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First up today, our own Tim Salmons has checked in with reviews of Criterion’s excellent new Blu-ray editions of a pair of sci-fi classics from different eras of the cinema: Alex Cox’s Repo Man and William Cameron Menzies’ Things to Come.  Both reviews (and the discs too) are well worth your time… so enjoy!

In announcement news today, CBS and Paramount have set The Honeymooners: Classic 39 Episodes for Blu-ray Disc release on 10/15.

Paramount has also set Gentle Ben: Season One for DVD only release on 10/15, starring Clint Howard and Dennis Weaver.

All right, let’s catch up on some other release news from the last few days…

As you’ll recall, we  mentioned yesterday that Pacific Rim is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com (on Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray).  So too is World War Z (Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray) and The Lone Ranger (on Blu-ray).

Meanwhile, 20th Century Fox, MGM and History Channel have set Vikings: Season One for Blu-ray release on 10/15.

All right, looks like it’s going to take us a few days to completely catch up on news from and post Con, because the announcements keep coming in…

First up though, our very own Dr. Adam Jahnke has turned in the latest edition of his excellent Burnt Offerings MOD DVD column, featuring an update on Warner Archive releases for this week (including the classic Captain Caveman animated series) and upcoming MOD/DVD-R releases too!  He’s also reviewed Warner Archive’s The White Dawn on MOD DVD-R.  Don’t miss it!

Also here at The Bits today, Russell Hammond has once again posted the weekly Release Dates & Artwork update with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links.  As always, a portion of anything your order from Amazon after clicking through to them from our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we greatly appreciate it!

Now then… let’s get to some announcements news…

Well… we’re back from Comic-Con!  There’s lot of entertainment news to report from the event these days (including word that the next Man of Steel film will be a team-up with Superman and Batman), but the Blu-ray/DVD release news is excellent and abundant too…

First up, on our own Digital Bits BD Producers panel, we exclusively revealed that Shout! Factory is currently hard at work on a fully-remastered Blu-ray box set of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse: The Complete Series.  The show was originally finished on 1-inch analog tape, but it was shot on film and star Paul Rubens has all the original 16 and 35mm negative.  So it’s all being scanned in full HD and then digitally restored and remastered.  Rubens himself is working closely with producer Brian Ward and the Shout! team to create new special features, so it should be pretty terrific.  We showed a special video preview during our panel that offered fans a glimpse of the restoration work, with before and after comparisons.  It looks absolutely amazing!  (We’ll see if there’s any chance we can show it to you here.)  The set is expected to be released sometime in early 2014.  The exact time frame will depend on how long it takes to finish the restoration properly – they don’t want to rush it, they want to get it right.  Watch this space for more details.

All right, for the next three days, some of The Bits crew is going to be making our yearly pilgrimage down to Comic-Con in San Diego.  As you know, we’re holding our regular Blu-ray panel down there on Thursday afternoon (4-5 PM in Room 5AB) so if you’re down there, we’d sure love to see you there.

Meanwhile, we have a couple things for you while we’re away…

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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