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page updated: 5/7/12



My Two Cents
(Archived Posts 3/30/12 - 3/2/12)


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3/30/12

The big new release news today is that Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox have announced the Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD release of Red Tails on 5/22. This is obviously the recent George Lucas-produced film about the Tuskegee Airmen directed by Anthony Hemingway. Extras on the Blu-ray will include the Double Victory: The Tuskegee Airmen at War documentary, 5 featurettes (George Lucas: Executive Producer, Anthony Hemingway: Director, Terence Blanchard: Composer, The Cast of Red Tails and Movie Magic) as well as the THX Media Director and more.

And on the catalog front, Warner Home Video has just announced the Blu-ray book release of the classic 1982 Best Picture-winning film Chariots of Fire on 7/10 (SRP $19.98). Extras will include 3 newly-produced featurettes (Paris, 1924: Birth of the Modern Olympics, David Puttnam, A Cinematic Champion and Hugh Hudson: Journey to the Gold), 4 vintage featurettes (Wings on their Heels: The Making of Chariots of Fire, Chariots of Fire: A Reunion, Sprint Around the Quad and Famous Opening Shot), audio commentary with director Hugh Hudson, deleted scenes and screen tests, as well as a 4-song soundtrack CD sampler disc.

In other news today, Cartoon Network and WHV have announced the DVD release of Adventure Time: The Complete First Season on 7/10 (SRP $26.95). The 2-disc set will include all 26 episodes plus tons of extras.

And Shout! Factory has set the 1976 film The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea for Blu-ray release on 6/19 only via the Shout! Factory online store. The film stars Sarah Miles and Kris Kristofferson.

Here's a look at the Blu-ray Disc cover art for Lucasfilm and Fox's Red Tails, Fox's This Means War (5/22) and Shout!'s The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea...

Red Tails (Blu-ray Disc)This Means War (Blu-ray Disc)The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea (Blu-ray Disc)

Have a great weekend!

3/29/12

All right, sorry about missing the daily post yesterday. That might happen now and again over the next couple weeks. I'm actually spending time with my parents at the moment. My dad's been fighting cancer for the past few months and so I'm trying to spend time with him and just generally help my folks out with things as needed. Yeah, I know. Cancer again - way too much of it going around. So if I occasionally miss a day here and there, I appreciate your patience. I'll always make sure to catch you up as soon as possible.

Anyway, let's get to the latest release announcements...

20th Century Fox has set This Means War for Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD release on 5/22. The DVD will include the theatrical cut while the Blu-ray will include both the theatrical cut and a 7-minute longer extended cut. Extras on the BD will include audio commentary on both cuts by director McG, 6 deleted scenes with optional commentary, 3 alternate endings with optional commentary, alternative opening previz, an uncensored gag reel, the Bachelorette Party featurette and the theatrical trailer.

Fox has also set Machine Gun Preacher for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/5. The films stars Gerard Butler.

Sony has officially announced a title we've mentioned recently - Men in Black II - for release on Blu-ray on 5/1. The original Men in Black will also be re-released on Blu-ray that same day. Both will feature sneak peeks of the forthcoming Men in Black III (along with a movie ticket offer to see the film). Men in Black will contain all the same extras as the previous BD, while Men in Black II will include commentary with director Barry Sonnefeld, an alternate ending, 5 behind-the-scenes featurettes, Creature featurettes, a blooper reel, Barry Sonnenfeld's Intergalactic Guide to Comedy, an animatic sequence, multi-angle scene deconstructions, Will Smith's Black Suits Comin' (Nod Ya Head) music video and a PS3 game demo for the forthcoming Men in Black videogame.

And for those of you interested in Warner's Camelot: 45th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray in Digibook packaging (due 4/24 - SRP $35.99), the studio is going to release it in standard BD packaging on 7/17 (SRP $19.98).

Meanwhile, Disney will release GCB: The Complete First Season on DVD only on 6/12.

Film Chest's HD Cinema Classics label will release the 1947 film The Red House on DVD/Blu-ray combo pack on 4/24. The film stars Edward G. Robinson.

Shout! Factory has set S.W.A.T.: The Final Season for DVD release on 5/22.

And TLA Releasing has set the documentary This Is What Love in Action Looks Like on DVD only on 5/8.

Stay tuned...

3/27/12

All right, Russell Hammond has finished the weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section. As always, a portion of anything that you order from Amazon after clicking through to them from our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we greatly appreciate it.

We wanted to draw your attention to the fact that Warner has some additional catalog titles coming out on Blu-ray on 7/17 in addition to those we've mentioned before. They include Next of Kin, A Perfect Murder, Just Cause, Hard to Kill and Murder in the First.

In new announcement news today, Universal has set Cat Run for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/19.

There's also good news from Universal for those of you who purchased their original Out of Africa Blu-ray - the one with the terrible HD transfer. They're offering to exchange the old BD with the new remastered, Universal 100th anniversary edition. Just contact USHE customer support (USHE.ConsumerRelations@bydeluxe.com) for the details. Thanks to Bits reader Craig K. for the heads-up!

Meanwhile, Lionsgate has set Rogue River and Hatfields & McCoys: Bad Blood for DVD only release on 6/5. The studio has also set Tyler Perry's Aunt Bams Place for DVD only release on 6/12, along with the Blu-ray release of Meatballs that same day - yes, the Bill Murray film.

In soundtrack news, Sony Classical has just released a pair of new James Cameron's Titanic soundtrack CDs - the Titanic: Anniversary Edition and Titanic: Collector's Anniversary Edition - to mark the 100th anniversary of the Titanic setting sail (April 10th) and also the new 3D release of the film. The Collector's version will be a 3-CD set that includes not only the remastered soundtrack but also the Back to Titanic soundtrack and Popular Music from the Titanic Era. Don't forget that we've confirmed with industry sources that the film IS coming out on Blu-ray later this year as well, though it's not yet officially announced.

While we're talking music news, Tenacious D has a new video up of their effort to record "the greatest album of all time." worth a look.

And in other news, director Oliver Stone apparently just upgraded his home theatre. You can check it out here.

That's all for now. Stay tuned...

3/26/12

More release announcements for you today...

First, Sony has set AMC's Breaking Bad: The Complete Fourth Season for Blu-ray and DVD release on 6/5 (SRP $65.99 and $55.99). The set will feature TONS of extras including all 13 episodes with optional audio commentary by the cast and crew, deleted scenes, numerous featurettes (including The Real Family of Breaking Bad, Inside the Explosive Finale, The Sets of Breaking Bad, The Invisible Driver, A Look At Season 4, The Science of a Hit Show, Tour of the Superlab with Propmaster, The Look of the Superlab, Gale's Karaoke Video, Cast Chemistry, Timelapse of Timelapse, Inside Breaking Bad Unanswered Questions, Better Call Saul: Fatty Fat Fat and Better Call Saul: Fighting For You!), a gag reel and more.

Sony's also set Drop Dead Diva: The Complete Third Season for DVD only release on 5/29 and Ghost Story (aka Circle of Fear): The Complete First Season for DVD-R release via their Manufacturing on Demand program with Amazon on 5/1.

Meanwhile, Shout! Factory has just set The Sarah Silverman Program: The Complete Series for DVD release on 6/19. The 7-disc set contains all 32 episodes plus extras including audio commentaries with the cast and crew, the original pilot, audition videos, various digital and animated shorts, a number of behind-the-scenes videos, A Conversation with the Writers And Producers and The Cast and Creators at 2007's Comic-Con. If you pre-order on the Shout! website you'll also get a bonus CD containing 99 musical selections from the show.

Fox has set Love's Everlasting Courage for DVD release on 5/8, just in time for Mother's Day. The film is adapted from the Love Comes Softly book series.

Also, Eagle Rock Entertainment has set Simply Red: Live at Montreux 2003 for Blu-ray and DVD release on 5/22.

And in other news, market analysis firm Centris is reporting that Blu-ray player penetration in the U.S. has reached 26% as of the fourth quarter of 2011, which was up 47% from the same period in 2010. At that rate, one would expect it to reach 30-40% by the end of 2012. More here at Home Media.

Also at Home Media today, Rentrak data shows that Blu-ray/DVD rentals topped $5.6 billion in 2011.

Stay tuned...

3/23/12

Afternoon, folks! Hope you're all well today.

It's a bit of a slow news day, but we've got a short new column for you today. This one is from a new contributor to The Digital Bits... Mario Boucher. He's going to be doing reviews and features for the site in the months ahead. His first piece is for you newbies to the world of pop culture conventions. We mention Comic-Con and Wonder-Con here at The Bits a lot and many of you have either been to one of these (or similar) events or at least know what they're all about. But for those of you who have never been to a convention like this, Mario though it would be interesting to do a little write up on last week's Wonder-Con convention here in Orange County to give you a taste of what such events are all about. From genre films and TV series to superheros, videogames and other gaming, anime, comic books, science fiction and fantasy literature, artists of all stripes, panels and guests appearances - there's something for everyone to enjoy at these events. Anyway, enjoy the piece and be sure to drop Mario an e-mail to give him a big Bits reader welcome!

The big release news today is that Universal has officially set The Sting: Universal 100th Anniversary Edition for Blu-ray and DVD release on 6/5. The Blu-ray will include 4 featurettes (The Art of The Sting, 100 Years of Universal: Restoring the Classics, 100 Years of Universal: The '70s and 100 Years of Universal: The Lot) and a Digital Copy version (expires 12/31/2013). Universal has also set Universal 100th Anniversary Edition Blu-rays of Smokey and the Bandit and Erin Brockovich for release on 6/5 as well.

This one's a while out yet, but Disney has officially announced the 10/23 Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo, Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD release of the original CG-animated Secret of the Wings, which tells the story of Tinker Bell.

Speaking of Disney, we have additional word on some of the extras you'll find on the Blu-ray version of The Secret World of Arrietty (due 5/22). Look for an alternate Storyboard version of the film, original trailers and TV spots, music videos by Cecile Corbel and Bridgit Mendler and a making of the Mendler video. Meanwhile, Castle in the Sky and Whisper of the Heart will include all of the DVD extras plus additional BD interaction options TBA.

Image Entertainment has set Memorial Day for Blu-ray and DVD release on 5/29.

20th Century Fox is releasing Get the Gringo as a Video on Demand only title on 5/1. The film was written, produced and stars Mel Gibson. You can watch the trailer here on YouTube. Word is that a disc release will follow, so watch for an official announcement.

Golddiggers is releasing The Dean Martin Variety Show Uncut on 3-disc DVD on 5/22.

Green Apple Entertainment will release Death and Cremation on DVD on 4/24.

And the Asylum has announced the start of production on the original Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark, the third film of the Mega Shark trilogy (which includes Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus and Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus). So you know... plan accordingly.

Here's a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Universal's The Sting, Smokey and the Bandit and Erin Brockovich, Image's The Odessa File (due 5/15), and Warner/New Line's Frequency and Spawn: Director's Cut (both due 7/10)...

The Sting (Blu-ray Disc)Smokey and the Bandit (Blu-ray Disc)Erin Brockovich (Blu-ray Disc)

The Odessa File (Blu-ray Disc)Frequency (Blu-ray Disc)Spawn: Director's Cut (Blu-ray Disc)

All right, that's all for this week. Looks like the Hunger Games is dominating the movie theaters this weekend, though we hear that Abel Ferrara's 4:44 Last Day on Earth is an interesting art house choice if you happen to find it playing in your area.

See you Monday!

(LATE UPDATE - 3/22/12 - 2 PM PDT)

Afternoon, folks. Looks like we've got a little bit more release news for you today...

First, Warner Home Video has officially set the Harry Potter Wizard's Collection for release on 9/7 (SRP $499.99, but just $349 on Amazon.com). The whopping 31-disc set will (apparently) include everything that's been released in the previous Ultimate Collector's Edition sets - all 8 films on Blu-ray, DVD and UltraViolet Digital Copy plus extras, including the extended versions of Sorcerer's Stone and Chamber of Secrets and the 2D/3D versions of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Parts 1 and 2. The set will also include 10 hours of "new to disc" bonus content and 5 hours of never-before-seen material. This material includes all new featurettes (The Harry Potters You Never Met, Creating the World of Harry Potter, Pt. 7: Story, Creating the World of Harry Potter, Pt. 8: Growing Up and A Conversation with JK Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe) and there's apparently more that will be announced in the coming weeks on harrypotter.com. This set comes packaged in a 19-pound/foot-wide gift box and includes additional items like a Map of Hogwarts, concept art prints, catalogs of props, posters and more. Here's a look at the packaging. You can pre-order the title now from Amazon.com by clicking on the artwork...

Harry Potter Wizard's Collection (Blu-ray Disc/DVD)

Harry Potter Wizard's Collection (Blu-ray Disc/DVD)

Now then, lots of you probably have additional questions about this set. And I'm sure many of you are wondering what this means for the eventual Ultimate Collector's Edition release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Parts 1 and 2. When the press release came in last night we put a few of those questions to our friends at WHV and were told that there is "more to be revealed." So we would expect the UCE sets to get announced as well in the weeks ahead. We'll post more details as they come in.

Meanwhile, in the wake of news about their upcoming The Early Films of Stanley Kubrick project (which we're told will be out before the end of 2012 on both Blu-ray and DVD), Kino Lorber has announced their June Blu-ray and DVD release slate. From their Alive Mind label, look for Raw Faith (DVD) on 6/5 and Mutantes (DVD) on 6/19. From the Kino Lorber label itself, watch for Bear Nation (DVD), The Woodsmans (DVD) and Zero Bridge (DVD) on 6/5, Love & Anarchy (BD), The Seduction of Mimi (BD), All Screwed Up (BD) and the Kino Classics Presents: The Lina Wertmuller Collection (DVD - includes Love & Anarchy, The Seduction of Mimi and All Screwed Up) on 6/12, and the Little Lord Fauntleroy: Remastered Edition (BD and DVD) on 6/26. Finally, from their Jezebel label, look for Permissive (DVD) and That Kind of Girl (DVD) on 6/19.

Here's awesome news: Warner Home Video has announced MORE new WHV and New Line catalog Blu-ray titles for release on 7/10, including Altered States, The Astronauts Wife, Brainstorm, Coma, Frequency, the Spawn: Director's Cut and (wait for it...) Outland!

Also, Lionsgate has set Power Rangers Samurai: The Team Unites - Volume 1 and Power Rangers Samurai: A New Enemy - Volume 2 for DVD release on 6/19.

For you disaster film fans, a number of Bits readers have informed us that they've spotted Fox's The Poseidon Adventure on Blu-ray at WalMart.com as an exclusive title. Street date is 4/3 (SRP $19.98). Sure enough, here it is.

And finally today, we've confirmed with our industry sources that James Cameron's Titanic is currently in production for Blu-ray Disc release sometime before the end of 2012 from Paramount (and no doubt Fox internationally). Watch for official announcements in the weeks ahead.

We'll leave you with a look at the Blu-ray art for Fox's The Poseidon Adventure and Warner's Outland and Altered States...

The Poseidon Adventure (Blu-ray Disc)Outland (Blu-ray Disc)Altered States (Blu-ray Disc)

Back tomorrow. Stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 3/22/12 - 12:01 AM PDT)

We're pleased today to bring you the latest installment of Barrie Maxwell's Classic Coming Attractions! In this column, Barrie reviews 6 classic films on Blu-ray from producer David O' Selznick, including Kino's A Star Is Born, Nothing Sacred and A Farewell to Arms and MGM's Rebecca, Notorious and Spellbound. Barrie also reviews a few non-Selznick titles, including MGM's The Apartment and B2MP Inc./Inception Media's Lady for a Day on Blu-ray, as well as Warner Archive's Taxi, Frisco Kid, The Sisters, Slim and One Sunday Afternoon on MOD DVD-R. And as always, he runs down all the latest classic title announcements as well. It's another great column from Barrie, so we hope you all enjoy it!

Also here at The Bits today, we've kicked off a new DVD Giveaway featuring copies of Shout! Factory's The Adventures of Tintin: Seasons One and Two as well as Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales: The Complete Series. Entries will be accepted until Noon (Pacific) on Sunday 4/1 and the winners will be notified the next day. Click on the links for instructions on how to enter and good luck!

In news announcement news today, 20th Century Fox has set a pair of classic film titles - Zorba the Greek and The Grapes of Wrath - for Blu-ray Disc release on 6/5 (SRP $29.95 each). However, you'll be able to get them a couple months early, starting on 4/3, at Screen Archives.com if you wish. Click on the links (or the cover artwork below) to pre-order.

Also today, RaroVideo and Entertainment One have set Luchino Visconti's Conversation Piece for Blu-ray release on 4/10 (SRP $29.98). Extras will include the trailer, a booklet and an interview with film critic and screenwriter Alessandro Bencivenni.

And are any of you fans of The Ring? Paramount has released a Blu-ray version of the film exclusively at Best Buy stores. Thanks to Bits reader Robert D. for the heads up!

Finally this morning, here's some terrible news. It's actually not "news" per-se because, as our friend Jeff Bond pointed out to me yesterday, the project has effectively been in limbo for months already. But Syfy has officially confirmed that Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome will not be brought to series. Instead, they "say" they intend to air the pilot as a movie and then turn the project into a digital series online. My guess is they'll just keep delaying and dragging their feet until people forget the whole thing and it will never reappear anywhere after they air the pilot and (maybe) release a DVD or BD. Frankly, Syfy is an embarrassment. Despite their science fiction origins, they seem more interested in airing faux reality programming, wrestling and schlocky made-for-cable movies than anything that might get sci-fi fans truly excited. Nevertheless, for those of you who want to see what Syfy has decided to pass on, take at gander at this unofficial trailer for the project, which Superhero Hype has up for the moment. (Act quick - blink and you'll miss it before NBC Uni has them pull it down!) Hey Netflix - maybe you should pass on Terra Nova and pick THIS one up instead...

Here's a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Fox's Zorba the Greek and The Grapes of Wrath, as well as the final art for Criterion's The Samurai Trilogy (due 6/26)...

Zorba the Greek (Blu-ray Disc)The Grapes of Wrath (Blu-ray Disc)The Samurai Trilogy (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

3/21/12

All right, we've got some GREAT release news today...

This first one is official, folks: Our friends over at Kino Lorber have revealed plans to complete the release of the films of legendary director Stanley Kubrick in high-definition this fall, with a Blu-ray Disc collection of his earliest works - The Early Films of Stanley Kubrick - including Fear and Desire, The Seafarers, Day of the Fight and The Flying Padre. Now if we can just get Universal to remaster Spartacus on Blu-ray in the kind of quality it deserves... and maybe encourage Warner to finally let Douglas Trumbull do his 2001: A Space Odyssey documentary... there's not much more a Kubrick fan could want on disc. Of course, we'll post more details as they become available. Meanwhile, BD.com has a sell sheet.

Next up... the Norwegian BD website Release.no has posted details from a leaked Sony sell sheet that indicate we're finally about to see the long-awaited Blu-ray Disc release of Lawrence of Arabia. The reported street date in Norway is 6/13, with dates in other countries around the same time. One would certainly expect an official announcement from Sony in the next few days or weeks. Thanks to Bits reader Terje S. for the link. You'll find temp cover art for the title (as seen on the sales sheet) below.

Meanwhile, Warner Home Video has announced a number of new catalog film Blu-rays for release on 7/17, including Mean Streets, Murder in the First, Just Cause, Hard to Kill, Next of Kin and A Perfect Murder. The New Line titles Cellular, Butterfly Effect and Butterfly Effect 2 are also coming to Blu that day. Butterfly Effect is set to include both the theatrical and director's cuts.

Also, Millennium Entertainment will release Rampart on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/15.

And Fox has announced a pair of new DVD sets - The Frank Sinatra Film Collection and The John Wayne Film Collection - for release on 4/3 and 5/8 respectively. Each set will include classic 10 films (SRP $49.98 each - complete list of films is TBA).

Finally this afternoon, a trailer for NBC Universal/Syfy's Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome leaked on YouTube last night and then promptly disappeared this morning. One suspects it will reappear online over the next couple days, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for it. From what I saw, it looks pretty good. Fingers crossed the network doesn't screw it up.

Here's a look at Sony's temp BD art for Lawrence of Arabia, EMI Music's official BD art for The Beatles: Yellow Submarine (due 5/29) and Warner's Mean Streets...

Lawrence of Arabia (TEMP ART - Blu-ray Disc)The Beatles: Yellow Submarine (Blu-ray Disc)Mean Streets (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

3/20/12

First up today, our own Russell Hammond has posted the weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section. As always, a portion of ANYTHING you order from Amazon after you click through to them from our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it.

Now then, the big news today is that Apple Corps Ltd. and EMI Music have announced the 4K restoration and 5/29 (5/28 in the U.K.) Blu-ray and DVD release of The Beatles: Yellow Submarine. Extras will include audio commentary by art director Heinz Edelmann and producer John Coates, the Mod Odyssey featurette, the trailer, 3 storyboard sequences (Sea of Monsters, Battle of the Monsters and Pepperland), 6 interview clips (with Paul Angelis, John Clive, David Livesey, Millicent McMillan, Jack Stokes and Erich Segal) and galleries of original pencil drawings and behind-the-scenes photos. Both versions will come in Digipack packaging, complete with "reproductions of animation cels from the film, collectible stickers and a 16-page booklet with a new essay by Yellow Submarine aficionado John Lasseter" of Pixar. More details are available here in the official press release and here at the official Beatles website.

Universal has set The Grey for release on Blu-ray Combo and DVD on 5/22. Both the Blu-ray and DVD will include deleted scenes and audio commentary by co-writer/director Joe Carnahan and editors Roger Barton and Jason Hellmann. To this, the Blu-ray will add all the usual interactive bells and whistles.

Also today, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has officially set Underworld: Awakening for release on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD on 5/8. Extras on both BD versions will include audio commentary, a blooper reel, Lacey Sturm's Heavy Prey music video and 5 featurettes (Selene Rises, Casting the Future of Underworld, Resuming the Action, Building a Better Lycan and Awakening a Franchise, Building a Brutal New World). The 2D BD will also have exclusively have the Cracking the Underworld: Picture-in-Picture Experience, while the 3D BD will exclusively include Previsualization Sequences in 3D.

And Warner Home Video has announced the Blu-ray Combo and DVD release of the original animated Superman vs. The Elite on 6/12 (SRP $24.98 and $19.98). Extras will include 2 featurettes (The Elite Unbound: No Rules, No Mercy and Superman and the Moral Debate), audio commentary and lots of additional bonus and teaser content.

Meanwhile, Vanguard has announced their June DVD release slate, which includes Carried Away, Daddy's Home, Pased (The Walk) and Toxic Lullaby all on 6/26 (SRP $19.95).

Image has set She's Not Our Sister for DVD only release on 5/1 (SRP $14.98).

ABC Family and CreateSpace have announced the DVD-R release of The Secret Life of the American Teenager: Volume Seven. The 3-disc set contains 13 episodes and is now available exclusively on Amazon.com.

And Microcinema has set North Star: Mark Di Suvero, Colored Frames and Animated Films by Karen Aqua (1954-2011) for DVD release on 3/27.

Here's a look at BD cover artwork for Universal's The Grey, both versions of Sony's Underworld: Awakening, sneak peek art for Disney's newly-revealed BDs of Home on the Range (due 7/3), Treasure Planet: 10th Anniversary Edition (also 7/3) and Newsies: 20th Anniversary Edition (6/19)...

The Grey (Blu-ray Disc)Underworld: Awakening (Blu-ray 3D)Underworld: Awakening (Blu-ray Disc)

Home on the Range (Blu-ray Disc)Treasure Planet: 10th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Disc)Newsies: 20th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

3/19/12

All right, so we've got some interesting things to cover today. First though, here are some pictures from the 1982: Best Geek Year Ever panel we were on at WonderCon on Friday. Among those pictured are Mark Altman, Jeff Bond, Ashley Miller, Rob Burnett, Daren Dochterman, Steve Melching, Steve Kriozere (NCIS, Necessary Roughness, EP of Femme Fatales) and The Bits' own Dr. Adam Jahnke and Bill Hunt (yours truly). As you can see, Adam and I were doing our own little tribute to that true masterpiece of all 1982 films... MegaForce! (Thus the blonde wig and headbands.) It was a fun time - the room was absolutely packed, there were lots of laughs and the panel was even broadcast over Sirius XM over the weekend. Thanks to those of you who dropped by to attend and came up to say hello afterwards - great seeing you all. Special thanks also to our old friend (and longtime HTF member and Bits reader) Winston Walker for the pix!

Mark AltmanAshley Miller, Rob Burnett and Steve Melching

Rob BurnettDr. Adam Jahnke, Bill Hunt and Steve Kriozere

Jeff BondDaren Dochterman and Steve Melching

Speaking of WonderCon, some of you may already know that 20th Century Fox and director Ridley Scott debuted a new trailer for Prometheus at the event this weekend. Prometheus (as you should now ALL be aware) is DEFINITELY a prequel to the original Alien. The new trailer leaves absolutely no doubt about this. However before you watch the trailer (which looks fantastic) I want to caution you... it appears to give away a LOT of plot details. So if you're trying to go into the film unspoiled avoid the trailer like the plague. If not... watch away! Thank goodness June's just a few months away.

Now then... let's get to the announcement news...

First up, Disney has revealed that they're FINALLY going to be rolling out some of their deeper catalog live-action and animated titles on Blu-ray over the course of 2012. More than 30 movies in all have been slated for release in the months ahead (in addition to Father of the Bride, Bringing Down the House, The Color of Money, Cocktail and Ransom which have already been announced), including Sister Act and Evita on 6/19, The Horse Whisperer, Under the Tuscan Sun, Phenomenon, Step Up, Home on the Range and Treasure Planet on 7/3, Adventures in Babysitting, Grosse Pointe Blank, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, The Rescuers, High Fidelity, Ed Wood, Judge Dredd, Ghost of the Abyss 3D, Lady and the Tramp 2: Scamp's Adventure, Pocahontas, The Tigger Movie, The Aristocats and Pete's Dragon (all TBA for fall), and Hocus Pocus, Arachnophobia, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, The Absent-Minded Professor, Flubber, Son of Flubber, Cold Creek Manor, The Santa Clause Trilogy, While You Were Sleeping, Sweet Home Alabama, Beaches, Babes in Toyland, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Brother Bear and Dick Tracy (TBA October-December). Not bad! Now if only we could get that Tombstone: Special Edition... More on this here at Home Media.

Also today, our friends at Criterion have officially announced their June Blu-ray and DVD slate, which is set to include Hal Ashby's Harold and Maude (6/12, rescheduled from 4/17 - Cat #608 - BD and DVD), Danny Boyle's Shallow Grave (6/12 - #616 - BD and DVD), Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush (6/12 - #615 - BD and DVD), Steven Soderberg's And Everything Is Going Fine (6/19 - #617 - BD and DVD) and Gray's Anatomy (6/19 - #618 - BD and DVD), Hiroshi Inagaki's The Samurai Trilogy (Musashi Miyamoto, Duel at Ichijoji Temple and Duel at Ganryu Island - 6/26 - #176-178 - BD and DVD) and Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps (6/26 - #56 - BD and DVD). More great work from the Collection as always!

Here's a truly great bit of news: The BBC has officially announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of Sherlock: Season Two here in the States on 5/22 (SRP $39.98 and $29.98). You'll get all three episodes, audio commentary on the episodes Scandal in Belgravia and The Hounds of Baskerville, and the 20-minute Sherlock Uncovered behind-the-scenes featurette. (Note that these are the exact same extras found on the U.K. BD release already available.) What a brilliant series!

Speaking of great shows, Amazon.com is now taking pre-orders for Blu-ray and DVD versions of Fringe: The Complete Fourth Season (SRP $69.97 and $59.98 but 30% off on Amazon.). Street date is still TBA. Thanks to Bits reader Jon H. for the link!

Meanwhile, Blue Underground has announced that their planned Blu-ray release of A Bullet for the General (due 5/22) will now be a 2-disc Special Edition containing both the U.S. version (115 minutes) and the international cut (118 mins).

Also today, Lionsgate has set One for the Money for Blu-ray and DVD release on 5/15.

Fox has set Flicka: Country Pride for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/1.

Shout! Factory has set the Korean sci-fi hit Sector 7 for release on Blu-ray 3D and DVD format on 6/26 (SRP SRP $29.97 and $19.99). The BD version contains both 2D and 3D versions.

And Well Go USA has set Mutant Girls Squad for Blu-ray/DVD C0mbo and DVD release on 5/22 (SRP $29.98 and $24.98).

Finally today, a number of you have e-mailed us to ask about rumors that have been circulating around the Net since last week to the effect that New Video and A&E Home Video have stopped work on the Blu-ray release of Space: 1999 - Season Two. I can report to you all today that BOTH A&E and New Video have told us that there's no truth to this. We're waiting for additional details from them, but in the meantime know that the rumors are inaccurate. Space: 1999 - Season Two is apparently still in production for Blu-ray. More soon.

Here's a look at the Blu-ray Disc cover art for the BBC's Sherlock: Season Two, Criterion's The 39 Steps and The Gold Rush, Twilight Time's Bell, Book and Candle and Desiree (due 4/10) and Shout! Factory's Sector 7...

Sherlock: Season Two (Blu-ray Disc)The 39 Steps (Blu-ray Disc)Gold Rush (Blu-ray Disc)

Bell, Book and Candle (Blu-ray Disc)Desiree (Blu-ray Disc)Sector 7 (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

3/16/12

[Editor's Note: On Friday morning I mistakenly attributed Otto Preminger's Anatomy of a Murder to director Alfred Hitchcock in the link to Barrie's review of the new Criterion BD posted above. My mistake. Sorry about that - it's been that kind of year! It's now fixed. Thanks to all the patient Bits readers who let us know.]

All right, real quick update today as me and Dr. Jahnke and are on our way over to WonderCon in Anaheim. Don't forget, the It Was 30 Years Ago Today: Celebrating 1982 -- Greatest Geek Year Ever! panel is in Room 204 from 3-4 PM, so drop on by if you get the chance.

Now then, our own Barrie Maxwell has turned in an excellent review of Criterion's new Anatomy of a Murder Blu-ray. He's also got a new Classic Coming Attractions column coming next week, so don't miss it.

And the one real piece of news we have to report today should be considered Rumor Mill worthy until official announcements get made, but here it is: Entertainment One in Canada is preparing for the Blu-ray/DVD Combo release of the Studio Ghibli animated titles The Secret World of Arrietty, Whisper of the Heart and Castle in the Sky. Street date is currently 5/22, but is subject to change. We think you can safely expect the titles, however, because not only have our industry sources confirmed that the titles are in the works for Blu... Disney's U.S. BD cover artwork is already up on Amazon.com with an SRP of $39.99 each...

The Secret World of Arrietty (Blu-ray Disc)Whisper of the Heart (Blu-ray Disc)Castle in the Sky (Blu-ray Disc)

That's all for this week. Back on Monday with more. Stay tuned!

3/15/12

We've got another excellent Bottom Shelf Blu-ray review for you today from Dr. Jahnke - Ralph Bakshi's Wizards, newly released in Blu-ray Book format by 20th Century Fox. I've looked at the U.K. import BD version before, so click here to see what the good Doctor things of the new disc.

In announcement news today, Anchor Bay Entertainment has officially set actor/director Ralph Fiennes' Coriolanus for Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD release on 5/29 (SRP $34.99 and $26.98). Extras are set to include audio commentary with Fiennes and The Making of Coriolanus featurette.

Shout! Factory will release the animated Astonishing X-Men: Dangerous on DVD only on 4/10. On 6/5 they'll release G.I. Joe: Renegades - Season One, Volume 1 on DVD. They've also set actor filmmaker Johnnie To's Accident for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/12. Extras on Accident will include the trailer and a "making of" featurette.

Music Box Films has set Young Goethe in Love for DVD only release on 4/24.

Bloody Disgusting and The Collective have announced Hellacious Acres: The Case of John Glass for DVD only release on 4/3.

And Inception Media Group has set The Veteran for DVD only release on 4/10.

Also, Criterion has moved the Blu-ray and DVD release date of Hal Ashby's Harold and Maude to 6/12 (from 4/17). Adjust your plans accordingly.

Finally, Dr. Jahnke and I are going to be attending the WonderCon convention in Anaheim, CA tomorrow (and possibly throughout the weekend with Matt Rowe from MusicTAP). Specifically, we'll be participating in the It Was 30 Years Ago Today: Celebrating 1982 -- Greatest Geek Year Ever! panel (Room 204 from 3-4 PM) with such luminaries as Mark Altman (a regular Bits contributor and also the producer of Cinemax's Femme Fatales), Geek Monthly editor Jeff Bond, screenwriter Ashley E. Miller (Thor, X-Men: First Class), director Robert Meyer Burnett (Free Enterprise, The Hills Run Red), writer Steve Melching (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Transformers: The Series) and Daren Dochterman (ST: TMP Special Edition). It should be a hoot as always, so we hope you'll join us! Here's a link to WonderCon's Friday program schedule - you can learn more about the convention (and the Saturday and Sunday events) on their official site. Be sure to come up after the panel and say hello if you're on hand for the event. Maybe we'll see you there!

Here's a look at the Blu-ray and DVD covert artwork for Anchor Bay's Coriolanus as well as Blu-ray art for Well Go USA's Let the Bullets Fly (due 4/24)...

Coriolanus (DVD)Coriolanus (Blu-ray Disc)Let the Bullets Fly (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

3/14/12

Okay, we've got a few more interesting things for you today...

First, our own Mark Altman has turned in a new MOS DEF column in which he looks back at the past year and details his picks for The Top Discs of 2011. Do check it out.

In announcement news today, 20th Century Fox and MGM have officially announced a new Hoosiers: 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray due in stores on 6/5. While the current one was movie-only, this new edition carries over all of the extras from the previous 2-disc DVD Collector's Edition, including audio commentary by director David Anspaugh, deleted scenes, the Hoosier History: The Truth Behind the Legend documentary and vintage film footage of the complete 1954 Indiana High School Championship basketball game upon which the film was based. You'll find the new cover artwork below. Note that while the new art doesn't specifically feature "25th Anniversary Edition" branding, the release IS timed to celebrate the film's 25th anniversary so that's essentially what it is.

In other Fox-related news today, the studio has set White Collar: Season Three and Burn Notice: Season Three for DVD only release on 6/5 as well. Extras are TBA.

Fox has also announced that they've teamed up with Taubman Shopping Centers for a year-long Fox Movie Mall Virtual Storefront promotion. You simply download the Fox Movie Mall app from iTunes and the Android Market (recently re-branded Google Play). Then, when you visit Taubman malls, customers will be able to "pick one of the film titles from a wallscape, scan a QR code and instantly be taken online to make their purchase and have it shipped right to their door." There will also be "home entertainment lounges" with HDTVs at all the mall locations to promote specific Fox titles. Participating Taubman shopping centers include Beverly Center, Los Angeles, CA; Cherry Creek Shopping Center, Denver, Colo; Dolphin Mall, Miami, Fla; Fairlane Town Center, Dearborn, Mich.; Fair Oaks Mall, Fairfax, Va.; Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, Auburn Hills, Mich.; International Plaza and Bay Street, Tampa, Fla.; MacArthur Center, Norfolk, Va.; The Mall at Green Hills, Nashville, Tenn.; The Mall at Short Hills, Short Hills, N.J.; The Mall at Wellington Green, Wellington, Fla.; Northlake Mall, Charlotte, N.C.; Stamford Town Center, Stamford, Conn.; Sunvalley Shopping Center, Concord, Calif.; Twelve Oaks Mall, Novi, Mich.; Westfarms Mall, Farmington, Conn.; The Shops at Willow Bend, Plano, Texas and Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, Ill. So there you go.

Back to the announcement news...

Paramount has set the thriller The Devil Inside for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/15. Note that the Blu-ray will be available exclusively at Best Buy stores for a limited time. Extras on the discs (if any) are still TBA.

Meanwhile, Well Go USA Entertainment has set Shock Labyrinth 3D for release on Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and DVD on 5/8 (SRP $29.98 and $19.98). Note that this is NOT an actual Blu-ray 3D release. Well Go USA has also announced the 4/24 Blu-ray and DVD release of "China's biggest domestic box office hit" - Let the Bullets Fly. The film stars Chow Yun-Fat. There will be four versions: A Collector's Edition Blu-ray (SRP $32.98), a Collector's Edition DVD (SRP $29.98), a Blu-ray/DVD Combo (SRP $29.98) and a standard DVD (SRP $24.98). Bonus features on the Collector's Editions will include a behind-the-scenes featurette, interviews with the actors, deleted scenes and an optional "new English dub".

Shout! Factory has set the animated Conan: The Adventurer - Season Two, Part Two for release on DVD 4/17 (SRP $19.93). The 2-disc set will include 13 more episodes.

Entertainment One has announced that the Blu-ray and DVD release of Mia and the Migoo has been pushed back from the originally announced 3/17 street date to sometime in the 3rd quarter of 2012. Revised street dates and additional details will be updated as they're available.

Inception Media Group has set Titanoboa: Monster Snake for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/3.

HBO has set Cinema Verite for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/24 (SRP $24.99 and $19.97). Extras will include a "making of" featurette.

Twilight Time is releasing the 1959 Fox version of Journey to the Center of the Earth on Blu-ray Disc on 5/8. This will be another limited edition release with only 3,000 copies available. You'll soon be able to pre-order the title exclusively at the Twilight Time/Screen Archives Entertainment website. Thanks to Bits reader Jack P. for the heads-up.

And indie British filmmakers Christopher Riley is releasing his First Orbit documentary (on the flight of Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin) on Blu-ray and DVD just in time for the this year's annual Yuri's Night celebration on 4/12. You can find out more here at the official website.

Here's a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Fox and MGM's new Hoosiers release, as well as Fox's 1953 Titanic (due 4/3) and Paramount's The Devil Inside (Best Buy exclusive)...

Hoosiers (Blu-ray Disc)Titanic (1953 - Blu-ray Disc)The Devil Inside (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

3/13/12

All right, we've got some great Blu-ray announcement news today as well as updates on great catalog titles in the works for Blu-ray too.

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

Now then, let's get to those announcements: Warner Home Video has officially set Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows for release on Blu-ray/DVD/UltraViolet Combo Pack on 6/12 (SRP $35.99). A rental-ready DVD only version will follow on 7/10 (SRP $22.97). The Blu-ray version of the film will include the Maximum Movie Mode: Inside the Mind of Sherlock Holmes hosted by actor Robert Downey, Jr., as well as 7 behind-the-scenes featurettes (Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson: A Perfect Chemistry, Holmes Without Borders, Moriarty's Master Plan Unleashed, Holmesavision on Steroids, Sherlock Holmes: Under the Gypsy Spell, Meet Mycroft Holmes and Guy Ritchie's Well-Oiled Machine). Additional features are TBA.

Warner has also made a couple of good announcements on the catalog Blu-ray front, including an Empire of the Sun: 25th Anniversary Edition (due 6/19 - SRP $34.99) and a new Deliverance: 40th Anniversary Edition (due 6/26 - SRP $34.99). Both will be released in Blu-ray book packaging. Empire of the Sun will include a pair of documentaries (The China Odyssey: Empire of the Sun and Warner at War) and 32 pages of photos and notes. Deliverance will include audio commentary by director John Boorman, 6 featurettes (Deliverance: The Cast Remembers, Deliverance: Betraying The River, Deliverance: The Journey, Deliverance: The Beginning, Deliverance: Delivered and The Dangerous World of Deliverance - note that The Cast Remembers is all-new), the trailer and 42-pages of notes and photos. Here's a look at the open packaging for Empire of the Sun...

Empire of the Sun (Blu-ray Disc)

In other news today, Warner, Sony Masterworks and Turner Classic Movies have announced a Doris Day celebration that includes a 2-disc/31-song CD release from Sony on 4/3 (Doris Day: With a Smile and a Song) and a new TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Doris Day DVD box set from Warner available now (including Romance on the High Seas, Calamity Jane, Love Me or Leave Me and Please Don't Eat the Daisies). Day will also be the subject of a 5-night "Star of the Month" movie celebration featuring her films on TCM on April 2nd through the 6th. TCM.com should have all the details and list of films/show times soon (this month their "Star of the Month" is Karl Malden).

Meanwhile, Sony has set Men in Black II for Blu-ray Disc release on 5/1 (SRP $19.99). Extras will include commentary by director Barry Sonnenfeld, an alternate ending, a blooper reel, 3 behind-the-scenes featurettes (Rick Baker: Alien Maker, Barry Sonnenfeld's Intergalactic Guide to Comedy and Serleena Animatic Sequence), multiple Creatures featurettes, a Multi-Angle Scene Deconstructions and Will Smith's Black Suits Comin' (Nod Ya Head) music video.

Kino Lorber has announced their May 2012 Blu-ray and DVD release slate and it's another great one. On 5/1, you'll get King Vidor's 1932 Bird of Paradise: Kino Classics Edition (Blu-ray and DVD - SRP $29.95 and $24.95). Director Bill Gunn's Ganja & Hess: Remastered Edition will follow on 5/8 (Blu-ray and DVD - SRP $29.95 and $24.95). Then on 5/22, you'll get three more Redemption Films titles from director Jean Rollin - The Rape of the Vampire, Requiem for a Vampire and the Demoniacs: Extended Edition (all on Blu-ray and DVD - SRP $29.95 and $24.95). Not bad!

Also, Lionsgate will deliver Dark Tide, the Ultimate Avengers Movie Collection 3-Movie Set (includes Ultimate Avengers: The Movie, Ultimate Avengers 2 and Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow) and the Marvel Animated Features 3-Movie Collection (with Planet Hulk, The Invincible Iron Man and Doctor Strange) on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/24, along with Night Wolf on DVD only.

And in other news, this would normally go in The Rumor Mill, but it's easier to just post it here: We've been checking with our industry sources and have confirmed that 20th Century Fox is definitely planning to bring director James Cameron's The Abyss and True Lies to Blu-ray at long last. Sources tell us that the hope is to do a big promotion with the titles sometime next year. Why the wait? Cameron is a pretty busy guy these days, so these things take time. (Hey, when was the last time you tried diving to the deepest point in the ocean?) Nevertheless, rest assured that the two long-awaited films are definitely coming to Blu in the not-too-distant future.

Finally today, our friends over at Home Media Magazine have kicked off the voting in this year's Home Media Awards. I'll be returning again as one of the judges and this year YOU will get to have your feelings heard as well! By visiting this link, you can cast your own vote in ALL the award categories. The online voting is open until 4/15 and the winners will be unveiled on 4/30. Get those votes coming!

Here's a look at the BD cover art for Warner's Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Empire of the Sun: 25th and Deliverance: 40th, as well as Kino's Ganja & Hess and Bird of Paradise and Sony's Men in Black II (due on 5/1)...

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Blu-ray Disc)Empire of the Sun (Blu-ray Disc)Deliverance: 40th (Blu-ray Disc)

Ganja & Hess (Blu-ray Disc)Bird of Paradise (Blu-ray Disc)Men in Black II (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

3/12/12

We've got a quick release news update for you this morning...

But first, we're pleased to present you with our first ever Doogan V. Jahnke Blu-ray Review - something that could become a regular feature here at The Bits if you guys enjoy it. The subject of this first installment is none other than Anchor Bay's new Battle Royale: The Complete Collection Blu-ray set, now available in stores. Trust me when I say that it's well worth your time and money. I'll let the boys explain further and in more detail. Enjoy!

Now then... 20th Century Fox and MGM have officially announced the DVD release of MTV's Teen Wolf: Season 1 on 5/22. Extras will include an extended version of the season finale, a series of deleted, alternate and extended scenes, a gag reel and 4 featurettes (Season 1 Shirtless Montage, Following the Pack, Love Bites and Teen Wolf Cast on the Red Carpet).

Also today, Eagle Rock Entertainment is releasing The Raconteurs: Live at Montreux 2008 on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/19.

And Shout! Factory has set No Room for Rockstars for release on DVD on 5/15. This is the Vans "Warped" tour movie that made a big splash at this year's Slamdance Film Festival. SRP will be $16.98.

And in a bit of sad news this morning, it's with regret that we report the death over the weekend of legendary French comic book artist Jean Giraud, better known as Moebius. In addition to his internationally renown print work, he was a production design illustrator for such films as Alien, Tron, The Abyss and The Fifth Element. Giraud was 73. We'd also like to take a moment this morning to acknowledge the passing (last week) of the acclaimed and Oscar-winning songwriter Robert Sherman at the age of 87. Sherman's work included songs for such films as Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to name just a few. Both will be missed.

Stay tuned...

3/9/12

All right, thank goodness the weekend is nearly here at last! I'm home from North Dakota and working to recoup. Probably going to have to watch a bunch of Blu-rays to relax.

Meanwhile, let's get caught up on a couple more bits of announcement news today...

Probably the coolest is that MPI is releasing Dark Shadows: The Complete Collection on DVD on 5/8 (SRP $599.98). Not cheap, but this is the first time the complete series has EVER been released on home video. And you definitely get your money's worth - all 1,225 episodes on a whopping 131 discs packaged in a replica coffin-shaped box and complete with 100 bonus interviews with the cast and crew, bloopers, a behind-the-scenes documentary, a cast reunion and a 96-page booklet. Whew! Here's a picture...

Dark Shadows: The Complete Series

Meanwhile, Summit Entertainment has set the sci-fi thriller The Darkest Hour for release on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD on 4/10. Extras on all three will include audio commentary with director Chris Gorak, The Darkest Hour: Survivors short film, The Darkest Hour: Visualizing an Invasion documentary and deleted and extended scenes.

The South Korean film The Front Line arrives as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo pack on 5/1 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Here's something interesting: 20th Century Fox has quietly remastered William Friedkin's The French Connection and has released it on Blu-ray Disc as a Best Buy exclusive. The film now features a new HD transfer (confirmed sans the controversial 2009 color-timing changes) supervised by cinematographer Owen Roizman. One would imagine this (Best Buy exclusive) might be how the properly remastered HD transfer of Patton will find its way to fans though we have yet to confirm it. Note that the French Connection Blu-ray no longer includes the Color Timing The French Connection featurette that the old disc had. Thanks to several Bits readers who have sent this in.

On a completely non-Blu-ray or DVD related note, there have been major solar flares over the last few days. What that means is that if you live along the upper tier of the U.S., in Canada or in Northern Europe, the Northern Lights are likely to be amazing over the next few days. In fact, tonight's display is expected to be a stunner! You can visit the University of Alaska's Geophysical Institute Aurora Forecast website to check visibility in your area around the Northern Hemisphere. If you've got clear skies, be sure to look up and you might see a great show!

And finally, don't forget Daylight Savings this weekend - be sure to set your clocks ahead one hour on Sunday morning.

We'll leave you today with a look at more BD cover art... here's Summit's Darkest Hour (4/10 - 2D and 3D) and Paramount's Hondo (6/5 - sorry, no 3D version)...

Darkest Hour (Blu-ray 3D)Darkest Hour (Blu-ray Disc)Hondo (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

3/7/12

All right, more announcements today...

Anchor Bay entertainment has set Madonna's W.E. for release on Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD on 5/1 (SRP $39.99 and $29.98). Extras will include a "making of" featurette.

HBO has set True Blood: The Complete Fourth Season for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/29 (SRP $79.98 and $59.99). Extras will include 6 audio commentaries Inside the Episodes shorts, True Blood: The Final Touches, True Blood Lines, Character Perspectives, something called Flashback/Flash Forward, Vampire Histories, character bios and more.

Sony will release The Big C: Season Two on DVD on 5/8. The studio has also moved the street date for Drop Dead Diva: The Complete Third Season on DVD to 5/29.

Sony has also tentatively set a 4-disc Underworld: The Legacy Collection for release on Blu-ray on 5/8 (SRP $75.99). One presumes this will include the three previous films along with the recent Underworld Awakening. No doubt Awakening will be available by itself on both Blu-ray and DVD on 5/8 as well. Watch for an official announcement of the title soon.

Speaking of Sony, the studio is partnering with TCM to bring 38 classic UPA cartoons to DVD-R in the UPA: The Jolly Frolics Collection, which will be available via TCM's online store starting on 3/15 (SRP $39.99). The 3-disc set will include shorts featuring such characters as Mr. Magoo and Gerald McBoing Boing.

Meanwhile, Universal has set Scent of a Woman and Sea of Love for Blu-ray release on 6/5.

Paramount will release the John Wayne western Hondo on Blu-ray Disc on 6/5. Extras will include an Introduction by Leonard Maltin, commentary by Maltin, western historian Frank Thompson and Actor Lee Aaker, 3 featurettes (including The Making of Hondo, From the Batjac Vaults and The Apache) a photo gallery and the film's trailer.

Paramount and Comedy Central will release Workaholics: Season Two on DVD and Wordaholics: Seasons One & Two on Blu-ray on 6/5 as well.

20th Century Fox just released the children's classic catalog films Ferngully: The Last Rainforest, Aquamarine, Thumbelina and The Man from Snowy River on Blu-ray yesterday (3/6).

And Shout! Factory will release Adam 12: The Final Season on DVD on 4/10.

Also, following my post yesterday there's been some confusion about the Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol Blu-ray aspect ratio, specifically regarding the scenes shot in IMAX. There were reports that director Brad Bird had said the Blu-ray would switch to full frame for the IMAX scenes. It turns out he was merely debating whether or not to do this via his Twitter feed. However, I've now checked directly with Paramount and have confirmed that the Blu-ray will feature widescreen only for all scenes in the film. Just FYI. Sorry for the confusion. This is what happens when I update "from the road", so to speak.

And heads-up to Potter fans: Warner's Harry Potter Wizards BD/DVD Collection is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com here in the States as well. SRP is $499 (with an Amazon price of $349), with street date still TBA. We would expect an official announcement from WHV soon.

By the way, Paramount's Indiana Jones Blu-ray Collection is also now available for pre-order on Amazon (SRP $99.99 but just $74.99 on Amazon).

Stay tuned...

3/6/12

Welcome to "Super Tuesday," folks! Soon to be overshadowed by even more super Wednesday, as Apple is expected to announced the iPad 3 tomorrow. Get ready for the hype!

Sorry for the lack of an update yesterday. I've actually been visiting my folks in Valley City, North Dakota since last week. My stepfather has been fighting cancer, so I'm here to help out with stuff. Yeah, I know - way too much of it going around lately. Never rains but it pours. Anyway, there's lots of snow on the ground here, which I've missed living in Southern California. I'm also hoping to see the Northern Lights before I go. Of more relevance to you cinephiles, I walked yesterday in the footsteps of legendary director Stanley Kubrick, who visited Valley in 1950 as a photographer for Look Magazine. No kidding. There should be a statue to mark the spot as far as I'm concerned.

Anyway, we've got a release news update for you, right after this...

As usual, our own Russell Hammond has posted an update of 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 from Amazon after clicking through to them though our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and it really makes a difference. So thanks for the support.

In announcement news today, Warner Home Video has set Joyful Noise for release on Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and DVD on 5/1 (SRP $35.99 and $28.98). Extras will include several featurettes, deleted scenes, extended songs and more.

Warner has also announced the DVD release of ThunderCats: Season 1, Book 2 on 6/5. The 2-disc set (SRP $19.97) will include 8 more episodes and an UltraViolet digital copy.

Also, while it hasn't been officially announced yet, Amazon Canada has apparently let the cat out of the bag on a stunning and elaborate 31-disc Harry Potter Wizards Collection Blu-ray/DVD box set. There's no street date yet, but the SRP is nearly $500. One would expect official details soon. Thanks to several Bits readers who sent this in.

Meanwhile, 20th Century Fox has officially set the 1953 version of Titanic for Blu-ray release on 4/3. Extras will include audio commentary, MovieTone News shorts, trailers and more.

Lionsgate has set Crew 2 Crew for DVD release on 4/17, along with Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns: Season 5.

Sony and Marvel Animation have announced X-Men Anime and Iron Man Anime for DVD only release on 4/24.

Disney has revealed that the catalog titles The Color of Money, Ransom and Cocktail are coming to Blu-ray on 6/5.

Wolfe Video has announced the DVD release of Kawa on 5/8, based on a novel by the creator of Whale Rider.

Also, there's a report on Wiki that Revelation Films is planning to release the TV series Chicago Hope on Region 2 DVD in the U.K., but we have yet to confirm it. Certainly good news if it's true and one would hope a U.S. release will follow. Thanks to Bits reader Mike B. for the heads-up.

In other news today, it's apparently been confirmed by director Brad Bird that Paramount's 4/17 Blu-ray release of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol will feature a shift to the intended IMAX aspect ratio for those scenes shot in IMAX format. Thanks to Bits reader Juan P. for the heads-up.

And in music news, Eagle Rock Entertainment has announced the 4/24 release of Peter Gabriel: Live Blood as a 2 CD set (SRP $17.98). The set will document the 2011 Hammersmith Apollo live show also seen on the recent New Blood: Live in London Blu-ray and DVD release.

Finally today, a big nod of gratitude and respect in honor of legendary conceptual artist Ralph McQuarrie, who sadly passed away over the weekend at the age of 82. The debt that sci-fi fans in general, and Star Wars fans in particular, owe him is incalculable. His package of conceptual painting prints for Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back remains one of the first Star Wars items I ever owned. He'll surely be missed.

By the way, please forgive any errors you might find in today's post as I'm writing it on a tiny netbook. Big fingers, small keys. Back with more tomorrow. Stay tuned...

3/2/12

All right... just a quick one today...

For those of you who live in Southern California and/or who will be traveling here to attend the WonderCon convention next month (March 16-18 in Anaheim, CA), Dr. Adam Jahnke and yours truly (Bill Hunt) would like to invite you to attend a panel we're going to be participating in on Friday 3/16. It's called It Was 30 Years Ago Today: Celebrating 1982 -- Greatest Geek Year Ever! We'll be joining such geek luminaries as Geek Monthly editor Jeff Bond (our moderator), screenwriter Ashley E. Miller (Thor, X-Men: First Class), director Robert Meyer Burnett (Free Enterprise, The Hills Run Red), writer Steve Melching (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Transformers: The Series) and Daren Dochterman (ST: TMP Special Edition) for a fun look back at a now legendary year for movie fans. It should be a hoot as always, so we hope you'll join us! You'll find us in Room 204 from 3-4 PM. Here's a link to WonderCon's Friday program schedule - you can learn more about the convention (and the Saturday and Sunday events) on their official site. See you there!

By the way, speaking of Geek Monthly... I'm pleased to announce (for those of you who may have been readers) that the magazine is indeed returning to a newsstand near you this spring! What's more, Adam, Todd Doogan and myself are going to be returning to our regular GeekBits column in each issue! We'll post more details on the first new issue as we're able.

Have a great weekend and we'll see you back here on Monday. Peace out.


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