My Two Cents

All right, it’s not officially announced yet but we expect it to be at any time. At left you can see the official final cover artwork for Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse on 4K Ultra HD. It’s available for pre-order now on Amazon (see this link) and the street date is listed as 3/19 (SRP $38.99 but Amazon has it listed for just $22.95, which is a whopping 41% off). We don’t know yet what the HDR will be, but you can certainly expect Dolby Atmos audio. You can also bet that this film is going to look amazing in high dynamic range.

We don’t yet know if there will be a Blu-ray 3D release in the States, but stay tuned. We’ll post the official details as soon as they come in.

Before we continue, we’ve got three new Blu-ray reviews for you today, including Tim’s look at the Out of Time: Special Edition from MVD and All the Colors of the Dark (1972) from Severin Films. Dennis has also checked in with his thoughts on So Dark the Night (1946) from Arrow Academy. Enjoy! [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Good afternoon, Bits readers. We’re doing a little bit of research today and we want to hear from you.

We get emails and messages almost every day from readers and consumers who are frustrated about this issue or that regarding digital media, whether on disc or streaming/download.

Lately, we’ve been hearing from 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray consumers who wish the studios were being more aggressive with deeper catalog releases on the format, and from digital consumers frustrated by the so-called “walled garden” nature of the many different streaming services available and the exclusive content found on each.

For example, I access streaming and digital content via Roku – my set-top device is the last model of Oppo 4K disc player and it doesn’t have streaming options. So I run a Roku Ultra through it in my home theater. But the Roku doesn’t have access to iTunes/Apple TV content, which means I can’t watch any of the 4K content exclusive to that service (Star Trek II, the Bond films, etc). That’s frustrating as hell. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We’ve got a nice bit of official 4K news to start the new week: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is releasing The Karate Kid on 4K in honor of the film’s 35th anniversary. Look for the disc to street on 4/16, following the film’s limited return to theaters across the US on 3/31 and 4/2.

The disc will feature the film remastered in native 4K from the original camera negative, along with a new Dolby Atmos audio mix (you will also get the original stereo and 5.1 mixes). In terms of extras, legacy content will include a “Blu-Pop” Pop-Up Track (with trivia, interviews, and more secrets from the film), audio commentary (with director John G. Avildsen, writer Robert Mark Kamen, and actors Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita), The Way of the Karate Kid multi-part featurette, 3 additional featurettes (Beyond the Form, East Meets West: A Composer’s Notebook, and Life of Bonsai) and the theatrical trailer (on the 4K disc). You’ll also get the all new Remembering The Karate Kid retrospective (featuring new interviews with Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, and Martin Kove – on the 4K disc).

Now then... a quick bit of regular site business: Tim has posted a trio of new Blu-ray reviews for you guys to enjoy today, including his thoughts on Hammer Films’ The Plague of the Zombies (1966) from Scream Factory and Horror Express (1972) from Arrow Video, as well as Dennis’ take on the Joseph H. Lewis/Columbia film My Name Is Julia Ross (1945) from Arrow Academy. Enjoy! [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

You know… Hollywood certainly isn't going out of its way to reassure its consumers that purchasing home video content is a good or safe investment these days, is it?

Now, we are obviously big fans of digital entertainment here at The Digital Bits, whether that entertainment is served up on a disc or a download. After all, the word “digital” is right there in our name and has been since 1997.

And despite the fact that we often expound upon the value of purchasing physical media over digital, we are no strangers to enjoying a good online streaming or download experience. After all, there’s much great digital-only content these days. Movies like Roma on Netflix, TV series like Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime… these wouldn’t exist without those streaming services and you can’t buy either of them on disc. Digital is convenient and it’s awfully nice to be able to access it anywhere from any device.

But like any format, it has its drawbacks… and once again today, those drawbacks have made themselves rather inconveniently obvious for the 30 million customers of DECE’s UltraViolet digital movie locker service. You know… the service that managed all those codes that came on slips of paper with your Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K titles for years. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

The big news today is that our friends at The Criterion Collection have officially announced the launch date for their forthcoming streaming service, The Criterion Channel. Look for it to debut on 4/8. And those who signed up to be Charter Subscribers can create their accounts today and start watching a new Movie of the Week series until the launch.

Not a day after we hinted at it in our daily column, Lionsgate has officially set Man on a Ledge for release on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on 4/9. Look for it to include both Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite on 3/5, with the Digital release expected on 2/12. Extras will include deleted scenes and The Favourite: Unstitching the Costume Drama featurette.

Fox will also release the Melissa McCarthy drama Can You Ever Forgive Me? on DVD only on 2/19 with Digital due on 2/5. [Read on here...]

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Afternoon, all. We’ve got a couple interesting items for you today...

First, Tim has posted a new review of Powerhouse Films and Indicator’s outstanding William Castle at Columbia: Volume Two Blu-ray box set, which streeted late last month and includes Zotz!, The Old Dark House, 13 Frightened Girls!, and Strait-Jacket. Do check it out and if you haven’t seen these films, they’re a hoot.

Also today, we have a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate featuring a look back at the James Bond film Quantum of Solace in honor of its 10th anniversary. The column features another terrific roundtable discussion, this time with historians Robert A. Caplen, John Cork, and Lisa Funnell. Enjoy!

And we’ve also posted the weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, whenever you order literally anything from Amazon after clicking through one of our links, you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we greatly appreciate it. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Heads-up: Disney and Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger appears to be coming to 4K Ultra HD on 2/26, per Best Buy pre-order listings. The retailer currently has listings for the title in SKUs with regular and Steelbook packaging.

The film has a 2K DI. It’s possible there could be a new Dolby Atmos audio mix, but as has recently been the case with Disney 4K releases, look for Dolby Vision HDR on the digital version only.

It should be noted that 2/26 is the same street date as their already announced The Little Mermaid and Ralph Breaks the Internet 4K releases, both of which will also have Steelbook SKUs at Best Buy.

Meanwhile, we have one other 4K-related item to report today: Some of you have noticed that there’s been an image circulating around the Internet over the past few days purporting to show an exclusive 4K release of the Indiana Jones films in China. Our studio sources tell us this is bogus. There are no plans at this time. We take that to mean not never, but not anytime soon. Adjust your plans accordingly.

Have a great weekend and we’ll see you with a full news update on Monday.

Stay tuned...!

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

 

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve checked in with our retail and industry sources and have learned that Marvel and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s wildly popular animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is likely to street on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 3/19.

As you know, the film has just been nominated for an Oscar in the Best Animated Feature Film category (and is very likely to be the leading contender). We haven’t been able to confirm the production and finish resolution of the film, so we don’t know if the animation was rendered natively at 2K or 4K. Either way, with its bright color palette and unique comic-panel texturing, it should look amazing on both Blu-ray and 4K UHD.

It’s reasonable to assume you’ll get at least Dolby Atmos audio. Sony doesn’t typically include Dolby Vision HDR on their 4K releases though, so expect HDR10.

Amazon is showing Blu-ray, Blu-ray “Limited Edition”, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD SKUs. We don’t know of any other retailer-exclusive versions, but we’ll have to wait until the title is officially announced.

FYI, it appears that Universal’s planned street date for M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K is 4/16.

And we believe Pet Sematary (1989) is coming to 4K from Paramount on 3/26.

Both of those dates are yet to be confirmed with our sources.

Stay tuned...!

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

 

Published in My Two Cents

We may have more of an update later if news and time permit, but I just wanted to check in early here at The Digital Bits to share word we’ve just gotten from our retail and industry sources that suggests 3/26 is likely to be the street date for Warner and DC’s massively-successful Aquaman, from director James Wan.

The film has a 2K Digital Intermediate (per IMDB, and I haven’t confirmed this officially), but large portions were filmed in IMAX which should mean very high quality pixels. And the film should still look impressive in HDR on 4K. We have no word yet what the specs will be, but we would imagine Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio at the least.

Amazon.com is also suggesting that there will be a Blu-ray 3D SKU in addition to Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD. Watch for the official announcement in the next few weeks.

Stay tuned…

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

 

Published in My Two Cents

Today is obviously the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday here in the States, but we do have a couple things for you.

First, we have a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column for you. Michael Coate and a great roundtable of film historians look back at Funny Girl (1968) in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary.

Also, we have a trio of new Blu-ray reviews for you. Tim has taken a look at J. Lee Thompson’s 10 to Midnight from Scream Factory, David Gordon Green’s Halloween (2018) from Universal, and Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak from Arrow Video.

And finally, we’ve posted the weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, whenever you order anything from Amazon after clicking through one of our links, you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we greatly appreciate it.

Back tomorrow! Stay tuned…

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

 

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