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Anybody know a good screenwriter? Here’s true scenario that would offer a perfect studio pitch.
And it’s a thriller, in a way, with a determined adventurer racing against time to seek justice for a hero from a past generation – one who sacrificed finances, reputation and goodwill to slay a dragon that was, in the long run, perhaps beyond even his reach.
This story is about John Wayne. This story is about Robert Harris. This story is about America and the importance of its cultural maintenance. And, ok, it’s also about personal obsession. Duke Wayne did what he said. No backing out. No cutting corners. No half assed. [Read on here...]
All right, there was no update yesterday because I was up in L.A. checking out Robert Harris’ recent restoration tests of The Alamo with my own two eyes. Despite what MGM has claimed officially, let me assure you, having now seen the tests firsthand – which the studio has apparently not done yet for some strange reason (and how weird is that?) – this film is in serious need of restoration. The good news, however, is that I’ve also seen tests of how good the film could look like if given a restoration. The result would easily be worth theatrical presentation and a solid Blu-ray release. So keep spreading the word and keep the pressure on the studio. Fingers crossed. [Read on here…]
[Editor’s Note: The section of text below regarding The Alamo has been updated on 5/31 to reflect important corrected information. Please give it another read to ensure that you have the most accurate/updated info.]
We’re closing out the week here at The Bits today with some big announcement news for you Marvel Universe fans, as well as an update on the situation with The Alamo.
But first, our own Bud Elder has turned in a new View from the Cheap Seats column in which he talks about location scouting in his native Oklahoma and takes a look at a great new book on John Wayne. He also spotlights some of the better recent classic film releases on disc from Olive, Twilight and more. By the way, you can listen to quick movie reviews from Bud on 104.5 KRXO radio in Oklahoma City. So don’t miss the column and be sure to give Bud’s Movie Minute a listen on the radio and online. [Read on here…]
So... you might recall that last week I had dinner with film restoration expert (and former Bits contributor) Robert A. Harris and some other friends. (You can find a complete archive of his work on the original Digital Bits website here.) Robert, as it happens, is in town working on another fine classic film restoration project which will be announced in due course. But during our conversation last week, Robert alerted us to the fact that another beloved classic film is not faring nearly so well. That film, as you might already suspect, is The Alamo (1960), directed by and starring the legendary John Wayne. [Read on here…]
We’ve got some announcement news odds and ends to report for you today, but first our own Tim Salmons has turned in a review of Scream Factory’s new Nosferatu the Vampyre Blu-ray – the 1979 remake by Werner Herzog. The film and disc are definitely worthy of your time, so be sure to check it out. [Read on here...]
Over the weekend, I’ve had a mighty interesting experience. Thanks to a friend in the industry, I’ve had the opportunity to revisit Star Wars on Blu-ray as I first experienced it many years ago – unaltered, in 720p high-definition, and with the original audio mixes. As some of you may know, I’m speaking of Harmy’s infamous “despecialized” edition of Star Wars – the most recent 2.5 version (early 1.0 versions of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi are available online too – this thread at Original Trilogy.com is a good place to start). [Read on here…]
More good stuff for you today…
First, Dr. Jahnke has posted a BD review of Sony’s The Big Gundown, a great spaghetti western from 1966 directed by Sergio Sollima. Sounds like the disc and its extras are pretty swell too. Don’t miss it.
Also today, our own Michael Coate has posted an update of his History, Legacy & Showmanship column from back on November – It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Retrospective – with a great roundtable interview from some of the folks involved in the film’s restoration and Criterion’s fine new Blu-ray release, including Karen Stetler, the Criterion Blu-ray Disc producer; Robert A. Harris, the restoration/reconstruction producer; Karen Sharpe-Kramer, the widow of producer-director Stanley Kramer; and the team that recorded the audio commentary track: Mark Evanier, Michael Schlesinger, and Paul Scrabo. It’s a great read, so I highly recommend that you give it a look. [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...]
Here’s some exciting breaking news: Our friends at The Criterion Collection have just announced their January Blu-ray and DVD release slate, and WOW – some terrific titles!
The fun starts with a BD upgrade of Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood (Cat #190 – Blu-ray/DVD – due 1/7/14) and the fortieth Eclipse set Late Ray (DVD – due 1/7/14 – features Satyajit Ray’s The Home and the World, An Enemy of the People and The Stranger), and continues with a BD upgrade of Jules Dassin’s Rififi (Cat #114 – Blu-ray/DVD – due 1/14/14) and the all-new Michael Mann’s Thief (Cat #691 – Blu-ray/DVD – due 1/14/14), Aki Kaurismäki’s La vie de bohème (Cat #693 – Blu-ray/DVD – due 1/21/14), Stanley Kramer’s It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (Cat #692 – Blu-ray/DVD – due 1/21/14) and Terence Davies’s The Long Day Closes (Cat #694 – Blu-ray/DVD – due 1/28/14). By the way, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World includes a “restored 4K digital film transfer of the general release version of the film, with 5.1 surround Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray” plus a “new high-definition digital transfer of a 197-minute extended version of the film, reconstructed and restored by Robert A. Harris using visual and audio material from the longer original road-show version – including some scenes that have been returned to the film here for the first time – with 5.1 surround Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray.” What a great slate! You’ll find cover artwork for all the Blu-rays below. [Read on here...]