my two cents 1000

The Empire Strikes Back joins The Godfather, Part II as one of the rarest of films—a sequel that lives up to and expands upon its original.” — Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune

There is no question this year is a huge one for fans of Star Wars. While the whole galaxy awaits Episode VII: The Force Awakens, let us not forget this year also marks the 35th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, one of the most revered sequels of all time. The Digital Bits celebrates the occasion with this retrospective featuring a compilation of box-office data that places Empire’s performance in context, quotes from well-known movie critics, production and exhibition information, a list of the opening-week, limited-market theaters that were the first anywhere to play the movie, and an interview segment with a group of filmmakers and historians who discuss the attributes of the movie and examine why Empire is frequently labeled the fan favorite.  [Read on here...]

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First things first today: Our own Russell Hammond has just updated the Release Dates & Artwork section to include all the latest Blu-ray and DVD cover artwork, as well as Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, a portion of anything you order from Amazon through our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we surely do appreciate it!

In title announcement news this afternoon, Lionsgate has announced The Divergent Series: Insurgent for release on Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray and DVD on 8/4, as well as digital on 7/21. Extras on the Blu-ray versions will include audio commentary with producers Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher, the Insurgent Unlocked: The Ultimate Behind-the-Scenes Access feature length documentary, 5 featurettes (Diverging: Adapting Insurgent to the Screen, From Divergent to Insurgent, The Others: Cast and Characters, The Train Fight Unlocked, and The Peter Hayes Story), along with a marketing gallery.  [Read on here…]

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We’ve got a new Pick-Ups column from Tim for this week, featuring new reviews of George Miller’s The Road Warrior and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome on Blu-ray, as well as Mark Hartley’s Not Quite Hollywood documentary on the history of Ozploitation film. All of this is obviously in honor of the new Mad Max: Fury Road film now in theaters. It’s really a terrific film, so do check it out. The reviews don’t lie on this one. Meanwhile, enjoy the column and reviews.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
Tuesday, 19 May 2015 12:19

Pick-Ups for the week of May 18, 2015

Welcome back to my Dailies feature, Pick-Ups!

It’s designed to feature older Blu-ray releases that we haven’t gotten around to reviewing until now (sorry about that!), as well as select international releases and other unique titles on disc.

I try to do this column on a weekly basis, so be sure to check back regularly for more titles that are worthy of your attention. [Read on here...]

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We’ve got just a quick Blu-ray release news update for you this afternoon, so let’s get to it…

As we’ve previously reported, Paramount has set Project Almanac for Blu-ray and DVD on 6/9. We now have the final cover art for you below.

Film Movement is releasing Peter Greenaway’s The Pillow Book on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/9. The disc will include a new audio commentary with Greenaway, the trailer, and a new essay by film critic Nicolas Rapold.  [Read on here…]

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All right, before we begin today... I had the chance to see George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road last night in IMAX laser 3D at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. So now I can officially say that I HAVE seen everything. Holy crap. The film is marvelously inventive, ferociously kinetic, exquisitely detailed, cinematic insanity. That’s my Mad Max: Fury Road review for you in a nutshell. Trust me, you just need to see it. It’s well worth your time. And you’ve never seen anything remotely like it. I think it would be fair to say that George Miller just schooled Michael Bay and a lot of other younger filmmakers on the action film genre.

Speaking of which, Mad Max: Fury Road is now up for Blu-ray 3D Combo pre-order on Amazon.com at this link. You can also click on the temp cover artwork below.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
Thursday, 14 May 2015 10:42

Pick-Ups for the week of May 11, 2015

Welcome back to my Dailies feature, Pick-Ups!

It’s designed to feature older Blu-ray releases that we haven’t gotten around to reviewing until now (sorry about that!), as well as select international releases and other unique titles on disc.

I try to do this column on a weekly basis, so be sure to check back regularly for more titles that are worthy of your attention. [Read on here...]

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[Editor’s Note: Be sure to like TheDigitalBits.com page on Facebook for breaking news, site updates on the go, discussion with our staff and other readers, giveaways and more!]

First up today, we’ve got a little follow-up on the BDA’s Ultra HD Blu-ray announcement, specifically a few additional technical clarifications...

The video resolution is 3840x2160, with disc capacity at 66GB (dual-layer) and 100GB (triple-layer) – at data rates of 108 mbps and 128 mbps respectively – using the HEVC codec (H.265) via HDMI 1.2 and 2.0, as well as HDCP 1.4 and 2.2. The “digital bridge” system (for Digital Copy) is optional and consists of copy features that enables local playback. What that means for each disc/player is up to the manufacturer and although the Ultra HD Blu-ray spec is complete, the BDA is waiting to hear how manufacturers will implement these features.  [Read on here…]

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All right, we’ve got the text of the BDA’s official press release announcing the completion of the Ultra HD Blu-ray spec for you to check out. We also have a look at the official logo for the format.

And we’re working on getting the technical details too.  [Read on here…]

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The big news today, without a doubt, is this: The Blu-ray Disc Association has just announced the completion of the technical specification for the Ultra HD Blu-ray format. Consumer electronics manufacturers will be able to license the spec in July, which should lead to the first players arriving in stores either just in time for the holidays this year or (more likely) in Q1 of 2016, with a big rollout at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas in January.  [Read on here…]

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