my two cents 1000

All right, we’ve got a quick update for you today, but we do have some release news and whatnot…

First, Russell Hammond has posted the Release Dates and Artwork update with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links.  As always a portion of anything you order through our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we greatly appreciate it!

Now then… I’ve updated my Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-ray review with a fully complete listing of all the exclusive content available via Target, Best Buy/Cinema Now and iTunes.  So do check it out.  One hopes the studio will eventually revisit the title on BD as a truly complete special edition, perhaps when all the retail exclusive content deals expire.  In the meantime, now you can at least see what’s available.  And at the very least, anyone who buys the BD and redeems the digital copy code through iTunes can get access to the enhanced commentary, so that’s something.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, first up here at The Bits today, we’ve got more Blu-ray Disc reviews for you.  We’ve updated Adam Jahnke’s reviews of a pair of classic Roger Corman titles from Shout! Factory, including Death Race 2000 and Galaxy of Terror.  Also today, our own Joe Marchese has turned in his thoughts on Twilight Time’s more recent Leave Her to Heaven, a 1945 classic from Fox.

You may also have noticed that we’ve modified the Latest Review sidebar (over on the right hand side of the home page) to include our NINE latest reviews (not just six) and also to show the vintage reviews we’re upgrading into the new database as well as the new release title reviews.  We figured that for some of you, those older reviews from the original Bits website will be new – you’ll not have seen them before.  So we wanted to make sure to highlight them as they go into the new database to make them easier for you to find and read.  We hope you enjoy them!

Also today, the good Dr. Jahnke has a new Burnt Offerings column for you.  Here’s a surprise some of you may not have been aware of: Universal has released the 1984 film The Wild Life on DVD-R as part of their Vault Series!  You’ll find more on that, plus news of new DVD-R/MOD titles from Warner Archive and Paramount, in today’s column.

Now then... I’ve got a bit of an update of you all on Paramount’s Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-ray.  Specifically, I’ve now seen the Target-exclusive bonus features...  [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Quick important note:  Because of all the extra traffic this week, we’re going to be upgrading our server this evening to be able to handle these kinds of traffic spikes more easily.  We may be down for a couple hours later tonight but we should be back up by tomorrow morning better than ever.  Certainly by Monday, Scotty tells us that the warp core should be purring like a kitten again.  So thanks for your patience and know that things will be much better soon.

Now then, there’s big release news today…

Our friends at Kino Lorber have announced their November Blu-ray and DVD release slate and there are some real gems, including a Nosferatu: 2-Disc Deluxe Remastered Edition (DVD & Blu-ray) and a Russian Ark: Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray and DVD) on 11/19!  F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu will include two versions of the 1922 classic, the original German Intertitles (with optional English subs) or English Intertitles, Hans Erdmann’s original 1922 score in 5.1 Surround or 2.0 Stereo, the 53-minute The Language of Shadows documentary chronicling Murnau’s early career, clips and highlights from other Murnau films and a photo gallery.  Features on Russian Ark are still TBA.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Well... I guess it’s been a while since we went on a good old fashioned Blu-ray or DVD related rant, so yesterday’s post here at the site was probably going to happen sooner or later.  As longtime readers know, it wouldn’t be The Digital Bits without such rants every once in a while – we’ve been doing it since 1997.  But I still think what I said needed saying.  Whenever we go on rants here at The Bits, it’s for a good reason – because in our experienced point of view, something is amiss.  And after more than 16 years of working in and around the home video industry (not to mention having correctly predicted and advised our readers through two format wars), we certainly have that experience.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
Wednesday, 28 August 2013 15:15

Paramount Has a Blu-ray Problem

All right Bits readers – this post I’ve wrestled with all night and all morning as well.

Yesterday afternoon, I received a Blu-ray review copy of Paramount’s Star Trek Into Darkness.  As regular readers will probably know, I actually liked the film.  But when it was finally announced for Blu-ray release, I was surprised at the list of bonus content in the press release, specifically the lack thereof – just seven featurettes.  I quickly sent an e-mail to the studio PR people, asking if this was indeed the complete list of bonus content, and was told that it was.  But somehow, I guess I just didn’t believe it.  So somehow, I was still excited to see and review the disc.  [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

Let’s start the day today with another new View from the Cheap Seats column from our very own Bud Elder, the cinematic Oracle of Oklahoma City!  As usual, Bud covers a range of film-related subjects – that I don’t wish to spoil here – and his thoughts are all worth reading.  Don’t miss it!

Meanwhile, back in Gotham City... Amazon.com is now taking pre-orders on the eventual Blu-ray release Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium.  Expect that to hit stores sometime right before Christmas we’d guess from Sony.  […]

Published in My Two Cents

Well… we’re back from Comic-Con!  There’s lot of entertainment news to report from the event these days (including word that the next Man of Steel film will be a team-up with Superman and Batman), but the Blu-ray/DVD release news is excellent and abundant too…

First up, on our own Digital Bits BD Producers panel, we exclusively revealed that Shout! Factory is currently hard at work on a fully-remastered Blu-ray box set of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse: The Complete Series.  The show was originally finished on 1-inch analog tape, but it was shot on film and star Paul Rubens has all the original 16 and 35mm negative.  So it’s all being scanned in full HD and then digitally restored and remastered.  Rubens himself is working closely with producer Brian Ward and the Shout! team to create new special features, so it should be pretty terrific.  We showed a special video preview during our panel that offered fans a glimpse of the restoration work, with before and after comparisons.  It looks absolutely amazing!  (We’ll see if there’s any chance we can show it to you here.)  The set is expected to be released sometime in early 2014.  The exact time frame will depend on how long it takes to finish the restoration properly – they don’t want to rush it, they want to get it right.  Watch this space for more details.

Published in My Two Cents

This is a quick update to let you all know that Paramount just officially announced the Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo and DVD release of Star Trek Into Darkness on 9/10 ($49.99, $39.99 and $29.99).  It will be available via Digital streaming on 8/20.  Extras on the Blu-ray versions will include 7 documentary featurettes (Creating the Red Planet, Attack on Starfleet, The Klingon Home World, The Enemy of My Enemy, Ship to Ship, Brawl by the Bay and Continuing the Mission).  That seems to be it – the press release doesn’t refer to audio commentary, deleted scenes or other interaction options.  There is however this from the official press release, for what it’s worth:  “For the first time, the special features included in the combo packs were produced entirely by Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions and captured in spectacular high quality on Red Epic cameras for a uniquely intimate perspective of the filmmakers’ process.”

The final cover artwork isn’t available yet (apparently what’s on Amazon is temp only), but rest assured we’ll post it when it is.

Stay tuned…

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

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