Comments from JodarMovieFan

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JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan commented about Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater on Dec 28, 2015 at 10:00 am

Did you see Star Wars at any of the real IMAX venues, Giles? If its masked, the actual viewing size may not be worth the trip.

Laser should make it on par with the Grauman, er TLC Chinese and Seattle Cinerama or closer to. I’m thinking the Cinerama still has true film projection.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan commented about Bow-Tie Annapolis Mall 11 on Dec 22, 2015 at 6:56 pm

This venue has booked Hateful 8 in 70mm in auditorium 10 and not #1, the big THX certified theater. I’m perplexed at this decision. While 10 isn’t exactly shoebox sized, I’m not sure how the smaller auditorium would do such a film like this justice. Whatever curtains they had haven’t been used since Crown ran the place and I believe they were more for masking/picture cropping then showmanship.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan commented about Uptown Theater on Dec 18, 2015 at 5:17 pm

This venue would be a great place to see the new Star Wars film, if only for the sake of nostalgia. I saw Return of the Jedi here in ‘85, during its first re-release, here in 70mm, which filled up the curve quite nicely. I still think the MacArthur was better soundwise but thats just my opinion. I’m thinking it may be the massive interior fabrics absorbing some of the sound. The speedbike chase through the Endor forest was more exciting because the screen is that more massive and immersive.

Unless, they’ve upgraded the digital projection, Im not that enthused about the darker picture quality. Laser would be a nice upgrade but as you say, Giles, AMC isn’t going to. If someone does see it here, post..maybe the projection light is bright now, but 3D digital plays a little darker for me.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan commented about AFI Silver Theatre on Dec 17, 2015 at 10:07 pm

Wow, Howard. Thanks for the post. Ultra panavision 70 sounds so h u g e. I wonder if the Silver’s 40 ft screen will do it justice. I’m hoping for the best..no, I’m going to set my expectations low, so if its good, then I’ll say it was great. :)

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan commented about Xscape Theaters 14 on Dec 17, 2015 at 10:01 pm

I caught the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens tonight in #8..the Extreme theater in 3D. Surprisingly, this was one of the few venues that didn’t sell out. While I miss the deep bass that makes the cool sound booms of AMC’s Tysons ETX and the better THX systems, the sound sep played the sound FX and John Williams terrific score quite well. The scope of the film resulted in the bottom part cut off. Instead of the usual mailbox slot type viewing, the projection was closer to the top. The 3D was the usual dark while not really having any decent 3D shots or action sequences. I think the only scene I could appreciate in 3D was the full shot of the Star Destroyer. The depth of it and digital clarity made it look so real and massive.

Buying tickets online with the loyalty card does not yield the service charge like AMCs. They should reconsider it since this is the only venue in the area.

The $15 adult evening price seems like a bargain compared to the other venues in the area. Regal charging almost $20, AMC $18.

The movie was enjoyable worth a few more viewings even if I felt a little deja vu watching it. :) Luke Hamill looked more like Peter Dinklage than Luke Hamill..when he finally shows up, I had to chuckle to myself. The new Dark Lord showing via holograph looks more like the bad guys from the first Thor movie. Rey looks too much like Padme in Episode 1 while sounding way too much like Emily Blount. Not to spoil it but the new ‘weapon’ is more like the old one albeit ‘blown up.’ Why can’t the writers come up with something new???

This is probably the first movie I’ve seen since..probably Dreamgirls, where people cheered, clapped and were quite vocal without being raucous. From the Lucasfilm logo to the cast credits..there was enthusiastic applause. Quite the communal experience. This is why one goes to the movies and why the best place to see one is in a theater.

While it was reported the Star Trek: Beyond teaser was to be shown, it wasn’t. :P I’ll have to boldly go to another venue to see it in the theater. :)

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan commented about AFI Silver Theatre on Dec 15, 2015 at 8:50 pm

I just saw that, Giles. That is pushing it. Its outrageous! Now, if this were a DC exclusive, then okay. I’m pissed. Will I still see it here? Yeah. :) If they give out free souvenir programs, I’m fine with it. Something commemorative as this is a special event.

I looked at some Regal prices for the IMAX Star Wars and its $19!

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan commented about AFI Silver Theatre on Nov 26, 2015 at 1:33 pm

Howard, I agree with you on the Uptown. Those are my fondest memories of 2001. I have yet to see it at the Seattle Cinerama and hopefully, will catch it there someday the next time they have a 70mm festival. Given the $ the owner has put in that venue, it has to be one jewel of a showplace.

Regarding The Hateful Eight, I should have read up more on the story. It seems it takes place in winter and not a desert Western. I’m not going to read much more as I want to keep an open mind and enjoy the ‘roadshow presentation’ we are to get. Can’t say I’ve ever experienced one of those in my lifetime, up until now. I hope they have programs for sale of the movie. Now, those I remember from the 80s :)

Perhaps, when Steve reads our posts, he can shed more details on the technical aspects and other plans for this special event.

I wonder if they’ll have an actual 70mm trailer.

P r e s e n t e d in:

< 7 0 mm Datastat Sound >

Yeah, yeah, my poor attempt at a widescreen trailer.

This would be a good time for the AFI to put together a featurette on 70mm. They had a simple one before.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan commented about AFI Silver Theatre on Nov 25, 2015 at 3:28 pm

Seems like they’ve booked the Hateful 8 in 70mm DTS. It should be interesting to see a newer film in this format. But a western? A space/fantasy epic with cool visual fx would be my choice. How immersive can you get with sunrise/sunset shots, snow, dust and more dust..maybe some pore shot from one of the actors during a close up shot. :)

On the other hand, the AFI’s kind of smallish 40 ft screen may not do this film justice. Something of this size would benefit from being shown at the Uptown.

I’m curious how modern audience reaction will be with intermission and proper curtain closures and entrance music. If done right and consistently so, it should be good. :) We’ll see after week 3 into its release.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan commented about AFI Silver Theatre on Nov 9, 2015 at 11:29 pm

I take it no one went to the recent showing of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ with Q&A and special guest star Keir Dullea. I saw the announcement of the special screening event on the website a few months ago and almost bought tickets. Unfortunately, I had to go out of town during the showing/visit.

YouTube has some interesting recent chats with he and co-star Gary Lockwood. Lockwood had mentioned he attended the premiere here at DC’s Uptown back in ‘68 and an encounter with a stoner who had seen the movie.

If someone was at the recent event and would like to post something, please do. :)

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan commented about Cinemark Egyptian 24 and XD on Sep 22, 2015 at 4:42 am

Giles, is 12 the Extreme theater, or whatever their version of IMAX-lite is? I wanted to see ‘Everest’..heard some of it was filmed in IMAX and some other films I’ve missed :(

I loved the rocker seats in the old National Amusement seat theaters. The only problem is when you had sell out crowds and the person sitting behind or in front of you sat so far back as if he/she was to fall into your lap. :)

I still have my free pass to use from the Jurassic Park DBox experience. I want to see a DBox presentation since I’ve never experienced it before.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan commented about Calvert Village Movies on Sep 16, 2015 at 8:15 am

This venue had a listing on the site. Not sure what happened. It may have been erased like many other entries.

I recall a projectionist mentioning something about the site. The auditoriums having sloped floors and being of decent size.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan commented about AMC Mazza Gallerie 7 on Aug 20, 2015 at 2:55 pm

Giles, I haven’t been to this place in a few years. Is it still THX certified and do they play any THX trailers?

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan commented about West End Cinema on Jul 9, 2015 at 9:16 pm

Hmm. Why would Landmark spend $ on such an old place? How much larger of a movie screen can you put in those shoe box theaters anyway? I doubt it’ll big enough for 70mm. :P

Wow, how time has passed since it reopened in 2010 and closed this year.

I wish them well.

Now, if only Landmark would reopen say, the old MacArthur theater, which is also a triplex, but has a huge 700 seat BIG auditorium that could play 70mm on a large screen. But how to get rid of CVS?! Their lease should be up by now. Its been 18 years..gotta go.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan commented about AFI Silver Theatre on Jul 6, 2015 at 8:31 pm

It seems the AFI is having a final screening of the great 1980s films. Not sure what that means. Does it mean that the 90s will be the decade they consider classic now?

Even more disappointing is not one 70mm print of anything. in70mm has posted fairly recent screenings of 70mm prints of Ghostbusters, Temple of Doom, Die Hard, Dark Crystal, Aliens and Tron.

Rivest, you’ve done a great job posting opening ads/announcements of various theaters! Thank you. I have one of the MacArthur remodel that I intend to email CT for posting soon.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan commented about Christmas day grand opening ad from 1946 on Jun 21, 2015 at 1:39 pm

Awesome ad post, Rivest. Thanks. Look at the admission prices 35¢ for kids and 50¢ for adults! I’m wondering what they are referring to as ‘free’ parking. Not if you count that lot next door to what was it.. Safeway? Even in those days, can’t imagine that little lot accomodating a 1000+ in single screen venue like this one. I remember having to park either way down or up the street during the big event movies being booked here.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan commented about Cinemark Egyptian 24 and XD on Jun 13, 2015 at 9:21 am

I caught a matinee of Jurassic World here only because they have recently installed D-Box seating. Being opening day and upon discovering the D-Box install, I thought this would be an interesting experience. I’ve known D-Box was locally installed at a Leesburg mplex, but it is rather far for me to go.

Unfortunately, the website indicates they are in the smaller auditoriums 13 and 18, not the nicer XD one. I guess its okay if the screen was not as immersive but at least its 3D and digital, meaning a clean, slightly darker picture. The website also denotes the fact that the entire auditorium is not D-Box arranged but only 2 rows and 2 seats. When I saw the online schematic for the reserved seating (ugh!) chart, I thought for a second that the theater was just that..a capacity of just 2 rows and 2 seats! Nope.

Due to unexpected traffic delays, I arrived 15 minutes late. Fortunately, I bought my ticket online and skipped the box office line despite the surcharge. I missed all the opening sneak previews and format/sound trailers, so I can’t talk about any of that. I believe this venue never played sound format trailers, just digital. The way the online seating chart looks in relation to the screen, one is MISTAKENLY led to believe the two rows of D-Box seats are the bottom of the stadium seating level and the two other seats are on the auditorium floor and in center. WRONG. The movie had started and the fact there is insufficient lighting, I could not find the J row that I was assigned. I did see the seat number and people to the right of me. I asked the guy next to me if its J Row, the D-Box row and he said yes. No movement in the seats, buzzing or any kind of moment in the beginning. I thought maybe the seat motions only during the action parts. The action parts come and go, no movement. By this time, the movie is already into the half way part. No sense in moving again, missing the flow of the film trying to find the elusive J-row.

The movie was surprisingly good. I had heard some positive reviews on the radio and the online buzz was decent even though, I don’t really pay attention to them to the extent that it influences my movie choices.

Sound wise, there were decent surrounds and particular chatter and sound fx from the top left like 7.1. Not sure if its the auditorium or the soundtrack, itself, but I’m leaning towards the auditorium sound system, the depth of sound wasn’t as rich or deep as seeing the original Jurassic film at Universal Studios in Hollywood way back when DTS debuted. Of particular comparison is the full shot of the T-Rex (rather the new creature’s) onscreen and its roar. At that venue, which I blogged here but was probably deleted, you could get the sensation of breath coming at you and motion from the then THX-cert auditorium.

A few minor annoyances was the series' often repeated opening shot of the dinosaurs trotting onscreen from right to left to the upswell of oooh ahh music. I get the impression they reused the same shot from the original but modified the images to add/take away particular dinosaurs and include the current actors in the scene. Bryce Dallas Howard’s Stepford Wives' style do made me want to grab at the image and turn it something less oppressive. :)

Complaining to Guest services got me an apology and acknowledgement about the bad website seating schematic and vertically cropped film. I’ll go back but avoid #18 for D-Box, if I can.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan commented about AMC Rivertowne 12 on Apr 26, 2015 at 9:27 pm

AMC taking the reins again on this mplex is strange. With the Hoffman just over the bridge, it doesn’t make sense. With the new casino and traffic, a close movie theater would be nice but a newly constructed one would be better. You still got the riff raff to deal with in the neighborhood. The buffet place that is next to the theater draws in crowds, so going to see a movie next door after dinner or lunch would make sense.

If memory serves me correctly, there aren’t ‘large’ auditoriums like the old Academy 8 when this place opened back in ‘86 or so. The Academy 8 had 4 larger halls; 2 had 70mm and then 4 tiny auditoriums with steeply raked seating. Not sure what the owners did post-AMC with remodels here.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan commented about Arclight Bethesda on Feb 10, 2015 at 8:19 am

Giles, I was just teasing you. I thought the membership was supposed to be free for six months, thats what I read on the website when the place opened with ‘Interstellar’ last Nov. I’m just pissed at the awful customer service. I’m mulling writing a letter to corporate. Maybe it was just a bad day. I still want to to check out the other auditoriums and eventually will.

As far as digitizing a classic like 2001, I’m holding out for a HFR digital product along the lines of what FX Master Doug Trumbull is working on. I vividly remember his Showscan effort, HFR 70mm film projection that was ahead of its time and this Showscan Digital, or whatever its called, is supposedly compatible with today’s systems..this could be the generational leap in the motion picture experience that will sustain the business for years to come, imho.

Howard, I hear you, too. I forget the name of the magazine..‘Cinefantastique’ or some other one but there was this article that talked about digitizing the classic films that were 70mm..well, 65mm native. Whether to scan at a higher res rate like ‘Blade Runner’ supposedly did.. 8K. So when its finally rendered..4K, 2K, the final product should look better even if its several generations below the master scan.

Both of you are right in that these studios need better quality control when it comes to these transfers. They should pay extra $ to consult with the original production folks (while they are still living) to ensure these DCPs remain faithful to their film versions.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan commented about AFI Silver Theatre on Feb 7, 2015 at 3:03 pm

Out of first run release boredom, I was perusing the AFI Silver’s film calendar and have discovered they are planning to book not 1, not 2, but 3 different versions of Ridley Scott’s ‘Blade Runner.’ The original ‘82 release, '91 director’s cut (I presume this was just sans the Ford voice over,’ and final (restoration and final Scott) cut and DP release of ‘07. It would be even worth more of a view if either the first two were 70mm. I suspect the '82 one is pinkish by now unless its the underground private copy or studio vault copy. The '91 cut I remember seeing at the Uptown was 35mm. The '07 final cut has Joanna Cassidy filming her character’s Zora’s death scene almost 25 years after original shooting! Even still, the movie has excellent visuals (65mm) that should have won Oscar over E.T., imho.

Unfortunately, hyperlinks are dead. I suppose info and/or final booking is fluid as of this writing.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan commented about Arclight Bethesda on Feb 6, 2015 at 10:46 pm

I finally made the trip to visit this grand new plex with much enthusiasm after reading what a great movie exhibition business this was in LA.

Before the movie, I had lunch in the eaterie area and was disappointed over the fact that the big restaurants have yet to be opened. Bobby Flay’s burger joint I’ve had and wasn’t too thrilled with at the Arundel Mills location and Cheesecake Factory is just another pricey chain restaurant. Visually, the place looks better and brighter than the old food court, I have to say that many pieces of the laminate furniture is already peeling apart. Very bad. Plus, a combination of the lack of patron courtesy and attentive cleaning staff made for very dirty tables. I don’t know why it is people don’t clean after themselves and leave their uneaten food, drinks and trash on the table when there are clearly marked trash bins all over the place.

I caught the new Wachowski sibling film ‘Jupiter Ascending’ also with some degree of heightened enthusiasm even after their last two disappointments known as ‘Cloud Atlas’ and ‘Speed Racer.’ The film was in #7 and had the Atmos sound system but was not Wide Screen.

When I went into the lobby area, there are self service tables with movie cards for you to sign up for or so I thought. I thought you could sign up and use the card at the same time to get your points. You can’t. Since I was running late, I paid the $17 (!) for the 3D Atmos presentation. It was only after I saw a guy, who should have greeted me at the station, who stated I could not get credit for my purchase since I didn’t go through him to sign up for the card. The idiot should have greeted me the second I walked through the door not just look into space like some zombie. I told him I was already late for the movie so I’d sign up at home. He then grabbed the card I had thought I’d need with the unique membership number and said I only get that when I sign up at home. Okay. Fuggeduhboutit!

The ticket taker observed me walking up and didn’t bother greeting me until I opened my mouth to say hi, first. Buzzer Poor, poor, poor customer service. Looking at the age of this guy, he had to be a Manager or someone in authority. I should’ve gotten his name. I asked him if the film was in Dolby Atmos. (I already knew it was because thats what the showtime ad said). He didn’t know, but looked at my ticket and said. ‘well, it says 'dolby’ so it MUST be Atmos. AHA! Okay. He told me where the theater was but no ‘enjoy the show.’

When I got to 7, the previews had started and the seat I had I could not see the number but visually, I sort of knew where it should be. Supposedly, there were to be 3 others in the same row but there was no one there. So much for reserved seating. The auditorium, itself reminded me of AMC’s newer theaters but in reduced size. I’d call them AMC’s IMAX-lite-lite. :D Screen size can’t be more than 50 ft. Seats were comfortable and, thankfully, all the armrests can be put up so you can make yourself more comfortable as long as you don’t have someone sitting next to you.

Presentation was good. The stylish glasses were spotted on the left but tolerable to see the movie. The digital 3D movie had decent color saturation and the expected darker picture was tolerable. The Atmos sound effects were mostly noticeable in some dialogue and people entering certain scenes. The sound could have been cranked up more beyond cradling you to sleep.

For $17 to watch a 3D DP film on a 40ft screen in Dolby Atmos is getting into IMAX-lite territory. Unfortunately, the customer service here is not there to justify such a high price point either.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan commented about Arclight Bethesda on Jan 23, 2015 at 6:15 pm

Giles, you saw a 2K DP version of 2001 and had the slightest notion it would be superior to that of 70mm??? Blasphemy!! Maybe it was a DVD that you saw. They showed a 2K 2001 at the Senator in Balto. I passed on that one. They play them at the AFI.

Since 2001 was shot in 65mm, they should do what they did with Blade Runner when they transfer it to digital by going higher with the resolution. I read they scanned BR at 8K.

I hope to make a visit there sometimes this week. I see the prices are $13 for a show! We’re entering IMAX-lite territory here. The concession fare is equally expensive but above your typical popcorn and nacho fare. We’ll see…

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan commented about AMC Tysons Corner 16 on Jan 20, 2015 at 7:33 am

On New Years Weekend, I caught the final Hobbit movie in IMAX-lite HFR 3D. The trailer for the Dec 2015 Star Wars movie was exciting to see on the B I G screen, but I’m holding reservations until I see more of the finished product. :) The Avengers sequel trailer looks just like the first one..not too exciting.

The movie started out okay but with a mirror-like distortion that I had thought was ‘normal’ but became annoying. About 1/3 of the way through, they stopped the show to ‘reboot’ the system. When they restarted the movie, what a difference! Since I don’t patronize this venue regularly, I can’t say for certain, but it seems that they frequently have some projection issue or breakdown. Sound and picture were their usual decent standards.

I really hate the reserved seating policy in this auditorium. While its good for those like me who may travel far and plan ahead to see a movie and want that perfect seat. It turned out the patrons sat in my seat. Fortunately, there were many empties so I ended up sitting 2 seats away. When its dark, you can hardly see the seat numbers. When the late comers would come, they too, got frustrated finding the correct seat, or found someone sitting in their seat and ended up sitting somewhere else. Thankfully, this wasn’t a sold out show or there would have been some commotion for sure. Then there were no AMC ushers anywhere in the auditorium or standing by to help people find their seats as was my experience at the Rave Fairfax multiplex years ago.

Also, the third tier seating section up is not so good to see the movie as your line of sight just about gets cut off. If you have a patron with a big head or is tall, you may get your view cut off. Not a good design. Unfortunately, the company I was keeping wanted seats that high not realizing it was TOO far up.

Lastly, the $19.00 single admission price is quite high. For that kind of price, everything should be PERFECT. No excuses to have the projection system rebooted. Its understandable the venue/format is top grade, but back in the day, they never charged extra for 70mm booked films.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan commented about AFI Silver Theatre on Dec 28, 2014 at 1:03 pm

I didn’t. I think they had only 1 or 2 showings.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan commented about AFI Silver Theatre on Dec 8, 2014 at 8:43 pm

Thats awful to hear, Giles. Maybe the bookings were too heavy at AFI with their current schedule that they couldn’t get it. Or, the Wexner had exclusive rights to be the only venue in this market to show it? I forget the term now..but it was talked about in the Balto Senator’s forum a lot.

I did catch the Director’s Edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture Thanksgiving week. There was a word document on the door indicating this version was not the theatrical version but is the first time this version has been shown theatrically.

An older man was at Concessions, no greeting, no thank you, no..‘your movie is showing in ..nothing. Its funny..I was running a little late, as usual, with the traffic and assumed it was in #1. They had the name of some other movie there and assumed it was in #2..ran there and nope, omg, not #3..ran there, nope. Went back to #1 and opened the door and yes, this was the one..they just started the overture with open curtains. I thought, maybe mistakenly so, that the curtains are closed during overtures. Being after the 4:30pm starting time and me finding my seat, I felt they were waiting just for me to arrive to start the movie :)

As the movie began, sure enough, the dulled picture was most likely the regular DVD that has been out for 13 years or so. Sound levels were okay, I did hear stereo in the front. Music was everywhere during the end credits. Despite the presentation quality, it was nice to see the TOS crew on the big screen. Despite its shortcomings, which are well documented, one has to appreciate the old style moviemaking such as key lighting on the bridge close ups of some of the stars, attention to detail such as the makeup, costumes and production design.

All in all, I enjoyed this presentation far better than the Richard Donner cut of Superman II they showed here in Blu Ray a few years back. Supe II was just awful and subdued as if to have a mono soundtrack.

If they ever make a proper theatrical print of the Director’s Edition of Star Trek, Paramount better do something about the current neutered soundtrack and polishing the VFX to theatrical standards of visual quality. Its okay to play at home. I’d think Gene Roddenberry would’ve objected to at least one change and that was the elimination of the ship’s male computer voice and klaxon ship alarms since it was his idea to have them in the first place. In the original release, they had you jump in your seat from the blaring alarms and the male computer voice was kind of futuristic cool, if a bit cold. It got your attention, which is the idea.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan commented about AFI Silver Theatre on Nov 20, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Thanks Steve for your info..informative as always.

When you say the projectionist checks the print in, is this done all the time? With sound levels, I gather the studio, perhaps the director (himself or herself) will have instructions to play the film a certain way with sound levels at a particular setting, etc. With today’s DP, how do you ‘check’ that in if its all on the hard drive? Does the theater do a trial run of the print, film or digital, before it actually is publically screened? And there is a back up for digital, and an extra film print (for film shows) just in case? And lastly, can’t the venue request the BEST print available, or does it just settle for whatever the studio wants to give out. I would think with the venue being AFI, they can and should get the absolute best print ALWAYS since you’ve got a projectionist to take extra care in film handling especially with 70mm and those other rare prints.

Re: 2001 sound. I forgot to mention the alarm system on the Discovery that went off was also not as ear drum splitting, along with the slightly faded graphics. Was the sound on digital disc or magnetic stripes? :)

My favorite showing of 2001 is still the advertised ‘virgin’ print back in ‘90 or so at the Uptown. If I scanned the ad from the Post, i’m wondering if the site would post it…