My Two Cents
Wednesday, 12 December 2018 13:22

A Star Is Born, Hunter Killer, Crimes of Grindelwald, new Alien book, Peter Jackson early films & more

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All right, we have a bunch of good release news and reviews for you today…

Before we get to it though, a quick personal note: Often, the first place I post breaking news about Blu-ray and 4K (along with other items I find interest in related to film, science, spaceflight, science fiction, etc) is on my personal Twitter page (@BillHuntBits). So I encourage you all to follow me there if you’re interested. Everyone is welcome and I’m also easier to reach there than via email. So follow if you wish.

Now then, let’s get down to business…

First up, though it’s not officially announced yet, we have word from retail and studio sources that Warner’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will street on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 3/12/19. Watch for the official announcement in the weeks ahead.

This one IS officially announced: Warner’s A Star Is Born will street on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 2/19. The 4K disc will include Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio. Extras will include The Road to Stardom: Making A Star Is Born, 3 Jam Sessions and Rarities (Baby What You Want Me to Do, Midnight Special, and Is That Alright), and 4 Music Videos (Shallow, Always Remember Us This Way, Look What I Found, and I’ll Never Love Again). [Read on here...]

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This one is official too: Summit and Lionsgate Home Entertainment have set the submarine action thriller Hunter Killer for Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K on 1/29/19. The 4K will feature Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio. Extras on the Blu-rays will include audio commentary by director Donovan Marsh and the 2-part Surface Tension: Declassifying Hunter Killer featurette.

Also Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody currently looks to be due for release on home video (all three physical formats) in early February. We expect an official announcement soon.

And it appears that Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet is due on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K on either 2/19 or 2/26. Again, the title should be announced soon.

We’ve updated the 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Bits with these titles and more.

In Blu-ray only news, Indicator and Powerhouse Films have set their February 2019 slate as follows: Look for Psyche 59 (1964), The Third Secret (1964), Take a Girl Like You (1970), and A Severed Head (1971). Street date for all four is 2/19.

And we have news of a great new book from Jonathan Rinzler, author of those fantastic The Making of Star Wars books. He recently released The Making Planet of the Apes. But here’s what’s cool… in honor of the film’s 40th anniversary in 2019, he’s about to release The Making of Alien. The book is not yet up on Amazon, but it’s coming early in 2019 and you can see the cover below…

The Making of Alien

Speaking of Alien, we have good word that Fox is working on the title for 4K Ultra HD release next year, also in honor of the anniversary. So keep that in the back of your mind.

Here at the site today, we’ve posted a whole host of new Blu-ray reviews over the past couple of days, including Arrow Academy’s Gosford Park and Candyman, Kino Lorber Studio Classics’ The Killing of Sister George, and Severin Films’ The Blood Island Collection (Terror is a Man, Brides of Blood, Mad Doctor of Blood Island, and Beast of Blood).

Hollywood Reporter has an interesting story about director Peter Jackson going back to revisit and remaster some of his early schlock films, from Bad Taste to Braindead and release them in HD on Blu-ray and streaming. You can read more here.

There’s also a great story over at Wired about dedicated supporters of physical media and their passion for Blu-ray. You can read that here.

First, let me just say this: Attaboy, guys! Second, let me give you a sense of how far the home video industry has fallen, at least in terms of the major studios, and where we currently are: Hollywood juggernaut Disney has just released the crown jewel of their classic animated catalog The Lion King on 4K Ultra HD. And they did it with no fanfare, no official press release (at least not that we’ve seen), no real promotion, no marketing support, and barely a blip even on social media. And the quality of the release is superb. I’ll be reviewing it likely next week. Ten years ago, even five years ago, the studio would have made this a HUGE deal. TV commercials, hype, the whole nine yards. This is their animated JEWEL. But now, in 2018, they just quietly dump it out on 4K disc as if it’s just nothing special.

And THAT ladies and gentlemen, is the real shame of this push to digital streaming and the quiet dismissal of physical media: Hollywood is devaluing their own content. They’re sending the message to consumers that none of this is special. It’s just channel filler. Once you’ve burned that bridge… once you’ve basically convinced your customers of it… you can never go back. There is nothing special about a stream.

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

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


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