February 2021

All right, this is just a very quick update this evening to bring you some breaking release news nuggets...

First though, our own Tim Salmons has just posted his thoughts on Andrew J. Kuehn’s Terror in the Isles (1984) on Blu-ray from Scream Factory, a Universal clip showcase featuring footage from a host of modern and classic horror films. You’ll find that here.

Now then... in announcement news, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has just officially announced Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal: The Complete First Season for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/1.

This is interesting, because the first half of the season aired on Adult Swim way back in October 2019. Then, the season’s remaining episodes finally aired in October of 2020. Word is the show has been renewed for a second season as well, though no release date for this has yet been announced. [Read on here...]

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We’re starting the week off with another new Blu-ray review. Tim has taken a look at Richard E. Cunha’s Giant from the Unknown (1958), a Astor Pictures monster flick featuring make-up work by the great Jack Pierce. It’s now available on Blu-ray from the folks at The Film Detective.

Speaking of which, The Film Detective has also announced a new Blu-ray edition of Lesley Selander’s Flight to Mars (1951) on 7/20.

The film has apparently been remastered from a new 4K scan, and will feature new documentary shorts by Ballyhoo Films.

In other announcement news today, Paramount has revealed a pair of new Paramount Presents Blu-ray titles, including Mommie Dearest on 6/1 (newly-restored from a 4K transfer in honor of the film’s 40th anniversary) and Last Train from Gun Hill on 6/15. Mommie Dearest will feature a new audio commentary by American drag queen Hedda Lettuce and a new Filmmaker Focus: Biographer Justin Bozung on director Frank Perry, in addition to legacy extras. [Read on here...]

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Let’s close out the week today with another new disc review and more release news...

First, Dennis has just turned in his thoughts on Cecile B. DeMille’s The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) on Blu-ray from Paramount Home Entertainment, the 16th title in their Paramount Presents line. It sounds as if the remaster is a nice one, so do give it a look.

A quick disc update: FUNimation is now shipping out fixed replacement discs for their recent release of Akira in 4K Ultra HD. As some of you know, the original discs lacked the HDR option they were supposed to include. The new fixed discs correct this. My own replacement copy arrived a couple of days ago and I’m really pleased with the HDR grade overall, so I’m going to try to get a review of the fixed version up here at The Bits next week.

On a similar note, Amazon UK has just listed Speed for pre-order in 4K and naturally the cover artwork they’ve posted has caused still more confusion in that it correctly lists DTS-HD MA audio in the features grid on the back, but also (incorrectly) shows a Dolby Atmos logo. What’s more, there’s no mention of any special features. [Read on here...]

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We’re picking things up here at The Bits today with more new disc reviews...

I’ve recently posted my thoughts on Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla (2014) in 4K from Warner Bros., Pete Docter’s Soul in 4K from Pixar, Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs in Blu-ray and 4K from Kino Lorber Studio Classics, and Paul Greengrass’ News of the World in 4K from Universal.

Meanwhile, Tim has just posted a look at Alex de la Iglesia’s The Day of the Beast (1995) in 4K from Severin Films.

And Dennis has turned in his review of George Sidney’s Show Boat (1951) on Blu-ray from the Warner Archive Collection.

In announcement news today, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has officially set Shaka King’s Judas and the Black Messiah for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/4 (SRP $35.99 and $28.98), with the Digital release expected on 4/27, and PVOD available on 4/2. Extras on the disc-based versions will include 2 featurettes (Fred Hampton for the People and Unexpected Betrayal). [Read on here...]

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All right, we’ve got a brief update for you this morning here at The Bits, but it’s an important one.

In the wake of Disney’s announcement Wednesday of their plans to release Jan de Bont’s Speed (1994) in 4K Ultra HD on 5/4, which is a 20th Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios) catalog title, there have been a number of questions raised.

The official press release seemed to indicate that the Digital version of the film in 4K would include object-based Dolby Atmos audio, but the actual physical 4K Ultra HD disc would not.

There have also been rumors that the title would not include HDR, or that the studio would only include HDR on the Digital release.

As you can imagine, I decided to cut through the confusion to ask the studio about this directly. I’ve now heard back, so here are the official confirmed details on this release… [Read on here...]

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We have some good breaking release news to cover today here at The Bits. First though, we’ve got more new disc reviews for you...

Tim has given Clint Eastwood’s Play Misty for Me (1971) a look, as recently released on Blu-ray by Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

And I’ve just posted my thoughts on Andrew Niccol’s neo-noir, science fiction classic GATTACA (1997), which is coming next week on 4K Ultra HD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The film looks and sounds every bit as good as you’d hope, so don’t miss it.

Now then, the big news today is that Disney has officially confirmed the much-anticipated 4K Ultra HD release of director Jan de Bont’s Speed (1994) on 5/4. Mastered from a recent 4K scan, the disc will include a new Dolby Atmos sound mix along with high dynamic range in HDR10 format. [Editor’s Note: Disney’s press materials now suggest that only the Digital 4K will have Atmos. We’ve asked the studio for official confirmation and will post an update here when we hear back.]

Perhaps most interestingly, it appears that at least some of the extras from Fox’s 2002 Five Star Collection DVD are being carried over—many of these were omitted from the previous Fox Blu-ray release. [Read on here...]

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Today I’m diving into work on more disc reviews here at The Bits, especially new 4K titles. So today’s update will be fairly quick. However, we do have some interesting odds and ends to report after yesterday’s flood of major news, and we have Amazon pre-order links for a bunch of newly-announced titles to share with you too.

First, some Blu-ray reviews... Tim has taken a look at Don Siegel’s The Beguiled (1971), which was released late last year on Blu-ray by Kino Lorber Studio Classics. He’s also given one of the last Hammer Films titles a spin on Blu-ray from Scream Factory, Terence Fisher’s Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974). Both discs are worth your time.

A quick note on the subject of Kino Lorber Studio Classic: It appears that they inadvertently used the wrong master for their recent Blu-ray of Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (reviewed here on The Bits). The company is correcting this by replicating new replacement discs that use the proper 2017 4K restoration and you can request a copy by filling out this form on the Kino Lorber website.

Now then... the big announcement news today is that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has officially set Guy Ritchie’s Snatch for release on 4K Ultra HD on 6/1. [Read on here...]

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All right, that was fast!

It’s now official: Paramount Home Entertainment and Lucasfilm have indeed set the Indiana Jones 4-Movie Collection for release on 4K Ultra HD on 6/8.

Here’s a nice surprise: The set will include Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio after all. Per studio confirmation, the exact audio options on the US SKUs will include in English (Dolby Atmos), as well as 5.1 in French, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. Subtitles will be available in English, Cantonese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Thai.

The 5-disc set will contain all four of the existing films—Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull—along with a Blu-ray Disc of legacy bonus features. It does NOT appear that the set will include any new features. You will, however, get Digital copies of each film.

The collectible packaging will be available in two varieties: Regular and Steelbook (exclusive to Best Buy in the US), each with a slipcase. You can see both pictured below (the regular version is also visible at left).

Read on for the full text of the official Paramount and Lucasfilm press release... [Read on here...]

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Okay, we’ve got some serious ground to cover in today’s My Two Cents update, so let’s get right to it...

First, we’ve just posted Michael Coate’s brand new History, Legacy & Showmanship column here at The Bits, featuring a terrific new retrospective of George Lucas’ THX 1138 in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary (which was last week on 3/11 – the piece was delayed due to a technical issue). The column takes an in-depth look back at the original theatrical release and also features a great roundtable discussion with film historian Chris Barsanti, documentary filmmaker Gary Leva, and original Director of Fan Relations at Lucasfilm Craig Miller. I think you’ll really enjoy it. So you’ll find that here.

Next up, as some of you may have noticed over the weekend, we posted word on Saturday (see here) that video distributors had begun listing a 4-film Indiana Jones Collection for release on 4K Ultra HD on 6/8. This is still not to be considered official until Paramount and Lucasfilm make their actual announcement, however be aware that I’ve now confirmed it with multiple film industry sources in addition to retail and distribution sources. And it’s really not all that surprising given that 6/12 is marks the 40th anniversary of the original film’s theatrical release. We expect the set to include all four existing films in 4K with HDR10 high dynamic range and the previous DTS-HD Master Audio lossless sound mixes (but that’s still subject to change). [Editor’s Note: We’ve just confirmed that the set WILL include Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio. Details to follow shortly.] The 5-disc set will also include a disc of bonus features that are TBA. Of course, we’ll post more information on this as it comes in.

The other big news today is that our friends at The Criterion Collection have just unveiled their June slate of titles. [Read on here...]

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All right, we’ve got a rare Saturday news update here at The Digital Bits with some potentially BIG breaking 4K news for you all today...

Keep in mind that this isn’t to be considered official until Paramount Home Entertainment makes their actual announcement with a press release, official cover artwork, and all the usual details.

However, it appears that retail and distribution sources are starting to list an Indiana Jones: 4-Film Collection for release on 4K Ultra HD from Paramount with an anticipated street date of 6/8.

And for those of you who may be wondering, that’s just in time for the 40th anniversary of the original Raiders of the Lost Ark on 6/12.

We’ve known that the films were being remastered in 4K since last year, so this isn’t too surprising.

In fact, we’ve had the title listed in our 4K Ultra HD Release List for many months now. But it looks like things are finally heating up for an actual release this summer. [Read on here...]

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