My Two Cents

My Two Cents

Morning everyone, and welcome to the first week of July!

I’ve been very busy over the weekend working on new disc reviews, frankly probably a little too hard—I should probably have taken more of a break to recharge. Nevertheless, I’ve completed a trio of new reviews for you all to enjoy, so today we present...

My take on Luc Besson’s La Femme Nikita (1990) new on 4K Ultra HD Steelbook from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment—a great 4K remaster of one of my favorite films.

My look at Ron Frank’s funny and poignant documentary Remembering Gene Wilder (2023) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber—which covers the actor’s life and career in detail, and features interviews with Mel Brooks and other friends.

And finally, my review of a surprise title that just arrived on Sunday morning: Jan de Bont’s Twister (1996) in 4K Ultra HD from Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment—a terrific remaster that leaves this film looking and sounding better than it ever has before.

I’m also working to finish another review today, which is Alex Garland’s Civil War. I expect to have that up here by tomorrow. And of course, the rest of the Bits team is working on new reviews as well, so be sure to check back for those over the coming days.

Now then, in announcement news this afternoon, Universal has officially set David Leitch’s The Fall Guy (2024) for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 7/23. The package will include both the Theatrical Cut and an Extended Cut of the film with 20 minutes of additional footage. Extras will feature audio commentary on both of those with director Leitch and producer Kelly McCormick, a gag reel, alternate takes, the 5-part Stunts on Stunts: Breaking Down the Action documentary, and 6 featurettes (Making a Meta Masterpiece, How to Break a World Record, Nightclub Mayhem, The Art of Doubling, Making Metalstorm, and Falling for The Fall Guy with Rob Reese). You can see the cover artwork at left and also below. [Read on here...]

All right, we haven’t had a lot of news updates this week, because frankly there just hasn’t been a lot of news to report. And also because we’ve all been working on a lot of disc reviews for you to enjoy. In fact, today we have no less than TEN to share with you, including...

My thoughts on Guy Ritchie’s The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare (2024) in 4K Ultra HD from Lionsgate, Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams (1990) in 4K UHD from The Criterion Collection, and Gil Kenan’s Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (2024) in 4K UHD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Tim’s review of Ernie Fosselius’ Hardware Wars (1978) on Blu-ray and Albert Band’s Ghoulies II (1987) in 4K UHD from the MVD Rewind Collection, Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi’s Goodbye Uncle Tom (1971) in 4K from Blue Underground (which is definitely not for the faint of heart), and Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) in 4K UHD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Dennis’ take on Ted Geoghegan’s Brooklyn 45 (2023) on Blu-ray from Shudder.

And Stephen’s look at Mark Waters’ Mean Girls (2004) on 4K Ultra HD from Paramount, as well as the import version of Michael Mann’s Ferrari (2023) in 4K UHD from Neon and Sky via Universal in UK.

More reviews are on the way for Monday, including my look at Luc Besson’s La Femme Nikika (1990) in 4K from Sony, and Alex Garland’s Civil War (2024) in 4K from Lionsgate, so be sure to watch for them.

Also, just a heads up: Our very own Russell Hammond has posted the new update of our ever-popular Release Dates and Cover Art section (see Cover Art above), which includes all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover art and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, you can sort by date, by format, even isolate the Criterion titles! And as an Amazon Affiliate, literally anything you order from Amazon after clicking to them through one of our links (like this one) goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we greatly appreciate it! [Read on here...]

This is a quick post to let you all know that our Release Dates & Cover Artwork section here at The Digital Bits has just been updated with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. Don’t forget that you can select to see just the Blu-ray, DVD, 4K Ultra HD, or even Criterion titles seperately if you like, to help you find exactly the ones you’re looking for. Just click on COVER ART on the menu bar above to visit the page, and use the search options in the red bar (at the top) to sort by format and date. Once you find a title you like, just click on the cover art and you’ll be taken right to the Amazon.com pre-order page. Thank you for shopping through our links and don’t forget that anytime you order from Amazon through our links, you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we really appreciate it! And thanks to our own Russell Hammond for the update work!

- Bill Hunt

We’re starting the new week here at The Bits, as always, with more new disc reviews...

Stephen has turned in his thoughts on Albert Magnoli’s celebration of all things Prince, Purple Rain (1984), in 4K Ultra HD from Warner Bros. Discover Home Entertainment. The film celebrates its 40th anniversary this summer, and the city of Minneapolis has been partying all weekend in honor of it (more on that here).

Also, I’ve shared my thoughts on Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999) in 4K Ultra HD from Paramount Home Entertainment. I’m not sure the title actually needed a 4K upgrade, but what the heck—blame Canada. You can read all the details here.

And Dennis has shared his perspective on The Wachowskis’ Bound (1996), which is new on Blu-ray (and 4K UHD) from our friends at The Criterion Collection.

More reviews are forthcoming this week, so be sure to stay tuned for them.

Now then... we’ve got a pretty significant piece of industry news to share with you today. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has completed an “umbrella” distribution deal with Studio Distribution Services (SDS) that covers not only their own Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD product, but also titles from Lionsgate and Disney (along with 20th Century Studios, Touchstone, Hollywood Pictures, and the other Disney-owned labels), which Sony produces for those studios. We first broke the news of this for our Patreon subscribers over the weekend.

The reason this deal is important is that it guarantees Sony, Disney, 20th Century Studios, and Lionsgate a direct and stable distribution channel for their physical media product into Walmart stores. And as we’ve reported previously, Walmart is the biggest disc retailer in North America with a whopping 45% share of the disc sales market (as of earlier this year—that number may have grown a bit with the recent exit of Best Buy, which had approximately 4% of the business). [Read on here...]

We’ve got two more new disc reviews for you to enjoy today, including...

My take on Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s Team America: World Police in 4K Ultra HD from Paramount, which streets this coming Tuesday.

Also, my review of Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity (2013), which is available in a new reissue Blu-ray (essentially a repackage of the 2015 Diamond Luxe Edition with Dolby Atmos audio) from Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment.

I’m working on more disc reviews for early next week, including South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut (1999) and also The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare (2024), both in 4K UHD. And the rest of the review team will be back next week as well with a bunch more.

In announcement news today, Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment has officially set Ishana Night Shyamalan’s The Watchers (2024) for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 8/27. Expect the Digital release to become available on 6/28. Extras will include 4 featurettes (Welcome to the Show: The Making of The Watchers, Creating The Watchers, Constructing the Coop, and Ainriochtán and the Irish Fairy Folklore) as well as a deleted scene. You can see the cover artwork at left and also below. [Read on here...]

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