Afternoon, folks! We’re kicking off the new week today here at The Bits with a new Blu-ray review from our very own Tim Salmons… Disney’s Frankenweenie. Enjoy!
In announcement news today, Lionsgate has set The Kick for DVD release on 4/2, followed by Sexy Evil Genius on DVD and Boss: Season Two on both Blu-ray and DVD on 4/9.
Warner Home Video has set To the Arctic: IMAX for Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 3/26.
Speaking of Warner, the studio is now taking pre-orders via Warner Shop.com for The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Sixth Season on Blu-ray and DVD with a street date of 9/10. They also have The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Fourth Season listed as coming on both formats on 8/27.
Also, we’ve learned from Warner today that their Fringe: The Complete Fifth and Final Season on Blu-ray and DVD (due 5/7) will include the A Farewell to Fringe featurette, video of the Fringe panel at Comic-Con 2012, audio commentary by the producers (presumably at least on the finale) and a gag reel.
In other news today, Amazon.co.uk is reporting that CBS and Paramount have set Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Best of Both Worlds for Blu-ray release on 4/29. This is the two-part episode edited together as a movie, complete with exclusive bonus content available only in this disc. Check out the cover artwork below.
Sony has set Men at Work: The Complete First Season for release on DVD only on 3/26.
Artsploitation Films has set Russian director Alexander Vartanov’s Bullet Collector for release on DVD on 2/19.
PBS and the BBC have set Masterpiece Classic: Mr. Selfridge for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/23.
And Image Entertainment will release Ghost Hunters: Season 8, Part 1 on DVD on 3/19, followed by Frankenstein Theory! on DVD on 3/26.
Finally, we’ve got a quick follow-up on Friday’s Echo Bridge/Miramax catalog BD news. The titles we mentioned are all due in stores widely on 3/26 and 5/7 in two separate release waves, but they’re going to be available as Best Buy exclusives before that time, and in fact the first wave (3/26 wide date) is now slowly starting to arrive in Best Buy locations. Just FYI.
Here’s the BD cover art for CBS’ Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Best of Both Worlds (note that this link is to the Amazon.co.uk page until officially announced here in the States), plus the BBC’s Spies of Warsaw (due 4/16) and Warner’s Terminator Anthology (3/5)…
- Bill Hunt
Well… we’re closing out the week here at The Bits with another slow news day. But we do have a couple things to report announcement-wise...
Virgil Films will release A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman on DVD only on 2/12.
Shout! Factory has a Jackie Chan Double Feature of Police Story and Police Story 2 coming on Blu-ray on 4/16.
Shout has also announced that their Phantasm II: Collector’s Edition Blu-ray and DVD (due 3/5 – SRP $29.93 and $19.93) will include audio commentary with director/writer Don Coscarelli and actors Angus Scrimm and Reggie Banister, The Ball is Back! documentary, The Gory Days with Greg Nicotero featurette, additional behind the scenes footage (Makeup Effects and On the Set), deleted scenes, alternate takes and additional gore footage from the work print, trailers for Phantasm, Phantasm II and Phantasm III, original TV spots, 3 still galleries (Behind the Scenes, Makeup Effects and Hollywood Premiere) and a rare short film starring Rory Guy (a.k.a. Angus Scrimm) as Abraham Lincoln.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has set Kill for Me for DVD only release on 2/12.
Millennium Entertainment has Spiders coming on DVD only on 2/8.
And Echo Bridge Home Entertainment will release a number of Miramax catalog titles on Blu-ray for the first time, including Down to You, Senseless, Beautiful Girls, Benefit of the Doubt, Playing by Heart, Bounty Hunters, Immortality, Music of the Heart, Marvin’s Room, American Son, The Shipping News and Best of the Best 3: No Turning Back on 3/26, and Hoax, Bounty Hunters 2: Hardball, Full Frontal, Fresh, She’s So Lovely, Nameless, Hellraiser VII: Deader, The Grifters, Heaven, Dragon Lord, Jersey Girl, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, Mother’s Boys, Best of the Best: Without Warning and Fortress for Blu-ray release on 5/7.
We’ll leave you with a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Warner’s Fringe: The Complete Fifth and Final Season (due 5/7), and final BD cover artwork for Universal’s Continuum: Season One (3/26) and Jurassic Park 3D (4/23)…
Back on Monday with reviews and more. Stay tuned!
- Bill Hunt
Well, it’s a bit of a slow news day today. Except of course for this: Deadline Hollywood and others are reporting that Star Trek Into Darkness director J.J. Abrams is officially signing a deal with Disney and Lucasfilm to direct Star Wars: Episode VII. Fascinating news, and of course it’s setting the geek world abuzz today online. We’ll have to see how everyone feels about this after seeing Into Darkness.
In Blu-ray and DVD news (speaking of J.J. Abrams), Warner has just confirmed that Fringe: The Complete Fifth Season will arrive on both formats on 5/7, the same day as The Complete Series which was revealed yesterday. SRP for is $49.99 for the Blu-ray and $39.98 for DVD. No word yet on extras.
Warner has also set LEGO Batman: The Movie for Blu-ray and DVD release on 5/21 (SRP $24.98 and $19.98).
Anchor Bay Entertainment has set Escapee for Blu-ray and DVD release on 4/16.
PBS has set The Reagan Presidency and NOVA scienceNOW: How Smart Can We Get? for DVD only release on 2/26.
And Image Entertainment has set Fast Girls! coming on DVD on 2/26.
- Bill Hunt
All right, we’ve got more good release news for you guys today…
First up this afternoon, Warner Home Video has just set Fringe: The Complete Series for Blu-ray and DVD release on 5/7 (SRP $197.50 and $159.96). This includes the recently completed fifth and final season, which we expect to be released individually around the same time (and announced soon).
Warner has also set the 5-disc The Terminator Anthology Blu-ray set for wide release on 3/5 (SRP $49.99). Until now it’s been a Best Buy-exclusive release. Note that this will not include the newly-remastered Terminator Blu-ray - that must be purchased separately from MGM/Fox.
In addition, the studio has also set a National Lampoon’s Vacation: 30th Anniversary Edition and National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation for Blu-ray release on 5/21. Vegas will include only a theatrical trailer, but Vacation will include a new A&E special Inside Story: National Lampoon’s Vacation, along with an introduction by Chevy Chase, Randy Quaid and Matty Simmons, commentary by Harold Ramis, Chevy Chase, Randy Quaid, Anthony Michael Hall, Dana Barron and Matty Simmons, and a trailer.
Other newly announced Warner titles including DCU: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2: Special Edition (DVD - 3/12), My Brother Jonathan (BBC - DVD - 3/19), The Great Barrier Reef (BBC - BD & DVD - 4/9), One Life (BBC - BD/DVD Combo - 4/9), Gilmore Girls: The Complete Series Collection (DVD - 4/16), Spies of Warsaw (BBC - BD & DVD - 4/16) and Merlin: The Complete Fifth Season (BBC - BD & DVD - 4/23).
Also today, Olive Films has announced a terrific slate of deep catalog Blu-rays for February and March. Titles include Westward Ho, Ironweed, China Gate, Ruthless, McLintock, Wyoming Outlaw, Late Bloomers, A Man Betrayed, Sun Shines Bright, Lawless Nineties, Womb, Atomic Kid, Hell’s Half Acre and Devil & Miss Jones all on 3/26, A New Life, Plain Clothes, She Devil, Diary of a Chamber Maid, Monsieur Gangster, Lady for a Night, The Red Menace, Strangers in the Night and The Great Spy Chase all on 2/26, and The Running Man, Irreconcilable Differences, Julius Caesar (1970), Les Miserables (1958), Live Nude Girls, Don Giovanni, Innocent Bystanders, Highlander 2: Renegade Version, Night of the Demons, The Monster Squad and That Cold Day in the Park all on 2/19.
Sony has set Adventures in Zambezia for Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD release on 3/26.
Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox have set Lego Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out for DVD only release on 3/26.
20th Century Fox has also set One Night with the King and The Marine 3: Homefront for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/5. King will include an audio commentary with, while Marine 3 will include 5 featurettes (Shipwrecked: Breaking Down the Boat, The Miz Rocks the Boat, The Miz Declassified, Casting Call: Ready to Enlist and Miz Journal).
IFC Films has set Julia Loktev’s The Loneliest Planet for DVD only release on 2/26 (SRP $24.98).
Shout! Factory has set Woochi: The Demon Slayer on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/9.
Sony will release The Mob Doctor: The Complete Series on DVD on 3/12.
Anchor Bay Entertainment will release Shadow People on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/19 (SRP $24.99 and $22.98).
Anchor Bay and The Weinstein Company have This Must Be the Place due on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/12.
Time Life has Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day War coming as a 4-disc DVD set on 4/9 (SRP $39.95).
Image will release the 5-disc Naked City: 20 Star-Filled Episodes series sampler on DVD on 2/19 (SRP $24.98). Guest stars include Gene Hackman, Robert Redford, Leslie Nielsen, Peter Fonda, William Shatner, Dustin Hoffman, Telly Savalas, James Caan, Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen Carroll O’Connor, Jean Stapleton, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper, Jack Klugman and more.
And finally today for you music fans, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release a Queen: Live at Wembley Stadium - 25th Anniversary Edition as a 2-disc DVD set on 3/12 (SRP $17.98).
Here’s a look at the Blu-ray cover artwork for all three Jurassic Park BD/DVD Combo packs announced yesterday (due on 3/26), along with Olive Films’ Julius Caesar, The Monster Squad and Highlander 2: Renegade Version…
- Bill Hunt
Afternoon, folks! We’ve got some great announcement news for you today, 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. Do check it out.
Now then, Universal has just set Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park for release on Blu-ray 3D Combo format on 4/23 (see the cover artwork below). The 3D-upgraded film arrives in theaters on 4/5. Also newly announced is Continuum: Season One on Blu-ray and DVD and new Jurassic Park 1-3 BD combo packs all due on 3/26.
Universal is also reissuing the Stallone film Nighthawks on DVD on 4/2. No sign of a Blu-ray release yet, but we’d sure love to see one.
Meanwhile, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and MGM have set the 2012 remake of Red Dawn for Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 3/5. Extras are TBA.
Warner Home Video has set Sommersby for Blu-ray release on 5/21.
Sony has re-listed their long-delayed Ishtar Blu-ray and DVD release with a tentative street date of 8/6/2013. It remains to be been seen if this holds, but you’ll find the BD cover artwork below.
Sony has also set Playing for Keeps for Blu-ray and DVD release on 3/5 (SRP $35.99 and $30.99). The studio has additionally listed more MOD DVD-R releases for release on 3/5, including Anatomy of a Murder, The Hireling, Goya in Bordeaux, Adventure in Washington, The Big Gusher, The California Trail (1933), The Line-Up, 5 Against the House, Oklahoma City Dolls, Death Goes North, Party of Five: The Complete Fourth Season and Worst-Case Scenario: The Complete First Season.
Also today, Lionsgate has set the horror film The Collection for Blu-ray and DVD release on 3/26.
Paramount and DreamWorks have set Rise of the Guardians for release on Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo and DVD on 3/12, in a variety of configurations both with and without “egg” packaging. More details soon.
CBS will release Family Ties: The Sixth Season on DVD on 4/9.
Disney has set Private Practice: The Complete Sixth Season for DVD only release on 5/7, followed by Perception: The Complete First Season on DVD only on 5/21.
Finally, here’s something cool for you classic film fans: Cohen Media Group is releasing Douglas Fairbanks’ The Thief of Bagdad on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/19. From the press release:
“Newly restored from two 35mm negatives and incorporating the color tints and tones of the original release prints, this definitive edition of The Thief of Bagdad features silent film score maestro Carl Davis (Napoleon) conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra, performing a magnificent score that intermingles Davis’ own music with the famous Orientalia of Rimsky-Korsakov. The soundtrack is in 5.1 Dolby Digital for DVD and state-of-the-art DTS-HD Master Audio for Blu-ray.
Blu-ray and DVD extras include running audio commentary by Douglas Fairbanks biographer Jeffrey Vance and a featurette about the making of the film and its impact, including rare behind-the-scenes photographs.”
Sounds terrific – count us in!
We’ll leave you with a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Universal’s Jurassic Park 3D, Fox’s Red Dawn, Cohen’s The Thief of Bagdad, Sony’s Ishtar and Warner’s Sommersby and DreamWorks’ Rise of the Guardians. Enjoy!
- Bill Hunt
All right, today’s post is going to be quick, but it’s a good one…
First up, there’s more news regarding The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. As we reported last Thursday, word of the Blu-ray release of the film has begun to leak in Europe and in fact you can now pre-order the theatrical cut Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo and DVD versions in Germany and France. Now images of a French retail sell sheet have leaked online, showing your choice of three different Steelbook covers for the 2D version, plus word that the discs will include over two hours worth of extras, including a “making of” featurette and 10 video blogs – presumably an archive of the same video blogs that director Peter Jackson has posted online here. It also appears that the 3D version of the film may be contained on a pair of Blu-rays, while the 2D version will appear on just one disc. More here at Collider and here at Bleeding Cool. Here’s the German cover art for the BD3D and DVD versions that we posted last Thursday (originally from Amazon.de) – we’ve added a look at the German BD Steelbook as well…
By the way, the French sell sheet makes no mention of the Extended Edition release. But we do know from our coverage of Warner’s 2013 release slate event that the studio is tentatively planning on releasing it later this year. And Jackson and company have indicated in various interviews that they’re considering what deleted footage to include in longer cuts of the films.
Also today, we’ve got a follow-up on our CES 2013 coverage of 4K... and it’s definitely of interest to you Blu-ray fans. Blu-ray Disc Association president Andy Parsons has revealed that the BDA created a task force within its member companies in late 2012 to begin investigating the notion of extending the Blu-ray spec to deliver 4K movie content – presumably to make Blu-ray Hollywood’s preferred medium for distributing 4K Ultra HD content to consumers with 4K displays. (More here at TechHive.) What’s interesting about this is that while Blu-ray has disc capacities of 25GB and 50GB (via single and dual-layer media), RED revealed at CES that their 4K streamed movies will have the same data rate as Blu-ray (20Mbps) so you could presumably included a .RED file on a Blu-ray with a file size of 15 to 20GB. But .RED is obviously a proprietary format, and it’s just one of several being used to deliver films in 4K theatrically.
BDA president Andy Parsons says that the Blu-ray format is technically capable of delivering 4K content, but there are a number of factors that need to be considered. The first is the cost of doing so: Can existing production and manufacturing pipelines be retooled to accommodate 4K Blu-rays so that discs are reasonably priced, or is it just easier to stream 4K to displays? And then there’s demand: Sales of 4K displays are going to be extremely limited for the next few years until costs come down, so will demand for 4K discs justify the costs? Other questions remain as well: Would the new 4K Blu-rays work on existing players? Could at least some players be made compatible with 4K via firmware updates or would new players be required? Obviously, 4K video would either require greater compression than Blu-ray currently employs or additional layers would have to be added to the discs – or both.
Finally, there’s an even bigger issue to overcome – rampant concern over piracy in the Hollywood community. Are the studios even willing to release their best films in 4K? Think of it this way: If someone pirates a current Blu-ray, they’ve got a great high-definition copy. If someone pirates a 4K file, they’ve essentially got a duplicate of the studio master – 4K is effectively the equivalent resolution you get from a 35mm film print. That’s not an appealing proposition for any senior studio executive.
So interesting though the idea of 4K Blu-ray is, there are a lot of hurdles yet to clear. Nevertheless, we’ll keep you up to date on any new developments as we hear of them.
- Bill Hunt
All right, more announcement news today…
The Weinstein Company and Anchor Bay have officially announced the Blu-ray Combo and DVD release of Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master on 2/26 (SRP $39.99 and $29.98). Extras on the Blu-ray Combo version will include the Back Beyond featurette (outtakes and additional scenes set to music), the Unguided Message short film, John Huston’s 1946 documentary on World War II veterans Let There Be Light plus trailers and teasers. You’ll find the cover artwork below.
In addition, Criterion has revealed their April Blu-ray and DVD release slate, which is set to include Lawrence Olivier’s Richard III (Cat #213 - BD and DVD - due 4/9), David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch (Cat #220 - BD and DVD - due 4/9), Teinosuke Kinugasa’s Gate of Hell (Cat #653 - BD and DVD - due 4/9), Alex Cox’s Repo Man (Cat #654 - BD and DVD - due 4/16) and a Pierre Etaix box set (Cat #655 - BD and DVD - due 4/23 – includes The Suitor, Yoyo, As Long As You’ve Got Your Health, Le Grand Amour and Land of Milk and Honey). Also coming is Eclipse Series 38: Masaki Kobayashi Against the System on DVD on 4/16 (includes The Thick-Walled Room, I Will Buy You, Black River and The Inheritance). In other words, it’s yet another great batch of titles from Criterion.
Also today, our own Jeff Kleist has turned in a review of Fox’s Taken 2 on Blu-ray, so enjoy!
Here’s the BD cover art for Weinstein’s The Master and Criterion’s Naked Lunch and Repo Man…
Have a great weekend and we’ll see you back here on Tuesday morning (following Monday’s MLK Jr. Day holiday). Stay tuned!
- Bill Hunt
All right, today’s post is brief but we do have a little bit of Hobbit news for you…
Amazon France and Amazon Germany have both begun taking pre-orders for the Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo and DVD release of Warner’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. This is the theatrical cut. Amazon France lists a street date of 4/17. So it seems likely that the U.S. release will A) happen around this same time frame and B) be officially announced very soon, perhaps in the next week or two if not sooner. Our industry sources still suggest that an Extended Cut version of the film is very possible later this year, but not yet 100% certain. If it does happen, expect the Extended Cut release of An Unexpected Journey sometime in October or November, as part of the build-up to the theatrical release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on 12/13. We’ll post more official information as soon as it comes in. In the meantime, here’s a look at the German cover artwork for the Blu-ray 3D Combo and DVD versions…
Back tomorrow with a new Blu-ray review and more news. Stay tuned!
- Bill Hunt
All right, some release news today…
Bits readers are reporting that Amazon has just pulled the Wachowskis’ Cloud Atlas from pre-order availability. They had been taking Blu-ray and DVD pre-orders for a month or so with an expected release date of 2/5. However, I should note that the studio has never officially announced the title or its street date, so technically this isn’t Warner pulling the release – it’s Amazon that jumped the gun by listing a 2/5 street date. I’m sure that 2/5 was at one point the tentative release date, but it’s clear that the studio simply hasn’t finalized its release plan yet or we’d already have seen an announcement. We’ve asked the studio what’s going on with the title and will let you know when we hear back. Unofficially, we’re hearing that the studio may have plans to return the film to theaters for a brief time. In any case, we expect WHV to make its official announcement of the title sometime in the next few weeks.
Speaking of Warner Home Video, they’re going to start releasing individual seasons of Friends on Blu-ray on 4/30, starting with the first two. Season One and Season Two each carry an SRP of $25.98.
Also, Warner and the BBC have set Alice Through the Looking Glass (1973) and Alice in Wonderland (1986) for DVD release on 3/12, presumably taking advantage of the promotional oomph of Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful which hits theatres on 3/8.
Sony has set A Dark Truth for DVD only release on 3/5, followed by The First Time and Mob Doctor: The Complete First Season on 3/12 and Angus Buchan’s Ordinary People on 3/19.
Showtime and Paramount have set The Borgias: The Second Season for Blu-ray and DVD release on 3/26. The set will include a pair of featurettes, as well as promotional materials for a number of other Showtime series.
And Disney has set Perception: The Complete First Season for DVD only release on 5/21.
Finally, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and our friends over at the Home Theater Forum are allowing you to vote on which deep catalog classic films you’d like to see delivered to Blu-ray in the months ahead. Click on the links to weigh in. Titles already expected from Fox on Blu-ray include Laura on 3/2, Panic in the Streets on 3/26, Hello, Dolly! on 4/2 and Viva Zapata! on 5/7.
- Bill Hunt
All right, in the wake of CES – not to mention yesterday’s announcement that Schindler’s List is coming to Blu-ray – we’ve got even more new announcement news to cover today…
The big one is that Lionsgate will release The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 on Blu-ray Combo and DVD on 3/2 (SRP $39.99 and $30.98). Extras will include audio commentary with director Bill Condon, the 7-part Forever: Filming Breaking Dawn Part 2 documentary (includes Rebirth, Renesmee, The Cottage, The Gathering, The Field, The Battle and Forever), an additional Two Movies at Once featurette and Green Day’s The Forgotten music video. Here’s the cover artwork – both versions are available for pre-order now on Amazon by clicking on the art...
Also today, 20th Century Fox has set Chasing Mavericks for Blu-ray and DVD release on 2/26. Extras will include audio commentary from director Michael Apted and writers Brandon Hooper and Jim Meenaghan, 4 deleted scenes and 4 featurettes (Surf City, Shooting Waves, Live Like Jay and Surfer Zen) plus an UltraViolet version.
And in addition to their 3/12 release of Hitchcock (just announced and covered in yesterday’s post), Fox is also releasing an Alfred Hitchcock: The Classic Collection on Blu-ray the same day that includes their previously released BD singles of Notorious, Rebecca and Spellbound.
MPI Media will release Guillaume Canet’s Little White Lies on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/5 (SRP $29.98 and $24.98). The films stars Marion Cotillard.
Also today, our friends over at Kino Lorber have sent us hot new Blu-ray Disc cover art for Jean Rollin’s Zombie Lake, Jess Franco’s Oasis of the Zombies and Peter Walker’s House of Whipcord, Die Screaming Marianne, Schizo and The Comeback - all Redemption Films titles due in February - as well as Buster Keaton’s College (due 3/5). Here’s a look at some of them. All are now available for pre-order on Amazon…
- Bill Hunt