My Two Cents

Batman 4K update, Toy Story 4K, Jack Ryan, Ren & Stimpy uncensored, Prototype in Blu-ray 3D & lots of 4K news

April 4, 2019 - 2:50 pm   |   by
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Today’s Bits postings are a double-header, and this first one will be pretty substantial. I’ve unfortunately come down with the flu, so the last few days my functionality has been limited. But, I’m going to do a couple posts today to make up for it.

Before we begin, though, we’ve posted 4 new Blu-ray reviews here at The Bits in the last few days, including... Tim’s look at The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires from Scream Factory, Ecco and The Forbidden from Severin Films, and the Region B release of Dragonwyck (1946) from Powerhouse Films and Indicator. We also have Dennis’ look at Stan & Ollie on Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Enjoy!

So... first things first: We’ve confirmed with Warner Bros. that their new Burton/Schumacher Batman 4K releases will feature new Dolby Atmos audio mixes on both the 4K and the Blu-rays in the package. Those Blu-rays will be remastered too. High dynamic range will be HDR10 only on the 4Ks. And the Blu-rays will carry over all of the previous BD extras with one exception: Don’t expect to find the Batman: The Birth of a Modern Blockbuster featurette from the recent Batman: Diamond Luxe Blu-ray. Beyond that, most everything should be there. (Thanks to Bits reader Anthony DiPaola for spotting that). [Read on here...]

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All four of the Batman 4Ks are now up for pre-order on Amazon.com. They haven’t been discounted yet (per Amazon’s usual 30% off), but we expect that to be added soon. If you pre-order now, you will of course get the discount when it’s applied. We’ve included the cover artwork links below.

Speaking of Amazon.com pre-orders, we’ve added the Amazon pre-order links for (surprise!) Disney’s Captain America: The Winter Solider and Captain America: Civil War in 4K Ultra HD as well. Those street on 4/23, and – shockingly – they’re up for pre-order on Amazon. So here are all those...

Batman (1989) (4K Ultra HD) Batman Returns (4K Ultra HD) Batman Forever (4K Ultra HD)

Batman & Robin (4K Ultra HD) Captain America: Civil War (4K Ultra HD) Captain America: The Winter Soldier (4K Ultra HD)

Now then, we posted many weeks ago that Disney would be releasing the first three Toy Story films in 4K Ultra HD. Our retail sources are telling us that they’re due in early June (6/2 is actually the latest date we have, which is a Sunday – unusual but not unheard of; the How to Train Your Dragon 4K Steelbooks were a rare Sunday release at Best Buy). Meanwhile, Amazon.jp is showing a date of 6/19. So while we’re not 100% certain of the street date, “early June” seems completely reasonable. Amazon.jp is also showing this cover artwork, which is likely not final (and don’t jump to conclusions about the lack of a Digital mention because, again, these aren’t final). But they’re worth sharing anyway...

Toy Story (4K Ultra HD) Toy Story 2 (4K Ultra HD) Toy Story 3 (4K Ultra HD)

It’s not yet up for pre-order on Amazon.com (or anywhere else yet that we’ve seen), but that could change at any time.

A little more 4K Ultra HD news for you... consider this Rumor Mill worthy (and a bit of this we’ve shared before), but our sources are telling us to expect Warner to release Goonies in 4K this summer, while Sony is likely to release (for MGM) a 007: Daniel Craig Collection box set of Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and SPECTRE in 4K in time for the holidays. Sony’s co-production deal with Eon apparently expired with SPECTRE, so Bond 25 will be a Universal co-production and theatrical/home video release.

As for the other classic Bond films, they’ve begun appearing not only on Netflix but also Amazon Prime and elsewhere in 4K. But it remains to be seen if and when those will be released on physical 4K.

Also, with Disney and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: Episode IX set to hit theaters on 12/20 of this year, we can safely assume that film will be released on 4K day-and-date with Blu-ray in early 2020. It seems likely that at least Star Wars: The Force Awakens will finally be released on 4K as well, either late this year (in advance of the December theatrical release) or at the same time as Episode IX hits BD and 4K. As for the classic Star Wars films, now that Disney owns Fox, the way is clear for Disney to release those on 4K as well. The question remains, when? Episode IX obviously completes the existing Skywalker portion of the Star Wars Saga, so it would make sense that there will eventually be a 9-film box set on Blu-ray and possibly 4K at some point. But Disney seems to do things in their own sweet time, so I wouldn’t hold your breath for it. And don’t expect it to include the original theatrical versions. Producer Kathleen Kennedy has made it clear that no version not approved by Lucas will be released anytime soon.

But worry not: If you want to see the original Star Wars classic trilogy in 4K, I highly recommend Googling 4K77, 4K80, and 4K83. I have 77 and 83 and they’re worth seeking out (80 isn’t finished yet). Click on the links I just gave you <<< to learn more about them and how to obtain them. The point is, where there’s a will, there’s a way. And enough said.

Regarding Force Awakens, Rogue One, and older Star Wars films in 4K, if any of you are attending Star Wars Celebration in Chicago next week, and you happen to bump into Kennedy or J.J. Abrams, ask them about it. And if you get an answer, let us know!

FYI, we’ve updated our 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Bits to include all of the above information.

Okay, now for a few regular Blu-ray news items...

Paramount and Amazon are releasing Jack Ryan: Season One on Blu-ray Disc on 4/20. This is a bit of a surprise, given it’s an Amazon original series, but Paramount owns the franchise rights so at least we get a physical Blu-ray (but no 4K – that’s Amazon Prime only). Still, it’s only $30 and the set will include 8 episode and exclusive deleted scenes that will only be available on Blu-ray. You can see the cover artwork and pre-order it below.

Also newly announced for release on Blu-ray and DVD is Adult Swim’s The Venture Bros.: Season 7 on 6/4. The set will include all 10 episodes, plus audio commentaries with the creators for every episode and extended and deleted scenes. You can see that cover artwork and pre-order it below as well.

Here’s something that totally flew under my radar, but that I’m really happy to learn about. Are any of you out there fans of The Ren & Stimpy Show? As you may know, when the animated series originally aired on Nickelodeon back in the early 90s, it was heavily censored and edited to remove “controversial” content. But of course, those standards were in flux at the time, so the editing was very heavy handed. Paramount released the show on DVD in a couple of different configurations, but never complete and uncensored. Well, apparently back in 2013 – and unbeknownst to me – Turbine Media Group released the complete and (almost completely) uncensored series on DVD in Germany. There were a couple of issues with the set, which were later corrected, and the set was re-issued on DVD in 2014. But in 2015, Turbine released it in “SD on Blu-ray” format as well for just 21 Euros (about half the cost of the DVD sets). And in 2017, they released it in SD on Blu-ray in Steelbook packaging. Now, a couple things to note: There are still some minor edits – Turbine clearly used the best available material, which isn’t perfect. The set features stereo audio in both English and German, though a few of the censored scenes are in German only (as that was the only source Turbine could get – the show wasn’t as badly censored internationally as it was here). Also, the set is apparently coded for Region B only. The SD may also be PAL format. But, if you’re a fan and you have all-region BD player, this is currently the ONLY way to see this series in its most complete form – and it’s only like $25 (if you import from Amazon.de). Here’s a link to order it on Amazon.com (from third-party importers), or you can order it directly from Amazon.de. You can see the cover artwork below. I may try to get my hands on this release and review it, so stay tuned.

Okay… one last Blu-ray note, and this one is for Blu-ray 3D fans: Filmmaker Blake Williams is trying to raise the funds – via Indiegogo – to release his recent experimental 3D film, Prototype, on Blu-ray 3D. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the film, which has made a real splash on the art house and festival circuit, and has received acclaim from reviewers. I know we have many Blu-ray 3D enthusiasts among The Bits faithful, so I encourage you to consider supporting the campaign. He’s about halfway to his $7,500 goal with 23 days left to go – do give it a look here. And you can read more about the film itself here. Here’s the teaser...

All right, here’s more cover artwork for the additional titles mentioned above (with Amazon.com pre-order links)...

Jack Ryan: Season One (Blu-ray Disc) The Venture Bros.: Season 7 (Blu-ray Disc) Ren & Stimpy: Complete Series Uncensored (German SD on Blu-ray)

And that’s it for this early post. If there are any errors in the text above, you’ll have to forgive me. I’m hopped up on Theraflu.

We’ll be back later with this week’s Retro Release Day post.

Stay tuned!

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

 

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