Afternoon, folks! We’ve got some great stuff for you here at The Bits today…
First up, Tim has turned in a review of Shout! Factory’s Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume IV, which includes the episodes Space Mutiny, Overdrawn at the Memory Back, Girl in Gold Boots, and Hamlet. The disc is now available, so do give it a look.
Meanwhile, we have a new MOS DEF column from Mark A. Altman as well today, in which he takes a look back at his favorite Blu-ray releases of 2016. We’ll have more from Mark later this week too. Enjoy!
In announcement news today, the BIG news is that Disney and Lucasfilm have just officially set Rogue One: A Star Wars Story for Blu-ray Combo, DVD, and On Demand release on 4/4, with a Digital HD release set for 3/24. There’s no word yet of a 4K version, but it appears that Target and Best Buy will have retail-exclusive Blu-ray 3D versions on 4/4 (per Star Wars.com). The Target package appears to match the Star Wars: The Force Awakens 3D Collector’s Edition. The Best Buy package comes in a Steelbook. Walmart will also have exclusive packaging. Extras on the Blu-rays will include 11 behind-the-scenes featurettes (A Rogue Idea, Jyn: The Rebel, Cassian: The Spy, K-2SO: The Droid, Baze & Chirrut: Guardians of the Whills, Bodhi & Saw: The Pilot & The Revolutionary, The Empire, Visions of Hope: The Look of Rogue One, The Princess & The Governor, Epilogue: The Story Continues, and Rogue Connections). Note that the lack of deleted scenes – and we know there are many – or audio commentary suggests that a more elaborate Collector’s Edition BD release is coming later this year. You can see the cover artwork at the left and below. [Read on here…]
We’re starting today with a pair of new Blu-ray Disc reviews, both of them from Universal. Tim’s given Laika’s Kubo and the Two Strings a spin and found it well worth your time, especially if you missed it in the theater. It’s probably the best animated film of 2016, so do give it a look. Tim has also reviewed Universal’s Blu-ray upgrade of Peter Jackson’s King Kong: Ultimate Edition, which includes damn near all of the extras from the previous and elaborate DVD box sets. It’s also available for a great price too – just $13.99 on Amazon right now. Give the reviews a read and I think you’ll enjoy them.
Also, we’ve just posted the weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section featuring all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K cover artwork and pre-order links. As always, anytime you order literally anything from Amazon after clicking to them through any one of our links, you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we really appreciate it very much. So please do and thank you! [Read on here…]
All right, today is a work holiday for many here in the U.S., but we do have some interesting new release news for you all regardless.
First up, new signals from retail sources (including Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and others) are suggesting that Disney and Lucasfilm are planning to release Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, and DVD on 4/4, instead of the date previously listed by retailers which was 3/28. Until this weekend, Best Buy was taking pre-orders with no date listed, but that’s now been pulled, suggesting that an official announcement may be coming any day. Stay tuned for official details.
Speaking of Disney, the studio has confirmed that it’s currently working on new Walt Disney Signature Edition Blu-ray releases of Fantasia and Bambi. The latter film has been out of print on Blu-ray here in the States for a number of years now, so that’s certainly good news for fans. You can learn a bit more here. [Read on here…]
All right, we’re closing out the week with some interesting announcement news and a few other odds and ends...
First up today, Warner Bros has just announced that HBO’s Westworld: The Complete First Season will be available in Digital HD on 3/6. The Blu-ray and DVD release is expected to follow later in 2017, ahead of the debut of the series’ second season. Meanwhile, the Digital release will have some extras, including 5 behind-the-scenes featurettes (Welcome to Westworld, Crafting the Narrative, An Invitation to the Set, Reality of A.I.: Westworld, and About the Series), as well as 7 The Big Moment clips (Bernard Faces an Unlikely Saboteur, Teddy Versus the Man in Black, A Host Self-Sabotages, Maeve Gets An Answer, Dr. Ford’s Blood Sacrifice, The Truth About Bernard, and Dr. Ford’s New Narrative). [Read on here…]
We’ve got a pair of new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews for all of you to enjoy here at The Bits today. I’ve given Warner’s The Accountant and Sony’s Inferno a spin on the format, both of which are recent releases, and have a few things to say about each. Do give them a look.
Also today, it’s become fairly clear that Amazon and Disney are having another one of their strange business tiffs that involves Amazon pulling all of Disney’s forthcoming Blu-ray titles off of pre-order. Case in point, Moana, Doctor Strange, etc. This may also be why Disney and Lucasfilm have not yet announced the Blu-ray release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, even though it’s already available for pre-order on other retail sites. While they no doubt have their reasons, these actions are a major inconvenience to both Amazon’s customers and Disney’s Blu-ray consumers, so these two companies should get their act together. [Read on here…]
All right, folks... this is one of those posts it’s fun to write. None of this news has been officially announced, it comes from retail sources. But we know from our other industry sources that this information is legit. The street dates may change, but the titles should all be forthcoming.
The Swedish video retailer CDON.com has just listed for pre-order a number of catalog titles that we’ve known were either in production or planning for a while now, but the news is starting to break. They include (listed by studio and European street date):
Universal – The Mummy (1999 – 5/22), The Mummy Returns (5/22), The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (5/22), Despicable Me (6/12), Despicable Me 2 (6/12), Gladiator (6/12)
Sony – The Bridge on the River Kwai (6/19), Spider-Man (6/26), Spider-Man 2 (6/26), Spider-Man 3 (6/26), The Amazing Spider-Man (6/26) [Read on here…]
The big release news today is that Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has just set Assassin’s Creed for Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release on 3/21, with the Digital HD release expected on 3/10. We’re awaiting official details on the extras from the studio and will post them as soon as they’re available.
Also today, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced the 3/21 Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD release of Pedro Almodóvar’s Julieta. Disc-based extras will include a pair of featurettes (Portrait of Julieta and Celebrating Director Pedro Almodóvar).
Lionsgate will release Isolation on DVD on 4/18 as a Walmart exclusive. The film will also be widely available on Digital HD that same day. [Read on here…]
So, here’s something very interesting. File this in the Rumor Mill category, but Disney may finally be about to take the leap into 4K Ultra HD.
According to the German BD site Bluray-Disc.de, Disney and Marvel have licensed Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and Iron Man 3 to Concorde Home Entertainment for release in Germany on the 4K Ultra HD format on 4/6, both individually and as a Steelbook trilogy. You can see more here and also here.
If this is true, it would seem likely that a U.S. release is also soon to be announced. After all, the 4K Ultra HD format is all-region. It’s very hard to imagine Marvel and Disney sacrificing potential sales here in the States due to enthusiasts importing copies. [Read on here…]
We’re kicking off today’s update here at The Bits with a trio of new disc reviews...
First up, I spent the whole day yesterday going through Sony’s new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition of Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. The package includes 4K, Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, and Digital HD. Whatever you may think of the film itself, this A/V presentation is a must have for 4K enthusiasts. Full native 4K in 60 frames per second with High Dynamic Range and Dolby Atmos audio is a helluva thing.
All right, we’ve got a couple things for you this evening here at The Bits…
First up, I’ve spent some time this afternoon talking with those involved in mastering and QC for Paramount Home Entertainment, and have just updated my review of Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival in 4K Ultra HD format with much new information about the transfer and HDR. There’s been some concern by other reviewers that the film image is too dark, and that there must be a mastering error, but having reviewed the 4K disc myself here at The Bits, it was my suspicion that the darker image on the 4K disc (compared to the Blu-ray) was a deliberate creative decision by the filmmakers, similar to the situation with Fox’s The Revenant. That suspicion, as it turns out, was correct. So the review has been fully updated with additional details and information that should help to illuminate the situation. You can find that here. [Read on here…]