History, Legacy & Showmanship

Afternoon, all. We’ve got a couple interesting items for you today...

First, Tim has posted a new review of Powerhouse Films and Indicator’s outstanding William Castle at Columbia: Volume Two Blu-ray box set, which streeted late last month and includes Zotz!, The Old Dark House, 13 Frightened Girls!, and Strait-Jacket. Do check it out and if you haven’t seen these films, they’re a hoot.

Also today, we have a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate featuring a look back at the James Bond film Quantum of Solace in honor of its 10th anniversary. The column features another terrific roundtable discussion, this time with historians Robert A. Caplen, John Cork, and Lisa Funnell. Enjoy!

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

Published in My Two Cents

Quantum of Solace demonstrates that the Bond franchise still relays a British imperialist standpoint through its depiction of the global south and continues to rely on problematic politics of representation that draw into question whether the films of the Daniel Craig era can be considered progressive within the Bond film canon.” — Lisa Funnell, co-author of The Geographies, Genders, and Geopolitics of James Bond

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 10th anniversary of the release of Quantum of Solace, the 22nd (official) cinematic James Bond adventure and second to feature Daniel Craig as Agent 007.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include 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 2008’s Quantum of Solace. [Read on here...]

Today is obviously the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday here in the States, but we do have a couple things for you.

First, we have a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column for you. Michael Coate and a great roundtable of film historians look back at Funny Girl (1968) in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary.

Also, we have a trio of new Blu-ray reviews for you. Tim has taken a look at J. Lee Thompson’s 10 to Midnight from Scream Factory, David Gordon Green’s Halloween (2018) from Universal, and Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak from Arrow Video.

And finally, we’ve posted the weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, whenever you order anything from Amazon after clicking through one of our links, you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we greatly appreciate it.

Back tomorrow! Stay tuned…

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

 

Published in My Two Cents

Funny Girl’s legacy and value is as a recreation of Streisand’s one-for-the-ages turn in the stage version, now preserved as long as we can watch movies.” — 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 Funny Girl, the motion picture adaptation of the stage musical featuring Barbra Streisand’s Academy Award-winning performance as comedienne Fanny Brice.

Produced by Ray Stark (Annie, The Way We Were) and directed by William Wyler (The Best Years of Our Lives, Ben-Hur), the award-winning film also starred Omar Sharif (Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago) and Kay Medford (BUtterfield 8, Ensign Pulver). The Library of Congress in 2016 selected Funny Girl for preservation in the National Film Registry. [Read on here...]

All right, we’re back finally. We were sort of back last week, but a combination of server work and various houseguests kept me from really diving back into things here at The Bits, though Tim and the crew have been active in posting reviews. I’ve also been up to something very exciting over the last few months, which I’ll talk more about in a minute.

We have a trio of recent Blu-ray reviews for you to check out today, including Tim’s look at Cutting Class from Vinegar Syndrome, Dennis’ review of Not Without My Daughter from MVD, and David’s look at Topper Takes a Trip from VCI.

And I am about to embark on an in-depth review of Damien Chazelle’s recent Neil Armstrong biopic First Man, which was one of my favorite films of 2018. I’ve gotten my hands on the 4K Ultra HD from Universal and it’s tremendous. So watch for that review later today or first thing in the morning. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

From Russia with Love is, quite simply, one of the greatest spy films ever made. It is relentlessly entertaining, sexy, sophisticated, elegant yet raw, beautifully shot, brilliantly edited, wonderfully cast, with a score that puts 99.999% of all other modern films to shame.” — John Cork, author of James Bond Encyclopedia

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 55th anniversary of the release of From Russia with Love, the second cinematic James Bond adventure.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include 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, influence and legacy of 1963’s From Russia with Love. [Read on here...]

Happy Thursday, Bits readers!

There’s very little in the way of news to report today, given that Hollywood is essentially shut down until next week for the holidays.

But we do have a couple things I wanted to share with you today.

First, Tim has turned in a pair of new Blu-ray reviews, and they’re good titles… a pair of Hammer Films classics starring Christopher Lee: Dracula Prince of Darkness (1966) from Scream Factory and Horror of Dracula (1958) now available from the Warner Archive Collection. Both are well worth your time, so enjoy the reviews.

Also today, our own Michael Coate has turned in a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column looking back at The Odd Couple (1968) in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary. The piece features a good interview with historian Rob Edelman. I think you’ll enjoy that too.

Now then… I’ve been very busy with a number of things these past few weeks, but I plan to return to reviewing Blu-ray and 4K titles in a big way right after New Year’s, likely starting with a look at Universal’s First Man. And I’m going to knock out a whole bunch of new and recent titles on both formats throughout the month of January.

In the meantime, I hope you’re all having a great and safe holiday break with your family and friends.

So enjoy every minute… and stay tuned!

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

 

Published in My Two Cents

The Odd Couple is one of the great Neil Simon comedies — if not the all-time-great Neil Simon comedy!” — Rob Edelman, author of Matthau: A Life

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 50th anniversary of the release of The Odd Couple, the popular Neil Simon comedy about two divorced men with clashing personalities who become roommates.

Featuring Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in their memorable roles as Oscar Madison and Felix Unger, respectively, and directed by Gene Saks (Cactus Flower, Brighton Beach Memoirs), The Odd Couple opened fifty years ago to box-office success and critical acclaim.

For the occasion The Bits features a Q&A with author, film historian and Walter Matthau biographer Rob Edelman. [Read on here...]

The Hidden Fortress is an irresistible blend of grand comic adventure with Kurosawa’s emblematic humanism and innovative craftsmanship.” — Stuart Galbraith, author of The Emperor and the Wolf: The Lives and Films of Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 60th anniversary of the release of The Hidden Fortress, Akira Kurosawa’s influential jidai-geki and starring long-time Kurosawa collaborator Toshiro Mifune (Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood, Yojimbo).

The popular Kurosawa film turns sixty this year, and for the occasion, The Bits features a Q&A with film historian and Japanese cinema authority Stuart Galbraith. [Read on here...]

All right, we’ve got another very quick update for you today...

First, we expect to have a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate tomorrow, so be sure to watch for that.

Also, we’ve learned from retail sources that Universal’s Mortal Engines is likely due to hit Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 3/12. The studio’s Mary Queen of Scots is likely set for 3/5, while Green Book appears to be a 2/19 release. And it seems that Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet seems to be slated for 2/26 or thereabouts. And Paramount’s Overlord appears to be due on or about 2/12.

We’ve updated our 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Bits accordingly. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents
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