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Today is Blu-ray review day here at The Bits...

First up, we have a couple of brand new reviews for you.  From our own Todd Doogan comes a look at Criterion’s excellent special edition of Brazil, lovingly upgraded for high-definition and so better than ever.  Don’t miss it!

Also, Tim has turned in his thoughts on Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man, which is a darned fine special edition release produced by our old friend Charles de Lauzirika.  And the movie’s not half bad too!

Plus, we’ve also upgraded a whopping ten previous Blu-ray reviews from The Original Bits into our new review database.  This includes Sony’s Ghostbusters, Dr. Strangelove: 45th Anniversary Special Edition and the Close Encounters of the Third Kind: 30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition, Warner’s Barry Lyndon, Heat, Contact and 2010: The Year We Make Contact, Universal’s Dune, DreamWorks’ Galaxy Quest and A&E’s Space: 1999 – Season 1.  Good stuff all.  We have many more classic Blu-ray reviews that we’re gradually upgrading into our review database, so be sure to check them all out and watch for lots more.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got a screaming new server for The Bits now – just a few little DNS issues here and there need to be worked out and we’ll be completely back to normal.  Let us know on The Bits Facebook page if you notice anything amiss.  And thanks again for your patience.

First up here at The Bits today, we’ve got a pair of new Blu-ray Disc reviews for you:  Tim Salmons has checked in with his thoughts on Disney’s disappointing new The Sword and the Stone: 50th Anniversary Edition.  Sadly, it looks like the studio dropped the ball on the remastering.  And our own Todd Doogan has turned in his two cents on Michael Bay’s new Pain & Gain on Blu-ray from Paramount.  As with the case with Star Trek Into Darkness, it appears you get great A/V quality and bupkis for extras – in this case (given the apparent lack of retail exclusive versions) it probably means a double-dip is in the offing.  Anyway, enjoy the reviews.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Quick important note:  Because of all the extra traffic this week, we’re going to be upgrading our server this evening to be able to handle these kinds of traffic spikes more easily.  We may be down for a couple hours later tonight but we should be back up by tomorrow morning better than ever.  Certainly by Monday, Scotty tells us that the warp core should be purring like a kitten again.  So thanks for your patience and know that things will be much better soon.

Now then, there’s big release news today…

Our friends at Kino Lorber have announced their November Blu-ray and DVD release slate and there are some real gems, including a Nosferatu: 2-Disc Deluxe Remastered Edition (DVD & Blu-ray) and a Russian Ark: Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray and DVD) on 11/19!  F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu will include two versions of the 1922 classic, the original German Intertitles (with optional English subs) or English Intertitles, Hans Erdmann’s original 1922 score in 5.1 Surround or 2.0 Stereo, the 53-minute The Language of Shadows documentary chronicling Murnau’s early career, clips and highlights from other Murnau films and a photo gallery.  Features on Russian Ark are still TBA.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Well... I guess it’s been a while since we went on a good old fashioned Blu-ray or DVD related rant, so yesterday’s post here at the site was probably going to happen sooner or later.  As longtime readers know, it wouldn’t be The Digital Bits without such rants every once in a while – we’ve been doing it since 1997.  But I still think what I said needed saying.  Whenever we go on rants here at The Bits, it’s for a good reason – because in our experienced point of view, something is amiss.  And after more than 16 years of working in and around the home video industry (not to mention having correctly predicted and advised our readers through two format wars), we certainly have that experience.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Okay, just a quick one today to round out the week...

First up, check this out... Syndctd Entertainment and International Films Management are releasing Perry Henzell’s cult classic The Harder They Come back into theaters for a limited time in the U.S. and U.K. starting on 9/5.  The film stars Jimmy Cliff.  Then later this year, Xenon Pictures is releasing the film on Blu-ray Disc.  All this is in honor of the film’s 40th Anniversary.  More information is available here.  Remember: “The hero can’t dead till the last reel!”

Warner Home Video is releasing the Paramount catalog title Terms of Endearment on Blu-ray Disc for the first time on 12/3 (SRP $19.98).  […]

Published in My Two Cents

Okay, apparently we’re not done yet today...

Warner Home Video has just officially announced the Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo and DVD release of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel on 11/12 (SRP $44.95, $35.99 and $29.98).  There will also be a 3D Limited Collector’s Edition (SRP $59.99) that includes the Blu-ray 3D Combo along with a limited release metal “S” glyph with lucite glass stand.

Here’s a look at the final official cover artwork for all four versions, which (except the box set) are now available for pre-order on Amazon.com by clicking on the covers…  […]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got some big news for you today, but first…

We’ve posted a couple of new Blu-ray Disc reviews here at the site for you to check out today.  Tim has given Shout! Factory’s Deadly Blessing: Collector’s Edition Blu-ray a review – part of their Scream Factory brand.  And Jeff Kleist has turned in a look at Paramount’s new Top Gun 3D on Blu-ray 3D.  Both are now in stores and are definitely worth your time.

Now then… let’s get some announcement news out of the way…

The lead this afternoon is that Warner has officially set the Wachowskis’ Cloud Atlas for Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 5/14 – pretty much exactly around the time we expected it.  SRP is $35.99 and $22.97.  Extras on the Blu-ray will include 7 featurettes (including A Film Like No Other, Everything is Connected, The Impossible Adaptation, The Essence of Acting, Spaceships, Slaves & Sextets, The Bold Science Fiction of Cloud Atlas and Eternal Recurrence: Love, Life, and Longing in Cloud Atlas).  You can see the cover artwork below.

Also today, Warner and the BBC have set Doctor Who: The Visitation – Special Edition for DVD release on 5/14, followed by Call the Midwife: Season Two on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/21.

Warner has also set Pretty Little Liars: The Complete Third Season for DVD only release on 6/4.

In other announcement news, Showtime (distributed by Paramount) has set Dexter: The Complete Seventh Season for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/14.

Speaking of Paramount, the studio has set An Officer and a Gentleman for release on Blu-ray Disc for the first time on 5/17, distributed by Warner Home Video.

CBS has set Laverne & Shirley: The Complete Sixth Season for DVD release on 5/21.

Lionsgate has set Mighty Fine for DVD only release on 5/7.

And Universal has set the comedy A Haunted House for Blu-ray and DVD release on 4/23. The only significant extra will be How to Survive a Paranormal Presence featurette.

Also, the Cohen Media Group has announced that they’re restoring some 700 films (formerly of The Rohauer Library) directed by the likes of Buster Keaton, D.W. Griffith, Alfred Hitchcock and others, many of which the company plans to release on Blu-ray and DVD.  The first release of the Cohen Film Collection is the already announced Thief of Bagdad (which just arrived in stores yesterday) and the new theatrical release Tristiana due on both formats on 3/12.  Future classic catalog titles will include The General, Intolerance, Sudden Fear, Son of the Sheik, The Mark of Zorro and many more.  Visit their website for additional details.

And 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has just announced their first batch of MOD DVD-R titles for 2013, which are now available through online retailers.  They include Warlock (1959), Clive of India (1935), Wife, Husband and Friend (1939), Mister 880 (1950), Tender Is the Night (1962), Remember the Day (1941), Apartment for Peggy (1948), Coney Island (1943), Holiday for Lovers (1959), The Marriage-Go-Round (1961), A Message to Garcia (1936), Oh Men! Oh Women! (1957), Something for the Birds (1952), Unfaithfully Yours (1948), Thanks a Million (1935), The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1947), Wabash Avenue (1950), 23 Paces to Baker Street (1956), Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence (1939), Lisa (1962), Wilson (1944) and Raiders from Beneath the Sea (1965).

Finally today, Sony is set to officially unveil their new PlayStation 4 videogame system today via a live press conference set for 6 PM Eastern (3 PM Pacific).  You’ll be able to watch a live stream here at the official PlayStation website.  The rumors are that the system will offer some kind of 4K capability (possibly including both gaming and movies) as part of Sony’s support plan for their new 4K displays.  Guess we’ll know for sure soon enough, so do check it out if you’re interested.

Here’s a look at the Blu-ray cover artwork for Cloud Atlas, An Officer and a Gentleman and Dexter: The Complete Seventh Season (note that only Dexter is currently available for pre-order on Amazon)…

Cloud Atlas (Blu-ray Disc)    An Officer and a Gentleman (Blu-ray Disc)    Dexter: The Complete Seventh Season (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents
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