My Two Cents
Thursday, 17 September 2015 12:37

Blu-ray News – Criterion’s December, plus Bad Boys 1&2, correct Hobbit Trilogy: Extended pre-orders at last, Fessenden & more

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All right, sorry for the lack of an update yesterday. As it happens, I was up at bustling Ares Studios, where pre-production on the Axanar feature film is well underway. As some of you may know, I’m the co-writer of the film’s screenplay, so we were having script and production meetings, and then producer Alec Peters, director Robert Meyer Burnett and I recorded a podcast in which we discussed the script and the writing process, and then talked about what makes a great Star Trek film. That should be up in the next day or two, so I’ll be sure to post a link when you can all listen.

Anyway, the big news today is that Criterion has just announced their December slate of Blu-ray and DVD titles, which is set to include Michael Ritchie’s Downhill Racer (Spine #494 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 12/1, Ted Wilde’s Speedy (Spine #788 – Blu-ray, DVD and Hulu) and Takashi Murakami’s Jellyfish Eyes (Spine #787 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 12/8, and finally Howard Brookner’s Burroughs: The Movie (Spine #789 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 12/15. You can see the cover artwork below.  [Read on here…]

At long last, Amazon has added Warner’s The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy – Extended Edition for pre-order on Blu-ray 3D (Amazon-exclusive, 15 discs with Ultraviolet), Blu-ray (9-disc with UltraViolet), and DVD (15-disc with UltraViolet). SRP is $99.98, $60.99, and $71.03, respectively. See the cover art with pre-order links below.

Sony has added another “newly remastered in 4K” title for Blu-ray release on 11/10, this time a Bad Boys I & II: 20th Anniversary Collection. Both are Michael Bay films, as you know, starring Martin Lawrence and Will Smith. Bad Boys includes commentary by Bay, The Boom and the Bang of Bad Boys featurette, 3 music videos, and trailers. Bad Boys II includes a Stunts and Visual Effects featurette, Production Dairies, sequence breakdowns, deleted scenes, a music video, and trailers.

Scream Factory has set The Larry Fessenden Collection for Blu-ray release on 10/20. The set will include the films No Telling (1991), Habit (1995), Wendigo (2001), and The Last Winter (2006), each with audio commentary, multiple featurettes, short films, video interviews and other extras. The set also includes a 24-page book with liner notes by Fangoria’s Michael Gingold.

Lionsgate has confirmed that The End of the Tour, due on Blu-ray and DVD on 11/3, will include audio commentary by director James Ponsoldt, screenwriter Donald Margulies, and actor Jason Segel, 2 featurettes (Behind the Tour and A Conversation with Composer Danny Elfman), and deleted scenes.

Lionsgate has also set What We Did on Our Holiday for DVD only release on 10/6. The film stars Rosamund Pike, David Tennant and Billy Connolly. The company has set Dark Places for Blu-ray and DVD release on 10/6 as well, starring Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, and Christina Hendricks. And for you Syfy fans, Lionsgate will release Ascension: A Miniseries Event on DVD only on 10/16.

A quick follow-up on our post from Tuesday: Warner Archive has now made available a pair of great Hanna-Barbera classic animated releases on MOD DVD, including Jack and the Beanstalk and the Hanna-Barbera Specials Collection (which includes The Adventures of Robin Hoodnik, Oliver and the Artful Dodger, The Last of the Curlews, The Three Musketeers, and Cyrano). You’ll find them available now on

Meanwhile, RLJ Entertainment has set The Invoking 2 for release on DVD and digital on 10/6.

And Magnolia will release Tangerine on Blu-ray and DVD on 11/10.

In other news today, director Brad Bird has recorded a video invitation encouraging everyone to see his newly-remastered animated classic, The Iron Giant, in theaters on 9/30 and 10/4. First of all, as anyone who’s ever met him knows, Brad’s just a great guy. And I absolutely love this film. Personally, I can’t wait to see it on Blu-ray (watch for that announcement very soon). Meanwhile, here’s the video:

Count me in.

Finally today, our own Russell Hammond has posted the weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section, featuring all the latest Blu-ray and DVD cover artwork and pre-order links. As always, a portion of anything you order from them after clicking through our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we appreciate it.

Here’s a look at the new Criterion cover artwork, along with proper pre-order links for all the Hobbit Trilogy: Extended SKUs (the regular BD trilogy link isn’t yet up, but we’ll post it as soon as it is)...

Bad Boys 1&2: 20th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Disc)    The Larry Fessenden Collection (Blu-ray Disc)    Downhill Racer (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)

Burroughs: The Movie (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)    Jellyfish Eyes (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)    Speedy (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)

The Hobbit Trilogy - Extended Edition (DVD)    The Hobbit Trilogy - Extended Edition (Blu-ray Disc)    The Hobbit Trilogy - Extended Edition (Blu-ray 3D)

We’ve also got a text link to pre-order that Amazon-exclusive The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies – Extended Limited Edition on Blu-ray, packed with the WETA figurine (3-disc with UltraViolet, SRP $60.99 – we’ll add an image/packaging link when it becomes available).

All right, I’m working on a review of Network’s new Space: 1999 – Series Two Region B Blu-ray (which I believe will be released in the U.S. next year). I expect to have my hands on Lost in Space: The Complete Series in the next day or two as well, so I should have a review of that up next week.

Stay tuned!

Bill Hunt


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