My Two Cents
Tuesday, 09 October 2018 11:29

Bud on Burt, plus New on Blu-ray

[What follows is a feature I wrote for The Daily Oklahoman about one of the greatest movie stars and human beings ever… Burt Reynolds]

Maybe it was the mustache. Or the unscripted quips. Or the genteel Southern manner.

Or just maybe it was that laugh, a cackle delivered by one comfortable in his own skin – inviting his audience gut bust with him, as though they were all in a private joke.

That’s our Burt. And he’s, unbelievably, gone.

Fame, according to Jeanine Bissinger, is “often conferred or withheld just as is love, for reasons and on grounds other than merits.” Burt Reynolds earned his fame with raw boned talent and insight into the business of filmed diversion. [Read on here...]

First things first today...

No sooner did we post word from retail sources yesterday that Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom is expected to street on Blu-ray, DVD, Blu-ray 3D, and 4K Ultra HD on 9/18 (pending Universal’s official announcement), we learned this...

20th Century Fox Home Entetainment is now expected to release John McTiernan’s original Predator (1987) on 4K Ultra HD on 8/7. And we know this because the title is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com for that date (SRP $39.99, but Amazon has it for $34.19). You can see the official cover artwork at left and also below the break.

We’re awaiting Fox’s official announcement, which we expect at any time now, but this should be a full new native 4K film scan and restoration from the original camera negative and it should finally rid the film of the godawful DNR scrubbing it’s been given on past Blu-ray editions.

The disc will also include a Blu-ray copy in the package, and we suspect that this will be mastered from the same 4K scan too (but we’ll have to wait for the press release to confirm that officially, along with other details). [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents
Tuesday, 05 June 2018 12:18

Dailies – Severin Films

When it comes to the depths of obscurity, few companies manage to put out consistently under the radar material like Severin Films.

Digging up everything from cult horror oddities to lost exploitation classics, it’s clear that little known and underappreciated cinema is their bread and butter.

Some of the company’s most notable releases include Bloody Moon, Hardware, BMX Bandits, Santa Sangre, The Other Hell, Cathy’s Curse, and The Devil’s Honey.

Today, we’re going to be taking a look at a few of their more recent releases, including many we haven’t reviewed here at The Digital Bits before. [Read on here...]

Published in Dailies
Wednesday, 30 May 2018 10:50

On Someone with Foresight & Recent Releases

Sometimes it’s wonderful to find someone who hails from the same planet as you. I go to film festivals and am always pleased to find intelligent, well dressed and conversant people on subjects close to my heart. These folks, somewhat like yours truly, are professionals, go to work every day, raise families and live contemplative and productive lives. And, well, like a fool such as I, love, as Pauline Kael once said, “when the lights go down.”

I’ve been extremely lucky – I’ve had mentors and friends who have done their dead level best to educate me in the ways of the world while also sharing their deep and abiding love for everything silver and screen. [Read on here...]

First things first today... some of you may have seen my reviews of Mel Gibson’s Braveheart and Ridley Scott’s Gladiator on 4K Ultra HD when I posted them late on Friday night, but if not... there you go. Both are coming out on 5/15 from Paramount in reference quality (or very close to it) and they’re certainly the best way to see these films yet bar none.

Also today, Tim has just posted reviews of Kino Lorber Studio Classics’ outstanding new The Outer Limits: Season One box set, along with Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty: Season 1 and Season 2, all on Blu-ray. Each of these titles are well worth a look.

In 4K Ultra HD catalog news, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has just set The Quick and the Dead for release on the format on 7/17. The 4K disc will feature Dolby Atmos audio and HDR10. It will also include the previous Blu-ray extras and will add 7 never-before-seen deleted scenes for this release. We’ve updated the 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Bits accordingly. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, this is just a quick post today, but it’s an important one...

First up, I’ve just completed my in-depth review of Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther in 4K Ultra HD from Marvel and Disney. As you probably already know, it’s a great installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and an interesting 4K release for a couple of reasons. Do check it out.

I’m currently working on a review of Universal’s The Incredible Hulk in 4K Ultra HD too (speaking of the MCU). What’s more, I expect to have my hands on Paramount’s Braveheart and Gladiator in 4K Ultra HD sometime today. So those reviews will be posted as soon as possible too. Be sure to check back for them. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Okay… the first of our big 4K Ultra HD catalog reviews this week is in the works and we hope to have it for you bright and early tomorrow morning. First though, we need to take care of an important bit of site business. Please read on (and bear with us a moment)...

For over twenty years now, from the dawn of DVD to the rise of 4K Ultra HD, The Digital Bits has been a powerful advocate for home media enthusiasts online. From our unique position within the industry, we’ve shared our love and knowledge of film, advised our readers honestly and well through two format wars, helped to make the adoption of the latest home theater technology easier, and served as a bridge between enthusiasts and the Hollywood professionals that produce our favorite content.

But in recent years, our costs to operate The Bits have unfortunately increased, from contributors and equipment, to servers, bandwidth, even cybersecurity, even as advertising revenue has dropped all across the Internet (outside of social media), leading to the disappearance of all too many popular websites. When even an enthusiast-favorite company like Oppo can’t keep going in this climate, you know things are tough. Yet we think it’s incredibly important for us to keep fighting for the continued survival of physical media on behalf of all of you out there who love it. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents
Monday, 15 January 2018 00:14

The Place to Be

A little preface – I started writing my little nickel and dime pieces for the holidays not before December 25 but after. And I’ll tell you why. How many of us receive as presents gift cards – they’re easily purchased and delivered. However, many have time limits and they’re incredibly easy to lose. Come on, you’ve lost a few, haven’t you?

So, I write up these fabulous video gifts because you have gift money to spend. And please do so.

When I was in the throes of graduation from Purcell Oklahoma High School about 40 years ago, we Seniors observed a tradition that I’m sure in some form or fashion was copied throughout the country – we had to complete a form that listed our personal “likes.” You know, favorite song, favorite type food, favorite movie, etc. [Read on here...]

Thursday, 19 October 2017 13:35

Dailies – Umbrella Entertainment

As many of us already know, when you’re searching for a film that has been elusive as far as DVD and Blu-ray are concerned, looking elsewhere in the world might just yield you a copy of what you seek. To that end, on the other side of the globe (Australia to be exact), Umbrella Entertainment is releasing a number of hard to find titles, as well as upgrades of already existing ones. From the obscure to the mainstream, there’s always something in their library worthy of your attention.

For example, their recent Blu-ray release of Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films and Machete Maidens Unleashed!. It’s an exclusive title piled high with extras, almost none of which you’ll find on the DVD-only state-side releases. Be sure to check out our review of it as well. And while their DVDs are Region 4 encoded, ALL of Umbrella Entertainment’s Blu-ray releases are Region Free, regardless of what the online description or final packaging states. So no matter what your setup is, you can watch their Blu-rays. Speaking of which, here are several recent titles worthy of your attention. [Read on here...]

Published in Dailies
Tuesday, 10 October 2017 12:30

Scream for a Week Returns! – October 10, 2017

After a bit of an absence from the site, my annual Scream for a Week column makes its return with a batch of new great titles!

It’s been a few months since I’ve been able to do one of these, due mostly to some site work preventing me from doing so. Instead of mixing it up with both old and new content like before, I’ll be covering several recent releases instead.

Scream Factory has been putting out so much great content lately that it’s been a bit difficult to keep up with. Regardless, here’s a grouping of their more recent titles that we haven’t covered here at The Bits previously, with more to come in the future. [Read on here…]

Published in Dailies
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