History, Legacy & Showmanship

All right, just as we expected, Disney and Lucasfilm have just officially announced director Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi for Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release on 3/27, with the Digital/Movies Anywhere release set for 3/13.

Here’s something exciting for 4K fans from the press release: “This release will mark Disney’s first title available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc in both Dolby Vision™ HDR and Dolby Atmos® immersive audio, delivering consumers a transformative viewing experience.” [Read on here...]

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All right… today is the President’s Day holiday here in the States, but we do have a couple of announcements for you today...

First, if our retail, industry, and studio sources are correct, Disney and Lucasfilm are expected to announce the Blu-ray, DVD, 4K Ultra HD, and Digital release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi this week, possibly as soon as tomorrow. If and when that happens, we’ll have all the official details and cover artwork for you ASAP. [Read on here...]

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All right, we’ve got a couple good items of business for you today, the first of which is a new 4K review…

I’ve just given Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar a look on 4K Ultra HD from Paramount. The disc streets next Tuesday, 12/19. It’s a full native 4K transfer and of course the film was shot in a combination of 35 mm and 65 mm IMAX, so it’s variable aspect ratio and looks tremendous. The disc will also appear in Warner’s Christopher Nolan Collection 4K box set which streets next Tuesday as well. We don’t yet have the whole box, but as soon as we do, rest assured we’ll get the other films reviewed for you guys as soon as possible.

FYI, Tim has also just posted his review of Captain from Castile on Blu-ray from Twilight Time. Enjoy! [Read on here…]

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All right, first things first today: We have a quick bit of follow-up for you this morning on those annual original Star Wars release rumors, the latest appearance of which caused a bit of a stir yesterday (and which we commented on in yesterday’s post). I know... we’re getting tired of talking about it too, but we have what seems to be rather definitive new information.

We’ve essentially confirmed that Disney’s current 4K scan of the film is the most recent revised version (essentially the latest “special edition”), not the original theatrical edition. What’s more, Disney’s director of Library Restoration and Preservation, Theo Gluck, held a special event at Ohio State University’s Wexner Center for the Arts last night, a presentation called Animation Restoration at Walt Disney Studios. Gluck was asked there about Star Wars and reported that the original cut negative for the film currently exists in its “SE” configuration only. (There’s more info, so do continue on past the jump.) [Read on here…]

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“It’s hard to tell who the movie is for. It’s too childish for adults and too provocative and snarky for kids.” — Film historian/author Caseen Gaines

The History, Legacy & Showmanship column here at The Digital Bits typically celebrates popular and significant motion pictures and TV series. Periodically, though, we will look back at unpopular or maligned productions to examine if the passage of time warrants a reevaluation. So with this in mind, The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective for Howard the Duck on the occasion of its 30th anniversary.

Howard the Duck, based upon the 1970s Marvel comic book series, starred Lea Thompson (Back to the Future, All the Right Moves), Tim Robbins (Bull Durham, The Shawshank Redemption) and Jeffrey Jones (Amadeus, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) and featured a talking, cigar-chomping duck from another planet that is zapped across the galaxy to Cleveland where he meets a musician who attempts to help him return home.  [Read on here...]

All right, in case you thought we missed posting content yesterday…

There was no Friday news post, but we did post no less than four Blu-ray reviews, including my detailed thoughts on Disney and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray 3D format! The short of it is that the 3D presentation is pretty good, the J.J. Abrams commentary is pretty great, and the set definitely better than the original release. But I do wish that they’d create a truly comprehensive special edition look at the making of this film.  [Read on here…]

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All right, we’ve got a bunch of interesting announcement news and other bits of Blu-ray-related information for you today, so let’s get right to it…

FUNimation has announced that they’ve gotten the rights to release the new Shin Godzilla film here in the States, both in theaters and on disc. Watch for more news on that soon. The company has also announced the forthcoming Blu-ray release of Ergo Proxy for the first time in the U.S. and Canada, as well as Attack on Titan live action movie releases on Blu-ray and DVD – Part One on 10/6 and Part Two TBA. They’re also releasing a Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign – Collector’s Edition and Season One, Part Two on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD on 9/27. There’s still no word on Speed Racer/Mach GoGoGo, but we know they’re planned for release on Blu-ray by FUNimation in 2017, which is the series’ 50th anniversary. [Read on here…]

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We hope you all had a nice holiday/WonderCon weekend... or just a weekend for the rest of you.

We’ve got a couple of new Blu-ray Disc reviews for you today. Our own Jim Hemphill has offered up his thoughts on Richard Brooks’ 1969 drama The Happy Ending, which is now available from Twilight Time. And, in case you missed it when I first posted it on Friday evening, I’ve completed my in-depth look at Disney and Lucasfilm’s forthcoming Blu-ray release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The film looks fantastic and, let me tell you, Laurent Bouzereau’s new Secrets of The Force Awakens behind-the-scenes documentary is terrific. The Happy Ending is now available, while The Force Awakens arrives in stores here in the States next Tuesday. [Read on here…]

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[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 kicks things off today here at The Bits with a brand new History, Legacy & Showmanship column here at The Digital Bits, this one featuring a great look back at the James Bond film GoldenEye on the 20th anniversary of its original release. The piece includes a great roundtable interview of film historian experts, including Robert A. Caplen, James Chapman, John Cork, Bill Desowitz, Lisa Funnell, Mark O’Connell, Lee Pfeiffer, and Bruce Scivally. Don’t miss it!  [Read on here…]

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[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 got some big title announcements to catch you up on today...

First up, Disney, Fox and Lucasfilm have announced that Star Wars: The Digital Movie Collection will be available for download on Amazon, iTunes and elsewhere starting this Friday, 4/10 (SRP $89.99). For that price, you’ll get all six Star Wars films (the Original Trilogy is confirmed to be the same versions as were on the Blu-ray release) along with both new and legacy bonus material that varies by retailer. The legacy content is taken from the most recent BD releases. However, the new content includes 6 Conversations featurettes (Doug Chiang Looks Back, Sounds in Space, The Star Wars That Almost Was, Creating a Universe, The Lost Interviews, and The Effects) and 6 Discoveries from Inside featurettes (Models & Miniatures, Costumes Revealed, Hologram & Bloopers, Weapons & The First Lightsaber, Matte Paintings Unveiled, and The Sounds of Ben Burtt).  [Read on here…]

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