October 2012

Morning, folks! All right, the Thanksgiving holiday is nearly upon us. As you know, that means this is Black Friday week! And that means that you’ll find all kinds of crazy great deals on Blu-rays and DVDs and other goodies over on Amazon.com - at prices up to 70% off on many items! Some examples: You can get Thor, Monty Python and the Holy Grail for just $10 each, E.T. and Prometheus (2-disc) for just $13 each, Jaws for $14, Titanic, Prometheus 3D and Avengers (2-disc) for $15 each, Alien Anthology and Brave for $19 each, Looney Tunes Platinum: V1 for just $25, The Dark Knight Trilogy for $30, Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures for $49, the Star Wars Saga for $70 (etc, etc - click on the links to order). You get the idea. Hell, Bond 50 is just $129 - 57% off! If there’s a title you’ve been wanting, now’s the time to buy because the prices will never be better!

There are new deals going up each hour throughout the entire week, so we’ve created a couple of links for you to use to make it easier to take advantage of all the savings. First of all, you can check out Amazon’s Black Friday page for Blu-ray and DVD here...

Amazon Black Friday Deals on Blu-ray and DVD

And here’s a link for you to check out the home theatre deals as well...

Amazon Black Friday Deals on TV, Video and Audio Gear

Remember, any time you purchase something from Amazon after clicking through to them from our links, not only will you get a great deal but a portion of the sale goes to help support our work here at The Bits. It really makes a difference and we surely do appreciate it! 

Get great BLACK FRIDAY WEEK deals on Amazon and support The Bits in the process!

We’ll be back later this morning with our regular news update, so we’ll see you then. In the meantime, happy deal hunting!

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got some exciting (and as yet unofficial) Disney Blu-ray news. Retail sources have informed us that not only are they preparing to announce the Blu-ray and DVD release of Frankenweenie, they’re also gearing up to release Pixar’s Monsters, Inc. 3D in Blu-ray 3D Combo format. Street date and details on features are still TBA, but we have a sneak peek at the cover artwork below.

Also today, 20th Century Fox has set Taken 2 for release on Blu-ray Combo and DVD on 1/15 (SRP $39.99 and $29.99). No word yet on extras. Fox has also set French Kiss and One Fine Day for Blu-ray release on 1/8 (SRP $16.99 each).

Meanwhile, MGM has set Sleeper and Hannah and Her Sisters for Blu-ray release on 1/15 (SRP $24.99 each).

Lionsgate will release Brothers Grimm (2005) on BD on 1/8.

Shout! Factory has set Joshua Tree for release on Blu-ray/DVD Combo on 2/26/2013 (SRP $19.93). They also have a Prison: Collector’s Edition and The Next (we’ve mentioned that one before) due on BD on 2/19.

And Kino will release 15-disc The Ultimate Buster Keaton Collection Blu-ray Box set for release on 12/22 (SRP $299.95). It’s set to include(BD - includes Buster Keaton: Short Films Collection - 1920-1923, The Saphead, Our Hospitality, Sherlock Jr., Three Ages, The Navigator, Seven Chances, Go West, Battling Butler, The General, College (exclusive to this set until next year), Steamboat Bill, Jr. and Lost Keaton) on 12/11.

In other news, don’t forget there’s a new installment of the Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome web series on Machinima today.

Also, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln arrives in theaters today, as does the final Twilight film Breaking Dawn. I wonder how many parents today are going to drop their kids off at Twilight and then sneak in to see Lincoln...

Finally, here’s something cool: Our friends at Trek Movie have confirmed that the first trailer for next year’s Star Trek into Darkness is going to be attached to non IMAX screenings of The Hobbit on 12/14, while IMAX screenings of The Hobbit will have the first 9 minutes of the Trek film as a preview. That’s a twofer right there. Count us in!

We’ll leave you this week with a look at the BD cover artwork for Disney’s Frankenweenie, Disney and Pixar’s Monsters, Inc. 3D, Fox’s Taken 2, Kino’s The Ultimate Buster Keaton Collection and Baron Blood (due 12/11), and Warner Archive’s Deathtrap (available online on 11/20)...

Frankenweenie (Blu-ray 3D Combo)    Monsters, Inc. 3D (Blu-ray 3D)    Taken 2 (Blu-ray Disc)

The Ultimate Buster Keaton Collection (Blu-ray Disc)    Baron Blood (Blu-ray Disc)    Deathtrap (Blu-ray Disc)

Have a great weekend and we’ll see you back here on Monday!

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

We’ve got a bunch of new announcement news to report this afternoon, so let’s get to it…

First though, Amazon has a great Gold Box Deal of the Day going on The Lord of the Rings Trilogy: Extended Edition Blu-ray box set – just $44 or more than 60% off the SRP! Act fast and don’t miss it!

Now then… Lionsgate has set Dredd for release on Blu-ray 3D Combo and DVD on 1/8/2013 (SRP $39.99 and $29.95). Both will include 6 featurettes (Mega-City Masters: 35 Years of Judge Dredd, Day of Chaos: The Visual Effects of Dredd 3D, Dredd, Dredd’s Gear, The 3rd Dimension and Welcome to Peachtrees) along with a Dredd motion comic. Check out the cover artwork below.

Our friends at The Criterion Collection have revealed their February Blu-ray and DVD release slate, set to include Keisuke Kinoshita’s The Ballad of Narayama (Cat #645 – BD and DVD – due 2/5), Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s The Kid with a Bike (Cat #646 – BD and DVD – 2/12), Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront (Cat #647 – BD and DVD – 2/19), Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin’s Chronicle of a Summer (Cat #648 – BD and DVD – 2/26) and Kenji Mizoguchi’s Sansho the Bailiff (Cat #386 – BD – 2/26). More great Japanese cinema and classic Brando in high-definition too!

And here’s something exciting: The Warner Archive Collection has just announced its first Blu-ray Disc releases, including Deathtrap and Gypsy! They’ll be available starting next week – 11/20. Then starting in February 2013, Warner Archive will release 2 additional BD titles each month (SRP $21.99 each). Future titles will include the Coen Brothers’ The Hudsucker Proxy and Fearless. From the studio’s press release, “All will leverage high-quality 1080p masters.” They’ll be produced in limited quantities and fulfilled on demand. Cool news indeed!

Also today, Summit Entertainment has set The Perks of Being a Wallflower for Blu-ray and DVD release on 2/12 (SRP $39.99 and $29.95). Extras will include audio commentary with screenwriter/director Stephen Chobsky, a second commentary with Chobsky and the cast, dailies footage, the Best Summer Ever featurette and deleted scenes with optional director’s commentary.

Warner has also set Gossip Girl: The Complete Sixth and Final Season for DVD release on 2/19.

Shout! Factory will release Quincy M.E.: Season 4 on DVD on 12/18 (SRP $39.97).

And Anchor Bay Entertainment has set Seeds of Destruction for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/19 (SRP $24.99 and $19.98).

Here’s a look at the cover art for both versions of Lionsgate’s Dredd and BD art for Summit’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Criterion’s On the Waterfront and Sansho the Bailiff and Warner Archive’s Gypsy (Dredd is available for pre-order on Amazon.com now – just click on the covers. We'll update the others with pre-order links as they become available.)…

Dredd (DVD)    Dredd (Blu-ray 3D)    The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Blu-ray Disc)

On the Waterfront (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)    Sansho the Bailiff (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)    Gypsy (Warner Archive Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

Morning, folks. Thought we’d start out today with a nice early update for a change, so start that coffee perking and read on...

Here at The Bits today, Dr. Jahnke and I weigh in on Sony’s long-awaited Lawrence of Arabia on Blu-ray Disc! Specifically, the Doctor’s taken a look at the film itself as well as Sony’s 2-disc Blu-ray version, while I’ve added my own thoughts on the studio’s 4-disc Fiftieth Anniversary Limited Edition box set. Whichever version you choose, you’re in for a real treat – it’s one of the best releases of the year.

And around the Net today, you fans of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are in for something special as well – Empire has made Howard Shore’s score for The Hobbit available for listening online. All 105 minutes worth of it. For free. Click here… and try not to sprain your clicker-fingers in haste! You’ll be able to purchase the CD on Amazon.com on 12/10 in the regular and deluxe editions picture here (click on the cover art to pre-order)…

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Special Edition Soundtrack (CD)    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Soundtrack (CD)

That’s all for now. Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

Afternoon, folks! We’ve got a release news update for you on today. First though, our own Russell Hammond has updated the Release Dates & Artwork section to include all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover art and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, a portion of anything you purchase from Amazon after clicking through to them from our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we really appreciate it!

Now then…

Warner Home Video has set Scooby-Doo! and the Mask of the Blue Falcon for Blu-ray and DVD release on 2/26. They also have a Hats Off to Dr Seuss Collector’s Edition due on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/19 (includes The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham and Other Stories, The Lorax, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Horton Hears a Who!) and Tom & Jerry: Pint Sized Pals due on DVD only on 3/5.

Universal has set Hit & Run for Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 1/8. Extras will include deleted scenes and a trio of featurettes (Street Legal, Run and Gun and Love on the Run). They studio will follow with The Awakening on Blu-ray Combo and DVD release on 1/29 - extras are TBA. They’ve also announced a batch of new Blu-ray 3D releases due on 1/29, including Amazing Ocean 3D, Fascination Coral Reef 3D and Fascination Coral Reef 3D: Mysterious Worlds Underwater. All three will also include a 2D Blu-ray viewing option.

Lionsgate has updated their January release slate with some additional titles. Newly announced are Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft, LeapFrog: The Magnificent Museum of Opposite Words, LeapFrog: Adventures in Shapeville Park and The Men Who Built America (Blu-ray and DVD) on 1/22 and Bangkok Assassins, The Cold Light of Day (Blu-ray and DVD), The Liability and That Obscure Object of Desire on 1/29. All titles are DVD only unless otherwise noted.

Sony has set Now Is Good for DVD only release on 1/8. That’s followed by The Intouchables on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/15.

Paramount and Comedy Central will release Chris Hardwick: Mandroid for DVD only release on 1/22. Paramount and CBS have also set Gunsmoke: The Seventh Season, Volume Two for DVD only release on 2/5, followed by Bonanza: The Official Fifth Season, Volume One, Bonanza: The Official Fifth Season, Volume Two and Matlock: The Eighth Season on 2/12.

Disney has set Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: The Wizard of Dizz for DVD only release on 2/5.

Finally, MPI Home Video has set Samsara, Ron Fricke’s new sequel to Baraka, for Blu-ray and DVD release on 1/8 (SRP $34.98 and $27.98). If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it. Like Baraka, the film was shot in 70mm, transferred to 8K digital and then the original digital file was down-converted to 1080p for BD release. It should look and sound spectacular.

Here’s a look at the BD cover artwork for Universal’s Hit & Run, MPI’s Samsara and Sony’s The Intouchables. The first two are available for pre-order on Amazon.com by clicking on the cover art…

Hit & Run (Blu-ray Disc)    Samsara (Blu-ray Disc)    The Intouchables (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

Afternoon, folks! We’ve got a bunch of good stuff for you today here at The Bits, including news about two popular genre TV series coming to Blu-ray next year.

First though, I’ve finally posted my in-depth review of Fox’s new Prometheus: 4-Disc Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray. It took a while to get through all the content… and also to really put a finger on my thoughts on the film. Read on if you’re interested…

Also, in honor of this weekend’s release of Skyfall in theatres, we’ve got Mario Boucher’s look back at the history of the Bond franchise and all the many changes it's undergone over the years: James Bond: 50 Years of Impact in Cinema. Enjoy!

Now then… the big news today is that Star Trek.com (and this CBS which runs it) has officially confirmed something we’ve been suggesting was in the works for months now: Star Trek: Enterprise is on the way to Blu-ray Disc in 2013! Our sources tell us that Season One will be out probably in Q2 of 2013 and then if sales are good Seasons Two, Three and Four will follow before the end of the year. You can actually vote on the cover artwork that CBS will use for the packaging (click here for that) – I like the crew shots myself (the first pair of images below) but be sure to weigh in yourself. Here’s a look at the choices…

Potential cover art for Star Trek: Enterprise on BD

Potential cover art for Star Trek: Enterprise on BD

Potential cover art for Star Trek: Enterprise on BD

Finally today, while we’re on the subject of TV on Blu-ray, our industry sources are telling us that 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is planning to bring its popular genre series The X-Files to Blu-ray in 2013 as well! You can read more about that in today’s re-launch of our ever-popular Rumor Mill column here at The Digital Bits. Don’t miss it!

Stay tuned…

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we haven’t had a Rumor Mill update in a very long while, so now that we’re up and running on the newly-redesigned Bits, it feels like it’s time to get the Mill going again, yes? And with a nice Cold War-era, espionage-inspired logo to boot!

So here’s today’s dispatch: A number of our industry sources are now telling us that Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is planning (and in fact may already be gearing up to) release their classic TV series The X-Files on Blu-ray. As fans will already be aware, the first four seasons of the show were produced in 4x3 format, like many TV programs of its era. The series then went to a 16x9 widescreen format for the remainder of its run, as anamorphic widescreen displays were starting to become common. The entire show was still broadcast in standard definition – not actual high-definition – and the visual effects and post-production were finished in SD. (Note that the first actual HD broadcast on Fox was for the 2004 NFL season, while X-Files ended its run in 2002.) Our sources say Fox has likely decided to “rebuild” the seasons in high-definition, in much the same way that CBS has done with Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Provided all the original camera negative has been properly stored and archived, it’ll presumably be an easier task as the show featured fewer and less elaborate visual effects.

This wouldn’t be the first time Fox has upgraded a show to Blu-ray: They did something roughly similar with Firefly on Blu-ray back in 2008, although to be fair all of the show’s visual effects were upconverted to HD rather than re-rendered in actual high-definition to save costs.

If all goes well, we’re told the first seasons of The X-Files could appear on BD sometime in late 2013. We’ll post additional updates as they come in. Stay tuned…

- Bill Hunt

Published in The Rumor Mill
Friday, 09 November 2012 11:53

James Bond: 50 Years of Impact in Cinema

Bond. James Bond. For 50 years, the 007 movies have entertained audiences worldwide. Throughout those years, the franchise has always responded to the time period in which the films were released. As those times have changed, so too have the films evolved.

Published in Inside Cinema

All right, there’s even better news today for you Battlestar Galactica fans…

Just as we suspected, Universal Studios Home Entertainment is releasing Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome (part one of which debuts on Machinima tomorrow) on Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD in early 2013 and in fact they’ve now officially announced the title with a street date of 2/19 (SRP $34.98 and $29.98)! Both versions will offer a 97-minute unrated edition of the film. Extras on both will include the Blood & Chrome Visual Effects featurette as well as 6 deleted scenes. The Blu-ray will also add 7 more exclusive deleted scenes. Nice. Check out the cover artwork for both versions below – they’re now available for pre-order on Amazon.com by clicking on the coverts. Cool news indeed!

Here at the site today, we’ve got a review of Fox’s long-awaited Patton on properly-remastered Blu-ray Disc. It’s now available and it’s a must-have for anyone that loves the film. Just toss your original, DNR-ridden BD in the trash – trust me, it feels good.

In other news today, Amazon’s Gold Box Deal of the Day is Fox’s Mel Brooks Collection on Blu-ray for just $25.99 – a whopping 68% off the regular retail SRP! Don’t miss it.

Also for you Bond fans, we’re told that Best Buy currently has all of the non-exclusive Bond BD singles in stock for just $10 each, and each of them includes $10 in movie bucks to see Skyfall in theatres this weekend. Just FYI.

Speaking of Skyfall, the movie opens in theatres around the U.S. tonight at Midnight (it’s already debuted in IMAX) and we hear it’s AWESOME. You can bet I’ll be in line to see it tomorrow and I imagine I won’t be the only one.

In honor of Bond and the film’s release, be sure to check back here tomorrow with our own Mario Boucher will have feature piece on the history of the Bond franchise. My own review of Fox’s Bond 50 Blu-ray box set will also be up soon – probably on Monday.

Here’s a look at Universal’s Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome cover artwork, along with Shout! Factory’s Jackie Chan Double Feature of The Protector and Crime Story (due 1/15)…

Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome (DVD)    Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome (Blu-ray Disc)    Jackie Chan - Crime Story/The Protector (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got some more announcement news today, and a cool bit of news for you Battlestar Galactica fans as well…

First up, in announcement news today, Sony has officially set Resident Evil: Retribution for release on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD on 12/21 (SRP $45.99, $35.99 and $30.99). The DVD will include director and cast commentary, a second commentary with the director and producers, the Drop (Un)Dead: The Creatures of Retribution featurette and outtakes. To this, the Blu-ray version will add deleted and extended scenes, the Project Alice: Interactive Database and 6 more featurettes (Maestro of Evil: Directing Resident Evil: Retribution, Evolving Alice, Resident Evil: Reunion, Design & Build: The World of Resident Evil: Retribution, Resident Stuntman and Code: Mika). The Blu-ray 3D disc will also have the deleted and extended scenes and the outtakes in full 3D. All three versions will include UltraViolet.

Sony has set The Words for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/24. Both will include the theatrical and extended versions of the film, plus two featurettes (Unabridged: A Look Behind the Scenes of The Words and A Gentleman’s Agreement). The Blu-ray will add 2 more featurettes (Clay and Daniella and The Young Man and Celia).

Sony has also set Woody Allen’s To Rome with Love for release on both formats on 1/15/2013. The only extra will be a behind-the-scenes featurette – Con Amore: A Passion for Rome.

Warner Home Video will release The Nativity Story as a 2-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo pack on 3/5/2013 (SRP $19.98). Extras will include The Nativity Story: A Director’s Journey featurette and a theatrical trailer.

HBO has set The Girls: The Complete First Season for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/11 (SRP $49.99 and $39.98). Extras on both versions will include 3 featurettes and 5 audio commentaries. The Blu-ray will exclusively add an additional “making of” featurette, deleted and extended scenes, gag reels, cast audition and table read videos and an additional audio commentary on Episode Six, plus a booklet.

HBO has also set the documentary 41 for release on DVD on 12/11, followed by Funny or Die Presents: The Complete Second Season and The Life & Times of Tim: The Complete Third Season on DVD on 12/18.

Disney has announced The Odd Life of Timothy Green for release on Blu-ray Combo and DVD on 12/4.

Well Go USA Entertainment has set The Assassins for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/8/2013. The film stars Chow Yun-Fat.

And Green Apple Entertainment has set the horror film The Millennium Bug for DVD only release on 12/18.

In other news, Shout! Factory has announced that it’s made a deal with Warner for DVD release rights to MADtv and the Beetlejuice animated series. Look for them to be released on disc in 2013.

Now for that Battlestar news: Remember all that brouhaha about whether Syfy would EVER release Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome? Turns out they will – starting THIS FRIDAY you’ll be able to see the film as a 10-installment series “webisodes” (of 7-12 minutes) on the online video network Machinma. Then sometime in 2013, Syfy will air it as a complete 2-hour film. We hope (and suspect) that Universal will release it on Blu-ray and DVD in 2013 as well. Ain’t it Cool News has more information here and of course you’ll be able to watch the webisodes here in just two days. Here's the trailer...

Finally today, La-La Land Records is hosting a special Star Trek: The Original Series screening and soundtrack release event in L.A. on 12/3 (7:30 PM) at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Admission is free but tickets must be obtained here via RSVP. The event will include screenings of the episodes Amok Time and Mirror, Mirror on the big screen, followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with original series composer Gerald Fried and writer David Gerrold, hosted by Trek music writer and TOS soundtrack set co-producer Jeff Bond. The event celebrated the release of La-La Land’s 15-disc Star Trek: The Original Series Soundtrack Collection on 12/4 (SRP $225), which includes every bit of score recorded for Star Trek including much that’s never been heard before.

Here’s a look at cover artwork for Warner’s The Nativity Story and Sony’s To Rome with Love, Les Miserables (due 12/11), both the 2D and 3D versions of Resident Evil: Retribution, and a 5-film Resident Evil Collection BD box set (SRP $95.99 – due 12/21)…

The Nativity Story (Blu-ray Disc)    To Rome with Love (Blu-ray Disc)    Les Miserables (Blu-ray Disc)

Resident Evil: Retribution (Blu-ray 3D)    Resident Evil: Retribution (Blu-ray Disc)    The Resident Evil Collection (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned...

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents
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