Items filtered by date: April 2019

We’ve got a couple interesting things for you this afternoon before we get to today’s release news...

First up, reviews... I’ve posted my in-depth thoughts on Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) in 4K Ultra HD here at The Bits and will have reviews of Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and Batman & Robin in 4K over the next few days. The upshot of this first Batman film in 4K is that Warner’s new transfer and Atmos mix are terrific, but the HDR may take a little getting used to and a few of the sound effects have been changed for reasons explained in the review. You can read that here.

Also, Tim has posted a review of Archer: Danger Island – The Complete Season Nine on DVD from Fox and Dennis has looked at Isn’t It Romantic on Blu-ray from Warner.

And some of you may know that this past weekend was the 40th anniversary of Ridley Scott’s original Alien (1979). So our own Michael Coate has posted a new History, Legacy, and Showmanship retrospective column looking back at the film’s theatrical release. It includes a great new roundtable of experts to discuss the film, including authors Chris Barsanti, Paul M. Sammon, and J.W. Rinzler (whose new book The Making of Alien is coming in July). You can read the piece here and if you’re a fan of the film, I think you’ll really enjoy it. [Read on here...]

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Alien (like other 1970s films such as Jaws, Superman, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Godfather, and Star Wars) was a seminal landmark in the upgrade of shopworn B-movie clichés — monsters, comic book characters, flying saucers, gangsters, Saturday afternoon serials — into major A-movie assets.” — Paul M. Sammon, author of Ridley Scott: The Making of His Movies

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Alien, the sci-fi/horror classic about the five-man, two-woman (and one cat) crew of the Nostromo, who got more than they bargained for after investigating a distress signal from a mysterious planet.

Suspense, atmospheric moodiness and Oscar-winning visual effects were among the highlights of Alien, directed by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Gladiator) and starring Tom Skerritt (Top Gun), Veronica Cartwright (The Right Stuff), Harry Dean Stanton (Repo Man), John Hurt (The Elephant Man), Ian Holm (Chariots of Fire), Yaphet Kotto (Live and Let Die), and Sigourney Weaver (Ghostbusters) as Ellen Ripley. [Read on here...]

All right, we’ve got a pair of new Blu-ray reviews for you to check out today...

Late yesterday I posted my thoughts on Paramount’s Jack Ryan: Season One, as well as Eagle Rock Entertainment’s Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out documentary. And I’m working on a review of Kino’s Hannibal 4K and more for Monday.

The big news today is that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and DC have announced the Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD release of Shazam! on 7/16, with the Digital version expected on 7/2.

The 4K Ultra HD version will include Dolby Atmos audio and Dolby Vision HDR. [Read on here...]

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It’s been long awaited by film fans, especially after its extensive 4K restoration (from the original negative and 35mm 4-track audio masters) in 2012, which premiered at the TCM Classic Film Festival that year.

(You can read about the audio portion of that effort here at the Disney Digital Studio Services website.)

But Richard Fleischer’s beloved 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) has never appeared on Blu-ray. The film stars Kirk Douglas, James Mason, and Peter Lorre, and is beloved by generations of movie buffs.

The reason for its absence on Blu-ray is that Disney has, for many years, been trying to remake the film.

Bryan Singer was involved at one point, then James Mangold, and David Fincher, along with a host of actors including Brad Pitt and more recently Johnny Depp. [Read on here...]

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All right, I trust you all saw our new History, Legacy, and Showmanship column from last night featuring Michael Coate’s retrospective on Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, which celebrated its 20th anniversary on Sunday. You’ll find that here and if you’re a Star Wars fan, I think it’s well worth your time.

Meanwhile, we have some major new Blu-ray and 4K announcements for you today, so read on...

First, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has just officially set Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD (with Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D) on 7/23. The Digital version will be available on 7/9. The 4K will include not only Dolby Atmos audio, but HDR in Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HDR10+. Aspect ratio is 2.39:1, per the press release.

And there will be HOURS of special features, as follows... [Read on here...]

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The Phantom Menace is the film that caused a generation gap in Star Wars fandom.” — W.R. Miller, author of The Star Wars Historical Sourcebook: Volume One 1971 to 1976

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 20th anniversary of the release of Star Wars: Episode IThe Phantom Menace, the first entry in the long-awaited prequel trilogy to the original 1977-83 Star Wars trilogy.

Marking series creator George Lucas’s return to directing, The Phantom Menace opened twenty years ago this month, with some fans camping out for days (plural!) to experience a screening on opening day. And while the movie was an undeniable box-office smash, breaking numerous earnings and attendance records, there was a great disturbance in the Force as the film left a lot of moviegoers and critics underwhelmed and disappointed. [Read on here...]

We’re going to have a new Michael Coate retrospective today in his History, Legacy & Showmanship column here at The Bits, looking back at Star Wars: The Phantom Menace in honor of yesterday’s 20th anniversary for the film. That will be up later this afternoon, so be sure to watch for it.

In the meantime, we have a bit of 4K and standard Blu-ray news to report...

First up, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has set Rob Reiner’s Stand by Me for release on 4K Ultra HD on 8/27. Scanned from the original camera negative, the film will be presented with a new Dolby Atmos mix, along with the original theatrical mono audio and the previous 5.1 remix. Extras on the 4K disc will include never-before-seen deleted and alternate scenes. The package will also include the previous Blu-ray with picture-in-picture video commentary with Reiner and the cast, the Walking the Tracks: The Summer of Stand by Me documentary, and audio commentary with Reiner. You can see the cover artwork at left. [Read on here...]

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Okay, this is just a very quick late Friday update to let you all know that director Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel will officially arrive on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 7/23, with the Digital release expected on 7/9.

And the great news is that the 4K Ultra HD package will include a Blu-ray 3D version of the film too. (It appears that the 4K package will be the only way to get the film in 3D in the States, unless there’s a retail exclusive SKU we don’t know about yet.)

This is official from the Fox Movies website, and we would expect the home video press release to go out at any time now.

You can see the 4K cover artwork at left, and we have artwork for all three versions below. [Read on here...]

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All right, we’ve got a news roundup and a couple of updates for you today...

First, Tim has posted a new review of Book of Monsters on Blu-ray from Dread and Epic Pictures. Also, Dennis has turned in his thoughts on Michael Haneke’s Funny Games (1997) on Blu-ray from Criterion. Enjoy!

The big news today is that Warner Archive has just officially announced the Blu-ray release of Jonny Quest: The Complete Original Series (1964). We hear the set is expected next month (street date TBA). The 3-disc set will include all 26 original episodes newly-remastered in full HD from the original film elements. Audio will be 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio. Extras will include the Jonny Quest: Adventures in Animation featurette, a special version of the Double Danger episode with Quest Files facts and trivia, the Jonny Quest Video Handbook, and a Vintage P.F. Flyers Sneaker Commercial. You can see the cover artwork at left. [Read on here...]

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All right, just some quick odds and ends in today’s post while I’m off to work on reviews...

Tim has posted his thoughts on Alexander Singer’s Psyche 59 (1964) from Powerhouse Films and Indicator as well as David Blyth’s Death Warmed Up (1984) from Severin Films. Both are available on Blu-ray, so do give them a look if you’re interested.

In announcement news today, Warner Bros. has just officially set DC Universe animated film Batman: Hush for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 8/13, with the Digital release expected on 7/20. Extras will include the DC Showcase: Sgt. Rock animated short, the Batman: Love in Time of War featurette, audio commentary (with executive producer James Tucker, director Justin Copeland, and screenwriter Ernie Altbacker), a sneak peek at the next DC Universe Movie, Wonder Woman: Bloodlines, and two From the DC Vault episodes of The Batman/Superman Hour (including The Underworld Underground Caper and Partners in Peril). You can see the over artwork at left and also below. [Read on here...]

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