Since the earliest days of American television, some programs thereon have become phenoms by lancing through public consciousness at the right time and place in popular culture.

You know the list – The Texaco Star Theater, starring Milton Berle, was the first show to become “must see.” The same moniker could also be used for I Love Lucy or The Honeymooners or The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson or even Saturday Night Live.

While these programs and a few shows like them, say All in the Family, breathed rarefied air, none caused a change in the public stratosphere like a comedy sketch show which started airing on NBC Monday nights in 1967, opposite The Lucy Show and Gunsmoke, Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In.

Now, to celebrate Laugh-In’s 50th Anniversary, Time Life Home Video has released Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In: The Complete Series – including every episode from all six seasons along with exclusive new bonus features and a free DVD. That’s 140 episodes on 38 DVDs. [Read on here...]

We’re doing a bit of server work here at The Bits today, but we’ve got a couple good things for you today…

First up, Michael Coate has been busy again this weekend. He’s just turned in a new retrospective column in his History, Legacy & Showmanship column, this time featuring a look back at Tim Burton’s Batman Returns, which celebrates its 25th anniversary today. Michael’s piece includes a new roundtable discussion with film historians, including Jeff Bond, Scott Mendelson, and Bruce Scivally. Do give it a look; I think you’ll really enjoy it. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

In announcement news today, Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate have just officially announced the Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of Damien Chazelle’s almost Best Picture La La Land on 4/24. The Digital HD release is due on 4/11. It looks like the disc will actually include a nice batch of extras, starting with an audio commentary by Chazelle and composer Justin Hurwitz. You’ll also get 11 behind-the-scenes featurettes (Another Day of Sun: They Closed Down a Freeway, La La Land’s Great Party, Ryan Gosling: Piano Student, Before Whiplash: Damien Chazelle’s Passion Project, La La Land’s Love Letter to Los Angeles, The Music of La La Land, John Legend’s Acting Debut, The Look of Love: Designing La La Land, Ryan and Emma: Third Time’s the Charm, Epilogue: The Romance of the Dream, and Damien & Justin Sing: The Demos) and a song selection option. You can see the official final cover artwork to the left and below. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Afternoon, folks. We’re starting off the new week with a pair of new Blu-ray reviews for you to enjoy. Tim Salmons has turned in his look at Scream Factory’s The Legend of Hell House and longtime Bits veteran Todd Doogan has returned with a look at Kino Lorber’s terrific new One Million Years B.C. Blu-ray. Both are well worth your time, so be sure to check them out.

In release news today, first up a biggie: 20th Century Fox’s Logan is now available for Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD pre-order on Amazon (via the links in this sentence and also the temp cover artwork below). We hear it’s pretty damn good, so go check it out in theaters and use our links to pre-order (we appreciate it!) if you enjoy the film. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

We’ve got a pair of new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews for all of you to enjoy here at The Bits today. I’ve given Warner’s The Accountant and Sony’s Inferno a spin on the format, both of which are recent releases, and have a few things to say about each. Do give them a look.

Also today, it’s become fairly clear that Amazon and Disney are having another one of their strange business tiffs that involves Amazon pulling all of Disney’s forthcoming Blu-ray titles off of pre-order. Case in point, Moana, Doctor Strange, etc. This may also be why Disney and Lucasfilm have not yet announced the Blu-ray release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, even though it’s already available for pre-order on other retail sites. While they no doubt have their reasons, these actions are a major inconvenience to both Amazon’s customers and Disney’s Blu-ray consumers, so these two companies should get their act together. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, folks... this is one of those posts it’s fun to write. None of this news has been officially announced, it comes from retail sources. But we know from our other industry sources that this information is legit. The street dates may change, but the titles should all be forthcoming.

The Swedish video retailer CDON.com has just listed for pre-order a number of catalog titles that we’ve known were either in production or planning for a while now, but the news is starting to break. They include (listed by studio and European street date):

Universal – The Mummy (1999 – 5/22), The Mummy Returns (5/22), The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (5/22), Despicable Me (6/12), Despicable Me 2 (6/12), Gladiator (6/12)

Sony – The Bridge on the River Kwai (6/19), Spider-Man (6/26), Spider-Man 2 (6/26), Spider-Man 3 (6/26), The Amazing Spider-Man (6/26) [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

The big release news today is that Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has just set Assassin’s Creed for Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release on 3/21, with the Digital HD release expected on 3/10. We’re awaiting official details on the extras from the studio and will post them as soon as they’re available.

Also today, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced the 3/21 Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD release of Pedro Almodóvar’s Julieta. Disc-based extras will include a pair of featurettes (Portrait of Julieta and Celebrating Director Pedro Almodóvar).

Lionsgate will release Isolation on DVD on 4/18 as a Walmart exclusive. The film will also be widely available on Digital HD that same day. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

We’re kicking off today’s update here at The Bits with a trio of new disc reviews...

First up, I spent the whole day yesterday going through Sony’s new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition of Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. The package includes 4K, Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, and Digital HD. Whatever you may think of the film itself, this A/V presentation is a must have for 4K enthusiasts. Full native 4K in 60 frames per second with High Dynamic Range and Dolby Atmos audio is a helluva thing.

Also, Tim has checked out a pair of regular Blu-rays for you, including Sony’s Don’t Breathe and Kino Lorber Studio Classics’ Haunted Honeymoon. Both are worth your time. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’re starting today with some new disc reviews: I’ve just posted my thoughts on Fox’s Independence Day: Resurgence in 4K Ultra HD format, as well as Paul Greengrass’ Jason Bourne in 4K Ultra HD format from Universal. Meanwhile, Tim has posted a review of Arrow Video USA’s The Hills Have Eyes (1977) on Blu-ray Disc. All three of these titles are worth a look.

Also here at The Bits today (in case you missed it when we posted it here at the site yesterday), our dear friend Bud Elder has turned in a new View from the Cheap Seats column called Movie Begats and More. In it, Bud runs down new deep catalog releases from all the usual indie distributors and remembers the late Leon Russell. Don’t miss it!  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
Thursday, 06 October 2016 12:00

Pick-Ups for the Week of October 3, 2016

Welcome to a new edition of Pick-Ups!

Welcome to October! I’ve been gone on vacation for the past couple of weeks, but it’s good to be back. I have a lot of reviews to get in this month, including both new and older titles that we haven’t covered here previously, so be prepared for that. I also have a new bi-weekly feature at the beginning of next month, and if you’re a Scream Factory fan, you will definitely appreciate it.

And since it’s the Halloween season, I’ll be attending several theatrical events this month. This weekend we checked out Tim Burton’s latest, which is Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and anybody who follows me on Facebook knows how I felt about it... not good. Anyways, Rifftrax is doing a live riffing of Carnival of Souls later this month as well, which I’m a little torn over, but I never miss one of their shows. Also, on October 5 (Wednesday), Fathom Events is presenting Young Frankenstein in theaters for a one night event, which includes a live introduction from Mel Brooks himself. I’m also attending a marathon of all of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies on October 29 at my local Alamo Drafthouse. Needless to say, Halloween certainly keeps me busy every year.

And if you’re staying in for much of Halloween this year, then there’s plenty on TV to check out. As a matter of fact, you might want to clear your DVRs as there is a ton of Halloween programming, especially on Turner Classic Movies. They’re showing quite a range of monster movies, slashers, and everything in between. You can read all about it here.

Anyways, let’s move on to some reviews. [Read on here…]

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