The Rumor Mill

Afternoon, folks!  We’ve got still more Blu-ray reviews for you today...

First up, our own Dr. Adam Jahnke has checked in with his thoughts on Warner Archive’s new BD release of Sidney Lumet’s Deathtrap from 1982.  Do check it out.

Also, Tim Salmons has given Disney’s The Great Mouse Detective: Mystery in the Mist Edition a look for you on Blu-ray Disc.  Sounds like it’s far and away better than their recent Sword in the Stone BD, so thank goodness for that.

And we’ve added 8 more classic Blu-ray Disc reviews from The Original Bits website into our new review database here, including Universal’s Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series and Battlestar Galactica: The Plan, MPI’s Baraka, Blue Underground’s The Final Countdown, Warner’s King Kong (1933), A&E/New Video’s The World at War, Vivendi’s Monty Python: Almost the Truth – The Lawyer’s Cut and the original Bandai Visual release of Katsuhiro Otomo’s landmark anime Akira.  Enjoy!

Now then, let’s get to today’s release news... [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

Holey Moley! This is just about the greatest piece of announcement news we’ve EVER heard here at The Digital Bits. It should go without saying, to those of you who have been reading this site for any length of time, that we’re huge fans of the Japanese Zatoichi films.  In fact, we published one of the first guides to this classic samurai series on DVD here on The Bits back in 2003. Well, now Criterion has just announced a massive 27-disc/25-film Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman dual format Blu-ray/DVD box set for release on 11/26 (SRP $224.95)!  [...]

Published in My Two Cents

Wow… what do you know?  We have a rare Rumor Mill update for you today!  We’re so deep into the Blu-ray format now, there just aren’t all that many stories that really merit a separate Rumor Mill post.  I mean, after the Star Wars films finally hit BD, the biggest topic of Rumor Mill discussion was made moot!  But it turns out there are still a few titles worth talking about here.

Anyway, we’ve been hearing for over a year and a half now from our industry (and studio) sources that Fox was slowly and quietly working to bring James Cameron’s True Lies and The Abyss to Blu-ray Disc at long last.  Back in September we reported that Cameron was finally taking time from deep sea diving and planning Avatar 2 to work on a new HD transfer and master of the films for Blu-ray, but that actual releases were at least 12 or more months away.

Well… now we have reports that actress Eliza Dushku was on Chris Hardwick’s The Nerdist program on BBC America on Saturday night.  When asked by the host what she’s been up to, she apparently blurted out that she’d just finished participating in work on a True Lies Blu-ray.  You’ll recall she played Harry Tasker’s daughter in the film – one of her early roles.  (Thanks to all the Bits readers who e-mailed to report this!)  So it seems that work continues on True Lies at least, and probably The Abyss too.   As to when they might hit store shelves, our best information says next year – 2014 just happens to be the 25th Anniversary of The Abyss and the 20th for True Lies.

Speaking of Fox, we’ve also learned that the post facility HTV is involved in the effort to bring The X-Files TV series to Blu-ray Disc.  Which is good in that it’s further confirmation that The X-Files is coming to Blu-ray (something we first revealed here in The Rumor Mill back in November)… but it’s bad because we’ve also heard there’s some up-conversion going on of original footage (rather than a full HD upgrade and restoration).  As it happens, HTV was the company that did the remastering work on CBS’ Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Two (which really wasn’t up to the quality standard set by CBS Digital’s in-house team on Seasons One or Three).  So draw your own conclusions.  Let’s hope that all the series’ dark, gritty goodness isn’t just digitally scrubbed away.  [Editor's Note: I should be clear, it's not a complete upconversion.  Like Star Trek, all the original camera negative is being rescanned in high resolution.  However the original VFX work was done in low resolution and much of this is simply being upconverted rather than being re-rendered.  And any stock footage used – shots of the Hoover Building for example – is being upconverted.]

Finally, while we’re talking CBS… we’ve had additional confirmation that the company is working to being more catalog TV series to Blu-ray, following the success of Star Trek: The Original Series and The Next Generation, including David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.  More on that in the weeks ahead.  Stay tuned…

- Bill Hunt

Published in The Rumor Mill
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