November 2019

All right, folks... this is our last post of 2019, the year that Blade Runner finally became the present.

We do have a couple good things for you today...

First, Tim has turned in his in-depth review of Scream Factory’s new The Fly Collection box set, which includes the original The Fly (1958), Return of the Fly (1959), and Curse of the Fly (1965), along with the newer remake The Fly (1986) and The Fly II (1989) as well as a host of extras both new and legacy. It’s a great Blu-ray set, so do give it a look.

Also here at the site today, our own Michael Coate has turned in not one but two new History, Legacy & Showmanship columns to close out the year. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Star Trek: The Motion Picture wasn’t a perfect film, but it had a plethora of nearly perfect moments.” — Inglorious Treksperts co-host Mark A. Altman

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the first big-screen adventure based upon Gene Roddenberry’s legendary 1960s television series with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley reprising the roles that made them famous of Kirk, Spock and McCoy, respectively.

Directed by Robert Wise (West Side Story, The Sound of Music), the film also reunited James Doohan as Scotty, George Takei as Sulu, Majel Barrett as Dr. Chapel, Walter Koenig as Chekov, and Nichelle Nichols as Uhura, and also featured Persis Khambatta as Ilia and Stephen Collins as Decker. [Read more here...]

Hello, Dolly! is a well-dressed dinosaur.” — Matthew Kennedy, author of Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Hello, Dolly!, the Oscar-winning cinematic adaptation of the Broadway stage musical which starred Barbra Streisand (Funny Girl, Yentl) as singing matchmaker Dolly Levi.

Hello, Dolly! — directed by Gene Kelly (On the Town, Singin’ in the Rain) and which also starred Walter Matthau (The Odd Couple, The Bad News Bears) and Michael Crawford (Condorman, The Phantom of the Opera stage production) — opened 50 years ago this month. For the occasion, The Bits features an historical reference listing of the film’s major-market roadshow engagements and a Q&A with film historian Matthew Kennedy, who discusses the film’s virtues, shortcomings and legacy. [Read on here...]

Friday, 27 December 2019 17:52

A Big Release News Round-up for the Holidays

Okay, we’re going to take a little time on this Friday after Christmas to report on a whole bunch of upcoming titles that are newly announced or on the way.

First though, we have two more new disc reviews...

Dennis has turned in a look at John Lemont’s Konga (1961), new on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

And Tim has posted his thoughts on Robert Forley’s Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932), also newly released on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

Also here at The Bits today, we’ve updated our 4K Ultra HD Release List to include news that DiscoTek Media is working to bring Hayao Miyazaki’s Lupin the 3rd: The Castle of Cagliostro to 4K Ultra HD here in the States early in 2020.

We’ve also added Vinegar Syndrome’s Tammy and the T-Rex, directed by Stewart Raffill, which is coming to physical 4K Ultra HD on January 18th (along with Blu-ray/DVD Combo). [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Today will be the last post until Friday, when we’ll return with a bit of a release news update. But we do have a couple of interesting items for you today…

First, we’ve got a pair of new Blu-ray reviews for your, including Tim’s look at John Badam’s Dracula (1979) from Scream Factory. The film stars Frank Langella and Laurence Olivier and the disc is worth a look.

We’ve got a new review from Dennis too, this of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Cotton Club Encore on Blu-ray from Lionsgate. There’s not a lot included in the way of extras, but the presentation quality is very good. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Our old friend Drew Stewart—who is a longtime Digital Bits reader—is the webmaster for Star Wars Revisited and also curates the Star Wars Visual Comparisons blog.

He’s been working diligently to create a kind of visual guide to all the changes found in the new Disney+ 4K version of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

Drew’s created a set of comparison images showing all of these updates and alterations—nearly 40 of them in all—and he’s kindly allowed us to compile them here in a 6-page gallery on The Digital Bits for all of you to see.

We definitely think that Star Wars fans will find this gallery both interesting and useful, not just to compare the new Disney+ 4K version to past Blu-ray and DVD releases, but also as a baseline in the event that further changes appear in the future. [Read on here...]

Published in Articles

“If you have never seen it, don’t expect Star Wars. Watch it for being an ambitious Disney answer to Star Wars. Watch it from the perspective of it signaling a change at Disney at that time. Watch it for the incredible sets, visual effects and a storyline that mimics 20000 Leagues under the Sea, but set in space.” — William Kallay, author of The Making of Tron

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of The Black Hole, the Walt Disney Company’s science-fiction and fantasy adventure directed by Gary Nelson (Freaky Friday) and featuring Oscar-nominated cinematography and visual effects.

Starring Maximilian Schell (Judgment at Nuremberg), Anthony Perkins (Psycho), Robert Forster (Jackie Brown), Joseph Bottoms (Santa Barbara TV series), Yvette Mimieux (The Time Machine), Ernest Borgnine (Marty), Roddy McDowall (Planet of the Apes), and Slim Pickens (Blazing Saddles), The Black Hole opened forty years ago this month, and for the occasion The Bits features a Q&A with Disney authority and The Making of Tron author William Kallay, who discuss the movie’s virtues and shortcomings. [Read more here...]

All right, I’ve got a quick update for you today and then I’m going to work to get the Empire Strikes Back comparison gallery up as promised.

First, some new reviews...

Tim has posted his in-depth thoughts on Shout! Factory’s new 28-film Abbott and Costello: The Complete Universal Pictures Collection – 80th Anniversary Blu-ray Edition box set. And it’s apparently—per Tim—pretty damn terrific. It deserves a look.

We’ve also got Dennis’ take on Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, which I reviewed a few days ago in 4K. It’s definitely a film that’s worth your time, whichever format you view it on.

Also here at The Bits today, we’ve posted the weekly update of our Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover art and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, whenever you order literally anything from Amazon after clicking through our links, it’s a boon to our work here at the site and we certainly appreciate it. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, as most of you know by now, tonight marks the opening of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in theaters. My wife, brother, and I are joining our old friend Robert Meyer Burnett and his family for the first showing at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood, where it all began back in 1977. And having just seen a press screening of the film on Tuesday, we’re very much looking forward to seeing it again in IMAX Laser projection. The upshot is that today’s post is going to be a brief one.

However… we DO have a little more detail for you about the recently revealed Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga 4K/Blu-ray box set that’s now known to be coming on 3/31/2020.

Not only will it include all 9 of the “Skywalker” films on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Disc, each film will include a bonus disc of extras (for a total of 27 discs). It’s reasonable to assume that virtually everything that’s ever been released previously for each of these films in terms of special features is fair game for inclusion on these bonus discs and it’s possible there may be new features too. But of course we won’t know for sure until this set is officially announced. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, there’s a little more ground to cover today...

First, our friends at The Criterion Collection have announced their March 2020 slate of titles, which is set to include David Maysles’ Salesman (Cat #122 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 3/10, Spike Lee’s Bamboozled (Cat #1019 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 3/17, John M. Stahl’s Leave Her to Heaven (Cat #1020 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Mikhail Kalatozov’s The Cranes Are Flying (Cat #146 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 3/24, and James Whale’s Show Boat (Cat #1021 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Barbra Streisand’s The Prince of Tides (Cat #1022 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 3/31. We’ve updated the Criterion Spines Project pages here at The Bits accordingly. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents
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