History, Legacy & Showmanship

Tomorrow Never Dies’ major importance was in cementing Pierce Brosnan as the James Bond of that time period — a responsibility he fulfilled very successfully.” — 007 historian Lee Pfeiffer

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 20th anniversary of the release of Tomorrow Never Dies, the 18th official cinematic James Bond adventure and the second of four to feature Pierce Brosnan as Agent 007.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include Die Another Day, Dr. No, The Living Daylights, The Spy Who Loved Me, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, Casino Royale, 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 continues the series with this retrospective featuring a Q&A with an esteemed group of James Bond scholars, documentarians and historians, who discuss the virtues, shortcomings and legacy of… Tomorrow Never Dies. [Read on here...]

The Dark Crystal has the distinction of being one of a very few films entirely starring puppets. It’s an amazing achievement.” — The Dark Crystal: The Ultimate Visual History author Caseen Gaines

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of The Dark Crystal, the fantasy adventure directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz (The Muppet Show) and produced by Gary Kurtz (Star Wars).

The Dark Crystal — which featured the Muppeteering talents of Henson and Oz and longtime Henson associates including Kathryn Mullen, Dave Goelz, Brian Froud, Jerry Nelson, and many others — opened 35 years ago this winter. In recent months there has been a surge in interest in the film, with numerous anniversary screenings (including several showcasing a newly discovered 70mm print from the original release), a new book highlighting the original production (see interview below), a 4K Ultra HD slated for release in March, and a forthcoming TV series. [Read on here...]

Die Another Day made good money, delivered on spectacle, but didn’t resonate.” — 007 historian John Cork

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 15th anniversary of the release of Die Another Day, the twentieth official cinematic James Bond adventure and which featured Pierce Brosnan’s fourth and final performance as Agent 007.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include Dr. NoThe Living Daylights, The Spy Who Loved Me, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, Casino Royale, 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, shortcomings and legacy of… Die Another Day. [Read on here...]

All right, we’ve got a couple things for you here at The Bits today...

First though, my apologies for being MIA for the last couple of days. We had family visiting this weekend and unfortunately they brought with them a plague-level case of the flu. Pretty much everyone ended up getting sick, including yours truly. I’ve literally been laid up in bed since Sunday. Get your flu shots, folks. I wish I had. The flu’s a bad one this year. Anyway, I’m about a good strong 60% right now, which is enough for me to get a couple things posted here on the site, starting with this...

Our own Michael Coate has just turned in a great new History, Legacy & Showmanship column here at The Bits celebrating the 50th anniversary of Mike Nichols’ The Graduate. The piece features a look back at the film’s original release and also a new interview with historian Beverly Gray. It’s worth your time, so do give it a look. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

The Graduate is a time capsule preserving [Baby Boomers’] youthful hopes and fears at a pivotal moment in American life.” — Beverly Gray, author of Seduced by Mrs. Robinson: How ‘The Graduate’ Became the Touchstone of a Generation

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of The Graduate, the acclaimed comedy starring Dustin Hoffman (Kramer vs. Kramer, Rain Man) as the titular character and Anne Bancroft (The Miracle Worker, The Turning Point) as the woman who seduces him.

One of the most popular films of the 1960s, The Graduate — which also featured Katharine Ross, William Daniels, Murray Hamilton and Elizabeth Wilson — opened 50 years ago this week, and for the occasion The Bits features a compilation of statistics, trivia and box-office data that places the movie’s performance in context; passages from vintage film reviews; a reference/historical listing of the movie’s exclusive limited-market first-run theatrical engagements; and, finally, an interview segment with author and film historian Beverly Gray who discusses the film’s impact and influence. [Read on here...]

“With Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gene Roddenberry proved that you can do Star Trek without Kirk and Spock and McCoy, that the dream of humanity reaching for the stars could be shared in many different ways, with many different characters, telling many different stories. And I think that all of us who love Star Trek are so much richer for it.” — Michael Okuda, co-author of The Star Trek Encyclopedia

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 30th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the first in a string of live-action television follow-ups to Gene Roddenberry’s legendary 1960s science fiction series. [Read on here...]

All right, we’ve been very busy here at The Bits working on new reviews and other content, and all in the midst of some crazy weather in SoCal – we have high winds and wildfires all around. If you live in the area, please stay safe.

In any case, we’ve got some good stuff for you to read here at The Bits today…

First, our own Michael Coate has just turned in a new retrospective interview celebrating the 25th anniversary of Bram Stoker’s Dracula from director Francis Ford Coppola, which we recently reviewed in 4K Ultra HD. Michael has also posted a 55th anniversary retrospective looking back at the James Bond film that started it all, Dr. No. You’ll find both of those in History, Legacy & Showmanship right now and we hope you enjoy them. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

“The film may as well have been officially titled Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula, because it so unmistakably bears the stamp of its director.” — Dracula FAQ: All That’s Left to Know about the Count from Transylvania author Bruce Scivally

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 25th anniversary of the release of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Francis Ford Coppola’s take on the classic horror icon featuring Gary Oldman in the title role.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which also starred Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins and Keanu Reeves — and winner of numerous awards including three Oscars and five Saturns — opened 25 years ago this autumn. For the occasion, The Bits features a Q&A with film historian Bruce Scivally, who discusses the film’s virtues, shortcomings and influence. [Read on here...]

“Just think about that incredible introduction as Ursula Andress emerges from the water for the first time. It’s one of the great moments of ‘60s cinema.” — 007 and film/TV music historian Jon Burlingame

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 55th anniversary of the release of Dr. No, the first cinematic James Bond adventure.

As with our previous 007 articles (see The Living Daylights, The Spy Who Loved Me, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, Casino Royale, 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, shortcomings and legacy of Dr. No. [Read on here...]

All right, we’ve got a few things for you today...

First, our own Michael Coate posted a great new History, Legacy & Showmanship retrospective last night celebrating Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind on the occasion of the film’s 40th anniversary. Michael’s column looks back at the film’s initial theatrical run and features another great roundtable discussion of film historians. It’s a good read, so be sure to give it a look.

Now then... a quick commentary. Almost every day, I get asked this question in some form via email or social media: “Why no 3D?” As in: My favorite film was available in 3D in the theater, but how come the studio didn’t release it on Blu-ray 3D for the home? [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
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