Let's face it: There are some films that demand to be seen on the big screen. No, not the big screen, but the giant screen.
Too majestic in form and sweeping in scope for even a projection TV, and certainly for any laptop screen or - cough, cough - smartphone (for shame!).
Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" falls into that category, as does his later masterpiece, "The Shining."
One could argue that Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy also qualifies for this distinction.
Then, of course, there are several other "event movies" of their time - from Irwin Allen's 1972 disaster epic "The Poseidon Adventure" (if you want a real eye-opener, dig deeper and find the spectacular and far more obscure "oceanliner sinks" spectacle "The Last Voyage" with Robert Stack, which preceded "Poseidon" by a dozen years) to David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" from a decade earlier.
All these titles (and scores more) were quite literally never truly intended to be seen by viewers on anything less than a massive scale befitting the size and grandeur of their storytelling and visual detail.
A definitive restored version of "Lawrence of Arabia" was recently presented at downtown's historic Lucas Theatre for the Arts to throngs of appreciative viewers.
On Dec. 6, the Lucas once more showcases one of the all-time great "big films" with its one-show-only revival of Lean's beloved (at least by some) 1965 drama "Doctor Zhivago."
This adaptation of the Nobel Prize-winning book of the same name by Boris Pasternak boasts a flat-out amazing cast, including Omar Sharif ("Funny Girl," "The Rainbow Thief"), Julie Christie ("Farenheit 451," "Heaven Can Wait"), Sir Alec Guiness ("The Bridge on the River Kwai," "Star Wars"), Rod Steiger ("The Pawnbroker"), Sir Ralph Richardson ("Things To Come," "Time Bandits"), Klaus Kinski ("Paganini," "Fitzcarraldo") and Geraldine Chaplin ("Remember my Name").
Despite receiving decidedly mixed reviews at the time of its initial theatrical release (some critics found it bloated and needlessly confusing, while others thought its romantic themes were somewhat overwrought), it remains one of the most celebrated motion pictures of all time.
It swept the Academy Awards with 10 nominations and five wins, including Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Adapated Screenplay, Best Costume Design and Best Original Score.
So, um, yeah. Regardless of whether you might dig the subject matter, it's like, a really well-made movie.
It's also a really long one - 3 hours and 20 minutes. But don't let that throw you.
The film's complex, emotional story takes place against the cluttered backdrop of both WWI and the Russian Revolution, and one would be hard pressed to find any way to both adequately convey the epic nature of this tale of love, intrigue, war and betrayal and to include all the numerous, convoluted plot twists of the heralded novel in a significantly shorter running time.
Just a simple synopsis of the story itself would take up almost as much space as this entire column, so let's just say that it involves a Russian KGB agent in the late 1940s who's searching for the daughter of his half-brother, the titular Doctor Zhivago (Sharif), who was at heart a dreamer and a poet.
The doctor's story from decades before is shown in flashback.
Politically provocative, the film was banned in Russia (as was the novel before it), and not shown publicly there until 1994.
This opportunity to view the beautiful film in its restored form on the huge screen of a vintage movie palace is about as a rare as you'll get in 2013, so do yourself a favor and make plans to attend.
They simply don't make films like this anymore, and seeing it as it was intended back in 1965 is as close to a time machine as can be found in this day and age.
Plus, at only $8, it's a steal. Showtime is 7 p.m., and in addition to popcorn, candy and soft drinks, the Lucas' concession stand also offers hot chocolate, beer and wine.
Tickets are available at the door, or may be charged in advance online.
On Dec. 11, the Psychotronic Film Society takes a slightly different approach when it elevates an unjustly obscure film that was only intended to be seen on television and upgrades it to the big screen.
Made and broadcast in 1970, "The Old Man Who Cried Wolf" is considered by those lucky enough to have seen it as one of the finer moments of televised drama from that time period.
A dramatic thriller, it stars the great Edward G. Robinson ("Double Indemnity," "The Ten Commandments") in one of the final roles of a long and acclaimed career.
But don't let his advanced age fool you. Robinson is absolutely terrific in this tale of an elderly man who is the sole witness to a violent attack that results in the death of an elderly friend.
Unfortunately, once that friend's death is ruled an accident, no one believes the witness' tale of murder.
Due to his advanced age, they assume he is possibly delusional and recommend psychiatric care for paranoia.
Can Robinson's elderly character find the true killer on his own without the aid of those around him?
And can he avoid the same fate as his friend?
Considered a genuine classic of television movies, "The Old Man Who Cried Wolf" is a real gem that boasts a taut, believable script, expert direction and great performances from all involved, including Martin Balsam ("Psycho") and Ed Asner ("The Mary Tyler Moore Show").
This special screening coincides with what would have been the late Robinson's 120th birthday. Showtime is 8 p.m. at The Sentient Bean and admission is $6.
See you at the movies, and don't forget to turn off that cellphone.
Jim Reed directs the award-winning Psychotronic Film Society of Savannah - presenting indie, foreign, classic and cult cinema year-round. Read more from Jim on Savannah's film scene at www.filmsavannah.com.