My Two Cents
The Digital Bits - Bill Hunt's My Two Cents

We’ve got some more new announcements to report today, but first…

Dr. Jahnke’s Hell Plaza Oktoberfest review of the day is none other than Tim Burton’s updating of Dark Shadows, newly released on Blu-ray by Warner Home Video.

Also, our own Russell Hammond has updated the Release Dates & Artwork update with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover artwork and 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 at The Bits and we really appreciate it.

Now then…

Criterion has announced its January Blu-ray and DVD slate, highlighted by the release of Win Wender’s first foray into 3D filmmaking, the documentary Pina, on Blu-ray 3D Combo and DVD (Catalog #644 – due 1/22/2013)! As if that’s not enough, Criterion will also release Volker Schlöndorff’s The Tin Drum “in a restored director’s cut never before seen in the United States” (Cat #234 – BD and DVD – 1/15), Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much (Cat #643 – BD and DVD – 1/15), Monte Hellman’s Two-Lane Blacktop (Cat #414 – BD –1/8) and Andrei Tarkovsky’s Ivan’s Childhood (Cat #397 – BD and DVD – 1/22).

Also today, Disney has set The Odd Life of Timothy Green for Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 12/4. Extras will include the Family Roots: Bringing The Odd Life of Timothy Green to the Screen documentary, Glen Hansard’s This Gift music video, the Glen Hansard: Behind This Gift featurette, 5 deleted scenes and commentary with director Peter Hedges.

Lionsgate has set William Friedkin’s Killer Joe for Blu-ray and DVD release on 12/21 (SRP $24.99 and $19.98). The Blu-ray will feature and Unrated Director’s Cut of the film while the DVD will have the NC-17 rated Theatrical Cut. Both will include director’s commentary, 3 featurettes (Southern Fried Hospitality: From Stage to Screen, SXSW Q&A with the Cast and SXSW Intro by William Friedkin) and the “Red Band” theatrical trailer.

[Update: I've just learned that the Blu-ray will be the original NC-17 cut but now labeled "unrated" because most stores will not carry titles listed as NC-17. The DVD on the other hand will be a brand new R-rated cut. Adjust your plans accordingly.]

Shout! Factory has set Jane Campion’s The Portrait of a Lady for BD release on 12/11. Shout! has also set Hazel: The Complete Fourth Season for DVD only release on 12/11.

And Timeless Media Group (a division of Shout!) has something for you spaghetti western fans – a pair of Django! double-feature DVDs including A Man Called Django (1971)/Django and Sartana Showdown in the West (1970) and Django! Cut Price Corpses (1971)/Django Kills Silently (1967). SRP is just $6.95 each. Timeless says they’ll both feature “newly re-mastered prints and all-new bonus features”.

In addition, Synapse will release Chiller: The Complete Television Series as a 2-disc DVD on 12/11 (SRP $29.95). All 5 original U.K. episodes will be included.

Well Go USA has set the Honk Kong action film Wu Dang for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/4 (SRP $29.98 and $24.98). Extras will include a behind-the-scenes featurette, deleted and extended scenes and a trailer.

Anchor Bay Entertainment and RADiUS-TWC have set the dark comedy Butter for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/4 ($29.99 and $24.98). Anchor Bay has also set 10 Years for release on Blu-ray Combo and DVD on 12/18.

Sony has revealed that Premium Rush (coming to BD and DVD on 12/21) will include a pair of behind-the-scenes featurettes (including The Starting Line: Meet the Cast and Behind the Wheels).

Magnolia Home Entertainment has set Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview for DVD only release on 10/23.

Finally, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release Let the Music Play: The Story of the Doobie Brothers for Blu-ray and DVD release on 11/13.

Here’s a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Criterion’s Pina, The Tin Drum and The Man Who Knew Too Much

Pina (Criterion Blu-ray 3D Combo)    The Tin Drum (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)    The Man Who Knew Too Much (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

Afternoon, folks. Hope you all had a fine weekend. I haven’t had the chance to see Ben Affleck’s Argo yet, but all the word from friends who have is that it’s pretty darned good. Instead, Sarah and I spent time helping get Mom settled into her new home. And then we had an interesting little adventure on Saturday night. Some of you may have heard that the Space Shuttle Endeavour was being driven across Los Angeles to its new home at the California Science Center this weekend. It was supposed to be a quick overnight trip and it turned into a two and a half day marathon. As it happens, on Saturday night the shuttle got stuck at the intersection of Crenshaw and MLK for over six hours. So about 11 PM we decided to drive up from Orange County to get a closer look at it. Many thousands of people were there to do the same – it was almost like an impromptu street carnival. It was pretty cool.

We even took Mom along for the ride - her first big L.A. adventure. Given what a big fan of the space program Dad was, he would have been proud. Here’s a couple pictures Sarah took. You can almost read the small print on the tiles there...

Space Shuttle Endeavour at MLK & Crenshaw in L.A. - 1/13/2012

Space Shuttle Endeavour at MLK & Crenshaw in L.A. - 1/13/2012

All right, down to business. To get things started here today, our very own Dr. Adam Jahnke kicks off this third week of The Hell Plaza Oktoberfest with a review of director Roger Spottiswoode’s debut film Terror Train, now available on Blu-ray Disc from the folks at Shout! Factory via their Scream Factory label.

Also today, Tim Salmons has looked at another recent Steven Spielberg film on Blu-ray Disc in the form of Universal’s new E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: Anniversary Edition.

Both films are well worth a look on Blu, so we hope you enjoy the reviews.

In announcement news today, Lionsgate has set The Expendables 2 for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 11/20 (SRP $39.99 and $29.95, respectively). For your money, you’ll get audio commentary with director Simon West, 4 behind-the-scenes featurettes (Gods of War: Assembling Earth’s Mightiest Anti-Heroes, Big Guns, Bigger Heroes: The 1980’s and the Rise of the Action Film, On the Assault: The Real-Life Weaponry of The Expendables and Guns for Hire: The Real Expendables), deleted scenes and a gag reel. The special edition content was produced by our old friend Cliff Stephenson, so it should be pretty cool.

Lionsgate will also release Arbitrage on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/21 (SRP $24.99 and $19.98). Extras will include audio commentary with writer/director Nicholas Jarecki, 2 featurettes (Who Is Robert Miller? and A Glimpse Into Arbitrage) and deleted scenes with optional writer/director commentary.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has set Hope Springs for Blu-ray and DVD release on 12/4 (SRP $35.99 and $30.99). Bonus features will include commentary with director David Frankel, 6 featurettes (An Intimate Look at Making Hope Springs, An Expert’s Guide to Everlasting Passion, The Doctor Is In: Steve Carrell on Dr. Feld, Inside the Perfect Marriage: Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, The Passionate Performer and Museum of Acting Introduction by Director David Frankel), 4 Museum of Acting Alternate Takes and a gag reel.

In addition, Sony has set Sparkle for BD and DVD release on 11/30, followed by Blue Lagoon: The Awakening on DVD only on 12/18 and Premium Rush on BD and DVD on 12/21.

Sony has also set the sequel to Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth miniseries, World Without End, for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/4 (SRP $75.99 and $65.99). Both will include all 8 episodes on 2 discs along with The Making of Ken Follett’s World Without End documentary.

Meanwhile, Warner and HBO have set Enlightened: The Complete First Season and Game Change each for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/8/2013.

CBS and Paramount have set Perry Mason: The Eighth Season - Volume Two for DVD only release on 1/15/2013.

Image Entertainment has announced a number of interesting new and catalog Blu-ray releases. Look for Spike Lee’s Red Hook Summer and Stephen Sondheim’s Company on 11/13, the Frank Sinatra film Suddenly on 12/4, Miami Connection on 12/11, All Superheroes Must Die on 1/1/2013 and Lightning Bug and Wake in Fright on 1/15/2013.

And PBS has set Downton Abbey: Season 3 for Blu-ray and DVD release on 1/29/2013 (SRP $54.99 and $49.99). The new season is currently airing in the U.K. and starts running on PBS’ Masterpiece Classics on 1/6/2013.

In other news today, a number of readers are reporting problems with Fox’s Prometheus Blu-ray. Throughout the second half of the film, some copies are plagued with macro-blocking and will occasionally cause players to simply shut down. It appears to be a manufacturing error and isn’t affecting all copies, so if you’re having trouble we recommend you exchange it with your retailer. You can also contact Fox Customer Care at 1-888-223-4369.

Finally today, we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of cinematographer Harris Savides, who helped pioneer digital cinema with his work on David Fincher’s Zodiac. He also shot Ridley Scott’s American Gangster and Gus Van Sant’s Milk among others. He was just 55. Also, actor Gary Collins has died at the age of 74. Collins was master of ceremonies for the Miss America Pageant and the host of Hour Magazine and The Home Show. He also appeared in guest roles on many TV series in the 1970s and 80s. Both will be missed.

Here’s a look at the Blu-ray Disc cover artwork for Lionsgate’s The Expendables 2, Warner’s The Jazz Singer (due 1/8), Sony’s Hope Springs and The World Without End, Universal’s temp art for ParaNorman (11/27) and PBS’ Downton Abbey: Season 3

The Expendables 2 (Blu-ray Disc)    The Jazz Singer (1927 - Blu-ray Disc)    Hope Springs (Blu-ray Disc)

World Without End (Blu-ray Disc)    ParaNorman (Temp art - Blu-ray Disc)    Downton Abbeys: Season 3 (Blu-ray Disc)

Have a great weekend and stay tuned.

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

Afternoon, folks. Sorry for the lack of an update yesterday. I’ve been working on some little tweaks and bug fixes on the new site design here. Still, Dr. Jahnke’s Oktoberfest review for yesterday went live as expected - Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator on Blu-ray from Image - while his review for today is none other than Tobe Hooper’s The Funhouse now on Blu from our friends at Shout! Factory via their Scream Factory line. Enjoy!

A number of you have asked if we’re going to be posting reviews of E.T., Prometheus and the Bond 50 box set, and the answer is definitely yes! E.T. will be up early next week and I’m hard at work on Bond right now. I’m only a couple films into the Bond set given my recent travels, but I’ll tell you it’s pretty terrific. How nice it is to finally have all the films in a single box set... and in high-definition too! More on Bond hopefully next week, but I would say that if you’re a fan don’t hesitate to pick yourself up a copy. The BD upgrade is worth the money.

As for Prometheus - now THAT is a more complicated subject. I’m definitely working on a review and frankly I can’t wait to A) watch our friend Charlie de Lauzirika’s in-depth documentary on the set and B) listen to the audio commentary tracks on the film. I just wish I liked the film more than I do. I actually watched it for a second time yesterday and unfortunately it did nothing to improve my feelings that this film tried to be both an Alien prequel and a completely original sci-fi story at the same time and failed at both. A few of my friends who liked the film tell me “Yeah, but you must have missed all the amazing symbolism and metaphor...” and “But there’s all this other great backstory going on... all these great high-concept ideas...” Sadly no. I got all of it. I understand the implications of "2,000 years ago" and the murals changing when the humans walked in. I mean, come on... they named both the ship and the film ‘Prometheus’. They weren’t exactly subtle. But the script is just full of holes - not so much the backstory or larger concept but I’m talking about stupid characters doing really stupid things on a trillion dollar space mission. I simply wish that director Ridley Scott had focused on making a great Alien prequel OR making a great and completely original sci-fi film - just not both at the same time. Because the film that resulted is a gorgeous looking mess in my opinion. And I think a lot of people are giving the film a bit of a pass because it's "Ridley's big return to the genre", etc. Anyway, if you loved the film... more power to you. I just wish I had. More in my review of the Blu-ray again hopefully next week.

By the way, I’m still working on answering all those e-mails you guys have sent in. Just so you know!

In announcement news today, Universal has set Cape Fear (1962), Fear and The Bone Collector for Blu-ray Disc release on 1/8/2013.

Okay... regarding the Best Buy-exclusive Bond movie BD singles - On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, You Only Live Twice and The Spy Who Loved Me - we’re hearing from sources that they’ve been delayed from release in Best Buy stores until 10/23. This despite the fact that one or two readers HAVE reported finding them in their local stores. We’re not sure what the confusion at Best Buy is, though it might be due to product supply issues. In any case, it looks like they’re still coming. And Walmart and Target stores do seem to have their own Bond BD exclusives out on store shelves.

Speaking of Best Buy-exclusive Blu-rays, many readers are reporting that the retailer does now have an exclusive 7-film Nightmare on Elm Street Blu-ray box set available for around $45. Do check it out if you’re a fan of the series.

And while we’re talking Target exclusives, they apparently have a Blu-ray Book edition of The Dark Knight Rises coming on 12/4 for $31.99. Thanks to Bits reader Steve for the heads-up.

Is anyone else frustrated by all these retailer exclusives? It’s not that some of them aren’t cool and desirable, it’s that allowing titles to be exclusive to a particular retailer or chain makes it harder for customers to track them down - particularly when the chain in question has no locations near you. From our standpoint, they’re also frustrating because the studios typically refuse to provide information about the exclusives, instead allowing the retailers to take the lead on disseminating information about them. And outside of appearances in their Sunday circular ads, the retailers are all uniformly bad about making them known to fans. Ah well.

A quick note: Ben Affleck’s Argo arrives in theatres this weekend and early word is it’s pretty terrific. Be sure to check it out.

Finally today, we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of former Detroit Lions lineman and actor Alex Karras. TV fans will remember him as George Papadapolis on Webster, thought I’ll always recall him fondly for his appearance as Mongo in Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles. "Mongo only pawn in game of life." So are we all, Mongo. Karras was 77.

Here's a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Warner's A Star is Born (2/5/2013) and Grand Hotel (1/8/2013), and Universal's Ted (12/11)... 

A Star Is Born (Blu-ray Disc)    Grand Hotel (Blu-ray Disc)    Ted (Blu-ray Disc)

Have a great weekend and stay tuned.

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

All right, I’m finally starting to get caught up on work after spending the last few days driving cross-country and helping Mom move into her news place. So let’s get down to business…

First though, today’s Hell Plaza Oktoberfest review from Adam is Frank Henenlotter’s Basket Case 3: The Progeny, now available on DVD from our friends at Synapse. Do check it out!

We’ve also updated the Release Dates & Artwork section today with this week’s update from Russell Hammond, featuring all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover artwork and pre-order links. As always, a portion of anything you order from them after clicking through our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it!

Now then… Universal has officially set Seth MacFarlane’s Ted for Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 12/11. Both will include an unrated version of the film, along with audio commentary (by director and co-writer Seth MacFarlane, co-writer Alec Sulkin and star Mark Wahlberg), the Ted: The Making Of documentary and a gag reel. The Blu-ray will also add deleted scenes, alternate takes and the Teddy Bear Scuffle featurette, in addition to the usual interactive BD-Live and BD-Java options.

Universal has also set the DVD release of Columbo: The Complete Series for 10/16. All 69 episodes and 24 television movies are included in the 36-disc set.

In other news, Warner Home Video has officially announced the Blu-ray Book release of A Star is Born on 2/5/2013 (SRP $34.99). Extras will include commentary by star Barbra Streisand, deleted scenes, wardrobe tests and a trailer gallery.

Warner Home Video has also announced that the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Parts 1 and 2: Ultimate Edition box set will arrive in wide release as a 6-disc Blu-ray and DVD Combo pack on 11/13 (SRP $64.99). This appears to be the exact same version that’s currently exclusive to Target stores, right down to the same contents – the two movies on BD and DVD respectively, the documentary BD discs (containing the final two parts of the on-going documentary series created for the UEs), the 4 characters cards and a single book. The sticker on the Target edition claimed an exclusive until 1/6, so either it’s in error or WHV decided to get the wide-release of the set out sooner rather than later to appease fans. Still, we’re hearing lots of frustration from readers about this set. First, there was supposed to be a book that accompanied each installment in the documentary, and this set contains only one. Second, the documentaries on this set are on Blu-ray only so those who have purchased all the previous DVD versions of the UE sets are out of luck. Finally, the set doesn’t include the Blu-ray 3D versions of the films. So it seems few fans are happy with this release at the moment.

In other release news, Sony has set the remake of Total Recall for 3-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo, 2-disc BD combo and DVD release on 12/18.  The Blu-ray/DVD Combo will include both the theatrical cut and a 20-minute longer Director’s Extended Cut of the film, along with commentary by director Len Wiseman, the interactive Total Recall Insight Mode, a gag reel, 3 production featurettes (Science Fiction vs. Science Fact, Designing the Fall and Stepping into Recall), 7 Total Action featurettes, a playable God of War: Ascension PS3 game demo and more.

Also, Somerville House has set Duccio Tesori’s Zorro (starring Alain Delon) for Blu-ray and DVD release on 11/20 (SRP $24.98 and $19.98). Extras will include the trailer, a stills gallery and radio and TV promos.

And Shout! Factory has Mike Judge’s The Goode Family: The Complete Series coming on DVD on 1/8/2013. The 2-disc set will contain all 13 episodes.

Here’s a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Warner’s “wide release” Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Parts 1 and 2: Ultimate Edition box set and Cabaret: 40th Anniversary Edition (due 2/15) as well as Sony’s Total Recall

Harry Potter: Year 7 Ultimate Edition (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)    Cabaret (Blu-ray Disc)    Total Recall (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

All right… so I get back from my little family caravan, cross-country adventure and find like 1,500 emails in my inbox this morning – nearly one for each mile I drove this weekend. Needless to say, it’s going to take a little time to get through them all today.

Meanwhile, Dr. Jahnke’s next Oktoberfest review is now live – none other than Charles Kauffman’s Mother’s Day from Troma and Anchor Bay!

Also today, Warner Home Video has officially re-announced the delayed Blu-ray Book release of Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun for release on 11/13. Adjust your plans accordingly.

Warner has also announced its Cabaret: 40th Anniversary Edition for release on Blu-ray Book and DVD on 2/15/13 (SRP $27.98 and $14.97). Extras will include the all-new Cabaret: The Musical That Changed Musicals documentary, along with the vintage documentaries Cabaret: A Legend in the Making and The Recreation of an Era, a multi-part memory gallery and more.

And 20th Century Fox has set Beasts of the Southern Wild for Blu-ray and DVD release on 12/4. Extras will include The Making of Beasts of the Southern Wild documentary, trailers and sneak peeks. Exclusive on the Blu-ray will be deleted scenes with optional director's commentary, audition videos (for Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight Henry and the two of them together) and 3 additional featurettes (Glory at Sea, Music and The Aurochs).

More announcement news will follow.

Meanwhile, for those of you who – like me – are interested in such things… a crazy awesome fellow named Felix Baumgartner is attempting to skydive to Earth Captain Kirk-style from the world’s largest hot air balloon at 120,000 feet (a.k.a. the edge of space) this morning high over New Mexico. That would be a world's record for the highest skydive ever. You can watch the attempt live RIGHT NOW via YouTube below. Good luck, Felix!

Stay tuned…

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

Morning, folks!

First up today, Adam kicks off his second week of The Hell Plaza Oktoberfest 666 with a review of Mario Bava's Black Sunday on Blu-ray Disc from Kino! It's a bit of classic Italian horror and is just the perfect thing for the Halloween season. Many American audiences may not have seen it, so it's also a nice little discovery for some of you. Enjoy!

Today's post is brief but I'll make it up to you guys tomorrow with a full release news update. The reason is that, over the weekend, I drove halfway across the country with my family - from North Dakota to California. We're moving my Mom into an awesome new retirement condo this afternoon that we've remodeled for her here in Orange County. So along with Mom, and my brother and step-sister, we packed up a moving van and Mom's car full of her stuff (plus her two cats, which made things interesting!) and we drove 1,700 miles in two days through Montana, Idaho, Utah, Arizona and Nevada, stopping here and there to see such sights as the Badlands and the world's largest Holstein cow. No kidding! Quite the family trip. Plus our family finally buried my Dad's ashes last week as well. As you can imagine, it was a weekend full of all kinds of change and emotion, but good things as well.

Anyway, thanks for your patience while I finish this up today. Just so you know, the new site continues to work well. We had a little glitch on Friday that was quickly worked out but all is now running smoothly. I expect to be back full operation mode by Wednesday and hope to get back to all your e-mails sometime later this week. Meanwhile, Dr. Jahnke continues his most excellent Oktoberfest in fine form!

So have a great day, back tomorrow... and stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

All right, today's final update for the week is going to pale in comparison to yesterday's big Warner news, but still we've got a few good things for you...

First of all, Adam rounds out his first full week of The Hell Plaza Oktoberfest 666 with a bang by delivering his epic, in-depth review of the Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection Blu-ray box set! Sounds like it’s pretty awesome and well worth your hard earned clams, so be sure to get yourselves a copy while they’re on sale.

Next up, we do have one more bit of Warner news to report today: WHV has officially set The Jazz Singer for 3-disc Blu-ray Book release on 1/8/2013 (SRP $35.99). Extras will include audio commentary by film historians Ron Hutchinson (founder of The Vitaphone Project) and Vince Giordano, a collection of vintage cartoons and shorts (Al Jolson in A Plantation Act, An Intimate Dinner in Celebration of Warner Bros. Silver Jubilee, I Love to Singa, Hollywood Handicap and A Day at Santa Anita), the 1947 Lux Radio Theater Broadcast starring Al Jolson, the film's theatrical trailer, the feature-length The Dawn of Sound: How Movies Learned to Talk documentary, 2 rare excerpts from Gold Diggers of Broadway (a 1929 WB film, most of which is considered lost), studio shorts celebrating the early sound era (Finding His Voice, The Voice That Thrilled the World, Okay for Sound, When Talkies Were Young and The Voice from the Screen) and a collection of rare Vitaphone shorts (some 3 and a half hours worth) many considered lost for decades.

Also today, Universal has set the animated ParaNorman for Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 11/27. In addition to all the usual bells and whistles, all three versions will include audio commentary with director Sam Fell and writer/director Chris Butler, 7 short featurettes on the characters, the Peering Through the Veil production featurette and Preliminary Animatic Sequences with commentary.

In other news, we’ve got a quick follow-up on the status of those retailer exclusive Bond BD singles. Readers are reporting to us that they've now seen the three Walmart exclusive titles in stores, although initial stocks appear to be limited. The three Target-exclusive titles are also now arriving in stores - several East Coast readers have reported seeing them. As for the three Best Buy-exclusive titles, we have no sightings yet, however sources tell us that they may arrive in stores next week and in fact may appear in Sunday newspaper circular ads this weekend so be sure to watch for them.

Finally, one more item for you Bond fans: The new title track for the upcoming Bond film Skyfall is now available for purchase and preview, as sung by Adele. It had its official debut early this morning on her official website. Do check it out.

All right, that’s all for this week. It's been a big one!

Have a great weekend and stay tuned...

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

Morning, everyone! We’ve got some REALLY great stuff for you today.

Kicking things off, the good Dr. Jahnke has turned in his next installment of The Hell Plaza Oktoberfest 666 with a review of Ken Russell’s The Devils on Region 2 DVD. And be sure to check back in the wee early hours of Friday morning for his look at the long awaited Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection on Blu-ray!

Now then… I had the good fortune yesterday to attend Warner’s official press event at which they unveiling their plans for next year’s 90th Anniversary celebration. Suffice it to say that the studio has a very nice slate of titles and releases on the way, all of which will be branded with the official Anniversary logo seen here.

It all starts on 1/29/13 with the release of the largest multi-film Blu-ray and DVD box sets from any major studio, including Best of Warner Bros.: 100 Film DVD Collection and Best of Warner Bros.: 50 Film Blu-ray Collection (SRP $597.92 each) .

The 100 Film DVD Collection will include: The Broadway Melody (1929), Cimarron (1931), The Public Enemy (1931), Grand Hotel (1932), 42nd Street (1933), Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), A Night at the Opera (1935), The Great Ziegfeld (1936), The Life of Emile Zola (1937), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Dark Victory (1939), The Wizard of Oz (1939), Gone with the Wind (1939), The Philadelphia Story (1940), Citizen Kane (1941), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Mrs. Miniver (1942), Casablanca (1942), Gaslight (1944), Anchors Aweigh (1945), Mildred Pierce (1945), The Big Sleep (1946), The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), A Streetcar Named Desire: The Original Director’s Version (1951), An American in Paris (1951), Singin’ in the Rain (1952), A Star Is Born (1954), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), East of Eden (1955), Rebel Without a Cause (1955), The Searchers (1956), Giant (1956), Around the World in 80 Days (1956), A Face in the Crowd (1957), Gigi (1958), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), North by Northwest (1959), Ben-Hur (1959), How the West Was Won (1962), What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), Viva Las Vegas (1964), Doctor Zhivago (1965), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), The Dirty Dozen (1967), Cool Hand Luke (1967), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Bullitt (1968), The Wild Bunch: The Original Director’s Cut (1969), Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971), Dirty Harry (1971), A Clockwork Orange (1971), Cabaret (1972), Enter the Dragon (1973), The Exorcist: Extended Director’s Cut (1973), Blazing Saddles (1974), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), All the President’s Men (1976), Superman: The Movie (1978), The Shining (1980), Caddyshack (1980), Clash of the Titans (1981), Chariots of Fire (1981), The Outsiders (1983), National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983), Risky Business (1983), The Right Stuff (1983), Amadeus: Director’s Cut (1984), The Goonies (1985), The Color Purple (1985), Lethal Weapon (1987), Full Metal Jacket (1987), Batman (1989), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), GoodFellas (1990), Unforgiven (1992), The Bodyguard (1992), The Fugitive (1993), Natural Born Killers: The Director’s Cut (1994), The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994), Seven (1995), L.A. Confidential (1997), The Matrix (1999), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), The Notebook  (2004), Million Dollar Baby (2004), The Departed (2006), 300 (2007), The Dark Knight (2008), The Hangover (2009), The Blind Side (2009), Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Inception (2010).

Best of Warner Bros. 100 Film DVD Collection

The 50 Film Blu-ray Collection will include: Grand Hotel (1932), Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), The Wizard of Oz (1939), Gone with the Wind (1939), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Mrs. Miniver (1942), Casablanca (1942), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), A Streetcar Named Desire: The Original Restored Version (1951), An American in Paris (1951), Singin’ in the Rain (1952), Gigi (1958), North by Northwest (1959), Ben-Hur (1959), How the West Was Won (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965), Cool Hand Luke (1967), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Bullitt (1968), Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), Dirty Harry (1971), A Clockwork Orange (1971), The Exorcist: Extended Director’s Cut (1973), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Superman: The Movie (1978), The Shining (1980), Chariots of Fire (1981), Risky Business (1983), Amadeus: Director’s Cut (1984), The Color Purple (1985), Lethal Weapon (1987), Full Metal Jacket (1987), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), GoodFellas (1990), Unforgiven (1992), The Bodyguard (1992), Natural Born Killers: The Director’s Cut (1994), The Shawshank Redemption (1994), The Matrix (1999), Million Dollar Baby (2004), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), The Departed (2006), The Dark Knight (2008), The Hangover (2009), The Blind Side (2009), Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Inception (2010).

Best of Warner Bros. 50 Film Blu-ray Collection

Both will also include a pair of brand new documentaries Tales from the Warner Bros. Lot (which was entirely shot on the studio lot and features interesting stories from various actors, directors and studio employees) and Warner Bros. Lot Tour (which is just what it sounds like).

A set of additional Best of Warner Bros.: 20 Film DVD Collections (SRP $99.92 each) will be released throughout the year including Best Picture Winners (1/29), Musicals (2/5), Romance (4/2), Comedies (7/2) and Thrillers (9/1).

Actor/director Clint Eastwood will be the special focus of a pair of new box sets (due Q2, sometime in mid-May), including a Clint Eastwood 40 Film DVD Collection and a Clint Eastwood 20 Film Blu-ray Collection. Details of the BD set weren’t available, but the DVD will include Where Eagles Dare, Kelly’s Heroes, Dirty Harry, Magnum Force, The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Enforcer, The Gauntlet, Every Which Way But Loose, Bronco Billy, Any Which Way You Can, Firefox, Honkytonk Man, Sudden Impact, Tightrope, City Heat, Pale Rider, Heartbreak Ridge, The Dead Pool, Bird, Pink Cadillac, White Hunter Black Heat, The Rookie, Unforgiven, A Perfect World, The Bridges of Madison County, Absolute Power, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, True Crime, Space Cowboys, Blood Work, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Letters from Iwo Jima, Gran Torino, Invictus, The Eastwood Factor documentary, Hereafter, J. Edgar, Trouble with the Curve and Eastwood: Directs: The Untold Story (an all new documentary directed by Richard Schickel).

TV and animated titles will feature in new DVD collector’s sets including Best of Warner Bros.: Superman TV Collection (May 2013 – SRP $100), Best of Warner Bros. : Hanna-Barbera 25 Cartoon Collection (May), Best of Warner Bros. : Looney Tunes 25 Cartoon Collection (July) and Best of Warner Bros. : DC Comics 25 Cartoon Collection (August). SRP on the 25 Cartoon Collections will be $26.99 each.

For Blu-ray fans, among the films that will be released for the first time ever on the format in 2013 are Mrs. Miniver, Grand Hotel and Driving Miss Daisy (already announced for release on 1/8), The Jazz Singer and Cabaret (Q1 2013), Little Caesar, Public Enemy, Petrified Forest and White Heat (Q2 – as part of an Original Gangsters Collection: Volume 2 or BD singles), House of Wax Blu-ray 3D (Q3), East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant (TBA - available as BD Book singles or together in a James Dean: Ultimate Collector’s Edition), The Big Parade (Q4), The Right Stuff: 30th Anniversary Edition (Q4) and The Best Years of Our Lives, A Star is Born (1976), Sommersby, Easter Parade, Westworld, Best in Show and The Nativity Story (all TBA).

Note that the James Dean: Ultimate Collector’s Edition will be a 9-disc set that includes all three films remastered with a trio of new documentaries (James Dean: Forever Young, James Dean: Sense Memories and James Dean: TNT Biopic), plus a book and more.

A few previously released catalog films will also be revisited during 2013. Among them are:

The Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray box set (Q3) which includes all three films plus exclusive collectables and nearly an hour of all new material.

The Mad Max Collection (Q2) that includes Mad Max, The Road Warrior and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.

The Enter the Dragon: 40th Anniversary Edition (Q2).

The complete Ocean’s Collection (Q3) including all three films plus new special features on the making of each film and the legacy of the franchise.

The Exorcist: 40th Anniversary Edition (Q3).

A Christmas Story: 30th Anniversary Edition (Q4).

Here’s an interesting one: The Wizard of Oz: 75th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray 3D (Q4)! The film will also return to theatres for the anniversary.

Note that there will also be a Contemporary Gangsters: Volume 1 set that includes Goodfellas, Heat, The Departed and The Town (Q2).

Of course, all of the film’s catalog releases on Blu-ray and DVD will be rebranded with the 90th Anniversary logo.

And finally, among the new films you can expect on Blu-ray and DVD in 2013 are The Wachowskis’ Cloud Atlas and Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (both TBA).

Obviously there’s always the possibility of additional catalog releases as yet unannounced. But there you go: The gems of Warner’s 2013 home video release slate on Blu-ray and DVD. More specific details and cover art will follow in the weeks and months ahead.

Start saving your money, folks.

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

Okay, we've got a couple of quick updates for you this morning and some cool new cover art to show you as well.

First, Disney has just announced a slate of new catalog Blu-rays for release on 12/11 and you’ll be happy to learn that the long-awaited Dick Tracy is among them.

SRP is $26.50 for Dick Tracy and it will feature an all new digital restoration. No word on extras. Other titles coming on 12/11 are Babes in Toyland, Heavyweights and The Joy Luck Club.

Also, Universal has set Smash: Season One for DVD only release on 1/8/13. The 4-disc set will include deleted scenes, a gag reel and 2 featurettes (A Dream Come True and Song & Dance).

Here at the site this morning, Dr. Jahnke's Hell Plaza Oktoberfest review for the day is none other than Lionsgate's new Mad Monster Party on Blu-ray - an oft-overlooked Rankin/Bass classic. Don't miss it!

And in other news, a number of you have reported that neither Target or Best Buy seems to have their exclusive Bond BD singles in stock yet, and Walmart’s stock is thus far limited. With any luck more will appear in the coming weeks. It could be that shipments were initially held low so as to favor sales of the complete Bond 50 box set. If you start finding them in stores, drop us an e-mail to let us know.

Speaking of e-mail, we’re getting a TON of messages from readers with reaction to the new site design, overwhelmingly positive I’m pleased (and relieved!) to say. Some of you have offered good suggestions on subtle ways to adjust things for easier reading and we’re looking into them. In any case, if you’ve e-mailed us we surely do appreciate it. But given the volume of messages we’re getting please be patient – we’re trying to respond to all of them but it’s going to take time.

Finally today, I wanted to make note of the passing of actor Michael O’Hare last week, who some of you may recall as Commander Sinclair from the first season of Babylon 5. He was 60.

All right, I promised you some cool cover artwork. Here’s a look at both versions of Fox’s Prometheus (due on this coming Tuesday, 10/9), along with Disney’s Dick Tracy and some hot new art from our friends at Kino Lorber including Die Nibelungen (due 11/6), D.W. Griffith’s Abraham Lincoln (11/13) and The David O. Selznick Collection (also 11/13)...

Prometheus: 4-Disc Collector's Edition (Blu-ray Disc)    Prometheus (Blu-ray Disc)    Dick Tracy (Blu-ray Disc)

Die Nibelungen (Blu-ray Disc)    D.W. Griffith's Abraham Lincoln (Blu-ray Disc)    The David O. Selznick Collection (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we're getting settled into the new site nicely. The old site has been archived for your browsing pleasure - just look in the menu under FEATURES for THE ORIGINAL BITS. Also, those of you who enjoy Russell Hammond's weekly Release Dates & Artwork update can now find it in its new location here at the site - just click the RELEASE DATES option in the menu above. More updates are coming so keep checking back.

Here at the site today, we're pleased as punch to offer you the next in Jahnke's Hell Plaza Oktoberfest 666 line-up of reviews: a look at Lionsgate's Cabin in the Woods on Blu-ray. Enjoy!

In release news this morning, we've got a few more details for you on Warner Home Video's 3-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo release of The Dark Knight Rises due on 12/4 (SRP $35.99). Extras will include the Batmobile documentary, the feature-length multi-part Ending the Knight documentary (includes The Prologue: High Altitude Hijacking, Beneath Gotham, Return to the Batcave, Batman vs. Bane, The Bat, Armory Accepted, Gameday Destruction, Demolishing a City Street, The Pit, The Chant, The War on Wall Street, Race to the Reactor, The Journey of Bruce Wayne and Gotham's Reckoning), 2 character featurettes (A Girl's Gotta Eat and Shadows & Light in Large Format), The End of a Legend, trailers and a gallery of artwork.

There will also be a 5-disc The Dark Knight Trilogy Limited Edition Blu-ray Giftset (SRP $52.99) and a 3-disc The Dark Knight Trilogy Limited Edition DVD Giftset (SRP $38.99). Each will include Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. The DVD only version of The Dark Knight streets on 1/1/13 (SRP $22.97). There's also The Dark Knight Rises: Limited Edition on Amazon that comes with a replica of Batman's cowl, and there are likely to be retailer-exclusives too so be sure to watch for them.

Warner Home Video has also officially set The Notebook: Ultimate Collector's Edition Gift Set to arrive on Blu-ray/DVD Combo on 1/15 (SRP $49.99). In addition to Blu-ray, DVD and UltraViolet digital versions of the film, you'll also get exclusive swag including a collectible golden locket, a set of postcards with scenes from the film and a "vintage leather-style blank journal with gold edging and ribbon marker; pages designed with watermarked letters and images from the film". So there you go.

Not to be outdone, Disney has revealed that the Peter Pan: Diamond Edition will soon be released on Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD. No street date is yet available, but retailer materials reveal a Spring 2013 release and sources are telling us to expect the street date to be sometime in February.

Meanwhile, Sony has set the 1998 Les Miserables for Blu-ray Disc release on 12/11 (SRP $19.99). Extras will include the A First Look at Les Miserables featurette.

Sony has also announced more new MOD DVD titles for release on 11/6, including Caught, The Vertical Ray of the Sun, The Endurance, Camp on Blood Island, Don't Panic Chaps, All Ashore, The Boogieman Will Get You, Men Without Law, Hannah's Law and Breaking In: The Complete Series.

Anchor Bay and The Weinstein Company have Lawless coming on Blu-ray and DVD on 11/27 (SRP $39.99 and $29.98). Extras will include audio commentary with director John Hillcoat and author Matt Bondurant, 2 featurettes (The True Story of the Wettest County in the World and Franklin County, VA: Then and Now), Willie Nelson's Midnight Run music video and deleted scenes.

And WWE Studios and Anchor Bay will release the horror film The Day on Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD on 11/17 (SRP $29.99 and $26.98). Extras will include audio commentary with executive producer/director Doug Aarniokoski, producer Guy A. Danella and writer Luke Passmore.

Also today, a lot of fans have asked us about the differences between Fox's 2-disc Prometheus Blu-ray/DVD Combo ($39.99 - Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy) and the Prometheus 4 Disc Collector's Edition (SRP $49.99 - Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy). The 4-disc edition includes the movie in Blu-ray 3D, the movie in 2D (with commentary by director/producer Ridley Scott and a second commentary by writer Jon Spaihts and writer/executive producer Damon Lindelof, The Peter Weyland Files, deleted and alternate scenes and the Weyland Corp Archive Second Screen with app functionality), a third Blu-ray of extras (including the The Furious Gods: Making Prometheus documentary, scores of Enhancement Pods, more Weyland Corp Archive, Pre-Viz material and screen tests) and finally the DVD/Digital Copy disc. Here's the key - the 2-disc set includes only the 2D movie disc and the DVD/Digital Copy disc. You don't get the bonus disc of supplements. So if you want absolutely everything, you have to get the 4-disc set. Both versions street next week on 10/9. Just so you know.

In other news today, we highly recommend that you Trekkers check out this radio story from KPCC's Off Ramp program - it's a feature on CBS' Star Trek: The Next Generation Blu-ray remastering effort. And you'll definitely want to stick with it right to the end, because for the first time in public (to our knowledge) there's the suggestion made that - provided demand is there and the TNG Blu-rays all sell well - CBS may continue their BD remastering/upgrade effort on to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine! Cool news indeed. This jives with what we've been hearing from our own industry sources. Keep your fingers crossed.

Also today, any fans of the raunchy 80's comedy Porky's? Bits reader Doc D. tells us that Walmart currently has an exclusive BD version in stores.

Finally, we'd like to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of actor Herbert Lom, who died last week at the age of 95. You'll best know him as Inspector Dreyfus from the Pink Panther series.

Here's a look at the Blu-ray artwork for Warner's The Dark Knight Rises and The Dark Knight Trilogy Limited Edition Blu-ray Giftset, as well as Disney's art for the Peter Pan: Diamond Edition (TBA)...

The Dark Knight Rises (Blu-ray Disc)    The Dark Knight Trilogy (Blu-ray Disc)    Peter Pan: Diamond Edition (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents
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