The Abyss does something that every single Cameron film does: explores new frontiers in the technology of film making. And that’s important.” — Matthew Kapell, editor of The Films of James Cameron: Critical Essays

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 30th anniversary of the release of The Abyss, James Cameron’s (The Terminator, Titanic) underwater sci-fi adventure starring Ed Harris (The Right Stuff) and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (The Color of Money).

Also starring Michael Biehn (Aliens) and featuring groundbreaking visual effects, The Abyss opened thirty years ago this past summer. For the occasion The Bits features a package of statistics and box-office data that places the movie’s performance in context, along with passages from vintage film reviews, a reference/historical listing of the movie’s showcase presentations, and, finally, an interview segment with a film historian who reflects on the film three decades after its debut. [Read on here...]

The Twilight Zone was an enormously creative television series anchored by one of the true giants of the medium, Mr. Rod Serling, a master storyteller who was given unprecedented control over his work. In terms of quality, no show touches it in consistent quality.” — Steven Jay Rubin, author of The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 60th anniversary of The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling’s classic anthology series which originally ran on CBS from 1959 to 1964.

The Twilight Zone premiered sixty years ago this month and for the occasion The Bits features a Q&A with a quartet of Rod Serling authorities and classic television historians who reflect on the timeless series (and its offspring) six decades after its debut. [Read on here...]

Paint Your Wagon is remembered as a standalone oddity in the careers of Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood.” — 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 Paint Your Wagon, the Oscar-nominated cinematic interpretation of the Lerner and Loewe stage musical which starred Lee Marvin (Cat Ballou, Point Blank), Clint Eastwood (Dirty Harry, Unforgiven) and Jean Seberg (Pendulum, Airport).

Paint Your Wagon — directed by Joshua Logan (South Pacific, Camelot) and which also featured Harve Presnell (The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Fargo) and Ray Walston (My Favorite Martian, Fast Times at Ridgemont High) — 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...]

“With his wealth of dramatic stage experience, Timothy Dalton seemed ideally suited to this harsher take on Bond, bringing both depth and sensitivity to the character while creditably articulating his quiet rage and single-mindedness. This was Bond, but not as we knew him — now much closer to the tone, if not the setting, of the original Fleming texts.” — Thomas A. Christie, author of The James Bond Movies of the 1980s

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 30th anniversary of the release of Licence to Kill, the 16th (official) cinematic James Bond adventure and second (and final) entry to feature Timothy Dalton as Agent 007.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include Moonraker, Quantum of Solace, From Russia with Love, Never Say Never Again, Live and Let Die, Octopussy, Casino Royale (1967), Tomorrow Never Dies, Die Another Day, Dr. No, The Living Daylights, The Spy Who Loved Me, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, Casino Royale, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, GoldenEye, A View to a Kill, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Goldfinger, and 007… Fifty Years Strong.

The Bits continues the series with this retrospective featuring a Q&A with an esteemed group of film historians and James Bond authorities who discuss the virtues, shortcomings and legacy of 1989’s Licence to Kill. [Read on here...]

“I remember thinking as Bond tumbled out of the airplane that this was going to be the greatest film ever. And then, moments later, Jaws flapped his arms falling toward a circus tent. I felt my own internal seismograph plummet. I was for the first time in my life, embarrassed for the filmmakers of a James Bond film.” — John Cork, co-author of James Bond Encyclopedia

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Moonraker, the 11th (official) cinematic James Bond adventure and the fourth of seven to feature Roger Moore as cinema’s most popular secret agent.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include Quantum of Solace, From Russia with Love, Never Say Never Again, Live and Let Die, Octopussy, Casino Royale (1967), Tomorrow Never Dies, Die Another Day, Dr. No, The Living Daylights, The Spy Who Loved Me, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, Casino Royale, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, GoldenEye, A View to a Kill, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Goldfinger, and 007… Fifty Years Strong.

The Bits continues the series with this retrospective featuring a Q&A with an esteemed group of film historians and James Bond authorities who discuss the virtues, shortcomings and legacy of 1979’s Moonraker. [Read on here...]

Alien (like other 1970s films such as Jaws, Superman, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Godfather, and Star Wars) was a seminal landmark in the upgrade of shopworn B-movie clichés — monsters, comic book characters, flying saucers, gangsters, Saturday afternoon serials — into major A-movie assets.” — Paul M. Sammon, author of Ridley Scott: The Making of His Movies

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Alien, the sci-fi/horror classic about the five-man, two-woman (and one cat) crew of the Nostromo, who got more than they bargained for after investigating a distress signal from a mysterious planet.

Suspense, atmospheric moodiness and Oscar-winning visual effects were among the highlights of Alien, directed by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Gladiator) and starring Tom Skerritt (Top Gun), Veronica Cartwright (The Right Stuff), Harry Dean Stanton (Repo Man), John Hurt (The Elephant Man), Ian Holm (Chariots of Fire), Yaphet Kotto (Live and Let Die), and Sigourney Weaver (Ghostbusters) as Ellen Ripley. [Read on here...]

The Phantom Menace is the film that caused a generation gap in Star Wars fandom.” — W.R. Miller, author of The Star Wars Historical Sourcebook: Volume One 1971 to 1976

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 20th anniversary of the release of Star Wars: Episode IThe Phantom Menace, the first entry in the long-awaited prequel trilogy to the original 1977-83 Star Wars trilogy.

Marking series creator George Lucas’s return to directing, The Phantom Menace opened twenty years ago this month, with some fans camping out for days (plural!) to experience a screening on opening day. And while the movie was an undeniable box-office smash, breaking numerous earnings and attendance records, there was a great disturbance in the Force as the film left a lot of moviegoers and critics underwhelmed and disappointed. [Read on here...]

The Matrix managed to outdo Star Wars in terms of truly reshaping the zeitgeist mere months before George Lucas’ first prequel was supposed to roar into theaters and show everyone how big budget sci-fi is supposed to work.” — Zaki Hasan, co-author of Geek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 20th anniversary of the release of The Matrix, the popular, franchise-inspiring action/sci-fi/cyberpunk adventure starring Keanu Reeves (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, John Wick) and highlighted by Academy Award-winning editing, sound effects editing, sound, and visual effects.

Directed by The Wachowskis (Bound, Speed Racer), produced by Joel Silver (Die Hard, Lethal Weapon) and co-starring Laurence Fishburne (Boyz n the Hood, What’s Love Got to Do with It), Carrie-Anne Moss (Memento, Disturbia), Hugo Weaving (V for Vendetta, The Lord of the Rings), and Joe Pantoliano (Midnight Run, The Fugitive), The Matrix introduced moviegoers to Bullet Time and featured the music of Deftones, Marilyn Manson, Prodigy, Rage Against the Machine, Rammstein, and Rob Zombie. [Read on here...]

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang should be fondly remembered as the bastard child of Mary Poppins and James Bond.” — John Cork, co-author of James Bond Encyclopedia

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the musical-fantasy adaptation of Ian Fleming’s 1964 novel starring Dick Van Dyke (The Dick Van Dyke Show, Mary Poppins).

Produced by Albert R. Broccoli (the James Bond series) and directed by Ken Hughes (The Trials of Oscar Wilde, Cromwell), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was highlighted by Irwin Kostal’s score and musical numbers by The Sherman Brothers, including their Oscar-nominated title song. Co-stars included Sally Ann Howes (Brigadoon stage production), Lionel Jeffries (The Trials of Oscar Wilde), Gert Frobe (Goldfinger), Anna Quayle (A Hard Day’s Night), Benny Hill (The Benny Hill Show), James Robertson Justice (The Guns of Navarone), and Robert Helpmann (The Red Shoes). [Read on here...]

Fanboys is significant in that it shows how fandoms can argue without completely going toxic.” — Bill Watters, BleedingCool.com

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 10th anniversary of the release of Fanboys, the cinematic love letter to Star Wars (and geek culture and fandom in general).

Directed by Kyle Newman (The Hollow, Taylor Swift music videos Clean and Style) and with a screenplay by Ernest Cline (Ready Player One) and Adam F. Goldberg (The Goldbergs), the long-in-production comedy starred Jay Baruchel (Tropic Thunder, She’s Out of My League), Dan Fogler (Balls of Fury, Good Luck Chuck), Sam Huntington (Being Human, Superman Returns), Christopher Marquette (Freddy vs. Jason, Race to Witch Mountain), and Kristen Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Frozen). The film also features a series of amusing celebrity cameos, including Carrie Fisher, William Shatner and Billy Dee Williams. [Read on here...]

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