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All right, we’re back as expected today with a great new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our very own Michael Coate.
But first, we wanted to take a moment this afternoon to acknowledge a bit of sad breaking news: The legendary film and stage actor Peter O’Toole has died. He passed away yesterday at the age of 81. Cinephiles will of course know him from his performance as T.E. Lawrence in David Lean’s 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia, but other favorite film roles include such titles as Becket, The Lion in Winter, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, The Stunt Man, The Last Emperor and My Favorite Year. Younger readers may best recall him for voicing a character in Pixar’s Ratatouille. If you’re one of them, I envy you – it means you have so many great O’Toole films yet to discover. In fact, I think a fresh viewing of Lawrence just might be in order in O’Toole’s memory. Our hats off to him. You can read more here at The New York Times. [Read on here...]
REMEMBERING “SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE” ON ITS 35TH ANNIVERSARY
It has been a big year for the Man of Steel. The year 2013 marked the 75th anniversary of Superman’s debut (in Action Comics issue #1), a new movie was made starring Henry Cavill and directed by Zack Snyder, and, of course, it represents the 35th anniversary of the release of the classic cinematic adventure starring Christopher Reeve and directed by Richard Donner. The Digital Bits celebrates the occasion with a look back at Superman: The Movie’s opening weekend and features a reflective interview with some Superman authorities. [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…]
Afternoon, everyone. We should have that review of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Extended Edition for you tomorrow. However, the Cliff’s Notes version (for those of you wanting to know if you should buy it or not) is that the A/V quality is excellent, the extended footage doesn’t really add up to much (though there are a couple of nice character-enhancing moments), but the 9-hours worth of documentary material is terrific and well worth buying the disc for all by itself if you’re a Rings or Hobbit fan. [Read on here…]
CELEBRATING “IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD” ON ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY
The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the golden anniversary of the original release of Stanley Kramer’s It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World and a new Blu-ray Disc from The Criterion Collection.
Featured in this tribute are a list of the epic comedy’s roadshow engagements and an interview segment with several people involved with the production of the Blu-ray Disc. [Read on here...]
Dr. Jahnke’s Hell Plaza Oktoberfest continues today with a review of Jess Franco’s Nightmares Come at Night on Blu-ray Disc from Kino via their Redemption Films label. Enjoy!
Speaking of Oktoberfest, we’ve got a special deal for you: Our friends at Factory Entertainment, who are sponsoring the Fest, have provided a special discount code just for Bits readers. All throughout the month of October, Bits readers can get 25% off any Factory Entertainment order of IN STOCK ITEMS over $50 by using the code D1G1TALB1TS10 at checkout. Again, this is good on any order of IN STOCK ITEMS over $50 and it runs until the end of the day on October 31st. Don’t forget, we’re also going to be giving away great Universal Monsters prop replicas from Factory Entertainment starting next week over on The Digital Bits Facebook page and the Jahnke’s Electric Theatre Facebook page, so be sure to head on over there and give them a “like” if you’re interested. [Read on here…]
Earlier this year, The Digital Bits celebrated the 30th anniversary of Return of the Jedi with this retrospective article. Now, we continue our anniversary coverage of Jedi, the concluding chapter of George Lucas’s original Star Wars trilogy, with this Q&A with author J.W. Rinzler regarding his new book, The Making of Return of the Jedi, which is due out this week from Del Rey/LucasBooks. [Read on here…]
All right, as you can probably see... The Hell Plaza Oktoberfest Se7en is here! Doc Jahnke and I kicked things off early this morning with the official Fest page and Adam’s first review: Scream Factory’s The Amityville Horror Collection on Blu-ray! Every weekday, all this month, Adam will offer up another Halloween-themed movie review on Blu-ray and DVD for your reading (and creepy viewing) pleasure!
Also, we strongly recommend that you guys head on over to Facebook and give both The Digital Bits and Jahnke’s Electric Theater pages there a “like” because all month long we’re going to be giving away (on both Facebook pages) a bunch of great Blu-rays from Shout! Factory, Scream Factory and Anchor Bay, as well as one each of those badass Universal Monsters prop replicas from our friends at Factory Entertainment, including the Dracula Medallion, the Dracula Ring, the Fossil Creature Hand and the Frankenstein Bust! We’ll have more details on the giveaways very soon. Oktoberfest is one of our favorite times of year and it’s going to be a great month, so we hope you all enjoy it! [Read on here...]
“The Modern Miracle You See Without Glasses!”
The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 60th anniversary of the release of The Robe, the first motion picture produced in CinemaScope.
In addition to a detailed history of the film’s original theatrical release, the article features a roundtable interview with three authorities on widescreen history.
THE ORIGINAL ENGAGEMENTS OF “THE ROBE”
Presented here is a chronological listing of the original first-run theatrical engagements of The Robe for the major and selected secondary markets in the United States and Canada. The number of weeks the film played has been provided for some of the entries. [Read on here...]