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Guten Tag, dear readers!  We’ve got some good stuff for you here today...

As it happens, it’s officially Doogan Day here at The Digital Bits.  Our very own Todd Doogan is kicking off a new regular column here at The Bits called Gripe Soda, where he’ll chime in about Blu-ray, DVD, film, TV, comic books and pretty much anything else that catches his fancy or gets his goat.  Doogan is also serving as the official curator for another new section we’re launching on The Bits today called The Criterion Spines Project, where we’re going to be compiling as many of our reviews of Criterion titles on Blu-ray and DVD as we can in the months and years ahead.  And he’s christening the section today with his own new review of Criterion’s terrific Blu-ray special edition of Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon.  So we hope you enjoy it all... and stay tuned for Doogan’s future exploits around here!

All right, we’re kicking things off today here at The Bits with a review from our own Jeff Kleist of Universal’s new Battlestar Galactica (1978) on Blu-ray Disc.  The title is currently a Best Buy exclusive, but should go wide in a few weeks.

Also this afternoon, Russell Hammond has posted the weekly update of the Release Dates and Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links.  As always, a portion of anything you order from Amazon after clicking through our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we surely do appreciate it.

Now then… in Blu-ray/DVD release news today…

All right, we’ve got a couple more quick updates for you this afternoon, in addition to yesterday’s Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-ray pre-order post (which now includes UPDATED details about the exclusive QMx Phaser replica included in the Limited Edition Gift Set, so do check it out.)…

Universal has set The Office: Season Nine for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 8/13, along with The Mindy Project: Season One on DVD only.  Also coming on DVD only from Universal on 7/16 is Alphas: Season Two.

Disney has set a Peter Pan: Return to Neverland – Special Edition for Blu-ray Combo release on 8/20.

Sony has set Dead Man Down for Blu-ray and DVD on 7/9 (SRP $35.99 and $26.99).  Extras will include a trio of featurettes (Revenge and Redemption: Crafting Dead Man Down, Revenge Technique: The Cinematography and Staging the Action: The Firefights).

All right, space cadets!  We’ve back early with a rate Sunday update of The Bits for you.  Why you ask?  Well… Amazon has just begun taking pre-orders on the Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo and DVD release of Paramount’s Star Trek Into Darkness, which just opened in theaters in the States this past week.  There’s no street date yet (we’d guess it will be out in September or October), but there are FOUR SKU’s on Amazon.com – the Blu-ray 3D Combo (SRP $54.99 but Amazon has it for just $24.99 – with Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and a Digital Copy), a Blu-ray Combo (SRP $39.99 but Amazon has it for just $19.99 – with Blu-ray, DVD and a Digital Copy), a DVD version (SRP $29.99 and Amazon has it for $16.99) and – get this – an Amazon-exclusive Limited Edition Gift Set version of the Blu-ray 3D Combo (SRP $99.99 but Amazon has it for $79.99) that ships with a newly-produced prop replica Phaser pistol from the film produced by QMx, which was apparently involved in making the hero props for the film.  Unlike QMx’s 2009 Phaser replica (which is now sold out), this new one features a rotating emitter barrel (that in the film switches the Phaser from ‘stun’ to ‘kill’).  Here’s what it looks like (the image has a pre-order link)…

Star Trek Into Darkness (Blu-ray 3D Limited Edition Gift Set)

A description page for the new Phaser replica was briefly visible on QMx’s website over the weekend but was then pulled down – we suspect it will be back soon.  Only the sold-out 2009 prop’s page is there at the moment.  (Note that Amazon has images of the new prop including one showing the barrel swiveling.)  

[UPDATE: Here’s the official QMx page for this new Phaser replica as well as a page about the props they made for the new film.  It will apparently only be available as part of the Amazon Blu-ray Limited Edition and word is they’re selling quick.]

Meanwhile, here’s the cover artwork for the other three versions.  Clicking on any of the cover art (or the images above) takes you to the pre-order page on Amazon.com – any orders you make after clicking through our link go to help support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it!

Star Trek Into Darkness (Blu-ray 3D Combo)    Star Trek Into Darkness (Blu-ray Disc)    Star Trek Into Darkness (DVD)

All right, back tomorrow with the usual.  Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt

 

Okay… today’s Bits update is going to be a quick one as I seem to have a spotty Internet connection here this morning (curse you Cox Communications!) and I want to make sure I get something up before it goes out completely.

Our own Dr. Jahnke has a brand new Blu-ray Disc review for you today, this time a classic of exploitation cinema: John Flynn’s 1977 Rolling Thunder, which arrives in stores on 5/28 from Shout! Factory.  Do give it a look.  Tim has a new Blu-ray review for you as well this afternoon: Kino’s Zeta One, which is something of a sci-fi “sexploitation” comedy from 1969 and has been released on Kino’s Jezebel label. 

We’ve also updated more of our past Criterion Blu-ray reviews into the new site’s database today (from Tim, the good Doctor, myself and Barrie Maxwell), including Lars-Von Trier’s Antichrist, Fritz Lang’s M, Wong Kar-Wai’s Chungking Express, Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le cercle rouge, Erle C. Kenton’s Island of Lost Souls and Kaneto Shindo’s Kuroneko.  Be sure to watch for lots more new and updated Blu-ray reviews here at The Bits all next week.

In release news today… well, it hasn’t exactly been announced yet but Amazon.com is now taking pre-orders for Disney’s The Muppet Movie: The Original Classic – The Nearly 35th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray with a reported release date of 8/13.  One would like to think they’re going to get around to finally releasing The Muppet Show: Seasons 4 and 5 on DVD at some point, but no sign of it yet.

Speaking of Disney, retail sources tell us that studio will release new Blu-ray/DVD combo editions of The Sword in the Stone: 50th Anniversary Edition (SRP $36.99), the Robin Hood: 40th Anniversary Edition (SRP $36.99) and the Oliver and Company: 25th Anniversary Edition (SRP $29.99) on 8/6.  You can see the cover artwork below.

Sony has set Absolute Deception for DVD only release on 6/11.

And A&E has set Duck Dynasty: Season 3 for DVD release on 8/6.

We’ll leave you with a look at those Disney titles, as well as Paramount’s Marathon Man and The Talented Mr. Ripley (both due 9/10)…

The Muppet Movie: Nearly 35th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Disc)    The Sword and the Stone: 50th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Disc)    Robin Hood: 40th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Disc)

Oliver and Company: 25th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Disc)    Marathon Man (Blu-ray Disc)    The Talented Mr. Ripley (Blu-ray Disc)

All right, better get this up.  Have a great weekend!  Go see Star Trek into Darkness – it’s a ton of fun.

See you back here on Monday.

- Bill Hunt

 

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