History, Legacy & Showmanship

All right, I trust you all saw our new History, Legacy, and Showmanship column from last night featuring Michael Coate’s retrospective on Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, which celebrated its 20th anniversary on Sunday. You’ll find that here and if you’re a Star Wars fan, I think it’s well worth your time.

Meanwhile, we have some major new Blu-ray and 4K announcements for you today, so read on...

First, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has just officially set Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD (with Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D) on 7/23. The Digital version will be available on 7/9. The 4K will include not only Dolby Atmos audio, but HDR in Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HDR10+. Aspect ratio is 2.39:1, per the press release.

And there will be HOURS of special features, as follows... [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

The Phantom Menace is the film that caused a generation gap in Star Wars fandom.” — W.R. Miller, author of The Star Wars Historical Sourcebook: Volume One 1971 to 1976

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 20th anniversary of the release of Star Wars: Episode IThe Phantom Menace, the first entry in the long-awaited prequel trilogy to the original 1977-83 Star Wars trilogy.

Marking series creator George Lucas’s return to directing, The Phantom Menace opened twenty years ago this month, with some fans camping out for days (plural!) to experience a screening on opening day. And while the movie was an undeniable box-office smash, breaking numerous earnings and attendance records, there was a great disturbance in the Force as the film left a lot of moviegoers and critics underwhelmed and disappointed. [Read on here...]

We’re going to have a new Michael Coate retrospective today in his History, Legacy & Showmanship column here at The Bits, looking back at Star Wars: The Phantom Menace in honor of yesterday’s 20th anniversary for the film. That will be up later this afternoon, so be sure to watch for it.

In the meantime, we have a bit of 4K and standard Blu-ray news to report...

First up, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has set Rob Reiner’s Stand by Me for release on 4K Ultra HD on 8/27. Scanned from the original camera negative, the film will be presented with a new Dolby Atmos mix, along with the original theatrical mono audio and the previous 5.1 remix. Extras on the 4K disc will include never-before-seen deleted and alternate scenes. The package will also include the previous Blu-ray with picture-in-picture video commentary with Reiner and the cast, the Walking the Tracks: The Summer of Stand by Me documentary, and audio commentary with Reiner. You can see the cover artwork at left. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

The Matrix managed to outdo Star Wars in terms of truly reshaping the zeitgeist mere months before George Lucas’ first prequel was supposed to roar into theaters and show everyone how big budget sci-fi is supposed to work.” — Zaki Hasan, co-author of Geek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 20th anniversary of the release of The Matrix, the popular, franchise-inspiring action/sci-fi/cyberpunk adventure starring Keanu Reeves (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, John Wick) and highlighted by Academy Award-winning editing, sound effects editing, sound, and visual effects.

Directed by The Wachowskis (Bound, Speed Racer), produced by Joel Silver (Die Hard, Lethal Weapon) and co-starring Laurence Fishburne (Boyz n the Hood, What’s Love Got to Do with It), Carrie-Anne Moss (Memento, Disturbia), Hugo Weaving (V for Vendetta, The Lord of the Rings), and Joe Pantoliano (Midnight Run, The Fugitive), The Matrix introduced moviegoers to Bullet Time and featured the music of Deftones, Marilyn Manson, Prodigy, Rage Against the Machine, Rammstein, and Rob Zombie. [Read on here...]

Afternoon, folks. We’ve got some news reviews for you today, plus a couple of release announcements, a new special feature column and more!

First, the Blu-ray reviews... Tim has just posted his thoughts on Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria (2018) from Lionsgate. And Dennis Sueling has offered his take on Rob Marshall’s Mary Poppins Returns from Disney. Both are worth a look, so we hope you enjoy them!

Also here at The Bits today, our own Michael Coate has just a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column looking back at Ken Hughes’ Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary. The piece features a great interview with film historian John Cork, an expert of all things Ian Flemming-related. Do give it a look. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang should be fondly remembered as the bastard child of Mary Poppins and James Bond.” — John Cork, co-author of James Bond Encyclopedia

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the musical-fantasy adaptation of Ian Fleming’s 1964 novel starring Dick Van Dyke (The Dick Van Dyke Show, Mary Poppins).

Produced by Albert R. Broccoli (the James Bond series) and directed by Ken Hughes (The Trials of Oscar Wilde, Cromwell), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was highlighted by Irwin Kostal’s score and musical numbers by The Sherman Brothers, including their Oscar-nominated title song. Co-stars included Sally Ann Howes (Brigadoon stage production), Lionel Jeffries (The Trials of Oscar Wilde), Gert Frobe (Goldfinger), Anna Quayle (A Hard Day’s Night), Benny Hill (The Benny Hill Show), James Robertson Justice (The Guns of Navarone), and Robert Helpmann (The Red Shoes). [Read on here...]

We’ve some interesting release news today, starting with a little heads-up: Sources say that the long-anticipated official announcement of Ridley Scott’s Alien on 4K Ultra HD is happening very soon. So be sure to watch for that. We’ll have all the details here as soon as they’re official.

In other 4K announcement news, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has made Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down official for release on the format on 5/7.

It will include both the Theatrical and Extended cuts of the film newly remastered in 4K from the original camera negative and featuring an HDR grade approved by Scott. Both will also feature a new Dolby Atmos sound mix. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Fanboys is significant in that it shows how fandoms can argue without completely going toxic.” — Bill Watters, BleedingCool.com

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 10th anniversary of the release of Fanboys, the cinematic love letter to Star Wars (and geek culture and fandom in general).

Directed by Kyle Newman (The Hollow, Taylor Swift music videos Clean and Style) and with a screenplay by Ernest Cline (Ready Player One) and Adam F. Goldberg (The Goldbergs), the long-in-production comedy starred Jay Baruchel (Tropic Thunder, She’s Out of My League), Dan Fogler (Balls of Fury, Good Luck Chuck), Sam Huntington (Being Human, Superman Returns), Christopher Marquette (Freddy vs. Jason, Race to Witch Mountain), and Kristen Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Frozen). The film also features a series of amusing celebrity cameos, including Carrie Fisher, William Shatner and Billy Dee Williams. [Read on here...]

Afternoon, all. We’ve got a couple interesting items for you today...

First, Tim has posted a new review of Powerhouse Films and Indicator’s outstanding William Castle at Columbia: Volume Two Blu-ray box set, which streeted late last month and includes Zotz!, The Old Dark House, 13 Frightened Girls!, and Strait-Jacket. Do check it out and if you haven’t seen these films, they’re a hoot.

Also today, we have a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate featuring a look back at the James Bond film Quantum of Solace in honor of its 10th anniversary. The column features another terrific roundtable discussion, this time with historians Robert A. Caplen, John Cork, and Lisa Funnell. Enjoy!

And we’ve also posted the weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, whenever 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 greatly appreciate it. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Quantum of Solace demonstrates that the Bond franchise still relays a British imperialist standpoint through its depiction of the global south and continues to rely on problematic politics of representation that draw into question whether the films of the Daniel Craig era can be considered progressive within the Bond film canon.” — Lisa Funnell, co-author of The Geographies, Genders, and Geopolitics of James Bond

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 10th anniversary of the release of Quantum of Solace, the 22nd (official) cinematic James Bond adventure and second to feature Daniel Craig as Agent 007.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include From Russia with Love, Never Say Never Again, Live and Let Die, 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 2008’s Quantum of Solace. [Read on here...]

Page 1 of 21

Contact Michael Coate

Please type your full name.
Invalid email address.
Please send us a message.
Invalid Input
Loading...

Bits Latest Tweets

The Digital Bits
Today on The Bits – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) is coming to #Bluray as a #DisneyMovieClub exclusive thedigitalbits.com/columns/my-two…
The Digital Bits
Heads-Up: Warner’s #Batman: 4-Film Collection is now available for #4K #UltraHD pre-order on Amazon, street date 9/17 (SRP $89.99 and it will probably drop to 30% off soon)... #TimBurton #DC amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS…
The Digital Bits
BREAKING on The Bits – #AlitaBattleAngel, #TheDoors & #PetSematary, #Cinderella & more just announced for #Bluray, #DVD & #4K thedigitalbits.com/columns/my-two…