Twenty-six years after its original release, James Cameron’s blockbuster ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ returns to cinemas this weekend with a new 3D facelift. What movies that you never got to see on the big screen the first time around would you pay to see in the theater now if they got re-released? (3D is not required.)
In choosing this topic, I acknowledge that advances in home theater make the cinema experience a lot less appealing than it used to be back in the day. Nonetheless, there’s still something to be said for watching a movie on a really large theater screen with an enthusiastic crowd.
This week’s Roundtable is a tough question for me to answer, as virtually all theatrical re-releases these days are just exhibitions of the digital version of said film – basically the same thing you can watch at home. Given that I have a fairly nice TV and at least moderately good audio, there’s not much that can get me into a theater for something I already own. The last 35mm showing of a film I saw on the big screen was ‘Superman: The Movie’, with all the flecks of dirt and popping that come with an older print. But it was glorious, kind of like how LP records still sound better than CDs.
With the above in mind, about the only movie that might get me to the theater is my all-time favorite, ‘Somewhere in Time‘ – mostly because I’ve never had the chance to see that film on the big screen. It’s never been all that popular with the masses, and it marked its 35th anniversary back in 2015, so the next real shot at any theatrical exhibition is probably in 2020. Even so, I wouldn’t mind seeing it then, particularly if it involved a new restoration for the movie, which just didn’t look right to me in its most recent Blu-ray release. (The colors were way over-saturated and the movie had a hazy look.)
M. Enois Duarte
I’ve always wanted to see one of my all-time favorite horror films on the big screen: Dario Argento’s ‘Suspiria‘. Coincidentally, the Italian giallo classic was recently remastered from a well-preserved 35mm interpositive and is set to tour the U.S. this fall. Since I was a kid and first discovered Argento, I’ve always dreamed of what it must have been like to see the movie on the biggest screen possible. I could only imagine how moviegoers must have reacted when experiencing this phantasmagoric beauty, a hallucinatory eye-candy nightmare that tingles all the senses. After many years of wishing to someday see it in a theater, I will finally have that chance this December.
If you would have asked me before I knew it was happening, I would have said ‘Terminator 2’. However, I don’t want to be the Roundtabler who picks the obvious choice, so I’ll go with another sci-fi action classic. I was two years old when ‘Blade Runner‘ opened in theaters, so I never had the chance to see it on the silver screen. Being one of the very best science fiction films ever made and with a promising sequel less than two months away, I’d love the chance to experience it. If someone from AMC theaters (or my local chain, Megaplex Theatres) is reading this, please make it happen!
I feel lucky in the sense that I’ve been able to see some of my favorite movies in the theater during their intitial releases (like ‘Oldboy’, ‘Ghost in the Shell 2’ and ‘Army of Darkness’) or on special re-release (‘Blade Runner’, ‘The Good, the Bad & the Ugly’, ‘La Dolce Vita’). I did once want to attend a crazy marathon (like the first six ‘Star Trek’ films), but now I think a classic that I’ve never before seen but would like would be great. Failing that, ‘The Graduate‘ or ‘A Streetcar Named Desire‘ would be fun.
Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)
I’m tortured by many, many cinematic regrets, and somewhere near the top of the list is that I’ve yet to experience a proper theatrical exhibition of a large format film. Given the chance to gaze in awe at just about anything in 70mm within a few hours’ drive of here, I’d eagerly seize upon the opportunity. (When I say “just about anything,” pretend there’s an asterisk next to that reading “but maybe not ‘Dunkirk’.”) ‘Ben Hur‘, ‘Lawrence of Arabia‘, ‘The Sound of Music‘, ‘It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World‘, ‘Doctor Zhivago‘, ‘My Fair Lady‘, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey‘, or virtually anything else you’d care to name – point me in the right direction, and I’m there. I’ve missed out when some of these films have passed through my general neck of the woods in the Southeast, and I don’t want to make that same mistake again.
Anyone who reads this blog regularly already knows that the obvious answer for me is ‘Dune‘. I actually have seen the movie in 35mm, but not during the original release. (I was 10 and honestly wasn’t even aware of its existence at the time.) Many years later, a local repertory theater screened an old print that was a little faded and not in great physical shape. The theater’s screen wasn’t particularly large either. I would welcome the chance to see a pristine restoration on the big screen, if such a thing could ever happen.
Allow me also to speak for a very large contingent of people who are dying to see the original theatrical versions of the ‘Star Wars Trilogy‘ restored and re-released. I was too young when the first two movies came out the first time around, and only saw ‘Return of the Jedi’ during its original run. Like countless other suckers, I was conned into seeing the so-called “Special Edition” theatrical reissue in 1997 – with all the garbage CGI and awful changes imposed on the movies. Screw that. That doesn’t count. I need to experience the real ‘Star Wars’ theatrically in my lifetime. Sadly, it increasingly looks like that will never happen.
What would get you out to the theater to see an old movie re-released? Tell us in the Comments.