Patrick Read Johnson's 5-25-77 (Post-release)

Nicholas Vargo

New Member
So I’m new here but I saw this thread and wanted to weigh in on 5-25-77, since I’m the first one here who seems to have actually seen it.

I saw the film twice last year. The first time was on 5-25-17 in Beverly Hills, and the second time when it made it to my neck of the woods in San Diego. Both times I saw it, I loved everything about it, and it really is a great movie. In fact, it was my choice for the best movie of 2017. This may be the most inspirational movie ever made about holding onto your dreams, no matter what stands in your way.

Unfortunately, the release been a lackluster success at best. It was handled by a company that relies on theatrical on demand screenings, which means you can set up a screening but need a certain amount of reservations in order for it to go on. I’ve tried about four or five times since last seeing 5-25-77 in July 2017 and all times no one had reserved a seat.

To make matters worse, the movie was supposed to get a wide release sometime this year and the year is almost over with no word whatsoever. I know Patrick Read Johnson is still trying to whip the movie into better shape (When I saw the movie last year, it ran 132 minutes. It might be shorter now but am uncertain as the last screening was almost a year ago in Omaha, and I wasn’t able to make it although it was the first time the new cut was screened). Considering that Johnson is also now a film professor at the University of North Carolina, that is also cutting into his time to perfectly tune the movie as well.

I so badly want to see 5-25-77 again. It’s a movie that continues to permeate my dreams as one I will never forget and I feel bad that so many have yet to experience it. Here’s hoping in 2019, the wide release will happen and you will finally have the chance to see it.

However, if you want to try to see it now, you just need to set up a screening at the film’s website. Maybe you’ll have more success than I did.
 

Clerval

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
"since I’m the first one here who seems to have actually seen it."

Guess you missed the bit where I mentioned seeing it at work six years ago.

As for a wide release, I doubt that will ever come to be. No momentum or reason to put any dollars behind it, and 8 years of conversations around it haven't advanced anything. PRJ can re-work to his heart's delight, but the moment for this to hit has passed.
 

Nicholas Vargo

New Member
"since I’m the first one here who seems to have actually seen it."

Guess you missed the bit where I mentioned seeing it at work six years ago.

Maybe so but he’s added and removed things from what you saw six years ago. There is now an entirely new opening (glimpsed in the newest trailer) and he also took out Linda’s monologue to Pat late in the movie as well (a change I later found out PRJ was grappling with three years ago). Plus now there is an original song for the movie as well (which is really damn good) and some new visual effects too. Plus the end crawl is now set to a series of photographs taken through the years of making the movie.

I agree with you that the wide release is basically a pipe dream. The last official word from him was he was still fighting with music rights plus he commissioned another original song, and that was back in February. He was hoping to have it officially go wide just after Solo was out. Yet I personally think that Filmio (his distributor) has gone dormant. I’ve heard nothing from or about them since July. All that remains it seems is the website and the theatrical on demand screenings you can set up, and I would still encourage trying to set one up to see the changes.
 

Funky

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
So I’m new here but I saw this thread and wanted to weigh in on 5-25-77, since I’m the first one here who seems to have actually seen it.

I saw the film twice last year. The first time was on 5-25-17 in Beverly Hills, and the second time when it made it to my neck of the woods in San Diego. Both times I saw it, I loved everything about it, and it really is a great movie. In fact, it was my choice for the best movie of 2017. This may be the most inspirational movie ever made about holding onto your dreams, no matter what stands in your way.

Unfortunately, the release been a lackluster success at best. It was handled by a company that relies on theatrical on demand screenings, which means you can set up a screening but need a certain amount of reservations in order for it to go on. I’ve tried about four or five times since last seeing 5-25-77 in July 2017 and all times no one had reserved a seat.

To make matters worse, the movie was supposed to get a wide release sometime this year and the year is almost over with no word whatsoever. I know Patrick Read Johnson is still trying to whip the movie into better shape (When I saw the movie last year, it ran 132 minutes. It might be shorter now but am uncertain as the last screening was almost a year ago in Omaha, and I wasn’t able to make it although it was the first time the new cut was screened). Considering that Johnson is also now a film professor at the University of North Carolina, that is also cutting into his time to perfectly tune the movie as well.

I so badly want to see 5-25-77 again. It’s a movie that continues to permeate my dreams as one I will never forget and I feel bad that so many have yet to experience it. Here’s hoping in 2019, the wide release will happen and you will finally have the chance to see it.

However, if you want to try to see it now, you just need to set up a screening at the film’s website. Maybe you’ll have more success than I did.

THAT'S your "weigh in"? You flapped your gums a lot, and you haven't mentioned the plot of the damned movie!
 

Nicholas Vargo

New Member
Sorry about leaving out the plot. I wanted to give over the link that has my review but had to wait until my third post to even give you a link. Thankfully, this is my third post so I’ll be posting the link hopefully in just a moment.

But for those who need to know the plot...

Pat Johnson (John Francis Daly) is a 17 year old movie fan in the small town of Wadsworth, Illinois (Population 750) who spends his spare time making home made movies on his 8mm camera his father left behind with his best friend Bill (Steve Coulter). Over the course of a year, everything will change as Pat will discover his first love with Linda (Emma Chen), and also (thanks to his mother (Colleen Camp)) get a chance to go to L.A. and meet American Cinematographer editor Herb Lightman (Austin Pendleton) who allows him to meet his idols like Steven Spielberg and Douglas Trumbull. Pat also manages to get a look at a little film called Star Wars, which even in its extremely rough state blows him away. Now armed with the knowledge of what he has seen, everything culminates on 5-25-77, when Pat tries to persuade everyone in his small town to see the movie that will change everything, and by the end of the day, make the one decision he has been dreading making for nearly the past decade.

Sorry if there are any grammatical errors or what not. I just figured the plot needed telling.
 

Clerval

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Cripes I remember screening this at ILM in... 2009? 2010 latest I think. Had occasionally wondered whatever got made of it all.
 

Psab keel

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Honestly I'll believe it when I see it. This movie was promised years ago and never materialized. At this point I can't imagine there would be a very good reception given all the bad blood from the director and his empty promises that his investors would see a return. Plus what person from the original Star Wars generation doesn't have some coming of age story attached to this movie? Maybe in 2008 it seemed sort of fresh considering YouTube was just coming into it's own as a platform, but now there are entire channels built on Star Wars fandom. Johnson isn't the first to document/ dramatize his experience and even still he's got an entire world of competition to deal with now.
 

kamandi

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
It's a bit late for April Fools jokes.

I'd rather see "Heart of Dorkness" by his ex-girlfriend. She made a documentary about him hauling the movie around for screenings in his POS car.
 

Treadwell

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
It's a bit late for April Fools jokes.

I'd rather see "Heart of Dorkness" by his ex-girlfriend. She made a documentary about him hauling the movie around for screenings in his POS car.
Holy crap that's a terrible thing to do. Sounds like he's better off without her. Maybe one day someone will make a documentary about how she's an awful person.
 

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