Displaying items by tag: 40th anniversary

“As soon as Indy stepped out of the shadows in that first scene and revealed himself to us with that badass confidence and intensity, I feel like in that moment, Harrison Ford truly became a movie star of the highest order.” – Charles de Lauzirika, producer/director of Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this multi-page retrospective article commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Lucas & Spielberg action classic that introduced moviegoers to the globe-trotting adventures of Indiana Jones and spawned a franchise of sequels, prequels, games, and theme park attractions.

Raiders, featuring Harrison Ford as everyone’s favorite cinematic archaeologist, was the most successful movie of its year of release and for a period of time the third highest-grossing motion picture of all time. The Oscar-winning movie also starred Karen Allen as heroine Marion Ravenwood, Paul Freeman as archvillain Belloq, Ronald Lacey as villain Toht, John Rhys-Davies as sidekick Sallah, and Denholm Elliott as colleague Marcus Brody.

In 1999 the Library of Congress selected Raiders of the Lost Ark for preservation in the National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant,” and earlier this year, Raiders and the other movies in the series were released for the first time on 4K UHD (reviewed here). [Read on here...]

“Clark Kent’s alley transformation into Superman and Superman’s flight to the White House to return the American Flag are two of the best moments; they are just as chill-inducing and magical today as they were 40 years ago!” — Jim Bowers, CapedWonder.com

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this multi-page retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Superman II, the 1980/1981/2006 follow-up to 1978’s Superman: The Movie and featuring Christopher Reeve reprising his legendary dual role of Superman and alter ego Clark Kent.

Taking over from Richard Donner midway through production, Richard Lester (The Three Musketeers, Help!) directed and re-shot much of the Saturn Award-winning sequel, which focused on the three Kyptonian outlaws (Terrence Stamp, Sarah Douglas and Jack O’Halloran) breaking free from their cosmic imprisonment and seeking revenge on the Man of Steel.

The first Superman sequel—also starring Clifton James as Sheriff and E.G. Marshall as The President—featured reprisal performances by Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor, Ned Beatty as Otis, Jackie Cooper as Perry White, Margot Kidder as Lois Lane, Valerie Perrine as Miss Teschmacher, Susannah York as Superman’s biological mother Lara, and Marc McClure as Jimmy Olsen. [Read on here...]

Thursday, 31 December 2020 09:00

Empire @ 40: Remembering the Early 70MM Cut

“On my thirteenth viewing, which was the first time I saw it at a different theater than the one I’d gone to since opening day, I knew there were noticeable changes when the final scene began with different music.” — film music historian Mike Matessino

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present a continuation of our 40th anniversary coverage of the release of The Empire Strikes Back, the middle act of George Lucas’s original Star Wars trilogy and one of the most celebrated and beloved sequels of all time. Part One of our Empire 40th coverage appeared back in May.

George Lucas’s penchant for making revisions to his work is about as legendary as his movies. The majority of Lucas’s alterations have occurred years after his films’ original releases. With The Empire Strikes Back, however, the first (of several rounds of) revisions were actually made while the movie was in first release, and it is this lesser-known aspect of the otherwise very-well-known production that is the subject of this column. [Read on here...]

We’ve got some good stuff for you here at the site today! So let’s get right into it.

First of all, we’ve posted a trio of new 4K Ultra HD reviews...

Late last night, I posted my in-depth thoughts on John Landis’ The Blues Brothers, new in 4K Ultra HD from Universal. I love this film and the good news is that it’s never looked and sounded better. Check it out here.

Also today, Tim has posted reviews of Blue Underground’s new 4K Ultra HD editions of William Lustig’s Maniac (1980) and Lucio Fulci’s Zombie (1979). These too have never looked better, but do be aware that the cover artwork pictured here on The Bits is NOT the final artwork.

We have to censor the cover art on some of these horror titles or Google flags them as offensive, which crushes our advertising. And we need advertising to survive, so there it is. Anyway, enjoy the titles! Blue Underground does great work. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

The Empire Strikes Back should be remembered as one of the greatest films of all time!” — Skywalking through Neverland co-host Richard Woloski

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of The Empire Strikes Back, the middle act of George Lucas’s original Star Wars trilogy and one of the most celebrated and beloved sequels of all time.

The Empire Strikes Back (aka Star Wars: Episode VThe Empire Strikes Back) was directed by Irvin Kershner (The Flim-Flam Man, Eyes of Laura Mars) and starred Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, reprising their popular roles of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia, respectively.

As well, Empire featured returning cast members Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Kenny Baker (R2-D2), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), David Prowse (Darth Vader), and an uncredited James Earl Jones as the voice of Darth Vader. Newly introduced in Empire were Lando Calrissian (played by Billy Dee Williams) and Yoda (performed by Frank Oz and a team of muppeteers). [Read on here...]

Star Trek: The Motion Picture wasn’t a perfect film, but it had a plethora of nearly perfect moments.” — Inglorious Treksperts co-host Mark A. Altman

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the first big-screen adventure based upon Gene Roddenberry’s legendary 1960s television series with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley reprising the roles that made them famous of Kirk, Spock and McCoy, respectively.

Directed by Robert Wise (West Side Story, The Sound of Music), the film also reunited James Doohan as Scotty, George Takei as Sulu, Majel Barrett as Dr. Chapel, Walter Koenig as Chekov, and Nichelle Nichols as Uhura, and also featured Persis Khambatta as Ilia and Stephen Collins as Decker. [Read more here...]

“If you have never seen it, don’t expect Star Wars. Watch it for being an ambitious Disney answer to Star Wars. Watch it from the perspective of it signaling a change at Disney at that time. Watch it for the incredible sets, visual effects and a storyline that mimics 20000 Leagues under the Sea, but set in space.” — William Kallay, author of The Making of Tron

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of The Black Hole, the Walt Disney Company’s science-fiction and fantasy adventure directed by Gary Nelson (Freaky Friday) and featuring Oscar-nominated cinematography and visual effects.

Starring Maximilian Schell (Judgment at Nuremberg), Anthony Perkins (Psycho), Robert Forster (Jackie Brown), Joseph Bottoms (Santa Barbara TV series), Yvette Mimieux (The Time Machine), Ernest Borgnine (Marty), Roddy McDowall (Planet of the Apes), and Slim Pickens (Blazing Saddles), The Black Hole opened forty years ago this month, and for the occasion The Bits features a Q&A with Disney authority and The Making of Tron author William Kallay, who discuss the movie’s virtues and shortcomings. [Read more here...]

“Any legitimate study of Spielberg’s career has to include 1941.” — film music historian Mike Matessino

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of 1941, Steven Spielberg’s zany, whacky, epic World War II comedy featuring a screenplay by Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale (Used Cars, Back to the Future) and John Milius (Big Wednesday, Red Dawn), an all-star cast headed by Dan Aykroyd (The Blues Brothers, Ghostbusters) and John Belushi (Animal House, The Blues Brothers), and Oscar-nominated Cinematography, Sound and Visual Effects.

The large ensemble cast also featured Nancy Allen (Dressed to Kill), Ned Beatty (Deliverance), Eddie Deezen (Grease), Bobby DiCicco (I Wanna Hold Your Hand), Lorraine Gary (Jaws), Murray Hamilton (Jaws), Diane Kay (Eight is Enough TV series), Christopher Lee (The Man with the Golden Gun), Tim Matheson (Animal House), Frank McRae (Used Cars), Toshiro Mifune (The Hidden Fortress), Warren Oates (The Wild Bunch), Slim Pickens (Dr. Strangelove), Wendie Jo Sperber (Back to the Future), Robert Stack (The Untouchables TV series), Lionel Stander (Hart to Hart TV series), and Treat Williams (Prince of the City). [Read more here...]

“I remember thinking as Bond tumbled out of the airplane that this was going to be the greatest film ever. And then, moments later, Jaws flapped his arms falling toward a circus tent. I felt my own internal seismograph plummet. I was for the first time in my life, embarrassed for the filmmakers of a James Bond film.” — John Cork, co-author of James Bond Encyclopedia

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Moonraker, the 11th (official) cinematic James Bond adventure and the fourth of seven to feature Roger Moore as cinema’s most popular secret agent.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include Quantum of Solace, From Russia with Love, Never Say Never Again, Live and Let Die, Octopussy, Casino Royale (1967), Tomorrow Never Dies, Die Another Day, Dr. No, The Living Daylights, The Spy Who Loved Me, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, Casino Royale, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, GoldenEye, A View to a Kill, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Goldfinger, and 007… Fifty Years Strong.

The Bits continues the series with this retrospective featuring a Q&A with an esteemed group of film historians and James Bond authorities who discuss the virtues, shortcomings and legacy of 1979’s Moonraker. [Read on here...]

Alien (like other 1970s films such as Jaws, Superman, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Godfather, and Star Wars) was a seminal landmark in the upgrade of shopworn B-movie clichés — monsters, comic book characters, flying saucers, gangsters, Saturday afternoon serials — into major A-movie assets.” — Paul M. Sammon, author of Ridley Scott: The Making of His Movies

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Alien, the sci-fi/horror classic about the five-man, two-woman (and one cat) crew of the Nostromo, who got more than they bargained for after investigating a distress signal from a mysterious planet.

Suspense, atmospheric moodiness and Oscar-winning visual effects were among the highlights of Alien, directed by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Gladiator) and starring Tom Skerritt (Top Gun), Veronica Cartwright (The Right Stuff), Harry Dean Stanton (Repo Man), John Hurt (The Elephant Man), Ian Holm (Chariots of Fire), Yaphet Kotto (Live and Let Die), and Sigourney Weaver (Ghostbusters) as Ellen Ripley. [Read on here...]

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