All right, I’ve had family here over the long Memorial Day weekend which is why I missed yesterday’s update.  But we’ll get you caught up today, no problem…

First, for those who may have missed it on Saturday, be sure to check out Michael Coate’s new column here at The Bits called History, Legacy & Showmanship.  His first installment is a look back at Return of the Jedi on the 30th anniversary of the film’s release.

Also, Russell Hammond posted our weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section yesterday with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links.  As always, a portion of anything you order from Amazon (in the same browsing session) after clicking to them through our links goes to help support our work at The Bits and we really appreciate it.

Afternoon, folks!  Well… I promised you guys that we’d check in with a little something fun for you Star Wars fans today and indeed here we are.

We’re officially pleased to welcome writer and film historian Michael Coate to The Bits staff today as a new regular Contributing Editor!  Michael is launching a new column here at the site called History, Legacy & Showmanship.  His first piece for us is a massively-detailed look back at opening day for the film Return of the Jedi, which celebrates its 30th Anniversary today! 

“The first triple crown of motion pictures.” — Sheila Benson, Los Angeles Times

Where Were You On Opening Day?

May 25, 1983… one of the most famous and memorable days in motion picture history.  If you are a Star Wars fan of a certain age, chances are you remember where you were that day.  Like countless others who ditched school or called in sick to work, you were probably standing in a very long line awaiting your opportunity to see the concluding chapter of George Lucas’s original Star Wars trilogy.  Yes, believe it or not, Return of the Jedi has turned thirty years old.

All right… yesterday’s My Two Cents was a quickie so we’re making it up to you today with a nice long post and lots of news, given that this is (almost) our last post before Memorial Day weekend.  More in a minute.

First up this morning, some disc reviews…

The good Dr. Jahnke has turned in new musings on Twilight Time’s Philadelphia and Scream Factory’s The Town that Dreaded Sundown, both on Blu-ray Disc.  Philadelphia is a limited release of just 3,000 copies, available as always here through Screen Archives Entertainment (SRP $29.95).

Also today, we’ve upgraded more of Tim’s Blu-ray reviews from the old Bits website including Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, the Dumbo: 70th Anniversary Edition, Super, The Host: Collector’s Edition, Brooklyn’s Finest and the American Graffiti: Special Edition.  Enjoy!

Next up… some release news…

As we’ve been promising you Jeff Kleist’s follow-up report on Microsoft’s Xbox One announcement for a couple days now, we thought we’d give it to you in its own post to separate it from all of today’s other news.  So here’s Jeff to fill you in on the details and to offer a little informed opinion (though his own and not necessarily that of The Bits as a whole)…

“With the Xbox One announcement yesterday there has been a huge amount of traffic in the Twitter-verse and not all of it is excitement.  The elephant in the room, at least for gamers, has been the supposed blocking of used games by Microsoft’s console, a technology that is also part of Sony’s forthcoming PS4.  There is truth to this, but many fans online have blown it entirely out of proportion.  PC gaming, especially the hugely popular Steam service, has been blocking resale of games, tying them to one account for all of eternity via some kind of serial number.  This feature is completely optional and up to the manufacturer of the game in question.

All right, I’ve got a lot of family stuff going on here today – what with Memorial Day weekend impending – so today’s post is going to be a quick one.  BUT…

We’ve got a GREAT new View from the Cheap Seats column for you today.  Our very own Bud Elder has offered up a true classic for you guys today!  Turns out, in his many twists and turns through the film industry over the years, Bud became good friends with the immortal Gary Busey.  Yeah… that Gary Busey.  And Bud’s got stories!  Enough said.  So run – do not walk – to read his new column today:  On the Immortal Gary Busey (& Other Musings)…

My friends and I used to play drinking games based on lines from the immortal Blazing Saddles and, usually, as we were about to be thrown out of one of the lesser establishments, my pal John Beebe, in his cups after about 12 screwdrivers, would stop all proceedings and yell, “I’ll now be reading from the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and… Duck!”

I mention this now, because of a specific reaction to a long held statement that I’ll make anywhere, anytime.

I believe that one Gary Busey, admittedly a friend of mine, is a wonderful raconteur, an Oscar nominated actor of great skill… and an all around good guy.

Duck!

Guten Tag, dear readers!  We’ve got some good stuff for you here today...

As it happens, it’s officially Doogan Day here at The Digital Bits.  Our very own Todd Doogan is kicking off a new regular column here at The Bits called Gripe Soda, where he’ll chime in about Blu-ray, DVD, film, TV, comic books and pretty much anything else that catches his fancy or gets his goat.  Doogan is also serving as the official curator for another new section we’re launching on The Bits today called The Criterion Spines Project, where we’re going to be compiling as many of our reviews of Criterion titles on Blu-ray and DVD as we can in the months and years ahead.  And he’s christening the section today with his own new review of Criterion’s terrific Blu-ray special edition of Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon.  So we hope you enjoy it all... and stay tuned for Doogan’s future exploits around here!

As my passion for writing about DVD and Blu-ray has waned over the years, my passion for collecting all my favorite films has not.  In fact, it’s become a bit more personal because I don’t get many screener copies anymore.  Most of the stuff I have added to my collection over the last few years have been things I have bought myself or gifts from friends and family.  And the one thing I have consistently kept up with, is my Criterion collection.

Wednesday, 17 March 2021 02:00

The Criterion Collection: 1-100

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