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Rest In Peace Ennio Morricone – Legendary Composer Dead at 91 Years Old

Whatever awaits us in the next life just got an incredible soundtrack.

Oscar-winning legendary composer Ennio Morricone died today in Rome at 91 years old after what is being reported as complications from a broken leg from a fall. The Italian maestro lent his unique skills and compositions to over 500 television and film projects. Perhaps best remembered for his contributions to Sergio Leone’s westerns, Morricone was an adept composer seamlessly moving between genres from action gangster films like The Untouchables to horror science fiction like The Thing to sweeping period epics like The Mission.

Growing up the way I did with the father I had, The Good The Bad and The Ugly theme was just as recognizable to me as the opening of any Star Wars film. Once I got my own CD player in my room, I quickly stole my father’s copy of Leone’s seminal score and would listen to it every night before bed. Long about the time where Tuco was being beaten to the tune “The Story of a Soldier” is when I’d drift off to sleep only to be woken up by the beautiful “The Ecstasy of Gold.” Later Yo-Yo Ma would collaborate with Morricone to craft Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone – a collection of the composer's greatest tunes beautifully orchestrated for  Yo-Yo Ma’s cello – if you’ve never heard it check it out.  

To this day whenever I’m watching a classic catalog title I’ve never seen and I hear some of those familiar note progressions I instantly get excited. Seeing his name in the opening credits elevates nearly every movie he lent his talents to. That doesn’t mean every movie to feature his music was amazing – I still have issues with The Hateful Eight but I love that brooding score that also incorporated cut music cues from John Carpenter’s The Thing soundtrack. It’s often a struggle for me to pick just one iconic score from his oeuvre, but his Spaghetti Western scores are stalwarts in my collection. I once paid far too much to acquire an out-of-print release of his Navajo Joe only for it to get a deluxe re-release at a quarter the price. Such is life.

 

Essential Ennio Morricone

 

The Sergio Leone Westerns
With Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, Once Upon A Time in the West and Fistful of Dynamite – they’re all iconic pieces of music for these seminal westerns. It’s nearly impossible to choose one over the other so this collection from Kino Lorber Studio Classics is the best way to enjoy all of these great movies and Ennio’s music.

John Carpenter’s The Thing
It’s shocking to me that 38 years ago this now-classic science fiction horror film wasn’t only a titanic flop at the box office but Ennio Morricone’s hypnotic and brooding score was nominated for Worst Musical Score at the 1983 Razzie Awards! Granted, it’s the least “Morricone” sounding of Morricone’s music but just as The Thing wouldn’t be the same without the incredible Rob Bottin creature effects, it wouldn’t be the same without the music.

The Hateful Eight
As I said earlier I don’t particularly like this film – least of all in it’s truncated theatrical version – Morricone hit it out of the park with the score. I can watch the movie because the score is terrific. Just 11 years prior Morricone had been recognized with an Honorary Oscar – only for him to finally and justifiably win one for this film.

Days of Heaven
Terrence Malick has always brought a lyrical fluid visual quality to his films that lend naturally to whatever composer happens to be working with him. Such is the case with Ennio’s work here. It’s a sweeping piece and unlike anything he composed for the Italian Westerns. It’s romantic and grand – “The Harvest” is a particularly beautiful piece I often listen to while I work. 

The Untouchables
Alright, things don’t get much more badass and “Morricone” than this film’s opening track “The Strength of the Righteous” – that jazzy dissonant piano with steady snare, it gets the hairs standing on the back of your neck right out of the gate. Then you get the “Al Capone” suite that almost comically depicts his opulence with a full orchestra. The “Death Theme” also hits hard when two essential characters are murdered in the film. It’s just a great score that fits the film beautifully.

The Mission
Roland Joffé’s adventure drama demanded an epic score and Morricone delivered. It’s sweeping in its majesty conveying the scope of the film filling each scene with romantic overtures and leaning into the necessary action beats. “Gabriel’s Oboe” is a particular favorite piece of mine.

Navajo Joe
Burt Reynolds may have absolutely hated working on this film calling it one of the worst movies he was in – but I love it! It’s an action-fueled western that has a delightful pulp quality that only Sergio Corbucci could deliver to the screen. Capping it off is another engaging score from Morricone. That theme whenever Joe caps off one of the bad guys is glorious and beautifully used by Tarantino for Kill Bill.

Malena
This 2000 romantic comedy is delightful as it captures the excitement of a young man falling for an older woman. Plus it features Monica Bellucci in the lead and what better way to highlight her beauty than this wonderful piece of music? It’s not an action score. It’s not an epic. It’s simple and delightful and probably his most playful composition. The jangly guitar and strings are familiar and signature Morricone, but everything is just pure whimsy and a delightful listen. Sadly, this has yet to get a Blu-ray release here in the states, but it’s worth seeking out just for the music.

 

Obviously, it’s impossible to quantify a career as expansive as Ennio Morricone. Working up until the day of his injury, the iconic composer showed no signs of slowing down. He leaves behind an incredible library of music that can be enjoyed over and over again. Everyone has a favorite Morricone score – what’s yours?

Home Video Releases For The Week of July 7, 2020

Many of us in the U.S. are just coming out of a pandemic holiday weekend, getting back to work and anxious to see what this week brings us for home video releases. OK, maybe not at the top of our minds, but to those of us that watch Tuesdays for new releases, we still do look forward to it. Prior to a couple of days ago, this week's titles were all Tuesday releases, but at the last second, a Friday release has been added, which breaks the regular release pattern.  Fridays are usually reserved to the music and arts releases, other days of the week are what I call confused agenda releases. Welcome to Episode 7 of the Home Video Releases articles.

Discussing the pandemic and how our holiday weekend went, even just citing facts, country by country, state by state statistics, etc would no doubt turn into a shouting match that would then turn into a heated politics war, so I am not even going to go there.

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray/Digital Releases-

This week we see just one 4K disc release, that would be Trolls World Tour, available as a standard 4K release, a Best Buy exclusive 4K SteelBook release, a standard Blu-ray disc release, a Target Exclusive gallery book edition, a 3D release and lastly, a 2-film Trolls/Trolls World Tour 2-movie collection on Blu-ray. I find it odd that the Target gallery book edition is a 2K/HD release, and not 4K. This film was one of the first of many deemed as a 'Premium Rental' release, or as some studios are calling it now, a 'virtual theater experience.' To anyone reading this in 2020, they know exactly what this means, but to someone reading it in 10 or 20+ years from now, they need a translation. With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing during a time when this was supposed to be released in theaters, Universal Pictures made a gamble to release this as a digital streaming rental, a rental that bared a $20 price tag. When you think about it though, if a party of 2 were to go to the cinema, it would probably surpass that $20 price tag.

There are no 4K digital release this week. You would have purchased Trolls World Tour two weeks ago.

HD Blu-ray/Digital releases-

Already mentioned above, the biggest release of the week might be considered Trolls World Tour.

This week from Arrow Video, Black Rainbow, a supernatural chiller that was delayed from a couple of weeks ago. Arrow has a couple of other titles this week, all in the Foreign Film category.

Kino Lorber is releasing several titles this week, under both the Kino Lorber Studio Classics banner as well as the Scorpion Releasing label, check the release calendar for a full listing. Peter Cushing fans can purchase The Flesh and the Fiends. How many of us remember the sci-fi comedy Spaced Invaders? Well, Kino is bringing it to us this week on Blu-ray.

If you've been waiting for Season 13, err, Series 13 as the Brits call it of Murdoch Mysteries, Acorn media brings it to you this week.

Highlights from the Shout Factory label include Proximity, an alien abduction story. There are a couple of other titles as well, take a look at the release calendar.

Criterion Collection's big release of this week is H.G. Wells' classic film, War of the Worlds. A couple of weeks ago we were treated to the modern remake in 4K, starring Tom Cruise, now it is time to purchase the original that started it all. Remember hearing about the original radio broadcast of the War of the Worlds?  You still have to wonder if that broadcast were new to us today how we as a public would react. I still remember the TV series from the 80's as well, I would love to see that released in HD. Maybe the original studio (Paramount) would care to weigh in on this? It could have been one of those shows made on tape, not on film, but we've seen some good upconverts and Blu-ray has better picture quality than DVD any way.

A week doesn't go by without anime titles being released. I will skip most of the 'Essentials' releases and reissues here as usual and bring you the highlights.

FUNimation is giving us Cop Craft - The Complete Series. Also from FUNimation, a series titled How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift? There are five 'Essentials' releases this week specifically to the Shakugan series, both TV seasons and movies. If you bought these as they came out originally, you would have spent likely well over $300, now it's time to get them for half that price, but of course without slip covers.

Also, Sentai Filmworks brings us Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time the Complete Collection, as well as Uta no Prince-Sama: Maji LOVE Kingdom.

There are no digital HD releases this week.

Notable announcements from last week:

Arrow Video has announced a couple of more titles, and their special form of treatment will be given to the Kevin Smith Comedy/Romance Mallrats. It's funny, those born today or in recent years will never really understand what it was like to hang around a mall on a Saturday. When I was growing up, a trip to the mall involved a day of arcade play at 'Aladdin's Castle' and  burger, fries and home-made soda at 'Dering Ice Cream.' What's funnier though is the CD Audio disc was still kind of brand new, so you would often times look at what's current and new for Vinyl, and flash forward to nowadays, we are seeing what's current and new on vinyl. What's next, VHS? Don't answer that!

Previously, it was revealed that Beetlejuice was getting a 4K release, along with a giftset release. A SteelBook has been added to the mix as well. I'm not so sure I like the cover art, maybe it would grow on me or look better in person, not judging here! Also announced from Warner, Stargirl: The Complete First Season, set for September 29, order info coming soon. They certainly have an extensive DC universe on TV. I'm sure there are a few that we'd love to see that hasn't been made yet.

Big news from Sony Pictures to announce, the 2014 drama Whiplash is making its debut to 4K disc on September 22. It will be available as a standard 4K combo pack and as a Best Buy Exclusive SteelBook. Again, I'm not entirely sure about that cover either. The previous Blu-ray SteelBook was sort of blah as well. Actually, this SteelBook is making the Beetlejuice SteelBook more palatable.

The Disney company has two catalog titles also debuting in the 4K disc format in September as well. First, Hocus Pocus, and just like other catalog titles in this thread, available as a standard 4K combo pack as well as a Best Buy Exclusive SteelBook. I really do like the cover art on the latter, I've already got the preoorder in. The next announced title coming to 4K is Home Alone. And, you guessed it, a standard 4K combo pack and a Best Buy Exclusive SteelBook edition as well. Cover art for the SteelBook has not been revealed yet. My reaction to seeing Home Alone coming to 4K is positive, in that Disney is actually touching a catalog title from the Fox library. The prices on both of these titles is also pretty reasonable as well for Disney titles. Links to both of these movies go to Best Buy as the Amazon and Disney feud seems to have no end in sight. Whichever one you decide on, it is much appreciated if you make a purchase via one of our links.

LionsGate has been pretty slow on their releases of the Vestron Video Collector's Series, but I would not mention it unless I had some news for you. They've announced a pair of titles, the Horror/Sci-Fi movie Shivers (1975), and Little Monsters (1989). I was actually reminded of Little Monsters when another movie by the same title was released on Blu-ray in January of this year.

If you've been following Shudder Originals, the next one announced is Satan's Slaves. With an August 4th street date, Order info coming soon.

For Anime announcements, Discotek has announced their September 29th slate, they are: Case Closed: Zero the Enforcer, Galaxy Express 999: The TV Series Collection 03 - Terminus, and Wicked City.

And finally this week, fans of Ari Aster's hit Midsommar should be delighted to see that it is being offered in 4K as a Collector's Edition Director's Cut. Although it is not being released by LionsGate, A24 shop has it listed. As of this post the pre-order is unavailable, but you can sign up for email alerts as to when it will be in stock again. When you follow the link, the shop will default to the Blu-ray Collector's Edition. Make sure you switch to the 4K if that is what you are seeking. Maybe LionsGate will eventually pick this up for a general mass release.

4K Release Calendar

2K/BD Release Calendar

Which titles are you buying this week? Which ones are on your wishlist, be it to buy as an impulse buy or to wait for the right price?

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Home Video Releases For The Week of June 30, 2020

The year is nearly half over. For some of us, where has the time gone, while others might say, when is this year going to end. I guess I see the year both ways, depending on the topic du jour. In the United States, Independence Day weekend is approaching, tourist season would normally be in full swing, and campgrounds would be at capacity. Welcome to Episode 6 of our Home Video releases calendar feature article. As far as video releases this week, it is similar to last week in that there are not major titles being released this week, but there are enough different ones that everyone should find something that interests them.

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray/Digital Releases-

There are no 4K disc releases slated for this week.

There are no 4K digital releases slated for this week.

HD Blu-ray/Digital releases-

Where we lack in 4K releases, this week brings us more title choices than last week.

What's Mel Gibson up to these days? He has a role in the 2020 movie Force of Nature, and LionsGate is bringing it to you. Next from LionsGate, Four Kids and It. When I was trying to figure out what this movie was about, it turns out there are many movies with "it." It's a family movie with a furry creature, not a horror, I know you were thinking of Pennywise for a monent. Michael Caine and Russell Brand are listed 3rd and 4th on the cover artm I think you've heard of them.

Warner Archive has a couple of titles this week. First though, it looks like a last minute switcheroo happened with Cannery Row. It was slated to release on June 30th, but was quietly released on June 9th.

Severin Films is releasing The Complete Lenzi/Baker Giallo Collection this week after a delay. I am not familiar with this set, but I have been pleased with the Severin titles that interest me that I have purchased in the past. Fans waiting for this collection should snatch it up.

Fans of Django should rejoice that the Django + Texas Adios set is finally coming this week from Arrow. This one was tied up for quite some time in legal limbo. This one is being offered in a loaded 2-disc Limited Edition, as well as an identical release, but in a SteelBook.

The musical Hair (1979) is getting the Olive Signature treatment. Releases from Olive have been rather scarce lately, it is good to see they're still releasing discs.

Miss Fisher fans can now buy the movie Crypt of Tears this week from Acorn Media.

Kino Lorber has about a half dozen releases this week, I've selected two. Check out the release calendar for the full listing. First, Ten Little Indians, based on an Agatha Christie novel. I remember this one when it was a new movie, and I was entertained by it enough to merit a mention today. Jim Belushi fans should also be happy to see Wild Palms being released this week as well. It is a TV mini-series from my early life and is, in my opinion, underrated on IMDB.

For anime fans, there's most always a release every week worth looking at. Sentai Filmworks is releasing After the Rain: Complete Collection. Titles like this are worth mentioning as many of their releases do not feature an English dub. I myself have trouble appreciating what's going on on the screen if I am focused on reading subtitles. Famous for their Premium Box sets that increase in valud over time, cannot say for sure if this one will, but Run With the Wind: Complete Series is being offered as one this week.

Discotek often times releases all their offerings in a single week. This week we see Astroganger: The Complete Series which is an SD on BD offering. When shows are not available in HD, I am still most appreciative that they are offering it on Blu-ray. Imagine entire seasons of TV shows on one single disc, with better picture clarity than if it were released as a DVD set instead. Part 2 of City Hunter: Season 1 arrives this week too. Next from Discotek, Crusher Joe: The Movie. The next Lupin the 3rd movie, titled Goodbye Partner is also coming this week. Ninja Scroll: The Series closes out the titles for the month from Discotek.

FUNimation is offering Black Clover: Season 2 Part 5 as a regular offering, as well as a set that includes an art book. Also this week, Midnight Occult Civil Servants: The Complete Series as well as several of the usual 'Essentials' releases.

A final note, the Laurel & Hardy: Definitive Restorations was delayed 2 weeks, from the 16th. You should be able to purchase that this week.

For digital releases, Warner Bros. has quietly pushed out Scoob! this week. Oddly enough though, the 4K digital is reading as "not available in your area." Where do they think my area is anyway?

Notable announcements from last week:

Warner Bros has announced Young Sheldon: The Complete Third Season via the Warner Archive. While not like going to find this on the cheap side, on a positive note, at least they're still releasing TV programs on physical media. Warner Bros also has a street date for the physical releases of Scoob! Available as a 4K Combo Pack and a Blu-ray Combo Pack on July 21.

Samuel Goldwyn Films has announced a release of Mel Gibson's Apocalypto, which means you no longer have to pay an ebay scalper $60 for this film. The previous release was over 13 years ago.

FUNimation has announced their September titles. Along with the usual glut of Essentials Releases, highlights of the regular releases are: Fire Force: Season One Part Two which is available as a standard edition and a limited edition release, Fairy gone: Seaone One Part Two, Arifureta: From Commonplace to Worlds Strongest: Season 1 available as a standard release and a limited edition, A Certain Scientific Accelerator: The Complete Series and lastly, Africa Salaryman: The Complete Series.

4K Release Calendar

2K/BD Release Calendar

Which titles are you buying this week? Which ones are on your wishlist, be it to buy as an impulse buy or to wait for the right price?

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Home Video Releases For The Week of June 23, 2020

To all fathers and father figures across the world, Happy Father's Day. Also, depending on where you live, you are now officially in Summer, or Winter. Last week I had asked you which hit film Molly Ringwald had starred in just a year before Pretty in Pink, the answer would be The Breakfast Club. That film has been released a couple of times on Blu-ray, most recently including a Criterion Collection version and a 30th Anniversary edition. Perhaps at the time The Breakfast Club was not considered an instant hit, but as the years went on, just about every John Hughes film became that, a hit. Hell, let's admit it, he had the midas touch. (And for bonus points, Ringwald was in the belated hit, Sixteen Candles just the year before that!) Welcome to Episode 5 of our Home Video releases calendar feature article. This week brings a handful of gems, but it is not by a longshot considered a major title release week. At the very bottom of this article I had stumbled across a Russian movie with a 3-headed dragon on the cover art, it is not a new release,  Amazon Prime video calls it Dobrinya and the Dragon . It sort of reminds me of Quest For Camelot which never got a Blu-ray release yet. Any thoughts on what this title is and the availability? If you click the link on the cover art there is an ebay seller, but it is out of stock. Oh, the link to the toys is found here.

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray/Digital Releases-

There are no actual 4K disc releases this week, maybe. Eagle Rock Entertainment has announced that Inxs: Live Baby Live is coming out this week in 4K with a Friday street date, but no purchase links have materialized as of yet. The regular HD release however does have a purchase link.

In the 4K digital realm though, you can now purchase to own, rather than rent, Trolls World Tour. This film is also available to purchase in Digital HD as well. This film did quite well as a premium rental, which some are now calling a 'virtual theater' experience. Years from now people might ask WTH this means. In short, it is how the studios are bringing us new movies at home, as the theaters are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At a price of approximately $20 per 48 hour rental, it might make sense to parties of 2 or more. This release date also means the physical release is just 2 weeks away. Again, keep in mind that the digital purchase might not be available until the actual street date, it's just something funky with Amazon's listings.

HD Blu-ray/Digital releases-

Anthony Quinn fans will see Caravans, a title brought to you by the Kino Lorber Studio Classics Collection.

Now for another Anthony, Anthony Hopkins, Kino is bringing us The Road to Wellville, clearly a film I have never seen, but based on the list of the all-star cast, maybe I should have!

Arrow Video brings us Dream Demon. I have not seen this film, but have blind bought a couple of Arrow titles and have been overall pleased with the presentation. This one sounds interesting to me.

Warner Archive is streeting a couple of titles this week, Hans Christian Andersen and House of Wax 3D. The latter title should have a review hopefully by NOW, check out the link. I'm curious to know if it is simply a reissue in different packaging. Also from Warner Archive, the 2019 TV series Pennyworth: The Complete First Season. I do not watch a lot of current TV programs, but the premise of this show is that Alfred, before he became Bruce Wayne's butler and personal friend, is trying to cope with life after his years as an SAS officer. Please, by all means, share your comments about the show if you've seen it. I am trying to picture Alfred as an agent, anything is possible.

Criterion Collection has a slow week this week, their offering is Portrait of a Lady on Fire. They're also releasing Tokyo Olympiad this week as well.

This week's Anime offerings... FUNimation is releasing Essentials Complete Series sets for multiple series. If you missed any of them the first time around, get them now at a lower price and with a digital copy. Also expect to see Fairy gone: Season One Part One. With the way this series is going to be split, you can probably bet that Part Two will also have a Premium Box set offering as well. I am still waiting to see the completion of Monster Hunter Stories: Ride on, they've left me hanging after 4 parts. The 4th release didn't have a slip cover either, FUNimation, are you listening?

More on the anime front, Sentai Filmworks is releasing Re:STAGE! Dream Days and also Real Girl, but as a Premium Box Set. I've recently looked at the going price for some of the Sentai premium box sets, and let's just say there are those out there asking over $1200 for a $60 set on some of these. If they can get it, more power to them.

Paramount is releasing the twenty-third season of South Park. Am glad to see them keep chugging along. I would be buying The Simpsons if Fox, now Disney, were releasing them on Blu-ray. Thank You Paramount for continuing the legacy.

As mentioned above, music fans can get Inxs: Live Baby Live, which has a Friday street date. It is a 1991 concert so it is a show by the original band. Depeche Mode has a more recent release, this one is titled Spirits in the Forest, again, a Friday release date, this one is a 4-disc set.

Finally in the new releases oddity category, a random title with a Friday release date that appears to be a region-free import, this one's titled Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters - described as a definitive retrospective documentary about Ghostbusters. No U.S. release has been announced, this one might be worth a look for GB fans. If this were to ever see a U.S. release, you would almost expect Shout Factory to pick it up.

For digital HD releases, the above mentioned Trolls World Tour is all that's being offered new for this week.

Notable announcements from last week:

Shout factory has announced two Anime/Animation titles. First under the GKIDS banner, Children of the Sea slated for September 1st. Hey, laugh it up, I'm sure you're picturing a mermaid advertising tuna right now. Next, Season One of the Netflix series B: The Beginning, slated for October 6th. Available as a Blu-ray DVD Combo and as an 'Ultimate Collection' that drops the DVDs, but adds an audio cd and some swag. Order Links will be updated as they become available.

Criterion has announced their September slate of titles, they include; Beau Travail, Brute Force, Christ Stopped at Eboli, The Elephant Man, The Naked City and lastly, Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project, No. 3. They always manage to come up with an assortment of titles, hopefully something for everyone. The previous Martin Scorsese collection dates back 3 years. And now, it's time for my opinion. When I saw this list, I was pretty excited to see The Elephant Man announced, with the same cover art as the UK release in April to boot. Previously it had been available as just an import if you wanted the Blu-ray. Now Criterion is bringing it to the U.S., but NOT as a 4K presentation. This action of course prompted me to visit Amazon UK and order the 4K release there. Criterion's release is no doubt sourced from the same restored master that StudioCanal is using for their 4K release across the pond, so why not hop on the 4K bandwagon? Is Criterion the last hold out? I would love to hear from them, but no matter what, perhaps they could have held off on this release? If you don't have a 4K set up and do not want to mess around with importing or region code issues, the Criterion release is certainly the one to get. Order Links will be updated as they become available.

Warner Bros. has officially announced the details and specs for Scoob! which will be available as a 4K Combo Pack, Blu-ray, Digital 4K and lastly Digital HD. Again, keep in mind that preorders for either digital format are not available yet, if you follow the links you will be offered the premium rental instead. That's fine if you want to watch it now, but be aware that this will not permanently add the title to your library. I find it odd, and disparaging that they are not offering Dolby Vision HDR on the 4K disc this go round, but rather, HDR10+. This is no doubt part of their home video merger with Universal Pictures. Universal has been using HDR10+ on some of their past releases. This annoys me just a bit though as again, Dolby Vision is a STANDARD theater format. I liken this action to saying that you refuse to pay the license fee for Dolby Digital, but will be introducing your own version of compressed multi-channel capable audio.

Also from Warner, the next batch of Warner Archive titles have been announced. The titles are:  Clara's Heart, Final Space: The Complete First and Second Season, Girl Crazy, Michael, Million Dollar Mermaid, Pat and Mike, Pride and Prejudice (1940) and Without Love. As always, an interesting mix of titles.

Arrow Academy will be releasing its first 4K disc in September, a foreign film titled Cinema Paradiso (1988). This release makes the 3rd movie that the Arrow company is bringing us in 4K. The previously announced titles being Flash Fordon and Pitch Black.

4K Release Calendar

2K/BD Release Calendar

Which titles are you buying this week? Which ones are on your wishlist, be it to buy as an impulse buy or to wait for the right price?

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Home Video Releases For The Week of June 16, 2020

The previous couple of weeks have been pretty interesting for release announcements. I am pretty excited about a couple of them and have already locked my preorders in for them. Although Flash Gordon is not at the top of my list of must have movies, I still decided to order that in 4K, as well as Pitch Black in 4K. The Goonies 4K Giftset is interesting, but I'm not sure that I want to get such an unusual set for a movie that I was only moderately excited about. Some of us are probably getting very antsy with not being able to go to a movie theater or eating establishment if we are living in your average state in the U.S. I'm in the latter group - either to a favorite steak house, burger joint or even to get my fill of fried clams, but as much as I want to see things return to normal,  I still feel personal safety is more important. Entertainment at home is my preferred venue, but to some, nothing takes the place of a huge screen with speakers everywhere. There are no major releases this week, but there still should be a few listed this week to satisfy your need for a new purchase. Welcome to Episode 4 of our Home Video releases calendar feature article.

Notable Releases This Week:

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray/Digital Releases-

No actual *new* titles are being released in 4K this week, but there are some great films being offered for the first time ever in this format, I am referring to the Columbia Classics Collection I. I don't know which one I am excited the most about in this collection, this is just such a good collection. It includes Mr. Smith Goes to Washington / Lawrence of Arabia / Dr. Strangelove / Gandhi / A League of Their Own / Jerry Maguire. It's an interesting mix that makes you wonder how they arrived at this selection of titles. As this is a Collection I, it leaves the door open for a collection II, III and so on. We are doing our best to review all of the titles in the Columbia Classics collection, and as of today, the titles we have so far released,  they have never looked better! Check out our 4K Reviews page for the latest.

A couple of reissues this week in the 4K format. First, two different SteelBooks, Braveheart and Gladiator. I get the feeling that in 50 years from now that these titles will get reissues, in whatever the prevailing format is then for the umpteenth time. They're excellent films, but exactly how many times do you plan on buying each of these in each format you purchase for? If you're among the few that hasn't already bought these films in 4K, there's also a Double Feature release here as well.

There are no 4K Digital releases for this week.

HD Blu-ray/Digital releases-

Criterion is sure to satiate Buster Keaton fans, this week we see The Cameraman being released on Blu-ray.

In other classics, Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations is also due this week from Kit Parker Films. This set has 511 minutes of meterial, do check it out.

What would a week be without a handful of anime releases. Sentai is releasing Domestic Girlfriend (Do take note a Premium Box is coming this Summer).  Also coming this week from Sentai, a Premium Box set for Mysteria Friends - Complete Collection. You have to respect Sentai Filmworks. Mysteria Friends came out a couple of months ago as a standard edition set, but at the time, Sentai did notify us that they were working on a Premium Box set. They have made such indications on other titles as well. We all love to double-dip, don't we? FUNimation is rereleasing Tales of Zestiria the X- The Complete Series as an "Essentials" release. Most recent history releases for FUNimation titles also include a digital code, which unlocks the title in your FUNimation digital locker. Also releasing this week, YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of This World, parts One and Two.

Just in case you somehow missed the boat on getting Friday the 13th on Blu-ray, Paramount is releasing it this week in a SteelBook case option. There have been multiple offerings of this movie over the years, but maybe this is the one cover you want in your collection. With a 40 year Anniversary edition, I would hope to see a 4K offering, but that could still be years away. If you're ready for the next Paramount Presents label release, this week they are releasing Pretty in Pink. Trivia: What did Molly Ringwald do just a year earlier that was a pretty major release? I will answer this next week, hey no cheating, OK?

The Guy Pearce Thriller First Snow is finally getting a Blu-ray release this week, after being delayed a time or two.

Shout! Factory has several notable offerings this week. Under the Scream Factory label, The Hills Run Red. Also this week they are releasing the Universal Horror Collection: Volume 5 featuring 4 Universal Studios classic horror films. Under their Shout Select label, the Western/Thriller starring Tommy Lee Jones, The Missing would have been released this week but got pushed back to July 14th. I guess after several years of delays, we will eventually see this one. It really is getting more within reach.

Warner Bros. has got a slow week this week, but if you like the Lego series of animated features, this week they're releasing Lego DC: Shazam! - Magic and Monsters.

In the LOL category (hey, maybe it is a good film???) - The 8th installment of the Sniper film series, titled Sniper: Assassin's End comes to Blu-ray this week. Wiki lists all of them here. Apparently if you want the complete collection (this is to say, til they come out with a Sniper 9) you can only get it on DVD, and it is a Walmart exclusive to boot.

There are no Digital HD release for this week.

Notable announcements from last week:

Shout Factory has announced most of their September 2020 titles. Notable titles that I can remember are Event Horizon, coming in a Collector's Edition, and The TV Set starring David Duchovny & Sigourney Weaver and The Masque of the Red Death (1964). Also being distributed by Shout! Factory under the GKIDS label, they are finally releasing Hayao Miyazaki's The Wind Rises. They've released multiple Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli films in the past. And as you may recall, Disney previously had owned the rights to these films, and at the time, their releases were pretty solid, but did have a couple of issues on some of them. GKIDS seemed to have corrected most of the issues and has offered new transfers as well.

Mill Creek has announced their September slate. The next installment of the Ultraman series, titled Ultraman Ginga/Ultraman Ginga S Series + Movie/Ultra Fight Victory, the John Travolta bomb Battlefield Earth, which has managed to gain its own following, the blu-ray debut of the animated version of The King and I from 1999, and a comedy double feature of Big Bully / Wrongfully Accused. I think I would like Wrongfully Accused, I've liked most of Nielsen's films, and this sounds like a satire homage to The Fugitive, and lastly, another Sigourney Weaver release announced this week, Snow White: A Tale of Terror. I have the DVD of the animated release The King and I, a Blu-ray release is certainly welcome. The release of the classic film in 4K would be nice, but at this time, we are not seeing the Disney company releasing catalog titles on 4K, and although this is a Fox title, it seems doubtful it will see the light of day any time soon.

Kino Lorber has announced the next batch of August titles as well. A lot of special interest titles that I do not personally know. There are some familiar names in the batch, but again, I apologize for not really knowing what they are. I do like how they approach multiple genres and areas of interest, they've got something for everyone. The titles in the announcement follow, keep in mind that many of them do not have pre-order links yet, do check out the Blu-ray release calendar for more info. All I Desire, Backlash, The Balcony, Beyond the Visible - Hilma af Klint, Breezy, The Eagle and the Hawk, Hell Bent, Lucky Grandma, Raid on Rommel, The Red Ball Express, She Shoulda Said 'No'! / The Devil's Sleep, The Sign of the Cross, Soldier Blue, Sonja: The White Swan, There's Always Tomorrow, Those Who Deserve to Die, Wake Island.

For 4K Disc announcements, the Robert Downey Jr films Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows will be coming on Sep. 1. Final specs still subject to change.  In case you were curious as to why, the 3rd movie in this series is currently in production, so what better time to release the first two, except maybe a week before theatrical release of the 3rd movie that is? Also from Warner Bros. we've found out about the upcoming 4K disc release for Beetlejuice. Just like The Goonies, Beetlejuice appears to be coming as a standard 4K package and as an Deluxe Giftset, along with most likely a SteelBook from Best Buy. Best guess is that both of those titles will come out the same day, September 1st.

Synapse Films has also announced The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue in a handsome SteelBook package. This is not a repackage of the Blue Underground 2009 release. There are a lot of extras included and the audio and video have been given new masters.

And lastly, Arrow's 4K pre-order of Pitch Black has been hovering at $19.99 for the pre-order for much of the week. If you're a fan of this movie, this price seems pretty much a steal, all things considered.

4K Release Calendar

2K/BD Release Calendar

Which titles are you buying this week? Which ones are on your wishlist, be it to buy as an impulse buy or to wait for the right price?

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Home Video Releases For The Week of June 9, 2020

 The week of June 9th does not represent much by way of significance and with the number of releases this week, you will see what I mean when you look at the full list. Summer begins in the Northern hemispehere in just over a week, and if you read my speel for the week of May 26th you would see what the real significance is with regards to the movie industry. No trivia tidbits, no anecdotes to share, just, welcome to volume 3 of our Home Video releases calendar article. To anyone that has been waiting and wondering, Zavvi UK should finally be shipping their Exclusive SteelBook/Leather Cased verson of Frozen II this week. I had it on preorder for quite some time.

Notable Releases This Week:

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray/Digital Releases-

Actually, there are no listed 4K Disc titles slated for this week, so, moving along to the next category.

For 4K digital releases, there is one entry for the week, LionsGate brings us Think Like a Dog, a comedy about a boy and his dog, and how a science fair gone wrong creates a telepathic link with his dog. This release is getting a physical release this week, but it appears to be in 2K/HD Blu-ray disc only, see next section for details. As much as we wish that every release going forward gets a 4K physical disc, it is probably not very economically feasible

HD Blu-ray/Digital releases-

Sony Pictures Classics is bringing us the Oscar winning account of the story of Anne Frank, titled Anne Frank Remembered. The disc sounds like it is pretty inclusive on features. In the MOD category, they bring us Brian's Song released for the first time on Blu-ray.

Kino Lorber is starting to release more box sets of various actors/directors and this week we see actress Deanna Durbin highlighted in the Deanna Durbin Collection I which features three of her films spanning from 1937-1941. Their next box set coming this week is Film Noir: The Dark Side of Ceinema III - which seems to be gathering a fan following. Western fans should be interested in Western Classics I, which compiles several known Westerns from the 1940s.

BBC is bringing us the Twelfth Series of the recent Doctor Who incarnation, starring Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor. This title was delayed from an earlier date.

Universal Pictures brings us the Blu-ray of The Hunt, which was released in digital 2 weeks ago, and if you recall, was released as a Premium Rental previously (due to COVID-19) and, unlike their other efforts, did not fare well revenue-wise. IMDB lists it as a middle of the pack movie, and I might end up blind buying it. No spoilers please, but is it like JCVD's Hard Target or is it something else? I do find the cover art a bit hideous, sort of wish they stuck with the movie poster in this case with the pig on it, but looks like even the international releases copies the same choice of cover. The temporary cover featured the pig, shown at the top banner of this article. There was also an interesting movie poster featuring an actual hunting scene with wild animals and weapons driving into the ground to look like trees. See themoviedb.com to see what I mean.

Lionsgate is releasing Think Like a Dog on Blu-ray as well as Digital HD on the same date. And another Lionsgate release that I do not recall it being in the theater, I'm sure it was, just a minor release, We Summon the Darkness.

In the weekly Anime release schedule, FUNimation is bringing several Bungo Stray Dogs universe releases. This week they bring us Dead Apple, as well as Season Three of the series. Re: Zero is also getting another chapter released this week, this time titled Starting Life in Another World - Season One.

Digital HD offerings this week, the aforementioned Think Like a Dog (noted above.)

Notable announcements from last week:

Arrow Video has officially entered the 4K market and has announced U.S. releases for Flash Gordon - 40th Anniversary Restored Edition, available in a Special Edition 4K, Standard Edition 4K as well as a new Blu-ray Special Edition. As you may recall, StudioCanal had announced a UK release to this movie with several different options as well. The Arrow release will contain fewer discs, but still purports to offer the most content for the buck. Some of the discs in the UK release probably did not get ported to the U.S. release due to licensing concerns, but that should not stop you from considering the Arrow release. Also announced from Arrow this week, Pitch Black, both as a 4K Special Edition and as a Blu-ray Special Edition. Both these releases from Arrow are scheduled for release on August 18th. The Standard Edition 4K for Flash Gordon has been listed for $19.99 most of the week, which, for an Arrow Video release is actually very reasonable, add to that it's a 4K and it's astounding!

Warner Bros. has announced a new street date for The Goonies in 4K, and also will be offering an Exclusive Giftset. Do check it out.

Final details have been announced for the 4K releases of The House By The Cemetery and The New York Ripper and the list of extras is quite extensive, do check it out!

UPHE has added a 3D option for the upcoming release of Trolls World Tour. It appears to again be listed under their 'MOD' label. You ask why I state 'again' --- well, there have been a few other recent releases that they added a 3D option to as well, but those too were under the MOD label, and at a considerably higher street price. There's always the option to import the disc, but those that prefer a domestic release, this is certainly your option. Unlike previous MOD releases, this one appears to also include the digital code.

And finally, for those waiting to see The Quest (Frog Dreaming) hit Blu-ray, the long delays seem to be over, it will see the light of day on August 11th. I have memories of this one way back when, when it hit HBO.

Which titles interest you this week? Which ones are on your wish list?

4K Release Calendar

2K/BD Release Calendar

The Hunt

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Home Video Releases For The Week of June 2, 2020

Summer is just a few weeks away from officially starting for the Northern Hemisphere and cabin fever is probably largely on our minds. Did you know that the earth's rotation around the sun is elliptical and that the point at which it passes the sun is actually on December 21st. That probably explains why Summers are more extreme down under. What do we do while the country tries to return to a normal state?  How about watch a movie from the comforts of your home! Some of us have pretty elaborate setups for this activity, while others not quite so much. The important thing is that we enjoy the show and take something away from the experience. If you can detach from reality for a couple of hours and enjoy a great movie, your stressors will be subdued and a more relaxed you can emerge. Episode 2 of our weekly release update follows.

In the delayed until further notice department, looks like Warner Bros. has delayed the 4K release for The Goonies, our current info shows the beginning of September, perhaps September 1st according to a major retailer that had that date posted, but then removed.

Notable Releases This Week:

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Releases-

There are a few titles coming to 4K disc this week that are certainly worth your time. This week's biggest 4K disc release might be considered Parasite or Jaws, depends on your interests. Parasite, you've probably heard of it, and I am not referring to the well produced 3D release from 1982 that Kino has recently released. This one is a little more recent, it's from 2019, and it's won a couple of Academy Awards. It took the world by storm when it was shown, I personally had not seen it nor did I buy the Blu-ray as I was waiting for the inevitable 4K. Criterion is reportedly working on a special edition, but they have not touched the 4K disc market yet, so will it be 4K or HD? Also bear in mind though that it is a foreign language film so if subtitles are not your thing, you might be a little more excited about the next title listed here.

Universal Pictures is releasing what's dubbed as a 45th Anniversary Edition of a rather memorable movie, Jaws which is alse reviewed at the link. Even if you've never seen the movie, unless you've lived under a rock or you're just 8 years old, you certainly know its premise and you've most certainly heard part of the score of this movie. A lesser (at the time) director named Steven Spielberg was at the helm of this one, as well as a few other lesser knowns as well, Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss. Anyone that has seen this film has got their own stories to share. Share them below in the comments if you'd like. The standard edition has a fair share of supplements, both on the disc as well as physical. If you prefer a SteelBook, Best Buy is offering that as well with the same street date.

Best Buy is also offering two other movies in a SteelBook package this week as well. Both these movies have already made it to 4K disc, but now you can get them as a SteelBook. They are Apollo 13 and Inception. Apollo 13 has just passed a milestone so it is quite appropriate to release this one. Before you ask and connect as to why there is a Universal and Warner reissue as a SteelBook in the same week, keep in mind that recently Universal and Warner has recently merged their home video distribution businesses. With physical media revenue on a decline, it makes sense to merge operations to save costs.

There are no Digital 4K releases for this week.

HD Blu-ray/Digital releases-

Although the 2K/HD field of releases for this week is quite extensive, in my opinion nothing stands out and screams major releases. But, there still are handful of notable releases that might merit a purchase. There are a handful of reissues for June 2nd, most of them are likely less expensive versions of existing releases, they appear to be void of the digital code and the DVD. They might not be less expensive than the previous releases as of this writing, but over time they will be.

Severin Films is bringing us a rather extensive box set of Al Adamson's films, dubbed Al Adamson: The Masterpiece Collection. This collection contains 31 films on 14 discs and is sure to delight the B-movie horror fans in your household.

Nearly a year later and Acorn Media is bringing Series 2 of the show Blood. Also with a Thursday release date, Detectorists, Series 2 and Series 3.

After a short delay, RLJ Entertainment is releasing Creepshow: Season 1 on disc. This is an all new series based on the movies we've all come to love near and dear. Also added to this week's mix is a SteelBook release of One Cut of the Dead, and there is an English dub to boot. It's one of those comedy/horror movies and piques my interest.

Not to be passed over, Shout! Factory has got several offerings this week. First, under their Shout Select label, Glengarry Glen Ross starring Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Alan Arkin & Ed Harris, perhaps you've heard of them? The premise of the movie is relatively unique, and in a time where so many plots are copied over and over again, I am certainly interested in this one. Hopefully we will have a review of that one shortly. Another Shout release this week is the Russian film The Blackout: Invasion Earth. It does appear this release will have an English language dub as well, but whether it is 5.1 or 2.0 is unknown at this time, and this appears to be an edited international version, not the 153 minute cut. Honestly, the 153 minute version might be pretty tedious, longer is not always better. Under the Scream Factory label, expect to see Witches in the Woods, a story about a modern day witch hunt. Under their anime label, which does not show "GKIDS" this go round comes Sound! Euphonium: The Movie as well as Tokyo Godfathers, do check them both out if you're an anime fan.

Screen Media has an interesting release this week, the movie is titled Robert the Bruce and is a story, or say sequel to Braveheart, which follows the events afterwards and the fallacies of trying to win independence for Scotland.

Paramount Home Entertainment has a couple of items of interest this week. Urban Cowboy (40th Aniversary Edition) makes it way to Blu-ray. Interesting that this is not a Paramount Presents title, and wow, I did not realize that this movie has turned that old. How old does that make me? Ahem, moving on.... Also for those Trekkies that are always hungry for more, this title baffles me as to what it really is, but the title is called Star Trek: Short Treks. I can read the synopsis, but is this show just an edit of Discovery? Hopefully I didn't insult anyone by askig if it is 'just' an edit.

HBO Home Video via Warner Bros. will finally be releasing Watchmen: An HBO Limited Series to Blu-ray this week as well. It is another title that was reslated earlier in the year. If you fancy the SteelBook Edition, Best Buy has that to offer as well.

Best Buy is also offering a SteelBook of Flash Gordon, but unless you missed the announcement of StudioCanal's upcoming release which is a 4K deluxe release, and a 2K/BD release will be available too, you might want to hold off on this SteelBook offering.

Our friends as Kino Lorber have a handful of titles this week as well. Again, I will be honest with you, I am terrible when it comes to determining which of these are truly gems and which ones are very niche-like and have a limited audience. Their offerings for the week are: Beanpole, Let's Kill Uncle, The Queen, Tesnota, They Came From Beyond Space. I am familiar with some of William Castle's work, and he's the man behind the camera in Let's Kill Uncle.

Finally, what's a week without more Anime titles. The week is dominated by FUNimation releases, one Sentai Filmworks release, one Right Stuf release, and the aforementioned Shout/GKIDS releases. I am eyeballing Demon Lord, Retry! - The Complete Series as this appears to be that series' first appearance on Blu-ray in North America. Is it related to the Demon Lord Dante universe? Probably not, but the premise still interests me.

There are no digital HD releases for this week.

Notable announcements from last week:

Universal Pictures has just announced the upcoming release of Spartacus (1960) coming to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. With a previous 4K remaster, this one was inevitable, and very exciting news for classic cinema of this nature! I have already got the Columbia Classics Volume I 4K collection on pre-order, which includes several great classics as well. Many of us might wish that the Columbia Classics set were broke up into individual releases, which might be inevitable in the future, but it is still a great collection for the price.

FUNimation has just announced their titles for August, including the next chapter in the Cardcaptor series, as well as the final season of the long running series Fairy Tail.

Second Sight has announced a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release for George Romero's cult classic Dawn of the Dead (1978) in a special limited "fat pack" edition. As of press time, there is no offical news of a U.S. release. As this is a 4K disc, there should be no concerns for region coding, but any enclosed Blu-ray discs might be of concern. Most of the Second Sight Blu-ray based movies I have imported in the past have been region free.

Which titles interest you this week? Which ones are on your wish list, whether to buy on a slow week or to wait for the right price before you pounce?

4K Release Calendar

2K/BD Release Calendar

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Inside the Mind of Robert Englund and Freddy Krueger

An accomplished stage actor, Shakespearian thespian, avid surfer, and jack-of-all-trades filmmaker all describe the iconic actor Robert Englund, although most would know him as the boogeyman himself Freddy Krueger. Englund shows no signs of slowing down at age 72 with three new projects on the way and a notion of wearing the finger knives once again as his most notable character to date. 

His latest project is the hilarious Adult Swim animated show JJ Villard's Fairy Tales that takes Grimm's Fairy Tales and Disney stories and turns them into twisted horror remakes with a treasure trove of horror movie legends, including Englund himself.  With a punk-rock animation style and some truly debaucherous visuals and dialogue, this new series is bound for the label - cult-classic.

Sitting down with the legendary horror maestro for a good amount of time, there was a wide variety of topics that were discussed. Englund's start in the entertainment business provided a hearty laugh on losing his virginity and his first role on stage. The works of Shakespeare, including a talk about the similarities between Freddy Krueger and Iago from Othello, along with stepping into the director's chair in 976-EVIL is focused on. 

Additionally, we cover a fun range of topics that dive into his hobby of surfing, collecting Hollywood memorabilia and foreign movie posters, favorite scenes from films, and his love for Bobby Hill in the hit animated series King of the Hill. Englund even transforms into Freddy Krueger himself to answer a few questions, including some hidden easter eggs in Nightmare on Elm Street in this candid and entertaining talk. In addition to the Adult Swim series, Englund can be found as host/narrator on the Travel Channel in the new show True Terror with Robert Englund.

Enjoy the entertaining talk below. 

Movies You Forgot Robert Englund Was In:

A Star Is Born (1976)

Dead & Buried

C.H.U.D. II: Bud the Chud

The Adventures of Ford Fairlane

Home Video Releases For The Week of May 26, 2020

Memorial Day, defined. From timeanddate.com and is summarized as, "Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May. It was formerly known as Decoration Day and commemorates all men and women who have died in military service for the United States. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day and it is traditionally seen as the start of the summer season." That latter part of the sentence would also traditionally mean that the Movie Summer Season has begun and you would see some of the largest blockbusters timed accordingly. I still remember outings on either Memorial Day or Independence Day (U.S./July 4th) weekends , or those in between and seeing memorable movies like Terminator 2, Jurassic Park, Men in Black, Independence Day, The Patriot (Mel Gibson), Armageddon (guilty pleasure of mine), some major Disney or Pixar animated release. There were a few firsts for me during these Summer outings as well --- first DLP projected movie (Dinosaur-2000), first DTS digital sound movie (Jurassic Park---huuuge at that time.)

Under current times of course, the Summer Movie season is entirely in limbo. Major releases are being pushed back, some studios are trying something new out of necessity, offering what are called 'Premium Rentals,' which are identical to digital rentals of movies which some of us take advantage of already, but at a higher price due to the nature of the content. In this case, a movie that has not been released yet, that would normally be shown in a traditional movie theater. Premium Rentals are typically selling for around $20, which when you think about it, is not a bad deal if you plan on sharing the cost with at least one other person. Most premium rentals are good for 48 hours from the time you hit PLAY, so if you watch it as a family now, you can watch it later again as a family or as I would like to do, by myself so that I can enjoy it without all the distractions. Maybe it is a great movie that deserves a second viewing, or maybe you want to watch it again to get a better understanding. If you're like me, when I go to a theater, my bladder is the size of a walnut, but at home, there's no limits! Try watching a 90 minute movie at the theater and I try to hold it, then at the 80 minute mark, cannot hold it any longer. But at home, watch an entire trilogy and no pause button needed! Why me!?

Coming out of the Memorial Day holiday weekend for many of us across the globe, you might think it's going to be a pretty slow week for Home Media Releases, but if you held to that belief, you would not be entirely accurate. Welcome to Episode 1 of what I hope to be weekly updates on what's coming out on home video on a given week, as well as letting you get a peek at what some of the major announcements are for the calendar week leading up to it. New releases for Memorial Day week, announcements made during the previous week, got it?  I'm not a 'Classic Movie' expert by any means, but I am an average movie connoisseur with an above average taste for the experience. I want my releases in the best format possible, but I do respect those that prefer digital releases instead. Actually, if you ever saw a photo of the room I keep my discs in, you can see the predicament I am in as I find more ways to not run out of room.

Notable Releases This Week:

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray/Digital Releases-

The Deer Hunter starring Robert De Niro and a winner of 5 Academy Awards. Interestingly enough, this title was picked up by Shout! Factory, and not released by Universal Studios, and released under their flagship label dubbed Shout Select. When I had originally seen this film years ago when I had the DVD, I really had no clue as to what was going on. As the years have passed and repeated viewings have occurred I have a slightly better understanding and appreciation for this film.

Meanwhile, Blue Underground is bringing us a pair of titles that seemed inevitable as their previous 3-disc editions were sourced from a 4K remaster. Needless to say, I am still delighted to see another company adopting the 4K Disc format. I can tell you that honestly I do not recall seeing either film, they are Maniac and Zombie, with the latter having a current fresh review. If you're familiar with these releases, thus far it sounds like the upgrade is worth it.

The Invisible Man starring Elisabeth Moss completes the list of 4K Disc offering this week. This film did well for Universal despite the Covid Pandemic. It was released in the Premium Rental format, production cost just a mere $7 Million to produce, made just over $64 Million in the U.S. market, and $123 Million worldwide. If you prefer the HD version on Blu-ray, you can purchase it HERE.

There are no Digital 4K releases for this week.

HD Blu-ray/Digital releases-

The Shout! Factory/Select label has a few notable releases this week.  Delayed a time or two, looks like Before the Devil Knows You're Dead will finally see our disc players. Famed film maker Sidney Lumet, starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman as well as Ethan Hawke, summarized a heist gone wrong, this one comes to us via the Shout Select label. Also coming this week is a Collector's Edition of Escape From L.A. starring a much younger Kurt Russell. It has been some time since I had seen this film, honestly this film wasn't memorable to me, but as the years pass, a repeat viewing might change my mind on this one as well. To this day, I get the Esacpe From NY and LA films mixed up. A Midnight Clear starring Peter Berg, Kevin Dillon, Ethan Hawke, Gary Sinise might interest you. Again, as a Shout Select label release, this one might be worth your time as they go all out on these releases.

Criterion has a couple of titles worth looking at. I personally have little knowledge of any of them this week, but it certainly does not take from their worthiness. The titles are Husbands, Scorsese Shorts, and Wildlife. Speaking of Martin Scorsese, he also stars in a film titled Once Were Brother: Robbie Robertson and the Band which is being release by Magnolia Pictures.

Arrow Video is releasing several titles this week. They are worth a look if you have enjoyed previous offerings by them. Blood Tide, Solid Metal Nightmares, White Fire and The WomanSolid Metal Nightmares is a collection of ten films by renowned director Shinya Tsukamoto.

Paramount Pictures is offering several titles this week as well via their MOD label. Each studio has their own MOD label, typically these labels are selected movies released in smaller batches with a slightly higher price point and typically also do not include a digital copy code. Warner Archive is probably the best known 'MOD' label. MOD had originally meant "Manufactured On Demand" and actually meant they were burnt discs (BD-R) but that is not the case with these major releases. Keep in mind these titles might never see the light of day otherwise so if there's a film that interests you, do support their efforts. Paramount MOD is offering these titles this week: Angela's Ashes, Funeral in Berlin, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.

There are multiple special interest titles from Gravitas Ventures this week, which most always are produced on BD-R discs. This release format means that HD titles previously unavailable can be produced on demand on BD-R discs. The only downfall is that some players do not like these discs. Most of the major disc players can handle them, last I checked, the jackets were labeled that they did not play on certain game systems.

Anime fans will also see a handful of releases this week. Offerings from Discotek, FUNimation and Sentai Filmworks are on the Release Calendar.  Do keep in mind that if you click this link a week after the article is posted that the current list is no longer 'current.' This week the Anime title that interest me was KonoSuba: God's Blessing on This Wonderful World!: The Complete First Season + OVA which is being offered for the first time in the U.S.. There are a few other titles that mildly interest me but that is to be determined.

For digital offerings this week, we have just one. Another Premium Rental being made available to purchase. The Hunt, which I had not seen but I most likely will buy it in 2 weeks. To me it sounds like a modern version of Hard Target, minus some of the JCVD cliches. Nothing wrong with JCVD, I rather enjoy his cliches! As with any recent release, I wish they would release it in 4K! But that is a rant you can look forward to in 2 weeks.

Notable announcements from last week:

Universal Pictures has announced an official street date for Trolls: World Tour to be July 7th for disc and June 23rd for Digital. UPHE did quite well on this movie as a Premium Rental. We of course have the listings, do look ahead on the release calendar, there are several options available, both as 4K and 2K/HD disc and digital releases. Note that the Digital links are still showing as rentals only so give it another week or two to get the pre-order in.

Warner Archive also announced their June 2020 releases. The titles are Cannery Row, House of Wax 3D (Double Feature), Romance on the High Seas, Strike Up the Band and Pennyworth: The Complete First Season. They are listed under our Release Calendar and pre-order links will be available as they get listed.

Paramount has released the final details for one of their Paramount Presents line release for Ghost starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore & Whoopi Goldberg.

Which titles interest you this week? Which ones are on your wish list, whether to buy on a slow week or to wait for the right price before you pounce?

4K Release Calendar

2K/HD Release Calendar

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Invisible Man 4K

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The Deer Hunter 4K

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KonoSuba: God's Blessing on This Wonderful World!: The Complete First Season + OVA front cover

Justice League: The Snyder Cut Coming to HBO MAX - No, Really! Not A Joke!

#ReleaseTheSnyderCut Wins the Day for an Unspecified 2021 Release Date

Given all of the free publicity Zach Snyder has been giving Warner Broths with hinted tidbits about his original cut of Justice League - it was only a matter of time before WB made it official. With Warner Brothers launching their HBO MAX streaming service - they need something to build the hype and this will certainly get some DC fans' mouths watering! 

Even I have to admit after the Bizarr-O world hodgepodge that was the Snyder/Whedon cut we got in theaters - I'm hopeful and optimistic that this will be something more than lipstick on a pig. I hope to see something of Richard Donner's Superman 2 level of improvement - but we'll see in about a year. Until then - more speculation and rumor with cryptic reveals from Snyder! Yay! 


Below is the full press release from Warner Brothers. 


LOS ANGELES – May 20, 2020 – After global passionate fan calls to action and the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement, HBO Max and Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that it will exclusively world premiere Zack Snyder’s director’s cut of the Warner Bros. Pictures/DC feature film Justice League in 2021. Snyder surprised fans with the news this morning during a live online commentary of his film Man of Steel with Henry Cavill.
 
#ReleaseTheSnyderCut first became a passionate rallying social media cry among fans in 2017 and has not let up. From countless press articles and hundreds of thousands of social media mentions, it became a powerful global movement among cinephiles and comic book fans.
 
“I want to thank HBO Max and Warner Brothers for this brave gesture of supporting artists and allowing their true visions to be realized. Also a special thank you to all of those involved in the SnyderCut movement for making this a reality,” said Snyder.
 
“Since I got here 14 months ago, the chant to #ReleaseTheSnyderCut has been a daily drumbeat in our offices and inboxes. Well, the fans have asked, and we are thrilled to finally deliver. At the end of the day, it really is all about them and we are beyond excited to be able to release Zack’s ultimate vision for this film in 2021. This could never have happened if it weren’t for the hard work and combined efforts of the teams at HBO Max and Warner Bros. Pictures,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, Warner Media Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer.
 
“When Zack and Debbie shared the extraordinary vision of where Zack wanted to take Justice League, my team and our counterparts at Warner Bros. took it as a mission to solve the many issues that stood in the way,” said Kevin Reilly, Chief Content Officer at HBO Max, President, TNT, TBS and truTV. “Thanks to the partnership at Warner Bros. and the relentless pursuit of the entire WarnerMax team we are able to deliver this incredibly exciting moment for Zack, the fans and HBO Max.”
 
“Thanks to the efforts of a lot people, we’re excited to bring fans this highly anticipated version of Justice League,” said Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group. “This feels like the right time to share Zack’s story, and HBO Max is the perfect platform for it. We’re glad the creative planets aligned, allowing us to #ReleaseTheSnyderCut.”
 
In Justice League, fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions. 

The Justice League screenplay is by Chris Terrio, story by Chris Terrio & Zack Snyder, based on characters from DC, Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The film’s producers are Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, with executive producers Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas, Jim Rowe, Ben Affleck, Wesley Coller, Curtis Kanemoto, and Chris Terrio.

First Impressions of the New Paramount Presents Catalog Label

Paramount highlights fan favorites and true classics with their new Paramount Presents limited edition label. 

Paramount - as with many studios - have been somewhat lax or at the very least inconsistent with their back catalog of titles. Old favorites that have long deserved a true and proper Blu-ray release sat by the wayside while some films enjoy a new special edition practically every other year. The studio aims to fix that with their new Paramount Presents label dedicated to issuing new editions of fan favorites but also dig up those old classics and give them the Blu-ray release they've long deserved - all sourced from new or recent 4K transfers! To add a little extra prestige to the mix, each disc in this new collection will have a spine number - so if you're a fastidious collector that doesn't like gaps or hates an incomplete numerical presence on a shelf - you might be in trouble!

April 21st saw the release of the first three inaugural titles of the Paramount Presents label - Fatal Attraction, King Creole, and To Catch A Thief. Each Blu-ray was sourced from a 4K transfer, housed in a snazzy looking clear case with interior photos when you open the case, and the cardboard slipcover opens up to reveal the original poster artwork for the film. With the black numbered spines these are certainly classy releases for a pair of fan favorites and a new to Blu-ray release. You can take a look at the individual reviews in the links below:

Read our review of Paramount Presents Fatal Attraction

Read our review of Paramount Presents King Creole 

Read our review of Paramount Presents To Catch A Thief

What I liked about the Paramount Presents releases so far:

  • Showing Some Catalog Love
    As I mentioned at the outset, older titles are often sidelined in favor of new releases, franchise collections, or the perceived idea that no one wants to buy old movies anymore. While Fatal Attraction and To Catch A Thief already had great Blu-ray releases, it's nice to see Paramount is willing to give them an upgrade. Fatal Attraction certainly gets a visual boost while To Catch A Thief - which already looked great - enjoys a new Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio mix that serves the film nicely. The big win for this launch is King Creole which amazingly enough was never released on Blu-ray until now.

  • The Range of Titles
    From Hitchcock to Tom Cruise, Paramount is offering collectors a nice variety of titles. You get classics musicals and thrillers with action films, dramas, and comedies. If we get more 70s thrillers like The Parallax View, Black Sunday, the original theatrical cut of The Warriors - or hell even The Keep - this will be a promising label for the studio and something for fans to invest in. 

  • Commitment To Quality Transfers
    Older titles - namely anything that wasn't made in the 21st Century - tend to get shoved down the priority ladder when it comes to gaining quality restorations and transfers. When boutique labels like Twilight Time or Kino Lorber's Studio Classics were launched, studios licensed titles as a "come as they are" without much care for restorations. On that front, it's nice to see that Paramount is giving each of these releases the best they've got. 

  • Classy Artwork and Packaging
    While not traditionally a make it or break it point for me, I like how Paramount approached the packaging. The key cover art for these titles offer some modern updates that aren't garish or hideously ugly while in line with the covers we've seen since the VHS days. The gatefold cover revealing the original poster art is a cool feature that reminds me of the old MGM/United Artists DVD slipcovers. 

What I want to see from Paramount Presents releases:

  • More deep catalog titles that haven't been released before
    Looking at the release slate announced for Paramount Presents (including the three now available), only two titles have never been released on Blu-ray before - King Creole and Pretty In Pink. That's only two out of the first eight titles. Granted 25% isn't terrible, but there are a few others I'd like to see make the collection before another release of Airplane! or Ghost

  • Why no 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray support?
    While I appreciate making sure each title in the collection is sourced from a 4K transfer, why not an actual 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray too? This is especially frustrating for titles like Fatal Attraction that is available to stream in 4K UHD with Dolby Vision. If not on disc at least maybe include a digital copy slip? This is especially odd since Days of Thunder will be getting a 4K disc release separate from this collection - why not combine efforts?

  • All archival bonus features need to be available
    While Fatal Attraction got a new bonus feature in addition to the archival materials, To Catch A Thief is missing the bulk of the bonus features that were available on the 2012 disc. Again, it's great that there is a focus on providing a quality transfer, but if that doesn't take up the bulk of a BD-50 disc, then there shouldn't be any reason to not include all of the bonus features. 

A promising start to a new catalog-focused label

With the first round of Paramount Presents titles, this is a solid start. I hadn't picked up Fatal Attraction or To Catch A Thief so I was happy to add these to my collection. I wasn't much of an Elvis as an actor fan, I'd only seen a couple that didn't really impress me but King Creole proved to be a nice surprise. It was far better than I'd expected and it showed Elvis' range plus it's a gorgeous looking black and white classic that hadn't been available on Blu-ray before now. With an upcoming slate that includes Pretty in Pink, Airplane!, Ghost, and Flashdance - it's an exciting slate for sure. Hopefully, we'll get a few more first-time releases, but with the commitment to quality transfers, it's a firm foundation for a studio prestige label. Hopefully Paramount will support actual 4K UHD discs in this collection in addition to these Blu-ray, but for now, it's nice to see a studio commit to supporting the back catalog. 

Preorder Paramount Presents Airplane!

Preorder Paramount Presents Pretty In Pink

Preorder Paramount Presents Flashdance

Preorder Paramount Presents Days of Thunder

Paramount Presents Ghost is not up for pre-order yet - due Summer 2020

Criterion Collection Prepping Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits for July 14th release

Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits

On July 14th, The Criterion Collection will be releasing Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits on a 7-disc Blu-ray set.

In the early 1970s, a kung-fu dynamo named Bruce Lee side-kicked his way onto the screen and straight into pop-culture immortality. With his magnetic screen presence, tightly coiled intensity, and superhuman martial-arts prowess, Lee was an icon who conquered both Hong Kong and Hollywood cinema, and transformed the art of the action film in the process. This collection brings together the five films that define the Lee legend: furiously exciting fist-fliers propelled by his innovative choreography, unique martial-arts philosophy, and whirlwind fighting style. Though he completed only a handful of films while at the peak of his stardom before his untimely death at age thirty-two, Lee left behind a monumental legacy as both a consummate entertainer and a supremely disciplined artist who made Hong Kong action cinema a sensation the world over.

  Bruce Lee’s return to the Hong Kong film industry after a decade in America proved to be his big breakthrough, launching him to superstardom and setting a new standard for kung-fu heroics.

In The Big Boss, he commands the screen with his gravitas and explosive physicality in the role of a Chinese immigrant working at a Thai ice factory and sworn to an oath of nonviolence. When he discovers that the factory’s ruthless higher-ups are running a secret heroin ring and offing their own workers, his commitment to pacifism is put to the test. With his undeniable charisma and fluid, lightning-fast martial-arts style, Lee is a revelation, blazing across the screen with a speed and power the likes of which had never been seen before.

FIST OF FURY - Bruce Lee is at his most awe-inspiringly ferocious in this blistering follow-up to his star-making turn in The Big Boss, which turned out to be an even greater success than its predecessor. Set in 1910s Shanghai, Fist of Fury casts Lee as a martial-arts student who, after his revered master is murdered by a rival dojo of Japanese imperialists, sets out to defend the honor of both his school and the Chinese people, with his fatal fists as his weapon of choice. Elevating Lee to a hero of near folkloric proportions, this historical revenge fantasy blends its stunning action set pieces with a strong anticolonialist statement and a potent dose of the fierce cultural pride that the actor embodied.

THE WAY OF THE DRAGON - After the back-to-back triumphs of The Big Boss and Fist of Fury, Bruce Lee was given the chance to write, produce, and direct his third outing as a martial-arts superstar. He used the opportunity to add a touch of goofily entertaining comedy to the typically action-driven proceedings in The Way of the Dragon, which finds him playing a rigorously trained martial artist who travels from Hong Kong to Rome to help his cousin, whose restaurant is being threatened by a gang of thugs. Reaching new heights of physical virtuosity, Lee unleashes an astonishing display of nunchuck-swinging, fly-kicking mayhem, all culminating in one of his most breathtaking fights: an epic gladiatorial death match with Chuck Norris in the Roman Colosseum.

ENTER THE DRAGON - At the height of his stardom in Hong Kong, Bruce Lee was called to Hollywood to make the film that, perhaps more than any other, defines his legacy. His electrifying fighting style and the deeply personal philosophy that guided it received their fullest expression yet in this thrilling tale of a Shaolin fighter who goes undercover to infiltrate a treacherous island presided over by a renegade monk turned diabolical criminal mastermind. Released just days after Lee’s tragic death, Enter the Dragon went on to become his greatest international success and one of the most influential action movies ever made, with its famed hall-of-mirrors finale bringing together the physical and intellectual dimensions of his artistry in one dazzling set piece.

GAME OF DEATH - Released five years after Bruce Lee’s death, this eccentrically entertaining kung-fu curio combines footage from an unfinished project directed by and starring Lee with original material shot by Enter the Dragon director Robert Clouse to create an entirely new work that testifies to the actor’s enduring place in the pop-culture imagination. Using stand-ins, doubles, and archival footage to compensate for Lee’s absence, Game of Death follows a martial-arts movie star who, when he is threatened by a cutthroat crime syndicate intent on controlling his career, must take his skills from the soundstage to the streets. It all builds to an exhilarating climax that is pure Lee: a tour de force of martial-arts mastery in which the legend himself, clad in an iconic yellow jumpsuit, fights his way up a multilevel pagoda, with the towering Kareem Abdul-Jabbar among his formidable opponents.

Follow the "Discs Mentioned" link for a full list of supplements.

Watch the latest Hollywood releases from the comforts of home.

 The mere mention of Coronavirus, or COVID-19 instills fear among many. Binge watching on Netflix or checking out the latest on Disney+ are certainly solid entertainment options, but what if you want to see the most current movie entertainment. Whether your local movie theater is closed or you opt to minimize your appearances in public during the current public health crisis, you can still see some of the latest movies that Hollywood has to offer.

Disney Pixar is offering what is called an "In-Theater Purchase" of their latest animated feature Onward. Once you purchase this one, it remains in your library indefinitely.

While on the other hand, Universal Studios is offering a 48-hour "In-Theater Rental" of several of their latest, including Emma., The Hunt, and The Invisible Man(2020). These titles remain accessible in your library for a period of 48-Hours.

Some studios are choosing to delay street dates on their theatrical releases, but if they choose to, this release venue might be an option on additional titles as well should the current situation linger.

Follow the links below for product info and links to make your purchase.

The High-Def Digest Forums Are No More - They Have Ceased To Be

"E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-FORUMS!!"

Due to a slew of factors - namely costs to make the forums compliant with new privacy regulations on top of dwindling activity - the High-Def Digest forums are no more. While we hate to see them go, this enables our little website to maintain a measure of profitability so we can pay our writers and website admin team whilst providing you fine folks with new disc reviews, news updates (as best we can), and the occasional funny bit of fan reflection. Currently, the "Forums" button is in our navigation headers and footers but that too will soon be disappearing. 

What to do if you want to commentate? There's the good news. Each disc review and news post has a Disqus comment section where you're able to freely comment (so long as it's civil) and share your opinion about said film. Truthfully the HDD Forums accounted for a very small fraction of our daily traffic activity while we saw an impressive amount of activity in the Disqus section. 

If you have any questions you can comment below! And certainly reach out to us here: https://www.highdefdigest.com/forms/feedback

Thanks again for being awesome readers and great online friends, Best - 
The High-Def Digest Team

The Outsider: The Complete First Season - Blu-ray/DVD on June 9
The Outsider - Season One

HBO’s Smash Hit Based on the Best-Selling Novel by the Award-Winning Author, Stephen King

THE OUTSIDER:

THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON

Unravel the Mystery on Blu-rayTM and DVD June 9, 2020

 

BURBANK, CA (March 9, 2020) – Believe the unbelievable! Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the murder crime mystery series The Outsider: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray and DVD on June 9, 2020 and is priced to own at $29.99 SRP ($34.99 in Canada) for the DVD and $39.99 SRP ($44.99 in Canada) for the Blu-ray which includes a Digital Copy (US Only). The Outsider: The Complete First Season is also available to own on Digital via purchase from all major digital retailers today.

In addition to all 10 exhilarating episodes from season one, Outsider: The Complete First Season features over 40 minutes of behind-the-scenes bonus content including the all-new featurette “EL CUCO. THE BABA YAGA. THE OUTSIDER.” In this never-before-seen featurette you can dive deep into the real-world origins and supernatural abilities of the being at the center of The Outsider with compelling insights from the creators and cast

Based on Stephen King’s bestselling novel of the same name, The Outsider is a new drama series that follows a seemingly straightforward investigation into the gruesome murder of a local boy. When 11-year-old Frankie Peterson’s body is found mutilated in the Georgia woods, police detective Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn) sets out to investigate – with eyewitnesses and physical evidence pointing to Terry Maitland (Jason Bateman), a popular high school teacher, Little League coach, doting husband and father. While the case appears ironclad, Ralph is baffled by the emergence of contradictory evidence that places his suspect in a neighboring city at the time of the murder. The mysterious set of circumstances surrounding this horrifying crime leads Ralph, a seasoned cop still grieving the recent death of his own son, to bring in unorthodox private investigator Holly Gibney (Cynthia Erivo), whose uncanny abilities he hopes will help explain the unexplainable.

The Outsider is not just for Stephen King fans, as there is something for everyone in this captivating series,” said Rosemary Markson, WBHE Senior Vice President, Television Marketing. “The series has mesmerized audiences through its incredibly talented actors, thrilling plot twists, and true to life themes of grief and trauma, which will keep you glued to the screen until its electrifying climax.”

The incredible cast of The Outsider: The Complete First Season includes Emmy®- and Golden Globe nominee Ben Mendelsohn (“Bloodline,” “Ready Player One”), Tony Award winner and Golden Globe nominee Cynthia Erivo (“The Color Purple,” “Harriet”), Bill Camp (Emmy®-nominee for “The Night Of”), Mare Winningham (Oscar® nominee for “Georgia”), Paddy Considine (HBO’s upcoming “The Third Day”), Julianne Nicholson (HBO’s upcoming “Mare of Easttown”), Yul Vázquez (“Divorce”), Jeremy Bobb (CINEMAX’s “The Knick”) and Marc Menchaca (“The Sinner”), with Emmy® and Golden Globe winner Jason Bateman (“Ozark,” “Arrested Development”) as Terry Maitland.

 

The Outsider is produced by Mendelsohn and executive producer Bateman (who also directs the first two episodes). The series is written for television by Richard Price (The Wire, The Night Of), who also serves as Executive Producer. Executive producers include Andrew Bernstein, Marty Bowen for Temple Hill Entertainment, Jack Bender, Michael Costigan for Aggregate Films, and Dennis Lehane (episodes 105-110). The series is produced by Bateman’s Aggregrate Films and Temple Hill Entertainment in association with Civic Center Media.

 

BONUS FEATURES

  • EL CUCO. THE BABA YAGA. THE OUTSIDER – All New Featurette
  • Invitation to Set
  • Stephen King and The Outsider
  • Jason Bateman and The Outsider
  • Adapting The Outsider
  • Analyzing Holly Gibney
  • The Outsider: Inside Episodes 1-10

10 ONE-HOUR EPISODES

  1. Fish in a Barrel
  2. Roanoke
  3. Dark Uncle
  4. Que Viene el Coco
  5. Tear-Drinker
  6. The One About The Yiddish Vampire
  7. In the Pines, In the Pines
  8. Foxhead
  9. Tigers and Bears
  10. Must/Can't

BASICS

Street Date: June 9, 2020

BD and DVD Presented in 16x9 widescreen format

Running Time: Feature: Approx. 600 min

Enhanced Content: Approx. 40 min

BLU-RAY

Price: $39.99 SRP ($44.99 in Canada)

3 BD-50s

Audio – DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 – English

BD Subtitles – English, French

About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment's home video, digital distribution and interactive entertainment businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees.
RLJE Entertainment preparing Creepshow: Season 1 for Blu-ray

RLJ Entertainment, in association with Shudder, will release on Blu-ray Creepshow: Season 1. The three-disc set will be available for purchase on June 2nd.

Label description: Creepshow the new anthology series based on the 1982 horror-comedy classic, is still the most fun you'll ever have being scared! A comic book comes to life in a series of twelve vignettes over six episodes, exploring terrors from murder to the supernatural and unexplainable. Haunted dollhouses, werewolves, murderous goblins, villainous trick-or-treaters, the dead, and medical marvels are just a few of the things to watch out for in this new series. You never know what will be on the next page....

Special Features:

    Cast and Crew Interviews
    Behind the Scenes Footage
    Creepshow S1 Easter Eggs Featurette
    Audio Commentaries with Cast and Crew
    Episode and Comic Art Photo Galleries
    Comic Art Booklet
    AND MORE...

BONG JOON HO'S ACADEMY-AWARD WINNING PARASITE, MEMORIES OF MURDER TO JOIN THE CRITERION COLLECTION

Well, this is interesting - Neon and Criterion are teaming up for Bong Joon Ho's Parasite & Memories of Murder

No word on release dates, specs or any of that as this was just announced - but these would be great releases to get the Criterion treatment. Here's the full press release for additional information:

BONG JOON HO'S ACADEMY-AWARD WINNING PARASITE, MEMORIES OF MURDER TO JOIN THE CRITERION COLLECTION

 

JOINS PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE

 

New York, NY (February 13, 2020) – NEON and the Criterion Collection are excited to announce that Criterion will issue special editions of two Bong Joon Ho masterpieces, the four-time Academy Award-winning Parasite and the breathtaking crime drama Memories of Murder. Parasite just made history as the first foreign language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, and the first Korean film to win Best Director, Best International Film, and Best Original Screenplay. Parasite was also Nominated for Best Production Design and Best Editing, and previously won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and Palme d'Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. 

 

Bong Joon Ho brings his singular mastery home to Korea in this pitch-black modern fairytale. The film is set amidst the two families, the Parks, the picture of aspirational wealth, and the Kims, rich in street smarts but not much else. Be it chance or fate, these two houses are brought together and the Kims sense a golden opportunity. Masterminded by college-aged Ki-woo, the Kim children expediently install themselves as tutor and art therapist, to the Parks. Soon, a symbiotic relationship forms between the two families. The Kims provide “indispensable” luxury services while the Parks obliviously bankroll their entire household. When a parasitic interloper threatens the Kims’ newfound comfort, a savage, underhanded battle for dominance breaks out, threatening to destroy the fragile ecosystem between the Kims and the Parks. By turns darkly hilarious and heart-wrenching, Parasite showcases a modern master at the top of his game.

 

Memories of Murder was released in 2003 and marked the first of Bong Joon Ho and Song Kang Ho's collaborations, and has gone on to be considered one of the most thrilling and haunting crime dramas released this century. NEON recently acquired the rights to the film and will be re-releasing the film in theaters before its home video release. 

 

Parasite debuted at Cannes where it became the first Korean film to win the coveted Palme d'Or and has since gone one to play at festivals across the country, including Telluride, Toronto, and New York Film Festival. Parasite is being hailed by critics as the best film to emerge this past fall, earning 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. NEON released the film in theaters on October 6, 2019 where it has gone on to gross over $35 million, becoming one of the Top 10 highest grossing foreign language films ever released in the US. 

 

Parasite was written and directed by Bong Joon Ho and features a SAG Ensemble Award-winning cast including his long time collaborator Song Kang Ho, Choi Woo Shik, Park So Dam and Jang Hye Jin. 

 

ABOUT NEON

A little less than 3 years since inception, NEON has garnered 10 Oscar nominations and already grossed over $150M at the Box Office. It continues to push boundaries and take creative risks on bold cinema such as Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, which made history winning four Academy Awards®, becoming the first non-English-language film to claim Best Picture. The film, which also unanimously won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, has amassed over $38M at the domestic box office and broke multiple records including highest per screen average of the year and highest per screen average for a foreign language film of all time. Other noteworthy NEON releases include: Double Oscar nominee Honeyland; Todd Douglas Miller’s Apollo 11, 2019's highest grossing documentary with a worldwide gross of $16M; Tim Wardle's Three Identical Strangers, winner of the Sundance Special Jury Award for Storytelling which surpassed $13M at the box office; and Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya, which garnered multiple Academy Award® nominations, one win for Allison Janney and amassed over $30M in domestic box office.

 

The company continues to be an impressive force at festivals, with recent Sundance acquisitions such as Max Barbakow’s sought after Palm Springs starring Andy Sambergwhich NEON acquired with Hulu, and Josephine Decker’s Shirley starring Elisabeth Moss. Recent releases include: the critically acclaimed Cannes hit Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes® and Independent Spirit Awards; Tamara Kotevska and Ljubo Stefanov’s award-winning and record-breaking Honeyland, which is the first non-fiction feature to land Academy Award® nominations for Best Documentary and Best International Feature Film in the same year; Alejandro Landes’ cinematic thrillerMonos (the Colombian selection for the Academy Awards®); Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz‘s horror film The Lodge starring Riley Keough; Julius Onah’s Luce starring Naomi Watts and Octavia Spencer; Tom Harper’s Wild Rose starring Jessie Buckley; John Chester’s The Biggest Little Farm; Chinonye Chukwu’s Clemency starring Academy Award® Nominee Alfre Woodard; and the electrifying documentary about Aretha Franklin, Amazing Grace.

 

After their successful collaboration on I, Tonya in January 2018, 30WEST (Dan Friedkin's and Micah Green's strategic venture) partnered with NEON's Tom Quinn (Founder & CEO) and Tim League (Co-Founder) to become majority investors in the company.

 

ABOUT THE CRITERION COLLECTION

Since 1984, the Criterion Collection has been dedicated to publishing important classic and contemporary films from around the world in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning, original supplements. No matter the medium-from laserdisc to DVD and Blu-ray to streaming on the Criterion Channel-Criterion has maintained its pioneering commitment to presenting each film as its maker would want it seen, in state-of-the-art restorations with special features designed to encourage repeated watching and deepen the viewer’s appreciation of the art of film.

FACEBOOK GIVEAWAY - BONG JOON HO's PARASITE BLU-RAY

UPDATE - As of 12:30PM EST Jan. 29th - this contest is now CLOSED - thank you for your participation! The Winner of the contest will be notified for next steps. 

Thanks to the incredibly kind folks at Universal Pictures - we have ONE Blu-ray copy of Bong Joon Ho's incredible multi-oscar-nominated PARASITE to give away! CONTEST starts today Friday, January 24th and ends Wednesday, January 29th at 12:00 NOON EST. 

Here's how you enter -

1. Share this article on your Facebook with the hashtag #GiveMeAParasite and include @highdefdigest (makes it easier to find you!) 

2. In the Disqus comment section on this article include the name of your favorite Parasite - just really curious to see what entries we'll get. My personal favorite is the Botfly 

Come 12 Noon January 29th EST - the contest will close, a winner will be selected at Random and will be notified. Winners will have 24 hours to respond from the time of notification to collect. If you miss that window, I'll have to move on to the next person. Again we only have ONE copy to give away! 

By entering or participating in this giveaway, participants agree to be bound by High-Def Digest's Official Rules, which you can read in full HERE. The contest is open to residents within the United States. Sadly can't send to P.O. Boxes or outside of the U.S. 

Good luck to you all!

Parasite

In PARASITE, meet the Park family, the picture of aspirational wealth and the Kim family, rich in street smarts but not much else. Beit chance or fate, these two houses are brought together and the Kim’s sense a golden opportunity. Masterminded by college-aged Ki-woo, the Kim children expediently install themselves as tutor and art therapist to the Parks. Soon, a symbiotic relationship forms between the two families. The Kims provide “indispensable” luxury services while the Parks obliviously bankroll their entire household. When a parasitic interloper threatens the Kims’ newfound comfort, a savage, underhanded battle for dominance breaks out, threatening to destroy the fragile ecosystem between the Kims and the Parks. By turns darkly hilarious and heart-wrenching, PARASITE, “a thriller of extraordinary cunning and emotional force” (LA Times), showcases a modern master at the top of his game.

FACEBOOK GIVEAWAY: Win Beverly Hills Cop Trilogy Blu-ray OR Gemini Man 4K UHD Blu-ray!

EDIT: As of Wednesday, Jan 22 at 9:10am this contest is now CLOSED! Thank you for participating, winners will be notified shortly. 

Thanks to the incredibly kind folks at Paramount Pictures, we have THREE copies of the Beverly Hills Cop Trilogy Blu-ray and we have THREE copies of Gemini Man 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray to give away by 9AM (EST) Wednesday, Jan 22nd!

Paramount delivered one hell of a beautiful 4K UHD Blu-ray with Gemini Man presented in native 4K 60fps. On top of that, they delivered a full trilogy set of Eddy Murphy Beverly Hills Cop hilarity all wrapped up in one nice neat little package complete with recent remasters so the films look better than ever! You have a chance to take one of these bad boys home and add to your collection! 

Beverly Hills Cop II

Gemini Man

TO ENTER


1) Like & Share this Post and Follow High-Def Digest on Facebook 

2) POST this article to your Facebook with a gif of Will Smith or Eddy Murphy tagging High-Def Digest using hashtag #GeminiMan4KGiveaway or #BeverlyHillsCopGiveaway. You can create two different posts to be considered for both titles - but you can't win both. If you win one, you're no longer considered for the second title.

If Facebook won't let you include a gif with the link to this article - post the gif as a followup comment in your post.

3) Lastly - COMMENT below (on this page), with your favorite Eddy Murphy or Will Smith quote with the movie or show title so we know you're you!

THE GIVEAWAY ENTRY PERIOD ENDS

At 5AM EST on Wednesday, Jan 22nd 2020!

THREE WINNERS For Each Giveaway

Again, you CAN enter for a chance to win Gemini Man 4K or Beverly Hills Cop Trilogy Blu-ray, but you can only win one of them. The winners for each contest will be selected at RANDOM, notified in the comments below, and given 24 hours to message us directly on Facebook with their preferred shipping information. If we don't hear from you - after 24 hours, we'll move onto the next random winner, and so on until all copies are called for.

By entering or participating in this giveaway, participants agree to be bound by High-Def Digest's Official Rules, which you can read in full HERE. Contest is open to residents within the United States. Sadly can't send to P.O. Boxes or outside of the U.S. 

Good luck to you all!

The Ten Commandments (1923 and 1956)(Digibook) Coming March 10, 2020

CECIL B. DEMILLE’S LEGENDARY EPIC ARRIVES IN A SPECTACULAR
BLU-RAY DIGIBOOK PERFECT FOR EASTER GIFT-GIVING

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

 

Debuting March 10, 2020, Special Collector’s Edition Includes Both the 1923 and 1956 Films, Plus a 16-Page Booklet with Rare Photos and Background About Both Movies

 

For sheer pageantry and spectacle, few motion pictures can claim to equal the splendor of renowned director Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 epic THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.  Arriving in time for Easter gift-giving, the beloved masterpiece will be presented in a new Blu-ray Digibook on March 10, 2020 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

 

This spectacular release features three Blu-ray Discs and includes not only the fully restored 1956 version of the film, but also DeMille’s original 1923 silent version, as well as a 16-page booklet featuring rare photos and historical facts about both productions.  The set also includes an in-depth, 73-minute documentary entitled “The Ten Commandments: Making Miracles,” commentary on the 1956 film by Katherine Orrison, author of “Written in Stone: Making Cecil B. DeMille’s Epic, The Ten Commandments,” newsreel footage of the film’s New York premiere, theatrical trailers, hand-tinted footage of the Exodus and Parting of the Red Sea sequence from the 1923 version, a two-color Technicolor segment, and photo galleries.

 

DeMille’s last motion picture made Charlton Heston a superstar and remains a cinematic triumph and perennial fan-favorite.  Filmed in Egypt and the Sinai with one of the biggest sets ever constructed for a motion picture, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS tells the story of the life of Moses (Heston).  Once favored in the Pharaoh's (Yul Brynner) household, Moses turned his back on a privileged life to lead his people to freedom.

Ten Commandments 1923 + 1956 Digibook

Order Here!

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