My Two Cents

Pirates 4K Collection... but not in the US (yet), plus Criterion’s Feb 2022 Blu-ray slate, Amazon 4K sale & more

November 15, 2021 - 2:44 pm   |   by
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All right, we’ve got a couple things for you today, but first more reviews...

On Friday I posted my in-depth thoughts on Warner’s Middle-Earth 31-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray box set, which includes the previous 4K discs of both The Hobbit Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (both the theatrical versions and Extended versions), along with the previous Hobbit Trilogy Blu-rays (again both versions) and newly-remastered Lord of the Rings Trilogy Blu-rays (sourced from the new 4K remasters, again both versions of each film). It also has a new bonus disc of content, but omits almost all of the previous content save for the audio commentaries. It’s actually a nice set for those who don’t already have any or all of the previous disc releases, but for diehard fans it’s going to be pretty frustrating. Anyway, click here for a lengthy and detailed review.

I’ve also posted my review of J. Lee Thompson’s The Guns of Navarone in 4K Ultra HD from Sony, which is a fine release of a classic WWII film.

Also, Stephen has posted his thoughts on Tony Randel’s Ticks (1993) in 4K UHD from Vinegar Syndrome.

And Tim has posted his thoughts on the He Came from the Swamp: The William Grefe Collection re-release on Blu-ray from Arrow Video, which includes six classic films from the Florida-based low budget filmmaker. [Read on here...]

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Now then, let’s get to the news...

Pirates of the Caribbean: 5-Film Collection (Australian 4K Ultra HD) As we first announced here at The Bits last week, Disney is officially releasing Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl on 4K Ultra HD on 1/2/22. But we’ve learned from retail and industry sources (not to mention the many readers who’ve sent us the links), that a Pirates of the Caribbean: 4K Ultra HD 5-Movie Collection is actually coming in Australia and a few other market internationally. Here’s a listing for the set at JB Hi-Fi in Australia, which current has it up for pre-order and due to street on 12/15/21. You can see the cover artwork on the right there.

Naturally, I asked Disney about this last week. And what I’ve learned is a little irritating. Yes, they acknowledge that the set is coming internationally. But there are currently no announced plans to release it here in the States as yet.

Now... I suspect this means that it might be coming to the States sometime in 2022, but the very fact that they’re not moving more quickly to release the box set here now tells me a LOT about Disney’s commitment to 4K Ultra HD—and frankly physical media in general—going forward. And it’s frustrating in the extreme. Judging by the number of emails and private messages I’ve been getting from readers this weekend, a lot of you are frustrated about it as well.

Rest assured I’m going to have more to say about this in the coming days. But for now, there it is.

In the meantime, let’s turn now to a little better news: Criterion has just announced its February 2022 slate of titles, which is officially set to include Douglas Sirk’s Written on the Wind (1956) (Spine #96 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 2/1, the Coen Brothers’ Miller’s Crossing (1990) (Spine #1112 – Blu-ray only) on 2/8, Leo McCarey’s Love Affair (1939) (Spine #1114 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 2/15, and Ann Hui’s Boat People (1982) (Spine #1113 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 2/22. It looks like no 4K titles are among them for now at least. You can see the cover artwork for all of these below, and we’ve updated our Criterion Spines Project pages here at The Bits accordingly.

In other news today, Lionsgate has set James Cullen Bressack’s Fortress for Blu-ray and DVD release on 12/21, with the Digital release expected on 12/17. The film stars Jesse Metcalfe and Bruce Willis.

Disney has set Searchlight Pictures’ Antlers for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/4/22, with the Digital release set for 12/21. The film was directed by Scott Cooper and produced by Guillermo del Toro.

And Kino Lorber Studio Classics has set the 1983 cult musical Get Crazy for Blu-ray and DVD release on 12/17. Also recently revealed by the company are new Blu-rays of All My Sons (1948), Golden Earrings (1947), Double Door (1934), The Crime of the Century (1933), Shake Hands with the Devil (1959), Alfred Hitchcock’s Rich and Strange (1931), and China (1943) on 1/4, followed by Almost Summer (1978), The Pink Jungle (1968), Breaking In (1989), Impasse (1969), The 7th Dawn (1964), and Gambit (1966) on 1/11, and Inherit the Wind (1999) on 1/18. They’ve also revealed Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema VISingapore (1947), Johnny Stool Pigeon (1949), and The Raging Tide (1951)—and Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema VIIThe Boss (1956), Chicago Confidential (1957), and The Fearmakers (1958). Both of those are coming soon.

In other news, Amazon is currently having a pre-Black Friday sale on Blu-ray and 4K titles that includes the Marvel and Star Wars films (for example, The Empire Strikes Back for just $13). Click here and search for Best Sellers and Today’s Deals, which should take you to all of the titles on sale. Remember, any time you order anything from Amazon after clicking through to them from one of our links, you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we really appreciate it!

Finally today, Netflix has announced a new streaming series called Voir, which debuts on 12/6 and is produced by David Fincher and David Prior. It’s a series of visual essays celebrating the cinema. Most of you will already know who David Fincher is, but David Prior is an old friend of The Bits who’s become quite a good filmmaker in his own right (The Empty Man). But you might know him better for his many years as a special edition producer for Blu-ray and DVD titles, where his work included Fear of the Flesh: The Making of The Fly (2005), This Is the Zodiac Speaking (2008), Master and Commander: Cinematic Phasmids (2004), Shooting Panic Room (2004), and lots more. Here’s a trailer for the new series...

All right, we’ll leave you with a look at the cover artwork for a few of the titles mentioned above and more, with Amazon links if available (we’ll add them as they become available if they aren’t already)...

Hard Target (4K Ultra HD) The Running Man (German 4K Ultra HD) Miller's Crossing (Criterion Blu-ray)

Boat People (Criterion Blu-ray) Love Affair (Criterion Blu-ray) Written on the Wind (Criterion Blu-ray)

That’s all for now. Stay tuned...

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


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