All right, we’re starting off with this...
You can get Fox’s outstanding Alien Anthology Blu-ray box set today on Amazon.com (here at this link) for just $20. That’s a whopping 67% off the SRP, so act fast. This is one of the best box sets ever produced, with all four Alien films remastered in stunning HD quality (including the Alien 3: Restored Workprint Version) on 6 discs, with a massive bounty of extras (including two full discs of bonus content) all created by our old friend Charles de Lauzirika. Those documentaries alone are worth dropping $20 for this package, so if you haven’t picked up a copy yet... now’s the time!
I should add here that if you’re waiting for Fox to release a 4K upgraded Alien Anthology box set, you’re going to be waiting a while. Only the original Alien is being released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray in 2019. There may be a new Alien box set that includes the Anthology contents on Blu-ray along with Alien, Prometheus, and Alien: Covenant in 4K. We’ve seen artwork packaging artwork circulating (from Amazon.jp). But if you already have Prometheus and Alien: Covenant in 4K, your smartest best at this point is to buy the new Alien 4K release when it arrives and pick up the Anthology for $20 ASAP. [Read on here...]
(As I am writing this month’s column, word spread that the world had lost Nick Redman, a man of incomparable vision and love of classic films. He was a friend of mine and this entire website. I’ll write more next time.)
Maybe it was the mustache. Or the unscripted quips. Or the genteel Southern manner.
Or just maybe it was that laugh, a bombastic cackle delivered by one comfortable in his own skin – inviting his audience gut bust with him, as though they were all in a private joke.
That’s our Burt. And he’s, unbelievably, gone. [Read on here...]
And... it’s official! 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will release Ridley Scott’s original Alien on 4K Ultra HD on 4/23 in honor of the film’s 40th anniversary. A Steelbook version will also be available exclusively at Best Buy (pictured below).
Per the press release: “The film was restored in 4K in 2018 by 20th Century Fox at Company 3/Deluxe Entertainment Services Group, supervised by Ridley Scott and Pam Dery, with the 4K scans were done at EFilm.”
The release will include the 1979 Theatrical Version (with the 1999 audio commentary by Ridley Scott) and the 2003 Director’s Cut (with the 2003 commentary by Scott and members of the cast and crew), both the composer’s original isolated score and the final theatrical isolated score in Dolby Digital 4.1, and deleted scenes. (And we believe that all of that will be on the actual 4K disc, but we’re checking to confirm.) [Read on here...]
We’ve some interesting release news today, starting with a little heads-up: Sources say that the long-anticipated official announcement of Ridley Scott’s Alien on 4K Ultra HD is happening very soon. So be sure to watch for that. We’ll have all the details here as soon as they’re official.
In other 4K announcement news, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has made Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down official for release on the format on 5/7.
It will include both the Theatrical and Extended cuts of the film newly remastered in 4K from the original camera negative and featuring an HDR grade approved by Scott. Both will also feature a new Dolby Atmos sound mix. [Read on here...]
“Fanboys is significant in that it shows how fandoms can argue without completely going toxic.” — Bill Watters, BleedingCool.com
The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 10th anniversary of the release of Fanboys, the cinematic love letter to Star Wars (and geek culture and fandom in general).
Directed by Kyle Newman (The Hollow, Taylor Swift music videos Clean and Style) and with a screenplay by Ernest Cline (Ready Player One) and Adam F. Goldberg (The Goldbergs), the long-in-production comedy starred Jay Baruchel (Tropic Thunder, She’s Out of My League), Dan Fogler (Balls of Fury, Good Luck Chuck), Sam Huntington (Being Human, Superman Returns), Christopher Marquette (Freddy vs. Jason, Race to Witch Mountain), and Kristen Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Frozen). The film also features a series of amusing celebrity cameos, including Carrie Fisher, William Shatner and Billy Dee Williams. [Read on here...]
All right, Disney has just officially announced the Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD release of Rob Marshall’s Mary Poppins Returns on 3/19, with their Digital 4K and Movies Anywhere release set for a week earlier on 3/12. There will apparently also be a “Digital Bundle” of the film with the original 1964 Mary Poppins (we don’t know what resolution that original film will be). Audio on the Blu-rays will be English 7.1 DTS-HD MA. Assume standard HDR10 at least on the physical 4K (the digital 4K may offer Dolby Vision).
In terms of extras, the Blu-rays will include the deleted song The Anthropomorphic Zoo, the 4-part The Practically Perfect Making of Mary Poppins Returns documentary (includes Introduction, (Underneath the) Lovely London Sky, Can You Imagine That?, and Nowhere to Go But Up), the 4-part Seeing Things From a Different Point of View: The Musical Numbers of Mary Poppins Returns documentary (includes Trip a Little Light Fantastic, The Royal Doulton Music Hall/A Cover Is Not the Book, Turning Turtle, and Can You Imagine That?), Back to Cherry Tree Lane: Dick Van Dyke Returns, Practically Perfect Bloopers, 3 deleted scenes (Leaving Topsy’s and Trip a Little Light Fantastic), and a Sing-Along Mode. The Digital version only will also feature exclusive audio commentary by director Rob Marshall and producer John DeLuca.
You can see the cover artwork at left and also below. [Read on here...]
All right, a quick update with some big breaking news...
It should surprise no one, as we’ve been talking about it (and we’ve had it in our 4K Ultra HD Release List) for a couple months now. But Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has just officially set Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 3/19, with the Digital release expected on 2/26.
It does not appear that at Blu-ray 3D release is planned. You can see the cover artwork at left and also below.
Both the Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD release will include Dolby Atmos audio. HDR10 is likely for the 4K (the press release makes no mention of Dolby Vision). [Read on here...]
There’s some new release news to report today, and then we’re going to return to the topic of physical media in the wake of the news about Samsung on Friday.
But first, late on Friday afternoon, Criterion announced their May Blu-ray release slate, which is set to include William Wyler’s The Heiress (Cat #974 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 5/7, an updating of David Mamet’s House of Games (Cat #399 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Michael Haneke’s Funny Games (Cat #975 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 5/14, Claire Denis’ Let the Sunshine In (Cat #976 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 5/21, and Agnès Varda’s One Sings, the Other Doesn’t (Cat #978 – Blu-ray and DVD) and David Lynch’s Blue Velvet (Cat #977 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 5/28. We’ve updated our Criterion Spines Project page here at The Bits to include these titles and you can read more about them here.
Speaking of Criterion, we also learned on Friday that the Russian film studio Mosfilm has completed a new 2K restoration of Sergei Bondarchuk’s epic 1966-67 film adaptation of War and Peace. The 7-hour/4-part series is legendary in cinema history as the biggest production ever mounted, besting even David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia by having an essentially unlimited budget, a bottomless supply of props and costumes from the country’s state museums, and a cast of thousands. The film was shot on Russian Sovscope 70mm film stock, but unfortunately it’s suffered from preservation issues over the years. That’s meant the only good options available for viewing in recent years have been DVD versions of modest quality. [Read on here...]
All right, today’s Bits update offers 4K Ultra HD news, some of it good and some of it bad, as well as some good standard Blu-ray news...
The good news first: We’ve learned from our studio and industry sources that Disney is bringing Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War to physical 4K Ultra HD in April. Our retail sources suggest the street date is likely to be 4/23. This makes sense as it’s the same week that Avengers: Endgame hits theaters. Keep in mind, Captain America: The First Avenger hits the format next Tuesday, 2/26. It appears that Best Buy will have exclusive Steelbook packaging and Zavvi is already taking pre-orders on a Captain America Trilogy 4K set.
We’ve also learned from our sources that essentially all of the other Marvel Cinematic Universe titles not yet released on physical 4K are coming over the next year or so. This includes Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011), Iron Man 3 (2013), Thor: The Dark World (2013), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Ant-Man (2015), and Doctor Strange (2016). We would expect the next batch to arrive with the home release of Captain Marvel, somewhere around Q2 2019. [Read on here...]
Let’s start with the big news first: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has just set Clint Eastwood’s The Mule for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 4/2, with the Digital release expected on 3/19. There’s no indication of Dolby Vision in the press release, so I would assume HDR10. Audio on both the Blu-ray and 4K is expected to be DTS-HD MA. Extras will include the Nobody Runs Forever: The Making of The Mule featurette and a Toby Keith music video. You can see the cover artwork at left and also below.
Also today, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has just announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk on 3/26, with the Digital release expected on 3/12. No physical 4K UHD release is currently planned. Audio on the Blu-ray is DTS-HD MA with extras including audio commentary by Barry Jenkins, the If Beale Street Could Talk: Poetry in Motion featurette, and deleted scenes. Again, you can see the cover artwork below. [Read on here...]