In honor of the Blu-ray release of all four Indiana Jones movies happening on September 18, Paramount Pictures and Lucasfilm have been showing “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (Paramount, 1981) in IMAX theaters over the past week. I saw it last night at my local IMAX and it was an absolute treat to see this modern classic again on the big screen. Featuring some of the best work ever done by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, the film is as exciting, thrilling, scary and fun as ever. Go see it today in IMAX if you can! Story by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman. Written by Lawrence Kasdan. Directed by Steven Spielberg. “Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?”
Tag Archives: Thoughts on Movies
“North by Northwest”
Summer movie going has been made more fun this year thanks to the Cinemark Classic Series. Every Wednesday, Cinemark has screened a digitally restored classic film. The Cinemark folks picked a variety of films to appeal to a wide audience (I personally stayed away from the horror flicks…). Overall, it’s been a great way to revisit old favorites and to see them beautifully presented on the big screen. Thanks and well done, Cinemark (and please do this again next year)!
This week’s film was the terrific mystery/thriller “North by Northwest” (MGM, 1959). Cary Grant plays Roger Thornhill, a New York advertising executive who has to fight to stay alive after a group of deadly international thieves mistake him for a government spy. Seeing the classic crop duster chase on the big screen was worth the price of admission alone. Definitely one of the all time greats. Also stars Eva Marie Saint, James Mason and Martin Landau. Written by Ernest Lehman. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. “Apparently, the only performance that will satisfy you is when I play dead.”
“Brave” in Dolby Atmos
I saw the new Pixar Animation Studios’ film “Brave” last week in a theater equipped with the new Dolby® Atmos™ sound system. Only 14 theaters in the U.S. are currently equipped with the Dolby Atmos system. “Brave” is the first feature film to use the new sound format.
Dolby states that its new Atmos system is “a revolutionary approach to sound.” According to the Dolby website:
“The most significant development in audio since the arrival of surround sound is here. Dolby® Atmos™ delivers audiences a more natural and realistic soundfield, transporting them into the story with a lifelike sensory experience. Developed with input from professionals throughout the movie industry, Dolby Atmos represents a dynamic shift in audio, reinventing the traditional surround sound methodology and offering a complete platform for sound now and well into the future.”
The first thing I noticed when I arrived in the theater was the increased number of speakers in the room, including two long bays of speakers installed across the entire length of the theater ceiling. The Dolby Atmos trailer gave us a preview of the sonic treat that awaited for us. Instead of being just loud and overpowering, watching “Brave” with the Dolby Atmos sound mix made the all the sounds, voices and music in the film incredibly clear, refined and targeted. I was really impressed with the subtlety and clarity of the sound as well as the sheer power and depth that it provided the movie-going experience.
It will be interesting to see where this new technology goes in the future and how widely adapted it will be over time. I personally will jump at the chance to see a film in Dolby Atmos again. I hope you get to experience it and enjoy it soon, too.
“Marvel’s The Avengers”
I, along with most of the movie-going world, saw “Marvel’s The Avengers” last week. This film is so much fun–I’m still smiling about it. If you enjoy superhero/comic book films, or even just have a liking for action/adventure movies, see this film. Written and directed by the brilliant Joss Whedon. “We have a Hulk.”
“The Searchers” (Warner Bros., 1956). I caught a screening of this exceptional film at the Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival last weekend. John Wayne plays Ethan Edwards, a Civil War veteran who is hell-bent on finding the Comanche Indians that kidnapped his young niece and brutally murdered his brother and family. The film, set in Texas (but with Monument Valley in Utah and Arizona serving as its spectacular backdrop), is a complex study of racism, revenge and reconciliation. Considered by many to be one of the best Westerns ever made, I was completely awestruck by it. The landscape, the themes, and the remarkable performance by John Wayne have made this film one that I’ll never forget. Watch this movie. Also stars Jeffrey Hunter, Ward Bond and Natalie Wood. Written by Frank S. Nugent. Directed by John Ford. “That’ll be the day.”
Turner Classic Movies screened in theaters across America this week a beautiful new digital transfer of “Casablanca” (Warner Bros., 1942) in honor of the film’s 70th anniversary. Warner Bros. is also releasing this new transfer in a special limited-edition Blu-ray/DVD set next week.
Based on a then-unproduced play called “Everybody Comes to Rick’s,” screenwriters (and brothers) Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch (not their brother), director Michael Curtiz, producer Hal B. Wallis, and the perfect cast of Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre turned the story into cinema gold. Seeing it on the big screen was a dream come true for me. Thanks, TCM!
No matter the format, I hope you’ll take the time to watch this memorable, classic film–again or for the first time. “The fundamental things apply, as time goes by.”