My Two Cents
Monday, 31 July 2023 15:54

Cujo 4K, a School of Rock Blu-ray Steelbook, Arrow Video and Shout!/Scream Factory’s October slates & more, plus Paul Reubens RIP

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We’re starting the week off here at The Digital Bits this afternoon with a great new disc review, this one featuring Tim and Stephen’s tag-team take on Arrow Video’s fantastic Enter the Video Store: Empire of Screams Blu-ray box set, which includes The Dungeonmaster (1984), Dolls (1986), Cellar Dweller (1987), Arena (1989), and Robot Jox (1990). It’s a boxed release that’s well worth checking out if you can get your hands on a copy—the title is sold out and basically only available on the secondary market. One hopes that the films will be released individually on Blu-ray from Arrow in the future.

In announcement news today, Paramount has revealed a new School of Rock: 20th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Steelbook for release on 9/26. The disc will include audio commentary with Jack Black and director Richard Linklater and nearly an hour of legacy special features.

Paramount will also release a new Halloween H20: 20 Years Later 4K Ultra HD Steelbook Edition on 9/26, celebrating the film’s 25th anniversary. You can see the packaging below the break.

Kino Lorber Studio Classics has officially set Lewis Teague’s Cujo (1983) for 4K Ultra HD release on 10/24, complete with a new 4K scan of the original camera negative, Dolby Vision HDR, and a great new special feature, Cujo Revisited, which is a never-before-seen 2014 roundtable discussion with Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro, Daniel Hugh Kelly, and the director.

The company has also revealed that Harold Becker’s Sea of Love (1989) is coming to 4K Ultra HD in the months ahead.

And coming to regular Blu-ray from KLSC are Mario Bava’s Black Sabbath (1963) on 10/24 and Jules Dassin’s Topkapi (1964), the street date for which is still TBA. [Read on here...]

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Shout! and Scream Factory have also begun announcing all their new October Blu-ray and 4K titles. On 10/3, look for Kevin Tenney’s Night of the Demons (1988) in 4K UHD + Blu-ray, Brian Trenchard-Smith’s Night of the Demons 2 (1994) on Blu-ray, and Jimmy Kaufman’s Night of the Demons 3 (1997) on Blu-ray. These will be available individually or together directly from Shout in a couple of different exclusive packaging with swag options.

On 10/10, look for Elmo’s Holiday Spectacular: The Nutcracker and Other Tales on DVD, a FernGully: The Last Rainforest/FernGully 2: The Magical Rescue Double Feature DVD, Stan Winston’s Pumpkinhead (1988) on 4K Ultra HD, and Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Cracking Collection on Blu-ray. This single-disc release will include the short films A Grand Day Out (1989), The Wrong Trousers (1993), A Close Shave (1995), A Matter of Loaf and Death (2008), and the 10-episode TV series Wallace and Gromit’s Cracking Contraptions (2002).

On 10/17, look for an Alf: The Complete Series – Deluxe Edition DVD box set that comes in several different custom SKUs with exclusive swag if you order it directly from Shout. Also coming on 10/17 are Sri Asih: The Warrior on DVD and Evangelion:3.0+1.11 Thrice Upon a Time (2021) on Blu-ray and Collector’s Edition 4K Ultra HD. And Charles Russell’s The Blob (1988) will be released on 4K Ultra HD on 10/17 as well.

And on 10/24 from Shout!, look for the Shaw Bros Classics: Vol. Three Blu-ray box set, which includes the films Death Duel (1977), The Vengeful Beauty (1978), and Clan of the White Lotus (1980).

Also newly announced over the weekend by our friends at Arrow Video is their own fine slate of October Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD titles, which will include the Hellraiser: Quartet of Torment (1987-1996) on Blu-ray, 4K UHD, and Deluxe 4K UHD in the UK only (this includes Clive Barker’s original Hellraiser, Tony Randel’s Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Anthony Hickox’s Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth, and Kevin Yagher’s Hellraiser: Bloodline), Lucio Fulci’s The House by the Cemetery (1981) on Blu-ray and 4K UHD in the UK only, William Wyler’s The Desperate Hours (1955) on Blu-ray in the US and Canada, Sammo Hung and Lee Jeong-Ho’s The Iron-Fisted Monk (1977) on Blu-ray in the US and Canada, and Peter Weir’s Witness (1985) on Blu-ray and 4K UHD in the US and Canada. Yes, that is indeed the Paramount Harrison Ford film—a nice surprise!

Moving on, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is re-issuing The Fifth Element, The Equalizer, and Ghostbusters/Ghostbusters II on 4K Ultra HD in new Steelbook reprints on 9/26.

And one more 4K news item of note this afternoon: Umbrella Entertainment has discovered that there’s a region-locking issue on their new 4K UHDs of Razorback (1984) and The Last Wave (1977). Per the company’s statement on social media: “This was not intentional, and we are now in the process of accelerating the production of corrected copies and will be making replacements available. For customers that purchased direct from our webstore, in addition to receiving your existing order, we will be automatically shipping replacement discs once available. If you have purchased from another retailer and would like a replacement disc, please contact us with proof of purchase to qualify.” You can read more here.

We have a little more new Blu-ray news today as well: Warner Bros. and DC are releasing Pennyworth: The Third and Final Season and Pennyworth: The Complete Series on Blu-ray and DVD on 9/26.

Finally today—and this is a real toughie for all of us here at The Bits—we have to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of the great actor, comedian, and writer Paul Reubens, who apparently lost an unrevealed six-year battle with cancer last night at the age of 70. Reubens was a comic genius whose iconic character, Pee-wee Herman, was—to quote Guillermo del Toro today—“one of the patron saints of all misfitted, weird, maladjusted, wonderful, miraculous oddities.” And I’m not sure how you’d say it any better than that. Fortunately, Reubens gifted us with such treasures as Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, Big Top Pee-wee, Netflix’s Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, and the fantastic Pee-wee’s Playhouse TV series, to say nothing of appearances in so many other great films and TV series, from The Blues Brothers and Mystery Men to What We Do in the Shadows, The Blacklist, 30 Rock, Murphy Brown, the animated Tron: Uprising, and many more. Thank you, Paul. You will be dearly missed. You can read more today here at Variety, NPR, and The New York Times.

Paul Reubens, Rest in Peace

We’ll leave you with a look at the cover artwork for some of the newly-announced 4K UHD catalog titles mentioned above, with pre-order links (just click on the covers)...

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (4K Ultra HD) The Blob (4K Ultra HD) Pumpkinhead (4K Ultra HD)

Evangelion:3.0+1.11 Thrice Upon a Time (4K Ultra HD) Halloween H20 (Steelbook 4K Ultra HD) Night of the Demons (4K Ultra HD)

That’s all for now. Stay tuned...

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