My Two Cents

My Two Cents

All right, it’s been a week and a half now since we first broke the news here at The Digital Bits that Disney had signed a new deal with Sony for the latter to take over Disney’s physical media production and distribution.

In that time, there’s been a lot of speculation as to what this might mean for Disney’s physical media releases going forward. And there are certainly many questions that it’s natural for disc consumers to ask about the deal.

Does this mean that Disney will continue releasing Blu-ray and 4K discs? Will they perhaps even increase their title output? Will more Disney, Fox, Touchstone, and Hollywood Pictures deep catalog content finally come to 4K UHD? Does Sony taking over distribution from Disney mean that their product will return to markets the studio has pulled out of recently?

One thing we can safely say for sure is that Sony is a lot more efficient at producing and distributing titles on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD.

So streamlining this process and reducing unnecessary bureaucracy can only be a good thing in the sense of making Disney’s physical media titles more profitable for the studio.

But to answer those larger questions, I’ve continued to check in with our many industry sources over the last week or two. And I have learned a couple of things that should help to clarify the picture a bit for consumers. [Read on here...]

Happy Leap Day, Bits readers! February 29th only comes around once every four years, so enjoy it while you can.

I want to take a moment to thank all of you for your patience. We haven’t done a news update here for a couple days, and the reason is that I’ve been doing a lot more digging about that Disney and Sony physical media distribution deal, and I have in fact learned a little bit more information that will put the deal in better context. So after having a few last conversations with sources tonight, I’ll have a bit more to share on that front in tomorrow’s news update here at The Bits.

In the meantime, we’ve posted a bunch more new disc reviews here at the site as follows...

Dennis has posted his thoughts on Raoul Walsh’s The Roaring Twenties (1939) on Blu-ray from our friends at The Criterion Collection, as well as Ralph Murphy’s The Man in Half Moon Street (1945) on Blu-ray from Imprint, Robin Spry’s One Man (1977) and Elly Kenner and Norman Thaddeus Vane’s The Black Room (1982) on Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome, and Damien LeVeck’s A Creature Was Stirring (2023) on Blu-ray from Well Go USA.

Stewart has taken a look at Norman Jewison’s The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics, Nigel Cole’s Saving Grace (2000) on Blu-ray from the Warner Archive Collection, and Alan Rudolph’s Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994) on Blu-ray from Imprint.

And finally, Stephen has check in with his take on David Cronenberg’s eXistenZ (1999) on 4K Ultra HD from Vinegar Syndrome. All are well worth a look (both the films and the discs). [Read on here...]

We’ve got some more new announcement for you today, including a few interesting ones. And we have new disc reviews today as well. But first, I saw Dune: Part Two last night. So let me just share some very quick and non-spoiler comments. Here’s my initial reaction posted on social media afterwards...

“You see a film like DUNE: PART TWO and you think: That’s either the last great film of a dying Hollywood, or proof that there’s still a bit of life left in this industry. Either way, it’s a wonder. And absolutely perfect. Don’t look now, but Denis Villeneuve has just casually knocked out three of the greatest science fiction films of all time. See it on the BIGGEST POSSIBLE SCREEN.”

I guess “three of the greatest” depends on whether you calculate Dune as a single film or not. But Arrival, Blade Runner: 2049, and the combined Dune adaptation are all superb. I would rank them right up there with Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and Alien, and the Wachowskis’ The Matrix. Maybe I’d add Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind in there as well. All extraordinary pieces of hard science fiction cinema.

Honestly, if you liked Dune: Part One—and particularly if you loved Frank Herbert’s original novel, which is rightly regarded as the greatest work of science fiction literature—Villeneuve has just nailed the landing. [Read on here...]

Hey guys, this is Bill. I’ll be back with our usual news post shortly—including my non-spoiler thoughts on Dune: Part Two—but first I wanted to pop in here with this message…

My friend John Schuermann is the owner of one of the best home theater dealers around, The Screening Room A/V in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and he’s also the person who helped me select my new JVC projector for The Digital Bits’ HQ theatre.

You might recall that John and I also did this video podcast together back in November, along with Kris Deering of Deep Dive AV and Steve Crabb from TSRAV: Is Physical Media Dead?

He’s got some great deals on B-stock JVC projectors that might interest some of you. Here’s John to explain (comments below the break)... [Read on here...]

Well, yesterday was kind of a big day in terms of industry news, but as it happens, there have been quite a lot of interesting 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray announcements in the last 24 hours too!

But before we get to those, we have a few more new disc reviews for you...

I’ve just taken a look at John Sturges’ Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) in 4K Ultra HD from Kino Lorber Studio Classics, as well as Ron Maxwell’s cult classic Little Darlings (1980) in 4K UHD from Vinegar Syndrome’s new Cinématographe Films label.

Stephen has turned in his thoughts on Nia DaCosta’s The Marvels (2023) in 4K Ultra HD from Marvel and Disney, along with Yoshimitsu Banno’s Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971) on 4K UHD (sans English subs) from Toho Studios in Japan.

Dennis has given Ted Kotcheff’s Split Image (1982) a look on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics, along with Vincente Minnelli’s Madame Bovary (1949) on Blu-ray from the Warner Archive Collection.

And Stuart has reviewed Andrew V. McLaglen’s The Devil’s Brigade (1968) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics and Steve Zaillian’s Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993) on Blu-ray from Imprint Films.

Many more reviews are forthcoming, including Footloose, Conan the Destroyer, and Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part One in 4K, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for them.

Now then... in terns of title announcements, Paramount’s just dropped a couple of big ones starting with confirmation of a title we’ve mentioned here at The Bits recently: Alex Proyas’ The Crow (1994) officially streets on 4K Ultra HD and 4K Steelbook on 5/7. The 4K disc will include Dolby Vision and HDR10 high dynamic range. [Read on here...]

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