My Two Cents
Wednesday, 22 May 2024 15:35

Twister, Challengers, new Rocky 4Ks, Halo: S2, Kung Fu Panda 4, The Name of the Rose in 4K, new Imprint & Umbrella Blu-ray slates & much more!

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We’ve got three new disc reviews for you to enjoy today, including...

Tim’s take on Halloween II (1981) and Halloween III (1982) on Blu-ray from Via Vision Entertainment, as well as Hanna-Barbera’s animated Rockin’ with Judy Jetson (1988) on Blu-ray from the Warner Archive Collection.

Watch for more reviews coming over the next few days.

In announcement news today, we have a few things to report. First, Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment has made Jan de Bont’s Twister (1996) official for 4K Ultra HD and 4K UHD Steelbook release on 7/9. As we’ve reported previously, look for Dolby Atmos audio, HDR10 high dynamic range, the new The Legacy of Twister: Taken by the Wind retrospective featurette with the director, and the legacy Blu-ray and DVD extras. You can see the cover artwork at left and also below.

Warner Bros. has also set Luca Guadagnino’s Challengers (2024) for Blu-ray and DVD release on 7/9, for Amazon MGM Studios. There’s no indication of special features on the release.

But we’re not yet done with Warner & MGM. Though they haven’t officially been announced yet, the studios have also just listed John G. Avildsen’s Rocky V (1990) and Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa (2006) for 4K Ultra HD Steelbook release on 7/16. The latter will include both the original Theatrical Version and Stallone’s new Director’s Cut. Both will offer HDR10 high dynamic range and DTS-HD Master Audio. Also listed for release that same day is a brand new Rocky: Ultimate Knockout Collection in 4K, which we expect will include Rocky, Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, Rocky V, and Rocky Balboa. [Read on here...]

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And keep in mind, these should all be the newly corrected 4K discs that fix various audio issues (and a brief Rocky IV aspect ratio issue) from the last 4K release, which we’ve reported on previously here at The Bits. Rocky V, Rocky Balboa, and the new Rocky: Ultimate Knockout Collection are all now available for pre-order on Amazon by clicking the cover art below...

Rocky V (4K Ultra HD Steelbook) Rocky Balboa (4K Ultra HD Steelbook) Rocky: Ultimate Knockout Collection (4K Ultra HD)

Also newly-announced today for Blu-ray, DVD, 4K Ultra HD, and 4K UHD Steelbook release on 7/23 is Paramount and Showtime’s Halo: Season Two. The 4-disc 4K set will include all 8 episodes with Dolby TrueHD audio, along with Halo the Series: Declassified featurettes for each, and 9 additional featurettes (Silver Team Returns, Kiki’s Favorite Set: The Condor, Bringing the 26th Century to Life, A Visit to Luma Pictures, Building a Covenant Warship, Making the Fall of Reach, The House of Soren, Writing for Halo S2, and Bigger Better Props). To the studio’s credit, that’s over two hours of bonus content. Here’s a look at the Blu-ray, 4K, and 4K Steelbook packaging (with Amazon links if available)...

Halo: Season 2 (Blu-ray Disc) Halo: Season 2 (4K Ultra HD) Halo: Season 2 (4K Ultra HD Steelbook)

Also newly-announced for Blu-ray, DVD, 4K Ultra HD, and Digital release on 5/28 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the animated Kung Fu Panda 4 (2024). Extras will include audio commentary (with director Mike Mitchell, co-director Stephanie Ma Stine, production designer Paul Duncan, head of story Calvin Tsang, and head of character animation Sean Sexton), and a host of featurettes and deleted scenes.

Meanwhile, Kino Lorber Studio Classics has announced Columbo: The Return for Blu-ray release on 7/16. They’ve also set Frank Oz’s In & Out (1997) for 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray release on 7/23. What’s more, they’ve just set Arch Oboler’s Bwana Devil (1952) for Blu-ray 3D release on 7/30 in conjunction with our friends at the 3-D Film Archive! And several recently-announced 4K titles are now available for pre-order on Amazon, including Can’t Stop the Music, Nightmare Beach, and Cannibal Apocalypse—you’ll find the cover art and pre-order links for all three of those below.

A few new or re-issue TV titles have also been newly-listed on Amazon, including Cartoon Network’s Dexter’s Laboratory: The Complete Series (DVD) on 6/25, Warner’s Beetlejuice: The Complete Series (DVD) on 6/25, MHz’s Unit One: Complete Series (DVD) on 7/30, Netflix’s Vikings Valhalla: Season 1 (Blu-ray and DVD) on 8/27, and HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm: Complete Series (DVD) on 10/8. Click on the titles to see the pre-order pages for each.

Our friends at Imprint Films down under have announced their August Blu-ray slate, which is set to include standard editions of Walter Hill’s Hard Times (1975), The Driver (1978), The Long Riders (1980), Extreme Prejudice (1987), Johnny Handsome (1989), and Broken Trail (2006), along with The Avengers: The Emma Peel Collection (1965–1967). Look for those to street on or around 8/14. And don’t forget that standard editions of The Harry Palmer Collection (1965–1967), The Osterman Weekend: Theatrical Cut (1983), Barfly (1987), and FairyTale: A True Story (1997) will arrive on Blu-ray on 7/17.

Not to be outdone, Umbrella has announced their September Blu-ray slate, which will include Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala’s Goodnight Mommy (aka Ich Seh, Ich Seh) (2014), Steven Boyle’s The Demon Disorder (2024), John Campbell, Lisa Fineberg, and Jay Morrissey’s The Emu War (2023), Ann Turner’s Irresistible (2006), and Ian Barry’s The Chain Reaction (1980). The street date for all of these is on or about 9/4.

And finally today, the distributor Seven7 in France has just released director Jean-Jacques Annaud’s The Name of the Rose (1986) in a new Limited Prestige Edition 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray package that features a new 4K restoration of the film on both UHD and Blu-ray, a Blu-ray bonus disc with over 7 hours worth of extras, plus a 44-page book. A Bits reader with the disc in hand says the restoration is gorgeous. (Thanks for the heads up, Basti!) There’s no word yet on a US release from Warner (or one of its licensees), but the title will apparently be released in Germany on 8/8. You can pre-order the French disc here on

The Name of the Rose (French 4K Ultra HD)

All right, we’ll leave you with a look at the cover artwork for a few more of the titles mentioned above, with Amazon links if available...

Twister (4K Ultra HD) Twister (4K Ultra HD Steelbook) Challengers (Blu-ray Disc)

Nightmare Beach (4K Ultra HD) Can't Stop the Music (4K Ultra HD) Cannibal Apocalypse (4K Ultra HD)

That’s all for now. Stay tuned...!

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