Displaying items by tag: Universal Studios Home Entertainment

Okay, folks... we’ve got a LOT of ground to cover today, and I’m seriously not kidding, so strap in and hold on tight...

First up, it broke last night on the Interwebs that a company called Manta Lab in Hong Kong, which is a legit Disney licensee, was taking pre-orders for a “disc-less” Steelbook Blu-ray package for Marvel’s Disney+ streaming series WandaVision. Now, as you can imagine, that’s caused a great deal of surprise and consternation.

Some context... Manta Lab creates deluxe and custom packaging for lots of legit studio home entertainment releases, which are extremely popular with collectors, especially in the Asian market. However, since Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment officially exited the Asian market (apart from Japan), all of these licensing deals are made with Disney Consumer Products. The problem with this WandaVision release is that this is a title for which no authorized Blu-ray release exists anywhere in the world. So outside of the Steelbook packaging’s value as an objet d’art in and of itself, there’s no practical use for this packaging apart from holding people’s bootleg Blu-rays. And unfortunately, the proliferation of bootleg copies of Disney+ streaming titles has exploded online. (Don’t believe me? Visit Etsy and search for “WandaVision Blu-ray”—or just click here.)

In any case, when this news broke last night, too many otherwise respectable geek and movie news outlets online reported it as “Marvel and Disney have announced...” when nothing of the sort was true. This is a product licensed by Disney Consumer Products, but it is not in any way shape or form a licensed Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment release. I immediately contacted my sources at Disney last night, who assured me that this was the case, and who have this morning provided us with this statement:

“While Manta Lab is a legit licensee of Disney, and does create custom Steelbooks for Disney Blu-ray titles through Disney Consumer Products, the pre-order for a disc-less WandaVision was a surprise to some and we are looking into it as well as speaking to our partners in market.”

I expect to hear more back from Disney in the next day or so, so be sure to check back here on The Bits, and you can also follow us @BillHuntBits and @thedigitalbits on Twitter/X for the latest updates as I get them. Suffice it to say, this has generated an enormous amount of confusion outside of Manta Lab’s usual collector customer base. I’ve gotten literally hundreds of emails and messages in the last 24 hours from readers asking why Disney and Marvel would be releasing Steelbook packaging for a title they don’t appear to have any plans to actually release on physical media. (They aren’t, and stay tuned for further information.) [Read on here...]

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All right, we’re working on a bunch things here at the website today, including more reviews, follow-up on upcoming titles from our industry sources, and a big My Two Cents editorial/commentary piece on the current state of the home video industry that I’ll be posting here after the July 4th holiday.

In the meantime though, we do have a few more new disc reviews for you today, including...

Dennis’ thoughts on Harvey Hart’s Bus Riley’s Back in Town (1965) on Blu-ray from Imprint Films and Via Vision.

Stuart’s take on Don Siegel’s Steve McQueen/WWII drama Hell Is for Heroes (1962) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

And Stephen’s look at Steve Jodrell’s Shame (1988) on Blu-ray from Umbrella Entertainment via Vinegar Syndrome. [Read on here...]

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We have a few major title announcements to report today...

First up, the big one: Disney and Marvel have officially set James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3 for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 8/1, with the Digital release expected on 7/7. You can expect Dolby Atmos audio and HDR10 high dynamic range on the 4K SKU. The Blu-ray Disc will include 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. But here’s the most interesting thing: For the first time, a Disney/Marvel title has included a variable aspect ratio that switches from 2.35 to 1.85! [Editor’s Note: Per studio reps, this replicates not the IMAX presentation but rather the wide-release presentation of the film as seen in some regular, non-IMAX theaters. Just FYI.]

Extras on all SKUs will include 2 featurettes (The Imperfect, Perfect Family and Creating Rocket Raccoon), a gag reel, 8 deleted scenes (A Bit Much, A Lending Hand, Drax’s Analogies and Metaphors, The Perfect Society, The Search for 89P13, Annoyed Peter, A Burning Escape, and Knowhere After the Battle), and audio commentary with James Gunn. You can see the cover artwork at left and also below. [Read on here...]

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We’ve got a bunch of news, rumors, and official announcements to cover for you today here at The Bits, so let’s get right to it...

First up, Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment has just made Enter the Dragon official for 4K Ultra HD and Digital release on 8/8. Extras will include the previous introduction by Linda Lee Cadwell and the audio commentary by Paul Heller and Michael Allin. This release is happening in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary. The 4K disc will include both the theatrical cut and the 3-minute-longer special editon with HDR10 high dynamic range.

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment and Adult Swim have just set the all-new animated movie Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar for release on Digital and Blu-ray on 8/22 (SRP $19.99 and $29.98). This will be accompanied by two full-length album release by Dethklok: Dethalbum IV and the soundtrack for Army of the Doomstar on 8/25. These will be released widely via WaterTower Music and you’ll be able to get them on actual vinyl from Mondo.

WBDHE and HBO have also just announced Succession: The Complete Series for DVD only release on 9/12, including all 39 episodes with the previously released special features. Also coming that day on DVD will be Succession: The Complete Fourth & Final Season. [Read on here...]

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All right, we’re kicking things off today with another new disc review...

With an assist from Stephen, I’ve taken an in-depth look at James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) in 4K Ultra HD from 20th Century Studios. The disc streets today, and I think both fans and A/V enthusiasts alike will appreciate not only its stunning 4K image quality but also a magnificent Dolby Atmos sound mix, and some great special features as well. Frankly, it’s one of the best looking and sounding 4K discs since last year’s Top Gun: Maverick. So we hope you enjoy it!

In announcement news today, Kino Lorber Studio Classics has revealed that they’re working on a new 4K UHD release of Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation (2003), mastered from a new scan of the negative and complete with a brand new Dolby Vision HDR grade. That’s currently listed as coming soon.

Also coming soon from KLSC: A new Blu-ray edition of Allan A. Goldstein’s Death Wish V: The Face of Death (1986).

Meanwhile, KLSC has officially set their long-awaited 4K Ultra HD release of Sydney Pollack’s 3 Days of the Condor (1975) for release on 8/29, also mastered from a brand new scan of the original camera negative and with Dolby Vision HDR. [Read on here...]

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Welcome to a new week, Bits readers! And the theme of this week is all about disc reviews. We’ve posted no less than SEVEN of them over the weekend, and we have lots more coming in the next few days, including some MAJOR and long-awaited 4K titles. But more on that in a minute.

To start today, we’ve got new reviews of the following titles...

My take on Scott Beck and Bryan Woods’ 65 (2023) in 4K Ultra HD from Sony, along with William Hanna and Joseph Barbera’s feature-length animated classic Hey There, It’s Yogi Bear! (1964) on Blu-ray from the Warner Archive Collection), as well as John Frankenheimer’s classic actioner Ronin (1998) in 4K Ultra HD from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

All three titles are worth a look, and Ronin looks absolutely spectacular—it’s mastered from a recent 4K scan, and both the Blu-ray and the 4K disc in the package are a major improvement over the previous Arrow Blu-ray release, which was certainly good for its day. You definitely don’t want to miss that one.

Also today, we have Stephen’s review of Patrice Leconte’s Man on the Train (2002) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber.

We have Dennis’ thoughts on Raymond Griffith: The Silk Hat Comedian on Blu-ray from Undercrank Productions, which includes Paths to Paradise (1925) and You’d Be Surprised (1926).

And we close things out with Tim’s look at James Wan’s Dead Silence (2007) in 4K Ultra HD from Scream Factory, as well as Kevin Reynolds’ Waterworld (1995) in 4K Ultra HD from Arrow Video! [Read on here...]

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We start today with four new disc reviews, with more on the way...

Tim has reviewed Kevin Smith’s Mallrats (1995) in 4K Ultra HD from Arrow Video.

Stephen has turned in his thoughts on Terry Gilliam’s The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988) in 4K Ultra HD from Criterion, as well as Jim McBride’s The Big Easy (1986) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

And Stuart has taken a look at Susan Seidelman’s Making Mr. Right (1987) on Blu-ray, also from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

Meanwhile today, we have a bunch of announcement news to report, starting with this: Rhino/Parlophone are releasing D.A. Pennebaker’s Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1979) in a new 2CD + Blu-ray package in the UK on 8/11 in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary! The package will include the remastered soundtrack album, as well as the acclaimed concert film itself newly restored in 4K from the original negatives. Note that while this is a UK release, the Blu-ray is coded for all regions and will include both 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and the original stereo in PCM format. Both the film and soundtrack have also been restored to completion for the first time, and now include The Jean Genie/Love Me Do medley and Round and Round featuring Jeff Beck.

You can read more here, and you can see the packaging at left and also below. [Read on here...]

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All right, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover today, including a bunch of new Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD release news. But first, we have more new disc reviews for you as always...

Tim has taken a look at Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead (2004) remake in 4K Ultra HD from Scream Factory, as well as Chester Fox and Alex Stevens’ Massage Parlor Murders (1973) in 4K UHD from Vinegar Syndrome.

Stephen has reviewed Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s The Red Shoes (1948) in 4K Ultra HD from Criterion.

And Stuart has offered his thoughts on Charles Barton’s Double Crossbones (1951) and Richard Goldstone and John Marks, Jr.’s No Man Is an Island (1962) both on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics, as well as Frank Capra’s State of the Union (1948) on Region B Blu-ray from Indicator and Powerhouse Films.

Watch for more new disc reviews tomorrow and all this week.

Now then, let’s get to that release news. We’ll start with the officially-announced titles first...

Paramount Home Entertainment has just set John Hughes’ Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) for release on 4K Ultra HD on 8/1. It will include both Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio. In a nice surprise, extras will include Hughes’ original director’s commentary, which hasn’t been available since the 1999 DVD release. You’ll also get 5 legacy featurettes (including Getting the Class Together: The Cast of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Making of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Who is Ferris Bueller?, The World According to Ben Stein, and Vintage Ferris Bueller: The Lost Tapes). You can see the cover art at left and also below. [Read on here...]

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We have two more new disc reviews for you to enjoy today...

Tim has taken a good look at Stanley Tong’s Super Cop (1992, aka Police Story 3) in 4K Ultra HD, which is finally available from 88 Films. As many of you will already know, the film stars Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh.

And Stephen has turned in his thoughts on The Spierig Brothers’ Undead (2003) on Blu-ray from Umbrella Entertainment and Vinegar Syndrome.

We’ve also got a bunch of new title announcements...

First, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has now officially set Elia Kazan’s East of Eden (1955) and Howard Hawks’ Rio Bravo (1959) for release on 4K Ultra HD and 4K Digital on 7/18, as expected. Per the studio’s press release, both titles have been restored in partnership with Martin Scorsese’s The Film Foundation. Each will feature HDR10 high dynamic range and DTS-HD Master Audio. East of Eden will include the previous audio commentary by film historian Richard Schickel. Rio Bravo will include the previous commentary with filmmaker John Carpenter and Schickel. You can see the cover art at left and also below. Note that both titles are now available for pre-order on Amazon (SRP $33.99 each) by clicking on the cover art below. [Read on here...]

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We hope those of you here in the States are all enjoying the long Memorial Day weekend. As it is a work holiday here today, there’s not a lot of official news to report. But we do have some significant 4K news from retail and other sources.

And we have some new disc reviews for you today as well, including...

Stephen’s look at Robert Rossen’s WWII classic They Came to Cordura (1959) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

Stuart’s take on the first season of a French TV title called Paris Police 1900 (2021) on DVD from Kino Lorber.

And Dennis’ review of Alexander Hall’s Little Miss Marker (1934) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

More reviews are forthcoming this all week, so be sure to stay tuned for them. [Read on here...]

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