It’s been long awaited by film fans, especially after its extensive 4K restoration (from the original negative and 35mm 4-track audio masters) in 2012, which premiered at the TCM Classic Film Festival that year.

(You can read about the audio portion of that effort here at the Disney Digital Studio Services website.)

But Richard Fleischer’s beloved 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) has never appeared on Blu-ray. The film stars Kirk Douglas, James Mason, and Peter Lorre, and is beloved by generations of movie buffs.

The reason for its absence on Blu-ray is that Disney has, for many years, been trying to remake the film.

Bryan Singer was involved at one point, then James Mangold, and David Fincher, along with a host of actors including Brad Pitt and more recently Johnny Depp. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, I trust you all saw our new History, Legacy, and Showmanship column from last night featuring Michael Coate’s retrospective on Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, which celebrated its 20th anniversary on Sunday. You’ll find that here and if you’re a Star Wars fan, I think it’s well worth your time.

Meanwhile, we have some major new Blu-ray and 4K announcements for you today, so read on...

First, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has just officially set Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD (with Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D) on 7/23. The Digital version will be available on 7/9. The 4K will include not only Dolby Atmos audio, but HDR in Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HDR10+. Aspect ratio is 2.39:1, per the press release.

And there will be HOURS of special features, as follows... [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We’re going to have a new Michael Coate retrospective today in his History, Legacy & Showmanship column here at The Bits, looking back at Star Wars: The Phantom Menace in honor of yesterday’s 20th anniversary for the film. That will be up later this afternoon, so be sure to watch for it.

In the meantime, we have a bit of 4K and standard Blu-ray news to report...

First up, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has set Rob Reiner’s Stand by Me for release on 4K Ultra HD on 8/27. Scanned from the original camera negative, the film will be presented with a new Dolby Atmos mix, along with the original theatrical mono audio and the previous 5.1 remix. Extras on the 4K disc will include never-before-seen deleted and alternate scenes. The package will also include the previous Blu-ray with picture-in-picture video commentary with Reiner and the cast, the Walking the Tracks: The Summer of Stand by Me documentary, and audio commentary with Reiner. You can see the cover artwork at left. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got more reviews for you to enjoy today, including...

My take on James Wan’s Aquaman in 4K Ultra HD from Warner.

Dennis’ review of Dan Bush’s The Vault on Blu-ray from FilmRise.

And Chase’s look at Robert Zemeckis’ I Wanna Hold Your Hand on Blu-ray from Criterion.

More reviews are in the works for tomorrow and Friday, so be sure to check back for them.

Meanwhile, we have some new title news and announcements to report today as well...

We’ve now confirmed the 4/23 release of Captain America: Civil War and Captain America: The Winter Soldier on 4K Ultra HD from Disney. [Read on here...]

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Today’s Retro Release Day title here at The Bits is none other than Disney’s The Black Hole (1979), directed by Gary Nelson and released by Anchor Bay Entertainment on DVD back on March 30, 1999.

The film stars Maximilian Schell, Robert Forster, Joseph Bottoms, Yvette Mimieux, Anthony Perkins, and Ernest Borgnine, and features a terrific score by composer John Barry.

The single-disc release was a much-dreaded (and double-sided) DVD-10 release, a disc configuration known as a “flipper” to DVD veterans.

The reason for this was that the release included the film in both non-anamorphic (letterboxed) widescreen on one side, and full frame on the other.

Both sides of the disc also includes the film’s theatrical trailer and a gallery of images. Each version of the film also included Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Boy, we’ve got a nice little bit of news for you all today...

Just a few days ago, I raved about the experience of seeing Sergei Bondarchuk’s War and Peace on the big screen. (You can read my thoughts on the experience here.) Well now, Criterion has just officially announced that it will highlight their June Blu-ray and DVD release slate!

The complete wave of titles includes a BD upgrade of A Film Trilogy by Ingmar Bergman (Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, and The Silence – Cat #209-211 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 6/4, George Stevens’ Swing Time (Cat #979 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 6/11, Bruno Dumont’s L’humanité (Cat #981 – Blu-ray and DVD) and La vie de Jésus (Cat #980 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 6/18, John Cameron Mitchell punk musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Cat #982 – Blu-ray and DVD) and – yes – Sergei Bondarchuk’s War and Peace (Cat #983 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 6/25! [Read on here...]

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All right, today is kind of a big day on the 4K Ultra HD announcement front, so let’s get right to it...

First up, Disney and Marvel have just officially confirmed that Avengers: Infinity War will street on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 8/14 – just as we predicted – with the Digital release planned for 7/31. You’ll get over two hours worth of extras, including featurettes, a gag reel, deleted scenes, and audio commentary with the filmmakers. The Digital edition will include an exclusive 30-minute roundtable with MCU directors Joe and Anthony Russo, James Gunn, Ryan Coogler, Peyton Reed, Jon Favreau, Joss Whedon, and Taika Waititi. You can see the official cover artwork at left and also below.

Also, you know how we’ve been telling you since April that Disney and Marvel would be releasing The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron on 4K Ultra HD concurrently with Infinity War on 8/14? Sure enough... both Zavvi and Best Buy have now begun taking pre-orders for them. Consider them confirmed and you can see the official cover artwork below. [Editor’s Note: Disney has now officially confirmed the 8/14 4K Ultra HD release of The Avengers and The Avengers: Age of Ultron with The Avengers: Infinity War. Audio is confirmed to be Dolby Atmos on all three. Waiting to hear back on HDR.] [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’re waiting on a number of 4K Ultra HD review titles to come in any time now, including The Patriot, Fury, Red Sparrow, and the Jurassic Park set. While we do, we’ve got some release and announcement news for you...

First up, it appears that the official street date for Disney and Pixar’s The Incredibles in 4K Ultra HD is 6/5 and not 6/12. We expect the official press release to go out any time now and we’ll post the details as soon as it does. So adjust your plans accordingly.

Also today, Shout! Factory has announced that review product for their recent Wild at Heart: Shout Select Blu-ray release had a manufacturing error that’s now being corrected for the actual retail product. This means that the street date for the title has been moved from 5/22 to 8/21. Adjust your plans accordingly. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, the big news today is that, as we first revealed here at The Bits several weeks ago, Disney and Pixar are indeed releasing Brad Bird’s The Incredibles on 4K Ultra HD on 6/12, in support of the theatrical release of The Incredibles 2 that same week. It looks like the 4K release will include Dolby Atmos audio and will also include the Blu-ray edition with all its special features. Note that Best Buy is going to have an exclusive Steelbook version of the title. [Update: It appears that Best Buy is listing the Steelbook 4K version as streeting on 6/5. It’s possible that the wide release will be 6/5 as well, and not 6/12 as currently listed. We expect official details soon from the studio and we’ll update this information then.]

This would mark the very first time that Disney has gone back to release a deeper catalog title on the 4K format (not just a new theatrical release). Here’s hoping we see many more Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars catalog titles released in 4K soon.

Meanwhile this afternoon, our friends at The Criterion Collection have now officially announced their August slate of Blu-ray and DVD titles as follows… [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents
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