On the 4K front, it looks like the floodgates are beginning to open at last. We now have confirmation from our industry and retail sources that Universal is working to bring Ron Howard’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Apollo 13, Joss Whedon’s Serenity, and Steven Spielberg’s ET: The Extra-Terrestrial to the format later this year. These would be in addition to all of the catalog 4K titles we mentioned in yesterday’s post here at The Bits. Note that these have not been officially announced by Universal here in the States, but we expect them to be in the weeks ahead. The Apollo 13 4K cover art (pictured above left) comes from an international retail source.
While we’re on the topic of 4K, we’re also now hearing limited retailer reports that Warner will release the remaining Harry Potter films in 4K on 10/3, including Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
On to regular Blu-ray: Kino Lorber has just revealed that they’re working on adding James Glockenhaus’ The Soldier (1982) to their Studio Classics line-up on Blu-ray and DVD. Street date is TBA.
Arrow Video has Kinji Fukusaku’s Doberman Cop: Special Edition coming to Blu-ray/DVD Combo on 7/4. The film stars the great Sonny Chiba. Don’t forget that Arrow also has John Frankenheimer’s Ronin coming on Blu-ray/DVD Combo on 8/15. It’s going to include all the legacy special features plus a new 4K restoration supervised by cinematographer Robert Fraisse, a new video interview with Fraisse, and a collector’s booklet illustrated by Chris Malbon and featuring an essay by Travis Crawford.
Universal is releasing Bates Motel: The Complete Series and Bates Motel: Season Five on Blu-ray on 9/19. Universal has also set Cult of Chucky for Blu-ray and DVD release on 10/3, along with a Chucky: Complete 7-Movie Collection on Blu-ray only.
Music Box Films is releasing A Quiet Passion on Blu-ray and DVD on 7/11.
Troma Entertainment is releasing Last Day of School on Blu-ray on 7/11.
Mill Creek Entertainment is releasing the King Solomon’s Mines miniseries on Blu-ray on 7/11. It stars Patrick Swayze.
The Warner Archive is releasing the John Wayne classic The Sea Chase on Blu-ray on 7/11. They’ll follow it with Blood Alley on Blu-ray on 7/18.
HBO’s Girls: The Final Season has been set for Blu-ray and DVD release on 7/25.
Speaking of the pay cable network, we’ve had a couple Bits readers tell us that HBO’s From the Earth to the Moon miniseries aired in Australia recently in HD on the Box Set Channel. The report is that it was in HD, but that the VFX appeared to be upconverted. We’d like to implore HBO to finally release this series on Blu-ray widely! Either spend the money that would be needed to upgrade the visual effects to full HD, or at least license the series out to a third party who could release it as is on Blu-ray, in HD but with upconverted effects. The series is just too damn good to languish on DVD only. It deserves to be seen again by a new generation. And I say all of this in the knowledge that 2018 is the series’ 20th anniversary. ’Nuff said.
Moving on, 20th Century Fox has set Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 8/8.
And Lionsgate will release How to Be a Latin Lover on DVD and Blu-ray on 8/15.
Now then… I’ve got a stack of 4K Ultra HD discs here in my office that are badly in need of reviewing. My work on that front has been held up over the last couple weeks by a strange allergic reaction I seem to be having to something in the air here in SoCal, significant enough that I went to the doctor yesterday to get it checked out. All is well on that front, I’m pleased to report, but as a result I’m going to be laying low over the next few days with plenty of time to finally dig into that 4K UHD pile for review purposes. The 4th is Tuesday, obviously, and Monday is sort of an unofficial holiday here in the States as well, so I may or may not have a news post on Monday. However, I will be checking in with new 4K reviews here at The Bits. The first two are coming very soon; a pair of hot forthcoming 4K titles that you fans of Luc Besson might be interested in. Watch for them shortly. Be sure to check back here at the site, and also on my personal Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as The Bits’ social media pages – I’ll share the links there as soon as each new review is posted.
With that, I wish all of you here in the States a happy, safe, and looooonnnnng 4th of July weekend with family and friends, and a great weekend to all of our fine readers around the world too. Peace out!
- Bill Hunt