My Two Cents
Thursday, 17 November 2022 10:16

Banshees of Inisherin, Prey for the Devil, Crunchyroll’s February slate, reviews of E.T. & Dressed to Kill on UHD & Michael Jackson’s Thriller in 4K!

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Morning, folks! We’ve got an early update here on The Bits today with a few more new disc reviews, and some interesting release news as well. First, those reviews...

I’ve just completed a look at Universal’s new E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial: 40th Anniversary Edition 4K Ultra HD release, which came out a few weeks ago. It’s interesting in that both the 4K and accompanying Blu-ray are completely new discs, each of which carries over all the extras from the previous 35th Anniversary release while adding a couple of new features too. A/V quality is essentially the same as before, though the 4K disc is now a BD-100, presumably to allow for the addition of the special features. You can learn more here.

Tim has also just completed a review of Harry Essex’s I, the Jury (1953) which is now available in 4K from ClassicFlix. The package includes a Blu-ray as well, featuring the film in HD and also 3D. And he’s posted a review of Brian De Palma’s Dressed to Kill (1980) in 4K from Kino Lorber Studio Classics for your reading enjoyment too.

More reviews are forthcoming soon, including my take on Criterion’s new 4K Ultra HD release of WALL-E from Pixar.

Also here at the site this morning, we’d like to call your attention to Michael Coate’s retrospective look at Steven Spielberg’s sci-if classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which celebrated its 45th anniversary yesterday. Michael shared a great Q&A with film historians on the occasion of its 40th anniversary in 2017, and that discussion is well worth checking out if you missed it then. You’ll also find interesting details on the film’s original theatrical release. Enjoy! [Read on here...]

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Now then, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution has just announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin on 12/20, with the Digital release set for 12/13. The film stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. McDonagh is of course the director of In Bruges and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Extras will include 5 deleted scenes and the Creating The Banshees of Inisherin featurette. You can see the cover artwork above left and also below.

Lionsgate has set Prey for the Devil for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 1/3/23. The company has also announced the release of American Murderer on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/13. The Digital version of the latter is already available.

RLJE Films and Shudder have set Creepshow: Season 3 for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/6. This is of course the recent reboot series. The set includes all 6 episodes, plus video of a Comic-Con@Home panel discussion, behind-the-scenes footage, a photo gallery, and a comic art booklet.

Synapse Films has announced the release of Joy N. Houck Jr.’s Creature from Black Lake (1976) on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/13. The film is mastered from a new 4K scan and restoration, and features the camera work of the great cinematographer Dean Cundey (Halloween, Apollo 13, Jurassic Park).

Crunchyroll has revealed their February Blu-ray and DVD release slate, which is set to include Horimiya: The Complete Season (Blu-ray + DVD), Horimiya: The Complete Season Limited Edition (Blu-ray + DVD), and How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord: Season 2 (Blu-ray) on 2/7/23, followed by The Slime Diaries: The Complete Season (Blu-ray) and World Witches Take Off!: The Complete Season (Blu-ray) on 2/14, and Love After World Domination: The Complete Season (Blu-ray) on 2/21.

The Cinema Guild will release Ramon and Silvan Zürcher’s The Girl and the Spider on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/27.

For those of you living down under, Via Vision Entertainment has announced a few new titles for release in December, including Almost Famous: The Bootleg Cut (4K UHD), a double-feature of Cabin Fever and Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (BD), Sons and Daughters: Collection Six (DVD), Homecoming: The Complete Series (DVD), Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Definitive Edition (DVD), The Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: The Complete Collection (DVD), Gomorrah: Seasons 4 & 5 + The Immortal (DVD), and Good Girls: The Complete Series (DVD) on 12/7, followed by The Virginian: Collection 2 (Seasons 4-6) (DVD) on 12/14.

For you erotic horror fans, Blue Underground has just announced the 2/21/23 release of Jesús Franco’s Marquis de Sade’s Justine (1969) and Eugenie… The Story of Her Journey into Perversion (1970 – aka Marquis de Sade’s Philosophy in the Boudoir) in 4K Ultra HD. Each is remastered from the uncensored original camera negative and will feature Dolby Vision HDR, DTS-HD Master Audio sound, and numerous extras.

We’d also like to let you know that Criterion’s February 2023 Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD slate (which was announced yesterday) is now available for pre-order on Amazon, and you’ll find the linked cover artwork below.

Also now available for pre-order via Amazon are a couple of books that may be of interest to Star Wars fans. Some of you may recall that Taschen released Paul Duncan’s The Star Wars Archives: 1977-1983 and The Star Wars Archives: 1999-2005 as mammoth coffee table books back in 2018 and 2020. Well, they’re now about to publish much cheaper, wide release hardback versions of each in honor of Taschen’s 40th anniversary. The new more affordable version of The Star Wars Archives: 1977-1983 streets on 11/30 (click here to pre-order it) while the new version of The Star Wars Archives: 1999-2005 arrives on 2/13/23 (click here for that). Each is over 500 pages, filled with rare photos and new interviews, and each now sells for just $24 (compared to the original $200 SRP for each). My thanks to the Bits readers who called my attention to the new editions.

And here’s a welcome surprise today: The Michael Jackson estate has restored Michael Jackson’s Thriller (which was directed by John Landis) and his Beat It music video in 4K and its apparently going to release them on Digital later this week. However (and we don’t know if this is a leak or what), both are now available for free viewing on the Internet Archive (click here and here). And the result is pretty damn impressive. Now if only we could get Captain EO in 4K and Blu-ray 3D!

Michael Jackson's Thriller in 4K

Finally today, I’d like to make one last call to support of our work here at The Digital Bits before the holidays. As I’ve mentioned recently, we’ve got another round of server and software upgrades that need to be completed early in 2023, and while advertising and Amazon affiliate commissions certainly help, they don’t always fully cover our infrastructure costs here at the site. So if you value the work we’ve been doing here at The Bits on behalf of physical media fans for the past twenty-five years, we would really appreciate it if you would consider making a donation to support those efforts via PayPal. We’re always working to become more efficient around here, so that we can do more great reviews and industry news coverage with the limited resources we have, and every little bit really makes a difference. So thank you in advance, and no matter what we appreciate each and every one of you—new readers and those who’ve been with us since the beginning way back in 1997 alike!

CLICK HERE to BACK THE BITS in our fight to preserve Physical Media

All right, we’ll leave you today with a look at those Criterion covers again (now with Amazon pre-order links) as well as Banshees...

Three Colors Trilogy (Criterion 4K Ultra HD) Romeo and Juliet (Criterion Blu-ray Disc) Dazed and Confused (Criterion 4K Ultra HD)

Hollywood Shuffle (Criterion Blu-ray Disc) Two Films by Marguerite Duras (Criterion Blu-ray Disc) The Banshees of Inisherin (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...!

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



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