My Two Cents

Criterion Pan’s Labyrinth & new pre-orders, plus 4K hardware & early UHD BD sales exceed early BD sales

June 28, 2016 - 4:37 pm   |   by
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[Editor’s Note: Be sure to follow us on Twitter @thedigitalbits @BillHuntBits and on Facebook here and here. And you can help support The Bits by pre-ordering Blu-rays and other items from Amazon through this link.]

First up today, I wanted to direct your attention to Michael Coate’s recent History Legacy & Showmanship retrospective column here at The Bits, celebrating the 35th anniversary of the classic James Bond film For Your Eyes Only. We posted it last Friday afternoon and – as Friday posts tend to get overlooked as people head out to enjoy their weekend – I wanted to make sure you all knew about it. It’s well worth your time, so do give it a look here.

Also, we’ve now got the final cover artwork for Warner’s forthcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Man of Steel, and Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut on 4K Ultra HD format. All three titles street on 7/19, and we have word that Batman v Superman will be the first 100GB (3-layer) title on the format here in the States. Here’s a look at the official cover artwork for all three...  [Read on here…]

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)    Man of Steel (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)    Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)

X-Men: Apocalypse (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)    Independence Day: Resurgence (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)    Warcraft (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)

And here’s something that should come as a surprise to no one (given that we’ve just posted the official pre-order cover art above): Fox’s X-Men: Apocalypse is now available for pre-order on Amazon (on Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo, and 4K Ultra HD Combo). So too is Independence Day: Resurgence (on Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo, and 4K Ultra HD Combo). Street dates are TBA. Also available for pre-order are Disney’s Finding Dory (on Blu-ray 3D Combo and Blu-ray Combo) and Captain America: Civil War on (Blu-ray 3D Combo and Blu-ray Combo), and Universal’s Warcraft (on Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo). Again, street dates are all TBA. Click on the links provided (or on the cover art above) to pre-order and remember that doing so helps to support our work here at The Bits (which we appreciate!).

Meanwhile today, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has announced The Strain: The Complete Second Season for Blu-ray and DVD release on 8/23. Extras will include deleted scenes, a Gag Reel, audio commentary on Night Train featuring Carlton Cuse, and 4 featurettes (Meet the Crew of The Strain, The White Room, Beyond the Page, and Sentient strigoi).

Speaking of Fox, the studio has just announced A Bigger Splash for Blu-ray and DVD release on 9/6, with Digital HD due on 8/19. The film was an official selection at the 2015 Venice Film Festival.

Paramount has set The Man Who Knew Infinity for Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD release on 8/23.

This is pretty cool: Director Guillermo del Toro has just leaked (via Twitter) plans for a Criterion 10th Anniversary Blu-ray release of Pan’s Labyrinth! More details as they’re announced. Meanwhile, you can see the cover artwork above left.

Arrow Video U.S. and MVD Entertainment have set Microwave Massacre for Blu-ray/DVD Combo release on 8/16, followed by The Bloodstained Butterfly on 8/23.

Kino Lorber has announced that The Lodger (1944) is coming soon to Blu-ray and No Retreat, No Surrender (1986) is coming soon to both Blu-ray and DVD.

Our friends at Olive Films have announced their September slate of titles, all of which will be available on both Blu-ray and DVD on 9/13. They’ll include Yours, Mine & Ours, The Monster of Piedras Blancas, The Horrible Dr. Hichcock, Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe, Cecil B. DeMille’s The Captive, Jekyll and Hyde... Together Again, and Mankillers. Here’s a little bit of that cover artwork...

Captive (Blu-ray Disc)    Commando Cody (Blu-ray Disc)    Yours, Mine & Ours (Blu-ray Disc)

A quick update on a title we mentioned the other day: We’re hearing reports that the Caprica discs in that Battlestar Galactica: Ultimate Collection U.K. box set are – while All Region – in 1080/50i video... and 50Hz video is not 100% compatible with U.S. players and displays. Those with projectors should be fine, the question is whether your flat panel will display it or not (some can display it, while others need the video to be converted to 60Hz). Many U.S. Blu-ray players can play 50Hz content and/or convert it to 60Hz, but some can’t (for example Sony’s PlayStation 3 can’t do so, but the PlayStation 4 can). We’ll confirm this as soon as possible, but we just wanted to alert you to it.

While we’re talking hardware, Sony has just announced that its new line of 4K Ultra HDTVs is now available for pre-order and will arrive in stores in July. These include the following models: XBR-65X750D (65” class – $2,299), XBR-55X700D (55” class – $1,499), XBR-49X800D (49” class – $1,499), XBR-49X700D (49” class – $999), and XBR-43X800D (43” class – $1,299). You can read more on this here.

And finally, Epson has also just announced a new line-up of consumer and home theater enthusiast grade 4K UHD-compatible projectors. They include the Home Cinema 5040UB and wireless Home Cinema 5040UBe (both under $3000), and the premium Pro Cinema 6040UB and Pro Cinema 4040. These are 1080p projectors, but they use 4K Enhancement Technology to render a better than 1080p image from native 4K content. They’re also compatible with High Dynamic Range, and are 3D-ready. All four projectors offer 2,500 lumens and a 1,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. The Pro Cinema units add ISF-certified calibration tools and lockable memory modes for high-end enthusiasts. Click on the BOLD model number links to visit Epson’s official page for each unit.

Finally today, my old friend T.K. Arnold, over on Variety, is reporting that early sales of Ultra HD Blu-ray format discs are exceeding early sales of the existing Blu-ray format discs during its first months back in 2006. You can read more on that here.

All right, that’s all for now. Stay tuned... 

- Bill Hunt (@BillHuntBits)


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