My Two Cents
All right, our own Russell Hammond has once again posted the weekly update of the Release Dates and Artwork section chock full of all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. Don’t forget, anything at all (movies, books, electronics, whatever) that you order from Amazon after clicking through to them through our links helps to support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it.
Here at the site this afternoon, we’ve got a new disc review for you. Tim Salmons has checked out Universal’s recent End of Watch on Blu-ray Combo, and has found it to be well worth your time. It’s now available in stores, so do check it out. And check back tomorrow for another BD review as well.
In announcement news today, some of you TV fans are going to go nuts over this news: Time Life has revealed that they’re exclusively releasing China Beach: The Complete Series online as a 21-disc DVD collector’s set (SRP $199.95). Pre-orders are now open only on the ChinaBeachonDVD.com website. All 62 episodes will be included along with 10 hours worth of extras including cast reunion videos, interviews with the cast and crew, audio commentary tracks, featurettes and a 36-page book called Tales from the Five & Dime. A special 25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition of the series will also be available (SRP $274.95) that adds 3 complete scripts signed by the entire cast, 4 8x10 cast photos and special packaging. Here’s a look (click the image to visit the official site)...
Meanwhile, Universal has set Hyde Park on Hudson for Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 4/9. The film stars Bill Murray (as President Franklin D. Roosevelt) and Laura Linney.
Universal has also set the documentary Planet Ocean for Blu-ray and DVD release on 4/9. The discs will include a trio of bonus featurettes.
Here’s something exciting: Magnet Releasing has officially obtained the rights to the recent science fiction/horror film Europa Report. Looks like they’re planning a limited theatrical release followed by digital distribution, Blu-ray and DVD. We’ll let you know when we hear more.
Warner Home Video has set Steven Spielberg Presents Tiny Toon Adventures: Volume 4 for DVD only release on 5/28 (SRP $19.97). It will include 16 more episodes of the series on 2 discs, including Flea for Your Life, The Return of Batduck, Toons Take Over, Toons from the Crypt, Two-Tone Town, Buster’s Directorial Debut, Washingtoon, Toon TV, Grandma’s Dead, Music Day, The Horror of Slumber Party Mountain, Sports Shorts, Weekday Afternoon Live, A Cat’s Eye View, Best of Buster Day and It’s a Wonderful Tiny Toon Christmas Special.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has set the Jack Palance classic Panic in the Streets for Blu-ray release on 3/26.
Paramount will release Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away on Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo and DVD on 3/12.
We’ve teased it before, but Shout! Factory has now officially set Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swan for Blu-ray release on 3/19. Extras will audio commentary with director William Dear, interviews with producer Michael Nesmith and Dear, and a storyboard gallery.
Shout! has also set the documentary film Jackie Robinson: My Story for release on DVD only on 4/2.
Our friends at Hen’s Tooth Video have informed us that their upcoming DVD re-issue of The Navigator (1988) is finally presented in anamorphic widescreen (at the proper 1.85:1 ratio) and the film elements were sourced directly from the New Zealand Film Commission. So the disc should finally present the film in the quality it deserves. SRP is $19.95 and we’ll let you know the official street date as soon as we have it. [Editor’s Note: The street date is officially 4/30.]
BBC Home Entertainment is releasing Africa: Eye to Eye with the Unknown on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/26. It’s part of their BBC Earth line-up of documentary programs.
And Lionsgate has set A Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia for Blu-ray release on 4/16, followed by Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom on Blu-ray on 4/30.
Also today, if you happen to pick up a copy of Disney’s Peter Pan on Blu-ray (which hit stores on Tuesday), you’ll find a paper insert inside that teases the Spring 2014 release of The Jungle Book: Diamond Edition. We’ve been waiting for that one for a while now.
Here’s a look at the cover artwork for Lionsgate’s The Impossible (due 4/2), Shout! Factory’s Timerider and Lionsgate’s Strictly Ballroom…
By the way, it looks as if listings for all three versions of The Hobbit are now up on Amazon.com (see yesterday’s post – the linked cover art) but BD pre-orders aren’t quite running yet. We’ll let you know.
- Bill Hunt
Warner Home Video has just officially announced the Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo and DVD release of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on 3/19 (SRP $44.95, $35.99 and $22.97). Extras on all three versions will include the New Zealand: Home of Middle Earth documentary, 10 behind-the-scenes video blogs (Start of Production, Location Scouting, Shooting Block One, Filming in 3D, Locations: Part 1, Locations: Part 2, Stone St. Studios Tour, Wrap of Principal Photography, Post-production Overview and Wellington World Premiere), 5 theatrical trailers (Dwarves, Letter Opener, Bilbo Contract, Gandalf Wagers and Gollum Paths) and 3 videogame trailers (for The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-Earth, Guardians of Middle-Earth and Lego The Lord of the Rings). All three versions will also include UltraViolet. Here’s a look at the official final cover artwork. Amazon.com pre-orders are expected to start at any moment (we’ll update the cover links as soon as they go live)…
In addition, the film be available via digital streaming as early as 3/12. Other important details: Warner Home Video has now officially confirmed that an Extended Edition will be available on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD “in time for the holidays.” Also, director Peter Jackson will offer fans the first sneak peek at the second film in the trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, in a live streaming event on Sunday, March 24th (at 3:00 PM Eastern/Noon Pacific) on the official website. The film is due in theatres around the world on 12/13/2013.
- Bill Hunt
All right, just a very quick early update this morning to follow up on that Star Trek movie Blu-ray post from yesterday. We’ve checked in with our sources – both officially and unofficially – and have confirmed that the classic Star Trek feature film Blu-rays that Paramount is reissuing on 4/30 are in fact the very same discs they’ve released previously. These are just single-film editions of the same discs that were released in the 2009 box set. None are new transfers and all are just the theatrical cuts only. We know – Bones is grumpy about it too. We had a feeling the press site was incorrect and that its indications that The Motion Picture was the Director’s Cut were too good to be true. We’d hoped that the studio might take the opportunity afforded by the May theatrical release of Star Trek Into Darkness to re-issue the classic Trek films on Blu-ray with better HD transfers and maybe include the existing director’s cuts at some point, but that’s clearly not happening yet. We’ll let you know if anything changes.
In the meantime, Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Three and Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Best of Both Worlds are definitely coming to Blu-ray on 4/30 (the latter isn’t available for pre-order yet from Amazon in the U.S. but we’ll let you know when it is). And obviously, Star Trek: Enterprise – Season One is officially announced for Blu-ray release on 3/26. Here’s a look at the cover art for each of those confirmed releases…
One other quick bit of release news today: Holy Motors is set for Blu-ray and DVD release on 2/26 from Indomina Releasing.
More as it comes in. Stay tuned…
- Bill Hunt
All right, hope you guys all had a great weekend. Strange Super Bowl yesterday. Hype aside it was surely one of the weirdest NFL games I’ve seen in a long time. But hey – the new Star Trek Into Darkness teaser spot sure looked good. Here’s hoping the film delivers the goods.
Anyway, we’ve got some interesting stuff for you today…
First, it looks like we’re finally going to get a look at Sony’s big plan to deliver 4K content to their 4K displays later this month… and it’s looking very much like that plan involves the PlayStation 4. Numerous sources are now saying that Sony is expected to officially unveil the PS4 at a mysterious “PlayStation Meeting” press event on 2/20. Sources are reporting that the code name for the system is “Orbis” and that Ultra HD streaming content and videogames will be a significant part of Sony’s plan for the device. More here and here at arstechnica.com, and here’s Sony’s official tease video for the event.
By the way, it’s entirely possible that Microsoft’s next generation Xbox will delve into the 4K realm as well.
Also today, Warner Home Video and Warner Archive have just BETA-launched their own online movies-on-demand streaming service called Warner Archive Instant. It will allow you to watch movies on your computer and also in high-definition if you have a Roku set-top box. Word is Warner Archive is working to solidify deals with BD player, TV, smartphone and tablet manufacturers to allow Archive Instant access on those devices as well. Pretty cool – we think this is actually great idea. There are lots of really deep, deep catalog titles that would probably sell poorly (if at all) on disc, but that we’d still love to be able to watch in good quality somehow. Access to the BETA is restricted at the moment, but we’ll post more details on all this soon.
In announcement news today, Paramount and CBS have officially set Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Three and Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Best of Both Worlds for Blu-ray release here in the U.S. on 4/30. That same day, Paramount will also re-release Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek: Generations, Star Trek: Insurrection and Star Trek: Nemesis on Blu-ray as singles (Star Trek II and IV aren’t yet listed on the site). Here’s the kicker though – Paramount’s press site claims that Star Trek: The Motion Picture will be the “newly restored Director’s Cut.” Frankly, this seem way too good to be true so we’d suggest you not get too excited. Rest assured, we’re trying to confirm this one way or another. We’ve asked if any of the other films will feature newly-remastered transfers as well.
Meanwhile, Paramount and CBS have also set James A. Michener’s Texas, Flashpoint: The Fifth Season, Gunsmoke: The Eighth Season, Volume One, Gunsmoke: The Eighth Season, Volume Two, Have Gun - Will Travel: The Sixth and Final Season, Volume One and Have Gun - Will Travel: The Sixth and Final Season, Volume Two for DVD only release on 5/7.
Lionsgate has set The Impossible for Blu-ray and DVD release on 4/23 (SRP $39.99 and $29.95). The film stars Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. Extras will include audio commentary with director J.A. Bayona, writer Sergio G. Sánchez, producer Belén Atienza and María Belón, 2 featurettes (Casting The Impossible and Realizing The Impossible) and deleted scenes.
Sony has set the animated Iron Man: Rise of the Technovore for Blu-ray and DVD release on 4/16 (SRP $30.99 and $26.99).
- Bill Hunt
All right, to close the week out right I’ve got another new Blu-ray Disc review for you today, featuring my own thoughts on the unrated movie version of Universal’s long-awaited new Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome. As many of you know, I’m a huge Battlestar fan – I’ve watched the Ron Moore series three times start to finish on Blu-ray. So was Blood & Chrome worth the wait? Well, mostly. Click here for all the details. For the record, the Blu-ray and DVD street on 2/19.
In release news today, Disney and Yahoo have just officially unveiled the trailer for the late-2013 Blu-ray Disc release of The Little Mermaid. The street date is expected to be 10/1. You can see early BD cover artwork for the release below.
Meanwhile, Shout! Factory has announced a pair of new Scream Factory Blu-ray/DVD Combo titles for release on 5/21, including The Burning and The Town That Dreaded Sundown. The Burning (SRP $29.93) will include audio commentary with director Tony Maylam and moderated by Alan Jones, as well as the Blood ‘n’ Fire Memories featurette. The Town That Dreaded Sundown (SRP $26.99) will include the special bonus movie The Evictors and more TBA.
According to Amazon.co.uk, the long-awaited war classic The Great Escape is finally due to be released by MGM and Fox on Blu-ray on 6/3 in the U.K. Expect a similar release date here in the States. We’ll post official details as they come in.
Also, look for Fox to release the new miniseries The Bible on Blu-ray and DVD sometime in March. It debuts on The History Channel on 3/3.
And Image Entertainment has set The Dick Van Dyke Show: The Complete Second Season for Blu-ray release on 5/7.
Have a great weekend, everyone! Stay tuned...
- Bill Hunt