Heads-up, folks. I’ll have another post later today – I’m back in the office after a day at Comic-Con to appear on the Inglorious Treksperts panel there – and we have some good news for you therefrom.

First up, the panel was great. Mark A. Altman, Daren Dochterman, Ashley Edward Miller, Rob Burnett and I a blast talking about Star Trek: The Motion Picture, a movie near and dear to each of us, which turns 40 this year.

The panel room at the Con was absolutely packed – a good full house – which was awesome to see. We showed rare clips related to the film, told interesting stories, and made a lot of people (including ourselves) laugh.

You will all be able to hear the panel for yourselves in the next few weeks, as it will be released as an official Inglorious Treksperts podcast (listen here or wherever your great podcasts are found). [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Morning folks! This is just a quick post to let you all know that I’m on my way to San Diego Comic-Con today to appear with the Inglorious Treksperts on their excellent panel at 3 PM in Room 5AB, where Mark A. Altman, Daren R. Dochterman, Ashley Edward Miller, Robert Meyer Burnett and Bill Hunt (yours truly) are going to be talking about the 40th anniversary of Robert Wise’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It’s going to be a great time, so we hope to see you there!

Meanwhile, a couple of quick housekeeping items: I posted my in-depth review of HBO’s long-awaited and HD-remastered release of From the Earth to the Moon miniseries on Blu-ray, from Tom Hanks and Imagine Entertainment. I think mostly, fans of the series will be pleased with the release, with a few caveats. Read on here.

Also, our friends over at the Home Theater Forum have learned that Disney is finally going to be releasing The Black Hole on Blu-ray later this year... but unfortunately, like the recent 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, as a barebones Disney Movie Club exclusive release. So... yay? Ugh? I guess at least it’s coming.

All right, that’s it for now. Back tomorrow with more news and for those of you in San Diego, we’ll see you at the Con later today. Cheers!

The Inglorious Treksperts at Comic-Con!

-Bill Hunt

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

 

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...]

Sorry for our absence yesterday. We’ve been dealing with various and sundry server issues over the weekend and we’re just starting to get back to normal. Honestly, it’s a wonder the Internet still works at all these days. So anyway, thanks for your patience.

We have a bunch of title announcements to cover today, but first, today marks the 20th anniversary of our friends Robert Meyer Burnett and Mark A. Altman’s film Free Enterprise. So we wanted to call your attention to Michael Coate’s retrospective on the film from its 15th anniversary back in 2014. You can read Still Loving Long & Partying: Remembering Free Enterprise on its 15th Anniversary right here. The film isn’t on Blu-ray yet and so it’s always surprising how many people haven’t see it. But if you’re a fan of classic Star Trek, pop culture, and actors William Shatner and Eric McCormack, we think you’ll really enjoy it.

Meanwhile, we’re starting to get back to reviews. I still have two more Batman 4Ks coming, plus Tim and Dennis have some Blu-rays they’ve reviewed for you too. I’ve also got a trio of science fiction Blu-ray releases I’m going to try to cover soon as well. So be sure to watch for those. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

So… this is going to be an interesting post for you longtime Bits readers. It’s been interesting for me to compose, certainly, writing it as I do from the perspective of someone who’s covered the home video industry now for more than twenty years (and followed it since the 1980s). I hope it will be at least thought-provoking to you all. But I’ll get to the meat of it in a moment.

First, let me take care of a bit of routine business: We’ve posted (in the last 24 hours) no less than seven new Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD reviews, beginning with my own in-depth look at Damien Chazelle’s First Man in 4K, a film which I believe is a masterpiece and one that will come to be regarded as such with time.

Also newly posted here are Tim’s thoughts on one of my favorite François Truffaut films, Jules and Jim, as released on Blu-ray from Criterion, along with Tony Williams’ Next of Kin from Umbrella Entertainment. You’ll find too Dennis Seuling’s take on Drew Goddard’s Bad Times at the El Royale on Blu-ray from Fox and the documentary Tea with the Dames on DVD from MPI. Finally, we have David’s take on Anne of the Thousand Days from Twilight Time and Godard Mon Amour from Cohen Media, both on Blu-ray. All of these films are worth a look and we hope you enjoy them. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Battlestar Galactica remains in the history of pop-culture as one of the most star-studded, lavishly-produced, special-effects-laden television shows of all time.” – Classic TV historian Herbie J Pilato

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the premiere of Battlestar Galactica, Glen A. Larson’s science-fiction television series about the crew of the Galactica and their ongoing battles with the Cylons and quest to locate Earth. Starring Richard Hatch as Apollo, Dirk Benedict as Starbuck, and Lorne Greene as Adama, the series is remembered for its massive production budget and state-of-the-art visual effects.

The supporting cast included Herbert Jefferson, Jr. (Boomer), John Colicos (Baltar), Maren Jensen (Athena), Noah Hathaway (Boxey), Laurette Spang (Cassiopeia), Tony Swartz (Flight Sergeant Jolly), Terry Carter (Colonel Tigh), Anne Lockhart (Lieutenant Sheba), Jane Seymour (Serina), Patrick Macnee (narrator, Count Iblis, and voice of Imperious Leader), and Jonathan Harris (voice of Lucifer). [Read on here...]

Kicking off a new week here at The Bits, we’ve got a couple of things for you today...

First up, Tim has reviewed another new Blu-ray release for you in the form of Franco Propseri’s Wild Beasts (1984 – aka Belve Feroci) from Severin Films.

Also, Mark Altman has a few thoughts, in his latest MOS DEF column today, on good catalog titles that ought to get released in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray this year to help the format get on track.

In announcement news today, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has set A League of Their Own: 25th Anniversary Edition for release on Blu-ray on 4/18. It includes the new Bentonville, Baseball & the Enduring Legacy of A League of Their Own featurette, as well as legacy extras including 15 deleted scenes, a 9-part documentary, audio commentary with the filmmakers, Madonna’s This Used to Be My Playground music video, and the film’s theatrical trailer. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
Monday, 27 February 2017 14:27

2+2=4K: Getting UHD on Track in 2017

Recently, like many of you I made the plunge into 4K. As a veteran of the home video wars for the last several decades; I’ve gone from Fotonovels to Viewmasters to Selectavision to Beta to VHS to laserdisc to HD-DVD to Blu-ray and now UHD Blu-ray. There’s no question that UHD is the finest home video format to hit the consumer market yet, but with the ubiquitousness and ease of use that streaming offers, it’s no secret 4K is going to have an uphill climb. Let’s face it, even those of us who care about getting the very best quality out of our home A-V systems will occasionally fall prey to the demonic lure of Netflix, Hulu Plus or iTunes over discs we might have stashed away because of the simple convenience of pressing a button on the remote rather than searching through racks of thousands of Blu-ray’s or rifling through closets for a certain disc. [Read on here…]

Published in MOS DEF

Afternoon, folks! We’ve got some great stuff for you here at The Bits today…

First up, Tim has turned in a review of Shout! Factory’s Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume IV, which includes the episodes Space Mutiny, Overdrawn at the Memory Back, Girl in Gold Boots, and Hamlet. The disc is now available, so do give it a look.

Meanwhile, we have a new MOS DEF column from Mark A. Altman as well today, in which he takes a look back at his favorite Blu-ray releases of 2016. We’ll have more from Mark later this week too. Enjoy!

In announcement news today, the BIG news is that Disney and Lucasfilm have just officially set Rogue One: A Star Wars Story for Blu-ray Combo, DVD, and On Demand release on 4/4, with a Digital HD release set for 3/24. There’s no word yet of a 4K version, but it appears that Target and Best Buy will have retail-exclusive Blu-ray 3D versions on 4/4 (per Star Wars.com). The Target package appears to match the Star Wars: The Force Awakens 3D Collector’s Edition. The Best Buy package comes in a Steelbook. Walmart will also have exclusive packaging. Extras on the Blu-rays will include 11 behind-the-scenes featurettes (A Rogue Idea, Jyn: The Rebel, Cassian: The Spy, K-2SO: The Droid, Baze & Chirrut: Guardians of the Whills, Bodhi & Saw: The Pilot & The Revolutionary, The Empire, Visions of Hope: The Look of Rogue One, The Princess & The Governor, Epilogue: The Story Continues, and Rogue Connections). Note that the lack of deleted scenes – and we know there are many – or audio commentary suggests that a more elaborate Collector’s Edition BD release is coming later this year. You can see the cover artwork at the left and below. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
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