Displaying items by tag: Adam Jahnke

Saturday, 09 January 2021 14:18

Vintage Bits Interview: The Enigma of Michael Apted

[Editor’s Note: This interview was originally posted on The Digital Bits on 9/17/02, coinciding with the Columbia TriStar Home Video DVD release of Enough and Enigma. We would like to dedicate it to the memory of Michael Apted.]

There are some directors who find a genre they’re particularly comfortable with or adept at and make an entire career out of it. Think Wes Craven with horror movies or the Farrelly brothers in comedy. Michael Apted is not one of these directors. Apted is a jumper, having tackled everything from courtroom dramas to comedy to rock and roll. When you look at his filmography, the phrase you are most likely to repeat over and over is, “He directed that, too?”

Apted began his career as a researcher and director for British television. In the 1970’s, he crossed over to theatrical films with movies like Stardust, a terrific, criminally underrated movie that traces the rise and fall of a rock group (note to the studios: Stardust needs to be released on DVD and the sooner the better). His major American breakthrough came in 1980 with Coal Miner’s Daughter, for which Sissy Spacek won the Oscar as Best Actress. Since that time, Apted has worked with some of the best actors in recent memory, including Sigourney Weaver (also Oscar nominated for her work in Apted’s Gorillas in the Mist), Jodie Foster (Nell), Val Kilmer (Thunderheart), and Gene Hackman (Class Action and Extreme Measures). Oh yeah, he also helmed one of the most recent adventures of some guy named James Bond (The World is Not Enough). [Read on here...]

Published in Interviews

All right, I hope you guys all had a great weekend. I turned 50 and got a new cat, whose name is Max. So all things considered, I think I came out ahead.

First of all today, we trust you all saw the outstanding news we posted late yesterday, which is that our friends at The Warner Archive have revealed that they’re going to be releasing – due to popular demand, we imagine – the outstanding Batman: The Animated Series on Blu-ray in 2018! It was announced at a New York Comic-Con panel celebrating the series’ 25th anniversary. We don’t have any other information at the moment, but we expect that they’re going to be starting work soon, or have just recently started. We’d guess it’ll be a few months yet before we have significant details, but rest assured we’ll keep you posted. We’ve been lobbying for this for some time now; the show is a big favorite here at The Bits. Thanks to everyone at Warner and Warner Archive for making this possible. Very exciting indeed! [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
Published in My Two Cents
Tuesday, 28 March 2017 13:25

Open Along Edge: Netflix’s DVD Problem

In the fall of 2015, Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation debuted at the Venice International Film Festival where it was acquired for distribution by Netflix for a whopping $12 million. The film went on to rack up an impressive list of awards and nominations, many singling out Idris Elba’s powerful supporting performance as the Commandant of a battalion of child soldiers. It appeared on several critics’ year-end top ten lists, including, among others, Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune, Drew McWeeny (then at HitFix), and Erin Whitney of ScreenCrush. It is “certified fresh” by review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes with an enviable 91% standing on Ye Olde TomatoMeter. It also made less than a million dollars at the box office, received zero Academy Award nominations, and, as of spring 2017, is not available on Blu-ray or DVD. You probably haven’t thought of it at all in at least a year. [Read on here...]

Monday, 07 November 2016 14:02

Scream for a Week – November 7, 2016

Welcome to our newest column addition Scream for a Week!

We here at The Digital Bits are big fans of Shout!’s Scream Factory division and, not unlike Todd Doogan’s Criterion Spines Project, we wanted to cover Scream Factory’s releases by catching up on a bunch that we’ve missed while acknowledging the previous ones. We’ll also be covering new ones here as well. This column will go up on a bi-weekly basis, so be sure to check back in another two weeks for another pile of Scream Factory goodness.

First up is Escape from New York, a title that Bill covered sometime ago. It’s a solid release with a great transfer and extras, and just happens to be one of my favorite movies. New to Blu-ray this week is Bubba Ho-Tep, another personal favorite of mine, with a barrage of terrific extras to check out. Following that up is the great Amityville Horror Trilogy boxed set, which is another older review, but this time from good old Dr. Jahnke. Also new to the chopping block is the Blacula/Scream Blacula Scream double feature Blu-ray release. And last but not least, Wes Craven’s Deadly Blessing, one of Scream Factory’s very first releases. [Read on here…]

Published in Dailies

[Editor’s Note: Be sure to like TheDigitalBits.com page on Facebook for breaking news, site updates on the go, discussion with our staff and other readers, giveaways and more!]

Our own Michael Coate has just posted a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column here on The Bits, featuring a great look back at the Bond classic Thunderball on the film’s 50th anniversary! Thunderball is certainly one of our favorite films of the series around here, and to celebrate the occasion Michael has moderated a great roundtable discussion of film historians, including Jon Burlingame, Robert A. Caplen, James Chapman, John Cork, Lee Pfeiffer, Steven Jay Rubin, Graham Rye, and Bruce Scivally. It’s a fine piece, as always, so be sure to give it a look this afternoon.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

[Editor’s Note: Be sure to like TheDigitalBits.com page on Facebook for breaking news, site updates on the go, discussion with our staff and other readers, giveaways and more!]

We’ve just posted an in-depth review of John Carpenter’s Escape from New York, soon to be released on Blu-ray Collector’s Edition from Scream Factory. I wrote the new Blu-ray specific portions, pertaining to the disc’s A/V quality and extras. Adam did a great write-up of the film itself in his 2003 DVD Special Edition review here, so we carried that part over. The new edition streets on April 21st, and it’s well worth your time and money. It improves upon the A/V quality of the previous MGM Blu-ray, preserves the best of the 2003 DVD extras, and adds great new material too. Don’t miss it!

Stay tuned...

- Bill Hunt

Published in My Two Cents

[Editor’s Note: Be sure to like TheDigitalBits.com page on Facebook for breaking news, site updates on the go, discussion with our staff and other readers, giveaways and more!]

Well folks, this is going to be our last post until Monday as we take the rest of the week off to spend the Christmas holiday with our families. But we do have some cool stuff for you…

First, we’ve got a pair of new Blu-ray reviews. Our own Tim Salmons has checked out Scream Factory’s Lord of Illusions and Criterion’s The Innocents, and both are well worth a look. Also, in the spirit of the holiday season, we present my review of Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life on Blu-ray, as well as Dr. Jahnke’s look at A Christmas Story, and Barrie Maxwell’s thoughts on White Christmas.  While we’re at it, here’s Die Hard too. Because nothing quite says Christmas like “Yippee ki-yay!” Enjoy!  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 12:10

The Doctor Is Out

On April 7, 2000, we posted my very first piece for The Digital Bits. It was a review of Joe Dante’s Piranha on DVD from New Concorde Home Entertainment. I don’t have that disc today. It’s been upgraded and replaced by Shout! Factory’s Blu-ray. New Concorde’s not even around anymore. Now it’s New Horizons and they’re not in the home entertainment business themselves. Things change. [Read on here...]

[Editor’s Note: Be sure to like TheDigitalBits.com page on Facebook for breaking news, site updates on the go, discussion with our staff and other readers, giveaways and more!]

We’re pleased today to present the final review of Adam’s month-long Hell Plaza Oktoberfest 8 here at The Bits: It’s none other than the 1977 zombie/Nazi classic Shock Waves, directed by Ken Wiederhorn and presented on Blu-ray by Blue Underground! Congrats to Adam on another great Oktoberfest. We trust you all enjoyed it. If you did, be sure to send a little thanks and appreciation to Adam over on his Jahnke’s Electric Theater Facebook page.

Also here at The Bits today, we’ve got Bud Elder’s new View from the Cheap Seats column. This month, Bud asks the question: “What Movies Changed the Way You Look at Life?” He posts his own answer to this question, and challenges each of you to share your own lists too.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
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