Bits BD Review – Bill takes a look at Universal's new Spartacus: Restored Edition http://t.co/Ms7prL0nTE
Afternoon, folks... we've got some announcement news for you today and a bit of follow-up too...
First, 20th Century Fox has announced the 12/4 Blu-ray and DVD release of The Simpsons: The Fifteenth Season. Included will be audio commentary on all the episodes, 3 featurettes (All Aboard with Matt, The Unusual Ones and Living in the Moment), a pair of sketch galleries, an Animation Showcase, a special language feature, commercial spots, deleted scenes and Easter eggs. The BD version will also include a trio of exclusive featurettes (The Otto Show, Das Bus and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marge).
Fox has also set the comedy The Watch for release on both formats on 11/13. Look for deleted scenes, a gag reel, 4 featurettes (Alien Invasions & You, Casting the Alien, Jonah Alternate Takes and Watchmakers), the theatrical trailer and a Digital Copy.
And the studio has set Ruby Sparks for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 10/30 as well. Extras will include 4 featurettes (Real-Life Couples: Co-Stars & Directors, Be Careful What You Wish For, Getting to Know the Cast and Los Angeles: The Other Character) as well as the film's theatrical trailer.
Meanwhile, HBO has set We Can Be Heroes for DVD release on 12/4, followed by Funny or Die Presents: The Complete Second Season and The Life & Times of Tim: The Complete Third Season on DVD on 12/18.
Here's one I've been looking forward to seeing: Entertainment One has set Iron Sky for Blu-ray and DVD release on 10/2 (SRP $24.98 and $19.98). This is the sci-fi comedy about Nazis on the Moon. Extras will include audio commentary with the director and producer, a "making of" featurette, behind the scenes footage and both the film's teaser and theatrical trailers.
DreamWorks Animation and Paramount have set Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted for Blu-ray and DVD release on 10/16.
Shout! Factory has set Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXV for DVD only release on 12/4. The box will include the episodes Robot Holocaust, Operation Kid Brother, Kitten with a Whip and Revenge of the Creature, along with introductions by Mike Nelson and Joel Hodgson, 3 featurettes (Life After MST3K: J. Elvis Weinstein, Jack Arnold at Universal and Life After MST3K: Bill Corbett) and a set of 4 exclusive mini-posters by artist Steve Vance.
Moving on, Lionsgate Home Entertainment has The Cup due on DVD on 10/16.
Anchor Bay Entertainment has announced new holiday-themed titles for DVD release, including Chilly Christmas (on 11/6), Icy Escapades (on 10/30) and The Dog Who Saved the Holidays and Elf-Man (on 12/4).
In other news, Amazon.com is now showing a 12/18 street date for Shout! Factory's Blu-ray release of Ridley Scott's The Duellists. Adjust your plans accordingly.
Also today, after getting a number of reader e-mails, I've confirmed that there IS a minor audio issue with Paramount's Titanic Blu-ray. About 29 seconds into the film, just as the vocal music track begins, there's a sort of "popping" sound in the audio mix. It's not overly harsh but it's definitely there on the BD and it's not on the DVD version. We've contacted Paramount to see if they're aware of it and if they have a plan to address it. We'll let you know when we hear back.
Likewise, we're getting a lot of e-mails from readers about possible video quality issues regarding Universal's Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection, due in stores on 9/25. An early review of check discs by a British reviewer for Sight and Sound magazine (see this link) has uncovered some digital remastering problems, typographical errors with titles and more. There are now rumors that the release has now been delayed, possibly to address some of these issues, with a new street date TBA. Again, we've contacted the studio for official word one way or the other and will let you know when we hear back.
Finally, it appears that Warner may have included the wrong Blu-ray version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in the Canadian release of the Harry Potter Wizards Collection. The disc apparently doesn't include both the theatrical cut and extended version as billed on the packaging - just the theatrical cut. A number of Canadian readers tell us they're unable to find the extended version on the disc. We'll let you know if Warner confirms this.
We'll leave you today with a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Fox's The Simpsons: The Fifteenth Season, Ruby Sparks and The Watch, Entertainment One's Iron Sky, Section 23's Grave of the Fireflies (due 11/20) and Sony's 2D version of The Amazing Spider-Man (due 11/9)...
Back tomorrow with more news and be sure to stay tuned for our Blu-ray review of Paramount and Lucasfilm's Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures on Monday.
- Bill Hunt
Okay... we've got a bunch of announcement news for you today...
First up, Shout! Factory (via their Scream Factory label) has offered new details on their John Carpenter's They Live: Collector's Edition Blu-ray and DVD release due on 11/6 (SRP $29.93 and $19.93). Extras will include audio commentary with writer/director John Carpenter and actor Roddy Piper, 3 interview featurettes (Independent Thoughts with John Carpenter, Man vs. Aliens with actor Keith David and Woman of Mystery with actress Meg Foster), the Watch, Look, Listen: The Sights & Sounds of They Live documentary, the 2012 Cast Reunion Q&A (with Roddy Piper, Keith David and Meg Foster), the original The Making of They Live EPK, never-before-seen footage from the commercials created for the film, a still gallery, TV spots and the theatrical trailer. Shout! Factory has also announced the DVD only release of Fantasy Island: The Complete Third Season on 10/23.
HBO has set Eastbound & Down: The Complete Third Season for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/4 (SRP $39.98 and $29.98). Extras will include outtakes, deleted scenes (including the exclusive "Dinner with the Schaeffer's" scene) and 8 audio commentaries with Danny McBride, Jody Hill, Steve Little, David Gordon Green, Katy Mison, Craig Robinson and more. HBO has also set Angry Boys for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/4 (SRP $39.98 and $29.98), followed by the documentary 41 - on the Presidency of George H.W. Bush - for release on DVD only (SRP $19.98) and Girls: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray and DVD (SRP $49.99 and $39.98) both on 12/11.
Anchor Bay Films will release Maximum Conviction on Blu-ray/DVD combo and DVD on 11/6 (SRP $34.99 and $26.98). The film stars Steven Seagal and Steve Austin. They also have Vamps coming on Blu-ray and DVD on 11/13 (SRP $24.99 and $22.98) and the sci-fi thriller Collision Earth coming on both formats on 12/11 (SRP $24.99 and $19.98).
Warner Home Video will release ThunderCats: Season 1 Book 3 on DVD only on 10/2 (SRP $19.97). Warner also has Aim High: The Complete First Season coming on DVD only on 11/6 (SRP $14.97).
For you music fans, Sony will release Neil Young Journeys on Blu-ray and DVD on 10/16, directed by Jonathan Demme. Extras will include 3 featurettes (Making Journeys, Journey to Slamdance: A Conversation with Neil Young & Jonathan Demme and 92nd Street Y Talks with Neil Young & Jonathan Demme) and the film's theatrical trailer.
CBS has set The Lucy Show: The Official Sixth and Final Season for DVD only release on 10/9.
Speaking of TV titles, Visual Entertainment Inc. is releasing a Cagney & Lacey: The Complete Series DVD box set on 10/16 (SRP $139.99). The 32-disc set will include all 119 episodes. Meanwhile, for diehard fans of the show, they're also selling a Limited 30th Anniversary Edition Collector's Set version with an additional 29 hours worth of special features. It's only available online at cagneyandlacey.com for $169.99. You'll get the 1981 film that started it all, the 6-episode premiere season, 4 made-for-TV films (The Return, Together Again, The View Through the Glass Ceiling and True Convictions), interviews with the cast and more, plus an exclusive photo personally autographed by stars Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless. Now that last bit in particular is pretty cool if you're a fan.
Also on the TV front, our friends over at TV Shows on DVD have posted details of an In Search of...: The Complete Collection DVD box set due in stores on 10/23 from VEI. Click here for more on that.
Meanwhile, A&E and MLB Productions have set a Fenway Park: Home of the Boston Red Sox - 100th Anniversary Collector's Box Set for release on DVD only on 9/18 (SRP $129.95). The box set will 12 DVDs and a book. The DVDs include the Fenway Park: 100 Years As the Heart of Red Sox Nation documentary, also available separately that day (for just $19.95). Also coming on 9/18 are a New York Mets: 50th Anniversary Collector's Set Box Set (SRP $99.95 - 10 DVDs and book) and the New York Mets: 50 Greatest Players DVD (SRP $19.95).
Image has D.L. Hughley: Reset! due on DVD on 10/16, as well as The Tall Man on Blu-ray and DVD on 9/25.
Magnolia Entertainment has set the documentary Occupy Unmasked for DVD release on 9/25 (SRP $26.98). It looks behind-the-scenes on the recent Occupy Wall Street movement.
Lionsgate will release 12 Christmas Wishes for My Dog and Christmas in Compton on DVD only on 11/27.
Entertainment One and Visualeyes Productions have set the suspense-thriller The Cottage for DVD release on 10/9.
New indie label Shelter Island will release the Whittle: The Jet Pioneer documentary on DVD only on 10/2. It "chronicles Sir Frank Whittle's race against time and the Nazis" to develop the first turbojet engine. In a nice touch, the street date is exactly 70 years to the day after the first jet flight.
And Film Chest (via their HD Cinema Classics label) will release Suddenly (1954) on Blu-ray on 10/16 (SRP $15.98).
In other news today, we're starting to get a few e-mails here and there about a possible audio problem on Paramount's Titanic Blu-ray (a popping sound during the music near the beginning of the film) and an apparent inability to access the extended version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in the Canadian version of Warner's Wizard Collection Blu-ray set. As we hear more we'll post additional details.
And a few Bits readers have gotten word via e-mail from Amazon that their pre-orders of Warner's delayed Empire of the Sun Blu-ray MAY be due to ship on a new street date of 9/25. We'll work to confirm with the studio.
Here's a look at Blu-ray cover artwork for DreamWorks' Catch Me If You Can (due 12/4), Shout! Factory's They Live and Sony's Neil Young Journeys...
Back later with the usual Release Dates & Artwork update. Stay tuned...
- Bill Hunt
Earlier this year, when Shout! Factory announced the launch of a new line of horror Blu-rays and DVDs called (what else?) Scream Factory, that loud thud you heard was horror fans everywhere collectively dropping to their knees to give thanks. Shout! Factory has deservedly earned a reputation for high quality catalog titles with their impressive Roger Corman’s Cult Classics line, music releases, and television series. So even though this year’s Hell Plaza Oktoberfest is still a few weeks away, I thought we should get a jump on the season by taking a look at Scream Factory’s highly anticipated inaugural releases. Rest assured, horror fans were fully justified in their excitement. If you love the genre, don’t hesitate in adding these discs to your collection.
Here are my reviews...
- Dr. Adam Jahnke