Okay… real quick update today to close out the week…
First, totally not BD-related but if you click on over to the SLOOH Space Camera website in the next 30 minutes or so, you can watch a 1.7 mile wide asteroid fly safely by the Earth LIVE via streaming webcast. Pretty cool.
Also today, the folks over at the Dread Central website have sleuthed out some cool news for you horror film fans, specifically the likelihood that Warner Home Video may be getting ready to release a complete Blu-ray box set of Paramount’s Friday the 13th films in time for the holidays! More here.
Doogan has checked in this afternoon with a quick update on Criterion’s May newsletter – he’s got a line on the latest clues Criterion has offered on upcoming titles for the Collection. You’ll find that in Gripe Soda, so do check it out.
In announcement news, Universal has officially set Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life: 30th Anniversary Edition for Blu-ray release on 10/8. The Blu-ray will include an all-new Sing-Along Version as well as the all-new and hour-long The Meaning of Monty Python: 30th Anniversary Reunion documentary with John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. Additional features will include the 2003 Prologue with Eric Idle, audio commentary with Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam, The Snipped Bits (7 deleted scenes), the 4-part The School of Life documentary (including The Meaning of Making The Meaning of Life, Educational Tips to Prepare You For Life in the Real World, Un Film De John Cleese: A Trailer for the John Cleese Version of the Film and Remastering a Masterpiece: How to Revive an Old Master), a Song and Dance featurette, Songs Unsung (alternate versions of the original songs), Selling the Meaning of Life (“in your face” promotional material), Fish (including Virtual Reunion: The Pythons Together Again and What Fish Think: Go Into the Minds of Fish) and finally a Soundtrack for the Lonely. SRP is $19.98.
Quick update for you Criterion fans: May’s Criterion Newsletter hit our e-mail in-boxes this week. Head on over to the Criterion site and check out all of their fresh wares. Medium Cool’s director Haskell Wexler gives his Top 10, Criterion producer Abbey Lustgarten informs us of the 10 Things (She) Learned working on the new Medium Cool set, there’s a couple new Three Reasons focused on Band of Outsiders and Life Is Sweet, a really cool one-sheet poster for Safety Last is up for sale and… of course… there’s plenty of information on all their upcoming releases and essays on previous ones.
All right, I’ve had family here over the long Memorial Day weekend which is why I missed yesterday’s update. But we’ll get you caught up today, no problem…
First, for those who may have missed it on Saturday, be sure to check out Michael Coate’s new column here at The Bits called History, Legacy & Showmanship. His first installment is a look back at Return of the Jedi on the 30th anniversary of the film’s release.
Also, Russell Hammond posted our weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section yesterday with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and Video Game cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, a portion of anything you order from Amazon (in the same browsing session) after clicking to them through our links goes to help support our work at The Bits and we really appreciate it.
Afternoon, folks! Well… I promised you guys that we’d check in with a little something fun for you Star Wars fans today and indeed here we are.
We’re officially pleased to welcome writer and film historian Michael Coate to The Bits staff today as a new regular Contributing Editor! Michael is launching a new column here at the site called History, Legacy & Showmanship. His first piece for us is a massively-detailed look back at opening day for the film Return of the Jedi, which celebrates its 30th Anniversary today!
“The first triple crown of motion pictures.” — Sheila Benson, Los Angeles Times
Where Were You On Opening Day?
May 25, 1983… one of the most famous and memorable days in motion picture history. If you are a Star Wars fan of a certain age, chances are you remember where you were that day. Like countless others who ditched school or called in sick to work, you were probably standing in a very long line awaiting your opportunity to see the concluding chapter of George Lucas’s original Star Wars trilogy. Yes, believe it or not, Return of the Jedi has turned thirty years old.
All right… yesterday’s My Two Cents was a quickie so we’re making it up to you today with a nice long post and lots of news, given that this is (almost) our last post before Memorial Day weekend. More in a minute.
First up this morning, some disc reviews…
The good Dr. Jahnke has turned in new musings on Twilight Time’s Philadelphia and Scream Factory’s The Town that Dreaded Sundown, both on Blu-ray Disc. Philadelphia is a limited release of just 3,000 copies, available as always here through Screen Archives Entertainment (SRP $29.95).
Also today, we’ve upgraded more of Tim’s Blu-ray reviews from the old Bits website including Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, the Dumbo: 70th Anniversary Edition, Super, The Host: Collector’s Edition, Brooklyn’s Finest and the American Graffiti: Special Edition. Enjoy!
Next up… some release news…
As we’ve been promising you Jeff Kleist’s follow-up report on Microsoft’s Xbox One announcement for a couple days now, we thought we’d give it to you in its own post to separate it from all of today’s other news. So here’s Jeff to fill you in on the details and to offer a little informed opinion (though his own and not necessarily that of The Bits as a whole)…
“With the Xbox One announcement yesterday there has been a huge amount of traffic in the Twitter-verse and not all of it is excitement. The elephant in the room, at least for gamers, has been the supposed blocking of used games by Microsoft’s console, a technology that is also part of Sony’s forthcoming PS4. There is truth to this, but many fans online have blown it entirely out of proportion. PC gaming, especially the hugely popular Steam service, has been blocking resale of games, tying them to one account for all of eternity via some kind of serial number. This feature is completely optional and up to the manufacturer of the game in question.
All right, I’ve got a lot of family stuff going on here today – what with Memorial Day weekend impending – so today’s post is going to be a quick one. BUT…
We’ve got a GREAT new View from the Cheap Seats column for you today. Our very own Bud Elder has offered up a true classic for you guys today! Turns out, in his many twists and turns through the film industry over the years, Bud became good friends with the immortal Gary Busey. Yeah… that Gary Busey. And Bud’s got stories! Enough said. So run – do not walk – to read his new column today: On the Immortal Gary Busey (& Other Musings)…
My friends and I used to play drinking games based on lines from the immortal Blazing Saddles and, usually, as we were about to be thrown out of one of the lesser establishments, my pal John Beebe, in his cups after about 12 screwdrivers, would stop all proceedings and yell, “I’ll now be reading from the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and… Duck!”
I mention this now, because of a specific reaction to a long held statement that I’ll make anywhere, anytime.
I believe that one Gary Busey, admittedly a friend of mine, is a wonderful raconteur, an Oscar nominated actor of great skill… and an all around good guy.