EDITORIALS

Weekly Moviegoer - What Movies Do You Want Re-Released?

by
December 27, 2009

Toy Story 3D Re-Release

What if you missed Avatar? Say the snow kept falling, you got busy, had a business trip, family obligations, something unexpected happened, and/or anything else kept you from getting to the multiplex on time. And when you finally had three hours to spend on Pandora, the movie was out of theaters. What would you do? Settle for the DVD? It's doubtful even the new 3D televisions would provide a fair substitute for what you'd have experienced on the big screen -- especially the big, big IMAX screen.

Fortunately I saw that movie, and it's quite likely anyone who wants to see it can and will, unless they're extremely busy (though anyone who's that busy probably doesn't care about movies anyway). But surely there has been that movie every now and then that you really planned on seeing and really meant to see in the theater and just did not make it. For me, this year's most regrettable theatrical miss is the 3D re-release of Toy Story and Toy Story 2.

It's not surprising that it didn't happen. Long movies and special double features are more difficult to make time for. It's the reason I didn't get to see Steven Soderbergh's Che in the theater and it's the reason I failed with the Toy Story movies, which were shown together, back-to-back, for only a month. That limited release window hurt, as well. Somehow I guess I was actually that busy back in October that I couldn't fit them into my schedule, even after Disney extended what was initially supposed to only be a two-week run.

I can now only hope the studio puts the films out again in June to coincide more closely with Toy Story 3. But I wish for re-releases like this all the time. They're not extinct, as we saw a year ago with the return of The Dark Knight to cinemas, but they are rare, and they're certainly not the same as they were before VHS came along and ruined everything. Damn home video in all its forms for being so convenient and accessible yet poisonous to the general idea behind theatrical re-releases.

When I visited a similar subject earlier this year, I merely complained about missed opportunities. Now I want to propose that Hollywood get behind the re-release concept again. With 3D movies gaining popularity and clout, and people understanding that there are still (or again) great moviegoing experiences to be had that can't be matched at home, no matter how nice the home theater, there's good reason to at least re-release a few good 3D movies every few years. I'd love to see Monster House in 3D again, for instance.

Why not other kinds of movies, too, though? Let's not forget that the highest-grossing films of all time (adjusted for inflation) are mostly such thanks to constant re-releases. Just imagine if DVDs had existed fifty years earlier. Gone With the Wind would not have made so much money. Would the studios not like to see that kind of dough again?

All they need to do is make video, cable and other releases temporary for certain theatrically appropriate films so that it's feasible for them to re-release those films down the road. You know, like what Disney was doing with its home videos for a while. Or, did that not work out well for them?

I'd like to think people would go see re-releases of the Lord of the Rings movies and Matrix and The Dark Knight every few years. We don't need the excuse of special editions with added special effects or anniversary versions with corrected props. Just give us the original movies we love again!

What, are the multiplexes too full for such an idea? How about the studios make room by making fewer movies, preferably fewer bad movies. I don't know about you, but I'd rather have each studio put out only two films that they put a lot of time and thought into and also be able to see some older movies again on the big screen.

Yes, I live in a dream world, more fantastical than the one created by James Cameron for Avatar. But I have to assume at least that film will be given the occasional re-release, at least for as long as it takes for 3D TVs to be a commonality in American homes. Yet it just won't be the same. And revival houses aren't likely to ever be equipped with the technology to one day feature a retrospective of digital 3D films. So that Toy Story double feature may have been a once in a lifetime opportunity that I missed.

Just as I asked last year about missed movies of 2008, what movies did you miss in 2009 that you wish they'd re-release so you can see them properly on the big screen? Are there any other movies (from any time) you'd sacrifice the ability to rent if you could instead occasionally see them in the theater again?

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  • FilmMaker2003
    I would love to see Kurosawa's Seven Samurai in theaters. That would be absolutely amazing.
  • Rob
    Personally I'd like to see movies in theaters that I was not old enough to see when they came out. I always wanted to see Raging Bull in theaters.
  • Tara
    The first three Tarantino films.
  • In-Rainbows
    Oldboy!
  • http://www.sowyau.blogspot.com SowYau
    To be able to watch Spielberg's Jaws would be great cinematic fulfilment for me. I was not born when it was first released in 1975. On a sidenote, i did watch the awful Jaws sequel, Jaws the freaking Revenge in 1988!
  • whomever
    Clue Rocky IV Starship Troopers Casablanca A Bittersweet Life
  • Selina
    Back To The Future! That's what I want re-released! :)
  • Vinnie Cipollone
    The matrix , Terminator 2 , True lies, Mortal kombat
  • DJSil3nt
    I agree with #7. How amazing would that be? Also... Dumb & Dumber, Star Wars (Re-Re-Released with 3D). I'd love to see Star Trek (the new one) in theatres again.
  • maxxx
    The Big Lebowski, Casino, Army of Darkness, clerks and Chasing Amy
  • TheManWithNoName
    Deepthroat in Imax
  • http://www.bleepinggeek.com Pete the Geek
    I'd love to see the Back to the Future series re-released in digital 3D. All the chase scenes, the times when the Delorean comes screaming towards the screen, all the cool special effects... that would definitely be worth the ticket price. Plus, Zemeckis could use a break from all the zombie movies he's been making lately. Maybe working on Back to the Future again could help reconnect him with his moviemaking mojo.
  • Philip J. Fry
    I actually got lucky, because in my town there is a discount theater and last year they played a lot of old school movies like back to the future, jurassic park, scarface, ghostbusters, and i caught every single one it was awesome watching them all and I would like to do it again because with classics like those they never get old and people will go to them.
  • Emerson
    I'm only 17, so there's a great many movies I never got to see in theaters: everything by Tarantino from Reservoir Dogs to Kill Bill volume 2 and Grindhouse and Basterds would be nice to see again, Citizen Kane would be wonderful, as would some other Orson Welles films like The Third Man and Touch of Evil, I've never seen Lawrence of Arabia but my understanding of that film is that it's epic, Magnolia and possibly other Paul Thomas Anderson films, and Kubrick films, maybe Brazil too. Basically a whose who list of some of my favorite films and directors.
  • Josh Kary
    I would love to see Raiders of the Lost Ark rereleased. This is undoubtedly my favorite film of all time, and being able to see it in theaters would be truly, a dream come true.
  • http://www.dcinematools.com DCineGuy
    You left out one factor that works in your favor, and one that doesn't. The eventual film projector/digital cinema system transition at the theater means that distribution of media is a lot more flexible and a lot less expensive for the distributors. As things evolve, cinemas will be able to do things such as having a Returning Movie Wednesday, or Movies From OverSeas Thursday, or whatever seems to pull in the crowds. If that worked, it would makes sense that some special releases were coordinated with a studio's active backing, for example, re-releasing the Cars movies before the next Cars release. But two things that need to happen; first being that people of like mind to this idea need to make their interests known. And, following that, the second point is that eventually you are going to have to cut out the time to actually see the movies. If the idea is met by a big yawn, you'll have no one to blame but...ourselves.
  • http://www.ikbenrick.nl Rickmeister
    Well... I have never understood why Disney won't re-release their animation films every four-or-so years. I mean, children have never heard about the films before... And for me it was a great experience watching those beauties around chrismas. But I think personally all the classic's should return sometime. Terminator, Matrix, Se7en, Starwars, Scarface, Tarantino's, Back to the Future, Lord of the Rings, Dark Knight, etc. etc. Especially with the digital projectors and blu-ray transfers this should be a piece of cake. I'm not shure what is stopping them...
  • samuelj
    #1 i would see any of kurosawa's films. that would be awesome
  • justin
    i what twilight and sound of music 2 and 3 harry potter movies.
  • James
    Disney ought to resume re-releasing some of its older animated features. I know they present them at the El Capitan Theatre when they get DVD releases, but I want to see them in a local theatre. Specifically, I'd love to see "Fantasia" and "Sleeping Beauty" on the big screen for the sheer scope and beauty of the art, and I'd like to see "101 Dalmatians" and "The Jungle Book" to hear an audience's laughter with these comedies. A non-Disney film I'd love to see on the screen is "The Secret of NIMH."
  • http://www.bradnewsoftheday.com Brad
    #1 That's a great idea. I'd like to see some older classics, like stuff you'd see on TCM. Some Alfred Hitchock movies, Humphry Bogart movies (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Casablanca, African Queen), James Stewart movies, '33 King Kong, Ray Harryhausen movies (The Valley of Gwangi, One Million Years B.C., The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms), the old Universal monster movies like Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Dracula, The Mummy, etc. I would much rather see these people put up the old movies back in theaters instead of making crappy remakes of them.
  • Lextipher
    An American Wherewolf in London
  • Gplongwood
    Back to the Future The Blues Brothers All three Indiana Jones ( Yes I know there's a forth ) Close Encounters of the Third Kind Empire of the Sun Alien Aliens Mad Max Road Warriors Smokey and the Bandit I'm sure I could think of dozens
  • http://daftbot.com Kent Lundblad
    I think Disney really should just start cleaning up a LOT of their old films, adding THX certified sound and start rereleasing them in theaters. Do 4 a year for the rest of eternity and chances are I'd see it. Films like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book, Robin Hood... films that haven't been seen on the big screen in Decades. Not only would it be great to see a LOT of these films which I grew up with but never saw on the big screen, but it'd also get an entire new audience to see and appreciate them. I know there are a lot of kids who have never seen Pinocchio AT ALL, and if they cleaned it up and threw it into theaters it'd do REALLY REALLY WELL! I mean a 4k projection of Pinocchio could be the best idea in the history of anything EVER EVER EVER.
  • shadow
    2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY IN IMAX I WOULD PAY $100
  • DoomCanoe
    #25 yep!
  • Yaten24
    All 6 Starwars movies starting with Ep IV V VI then I II and III. the way they were meant to be seen. then Give me LOTOR Trilogy. That's IT.
  • Yaten24
    oops LOTR DAMN TYPOES!
  • http://daftbot.com Kent Lundblad
    @Yaten24 How can you say "that's IT" like that's the definitive re-release and no other films should be put back on the big screen? If that's truly it for you then I think you have a VERY narrow view on film. I didn't even start to get into my dream projections like Seven Samurai, Run Lola Run, Pulp Fiction, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Fight Club... And a LOT more. Movies were made for the theater. That's how the medium started. To say that you only want to see those 9 films on the big screen again and then no others makes me question if you actually like film. Sure those are great picks, but that's it really?
  • Jessica
    Lawrence of Arabia. I've actually never seen it because I keep waiting to see it on the big screen. I just don't think I'll get it if I see it on tv.
  • "David Webb"
    @15 - You and me both (and probably many many others).
  • Old School
    Like most everyone on here I love the idea of re-releases. However, from an exhibitor and booking standpoint, it rarely works - and I've been doing this for twenty years. Occasionally something will come along that stands the test of time but it's rare. I think of everything mentioned only Star Wars 4-6 would have any pull seeing as how they're impossible to book. Same with the Disney animated films. One of my theatres did well with GWTW but it also coincided with the grand opening of that venue - other theatres haven't fared as well with it. Sadly, other titles like LOTR, Matrix, Casablanca, 2001 etc. only pull in a couple dozen people on a Saturday (for example). And Jaws has nearly always been a flop for some reason. But for those waiting to see films like Lawrence of Arabia on the big screen - they do show all the time at repertory/revival theatres. So if you live near a big city with one of those theatres keep an eye out or give them a call. And #30, it's definately worth the wait to see Lawrence of Arabia in 70mm. The Egyptian and the Aero theatres in L.A. show it in 70mm from time to time, as do some of the Landmark Theatres around the country. There's theatres in Palo Alto and Monterey that show old movies fairly often. A lot of these films are also shown as midnighters in college towns. There you'll get a couple hundred over two nights if you're lucky... but it has the midnight mistique going for it. You'd think that a googleplex could stand to set one screen aside for rereleases but I don't know why it doesn't happen. Perhaps they realize they're paying more for electricity and shipping than it's worth. (And the googleplex is only in it for the money and not the art or appreciation of film.)
  • Tester
    Aliens The Thing Raiders Of The Lost Ark
  • Cyrus the internet virus
    Bedknobs and broomsticks
  • Dan
    All of the top 10 Alfred Hitchcock movies, Stanley Kubrick films. The Star Wars trilogy. The Disney classic animated films. Star Trek 1-4 directors cuts. So many old films to many to name. Hollywood should leave one opening every month in all theaters to release older films at random. I went to see Rear Window at the theaters roughly ten years ago, it was so much better than on DVD.
  • Dan
    Movies were meant to be seen on the big screen, not on TV's or computer monitors or ipods.
  • Fuck Cena
    SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, Terminator 1, Predator and Rocky 4
  • Ozzie Davis
    #6 nailed it with Clue. One of my all time favorites that TOTALLY deserves a big screen re-treatment. A lot of these movies (especially the old classics) have been re-released. Theaters tend to do throw-back movie nights. I watched Rebel Without a Cause just a month ago on the big screen. But personally, I would LOVE to see The Thing or Apocalypse Now re-released. Hell, I'd like to see Dr. Strangelove, too.
  • Mark
    #7 ...Hell yes! And Jurassic Park (I was 8 when it was in cinemas, and my parents would never let me see something like that...)
  • Lando
    I saw the WIZARD OF OZ one day theater re-release and it was awesome! The theater was sold out! I would LOVE to see all of the old classics (black and white) for that matter, Ive always thought theaters should have a programed schedule like one or two nights a week..use one night (a slow night) for CLASSICS (over 25 years old) and another night for less that 25 year old classics!!! there is a lot of money to be made while pleasing a diverse crowd of movie lovers! Imagine that one night you can go see 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY AND THE SEVEN SAMURAI, then the next day watch JAWS AND RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK!!!! the possibility is endless, you can have specific director nights (1 night a week for a month), genre nights (spaghetti westerns, sci fi, etc), Foreign Classics night, Modern classics night, Superhero nights, etc etc .. On a similar note, it would be interesting if they would also release the ORIGINALS of remakes when they come out, like do a limited screening of "Karate Kid" before or during the release of the New "Karate Kid" so all the naysayers and complainers or just curious folk might go see either one or BOTH!!! #38, Im jealous as hell!!! off the top of my head: -Children of Paradise -Lawrence of Arabia -Ben Hur -ALL Kurosawa -ALL Kubrick (Especially Barry Lyndon and 2001) -BLADE RUNNER -Star Wars 1-6 -On the Waterfront (any kazan) -any classic movie (so many to chose from)
  • Ozzie Davis
    Holy hell, Lawrence of Arabia would be Stunning. A Kurosawa Week in a posh theater would be excellent!
  • wHiskey Tango
    I'm sure it's obvious and clearly overstated, but I'm all for making George & PJack some more money... LOTR & The Orig Star Wars Trilogy. Could you IMAGINE the star destroyer in the opening scene in 3D?? (EPIC!!) Hell, even the opening crawl... A total Slap in the face (unintended at Lucasfilm), but if they ever re-release the original in 3D, they should have WETA re-do jar-jar and change all of his caricature-driven diologue into alien sounds, since they're in the business of tweaking their films. Saw the phantom edit and it was a much better film.
  • Slushbeast
    Phantom Menace edit??????!?!??!?! PLEASE EXPLAIN!!!!! ????
  • http://daftbot.com Kent Lundblad
    @Slushbeast A few years ago a very good fan edit of Phantom Menace hit the web where many of the faults in the film are corrected. All the alien species are subtitled removing the annoying voices and allowing the dialogue to be changed. Jar Jar is no longer annoying but rather a bandit of sorts, and the Trade Federation lost the asian accents and are now subtitled, as are the battle droids. It's a better film all around.
  • harrison
    skipped work 3 days before xmas to go see avatar in imax with some friends when im supposed to be running the store, i never call out but its not an opportunity im going to miss, and i have never called out before, so you can make time for it i would pay good money to see jurassic park in theatres, imax preferably. also the original star wars trilogy, saw them when they rereleased back in the late 90's but id go a few more times as well. also the lotr extended editions back to back, maybe a 20 minute break in between each. fight club, andy coen bros or mel brooks movie, especially silent movie though. maybe theatres should make wesday or whatevers their slowest day a throwback day for classic films, or even big theatres like AMC designate one of their 20somethin theatres for only classics
  • Anderson
    Terminator 2 two words JAMES CAMERON!!!!! or DIE HARD
  • David
    THE ISLAND by Michael Bay.
  • Flrsi
    I really think they should re-release The Dark Knight (on imax, of course) annually. Also, I'd like to be able to see Back to the future in a cinema.
  • http://www.google.it Marco
    Larg
  • Ladar

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