The big announcement news today is something Shout! Factory first revealed on our Digital Bits Panel at Comic-Con 2014 almost a year ago: They’ve officially set Pee-wee’s Playhouse: The Complete Series for Blu-ray Disc release on 10/21 (SRP $149.99 but Amazon has it available for pre-order now for $20 off)! The 8-disc set will include all 45 episodes, fully remastered from the original negatives in HD, along with a TON of yet-to-be-revealed special features newly-created by Paul Rubens himself. The frame by frame restoration was also personally supervised by Rubens. We’ll post all the details as they come in, but you can see the final cover artwork on the left there, and if you click the link we posted above (or on the cover art below) you can pre-order the title now at Amazon. Mecka-lecka hi… Mecka-hiney ho!
Next up today, Criterion has announced their October slate of titles with some true gems. Look for John Ford’s My Darling Clementine (Cat #732 – Blu-ray and DVD – due 10/14), Federico Fellini’s La dolce vita (Cat #733 – Blu-ray and DVD – due 10/21), Orson Welles’ F for Fake documentary (Cat #288 – Blu-ray – due 10/21), The Complete Jacques Tati (Cat #729 – Blu-ray and DVD – due 10/28 – includes Jour de fête, Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday, Mon oncle, PlayTime, Trafic, and Parade, along with six short films, and more), and George Sluizer’s The Vanishing (Cat #133 – Blu-ray and DVD – due 10/28). Click here for additional details and be sure to check out the cover artwork below.
Meanwhile, Warner Home Video has announced a Roger & Me: 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray for release on 10/7 (SRP $19.98). A DVD version will also be available (SRP $14.97). Extras will include a new audio commentary with filmmaker Michael Moore and the film’s theatrical trailer.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has begin announcing exclusive Blu-ray packaging for some of their catalog sci-fi titles that will only be available at Comic-Con 2015. Just 250 copies of each title will be available only via FoxConnect.com at the show, and there will also be prints featuring the cover art. So far, Alien, The Fly and Robocop have been announced as part of this promotion (see the Alien art on the left), but two more batches of titles will be announced in the next couple days at IGN (more here). Fingers crossed, True Lies and The Abyss will finally be revealed by the studio, either as part of this slate or at the show for release later this year.
Finally today, here’s something interesting. A company called Reliance MediaWorks – formerly Lowry Digital – has posted information on their website indicating that they’ve completed a 4K/16-bit restoration of the classic Star Wars films – Episodes IV, V and VI (look under Projects and also check out the demo reel they’ve posted). There’s been much speculation as to exactly which versions were restored – the original theatrical versions, the later Blu-ray “specialized” versions, or both. At this point, there’s no way to be sure. This does mean, at least, that the films can now be shown theatrically at 4K resolution and are available for future home video release at that resolution as well. There’s much speculation on the Net (see Making Star Wars, Furious Fanboys and elsewhere) about all this, but we’ll wait and see what happens. Rest assured, this will not be the last time the subject comes up. LOL.
We’ll leave you with a look at the Blu-ray cover artwork for Pee-wee’s Playhouse: The Complete Series, along with all of the new Criterion October titles…
- Bill Hunt