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The Dark Crystal has the distinction of being one of a very few films entirely starring puppets. It’s an amazing achievement.” — The Dark Crystal: The Ultimate Visual History author Caseen Gaines

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of The Dark Crystal, the fantasy adventure directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz (The Muppet Show) and produced by Gary Kurtz (Star Wars).

The Dark Crystal — which featured the Muppeteering talents of Henson and Oz and longtime Henson associates including Kathryn Mullen, Dave Goelz, Brian Froud, Jerry Nelson, and many others — opened 35 years ago this winter. In recent months there has been a surge in interest in the film, with numerous anniversary screenings (including several showcasing a newly discovered 70mm print from the original release), a new book highlighting the original production (see interview below), a 4K Ultra HD slated for release in March, and a forthcoming TV series. [Read on here...]

Die Another Day made good money, delivered on spectacle, but didn’t resonate.” — 007 historian John Cork

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 15th anniversary of the release of Die Another Day, the twentieth official cinematic James Bond adventure and which featured Pierce Brosnan’s fourth and final performance as Agent 007.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include Dr. NoThe Living Daylights, The Spy Who Lived 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 and History, Legacy & Showmanship continue the series with this retrospective featuring a Q&A with an esteemed group of James Bond scholars, documentarians and historians, who discuss the virtues, shortcomings and legacy of… Die Another Day. [Read on here...]

All right, we’ve got a couple things for you here at The Bits today...

First though, my apologies for being MIA for the last couple of days. We had family visiting this weekend and unfortunately they brought with them a plague-level case of the flu. Pretty much everyone ended up getting sick, including yours truly. I’ve literally been laid up in bed since Sunday. Get your flu shots, folks. I wish I had. The flu’s a bad one this year. Anyway, I’m about a good strong 60% right now, which is enough for me to get a couple things posted here on the site, starting with this...

Our own Michael Coate has just turned in a great new History, Legacy & Showmanship column here at The Bits celebrating the 50th anniversary of Mike Nichols’ The Graduate. The piece features a look back at the film’s original release and also a new interview with historian Beverly Gray. It’s worth your time, so do give it a look. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

The Graduate is a time capsule preserving [Baby Boomers’] youthful hopes and fears at a pivotal moment in American life.” — Beverly Gray, author of Seduced by Mrs. Robinson: How ‘The Graduate’ Became the Touchstone of a Generation

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of The Graduate, the acclaimed comedy starring Dustin Hoffman (Kramer vs. Kramer, Rain Man) as the titular character and Anne Bancroft (The Miracle Worker, The Turning Point) as the woman who seduces him.

One of the most popular films of the 1960s, The Graduate — which also featured Katharine Ross, William Daniels, Murray Hamilton and Elizabeth Wilson — opened 50 years ago this week, and for the occasion The Bits features a compilation of statistics, trivia and box-office data that places the movie’s performance in context; passages from vintage film reviews; a reference/historical listing of the movie’s exclusive limited-market first-run theatrical engagements; and, finally, an interview segment with author and film historian Beverly Gray who discusses the film’s impact and influence. [Read on here...]

As planned, my old friend Robert Meyer Burnett and I – joined by our significant others – saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi last night here in fiery SoCal. In Dolby Cinema no less, which is a helluva great way to see a film, let me tell you. We had absolutely perfect reclining seats, bright and vibrant laser projection, and Atmos sound to shake our backsides. And a good time was had by all, as you can see by the pictures.

But looking around on social media today, I’m struck by this thought: I kinda miss the days when people could just watch a movie. Seems to me, we used to know how to do that without all the handwringing and chest-puffery and whatnot. This is Star Wars, after all… not the Allied plans for the invasion of Normandy. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Afternoon, everyone! All right, we have more big news to report for you today...

The Walt Disney Company has just reached a deal to purchase 20th Century Fox and all related entertainment assets from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox for a deal reportedly worth in the neighborhood $68 billion. Yes, that includes the rights to the original Star Wars films. 21st Century Fox will retain Fox Broadcasting, Fox Sports, Fox News, and all the Fox TV stations, along with the actual 20th Century Fox studio lot in Century City. You can read more about this here at Variety today.

Now... with this news breaking, naturally the first question movie fans want to know is: Does this mean the original Star Wars is finally going to be released on disc. And the answer is: Cool your thrusters, Space Cowboys. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got a couple good items of business for you today, the first of which is a new 4K review…

I’ve just given Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar a look on 4K Ultra HD from Paramount. The disc streets next Tuesday, 12/19. It’s a full native 4K transfer and of course the film was shot in a combination of 35 mm and 65 mm IMAX, so it’s variable aspect ratio and looks tremendous. The disc will also appear in Warner’s Christopher Nolan Collection 4K box set which streets next Tuesday as well. We don’t yet have the whole box, but as soon as we do, rest assured we’ll get the other films reviewed for you guys as soon as possible.

FYI, Tim has also just posted his review of Captain from Castile on Blu-ray from Twilight Time. Enjoy! [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Afternoon, folks. We’ve got a bunch of release news to report today and some new disc reviews too. First the reviews...

Our own Tim Salmons has checked in with a look at a pair of All Region Blu-rays from Aussie distributor Umbrella Entertainment, including Drive-In Delirium: ’60s and ’70s Savagery and Drive-In Delirium: Maximum ’80s Overdrive. Be sure to check them out.

We’ve also posted the weekly update of the 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, we’d appreciate it if you used our Amazon links (any one of them) when you’re shopping from the retailer. Thank you!

The big news today is that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has set Dean Devlin’s Geostorm for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/23 (SRP $35.99 and $28.98), with a Digital release expected on 1/23. There’s no 4K Ultra HD version currently planned it seems, at least not at the moment. Extras on the Blu-ray will include 3 featurettes (Wreaking Havoc, Search for Answers, and An International Event). [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

“With Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gene Roddenberry proved that you can do Star Trek without Kirk and Spock and McCoy, that the dream of humanity reaching for the stars could be shared in many different ways, with many different characters, telling many different stories. And I think that all of us who love Star Trek are so much richer for it.” — Michael Okuda, co-author of The Star Trek Encyclopedia

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 30th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the first in a string of live-action television follow-ups to Gene Roddenberry’s legendary 1960s science fiction series. [Read on here...]

We have just a couple of quick release announcements and updates to offer you today, before we let you all head out for the weekend…

Shout! Factory has announced The ‘Burbs: Collector’s Edition for release on Blu-ray on 3/20 as part of their Shout Select line.

Also coming that day as part of their Select line is Oliver Hirschbiegel’s Downfall, an absoutely fantastic film about the last days of Hitler in WWII starring Bruno Ganz (and the source of a surprisingly persistent viral YouTube meme you may be familiar with – one of the early versions even referenced The Bits, as some of you longtime readers may recall). Shout! also has Macon County Line coming on 1/16 to the Select line. Extras on these titles are still TBA. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
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