History, Legacy & Showmanship

Before we get to the news, we begin the week with four new Blu-ray reviews, including…

Tim Salmons’ look at Terry Gilliam’s Tideland (2005) from Arrow Video.

David Steigman’s take on The French Way (1945) from MVD.

And Dennis Seuling’s look at Bram Stoker’s Shadowbuilder (1998) from the MVD Rewind Collection and That Summer (2017) on DVD from IFC Independent Film. Fans of the 1975 Albert and David Maysles documentary Grey Gardens will find That Summer of interest, as it contains raw footage from an earlier project starring the two Edies.

Also, we’ve posted the latest update of the Release Dates & Artwork section featuring new Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, when you order literally anything from Amazon after clicking through our links (like this one), you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we greatly appreciate it. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Battlestar Galactica remains in the history of pop-culture as one of the most star-studded, lavishly-produced, special-effects-laden television shows of all time.” – Classic TV historian Herbie J Pilato

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the premiere of Battlestar Galactica, Glen A. Larson’s science-fiction television series about the crew of the Galactica and their ongoing battles with the Cylons and quest to locate Earth. Starring Richard Hatch as Apollo, Dirk Benedict as Starbuck, and Lorne Greene as Adama, the series is remembered for its massive production budget and state-of-the-art visual effects.

The supporting cast included Herbert Jefferson, Jr. (Boomer), John Colicos (Baltar), Maren Jensen (Athena), Noah Hathaway (Boxey), Laurette Spang (Cassiopeia), Tony Swartz (Flight Sergeant Jolly), Terry Carter (Colonel Tigh), Anne Lockhart (Lieutenant Sheba), Jane Seymour (Serina), Patrick Macnee (narrator, Count Iblis, and voice of Imperious Leader), and Jonathan Harris (voice of Lucifer). [Read on here...]

Today’s update is a quickie, but we’ve got some good stuff for you.

Let’s get the usual site business out of the way first...

We’ve got three new reviews for you today, including Tim’s take on The Addiction: Special Edition Blu-ray from Arrow, David’s thoughts on Let’s Make Love on Blu-ray from Twilight Time, and Dennis’ look back at Laugh-In: The Complete Fifth Season on DVD from Time Life. All are worth checking out.

Also today, we’ve posted a brand new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate, in which he takes a look back at Live and Let Die with a roundtable of Bond experts in celebration of the film’s 45th anniversary. It’s a great retrospective and another fine addition to Michael’s Bond series, so definitely give it a read. We think you’ll really enjoy it. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

“[Live and Let Die is] an early A-list film that recognized the value and influence of the generally under regarded blaxploitation film genre.” — Josiah Howard, author of Blaxploitation Cinema

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 45th anniversary of the release of Live and Let Die, the eighth (official) cinematic James Bond adventure and notably the first to feature Sir Roger Moore as Agent 007.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include Octopussy, Casino Royale (1967), Tomorrow Never Dies, Die Another Day, Dr. No, The Living Daylights, The Spy Who Loved Me, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, Casino Royale, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, GoldenEye, A View to a Kill, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Goldfinger, and 007… Fifty Years Strong.

The Bits continues the series with this retrospective featuring a Q&A with an esteemed group of film historians and James Bond authorities who discuss the virtues, shortcomings and legacy of 1973’s Live and Let Die. [Read on here...]

The big news today is that Arrow Video is releasing a new 12 Monkeys: Collector’s Edition Blu-ray on 10/16, mastered from a new 4K scan of the original negative and approved by director Terry Gilliam. Extras will include audio commentary by Gilliam and producer Charles Roven, Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe’s The Hamster Factor and Other Tales of Twelve Monkeys feature-length documentary, an extensive image gallery, the theatrical trailer, and more newly-produced content yet to be announced. You’ll also get a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin and an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring liner notes by Nathan Rabin and archive materials. You can see the package at left and you can pre-order it here on Amazon.

Arrow is releasing a new Schlock! Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray that same day. This will also be mastered from a new 4K scan of the original negative, and will feature audio commentary by writer/director John Landis and makeup artist Rick Baker, a new video interview with author and critic Kim Newman, Birth of a Schlock, an archival video interview with cinematographer Bob Collins 1972, 1979 and 1982 US theatrical trailers, US radio spots, a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys, and an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Joe Bob Briggs. You can pre-order it here on Amazon as well. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We’ve got more interesting announcements today, including a very nice surprise, plus new reviews too.

First up, those reviews… Tim has taken a look at Richard Friedman’s Doom Asylum on Blu-ray from Arrow Video, along with Dread Central’s Director’s Cut on Blu-ray. Both are well worth a look.

Also, as promised, we posted Michael Coate’s latest History, Legacy & Showmanship column last night, which is a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. The packed column features a look back at the original theatrical release (the first ever in DTS) along with a great new roundtable discussion with film historians Joseph McBride, Mike Matessino, and Steven Awalt. We think you’ll really enjoy it.

Also today, we’ve just posted the weekly update of our Release Dates & Artwork section, featuring all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, anytime you order literally anything from Amazon after clicking through one of our links, you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we really appreciate it. So thank you! [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

“It takes a filmmaker as deeply imaginative, but also technically savvy as Steven Spielberg to orchestrate and bring [all of the elements] together into a cohesive whole that works with his intricate vision as a storyteller, in both moments and big picture. There are other filmmakers who would have made wonderful adaptations of the Crichton book, no doubt, but the project landed in the right, highly skilled hands, heart and imagination.” — Steven Awalt, author of Steven Spielberg and Duel: The Making of a Film Career

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the silver anniversary of the release of Jurassic Park, Steven Spielberg’s popular and franchise-inspiring adaptation of Michael Crichton’s best-selling novel starring Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Richard Attenborough and which showcased groundbreaking and award-winning visual effects and audio. [Read on here...]

“While Octopussy may always be fated to be best remembered as the Bond film that went head-to-head with Never Say Never Again, its real legacy was to reaffirm the relevance of the series to an increasingly sophisticated international audience that was being presented by a resurgent action movie genre which was offering whole new levels of cinematic spectacle and excess.” — 007 historian Thomas A. Christie

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of Octopussy, the thirteenth (official) cinematic James Bond adventure and the sixth (of seven) to star Sir Roger Moore as Agent 007.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include Casino Royale (1967), Tomorrow Never Dies, Die Another Day, Dr. No, The Living Daylights, The Spy Who Loved Me, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, Casino Royale, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, GoldenEye, A View to a Kill, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Goldfinger, and 007… Fifty Years Strong.

The Bits continues the series with this retrospective featuring a Q&A with an esteemed group of James Bond historians who discuss the virtues, shortcomings and legacy of Casino Royale (1967). [Read on here...]

Here’s a quickie post with some quick bits of news because... you know... Solo tonight.

First up, in honor the Star Wars theme, our own Michael Coate has just posted a great new film retrospective in his History, Legacy & Showmanship column celebrating the 35th anniversary of Return of the Jedi! It’s features a new look back at the film and a great new roundtable interview as well with historians Michael Kaminski (The Secret History of Star Wars), Mark O’Connell (Watching Skies: Star Wars, Spielberg and Us), and Craig Stevens (The Star Wars Phenomenon in Britain). It’s a great read, so be sure to give it a look.

Also today, I’ve posted my review of Sony’s The Patriot in 4K Ultra HD (it’s a terrific disc) and Tim’s also posted a review of The Bloodthirsty Trilogy on Blu-ray from Arrow Video. Note that Universal’s Jurassic Park 4K Collection has finally arrives, so I’ll be diving into that tomorrow. Enjoy! [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

“With its dramatic and satisfying conclusion of the overall plot and its upbeat finale, Return of the Jedi set the future of the Star Wars brand on an extremely sure footing and ensured that the trilogy would be regarded as one of the greatest of all time.” — Craig Stevens, author of The Star Wars Phenomenon in Britain

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of Return of the Jedi, the concluding chapter of George Lucas’ original Star Wars trilogy, which featured Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher reprising their popular roles of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia, respectively.

Tying up all of the loose ends of the previous chapter and showcasing a galaxy’s worth of creatures, robots and visual effects, Return of the Jedi opened to record-breaking box-office thirty-five years ago this week. [Read on here...]

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