My Two Cents

All right, first things first today: Criterion has just announced its February 2020 slate of Blu-ray and DVD titles.

Look for it to include Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma (Spine #1014 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 2/11, Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Teorema (Spine #1013 – Blu-ray and DVD) and an updating of Hiroshi Teshigahara’s Antoni Gaudí (Spine #425 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 2/18, and Jeannie Livingston’s Paris is Burning (Spine #1018 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman (Blu-ray and DVD) on 2/25. That last set includes Journey to the Beginning of Time (Spine #1015), Invention for Destruction (Spine #1016), and The Fabulous Baron Munchausen (Spine #1017). You can read more here at the Criterion website.

Those are all fine titles, but Roma is particularly appreciated given that it was a Netflix release last year and hasn’t been available on physical media yet.

Also today, our own Michael Coate has a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column here at The Bits—first posted yesterday afternoon—in which he looks back at James Cameron’s The Abyss with historian Matthew Kapell in honor of the film’s 30th anniversary. It’s a great piece, so do give it a look. And who knows? Maybe it will remind the director that he’s got a new 4K HDR grade of the film to approve so we can all watch it on Blu-ray and UHD sooner rather than later. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Before we begin today, a quick note: Our own Tim Salmons has just posted his in-depth review of Warner’s new Batman Beyond: The Complete Series Blu-ray box set. And it sounds like the set is quite good, very much in keeping with their recent Batman: The Animated Series BD set. So here’s the review and we hope you enjoy!

All right, I’ve now had a good solid day to play with Disney+ and I have to say that I’ve been very impressed, in principle, with what I’m seeing and experiencing. I’ll have some more comments later this week on how I think streaming services (and specifically Disney+) will impact the home video market. But I certainly do like what I’m seeing. (Note that I’m viewing via the Disney+ app on the Roku Ultra 4K, running through the Oppo UDP-203 to two different display devices—a flat panel and a projector).

One of the best aspects of Disney+ are the surprises: The chance to see deep catalog Disney live action and animated films like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Sword and the Stone, and The Black Cauldron in native 4K with HDR is absolutely tremendous. And the more of this kind of experience Disney+ (and other streaming services) can give us, the better. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Well, Disney+ is here at last and it offers some surprises!

The service went live last at about 9PM Pacific (Midnight Eastern) and it’s running very smooth right out of the gate.

But the surprise is how much 4K/HDR content is available on the service.

It starts with nearly all of the Star Wars films. You read that right: All of them are here in 4K with HDR except Solo and The Last Jedi (because Netflix has the rights to those for a few more months).

But you also get most (but not all) of the Marvel films, almost all of the Pixar animated films, a TON of Disney live action films and even some surprises of classic animation. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We have a few interesting things to report today, but first some more reviews...

I’ve finally finished my in-depth review of Network’s complete Monty Python’s Flying Circus Norwegian Blu-ray box set, which streets tomorrow here in the US (it’s available via Amazon here). I’ve broken it out disc by disc, and episode by episode (including details on which have added and uncensored content restored), plus all the extras. This is a pretty amazing restoration by the folks at Network; if you’re a fan of Python, I think you’ll be as impressed as I was. Enjoy the review.

Also, Tim has posted reviews of Edward Bianchi’s The Fan (1981) on Blu-ray from Scream Factory, along with his thoughts on the documentary series The Toys That Made Us: Seasons 1 & 2 on Blu-ray from Screen Media. Both are well worth a look.

We’ve also got reviews of Warner Archive’s Batman Beyond Blu-ray box set on the way and more, so be sure to watch for them. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, this is a quick post with a couple items of interest for you today...

First, I’ve just posted my review of Dogwoof’s new UK import of the Apollo 11 documentary in 4K Ultra HD. And unfortunately, this HDR grade is very heavy-handed. I can’t say I’m a fan of it. I’m going to try to compare it to one of the Digital 4K download versions to see if it’s the same or if something went wrong on Dogwoof’s end. Anyway, here’s the review.

[Editor’s Note: It appears that my projector and 4K player are having handshake problems in terms of handling the HDR on this title. I’m pulling the review down until I can get to the bottom of it.]

[Late Update: Yeah... it’s not a technical problem. The HDR grade on this title is just not good. The review is back up. And it turns out that I’m not the only person to notice the weirdness here. See this post at Blu-ray.com for another opinion.]

Also today, Scream Factory has just confirmed that their forthcoming Blu-ray release of the My Bloody Valentine: Collector’s Edition is going to feature a brand new transfer of both the theatrical and unrated versions of the film in conjunction with Paramount. So that’s great news. Extras are still TBA and the disc is expected to street on 2/4/19. You can see the cover artwork to the left. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Some of you may have seen it when I posted last night, but I’ve finally gotten my review of Network’s Monty Python’s Flying Circus: Norwegian Blu-ray Edition box set posted.

The key is, Network was only able to send me the first two discs for review early. They’re sending the rest of the set as it becomes available, but I suspect I’ll end up having final product in my hands before the rest of the review check discs arrive. The set is now available in the UK and the US release streets on 11/12 from Amazon. (US orders from Network are now being shipped, so it’s just a matter of when they arrive.) The point is that I reviewed the two discs I have now—essentially Season One of the show. The restoration image quality is impressive, as are the new extras. Just know that I’ll update the review when the entire series is in my hands.

Meanwhile this afternoon, Dennis has turned in new Blu-ray reviews of Andrea Berloff’s The Kitchen from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Michael Gordon’s Woman in Hiding from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. So do enjoy those. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Today’s post will be brief, as I’m working to finish a sort of teaser review of Network’s new Monty Python’s Flying Circus: Norwegian Blu-ray Edition box set. Network was kind enough to send me check discs of the first season (the other discs are coming as they’re available), so I’m going to review those ASAP and then update the review when the rest of the set arrives. I can already tell you with confidence, however, that the restoration is remarkable. The series have never looked so good, nor been so complete and uncut. More in the review as soon as I finish it (possibly later today).

Speaking of reviews, I’ve also posted my in-depth thoughts on Warner’s new 8K/16-bit restoration of The Wizard of Oz on 4K Ultra HD. It’s also remarkable and should absolutely be on the want lists of every serious cinephile who’s upgraded their systems to 4K.

I’ll tell you, it’s been really uplifting this week to see three beloved film and TV titles (It’s a Wonderful Life, The Wizard of Oz, and now Monty Python) that have been given such careful and meticulous restoration for home video release. And I’m more impressed every day with just how far the state-of-the-art in restoration and remastering technology has come. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Afternoon folks and Happy Halloween!

This is just a quick post to offer our best wishes for a happy and safe evening of spooks, specters, candy, and scary movies.

And to let you all know that I’ve just posted my in-depth review of Warner’s stunning new restoration of The Wizard of Oz in 4K Ultra HD. Trust me, this disc is well worth your time and it’s just $22 on Amazon right now. Don’t hesitate.

I’ve also updated a pair of previous reviews, including Disney Movie Club’s The Black Hole on Blu-ray and Mill Creek Entertainment’s A Beautiful Planet IMAX in 4K, both of which were released originally with errors that have now been corrected. Fixed discs are available in each case, and we’ve updated our original reviews accordingly.

Okay, that’s it. Happy Halloween everyone!

(You can follow Bill on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook)

 

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we begin today with some new disc reviews...

I’ve just turned in my thoughts on Paramount’s stunning new 4K restoration of Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, one of those films I’d take to a desert island if I had to be stranded there with only a few. The film has never looked better and the disc even offers some tremendous newly-created extras, though the included Blu-ray version is a puzzler. Still, fans should agree that the restoration is worth every penny and it’s just $19 on Amazon right now. Don’t hesitate.

I’m working to finish my review of Warner’s The Wizard of Oz next and I’m also checking out the first couple of discs of Network’s new Monty Python’s Flying Circus Blu-ray set. So watch for those reviews soon.

Meanwhile, Tim has posted his thoughts on Scream Factory’s new Collector’s Edition Blu-ray of Chuck Russell’s 1988 remake of The Blob. Fans will definitely want to give it a look.

And Dennis has weighed in on Ari Aster’s Midsommar on Blu-ray from A23 and Lionsgate, so do give that a look as well. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Morning, folks!

We’re busy working on reviews here at The Bits this week, including The Wizard of Oz and It’s a Wonderful Life in 4K, as well as Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Batman Beyond on Blu-ray (and more).

But there’s breaking news we wanted to jump in a post right away...

First, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has officially announced the Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD release of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood on 12/10, with the Digital release expected on 11/25.

The film was finished as a native 4K Digital Intermediate, so it should look terrific. Audio will be 7.1 DTS-HD MA on 4K (with HDR10 high dynamic range) and 5.1 DTS-HD MA on Blu-ray. [Read on here...]

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