My Two Cents
Monday, 09 November 2020 15:31

Paramount bows The Court Jester on Blu-ray, plus Turbine Media’s great upcoming 4K catalog slate & RIP Alex Trebek

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All right, review work is continuing here at The Bits and we should have a few new ones up soon. And in the interest of getting back to that, today’s post will be brief.

But Tim has posted his thoughts on Clint Eastwood’s High Plains Drifter (1973) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics, not to mention Michele Massimo Tarantini’s Massacre in Dinosaur Valley (1985) also on Blu-ray from Severin Films.

And Dennis has turned in his thoughts on Phil Joanou’s The Veil (2016) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics as well.

Now then... in announcement news today, Paramount has announced that Melvin Frank and Norman Panama’s 1955 musical-comedy The Court Jester will arrive on Blu-ray on 1/26/2021 as part of the studio’s Paramount Presents line of releases. [Read on here...]

Newly-restored and remastered in honor of its 65th anniversary, the film stars Danny Kaye, Glynis Johns, Angela Lansbury, Mildred Natwick, Cecil Parker, and John Carradine. From the studio’s press release...

“Originally released in 1956, THE COURT JESTER was shot in Paramount’s trademark VistaVision widescreen format, capturing a grander scope of information on the film negative. For this new restoration, the original negative was scanned at 6K and one of the “separation masters” was also scanned and recombined with the negative scans to address color fading in the negative. The result is an incredibly vibrant picture that faithfully captures the colors and textures of Edith Head’s sensational costumes and Hal Pariera’s sparkling art direction.”

Extras will include a new Filmmaker Focus with film historian Leonard Maltin, access to a Digital copy of the film, and the theatrical trailer. You can see the cover artwork above left.

Speaking of Paramount (and ViacomCBS at large), there was a rumor over the weekend that the studio was going to be releasing Star Trek: Picard – Season One on 4K Ultra HD. A pre-order listing that appeared to indicate 4K appeared on But by this morning, the listing was corrected and it’s now clearly a standard Blu-ray release only, with Steelbook packaging. You can see that here. Not that Star Trek: Picard or Star Trek: Discovery would be unwelcome on 4K, but one would think the demand for the classic Trek films on the format would be higher at this point. And those are still TBA.

The studio has also set Buddy Games for release on DVD, On Demand, and Digital on 11/24.

In other release news, Kino Lorber has announced its December slate of non Studio Classics titles (including its various sublabels). Look for Panic (aka Bakterion – Blu-ray) on 12/1, Fellini’s Casanova (Blu-ray), Buster Keaton: Go West / College (Blu-ray and DVD), Smerconish: Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Talking (DVD), Major Arcana (DVD), The Greek Tycoon (Blu-ray), and Cry of a Prostitute (aka Quelli che Contano – Blu-ray) on 12/8, and Beast Clawing at Straws (Blu-ray and DVD), Marseille Complete Series: S1 & 2 (Blu-ray), and Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story (DVD) on 12/15.

MPI Media Group and Signature Entertainment have just set Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot on DVD on 12/8.

RLJE Films and Shudder have set The Dark and the Wicked for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/15.

Screen Media will release Cagefighter on DVD on 12/1.

Uncork’d Entertainment will release Steinþór Hróar Steinþórsson and Gaukur Úlfars’ Icelandic vampire epic Thirst on DVD and Digital on 12/1.

CAV will release Madame on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/12/2021.

And CAV and Arbelos Films will release Béla Tarr’s Sátántangó (1994) on Blu-ray on 1/12/2021 as well.

Also today, we’ve learned that the German distributor is working on new 4K Ultra HD releases of Rob Reiner’s The Princess Bride (1987 – 11/20/2020 – click here to pre-order), Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners (1996 – Coming Soon/TBA), John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London (1981 – 11/13/2020 – click here to pre-order), Anthony Waller’s An American Werewolf in Paris (1997 – Coming Soon/TBA), Clive Barker’s Hellraiser (1987 – Coming Soon/TBA), and reportedly Jeff Burr’s Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990 – Coming Soon/TBA). Streets are noted where available. You can read more here on the official Turbine Media Twitter feed, here via our friends DVD Exotica on Twitter, and here on the Turbine Media official shop online.

Here’s a look at the Blu-ray and 4K cover artwork for a few of the titles mentioned above and more, with Amazon pre-order links if available...

The Court Jester (Blu-ray Disc) Lovecraft Country: Season One (Blu-ray Disc) The Castle of Cagliostro (4K Ultra HD)

Doom Patrol: Season 2 (Blu-ray Disc) Total Recall (4K Ultra HD) Cinema Paradiso (4K Ultra HD)

One more piece of news today, and it’s a sad one: The longtime Jeopardy! host and quizmaster Alex Trebek died on Sunday morning after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. His influence on American pop culture is undeniable and his efforts earned the popular game show no less than 35 Emmy awards and even a Peabody in 2011. Alex was 80 and will certainly be missed. You can read more here at The New York Times.

Finally today, I’d just like to take a moment once again to thank all those of you who have donated to our Back The Bits effort via PayPal. It makes a real difference in helping us to keep the site going in these tough times, and we really do appreciate it very much. More importantly, we appreciate all of you, our readers—every single one of you out there, no matter where you may be or how long you’ve been with us—for sticking with us. We do our very best every day here at The Bits to keep you all informed about the latest news with Blu-ray, DVD, 4K and yes Digital. We value each of you more than we can say. So thank you, friends.

CLICK HERE to BACK THE BITS in our fight to preserve Physical Media

All right, back with more tomorrow. Stay tuned...!

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



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