History, Legacy & Showmanship

All right, I’m finally back to some semblance of functional today after a good three-day bout with the flu. As such, we’ve got a bit of good content for you here at The Bits today.

First up, our own Michael Coate celebrates the 40th anniversary of Rocky with a brand new film retrospective and roundtable discussion in his latest installment of History, Legacy & Showmanship. The column is a great in-depth read, as always, and features the participation of film historians Leger Grindon, Edward Gross, and Eric Lichtenfeld, and documentary filmmaker Cliff Stephenson. Don’t miss it!  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Rocky deserves to be celebrated first because of how it’s always made people feel: capable and empowered. Then there’s the fact that it’s also a cultural landmark. Rocky gave us the fanfare, the song, and the proper use of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s front steps.” — I, of the Tiger author Eric Lichtenfeld

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Rocky, the award-winning and franchise-inspiring boxing classic starring Sylvester Stallone as the titular character.

Directed by John G. Avildsen (The Karate Kid, Lean on Me) and produced by Irwin Winkler & Robert Chartoff (Raging Bull, The Right Stuff), Rocky showcased memorable performances by Carl Weathers as opponent Apollo Creed, Talia Shire as love interest Adrian, Burgess Meredith as trainer Mickey, and Burt Young as friend and Adrian’s brother Paulie. Nominated for ten Academy Awards (and winning three including Best Picture), the film made a star out of Stallone, featured Bill Conti’s rousing music, turned millions of moviegoers on to boxing, and created a newfound purpose for the steps leading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. [Read on here...]

We’ve got a great feature column for you today, along with some announcement news, and a couple more great Amazon Blu-ray deals to mention. Let’s start with that feature...

Our own Michael Coate has just posted a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column, offering a great look back at the James Bond film Casino Royale on its 10th anniversary. The column features another excellent roundtable discussion with film historians John Cork, Bill Desowitz, Lisa Funnell, Lee Pfeiffer, and Bruce Scivally. Don’t miss it!  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Casino Royale saved Bond.” — 007 historian and documentarian John Cork

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 10th anniversary of the release of Casino Royale, the 21st (official) cinematic James Bond adventure and, most notably, the first to star Daniel Craig as Agent 007.

As with our previous 007 articles (see 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 and shortcomings of Casino Royale. [Read on here...]

Today is just a quick post given the Halloween holiday we all know and love. But, we do have a couple things for you today...

First up, our own Tim Salmons has turned in a review of Epic Picture’s Tales of Halloween anthology on Blu-ray! Sounds like it’s pretty terrific, so do check it out.

Also today, Michael Coate has turned in another new History, Legacy & Showmanship column here at The Bits, and this is a fun one: He’s looking back in celebration of Willard Huyck’s Howard the Duck on its 30th Anniversary! The column features release details and trivia, as well as a listing of first-run theaters, and even a roundtable discussion with film historians Caseen Gaines, Scott Mendelson, and John Wilson. Don’t miss it!  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

“It’s hard to tell who the movie is for. It’s too childish for adults and too provocative and snarky for kids.” — Film historian/author Caseen Gaines

The History, Legacy & Showmanship column here at The Digital Bits typically celebrates popular and significant motion pictures and TV series. Periodically, though, we will look back at unpopular or maligned productions to examine if the passage of time warrants a reevaluation. So with this in mind, The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective for Howard the Duck on the occasion of its 30th anniversary.

Howard the Duck, based upon the 1970s Marvel comic book series, starred Lea Thompson (Back to the Future, All the Right Moves), Tim Robbins (Bull Durham, The Shawshank Redemption) and Jeffrey Jones (Amadeus, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) and featured a talking, cigar-chomping duck from another planet that is zapped across the galaxy to Cleveland where he meets a musician who attempts to help him return home.  [Read on here...]

All right, first up today: Be sure to check out Michael Coate’s Still Boldly Going: Celebrating “Star Trek“ on its 50th Anniversary column in the event you missed it yesterday. It’s a fun and fascinating roundtable discussion featuring some of the very best Treksperts in the business. Don’t miss it.

Now then... we have some new announcements today...

Disney and Pixar have just set Finding Dory for Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand release on 11/15, preceded by the Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere release on 10/25.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Star Trek has left a legacy of hope and optimism that humankind has a future. If we cultivate the potential of Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations so that we embrace a universe brimming with the riches of life in all of its forms, then humankind can evolve into something finer and nobler. I think that is what Gene Roddenberry meant when he said that the human adventure is just beginning.” — Bill Kraft, author of Maybe We Need a Letter from God: The Star Trek Stamp

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the golden anniversary of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry’s legendary science-fiction television series depicting the voyages of Captain James T. Kirk and his crew of the starship Enterprise.

The memorable television series premiered 50 years ago this week (September 6th, 1966, on CTV in Canada, and September 8th, 1966, on NBC in the United States), and similar to our other Star Trek roundtables (here and here) and classic television retrospectives (here, here, here, and here), The Bits for the occasion has assembled a Q&A with an esteemed group of Treksperts, historians and Star Trek writers who examine the best episodes and offer commentary on the show’s enduring appeal, influence and legacy.  [Read on here...]

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