All right, we’ve a LOT of ground to cover today: Tons of news and announcements, plus some good stuff here at The Bits for you too. Let’s start with the latter...

Tim has turned in new reviews of Meteor (1979) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber and also Dave Parker’s It Watches on DVD from Uncork’d Entertainment. Both are worth your time. And if you like It Watches, be sure to check out Dave’s Sweet Tooth from Tales of Halloween, as well The Hills Run Red and The Dead Reborn too.

Also today, in honor of the late George Romero, I wanted to share a special feature we did here at The Bits way back in 2001: Telling Tales with John and George. I had the honor of spending an afternoon with George and filmmaker John Harrison (Frank Herbert’s Dune) while they recorded the audio commentary for Paramount’s Tales from the Darkside: The Movie DVD. It really gives you a good sense, I think, of who George was as a person: Truly one of the kindest, warmest, and most engaging people I’ve had the pleasure to meet in my 30+ years in this industry. I hope you’ll enjoy it. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Afternoon, folks. We’re going to get you caught up on some recent release news today and we also have a preview of some interesting 4K Ultra HD titles our industry and retail sources suggest are coming before the end of the year.

But first, I want to apologize for the lack of posts late last week. On Tuesday morning, I came down with the flu. It pretty much put me out of action from Wednesday night through Friday. Seriously, I had the whole fever and body aches routine going for a good 36 hours – no fun. Moral of the story is: Get your flu shots, kids. There’s a bad one going around. In any case, thanks for your patience while I get back up to speed.

In announcement news today, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has set Daniel Espinosa’s recent sci-fi thriller Life for release on 6/20 on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD. The Digital release is expected on 6/2. The extras on all versions will include deleted scenes, unseen Astronaut Diaries, and 3 featurettes (Claustrophobic Terror: Creating a Thriller in Space, Life: In Zero G, and Creating Life: The Art and Reality of Calvin). No word yet on the 4K SKU’s audio or HDR. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, first things first: We had a hard drive meltdown at the server farm a couple of days ago, the upshot of which is that The Bits (and several other sites) crashed for about a day. We’re on a newly-built server now and we seem to be back up and running, but it’s likely that there’s going to be some tweaking needed to get back to full stability. So anyway, we appreciate your patience. With a little luck, full normality should be restored by Monday morning.

In the meantime, I posted my in-depth review of Disney and Lucasfilm’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Blu-ray on Tuesday afternoon in case you missed it. I’ll have more to say about that subject in a minute.

Also, our own Tim Salmons has posted a new Pick-Ups review of Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life: 30th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray. And Russell Hammond has posted the weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. Don’t forget, you can now sort titles by format in 4K in addition to DVD and Blu-ray. And a portion of anything you order from Amazon, after clicking to them from our links, goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we really appreciate it. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, first things first today: We have a quick bit of follow-up for you this morning on those annual original Star Wars release rumors, the latest appearance of which caused a bit of a stir yesterday (and which we commented on in yesterday’s post). I know... we’re getting tired of talking about it too, but we have what seems to be rather definitive new information.

We’ve essentially confirmed that Disney’s current 4K scan of the film is the most recent revised version (essentially the latest “special edition”), not the original theatrical edition. What’s more, Disney’s director of Library Restoration and Preservation, Theo Gluck, held a special event at Ohio State University’s Wexner Center for the Arts last night, a presentation called Animation Restoration at Walt Disney Studios. Gluck was asked there about Star Wars and reported that the original cut negative for the film currently exists in its “SE” configuration only. (There’s more info, so do continue on past the jump.) [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, folks... this is one of those posts it’s fun to write. None of this news has been officially announced, it comes from retail sources. But we know from our other industry sources that this information is legit. The street dates may change, but the titles should all be forthcoming.

The Swedish video retailer CDON.com has just listed for pre-order a number of catalog titles that we’ve known were either in production or planning for a while now, but the news is starting to break. They include (listed by studio and European street date):

Universal – The Mummy (1999 – 5/22), The Mummy Returns (5/22), The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (5/22), Despicable Me (6/12), Despicable Me 2 (6/12), Gladiator (6/12)

Sony – The Bridge on the River Kwai (6/19), Spider-Man (6/26), Spider-Man 2 (6/26), Spider-Man 3 (6/26), The Amazing Spider-Man (6/26) [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
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