Afternoon, folks. We’ve got some news reviews for you today, plus a couple of release announcements, a new special feature column and more!

First, the Blu-ray reviews... Tim has just posted his thoughts on Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria (2018) from Lionsgate. And Dennis Sueling has offered his take on Rob Marshall’s Mary Poppins Returns from Disney. Both are worth a look, so we hope you enjoy them!

Also here at The Bits today, our own Michael Coate has just a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column looking back at Ken Hughes’ Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary. The piece features a great interview with film historian John Cork, an expert of all things Ian Flemming-related. Do give it a look. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

First day back from the holidays for us here at The Bits and I hope you all had a terrific break.

I actually caught up on a few films and plan to get back to reviewing myself, especially 4K Ultra HD. A great number of good ones have come in recently and I pledge to review as many as I can over the coming weeks.

Speaking of reviews, Tim and the crew have turned in a bunch of good ones lately, including the Dragnet: Collector’s Edition from Shout! Factory, The House with the Clock in Its Walls and Operation Finale from Universal, the Maniac: Limited Edition from Blue Underground, the Waterworld: Limited Edition from Arrow Video, The Adventures of Hajji Baba from Twilight Time, and the Mantovani: The King of Strings – Special Edition from Filmrise. Enjoy!

We’ll get back to new release news tomorrow, but last night I had the chance to watch Tony Zierra’s tremendous new documentary Filmworker. It actually came out in 2017, but I only caught it last night on Netflix (you can also see it on DVD from Kino Lorber). It tells the life story of Leon Vitali, a young up and coming actor in the UK in the 1970s, who was cast by Stanley Kubrick in the role of Lord Bullingdon in Barry Lyndon (1975). [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

[Editor’s Note: This interview was originally posted on The Digital Bits on 5/4/01. It refers to the original and much-maligned Kubrick DVD collection release and also the better and properly remastered 2001 DVDs. It hints at future HD releases, but this was five years prior to the debut of Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD was still well over the horizon. Read it as an artifact of the period. But our admiration of Vitali has only been enhanced by the recent and terrific documentary about his life, Filmworker, not to mention his fine work on the new 4K release of 2001: A Space Odyssey, so we thought it would be fun to share this vintage interview we did with him. It’s clear just how protective he was then – and remains now – of Stanley Kubrick’s body of work. We salute him for it. All Kubrick fans owe him a great debt.]

One thing you can say for sure about Leon Vitali, is that he knew Stanley Kubrick. Vitali first came into contact with Kubrick when he was cast to play the role of Lord Bullingdon in Barry Lyndon. The two quickly struck up a friendship, and Vitali soon found himself working side-by-side with the director as his assistant and a permanent part of Kubrick’s staff. Over an association of more than 25 years, Vitali personally worked on nearly every facet of Kubrick’s films, from scripting to casting, production, laboratory supervision and advertising. He even worked on the translations of Kubrick’s films into other languages for international markets. [Read on here...]

Published in Interviews

It’s official. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has just set Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey for release on 4K Ultra HD on 10/30 (SRP $41.99).

The new 4K UHD presentation will feature high dynamic range in both HDR10 and Dolby Vision, with an image newly mastered from the original 65mm camera negative.

The 4K disc will also include both a remixed and restored 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack, as well as the original 1968 6-track 70mm theatrical audio mix (also in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio format).

This will be a 3-disc set, with the film in 4K UHD, a movie Blu-ray Disc of the film (also remastered from the new 4K presentation), a special features Blu-ray Disc, and a Digital Copy. The packaging will include a collectible booklet and art cards featuring iconic images from the film. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

2001 is Kubrick’s crowning achievement. It’s the movie that launched him into ’superstar’ status that placed him alongside the likes of Welles, Bergman, Fellini, Kurosawa, Hitchcock, Ford...” — film historian and author Raymond Benson

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick’s acclaimed science-fiction adventure starring Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood.

Featuring groundbreaking visual effects and memorable usage of classical music (and decades of analysis), 2001 premiered 50 years ago this week, and for the occasion The Bits features a compilation of statistics and box office data that places the movie’s performance in context; passages from vintage film reviews; and a reference/historical listing of the movie’s limited-market 70-millimeter and roadshow engagements. [Read on here...]

So today’s post is a quick one, but it’s a very, very good bit of news, especially for catalog and 4K fans…

Retail sources have begun telling us that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is preparing to release a 4K Ultra HD version of director Stanley Kubrick’s landmark science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey. This is something we’ve actually known was coming for a few months now, having heard it off the record directly from studio sources. Now that we’re finally hearing the first word from retailers we feel comfortable confirming it. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
Wednesday, 28 September 2016 18:32

Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: The Ultimate Trip in Print

I decided that I wanted to do something a little different with today’s My Two Cents column on The Digital Bits, so I thought I’d review a few new and/or recent books that may be of interest to cinephiles, especially those of you who are fans of Stanley Kubrick’s legendary 2001: A Space Odyssey.

As many of you would agree, I’m sure, 2001 is a landmark of filmed science fiction. Based loosely on a short story by visionary author Arthur C. Clarke, it depicts an AI-guided and manned journey through space, first to the Moon and then out to Jupiter, in response to the discovery of an alien artifact on the Moon’s surface, apparently having been buried there millions of years ago.

Not only was Kubrick’s film notable for its realistic depiction of the Moon’s surface fully a year before NASA’s Apollo astronauts actually landed there, it’s been lauded ever since for its realistic approach to depicting future spaceflight technology. Indeed, some of those who contributed designs to the project were actually involved in the space program. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

[Editor’s Note: Be sure to follow us on Twitter @thedigitalbits @BillHuntBits and on Facebook here and here. And you can help support The Bits by pre-ordering Blu-rays and other items from Amazon through this link.]

The big news today here at The Bits is that Criterion has just announced their June Blu-ray and DVD release slate and it’s got some real gems. Look for Michelangelo Antonioni’s Le amiche (1955 – Cat# 817 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 6/7, Jean Renoir’s La Chienne (1931 – Cat# 818 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Alexander Hall’s Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941 – Cat# 819 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 6/14, René Laloux’s animated Fantastic Planet (1973 – Cat# 820 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 6/21, and Olivier Assayas’ Clouds of Sils Maria (2014 – Cat# 822 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964 – Cat# 821 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 6/28.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
Tuesday, 20 October 2015 00:01

Remembering “Spartacus”

“This was the world of Spartacus…when Antoninus traded the luxury of Rome’s most palatial household to battle by the side of Spartacus…and learned that a slave can live, fight, die better than any Roman!”

The Digital Bits presents this retrospective on Spartacus, commemorating the 55th anniversary of its original release and the recent release of the film on Blu-ray.  [Read on here...]

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