My Two Cents
Wednesday, 29 May 2024 17:33

Friends: The Complete Series in 4K, plus the Ted Lasso Blu-ray is official, Rocky: Ultimate Knockout, Civil War & Drive (2011) in Ultra HD in the States at last!

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All right, we’ve got a big news update here at The Bits for you today, and we’ll be back with a second update early tomorrow morning—there’s a ton of new title announcements, breaking news, and rumors to address at the moment. So let’s get started.

First, as always, some new disc reviews...

Tim has turned in his thoughts on Hanna-Barbera’s animated Scooby-Doo! and the Reluctant Werewolf (1988) and Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School (1988) on Blu-ray from the Warner Archive Collection.

And Stuart has offered his take on Giulio Petroni’s Death Rides a Horse (1967) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics, Piero Regnoli’s The Playgirls and the Vampire (1960) on Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome, and Éric Rohmer’s The Aviator’s Wife (1981) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber proper.

More reviews are coming in the next day or two, so be sure to stay tuned for them.

Also, just to let you all know, I’ve shared a new exclusive blog post on The Digital BitsPatreon page that I think will get a lot of you physical media fans pretty excited. It’s called 2025 Will Be a Big Year for 4K (and We Should Appreciate Every Minute), and there’s good news in thereremember where you heard it first!—that we’ll be talking about here at The Bits a bunch in the weeks and months ahead. Don’t forget that becoming a paid member of our Patreon (for as little as $6 a month) is a great way to help support our work here at The Bits, and we really do appreciate it!

Now then, the big news today is that Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment has just revealed that they’re releasing Friends: The Complete Series in 4K Ultra HD—no kidding—on 9/24, in honor of the series’ 30th anniversary! We don’t have any other details yet, but the set is now available for pre-order on Amazon for SRP $249.99 (click here for the link). We expect an official press release any day now. While we wait, you can see the cover artwork at left and also below. [Read on here...]

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[Editor’s Update 5/30/24: The Friends 4K set has now been officially announced and we’ve confirmed that it includes all 236 original broadcast episodes—so these are not extended versions. We’ve asked for additional details including aspect ratio, mastering, HDR, etc. But we do know that the set will include audio in lossless English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio format, as well as German, French, Japanese, and Castilian Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital. Optional subtitles will be available in English SDH, German SDH, French, Japanese, Castilian Spanish, Latin Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Danish, Dutch, and Complex Chinese. And the set will include over 20 hours of special features including at least some all-new bonus content.]

Friends: The Complete Series (4K Ultra HD)

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment and MGM have also just officially announced their long-awaited Rocky: Ultimate Knockout Collection 4K Ultra HD box set, which is expected to street on 7/16. The set will include Rocky (1976), Rocky II (1979), Rocky III (1982), Rocky IV (1985), Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago – The Ultimate Director’s Cut (2011), Rocky V (1990), Rocky Balboa (2006), and Stallone’s new Rocky Balboa: Director’s Cut (2024) all in 4K Ultra HD and Digital.

Keep in mind that the first four films will be included on 4K UHD discs that fix issues with the previous Rocky Knockout Collection 4K box (originally released in 2023). All of the films will feature Dolby Vision HDR. The 7-disc set will also include a Blu-ray bonus disc that adds The Making of Rocky vs. Drago: Keep Punching documentary plus legacy special features. Rocky Balboa will also include Stallone’s existing audio commentary, plus an alternate ending, deleted scenes, and 4 featurettes. Note that Rocky V and Rocky Balboa will also be available separately on 4K Ultra HD Steelbook. You can see the cover art for all of these below.

And Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment has also just officially announced the Blu-ray and DVD release of the Apple TV+ original series Ted Lasso on 7/30! Entitled Ted Lasso: The Richmond Way, this is essentially The Complete Series—all 34 episodes from Seasons 1-3 on disc. (However, we’re hearing through the grapevine that more Ted Lasso may be on the way in the next year or two from Apple TV.) The package will also include a limited edition, double-sided “Believe” poster. The cover artwork is below.

Meanwhile, our friends at Lionsgate have officially announced the Blu-ray, DVD, 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray, and Digital release of Alex Garland’s Civil War (2024) on 7/9. The 4K will also be available in an Amazon-exclusive version featuring unique cover artwork and an exclusive disc-based special feature: Director and Cast Q&A. The other SKUs will include the 6-part Torn Asunder: Waging Alex Garland’s Civil War documentary and the film’s theatrical trailer. And if that’s not enough to intrigue you, we’ve learned that the documentary was produced by our old friend Charles de Lauzirika (who created the outstanding special features on Blade Runner: The Final Cut, the Alien Quadrilogy, The Amazing Spider-Man, Twin Peaks, Top Gun, Prometheus, Kingdom of Heaven, Gladiator, The Martian, and many more)! Look for Dolby Atmos audio on the Blu-ray SKUs and Dolby Vision HDR on the 4Ks. Again, you’ll find the cover art below.

Finally today, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has finally set Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive (2011) for 4K Ultra HD Steelbook release here in the States on 8/27. (Note that the film has been available in 4K UHD in Europe since 2022 from Second Sight.) Sony’s release will include Dolby Vision HDR, Dolby Atmos audio (plus the previous 5.1 DTS-HD MA mix), 4 legacy featurettes (I Drive: The Driver, Driver and Irene: The Relationship, Under the Hood: Story, and Cut to the Chase: Stunts), the legacy Drive Without a Driver interview with the director, and the all-new Back in the Driver’s Seat featurette (featuring interviews with writer Hossein Amini, editor Mat Newman, composer Cliff Martinez, and actors Christina Hendricks and Ron Perlman). You can see the cover artwork below.

That’s a lot of major release news for you to digest in one chunk, but trust me: We’ve got even more for you. So be sure to check back here first thing tomorrow morning for all the additional details.

Until then, we’ll leave you with a look at the cover artwork for all of the titles mentioned above, with pre-order links (if available). And don’t forget that anytime you order literally anything from Amazon after clicking to them through one of our affiliate links (like this one), you’re also helping to support our work here at The Bits and we really appreciate it...

Friends: The Complete Series (4K Ultra HD) Ted Lasso: The Richmond Way (Blu-ray Disc) Rocky: Ultimate Knockout Collection (4K Ultra HD)

Civil War (4K Ultra HD) Rocky V (4K Ultra HD Steelbook) Rocky Balboa (4K Ultra HD Steelbook)

Civil War (Amazon-exclusive 4K Ultra HD) Civil War (Blu-ray Disc) Drive (4K Ultra HD Steelbook)

Back early tomorrow morning with more! Stay tuned...

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



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