My Two Cents

“It takes a filmmaker as deeply imaginative, but also technically savvy as Steven Spielberg to orchestrate and bring [all of the elements] together into a cohesive whole that works with his intricate vision as a storyteller, in both moments and big picture. There are other filmmakers who would have made wonderful adaptations of the Crichton book, no doubt, but the project landed in the right, highly skilled hands, heart and imagination.” — Steven Awalt, author of Steven Spielberg and Duel: The Making of a Film Career

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the silver anniversary of the release of Jurassic Park, Steven Spielberg’s popular and franchise-inspiring adaptation of Michael Crichton’s best-selling novel starring Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Richard Attenborough and which showcased groundbreaking and award-winning visual effects and audio. [Read on here...]

All right, we’ve got a trio of disc reviews for you today...

We start with Tim’s look at Dario Argento’s Deep Red (1975) on Blu-ray from Arrow Video, and Federico Fellini’s Orchestra Rehearsal (1978) on Blu-ray from Arrow Academy.

I’ve also checked in with my thoughts on The Greatest Showman in 4K Ultra HD, from director Michael Gracey and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The musical features an absolutely reference quality A/V presentation, including some of the best looking 4K video yet seen on the format. Do give it a look.

We’ve also updated the Release Dates & Artwork section here at The Bits with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, anytime you order products through our links, we surely do appreciate it – it makes a difference for us. So thank you! [Read on here...]

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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...]

Good morning, Bits readers. We trust that all those of you here in the States had a fine long holiday weekend with your family and friends. We’ve been busy here at the site over that time in a couple of ways...

First of all, we’ve posted four new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews, all by yours truly, including Universal’s The Great Wall, Warner’s Unforgiven, and Sony’s The Fifth Element: 20th Anniversary Edition and Léon: The Professional (which is a Best Buy exclusive title initially). All four discs are well your time for various reasons, so do give them a look. More 4K reviews are coming soon.

Now then, we’ll get back to 4K in a moment, but first we wanted to let you know that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has officially set Frank Capra’s Lost Horizon: 80th Anniversary Edition for release on Blu-ray on 10/3, mastered from a new 4K restoration and in Capra Collection Digibook packaging. Extras will include restoration audio commentary, an alternate ending, a photo documentary, the Restoration: Before and After Comparison featurette, and the film’s theatrical trailer. The book will include an essay by film historian Jeremy Arnold. Click past the jump to see the packaging... [Read on here…]

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We have just an interesting Friday post for you today, with some new Blu-ray and 4K release news…

First though, we have two new Blu-ray reviews from our own Tim Salmons, who’s taken a look at Scream Factory’s Alienator and The Angry Red Planet, both newly released in HD. Do give them a look.

Also, since we have a bit of a long holiday weekend here in the States, we’re uploading next week’s Release Dates & Artwork section today, featuring all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD news and Amazon.com pre-order links. As always, anything you order from Amazon after clicking through to them from any of our links helps to support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it.

Now then… back to that release news… [Read on here…]

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Afternoon, folks. It’s a slow news day on the home video front, so we just have a couple things for you...

First, Tim has turned in another good Blu-ray review for you to check out, this one featuring a look at Scream Factory’s new box set, The Paul Naschy Collection. Naschy was a prolific Spanish actor, writer, and director of horror cinema, with a LONG filmography. If you’re new to his work, Scream’s box set is a great place to start. The 5-disc set includes Horror Rises from the Tomb (1975 – aka El Espanto Surge de la Tumba), Vengeance of the Zombies (1975 – aka La Rebelión de las Muertas), Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll (1976 – aka Los Ojos Azules de la Muñeca Rota), Human Beasts (1980 – aka El Carnaval de las Bestias), and Night of the Werewolf (1981 – aka El Retorno del Hombre Lobo). Do give it a look. [Read on here…]

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“It knows what scares you.”

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of Poltergeist, Tobe Hooper and Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed horror film starring Jobeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson and Zelda Rubinstein and featuring Academy Award-nominated Visual Effects, Music and Sound Effects Editing. [Read on here...]

Tuesday, 28 March 2017 13:03

Here’s What’s Wrong with Movies...

I’ve figured out what’s wrong with movies.

This thesis prevailed on me as I went to see the 3-D Imax version of a new picture called The Great Wall. This picture opened to dismal reviews, but the previews had made it look righteous and the effects, I knew, would be fun, and they were and the whole experience wasn’t bad.

And on the way out, I was thinking of all these feckless movie reviewers who get published and why they would trash this movie. I thought to myself: “Why were they so hard on this movie? It’s just a fun “B” picture?”

And then I figured it out. They all are. 90% of what we see in the theaters are “B” pictures with “A” budgets.

Let’s discuss... [Read on here...]


All right, we’re closing out the week with one last new title announcement: Disney and Amblin Entertainment have set Steven Spielberg’s The BFG for Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD, Disney Movies Anywhere, and On-Demand release on 12/6. Extras on the Blu-ray will include 5 featurettes (Bringing “The BFG” to Life, The Big Friendly Giant and Me, Gobblefunk: The Wonderful Words of The BFG, Giants 101, and Melissa Mathison: A Tribute). Sadly, the best featurette is a digital exclusive, which I hate and you hate, but apparently nobody at Disney cares we hate… John Williams: Scoring a Dream. Anyway, audio on the Blu-ray will be English 7.1 DTS-HD MA. You can see the cover artwork to the left there.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

[Editor’s Note: Be sure to follow us on Twitter @thedigitalbits @BillHuntBits and on Facebook here and here. And you can help support The Bits by pre-ordering Blu-rays and other items from Amazon through this link.]

Today’s update is a quick one, as I’m trying to get more 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews completed for you guys. But available now here at The Bits (and posted late yesterday) are my thoughts on Fox’s Independence Day: 20th Anniversary Edition and Paramount’s Star Trek (2009). The former streeted last week. The latter should be available today, though we’re hearing reports that supplies are limited at the moment. (If I had to guess why, I would guess that maybe Paramount’s initial replication run was lower until they had a better idea what initial demand would be. But that’s just a guess.) In any case, enjoy the reviews and know that I’m working on a review of Star Trek Into Darkness as well. I should also have Fox’s The Martian: Extended Edition shortly and so that’ll be next up.  [Read on here…]

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