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“The film may as well have been officially titled Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula, because it so unmistakably bears the stamp of its director.” — Dracula FAQ: All That’s Left to Know about the Count from Transylvania author Bruce Scivally

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 25th anniversary of the release of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Francis Ford Coppola’s take on the classic horror icon featuring Gary Oldman in the title role.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which also starred Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins and Keanu Reeves — and winner of numerous awards including three Oscars and five Saturns — opened 25 years ago this autumn. For the occasion, The Bits features a Q&A with film historian Bruce Scivally, who discusses the film’s virtues, shortcomings and influence. [Read on here...]

“Just think about that incredible introduction as Ursula Andress emerges from the water for the first time. It’s one of the great moments of ‘60s cinema.” — 007 and film/TV music historian Jon Burlingame

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 55th anniversary of the release of Dr. No, the first cinematic James Bond adventure.

As with our previous 007 articles (see The 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 Dr. No. [Read on here...]

All right, we’ve got another release news update for you to round out the week. So let’s get right to it…

First up, Warner Bros. has set The LEGO Ninjago Movie for release on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 12/19.

Lionsgate’s next pair of Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-ray titles, due on 1/30, are Class of 1999 and Gothic.

Only the Brave is apparently coming from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on Blu-ray, DVD and possibly 4K on 2/6/18. Pre-orders for the first two formats are now open on Amazon.com. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Evening, folks. Sorry our posts here at The Bits have been a little uneven this week. We had a lost in the family here unfortunately that’s put a little damper on the holiday season and has made it a little difficult getting work done. However, we have been continuing to work on new discs reviews for you guys.

Since Monday, we’ve posted my reviews of Warner’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 4K Ultra HD (which means we have now reviewed all 8 films in 4K here at The Bits), along with a joint review (by Tim and I) of Peter Jackson’s King Kong: Ultimate Edition in 4K from Universal, and also Tim’s thoughts on the Misery: Collector’s Edition from Scream Factory, the Blood Feast: Special Edition from Arrow Video, and Spotlight on a Murderer from Arrow Academy, all in regular Blu-ray. Tim has more Blu-ray reviews to come (including a look at CBS and Showtime’s new Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series), and I’m working on reviews of Atomic Blonde and Westworld in 4K, as well as the Speed Racer: Collector’s Edition box set from FUNimation, more of GKids’s Studio Ghibli titles, and other titles. So watch for those in the days ahead. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Afternoon, everyone! I hope all those of you here in the States had a happy and safe Thanksgiving weekend with your family and friends. We’ve got a couple interesting things for you here today, so let’s get right to it...

First, we have a pair of new Blu-ray reviews for you to enjoy. Tim has checked out Twilight Time’s The Pirates of Blood River and also Arrow Video’s new Hellraiser: Limited Edition Steelbook. Both are worth your time, so please give them a read. And I’m working on more new reviews myself, so watch for those soon.

Now then, today is Cyber Monday so the various online deals continue, including this one: Warner Archive is having a sale featuring 4 titles for $44. Click here for that and act fact to take advantage. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got one more new 4K Ultra HD review for you today, and that’s my in-depth look at Warner’s new Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. My review of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 4K has also now been fully updated to reflect the information I’ve heard back from Warner on its transfer.

Also, at some point in the next day or so (turkey coma permitting of course), I’ll have a review of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in 4K up for you as well. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got one more review for you guys at the moment, which is Tim’s look at Shout! Factory’s Into the Night: Collector’s Edition – a new Shout Select title. I’m working on another Harry Potter 4K UHD review, which I hope to have up a bit later. And I’ve updated my Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 4K UHD review to reflect corrected information, which is that the title was mastered from a new native 4K scan and not a 2K DI upsample as originally believed (and I’m double checking this with the studio just to make sure). The first two Potter films were released theatrically before the practice of using digital intermediates became common. Thanks to those Bits readers who spotted that.

Also, very quickly: Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy in 4K Ultra HD is now available for pre-order on Amazon from Warner Bros (click here or on the artwork below). It appears that The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises are going to be variable aspect ratio (for the IMAX footage) and that all three (and all of the films in the Nolan 4K Collection as well) will use the original theatrical audio mixes in lossless DTS-HD Master Audio format. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

We’ve got more reviews for you to check out today here at The Bits, including my thoughts Warner’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on 4K Ultra HD and also Tim’s take on Arrow Video’s Doberman Cop: Special Edition.

A quick heads-up: I’m aware that the Potter cover link goes to a broken page on Amazon – for some reason the order page for that title is MIA. We’ll add it as soon as it goes back live and we link to the Harry Potter 8-Film Collection 4K set in the review text. More reviews are coming this week, so keep checking back. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Let’s get right down to business to start the new week…

First up, we’ve got a trio of new disc reviews for you to check out. I’ve offered my thoughts on Sony’s new A Few Good Men: 25th Anniversary Edition on 4K Ultra HD, which is one of the best film-based catalog titles I’ve seen yet on the format in terms of A/V quality. I’ve also posted a review of Netflix’s Target-exclusive Stranger Things: Season 1 on Ultra HD, which is native 4K but has no HDR and only lossy audio – a real disappointment, all things considered. Meanwhile, Tim has posted his review of Shout! Factory’s new Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXXIX box set on DVD. Note that more Blu-ray and 4K reviews are on the way all this week, so keep checking back. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got a few things for you today...

First, our own Michael Coate posted a great new History, Legacy & Showmanship retrospective last night celebrating Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind on the occasion of the film’s 40th anniversary. Michael’s column looks back at the film’s initial theatrical run and features another great roundtable discussion of film historians. It’s a good read, so be sure to give it a look.

Now then... a quick commentary. Almost every day, I get asked this question in some form via email or social media: “Why no 3D?” As in: My favorite film was available in 3D in the theater, but how come the studio didn’t release it on Blu-ray 3D for the home? [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
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