“The film may as well have been officially titled Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula, because it so unmistakably bears the stamp of its director.” — Dracula FAQ: All That’s Left to Know about the Count from Transylvania author Bruce Scivally

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 25th anniversary of the release of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Francis Ford Coppola’s take on the classic horror icon featuring Gary Oldman in the title role.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which also starred Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins and Keanu Reeves — and winner of numerous awards including three Oscars and five Saturns — opened 25 years ago this autumn. For the occasion, The Bits features a Q&A with film historian Bruce Scivally, who discusses the film’s virtues, shortcomings and influence. [Read on here...]

Tuesday, 28 March 2017 13:03

Here’s What’s Wrong with Movies...

I’ve figured out what’s wrong with movies.

This thesis prevailed on me as I went to see the 3-D Imax version of a new picture called The Great Wall. This picture opened to dismal reviews, but the previews had made it look righteous and the effects, I knew, would be fun, and they were and the whole experience wasn’t bad.

And on the way out, I was thinking of all these feckless movie reviewers who get published and why they would trash this movie. I thought to myself: “Why were they so hard on this movie? It’s just a fun “B” picture?”

And then I figured it out. They all are. 90% of what we see in the theaters are “B” pictures with “A” budgets.

Let’s discuss... [Read on here...]


First up today, our own Russell Hammond has just posted the weekly Release Dates & Artwork update with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. Don’t forget, anytime you order titles through our links you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we appreciate it!

Now then... in new release news today, Paramount has officially announced Robert Zemeckis’ Allied for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on 2/28, with the Digital HD release expected on 2/14. The WWII thriller stars Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard. Extras on the Blu-rays will include 10 behind-the-scenes featurettes (among them The Story of Allied, From Stages to the Sahara: The Production Design of Allied, Through the Lens: Directing with Robert Zemeckis, A Stitch in Time: The Costumes of Allied, ’Til Death Do Us Part: Max and Marianne, Guys and Gals: The Ensemble Cast, Lights, Pixels, Action! The Visual Effects of Allied, Behind the Wheel: The Vehicles of Allied, Locked and Loaded: The Weapons of Allied, and That Swingin’ Sound: The Music of Allied). You can see the cover artwork to the left and below. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

This is just a quick update today to let you all know that The Criterion Collection has just announced their April slate of titles, which is set to include new editions of George Stevens’ Woman of the Year (Cat #867 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Wim Wenders’ Buena Vista Social Club (Cat #866 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 4/18, followed by Juzo Itami’s Tampopo (Cat #868 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Francis Ford Coppola’s Rumble Fish (Cat #869 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 4/25. You’ll also get updated versions of two existing Criterion titles, including Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Cat #716 – Blu-ray and DVD) and The Young Girls of Rochefort (Cat #717 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 4/11. You can see the cover artwork below. [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.]

We have a quick update on the BFI’s new restoration and Blu-ray of Napoleon (1927). It seems that Francis Ford Coppola and former Bits contributor and film preservationist Robert A. Harris own the worldwide theatrical rights to Napoleon outside the U.K. and France, and are working on their own restoration effort. Lou Lumenick, the film editor for The New York Post, contacted Harris about the project and received this reply: [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
Thursday, 27 August 2015 11:57

The Biggest Movie Story in America

I had to sit on maybe the biggest movie story in America. For a long time. And now that it’s been completed and is over, I’m shocked that the whole thing hasn’t been on the front page of The New York Times.

I’ve perhaps casually mentioned that I helped create (didn’t get in the way of) a film school here in Oklahoma City, actually at Oklahoma City Community College. The idea was, unlike film degrees that are based on watching and studying themes and points of view and reading scripts, the creative side, so to speak, to offer a technical, hands on degree program, why a community college was selected in the first place. And to enhance the experience, we got the finest equipment in the world – Avid editors and cameras and lenses and lights and then, through a lot of hard work from a lot of good people, here came the ultimate – a full end studio, built to the specs of an actual Hollywood soundstage. If another state funded school has a facility like this, I’d like to see it.  [Read on here...]

All right, we’ve got three things for you today to close out the week…

First, our own Michael Coate has turned in a fine new History, Legacy & Showmanship column, celebrating today’s 35th anniversary of the theatrical debut of Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. Included in the piece is a rundown of the initial 70 mm theatrical engagements, trivia, and a pair of interview with film historians Jon Lewis and Lee Pfeiffer. Enjoy!

Also today, Tim Salmons has turned in a review of Raro Video’s The Year of the Cannibals (1970) on Blu-ray, an Italian film from director Liliana Cavani.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

“The first time, it will dazzle your senses. The second time, you’ll see it for the first time.”

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of Apocalypse Now, Francis Ford Coppola’s award-winning Vietnam War epic.

The Bits marks the occasion with this retrospective article featuring a compilation of box-office data that helps place the film’s performance in context, quotes from a selection of movie critics, production and exhibition information, a list of the film’s original 70-millimeter presentations, and an interview segment.  [Read on here…]

If it can be difficult to remember who won the Academy Award for Best Picture, it’s downright mind-bending trying to remember everything else it was up against. In An Honor To Be Nominated, I’ll be taking a look back at some of the movies the Oscar didn’t go to and trying to determine if they were robbed, if the Academy got it right, or if they should ever have been nominated in the first place.  [Read on here…]

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