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Great New Movies in Theaters, A Christmas Story review, Captain Phillips official & more!

December 13, 2013 - 1:21 pm   |   By 

So it turns out The Desolation of Smaug is pretty good.  I mustered up the energy to catch a double-feature screening last night with a friend, and it was a fine evening’s entertainment.  If you enjoyed the first Hobbit film, I think you’ll like this one a great deal more.  The pacing is much more engaging.  Fans of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy will definitely feel more at home here, as in this film the prequel trilogy really begins to reveal its connections to the previous films more strongly… and not just in the fact that Legolas (Orlando Bloom) features prominently.  As one would hope, Smaug himself is wonderfully realized.

Smaug aside, with any luck you have a good art house theater in your neck of the woods, because there are a number of fine indie films worth seeing this holiday season: American Hustle, the Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis, All Is Lost, Nebraska, Her, 12 Years a Slave and many more.  This is the time of year when all the great dramas get dumped into limited theatrical distribution so they quality for Oscar nominations, so be sure to head out to your local theater over the next 2 or 3 weeks.  [Read on here…]

Now then, here at The Bits today, our own Dr. Adam Jahnke has checked in with a review of a true holiday classic – A Christmas Story – on Blu-ray.  Enjoy!

And in announcement news today, Sony Pictures has officially set Paul Greengrass’ Captain Phillips for release on Blu-ray Combo, DVD and digital on 1/21.  Extras will include the 3-part Capturing Captain Phillips documentary and audio commentary with the director.

Millennium Entertainment has set Charlie Countryman for Blu-ray and DVD release on 1/21 as well (SRP $24.99 and $19.99).  The film stars Shia LaBeouf.

RADiUS-TWC has set 20 Feet from Stardom for Blu-ray and DVD on 1/14.

Image and RLJ Entertainment have set the horror film Sanitarium for DVD and digital release on 12/31.

Cinedigm will release the college basketball film 1000 to 1: The Cory Weissman Story on DVD and digital on 3/4.

And we’ve got one more bit of soundtrack news today: La La Land Records has released Dimitri Tiomkin’s soundtrack for the classic western The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral on CD, among many other great titles.   Do check it out.  Special thanks to our friend Jeff Morey for the heads-up!

Finally, a quick scheduling note: We’ll be back this weekend for a rare Sunday post, featuring a new History, Legacy and Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate, in celebration of the 35th Anniversary of Richard Donner’s Superman.  See you then!

Stay tuned…

- Bill Hunt

 

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In 50 years or so, the @Criterion edition of The Interview will make a nice bookend with The Great Dictator.

by Adam Jahnke