As You Wish – The Princess Bride at Essex Cinemas

Phoenix Books and Essex Cinemas are teaming up for a cool event on November 1st: As You Wish – a Princess Bride party. The event will take place at the Essex Cinemas’ T-Rex theater at 5:30: the film will begin shortly after 6:30. There’ll be giveaways and more.

“There will be joy,” says Kristen, Phoenix’s events manager. “Anyone who knows never to go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line will want to be there. It’ll be a blast for anyone new to The Princess Bride, too. The evening will feature games, prizes, costumes, photo ops, and general merriment. For some of our prizes, we reached out to Houghton Mifflin, who publishes The Princess Bride, and they were as good as Miracle Max! We’re actually going to have a copy of The Princess Bride signed by William Goldman as part of our Grand Prize at this event. This is a special book, and it’s cool to think it might be passed down as an heirloom, just like the copy of The Princess Bride that the grandfather reads in the film.” Eaton says that fans should be on the lookout for other chances to win Princess Bride-related prizes, and the chance to purchase their own signed copy of the book.

The event was inspired by the publication of the new memoir by Cary Elwes, As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride. Cary Elwes – who played Westley in the film – was inspired to share his memories and give fans an unprecedented look into the creation of the film while participating in the twenty-fifth anniversary cast reunion. In As You Wish he has created an enchanting experience; in addition to never-before seen photos and interviews with his fellow cast mates, there are plenty of set secrets and backstage stories. With a foreword by Rob Reiner and a limited edition original poster by acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey, As You Wish is a must-have for fans of this beloved film.

More details can be found here. Tickets are $11.25 for adults and $7.75 for Children and Seniors, and can be purchased here.

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“I’m Star-Lord!” “Who?”

If you’ve been catching the ads and trailers for Marvel’s next blockbuster, Guardians of the Galaxy, you too might be asking “Who the heck is this Star-Lord guy, anyway?” Mike Luoma’s been writing about the character over at Comic Related – follow the link to learn more about Marvel’s Star-Lord in Mike’s latest “Cosmic Crackle” column.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 Advance Screenings

We loved How to Train Your Dragon when it came out a couple of years ago, and now, the sequel has us equally as interested! It’s opening early in a number of theaters around the state on June 12th:

  • Essex Cinemas, Essex. 8:00pm. (3D)
  • Majestic 10, Williston. 8:00pm (3D)
  • Star Theatre, St. Johnsbury. 8:00pm.
  • Springfield Cinemas 3, Springfield. 8:00pm.
  • Bennington Cinemas, Bennington. 8:00pm.
  • Flagship Cinemas, Rutland. 8:00pm.

The following theaters will open the film regularly on June 13th:

  • Marquis Theatre, Middlebury.
  • Bellows Falls Opera House, Bellows Falls.
  • Sunset Drive-in, Colchester.
  • Palace 9, South Burlington.
  • Big Picture Theater, Waitsfield.
  • Paramount Theatre, Barre.
  • Randall Drivein, Bethel.

And later, on June 19th:

  • Playhouse Cooperative, Randolph.

If you’re in New Hampshire or upstate New York or nearby, here’s where it’s opening out of state on June 12th:

  • Rialto Theatre, Lancaster NH. 8pm
  • Cumberland 12 Cinemas, Plattsburg NY. 8:40 pm (2D) and 9:30 pm (3D)

Maleficent – Early Screenings

Disney’s live-action take on Maleficent enters theaters this week, and a handful of locations around Vermont will be screening the film early. Here’s where you can catch it on Thursday, May 29th:

  • Majestic 10, Williston, 7:00p (3D) 9:15p (2D)
  • Star Theater, St. Johnsbury. 7:00pm
  • Playhouse Cooperative Theater, Randolph. 7:30pm
  • Springfield Cinemas 3, Springfield. 9:00pm

Here’s where the film will open on May 30th:

  • Palace 9, South Burlington
  • Stowe Cinema 3plex, Stowe
  • Paramount Theatre, Barre
  • Randall Drive-in, Bethel
  • Latchis Theater, Brattleboro
  • Bennington Cinema, Bennington
  • Bijou 4, Morrisville.
  • Essex Cinemas, Essex.

If you’re near one of these theaters, you can also catch it on May 29th:

  • Cumberland 12, Plattsburgh. 7:00pm (2D), 9:15pm (3D)
  • Rialto Theatre, Lancaster NH. 7:00pm, 9:15pm
  • North Adams Movieplex, North Adams MA. 7:00pm, 9:15pm

Early Screenings: Godzilla

Godzilla is back in theaters, directed by Gareth Edwards. The movie is going to be screened early in a handful of theaters around Vermont. Want to see it early (Thursday)? Head to one of the following locations:

  • Springfield Cinemas 3, Springfield: 7:00pm
  • Bennington Cinemas, Bennington: 7:00pm (3D) 8:00pm (2D), 9:30pm (3D)
  • Star Theatre, St. Johnsbury, 7:00pm (3D)
  • Essex Cinemas, Essex, 7:00pm (3D) and 9:45 pm (3D)
  • Majestic 10, Williston: 9:00pm

These theaters will be picking up the normal release on Friday, May 16th:

  • Latchis Theatre, Brattleboro
  • Marquis Theatre, Middlebury
  • Capitol Showplace, Montpelier
  • Bijou Cineplex, Morrisville
  • Flagship Cinemas, Rutland
  • Sunset Drive-in, Colchester

Essex Cinemas Box Office Derby Contest

Yesterday, Essex Cinemas launched their Box Office Derby contest: pick the biggest May films opening at the theater, and win. Here’s the details from their website:

Essex Cinemas is excited to bring you our Box Office Derby Contest! When you think of May you think Kentucky Derby AND the kickoff to summer blockbusters at the movies! We have combined both of these events into one great contest – The Essex Cinemas Box Office Derby Contest! Here’s how you could win free movie tickets:

Simply pick which movies in May will have the first, second, and third biggest box office opening weekends AT Essex Cinemas. For horse racing fans, that would be win, place, and show.

An opening weekend is considered Friday – Sunday (any special late night Thursday night showing of a movie would count towards the opening weekend) and its the number of people attending the movie during that time period.

Whoever gets all three places correct will get their name thrown into a random drawing for one of three prize packs! First place is 4 free movie tickets, Second place is 2 free movie tickets, and third place is 1 free movie ticket.

Use the easy online entry form below and tell your friends and family to enter as well. Please only one entry per person!

Contest ends April 30th and winners will be drawn the first week of June! Have fun and good luck!

Enter here.

So, what do you think will be the biggest movie of May?

Colin Trevorrow to Direct Jurassic Park IV

Word on the internet is that Colin Trevorrow, director of Safety Not Guaranteed and rumored candidate for directing one of the new Star Wars installments, has been selected to direct Jurassic Park IV:

Colin Trevorrow, who made his feature directorial debut on the no-budget Sundance pic Safety Not Guaranteed, is about to make a Tyrannosaurus rex-sized leap in scale for his next film. He has been set by Universal Pictures to helm Jurassic Park 4, the third sequel to the dinosaur franchise hatched from Michael Crichton’s novel. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes scribes Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver have written the script. Frank Marshall is producing with Patrick Crowley, and Steven Spielberg is executive producer. It will be shot in 3D and get released June 13, 2014. This is Spielberg’s baby, and he got this giant franchise going by directing the first two films. This is a big piece of business for Universal and Spielberg; their last Jurassic Park picture was released in 2001, directed by Joe Johnston.

[Via North/South Film.]

The Playhouse Projector Project

photo-fullRandolph’s Playhouse Movie Theater is one of many movie houses all over Vermont facing the leap to digital projection. As the movie industry phases out distributing films on film in favor of cheaper, more efficient hard drives and digital files, it falls to theater owners to replace their projection equipment in order to screen those films.

The Playhouse is Vermont’s oldest purpose-built movie theater, dating from 1919. To raise the money to convert the venue’s single movie screen to digital projection, they’ve turned to crowdfunding via Kickstarter. Backer rewards include vintage paper 3D glasses, popcorn vouchers and movie posters randomly selected from the last 25.

Visit the Kickstarter page to learn more about the fundraising efforts, of which crowdfunding is only a part, and the people behind the effort.

A Peek Inside ‘The Hunger Games’ with Movie Producer Jon Kilik

Over on Publisher’s Weekly, local bookseller Elizabeth Bluemle has an account of the Q&A with Jon Kilik, one of the producers for the Hunger Games movie, from a session last weekend in Burlington:

We may live in a small state, but big things do happen here. On Sunday, we had the opportunity to sit in on a Q&A session with Hunger Games movie producer, Jon Kilik, who who addressed everything from why the Cornucopia is gray instead of gold to (sort of) why Peeta didn’t lose his leg.

Kilik graduated from the University of Vermont in the 1970s and still has strong ties to the community. He spoke to two groups of moviegoers at special ticketed showings at the Williston, Vt. Majestic 10 movie theater after the screenings. (To make the $20 ticket fee even more worthwhile, the event was a fundraising effort for the UVM Film and Television Studies Department, in memory of a beloved professor, Lucille Jarvis, and it raised about $5,000.)

Before the Q&A, we hadn’t realized just how impressive and varied is Mr. Kilik’s resume. He’s produced some of the most provocative, beautifully made, unconventional films of the past 25 years, including Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, Dead Man Walking, Basquiat, Pleasantville, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Berlin, the upcoming The Comedian, and many more. He’s got nearly 40 films to his credit, from comedies to intense dramas to documentaries. His interest in telling true stories both faithfully and dramatically helps explain why The Hunger Games stays so close to the book. (Also helpful, of course, was Suzanne Collins’s role — she’s an industry veteran — as screenwriter and executive producer.)

What follows is as close a verbatim accounting of some of the questions and answers as my thumbs could manage on my iPhone. My fingers were flying! The audience members came up with some terrific questions, and I was impressed by Mr. Kilik’s thoughtful, good-humored responses. He was wonderful. I’ve paraphrased anything I wasn’t able to quote exactly, so you’ll be able to distinguish between what he actually said (in quotes) and what I took away from what he said (not in quotes). Often, he said much more during a response than I could capture. It was a treasure of an opportunity for someone who loves both books and film, and I’m still aglow at having been there.

For a more proper interview (and there are many out there!), check out this one in Vermont’s arts weekly, Seven Days.

Q: You’ve never made this kind of movie before [not sure if the questioner meant a movie for kids, or a dystopian action film]. Why did you decide to do this one?

Kilik: “I saw it as a future that we’re almost in today.” [He likened the story to life in high school, and spoke of its relevance to our society today.] “Although it takes place in the future, it’s not really science fiction. It’s allegory for our times. If it were just fantasy, I don’t think [the huge popular response to the story] would be the thing that it is today.”

Read the full interview over on the Publisher’s Weekly website.