Three films that Cut to the Chase

posted by Michael Zoldessy on September 23, 2013 at 7:43 am

JERSEY CITY, NJ — Cutting to the Chase … At the Loew’s Jersey One More Title Added 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: The Landmark Loew’s Jersey is a historic theatre operating as a non-profit arts center.

Friday, September 27 8PM The Blues Brothers
Starring John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Cab Calloway, James Brown, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Carrie Fisher, John Candy, Henry Gibson. Directed by John Landis. 1980, 133mins., Color. Original Rating: R.

In what can only be described as one of the most remarkable adaptations of sketch comedy characters to the Big Screen – as improbable as it is successful — John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd star as Jake and Elwood Blues, two white boys with black soul who the nation first glimpsed in routines on Saturday Night Live. And topping it all off, the streets, highways and police department of Chicago are laid to waste in what is one of the most spectacular and, unquestionably, the funniest and coolest car chase scene ever filmed. Sporting cool shades and look-alike suits, brothers Jake and Elwood are dispatched on a “mission from God” by their former teacher, Sister Mary Stigmata (who is something of a mix of Ingrid Bergman in The Bells of St. Mary’s and Sister Mary Ignatius from the blackly satirical play Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You). That mission is to raise $5,000 to save the orphanage they grew up in. In the course of the zany adventures that ensue, the Blues Brothers run afoul of a group of neo-Nazis, virtually kidnap former members of their old band, perform the theme from Rawhide for what may be the most unruly bar crowd in cinema history, and duck the murderous wrath of Jake’s ex-fiancé. Despite their preternaturally cool personas, the brothers Blue are remarkably likable, and it is all but impossible not to laugh out loud at many of the film’s gags. But aside from being a really great comedy, the movie is also an unapologetic homage to rhythm-and-blues in all its popular derivatives, including appearances by James Brown and Aretha Franklin and — in one of the greatest R&B moments ever captured on film — Cab Calloway recreating his famous Minnie the Moocher performance. And there is great fun in spotting the other members of the film’s legion of guest stars, including John Candy, Carrie Fisher, Steve Lawrence, Twiggy, Paul Reubens (aka, Pee-Wee Herman), Frank Oz and Steven Spielberg.

And as previously scheduled:

Saturday, September 28 6:30PM Duel Starring Dennis Weaver. Directed by Steven Spielberg. 1971, 90mins., Color

A Very RARE 35mm Screening!

“Duel” is a title that’s taken on legendary status with many film fans. Still, more than a few haven’t heard of it. But they should. It is a taught, minimalist but utterly gripping film, with considerable suspense and action. It is also, arguably, one continuous chase scene. Driving down a deserted Southern California highway at a safe and sane 55 miles per hour, a traveling salesman (Dennis Weaver) steps on the pedal to pass a large gas trailer truck. Moments later, the truck is back, dangerously tailgating. For the next 90 minutes, Weaver finds himself pitted against the trucker in what increasingly seems to be a motorized duel to the death. The truck driver’s face is never shown and his motives are never clear, giving the story a Kafkaesque quality, as the salesman is psychologically tortured while being physically terrorized. It is one of the most arresting evocations of the feelings of isolation and paranoia that seemed to haunt Americans in the 1970s. And the film has one of the most remarkable pedigrees of any movie It was, of all things, shot as an ABC Movie of The Week adaptation of a short story that appeared in Playboy and had been inspired by a real incident. The director ABC chose was a 23 year old Steven Spielberg. “Duel” is Spielberg’s first major directorial feature. First telecast on December 18, 1971, “Duel” was shown theatrically in Europe in the early ‘70s but did not have an American release until 1983.

Saturday, September 28 8:30PM Bullitt Starring Steve McQueen, Robert Vaughn, Jacqueline Bisset. Directed by Peter Yates. 1968, 113 mins., Color

1968’s “Bullitt” is a watershed film in a surprising number of ways. For one thing, it is arguably Steve McQueen’s greatest performance – the one that made him a superstar. He plays a tough, fashionably icy police detective who’s trying to trace the leak that allowed hitmen to ambush the Mob-turncoat he was assigned to protect. In this, “Bullitt” recharged the crime-thriller genre for a new generation with a stylization that incorporated a snappy, faux-natural look and a gritty, cynical urban feel that it wore on its sleeve – a look and attitude that would become a hallmark of American films in the 1970s. But most famously, “Bullitt” contains a car chase scene, a roaring ten minute sequence up and down seemingly every hill in San Francisco, that is still regarded as one of the best pursuits ever filmed – and has been imitated and embellished in dozens of movies and TV shows ever since. Best of all, “Bullitt” remains a fun movie to watch – especially on the Big Screen.

Admission Each Film: $7 for Adults, $5 for Seniors (65+) and Children (12 & younger). – – – Combo discounts available for multiple screenings in a weekend. – – – **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.

The Loew’s is wheelchair accessible and can provide a limited number of assistive hearing devices.

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 enter.

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

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