channel. Look for it to debut on 4/8. And those who signed up to be Charter Subscribers can create their accounts today and start watching a new Movie of the Week series until the launch.
Not a day after we hinted at it in our daily column, Lionsgate has officially set Man on a Ledge for release on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on 4/9. Look for it to include both Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite on 3/5, with the Digital release expected on 2/12. Extras will include deleted scenes and The Favourite: Unstitching the Costume Drama featurette.
Fox will also release the Melissa McCarthy drama Can You Ever Forgive Me? on DVD only on 2/19 with Digital due on 2/5. [Read on here...]
Green Book delay, Hellboy double feature, Carpenter 4K, Don Quixote, Romero & looking back at Quantum of Solaceby Bill Hunt
Afternoon, all. We’ve got a couple interesting items for you today...
First, Tim has posted a new review of Powerhouse Films and Indicator’s outstanding William Castle at Columbia: Volume Two Blu-ray box set, which streeted late last month and includes Zotz!, The Old Dark House, 13 Frightened Girls!, and Strait-Jacket. Do check it out and if you haven’t seen these films, they’re a hoot.
Also today, we have a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate featuring a look back at the James Bond film Quantum of Solace in honor of its 10th anniversary. The column features another terrific roundtable discussion, this time with historians Robert A. Caplen, John Cork, and Lisa Funnell. Enjoy!
And we’ve also posted the weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, whenever you order literally anything from Amazon after clicking through one of our links, you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we greatly appreciate it. [Read on here...]
“Quantum of Solace demonstrates that the Bond franchise still relays a British imperialist standpoint through its depiction of the global south and continues to rely on problematic politics of representation that draw into question whether the films of the Daniel Craig era can be considered progressive within the Bond film canon.” — Lisa Funnell, co-author of The Geographies, Genders, and Geopolitics of James Bond
The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 10th anniversary of the release of Quantum of Solace, the 22nd (official) cinematic James Bond adventure and second to feature Daniel Craig as Agent 007.
Our previous celebratory 007 articles include From Russia with Love, Never Say Never Again, Live and Let Die, Octopussy, Casino Royale (1967), Tomorrow Never Dies, Die Another Day, Dr. No, The Living Daylights, The Spy Who Loved Me, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, Casino Royale, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, GoldenEye, A View to a Kill, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Goldfinger, and 007… Fifty Years Strong.
The Bits continues the series with this retrospective featuring a Q&A with an esteemed group of film historians and James Bond authorities who discuss the virtues, shortcomings and legacy of 2008’s Quantum of Solace. [Read on here...]
Heads-up: Disney and Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger appears to be coming to 4K Ultra HD on 2/26, per Best Buy pre-order listings. The retailer currently has listings for the title in SKUs with regular and Steelbook packaging.
The film has a 2K DI. It’s possible there could be a new Dolby Atmos audio mix, but as has recently been the case with Disney 4K releases, look for Dolby Vision HDR on the digital version only.
It should be noted that 2/26 is the same street date as their already announced The Little Mermaid and Ralph Breaks the Internet 4K releases, both of which will also have Steelbook SKUs at Best Buy.
Meanwhile, we have one other 4K-related item to report today: Some of you have noticed that there’s been an image circulating around the Internet over the past few days purporting to show an exclusive 4K release of the Indiana Jones films in China. Our studio sources tell us this is bogus. There are no plans at this time. We take that to mean not never, but not anytime soon. Adjust your plans accordingly.
Have a great weekend and we’ll see you with a full news update on Monday.
Retail & industry sources suggest Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse hits Blu-ray & 4K in March as wellby Bill Hunt
All right, we’ve checked in with our retail and industry sources and have learned that Marvel and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s wildly popular animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is likely to street on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 3/19.
As you know, the film has just been nominated for an Oscar in the Best Animated Feature Film category (and is very likely to be the leading contender). We haven’t been able to confirm the production and finish resolution of the film, so we don’t know if the animation was rendered natively at 2K or 4K. Either way, with its bright color palette and unique comic-panel texturing, it should look amazing on both Blu-ray and 4K UHD.
It’s reasonable to assume you’ll get at least Dolby Atmos audio. Sony doesn’t typically include Dolby Vision HDR on their 4K releases though, so expect HDR10.
Amazon is showing Blu-ray, Blu-ray “Limited Edition”, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD SKUs. We don’t know of any other retailer-exclusive versions, but we’ll have to wait until the title is officially announced.
And we believe Pet Sematary (1989) is coming to 4K from Paramount on 3/26.
Both of those dates are yet to be confirmed with our sources.
We may have more of an update later if news and time permit, but I just wanted to check in early here at The Digital Bits to share word we’ve just gotten from our retail and industry sources that suggests 3/26 is likely to be the street date for Warner and DC’s massively-successful Aquaman, from director James Wan.
The film has a 2K Digital Intermediate (per IMDB, and I haven’t confirmed this officially), but large portions were filmed in IMAX which should mean very high quality pixels. And the film should still look impressive in HDR on 4K. We have no word yet what the specs will be, but we would imagine Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio at the least.
Today is obviously the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday here in the States, but we do have a couple things for you.
Also, we have a trio of new Blu-ray reviews for you. Tim has taken a look at J. Lee Thompson’s 10 to Midnight from Scream Factory, David Gordon Green’s Halloween (2018) from Universal, and Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak from Arrow Video.
And finally, we’ve posted the weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, whenever you order anything from Amazon after clicking through one of our links, you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we greatly appreciate it.
Back tomorrow! Stay tuned…
“Funny Girl’s legacy and value is as a recreation of Streisand’s one-for-the-ages turn in the stage version, now preserved as long as we can watch movies.” — Matthew Kennedy, author of Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s
The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Funny Girl, the motion picture adaptation of the stage musical featuring Barbra Streisand’s Academy Award-winning performance as comedienne Fanny Brice.
Produced by Ray Stark (Annie, The Way We Were) and directed by William Wyler (The Best Years of Our Lives, Ben-Hur), the award-winning film also starred Omar Sharif (Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago) and Kay Medford (BUtterfield 8, Ensign Pulver). The Library of Congress in 2016 selected Funny Girl for preservation in the National Film Registry. [Read on here...]
We had some content that we’d planned to post today here at The Bits, but we’ve decided to push it until Monday as a result of a bit of terrible news that’s come our way this afternoon.
We’re very sad to report that Nick Redman passed away yesterday. Nick was the co-founder (with Brian Jamieson) of the great Twilight Time indie Blu-ray label and a longtime documentary filmmaker, soundtrack producer, and film historian.
Redman produced and directed A Turning of the Earth: John Ford, John Wayne, and The Searchers (1998 – which you can find on Warner’s The Searchers: 50th Anniversary Special Edition DVD and on Blu-ray) and the feature-length Becoming John Ford documentary (2007 – available in the terrific Ford at Fox DVD collection or by itself on DVD), among other shorts and features.
He co-founded Twilight Time in 2011, which has since released hundreds of great classic cinema titles on Blu-ray, many with new commentaries featuring the likes of Redman, writer and film historian Julie Kirgo (who became Nick’s wife last July) and others. [Read on here...]