Don’t Miss “2001: A Space Odyssey” In 70mm At Tower

By Chris Narloch

This week Sacramento moviegoers have the opportunity to see the latest “Jurassic” flick as well as return engagements on the big screen of two of the finest American films ever made, “West Side Story” and “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Read on to see what's not to miss at the Tower Theatre and the Multiplex

Tower Movies

2001: A Space Odyssey

If you have never had the pleasure of seeing the late, great director Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi masterpiece “2001: A Space Odyssey” on the big screen, you will get a rare chance next week when Tower Theatre presents the exclusive Sacramento showings of that famous film in 70mm, for two nights only.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the seminal film, Warner Bros. Pictures is releasing an “un-restored” print of the director’s groundbreaking science fiction epic, and The Tower is presenting this new version of “2001: A Space Odyssey” in 70mm on Monday, June 25 & Tuesday, June 26 at 7pm.

If you’ve never seen the movie at all, its suggestive, dreamlike imagery is often hypnotic, and those who have watched it before will never forget the mysterious black monolith that provides a connection between the past and the future in this enigmatic adaptation of a short story by revered sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke.

When Dr. Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea) and other astronauts are sent on a mysterious mission, their ship’s computer system, HAL, begins to display increasingly strange behavior, leading up to a tense showdown between man and machine.

At 2hrs 44min, the classic film qualifies as a genuine epic, and it should be thrilling to see it on the big screen in 70mm.

I recommend getting advance tickets for this one, and they are available on the Reading Cinemas App, at the Tower box office or online at https://www.readingcinemasus.com/tower/film/2001-a-space-odyssey-in-70mm.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor

This new documentary is playing a regular engagement at Tower and is a must-see for anyone who grew up watching the gentlest man who ever lived, Fred Rogers, an American TV personality who was also a musician, a writer, a producer, and a Presbyterian minister.

Filmmaker Morgan Neville examines the life and legacy of Rogers, the beloved host of the popular children's TV show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood,” and shows that the star’s sweetness and his tolerant nature were no act.

The movie made me feel hopeful about humanity again, and its message that kindness matters is one that is especially needed in this divisive time in our country’s history.

The Seagull

This new film, which opened at Tower on June 22, stars Annette Bening, Saoirse Ronan, Elisabeth Moss, Brian Dennehy, and Mare Winningham and is the latest screen adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s famous play of the same name.

At a picturesque lakeside estate, a love triangle unfolds between the middle-aged actress Irina (Bening), her lover Boris (Corey Stoll), and the ingenue Nina (Ronan).

Broadway director Michael Mayer, unfortunately, overdoes the crazy camerawork in a misguided attempt to make Chekhov cinematic. There was no need for all that, since the play and its characters are so rich to begin with. Even with its flaws, “The Seagull” is worth seeing for its superb cast.

At The Multiplex

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Those critics who are responsible for this movie receiving a 49% rating on Rotten Tomatoes need to have their heads examined. This is a popcorn movie, people. It’s not supposed to be believable. It’s just supposed to make you jump out of your seat.

Director J.A. Bayona (“The Orphanage”) takes over the reins this time out and keeps the jump scares coming for over two hours. The CGI is stunning, Chris Pratt is delicious, and the script contains every hilarious cliché in the action movie playbook: evil Russians, militaristic bad guys, screaming children in peril, and a dying rich guy with a dream.

That dream – to transport the dinosaurs to a sanctuary before they become extinct thanks to an about-to-blow volcano on the island – is, of course, preposterous, but I didn’t care.

This is a big-budget B-movie that does its job, and I loved the way “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” turns dark and horrifying, particularly in its thrilling last hour.

West Side Story

Also at the multiplex, where dinosaurs and superheroes tend to rule the roost, you can occasionally see a classic film from back in the day in a return engagement to the big screen.

The latest title to be presented in theaters by Fathom Events and TCM Big Screen Classics is one of the most electrifying movie musicals ever made, 1961’s “West Side Story.”

With music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics from Stephen Sondheim, the musical sets the timeless tragedy of “Romeo and Juliet” in the slums of 1950s New York.

The special two-day engagement of “West Side Story” plays June 24 & 27. To find a theater near you, go to https://www.fathomevents.com/events/tcm2018-west-side-story.

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