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page updated: 2/19/10



My Two Cents
(Archived Posts 2/11/10 - 1/18/10)


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2/11/10

Afternoon, folks! Couple of new announcements for you today...

Warner Home Video has set the Peanuts 1970s Collection, Volume 2 for release on DVD on 6/1 (SRP $29.98). The 2-disc set will include 6 remastered shorts, including Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown, You're A Good Sport, Charlie Brown, It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown, What a Nightmare, Charlie Brown, It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown and You're the Greatest, Charlie Brown.

Meanwhile, Sony has set Piranha II: The Spawning for DVD release on 4/20.

Disney will release an Alice in Wonderland: Special Un-Anniversary Edition on 3/20 (SRP $29.99). New special features will include a new deleted scene (Pig and Pepper), the Reflections on Alice featurette and more. There's no Blu-ray release currently planned, but maybe that will change when Tim Burton's live-action Alice comes out later this year.

And Fox has set Possession for release on Blu-ray on 3/9.

And in other news, here's something extremely cool you might not have seen before: Our friends over at Vice Magazine (creators of the awesome Vice Guide to Travel DVD we first reviewed a couple years back) have something relatively new available on their website: The Vice Guide to North Korea! No kidding! The original was a 14-part web video series, and the new version linked here has been combined into 3 longer parts. It essentially documents Vice's authorized (but weird and more than slightly dangerous) tour across the DMZ into crazy land. It's absolutely one of the most fascinating things you'll ever see. WELL worth watching. It first appeared online in 2008, but somehow it's flown largely under the radar until CNN posted a story on it yesterday. Vice also has a new Vice Guide to Liberia up as well. (I haven't watched this one yet, so be aware there may be material therein that some would find a little too intense - I can't say for sure, so just be aware. The Korea one is A-OK.) We're hoping Vice will do a follow up Travel DVD soon and include them both on it, because it's just great stuff. Do check 'em out - they're well worth your time.

By the way, sorry for the site slowdown the last couple of days. It's an ongoing issue, but we're working on it and should have it resolved soon.

Here's a little more new cover art for you to check out... Universal's Dune Blu-ray (due 4/27) and Warner's Peanuts 1970s Collection, Volume 2 and TCM Spotlight: Charlie Chan Collection (6/8) DVDs...

Dune (Blu-ray Disc)Peanuts 1970s Collection, Volume 2TCM Spotlight: Charlie Chan Collection

Be sure to check back tomorrow for this week's Kurosawa reviews! Stay tuned...

2/10/09

Morning all! First up today, our own Dr. Adam Jahnke has posted a new update in his Electric Theatre, featuring reviews of Adam Green's Frozen (now in playing on the big screen) and Marc Evans' Snow Cake (now on DVD). Don't miss it!

There's some big hardware news to report this morning...

Sony has just officially announced their first Blu-ray 3D-ready player: The BDP-S470. Here's the cool thing... the SRP is expected to be only $200! It arrives in stores next month, and will be made fully 3D compatible with a firmware update expected in June. Already shipping are the new BDP-S570 (SRP $250), and the BDV-E770W ($650) and BDV-E570 ($550) Blu-ray Disc home theater systems, which will also be 3D firmware updatable this Summer. Also newly available is the BDP-S370 (SRP $180) but it will NOT be firmware updatable to 3D. You can read more on all this here.

We've got more new title announcements for you this morning as well...

Fox has set Tim Allen's Crazy on the Outside for release on DVD and Blu-ray on 4/13.

Lionsgate has announced the DVD and Blu-ray release of Unrivaled on 3/16 (SRP $26.98 and $29.99).

Universal has set Law & Order: Criminal Intent - The Fifth Year for release on DVD on 5/18, followed by Royal Pains: Season One on DVD on 5/25.

MGM will release The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) on Blu-ray on 4/6 (SRP $24.99).

New Video has set a Henri Cartier-Bresson: 2-Disc Collector's Edition for release on DVD on 3/30 (SRP $49.95), which includes several of his own acclaimed documentaries, along with documentaries about his work. Among them are Victory of Life (1937), Spain Will Live (1938), The Return (1945), California Impressions (1970), Southern Exposures (1971), Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Impassioned Eye (2003), Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Adventure (1962), Contacts: Henri Cartier-Bresson (1994), Flagrants délits (1967), A Day in the Studio of Henri Cartier-Bresson (2005), and Lest We Forget: Letter to Mamadou Bâ (1991). You also get a booklet and a montage of his still photography.

Warner has announced a single-disc Wizard of Oz: 70th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray for release on 3/16 (SRP $28.99). A 2-disc DVD version (with the same content) will also be available that day (SRP $20.97). Warner also has a new 4-disc TCM Spotlight: Charlie Chan Collection due for release on DVD on 6/8 (SRP $39.92), including the films Dark Alibi, Dangerous Money, The Trap and The Chinese Ring.

Also, Warner and the BBC have moved the street date for Judge John Deed: Season One & Pilot Episode from 3/9 to 3/16. Plan accordingly.

Finally, Disney has set the animated My Friends Tigger & Pooh: Super Duper Super Sleuths for DVD release on 4/6.

And here's something interesting for you classic Disney fans: The Disney Store.com has an interesting "D23 Club Member" exclusive - a Walt Disney Treasures: Premium Collection - Limited Edition DVD Set. Weighing in at a whopping 54 DVD discs, it includes EVERY Walt Disney Treasures disc released prior to (and EXCLUDING) the most recent wave (Zorro & Elfego Baca and The Swamp Fox). That includes many that are now out of print. Only 3,000 are available, individually numbered and encased in a new tin package (SRP $499.99), and they're only available to D23 Club Members of Disney Store.com. The set is pricey to be sure, yet it's a cool opportunity if you don't have them and are willing to buy them all in one shot. Hats off to our own Russell Hammond for spotting this.

Stay tuned...

(LATE UPDATE - 2/9/10 - 1:15 PM PST)

Okay, we've got a few more title announcements to report to you all today...

Universal has set Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age for release on Blu-ray Disc on 4/27. It appears they'll include most - if not all - of the previous DVD extras.

Also this afternoon, Warner has set Free Willy: Escape from Pirate's Cove for release on DVD and Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy Combo on 3/23 (SRP $27.95 and $35.99).

Warner also has Saturday Morning Cartoons 1980s: Volume 1 due on DVD on 5/4 (SRP $26.99). The 2-disc set will include a sampling of episodes from select animated shows.

Paramount (for MTV) will release Daria: The Complete Animated Series on DVD on 5/11. The studio also has Penn & Teller: Bullshit! The Complete Seventh Season due on DVD on 5/4 (for Showtime).

And Fox has set Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel for release on DVD and Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy Combo on 3/30 (SRP $29.98 and $39.99). Extras will include a whole series of featurettes, music videos, sing-a-long songs, trivia, BD-Live Lookup and more, mostly geared toward the kids, as you'd expect.

Finally this afternoon, it looks like I've hit the bulls-eye with my speculation last night that Universal's decision not to include the Face of the Enemy webisodes on the Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series DVD and Blu-ray sets was a money thing. The studio isn't commenting, obviously, but over the last few hours, I've now had multiple independent sources tied to (or involved in) the show's production e-mail me to say that I basically guessed correctly. Apparently, the rules under which these webisodes were made (as negotiated and contracted with the industry's production guilds - not just the actors, but ALL the guilds) are such that the studio would have to make a substantial payment for their home video use on DVD or Blu-ray. And they have little interest in doing so. It may be they feel it's too high, or it may be just high enough that it would seriously eat into their profits for the home video release - who knows. The reason may be perfectly justifiable from a business standpoint. The unfortunate upshot for fans, however, is that you can likely kiss goodbye the idea of EVER seeing them on disc. That's a major bummer, but I'm confident that it's true... and now at least we know.

Anyway... here's a look at the cover art for Uni's Elizabeth Blu-ray titles, along with Paramount's Escape from L.A. (due 5/4). Seems kinda sacrilegious to have Escape from L.A. on BD before the original Escape from New York, but I don't make the rules, I just reports on 'em...

Elizabeth (Blu-ray Disc)Elizabeth: The Golden Age (Blu-ray Disc)Escape from L.A. (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 2/9/10 - 12:01 AM PST)

Okay... back early this morning with another Battlestar Galactica: Complete Series re-issue update...

First of all, (as we noted late yesterday afternoon) we've confirmed directly with the studio that the packaging exchange program is, in fact, the real deal. Once again, e-mail USHE.ConsumerRelations@bydeluxe.com and they'll send you the instructions for obtaining the new packaging.

Second, we've confirmed with the studio that the discs will be EXACTLY THE SAME as those in the previous DVD and Blu-ray box sets. The only difference is that The Plan will be included this time. What's more, The Plan is the exact same version that's already been released on DVD and Blu-ray - there's no new or extended edition. So all the disc-based content is the same. There's just new packaging, no Cylon figure and lower SRPs.

Here's an important piece of information, however: There will be NO new booklet in the new packaging to identify the episodes and special features by disc. No booklet. This comes right from the studio. As such, Bits reader Mark Schaffner has taken those disc labels that I made for the Blu-ray set a few months back and converted them into a PDF file such that you can print them and bind them to make your own booklet. (They could easily be edited for DVD.) He's even included instructions on how to put it all together. (Thanks, Mark!) You can find that here.

One other thing: As these are the same discs as before, the Face of the Enemy webisodes will once again NOT be included. I'm still a bit puzzled by this. I can understand that there may not have been room on the original Complete Series DVD and BD discs, but why not include them on The Plan as a bonus feature? The decision just seems too deliberate, and the studio doesn't seem eager to say what their reasoning is. The more I think about it, however, the more I wonder if the reason for the omission isn't a contractual issue with the actors. There are at least two actors in the webisodes with small speaking parts (as Raptor pilots) that to my knowledge don't appear in ANY episode of the regular series. So I'm wondering if their contracts simply didn't address home video release, or are different in some way from the regular cast members' contracts. If the webisodes were released on DVD or Blu-ray, the studio would have to pay them residuals... and it COULD be that the studio doesn't want to do so. Just a thought. In any case, don't go looking for the Face of the Enemy webisodes on the discs, because they aren't on there. You can, however, still view them here on the SyFy website.

One other bit of release news from Universal this morning: The upcoming Blu-ray release of David Lynch's Dune (due 4/27) will include the theatrical cut only, not the 177-minute "Alan Smithee" television version. So if you want to keep the longer version, whatever you do, don't sell your current DVD. Just FYI.

Also this morning, our own Russell Hammond has once again updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest DVD and Blu-ray cover and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, a small portion of anything you order from Amazon after clicking to them through our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we really appreciate it!

Back with more later. Stay tuned...

(LATE UPDATE - 2/8/10 - 2:30 PM PST)

Here's some cool late-breaking news for you guys. You may recall last year that we reported on the discovery of "lost" footage from Fritz Lang's 1927 classic, Metropolis, in a film archive in Buenos Ares. That footage has now been fully restored, and thanks to Roger Ebert, we've learned that the newly reconstructed and restored version of Metropolis (incorporating this lost footage) will finally be unveiled in German this Friday (click here for more on that). We've contacted Kino for additional details about their promised DVD and Blu-ray re-issue of the film with the new footage. Our latest information (from Barrie's recent Classic Coming Attractions column) was that the title was still slated for release later this year. Well, you'll be pleased to see that there's now a date listed on Kino's official website for the film: April 2010! That's when (we're told by Kino) the restored film will premiere theatrically here in the States (in NYC). We've also confirmed that the DVD/Blu-ray re-issue IS tentatively planned for sometime likely in late 2010 (an official street date is still TBD). We'll post additional details here as we get them from Kino. We expect more information following this Friday's unveiling. VERY exciting indeed!

Restored Metropolis! Debuting in theatres in April 2010!

Also, one last note: We've now gotten confirmation that Universal's Battlestar packaging exchange program IS the real deal. But again, rather than posting the details, what you need to do is still e-mail USHE.ConsumerRelations@bydeluxe.com yourself, and they'll send you the proper instructions to follow within 24 hours. E-mailing them IS important, because they request that a copy of the correspondence be included with your proof-of-purchase.

Stay tuned!

(LATE UPDATE - 2/8/10 - NOON PST)

Okay, we've got a couple more things for you this afternoon...

First of all, as many of you know, Disney has released a new Blu-ray edition of Gangs of New York with Miramax Award-Winning Collection labeling on the front. And as we've mentioned previously (in this linked post from January), this new BD has an updated 1080p transfer that's far superior to the previous BD release. I've compared both first-hand and while the old one is a digitally-filtered mess, the new one is gorgeous. One looks like someone got carried away with Photoshop filters while the other one looks like film. All the other content on the disc is identical. So get the new one if you can. No, Disney doesn't have an exchange program that we know of. (If we learn of one, we'll let you know.)

Along these same lines, consider this Rumor Mill-worthy, but our industry sources are telling is that Paramount will be re-issuing their Gladiator Blu-ray later this Summer or Fall, complete with a brand-new 1080p transfer that was just completed a couple of months ago. (It was done after Paramount and Universal realized how bad the first one was, naturally.) Paramount is re-issuing a number of their BDs this month in new Academy Award-themed packaging. The Gladiator DVD is included in this, but not the Blu-ray, and sources tell us this is because they studio will re-issue the Blu-ray timed to the theatrical or home video release of Ridley Scott's Robin Hood later this year. It MAY also be re-branded as a new 10th Anniversary Edition. We'll post official details as they become available. (And no, we don't know if there will be an exchange program there either.)

Speaking of Paramount (and DreamWorks), the studio has just set Escape from L.A. and K-19: The Widowmaker for release on Blu-ray Disc on 5/4, along with... wait for it... the Saving Private Ryan: Sapphire Series Blu-ray we've mentioned previously (see here and here)! Escape from L.A. and K-19 will have the same extras as the previous DVD releases. We're waiting for additional Saving Private Ryan details, but expect new extras in addition to what's previously been included on DVD.

Also today, Severin Films will release Patrice Leconte's visual documentary on Cambodia, Dogora, on DVD and Blu-ray on 4/27. Think Koyaaniquatsi and Baraka and you're on the right track.

Lionsgate has announced that their fourth After Dark Horrorfest: 8 Films to Die For box set will arrive in stores on 3/23 (SRP $159.98), and will include the films Lake Mungo, The Graves, Dread, Zombies of Mass Destruction, Hidden, The Final, Kill Theory and The Reeds. Each will also be available individually for just $19.98.

And Sony has set Did You Hear About the Morgans? for DVD and Blu-ray release on 3/16, followed by An Education on both formats on 3/30.

Finally this morning, there have been a number of posts around the Net regarding a possible packaging-exchange program with Universal for their previous Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series box set on DVD and Blu-ray. The gist is that if you have the old set, you may be able to have Universal send you the new DVD or Blu-ray packaging via mail. This would consist of traditional plastic Thinpaks with an outer cardboard slipcase. (Pictures are as yet unavailable, but we'll post them when they are.) Several sites have already posted the instructions on how to do this, which includes cutting the top and front flaps off the Season One box in your current Complete Series set, and sending them as proof of purchase to a specific address, upon which (some 4 to 6 weeks later) you'll get the new Complete Series packaging in the mail. The problem is, I HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO CONFIRM with the studio that this is valid! (They're looking into it, but haven't gotten back to me on it yet.) So rather than posting the instructions, what I'm going to do instead is direct you all to Universal's Customer Service people (USHE.ConsumerRelations@bydeluxe.com), who would run the program itself. E-mail them at that address and ask about the packaging exchange program for "Battlestar Galactica (2004): The Complete Series". With any luck, they'll e-mail you back promptly with confirmation of all the details. (I'm waiting for a response from them too.) It may very well be that the posted instructions are exactly correct, but it may also be that you have to register with Universal via BD-Live first. The absolute LAST thing I want is for you guys to start cutting up your existing packaging and send it in as proof of purchase, only to be denied later. If and when we CAN confirm the details of this program, we'll let you know. In the meantime, far better safe than sorry, right?

Stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 2/8/10 - 12:01 AM PST)

Morning, everybody! Hope you had a great weekend. And congrats to all you Saints fans, who are probably not at the office to read this today for celebrating last night. Some of you might still be out there on Bourbon street. Hats off, Who Dats!

This morning we have a new review for you and a little bit of news as well...

The review is from our very own Dr. Adam Jahnke, who has taken a good look at Magnolia's Bronson on Blu-ray for you all today. Sounds like a pretty interesting little film, so do check it out this morning.

As for that news... Universal has officially set The Barbara Stanwyck Collection: Universal Backlot Series for release on DVD on 4/27 (SRP $49.98). It will include a number of classic titles, including All I Desire, The Bride Wore Boots, The Great Man's Lady, Internes Can't Take Money, The Lady Gambles and There's Always Tomorrow.

And don't forget to check out the kickoff (from Friday afternoon) of our effort to review The Films of Akira Kurosawa on DVD and Blu-ray. The first four reviews are up now, and we're going to keep reviewing discs over the next few weeks until all 30 of his films are covered. We hope you enjoy it!

Back later with any breaking news. Stay tuned...

2/5/10

So... we've probably mentioned a few times over the years that one of our all-time favorite filmmakers here at The Digital Bits is the legendary Japanese director, Akira Kurosawa. Well, we've been waiting for YEARS to be able to review all thirty of his films on DVD, but many of them simply haven't been available on disc in authorized editions here in the States... until now. As you may know, Criterion has recently released a gorgeous box set collection of twenty-five of Kurosawa's greatest films, under the title AK100. Timed to celebrate what would have been the director's 100th birthday (this coming March), the set includes every one of his films that Criterion has the U.S. release rights to, including four that have never been available in this country before. So yes, over the next few weeks we're going to review every single one of them - all twenty-five Criterion titles - along with the five titles whose U.S. release rights are owned by other distributors. In fact, our plan is to make a weekly special event out of it. Each Friday leading up the anniversary week of Kurosawa's birth, we'll post reviews of a few more of his films until they're all covered. Every single one. We're pretty excited about this, and think it's going to be a lot of fun. So we hope you'll join us. We're kicking things off this morning with an overall look at Criterion's AK100 box itself, along with individual reviews of the four previously unavailable films it contains, including Sanshiro Sugata, The Most Beautiful, Sanshiro Sugata, Part Two and The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail. So click here to start reading (or on the image below), and we hope you enjoy our continuing look at the life's work of a true master of the cinema!

Reviews of The Films of Akira Kurosawa

Elsewhere here at the site today, our own Mark Altman has checked in with another new installment of MOS DEF, this time looking back at his picks for the best DVD/BD releases of the last decade. There's definitely some great titles on his list, so do check it out!

And we've also kicked off several new Giveaways, giving each of you the chance to win copies of Anchor Bay & Starz' Dante's Inferno on Blu-ray, and Fox's Defying Gravity: The Complete Series, Warner's Southland: The Complete First Season and Universal's Couples Retreat on DVD! Entries will be accepted until Noon (Pacific) on Sunday, February 14th. Click on the link to get started and good luck!

We'll leave you today with a little more new cover art. Here's a look at Warner's Ninja Assassin Blu-ray (due 3/16) as well as Shout! Factory's new DVD special editions of Suburbia and Rock 'n' Roll High School (both due 5/4)...

Ninja Assassin (Blu-ray Disc)SuburbiaRock 'n' Roll High School

By the way, we hear there's some kind of sporting match this weekend, played in a large - one might even say "super" - bowl. But we're not sure. Look into it if you're of the mind. There's another new Caprica on tonight as well on SyFy, so there you go. ;)

Anyway, have a great weekend, everyone! See you Monday...

(LATE UPDATE - 2/4/10 - 4:45 PM PST)

Okay... we've got a couple more bits of news for you this afternoon.

First, a quick update: There have been a few rumors about the street date for Disney's Armageddon and Tombstone. The studio initially gave us a street date of 5/4, and yet Amazon lists the date as 4/27. According to the studio this afternoon, it IS now 4/27. But you know... we'll update you if that changes again, 'cause these things do happen.

While we're on the subject of Disney (case in point), as some of you may know, the studio teased a February 2010 release of a Dumbo: 70th Anniversary Special Edition on DVD and Blu-ray in its Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Diamond Edition DVD and Blu-ray (it was trailered on the disc as coming "This Spring" and the February date came from a paper promotional insert in the packaging), but one hasn't yet been announced. So naturally, a lot of you have been asking about its status. Once again, according to the studio today, it's STILL coming this year. It's just been delayed a bit. So stay tuned for more on that front in the weeks ahead.

In other news from around the Net, Home Media is reporting (surprise!) that Target and Borders stores are going to be offering retail-exclusive versions of Summit's The Twilight Saga: New Moon on DVD and Blu-ray on 3/20. Target will have 3-disc DVD and 2-disc BD Deluxe Editions, and it seems borders will have their own unique editions as well. You can read more here.

And finally, you remember that awesome Phantom Menace video review we linked you to a few weeks ago? Well the same guy has just posted a 2-part review of James Cameron's Avatar. Haven't watched it all yet, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't pretty amusing too, whether you agree with it or not. I actually quite enjoyed Avatar, even though the story wasn't the most sophisticated piece of work ever. But you know... as a recent reader e-mail complaint says (as filed with Jahnke over a movie reviewed in his 100 Best Films of the 00s series), "If the public likes it and it's successful, that's the definition of brilliant!" So THERE, Jahnke! I should note that the exclamation mark I added, but I think it needed it. Where the hell was I? Oh yeah. Check out that Avatar vid.

"If the public likes it and it's successful, that's the definition of brilliant!" That statement is SO many different kinds of awesome, I can't even begin to count them. I think maybe we need to make that our new tag-line under the logo. Or have T-shirts made up with it or something.

Okay, one last note: We're going to be kicking off a MAJOR new review series here at The Bits tomorrow, honoring the work of one of our all-time favorite filmmakers. (Can you guess who?) So be sure to check back in the wee early hours of tomorrow morning for that. Or, you know... over your morning coffee. Whichever comes first.

See you then! (Yer ever lovin' pal, Bill)

(EARLY UPDATE - 2/4/10 - 2 AM PST)

We'll be back with more later this afternoon, but this is just a quick early post with some late-breaking release news...

Universal has continues to ramp up its catalog Blu-ray plans with the announcement of a trio of additional titles, this time of the Blu-ray + DVD Combo variety - with BD on one side and DVD on the other. Specifically, look for Traffic, an Out of Africa: 25th Anniversary Edition and The Jackal on 4/27. And here's what the packaging will look like...

Traffic (Blu-ray Disc+DVD)Out of Africa: 25th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Disc+DVD)The Jackal (Blu-ray Disc+DVD)

And for you pay-cable vampire fans HBO will roll out (via WHV) True Blood: The Complete Second Season on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on 5/25 (SRP $59.99 and $79.98). We're waiting on additional details, but you can certainly count on extensive audio commentaries and featurettes. And here's what they'll look like too... along with Warner's Sherlock Holmes: 2-Disc Special Edition DVD (due 3/30 - we've posted the single-disc DVD and Blu-ray art previously)...

True Blood: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray Disc)True Blood: The Complete Second Season (DVD)Sherlock Holmes: 2-Disc Special Edition (DVD)

Back later! Stay tuned...

2/3/10

Well, here's another one we told you was coming and it's finally official: Universal has just announced the Blu-ray Disc release of an Apollo 13: 15th Anniversary Edition on 4/13 (SRP $26.98). Extras will include audio commentary with director Ron Howard, Apollo 13 commander Jim Lovell and his wife Marilyn, 3 documentary featurettes (Lucky 13: The Astronaut's Story, Lost Moon: The Triumph of Apollo 13 and Conquering Space: The Moon and Beyond), and 2 new U-Control features exclusive to Blu-ray that you can access while watching the movie - The Apollo Era and Tech-Splanations.

Oh, but that's not all folks... Universal has also announced the Blu-ray release of David Lynch's Dune on 4/27. Extras will include deleted scenes with introduction by Raffaella De Laurentiis and 4 featurettes (Designing Dune, Dune FX, Dune Models & Miniatures and Dune Wardrobe Design). We're attempting to determine whether the disc includes the theatrical or extended cuts, or both.

And from Shout! Factory comes word that Rhoda: Season Two will arrive on DVD on 3/30. They also have Leave It to Beaver: Season 3 due on 6/15, and are planning a Leave It to Beaver: The Complete Series box set for release later this year. Our friends at TVShowsonDVD have more on that here.

Meanwhile, Fox is releasing their Wall Street: Insider Trading Edition on DVD only on 4/13 (SRP $14.98). The 2-disc set will include a Wall Street Fact Exchange Scrolling Trivia Track and 2 featurettes (Fox Movie Channel Presents Fox Legacy with Tom Rothman and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps - A Conversation). There's also a sneak preview of the forthcoming sequel, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (due in theatres 4/23), and movie money good towards a ticket to see it.

In other Fox news, the studio (along with MGM) is re-issuing a swarm of its previous Blu-ray titles on 4/6 as Blu-ray + DVD Combos (SRP $19.99 each). Titles include A Bridge Too Far, Bulletproof Monk, Commando, Dodgeball, The Graduate, Hart's War, Hoosiers, Igor, The Last Waltz, Napoleon Dynamite, Out of Time, Planet of the Apes (2001), Road House, RoboCop, Rocky, Rollerball, Speed, Super Troopers, The Terminator, The Usual Suspects, Walking Tall and Windtalkers.

Speaking of The Terminator, consider this Rumor Mill worthy, but our industry sources have confirmed to us once again that we're likely to see a new Terminator: Special Edition arrive on Blu-ray this year, possibly tied to the release of James Cameron's Avatar.

Finally today, and speaking of Avatar, it looks like Fox has slightly reconsidered its original plan to release the film on 2D DVD and 2D Blu-ray in April. In a conference call with investors yesterday (reported on here by Home Media), Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch indicated that they're currently set for June. However, if the film continues to perform well at the box office, that date could be pushed later.

Here's a little new cover art - Uni's Apollo 13 Blu-ray along with Sony's Broken Embraces (due 3/16) and Lionsgate's The Stoning of Soraya M. (3/9)...

Apollo 13 (Blu-ray Disc)Broken Embraces (Blu-ray Disc)Stoning of Soraya M. (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

2/2/10

Morning, everyone! Let's have another early post today, shall we?

First up this morning, we're pleased to bring you that new Classic Coming Attractions column from Barrie. This one features a look ahead at the outlook for classic releases in 2010, as well as 7 new disc reviews, including Warner Archive's Cattle Town and Deep Valley, Flicker Alley's Miss Mend, Acorn Media's Life on Mars: Series 2 and Murphy's Law: Series 1, PBS' The Complete Inspector Lewis and HBO's Into the Storm. Barrie even checks out a book of interest for you: Screen World: Volume 60. Enjoy!

Also today, our own Russell Hammond has once again updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest DVD and Blu-ray cover scans and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, a portion of anything you order from Amazon after clicking to them through our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we really appreciate it.

In announcement news this morning, Synapse Films has set Battle Girl: The Living Dead in Tokyo Bay for DVD only release on 2/23 (SRP $24.95). The disc will include a new 53-minute interview with director Kazuo "Gaira" Komizu.

And keeping with the international "indie" theme, our friends at Blue Underground have set Django (SRP $29.95) and City of the Living Dead (SRP $34.95) for Blu-ray release on 5/25. Django is already available on DVD, but City of the Living Dead will also be released in a DVD special edition that same day (SRP $19.95). Django will include the Django: The One and Only featurette, the 1968 Westerns Italian Style documentary, The Last Pistolero (also starring Franco Nero), the Italian and International trailers, a Franco Nero introduction and audio in both English and the original Italian mono (the Italian track features Franco Nero's own voice). Meanwhile, both versions of City of the Living Dead will include the The Making of City of the Living Dead featurette, radio spots, a still gallery and theatrical trailers. The Blu-ray will include all that, along with 3 more featurettes (Acting Among the Living Dead, Memories of the Maestro and Entering the Gates of Hell), and a Marketing of the Living Dead poster and still gallery.

Here's a look at the art for the Blue Underground titles, along with cover art for Lionsgate's Precious (due 3/9), Universal's Pirate Radio (4/13) and Warner's Sherlock Holmes (3/30) all on Blu-ray...

Django (Blu-ray Disc)City of the Living Dead (Blu-ray Disc)City of the Living Dead: Special Edition (DVD)

Precious (Blu-ray Disc)Pirate Radio (Blu-ray Disc)Sherlock Holmes (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

2/1/10

Okay... welcome to February! We've got some cool announcement news to report today...

Disney is FINALLY going to be releasing Michael Bay's Armageddon and one of my all-time favorite films, Tombstone, on Blu-ray Disc on 5/4 (SRP just $29.99 each). It doesn't appear that either will include the Criterion or Vista Series extras. Our information is that Armageddon's extras will include Aerosmith's I Don't Want to Miss a Thing music video, and the theatrical and teaser trailers. Tombstone's bonus features will include The Making of Tombstone, the director's original storyboards and trailers & TV spots. However, there MAY be additional bonus features as yet unannounced. Even if they don't have other extras, $29.99 is a decent price that will certainly be heavily discounted at retail, so that's not too bad. Audio on both is DTS-HD MA. I've personally been bugging the studio since 2007 for these titles on Blu-ray, so I'm REALLY glad to finally see them. Check out the cover art below - the titles are NOW available for pre-order on Amazon (Amazon shows a street date of 4/27, Disney says it's 5/4 - just FYI).

Also today, retailers tell us that Disney is soon to announce the August DVD and Blu-ray release of Lost: The Final Season and a Lost: The Complete Collection box set. Watch for official details in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Sony has set Broken Embraces for DVD and Blu-ray release on 3/16.

MGM has Deadly Impact set for DVD only release on 4/20.

And Universal has announced the Brit comedy Pirate Radio for DVD and Blu-ray release on 4/13. Great little film that one - don't miss it!

Also, you might recall we reported last week that Universal is re-issuing the DVD and Blu-ray box sets of Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series on 4/6. According to our friends over at TV Shows on DVD today, they will essentially be the same discs in regular DVD and Blu-ray packaging (Thinpaks with an outer slipcase), except that they'll now include an unrated, extended version of The Plan as well (which wasn't finished in time to include in the previous sets). Unfortunately, there's still no sign of the Face of the Enemy webisodes. More importantly, however, there will be new lower SRPs - $199.98 for DVD (down from $279.98) and $299.98 (down from $349.98). Even BETTER still, Amazon has the new DVD set for just $139.99 and the new Blu-ray set for just $209.99 - click on the links to pre-order now!

Here's some new cover art for you to check out today, hot off the wires - Disney's Armageddon and Tombstone on Blu-ray, DreamWorks' Minority Report Blu-ray (due 4/20), Fox's Cocoon Blu-ray (4/6), Lionsgate's Mad Men: Season Three Blu-ray (3/23) and Warner's movie-only DVD version of Sherlock Holmes (due 3/30 - DVD SE and BD art is coming soon)...

Armageddon (Blu-ray Disc)Tombstone (Blu-ray Disc)Minority Report (Blu-ray Disc)

Cocoon (Blu-ray Disc)Mad Men: Season Three (Blu-ray Disc)Sherlock Holmes (Movie Only DVD)

Stay tuned...

1/29/10

Morning, folks. We've got a couple quick items for your early attention...

First of all, Dr. Jahnke has finally gone and finished his massive Best Movies of the 00s column by posting Part 10 in the Electric Theatre! Would anyone care to guess what Adam's picks for the top 10 titles of the last decade might be? Click on in to find out! Our hats off to Adam for all his efforts on this little adventure. That was a LOT of work!

In announcement news today, Warner Home Video has set Ninja Assassin for release on DVD and Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo Pack on 3/16. They also have Merlin: The Complete First Season set to follow on DVD on 4/20.

And it appears that Universal is re-issuing their popular Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series Box Set on Blu-ray on 4/6, though we're not sure yet if this is just a re-solicitation, or if there's different packaging or a reduced SRP. We'll try to find out and let you know.

Also this morning, the staff here at The Bits collectively doffs our caps at the passing of Catcher in the Rye author J.D. Salinger (at the age of 91) and actress Zelda Rubinstein (of Poltergeist fame - she was 76). Both will be missed.

Stay tuned...

1/28/10

We'll be back with more later, but you remember how we told you in The Rumor Mill last month that Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan was headed to Blu-ray Disc in 2010 from DreamWorks (via Paramount)? Well, the title has just gone up for preorder at Amazon.com (SRP $39.99 - $27.99 on Amazon). No street date is listed yet, but we'd be VERY surprised if it wasn't in stores in time for Memorial Day in May.

Meanwhile, you may also recall how we told you in The Rumor Mill last month that Spielberg's Jurassic Park films are likely coming to Blu-ray this year as well. Well, Universal's operations in the Netherlands have leaked a street date for at least the European release - 11/4 - along with The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Interestingly, the site lists Hitchcock's Psycho as set for release on 11/4 in Europe as well, with The Howling set for 5/27. The new remake of The WolfMan is slated for 6/17. One presumes the U.S. street dates will match up similarly, but we'll have to wait for official announcements. In any case, it looks like some great catalog is finally hitting Blu from Uni! [Editor's Note: As of 4 PM PST, it looks as if the dates have been removed from the website. However, we they WERE there this morning as listed above. We're awaiting comment from Universal here in the States.]

Also today, Dr. Jahnke has posted the penultimate installment (a.k.a. Part 9) of his Best Movies of the 00s series in the Electric Theatre. Hey, if you've been reading along with him up until now, you don't want to miss the build-up to the big finish, do you? Enjoy!

Back later. Stay tuned...

1/27/10

Okay, checking in early with a few quick bits of news...

Apple is going to be announcing its new tablet computer device later today, believed to be called the iSlate [correction: iPad] and billed as a hybrid between an iPhone and a Macbook. Even this diehard PC is intrigued. I love the idea of a touch slate-style computing device for surfing the Net, viewing digital media, writing and reading ebooks. Guess we'll know more in a few hours. [You can check out all the details for yourself here. For my part, I'm VERY intrigued, but I'll wait for Gen 2 when no doubt the device will come with a built-in camera, more internal memory and phone functionality.]

Here at the site today, our own Dr. Jahnke has posted Part 8 of his epic Electric Theatre look at the 100 Best Films of the 00s. Old Doc's up to #20 now, so things are starting to get serious. Do check it out.

In title announcement news this morning, Fox has revealed that it will be releasing a Cocoon: 25th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray Disc on 4/6 (SRP $24.99). Extras will include audio commentary by director Ron Howard, multiple featurettes, TV spots and trailers.

In other news, James Cameron's Avatar has just broken his own Titanic's all-time worldwide box office record to become the #1 grossing film in movie history. Pretty extraordinary. Consider this Rumor Mill worthy (and we've reported it previously), but there have been hints that 2D DVD and Blu-ray versions will arrive in stores in April or May, followed by a Blu-ray 3D version this holiday season. We'll post the official announcement news when it's available.

And we have sad news to report this morning as well. Some of you may already be aware that actress Jean Simmons passed away over the weekend of lung cancer. The accomplished star of Hamlet, Guys and Dolls, Spartacus, North and South, The Robe and so many other classics of TV and film was 80 years old. She'll certainly be missed. Word has also reached us today that actor Pernell Roberts has passed away, at the age of 81. You may remember him from the TV's Bonanza, as well as Trapper John, M.D. and other shows of the 70s and 80s. I actually met Pernell many years ago, when he was the host of a show called F.B.I.: The Untold Stories, on which I was working as a lowly production assistant (this was before I got wise to the ways of Hollywood). We shot all his stand-ups in downtown L.A. and the D.P. and gaffer would often set up his lighting with me standing in for him, then we'd call Pernell over when they were ready to roll. But he was usually close by and so we chatted on many occasions. He was a truly sweet guy and I'll always remember him fondly.

More later. Stay tuned...

1/26/10

All right, we're back as promised today... and we've got MORE for you!

More cover art: Our own Russell Hammond has just updated the handy dandy Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest DVD and Blu-ray cover scans and Amazon.com pre-order links! (As always a small portion of anything you order through our links goes to help support our continuing work here at The Bits and we really appreciate it!)

More Jahnke: The good Doctor has turned in Part 6 and Part 7 of his epic appreciation of the Best Movies of the 00s in the Electric Theatre! And how the hell can you miss that, especially if you've already stuck around for Parts 1-5? Enjoy!

And, as promised, we've got more Barrie for you too: Mr. Maxwell has just completed his latest installment of High Definition Matters, featuring reviews of 13 new and recent Blu-ray titles, and Barrie's picks for the 10 best BDs of 2009! A new Classic Coming Attractions is on the way later this week as well, so be sure to check back for it!

How's about some more news: Disney has official unveiled their DVD and Blu-ray release of their animated The Princess and the Frog on 3/16. As we've mentioned previously, there will be THREE versions - a Blu-ray/DVD/Disney File Combo Pack, a single-disc Blu-ray and a single-disc DVD (SRP $44.99, $39.99 and $29.99). Extras on all three will include audio commentary by John Musker and Ron Clements (co-writers and directors) and Peter Del Vecho (producer), deleted scenes, Ne-Yo's Never Knew I Needed music video and the What Do You See: Princess Portraits interactive quiz. The Blu-ray will add more Backstage Disney features, including Magic in the Bayou: The Making of a Princess, The Return to Hand Drawn Animation, The Disney Legacy, Disney's Newest Princess, The Princess and the Animator, Conjuring the Villain, A Return to the Animated Musical, Bringing Life to Animation, more deleted scenes introduced by the filmmakers and art galleries, plus BD-Live. You'll find some cover art below.

Magnet/Magnolia is releasing John Woo's Red Cliff on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on 3/23. There will be TWO versions of each: a single-disc DVD and Blu-ray that contains the 2 1/2 hour theatrical version (SRP $26.98 and $29.98) and 2-disc DVD and Blu-ray versions that contain the original 5-hour international version, split into two parts. (SRP $29.98 and $34.98). Both will include 3 featurettes (The Making of Red Cliff, John Woo Interview and HDNet: A Look at Red Cliff) along with storyboards.

Meanwhile, Lionsgate has added a DVD-only release of Jade Warrior to their March slate (it's due 3/10 - SRP $26.98).

Fox has set the actioner Damage, starring the WWF's Steve Austin, for release on DVD only on 3/23.

Universal is officially releasing Ron Moore's Virtuality pilot on DVD on 5/4. This will be a DVD-only release that had previously been available only at Best Buy stores. Universal has a Smokin' Aces: 2-Movie Collection coming on Blu-ray on 3/23, along with Battlestar Galactica: Season Two on Blu-ray on 4/6.

This reminds me, SyFy's new Battlestar Galactica prequel series, Caprica, kicked off last Friday night on the cable network with a re-airing of a CG-enhanced version of the 2-hour pilot. The first all-new episode debuts this Friday night, so be sure to check it out if you're interested.

Moving on with the release news, Sony has set Did You Hear About the Morgans? for DVD and Blu-ray release on 3/16. And speaking of Sony, a lot of you have asked which version of The Natural Sony is going to be including on their just-announced Blu-ray release. The answer is (confirmed directly with the studio a couple hours ago) it will be the original theatrical cut only.

Also, Anchor Bay has set Broken Lizard presents The Slammin' Salmon for DVD and Blu-ray release on 4/13 (SRP $29.97 and $34.98). This comes, of course, from the creators of Super Troopers and Beerfest, so there you go.

And North American Motion Pictures is releasing D.C. Sniper on both DVD and Blu-ray on 3/16.

And finally, Paramount Home Entertainment has just launched its own online store, called - surprise - ParamountStore.com. There you'll be able to find many of the studio's DVDs and Blu-rays at prices cheaper than most retailers, so do check it out.

We'll leave you with still more new cover artwork: Here's a look at both single-disc versions of Disney's The Princess and the Frog, Criterion's The Fugitive Kind DVD (due 4/27), both Blu-ray versions of Magnet's Red Cliff and the final slipcover art for Warner's Where the Wild Things Are on Blu-ray (3/2)...

The Princess and the FrogThe Princess and the Frog (Blu-ray Disc)The Fugitive Kind (Criterion)

Red Cliff: Theatrical Edition (Blu-ray Disc)Red Cliff: International Edition (Blu-ray Disc)Where the Wild Things Are (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

1/25/10

Well, I'm officially exhausted today. The Vikes were in it right until the very end, but ultimately went down to the Saints in O.T. in last night's NFC Championship Game. What are you gonna do? Some days things just shake out like that. There were some bad calls and some late hits, but the Saints defense really stepped up and, ultimately, when you lay the ball on the ground as many times as the Vikes did, it's tough to overcome. But Favre hung in there and did his best, even as he took a real beating. And all this B.S. talk in the press about how the "Favre Experiment" and the Vikes' season is a failure because they didn't get to the Superbowl is just that - a lot of B.S.! Favre had the best year of his career stats-wise in a Vikings jersey, and I'm personally very damn glad he's been our QB this season. All the off-season drama was worth it. Every single minute. The Vikes had a great year and I haven't had this much fun watching them... EVER. I sure hope Favre comes back for one more year, but if he doesn't I have no regrets and will only ever be grateful that #4 put on the Purple and Gold for us. So, to quote Forrest Gump, "That's all I have to say about that."

Now then... I'm obviously in need of a little battery recharging after last night's drama, so after this quick post, I'm taking the rest of the day off. You'll have to forgive me, but some things just need a little rest to get through. I'll be back tomorrow with all the usual, though, so no worries. We've got a new column or two from Barrie coming later this week, we'll kick off a big filmmaker review marathon and obviously there will be plenty of news to report.

In the meantime today, Jahnke's posted Part 4 and Part 5 of his continuing Electric Theatre countdown of the best films of the last decade. Don't miss 'em!

There IS some cool announcement news to report today, so let's get to it...

DreamWorks and Paramount have announced the Blu-ray Disc release of Steven Spielberg's Minority Report on 4/20 (as we first predicted in The Rumor Mill last month). It'll be a 2-disc special edition, including 6 HD featurettes (The Future According to Steven Spielberg, Inside The World of Precrime, Phillip K. Dick, Steven Speilberg and Minority Report, Minority Report: Future Realized, Minority Report: Commercials of the Future and Minority Report: Props of the Future), 6 SD featurettes (Highlights from Minority Report: From the Set, From Story to Screen, Deconstructing Minority Report, The Stunts of Minority Report, ILM and Minority Report and Final Report), along with Previz Sequences, Production Concepts, Storyboard Sequences and trailers.

In terms of TV titles, Paramount (and CBS) has set Homecoming, I Love Lucy: The Movie and Other Great Rarities, Tales from the Darkside: The Third Season and The Hills: Season Five, Part Two for DVD release on 4/27.

Lionsgate has revealed their full March release slate, due to include The Wraith: Special Edition, Jillian Michaels: Yoga Meltdown, Barney: Eggcellent Adventures, Thomas & Friends: Thomas and the Runaway Kite and Alice (DVD and Blu-ray) on 3/2, Precious (DVD and Blu-ray) and The Stoning of Soraya M. (DVD and Blu-ray) on 3/9, Unrivaled (DVD and Blu-ray) on 3/16, and Mad Men: Season 3 (DVD and Blu-ray), Fame Dance Workout and Bob the Builder: Heavy Duty Diggers on 3/23. I wish they'd put Frank Herbert's Dune and Children of Dune miniseries on Blu-ray one of these days.

And Sony will release The Natural on Blu-ray on 4/6. They'll have Armored on DVD and Blu-ray on 3/16. And they've got an Icons of Suspense: Hammer Films 3-disc DVD set coming on 4/6 as well, including Cash on Demand, Stop Me Before I Kill!, Maniac (1963), The Snorkel, Never Take Candy from a Stranger and These Are the Damned.

In hardware news, our friends over at Oppo have just announced a pair of new Blu-ray Disc player models to join their top-of-the-line (and OUTSTANDING) BDP-83 (SRP $499). First up is the BDP-83SE ($899), which offers a number of audio handling improvements that high-end audiophiles will appreciate. The BEST news, however, is that Oppo has also launched a more budget-friendly player, the BDP-80 (SRP $289) that's nearly as fully-featured as the BDP-83. You get BD, DVD, SACD, DVD-Audio playback (and more, including CD, HDCD, Kodak Picture CD, AVCHD, MKV, and other audio/video/picture files), along with Profile 2.0 via network connection, deep color (HDMI 1.3), a configurable 7.1-channel analog output and more. The BDP-83 is now available on Amazon, and you can also purchase the 80, 83 and 83SE directly from the Oppo website. You'll find more detailed information and specs on the players there as well.

Finally today, there's a report from In-Stat, another market research firm, that the continuing price drops for Blu-ray players will see unit shipments hit 80 million by 2013. You can read that over at Home Media.

All right, now I'm shutting down the computer, taking the phone off the hook and relaxing for the rest of the day. Back tomorrow. Stay tuned...

1/22/10

Boy, I don't think I've seen it rain so much in SoCal in the entire time Sarah and I have been out here. I just hailed on us last night! I'm waiting for frogs to start dropping out of the sky.

Anyway, I wanted to kick things off early with a nice little treat for your - a better look at the hot-off-the-wires final cover art for Disney's Toy Story and Toy Story 2 on Blu-ray Disc (due 3/23 - SRP $39.99 each)! Both are now available for pre-order on Amazon.com by clicking on the smaller cover images below...

Poultrygeist: Attack of the Chicken Zombies! (Blu-ray Disc)

Toy Story (Blu-ray Disc)Toy Story 2 (Blu-ray Disc)Ride with the Devil (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)

Remember, these are Blu-ray/DVD/Digital File combo packs. DVD only special edition versions will be released on 5/18 (SRP $29.99 each), so they'll be exclusive on BD for a couple months. All-new bonus features found on the Toy Story disc will include 8 featurettes (The Story: An Exclusive Sneak Peek at Toy Story 3, Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: Blast Off, Paths to Pixar: Artists, Studio Stories: John's Car, Studio Stories: Baby AJ, Studio Stories: Scooter Races, Buzz Takes Manhattan and Black Friday: The Toy Story You Never Saw), plus BD-Live movie chat, movie mail, movie challenge and more. All-new bonus features due on the Toy Story 2 release include director's commentary and 8 featurettes (Characters: An Exclusive Sneak Peek At Toy Story 3, Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: International Space Station, Paths to Pixar: Technical Artists, Studio Stories: Toy Story 2 Sleep Deprivation Lab, Studio Stories: Pinocchio, Studio Stories: The Movie Vanishes, Pixar's Zoetrope and Celebrating our Friend Joe Ranft), plus BD-Live movie chat, movie mail, movie challenge and more.

As you can see, I also posted the cover art for Criterion's forthcoming Blu-ray release of Ang Lee's Ride with the Devil (Cat #514 - due 4/24, SRP $39.95). Extras will include a new director's cut of the film with 13 minutes of added footage, 2 audio commentaries (one featuring Lee and producer-screenwriter James Schamus and one featuring Elmes, sound designer Drew Kunin, and production designer Mark Friedberg), a new video interview with star Jeffrey Wright and a booklet featuring an essay by film critic Godfrey Cheshire.

In other news, Warner Home Video is making the sans-swag version of the Gone With the Wind Blu-ray (previously only available at Target stores) available widely on 2/2 (SRP $28.99). As with the Target release, however, this is only a single-disc version, meaning you're just getting the Disc One content from the UCE box.

Elsewhere here at The Bits today, our very own Dr. Jahnke has posted Part 3 of his Best films of the 00s Electric Theatre column. It's another fun read, so don't miss it!

Finally today, I just wanted to ask you all to bear with me over the few days - my Minnesota Vikings are playing the New Orleans Saints this weekend for a chance to go to the Superbowl. Now, it's been a great and fun season, so no matter what happens this weekend, I'm going to be okay with it. BUT... I'm likely to still be a little bit of a basket case either way. Now, you may laugh at the silliness of such things. But hey man - I've been Vikings fan my WHOLE life. The last time I saw them in the Superbowl was the same year I saw Star Wars for the first time... 1977. It's been THAT long. So you know...

Anyway, we'll check in again later if there's any other breaking news. But if not, that's all she wrote for this week! In the meantime, have a great weekend and we'll see you back here on Monday.

Vikes on 3... 1, 2, 3, VIKES!

1/21/10

Okay... some interesting release news today...

First though, Dr. Jahnke has posted the second part of his 100 Best Films of the Decade column in The Electric Theatre. Don't miss it!

Also, Doogan's checked in today with a new DVD review: Little something called Run! Bitch Run!, which is a new "exploitation" flick from the folks at Breaking Glass/Vicious Circle. Man, you'd think it was the 1970s all over again. Do check it out! (But note that the review - and the film - features content that might offend the sensibilities of some, as this IS an exploitation film - I'm just saying.)

Now then... Shout! Factory has announced a new agreement to release titles from the Roger Corman library on DVD and Blu-ray. Due first on 4/6 is a new DVD special edition of Piranha, with the Blu-ray version set to arrive on 5/4. Following on 4/13 are DVD versions of Humanoids from the Deep and an Up from the Depths/Demon of Paradise double feature. Also on 5/4, look for Rock 'n' Roll High School (DVD & BD) and Suburbia (DVD). On 6/22, watch for Death Race 2000 (DVD & BD) and a Warlords of the 21st Century/Deathsport double feature DVD. On 7/20, it's Forbidden World, Galaxy of Terror and an Attack of the Crab Monster/Not of This Earth double feature (all DVD). Finally, Starcrash (DVD) round out the first wave on 8/10. All will be remastered and will feature never before seen content.

Looking for more titles from the weirdling/B-movie genre? You'll be thrilled to know then that Troma Films is planning to bow a number of Blu-ray releases from their oddball catalog in 2010, starting with Poultrygeist: Attack of the Chicken Zombies! on 2/23. That will be followed by Tromeo & Juliet on 3/30, and Class of Nuke 'Em High and Dark Nature on 4/27. Can Toxie be far behind? Here's some cover art...

Poultrygeist: Attack of the Chicken Zombies! (Blu-ray Disc)Tromeo & Juliet (Blu-ray Disc)Class of Nuke 'Em High (Blu-ray Disc)

And in other news today, those of you looking for a good deal on a Blu-ray player or HDTV may want to check your local Sears store through the end of the month. As part of a new promotion featuring QB Brett Favre of my Minnesota Vikings, they're offering 8% off all HDTVs over 46 inches. They're also giving away a free BD player with the purchase of select Samsung HDTVs from 1/24 to 2/6. You can read more here at Home Media. Watch for LOTS of HDTV deals (and some additional BD player deals as well) over the next few weeks leading up to the Superbowl on 2/7.

Finally today, DealerScope has an article on retail merchandising of 3D HDTVs and Blu-ray 3D players this year. It's interesting reading from a different perspective than many of you normally see on the consumer or even review side, so do give it a look.

Stay tuned!

(LATE UPDATE - 1/20/10 - 4:30 PM PST)

We've got a little more news for you this afternoon...

Summit has announced that its CG animated AstroBoy will arrive on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on 3/16 (SRP $26.99 and $34.99). Extras will include a pair of all-new animated sequences, deleted scenes, featurettes, a photo gallery and more.

Also today, Universal has announced a new Universal Vault Series of DVD-on-Demand titles that you can now purchase via Amazon.com, much like Warner's Archive program. The first batch of titles available includes Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain (1995), A Good Man in Africa (1994), A Bronx Tale (1993), Pure Luck (1991), Shout (1991), Stick (1985), The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981), Resurrection (1980), Blue Collar (1978), The Last Remake of Beau Geste (1977), Shoot Out (1971), Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1970), Gambit (1966), The Brass Bottle (1964), Kitten with a Whip (1964), The Chalk Garden (1964), The List of Adrian Messenger (1963), 40 Pounds of Trouble (1962), The Perfect Furlough (1958), The Black Shield of Falworth (1954), Dragnet (1954), House of Seven Gables (1940), Spawn of the North (1938), Death Takes a Holiday (1934) and Ruggles of Red Gap (1933). You can read more here at Home Media. Here's a sampling of what the cover art looks like...

The Incredible Shrinking WomanTell Them Willie Boy Is HereDeath Takes a Holiday

Home Media also has word that market watcher DisplaySearch believes some 1.2 million 3D HDTV displays will be sold this year, and that Sony is going to be launching its own "motion controller" for the PS3 in the fall of this year. (Don't forget that Sony's Blu-ray 3D firmware update for the PS3 is currently set for June, as we've reported previously.) Click the links for more.

Here's more new Blu-ray cover art... a look at DreamWorks' Collateral (due 3/30), Sony's Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (3/9) and temp art for Warner's Where the Wild Things Are (3/2)...

Collateral (Blu-ray Disc)Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (Blu-ray Disc)Where the Wild Things Are (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 1/20/10 - 12:30 AM PST)

Okay... let's get an early start today, shall we?

First up today, our own Dr. Jahnke simply can't be stopped this week. Just a day after posting his Best Films of 2009 column in the Electric Theatre, he's checked in again this morning with the first installment of his multi-part Best Films of the Decade column! Jahnke's thoughts on such things are always well worth a read, so do check 'em out over your morning coffee.

In other news today, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has announced that Ally McBeal: Season Two will finally arrive on DVD on 4/6 (SRP $39.98). The 6-disc set will include all 23 episodes. Fox has also set Adam for release on DVD on 2/2.

Meanwhile, Eagle Rock has set Gary Moore: Definitive Montreux for release as a 2 DVD/CD set on 2/23 (SRP $34.98).

Lionsgate has The September Issue expected on 2-disc DVD only on 2/23 (SRP $29.98), including audio commentary with director R.J. Cutler, deleted scenes, a photo gallery and the film's theatrical trailer. Lionsgate has also set Jade Warrior for release on DVD on 4/6 (SRP $26.98), along with new Blu-ray versions of Jade, The Relic and Flight of the Intruder (SRP $19.99 each) that same day.

Pathfinder is bowing the indie film Hitler Meets Christ on DVD on 3/23 (SRP $24.98). Sounds fascinating.

And Warner has revealed that both versions of Where the Wild Things Are (due on DVD and Blu-ray on 3/2) will include 4 featurettes (The Absurd Difficulty of Filming a Dog Running and Barking at the Same Time, The Big Prank, Vampire Attack and The Kids Take Over the Picture). The Blu-ray version will add 4 more (including Maurice and Spike, Max and Spike, The Records Family and Carter Burwell), along with the HBO First Look special and the all-new Higgelty Piggelty Pop! short featuring the voices of Meryl Streep and Forest Whitaker.

Here's a little more new cover artwork... the final DVD and Blu-ray art for Fox's The Fantastic Mr. Fox (due 3/23) and Warner's Boogie Nights Blu-ray (now available)...

The Fantastic Mr. FoxThe Fantastic Mr. Fox (Blu-ray Disc)Boogie Nights (Blu-ray Disc)

One note on Warner's Boogie Nights and Magnolia Blu-rays - they include everything from the previous New Line Platinum Editions EXCEPT (sadly) the color bar Easter eggs. Just FYI.

Back later. Stay tuned...

1/19/10

Boy, it's been a little crazy here today. We actually had a tornado warning here in Orange County today, complete with strong winds and flooding. I've spent the last couple hours bailing water out of a planter box in our front yard to avoid flooding along the foundation of our house, and then had to get up on a ladder to check the storm drains. Not a typical day in SoCal, that's for sure!

I've still got some more work to do to keep the house from flooding in even more storms tomorrow, so today's post will be quick...

However, we do have a few new announcements for you. First, Criterion has set Jean-Luc Godard's Vivre sa vie (cat #512) and Olivier Assayas's Summer Hours (#513) for DVD and Blu-ray release on 4/20, followed by Ang Lee's Ride with the Devil (#514) on 4/27. Also coming to DVD only (for the moment) from Criterion is Letters from Fontainhas: Three Films by Pedro Costa (#508) on 3/30 and Sidney Lumet's The Fugitive Kind (#515) on 4/27. And from their Eclipse line comes Eclipse Series 20: George Bernard Shaw on Film on 2/23 (includes the films Major Barbara, Androcles and the Lion and Caesar and Cleopatra).

Meanwhile, Warner Home Video has set The Blind Side for DVD and Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy Combo Pack release on 3/23, followed by No Time for Sergeants on DVD on 5/4.

Sony has set its animated Planet 51 for DVD and Blu-ray release on 3/9.

20th Century Fox has announced Gentlemen Broncos for DVD and Blu-ray release on 3/2, with Wes Anderson's The Fantastic Mr. Fox hitting DVD and Blu-ray on 3/23. The Fantastic Mr. Fox on Blu-ray will include 8 featurettes (The Look of Fantastic Mr. Fox, From Script to Screen, The Puppet Makers, Still Life, The Cast, Bill and His Badger, A Beginner's Guide to Whack-Bat and Fantastic Mr. Fox: The World of Roald Dahl) along with the theatrical trailer and a bonus DVD and Digital Copy.

Fox has also set Bitch Slap and Cold Souls for DVD release on 3/2, along with I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell on 1/26.

Disney has an Alice in Wonderland: Special Un-Anniversary Edition DVD only release coming on 3/30. Meanwhile, April will bring The Great Mouse Detective: Mystery in the Mist Edition on DVD only on 4/13. A new Strictly Ballroom: Special Edition is also coming to DVD only on 4/6.

Also today, we have additional information from retail sources in The Rumor Mill on additional upcoming titles.

Elsewhere here at The Bits, Dr. Jahnke has posted his new Electric Theatre column featuring his picks for the Best Films of 2009. Don't miss it!

And our own Russell Hammond has once again updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest DVD and Blu-ray cover scans and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, a portion of ANYTHING you order from Amazon after clicking to them through our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we really appreciate it!

We'll leave you today with some new Blu-ray cover artwork... Summit's The Twilight Saga: New Moon (due 3/20), Sony's Planet 51 (3/9) and Warner's The Blind Side...

The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Blu-ray Disc)Planet 51 (Blu-ray Disc)The Blind Side (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

(LATE UPDATE - 1/18/10 - 3:15 PM PST)

We're back as promised this afternoon with our restored CES 2010 Photo Gallery, so do check it out. And it should work a lot faster this time. ;)

Also today, we bring you a pair of new Bottom Shelf Blu-ray title reviews from our very own Adam Jahnke: Lionsgate's Gamer and Fox's The Simpsons: The Complete Twentieth Season! Enjoy.

Finally this afternoon, we have another bit of release news: Anchor Bay and Overture Films have officially set the DVD and Blu-ray Disc release of The Men Who Stare at Goats for 3/23 (SRP $29.98 and $39.98). Extras on both versions will include 2 featurettes (Goats Declassified: The Real Men of the First Earth Battalion and Project "Hollywood": A Classified Report from the Set), audio commentary with director Grant Heslov, a second commentary with author Jon Ronson, character bios, deleted scenes and the film's theatrical trailer. The Blu-ray will add a Digital Copy version.

Stay tuned!

(EARLY UPDATE - 1/18/10 - 1 AM PST)

Morning, everybody. So... it turns out that surviving jury duty wasn't my big problem last week! A few of you MAY have noticed that the site was down on Friday. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to posting the CES Gallery. Without realizing it, I posted a few more photos than I did last year. Actually a LOT more. And demand to see them all was so high, that we effectively spiked our bandwidth, as a TON of readers tried to look at them all at once. Naturally, when people had trouble seeing the gallery... and then the site itself... everyone started hitting "refresh" a lot. Bottom line: We basically slash-dotted ourselves! Go figure.

Anyway, we're back and the server should be operating normally by later this morning. Rest assured, we've got Scotty and the boys down in Engineering making a few adjustments to the matter/anti-matter injectors. We'll have the gallery up again later this afternoon, and we'll return then with our regular post. So thanks for your patience.

In the meantime, how 'bout those Vikings! DAMN! This fan's feet still haven't touched the ground this morning.

By the way... did you happen to know that Summit Entertainment has announced the DVD and Blu-ray Disc release of The Twilight Saga: New Moon on 3/20? Well, they have. You'll be able you buy a 2-Disc DVD Special Edition (SRP $32.99) and a single-disc Blu-ray (SRP $34.99). Both will include audio commentary with director Chris Weitz and editor Peter Lambert, a 6-part behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of the film, rehearsal footage with Muse (featured on the soundtrack), 3 music videos and more. DVD audio will be Dolby Digital 5.1, while the Blu-ray will feature DTS-HD MA 5.1.

And Warner's Boogie Nights Blu-ray - which has been a Best Buy exclusive release for the past several weeks - will be available widely at retail starting this coming Tuesday, 1/19.

Also, the winners of a little something called the Golden Globes were revealed last night: In a bit of a surprise, Avatar beat out The Hurt Locker and Up in the Air for Best Drama. I was also pleased to see Glee take Best Television Series - Comedy or Musical. It's a great little show. You can check out the complete list of winners here.

Okay, back later this afternoon with more. Stay tuned!


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