My Two Cents

Star Trek: Lower Decks on Blu-ray, Warner Archive’s April slate, John Wayne’s The Alamo on Blu-ray (sort of), Sony/Lionsgate distribution deal & more

March 2, 2021 - 5:42 pm   |   by
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We’ve got several interesting things to report today here at The Bits, but first some more new disc reviews...

As promised, I posted my review of Hayao Miyazaki’s Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro on 4K Ultra HD from Discotek on Friday night.

Tim has also posted his thoughts on Sam Peckinpah’s Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974), Rudy De Luca’s Transylvania 6-5000 (1985), and Rene Cardona Jr’s Tintorera (1977) all on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics (and, in the last case, with Scorpion Releasing).

And Dennis has checked in with his comments on Sidney J. Furie’s Lady Sings the Blues (1972) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics as well. [Read on here...]

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In a side note, the cover artwork for that review of Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia seems to have gotten Tim suspended for “community standards violations” on Facebook. We don’t know if someone didn’t like the image of a person holding a gun and reported it, or if Facebook’s own algorithms flagged it, but if you don’t see Tim on Facebook for a while... or maybe not again... that’s why. This same thing happens to The Bits occasionally with Google Adsense advertising. About every 2-3 months, our advertising account will get suspended, and we believe it’s because the cover art for a Blu-ray release offends Google’s algorithms. When I say “we don’t know” and “we believe”, it’s literally because we don’t know. When something like this happens, Facebook and Google don’t actually TELL you anything. So you never know why you got flagged, which means you never know how to avoid getting flagged again, and there’s literally no one you can call to remedy the situation unless you’re very wealthy or a celebrity. Social media is kind of f--ked is what I’m saying.

All right, anyway... some announcement news...

Paramount and CBS will release Star Trek: Lower Decks – Season One on Blu-ray in regular and Steelbook packaging on 5/18. There’s no word yet on a disc release of Star Trek: Discovery – Season Three, but we expect that one is forthcoming and will be revealed soon. In the meantime, you can see the cover artwork for both versions of Star Trek: Lower Decks below.

Also below, you’ll find the cover artwork for Paramount’s forthcoming 4K Ultra HD releases of My Fair Lady and Super 8, the latter in both regular and Steelbook packaging, on 5/25. We expect that the usual Amazon sale price will kick in soon. We’ve also included Star Trek: Lower Decks. And yes, we do believe that is the final cover art for the newly-remastered Batman v Superman in 4K. All are now available for pre-order on Amazon by clicking on the covers...

My Fair Lady (4K Ultra HD) Super 8 (4K Ultra HD) Super 8 (Steelbook 4K Ultra HD)

Star Trek: Lower Decks - Season One (Blu-ray Disc) Star Trek: Lower Decks - Season One (Steelbook Blu-ray Disc) Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice REMASTERED (4K Ultra HD)

Also in announcement news today, the Warner Archive has just revealed a slate of new catalog titles coming to Blu-ray in April. Among them are Quick Change (1990—starring Bill Murray, yes!), Annie Get Your Gun (1950), Doctor X (1932), Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940), Green Dolphin Street (1947), and Josie and The Pussycats in Outer Space: The Complete Series (1972-73). A few of you will no doubt wonder how this is compatible with my comment from last week that a lot of the Warner Archive team was recently let go by AT&T and Warner Media. And it’s because most of Warner Archive’s release slate is programmed a solid year in advance. The day to day operation of the brand is now just being handled by the regular Warner Bros. Home Entertainment team (those few who have survived the company’s many rounds of layoffs at least). We still don’t know what impact this might have on Warner Archive releases at some point down the line.

For those of you in the UK (or with all-region players), Fabulous Films is releasing a newly-remastered Blu-ray edition of Gerry Anderson’s Journey to the Far Side of the Sun on March 21. You can see that here.

And here’s a surprise: The French boutique distributor ESC Editions is producing a new Blu-ray edition of John Wayne’s The Alamo (1960) for release on June 16, featuring the 2 hour and 20 minute theatrical edition in HD, along with the 3 hour and 10 minute “long version” in SD, plus a 32-page booklet. Before you get too excited however, this is NOT a restoration of the film itself. I contacted Robert Harris about the title this morning—who many of you know has long advocated for this title to be properly preserved from the original surviving film elements—and have learned that this release is being produced using a 35 mm dupe negative only. The original film remains in bad shape and is unlikely to survive at this point unless drastic (and expensive) action is taken by MGM. But at least fans will finally be able to see some version of the film on disc (albiet with lesser image quality).

In other news today, there’s word from an indie filmmaker on the excellent Home Theater Forum that Amazon has officially discontinued its Media On Demand (MOD) physical disc replication service “based on customer and content owner feedback, specifically their preference for digital streaming services vs. physical discs.” The program officially comes to an end on 3/31, when Amazon will stop accepting new titles for production. You can read more on that here.

Finally today, Variety reported on Friday that Sony and Lionsgate have signed a multi-year agreement that will see Sony Pictures Home Entertainment taking over distribution of Lionsgate’s physical home entertainment releases in the U.S. and Canada. You can read more about that here. And we expect more of these kinds of arrangements to be announced in the future, as they allow the various studios involved to lower their costs to produce, distribute, and market discs for as long as possible as physical media sales continue to decline.

All right, back tomorrow with more. Stay tuned...

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


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