Items filtered by date: May 2022
We’ve got just a quick news update for you today, as there’s one piece of significant release news that’s worth sharing this afternoon. But most of my day has been taken up by working on disc reviews, so I wanted to share some of those with you as well...
First, I’ve taken an in-depth look at Kate and Derek Burbidge’s The Police: Around the World (1983), a fan-favorite music documentary that takes you behind the scenes on the band’s 1979-80 world tour and has never been released on DVD much less Blu-ray until now. It’s been fully scanned and remastered from the original 16 mm negative for this release, complete with an editing polish and a new 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio sound mix to go with the original LPCM 2.0 stereo. Plus, the Blu-ray includes 17 minutes of never-before-seen concert footage as a bonus, along with a music CD of rare live performances as well. It’s definitely worth a look for fans of the band.
Also available today is Stephen’s review of Makoto Shinkai’s 2007 anime 5 Centimeters per Second, which is now available on Blu-ray from GKids via Shout! Factory. Shinkai is, of course, the filmmaker responsible for the more recent hits Your Name and Weathering with You. The disc also includes Shinkai’s Voices of a Distant Star (2002) as a bonus feature.
All three titles are well worth your time, so do give them a look. [Read on here...]
We’re finishing the week with several new disc reviews today, including my joint review (with our old friend Todd Doogan) of Stanley Kubrick’s Killer’s Kiss (1955) on 4K Ultra HD from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.
Dennis has also turned in his thoughts on George Sidney’s The Three Musketeers (1948) on Blu-ray from the Warner Archive Collection.
And Stephen has delivered a look at John Ford’s The Horse Soldiers (1959) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics, along with a music title: The Prince and the Revolution: Live – Collector’s Edition, a 3-LP, 2-CD, and Blu-ray box set which is exclusive to the Paisley Park Records webstore.
As always, more reviews are on the way next week, so be sure to check back for them.
I also wanted to take a moment this afternoon to talk about For All Mankind, which returns today for the start of its terrific third season on Apple TV+. I’ve talked about the series here at The Bits before. It’s essentially an alternate history of the manned space program, which attempts to answer the question: What if the Soviets had beaten NASA to the Moon in 1969? [Read on here...]
I’m about to dive back into disc reviewing here this afternoon, but before I do we have two new reviews for you this morning and a major piece of release news as well. First those reviews...
Stephen has checked in with his thoughts on a fascinating Russian fantasy film from 1956, Aleksandr Ptushko’s Ilya Muromets, which also happens to be the first Russian film in both anamorphic widescreen and color. Russian cinema is fascinating, and this film is no exception, so it’s definitely worth a look on Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome.
Stephen has also given Cy Endfield, Roger Corman, and Gordon Hessler’s De Sade (1969) a look on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber, also a fascinating film from American International Pictures.
Now for that news... Marvel and Disney have just officially set Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD release on 7/26, with the Digital release anticipated for 6/22. [Read on here...]
We’ve got a pair of new disc reviews for you to enjoy this afternon, starting with Stephen’s look at Makoto Shinkai’s The Place Promised n Our Early Days (2004) on Blu-ray from GKids via Shout! Factory
Also, Dennis has delivered his thoughts on Sony’s standard Blu-ray release of Jon Watts’ recent Spider-Man: No Way Home.
More reviews are on the way this week, so be sure to stay tuned for them.
Speaking of which, I wanted to take a moment to address the lack of reviews from yours truly in recent weeks. The reason is two-fold. First, I’ve been very focused on the upgrade to the Bits website, which has been long overdue and much needed. There’s a little more of that to go, but what’s been done already has resulted in a significant improvement in the site’s speed and functionality. [Read on here...]
Morning, folks! We’re checking in early here at The Bits today with some new disc reviews.
Over the weekend, I managed to turn out reviews of three new 4K Ultra HD Steelbook releases, including Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) from Paramount, and David Lean’s Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) and Lawrence of Arabia (1962) from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
It should be noted that the 4K Steelbook edition of Bridge on the River Kwai now includes Dolby Vision HDR and the original theatrical mono mix, both of which were missing from the 2017 4K release.
And this marks the first time Lawrence of Arabia has been available in 4K outside of Sony’s expensive (and long out-of-print) Columbia Classics 4K Ultra HD Collection: Volume 1 box set from 2020, so this will likely be the first time many of you get to experience the film in 4K UHD at home (and let me tell you, that experience is terrific). [Read on here...]
Now it’s time to run down some of the major announcement news that’s broken over the past few days, and we have some real gems to report for you. Let’s start with 4K Ultra HD catalog news...
First up, our friends at Shout! and Scream Factory have just unveiled a great batch of new 4K Ultra HD titles for August release, including John Milius’ Red Dawn (1984) as a Shout Select 4K UHD release (a Collector’s Edition box with exclusive pins and a poster will also be available directly from the Shout! website) and new 4K UHD Collector’s Editions of Child’s Play, Child’s Play 2, and Child’s Play 3 on 8/16, followed by Mamoru Hosoda’s BELLE on 4K Ultra HD on 8/30. You can see the cover artwork for these at left and below the break. Note that the release of Scream’s 4Ks of Cat People and The Funhouse have also been pushed back to 8/2 and 8/9 respectively (from 7/19 and 7/26).
Kino Lorber Studio Classics has now teased new 4K UHD releases of George P. Cosmatos’ Leviathan (1989) and Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder (2008). Both are listed as “coming soon.” That last one is particularly interesting, as it’s part of a new content distribution deal the company has signed with Paramount Home Entertainment. The deal apparently includes some 65 titles in all on Blu-ray (8 of which are being released on disc for the first time), including 16 on 4K Ultra HD. Among these are old Republic titles, though reportedly none released previously by Olive Films. Given KLSC’s recent focus on Sergio Leone westerns, we think it’s a good bet that Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) will be among the 4K titles. [Read on here...]
All right, folks... you are now looking at the new and upgraded Digital Bits website! The cosmetic changes are minimal, but they include more uniform and easy to read font weights across all browsers and devices. Previously, some of you who viewed the site on Apple devices would have difficulty reading certain pages (including reviews) because the text was too light or faint. That should now be corrected. What’s more, the site should be much faster to load, which is no small upgrade. We’re also working on some additional search functionality improvements that will our make older content/reviews easier to find.
And you may notice the “25 Years” icon next to The Bits logo. 2022 is indeed The Digital Bits’ 25th anniversary. The site launched in late 1997 after many months as an email newsletter within the home video industry. We’ve obviously grown over the years to cover new formats and topics, and we’ve had a great bunch of writers and staffers contribute to The Bits during that time—we value each and every one of them. And let it not go unsaid: We also value each and every one of you, our readers! Some of you may be new to the website, while others have been reading since the very beginning. Just know that we’re glad to count you all as part of The Digital Bits family, and we appreciate each of you. Thanks for sticking with us!
We’ve got a lot of catching up to do today, now that this first batch of site upgrades is complete, including reporting on lots of new release news and rumors. But first, we have more new disc reviews to share with you—reviews that have been posted here at The Bits in the last few days while I’ve been focused on the site upgrades. So let’s run down those now, and I’ll check back in an hour or two with that news update.