My Two Cents
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 16:52

Hobbit: Five Armies, plus Song of the Sea, Big Hero 6, John Wick & LOTS more announcement news

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We’re going to take a break from our CES coverage today to run down all the latest Blu-ray and DVD announcement news, because there’s been a few good ones to report. Then we’ll be back tomorrow with more from the convention in Las Vegas.  [Read on here…]

First though, a quick side note: Russell Hammond has just updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray and DVD cover artwork and pre-order links. I’d like to take a moment quickly to explain to all our readers how important your support via our Amazon links is to The Bits’ continued operation and also how easy it to support us that way. Advertising on the Internet has really changed a lot in the last 17 years. Frankly, it’s difficult to find advertisers willing to support websites like this one. We’re essentially a magazine online, but advertisers still have a bias towards print – even though most websites have much greater readership. So lots of sites have turned to other ways to get money – subscription fees, obnoxious ads that pop-up everywhere, and “advertiser generated content” that looks like real news but really isn’t. We don’t want to do that because, frankly, we find it insulting to both us and you guys as readers. So we’ve turned to the Amazon Affiliate program, and it’s made a big difference for us. It is literally the difference between The Bits continuing… or not. But as physical media sales decline, so too has some of that revenue. As such, what I’d like to take a moment to explain is that – when you use our links to support us while buying stuff from Amazon – it doesn’t have to be just Blu-rays and DVDs. All you have to do is click to Amazon through ANY of our links. Then, anything you buy in that same session after doing so – not just the Blu-ray pre-order link you might have clicked through, but books, clothing, computer stuff, groceries, whatever – all that counts. We get a percentage of the sale price on all of it. And it really makes a difference. So whether you’ve been reading the site for all of our 17 years, or you’re new to The Bits, and you find some value in and appreciate what we do here, all we ask in return is that if you’re shopping for anything through Amazon, you help support us by doing so through our links. We’re going to have a graphic link in each column (see below) that allows you to do so more easily. And we thank you!

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Now then… we have a bit of Hobbit news. Our industry sources are telling us to expect the Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo and DVD release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in mid to late-March. So maybe 3/17 or 3/24. We’ll let you know when we have official confirmation of that. Either way, expect a Blu-ray and DVD release of The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy to hit stores around that same time. Then in time for the holidays you’ll get The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Extended Edition and The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy – Extended Edition on Blu-ray. And if I had to guess, the rumored but we know for sure it’s happening super-ultimate Middle Earth box set of all the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films will probably arrive on Blu-ray in 2016.

Let’s get to the actual announcement news… Disney has just announced that Big Hero 6 will arrive on Blu-ray Combo and DVD on 2/24, with a digital release expected on 2/3. Extras on the Blu-ray will include the Feast theatrical short, deleted scenes, the Big Hero Secrets Easter egg, 3 featurettes (The Origin Story of Big Hero 6: Hiro’s Journey, Big Animator 6: The Characters Behind the Characters, and Beatmax), and Gag Animations.

Lionsgate has set John Wick for Blu-ray and DVD release on 2/3. Both versions will include 6 featurettes (Don’t F*#% With John Wick, Calling in the Cavalry, Destiny of a Collective, Assassin’s Code, Red Circle, and NYC Noir). To this, the Blu-ray will exclusively add audio commentary with filmmakers Chad Stahelski and David Leitch.

Lionsgate has also set Alpha and Omega 3: The Great Wolf Games and Ancient Aliens: Season 7 – Volume 1 for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/10, along with Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B and Subconscious on DVD only.

Universal has finally officially set Dumb and Dumber To for Blu-ray and DVD release on 2/17, with a digital release due 2/3. Extras on both formats will include the 6-part That’s Awesome!: The Story of Dumb and Dumber To documentary (includes Chapter 1: “I Like it a Lot” – The Beginning, Chapter 2: “Gotcha” – The Cast, Chapter 2.5: “That’s Insane!” – The Cameos, Chapter 3: “We’re Gunna Need Some Wheels” – The Cars, Chapter 4: “That’s Commitment!” – The Stunts, and Chapter 5: “There’s No Diamonds In Here” – The Editorial). To this, the Blu-ray will exclusively add an alternate opening, deleted and extended scenes, a gag reel, and the What’s so Smart about Dumb and Dumber To? featurette.

Universal has also set Tomm Moore’s gorgeously animated Song of the Sea for Blu-ray and DVD release on 3/17. Extras will included audio commentary with Moore, a Behind the Scenes featurette (with optional Moore commentary), Animation Tests (with optional Moore commentary), The Art of Song of the Sea, a conceptual trailer, and the U.S. theatrical trailers.

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Shout! Factory has set Rob Reiner’s The Sure Thing: 30th Anniversary Edition for release on Blu-ray on 3/24. It will include audio commentary with director Rob Reiner, 4 featurettes (Road to The Sure Thing, Casting The Sure Thing, Reading The Sure Thing, and Dressing The Sure Thing), and the theatrical trailer.

Well Go USA Entertainment has set Lu Yang’s Brotherhood of Blades for Blu-ray and DVD release on 2/10. Well Go has also set The Lookalike for Blu-ray and DVD release on 2/10.

Warner Home Video will release the animated Justice League: Throne of Atlantis on Blu-ray, DVD and digital on 1/27.

Warner has also set Hooper and Sharky’s Machine for BD release on 4/7, along with the New Line titles Empire Records, Singles, Detroit Rock City, After the Sunset, and The Corruptor.

Anchor Bay Entertainment has announced Zombie Killers: Elephant’s Graveyard for Blu-ray and DVD release on 2/3.

Kino Lorber has set Life of Riley (2014) for Blu-ray release on 3/10, followed by Hester Street (1975) and Vice and Virtue (1963) on 3/17, and At War with the Army (1950) and Cover Up (1949) on 3/24.

Milestone Films has The Connection (1961) and In the Land of Headhunters (1914) coming to BD on 2/24.

Cohen Media Group has set May in the Summer for Blu-ray release on 1/20.

PBS Distribution will release Earth: A New Wild on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/10, as well as Wagonmasters on DVD only on 1/27.

Magnolia will release the Norwegian film Pioneer on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/10.

A company called Bagdasarian has set The Alvin Show for Blu-ray and DVD release on 3/10 as well. Hopefully, this is a collection of all 26 original 1961-62 episodes in HD.

Scorpion Releasing has Fire Power (1993) coming to Blu-ray on 3/10.

Massacre Video will release the late80s, B-grade horror titles Venus Flytrap and Demon Queen on DVD on 1/13.

And Vinegar Syndrome has set Don’t Go in the Woods… Alone! for Blu-ray release on 2/10.

One last note: I know that a lot of readers have e-mailed us with questions about Ultra HD Blu-ray and other topics. It’s going to be a few days after CES before we can get back to everyone. So thanks for your patience!

We’ll leave you with a look at more new Blu-ray Disc cover artwork…

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Blu-ray Disc)    John Wick (Blu-ray Disc)    Big Hero 6 (Blu-ray Disc)

The Alvin Show (Blu-ray Disc)    Halo Nightfall (Blu-ray Disc)    Song of the Sea (Blu-ray Disc)

Back with more from CES tomorrow. Stay tuned…

Bill Hunt


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