History, Legacy & Showmanship

Displaying items by tag: Michael Coate

Afternoon, everyone and happy Cyber Monday. We hope you’ve all had a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday, for those of you here in the States. And for everyone else, we hope you had a great weekend.

We were very busy here at The Bits over the weekend. I’ve completed our in-depth review of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy in 4K Ultra HD from Warner Bros. The disc streets tomorrow, but we’re hearing that supplies are a little short so it might take another few weeks for everyone who ordered to get their copies.

For those of you who want the short version, the set is fantastic. It includes all three films—The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King—in both the Theatrical Cuts and Extended Editions on separate discs (the Extended Editions are split over two UHD discs, as they were on Blu-ray and DVD). There are no special features in the set beyond a Digital Copy code. However, the new 4K remasters are spectacular. Truly, these films have never looked better—not even during their original run in theaters. The 4K-remastered image falls a bit short of reference quality, but trust me when I say that they’re so much better than their previous Blu-ray versions that there’s just no comparison. And the new HDR color grade is breathtaking. Not to mention the sound—each film includes a new Dolby Atmos surround sound mix that absolutely IS reference quality. So I highly recommend that you all check out my review here. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

The Flintstones was the first animated sitcom in television history. They paved that gravel road and it’s been smooth traveling ever since.” — Steve Cox, author of Mining Bedrock: The Voices Behind Television’s First Animated Sitcom, The Flintstones

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 60th anniversary of the broadcast premiere of The Flintstones, Hanna-Barbera’s animated series set in the Stone Age (but inspired by The Honeymooners and mid-20th Century suburban America) that introduced the world to Fred and Wilma Flintstone, Barney and Betty Rubble, Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm, Dino, Mr. Slate, The Great Gazoo, and a host of other memorable supporting characters.

The popular series (recently released on Blu-ray and reviewed here) originally ran in prime time on ABC from 1960 to 1966 and spawned numerous spin-offs, TV specials, movies and tie-in merchandise. It premiered 60 years ago this autumn, and for the occasion The Bits features a Q&A with a trio of pop culture and animation historians who reflects on the series’ appeal six decades after its debut. [Read on here...]

We’ve got some interesting news to report today...

First though, our own Michael Coate has posted a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column here at The Bits, featuring a look back at CBS’s The Mary Tyler Moore Show in honor of its 50th anniversary. Michael interviews historians Herbie J. Pilato and Vince Waldron on the popular TV series and its legacy. Enjoy!

Also today, we’ve posted the latest update of our Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links.

Before we get to announcements today, we’ve learned from our sources that Warner should be officially announcing the 4K Ultra HD release of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings sometime in the next two weeks, if all goes well with delivery of the 4K masters. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

The Mary Tyler Moore Show opened the floodgates for the kind of grown-up TV comedies that would thrive in the 1970s, and beyond. Although Mary’s show had little in common with M*A*S*H, All in the Family, or Barney Miller, it’s hard to imagine any of those breakthrough sitcoms getting a green light had The Mary Tyler Moore not proven to the TV networks that it was possible to attract a sizable audience to intelligent, risk-taking television shows — that good TV was, in fact, a viable business model.” — Vince Waldron, author of The Official Dick Van Dyke Show Book

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the broadcast premiere of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, the Emmy-winning and multi-spinoff-inspiring television series starring Mary Tyler Moore (The Dick Van Dyke Show, Ordinary People) as Mary Richards that ran on CBS from 1970 to 1977.

The series — created by James L. Brooks (Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News) and Allan Burns (A Little Romance, Just Between Friends) and featuring the memorable supporting cast of Edward Asner as Lou Grant, Valerie Harper as Rhoda Morgenstern, Gavin MacLeod as Murray Slaughter, Ted Knight as Ted Baxter, Cloris Leachman as Phyllis Lindstrom, Georgia Engel as Georgette Franklin Baxter, and Betty White as Sue Ann Nivens — premiered 50 years ago, and for the occasion The Bits features a Q&A with a pair of classic television historians who reflect on the series’ appeal, impact and legacy five decades after its debut. [Read on here...]

“It’s heartening to remember now, at a moment of sharp political divisions, how the whole world seemed to hold its collective breath when the three American astronauts were in mortal danger.” — Beverly Gray, author of Ron Howard: From Mayberry to the Moon… and Beyond

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the silver anniversary of the release of Apollo 13, Ron Howard’s popular and award-winning docudrama about the aborted 1970 Apollo 13 lunar expedition starring Tom Hanks (Philadelphia, Forrest Gump) as astronaut Jim Lovell.

Apollo 13 — featuring Kevin Bacon (Footloose, Tremors) as Jack Swigert, Bill Paxton (Aliens, Twister) as Fred Haise, Gary Sinise (Forrest Gump, CSI:NY) as Ken Mattingly, Ed Harris (The Right Stuff, The Abyss) as Gene Kranz, and Kathleen Quinlan (Twilight Zone: The Movie, Breakdown) as Marilyn Lovell — was released twenty-five years ago this summer. For the occasion The Bits features a package of statistics and box-office data that places the movie’s performance in context, along with passages from vintage film reviews, a reference/historical listing of the movie’s IMAX re-release presentations, and, finally, an interview segment with a film historian who reflects on the film two and a half decades after its debut. [Read on here...]

Psycho should be remembered as the gold standard of psychological horror thrillers because it respects the audience by paying as much attention to delivering memorable, relatable characters, smart dialogue, a gripping plot, and emotional punch as well as jump scares.” — Stephen Rebello, author of Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 60th anniversary of the release of Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock’s popular psychological horror film starring Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, owner-manager of the Bates Motel.

Psycho, which also starred Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam, John McIntire, and Janet Leigh as Marion Crane, was released sixty years ago this month. For the occasion The Bits features a package of statistics and box-office data that places the movie’s performance in context, along with passages from vintage film reviews, a reference/historical listing of the movie’s major-market first-run presentations, and, finally, an interview segment with a film historian who reflects on the film six decades after its debut. [Read on here...]

We’ve got some good stuff for you here at the site today! So let’s get right into it.

First of all, we’ve posted a trio of new 4K Ultra HD reviews...

Late last night, I posted my in-depth thoughts on John Landis’ The Blues Brothers, new in 4K Ultra HD from Universal. I love this film and the good news is that it’s never looked and sounded better. Check it out here.

Also today, Tim has posted reviews of Blue Underground’s new 4K Ultra HD editions of William Lustig’s Maniac (1980) and Lucio Fulci’s Zombie (1979). These too have never looked better, but do be aware that the cover artwork pictured here on The Bits is NOT the final artwork.

We have to censor the cover art on some of these horror titles or Google flags them as offensive, which crushes our advertising. And we need advertising to survive, so there it is. Anyway, enjoy the titles! Blue Underground does great work. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

The Empire Strikes Back should be remembered as one of the greatest films of all time!” — Skywalking through Neverland co-host Richard Woloski

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of The Empire Strikes Back, the middle act of George Lucas’s original Star Wars trilogy and one of the most celebrated and beloved sequels of all time.

The Empire Strikes Back (aka Star Wars: Episode VThe Empire Strikes Back) was directed by Irvin Kershner (The Flim-Flam Man, Eyes of Laura Mars) and starred Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, reprising their popular roles of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia, respectively.

As well, Empire featured returning cast members Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Kenny Baker (R2-D2), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), David Prowse (Darth Vader), and an uncredited James Earl Jones as the voice of Darth Vader. Newly introduced in Empire were Lando Calrissian (played by Billy Dee Williams) and Yoda (performed by Frank Oz and a team of muppeteers). [Read on here...]

“It’s the worst Bond movie ever made.” — Lee Pfeiffer, co-author of The Essential Bond: The Authorized Guide to the World of 007

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 45th anniversary of the release of The Man with the Golden Gun, the ninth (official) cinematic James Bond adventure and second entry to feature Roger Moore as Agent 007.

In case you missed them or desire a refresher read, this column’s other celebratory 007 articles in this series include The World Is Not EnoughLicence to Kill, Moonraker, Quantum of Solace, From Russia with Love, Never Say Never Again, Live and Let Die, Octopussy, 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 1974’s The Man with the Golden Gun. [Read more here...]

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