My Two Cents

War of the Worlds/It’s a Wonderful Life in 4K digital only, Hirschfeld art exhibit/sale & Nolan wins DEG Vanguard award

November 8, 2018 - 11:41 am   |   by
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We’ve got a couple things for you today, starting with a new batch of Blu-ray reviews...

First up is Tim’s take on Steve Mitchell’s King Cohen documentary from La-La Land Entertainment, along with his look at John Landis’ Schlock from Arrow Video. It continues with Jason’s take on Molly from Artsploitation Films and David’s thoughts on Welcome to the Dollhouse from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Now then... while we’re talking Blu-ray discs, we’re getting the first reports from Bits readers that their Revenge of the Creature/The Creature Walks Among Us replacement discs are starting to arrive from Universal, replacing the identical defective discs in their Universal Classic Monsters 30-Film Collection and Creature from the Black Lagoon: Complete Legacy Collection Blu-ray sets. So if you’ve requested a replacement from the studio (via the instructions we’ve posted at the end of those reviews) keep an eye on your mail, folks. [Read on here...]

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We’ve also learned from Paramount that they’ve recently released Byron Haskin’s original 1953 War of the Worlds in 4K... but only digitally (on iTunes and FandangoNOW). They haven’t released the film in Blu-ray at all, much less physical 4K... and we’ve heard a huge number of complaints about that from Bits readers. What’s more, the studio has just announced the 4K Digital only release of Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life on 11/20. Both films include high dynamic range in addition to native 4K scans. The latter films makes more sense, as it’s been released many times on Blu-ray. But the lack of physical media for War of the Worlds is really irritating to many enthusiasts.

In other news today, Star Trek fans may be interested in this: Our friend Stuart Ng is going to be holding a one night only exhibition and sale of original Al Hirschfeld artwork in Burbank, CA next Tuesday night (11/13 – from 6-9pm). The event will be held at The Animation Guild at 1105 N Hollywood Way. As many of you know, Hirschfeld was one of the 20th century’s most renown caricaturists. Included in the sale and exhibition will be 116 original drawings spanning nine decades (from 1931 to 2002). Proceeds from the sale of this artwork benefit the non-profit Al Hirschfeld Foundation and its mission to promote interest in the visual and dramatic arts. The reason I mentioned Star Trek? Two of the drawings will be Hirschfeld caricatures of the casts of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager (see below)...

Al Hirschfeld Deep Space Nine cast drawing

Al Hirschfeld Deep Space Nine cast drawing

They could be yours! It promises to be a fun time regardless, so be sure to check it out if you’re interested. More details are available here at StuartNgBooks.com.

In Blu-ray news, Turbine Media Group and Universal in Germany are releasing a new Psycho Legacy Collection: Deluxe Edition Blu-ray set that will include the European uncut version of the Hitchcock original film. The 10-disc set is expected on January 21, 2019 and you can pre-order it here from Amazon.de. No word yet if the Blu-rays will be region free however. Thanks to Bits reader Peter H. for the heads-up...

Psycho Legacy Collection: Deluxe Edition

Finally today, filmmaker Christopher Nolan was presented with the DEG Vanguard Award at the 4K UHD Summit in LA on Tuesday evening, in recognition of “Nolan’s place at the forefront of filmmakers using groundbreaking technology to deliver increased scale and resolution, enhanced color and immersive audio to film audiences both in cinemas and in the home theater environment.” Here’s a picture of Nolan accepting the honor from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment president Ron Sanders....

Director Christopher Nolan (left) and WBHE President Ron Sanders (right)

Said Nolan in praise of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray: “It’s fantastic for the filmmaker to have a physical media that eliminates the variabilities, the compression and so forth. That’s the gold standard that streaming is going to have to reach.”

Thanks to Ron Sanders, Amy Jo Smith (of the DEG), and our friend Rick Rhodes (of High Roads PR) for the details. I was sadly unable to attend the event due to unforeseen circumstances, but I hope to see these conferences continue.

It was also revealed by the Consumer Technology Association at the event that nearly a third of US households now own a 4K/UHD TV. Also, 4K/UHD Blu-ray player demand also continues to grow and will account for nearly all Blu-ray players in the market by 2021. Some 424 titles are now available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, according to NPD, with 576 titles available for digital purchase in 4K.

On a personal note, however, I can tell you that the disparity between the availability of physical 4K titles vs. digital only titles is a constant source of frustration among many 4K enthusiasts, and something I hope the studios take into account. But so blow the winds of the future.

All right, that’s enough for now. More tomorrow. Stay tuned...

- Bill Hunt

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

 

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