We’ve got more great new disc reviews for you to enjoy today, as well as more release news too...
First up, Tim has posted his thoughts on Richard Alan Greenberg’s Little Monsters (1989), coming on 9/15 to Blu-ray from Lionsgate via their Vestron Video Collector’s Series.
Tim has also given William Witney’s Master of the World (1961) a look on Blu-ray, a hybrid adaptation of a pair of classic Jules Vern novels (Robur the Conqueror and Master of the World). That arrives on Blu-ray on 8/31 from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.
And finally, Tim has taken Roger Corman’s The Raven (1963) out for a spin on Blu-ray, starring Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, and Boris Karloff. That’s also coming from Kino Lorber Studio Classics on 8/31.
In terms of announcement news today, the big one is that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has officially revealed a title we’ve had on our 4K List here at The Bits for a while now: J. Lee Thompson’s The Guns of Navarone. Look for it to arrive on 4K Ultra HD on 10/12 in honor of the film’s 60th anniversary. [Read on here...]
All right, we’re starting today with a quick new disc review, and then we’ve got some big new release news to report on...
First though, I’ve just reviewed Rian Johnson’s excellent 2012 science-fiction thriller Looper on 4K Ultra HD, as recently released in the UK by Entertainment One. The title is expected on UHD here in the States from Sony later this year or early next, but in the meantime, if you’re willing to import for just the 4K experience, this eOne release is a great option.
Now then, the big breaking news today is that Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has finally officially announced their long-expected Universal Classics Monsters: Icons of Horror Collection for release on 4K Ultra HD on 10/5.
The set will include the 90th anniversary editions of Dracula and Frankenstein, along the 80th anniversary edition of The Wolf Man, and also The Invisible Man, all in 4K Ultra HD. There’s no indication of Dolby Vision, so we expect HDR10 high dynamic range along with the existing audio mixes. [Read on here...]
Today’s post here at The Bits is a quick one, as we have family visiting this week. However, we do have a little bit of release news and a couple more new reviews for you as well...
First up, I’ve given Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical love letter to rock music, Almost Famous, a look in a fantastic new 2-disc 4K Ultra HD Steelbook edition from Paramount. The remaster is gorgeous, the set includes two UHD discs—one each for the different versions of the film—it carries over all of the legacy extras, and it adds some new ones too. It’s a great set, so do give it a look if you’re a fan of the film.
Also, Stephen has reviewed Tony Scott’s True Romance as newly-released on 4K Ultra HD by Arrow Video, a UK import title that’s also apparently a pretty great remaster and worth considering.
And if you check back tomorrow, I’ll have a review of another 4K import title: Rian Johnson’s Looper from Entertainment One. [Read on here...]
Today’s update is a quick one, but we have some new disc reviews for you, a bit of announcement news, and word of new Amazon pre-orders that are now live. First let’s get to those reviews...
Stephen has posted a look at Paul Verhoeven’s Basic Instinct, which is now available in a new 4K Ultra HD edition from StudioCanal that includes the remastered Director’s Cut version of the film. It’s worth a look.
Also, I’ve given Lionsgate’s recent Steelbook release of Dirty Dancing (1987) a look on 4K Ultra HD. As many Bits readers will know, the title has long been a favorite of home video enthusiasts, selling well in virtually every format it’s ever been released in. The UHD is currently only available at Best Buy stores, but we suspect it’s going to get a wider release in 4K later this year or early next (probably in standard Amaray packaging).
Speaking of retail-exclusive Steelbook 4K titles from Lionsgate, we now know that the studio will be releasing Akira Kurosawa’s Ran at Best Buys stores later this year (we believe in November, but the title is still TBA). You can read my review of the recent Studio Canal 4K release here. [Read on here...]
All right, we’ve got just a quick news update today to bring you a standard Blu-ray announcement of a TV title that many of you have waited a very long time for.
But first, we have two more new disc reviews for you...
Stephen has chimed in today with his thoughts on David Lynch’s The Elephant Man, as released in 4K Ultra HD by StudioCanal in the UK. This is an import release, so while the 4K disc works on UHD players worldwide, you’ll need an all-region capable player to look at the regular Blu-ray Discs included in the package.
Also today, Stephen has taken a look at Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World on 4K Ultra HD from Universal, a newly-released catalog title on the format that’s been given a significant image remaster and a new Dolby Atmos sound mix too.
We’ll have more new disc reviews tomorrow, so be sure to check back then. But now let’s get to that BD release news... [Read on here...]
We’ve got some big release news today, but first we’re starting the week off with a trio of new disc reviews...
I’ve given Akira Kurosawa’s Ran a look in 4K Ultra HD from StudioCanal and found it to be a pretty impressive upgrade, save for a less than stellar English subtitle translation. It’s definitely worth a look for cinephiles.
Also, I’ve just reviewed Mel Stuart’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in 4K Ultra HD from Warner Bros, a release that celebrates the film’s 50th anniversary. It’s certainly never looked better (and it’s finally presented in the correct 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio as well).
Finally, I’ve also posted my thoughts on John Krasinski’s long-delayed A Quiet Place: Part II in 4K UHD from Paramount. It’s a more satisfying film than the original and it looks and sounds terrific, though the extras leave much to be desired.
More new Blu-ray and 4K UHD reviews are on the way later this week, so be sure to keep checking back for them. [Read on here...]
We’re rounding out the week with a bit of new announcement news here at The Bits...
I’ll have a review of Akira Kurosawa’s Ran in 4K Ultra HD for you later today as well, but first I wanted to jump in early with some breaking news.
Universal Monsters fans may be pleased to learn that Tod Browning’s Dracula (1931) is now available for purchase on iTunes/Apple TV in 4K UHD with HDR. And the SRP is just $4.99. It looks fantastic—the high dynamic range really does make a difference in subtle things, like shadow detailing, candle and moonlight luminance, Dracula’s glowing white eyes, and the like.
As I mentioned in my review of the complete Universal Monsters Blu-ray Collection back in 2018, all of these films were remastered from new 4K scans. So potentially, they could all be made available in native 4K, both digitally and on disc. And in fact, we’ve had Dracula on our 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Bits for many months now. Both Dracula and Frankenstein celebrate their 90th anniversaries this year. The Mummy turns 90 next year, while The Wolf Man celebrates its 80th anniversary in 2021. [Read on here...]
All right, we’ll have a bit of additional announcement news for the week tomorrow here at The Bits, and I’ll be spending the afternoon working on a review of Akira Kurosawa’s Ran in 4K UHD, which will be posted then as well.
But today, I want to talk about Denis Villeneuve’s DUNE.
I had the opportunity last night to attend one of Warner and Legendary’s IMAX sneak peek events for the film as a member of the press.
A little background first... I would definitely go so far as to call myself an expert on the subject of science fiction cinema. I’ve been reading literary science fiction my entire life (including DUNE many times), I’m known in some circles to be well-versed on the topic human spaceflight, and I’m a life-long student of science in general. I read physics and astronomy research papers like some people read comic books.
So as I noted in my recent review of Voyagers in 4K, I have certain critical expectations of science fiction films and TV series. Is the story and its science setup plausible, or does it require too many contrivances or conveniences? Is the story logically consistent? Is the world-building credible and convincing? And most importantly, is the story entertaining, engaging, or thought-provoking? The vast majority of genre programming fails on one or more of those criteria. In other words, on both the big and small screen, truly great science fiction is rare. [Read on here...]