Category Archives: theaters

Dark Knight Rises Prelude

Everyone knows basically what happened Thursday night in Aurora, Colorado. The tragedy that is being called by the news media, the ‘movie massacre,’ is now inextricably tied to the film The Dark Knight Rises.

I was up late Thursday night when I heard about it on the top of the hour news during Coast to Coast AM, and immediately clicked on the television news. Like 9/11 or Columbine (not all that far from Aurora) I was one of millions glued to my TV watching and waiting. I finally dozed off to images of the tragedy.

Later that afternoon, I kept plans to see The Dark Knight Rises despite everything. Things were a little different at the theatre. Bags were checked, we weren’t allowed in to the theatre until just before the show, and nobody was in costume. I think this may actually be the end of that. No more costumes, and maybe even no more midnight release showings.

Another difference was that there was no chatter before the movie. No one was talking. It was very disconcerting. Usually on opening day, everyone is excited, not this day. I suppose everyone was thinking about the shootings.

One specific preview, for Sean Penn’s new film Gangster Squad made children jump, women gasp, and grown men scream. It depicted men with guns shooting through a movie screen and then into the audience. I hope Warner Bros. has the sense to pull this preview for the time being. The audience was shocked and horrified.

I am left numb. I enjoyed TDKR but am unable to write about it yet. Maybe tomorrow or the next day. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this tragedy and their families and friends.

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The Projectionist

The Projectionist ~ I had the pleasure of attending a showing, an incomplete version apparently, of The Projectionist: A Passion for Film. This is a documentary about local film historian and preservationist Lou DiCrescenzo. While unfinished, it’s rather bittersweet as viewers learn of Lou’s fight with diabetes, and how the disease has beaten him down in recent years. He still keeps on kicking and providing a wonderful asset to the film community in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area.

I’ve gotten to know Lou from afar very slowly as he’s introduced older films at first the Ritz, and then the Rave in Voorhees for a couple years now. They run a program on Monday afternoons called Silver Screen Classics, each week featuring a classic (and sometimes not-so classic) movie from the past. Except when he’s been ill, Lou was right up front with a microphone before each showing giving background and telling the secrets behind that week’s feature. Sometimes we’d even get a short or a cartoon from Lou’s private collection. His knowledge and insight are always a treasure.

I look forward to when this documentary might be finished and can be shown publicly. It’s a great story of a great man. Look for it, if you see it, it’ll be worth it. A couple upcoming shows are listed here. In the meantime, don’t forget to check out Silver Screen Classics on Monday afternoons at the Rave.

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Winnie the Pooh 2011

Winnie the Pooh ~ I saw this one not in the theaters, but as an added treat on the first night of my vacation onboard the Disney Dream, and let’s get real, nothing trumps seeing a Disney flick, like seeing a Disney flick on the Disney boat. They have built, on all their ships, beautiful old-fashioned movie theaters full of the glory of yesteryear where there are no bad seats and it feels like an event to see any film. Last year, seeing Old Dogs on board made the hell of that cinematic experience wonderful. Loews in Cherry Hill should take note. Atmosphere counts for a lot.

Unlike Old Dogs, I liked Winnie the Pooh quite a lot, mostly because Tigger is my favorite Disney character, I even liked The Tigger Movie, and that was pretty bad, although it was Gone with the Wind compared to Old Dogs. I love A.A. Milne’s characters, by Disney or otherwise, but have not been fond of newer versions of their adventures. This new animated film is respectful of the original The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and is a proper next chapter.

There is a mix of both old and new voice cast, with Jim Cummings taking on both Tigger and Pooh as well as a few other additions like Craig Ferguson and John Cleese. Only one oddity sticks out and that’s Jack Boulter as Christopher Robin, and that’s only because it’s markedly different, not wrong. And also, just like a Marvel movie, you must wait through the credits to the very end. No, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury doesn’t ask Tigger to join the Avengers (awww…) but it’s still well worth it.

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