my two cents 1000

Our Blu-ray review of the day is none other than Jean Rollin’s School Hitchhikers from Kino Lorber!  Tim has posted his thoughts for you all to check out here.  Meanwhile, know that I’m at work on Blu-ray reviews of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Star Trek: Enterprise – Season One for the next few days, so be sure to check back.

Meanwhile, in announcement news today, Warner Home Video has officially set a pair of gangster box sets (which we’ve known about since last year) for Blu-ray release on 5/21.  The Ultimate Gangster Collection – Classic will include The Public Enemy, Little Caesar, The Petrified Forest and White Heat, plus the Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Drama documentary, while The Ultimate Gangster Collection – Contemporary will include Mean Streets, The Untouchables, GoodFellas, Heat and The Departed (SRP $49.99 each).  All of the Classic collection titles (which are new to Blu-ray) will also be available individually for $19.98 each.

Anchor Bay has set Syfy’s 2012 remake of The Philadelphia Experiment for Blu-ray and DVD release on 6/11 (SRP $24.99 and $19.98).  It stars Nicholas Lea, Michael Paré (yes, of the original film), Gena Holden and Malcolm McDowell.

Wolfe Video will release Face 2 Face on DVD on 5/14.

Lionsgate will release The History Channel’s Ultimate Guide to Presidents on DVD only on 5/28, followed by Mountain Men: Season 1 on DVD only on 6/4.

First Run Features has set the documentaries Gottfried Helnwein and the Dreaming Child and Fatherland for DVD only release on 3/19, followed by Errol Garner: No One Can Hear You Read and The Last Flight of Petr Ginz on 4/9 and Orchestra of Exiles on 4/14.

And finally for those who might be interested, MHz Networks has just released the Danish political drama series Borgen: Season 1 on DVD – street date was yesterday, 3/12 (SRP $49.95).

Also, there appears to be a small delay on shipments of some copies of the Blu-ray release of Disney’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit?: 25th Anniversary Edition.  Amazon currently lists a shipping time of “9 to 12 days” and claims it’s “due to a manufacturing issue”.  In any case, just know that there may be slight delays in finding copies depending on the retailer you purchased the title from.

Here’s a sneak peek at the open Blu-ray cover packaging for Warner’s two Gangster Collections

The Ultimate Gangster Collection - Classic

The Utimate Gangster Collection - Contemporary

Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt

We’ve got a couple more new Blu-ray Disc reviews for you today.  Tim has checked out another pair of great Scream Factory titles for your reading enjoyment: Don Coscarelli’s Phantasm II and Stuart Gordon’s From Beyond.  Both discs are long overdue and well worth your time, so do give them a look.

Also here at the site today, our own Russell Hammond has 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 you 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... today’s a little slow announcement-wise, but Lionsgate has set Mountain Men: Season One for DVD release on 6/4.

Warner Home Video has set Scooby-Doo! Mystery Inc: Season 2, Part 2 - Spooky Stampede for DVD release on 6/18.  Warner has also announced that the street date for Rizzoli & Isles: The Complete Third Season on DVD has moved from 5/14 to 6/11.  Adjust your plans accordingly.

PBS Distribution will release the Masterpiece series Mr. Selfridge on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/23.

And Inception Media Group will release The Colombian Connection on DVD only on 4/16.

Also, here’s a bit of other news that might get you Sherlock fans excited – the BBC series’ third season begins shooting in London next Monday and is tentatively set to air before the end of 2013.  Even better yet, star Benedict Cumberbatch has officially confirmed to Radio Times that the series is coming back for a fourth season as well!  One word: AWESOME.

Back with another new Blu-ray review tomorrow.  Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt

All right, we’re kicking off a new regular column here at The Bits this week: Bud Elder’s View from the Cheap Seats!  Bud is a longtime movie reviewer and has been associated with Hollywood for many years as the film commissioner for the state of Oklahoma.  He’s also been a Bits reader almost since the very beginning of the site, and was a friend of Barrie Maxwell.  So we’re thrilled to welcome him to the team.  Bud’s column will cover a range of topics, especially including interesting and funny behind-the-scenes stories from his many years in the industry.  In this first piece, he’d got a great Godfather story we think you’ll get a kick out of.  We hope you enjoy it!

In announcement news today, PBS has revealed that they’re distributing Ken Burns’ The Central Park Five on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/23 (SRP $29.99 and $24.99).  PBS will also release NOVA: Australia’s First 4 Billion Years on BD and DVD on 6/25.

Shout! factory will release Electra Glide in Blue on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/4,

Disney will release Disneynature: Wings of Life on Blu-ray on 4/16.

Image has set Magic Journey to Africa for BD and DVD release on 4/23.  Image will also release Numbers Station on BD and DVD on 5/28 and The Dick Van Dyke Show: Season 3 on Blu-ray on 6/11.

Millennium will release Upside Down on Blu-ray 3D Combo and DVD on 6/18.

And Dark Sky Films will release the horror film Stitches on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/2.

Here’s a look at the BD cover artwork of Kino Lorber’s Jacob (due 4/16), Paramount’s Not Fade Away (4/30) and Lionsgate’s A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III (5/14)...

Jacob (Blu-ray Disc)    Not Fade Away (Blu-ray Disc)    A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

- Bill Hunt

We’re closing out the week here at the site with a quick 3D Dimension column update from Jeff Kleist.  It seems some of the online natives are a bit restless regarding the color timing of the new Top Gun 3D Blu-ray master, so Jeff did a little digging on the subject and presents his findings.  Do check it out.

In announcement news today, Warner Home Video has set TNT’s Major Crimes: The Complete First Season for DVD only release on 6/4 (SRP $39.98).

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will release Cheech & Chong’s Animated Movie on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/23.  Extras will include “Joint” commentary featuring Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong, a second commentary with Branden Chambers, Eric D. Chambers and Lou Adler, a third commentary with Tommy Chong and Paris Chong, a Low Maintenance Listening Mode, video of Blind Mellon’s recording session for Medical Marijuana Blues and a Cheech and Chong gallery.

And that’s pretty much it, except to say that Home Media magazine has opened up the voting for their 2013 Home Media AwardsClick here and you can vote for your picks, which will be combined with the official judges selections to select the final winners.  Voting is open until 4/14.  (In the interests of full disclosure, Bits editor Bill Hunt - yours truly - is part of the panel of judges.)

We’ll leave you with a look at the Blu-ray cover artwork for Fox’s Cheech & Chong’s Animated Movie and The Bible (due 4/2), as well as Universal’s In the Name of the Father (5/7)...

Cheech & Chong's Animated Movie (Blu-ray Disc)    The Bible miniseries (Blu-ray Disc)    In the Name of the Father: 20th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Disc)

Have a great weekend!

- Bill Hunt

Our own Tim Salmons been a busy fellow of late – in addition to the other reviews he’s already done this week, Tim has just turned in his thoughts on Fox’s new Die Hard: 25th Anniversary Collection Blu-ray box set.  Do check it out.  It’s now available in stores.  Yippee-ki-yay!

In announcement news today, Warner Home Video has set Gangster Squad for Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 4/23 (SRP $35.99 and $22.97).  Extras on the Blu-ray version will include audio commentary with director Ruben Fleischer, deleted scenes, 17 The Gangland Files featurettes (The Set-Up, The Real Story, James Brolin on O’Mara, One Continuous Long Shot, Fashion of the 40s, Ryan & Emma Reunited, Emma Stone on Grace, The Real Mickey Cohen, Ryan Gosling on Wooters, The Real Gangster Squad, The Real Locations, Nick Nolte on Chief Parker, Inside Slapsy Maxie’s, Ryan & Emma on the Set, Bringing Back Gangsters, Park Plaza and Then and Now: Locations), plus 2 more featurettes (Rogues Gallery: Mickey Cohen and Tough Guys with Style).

Warner and HBO have set True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season for Blu-ray and DVD release on 5/21 (SRP $79.98 and $59.99).  The Blu-ray version will offer all 12 episodes with an “enhanced viewing mode” that gives you access to audio commentary and numerous interactive features on each episode including character bios, True Blood Lines, Anatomy of an Episode, Authority Link-outs, Inside the Episodes, Flashbacks/Flash Forwards and Hints/FYIs.

Also, while we’re talking about Warner, their upcoming The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Blu-rays include a card (with a special URL and code) that grants special access to an exclusive live online event on 3/24 (3 PM EDT) with director Peter Jackson to preview the upcoming sequel The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Meanwhile, PBS has just announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of the 2-hour NOVA: Earth from Space documentary.  I actually watched this when it originally aired on PBS recently and it’s pretty extraordinary.  I highly recommend it, especially to those of you who may have enjoyed Planet Earth and other similar series.  The graphics and visuals are really stunning, including absolutely gorgeous imagery of the nighttime Earth as seen in time-lapse from the International Space Station.  Street date is 4/30 (SRP $29.99 and $24.99).

Shout!’s Scream Factory label has announced another great Blu-ray and DVD release today – Dead Souls.  Look for it on 6/25 (SRP $19.97 and $14.93).  Extras will include commentary, bloopers, a set tour and TV spots.

And Kino Lober have just announced much of their May Blu-ray and DVD release slate.  From their Kino Lorber label, look for If I Were You on DVD only on 5/7.  Redemption titles for May will include The Sinful Nuns of Saint Valentine: Remastered Edition and Enzo G. Castellari’s Cold Eyes of Fear: Remastered Edition, each available on both Blu-ray and DVD on 5/21.  The company’s Alive Mind label will release A Good Day to Die on DVD only on 5/28.  Finally, their Raro Video USA brand will release Fernando Di leo’s Shoot First Die Later: Remastered Edition on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/28.

And in news from around the Net today, Bloomberg Businessweek has a great piece up on the process by which Bob Iger and Disney convinced George Lucas to sell them Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise.  Definitely worth reading, if only for the confirmation that all three major actors (Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford) from the original Star Wars films are expected to return for the new sequels.

We’ll leave you with a look at the BD cover artwork for Warner’s Gangster Squad, HBO’s True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season and Kino Lorber’s Cold Eyes of Fear

Gangster Squad (Blu-ray Disc)    True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray Disc)    Cold Eyes of Fear (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

- Bill Hunt

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