My Two Cents
Monday, 16 January 2023 14:50

Moonage Daydream is coming from Criterion, plus Sudden Death 4K, Turbine’s Knight Rider Blu-ray box & Jodorowsky’s Tron (?!)

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Today being a federal holiday here in the States, there’s not a ton of announcement news to report on this afternoon, but we do have a few interesting odds and ends.

First though, a couple more new disc reviews...

Dennis has posted his thoughts on John M. Stahl’s Imitation of Life (1934), which is new on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection.

And Stephen has taken a look at Louis Malle’s Pretty Baby (1978) on Blu-ray from Paramount via Imprint Films.

Now then... in announcement news today, Neon has confirmed that four of their recent titles—Ruben Östlund’s Triangle of Sadness (2022), Brett Morgen’s terrific David Bowie documentary Moonage Daydream (2022), Laura Poitras’ All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (2022), and Céline Sciamma’s Petite Maman (2021)—are all going to be coming from the Criterion Collection, presumably to Blu-ray and/or 4K Ultra HD. [Read on here...]

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Speaking of Criterion, the company has just teased that they’ll be announcing their April Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD release slate tomorrow (1/17) as well, so be sure to watch for that in the morning.

And while we’re on the subject of Criterion, I don’t know if this particular title will be announced tomorrow, but I’ve heard from sources that among the titles the company is currently working on for eventual 4K Ultra HD release are Terry Gilliam’s The Fisher King (1991) and Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise (1991).

One more point to note: Criterion is now offering a Blu-ray replacement program for Pierrot le Fou copies purchased after the 2020 release. These reinstate the “green scene” and can be recognized by the words “Second Pressing” on the disc. In order to receive yours, “Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your shipping address and a photo of your name and the date written on the front/art side of your current disc in Sharpie, paint marker, or white out.” Thanks to Bits reader Chad D. for the heads-up.

In other news today, Lionsgate has set Elegance Bratton’s The Inspection (2022) and Ryuhei Kitamura’s The Price We Pay (2022) for Blu-ray release on 2/21, followed by Francis Ford Coppola’s B’Twixt Now and Sunrise (2011/2022) and Edward Drake’s Detective Knight: Independence (2023) on 2/28.

Kino Lorber Studio Classics has revealed that Peter Hyams’ Sudden Death (1995) will be “coming soon” to 4K Ultra HD. They’re also working on Joseph Sargent’s The Hell with Heroes (1968) for Blu-ray (also coming soon).

And word from director Steve De Jarnatt on Facebook (click here) is that KLSC is also working on new Blu-rays of his Cherry 2000 (1987) and Miracle Mile (1988), via fresh 4K scans from the camera negatives and with tons of new and legacy special features. Look for them both later in 2023.

Also, for those of you who might not be aware, Turbine Media’s new Knight Rider: The Complete Series – 40th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray release (which came out in Germany at the end of December) features—for the first time ever—all of the original uncut music from the episodes. It includes all 84 episodes of the series, plus Knight Rider 2000, Knight Rider 2010, and the complete Team Knight Rider. You can order it here on the Turbine web shop (and you can read more about this here). The set isn’t cheap, but it’s definitely the definitive release of this series. And according to reports, it’s not region locked.

Another interesting note: It appears that Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven (2001), Ocean’s Twelve (2004), and Ocean’s Thirteen (2007) have been scanned and remastered in 4K and they’re streaming that way with Dolby Vision on Netflix in Japan. (Tip of the hat to our friends at The 4K CollectivE for spotting that.) Combined with the recent news we’ve posted about many of director Clint Eastwood’s films having recently been remastered and approved in 4K, this certainly suggests that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment may be stepping up its 4K UHD catalog output in the months and years ahead. Or at the very least, making more of these films available in 4K Digitally and via streaming.

Finally today, this is absolutely fascinating and deeply concerning all at once: The New York Times has posted an interesting opinion piece by Frank Pavich, the director of the excellent Jodorowsky’s Dune documentary, about the explosion of AI-generated imagery being made using Midjourney and other similar apps (DALL-E, Stable Diffusion, and many others). Specifically, people have been creating imagery for a hypothetical version of Disney’s Tron, as if it had been directed in 1976 by Alejandro Jodorowsky instead. And the results are... startling. And extraordinary. Also, alarming. I can think of a whole series of adjectives to describe this trend and the use of this technology.

Keep in mind, that while this is just still imagery, and the results are sometimes far from perfect, this capability is going to be coming to moving imagery as well in the future, and much sooner than most people realize. It’s going to transform filmmaking. You’d better believe that someone like James Cameron will use this technology to unleash his own imagination in new ways. You can also imagine others using it for much more nefarious purposes. As a futurist, a technology enthusiast, and a science fiction writer myself, I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the ultimate expression of this kind of technology and the myriad of ways it will transform society and creativity. But I’ve also been surprised by how uneven most people’s awareness is that such a capability already exists today—it seems there’s a certain tech-savvy audience that’s been very closely following these developments in various social media channels and Reddit groups online, but a lot of other people are only just marginally aware of it. Maybe they’ve heard terms like AI, Midjourney, and Chat GPT (etc) being used in news reports, but they’re not sure what any of it really means. Well, this Times piece by Pavich really brings it home, in terms of what it could mean for the future of cinema. And so for that reason, I thought it was well worth sharing here. I’ll probably talk more about this in the weeks and months to come, but in the meantime, prepare to be amazed by Frank Pavich’s This Film Does Not Exist.

This Film Does Not Exist

All right, back with more tomorrow! Stay tuned...

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