We have just a couple things for you today, but first a quick recommendation…
If you’re a fan of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, you really owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of Michael Benson’s new book on the making of the film, Space Odyssey. I’m only about a quarter of the way through it, but it’s incredibly comprehensive and filled with interesting and surprising revelations and insights on the production. I can’t recommend it more highly. You can find it here on Amazon.
Also today, we’ve updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, anytime you order through our links you’re helping us to continue our work here at The Bits and we appreciate it! [Read on here...]
All right, we’ve got a pair of new Blu-rays for you today and some mighty release news…
First, Tim has turned in a look at Robert Altman’s Images (1972) on Blu-ray from Arrow Academy for you all to check out.
And I’ve checked in with my thoughts on Fabulous Film’s new Region B Blu-ray box set of Northern Exposure: The Complete Series, which features all 110 episodes in HD with the original uncut music (at long last). Unfortunately, there seems to be no U.S. (Region A) release planned, so you’ll need an all-region capable Blu-ray player to take advantage of it.
I’ll also be checking back in later today with at least one more review of a 4K Ultra HD title, with more on the way soon. So be sure to watch for those. [Read on here...]
Of Unknown Origin, Trading Places, Coming to America, Counselor, Corbucci’s Great Silence, Solo trailer & moreby Bill Hunt
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...]
All right, just a quick one today with some news and a couple items of interest...
First, Warner Bros. has officially announced Clint Eastwood’s The 15:17 to Paris for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/22, with a “4K Digital” release due on 5/1. Yes, it appears the studio has decided not to release an actual 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray version of this one. Extras on the Blu-ray will include 2 featurettes (Making Every Second Count and Portrait of Courage). You can see the cover artwork at left and below.
Warner has also set Alex & Me for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/19, with the Digital release expected on 6/12. Extras will include 3 featurettes (Getting to Know Alex, Aspire to Inspire: Success in Hard Work, and Soccer, Script to Set: A Playbook on Alex & Me) and an outtake. [Read on here...]
HBO’s Game of Thrones: Season 1 coming to 4K Ultra HD in June, plus Scream Factory John Carpenter newsby Bill Hunt
All right, big release news today...
As we first reported was coming a few weeks ago here on The Bits, HBO has just officially announced the 4K Ultra HD release of Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season on 6/5. The discs will include Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos object-based audio. You can see the cover artwork at the left and below. The package will include all 10 episodes in Ultra HD with the previous BD bonus features in their original HD, plus a Digital copy code.
That bonus content includes: Animated Histories, Anatomy of an Episode, Cast Auditions, Making of Game of Thrones, Characters Profiles, Creating the Show Open, From the Book to the Screen, The Night’s Watch, Creating the Dothraki Language, and 7 episode Audio Commentaries with the cast and crew. [Read on here...]
All right, the big news today – which has come as quite a shock to A/V enthusiasts – is that Oppo Digital has announced that they’re no longer going to be making new hardware, including 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players and audiophile headphones and amps. The company will continue supporting existing hardware with firmware updates and technical support, as needed.
There’s no reason given on their official statement announcing the move (see this page on their website) beyond the following: “From now on, OPPO Digital will focus our main effort on organizing and ensuring long term support for the existing generation of products. As such, we will not have the resources to develop and release new generations of products.”
What does this mean? Well, for one thing, it means that if you want an Oppo 4K player, you’d better act fast while supplies last. Because in a few months they’ll be selling for big bucks on the secondary market. [Read on here...]
“2001 is Kubrick’s crowning achievement. It’s the movie that launched him into ’superstar’ status that placed him alongside the likes of Welles, Bergman, Fellini, Kurosawa, Hitchcock, Ford...” — film historian and author Raymond Benson
The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick’s acclaimed science-fiction adventure starring Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood.
Featuring groundbreaking visual effects and memorable usage of classical music (and decades of analysis), 2001 premiered 50 years ago this week, and for the occasion The Bits features a compilation of statistics and box office data that places the movie’s performance in context; passages from vintage film reviews; and a reference/historical listing of the movie’s limited-market 70-millimeter and roadshow engagements. [Read on here...]
2001 returns to theaters in 70mm in May (4K now due this fall), plus Escape Plan 4K, a new Talking Blu & moreby Bill Hunt
We’re starting today with four new disc reviews, including looks at Lionsgate and Summit’s Knowing and Sony’s Across the Universe in 4K Ultra HD by me (with our late great friend and Bits family member Barrie Maxwell), as well as Tim’s take on MVD’s Black Eagle: Special Edition and AGFA and Something Weird’s The Violent Years on Blu-ray. Enjoy!
Also today, we have an update on Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Warner Bros. has now officially announced (see this link) that the film is returning to theaters for a limited run in 70mm starting on 5/18 in honor of its 50th anniversary. The 4K Ultra HD pre-order page was recently pulled down from Amazon and now we know why: The street date had been listed as 5/8, but the title is now slated to arrive this fall, after the theatrical run. Both the 70mm return to theaters and the 4K release are being presented by director Christopher Nolan. [Read on here...]
All right, folks… we’ve got some great breaking news on the 4K catalog front for you today.
THIS JUST IN: Paramount is kicking ass with their 4K catalog releases. For whatever reason, they has opened up the floodgates with great titles on the format in 2018. And thank goodness for it!
As you already know, we’ve been reporting for a couple months now (and have confirmed) that all five Mission: Impossible films are coming to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Paramount this summer to support either the theatrical or home video release of Mission: Impossible – Fallout. That includes Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible 2, Mission: Impossible III, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. [Read on here...]
All right, we’ve got some interesting release news to report today. First though…
We’ve posted several new Blu-ray reviews in the last couple of days, including my take on Warner Archive’s Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero and the Kino Lorber Studio Classics title Joan of Arc, as well as Tim’s thoughts on Warner Archive’s Joe Versus the Volcano, Arrow Video’s There’s Always Vanilla, Shout!/Scream Factory’s Colossus: The Forbin Project and 78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene, and Universal’s Happy Death Day. Enjoy!
Now then, Shout! Factory has announced that they’re going to be bringing Disney’s Gravity Falls: The Complete Series to Blu-ray and DVD on 7/24 (SRP $99.99 and $59.97 respectively, though if you purchase them from Shout! directly you get $20 off the BD and $10 off the DVD). [Read on here...]