My Two Cents

We’ve got a quick Friday post for you guys today...

First up, we have a new review for you. Tim has checked out Arrow Video’s Blood Hunger: The Films of José Larraz – Limited Edition Blu-ray box set. It includes Whirlpool (1970), Vampyres (1974), and The Coming of Sin (1978). Enjoy!

We’re going to be back on Monday with more reviews, as well as a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate, celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Wachowski’s The Matrix. So be sure to check back for that.

By the way, we’ve updated our 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Bits to reflect the fact that Ridley Scott’s Alien: 40th Anniversary Edition is FINALLY available for pre-order on Amazon.com (and–holy shit–for just $15!). [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents
Thursday, 28 March 2019 16:58

Retro Release Day: Ben-Hur on DVD (2001)

For today’s Retro Release Day here at The Bits, we’re looking at a 65 mm epic from director William Wyler: MGM’s Ben-Hur (1959), first released on DVD on March 13, 2001 by Warner Home Video.

Winner of 11 Academy Awards, the film stars Charlton Heston in the title role, with cinematography by Robert L. Surtees (Camera 65 process), music by Miklós Rózsa, and a supporting cast that includes Jack Hawkins, Haya Harareet, Stephen Boyd, Hugh Griffith, Martha Scott, Cathy O’Donnell, and Sam Jaffe.

The film is renowned for its chariot race sequence, which takes full advantage of the 2.66:1 widescreen frame (70 mm prints featured 2.76:1).

Today, Ben-Hur is often considered the second greatest American epic film behind Lawrence of Arabia. [Read on here...]

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All right, we’ve got more reviews for you to enjoy today, including...

My take on James Wan’s Aquaman in 4K Ultra HD from Warner.

Dennis’ review of Dan Bush’s The Vault on Blu-ray from FilmRise.

And Chase’s look at Robert Zemeckis’ I Wanna Hold Your Hand on Blu-ray from Criterion.

More reviews are in the works for tomorrow and Friday, so be sure to check back for them.

Meanwhile, we have some new title news and announcements to report today as well...

We’ve now confirmed the 4/23 release of Captain America: Civil War and Captain America: The Winter Soldier on 4K Ultra HD from Disney. [Read on here...]

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Today’s Retro Release Day title here at The Bits happens to be the very first DVD title I ever purchased and it’s also one of the very first titles released on the format.

I’m talking of course of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner: The Director’s Cut on DVD, released twenty-two years ago today on March 26, 1997.

The film stars Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, and Daryl Hannah, with cinematography by the great Jordan Cronenweth, and music by Vangelis.

This was not the first time that Blade Runner had been released in its Director’s Cut form for home viewing; it appeared on VHS and LaserDisc in 1993. It would also not be the last version of the film to reach home video. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, quick update today...

First of all, I’m going to be finishing my Aquaman 4K review later today, so watch for that sometime before the end of the day.

Meanwhile, Tim has posted a couple more Blu-ray reviews here today, including his look at Herschell Gordon Lewis’s Color Me Blood Red (1965) from Arrow Video and Dennis’ take on Boy Erased from Universal.

And on Friday, Tim posted his thoughts on HGL’s The Wizard of Gore (1970) from Arrow and Geoff Murphy’s The Quiet Earth (1985) from Umbrella Entertainment.

Also here at the site today, Russell Hammond has updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. Anytime you order literally anything from Amazon after clicking through to them from one of our links (like this one), you’re helping to keep The Bits alive and we really, really appreciate it. So thank you! [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right... we’ve got some big 4K Ultra HD news today, folks.

We can now confirm the street dates for a number of new and catalog 4K Ultra HD titles that we’ve been hearing about from our sources for several months now. But enough independent sources are lining up now that we feel comfortable telling you the following:

Disney and Marvel’s Captain Marvel will arrive on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 6/11.

That same day (6/11), Paramount is delivering 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi to 4K.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has also set a few good catalog titles for release on 4K on 6/11, including Fast & Furious, Fast Five, and a Fast & Furious: 8 Movie Collection in 4K. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Today’s Retro Release Day title here at The Bits is none other than Disney’s The Black Hole (1979), directed by Gary Nelson and released by Anchor Bay Entertainment on DVD back on March 30, 1999.

The film stars Maximilian Schell, Robert Forster, Joseph Bottoms, Yvette Mimieux, Anthony Perkins, and Ernest Borgnine, and features a terrific score by composer John Barry.

The single-disc release was a much-dreaded (and double-sided) DVD-10 release, a disc configuration known as a “flipper” to DVD veterans.

The reason for this was that the release included the film in both non-anamorphic (letterboxed) widescreen on one side, and full frame on the other.

Both sides of the disc also includes the film’s theatrical trailer and a gallery of images. Each version of the film also included Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We’re starting a new tradition here at The Bits: Every Tuesday and Thursday, we’re officially celebrating Retro Release Day!

Each day, we’ll look back through The Bits’ archives and highlight a classic release on physical media.

Look for lots of DVDs titles, some older Blu-rays, and maybe even Laserdisc release or two. Who knows what we’ll find in the archives!

Longtime Bits readers will definitely remember these discs, and we’ll post pictures so you younger readers can get a look at discs of yore too.

Today’s title is nothing less that James Cameron’s The Abyss: Special Edition, released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment on DVD on March 21st, 2000. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Afternoon, folks. We’ve got some news reviews for you today, plus a couple of release announcements, a new special feature column and more!

First, the Blu-ray reviews... Tim has just posted his thoughts on Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria (2018) from Lionsgate. And Dennis Sueling has offered his take on Rob Marshall’s Mary Poppins Returns from Disney. Both are worth a look, so we hope you enjoy them!

Also here at The Bits today, our own Michael Coate has just a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column looking back at Ken Hughes’ Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary. The piece features a great interview with film historian John Cork, an expert of all things Ian Flemming-related. Do give it a look. [Read on here...]

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