Saturday, November 13, 2010

Jason goes to the Bal Theatre for a Buster Keaton double feature

This was my first time at the Bal Theatre in San Leandro, and I love finding new theaters. And this, of course, was a great way to get acquainted with this beautiful old theater.

I won't say much about these movies, they're the Buster Keaton classics THE GENERAL (the epic about the Civil War where Keaton plays a Southern engineer who saves his train, his girl, and his town from the Union Army) and STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. (where Keaton is the weak college-boy son of a tough Steamboat captain and he saves everyone from a major storm). They're hilarious, they feature Keaton's fantastic acrobatic comedy, and they make for a great night. If you haven't seen them, see them as soon as you can (preferably on the big screen, but of course they're available on DVD).

Matt Hoffman made his debut accompanying silent films, and he did a fantastic job.

As a matter of honesty and completeness, I do have to mention that the aspect ratio was wrong for this screening. I talked to the theater owner and this was due to their 1080p projector being broken (due to a failed firmware update), but I'm assured it will be fixed...soon, so future shows should be right. It still looked good even with the standard projector, but film geeks like me noticed the aspect ratio was off.

Total Running Time: 177 minutes
My Total Minutes: 215,810

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