History, Legacy & Showmanship

I’m still working on that Batman: The Complete Animated Series Blu-ray review, but let me tell you... it’s terrific! The A/V quality is amazing, with the original film elements for each episode newly scanned and presented in HD and the stereo mixes presented in lossless DTS-HD Master Audio. [Editor’s Note: The review is finished and you can read it here now. Enjoy!]

Nearly all of the extras from the previous DVD box set carry over and there’s a great new 98-minute retrospective documentary, Heart of Batman, included as well. I hope to have the review up later today - there’s just a lot to go through. I’ll add the link here when it goes live.

Meanwhile here at the site today, we have a new History, Legacy and Showmanship column from our very own Michael Coate, who presents a retrospective look back at George A. Romero’s original zombie classic Night of the Living Dead in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary this month. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Night of the Living Dead is a classic that has inspired countless imitators, and spawned a sub-genre that continues to be exploited today in film, television, books and video games.” – John Scoleri, author of Latent Images: Night of the Living Dead

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Night of the Living Dead, George A. Romero’s influential and franchise-spawning horror film about a group of characters trapped in a Pennsylvania farmhouse who are stalked by flesh-eating zombies.

Night of the Living Dead – co-written by John Russo and featuring Judith O’Dea, Duane Jones, Marilyn Eastman, Karl Hardman, Judith Riley, and Keith Wayne – opened fifty years ago this autumn, and for the occasion The Bits features a Q&A with author and film historian John Scoleri.

John Scoleri is the author of Latent Images: Night of the Living Dead (Dreams and Visions Press, 2019), and several books on artist Ralph McQuarrie, including The Art of Ralph McQuarrie: Archives (Dreams and Visions Press, 2015). He was co-editor (with Peter Enfantino and Robert Morrish) of The Scream Factory Magazine (Deadline Press, 1989-1997) as well as the 600+ page greatest-hits collection, The Best of The Scream Factory (Cemetery Dance, 2018). [Read on here...]

First up today, in honor of Global Bond Day, our own Michael Coate has posted a new History, Legacy & Showmanship retrospective, looking back at Sean Connery’s last turn as 007 in Never Say Never Again. The piece features another great roundtable discussion with film historians, so enjoy!

We also have four more Blu-ray reviews for you to check out today, including Tim’s take on Russell Mulcahy’s Razorback (1984) from Umbrella Entertainment, David’s look at Sunset Society (2018) from MVD Visual and John Cassavetes’s Gloria (1980) from Twilight Time, and Dennis’ thoughts on Television’s Lost Classics: Volume One from VCI. More reviews are on the way, so be sure to watch for them.

In news today, we have more word from retailers that Disney is going to be bringing The Lion King to 4K UHD by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Wreck-It Ralph has now appeared for 4K UHD pre-order on Best Buy with a street date of 11/6, the same day as The Incredibles 2. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

“This is a 1983 film with the director of the highest-grossing film of 1980, the cinematographer of the highest-grossing film of 1981, and Sean Connery starring as James Bond. What could go wrong?” – John Cork, author of James Bond Encyclopedia

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of Never Say Never Again, the remake of 1965’s Thunderball and the final film in the long-running series to feature Sir Sean Connery as Agent 007.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include Live and Let DieOctopussy, 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 1983’s Never Say Never Again. [Read on here...]

Dazed and Confused is an admirably nuanced take on the teen movie that was congruent with the fresh wave of nineties entries in the genre.” – Thomas A. Christie, author of The Cinema of Richard Linklater

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 25th anniversary of the release of Dazed and Confused, the coming-of-age comedy revolving around the final day of school in 1976 in a small Texas town. Directed by Richard Linklater (Slacker, Before Sunrise, Boyhood) – and featuring a large ensemble cast including Jason London, Joey Lauren Adams, Michelle Burke, Wiley Wiggins, and notable early-career performances by Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, Matthew McConaughey, and Parker Posey – Dazed and Confused opened 25 years ago this month, and for the occasion The Bits features a Q&A with author, film historian and Richard Linklater biographer Thomas A. Christie. [Read more here...]

Before we get to the news, we begin the week with four new Blu-ray reviews, including…

Tim Salmons’ look at Terry Gilliam’s Tideland (2005) from Arrow Video.

David Steigman’s take on The French Way (1945) from MVD.

And Dennis Seuling’s look at Bram Stoker’s Shadowbuilder (1998) from the MVD Rewind Collection and That Summer (2017) on DVD from IFC Independent Film. Fans of the 1975 Albert and David Maysles documentary Grey Gardens will find That Summer of interest, as it contains raw footage from an earlier project starring the two Edies.

Also, we’ve posted the latest update of the Release Dates & Artwork section featuring new Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, when you order literally anything from Amazon after clicking through our links (like this one), you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we greatly appreciate it. [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...]

Today’s update is a quickie, but we’ve got some good stuff for you.

Let’s get the usual site business out of the way first...

We’ve got three new reviews for you today, including Tim’s take on The Addiction: Special Edition Blu-ray from Arrow, David’s thoughts on Let’s Make Love on Blu-ray from Twilight Time, and Dennis’ look back at Laugh-In: The Complete Fifth Season on DVD from Time Life. All are worth checking out.

Also today, we’ve posted a brand new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate, in which he takes a look back at Live and Let Die with a roundtable of Bond experts in celebration of the film’s 45th anniversary. It’s a great retrospective and another fine addition to Michael’s Bond series, so definitely give it a read. We think you’ll really enjoy it. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

“[Live and Let Die is] an early A-list film that recognized the value and influence of the generally under regarded blaxploitation film genre.” — Josiah Howard, author of Blaxploitation Cinema

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 45th anniversary of the release of Live and Let Die, the eighth (official) cinematic James Bond adventure and notably the first to feature Sir Roger Moore as Agent 007.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include 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 1973’s Live and Let Die. [Read on here...]

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