My Two Cents

All right, first up here at The Bits today, our own Russell Hammond has just posted the weekly Release Dates & Artwork update, featuring all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, a portion of anything you order from Amazon (after clicking to them through any of our links) goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we greatly appreciate it!

Now then... in announcement news today, Paramount has officially announced the Blu-ray Combo, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of Denis Villensuve’s Arrival on 2/14. A Digital HD release will happen on 1/31. It appears that audio on the Blu-ray and 4K will be English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Extras will include 5 behind-the-scenes featurettes (Xenolinguistics: Understanding Arrival, Acoustic Signatures: The Sound Design, Eternal Recurrence: The Score, Nonlinear Thinking: The Editorial Process, and Principles of Time, Memory & Language). We’re certainly looking forward to watching those.  [Read on here…] 

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We’re starting the new week off with a new Scream for a Week column from our own Tim Salmons, featuring new reviews of Scream Factory’s Hellhole, #Horror, and Dreamscape: Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray Disc. Do give them a look.

Also today, we have a few bits of great new title announcement news…

First up, Lionsgate has set Garth Davis’ critically accalaimed film Lion for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/21.  [Read on here…] 

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All right, we’re closing out the week at CES 2017 with a couple of additional bits of 4K and industry-related news.

But first, Disney and Marvel have just officially announced the Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo, Digital SD, DVD, and On-Demand release of Doctor Strange on 2/28. The Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere release is expected on 2/14. Extras on the Blu-ray versions will include audio commentary by director Scott Derrickson, 5 deleted scenes (Strange Meets Daniel Drumm, Kaecilius Searches for Answers, The Kamar-Taj Courtyard, Making Contact, and Lost in Kathmandu), 5 featurettes (A Strange Transformation, Strange Company, The Fabric of Reality, Across Time and Space, and The Score-cerer Supreme), a Marvel Studios Phase 3 Exclusive Look, the Team Thor: Part 2 spoof (with Thor and his roommate, Darryl), and a gag reel. The Blu-rays will feature 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Per Disney tradition, the digital release will also include its own exclusive featurette (Through the Keyhole: The Science of the MCU). You can see the cover artwork for the Blu-ray versions left and below.  [Read on here…]

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All right, let’s have more on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from CES 2017, plus a bit of regular Blu-ray announcement news too...

First up, we have reliable word that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is listing Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element for release on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format on 7/11. That makes a ton of sense, because Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017) arrives in theatres on 7/21 (from STX Entertainment).

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has also just officially set Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk for 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo, and DVD release on 2/14. The 4K release will be presented in full 4K and 60 fps, with HDR and Dolby Atmos audio. It features an exclusive 4K Featurette with Ang Lee and Tim Squyres discussing the film’s groundbreaking frame rate technology. The Blu-ray versions will include delete scenes and 4 featurettes (Into Battle and Onto the Field: Stepping Inside Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Recreating the Halftime Show, The Brotherhood of Combat, and Assembling a Cast). You can see the cover artwork to the left.  [Read on here…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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Tuesday, 27 December 2016 12:00

Rest in Peace, Carrie Fisher

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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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