History, Legacy & Showmanship

Jaws was something of an accidental blockbuster. It should not be blamed for being a good movie.” — Joseph McBride

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Jaws, Steven Spielberg’s legendary tale of a Great White preying on a coastal New England resort community during the lucrative summer tourism season.

Based upon Peter Benchley’s best-selling novel and starring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss, Jaws shattered all existing box-office records, scared the wits out of beachgoers, and became every studio’s dream model of a summer blockbuster (and, in some circles, a whipping boy for popular, successful movies). [Read on here…]

“1776” Arrives on Blu-ray

June 02, 2015 - 11:40 am   |   By

Nearly a decade after the high-definition Blu-ray Disc format was introduced, movie buffs and home theater consumers are finding there are still titles being released for the first time. Among the latest, 1776, the musical celebration of the founding of the United States, is being released this week by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

“I’m very happy that it is coming out on Blu-ray,” says Peter H. Hunt, the film’s director. “It’s not a major, major classic, but it is in its own right a ’classic.’ It has grown in that regard over the years. It’s like the little engine that could. It keeps chugging along. More and more people have seen it and love it.”  [Read more here...]

“Unlike most of the Bond films, [A View to a Kill] lacks the sense of cleverness that is so instrumental to the success of 007. It is a film where everyone was working a bit too quickly, where the inherent tone of a Bond film was in short supply, the Bond film that feels the most like an expensive TV movie. It is the Bond film that should have gotten the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment.” — John Cork

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 30th anniversary of the release of A View to a Kill, the 14th (official) cinematic James Bond adventure and, most notably, the final to star Roger Moore as Agent 007.  [Read on here...]

The Empire Strikes Back joins The Godfather, Part II as one of the rarest of films—a sequel that lives up to and expands upon its original.” — Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune

There is no question this year is a huge one for fans of Star Wars. While the whole galaxy awaits Episode VII: The Force Awakens, let us not forget this year also marks the 35th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, one of the most revered sequels of all time. The Digital Bits celebrates the occasion with this retrospective featuring a compilation of box-office data that places Empire’s performance in context, quotes from well-known movie critics, production and exhibition information, a list of the opening-week, limited-market theaters that were the first anywhere to play the movie, and an interview segment with a group of filmmakers and historians who discuss the attributes of the movie and examine why Empire is frequently labeled the fan favorite.  [Read on here...]

“[Spielberg] has said he felt invincible at the time, so what you get is a Steven Spielberg channeling his inner ten-year-old and going crazy on a movie backlot.” Mike Matessino

“The main reason to celebrate 1941,” says Mike Matessino, “is because it has been restored in HD and released on Blu-ray, particularly the extended version that fans have come to love and which Steven Spielberg considers his Director’s Cut.” Matessino produced the two-disc CD soundtrack release of 1941 issued by La-La Land Records in 2011 and will be hosting the American Cinematheque’s March 22nd screening of the film and cast-and-crew Q&A. The screening will mark the theatrical debut of a new DCP of the extended cut of the film.  [Read more here...]

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