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On January 2, 2014, Mike Vraney died of lung cancer at the obscenely young age of 56. Mike’s name may not ring a bell but if you’re a fan of cult movies, exploitation flicks and bizarre ephemera like stag films and burlesque shows, you owe Mike a huge debt of thanks. In 1990, Mike founded Something Weird Video, one of the first and best labels dedicated to rescuing forgotten films from the dustbin of obscurity. Something Weird was a trailblazer in the industry. I’d argue that Mike’s passion for these movies and the success of Something Weird helped pave the way for all the cult boutique labels to follow, including Mondo Macabro, Synapse, Blue Underground and so many others. [Read on here…]
This is our last post for 2013, so we’ve got a couple quick things for you today...
First, our own Michael Coate has posted a new installment of his History, Legacy and Showmanship column, featuring a look at the restoration of Funny Girl with Sony’s Grover Crisp, as well as a look back at its roadshow engagement history. Don’t miss it! [Read on here...]
All right, hope you all had a great weekend…
We’ve added 14 more classic Blu-ray reviews from the original Bits website into the new review database here, including Adam Jahnke’s thoughts on Gamer, The Thing (1982), The Nightmare Before Christmas, Land of the Dead, Scream 4, Mimic, The Final Destination 3D, The Last Circus, Whip It, Halloween II: 30th Anniversary Edition, The New York Ripper, The Prowler, Splice and Frozen (2010). Lots more are coming, so we’ll keep at it until all of the old BD reviews are updated. [Read on here…]
Evening, folks! This is just a quick update for you with a few items of interest for you...
First, our own Mario Boucher has turned in a review of Universal’s new Fast & Furious 6: Extended Edition on Blu-ray Disc, so be sure to check it out.
Also, we’ve added four more retro Blu-ray reviews to the new site from the old Bits database: Barrie Maxwell’s review of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, my thoughts on THX 1138: The George Lucas Director’s Cut and Dr. Jahnke’s take on Stake Land and Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Santa Sangre. [Read on here…]
Well, folks... today is the Friday before Christmas, so you know what that means. Hollywood is shutting down for the holidays and lots of you are starting your Christmas vacations!
Things are going to be pretty slow over the next week or two, so we may not check in every day, but we’ll try to drop by if there anything worth reporting for you guys. You never know. And we’ll have some reviews for you too.
Speaking of which, we’ve just added no less than 12 Blu-ray Disc reviews into the new site’s database, including a pair of music titles in Sting: Bring on the Night and The Police: Certifiable, a couple of fine catalog titles in the form of Forrest Gump, Rocky Balboa and Outbreak, a mess of Dr. Jahnke’s horror reviews including Audition, Children of the Corn, Child’s Play, Book of Blood and The Blood Trilogy, and finally a pair of great holiday titles including White Christmas and – or course – It’s a Wonderful Life. What would the Christmas season be without those last two? [Read on here...]
So it turns out The Desolation of Smaug is pretty good. I mustered up the energy to catch a double-feature screening last night with a friend, and it was a fine evening’s entertainment. If you enjoyed the first Hobbit film, I think you’ll like this one a great deal more. The pacing is much more engaging. Fans of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy will definitely feel more at home here, as in this film the prequel trilogy really begins to reveal its connections to the previous films more strongly… and not just in the fact that Legolas (Orlando Bloom) features prominently. As one would hope, Smaug himself is wonderfully realized.
Smaug aside, with any luck you have a good art house theater in your neck of the woods, because there are a number of fine indie films worth seeing this holiday season: American Hustle, the Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis, All Is Lost, Nebraska, Her, 12 Years a Slave and many more. This is the time of year when all the great dramas get dumped into limited theatrical distribution so they quality for Oscar nominations, so be sure to head out to your local theater over the next 2 or 3 weeks. [Read on here…]
We’ve reached the end! The Hell Plaza Oktoberfest begins its final day here at The Digital Bits!
Dr. Jahnke’s final Oktoberfest review for you on this chilly Halloween morning is a true classic of horror cinema that’s yet to be surpassed: F.W. Murnau’s 1922 Nosferatu! It’s coming to Blu-ray and DVD on November 12th from our friend at Kino Lorber and it’s a beautiful new release. Check out Jahnke’s review and read all about it. [Read on here…]
(Psssst… it’s ENVY. Click here to continue if you dare...)
Okay... today’s Bits post is a very quick one, as we’re gearing up for tomorrow’s big Halloween finale for The Hell Plaza Oktoberfest Se7en. BUT...
The mad Dr. Jahnke’s Oktoberfest review for today is a gem – a preview of an upcoming DVD release from our very dear friend Bob Burns. It’s Bob Burns’ Hollywood Halloween! The 2-disc set looks back at all the great Halloween haunted houses that Bob and Kathy have held over the years at their home in Burbank! It includes a documentary by Lindsey Keith Jackson, footage of the actual haunted house experiences, interviews with the likes of John Landis, menus produced by our friend Van Ling, cover art by Vincent Di Fate and much more! The DVD is not quite ready for wide release yet, and distribution is still TBA. BUT... [Read on here...]
Today’s Oktoberfest giveaway is happening over on the Jahnke’s Electric Theater Facebook page and features a copy of Anchor Bay’s Halloween: 35th Anniversary Edition, so be sure to head over there for your chance to win!
Today’s Hell Plaza Oktoberfest review is Adam’s look at Scream Factory’s Q: The Winged Serpent on Blu-ray, so be sure to check that out.
And note that tomorrow’s review and giveaway feature the same title and it’s something really special – a rare and cool Halloween-themed DVD title that isn’t yet even available in stores, but we’ll have TWO copies to give away so be sure to check back then. [Read on here…]