My Two Cents

Rocky deserves to be celebrated first because of how it’s always made people feel: capable and empowered. Then there’s the fact that it’s also a cultural landmark. Rocky gave us the fanfare, the song, and the proper use of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s front steps.” — I, of the Tiger author Eric Lichtenfeld

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Rocky, the award-winning and franchise-inspiring boxing classic starring Sylvester Stallone as the titular character.

Directed by John G. Avildsen (The Karate Kid, Lean on Me) and produced by Irwin Winkler & Robert Chartoff (Raging Bull, The Right Stuff), Rocky showcased memorable performances by Carl Weathers as opponent Apollo Creed, Talia Shire as love interest Adrian, Burgess Meredith as trainer Mickey, and Burt Young as friend and Adrian’s brother Paulie. Nominated for ten Academy Awards (and winning three including Best Picture), the film made a star out of Stallone, featured Bill Conti’s rousing music, turned millions of moviegoers on to boxing, and created a newfound purpose for the steps leading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. [Read on here...]

My apologies, but this flu I’ve come down with has gotten worse rather than better today. So I’ve got a release news update for you but that’s about it. Still, there’s definitely some good news to report.

First up, Kino Lorber has set Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat (1944) for Blu-ray release on 3/7. Extras will include audio commentary by film historian Tim Lucas, audio commentary by film professor Drew Casper, The Making of Lifeboat documentary, an animated montage of images, and reversible cover art (the front part of which you can see there on the left). Also coming to Blu-ray on 3/7 from the company is Richard Fleischer’s Compulsion (1959). [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Well, I’ve been fighting it for a few days now but it seems that I’ve finally come down with some kind of flu bug. Damn it. The upside is that I’m spending a lot of time watching movies, so I’m working on more 4K reviews here today.

Meanwhile, Tim has checked in with a new Scream for a Week column in which he delivers a pair of new Blu-ray reviews of his own: Scream Factory’s The Beast Within and the Ghoulies/Ghoulies II Double Feature. He also tosses in his thoughts on Vestron Video’s new C.H.U.D.: Bud the Chud. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

This is just a quick post to close out the week here at The Bits, but I wanted to chime in this afternoon with my non-spoiler comments about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which I saw last night in RealD 3D (via Barco Laser projection – no IMAX Laser 3D, but it’s good).

First of all, let me say: I really enjoyed the hell out of this film. I actually liked it more than I liked The Force Awakens, and I enjoyed that film too. Rogue One manages a nifty threading of the needle. On the one hand, it has to feel like authentic Star Wars (it certainly does to me) and it has to meet very high fan expectations (it mostly does this for me too). On the other hand, no film can possibly do that for everyone. Every longtime fan has likely imagined the story described in the opening crawl of the original Star Wars, and every one of those fans who is now connected to the film industry in one way or another has probably already directed that movie in their heads. So not everyone is going embrace everything about this film. Yet, it’s still a blast. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, this will be a day long remembered! Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens tonight at theaters all across the States and around the world. But we’ll come back to that in a moment.

First, we’ve got more reviews for you. I’ve just posted my thoughts on Warner and DC’s Suicide Squad in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format. I don’t much care for the film myself, but it sure looks great and the 4K disc is pretty terrific in terms of A/V quality. There’s a nice batch of extras on the enclosed Blu-ray too. So that’s something.

Also, Tim has turned in his thoughts on Val Lewton and Jacques Tourneur’s classic 1942 horror film Cat People, which has recently been released on Blu-ray Disc by our friends over at the Criterion Collection. It’s a great disc, so don’t miss it!  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Here at the site today, Tim has turned in a new Blu-ray review, this time featuring Criterion’s recent release of Carnival of Souls (1962). It’s a terrific package, with an amazing transfer and fine extras too.

We’ve also got Russell’s weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K cover artwork as well as Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, whenever you order anything at all after clicking to Amazon through any of our links, you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it very much.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

We’re kicking things off this week with Tim’s in-depth thoughts on Well Go USA’s new Phantasm: Remastered Blu-ray release (see here). Sounds like the new transfer is pretty terrific, though you might want to keep those older versions of the film for all the previous extras.

In announcement news today, Lionsgate Home Entertainment is planning a Dirty Dancing: 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo release for 2/7, following a brief return to theaters for the film on 1/29 and 2/1 through Fathom Events. The home media release will include a regular Blu-ray/DVD Combo and a Limited Edition Collector’s Box set with swag. Both will feature new disc-based extras. You can see the regular version at the left there. We’ll post additional details as they become available.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Okay, just got a quickie post to close out the week here at The Bits, as I’m hard at work on more new disc reviews. Among the titles I’m working are Kubo and the Two Strings and UFO: The Complete Series on Blu-ray (the latter being a Region B title), and also Suicide Squad, Morgan, and The Magnificent Seven in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format. So watch this space over the next week or so for my thoughts on those.

Meanwhile, Tim has turned in a new Blu-ray review himself, in this case a look at Lucio Fulci’s Manhattan Baby: 3-disc Limited Edition, which is now available from our friends over at Blue Underground.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

We have just a quick update for you this afternoon, as I’ve been working hard to get a number of important Blu-ray and 4K titles reviewed this week. As such, I’ve just finished my in-depth look at the wonders of CBS’ new Star Trek: The Original Series – The Roddenberry Vault on Blu-ray, which streets next week (12/13). I’ve also found Lionsgate’s recent Hell or High Water well worth your time on Blu-ray, as it’s one of the best films of 2016. Be sure to give both of them a look.

The big announcement news today is that 20th Century Fox has officially set The Birth of a Nation for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on 1/10. Extras on the Blu-ray will include audio commentary by director Nate Parker, deleted scenes with optional commentary (also included on the 4K), the #AmeriCAN short film with optional commentary, the Rise Up: The Legacy of Nat Turner documentary, 4 featurettes (The Birth of a Nation: The Making of a Movement, “Free God” Spoken Word, Celebration of Independent Voices: Nate Parker, and Shooting Script), and an image gallery. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

First up this afternoon, we have a trio of new disc reviews. I’ve given Sony’s The Da Vinci Code a look on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format and Tim has turned in a new Scream for a Week column with reviews of Jack’s Back and the Black Christmas: Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray Disc. All of them are worth your consideration, especially for fans of the films in question.

Also, our own Russell Hammond has posted the weekly Release Dates & Artwork update with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, anytime you order literally anything from Amazon in the same session after you click to them through one of our links, you’re not only getting a good deal but you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we greatly appreciate it. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
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