My Two Cents

The Abyss on Blu-ray & 4K Ultra HD finally (!?!), plus Criterion FLASH sale & announcement news

March 5, 2019 - 4:30 pm   |   by
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All right, let’s get right down to it. I’ve been reluctant to talk about the prospects of James Cameron’s The Abyss and True Lies arriving on Blu-ray (and dare we hope 4K) in 2019 because we’ve had SO many solid reports that these films were finally coming only to see them evaporate. And when I’ve tried to find out why, Fox always pointed at Cameron and Cameron always pointed back at Fox. What I finally figured out is that Cameron has just been too distracted with other projects to approve new transfers of these films, first with diving to the bottom of the ocean and more recently with his Avatar prequels.

As longtime Bits readers will be well aware, both films were expected for their last major anniversaries in 2014. We know for a fact that 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment had even prepared new Blu-ray releases (most recently rumored for release in 2017), but Cameron never got around to approving the new transfers, so the Blu-ray releases never happened. The transfers were quietly released to the pay cable movie channels only.

Well, now it’s five years later. 2019 officially marks the 30th anniversary of The Abyss and the 25th of True Lies. Naturally, that means Bits readers have been asking me for weeks about the prospects of finally seeing these films released on Blu-ray (and, again, dare we hope 4K). I’ve even spoken to studio sources about this recently. And again, what I learned was that the ball was still in James Cameron’s court. [Read on here...]

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What’s more, as recently as late last year, Cameron was hinting on social media that he still had yet to approve new transfers and color timing, but he’d just been too busy. So about two weeks ago, and pretty publically on my Twitter page, I posted this...

Bill Hunt Twitter post

And goddamnit, I tagged James Cameron on it. Because I’m really tired of talking about these films not being released on Blu-ray and anamorphic DVD when they should have been years ago. I’ve just had my damn fill of the subject, so much that I almost stopped caring.

Let’s just say, the response from readers on social media at the time was... strong.

Jump ahead to today. I’m reading my Twitter feed over my coffee this morning, when I see that a Bits reader named Ray Hahn (thanks Ray!) shared this post from professional film colorist Skip Kimball of Deluxe’s EFilm (the colorist for Avatar among other Cameron films) on Instagram...

Skip Kimball Instagram post

It was posted on Sunday, and it clearly references a new color grade of the new 4K scan of The Abyss that is finally happening. And yes, presumably for both Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD release, this year, for the film’s 30th anniversary.

Now... I don’t know if the one had anything to do with the other, but I’ll take it either way. I also don’t know which cut or cuts of the film are being graded (hopefully all of them), so don’t ask me. I don’t know when the release is coming, so don’t ask me (though the actual anniversary is 8/9, so presumably around then). And I don’t know if True Lies is coming too yet or not, so don’t ask me.

BUT... this appears to be semi-official confirmation that The Abyss on BD and 4K is FINALLY FUCKING HAPPENING. Naturally, I’ll believe it when I see it. But I’m encouraged. I will, of course, let you know more as soon as I do. LOL.

All right, meanwhile...

Today is Criterion’s semi-regular 50% off FLASH sale on all in-stock titles! So click here to visit their website, shop away, and no code is needed. But act fast!

Also, we have a couple of great new announcements...

Shout! Factory has just announced that their next Shout Select Collector’s Edition will be Scott Hicks’ Snow Falling on Cedars (1999), due on 6/18.

Meanwhile, Scream Factory is releasing some great 1950s B-grade horror and sci-fi classics in June as well, including The Monolith Monsters (1957) on 6/18, and This Island Earth (1955 – 2 1/2 years in the making!) and Monster on the Campus (1958) on 6/25! Also newly announced by Scream is a Collector’s Edition of The Entity (1983) on 6/11. You can see some of the cover artwork below.

And back to 20th Century Fox for a moment... the studio has just officially set The Kid Who Would Be King for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 4/16. Audio will be Dolby Atmos on the 4K only. Extras on the Blu-ray versions will include deleted scenes, 3 featurettes (Origins of a King, Young Knights, and Hair, Makeup & Costume Tests), 4 Merlin’s Magic clips (Knight School, The Two Merlins, Meet Morgana, and Movie Magic), and Lay Lay’s Be the King music video. We’ve added the title to our 4K Ultra HD Release List accordingly.

Here’s that cover artwork I mentioned above, with Amazon links if they exist (we’ll add more as they go live)...

The Kid Who Would Be King (4K Ultra HD) The Kid Who Would Be King (4K Ultra HD) Man on a Ledge (4K Ultra HD)

Hellboy Animated Double Feature (4K Ultra HD) Bumblebee (4K Ultra HD) Aquaman (4K Ultra HD)

This Island Earth (Blu-ray Disc) The Monolith Monsters (Blu-ray Disc) Monster on the Campus (Blu-ray Disc)

That’s all for now. Stay tuned...!

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


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