my two cents 1000

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

Here at The Bits today, we’ve got another new Blu-ray Disc review and a pair of older ones as well.  Tim Salmons has checked out Criterion’s new BD release of Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate.  Tim has also updated a pair of his older Criterion BD reviews as well - Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes.  Enjoy!

The big release news today is that Paramount has finally announced Jack Reacher for Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 5/7 (SRP $39.99 and $29.99).  The Blu-ray version will include audio commentary by Tom Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie, a second commentary by composer Joe Kraemer and 3 featurettes (When the Man Comes Around, You Do Not Mess with Jack Reacher: Combat & Weapons and The Reacher Phenomenon).  The official cover artwork is below.

Also today, Shout!’s Scream Factory label has announced another pair of great catalog titles coming in June, including Joe Dante’s The Howling: Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray Combo and DVD Combo on 6/18 (SRP $29.93 and $19.93) and Ninja III: The Domination on Blu-ray Combo on 6/11 (SRP $26.99).  The Howling will include audio commentary with director Joe Dante and actors Dee Wallace, Christopher Stone and Robert Picardo, the multi-part Unleashing the Beast: The Making of The Howling documentary, deleted scenes and outtakes, 2 featurettes (Making of a Monster: Inside The Howling and Horror’s Hallowed Grounds), a photo gallery and theatrical trailers.  Extras on Ninja III are still TBA.

Olive Films has announced another couple waves of deep catalog classic Blu-rays for release in April, including Wake of the Red Witch, Red Pony, Champion, Magic Town, Copacabana, War of the Wildcats, Fighting Seabees and City That Never Sleeps on 4/23, and Lonely Trail, Enforcer and Cloak and Dagger on 4/30.

Meanwhile, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has set Broken City for BD release on 4/23.  Fox will also release the History Channel’s new epic miniseries The Bible on 4-disc Blu-ray and 4-disc DVD on 4/2 (SRP $69.99 and $59.98).

Disney has set Super Buddies for Blu-ray Combo release on 8/27.

Starz and Anchor Bay have Down the Shore coming to BD and DVD on 4/9.

Merlin: The Complete Fifth Season is due on BD and DVD from Warner and the BBC on 4/9 as well, along with the nature documentaries One Life and Planet Ocean.

Entertainment One has set The Sweeney for Blu-ray and DVD release on 4/2.

Blue Underground has set Fifty Shades of de Sade for DVD only release on 4/23.

The Cinema Guild will release the Brazilian film Neighboring Sounds on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/30.

RLJ Entertainment and Image Entertainment have set Day of the Falcon for BD and DVD release on 3/26.

And Image Entertainment is releasing the comedy/spoof Paranormal Movie on DVD on 4/9.  The film stars Kevin Darley.  You can watch the trailer here.

Finally, we’ve got a look at the official Blu-ray Disc cover artwork for The Weinstein Company’s Django Unchained (due 4/16).  You can find that below along with BD art for Shout!’s The Howling and Ninja III, Olive’s The Fighting Seabees and Paramount’s Jack Reacher, as well as DVD art for Image’s Paranormal Movie...

Django Unchained (Blu-ray Disc)    Jack Reacher (Blu-ray Disc)    The Howling: Collector's Edition (Blu-ray Disc)

Ninja III: The Domination (Blu-ray Disc)    The Fighting Seabees (Blu-ray Disc)    Paranormal Movie (DVD)

Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt

All right, the big announcement news today is that Disney has officially set Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln for Blu-ray and DVD release on 3/26.  There will be a 4-disc Blu-ray Combo, a 2-disc Blu-ray Combo and a 1-disc DVD (SRP $28.00, $24.50 and $17.99 – surprisingly low prices).  The DVD will include The Journey to Lincoln featurette.  The 2-disc BD will add another featurette (A Historic Tapestry: Richmond, Virginia).  The 4-disc set will add another 4 more featurettes (In the Company of Character, Crafting the Past, Living with Lincoln and In Lincoln’s Footsteps).  You’ll find the final cover BD artwork below.

More news in a second, but first our own Russell Hammond has updated the Release Dates & 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 to them through our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we surely do appreciate it.

Also here at the site today, Tim Salmons has posted two more Blu-ray Disc reviews.  The first is a new title – Disney’s Peter Pan: Diamond Edition.  Sounds like the high-def upgrade is well worth your time and money.  Tim has also added another of his Blu-ray reviews from the old site to our new review database – Criterion’s House.  Don’t miss it!

In more announcement news, Lionsgate has set The History Channel’s WWII from Space for Blu-ray and DVD release on 5/7.  The studio has also set Dark Circles, H.P. Lovecraft’s Cool Air and Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn for DVD only release on 5/21, along with Stand Up Guys on both Blu-ray and DVD that same day.

And Universal has set the horror film Mama for Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 5/7.  Extras will include the Matriarchal Secrets and The Birth of Mama featurettes, deleted scenes, feature commentary with director/co-writer Andy Muschietti and producer/co-writer Barbara Muschietti, and an original short with introduction by Guillermo Del Toro.

Here’s a look at the final Blu-ray cover artwork for the 4-disc BD version of Disney’s Lincoln, as well as Lionsgate’s Stand Up Guys and Warner’s Enter the Dragon: 40th Anniversary Edition (due 6/11)…

Lincoln (4-disc Blu-ray Disc)    Stand Up Guys (Blu-ray Disc)    Enter the Dragon: 40th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned…

- Bill Hunt

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

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