My Two Cents
Tuesday, 28 March 2017 13:03

Here’s What’s Wrong with Movies...

I’ve figured out what’s wrong with movies.

This thesis prevailed on me as I went to see the 3-D Imax version of a new picture called The Great Wall. This picture opened to dismal reviews, but the previews had made it look righteous and the effects, I knew, would be fun, and they were and the whole experience wasn’t bad.

And on the way out, I was thinking of all these feckless movie reviewers who get published and why they would trash this movie. I thought to myself: “Why were they so hard on this movie? It’s just a fun “B” picture?”

And then I figured it out. They all are. 90% of what we see in the theaters are “B” pictures with “A” budgets.

Let’s discuss... [Read on here...]


Afternoon, folks! We’ve got some great stuff for you here at The Bits today…

First up, Tim has turned in a review of Shout! Factory’s Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume IV, which includes the episodes Space Mutiny, Overdrawn at the Memory Back, Girl in Gold Boots, and Hamlet. The disc is now available, so do give it a look.

Meanwhile, we have a new MOS DEF column from Mark A. Altman as well today, in which he takes a look back at his favorite Blu-ray releases of 2016. We’ll have more from Mark later this week too. Enjoy!

In announcement news today, the BIG news is that Disney and Lucasfilm have just officially set Rogue One: A Star Wars Story for Blu-ray Combo, DVD, and On Demand release on 4/4, with a Digital HD release set for 3/24. There’s no word yet of a 4K version, but it appears that Target and Best Buy will have retail-exclusive Blu-ray 3D versions on 4/4 (per Star Wars.com). The Target package appears to match the Star Wars: The Force Awakens 3D Collector’s Edition. The Best Buy package comes in a Steelbook. Walmart will also have exclusive packaging. Extras on the Blu-rays will include 11 behind-the-scenes featurettes (A Rogue Idea, Jyn: The Rebel, Cassian: The Spy, K-2SO: The Droid, Baze & Chirrut: Guardians of the Whills, Bodhi & Saw: The Pilot & The Revolutionary, The Empire, Visions of Hope: The Look of Rogue One, The Princess & The Governor, Epilogue: The Story Continues, and Rogue Connections). Note that the lack of deleted scenes – and we know there are many – or audio commentary suggests that a more elaborate Collector’s Edition BD release is coming later this year. You can see the cover artwork at the left and below. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 14:30

Movie Begats and More

I’ve about decided that a full book could be written regarding just about every produced movie – Lord knows there’s always enough behind the scenes drama to fill a daytime soap. But I love it. Who was supposed to be in what? Who wrote the script? That stuff. The success of X movie produced Y.

OLIVE FILMS

And here’s a story about a Robert Redford motorcycle picture called Little Fauss and Big Halsey, recently released for the first time on home video by Olive Films.

Al Ruddy came to Hollywood in the early 60s and as a young pup sold what has become a classic sitcom called Hogan’s Heroes. Ruddy and Charles Eastman wrote the script for Little Fauss and sold it to Paramount with a then hot director named Sidney Furie (who was bankable because of The Ipcress File and The Naked Runner). Redford was brought on board in the process as was my friend and lifelong Ruddy partner Gray Frederickson. [Read on here...]

I think it’s time we caught up. Walking outside during this Oklahoma summer is like tasting something after it’s been in the microwave about eight minutes. The heat and stupidity started even before Memorial Day and has not abated. It’s like we’re living on Mars – I’ve been pricing those spacesuits which protected Matt Damon.

But thank goodness for the movies. Especially the kind one watches in the comfort of one’s own home. Let’s discuss.

Here’s a serious complaint – as I learned over the years, watching a great film is a multi-sensory experience – you see, you listen, you emote. And for me, always a major component of that experience is the music score. For those who pay attention, music is usually the heart of the movie – name a classic up through about 1990 or so for which you can’t hum a main theme. Or name a dud or two with a score that is better than the picture. [Read on here...]

I’m trying to remember when I put it all together, when it dawned on me that there were these wonderful movies, shown, at the time, when there were only three local stations and local guys programmed the movies, after the last late show. They were cheap, even I could see that, but there was just something about these black and whites that kept me fascinated and many a long night I would suffer through local commercials just to see either justice done or perverted.

And the titles – Private Hell 36, Shack Out on 101, Kiss the Blood Off My Hands and Five Against the House. And the actors, has-beens and wanna-bes, but they were just terrific. Tom Neal and Ann Savage and Dennis O’Keefe and Preston Foster and Lawrence Tierney. And this was the “B” list.  [Read on here...]

(Photo by Robin Holland Photography)

Robert Altman said his last “that’s a wrap,” can you believe it, some eight or nine years ago and it seems as though any hope of mainstream studio films with emotional weight, sharp characters, social satire and natural, cliché free dialogue was buried right next to him.

Every Hollywood director since the beginning of the medium owes a debt to Robert Altman. His style was so distinctive, so fresh and so natural that people would say to themselves, “Oh that’s what directors do.”  [Read on here...]

Now where was I?

Sorry, I’ve not been here. I missed a bit – I’ll admit it and it for sure wasn’t to do with health or disinterest or a lack in passion. I just had to do stuff. But now I’m back.

But I come with good stories. Specifically regarding how movie awards season works.  [Read on here...]

[Editor’s Note: Be sure to like TheDigitalBits.com page on Facebook for breaking news, site updates on the go, discussion with our staff and other readers, giveaways and more!]

The big unofficial release news today is that we now finally have a release date for director Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods & Kings. Per Amazon, look for it on 3/17 on Blu-ray and DVD from 20th Century Fox. The Blu-ray is now available for pre-order on Amazon here.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

[Editor’s Note: Be sure to like TheDigitalBits.com page on Facebook for breaking news, site updates on the go, discussion with our staff and other readers, giveaways and more!]

We’ve got a pair of additional Blu-ray reviews for you today...

First of all, Tim has checked out a 1968 film from Sydney Pollack in Kino’s The Scalphunters. I’ve also updated and ported over (from the original Bits site) my own review of review of Fritz Lang’s science fiction classic Metropolis (1927) as released, restored and at long last complete, on Blu-ray by Kino in 2010. Don’t miss them. And note that I’ll be back with another new Blu-ray review tomorrow.  [Read on here…]

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