History, Legacy & Showmanship

“[Spielberg] has said he felt invincible at the time, so what you get is a Steven Spielberg channeling his inner ten-year-old and going crazy on a movie backlot.” Mike Matessino

“The main reason to celebrate 1941,” says Mike Matessino, “is because it has been restored in HD and released on Blu-ray, particularly the extended version that fans have come to love and which Steven Spielberg considers his Director’s Cut.” Matessino produced the two-disc CD soundtrack release of 1941 issued by La-La Land Records in 2011 and will be hosting the American Cinematheque’s March 22nd screening of the film and cast-and-crew Q&A. The screening will mark the theatrical debut of a new DCP of the extended cut of the film.  [Read more here...]

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Here at the site today, our own Michael Coate has posted another great History, Legacy & Showmanship column featuring a look back at Robert Wise’s The Sound of Music, celebrating the 50th anniversay of the film. The piece includes details of its original roadshow release and a new interview with film historians too. Don’t miss it.

All right, we’ve got a bunch of announcement news for you today, so let’s get right to it…

First up, the BIG catalog news is that HBO is releasing The Wire: The Complete Series on Blu-ray Disc on 6/2 (SRP $199.99). Extras on the 20-disc set will include 12 audio commentaries, 3 prequel videos, a gag reel, Q&A with series creator David Simon and the creative team, and multiple behind-the-scenes documentaries and featurettes. As many of you know, the show has been reformatted from 4x3 to 16x9 for its HD release, but this has been done in consultation with Simon himself, who views it as a “valid alternate version of the series” (you can read his in-depth thoughts about this here on his blog).  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

“I knew we had a good picture, but I had no idea that it would become such a staggering hit.” — producer-director Robert Wise

“Considering the degree to which most people pride themselves being cynical, I’m still surprised that a movie this heartfelt was so thoroughly embraced by so many people and continues to be. Perhaps folks aren’t as hard-edged as they pretend to be.” — film historian and author Barry Monush  [Read more here...]

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We’ve got a few more reviews for you today, as promised.

Before we get to those though, I’ve got a quick note: This is going to be my last post on The Bits for a couple weeks. There are a couple reasons for this. First, I need a break. For the last several months now I’ve been working myself ragged without much of a let up. One of the problems – good to have, but problems no less – of running your own business is that there’s no end to the amount of hours you can work. So, I am sorely in need of a good staycation to recharge the batteries. The other reason, though, is that my wife and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this year. Our actual anniversary is in the Fall, but we’re going to be busy then with other things, so we’ve decided to celebrate early this year. Anyway, I hope you all understand and I appreciate your patience. I’ll be back on March 4th to resume business as usual. Meanwhile, back to those reviews… [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Star Trek: The Motion Picture provided a unique experience, leaving some audience members, myself included, elated at the prospect, “The Human Adventure Is Just Beginning.” — Robert Meyer Burnett

“I do feel very lucky to have been a kid while this amazing renaissance of fantasy filmmaking was going on.… Star Wars, then Close Encounters, then Superman, then Alien, then Star Trek: The Motion Picture… at least in terms of going to the movies, those are two-and-a-half years I wish I could experience again. It was a truly magical time.” — Mike Matessino  [Read more here...]

[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!]

All right, we have a very quick post for you today, as there’s very little news to report (other than all of this Sony Picture hacking business, which is being reported everywhere today) and we’re working hard on those Blu-ray reviews.

Speaking of which, our own Shane Buettner has checked in with his thoughts on a pair of Robert Altman catalog films newly available on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber – Thieves Like Us and The Long Goodbye.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

“[T]he lasting impact of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is that it showed that a James Bond film could be made without Sean Connery in the lead role. The producers maintained that audiences came to the films to see James Bond, not necessarily the actor playing him.” — Bruce Scivally

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 45th anniversary of the release of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the sixth cinematic James Bond adventure and, most notably, the first not to star Sean Connery as Agent 007.  [Read more here...]

[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 Tim Salmons kicks things off here at The Bits today by sharing his thoughts on a new classic Blu-ray release from Kino Lorber – Richard Brooks’ Elmer Gantry (1960).

Also today, Michael Coate celebrates the 35th anniversary of Robert Wise’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture in his History, Legacy & Showmanship column with an interview with film historian Preston Neal Jones, author of the new book Return to Tomorrow: The Filming of Star Trek: The Motion Picture – An Oral History of the Legendary Production Documented as It Happened. You’ll enjoy both the interview and the book, so be sure to give the column a look.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

“The Human Adventure Is Just Beginning.”

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the first big-screen adventure of the crew of the USS Enterprise.

The Bits celebrates the occasion with a Q&A with film historian and author Preston Neal Jones, who was given unprecedented access to Star Trek: The Motion Picture during its production, interviewing numerous cast and crew members in the process of creating an oral history of one of the most popular and significant science fiction films ever made.  [Read more here...]

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