All right, the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show is finally under way in Las Vegas today, with a number of the major CE manufacturers holding big press conferences to announce their product line-ups for the year. In fact, I’ve just now sat through Samsung’s big press event (more on that in a minute). I’ll check back in with more tomorrow, but for now let’s get to what news we have so far concerning 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray at the show...
In terms of new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player hardware, obviously Oppo Digital has just launched their debut player on the format, the UDP-203 (SRP $549). I’ve been testing this unit for about a week now and it’s just tremendous. For a first-generation player, it’s very solid, very fast, and it plays just about everything – Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, DVD-Audio, CD, and SACD, plus a wide variety of digital video and audio formats via network and USB. It’s compatible with HDR-10 right out of the box, and it’s also hardware compatible with Dolby Vision; a firmware update in the months ahead will add full Dolby Vision compatibility (keep in mind that no Dolby Vision UHD BD software is yet available, though software is forthcoming – again, more in a moment – and you can stream it now via Netflix and Vudu). Oppo is also working on an audiophile-upgraded version of this player, the UDP-205 (SRP around $1K), due for release later this year. [Read on here…]
Okay, we’ve got some good stuff for you today here at The Bits...
First up, our own Michael Coate has just turned in another new History, Legacy & Showmanship column here at the site, this time featuring a look back at Michael Todd’s Around the World in 80 Days in honor of the film’s 60th anniversary! His roundtable discussion includes film historians Sheldon Hall, Martin Hart, and Kim Holston. Do give it a look, as we think you’ll really enjoy it. And, believe it or not, Michael has one last retrospective History, Legacy & Showmanship column for 2016 coming tomorrow afternoon, so be sure to check back then for it. [Read on here…]
We kick things off today here at The Bits with a brand new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate. This time, Michael takes a look back at the Bond film Diamonds Are Forever in honor of the film’s 45th anniversary this year (it was originally released in the U.S. on 12/17/1971). His column features another great roundtable discussion with leading Bond experts and film historians, including Jon Burlingame, John Cork, Bill Desowitz, Lee Pfeiffer, and Bruce Scivally. We certainly hope you enjoy it!
Also today, our own Tim Salmons has turned in another new Blu-ray review, this time featuring a look at Arrow Video’s new Creepshow 2: Special Edition. The disc is now available in stores and it’s well worth your time if you’re a fan of the film. [Read on here…]
Well... I had a whole plan for today’s post. Sarah and I are both just recovering from this flu that’s going around, and I’ve had a couple days to rest up, so I had a bunch of content I wanted to post here at The Bits today. Then the news that Carrie Fisher has passed away broke.
Now, I’m afraid I can’t bring myself to post any of it this afternoon.
It’s strange the impact that people who you’ve never met can have on your life. I’ve seen Carrie, and all the Star Wars cast, at various conventions, but I’ve never actually met her. Yet it would be difficult to understate the impact her work – not just in Star Wars but The Blues Brothers, When Harry Met Sally, Under the Rainbow, Postcards from the Edge (which she wrote), and so many other great films and TV appearances – has had on me over the years. [Read on here…]
All right, in the last 24 hours I’ve managed to get a trio of new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews finished and posted here at the site. They include Luke Scott’s Morgan from 20th Century Fox, Clint Eastwood’s Sully from Warner Bros., and Len Wiseman’s Underworld from Sony. Morgan arrived in stores two weeks ago, Sully just this week, and Underworld streets next Tuesday. All three discs are well worth a look, but the best film of the lot is definitely Sully. It’s also a rare full 4K release with HDR and a great Dolby Atmos sound mix. Do give them a look. [Read on here…]
All right, I’m finally back to some semblance of functional today after a good three-day bout with the flu. As such, we’ve got a bit of good content for you here at The Bits today.
First up, our own Michael Coate celebrates the 40th anniversary of Rocky with a brand new film retrospective and roundtable discussion in his latest installment of History, Legacy & Showmanship. The column is a great in-depth read, as always, and features the participation of film historians Leger Grindon, Edward Gross, and Eric Lichtenfeld, and documentary filmmaker Cliff Stephenson. Don’t miss it! [Read on here…]
My apologies, but this flu I’ve come down with has gotten worse rather than better today. So I’ve got a release news update for you but that’s about it. Still, there’s definitely some good news to report.
First up, Kino Lorber has set Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat (1944) for Blu-ray release on 3/7. Extras will include audio commentary by film historian Tim Lucas, audio commentary by film professor Drew Casper, The Making of Lifeboat documentary, an animated montage of images, and reversible cover art (the front part of which you can see there on the left). Also coming to Blu-ray on 3/7 from the company is Richard Fleischer’s Compulsion (1959). [Read on here…]
Well, I’ve been fighting it for a few days now but it seems that I’ve finally come down with some kind of flu bug. Damn it. The upside is that I’m spending a lot of time watching movies, so I’m working on more 4K reviews here today.
Meanwhile, Tim has checked in with a new Scream for a Week column in which he delivers a pair of new Blu-ray reviews of his own: Scream Factory’s The Beast Within and the Ghoulies/Ghoulies II Double Feature. He also tosses in his thoughts on Vestron Video’s new C.H.U.D.: Bud the Chud. [Read on here…]
This is just a quick post to close out the week here at The Bits, but I wanted to chime in this afternoon with my non-spoiler comments about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which I saw last night in RealD 3D (via Barco Laser projection – no IMAX Laser 3D, but it’s good).
First of all, let me say: I really enjoyed the hell out of this film. I actually liked it more than I liked The Force Awakens, and I enjoyed that film too. Rogue One manages a nifty threading of the needle. On the one hand, it has to feel like authentic Star Wars (it certainly does to me) and it has to meet very high fan expectations (it mostly does this for me too). On the other hand, no film can possibly do that for everyone. Every longtime fan has likely imagined the story described in the opening crawl of the original Star Wars, and every one of those fans who is now connected to the film industry in one way or another has probably already directed that movie in their heads. So not everyone is going embrace everything about this film. Yet, it’s still a blast. [Read on here…]
All right, this will be a day long remembered! Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens tonight at theaters all across the States and around the world. But we’ll come back to that in a moment.
First, we’ve got more reviews for you. I’ve just posted my thoughts on Warner and DC’s Suicide Squad in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format. I don’t much care for the film myself, but it sure looks great and the 4K disc is pretty terrific in terms of A/V quality. There’s a nice batch of extras on the enclosed Blu-ray too. So that’s something.
Also, Tim has turned in his thoughts on Val Lewton and Jacques Tourneur’s classic 1942 horror film Cat People, which has recently been released on Blu-ray Disc by our friends over at the Criterion Collection. It’s a great disc, so don’t miss it! [Read on here…]