My Two Cents

Displaying items by tag: 4K Ultra HD

So... a friend of mine asked me last night on social media what impact the pandemic was having on physical media sales so far this year. Specifically, he wanted to know if there had been any kind of a bump in disc sales resulting from all of the coronavirus lockdowns, what with so many people suddenly forced to stay at home.

I knew, of course, what we’ve been seeing here at The Digital Bits in terms of those trends—also what we’ve been hearing from you guys, our readers, as well as our retail sources. But the question got me thinking. And then I really wanted to know: Do the actual sales numbers reflect our assumptions? Or might something be happening because of the pandemic that’s surprising in terms of physical media sales?

With that in mind, I started digging. Before long, I found myself neck deep in data—actually a pretty good place to be if you really want to get to the bottom of questions like this.

I turned to a pair of sources that are always reliable: The Digital Entertainment Group’s excellent (and quarterly) Home Entertainment Reports, and also Media Play News’ in-house home entertainment market research. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We’re starting things off today with a new Blu-ray review, this one of John Gilling’s The Flesh and the Fiends (1960) starring Peter Cushing, now available from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. Dennis has posted his thoughts on the film and the disc for you today, so do give it a look.

Meanwhile, in announcement news this afternoon, Kino Lorber has announced its August slate of Blu-ray and DVD releases, which is set to include the following...

Look for Salome Chasnoff’s Code of the Freaks (2020 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Justin Pemberton’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2019 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 8/4, Anne Sweitsky’s Sonja: The White Swan (2018 – Blu-ray and DVD), Halina Dyrschka’s Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint (2019 – Blu-ray and DVD – for Zeitgeist Films), Sasie Sealy’s Lucky Grandma (2019 – Blu-ray and DVD – for Good Deed Entertainment), and Paul Aaron’s A Different Story (1978 – Blu-ray – for Scorpion Films) on 8/11, Atom Egoyan’s Guest of Honor (2018 – Blu-ray and DVD), Forbidden Fruit: Volume 6 – She Should’a Said No/Devil’s Sleep (1949 – Blu-ray – for Kino Classics), and Lucio Fulci’s Conquest (1983 – Blu-ray – for Code Red) on 8/18, and The Reginald Denny Collection (includes The Reckless Age, Skinner’s Dress Suit, and What Happened to Jones? – 1924/26 – Blu-ray and DVD – for Kino Classics), Martha Kehoe & Joan Tosoni’s Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind (2019 – DVD – for Greenwich), Simon Amstel’s Benjamin (2019 – DVD – for Artsploitation Films), Nicholas Leytner’s The Tobacconist (2019 – Blu-ray and DVD – for Menemsha Films), and Larry Yust’s Trick Baby (1972 – Blu-ray – for Scorpion Films) on 8/25. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

One of the most interesting aspects of having served as the editor of The Digital Bits website for over twenty years now, is that I’ve had a front row seat to some pretty dramatic changes in the home video industry.

At 53, I’m old enough to remember watching movies on black-and-white televisions—square analog displays that required the viewer to adjust a pair of “rabbit ear” antenna to get a decent picture. Like some of you, I saw the advent of cable television and the arrival of VHS and Betamax videotape—a technology the film industry fought tooth-and-nail to kill until its profit potential finally became obvious.

And of course, as a longtime film enthusiast, I’m someone who strongly embraced the Laserdisc format back when it was the only option for watching movies in their original widescreen aspect ratios at home.

I founded The Digital Bits in late 1997 (it actually began as an industry newsletter shared by email in late ’96) in part because I knew that DVD would be a hit. Having worked at a record store a decade earlier, when Compact Discs took the music world by storm, it was obvious to me that consumers would embrace the idea of movies on a disc that was—to them—essentially identical to the CDs they already loved. [Read on here...]

Published in Articles

All right, we’ve got a couple of things to note today...

First up, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has set Shameless: The Complete Tenth Season for DVD only release on 5/12. You’ll get all 12 episodes plus deleted scenes for just $22.99.

While we’re talking Warner Bros, our friends at the Warner Archive have just announced their May Blu-ray slate, which is set to include Michael Curtiz’s Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933), Robert Mulligan’s Inside Daisy Clover (1966), and Lucifer: The Complete Fourth Season on 5/12, followed by Gregory Nava’s Selena (1997) and Peter Tewksbury’s Sunday in New York (1964) on 5/19, and Vincente Minnelli’s The Reluctant Debutante (1958) on 5/26. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got a couple things to report today...

First up, NBCUniversal’s Fandango service is going to purchase Vudu from Walmart, according to reports in the trades today (see this link at Variety). This is interesting and it doesn’t surprise me. I expect there will be lots of consolidation in the Digital space in the months and years ahead, and I also expect every major studio to try and grow their own footprint in the digital space or to team up with others who have. And of course the Digital category includes not just streaming/subscription services but transactional purchases too. So it makes a lot of sense.

Also today, I’ve been invited—and have just begun—to check out the high-end digital movie service Kaleidescape. I’ll have more on that experience here at The Digital Bits in a few weeks, after I’ve really given it a thorough test and tryout. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, with all of these coronavirus lockdowns happening, it seems as if Hollywood is slowing its roll on home video announcements. Most of our studio contacts are now working from home, like the rest of us. So we don’t have a lot of news to talk about today, but we’re adjusting by working on more new disc reviews for you to enjoy.

And we’re starting today with a BIG one: I’ve just posted my in-depth look at JJ Abrams’ new Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on 4K Ultra HD from Disney and Lucasfilm. The disc offers tremendous A/V quality and limited—but really good—extras, including a terrific feature length documentary on the making of the film. The disc streets on 3/31, and the film is actually available now (a week early) on all the usual digital services. Though I should caution you, if you really care about maximum A/V quality, this disc blows the streams away. Of course, your individual needs and requirements will vary. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’re here at The Bits today closing out what I must say is one of the more interesting weeks I’ve experienced in my 52 years on this planet.

But we’ve got a new review to keep you amused this afternoon: I’ve just turned in my thoughts on Sam Mendes’ Best Picture-nominated 1917 in 4K Ultra HD. It’s an impressive A/V experience with a native 4K digital intermediate, Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HDR10+ high dynamic range, a fine Dolby Atmos sound mix, and dazzling Oscar-winning cinematography by Roger Deakins. There are even a couple of fine audio commentaries on the disc too. Don’t miss it.

Also today, our friends at The Warner Archive Collection have just officially announced no less than SEVEN great new catalog Blu-ray titles that are coming in April. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, I’m currently working on a review of Universal’s 1917 in 4K Ultra HD, which I hope to have up here on the site later today.

In the meantime, I’ve officially confirmed with the studio that Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite is indeed coming to the 4K Ultra HD format here in the States on 6/2.

However, some of the cover artwork that you may have seen floating around the Internet is incorrect. The official final cover artwork for the title is visible on the left there.

Audio should be the usual DTS:X, and the extras will be the same as those found on the previously released Blu-ray version (reviewed here on The Bits). More details should follow soon. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

I’ve spent (and continue to spend) most of the afternoon today chasing down interesting leads regarding upcoming Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD releases. As a result, we’ve got a couple of good items for you today...

First though, we’ve got another new BD review from Tim, who checks in with his thoughts on Fred Wolf’s animated The Point (1971), now on Blu-ray from the MVD Rewind Collection. Be sure to give it a look.

Also today, we’ve updated our 4K Ultra HD Release List (with some new UHD titles I’m about to mention) and also our Release Dates & Artwork section with all of the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K cover art and Amazon.com pre-order links. By the way, if you find that the section is missing some titles, it’s due to issues on Amazon’s side, not our end. They’re just making it very difficult for some titles to be found in their database for whatever reason. But we do appreciate your support when you order titles from them though our links—it matters, and we’re grateful for it. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents
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