Heads-up, Bits readers... we’ve got an important announcement for you.

But first, a quick bit of regular site business: We’ve got a bunch of good new disc reviews for you, including Tim’s take Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XI on DVD from Shout! Factory, The Body Snatcher on Blu-ray from Scream Factory, and The New York Ripper: Limited Edition on Blu-ray from Blue Underground, along with Dennis’ take on Three Coins in the Fountain on Blu-ray from Twilight Time and Swing Time on Blu-ray from Criterion. More are on the way. Enjoy!

Now then... Sony Pictures has asked The Bits for our readers’ opinion on which of the studio’s recent and classic catalog titles you’d like to see them release on 4K Ultra HD. They’ve created an online poll where you can weigh in here until June 30th. And you can write in titles too (we added Lawrence of Arabia, District 9, and Elysium to their list as write-ins). So be sure to click here and respond if you’re a fan of their 4K catalog product. [Editor’s Note: It appears the survey is open in US residents only.] [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We’re going to have a new Michael Coate retrospective today in his History, Legacy & Showmanship column here at The Bits, looking back at Star Wars: The Phantom Menace in honor of yesterday’s 20th anniversary for the film. That will be up later this afternoon, so be sure to watch for it.

In the meantime, we have a bit of 4K and standard Blu-ray news to report...

First up, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has set Rob Reiner’s Stand by Me for release on 4K Ultra HD on 8/27. Scanned from the original camera negative, the film will be presented with a new Dolby Atmos mix, along with the original theatrical mono audio and the previous 5.1 remix. Extras on the 4K disc will include never-before-seen deleted and alternate scenes. The package will also include the previous Blu-ray with picture-in-picture video commentary with Reiner and the cast, the Walking the Tracks: The Summer of Stand by Me documentary, and audio commentary with Reiner. You can see the cover artwork at left. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We’ve some interesting release news today, starting with a little heads-up: Sources say that the long-anticipated official announcement of Ridley Scott’s Alien on 4K Ultra HD is happening very soon. So be sure to watch for that. We’ll have all the details here as soon as they’re official.

In other 4K announcement news, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has made Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down official for release on the format on 5/7.

It will include both the Theatrical and Extended cuts of the film newly remastered in 4K from the original camera negative and featuring an HDR grade approved by Scott. Both will also feature a new Dolby Atmos sound mix. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, Disney has just officially announced the Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD release of Rob Marshall’s Mary Poppins Returns on 3/19, with their Digital 4K and Movies Anywhere release set for a week earlier on 3/12. There will apparently also be a “Digital Bundle” of the film with the original 1964 Mary Poppins (we don’t know what resolution that original film will be). Audio on the Blu-rays will be English 7.1 DTS-HD MA. Assume standard HDR10 at least on the physical 4K (the digital 4K may offer Dolby Vision).

In terms of extras, the Blu-rays will include the deleted song The Anthropomorphic Zoo, the 4-part The Practically Perfect Making of Mary Poppins Returns documentary (includes Introduction, (Underneath the) Lovely London Sky, Can You Imagine That?, and Nowhere to Go But Up), the 4-part Seeing Things From a Different Point of View: The Musical Numbers of Mary Poppins Returns documentary (includes Trip a Little Light Fantastic, The Royal Doulton Music Hall/A Cover Is Not the Book, Turning Turtle, and Can You Imagine That?), Back to Cherry Tree Lane: Dick Van Dyke Returns, Practically Perfect Bloopers, 3 deleted scenes (Leaving Topsy’s and Trip a Little Light Fantastic), and a Sing-Along Mode. The Digital version only will also feature exclusive audio commentary by director Rob Marshall and producer John DeLuca.

You can see the cover artwork at left and also below. [Read on here...]

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All right, a quick update with some big breaking news...

It should surprise no one, as we’ve been talking about it (and we’ve had it in our 4K Ultra HD Release List) for a couple months now. But Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has just officially set Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 3/19, with the Digital release expected on 2/26.

It does not appear that at Blu-ray 3D release is planned. You can see the cover artwork at left and also below.

Both the Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD release will include Dolby Atmos audio. HDR10 is likely for the 4K (the press release makes no mention of Dolby Vision). [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

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.

FYI, it appears that Universal’s planned street date for M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K is 4/16.

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.

Stay tuned...!

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

 

Published in My Two Cents

This is just a quick Sunday post to share some breaking news...

At the official Star Trek convention in Las Vegas this afternoon, it was announced that CBS is finally going to be releasing Star Trek: Discovery – Season One on Blu-ray and DVD on 11/13. All 15 episodes will be included along with over two hours worth of special features. Additional details are still to be announced. But this comes straight from CBS and in fact has been shared on social media on the official Star Trek: Discovery Twitter feed.

It was also announced at the convention that another new Star Trek series featuring the return of Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard is being planned for eventual release as a CBS All Access exclusive, for those who may be interested.

One more bit of 4K Ultra HD news… we’ve learned from sources that Sony is going to be releasing David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on 4K Ultra HD in October or November, probably at the same time as their forthcoming Panic Room. Savvy Blu-ray fans will know that Panic Room has never been released on the format, but there should be a Blu-ray in the UHD package and there will almost certainly be a separate Blu-ray SKU as well.

Back tomorrow with more. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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

Published in My Two Cents

Yes, it’s true! We revealed this on social media last night and it caused quite a stir!

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has officially announced the 9/25 release of Fraggle Rock: The Complete Series on Blu-ray and DVD in honor of the series’ 35th anniversary.

Fraggle Rock: The Complete Series will feature all 96 episodes remastered in high definition on 12 Blu-ray Discs with lossless audio.

All-new extras will include an interactive Fraggle Music Celebration that allows you to sing along to every episode, the Life on Set: Moments with Jim Henson featurette, and a 1993 Today Show segment featuring Uncle Travelling Matt. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We’re working on a bunch of new reviews here at The Bits, so today’s update is going to be a quick one. But this morning we do have two reviews to start with for you...

First up, we have my thoughts on Steven DeKnight’s Pacific Rim: Uprising in 4K Ultra HD, which streets on 6/19 from Universal.

We’ve also got Tim’s take on Duccio Tessari’s 1965 spaghetti westerns A Pistol for Ringo and The Return of Ringo, both of which are now available together in a new double-feature Blu-ray from our friends at Arrow Video.

And if you check back early tomorrow morning, we’ll have my thoughts on David Ayer’s Fury in 4K Ultra HD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, as well as Tim’s review of Claudio Fragasso’s Zombie 4: After Death on Blu-ray from Severin Films. Both of those titles are now available in stores.

Rest assured, we’ll catch up on new announcements tomorrow afternoon or Friday morning.

Stay tuned…

- Bill Hunt

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

Published in My Two Cents

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has just officially announced the 4K Ultra HD release of Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe on 1/9/18. The disc will include HDR10, Dolby Atmos audio, and the previous Blu-ray edition with all the previous special features. You can see the cover artwork at the left there.

Also on the 4K front, it’s beginning to look like Thor: Ragnarok will be Disney and Marvel’s next 4K Ultra HD release, due day and date with its Blu-ray and DVD counterparts in early 2018. We don’t have a street date yet, but a number of international retailers – including Zavvi – are already taking pre-orders on the title. We’ve updated our 4K Ultra HD Release List accordingly. [Read on here…]

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