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We’ve got a BIG release news update for you all today. But before we get going on that, we wanted to let you know that Warner’s newly announced The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D are now available for pre-order on Amazon.com. Release date is 4/8. Click on the links to pre-order.

The big news today is from Criterion: As expected, their May release slate officially includes Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole (Spine #396) on 5/6, Stuart Cooper’s Overlord (#382) on 5/13, and Abbas Kiarostami’s Like Someone in Love (#708) on 5/20, and Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (#300) and Howard Hawks’ classic Red River (#709) on 5/27. As you can see the anticipated street dates have shifted around a little, but otherwise the line-up is exactly what we expected. SRP for all is $39.95 each except for Red River which is $49.95. You can see the official cover art for all below. Here’s a rundown of the extras to expect... [Read on here...]

Big release news today: Warner Home Video has just officially announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on 4/8. There’s a Blu-ray/DVD Combo pack (SRP $35.99), a Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD Combo pack (SRP $44.95) and a rental DVD version (priced at $22.97). This is of course the theatrical version of the film. Extras on both Blu-ray versions will include Production Videos, New Zealand: Home of Middle-Earth, Part 2 and something called Peter Jackson Invites You to the Set. There’s no word yet on the forthcoming BD and BD3D release of the Extended Edition of the film, but if the past is any predictor (and it usually is) look for those to street on either 11/4 or 11/11. Meanwhile, you’ll find the cover artwork below.  [Read on here...]

Happy President’s Day, folks! Otherwise known as the day you may or may not be lucky enough to have off. Whatever your case may be, we’ve got a couple of good things for you today...

First up, Doogan’s Queue for this week is now live in Todd’s Gripe Soda section, running down the week’s Blu-ray and DVD releases. Don’t miss it!

Also today, our own Russell Hammond has posted the weekly Release Dates & Artwork update featuring all the latest Blu-ray and DVD cover art and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, a portion of anything you order from Amazon after clicking through our links (on the right) goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it.  [Read on here…]

All right, we’ve got a bunch of interesting studio and indie release announcements today, including some new titles, catalog titles, TV stuff and more.

First though, our own Dr. Adam Jahnke has turned in a new Jahnke’s Electric Theatre column today, featuring the latest installment of An Honor to Be Nominated. This time, Adam looks back at Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather, Part III. Enjoy!

Now then... announcement news... 20th Century Fox is releasing the indie music hit Once on Blu-ray on 4/1 (SRP $19.99) but only as an Amazon.com exclusive. Following on BD on 4/29, also as an Amazon exclusive, is Notes on a Scandal (SRP $19.99), which stars Cate Blanchette, Judi Dench and Bill Nighy. You can see the cover artwork for both titles below. Fox will also widely release an Ice Age 4-movie BD set on 4/1 (SRP $49.99), as well as The King of Comedy: 30th Anniversary Edition on 3/25. [Read on here...]

Our own Tim Salmons has turned in an epic review of Criterion’s fantastic new Blu-ray/DVD release of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World, which is available in stores now. Don’t miss it – both the review and the disc itself.

Also today, the good Dr. Jahnke has tuned in a new Burnt Offerings: MOD DVD installment today, running down the latest “manufactured on demand” DVD titles from Warner Archive and Fox Cinema Classics, so be sure to check it out. Marine Boy anyone?  [Read on here…]

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In 50 years or so, the @Criterion edition of The Interview will make a nice bookend with The Great Dictator.

by Adam Jahnke