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Archive: Movies / Spokane and North Idaho

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Catch ‘Titanic’ in new Dolby format on Friday

It's still a bit early to predict what movies are going to open on Friday, though a range of options are available — from "The Disaster Artist" to "The Shape of Water."

But for sure, some 87 AMC theaters across the nation on Friday will opt for nostalgia. They'll be celebrating the 20th anniversary of James Cameron's multiple-Oscar-winning film "Titanic" with a week-long screening.

"Titanic," which stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, won 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. It ranks second on all-time world box-office charts with a $2.18 billion total (second only to Cameron's 2009's film "Avatar" with $2.78 billion).

The new version boasts a print, mastered in Dolby Vision technology. Even Cameron was impressed by what he saw.

“We mastered a few minutes of 'Titanic' in Dolby Vision and I was stunned,” Cameron said. “It was like seeing it for the first time. Now that the entire film has been mastered, I’m excited to share it with audiences across the U.S.”

You can order tickets in advance by clicking here.

September is the time for TCM slapstick

What makes you laugh?

I can remember sitting in a first-run Spokane screening of "Raising Arizona" (this had to be sometime in 1987) and being the only person laughing in a North-Side theater. In similar fashion, the year before I remember sitting in front of a guy who guffawed loudly all through a Spokane Valley screening of "¡Three Amigos!" a movie that barely made me smile.

Truth is, we tend to have personal reactions to comedy. Some of us like political humor (Bill Maher, Jon Stewart). Others of us like observational humor (Louis CK, Margaret Cho). Still others of us like physical humor (Gallagher, Carrot Top). And so on. The list of comics is near endless, the variations wide-spread and complex.

One of the classic styles of comedy, known as slapstick, will be on display all through September, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, on the cable/satellite channel Turner Classic Movies. Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 6, you'll see slapstick as it evolved in the silent-movie era (featuring such performers Harold Lloyd).

As the month progresses so will the decades, starring the likes of Charlie Chaplin, The Marx Brothers, Abbott and Costello, and such comic films as "Our Gang," "The Bank Dick," the 1958 French comedy "Mon Oncle" and "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World." (The list includes two Peter Sellers classics, "A Shot in the Dark" and "The Party.")

The movies will run throughout the day and through the month (ending on Wednesday Sept. 28).

Click here for more information. And because hardly anyone will be spending all day, every day, watching these worthy films, you can use this as a good excuse to finally clear out that DVR.

Best movie openings: Which is your favorite?

"Best-of" lists are always fun to read, even those that are clearly one person's opinion and — often — just wrong. I can never resist reading them, especially when they include links to the movies (or movie scenes) in question.

That's why I'm posting a link to this Tasteofcinema.com story that purports to list — rather pompously — "The 20 Greatest Movie Opening Scenes in Film History." Talk about click bait.

But it does start the kind of conversation that I used to have as an undergraduate with my fellow movie-minded friends. Over beers and cigarettes, usually after having watched something by Kurosawa or Fassbinder or even Andy Warhol.

And at least this "best-of" list — which I spotted on John Waite's Facebook page — is something that everyone can enjoy because it doesn't involve spoilers. That's not something could say of a "best-of" list of Greatest Movie Endings.

BTW, the movie "Phoenix" — which continues its run at the Magic Lantern — has one of the best endings I've ever seen. But don't take my word for it. Go and see yourself.