This isn’t an official announcement, but the good, sneaky folks at comicbookmovie.com have been able to wrangle up the details, package art and street date for Warner and HBO‘s upcoming and much anticipated Game of Thrones Blu-ray boxed set. I’ve got to say, this looks pretty great. Far more full featured than I’m accustomed to seeing from HBO boxed sets. The timing for the release, if CBM has gotten this correct, should directly precede the debut of the second season of the television series, which makes the date seem totally legit. I’ll confirm this for you when Warner officially announces the Blu-ray set, which we should hear about in short order. Until then, just consider this a very unofficial sneak peek.
GAME OF THRONES: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON
(March 20, 2012 – MSRP $79.98)
GAME OF THRONES: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON
EXCLUSIVE BLU-RAY FEATURES:
Via: Ryan Gallagher]]>
If you can’t count on the studios to fill you in on their upcoming releases, you can always look to Amazon to keep you apprised of what’s due to hit Blu-ray. And today my favourite e-tailer of all things high-def has posted a pre-order page for the Blu-ray edition of Joe Johnston’s The Rocketeer!! With Captain America: The First Avenger, his most recent WW II superhero adventure, a hit at the box office, it was only a matter of time before Disney saw fit to take advantage and get the director’s premiere 1991 Nazi-smashing cult hit out on Blu. There aren’t any details available on the page aside from the $26.50 MSRP and December 13th release date. More on this when we hear official word from the studio. In the meantime, check out the package art below:
Hold the phone! What’s this?! Is it possible that Criterion will be gracing us with a cleaned up, tricked out Blu-ray edition of the original 1954 Gojira (more popularly known on these North American shores as Godzilla: King of the Monsters) sometime in the near future? I think it just might happen if the photo below is any indication. Criterion posted it today on their Facebook page – a clear indication that they’ve got the reels in house and are ready to do something with them. So they’re either going to have one hell of a private Gojira screening or they’re preparing to clean that bad boy up for eventual high-def release. I’m betting on the latter.
Some of you might recall that Gojira was released on Blu back in 2009 by Classic Media. While an honest attempt at bringing the lizard to high-def, the transfer was in rough shape, overall quite soft, presented in a strange aspect ratio (1.47:1) and sadly, not worth the upgrade from DVD. Gojira is due for some serious TLC and Criterion are just the folks to offer that print a proper restoration. If they do, they’ll have my dollar.
I guess it’s kind of a big day for Star Wars Blu-ray discussion. I woke up to Bill Hunt‘s (of The Digital Bits‘ Bill Hunts) impressions of the upcoming 9-disc Complete Saga boxed set, from a tour of the product at Skywalker Ranch, given exclusively to a handful of journalists. It sounds like he was impressed, which just makes me want to have it in my hands that much more. But aside from assurances that the A/V quality is up to snuff this time (I get the feeling this show-and-tell was Lucasfilm‘s way of assuaging those of us who felt the DVDs were rushed and cut massive corners) there aren’t any serious revelations to be had. Then again, it sounds as if he’s holding back some crucial new info, perhaps under NDA for a time, so expect the unexpected when the discs arrive (like maybe, just maybe, the inclusion of the Boba Fett cartoon from the Star Wars Holiday Special as a hidden Easter Egg!)
A few hours later I stumbled over to Movies.com, who have posted a list purporting to reveal the complete collection of deleted scenes that will be featured on the Blu-ray discs. It looks pretty solid but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it bloom a little beyond this size, whether officially or with the addition of Easter Egg content (cough…animated Boba Fett), by the time the September 16th release rolls around.
Trash Talking Droids
The Battle Is Over
Battle On The Boarding Ramp
Extended Podrace Wager
Bail Organa of Alderaan
Extended Speeder Chase
The Lost Twenty
Anakin and Ruwee
Raid On The Droid Control Ship and Extended Arena Fight
Escape The Hangar
Changes To The Constitution
Utapau Chase Animatics
Mustafar Duel Animatics
Lava River Animatics
Kashyyyk Attack and Order 66 Animatic
Anakin kills Shaak Ti
Jedi Imposters at the Temple
Senate Duel Anamatic
Yoda Communes with Qui-Gon
Old Woman on Tatooine
Aunt Beru's Blue Milk
The Search for R2-D2
Cantina Rough Cut
Darth Vader Widens the Search
Alternate Biggs and Luke Reunion
Han and Leia: Extended Echo Base Argument
Luke and Leia: Medical Center
Deleted Wampa Scenes
The Fate of General Veers
Hiding in the Asteroid
Alternate Han and Leia Kiss
Leia Tends to Luke
Vader's Arrival and Reaching Out to Luke
Rebel Raid on the Bunker
Battle of Endor: The Lost Rebels
I haven’t been sent a press release for this yet but I noticed a few days ago that Amazon.ca has a preorder for the September 27th release of The Tree of Life on Blu-ray from eOne Films. This is huge news as there hasn’t been a hint of any sort of domestic home video release for the title until now. Even still, I’m not sure where the film will end up in the US – will it be a Fox release or will Criterion license the film so that it might live happily beside the other Terrence Malick titles in their library? Only time will tell.
More on this as details of the Canadian release are revealed…
Though it’s barely been in cinemas a week, the new Michael Bay festival of gratuitous glistening skin, metal and Americana, Transformers: Dark of the Moon is already making waves in the world of Blu-ray! A European arm of Paramount has apparently informed retailers about the impending November release of multiple DVD and Blu-ray editions of the film and provided them with package art. Zona DVD has all the details, noting that there will be a regular release, a special collector’s edition with transforming Optimus Prime head/disc-holder-tray-thingy and a Trilogy 3-pack, with all of the films bundled together.
None of this comes as much of a surprise, really. At this point, we’re really just waiting to see what the exact rundown of special features on the discs will be. Thanks to MTV, we already know to expect a crap-load of deleted scenes. But what else awaits us when Transformers: Dark of the Moon is released on Blu-ray in November?
Well, will you look at that. Criterion has posted a pic on their Facebook page, offering something of a preview of their 2012 slate of releases. All right, to be fair, they didn’t really frame the image as a “preview“, more a look behind the scenes at the desk of someone juggling potential releases for next year. And the shot is taken at enough of a distance (and with enough hand-jiggle) to keep most of the writing on the documents pretty blurry. MOST of the writing. But our eagle eyes (and Photoshop) and the eagle eyes (and Photoshop) of Facebook fans are able to spot some titles in that mix. Amongst many other titles, next year might bring us Blu-ray editions of:
THE LIFE OF OHARU – “Widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made, Life of Oharu is Kenji Mizoguchi’s (Ugetsu, Sansho the Bailiff) self-proclaimed masterpiece. Known for his graceful directorial style and sympathetic portrayal of women, Mizoguchi risked all to tell the devastating story of one woman’s fall from lady-in-waiting to concubine to prostitute. Avoiding melodrama, Mizoguchi focuses on Oharu’s dignity as she is betrayed repeatedly by her father, her lovers, and society. Saikaku Ihara’s classic 17th-century novel is brilliantly realized through a masterful screenplay and the heart-rending performance of Kinuyo Tanaka (Sansho the Bailiff). The film, which won top honors at the Venice Film Festival, earned Mizoguchi worldwide recognition and new artistic freedom as a director. ” Amazon.com
LA PROMESSE – “La Promesse draws on the considerable documentary acumen of its directors, Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne (Rosetta), to prove a revelation in narrative filmmaking. Shot on the outskirts of an industrial city in Belgium, the film follows Igor (Jérémie Rénier), the 15-year-old son of a single parent named Roger (Olivier Gourmet) who rents squalid apartments to recently arrived immigrants, many of them illegal. … The beauty is in how the Dardenne brothers seem to share in the viewer’s curiosity about the film’s outcome, having captured a world so charged yet unadorned you feel the surprise of each new scene alongside the directors. An extraordinary film that bears repeated viewings.” —Fionn Meade
FELINNI SATYRICON – “Encolpius is a Roman student who begins by arguing with his friend Ascyltus over the affections of androgynous youth Giton. Ascyltus wins, whereupon Encolpius embarks upon an odyssey, partaking in a drunken orgy and being kidnapped by a bisexual sea captain and his concubine. Encolpius eventually rejoins Ascyltus to visit a suicidal Roman couple, join in a plot to kidnap a “sacred” hermaphrodite, and much more. Loosely based on the book “Satyricon” by Gaius Petronius, the “Arbiter of Elegance” in the court of Nero, Federico Fellini wrote and directed this tongue-in-cheek hymn to the “glories” of pagan times via a bizarre journey through the decadence and debauchery of Nero’s Rome. ” MGM DVD
MINISTRY OF FEAR – “Ministry of Fear is a 1944 film noir directed by Fritz Lang. Based on a novel by Graham Greene, the film tells the story of a man just released from a mental asylum who finds himself caught up in an international spy ring in London during the Blitz, pursued by foreign agents and incriminated for murder; all as a result of having visited a village fair and winning a cake after being given its weight by a fortune teller. The original music for the film was composed by Miklós Rózsa and Victor Young.” Wikipedia
SPARTACUS – “Stanley Kubrick directed a cast of screen legends-including Kirk Douglas as the indomitable gladiator that led a Roman slave revolt-in the sweeping epic that defined a genre and ushered in a new Hollywood era. The assured acting, lush Technicolor cinematography, bold costumes and visceral fight sequences won Spartacus four Oscars©; the blend of politics and sexual suggestion scandalized audiences. Today Kubrick’s controversial classic, the first film to openly defy Hollywood’s blacklist, remains a landmark of cinematic artistry and history. ” Criterion DVD
HEAVEN’S GATE – “”Richly textured and visually compelling” (The Hollywood Reporter), this lavish, epic Western retells the true story of Wyoming’s infamous Johnson County Wara brutal conflict during which wealthy cattlemen, backed by the U.S. government, hired mercenaries to murder 125 immigrant settlers. From the incredible beauty of the magnificent landscapes to the explosive violence of the bloody battle itself, Heaven’s Gate combines breathtaking cinematography, Oscar(r)-nominated* Art Direction and memorable performances by Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, Isabelle Huppert and Jeff Bridges in a spectacular, panoramic and ultimately haunting look at the reverse side of the American dream. ” – MGM DVD
THE CANTERBURY TALES – “Pier Paolo Pasolini’s (Decameron) startling candor and ribald humor illuminate these classic tales of romance, deception, murder and lust. A host of passionate lovers unite for a glorious, sometimes unexpected journey through Chaucer’s medieval England. ” IMAGE DVD
DECAMERON – “Legendary Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini delivers nine exuberant tales in this “earthy, genuinely ribald and spicy” (Variety) film. Based on Boccaccio’s timeless classicand the first in Pasolini’s Trilogy of Life series – The Decameron is an uproariously “irreverent romp” (Variety) that’s “positively jubilant in its naughtiness” (Films and Filming)! Lusty nuns who perform sexual “miracles,” a cheating wife with a head for business, a dying con artist attempting a heavenly swindle, young lovers caught with their pants down, a servent who loses his head for love and a gullible farmer who tries to turn his wife into a mare. These are just some of the stories Pasolini vividly brings to life! ” MGM DVD
A NIGHT TO REMEMBER – “On April 14, 1912, just before midnight, the unsinkable Titanic struck an iceberg. In less than three hours, it had plunged to the bottom of the sea, taking with it 1,500 of its 2,200 passengers. A Night to Remember depicts the ship’s final hours in an unforgettable rendering of Walter Lord’s book of the same name. Now, aficionados of this terrific film can compare it to the facts with Criterion’s special edition, which features screen-specific commentary by Titanic experts Don Lynch and Ken Marschall.” Criterion DVD
Check out the image for yourself. Can you see any titles that we missed?]]>
Big news for Spielberg fans! While there hasn’t been a peep on the Indiana Jones trilogy making its way to Blu-ray as yet, there’s finally been confirmation that both Jaws and the Jurassic Park Trilogy are on their way to our format of choice. In an interview with AICN, the director confirmed that work is underway on the Jaws Blu:
Bill Hunt from The Digital Bits has revealed that his sources at Universal confirm the work on the disc but that it most likely won’t hit shelves until 2012. Those same sources have, however, confirmed that the Jurassic Park Trilogy will be released later this year. Expect to see the multi-disc set in stores in time for the holiday shopping season (late-October/early-November.)
(Artwork not official)
Wow! This news is unexpectedly early. Amazon.ca (a source of tons of early Blu-ray info this week!) has posted their pre-order page for the upcoming Star Wars: The Clone Wars The Complete Season Three Blu-ray boxed set. The release date is listed as October 25th, which matches up to the time frame of previous Clone Wars boxed set street dates. Canadian retail price is $74.98, which is identical to the MSRP of Season 2 and translates to US $59.98 (Yeah, we really get hosed up here, north of the 49th parallel, don’t we?) Don’t be surprised if special features mimic previous sets exactly, with behind-the-scenes featurettes, Jedi Temple Archives and included hardcover book packaging. We’ll know more when the multi-disc Blu-ray set is officially announced.
Amazon has listed a pre-order for Sylvain Chomet‘s brilliant film, The Illusionist, the director’s animated adaptation of an unfilmed script by famed director Jacques Tati. The US page doesn’t include any details of the release outside of the suggested price ($38.96) but the Canadian page reveals that Sony plans to have the disc in stores on May 10. Two questions now remain – what special features will be included on the disc and when will we see Chomet’s Les Triplettes de Belleville on Blu-ray? UK and French releases might provide some clues.
Pathé released The Illusionist on Blu-ray on February 9th in France, both on its own and packaged with Chomet’s earlier film, Les Triplettes de Belleville. Reviews claim that the image is astounding but the DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 is problematic, with center channel information doubled though the left surround. Pathé claims the audio oddity is not an error but an artistic choice. However you might feel about the audio, there’s no question that the disc really drops the ball in the special features department, including only an image gallery, trailer and a 3-minute featurette.
Fox opted not to release The Illusionist on Blu-ray in the UK but graced the DVD edition of the film with a 77-minute interview with Chomet at Edinburgh Film Festival, along with the Pathé Blu-ray features.
It’s hard to say whether or not Sony will license the interview for the North American Blu-ray release of The Illusionist or, in fact, what features will be provided, if any at all. The one thing we can tell for sure, at this point, is that the studio has no apparent plans to release Les Triplettes de Belleville on Blu-ray, despite still holding the license for US distribution (held by Alliance in Canada). For those considering an import of the French Blu-ray discs, take note that the films are presented in 24fps but the menus on the discs are 50hz and may not be compatible with your Blu-ray player/display.
Rest assured, we’ll keep you updated with any news that pops up on either of these titles.