My Two Cents
Wednesday, 15 September 2021 17:38

Criterion’s December slate, Mad Max sequels & more 4K news, Disney Movie Club animated Blu-rays & LOTS more!

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We’re starting today with more new disc reviews...

First up is our review of John Carpenter’s The Thing in 4K Ultra HD from Universal. I did the 4K video, audio, and extras portions and the film review itself is by our old friend and ex-Bits staffer Dr. Adam Jahnke. The film has really never looked or sounded better. It’s a great remaster.

Next, we’ve reviewed Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange on 4K Ultra HD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Again, I did the 4K video, audio, and extras portions and the actual film review is by our friend Todd Doogan, also a former and longtime Bits staffer. (This review is even written in Nadsat, which fans of the film may appreciate.)

Also, Tim has turned in his thoughts on Eloy de la Iglesia’s Cannibal Man (1972) on Blu-ray from Severin Films. If you’re wondering why the cover artwork is just the title only, it’s because Google Adsense sometimes flags our site when we post images of Blu-ray and 4K titles that feature graphically violent or suggestive imagery. When they do that, we lose advertising revenue. So once in a while, this becomes necessary. But all you have to do is click on the cover in the review to see the actual cover art on Amazon.

And finally today, Stephen has posted a review of Ralph Nelson’s Lilies of the Field (1963), a Sidney Poitier film newly-released on Blu-ray by Kino Lorber Studio Classics. [Read on here...]

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As always, more new disc reviews are on the way including Disney’s Black Widow and Unbreakable in 4K, Warner’s The Shawshank Redemption in 4K, and more. So be sure to stay tuned for those in the coming days.

Now then... we have a few significant pieces of announcement news for you today...

We’ll start with Criterion, which has just revealed their December Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD release slate. Look for this to include Regina King’s One Night in Miami (Spine #1106 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 12/7, Gordon Parks’ The Learning Tree (Spine #1107 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 12/14, and finally Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s The Red Shoes (Spine #44 – 4K Ultra HD) on 12/14. Note that The Red Shoes is already available on Blu-ray and DVD. We’ve updated the Criterion Spines Project pages here at The Bits accordingly. And you can see the cover artwork below.

Next up, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has officially set M. Night Shyamalan’s Old for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 10/19. Extras will include deleted scenes and 4 featurettes (Shyamalan Family Business, All the Beach is a Stage, Nightmares in Paradise, and A Family in the Moment). The 4K will feature HDR10 high dynamic range and Dolby Atmos audio.

Lionsgate has announced that Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge is coming to 4K Ultra HD as a Best Buy-exclusive Steelbook release on 11/2 (SRP $27.99). Our expectation is that this will include HDR10 high dynamic range and Dolby Atmos audio.

Lionsgate has also officially announced The Protégé for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 10/19. Extras will include 2 featurettes, a deleted scene, and the theatrical trailer. The 4K will include HDR10 and Dolby Atmos.

Not done yet: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has just announced the 4K Ultra HD release of the CG-animated Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within on 11/16. This is a bit of an odd choice, as the animation was originally rendered in HD resolution, so we don’t know if it’s been re-rendered in 4K or (more likely) upsampled to 4K. Either way, the disc will include HDR10 high dynamic range and Dolby Atmos audio, with all of the previous Blu-ray special features.

Sony has also made Don’t Breathe 2 official for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 10/26. The 4K will include HDR10 and Dolby Atmos. Extras on the Blu-ray versions will include an alternate ending, audio commentaries with the filmmakers, and a trio of featurettes.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has officially announced the 4K Ultra HD release of the animated Batman: Year One – Commemorative Edition on 11/9 (SRP $33.99). Look for HDR10 with extras to include audio commentary with Alan Burnett, Sam Liu, Mike Carlin, and Andrea Romano, 3 featurettes (Reinventing Gordon, Conversations with DC Comics, and Heart of Vengeance: Returning Batman to His Roots), and a trio of DC Universe Movie Flashbacks.

And last but not least on the 4K front (this hasn’t yet officially been announced, but we expect that to change any day), George Miller’s Mad Max: The Road Warrior, and Miller and George Ogilvie’s Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome are now available for pre-order in 4K Ultra HD on, along with a 4-film Mad Max Anthology 4K box set that includes the original Mad Max and the recent Mad Max: Fury Road as well. We don’t yet have a lot of details on the extras in this set, but we do expect Dolby Atmos sound mixes on all of these. Street date for all is 11/2 and you can see the cover artwork and pre-order them all below right now.

All of these titles have been added to our 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Bits accordingly.

Moving on, we forgot to mention these the other day when we talked about the new Disney Movie Club Blu-rays, but also coming to BD from DMC are the animated classics Make Mine Music and Melody Time. And this completes the release of the studios’ animated classics on the format. Thanks to Bits reader Ben G. for the reminder!

And in a rare bit of regular DVD news today, Time Life has announced The Ultimate Richard Pryor Collection: Uncensored box for release on 9/28. This is a 13-disc set that includes all 4 four of his concert films (Live & Smokin, Live in Concert, Live on the Sunset Strip, and Here and Now), the 1977 NBC TV special, all 4 episodes of The Richard Pryor Show, several of his TV appearances, the feature film Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling, never-before-released footage from his infamous first film, Uncle Tom’s Fairy Tales (lost since 1968), footage of his final performances and a tribute at The Comedy Store, 2 documentary films (Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic and I Am Richard Pryor), deleted scenes, outtakes, and more.

Also today, we have a bit of sad news to report: Former SNL cast member and stand-up comedian Norm Macdonald has died after fighting a decade-long battle with cancer. I think I speak for many people today when I say that Norm was one of the funniest people on the planet. He’s the guy who made all the other famous comedians laugh, and that means something. You can read more here at The New York Times. Norm was just 61. He will be missed.

One other item of note today: In just a couple of hours, SpaceX is going to be launching their Inspiration4 mission into Earth orbit on a Falcon 9 rocket. This flight is extraordinary, because all four members of the crew are civilians—people just like you and me. The goal of the flight is to raise $2 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in an effort to cure childhood cancers and other diseases. The Dragon capsule in this case is going to orbit Earth for three days at an altitude of over 500 nautical miles, which is higher than the space station and even the Hubble telescope. In fact, it’s the highest humans have flown since the Apollo missions in the 1960s! You can watch the launch coverage via this YouTube web stream below. Launch is set for 8:02 PM Eastern (5:02 PM Pacific) and if you’re on the East Coast, go outside to watch—it should be visible all up and down the coast. You can also watch the first four episodes of Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space documentary series on Netflix right now, and I high recommend it. Godspeed, Inspiration4!

We’ll leave you today with a look at the cover artwork for a number of the titles mentioned above, with Amazon pre-order links if available (the Criterion title links will be added as they go live)...

The Red Shoes (Criterion 4K Ultra HD) The Learning Tree (Blu-ray Disc) One Night in Miami (Blu-ray Disc)

Mad Max: The Road Warrior (4K Ultra HD) Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (4K Ultra HD) Mad Max Anthology (4K Ultra HD)

That’s all for today. Stay tuned!

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


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