rumor mill 1000

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We’re kicking the new week off today here at The Bits with a pair of new Blu-ray reviews...

First up, I’ve given Universal’s new Apollo 13: 20th Anniversary Edition a look and found it to be well worth the upgrade, especially given the newly-restored video presentation and the disc’s bargain $13 price on Amazon. Also, I’ve checked out Warner’s Jupiter Ascending on Blu-ray 3D... and I actually kind of liked it. The story is a glorious mess, but The Wachowski always manage to make their films interesting at least, and I found its send-up of camp 80s and 90s sci-fi cinema to be entertaining for a couple hours. Both titles street tomorrow, and Apollo 13 in particular is absolutely recommended.  [Read on here…]

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All right, sorry for the absence there for a couple days. I got hit by some kind of flu on Tuesday night and figured it would pass quickly. Instead it just got worse each day – throbbing headache, fever, body aches, lungs full of muck – the whole smash. I spent all of Wednesday and Thursday in bed in a haze of sleep, cold sweats, and flu meds. Finally, today, I’m functional again and feeling more like a human being. Moral of the story is: Avoid this flu at all costs if you can. It’s no fun.  [Read on here…]

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Well... I'm spending this first day of the new week, post Memorial Day, to get myself settled into a new computer. After years of loyal service, my old PC revealed a terminal flaw back in December, so I bought a new one that I'm affectionately calling the WOPR. But as I've been incredibly busy of late, getting all my files moved over and organized, and getting all the needed software installed and whatnot, has taken several months. So forgive me if today's update is a quick one as I finish up that process.

We have a bunch of reviews we're working on for posting hopefully this week, including Universal's new classic Battlestar Galactica box set. Meanwhile, we have a quick release news update for you.  [Read on here…]

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We’ve got a couple things for you today to close out the week. First though, I wanted to direct you all to our own Michael Coate’s latest History, Legacy & Showmanship column, which we posted yesterday, which features a great look back at The Empire Strikes Back in celebration of the film’s 35th anniversary (which was yesterday). Michael offers lots of extensively-researched details about the film’s initial theatrical release, as well as production trivia, a summary of critic reviews, and even a great new roundtable interview with cinema historians about the film. Do give it a look – I think you’ll really enjoy it.  [Read on here…]

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First things first today: Our own Russell Hammond has just updated the Release Dates & Artwork section to include all the latest Blu-ray and DVD cover artwork, as well as Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, a portion of anything you order from Amazon through our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we surely do appreciate it!

In title announcement news this afternoon, Lionsgate has announced The Divergent Series: Insurgent for release on Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray and DVD on 8/4, as well as digital on 7/21. Extras on the Blu-ray versions will include audio commentary with producers Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher, the Insurgent Unlocked: The Ultimate Behind-the-Scenes Access feature length documentary, 5 featurettes (Diverging: Adapting Insurgent to the Screen, From Divergent to Insurgent, The Others: Cast and Characters, The Train Fight Unlocked, and The Peter Hayes Story), along with a marketing gallery.  [Read on here…]

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We’ve got a new Pick-Ups column from Tim for this week, featuring new reviews of George Miller’s The Road Warrior and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome on Blu-ray, as well as Mark Hartley’s Not Quite Hollywood documentary on the history of Ozploitation film. All of this is obviously in honor of the new Mad Max: Fury Road film now in theaters. It’s really a terrific film, so do check it out. The reviews don’t lie on this one. Meanwhile, enjoy the column and reviews.  [Read on here…]

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Tuesday, 19 May 2015 12:19

Pick-Ups for the week of May 18, 2015

Welcome back to my Dailies feature, Pick-Ups!

It’s designed to feature older Blu-ray releases that we haven’t gotten around to reviewing until now (sorry about that!), as well as select international releases and other unique titles on disc.

I try to do this column on a weekly basis, so be sure to check back regularly for more titles that are worthy of your attention. [Read on here...]

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We’ve got just a quick Blu-ray release news update for you this afternoon, so let’s get to it…

As we’ve previously reported, Paramount has set Project Almanac for Blu-ray and DVD on 6/9. We now have the final cover art for you below.

Film Movement is releasing Peter Greenaway’s The Pillow Book on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/9. The disc will include a new audio commentary with Greenaway, the trailer, and a new essay by film critic Nicolas Rapold.  [Read on here…]

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All right, before we begin today... I had the chance to see George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road last night in IMAX laser 3D at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. So now I can officially say that I HAVE seen everything. Holy crap. The film is marvelously inventive, ferociously kinetic, exquisitely detailed, cinematic insanity. That’s my Mad Max: Fury Road review for you in a nutshell. Trust me, you just need to see it. It’s well worth your time. And you’ve never seen anything remotely like it. I think it would be fair to say that George Miller just schooled Michael Bay and a lot of other younger filmmakers on the action film genre.

Speaking of which, Mad Max: Fury Road is now up for Blu-ray 3D Combo pre-order on Amazon.com at this link. You can also click on the temp cover artwork below.  [Read on here…]

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First up today, we’ve got a little follow-up on the BDA’s Ultra HD Blu-ray announcement, specifically a few additional technical clarifications...

The video resolution is 3840x2160, with disc capacity at 66GB (dual-layer) and 100GB (triple-layer) – at data rates of 108 mbps and 128 mbps respectively – using the HEVC codec (H.265) via HDMI 1.2 and 2.0, as well as HDCP 1.4 and 2.2. The “digital bridge” system (for Digital Copy) is optional and consists of copy features that enables local playback. What that means for each disc/player is up to the manufacturer and although the Ultra HD Blu-ray spec is complete, the BDA is waiting to hear how manufacturers will implement these features.  [Read on here…]

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