My Two Cents

Hey, folks. I’m be back soon with a larger news update soon. We’ve been doing some server work here at The Bits while we’re in a bit of a lull, plus we’ve been doing some review work as well.

Speaking of which, you may have seen it when I posted it yesterday, but I’ve done a long awaited hardware review: Epson’s PowerLite Home Cinema 5040UB 3 LCD projector. I’ve been demoing it here at The Bits for a few months now and it’s pretty extraordinary. It’s not full native 4K, but it accepts 4K video signals, enhances the imagery via “pixel shifting” to make 4K look almost 4K, makes 1080p HD look more like 4K, displays HDR10 and the entire DCI-P3 color space, and it even displays 3D better than you’ll see in many theatres. If you’re into front projector, it’s one of the best and most affordable home cinema projectors you can buy right now. Do give it a look.

Also, Tim has posted several new Blu-ray reviews, including his thoughts on Paramount’s The Naked Gun Trilogy, Arrow Films’ Pulse, Severin Films/Intervision’s Feed the Light, Grindhouse Releasing’s Massacre Mafia Style, Lionsgate’s Warlock Collection, and Warner Archive’s Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. Enjoy! [Read on here…]

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Since the earliest days of American television, some programs thereon have become phenoms by lancing through public consciousness at the right time and place in popular culture.

You know the list – The Texaco Star Theater, starring Milton Berle, was the first show to become “must see.” The same moniker could also be used for I Love Lucy or The Honeymooners or The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson or even Saturday Night Live.

While these programs and a few shows like them, say All in the Family, breathed rarefied air, none caused a change in the public stratosphere like a comedy sketch show which started airing on NBC Monday nights in 1967, opposite The Lucy Show and Gunsmoke, Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In.

Now, to celebrate Laugh-In’s 50th Anniversary, Time Life Home Video has released Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In: The Complete Series – including every episode from all six seasons along with exclusive new bonus features and a free DVD. That’s 140 episodes on 38 DVDs. [Read on here...]

Today’s update is a fairly quick one, as we’re working on more new reviews here at the site after finally catching up post Comic-Con.

Speaking of which, Tim has two for you today, including his thoughts on James Gunn’s Slither on Blu-ray from Scream Factory and also the long-awaited Batman: Mask of the Phantasm Blu-ray from the Warner Archive! Both discs are worth your time. And do keep in mind, the better Batman: Mask of the Phantasm sells on Blu-ray, the more likely it is that Warner will be encouraged to re-visit Batman: The Animated Series on the format.

Speaking of Warner Bros, we now have a possible street date (from retail sources) for Wonder Woman on Blu-ray Combo, Blu-ray 3D Combo, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD: 9/19. We’re awaiting official confirmation and expect the announcement from the studio any day now. [Read on here…]

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All right, we promised more release news today, and more release news we’ve got for you...

Starting with this: Sony Pictures is releasing Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD on 9/19, in honor of the film’s 40th anniversary and fully-remastered in 4K. The film is also being re-released into theaters on 9/1. We don’t have details yet on any new extras (nor audio and HDR), but you can assume that all the previous Blu-ray extras will carry over. You can see the final cover artwork to the left and below, and both SKUs are now available for pre-order on Amazon.com by clicking here and here. There’s also a deluxe 4K/BD edition that includes a 64-page book and packaging that lights up and plays the film’s iconic theme.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will also release Jonathan Teplitzky’s Churchill on Blu-ray and DVD on 10/3. The film stars Brian Cox, Miranda Richardson, and John Slattery. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Good afternoon, everyone! So there’s a LOT of ground to cover today, including new announcements and some interesting Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K news that came out of Comic-Con this past weekend.

First, though, Tim has checked in with reviews of three films on Blu-ray – reviews originally written by Adam Jahnke here at The Bits, but updated by Tim to cover Shout! Factory and Scream Factory’s recent Steelbook editions: The Fog, They Live, and Escape from New York. Do give them a look.

Also today, Michael Coate is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Ron Howard’s Far and Away with a new retrospective in his History, Legacy & Showmanship column. Far and Away, as some of you may know, was one of the last high-profile film productions in 70 mm before the recent theatrical resurgence that’s led (most recently) to Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. Michael details the film’s original theatrical release in 70 mm and also interviews Howard biographer Beverly Gray. The article is well worth your time, as always, so we hope you enjoy it. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, today’s a bit of a catch-up day here at The Bits...

First, Tim has reviewed a trio of Blu-ray titles for you, including Kino’s Moving Violations, Grindhouse Releasing’s Gone with the Pope, and Arrow Academy’s Terror in a Texas Town. Do give them a look.

Now then... this will be our last post until Monday, as I’m headed down to Comic-Con in San Diego tomorrow. For the record, I’m scheduled to be on TWO panels at the Con this weekend.

First, I’m moderating the Breaking News from Shout! Factory and Scream Factory panel tomorrow (Friday) at 8-9 PM in Room 4 at the San Diego Convention Center (details here):

“Join Shout! Factory’s Jeremy Whitham (Development Director), Brian Ward (Senior Director of Blu-ray and DVD Production), and Jeff Nelson (Senior Marketing Director) as they make special announcements and unveil exclusive sneak peeks. Moderated by Bill Hunt of The Digital Bits.” [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve a LOT of ground to cover today: Tons of news and announcements, plus some good stuff here at The Bits for you too. Let’s start with the latter...

Tim has turned in new reviews of Meteor (1979) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber and also Dave Parker’s It Watches on DVD from Uncork’d Entertainment. Both are worth your time. And if you like It Watches, be sure to check out Dave’s Sweet Tooth from Tales of Halloween, as well The Hills Run Red and The Dead Reborn too.

Also today, in honor of the late George Romero, I wanted to share a special feature we did here at The Bits way back in 2001: Telling Tales with John and George. I had the honor of spending an afternoon with George and filmmaker John Harrison (Frank Herbert’s Dune) while they recorded the audio commentary for Paramount’s Tales from the Darkside: The Movie DVD. It really gives you a good sense, I think, of who George was as a person: Truly one of the kindest, warmest, and most engaging people I’ve had the pleasure to meet in my 30+ years in this industry. I hope you’ll enjoy it. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, no official update yet from Disney on the HDR on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 4K. There are reports that Dolby is claiming Dolby Vision will only be on the 4K streaming version, but we haven’t been able to confirm that yet. So stay tuned.

Disney has however, officially just announced (at D23) that they’re releasing Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 10/3, with the Digital release due on 9/19. We know that it will have HDR (so HDR-10, no word specifically of Dolby Vision) and that it will include Dolby Atmos audio. “Bonus material includes a collection of behind-the-scenes, making-of stories, including a conversation with directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg; a sit-down with the two young newcomers who play Henry and Carina; the secrets behind the menacing new villain, Salazar, and his ferocious ghost sharks; an on-set visit with Jack’s first mate from all five films; a chat with Sir Paul McCartney who appears as Uncle Jack; and a discussion about the franchise’s legacy; along with hilarious bloopers, deleted scenes and memories from producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s photo diary.” No other details are yet available. You can see the cover art at left.

Meanwhile, we have two new Blu-ray reviews for you today: Tim has checked out Vinegar Syndrome’s Psycho Cop Returns and Psychic Killer, both worth your time if you’re a fan of the genre. Do check them out. [Read on here…]

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