My Two Cents
Thursday, 09 July 2020 17:13

Game of Thrones: Complete 4K official, plus District 9, Westworld: S3, The Thing, Philip K. Dick Festival, Criterion’s WoW reviewed & more

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All right, we’ve got some GREAT release news to report for you today. But first, we a couple more new Blu-ray reviews...

Dennis has taken a good long look at Criterion’s lovely new edition of Byron Haskin’s 1953 classic The War of the Worlds on Blu-ray. He talks about the film, the extras (as compared to the recent Imprint Blu-ray) and more. And it looks like Criterion did indeed correct the 4K remaster’s color grade issue (so the opening shot of Mars is now properly red, as it should be). You can find that here.

Also today, Tim has reviewed Jean-Marie Pallardy’s outlandish actioner White Fire (1984), newly released on Blu-ray by Arrow Video. Enjoy!

Now then, on to that big release news...

It’s official: HBO and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment have set Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection for release on 4K Ultra HD on 11/3 (SRP $254.99, though expect the usual retailer discounts to be applied soon). There will also be a Best Buy-exclusive Steelbook box set that same day (SRP $285.43, though again expect the usual discount to be applied to that). [Read on here...]

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Both sets will include the entire series—all 73 episodes—in 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision HDR and object-based Dolby Atmos sound on 33 discs. You’ll also get more than 15 hours worth of extras, including the exclusive 2-part Game of Thrones: Reunion Special (“a two-part reunion show shot live in Belfast with the cast, both past and present, hosted by Conan O’Brien and available exclusively on these complete series collections. The reunion special is assembled in segments focused on Houses Lannister, Stark, & Targaryen and concludes with the key players all onstage for their final reflections on the years they shared in Westeros and Essos”), Jeanie Finlay’s Game of Thrones: The Last Watch documentary, and Conquest & Rebellion: An Animated History of Seven Kingdoms, plus all of the previous individual season extras (we don’t know yet if any of the retail-exclusive content will be included), as well as Digital copy codes.

Audio and optional subtitles will be included in English, French, and Spanish. Keep in mind that while early seasons of the show will be upsampled, that upsampling is flat-out terrific (see our review of Season One in 4K here at The Bits). And the last season or two were shot and finished in full native 4K. With proper 10-bit color and HDR, this set should look really great.

Anyway, here’s a look at the cover artwork (with the pre-order links)...

Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection (4K Ultra HD) District 9 (4K Ultra HD) Westworld: Season Three - The New World (4K Ultra HD)

Flash Gordon (4K Ultra HD) The Alfred Hitchcock Collection (4K Ultra HD) Westworld: Season Three (Blu-ray Disc)

Outlander: Season Five - Collector's Edition (Blu-ray Disc) Outlander: Season Five (Blu-ray Disc) Elephant Man (Blu-ray Disc)

As you can see, we’ve also posted cover artwork for Sony’s District 9 in 4K, along with Universal’s The Alfred Hitchcock Classics Collection in 4K (including Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho, and The Birds). The former is available for pre-order on Amazon US. The latter is only up for pre-order on Amazon UK at the moment (but we expect an official announcement and US pre-orders to open soon).

Back to District 9, Sony has officially set the Neill Blomkamp sci-fi classic for release on 4K Ultra HD on 10/13, with HDR10 high dynamic range and Dolby Atmos audio. The 4K disc will include two all-new extras: a Comic-Con Extravaganza featurette and original theatrical trailers. Plus you’ll get all of the previous Blu-ray features, including deleted scenes, Director’s Commentary, The Alien Agenda: A Filmmaker’s Log – Three-Part Documentary, Metamorphosis: The Transformation of Wikus, Innovation: Acting and Improvisation, Conception and Design: Creating the World of District 9, Alien Generation: Visual Effects, and the Joburg from Above: Interactive Map of the World of District 9.

Also newly announced by Sony: The Outlander: Season Five – Collector’s Edition, due on Blu-ray and DVD on 9/15 (with the Digital release expected on 9/14). Wide-release extras will include 4 never-before-seen Outlander Untold bonus scenes, a blooper reel, 2 featurettes (Strength in Action: The Women of Outlander and Through Fire & Hell: The Finale), the Flowers of the Forest lyric video, and At Home with Adso. To this, both the regular Blu-ray edition and the Blu-ray Collector’s Edition will exclusively add 16 deleted scenes, 2 more featurettes (The Heart of the Frasers and Expanding the World: Sets & Costumes), and audio commentaries with the writers and producers.

Meanwhile, HBO’s Westworld: Season Three – The New World will arrive on Blu-ray, DVD. and 4K Ultra HD on 11/17 (SRP $39.99, $44.98, and $54.97 respectively). The Blu-ray and 4K release will both feature Dolby Atmos audio, while the 4K will add Dolby Vision HDR. Extras will include 5 exclusive featurettes (We Live in a Technocracy, Rico, A Vision for the Future, Westworld on Location, Escape from Westworld, and Exploring War World), along with 7 Creating Westworld’s Reality featurettes (Parce Domine, The Absence of Field, The Mother of Exiles, Genre, Decoherence, Passed Pawn, and Crisis Theory), and 4 Welcome to Westworld featurettes (Evan Rachel Wood & Aaron Paul – Analysis, Evan Rachel Wood & Aaron Paul – Who Said It?, Thandie Newton & Tessa Thompson – Analysis, and Thandie Newton & Tessa Thompson – Who Said It?).

Not done yet. We’ve just a little more new release info to report today...

It’s looking like John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) may be coming to 4K Ultra HD later in 2020 based upon European retail leaks. We’ll post an update on that as we get more information.

And the BBC is releasing Red Dwarf: The Promised Land on Blu-ray and DVD on 9/15 (SRP $29.98 and $24.98).

In other news today, here’s something cool to watch next week amid coronavirus lockdowns: The Philip K Dick Film Festival is holding a great live stream event with a longtime friend of The Digital Bits: Look for A Conversation with Charles de Lauzirika: Final Cut Restoration Producer of Blade Runner next Wednesday (7/15 at 3pm EST) here on Facebook and here on YouTube. It goes without saying that Charlie is a great guy and a definite authority on all things Blade Runner, and of course you should already be familiar with his terrific Blu-ray and DVD special edition work over the years on such titles as Blade Runner, the Alien Quadrilogy, Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery, and MANY others. He also directed the feature film Crave, the short horror film Love Bite, and is currently attached to direct and co-write a feature adaptation of the Philip K. Dick science fiction short story I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon. The conversation should be informative and a lot of fun, so definitely don’t miss it. Thanks to Bits reader Shane W. for the heads-up!

And finally today, some good news for those of you who picked up Sony’s recent Columbia Classics 4K Ultra HD Collection: Volume 1 box set: You may recall that there was an error on the Blu-ray extras included with the set’s 4K Ultra HD release of Lawrence of Arabia (see my review here). Well, Sony has now corrected the problem and is shipping out fixed Blu-rays with all of the expected extras. You’ll find the instructions on how to obtain a copy of the fixed Blu-ray here in my review of the title. And here’s what the replacement disc package looks like...

Sony's Lawrence of Arabia 4K fixed extras Blu-ray

All right—whew! That’s a lot of good news for one day.

But that’s all for now. So as always, stay tuned...

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



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