Today’s is a quick update here at The Bits as I have my mother visiting from North Dakota until tomorrow afternoon. Thanks for your patience!

Note, however, that I’m going to start posting my reviews of Paramount’s Mission: Impossible films in 4K Ultra HD tomorrow night and I should have them all up by the end of the week. We’ll have more new Blu-ray reviews from Tim as well.

Okay, with that out of the way…

In announcement news today, Studio Canal has just announced the UK release of a new 4K restoration of Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter that’s set for Blu-ray and Digital release on 8/20 and 4K Ultra HD on 10/15, both in the UK. It will also be released in theaters in the UK on 7/4. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got a few interesting things for you today...

First up, be sure you check out the reviews we’ve posted over the last couple days. To recap, my take on Sony’s Fury and Universal’s Pacific Rim: Uprising in 4K, plus Tim’s look at A Pistol for Ringo/The Return of Ringo from Arrow and Zombie 4: After Death from Severin. Enjoy!

Also here today, we’ve updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all kinds of new Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com links. Shopping through our links helps us keep going here at The Bits, so please do (and we appreciate it)!

And we have a couple of 4K Ultra HD title updates for you. First, it looks like 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is releasing the original Predator in 4K on 8/7. Zavvi currently has it available for pre-order in the UK on 8/6, and Amazon US has a new Predator Trilogy Blu-ray box set listed for 8/7, so it’s likely that the 4K disc will be available then as well. Zavvi is also listing a Predator 3-Movie Collection 4K set that would include Predator, Predator 2, and Predators for release that same day. We’ll have to wait and see if Fox announces this officially. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, let’s talk about the latest news from CES 2018 in Las Vegas related to 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and HDR…

First up, the HDR10+ Alliance has announced that Warner Bros. has joined Samsung, Panasonic, 20th Century Fox, and Amazon in supporting their open standard “dynamic metadata” competitor for Dolby Vision. Any content producer who wants to use HDR10+ for their media needs only to pay an small annual fee, but there are no royalty fees, unlike Dolby Vision which requires a license fee for every use.

It will be interesting to see what impact Disney’s purchase of 20th Century Fox might have on this alliance, if any. Will Disney join or will Fox’s participation become more passive?

On a related note, our friends at Scenarist – which creates software and systems for Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, and Ultra HD title authoring – is adding HDR10+ support into the work flow of its Scenarist UHD authoring system, currently used to create many Ultra HD Blu-ray releases. They’re actually demonstrating it in person at CES 2018. So you can expect movie software that supports HDR10+ to start arriving this year. Word is that Amazon will be adding HDR10+ to its 4K streaming offerings in the next few months as well. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

We’ve got just a couple things for you today to wrap up the week...

First, our own Tim Salmons has just posted a review of Scream Factory’s Serial Mom: Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray. Do give it a look.

In announcement news, Shout! Factory has just revealed another new Shout! Select title for release on Blu-ray on 9/5 (SRP $22.99): Mr. Mom, starring Michael Keaton and Teri Garr. Extras will be announced at a later date. You can see the cover artwork to the left and below.

Scream Factory also has a number of new titles due on Blu-ray in September, including The Spell (on 9/5), The Resurrected (on 9/12), A Quiet Place in the Country (on 9/19), and After Midnight (on 9/26). [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

To kick things off today, I’ve got a new review for you: A look at FUNimation’s Speed Racer: The Complete Series Blu-ray, a release I’ve waited years to see. Speed was the first Japanese anime series I ever saw, way back in the late 1960s, long before anyone had any idea what an anime was. Let me tell you, the show looks great in HD; FUNimation has done a really nice job of it. Best of all, the set streeted on Tuesday for just $20 on Amazon.

Now then... some announcements... [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
Tuesday, 25 April 2017 13:39

Keeping the Spirit of Wonder Woman

Keeping the essence of Diana Prince was the ultimate goal, according to Wonder Woman producer Geoff Johns and director Patty Jenkins.

They spoke about their passion for the character at the film’s recent WonderCon presentation. Jenkins said a superhero’s origin story is a great way for a child to connect with characters. Wonder Woman is one of the biggest and best-known superheroes but movie goers have never seen her origin story.

Keeping the essence of Diana Prince was the ultimate goal, according to Wonder Woman producer Geoff Johns and director Patty Jenkins. [Read on here…]

Published in Inside Cinema

All right, the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show is finally under way in Las Vegas today, with a number of the major CE manufacturers holding big press conferences to announce their product line-ups for the year. In fact, I’ve just now sat through Samsung’s big press event (more on that in a minute). I’ll check back in with more tomorrow, but for now let’s get to what news we have so far concerning 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray at the show...

In terms of new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player hardware, obviously Oppo Digital has just launched their debut player on the format, the UDP-203 (SRP $549). I’ve been testing this unit for about a week now and it’s just tremendous. For a first-generation player, it’s very solid, very fast, and it plays just about everything – Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, DVD-Audio, CD, and SACD, plus a wide variety of digital video and audio formats via network and USB. It’s compatible with HDR-10 right out of the box, and it’s also hardware compatible with Dolby Vision; a firmware update in the months ahead will add full Dolby Vision compatibility (keep in mind that no Dolby Vision UHD BD software is yet available, though software is forthcoming – again, more in a moment – and you can stream it now via Netflix and Vudu). Oppo is also working on an audiophile-upgraded version of this player, the UDP-205 (SRP around $1K), due for release later this year. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
Friday, 28 October 2016 00:01

Pick-Ups for the Week of October 24, 2016

Welcome to a new edition of Pick-Ups!

I hope you’re all enjoying your various Halloween marathons, parties, and other activities. I’ve been busy getting a lot of reviews ready as this has been a heavy couple of months for horror releases, as I’m sure you already know. I know I won’t get to all of it before the month is out, but I’ll get to as many of them as I can. I have some good titles lined up for the rest of this week and, hopefully, we won’t have a repeat of Friday and we can stay on schedule.

Anyways, let’s move on to some reviews. [Read on here…]

Published in Dailies
Friday, 14 October 2016 15:58

Pick-Ups for the Week of October 10, 2016

Welcome to a new edition of Pick-Ups!

Whew. Lemme tell ya. I love Halloween, but it wears me out every year. There’s so much going on, including tons of reviews for the site, that it’s difficult to keep track of it all and still be standing at the end of the day. And unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the Young Frankenstein screening that I mentioned last week as it was sold out, but I may or may not try to attend the encore presentation of it. We’ll see.

Also, I mentioned last week that Turner Classic Movies is showing a ton of great horror movies this month, but you may also want to check out IFC’s schedule. They have some great old B-movie from the 1950s and 1960s that they’re airing regularly, every morning. Definitely something worth putting on while having your coffee if you’re a horror fan.

Anyways, let’s move on to some reviews. [Read on here…]

Published in Dailies

All right, we’ve been busy here at The Bits these last couple days. Just a quick note first: Tomorrow is my birthday, so I’m not working. I turn 49, if you can believe it, which I can’t. But that’s how these things go. In any case, to make up for it, we’ve got a bunch of good stuff for you all to enjoy today. So let’s get to it...

First, I’ve just spent the last six months putting Samsung’s launch 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, the UBD-K8500, through its paces and I have my full review for you to check out today. Suffice it to say that there’s never been a debut player for any format (that I know of) that offers so much quality and performance for such a low price. If you’re thinking about upgrading to 4K Ultra HD and you’re looking for the best value for your dollar, this is the player for you. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
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Bits Latest Tweets

Heads-up: Jack Reacher officially announced by Paramount for #4K on 6/26, while Sony sets Christine for 4K on 9/11… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
And the winner of our Game of Thrones: Season 1 4K giveaway is Bob Wetherell. Congratulations Bob and thanks to eve… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
A Mission: Impossible #4K #UltraHD audio update for you, as promised. This is confirmed with the studio: MI = 5.1… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…