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As with some of the other posts, my friend and I were too young to get in to see this movie the proper way. With a little creative thinking, we purchased tickets for another movie that was showing either at or the same time and snuck in to see it at a AMC shoebox theater that did have Dolby Stereo.
My interest in the movie was primarily the visual effects. Being a Starlog subscriber at the time and a sporadic Cinefex reader, I became an admirer of the work of Douglas Trumbull and followed his career with great interest. Of particular interest with Trumubull’s work is his belief, at the time, that he was a firm believer in shooting visual effects work in 65mm to capture greater detail as opposed to 35mm. I believe he stated in an interview that Ridley Scott had used the delivered 65mm visual effects footage directly into the 70mm prints, as opposed to having them reduced to 35mm and then blown up to 70mm release prints as was the usual practice in the day. I firmly believe that the quality of the effects made by his EEG company (CE3K, the first Star Trek movie, Blade Runner, Ghostbusters, Poltergeist II) are far better in film quality than anything ILM delivered for Lucas or for others. Sure, the Star Wars saga won the awards but I think it was more a popularity contest than for presentation quality and true merit.
My first impression on viewing the movie was depressing. It was dark. Everything was dark. It rained. Deckard delievered his lines in monotone. More darkness, rain. But the visual effects were sooo cool. The spinner cars, with their lens flare lighting fx and the look of LA were breathtaking. Even the Tyrell building in its enormity and Tyrell’s apartment in its expanse. Vangelis' score was eerie, moody, atmospheric and sexy (the Rachel theme).
1982 was the year of E.T. and Gandhi. Now someone explain why ET won for Best Visual FX when it was just the animatronic Carlo Rombaldi puppet, blue screen and some stop motion work???? And John Williams, again, over Vangelis' terrific score? On the latter, I suspect the Academy felt Vangelis' was awarded enough for the previous year’s Chariots of Fire.
In 1991 or ‘92, the Uptown had the Director’s Cut. It was a privilege to see the different version on a very large screen even though it was just 35mm. Without the narration, the film seemed a little open ended as to what was supposed to be going on and the revised ending, for sure, was less 'happy’ than the original one. The audience I saw it with seemed to be unmoved by anything they had just seen as no one applauded at the end of the screening.
Supposedly, there’s a new edition in the works for a Ultimate DVD version. It would be great to revisit this movie in theaters in Digital Projection or, if Ridley Scott is working with a 65mm original negative…70mm theatrical print (I’m not holding my breath) prior to the Ultimate version DVD. If they go the DP route, they should do a 3D version given that there are more than 1000 3D Digital cinemas now and would make this re-release an event to be experienced.
We’ve had similar issues here. We have two DP auditoriums and only one gets booked every so often. I can’t believe they didn’t book Shrek in DP as they have in the past. Also, they stopped the personal intros. I wrote to Customer Service to address issue and their only response is that they will book a digital movie “if they can get them.” Given the fact that other plexes in the area ‘get them’ on a more frequent basis, something isn’t right. As such, I have not frequented the Annapolis plex as often as I used to, which was weekly.
On a different note, management announced a change to the email program and were evaluating a loyalty club card-type program, but as of this date, nothing has happened. I missed Crown’s monthly free popcorn or soda coupon and birthday/anniversary free coupons, too.
One auditorium had 70mm capability. If memory serves me correctly, they showed Indiana Jones: The Temple of Doom in 70mm here and may have been the only film they had in 70mm.
Okay, there is one issue that I have that has carried over and that is getting Email for comments to theaters or news items that I never commented on. :)
Love movies – hate going! Are you saying, you’d pay for one admission and stay all day in the theater??? You robber!! I suppose that is the most creative way of ‘saving’ on ticket admission prices.
As a teen, the now closed AMC Academy 6 had $1 movie Wednesdays, which were usually movies about six months or older from their original release. If you went to that and time it right, you could see several movies that day as long as you kept low and either followed the crowd moving into the theaters, or wait in the restroom until there is movement. The most movies I was able to see for $1 was 4 because I was starving and didn’t want to pay for overpriced popcorn and soda.
I thought I was going through CT withdrawal today during work. :) The site seems to be running okay as of 9:16pm EST.
I think this subject was mentioned in a poll about movie ticket prices a year or so ago. Of the national chains, AMC and Regal, Regal probably has the better of the two member club card systems. You get points for dollars, plus extra points (5) on Thursdays, plus either an additional 5 or 10 points for certain films during opening week. Even with the 12 point cap on transactional accruals per day, you can still get an extra points (2) for concession purchases. Free movies are awarded after every 120 points.
AMC caps points according to tickets purchased up to a maximum of 4 points, or two purchased tickets. It takes about 8 ticket purchases (or 30 points) for a free ticket. As far as I know, they don’t give you more points for concessions, but the newsletter has a coupon for free popcorn Mondays-Wednesdays. Cents off purchases such as combos don’t really save you much. The nice thing about the Moviewatcher card is that if you buy tickets online at theaters that use Moviefone/Moviewatcher, they will waive the $1.00 fee, which is great for those trips to those venues that show that blockbuster movie opening weekend. Just make sure you click on the AMC-Moviewatcher link and not go there directly.
The discounted ticket prices from AAA and Entertainment aren’t bad choices, but some do have pass restrictions. If you factor in the $2 or so off each ticket from the discounted places vs the club card programs, it all runs about the same. You save enough for a ‘free’ ticket after 5 tickets used.
If you have friends and family that you go to the movies with regularly and let’s say the other party pays, then this pooling of sorts will help you get your ‘free’ ticket(s) or other free offers that much quicker.
Okay, the way I read it, it led me to believe that email accounts are coming. :) I didn’t know that the email notifications of responses was temporarily down. I thought it was just that no one was commenting.
Why would members want yet another email address? I like the current system where if there’s a comment made, we’re notified by email. Would it not be a better use of resources if we had space for pictures?
As of 12 noon EST, 6-1-07, the site seems to be working right after an early AM outtage.
Would it be fair to say that the tech specs on the auditoriums will be like the current Hollywood plex meaning projection standards that exceed THX standards and plain black boxes?
It seems to be working now. I just posted a comment. Response time is a little faster but not up to FIOS speeds :) Photos would be great, video even better. The donation corner would be great, as I’m sure people would be inclined to donate something and every little bit would help.
A Landmark Theater would be great but there is already one in DC. With the Bethesda one just up the street, I doubt the market would support another one. Mixed programming of current and classics (70mm) would be better assuming they still have their 70mm projectors.
I saw this movie at BowTie Annapolis and enjoyed the presentation and the movie for the most part. We seemed to have lost AC, which made it uncomfortable after the second hour. As far as the listing is concerned, I don’t know if it is accurate for at least MD. Muvico doesn’t list a DP version of the movie.
Vito, I take it you didn’t see it at the Ziegfeld. Since it was playing there in DLP, they usually play the format trailer prior to the start of the movie. I was contemplating a Ziegfeld trip but couldn’t make it seeing instead at Baltimore’s Senator. Since it was on film, I can only point out to two “cheesy” CGI scenes and that is where they superimposed Peter Parker’s face on two freefalling action sequences. The face looked too cartoonish and lacked fleshtone. For reference, filmfans should refer to the Rock’s “Scorpion King” fight with Rick O'Connell in the Mummy 2.
The movie, for me, is a mixed bag. It is an enjoyable action film as far as that goes and I purposely avoided critical reviews so as to not become prejudiced by them, but I have to say that I’ve never been able to accept Tobey Maguire as Spiderman. He neither has the acting chomps nor film presence of say, a Christopher Reeve, the platinum standard for film comic heroes. Some of what Maguire does in this movie just doesn’t work and the audience that I saw it with agreed by the collective laughter in the most inappropriate parts. James Franco and Thomas Haden Church both shine in their parts while both Topher Grace and Kirsten Dunst deserve better material than what they were given.
Getting back to the Ziegfeld, I was quite impressed with their DP presentation the last time I was there and hope things are still running well. There is only one DP presentation in my market for this film. I can’t believe that with such a wide release there aren’t more DP versions here in this market. For whatever reason, theatres here are holding on to that awful Robinsons 3D movie thats already dead at the box office. If someone who reads this board, who is in the know, and can explain why exhibitors don’t/can’t get the choice formats, please enlighten us.
It appears Columbia wants to make sure that Spiderman 3 breaks box office records this weekend. Will it do it? Hard to say. As of today, there are plenty of tickets left for the midnight showings in my market, but the IMAX one sold out last week.
Its a given that Hollywood’s sequelitis is here to stay. If it is accepted that a sequel that makes 2/3 or so of the original’s successful box office receipts, you can be reasonably assured that there will be more. Throw in the usual cable/pay tv/DVD sales, its hard not to question why studio heads green light the sequels we see at the multiplex.
Michael, I’m not sure what you are referring to in the second to the last paragraph? The picture above depicts the AMC Empire in NYC. Did that theater close?
This is probably the same projector that supposedly was introduced 2 years ago or so…the 4K projector? This is old news, or at the very least warmed over fresh news :)
Read above, Knucklehead. There’s a story about the showing of that movie in a previous post here.
Its beeen two years since there was a post about making this place a theater again. Anyone know what is going on, if anything? With the recent Senator woes, who happens to be a not too distant neighbor, what is the viability of revitalizing this theater?
I’d like to see a Robert Wise retrospective: “Day the Earth Stood Still” “West Side Story” (70mm)
“Sand Pebbles” or “Star” (70mm), Star Trek: The Motion Picture (70mm, Director’s Edition, if one can be struck)
Or, a Sci-Fi week featuring: “2001: A Space Odyssey” (70mm), “THX:1138” (restored in DP), “Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind” and Disney’s “The Black Hole” (70mm), “Brainstorm” (70mm..yes, at least ONE print is in circulation..see if Douglas Trumbull is available for Q&A for both films), any Star Trek motion picture (70mm, if Doug Trumbull is available he could do Q&A for ST:TMP, too :).. “Dune"
No more "Star Wars” anything. Might as well wait for the Digital 3D versions coming out soon.
Maybe a themed restrospective like “disaster week” with “Earthquake” in Sensaround, Titanic (70mm DTS). Animation week: “Sleeping Beauty,” “The Black Cauldron” both were in 70mm, or anything your contacts with Disney might have and release in 70mm.
An actor retrospective of say.. Lawrence Olivier week: “Wuthering Heights,” “Marathon Man,” “Inchon”…no..just kidding about the last one.
Oh..how about Guilty Pleasures week? “Mommie Dearest” “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes”
“Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”
I have just returned from a showing of the movie at the BowTie Annapolis 11 in the glorious Real D Digital format. Surprisingly, the shows were not sell outs given all the hoopla. There were a lot of families present with little kids in tow, but thankfully, my friend and I were able to sit in our favorite seats.
The trailer for the Real D format has changed. I prefer the first one that had more of an organic feel with the seemingly hundreds of little artifacts in an organic fluid as opposed to just a creative twist on the Real D lettering.
The film, itself, was disappointing. I don’t want to get into a lengthy review of the movie but let me say that Disney may be able to get the technology right making this kind of movie, but they are no Pixar when it comes to telling a story that makes sense and that is engaging. I don’t think this film was a product of the newly acquired Pixar into the Disney fold but someone in the know can and should correct me if this is not the case. I fell asleep after the first 1/3 of the movie, or so my friend tells me, as it drags and sputters until the audience finally meets the Robinsons. They turn out to be a dysfunctional mess that even Dr. Phil could not help. Attempts at humorous set ups and one liners fall flat. There’s one scene where Grandma asks Lewis, after being chased by a T-Rex if he’s okay and has cellulite. Not funny. I doubt this movie will make it to $100M domestically.
The movie looks fine in this format. The 3D elements looked good and sharp, with excellent colors that really brough it to life. Sound was also good all around with no discernible flaws.
Judging from the audience reaction, the movie was a mixed bag. One little girl next to me started to dance in the aisles when the frogs were singing! The lady behind me was into it clapping and laughing but the man sitting behind me and to the right was snoring. His friend could be heard chastising him. At the end, there were some claps but I’d hardly say that the majority completely enjoyed the movie.
Ed, you raise an interesting issue/debate about the ‘song’ sung at the end of Jedi. My first reaction to hearing it, along with my friends, was that there was a religous overtone. The chorus sounded like “celebrate the Lord” or maybe thats what I wanted it to sound like being that my friends and I attended private religous schools at the time. And the audience seemed to like the light spirited fair with the Ewoks playing drums on the severed heads of the storm troopers. Throw in the music, the spirit forms of the ‘saved’ Anakin, Yoda and Obi-wan and, finally, the group shot and fade out to the familiar fanfare theme was a satisfying ending to the saga.
Starlog, Cinefantastique and Cineflex, at the time, made no mention of Lucas being unhappy with the ending. I believe it was a Starlog editorial that cleared up, at least for me, the lyric to the end of Jedi as ‘celebrate the love’ but the writer thought, like we did, that it was ‘celebrate the Lord.’ The 1997 Special Edition changes made sense and, unlike a lot of fans, I respect the fact that it is Lucas' film, its his story, his baby, so he can do whatever he wants to finally see his vision of what Star Wars is fully realized. Now whenever the 3D Digital versions come out, I bet there may be some further changes. I, for one, didn’t like the insertion of a Hayden Christensen’s Anakin, as opposed to Sebastian Shaw’s Anakin. Its doesn’t make sense physically as the character has aged since he became Darth Vader and eventually died as an older man. Yoda should also be replaced by a CGI animated character to give him more realistic movement.
This is an interesting discussion thread, but for me, I think the Star Trek films, at least the TOS ones were more significant, with a more…rabid fan base and sometimes raucous audience for an entertainment phenomenon that has lasted some 40 years. If there is ever a discussion of that film series' experiences, I could write volumes. ;)
Paul: Regarding the Digital vs Analog, I beg to differ with you. Let me see..the 3-D-sound envelope you refer to can and has been achieved in my moviegoing experience.
At the Senator, in Baltimore staring in ‘99, they installed a Dolby Digital EX system with a unique rear channel set up that adds more 'life’ as it were to sound. Since then, along with thousands of regular patrons over the years, we have enjoyed event films there where I can say I’ve experienced that 3D sound envelope you mention. Here is a short list of my first hand experiences:
In Phantom Menace, during the pod race sequence, the sound is loud, distinct and powerful enough that when you sit at least ¼-1/3 from the screen, you get the sensation of movement. You, along with the others move in tune with, or away from the pods as they accelerate, bob and weave. This same sensation was achieved in Clones, when Obi-wan tries to escape the sonic charges from Jango Fett’s ship. Remember that super loud BOOOOOOONG sound following a second of dead silence? Then the shockwave starts and the resulting theater’s sound and picture caused patrons to also move, as if to avoid the coming shockwave and oncoming asteroid matter and space debris.
The last Lord of the Rings movie, seen again at the Senator, and its Dolby Digital EX set up, also re-created the same enveloping 3D sound during the major land battle at Gandor with the Oliphants. After the Orcs flee from the army of Theodon, the Oliphants are on the march with their massive swinging and swaying tusks. I can remember that the whooosh sound of the trunk swinging and sweeping and then tossing multiple horse riding soldiers into the air, made patrons move in their seats as if to avoid being ‘hit’ by the approaching beasts! A powerful scene delivered and experienced!
I suspect independents like the Senator are more presentation saavy and regularly perform sound tests and maintenence to ensure their investments deliver. And, for the most part, they do! :) I’m not sure what your experiences may be where you are. Perhaps your experience with digital sound was at the multiplexes, which, at least in this market, usually don’t care about such things. In my experiences, the THX certified cinemas, are better since they have to maintain a certain standard to remain certified. When I saw the first Matrix at the THX-certified GCC (now AMC) Springfield (VA) 1, Neo and Trinity enter the building with a shootout to save Morpheus, I could here the crisp metallic clanking sound of dropping spent shells. Seen again, at the Uptown in DC, there wasn’t that metallic crispness to the sound for the same scene.
Sure. Do I get any residual points for income earned, either directly or indirectly, credit of any kind even incidentals? :)
Paul, as far as the sound format, I would think digital would have been superior given its pristine advantage over analog six-track, even Dolby. In reading some posts from moviegoers who have noticed the same thing, the general consensus is that the film’s sound editor is to fault.
I forgot to mention that I saw this movie again, in New Delhi, India, no less at one of their movie palaces, in 70mm 6-track, non-Dolby in Dec1985 or Jan 1986. The soundtrack was rock concert loud but lacked the noise reduction of Dolby to at least reduce the snap, crackle and pop of a print that, I’m sure, was played many, many times given the film scratches and fade. The distinction with this viewing was that during the scenes with the Emperor, there was a discernible choral ‘theme’ like a ghost wooo..WOOOOO…woooo heard in the rear. I could not make out this ‘new’ sound during the many viewings at the Mac Arthur, in ‘83, or even the brief re-release at DC’s Uptown in Aug '85. I wonder if perhaps there were several master prints that could explain the subtle difference of this addition to the soundtrack.