This is just a quick update to say that there’s going to be no news post today. But the reason is a good one.

First though, over the weekend I posted my in-depth reviews of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, and The Matrix Trilogy in 4K Ultra HD here at The Bits.

Like The Matrix in UHD before it, these sequels arrive on the format in fine quality with impressively upgraded image quality and reference-quality Dolby Atmos audio mixes.

They’re definitely recommended, though with the qualification that a few features from the previous The Ultimate Matrix Collection Blu-ray set do not carry over. The details are in the review. [Read on here...]

Sadly, the news today is dominated by the announcement that Turner Classic Movies and Criterion’s FilmStruck streaming service for well-curated classic, arthouse, indie, hard-to-find, and cult movies will be shutting down on 11/29 and has already stopped accepting new subscribers. You can read more here and here.

This is apparently driven the desire by AT&T, which recently purchased Time Warner, to streamline its business by cutting niche services. Though FilmStuck was wildly popular with cinephiles, the audience was small compared to the kind of mass market profit-making a modern media conglom-o-monster prefers. Said Turner and WB Digital Media in a statement today:

“We’re incredibly proud of the creativity and innovations produced by the talented and dedicated teams who worked on FilmStruck over the past two years. While FilmStruck has a very loyal fanbase, it remains largely a niche service. We plan to take key learnings from FilmStruck to help shape future business decisions in the direct-to-consumer space and redirect this investment back into our collective portfolios.” [Read on here...]

All right, sorry we’ve been a little low-key here at The Bits this week. We’ve been spending our time in one of two ways:

First, we’re recovering from our recent server and Russian bot issues and doing some upgrading and adjusting to make sure everything is working smoothly going forward.

Second, we’re reviewing Blu-ray and 4K titles like mad!

Today, we’ve posted my looks at Universal’s Invisible Man, The: Complete Legacy Collection and Creature from the Black Lagoon: Complete Legacy Collection. Tim has also delivered his thoughts on Maximum Overdrive from Lionsgate’s Vestron Video Collector’s Series. David has offered his thoughts on the Japanese cult classic Battle in Outer Space from Sony. And Dennis has turned in his review of the new City Slickers: Collector’s Edition from Shout! Factory’s Shout Select line-up. Enjoy! [Read on here...]

The big news today isn’t quite official yet, but we expected the press release at any time: Universal will release Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List: 25th Anniversary Edition on 4K Ultra HD on 12/18, as we’ve been saying for a while now. In addition to a new 4K scan, the audio will be English Dolby Atmos, with HDR10 high dynamic range. The previous Blu-ray edition will also be included with DTS-HD MA audio.

There’s a new retrospective featurette: Schindler’s List: 25 Years Later, featuring video of a panel and Q&A with Spielberg, Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Embeth Davidtz, and Caroline Goodall recorded at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. You also get the previous extras and a Movies Anywhere Digital copy. And here’s the deal: The title is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com at this link. You can see the official cover artwork to the left and also below.

Also newly available for pre-order on Blu-ray and 4K are Night School (with a street date of 1/1/19), Halloween (2018), First Man, and The House with the Clock in its Walls. We’ve updated The 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Bits accordingly. [Read on here...]

All right, we’ve got a little bit of ground to cover today. We’ve been updating our servers and whatnot, on top of which some Russian/Ukrainian bot army decided to launch a DDOS attack on The Bits for random unknown reasons. It should be noted that this kind of thing happens to most websites on the Internet pretty regularly. But it’s a wonder that the Internet works at all these days, with all the trolls, scams, and state-sponsored chicanery going on.

Anyway... first up here at The Bits today, we have four new Blu-ray reviews for you to check out, including Tim’s look at The Man in the Iron Mask from Shout! Factory, Dennis’ take on Invasion of the Body Snatchers from Olive Films, Davids thoughts on The House of Tomorrow also from Shout!, and Jason’s look at Cabin Boy from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. Enjoy!

The big news is that Criterion has announced their January Blu-ray slate, which includes Abbas Kiarostami’s 24 Frames (Spine #956 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 1/8, an update of Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious (Spine #137 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 1/15, Elaine May’s Mikey and Nicky (Spine #957 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Cristian Mungiu’s 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Spine #958 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 1/22, and finally Norman Jewison’s In the Heat of the Night (Spine #959 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 1/29. [Read on here...]

We’re kicking off the new week with some fresh title announcements...

First, Lionsgate has just officially set Evil Dead 2 for release on 4K Ultra HD on 12/11. The release will include Blu-ray and Digital copies in addition to 4K UHD. Audio will be the previous English 5.1 DTS-HD, but HDR will be available in Dolby Vision format on the 4K. In addition to the previous audio commentary, the 4K disc itself will include a new tribute featurette called Bloody and Groovy, Baby! All of the previous Blu-ray extras will carry over on the included BD disc. Best of all, SRP is just $22.99. You can see the cover artwork at left and also below.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has set The Equalizer 2 for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 12/11, with the Digital release due on 11/13. The disc will include a Retribution Mode with Denzel Washington and director Antoine Fuqua. 11 deleted and extended scenes, a pop-up trivia track, and 4 featurettes. [Read on here...]

We’ve got just a quick update for you today with a couple of items…

The first is that Mill Creek Entertainment is joining the list of 4K Ultra HD studio supporters.

The company plans to release a pair of new IMAX titles in native 4K on the format on 12/22, including IMAX: Journey to the South Pacific and IMAX: A Beautiful Planet. You can pre-order them on Amazon.com now (just click on the title links).

And you can see the cover artwork at left there for A Beautiful Planet.

Also newly available for pre-order on Amazon.com are Warner’s Superman: The Movie in 4K Ultra HD, due on 11/6. Click on the title to visit the relevant page on Amazon.

Newly listed for pre-order on 4K Ultra HD from Disney on 11/6 is Wreck-It Ralph. Disney and Pixar’s The Incredibles 2 is also listed for 4K on 11/6, but you can’t yet pre-order it.

Amazon is, however, allowing pre-orders on Fox’s Bad Times at the El Royale on Blu-ray and 4K, street date TBA.

We’ve updated The 4K Ultra HD List here at The Bits accordingly.

Back tomorrow with more news and reviews.

Stay tuned...

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

 

Let’s dive right into today’s announcement news, shall we?

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has just set Crazy Rich Asians on Blu-ray and DVD on 11/20, with the Digital release set for 11/6. No 4K Ultra HD is planned. Extras will include audio commentary by director Jon M. Chu and novelist Kevin Kwan, the Crazy Rich Fun featurette, a gag reel, and deleted scenes.

Walt Disney Studios has set Christopher Robin for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital on 11/6. Again, no 4K Ultra HD is planned. Extras will include 4 featurettes (In Which... A Movie Is Made for Pooh, In Which... Pooh Finds His Voice, In Which... Pooh and Walt Become Friends, and In Which... Pooh and Friends Come to Life). [Read on here...]

Let’s start today with some new announcement news...

Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment have just officially set Kin for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 11/20, with the Digital release expected on 11/6. The 4K Ultra HD version will include both Dolby Vision HDR and DTS:X object-based audio. The Blu-ray will also feature DTS:X.

Extras will include audio commentary with co-directors Jonathan and Josh Baker and screenwriter Daniel Casey, the Thicker Than Water: The Making of Kin 8-Part documentary, an Enhanced Visual FX Breakdown featurette, the Bag Man: Original Short (with optional audio commentary by Jonathan and Josh Baker), 10 deleted scenes, and the Learned Behavior: Special Features at Work hour-long round table discussion (with Jonathan and Josh Baker, Dan Trachtenberg, Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert, Laurent Bouzereau, and Kevin Smith). You can see the cover artwork at left. [Read on here...]

Tuesday, 09 October 2018 11:29

Bud on Burt, plus New on Blu-ray

by

[What follows is a feature I wrote for The Daily Oklahoman about one of the greatest movie stars and human beings ever… Burt Reynolds]

Maybe it was the mustache. Or the unscripted quips. Or the genteel Southern manner.

Or just maybe it was that laugh, a 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.

Fame, according to Jeanine Bissinger, is “often conferred or withheld just as is love, for reasons and on grounds other than merits.” Burt Reynolds earned his fame with raw boned talent and insight into the business of filmed diversion. [Read on here...]

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