my two cents 1000

All right, we’ve got a couple interesting things for you today. First up, Sony unveiled its first 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, the UBP-X1000ES, at the CEDIA Expo recently. It’s an ES Series reference unit that supports the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, BD-ROM, DVD Video, DVD Audio, CD, and SACD formats, as well as numerous video codecs compatible with Amazon Video, YouTube, etc. It can upscale content to 4K, features HDR compatibility and offers “a dedicated picture mode for HDR content – when playing 4K HDR content on a 4K SDR television the X1000ES utilizes a unique Sony algorithm to reproduce the proper brightness and color gradations to provide the best picture possible.” It’s compatible with Dolby Atmos and DTS-X, plus has a “32-bit processing DAC compatible with both native DSD (at up to 11.2 MHz) and LPCM (at up to 192kHz) Hi-Res Music files, which are available in a number of different formats.”  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Afternoon, folks. Hope you had a fine weekend. I’m been busy working on new Blu-ray and 4K reviews, the first of which I’m pleased to offer you now...

Here are my thoughts on Universal’s new Frankenstein: Complete Legacy Collection and The Wolf Man: Complete Legacy Collection, which streeted last week and are now available. Both are good upgrades of the previous DVD box sets of the same name, but the value proposition for each is a little complicated. I should note that in order to review these sets, I had to purchase them at my own expense. Universal chose not to make them available for review. Meanwhile, I’m working on additional reviews for posting later and tomorrow, so stay tuned for those.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, it’s been a crazy few days here at The Bits, so I’m just going to post a quick update today.

First up, I was down at San Diego Comic-Con last night for the premiere of Star Trek Beyond. Paramount put on a great event, and I really quite liked the film. It’s definitely better than Star Trek Into Darkness, and it’s very different in tone to either of the first two films. Think of it this way: It’s the biggest, most action-filled episode of The Original Series you’ve ever seen, for all the good and bad that implies. The key thing is that it’s fun. It has a decent (and novel) sci-fi concept for a change, the action is imaginative, all of the cast gets involved, and there are a ton of great character moments. Karl Urban’s Bones gets his biggest part yet and he really makes the most of it.  [Read on here…]

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In announcement news today, Warner Home Video has set Shane Black’s The Nice Guys for Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 8/23, with the Digital HD release due 8/9. Extras will include a pair of featurettes (Always Bet on Black and Worst. Detectives. Ever.: Making The Nice Guys).

Universal has set Free State of Jones for Blu-ray, DVD, and On-Demand release on 9/20, with a Digital HD release due on 9/6. The only extras will be The History of Jones County featurette.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

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Welcome to a new week here at The Bits!  You may have noticed that we didn’t have a My Two Cents post on Friday and there was a very good reason for that, which I’ll good into in a moment. We did, however, post a pair of new disc reviews for you in case you missed them.

First, I offered my thoughts on Warner’s San Andreas in 4K UHD Blu-ray format. Also, Tim posted his thoughts on Arrow Video’s Society: Special Edition on regular Blu-ray Disc. And just today, our own Jim Hemphill has tuned in his two cents on the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, a magnificent film that I appreciate a little more every time I watch it, as delivered to Blu-ray by the fine folks at The Criterion Collection. All three titles are worth a look, so do check them out.  [Read on here…]

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We’ll be back later with our regular post, but this is just a quick heads-up: Amazon’s Blu-ray Deal of the Day is terrific one – none other than Criterion’s amazing 25-film Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman Blu-ray/DVD box set! As you know if you’ve read our review here, this set is one of our all-time favorite releases on either format. And now you can get your hands on a copy for just $97.99 – 56% off the regular SRP! That's a great deal for a whole bunch of great films, so act fast if you want to take advantage. Today only! Click on title above, here, or on the image below to order on Amazon…  [Read on here…]

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All right, there’s been no Hobbit announcement yet, but we expect it any time. Meanwhile, we do have one update concerning the running time of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Extended Edition. It is official 164 minutes – some 20 minutes longer than the theatrical cut. We’d previously reported 180 minutes, which we got from studio sources, but as is often the case the studio was incorrect. The 164 minutes comes directly from WingNut Films and the German ratings board is indicating the same. So please take note.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

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We’ve got more interesting Blu-ray and DVD release news for you today…

First, while Warner Home Video hasn’t yet announced the Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Extended Edition yet (tentatively due on either 11/3, 11/10 or 11/17), we do know a few things about the release. First, it’s going to be about 20 minutes longer than the theatrical cut (in the neighborhood of 164 minutes long). Jackson had said previously the extended matertial would be about 30 minutes, but I’ve managed to confirm the 164 minute runtime with sources directly involved at WingNut Films, who tell me that the footage is “significant” and most of it has been added to the battle at the end. Second, it’s going to be screened in theaters in October, as part of a worldwide, week-long The Hobbit: Extended Edition screening event in theaters (you can see the AMC listing here, which includes the 3 hour run time, and The One Ring.net has more here). The Extended Edition of An Unexpected Journey will screen on 10/5, followed by the EE of The Desolation of Smaug on 10/7, and finally the EE or The Battle of the Five Armies on 10/13. Third, we now know that The Battle of the Five Armies – Extended Edition has received an R-rating from the MPAA (more here at Rope of Silicon). We expect an official Blu-ray release announcement from Warner any time now. Of course, we’ll post the details as soon as we have them.  [Read on here…]

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