History, Legacy & Showmanship
“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...]
“Casino Royale saved Bond.” — 007 historian and documentarian John Cork
The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 10th anniversary of the release of Casino Royale, the 21st (official) cinematic James Bond adventure and, most notably, the first to star Daniel Craig as Agent 007.
As with our previous 007 articles (see 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 and shortcomings of Casino Royale. [Read on here...]
“It’s hard to tell who the movie is for. It’s too childish for adults and too provocative and snarky for kids.” — Film historian/author Caseen Gaines
The History, Legacy & Showmanship column here at The Digital Bits typically celebrates popular and significant motion pictures and TV series. Periodically, though, we will look back at unpopular or maligned productions to examine if the passage of time warrants a reevaluation. So with this in mind, The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective for Howard the Duck on the occasion of its 30th anniversary.
Howard the Duck, based upon the 1970s Marvel comic book series, starred Lea Thompson (Back to the Future, All the Right Moves), Tim Robbins (Bull Durham, The Shawshank Redemption) and Jeffrey Jones (Amadeus, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) and featured a talking, cigar-chomping duck from another planet that is zapped across the galaxy to Cleveland where he meets a musician who attempts to help him return home. [Read on here...]
“Star Trek has left a legacy of hope and optimism that humankind has a future. If we cultivate the potential of Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations so that we embrace a universe brimming with the riches of life in all of its forms, then humankind can evolve into something finer and nobler. I think that is what Gene Roddenberry meant when he said that the human adventure is just beginning.” — Bill Kraft, author of Maybe We Need a Letter from God: The Star Trek Stamp
The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the golden anniversary of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry’s legendary science-fiction television series depicting the voyages of Captain James T. Kirk and his crew of the starship Enterprise.
The memorable television series premiered 50 years ago this week (September 6th, 1966, on CTV in Canada, and September 8th, 1966, on NBC in the United States), and similar to our other Star Trek roundtables (here and here) and classic television retrospectives (here, here, here, and here), The Bits for the occasion has assembled a Q&A with an esteemed group of Treksperts, historians and Star Trek writers who examine the best episodes and offer commentary on the show’s enduring appeal, influence and legacy. [Read on here...]
“It’s a fun film that also demanded you to take it seriously. I think some people missed all that and just wanted to indulge in the ‘bug hunt’ war porn of it all. But beneath its rollercoaster surface, Aliens is a pretty sophisticated genre classic.” — Documentarian Charles de Lauzirika
The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the 30th anniversary of the release of Aliens, the action-packed follow-up to Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi/horror classic featuring Sigourney Weaver (Ghostbusters, Working Girl) in her Saturn-winning and Oscar- and Golden Globe-nominated reprisal of Ellen Ripley, the lone survivor of an Alien attack on her ship, the Nostromo. In the sequel, after several decades in hypersleep, she returns to exomoon LV-426 along with a team of Marines — and awesome sound and visual effects — to destroy the Aliens. [Read on here...]