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Cineplex's Great Digital Film Festival 2013

Great Digital Film Festival

Let us not pretend like January is a majestic beacon of great movies. Though there are always a few exceptions (and nothing really with a wide release), the month and the week or so that follows is a wasteland for uninspired horror (Texas Chainsaw 3D), empty crime flicks (Gangster Squad), and recycled action movies (Statham, Schwarzenegger, Stallone, and Willis).

So why force yourself to endure such pain just for the sake of going to the movies? Thankfully Cineplex is coming through with a simple and brilliant weeklong celebration of truly entertaining and memorable movies. The Great Digital Film Festivals returns on February 1st, bringing back to the big screen a variety of classic films, some enhanced by the digital upgrade, and others simply made better by watching it in a theatre.

“The main thing about the festival is that there is no way to replicate seeing one of your Hollywood favourites,” says Michael Langdon, Director of Communications at Cineplex. The Front Row Centre Events team at Cineplex has taken up the enviable task of selecting what beloved films get to be experienced on the screen once again.

“Our goal is to be movie experts in Canada, and find out what great classic films people want to see,” adds Langdon. “In many cases, we’re showing the movies for the first time in digital format. The quality of the film is better, and it’s an added reason to go.

Now in its fourth year, the event will showcase 18 films from February 1 to February 7, including The Matrix, Casino, An American Werewolf in London, and the opportunity to watch all four Indiana Jones movies end to end on Saturday – you can just watch the first three, mind you.

Two other notables include foreign entries, and while they are relatively new, if you haven’t seen them yet, now is  the time. Japan’s Battle Royale from 2000 is the adult version of The Hunger Games, with plenty of blood and violence as ninth-grade students are forced to fight to the death in a government-imposed act. Equally violent and disturbing is 2003’s Oldboy from South Korea about kidnapped man held captive for 15 years. Once out, he sets on a destructive path of vengeance in a film that is cinematically captivating and thematically troubling.

Lastly, if you missed the Canadian premier of Cockneys vs Zombies in October at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival (and trust me, you missed out), here is your chance to see it again. In a first, Cineplex will be showing a new release as part of the event, and this riotously funny and bloody zombie thriller finds a hoard of the undead run amok in London’s East End.

It’s not everyday you can watch some timeless films on the big screen with a bunch of people who genuinely want to be in the theatre as well. What’s more, the films are only $6.00, and any of the four million or so Scene members can enjoy points with their purchase.

If nothing else, make sure you see Jaws.

Complete list of films and showtimes

Anthony Marcusa

A pop-culture consumer, Anthony seeks out what is important in entertainment and mocks what is not. Inspired by history, Anthony writes with the hope that someone, somewhere, might be affected.