My Two Cents

My Two Cents

Slow news day, but we do have a couple of title announcements for you…

First, Warner Home Video has announced that it’s about to begin production on a new documentary called Necessary Evil: The Villains of DC Comics.  Presumably, this will all tie into the forthcoming release of Man of Steel, etc.

Meanwhile, Shout! Factory has announced a new DVD collection from the golden age of Japanese animation – Gaiking: The Movie Collection, which will include a trio of feature length movies edited from the original series, plus a brand new English language audio track.  Watch for it in stores on 5/21.

And 20th Century Fox has announced LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out for Blu-ray/DVD combo release on 3/26.  The set will come packaged with a little mini LEGO Darth Vader figure.

By the way, Fox has also set Via Zapata for BD release on 5/7 in addition to One Hour Photo, Brubaker and Verdict.

Finally, any Universal Monsters fans out there?  Amazon currently has an Italian import version of the Universal Classic Monsters Collection on Blu-ray (from Ais) that comes packaged in a coffin box, with a book and poster art cards for each of the films.  Amazon claims it’s all region.  Just $99 – pretty cool.  Here’s a picture…

Universal Classic Monsters Collection (Italian Blu-ray)

Anyway, we’ll leave you today with a look at the cover artwork for Universal’s Phantom of the Opera (1943) BD single (due 6/4), Fox’s LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out and Universal’s Mama (5/7)…

Phantom of the Opera (1943 - Blu-ray Disc)    LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out (BD/DVD)    Mama (Blu-ray Disc)

Don’t forget that HBO’s Game of Thrones returns this weekend for its third season.  Also, there’s WonderCon in Anaheim today through Sunday – I may drop by and I know Dr. Jahnke plans to roam the show on Saturday.  And a very Happy Easter to those who celebrate it too.

Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt


Super-slow news day today, but we do have a new review from Dr. Jahnke for you all to enjoy this afternoon: John Carpenter’s Christine: Limited Edition, now on Blu-ray from Twilight Time in a super-limited and already sold out run of 3,000 copies.

Universal has set Curious George: The Complete Sixth Season for DVD only release on 6/4.  Universal has also set Open Road for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/21.

20th Century Fox has set Brubaker and Verdict for release on Blu-ray on 5/7.

IFC has How to Survive a Plague due on Blu-ray on 6/11.

Millennium will release Upside Down on Blu-ray 3D Combo and DVD on 6/18, as well as Brave New World (1998) on 5/14.

Kino Lorber has set Of Human Bondage: Kino Classics Remastered Edition for BD release on 6/18.

Severin Films will release House on Straw Hill and The House of Seven Corpses on Blu-ray Combo on 6/11.

Magnolia has This Girl is Badass for BD and DVD release on 5/21.

Full Moon will release the Subspecies: The Blu-ray Collection – Volume 1 on 5/21, including Subspecies, Bloodstone: Subspecies II and Bloodlust: Subspecies III.

And Eagle Rock Entertainment has set The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane for BD and DVD on 5/21.

Stay tuned…

- Bill Hunt


We’ve got a bunch more announcement news for you today…

First, 20th Century Fox has set the CG-animated Koala Kid for DVD release on 4/30 exclusively at Walmart.  Fox has also The Oranges for Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 5/7.

Fox and MGM are releasing a 3-disc Daniel Craig 007 Collection on Blu-ray Disc on 6/4, due to include Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall.  From what we can tell, these will be the same single-disc editions released previously.

Lionsgate will release Ice Road Truckers: Season 6 and Mountain Men: Season 1 on 6/4 (in addition to Warm Bodies, announced yesterday), followed by After People, Betty and Coretta, Ninja Masters and Power Rangers Super Samurai: Secret of the Red Ranger – Volume 4 on 6/11, and American Idiots and Summoned on 6/18.  It’s also worth noting that the studio is releasing a title called Mighty Messes as a digital-only release on 6/11.

Universal is releasing a W.C. Fields Comedy Favorites Collection on DVD only on 6/4, including International House, Man on the Flying Trapeze, My Little Chickadee, It’s a Gift, Poppy, The Bank Dick, You’re Telling Me!, You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man, Never Give a Sucker an Even Break and The Old Fashioned Way.

Universal is also releasing some of the Classic Monsters titles (released last year in a box set) as Blu-ray singles on 6/4, including Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Invisible Man, The Mummy (1932) and Phantom of the Opera (1943).  Creature will include both 2D and 3D as in the box set.  Otherwise, all extras will be the same.  Note that this is simply Wave 1.  Presumably the remaining titles will be released as singles later in 2013.

And Universal has set an Alfred Hitchcock: The Essentials Collection for Blu-ray release on 6/4 that includes Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho and The Birds.  This is just a stripped down version of last year’s Hitchcock box set with only five of the films.

Speaking of Universal and Hitchcock, the studio will release BD singles of Rope on 5/7, Shadow of a Doubt on 6/4 and The Trouble with Harry on 7/2.

Also, Sony has set Parker for Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 5/7 (SRP $35.99 and $26.99).  The film stars Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez.

Warner and Cartoon Network have set Regular Show: The Complete First & Second Seasons for Blu-ray and DVD release on 7/16.

And New Video will release Wild Bill on Blu-ray and DVD on 7/16 as well.

Finally, on the TV front, Amazon.com has just listed Showtime’s Homeland: The Complete Second Season for Blu-ray and DVD release on 9/10, and Sony’s Breaking Bad: The Fifth Season and TNT’s Falling Skies: The Complete Second Season each for Blu-ray and DVD release on 6/4.  Those last three titles haven’t been officially announced yet (to our knowledge) so the dates are subject to change.

Here’s a look at temp artwork for three of Universal’s Classic Monsters BD singles – all are available for pre-order on Amazon.com by clicking on the covers…

The Mummy (1932 - Blu-ray Disc)    The Invisible Man (Blu-ray Disc)    Creature from the Black Lagoon (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

- Bill Hunt


All right, we’re pleased to offer you all a brand new View from the Cheap Seats column from our own Bud Elder.  In this installment, Bud remembers a dear friend recently lost – veteran Western actor Dale Robertson, who passed away last month.  It’s a great column so do give it a read.

We’ve also posted Russell Hammond’s weekly update of 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 from our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it.

Now then… we’ve got a bunch of new announcements to report this afternoon…

First up, 20th Century Fox has set A Good Day to Die Hard for Blu-ray and DVD release on 5/14.  The 2-disc Blu-ray will include both the theatrical cut and an extended cut of the film, audio commentary with director John Moore and first assistant director Mark Cotone, 7 deleted scenes (Jack Scopes Out Courthouse, Collins Gets Approval to Move, John McClane Original Introduction, Russian Girls on Plane, Safe House Intrusion, Gun Store and Fight with Anton), the 15-part Making it Hard to Die documentary (includes Introduction, Stunts, Helicopters and Aerial, Special Effects, Motion Base, Armoury, Russia and Budapest, The Look of the Movie, Chernobyl, Camera Work, Editorial Los Angeles, Color Grading, Visual Effects, Film Scoring and Wrap Up), 3 Pre-Viz clips, 5 additional featurettes (Maximum McClane, Anatomy of a Car Chase, Two of a Kind, Back in Action and The New Face of Evil), VFX Sequences, 2 image galleries and theatrical trailer, plus a DVD and Digital Copy disc.  See the cover artwork below.

Meanwhile, Summit Entertainment has set the “zombie-reversal romance/comedy” Warm Bodies for Blu-ray and DVD release on 6/4 (SRP $39.99 and $29.95).  Extras include audio commentary with director Jonathon Levine and actors Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer, 9 featurettes (Boy Meets, ER, Doesn’t Eat Girl, R&J, A Little Less Dead, Extreme Zombie Make-Over!, A Wreck in Progress, Bustin’ Caps, Beware of The Boneys, Whimsical Sweetness: Teresa Palmer’s Warm Bodies Home Movies and Zombie Acting Tips with Rob Corddry), plus deleted scenes with optional director's commentary and the Shrug and Groan gag reel.

Paramount will release Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters on Blu-ray Combo and DVD on 6/11.  The Blu-ray will include the film in an unrated edition, along with 3 featurettes (Reinventing Hansel & Gretel, The Witching Hours and Meet Edward the Troll).  The DVD will include the theatrical version of the film.

And Warner Home Video has set Shane and The Odd Couple for Blu-ray Disc release on 6/4.  SRP is $19.98 each.  You’ll find cover artwork for those below as well.

In other release news, Dark Sky Films will release Manborg on DVD only on 4/30.

Virgil Films will release Future Weather on DVD on 4/16.

PBS Distribution has set Frontline: Cliffhanger for DVD release on 4/30.

And Well Go USA Entertainment has set Back to 1942 for Blu-ray and DVD release on 5/14 (SRP $29.98 and $24.98), followed by Nightfall on both formats on 5/2114 (SRP $29.98 and $24.98).

Here’s a look at the Blu-ray cover art for A Good Day to Die Hard, Summit’s Warm Bodies, Paramount’s Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Warner’s Shane and The Odd Couple, and Criterion’s Things to Come (due 6/18)…

A Good Day to Die Hard (Blu-ray Disc)    Warm Bodies (Blu-ray Disc)    Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (Blu-ray Disc)

Shane (Blu-ray Disc)    The Odd Couple (Blu-ray Disc)    Things to Come (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt


All right, as promised, we’re kicking things off this week here at The Bits with a new Blu-ray review – my own thoughts on CBS’ Star Trek: Enterprise – Season One, which hits stores tomorrow.  The A/V quality isn’t quite up to the level of the other recent Trek “remastered” BD sets for reasons I’ll explain in the review, but the extras more than make up for it.  Bottom line: If you’re a fan of Enterprise like me, run… don’t walk… to pick up your copy.

Meanwhile, in announcement news, 20th Century Fox and MGM have officially announced the 5/7 Blu-ray release of The Great Escape, celebrating the film’s 50th anniversary!  The film has been given a new 4K remastering, and the restored version will be screened at the TCM Classic Film Festival in L.A. (April 25th-28th) as well as in a limited theatrical run around the world.  Extras on the Blu-ray will include audio commentary by director John Sturges and members of the cast and crew, 8 behind-the-scenes  featurettes (Bringing Fact to Fiction, Preparations for Freedom, The Flight to Freedom, A Standing Ovation, The Untold Story, The Untold Story – Additional Interviews, A Real Virgil Hilts: A Man Called Jones and Return to The Great Escape) and the original theatrical trailer.

Also, Universal has set a War: 10-Movie Collection DVD box set for release on 6/4.  Included will be The Eagle and the Hawk, To Hell and Back, In Enemy Country, The Last Outpost, Battle Hymn, Raid on Rommel, Wake Island, Jet Pilot, Ulzana’s Raid and Bengal Brigade.

Sony has announced more MOD DVD-R titles for release on 5/7, including Yankee Zulu, Adventures in Silverado, Alias Mr. Twilight, The Devil-Ship Pirates, Thrill Hunter, Special Inspector, The Lost (2009), The Unknown: The Complete First Season, Rude Awakening: Season One, Great Crimes and Trials of the 20th Century - Volume 1: Gruesome California and Great Crimes and Trials of the 20th Century - Volume 1: The Original Gangstas.

Finally, yesterday was that live online event with director Peter Jackson to preview The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.  I was so busy working on reviews over the weekend that I forgot about it.  But if you’re in the same boat, don’t worry.  Doogan tuned in and says there really was very little footage from the film shown and no trailer.  An edited version of the event will be up here soon, apparently as the very first Video Blog entry for the second film.  So watch for that over the next few days.

All right, that’s all for now.  Back tomorrow.  Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt


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