I own a lot of DVDs and Blu Rays. In fact, if you poke around the closets, drawers and hidden nooks of my house you’ll uncover old VHS videos and a handful of laser discs as well.
Trouble is, I rarely ever watch them. Given my line of work as a film critic I like having instant access to my favorite movies, but until the day comes when I can erect a giant screen in the den and have 50 people over to watch them with me, my preferred way to see a film will always be in the cinema, surrounded by strangers.
I love a big picture, big sound and hearing the reactions from an audience. There is no better sound than 500 people laughing at the same thing, or a few hundred gasping simultaneously in horror. Movies bring us together and, for my money, are best experienced in large groups.
So, when Cineplex asked me to help program the Great Digital Film Festival I was thrilled. Instead of rooting through dusty piles of DVDs to see some of my favorite films I now have the chance to see them the way they were meant to be seen, on the big screen.
To choose the films programmer Matt DeVuono and I asked ourselves one question, What movies would we like to see again on the big screen? Seems easy, but we’re both film geeks and the list quickly got unwieldy. We pared it down, looking for connections and anniversaries in amongst all the cool titles we had chosen. Eventually we had a list that included everything from all the X-Men movies, to retro cult hits like The Rocketeer and The Monster Squad, and a twofer from Guillermo Del Toro, Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy. We also programmed 25th anniversary screenings of Darkman and Dick Tracy, Kill Bill Volumes 1 and 2, and for sci fi fans, Blade Runner: The Final Cut, Alien and Aliens.
Another of the great pleasures of helping to put this together was the chance to sit and speak, exclusively, to Guillermo Del Toro about the making of Pan’s Labyrinth. It is a beautiful film and he was very open and honest about the challenges of bringing his vision to the screen. That interview will run just before the movie on the Monday and Thursday of the festival.
The Great Digital Film Festival is the country’s only national film festival, but more than that, it’s a way to reconnect and remember why we loved these movies in the first place.
Cineplex’s Great Digital Film Festival is on right now at 26 theatres across Canada. Check out pristine prints of sic fi, horror and genre favourites like The Monster Squad, Blade Runner: The Final Cut, Darkman, Dick Tracy, Alien, Aliens, Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2 and much more! Find out details HERE!
As an added bonus at screenings of The Monster Squad, Darkman, Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2, Dick Tracy, Richard will introduce the movies on the big screen! The Monday February 2 and Thursday February 5 screenings of Pan’s Labyrinth will feature Richard’s exclusive interview with director Guillermo Del Toro on the making of the film!
“Monster Squad holds up, and the thing I like about it is it’s emblematic of what teen movies were like in the ‘80s – a little bit rough around the edges, not politically correct, but a lot of fun. Kind of like The Goonies.”
Even the movies that seem new-ish are a time travel experience, Crouse says. “Pan’s Labyrinth and the Kill Bill movies, I was like, ‘These are really recent. And then I realized as you get older, 10 years ago seems like a week ago.
“With Pan’s Labyrinth, we shot an interview with Guillermo del Toro that will run before screenings of it – his vision, his insecurities and how he was sorry he was that he had wasted everybody’s time and money. I think that was the movie that made him feel like a filmmaker. When it was done, he realized he’d made something beautiful and artful.
“The beauty of this festival is you get to revisit these things in the proper way. I think people will really like Darkman. And the younger audience, a lot of them won’t have been born when Dick Tracy came out. And I think they’ll find it pretty cool…” READ THE WHOLE THING HERE!
Tech-savvy movie-goers can also interact in real time with film critic Richard Crouse by tweeting their questions and reactions using the hashtag #GDFF2015.
“Seeing stuff on the big screen is my preferred way of watching a movie,” said Crouse, who is also a co-programmer for the festival. “I don’t care how big your television is, how much Surround Sound you have. I like sitting with other people, hearing them laugh and cry in response to what they’re seeing on the screen.” READ THE WHOLE THING HERE!
Another is a pre-show in which Crouse goes behind the scenes to explore the history of selected films, including a recorded conversation with Guillermo Del Toro before the Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) screening.
“The word masterpiece is thrown around rather casually these days, but in the case of Pan’s Labyrinth, I think it applies,” Crouse says.
“It’s a dark adult fairy tale set against the backdrop of the Second World War, creating a contemporary fable that is emotionally complex and as satisfying as the age-old fairy tales that inspired it…” READ THE WHOLE THING HERE!
Cineplex Entertainment’s Great Digital Film Festival is no doubt going to delight geeks, nerds and cinema buffs starting January 30th all across Canada. This year has a lot of comic book properties being played out and that shows where the direction of pop culture cinema is headed. With movies ranging from Dick Tracy to the X-Men, the latter is going to be a mega-marathon that will start from the latest film, Days of Future Past, and go backwards to the original — all happening on Saturday. For Dick Tracy, this year marks its 25th anniversary!
“The best way to see any movie, no matter what hands-down, is to see it in the theatre,” said Canada AM film journalist, Reel to Real co-host and author Richard Crouse. “I like seeing movies on the big screen — the way the director intended it…” READ THE WHOLE THING HERE!
Film buffs who missed “Blade Runner,” “Alien” and the “Rocketeer” in theatres the first time around are getting a long-delayed chance for a do-over. Cineplex is bringing its national Great Digital Film Festival to Ancaster’s SilverCity from Jan. 30 to Feb. 5, showing 16 popular films released between 1979 and last year, at a ticket price of $6.99.
The festival’s roster hones in on action, sci-fi and cult favourites, most of them shot on celluloid film, before the industry began its ongoing transition to digital cinematography.
Festival programmer and film critic Richard Crouse says the trouble with showing older movies in theatres is that the film itself breaks down with time and use. By selecting older films that have since been released digitally, viewers get to see a picture that is as sharp as when it was first released.
“Often it’s difficult to find really crisp prints,” Crouse told The Spec on Thursday. “These films have been remastered. You’ll see them as they were meant to be seen…” READ THE WHOLE THING HERE!
“The focus is to show great movies that haven’t been seen on the big screen for a long time — kind of in the way that they are best seen,” Richard Crouse, a film critic responsible for choosing the films screening at the festival, said. “The best way to see movies is to see them in the theatre with the picture and the sound that the director wanted you to see, and be surrounded by strangers who are laughing and crying and gasping and doing whatever it is that they do.”
The festival will bring a wide-selection of movies back into cinemas, including the entire X-Men series, Blade Runner, Alien and Aliens, Kill Bill and Pan’s Labyrinth… READ THE WHOLE THIKNG HERE!