History, Legacy & Showmanship

Displaying items by tag: Michael Coate

All right, it’s been a busy couple of days here at The Bits, and we’re starting as always with more new disc reviews for you to enjoy...

First up, Stephen has taken a look a pair of titles, including Matthew Bright’s Freeway (1996) in 4K Ultra HD from Vinegar Syndrome, along with Dan Wolman’s Maid in Sweden (1971) on Blu-ray from Code Red.

Also, Dennis has reviewed Richard Pearce’s No Mercy (1986) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

And Tim has offered his thoughts on Douglas Grossman’s Hell High (1989) on Blu-ray from Arrow Video, along with the first film from Arrow’s fantastic Shawscope: Volume One Blu-ray box set. He’s working his way through the set title by title, and today he covers Jeong Chang-Hwa’s King Boxer (1972, aka Five Fingers of Death).

As always, more reviews are on the way all week, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for them. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we have several more new disc reviews for you to close out the week today, and a bit more release news as well...

To start, Tim has turned in his thoughts on Paul Schrader’s Cat People (1982) in 4K Ultra HD from Scream Factory.

He’s also reviewed Sam Raimi’s Army of Darkness (1990) in 4K Ultra HD in both wide-release Amaray and Steelbook packaging, also from Scream Factory.

Stephen has taken a look at Yugo Sakamoto’s Baby Assassins (2021) on Blu-ray from Well Go USA Entertainment, as well as Jack Cardiff’s The Girl on a Motorcycle (1968) on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics, and also Sergio Bergonzelli’s Blood Delirium (1988) on Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome.

And Dennis has offered his thoughts on Rick Rosenthal’s Distant Thunder (1988) on Blu-ray from Paramount via Imprint Films.

All of these tiles are worth a look, and as always more reviews are forthcoming in the days ahead. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

On this final day of 2022, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past year and, really, on the past twenty-five years here at The Digital Bits website.

First though, our own Michael Coate has just delivered one final History, Legacy, and Showmanship retrospective for the year, a look back at Steven Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in celebration of the film’s 40th anniversary. The piece features another epic and multi-page roundtable interview with film experts and historians. Note that the piece will also be updated early in the new year with additional images and information, but the interview as it is is thorough and well worth your time, so be sure to check it out.

Now then… it’s an extraordinary thing to look back at twenty-five years of this website, a site I first started back in 1997 to cover the advent of DVD and to introduce the appreciation of cinema to a wider audience. As a film student at the Universal of Wisconsin in Madison, I had the honor of studying the subject under two of the finest film historians and theorists working today, David Boardwell and Kristin Thompson, not to mention the pleasure of discovering not just the Hollywood classics but the wider world of international cinema. And it’s been my goal—both then and now—to share that love and joy of discovery with everyone who might be interested. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

E.T. is the perfect balance between epic and intimate. It is an incredible example of how cinema can transport us into a world of limitless possibilities through imagination, and it showcases filmmaking at the highest level in its use of technology, skill, and craft. — Brian Herzlinger, director of My Date with Drew

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Steven Spielberg’s classic family film about the friendship between a boy and an alien visitor who is afraid, totally alone, and three million light years from home.

E.T. was the winner of four Academy Awards (visual effects, sound, sound editing, and John Williams’ original score) and starred Dee Wallace (The Howling), Henry Thomas (Cloak & Dagger), Robert MacNaughton (I Am the Cheese), Drew Barrymore (Firestarter), and Peter Coyote (Timerider). [Read on here...]

All right, it’s been a week since we’ve had a news update here at the site, and the reason is two-fold: First, there just hasn’t been a lot of news to report. And second, given that fact, we’ve all been working hard on a TON of new disc reviews here at The Bits. In fact, I’ve personally pledged to post a new 4K Ultra HD review each day all this week here at The Bits. So we’ll start today with the ones I’ve completed so far...

Now available for your reading enjoyment are my reviews of Paramount’s Halo: Season One – Limited Edition Steelbook, Kino Lorber Studio Classics’ Mystery Men, and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Elf and A Christmas Story, all in 4K Ultra HD. But the guys have been busy too...

To this, Tim has added his thoughts on Douglas Trumbull’s Silent Running (4K UHD) and The Count Yorga Collection (Blu-ray) from Arrow Video, the Species: Collector’s Edition (4K UHD) from Scream Factory, and Quiet Days in Clichy (4K UHD) from Blue Underground.

Stephen has contributed his takes on Married to the Mob (Blu-ray), Vortex (Blu-ray), and The Iceman Cometh (Blu-ray) from Vinegar Syndrome, Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons (4K UHD) from Warner, Golden Boy (Blu-ray) from Imprint, X (4K UHD) from Capelight Pictures, and The Sporting Club (Blu-ray) from Kino Lorber.

And Dennis has offered his take on the Barfly: Limited Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray) and Storm Center (Blu-ray) both from Imprint.

As I said a moment ago, still more reviews are on the way all this week, so be sure to keep checking back for them. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

The Godfather has become such an indelible part of American culture and world culture that it’s become one of those films that everyone knows even if they’ve never seen it.” – Ray Morton, author of King Kong: The History of a Movie Icon from Fay Wray to Peter Jackson

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola’s legendary film about the Corleone crime family.

Based upon Mario Puzo’s best-selling 1969 novel, the film adaptation starring Marlon Brando (A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront) won three Academy Awards (including Best Picture), was for a period of time the highest-grossing motion picture, spawned two sequels, and influenced countless filmmakers. The Godfather also starred Al Pacino (Dog Day Afternoon, Scarface), James Caan (Rollerball, Thief), Richard Castellano (A Fine Madness, Lovers and Other Strangers), Robert Duvall (The Great Santini, Tender Mercies), Sterling Hayden (The Killing, The Long Goodbye), John Marley (Faces, Love Story), Richard Conte (I’ll Cry Tomorrow, Ocean’s 11), and Diane Keaton (Annie Hall, Looking for Mr. Goodbar). [Read on here...]

We’ve got three more new disc reviews for you today...

Stephen has taken a look at Ben Stiller’s uneven Vietnam war comedy Tropic Thunder (2008) in 4K Ultra HD from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

Dennis has offered his thoughts on Alexander Hall’s I Am the Law (1938) on Blu-ray from Imprint films.

And I’ve taken a look at Universal’s new 4K Ultra HD release of Robert Mulligan’s To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), with an assist by our old friend Dr. Adam Jahnke via his thoughts on the film itself.

We’ve got more new disc reviews coming all week, so be sure to watch for them. And tomorrow, we expect to have a brand new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate for you to enjoy—a nice longform read for cinephiles to distract from all the Election Day lunacy here in the States. So be sure to watch for that.

In announcement news today, 20th Century Studios and New Regency have set David O. Russell’s Amsterdam for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 12/6, with the Digital release expected on 11/11. Look for the 4K to include HDR10 high dynamic range, Dolby Atmos audio, and one extra: Welcome to Amsterdam. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

I hope all of you are having a good and relaxing Saturday afternoon, or are at least enjoying the weekend in your own unique manner.

We’ve got just two quick news items to report for you this afternoon, a quick site update, and another new disc review to share with you. As always, the review comes first...

I’ve just posted our very in-depth review of Michael Curtiz’s classic cinema masterpiece Casablanca (1942) as newly remastered in 4K Ultra HD by Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging and released on physical disc by our friends at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

There are precious few films that—no matter how often you see them—you finish watching and just immediately think, “Well, that’s a masterpiece.” Casablanca is one of them. The film never gets old. It’s one of the all-time classics. There’s a real argument to be made that it’s the single best film produced in the Golden Age of the Hollywood studio system.

Longtime Bits readers will probably remember that our dear friend and Classic Coming Attractions columnist Barrie Maxwell—who passed away in 2012—wrote a terrific review of this film here at The Bits when it first appeared on HD disc in 2007. Barrie’s enthusiasm for the film shines through in every word, so I’ve taken his thoughts on the film and updated them to include my own commentary on the A/V quality and extras on Warner’s new 4K release.

Whether you’ve seen this film a hundred times or never before, it’s an experience that’s not to be missed, and the new 4K disc is certainly the best way to do so. So I hope you enjoy both the review (linked here) and the disc when you get your hands on it this coming week. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got a LOT of Blu-ray and 4K announcement news today, as well as lots of new Amazon pre-order links. But first, we have a few more new disc reviews...

Tim has taken a look at Steve Wang’s Drive (1997) on 4K Ultra HD from 88 Films and the MVD Rewind Collection.

Dennis has turned in his thoughts on Onur Tukel’s Summer of Blood (2014) on Blu-ray Disc from Vinegar Syndrome.

And Stephen has offered his take on Neil Marshall’s Dog Soldiers (2002) on 4K Ultra HD in a terrific special edition release from Second Sight.

Also here at The Bits, our own Michael Coate has posted a great new History, Legacy, and Showmanship column featuring a retrospective look at George Lucas’ Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones on the occasion of the film’s 20th anniversary. The piece contains a complete rundown of the film’s first-run D-Cinema and IMAX presentations, along with a roundtable interview with historians Stephen Danley, W.R. Miller, and Richard Woloski. If you’re a Star Wars fan in particular, I think you’ll really enjoy it. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Attack of the Clones represents George Lucas’ forward-thinking perhaps more than any of his other films. – Stephen Danley, Star Wars at the Movies

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 20th anniversary of the release of Attack of the Clones, the second and middle episode in George Lucas’s Star Wars prequel trilogy.

For the occasion of Attack of the Clones’s recent anniversary, The Bits features a multi-page article consisting of a Q&A with a trio of Star Wars historians and enthusiasts who reflect on the film.

It also contains detailed box-office data and statistics, passages from film reviews, and a reference listing of its North American first-run D-Cinema and IMAX presentations. [Read on here...]

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