Criterion’s October roster (and possible UHD news), plus Misery 4K, Disney and Pixar’s Luca, Random Space Media and more
Alright, we’ll probably have at least one more review to check out later today, and we’re all working on more over the weekend. But in the meantime, we’ve got some quick site updates for you and some big announcement news to catch up with all of you …
First, our own Michael Coate delivered some great news History, heritage and sense of the spectacle column here at the bits, with a look back at the theatrical release of Richard Lester’s film Superman ii. The retrospective includes an interview with our old friend Jim Bowers from the excellent Cap Merveille website. And we would like to dedicate the piece to the memory of director Richard Donner, without whom the film would not be possible. So here is Battle on Planet Houston: Souvenir of Superman II on the occasion of his 40th birthday. Enjoy!
Also today, we have just released a major update to our Release dates and illustrations section, with many new Blu-ray and 4K UHD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, every time you literally order whatever from the retailer after clicking on them from one of our links you are helping to support our work here at the bits and we really appreciate it.
So now have some news … [Read on here…]
We will start with our friends from the Criterion Collection, who come from announced their release date in October. Look for it to include an upgrade from Kaneto Shindo Onibaba (Spine # 226 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 10/5, Raoul Walsh’s High Sierra (Spine # 1099 – Blu-ray and DVD) 12/10, Jack Arnold’s The incredible shrinking man (Spine # 1100 – Blu-ray and DVD) and that of Lynne Ramsay Rat hunter (Spine # 62 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 10/19, and Josh and Benny Safdie’s Uncut gems (Spine # 1101 – Blu-ray & DVD – a Netflix Originals title) and Satyajit Ray’s Devi (Spine # 1102 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 10/26.
It’s a great list of titles and you can see the cover art at the top left and also below, where you will also find links to pre-order each of these titles on Amazon.com. We have also updated the Draft Criterion Thorns pages here on the site accordingly.
But while we’re on the topic of Criterion, here’s something very interesting: We now have several industry sources suggesting that the company may finally get ready to announce its first physical 4K Ultra HD titles. As we reported earlier, Criterion was testing 4K versions at the end of 2019, but of course the COVID pandemic has happened and a lot has been put on hold. Now it looks like the company has finally returned to the topic and may be preparing to announce titles before the end of 2021. I know (from multiple sources) of at least three titles the company is working on or considering. It is too early to start discussing specific titles here at the bits, because we’d love to see Criterion embrace 4K as much as anyone else, and we’d rather not make their job difficult for them. But one of the titles is celebrating a major anniversary this year, and if you’re a longtime Criterion fan, that makes perfect sense to them. In any case, we hope to hear official announcements in the weeks and months to come.
Speaking of 4K, the good people of Kino Lorber just announced that of Rob Reiner Misery (1990) – a highly regarded psychological horror film and an adaptation of Stephen King to boot – will join their Studio Classics line on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray remastered on 12/10. (We have updated our List of 4K Ultra HD versions Here has the bits accordingly.) As many of you are no doubt aware, this is an MGM title. And Kino Lorber has signed an agreement with the studio for the release rights to a number of their classic catalog titles in Blu-ray and 4K, so we expect more such titles to follow in the future. months to come. Note that you can see the illustration for Misery 4K below.
In other 4K news today, Disney and Pixar have officially defined their CG animation Luca for output on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD on 8/3. 4K UHD will have Dolby Atmos sound and HDR10 high dynamic range. Extras will include deleted scenes, 3 behind-the-scenes featurettes (Our Italian inspiration, Secretly a sea monster, and Best friends), and more to be determined. Target will have exclusive retail packaging. This is what large format 4K looks like …
Universal has finally revealed the cover art of their Alfred Hitchcock 4K UHD singles fear of heights and Rear window. (See below.) These too are now available for pre-order on Amazon, with a street date of 9/7.
And for those of you who were waiting, John Carpenter’s The thing possesses eventually listed in 4K Ultra HD on Amazon, also with a street date of 7/9. Here is our affiliate link (and you will also find it with the cover below).
In regular Blu-ray news, CBS just put together their recent TV series adaptation of The stall for a Blu-ray release on 5/10.
Also, we would like to draw your attention to an independent home entertainment label called Random Space Media. They distribute many Blu-ray, DVD and 4K UHD titles in the Australian market, especially at Universal and Sony. Among the titles they have released on Blu-ray are Breaking Bad: The Complete Series (with El Camino), The sound of metal, The Great: Season 1, and French release. They have one Battlestar Galactica: The Definitive Collection Blu-ray bundle including the Ron Moore series (with The razor, The plan, and Blood and Chromium), the widescreen version of the 1978 Battlestar Galactica series, Galactica 1980, and even a newly remastered 1080p version of Caprica. (We’ll be looking at this box here at the bits in the coming weeks.) They also Jumanji: the next level, Venom, and Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse available on 3D Blu-ray. And many of these titles appear to be regionless. You can visit their website here, so take a look. Here is an overview of the Battlestar Galactica, breaking Bad, and The sound of metal, which are listed as Region Free on the Random Space site (you can order them on Amazon.com by clicking on the covers) …
And finally, here’s an interesting development: Media Play News Reports Lionsgate Acquired 20% Stake in Much of Spyglass Media Group Stock Library, which includes around 200 titles in total, among which Fruitvale Station, The King’s Speech, Scream 4, Scary Movie 5, Spy Kids 4, Paddington, Silver Linings Playbook, The butler, Django Unchained, Inglorious Basterds, and The Hateful Eight. That would seem to indicate the possibility of Blu-ray remasters (or at least re-releases) of some of them, not to mention potential 4K UHD releases. You can read more here.
Alright, we’ll all let you take a look at the cover artwork for a bunch of the titles mentioned above and more (click the art again for the Amazon pre-order links if available. ) …
Have a nice weekend and we’ll see you here on Monday.