Sorry for the strange topic of today’s post, but I’ve had an insane thing happen to me over the weekend.
In between brief periods of enjoyment of Avengers: Endgame and last night’s amazing “Battle of Winterfell” on Game of Thrones, a pair of clever misanthropes in Hanoi, Vietnam tried to steal my identity (and my wife’s) on Facebook. They managed to take control of my wife’s Facebook business page and group, and then when we reported this to Facebook (which wasn’t easy), the hackers created fake duplicate personal pages, posting as us, and then reported our actual pages as the fakes.
So while we slept, both of our personal accounts were closed and now we have to prove who we are in order to get back online there. Now, of course, it would have been simple for Facebook to simply look at the fact that we’ve been on Facebook for years, while the new fake accounts have only sprung up in the last 24 hours. But no… that would require common sense. Meanwhile, there is literally NO ONE at Facebook you can talk to if you’re having this sort of problem, and the hackers know that, so they cleverly game the system and are always ten steps ahead. [Read on here...]
Today’s update is a very quick one, as I’m still recovering from the flu while also trying to get the new Marvel 4K titles reviewed here on The Bits.
The first of those reviews is up now: My take on Captain America: Civil War in 4K Ultra HD. It’s a worthy upgrade of the previous Blu-ray, with a new Dolby Atmos mix and HDR10 (but only in 2.39:1 – no IMAX ratio).
My thoughts on Captain America: The Winter Solider are coming soon as well, so be sure to watch for them. And don’t forget, I posted my review of Ridley Scott’s Alien in 4K on Friday.
In the meantime today, Tim has posted reviews of Scream Factory’s Warning Sign and The Manitou on Blu-ray, along with Shout! Factory’s Hang ’Em High: 50th Anniversary Edition. And we have a Blu-ray review from David too, this of Indicator’s Take a Girl Like You. Enjoy! [Read on here...]
We’ve got a couple things for you today, starting with a pair of additional Blu-ray reviews...
Dennis has taken a look at Joseph Pevney’s The Strange Door (1951) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. He’s also turned in his thoughts on John Ford’s The Whole Town’s Talking (1935) on Blu-ray from Twilight Time. Both titles are well worth a look, so do check them out.
In announcement news today, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has just revealed that they’re bringing Edward Zwick’s Glory to 4K Ultra HD on 7/30 in honor of its 30th anniversary. The film will also return to theaters briefly on 7/21 and 7/24. The new 4K Ultra HD presentation was scanned from the original camera negative and features an HDR grade approved by Zwick. It will also feature a new Dolby Atmos sound mix, along with the original theatrical audio mix. [Read on here...]
All right, I’m afraid I’m fighting a little bit of a cold or flu here today, but I do have a quick post for you...
First up, though, Tim has posted two more Blu-ray Disc reviews featuring his thoughts on Dick Clement’s A Severed Head (1970) from Powerhouse Films and Indicator, as well as Dennis’ take on Michael Anderson’s The Quiller Memorandum (1966) from Twilight Time.
Also, a quick plug: Our friend John Schuermann runs The Screening Room AV in Colorado Springs, CO. He’s having a big 4K projector shootout event April 26-28th, which is a chance to compare the best 4K projectors from JVC and Sony in controlled conditions, each properly calibrated, and see how they perform first hand. Kris Deering from Sound & Vision Magazine is hosting. If you live in the area, and you’re a fan of front projection (like I am), it should be an interesting event. It’s free to attend, you just have to register. Visit projectorexpo.com for the details and tell them Bill from The Bits sent you. [Read on here...]
All right, we’ve got a few things to cover today...
First up, we have a pair of new Blu-ray reviews for you this afternoon from Dennis, including his thoughts on M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass and Mimi Leder’s On the Basis of Sex, both from Universal. Enjoy!
Also today, and this is the big news: Late on Friday we caught wind that HBO might finally be planning to release the Tom Hanks-produced miniseries From the Earth to the Moon on Blu-ray in July. The online retailer ImportCDs was showing a listing for the title as streeting on 7/16. A quick retailer search over the weekend led to more corroborating evidence: Best Buy and Barnes and Noble are both showing listings as well for the title – B&N’s sale price is $31.99, while Best Buy’s is $27.99. There are no details available yet, nor is there cover artwork, and the title has not been officially announced by HBO. But we believe it’s reasonable to assume it’s coming. [Read on here...]
All right, we’re closing out the week with a trio of interesting stories... all of which have a long shadow.
First up is a report, from the Motion Picture Association of America, that reveals a shocking 50% decline in global physical media sales over the last five years. The market data comes from both the DEG (Digital Entertainment Group) and IHS Markit. The drop is in dollar amount, from $25.2 billion in 2014 to just $13.1 in 2018. And there is no sign whatsoever that physical 4K Ultra HD or any kind of 8K Blu-ray format is going to recover those losses. 4K, though popular with enthusiasts, is just 5.3% of current physical disc sales (regular DVD still accounts for nearly 60% of all disc sales worldwide). You can download the report here in PDF format.
This disc decline aside, overall home entertainment spending was up 16% last year, and the difference seems to be not individual digital media sales but rather cable subscriptions and subscriptions to online streaming services. The latter is obviously expected to continue growing in the years ahead, with Disney+, AppleTV+, and AT&T/WarnerMedia all launching new services. [Read on here...]
Today’s Retro Release Day title here at The Bits ties into the Blu-ray news we announced earlier (see our post here). It’s A&E Home Video’s Space: 1999 – 30th Anniversary Edition box set, released on DVD on July 31, 2007.
Licensed from Network/ITV in the UK, the series was first released on DVD both in the US and UK beginning in 2001 – by A&E/New Video in the States and by Network in the UK. The US release was initially done via 8 2-disc sets (4 per season). In 2002, all 8 volumes were packaged together in a “Megaset” with an exclusive DVD bonus disc that includes the short follow-on video A Message from Moonbase Alpha.
The set you see at left and below is a repackaging of that same Megaset from 2002, re-issued in 2007 for the show’s anniversary. All 17 discs carried over, along with the bonus disc, simply packaged in ultra-thin DVD slim cases. [Read on here...]
About a year ago, and after years of reporting on this title, we reported here at The Bits that Shout! Factory had quietly obtained the rights to release Network/ITV’s classic 1970s British TV series Space: 1999 and UFO, produced by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson.
As many of you know, both series were released on DVD here in the States, and on Blu-ray in the UK and elsewhere, but only Season One of Space: 1999 ever appeared here in the States on the HD format.
Well, that changes now. On 7/16, our friends at Shout! Factory will release Space: 1999 – The Complete Series on Blu-ray Disc as 13 disc set including all 48 episodes in production order and special features (which are still TBA). The package will also include a booklet of photos and liner notes. [Read on here...]
All right, we’ve got a few items for you guys today here at The Bits...
First up, I know some of you guys are big fans of the Fast and Furious franchise, so you might be interested in this: Amazon is now taking pre-orders on Universal’s Fast & Furious and Fast Five on 4K Ultra HD. Each will feature DTS-X object based audio. Street date is 6/11. I’ve included cover artwork at below (and you’ll find the Amazon pre-order links down there too.
I’ve also posted the artwork for Universal’s The Scorpion King, which streets on 4K on 6/18 and is also available for pre-order.
Now then, the big news today is that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced a new Ghostbusters & Ghostbusters II Steelbook 4K Ultra HD release on 6/11 that will include a new special features disc with more than two hours of “long-requested and rare archival elements—including never-before-seen deleted scenes from the first film—along with returning interviews, effects breakdowns, multi-angle explorations and much more! Both films also feature brand new commentaries, featuring the filmmakers on Ghostbusters II and passionate fans with deep-cut insights on Ghostbusters.” You can see the cover artwork to the left. [Read on here...]
Today’s Retro Release Day title here at The Bits is a favorite of mine personally, as well as a favorite of our readers and classic Star Trek fans overall. It’s the acclaimed 2-disc Star Trek: The Motion Picture – The Director’s Edition DVD, released by Paramount Home Entertainment in 2001.
The film was directed by the great Robert Wise, who had previously directed the Best Picture winners West Side Story (1961) and The Sound of Music (1965), as well as The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), and who was an editor on Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane (1941) at RKO early in his career. Star Trek: The Motion Picture was released in theaters on December 7, 1979 and this year celebrates its 40th anniversary.
As many Trek fans know, Star Trek: The Motion Picture began life as an effort to return the franchise to TV with Star Trek: Phase II, but the box office success of other science fiction films convinced Paramount to try bringing the property to the big screen. The film reunited the entire original series cast, along with newcomers Persis Khambatta and Stephen Collins. The legendary composer Jerry Goldsmith was hired to score the film, which would become among his most iconic and widely-recognized works. [Read on here...]