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Old 02-11-2005, 14:38   #1
The Dude
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Anyone seen Alien in 70mm?

I'm just wondering if anybody has had the chance to see this film in this format? One of my local cinemas will be doing a special screening of this in 70mm next month and I think I'll probably end up going, but has anybody else seen this in 70mm and have impressions of it? I've seen it countless of times on video/dvd, but not yet on the big screen.
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Old 02-11-2005, 16:20   #2
jonathan.e
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Nope. Saw 2001: A Space Odyssey in 70mm though. At the Empire in London no less. Shame the print was a bit battered but still an overwhelming experience.
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Old 02-11-2005, 16:36   #3
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Yes, it's well worth making the trip. Seen it several times in a good 70MM print and it was always a memorable experience.
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Old 02-11-2005, 16:42   #4
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If you're a fan of the film you should do yourself a favour and see it at least once on a big screen. I must have seen it at least five times in the cinema since it came out.

I have seen a 70mm screening of Alien and it looked and sounded great, though it has to be said that it got shot on 35mm stock which then got blown up for 70mm presentation, so it will never look as sharp as a film that originated on 70mm stock.
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Old 02-11-2005, 16:43   #5
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No but I've seen it in high-def
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Old 02-11-2005, 17:17   #6
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I saw it the night it opened, at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, in a 70mm blowup. It looked fine and yes, it's a whole different experience in a movie theater (with an audience).
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Old 02-11-2005, 18:03   #7
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As others have said, this was shot on 35mm and blown up with a change in aspect ratio (a slight loss of image) but with increased space for stereo sound. It might sound better in 70mm but it should look better in 35mm.
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Old 02-11-2005, 18:05   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouBarlow
No but I've seen it in high-def
no way!
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Old 02-11-2005, 20:37   #9
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I saw Alien in 70mm the first night it opened at the Odeon, Leicester Square. Which reminds me that there were very many 70mm blow-ups around about 1979. Not only did Alien look good but even better were The Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now (saw that at the Ziegfeld, New York) - both fantastically sharp with stunning sound.

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Old 03-11-2005, 13:31   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas R
I saw Alien in 70mm the first night it opened at the Odeon, Leicester Square. Which reminds me that there were very many 70mm blow-ups around about 1979. Not only did Alien look good but even better were The Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now (saw that at the Ziegfeld, New York) - both fantastically sharp with stunning sound.
It was for the sound that they made 70mm blow-ups. Wasn't it not until T2 that they could stop doing blow-ups with the introduction of CDS on 35mm prints?
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Old 03-11-2005, 15:45   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouBarlow
No but I've seen it in high-def
what?!

how?
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Old 03-11-2005, 16:48   #12
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Heh. I've got it on DVHS. It's 1080i with a full-rate dts track, although it is the so-called 'Director's Cut' which is nothing of the sort. It looks fantastic, but it still doesn't sound as good as the THX laserdisc (it's AC3 track is mastered from the 6-track mix that accompanies the 70mm version) which has lots more bass in certain scenes and alternate dialogue in places.

I've seen the film projected in 35mm, but again this was the recent release of the 'Director's Cut' and the sound was very poor.
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Old 03-11-2005, 20:43   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Summerisle
It was for the sound that they made 70mm blow-ups. Wasn't it not until T2 that they could stop doing blow-ups with the introduction of CDS on 35mm prints?
About then - the first film with a CDS soundtrack was Dick Tracy.

The last blow-up that I know of was Titanic, and apparently James Cameron had to insist on a blow-up being made.

Another advantage 70mm prints have is that they look far better than 35mm on very large and wide screens (50-feet plus), due to the amount of light needed to light a screen that size.
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Old 03-11-2005, 20:51   #14
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There were plenty more blow-ups after Titanic; Pearl Harbour, Godzilla, Armageddon...

Full list here .

Last edited by Quinnsey; 03-11-2005 at 20:51.
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Old 06-11-2005, 20:28   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quinnsey
There were plenty more blow-ups after Titanic; Pearl Harbour, Godzilla, Armageddon...

Full list here .
That's true, though I wouldn't call that handful "plenty more" and none of those were shown in the UK.

Presumably Terrence Malick's The New World will get a 70mm release in London at least, as it was mostly shot in 65mm. (And the other post-Titanic 70mm release I can think of was the reissue of 2001, but that film was originated in 65mm too.)
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Old 06-11-2005, 20:49   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas R
Not only did Alien look good but even better were The Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now (saw that at the Ziegfeld, New York)
Talking of which, I noticed Apocalypse Now was advertised at one IMAX cinema in the US when I was over there. Never actually went in to see it. I'm dubious about blowing up 35mm to IMAX myself given it's totally the wrong ratio (isn't IMAX 1.33:1 ?)
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Old 06-11-2005, 21:48   #17
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How did you see it in high-def Lou?

I am interested in asking something of the people who saw it in the cinema on it's original 1979 release. What was it like? Did you even know the chestburster scene was coming? What was the audience reaction to that?
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Old 04-12-2005, 16:41   #18
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I'll be attending the Alien 70mm screening later on this evening, so I'll be back later with my impressions. According to the FACT cinema e-mail listing it also says "I've been told that auditorium special effects will be used during this performance" so I'd imagine they will be doing something with the lights during the movie.
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Old 05-12-2005, 22:32   #19
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I've seen 70mm and 35mm presentations. it looks great in both, but there'e less obvious grain on the 35. sounded crap though, I think the sound may have been damaged in places. the 70 seemed much clearer and had more impact.

definately worth the cinema experience, its still an extremely powerful film

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Old 05-12-2005, 22:53   #20
The Dude
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Right here's my quick brief impressions on my screening yesterday evening as I thought it was great. No doubt loads of grammer and spelling mistake below as I'm in a rush, but here we go.

I went to see Alien in 70mm yesterday at the FACT and it was great.
Before the peformance guys were dressed in those white clothes you wear when
you're in touch with chemicals etc and also had the the face mask things over their
mouths which I thought was a good touch and they were also inspecting
everyone with a gadget to see that you're free of aliens. They also
handed out pieces of paper with various amusing little instructions that
fitted the whole Alien theme. Once we entered the actual screening room
there was the screen telling you all about the history of 70mm and it also
had some atmpospheric music which was also great. As the lights turned
out the guys at FACT made a little screen introduction and next
minute a guy dressed as an alien appeared in the room, which I thought was
bloody hillerious and not to forget the strobe lightning that happened at
the time too. The strobe lightening also appeared again during the last
20/25 minutes too and this was great as it fitted this part of the movie.
Basically all 132 people who attended the screening had a great time and
they sure know how to pull off a special event like this one. The actual print has a fair amount of grain and at times it was a little pink in a couple of sequences, but for the most part it was OK and the sound was very good.

Last edited by The Dude; 05-12-2005 at 22:55.
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