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Welcome to Thanksgiving week, folks! 

We’re very pleased this morning to bring you a review that we’ve been waiting years to write.  It’s our epic, in-depth look at Criterion’s amazing new Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman box set!  You get 25 remastered films in both Blu-ray and DVD, plus terrific extras.  Our own Todd Doogan – and yours truly – have reviewed every single feature and every single film.  There’s nothing… and we mean nothing… that we love more than Shintaro Katsu’s Blind Swordsman films.  And though we’ve certainly dreamed of it, we never seriously imagined that we’d ever see a Blu-ray box set of these films.  But here it is.  And it’s every bit as good as we could have hoped.  This is a gem that ranks right up there with the best box sets released on the Blu-ray format.  The set streets this Tuesday (11/26) and we wouldn’t miss it for the world.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Anyone interested in some new Blu-ray reviews to start the week?  Our own Tim Salmons has checked in today with a pair of them featuring a look at a couple of Criterion titles in high-definition, including David Maysles and Albert Maysles’ Rolling Stones concert film Gimme Shelter and also the new special edition of Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights.  Both are now available on BD, so enjoy!

Meanwhile, pre-orders are now on for Paul Greengrass’ Captain Phillips from Sony at this link on AmazonDisney’s Thor: The Dark World and Summit Entertainment’s Ender’s Game are also both up for pre-order on BD on Amazon.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
Thursday, 07 November 2013 13:20

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Retrospective

CELEBRATING “IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD” ON ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the golden anniversary of the original release of Stanley Kramer’s It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World and a new Blu-ray Disc from The Criterion Collection.

Featured in this tribute are a list of the epic comedy’s roadshow engagements and an interview segment with several people involved with the production of the Blu-ray Disc. [Read on here...]

 

Well folks, we hope you all had a nice Halloween… and we sure hope you all enjoyed this year’s Hell Plaza Oktoberfest.  Dr. Jahnke and the rest of The Bits team pulled out all the stops to make it a goodun for you all, so there you go.  We sure appreciate your readership.

Now then, today’s update is going to be a quick news roundup from the last couple days, and then we expect to be back next week with more reviews, including a couple titles you guys have probably been waiting for, including Warner’s Man of Steel and New Line’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Extended Edition among others.  [Read on here…]

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Well folks, we’re starting our last SIX days of this year’s Hell Plaza Oktoberfest!  But rest assured, we’ve still got some great reviews and Giveaways left for you.

Let’s start with today’s Giveaway first: Over on the Jahnke’s Electric Theater Facebook page, we’re giving you guys a chance to take home a copy of Scream Factory’s Psycho III on Blu-ray!  The Giveaway starts at Noon (Pacific) so head on over there for your chance to win.  And don’t forget – we've got TWO more great Factory Entertainment prop replicas that we’re going to be giving away next week.  [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, today’s Oktoberfest Giveaway happens over on The Digital Bits Facebook page starting at Noon (Pacific), and features a copy of Scream Factory’s X-Ray/Schizoid on Blu-ray!  The drawing will happen at 3 PM (Pacific) so be sure to head on over there if you’re interested.  And if you’ve not already “liked” The Bits Facebook and Jahnke’s Electric Theater Facebook pages, you might want to do so soon, as we’re going to be giving away another amazing Universal Classic Monsters prop replica from Factory Entertainment next week – it’s the amazing Frankenstein VFX Bust!  And in the next couple weeks we’re going to be giving away their Dracula Medallion and Dracula Ring as well!  So be sure to head on over to Facebook and give the pages a “like” so you can be eligible to participate.

Speaking of the Hell Plaza Oktoberfest, Dr. Jahnke’s review today is a great one: The Vincent Price Collection on Blu-ray from Scream Factory, featuring The Pit and the Pendulum, The Masque of the Red Death, The Haunted Palace, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Abominable Dr. Phibes and Witchfinder General[Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, today’s Oktoberfest Giveaway kicks off at Noon (Pacific) over on the Jahnke’s Electric Theater Facebook page, and features Scream Factory’s Terror Train on Blu-ray.  So head on over there for your chance to win.

Here at the site today, Adam’s Hell Plaza Oktoberfest review for the day is Universal’s The Purge, which just arrived in stores on Blu-ray on last week.  Also, Tim has checked in this morning with a review of René Clair’s I Married a Witch, now available on Blu-ray from Criterion.

Speaking of which, be sure to check out last night’s announcement news on Criterion’s January Blu-ray and DVD release slate, which includes a number of great titles.  [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Here’s some exciting breaking news: Our friends at The Criterion Collection have just announced their January Blu-ray and DVD release slate, and WOW – some terrific titles!

The fun starts with a BD upgrade of Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood (Cat #190 – Blu-ray/DVD – due 1/7/14) and the fortieth Eclipse set  Late Ray (DVD – due 1/7/14 – features Satyajit Ray’s The Home and the World, An Enemy of the People and The Stranger), and continues with a BD upgrade of Jules Dassin’s Rififi (Cat #114 – Blu-ray/DVD – due 1/14/14) and the all-new Michael Mann’s Thief (Cat #691 – Blu-ray/DVD – due 1/14/14), Aki Kaurismäki’s La vie de bohème (Cat #693 – Blu-ray/DVD – due 1/21/14), Stanley Kramer’s It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (Cat #692 – Blu-ray/DVD – due 1/21/14) and Terence Davies’s The Long Day Closes (Cat #694 – Blu-ray/DVD – due 1/28/14).  By the way, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World includes a “restored 4K digital film transfer of the general release version of the film, with 5.1 surround Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray” plus a “new high-definition digital transfer of a 197-minute extended version of the film, reconstructed and restored by Robert A. Harris using visual and audio material from the longer original road-show version – including some scenes that have been returned to the film here for the first time – with 5.1 surround Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray.”  What a great slate!  You’ll find cover artwork for all the Blu-rays below.  [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, first up today, our own Joe Marchese has posted a review of Criterion’s The Blob on Blu-ray!  Nothing like a B-movie classic given A-list special edition treatment.  Read on and enjoy!

Also, our own Russell Hammond has just updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links.  As always, a portion of anything you order from Amazon after clicking through our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we greatly appreciate it.

In announcement news today, Well Go USA Entertainment has just set IP Man: The Final Fight for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 11/12 (SRP $29.98 and $24.98).  Extras will include a making of featurette, 11 cast and crew interviews and both the U.S. and international trailers.  [Read on here...]

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Adam Jahnke

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

by Adam Jahnke