Classic Sci-Fi at the Loew’s Jersey

posted by friendsoftheloews on April 8, 2011 at 7:45 am


1 “Matrix” + 2 “Things"
= Sci-Fi on the Big Screen

At The Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre
54 Journal Square, Jersey City, NJ 07306
Tel. (201) 798-6055 Fax: (201) 798-4020 Web:

A Not-For-Profit Arts Center in a Landmark Movie Palace

Includes A Special Make/Remake Presentation!

All Titles Screened in 35mm.

Friday, April 29 8PM
The Matrix Starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving. Directed by the Wachowski Brothers. 1999, 136mins., Color

What if everything that we think is real about our world is instead unreal, a virtual reality created by malevolent, all-powerful computers to fool and enslave humans? That’s the conceit of “The Matrix” — and it gives writers/directors Andy and Larry Wachowski the basis for presenting some of the most amazing special effects ever seen on screen. Add in an unusual blend of influences — Hong Kong martial arts films, Japanese anime, comic books, Philip K. Dick, mythology and religious mysticism — and you get a dark, convoluted and action-packed film that was one of the biggest sci-fi titles of its decade. If the ever-more complicated story gets confusing enough at times to make you feel as if you’ve become hopelessly lost in the user’s guide to the latest version of Windows — that’s the point: the film deliberately creates a kind of techno-intoxication to overload and confuse you, break your hold on the ordinary and numb you before completely overwhelming your senses with its special effects. Few films mess with your mind and cause your eyes to pop so far out of your head as “The Matrix”. It is a must to be seen back on the Big Screen.

Single Screening: $7 for Adults, $5 for Seniors (65+) and Children (12 & younger).

On Saturday, April 30, the Loew’s presents a Make/Remake Special Presentation – the rare back-to-back screenings of an original version of a movie, followed by a later version:

Saturday, April 30 6PM
The Thing From Another World Starring Kenneth Tobey, Margaret Sheridan, Robert Cornthwaite, James Arness. Produced by Howard Hawks. Directed by Christian Nyby. 1951, 87mins., B&W.

A flying saucer is discovered in the frozen Arctic, and scientists from a polar expedition plus a US Air Force team investigate. But there are no laser guns, helpless heroines, big bugs or other clich├ęs that you might expect in what was conceived of as a low budget “B” sci-fi picture in the 1950s. Instead, there is an intelligent script; a fast pace; rapid-fire overlapping dialogue; a tight, controlled atmosphere; a smart and competent female character; and relaxed, natural performances — all hallmarks of a movie by Howard Hawks (who produced the film, and probably directed it too, although without credit). The “thing” itself is seen only in fleeting glances, a directorial decision that built incredible tension while also mostly avoiding the unintentionally funny “man in a rubber suit” scenes that plague so many sci-fi films of the era. The cast is excellent, though none were stars. (James Arness would go on to become a star for his role in TV’s “Gunsmoke.”) Underlying all is the palpable dread of a lurking, unforgiving enemy that gripped America in the McCarthy era. Critics have long debated the film’s allegorical implications of the US vs. Communist, force vs. diplomacy, military vs. science. But fully sixty years later, with the Cold War now but a memory, what endures is the film’s seminal mix of sci-fi, noir, and horror. It’s the landmark prototype for subsequent sci-fi hybrids from “It! The Terror from Beyond Space” to “Alien”, and, of course, John Carpenter’s “The Thing”. It will be shown at the Loew’s in the studio’s vault print on our 50ft wide screen.

Single Screening: $7 for Adults, $5 for Seniors (65+) and Children (12 & younger).
– – – OR, as part of our Make/Remake Combo: $10 adults, $8 Seniors & Children for the 2 “Things”.

Saturday, April 30 8:10PM
John Carpenter’s “The Thing” Starring Kurt Russell, A. Wilford Brimley, Richard Dysart, Richard Masur, Donald Moffat. Directed by John Carpenter. 1982, 108 mins., B&W.

In the annals of Hollywood remakes, it is hard to find one that is more of a contradiction in terms than John Carpenter’s “The Thing”. On the one hand, the film is faithful to the broad outline of the original and successfully maintains its tight, almost claustrophobic feeling and palpable fear. The cast, as in the first film, is not exactly filled with marquee names, except for Kurt Russell, who gives one of his best performances. Like its predecessor, it’s part sci-fi and part horror. And just as in the original, the real appearance of the “thing” is left mostly to our imagination. But at the same time, the later film diverges from the original in key ways: It’s cinematography is even more moody than the original and greatly adds to the film’s stark, ominous feeling — but does so in full color, not the B&W that’s typical of the noir sensibility. It adds a good measure of who-done-it mystery, and is also spiked throughout by doses of black humor, some pretty graphic violence and impressive pre-CGI special effects — all of which stand in stark contrast to the original, which deliberately eschewed humor and special effects and had little on-screen violence. The Cold War allusions of the earlier film are gone, and there is much less of an “us vs. it” feeling than an even more paranoid “you can’t trust anyone” mindset. And to top it off, the second film is actually truer to the short story that both films were based on. When it was released, John Carpenter’s “The Thing” was mostly panned as a debasement of the original. But time has lent perspective, and today the film is generally recognized as that most rare of remakes: not a copy, but a successful new adaptation that stems from distinct creative instincts and different sensibilities. In other words, you can enjoy John Carpenter’s “The Thing” without reference to, or taking away from the other “Thing.”

Single Screening: $7 for Adults, $5 for Seniors (65+) and Children (12 & younger).
– – – OR, as part of our Make/Remake Combo: $10 adults, $8 Seniors & Children for the 2 “Things”.

Patrons who take advantage of our Make/Remake Combo will have the chance to vote for which “Thing” they feel is better!

**Film descriptions are compiled from various sources.

The Loew’s Is Easy To Get To: The Loew’s Jersey Theatre, at 54 Journal Square, Jersey City, NJ, is directly across JFK Boulevard from the JSQ PATH Center with trains to and from Lower and Midtown Manhattan and Newark’s Penn Station, and is minutes from the NJ Turnpike, Rts 3 and 1&9 and the Holland & Lincoln Tunnels. We’re easy to reach by car or mass transit from throughout the Metro Region.

Discount off-street parking is available in Square Ramp Garage adjoining the Loew’s at the foot of Magnolia Avenue off of Tonnelle Avenue, behind the Loew’s. Patrons must validate their parking ticket before leaving the Theatre.

What’s Special About Seeing A Movie At The Loew’s? The Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre is one of America’s grandest surviving Movie Palaces. We show movies the way they were meant to be seen: in a grandly ornate setting – on our BIG 50 ft wide screen! The Loew’s runs reel-to-reel — not platter — projection, which often allows us to screen an archival or studio vault print that is the best available copy of a movie title.

PLUS — Live organ entrance music (from the Loew’s magnificently restored pipe organ) before most screenings.

The Loew’s Jersey is managed by Friends of the Loew’s, Inc. as a non-profit, multi-discipline performing arts center.

Classic Film Weekends are presented by Friends of the Loew’s, Inc.

The Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre receives support from the City of Jersey City, Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy and the Municipal Council, and the Hudson County Open Space Trust Fund, administered by the Hudson County Division of Planning, Thomas A. DeGise, County Executive, and the Board of Chosen Freeholders.

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Comments (4)

moviebuff82 on April 8, 2011 at 12:24 pm

The remake of the Thing is not in B&W, but in bloody color. I’ve seen that movie as well as the Matrix movie (which I saw in 35mm SDDS 5.1 at the AMC Loews in Wayne). Both are good classics. The original Thing can be seen on the TV during John Carpenter’s Halloween scene in which Jamie Lee Curtis' kid who she babysits watches the 1951 classic.

Vito on April 10, 2011 at 4:12 am

I am sure the b&w comment on “The Thing” remake was probably a typo
There is a colorised version of the original “Thing” which I absolutly refuse to watch. One of my all time favorite movies, As a 16 year old kid I recall being scared to death seeing that in the summer of ‘51. Carpenter showed his love for the original in that Halloween clip but then went on to remake the movie which I thought was disapointing. I did not care for the original “Who Goes There” story which the remake is based on.

TLSLOEWS on April 11, 2011 at 9:50 am

Would like to check it out if I was up that way.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm

You guys outta land a lot of these things in Nashville.

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