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...]

We’ve got a big release news update for you today, but first we have a couple new Blu-ray reviews for you...

First, Tim has taken a look at Scream Factory’s Steelbook re-issue of The Thing: Collector’s Edition. He’s also reviewed Scream’s new Urban Legend: Collector’s Edition. And we also have a Blu-ray review from Dennis of What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. Enjoy!

Note that we’ve also posted this week’s update of the Release Dates and Artwork section featuring all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. And we’ll be updating the 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Bits in the next day or so as well.

Now then... the big news today is that Criterion has just announced their planned April additions to the Collection, as follows. [Read on here...]

All right, we’re going to have a larger post with a big release news update later this afternoon, but I wanted to chime in quickly with this...

For months now, we’ve been saying that 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment was planning to promote the 40th anniversary of director Ridley Scott’s original Alien (1979). This was based on our sources within the industry.

Well... now we have the first word from retailers.

UK disc retailer Zavvi has just listed a 2-disc Alien: 40th Anniversary Edition for release on 4K Ultra HD on 4/1/2019 (or 1, April as you guys would say across the pond).

There are no other details yet available. We expect that the US release date will be somewhat different, but certainly within a week or two. The official announcement is likely due very soon and we’ve already asked the studio about this.

In the meantime, you can see temp UK cover artwork above left. Keep in mind, it’s subject to change – this is just the temporary artwork the studio has given to retailers.

Thanks to an overseas friend and Bits reader for alerting me to this.

Back later with a much larger post and more news. Stay tuned...

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

 

So… this is going to be an interesting post for you longtime Bits readers. It’s been interesting for me to compose, certainly, writing it as I do from the perspective of someone who’s covered the home video industry now for more than twenty years (and followed it since the 1980s). I hope it will be at least thought-provoking to you all. But I’ll get to the meat of it in a moment.

First, let me take care of a bit of routine business: We’ve posted (in the last 24 hours) no less than seven new Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD reviews, beginning with my own in-depth look at Damien Chazelle’s First Man in 4K, a film which I believe is a masterpiece and one that will come to be regarded as such with time.

Also newly posted here are Tim’s thoughts on one of my favorite François Truffaut films, Jules and Jim, as released on Blu-ray from Criterion, along with Tony Williams’ Next of Kin from Umbrella Entertainment. You’ll find too Dennis Seuling’s take on Drew Goddard’s Bad Times at the El Royale on Blu-ray from Fox and the documentary Tea with the Dames on DVD from MPI. Finally, we have David’s take on Anne of the Thousand Days from Twilight Time and Godard Mon Amour from Cohen Media, both on Blu-ray. All of these films are worth a look and we hope you enjoy them. [Read on here...]

All right, we’re back finally. We were sort of back last week, but a combination of server work and various houseguests kept me from really diving back into things here at The Bits, though Tim and the crew have been active in posting reviews. I’ve also been up to something very exciting over the last few months, which I’ll talk more about in a minute.

We have a trio of recent Blu-ray reviews for you to check out today, including Tim’s look at Cutting Class from Vinegar Syndrome, Dennis’ review of Not Without My Daughter from MVD, and David’s look at Topper Takes a Trip from VCI.

And I am about to embark on an in-depth review of Damien Chazelle’s recent Neil Armstrong biopic First Man, which was one of my favorite films of 2018. I’ve gotten my hands on the 4K Ultra HD from Universal and it’s tremendous. So watch for that review later today or first thing in the morning. [Read on here...]

From Russia with Love is, quite simply, one of the greatest spy films ever made. It is relentlessly entertaining, sexy, sophisticated, elegant yet raw, beautifully shot, brilliantly edited, wonderfully cast, with a score that puts 99.999% of all other modern films to shame.” — John Cork, author of James Bond Encyclopedia

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 55th anniversary of the release of From Russia with Love, the second cinematic James Bond adventure.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include Never Say Never Again, Live and Let Die, Octopussy, Casino Royale (1967), Tomorrow Never Dies, Die Another Day, Dr. No, The Living Daylights, The Spy Who Loved Me, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, Casino Royale, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, GoldenEye, A View to a Kill, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Goldfinger, and 007… Fifty Years Strong.

The Bits continues the series with this retrospective featuring a Q&A with an esteemed group of film historians and James Bond authorities who discuss the virtues, influence and legacy of 1963’s From Russia with Love. [Read on here...]

First day back from the holidays for us here at The Bits and I hope you all had a terrific break.

I actually caught up on a few films and plan to get back to reviewing myself, especially 4K Ultra HD. A great number of good ones have come in recently and I pledge to review as many as I can over the coming weeks.

Speaking of reviews, Tim and the crew have turned in a bunch of good ones lately, including the Dragnet: Collector’s Edition from Shout! Factory, The House with the Clock in Its Walls and Operation Finale from Universal, the Maniac: Limited Edition from Blue Underground, the Waterworld: Limited Edition from Arrow Video, The Adventures of Hajji Baba from Twilight Time, and the Mantovani: The King of Strings – Special Edition from Filmrise. Enjoy!

We’ll get back to new release news tomorrow, but last night I had the chance to watch Tony Zierra’s tremendous new documentary Filmworker. It actually came out in 2017, but I only caught it last night on Netflix (you can also see it on DVD from Kino Lorber). It tells the life story of Leon Vitali, a young up and coming actor in the UK in the 1970s, who was cast by Stanley Kubrick in the role of Lord Bullingdon in Barry Lyndon (1975). [Read on here...]

[Editor’s Note: This interview was originally posted on The Digital Bits on 5/4/01. It refers to the original and much-maligned Kubrick DVD collection release and also the better and properly remastered 2001 DVDs. It hints at future HD releases, but this was five years prior to the debut of Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD was still well over the horizon. Read it as an artifact of the period. But our admiration of Vitali has only been enhanced by the recent and terrific documentary about his life, Filmworker, not to mention his fine work on the new 4K release of 2001: A Space Odyssey, so we thought it would be fun to share this vintage interview we did with him. It’s clear just how protective he was then – and remains now – of Stanley Kubrick’s body of work. We salute him for it. All Kubrick fans owe him a great debt.]

One thing you can say for sure about Leon Vitali, is that he knew Stanley Kubrick. Vitali first came into contact with Kubrick when he was cast to play the role of Lord Bullingdon in Barry Lyndon. The two quickly struck up a friendship, and Vitali soon found himself working side-by-side with the director as his assistant and a permanent part of Kubrick’s staff. Over an association of more than 25 years, Vitali personally worked on nearly every facet of Kubrick’s films, from scripting to casting, production, laboratory supervision and advertising. He even worked on the translations of Kubrick’s films into other languages for international markets. [Read on here...]

Happy Thursday, Bits readers!

There’s very little in the way of news to report today, given that Hollywood is essentially shut down until next week for the holidays.

But we do have a couple things I wanted to share with you today.

First, Tim has turned in a pair of new Blu-ray reviews, and they’re good titles… a pair of Hammer Films classics starring Christopher Lee: Dracula Prince of Darkness (1966) from Scream Factory and Horror of Dracula (1958) now available from the Warner Archive Collection. Both are well worth your time, so enjoy the reviews.

Also today, our own Michael Coate has turned in a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column looking back at The Odd Couple (1968) in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary. The piece features a good interview with historian Rob Edelman. I think you’ll enjoy that too.

Now then… I’ve been very busy with a number of things these past few weeks, but I plan to return to reviewing Blu-ray and 4K titles in a big way right after New Year’s, likely starting with a look at Universal’s First Man. And I’m going to knock out a whole bunch of new and recent titles on both formats throughout the month of January.

In the meantime, I hope you’re all having a great and safe holiday break with your family and friends.

So enjoy every minute… and stay tuned!

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

 

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