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page updated: 9/6/12



My Two Cents
(Archived Posts 8/22/12 - 7/25/12)


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8/22/12

All right, first up today our own Russell Hammond has once again updated the Release Dates and Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Videogame cover art 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 truly do appreciate it.

Now then... the big news today is that Disney has finally issued their official press release announcing Brave, which had already been available for pre-order online. Which means we have all the details on extras. First up there's the 5-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition (1 Blu-ray 3D + 2 Blu-ray Discs + 1 DVD + 1 Digital Copy - SRP $49.99). There's the 3-Disc Collector's Edition (2 Blu-rays + 1 DVD - SRP $39.99). Finally there's the single-disc DVD (SRP $29.99). Audio on the Blu-rays will include 7.1 and 5.1 Dolby TrueHD. Extras on the Blu-ray movie disc will include commentary with director Mark Andrews, the La Luna theatrical short, the The Legend of Mor'du bonus short, 8 behind-the-scenes featurettes (Brave Old World, Merida & Elinor, Bears, Brawl in the Hall, Wonder Moss, Magic, Clan Pixar and Once Upon a Scene) and 3 deleted scenes. The second Blu-ray contains additional extras including the Fergus & Mor'du alternate opening, a Fallen Warriors Montage, 5 additional featurettes (Dirty Hairy People, It is English... Sort Of, Angus, The Tapestry and Renaissance Animation Man), bonus Promotional Pieces, an Art Gallery (showcasing characters, sets, scenes and landscapes), the Wee Gaffes blooper reel, and the usual teasers and previews. The Blu-ray 3D disc includes only the La Luna theatrical short, while the DVD only version contains La Luna plus The Legend of Mor'du and director's commentary.

Here's something absolutely awesome: Arrow Films is releasing Lady Snowblood on Blu-ray on 9/24 (a Monday) in the U.K. - available in a Limited Edition Blu-ray SteelBook and a 3-Disc Blu-ray & DVD Dual Format Set. We're trying to determine if the release will be available here in the States (as AnimEigo controls the U.S. rights). That's awesome news and gives me hope that one day the Zatoichi films will be released in high-definition too. Anyway, here's a look at the cover art for both versions...

Lady Snowblood (U.K. BD art)

Also today, file this in the Rumor Mill category, but we're hearing reports from our industry sources that Fox is finally going to make their new and properly-remastered edition of Patton available on Blu-ray before the end of the year. We'll post more on this when we're able.

And speaking of Fox, the studio has revealed more new catalog Blu-rays today including The Poseidon Adventure (due 10/9 - previously a Walmart exclusive), as well as Jean-Claude Van Damme's Cyborg, Death Warrant and Double Impact (all 10/2).

Here's a look at the Blu-ray art for Fox's The Poseidon Adventure and Cyborg, as well as retail marketing art for Disney's soon to be announced People Like Us (TBA)...

The Poseidon Adventure (Blu-ray Disc)Cyborg (Blu-ray Disc)People Like Us (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

8/21/12

Good afternoon, folks. Got a little more announcement news for you today...

First though, we're kicking off a new Giveaway offering each of you the chance to take home copies of Neptune Media's excellent The Last Samurai DVD, which Doogan just reviewed here on The Bits yesterday. If you're a fan of Japanese samurai films, it's not to be missed. Entries will be accepted until Noon (Pacific) on Sunday 9/2. Click on the link for instructions on how to enter and good luck!

Now then... Disney and Pixar have set the animated Brave for release on 11/13. There will be a 5-Disc BD3D Combo Gift Set (SRP TBA), a non-Gift Set 5-Disc BD3D Combo (SRP $49.99) and a 3-Disc BD Combo (SRP $39.99). Extras are all TBA. More information soon, but you'll find cover artwork below.

20th Century Fox has just launched a new line of "filmmaker signature series" Blu-ray catalog titles. These have previously been available only as Blu-ray exclusives. The first batch is due on 9/18 and will include The Brothers McMullen, She's the One, The French Connection, Wall Street, Hoffa and War of the Roses. Each carries over the extras from the previous DVD releases. Fox has also set the family friendly titles Cowgirls n' Angels for BD and DVD release on 10/2 and Crooked Arrows on both formats on 10/23.

Lionsgate has set Ella Enchanted and Everybody's Fine for Blu-ray release on 10/16. The full so-far announced October slate from Lionsgate includes: Breast Cancer: The Path of Wellness & Healing, Sea Level and Séance: The Summoning on 10/2, Care Bears: The Original Series Collection, Fireman Sam: Holiday Heroes, Mancation: Unrated Director's Cut, Shaquille O'Neal Presents All Star Comedy Jam Live from Orlando, Thomas & Friends: A Very Thomas Christmas and Triad Wars on 10/9, and Angelina Ballerina: Celebrate with Angelina, Barney: Celebrate with Barney 3-DVD Set, The Cup, Ella Enchanted (Blu-ray), Everybody's Fine (Blu-ray), Power Rangers Samurai: Christmas Together, Friends Forever, A Princess for Christmas, Thomas & Friends: Celebrate with Thomas 3-DVD Set and Mad Men: Season Five (Blu-ray and DVD) on 10/16.

Universal has added Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: Season Two to it's November DVD slate. Look for it on 11/13.

CBS will release CSI: The Twelfth Season, CSI NY: The Eighth Season and CSI Miami: The Tenth & Final Season on DVD only 9/25. Also coming from CBS in September (on Blu-ray and DVD) will be Hawaii Five-0: The Second Season on 9/18.

Meanwhile, Shout! Factory has set Law & Order: Criminal Intent - The Eighth Year for DVD only release on 10/23.

Anchor Bay Entertainment will release The Barrens on Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD on 10/9 (SRP $29.99 and $26.98).

Entertainment One has set A Beginner's Guide to Endings, Fist of the Reich and Redemption of a Dog for DVD only release on 8/28.

Finally, BBC Home Entertainment has just set BBC America's Copper for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 10/30 (SRP $59.98 and $49.98). The 3-disc set will include all the episodes, cast commentary on select episodes, deleted scenes, a making of documentary, additional featurettes and character video profiles.

Also today, here's an exclusive first look at the new "vintage 80s" style DVD cover art for Kino Lorber's forthcoming Santa Claus Conquers the Martians - a cover painted by artist Vince Evans specifically for this release. Pretty awesome!

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (DVD poster art)

And in one more bit of news from around the Net, we want to take a moment to acknowledge the passing yesterday of legendary comedian and actress Phyllis Diller. She was 95.

We'll leave you with a look at the Blu-ray Disc cover art for the Disney and Pixar's Brave (BD3D Combo), BBC's Copper and Fox's The French Connection: Signature Series...

Brave (Blu-ray 3D)Copper (Blu-ray Disc)The French Connection: Signature Series (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

8/20/12

All right, to start with this morning... today is obviously a very sad day in the film community. Veteran director and producer Tony Scott, whose work includes such classics as Top Gun, True Romance, Beverly Hills Cop II, Enemy of the State, the recent Unstoppable and my favorite, Crimson Tide, committed suicide yesterday afternoon in Long Beach, CA. Reports are emerging today that he may have been suffering from inoperable brain cancer. Let me tell you, having known more than my share of friends and family who have had (and died) from brain tumors, it's a horrible thing. I only met Tony once over the years, but he seemed to me to be an enormously warm, talented and generous person, full of life and with his career going strong. Of course, I've met his brother Ridley Scott on a number of occasions. Given recent events in my own life I can imagine all too well what Ridley, the Scott family and Tony's many friends and co-workers must be going through right now. From all of us here at The Digital Bits, we'd like to send our heartfelt condolences to them in this difficult time.

Now then... we're kicking the week off with a pair of new disc reviews from Todd Doogan, both of them samurai classics from director Kenji Misumi. First up is the outstanding film The Last Samurai, now available on DVD from our friends at Neptune Media. It's WELL worth your time, so please do check out the review. And when you're done with that, Todd's also checked out AnimEigo's Shogun Assassin: 5-Film Blu-ray Collector's Set - the Americanized versions of the Lone Wolf and Cub/Baby Cart series of films, the first two of which were also directed by Kenji Misumi. Don't miss either.

In announcement news today, DreamWorks Animation has set Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted for release on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD on 10/16.

Paramount and PBS will release Ken Burns' The Dust Bowl on Blu-ray and DVD on 11/20.

Sony will release A&E's Coma miniseries on Blu-ray and DVD on 10/30. Sony has also set That's My Boy for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 10/26. Extras will include a gag reel, 5 deleted scenes and a trio of featurettes.

Inception Media has set Appropriate Adult for DVD only release on 9/11.

And in other news today, Wired has a story about a breakthrough by South Korean researchers that may lead to glasses-free 3D in theatres.

There's also new research from NPD Group that shows physical media movie rentals on Blu-ray and DVD still represent 62% of the home video rental market compared to digital and streaming.

Finally, it seems there's an interesting Easter egg on the Hunger Games Blu-ray that should prove of interest to fans of the book. More on that here (and thanks to Bits reader Eddie F. for the link).

We'll leave you with a look at the Blu-ray cover art for PBS' The Dust Bowl, Sony's That's My Boy and Fox's I, Robot Blu-ray 3D (due 10/23)...

The Dust Bowl (Blu-ray Disc)That's My Boy (Blu-ray Disc)I, Robot (Blu-ray 3D)

Stay tuned...

8/17/12

All right, we've got more release news for you today...

First up, Amazon and Walmart have both just listed a 10/11 street date for Ridley Scott's Prometheus on Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo and DVD (SRP $49.99, $39.99 and $29.99). They may have done this in error (too early) or the official announcement of street date and extras may be imminent. In either case, this lines up very nicely with what we've been hearing from our industry and retail sources, as well as the U.K. street date which is reported to be 10/8. So we believe this is the real deal. Stay tuned for official details as they come in. [Here's more evidence: Now we know what the What Is 10.11.12? website is for. Thanks to Bits reader Paul B. for the link.]

Universal has announced a Universal 100th Anniversary Collection Blu-ray and DVD box set due on 11/6 (SRP $349.98 and $299.98) that will include 25 films: All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), Dracula (1931), Dracula Spanish (1931) (Blu-ray Collection only), Buck Privates (1941), Pillow Talk (1959), Spartacus (1960), To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), The Birds (1963), American Graffiti (1973), The Sting (1973), Jaws (1975), National Lampoon's Animal House (1978), E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Scarface (1983), The Breakfast Club (1985), Back to the Future (1985), Out of Africa (1985), Field of Dreams (1989), Do the Right Thing (1989), Jurassic Park (1993), Schindler's List (1993) (DVD Collection only), Apollo 13 (1995), The Fast and the Furious (2001), The Bourne Identity (2002), Mamma Mia! The Movie (2008) and Despicable Me (2010). In terms of extras, you'll get all the extras on the disc, along with 8 exclusive featurettes on a Bonus Disc (The Carl Laemmle Era, The Lew Wasserman Era, Academy Award Winners, The '70s, The '80s, The Backlot, Unforgettable Characters and Restoring the Classics). The Bonus Disc will also include 14 vintage cartoons (Spooks (1930), Merry Old Soul (1933) Wax Works (1934), Jolly Little Elves (1934), Hollywood Bowl (1938), Life Begins for Andy Panda (1939), Knock Knock (1940) Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company 'B' (1941), The Barber of Seville (1944), Musical Moments from Chopin (1947), Maw and Paw (1953), Chilly Willy (1953), Crazy Mixed Up Pup (1955) and Sh-h-h-h-h-h (1955)) and 3 vintage short features (Runt Page (1932), Slide, Babe, Slide (1932) and Cartoonland Mysteries (1936)). On top of that, you'll also get a 15-track music CD featuring samples from some of the films and 72-page book documenting the history of the studio.

Also today, Disney has set Beaches and the Sweet Home Alabama: 10th Anniversary Edition for Blu-ray release on 11/6.

Speaking of Disney, Amazon.com is also taking pre-orders for the Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD release of People Like Us. We don't have a street date yet, but industry sources tell us the BD will include a pair of commentaries (the director and the writer, and the director and the cast), deleted scenes, outtakes and a pair of featurettes.

Anchor Bay has set Snowmageddon for Blu-ray and DVD release on 11/13. They also have the Steven Seagal and Steve Austin actioner Maximum Conviction due on both formats on 11/6.

Shout! Factory has Saban Entertainment's VR Troopers: Season One, Volume One due on DVD on 10/2. Following on 10/16 is Big Bad Beetleborgs: Season One, Volume One on DVD (SRP also $19.93).

Vivendi and Marvel will release Iron Man: Armored Adventures - Season 2, Volume 2 on DVD only on 9/25.

CBS has set Rawhide: Season Five - Volume One and Volume Two for DVD only release on 9/18.

And in other news, in addition to the special Raiders of the Lost Ark IMAX run, Lucasfilm and AMC Theatres are teaming up for a one day Indiana Jones Marathon on 9/15. Starting at 10:30 AM, they'll show all four films in the series back to back: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. You can find locations and purchase tickets now at this link. And here's a special trailer for the IMAX film release of the first film...



We'll leave you today with a look at the Blu-ray 3D cover art for Fox's Prometheus, as well as BD art for Universal's Universal 100th Anniversary Collection and DreamWorks Kung Fu Panda Holiday (due 11/6)...

Prometheus (Blu-ray 3D)Universal 100th Anniversary Collection (Blu-ray Disc)Kung Fu Panda Holiday (Blu-ray Disc)

Check back on Monday when we'll have a pair of new disc reviews from our own Todd Doogan with a decided samurai theme. See you then!

8/16/12

All right, to kick things off today we've got a new Blu-ray review for you. I've given Lionsgate's excellent 2-disc edition of The Hunger Games a spin and found it worthy of your consideration. The film is far better than I expected and the disc is offers an interesting and revealing look behind-the-scenes. It streets on Saturday of all days, with special Midnight release events at many retail locations around the country. Give the film a try and I think you'll really enjoy it.

Now then... Universal and Focus Films have just set Wes Anderson's excellent Moonrise Kingdom - my favorite film of the year so far - for Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 10/16! Extras will include a trio featurettes including A Look Inside Moonrise Kingdom, the Welcome to the Island of New Penzance guided location tour with actor Bob Balaban and an additional Set Tour with Bill Murray. All the usual interactive bells and whistles apply.

Here's more awesome news: Criterion has just unveiled their November release slate, set to include Akira Kurosawa's stunning Rashomon (Cat #138 - BD and DVD) on 11/6, Jean-Luc Godard's satirical classic Weekend (Cat #635 - BD and DVD) and Pier Paolo Pasolini's bawdy Trilogy of Life (Cat #631 - BD and DVD - includes The Decameron, The Canterbury Tales and Arabian Nights) on 11/13, and Michael Cimino's notorious director's cut of Heaven's Gate (Cat #636 - BD and DVD) on 11/20. And on the DVD-only front, look for no less than four late 1960s Japanese monster flicks in the Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku box set (including The X from Outer Space, Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell, The Living Skeleton and Genocide) on 11/20 as well.

We've also learned today that Paramount's Sunset Boulevard Blu-ray (due on 11/6) will include a never-before-seen deleted scene (The Paramount-Don't-Want-Me Blues) in HD, along with audio commentary by author Ed Sikov, 13 featurettes (Sunset Boulevard: The Beginning, Sunset Boulevard: A Look Back, The Noir Side of Sunset Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard Becomes a Classic, Two Sides of Ms. Swanson, Stories of Sunset Boulevard, Mad About the Boy: A Portrait of William Holden, Recording Sunset Boulevard, The City of Sunset Boulevard, Franz Waxman and the Music of Sunset Boulevard, Behind the Gates: The Lot, Edith Head: The Paramount Years and Paramount in the '50s), "morgue prologue" script pages, a Hollywood location map, 3 image galleries and the film's theatrical trailer.

In other release news, Warner Home Video has set just Nikita: The Complete Second Season for Blu-ray and DVD release on 10/2 ($69.97 and $59.98), including all 23 episodes, deleted scenes, a gag reel, commentary on the finale and 2 featurettes (What If? Writing the Fate of Division and Living the Life: Maggie Q).

20th Century Fox has set The Robert Mitchum Film Collection (River of No Return, The Night of the Hunter, Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison, The Enemy Below, Thunder Road, The Hunters, The Longest Day, Man in the Middle, What a Way to Go! and The Way West) and The Denzel Washington Film Collection (The Mighty Quinn, Much Ado About Nothing, Courage Under Fire, The Siege, Antwone Fisher, Out of Time, Man on Fire and Unstoppable) for DVD only release on 10/9.

Cinedign Entertainment will release the Academy Award-nominated animated film A Cat in Paris on Blu-ray and DVD on 10/9.

Lionsgate has Power Rangers Monster Bash on its way to DVD on 9/11.

Sony will release 12 Dogs of Christmas: Great Puppy Rescue on DVD only on 10/9.

Inception Media Group has set the thriller Vile for DVD only release on 9/11.

Vivendi Entertainment has The Garfield Show: Holiday Extravaganza coming on DVD on 9/4.

And Freestyle Digital Media will deliver Munger Road on DVD on 9/11.

In other news, Lucasfilm has just revealed that they're bringing the original Raiders of the Lost Ark to IMAX theatres for a limited one-week engagement starting on 9/7. THAT should be fascinating! Details and tickets are available here.

And we'll leave you this morning with a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Criterion's Rashomon, Trilogy of Life and Heaven's Gate, Paramount's Sunset Boulevard, Universal's Moonrise Kingdom and Cinedign's A Cat in Paris. All are now available for pre-order on Amazon.com...

Rashomon (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)Heaven's Gate (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)Trilogy of Life (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)

Sunset Boulevard (Blu-ray Disc)Moonrise Kingdom (Blu-ray Disc)A Cat in Paris (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

8/14/12

We've got some major catalog release news for you today, but first...

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, 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 truly do appreciate it.

Now then... 20th Century Fox has just revealed the wide Blu-ray 3D Limited Edition release of James Cameron's Avatar on 10/16. The title has previously been available only as an exclusive with Panasonic Blu-ray 3D players and 3D displays. The official announcement was made by Cameron on the film's Facebook page and his announcement video appears on YouTube here...



Not a lot of details are available yet, but expect the Combo Pack to include Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD versions of the film. SRP is $39.99. Here's a look at the official cover art. You can pre-order it on Amazon.com by clicking on the image...

Avatar (Blu-ray 3D Combo)The Incredible Mel Brooks (DVD)The Portrait of a Lady (Blu-ray Disc)

As you can see, we've also included art for Shout! Factory's new The Incredible Mel Brooks DVD box set (due 11/13) and The Portrait of a Lady Blu-ray (due 11/20).

Also today, for you Jaws fans, our friend Michael Coate wants you to check out his write up about the film's original release history over at Cinema Treasures. It's from a couple years back, but it's worth checking out. The Blu-ray arrives in stores today.

Now then... we'll be back tomorrow with a trio of great new disc reviews (Blu-ray and DVD), so be sure to check back then. Stay tuned!

8/13/12

All right, we've got a few interesting stories for you today...

First though, our own Mario Boucher has just posted a new special feature article called Restoring Jaws that takes a look behind-the-scenes on Universal new Jaws Blu-ray release, which arrives in stores tomorrow. The remaster is really quite good - well worth your money, especially for fans. Enjoy the piece.

In announcement news today, Warner Home Video has set Chernobyl Diaries for Blu-ray and DVD release on 11/13 (SRP $24.97 and $22.97). And this is a little depressing from the category of things I wish hadn't happened: Warner has also announced the 11/27 direct-to-video Blu-ray and DVD release of A Christmas Story 2, with all the same characters recast (with actors that include Daniel Stern and Braeden Lemasters). Ugh. Next up... It's a Wonderful Life 2: Potter's Boogaloo! (Kidding.) I wish Hollywood studio executives had the same ethical rule as doctors: "First do no harm..."

Now let's have some good news to cheer you up: Shout! Factory has announced the Blu-ray release of Ridley Scott's The Duellists on 11/20 (SRP $19.97)! Also coming that day on Blu from Shout! is The Portrait of a Lady (SRP $26.99). More details as we have them.

And Shout! has announced an interesting new DVD only release as well: The 6-disc The Incredible Mel Brooks: An Irresistible Collection of Unhinged Comedy box set (5 DVDs and a CD), due on 11/13. From the press release: "Included here are gems such as Mel Brooks and Dick Cavett Together Again, an evening with Mel Brooks and Dick Cavett that aired on HBO in September 2011 and was recently nominated for the "Outstanding Variety Special" Emmy® Award; the 1981 BBC documentary I Thought I Was Taller: A Short History of Mel Brooks; Excavating The 2000 Year Old Man, a PBS special on the story behind the iconic 2000 Year Old Man and the partnership between its two extraordinary creators, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner; Mel and His Movies, a New 5-Part exploration of his incomparable film career; vintage appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and The Dick Cavett Show; episodes of the unforgettable TV series Get Smart, as well as When Things Were Rotten and his Emmy® award winning turn as unpredictable Uncle Phil on Mad About You; all with new introductions by Brooks; short films, tributes, and rare footage; a CD with long-lost comedy bits and songs from Brooks' movies; and a 60-page book featuring vintage photos, program notes and essays by Leonard Maltin, Robert Brustein, Gene Wilder and Bruce Jay Friedman."

Meanwhile, Olive Films continues to crank out interesting deep catalog titles on Blu-ray. Look for Three Texas Steers, Milk of Sorrow, Overland Stage Raiders, Train of Life, Red River Range and Night Riders on 10/2, followed by Slender Thread, Three Secrets, Sterile Cuckoo, Uptight and Letter from an Unknown Woman on 10/16, and The Brain (Le Cerveau), Long Day's Journey Into Night, Greed in the Sun, Twilight's Last Gleaming and Taxi for Tobruk on 10/30.

Paramount and Nickelodeon have set SpongeBob SquarePants: It's a SpongeBob Christmas! for Blu-ray and DVD release on 11/6. Paramount has also set Katy Perry: Part of Me for Blu-ray and DVD release on 9/18.

Image Entertainment will release Holliston: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray and DVD on 10/9 (SRP $29.98 and $24.98). Image has also set Airborne (starring Mark Hamill) on DVD only on 10/16.

Also, our friends at La-La Land Records have just announced a whopping 15-CD Star Trek: The Original Series - Soundtrack Collection box set coming later this fall. It will include all the episode scores heard in the show's three seasons, featuring the work of composers Alexander Courage, George Duning, Jerry Fielding, Gerald Fried, Sol Kaplan, Samuel Matlovsky, Joseph Mullendore and Fred Steiner. It will come packaged with a 100-page booklet with liner notes from our friend (and Geek Magazine editor) Jeff Bond. It will be a limited edition - more information will be available here at the official La-La Land website.

Finally, a quick nod to acknowledge the recent passing of special effects master Carlo Rambaldi (whose work appears in Close Encounters, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Alien among others), director Mel Stuart (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) and legendary comic book artist Joe Kubert (Sgt. Rock, Tor, Hawkman and Enemy Ace). All will be missed.

Here's a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Sony's Annie (final art - due 10/2), as well as Shout!'s The Duellists and Olive's Twilight's Last Gleaming, and La-La Land's CD box for the Star Trek: TOS - Soundtrack Collection (TBA)...

Annie (Blu-ray Disc)The Duellists (Blu-ray Disc)Twilight's Last Gleaming (Blu-ray Disc)

Star Trek: TOS - Soundtrack Collection

Stay tuned...

8/9/12

We've got a little more release news for you today...

HBO has announced the Blu-ray release of the My Big Fat Greek Wedding: 10th Anniversary Special Edition on 11/13 (SRP ($19.98). Extras will include audio commentary with writer/star Nia Vardalos, actor John Corbett and director Joel Zwick, deleted scenes and the all-new A Look Back at My Big Fat Greek Wedding retrospective featurette.

HBO has also announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of Entourage: The Complete Series on 11/6 (SRP $299.99 and $249.99). The 18-disc set (same for each format) will include all 96 episodes as well as 22 audio commentaries with the cast and crew, at least 16 featurettes (Behind-the-Scenes of Entourage, The Mark Wahlberg Sessions, Vegas, Baby, Vegas, Anatomy of Entourage, Museum of Television & Radio Panel, Meet the Newest Member of Entourage, Medellin Trailer, Making of Medellin, USCAF Aspen Panel Discussion, The Celebrity Factor, Ferrari Speedway Piece, Life at the Top, BTS Piece, One X One PSA (directed by Matt Damon), Extended BTS Piece, Interview with Sasha Grey and Hollywood Sunset: Roundtable with the Cast) and more.

HBO will release Luck: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray and DVD on 11/27 as well (SRP $79.98 and $59.99).

Warner Home Video has revealed the all-new animated Tom & Jerry: Robin Hood and his Merry Mouse for Blu-ray and DVD release on 10/2 (SRP $24.98 and $19.98).

Image Entertainment and Something Weird Video have set the 2-disc Weird-Noir for DVD only release on 9/25 (SRP $19.98). The set will include 6 "tawdry and twisted tales" B-grade oddities (4 available on DVD for the first time), including Girl on the Run (1953), The Naked Road (1959), The Seventh Commandment (1961), Fear No More (1961), Fallguy (1962) and Stark Fear (1962).

A&E Home Entertainment has set Cajun Pawn Stars: Season One for DVD only release on 9/18, along with The Best of Ancient Aliens (BD and DVD), Secret Access: The Presidency, America's Book of Secrets, James Bond Gadgets and Lifetime's For One Night all on DVD only.

MTI Home Video has set Coffin for DVD only release on 8/14, followed by Attack of the Herbals on 9/4 and Godforsaken on 9/18.

And Lionsgate has added The Revenant to their September slate - it's due on DVD only on 9/18 (SRP $26.98).

Finally today, an update on the Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures Blu-ray extras news we posted the other day. We've spoken with Lucasfilm and have learned that the 1981 The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark documentary listed in the press release is something that's never been released on DVD before - it's NOT the piece that was on the Best Buy bonus disc available with the 2003 DVD set. We've confirmed that the Best Buy featurette is NOT included is the set. So if you wish to keep all the available special features, you need to keep the 2008 DVD set, the original Crystal Skull BD release and the Best Buy bonus disc from the 2003 DVD release.

Here's a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Sony's A League of Their Own (due 9/18) and HBO's My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Entourage: The Complete Series...

A League of Their Own (Blu-ray Disc)My Big Fat Greek Wedding (Blu-ray Disc)Entourage: The Complete Series (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

8/8/12

Bits reader Richard L. just e-mailed us (thanks Richard!) to report that Disney's new High Fidelity Blu-ray has a teaser trailer for a forthcoming Blu-ray release of a Who Framed Roger Rabbit?: 25th Anniversary Edition. Sure enough, we've confirmed it! There's no street date given on the teaser, but it does mention that a trio of Roger Rabbit shorts will be "digitally restored" and included on the disc. Note that the actual 25th anniversary of the film is next year, so it's likely this is a release planned for the first half of 2013. More as it comes in!

Meanwhile, Sony has officially announced that an A League of Their Own: 20th Anniversary Edition is coming to Blu-ray on 10/16. Extras will include commentary with director Penny Marshall and the cast, 15 deleted scenes with optional video introductions, the exclusive Nine Memorable Innings documentary and Madonna's This Used to Be My Playground music video. Sony has also set Hysteria for Blu-ray and DVD release on 9/18 (SRP $45.99 and $30.99). Extras will include commentary with director Tanya Wexler, 3 featurettes (An Evening with Tanya Wexler, Hugh Dancy and Jonathan Pryce, Hysteria: Behind the Scenes and Passion & Power: The Technology of Orgasm) and deleted scenes.

Warner Home Video has set Alcatraz: The Complete Series for Blu-ray and DVD release on 10/16 (SRP $49.99 and $39.98). All 13 episodes will be included along with The Allure of Alcatraz behind-the-scenes featurette, unaired scenes and a gag reel.

Lionsgate Home Entertainment will release Girl in Progress on Blu-ray and DVD on 9/11. Lionsgate has also revealed some of their October Blu-ray and DVD slate, which will include Breast Cancer: The Path of Wellness & Healing, Sea Level and Séance: The Summoning on DVD only on 10/2, Fireman Sam: Holiday Heroes on DVD only on 10/9, and Angelina Ballerina: Celebrate with Angelina 3-DVD Set, Barney: Celebrate with Barney 3-DVD Set, Thomas & Friends: Celebrate with Thomas 3-DVD Set and Mad Men: Season Five (Blu-ray and DVD) on 10/16.

Paramount and Spelling Entertainment have set Streets of San Francisco: Season Five, Volume One and Season Five, Volume Two for DVD only release on 10/30.

Paramount has also officially set Billy Wilder's classic Sunset Boulevard for Blu-ray Disc release on 11/6.

And DreamWorks and Paramount will release the CG-animated Kung Fu Panda Holiday on Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD on 11/6.

Also this afternoon, Anchor Bay has set Breathless for Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD release on 8/14.

Synapse Films will release director Frank Henenlotter's Basket Case 3: The Progeny on DVD on 10/9 (SRP $19.95).

MPI Home Video is releasing Heineken Kidnapping on Blu-ray and DVD on 8/28 (SRP $29.98 and $24.98). The film stars Rutger Hauer.

Danger After Dark has set Strip Mahjohn: Battle Royale for DVD only release on 9/25.

Music Box Films will release The Man from Beijing on DVD only on 9/25. They also have Snowman's Land set for DVD only release the same day.

Indomina Releasing has set the Chinese historical epic Sacrifice for DVD only release on 9/4. It's directed by Chen Kaige, whose previous work includes Farewell My Concubine.

Finally, BrinkVision (formally BrinkDVD) has set H.P. Lovecraft's The Color Out of Space for DVD only release on 8/21. The film has recently screened well on the film festival circuit.

Here's a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Lionsgate's Mad Men: Season Five, as well as DVD artwork for Shout! Factory's Peter Gunn: The Complete Series (due 10/23) and BrinkVision's H.P. Lovecraft's The Color Out of Space...

Mad Men: Season Five (Blu-ray Disc)H.P. Lovecraft's The Color Out of Space (DVD)Peter Gunn: The Complete Series (DVD)

Stay tuned...

8/7/12

All right, we've got some GREAT stuff for you today!

First though, our own Russell Hammond has once again 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 absolutely 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 greatly appreciate it!

Now then... big release news today...

First up, Paramount and Lucasfilm have officially announced the extras that will be included on the forthcoming Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures Blu-ray box set due on 9/18. But first, some details on the Raiders of the Lost Ark remaster:

"Raiders of the Lost Ark has been painstakingly restored with careful attention to preserving the original look, sound and feel of the iconic film. The original negative was scanned at 4K and then examined frame-by-frame so that any damage could be repaired. The sound design was similarly preserved using Burtt's original master mix, which had been archived and unused since 1981. New stereo surrounds were created using the original music tracks and original effects recorded in stereo but used previously only in mono. In addition, the sub bass was redone entirely up to modern specifications and care was taken to improve dialogue and correct small technical flaws to create the most complete and highest quality version of the sound possible while retaining the director's vision."

Excellent. Now, the extras:

"In addition to all of Indy's thrilling adventures, the set includes seven hours of fascinating documentaries, featurettes and interviews with cast members and filmmakers. This comprehensive collection of behind-the-scenes bonus features is augmented by a brand new two-part documentary entitled On Set with Raiders of the Lost Ark - From Jungle to Desert and From Adventure to Legend. Featuring nearly an hour of rarely seen footage from the set of the film and archival interviews with Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Harrison Ford, these captivating pieces transports fans back to where the legend began."

Here's a disc by disc breakdown of the set's extras:

Disc One - Raiders of the Lost Ark - Teaser trailer, Theatrical trailer, Re-Issue trailer (all HD)

Disc Two - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - Teaser trailer and Theatrical trailer (both HD)

Disc Three - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - Teaser trailer and Theatrical trailer (both HD)

Disc Four - Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - Theatrical trailers #2, #3 and #4 (all HD)

Disc Five - Bonus Features - 2-part On Set with Raiders of the Lost Ark documentary (includes From Jungle to Desert and From Adventure to Legend), 5 Indiana Jones: The Making of a Trilogy vintage featurettes [The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark (a new vintage 1981 featurette previously unavailable on DVD), The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Making of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Making of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Making of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (HD- this may be the Blu-ray Production Diary documentary)], 12 behind-the-scenes featurettes [The Stunts of Indiana Jones, The Sound of Indiana Jones, The Music of Indiana Jones, The Light and Magic of Indiana Jones, Raiders: The Melting Face!, Indiana Jones and the Creepy Crawlies (with optional pop-ups), Travel with Indiana Jones: Locations (with optional pop-ups), Indy's Women: The American Film Institute Tribute, Indy's Friends and Enemies, Iconic Props (from Crystal Skull - HD), The Effects of Indy (from Crystal Skull - HD), Adventures in Post Production (also from Crystal Skull - HD)]

Right away it should be clear that some of the featurette content from Disc One and Two of the previous Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Blu-ray isn't included here, so you'll want to keep that set to retain everything. Much of the then-new content from the 2008 The Indiana Jones Adventure Collection re-issue DVDs isn't here either. HOWEVER, it's worth noting that it appears ALL of the bonus content from the original 2003 DVD box set release of the trilogy IS included here. So that's something. So in short, it looks like you can safely ditch your 2003 DVD box set but keep the 2008 set and the Crystal Skull Blu-ray if you want everything. [Editor's Note: We've spoken with Lucasfilm and have learned that the 1981 The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark documentary is something that's never been released on DVD before - it's NOT the piece that was on the Best Buy bonus disc available with the 2003 DVD set. We're trying to confirm if the Best Buy featurette is included as well. Just FYI.]

Now then... more news...

Kino Lorber has officially unveiled Stanley Kubrick's Fear and Desire as a Library of Congress: 35mm Archival Restoration Edition Blu-ray and DVD. Both formats are due on 10/23 (SRP $34.95 and $29.95). The film has been newly restored by the Library of Congress from the official camera negative. From the press release:

"It's both the mission and privilege of the Packard Campus to preserve the breadth and depth of America's film, video, and sound recording heritage," said Mike Mashon, Head of the Library of Congress Moving Image Section. "Yet preservation is only a means towards making these treasures more accessible. We're pleased that Fear and Desire can now been seen but also well protected for generations to come."

"Kino Lorber is immensely grateful to the talented team at the Library of Congress for brilliantly restoring such a key work in the history of American cinema," said Kino Lorber CEO Richard Lorber. "We're honored to participate in the process of making sure this seminal film of a 24-year-old Stanley Kubrick will now be widely available-an inspiration for film students and a thrill for film lovers everywhere."

Here's an important note: This Blu-ray will include Kubrick's short subject film The Seafarers as an extra, also restored by The Museum of Modern Art & The Film Foundation and presented in HD.

Also today, Timeless Media Group and Shout! Factory have set Peter Gunn: The Complete Series for release on DVD on 10/23 - the series first time on the format. All 114 classic episodes will be included on 12 DVD discs, along with a bonus CD of Henry Mancini's Grammy and Emmy-Award winning score.

One more cool item today: We have officially confirmed details from Sony about the extras that will be included on their forthcoming Lawrence of Arabia: 50th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray release, due as a limited edition 4-disc Blu-ray Gift Set on 11/13. What's cool here is, there are some MAJOR surprises! Extras will include:

Disc One - the complete feature film (227-minute restored director's cut) with overture, intermission, entr'acte and exit music, newly re-mastered 5.1 English audio and the Secrets of Arabia: Picture-in-Graphic Track

Disc Two - Peter O'Toole Revisits Lawrence of Arabia (new interview), The Making of Lawrence of Arabia documentary, 5 featurettes (A Conversation with Steven Spielberg, The Camels Are Cast, In Search of Lawrence, Romance of Arabia and the 1970 version of Wind, Sand and Star: The Making of a Classic), Newsreel Footage of the New York Premiere and Advertising Campaigns material

Disc Three (exclusive to the Gift Set) - a never-before-released Deleted Scene with introduction by editor Anne Coates, The Lure of the Desert: Martin Scorsese on Lawrence of Arabia (new interview), 3 additional featurettes (In Love with the Desert, King Hussein Visits Lawrence of Arabia Scene and the original 1963 version of Wind, Sand and Star), Archival Interviews with William Friedkin, Sydney Pollack, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg and a gallery of trailers and TV spots (including the theatrical trailer, 2 teaser trailers, the 1989 70mm Restoration trailer and 2 TV spots)

Disc Four (exclusive to the Gift Set) - an exclusive Lawrence of Arabia soundtrack CD that includes the film's score plus 2 previously unreleased tracks

The box set will also include "an authentic 70mm film frame (newly printed and numbered) and a 88-page hard-bound coffee table book that features rarely seen photos, the film's history and significance, and insight into the making of the film." Nice.

Finally today, we'd like to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of veteran film, TV and stage composer Marvin Hamlisch, whose vast body of work includes scores for such films as The Way We Were, Ice Castles, The Sting, The Spy Who Loved Me, Seems Like Old Times, Sophie's Choice, 3 Men and a Baby and The Informant! He also wrote music for Broadway shows, among them A Chorus Line, They're Playing Our Song and The Goodbye Girl. He was 68.

Here's a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Kino Lorber's Stanley Kubrick's Fear and Desire, as well as the REVISED open packaging for Sony's Lawrence of Arabia: 50th Anniversary Edition box set and Paramount and Lucasfilm's Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures. Note that Fear and Desire isn't available for pre-order yet on Amazon, but we'll update the cover link as soon as it is...

Stanley Kubrick's Fear and Desire (Blu-ray Disc)Lawrence of Arabia: 50th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Disc)

Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures (Blu-ray Disc)

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

8/6/12

All right, we have a couple things for you today...

First though, fingers crossed by the time you read this the good folks at NASA and JPL will (should - hopefully!) have successfully landed the Curiosity rover on Mars. It's a pretty daring effort to say the least. You can watch all the coverage of the mission online here on NASA TV. Good luck, guys!

First up, Fox and MGM have officially announced more great new catalog Blu-ray releases for release in September and October. They include Jeepers Creepers, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and Killer Klowns from Outer Space on 9/11, followed by Red Dawn on 10/9. The first three have an SRP of $16.99, while Red Dawn will sell for $19.99. Extras will include...

Jeepers Creepers - audio commentary by director Victor Salva, the Behind the Peepers: The Making of Jeepers Creepers featurette, deleted and extended scenes, a photo gallery and the trailer

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 - audio commentary with director Tobe Hooper and filmmaker David Gregory, a second commentary with Bill Moseley, Caroline Williams, special makeup effects creator Tom Savini and producer Michael Felsher, 2 featurettes (The Cutting Room Floor and It Runs in the Family) and the trailer

Killer Klowns from Outer Space - audio commentary with the Chiodo Brothers, 5 featurettes (The Making of Killer Klowns, Komposing Klowns, Visual Effects with Gene Warren, Jr., Kreating Klowns and the Chiodo Brothers' Earliest Films), 2 deleted scenes with commentary, bloopers, the trailer and more

Red Dawn - 3 featurettes (Red Dawn Rising, Building the Red Menace: Training for WWIII and WWIII Comes to Town) plus the trailer

Fox has also set The Do-Deca-Pentathlon for BD release on 9/18 (SRP $29.99) along with Modern Family: The Complete Third Season (SRP $59.99) that same day.

Fox is also on track to release the long-awaited Cleopatra: 50th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray in 2013. It's already available internationally.

Here's a look at the Blu-ray cover art six of the newly announced Fox/MGM titles...

Jeepers Creepers (Blu-ray Disc)Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (Blu-ray Disc)Killer Klowns from Outer Space (Blu-ray Disc)

Red Dawn (Blu-ray Disc)The Do-Deca-Pentathlon (Blu-ray Disc)Modern Family: The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray Disc)

Also, Shout! Factory has set An American Christmas Carol for Blu-ray and DVD release on 10/9. The TV film stars Henry Winkler. Shout! has also set Warren Miller's Like There's No Tomorrow for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 11/6.

Stay tuned!

8/3/12

Okay, bit of a slow news day today, but we do have something cool for you Looney Tunes fans... cover artwork for Warner's Looney Tunes: Platinum Collection - Volume Two Blu-ray, due in stores on 10/16. Enjoy!

Looney Tunes: Platinum Collection - Volume Two (Blu-ray Disc)

Also today, Warner Home Video has announced the 9/25 Blu-ray Combo and DVD release of the animated Batman: The Dark Knight Returns - Part 1. Extras on the Blu-ray edition will include the Batman: The Dark Knight Returns digital comic, 2 featurettes (Her Name Is Carrie... Her Role Is Robin and Batman and Me: The Bob Kane Story) 2 bonus cartoons "from the vault" and a preview of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns - Part 2.

Disney has set Gary Marshall's Beaches for Blu-ray release on 11/6, along with Sweet Home Alabama: 10th Anniversary Edition and The Muppet Christmas Carol: 20th Anniversary Edition. The Prep & Landing: Totally Tinsel Collection follows on Blu-ray on 11/13 (includes Prep & Landing and Naughty & Nice). Then on 11/20, you'll get Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups and a Cinderella 2-Movie Collection (including Cinderella II: Dreams Come True and Cinderella III: A Twist in Time) both on Blu-ray.

And Team Marketing is releasing Flame Over India (1959) from the Rank Collection on Blu-ray pm 12/18 (SRP $19.99).

We'll leave you with a little more Blu-ray cover artwork for Warner's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns - Part 1 and Fox's Archer: The Complete Third Season (1/8/2013) and Futurama: Volume 7 (12/11)...

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns - Part 1 (Blu-ray Disc)Archer: The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray Disc)Futurama: Volume 7 (Blu-ray Disc)

Have a great weekend!

8/2/12

More release news today...

20th Century Fox has set Futurama: Volume 7 for Blu-ray and DVD release on 12/11, followed by Archer: Season 3 on both formats on 1/8/2013. Futurama details should be available soon, but Archer will include audio commentary on 3 episodes, an extended version the episode Heart of Archness, a trailer for Gator 2, answering machine messages and the Cooking with Archer featurette.

Anchor Bay Films has set the "claustrophobic horror film" 247°F for Blu-ray and DVD release on 10/23 (SRP $29.99 and $24.99).

Film Chest is releasing the 3-disc '50s TV Classics set on DVD on 8/28, including select episodes from The Bob Hope Show (1957), The Chevy Show With Dinah Shore & Art Carney (1956), The Ed Wynn Show (1950), The Paul Winchell & Jerry Mahoney Show (1950), Death Valley Days: Sego Lilies (1953), The Lawrence Welk Show (1956), The Milton Berle Show (1956), Beat the Clock (1950s), Do You Trust Your Wife? (1957), Name That Tune (1950s) and The Red Skelton Show (1954).

Image Entertainment is releasing Stephen King's Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray on 9/4 (SRP $17.97) for the first time in honor of Halloween.

Hen's Tooth Video has set an Adventure Classic Collection for release on DVD on 10/2 (SRP $49.95), including The Count of Monte Cristo (1934), The Last of the Mohicans (1936), The Man in the Iron Mask (1939) and The Corsican Brothers (1941).

Shout! Factory has set the Roger Corman's Cult Classics titles Sweet Kill and Naked Angels for DVD only release on 8/21, only available on Shout! Factory's online store.

Stay tuned...

8/1/12

All right, more announcement news...

Warner Home Video has officially set The Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume 2 for 3-disc Blu-ray and 2-disc DVD release on 10/16 (SRP $44.98 and $26.99). The set will showcase come 50 classic and remastered animated shorts. Included on Disc One (both formats) will be A Wild Hare, Buckaroo Bugs, Long-Haired Hare, Ali Baba Bunny, Show Biz Bugs, The Wise Quacking Duck, What Makes Daffy Duck?, Book Revue, Deduce, You Say, Porky in Wackyland, You Ought to Be in Pictures, Porky in Egypt, Back Alley Oproar, Little Red Rodent Hood, Canned Feud, Gift Wrapped, Birdy and the Beast, Home, Tweet Home, Going! Going! Gosh!, Zipping Along, Scent-Imental Romeo, The Foghorn Leghorn, The High and the Flighty, Tabasco Road and Mexicali Shmoes. Disc Two (both formats) will add Wabbit Twouble, Rabbit Fire, Rabbit Seasoning, Duck! Rabbit, Duck!, Drip-Along Daffy, My Little Duckaroo, Barbary-Coast Bunny, Tortoise Beats Hare, Tortoise Wins by a Hare, Rabbit Transit, Porky's Hare Hunt, Hare-Um Scare-Um, Prest-O Change-O, Elmer's Candid Camera, Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid, The Bashful Buzzard, The Lion's Busy, Strife with Father, An Itch in Time, A Horsefly Fleas, Hollywood Steps Out, Page Miss Glory, Rocket-Bye Baby, Russian Rhapsody and Dough Ray Me-Ow. Both discs will include featurettes and commentary. Disc Three is Blu-ray-exclusive and will offer additional special feature content and rarities. From WHV's press release, this includes "several documentaries with expert commentary and behind-the-scenes information from popular animators, famous directors, animation historians and celebrated devotees. Lost cartoons from the World War II era, including Private Snafu and Seaman Hook, rare Leon Schlesinger staff Christmas Party films, documentaries covering Friz Freleng and Tex Avery with bonus Freleng Captain and the Kids cartoons and a selection of Tex Avery’s best cartoons from MGM are also included." Featurettes specifically include: King-Size Comedy: Tex Avery and the Looney Tunes Revolution, Tex Avery, the King of Cartoons, Friz on Film, ToonHeads: The Lost Cartoons, Real American Zero: The Adventures of Private Snafu, The World of Leon Schlesinger, Friz at MGM and The Best of the Rest of Tex.

Warner has also set a Harold & Kumar Blu-ray Ultimate Collector's Edition box set for release on 11/13 (SRP $49.99), including Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay and A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas. They'll come packaged with swag, including White Castle-scented car fresheners and drink coasters.

Other Warner and affiliated announcements: WHV has set The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) and The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) for Blu-ray release on 11/13 (SRP $19.98). For the BBC, they're releasing The Ice House (1997) on DVD only on 10/16. For Cartoon Network, look for Adventure Time: Jake vs. Me-Mow - Volume 3 on DVD on 10/2. And on the catalog DVD front, they've set a whole bunch of catalog double-features (previously released films) to street on 10/16, but the most interesting are King Kong/Son of Kong, Jeremiah Johnson/Mother Lode and Lost in America/Defending Your Life.

Not done with Warner just yet: The studio has also revealed the special features and swag that will be included on their Harry Potter Wizard's Collection Blu-ray/DVD box set (SRP $499.99). In edition to all the previous Blu-ray and DVD special features, plus both the 2D and 3D versions of the final two Deathly Hallows films, you'll get four hours of all-new content on the bonus disc - essentially 6 new documentary featurettes (The Harry Potters You Never Met, Designing the World of Harry Potter, When Harry Left Hogwarts: Extended Version, 50 Greatest Harry Potter Moments: Definitive Version, Secrets Revealed! Quidditch and Secrets Revealed! Hagrid). You'll also get new extras on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Parts 1 and 2, specifically the Creating the World of Harry Potter, Part. 7: Story and Creating the World of Harry Potter, Part. 8: Growing Up documentaries, as well as the A Conversation with J.K. Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe: Extended Version (with 15 additional minutes) and an extended edition of Hogwart's Last Stand. On top of all that, you'll get swag in the box "designed exclusively for the collection by the graphic designers from the films". This includes a collection of prop labels (designed for potions, wizarding products and more), the 48-page Harry Potter Catalogue of Artefacts book on the props, a 22" x 26" blueprint of Hogwarts castle, conceptual art prints, a 24" x 36" map of Hogwarts and its surroundings, a series of 5" x 7" sketch prints by production designed Stuart Craig, a Horcrux Locket from the Noble Collection and a numbered certificate of authenticity (made to look like a Hogwarts Express ticket).

For those of you wondering if the long-awaited Ultimate Collector's Edition box set editions of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Parts 1 and 2 are still coming, the answer is yes the are... but they're not announced as yet. The studio's response to our inquiry was "Stay tuned..." Hey, that's my line.

In other release news, Sony has set a 27-disc Charlie's Angels: The Complete Series DVD box set for release on 9/25 (SRP $65.99). It compiles all the previously-released individual season sets.

Finally today, we give a nod to the passing of two more members of the entertainment industry. Author, playwright and commentator Gore Vidal passed away yesterday at the age of 86. Also, comedian and former SNL writer Tom Davis - as in Franken and Davis - passed away back on July 19th at the age of 59. You can read more about each at the links provided. Vidal was of course a legendary figure of intellectualism and opinion, and just a fascinating fellow whether you agreed with him or not. And Davis would have earned my respect for his 'Dan Aykroyd as Julia Child' skit on SNL alone (co-written with Al Franken and Aykroyd), if not for many other fine bits of humor. Both will surely be missed.

Back tomorrow with more...

(LATE UPDATE - 7/31/12 - 5:30 PM PDT)

All right, more news today...

First our own Russell Hammond has once again updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover artwork and Amazon 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 surely do appreciate it.

Now then, we've got another quick update about CBS's Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season One Blu-ray exchange program: Fixed discs will be available on 8/10, and will sent out to customers within two weeks after that date. When you call or e-mail (877-335-8936 or phe.stng@bydeluxe.com), they're going to ask you to provide your name, mailing address and phone number, as well as verification of the disc ID number on the inner hub on the back of Discs 1, 3 or 4 from the set - the number from any of those discs. It should start with 'SL'. Be advised, the numbers are very tiny. You won't need to send in your current discs - they'll just send you the fixed replacements. No word yet on how consumers will be able to identify sets with the fixed discs in stores, but we've certainly asked and will update you all when we have the information.

Meanwhile, our friends at Shout! Factory are releasing John Carpenter’s classic They Live as a Collector's Edition Blu-ray and DVD on 11/6 (SRP 29.93 and $16.50). Extras are still TBA, but will include all-new interviews, audio commentary and archival material. If you're one of the first 500 people to order directly from ShoutFactory.com you'll also receive an exclusive 18" x 24" poster featuring the newly commissioned artwork.

Lionsgate has set Mad Men: Season Five for Blu-ray and DVD release on 10/16 (SRP $49.99 and $49.98). Extras will include audio commentary with the cast and crew on all 13 episodes, 5 featurettes (Mad Men Say the Darndest Things, The Uniform Time Act of 1966, What Shall I Love If Not the Enigma?, The Party of the Century and Scoring Mad Men: Inside a Session) and a 1966 Newsweek Magazine Digital Gallery.

Sony has announced the Blu-ray Disc release of John Huston's 1981 version of Annie on 10/2 (SRP $14.99). Extras will include a Sing-Along with Annie! feature, the My Hollywood Adventure with Aileen Quinn featurette, trailers and TV spots and Play's It's the Hard-Knock Life music video.

Anchor Bay Entertainment has set Excision for Blu-ray and DVD release on 10/30 (SRP $24.99 and $22.98). Extras will include audio commentary and a behind-the-scenes featurette. The Bay has also set Touchback (featuring Brian Presley and Kurt Russell) for Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 9/4 (SRP $34.99 and $26.98). Extras will include audio commentary with Presley and director Don Handfield and a behind-the-scenes featurette.

Well Go USA has set Strippers vs. Werewolves for Blu-ray and DVD release on 9/25, complete with producers' commentary and a behind-the-scenes featurette.

And Wolfe Video has set Funkytown for release on DVD only on 10/2.

Here's a look at the BD cover artwork for Shout!'s They Live, Warner's Dark Shadows (due 10/2) and Sony's Annie...

They Live (Blu-ray Disc)Dark Shadows (Blu-ray Disc)Annie (Blu-ray Disc)

Back tomorrow. Stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 7/31/12 - 2 PM PDT)

Morning, folks. Thanks to all those of you who've sent e-mails of appreciation about Barrie. His family tells me that they've been getting lots of kind and supportive messages, and I can tell you it means everything to them. I'll be archiving Barrie's tribute page (from yesterday) here at the site later today so his readers, family and friends can continue to view it, but in the meantime if you'd like to send his family a message, you can do so using his barriemaxwell@thedigitalbits.com email address. Our friends Ron and Adam over at The Home Theater Forum have also created a discussion thread where you can post your appreciation and thoughts about Barrie and his work over the years. Thank you, everyone!

First things first today: CBS has released their official statement regarding the Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season One Blu-ray audio problem. Here are the details:

"Dear Star Trek Fans,

We have discovered an anomaly in the English 7.1 DTS Master Audio track in our Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 1 Blu-ray Box set. There are some episodes that inadvertently had their front channel designations incorrectly mapped, resulting in an undesired playback experience when listening to them in a 7.1 or 5.1 Surround Sound environment.

We are quickly working to remedy the situation. Replacement discs (Disc 1, 3 and 4) will be made available free of charge. Please email phe.stng@bydeluxe.com for details regarding the replacement program. You may also call 877-DELUXE6 (877-335-8936) between 8am to 6pm Pacific, Monday-Friday.

We strive to provide our fans the best Blu-ray experience possible and sincerely apologize for this inconvenience."


So there you go. We're told discs should be available for shipping starting in a couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, Warner Home Video has set Dark Shadows for Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 10/2 (SRP $35.99 and $28.98). Extras on the DVD will include The Collinses: Every Family Has Its Demons featurette. To this, the Blu-ray will add Focus Points with Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, deleted scenes, and 8 additional featurettes (Becoming Barnabas, Welcome to Collinsport!, A Melee of Monstrous Proportions, Angelique: A Witch Scorned, Reliving a Decade, Dark Shadowy Secrets, Cooper Rocks Collinsport! and Vampires, Witches and Werewolves, Oh My!).

Also, it looks like Wal-Mart is going to have retail-exclusive Blu-ray single editions of GoldenEye, Octopussy and Diamonds Are Forever available for sale starting on 10/2 (SRP $19.99 each). We're checking with the studio to see if any other retail exclusives are in play for the Bond films. We'll let you know.

Speaking of Bond, Sony has just released a new trailer for the upcoming Skyfall. Let me just say... Holy crap! Check it out here (he sure to select HD resolution):



In other news today, Lord of the Rings fans have something to be excited about. Director Peter Jackson has officially confirmed on his Facebook page that his plans for The Hobbit have gone from two films (A Unexpected Journey and There and Back Again) to THREE! It seems there's a ton of extra material found in The Appendices of Tolkien's book version of Return of the King that pertain to and expand the story of The Hobbit, so he wants to film as much of it as he can. Okay, I'm in. It sounds like the decision was motivated by the filmmakers' desire to tell more of the story and not just money, so I'll trust that they'll get it right.

Finally this morning, a nod to the passing of pioneering artist and filmmaker Chris Marker. He's perhaps best known to mainstream audiences for his 1962 short film La Jetée, which inspired Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys. He was 91.

Back later with more. Stay tuned...

7/30/12

Our tribute to Barrie can now be permanently found at this link: The Digital Bits Honors Barrie Maxwell: 1947-2012.

7/27/12

All right, I do have a quick update for you today on the Star Trek: The Next Generation Blu-ray 7.1 audio issue. CBS has investigated, they're in the process of correcting the problem and we expect to have an official statement from them very soon on how they're going to handle it with consumers.

Now... here's something important: For those of you who may be experiencing audio sync issues with the Dolby Digital audio on the extra features on the TNG BDs, check your Blu-ray player settings. Some people are reporting problems and others aren't. It appears NOT to be a player model issue or an actual problem on the discs, but rather inconsistencies in the way people have their players setup. I've done some experiments with our demo system here at The Bits, and essentially what's happening is the more work your Blu-ray player is having to do in terms of processing the video and the audio signal, the more delay between audio and video appears when watching the extras. So if you have a very good display, set your player simply to deliver the video signal without extra processing and let your display do all the work of video processing. Conversely, if you have a high-end A/V receiver, let the receiver do all the heavy-lifting with the audio decoding. In our test system, sure enough when we overworked the player (two different models - Oppo and Panasonic) a significant audio delay appeared. When we restored the proper settings, the problem cleared up. Give that a shot and spread the word when you hear others having similar problems with audio sync on the extras. That at least is NOT a problem with the discs. I should note that setting your player settings in this manner is just a good idea in general - after all, the reason you buy high-quality displays (flat screens or projectors) and A/V receivers is that they have the extra muscle to do the work in delivering the reference video and audio quality you want.

Now then... back to regular business. We're pleased today to bring you another Blu-ray Disc review from Tim Salmons. This time Tim checks out Criterion's fine new Blu-ray edition of Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush. Don't miss it.

And if you read the review, you'll notice that Tim offers a nice nod to our beloved friend and colleague Barrie Maxwell, who passed away a couple of weeks ago. I'd like to let you all know that it's our intention to close down The Digital Bits for the day this coming Monday (7/30) to host a tribute in Barrie's honor. We'll post pictures and share our own thoughts about Barrie, some of our industry friends who appreciated his work here at The Bits will offer statements, and we'll invite all of you - his many loyal readers - to share your own thoughts and memories. All of this will be closely read by (and shared with) Barrie's wonderful family, and you can rest assured it will mean a great deal to them, as it does to us.

So we hope you'll check back in here on Monday as we take the day to honor our dear friend.

In the meantime, we wish you all all a wonderful weekend. Stay tuned...

7/26/12

Okay... no new update on the Star Trek: TNG BD audio situation today, other than the investigation into the problem continues and we hope to have an official statement in the next few days.

In other release news today, Universal has officially announced that the street date for the E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial : Anniversary Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo is 10/9. Once again, extras will include the all-new The E.T. Journals featuring behind the scenes footage from the set and the new Steven Spielberg & E.T. interview featurette. Also available will be legacy material including 2 deleted scenes (from the 2002 version of the film), 5 featurettes (A Look Back, The E.T. Reunion, The Evolution and Creation of E.T., The Music of E.T.: A Discussion with John Williams and footage from The 20th Anniversary Premiere), as well as the original theatrical trailer, the Special Olympics TV spot and a huge gallery of Designs, Photographs and Marketing materials.

20th Century Fox has announced more new Blu-ray and DVD releases for September and October, including The Sound of My Voice (both formats - 10/2), October Baby (both formats - 9/11), Strawberry Shortcake: Jammin' with Cherry Jam (DVD only - 9/11), Touch: Season One (DVD only - 10/16) and How I Met Your Mother: Season Seven (DVD only - 10/2). Speaking of Fox, their Terra Nova: The Complete Series (DVD only - 9/11) will include deleted scenes, a gag reel, 3 featurettes (Director's Diaries: Making the Pilot, Mysteries Explored and Cretaceous Life: The Dinosaurs of Terra Nova), and extended version of Occupation/Resistance and audio commentary on Occupation/Resistance with Stephen Lang, Brannon Braga and Rene Echevarria. Touch: Season One will include deleted scenes and 2 featurettes (Fate's Equations and Touch the World). No Blu-rays are currently planned of either series.

A&E and MLB will release The Essential Games of the Philadelphia Phillies, The Essential Games of the Chicago Cubs and The Essential Games of the Texas Rangers on DVD only on 8/14. Each will be a 4-disc set.

Shout! Factory has set Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation - Volume One for DVD release on 9/4. This is the live-action series.

Paramount will release The Loved Ones: Unrated on DVD only on 9/11. An R-rated DVD will also be available separately.

And here's something pretty cool: Consider this Rumor Mill-worthy, but we've been hearing in recent weeks that Warner Home Video and 20th Century Fox are finally making moves toward releasing the the classic 1960s Batman TV series (starting Adam West and Burt Ward) on disc. Multiple sources who have spoken to the actors in recent weeks have heard from them that something was finally in the works as far as a DVD release. As many of you know, Warner owns the rights to the characters but Fox owns the TV show, so working out a deal has been difficult. This has apparently been complicated by the fact that Dark Knight feature film director Christopher Nolan didn't want older, campier versions of Batman competing for audience attention with his more serious film version. But now that his trilogy is done, it appears the situation has changed. Variety ran a story last month suggesting that new licensing deals on the 60s series have been worked out, and new products are already starting to be announced. So it appears that there could finally be some BIFF!, BAM! and POW! on your TV screens come 2013. More as it comes in.

Here's a look at the cover art for Fox's Touch: Season One and Terra Nova: The Complete Series on DVD and Lola Versus (due 9/11) on Blu-ray...

Touch: Season One (DVD)Terra Nova: The Complete Series (DVD)Lola Versus (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

(LATE UPDATE - 7/25/12 - 2 PM PDT)

First up this afternoon, we'd like to send a word of congratulations to our good friend (and acclaimed special edition producer) Charles de Lauzirika, who attended the successful world premiere of his first feature film - the psychological thriller Crave - last night at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal. Well done, Charlie!

And now for some release news...

Universal has announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of Snow White and the Huntsman on 9/11. Both versions will include commentary with director Rupert Sanders, visual effects supervisor Cedric Nicolas-Troyan and co-editor Neil Smith, as well as the A New Legend Is Born featurette. The Blu-ray will exclusively add 3 more featurettes (Reinventing the Fairy Tale, Citizens of the Kingdom and The Magic of Snow White and the Huntsman), along with the interactive Around the Kingdom: 360° Set Tour. You'll also get Universal's Second Screen via your iPad for many additional features while you watch the film.

Universal has also announced the direct to Blu-ray and DVD release of Werewolf: The Beast Among Us on 10/9. Extras on both versions will include an unrated version of the movie, deleted scenes, 3 featurettes (Making the Monster, Transformation: Man to Beast and Monster Legacy) and audio commentary with director Louis Morneau and producer Mike Elliott.

Also coming from Universal on 9/11 on DVD only is Up All Night: Season One. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - The Thirteenth Year follows on DVD on 9/25. The Six Million Dollar Man: Season 2 will street from Universal on 10/2. Look also for Monster High: Ghouls Rule and Whitney: Season One on 10/9, as well as Psych: The Complete Sixth Season and The Office: The Secret Santa Pack on 10/16.

Meanwhile, 20th Century Fox has set Lola Versus for Blu-ray and DVD release on 9/11, followed by the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel on Blu-ray and DVD release on 9/18, and The Raven on both formats on 10/9. Fox has also set Stargate: Atlantis for individual season (1-5) release on Blu-ray Disc on 8/23.

Sony will release the Frank Capra: The Early Years box set on DVD on 9/4, exclusively through the TCM Vault Collection. From the press release, the set will include "re-mastered editions of Rain or Shine (1930), and four early collaborations with his legendary leading lady Barbara Stanwyck: Ladies of Leisure (1930), The Miracle Woman (1931), Forbidden (1932) and The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933). The collection also includes extensive on-screen digital bonus materials including production stills, behind-the-scenes photos, lobby cards, movie posters and more."

Image Entertainment is releasing the classic camp horror film Re-Animator on Blu-ray Disc on 9/4 (SRP $17.97). A DVD version will also be available the same day (SRP $9.98). Extras on the new edition will include audio commentary by director Stuart Gordon, a second commentary with producer Brian Yuzna and actors Bruce Abbott, Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton and Robert Sampson, new interviews with Gordon and Yuzna, writer Dennis Paoli, composer Richard Band and Fangoria Magazine editor Tony Timpone, the Re-Animator Resurrectus documentary, a Music Discussion with Composer Richard Band featurette, deleted and extended scenes, TV spots and the theatrical trailer.

Anchor Bay has set Jennifer Lynch's Chained for Blu-ray and DVD release on 10/2 (SRP $29.99 and $26.98). The film stars Vincent D'Onofrio.

Well Go USA Entertainment will release the asian action-comedy Karate-Robo Zaborgar on Blu-ray and DVD on 9/11.

IFC Films will release the horror title Kill List on Blu-ray and DVD on 8/14.

Shout! Factory has set the animated Aaahh!!! Real Monsters: Season 3 for DVD only release on 9/11. They also have The Adventures of Chuck & Friends: Monster Rally due on DVD only on 9/4. And for you G.I. Joe fans, Shout! has just revealed the Blu-ray Disc release of G.I. Joe: Renegades - The Complete First Season on Blu-ray Disc on 9/25 (SRP $49.97). All 26 episodes will be included along with a behind-the-scenes featurette.

Entertainment One's August release slate will include Devil Seed on 8/7, and Little Women (1978 NBC version), Juan of the Dead, A Girl Walks into a Bar, the John Wayne: In the Saddle box set (Winds of the Wasteland, Paradise Canyon, Dawn Rider, Desert Trail, Angel and the Badman and Hell Town, plus the John Wayne in the Saddle documentary) and the John Wayne: In Action box set (Desert Command, The Shadow of the Eagle and No Substitute for Victory, plus the In Action documentary) all on 8/14. All are DVD only.

By the way, Entertainment One is also set to release Femme Fatales: The Complete First Season on DVD in January (street date TBA). It's produced by our own Mark A. Altman and features episodes directed by our old friend Robert Meyer Burnett. The second season finale episode airs on Cinemax on 8/10.

Funimation has revealed their October slate of anime titles, including Deadman Wonderland: The Complete Series - Limited Edition (10/9 - DVD), Garei Zero: The Complete Series (10/16 - BD/DVD Combo), Hellsing Ultimate: Volumes 1-4 box set (10/16 - BD/DVD Combo), Shakugan no Shana: Season Two, Part One (10/16 - BD/DVD Combo), Shakugan no Shana: Season Two, Part Two (10/16 - BD/DVD Combo), a Tenchi Muyo! Universe box set (10/16 - DVD), Aria, the Scarlet Ammo - Limited Edition (10/23 - BD/DVD Combo), Athena (live action movie - 10/23 - BD/DVD Combo), S.A.V.E.: Super Amazing Value Edition (10/23 - DVD), C: Control - The Money and Soul of Possibility - The Complete Series (10/30 - BD/DVD Combo), Fafner: Heaven and Earth (10/30 - BD/DVD Combo), One Piece: Season Four, Voyage Two (10/30 - DVD), A Certain Magical Index: Season One, Part One (10/30 - DVD) and A Certain Magical Index: Season One, Part Two (10/30 - DVD).

And for you music fans, Magnolia Home Entertainment is releasing Kevin Macdonald's documentary Marley on Blu-ray and DVD on 8/7.

Here's a look at the Blu-ray Disc cover art for Universal's Snow White and the Huntsman and Werewolf: The Beast Among Us, Image's Re-Animator, Fox's Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and The Raven, and Well Go USA's Karate-Robo Zaborgar...

Snow White and the Huntsman (Blu-ray Disc)Werewolf: The Beast Among Us (Blu-ray Disc)Re-Animator (Blu-ray Disc)

Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Blu-ray Disc)The Raven (Blu-ray Disc)Karate-Robo Zaborgar (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

(EARLY UPDATE - 7/25/12 - 12:30 PM PDT)

Okay, just a quick update re: CBS's Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season One Blu-ray set. There is a confirmed audio issue that affects 7 episodes in the set - Encounter at Farpoint, Hide and Q, The Big Goodbye, Datalore, 11001001 and Too Short a Season. (Naturally, none of the episodes I watched prior to my review!) The impact is that in the DTS 7.1 mixes for these episodes, character dialogue that should normally be in the center channel is also mixed into the front left and right channels. The other episodes are unaffected. However, there's a secondary audio issue being reported as well in which the PCM audio for some of the extra features on Disc One and Disc Six plays out of sync on at least some models of Blu-ray player. CBS has begun investigating both issues. As soon as we get some kind of official word from them as to what they find to be the cause and how they're going to fix the problems, we'll let you all know.

Back in a couple hours with the rest of the day's news...


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