Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Last Friday night's "Superman" double feature

Once again I connected with my new friend Phil, who I met at the "Robocop" screening a week and a half ago, to take in Christopher Reeve's double dose of the best Superman movies in existence. Turns out he's also a huge fan of these films as well and we certainly had our mutual share of line shout-outs that made the evening just that more exciting!

This print of "Superman, The Movie" was the 2000 Richard Donner director's cut, and to everyone's surprise we were treated to the Donner cut of "Superman II". They originally advertised that we'd be seeing the Richard Lester version. Several people were wearing Superman T-shirts, with me of course getting even more mileage out of my Christopher Reeve Superman 'S' shirt. The same one I'll be proudly wearing in a month and a half when we at last arrive at the Kent Farm location in Alberta, Canada. Wow, the trip's closing in fast!

Phil had brought a friend of his along who also turned out to be a huge movie fan (we bonded over "Blade Runner") plus we ended up being complimented by a guy sitting behind us who said he really appreciated our enthusiasm for the movie. Turns out he plays Norman Bates at the "Psycho" house on the Universal Studio Tour! The three of us friended one another on Facebook with the concept that we seriously need to do this again soon.

I know I keep saying it, but I seriously LOVE these American Cinemathique screenings!! To actually go to a classic movie showing and be surrounded by like-minded film fans is truly priceless. The audience was phenomenal, applauding wildly as Christopher Reeve's name appeared on the screen during the opening credits on the screen and cheering as Superman comes out of the revolving door to save Lois in the helicopter. A perfect night!

Friday, May 25, 2012

"Star Wars" turns 35!

And of course (you thought I forgot) the O-RIGINAL "Star Wars" was released 35 years ago today!!!

Not that "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" crap! Just wonderfully unadulterated, un-CGed, un-Greedo-shoots-first "Star Wars"!!!

Back when George Lucas was a hungry director (I know, bring it on) and Hayden Christensen wasn't even born yet!

A time where all you had (perfectly) was your imagination about what happened during the Clone Wars, how Obi-Wan met Anakin and who was going to end up with Princess Leia and why wasn't it YOU!!!

Seeing the movie in the theatre, savoring every music cue of the 2-record soundtrack and putting that first 24x36 inch version of the 1-sheet up in your room (right next to Lynda Carter poster your Mom didn't approve of)!

Not to mention going to see the movie as many times as possible during it's YEAR AND A HALF RUN in theatres!!

THAT was what is was like to be a "Star Wars" fan back in the day!

All this talk of what it was like when the first movie came out has me seriously wanting to do a screening in the 10th Box! Even though it's time to gear up for "The Big Six of 1982", I think we can squeeze in a trip to Tatooine along the way.

Geek Smack!!!

Using an existing comic page image that's been circulating on Facebook, here's a little something I created to honor today. Dumb-ass Robin! LOL!! Click for larger image.

Happy Geek Pride Day!!!

Today, May 25, is Geek Pride Day!!!...so named because it's the day the original "Star Wars" was released in 1977. So get out there and show the world you're proud to be a GEEK!! I'm showing my pride today by wearing a very obvious geek T-shirt to work, which is somewhat different from the occasional 'you have to know the movie to get it' shirts I sport while cutting.

BTW, this is also the anniversary of the release of the original "Alien" in 1979 and "Return of the Jedi" in 1983. And let's not forget day is also the 35th Anniversary of "Star Wars" as well!

But the frosting on the cake for my celebrating today is a special double feature of "Superman, The Movie" and "Superman II" which will be screening at The Egyptian in Hollywood tonight! I do have my Christopher Reeve 'S' t-shirt that I'll be wearing with pride for that, but I fear this might be a bit too much for my co-workers. Some people are just not as open to the full-on geek experience.

While "Superman II" will be the Richard Lester cut, this presentation of "Superman, The Movie" is a newly restored version and I'll let the official American Cinematheque blurb from their website tell the rest:

'Director Richard Donner’s spectacular SUPERMAN has been digitally restored, with eight minutes of never-before-seen footage added - including a pivotal scene with Marlon Brando as Superman’s father, Jor-El!'

So there ya go! Click on the photo of Reeve for more details. I am very psyched, and this will lead into my incredible three day vacation that is Memorial Day Weekend (tm). Not going anywhere special, just glad to have that much time off! GOD BLESS IT!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

"Emergency!" TV series fire station location tour!

I'd been trying to get down to Carson, CA for some time and visit the actual working fire station that was used in the 1970's TV series "Emergency!". Finally, this past weekend I decided the time was NOW! Refreshing my previous online research, I found the exact, very easy freeway on/off location. So with the theme from the show blaring in the car, I sped south on the 405 to Carson!

Deciding to go on a Sunday was a godsend because traffic was so lite. It only took me 35 minutes to get there. A trip which during the week would have taken an hour and a half! As I got off the exit I once again cranked up the familiar theme, turning down the street I visited on television each week when I was growing up.

There was the familiar fire station in all it's glory!

Located down an industrial street, the area seemed to be a bit desolate and I couldn't spot any lights or movement in the windows of the garage as I drove up. Was it a volunteer fire house? Maybe no one was there at the moment. Quickly I parked my car and began taking photos, knowing that traffic was going to increase on the freeway the later the day got and I didn't want to get caught in it.

As I approached the main garage door, I noticed a plaque hanging to the right of it which honored series creator Robert A. Cinader. Incredible! I had no idea there was this amount of acknowledgement here! The station is even named after Cinader. Not surprising when you realize the amount of influence "Emergency!" had on the fire fighting community and the spread of paramedic units due in part to the awareness this show gave the program.

Another car arrived at the location and a man and his two daughters got out. Turned out he was not only a fan of the show but also a retired paramedic. In a moment I was pretty happy he arrived because after taking a few pics himself, the man went right up and knocked on the door. When no one answered he opened the obviously unlocked door and walked in. He motioned for me to come and I followed.

There was a second door inside this front office so he knocked on that. A resident firefighter answered the door, looked at us and said someone would be out on a moment. Did they know why we were there? A moment later I heard the big front garage door open. Two firefighters stepped out and introduced themselves. At once we were told thousands of people visit this station every year to see where the show was filmed and where Fireman Gage and Desoto lived and worked. So cool!

Suddenly I realized I was in for more than I could have possibly hoped! Considering the fact that I thought I'd only get photos of the exterior. Now I was on my own personal guided tour of the entire facility!!

One of the fireman showed me the rec room and kitchen area, which had been quite a bit remodeled since the show had shot there. However, passing through a door at the other end of the main garage where the big rigs sat, we stepped through a doorway into a main locker room. There in front of me were the actual lockers used in the television show!! Crazy! I was told that I could be one of the last people to see them because they were about to be upgraded. These lockers are all wood and still in amazing condition considering their age. Hey, can I have a door when you're done, please?!

Into the next area it was pointed out that two desks which were still in use to this day were also used in filming the series. Past there were several bunk beds and very familiar waist high brick walls. Again, so much of the station was actually photographed for "Emergency!" as opposed to constructing sets.

A large wall area in the main garage was covered with framed 8x10's from the show along with some artwork signed by Randolph Mantooth and Kevin Tighe. Plus a banner depicted the fire gear of all the firefighter and paramedic characters in the show.

Then came the bombshell I was amazed to find out I had missed!

The firefighter who was giving me the tour began talking about one of the original Squad 51 trucks which had been restored by a fan and brought to the station as part of a special event. Originally they expected around 300 people to come by that day, then realizing that number could double due to awareness. On the actual day of the unveiling, there were 3,000 people in attendance!!! And you know when this took place? LAST SUMMER!!! AAARRRGGGHHH!!! How did I miss that??!!

But wait, there's more!

Randolph Mantooth was there and signed photos for a line of people that ran around the building! OMG, what I would have given to be there!!! [banging head against fire station concrete wall]

I think I was there for over an hour an opposed to the 20 minutes I originally thought I'd spend just taking photos of the exterior. What an amazing day, what an amazing experience and definitely a big one for the location books!

Looking forward to going back again some time in the future. The firefighters said to please visit again anytime. I was truly impressed with the level of professionalism, courtesy and openness these guys showed in opening their doors to fans of "Emergency!".

You can view the entire set of photos I took right here on Flickr! Enjoy!

Los Angeles Times' Hero Complex Film Festival: post event rundown

Last weekend's Hero Complex was a complete blast! I was only interested in Saturday's schedule which took me from first thing in the morning through late evening.

First off, Peter Weller gave a far reaching talk about the film industry, Antonioni films, how process trailer shots annoy him, the fact that students in his film/art class didn't know anything Marlon Brando did before "The Godfather" or Robert Shaw did before "Jaws"....and oh yeah, "Robocop"! I knew he was going to go off (from a previous Q&A of this movie) but had no idea it would be for a full hour while moderator Geoff Boucher kept trying to reel him in back to the film we'd just watched. Later in the lobby, Boucher said to me "so did you enjoy Peter Weller losing his mind?" LOL!

Yes, he did go off the rails a bit and (I think) had a good number of people in the audience scratching their heads, But ultimately, Weller is a very intelligent and funny guy and I had a great time watching him roll out everything!

One of the highlights for me, the moviegoer whose SO SICK of all the remakes Hollywood is cranking out at the moment...

When asked what he thought of the upcoming "Robocop" reboot, Weller responded: “I could give a shit… Good luck to them but they’ll never [equal] the original.” THANK YOU, PETER!!! And you know what...it probably WILL suck!! No offense to recent cast edition Gary Oldman. To alter a quote uttered by Dick Jones (Ronny Cox): You just FUCKED....with the wrong movie!!!

Following the amazing one man performance that is Peter Weller, Rick Baker came out as a surprise guest, saying maybe there should have been a buzzer that went off when Weller was going over time. HA-HA! We saw a very cool short documentary about Baker's work on "Men in Black 3" followed by a brief Q&A with the artist himself. One of the most interesting topics: his mentoring of Rob Bottin and watching Rob's work in John Carpenter's "The Thing". Baker's favorite makeup effects movie.

The second screening of the day was "A Clockwork Orange" which was proceeded by a Q&A with Malcolm McDowell. Unfortunately they didn't take questions from the audience which I was disappointed about. But it was very cool to see the man who played Alex himself talking about working with Stanley Kubrick, missing the great director after his death, bonding with Peter Sellers who commented on how they were in the 'same club' having been in Kubrick movies, and how "Clockwork" affected his career. Not to mention some insights into filming the movie. Like when he performed this line:

"The Durango-95 purred away real horrorshow. A nice, warm, vibraty feeling all through your guttiwuts."

McDowell said he read it like he was doing a soup commercial. Too funny!

He was gracious and a joy to listen to. So glad I had the opportunity to see him in person! He did say he'd seen the movie for the first time at Cannes recently for the 40th Anniversary....his first in decades. Wow!

The final screening of the day was "Super" starring Rainn Wilson and Ellen Paige. Wilson and director James Gunn were in attendance and it was great to see my new found favorite movie on the big screen! Rebecca and I had been flipping through cable channels one night and came upon it on Showtime. I'd really wanted to see the movie when it was released last year but never quite made the limited release. We started watching ten minutes in and LOVED IT!!!! Oh my God, it is insanely funny, seriously violent and incredibly edgy!!

Post movie, Wilson and Gunn came out to talk about how surprised they were at some of the late response to the film. Initially it didn't do very well but is gaining a very close following now. Gunn said that the cult-y aspects of the film were kind of off-putting to some who expected a straight-on Rainn Wilson comedy or even some kind of superhero flick. I had a chance to speak with Gunn in the lobby afterward and expressed how much we adored the film and connected with it's humor and over-the-top violence, which is wonderfully juxtaposed by some genuinely touching and emotional scenes. Not to mention the crazed full-on action sequences.

BTW, they had a live trivia contest before each movie. There were multiple questions and I actually won twice during the course of the afternoon. The first question was name the actor who starred in these three movies: "Bonnie and Clyde", "Young Frankenstein" and "Postcards from the Edge". The minute I heard "Young Frankenstein" I knew it was Gene Hackman. My prize was a Blu-ray copy of "A Clockwork Orange" which is pretty cool since I hadn't picked up the movie yet.

A moment later I opened the booklet inside. There on the back page was a line from the movie, 'Viddy well!', written and signed by Malcolm McDowell just a few moments before! Wow! I was having a great day!!

The second trivia question I got was during the "Super" screening. William Katt has two brief cameos as a cop in the movie. The question: what was the real name of The Great American Hero? They were watching to see who was the first hand to go up and of course, in a sea of people 35 and under, it was mine! Ralph Hinckley. I even went so far as to add that right after Reagan was shot by John Hinckley, Jr. they changed the character's name to Hanley. Bonus!

The prize was an autographed "Super" 1-sheet signed by both Rainn Wilson and James Gunn. I was cleaning up!! It was really great to just hang out at the movies all day...almost like what I use to do when I was growing up. Just cooler events honoring the movies I loved with amazing guests and fellow film fans cheering on their favorites.

There was one guy who I started talking with the moment I got in line outside the theatre. Turns out he saw "Robocop" for the first time when he was 8 years old and knew the ENTIRE movie backwards and forwards! He was a bit concerned that some of the semi-hushed line shout-outs he was probably going to do would bother other audience members. I told him to BRING IT!!...because I was going to be doing the same thing!

He really was good at knowing EVERYTHING about this movie and we had a great time together throwing out lines half under our breath at the screen (and some not!), as I mentioned we should probably sit next to one another. We ended up friending one another on Facebook afterwards.

SUCH A COOL DAY!!! And here are links to more immersive takes on the day:

Peter Weller/"Robocop"
Rick Baker
Rainn Wilson and James Gunn/"Super"

Can't seem to find a rap of Malcolm McDowell's appearance which is why one is not included.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"Dark Shadows" review: mostly toned-down Burton style over substance

For those people out there who think no one knows what "Dark Shadows" is (must be a bunch of "Twilight" fans)...it's an iconic gothic soap opera from the late 1960's and early 70's, of which I remember as a child.

The opening credits theme always scared me and I even recall watching an episode or two while my Mom was getting her hair done at a salon in Upstate New York. A few years later I was exposed to more and began to appreciate, even at such a young age, how very different this show was from all the other daytime fare around at the time.

Flash forward to 2012, past the 1991 television reboot starring Ben Cross. Now we have "Dark Shadows", the movie.

Director Tim Burton and star Johnny Depp also grew up with the seminal series and wanted to create a loving movie version of their beloved soap. The only problem is they seem to have forgotten their passion about half way through the film.

Burton's wonderfully expressive set design, costumes and lighting are certainly present, although somewhat toned-down and rooted in the very year the original program took place. When I first saw the trailer I thought to myself that this was way too over the top on the humorous side for true fans of the show. They were taking the concept out of bounds and I wondered if this would affect those who kept the original in such high regard.

Once I saw the trailer a second and third time, I found myself wanting to take the ride. Unfortunately the ride had me looking at my watch about midway through and moving into the unnecessary over the top climax.

Depp is fine in the iconic role of Barnabas Collins. But you'd be hard pressed to have me remember anyone else in the movie. Michelle Pfeiffer is once again working with Tim Burton after her incredible performance as Catwoman in 1992's "Batman Returns". But this will not go down as a role you'll connect with her even after you've left the theatre. "Kick-Ass" star Chloë Grace Moretz (Hit Girl) also seems wasted as the daughter of Pfeiffer's matriarch. Oh yeah, and the same goes for Jackie Earle Haley who plays Willie, the groundskeeper and Barnabas' right hand man.

In short it just seems like most of the actor's are just collecting a paycheck. Eva Green, who plays Barnabas' nemesis Angelique, the evil witch who put a spell on him 200 years ago, seems to want to have fun in the role. But she never becomes more than just a bother you wish would go away.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trashing the movie. It just started becoming uninteresting, and certainly the studio knew this by commissioning trailers and broadcast spots to seriously play up what humor there was in the film.

And by the way, that theme song which use to scare me as a child?....they never played it once. Not once! That was something I was waiting to hear. Nope! Zip! Strange....for two people (Burton and Depp) who were such rabid fans to toss that aside.

Some cast members of the original series do make cameos; Jonathan Frid (in his last onscreen appearance), Lara Parker, David Selby and Kathryn Leigh Scott. However, I was surprised at how incredibly minor they were. Mostly just quick walk-bys and out of focus background party-goers. Hardly seemed worth ringing them up for the job.

The script is the main reason this movie underperforms, which I am sad to report. For fans of the original TV series, that show will forever stand as the one true "Dark Shadows".

Our Golden Trailer Award nominations...oh and BTW...I'M GOING!!

In Sync is nominated for four Golden Trailer Awards this year and the ceremony takes place on May 31.

Our nominees include:

Best Independent Trailer
"Midnight in Paris"

The Golden Fleece Award

Best Comedy Broadcast Spot

Best Romance Broadcast Spot
"My Week With Marilyn"

This was always an award show I one day hoped to attend and be nominated at. Now it looks like part of that dream is coming true! Although I'm not nominated (this year at least), I found out today that all I had to do was ask and I could go. Just did....I'M IN!!! Now I seriously need to shop for new clothes for the event!

Here's a little blurb about what to expect in their revamped presentation:

'The party will reign from 8pm to midnight beginning with a champagne reception celebrating all of the 2012 nominees including foreign, TV spots and posters. The nominated trailers will be featured on screens throughout the party. Guests will be treated to an evening of incredible food, beverages, great music at a stunning mansion in Los Angeles. All of this will allow the trailer community to celebrate together and strengthen as the critical driving force of the movie industry.'

I am seriously looking forward to this, which I know will be a ramp-up to my actually being nominated in the future....like NEXT YEAR?!!! That would be the true icing on the cake! Click on the award image to be taken to the official website got more details.

Monday, May 21, 2012

"The Road Warrior": still searching for gasoline 30 years later

Today is the 30th Anniversary of one of the most seminal movies of the past century. "The Road Warrior" would go in to influence many movies that followed and became the vehicle which lifted young newcomer Mel Gibson into super stardom.

Even though the movie is technically a sequel to 1979's "Mad Max", the film is laid out in a manner that you didn't have to see the first one for it to make sense.

A perfect ramp up montage explains how humanity turned on itself as well as how ex-cop Max lost his wife and child in an instant to a highway gang. Gibson only had sixteen lines of dialogue in the entire film, and yet it was the character's outlander physicality, action coolness and subtle humor that ultimately spoke the language his character needed to speak.

Along the way, Vernon Wells became the face of unbridled violence as Lord Humongous right-hand killer while Bruce Spence provided the laugh factor as the oft kilter Gyro Pilot.

Even though this is the actual date of the release of "The Road Warrior" thirty years ago, I'm not going to screen the movie in the 10th Box....not just yet anyway. Planning to have a marathon film festival of this along with the other five movies that made '82 so memorable. Details to follow.

But in the meantime, here is the original trailer for the film. Notice the different voice used for Lord Humongous, mainly to convey the story a bit more precisely to audiences.

Robin Gibb: the passing of another 70's disco era icon

I heard the news a little late yesterday as I was about to go to bed. Bill B. had posted on Facebook about the passing of Bee Gees brother Robin Gibb. I was somewhat surprised, even though he'd been in ill health with cancer for some time. Yet he did emerge from his coma recently and seemed to be leveling out.

Gibb's death comes just three days after disco queen Donna Summer's. It's strange how, even though someone might not be quite in the same spotlight they were from years ago, you're still aware that they're here in the world. It's only when they die that you really feel how far away they've gone. Even though Donna Summer's and now Robin Gibb's music will be with us forever, last night when I read the sad news it seemed as though that decade of my youth was somehow farther from grasp now.

The Bee Gees spanned five decades with iconic music and re-invention from 60's balladeers to 70's pop disco masters to surviving the post dance craze backlash only to come out on top once again as vastly appreciated musicians and sound writers.

As with Summer's passing, I turn once again to the music. Beyond the "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack (which I think I own in every format known to man!) I have some of their pre and post "Fever" songs and long ago classics. My drive to work this morning was filled with the music of the Brothers Gibb. Barry now is the only one left. Maurice, of course, passed away in 2003.

Instead of going for the obvious "SNF" track 'Stayin' Alive', here is a television performance of 'How Can You Mend a Broken Heart' from 1971.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Hero Complex Film Festival screenings today

I'm attending the LA Time's Hero Worship Film Festival all day today which includes Q&A screenings of "Robocop" with Peter Weller, "A Clockwork Orange" with Malcolm McDowell and "Super" with Rainn Wilson.
Peter Weller just got through speaking and he is a firecracker of film information. Not only does he always have interesting stories about movies heMs starred in, but he constantly spins multi-level tales about the entire process and his unique vision of film and art. Today's Q&A after "Robocop" was no exception. He had the audience in the palm of his hand talking about his film students having no idea what movies Robert Shaw did before "Jaws" and being appalled at that, to how itMs a complete win to have not experience early concept movies made in Italy. The biggest reactionary comment he made was after moderator Geoff Boucher asked what Weller though of the upcoming "Robocop" remake. Without a beat, Peter said "bad idea, it's gonnna suck!". Immediately, me and the guy sitting next to me, who I bonded with before the screening due to his complete love of the film, shouted "THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!" Everyone applauded wildly. After a break, I'm now sitting back in my seat awaiting "A Clockwork Orange" and Malcolm McDowell's Q&A. Pretty excited about seeing him and having an amazing time taking in this very cool event!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Queen of Disco is gone: Donna Summer

But I quickly want to say that she really isn't gone as long as we remember her and listen to her music. Something the world will do forever!

I was completely startled this morning when I came into work to learn that Donna Summer had passed away...and that she died of cancer. Why does it seem like that decease is taking so many good people from us?! So very sad.

Immediately I went to YouTube and watched her performance of 'Last Dance', her Grammy and Oscar winning song from "Thank God It's Friday".

She was one of the icons I grew up listening to in the 70's disco era. And she managed to break out of what could have been a career stopping moment when the dance craze ended, re-inventing herself into an 80's pop diva. Even as music changed drastically with the onslaught of grunge in the 90's, Donna remained a strong staple in dance clubs, coming full circle to the electronica genre of the past decade.

It amazes me that I never owned one of her albums or hit songs!! Mainly because they played so much on the radio at the time. Realizing this void, I went to the iTunes Music Store and downloaded 'The Journey: The Very Best of Donna Summer' which includes not only all of her incredible hits, but even a few EP versions I always wanted.

Here is her 1978 hit 'Last Dance' in that scene from "TGIF", wrapped in a bit of a montage showcasing her amazing career. Goodbye, sweet and sexy Donna!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The "Ghostbusters" Tour of New York

In case you haven't noticed by now, I am a huge movie location enthusiast (should put that as one of my profile images up top). So I was very impressed to find these fans doing a complete tour of all the filming locations for "Ghostbusters" in New York City in only six hours!

Script dialogue and movie clips synced up to scene recreations at the actual shooting sites...perfect! Street addresses provided at the end...fantastic! I'm also impressed with the mapping and logo graphics added to show us where they are and how they get to the next location. Not to mention the on-camera guitarist providing the "Ghostbusters" theme the whole way. Great job, guys!!

Friday, May 11, 2012

"The Hindenburg" screening at The Egyptian last night

This past Sunday, May 6 was the 75th Anniversary of the crash of the Hindenburg at Lakehurst, N.J. Being an enthusiast of the airship since I was a teenager, I would be remise to not acknowledge this milestone.

But I was happily surprised when the American Cinemathique held a special screening of 1975's "The Hindenburg" at The Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood last night to honor that date. Part of a double feature with 1974's "Earthquake", the listing squarely pointed to the anniverary of the Hindenburg disaster first an foremost.

Enjoying this movie that I grew up with at home was difficult at best. Unfortunately the DVD release is far from perfect. Produced in the early days of DVD and never given it's proper due, the film suffers from a poor transfer and low compression without any extras whatsoever. When I finally projected it on the big screen in my home theatre I was shocked at how bad a transfer it actually was!

So this screening at The Egyptian would also serve as my opportunity to see the movie on a bona fide movie theatre screen for the first time since it's release almost 37 years ago....jeez, has it been that long??!!

And yet there was one more aspect to going last night. I almost felt like I'd be reminded of when I saw "The Hindenburg" for the very first time in Upstate New York at the Hellman Theatre on Washington Ave. in Albany.

What I didn't realize was the treat I was about to experience.

As moviegoers began filing in I noticed a lot of people my age who probably also saw the movie when it first came out. One guy even had a "Poseidon Adventure" T-shirt on, at which point I knew I was in just the right crowd. Settling in as the lights went down, the familiar original black and white Universal logo came up. It's the beginning of the newsreel open that gives some history of the airship leading up to the Hindenburg. At the conclusion of this three minute intro the film goes 1.33:1 (square) to a full 2.35:1. Suddenly I was looking at the first shot of the airship as it flies through the opening credits.

I was astounded.

The picture was so brilliant and clear, the colors were near perfect. And as the movie continued I was amazed at what a beautiful print I was witnessing! That more than helped transport me back to a time when I was 15 years old, sitting in Hellman's and watching George C. Scott try and uncover who might be trying to sabotage the great airship on what would be it's last voyage.

The audience was incredible as well. Very respectful and even applauding some of the actors, like Anne Bancroft. People were there to really appreciate the film and, as sometimes happens with movies that might seem dated to younger audiences, not berate anything about it. I was in heaven.

Because I had to work today, I knew it would be too much to stay for the double feature. So after "The Hindenburg" ended I proceeded to the lobby looking for someone of authority to praise the quality of the picture and thank them for making it available. I ended up talking to one of the volunteers I'd seen before as well as Grant who usually introduces American Cinemathique screenings. He was just there to enjoy the movies last night.

More people came out for the intermission between films and were commenting about the fantastic print. As the lights went down in the actual theatre and I realized it was time to go, I suddenly noticed a decades ago familiar red card on the movie screen. It was the original Sensurround warning attached to "Earthquake"! My God, I hadn't seen this since the movie was first released!! I raced back into the theatre as the doors were about to be closed and continued to watch standing in the back. An announcer read the warning as it scrolled on screen. Here is what it said in white text over a red background:

This motion picture will be shown in the startling multi-dimension of
Please be aware that you will feel as well as see and hear realistic effects such as might be experience in an actual earthquake. The management assumes no responsibility for the physical or emotional reactions of the individual viewer.'

Brilliant! Everyone applauded as it ended and I couldn't help myself from half exclaiming right in the theatre 'YES!!! Thank you for including that!" People around me smiled with true appreciation and certainly loved seeing this bit of film history once more. Suddenly I was feeling sad about not staying. But....I did need to get home and go to bed!

"The Hindenburg" was released during the heyday of Universal's 1970's magnificent rollout of films that would forever be a touchstone of my youth. There's something about the way these movies were shot as well as some of supporting actors in them that all seemed to connect somehow. Films like "Airport '75", "Earthquake", "Midway"....you knew when you were watching a Universal release because there was a certain undeniable look.

Even though production of "The Hindenburg" was a direct result of the popularity of disaster movies of the time, the film plays more like a thriller / historical drama that just happens to have a climactic disaster element. I always hoped a big budget feature surrounding the Hindenburg crash would again be mounted, especially after the gi-normous success of "Titanic" in 1997. The only problem is the actual event from when the first explosion rocked the fin section to when the bow of the airship crashed to the ground was 34 seconds. Not the hour and a half struggle of the Titanic hitting the iceberg and slowly sinking with 1,500 aboard. 

I can understand why studios might not know how to tackle the briefness of this historically iconic event. Hopefully at some point they'll figure it out. As it stands right now, the George C. Scott / Anne Bancroft starer is the only domestic feature to portray the ships untimely end. There was a German mini-series produced in 2010 which was fashioned very much like Cameron's "Titanic", right down to the lowly cabin boy who falls in love with the socialite girl. From what I've heard the effects are spectacular but apparently the rest of the movie, acting and even music (electronica?), are questionable.

BTW, quick trivia.

Who can name the other three Universal movies that were originally released in Sensurround? There's one that always eludes people. No going onto Wikipedia and cheating!!! Use your brain!

I had a fantastic time last night seeing "The Hindenburg" with some true fans....and still felt just that much more like a 15 year old, once again settling back in my seat at the Hellman Theatre all those years ago.

DING DING!! Last minute cool event this weekend!

Rebecca called me yesterday with some news about a cool one day event happening just south of LA. The Long Beach Comic-Con is happening tomorrow at the Long Beach Convention Center and we are SO going! We were actually just there a few weeks ago for the Toyota Grand Prix so I already know the venue is pretty sweet.

Have to say after seeing "The Avengers" along with feeling the oncoming swell of this summer's jam packed superhero movies, we're very much in the mood for this!

Admission is only $15 and from what I understand it is small. A view of the floor plan for the event looks a bit bigger than what I'd consider 'small' (trust me, I've see SMALL!) so we're pretty excited about making a day of it to check things out. 

Click on the logo for more info.

"Sound of My Voice" review: Subtly brilliant, edge of your seat puzzler

"Sound of My Voice" is the story of two documentary filmmakers who decide to infiltrate a San Fernando Valley based cult headed by a mysterious woman by the name of Maggie who claims she is from the year 2054.

I'd heard about this film early in the year and was finally witness to the first twelve minutes of the movie at Wondercon. A booth on the exhibit hall floor had white clothed individuals exchanging a strange hand gestured greeting to help promote the upcoming release. I'd have to say my initial interest was the possible time travel aspect, although it was well shrouded as to whether the character of Maggie truly was from the future or just a con artist out to sway a group of innocents. This is how the documentary filmmakers in the story view this operation. Are they wrong?

"SOMV" is a seriously intriguing puzzle of a movie with some real edge-of-your-seat moments. It will have you guessing right up until the striped down, subtle yet extremely powerful climax. The performances are solid and the camera work is top notch for a movie that was mostly financed off credit cards and donations of locations, vehicles and wardrobe from friends and associates.

There's almost a "Twilight Zone" quality to this film. Some critics are commenting about how it's a commentary on the uses of persuasion in a closed group. That's certainly there but for me it was always 'is she or isn't she' and the path that leads to a possible answer.

Tidbits here and there along the way will beg for an explanation, yet some are best left up to your own conclusion. Sort of in the way you might've wondered what Scarlett Johansson whispers into Bill Murray's ear at the end of "Lost in Translation". A couple of story elements don't have a true payoff but rather seem destined for a second film, and that's OK. By the time the movie ends you see that that's exactly what should happen!

Subtly brilliant in it's execution, "Sound of My Voice" is all about the intricacies of what lengths people will go through to learn the truth...with so much wonderfully left up to your imagination. Far more than what any multi-million dollar budget could show you or flesh out in unnecessary exactness.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


It's like me if I were younger and a girl! I should do one of these because she totally speaks the language I would use (and I don't just mean the 'F' word)!! Unadulterated SLAMMING of all the ridiculously bad ideas coming out of Hollywood right now...and beyond! But also seriously cool appreciation for all things geek chic. Color me: subscribed!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

2nd stage of this summer's movie location trip: now booked!

The second leg of our three location summer movie tour has now been arranged and booked! Still trying to come up with a name for this trip. You know me, I like branding and logo-ing stuff. 

Leaving the Kent Farm location from "Superman The Movie" after spending two days near Calgary, Alberta Canada, we'll fly to Rapid City, North Dakota, stay overnight there, then travel two hours the next morning over the border into Wyoming and arrive at Devil's Tower.

Staying at the Devil's Tower Lodge, which is practically right at the foot of the monument itself, we'll spend part of the next day and a half exploring the same path Richard Dreyfuss' and Melinda Dillon's character's from "Close Encounters" took up to the Tower itself, peering around the edge and witnessing our first encounter with extraterrestrial visitors.

A particular spot I've always wanted to arrive at, I know that moment when we see the other side for the first time will definitely bring chills of excitement. Even though nothing was actually filmed on the 'dark side', it'll still connect that this is where it all took place! There are various pathways and trails in and around the monument site we'll explore as well.

Moving into our final day we'll visit Mount Rushmore which neither one of us has ever been too. A stop at the Crazy Horse Memorial will finish up the longest stopover portion of this trip. From there we'll board another plane and head to the third and final destination of our two country excursion; the "Field of Dreams" baseball field in Iowa. I'll be booking that, as well as the flight home, very shortly.

Comic-Con professional's registration: IN THE BAG!

Yesterday the pro-reg memberships for Comic-Con went live on the official site and I'm happy to say....WE'RE IN! At 12:15pm the announcement was made that you could clock in at 1pm. I saw the word about 45 minutes later and took little time punching in my Member ID, finding my info as a 'returning professional' (yes!!*) and securing the golden ticket that will take us into the future of never having to pay for a Comic-Con membership again!

Even though we won't be attending this year, it was important to secure this multi-year pass as soon as they were released. We've been on the pro-reg list at Wondercon for the past two years and have been counting the days until I could finally hook into SDCC. From this point on I'll receive an e-mail for both events telling me when it's time to log-in and secure my pass. Life just got that much better!

Pro-reg memberships last for three years. After the third event you have to re-submit proof that you work in the industry, then it continues for another three years after that, etc. etc. etc.

*I say 'yes!!' because, as of last year's Wondercon, I was informed that you had to send your verification materials (in my case only an IMDB link was required) separately for Comic-Con. So I was very anxious to not miss the train, especially with everyone poised above their mouses to click 'enter' all at the same time.

Through a perfectly placed phone call to confirm exactly where I stood, I actually ended up speaking with the head of the pro-reg department. She saw that I was on the Wondercon list and very nicely offered to correct my info for the upcoming CC registration to read 'returning professional'. Wow! Now I would not have to submit proof that I was an industry pro...it had already been done through WC. I was SO glad I called!

Coming back to the issue I've has been bitching about, this still does not negate the hotel overpricing problem! We were ironically lucky this year to have gotten in right away when the Comic-Con hotel block went online about a month ago to 'request' reservations (ridiculous procedure!) with our much loved San Diego Hilton Bayfront Hotel....ultimately being confirmed for just that.

I've certainly been soured by overly greedy hotels and their jacked-up prices plus the mishandling by the Comic-Con organization. Here's hoping everybody can get their shit straight so we all benefit during future event planning.

Monday, May 7, 2012

"The Avengers" review: despite a few too-fantastically over-the-top elements, the movie is wonderfully funny and action packed!

Well here we are. "The Avengers".

I've well documented my distaste for where all of the current stand alone Marvel movies were headed. Each having it's own wonderfully grounded origin story with just the right amount of comic book fantasy...well, except in the case of "Thor" for obvious reasons. The first "Iron Man" being the best of them. But how could all of these characters possibly co-exist in one movie? Bottom line: they just could not! In the comics, yes. On the big screen, not without pushing the bounds of believability or even credibility. And yet the entire fan community was waiting, movie after movie, with bated breathe and unwavering loyalty for this ultimate team up.

So I went back an forth as to whether or not I was actually going to go see "The Avengers" in the theater or if I'd just wait for DVD. I was too afraid that the great ride we were all sharing through "Iron Man", "The Incredible Hulk", "Thor" and "Captain America" was going to be burned by an invasion from outer space. Ultimately it was scorched just a tab, but in the end, a surprisingly fun ride!

There are some SPOILERS AHEAD so if you haven't seen the movie yet, BEWARE!

Director Joss Whedon has crafted a (mostly) fine tuned action movie and I only shook my head in plausible disbelief two and half times. Far less than I originally envisioned which is good!

Right off the top I have to say one of the secret weapons of this movie is Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner and The Hulk. I'd been reading about how he's so much better than Eric Bana (I don't even count him now) and Edward Norton (loved his take!) in the duel role. Even though I felt like a change of actors, at this point anyway, might seem too much like coming out of left field.

That aspect was quickly brushed (or rather smashed) aside the minute Ruffalo appeared on screen. He's thoughtful and brings a great amount of depth to Banner as well as being powerfully amazing when The Hulk is finally unleashed. The first scene where he changes is backed by a wonderfully edge-of-your-seat, anticipatory ramp up. Not to mention the fact that The Hulk can be really funny. Which is one of the things that keeps the story and movie from becoming what might have been very laughable...and I mean laughable in a bad way.

This is absolutely The Hulk's best movie outing yet and I hope to see more of the big green guy and Ruffalo's Banner in the near future. Particularly since he just signed a six picture deal with Marvel. BTW, if he ends up in "Iron Man 3" I'd be thrilled.

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man is definitely the man to watch and follow in "Avengers". He has some of the best comedic lines in the whole picture, and Stark's friendship with Banner is one of the more interesting high points outside of the action, which is plentiful. Certainly "Iron Man" is the best comic panel to screen adaptation of the bunch for this assemblage and Tony's heart still belongs to Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), who has two brief scenes and whose connection adds to the human angle ever present throughout the film. An important element that lifts the story above mere "Transformers" fare as the climax approaches.

OK, let's get the problems out of the way now.

My biggest issue has all along been the alien invasion. I get that there needed to be a large enough threat that it would take all the heroes bonding together to defeat it. But this aspect really pushes the envelope of the grounding so well established in the previous run-up movies. In a Thor outing alone it would have been perfectly suited. But after introducing us to Tony Stark, Bruce Banner and Steve Rogers so fittingly.....this otherworldly angle is kind of forced. Like right after the powerfully emotional "X2" having the team fight space invaders. Or Toby Maguire's pitch perfect Peter Parker / Spider-Man going from Doc Ock to....bug creatures from the Planet Rylos! What?!!

Another over-the-top element is the S.H.I.E.L.D. Heli-carrier. I completely understand that this has been a part of that organization's comic history and possibly needed to be included this first go-around from the studio viewpoint. The movie version is a perfectly updated rendering of that incredible vessel....if the story were set in the 22nd or 23rd Century. The X-Men can have the X-Jet in Bryan Singer's versions, but that still had a 'real' sense to it. Like something modified from an already existing aircraft. You 'bought it' in the here and now. The Heli-carrier just seems better matched for an outer space, warp drive adventure. Way too high tech and overly futuristic.

The only scene that really had me shaking my head was when Loki pushes Tony Stark out a window of the Stark Tower in New York. Tony falls, but is able to summon Jarvis to send his new Mark VI suit. It crashes through a storage doorway behind Loki to jump out the window after Stark, surrounding his body and activating, saving his life and bringing the now Iron Man back up to confront Loki. A well placed cringe went over my face as I tried to shake that off and continue enjoying the movie.

BTW, Iron Man's chest triangle is gone, the circle is back.....YES!! Was never a fan of the triangle, even though I know that's how the suit progressed in the comics. The circle always represented classic Iron Man and I'm so glad to see it re-instated by director Whedon himself. He even mentioned recently in a press junket interview that the triangle was 'ass' and he never liked it either. Thank you, Joss!

All right, here we go, I gotta say it.....I'm sorry but Captain America's uniform (to quote Joss Whedon's word for Iron Man's triangle) just looks like ass! His costume ROCKED in the stand alone movie! Certainly one of the best redesigns and explanation of a comic book character's outfit in film history. But unfortunately they decide to throw it away for something sleeker and more modern.

Understood, the previous one might have seemed a bit old fashioned. But unfortunately the new one looks like something out of "Kick-Ass", a movie where it might have worked much better. In a couple of scenes you almost expect people to say 'what the hell are you suppose to be, The Masked Flag Waver?!' I seriously wish we could go back to his World War II exploits with the follow-up film (things were left wide open for it with that mid-film montage) but they've already confirmed that Cap will stay in the modern world. Boo.

OK, on to the positive notes.

One of the best things about "The Avengers": the dialogue and humor are spot-on! Whedon's comedic timing hits at all the right moments and on all the right thrusters. Again, it's one of the elements that continues to carry everything through to that giant and satisfying 45 minute action set-piece. And in that action barrage we witness each hero having his own unique moment. Especially during an amazing tracking shot where we see each of them, one by one, kicking ass in succession.

Two especially funny and jaw-droppingly amazing sequences...

#1: The Hulk and Thor finish spectacularly taking out a group of aliens. As they stand back to take a breathe, The Hulk suddenly punches Thor completely out of frame. The entire audience enthusiastically roared with laughter!

Then came the coup de grace.

#2: Loki taunts The Hulk about how nothing on Earth can harm a god, not even some dim beast. The Hulk then proceeds to pick Loki up by his legs and slam him around the room. HOLY SHIT!!! OMG, we were SCREAMING with laughter and applause!!!

It was around the time of these two scenes that I said to myself 'OK I'm in, this is fun!'

In another chuckle worthy moment, everyone's assembled on a street in New York City to take on the alien threat when a motorcycle rolls up with Bruce Banner, having just made it there after he fell from the heli-carrier while taking out a jet. It's funny because everyone's geared up and here's Banner in some borrowed everyday clothes he probably found along the way sputtering along on a bike.

No one is given only minor scenes in what could have been a one dimensional take on the entire crew and situation because of the size of it all. Even Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye and Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow share a moment or two that hints at a deeper relationship.

And who knew Agent Coulson was a fanboy!! His admiration of Captain America is another humorous moment for a character whose been more than instrumental in bringing this team of 'lost souls' together. Right down to the Cap trading cards he's been keeping in mint condition before meeting one of his idols. However, it's an emotional moment involving Coulson that ultimately propels everyone to drop the constant bickering and join together.

And don't think Nick Fury escapes the humor either. He's given some very Samuel L. Jackson-type lines along the way. You damn right!

Alan Silvestri's music is stirring and fits the vibe of the movie perfectly. The effects are crazily fantastic and superb! The hero vs. hero battles are right out of the comics, definitely a fan's treat AND pretty cool at that. Even at 2 hours and 22 minutes, the movie never seems long. A few have balked at the talkiness in the middle but I think it's necessary for the story and character build, perfectly leading you into the gi-normous climax that's coming down the pike. All part of the 'big four' and not just Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth turn in great performances as well.

Of course let's not forget Tom Hiddleston's mesmerizing turn as Loki. Craving such immense power, Loki ultimately realizes during the big climactic battle that he's in over his head. Loki was actually The Avengers first foe in the original issue #1 so his appearance in the movie version tracks to that beginning as well. Hiddleston exudes part god, part Shakespearean rock star in his wonderfully evil portrayal and I certainly look forward to the return of the character in "Thor 2".

And when the credits begin to roll....STAY SEATED!! There are two, count them, TWO after credits sequences.

The first one was not my favorite and continues down the path of this space alien path I wish they would turn away from....but of course they're not since the movie is already a smash hit. Look for a comics villain to be revealed whom I only just recently heard of, even though he's been around for twenty years or so.

The second 'after, after credits' scene is PRICELESS!!! And apparently it's only playing with the movie in North America. Trust me, even without any dialogue, this 30 second clip is THE BEST!

And hey, get this. I definitely want to see this again in the theater. That's right! I enjoyed it that much.

So surprise(!) and for the most part....I was wrong (yes, I said it), this movie is pretty good.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

"The Avengers": actually isn't as bad as I long thought it would be

OK, so against my better judgment that it just wasn't going to work, I decided to give "The Avengers" a shot this afternoon...and found that I actually enjoyed it. The movie is a lot of fun, very funny and I only shook my head in plausibility disbelief two and a half times. A number of critic's comments in their positive reviews are spot on. I definitely took issue with a few aspects of the movie (the alien invasion still feels out of place) but ultimately I had a good time and even (are you ready for this) would like to see it again. Crazy, right?! I'll have a full review up here by Monday. The rest of this weekend is pretty busy and I won't have time to write something worthy enough until then.

Friday, May 4, 2012

$700: WHAT...THE...F?????!!!!!!!!

Just very randomly went on the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel website to see if rooms outside of Comic-Con's room block ever got released. Even though we have our movie location trip seriously in the works for that week, I just had to peak.

After learning that rooms were indeed available and putting in the week long dates of the event we originally wanted, I found myself on the pricing page: HOLY SHIT!!!

Did you think rooms at the Marriort were out of control at $599 per night?! Try $599 and $721!!! REALLY???!!! Hey, don't just gouge people...rip out their entire heart, stomach, intestines and rib cage while you at it!!

Is this really frickin' necessary?! C'MON!!! People need to boycott this shit because it is SO out of control!! I would LOVE to start a movement that reels this insanity in and slams the door shut on what is happening in San Diego. YOU'RE DEALING WITH KIDS WHO CAN'T AFFORD THIS! Yes, the studios come with money....but the studios are not going to KEEP coming if this is the answer: lining your pockets to overflowing!

The San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina and the San Diego Hilton Bayfront Hotel need to be stopped!!!

Time for a new XBOX 360

So I have at last found myself ready to seriously get back into video games! I wanna say the last time I picked up the XBOX controller was well over a year ago. In that time I'd moved onto other things but always kept in the back of my mind the thought that I would return. What I needed was not only the right inspiration but the right games.

Enter a couple of high profile shooter games that had peaked my interest due to their rave reviews, as well as a Batman game that was being totted as the best game of the year when released. 'Batman: Arkham Asylum', 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3' and 'Mass Effect 3'. It might sound funny but after we saw Morgan Spurlock's Comic-Con documentary and witnessed the amazing costumes worn by a group of masquerade hopefuls, I was ultimately inspired to select 'Mass Effect 3' as my re-entry into digital combat.

Last week I stopped at Fry's to buy the game and was very excited to get it home and begin play. However my XBOX had other plans; the first of two discs that came with the game wouldn't load at all!

Maybe it was because I had to connect online or get a special download, as it seemed to indicate. Nope. Then I began doing research online. Turned out there was this common error others were getting as well. The disc would begin to read, only to be followed by the onscreen message: 'open tray'. Ending up on YouTube to get a visual of what people were doing to correct this problem, I found at least seven different methods, some pretty extreme (whacking the console with the controller, manually slamming the drawer shut, opening the casing)...all of which failed for me.

Suddenly I realized a very important point; I hadn't touched the console for over a year, right? I bet the lens was dusty. Yeah, that had to be it? The very next night (last night) I happily stopped over to Fry's to buy an XBOX lens cleaner. Completely sure this would end up as the be-all-and-end-all of fixes, I happily loaded the cleaning disc.....and then THAT wouldn't load! Hello, it's a cleaning disc, it's not suppose to load!!

Once again I turned to the internet. Learned that in some cases the XBOX system had somewhat of a limited life. Really? It's not like I was slamming this thing for hours each and every night as someone under the age of twenty would do. And yet, website after website, the answer seemed obvious; it was time to buy a new XBOX 360.

Of course there are nothing but upsides to this whole situation because, even though I wasted more time than I really wanted trying to find a solution to the previous model, I can now move on to an updated console with all the latest hardware / software as well as the new and exciting motion sensor device, Kinect.

Determined to immediately move on what now needed to happen, I got up a bit early this morning so I could head to Target before work to buy the XBOX / Kinect combo. Realizing that between the two current versions, 250GB and 4GB, I would never use anywhere near the larger storage size. The 4GB was perfect for my needs. Found out I can always upgrade later if I need more space. Got it...and done!

Hey, if I were downloading movies, music and a shitload of apps as many people are now using their XBOX system for, the 250 would have been the right choice. However, most of that heavy lifting is done by my computer, iPod, iPhone and Apple TV. No, this would primarily be for game play and, at times, streaming a movie or two through Netflix. Although I do have the ability to do that on my laptop which now runs the 10th Box. So once again it all comes down to games, games, glorious games!

I am counting the minutes until I can get home and hook everything up to not only finally immerse in the world of 'Mass Effect 3', but to experience what I'm sure will be my new favorite toy...Kinect!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

New addition to the 10th Box Cinema: retro popcorn machine!

For my birthday, Rebecca gave me one of the key ingredients to the concession stand area right outside my home theater.

This retro popcorn machine is the exact one I had my eye on in Fry's Electronics over a year ago. One day while picking up something in the store, I just happened down the aisle where they normally had them in stock. Not seeing the usual display model, I asked when they were getting more in. Turned out the popper was being discontinued! Yikes!

Rebecca came to the rescue and immediately realized it would make a great gift for my birthday which was under two weeks away at that point. Turns out it was available on Amazon and she quickly put an order in. Yay, Rebecca!! All I have to do is find some artificial popcorn to fill the bottom with.

So now I have the popcorn machine I always wanted proudly sitting on top of my temporary concession stand (a REAL one is coming soon!). You can check out photos of the new gear along with more additions to the Cine 10 tribute wall in my 10th Box Cinema photo set on Flickr.

The wall, which is directly behind the new popper and concession area, was built around that EXIT sign I rescued from the closed Cine 10 just months before the wrecking ball demolished a piece of my childhood. Originally I was going to completely refurbish the sign (sanding, painting and repairing the light fixtures) to hang right outside the home theater. Then the voice of reason and practicality stepped in; Rebecca mentioned that I should leave the sign just the way I found it....and that made the best sense of all.

Completely untouched from it's original hanging position right inside the door to the once popular Albany movie theater, the EXIT sign now resides in a glass and wood display case accompanied by photos of the Cine 10 from when it was open and after the closure. Of course I really wanted to make this tribute wall look authentic. So just for fun I decided to include a framed placard with a brief history of the venue. Just one more touch that adds to the overall atmosphere of going to the movies that means so much to me!