My Two Cents
Friday, 15 May 2020 15:16

His Dark Materials, Criterion’s full August slate, a “new” Mad Max: Fury Road doc, SAE/Twilight Time news & more

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Afternoon, folks! And welcome to Friday. Is anyone else out there as ready for the weekend as we are?

This has been a busy week of just “three steps forward two steps backward” behind-the-scenes work here at The Bits. We got a lot done, but very little of it is visible to any of you. But that’s how it goes sometimes.

We’re all working on more reviews here at the site today (and we will be through the weekend—including War of the Worlds 4K and Days of Thunder 4K), but we do have some interesting release news to report today.

First up, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and HBO have just set His Dark Materials: The Complete First Season for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 8/4 (SRP $29.98 each). [Read on here...]

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You’ll get all 8 episodes, along with 9 featurettes (Making His Dark Materials, Dafne Keen: Bringing Lyra Belacqua to Life, Ruth Wilson: Bringing Mrs. Coulter to Life, Lin-Manuel Miranda: Bringing Lee Scoresby to Life, James McAvoy: Bringing Lord Asriel to Life, Adapting His Dark Materials, The Daemons of His Dark Materials, Dressing His Dark Materials, and Building His Dark Materials). Many of these featurettes have been seen online, but Making His Dark Materials is new and exclusive to the home video release. Audio will be Dolby Digital 5.1. You can see the cover artwork above and also below.

The big news today is that Criterion has just announced its August slate of titles, which is set to include Volker Schlöndorff and Margarethe von Trotta’s The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (Spine #177 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 8/4, the previously announced The Complete Films of Agnès Varda (Blu-ray only) on 8/11, Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker’s Town Bloody Hall (Spine #1039 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Paul Schrader’s The Comfort of Strangers (Spine #1041 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 8/18, and Jean Renoir’s Toni (Spine #1040 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 8/25. You’ll find the cover artwork below (we’ll add the Amazon links when they become available). FYI, we posted full details on the Varda box set here at The Bits earlier this week (click here for that).

Now then, we mentioned the other day that Warner Bros. is going to be releasing TV’s classic 1970s Wonder Woman: The Complete Collection on Blu-ray on 7/28. The title is finally available for pre-order on Amazon and you can find that link below (just click on the cover art).

His Dark Materials: Season One (Blu-ray Disc) Wonder Woman: The Complete Series (Blu-ray Disc) The Complete Agnès Varda (Blu-ray Disc)

The Comfort of Strangers (Criterion Blu-ray Disc) Town Bloody Hall (Criterion Blu-ray Disc) The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)

Toni (Criterion Blu-ray Disc) Hair (Blu-ray Disc) Flash Gordon (UK 4K Ultra HD)

Also newly available for pre-order on is Studio Canal’s forthcoming 4K Ultra HD restoration of Mike Hodges’s Flash Gordon (1980). We don’t know if is going to be shipping the title to the US given the pandemic disruption, but we’ve included the link for those of you who can make use of it. For the rest of you, it’s available here from Zavvi (and they will ship to the US). Street date in the UK is August 3.

Flash Gordon (UK 4K Ultra HD)

In other news today, Bits reader Cory W. sent us a link (thanks Cory!) to an AV Club story that’s going to be of interest to many of you. There’s apparently a 45-minute documentary called Going Mad: The Battle of Fury Road on the making of George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road available from Warner Bros. It apparently wasn’t completed in time to make the Blu-ray or 4K Ultra HD releases, but it’s been added to the film’s Digital editions on iTunes (and possibly elsewhere). So hell! That’s frustrating. However, good that it’s at least available somehow. You can find it here. [Editor’s Note: Apparently, Movies Anywhere Digital copies have been updated to include this doc too.]

And finally, Screen Archives Entertainment has posted a notice on its Facebook page suggesting that it’s acquired Twilight Time’s back catalog of titles. Per the post: “Screen Archives Entertainment has reached an agreement with Twilight Time Movies to purchase the company’s extensive Twilight Time Movies inventory or back catalog effective July 1, 2020. The agreement ensures that the Twilight Time label will continue indefinitely, according to the principals.” However, this may or may not (but doesn’t appear to) mean that Twilight Time is going to produce new content. The post goes on to say: “No further details will be made available until after July 1, 2020.” Again, what this means we’re not sure. But our sources say don’t get your hopes up, at least for now.

All right, that’s all for today. Hope you have a great weekend and we’ll see you back here on Monday.


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




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