Jump to content


Photo

Movies that Play Well in a Movie Theatre But Not at Home...


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 Alessandro Machi

Alessandro Machi
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3318 posts
  • Other
  • California

Posted 13 March 2006 - 05:01 AM

A couple of movies come to mind that play well in a movie theatre but not when viewing on the "small screen".

I recall recommending "Diner" to someone years ago and they rented it and thought it was boring, dumb, unfunny. I was surprised at their reaction but I attribute it to perhaps not seeing it in the theatre.

The same thing with Stranger than Paradise, I saw that in a movie theatre and enjoyed it but am not so sure it would translate to the small screen. Normally the concept that action movies play better in the movie theatres than at home maybe isn't accurate.

It seems that the movies that gather momentum slowly probably work better in the movie theatre than at home.
  • 0

#2 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 13 March 2006 - 08:30 AM

Silent Era comedies play much better on a big screen with an audience, with live music.
  • 0

#3 Dan Goulder

Dan Goulder
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1259 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 13 March 2006 - 11:38 AM

Here's a bigger challenge. Try to come up with a single example of a movie (shot on 35mm) that works BETTER on tv than in a theater. The only example I can think of might be The Three Stooges, specifically the black and white shorts, which seem funnier on tv than in a theater.
  • 0

#4 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 13 March 2006 - 06:30 PM

Here's a bigger challenge. Try to come up with a single example of a movie (shot on 35mm) that works BETTER on tv than in a theater. The only example I can think of might be The Three Stooges, specifically the black and white shorts, which seem funnier on tv than in a theater.


Domino. The visuals are so "active" that most people report feeling beat-up and exhausted upon leaving the theater. I saw it at home on DVD and thought it was a fun ride. In all fairness though, I didn't see it in the theater so the comparison is a bit anecdotal.

Framing and editing have to be handled differently between the big screen and the small screen. TV shows that may look fantastic on the tube don't play as well when projected -- closeups are too tight, and the editing pace too fast.
  • 0

#5 Gordon Highland

Gordon Highland
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 261 posts
  • Director
  • Kansas City

Posted 13 March 2006 - 09:07 PM

To me, pretty much all broad comedies play better on the big screen. It's one reason I don't go to the theater much, or at least try to go when they're not busy. I hate being cued where to laugh by the audience (in all the dumbest, lowest-common-denominator places) and being the only one laughing when something is genuinely funny. There's no accounting for taste, I suppose. Anyway, I've seen several of these on TV later, feeling odd cuz I remembered them being much funnier in the theater, where groupthink was alive and well and contributed to a sort of exponential comedy factor or something. Or maybe I just wasn't as surprised the second time. Pretty much anything in 2.35 plays better at the theater.

I also learned it was a bad idea to take a date to see Todd Solondz's "Happiness." :ph34r: That did not play well in the theater. But I loved the movie in the privacy of my own home.

They should've had that epileptic japanimation warning at the header of "Domino." I agree, though, it was fun.
  • 0

#6 drew_town

drew_town
  • Sustaining Members
  • 383 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • Southeast US

Posted 13 March 2006 - 10:56 PM

Here's a bigger challenge. Try to come up with a single example of a movie (shot on 35mm) that works BETTER on tv than in a theater. The only example I can think of might be The Three Stooges, specifically the black and white shorts, which seem funnier on tv than in a theater.

"Collateral" was better on the television than on the big screen.
  • 0

#7 Chris Keth

Chris Keth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4427 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 13 March 2006 - 11:24 PM

"Collateral" was better on the television than on the big screen.



I think any of the big epics play much better on the big screen, though not necessarily badly on TV. To some extent, though, Lawrence of Arabia does lose a lot when seen on TV. I finally got to see a print of it and it was absolutely magnificent in comparison.
  • 0

#8 Jason Maeda

Jason Maeda
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 361 posts

Posted 13 March 2006 - 11:47 PM

jacques tati.

by the way, i also felt beat up after seeing domino. beat up and robbed for ten bucks.

jk :ph34r:

Edited by jasonkollias, 13 March 2006 - 11:48 PM.

  • 0

#9 Alex Wuijts

Alex Wuijts
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 181 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 14 March 2006 - 08:48 AM

Hello people, i, a student from Amsterdam, am new here. Finally something i can reply to! ;)

I've always thought the first Ringu movie was better when shown on tv. The whole story revolves around a mysterious videotape which, when watched on a television set, kills you in a week, unless...Watching it on your own tv at night adds a whole new dimension which i believe would not be there in the movie theater.

Edited by Alex Wuijts, 14 March 2006 - 08:56 AM.

  • 0

#10 Bill Totolo

Bill Totolo
  • Sustaining Members
  • 698 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 14 March 2006 - 01:06 PM

I think this thread is at the heart of cinematography. What plays best to what medium? Is the "medium the message" and all that.

My humble opinion is that dialogue intensive and character pieces play really well on television (which may account for all the "Law & Order" and procedural dramas) while films that use what cinema has to offer and try to speak to the audience through imagery, editing and music play best uninterupted with the full concentration you only get from an audience in a theater.

The contradiction to this is that it's much more enjoyable for me to watch a comedy in the theater because I laugh harder and more frequently with the audience.

Someone once said that a person's I.Q. increases 25% when they become part of an audience and I think that should also be considered when deciding the distribution format of a film.
  • 0

#11 Max Jacoby

Max Jacoby
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2955 posts
  • Other

Posted 14 March 2006 - 02:18 PM

I recently watched a dvd of 'Eureka', a black and white Japanese film shot in anamorphic and it definitely was framed with the big screen in mind. It was mostly of wide shots, some of them so alrge that one could hardly make out the characters. I wish I had seen that one in a theatre.

'2001' is another film that looses a lot by being watched on television. I was at the 2001 re-release premiere in London and 70mm projection really rocks!
  • 0

#12 Leo Anthony Vale

Leo Anthony Vale
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2010 posts
  • Other
  • Pittsburgh PA

Posted 14 March 2006 - 04:05 PM

I think any of the big epics play much better on the big screen, though not necessarily badly on TV. To some extent, though, Lawrence of Arabia does lose a lot when seen on TV. I finally got to see a print of it and it was absolutely magnificent in comparison.


---'Troy' seemed better on TV. The cast of pootertoon thousands was annoyingly soft in on a multiplex screen, but looked accepably sharp on TV.

Of course, by the time I saw in on TV, I had gotten over the shock of having the ten year siege reduced to two or three weeks & having Menaleas get killed instead of Paris.


'2001' is another film that looses a lot by being watched on television. I was at the 2001 re-release premiere in London and 70mm projection really rocks!


---The stargate sequence fits the deeeply curved Cinerama screen so well, it really seemed to be 3-d.

---LV
  • 0

#13 Gordon Highland

Gordon Highland
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 261 posts
  • Director
  • Kansas City

Posted 14 March 2006 - 08:16 PM

Someone once said that a person's I.Q. increases 25% when they become part of an audience

I feel exactly the opposite, personally. Although a theater experience can be good for the self-esteem sometimes. (So can an 11pm trip to Wal-Mart.) But it's an amusing theory, and I wish that studio execs applied that logic when it came to greenlighting more intelligent, demanding films. I felt 25% dumber while watching "What the #$%@ Do we Know?," however, yet smarter afterwards. Who knew quantum physics was sexy?
  • 0

#14 James Steven Beverly

James Steven Beverly
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4199 posts
  • Director
  • El Paso, Texas

Posted 14 March 2006 - 08:34 PM

Here's a bigger challenge. Try to come up with a single example of a movie (shot on 35mm) that works BETTER on tv than in a theater. The only example I can think of might be The Three Stooges, specifically the black and white shorts, which seem funnier on tv than in a theater.


Any movie I've ever payed $12.50 and walked away going "I can't believe I payed $12.50 so see THAT!"
  • 0

#15 Chris Keth

Chris Keth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4427 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 16 March 2006 - 12:15 AM

---'Troy' seemed better on TV. The cast of pootertoon thousands was annoyingly soft in on a multiplex screen, but looked accepably sharp on TV.
---LV


That's a strange reason to play better on TV, though it makes sense. I take it the flick wasn't that good, given this LARGE (to me) screw-up or lapse in judgement.
  • 0

#16 Bill Totolo

Bill Totolo
  • Sustaining Members
  • 698 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 17 March 2006 - 07:34 PM

"Yeah, you don't get the full scope of Lawrence of Arabia on a small screen. But you still understand it. And it's still just as emotional. Eventually, screens are going to get much bigger at home, and then Lawrence of Arabia will have that effect. It won't have the effect of sitting around in a theater, where it's just overwhelming -- but that's why people are going to go to movies. Because there's that kind of experience that they can get in the movie theaters that they'll never be able to get at home, no matter how big they make the screens for the home."
? George Lucas
  • 0


Tai Audio

Aerial Filmworks

rebotnix Technologies

FJS International, LLC

CineLab

Abel Cine

Paralinx LLC

Visual Products

Willys Widgets

Technodolly

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Opal

The Slider

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wooden Camera

Rig Wheels Passport

Metropolis Post

Ritter Battery

Glidecam

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineTape

CineTape

Paralinx LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Rig Wheels Passport

Technodolly

FJS International, LLC

Wooden Camera

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio

The Slider

Willys Widgets

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineLab

Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Abel Cine

Opal

Glidecam

Metropolis Post

Visual Products