We kick things off today here at The Bits with a brand new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate. This time, Michael takes a look back at the Bond film Diamonds Are Forever in honor of the film’s 45th anniversary this year (it was originally released in the U.S. on 12/17/1971). His column features another great roundtable discussion with leading Bond experts and film historians, including Jon Burlingame, John Cork, Bill Desowitz, Lee Pfeiffer, and Bruce Scivally. We certainly hope you enjoy it!
Also today, our own Tim Salmons has turned in another new Blu-ray review, this time featuring a look at Arrow Video’s new Creepshow 2: Special Edition. The disc is now available in stores and it’s well worth your time if you’re a fan of the film. [Read on here…]
“The show is completely stolen by Wint and Kidd. They should have had their own series.” — 007 historian and documentarian John Cork
The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 45th anniversary of the release of Diamonds Are Forever, the seventh (official) cinematic James Bond adventure and, most notably, the final appearance of Sean Connery in an EON-produced 007 movie.
As with our previous 007 articles (see 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 Diamonds Are Forever. [Read on here...]
Well... I had a whole plan for today’s post. Sarah and I are both just recovering from this flu that’s going around, and I’ve had a couple days to rest up, so I had a bunch of content I wanted to post here at The Bits today. Then the news that Carrie Fisher has passed away broke.
Now, I’m afraid I can’t bring myself to post any of it this afternoon.
It’s strange the impact that people who you’ve never met can have on your life. I’ve seen Carrie, and all the Star Wars cast, at various conventions, but I’ve never actually met her. Yet it would be difficult to understate the impact her work – not just in Star Wars but The Blues Brothers, When Harry Met Sally, Under the Rainbow, Postcards from the Edge (which she wrote), and so many other great films and TV appearances – has had on me over the years. [Read on here…]
All right, in the last 24 hours I’ve managed to get a trio of new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews finished and posted here at the site. They include Luke Scott’s Morgan from 20th Century Fox, Clint Eastwood’s Sully from Warner Bros., and Len Wiseman’s Underworld from Sony. Morgan arrived in stores two weeks ago, Sully just this week, and Underworld streets next Tuesday. All three discs are well worth a look, but the best film of the lot is definitely Sully. It’s also a rare full 4K release with HDR and a great Dolby Atmos sound mix. Do give them a look. [Read on here…]
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…]
“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...]
My apologies, but this flu I’ve come down with has gotten worse rather than better today. So I’ve got a release news update for you but that’s about it. Still, there’s definitely some good news to report.
First up, Kino Lorber has set Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat (1944) for Blu-ray release on 3/7. Extras will include audio commentary by film historian Tim Lucas, audio commentary by film professor Drew Casper, The Making of Lifeboat documentary, an animated montage of images, and reversible cover art (the front part of which you can see there on the left). Also coming to Blu-ray on 3/7 from the company is Richard Fleischer’s Compulsion (1959). [Read on here…]
Well, I’ve been fighting it for a few days now but it seems that I’ve finally come down with some kind of flu bug. Damn it. The upside is that I’m spending a lot of time watching movies, so I’m working on more 4K reviews here today.
Meanwhile, Tim has checked in with a new Scream for a Week column in which he delivers a pair of new Blu-ray reviews of his own: Scream Factory’s The Beast Within and the Ghoulies/Ghoulies II Double Feature. He also tosses in his thoughts on Vestron Video’s new C.H.U.D.: Bud the Chud. [Read on here…]
This is just a quick post to close out the week here at The Bits, but I wanted to chime in this afternoon with my non-spoiler comments about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which I saw last night in RealD 3D (via Barco Laser projection – no IMAX Laser 3D, but it’s good).
First of all, let me say: I really enjoyed the hell out of this film. I actually liked it more than I liked The Force Awakens, and I enjoyed that film too. Rogue One manages a nifty threading of the needle. On the one hand, it has to feel like authentic Star Wars (it certainly does to me) and it has to meet very high fan expectations (it mostly does this for me too). On the other hand, no film can possibly do that for everyone. Every longtime fan has likely imagined the story described in the opening crawl of the original Star Wars, and every one of those fans who is now connected to the film industry in one way or another has probably already directed that movie in their heads. So not everyone is going embrace everything about this film. Yet, it’s still a blast. [Read on here…]
All right, this will be a day long remembered! Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens tonight at theaters all across the States and around the world. But we’ll come back to that in a moment.
First, we’ve got more reviews for you. I’ve just posted my thoughts on Warner and DC’s Suicide Squad in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format. I don’t much care for the film myself, but it sure looks great and the 4K disc is pretty terrific in terms of A/V quality. There’s a nice batch of extras on the enclosed Blu-ray too. So that’s something.
Also, Tim has turned in his thoughts on Val Lewton and Jacques Tourneur’s classic 1942 horror film Cat People, which has recently been released on Blu-ray Disc by our friends over at the Criterion Collection. It’s a great disc, so don’t miss it! [Read on here…]