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Displaying items by tag: John Williams

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...]

“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...]

Superman: The Movie radiated magic in 1978 and continues to captivate the world 40 years later. This December, surely multitudes of fans will be watching Superman—via streaming, DVD, Blu-ray or the new 4K UHD—with the same hope, optimism, and innocence they felt the first time they watched in awe as Christopher Reeve soared out of the Fortress of Solitude and into the world.” — Jim Bowers, CapedWonder.com

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Superman, Richard Donner’s classic superhero adventure starring Christopher Reeve (Somewhere in Time, Monsignor). The year 2018 also marks the 80th anniversary of Superman’s debut in Action Comics.

Often described as the first modern-day superhero movie, Superman (aka Superman: The Movie) was a box-office smash and winner of numerous awards and, of course, inspired a series of sequels and spin-offs as well as, arguably, decades of superhero/comicbook-themed media. [Read on here...]

Close Encounters helps demonstrate perhaps better than any other why Steven Spielberg is one of the greatest American filmmakers.” — Spielberg biographer Joseph McBride

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Steven Spielberg’s legendary science-fiction film starring Richard Dreyfuss as Roy Neary, an electrical lineman who obsesses over the sighting, physical evidence and, ultimately, contact with a UFO.

The film, which also starred Teri Garr, Melinda Dillon and Francois Truffaut, was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning for Vilmos Zsigmond’s cinematography (and also receiving a special achievement award for sound effects editing). [Read on here...]

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We’re kicking things off today with another new Blu-ray review. This one is a little unusual and should be more than a little interesting for Star Trek fans: It’s my look at Prelude to Axanar on Blu-ray, the 2014 proof-of-concept short film directed by Christian Gossett and produced by Alec Peters that launched the effort to produce the full Axanar feature film (to be directed by Robert Meyer Burnett and co-written by yours truly). Prelude to Axanar is now available on Blu-ray but ONLY as a perk for contributing $35 to the Axanar IndieGoGo campaign. You won’t find it in stores. But if you love Star Trek on Blu-ray, it’s definitely a title you’re going to want to add to your collections. Be sure to read the review to learn more about it.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Jaws was something of an accidental blockbuster. It should not be blamed for being a good movie.” — Joseph McBride

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Jaws, Steven Spielberg’s legendary tale of a Great White preying on a coastal New England resort community during the lucrative summer tourism season.

Based upon Peter Benchley’s best-selling novel and starring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss, Jaws shattered all existing box-office records, scared the wits out of beachgoers, and became every studio’s dream model of a summer blockbuster (and, in some circles, a whipping boy for popular, successful movies). [Read on here…]

This was all we needed to hear: The DUKE was coming to Oklahoma City.

It was the year of our Lord, 1972 and The National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center in Oklahoma City (now called the National Cowboy Museum and Western Heritage Center) hosted every year a grand event called the Western Heritage Awards, where they gave a trophy called “The Wrangler” to outstanding theatrical and television Westerns and the winner this particular year was a film called “The Cowboys,” starring, well, you know who.  [Read on here...]

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