History, Legacy & Showmanship

The Twilight Zone was an enormously creative television series anchored by one of the true giants of the medium, Mr. Rod Serling, a master storyteller who was given unprecedented control over his work. In terms of quality, no show touches it in consistent quality.” — Steven Jay Rubin, author of The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 60th anniversary of The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling’s classic anthology series which originally ran on CBS from 1959 to 1964.

The Twilight Zone premiered sixty years ago this month and for the occasion The Bits features a Q&A with a quartet of Rod Serling authorities and classic television historians who reflect on the timeless series (and its offspring) six decades after its debut. [Read on here...]

Paint Your Wagon is remembered as a standalone oddity in the careers of Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood.” — 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 Paint Your Wagon, the Oscar-nominated cinematic interpretation of the Lerner and Loewe stage musical which starred Lee Marvin (Cat Ballou, Point Blank), Clint Eastwood (Dirty Harry, Unforgiven) and Jean Seberg (Pendulum, Airport).

Paint Your Wagon — directed by Joshua Logan (South Pacific, Camelot) and which also featured Harve Presnell (The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Fargo) and Ray Walston (My Favorite Martian, Fast Times at Ridgemont High) — opened 50 years ago this month. For the occasion, The Bits features an historical reference listing of the film’s major-market roadshow engagements and a Q&A with film historian Matthew Kennedy, who discusses the film’s virtues, shortcomings and legacy. [Read on here...]

We’ve got a bunch of new disc reviews coming over the next week or so, starting with a couple later today. So be sure to watch for them.

We do have a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate today, celebrating the 50th anniversary of TV’s classic The Brady Bunch. It features a new interview with historian Herbie J. Pilato, and is well worth a read if you’re a fan. You’ll find it here.

Meanwhile, we’ve got a bunch of release news to report today, so let’s get started...

First up, our friends at The Home Theater Forum have revealed that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is going to be releasing Farscape: The Complete Series – 20th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray on 11/19. The set will include all 88 episodes of the series along with 15 hours of extras and – at long last on BD here in the States – the series finale miniseries Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars. The aspect ratio is 1.33 for most of the series, but the last season and film are 1.78. Audio will be DTS-HD MA 5.1. Extras will include audio commentary, featurettes and documentaries, director’s cuts, TV promos, etc. We don’t know if this will be a complete carry-over of the previous DVD and BD extras, but we’ll have to wait and see. You can see the cover artwork at left. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

The Brady Bunch is ’comfort TV’ to the highest degree.” — Classic TV historian Herbie J Pilato

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the premiere of The Brady Bunch, the classic family sitcom which originally ran on ABC from 1969 to 1974 and starred Florence Henderson as Carol/Mom, Robert Reed as Mike/Dad and Ann B. Davis as housekeeper Alice.

The series (and ultimately franchise) — created by Sherwood Schwartz (Gilligan’s Island, It’s About Time) and featuring as the memorable Brady kids Barry Williams (Greg), Maureen McCormick (Marcia), Christopher Knight (Peter), Eve Plumb (Jan), Mike Lookinland (Bobby) and Susan Olsen (Cindy) — premiered 50 years ago this month, and for the occasion The Bits features a Q&A with classic television historian Herbie J Pilato, who offers some recollections and insight into the timeless series. [Read more here...]

We’ve got some quick but interesting release news for you today, but first...

Our own Michael Coate has posted his History, Legacy and Showmanship retrospective on the James Bond film Licence to Kill, in honor of its recent 30th anniversary. The piece includes a roundtable discussion with film historians Thomas A. Christie, John Cork, and Andrew McNess. Enjoy!

Now, let’s get right to that news...

It appears that Criterion is about to announce their long-awaited Godzilla: The Showa Era Blu-ray box set, based on a leaked listing that appeared on Target.com (see link here). SRP for the set is expected to be $149.99. The Showa Era (1954-1975) would include essentially the first 15 films in the series, including Godzilla, Godzilla Raids Again, King Kong vs. Godzilla, Mothra vs. Godzilla, Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Invasion of Astro-Monster, Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, Son of Godzilla, Destroy All Monsters, All Monsters Attack, Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Godzilla vs. Gigan, Godzilla vs. Megalon, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, and Terror of Mechagodzilla. This could be Spine #1000, but we’ll have to wait and see when Criterion makes their official announcement. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

“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...]

All right, we’ve got more interesting news for you today...

But first, Tim Salmons has posted some new Blu-ray reviews here at the site (yesterday and this afternoon), including his own thoughts on Weird Science from Arrow Video and Quartermass and the Pit from Scream Factory, as well as Dennis’ take on Michael Radford’s 1984 from the Criterion Collection.

We’ve also updated the Release Dates & Artwork section with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, anytime 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 really do appreciate it.

And tomorrow morning, be sure to watch for a new History, Legacy and Showmanship column from Michael Coate here at The Bits, this one honoring the recent 30th anniversary of the James Bond film License to Kill. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

We’re starting today with a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate, featuring a look back at the James Bond film Moonraker, on the occasion of its 40th anniversary (on June 26th). Michael’s put together a great roundtable discussion on the film featuring Mark A. Altman, John Cork, and Lee Pfeiffer. Enjoy!

Also here at the site today, we’ve got some new disc reviews for you, including Tim’s look at Universal’s Us in 4K Ultra HD, Scream Factory’s Night of the Creeps: Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray, and Warner’s The New Scooby-Doo Movies: The (Almost) Complete Blu-ray Collection.

And speaking of Scream Factory... Bits editor Bill Hunt (yours truly) will once again be moderating the Shout!/Scream panel at San Diego Comic-Con later this month! Inside an Indie Studio: Shout! Factory will be held from 8-9 PM on Saturday, July 20th in Room 23ABC. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

“I remember thinking as Bond tumbled out of the airplane that this was going to be the greatest film ever. And then, moments later, Jaws flapped his arms falling toward a circus tent. I felt my own internal seismograph plummet. I was for the first time in my life, embarrassed for the filmmakers of a James Bond film.” — John Cork, co-author of James Bond Encyclopedia

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Moonraker, the 11th (official) cinematic James Bond adventure and the fourth of seven to feature Roger Moore as cinema’s most popular secret agent.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include 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 1979’s Moonraker. [Read on here...]

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