-Newsletter est. 4/15/97-
-Website est. 12/15/97-
page updated: 10/15/10
My Two Cents
(Archived Posts 10/8/10 - 9/10/10)
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First up today, I'd like to thank you for all the e-mailed birthday wishes. Much appreciated!
Now then... Dr. Jahnke's Oktoberfest review for the day is none other than Cannibal Girls, soon to be released on DVD (on 10/26) by our friends at Shout! Factory. Some of you may be aware that the title was directed by Ivan Reitman... who went on to make a little film called Ghostbusters. But - to be clear - this film is in no way related to Ghostbusters, except in the sense that ghosts may, in fact, be created by the all the sexy young cannibalism. It's a bit of a messy, destructive process, you know? Anyway, enjoy!
Soooooooo... the big news today is that DreamWorks Animation (via Paramount Home Entertainment) is delivering all 4 Shrek films on Blu-ray the same day the recent sequel, Shrek Forever After, arrives on disc. Due on 12/7, The Shrek: The Whole Story box set will be available on both DVD and Blu-ray (SRP $34.99 and $49.99). Most (if not all) of the previous DVD extras will carry over to Blu-ray, and there will be new content in the set as well, including the new CG-animated Donkey's Christmas Shrektacular holiday short. Shrek Forever After will itself be available on 2-disc special edition DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo pack. Extras will include the Donkey's short, behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, interactive BD-Java games, a preview of Shrek the Musical, etc. More here at Home Media.
Speaking of Shout! Factory, the company is releasing a number of TV titles in October and December, including Marcus Welby, M.D. Season Two (due 10/12), The Facts of Life: The Complete Fifth Season and Mad About You: Season Five (11/2) all available in stores, and Ironside: Season Four (10/19) and Mister Ed: Season Four (11/16) only available directly from Shout! via their website.
Meanwhile, MVD Entertainment is releasing The Electric Chair on DVD on 10/19. The 1985 film is a New York "underground" title directed by Mark Eisenstein. The film is actually screening at 92YTribeca in NYC next Friday night (10/15), for those who may be interested, with the director on hand for post-film Q&A.
Also, Vivendi and The Weinstein Company are releasing John Woo's Hard Boiled as a Blu-ray Ultimate Edition on 12/14 (SRP $19.97). The companies have already released Woo's The Killer on the format. No word as to the extras, but check out the cover artwork below.
This title was never really announced, but it's definitely coming next week: Vivendi Entertainment and Classic Media have set The Original Christmas Classics Collection for release on Blu-ray on 10/12. The set includes the Rankin/Bass classics Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, Frosty the Snowman and Frosty Returns (SRP $44.95). Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will also be available as a Blu-ray single that day (SRP $24.95), and all 4 titles are already available on standard DVD (SRP $14.97).
By the way, several Bits readers (including Denny H., but thanks to all for the heads-up) have reported to us that the "seven deadly sins" booklets included with that French version of the Se7en Blu-ray (also available in Spain and elsewhere) are actually comics, originally released by Zenescope and later collected as a trade paperback available here at Amazon. So if you already purchased the U.S. BD release but you want that comic material, it's out there and available elsewhere.
Finally, a heads-up: Those of you who've purchased Fox's Mary Tyler Moore Show: Season 7 DVD MAY have gotten a Disc Three that's missing the cast's Final Curtain Call feature. You can call Fox's customer service (1-888-223-4369) to arrange a replacement.
We'll leave you today with a look at the cover art for Vivendi's Hard Boiled, The Original Christmas Classics Collection and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, all on Blu-ray....
Have a great weekend! Peace out...
All right... once again today, today's Hell Plaza Oktoberfest review from our mad Dr Jahnke is CAV Releasing's Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy documentary on 2-Disc Collector's Edition DVD - Daniel Farrands and Andrew Kasch's 4-hour magnum opus on all things Freddy. It's available now and if you love a good making of documentary, this one's a whopper - don't miss it!
In release news today, Shout! Factory has revealed that it's working on a complete series DVD set for ReBoot - the first ever fully CG animated series. And our old friend, DVD producer Brian Ward (who is working on the set), would like input from you fans as to what extras you might like to see on the set. So head on over to this thread at the Shout! Factory Community forums and chime in with your ideas.
In other release news today, Warner has set the drama Of Boys and Men for DVD only release on 1/25/11 (SRP $14.97).
Fox has set Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea: Season 4, Volume 2 for DVD release on 12/21 (SRP $39.98).
And for the über-collector, Fox has set a massive Fox 75th Anniversary Giftset for DVD release on 12/7 (SRP $499.98), containing 3 volumes of discs (broken by time period: 1935-1960, 1961-1985 and 1986-2010) and a total 75 films in all, representing (nearly) every significant film or franchise released in the history of the studio. It also includes a pretty elaborate book and a slipcase. Here's the complete list of films, for those who may be interested...
VOLUME ONE - 1935-1960 (22 films) - Cavalcade, Steamboat Around the Bend, The Little Princess, The Grapes of Wrath, Blood and Sand, How Green was My Valley, The Ox-Bow Incident, The Song of Bernadette, Laura, Gentlemen's Agreement, Miracle on 34th Street, Twelve O'Clock High, All About Eve, The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Robe, The Seven Year Itch, The King and I, Love Me Tender, An Affair to Remember, South Pacific and The Diary of Anne Frank.
VOLUME TWO - 1961-1985 (23 films) - The Hustler, The Longest Day, Cleopatra, Zorba the Greek, The Sound of Music, Fantastic Voyage, The Sand Pebbles, Planet of the Apes, Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, Hello Dolly, M*A*S*H, Patton, The French Connection, The Poseidon Adventure, Phantom of the Paradise, Young Frankenstein, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Omen, Star Wars, Alien, All That Jazz, Norma Rae and Cocoon
VOLUME THREE - 1986-2010 (30 films) - Raising Arizona, Wall Street, Big, Die Hard, Working Girl, Home Alone, The Last of the Mohicans, Mrs. Doubtfire, Speed, Waiting to Exhale, The Crucible, Independence Day, The Full Monty, There's Something About Mary, Boys Don't Cry, Cast Away, X-Men, Moulin Rouge, Ice Age, Minority Report, Master and Commander, Sideways, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Walk the Line, The Devil Wears Prada, Little Miss Sunshine, Night at the Museum, Juno, Slumdog Millionaire and Avatar
Here's what the expanded packaging looks like (you can pre-order the title at Amazon.com now by clicking on the image and you'll get 25% off for a sale price of just $374.99)...
By the way, that Avatar with Jake Sully bust we mentioned yesterday that's going to be available in France? Looks like it's going to be available a lot of places around the planet, possibly including here in the States as a retailer exclusive. Thanks to all the many readers who have sent in reports of it, and thanks to John B. for the image below. And for those of you wanting to see an official trailer with new footage from the extended version, click here.
Speaking of more elaborate international versions of Blu-ray titles also available here in the States, check out this version of Se7en on Blu-ray being sold in France. Thanks to Bits reader Roger M. for that link. Looks like you get a booklet for each of the 7 Deadly Sins. Nice.
Finally, Disney has set Step Up 3 for DVD and Blu-ray release on 12/21 (SRP $29.99 and $39.99). There will also be a 4-disc Blu-ray 3D Combo version (SRP $49.99).
Okay, that's all for today. As it happens, I'm turning 43-ish today, so I'm taking the day off to smell the roses or some such. Have a great one and see you tomorrow. Now excuse me while I take my Geritol and go shout at the neighbor kids to get off my lawn... ;)
Our own Adam Jahnke checks in with a Hell Plaza Oktoberfest review of Adam Green's Frozen, now available on Blu-ray from Anchor Bay, so do check it out and enjoy!
Elsewhere here at The Bits today, we've kicked off THREE new Giveaways, offering each of you the chance to take home copies of Universal's Caprica: Season 1.0 on DVD along with a bonus Beyond Caprica: A Visitor's Pocket Guide to the Twelve Colonies mini-book, as well as Stacey Spears' Lighthouses of the Pacific Northwest Blu-ray and Shout! Factory's The Larry Sanders Show: Season 2 a set of great Halloween-themed titles from Shout! including The Psycho Legacy, Not of This Earth, The Evil/Twice Dead, Cannibal Girls and The Terror Within/Dead Space! Entries will be accepted until Noon (Pacific) on Sunday, October 17th. Click on the links for instructions on how to enter and good luck!
In announcement news today, Image has announced their first Blu-ray 3D titles for release on 12/7, and as you'd guess they're IMAX titles - Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk, Wild Ocean and Dinosaurs Alive! Interestingly, some were apparently scanned at a minimum resolution of 5.6K, and some up to 8K. So they should look great.
Warner's releasing Vampire Knight: The Complete Series on DVD on 1/25/11 (SRP $49.95).
Just FYI, we've learned that A&E Home Video's street date for the Space: 1999 - Season One Blu-ray has just been moved from 11/16 to 11/30, and could slip again into December. Also today on this title, our friends at TVShowsonDVD are reporting that the set has expanded from 5 Blu-rays to 7 discs total - 5 BDs of episodes and 2 bonus content DVDs. They've also updated the finalized list of extras. The good news is that more are now included from the Network U.K. BD set. The bad news is that a few things were still unable to be legally-cleared for U.S. inclusion. It looks like still missing from the Network list is the Horizon behind the scenes footage, the Alien Attack and Journey Through the Black Sun trailers, various ad bumpers, the Lyons Maid ice Lolly advert, the script and annual PDFs and the commemorative booklet. Those omissions aren't insignificant, but it's not as as much missing content as was previously feared. Adjust your plans accordingly.
Fox has set Futurama: Volume 5 for release on DVD and Blu-ray on 12/21 (SRP $39.98 and $49.99). Extras will include episode commentary, deleted and extended scenes, and 7 featurettes/additional features (Bend it Like Bender, Previously On..., Fry's Crudely-Drawn Comic Book - The Crudely Animated Edition, Fry's Crudely Drawn Comic Book Alternate Design, Behind the Fungus: Makin' a Hit Song, "The Prisoner of Benda" Table Read and a Bender Audio Outtake).
Also newly announced by Fox for DVD and Blu-ray release on 11/30 is the Vampires Suck: Extended Bite Me Edition on DVD and Blu-ray (SRP $29.98 and $39.99).
And for you Avatar fans, looks like there will be at least a few exclusives related to their upcoming Avatar: Extended Collector's Edition including - in France at least - a version packed with an exclusive Jake Sully bust. Thanks to Stéphane at DVDfr for the link.
Here's a look at the cover art for Fox's Futurama: Volume 5 as well as another look at the Avatar: Extended Collector's Edition (due 11/16)...
Stay tuned... ;)
(LATE UPDATE - 10/5/10 - 3:15 PM PDT)
Okay... we've got a couple of follow-up pieces of information for you today on Fox's newly-announced Avatar: Extended Collector's Edition. First, we've updated the SRP for the DVD and Blu-ray versions - $34.98 and $54.99. Also, we have an update for you on the aspect ratio of the release. The original press release listed 2.35:1 as the aspect ratio, and that's been widely reported. We thought that sounded suspect, however, as the previous Blu-ray was released in the original 1.78:1 IMAX ratio. So we checked with sources at Fox and sure enough, they tell us that the correct ratio for all three versions of the film on the Extended Collector's Edition is 1.78:1. So just plan accordingly.
Also, Universal has just announced Death Race 2 for release on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on 1/18/11. Extras will include commentary with director Roel Reiné, deleted scenes and 3 featurettes (The Race Begins: The Evolution of the Death Race, Cheating Death: The Stunts of Death Race 2 and Fast Cars and Firearms).
Entertainment One and National Entertainment Media are releasing a number of new titles on DVD and Blu-ray this month, including Arn: The Knight Templar (DVD & Blu-ray), Four Boxes and You Might As Well Live on 10/12, Night of the Demons (DVD & Blu-Ray) and The Six Wives of Henry Lefay (DVD & Blu-Ray) on 10/19, and Clapham Junction, Last Day of Summer and Evening Primrose on 10/26.
HBO has set Big Love: The Complete Fourth Season for DVD only release on 1/4/11 (SRP $59.99 - distributed by Warner).
And Anchor Bay has set Syfy's Stonehenge Apocalypse for DVD only release on 12/21 (SRP $19.98).
Don't forget (speaking of Syfy): Caprica returns to the cable network tonight to begin airing the second half of its first season. Just FYI.
(EARLY UPDATE - 10/5/10 - 12:01 AM PDT)
How's about another early post to get the day started off right? Got your coffee? Good...
First up, Dr. Jahnke has delivered his next Hell Plaza Oktoberfest review for you today: The comedy/horror classic The Return of the Living Dead, newly released on Blu-ray+DVD Combo from Fox and MGM. Enjoy!
Also today, we're very pleased to launch a brand new column here at The Bits today. Barrie Maxwell's offering a new regular look at films and TV shows on disc from "across the pond" as the feller says: The British Beat! Included in this first installment are reviews of MPI's Red Riding Trilogy and Alliance Canada's Bridget Jones's Diary on Blu-ray, along with DVD releases of A Cold War Spy Collection (The Glory Boys/The Contract), Murphy's Law: Series Two, A Bit of a Do, Wartime Britain: Three Complete Dramas, and Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill from Acorn Media, as well as Secret Agent AKA Danger Man: The Complete Collection from A&E. Cheers!
And once again, our own Russell Hammond has updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest DVD and Blu-ray cover art, 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 site and we really appreciate it.
The big announcement news this morning is that Fox has JUST unveiled its new Avatar: Extended Collector's Edition for release on 3-disc DVD and 3-disc Blu-ray on 11/16 (SRP $34.98 and $54.99 - International street dates begin on 11/15). Both versions will include the original theatrical edition of the film, the special edition re-release version (9 minutes longer) and also the new extended cut (16 minutes longer, with an exclusive alternate opening), an optional "family audio track" with all the "objectionable" dialogue removed, the Capturing Avatar feature-length production documentary and a whopping 45 minutes of additional deleted scenes. Audio will be DTS-HD 5.1 MA on the Blu-ray and Dolby Digital 5.1 on DVD. To this, the Blu-ray will add an interactive Pandora's Box "master class", including an elaborate Scene Deconstruction offering a look at the FULL film in three different stages of completion - Performance Capture, Template and Final - along with a composite of all three. You'll also get 17 additional featurettes on various aspects of the production, a loaded Avatar Archives (featuring the original scriptment, the full 300-page screenplay, the Pandorapedia and more) and a BD-Live portal to even more online bonus content, and additional production materials (trailers, etc). All told, the Blu-ray set includes more than 8 hours of all-new bonus content. Says director James Cameron of the release: "I told our team --- let's do the ultimate box set of Avatar, with everything in it the fans could possibly want. There's an extended length cut that's sixteen minutes longer, plus documentaries, behind the scenes featurettes, artwork and over 45 minutes of deleted scenes. Everything worth putting into a special edition is in this set." For those of you wondering about 3D, it's already been revealed (see this post here at The Bits) that a movie-only Blu-ray 3D version is due to be released as a hardware exclusive with Panasonic 3D home theater systems sometime during the holidays. It might be available more widely later in 2011. Here's a look at the packaging...
In other news today, Toshiba has finally unveiled its new 3DTV sans glasses... but only in 12 and 20-inch sizes and because of its restricted viewing angles it's only really watchable by one person at a time. So you know... a curiosity at best. More here at Home Media.
Meanwhile, Futuresource Consulting says they expect some 24 million Blu-ray Disc players to be sold in 2010 in the U.S., Japan, and Western Europe combined. 10% of those will offer Blu-ray 3D playback capability, a number which is expected to increase to 25% in 2011.
And The Nielson Company says consumers are looking more optimistic going into the 4th quarter this year, and DVD and Blu-ray are among the product categories likely to see an uptick in sales.
Here's a look at the cover art for both versions of Sony's Micmacs (due 12/14), plus Sony's Open Season 3D Blu-ray (due 11/16)...
(LATE UPDATE - 10/4/10 - 4 PM PDT)
All right, we've got a few more interesting announcements for you today...
First, Lionsgate has set The Expendables for DVD and Blu-ray release on 11/23. Extras on both will include audio commentary with director Sylvester Stallone, a deleted scene, a gag reel, the Before the Battle featurette, and trailers and TV spots. The 3-disc Blu-ray will add the interactive The Expendables: Ultimate Recon Mode PiP viewing option, the feature-length Inferno behind-the-scenes documentary, the From the Ashes post-production documentary, video of the Comic Con 2010 Panel, D-Box enhancement, and bonus DVD and Digital Copy versions. More here at IGN.
Lionsgate has also set Locked Down for DVD and Blu-ray release on 11/9 (SRP $26.98 and $29.99), and Legendary Assassin for DVD only release on 12/28 (SRP $26.98).
Meanwhile, Anchor Bay has set The Hessen Conspiracy for DVD only release on 1/11/10 (SRP $26.98).
Sony has set Eat Pray Love for release on DVD and Blu-ray on 11/23 (SRP $28.95 and $34.95). Extras on both will include both the theatrical and extended versions of the film (the extended version is 5 minutes longer), and the Ryan Murphy's Journey with Eat Pray Love featurette. Added exclusively for the Blu-ray are 3 additional featurettes (Eat Pray Love: The Beginning of the Journey, Finding Balance and Praying in India) and movieIQ+sync.
Sony has also set Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Micmacs for DVD and Blu-ray release on 12/14 (SRP $28.95 and $34.95). Extras on both will include audio commentary with director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, video of a Q&A with Jeunet and actress Julie Ferrier, The Making of Micmacs featurette and Absurd Deaths animations.
And Sony is releasing the Sundance dramedy Please Give on DVD and Blu-ray on 10/19 (SRP $28.95 and $34.95).
Finally today, Warner Home Video has announced a trio of new "romantic" Blu-ray catalog titles for release on 2/1 (SRP $19.98 each - just in time for Valentine's Day): You've Got Mail, Pleasantville and 10. Most or all of the previous DVD extras should carry over to the new editions.
Here's a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Lionsgate's The Expendables, Sony's Eat Pray Love and Universal's Meet the Parents (due 11/30)...
Be sure to check back tomorrow for Adam's next Oktoberfest review (and maybe one or two others as well), and also the debut of Barrie Maxwell's new The British Beat column!
(EARLY UPDATE - 10/4/10 - 12:01 AM PDT)
Morning, folks! We'll be back with more later this afternoon, but first...
Mad Dr. Jahnke kicks off his first full week of Hell Plaza Oktoberfest (from beyond the grave-ish) this morning with a review of Blue Underground's The Prowler on Blu-ray Disc! Nothing like a good gratuitous slasher film in HD, right? Enjoy!
Also this morning, there's BIG breaking news for you fans of The Lord of the Rings films: The Los Angeles Times reported on Friday that Warner and MGM are very close to giving the green light on Peter Jackson's two Hobbit films, with production tentatively set to start in January, and Jackson himself in the director's chair as expected. The New York Times followed on Saturday with word that the films will be filmed in 3D. If shooting starts in January, the first film would be expected in theatres in time for Christmas 2012, with the second due Christmas 2013. Fingers crossed, the official "go" announcement could be made sometime this week. This in spite of a fire last week in one of Jackson's New Zealand miniature effects facilities. Let's hope the all the bad luck has now been used up on these films...
Meanwhile, it's been announced that San Diego Comic-Con is moving... nowhere! (Surprise.) Con organizers have apparently decided to keep their big annual pop-culture event in San Diego at least through 2015, after negotiating contracts with more than 60 area hotels to ensure set, discounted rates for Con-goers. As many of you may have experienced, these same hotels have in recent years jacked up prices to take advantage of fans, with rooms as high as $500 or $600 a night not uncommon during Con week. There's no word yet what those discounted rates may be, but having experienced the phenomenon first hand, it's good to know that we're not going to continue getting fleeced. Now if they'd just expand the Convention Center again...
Here's something interesting on the Blu-ray front from Home Media: Market research firm NPD Group is reporting that Blu-ray Disc hardware penetration in the United States has hit 17%, and of those, nearly as many people are watching Blu-ray on a stand-alone player now (45%) as on a PlayStation 3 (47%). But for those of you anticipating the demise of packaged media, here's some sobering numbers from the same research: 75% of people surveyed had not downloaded any kind of digital content in the last 3 months, and only 2% had done so over the same period via a Blu-ray player or other digital media player. On the other hand, 15% had downloaded digital content via PC or Mac. That 15%, interestingly, is the same percentage as the U.S. household penetration of Netflix. Interesting.
Finally this morning, a Bits nod to the memory of Bonnie and Clyde director Arthur Penn, who passed away last week at the age of 88.
Back later. Stay tuned...
Okay... as promised, the mad Dr. Jahnke has kicked off his Hell Plaza Oktoberfest IV!! And his opening shot this year is a review of Image Entertainment's Thriller: The Complete Series, hosted by Boris Karloff. It's now available in stores. Don't forget: Every weekday all this month Jahnke will offer a new Oktoberfest review for you, so don't miss it!
Meanwhile, I've got a new review for you as well, this one a Blu-ray: Warner's new King Kong, which just hit stores this past Tuesday. Enjoy!
There's not much in the way of new announcement news today, however we DO have a little new cover art for you. Here's a look at Universal's Backdraft Blu-ray (due 1/4/11) as well as Fox's Knight and Day on DVD and Blu-ray (11/30)...
Finally, sadly, more Hollywood legends have passed in the last couple of days. Many of you no doubt heard of the death of actor Tony Curtis yesterday at the age of 85. Among his 150+ film and TV credits were such classics as The Defiant Ones, Some Like it Hot, Spartacus and The Great Race. He even voiced his own character on The Flintstones (which, as it happens, turned 50 last night). But you may not have heard this: TV producer Stephen J. Cannell has also died today at 69. His list of programs is extraordinary: The A-Team, Greatest American Hero, Hawaii Five-0, Hardcastle and McCormick, one of my favorites - The Black Sheep Squadron (maybe now Universal will release the second season on DVD?), and many more. We tip our caps today in their honor.
All right, that's all for now. Matt and I are off to see a screening of Let Me In. Don't forget, David Fincher's new film The Social Network, opens this weekend as well. Peace out...
Afternoon, Bits readers! There's not a lot of news to report today, so let's get right to a couple of new reviews...
First, if there's any one title we've been waiting a LONG time for on Blu-ray, it's Akira Kurosawa's legendary Seven Samurai. And thanks to the fine folks over at Criterion, it's finally here! A BD review copy arrived yesterday, and I've been almost completely unable to think about anything else since. The short version? The new HD presentation is GORGEOUS. But now that I've spoiled the tone of the review, you may as well read on and learn more. The 2-disc set streets on 10/19, and is WELL worth the upgrade.
Meanwhile, I've also given Universal's Caprica: Season 1.0 a spin on DVD today. The 4-disc DVD is due in stores next Tuesday (10/5), the same day that Season 1.5 premieres on The Wrestling Channel... er, Syfy. Anyway, do check it out.
All right, that's it for now. HOWEVER, be sure to check back in tomorrow for a couple more new disc reviews AND the return of Dr. Adam Jahnke's yearly, Halloween-themed, disc review fright-fest. Yes... the Hell Plaza Oktoberfest IV is almost upon us!
RUN!! RUN FOR YOU LIVES!!!
See you then... ;)
Well... I suppose the big news today is that George Lucas has revealed that he and his team at Lucasfilm are indeed hard at work on 3D conversions of all six Star Wars film. Each will be released in theaters in series order, starting with Episode I in 2012. Word is they'll be done right, ILM is taking its time, etc. Star Wars.com, Variety and the Hollywood Reporter all have stories up today. And of course the speculation is that by doing this now, they'll eventually be able to release all six films a second time on Blu-ray. So you'll get a Blu-ray box set in 2011, followed by potential Blu-ray 3D dips of each film in 2012 and beyond. I'm sure this is all very interesting, and I'm sure I'll go see at least a couple of the films in theaters, but it's hard for me to get too riled up about it at the moment. On the other hand, if George announces Howard the Duck 3D all bets are off.
In announcement news this afternoon, Warner has set A Streeetcar Named Desire: The Original Director's Version for DVD only release on 11/9 (SRP $14.96). This is a movie-only re-issue the original uncensored version, prior to the 1951 Legion of Decency cuts, featuring some 3 minutes of previously unseen footage. It's essentially the same version previously released on DVD by Warner, just without the special edition extras. The Legion of Decency... that sounds like something from a bad spy or superhero movie. ;)
Also newly announced by Warner are the DVD releases of Dallas: The Complete Fourteenth Season (due 1/18), ER: The Complete Fourteenth Season (due 1/11) and Life Unexpected: The Complete First Season (due 1/4).
Meanwhile, Fox has announced the DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray/DVD Holiday Combo release of Knight and Day on 11/30 (SRP $29.98, $39.99 and $34.99). Extras on the Blu-ray will include 4 featurettes (Wilder Knights and Crazier Days, Boston Days and Spanish Knights, Story and Scope), the Soccer and Kick "viral" videos, and the Knight and Someday music video by the Black Eyed Peas and Tom Cruise. You'll also get a Digital Copy.
Vivendi Entertainment and The Weinstein Company have announced John Woo's Hard Boiled for Dragon Dynasty Blu-ray release on 12/14 (SRP $19.97). This joins their previously released The Killer Blu-ray.
And the BBC (via Warner) will be releasing Doctor Who: The Complete Fifth Series on both DVD and Blu-ray Disc on 11/9 (SRP $79.98 and $89.98). Also on the way (to DVD only) are Doctor Who: Revenge of the Cybermen and Doctor Who: Silver Nemesis on 11/2, The Chronicles of Narnia Collection on 11/9 and Sherlock: Season One, Lennon Naked and Luther on 11/23.
Back to other news: "down under" Bits reader Sebastian M. e-mailed us the other day to say that Universal Australia has kicked off a BD exchange program of their own for the Gladiator Blu-ray. They have addresses in both Australia and New Zealand for you to send in JUST your Disc One (the movie disc) and obviously your return address. Keep your original packaging. They'll send out a replacement Disc One with the new transfer in about a month. Here's the addresses...
Australian customers can send their original Disc One to:
Universal Pictures Australia
PO Box 17
Millers Point NSW 2000
New Zealand customers can send their original Disc One to:
Attn: Jesse Joseph
PO Box 617
Meanwhile, we've got an interesting James Cameron tidbit for you guys in The Rumor Mill today - something related to the possible Blu-ray release of a long-overdue Cameron catalog title. Don't miss it.
And finally, I forgot to mention this in yesterday's announcement of the Shout! Factory release of The Warrior and the Sorceress/Barbarian Queen on 10/16: This title is ONLY available directly from Shout! at this link (SRP $19.99 + S&H). The set will not be available in stores. Adjust your plans accordingly.
Okay... we've got some more new announcements for you today...
First, Warner Home Video has announced more new catalog Blu-rays, including The Color Purple and Malcolm X on 1/25/11 (SRP $34.99 each - both in book packaging), and Deep Blue Sea on 10/12 (SRP $24.98 - it's been available exclusively at Best Buy for the last few weeks). All the previous DVD extras should carry over.
Warner has also set Lottery Ticket for release on DVD and Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy Combo Pack on 11/16 (SRP $28.98 and $35.99).
Meanwhile, Universal has also announced several new TV and catalog Blu-ray titles, including Lost in Translation, a Backdraft: Anniversary Edition and Battlestar Galactica: Season Four on 1/4/11, as well as a re-issue of Battlestar Galactica: Razor on 12/28.
CBS and Paramount have set The Lucy Show: The Official Third Season for DVD release on 11/30.
Maya Entertainment has set The Dry Land for release on DVD and Blu-ray on 11/9 (SRP $27.98 and $29.98). The film, about an Iraq War vet returning home, was an official selection at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
Shout! Factory have announced another great new Roger Corman's Cult Classics double-feature DVD release for 10/19, including The Warrior and the Sorceress and Barbarian Queen! Each will be presented in anamorphic widescreen and will include a theatrical trailer.
And in other news from around the Net, DVD producer David Prior has apparently revealed (here at Home Theater Forum) that Criterion has licensed David Fincher's The Game from Universal. So... fingers crossed... we might finally see a truly worthy special edition of The Game on DVD and Blu-ray in the months ahead.
Finally, we've got a bit of sad news. First, actress Gloria Stuart has passed away at the age of 100. Fans will know her best from her appearance in James Cameron's Titanic, but of course her career in acting began many long decades before. Does anyone recall her appearance in 1933's The Invisible Man? Also today, it saddens us to have to report that Sally Menke, Quentin Tarantino's long-time film editor, passed away yesterday as well while on a walk in Los Angeles - possibly a victim of yesterday's extreme heat in Los Angeles. She was just 56. Both will be missed.
Here's a look at the cover art for Warner's The Color Purple, Malcolm X and Deep Blue Sea, Universal's Lost in Translation and Battlestar Galactica: Season Four, and Walking Shadows' The Nature of Existence (due 11/23), all on Blu-ray...
Morning, folks! We may be back later with more, but in the meantime, here's some news...
Sony has let it be known that its recent espionage/action tale, Salt, will likely be released on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/7 (a couple weeks earlier than we expected). No word yet on features, but we'll let you know.
Image Entertainment has announced Sondheim! The Birthday Concert for release on DVD and Blu-ray on 11/16 (SRP $24.98 and $24.98), honoring the composer's 80th birthday. Performers in the program include a who's who of Broadway legends, past and current.
Icarus Films has announced that it will release Marcel Ophuls' acclaimed Holocaust documentary Hotel Terminus on DVD (for the first time in the States) on 10/26 (SRP $34.98). The 2-disc set will include a booklet.
Anchor Bay has Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema due tomorrow on DVD (SRP $26.98).
And Paramount has set Bonanza: The Official Second Season, Volume One, SpongeBob SquarePants: Season 6, Volume 2 and Vegas: The Second Season, Volume 1 for DVD release on 12/7.
In other news today, you Disney animation fans will be glad to know that in addition to Fantasia/Fantasia 2000 and Toy Story 3, Disney's new Beauty and the Beast: Diamond Edition includes trailers promoting the 2011 Blu-ray release of not just The Lion King: Diamond Edition, not just the Bambi: Diamond Edition, and not just the Alice in Wonderland: 60th Anniversary Edition, but also the long-awaited Dumbo: 70th Anniversary Edition! Now if we could just get Warner Bros. to start releasing the Looney Tunes shorts on Blu-ray. Or maybe the Tex Avery shorts...
Also this morning, new Stanley Kubrick rumors are afoot. The Wall Street Journal has posted a story indicating - from pretty reliable sources - that plans are underway to restore and release Kubrick's seldom seen Fear and Desire on (at least) DVD. Could be this is another component of Warner's big Kubrick box set plans for next year. Interesting.
Also this morning, word is Best Buy is going to be selling a retail-exclusive Blu-ray 3D format version of Lionsgate's 2009 remake of My Bloody Valentine starting on 10/5 (SRP $17.99). More here.
And you may have heard about this, but if not: Internet pirates have apparently successfully contravened the Digital Content Protection (HDCP) DRM scheme intended to protect high-definition content via streaming and Blu-ray. Intel has confirmed that the DRM's "master key" has been leaked online, and it's real. Experts, however, say that in order to take advantage of the key, pirates would have to start manufacturing custom devices (or upgrade cards) that use the key to mimic an HDCP-authorized device - a TV or player. The crack isn't something that can simply be implemented in a software program. Still, this is more proof that whatever the digital encryption scheme, SOMEONE will find a way around it. No need to actually crack a code when someone leaks the decryption keys. Welcome to the Digital Age. More here, here and here.
We'll leave you this morning with a look at some new cover artwork. Here's a few of Warner's newly-announced Blu-ray 3D titles (due 11/16), along with Magnolia's I'm Still Here on DVD and Blu-ray (due 11/23)...
We'll... we're working on some new Blu-ray reviews of major upcoming titles today, so this afternoon's post is going to be a quick one. But we do have a couple more new announcements for you today...
First, Warner and Adult Swim have set The Venture Brothers: Season Four, Volume 1 for DVD only release on 10/26 (SRP $23.98). Extras will include commentaries and deleted scenes for all 8 episodes. Never fear Blu-ray fans - series creator Jackson Publick has already said in this post on his blog that a full 16-episode Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray will be released next March, after the second half of the season finishes its run on cable (the back 8 eps just kicked off this past Sunday night). It's a great show, by the way - well worth you time.
Also today, Stacey Spears (of Spears & Munsil fame) has announced a new DVD and Blu-ray release - sort of a combination A/V demo material and travelogue piece. It's called Lighthouses of the Pacific Northwest, and you can find out more about it here. Essentially, it's a montage of pretty footage of 22 lighthouses set to multichannel music from Johnny Bregar. The Blu-ray will be available on 9/28, and the DVD version will follow a month later.
By the way, for those of you here in the States that are interested in import Blu-rays from the U.K. and Europe - titles still unreleased on the format domestically (and frankly unlikely EVER to be released here) - you might want to check out Icon Home Entertainment's release of Once, starring Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. The film was shot via Sony HVR-Z1 1080i camcorder, so don't expect reference quality or anything, but it's a good all-around release, it's cheap (about $10 USD plus shipping) and it's certainly the best the film has ever looked for home viewing. It's also an all-region disc, so Region A players will handle it just fine. Best of all, it's just a great little film (see our review here). All part of the service.
And in other news today, 3D is apparently all the rage at this year's CEDIA Expo in Atlanta this week. Several new Blu-ray 3D player models have been announced, as well as new 3DTV displays and even the first commercial home 3D projectors. That last option is particularly intriguing to us - high initial cost aside. 3D has so far been best experienced in a true movie theatre environment, so when you can finally recreate that experience at home, the industry might be on to something. But the lack of 3D software continues to be an issue. A few of our readers have already upgraded to Blu-ray 3D, and some have just tried out the new PS3 Blu-ray 3D firmware upgrade. But most are less than enthusiastic at the lack of good A-list 3D software, and aren't too pleased at how many of the best titles are being locked up as hardware exclusives. Anyway, more on CEDIA here at Home Media.
Speaking of the PS3, it's officially been confirmed that the PS3 can't do lossless audio on BD3D titles, nor can it handle BD-Java interactivity on BD3D titles. And there have apparently been some problems playing DreamWorks 3D titles. (Specifically Monsters vs. Aliens 3D isn't working right - we're told Sony is already developing on a firmware fix to these issues.) Still, the few readers we've heard from that have already tried Sony's Monster House 3D and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 3D on their PS3s say it's a good initial 3D experience.
All right... look for some great new Blu-ray reviews on Monday. Have a great weekend and see you then!
First up this afternoon, our good Doctor Jahnke has just turned in a quick Electric Theatre update, so do check it out. He'd also like you all to know that he's already gearing up for his month-long, Halloween-themed DVD and Blu-ray review fest... The Hell Plaza Oktoberfest IV! Oft copied around the web these days but never equaled, the spooky-ooky fun kicks off bright and early on Friday, 10/1, so be sure to check back then!
The big news story today is that Blockbuster Video has officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. You can read more here on Home Media. A representative for Blockbuster contacted us earlier today, however, to say that all of their store locations will continue to remain open (for the time being) during the reorganization. Also, all Blockbuster gift cards will continue to be honored and user accounts will remain valid and usable as well. Just FYI.
In other news today, Disney has unveiled its long awaited HD "how to" calibration disc at CEDIA. Called Disney World of Wonder (or WOW for short), it contains an array of video and audio calibration tests and tools - targeted towards both novices and experts alike - that cover all formats of video display, from LCDs to projectors. You'll be able to purchase the disc starting on 11/2 on DVD (SRP $29.99) or Blu-ray (SRP $34.99). Each comes with a booklet. For $5 more each, you'll also be able to buy versions of the DVD and Blu-ray packed with a bonus "demo" disc called Visions: Inspired by Nature.
In announcement news today, I think we've mentioned this before, but just in case: Summit has set The Twilight Saga: Eclipse for release on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on 12/4 - a Saturday. You'll be able to buy the film in single-disc DVD (SRP $28.99), 2-disc DVD Special Edition (SRP $32.99), Blu-ray only (SRP $34.99) and Blu-ray/DVD Combo (SRP $40.99) versions. Summit will also be selling a pair of companion titles on 12/4 - Destination Forks: The Real World of Twilight (DVD - SRP $19.99) and Music from The Twilight Saga Soundtracks: Videos and Performances - Volume 1 (DVD and Blu-ray - SRP $26.99 and $34.99). So it looks like they're working hard to take ALL your money in December, Twilight fans. Here's the cover art for the whole lot...
Meanwhile, Magnolia has set Casey Affleck's I'm Still Here documentary for DVD and Blu-ray release on 11/23 (SRP $26.98 and
$29.98). Extras will include commentary by Affleck and star Joaquin Phoenix, and deleted scenes.
Speaking of Magnolia documentaries, the studio has the nuclear-themed Countdown to Zero due on DVD and Blu-ray on 11/23 as well (SRP $26.98 and $29.98). Extras will include deleted scenes, interviews, PSAs and the Oppenheimer: The Man Behind the Bomb featurette.
Magnolia has also set Centurion for DVD and Blu-ray release on 11/2.
Lionsgate has added The Heavy to it's 12/7 release slate, followed by Frenemy on 12/14. Both are DVD only.
Paramount and Showtime will release The Tudors: The Complete Series box set on DVD on 11/23.
Shout! Factory has set All in the Family: Season Seven for DVD release on 10/5 (SRP $29.93).
Blue Underground has announced Henry Miller's Quiet Days in Clichy for Blu-ray release on 1/25/11 (SRP $29.98). Extras will include Dirty Books, Dirty Movies: Barney Rosset on Henry Miller, Songs of Clichy and Midnight Blue. The title is already
available on DVD.
Also, we've learned that a distributor called Walking Shadows is releasing our friend Roger Nygard's excellent documentary The Nature of Existence on 2-disc DVD and Blu-ray on 11/9 (SRP $24.99 and $29.99). The film ponders the age-old question "Why are we here?" and has Nygard traveling the globe in search of the answer, interviewing scientists, philosophers, religious scholars and others. Over 110 minutes of bonus features will be included. I highly recommend the film - I saw it over a year ago at the Newport Beach Film Festival, and it's a really fun and interesting work.
Fox has also unveiled the cover artwork and details for their long-ago announced 24: Season 8 DVD and Blu-ray, due on 12/14 (SRP $59.98 and $69.99). Extras will include deleted scenes and multiple additional features (Chloe Interrogation, The Ultimate CTU, 24 at Comic-Con, Being There and Scene Makers). Fox's 24: The Complete Series DVD box set also streets on 12/14 (SRP $349.98). The set includes all the previous full-season DVDs along with an exclusive bonus disc that includes the following features: Chloe's Arrest, Comic-Con 2009 Panel, Season 8 Wrap Party Reel, Eight Days (4 segments), Jack Bauer: Evolution of a Hero, Presidents, Friends and Villains, Memories and Moments, and Goodbye. Here's the cover art for all three..
Finally this afternoon, those of you wondering about the DVD/Blu-ray release dates for some of the remaining, as-yet-unannounced Summer films (and that other Blu-ray cover image above is a hint...), be sure to check out The Rumor Mill this afternoon.
We've got a brand new Classic Coming Attractions column from our own Barrie Maxwell for you this afternoon! This time around, Barrie's taken a look at some 23 new classic titles on DVD, including TCM's The House Across the Bay, TCM/Universal's Deanna Durbin: The Music and Romance Collection and The Further Adventures of the Kettles, VCI's Trouble in the Sky, Silver Lode, and New York Confidential, Warner's TCM Spotlight: Errol Flynn Adventures, Warner Archive's Yellowstone Kelly, Dogville Collection, The House on 56th Street, Give Me Your Heart, The Locket, None But the Lonely Heart and The Devil's Doorway, The Serial Squadron's The Lone Ranger and The Lone Ranger Rides Again serials, Paramount's Have Gun - Will Travel: The Fourth Season, Volume Two, Universal's Bob Hope: Thanks for the Memories Collection, Flicker Alley's Chicago (from Flicker Alley), MGM/Create Space's The Offence and The Caretakers, and finally MPI's The Honeymooners Specials: Second Honeymoon and The Honeymooners Specials: Valentine Special. Enjoy!
In announcement news today, Warner Home Video has just set Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America for Blu-ray Disc release on 1/11/11 (SRP $24.98). The film will be presented in its full, uncut length of 229 minutes. Extras will include audio commentary by film historian and critic Richard Schickel, the making-of documentary Once Upon a Time: Sergio Leone, a Photographic Memories still gallery with 96 images and theatrical trailers. The release will also be issued as a 2-disc DVD Special Edition that same day (SRP $19.97).
Warner has also announced A Charlie Brown Valentine for DVD only release on 1/4/11. Following from Warner on 1/11 (for the BBC) are Doctor Who: Ep. 44 - The Dominators and Doctor Who: Ep.111 - Meglos on DVD only, along with Waking the Dead: The Complete Season Five and Last of the Summer Wine: Vintage 1987 on 1/18.
The big new release news today is that Universal has just announced its CG-animated Despicable Me for multi-SKU streeting on 12/14. There will be 4 versions "for a limited time only" - a standard DVD, a DVD 2-pack of the film with a bonus Minion Madness disc containing 3 new animated shorts, a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo and a Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack (includes Blu-ray 3D, regular Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Copy). Extras on all versions will include audio commentary with directors Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin (plus the Minions), 3 featurettes (The World of Despicable Me, Despicable Beats and A Global Effort) and the Gru's Rocket Builder game. Both Blu-ray versions and the DVD 2-pack will add 3 all-new animated Minion Madness shorts (Home Makeover, Orientation Day and Banana), The Voices of Despicable Me featurette and the Super Silly Fun Land game. Finally, the Blu-ray versions will also add a Gru-Control PiP viewing mode, Miss Hattie's Top Secret Cookie Recipes and the usual BD-Live, U-Control and BD-Java options (My Scenes, pocket BLU, the Minion Me and Minion Domination iPhone/iPad apps, Advanced Remote Control, Video Timeline, Mobile-to-Go and keyboard chat). Here's a look at some cover art...
Also today, Lionsgate has set Boy Meets World: The Complete Fourth Season for DVD only release on 12/7.
And here's the just-released Blu-ray art for Universal's Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (due 11/9) as well as Sony's DVD and Blu-ray art for The Pillars of the Earth (due 11/23). All the covers with links are now available for pre-order on Amazon.com...
We've got more Blu-ray reviews coming in the next few days, including Warner's King Kong, so stay tuned!
Morning folks! We've got some good stuff for you today...
First of all, as we promised last night, we're very pleased this morning to present you with our new, in-depth interview with the Apocalypse Now Blu-ray production team at Lionsgate and American Zoetrope. A lot of you have had specific questions about the new HD transfer and master, the aspect ratio issue, the new color-timing, the Hearts of Darkness documentary and the extras due to be included on the 2 and 3-disc sets. So I've tried to get to the bottom of it all for you. The interview also includes screenshots comparing the original 2001 presentation with the new Blu-ray master. So I hope you enjoy it. With that, here's Going Up River: Inside Apocalypse Now on Blu-ray!
Also here at the site today, our own Russell Hammond has once again updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray and DVD cover art, as well as 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 greatly appreciate it.
We also have FOUR new Giveaways kicking off today, offering each of you the chance to take home copies of Anchor Bay's Frozen on Blu-ray, as well as Warner's Fringe: Season 2 and The Big Bang Theory: Season 3 on DVD, Image's Bill Burr: Let It Go on DVD and Universal's Robin Hood on DVD (plus cool Robin Hood swag)! Entries will be accepted until Noon (Pacific) on Sunday, September 26th. Click on the links for instructions on how to enter and good luck!
In announcement news today, we've got some very cool news for you fans of classic Disney animation. We've reported before that Disney has revealed the 2011 Blu-ray Disc release of The Lion King: Diamond Edition (Fall) and the Alice in Wonderland: 60th Anniversary Edition (street date TBA, but trailered on the James and the Giant Peach Blu-ray). Well, now they've unveiled the forthcoming Blu-ray release of yet another great classic animated title. According to their official Beauty and the Beast: Diamond Edition Blu-ray promotional site, a Bambi: Diamond Edition is now officially slated for Blu-ray release in the Spring of 2011.
Also, Universal has just officially announced the Blu-ray/DVD Combo and stand-alone DVD release of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World on 11/9! Both versions will include a whopping 4 commentary tracks (one with director/producer/co-writer Edgar Wright, co-writer Michael Bacall and author Bryan Lee O'Malley, one with Wright and director of photography Bill Pope, one with cast members Michael Cera, Jason Schwartzman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ellen Wong and Brandon Routh and one with cast members Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Kieran Culkin and Mark Webber), multiple image galleries (of behind-the-scenes photos, production art and marketing concepts), deleted and alternate scenes with commentary by director Edgar Wright, the Scott Pilgrim vs. The Bloopers gag reel and a trivia track. To all that, the Blu-ray will exclusively add a U-Control PiP viewing mode featuring storyboards, 3 Insider documentaries (The Making of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Music and You Too Can Be Sex Bob-Omb), alternate footage, 4 additional interactive/multi-part documentary featurettes (Pre-Production, The Music of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Visual Effects and Sound Work), Adult Swim's Scott Pilgrim vs. The Animation special, the Scott Pilgrim vs. The Censors "TV safe" version, behind-the-scenes production blogs, trailers and TV spots, a Digital Copy and all of the other regular Universal BD-Live/BD-Java interactive options. You'll also have the chance (for a limited time only) to stream-view Tremors or Pitch Black via BD-Live, smart phone or your computer. Here's a look at the cover art for the DVD version (the Blu-ray art isn't available yet, but we'll be sure to post it when it is)...
As you can see, we also included the art for Warner's Batman Beyond: The Complete Series DVD box, due on 11/23.
Finally this morning, we wanted to update you on a couple of titles we mentioned yesterday: Sony's new single-film "Essential" Blu-ray editions of Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 (due on 11/16). There have been rumors online that both would include new special features. Not so. We've confirmed with Sony that neither release includes special features. In addition, the back packaging artwork for the new Blu-rays lists no bonus content. Spider-Man 2 DOES, however, include both the theatrical cut and the 2.1 extended versions of the film. Plan accordingly.
And don't forget: Today is the day Sony is set to release its long-awaited v3.50 firmware update for the PS3 that allows BD3D movie playback (with compatible 3D display hardware, of course). Let us know how it works out for you if you update your machine and give a BD3D title a spin...
Afternoon, folks! As usual, hope your weekend was swell. Or at least on the swell side of the scale. ;)
A quick update: Our in-depth interview with the Apocalypse Now Blu-ray production team at Lionsgate and American Zoetrope will be up first thing in the morning. We'd planned and expected to be able to post it today, but we're still waiting on a few last images (and whatnot) to be delivered for the piece, so tomorrow it is. It'll be worth it if you're a fan of the film, though, so your patience will be rewarded and is appreciated.
Speaking of Lionsgate, the studio has just announced the DVD release of Boy Meets World: The Complete Fourth Season on 12/7, followed by Frenemy on 12/14.
In other release news, here's something very exciting: Our friends over at Severin Films have just announced that they're going to be releasing the uncut version of Alejandro Jodorowsky's 1989 film Santa Sangre on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on 1/25/2011! This is the first time it's ever been available on DVD here in the States in its uncut version. More than 5 hours worth of extras will be included, such as deleted scenes, the film's domestic and international trailers, audio commentary with Jodorowsky, multiple behind-the-scenes documentaries, new on-camera interviews with much of the film's cast and crew, and video coverage of Jodorowsky's forthcoming NYC appearances. Jodorowsky is being honored by The Museum of Art & Design in New York City with a retrospective exhibit of his work. The museum's Blood into Gold: the Cinematic Alchemy of Alejandro Jodorowsky runs from 9/23 to 10/8, and the 81-year-old filmmaker will himself conduct a master class "on his films and philosophy" on this coming Saturday (9/25). There will also be screenings of his films. So if you're in the NYC area, definitely don't miss it! Tickets are required, so act fast. More on the exhibit is available here at the museum website and more on the DVD/Blu-ray release can be found here.
Meanwhile, Sony has announced that it's re-issuing many of its biggest Blu-ray titles in new "Essentials" editions starting on 11/16. Titles will include Air Force One, Bad Boys, Black Hawk Down, Casino Royale, The Da Vinci Code: Two-Disc Edition, The Fifth Element: Remastered Edition, Ghost Rider: Extended Cut, Hancock, Snatch and the Spider-Man 3: Two Disc Edition, each priced between $19.95 and $24.95. In addition, Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 will be available for the first time in individual film versions. Note that in terms of extras, these are all essentially the same discs as the previous releases.
Sony will also release Wild Grass on DVD on 10/26.
Warner Home Video will release Yogi Bear's All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper on DVD only on 12/7 (SRP $14.97), no doubt timed to coincide with the upcoming theatrical release of their new Yogi Bear live-action/CG film.
Fox has announced the DVD only release of Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back on 10/5 (SRP $22.98). The film will also be available in a 2-pack with the original Space Chimps on DVD for $34.98.
Disney will release Legend of the Seeker: The Complete Second and Final Season on DVD on 9/28 (SRP $45.99). Extras will include extended scenes and 2 featurettes (Redemption of a Mord'Sith: Meet Cara and Under the Underworld).
Speaking of imminent releases, Shout! Factory will bow Designing Women: The Complete Fourth Season on DVD tomorrow (9/21).
And for you music fans, Eagle Rock will release Michael McDonald: This Christmas Live in Chicago on DVD and Blu-ray on 9/21 (SRP $14.98 and $19.98).
In other news today, don't forget that Sony is set to debut its PlayStation 3 Blu-ray 3D firmware update (version 3.50) tomorrow. We're hearing from industry sources, however, that while it WILL allow you to view Blu-ray 3D titles (what few there are so far) on compatible 3DTV displays with active shutter glasses, it MAY not support the BD-Java, advanced menuing and interactivity, 3D subtitles and lossless audio on those 3D titles, all of which is reportedly too much for the unit's Cell processor. In other words, the Cell is powerful enough to render dual 1080p video streams (one for each eye), but the additional burden of Java and lossless on top of that is too much for it to handle well. With the update set to drop tomorrow, we'll know for sure soon enough. So while the PS3 will be a good basic Blu-ray 3D player, if you want full functionality you'll likely have to get a dedicated player. More on this here, here and here.
Back tomorrow. Stay tuned...
Morning folks! We're closing out the week with another new Blu-ray review... and a little bit more news as well...
First, our own Dr. Adam Jahnke has just checked in today with another new Blu-ray review for you in his Bottom Shelf column. This time it's yet another great Corman special edition from Shout! Factory: Starcrash, a.k.a. The Adventures of Stella Star... one of the first classic works of the legendary David Hasselhoff! And yes, I am being a bit facetious. Enjoy!
In release news today, Universal has set Parks and Recreation: Season Two for DVD only release on 11/30.
And Cult Epics has announced the DVD and Blu-ray release of Radley Metzger's cult classic Score in 2 versions - an uncensored on 10/12 and the original cut on 10/26 (SRP $29.95 and $34.95).
In other news, Sony has just officially announced the long-awaited firmware update for the PlayStation 3 that will allow the system to play Blu-ray 3D movies. Official word is you'll be able to download it on Tuesday, 9/21. More here at Home Media.
And finally today, we just wanted to let you all know that we'll be running a new and in-depth interview on Monday with the team at Lionsgate and Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope. The subject? As you might guess, it's the long-awaited Apocalypse Now: Full Disclosure Edition Blu-ray! There's lots of interesting details on the making of the new release, so be sure to check back then.
Have a great weekend!
Okay... more interesting release news today...
First up, Warner Home Video has just announced a slate of Blu-ray 3D titles that will actually be available in stores on 11/16 (SRP $44.95 each - not cheap). They include Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore 3D, Clash of the Titans 3D, The Polar Express 3D, IMAX Deep Sea 3D, IMAX Under the Sea 3D and the one I'm most excited about: IMAX Space Station 3D. All are full stereoscopic 3D, delivering full 1080p for each eye via active shutter 3D glasses and compatible 3DTV displays.
As you might guess, the release of Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore in Blu-ray 3D is day and date with the regular DVD and Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo versions on 11/16. Also newly announced by Warner are the DVD only releases of Don Cherry's Hard Hitting Hockey: Volume 4 on 11/30, and The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Complete Third Season on 1/4/11 and Skins: Volume 4 on 1/11/11 (both for the BBC).
Back on the Blu-ray 3D train for a moment: Sony has set Open Season for release on the format on 11/16 (SRP $39.95). All of the
previous Blu-ray content will carry over, and select features have been 3D-enhanced as well (specifically the Wheel of
Fortune: Forest Edition, Voice-a-Rama and the Swept Away Scene Deconstruction).
A reminder: Sony also has Stomp the Yard: Homecoming due on DVD and Blu-ray next week, on 9/21.
And Sony will release the Adam Sandler comedy Grown Ups on DVD and Blu-ray on 11/9 (SRP $28.96 and $38.96). Extras will include commentary with director Dennis Dugan, 5 featurettes (Behind the Back Basket, Dennis Dugan: Hands on Director, The Lost Tapes of
Norm MacDonald, The Cast of Grown Ups and Busey and the Monkey), a gag reel, Riff-O-Rama and (on the Blu-ray) movieIQ. Here's the cover art...
As you can see, we've also included art for a new title our friends at VCI Entertainment are working on: a Dark Star: Hyperdrive
Edition DVD! That's due to street on 10/26 (SRP $19.99). Extras will include a new feature-length documentary, Let There Be Light: The Odyssey of Dark Star, along with an interview with Sci-Fi author Alan Dean Foster, a 3D guide to the ship, an intro to the film written by the late Dan O'Bannon (who wrote the script), full-length audio commentary by 'super-fan' Andrew Gilchrist and trivia. Sounds pretty damn cool. Check out the official Facebook page for the release here. And now I can't get the song Benson, Arizona out of my head... ;)
Meanwhile, Disney has set the Disneynature titles Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos and Oceans for release on DVD and Blu-ray on 10/19 (SRP $29.99 and $39.99). With each purchase of Oceans, the studio will donate money to help protect coral reefs around the world.
In other news, Bits reader Bill W. e-mailed us the other day to say that he just spotted Blu-ray/DVD Combo single editions of all three Lord of the Rings films at Wal-Mart for just $15 each (see here). The linked website says they're only sold online, but Bill spotted them in an Alabama branch, so they SHOULD available out there. Note that these are the theatrical version films, sold individually. So if you want 'em cheap, there you go.
And finally, Time Life has at long last announced more details of their release of The Six Million Dollar Man: The Complete Series on DVD. The 40-disc DVD set will officially be available on 11/23 (SRP $239.95), but ONLY direct from Time Life via this official website. Presumably, the series will be available more widely in stores - possibly in individual season sets - sometime in 2011. Meanwhile, this Complete Series set will include all 100 episodes digitally remastered from the original, uncut broadcast versions. You'll also get some 17 hours of bonus content, including the show's 3 pilot TV films (The Six Million Dollar Man, Wine, Women and War and Solid Gold Kidnapping), the 3 reunion films (The Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman, Bionic Showdown and Bionic Ever After?), and the cross-over episodes of The Bionic Woman. Additional extras will include 17 featurettes (Real Bionics: How Science Fiction Is Becoming Science Fact, An Iconic Opening: The Six Million Dollar Man Show Open Never Disappointed, The Bionic Sound Effects, The Search for Bigfoot, The Six Million Dollar Fans: So Loyal, So Bionic!, The Six Million Dollar Man's Best Villains, Best Fights, TV Goes Bionic: The Untold Story of The Six Million Dollar Man, Part I & II, Top Secret: The OSI, NASA and Bionics, The Pop Culture Effect, The Reunion Films: Life After the Series, Bionic Action... Figures!!! and The Stunts of the Bionic Age: Pushing the Envelope), audio commentary on 6 episodes (with writer Kenneth Johnson on The Bionic Woman, The Bionic Woman, Part II, The Secret of Bigfoot and The Secret of Bigfoot, Part II, and with director Cliff Bole on The Blue Flash and Vulture of the Andes), mini-bios of the actors and their characters, OSI Mission Debriefings (featuring all-new extensive interviews with Lee Majors, Richard Anderson, Martin E. Brooks, executive producer Harve Bennett and writer/producer Kenneth Johnson), a Season 1-5 VIPs: A Celebration of The Six Million Dollar Man Guest Stars video, the interactive Bionic Breakdown feature and a blooper reel. The packaging will even include a lenticular hologram and a sound chip with "bionic" sound effects. Nice. It's expensive to be sure, but it sounds pretty cool for diehard fans at least. More here via our friends at TVShowsonDVD.com. And here's a look at the packaging and contents...
Afternoon again, folks! Let's kick things off right...
Our own Dr. Adam Jahnke has just checked in today with another new review for you in his Bottom Shelf column. This time
it's the 'quasi' collaboration between filmmakers David Lynch and Werner Herzog, as directed by Herzog: My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?, just released on DVD from First Look Studios. Enjoy!
In news today, Criterion has just announced their second December slate title: Guillermo del Toro's Cronos due on both DVD and Blu-ray Disc on 12/7 (cat# 551)! Extras will include a new HD transfer supervised and approved by del Toro and cinematographer Guillermo Navarro, optional audio with the film's original Spanish-language voice-over introduction, 2 audio commentaries featuring del Toro and the other producers, del Toro's unreleased 1987 short film Geometria (finished by the director in 2010) along with a new interview on the film, the Welcome to Bleak House video tour (by del Toro of his office, featuring his collectibles and personal work), new interviews with del Toro, Navarro and actor Ron Perlman, an interview with actor Federico Luppi, a stills gallery, the film's trailer and a booklet featuring an essay by film critic Maitland McDonagh and excerpts from del Toro's notes for the film. In addition to Chronos, David Cronenberg's Videodrome (cat# 248) finally hits Blu-ray on 12/7, featuring all of the extras from the previous DVD edition. Very cool indeed! Here's the cover art...
Universal has officially announced the DVD and Blu-ray release of the acclaimed The Kids Are All Right on 11/16. Extras will include audio commentary with director Lisa Cholodenko, 3 featurettes (The Journey to Forming a Family, The Making of The Kids Are All Right and The Writers' Process) and (on the Blu-ray) all the usual BD-Live, PocketBlu, uHear and other BD interactive features. Here's the cover art for that (and also Universal's forthcoming Charlie St. Cloud Blu-ray, due 11/9)...
Also, Paramount has officially set The Last Airbender for DVD and Blu-ray release on 11/16. You'll be able to buy the film in single-disc DVD format (SRP $19.99), single-disc Blu-ray (SRP $24.99) and a Blu-ray/DVD Combo (SRP $29.99). The single-disc versions will include the Origins of the Avatar featurette, deleted scenes and outtakes. The Blu-ray included in the Combo version will include the 9-part Discovering The Last Airbender documentary (Inspirations, Spirituality, Heroes, Greenland, World, Action, Effects, Music and Finale), 3 additional featurettes (Siege of the North, Origins of the Avatar and Katara for a Day), plus deleted scenes, outtakes and a PiP Avatar Annotations viewing mode with the cast and crew for select scenes during the film. Here's the cover art for all 3 versions...
Meanwhile, Warner and the BBC will release The BBC High Definition Natural History Collection 2 on Blu-ray on 10/12, including the documentaries Life, Nature's Most Amazing Events, South Pacific and Yellowstone: Battle for Life. The animated Doctor Who: Dreamland arrives on DVD on 10/5, while Wallander: Faceless Killers/The Man Who Smiled/The Fifth Woman hits DVD and Blu-ray on 10/19.
Image Entertainment will release Bangkok Adrenaline on DVD and Blu-ray on 10/12.
And 20th Century Fox will release the faith-based film I Am on DVD only on 11/2 (SRP $22.98). Fox has also set Ramona and Beezus for DVD and Blu-ray release on 11/9.
In other news, if you're a Star Wars fan in the San Diego area, you might want to visit Petco Park next Friday (9/24). Why so? Well, Lucasfilm and the San Diego Padres are hosting a Star Wars: The Clone Wars Night during the Padre's game with the Reds. From the press release: "For one night only, a portion of the Upper Reserved section of PETCO Park will be transformed into an intergalactic experience. Fans who purchase tickets in these special sections will have the opportunity to take a picture with their favorite Star Wars or Star Wars: The Clone Wars character, enjoy Star Wars trivia, special giveaways and much more in-game entertainment. Fans are encouraged to dress in character, but weapons will not be permitted at PETCO Park, and ballpark management reserves the right to ask that masks be removed at any time. To extend the Star Wars Night festivities, fans will also have the opportunity to purchase a ticket package that allows them to stay after the game for an exclusive Star Wars sleepover under the stars on the PETCO Park playing field. Everyone at the sleepover will be treated to a special screening of Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back on the FriarVision video board, in honor of the movie's 30th anniversary this year." We especially love the bit about no weapons - be sure to leave your blasters at home kids!
Speaking of upcoming events in Southern California, Anchor Bay and the excellent Dark Delicacies bookstore are hosting another special signing event THIS Friday night (9/17) with writer/director Adam Green and some of the cast and crew of the first Hatchet film and also Frozen. The signing will start at 7 PM. You have to buy a copy of the films at the store that night for them to be signed, but then the guests will also sign one OTHER item for you as well. Visit the Dark Delicacies website for all the details. They're located at 3512 W. Magnolia Blvd in Burbank, CA (phone: 818-556-6660).
Finally today, Matt Singer over at IFC just wrote one of the smartest things about the Blu-ray format - and the general trending obsession (yours AND ours) with nitpicking its quality to death - that I think I've read to date. His conclusion: "I think we need Blu-rays, but I don't know that we need to obsess over them quite so much, especially if that obsession gets in the way of our enjoyment. Because that, ultimately, should be the point." Very well said, Matt. Special thanks to our friend Justin Sluss for the link!
To kick things off today, I've got a new review for you of Fox's Glee: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray Disc. I think if you're a fan of the series you'll really dig the set. And if you haven't seen the show yet, Blu-ray is definitely the best way to check it out. The title streets today, so enjoy!
Also today, our own Russell Hammond has once again updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray and DVD cover art as well as Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, a portion of anything you order from Amazon after clicking to them from our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we really appreciate it.
In news today, Disney has issued their Toy Story 3 press release, which confirms that the film will bow in multiple versions: a single-disc DVD (SRP $29.99), a 2-disc Blu-ray (SRP $39.99) and a 4-disc Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo (SRP $45.99). You'll also be able to buy a new Ultimate Toy Box 3-Movie Collection (SRP $100) which will include Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy versions of all three Toy Story films. Once again, the Toy Story 3 DVD will include the Day & Night animated short, 5 featurettes (Toys!, Paths to Pixar: Editorial, The Gang's All Here, Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: The Science of Adventure and A Toy's Eye View: Creating a Whole New Land) and 3 Studio Stories shorts (Where's Gordon?, Cereal Bar and Clean Start). To this, the Blu-ray will add a Cine-Explore commentary/viewing mode (with director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson), a Beyond the Toybox alternate commentary track (with story supervisor Jason Katz, supervising technical director Guido Quaroni, production designer Bob Pauley and supervising animators Bobby Podesta and Michael Venturini), the Toy Story Trivia Dash game and 7 more featurettes (Beginnings: Setting a Story in Motion, Bonnie's Playtime: A Story Roundtable, Roundin' Up a Western Opening, Life of a Shot, Goodbye Andy, Accidental Toymakers and The Making of Day & Night). Audio on the Blu-ray will be 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Here's a look at the packaging for the Ultimate Toy Box 3-Movie Collection...
Also today, a couple of Bits readers have e-mailed us (after our report on the new Columbia Classics on Demand program yesterday), with their frustrations that the program currently only applies to U.S. consumers. We totally understand that concern, but do keep in mind that the program has only just launched. Once they get it up and running fully, there's no reason to think that many of these titles won't eventually be available internationally. Baby steps, as they say.
In other title news today, Fox is reporting that fully 20% of all disc sales of their recent Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief are on Blu-ray. That's good news because it means that plenty of people are willing to choose Blu-ray for the right titles. More here at Home Media.
And in other news, we have a couple very interesting articles for you to check out on Blu-ray 3D and 3DTV. First, Home Media has a piece on how active shutter glasses for 3D viewing are here to stay... at least for the near term, and probably for a long while. But here's the thing: Reuters also has a story today on how much Americans really enjoy the "immersive feeling" of 3D viewing... except they hate the damn glasses. In fact, according to a Nielsen survey sited in the piece, "purchase interest for a 3DTV set among those planning to buy a new TV in the next 12 months decreased after seeing a demonstration of the technology, experiencing the glasses and learning more about product costs." You can begin to appreciate the conundrum for electronics companies. To overcome this reluctance, manufacturers have been working with studios to bundle exclusive Blu-ray 3D titles with their hardware, including Avatar and more. The problem is, after you've just shelled out a bunch of money for a new 3DTV and a Blu-ray 3D player, you naturally want to watch lots more Blu-ray 3D content... which is difficult when so few titles are available and most of the Blu-ray 3D titles that ARE available are being bundled exclusively with OTHER hardware. So if you buy a Panasonic player, you can't get your hands on the Sony-exclusive or Samsung-exclusive titles. The result, we suspect, will be a lot of frustrated consumers and slow growth for Blu-ray 3D and 3DTVs over the next year or two.
Moving on, here's something you Star Wars fans will appreciate. There's an exclusive new trailer on YouTube... NOT for an upcoming film, but for an upcoming book on the making of a film: J.W. Rinzler's The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, available in hardcover on 10/12. This is the sequel to Rinzler's terrific previous book on the making of the original Star Wars. If you're a fan of these films, both are WELL worth having on your bookshelf. Click on the link to pre-order at Amazon, which is currently offering the new book for a whopping 37% off, or just $53.55. Thanks to Bits reader Ian C. for the trailer link!
And finally today, our friends over at Deadline Hollywood are reporting that director James Cameron is currently working with 20th Century Fox to develop a new TV series based on his True Lies feature film. What makes this interesting from a DVD/Blu-ray standpoint? Well, if a network picks it up and the series goes forward, it makes a long-overdue new anamorphic DVD and high-def Blu-ray release of the film a lot more likely. We're just saying.
That's all for now. Stay tuned...!
Morning, folks! Hope your weekend was great, as always. Here's some interesting release news...
First up, our friends at Sony have just launched a new Columbia Classics by Request program that, like the Warner Archive, lets you purchase deep catalog and classic film titles Manufactured On Demand (MOD) on burnable discs, complete with package cover art and disc labeling. These titles will not be available in stores, but you can get them directly from Sony here at this section of their website online. The site is launching with some 100 titles available, and more will be added in the weeks and months to come. This is good news as far as we're concerned, provided quality is solid. Yes, we know... you'd rather be able to buy these titles in stores. But retailers just don't want to carry deep catalog titles at the moment - especially not titles as deep as many of these. So we're pleased to see Sony follow Warner and Universal's lead by making them available on disc. Among the first batch of titles are such long-overlooked films as A Song to Remember, 711 Ocean Drive, Battle of the Coral Sea, Birds Do It, The Executioner, Genghis Khan, several of the Hart to Hart TV films, Hot Stuff, Nightwing, No Greater Glory, Sahara, The Soul of a Monster, To Sir with Love II, 12 to the Moon, Violets Are Blue and many more.
Meanwhile, Sony has announced the DVD and Blu-ray Disc release of the recent miniseries version of Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth on 11/23 (SRP $59.95 and $69.95). Extras will include The Making of Pillars of the Earth documentary, and Main Title and Visual Effects progression clips.
Universal has announced the Blu-ray Disc release of Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers on 11/30, timed to coincide with the theatrical release of the new sequel, Little Fockers, on 12/22.
Paramount has set a Beverly Hills 90210: Complete Series Pack, Beverly Hills 90210: The Final Season and The Fugitive: The Fourth and Final Season, Volume One for DVD release on 11/2, all for Spelling Entertainment. Californication: The Third Season and a Californication: Three Season Pack follow on 11/9 for Showtime. Perry Mason: The Fifth Season - Volume Two, Perry Mason: Five Season Pack (both CBS), Back from Hell: A Tribute to Sam Kinison (Comedy Central) and SpongeBob SquarePants: Legends of Bikini Bottom (Nickelodeon) arrive on 11/16, and 7th Heaven: The Final Season, a 7th Heaven: Complete Series Pack (Spelling), Beyond the Prairie: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder (CBS) and a Tudors: Complete Series Box Set (Showtime) round things out on 11/23.
And Fox has announced a new Night at the Museum Collection for Blu-ray release on 11/9 (SRP $39.99), containing both films in the series, which are already available on the format individually.
In other news from around the Net today, here's something puzzling that we're looking into. You might recall that last week we linked to the website of FX legend Douglas Trumbull, who had posted a teaser trailer for a definitive documentary on the making of 2001 that he was working on. Well, digging into this further, it seems that Trumbull has also recently said (see this YouTube video) that after negotiating with Warner Home Video for over 6 months on a budget and schedule for producing the full documentary, they've now cancelled the project. That is a stunning shame and we certainly hope it isn't true. If it is, we sincerely hope WHV reconsiders. We're looking into all this more, so stay tuned.
Finally this morning, we need to acknowledge the passing of David Dortort, the creator of TV's Bonanza, and actor Kevin McCarthy, best known for his roles in Death of a Salesman and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Both will be missed.
Okay... we've got one last update for the week, and it's going to be a quick one!
I've managed to turn in one more Blu-ray Disc review for you this week: An interesting (if a bit disappointing) WWI film from Germany called The Red Baron. It's available on Blu-ray from Monterey Video, but you might want to check out the review before you pull the trigger on it. I'm just saying.
Finally, we close out the week with a look at a true classic in high-def! Dr. Jahnke does the honors in another new Bottom Shelf column, and it's none other than The Evil Dead: Limited Edition, newly available on Blu-ray from our friends over at Anchor Bay Home Entertainment. If you love the film like we do, you definitely don't want to miss it!
Have a great weekend, and see you back here on Monday! Peace out...
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