My Two Cents
Wednesday, 14 June 2023 13:03

Hey CBS & Paramount: Star Trek: Picard – Season Three deserves to be released in 4K Ultra HD!

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All right, today’s news update is going to be a very quick one, because I’m hard at work on 4K UHD reviews of James Cameron’s Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water. Hopefully, we should have at least one of them up tomorrow.

But first, we have several more new disc reviews for you to enjoy today, starting with...

My own in-depth look at Star Trek: Strange New Worlds – Season One in 4K Ultra HD from CBS Studios and Paramount Home Entertainment. The series is far from perfect, but what’s good is very good and it’s the most like the classic Trek we know and love that modern incarnations of this franchise have ever been, save for Picard: Season Three. (More on that in a moment.)

Also today, Tim has reviewed Michael Winner’s original Death Wish (1974) in 4K Ultra HD from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

Stephen has taken a look at Gaspar Noé’s Irreversible: Special Edition (2002) on Blu-ray from Altered Innocence and Vinegar Syndrome.

Dennis has reviewed Amanda Kramer’s Please Baby Please (2022) on Blu-ray from Music Box Films and Vinegar Syndrome.

And Stuart has checked out Maigret: Season 3 (1962), the classic BBC TV series, which comes to Blu-ray as part of a final arrangement between the now defunct Network Distributing and Kino Classics. [Read on here...]

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Now then, we have just a little bit of new release news for you this morning, and then I want to go on a bit of a soap box for a moment.

To start, Paramount has set William Wyler’s Roman Holiday (1953) for 4K Ultra HD release on 8/15.

Paramount has set also Craig Brewer’s Hustle & Flow for release on 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray as a new Paramount Presents title on 8/29.

Next up, Neon and Decal Releasing have officially set Brandon Cronenberg’s Infinity Pool (2023) for Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD release on 8/29. Look for HDR10 high dynamic range, sound in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio format, and extras to include audio commentary with Cronenberg, Karim Hussain, and Rob Cotterill, 5 featurettes (The Making of Infinity Pool, Camera Test/FX, Make-up and Figurative FX Reel, Behind the Scenes FX Footage, and Alexander Skarsgård and Mia Goth React to their Clones), a photo gallery, and trailers and TV spots.

Also, Umbrella Entertainment is releasing Larry Clark’s controversial debut film Kids (1995) on Blu-ray on 8/4.

Best Buy has a new 4K Ultra HD Steelbook exclusive of Gavin Hood’s Ender’s Game (2013) coming from Lionsgate on 8/8.

And finally, Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment and Adult Swim have set the animated Metalocalypse: The Complete Series for DVD and Digital release on 8/15, including all 62 episodes, all previous special features, and “the final death rock opera” Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem – A Klok Opera.

Now for that soap box I mentioned... I’ve just learned from industry sources that CBS Studios and Paramount are preparing to release Star Trek: Picard – The Final Season (aka Season Three) on Blu-ray on 9/5. And as things stand now, they do not plan to release it on 4K Ultra HD. And that is just wrong.

Their reasoning, I suspect, is twofold. First, I’ve confirmed with sources that Season Three of Picard was finished in 2K only. Second, Strange New Worlds – Season One (which I’ve just reviewed today) is the first of these new Paramount+ Trek series that the studio has chosen to release on 4K disc, so they logically assume that—having not released Season One or Two of Picard on the format yet—why would anyone want to buy just Season Three? But of course, for most legacy Trek fans, the answer to that question should be obvious.

Star Trek: Picard – Season Three deserves to be released in 4K Ultra HD!

Here’s the thing: Every single legacy Star Trek fan who has recently purchased the Star Trek: The Next Generation 4-Movie Collection in 4K Ultra HD (see our review here) is going to want Star Trek: Picard – Season Three in 4K UHD as well. Every single one of them.

Why? Because it’s the proper swan song that those Next Generation characters never got on film! It’s also highly cinematic. And it’s an absolutely fantastic season of Star Trek, arguably the best such season in the last thirty years.

Yes, the season wasn’t technically finished in 4K. But neither was James Cameron’s Avatar. And 20th Century Studios has recently AI-upsampled that film to stunning 4K. Not only does the film look great on 4K UHD (I have the disc in hand), it greatly benefits from high dynamic range, deep color, and the much higher data rates afforded by 4K UHD over regular Blu-ray.

Keep in mind, post production for modern films and TV shows is typically done at a color depth of around a 16 bits. And I have confirmed that Picard: Season Three already has a 12-bit HDR DCI-P3/D65 Dolby Vision master! So properly upsampled, it will look absolutely fantastic on physical 4K UHD.

For CBS and Paramount to not release Season Three is 4K UHD is just leaving money on the table. I personally know many people who would prefer to buy it on 4K UHD vs. regular Blu-ray. And I’m already hearing from many, many Digital Bits readers who feel the same.

CBS and Paramount: Don’t let the fact that Season One and Two haven’t been released in 4K stop you! If you actually believe in the series, and have the courage of your convictions, release Season Three in 4K, see what demand is like, and then release Season One and Two on 4K UHD later for those who want it. But please do not fail to release the best TV Star Trek in the last thirty years on the best disc format possible.

Star Trek: Picard – Season Three deserves to seen, and owned by fans and A/V enthusiasts, in the very best quality possible. And that is 4K Ultra HD. Make it happen CBS and Paramount!

Heads-up: If someone out there wants to create a petition for Picard: Season Three to be released in physical 4K UHD format, I will happily link to it here and promote it on The Bits and all our social media feeds.

It needs to happen.

[Editor’s Update: Bits reader James Stanley Barr has started a petition (linked here) to convince CBS and Paramount to release Star Trek: Picard – Season Three on 4K Ultra HD in addition to regular Blu-ray. Please sign it and share it widely! I’m told that the studios are definitely paying attention to fan interest on this, as well as demand for the Blu-ray (now available for pre-order here and here). I’ve also launched a poll on Twitter where you can vote for your preferred format, Blu-ray or 4K UHD (click here for that—it’s open for the next week so again, please share it widely). You all have a real chance to make a difference in this happening, so he sure to chime in!]

Now then, I’ll leave you with a look at the cover artwork for a few of the titles mentioned above, with pre-order links if available...

Infinity Pool (4K Ultra HD) Hustle & Flow (4K Ultra HD) Berry Gordy’s The Last Dragon (4K Ultra HD)

Stay tuned!

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



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