My Two Cents

The big news today isn’t quite official yet, but we expected the press release at any time: Universal will release Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List: 25th Anniversary Edition on 4K Ultra HD on 12/18, as we’ve been saying for a while now. In addition to a new 4K scan, the audio will be English Dolby Atmos, with HDR10 high dynamic range. The previous Blu-ray edition will also be included with DTS-HD MA audio.

There’s a new retrospective featurette: Schindler’s List: 25 Years Later, featuring video of a panel and Q&A with Spielberg, Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Embeth Davidtz, and Caroline Goodall recorded at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. You also get the previous extras and a Movies Anywhere Digital copy. And here’s the deal: The title is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com at this link. You can see the official cover artwork to the left and also below.

Also newly available for pre-order on Blu-ray and 4K are Night School (with a street date of 1/1/19), Halloween (2018), First Man, and The House with the Clock in its Walls. We’ve updated The 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Bits accordingly. [Read on here...]

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All right, we’ve got a little bit of ground to cover today. We’ve been updating our servers and whatnot, on top of which some Russian/Ukrainian bot army decided to launch a DDOS attack on The Bits for random unknown reasons. It should be noted that this kind of thing happens to most websites on the Internet pretty regularly. But it’s a wonder that the Internet works at all these days, with all the trolls, scams, and state-sponsored chicanery going on.

Anyway... first up here at The Bits today, we have four new Blu-ray reviews for you to check out, including Tim’s look at The Man in the Iron Mask from Shout! Factory, Dennis’ take on Invasion of the Body Snatchers from Olive Films, Davids thoughts on The House of Tomorrow also from Shout!, and Jason’s look at Cabin Boy from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. Enjoy!

The big news is that Criterion has announced their January Blu-ray slate, which includes Abbas Kiarostami’s 24 Frames (Spine #956 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 1/8, an update of Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious (Spine #137 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 1/15, Elaine May’s Mikey and Nicky (Spine #957 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Cristian Mungiu’s 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Spine #958 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 1/22, and finally Norman Jewison’s In the Heat of the Night (Spine #959 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 1/29. [Read on here...]

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We’re kicking off the new week with some fresh title announcements...

First, Lionsgate has just officially set Evil Dead 2 for release on 4K Ultra HD on 12/11. The release will include Blu-ray and Digital copies in addition to 4K UHD. Audio will be the previous English 5.1 DTS-HD, but HDR will be available in Dolby Vision format on the 4K. In addition to the previous audio commentary, the 4K disc itself will include a new tribute featurette called Bloody and Groovy, Baby! All of the previous Blu-ray extras will carry over on the included BD disc. Best of all, SRP is just $22.99. You can see the cover artwork at left and also below.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has set The Equalizer 2 for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 12/11, with the Digital release due on 11/13. The disc will include a Retribution Mode with Denzel Washington and director Antoine Fuqua. 11 deleted and extended scenes, a pop-up trivia track, and 4 featurettes. [Read on here...]

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We’ve got just a quick update for you today with a couple of items…

The first is that Mill Creek Entertainment is joining the list of 4K Ultra HD studio supporters.

The company plans to release a pair of new IMAX titles in native 4K on the format on 12/22, including IMAX: Journey to the South Pacific and IMAX: A Beautiful Planet. You can pre-order them on Amazon.com now (just click on the title links).

And you can see the cover artwork at left there for A Beautiful Planet.

Also newly available for pre-order on Amazon.com are Warner’s Superman: The Movie in 4K Ultra HD, due on 11/6. Click on the title to visit the relevant page on Amazon.

Newly listed for pre-order on 4K Ultra HD from Disney on 11/6 is Wreck-It Ralph. Disney and Pixar’s The Incredibles 2 is also listed for 4K on 11/6, but you can’t yet pre-order it.

Amazon is, however, allowing pre-orders on Fox’s Bad Times at the El Royale on Blu-ray and 4K, street date TBA.

We’ve updated The 4K Ultra HD List here at The Bits accordingly.

Back tomorrow with more news and reviews.

Stay tuned...

(You can follow Bill on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook)

 

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Let’s dive right into today’s announcement news, shall we?

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has just set Crazy Rich Asians on Blu-ray and DVD on 11/20, with the Digital release set for 11/6. No 4K Ultra HD is planned. Extras will include audio commentary by director Jon M. Chu and novelist Kevin Kwan, the Crazy Rich Fun featurette, a gag reel, and deleted scenes.

Walt Disney Studios has set Christopher Robin for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital on 11/6. Again, no 4K Ultra HD is planned. Extras will include 4 featurettes (In Which... A Movie Is Made for Pooh, In Which... Pooh Finds His Voice, In Which... Pooh and Walt Become Friends, and In Which... Pooh and Friends Come to Life). [Read on here...]

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Let’s start today with some new announcement news...

Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment have just officially set Kin for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 11/20, with the Digital release expected on 11/6. The 4K Ultra HD version will include both Dolby Vision HDR and DTS:X object-based audio. The Blu-ray will also feature DTS:X.

Extras will include audio commentary with co-directors Jonathan and Josh Baker and screenwriter Daniel Casey, the Thicker Than Water: The Making of Kin 8-Part documentary, an Enhanced Visual FX Breakdown featurette, the Bag Man: Original Short (with optional audio commentary by Jonathan and Josh Baker), 10 deleted scenes, and the Learned Behavior: Special Features at Work hour-long round table discussion (with Jonathan and Josh Baker, Dan Trachtenberg, Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert, Laurent Bouzereau, and Kevin Smith). You can see the cover artwork at left. [Read on here...]

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All right, while it hasn’t yet officially been announced by Disney, we expect that to happen very soon. So the big story today is that Disney will be releasing its animated feature The Lion King on 4K Ultra HD on 12/4. The title is already listed on Best Buy Canada and we expect it to appear elsewhere soon. Meanwhile, here’s a look at the official cover artwork (at left).

Also today, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced the 11/20 Blu-ray release of Robin and Marian (1976), directed by Richard Lester (A Hard Day’s Night, Superman II) and starring Sean Connery (as Robin Hood) and Audrey Hepburn (as Lady Marian).

MPI is releasing Fyodor Bondarchuk’s 2017 Russian science-fiction epic Attraction (aka Prityazhenie) on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/4. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Fyodor is the son of the legendary Russian filmmaker Sergei Bondarchuk (War and Peace). We’ve been wanting to get a look at this film for a while, so we’re thrilled to see it finally coming in the States. [Read on here...]

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First up today, in honor of Global Bond Day, our own Michael Coate has posted a new History, Legacy & Showmanship retrospective, looking back at Sean Connery’s last turn as 007 in Never Say Never Again. The piece features another great roundtable discussion with film historians, so enjoy!

We also have four more Blu-ray reviews for you to check out today, including Tim’s take on Russell Mulcahy’s Razorback (1984) from Umbrella Entertainment, David’s look at Sunset Society (2018) from MVD Visual and John Cassavetes’s Gloria (1980) from Twilight Time, and Dennis’ thoughts on Television’s Lost Classics: Volume One from VCI. More reviews are on the way, so be sure to watch for them.

In news today, we have more word from retailers that Disney is going to be bringing The Lion King to 4K UHD by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Wreck-It Ralph has now appeared for 4K UHD pre-order on Best Buy with a street date of 11/6, the same day as The Incredibles 2. [Read on here...]

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All right, we’re starting today with four new disc reviews for you here at The Bits...

Tim has checked in with a look at Flavio Mogherini’s The Pyjama Girl Case (1977) on Blu-ray from Arrow Video.

Also from Arrow, Dennis has offered his thoughts on Fred Zinnemann’s The Day of the Jackal (1973) on Blu-ray.

David has turned in a look at William Whitney’s A Strange Adventure (1956) on Blu-ray from our friends at Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

And we have another review addition to The Bits’ review staff today, Matthew Weflen, who’s got a look at Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige (2006) on 4K Ultra HD. You can find that in the Christopher Nolan Collection 4K box set.

Many more Blu-ray and DVD reviews are coming; I’m personally working on 4K reviews of Ant-Man and the Wasp, The Evil Dead, and Hook, with more on the way. So watch for those over the next few days. [Read on here...]

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I had the pleasure last night of attending a press screening of Damien Chazelle’s new Neil Armstrong biopic, First Man. So let me give you my non-spoiler review…

A little background first: As someone who’s been a lifelong supporter and aficionado of the space program, I’ve seen every film there is on the subject, from Apollo 13 and The Right Stuff to the most obscure documentary. I’ve listened to most of the CAPCOM recordings, I have DVDs and Blu-rays containing almost every foot of archival footage shot by NASA and the astronauts during their missions. I’ve been to NASA facilities, I’ve seen launches, and I’m fortunate enough to even know a few astronauts. It’s with that lifetime of experience that I can say this: First Man is the single most realistic dramatic film about the subject yet made.

The level of detail exceeds even Ron Howard’s Apollo 13 and by a good measure. In Howard’s film, great as it is, there are a couple of things that just aren’t quite right. For example, the mission patch plaques on the wall of Mission Control are painted versions of the souvenir patches sold to the public, not the actual patches the astronauts wore. The NASA emblems on characters’ flight suits are modern, not period accurate. They’re little things, sure, but for the knowledgable, they can throw you out of the moment. But Chazelle and his team nail all of those little details, right down to the tiniest stitch. It’s as if First Man was actually shot in the 1960s, a level of verisimilitude and immersion that’s rare, even for a film of this type. [Read on here...]

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