My Two Cents

I had the pleasure last night of attending a press screening of Damien Chazelle’s new Neil Armstrong biopic, First Man. So let me give you my non-spoiler review…

A little background first: As someone who’s been a lifelong supporter and aficionado of the space program, I’ve seen every film there is on the subject, from Apollo 13 and The Right Stuff to the most obscure documentary. I’ve listened to most of the CAPCOM recordings, I have DVDs and Blu-rays containing almost every foot of archival footage shot by NASA and the astronauts during their missions. I’ve been to NASA facilities, I’ve seen launches, and I’m fortunate enough to even know a few astronauts. It’s with that lifetime of experience that I can say this: First Man is the single most realistic dramatic film about the subject yet made.

The level of detail exceeds even Ron Howard’s Apollo 13 and by a good measure. In Howard’s film, great as it is, there are a couple of things that just aren’t quite right. For example, the mission patch plaques on the wall of Mission Control are painted versions of the souvenir patches sold to the public, not the actual patches the astronauts wore. The NASA emblems on characters’ flight suits are modern, not period accurate. They’re little things, sure, but for the knowledgable, they can throw you out of the moment. But Chazelle and his team nail all of those little details, right down to the tiniest stitch. It’s as if First Man was actually shot in the 1960s, a level of verisimilitude and immersion that’s rare, even for a film of this type. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, before I get started today, I wanted to post a quick personal note to say thank you for all the kind words and messages after my post last week. I’ve really appreciated them.

We’re going to check back tomorrow with a TON of new Blu-ray and 4K reviews (including Disney and Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp), but I wanted to check in with an update this afternoon.

First up, we’ve updated The 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Bits with Amazon pre-order links for all three of Lionsgate’s Rambo 4K titles, including First Blood, Rambo: First Blood, Part II, and Rambo III. Click on the cover art below for those.

Also Image and RLJ Entertainment has set Arizona for 4K UHD release in addition to Blu-ray and DVD on 10/16.

Paramount is releasing a Mission: Impossible – 6 Movie Collection on both 4K UHD and Blu-ray the same day that Mission: Impossible – Fallout streets on both formats (12/4). [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Today’s post is going to be brief for reasons I’ll explain in a moment. But we do have some pretty significant announcement news we need to tell you all about.

First, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has just officially announced the long-expected 4K Ultra HD release of Richard Donner’s original Superman: The Movie on 11/6. The 4K release will include the theatrical version of the film only on 4K and on the newly-remastered Blu-ray included in the package as well. The 4K version will feature both Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos object-based audio. Our information is that, in addition to Atmos, the 4K release will include 5.1 audio mixed from the original 1978 6-track 70mm as well.

Extras on both discs will include the audio commentary with Pierre Spengler and Ilya Salkind. The Blu-ray will add the 1978 The Making of Superman: The Movie TV special, the 58-minute Superman and the Mole-Men (1951) feature starring George Reeves, additional cartoon shorts, trailers, and TV spots. You can see the cover artwork there at left and also below. SRP for the set is $41.99, though it’ll be on sale for much less on Amazon and elsewhere. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, I’ll be checking in later this evening with a review of Fox’s X-Men: 3-Film Collection on 4K Ultra HD (it’s available now at this link). But in the meantime, we’ve gotten some important Universal Blu-ray information that we wanted to share with all of you.

As we’ve reported, and as many of you know, Universal currently has a replacement program in effect for the defective Revenge of the Creature Blu-ray 3D/The Creature Walks Among Us Blu-ray combo disc in their recent Universal Monsters BD sets. Replacement discs should start shipping in the first half of October.

Contact this address to arrange your replacement copy: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We’ve got a bunch of news for you today, including Blu-ray and 4K items of interest. But we’re going to start with some new disc reviews we’ve done over the last couple of days for you...

First up, I’ve posted my in-depth looks at John Carpenter’s original Halloween in 4K from Lionsgate, as well as The Sum of All Fears and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit in 4K, which completes our look at the full Jack Ryan 5-Film Collection 4K box set from Paramount. Halloween features a fantastic new 4K film scan approved by both Carpenter and cinematographer Dean Cundy, but the audio options are the same as the 35th Anniversary Blu-ray (which means the mono is not original theatrical).

I’m also currently working on a review of Fox’s The X-Men Trilogy in 4K, as well as the Universal Classic Monsters Complete 30-Film Collection, The Invisible Man: Complete Legacy Collection, and Creature from the Black Lagoon: Complete Legacy Collection all on Blu-ray. And yes, I am attempting to ascertain when fixed discs will be available for sale (the sets are not currently available directly from Amazon) and how you’ll be able to tell that you have the fixed discs via the packaging. So stay tuned.

Also today, we’ve posted the weekly update of our Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, whenever you order literally anything from Amazon after clicking through one of our links (like this one), you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we really appreciate it. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We’ve got some interesting new announcement news for you today...

We start today with the Criterion Collection, which has just announced its December slate of titles. Look for it to include Samuel Fuller’s Forty Guns (Spine #954 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Euzhan Palcy’s A Dry White Season (Spine #953 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 12/11, followed by Julien Duvivier’s Panique (Spine #955 – Blu-ray and DVD) and an update of Ingmar Bergman’s Sawdust and Tinsel (Spine #412 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 12/18. We’ve updated the Criterion Spines Project pages here at The Bits accordingly.

Our friends at the Warner Archive Collection have just announced a few new Blu-ray titles, including the Hammer films titles Dracula AD 1972 (1972) and Satanic Rites of Dracula (1974), both starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, along with Bad Ronald (1974), Robert Altman’s Brewster McCloud (1970), and The 100: The Complete Fifth Season (2018). All are coming soon. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

I posted the following text at the end of our early news update here at The Digital Bits, but it’s important enough that I though it worth posting separately, so it doesn’t get lost amid the usual news we post. This is an update and follow-up to my editorial from last Thursday, Hey Kids… Buying Movies? Buy Them on Disc, Not Digital. Here’s Why.... So here’s the text again or your attention:

All right... finally today, wanted to post a follow-up about that story from last week on iTunes consumer Andrews G da Silva, who discovered a trio of digital movies he’d purchased missing from his iTunes library. Now, it turns out the situation is a little bit of an oddball… da Silva is from Australia, where he purchased many of his films, but recently moved to Canada. Because of this, the region differences meant three of the films he’d purchased before he moved didn’t show up in his library after the move. You can read updates here at CNet and here at 9 to 5 Mac.

First of all, it’s unsurprising that region issues related to film distribution rights would rear their ugly head as a problem in the digital space. As people move around, this is going to be an on-going problem.

Of course, this has led a few to dismiss the concerns we posted in our editorial here at The Bits on Thursday. But doing so misses the larger point, which is important. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Before we get to the news, we begin the week with four new Blu-ray reviews, including…

Tim Salmons’ look at Terry Gilliam’s Tideland (2005) from Arrow Video.

David Steigman’s take on The French Way (1945) from MVD.

And Dennis Seuling’s look at Bram Stoker’s Shadowbuilder (1998) from the MVD Rewind Collection and That Summer (2017) on DVD from IFC Independent Film. Fans of the 1975 Albert and David Maysles documentary Grey Gardens will find That Summer of interest, as it contains raw footage from an earlier project starring the two Edies.

Also, we’ve posted the latest update of the Release Dates & Artwork section featuring new Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, when you order literally anything from Amazon after clicking through our links (like this one), you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we greatly appreciate it. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Every now and again, we talk here at The Digital Bits about the need to fight for the preservation of physical media. Meaning discs.

And every time we do, we get a few emails from our younger readers saying that we sound ridiculous for doing so, because discs are for dinosaurs and digital is awesome and that’s the future and you can watch it on your phone.

But we continue to fight for physical media for a very good reason... and older readers will know from experience why we do.

If you own all your movies and music on discs, you’ll have them indefinitely, whenever you want to watch or listen to them. You can still rip those discs to a digital file to watch your content on whatever device you want to. Sure it takes a little more effort to do so, but you still have that disc sitting on a shelf or in a box. And that’s very important.

Here’s why: If all your content is digital only, and your library exists only in the cloud, you don’t actually have those movies. You don’t own them, even if you’ve “purchased” them with your hard earned money. And the studios or streaming services can take them away from you whenever they want to. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents
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