History, Legacy & Showmanship

Displaying items by tag: Michael Coate

We have a quick news column for you here at The Bits today. But first, a couple more disc reviews...

Dennis has taken a look at Basil Dearden’s The Blue Lamp (1950), an Ealing Studios film noir now available on Blu-ray Disc from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

He’s also posted his thoughts on Florian Zeller’s The Father (2020), the recent film drama that won Anthony Hopkins an Oscar for Best Actor, newly-available on Blu-ray from Lionsgate. Enjoy!

Now then... our friends at Severin Films have announced four new Blu-ray titles due to street in August (on 8/24), including Cannibal Man (1972), No One Heard the Scream (1973), Eloy de la Iglesia’s Quinqui Collection (1980-84 – which includes Navajeros, El Pico, and El Pico 2), and—surprise!—Overboard (1987), the MGM film starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. You can visit their website here for additional details. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve got a bit of ground to cover today. First, we’ve got a few new disc reviews for you to enjoy...

I’ve posted my thoughts Doug Liman’s Chaos Walking in 4K from Lionsgate. It’s not a great science fiction film, but it looks fantastic in 4K (it was shot with the Alexa 65 camera) and it features some very nice special features too created by our old friend Cliff Stephenson. So it’s well worth a look.

I’ve also posted my review of George Cukor’s My Fair Lady (1964) on 4K Ultra HD from Paramount, and that is absolutely a reference-grade title. As some of you may know, it was shot using the Super Panavision-70 camera and was restored by our old friend Robert A. Harris back in 2015 in 4K using an 8K scan of the original camera negative. The film just looks absolutely fantastic and it’s a classic Hollywood musical too. Don’t miss it.

Also seriously worth a look is Arrow Video’s new Battle Royale: Limited Edition in 4K Ultra HD, a UK import boxset that I’ve reviewed in-depth here at the site as well. It features both versions of Kinji Fukasaku’s original film in beautifully-remastered 4K, along with both versions of the sequel on Blu-ray, plus an amazing collection of special features and swag. And even though it’s a UK import, the 4K discs will play fine worldwide. The two Blu-rays in the box are Region B locked, but one of them will still play on any US player anyway (details in my review). If you’re a fan of the film, this is a must-have box. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Shrek sits alongside Spider-Man, Pirates of the Caribbean and Harry Potter as one of the definitive ‘new’ franchises of the global tentpole era, while making both animated features and rom-coms ‘safe’ for male-centric protagonists and PG ratings.” – Scott Mendelson, box-office analyst

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 20th anniversary of the release of Shrek, PDI and DreamWorks Animation’s popular, award-winning animated film based upon William Steig’s picture book and featuring the voice talent of Mike Myers (Wayne’s World, Austin Powers), Eddie Murphy (Beverly Hills Cop, Coming to America) and Cameron Diaz (The Mask, There’s Something About Mary).

Shrek, directed by Andrew Adamson (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) and Vicky Jensen (Shark Tale) and also featuring the voice talent of John Lithgow (The World According to Garp, 3rd Rock from the Sun) as Lord Farquaad, was released to theaters twenty 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 Digital Cinema presentations, and, finally, a film historian interview who reflects on the movie (and franchise) two decades after its debut. [Read on here...]

Okay, we’ve got some serious ground to cover in today’s My Two Cents update, so let’s get right to it...

First, we’ve just posted Michael Coate’s brand new History, Legacy & Showmanship column here at The Bits, featuring a terrific new retrospective of George Lucas’ THX 1138 in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary (which was last week on 3/11 – the piece was delayed due to a technical issue). The column takes an in-depth look back at the original theatrical release and also features a great roundtable discussion with film historian Chris Barsanti, documentary filmmaker Gary Leva, and original Director of Fan Relations at Lucasfilm Craig Miller. I think you’ll really enjoy it. So you’ll find that here.

Next up, as some of you may have noticed over the weekend, we posted word on Saturday (see here) that video distributors had begun listing a 4-film Indiana Jones Collection for release on 4K Ultra HD on 6/8. This is still not to be considered official until Paramount and Lucasfilm make their actual announcement, however be aware that I’ve now confirmed it with multiple film industry sources in addition to retail and distribution sources. And it’s really not all that surprising given that 6/12 is marks the 40th anniversary of the original film’s theatrical release. We expect the set to include all four existing films in 4K with HDR10 high dynamic range and the previous DTS-HD Master Audio lossless sound mixes (but that’s still subject to change). [Editor’s Note: We’ve just confirmed that the set WILL include Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio. Details to follow shortly.] The 5-disc set will also include a disc of bonus features that are TBA. Of course, we’ll post more information on this as it comes in.

The other big news today is that our friends at The Criterion Collection have just unveiled their June slate of titles. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

“What’s fun about seeing THX 1138 now, after 50 years, is to see how George Lucas took the rather dark themes and dynamic visual storytelling of his first film and found a way to infuse them into the Saturday matinee style films of the Star Wars series. THX is not his best film, but it’s fascinating to see the seeds of his future work within it.” – Gary Leva, director of Fog City Mavericks

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of THX 1138, George Lucas’s feature-length adaptation of his award-winning 1967 USC student film Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138 4EB.

Released two years before American Graffiti and six years before Star Wars, Lucas’s first motion picture starred Robert Duvall (Apocalypse Now, Tender Mercies) and Donald Pleasence (You Only Live Twice, Halloween) and was about a dystopian future where love and individuality are forbidden.

THX 1138 was executive produced by Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, Apocalypse Now) as part of a deal in which Warner Bros. would finance and distribute American Zoetrope productions. [Read on here...]

We’ve got some new release news to report today...

We’ll start with Shout! and Scream Factory, who have begun to announce their June Blu-ray and DVD release slate. Look for it to include Embattled on 6/1, The Unhealer (2020) and Sesame Street: Cool Counting Collection (DVD only) on 6/8, Sphinx (1981), Kindred (2020), and The Awakening (1980) on 6/15, The Wind Rises (Steelbook), The Secret World of Arrietty (Steelbook), Hunter Hunter, Human Nature: Shout Select (2001), and When Calls the Heart: What The Heart Wants & Before My Very Eyes (DVD only) on 6/22, and Stardust, Just a Gigolo (1978), and Battle Beyond the Stars (Steelbook) on 6/29. You’ll also be able to get a NECA figure of Battle Beyond the Stars’ Saint-Exmin on 6/29 by ordering directly from the Shout website.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment will release Adam Mason’s Songbird on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital on 3/16. Extras will include audio commentary with Mason and co-writer Simon Boyes, deleted scenes with commentary, The Story of Songbird, the Kingdom promo video, and The Making of Kingdom. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Evening, folks. We’ve got a quick news update for you here today at the site.

But first, a new disc review: Tim has just posted his thoughts on William Lustig’s Vigilante (1982) on 4K Ultra HD from the good folks at Blue Underground. And it sounds like it’s a pretty terrific release if you like the film, which stars Robert Forster and Fred Williamson. Do check it out.

Also a reminder today: We posted a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate on Friday—a piece that was delayed from the very end of 2020 due to all of the site maintenance we’ve been doing over the past several weeks. This one is a look back at the early 70mm cut of The Empire Strikes Back, featuring a new roundtable discussion with historian and soundtrack producer Mike Matessino along with director Saul Pincus. We think you’ll really enjoy it, so do give that a look here if you missed it.

Now then... there’s not a lot of release news to report today, but we do have a few things worth mentioning. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Hey everyone! Well... another week is officially in the can and, as promised, I’ve got an update for you on some release news and whatnot.

First up, I wanted to alert you to a 4K Ultra HD deal: Amazon currently has Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite available in 4K for just $11.00 for a limited time only. So click here to order a copy if you’re interested.

Also today, we’ve got a great new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate—one that was delayed from the very end of 2020 due to all of the site maintenance we’ve been doing over the past several weeks. This one is a terrific look back at the early 70mm cut of The Empire Strikes Back, featuring a new roundtable discussion with historian and soundtrack producer Mike Matessino along with director Saul Pincus. We think you’ll really enjoy it, so do give that a look here.

Now then, in announcement news today, Severin Films has revealed that it’s working on a new 4K Ultra HD release of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Santa Sangre (1989) that’s due on 4/27. The title will also be released on Blu-ray and DVD. You can see the cover artwork for the 4K at left. Click here to pre-order on Amazon: 4K, Blu-ray, DVD.

But that’s not the only 4K catalog title we now know is coming from our retail sources... [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, this is our final Bits post of 2020. And it’ll be a quick one.

This has certainly been a difficult year for all of us here and no doubt it has been for all of you, our readers, as well. But a new year at least brings the hope that things can and will get better on Planet Earth going forward.

On a personal note, I’m pleased to say that—though it’s been a struggle—The Digital Bits is still here. We’ve made it through some difficult times, we’re still alive and ticking. And we intend to keep cracking on in 2021 and beyond.

I’ve also been working on a second science fiction novel, and hope to see my first actually published sometime in 2021—something I’ve had to put on the back-burner this past year in order to keep the site going. But the writing process has certainly been personally satisfying, and it’s kept me going in dark moments. That, plus having a telescope to look at the stars a few times a month, and of course great family and friends—even though we’ve only been able to see them from afar.

In any case, I know I speak for all of us here at the site when I say that we’re grateful to have each and every one of you as readers of The Digital Bits.

So with that, we’d like to wish you all a very happy and safe New Year! And together we’ll make 2021 a better time for all of us.

See you back here on Monday. Peace out!

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

Published in My Two Cents
Thursday, 31 December 2020 09:00

Empire @ 40: Remembering the Early 70MM Cut

“On my thirteenth viewing, which was the first time I saw it at a different theater than the one I’d gone to since opening day, I knew there were noticeable changes when the final scene began with different music.” — film music historian Mike Matessino

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present a continuation of our 40th anniversary coverage 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. Part One of our Empire 40th coverage appeared back in May.

George Lucas’s penchant for making revisions to his work is about as legendary as his movies. The majority of Lucas’s alterations have occurred years after his films’ original releases. With The Empire Strikes Back, however, the first (of several rounds of) revisions were actually made while the movie was in first release, and it is this lesser-known aspect of the otherwise very-well-known production that is the subject of this column. [Read on here...]

Page 1 of 26

Contact Michael Coate

Please type your full name.
Invalid email address.
Please send us a message.
Invalid Input

Bits Latest Tweets

The Digital Bits
Today on The Bits – @Criterion’s September #Bluray and DVD slate announced, plus new #4K catalog titles & more thedigitalbits.com/columns/my-two…
The Digital Bits
Bits #4K Review – @timsalmons revisits John McTiernan's 1993 #action #comedy #fantasy LAST ACTION HERO—now available in a new #Steelbook #UlraHD / #BD package with a native #4K restoration and several new bonus features. @BillHuntBits thedigitalbits.com/item/last-acti…
The Digital Bits
Bits #4K Review – @timsalmons revisits John McTiernan's 1993 #action #comedy #fantasy LAST ACTION HERO—now available in a new #UlraHD / #BD package with a native #4K restoration and several new bonus features. @BillHuntBits thedigitalbits.com/item/last-acti…