History, Legacy & Showmanship

Superman: The Movie radiated magic in 1978 and continues to captivate the world 40 years later. This December, surely multitudes of fans will be watching Superman—via streaming, DVD, Blu-ray or the new 4K UHD—with the same hope, optimism, and innocence they felt the first time they watched in awe as Christopher Reeve soared out of the Fortress of Solitude and into the world.” — Jim Bowers, CapedWonder.com

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Superman, Richard Donner’s classic superhero adventure starring Christopher Reeve (Somewhere in Time, Monsignor). The year 2018 also marks the 80th anniversary of Superman’s debut in Action Comics.

Often described as the first modern-day superhero movie, Superman (aka Superman: The Movie) was a box-office smash and winner of numerous awards and, of course, inspired a series of sequels and spin-offs as well as, arguably, decades of superhero/comicbook-themed media. [Read on here...]

Before we get started today, we’ve got two more Blu-ray reviews for you...

They include Tim’s look at Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete Third Season from Starz and Lionsgate and Dennis’ take on Jon M. Chu’s Crazy Rich Asians from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Both are pretty good, so do give them a look.

Our own Michael Coate has also posted a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column featuring a look back at Bob Clark’s beloved classic A Christmas Story in honor of the film’s 35th anniversary. The roundtable discussion includes film historians Thomas A. Christie, Caseen Gaines, and Eugene B. Bergmann. Enjoy!

Also, we’ve posted the weekly update of our Release Dates & Artwork section featuring all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. Anytime you order literally anything from Amazon after clicking to them through one of our links, you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we appreciate it! [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

A Christmas Story should be remembered as a small film that had a very large impact.” – Caseen Gaines, author of A Christmas Story: Behind the Scenes of a Holiday Classic

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of A Christmas Story, the humorous and now-classic Christmas-themed film based upon the writings of Jean Shepherd and directed by Bob Clark (Black Christmas, Porky’s).

Featuring Melinda Dillon (Close Encounters of the Third Kind), Darren McGavin (Kolchak: The Night Stalker) and Peter Billingsley (The Dirt Bike Kid) as Ralphie, A Christmas Story opened in theaters across North America 35 years ago this month, and for the occasion The Bits features a Q&A with a trio of historians and pop culture authorities who discuss the film’s enduring appeal. [Read on here...]

I’m still working on that Batman: The Complete Animated Series Blu-ray review, but let me tell you... it’s terrific! The A/V quality is amazing, with the original film elements for each episode newly scanned and presented in HD and the stereo mixes presented in lossless DTS-HD Master Audio. [Editor’s Note: The review is finished and you can read it here now. Enjoy!]

Nearly all of the extras from the previous DVD box set carry over and there’s a great new 98-minute retrospective documentary, Heart of Batman, included as well. I hope to have the review up later today - there’s just a lot to go through. I’ll add the link here when it goes live.

Meanwhile here at the site today, we have a new History, Legacy and Showmanship column from our very own Michael Coate, who presents a retrospective look back at George A. Romero’s original zombie classic Night of the Living Dead in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary this month. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Night of the Living Dead is a classic that has inspired countless imitators, and spawned a sub-genre that continues to be exploited today in film, television, books and video games.” – John Scoleri, author of Latent Images: Night of the Living Dead

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Night of the Living Dead, George A. Romero’s influential and franchise-spawning horror film about a group of characters trapped in a Pennsylvania farmhouse who are stalked by flesh-eating zombies.

Night of the Living Dead – co-written by John Russo and featuring Judith O’Dea, Duane Jones, Marilyn Eastman, Karl Hardman, Judith Riley, and Keith Wayne – opened fifty years ago this autumn, and for the occasion The Bits features a Q&A with author and film historian John Scoleri.

John Scoleri is the author of Latent Images: Night of the Living Dead (Dreams and Visions Press, 2019), and several books on artist Ralph McQuarrie, including The Art of Ralph McQuarrie: Archives (Dreams and Visions Press, 2015). He was co-editor (with Peter Enfantino and Robert Morrish) of The Scream Factory Magazine (Deadline Press, 1989-1997) as well as the 600+ page greatest-hits collection, The Best of The Scream Factory (Cemetery Dance, 2018). [Read on here...]

First up today, in honor of Global Bond Day, our own Michael Coate has posted a new History, Legacy & Showmanship retrospective, looking back at Sean Connery’s last turn as 007 in Never Say Never Again. The piece features another great roundtable discussion with film historians, so enjoy!

We also have four more Blu-ray reviews for you to check out today, including Tim’s take on Russell Mulcahy’s Razorback (1984) from Umbrella Entertainment, David’s look at Sunset Society (2018) from MVD Visual and John Cassavetes’s Gloria (1980) from Twilight Time, and Dennis’ thoughts on Television’s Lost Classics: Volume One from VCI. More reviews are on the way, so be sure to watch for them.

In news today, we have more word from retailers that Disney is going to be bringing The Lion King to 4K UHD by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Wreck-It Ralph has now appeared for 4K UHD pre-order on Best Buy with a street date of 11/6, the same day as The Incredibles 2. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

“This is a 1983 film with the director of the highest-grossing film of 1980, the cinematographer of the highest-grossing film of 1981, and Sean Connery starring as James Bond. What could go wrong?” – John Cork, author of James Bond Encyclopedia

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of Never Say Never Again, the remake of 1965’s Thunderball and the final film in the long-running series to feature Sir Sean Connery as Agent 007.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include Live and Let DieOctopussy, Casino Royale (1967), Tomorrow Never Dies, Die Another Day, Dr. No, The Living Daylights, The Spy Who Loved 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 film historians and James Bond authorities who discuss the virtues, shortcomings and legacy of 1983’s Never Say Never Again. [Read on here...]

Dazed and Confused is an admirably nuanced take on the teen movie that was congruent with the fresh wave of nineties entries in the genre.” – Thomas A. Christie, author of The Cinema of Richard Linklater

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 25th anniversary of the release of Dazed and Confused, the coming-of-age comedy revolving around the final day of school in 1976 in a small Texas town. Directed by Richard Linklater (Slacker, Before Sunrise, Boyhood) – and featuring a large ensemble cast including Jason London, Joey Lauren Adams, Michelle Burke, Wiley Wiggins, and notable early-career performances by Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, Matthew McConaughey, and Parker Posey – Dazed and Confused opened 25 years ago this month, and for the occasion The Bits features a Q&A with author, film historian and Richard Linklater biographer Thomas A. Christie. [Read more here...]

Before we get to the news, we begin the week with four new Blu-ray reviews, including…

Tim Salmons’ look at Terry Gilliam’s Tideland (2005) from Arrow Video.

David Steigman’s take on The French Way (1945) from MVD.

And Dennis Seuling’s look at Bram Stoker’s Shadowbuilder (1998) from the MVD Rewind Collection and That Summer (2017) on DVD from IFC Independent Film. Fans of the 1975 Albert and David Maysles documentary Grey Gardens will find That Summer of interest, as it contains raw footage from an earlier project starring the two Edies.

Also, we’ve posted the latest update of the Release Dates & Artwork section featuring new Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, when you order literally anything from Amazon after clicking through our links (like this one), you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we greatly appreciate it. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents
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