Top 10 BEST Movies of 2017

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! It’s now that time of year, 2017 is over, we’re heading into 2018, another year down, another one to go! Now that we’re here, it’s time to count down my top 10 BEST movies of 2017! As far as 2017 goes, I wasn’t exactly as impressed by many of the movies I saw that came out in this particular year as I was in 2016, but there were definitely some options to choose from for this list. By the way, that statement shocks me given how terrible or underwhelming some of the big blockbuster or summer films were to me in 2016 (Indepndence Day: Resurgence, Ghostbusters, Suicide Squad). Before we start the list, let me just remind you that I have not seen every single movie that has come out during 2017, so if you’re wondering why “Logan” isn’t on this list, that’s why. Also, this is MY list, not your list, nor is it anyone else’s list. If you have a top movies of 2017 list, it should be formed based on your own experiences, because ultimately there’s a chance you could disagree with a certain pick I have here. Before we dive into my top 10, let me just have you know that there are forty-six possible movies to choose from for this list, I saw more than that number as far as 2017 movies go, but not all of them were theatrically released. Since there are forty-six to pick from, not all of them could be in my top 10, but just because I’m nice, I’m gonna do something I didn’t do last year, and include two films that I believe deserve honorable mentions.

Honorable Mention: John Wick: Chapter 2

My first honorable mention is “John Wick: Chapter 2,” a sequel which does what it needs to do. Keep some parts of what made the first movie interesting, while still progressing the franchise’s universe. It’s action scenes have extended shots, which I admire because it doesn’t give me a headache. Also, the mirror scene is badass!

Honorable Mention: Atomic Blonde

On the topic of action, my next honorable mention goes to “Atomic Blonde,” a really intriguing flick which shows lots of noir inspiration. It also has one of the most well shot action sequences of the year, specifically the scene on the stairwell.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get rocking and rolling! These are my top 10 BEST movies of 2017!

#10: The Big Sick

Starting off this list is “The Big Sick.” This film is basically about how Kumail Nanjiani met his wife, Emily. Who plays Kumail in this film? Well, he plays himself. And while I will admit that’s kind of playing it safe, it’s done very well. Overall this film was lovable from start to finish, I love a lot of the performances here, especially Holly Hunter’s. I’m a guy so love stories aren’t exactly my thing, but this was a really enjoyable look at a relationship, not to mention a real one. I am curious to know how much of this was fact and how much was fiction, but only time will tell. Also, I’m glad we finally got Ray Romano doing some good work once again instead of another forced “Ice Age” sequel that you’ll try to forget once you finish watching it. One of this film’s distributors is Amazon Studios, and as much as I’m somewhat concerned that Amazon might take over the world, or perhaps take it over alongside Disney, I’m glad they’re making films because most of the content coming out of Amazon Studios is worth your time. This is just one of them. Speaking of which…

#9: Crown Heights

I didn’t start 2017 off anticipating, looking forward to, or even thinking about watching “Crown Heights,” but after watching it, I was given an absolute surprise if there ever was one. This movie is based on the true story on the false accusation involving Colin Warner. Did I know who Colin was prior to this film? I wouldn’t say I did, but now that I saw him, I have to say I felt bad for him. This movie had a job, and that is to make us root for this one guy who wasn’t given a proper verdict in court, and the movie did that. I’m somewhat interested to do some research and see if there’s anything this movie didn’t cover, but I thought the movie, in general, was awesome. The acting was great, the atmosphere was indescribably perfect, the scenes had the right emotions at the right times. I got to watch this film for free on Amazon, and if I don’t like the film, I do think to myself that at the very least I didn’t pay much to see said film. I had that experience when watching films like “The Wall” and “The Only Living Boy In New York.” Luckily, “Crown Heights” stayed out of that territory.

#8: Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo

#8 is something that went under the radar for a lot of people, and that is a documentary called “Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo.” Yes, this is a documentary, but I wouldn’t say I’m cheating with this entry because it is feature length, not to mention it was shown in some theaters. This movie premiered at South by Southwest, it was also shown at the Sarasota Film Festival, then a couple weeks after Sarasota, it released theatrically and on several streaming services. The movie wasn’t shown in any theaters around me, but I did manage to watch it on Amazon. I would like to thank one of my best pals, Kayla, for mentioning this movie at one point and bringing it to my attention, otherwise I would have never watched this. If you know the stories behind the Apollo missions detail by detail, chances are you’re gonna probably know what’s coming here. Although if you don’t know what these missions are as well as other people know them, this movie goes into detail about it and it does provide some decent explanation throughout. I can still remember sitting on my bed, I’m watching this on my TV, and they get to the Apollo 11 segment, which I did know about and I imagine a lot of other people share that particular knowledge. As I’m watching, I’m on the edge of my seat. Oh yeah, and Apollo 13, I remember one of the interviewees giving some of the funniest and all time greatest phrases ever spoken while reflecting on an event.

JIM LOVELL: “After the flight were discussions with the control people, I said well, we thought we would deliberately not talk to you, so that might make a good movie one of these days.”

This is overall a great documentary, I do recommend it, not just if you’re a space junkie or a history buff, but if you’re just looking for something good to watch, it’s a real fun journey.

#7: Baby Driver

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“Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Fast & Furious,” “La La Land,” combine those three movies and tell me what you get. Don’t know? I’ll tell you. One epic thrill ride I like to call “Baby Driver!” This movie was my introduction to Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Shaun of the Dead) and after seeing this film on the big screen, I want to go back and watch a lot of his other films because from a cinematography standpoint, this movie stands as a beast. I mentioned this film is kind of like “Fast & Furious,” and that’s because of the action and car chases, but in all reality, this is better than any “Fast & Furious” movie ever released because the camera doesn’t cut as much when you’re simply trying to enjoy some action! Ansel Elgort surprised me wholeheartedly with his amazing performance, and F*CK IT! I’ll say it! Kevin Spacey was awesome here! I know about the whole allegation thing and it is insane, but I can’t help but point out a simple positive this film had!

#6: The LEGO Batman Movie

In 2014, “The LEGO Movie” came out, it was awesome. Now one of its major characters is getting a spinoff in the movie’s universe and damn it turned out to be just as good! I give you, “The LEGO Batman Movie!” When I watched “The LEGO Movie,” Will Arnett’s interpretation of Batman undoubtedly made him the best character in the film from my personal view, and the Caped Crusader continues to show that here. The tone is set right from the beginning! You know how in “Deadpool” they went in a spoof direction for the opening credits? They didn’t do that here really, but they did happen to go in said direction for the title sequence and the pre-end credits sequence as well, which was hysterical to say the least! The script was hilarious, the jokes were timed well and everything was fast paced, the chemistry between Batman and Robin was played out perfectly here! I also want to give massive kudos to whoever decided to include all sorts of Warner Brothers affiliated characters in the climax! I mean, HOLY CRAP! YOU HAVE “MATRIX” CHARACTERS IN A KIDS MOVIE AND IT ACTUALLY WORKED! Before we move on, let’s also not forget the epic song in the beginning.

“Who always pays their taxes?”
“NOT Batman!”

Also, something I have to get off my chest is that there’s one character in this movie, Alfred to be specific, and he’s played by Ralph Fiennes, who also plays Voldemort in “Harry Potter.” This movie also has Voldemort in it, but he’s being playing by Eddie Izzard. I have nothing against Eddie Izzard, but how awesome would it have been for Ralph to play Voldemort here?

#5: Wonder Woman

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This may be hard to believe based on how this movie’s universe prior to this film’s release was chaotic, but this was my most anticipated film of the year, and holy crap those expectations were met! What movie am I talking about? I’m talking about “Wonder Woman.” Everything about this movie was done the way it needed to be done. My only criticisms of this film is bits and pieces of the story considering it’s rather cliche. Also, the villian was somewhat forgettable. You can say it takes a lot of inspiration from 1978’s “Superman” and borrows elements from 2011’s “Thor” and “Captain America: The First Avenger.” Doesn’t change the fact that the cliches were handled extremely well! Gal Gadot proves to the world that she IS Wonder Woman, Patty Jenkins’s vision was very well realized, the score was awesome, Wonder Woman’s theme is one of the best themes I’ve heard for a hero in my entire life! Oh, what’s the other thing? WE FINALLY HAVE A FEMALE SUPERHERO ORIGIN STORY THAT DOESN’T SUCK! In fact, it’s not just good, it’s kick-ass to the tenth degree!

#4: Dunkirk

This next movie just tells you one thing. Christopher Nolan’s a f*cking genius. That’s right! Coming in at #4, is “Dunkirk!” This was undoubtedly one of my most anticipated movies of the year. Christopher Nolan is directing, so how could I NOT look forward to this? The guy has directed some of my favorite films of all time. These include “Interstellar,” “Inception,” “Memento,” films such as those! From a story, this is something that is extremely experimental, and I’d say it worked out. One key difference between this and other war films like “Saving Private Ryan” is that you don’t really take any time to get to know any of the characters. The whole movie is essentially one giant action sequence, which is what war is. There’s no sitting down for breaks! There’s no talking with others for fun! There’s no looking at the camera to tell how important you are to an audience! There’s no crying in baseball! Actually, take out that last one. THIS IS WAR! While I admit, upon first experience, I was trying to wrap my head around everything, including the non-linear story, I will state that when I saw the movie, it was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had in a theater. I went to see the movie in IMAX 70mm, and if you didn’t get a chance to watch the movie in that format, I’m sorry you missed out because it was absolutely worth every penny. That’s not saying you can’t watch this movie anywhere else, it’s just enhanced in some places compared to others. There were several sequences where the sound was inside me and the full frame IMAX projection was unleashed to its total potential. I bought the movie on 4K the day it came out on home video. I didn’t have a 4K Blu-ray player, but I had a standard one, so that lead to me rewatching the movie on standard Blu-ray, and the film looked like a detailed painting. This film is what actually going to the theater is all about. Not renting a movie on DVD, not streaming it on Netflix, but getting off your ass, getting in your onmyassmobile, and heading straight to the movie theater.

#3: The Disaster Artist

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Up next, we have, “The Disaster Artist.” This film is based on the making of “The Room,” a so bad it’s good movie that gained a cult following over time. I was so excited for this film to come out, that I anticipated it more than I did for “The Last Jedi!” I watched “The Room” before this movie came out and I have to say that everything which is being said about it, I can totally side with. It’s a stupid movie, but it’s the kind of stupid that you have to see. On that subject, “The Disaster Artist” is brilliant, and it’s the kind of brilliant that you have to see. Despite waiting three weeks, I got to watch this film in a crowded theater, and it was an utter blast. It’s definitely the funniest movie of the year, James Franco not only did a great job acting, but also directing this film. It’s not just James’s acting chops that are unleashed to full potential. You’ve also got some killer performances from actors such as Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, and Ali Graynor. This film is a great example of how hard it is to make a movie, and how much harder it is to do it in Hollywood. In fact, based on what’s unfolded during the picture, you can say it also tells you how hard living in Hollywood as someone who works in the film industry, regardless of whether it’s film or TV we’re talking about truly is. To me, in a way, “The Disaster Artist” is this year’s “La La Land,” although I’d say this is actually better than “La La Land” because it’s a thousand times funnier!

#2: Blade Runner 2049

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They say that sequels usually don’t surpass the original. Whether or not this movie does, is debatable, but it doesn’t change the fact that the overall experience of watching “Blade Runner 2049” was probably one of the greatest I’ve ever had. When I originally saw this film, I gave it a 9/10, and that was because a number of characters almost felt like they didn’t have too much of an effect on the plot. Although looking back, they didn’t take away that much from the film, and this is one of those films I saw that I thought about almost every single day after I saw it. Roger Deakins’s cinematography was breathtaking, the visuals were spectacular, the screenplay was brilliant, and it probably contained my favorite line of the year, specifically when Deckard says “Her eyes were green.” The score of the film is legendary! I cannot begin to tell you how many times I listened to the soundtrack after watching this film! I did it during spare time, I did it during homework, I did it in the car, I did it wherever I could! Major credit to Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch on creating this epic soundtrack that for some reason wasn’t nominated for a Golden Globe! I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the Academy says before the Oscars. I went to see this in IMAX laser and while I will say “Dunkirk” was a better and more immersive experience, this was a close second in terms of movie-going experiences this year. I’m not even finished with this yet, Harrison Ford gave a performance of a lifetime! The transition from 2019 Deckard to 2049 Deckard was perfect! Ryan Gosling was just as great as the character of K! I also love how it doesn’t try to set up a future universe or sequel, even though a sequel to this film would be nice. As much as I admire some movies that do that, we’re getting that way too much of that and it’s kind of getting less exciting the more we see it. This is a film that stands on its own, EARNS its near 3 hour runtime, and is something I’m deeply saddened that more people didn’t go see.

Also, before we go on, I’d like to say once again, I have an enormous admiration for this movie’s soundtrack. Since I might be a know-it-all, I will state that there is a song that’s on the “Blade Runner 2049” album which isn’t in the movie. It’s called “Almost Human,” it’s written by a Christian singer known as Lauren Diagle, and it’s a ride from start to finish. Lauren’s song is the last song on the album, and I think it really fits with the film. As far as it not being in the film, that’s not a major complaint to me because I don’t know how well it would fit in any of the film’s scenes. I’m not saying that because it has lyrics and the movie heavily relies on mostly grand techno music that is supposed to give a sense of scope. After all, this movie has songs from Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. I have a YouTube video up above that will allow you to listen to the song. If you have seen the film, but haven’t gotten a chance to listen to this song, give it a listen and tell me what you think, because this is how we roll on Scene Before. Even if you didn’t see the movie, you can still listen to this song and tell me your thoughts.

#1: Colossal

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That’s right folks! We have arrived at #1! We’re about to conclude what I consider to be one of the most important countdowns of the year! We are at the top of Mount Everest! We are at a cliffhanger! What’s my best movie of the year? “Logan’s” not on my list, so it can’t be that! Let me give you a hint. As mentioned, we’re at the top of the Mount Everest, and I assure you that Mount Everest itself is… “Colossal!” There are a number of movies where I literally went out feeling moved, and this my friends, is one of them. “Colossal” is not just one of my favorite movies of the year, it is one of my favorite movies PERIOD. I went in thinking this was going to be great. But I didn’t think it was great. I thought it was F*CKING GREAT! In fact, instead of going to see this movie, I actually wanted to go see “Kong: Skull Island,” but due to time constraints, I couldn’t. You know what? I think I made the right choice. This is one of the most original films I’ve ever seen. Sure, you’ve seen monster movies. Sure, you’ve seen drama movies. Sure, you’ve seen comedy movies. Sure, you’ve seen superhero movies. “Colossal” combines elements of all these genres to create one thrilling experience. The story of the film, is awesome! A party girl who likes to drink has connections with a monster in Seoul, South Korea. How f*cking rad is that?! Not only that, but there’s this whole thing underneath about alcoholism that’s handled very well. I felt somewhat bad for the characters who would constantly drink in this film. There’s a lot I want to talk about related to this film, but in order to do that, I need to spoil the hell out of it and I don’t want to do that. So I’ll just say, just about every scene involving the sandbox, made the movie worth a watch. Speaking of which, the climax contained two of my favorite scenes of the year, and those two add to be a couple of my favorites in cinematic history. Those scenes dropped my jaw and haunted me instantly. It took this film as it is and almost gave it a war film vibe, and then said vibe changed into something that would probably come from someone as insane as Orson Welles. In the year of 2017, I’m glad films like this are being made. Films that are original and moving. We need more of these films. I adore these films. And films like these can quite possibly make my #1 spot on my top movies of the year list.

Well folks! This list is over! We now have my top films of the year! I enjoy making countdowns like these, because unlike other countdowns where I have to do research sometimes, this is mainly just reflection. Pure reflection. Plus, this is on a topic I think about all year long. I build it all up for months and months in advance, we’re getting closer to the end, I can’t wait to talk about it, and it finally arrives. It’s kind of like sex, only longer. Although one thing’s missing, because I’m also a Negative Nancy. Since this year had some pain and suffering in it, not just in terms of the US and how its being run as a country, but also in terms of movies, I’m going to counting down my top 10 WORST movies of 2017. That list will be up very soon, I promise you. Thanks for reading this post and stay tuned for more great content! One such piece includes my top 10 WORST movies of 2017, as recently mentioned. I want to know, what are YOUR best movies of 2017? You can list one, you can do a top 5, top 10, top 15, top 20, whatever you want to do. I just want to know! This is where it all gets fun because I get to hear from you and I would be interested to see if our lists differ in any way. Do you think I missed a movie on this list? Do you agree or disagree with me? Leave a comment below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Is Dunkirk the Best IMAX Experience Ever?

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! If you followed my blog at all recently, you may know that I loved the movie “Dunkirk,” it’s not perfect, but I even think it has a slightly higher replay value than “Wonder Woman,” which I actually gave a 10/10 in my review for it, by the way, it’s still a 10/10 must see in my book. I originally gave “Dunkirk” a 9/10, which still stands, but the fact is I might watch “Dunkirk” more than “Wonder Woman,” at least that’s what my mind says for now, because “Dunkirk” is a very unique survival story whereas “Wonder Woman” has some cliches, although those cliches are done in a way to make you feel like you’re experiencing something totally new or fresh, kind of like in 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Not to mention, despite the villains being better than numerous MCU villains we’ve gotten over the years, they didn’t exactly reach a level of greatness. In my review for “Dunkirk,” one thing I touched upon, was the experience itself. “Dunkirk” is being released in 6 different formats, I only saw the movie once so for now I only got to experience “Dunkirk” in one format. The formats listed are IMAX 70mm, standard 70mm, 35mm, IMAX laser, standard IMAX digital, and traditional digital. By the way, there are no 3D options for this film, only 2D, which can be a plus considering the extra fee you’d usually have to pay for 3D. I did a post last month recommending that you should see “Dunkirk” on film, although today we’re gonna talk about IMAX because when I saw this movie in IMAX, it was a fairly unique experience, and this is coming from someone who often goes the movies and sees a good number of them in the IMAX format. When I went to see the movie, I got to experience it in IMAX 70mm in Providence, RI, IMAX 70mm is suggested to be the highest format possible. Slate has a very informative and excellent video on this whole format comparison and it is almost hard to say it better myself, the link is available below if you want to watch it.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2017/07/25/we_watched_dunkirk_in_standard_digital_and_70mm_imax_to_see_if_viewing_format.html

Now if you were planning on seeing “Dunkirk” at some point, first off, do it now while it’s still in theaters, it’s a great movie and deserves to be seen in the theater! Second, one of my biggest recommendations is that you avoid traditional digital projection. Why? Simply because you’ll be missing details or a scope from this movie that you could see in any other format. I’ve gone into depth about this before, but I need to bring it up again. When I brought it up for the first time, I said that you must see this movie on film. While that is true, today I’m going to talk about IMAX, specifically. Yes, even digital! And I actually want to talk about IMAX in depth, which I’ve done before, but this is gonna be informative.

Before we get into projection, I want to talk about one of IMAX’s screens. This is an IMAX digital screen. If a movie is being played and projected to cover the whole screen, the aspect ratio would be 1.90:1. The main purpose for these screens is to retrofit multiplex theaters such as Regal or AMC for “the IMAX experience.” Is it worth the money? To me, only in a number of circumstances. For example, if there’s a big movie out and I want to go to a super enormous IMAX only to find out they have no tickets left for the movie I’m see, that happened to me when I saw “Rogue One” on opening night, or if I want a bigger screen and tuned up audio than what you’d get in a normal theater. The digital IMAX experience is by no means, a terrible experience. It still has the traditional IMAX surround sound which moviegoers love, it still has a big screen, although it’s not as big as other IMAX screens and it’s only slightly bigger than a traditional movie theater screen. To compare, screens under the IMAX digital treatment, have been measured in feet, I have a local IMAX screen which has been marketed to be “eight stories high.” Is that an exaggeration? Possibly, but if you check out the screen in person, it’s pretty freaking huge!

Right here we have the IMAX digital projection system. This has, unfortunately, been cheating many moviegoers over the years. Not only is it small projection by IMAX standards, not only has it been used on small IMAX screens, but it also has been used on IMAX’s big screens as well. We’re gonna be talking about a couple more projectors in a moment, but let’s get something out of the way. The traditional IMAX aspect ratio, AKA, the aspect ratio you’d see while watching documentaries on IMAX’s big screens in museums, aquariums, and a few other places, is 1.43:1, and part of “Dunkirk,” was shot in order to be featured in that format. That means, no matter what you see on an IMAX screen like this, that is if the theater is using digital projection, there will be black bars on the top and bottom of whatever you’re seeing. In fact, there’s even this one movie I went to see in IMAX, in fact, IMAX brought back “The Wizard of Oz” for a week once. I have not seen “The Wizard of Oz” in IMAX anywhere, but it was only available for IMAX digital projection. So I would imagine that if you went to see this movie in a true IMAX theater, some folks might not only be distracted by black bars on the top and bottom of the screen, but also on the sides.

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Here we have what most folks, including me would refer to as “true IMAX.” This screen can be completely covered with an image which has an aspect ratio of 1.43:1 and the projectors that bring that image to life are actually the clearest IMAX has to offer. IMAX digital, when showing a movie, can create a 2K image with a dual set of projectors, whereas IMAX laser, an IMAX digital superior, also has a set of two projectors, but can fully project a 4K image. IMAX 70mm projectors can project images at a much higher quality. The contrast ratio is lower than the other projectors, but it’s not really that bothersome to me. I have a 4K TV in my room which has a lower contrast ratio than a 1080p TV I once had in my room, and I never recalled something like that bothering me. Granted it was only slightly lower, but still. In fact, when comparing the contrast ratios of these projectors, they are all not really too far apart from each other. The images you can see on this projector can be shown at a rate of 18K. These projectors have also operated in IMAXes with a 1.90:1 screen. A few years back, the Chinese Theater in Hollywood retrofitted one of their cinemas with IMAX technology including the IMAX digital projection system. Although in 2014, they did a special engagement for Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” which made them one of the theaters to feature the movie in the IMAX 70mm, so an IMAX 70mm projector was hooked up for this occasion. What did it look like on the screen? I don’t know. I imagine it looked nice, but I wouldn’t know if the curtains had to cover part of the screen to truly immerse the audience or what. As of now, they have the IMAX laser system. And I hear that they aren’t the only non-1.43:1 theater to have this. The Empire Leicester Square IMAX in London has a laser projection system as well.

Just an FYI on the traditional IMAX projection systems. The first one I’ll introduce is the Grand Theatre projector. This is an IMAX 70mm film projector, not only that, but it’s also the one intended for the largest of the IMAX screens. The top right picture contains a Small Rotor projector. This projector also plays IMAX 70mm film, although it is meant to be projected towards slightly smaller screens. Despite the screens being smaller, it’s still bigger than the screens you’d find at your standard multiplex’s IMAX digital theater. The last projector, displayed on the bottom is the IMAX laser projection system. As mentioned, this is clearer than IMAX digital. Granted this still digital, but it’s clearer digital.

Another theater I’ve yet to go over is the IMAX dome. These are also referred to as OMNIMAX. I don’t go to these theaters that often, in fact I’ve only been to one twice and they were both on school field trips. Unlike most theaters which has you looking at either a flat or slightly curved screen, the OMNIMAX will allow you to look upward at a screen that is basically showing you images in a fish eye perspective. IMAX screens are never flattened in any of the theaters which IMAX equipment exists. They are either curved or domed. And yes, domed is actually a word, I didn’t think it would be. Although if you don’t want to look at an IMAX screen that looks more like a TV screen or a traditional movie theater screen, OMNIMAX would be a good option. And to my knowledge, pretty much all of the OMNIMAX theaters operate with IMAX 70mm projection equipment. I heard La Geode, a dome in Paris which uses IMAX technology has made some upgrades over the years, but they still have the IMAX 70mm equipment for what I know. If you guys know of an IMAX dome that DOESN’T currently have IMAX 70mm technology, let me know about it in the comments section.

IMAX is also well known for its audible sound systems. IMAX theaters usually have 6 channels of surround sound in, but recently they’ve been installing 12 channel sound systems, both of which sound amazing and they totally shake the whole theater at times.

I know I’m going on for a while about this, but to get to my main point, I needed to talk about IMAX in general. As mentioned before, I saw this movie in IMAX 70mm film. I mentioned in my review for “Dunkirk” that this movie must be seen on film. Honestly, I think it should be seen any way you can see it, but you should seek out ways to see it that aren’t traditional digital projection. IMAX has digital projection, but since it’s technically a one of a kind theater, I wouldn’t say it has traditional digital projection. Let’s start off with the reason that can apply to every IMAX theater in the world, the sound.

I just recently mentioned that the sound is amazing in IMAX regardless of whether you’re in a theater that has 6 or 12 channels of surround sound. I’ve been to the IMAX many times in my life, and I’ve experienced a lot of movies there that really made me feel like I was in the action just on sound alone. There have however been few movies that have done that more than others. These include movies like “Interstellar,” “Night at the Museum,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and “Jurassic World.” “Dunkirk” is no exception to this. I can still recall when this movie started, it put me RIGHT into the action. After all, this movie, is basically, all action. It’s just one battle/survival sequence for nearly the whole runtime. Now I saw “Dunkirk” in an IMAX with 6 channels of surround sound, so imagine how much more audible this movie would be if I were in a theater that had twelve of these bad boys! I actually live ten minutes away from an IMAX with 12 channels of surround sound, so if I see “Dunkirk” there, just think about what would happen! This is one of those movies where I was also able to believe the sound. There have been movies where I’ve been impressed with sound editing, but sometimes it might either be sounds we’ve heard before, maybe one sound choice doesn’t work, or it just sounds too theatrical. Pretty much all of the sound in this movie, felt real. All of the bombs in this movie, sounded like real bombs. All of the gunfire sounded like real gunfire. There are some other really good sound choices during this movie. If you saw the first announcement teaser and remember all of those soldiers on the boat, the sound in that scene is awesome to say the least and it really built the tension.

Also, no matter where you see it, look forward to how the movie looks. This movie looks GORGEOUS. Not only is the cinematography a thing of beauty, but at times, it can really put you in the movie. This is partially because most of the movie was shot in the IMAX format, which as mentioned, can allow the whole screen to be covered. This at times will allow for a more immersive experience, especially if you’re seeing this movie in a 1.43:1 theater. At times, I felt like I was having all sorts of flyers going around me, the paper kind, not the plane kind. Also at times I felt like i was on a beach. One other example of how the IMAX technology is utilized is during the scenes featuring the fighter pilots. In “Star Wars” one of the best sequences in those movies happen to feature dogfighting in space and it is pretty fun to watch. It’s fast paced, it’s got terrific sound, it’s adventurous. Here though, it’s none of that, but I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. OK, I take that back, the sound’s actually not bad at all. In “Dunkirk,” it’s absolutely realistic. At times, you might look inside the cockpit of the fighter plane and notice the pilot and it’s just very crammed all over. Then you look outside and it’s almost like you’re the pilot and you’re just trying to concentrate on your enemies. The gunfire from the plane also sounded authentic and it didn’t feel Hollywoodized. Very little of this movie has sequences with black bars. You can look at other movies like “The Dark Knight” and possibly appreciate the IMAX sequences you get, but it takes up about thirty minutes of a movie which is two hours and thirty-two minutes long. “Dunkirk” is shorter than “The Dark Knight,” an hour and forty-six minutes to be specific. Although “Dunkirk” has more footage shot in the IMAX format and covers the screen for about eighty minutes of the entire movie, which means you get more time dedicated to greater immersion.

The only downside I can say I have with seeing this in IMAX 70mm, and this is something I actually noticed when watching “Interstellar” in IMAX 70mm as well, is that while the movie sounds beyond amazing, it might actually prevent you from hearing or understanding some dialogue. This was a minor issue though. When I was watching this movie, there was actually less I could understand. Partially because of the accents, which I’m able to let slide, and also because of the music. Don’t get me wrong, the music was spectacular. I love the work and effort Hans Zimmer put into this movie’s score which was really engaging, but sometimes it was overpowering and I couldn’t hear some dialogue. It’s a minor issue though in my book. I imagine that would probably be different when experiencing this movie in a different fashion. Also, another reason why this is a minor issue to me is because I wasn’t able to connect with any character during this movie.

As much of a disconnection with characters sounds like a negative, to me, it’s a positive. Because from what I gathered, this movie isn’t about the characters, it’s about the event itself, and despite how the movie didn’t take much time to build characters, I still rooted for all of them because their ultimate goal, is just to survive, and I gotta say given the situation they’re in, rooting for them makes lots of sense. I just want to say something, Michael Bay should take notes from this movie. Because if you watch any of the movies from his “Transformers” series, you might notice how he doesn’t make it mainly about the transformers and basically gives human characters more spotlight. In every one those movies, you have either Shia LeBouf or Mark Wahlberg playing their own version of “Mr. Relatable” and the Transformers are essentially there with their own story to provide the movie’s action even though there’s more focal points of the movie with that. If Michael Bay toned it down with the human characters and put in more robot action, these might be better movies. I’m not saying the human stuff is terrible, it just isn’t all that necessary. With that being said, this movie which is a focal point of the post, is “Dunkirk,” it doesn’t have any person’s name in it, it’s just “Dunkirk.” Sure, this movie can be called “Dunkirk” and still work with relatable characters in it, but the take without any sort of character development personally worked for me because let’s face it, war is brutal. War sometimes doesn’t give you much time to sit around and talk or have chats during battle. This movie doesn’t really give any of the characters any time to relax, therefore it doesn’t give you any time to relax, and I felt like I was at war the whole time, partially thanks to the ridiculously cool IMAX experience I had. While we’re still talking about this, the only thing missing was the blood, however the movie is still realistic enough even without blood.

No matter where you end up seeing the movie “Dunkirk,” you’ll probably end up having a good experience, but why settle at good? Standard digital projection at this point may be considered good, but any other format can provide a better experience and when it comes to IMAX specifically, this movie was made for it per se. I’ve seen a lot of movies in IMAX, immersion is a factor that has often applied to the IMAX experiences I’ve witnessed, and it is not really hard for IMAX movies to allow you to immerse into them, but this one, made me feel like I was literally in it, as if it were super immersion. Is this the best IMAX experience of all time? It’s most certainly one of them, maybe not the best to me, but it’s VERY CLOSE, but it could be the best to some people. I personally thought “Interstellar” was the best IMAX experience I’ve encountered, not to mention the best movie experience I encountered. I still remember the beginning of the movie when I heard the Indian surveillance drone flying by. It was almost as if the sound of the drone entered one ear and flew out the other. Also, if you can a place that has IMAX 70mm equipment and it’s being used for “Dunkirk,” go there. There are BARELY any movies played in that format and this is one of this year’s couple movies playing in IMAX film, if you want to know the other one that’s actually going to be “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”  On a last note, go see “Dunkirk,” just do it, in fact based recent critical responses, you’re probably better off taking your kids to see “Dunkirk” as opposed to “The Emoji Movie.” Thanks for reading this post, and speaking of IMAX, I’ve actually just encountered some interesting and shocking news concerning IMAX because it involves an alteration that probably nobody saw coming. That, as a matter of fact, is how IMAX plans to calm down a little bit on 3D releases. I might do a post on that, I’m not sure, but we’ll see what happens. Also be sure to stay tuned for more movie reviews, including possibly one for “The Emoji Movie,” a review I don’t want to do, but I’ve been requested to do it, so I may as well get that s*itshow out of the way. Stay tuned for more great content! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Dunkirk (2017): A Bloodless, Yet Realistic Depiction of War

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Now before we begin my review for “Dunkirk,” I want to remind you that this movie is playing in several formats all over the world. If you want more information on that or if you want help on deciding how or where you should see the movie, I’ve got a couple links down below. The first link is to a post I did about a month ago concerning this movie, and if you aren’t satisfied with that, the second link is to a Vox article on the same topic, and personally, even though the first link is my own work, I will admit I think the Vox article does a better job on showcasing all of its information and including all of the necessary details whereas I might leave certain things out or focus on certain ideas more than others, so make your pick. Nevertheless, both of these are informative reads and don’t worry, neither of these contain spoilers for “Dunkirk.” Anyway, on with the review!

MY POST: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/why-dunkirk-must-be-seen-on-35mm-film-70mm-film-imax-70mm-film-or-imax-laser/

VOX ARTICLE: https://www.vox.com/culture/2017/7/19/15985474/dunkirk-explainer-format-imax-digital-70mm-35mm-buy-ticket

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“Dunkirk” is directed by Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Interstellar), one of my favorite directors of all time. The movie has characters played by Fionn Whitehead (Him), Aneurin Barnard (War & Peace, Citadel), Kenneth Branagh (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Henry V), Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises, Mad Max: Fury Road), Mark Rylance (The BFG, Bridge of Spies), Barry Keoghan (Rebellion, ’71), Jack Lowden (Denial, The Tunnel), Tom Glynn-Carney, and Harry Styles, which if you’re a dad and you have a teenage daughter, there’s a chance to your misfortune that she probably dragged you to a concert he has performed at one point.

This movie is based on a true story which took place during World War II. Basically, the entire movie revolves around a battle which the Allied soldiers of Britain, Belgium, and France are surrounded by the Germans. At this time, the Allies are trying to flee away from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk, France.

If there’s one thing I was anticipating about this film, perhaps near the top of list of things to anticipate in this film, it was the experience itself. This movie was shot partially with IMAX cameras and the rest was shot with standard 65mm cameras. No matter where this movie was going to be shown, it was probably gonna end up looking beautiful based on footage I witnessed before going to see this film in the theater, but if it was shown on a high quality projector, it might just be like looking at something with a naked eye. Now I saw this movie at a theater which is over an hour away from my house, it’s an IMAX theater and it’s located in Providence, RI, and I went for a number of reasons. To see the film the way Christopher Nolan intended, to see the film on film, and possibly catch details that my friends seeing this movie at a standard theater like AMC, Regal, Showcase, Carmike, Warren, Cinemark, Alamo Drafthouse, or Santikos won’t see if they actually happen to check out this movie at a theater like that. As I’m writing this review, not only do I recommend you see this movie on film, preferably on higher quality film, if you see this in digital, unless it’s IMAX probably, especially laser, you may as well be missing out on a film experience to remember. Because this may be in my top 5 (wild guess) movie experiences, based on picture and sound, I’ve ever encountered. Regardless of what you think of this movie in terms of content or story, this will definitely be something to remember based on senses. Also, if you want a link to where you can find all of the theaters playing the movie in 70mm, including IMAX, here’s a link to where you can find them, and I’ll give credit to these guys because the image displayed above showing a format comparison, that’s something I found in this link.

http://nofilmschool.com/2017/07/christopher-nolan-dunkirk-70mm-release

Before going into the theater, I’ve seen a number of a reviews for this film, and one complaint I’ve often heard is the lack of characterization in this film. Now, THAT IS TRUE, there is a lack of characterization. But you know what? I don’t f*cking care! Because believe it or not, it actually works! Let’s face it, this is a film about war, this is a film about survival. There’s action throughout the ENTIRE movie, not to mention this is based on true events. I can imagine some people talked with others during this scenario a little bit, but I think there aren’t many times when someone makes friends or just has time to chit chat when they’re in the middle of a big, loud battle of a war. Don’t get me wrong, characterization can work in movies, but not every movie needs it. And there definitely have been times where it didn’t work. Just look at the “Star Wars” prequels! I got to say, this is one of those movies I really appreciate, even though I barely know anybody’s name or much of their background aside from which side they’re on.

This paragraph is gonna focus one of my biggest fears going into this film, and then I’m gonna drift off track a bit, then we’ll get back into gear. You may be curious, what is this big fear? Well, ladies and gentlemen, that fear happened to be, Harry Styles. If you don’t know who Harry Styles is, he’s actually never acted in a movie before. He’s done few things prior to “Dunkirk” in terms of acting, but ultimately, he hasn’t really done that much. What does he typically do? Well, if you are aware of the boy band, One Direction, Styles is actually a singer-songwriter for the band. I have NO INTEREST in One Direction, in fact I’m not a teenage girl who has posters of hunks in his room. I’m a teenage boy with posters of superheroes in his room. On the topic of teenage fangirls going into this movie, many of them, based on tweets I read, were looking forward to see Styles on the big screen. In fact, when they were watching this in the theater, apparently they thought to themselves, and this is, in writing, my very own Harry Styles fangirl impression: “OMG! GIVE THAT HUNKY HARRY ALL THE OSCARS! 😍💞” Based on this evidence before going to the theater, I honestly thought this was pure fangirling, although at the same time maybe they were complimenting his performance. I’m not insinuating every Harry Styles fangirl will like something just because Harry Styles is in it, maybe some do, I don’t know, but this did sound like pure fangirling. Now I will admit, I’m a fanboy in many aspects. I’m a fanboy of “Spider-Man,” “Star Wars,” “King of the Nerds,” Christopher Nolan, IMAX, JK Simmons, “Portal,” Howie Mandel, Curtis Armstrong, Robert Carradine, Gal Gadot, and many game shows. Although as a fanboy, believe it or not, I don’t automatically fully appreciate something just because there’s something specific attached to it. I might fully appreciate something if there’s something specific DONE RIGHT attached to it. What do I mean? For “Star Wars,” something I consider done right for example is the most recent film in the franchise, “Rogue One,” and something I consider wrong in the franchise is “The Phantom Menace.” For Gal Gadot, I think she’s sexy, I love her as Wonder Woman, and I will even say she partially saved “Batman v. Superman” from being a total catastrophe, although she was in the movie “Criminal” which came out in 2016, which was rather underwhelming, she was alright in it though.

Sticking with the original topic, how was Styles in this movie? He wasn’t bad at all, as far as his performance went, fangirls, this your warning to keep your cool, it didn’t stand out. I’m not complaining when I say that, but you also have to consider who else was cast in this movie. And I’m not saying they were better, OK, I actually am saying that, but that’s not my point. My point is that you have a lot of characters in this movie, and they were mostly white males with similar hairstyles. You may as well also consider the whole characterization thing I mentioned not long ago, the fact that Harry hasn’t done acting all that much, and performances across the board had many similarities. Besides, this movie revolved around men at war. By the way, out of all the Harry Styles look-a-likes in this movie, I gotta say Fionn Whitehead probably gave the best performance out of all of them. After seeing this movie though, I will say I wouldn’t mind seeing Harry Styles in more movies. His acting is certainly better than his singing. Then again, I’ll mention, I’M TEENAGE BOY, WHAT CAN I SAY? Although I gotta say there is a performance that stood out to me.

The guy on the left, Tom Glynn-Carney played a character in this film. It may be the red sweater talking, I don’t know, but I liked his performance. It felt really authentic, I felt like I was at a doctor’s office going into some medical procedure and the doctor said to me, “Don’t worry sir, you’ll be alright,” although in reality he’s about to shove some crap inside me I can’t even describe, and probably don’t even want to describe. I’m not saying that’s how his character was in the movie, it’s just what his character, performance-wise, reminded me of.

Since I’m bringing up fears I had going into this film on this post, I’ll bring up more. Another fear I had, is the fact that the film was PG-13. This wasn’t really a huge fear of mine, but it was still there. In films containing some sort of war such as “Saving Private Ryan” or “The Patriot,” you might expect some blood, therefore contributing to the R rating. Although then again “Lord of the Rings” has a lot of war in it and yet for what I recall that barely has any blood. In fact the extended edition of “Return of the King” is actually said to have the highest body count ever recorded in a movie. After seeing this movie, the sound, the effects, the atmosphere, and the performances all felt realistic. There wasn’t much blood, I did see some, but it wasn’t all that much and it wasn’t moving. By the way, if you watch this movie, look forward to the dogfights, seeing this in full frame IMAX from first person perspective is as the kids call it now, lit. I’ll even go as far as to say that these moments in first person are actually more fun to watch than the entirety of “Hardcore Henry,” and that movie was basically in first person from beginning to end!

Speaking of the film’s highlights, Hans Zimmer scored this film. If you ask me, it’s hard to choose a favorite movie composer, however, it is easy to say which movie was composed best out of all the ones I’ve seen. That to me, would be “Interstellar,” also directed by Christopher Nolan and composed by Hans Zimmer. Now this is the seventh project these two have worked on together, and yes, I’m also including “Man of Steel” even though Nolan didn’t direct it. He did write and produce it though. I’ve seen a lot of films these two have done and I’m impressed with a lot of their work. “Dunkirk’s” soundtrack, much like others I’ve heard from Zimmer, along with all the sound I heard in this movie, made my ears have orgasms! Is the music exactly hummable? I wouldn’t say so, however if I listen to it a few times, I might have it down. Although it was awesome nevertheless. This score also does something you might hear in the “Interstellar” and “Inception” scores. If you pay close attention when watching the movie or when listening to the soundtrack, you may hear ticking and tocking. It’s almost as if it’s saying that time is not on the side of the hero. Although when it comes to displaying time, “Interstellar” does that best out of these three scores, which is saying something since the “Inception” soundtrack has a song literally called “Time.”

One of my personal favorite one word movie quotes comes from “The Matrix,” and it’s Keanu Reeves’s character of Neo saying “Whoa.” And BOY was I uttering that throughout the movie. Although when I said “whoa,” it was more of a soft exclamation than a declaration. I mentioned I love how this movie was presented in terms of clarity and how it was shot, but I also love the sound. The first bullet that goes off in this movie, literally set me up for nonstop action and motivated me for what’s to come. The sound overall felt real, especially the bombs and planes. This is just a fraction of the incredible immersion I felt from this astoundingly audible and picture perfect film.

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In the end, I enjoyed the crap out of this movie. I don’t watch many war films, but this is one of those films, that was a visual experience. I’ve had many of these films which I came across throughout my lifetime. There’s “Interstellar” (YES, I’M MENTIONING IT AGAIN, I’M SORRY, IT’S THAT GOOD OF A MOVIE), “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Matrix,” “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” “Gravity,” “La La Land,” the entire “Lord of the Rings” saga, and “Terminator 2: Judgement Day.” There’s very little dialogue, you don’t really get to know the characters, and while many other movies or TV shows work because you get to know the characters, this movie works because you DON’T get to know the characters. The technical aspects in this movie AUTOMATICALLY make me want to run all the way back to the theater to see this again! This is one of the LOUDEST movies I’ve witnessed in my life! I want to buy the Blu-Ray, although if there’s a 4K edition I’ll probably snatch that. What else can I say except, Christopher Nolan has done it again! This is not my favorite flick from Nolan, but it is certainly some of his best work. I’m gonna give “Dunkirk” a 9/10. I’m giving this a 9 because this is a movie that I would HIGHLY recommend. Definite seal of approval from me! The characters aren’t developed, but I don’t care, because given the situations the characters are facing throughout the movie, it was enough for me to root for them. And I’ll say, this MIGHT, and I say MIGHT jump to a 10 later. It’ll probably depend on the movie’s replay value and if I pick up on any details I may have missed the first time I watched this movie, and part of me is willing to bet I did miss something. Also, PLEASE SEE THIS IN A THEATER IN THE LARGEST FORMAT POSSIBLE OR ON FILM. Don’t pirate this movie, don’t wait for Netflix, this film IS worth your money. Thanks for reading this review, as you can obviously tell, I really appreciated the movie, and right now I might put this in my top 5 best of the year. As far as upcoming reviews go, pretty soon I’m gonna try to see “Atomic Blonde” or “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.” Stay tuned for those reviews if I ever get around to them, and I hope I can get those out soon. …Wait a sec, I feel like I’m forgetting something… Oh right, that piece of crap. If you want me to see the horse’s ass I like to call “The Emoji Movie,” leave a comment with the hashtag #GOSCREWYOURSELFEMOJIMOVIE and while it’s not guaranteed I’ll see it, the chances of me seeing it will definitely increase the more users I see commenting. Leave a comment if that’s something that interests you.

Also, if you are interested in Christopher Nolan much like myself, or if you want to know my thoughts on his movies, be sure to check out my reviews for “Interstellar,” “Inception,” and “Insomnia.” The links are down below, check those out, and stay tuned for more reviews! I hope to see this movie again, hopefully in the theater, I know a theater close to my house is playing this in 70mm film and another is playing it in IMAX laser, we’ll see what happens! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

“INCEPTION” REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/07/19/inception-2010-beyond-your-wildest-dreams/

“INSOMNIA” REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/07/11/insomnia-2002-a-movie-thats-better-the-second-time-watching-it/

“INTERSTELLAR” REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/07/04/interstellar-a-beautiful-intense-breathtaking-brilliant-sci-fi-marvel/

Why Dunkirk MUST Be Seen on 35mm Film, 70mm Film, IMAX 70mm Film, or IMAX Laser

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Let me ask you a question, when it comes to movies, who is your favorite director? If you ask me, my personal pick would probably be Christopher Nolan. I haven’t seen all of his films, but I have seen a number of them, even if I don’t LOVE his films, I can still highly appreciate them in one way or another. The biggest way that comes to mind is how a number of his movies are shot.

If you don’t work in the film industry or you don’t really care about a film’s technical aspects, you might not be aware that most movies nowadays are shot with digital cameras. I will say that these cameras have brought various benefits. One of the biggest benefits in my opinion is that digital cameras had allowed greater opportunities for movies to be shot in 3D and look good in 3D. Granted, 3D films can also be shot in 2D, whether it be shot on digital or not, and be converted. But I remember seeing films shot in 3D and looking amazing on screen. However, let’s talk about an older technology…

If you have seen an movie that someone may consider “older,” chances are extremely likely that it was shot on film. From my experience of someone who has done research on various cameras and movies, film is superior in a number of ways. These are all based on resolution, grain, and not to mention from personal experience, how it looks on a projector. Part of that is why I want to talk about “Dunkirk,” which is Christopher Nolan’s next movie, it is due to come out next month.

According to the image above, “Dunkirk” will be in theaters everywhere, but it is also letting us know that it will be watchable in various film formats. These formats include 35mm film, 70mm film, and IMAX 70mm film. Nowadays when you go see a film, it is projected digitally, and from experience it would usually be shown in a format that is higher than full HD, which is 1080p. To my knowledge, a good number of theaters which happen to be equipped with digital projectors show movies in formats such as 2K which is higher than the resolution of high definition and 4K which is higher than that. Based on research I’ve done, 35mm is greater than even 4K. When I was born, this was still a standard in cinemas, digital was on the rise, but that doesn’t mean 35mm was completely dead. 70mm was pretty common before I was born. This was shown in a resolution that is greater than 35mm and I also heard the sound is greater with this format. This was also typically shown in a theater with a considerably big screen. 35mm is shown a screen which is a size similar to that of your standard digital presentation but the 35mm is as mentioned, higher in terms of quality. I will say, as much as I could talk about 35mm and 70mm film, I’m not going to. I think I’ve said what needs to be heard at this point. They are both ancient pieces of technology that would honestly still hold up compared to what’s used nowadays in most movie theaters.

Now let’s get to the big guns, IMAX 70mm. When I really got into movies and their technical aspects, this was something I did a lot of research on. Why did I do research on this? Well, I just got into 3D which made me start going to the IMAX more and one day I came across more on the company. Such information included the movies they did, their logo history, and their projectors. Little did I realize I was being lied to. Let’s trace this back to the beginning…

Up above we have two images. On the left we have an image of an IMAX screen, not just any IMAX screen as a matter of fact, but it is also is the IMAX screen of the theater I always went to as a kid. The theater is now known as the Sunbrella IMAX 3D Theater, but before, this has been under multiple sponsors including Comcast, Verizon, and Tempur-Pedic. This is located in Reading, MA. I saw multiple movies here and I ended up having fun during all of my experiences, even during “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” which I hear many people hate. The reason why I bring that up is because I threw up during that experience. Sounds eccentric, I know, but still, it’s something that happened in my past so I feel it is worth discussing. At the time, this theater was equipped with an IMAX 3D 70mm film projector. This projector is known as the GT (Grand Theatre) projector. There is a projector that is similar to this that is capable of fitting in smaller IMAX theaters but has the same technologies, it is known as the SR (small rotor). Unfortunately, with the rise of digital, the film projector in this theater wasn’t going to last forever. In 2012, the theater switched to digital, which still allowed a cool IMAX experience to be had and a greater contrast ratio to be displayed on the screen, but the overall experience was missing something. A TRUE EXPERIENCE. Fun fact, before this theater was converted, there were other IMAX theaters introduced with new projectors, one of them being the projector in this theater that was the successor to the film projector, these projectors were supposed to fit on an IMAX MUCH SMALLER than the one in this theater, not to mention any older IMAX theater in existence. Here’s a chart I want to show you…

Right here is a comparison between two IMAX theaters in New York City, both of them operate under the well known cinema chain, AMC, but they have key differences, one of them is big, the other is small, and I say this by the standards of IMAX. The bigger screen is something you’d find in an older IMAX, and the smaller screen is something you’d see in a newer IMAX which is traditionally found in multiplexes.

Right here is a demonstration of the IMAX difference with footage from last year’s “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.” This film had select footage shot with IMAX cameras, the same type which was partially used during this film, if that footage was shown in a regular theater, the entire film would have been shown at an aspect ratio of 2.4:1, if it was shown in IMAX digital, then the film would have been presented mostly in 2.4:1, but have select footage shown in 1.9:1, which covers the entire screen of an IMAX digital setup if this were shown in a multiplex, but not if shown in an IMAX which originally had a 70mm projector. In a classic IMAX theater with the true IMAX experience, this would have been at an aspect ratio of 1.43:1, this ratio covers the entire screen. This is something you would see with an IMAX documentary or something like that, but it’s once in a blue moon that you get to see this with an IMAX film that is digitally mastered for the experience like all of those big blockbusters made in Hollywood. In fact, here’s a list of IMAX digitally mastered films that have been able to cover the whole screen simply because they’ve been shot with IMAX cameras.

1: The Dark Knight
2: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
3: Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
4: The Dark Knight Rises
5: Star Trek: Into Darkness
6: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
7: Interstellar
8: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
9: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
10: A Beautiful Planet

As you can tell, there aren’t that many times when the screen has been full except for IMAX documentaries. Apparently, according to IMDb and Wikipedia, there are a couple of Dreamworks Animations that have also gotten the true IMAX treatment, but I’m not listing those because those weren’t shot with a camera. Granted I saw the ones which were associated with this identification (Kung Fu Panda, “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa), but still.

With these specs in mind, I would like to tell you that I have been through said experiences at least once. When I went to see “Interstellar” in 2014, I saw it in IMAX 70mm, when I went to see “Star Wars Episode VII” one of the showings I went to was in IMAX digital, and I’ll use the same film as an example for the regular theater. IMAX 70mm wins by a long shot because you can get a view of the screen as if it is actually your eye. It fills up a good portion of your vision and when you add in the amazing sound quality, it’s bliss. For IMAX digital, it’s a fun experience, but it doesn’t realy make you feel like you’re in the movie. It’s close, but no cigar. Although I will say it is better than a traditional movie theater experience due to IMAX digital have a slightly bigger screen, not to mention having a screen that goes from ceiling to floor as well as wall to wall. I will say, I did see “The Force Awakens” in true IMAX too. Well, sort of. Let’s talk about IMAX laser.

Right here is IMAX’s 4K laser projection system. When this all started, this was a project that was being developed in cooperation with Eastman Kodak since April 2012. This was designed to be a digital projection system not only capable of surpassing the quality of IMAX digital, but also meant to replace the older IMAX film equipment. Not many of these projectors exist for what I know, although do you recall that theater I mentioned earlier? The one I went to as a kid? Well turns out I still go today, and now I have a better reason to go than I did in times from 2012-2015. Why? In the summer of 2015, the theater closed its doors for a period of time, this was to make some upgrades. One of them was a superior sound system. What’s the difference? The old sound system has 6 channels, the new sound system has 12. Not to mention, you even got speakers on the ceiling now. There aren’t many places you can find this! Also, let’s dive into the gem of focus, the laser projector. As mentioned, it is capable of displaying images of 4K and have a contrast ratio which is double that of an IMAX film projector. While this is a brighter projector, I wouldn’t say you can see more of an image on it. You can definitely see A LOT, but it is not at the maximum quality. However, the biggest thing this does resolve from my view is the inability to fill up an entire screen, so when I saw “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in this format, 5 minutes of that film, the escape from Jakku to be specific, was presented in a 1.43:1 aspect ratio as opposed to 1.9:1. I will say though, at the laser theaters, the sound is probably better than the film theaters based on the number of channels.

So ultimately, if you ask me, IMAX laser is worth the ticket price you’re paying, especially when you compare it to IMAX digital, which is cool, but not extraordinary. Although if you ask me, I would rather pay to see a film in IMAX 70mm, and that is only to see a superior image, embrace older technology, and based on previous experiences, get something I wouldn’t usually see. Because IMAX laser is capable of playing a lot of films that are presented in IMAX digital, but the same cannot be said for films playing in IMAX 70mm. Want to know what I mean? Here’s a Wikipedia page displaying all of the films that have gone through the IMAX DMR (digital media remastering) process, and it shows the projection options that have been available for certain films.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_IMAX_DMR_films

So if you want an experience that is truly unlike any other you’re getting nowadays, and I say that now more than ever because this movie exists, please go see this movie on film (any format) or in IMAX laser. I personally am excited because there is a theater in Providence, RI, which is just over an hour away from my house that is getting the IMAX 70mm treatment (OR SO I HEAR, I WONDER IF THAT’S EVEN HAPPENING), and if this is the case, this is probably the first time the equipment is being used for a DMR film since “Interstellar,” which is directed by the same guy doing this film. I went to see “Interstellar” at this theater and I am more than thankful of my aunt Jenni for taking me and keeping a promise we had to do so. I also am aware that Coolidge Corner Theatre and The Somerville Theatre, which are both close to my house, happen to be getting this movie in 70mm film. I’d personally go see this movie in IMAX 70mm first because that is my personal favorite experience of the bunch, and if I end up liking the film and want to see it again, I can make a trip to one of the closer theaters and get a regular 70mm experience. I mean, I probably am gonna like this movie, it’s done by Christopher Nolan, and to me, it’s hard NOT to like his work, so I have absolute confidence that this upcoming film will be good. Anyway, thanks for reading this post, “Dunkirk” is in theaters everywhere July 21, but special engagements in 35mm, 70mm, and IMAX 70mm film will be available on July 19. Also, this upcoming weekend, I have plans to see the film, “Transformers: The Last Knight.” *Pause* *Chuckles* That’s so cute, I just called it a film. Based on what you just read, you can probably tell I don’t have much hype for it, but I’m seeing it anyway because I’ve seen all the others and I want something to review. Stay tuned for that along with more reviews! And when “Dunkirk” comes out in July, stay tuned for that review! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!