My Two Cents
Thursday, 27 July 2023 17:24

New details on Natural Born Killers & Batman: Mask of the Phantasm in Ultra HD, plus The Fugitive 4K restoration, To Boldly Go & Sinéad O’Connor RIP

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We have two new disc reviews of you to enjoy today...

Stephen has taken a look at Dusty Nelson’s Effects (1979) in 4K Ultra HD, a film that originated from the minds of several Pittsburgh-area collaborators of George A. Romero. It’s now available from Image Works via the American Genre Film Archive and our friends at Vinegar Syndrome.

If you’re interested in this film, you might also enjoy reading a 2005 archived interview we did on the original Bits website about the project with our old friend John Harrison (Takes from the Darkside, Frank Herbert’s Dune). You’ll find that here (and pardon the messy HTML).

Also today, Dennis has taken a look at Cheryl Dunye’s The Watermelon Woman (1996) on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection.

We don’t have a lot in the way of new announcement news today, but a number of long-awaited 4K Ultra HD catalog titles are finally available for pre-order on Amazon. [Read on here...]

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They include (just click on the covers)...

American Graffiti (4K Ultra HD) The Train (4K Ultra HD) Kick-Ass 2 (4K Ultra HD)

Rosemary's Baby (4K Ultra HD) Mortal Kombat Legends: Cage Match (4K Ultra HD) Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (4K Ultra HD)

In other catalog title news, we’ve learned from our friends at Shout! Factory that their forthcoming 4K Ultra HD release of Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers (1994) will include both cuts of the film (the Director’s Cut on 4K and Blu-ray, as well as the Theatrical Cut on Blu-ray only) and will restore the Nine Inch Nails song Burn, which was heard in the theatrical release and appeared on LaserDisc, but which has been missing from all subsequent home video releases. You’ll also get four new featurettes. You can read more here.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment has finally officially announced their animated Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) 4K Ultra HD release (pictured above, and which we mentioned here at The Bits a few days ago). It’s due on 9/12 in honor of the film’s 30th anniversary. From the press release...

“The 4K HDR/SDR remaster of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm was sourced from the 1993 Original Cut Camera Negative and was scanned at 4K resolution. Digital restoration was applied to the 4K scans to remove dirt, scratches and additional anomalies, but special care was given to not touch the film grain or the animation cel dirt that was part of the original artwork. This is the first time since its theatrical release that it is presented in its 1.85 aspect ratio. The original 2.0 mix and the 5.1 tracks were remastered to remove or improve defects such as pops, ticks, dropouts and distortion.”

Let’s hope that proves actually true (and that it isn’t arbitrarily over-compressed like their recent Max Fleischer’s Superman Blu-ray was). Fingers crossed. Extras will include the new Kevin Conroy: I Am The Knight tribute featurette, along with a bonus episode of Justice League: Unlimited in HD featuring a cameo by Phantasm.

Speaking of Warner Bros, the studio has also just announced that Andrew Davis’ The Fugitive (1993) has received a new 4K restoration and will be screening at the American Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, CA on Saturday, August 19th at 7:30PM, also in honor of the film’s 30th anniversary. Davis will be in attendance for the anniversary celebrations and will take part in a Q&A prior to the feature. Also from the press release...

“The digital restoration process has restored images, color corrected each frame, and graded the entire picture in High Dynamic Range color volume. The restoration work was done by WB MPI’s Senior Colorist, Jan Yarbrough, with direct involvement from the film’s director, Andrew Davis, and the film’s editor, Don Brochu, ensuring that the finished look is creatively accurate. The result is a more realistic looking picture with fantastic clarity, contrast, and color, never before seen, that grabs the viewer’s attention and holds on to it throughout the film.

“It was truly moving and thrilling to relive frame by frame, the making of our picture. I appreciate even more all the talent and passion that is evident in this beautifully updated version. The Fugitive looks, sounds, and feels like an exciting and relevant new film that will continue to be loved around the world,” said Andrew Davis.”

There’s no word yet of a physical 4K Ultra HD release, but sources tell me there’s a very good chance of one happening in the coming months. We’ll post updates as they become available.

Also today, Arrow Video will be announcing some new October titles on their Twitter page tomorrow at 7 AM Pacific, so be sure to check their feed or back here at The Bits tomorrow for all the details.

And our friends at The Inglorious Treksperts, some of whom were involved in the terrific Greatest Geek Year Ever! 1982 documentary, have just launched a new Kickstarter to fund the making of a documentary called To Boldly Go, celebrating the 60th anniversary of Star Trek. They’re going to visit iconic Trek filming locations around the world and interview a who’s who of special guests and Trek luminaries. You can find all the details and offer your support to the project here, via, and also by clicking on the image below.

Make the Trek documentary Kickstarter

Finally today, we need to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of singer Sinéad O’Connor yesterday at the age of just 56. O’Connor had led a troubled life in recent times, struggling with drug addiction and also suffering from the loss of her 17-year-old son Shane just last year. (She’s survived by three other children.) But her creative gifts were undeniable and her ferocity was unmatched. 1980s and 90s music fans will certainly be familiar her hit single Nothing Compares 2 U, and of course the many controversies she courted. O’Connor never took the easy path, but she’ll certainly be remembered. You can read more here via The Irish Times and also via The New York Times.

Sinéad O’Connor RIP

That’s all for now. Stay tuned...

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



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