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Arrow’s September Blu-ray & 4K slate, plus their Dune doc is no more, The Herculoids from Warner Archive & new announcements

June 28, 2021 - 5:29 pm   |   by

We’re kicking off the new week with more disc reviews...

For those who missed it, I posted my thoughts on Wolfgang Petersen’s In the Line of Fire (from Sony) and Adam Wingard’s Godzilla vs. Kong (from Warner Bros.) in 4K Ultra HD on Friday. They’re very different films, but each looks and sounds terrific, so do give them a look.

Also, Dennis has turned in his comments on George Sherman’s Larceny, a 1948 film noir that’s coming on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics on 7/13.

And Stephen has reviewed Arthur Barron’s Jeremy (1973) on Blu-ray, as recently released on the format by Fun City Editions.

We also have a brand new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate, which looks back at the theatrical release of Gordon Parks’ original Shaft in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary. The in-depth piece (four pages in all!) features a new roundtable interview with historians Josiah Howard and Lee Pfeiffer, as well as Shaft super-fan Chris Utley. You’ll find that here and it’s well worth a look. [Read on here...]

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Now then, before we get to the latest release news, we have an update on a recently-announced title. Arrow Video has unfortunately announced that the feature-length documentary, The Sleeper Must Awaken: Making Dune, is having to be dropped from the company’s forthcoming Dune 4K and Blu-ray editions (due on 8/31) as a result of “production issues.” We’d hesitate to speculate on what this might mean, but the loss of the documentary is a major knock on the release. As fans will already be aware, the Arrow release is already not going to include the restored TV cut/Alan Smithee version of the film (because Universal has pulled it from North American release), even though the Koch Media German webstore-exclusive 4K package will have it. To now lose the feature-length documentary too—which has been a major draw for fans of the film—is going to be a problem. (We don’t know if the Koch release will still include it or not—we’re trying to find out.) We’re already hearing from some Bits readers that they’ve cancelled, or are considering cancelling, their pre-orders. Hopefully, we’ll learn more about what’s going on here soon, but this is really disappointing news.

Speaking of Arrow, they’re leading off our new release news here at The Bits today, because the company has officially announced their September Blu-ray and 4K slate. Among the titles you can expect are The Films of Oliver Assayas (includes Disorder, Winter’s Child, Irma Vep, and Demonlover) on Blu-ray in the UK only (on 9/6), Edward Dmytryk’s Walk on the Wild Side on Blu-ray in the UK only (on 9/6), a Death Screams: Limited Edition (available in two different covers) on Blu-ray in the US, UK, and Canada (on 9/14), Children of the Corn on 4K Ultra HD in the US and Canada only (on 9/28) and a Children of the Corn Trilogy on Blu-ray only in the UK (on 9/27), The Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch on Blu-ray in the US, UK, and Canada (on 9/21), a Cold War Creatures: Four Films from Sam Katzman – Limited Edition Blu-ray box set (includes Creature with the Atom Brain, The Werewolf, The Zombies of Mora Tau, and The Giant Claw) in the US, UK, and Canada (on 9/14), and finally Ridley Scott’s Legend: Limited Edition on Blu-ray only (with two different US cover art SKUs, one of which is Zavvi-exclusive) in the US and Canada only (on 9/28).

The good news is that Ridley Scott’s Legend will include the U.S. Theatrical Cut restored in 2K from a 4K scan of the original camera negative, as well as the Director’s Cut, a new audio commentary on the Theatrical Cut by Paul M. Sammon, and more. Unfortunately, it will not include the International Cut, nor will there be a 4K Ultra HD release. The reason is complicated, but also completely understandable. The gist of it is, there is no surviving negative for the Director’s Cut, which was produced using a pair of 35 mm answer prints, with VFX that had to be finished specifically for the 2002 DVD and 2011 Blu-ray releases. That work would have to be completly redone for any 4K release, something that Universal would have to do themselves with the filmmaker. Also, the negative is currently confirmed to the International Cut, which is owned by Universal, but the distribution rights for it belong to Disney and Fox, and Arrow couldn’t get those studios to clear those rights. You can read a much more detailed explanation from producer James Flower on Twitter here. Meanwhile, here’s a look at the packaging for the Zavvi US-exclusive version of Legend (click on the artwork to pre-order it)...

Legend: Limited Edition (Blu-ray Disc)

In other news, the Warner Archive Collection will be releasing the animated The Herculoids: The Complete Original Series on Blu-ray on 7/27 (SRP $29.99). Also coming in July are Objective: Burma on 7/13 and Take Me Out to the Ball Game, I Wouldn’t Be in Your Shoes, and Step by Step on 7/20.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will also release Those Who Wish Me Dead on Blu-ray and DVD on 8/3.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release Bye Bye Birdie (1963), Pal Joey (1957), and Sniper (1993) on Blu-ray on 7/20.

Shout! Factory will release the animated Dreambuilders (2020) on Blu-ray and DVD on 8/24.

Umbrella Entertainment in Australia is releasing Breaker Morant on Blu-ray on 7/26 (this is likely a Region B title).

The next Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-ray release will be Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat on 8/17.

And Kino Lorber will release Burhan Qurbani’s Berlin Alexanderplatz on Blu-ray and DVD on 8/31.

Also, Kino Lorber Studio Classics has announced that it’s preparing a new Blu-ray edition of Roger Spottiswoode’s The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper (1981) for release sometime in October (street date is still TBA).

Here’s a look at the cover artwork for a few of the titles mentioned above, with Amazon pre-order links if available...

Those Who Wish Me Dead (Blu-ray Disc) The Herculoids: The Complete Series (Blu-ray Disc) Berlin Alexanderplatz (Blu-ray Disc)

Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat (Blu-ray Disc) Dreambuilders (Blu-ray Disc) Robotech: Part 1 - The Macross Saga (Blu-ray Disc)

That’s all for now. Stay tuned...

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