My Two Cents
Thursday, 11 June 2020 14:51

Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice in 4K, plus Wind Rises, more catalog Blu-ray, and a word on MGM & Gone with the Wind

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All right, a quick update today with a bit more release news...

First up though, we have two more new disc reviews for you today. Tim has checked out Richard Jefferies’ Blood Tide (1982) on Blu-ray from Arrow Video. And Dennis has turned in his thoughts on Paul Wegener and Carl Boese’s classic German expressionist tale The Golem (1920) on Blu-ray from Kino Classics. Do give them a look.

Also, we’ve just posted a new update of the Release Dates & Artwork section here at The Bits thanks to our own Russell Hammond, and it’s full of all the recently-announced Blu-ray and 4K titles. As always, whenever you order anything from Amazon through our links, you’re helping to support The Bits and we really do appreciate it.

In other news today, here’s a nice surprise: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is releasing Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice in 4K Ultra HD on 9/1! It looks like two versions will be available: A wide release standard edition and an Amazon exclusive deluxe giftset. You can see the cover art at left and also below. [Read on here...]

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Here’s a look at the Amazon gift set (click the image to see the relevant pre-order page)...

Beetlejuice (Amazon exclusive 4K Ultra HD)

And while we’re talking about Warner 4K titles, we now know that they’re releasing Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) on 9/1 as well. Here’s that cover art (again, click to visit the Amazon pre-order pages)...

Sherlock Holmes (4K Ultra HD) Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (4K Ultra HD) Beetlejuice (4K Ultra HD)

In other news today, it’s come to our attention that new 4K scans of additional Paramount catalog titles have become available for purchase on the high-end movie service Kaleidescape. Among them are Tropic Thunder, Deep Impact, Nashville, Escape from L.A., Airplane, and Flashdance. The last two have obviously appeared (or are about to) as new remastered Blu-ray editions, so it seems likely that at least some of the others will be coming to Blu-ray as well.

Here’s a nice bit of Blu-ray news for Studio Ghibli fans: GKids and Shout! Factory will officially be releasing Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises on the format on 9/1. The title had formerly been released on Blu-ray by Disney. The new disc will include an exclusive booklet, feature-length storyboards, the 10 Years with Hayao Miyazaki documentary episode, Behind the Microphone, video of the Film Completion Press Conference, original theatrical trailers, and TV spots.

Meanwhile, for UK fans, Eureka! has announced a pair of new Masters of Cinema releases coming in June. Look for Robert Siodmak’s classic B&W film noir Chris Cross (1949) on Blu-ray on June 22. Also on that day, look for a Blu-ray of Billy Wilder’s classic B&W comedy A Foreign Affair (1948). Note that each is coded for Region B only.

MVD Entertainment has set Tony Maylam and Ian Sharp’s Split Second (1992) for Blu-ray release on 8/11 as part of their MVD Rewind Collection. The film stars Rutger Hauer and Kim Cattrall. It’s mastered from a new 4K scan and will be loaded with extras.

And Kino Lorber Studio Classics has revealed a couple more great new catalog Blu-ray titles that they’re working on for release in September: Look for Guy Hamilton’s Evil Under the Sun (1982) on 9/1 and Paul Donovan’s Def-Con 4 (1985) on 9/15 (that last one for Scorpion Releasing).

A couple of other quick notes this afternoon...

A number of Bits readers have asked us which studio we think will become the new home video distributor for MGM when their current deal with Fox finally expires on June 30. Consider this Rumor Mill worthy—I am fully prepared for the possibility of being surprised on this one—but right now I would suggest that all signs point to Universal. Universal has been MGM’s distributor for recent new-release titles and will be the home of the forthcoming home video release of No Time to Die. Universal has also recently partnered with Warner Bros. in a plan to merge their physical media distribution operations, which puts both studios in a stronger position to support physical media releases over the next decade. Meanwhile, Disney has scaled back their own home media operation. And while Paramount seems to be scaling up, they have their hands full with their own product (and also Viacom’s recently acquired distribution stake in Miramax). All of this would seem to point to Universal being the most likely physical media distribution partner for MGM. However, Apple seems to be the most likely DIGITAL distribution partner. In any case, take all of this with a grain of salt, as I said. We’ll have to wait and see.

Finally today, a number of you have asked what we think about HBO MAX’s decision to pull Gone with the Wind from their digital distribution platform temporarily over concerns about racist depictions in the film. Well, rather than speak for WE, here’s what I personally think: Relax, it’s only temporary. HBO has already said they plan to bring the film back at some point “with a discussion of its historical context” to address its controversial aspects. How many of you were really jonesing to watch Gone with the Wind digitally this weekend anyway? Not many I’ll wager, and those that were probably already own a copy of the film on Blu-ray or DVD or laserdisc or VHS. Lord knows, there are there are literally MILLIONS of copies of this film in circulation, so those who want to see it will surely be able to find a way. Yes, I know it’s out of stock on Amazon and elsewhere, and yes, I know that people are selling it for large sums on eBay. I think anyone rushing to buy this film on eBay for $100 is being a little ridiculous. Look... given what’s happened in this country both historically and over the last few weeks, it seems to me only prudent that this is a good time to maybe take a good hard look at this issue, to be honest with ourselves about it, and to be respectful of people’s feelings. Yes, I know that as we move toward an all-digital world, people get freaked out about this kind of thing—content being altered or made to disappear—and yes, it’s a concern I’ve been talking about here on The Bits for two decades now. But it seems to me that we’ve got much bigger concerns in America at the moment, so let’s keep perspective. Everyone (by which I mean film fans) take a deep breath. Enough said.

All right, that’s all for now. Stay tuned…!

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