My Two Cents

Smokey and the Bandit 4K, plus Cool World, Revenge of the Shogun Women in 3D, Zavvi buys Arrow Films & more

April 6, 2021 - 6:21 pm   |   by
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We start things off today here at The Bits with a pair of new Blu-ray Disc reviews...

Tim has taken a look at Marty Feldman’s The Last Remake of Beau Geste (1977), new on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. It comes with a terrific audio commentary by our friend Alan Spencer—the longtime writer, executive producer of TV’s Sledge Hammer, and personal friend of Feldman—that’s worth the purchase price of the disc all by itself. Don’t miss it.

Also, Dennis has offered his thoughts on Elia Kazan’s Baby Doll (1956) on Blu-ray from the Warner Archive Collection. Do give that a look as well.

Speaking of the Warner Archive Collection, we want to take a moment to remind everyone that even though WB Shop has officially closed, Warner Archive Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K titles can now be purchased from their brand store on Amazon.com (click here for that). Warner Archive has just revealed more new upcoming titles (see our post yesterday) and we have word that they’ll have new titles through the end of 2021 at least. It’s likely that the label will continue indefinitely, just run by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment itself, rather than its former, dedicated team. [Read on here...]

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Also, while we’re talking WB Shop, we’ve had a LOT of readers contact us worried that they haven’t yet received their final Blu-ray and DVD orders from the shop before it closed. And now that it is closed, they can’t check on the status of those outstanding orders. Our understanding is that every single order submitted before the shop closed will be fulfilled and shipped out. It’s just that the sheer volume of orders submitted in those final couple of weeks was significant, given the nature of the sales offered. So if you haven’t gotten your discs yet, just be patient—you should receive them in the next 2-3 weeks.

And if you haven’t received them after waiting, you can try contacting Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s customer service email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Be aware, however, that because of the massive layoffs and internal restructuring at the studio, it might be a while before you receive a reply. We have several Bits readers who have been trying to get a response from WB at that email address since January, with no reply to date. But I’ve contacted the studio and have been told that remains the correct email address for consumers to use for disc issues... and that the customer service operation should be back up to speed soon. Fingers crossed it happens sooner than later.

Now then... in announcement news today, Universal Studios Home Entertainment will release Smokey and the Bandit on 4K Ultra HD on 6/1. The disc will include HDR10 high dynamic range and Dolby Atmos audio. There has been no official press release yet, but you can pre-order the title on Amazon here at this link. And you can see the cover artwork above left and also below.

Speaking of Universal, the studio will release Ilya Naishuller’s Nobody on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 6/15. The film stars Bob Odenkirk in a rare action role. This title is also available for pre-order in 4K on Amazon here (and you can see the temp cover artwork below).

Also on the 4K front, we now have additional confirmation from retail sources that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on 4K on 6/29, in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary (which happens on 6/30).

We have additional word that Space Jam is tentatively set arrive on 4K Ultra HD on either 7/13 or 7/20 from the studio, in honor of its 25th anniversary (which happens on 11/20, except that the forthcoming sequel—Space Jam: A New Legacy—is currently due to arrive in theaters and on HBO Max on 7/16).

We’ve updated our 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Bits with all of the above information accordingly. And be aware that the list also includes Amazon US and UK pre-order links whenever available.

In other release news today, the legendary filmmaker and animator Ralph Bakshi has posted word on Facebook that Cool World is currently in the works for release on Blu-ray Disc later this year, presumably from Paramount.

Meanwhile, our friend Bob Furmanek at the 3-D Film Archive is running another Kickstarter campaign to fund the restoration of Chang Mei-jun’s classic 3-D Kung Fu epic Revenge of the Shogun Women (1977 – aka 13 Golden Nuns) for release on Blu-ray 3D. Note that this will be a Region A release only due to licensing restrictions. There are currently 28 days left to go in this campaign, so if you’d like to support it and get a copy of the eventual Blu-ray 3D release (for $35) be sure to click here. And thanks to my old friend Ed Peters for bringing this to my attention.

Also today, Kino Lorber Studio Classics will release Take This Job and Shove It (1981) on Blu-ray on 6/15.

Lionsgate will release Above Suspicion on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/18.

Universal will release the Netflix Original series title The Umbrella Academy: Season One on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/22.

And Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release Supernatural: The Complete Series on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/25.

Finally today, in other news from around the industry, it appears that The Hut.com Ltd, the UK company that owns the online retailer Zavvi, has just purchased the UK-based distributor Arrow Films. There’s been no official announcement of this yet, but you can see the documentation of the sale here at the UK government’s Companies House website. I wouldn’t necessarily expect this to change anything about the way Arrow Films and Arrow Video operate, but it’s an interesting development nonetheless.

All right, we’ll leave you today with a look at the cover artwork for a number of the titles mentioned above, with Amazon pre-order links if available...

Smokey and the Bandit (4K Ultra HD) Above Suspicion (Blu-ray Disc) Years of Lead (Blu-ray Disc)

Nobody (4K Ultra HD) Take This Job and Shove It (Blu-ray Disc) Major Dundee (Blu-ray Disc)

Supernatural: The Complete Series (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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