View from the Cheap Seats

Close Encounters helps demonstrate perhaps better than any other why Steven Spielberg is one of the greatest American filmmakers.” — Spielberg biographer Joseph McBride

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Steven Spielberg’s legendary science-fiction film starring Richard Dreyfuss as Roy Neary, an electrical lineman who obsesses over the sighting, physical evidence and, ultimately, contact with a UFO.

The film, which also starred Teri Garr, Melinda Dillon and Francois Truffaut, was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning for Vilmos Zsigmond’s cinematography (and also receiving a special achievement award for sound effects editing). [Read on here...]

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We’re kicking things off today with another new Blu-ray review. This one is a little unusual and should be more than a little interesting for Star Trek fans: It’s my look at Prelude to Axanar on Blu-ray, the 2014 proof-of-concept short film directed by Christian Gossett and produced by Alec Peters that launched the effort to produce the full Axanar feature film (to be directed by Robert Meyer Burnett and co-written by yours truly). Prelude to Axanar is now available on Blu-ray but ONLY as a perk for contributing $35 to the Axanar IndieGoGo campaign. You won’t find it in stores. But if you love Star Trek on Blu-ray, it’s definitely a title you’re going to want to add to your collections. Be sure to read the review to learn more about it.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

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…]

This was all we needed to hear: The DUKE was coming to Oklahoma City.

It was the year of our Lord, 1972 and The National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center in Oklahoma City (now called the National Cowboy Museum and Western Heritage Center) hosted every year a grand event called the Western Heritage Awards, where they gave a trophy called “The Wrangler” to outstanding theatrical and television Westerns and the winner this particular year was a film called “The Cowboys,” starring, well, you know who.  [Read on here...]

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