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...]

Today’s Retro Release Day title here at The Bits happens to be the very first DVD title I ever purchased and it’s also one of the very first titles released on the format.

I’m talking of course of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner: The Director’s Cut on DVD, released twenty-two years ago today on March 26, 1997.

The film stars Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, and Daryl Hannah, with cinematography by the great Jordan Cronenweth, and music by Vangelis.

This was not the first time that Blade Runner had been released in its Director’s Cut form for home viewing; it appeared on VHS and LaserDisc in 1993. It would also not be the last version of the film to reach home video. [Read on here...]

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All right, we’re going to have a larger post with a big release news update later this afternoon, but I wanted to chime in quickly with this...

For months now, we’ve been saying that 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment was planning to promote the 40th anniversary of director Ridley Scott’s original Alien (1979). This was based on our sources within the industry.

Well... now we have the first word from retailers.

UK disc retailer Zavvi has just listed a 2-disc Alien: 40th Anniversary Edition for release on 4K Ultra HD on 4/1/2019 (or 1, April as you guys would say across the pond).

There are no other details yet available. We expect that the US release date will be somewhat different, but certainly within a week or two. The official announcement is likely due very soon and we’ve already asked the studio about this.

In the meantime, you can see temp UK cover artwork above left. Keep in mind, it’s subject to change – this is just the temporary artwork the studio has given to retailers.

Thanks to an overseas friend and Bits reader for alerting me to this.

Back later with a much larger post and more news. Stay tuned...

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

 

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We’re kicking off the new week with a new Blu-ray review and some announcement news too. First up, that review...

Our own Tim Salmons has checked in with his thoughts on Scream Factory’s new Limited Edition Steelbook Blu-ray release of John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13. Do check it out and watch for more reviews tomorrow.

Speaking of Scream Factory, the company has officially announced the extras you’ll find on their Of Unknown Origin Blu-ray on 5/22. Look for a new 2K scan from the interpositive, 3 new featurettes (The Origins of Unknown Origin, That Rat Movie, and Hey, Weren’t You in Scanners?), audio commentary director George P. Cosmatos and actor Peter Weller, theatrical trailers, and a still gallery.

In announcement news today, Paramount has revealed that they’re re-releasing Trading Places on Blu-ray on 6/12 in honor of its 35th anniversary. The same day, they’re also re-issuing Coming to America on the format in honor of its 30th anniversary. All the legacy extras will carry over and this time the discs will include a Digital Copy as well. [Read on here...]

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This is just a quick heads-up to all of you Blu-ray and 4K fans out there…

Retail sources are now reporting an 8/15 street date for Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD. This, of course, also means that Scott’s Prometheus is due on 4K Ultra HD from Fox on that same day. Indeed, both titles are now available for pre-order on Amazon.com now. Click here to pre-order Alien: Covenant 4K and Blu-ray and here for Prometheus 4K. We’re waiting on final cover artwork and the official studio announcement, but 8/15 does appear to be the official street date.

Just FYI. Stay tuned…

- Bill Hunt

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

 

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All right, we’ve got big news for you today. We’ve been saying this was coming for quite a while now here at The Bits, given that this is the film’s 35th anniversary year and that its long-awaited sequel was coming soon to theaters, but Warner Bros Home Entertainment has finally made it official: Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner: The Final Cut is coming to the 4K Ultra HD format on 9/5.

The Ultra HD release will include the previous Blu-ray edition (you can read our epic and in-depth review of that package here) in addition to the 4K disc, with its 7+ hours of bonus features (we’re waiting to see the exact disc configuration to determine if the alternate cuts will be included or if it’s just The Final Cut with extras), as well as a digital copy. The audio will be Dolby Atmos. There’s no word whether Dolby Vision HDR is included or not yet (there was no mention of it in the press release). The package will sell for an SRP of $44.95. [Read on here…]

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“Even after decades of imitators, bigger budgets and more advanced technology, Blade Runner still stands high as a groundbreaking, unparalleled masterpiece.” — Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner documentarian Charles de Lauzirika

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of Blade Runner, Ridley Scott’s neo-noir sci-fi adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young and Edward James Olmos. [Read on here...]

All right, I believe we promised some new disc reviews for you today. So here’s my thoughts on 20th Century Fox’s Logan and Lionsgate’s Dredd in 4K Ultra HD, as well as Tim’s thoughts on Never Too Young to Die on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory.

We’ll have a couple more for you tomorrow, including Ex Machina in 4K. Logan and Dredd are worth your time, as movies and also as great A/V experiences. Logan shines in full 4K and Dredd is a 2K upsample, but really dazzles with HDR. Do give them a look. [Read on here…]

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Before we begin today, we’ve just uploaded the latest update of the Release Dates & Artwork section, featuring all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. Don’t forget – the section now allows you to filter the results specifically by format including 4K. As always, a portion of anything you order from Amazon after clicking through to them from our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we appreciate it!

Now then... the big release news today is that 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has just set Logan for Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 5/23. We expect official details soon. [Read on here…]

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