A trio of sci-fi classics from the 1980s and ’90s are about to get freshly remastered and reissued in new SteelBook cases. Considering that all of them previously appeared on Blu-ray before (at least two of them even had earlier SteelBooks), the huge demand for these titles is a little surprising. Get ’em quick, if you still can.
Available at: Best Buy
Release date: September 19, 2017
Paul Verhoeven’s satirical space-epic-cum-war-picture was a box office disappointment during its theatrical release, but grew into a popular cult item on home video. I recall thinking that the Blu-ray release from 2008 was pretty decent aside from a touch of edge enhancement. I haven’t watched it in a while but suspect that I’d judge the video quality more harshly now. Sony is going all out to remaster the movie in 4k Ultra HD, which should hopefully be a big improvement, though I worry a little about how well the 1997 CGI will hold up.
Unknown at this moment is whether the standard Blu-ray in the package will also be remastered, or if Sony plans to dump some old stock by shoving the original disc in the case.
I’m not a fan of this SteelBook art, unfortunately. I get that it’s going for a Nazi propaganda poster vibe, but the results wound up too Pop Art-y for my liking.
Available at: Amazon UK
Release date: October 23, 2017
Region code: Likely locked to Region B
Here in the U.S., Scream Factory remastered and reissued John Carpenter’s gory monster picture in a perfectly good Collector’s Edition Blu-ray just last year. Such is the popularity of the movie that, when Arrow Video announced its own new edition for the UK market, the company’s web site crashed due to heavy traffic almost as soon as the disc opened for preorder. The Limited Edition has since sold out at both that site and other retailers including Zavvi, but Amazon UK still has some copies available at the time of this writing.
Among other enticements, Arrow promises a new 4k scan of the original camera negative. (Scream Factory was only able to do a 2k scan of an interpositive.) The Blu-ray will be available in either a Digibook with slipcover box or a SteelBook, each with different art. The SteelBook uses the 1982 poster image, which is nice enough but seems perhaps a little boring due to over-familiarity.
‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day – 3D’
Available at: Zavvi
Release date: December 31, 2017 (Subject to change)
Price: $33.24 (Currently sold out)
Region code: TBD
James Cameron’s long-threatened 3D conversion of his mega-hit sequel is finally coming to fruition with a theatrical re-release later this year. Blu-ray and Ultra HD releases have also been announced.
If you subscribe to the retailer’s newsletter and were very quick, Zavvi listed a new Blu-ray 3D SteelBook (no UHD) a few days ago, but it sold out in a blink. If you’re patient and keep monitoring the situation, it’s possible that more units may come into stock before release.
The artwork is adquate but nothing special. In fact, it kind of confirms my fears that Cameron has run the movie through a teal-and-orange filter in addition to the 3D conversion. Sadly, that’s entirely to be expected given his track record. He will also undoubtedly alter the aspect ratio to screen-filling 16:9 for at least the 3D version, as he did for ‘Titanic’. Even so, existing Blu-ray copies of the movie are so mediocre that any remaster at all, even one with controversial revisionist changes, is welcome.