My Two Cents
Thursday, 06 June 2024 13:08

Seven Samurai in 4K, plus Warner Archive’s July slate, Stop Making Sense on CD + BD-A, and Warner’s working on The Terminator, Nightmare on Elm Street & more in Ultra HD!

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We start today with more new disc reviews, including...

Stephen’s look at John Flynn’s Rolling Thunder (1977) and Kimberly Peirce’s Carrie (2013) in 4K Ultra HD, as well as Jonathan Kaplan’s Over the Edge (1979) on Blu-ray, all from Shout! Factory.

Stuart’s take on Ken Loach’s documentary The Spirit of ‘45 (2013) on Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome and Alain Cavalier’s Le Combat dans l’île (1962) on Blu-ray from Radiance Films.

And Dennis’ thoughts on Kino Classics’ Vitagraph Comedies Blu-ray, featuring 40 classic shorts on three discs.

Now then, in terms of actual announcement news, we’ve got a couple of items for you and they’re pretty great. But there’s even more unofficial news, that’s no less exciting! Let’s get to the actual announcement news first...

It starts today with word that Janus Films will be debuting a brand new 4K restoration of Akira Kurosawa’s legendary epic Seven Samurai (1954) next month in New York and Los Angeles! You’ll be able to see it on 7/5 at the Film Forum in NYC and on 7/7 at the American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles. This is only my favorite film of all time. I will absolutely be at that Egyptian Theatre screening, and the fact that this restoration is now complete surely means that a physical 4K Ultra HD is coming later this year from Criterion as well. You can see the poster for this release at left, and the trailer is available for reviewing below the break. [Read on here...]

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Our friends at the Warner Archive Collection have revealed their July Blu-ray slate, which will include Clarence Leon Brown’s Idiot’s Delight (1939), King Vidor’s Northwest Passage (1940), Gene Nelson’s Elvis musical comedy Harum Scarum (1965), Roger Donaldson’s Marie: A True Story (1985), John Roberts’s War of the Buttons (1994), James Keach’s The Stars Fell on Henrietta (1995), and a Hanna-Barbera double feature of Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost (1999) and Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders (2000). The street date for all of these is 7/30.

Via Vision has revealed an August slate that streets on 8/28 and includes Pete Travis’ Dredd (2012), a Smokey and the Bandit Collection (all three films), a Substitute Collection (all four films), Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem (2012), and Christian Alvart’s Pandorum (2009) all on Blu-ray, as well as an American Psycho Collection (both films) in 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray.

And Rhino and Warner Records has just officially set the Talking Heads’ newly-remastered Stop Making Sense (1984) live album for reissue in 2 CD + Blu-ray Audio format on 7/26. Also available that day will be a 2 LP vinyl edition. The CD/BD-A SKU will include a 28-page book featuring liner notes by Tina Weymouth, David Byrne, Chris Frantz, and Jerry Harrison, while the vinyl will have a 12-page version. But here’s the key thing: That Blu-ray Audio disc will include the full concert in Dolby Atmos—essentially the same mix available on A24’s new 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray release, just as an audio-only presentation. You can see the cover artwork below (with its pre-order link)...

Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense (CD + Blu-ray Audio)

All right, now for the as-yet-unannounced stuff... is now taking pre-orders on the TBA 4K Ultra HD release of Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles: 50th Anniversary Edition (1974), James Cameron’s The Terminator: 40th Anniversary Edition (1984), Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest (1959), and Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street: 40th Anniversary Edition (1984)! There are no street dates for any of these yet, but all are likely to arrive before the end of the year from Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment. We’ve mentioned some of these titles here before, and we’ve had all of them in our 4K Ultra HD List on The Bits for a while now. So it’s good to see the releases finally starting to materialize. Here’s what two of them look like (but click on the title links in this paragraph to visit the UK pre-order links for all four)...

Blazing Saddles: 50th Anniversary Edition (UK 4K Ultra HD)

North by Northwest (UK 4K Ultra HD)

Don’t forget, we’ve also reported recently that Miloš Forman’s Amadeus (1984) is coming to 4K UHD from Warner Bros. in the coming months, and John Ford’s The Searchers (1956) has a new 6.5K restoration that’s likely to arrive on 4K disc in the next 12-24 months from the studio as well. And we know that David Fincher’s Se7en (1995) has been confirmed by the studio to be coming in Ultra HD too, probably early next year.

Meanwhile, while we mentioned yesterday that David Fincher’s Zodiac (2007) has just become available in 4K Digital on Apple TV, Vudu, and Kaleidescape, we’ve also learned that Barry Sonnenfeld’s Addams Family Values (1993) is also now available in 4K Digital on these same services. Both are Paramount titles, and it seems likely that both are on the way to 4K disc from the studio later this year. I can confirm that Bits readers have been asking after both titles for a long while now, so interest is definitely there.

I actually took a look at Zodiac last night, and I was impressed. The HDR is subtle, but it makes a difference. As I mentioned yesterday, the film was mostly shot in 10-bit RAW in 1080p HD (4:4:4), so there’s obviously not as much detail as you’d see in a native 4K presentation. Even so, the image is very dimensional. The color grade in particular is excellent. It’s definitely an improvement over the Blu-ray and it should make a good UHD disc. Certainly, it’s fair to say that this is the best this film has ever looked. If you’ve seen our review of Michael Mann’s Collateral (2004) in 4K UHD (which was also originally shot in HD), I would say this is in the same wheelhouse.

And finally today, Drafthouse Films will release the remastered Caligula: The Ultimate Cut (1979) on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD on 9/17.

We’ll leave you with a look at the new Janus Films 4K restoration trailer for Seven Samurai mentioned above. EPIC!

Back with more soon. Stay tuned…

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