My Two Cents

Afternoon, folks. We’ve got some news reviews for you today, plus a couple of release announcements, a new special feature column and more!

First, the Blu-ray reviews... Tim has just posted his thoughts on Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria (2018) from Lionsgate. And Dennis Sueling has offered his take on Rob Marshall’s Mary Poppins Returns from Disney. Both are worth a look, so we hope you enjoy them!

Also here at The Bits today, our own Michael Coate has just a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column looking back at Ken Hughes’ Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary. The piece features a great interview with film historian John Cork, an expert of all things Ian Flemming-related. Do give it a look. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Boy, we’ve got a nice little bit of news for you all today...

Just a few days ago, I raved about the experience of seeing Sergei Bondarchuk’s War and Peace on the big screen. (You can read my thoughts on the experience here.) Well now, Criterion has just officially announced that it will highlight their June Blu-ray and DVD release slate!

The complete wave of titles includes a BD upgrade of A Film Trilogy by Ingmar Bergman (Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, and The Silence – Cat #209-211 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 6/4, George Stevens’ Swing Time (Cat #979 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 6/11, Bruno Dumont’s L’humanité (Cat #981 – Blu-ray and DVD) and La vie de Jésus (Cat #980 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 6/18, John Cameron Mitchell punk musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Cat #982 – Blu-ray and DVD) and – yes – Sergei Bondarchuk’s War and Peace (Cat #983 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 6/25! [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

This is just a VERY quick post today and we’ll be back tomorrow with more. But we’ve got some big news to share...

We’ve had the title on our 4K Ultra HD List here The Digital Bits for a while now, but news is finally starting to break that Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now: Final Cut will be screening at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival remastered in 4K from the original camera negative with Dolby Vision high dynamic range and a new Dolby Atmos audio mix.

So yes, you can expect a 4K physical media release from Lionsgate Home Entertainment later this year. Watch for it likely in August to coincide with celebrations of the film’s 40th anniversary. (However, note that this release has not yet been officially announced by Lionsgate – this information comes from news of the film’s Tribeca screening.)

No more details about this release are yet available, but you can read more here at Variety, which features this quote from Coppola:

“Restoring Apocalypse Now: Final Cut 40 years later has been a tremendous undertaking and joy that I am thrilled to be able to share with the world for the first time at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. The audience will be able to see, hear and feel this film how I always hoped it could be — from the first ‘bang’ to the final whimper.”

So there you go. We’ll post more on this as soon as it’s officially announced.

Stay tuned...

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

 

Published in My Two Cents

We’ve got a bunch of news for you today, including both Blu-ray and 4K. But we’re going to start with some new reviews.

First of all, yesterday I posted my thoughts on Sony’s 4K Ultra HD release of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The title streets on 3/19, and I’ll tell you... it may be my all-time favorite superhero film, period. That’s saying a lot, but it’s just really fresh, honest, and ingenious in the way it presents the comic book genre on the big screen with groundbreaking animation. It’s a pretty nice 4K release too, so do give it a look.

Also today, Tim has delivered a review of Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet on regular Blu-ray and Dennis has taken a look at Universal’s Mary Queen of Scots as well. Enjoy!

Now then... a couple items before we get to the release news... [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, let’s get right down to it. I’ve been reluctant to talk about the prospects of James Cameron’s The Abyss and True Lies arriving on Blu-ray (and dare we hope 4K) in 2019 because we’ve had SO many solid reports that these films were finally coming only to see them evaporate. And when I’ve tried to find out why, Fox always pointed at Cameron and Cameron always pointed back at Fox. What I finally figured out is that Cameron has just been too distracted with other projects to approve new transfers of these films, first with diving to the bottom of the ocean and more recently with his Avatar prequels.

As longtime Bits readers will be well aware, both films were expected for their last major anniversaries in 2014. We know for a fact that 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment had even prepared new Blu-ray releases (most recently rumored for release in 2017), but Cameron never got around to approving the new transfers, so the Blu-ray releases never happened. The transfers were quietly released to the pay cable movie channels only.

Well, now it’s five years later. 2019 officially marks the 30th anniversary of The Abyss and the 25th of True Lies. Naturally, that means Bits readers have been asking me for weeks about the prospects of finally seeing these films released on Blu-ray (and, again, dare we hope 4K). I’ve even spoken to studio sources about this recently. And again, what I learned was that the ball was still in James Cameron’s court. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents
Published in My Two Cents

Last night I had the chance to attend a screening of the new Apollo 11 documentary in IMAX format... and let me tell you, it’s the experience of a lifetime.

If you’re like me, and are either a spaceflight historian or enthusiast or both, you probably think you’ve seen or heard every piece of footage there is of the legendary Apollo 11 Moon landing mission.

I certainly thought I had. I’d seen all the previously released film, heard hundreds of hours of audio recordings and interviews, read all the books.

But you’ve seen nothing yet. And that is a kind of miracle that I never imagined possible.

Todd Douglas Miller’s Apollo 11, produced by CNN Films and distributed by Neon, is a genuine revelation. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’re starting off with this...

You can get Fox’s outstanding Alien Anthology Blu-ray box set today on Amazon.com (here at this link) for just $20. That’s a whopping 67% off the SRP, so act fast. This is one of the best box sets ever produced, with all four Alien films remastered in stunning HD quality (including the Alien 3: Restored Workprint Version) on 6 discs, with a massive bounty of extras (including two full discs of bonus content) all created by our old friend Charles de Lauzirika. Those documentaries alone are worth dropping $20 for this package, so if you haven’t picked up a copy yet... now’s the time!

I should add here that if you’re waiting for Fox to release a 4K upgraded Alien Anthology box set, you’re going to be waiting a while. Only the original Alien is being released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray in 2019. There may be a new Alien box set that includes the Anthology contents on Blu-ray along with Alien, Prometheus, and Alien: Covenant in 4K. We’ve seen artwork packaging artwork circulating (from Amazon.jp). But if you already have Prometheus and Alien: Covenant in 4K, your smartest best at this point is to buy the new Alien 4K release when it arrives and pick up the Anthology for $20 ASAP. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

And... it’s official! 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will release Ridley Scott’s original Alien on 4K Ultra HD on 4/23 in honor of the film’s 40th anniversary. A Steelbook version will also be available exclusively at Best Buy (pictured below).

Per the press release: “The film was restored in 4K in 2018 by 20th Century Fox at Company 3/Deluxe Entertainment Services Group, supervised by Ridley Scott and Pam Dery, with the 4K scans were done at EFilm.”

The release will include the 1979 Theatrical Version (with the 1999 audio commentary by Ridley Scott) and the 2003 Director’s Cut (with the 2003 commentary by Scott and members of the cast and crew), both the composer’s original isolated score and the final theatrical isolated score in Dolby Digital 4.1, and deleted scenes. (And we believe that all of that will be on the actual 4K disc, but we’re checking to confirm.) [Read on here...]

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