Now then, a quick note: We’ve gotten our hands on the Disney Movie Club’s new Blu-ray release of The Black Hole, and it’s going to prove controversial. There are no extras, the overture appears to be missing, and it appears that much remastering needs to be done (but hasn’t). Is it worth, $20 and joining the Club? Maybe. It is, at least, the film on Blu-ray. So that’s something. But the film definitely deserves better. We may yet review it, but in the meantime, we wanted to let you all know. [Editor’s Note: Apparently the overture is there, but the disc defaults to playback at the start of the film. We're trying to figure out if there’s a menu way of accessing it.]
In announcement news, MGM and 20th Century Fox will release Vikings: Season 5 Volume 2 on Blu-ray and DVD on 10/8. The set will include extended versions of all 10 episodes, creator’s audio commentary with Michael Hirst and actor Gustaf Skarsgard, deleted scenes, and 2 featurettes (The Epic War of Ragnar’s Sons and The King and the Warrior Bishop). You can see the artwork above left.
And Disney will release the live action Maleficent on 4K Ultra HD on 9/24, no doubt times to promote the 10/18 theatrical release of the sequel, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.
Speaking of Disney, there’s some interesting news in the aftermath of Disney’s D23 Expo this past weekend (and thanks to our friend John Archer at Forbes for the heads-up): Disney+ will officially be supporting 4K and Dolby Vision on their new streaming service, which launches on 11/12. That is no small thing. And it makes us wonder if this doesn’t signal a major shift from physical media, especially with Disney releasing so many big catalog titles on physical 4K now, before the service launches (and the Star Wars films are likely coming next year). These films have all been mastered for 4K not for their physical release, but so they can appear on Disney+. Once those 4K masters are available, it’s a business no-brainer to release them on physical 4K while there’s an audience who wants them. But we could see in a year or two the studio no longer releasing physical media catalog product except via their Disney Movie Club, while the rest of it exists behind the Disney+ paywall. Meanwhile, new release titles will get physical release, but then they too will go behind the paywall. I’m not saying it’s going to happen for sure, but I just have a feeling that’s where we’re headed.
And while we’re talking Star Wars today, the teaser for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker that was released at D23 is now online. You’ve probably seen it already, but if not here you go...
Back tomorrow with more. Stay tuned...