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“The Empire Strikes Back joins The Godfather, Part II as one of the rarest of films—a sequel that lives up to and expands upon its original.” — Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune
There is no question this year is a huge one for fans of Star Wars. While the whole galaxy awaits Episode VII: The Force Awakens, let us not forget this year also marks the 35th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, one of the most revered sequels of all time. The Digital Bits celebrates the occasion with this retrospective featuring a compilation of box-office data that places Empire’s performance in context, quotes from well-known movie critics, production and exhibition information, a list of the opening-week, limited-market theaters that were the first anywhere to play the movie, and an interview segment with a group of filmmakers and historians who discuss the attributes of the movie and examine why Empire is frequently labeled the fan favorite. [Read on here...]
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First up today, we’ve got a little follow-up on the BDA’s Ultra HD Blu-ray announcement, specifically a few additional technical clarifications...
The video resolution is 3840x2160, with disc capacity at 66GB (dual-layer) and 100GB (triple-layer) – at data rates of 108 mbps and 128 mbps respectively – using the HEVC codec (H.265) via HDMI 1.2 and 2.0, as well as HDCP 1.4 and 2.2. The “digital bridge” system (for Digital Copy) is optional and consists of copy features that enables local playback. What that means for each disc/player is up to the manufacturer and although the Ultra HD Blu-ray spec is complete, the BDA is waiting to hear how manufacturers will implement these features. [Read on here…]
Okay… unfortunately your dedicated editor is a little bit under the weather today, so I’m going to keep this quick in order to try and rest my way out of this blasted cold.
Nevertheless, we do have some good announcement news for you today, so let’s get right to it. [Read on here…]
Our very own Dr. Adam Jahnke has weighed today on a topic near and dear to many of you. His latest installment of An Honor to Be Nominated in Jahnke’s Electric Theatre looks back at this little 1977 space fantasy adventure that some of you might have heard of. I’ll let him tell you about it.
Before we get to the announcement news today, just a quick heads-up: Paramount’s 4-disc Star Trek: The Compendium Blu-ray set, which includes the 2-disc Star Trek (2009) SE and also the new 2-disc Star Trek Into Darkness SE (featuring the IMAX version of the film) is now available for pre-order on Amazon for just $31.99. Click on the link or on the cover artwork below to get your orders in. Street date is 9/9 and rebate details are still TBA. [Read on here...]
(If it can be difficult to remember who won the Academy Award for Best Picture, it’s downright mindbending trying to remember everything else it was up against. In An Honor To Be Nominated, I’ll be taking a look back at some of the movies the Oscar didn’t go to and trying to determine if they were robbed, if the Academy got it right, or if they should ever have been nominated in the first place.) [Read on here...]
Over the weekend, I’ve had a mighty interesting experience. Thanks to a friend in the industry, I’ve had the opportunity to revisit Star Wars on Blu-ray as I first experienced it many years ago – unaltered, in 720p high-definition, and with the original audio mixes. As some of you may know, I’m speaking of Harmy’s infamous “despecialized” edition of Star Wars – the most recent 2.5 version (early 1.0 versions of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi are available online too – this thread at Original Trilogy.com is a good place to start). [Read on here…]
We’re closing out our last full week of the Hell Plaza Oktoberfest with Dr. Jahnke’s review of John Carpenter’s Body Bags: Collector’s Edition from Scream Factory. Just four more reviews to go, but Jahnke’s saving a couple real gems for last.
Also today, we’ve posted our in-depth review of a true classic and a very long awaited Blu-ray release: Warner’s The Right Stuff: 30th Anniversary Edition. Not only is this a great film, but it’s a bit of smart satire that’s also deeply admiring of those the men – test pilots and astronauts alike – who exemplify the film’s title. And the Blu-ray looks and sounds pretty terrific, so don’t miss it. [Read on here...]
Earlier this year, The Digital Bits celebrated the 30th anniversary of Return of the Jedi with this retrospective article. Now, we continue our anniversary coverage of Jedi, the concluding chapter of George Lucas’s original Star Wars trilogy, with this Q&A with author J.W. Rinzler regarding his new book, The Making of Return of the Jedi, which is due out this week from Del Rey/LucasBooks. [Read on here…]