In release news today, 20th Century Fox and MGM have announced still more MGM catalog Blu-ray titles, including The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Hair and New York, New York on 6/7. They've also set Louie: The Complete First Season for Blu-ray+DVD Combo release on 6/21.
Around the Internet this morning, our old friend George Feltenstein has done a great interview recently with The New York Post on the Warner Archive's second anniversary. It's well worth a read if you're an Archive fan, as there are interesting details about upcoming titles and plans.
And here's a little more new cover art: Universal's Sanctum (due 6/7) on Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD Combo, and MGM's Hair and New York, New York on Blu-ray...
All right, we've got an early update for you today...
As always, our own Russell Hammond has checked in with his weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section, featuring lots of new Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover art 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 our work here at The Bits and we do appreciate it very much.
In new announcement news today, Warner Home Video has set Supernatural: The Anime Series for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 7/26 (SRP $54.97 and $49.98). You'll get 22 episodes and the 2-part The Making of Supernatural: The Anime Series featurette.
Paramount and DreamWorks have announced one more new catalog Blu-ray: Michael Bay's The Island arrives in high-def on 6/21.
Shout! Factory is releasing Captain Planet and the Planeteers: Season One on DVD on 4/19. Shout! has also set a double-feature DVD of Fighting Mad and Moving Violation for release on 5/24 (SRP $19.93).
Sony will release Another Year on Blu-ray/DVD Combo on 6/7 (SRP $38.96). Extras will include commentary with Mike Leigh and Lesley Manville, and 2 featurettes (The Making of Another Year and The Mike Leigh Method). Meanwhile, Sony's Heavy Metal BD - which is currently a Best Buy exclusive - goes wide to all retailers on 6/14 (SRP $19.95).
Lionsgate has confirmed Cougars, Inc. for Blu-ray and DVD release on 5/10 (SRP $29.99 and $26.98).
BrinkDVD will release The Last New Yorker on DVD on 4/19 (SRP $19.99).
MDV Entertainment has set Julian Assange: A Modern Day Hero? Inside the World of WikiLeaks for DVD release on 5/3.
For those with teenaged girls, Disney will release Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/19.
On a related note, fans of Glee may be excited to learn that Paramount will release The LXD: Seasons 1 & 2 (a.k.a. The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers) for DVD release on 4/12. The LXD features Harry Shum, Jr. from the Fox series.
Meanwhile, Anchor Bay has changed the street date for its Turbulent Skies DVD to 7/26 (SRP $26.98).
Image Entertainment has set Mega Python vs. Gatoroid for Blu-ray and DVD release on 6/21 (SRP $29.97 each).
And for those of you enjoying Reelz Channel's The Kennedys miniseries, word according to a TV spot during the premiere is that the DVD version will be available on 5/15. It will only be available at www.kennedysdvd.com (SRP $29.99). It will include all 8 episodes on 3 DVDs, along with 45-minutes of extras including behind-the-scenes featurettes, interviews, etc. Thanks to Bits reader Steven C. for the link!
Here's a look at the cover artwork for Warner's Copycat, Sleepers (both due on 8/2) and Supernatural: The Anime Series on Blu-ray, along with MGM's Death at a Funeral (due 6/7) and Disney's I Am Number Four (5/24) on Blu-ray and the Blu-ray 3D version of Gnomeo & Juliet (also due 5/24)...
Finally, there are a couple more great April Fool's jokes we wanted to point out from last week: Shout! Factory briefly had up an ad for an industrial shipping container-sized Guiding Light: The Complete Series DVD box set on over a 1,000 DVDs! It doesn't appear to be up anymore, which is a shame because it was pretty funny. The Criterion Collection also had a joke page up for a C.H.U.D. release on Blu-ray and DVD, but it too sadly appears to be no longer live. Good stuff though!
All right, hope you all had a fine weekend! There was sure some great college basketball to watch, and the final game is tonight: Butler and UCONN of all unlikely teams! I've no idea who to root for, but with both teams essentially underdogs, it should be fun to watch.
Now then... I'm sure you guys probably saw some of the great April Fool's gags around the Net on Friday (aside from our own Analog Bits). I have to say, my favorites were over at Think Geek, where the geniuses behind last years' Monolith Action Figure introduced such classic (fake) products as Star Wars Lightsaber Popsicles and the Playmobil Apple Store (complete with optional "Line Pack")! They even created fake promo videos for some of the products, which were a hoot. You can check them out here - and be sure to download the MP3s of the Imperial March and Star Wars Theme as ice cream truck jingles! You can actually vote for a couple of these gag products to be made into real ones... which is how I now have a REAL Monolith action figure silently on my desk, probably influencing my cats' evolution. Anyway, hats off to the folks at Think Geek! Pretty funny stuff.
In news today, this one goes in The Rumor Mill category, but the French magazine Les Années Laser (issue 174) has just revealed information from their European studio sources about great catalog titles apparently coming to Blu-ray over the course of the rest of this year from Warner, Sony and Fox/MGM (thanks to Bits reader Matthieu P. for the information). It's reasonable to assume that most of these titles will becoming here in the States as well. Included are:
June - Wild Wild West and Maverick (from WHV)
July - Hair and New York, New York (from Fox/MGM)
August - Conan the Destroyer, Miller's Crossing, Raising Arizona (from Fox/MGM), Boyz 'n' the Hood, The Guns of Navarone, Jumanji and Suart Little 1 & 2 (from Sony)
September/October - The Specialist, Assassins, Executive Decision, Copycat, The Name of the Rose, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Space Jam and The Right Stuff (from WHV)
September - Bad Boys II and The Caine Mutiny (from Sony)
October - 9 1/2 Weeks and Chariots of Fire (from Fox/MGM)
November/December - A Streetcar Named Desire and Meet Me in St. Louis (from WHV)
We do believe these title are accurate, though keep in mind these are planned European dates only, and so they're subject to change as well as the differing release schedules here in the States. For example, we've heard from our sources that The Right Stuff MIGHT move into 2012. We CAN tell you for sure that Copycat and The Name of the Rose ARE coming. More on that in a minute...
It's interesting that there are other titles not on this list that we've already heard are coming in 2011, including Citizen Kane from Warner and Conan the Barbarian from Universal (though to be fair, the list doesn't include anything from Universal, Disney or Paramount). In any case, it's certainly good news that a lot more deep catalog is arriving on Blu-ray. We'll have more on new catalog announcements over the next couple days.
Now, back to Copycat and The Name of the Rose. Warner Home Video has OFFICIALLY informed us that both films, along with Sleepers, are coming to Blu-ray Disc here in the States on 8/2 (SRP $19.98 each). Sleepers will include a trailer. Copycat will include commentary by director Jon Amiel and the trailer. The Name of the Rose will include commentary by director Jean-Jacques Annaud (in separate English and French tracks), The Abbey Crimes and Photo Video Journey featurettes, and the trailer.
Meanwhile, we have another update for you on Warner's Superman: Motion Picture Anthology Blu-ray release (now available for pre-order on Amazon.com at the link provided), with clarifying details on a few more issues you guys have asked us about. First, The Science of Superman documentary included in the set was a Circuit City-exclusive with the release of Superman Returns, so this is its first wide release and also its first in HD. The Look, Up in the Sky! The Amazing Story of Superman is also seeing its first HD release here. Not only are those two in HD, but we've also learned that the never-before-seen Return to Krypton alternate opening scene from Superman Returns will be included in full HD in this set. That's a very cool and appreciated touch. Also, a number of you have asked about the audio for the Superman: The Movie BDs. The 1978 Theatrical Cut Blu-ray will BOTH the 2000 mix in English 5.1 DTS-HD MA and also the original theatrical audio in English 2.0 DTS-HD MA. Naturally, the 2000 Expanded Edition Blu-ray will include the 2000 remixed audio in English 5.1 DTS-HD MA. Hope that clarifies things for you. Really, the only disappointing thing about this set is that the Fleischer Superman shorts aren't in full HD. Other than that, all the rest seems pretty great.
Finally today, if any of you live in the L.A. area and happen to be TRON fans, Joe Kosinski (the director of TRON: Legacy) and Steven Lisberger (the director of the original TRON) are going to be signing copies of the new Blu-ray and DVD release TOMORROW night at the Best Buy in West Hollywood. The signing will run from 7:30 to 8:30 PM. The store is located on 1015 N La Brea Avenue in West Hollywood (323-883-0219). Don't miss it!
Anyway, lots more tomorrow. Stay tuned...
All right... yes, folks... we did indeed indulge in a bit of April TomFoolery here at The Bits today. I'm sure by now you've all seen our trip back to the early 1990s in Mr. Peabody's "wayback machine" with The Analog Bits Newsletter. What can we say? April Fools isn't usually our thing, but inspiration just struck this year. The key, I think, is that if you're going to do an April Fool's joke, you really need go all out on the gag... and go all-out we certainly did, complete with over-pixelated graphics, WAY too many animated gifs, a somewhat "brasher" attitude and a font fit to make your eyeballs bleed! Oh, and a Star Wars on Something-or-other campaign. Every 1990s home video site needs one of those. Ah... the early Internet. Our friend Matt Rowe even changed the name of his MusicTAP website to MusicTAPE! for a couple days! Pretty funny. Anyway, I'm sure there were a few newer reader who didn't get the gag. Judging by the e-mails we've been getting today, however, you long-timers were all in with us and got a big laugh, which was the whole point. So we hope you all enjoyed it!
By the way, we're going to keep The Analog Bits Newsletter up permanently at this link... all nicely preserved for posterity and so forth. You know, so your kids and grandkids can shake their heads and roll their eyes at us someday.
Now then... two quick bits of release news and then we're outta here for this week. First, the folks over at Universal have set Brazil for release on Blu-ray Disc on 7/12. It looks to be essentially the movie-only theatrical cut release you'd expect, but it'll have 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio. For those of you wondering about the possibility of a future Criterion BD upgrade of their version, I wouldn't discount it. My guess is after Universal takes their movie-only dip on Blu-ray, Criterion will eventually get their shot too. Anyway, here's a look at the cover artwork...
As you can see, we also posted the final U.S. cover art (and an open packaging shot) of Warner's new Superman: The Motion Picture Anthology 1978-2006 (due 6/7 - SRP $129.95) which we covered pretty extensively yesterday. It looks pretty awesome, except damn we wish those Flesicher shorts were HD. Oh well... maybe some other studio will step up and deliver them on Blu-ray, since they're public domain.
As you can also plainly see, Disney and Touchstone have officially announced Gnomeo & Juliet for Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD release on 5/24 (SRP $49.99, $39.99 and $29.99). The DVD will include 2 featurettes (Elton Builds a Garden and Frog Talk with Ashley Jensen) and Nelly Furtado and Elton John's Crocodile Rock music video. The Blu-ray versions will add to that a pair of alternate endings, 6 deleted scenes, 2 alternate scenes and The Fawn of Darkness voice/outtake featurette featuring Ozzy Osbourne. The Blu-ray 3D version will include BD, DVD and a Digital Copy.
Finally today, Disney and Touchstone have also announced the Blu-ray, Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD release of I Am Number Four on 5/24 (SRP $39.99, $44.99 and $29.99). The DVD will include the Becoming Number 6 featurette and bloopers. The Blu-ray will add deleted scenes. The Combo will include both versions plus a Digital Copy.
All right, that's all she wrote. Have a great weekend (especially at you guys going to WonderCon up in San Francisco), enjoy the Final Four or what have you, and we'll see ya'll on Monday. Peace out!
(LATE UPDATE - 3/31/11 - 3 PM PDT)
Okay... so: WHV's Superman: The Motion Picture Anthology (1978-2006) will now officially street on Blu-ray Disc on 6/7 (SRP $129.95). The 8-disc set will include both the original theatrical and expended editions of Superman: The Movie, both the original theatrical and Donner Cut of Superman II, the original theatrical versions of Superman III and Superman IV, and the theatrical cut of Superman Returns. The theatrical cuts of Superman: The Movie, Superman II, Superman III and Superman IV are included on Blu-ray for the first time. Of the other few new special features on the set, the most interesting by far is the never-before-seen original "Krypton" opening for Superman Returns (it's not known if this will be HD or SD - one would hope the former). The audio for all the films will be English DTS-HD MA which the press says "Fan-boys and technophiles will especially appreciate". The press release also seems to indicate that the films will be presented "with new digital/hi-def film masters" which would be a nice touch. As far as other extras, it appears that essentially everything from the 2007 Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition DVD tin will carry over. A pair of the documentary featurettes from the DVD set will be upgraded to HD (Look, Up in the Sky! The Amazing Story of Superman and The Science of Superman). Unfortunately, while the Superman II and Superman II: Donner Cut Blu-rays in the set do include the Fleischer Studio's animated Superman shots from 1941-42, it APPEARS that they're in SD only. That means Warner has missed one of the coolest upgrade opportunities they had with this set, and it's terribly disappointing. Oh, the set will also have $8 of Movie Cash good for a ticket to the forthcoming Green Lantern live-action movie that hits theatres on 6/17.
[Editor's Note: I've clarified with WHV that new HD masters have been done for the theatrical cuts of Superman: The Movie, Superman II, Superman III and Superman IV in the BD set. The expanded version of Superman: The Movie is a newer 1080p master than was used for the previous BD release, with extensive MTI dirt clean-up. Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut and Superman Returns are the same BD compressions as before. The Fleischer Superman animated shorts are SD only. On the audio side: All films have 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtracks except Superman IV: The Quest for Peace which is 2.0 DTS-HD MA. Superman III's 5.1 DTS-HD MA mix is new - the DVD only had 2.0.]
To be more specific about the bonus content, here's a disc-by-disc breakdown:
Disc One - Superman: The Movie (theatrical edition), audio commentary (by Ilya Salkind and Pierre Spengler), the 1978 TV special The Making of Superman: The Movie, the 1951 Superman and the Mole-Men feature, 3 WB cartoons (Super-Rabbit, Snafuperman and Stupor Duck), theatrical trailers
Disc Two - Superman: The Movie (expanded edition), audio commentary (by Richard Donner and Tom Mankiewicz), music only track, 3 documentaries/featurettes (Taking Flight: The Development of Superman, Making Superman: Filming the Legend and The Magic Behind the Cape), original screen test footage, a selection of restored scenes, additional music cues.
Disc Three - Superman II (theatrical edition), audio commentary (by Ilya Salkind and Pierre Spengler), the 1980 TV special The Making of Superman II, deleted scene, the First Flight: The Fleischer Superman Series featurette, 9 Fleischer Studios' animated Superman shorts (Superman, The Mechanical Monsters, Billion Dollar Limited, The Arctic Giant, The Bulleteers, The Magnetic Telescope, Electric Earthquake, Volcano and Terror on the Midway), theatrical trailer
Disc Four - Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, audio commentary (by Richard Donner and Tom Mankiewicz) introduction by Richard Donner, deleted scenes, 2 featurettes (Superman II: Restoring the Vision and Famous Studios' Superman), the remaining 8 Fleischer Studios' animated Superman shorts (Japoteurs, Showdown, Eleventh Hour, Destruction, Inc, The Mummy Strikes, Jungle Drums, The Underground World and Secret Agent)
Disc Five - Superman III (theatrical edition), audio commentary (by Iilya Salkind and Pierre Spengler), the 1983 TV special The Making of Superman III, deleted scenes, theatrical trailer
Disc Six - Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (theatrical edition), audio commentary (by Mark Rosenthal), the 1988 TV special Superman 50th Anniversary Special, deleted scenes, theatrical trailer
Disc Seven - Superman Returns (theatrical edition), the 7-part Requiem for Krypton: Making Superman Returns documentary, Bryan Singer's Video Production Journals, the Resurrecting Jor-El featurette, deleted scenes (including the never-before-seen original opening), theatrical trailers
Disc Eight - the Look, Up in the Sky! The Amazing Story of Superman documentary (in HD), the 5-part You Will Believe: The Cinematic Saga of Superman documentary, The Science of Superman (in HD), 2 featurettes (The Mythology of Superman and The Heart of a Hero: A Tribute to Christopher Reeve), the 1958 TV pilot The Adventures of Superpup
So there you go. Back tomorrow. Stay tuned...
(EARLY UPDATE - 3/31/11 - 2:30 PM PDT)
Well, folks... the announcement you've all been waiting for is here at last!
Yes... that's right, Paramount has officially set Justin Bieber: Never Say Never on Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD on Friday, 5/13 (and really, could there be a better street date for the title)? Extras on the Blu-ray will include 4 HD featurettes (including Concert Dance-Off, Favorite Girl, Giving Back and R.I.P. Hair Flip), along with DVD and Digital Copy versions. The DVD only version will include the 4 featurettes in SD. Man, I've been waiting so long to see Concert Dance-Off, I can't even tell you. Jahnke's flipped over R.I.P. Hair Flip.
Meanwhile, Screen Media Films will release Fubar: Balls to the Wall on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/19.
And a little something called the A Clockwork Orange: 40th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray was announced by Warner Home Video for release on 5/31 (SRP $34.99). Yeah, I know. We though it was already announced too. Anyway, the 2-disc set will include a pair of new documentaries (Malcolm McDowell Looks Back and Turning Like Clockwork), along with 4 older documentaries (Still Tickin': The Return of Clockwork Orange, Great Bolshy Yarblockos!: Making A Clockwork Orange, Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures and O Lucky Malcolm!), commentary with McDowell and Nick Redman, and the film's theatrical trailer. The set will arrive in custom "BD book" packaging.
The Clockwork BD release is part of the promotion for the release of the new Stanley Kubrick: Limited Edition Collection on Blu-ray and DVD that same day (SRP $148.95 and $74.92). Here's something new though: WHV will also release Malcolm McDowell's Never Apologize documentary on DVD only on 5/31 (SRP $19.97). And you know how we said that Warner will release Barry Lyndon and Lolita on Blu-ray as singles on 5/31 (SRP $19.99 each)? Well, it's true... but they're OFFICIALLY Amazon.com exclusives. So if you want them, don't expect them in stores. Click on the links I just provided and get your pre-orders in.
Finally this afternoon, the fine Comic Book Movie.com site has what appears to be authentic details about the contents of Warner's forthcoming but yet to be announced (but Amazon.co.uk says it streets on 6/13, so probably 6/14 in the States) Superman: The Motion Picture Anthology Blu-ray box set. Obviously, it's not official, but I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of what's listed. WHV will actually announce this set in the next few weeks I'm sure. Here's what's going to make or break the set for me personally: The listing appears to confirm that the classic Max Fleischer Superman animated shorts from 1941-42 are going to be on the set, but there's no indication as to whether they're in SD (as they were on the previous Superman Anthology set) or if they've been upgraded to full HD as they should be. If they ARE in HD, that alone would make this set worth buying in my opinion. If not... meh. Because let's face it: What do you really want to see in high-resolution 1080p quality more? Those gorgeous Flesicher shorts... or Superman III? I rest my case.
Anyway, that's enough for today. Be sure to check back early tomorrow morning, because we've got something interesting for you in tomorrow's early post.
Have a great day!
All right, we've got a couple or three things of you today...
First off, our very own esteemed Dr. Jahnke has turned in a quick new Bottom Shelf column, tallying up the latest JET's Most Wanted results from his Jahnke's Electric Theatre Facebook page. It's triggered by the fact that Mark Zuckerberg and his cronies have set a limit to the number of images you can have in any one Facebook gallery, and Jahnke's filled up the current Most Wanted gallery! So he's got to start JET's Most Wanted, Part III on Friday. Anyway, it's pretty interesting to see what people are most interested in seeing released on disc (that ain't been yet), so do check it out!
Next, Warner has released their promo trailer for the upcoming Superman Motion Picture Anthology Blu-ray set. No specific street date is yet given, but here's the trailer (Thanks to Bits reader Kenneth K. for the link!)...
Speaking of WHV, they've just announced a pair of additional catalog Blu-ray releases: Red Planet and Soldier, both due on 7/26 (SRP $19.98 each).
And Warner has set the animated Green Lantern: Emerald Knights for release on Blu-ray/DVD Combo on 6/7. Extras will include audio commentary with Dan DiDio and Geoff Johns, 2 featurettes (Only the Bravest: Tales of The Green Lantern Corps and Why Green Lantern Matters: The Talent of Geoff Johns), a behind-the-scenes look at All-Star Superman, a sneak peek at Batman: Year One, 2 video Pods (From Comic Book to Screen: Abin Sur and Beautiful... But Deadly - From Comic Book to Screen: Laira Omoto), a Green Lantern digital comic book, 2 animated episodes picked by Bruce Timm, and bonus DVD and Digital Copy versions of the film.
Meanwhile, Universal has set Sanctum for release on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD on 6/7. The Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D versions will include the usual advanced interactive features, along with a Digital Copy, deleted and extended scenes in HD and the 3-part Sanctum: The Real Story documentary in HD, and the Nullarbor Dreaming documentary in HD. Nullarbor Dreaming is BD-exclusive, but the other documentary and deleted scenes will be in SD on the DVD. All the versions will include a trio of audio commentary tracks: One with director Alister Grierson, one with co-producer/writer Andrew Wight and one with actor Rhys Wakefield. We'll post cover art when it becomes available.
Universal has also set Focus Features' Adrift for DVD only release on 6/14.
20th Century Fox has set The Boondock Saints: 10th Anniversary Truth & Justice Edition for release on Blu-ray on 6/14 (SRP $29.99). Extras will include both the theatrical and director's cuts of the film, audio commentary by writer/director Troy Duffy, commentary by actor Billy Connolly, the The Boondock Saints: The Film and the Phenomenon documentary, outtakes, the trailer, deleted scenes and a Digital Copy.
Meanwhile, Fox and MGM have announced a number of additional catalog BD titles - including a few westerns - for release in June, including Vera Cruz, Posse, The Long Riders and Death at a Funeral on 6/7, as well as Sleeping with the Enemy on 6/28. Here's cover art for a few of them, plus the WHV titles we mentioned earlier...
It sure is nice to FINALLY see the Blu-ray catalog flood gates opening a little more. It would ALSO be nice to see a few other studios (*cough* Disney, *cough* Paramount) doing a little more with their live action BD catalog...
Finally today, a Fringe-related note. Did any of you happen to watch last Friday night's episode? If you did, you sharp-eyed types may have caught a pretty funny "alternate universe" spoof joke. One of the characters in the episode was reading a comic-strip on his computer: Opus the Peahen by Berkeley Breathed! (For those of you who aren't comic fans, Breathed is the creator of Bloom County, Opus and Outland here in OUR universe.) Breathed himself created the fake strip for the show's producers, and you can get a high-quality look at it here at the excellent RyallTime Blog from IDW Publishing editor-in-chief Chris Ryall. If anyone out there still needed proof the Fringe is a damn cool show, you can't ask for better than that!
Back tomorrow. Stay tuned...
All right... we've got a little surprise for you this morning....
Our own Russell Hammond has once again updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover art and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, whenever you order ANYTHING from Amazon though our links, you're helping to support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it very much.
Now then... is anyone out there a fan of Wolfgang Peterson's Das Boot? Well... Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced that the Das Boot: Director's Cut will finally arrive on Blu-ray Disc on 6/7 (SLP $34.95). Here's a look at the BD teaser trailer...
The 2-disc set will officially include the Director's Cut of the film, newly-remastered for high-def, along with the Theatrical Cut as well. You'll also get 3 hours of all-new BD-exclusive special features, including director's commentary with Peterson, a new retrospective documentary of the making of the film (Wolfgang Petersen: Back to The Boat), 2 Going Deeper featurettes (Maria's Take and The Perfect Boat), 7 Captain's Tour featurettes that take you around the sets (Rooms Overview, Entry Conning Tower, Torpedo Room & Crew Quarters, Captain's & Officers' Rooms, The Control Room, Petty Officers' Room & Galley and Diesel & Electric Motor Rooms), 2 vintage featurettes (including a 1981 Behind the Scenes and the 1983 Battle for the Atlantic), theatrical trailers and more! Here's a link to the official release teaser trailer, as well as a look at the official cover artwork...
As you can see, we've also included new cover artwork for Sony's The Illusionist (due 5/10) and The Mechanic (5/17) on Blu-ray.
Sony has also announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of The Roommate on 5/17 (SRP $34.95 and $28.95). The Blu-ray will include director's commentary, an alternate opening sequence, 3 featurettes (Obsession: The Making of The Roommate, The Roommate: Next Generation of Stars and Dressing Dangerously) and movieIQ.
Additional new announcements from Sony include Cross on DVD only on 5/31, Another Year on Blu-ray/DVD Combo on 6/7 and Hawthorne: Season 2 on DVD only on 6/23.
Also, Lucasfilm appears to have finally set an official street date for their Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-ray release. Look for it in stores on 9/16.
All right, we've got a great new Blu-ray review for you today! Barrie's given a nice thorough look at Paramount's terrific new Blu-ray release of The Ten Commandments. Is it worth your time and money? Well, let me tell you... the Ten Commandments have never looked so good on a pair of platters since Moses stepped down off the mountain. Or, to put it in Barrie's terms: "...it's no exaggeration to say that this is the best Blu-ray image I've so far seen on either a classic or current title." Definitely do not miss it!
Now then... some more new announcements...
Sony has set Breaking Bad: The Complete Third Season for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/7 (SRP $49.95 and $39.95). All 13 episodes will be included, along with deleted scenes and unused footage, outtakes, mini podcast commentary by the cast and crew on 9 episodes, 7 behind-the-scenes featurettes (Hit and Run, The Music of Breaking Bad, White Heat: Cranston on Fire, Pizza of Destiny: Cranston's Greatest Shot and Silent But Deadly: The Brothers Moncada, Team S.C.I.E.N.C.E. and AMC News Visits the Breaking Bad Writer's Room), 20 episodes of Inside Breaking Bad and more.
Sony has also set The Roommate for release on both formats on 5/17 (SRP $34.95 and $28.95), as well as The Big C: The Complete First Season for release on DVD only on 6/7 (SRP $34.95).
For those of you who like your film noir with Antonio Banderas and a modern, physics-style twist, Anchor Bay Entertainment is releasing The Big Bang on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/24 (SRP $34.99 and $26.98). Extras will include filmmakers' commentary, a behind-the-scenes featurette, extended scenes and the film's theatrical trailer.
Meanwhile, Warner Home Video will release The Closer: The Complete Sixth Season on DVD on 6/21 (SRP $39.98), featuring all 15 episodes, a pair of featurettes, unaired scenes and a gag reel.
Warner is also releasing more Peanuts animated shorts on DVD in the new Happiness is... Peanuts: Snoopy's Adventures available on 6/14 (SRP $14.97). The disc will include the Snoopy's Getting Married, Charlie Brown TV special and an episode from The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show (including 3 animated skits - Snoopy's Foot, Giant and Rerun).
And Warner will release 4 more new TCM Greatest collections on DVD only on 7/12 (SRP $27.92 each), including TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Lucille Ball (The Long, Long Trailer, Forever Darling, Room Service and Du Barry Was a Lady), TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Burt Lancaster (Local Hero, Seven Days in May, Executive Action and The Flame and the Arrow), TCM Greatest Classic Films: Shakespeare (A Midsummer's Night's Dream, Othello, Romeo and Juliet and Antony and Cleopatra) and TCM Greatest Classic Films: Literary Romance (Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina).
20th Century Fox has set FX's Louie: Season One for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/21. You'll get all 13 episodes plus deleted scenes, unaired and unrated comedy sketches, and commentary.
Lionsgate will release From Prada to Nada on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/3, along with According to Jim: The Complete Third Season, Boy Meets World: The Complete Fifth Season and The PJ's: The Complete First Season all on DVD only. Lionsgate will also release a Cold Day in Hell on 6/14, followed by Bending All the Rules on 6/21.
Finally, Image Entertainment has set Legends of Flight for release on Blu-ray 3D and DVD on 6/7 (SRP $24.98 and $19.98). Image also has The Resident (starring Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Christopher Lee) coming on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/29 (SRP $29.97 and $27.97).
And in other news today, our friends at Home Media have just launched their online reader voting for the annual Home Media Awards. I was honored to serve among a number of industry judges again this year, but this is YOUR chance to chime in too. The voting will end on 4/17, and the winners will be announced on 4/25. Get those votes in, folks!
Here's a look at the cover art for Elite's The Wrong House on DVD (now available), and Kino/Lorber's Sunflower (due 5/17) and Paramount's Once Upon a Time in the West (5/31) on Blu-ray...
Back tomorrow morning with an early post. Stay tuned!
(LATE UPDATE - 3/25/11 - 3 PM PDT)
Well folks... I guess we have one MORE MAJOR update for you. Warner has just informed us that they'll be releasing their long-awaited Ben-Hur: 50th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition on Blu-ray and DVD this fall! (You may recall, we first teased this release back in November of last year.) The "limited and numbered" edition will be available in stores in time for the holiday shopping season - specific street date and SRP TBA. Included will be a reproduction of the personal diary that Charlton Heston kept during the production, complete with personal photos and his own sketches. There will also be a new HD documentary on Heston's experiences during the making of the film, entitled Charlton Heston & Ben-Hur: A Personal Journey, which includes home movie footage shot by his wife Lydia inside the Colosseum set. That's in addition to all of the previous DVD special features, which include audio commentary, Ben-Hur: The 1925 Silent Version, the 2005 Ben-Hur: The Epic That Changed Cinema documentary, the 1994 Ben-Hur: The Making of an Epic documentary, the Ben-Hur: A Journey Through Pictures A/V presentation (featuring photos, storyboards, sketches, music and dialogue from the film), screen tests, vintage newsreels, highlights from the 1960 Academy Awards ceremony, trailers and more. You'll also get an exclusive book filled with production photos, production art and a reproduction of the original theatrical press book. The Blu-ray version will feature 2 BD-50s, while the DVD version will be a 5-disc set. And let me tell you, I've now had the chance to see before and after images of the new 6K HD restoration for Blu-ray, taken from the original 65mm camera elements, and the difference is stunning. Here's a look at the cover art for the package, and the open packaging for the DVD set...
Now that's what I call a fine lookin' box set! Any seconds? Don't forget, Citizen Kane is also still on the way for UCE BD/DVD release later this year from Warner as well. More on that as it comes in...
All in all, I'd say this has been a pretty good day. See you Monday!
(LATE UPDATE - 3/25/11 - 2 PM PDT)
Well... we're back with one more post this afternoon, because there's more great catalog Blu-ray news today! Universal has just announced 4 more new catalog titles on the format, including Billy Madison, Bulletproof and Happy Gilmore on 6/7, and - get this - Ridley Scott's Legend on 5/31! It appears that all of the special features that were on the previous DVD editions will carry over. Legend will include BOTH versions of the film. The Adam Sandler titles have been available on Blu-ray as imports from Europe, and they were on HD-DVD here in the States, but this is the first U.S. Blu-ray release of these films. Here's a look at the cover art...
As you can see, we've also posted art for SINGLE-FILM Blu-ray versions of Warner's Lolita and Barry Lyndon! Yes, it looks like Warner Home Video may have heard your complaints, and are preparing to make these two films available individually on Blu-ray for just $19.98 each. In other words, you won't have to order the whole new Kubrick BD box set just to get them. They're up for pre-order on Amazon.com now, though there's no street date listed yet. We don't know if these are coming on 5/31 (the same day as the new Kubrick box) or if they'll be delayed by a bit. We'll try to find out. In the meantime, potentially very good news for Kubrick fans. Thanks to Bits reader Tom D. for the heads-up on the pre-order links!
A couple more quick updates: Our friends at Elite Entertainment have set The Wrong House for release on DVD on 6/7 (SRP $14.98).
Magnolia has set the action-comedy Muay Thai Giant for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/16 (SRP $29.98 and $26.98).
Shout! Factory has informed us that the final seasons of Dragnet and Father Knows Best will arrive on DVD in April. Look for Dragnet: Season Four on 4/12 (SRP $34.93), followed by Father Knows Best: Season Six on 4/19 (SRP $39.99).
And you remember that Minnesota Twins: 1991 World Series DVD box set I mentioned the other day from A&E and MLB? Well, I just heard back from official sources - it's real and it IS coming! We'll post more details as they come in.
Okay, that's it. We'll call this week a wrap. Have a great weekend and see you Monday!
(EARLY UPDATE - 3/25/11 - 12:01 AM PDT)
You know, I usually end my Friday posts these days with a reminder to check out tonight's new episode of Fringe on Fox, a show which deserves to be seen by a lot more people - especially you genre fans. Well, that's still all true - there IS another new episode tonight, and you SHOULD definitely tune in. But... I'm very happy to START my Friday post this week with word that Fox has officially picked up Fringe for a fourth season - a full 22 episodes! And that just pleases me right on down to the ground! Needless to say, the show still has my recommendation, so give it a try. Speaking of which, you can pick up Season One AND Season Two on Blu-ray at Amazon right now for just $55 (or just $27 a piece). That's 60% off - less than the regular SRP for just ONE of the seasons alone!
Just a couple of quick bits of release news for you this morning...
We've got a little more information for you today on Film Chest and Virgil Films & Entertainment's 4/16 Blu-ray/DVD Combo release of Roger Corman's The Terror (SRP $15.99). The film has been restored from original 33mm film elements, and the disc will include a restoration demo and trailer. You'll also get a postcard reproduction of the film's poster. Not bad for a B-lister.
While we're on the low-budge horror topic, Magnolia is releasing Chawz on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/26 (SRP $29.98 and $26.98). This is the epic (and darkly comic) tale of a wild, man-eating hog that goes on a rampage in a Korean village. Looks like you'll get a couple of behind-the-scenes featurette to show you how he boars up. Ba dum dum *tish*.
Also NeoClassics Home Entertainment is releasing director Christian Carion's Farewell (L'Affaire Farewell) on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/19 (SRP $34.98 and $24.98). That's not a horror film, it's a spy story and we hear a pretty darned good one.
Here's a look at the cover art for The Terror, along with Kino/Lorber's Blu-ray releases of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow and Marriage Italian Style (both due on 5/17)...
Now then, we MAY be back a little later with more if there's any late-breaking news. But if not, don't forget that Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch hits theatres this weekend. Don't know if it's good, but it sure looks darned interesting.
All right, we've got a new Blu-ray Disc review for you today: Barrie's take on MGM's new Dances with Wolves release. Enjoy!
The BIG release news this afternoon is that Universal has officially set Scarface for release on Blu-ray on 9/6 (SRP $39.98). It's being released in a Limited Edition Steelbook package that includes the film in 1080p with 7.1 DTS-HD MA audio, 10 artwork carts and digital copy of the film and a DVD copy of the 1932 Scarface as well. Extras include deleted scenes, the all-new The Scarface Phenomenon documentary, 6 featurettes (The World of Tony Montana, The Rebirth, The Acting, The Creating, Scarface: The TV Version and The Making of Scarface: The Videogame), as well as a Picture-in-Picture viewing mode and an interactive Scarface Scoreboard viewing mode via U-Control. You also get BD-Live and all the usual interactive options. Meanwhile, for you SERIOUS fans of the film (and also cigar aficionados) there's also an $999 Scarface: Ultimate Limited Edition of the Blu-ray that comes packaged in a hand-crafted, Scarface-themed cigar humidor. Created by Daniel Marshall (an artisan well known in the cigar world for his humidors), it's hand-painted and polished with his trademark "1000 coat brilliant finish" and bears custom medallions inspired by the film. The interior is made with untreated Spanish cedar and will age approximately 100 cigars. It comes with a certificate of authenticity. We don't have an image of this yet, but we'll post one when the studio makes it available. And yes, it IS $999. In the meantime, the regular BD art is below...
In other release news today, Warner and the BBC have set American: The Bill Hicks Story for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/7 (SRP $29.99 and $29.98).
Anchor Bay and the Weinstein Company have set The Company Men for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/7 (SRP $39.99 and $39.98). The film stars Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones and Kevin Costner. Extras will include audio commentary with writer/director John Wells, The Making of The Company Men featurette and deleted scenes.
IFC Films has set Black Heaven and Ricky for release on DVD on 4/12, followed by Heartless, Bunny and the Bull and Student Services on 4/26.
For you music fans, Eagle Rock Entertainment has set Rory Gallagher: Irish Tour '74 for release on CD, DVD, LP and Blu-ray on 4/12, followed by Heaven & Hell: Radio City Music Hall - Live! on Blu-ray on 5/17, Duff McKagan: Loaded/Sick on CD and DVD on 5/24, Primal Scream: Screamadelica Live on DVD and Blu-ray and David Byrne: Ride Rise Road on DVD and Blu-ray on 5/31, and Sheryl Crow: Miles from Memphis on DVD and Blu-ray and Bad Company: Live at Wembley on CD, DVD and Blu-ray on 6/7.
And for you sports fans - ESPECIALLY you Minnesota Twins fans - Amazon is currently showing a listing for an 8/2 release of a Minnesota Twins: 1991 World Series DVD box set from A&E and Major League Baseball (SRP $79.95). We've asked for official confirmation, but I'll be over the moon if this is real. Not only is 1991 widely considered by sports writers to be one of the most exciting World Series ever played, I was fortunate enough to attend Game 7 and see my Twins win it all. Thanks to Bits reader Rich L. for the link!
In other news today, Bits reader John W. was kind enough (thanks John!) to let us know that the TCM cable network is going to be running an all-day Elizabeth Taylor tribute marathon on Sunday, 4/10, starting at 6AM Eastern. In order, they'll show Lassie Come Home, National Velvet, Conspirator, Father of the Bride, Father's Little Dividend, Raintree Country, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Butterfield 8, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Giant and Ivanhoe.
Finally today, anyone want to buy the original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? No, not the film. The ACTUAL car used in making the film! Profiles in History is going to auction it in Beverly Hills on 5/14-15. Pretty damn cool. I wouldn't buy it, but I'd sure as heck like a ride along in that baby! More here.
Here's a look at the cover art for Lionsgate's Biutiful (due 5/31), Universal's Scarface: Limited Edition Steelbook and Anchor Bay/Weinstein's Company Men...
Morning, everyone. Well... I suppose it goes without saying that the biggest entertainment news today is the passing of legendary Hollywood screen actress Elizabeth Taylor. Taylor died this morning at the age of 79 of heart failure. Anyone who doubts her stature need only look at the highlights of her long film career, including such classics as National Velvet, Giant, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Place in the Sun, Ivanhoe, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Raintree County. She later starred in TV's North and South miniseries and even voiced Maggie's first word on The Simpsons. Taylor will surely be missed. One hopes more of her films will begin appearing on Blu-ray in the months and years ahead.
All right, in release news today...
MGM has officially announced the Blu-ray Disc/DVD Combo pack release Oliver Stone's Platoon on 5/24 in honor of the film's 25th anniversary. Extras will include audio commentary with director Oliver Stone, audio commentary with military advisor Dale Dye, deleted and extended scenes, 3 Flashback to Platoon featurettes (Snapshot in Time: 1967-1968, Creating the 'Nam and Raw Wounds: The Legacy of Platoon), 2 documentaries (One War, Many Stories and Preparing for 'Nam), 2 behind-the-scenes vignettes (Caputo & The 7th Fleet, Dye Training Method and Gordon Gekko) and 4 TV spots.
Speaking of MGM catalog Blu-rays, it appears that all of the classic James Bond films are being reissued on 5/10 just in time for Father's Day. There are no new titles in the batch, but if you've missed out on any of the older ones, now's your chance to catch 'em up.
Meanwhile, Fox has set The Glades: The Complete First Season for DVD only release on 6/14. Extras will include unaired deleted scenes, gag reel, behind-the-scenes footage, featurettes and director and cast commentaries.
WHV is releasing what look like 2-packs of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - Seasons 1 & 2 and Pushing Daisies: The Complete First and Second Seasons on Blu-ray on 4/19 (SRP $98.66 and $82.56 respectively). Before you get too excited, however, these appear to be just the previous releases shrink-wrapped together under one SKU. There's no new content.
Warner has also set ER: The Complete Fifteenth Season, Doctor Who: Ep.132 - The Awakening and MI-5: Volume 9 for DVD only release on 7/12. This will be followed on 7/19 by NHL Stanley Cup Champions 2011 on Blu-ray and DVD (SRP $34.99 and $24.98).
Film Chest and Virgil Films & Entertainment are releasing Roger Corman's 1963 thriller The Terror on Blu-ray/DVD Combo on 4/16 (SRP $15.99).
Synapse Films is releasing a Blu-ray/DVD Combo pack of the Coffin Joe film Embodiment of Evil on 3/29. Note that their release of The Dorm That Dripped Blood on Blu-ray/DVD Combo has been pushed back to 4/26. SRP is $29.95 each.
Finally, Disney is soon to announce I Am Number Four and the animated Gnomeo & Juliet for release on Blu-ray and DVD sometime in June (Gnomeo & Juliet is already set for release in the U.K. on 6/6, so expect a similar U.S. street date). We'll post the official details as soon as they're revealed by the studio.
We'll leave you with a look at more new Blu-ray cover art for MGM's Platoon and Paramount's A Man Called Horse and Rio Lobo (due 5/31)...
Don't forget: Tonight is the big L.A. Sharktopus signing with Roger and Julie Corman at Rocket Video! It runs from 7 to 9 PM. Rocket Video is located at 315 N La Brea Avenue in Hollywood. Once again, they're only signing the BD and DVD, and only copies purchased at the store for the event.
All right, first things first today...
Our own Russell Hammond has once again updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover art and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, whenever you order ANYTHING from Amazon though our links, you're helping to support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it very much.
Now then... before we get to the release news today, we have a little more Lord of the Rings: Extended Blu-ray information for you. A lot of people have asked about the new 2K remaster of Fellowship. Specifically, a few people have wondered if WHV was cheaping out by not remastering at at least 4K. We've confirmed that 2K was the resolution of the final post-production/editorial master for the film. So unless and until someone goes in and rescans all the film elements at higher resolution, then rebuilds the edit and re-renders all the visual effects at the higher resolution, 2K is the highest resolution element available to master a Blu-ray from. And that's what WHV has apparently gone back to. Today, this kind of film mastering work is mostly done at 4K, but back in 2000-2001, 2K was standard.
A couple other comments on the set: A few readers have complained that The Appendices and Costa Botes documentaries are only included on DVD in standard definition. In other words: Why haven't they been upgraded to high-definition for the Blu-ray? Surely they were shot in HD? And the answer is no, they weren't. We've confirmed that all of The Appendices material was shot in 16x9 SD and the finished documentaries were in that resolution and aspect ratio. What's more, the Costa Botes documentaries were 4x3 letterboxed SD. You have to remember, from post-production to finished DVDs, this material was produced in the 1998-2003 timeframe. The HD transition had only just begun, and studios weren't in the habit of paying for HD behind-the-scenes material yet. I think it was closer to 2005-2006 that DVD producers really began shooting such material in HD in anticipation of high-def discs. In the last 5 years or so, it's obviously become standard practice to shoot "making of" in HD. But back then, not so much. So SD IS the final resolution of all this material. As to why all the SD bonus content wasn't collected onto BD-25s for this release, we can only assume it was done to save authoring costs. One other note: The set will include a collectible map of Middle Earth, and the booklets for each film will include a chapter listing and guide to all the extras. So there you go. For those of you've who had questions about these issues, we hope this clarifies things for you a little. We're expecting more technical information from WHV on the set soon, so we'll pass it on to you here as it comes in.
Now then, let's catch you up on more new release announcements...
First up, in addition to Once Upon a Time in the West (available for pre-order on Amazon here), Paramount has set more classic westerns for release on Blu-ray Disc on 5/31, including A Man Called Horse, Big Jake and Rio Lobo. All the DVD extras will carry over.
Paramount has also set No Strings Attached for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/10, followed by Leverage: The Third Season on DVD on 6/7.
Speaking of westerns, MGM's The Big Country is set to arrive on Blu-ray Disc on 5/24 as a Walmart online exclusive. It's currently selling on their website for just $9.86.
Summit Entertainment has just revealed that Drive Angry is already due for release on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD on 5/31 (SRP $34.99, $30.49 and $26.99). Extras on the DVD will include audio commentary with the filmmakers, deleted scenes with optional commentary and 2 featurettes (How To: Drive Angry and Milton's Mayhem). The Blu-ray will add the Access: Drive Angry interactive viewing option.
Sony has set The Mechanic for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/24 (SRP $34.95 and $28.95). Extras on the Blu-ray will include movieIQ and deleted scenes.
Warner Home Video will release Green Lantern: Emerald Knights on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/7 (SRP $24.98 and $19.98). Extras will include audio commentary, featurettes, a number of video "pods" and more.
MPI Media Group has set The Other Woman for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/17 (SRP $29.98 and $24.98).
Wolfe Video is releasing Javier Fuentes-León's award-winning film Undertow on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/1 (SRP $29.95 and $24.95). Extras include deleted scenes and featurettes.
20th Century Fox will release White Collar: Season 2 and Burn Notice: Season 4 on DVD only on 6/7. Fox has also set Waiting for Forever for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/3.
BBC Video is releasing Human Planet on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/26, along with Upstairs Downstairs and Spot's Birthday Party on DVD that same day. Lark Rise to Candleford: Season Four and Lark Rise to Candleford: The Complete Collection are set for DVD release on 4/5, followed by The BBC Tudors Collection, Last of the Summer Wine: Vintage 1988 & 1989, Doctor Who: Kinda and Doctor Who: Snakedance on 4/12.
Lionsgate will release From Prada to Nada on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/3, followed by Immigration Tango, Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet and Tyler Perry's House of Payne: Volume Eight on DVD only on 6/14.
Image and GMC are releasing Love Me or Leave Me on DVD only on 4/19.
Image has also set Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs IMAX 3D and Ultimate G's: Zac's Flying Dream IMAX 3D for release on Blu-ray 3D on 3/29 (SRP $24.98 each).
MVD Entertainment Group has announced Brian Eno 1971-1977: The Mad Who Fell to Earth on DVD on 5/17.
Finally, Microcinema International has set for release Towncraft: Notes From a Local Scene and Perpetual Peace on DVD on 4/26.
Here's a look at the Blu-ray Disc cover artwork for Paramount's Big Jake, Lionsgate's Rabbit Hole (due 4/19) and Summit's Drive Angry...
Well... the big news today is that Warner Home Video has finally officially announced the The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy: Extended Edition on Blu-ray Disc. Just as we reported last week, the official street date is June 28th (SRP $119.98). Here's what's most interesting: This IS going to be a 15-disc set. I suspect this next part is going to cause some controversy, but we're actually VERY glad of the decision: Each film is going to be split over 2 BD-50s, and all 4 of the DVD commentaries for each film will be included as well. I've already had a couple e-mail complaints this morning from readers that they'll have to get up and switch the discs, but here's the deal: splitting the films over 2 discs will give the video and audio more room to breathe on the discs. We think it's ABSOLUTELY the right decision for these films, as it will allow for less compression, and should allow for the very best possible looking and sounding image, provided WHV does their mastering work right. And we have good reason to believe this will the case: Their official press release confirms that The Fellowship of the Ring (as you'll recall the film everyone complained about in the theatrical Blu-ray set, quality-wise) has now been given a new transfer, remastered from the original 2K digital files! Audio will be English 6.1 DTS-HD MA.
In terms of extras, essentially ALL of the outstanding features produced for the original Extended Edition DVD releases by Michael Pellerin have been carried over to the new set, and they also now include the excellent behind-the-scenes documentaries created by Costa Botes for the subsequent Limited Edition DVD releases of the films. So essentially, each film will get 2 BDs, plus you'll get the 2 Appendices DVDs for each film (from the Extended Editions) and the Costa Botes documentary for each film on its own DVD as well. 2 BD + 3 DVDs = 5 discs for each film x 3 films for a total of 15 discs. Each Blu-ray will be BD-Live enabled. There's no word in the press release about Digital Copies, but we've heard that you may also get download access to digital versions of all three Extended films as well, through an online link and a passcode in the packaging. The first Blu-ray for each film will also include an HD trailer for Microsoft's The Lord of the Rings: War in the North - The Untold Story videogame, which launches later in 2011. And each film will have its own booklet guide to all the special features. Here's a look at the final packaging for the entire set...
From the studio's press release: "Based on the length of each extended edition feature film and in order to present each film in the highest possible picture quality, each film is presented on 2 Blu-ray Discs." Let me just personally say, BRAVO! You will NEVER hear me complain about a decision that results in better quality. Period. My only complaint about the Avatar: Extended Edition Blu-ray was that the whole thing could have looked even better if Fox had spread the film over 2 discs to allow for less compression. That WHV has done this, and done it with Lord of the Rings of all titles, makes me incredibly happy. The films split over 2 BD discs for maximum presentation quality? A NEW 2K transfer of Fellowship?! This is now officially the BD set I'm most looking forward to this year. And yes, I know there are no new extras, but the extras on the DVDs were exceptional and I'm glad to have them all carried over here. Plus, with filming The Hobbit having just FINALLY commenced down in New Zealand over the weekend, it's not like Peter Jackson has time to work on new content. However, given that these discs are BD-Live enabled, I wouldn't be surprised to see some kind of live event from the set of The Hobbit, or official sneak previews down the line. In any case, don't doubt for a second that when both Hobbit films are completed a few years from now, there will eventually be a massive 5-film box set with all-new content for all of the films. In the meantime, I can't wait to get my hands on these discs. Matt and I already have a 12-hour marathon planned for the day this set shows up on my doorstep. Anyone care to join us? OUTSTANDING!!!
By the way, here's an official picture of Jackson on the set of The Hobbit from his own Facebook page - Very exciting!
But wait... there's MORE good news today! Paramount Home Entertainment has just announced ANOTHER of our favorite films here at The Digital Bits for Blu-ray release: Sergio Leone's legendary western Once Upon a Time in the West will officially arrive on Blu-ray Disc on May 31st! No, I'm NOT kidding! SRP is just $19.99! The set will include BOTH the theatrical cut and the extended version of the film, English 5.1 DTS HD-MA audio (along with restored English Mono, and French and Spanish mono), and all the extras from the previous DVD release, including audio commentary (with contributions by directors John Carpenter, John Milius and Alex Cox, film historians Sir Christopher Frayling and Dr. Sheldon Hall, cast and crew), 5 featurettes (An Opera of Violence, The Wages of Sin, Something to Do with Death, Railroad: Revolutionizing the West and Locations Then & Now), a production photo gallery and the film's theatrical trailer (we suspect in HD).
So yeah... that sound you just heard was our heads collectively exploding in joy here at The Bits. Man! Other than (unlikely) Blu-ray box sets of the Zatoichi films, all the Kurosawa films and maybe a Blu-ray release of Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors Trilogy or Sergei Bondarchuk's full-length, restored and shot-in-70mm War and Peace, there's not much else that could get us as excited as the news we've just given you... and all on the same day!
If you'll excuse me now, I'm just going to go and have a little breakdown now from the sheer joy of it all. Back tomorrow!
(LATE UPDATE - 3/18/11 - 3:45 PM PDT)
We've got one more quick update for you today: New cover artwork from Paramount Home Entertainment for their upcoming Beverly Hills Cop Blu-ray (due 5/17) and also their final cover art for the Coen Brothers' True Grit (6/7). We've also posted 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment's cover art for the new Blu-ray book version of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (due 5/10), though keep in mind again that this is NOT a new edition - it's just the same disc as before repackaged...
(EARLY UPDATE - 3/18/11 - 2:30 PM PDT)
All right... sorry for the lack of an update yesterday. As I said on Tuesday, I've been on jury duty all this week. As it turns out, I actually got picked to be on a jury, and yesterday we went into deliberations. So it ended up being a VERY full day away from the office and I was unable to get my usual news post up. Thankfully, the verdict was read late yesterday and I'm now done with my civic duties. It's a pretty impressive process, I'll tell you. If you ever get the chance, it's well worth doing. In any case, I'll make it up to you today by catching up with all the latest release announcements. So let's get right to it...
First up, Warner Home Video and Cartoon Network's Adult Swim have announced that Robot Chicken Star Wars Episode III will arrive on Blu-ray and DVD on 7/12 (SRP $19.89 and $14.98). Extras will include an interview with George Lucas, a sketch by sketch video commentary called Chicken Nuggets, audio commentaries, a number of featurettes (including Behind the Scenes, Voice Recording, Star Wars Celebration V Robot Chicken Panel, Skywalker Ranch Premiere Trip and Writer's Room) and deleted scenes with video intros. The Blu-ray version will exclusively add 2 more featurettes (Time Lapses of Animation and Seth Green Animation Reference).
Warner will also release Tracy and Hepburn: The Definitive Collection on DVD only on 4/12 (SRP $59.92). The 10-disc box set will include all 9 big-screen collaborations between the two actors, including Woman of the Year (1942), Keeper of the Flame (1942), Without Love (1945), Sea of Grass (1947), State of the Union (1948), Adam's Rib (1949), Pat and Mike (1952), Desk Set (1957) and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967). You'll also get a 10th bonus disc including the 87-minute Spencer Tracy Legacy: A Tribute by Katharine Hepburn documentary.
Disney has set Julie Taymor's The Tempest (starring Helen Mirren and Russell Brand) for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 9/13 (SRP $39.99 and $29.99). Extras will include audio commentary with Taymor, a Russell Brand Rehearsal Riff featurette, Reeve Carney's O Mistress Mine music video and more.
Disney has also set Have a Laugh: Volumes 3 & 4 on DVD on 6/14. These are collections of restored animated shorts, but most appear to have been altered by editing, and adding new music arrangements and voice recordings. So they're more for the kids than animation fans.
Meanwhile, Universal has set Pysch: The Complete Fifth Season for release on DVD on 5/31.
Anchor Bay Entertainment has set Daydream Nation for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/17 (SRP $34.99 and $26.98). Variety described the film as "Juno, as reimagined by David Lynch or a funnier, sunnier Donnie Darko." Fascinating. Extras will include a behind-the-scenes featurette.
Image Entertainment will release Peter Weir's The Way Back on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/19 (SRP $29.97 and $27.97).
Magnolia Home Entertainment and Rakontur will release Square Grouper on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/19.
We've gotten official confirmation that Film Chest and Virgil Films' Blu-ray/DVD Combo release of Francis Ford Coppola's Dementia 13 has been pushed back to 4/26 (SRP $15.99). Extras will include the trailer and a before and after restoration featurette. The title had previously been set for release on 3/29. They'll also release Poor Pretty Eddie on Blu-ray/DVD Combo the same day.
Rarovideo U.S. and Entertainment One are releasing Michelangelo Antonioni "triptych" film I Viniti on DVD on 3/29 (SRP $24.95). Entertainment One will also release Jolene on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/26.
For those of you eagerly anticipating next month's British royal wedding, Inception Media Group is releasing A Royal Romance: William & Kate on DVD on 4/12.
CAV and Troma are releasing Blood Junkie and Blood Oath on DVD on 5/10 (SRP $14.95 each).
And Icarus Films will release Cul de Sac: A Suburban War Story on DVD on 4/19.
Also, our friends over at TV Shows on DVD.com are reporting that Warner's Fringe: The Complete Third Season may street on Blu-ray and DVD on 9/6, according to distributor Ingram Entertainment's VideoETA. It's certainly possible, as the season finale should air in late April or early May, and a fourth season (if the show is renewed) would begin airing on Fox later in September. Speaking of which, don't forget that there's a new episode of the series airing tonight on Fox!
Finally, for those of you in the L.A. area, Rocket Video and Anchor Bay will be holding a special Sharktopus Blu-ray and DVD signing event next week (on Wednesday 3/23 from 7-9PM Pacific) with Roger and Julie Corman! There will be a 30-minute Q&A, followed by the signing itself. Note that the Cormans will ONLY sign copies of the film purchased at the store that night. Rocket Video is located at 315 N. La Brea Avenue in Hollywood (323-965-1100). Here's their website.
We'll leave you with a bit more new cover art: Here's both versions of Warner/Adult Swim's Robot Chicken Star Wars Episode III and the Tracy and Hepburn: The Definitive Collection box set...
All right, that's all for now. Good luck with your March Madness brackets and don't forget that the extra-terrestrial comedy Paul hits theatres this weekend! Early word is it's pretty funny.
See you Monday!
All right... we've got more great new title announcements for you today...
First, Warner Home Video has set The Rite for release on Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo and DVD on 5/17 (SRP $35.99 and $28.98). Extras will include an alternate ending and a featurette: The Rite: Solider of God. Here's a look at the cover art for both versions...
As you can see, we also have cover art for a new Criterion title. Criterion's announced their entire Blu-ray and DVD release slate for June, currently set to include Nicolas Roeg's Insignificance (due 6/14, #566, Blu-ray and DVD), Kon Ichikawa's The Makioka Sisters (due 6/14, #567, Blu-ray and DVD), Robert Aldrich's Kiss Me Deadly (due 6/21, #568, Blu-ray and DVD), Robert Siodmak and Edgar G. Ulmer's People on Sunday (due 6/28, #569, Blu-ray and DVD), and Louis Malle's Zazie dans le métro (due 6/28, #570, Blu-ray and DVD) and Black Moon (due 6/28, #571, Blu-ray and DVD). The company has also announced Eclipse Series 26: Raffaello Matarazzo's Runaway Masterpieces (due 6/21, DVD only - includes Chains, Tormento, Nobody's Children and The White Angel).
Meanwhile, 20th Century Fox has announced still MORE new Blu-ray catalog titles, including The Comancheros: 50th Anniversary Edition and The Hustler: The 50th Anniversary Edition on 5/17, followed by Tigerland on 5/24. The Comancheros will include audio commentary (by Stuart Whitman, Nehemiah Persoff, Michael Ansara and Patrick Wayne), 2 featurettes (The Comancheros and the Battle for the American Southwest and The Duke at Fox: A Two-Part Documentary), a vintage Comancheros comic book gallery, A Conversation with Stuart Whitman (Audio Only), Fox Movietonews: Claude King and Tillman Franks Receive Award for The Comancheros, theatrical trailers and 24-page book packaging. The Hustler will include audio commentary (by Paul Newman, film historian Jeff Young, film critic Richard Schickel and others), 8 featurettes (Paul Newman at Fox, Jackie Gleason: The Big Man, The Real Hustler: Walter Tevis, Life in the Fast Lane: Fast Eddie Felson and the Search for Greatness, Milestones in Cinema History: The Hustler, Swimming with Sharks: The Art of the Hustle, The Hustler: The Inside Story and Trick Shot Analysis by Mike Massey), A&E Biography's Paul Newman: Hollywood’s Cool Hand special, the How to Make the Shot scene gallery, the theatrical trailer and 24-page book packaging. And Tigerland will include commentary by director Joel Schumacher, 4 featurettes (The Real Tigerland, Joel Schumacher: Journey to Tigerland, Ross Klavan: Ode to Tigerland and Casting Session with Colin Farrell), a theatrical trailer and 2 TV spots.
Fox and MGM will also release new "Blu-ray Book" editions of Patton, Rocky, The Terminator, The Usual Suspects and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World on 5/10. We'd love to say that Patton and Master and Commander have been given new HD masters, but it's unlikely as these appear to be the same discs as before, just with new packaging.
One other bit of POTENTIAL release news: The Best Buy/Future Shop website in Canada is currently reporting a 6/28 release date for Warner's Lord of the Rings: Extended Blu-rays. Keep in mind, this is totally unofficial until Warner makes their announcement. Thanks to Bits reader Dax C. for the heads-up!
Morning, folks. Today's update is going to be a little light. First, because there's just not a ton of news to report here in the week early hours as I write this. And second, because I've got jury duty all day. That said, here's what's cooking at the moment...
As always, our own Russell Hammond has updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover art and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, a portion of anything you order through our links helps to support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it.
In announcement news, Image Entertainment has announced more Blu-ray titles, including a few new Sony catalog Blu-ray titles that they're releasing as part of their deal with studio. Due on 5/31 is Passion Play, followed by Apt Pupil and IMAX: Legends of Flight 3D on 6/7, Johnny Mnemonic and NBA Presents: When They Were Young on 6/14, The Medallion and Mega Python vs. Gatoroid on 6/21, and Wild Cherry and Cowboy Bebop: The Movie on 6/28. SRPs vary from $17.97 to $29.97. Here's a look at some cover art...
Meanwhile, Sony has set the Oscar-nominated animated film The Illusionist (2010) for release on Blu-ray/DVD Combo pack and DVD on 5/10. Extras will reportedly include audio commentary with director Sylvain Chomet and The Making of The Illusionist (plus more TBA).
Warner Home Video has set Life Unexpected: The Complete First and Second Seasons for release on DVD only on 4/5 (SRP $59.98). The studio has also set Everwood: The Complete Fourth Season for release on DVD only on 8/2 (SRP $39.98).
The Sebastian Copeland documentary Into The Cold: A Journey of the Soul is set to be released on DVD on 4/19 (SRP $24.95). A portion of the profits for the release will be donated to Global Green USA and The SEDNA Foundation.
Paramount and CBS have set Wallenberg: A Hero's Story for release on DVD on 4/5.
Lionsgate will release Rabbit Hole on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/19, along with Hyenas on DVD only.
And Anchor Bay Entertainment has set Turbulent Skies! for release on DVD on 6/21 (SRP $26.98).
In other news, though it's far from the most important impact of these events, as you'd expect the chaos caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan has shut down consumer electronics operations at plants owned by Sony, Toshiba, Fujitsu and Panasonic in Japan, including equipment manufacturing and Blu-ray replication. More here at Home Media and here at Deadline Hollywood.
Finally, a number of our Canadian readers have been encountering problems with Paramount's Blu-ray release of Gladiator. It seems that some copies of the title available in Canadian stores have the yellow UPC code, but contain the OLD disc - not the new remastered one. If for some reason you DO get the old disc, Paramount here in the States is still honoring exchanges to Canadian consumers at the U.S. address. Call their 1-888-889-9456 customer service phone number to start the exchange process. The U.S. mailing address is:
c/o Deluxe Media Management
PO BOX 801464
Valencia, CA USA
(LATE UPDATE - 3/14/11 - 3 PM PDT)
Okay, we've got one more quick update for you this afternoon...
Also, we've heard back from WHV and have learned that the studio IS indeed planning a U.S. Blu-ray release of The Superman Motion Picture Anthology. There's no additional information from them yet, but I think you can safely assume that it will street here around the same time as the U.K. release in June. We'll post official details as we get them. Meanwhile, there are reports circulating (including here at the Spanish site ZonaDVD) that the set will include 8 discs total - 6 for the movies (including films I, III, IV, Superman Returns and BOTH versions of Superman II on individual discs) and 2 discs of bonus content. Keep in mind this isn't official yet. We expect that WHV will make their actual announcement here in the States in the next few weeks. Thanks to Bits reader Santiago R. for the link.
Now then... we do have something interesting to report this morning, release-wise. Warner's European studio operations have announced The Superman Motion Picture Anthology: 1978-2006 for region-free Blu-ray release in the U.K. on 6/13. It's a 5-disc set, and word is that it will include the original Richard Donner Superman, Superman II (no word if it's the Donner cut or the original Lester version), Superman III, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace and Bryan Singer's Superman Returns. This COULD be cool. It's certainly nice that III and IV will finally be available on Blu-ray. BUT... unless there's new content, the rest of this set is likely to be simply re-issued discs that most fans already own on Blu-ray. Here's what we'd LIKE to see: How about the original theatrical cut of Superman II? Not that we don't LOVE the Donner cut, but still, the original would be nice to have in HD. It would also be great if Warner gave Bryan Singer the chance to create a director's cut of Superman Returns, or at least gave him the chance to finally include the shot-but-never-seen "Return to Krypton" sequence that was originally planned to open the film. Finally, here's what I personally want on Blu-ray more than: The original Fleischer brothers Superman animated shorts in HD. How cool would that be? Wishful thinking maybe, but still. Anyway... we've asked our sources at WHV if this set is planned for release here in the States this year. As always, we'll let you know if we're able to find out anything. Meanwhile, here's what the U.K. set will look like...
As you can see, we've also included Paramount's near final cover art for the Coen Brothers' True Grit on Blu-ray (due on 6/7). And while we're posting cover art, here's a look at more new Fox and MGM covers (some more of those catalog titles they announced on Friday)...