All right, I promised my thoughts on The Mandalorian on Disney+. I have to say, I like it. It’s nice to watch a slice of Star Wars that doesn’t involve Jedi, Sith, and Skywalkers for a change. It’s a little in the mold of Rogue One, though that was more closely tied to the Saga films. But Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni have crafted a half-hour series that feels like a slice of lived-in classic Star Wars, and is taking its time developing its story. The texture is right, the supporting cast is terrific (thus far including Carl Weathers, Werner Herzog, and Nick Nolte), and I love the Bill Conti-infused score by Ludwig Göransson.

Pedro Pascal is good in the lead role, but to be fair we haven’t seen him outside the Mandalorian armor yet, nor have we learned very much about the character. But each episode seems to peel back the onion a little more, and again I like the fact that the show is taking its time. I would have thought that 30-40 minute episodes would seem too short, but I find I’m satisfied after each one. And reports from friends and Lucasfilm insiders who have seen more suggest that the show gets better with every new installment (there will be 8 in all in this first season). What I can tell you is that I’m certainly enjoying it. The show also looks great in 4K with HDR, and sounds great too in Dolby Atmos. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, this is a quick post with a couple items of interest for you today...

First, I’ve just posted my review of Dogwoof’s new UK import of the Apollo 11 documentary in 4K Ultra HD. And unfortunately, this HDR grade is very heavy-handed. I can’t say I’m a fan of it. I’m going to try to compare it to one of the Digital 4K download versions to see if it’s the same or if something went wrong on Dogwoof’s end. Anyway, here’s the review.

[Editor’s Note: It appears that my projector and 4K player are having handshake problems in terms of handling the HDR on this title. I’m pulling the review down until I can get to the bottom of it.]

[Late Update: Yeah... it’s not a technical problem. The HDR grade on this title is just not good. The review is back up. And it turns out that I’m not the only person to notice the weirdness here. See this post at Blu-ray.com for another opinion.]

Also today, Scream Factory has just confirmed that their forthcoming Blu-ray release of the My Bloody Valentine: Collector’s Edition is going to feature a brand new transfer of both the theatrical and unrated versions of the film in conjunction with Paramount. So that’s great news. Extras are still TBA and the disc is expected to street on 2/4/19. You can see the cover artwork to the left. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we begin today with some new disc reviews...

I’ve just turned in my thoughts on Paramount’s stunning new 4K restoration of Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, one of those films I’d take to a desert island if I had to be stranded there with only a few. The film has never looked better and the disc even offers some tremendous newly-created extras, though the included Blu-ray version is a puzzler. Still, fans should agree that the restoration is worth every penny and it’s just $19 on Amazon right now. Don’t hesitate.

I’m working to finish my review of Warner’s The Wizard of Oz next and I’m also checking out the first couple of discs of Network’s new Monty Python’s Flying Circus Blu-ray set. So watch for those reviews soon.

Meanwhile, Tim has posted his thoughts on Scream Factory’s new Collector’s Edition Blu-ray of Chuck Russell’s 1988 remake of The Blob. Fans will definitely want to give it a look.

And Dennis has weighed in on Ari Aster’s Midsommar on Blu-ray from A23 and Lionsgate, so do give that a look as well. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Okay, I posted my review of MGM’s 007: The Daniel Craig Collection in 4K Ultra HD last night here on The Bits. It’s pretty darned good image-wise. You can read all the details in the review.

Also today, Tim has posted a review of the new An American Werewolf in London: Limited Edition Blu-ray from Arrow Video. He’s also posted a look at Severin Films’ new Killer Crocodile 1 & 2 Limited Edition Blu-ray.

And I’ve started working on a review of Warner’s incredible new 4K Ultra HD release of The Wizard of Oz. The film was scanned in 8K from the original Technicolor camera negative and I’ll tell you, it’s never looked more luminous and dimensional. For an 80-year-old film, it’s pretty stunning. So watch for that review in the next couple of days. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, thanks for your patience while I was away at the end of last week. My father-in-law passed away, so my wife and I flew across the country to attend his memorial and see family.

But there’s a good deal to catch up on today news-wise, so let’s get right to it. First things first...

Yes, we are aware of the rumors that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is planning to bring The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films to 4K Ultra HD. They originated on the excellent 4K Filme.de website, which (I’m told) found the titles briefly listed on a Warner B2B website for German retailers. All six films were indicated for release on UHD (with the Extended Editions included) and with a tentative street date given of June 25, 2020. All right, now let’s put this in context...

First of all, there’s no doubt that Warner Bros. is going to release these films on physical 4K Ultra HD. These are literally their most demanded catalog titles on the format. Also, 2021 is the 20th anniversary of Fellowship of the Ring. And Amazon’s new Lord of the Rings prequel series, which reportedly begins production next month and will apparently be in production for two years, is likely to debut on Amazon Prime in late 2022. So the studio is certainly going to want to get those films ready for 4K release by then. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

I’ve posted my thoughts on Disney and Marvel’s new Guardians of the Galaxy release on 4K Ultra HD this morning. This following yesterday’s review of Doctor Strange on the format.

And yes, you can expect my review of Ant-Man in 4K today.

Tim is also working on a review of Sony and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Far From Home in 4K, so watch for that soon.

Next up on my review plate are Warner’s Pan’s Labyrinth and The Shining in 4K, so watch for at least one of them tomorrow (and both by next week).

In announcement news today, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has revealed that Easy Rider is now available in Digital 4K with HDR on various streaming platforms in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary. There appear to be no plans to release it on physical 4K. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got a couple more disc reviews and some news updates for you today...

First up, Tim has posted his thoughts on Scream Factory’s new Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release of John Carpenter’s Vampires.

And Dennis has take a look at Billy Wilder’s The Major and the Minor on Blu-ray, a Paramount title from Arrow Academy.

Also, I’m working on reviews of Pan’s Labyrinth, The Shining, and Toy Story 4, all in 4K. And again, I’ll post Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, and Doctor Strange in 4K as soon as the discs arrive from the Disney Movie Club.

Speaking of the DMC, we’ve learned that the studio has pulled The Black Hole on Blu-ray from their online store. The reason is that they’re fixing the disc to correct for the authoring error that prevents you from seeing the film’s Overture (see our review of the Blu-ray here). [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, the big news today is that our friends at the Criterion Collection have just announced their December Blu-ray and DVD release slate. And it includes a film that I’ve been waiting for a long time on Blu-ray... the extended director’s cut of Wim Wenders’ melancholy sci-fi road movie Until the End of the World.

I have so much love for the film and managed to record a TCM showing of it a couple years ago on my DVR. I’m glad I’ll finally be able to free up the drive space! Here’s the full slate...

Look for Stephen Roberts’ The Story of Temple Drake (Spine #1006 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Ronald Neame’s Tunes of Glory (Spine #225 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 12/3, followed by Wim Wenders’ Until the End of the World (Spine #1007 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Kelly Reichardt’s Old Joy (Spine #1008 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 12/10. We’ve updated the relevant pages of our Criterion Spines Project here at The Bits accordingly. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We’ve got some more new reviews for you today, and some interesting news as well. So let’s get to it.

First up, the reviews...

I’ve offered my thoughts on Luc Besson’s Anna on 4K Ultra HD from Summit and Lionsgate.

And Tim has turned in looks at Roy Ward Baker’s Scars of Dracula (1970) on Blu-ray, a Hammer title from Scream Factory, as well as Scream’s Humanoids from the Deep Steelbook Blu-ray.

With a little luck, we’ll have at least a couple more reviews tomorrow as well, so be sure to check back.

We’ve also got a street date update for you on a few titles: Look for Warner’s It: Chapter Two on BD, DVD, and 4K on 12/10. Lionsgate will release Red Heat on 4K on 10/8 (coming from Studio Canal in the UK). And Fox is expected to release The Art of Racing in the Rain on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K on 11/5. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents
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