My Two Cents
Monday, 24 February 2020 16:47

Knives Out 4K reviewed, War of the Worlds BD down under, Their Finest Hour & Katherine Johnson RIP

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We’re kicking off the new week with a pair of new disc reviews here at The Bits...

It starts with my thoughts on Rian Johnson’s fantastic ‘Whodunnit?’ Knives Out, which streets on 4K Ultra HD tomorrow from Lionsgate. Not only is it a great film, it’s one of the best special editions for a new-release film I’ve seen since The Last Jedi, with a terrific feature-length documentary by our old friend Cliff Stephenson. Don’t even hesitate—just buy the disc right now here and you won’t regret it.

I’ve also reviewed Kino Lorber Studio Classics’ new Blu-ray edition of Guy Hamilton’s Force 10 from Navarone, the 1978 sequel to J Lee Thompson’s original The Guns of Navarone some 18 years in the making. The film stars Harrison Ford, Robert Shaw, and Carl Weathers. The disc streets on March 17th.

There’s not a lot in the way of release news today, but we’ve got a couple things to report... [Read on here...]

First up, Paramount has set The Night Clerk for release on DVD and Digital on 4/7.

Also, GKids and Shout! Factory are releasing the anime title Promare on Blu-ray/DVD Combo and Steelbook on 5/19, with the Digital release due on 5/5.

And Film Movement and Studio Canal have set Their Finest Hour: 5 British WWII Classics for release on Blu-ray on 3/17, including Went the Day Well? (1942), The Colditz Story (1955), The Dam Busters (1955), Dunkirk (1858), and Ice Cold in Alex (1958). The set will also include over 5 hours of bonus material, including the documentaries Colditz Revealed, 617 Squadron Remembers, The Making of The Dam Busters, and John Mills Home Movie Footage, as well as a 24-page booklet. SRP is $84.95.

Finally, here’s something interesting: Madman Entertainment in Australia is going to be releasing The War of the Worlds (1953) on Blu-ray on 5/27 (you can see the cover art above left). The limited edition (just 1500 units) is mastered from the new 4K restoration of the original camera negative and will include exclusive audio commentary by film critics Barry Forshaw & Kim Newman, audio commentary by actor Gene Barry and actress Ann Robinson, audio commentary by Joe Dante, Bob Burns, and Bill Warren, The Sky is Falling: Making The War of the Worlds documentary, the H.G. Wells: The Father of Science Fiction featurette, The Mercury Theatre on the Air Presents: The War of the Worlds Radio Broadcast from 1938, and the film’s theatrical trailer. This MAY or may not be region locked, but we’ve contacted Paramount here in the States to see if they have any intention of producing a wide release here in Region 1 (if we hear anything, we’ll let you know).

All right, in other news today—and it’s particularly relevant given my review of Knives Out—I wanted to share a great recent article on Polygon about cinematographer Steve Yedlin’s decade-long image science research into what it is exactly that makes film look like film... and how to replicate it with digital capture. It’s pure nerdy cinema goodness and a must read for fans of 4K especially. You’ll find that here (and thanks to Charlie Brigden for sharing the link with me).

And before we go, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of mathematician Katherine Johnson, whose pioneering computing work at NASA in the 1960s helped Americans to land on the Moon. Johnson and her contemporaries were the subject of the 2016 book Hidden Figures (and the later film of the same name). She will certainly be missed... and long remembered. You can read more on her here and here.

All right, we’ll be back tomorrow with more disc reviews and also a new History, Legacy and Showmanship retrospective from our own Michael Coate.

Stay tuned...

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



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