Christmas Vacation is a perfect blend of festive nostalgia and domestic anarchy.” — Thomas A. Christie, author of A Righteously Awesome Eighties Christmas

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 30th anniversary of the release of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, the third entry in the popular Vacation series starring Chevy Chase (Saturday Night Live, Caddyshack, Fletch) as Clark Griswold.

Also starring Beverly D’Angelo (American History X) as Ellen Griswold, Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers) as Audrey Griswold, Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory) as Rusty Griswold, and Randy Quaid (The Last Detail) as Cousin Eddie, Christmas Vacation opened in theaters across North America 30 years ago this December.

For the occasion The Bits features a Q&A with pop culture historian and Christmas-movie authority Thomas A. Christie, who discuss the film’s virtues and enduring appeal. [Read more here...]

The Abyss does something that every single Cameron film does: explores new frontiers in the technology of film making. And that’s important.” — Matthew Kapell, editor of The Films of James Cameron: Critical Essays

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 30th anniversary of the release of The Abyss, James Cameron’s (The Terminator, Titanic) underwater sci-fi adventure starring Ed Harris (The Right Stuff) and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (The Color of Money).

Also starring Michael Biehn (Aliens) and featuring groundbreaking visual effects, The Abyss opened thirty years ago this past 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 showcase presentations, and, finally, an interview segment with a film historian who reflects on the film three decades after its debut. [Read on here...]

“With his wealth of dramatic stage experience, Timothy Dalton seemed ideally suited to this harsher take on Bond, bringing both depth and sensitivity to the character while creditably articulating his quiet rage and single-mindedness. This was Bond, but not as we knew him — now much closer to the tone, if not the setting, of the original Fleming texts.” — Thomas A. Christie, author of The James Bond Movies of the 1980s

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 30th anniversary of the release of Licence to Kill, the 16th (official) cinematic James Bond adventure and second (and final) entry to feature Timothy Dalton as Agent 007.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include 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 1989’s Licence to Kill. [Read on here...]

“With Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gene Roddenberry proved that you can do Star Trek without Kirk and Spock and McCoy, that the dream of humanity reaching for the stars could be shared in many different ways, with many different characters, telling many different stories. And I think that all of us who love Star Trek are so much richer for it.” — Michael Okuda, co-author of The Star Trek Encyclopedia

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 30th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the first in a string of live-action television follow-ups to Gene Roddenberry’s legendary 1960s science fiction series. [Read on here...]

The Living Daylights was an admirable attempt to inject the series with renewed purpose and to ensure that it remained germane to moviegoers of the time.” — 007 historian Thomas A. Christie

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 30th anniversary of the release of The Living Daylights, the fifteenth (official) cinematic James Bond adventure and, most notably, the first to feature Timothy Dalton in the lead role and the last to feature a musical score by John Barry.

As with our previous 007 articles (see 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 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 The Living Daylights. [Read on here...]

“In many ways, RoboCop was ahead of its time, foreshadowing a future that is with us now. The Reagan-era gap between rich and poor has grown ever wider, with the 1% using an increasingly militarized police force to protect gentrified communities while other parts of cities have become postindustrial wastelands, abandoned to crime and drugs. RoboCop himself, a man made over into a machine by an unfeeling corporation, can be seen as a literal example of American workers being replaced by robots.” — Film scholar and Paul Verhoeven author Douglas Keesey

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 30th anniversary of the release of RoboCop, Paul Verhoeven’s (Soldier of Orange, Basic Instinct) franchise-inspiring and Saturn- and Oscar-winning satirical action film starring Peter Weller (The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, Leviathan) and Nancy Allen (Dressed to Kill, Blow Out). [Read on here...]

“It’s an amazing accomplishment for a director’s first studio film.” – Action movie authority Eric Lichtenfeld

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 30th anniversary of the release of Predator, John McTiernan’s sci-fi/action/horror film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers and Kevin Peter Hall and featuring Saturn Award-winning music, Golden Reel Award-winning sound effects and Academy Award-nominated visual effects. [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...]

“Leisure rules”

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the 30th anniversary of the release of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the popular teen comedy starring Matthew Broderick.

Ferris, directed by John Hughes (Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club) and also starring Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, and Jeffrey Jones, opened 30 years ago this week, and for the occasion The Bits features a Q&A with author, film historian and John Hughes authority Thomas A. Christie.  [Read on here...]

“Up there with the best of the best.”

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the 30th anniversary of the release of Top Gun, the popular military action-drama starring Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, and Anthony Edwards.

Top Gun, directed by Tony Scott (The Hunger, Crimson Tide) and produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer (Flashdance, Beverly Hills Cop), opened 30 years ago this week.

To mark the occasion, The Bits features a compilation of box-office data that places the movie’s performance in context, passages from vintage film reviews, a list of the 70-millimeter “showcase” presentations, and, finally, an interview segment with documentarian and Tony Scott associate, Charles de Lauzirika.  [Read on here...]

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