One person used the flattering hashtag #moron. Another said I was writing the post purely for attention. I'm entitled to my opinion, but it made me wonder why movie fans are so passionate about seeing The Dark Knight Rises in IMAX. Should everyone?
Well, after researching, I've decided everyone SHOULD see The Dark Knight Rises in IMAX. It's a better picture and a unique movie experience from the most innovative director today.
IMAX Is Just A Better Film Format
Director Christopher Nolan told NY Times, "The sharpness and the depth of the image, projected onto those enormous screens, is simply the best quality image that has ever been invented."
IMAX is an extraordinarily sharp, high-resolution image format. The picture is the best you'll get in a film. David Keighley, chief quality officer for IMAX said "The IMAX screens are almost twice the brightness of regular screens."
The picture doesn't get any brighter or more high-definition than IMAX.
Do you hate wearing 3-D glasses? Most people do and the advantage of IMAX is nothing is required for the full effect. Unless you're watching a 3-D IMAX film (Correction: thanks Natasha).
Director Steven Spielberg said 3-D is a premium experience in a premium environment "with the exception of IMAX" because of the glasses. Even Spielberg admits IMAX is better.
There Will Never Be Another Movie Experience Like This
Nolan isn't doing this for fun. He genuinely believes it's a better movie experience. "We’re looking to do something technologically that’s never been done before," Nolan told Collider. "Our ambitions are to make a great movie."
The Dark Knight had 30 minutes of IMAX footage. It's the first time a theatrical film was even partially shot with the large-format cameras. That was impressive, but it's becoming more common. For Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) Michael Bay included over seven minutes of IMAX-shot footage. Brad Bird included 25 minutes of IMAX-shot footage for Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol. The Dark Knight Rises will have the most footage ever shot for a theatrical IMAX film at 72 minutes.
But, this could be the only movie ever filmed with this much IMAX footage. Why?
The Challenges of Filming In IMAX
There are several challenges to filming in the IMAX format.
The first, is that it's expensive. The special film takes three times more than an average film.
The cameras themselves pose the greatest challenge. An IMAX camera weighs 240 pounds versus a 35mm movie camera weighing 40 pounds. The reels only last three minutes, and takes 20 minutes to reload. It's time consuming. Film schedules are very tight, and it's hard to justify taking almost a half-hour to shoot three minutes of film.
Chris Pine, when asked about filming Star Trek 2 with IMAX said, "They are big, loud cameras." Nolan described it like filming next to a generator. This is a distracting challenge for actors. Also, it means the dialogue in those scenes have to be recorded later. How many actors would go through all that?
Most directors wouldn't bother with it, but Nolan feels differently. He said, "When you're talking about this large-scale studio film-making, the size of the camera is pretty irrelevant compared to the massive difficulties and the massive resources you're wrangling on a daily basis."He has said that, for this reason, he would not make a full-length IMAX film.
If You Don't Watch IMAX In The Theaters You Never Will
HD televisions and surround sound is common. 3-D television prices are dropping, but there's no way to have an IMAX experience at home.
The screen is too big. The equipment is too expensive. Even the best televisions in the world can't come close to capturing the screen resolution. For example, imagine you go to Bill Gates house and his HD television has 1,920 pixels of horizontal resolution. Pretty good right? Well, an IMAX frame has a resolution upward of 18,000 pixels. That's almost nine times more. There's no way to have a home entertainment system that comes close to IMAX.
If you don't watch The Dark Knight Rises in IMAX now, you never will.
This Is The Way Christopher Nolan Wants Us To Watch
So what's the point of all this effort? "Having this extra image quality, giving the audience the best possible technical look at what you've shot, is the obvious thing to do." Nolan once said.
Nolan was committed to filming in IMAX. "We always carried at least one IMAX camera through the run of the show," Mr. Nolan said, "so then wherever we felt a scene would lend itself to IMAX, we could decide on the day to go and put that camera in. And we wound up using it more and more."
If Christopher Nolan was willing to go through all this effort to bring us an IMAX film, we owe it to ourselves to take advantage of it.
My last post should've been called "Why you may not want to watch The Dark Knight Rises in IMAX." It's not for everyone, but for most people it's the best way to see the film. Not that you should skip The Dark Knight Rises if its not in IMAX, but if you have to sell a kidney and ride a goat through the Andes mountains to watch it in IMAX then you should do it.*
*Editor's note: Please don't do this.
Tickets are on sale now, so go to your favorite movie site (ex. Fandango) if you want to find an IMAX theater near you or just want to buy advance tickets to The Dark Knight Rises.
Find out more about IMAX at IMAX.com
What do you think? Is The Dark Knight Rises worth watching in IMAX? Have you ever seen an IMAX movie and what was it like?
[Image Source: nytimes.com]
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