History, Legacy & Showmanship

“With Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gene Roddenberry proved that you can do Star Trek without Kirk and Spock and McCoy, that the dream of humanity reaching for the stars could be shared in many different ways, with many different characters, telling many different stories. And I think that all of us who love Star Trek are so much richer for it.” — Michael Okuda, co-author of The Star Trek Encyclopedia

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 30th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the first in a string of live-action television follow-ups to Gene Roddenberry’s legendary 1960s science fiction series. [Read on here...]

All right, we’ve been very busy here at The Bits working on new reviews and other content, and all in the midst of some crazy weather in SoCal – we have high winds and wildfires all around. If you live in the area, please stay safe.

In any case, we’ve got some good stuff for you to read here at The Bits today…

First, our own Michael Coate has just turned in a new retrospective interview celebrating the 25th anniversary of Bram Stoker’s Dracula from director Francis Ford Coppola, which we recently reviewed in 4K Ultra HD. Michael has also posted a 55th anniversary retrospective looking back at the James Bond film that started it all, Dr. No. You’ll find both of those in History, Legacy & Showmanship right now and we hope you enjoy them. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

“The film may as well have been officially titled Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula, because it so unmistakably bears the stamp of its director.” — Dracula FAQ: All That’s Left to Know about the Count from Transylvania author Bruce Scivally

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 25th anniversary of the release of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Francis Ford Coppola’s take on the classic horror icon featuring Gary Oldman in the title role.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which also starred Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins and Keanu Reeves — and winner of numerous awards including three Oscars and five Saturns — opened 25 years ago this autumn. For the occasion, The Bits features a Q&A with film historian Bruce Scivally, who discusses the film’s virtues, shortcomings and influence. [Read on here...]

“Just think about that incredible introduction as Ursula Andress emerges from the water for the first time. It’s one of the great moments of ‘60s cinema.” — 007 and film/TV music historian Jon Burlingame

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 55th anniversary of the release of Dr. No, the first cinematic James Bond adventure.

As with our previous 007 articles (see The Living Daylights, The Spy Who Lived 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 and History, Legacy & Showmanship continue the series with this retrospective featuring a Q&A with an esteemed group of James Bond scholars, documentarians and historians who discuss the virtues, shortcomings and legacy of Dr. No. [Read on here...]

All right, we’ve got a few things for you today...

First, our own Michael Coate posted a great new History, Legacy & Showmanship retrospective last night celebrating Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind on the occasion of the film’s 40th anniversary. Michael’s column looks back at the film’s initial theatrical run and features another great roundtable discussion of film historians. It’s a good read, so be sure to give it a look.

Now then... a quick commentary. Almost every day, I get asked this question in some form via email or social media: “Why no 3D?” As in: My favorite film was available in 3D in the theater, but how come the studio didn’t release it on Blu-ray 3D for the home? [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Close Encounters helps demonstrate perhaps better than any other why Steven Spielberg is one of the greatest American filmmakers.” — Spielberg biographer Joseph McBride

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Steven Spielberg’s legendary science-fiction film starring Richard Dreyfuss as Roy Neary, an electrical lineman who obsesses over the sighting, physical evidence and, ultimately, contact with a UFO.

The film, which also starred Teri Garr, Melinda Dillon and Francois Truffaut, was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning for Vilmos Zsigmond’s cinematography (and also receiving a special achievement award for sound effects editing). [Read on here...]

Leave it to Beaver offers the complete package of what a television show should be for yesterday, today, and tomorrow.” — Classic TV historian Herbie J Pilato

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 60th anniversary of the premiere of Leave it to Beaver, the memorable situation comedy which originally ran from 1957 to 1963 and starred Jerry Mathers as the titular character and Tony Dow as brother Wally. [Read more here...]

The Living Daylights was an admirable attempt to inject the series with renewed purpose and to ensure that it remained germane to moviegoers of the time.” — 007 historian Thomas A. Christie

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 30th anniversary of the release of The Living Daylights, the fifteenth (official) cinematic James Bond adventure and, most notably, the first to feature Timothy Dalton in the lead role and the last to feature a musical score by John Barry.

As with our previous 007 articles (see The Spy Who Lived 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 and History, Legacy & Showmanship continue the series with this retrospective featuring a Q&A with an esteemed group of James Bond scholars, documentarians and historians who discuss the virtues, shortcomings and legacy of The Living Daylights. [Read on here...]

Good afternoon, everyone! So there’s a LOT of ground to cover today, including new announcements and some interesting Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K news that came out of Comic-Con this past weekend.

First, though, Tim has checked in with reviews of three films on Blu-ray – reviews originally written by Adam Jahnke here at The Bits, but updated by Tim to cover Shout! Factory and Scream Factory’s recent Steelbook editions: The Fog, They Live, and Escape from New York. Do give them a look.

Also today, Michael Coate is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Ron Howard’s Far and Away with a new retrospective in his History, Legacy & Showmanship column. Far and Away, as some of you may know, was one of the last high-profile film productions in 70 mm before the recent theatrical resurgence that’s led (most recently) to Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. Michael details the film’s original theatrical release in 70 mm and also interviews Howard biographer Beverly Gray. The article is well worth your time, as always, so we hope you enjoy it. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

“[The failure of Far and Away] taught Ron Howard that even in a star-driven vehicle, the story must be strong, and that action and character elements must be well integrated in order to achieve a successful outcome.” — Ron Howard: From Mayberry to the Moon… and Beyond author Beverly Gray

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the silver anniversary of the release of Far and Away, Ron Howard’s 70mm Irish immigrant epic starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. [Read on here...]

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