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Tarantino's new western is in Ultra Panavision 70; Dec. 25
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Ken Viewer



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The Hateful 8" went into full, national, digital release yesterday. It only opened in 70 MM five days earlier.

I saw a TV commercial for it today that made clear its saturation release has happened and I verified it just now. The list of theaters it's in includes the Shit-House chain and independent theaters all over.

A Cinerama Dome's employee said it would even play there (in 70 MM Ultra Panavision, I assume) when Star Wars has run its course.

There have been complaints that the film plays out-of-focus at a number of theaters showing it in 70 MM, some of which are issuing passes good for a future film to sooth those angry audience-members who were awake enough to notice the problem, which the theater managers said they could do nothing about.

Ultra Panavision 70, RIP.

Ken
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Ken Viewer



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I keep enjoying myself with these remembrances of the movie business now-long-gone that keep coming back -- and I hope I'm entertaining a few of you guys.

You can't really kill anything Merian C. Cooper created or co-created or invested in or had a lot to do with. You can't kill King Kong -- another film of that name is currently in development.

And you can't kill the original CINERAMA. A film, shot in three-strip 35 MM, for a total of 105 MM and requiring three projectors to throw it onto the screen, was made only four years ago. It played at the Los Angeles CINERAMA Dome during that theater's 60th anniversary tribute to CINERAMA held in 2012.

If it has played New York City, that's news to me, but perhaps you board-members and visitors will pony up about half-a-million dollars to redo one of Manhattan's old theaters by building the three-projector-booth needed to get the film on the screen and pay for the advertising campaign.

Merian C. Cooper? He was a fan of Technicolor during its early days and along with Jock Whitney and others, invested in that company and reaped a significant pile of cash.

Then he became involved with CINERAMA and co-produced and co-directed the first CINERAMA film, "This is Cinerama." He did the same for other movies in the three-camera version of the process.

In 1956 he and his buddy Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney (Jock's cousin) got involved with the John Ford film "The Searchers." Cooper co-produced the movie along with Whitney's company and they, with Ford, ended up owning the film but Warner Bros, the distributor, cheated them out of most of the profits. It was filmed and projected in the high-fidelity, wider-screen VistaVision. (Filmed horizontally on 35 MM film for a wider image, brighter one than normal 35 MM vertically-filmed movies.)

Here's the full documentary about the filming of the most-recent three-strip CINERAMA. They don't get all of their facts right, but they made this documentary and the CINERAMA film "In the Picture."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5BKZZ_59IQ

Ken
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Ken Viewer



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We got to the nearest theater (to me) that was advertising it was showing the 70 MM film version and all they had was one screen showing the digital version. This time we had not purchased tickets in advance, so, since we'd already met for lunch, I was perfectly happy to go home and take a nap. Which I did.

The one theater left that's claiming it's showing "8" on film in 70 MM, and fans say it is, is just too far away for me (two subway rides and then a walk).

So Weinstein pictures didn't get their share of my $20. They've been saying they want to produce TV shows/movies and will only release two or three theater-movies a year, in the future.

If it comes back to New York City and plays a large West Side house (like the Ziegfeld), I'll go see it. If not, there's always the Public Library's free DVD rental system.

I have no great regrets not seeing the movie in a 300-seat theater with a screen 20 feet wide.

I never saw "South Pacific" in 70 MM Todd-AO but did see it repeatedly (to my dismay) in a theater that was contractually bound to show the 35 MM version for three straight weeks. That was when I was an usher.

The theater's staff went mad as a result of that engagement. The married manager ran away with the theater's main cashier and when they found the two of them, they were still singing the songs from "South Pacific."

Ken
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Steve Yohe



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Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

THE REVENANT was crying out to be filmed in 70MM, and the director wanted to film it that way...but it was made in the north & they only had 4 or 5 hours to film every day. He said 70mm would have cost them an hour of filming every day...so they couldn't use it. Still the movie took 9 months to film. At least movie makers are thinking about 70MM for epic productions, so that is good.---Yohe
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Ken Viewer



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve, the problem with making more Ultra Panavision or Super Panavision or similar 70 MM films is that there are too few theaters equipped to show the wide, curved-screen processes. Not only has virtually every theater gone to digital-projection, but the owners continue to cut the sizes of their theaters down -- "smaller" becomes "tiny" and "tiny becomes "microscopic."

Ya can't halt "progress" and without proper theaters to show 70 MM in, directors can insist on using 70 MM film instead of digital from now until Frank Gotch returns and it won't matter.

The contractual minimal time each theater using 70 MM film-prints in the release of "8" had to present the film was two weeks. But theaters (and distributors) always have the right of "hold-over" if the film is breaking box-office records. Most of the theaters projecting "8" in 70 MM were actually presenting a smaller image on their screens than if they projected it in reduction-prints of 35 MM. One theater in Chicago installed a temporary 40-feet-wide screen over it's smaller screen, so as to be able to offer a larger image to their audiences.

In New York City, the Weinsteins, armed with all the clout that announcing they were essentially getting out of the theatrical film business gave them, couldn't get a single really-large screen to project their Ultra Panavision image on. The theater owners wanted Star Wars and the Weinsteins screwed up when they took back (last week) their 70 MM prints so they could use them in Europe and Australia.

I don't see any trend toward building new theaters with larger (and perhaps curved) screens and buying their own film projectors so they can play the occasional 70 MM film-movies. When I was out in Los Angeles decades ago, the then-owner of the Cinerama Dome used to pay the $10,000-or-so extra cost of blowing up every 35 MM film they wanted to show, so that their films always looked better and a six-track stereo soundtrack could be added to the blown-up print.

I saw "Deliverance" there in a blown-up 70 MM print and the crickets they added to that soundtrack sounded like they were camped out in the rear of the theater.

In those days, to make the theater as distraction-proof as they could, they refused to sell popcorn in the theater.

Today, it's sell the suckers $15 in popcorn and a soft drink (of which at least $14 is pure profit), get 'em seated, get 'em out, pick up some trash from the seats and floor and move the next load of suckers in.

Ehh, the Tarantino-movie screw-ups tell me that old days are gone and they ain't comin' back.

Ken
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Ultra Panavision or Super Panavision is different type of 70MM. IMAX is today's version of 70mm. Major director interested in art & have some pull will be using 70mm in the future. That's just the way I feel & not because I'm a expert or know something, because I don't. I do read everything.

The secret to getting your movie booked is to not release it the same week as fucking Star Wars.

8 is making some money & it's because of the director's following and the PR from 70MM. On x-mass, at the theater I went to, it was sold out in advance for all showings. Standing in line, all the young people were talking about 70MM.

I've seen IMAX, in a good theater, that was as good as 70. The 1st IMAX theaters were pretty good. Some of the ones in malls today, aren't.--Yohe
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Ken Viewer



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMAX on film is 70 MM wide. It's also 15 sprocket-holes long, putting out a sorta-square image. The amount of film per frame is huge, but that comes with built-in problems. Ya gotta drag all those huge frames through the projector at 24-frames-per-second. IMAX film projectors have air-blowers an' ice-boxes and frozen turkeys an' stuff right next to the film gate to prevent the film from overheating and from jamming and from flopping about. They use modified vacuum cleaners (not kidding) to create a vacuum to suck the film through the projector without having it jam and flop-about.

There are a number of different IMAX processes, and the last time I watched a 15/70 (15 sprocket-holes by 70 MM) print being projected on a weird, huge tent-of-a-curved-screen, numerous places on that screen were out of focus -- not the entire image on the screen; just various places. It looked like the inmates-from-the-asylum had seized the projection equipment.

The problems with shooting a 2-hour narrative film in IMAX 15/70 are so overwhelming (and expensive to try to remedy) that no studio has ever succeeded in doing it, contrary to all that lox-and-bagels about "Fantasia 2000." The best I've read about is a filmmaker capturing about 30 minutes of IMAX film-images and working that into a real 35 MM film that's been blown up to 70 MM.

To me, it's still a carnival attraction, much the way 3-strip Cinerama was in its early years when all they shot were travelogues. But Cinerama wised up, switching to making long, narrative films and then using single-camera/single-projector super-wide 70 MM processes -- all in perfectly-clear focus on a deeply curved horizontal screen.

The human eye seeks wide images; think of peripheral vision. Our eyes don't want no 1.43 to 1 images on tent ceilings no matter what the nut-squads try to con us into. You can choke on a piece of popcorn trying to uncross your eyes watching IMAX while eating the corn.

Now with digital IMAX, there's another way to lower the costs of making shows in that bizarre screen-ratio to show on tents.

And for those who were willing to stay with this post thus far, here's an almost-secret, forgotten requirement -- right to this day but not enforced -- of the Ultra Panavision system for filming movies: theaters projecting films in that process MUST USE A SCREEN NO LESS THAN 60-FEET WIDE.

Did any of you see "8" on a screen that wide? I think one theater showing the film in 70 MM in Manhattan does have a screen meeting the width requirement. But it was too far to get to and there was no guarantee that the theater was using its largest screen for anything but Star Wars.

Ken
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember the first Cinerama films during the 50's. The first few were travel log type films. They played in one theater on Hollywood Bl. for over a year...until a new one was finished. It was a big deal nation wide. I saw the first one like 5 times...because my father's relatives kept coming from Iowa & they had to see it.

I went to the cinema-dome on sunset for a special showing of HOW THE WEST WAS WON in Cinerama a few years back. I wanted to see what it really looked like, & not just settle on memory. I didn't like it much. You see the lines on the screen. Funny, they had guys there who had to rig up the cameras. The Cinema-dome was build for Cinerama, but by the time the theater was finished...the style had gone out of style...so no Cinerama has ever played in the Dome until the showing I had gone to. That was a few years ago...like 10 or so...seems like yesterday in my old age. That's what they claimed but I remember seeing PAINT YOUR WAGON at the Dome in Cinerama...at least I remember the lines. Maybe that was Cinemascope.

I also saw THIS IS CINERAMA at the Dome around that time. With the rollercoster, nude natives dancing and airplane flying over America.

I thought HOW THE WEST WAS WON had the worst casting in history. Jimmy Steward was playing a young guy...hitting up young chicks. Wayne as General Grant...well I guess they needed a drunk for the part & they were hard to find in Hollywood.

Ken...you know there are only like 8 people at tOA & I think they only read the sports. John might read it, but I think this is just you & I...two old guys...posting to each other. No one really reads this or my lame reviews. I'd worry if real people did read them.---Steve Yohe
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Ken Viewer



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't go to bed until my neighbor gets here from Kennedy Airport after returning from a vacation in Mexico without her house keys. Someone has to let her into her own apartment and I have a set of her keys. Who knows what time she'll get here...

Anyway, if John checks the number of hits this thread is getting, he'll find they've gone through the roof (or if not, gone through the floor). People are taking notes on this information because you can't find it anywhere in literate format written by two guys who lived it in the two top cities in America on separate coasts. And I've stopped howling about it on the Lou Thesz Forum.

The Cinerama Dome was a very late arrival to the monster-wide-screen format and never didn't finish building the second and third projection booths required of original 3-strip Cinerama, at the time it opened. (They did finally put them in years later. The superstructure for those booths was built into the theater.)

Before the Dome was built, "How the West Was Won," the last feature film shot in 3-strip, was booked into the Warner Hollywood Theatre in Cinerama.

It had been filmed by an out-of-control MGM in five distinct segments, based on a Life magazine series of the same name. Everything about it was wacko. It had four directors -- John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall, and uncredited, Richard Thorpe. Not one of them actually filmed all of a single segment. Ford shot portions of "The Civil War" segment.

Hathaway filmed portions of three segments: "The Rivers," "The Plains" and "The Outlaws." Marshall shot the parts of "The Outlaws" segment. Thorpe shot "transitional scenes" and whatever else hadn't been finished.

MGM hired every star actor available in Hollywood. And you're right, so much of the film was miscast. Then they had the problem of how to shoot the action/stunt-work scenes on at least one of the segments using a 300-pound three-strip camera.

By then, the Ultra Panavision single-strip 70 MM camera was ready for action. And that's what was used to film action scenes on "How the West Was Won." But what do ya do with a film almost all of which had been shot on 105 MM three-strip, when portions were shot on Ultra Panavision anamorphic (squeezed inwards by the camera lens and unsqueezed by the projector lens) 70 MM single-strip film? They managed to reprocess the Ultra Panavision portions into looking like three-strip images. And that's how this gob of confusion was released. There was no real story-line, just a bunch of episodes strung together and covered over a bit by Spencer Tracy's narration.

It ran a mere 93 weeks in three-strip Cinerama at Los Angeles' Warner Hollywood. In New York City, it opened in what used to be the Loew's Capitol, by then cut down to a mere 4,000 seats, and carrying the name Loew's Cinerama. It played there for half a year. The 3-strip film had six sprocket holes per frame. Film didn't jam. Gears didn't fall off of the projectors and roll down the aisles. They had trained union projectionists in these theaters and though they might have been overpaid in New York City, they knew their technical skills and artistic ones.

People were at home staring at 21-inch TV screens. Given the opportunity to see a film on a curved screen 100-feet-wide-or-so, they poured into the theaters that were showing it on a REAL Roadshow policy (you picked your actual numbered-seat in advance when you bought it at the box office).

Meanwhile, Super Panavision 70 was ready and "Lawrence of Arabia" opened the same year (1972) with a brilliant screenplay and director and blew the doors open on 70 MM processes. The film was beyond gorgeous -- it was breathtaking. And it had a great story and fabulous actors. It won about 230 Academy Awards including Best Picture of the Year.

Then there was "My Fair Lady" in 70 MM Super Panavision. And that opened in New York City in Cinerama in 1964. And "Cheyenne Autumn" by John Ford in Super Panavision 70. Along came "Lord Jim" in Super Panavision 70 but everyone tried to get their names off that film because it made no sense. It also made no dollars.

Then there was "Grand Prix" which was a bastard child filmed partly in Super Panavision 70 and partly in the old Grandeur 70 process when somebody found a few of those old Mitchell 70 MM cameras around at MGM (which had licensed the Grandeur process from Fox circa 1929 and no one remembers they used it to shoot a few movies in it advertised as "Real Life" or some such ratty trademark.

And on and on. The Cinerama Dome had plenty of genuine 70 MM films to show.

"Paint Your Wagon" was filmed in 35 MM plain wide-screen Panavision and blown up to 70 MM for its major-theater premieres in top cities. The soundtrack was recorded in RCA six-track stereo for use on 70 MM prints. If it had lines running up and down the film, they were caused by Clint Eastwood's singing (yes, it's his voice) and the New York Times had warned everyone he "sings like a moose." Lee Marvin's voice wasn't much better and the film, directed by Lithium Joshua Logan, had a bad case of schizophrenia. It never was cured. I wouldn't watch it again for free.

There are so many films that I've left out tonight, including all the Todd-AO 65 pictures (70 MM), but the locked out-lady has picked up her keys and I can now go to bed and be half awake all day tomorrow (actually today).

(By the way, I'm working to restore my skills at writing long articles because
even though many publications are now paying less -- in absolute dollars -- for freelance feature-stories than was paid 50 years ago, I could use the pesos to pay for taxi fares -- which beats getting on a bus and pleading with the driver to keep the bus from moving until I can find a seat without falling down as the driver guns the engine. (The older New York City buses had regulators controlling the speed of acceleration so that people did not fall down -- not kidding.)

Ken
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Ken Viewer



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...
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Ken Viewer



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At around $51 million in domestic gross, "8" set off the oven thermometer indicating it is now over-cooked and dead. The Weinsteins, who released the film in a time/planning manner that suggested they have a suicide wish, have shipped the Ultra Panavision 70 MM prints to Europe, Australia and maybe the Manhattan morgue, which could ship them to Potter's Field on an island in the East River for a free burial.

Or, those prints could be auctioned off in front of the now-closed Knoedler Gallery on the East Side of Manhattan (the interior of the place was closed down as soon outraged buyers found out the 168-year-old joint and its sales-queen Ann Friedman, were selling them fake "modern art" paintings for up to $8 million each. The first of the lawsuits against them went to trial in Federal Court here yesterday morning.

Perhaps, though, the Weinsteins will tell their foreign distribution partners not to bother shipping those 70 MM prints home, as they are housed in containers that weigh over 300 pounds each and that costs money. Perhaps Tarantino will reimburse the Weinsteins' company for their losses, or perhaps they will pay Tarantino by giving him all those refurbished 70 MM projectors they own.

I wonder if Tarantino's next movie will be about the fake paints, the gallery and Ms. Freedman?

Ken
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I mailed a book to Australia yesterday & it cost $50.75.

I wanted to get John to go see this film. I want him to tell me it's a good movie & I'll watch it again. I really believe it's the worst film I've ever seen by a major director. But I've never talked to anyone else who has seen it.---Yohe
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jdw
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Yohe wrote:
I really believe it's the worst film I've ever seen by a major director.


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Ken Viewer



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Yohe wrote:
I mailed a book to Australia yesterday & it cost $50.75.

I wanted to get John to go see this film.
I want him to tell me it's a good movie & I'll watch it again.
I really believe it's the worst film I've ever seen by a major director.
But I've never talked to anyone else who has
seen it.---Yohe


There is still one theater in Manhattan claiming to be showing
it in 70 MM. Although it's hard for me to get to, I planned on
going anyway since it's not going to play the Ziegfeld before that house closes for good.

Too much snow over the weekend, then our mayor, who thinks
he's Quentin Tarantino, shut down the buses and part of the subway
system. Now chunks of ice are falling off of buildings onto the
sidewalks or passersby.

If "8" lasts another week at the Cinema Village,
I'll drag my tired old bones
downtown on the necessary two subways.

Then you'll have someone to talk to who's seen the
fake-Ultra Panavision showing at that theater's version of it.
(No 146-degree curve in the screen.) It stopped being advertised
as "in Ultra Panavison" a few days after it opened
in 70 MM in a few theaters in New York City.

In general, from what I read, it's not being advertised as
being shown in Ultra Panavision in Europe and Australia.
The ads will state "in 70 MM." Has it opened in Ultra Panavision 70
at the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles yet?

The worst movies I recall seeing are the ones where I got up
and walked out mid-film. There were plenty of those in the days
when I regularly attended films. Then there's the
Tarantino-film history. I dislike his films and have fled theaters
before two of them ended. "Kill Bill"
was the worst of them. I walked out on Kill Bill film # 1 and never
went to Kill Bill # 2.

Many Tarantino film-fans will end up in nut-houses where they have
to rewatch his movies every week.

Ken (EDITED and more text added.)
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Ken Viewer



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just found my can of bed-bug spray because almost
everyone who lives in in the East Village, or even
who is just out looking for a quick hook-up there,
has or will soon have bed bugs. When I go to the
free-programs counter, I'll tell them: "Sorry,
no bed-bugs for me, please."

About 30 years ago, a guy I knew, now-deceased,
owned that theater when it was a one-screen movie-house.
After he croaked, I tossed out all the passes he had
had written for me. Mistake.

Ken
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