Items filtered by date: November 2017

We’ll be back to our regular Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD news and reviews work here at The Bits starting on Tuesday, but in the meantime we just wanted to drop in and wish you all a very Happy New Year and best wishes to your family and friends.

And if you’re looking for a little cinephile reading, be sure to check out Michael Coate’s recent History Legacy & Showmanship columns featuring anniversary celebrations of Casino Royale (1967), Camelot, Tomorrow Never Dies, The Dark Crystal, Die Another Day, and The Graduate, all of which have been posted in the last week or two.All right… be safe, be happy, and may 2018 bring better things for all of us. Peace out!

- Bill Hunt

(You can follow Bill on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook)

 

Published in My Two Cents

Casino Royale is the Star Wars Holiday Special of James Bond films.” — 007 historian John Cork

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 50th anniversary of the release of Casino Royale, the James Bond comedy spoof starring Peter Sellers, Ursula Andress, David Niven, Orson Welles and Woody Allen.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include Tomorrow Never DiesDie Another Day, Dr. No, The Living Daylights, The Spy Who Lived Me, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, 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 continues the series with this retrospective featuring a Q&A with an esteemed group of James Bond historians who discuss the virtues, shortcomings and legacy of Casino Royale (1967). [Read on here...]

“It’s clear in retrospect that Camelot began the extinction process of old school Broadway musicals extravagantly transferred to the screen.” — Matthew Kennedy, author of Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Camelot, the Oscar-winning cinematic interpretation of the King Arthur legend and the Lerner and Loewe stage musical which starred Richard Harris (Cromwell, Unforgiven) as King Arthur and Vanessa Redgrave (Blow-up, Julia) as Guenevere.

Camelot — directed by Joshua Logan (South Pacific, Paint Your Wagon) and which featured Franco Nero, David Hemmings and Lionel Jeffries in supporting roles — opened 50 years ago this past autumn. For the occasion, The Bits features an historical reference listing of the film’s major-market roadshow engagements and a Q&A with film historian Matthew Kennedy, who discusses the film’s virtues, shortcomings and legacy. [Read on here...]

Tomorrow Never Dies’ major importance was in cementing Pierce Brosnan as the James Bond of that time period — a responsibility he fulfilled very successfully.” — 007 historian Lee Pfeiffer

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 20th anniversary of the release of Tomorrow Never Dies, the 18th official cinematic James Bond adventure and the second of four to feature Pierce Brosnan as Agent 007.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include Die Another Day, Dr. No, The Living Daylights, The Spy Who Lived Me, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, 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 continues 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… Tomorrow Never Dies. [Read on here...]

The Dark Crystal has the distinction of being one of a very few films entirely starring puppets. It’s an amazing achievement.” — The Dark Crystal: The Ultimate Visual History author Caseen Gaines

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of The Dark Crystal, the fantasy adventure directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz (The Muppet Show) and produced by Gary Kurtz (Star Wars).

The Dark Crystal — which featured the Muppeteering talents of Henson and Oz and longtime Henson associates including Kathryn Mullen, Dave Goelz, Brian Froud, Jerry Nelson, and many others — opened 35 years ago this winter. In recent months there has been a surge in interest in the film, with numerous anniversary screenings (including several showcasing a newly discovered 70mm print from the original release), a new book highlighting the original production (see interview below), a 4K Ultra HD slated for release in March, and a forthcoming TV series. [Read on here...]

Die Another Day made good money, delivered on spectacle, but didn’t resonate.” — 007 historian John Cork

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 15th anniversary of the release of Die Another Day, the twentieth official cinematic James Bond adventure and which featured Pierce Brosnan’s fourth and final performance as Agent 007.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include Dr. NoThe Living Daylights, The Spy Who Lived Me, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, 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… Die Another Day. [Read on here...]

All right, we’ve got a couple things for you here at The Bits today...

First though, my apologies for being MIA for the last couple of days. We had family visiting this weekend and unfortunately they brought with them a plague-level case of the flu. Pretty much everyone ended up getting sick, including yours truly. I’ve literally been laid up in bed since Sunday. Get your flu shots, folks. I wish I had. The flu’s a bad one this year. Anyway, I’m about a good strong 60% right now, which is enough for me to get a couple things posted here on the site, starting with this...

Our own Michael Coate has just turned in a great new History, Legacy & Showmanship column here at The Bits celebrating the 50th anniversary of Mike Nichols’ The Graduate. The piece features a look back at the film’s original release and also a new interview with historian Beverly Gray. It’s worth your time, so do give it a look. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

The Graduate is a time capsule preserving [Baby Boomers’] youthful hopes and fears at a pivotal moment in American life.” — Beverly Gray, author of Seduced by Mrs. Robinson: How ‘The Graduate’ Became the Touchstone of a Generation

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of The Graduate, the acclaimed comedy starring Dustin Hoffman (Kramer vs. Kramer, Rain Man) as the titular character and Anne Bancroft (The Miracle Worker, The Turning Point) as the woman who seduces him.

One of the most popular films of the 1960s, The Graduate — which also featured Katharine Ross, William Daniels, Murray Hamilton and Elizabeth Wilson — opened 50 years ago this week, and for the occasion The Bits features a compilation of statistics, trivia and box-office data that places the movie’s performance in context; passages from vintage film reviews; a reference/historical listing of the movie’s exclusive limited-market first-run theatrical engagements; and, finally, an interview segment with author and film historian Beverly Gray who discusses the film’s impact and influence. [Read on here...]

As planned, my old friend Robert Meyer Burnett and I – joined by our significant others – saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi last night here in fiery SoCal. In Dolby Cinema no less, which is a helluva great way to see a film, let me tell you. We had absolutely perfect reclining seats, bright and vibrant laser projection, and Atmos sound to shake our backsides. And a good time was had by all, as you can see by the pictures.

But looking around on social media today, I’m struck by this thought: I kinda miss the days when people could just watch a movie. Seems to me, we used to know how to do that without all the handwringing and chest-puffery and whatnot. This is Star Wars, after all… not the Allied plans for the invasion of Normandy. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Afternoon, everyone! All right, we have more big news to report for you today...

The Walt Disney Company has just reached a deal to purchase 20th Century Fox and all related entertainment assets from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox for a deal reportedly worth in the neighborhood $68 billion. Yes, that includes the rights to the original Star Wars films. 21st Century Fox will retain Fox Broadcasting, Fox Sports, Fox News, and all the Fox TV stations, along with the actual 20th Century Fox studio lot in Century City. You can read more about this here at Variety today.

Now... with this news breaking, naturally the first question movie fans want to know is: Does this mean the original Star Wars is finally going to be released on disc. And the answer is: Cool your thrusters, Space Cowboys. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
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