My Two Cents

We’ve got some interesting new announcement news for you today...

We start today with the Criterion Collection, which has just announced its December slate of titles. Look for it to include Samuel Fuller’s Forty Guns (Spine #954 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Euzhan Palcy’s A Dry White Season (Spine #953 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 12/11, followed by Julien Duvivier’s Panique (Spine #955 – Blu-ray and DVD) and an update of Ingmar Bergman’s Sawdust and Tinsel (Spine #412 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 12/18. We’ve updated the Criterion Spines Project pages here at The Bits accordingly.

Our friends at the Warner Archive Collection have just announced a few new Blu-ray titles, including the Hammer films titles Dracula AD 1972 (1972) and Satanic Rites of Dracula (1974), both starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, along with Bad Ronald (1974), Robert Altman’s Brewster McCloud (1970), and The 100: The Complete Fifth Season (2018). All are coming soon. [Read on here...]

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I posted the following text at the end of our early news update here at The Digital Bits, but it’s important enough that I though it worth posting separately, so it doesn’t get lost amid the usual news we post. This is an update and follow-up to my editorial from last Thursday, Hey Kids… Buying Movies? Buy Them on Disc, Not Digital. Here’s Why.... So here’s the text again or your attention:

All right... finally today, wanted to post a follow-up about that story from last week on iTunes consumer Andrews G da Silva, who discovered a trio of digital movies he’d purchased missing from his iTunes library. Now, it turns out the situation is a little bit of an oddball… da Silva is from Australia, where he purchased many of his films, but recently moved to Canada. Because of this, the region differences meant three of the films he’d purchased before he moved didn’t show up in his library after the move. You can read updates here at CNet and here at 9 to 5 Mac.

First of all, it’s unsurprising that region issues related to film distribution rights would rear their ugly head as a problem in the digital space. As people move around, this is going to be an on-going problem.

Of course, this has led a few to dismiss the concerns we posted in our editorial here at The Bits on Thursday. But doing so misses the larger point, which is important. [Read on here...]

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Before we get to the news, we begin the week with four new Blu-ray reviews, including…

Tim Salmons’ look at Terry Gilliam’s Tideland (2005) from Arrow Video.

David Steigman’s take on Bram Stoker’s Shadowbuilder (1998) from the MVD Rewind Collection and The French Way (1945), also from MVD.

And Dennis Seuling’s look at That Summer (2017) on DVD from IFC Independent Film. Fans of the 1975 Albert and David Maysles documentary Grey Gardens will find it of interest, as it contains raw footage from an earlier project starring the two Edies.

Also, we’ve posted the latest update of the Release Dates & Artwork section featuring new Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, when you order literally anything from Amazon after clicking through our links (like this one), you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we greatly appreciate it. [Read on here...]

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Every now and again, we talk here at The Digital Bits about the need to fight for the preservation of physical media. Meaning discs.

And every time we do, we get a few emails from our younger readers saying that we sound ridiculous for doing so, because discs are for dinosaurs and digital is awesome and that’s the future and you can watch it on your phone.

But we continue to fight for physical media for a very good reason... and older readers will know from experience why we do.

If you own all your movies and music on discs, you’ll have them indefinitely, whenever you want to watch or listen to them. You can still rip those discs to a digital file to watch your content on whatever device you want to. Sure it takes a little more effort to do so, but you still have that disc sitting on a shelf or in a box. And that’s very important.

Here’s why: If all your content is digital only, and your library exists only in the cloud, you don’t actually have those movies. You don’t own them, even if you’ve “purchased” them with your hard earned money. And the studios or streaming services can take them away from you whenever they want to. [Read on here...]

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All right, first up today, we have more new disc reviews for you...

I’ve just posted my in-depth look at Ron Howard’s Solo: A Star Wars Story in 4K Ultra HD from Disney and Lucasfilm. The three-disc set has nearly two hours of extras on the bonus Blu-ray and they’re pretty great. The title looks and sounds very nice in 4K Ultra HD as well. You can find the review here.

Meanwhile, I’ve also reviewed Shintao Katsu’s Zatoichi (1989), aka Zatoichi: Darkness Is His Ally, now available on Blu-ray at long last from Media Blasters and Tokyo Shock. If you’re a Zatoichi fan, it’s a perfect match to the amazing Criterion Blu-ray box set and completes the long-running Japanese film saga on Blu-ray.

Also, Dennis Seuling has checked in with his thoughts on Focus Films and Universal’s Won’t You Be My Neighbor? documentary about Fred Rogers on Blu-ray.

We have more new Blu-ray and 4K reviews on the way, so be sure to watch for them. [Read on here...]

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All right, we have a bunch of news to catch you all up on. But first, we have a bunch of new and recent reviews to catch you up on as well...

First up, I’ve taken an in-depth look at J.A. Bayona’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. The disc streets on 9/18 from Universal.

Also, David has looked at a few recent Sony MOD Blu-ray titles, including George Schaefer’s Pendulum (1969), Brian De Palma’s Casualties of War (1989), and Michael Haneke’s Happy End (2017).

And Dennis has reviewed Gary Ross’ new Ocean’s 8 on Blu-ray from Warner Bros, along with Peter Markle’s Bat*21 on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. He’s also updated his review of Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life on Blu-ray from Criterion with details on the new longer cut of the film, so be sure to take a look.

We have LOTS more Blu-ray and 4K reviews on the way for you guys this week, including my review of Solo: A Star Wars Story on 4K Ultra HD. So be sure to watch for them. [Read on here...]

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Heads-up: Universal has just issued an official statement…

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (UPHE) has identified a manufacturing issue which may affect the presentation of the 3D Blu-ray offering of the film Revenge of the Creature, released on August 28, 2018 as part of the Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection and the Creature From the Black Lagoon Complete Legacy Collection. The issue is isolated to this particular film and does not affect any other discs in the collections. UPHE’s goal is to always deliver the best possible product to its consumers. To that end, a replacement program is being established to ensure that those who have purchased either collection have the opportunity to receive a corrected Blu-ray disc featuring the 3D version of Revenge of the Creature and 2D version of The Creature Walks Among Us, should they encounter the issue. To receive an updated disc, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

So there you go. Thanks to everyone at Universal Studios Home Entertainment for addressing this problem so quickly. Special thanks also to Rob Furmanek of the 3-D Film Archive for his assistance in getting to the bottom of this.

Stay tuned…

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

 

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got a quick update for you today…

As many of you know, Universal released its Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection and Creature from the Black Lagoon: Complete Legacy Collection Blu-ray sets in stores last week.

We don’t yet have review product from the studio, but, as we reported last week, many readers began to complain about a problem with the new 3D presentation of Revenge of the Creature being subpar because of a suspected authoring issue. There were also reports that the 2D presentation of The Creature Walks Among was problematic.

We suggested that readers contact the studio via the customer service form on their website. [Read on here...]

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All right, we’ve got your first look at what might be the cover artwork for Warner’s Superman: The Movie 4K Ultra HD release… by way of the official German retail cover artwork seen at left.

We know that the disc will include the theatrical version of the film in 4K, with Dolby Atmos audio.

There is also the possibility that the longer cuts will be included in the package on Blu-ray only.

The German street date is November 8, but we suspect it will be an October release here in the States.

We should know more soon, when Warner makes the official announcement, so stay tuned. [Read on here...]

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Today is obviously a holiday here in the States, so there’s very little news to report.

We do, however, have a trio of new Blu-ray reviews for you to enjoy...

Tim’s taken a look at the To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story documentary from Dread Central Presents.

David has given due consideration to the epic 2017 Russian historical actioner Furious from Well Go USA.

And Dennis has checked out Stephen Brio’s horror film Song of Solomon from Unearthed Films.

Do give them a look, if you’re interested.

The only bit of home video news we have today is that Media Blaster’s Zatoichi: Darkness Is His Ally (aka Zatoichi 1989) Blu-ray finally seems to be shipping from Amazon. I expect to have it in hand in the next couple of days, so I’ll let you know if it’s actually a real thing and what the quality is like in a full review soon. [Read on here...]

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