May 2020

We’re starting things off today with a new Blu-ray review, this one of John Gilling’s The Flesh and the Fiends (1960) starring Peter Cushing, now available from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. Dennis has posted his thoughts on the film and the disc for you today, so do give it a look.

Meanwhile, in announcement news this afternoon, Kino Lorber has announced its August slate of Blu-ray and DVD releases, which is set to include the following...

Look for Salome Chasnoff’s Code of the Freaks (2020 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Justin Pemberton’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2019 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 8/4, Anne Sweitsky’s Sonja: The White Swan (2018 – Blu-ray and DVD), Halina Dyrschka’s Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint (2019 – Blu-ray and DVD – for Zeitgeist Films), Sasie Sealy’s Lucky Grandma (2019 – Blu-ray and DVD – for Good Deed Entertainment), and Paul Aaron’s A Different Story (1978 – Blu-ray – for Scorpion Films) on 8/11, Atom Egoyan’s Guest of Honor (2018 – Blu-ray and DVD), Forbidden Fruit: Volume 6 – She Should’a Said No/Devil’s Sleep (1949 – Blu-ray – for Kino Classics), and Lucio Fulci’s Conquest (1983 – Blu-ray – for Code Red) on 8/18, and The Reginald Denny Collection (includes The Reckless Age, Skinner’s Dress Suit, and What Happened to Jones? – 1924/26 – Blu-ray and DVD – for Kino Classics), Martha Kehoe & Joan Tosoni’s Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind (2019 – DVD – for Greenwich), Simon Amstel’s Benjamin (2019 – DVD – for Artsploitation Films), Nicholas Leytner’s The Tobacconist (2019 – Blu-ray and DVD – for Menemsha Films), and Larry Yust’s Trick Baby (1972 – Blu-ray – for Scorpion Films) on 8/25. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

One of the most interesting aspects of having served as the editor of The Digital Bits website for over twenty years now, is that I’ve had a front row seat to some pretty dramatic changes in the home video industry.

At 53, I’m old enough to remember watching movies on black-and-white televisions—square analog displays that required the viewer to adjust a pair of “rabbit ear” antenna to get a decent picture. Like some of you, I saw the advent of cable television and the arrival of VHS and Betamax videotape—a technology the film industry fought tooth-and-nail to kill until its profit potential finally became obvious.

And of course, as a longtime film enthusiast, I’m someone who strongly embraced the Laserdisc format back when it was the only option for watching movies in their original widescreen aspect ratios at home.

I founded The Digital Bits in late 1997 (it actually began as an industry newsletter shared by email in late ’96) in part because I knew that DVD would be a hit. Having worked at a record store a decade earlier, when Compact Discs took the music world by storm, it was obvious to me that consumers would embrace the idea of movies on a disc that was—to them—essentially identical to the CDs they already loved. [Read on here...]

Published in Articles

Heads-up, folks!

This is just a quick news update (and a rare Saturday post) to let you all know that we’ve added or updated a number of titles in our 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Digital Bits based on new information from our industry and retail sources.

Specifically...

Universal is apparently working on an Alfred Hitchcock 4K Collection that’s set to include Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds, and Rear Window. We’ve mentioned these titles before on The Bits, but European retail sources are now suggesting that they’ll arrive around September (and Psycho has just been listed on the Best Buy website). Also coming in September or October is the long awaited Back to the Future Trilogy: 35th Anniversary Edition Collection. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We have a new Blu-ray review to close out the week here at The Bits:

Dennis has posted his thoughts on Paramount’s Urban Cowboy: 40th Anniversary Edition, now available on Blu-ray Disc. Do give it a look.

Also, in announcement news today, our friends at Arrow Video have just revealed a nice batch of Blu-ray titles for release in September.

Among them are Kevin Smith’s Mallrats (1995), Miguel Llansó’s striking and surreal film Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway (2019), a box set of Kinji Fukasaku and Takashi Miike’s Japanese yakuza classics Graveyards of Honor (1975 and 2002), and Bernard Rose’s film business satire Ivansxtc (2002). [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Today’s is a quick update, but we do have a couple interesting items to report...

First, Tim has turned in another new Blu-ray Disc review, this of Gene Fowler Jr.’s B-movie classic I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958) from Paramount via Aussie indie Imprint Films/Via Vision Entertainment. The disc is ALL REGION.

In announcement news today, Warner Bros. and DC have just officially set the DC Universe animated movie Superman: Man of Tomorrow for release on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD on 9/8 (the Digital release is set for 8/23).

Extras on both disc versions will include Lobo: Natural Force of Chaos, Martian Manhunter: Lost and Found, Look Back: Justice League vs. The Fatal Five, Look Back: Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, From the DC Vault: Superman: The Animated Series – The Main Man, Part I, From the DC Vault: Superman: The Animated Series – The Main Man, Part II, trailers for Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge, and Superman: Red Son, and A Sneak Peek at the next DC Universe Movie. You can see the cover artwork above left and also below. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We start today with another new disc review for your reading enjoyment: Tim has taken a look at Nico Mastorakis’ The Wind (1986) on Blu-ray from Arrow Video and he’s got some thoughts on it for you. Do give it a look.

Now then... we have a little bit of a surprise for you today on the 4K front. Retail sources are reporting that Walt Disney Studios is preparing to release Kenny Ortega’s Hocus Pocus (1993) and Chris Columbus’ Home Alone (1990) on Blu-ray in September, presumably in time for the holidays.

This is interesting because while the titles are popular and have certainly sold well on DVD and Blu-ray, they’re somewhat unlikely titles for release on 4K. Home Alone is also a Fox title. And both are live action catalog films, a category that Disney has yet to really exploit on the physical 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, it’s been a few days since my last news update and there are a variety of reasons for that which I’ll get into in tomorrow’s post. In the meantime, let’s get caught up...

First, we’ve got some new reviews for you all to enjoy. Tim has posted no less than four Blu-ray reviews since last week, including his thoughts on Terence Fisher’s 1961 Hammer Films classic The Curse of the Werewolf from Scream Factory, Fritz Bottger’s Horrors of Spider Island (1960) from Severin Films, James Signorelli’s Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988) from Arrow Video, finally Sean Cunningham’s Friday the 13th (1980) in a new 40th Anniversary Steelbook Edition from Paramount. Enjoy!

Now then, there’s not a lot of major announcement news to report at the moment, but we do have some interesting odds and ends...

Let’s start on the 4K front: Arrow Video has announced the release of Giuseppe Tornatore’s beloved Cinema Paradiso (1988) on both 4K Ultra HD and regular Blu-ray on 9/28. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Psycho should be remembered as the gold standard of psychological horror thrillers because it respects the audience by paying as much attention to delivering memorable, relatable characters, smart dialogue, a gripping plot, and emotional punch as well as jump scares.” — Stephen Rebello, author of Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 60th anniversary of the release of Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock’s popular psychological horror film starring Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, owner-manager of the Bates Motel.

Psycho, which also starred Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam, John McIntire, and Janet Leigh as Marion Crane, was released sixty years ago this month. For the occasion The Bits features a package of statistics and box-office data that places the movie’s performance in context, along with passages from vintage film reviews, a reference/historical listing of the movie’s major-market first-run presentations, and, finally, an interview segment with a film historian who reflects on the film six decades after its debut. [Read on here...]

Welcome to the new week!

We’re starting things off today with a new Blu-ray review from our own Dennis Seuling. He’s given Ryan Nicholson’s Gutterballs (2008) a look on disc for you from the folks at Unearthed Films.

This is just a quick update to bring you word that The Criterion Collection has just dropped news of their September Blu-ray and DVD title slate.

And as usual, it’s a good one, including the likes of David Lynch, Claire Denis, Francesco Rosi, Jules Dassin, and more of Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project.

The full list includes the following... [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents
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