The Blues Brothers Big Screen Special Event

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Steve Tannehill, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Okay, I can finally post this--and you can order tickets if you are interested.

    - Steve

    The Blues Brothers Are Back on the Big Screen in a Special event to Celebrate the 25th Anniversary Edition DVD

    Dan Aykroyd and Director John Landis host a Special Edition of Hollywood's Master Storytellers™ and HD screening of the film, presented live via satellite in movie theatres across the country Monday, August 29

    UNIVERSAL CITY, CA (August 15, 2005) – Hollywood’s Master Storytellers ™ in association with Universal Studios Home Entertainment, will host a groundbreaking public event on Monday, August 29th to celebrate the release of THE BLUES BROTHERS 25th Anniversary Edition DVD live from Mann’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California. Universal Studios Home Entertainment is releasing THE BLUES BROTHERS 25th Anniversary Edition DVD on August 30th.

    In one of the most wide-reaching DVD launches in history, the entire program will be presented live via satellite beginning at 6:30 p.m. PT / 9:30 p.m. ET to 83 movie theatres from coast to coast by National CineMedia, a joint venture of AMC Entertainment Inc., Cinemark USA, Inc. and Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC). This special Anniversary event will feature an exclusive, live Q&A discussion with director/writer John Landis and the film's star and co-writer, Dan Aykroyd (who will join via satellite from Toronto), followed by a first time screening of the film in High Definition and cinema surround sound.

    Tickets are available online at http://www.BigScreenConcerts.com or at participating Regal, United Artists, and Edwards movie theatre box offices at the standard movie ticket price (prices vary by theatre location ? for a complete list of theatres, please visit the Web site.) Fans in the Los Angeles area who would like to be a part of the Hollywood’s Master Storytellers audience at Mann’s Chinese Theatre can purchase tickets for that location only at http://www.movietickets.com.

    THE BLUES BROTHERS 25th Anniversary Celebration will be presented in markets including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, Seattle, Washington DC, and many more.

    According to Gordon Meyer, the creator and host of Hollywood's Master Storytellers™, "THE BLUES BROTHERS is one of the most popular musical comedies of all time. It is a tremendous movie that combines performances by many of the greatest musical acts of all time with incredible comedy and mayhem.”

    "This is a collaboration never before seen that enables us to put a bold imprint on the launch of THE BLUES BROTHERS DVD and we are incredibly excited to be the first national edition of Hollywood’s Master Storytellers™,” said Craig Kornblau, president, Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

    “This is a great way to celebrate the 25th Anniversary and re-live the magic of THE BLUES BROTHERS on the big screen,” said Dan Diamond, vice president of digital programming with National CineMedia. “This is exactly the type of event our exclusive Digital Content Network (DCN) was designed for, and we’re thrilled to be ‘putting the band back together’ in theatres across the country.”

    ***

    Universal Studios Home Entertainment is a unit of Universal Pictures, a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com). Universal Studios is a part of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80%-owned by General Electric, with 20% controlled by Vivendi Universal.

    About National CineMedia, LLC
    National CineMedia, LLC is a venture of AMC Entertainment Inc., Cinemark USA, Inc. and Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC), three of the world's leading theatrical exhibition companies. The company develops pre feature entertainment; cinema and lobby advertising products; business communications and training services; and alternative forms of entertainment content for approximately 13,000 screens operated by its owner theatre circuits and other theatre affiliates. National CineMedia distributes its products and services across its Digital Content Network ("DCN"), the world's largest in-theatre digital distribution network. Once installation of its DCN technology is completed in Cinemark theatres, National CineMedia's network will comprise approximately 10,500 digital North American theatre screens in 150 markets (49 of the top 50), reaching 565 million movie patrons annually. For additional information, please go to www.ncm.com.
     
  2. Scott D S

    Scott D S Supporting Actor

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    How do these satellite screenings work? I'm tempted to go but not for a subpar presentation.
     
  3. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Sounds like this will be running on the pre-show advertising video projectors, not a cinema DLP machine. So expect a low-resolution image that looks like a cable/DVD broadcast being shown on too large a screen.

    Too bad, Universal struck a new 35mm print last year and it looked great.
     
  4. Mark Lucas

    Mark Lucas Second Unit

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    If it's going to play at Grauman's then it will be on their new 2k DLP setup. I'm pretty sure the movie won't be off of a satelite live. More like off of several HDDs. The Q&A will be off a direct live feed though. Surprising that the taping isn't happening at Arclight.

    The movietickets.com site has no mention of it. I really hope tickets will be available and this won't be a closed screening.
     
  5. Steve Tannehill

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  6. Mark Lucas

    Mark Lucas Second Unit

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    That's only for the theaters that will get the satelite feed of the Q&A. I want tickets for the actual event at Grauman's.

    Okay, now they're available. Cool. I wonder how good the Blues Brothers will look in HD if it's from the same transfer as the last dvd.
     
  7. Steve Tannehill

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  8. Mark Lucas

    Mark Lucas Second Unit

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    Excellent! Will they be at the screening too or just live via satellite like Aykroyd?
     
  9. Steve Tannehill

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    The way the latest press release makes it sound, only Aykroyd will be via satellite, from Toronto.

    Meanwhile, this is really shaping up to be quite the event. Just added to the panel is Stephen Bishop, composer/musician Steve Cropper, and former Universal Studios head of production Thom Mount. I can't wait to see this!

    - Steve
     
  10. Mark Lucas

    Mark Lucas Second Unit

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    I really hope they get Dennis Michael or someone else to do the Q&A this time. I've been to a lot of the Meet the Writer/Hollywood Master Storytellers and Dennis always had a great presence and didn't always need scripted questions.
     
  11. Steve Tannehill

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    How long do the Q&A sessions usually last? I'm trying to figure out how long the night will be if I stick around for the movie. (I would rather spend my time reviewing the DVD, but it won't arrive until Wednesday or Thursday--if then.)

    - Steve
     
  12. Mark Lucas

    Mark Lucas Second Unit

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    You rather spend time reviewing the dvd you can watch at any time than watch a live Q&A? [​IMG]

    It depends. I'd say a half hour to 45 min depending on who the host will be. If it's Gordan Meyer expect for him to say "well we're on the home stretch now" just when it's getting interesting. That weenie.
     
  13. Steve Tannehill

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    I'd rather spend my time watching the DVD over a broadcast of the movie. I'll still be sitting through the Q&A and posting about it here.

    - Steve
     
  14. Mark Lucas

    Mark Lucas Second Unit

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    A broadcast in HD though, and in full 2k if you're seeing it at Grauman's.
     
  15. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Oh, I'll hang around long enough to check out the picture quality of the main feature... it's a school night, though.

    - Steve
     
  16. Scott Simonian

    Scott Simonian Screenwriter

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    I saw the ad for this when I saw Duece Bigelow last weekend. When I saw "presented in High Definition" I thought, "Huh? Isn't HD lower res than the original 35mm?
     
  17. Mark Lucas

    Mark Lucas Second Unit

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    Well, I just got back from the screening in Hollywood. Seeing Landis, James Brown, and Henry Gibson was awesome to say the least. The live feed of Akroyd from Toronto was great too and his stories and others were well worth admission.

    Now for the bad and ugly stuff... The screening was NOT at Grauman's but in one of the small dinky theaters in Mann's Chinese 6 next door. Okay, not that big of a deal. We're still going to see the movie in Hi-Def via DLP, right? Well, no. It was a dvd resolution source upconverted on a 40ft screen and it's not even a new transfer. It's the old transfer, which suffers from excessive amounts of DNR, edge enhancement, and a crushed black level. What looked mediocre on a 27inch screen looks like a muddy undetailed mess when blown up beyond reason. Seriously, it was that bad. And what made it worse is that the sound was only in 2 channel stereo, with the dialogue coming from the right channel, and it was muffled. No surrounds. No 5.1. The movie deserves better.

    Thank god the film is a masterpiece no matter what medium you view it on. Watching it with John Landis in the row in front of me was also a treat. But it's so obvious now someone dropped the ball in the presentation quality. I can understand there not being a decent quality master around but to just show standard def in a movie theater is just embarrassing and really hurt the experience of seeing it on a big screen. A decent quality 35mm print with mono sound would've been far, far superior than the mess I saw.
     
  18. Steve Tannehill

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    I just got back from the screening of The Blues Brothers in conjunction with Hollywood's Master Storytellers. Mann's Chinese Theater was packed with fans, and the stage was set with big DVD covers in the background and with director John Landis, James Brown, guitarist Steve "The Colonel" Cropper, Henry Gibson, and former Universal head of production Thom Mount. Dan Aykroyd joined via satellite. The panel was moderated by Gordan Meyer. Associated with the movie, but not on the stage, were Charles "Good Old Boy" Napier, Stephen Bishop, and editor George Folsey.

    Dan Aykroyd covered the history of the band, from the early days of gigs with Willy Nelson in New York City clubs, as a warm-up act on Saturday Night Live, and a regular skit on that show. Steve Cropper was quick to point out that Steve Martin solidified the formation of the band as his opening act (the recording of those shows became a multi-platinum seller, "Briefcase Full of Blues"). It was only a matter of time before Hollywood came knocking.

    As Thom Mount explained, John Landis had just come off the hugely successful Animal House and John Belushi was a large presence, but ultimately it was Dan Aykroyd's vision--a 300-page first draft titled "The Return of the Blues Brothers by the Script-o-Tron 3000" delivered in a phone book cover--that was distilled into the movie we see today. Said Aykroyd: "I wrote the sequel, and the movie, and crammed in all kinds of scenes thinking that we were going to do the sequel at the same time as shooting the movie like the Wachowski brothers or something."

    When asked about his experience in the movie, James Brown said the only thing strange to him was that he was going to play a minister and could not say "Oh, I feel good!" (and yes, he said it exactly the way you would expect.) Unfortunately, much of his speech makes me think that he would make a good touring partner with Bob Dylan--I couldn't understand him! But Landis and Brown did point out their disagreement over Brown doing his trademarked slide across the stage--Brown thought it a bit too sacrilegious in context; Landis eventually just wore him down (and the effect is great).

    Other stories were shared--the selection and destruction of the mall, John Belushi as "America's Guest"--these are familiar if you've seen the documentary on the last special edition DVD (which I believe has been ported over to this new DVD).

    Another interesting topic was the skyrocketing budget for The Blues Brothers--the mall destruction scene cost at least $1,000,000--and the New York Times was pointing out that the potential for financial disaster was met when a movie surpassed $24 million (the budget for Fox's Cleopatra. Remember: 1980 was also the summer of Heaven's Gate, which brought down United Artists. Thom Mount recollects how Landis would say on dailies just before the clapper "Hey Thom! How's it going? I just spent another million dollars today! Everything's fine!" (Landis denies this, but it sure fits his personality.)

    The panel concluded with reminiscences on John Belushi. Perhaps the most poingant was Landis repeating a line attributed to Aykroyd: "John was a very, very good man, and a very naughty boy."

    I had intended to just attend the panel, sample the movie, and come home to write this... but the movie just caught my attention. It's just a fun flick. The local audience only had 12 people in it, but we were laughing a lot. The picture was reportedly high definition, and the broadcast was not perfect--there were a couple of breakups and pauses, the colors were off--but it had the illusion of detail considering it was being shown on a 50-foot screen. The sound was awesome--but too loud.

    All-in-all, this was a fun way to experience The Blues Brothers. You can experience the DVD later today when it goes on sale (or right now, at your convenient 24-hour stores with DVD sales). Personally, I'm waiting on a review copy; when it arrives, you'll see the review in the Software section.

    - Steve
     
  19. Steve Tannehill

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    Mark, do you suppose there were problems with your local playback? Our sound was fine; we reportedly had a satellite feed, although I do not know if it is the same source as yours. The colors in the theater were definitely muted when compared to the special edition DVD from 2000--of course, this is an apples-to-oranges comparision since they are different cuts of the movie.

    One thing I did like was the pacing of the shortened cut.

    - Steve
     
  20. Mark Lucas

    Mark Lucas Second Unit

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    I'd be very surprised if what you saw was any better than the lousy sound and picture we were getting. There were no breakups or pauses but it literally looked worse than if I was to bring out the old dvd now and watch it on my monitor. Very disappointing and clearly NOT HD as advertised in the press release. It wasn't even a good display of how a dvd can look either. Now that I think of it was probably projected with one of those cheap digital projectors theaters used for annoying advertisements before features. Truly dreadful quality. About as disappointing as not having the screening at Grauman's even though during the Q&A broadcast they made it seem like it was. [​IMG]

    The theatrical cut on the dvd is just the extended cut with the extra scenes taken out. What I saw was the same soft and DNRed to death transfer that's available on the old dvd and apparently the new one as well. Having said that there's no real reason to get the new 25th Anniversary dvd unless you're dying to see the shorter theatrical version or some of the new extras. At least Animal House got a new transfer for it's reissue.
     

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