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Blu-ray & 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Release Guide - Week of May 11, 2021

Why not celebrate Mother's Day with dinner and a movie. This week's bill has got a few decent choices to ponder. Welcome to Episode 51 of our Blu-ray & 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release guide. A look at the highlights of the week as well as announcements from last week.

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray/Digital Releases-

There are seven SKUs this week for 4K discs, which cover four movie titles. Next week there are potentially seven (or more) SKUs and the week after, there are ten.

This week, direct to video comes the animated release Justice League: World War II from Warner Bros.

Next in the animated category, the original smash hit Shrek debuts on 4K disc, available as a standard edition release and as a SteelBook release. The SteelBook is not touted as a Best Buy exclusive but seems to not be available on Amazon.


In the reissue category, the original The Fast and the Furious gets a SteelBook release. Best Buy is also offering an exclusive version SteelBook which also seems to come with swag.

And in the last minute announcement to release date category, LionsGate brings us the original Saw movie, as a standard release and as a Best Buy Exclusive SteelBook release.


HD Blu-ray/Digital releases-

For Blu-ray releases, I like to think this is a good healthy average week.

In the Anime/Animated category, look for 7 Seeds - Part Two, Babylon - Complete Collection, Infinite Dendrogram - The Complete Series, available as a standard release and as a limited edition box set, Naruto: Set 3 as a standard release and One Piece: Season Eleven - Voyage Two.


 From Warner Bros., if you didn't opt for the 4K, Justice Society: World War II is available on Blu-ray.

Criterion Collections releases for the week? First, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. I have heard the name of this one a lot but can't say I ever have seen it. Would this one be worthy of a 4K disc? And also look for Merrily We Go To Hell (1932).


From Shout Factory, among other titles, King Kong (1976) gets a Collectors Edition this week.

Universal's 2021 drama Land debuts this week on Blu-ray. The action thriller The Marksman also comes out this week.


Friday releases comprises of just Bizet: Carmen, a well known opera.

Notable announcements from last week:

Arrow Video has revealed their July title line up. The UK will be getting a 4K and Blu-ray release for True Romance. The U.S. and Canada will get The Cat o' Nine Tails - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Daimajin Trilogy, Threshold and Vengeance Trails: Four Classic Westerns.

For 4K disc news, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory will be coming on June 29th. Also from Warner Bros, it looks like The Lost Boys (1987) will be coming soon as well, most likely on the same date. And last but not least with Warner Bros, Godzilla vs. Kong will be coming to home video on June 15th as a 4K/Blu-ray Combo Standard Edition, a 4K/Blu-ray Combo Best Buy Exclusive SteelBook edition, a standard Blu-ray/DVD combo edition and as a three film blu-ray edition.

Word is that Universal is also prepping Howard the Duck for 4K disc on or around the same time period.

Lionsgate will be releasing the 2021 Sci-Fi Voyagers on June 8th in both 4K+Blu-ray and Blu-ray + DVD combo packs.

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?

Got Your Golden Ticket? Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory 4K Coming June 29th

Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc has revealed that it is releasing Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory on 4K disc on June 29th.

The 1971 film directed by Mel Stuart and starring Gene Wilder and Peter Ostrum spawned a candy franchise and a remake in 2005, among other things.

Be Transported to a World of Pure Imagination as the Timeless & Magical Classic Family Film



Order Today


Own it June 29 on 4K Ultra HD and Digital

BURBANK, CA, May 3, 2021 – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced today that the perennial family classic Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory will be released on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital on June 29. Called a “genuine work of imagination” by Roger Ebert, the film stars Gene Wilder in one of his most famous roles.

Directed by Mel Stuart from a screenplay by Roald Dahl, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory was produced by Stan Margulies and David L. Wolper. The film is an adaptation of Dahl’s 1964 novel “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory stars Gene Wilder as Wily Wonka, Jack Albertson as Grandpa Joe, Peter Ostrum as Charlie Bucket, Roy Kinnear as Mr. Salt, Julie Dawn Cole as Veruca Salt, Leonard Stone as Mr. Beauregarde, Denise Nickerson as Violet Beauregarde, Dodo Denney as Mrs. Teevee, and Paris Themmen as Mike Teevee.

Ultra HD* showcases 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a wider color spectrum, offering consumers brighter, deeper, more lifelike colors for a home entertainment viewing experience like never before.   

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory will be available on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack for $24.99 ERP and includes an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the feature film in 4K with HDR and a Blu-ray disc with the feature film and special features. Fans can also own Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory in 4K Ultra HD via purchase from select digital retailers beginning on June 29.  


About the Film:

Directed by Mel Stuart and starring Gene Wilder as the legendary Candy Man Willy Wonka, this splendiferous movie brings to the screen the endlessly appetizing delights of Roald Dahl’s cherished book. Coated with flavorful tunes and production designs that are a visual treat for the eyes, this effervescent musical never fails to enchant young and old. On a whirlwind tour of Willy’s incredible, edible realm of chocolate waterfalls, elfish Oompa-Loompas and industrial-sized confections, a boy named Charlie (Peter Ostrum) will discover the sweetest secret of all: a generous, loving heart. And viewers will rediscover all the timeless magic as it was meant to be seen.


Ultra HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray Elements

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory Ultra HD Blu-ray contains the following previously released special features:

  • Commentary with the Wonka Kids

  • Pure Imagination: The Story of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

  • The Moviemakers

  • Scrumptious Sing-Along: Pure Imagination

  • Scrumptious Sing-Along: I Want It Now!

  • Scrumptious Sing-Along: I’ve Got A Golden Ticket

  • Scrumptious Sing-Along: Oompa-Loompa-Doompa-De-Do

  • Theatrical Trailer


On 6/29/2021, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory 4K UHD will be available to own for streaming and download to watch anywhere in high definition and standard definition on favorite devices from select digital retailers including GooglePlay, Vudu, Xbox and others, and will be made available digitally on Video On Demand services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.



*Digital movies or TV episodes allow fans to watch a digital version of their movie or TV show anywhere, on their favorite devices. Digital movies or TV episodes are included with the purchase of specially marked Blu-ray discs. With digital, consumers are able to instantly stream and download movies and TV shows to TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones through retail services like CinemaNow, Flixster Video, Vudu and more. For more information on compatible devices and services go to Consult a digital retailer for details and requirements and for a list of digital-compatible devices.



PRODUCT                                               ERP

    Ultra HD Blu-ray                                           $24.99*

Standard Street Date: 6/29/2021

EST Street Date: 6/29/2021

Ultra HD Blu-ray Languages: English, Spanish, French

Ultra HD Blu-ray Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Parisian French

Run Time: 99 min 30 sec (Feature Only)

Rated: G



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.

Blu-ray & 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Release Guide - Week of May 4, 2021

"May the 4th be with you" should connect with a lot of our readers. I was not fortunate enough back in 1977 to be a part of the hubbub, going to movie theaters back then was quite the luxury. I never really was able to see the original Star Wars until years later. Welcome to Episode 50 of our weekly release guide, bringing you the highlights of what's being released this week, as well as news from last week about upcoming releases.

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray/Digital Releases-

For 4K discs this week, we have all catalog titles, which isn't really a bad thing is it? My Fair Lady was on the list but it got pushed to May 25th.

Director Tim Burton's Big Fish gets a 4K disc debut this week. The movie has an all star cast and no doubt Sony did a fine job on the presentation.


And next, look for the 1994 surprise hit Speed to hit 4K disc as well, and this one will be available as a standard release and as a Best Buy Exclusive SteelBook. Both have reinvented cover art and while the standard release is tolerable, WTH are they thinking with the SteelBook? Both of our links go to Best Buy as the dispute between Disney and Amazon continues, years later.


HD Blu-ray/Digital releases-

Fortunately for our wallets, this week is a little bit light. The rest of the month, not so much.

In the Anime/Animated category there are several titles of interest, for starters look for Bleach: Set 10. A RightStuf exclusive, Emma: Victorian Romance Season One debuts this week. Sentai Filmworks brings us Gate - Complete Collection. NCircle releases Sonic Boom: Season One.


From Arrow Video, known for bringing us many lost gems,  a 2020 film titled A Ghost Waits. I know people that write plots are goot at what they do, but this one realy does sound pretty good.


From Warner Bros this week, a bio/history drama titled Judas and the Black Messiah. Not stopping there, Warner also releases The Little Things, a crime thriller with Denzel Washington.

Mill Creek releases a handful of titles this week. They include Hellfighters, Macgruber and Scars of War: 4 Vietnam Stories.

Criterion Collection's single release this week is Trances, which appears to be a foreign film in a very specific dialect, 'Moroccan Arabic.'

LionsGate's obligatory appearance this week is to bring us The Virtuoso, an action thriller featuring Anthony Hopkins, someone that pops up every so often just to let us know he's still around.


Notable announcements from last week:

Blue Underground has announced Two Evil Eyes for 4K disc on August 24th. This film is directed by both George Romero and Dario Argento. It will feature Dolby Vision HDR and a ton of extras.

Paramount will be releasing several 2021 films soon,  Action/Thrillers Night of the Sicario on June 22nd and Assault on VA-33 on June 8th, Action/Comedy The Lovebirds on June 8th, the Crime/Thriller The Vault on June 1st and Comedy/Romance Happily on May 25h.

Under the Paramount Presents label, look for 48 Hrs. and Another 48 Hrs. on July 6th. If these two movies were 4K discs I would rate my likelihood of buying them close to 100%, but as standard Blu-rays, I am looking at  perhaps 75%. Paramount, THANK YOU for keeping physical media alive, but this seems like a blown opportunity to me. How about the original as a 4K and the sequel as Blu-ray?

Mill Creek has announced its July 13th releases, they include I Dream of Jeannie: The Complete Series, Saving Silverman, Skin Deep and Two If By Sea. Pretty exciting to see more classic television coming our way.

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?

May The 4K Be With You! May 2021 4K UHD Blu-ray Release Guide

With new films slowly sliding back into recently reopened movie theaters - I myself caught Mortal Kombat for my first theater experience since The Rise of Skywalker - the studios are still relying on catalog titles to prop up their 4K UHD Blu-ray release slates. As such, March and April were decent but overall tepid months with only a couple of heavy hitters. On the other hand, May is a whole new game of cricket. You want classics on 4K UHD Blu-ray? We've got classics on 4K UHD Blu-ray! You want an action-packed fan-favorite from 20th Century Studios? We've got an action-packed fan favorite from 20th Century Studios! You want more excellent boutique label releases? Those will be blowing your hair back this month too - May is a nice big expensive month leading us into June... which will also be a big expensive month too! 

Let's get to it - 

High-Def Digest's May 2021 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Release Guide 

May 4th, 2021 

Tim Burton’s Big Fish  

A genuine fan-favorite and by many considered to be Tim Burton's finest film - Big Fish is making a welcome appearance on 4K. The 1080p Blu-ray was terrific for its time, but this visual marvel should look stunning with HDR. 



After Dracula, before Jonny Mnemonic and The Matrix - Keanu Reeves proved his action acting chops with Jan de Bont's high-octane thriller Speed. The Blu-ray has been a pretty limp-looking addition - even if the DTS mix is great - so this Native 4K edition is a welcome upgrade. PLUS it also marks an exciting return for Disney's rebranded 20th Century Studios to the 4K Ultra HD Format! 


Speed Best Buy Exclusive SteelBook  

Speed is also getting a Best BuyExclusive 4K UHD Blu-ray release and well... the inside art is kinda cool? Considering the classic poster art hasn't appeared since DVD I'd have loved to see that work represented on a mat-black SteelBook. 



May 11th, 2021 

Justice Society World War II  

While some of the DC animated movies can be a bit hit and miss, more often than not they're worth the time you give them and with the colorful animation stylings tend to make worthy 4K releases. 


Justice Society World War II - Best Buy Exclusive  

What's become pretty common for these DC Animated releases is Best Buy will ultimately offer fans a little collector's figurine. Is that worth the extra few bucks? That's up to you to decide. 



Now that Spiral: From the Book of Saw aims to reboot the franchise, Lionsgate is giving fans a fresh new look at the James Wan original with a brand new native 4K digital intermediate! While this was a low-budget gem, I'm looking forward to revisiting this ahead of the new film. Time will tell if the rest of the franchise will hit 4K or not. 



Saw - Best Buy Exclusive SteelBook  

Lionsgate is also dropping an exclusive SteelBook with a plastic slipcover to Best Buy. Considering the price is only a couple bucks more, this is the better way to go if you're a rabid Saw fan!



The classic family favorite is coming to 4K. While this may be a headscratcher for some considering the age of the film and the animation for the era - remember - even Toy Story saw a worthy improvement in clarity and color saturation with HDR, and we expect to see something of the same here. 


Shrek - SteelBook 

Considering the price point is practically identical to the standard release, why not go big? Originally believed to be a Best Buy exclusive, it looks like Target will also be offering this one, at least online. 


The Fast and the Furious 20th Anniversary SteelBook  

With F9 finally hitting movie theaters this summer, the first film that started it all oh so long ago gets to celebrate it's birthday with a 20th Anniversary SteelBook edition. 



The Fast and the Furious 20th Anniversary SteelBook Best Buy Exclusive  

What's the difference between this The Fast and the Furious 20th Anniversary SteelBook and the other The Fast and the Furious 20th Anniversary SteelBook? Swag and a few extra bucks. Ask yourself how much character cards and booklets are worth if you're going to pick this one up. 


May 18th, 2021 

Last Action Hero - SteelBook 

Last Action Hero is one of those movies you're either a huge fan of - or it's just not your thing. Perhaps a bit too meta for its time, it was a notable box office dude right after Schwarzenegger's mega-hit Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Over the years this one has developed a cult following and has long needed a worthy upgrade after several lackluster Blu-ray releases. If you're weird and don't want this awesome SteelBook release, the Standard Edition drops June 15th


Animal House 

Another Universal back catalog classic with a sad history of dodgy home video releases is getting the long-deserved 4K UHD Blu-ray upgrade. Animal House is a hilarious comedy and should look and sound great on the format!  


Animal House - SteelBook  

And true to form - Universal is dropping an attractive SteelBook option for fans and considering the lower price point, like Shrek, it's an easy one to add to the collection!


Raya and the Last Dragon  

This is a bit of an odd one - not the film, by all accounts it's wonderful - but Disney announced this title, but we have not been able to locate any pre-orders for the May 18th release frame, thus no pre-order button. As soon as it's up for pre-order or if the release date changes we'll update our listings and this release guide. 


Santa Sangre 

Severin Films already nailed their first 4K UHD Blu-ray outings with Perdita Durango and The Day of the Beast - so we have high hopes for this Jodorowsky classic! If there's ever a director whose films would look amazing on 4K UHD - even if it doesn't have HDR would be Jodorowsky. On top of the film in 4K and 1080p, you're getting a ton of bonus features including the film's trippy soundtrack on CD!


The Sting 

George Roy Hill's comedy caper The Sting is genuine classic 70s Hollywood at its best featuring icons Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and Robert Shaw. Like Animal House, this is another fan favorite with a pretty mediocre home video history. Now with a new 4K restoration, we're hoping this is a visual delight. 


The Sting - SteelBook  

If you're a SteelBook fan, this is another no-brainer. Universal is doing right with The StingAnimal House, and Shrek by offering attractive SteelBook releases without charging an arm and a leg extra for the privilege of deluxe packaging. This is another easy one worth the pre-order. 


May 25th, 2021 

Chaos Walking  

After several release delays for reshoots - Doug Liman's Sci-fi opus hit during a pandemic. Haven't seen it myself yet, but by all accounts, it's visually interesting but still a mess. I know folks who loved it and hated it so it's a bit of a toss-up - maybe rent before you buy? 


Chaos Walking - Best Buy SteelBook  

Lionsgate is hitting it again with another great-looking SteelBook with a plastic slipcover, but the price and the movie itself may keep some collectors from jumping. 



Django 4K + Texas Adios 

After several delays - Arrow Video's Django 4K UHD + Texas Adios Blu-ray set is finally hitting shelves! A favorite of ours - we would have been happy with a special edition Blu-ray, but to get Django on 4K is even better. We've had this on pre-order for ages now so it's almost weird to believe it's finally coming out! Like all Arrow 4K releases, this will probably sell out fast so get that pre-order in while you can.


My Fair Lady 

A genuine Hollywood classic, My Fair Lady is a musical delight and we can't wait to see this one in full Native 4K with HDR. Rex Harrison's sweaters are sure to look incredible! 




Already previously released on 4K as part of the Alfred Hitchcock 4K Collection - this solo release features the classic poster artwork and - hopefully - the disc should have the correct mono audio mix without needing to send in for a replacement. But if you already have the full Hitchcock set, there's nothing new here. 



Psycho - SteelBook 

This one already got a solo Best Buy Exclusive SteelBook when the Alfred Hitchcock Collection came out on 4K - now Universal is issuing a new one which I dare say is the classier release. If you didn't already pick up the collection set, make room for this SteelBook on your shelf. 



Super 8  

J.J. Abrams' member berries-fueled tribute to 80s Steven Spielberg movies comes to 4K UHD Blu-ray sourced from a new Native 4K Digital Intermediate with Dolby Vision HDR. This should be a damn impressive A/V upgrade over the previous 1080p Blu-ray.



Super 8 - SteelBook  

Here's another great SteelBook option for collectors that isn't a retail exclusive. And just for a couple of bucks more, if you're a fan of the movie this is an easy pickup.



The Birds  

Like Psycho The Birds was already previously available with the Alfred Hitchcock 4K Collection. This release isn't all that stunning considering it doesn't reference some of the classic poster art. That's why it's nice to see Universal dropping a SteelBook for this one. If you don't have it yet, this is a terrific looking disc and worth the pickup. 



The Birds - SteelBook  

Now, I wasn't planning on picking up a solo release of this since the box set is already sitting on my shelf, but this SteelBook is hard to pass up. I love they used the classic poster art for the cover. Plus the price point ain't half bad either. 



The Final Countdown 

This action sci-fi classic starring Kirk Douglas and Martin Sheen lands on 4K thanks to Blue Underground in a huge 4K UHD Blu-ray + Blu=-ray + CD soundtrack set with lenticular cover. Every Blue Underground release thus far has been a picture-perfect release with impeccable A/V presentations. Needless to say - we're VERY excited for this one! 



The Last Outpost  

After already hitting Blu-ray for a bit, this underappreciated war drama is coming to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with a new Director's Cut release. This was a hell of a film that I would have loved to see in theaters, but a new 4K release is welcome! 


That does it for this month! As I said, May is going to be a damn expensive month with a bunch of essential and fan-favorite flicks coming to the format for the first time. And this doesn't say anything about the EU imports we hope to cover. We've heard rumblings that Zack Snyder's Justice League should be hitting 4K in May - while we don't have a U.S. release date, it does look like the U.K. is getting it at the end of the month. Heat is also expected to hit 4K in Germany in May - but no pre-order or official announcement has hit anywhere yet so we'll keep an eye out! 

Obviously, all of these titles and release dates are subject to change. Some could get shifted, new ones could still be announced. If any changes happen we'll update our listings and this article ASAP. 

Thanks again for the pre-orders! Your orders help keep our little operation up and running.
- The HDD Team

G.I. Joe Rise of Cobra / Retaliation 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Invading the U.S. 7/20

Remember in the long long ago of the way back when G.I. Joe The Rise of Cobra and G.I. Joe Retaliation was supposed to come out on 4K UHD Blu-ray way back in 2018 but were inexplicably canceled in the U.S. but released in other countries around the world? Well, now that Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins has a semi-firm slightly possibly flaccid theatrical release date of July 23, 2021 - Paramount has finally rescheduled these two for 4K UHD Blu-ray for July 20th, 2021! 

Both will be getting Dolby Vision HDR / HDR10 presentations - but the audio specs weren't detailed in the press release (I'd hope for Atmos or DTS:X) so we've reached out for further confirmation and will update as soon as that comes in. Price is also unlisted for now, but Amazon has them up so pre-orders and pricing should be along shortly. So far no info for any retailer exclusives but again, we'll keep our eyes open. 

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra - 4K UHD Blu-ray 


G.I. Joe: Retaliation  


Read the full press release from Paramount Home Entertainment below - 

The Worldwide Smash Hits Arrive July 20, 2021, in Advance of the Highly Anticipated Theatrical Premiere of Snake Eyes: G.I. JOE Origins



When all else fails…these guys don’t!  Based on Hasbro’s wildly popular action figures, Paramount Pictures’ big screen global blockbusters G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA and G.I. JOE: RETALIATION make their long-awaited U.S. 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray debuts on July 20, 2021 from Paramount Home Entertainment.


For the first time, both G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA and G.I. JOE: RETALIATION will be available on disc in 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision® and HDR-10 for ultra-vivid picture quality.*


Starring Channing Tatum, Marlon Wayans, Sienna Miller, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rachel Nichols and Ray Park, as well as veteran actors Dennis Quaid and Christopher Eccleston, G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA follows a top-secret elite strike force featuring the best operatives from around the globe.  After a high-tech secret weapon is stolen by a mysterious and evil organization known as COBRA, it’s a race against time for the G.I. JOE team to avoid their enemy from plunging the world into chaos.


Dwayne Johnson, Channing Tatum and Bruce Willis star in the explosive global hit G.I. JOE: RETALIATION.  The G.I. JOE team has been set up to take the fall for a terrible crime they didn’t commit.  Now, ROADBLOCK, DUKE, and the rest of the team must once again face their mortal enemy COBRA, as well as dangerous new threats operating within the government. When all else fails, one option remains —RETALIATION.


The G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA two-disc 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray set includes access to a digital copy of the film along with previously released bonus content:

              4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

·       Feature film in 4K Ultra HD

·       Commentary by director Stephen Sommers and producer Bob Ducsay


·       Feature film in HD

·       Commentary by director Stephen Sommers and producer Bob Ducsay


The G.I. JOE: RETALIATION two-disc 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray set includes access to a digital copy of the film along with previously released bonus content:

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

·       Feature film in 4K Ultra HD

·       Commentary by director Jon M. Chu and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura


·       Feature film in HD

·       Commentary by director Jon M. Chu and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura

·       G.I. JOE: Declassified

o   Mission Briefing

o   Deployment

o   Two Ninjas

o   The Desert Attack

o   COBRA Strikes

o   The Lone Soldiers

o   The Monastery

o   Fort Sumter

·       Deleted Scenes

Blu-ray & 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Release Guide - Week of April 27, 2021

A return to normal volume this week for disc releases. I will buy the ones that most interest me of course, but in a month there are a ton of good titles coming so I am going to be a little more selective in what I actually buy to maintain an appearance I am trying to be making the right choices financially, ha ha ha. Welcome to Episode 49 of our weekly guide to releases for the week, as well as a look at the highlights of what was announced (last week) for upcoming titles.

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray/Digital Releases-

Nice assortment of catalog titles highlight the 4K disc category this week.

Dirty Dancing, the surprise smash hit from the Vestron Video days leads off as a Best Buy Exclusive SteelBook. There is no standard release as of yet, best guess would be a couple of months. Watch the back story of how this movie was rejected by every studio except Vestron on the Netflix series The Movies That Made Us. A lot of smash hit movies had the same sort of beginning.

Next from Arrow Video, look for Donnie Darko in the familiar 'fat-pack' release format. When I had bought the Blu-ray release I thought it would never see 4K but I'm kind of glad it did. I almost expect a last minute delay but we shall see.


Closing out the 4K category this week, Kino Lorber brings us one of Sergio Leone's finest Westerns, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Extensive work was done to bring us this release so kudos goes to team Kino. This one does not feature HDR, but it is the best this film has ever looked.


HD Blu-ray/Digital releases-

Compared to last week, this week is huge as far as Blu-ray releases.

From Warner Archive look for Another Thin Man, the third 'Thin Man' movie released by Warner Archive. Film-Noir release starring James Cagney titled Each Dawn I Die sees a release this week. A more recent film starring Bill Murray titled Quick Change also debuts on Blu-ray.

If you like Rock Hudson or Douglas Sirk films, look for Battle Hymn from Kino Lorber this week. Also from Kino this week and done previously by Twilight Time, Heartworn Highways and Heartworn Highways Revisited is back in print! Kirk Douglas' A Lovely Way To Die also gets the Kino treatment this week.

Maybe not a brand new release, but Elvira: Mistress of the Dark gets a spiffy looking SteelBook release this week.


Arrow Video's other Blu-ray this week is a release titled Switchblade Sisters.

Anime releases have been sporadic the past month or two. This week though there are a couple to ponder.  HERO MASK Seasons 1 & 2 for starters. Discotek's releases this week are pretty much Japanese only (no dubs) but if that interests you, go for it. Their only English dubbed release this week is s-CRY-ed - The Complete TV Series.

Just like last week, Criterion Collection is gaining two (non-4K) entries this week. Irma Vep is the first one, and French film Masculin Féminin being the second one.

LionsGate's obligatory weekly entry this week is titled Vanquish, an action/crime/thriller starring Ruby Rose and Morgan Freeman. And speaking of Morgan Freeman, it looks like Shawshank Redemption might finally be getting a 4K disc this year.


Notable announcements from last week:

FUNimation's July batch of releases have been announced, the titles are Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater, Arte - The Complete Season, Plunderer - Part 2, Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar - The Complete Series (Classics), Listeners - The Complete Season, Uzaki-Chan Wants to Hang Out! The Complete Season, Uzaki-Chan Wants to Hang Out! The Complete Season (Limited Edition), A Certain Magical Index: Season 1 (Essentials), Isekai Quartet2 - Season 2, Gleipnir - The Complete Season, All Out!!: The Complete Series (Essentials), The Vision of Escaflowne - Complete Series (Classics), One Piece: Season Eleven - Voyage Three and Shironeko Project ZERO Chronicle - The Complete Season.

Shout Factory has also added State and Main and House of Wax (2005) to their July title mix.

TV on Blu-ray is good. A couple of years ago CBS decided it was going to release the original MacGyver and the original Charmed TV series on blu-ray. Out came season 1, then season 2 for Charmed, and now for this coming May, Charmed gets Season 3 released. Did they forget MacGyver?

LionsGate has announced the 2018 Bio/Crime/Drama City of Lies will be available for purchase on Blu-ray and DVD on June 8th. Also a 2019 film titled Siberia (not the Keanu Reeves film) will be available on June 22nd.

One last side note -- those curious about what's going on with, if you visit their Facebook page or try going directly to their forum (, they indicate there was a drive failure, among other things. We take pride in HighDefDigest and never wish an ill will of other sites. I find their site useful on several avenues so I am a bit anxious too to see the outage going so long.

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? All the 4Ks this week interest me. I preordered Dirty Dancing and Donnie Darko, will most likely get The Good, The Bad and The Ugly soon. I will probably finally break down and get the Elvira movie thanks to the new cover art SteelBook. Wishlist? Hero Mask Season 1 & 2, Nomadland, s-CRY-ed The TV Series, Vanquish and the Saint Seiya Collection. I really with the Saint Seiya had an English dub, I have the DVDs of Knights of the Zodiac tucked away somewhere.

Basic Instinct 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray coming June 14th in U.K.

Paul Verhoeven's hyper-sexual psycho-thriller mystery Basic Instinct is taking a stab at 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray thanks to Studio Canal in the U.K. on June 14th. We don't have full specifics for HDR or audio, but to date Studio Canal has been pretty good about adding Dolby Vision and Atmos to their 4K titles, so we'll just have to wait and see. ALSO - we don't yet know if there's a U.S. counterpart planned but it'd be a surprise if one wasn't announced soon. So far this has only been announced with at Zavvi - who will also be issuing their own deluxe SteelBook release. - From these listings, it does look like the 128-minute Unrated Cut of the film is what we'll be getting! 

Collector's Edition 

Zavvi SteelBook 



We'll keep you all posted as we learn more - hopefully within the next few days we'll get the official press release and/or a U.S. announcement to clarify some of the details. 

Home Video Release Guide For The Week of April 20, 2021

This week is one of those in-between weeks as far as entertainment releases. But there are a few decent titles to pick from, so do take a look. Welcome to Episode 48 of our Home Video Release Guides.

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray/Digital Releases-

There are no 4K discs slated for this week

Alejandro Jodorowsky's Santa Sangre was originally slated for this week but now it is next week on Severin's website and May 18th elsewhere (including Amazon).


HD Blu-ray/Digital releases-

One of the slowest weeks in a long time for Blu-ray releases. I may not be a marketing genius but it seems as though a slow week would be more advantageous to release reissues as there are fewer titles to ponder when making a purchase. There are some titles in the calandar too that would take advantage of the Tuesday street date of 4 20, if you know what I mean. I've never touched the stuff but I know culture well enough to know. Even LionsGate has nothing for us this week, which is quite rare.

Warner Archive Collection has a couple of titles this week. First the musical Annie Get Your Gun. Next, look for a reissue of Chariots of Fire. Often times the reissues are semi-pointless as I have observed that the original Digibooks are still available at the same price, but not the case here. And not stopping there, Warner Archive brings us a reissue of the 1935 version of Mutiny on the Bounty.


Criterion Collection has a pair of (non-4K) titles for us this week. First the Drama/Romance/Western The Furies starring well known actress Barbara Stanwyck. Also this week, Criterion brings us Bong Joon-ho's 2003 film Memories of Murder.


The next chapter of the animated films Space Dogs releases this week, this one's titled Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure. The first film was from Universal Pictures and this one is not, so I'm not entirely sure what's up with that.

Friday's release is another arts/opera release titled Puccini: La Bohème.

Notable announcements from last week:

Sony has announced the 4K disc release for In the Line of Fire starring Clint Eastwood. Expect to see it on June 15th.

LionsGate will be bringing us Chaos Walking both on 4K and Blu-ray on May 25th. This film was shot in 6.5K and a 4K DI was used for mastering, so it should look stunning.  I thought I had seen a 4K SteelBook for it in a Zavvi email, but may have been mistaken. Additionally, they will also bring us a movie titled Flashback on June 8th.

If you've been waiting for Criterion Collection to announce their first 4K disc release, keep on waiting as July will not be the month for that. But, they do have a rounded assortment of Blu-ray releases coming. The titles are Bringing Up Baby, Deep Cover, La Piscine (The Swimming Pool), Mirror and Working Girls.

Shout Factory has also announced their July Blu-ray slate as well and several of the titles have never been on commercial Blu-ray anywhere in the world.The titles include Brotherhood of the Wolf, Chamber of Horrors, Dark Spell, The Dead Zone, Eight Legged Freaks, Ernest & Célestine, Fire, Little Big LeagueThe Night, No Man's Land, The Pianist and A Stranger Is Watching. The Pianist did make HD-DVD, but not Blu-ray domestically.

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? I'm down for all three 4K releases this week. Truthfully, I might take this week off on buying discs, nothing sticks out to me that I must buy. Annie Get Your Gun is a maybe.

Home Video Release Guide For The Week of April 13, 2021

Welcome to Episode 47 of our Home Video Release Guide, our weekly look at the highlights of what's coming out this week, as well as noteable announcements from last week. Let's get right down to business, shall we?

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray/Digital Releases-

For 4K releases, may the schwartz be with you! I'm referring to one of my favorite Mel Brooks tiltes Spaceballs. When it came out I had heard of this title for years from friends but was sort of 'meh'. I bought the laserdisc and loved it and wondered why I did not buy it sooner! Don't judge a book by its cover, or title!


HD Blu-ray/Digital releases-

For Warner Archive look for Fred Astaire's Broadway Melody of 1940. The more I watch of the classics the more I appreciate the stars that made them. Also from Warner Archive, look for Doctor X and Green Dolphin Street. And lastly, if you've been waiting for the next release of Josie and the Pussycats, Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space is available this week.


3D releases are far and few, so when there is one, we try to point it out. This week Kino Lorber releases the 1977 film Dynasty in 3D. Check out our review by following the link, then buy the disc via the link in the review. Speaking of Mel Brooks, Kino is releasing his 1968 movie The Producers this week as well. In case you don't need the 4K release of Spaceballs, the Blu-ray is also available.


If ever you were interested in what could have been, the film Fukushima 50 covers the selfless acts of those involved when the Fukushima plant melted down and what could have happened had they not reacted the way that they did.


In another non-4K week, Criterion Collection releases History is Made at Night. This title may not be 4K material, but some of the releases they chose for a U.S. release have been 4K releases in other countries by other studios.

The anime category is somewhat slow this week. Look for Kids on the Slope - Complete Collection and nothing more.

Friday release is an Arts/Ballet title.

Notable announcements from last week:

The order link for Arrow Video's 4K release of The Bird With the Crystal Plumage is live.

I called it when I said there would be a 4K disc announcement for Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. It will have a street date of June 8th.

Warner Archive Shop has ceased operation, but the good news is that it is now part of The label will live on and I would expect availability to improve a little bit. Their May batch of titles has been announced. Except for a Jackie Chan film, the rest of the slate includes a lot of classic cinema with big name talent. The titles are: Athena, Bachelor in Paradise, Drunken Master II, Escape from Fort Bravo, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, The Tender Trap, They Won't Believe Me and The Yearling.

I got a notification from Amazon regarding delivery date for Spaceballs 4K. It may take a few weeks to get stock and ship them. I have seen this a lot with Arrow Video titles as well. Pandemic related or not, it annoys me when I preorder something on day one and see it cancelled 2 months later and then the scalpers take over. *cough**cough*Gamera

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? I did preorder Spaceballs 4K. Wishlist items are Fukushima 50, Killer Pinata and Laidbackers.

Home Video Release Guide For The Week of April 6, 2021

It feels like March just began, and just like that, it's over. Short and Sweet, welcome to Episode 46 of our weekly look of the highlights of home video releases and news of what is yet to come.

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray/Digital Releases-

There is a single 4K disc release this week. If you missed the opportunity to get the limited-edition release of Tremors from Arrow Video, they are releasing a scaled-back 'Special Edition' version this week.


HD Blu-ray/Digital releases-

Somewhat average week for Blu-ray releases. Here are the highlights...

LionsGate this week releases a new feature titled Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar, which at first glance looks like an animated film, but, surprise, it's not! It actually is a comedy film that could be fun. Also from LionsGate, Shadow in the Cloud and Son of the South. I said "Son of the South" and NOT "Song of the South", sorry but the latter title will remain 'lost' pretty much forever.


Carole Lombard fans should note that Kino is releasing the Second Collection this week. Also getting a volume 2 this week, Western Classics.

Suidio Ghibli's latest, Earwig and the Witch debuts on disc this week, available as a standard release and as a SteelBook release via GKIDS and Shout Factory. I have said this before, I wish their SteelBooks would be a little more exciting, the cover arts are a rather bland solid color with a character or two on the cover itself.


Other animated releases, look for a standard release of Elfen Lied: Complete Collection, if you bought the SteelBook, this one could be to use while the collectible SteelBook remains untouched, or maybe you've been waiting for it to be more affordable. Also look for Sunday Without God, no doubt a potentially controversial title just by its name.


The single Warner/Warner Archive release this week is the complete animated series for Thundarr the Barbarian.


There is a single release scheduled for Friday, a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert from 1976, Live at Knebworth.


Notable announcements from last week:

In addition to The Bird With The Crystal Pluamge 4K coming in June, Arrow Video is also releasing Irezumi, Major Dundee, The Stylist and Years of Lead: Five Classic Italian Crime Thrillers.

The next releases for the Paramount Presents label are Mommie Dearest (Spine number 17) on June 1st and Last Train from Gun Hill (Spine number 18) on June 15th.

Vinegar Syndrome has announced its next 4K release, Six-String Samurai. It is unclear if this title release of May 2021 will be for their web site exclusively and then in June on Amazon and other sites or if May is the general release. Usually their announcements have street dates for their site and then 30(ish) days later on Amazon and other sites.

Blue Underground has revealed the street date for Dead & Buried on 4K disc to be July 20th, and they have announced 2 additional slip cover variants as well. Do check out the 4K release schedule for details.

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? I did preorder Sunday Without God and the Elfen Lied Collection. I will likely pick it up locally, Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar. I sort of expect the standard release for Earwig and the Witch to be available locally too, which I will buy. Mild interest in the other two LionsGate releases, Shadow in the Cloud and Son of the South.


The latest news on all things 4K Ultra HD, blu-ray and Gear.