You know… Hollywood certainly isn't going out of its way to reassure its consumers that purchasing home video content is a good or safe investment these days, is it?
Now, we are obviously big fans of digital entertainment here at The Digital Bits, whether that entertainment is served up on a disc or a download. After all, the word “digital” is right there in our name and has been since 1997.
And despite the fact that we often expound upon the value of purchasing physical media over digital, we are no strangers to enjoying a good online streaming or download experience. After all, there’s much great digital-only content these days. Movies like Roma on Netflix, TV series like Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime… these wouldn’t exist without those streaming services and you can’t buy either of them on disc. Digital is convenient and it’s awfully nice to be able to access it anywhere from any device.
But like any format, it has its drawbacks… and once again today, those drawbacks have made themselves rather inconveniently obvious for the 30 million customers of DECE’s UltraViolet digital movie locker service. You know… the service that managed all those codes that came on slips of paper with your Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K titles for years. [Read on here...]
The big news today is that our friends at The Criterion Collection have officially announced the launch date for their forthcoming streaming service, The Criterion Channel. Look for it to debut on 4/8. And those who signed up to be Charter Subscribers can create their accounts today and start watching a new Movie of the Week series until the launch.
Not a day after we hinted at it in our daily column, Lionsgate has officially set Man on a Ledge for release on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on 4/9. Look for it to include both Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite on 3/5, with the Digital release expected on 2/12. Extras will include deleted scenes and The Favourite: Unstitching the Costume Drama featurette.
Fox will also release the Melissa McCarthy drama Can You Ever Forgive Me? on DVD only on 2/19 with Digital due on 2/5. [Read on here...]
Afternoon, all. We’ve got a couple interesting items for you today...
First, Tim has posted a new review of Powerhouse Films and Indicator’s outstanding William Castle at Columbia: Volume Two Blu-ray box set, which streeted late last month and includes Zotz!, The Old Dark House, 13 Frightened Girls!, and Strait-Jacket. Do check it out and if you haven’t seen these films, they’re a hoot.
Also today, we have a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate featuring a look back at the James Bond film Quantum of Solace in honor of its 10th anniversary. The column features another terrific roundtable discussion, this time with historians Robert A. Caplen, John Cork, and Lisa Funnell. Enjoy!
And we’ve also posted the weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, whenever you order literally anything from Amazon after clicking through one of our links, you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we greatly appreciate it. [Read on here...]
Heads-up: Disney and Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger appears to be coming to 4K Ultra HD on 2/26, per Best Buy pre-order listings. The retailer currently has listings for the title in SKUs with regular and Steelbook packaging.
The film has a 2K DI. It’s possible there could be a new Dolby Atmos audio mix, but as has recently been the case with Disney 4K releases, look for Dolby Vision HDR on the digital version only.
It should be noted that 2/26 is the same street date as their already announced The Little Mermaid and Ralph Breaks the Internet 4K releases, both of which will also have Steelbook SKUs at Best Buy.
Meanwhile, we have one other 4K-related item to report today: Some of you have noticed that there’s been an image circulating around the Internet over the past few days purporting to show an exclusive 4K release of the Indiana Jones films in China. Our studio sources tell us this is bogus. There are no plans at this time. We take that to mean not never, but not anytime soon. Adjust your plans accordingly.
Have a great weekend and we’ll see you with a full news update on Monday.
All right, we’ve checked in with our retail and industry sources and have learned that Marvel and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s wildly popular animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is likely to street on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 3/19.
As you know, the film has just been nominated for an Oscar in the Best Animated Feature Film category (and is very likely to be the leading contender). We haven’t been able to confirm the production and finish resolution of the film, so we don’t know if the animation was rendered natively at 2K or 4K. Either way, with its bright color palette and unique comic-panel texturing, it should look amazing on both Blu-ray and 4K UHD.
It’s reasonable to assume you’ll get at least Dolby Atmos audio. Sony doesn’t typically include Dolby Vision HDR on their 4K releases though, so expect HDR10.
Amazon is showing Blu-ray, Blu-ray “Limited Edition”, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD SKUs. We don’t know of any other retailer-exclusive versions, but we’ll have to wait until the title is officially announced.
And we believe Pet Sematary (1989) is coming to 4K from Paramount on 3/26.
Both of those dates are yet to be confirmed with our sources.
We may have more of an update later if news and time permit, but I just wanted to check in early here at The Digital Bits to share word we’ve just gotten from our retail and industry sources that suggests 3/26 is likely to be the street date for Warner and DC’s massively-successful Aquaman, from director James Wan.
The film has a 2K Digital Intermediate (per IMDB, and I haven’t confirmed this officially), but large portions were filmed in IMAX which should mean very high quality pixels. And the film should still look impressive in HDR on 4K. We have no word yet what the specs will be, but we would imagine Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio at the least.
Today is obviously the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday here in the States, but we do have a couple things for you.
Also, we have a trio of new Blu-ray reviews for you. Tim has taken a look at J. Lee Thompson’s 10 to Midnight from Scream Factory, David Gordon Green’s Halloween (2018) from Universal, and Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak from Arrow Video.
And finally, we’ve posted the weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, whenever you order anything from Amazon after clicking through one of our links, you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we greatly appreciate it.
Back tomorrow! Stay tuned…
We had some content that we’d planned to post today here at The Bits, but we’ve decided to push it until Monday as a result of a bit of terrible news that’s come our way this afternoon.
We’re very sad to report that Nick Redman passed away yesterday. Nick was the co-founder (with Brian Jamieson) of the great Twilight Time indie Blu-ray label and a longtime documentary filmmaker, soundtrack producer, and film historian.
Redman produced and directed A Turning of the Earth: John Ford, John Wayne, and The Searchers (1998 – which you can find on Warner’s The Searchers: 50th Anniversary Special Edition DVD and on Blu-ray) and the feature-length Becoming John Ford documentary (2007 – available in the terrific Ford at Fox DVD collection or by itself on DVD), among other shorts and features.
He co-founded Twilight Time in 2011, which has since released hundreds of great classic cinema titles on Blu-ray, many with new commentaries featuring the likes of Redman, writer and film historian Julie Kirgo (who became Nick’s wife last July) and others. [Read on here...]
We have more new announcements for you today...
First, Universal Studios Home Entertainment has set Christian Rivers’ Mortal Engines for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K on 3/12. The 4K release will include both Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio. Extras will audio commentary by the director and 5 featurettes (Welcome to London, End of the Ancients, Character Series, In the Air, and Film New Zealand).
Here’s an interesting item: Lionsgate has just set Otto Bathurst’s bombastic Robin Hood (2018) for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 2/19, with the Digital release due on 2/5. This will be the first physical 4K release to include both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. You’ll also get Dolby Atmos audio. Extras will include the 7-part Outlaws and Auteurs: Reshaping Robin Hood documentary, outtakes, and deleted scenes. [Read on here...]
We’ve more big release news to report today...
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and MGM have just officially set Steven Cable Jr.’s Creed II for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 3/5 (SRP $44.95, $35.99, and $28.98 respectively), with the Digital release expected on 2/12. The 4K release will include Dolby Vision HDR. We suspect the audio will be Dolby Atmos as well, but the press release doesn’t specify. Extras on both the Blu-ray and 4K editions will include 4 featurettes (From Father to Son, Blood Runs Hot, Finding the Authentic, The Women of Creed II, and The Rocky Legacy), plus deleted scenes.
Warner has also announced that Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be released on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 3/12, with the Digital release due on 2/15. The 4K will include Dolby Vision HDR and both Blu-ray versions will feature Dolby Atmos audio. Extras will include 9 featurettes (J.K. Rowling: A World Revealed, Wizards on Screen, Fans in Real Life, Distinctly Dumbledore, Unlocking Scene Secrets: The Return to Hogwarts, Unlocking Scene Secrets: Newt’s Menagerie, Unlocking Scene Secrets: Credence, Nagini and the Circus Arcanus, Unlocking Scene Secrets: Paris and Place Cachée, Unlocking Scene Secrets: Ministere des Affaires Magiques, and Unlocking Scene Secrets: Grindelwald’s Escape and the Ring of Fire), plus deleted scenes. You will also get an Extended Cut of the film with 7 minutes of additional footage as a Digital download only. [Read on here...]