Afternoon, everyone! We hope you’re having a terrific holiday week or at least very a nice Friday for those of you outside the States.
First up, we’ve posted FOUR new Blu-ray reviews for you to enjoy: Tim has reviewed Shout! Factory’s new Mystery Science Theater 3000: Season 12 – The Gauntlet and Blue Underground’s Two Evil Eyes: Limited Edition. And Dennis has offered his thoughts on Universal’s Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw and the new Criterion release of Irving Rapper’s Now, Voyager (1942). Enjoy!
We’ve got a couple of announcements today: First, there are obviously TONS of Black Friday deals happening over the next few days, including on Amazon.com. So we ask that if you plan to do any shopping on Amazon, we’d appreciate it if you clicked through one of our affiliate links first (like this one). Shopping through our links helps us to support our work here at The Bits going and we really appreciate it very much. [Read on here...]
All right, we’re starting the day today with a brand new 4K Ultra HD review from our own Tim Salmons, and it’s a good one: Synapse Films’ outstanding new UHD release of Dario Argento’s Suspiria (1977). The film is a horror classic and the new 4K restoration and HDR color grade are breathtaking. Don’t miss it.
Now then... in announcement news, Lionsgate has just set Rambo: Last Blood for Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD release on 12/17, with the Digital release expected on 12/3. The 4K disc will include Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio.
Extras on all versions will include 2 featurettes (Drawing Last Blood: Multipart Production Diary and From First Note to Last Blood: Music for the Massacres) and the film’s theatrical trailer. You can see the cover artwork above left and also below.
Lionsgate has also set The Courier for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital on 1/21/20. The film stars Gary Oldman and Olga Kurylenko. [Read on here...]
It goes without saying that our readers mean the world to us here at The Digital Bits. Some of you are new to the site while some of you have been following The Bits since we launched way back in 1997—and we love each and every one of you! But for years, you’ve asked us: “When are you guys gonna make Digital Bits T-Shirts?”
Sure, we’ve done a few one-off shirts in the past, not to mention the odd Comic-Con shirt. But now that we live in the age of high quality digital printing and print-on-demand services, we’ve finally taken the all-in plunge. So we’re very proud to announce today that we’ve officially launched The Digital Bits T-Shirt & Swag Store, just in time for your Black Friday and holiday shopping! [Read on here...]
All right, folks... we’ve got some big news to report today. But first...
Our own Tim Salmons has turned in a review of Arrow Video’s awesome new RoboCop: Limited Edition Blu-ray here at The Bits. The 2-disc set comes loaded with cool extras and it looks like the company has knocked the Paul Verhoeven classic out of the part on disc. So here’s the review and enjoy!
Also, don’t forget... there are all kinds of Amazon Countdown to Black Friday Week deals going on this week, so if you’re doing any kind of shopping from Amazon for almost literally anything this week, we’d appreciate it if you’d click through one of our affiliate links (like this one) first. And thank you! [Read on here...]
All right, we’ve got a quick rundown of release news for you today...
First up, Universal has just announced the release of Countdown on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/21, with the Digital release due on 1/7.
Any fans of Mister Rogers out there? In addition to the new A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood movie starring Tom Hanks, which hits theaters tomorrow, PBS has announced that 322 classic episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (originating from 1968 to 2001) are now available for streaming on the PBS Kids Video Channel.
Kino Lorber and GKids are releasing the animated film Aya of Yop City on Blu-ray and DVD on 11/26. The film is directed by Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie and based on a series of graphic novels by Abouet. [Read on here...]
All right, we’ve got some big release news today as well as a pretty major piece of industry news. But first, we also have some new disc reviews...
Tim has just turned in his thoughts on Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp in Ultra HD, which means that we finally have every single Marvel Cinematic Universe title reviewed on The Digital Bits in 4K. We hope you enjoy!
Also, Dennis has offered a look a Shout! Factory’s new Snow Falling on Cedars: Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray. It’s the latest entry in the distributor’s Shout Select line-up and it’s pretty great. Don’t miss it.
And we’ve posted the weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always whenever you order literally anything after clicking to them through any one of our links here on The Bits (including this one) we really appreciate it. Thank you! [Read on here...]
All right, I promised my thoughts on The Mandalorian on Disney+. I have to say, I like it. It’s nice to watch a slice of Star Wars that doesn’t involve Jedi, Sith, and Skywalkers for a change. It’s a little in the mold of Rogue One, though that was more closely tied to the Saga films. But Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni have crafted a half-hour series that feels like a slice of lived-in classic Star Wars, and is taking its time developing its story. The texture is right, the supporting cast is terrific (thus far including Carl Weathers, Werner Herzog, and Nick Nolte), and I love the Bill Conti-infused score by Ludwig Göransson.
Pedro Pascal is good in the lead role, but to be fair we haven’t seen him outside the Mandalorian armor yet, nor have we learned very much about the character. But each episode seems to peel back the onion a little more, and again I like the fact that the show is taking its time. I would have thought that 30-40 minute episodes would seem too short, but I find I’m satisfied after each one. And reports from friends and Lucasfilm insiders who have seen more suggest that the show gets better with every new installment (there will be 8 in all in this first season). What I can tell you is that I’m certainly enjoying it. The show also looks great in 4K with HDR, and sounds great too in Dolby Atmos. [Read on here...]
All right, first things first today: Criterion has just announced its February 2020 slate of Blu-ray and DVD titles.
Look for it to include Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma (Spine #1014 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 2/11, Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Teorema (Spine #1013 – Blu-ray and DVD) and an updating of Hiroshi Teshigahara’s Antoni Gaudí (Spine #425 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 2/18, and Jeannie Livingston’s Paris is Burning (Spine #1018 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman (Blu-ray and DVD) on 2/25. That last set includes Journey to the Beginning of Time (Spine #1015), Invention for Destruction (Spine #1016), and The Fabulous Baron Munchausen (Spine #1017). You can read more here at the Criterion website.
Those are all fine titles, but Roma is particularly appreciated given that it was a Netflix release last year and hasn’t been available on physical media yet.
Also today, our own Michael Coate has a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column here at The Bits—first posted yesterday afternoon—in which he looks back at James Cameron’s The Abyss with historian Matthew Kapell in honor of the film’s 30th anniversary. It’s a great piece, so do give it a look. And who knows? Maybe it will remind the director that he’s got a new 4K HDR grade of the film to approve so we can all watch it on Blu-ray and UHD sooner rather than later. [Read on here...]
“The Abyss does something that every single Cameron film does: explores new frontiers in the technology of film making. And that’s important.” — Matthew Kapell, editor of The Films of James Cameron: Critical Essays
The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 30th anniversary of the release of The Abyss, James Cameron’s (The Terminator, Titanic) underwater sci-fi adventure starring Ed Harris (The Right Stuff) and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (The Color of Money).
Also starring Michael Biehn (Aliens) and featuring groundbreaking visual effects, The Abyss opened thirty years ago this past summer. For the occasion The Bits features a package of statistics and box-office data that places the movie’s performance in context, along with passages from vintage film reviews, a reference/historical listing of the movie’s showcase presentations, and, finally, an interview segment with a film historian who reflects on the film three decades after its debut. [Read on here...]
Before we begin today, a quick note: Our own Tim Salmons has just posted his in-depth review of Warner’s new Batman Beyond: The Complete Series Blu-ray box set. And it sounds like the set is quite good, very much in keeping with their recent Batman: The Animated Series BD set. So here’s the review and we hope you enjoy!
All right, I’ve now had a good solid day to play with Disney+ and I have to say that I’ve been very impressed, in principle, with what I’m seeing and experiencing. I’ll have some more comments later this week on how I think streaming services (and specifically Disney+) will impact the home video market. But I certainly do like what I’m seeing. (Note that I’m viewing via the Disney+ app on the Roku Ultra 4K, running through the Oppo UDP-203 to two different display devices—a flat panel and a projector).
One of the best aspects of Disney+ are the surprises: The chance to see deep catalog Disney live action and animated films like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Sword and the Stone, and The Black Cauldron in native 4K with HDR is absolutely tremendous. And the more of this kind of experience Disney+ (and other streaming services) can give us, the better. [Read on here...]