Items filtered by date: November 2021
We’re taking it a little easy here at The Bits this week, especially in this stretch between the holidays, so that our whole team can relax, unwind, and focus on family and whatnot. But we do have a good post today with release news, a new disc review, and a bit of a look ahead at a few new 4K UHD catalog titles that we expect to arrive sometime in the new year. As always, let’s start with the review first...
Stephen has given Paul Morrissey’s Flesh for Frankenstein (1973) an in-depth review in 4K Ultra HD from Vinegar Syndrome. The disc includes both 4K, Blu-ray, and Blu-ray 3D in both polarized and anaglyph form (thanks to a restoration via the 3-D Film Archive). Sounds like it’s a nice set, but there’s a problem with the 4K disc in the package that’s being corrected (replacement discs will be issued in January sometime). The disc will be available for sale again on the company’s website early next year.
Now then, the big news we have is that Sony has finally officially announced both Ghostbusters: Afterlife for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 2/1, as well as the Ghostbusters Ultimate Collection 4K UHD/Blu-ray box set (including Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II, and Ghostbusters Afterlife) that same day. Note that the Ghostbusters Ultimate Collection will also include Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters: Answer the Call in 4K Digital, along with 4K Digital versions of the other films as well. All of these 4K UHD discs will include Dolby Atmos audio and both Dolby Vision and HDR10 high dynamic range. [Read on here...]
We’re just checking in this evening in with a quick Christmas Eve post to close out the week on a high note!
First order of business: I’ve just posted my in-depth review of Denis Villeneuve’s magnificent, pure-cinema science fiction epic Dune, which is coming soon in a demo-worthy 4K Ultra HD release from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
And our own Michael Coate has turned in a great new History, Legacy & Showmanship column in which he celebrates the 75th anniversary of Frank Capra’s beloved holiday classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, with a roundtable of historians that includes Thomas A. Christie, Steve Cox, and Joseph McBride.
You cinema fans out there should dig both of those items I think, so please do share and enjoy!
And rest assured that we’ll be back with more news and reviews next week, after the holiday.
With that, on behalf of all of us here at The Digital Bits, I’d like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas!
“It's a Wonderful Life is truly the platinum standard in Christmas movies; the benchmark by which all other entries in the genre are judged.” — Thomas A. Christie, author of The Christmas Movie Book
The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 75th anniversary of the release of It’s a Wonderful Life, the Christmas classic directed by Frank Capra (It Happened One Night, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington) and starring James Stewart (The Philadelphia Story, Vertigo) and Donna Reed (From Here to Eternity, The Donna Reed Show).
In 1990 the Library of Congress selected It’s a Wonderful Life for preservation in the National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” and in 1998 the American Film Institute (AFI) recognized the film as the 11th greatest movie ever made. The film has been released countless times on home media formats with its most recent release (on 4K UHD) in 2019 (and reviewed here). [Read on here...]
It’s a little crazy here at The Bits this week, so today’s news post is going to be a quick one. But we’ve got some more new disc reviews for you, more announcement news, and some new cover artwork too. First the reviews...
Dennis has turned in his thoughts on Harry Keller’s The Brass Bottle (1964) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.
Stephen has delivered a look at Alfred Hitchcock’s Number Seventeen (1932), also on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.
And Tim has reviewed Jimmy Wang Yu’s The Chinese Boxer (1970), a Shaw Brothers title new on Blu-ray from 88 Films, as well as Francois Simard, Anouk Whissell, and Yoann-Karl Whissell’s Summer of 84 (2018) on 4K Ultra HD from Gunpowder & Sky.
All of these are work a look, so do check them out if you’re interested. [Read on here...]
We’ve got more disc reviews for you today, along with another great film retrospective column, a bit more release news, and some news that... well, I’m not sure what to think of it. But you’ll understand what I mean in a minute. First, those disc reviews...
Tim has checked in over the last couple of days with no less than four new reviews, starting with his thoughts on Mei-Chun Chang’s Revenge of the Shogun Women (1982) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics, a disc that includes both polarized 3D and anaglyph 3D presentations (as well 2D) thanks to our friends at The 3-D Film Archive. It’s a good disc and a rare 3D treat for those who love that format, so do give it a look.
Tim has also reviewed Arrow Video’s Giallo Essentials: Red Edition – Volume One and Yellow Edition – Volume Two, each of which includes three classics of the genre on Blu-ray.
And Tim has posted his thoughts on Brian Trenchard-Smith’s Stunt Rock (1978) on Blu-ray from Umbrella Entertainment (#8 in their Ozploitation Classics line-up) ad well. All are worth your time. [Read on here...]
“Fiddler on the Roof belongs on the list of the best and most successful musicals, which would include West Side Story, My Fair Lady, and The Sound of Music.” — Matthew Kennedy, author of Roadshow!
The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Fiddler on the Roof, the popular, award-winning screen adaptation of the Broadway musical and the writings of Sholem Aleichem.
Directed by Norman Jewison (In the Heat of the Night, Moonstruck), Fiddler starred Topol (Flash Gordon, For Your Eyes Only) as Tevye, the poor Jewish milkman determined to marry off his daughters amidst turmoil in his small Ukrainian village.
Also starring Norma Crane, Leonard Frey, Molly Picon, and Paul Mann, and featuring Oscar-winning cinematography, music, and sound, Fiddler rolled out to movie theaters, initially as a roadshow, beginning fifty years ago this autumn. [Read on here...]
A funny thing happened on the way to yesterday’s My Two Cents post! For some reason, I lost track of a day this week, so I thought yesterday was Friday. Then I wake up and here’s Friday again, much to my surprise. LOL. So anyway, while a bit of yesterday’s post still applies this afternoon, we’ve got some great breaking release news to share with you all today...
First up, the fine Imprint Films (down in Australia) has just announced their March 2022 Blu-ray slate, which is due to street on 3/30/22. It will include Sam Peckinpah’s The Osterman Weekend (1983 – mastered from new 2K scans of the director’s cut negative and the theatrical cut, so it will include both versions), Buzz Kulik’s The Hunter (1980 – starring Steve McQueen), Samuel Fuller’s China Gate (1957), Byron Haskin’s Conquest of Space (1955 – produced by George Pal), John Sturges’ Marooned (1969), Robert Wise’s Audrey Rose (1977), and Dalton Trumbo’s Johnny Got His Gun (1971). Not bad at all!
As usual, all of these Blu-rays should be region free. You’ll find them available here on the Imprint website.
But here’s the whopper today... Arrow Video has just announced its March 2022 slate as well, which includes no less than three new 4K UHD catalog titles! [Read on here...]
We’re wrapping up the week today with another new disc review, a major piece of announcement news, and some very interesting things to check out around the Interwebs. We’ll start with the review...
Tim has posted his thoughts on Alfred E. Green’s The Fabulous Dorseys: Special Edition, which is newly available on Blu-ray from our friends at The Film Detective. The film is essentially a biopic about big band leaders Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, staring themselves along with Janet Blair. Do give it a look if you’re interested.
Now then, the big release news today is that Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution and Marvel have just officially announced the 2/15 release of Chloé Zhao’s The Eternals on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD, with the Digital release expected on 1/12. (Note that I haven’t yet seen any indication of an international Blu-ray 3-D release, but one may appear eventually.)
This film was actually finished as a native 4K Digital Intermediate and should feature HDR10 high dynamic range on UHD, with Dolby Atmos audio (the Blu-ray will feature 7.1 DTS-HD MA). Note that the aspect ratio for both disc and digital on this title will be 2.39:1, though it’s likely to appear as IMAX enhanced at 1.90 as a Disney+ streaming exclusive. Extras will include an audio commentary (with Chloé Zhao, Stephane Ceretti, and Mårten Larsson), 4 deleted scenes, a gag reel, and 2 featurettes (Immortalized and Walks of Life). You can see the cover artwork at left and also below. [Read on here...]
Stephen has just turned in a review of Warren Beatty and Buck Henry’s Heaven Can Wait (1978), Beatty’s first film as a director and an interesting romantic comedy, which is newly available on Blu-ray from Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment.
In terms of announcement news today, Criterion has just revealed its March 2022 release slate, which is set to include Márta Mészáros’s Adoption (1975) (Spine #1115 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 3/8, a new 4K upgrade of Jean-Pierre Melville’s legendary crime drama Le cercle rouge (1970) (Spine #218 – 4K UHD/Blu-ray Combo) on 3/15, Robert Aldrich’s The Flight of the Phoenix (1965) (Spine #1116 – Blu-ray) on 3/22, and Martin Scorsese’s The Last Waltz (Spine #1118 – 4K UHD/Blu-ray Combo and Blu-ray) and Theodore Witcher’s Love Jones (1997) (Spine #1117 – Blu-ray) on 3/29. Both of the 4K titles will include Dolby Vision HDR.
Note that we’ve updated the relevant Criterion Spines Project page here at The Bits accordingly. [Read on here...]
We’ve got more reviews and some great new announcements today as well. As usual, let’s start with the reviews...
I’ve just taken an in-depth look at Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane (1941) with an assist from the late great Bits reviewer Barrie Maxwell. The film is now available in a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Disc combo edition from The Criterion Collection and it’s worth every penny. The package features a terrific new film restoration and a wealth of new and legacy special features. As you know, there’s an issue with the movie Blu-ray in the package, but Criterion is already fixing it and I wouldn’t let that stop you from picking up what is one of the best releases of 2021.
Tim has checked in with this thoughts on Jeffrey Obrow and Stephen Carpenter’s The Kindred (1987) on Blu-ray from Synapse Films.
And Dennis has offered his thoughts on Jerry Schatzberg’s The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. [Read on here...]