My Two Cents

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All right... we have just a quick update here at The Bits for you today, because I have family visiting this weekend for the first time since before the pandemic.

The big thing we have for you this afternoon is of course this: I’ve posted our in-depth review of the Indiana Jones: 4-Movie Collection in 4K Ultra HD from Paramount Home Entertainment and Lucasfilm. The remastered 4K image on the first three films is spectacular, while the fourth film at least benefits some from HDR and some 4K-scanned footage from the camera negative here and there (shots without VFX). Meanwhile, the new Ben Burtt Dolby Atmos mixes are all demo-worthy across the board.

There are no new extras in the set and the packaging is terrible, but the picture and sound upgrade is so significant that most fans will be willing to overlook it. The set is definitely not to be missed, and you’ll find all the in-depth details right here in our review. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, so we’re going to be back later today with some more new disc reviews, but there’s some potentially significant news breaking at the moment that I wanted to address posthaste this morning.

You remember how I said yesterday that I’d been interviewed for an article on Trek Report about the potential for the classic Star Trek films to be remastered and released in 4K Ultra HD? And I also said that I’d circle back to the subject, but that essentially there was no new news to report at this time?

So the short of what I indicated in the interview was that Paramount definitely wanted to remaster all of the classic Trek films in 4K, and that they’ve clearly ramped up their catalog releases on BD and 4K during the pandemic, and are continuing to remaster their classic catalog films. It was simply a matter of cost, but it was my belief that they’d get around to it eventually. Just don’t hold your breath, right? I mean, how many times have we heard that they were talking about it, and then nothing ever happens? So, sound advice.

And then just this morning, Amazon France dropped a listing for a box set of the first four Star Trek films in 4K Ultra HD with a street date of September 8. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got a quick update for you today. Sorry for the lack of a post on Monday, but there’s a bunch of stuff going on that’s drawn me down multiple Blu-ray and/or 4K UHD-related rabbit-holes over the last couple of days.

First up today, more disc reviews...

Tim has posted his thoughts on Joe D’Amato and Raffaele Donatos’ 1989 sharksploitation film Deep Blood, now on Blu-ray from the good folks at Severin Films.

Also, Dennis has turned in a look at the new Criterion Collection edition of Amy Heckerling’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray. You can find that here. Sounds like it’s pretty great.

And Stephen has given Robert Altman’s Fool for Love a spin on Blu-ray from Scorpion Releasing. The film stars Kim Basinger, Sam Shepard, and Harry Dean Stanton and is well worth a look.

Now then... we’ve been informed by Paramount that our 4K review copy of the Indiana Jones 4-Movie Collection will ship out sometime around midweek. Which means the earliest we expect to have it in hand is Thursday, but it could be Friday or Saturday. Rest assured, I’ll drop everything when it arrives to get the review completed thoroughly and posted on The Bits for you all to check out. And that brings me to the main topic of today’s news post... [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, just a quick update to close out the week here at The Bits, but we do have a couple of good things for you...

First, Stephen has another new 4K Ultra HD review for you, this one of George Roy Hill’s The Sting (1973) from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Sounds like it’s a solid remaster, so do give it a look.

In release news, this isn’t to be considered an official announcement per se (that will come later), but John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place: Part II is now available for pre-order on Amazon and elsewhere in Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD.

Street date hasn’t officially been confirmed yet, but our sources tell us that 7/27 is the likely date. You can see the cover artwork at left and also below. We’ve updated our 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Bits accordingly. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We’re starting today’s post as always with more new disc reviews...

In anticipation of Zack Snyder’s Justice League (I should have that 4K disc in hand for review sometime in the next few days), I’ve gone back to take a look at the director’s recently-remastered new 4K edition of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Ultimate Edition which was released in March by the Warner Archive Collection. The disc includes a revised HDR grade and a new variable aspect ratio presentation that includes 1.43 IMAX framing for select scenes. There’s a new commentary with the director as well, so it’s definitely worth a look if you’re a fan of the film.

Also today, I’ve given Gunpowder & Sky’s new US 4K release of the indie sci-fi film Prospect a look (an Ultra HD release that’s being distributed by Vinegar Syndrome). It offers a higher video bitrate than the German 4K release I’ve reviewed previously here, along with newly-produced extras and a nifty little in-universe booklet in the packaging. It’s highly recommended for fans of the film.

And because we’ve been getting a lot of questions about it: Yes, I will be reviewing Paramount and Lucasfilm’s Indiana Jones: 4-Film Collection in 4K Ultra HD. The disc streets next Tuesday, we should have our review copy in hand sometime over the next several days. Rest assured, as soon as we have it, I’ll get that title reviewed here on The Bits post-haste. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents
Published in My Two Cents

All right, we have some big catalog announcement news to report on today. But first, a few more new disc reviews...

Tim has posted his thoughts on Steve Wang’s Drive (1997), which is newly released on Blu-ray as part of the MVD Rewind Collection.

And Dennis has taken a look at another classic Mae West film, Lowell Sherman’s She Done Him Wrong (1933), which is coming on 6/29 from our friends at Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

Just to let you know, I do expect to have a copy of Zack Snyder’s Justice League in 4K soon, imported from Zavvi, and I will be reviewing it here on The Bits as soon as it comes in, probably next week. And there are more Blu-ray and 4K reviews on the way for later next week after the long Memorial Day holiday here in the States. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Today’s update will be a quick one, as we’re all working on new disc reviews here. Speaking of which, we have a couple of new ones for you now...

I’ve posted my thoughts on ClassicFlix’s outstanding new 2K restoration of The Little Rascals. I’ve reviewed Volume 1 on Blu-ray in depth, and it’s well worth your money and attention if you’re a fan of the Our Gang series of just great film restoration work in general. The disc streets next Tuesday.

Also today, I’ve reviewed Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal, which streets on Blu-ray next Tuesday as well from Adult Swim and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. This is an absolutely modern masterpiece of animation. Some of you will have seen it on Adult Swim, but the Blu-ray release was delayed for over a year by the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s finally about to land in your hands. Don’t miss it.

And sometime probably later this evening, we’ll have Stephen Bjork’s in-depth review of John Landis’ Animal House in 4k Ultra HD, which arrived in stores last week from Universal. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We have a quick news column for you here at The Bits today. But first, a couple more disc reviews...

Dennis has taken a look at Basil Dearden’s The Blue Lamp (1950), an Ealing Studios film noir now available on Blu-ray Disc from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

He’s also posted his thoughts on Florian Zeller’s The Father (2020), the recent film drama that won Anthony Hopkins an Oscar for Best Actor, newly-available on Blu-ray from Lionsgate. Enjoy!

Now then... our friends at Severin Films have announced four new Blu-ray titles due to street in August (on 8/24), including Cannibal Man (1972), No One Heard the Scream (1973), Eloy de la Iglesia’s Quinqui Collection (1980-84 – which includes Navajeros, El Pico, and El Pico 2), and—surprise!—Overboard (1987), the MGM film starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. You can visit their website here for additional details. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We’re starting off the new week with a brand new review... and a brand new reviewer!

We’re very pleased to welcome Stephen Bjork to The Digital Bits team. Like many of us, Stephen is a lifelong student of film, who worked for many years as a district manager for the Video Update brick-and-mortar movie rental chain, back in the VHS, Beta, Laserdisc and early DVD days, before moving into sales. In that capacity, he attended many industry events—I probably bumped into him without realizing it at the old Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) trade shows. Stephen knows film, and he’s more than fluent with the state-of-the-art in home video technology, up to and including Digital and 4K Ultra HD. He’s also been a Digital Bits reader for many years, and a friend on social media into the bargain. So we’re confident he’s going to fit right in around here.

Stephen will be reviewing both Blu-ray and 4K titles for us, and he’s kicking that work off with his thoughts on an import 4K title that might be new to some of you: Robert D. Krzykowski’s The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot (2018). It’s a surprisingly great little drama starring Sam Elliott that a lot of you might have overlooked a I did. There was a US release of the film on Blu-ray and DVD from RLJE back in 2019, but our friends at Capelight Pictures in Germany actually did a proper physical Ultra HD release. And it turns out, it’s pretty damn good. You can import it from Amazon Germany and a few copies are available on US Amazon as well. The 4K works on all players, but note that the Blu-ray and DVD disc in the package are region locked. In any case, we hope you enjoy the review! And you can look forward to more from Stephen in the weeks and months ahead.

Welcome aboard, Stephen! [Read on here...]

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