My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got more news for you here at The Bits today, both in terms of title announcements and also CES 2018. But first, we’ve got a trio of new disc reviews for you...

Tim has checked out The Breakfast Club on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and well as the new Shout Select Blu-ray Matinee: Collector’s Edition. And I’ve given an in-depth look to Denis Villeneuve’s remarkable Blade Runner 2049 in 4K Ultra HD from Warner Bros. All three titles are well worth your time, so be sure to give the reviews a read when you’ve the time. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, let’s talk about the latest news from CES 2018 in Las Vegas related to 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and HDR…

First up, the HDR10+ Alliance has announced that Warner Bros. has joined Samsung, Panasonic, 20th Century Fox, and Amazon in supporting their open standard “dynamic metadata” competitor for Dolby Vision. Any content producer who wants to use HDR10+ for their media needs only to pay an small annual fee, but there are no royalty fees, unlike Dolby Vision which requires a license fee for every use.

It will be interesting to see what impact Disney’s purchase of 20th Century Fox might have on this alliance, if any. Will Disney join or will Fox’s participation become more passive?

On a related note, our friends at Scenarist – which creates software and systems for Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, and Ultra HD title authoring – is adding HDR10+ support into the work flow of its Scenarist UHD authoring system, currently used to create many Ultra HD Blu-ray releases. They’re actually demonstrating it in person at CES 2018. So you can expect movie software that supports HDR10+ to start arriving this year. Word is that Amazon will be adding HDR10+ to its 4K streaming offerings in the next few months as well. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Afternoon, folks. We’re sure many of you are looking forward to the first weekend of the new year today, and we’re also gearing up for CES next week here at The Bits, so we’ll make this quick today.

First of all, in 4K release news, Paramount has set Daddy’s Home 2 for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 2/20. They’ll have the original Daddy’s Home available on 4K that same day. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got a couple things for you today here at The Bits

First, Tim Salmons has just turned in a pair of new Blu-ray reviews, including Shout! Factory’s A Town Called Panic: The Collection and also Scream Factory’s Hell Night: Collector’s Edition. Both are well worth a look.

Also here at The Bits today, our own Russell Hammond has posted the weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section featuring all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, we appreciate it when you shop for great movie titles and other items through our Amazon links, so thank you! [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’re back! We hope you all had a lovely and safe Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and/or New Year’s celebration – as the case may be – with your family and friends. My wife and I had a pretty solid case of the flu over Christmas, but we’re mostly recovered now (save for a lingering cough) so we spent New Year’s in Joshua Tree National Park with family. I brought my telescope and so we got some nice star watching in along with the usual hiking and whatnot. By the way, if you’re ever in Twentynine Palms, California and you’re in the mood for barbecue, be sure to visit The Rib Co., because they know what they’re doing.

In any case, we’ve got a number of things going on here at The Bits this week. First, I’ll spend the next couple of days catching you up on new and recent Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD announcement news. I’ll also be getting back into the BD and 4K review rhythm. And of course, the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) kicks off next week in Las Vegas, so we’ll keep you up to date on developments there too. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

We’ll be back to our regular Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD news and reviews work here at The Bits starting on Tuesday, but in the meantime we just wanted to drop in and wish you all a very Happy New Year and best wishes to your family and friends.

And if you’re looking for a little cinephile reading, be sure to check out Michael Coate’s recent History Legacy & Showmanship columns featuring anniversary celebrations of Casino Royale (1967), Camelot, Tomorrow Never Dies, The Dark Crystal, Die Another Day, and The Graduate, all of which have been posted in the last week or two.All right… be safe, be happy, and may 2018 bring better things for all of us. Peace out!

- Bill Hunt

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

 

Published in My Two Cents

Casino Royale is the Star Wars Holiday Special of James Bond films.” — 007 historian John Cork

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 50th anniversary of the release of Casino Royale, the James Bond comedy spoof starring Peter Sellers, Ursula Andress, David Niven, Orson Welles and Woody Allen.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include Tomorrow Never DiesDie Another Day, Dr. No, The Living Daylights, The Spy Who Lived Me, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, Casino Royale, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, GoldenEye, A View to a Kill, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Goldfinger, and 007… Fifty Years Strong.

The Bits continues the series with this retrospective featuring a Q&A with an esteemed group of James Bond historians who discuss the virtues, shortcomings and legacy of Casino Royale (1967). [Read on here...]

“It’s clear in retrospect that Camelot began the extinction process of old school Broadway musicals extravagantly transferred to the screen.” — Matthew Kennedy, author of Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Camelot, the Oscar-winning cinematic interpretation of the King Arthur legend and the Lerner and Loewe stage musical which starred Richard Harris (Cromwell, Unforgiven) as King Arthur and Vanessa Redgrave (Blow-up, Julia) as Guenevere.

Camelot — directed by Joshua Logan (South Pacific, Paint Your Wagon) and which featured Franco Nero, David Hemmings and Lionel Jeffries in supporting roles — opened 50 years ago this past autumn. For the occasion, The Bits features an historical reference listing of the film’s major-market roadshow engagements and a Q&A with film historian Matthew Kennedy, who discusses the film’s virtues, shortcomings and legacy. [Read on here...]

Tomorrow Never Dies’ major importance was in cementing Pierce Brosnan as the James Bond of that time period — a responsibility he fulfilled very successfully.” — 007 historian Lee Pfeiffer

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 20th anniversary of the release of Tomorrow Never Dies, the 18th official cinematic James Bond adventure and the second of four to feature Pierce Brosnan as Agent 007.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include Die Another Day, Dr. No, The Living Daylights, The Spy Who Lived Me, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, Casino Royale, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, GoldenEye, A View to a Kill, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Goldfinger, and 007… Fifty Years Strong.

The Bits continues the series with this retrospective featuring a Q&A with an esteemed group of James Bond scholars, documentarians and historians, who discuss the virtues, shortcomings and legacy of… Tomorrow Never Dies. [Read on here...]

The Dark Crystal has the distinction of being one of a very few films entirely starring puppets. It’s an amazing achievement.” — The Dark Crystal: The Ultimate Visual History author Caseen Gaines

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of The Dark Crystal, the fantasy adventure directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz (The Muppet Show) and produced by Gary Kurtz (Star Wars).

The Dark Crystal — which featured the Muppeteering talents of Henson and Oz and longtime Henson associates including Kathryn Mullen, Dave Goelz, Brian Froud, Jerry Nelson, and many others — opened 35 years ago this winter. In recent months there has been a surge in interest in the film, with numerous anniversary screenings (including several showcasing a newly discovered 70mm print from the original release), a new book highlighting the original production (see interview below), a 4K Ultra HD slated for release in March, and a forthcoming TV series. [Read on here...]

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