My Two Cents

My Two Cents

Yes, folks, it’s true… this month marks the 20th anniversary of the beloved DVD format. The exact date is a matter of debate; some technically consider March 1, 1997 as the official date, though our records show that March 19 technically marks the official start of the U.S. launch, and the format was actually launched first in Japan in November of 1996. Either way, the first players and movie discs weren’t available in the seven initial U.S. test markets (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, New York, Seattle, and Washington) until much later in March 1997.

Specifically, the first DVD titles appeared at Best Buy, Tower Records, The Good Guys, and other video/electronics stores in those markets on March 24, and the first actual players didn’t arrive in stock until March 26. Warner launched the format with an initial slate of 25 titles, including Blade Runner: The Director’s Cut (as it happens, the first title I purchased – you can see it below), Twister, Batman, GoldenEye, Eraser, The Fugitive, The Glimmer Man, The Mask, and Space Jam, among others. Those titles sold for $19.95 to $24.98. Tell me... do these old Snapper cases (below) look familiar to you? [Read on here…]

All right, after our UHD Alliance update this morning, we’ve got a little more new release news for you this afternoon…

But first, we’ve just posted the weekly Release Dates & Artwork update with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray cover artwork and pre-order links. As always, a portion of anything you order from Amazon after clicking through to them from our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it very much.

Now then... 20th Century Fox has just officially announced the Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of Hidden Figures on 4/11, with the Digital HD release set for 3/28. The 4K release will include English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Extras on the Blu-ray versions will include audio commentary by director Theodore Melfi and actress Taraji P. Henson, the 5-part It All Adds Up: The Making of Hidden Figures documentary (includes No Limits: The Life of Katherine Johnson, The Right People for the Job, Recreating an Era: The Look of Hidden Figures, A Spiritual Journey: The Music of Hidden Figures, and Moving the Decimal: Honoring Katherine Johnson), deleted scenes, the Hidden Figures: Filming in Georgia featurette, and a gallery. [Read on here…]

Morning, folks. We’ve got a bit of interesting information this morning from the UHD Alliance worth sharing today, which is that they’ve just defined the HDR “premium viewing experience” for battery-powered devices.

Here are the details from their official press release…

BARCELONA – Feb. 28, 2017 – The UHD Alliance (UHDA), the inter-industry group charged with fostering an ecosystem that fully realizes and promotes the consumer benefits of Ultra HD and HDR entertainment technology, announced today its specification and logo for portable devices: ”MOBILE HDR PREMIUM.”

Enjoying high-quality programming on portable devices including laptops, notebooks, tablets and smartphones has become a primary mode of content consumption for a large and ever-growing segment of the consumer entertainment audience. The UHDA’s MOBILE HDR PREMIUM designation confirms that a device meets UHDA- defined performance criteria for resolution, dynamic range, color space and bit depth and delivers a consistent premium experience.” [Read on here…]

Kicking off a new week here at The Bits, we’ve got a couple of things for you today...

First up, Tim has reviewed another new Blu-ray release for you in the form of Franco Propseri’s Wild Beasts (1984 – aka Belve Feroci) from Severin Films.

Also, Mark Altman has a few thoughts, in his latest MOS DEF column today, on good catalog titles that ought to get released in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray this year to help the format get on track.

In announcement news today, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has set A League of Their Own: 25th Anniversary Edition for release on Blu-ray on 4/18. It includes the new Bentonville, Baseball & the Enduring Legacy of A League of Their Own featurette, as well as legacy extras including 15 deleted scenes, a 9-part documentary, audio commentary with the filmmakers, Madonna’s This Used to Be My Playground music video, and the film’s theatrical trailer. [Read on here…]

All right, first things first today: We have a quick bit of follow-up for you this morning on those annual original Star Wars release rumors, the latest appearance of which caused a bit of a stir yesterday (and which we commented on in yesterday’s post). I know... we’re getting tired of talking about it too, but we have what seems to be rather definitive new information.

We’ve essentially confirmed that Disney’s current 4K scan of the film is the most recent revised version (essentially the latest “special edition”), not the original theatrical edition. What’s more, Disney’s director of Library Restoration and Preservation, Theo Gluck, held a special event at Ohio State University’s Wexner Center for the Arts last night, a presentation called Animation Restoration at Walt Disney Studios. Gluck was asked there about Star Wars and reported that the original cut negative for the film currently exists in its “SE” configuration only. (There’s more info, so do continue on past the jump.) [Read on here…]


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