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Well, folks… we come to it at last: Our final post of 2012. I can’t say 2012 has been my favorite year. As some of you will know (if you’ve been reading the site over the past 12 months) Sarah and I have just lost far too many family members and friends to cancer and other illness this year, including our very own Barrie Maxwell. But then 2012 has brought us some great new friends as well and of course a whole new and improved Digital Bits website. So that’s something, I suppose.
In any case… in the spirit of “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, we’ve gotten through it somehow with a lot of support from other family and friends, and no small amount of kindness from many of you via e-mail and Facebook. So I’d really like to take a moment to thank all of you very much for all your patience, well wishes and support over the past year. It’s meant a lot to us. Some of you have been Bits readers right from the very beginning way back in 1997, and the fact that you’ve stuck with us all this time – well, you’re like family and that really means a lot.
Anyway, we do have one quick thing for you here at the site today so I should probably get to it: Mark is back again this morning with another new MOS DEF column in which he looks back at his picks for The Top Ten Blu-rays of 2012. As always, it’s a good read so enjoy.
With that, from all of us here at The Digital Bits, we wish you all a very happy and safe New Year! We offer our sincere thanks for continuing to support our work here at the site… and we hope the door doesn’t hit 2012’s ass on the way out!
We’ll be back on Thursday (1/3) to resume regular posts and start looking ahead to all the new title and player announcements from CES.
Here’s to 2013 – may it bring great things. Happy New Year, everyone!
- Bill Hunt
Morning, folks! As we head into the New Year’s holiday, there isn’t a lot of Blu-ray or DVD news to report. It’ll likely not be until after the holiday that we heard back from Sony about the Total Recall Blu-ray issue and I wouldn’t expect any major title announcements until right before CES which kicks off the second week of January.
Meanwhile, we do have one thing for you today… our own Mark A. Altman has checked in with a new installment of his MOS DEF column, featuring his thoughts on Fox and MGM’s recent Bond 50 Blu-ray box set with quick reviews of all 22 classic Bond films (and even Never Say Never Again for good measure)! It’s a good read so do give it a look.
And that’s all for now. We’ll be back on Monday with our last post of 2012. In the meantime, may all your favorite NFL teams win this weekend (go Vikings!) and we hope you continue to have great times with your family and friends.
Peace out and see you Monday!
- Bill Hunt
All right… just a quick one today with three things for you:
First, our own Russell Hammond has updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links, as usual.
And Jeff Kleist has turned in a new installment of his The 3rd Dimension column featuring his thoughts on the theatrical experience of seeing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in HFR 3D. There are lots of mixed reviews of HFR 3D out there and Jeff does his best to try to puzzle out why. I’ve also added a couple comments on my own HFR viewings. We’ve each seen the film twice now in different display formats (IMAX, RealD, etc) and almost every screening seems to offer a different experience. Gizmodo has a piece up on this subject as well.
Finally today, we’re getting reports from readers that there may be an audio issue on some copies of Sony’s new Total Recall (2012) Blu-ray. Depending on the player used, viewers are reporting audio drop-outs near the beginning of the film and bursts of static around 70 and 105 minutes in. I’ve watched the Extended Cut via my Oppo BDP-83 and had no problems, but others are having issues on select Oppo and Sony units among others. It seems to happen most commonly when the player’s audio is set to bitstream as opposed to PCM. We’ll try to look into the matter and see what’s up – if there’s a firmware issue or simply bad discs in need of a replacement program. When Sony gets back to us we’ll let you know.
Back tomorrow – stay tuned!
- Bill Hunt
Afternoon, folks. Hope you all had a great Christmas. I know many of you are still on holiday until right after the New Year, so continued fun to you and yours! Nevertheless we’ve got a couple news items for you this afternoon…
The big news today is that Warner Home Video has finally officially announced Ben Affleck’s Argo for release on Blu-ray Combo and DVD on 2/19 (SRP $35.99 and $22.97). Extras will include a feature-length Picture in Picture viewing option called Eye Witness Account, audio commentary with director Ben Affleck (and others TBA) and 4 featurettes (Rescued from Tehran: We Were There, Argo: Absolute Authenticity, Argo: The CIA & Hollywood Connection and Escape from Iran: The Hollywood Option).
Meanwhile, Sony has set Small Apartments for DVD-only release on 2/19. The film stars Billy Crystal, James Caan and Dolph Lundgren. No I’m not kidding. The studio also has Here Comes the Boom coming on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/5, followed by Chicken with Plums on DVD only on 2/26.
20th Century Fox has announced some catalog Blu-ray titles for early 2013, including French Kiss and One Fine Day on 1/8, Wild River, Gentleman’s Agreement and How Green Was My Valley on 1/15, and Laura on 2/5. As far as new releases, look for Late Quartet on 2/5 and Chasing Mavericks on 2/26.
Dark Sky Films will release Stitches on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/2.
Image Entertainment will release Ghoul on DVD only on 1/8.
Magnolia will release Royal Affair on both formats on 3/26.
Also, AIS in the U.K. has set Disney’s Flight of the Navigator for Blu-ray release on 1/29 (SRP $44.98). There’s a very good chance the disc is all-region. [Editor’s Note: This disc was released in the U.K. in November and is simply being imported for the U.S. market by Amazon.]
And in other news today, I’m afraid we have sad news to report: Actors Charles Durning and Jack Klugman have passed away, as well as veteran British TV producer Gerry Anderson.
Klugman was best known for TV’s The Odd Couple and Quincy, M.E. and also film roles in 12 Angry Men and Days of Wine and Roses among others. He was 90.
Among Durning’s credits were TV’s Evening Shade and such films as Tootsie, Dog Day Afternoon, To Be or Not to Be, The Sting and (my personal favorite) O Brother, Where Art Thou? He was also a World War II veteran and was among the first wave of troops to hit Omaha Beach on D-Day. He was 89.
And 1960-70s genre TV fans owe a great debt to producer Gerry Anderson for creating such classics as Thunderbirds, Stingray, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Fireball XL5, UFO and Space: 1999 (note that Season Two is expected to finally be released on Blu-ray in late 2013 or early 2014) among others. The halls of Moonbase Alpha will never be the same without him. He was 83.
One last note: Our own Jeff Kleist posted a Blu-ray 3D review of New Line’s A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas yesterday, so do check it out if you’re interested. We’ll also have a couple of new columns from the guys over the next couple days, so do check back for them.
We’ll leave you today with a look at the final Blu-ray cover art for Warner’s Argo, as well as Sony’s Seven Psychopaths (due 1/29) and Fox’s Laura…
- Bill Hunt