My Two Cents
Monday, 02 October 2023 13:22

It’s Going to Be a Very Expensive December for Disc Fans—Shout! & Arrow announce their final disc slates for 2023!

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Boy, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover here at The Bits over the next few days! It’s been very busy here around the office these past several days. For one thing, my wife and I have had family staying with us for the weekend. I’ve also finally replaced my defunct Epson 5040UB home theater projector here at The Bits with a brand new JVC DLA-RS1100/NP5, and have spent time installing and calibrating it. (I’ll definitely have more to say about that later this week, though I’ll just note for now that I’m very pleased with the choice.)

But I would like to take this opportunity to thank my good friends John Schuermann (of The Screening Room AV, the fantastic home theater design and equipment retailer well known for their annual Projector Shootouts) and Kris Deering (the outstanding ISF calibrator, formerly of Sound and Vision magazine as well as his own Deep Dive AV) for their help and advice in selecting the RS1100 and getting it up and running. (Your counsel is very much appreciated, my friends!) If you’re ever in the market for home theater hardware or calibration, there’s no better place to start.

Needless to say, while I’ve been occupied with all that, our dedicated team here at The Bits has posted a number of great new disc reviews. So let’s quickly run them all down...

First of all, Stuart has offered his thoughts on Anthony Mann’s A Dandy in Sapic (1968) and Abraham Polonsky’s Force of Evil (1948) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics, as well as Suzanna Raes’ documentary Close to Vermeer (2023) on DVD from Kino Lorber.

Dennis has shared his thoughts on Peter Hall’s Three Into Two Won’t Go (1969) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics, as well as Luis Valdez’s La Bamba (1987) on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection.

Stephen has delivered his reviews of Jean Renoir’s legendary classic The Rules of the Game (1939) in 4K Ultra HD from Criterion, along with Jiří Barta’s The Pied Piper (1986) on Blu-ray from Deaf Crocodile (via Vinegar Syndrome), and Ulli Lommel’s The Boogey Man (1980) in 4K UHD from Vinegar Syndrome.

And finally, our hard-working reviews editor Tim Salmons has posted his own take on David Lynch’s Lost Highway (1997) in 4K Ultra HD, also from Criterion.

As always, more new disc reviews are forthcoming all week, so be sure to check back for them.

All right… now let’s move on to the latest release news. And there’s quite a lot of it today. In fact, it’s fair to say that it’s going to be a very expensive Q4 for fans of Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD! [Read on here...]

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First up, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has finally officially detailed their 10/17 4K Ultra HD release of Sydney Pollack’s classic The Way We Were (1973), which is planned in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary. The package will include both the original 118-minute Theatrical Cut, along with a new 123-minute Extended Version that restores two scenes “where the love story and the political story come together.” Both are fully remastered in 4K from the original camera negatives and feature Dolby Vision HDR (they appear in HD on Blu-ray as well). Audio will be included in a new 5.1 mix as well as the original mono for the Theatrical Cut, both in DTS-HD MA format. And extras will include a director’s audio commentary (on the Theatrical Cut only), as well as the Looking Back documentary and a theatrical trailer. You can see the cover artwork below.

Next, our friends at Shout! Studios have just revealed their December slate of Shout, Shout Select, Scream Factory, and GKids titles, and wow... are there ever some good ones!

The fun starts on 12/5 with Nicol Paone’s The Kill Room (2023) on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD and Kathryn Bigelow’s Point Break (1991) on 4K Ultra HD.

On 12/12, look for Orson Oblowitz’s Showdown at the Grand (2023) on Blu-ray, Jonathan Lynn’s Clue (1985) on 4K Ultra HD, Eric Appel’s Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (2022) on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD, The Ring Collection in 4K UHD—includes Gore Verbinski’s The Ring (2002), Hideo Nakata’s The Ring Two (2005), and F. Javier Gutiérrez’s Rings (2017)—and Shaun the Sheep: The Complete Series on Blu-ray.

On 12/19, look for Oliver Stone’s JFK (1991) in 4K Ultra HD—just as we predicted here at The Bits back in August, and including both the 118-minute Theatrical Cut and the 205-minute Director’s Cut—as well as David Cronenberg’s The Dead Zone (1983) in 4K Ultra HD, the Masaaki Yuasa: Five Films Blu-ray box set—for GKids, includes Mind Game (2004), The Night is Short, Walk on Girl (2017), Lu Over the Wall (2017), Ride Your Wave (2019), and Inu-Oh (2022)—and the Shaw Brothers Classics: Vol. 4 Blu-ray box set—which includes the films The Rebel Intruders (1980), Two Champions of Shaolin (1980), Legend of the Fox (1980), Black Lizard (1981), House of Traps (1981), Masked Avengers (1981), The Sword Stained with Royal Blood (1981), Five Element Ninjas (1982), Shaolin Prince (1982), Shaolin Intruders (1983), Holy Flame of the Martial World (1983), and Opium and the Kung-Fu Master (1984).

And on 12/26, look for Randall Wallace’s The Man in the Iron Mask (1998) in 4K Ultra HD and Walter Hill’s Last Man Standing (1996) on Blu-ray.

Note that Clue, JFK, Point Break, and The Man in the Iron Mask are all Shout! Select titles. You can see the cover artwork for many of these below.

Finally today, our friends at Arrow Video have also revealed their December slate, which is set to include John Schlesinger’s The Day of the Locust (1975) on Blu-ray (US and Canada only) on 12/5, a Child’s Play Collection on 4K Ultra HD (UK only) on 12/11—includes Child’s Play 1-3 (note that the first film is Blu-ray only), plus Bride of Chucky, Seed of Chucky, Curse of Chucky, and Cult of Chucky, as well as the Living with Chucky documentary—and Walter Hill’s The Warriors (1979) on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD (US and Canada only) and the Savage Guns: Four Classic Westerns – Volume 3 Blu-ray box set ( UK, US, and Canada)—includes I Want Him Dead (1968), El Puro (1969), Wrath of the Wind (1970), and Four of the Apocalypse (1975) on 12/12.

That’s a lot to digest right there, so for now we’ll leave you with a look at the cover artwork for many of these titles, with pre-orders links if available (and all of them are—just click on the covers below)...

The Way We Were (4K Ultra HD) JFK (4K Ultra HD) Point Break (4K Ultra HD)

The Warriors (4K Ultra HD) Clue (4K Ultra HD) The Man in the Iron Mask (4K Ultra HD)

The Dead Zone (4K Ultra HD) The Ring Collection (4K Ultra HD) Child’s Play Collection (UK 4K Ultra HD)

Back with more soon. Stay tuned...!

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