My Two Cents
Tuesday, 29 August 2023 14:29

The Fugitive, JFK & Color Purple are coming to 4K, plus Barbie & Dead Reckoning P1 updates, support the To Boldly Go Trek doc & much more!

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Greetings, Bits-ers! Sorry I missed posting my usual news column yesterday here at the site, but it turned out to be an incredibly busy day of working on reviews and communicating with our industry sources to chase down details and confirm some interesting forthcoming titles. As such, we’ve got a bit of ground to cover today and all of it should prove interesting. First though, let’s start with our latest new disc reviews, as always...

Longtime Bits contributor Adam Jahnke has returned for an in-depth review of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), new on 4K Ultra HD from Disney. The UHD image is spectacular, and we’ve confirmed that the studio went back to the original camera negative for a new 4K scan, remaster, and HDR grade, all of which were approved by director Henry Selick. Most but not all of the legacy special features carry over on the accompanying Blu-ray as well, which also offers better encoding and a higher data rate that the previous BD edition. This title seems to be one more sign that Disney is starting to turn things around with their physical media. So do give it a look.

Also today, Stephen has taken a good look at Wes Craven’s Swamp Thing (1982), which is new on 4K Ultra HD from our friends at the MVD Rewind Collection.

And Dennis has posted a review of Wesley Ruggles’ classic film epic Cimarron (1931) on Blu-ray from the good people at the Warner Archive Collection.

All of these are worth your time, and more new disc reviews are already in the works. In fact, I’m going to be posting my take on Universal’s new Battlestar Galactica (1978) 4K Ultra HD—which streets today—sometime later this evening or early tomorrow. So be sure to watch for that. [Read on here...]

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Now then, let’s get to some of the release news from our sources...

Amazon is now showing an official street date for Greta Gerwig’s Barbie (2023) on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD, and it’s 10/3 just as we expected. Now that the date has been posted, expect Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment to make their official announcement of the release this week sometime.

Speaking of Warner, I’ve been able to confirm with sources that Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple (1985) and Andrew Davis’ The Fugitive (1993) are coming to 4K Ultra HD from the studio before the end of the year (our sources are suggesting that street dates are likely to be sometime in November). As some of you may know, a new 4K remaster of The Fugitive was recently screened at the Aero Theatre in LA (on 8/19), and Davis has been giving interviews about the film as it marks its 30th anniversary (see this one at AV Club). The film has also apparently gotten a new sound mix.

And while we’re talking street dates, retail sources have begun to suggest that Paramount’s Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K UHD release of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, Part One will arrive on 10/31.

Paramount has also officially announced that they’ll release Fire Country: Season One on DVD only on 9/19.

Back on the subject of 4K catalog titles, director Oliver Stone was also present at a screening of his own JFK (1991) at the Aero Theatre a couple days ago (on 8/26) and during a Q&A session he revealed that a 4K Ultra HD release would be happening before the end of the year as well! This presumably would also be from Warner, but I’ve been as yet unable to confirm that it’s officially coming. Still, if Stone says so, it’s surely coming at some point sooner rather than later, so we feel safe in reporting that it’s on the way. Though which version(s) will be included is still TBA. Our thanks to the many friends of The Bits who attended the screening and let us know about Stone’s comment.

Meanwhile, Kino Lorber Studio Classics has revealed that they’re working on a new 4K Ultra HD release of Don Siegel’s Charley Varrick (1973), starring Walter Matthau and Joe Don Baker. Street date is TBA.

KLSC has also announced that Sidney Hayers’ Burn, Witch, Burn (1962) is coming soon to Blu-ray, and that Burt Reynolds’ Gator (1976) and Joseph Sargent’s White Lightning (1973) are coming to Blu-ray on 11/21.

And sadly, the company has also announced that “due to unforeseen circumstances” they will be unable to include all of the audio commentaries, text essays, and other extras they’ve produced for their forthcoming Columbo: The 1970s – Seasons 1-7 Blu-ray box set that’s due on 11/21 (see their Twitter post). No specific reason has been given for this, but it’s certainly caused a good deal of disappointment. Hopefully, we’ll know more soon.

Now then... a bit of follow up on our recent announcement of the Disney+ streaming series coming to 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray. Pre-orders for all of them are starting to come on line at various online retailers. Currently, here’s what we expect to be widely available:

Some of those links are now live on Amazon, with the exception of Loki and WandaVision on Blu-ray, which should be available soon. (And we’ll add the links when they go up—you’ll find the cover art for some of them below.) Meanwhile, we’ve learned that the Disney Movie Club will also have exclusive Blu-ray + DVD versions of each of these titles, for those who prefer them.

[Editor’s Note: All four titles now are available for pre-order in both 4K UHD and Blu-ray versions on Amazon and the links have been added above.]

Also, the Warner Archive Collection has revealed more new September and October Blu-ray titles, which will include William Wellman’s Westward the Women (1951), Jack Conway’s Saratoga (1937), and Mark Dindal’s animated Cats Don’t Dance (1997) on 9/26, followed by Julian Schnabel’s Before Night Falls (2000), Dorothy Arzner’s Christopher Strong (1933), and Volker Schlondorff’s Palmetto (1998) on 10/24.

In other news, I meant to share this last week but got distracted: Netflix has dropped the first full teaser trailer for Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon, which is coming in two parts... Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire (due on 12/22) and Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver (due on 4/19/24). Each will be released on Netflix, with a limited theatrical release planned as well. And true to form, Snyder is already reporting that he’s got a greatly expanded extended edition in the works for release sometime in 2024. Rebel Moon was originally an idea that Snyder pitched to Lucasfilm as an R-rated Star Wars film, but when that idea was rejected he took the project to Netflix where it became its own original creation. In any case, here’s that teaser...

I’ll sure watch the heck out of that.

In other news, our great friends at The Inglorious Treksperts—Mark A. Altman, Daren Dochterman, and Ashley E. Miller—are in the final week of their Kickstarter effort to launch a new documentary called To Boldly Go, which will visit some of the Star Trek franchise’s many famous filming locations with cast members and others Trek-sperts. You can back project to get Blu-ray and DVD copies and all kinds of other perks. And they’ve almost hit their goal, so if you’d like to support them be sure to do so quickly via this link (or click on the image below)!

To Boldly Go: A Star Trek Locations documentary from The Inglorious Treksperts!

All right, we’ll leave you with a look at the cover artwork for some of the titles mentioned above and more, all of which are now available for pre-order on Amazon by clicking on the covers...

The Mandalorian: The Complete First Season (4K Ultra HD) The Mandalorian: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray Disc) WandaVision: The Complete Series (4K Ultra HD)

The Mandalorian: The Complete Second Season (4K Ultra HD) The Mandalorian: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray Disc) Loki: The Complete First Season (4K Ultra HD)

Tremors 2: Aftershocks (4K Ultra HD) Barbarella (4K Ultra HD) Inside the Mind of Coffin Joe (Blu-ray Box set)

Stay tuned!

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



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