Captain Marvel (2019): Not That Marvelous

mv5bmte0ywfmotmtytu2zs00ztixlwe3otetytniyzbkzjvizthixkeyxkfqcgdeqxvyodmzmzq4oti40._v1_sy1000_cr006751000_al_

“Captain Marvel” is directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Sugar, Half Nelson) and stars Brie Larson (Room, The Glass Castle), Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Snakes On a Plane), Ben Mendelsohn (Ready Player One, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Djimon Hounsou (Gladiator, Blood Diamond), Lee Pace (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Lincoln), Lashana Lynch (Fast Girls, Brotherhood), Gemma Chan (Mary Queen of Scots, Crazy Rich Asians), Annette Bening (American Beauty, 20th Century Women), Clark Gregg (The New Adventures of Old Christine, 500 Days of Summer), and Jude Law (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Closer). This film is the 21st installment in the cinematic universe. Good luck with your marathons, newcomers! “Captain Marvel” is about a soldier from another world who has memories of her past on Earth. As she is sent down to Earth, or as her planet’s kind calls it, “C-53,” she must combat a foreign force who can disguise themselves into other people and save the universe from further destruction.

OK… Here we go. I went into this movie rather excited. I must point out though, it is not because I am seeing the movie, but because I got to see it in the historic Chinese Theatre. This was kind of a dream of mine and I was waiting to go away to see this movie instead of seeing it on its first two nights just to make the experience special. And it was! When it comes to my familiarity with Captain Marvel, it is admittedly lower compared to other superheroes. But regardless of how familiar audiences and I are with this character, Disney and Marvel had an excellent marketing opportunity on their hands. They have never done a movie with a woman in the lead role before, so after almost eleven years of making MCU films, this is the first time this was being done. Unfortunately, it was not good.

Let me just get some things out of the way. I’m straight, I’m white, and I am a male. I am well aware that my physical and internal qualities that I can’t change, unless I go through surgery, puts me in the position of associating with the most hated type of person on the planet. So… reviewing this movie is hard. But I will say some things that I actually found to be good about the movie. This movie is kind of a crowd-pleaser. Much like a bunch of other MCU films, it had many attempts at humor, some of which totally worked. Some of the action is flashy and the visuals are very colorful. Speaking of that, the deaging done on Samuel L. Jackson is top-notch. And there are tons of callbacks to the 1990s that take up a portion of screentime.

Blockbuster Video, as seen in the trailer, plays a big role in the film. There’s a couple moments where people were laughing because of how 1990s technology worked. There was the use of Dial-up, CD-ROM had its share of screentime, and as I imagine some people expected, pagers were used in the movie.

But as a story, the movie is cliche, which would be fine because “Wonder Woman” was actually cliche and that film was actually pretty kick-ass, but the thing about “Wonder Woman” which made me not care for “Captain Marvel” is the difference in pacing. “Captain Marvel,” in reality, was a somewhat boring movie. Granted, there were parts that were exciting and entertaining, but there was a part of me that didn’t care about what was going on, I didn’t give a crap about the Kree, and after watching the movie, there are perhaps some parts that I feel like I am going to forget about in less than a month.

Let’s talk about Brie Larson in this film. I like Brie Larson as an actress. She’s very talented, she’s won awards, and she is in one of my favorite movies of 2015, “Room.” Also, I just watched “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” a movie featuring said actress, and that was one of the best films I’ve seen in recent memory. Brie Larson has a tendency to sign on to play good roles. Granted, this doesn’t always happen (watch “The Glass Castle”), but she usually has a keen eye for her roles. In fact she joined a movie that I am rather excited for the more I hear about it, “Just Mercy.” Knowing how the world of Hollywood tends to work, or at least having an illusion as to thinking I know how it works, Brie Larson definitely saw potential in a role as her particular character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Based on the legacy of said universe, I could definitely see potential. However, the execution of her performance was… I don’t know how to say this… Very off and on. The elements are all there for a decent Captain Marvel performance at the very least. A lot of the mannerisms done in the movie are all right for said character, and there is some range presented in terms of personality. But I feel like Brie Larson was at times directed to act a certain way that just didn’t work. It felt like watching multiple characters in one to the point where it is almost easy to assume Captain Marvel had multiple personality disorder. The performance just kind of didn’t work for me, which is absolutely disappointing because Brie Larson is practically an A-list actress. She won an Oscar for crying out loud! There are some moments where I found Captain Marvel to have some charisma behind her, some emotions to display, and others where she is just stoic. While there are times where such emotions (or lack thereof) can work for the movie, it is hard to tell exactly if everything flows as properly as I would hope. Speaking of proper flow…

One of the best movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Not only did it make a rather unknown comic book IP become known and loved by millions, but when the first movie came out, it was actually pretty unique as far as comic book movies go. And one way that statement can be supported is through the movie’s soundtrack. Not only is it fun to listen to, but it has practically had an association with the movie in a way that many other soundtracks don’t. While “Captain Marvel,” unlike “Guardians,” doesn’t rely on a soundtrack for music all that much (maybe except for 90s’ references), there is this one moment where a pop song can be heard. I won’t go into much detail, but it is during a fight. If the crew behind this film was trying to capitalize on the success of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” then I can totally see that. But it didn’t f*cking work. In fact, that “Guardians”-esque moment, might just be the most cringeworthy part of the entire movie. And for those of you who know what I am talking about, I don’t know if you will agree with me, but this is just how I feel. In fact, it totally wouldn’t surprise me if some of these songs were put in because of “Guardians of the Galaxy’s” popularity because Nicole Perlman worked on this movie, earning herself a story credit. For the record, she was a writer behind “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

I will give some credit to Samuel L. Jackson however because like usual, he did a fine job as Nick Fury. And I will give even more credit to whoever deaged him. Sticking with the “Guardians of the Galaxy” theme, one of the highlights of the truly disappointing “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” was the deaging CGI done on Kurt Russell. It was nice to see Nick Fury not only have hair, but believable looking hair. Jackson’s performance as Fury was definitely worth buying for how such a character would behave in the 1990s. However, without going into spoilers, there is something that happens in this film that references something in the future, and it takes place during the end of the film (no, not during the credits, around the climax). It is absolutely crucial to Fury’s character. The way that this film manages to go about it, managed to get a big laugh from the audience, but I thought this GIF would sum up my thoughts on this whole situation.

Image result for jeopardy gif stupid

Now imagine a part of my brain saying that for an eternity, and you have my thoughts on this moment towards the end of the climax.

And I gotta say, I feel like I am in a weird place as I review this movie. I am a straight white male. I have nothing against women having their own superhero. What I am against however is when people think take the idea of gender equality and twist it to make one gender look better than the other, and I will say, despite “Captain Marvel’s” numerous flaws, not to mention its overall lack of memorability, one of its strengths is that it made a woman look good as a role model, while not exactly putting guys down. If you have ever seen me talk about the 2016 “Ghostbusters,” chances are you know my thoughts on that movie, and none of them are good. One thing I absolutely hated about the 2016 “Ghostbusters” movie is that it went out of its way to display moments that practically make just about every man in the movie look like idiots. There’s a secretary played by Chris Hemsworth who literally makes Patrick Star look like a genius. They ruin the reputation of Bill Murray. And there’s a scene where the ladies shoot a giant ghost in the nuts. There are no moments where I feel like if I had a place in the “Captain Marvel” movie’s universe where I’d have an IQ below 40. Thanks, “Captain Marvel!”

I don’t really have too much more to say in terms of my own originally gathered thoughts, but I will point out that when it comes to “Captain Marvel,” I feel like this movie manages to disappoint me in more ways than I would imagine. While the villain in this film could definitely be worse, I feel like we are going back to phase 1 and even phase 2 MCU, because the villain here was just not memorable. And speaking of villains I don’t really find to be all that great, Ronan the Accuser apparently had a few moments in this film! Like… OK… More “Guardians of the Galaxy” stuff, whoppity do! I have no idea why you even needed much of Ronan’s presence in the movie, but somehow he’s here! Then again, his appearance, much like the film’s main antagonist, could definitely be worse.

Also, another thing to consider about “Captain Marvel” is that this is the 21st film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now that we have gotten to this point, it is getting harder to impress me because a viewer, it almost feels like I’ve seen everything. Granted, there are some unseen things in “Captain Marvel.” This is the first female-led film in the franchise, this is the first film to take place mainly in the 1990s, and it is also the first film where we get to see a cat play a significant role.

By the way, if anyone wants to know my thoughts on Goose the Cat, I thought he was funny, but I don’t think I liked him as much as other people. Although I imagine this character is going to inspire some people to create some funky, psychedelic t-shirts, which if that is the case, I can’t wait.

However, going back to my main point, I have been a follower of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for years. And with following, comes knowledge, and having a competent knowledge of the MCU, to MAYBE hold my own in a related trivia competition, makes me realize that a lot has happened over the years. There are times when material might just seem like something we’ve seen in the past, but with a different name attached. “Captain Marvel,” the more I think about it, just seems like a newer, inferior version of “Thor” with elements of “Captain America: The First Avenger” intact. You have this god-like being who is trying to find their identity or place in the universe, and part of it takes place in space, while another portion is set on Earth. Plus, it is another fish out of water story.

Also, before we get into the verdict section, I will point out a statement from MCU executive Kevin Feige.

“Captain Marvel, she is as powerful a character as we’ve ever put in a movie. Her powers are off the charts, and when she’s introduced, she will be by far the strongest character we’ve ever had.”

Having now seen “Captain Marvel,” I am definitely not going to deny that Captain Marvel is powerful as hell. However, as far as her character being the most powerful of all, that is still up for debate. At least from my point of view. And speaking of which, there is a climactic moment towards the movie that was probably played for comic relief, but it also made a certain moment feel rushed and kind of cheap. More powerful does not always mean more exciting. And I say this whole “power” thing is up for debate for one reason and one reason only.

Can Captain Marvel do this? I’ll wait… I’ve got years of my life left, which give tons of time to provide an answer.

In the end, I hate to say it, but “Captain Marvel is one of the worst movies of the MCU. Granted, that statement might not say all too much as very few have actually gotten a low score from me. I go to the movies for memorable experiences, and many of the MCU’s installments have provided said experiences. I basically put my money on the table for “Captain Marvel,” because again, I went to the Chinese Theatre, which is MILES from where I live, and I literally mean MILES, because I am from Massachusetts. The Chinese Theatre is states away! I had a good time, and I would love to come back. After all… There is a “Star Wars” movie coming out soon… But the whole experience would have been perfect if I went to see a better movie, and “Captain Marvel” was just not that great. I am happy for women who are getting a hero they want to look up to, but I am not judging “Captain Marvel” completely as a feminist piece, I am judging it as a film. As a film, “Captain Marvel” is visually appealing, which is not surprising at this point for a comic book movie. It is pacing-wise, perhaps the worst of the twenty-one films presented in this series. And I felt that I wouldn’t pop this in my Blu-ray player right away if I had the chance. There is a mid-credits scene worth staying for, and there is another scene that happens towards the end. It is honestly unneeded, but if you like your end credits scenes, there’s your update. I’m going to give “Captain Marvel” a 4/10. I honestly don’t know if this grade is going to stay where it is. Because I honestly didn’t like this movie, but part of me had glimmers of enjoyment. And part of me also wonders if I am being generous because this movie stars a woman. I didn’t find myself to be angry throughout the film, so maybe this is technically a 4/10 for me. Only time will tell if this grade manages to stay where it is. And I gotta point out something regarding this “Captain Marvel,” DC did this type of film better! How often do I get to say that? Maybe they screwed up on “Suicide Squad,” the effects on “Justice League,” and keeping a singular vision alive, but they managed to do a female-led film better than Marvel, and that is an accomplishment for DC if I have ever seen one. “Wonder Woman” over “Captain Marvel” for sure, if you ask me! Thanks for reading this review! I actually wanted to make an announcement regarding April, while most of the month is uncertain in terms of content (although an “Avengers: Endgame” review is a undoubted guarantee), I do have a confirmation for you all. For those you who follow the director Terry Gilliam, you may be familiar that he worked on films such as “Brazil” and “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” Recently however talk has been going around regarding his new film, “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.” For those who have ever heard of this film, you may be aware that production for it actually took decades to complete. Why? Total and utter disaster, that’s why! Anyway, here in the US, it is playing in several theaters for one night. Courtesy of Fathom Events, I have scored a ticket to one of these shows on April 10th! Next month, expect a review from “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” and if it takes forever to complete… Who knows? It could be just like the movie and go through several failures regarding production! Be sure to follow Scene Before with your WordPress account or email to catch that review and more great content! I want to know, did you see “Captain Marvel?” What did you think about it? Or, have you been to the Chinese Theatre? What did you see? What was your experience like? I personally enjoyed it, minus the movie. But I want to hear about your experience! Let me know about it in the comments section! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

IMAX, We Need To Talk About First Man.

mv5bywfhzgvjmtatzdcwmc00yty3ltljywutnzriodzlowfknjezxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymjmxote0oda-_v1_sy1000_cr006311000_al_

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! As you may know if you’ve followed my blog for some time, I am an IMAX enthusiast. I imagine there are many others out there like me, despite how much more often I post things about IMAX. I’ve seen numerous films in IMAX throughout my life, including a good number just this year alone. Some examples of films I saw in IMAX this year include “Maze Runner: The Death Cure,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” “Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again,” “Mission: Impossible: Fallout,” “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” I am granted with the privilege of having a few IMAX theaters close to where I live. By the way, the closest one has laser projection, and subwoofers underneath the seats.

I love IMAX, but it doesn’t mean I don’t have my gripes with the brand. In 2008, they started rolling out their digital projection system, which not only was used on significantly smaller screens, but occasionally was brought in as a replacement to some of the projectors used by older theaters. This brought a reduction in quality, and when it comes to movies shot with IMAX cameras, those older theaters that once used film projection, where the frame covered the screen top to bottom, now supplies a much smaller image. Granted, one minor fix to this is the introduction to another digital projection system which IMAX agreed to unveil alongside Kodak, AKA their recently mentioned laser projection system.

One movie I saw this year on said projection system is “First Man.” As a movie, while there are flaws, I will point out that it is in fact one of my favorite films of the year from a technical perspective. In fact, when it comes to the immersion, that is a part where I had really high expectations. I was not let down. One part where I was let down however is something I found out before going into the film.

“First Man” was partially shot on IMAX film, which some say theoretically provides the highest resolution on any format that can be used on a camera. Granted, the IMAX footage only lasted for about five minutes, but the five minutes were absolutely worth seeing. When IMAX started, all they used was film projection. After all, they started in the 20th century, and digital projection wasn’t big until the end of said century or the beginning of the next.

When I saw “First Man” in IMAX laser, it was undoubtedly one of the best movie experiences I had all year. The superb sound design was music to my ears, the score put me in space, providing me with a feeling that I was on a shuttle wearing headphones, and as mentioned, there was a full frame IMAX sequence that made me feel like I was watching “The Wizard of Oz.” As AMAZING as my experience was, there is one other theater I would have gone to in order to watch the movie.

I live an hour from Providence, Rhode Island. In that city contains what perhaps might be my all time favorite movie theater, Providence Place Cinemas 16 and IMAX. And I specifically mean the IMAX part when I say that because it is one of the few theaters near me with a 70mm IMAX projector, IMAX’s original projection system. I’m not saying that “First Man” wasn’t playing there, it just wasn’t playing there the way I would have preferred to see it.

In fact, it’s not just Providence that wasn’t showing the movie in IMAX 70mm, it was literally every other theater with the proper projection capabilities. From museums, to multiplexes, and other standalone venues. Let’s compare this to some other movies that came out in IMAX 70mm. “Dunkirk,” which came out in 2017, had 37 IMAX 70mm locations. All of this decade’s “Star Wars” films had some sort of IMAX 70mm run, with the one exception being “Solo.” In fact, to really hit my point out of the park, if you look up the Wikipedia page List of films released in IMAX you’ll notice that from 2002 to 2017, there has been at least one new release to be shown in the IMAX 70mm format. Note, I said new release, “2001: A Space Odyssey” does not qualify. In fact, speaking of old releases, while the title won’t show up for 2018, “The Dark Knight” had its tenth anniversary this year and in honor of that, at the same time as “2001,” it was shown in IMAX 70mm in 5 theaters.

Don’t me get me wrong, if I had a time machine, I would certainly consider the option of going back and seeing both movies in the IMAX 70mm format. But if you ask me, I am honestly disappointed that IMAX missed an opportunity to play the best version of a movie possible. In fact, now that this year had not even a single new release in IMAX 70mm, it only makes me wonder what will happen in years to come.

According to Wikipedia, in 2019, there are currently no films slated to release in IMAX 70mm. If I had to guess, there’s a possibility that “Star Wars Episode IX” will get some sort of release, even without the use of IMAX filmography equipment. After all, “Rogue One” released in 2016 in the IMAX 70mm format even though no IMAX equipment was used to record the movie. The next movie coming out to be shot with IMAX 70mm cameras is not set to release until 2020, and that is “Wonder Woman 1984.” Unless IMAX is planning a special engagement which I don’t know about, part of me doubts that we’ll ever see that movie the way it was meant to be seen. Let’s also bring up a giant influence on the conservative effort of IMAX film, Christopher Nolan.

Christopher Nolan is my favorite director of all time. He has a great track record when it comes to his features, from “Memento,” “The Prestige,” “Interstellar,” and most recently, “Dunkirk.” Nolan is also known for shooting the first Hollywood feature on IMAX film, specifically “The Dark Knight.” Speaking of which, all of his films from “The Dark Knight” and on are all shot partially using IMAX technology (except Inception). While there are some films which Nolan has been affiliated with where an IMAX film release never happened, he did happen to get all of his directorial features since “The Dark Knight” in the IMAX film format, regardless of whether they were shot with IMAX cameras or not. And speaking of shooting with IMAX, “Inception” released in 2010, a couple years after “The Dark Knight”came out, and “Inception” was not shot in IMAX.

I love both IMAX 70mm and Christopher Nolan, but the one problem that comes to my mind is that the two go together like bread and butter. Don’t get me wrong, bread and butter is tasty. However, if Nolan is the only director getting the IMAX 70mm treatment (with few exceptions), I almost don’t see a point for putting these films in IMAX 70mm other than to please him. I as an audience member, constantly seek alternative and interesting ways to go see movies. If “First Man” came out in IMAX 70mm, I probably would have gone to see it more than once. Because while I did see it at a theater 10 minutes from my house, I would want to take someone to see it an hour away, where information that wouldn’t be seen on a less detailed screen actually would be seen. But no, “First Man” is directed by Damien Chazelle, director of f*cking “Whiplash” and “La La Land.” Neither of those titles can compete with “The Dark Knight” apparently.

Let me also bring up “2001: A Space Odyssey.” As some of you may know, “2001” is directed by Stanley Kubrick, who passed away in 1999. For those of you who don’t know, “2001” came out in 1968, therefore it just turned 50 years old, which eventually lead to many screenings back in select theaters in 70mm and 4K. I also mentioned it was put in IMAX for the first time this year. The film also went through a restoration process to match what it would be like to watch the movie back when it came out. Guess who did the restoration process? CHRISTOPHER F*CKING NOLAN!

I may only be nineteen years old at this point but I want to work in the film industry. Part of me wants to get my hands on an IMAX camera and use it in a future movie. To know however that my film will not be seen the way I want to see it, is honestly disappointing. Did Damien Chazelle have plans to release “First Man” in IMAX 70mm? To be honest, I’m not sure. But if he did have plans and IMAX rejected them, they’ve done goof.

I know that film is kinda dying. Sure, with the occasion of special engagements, film has a slight glimmer of life left in it. And I may be biased, but I certainly hope it NEVER dies. But as someone who rarely gets to see a movie in IMAX 70mm nowadays, the times when a movie comes out on such a special format is one that I cannot help but praise. If “Dunkirk” is the last movie I will ever get to see in IMAX 70mm, well, I am not going to be happy but at least it was a good movie. The point is, I want more occasions of not just movies being shot with IMAX cameras, but also occasions of IMAX movies being seen the way they have been intended.

So IMAX, I love you, but you missed an opportunity and deserve to be reminded of what you are. Please fix your ways in the future, but I will still go to see movies in your theaters.

Thanks for reading this post! First off, for those of you who celebrate Christmas, I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy new year! Speaking of the new year, one of the early days of next year I will be counting down my top 10 BEST movies of 2018 and also my top 10 WORST movies of 2018. I don’t know what day my lists will be up, probably the 1st and 2nd, maybe the 2nd and 3rd, maybe I’ll put them up on the same day, we’ll find out. I’ll probably get a couple more flicks in by the end of the year, and if I do, great! Be sure to follow Scene Before either with a WordPress account or email so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “First Man” in IMAX? What did you think? Did you see the movie in some other way? If you did, let me know! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

First Man (2018): One Giant Spacegasm

mv5bywfhzgvjmtatzdcwmc00yty3ltljywutnzriodzlowfknjezxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymjmxote0oda-_v1_sy1000_cr006311000_al_

“First Man” is directed by Damien Chazelle (Whiplash, La La Land) and stars Ryan Gosling (Blade Runner 2049, The Notebook) as Neil Armstrong. This movie takes place during the events of Apollo 11, the most famous of the Apollo missions. Many people going to see this movie probably know the story, Neil Armstrong and some other astronauts attempt to land on the moon, but this movie explains a little bit more than that. It goes into the personal and family life of Neil Armstrong, and shows off all the preparation that went into executing such a daring mission.

I don’t know if many people reading this remember, or even knew when this movie was first announced, but my first time hearing about it was around January 2017 if I recall correctly. As if the concept alone of the moon landing was interesting enough, it was to be helmed by one of my favorite directors working today, Damien Chazelle.

Damien Chazelle is known for his work on “Whiplash,” but in my eyes, his popularity skyrocketed during the release of “La La Land.” That movie is a 2016 musical which went on to win 7 Golden Globes, which also happened to be the total number of awards the movie happened to be nominated for. Speaking of awards, the movie went on to receive 13 Oscar nominations, 6 wins, which doesn’t happen to include the rare instance of the kinda sorta maybe victory of Best Picture. So kids, if you are reading this and think that your dream will never come true, if you think you’ll never be able to colonize Mars one day, just remember this. Two films were labeled Best Picture at the 89th Academy Awards!

When it comes to “First Man,” this is actually a really interesting movie though because out of all the feature-length films Damien Chazelle has done as a director, this is actually the first one he doesn’t have a screenplay credit for. Granted, this movie was actually written by Josh Singer, who also wrote the screenplay for 2015’s “Spotlight,” which won Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Even so, the fact that this was not written by Chazelle himself made me slightly worried. I was beginning to wonder if I didn’t like this movie, it might partially lead to me thinking Chazelle is another Brad Bird. He’s a fantastic director, but only fantastic when it comes to directing his own material. Having seen this movie, that worry is meaningless, because I’ll be honest with you, this is one of the best movies I’ve seen all year. In fact, when putting Chazelle into the conversation, it’s my second favorite film of his directly behind “Whiplash.”

Just about everything in “First Man” worked. The acting, the directing, the score, the entertainment value, the sound work, the effects, everything just felt as if it was created by a god. I went to see “First Man” in IMAX, which I will get to, but I must say, regardless of whether or not you went to see “First Man” in IMAX, I must tell you, this is one of those films that you have to get off your ass and see in the theater. This joins some recent films like “Dunkirk,” “Blade Runner 2049,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Ready Player One,” and “A Quiet Place” on the list of films to watch on the big screen. What the crew did for this movie in terms of cinematography is genius.

In all honesty, part of me wonders how many people will notice or care to notice, some of the images in the movie, are incredibly fuzzy or grainy and it just feels like they were gathering dust before processing. Let me just have you know that this movie was shot on 16mm film. Most of the scenes early on in the films, that take place on Earth, looked somewhat old-timey. And I honestly thought that fit, because believe it or not, I don’t know how much you guys know about Neil Armstrong’s life, but when this movie started it was basically a soap opera. For some people, I imagine that will take them out of the movie, but to me, it fit because for one thing, you can’t alter history. It partially comes into play when developing Armstrong as a character. Also, it showcases the excellent acting ability of Ryan Gosling.

Ryan Gosling is the star of the movie and he seems to have a decent range as an actor. You can put him in a movie as a sex doll that girls will dream about. You can put him in a movie where he happens to be somewhat passionate and upbeat. And you can put him in a movie where maybe he happens to be intentionally robotic. To call Ryan Gosling my favorite actor of all time is a stretch, but he is a true force in the industry. And when it comes to his portrayal of Neil Armstrong, overall it is really good, but I have a couple minor complaints. For one thing, Neil in this movie is incredibly stoic at times. If he was as stoic in this movie as he was in real life, then whatever, then my complaint will be taken off. That’s not to say he doesn’t show any emotion at all. He’s actually seen in the beginning of the film shedding tears. It’s a great performance, but part of me wonders how much Neil Armstrong would say it’s “him” had he been alive to see this picture come to life. Ah well, where’s Buzz Aldrin when you need him? Another minor complaint I have is a bit nitpicky, but Neil Armstrong was born and raised American, and yet they cast the very idea of the “Sexy Canadian Boy” Halloween costume. Again, nitpicky. It does not however change the fact that the interpretation of Armstrong is still a top-notch performance. Plus, it’s still a pasty white dude, so it’s not like they’re trying to make Neil Armstrong a woman or black and erase history by doing so.

Speaking of minor casting issues, I also should point out that Claire Foy (Unsane, The Crown), who plays Neil’s wife, Janet, is British. Let me just point out that much like Neil Armstrong, Janet was born and raised American. It’s still a great performance and BY FAR the best one in the entire film. I really hope Foy receives a Best Actress nomination. Several scenes from her add tons of emotional weight to the film and I can imagine in a way, back in the 1960s, her character would not only encapsulate the thoughts of just herself, but those people who are out of Neil’s family who have to watch the crew go to the moon. Granted, it’s a lot worse for her, because she can lose her husband, but still.

All my complaints in this movie are legit complaints for sure, but in reality, they are easily forgivable because they fall under the classification of “minor” or “nitpicky.” One small complaint I have is something that occurs towards the end of the film that I wonder if it actually happened. Without going into spoilers, when Neil Armstrong gets to the moon, he has an object with him that happens to be very significant. As far as I’m aware, there is no concrete evidence to this happening. If it did happen, cool. But if it didn’t, maybe it added some emotion, but there would also be that part of me who thinks that shouldn’t even be in the movie.

Speaking of objects on the moon, let’s get controversial! One report that has been going around about “First Man” is that there is no scene showing the American flag being planted on the moon. As someone who witnessed this movie, let me confirm to you all, THIS IS TRUE. Many conservatives for what I know are upset about this and they’re hoping this movie fails. Based on the box office for the opening weekend, it lost big time to “A Star Is Born” and “Venom,” which retained its first place spot for the second week in a row. By the way, f*ck “Venom.” I will say though, this is kind of a spoiler, but it’s not really going to affect your viewing experience, at least I don’t think. If it’s any consolation, the American flag is shown on the moon during the film. I can understand why people would be upset about this, but honestly I don’t really care. I live in America, and this is an American achievement, but at the end of the day, “First Man” is supposed to be a film, not a propaganda piece. Also, if you like your flags so much, let me just remind you that the astronauts have American flags on their spacesuits, and there’s actually a scene where an American flag is being raised. Also, I’ll be honest, I’m glad that someone like Damien Chazelle directed this movie as opposed to someone like Michael Bay. I say that because there would be an American flag overload to the point where the planting scene would involve Neil Armstrong breaking the laws of physics, jumping into space bumping into one planet into the next like a pinball. Once that’s all done, he flies back to the moon striking the surface with the flag like Link did to Ganon in “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.” Also for fun, we cut to explosions happening in Russia therefore symbolizing their loss in the space race. There are reasons why I wouldn’t mind seeing the flag planted in the film, but the direction Damien Chazelle took with the movie worked very well and made me not care about seeing the planting of the American flag. The emotional journey mattered more in the end to me than seeing a country’s representation, even if I do happen to be a part of that country. Plus, you also have to consider international audiences. How will they respond to this? I don’t know. There’s always room for experimentation. Even so, I guess it is not wrong to assume that international audiences will be able to recognize the accomplishment that the US made with the moon landing, but at the same time, since it is not their accomplishment, they’d probably find the scene less relatable. I really think I should do a separate post someday on why it might be a good idea to have the planting of the American flag shown in the movie and why it might not be a good idea. Now let’s move onto…

Screenshot (362)

SPACE.

Before we actually dive into my thoughts on the space scenes, I gotta say that I saw this movie with my mother and sister. I can understand why some people would have certain complaints but one that really stuck out to me is that my mother said the movie spends too much time in space. I find this amusing because “First Man,” after all, is a space movie. I’m not saying it’s invalid, each to their own, but I thought the space time was fine. And trust me, it does spend a bit of time. Aside from focusing on Apollo 11, the movie spends some time focusing on Gemini 8. I’m willing to bet this is where my mother complained. Although I appreciated that the movie decided to include that, because this establishes not only the dangers for anyone who has to go to space, but as far as Neil Armstrong goes, he had to experience said dangers before moving onto another dangerous mission that is amazingly daring, to the point where he might never see his wife and kids again. One thing I also admire about this scene is the music, which is very reminiscent of “2001: A Space Odyssey” when they play “The Blue Danube.” ALSO, THE SOUND WORK IS TOP-NOTCH! If this movie doesn’t win best director at the Academy Awards, it better get something in the sound categories because it is something worth hearing. While the movie is great overall when it comes to sound, in fact some of it reminded me of “Gravity,” one of the best scenes when it comes to sound comes after the lunar lander touches down on the moon.

In terms of sound, cinematography, and theatricality, the walking onto the moon is definitely one of the best scenes I’ve witnessed all year in a movie. And you even get an added bonus if you see this movie in IMAX. As you can see, the crew is getting ready, opening their hatch, as they are about to see the moon outside their craft. So you get to see the camera coming out, and BOOM! Silence. Scientifically accurate for sure, but that’s not the point. The effect that lack of sound has on the scene literally dropped my jaw. And as if that’s jaw dropping enough, the lunar sequences for this movie were shot on IMAX film. So once the camera comes out of the craft, we go from the aspect ratio we’ve been seeing for the entire movie so far to full fledged, screen-covering glory. WALL TO WALL. FLOOR TO CEILING. Looking at Neil Armstrong up close makes you feel like you are an ant compared to him. The screen dominated me in that moment. The way everything plays out in that from acting, directing, and camerawork just felt like I was in a museum looking at paintings instead of a movie. And another reason why I love this IMAX transition goes back to how this movie was shot on 16mm film. Everything looks fuzzy, it was somewhat of a more unsettling time back then. This takes all depression out of the equation and we have gone from a sad movie that felt like a soap opera, to the end of an epic. It’s one of the best movie transitions I’ve seen in recent memory, and some of the all time best use of an IMAX camera that I am aware of.

I will say that a number of movies shot with an IMAX camera happen to be ones I enjoy. Take the “Transformers” movies out of the equation however. On the subject of cinematography, something happens in this movie that made me realize how awesome this movie truly was. When it comes to filmmaking, one term I’ve always hated was “shaky cam.” But there are several scenes in this movie that actually use shaky cam, and it almost made me change my mind on it entirely! Shaky cam is probably a reason why some critics aren’t massive fans of certain action movies. Aside from hiding poor stuntwork, one reason why I imagine some people use shaky cam in their movies may be to heighten tension. I can’t really recall many moments where shaky cam increased tension for me. Here in “First Man,” there’s moments where shaky cam happens to be prominent and believe it or not, I am not bashing on it. A good movie can do things that people have seen before which have been done with care and everything works. A great movie can take something that might not be your thing and change your perspective on it. While I do enjoy space movies VERY MUCH, I don’t traditionally find myself bowing down to the gods of shaky cam. Shaky cam is a reason why I find shows like “Modern Family” somewhat off-putting. I honestly don’t know if I am overrecating, I wonder how other people would react to something like this, but this is just how I felt from my experience.

In the end, I wouldn’t call “First Man” an A+, but it sure comes close. This is by far one of my favorite movies of the year, and when it comes 2018’s new releases, “First Man” is up there with “Ready Player One” as one of my favorite theater experiences. It has the potential to shoot itself up to an A+ depending on replay value or depending on how I view this movie outside the theater, but in reality, from a critical point of view, while it has some minor things to complain about, there are really no glaring errors (then again, I don’t work for NASA, so science isn’t my biggest strong suit). What Damien Chazelle did with this movie is truly something to appreciate. The cast, while not technically completely matching with their counterparts were believable and added to the movie’s overall grit. The score is appropriate for the film and perhaps something maybe I’ll listen to for motivation. While there were not really any shots to pick out to say that they were really innovative for the most part, the cinematography in “First Man” is certainly something I hope not to forget sometime in the future. Also, if you can, please, go see “First Man” in IMAX. You’ll thank me later. I’m going to give “First Man” a 9/10.

Thanks for reading this review! For those of you who read my work often, you may be aware that I’ve gone to New York Comic Con. I went almost a couple of weeks ago, and don’t worry, a post on that is coming. I just need to put it together. I’m actually going to be in a hotel room in Connecticut this weekend because I’m going to see the Impractical Jokers live, so when I have some free time, or if I choose to be a madman and stay up all night (which would be appropriate because I’m in a casino), maybe I’ll work on this post then. As far as movie reviews go, I will say that my next pick is currently undecided, maybe I’ll go see “Bad Times at the El Royale,” “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween,” maybe “Night School.” A good comedy is soothing every once in a while. Seriously though, I’m almost considering going to see “First Man” again sometime soon. It’s that good. Be sure to follow me on Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “First Man?” What did you think about it? Or, you know what? F*ck it. Was the moon landing faked? Please comment below, I would like your honest answers, I won’t judge (maybe). Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Getting Limited IMAX Release *Tickets Now On Sale!*

mv5bmjm1nteznzk5n15bml5banbnxkftztgwotm0otewmje-_v1_

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Before we dive into this post, let me just ask you all something. What is your favorite form of social media? If you ask me, my two favorites have to be YouTube, the site that won’t stop playing the same freaking GEICO or Google ad before watching EVERY VIDEO YOU CLICK ON, and Twitter, the elementary school playground where Donald Trump pushes his enemies down the slide, Wendy’s is being the class clown, and former Economic Secretary to the Treasury of the UK, Ed Balls, is trying to play “Guardians of the Galaxy” with his friends all the while doing a terrible Groot impression.

A couple things to say. First, YES, that is a real tweet. It’s exactly as Ed Ballsy as it looks. And second, it’s I AM Ed Balls! Actually, wait a minute, he’s playing the character, it should I am Groot. Never mind. Speaking of social media, some of the most popular things people happen to find as they flock around their favorite sites is pictures or videos of babies. Why else do you think “Charlie Bit My Finger” is one of the most viewed YouTube videos of all time? If that’s the case, I’m a little dumbfounded that some channels having to do with babies are getting left in the dust, for example, one created by a couple known as Paul and Genevieve. This channel, while it doesn’t exactly focus on kids doing peculiar, cute, or funny things on camera, it does focus on the preparation for becoming parents, and by that I mean, literally trying as hard as possible to get pregnant. This is all explained… in “What the IVF?!”

“What the IVF?” is a series on YouTube where the recently mentioned couple attempt as hard as possible to have a baby. Each and every Monday, a new adventure is uploaded to the interwebs, and usually the adventure is not a pleasant one. In fact, most of these adventures continue to remind the couple about the struggles of their journey as they deal with incessant crying, pain, needles, thinking they’re under a dark spell, needles, appointments, needles, “trying everything,” and more needles! You can find the latest “WTIVF?” content on a YouTube channel specifically dedicated to the series. Their latest video is a bit of change of pace from the norm. Most of the events have been shot prior to this channel’s inception, however this is the first full-length video audiences get to see around present time. If you like unicorns, this episode is probably more preferable than some others in the series. Be sure to subscribe to the “What the IVF?” YouTube channel, ring the notification bell, check out the show’s other homes on the interwebs, all links are down below including a personal website for the show itself. Also, be sure to tell Paul and Genevieve that Jack Drees sent ya over!

WTIVF? WEBSITE: http://www.whattheivf.com/

WTIVF? YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCILXSidkzWgwrQ5Oa1py78w/featured?disable_polymer=1

WTIVF? TWITTER: https://twitter.com/WTivF

WTIVF? INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/wtivf/

WTIVF? FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/What-The-IVF-288868031634125/

If you have been following me here on Scene Before lately, you might know that I have done a recent post titled “Going To See 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968): A Tale of Two 70s.” In that post, I talk about the two times I saw “2001” in a theatrical setting. Both times were in 70mm equipped cinemas in the state of Massachusetts. That post took a long time to make, but overall I’m pretty proud of it. If you want to read it, click the link below and check it out. But if you’re more focused on this post, please stay here, because I’ve got some words I need to spit out. I’ve already seen “2001” twice this year in theaters, both of my experiences were nothing short of fabulous. And you know what? I think it might be time to go see it again. Unfortunately, there are no 70mm runs near my house at the moment, nor are there any other engagements that I’m personally aware of. But there is something big coming.

This year, “The Incredibles,” my all time favorite animated movie FINALLY got a sequel released to the public, and incredible it was indeed! My experience of seeing that movie was also pretty darn incredible as well. Before the release of “Incredibles 2,” one of my deepest desires was to see its prior installment in the IMAX format. I thought throughout most of my life that this was an experience that I would always dream of, but it was never going to become a reality. But for one night, it did. As part of a double feature which included both “Incredibles” installments, my dream of seeing “The Incredibles” in the IMAX format came true. By the way, this was shown before the official technical release of “Incredibles 2.” To specify, it was shown ONE DAY PRIOR TO THE OPENING THURSDAY NIGHT SCREENINGS! However, this month, something just as incredible will be hitting IMAX, and that is “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Having seen “2001: A Space Odyssey” a bunch of times now, a part of me couldn’t be happier. I haven’t watched the movie from start to finish until this year, but when I did sit down to watch this movie, it made me realize what I had been missing. It’s a movie that came out in the 1960s, and yet it looks better than a bunch of movies coming out today. The space shots are majestic and full of glory. People back then would agree with me in saying those shots look amazing, and I think they look so beautiful that I had to see this movie in theaters not once, but twice! There are other reasons too, but nevertheless.

But in all seriousness, a movie like this in IMAX? I’m in for sure! Aside from the huge scale glory that can apply to “2001,” I think that “2001” is a perfect choice for a movie to bring into the IMAX format simply because it’s that good of a movie. And I’m not saying that only because I think it’s one of my all time favorite movies, which it is, but to say I’m alone on that sort of statement would be completely false. As you know, two of IMAX’s main focal points are to crank out their exclusive content such as those documentaries which are traditionally exclusive to museum settings, and to immerse audiences into new content from other studios. However bringing older movies to be presented in the IMAX format has become a somewhat increasing trend over the years. This has been done with “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Harry Potter,” “Forrest Gump,” “Jurassic Park,” and “Top Gun.” I honestly don’t mind this trend. As much as I try to promote originality, it’s fun to see what it would be like to witness a movie that was in theaters at one point on the big screen once again, maybe share that experience with younger generations, and since it involves IMAX, that experience could actually be enhanced.

One thing that I’ve noticed however when it comes to a number of these presentations is that some of them don’t exactly utilize the ultimate technology of IMAX by showing the movie in IMAX’s 70mm projection. In fact, with a movie like “2001: A Space Odyssey,” which was shot using 70mm equipment, not to mention shown in theaters during its theatrical run using 70mm projectors, the whole idea of presenting this in IMAX 70mm film just sounds perfect! And that is EXACTLY what is going to happen!

I will say though, I am probably unlikely to catch one of these 70mm screenings. I live about an hour away from Providence, RI, which has an IMAX 70mm projector, but based on evidence I’ve witnessed since tickets have recently gone on sale, I can’t really say that Providence is actually showing this movie. They even have digital projectors, but the movie isn’t even being shown on that. In fact, if you’re reading this right now, there’s a good chance that YOU might not even get the chance to see the movie in IMAX 70mm. Here’s a list of the theaters showing “2001: A Space Odyssey” in IMAX 70mm.

AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 (New York, NY)

AMC Metreon 16 (San Francisco, CA)

AMC at Citywalk Hollywood (Universal City, CA)

Ontario Place Cinesphere IMAX (Toronto, ON, Canada)

Indiana State Museum (Indianapolis, IN) (Starting September 7th)

Although, something feels strange about all this. This is starting towards the end of August (for the most part), there is another movie that is supposed to be showing in IMAX 70mm that seems to be in just about all of these locations. Don’t believe me? Here’s an article from Variety, published last month.

‘The Dark Knight’ Set for 10th Anniversary Imax Re-Release (EXCLUSIVE)

If you are too lazy to read articles, there’s not much wrong with that, I understand, but the article basically states that around the same time, IMAX is doing a one-week engagement for “The Dark Knight” because it just turned 10 years old. And I will say, that is actually a grand idea. For one thing, it not only dazzled audiences for how much of a quality movie it turned out to be. But it also happened to be the first major Hollywood film shot using IMAX cameras. Turns out, both “The Dark Knight” and “2001: A Space Odyssey” will be playing on the same day as each other at different showtimes. And having heard this sort of news, I actually think that’s almost mind-blowing because when I usually go to an IMAX it usually has one film playing a day unless there’s some special event going on like an opening Thursday night. So we have two big movies playing simultaneously in IMAX, we have both of them on 70mm film, and they have around two and a half hours of footage! That’s a LOT of film! A little bit of digression here, but the funny thing about this is that “The Dark Knight” is actually directed by Christopher Nolan and now this presentation of “2001” is actually being kind of overseen by Christopher Nolan. Gosh he’s my favorite director of all f*ckin’ time.

And if you can’t catch this movie on IMAX 70mm film, there’s still other opportunities to catch this movie in the IMAX format. According to sources including the Hollywood Reporter, Deadline, and others, this movie is said to be shown in more than 350 IMAX theaters. IMAX has over 1,000 theaters in existence, so I can only wonder which ones will be selling the golden tickets. Although another thing to consider is that all of these theaters that are playing the movie in IMAX 70mm are located somewhere in North America. Is it possible that this is only exclusive to North America? I think that might be the case. In fact, don’t trust me completely, because I don’t have evidence to completely back this up, but I think I remember reading about this somewhere, I don’t know where, but wherever I read this had a statement saying that this was exclusive to North America. I don’t know, maybe I’m imagining things, but I don’t work for Warner Brothers, I don’t work for the movie industry, so I’ll admit upfront, I might not be the first guy you’d want to trust on every single detail you hear.

Another thing I will say though is that “2001: A Space Odyssey” is one of those masterpieces that you have to catch before you die. There’s a reason why it has a spot in the IMDb top 250! And let me tell you something about this movie. Last June, I caught the movie twice in a 70mm theatrical setting, as mentioned earlier. A week after I saw “2001” in the theater for the second time that month, I was going on a trip to Walt Disney World, because my family and I decided to give more money to the people we already gave money to for their work on “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Incredibles 2,” “Black Panther,” and unfortunately, “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” On the way back from the trip, I was searching through JetBlue’s options for free movies. One movie on the free list was “2001,” so I started watching it. And I realized it was missing something I usually get when I watch the movie, not only at the theater, but even when I watch the Blu-ray.

It was the overture that occurs before the MGM logo… In fact, if I remember correctly, I don’t even think the MGM logo appeared either.

Sure, that is a weird compliant… But having watched this movie several times, that is probably something that I will continue to associate with my experiences. And this made me realize something. “2001” IS NOT A PLANE MOVIE. Would I watch “2001” anywhere I go? I probably would. I consider it to be one of my favorite movies of all time. But if you ask me, if you should watch the movie on a plane, that is probably not my goto choice. If you want the full power of “2001,” either watch it in an area where you can get some peace and quiet on a decent TV screen or projection wall, or in a theater. I don’t know if we as living creatures will ever get an opportunity to watch “2001” in IMAX ever again. Maybe I will, maybe when it turns 75 or 100 years old, but in all seriousness, being given the chance to witness this masterful work of art in a place having to do with one of my all time biggest influences towards wanting to pursue a career in the film industry is a chance I don’t want slipping past my radar.

Thanks for reading this post! If you have read this and are rather interested in that post I just mentioned, “Going To See 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968): A Tale of Two 70s,” I’ll have you know that the link to it is down below, so if you want to check it out, go right ahead! As for new reviews, the future is somewhat uncertain, but there are few things I’m seeking out right now including “The Spy Who Dumped Me,” “The Darkest Minds,” and one of my most anticipated movies of the year, A24’s “Eighth Grade.” Maybe I’ll sprinkle in a countdown somewhere since I haven’t done one in awhile, but seriously, only time will tell what will be happening here. Stay tuned for more great content, be sure to follow me and like this post! I want to know, are you planning to see “2001: A Space Odyssey” in IMAX? If so, which theater are you setting your eyes on for this? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Going To See 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968): A Tale of Two 70s: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/07/17/going-to-see-2001-a-space-odyssey-1968-a-tale-of-two-70s-spoilers/

Will First Man Be Shown on IMAX 70mm Film? If So, Where?

Hey everyone! Jack Drees here! If you know me personally, you’d probably be well aware of my fanaticism for IMAX. I freaking love IMAX. At times, they’re brutal liars (if you don’t trust me, ask Aziz Ansari), but at the same time I can’t help but love them. They’ve partially contributed towards my love of film. I would love to make several movies and release them in the IMAX format, and even on IMAX film. Speaking of that, I got to ask something today in this post.

mv5bywfhzgvjmtatzdcwmc00yty3ltljywutnzriodzlowfknjezxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymjmxote0oda-_v1_sy1000_cr006311000_al_

One movie I’m really looking forward to this year is “First Man.” This movie is being directed by Damien Chazelle (Whiplash, La La Land), stars Ryan Gosling (Blade Runner 2049, Crazy Stupid Love) and Claire Foy (The Crown, Vampire Academy) and is based on the true story (depending on your knowledge or thoughts on various conspiracy theories) of the famous Apollo moon landing from 1969.

A new trailer just released for this movie and I’ll just say to you all right now that I have no intentions to do a review on it. However, there is one thing I caught at the very end of the trailer. One of the last pieces of text the trailer states is “Select Scenes Filmed with IMAX Cameras.” It doesn’t exactly specify what type of IMAX camera is specifically used to shoot the movie, but according to IMDb, the movie is partially being shot on what is referred to as an IMAX MSM 9802. This camera was used to shoot select scenes of various films including “The Dark Knight,” “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol,” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” This is an IMAX camera that is capable of shooting in 2D and 70mm. Therefore, “First Man” is being shot in IMAX 70mm, which makes me ask, “Will you be able to watch this in the IMAX 70mm format?”

According to IMDb, if you look in the technical specifications page for “First Man,” it’ll say that some scenes will be shown in a 1.43:1 aspect ratio, which is the proper ratio for an IMAX theater with 70mm equipment that covers the entire screen. For those of you who are unfamiliar with IMAX technology, let me just inform you, if the year this movie happened to be coming out is a year such as 2014 and I found this info on IMDb, chances are I’d at most GUARANTEE you that this movie will be shown in the IMAX 70mm format. However, it’s not 2014, it’s 2018, so I can’t make any guarantees at this point. I say that because IMAX has a technology which has been steadily growing, which is their 4K laser projection system (picture up above). They’ve installed it on several screens around the world. Some of these screens include the TCL Chinese Theatre (Los Angeles, CA), Cineworld Leicester Square (London, UK), CGV Yongsan (Seoul, SK), Event Cinemas Queen Street (Auckland, NZ), Scotiabank Toronto (Toronto, Canada), Miramar IMAX (Taipei, Taiwan), and I even have one that’s about a ten minute drive from my house, the Sunbrella IMAX 3D Theater, located inside Jordan’s Furniture, in Reading, MA. I can pretty much guarantee that given today’s technological preferences that at least one laser theater will be showing the movie. I say that because IMAX, like most movie theater owners and operators, typically show their movies in some format related to digital projection. It’s simpler to operate, simpler to handle, and you don’t have to worry about any degradation of picture quality for one reason or another.

The IMAX laser system works on multiple types of IMAX screens, but one of its main purposes is to be a digital equal/replacement for IMAX’s 70mm film projectors. If you ask me, IMAX 70mm projectors are capable of showing clearer images than the company’s laser projectors, but that’s for another time. With that sort of idea in mind, that means if you put an IMAX laser projector in an older IMAX theater that contained a film projector prior to it, there’s a good chance that the laser projector was installed to play media and said media will be displayed in an aspect ratio that would have been shown the same way had IMAX kept their film projector. For those of you who do not know much about IMAX, the laser projection system IS NOT IMAX’s only digital projection system. They’ve had another one which they introduced in 2008, which is pretty much the reason why some people refer to the company as LIEMAX. IMAX has installed many of these all over the world, which started an enormous growth in IMAX theaters in multiplexes. However, the projector couldn’t show any images in the tradtional IMAX aspect ratio and when people watch something say, shot with IMAX cameras, it would be shown in a 1.90:1 aspect ratio. The IMAX laser system by the way, first began rolling six years after the first IMAX digital system was introduced, in December 2014.

In the year of 2018, we have yet to see one major Hollywood release be shown on IMAX film. Yes, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” was shown in IMAX film this year, but that technically released in 2017. We have yet to get one big film release, I’m not talking about any of those IMAX documentaries, I’m talking about films that most of the public would see advertised on TV, shown in the IMAX 70mm format this year, and I believe there is no other film this year that is more qualified than “First Man.” This movie involves a rocket launch, takes place in space, looks very compelling, and was shot entirely on film, part of it with IMAX cameras.

One big question I have though is this. If this were to be shown on IMAX film, what would our options be for going somewhere to view the movie in that format? Because two major releases in IMAX theaters were shown in IMAX film last year, but one release was much wider than the other. The first release was “Dunkirk,” which was shown in 37 IMAX theaters with 70mm equipment. This included a variety of theaters from giant IMAXes in multiplexes, to museums, to standalone locations. The second release was “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which as I state in one of my posts I did in October of last year, the number of theaters this movie happened to be shown in which was playing it in the IMAX 70mm format is less than the number of seasons in “Criminal Minds,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Supernatural,” and “NCIS.” If you want to get more specific, the movie was said to be shown in 11 theaters in the IMAX 70mm format. Also, not many of the places which the movie was to be shown appeared to be what one would call a traditional movie theater. Most of these were in museums.

With the upcoming release of “First Man,” I honestly don’t know what will happen when it comes to releasing it. This movie doesn’t come out until October 12, so there is plenty of time for something to be announced when it comes to where this film will be shown. Although with a film like this, I would certainly like to see it shown in more than just a select few IMAX 70mm theaters. If it can’t be as wide as “Dunkirk,” I would at least like it to be close to as wide of a release as “Dunkirk.” Because just like “Dunkirk,” I feel like this is one of those films that is literally made for movie theaters, and in a case like this, IMAX. As an audience member, it is the responsibility of the filmmakers and in a case like this, IMAX, to immerse me into the movie. I’ve experienced a rocket launch in the IMAX format, and I’ll even state, the IMAX 70mm format! A rocket launch is by far one of the most powerful things a man could ever witness. Just a two minute video of a rocket launching would be a great test video for the IMAX experience. Now if that is accompanied by a great story and interesting characters, you have something more nifty on your hands. So IMAX, please give this a wide release in your 15/70mm format, and if you want my preference on where to see it, I want to see it at the Providence Place Cinemas IMAX in Providence, RI. Just… Get crackin’.

If this does not get a wide release in IMAX 70mm, the least I ask is that this gets an IMAX 70mm release in some notable areas having to do with NASA or space exploration. But seriously, if you ask me, the wider the release, the better! So why be good when you can be better? Chop chop, our lives only last so long!

“First Man” is in theaters and IMAX everywhere on October 12th, and it is by far one of my most anticipated movies of the year. If you guys ever think about seeing it, I imagine this would be one hell of a ride in IMAX. Thanks for reading this post! This week I’ll be releasing at least couple of new reviews. I’ve got my review for “Tag” which I pretty much already finished, it just needs to be released once I’m allowed to share it to the public. I will also soon have my review for “Incredibles 2” which comes out later during the week, and if I can manage my time well enough, I might be able to insert my review for “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol.” I just need to watch it from start to finish, gather my thoughts, and then unleash those thoughts to you all. If I don’t have it this week, I’ll probably have it next week because the week after I’ll be on vacation, and I’ll probably still be posting while I’m away if my creative juices are flowing, but there’s a good chance I’ll be watching the movie at home as opposed to a hotel. Stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, if you had to guess how many theaters happened to be releasing “First Man” in IMAX 70mm, what would your guess be? Or, what are your thoughts on the trailer we just got for “First Man?” Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

 

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is Getting the IMAX 70mm Treatment and a History of Star Wars in IMAX!

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! If you read my blog, you may already know I loved the movie “Dunkirk” when I saw it. And I did a few posts on it, not just a review, but mainly posts dedicated to how it was presented. You may also know I went to see the movie in IMAX 70mm film. The clearest format a movie’s ever been presented in. There were 37 locations presenting the film in this format as a special engagement. There was also IMAX laser, which is a high quality digital experience, but it’s still not as clear as IMAX 70mm. I went to the one in Providence, RI, and for what I can tell, that projection probably won’t be used for awhile for feature length films. After all, I checked the Wikipedia page labeled “List of IMAX DMR films” and none of them say that any of the future films on there are shot with IMAX cameras, which plays a prime factor into which IMAX movies get to be played in the 70mm format. Now, there are ones that are being shot with IMAX digital cameras such as “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Mission: Impossible 6,” but those, based on experience, won’t be in 70mm. If it weren’t for one other movie, “Dunkirk” would have been the only feature length film released in 2017 to get the 70mm treatment. That other movie by the way, is the upcoming “Star Wars.”

mv5bmjq1mzcxnjg4n15bml5banbnxkftztgwnzgwmjy4mzi-_v1_sy1000_cr006751000_al_

Before going any further with this 70mm IMAX mumbo jumbo, let’s talk about the movie itself. You may already be aware this is the eighth installment in the main saga of “Star Wars” movies, based on what I’ve seen, this takes place after “The Force Awakens” and I’m willing to bet it starts off right where that movie stopped, on the island where Luke and Rey are standing in front of each other as Rey is holding Luke’s lightsaber. This is supposed to be the second installment of the latest trilogy of “Star Wars” films, which is supposed to bridge the gap between “The Force Awakens” and the untitled “Episode IX,” which will be released in 2019. As this episode bridges the gap, Rey continues her adventure as she receives training from Luke Skywalker, and others give it their all, continuing to take down the First Order.

For the record, this is not the first time a “Star Wars” movie has been shown in the IMAX format. In the main saga, episodes II and VII have both been in the format, and the spinoff, “Rogue One” has also been presented in IMAX. Also, every single one of these movies has been shown in IMAX 70mm, which was the only option for “Episode II” because that’s the only projection technology IMAX used until 2008, although there was a projector that was used for some time that supported the format (first used after Episode II), but the screen was smaller and different. Fun little fact about “Episode II,” this was the second movie to be shown in IMAX as a film to go through IMAX’s DMR process, which is the process that pretty much every feature film goes through before it’s released in IMAX. Also it was first shown in IMAX starting November 1, 2002, which is months after the movie’s official release in theaters. “Episode VII” was shown in IMAX, including a limited number of locations that played it in 70mm. It was even one of the earliest films to be shown in IMAX laser. “Rogue One” was shown in IMAX too. Fun fact about that, for those who went to see it in IMAX 15/70mm or IMAX laser, they got to see a 6 minute preview of “Dunkirk” which covered the entire screen. Part of me wonders if that was an intention someone thought of long ago or an ultimate afterthought, and you’ll understand why I say that in a second.

When it comes to “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones,” that was shot digitally, shooting IMAX footage in movies wasn’t even a thing yet. By the way, that started in 2008 with “The Dark Knight.” Digital does have some perks when it comes to shooting, for example, the storage for your video isn’t as tacky because instead of film, you have a memory card. Although certain directors prefer film. Directors like Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, The Hateful Eight), Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, The Master), and Christopher Nolan (Interstellar, Inception). Also, George Lucas, director of “Attack of the Clones” along with the other two prequels actually pretty much kicked off the rise of digital projection with “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace,” one of my least favorite movies of all time. People thought it was amazing at the time, but looking back, the world is increasingly becoming more into film, which I find amazing because digital is at pretty much every theater now.

“Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” was the first movie in the series since “Episode I” to be shot on film. This was shot in three formats, digital (aerial plates) 35mm film and IMAX film. Most of the movie was presented in 35mm, which was in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1. Also if you saw the movie in a format that wasn’t IMAX, the aspect ratio would remain that way for the entire picture. This was also how the DVD/Blu-Ray release played out as well. In IMAX 70mm and laser, the aspect ratio would change to 1.43:1 for some time, or if you’re watching in IMAX digital, the aspect ratio would change to 1.90:1. Although this was for one scene only, specifically the scene where Rey, Finn, and BB-8 escape from Jakku. Due to this the total time spent showing IMAX footage ultimately came out to 5 minutes, which is significantly lower than other films shot in the IMAX format.

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” was the first live-action spinoff in the franchise released in theaters, and one thing I noticed is that when it comes to movies released in IMAX 15/70mm, this one is different than other ones released over the past few years. Aside from “A Beautiful Planet,” this is the first movie since “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” to be released in IMAX 70mm that wasn’t shot with IMAX cameras. Although UNLIKE “A Beautiful Planet” and LIKE “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” this movie didn’t cover the entire screen. However, I will say the screen was fully covered before the movie. That’s because, as mentioned before, there was an extended preview for “Dunkirk” shown exclusively in IMAX 70mm and laser. Also from what I gathered, “Rogue One” was shot using an Arri Alexa 65, which is a digital camera, but it’s also one that is higher in terms of quality than other digital cameras used in certain movies including the one George Lucas wanted to use in the prequels.

Now with this out of the way, let me just blurt something at you here. I don’t know how much footage was shot in the IMAX format for this movie. Wikipedia suggests that the IMAX camera was used for certain scenes. As for the rest of the scenes, the same camera used for “Rogue One,” the Arri Alexa 65, is used here, and you also have a Panavision film camera which shoots in 35mm film. I’ve seen many films in IMAX, in 70mm, digital, and laser, and I usually have an enjoyable experience, some better than others, but still. When it comes to IMAX 70mm film, I’d say that it’s worth the ticket price just for getting the highest quality image possible. Based on what I’m hearing, I don’t think it’ll be as worth it as “Dunkirk” was but I’d still say go for it, after all, “Star Wars” is a movie that’s made for audiences to go see together, and I think the best way to do that is by going to an IMAX 70mm theater. If I were a filmmaker, I would, depending on the movie I’m making, want it to be IMAX 70mm friendly. I want it to be big, bold, beautiful, the three b’s.

Another thing you should consider is the 2D vs. 3D option. If you ask me, I usually don’t care, 2D is cheaper, but 3D at times can be a fun ride. If you choose to see the new “Star Wars” in IMAX 70mm, 2D is going to be your only option. I don’t really think that’s a bad idea considering the size the movie is when projected on film and having to deal with what technically qualifies as two movies can be a hassle. Not to mention, there are IMAX film projectors that can’t even do 3D. I even looked at a website called lfexaminer.com, and there are only two theaters this is playing at in the IMAX 70mm format that can handle 3D.

One more thing to keep in mind that a good number of these locations are IMAX domes. These are also referred to as Omni Theaters and OMNIMAX. These theaters usually never play feature films, you’re more likely to find those on straight IMAX screens. OK, not completely straight, they do have an intentional slight curve, but you get my point. I have never seen a feature film in an IMAX dome so I don’t know what it’s like, however I have watched IMAX documentaries there, which were fun experiences that covered the whole screen. And keep that in mind, while IMAX often plays movies that will make you see black bars on the screen, kind of like some stuff you might watch at home, it might be weird in an IMAX dome. This is because the dome is basically a fish eye, making the curve a lot less slight than other IMAX screens. You’ll still get amazing sound and clear projection, but it’s something to keep in mind. Also, if you don’t like looking up at screens instead of directly at one, this isn’t your theater.

Also, I’ll restate the fact that when “Dunkirk” came out, it was playing at 37 locations in IMAX 15/70mm. That is rather small, and believe it or not, it is more than the total locations playing the movie in laser, which happened to be 25 by the way according to IMAX’s website. I’m not sure how many laser locations have been established since July, but the amount of laser locations playing this movie is likely to be small. Guess what? The 70mm locations are smaller than what “Dunkirk” had! When “Dunkirk” was available for the IMAX 70mm treatment, people from multiple countries such as the US, the UK, Australia, and Thailand could view it the way director Christopher Nolan intended. According to IMAX, “The Last Jedi” will be available in 11 theaters in the 15/70mm format, and if I feel the need to, I’ll give you some information as to what type of theater it is if you’re interested. Just a hint, if you see me listing whether the theater is capable of 2D or 3D, the theater has a flat screen.

US THEATERS:

ALABAMA:
IMAX Dome, McWane Center: Birmingham
IMAX, US Space & Rocket Center: Huntsville (Dome)

CALIFORNIA:
Hackworth IMAX Dome, The Tech Museum: San Jose

CONNECTICUT:
IMAX, Maritime Aquarium: Norwalk (2D)

INDIANA:
IMAX, Indianapolis State Museum: Indianapolis (3D, also does certain films in IMAX digital)

IOWA:
Blank IMAX Dome, Science Center of Iowa: Des Moines

MISSOURI:
OMNIMAX, St. Louis Science Center: St. Louis

NORTH CAROLINA:
The Charlotte Observer IMAX Dome, Discovery Place: Charlotte

PENNSYLVANIA:
Tuttleman IMAX, The Franklin Institute: Philadelphia (Dome)

TEXAS:
Omnitheatre, Fort Worth Museum of Science & History: Fort Worth

UK THEATERS:
London Science Museum: London (3D)

As you can see, not only do we have a small amount of theaters listed here, but there’s only one outside the US! Just like I said before, the total number of theaters listed here in fact comes out to 11. So the number of IMAX 70mm presentations for “The Last Jedi” is less than the number of seasons of shows like “Criminal Minds,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Supernatural,” and “NCIS.” By the way, all of those shows are still on! If you live close to one of these theaters, I gotta say, you’re so lucky. The closest one to me is the at Maritime Aquarium, which is almost 3 hours away from my house in Massachusetts. Just for the lack of theaters available, I’d say this is worth experiencing just to say you saw the movie in this format. Now I’m going to see this movie opening night in standard 3D, if I like this movie enough, I’d probably make an attempt to go to Maritime. Also, if you are a movie buff, depending on what you’ve done under said label, you might be interested to know there’s a restaurant right near the theater called Johnny Utah’s. Why do I bring this up? Well if you ever viewed the movie “Point Break” which came out in 1991 starring Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves, that was the name of the character played by Keanu Reeves. Just to clarify, when I say restaurant, I actually mean club. They have a mechanical bull, it’s very loud, and it’s not exactly kid friendly. Oh yeah, and it has two stars on Yelp, totally worth a trip amirite!

Will I see “Star Wars Episode VIII” in IMAX 70mm? I’m not sure yet. I’ve got to consider the time it takes to get to the theater it’s playing at and how much I even like the movie upon first watch since I already have tickets for it at another theater. Nevertheless, if you do plan to see “The Last Jedi” in the clearest way possible, consider this post a recommendation. Also, if you missed “Dunkirk” in IMAX 70mm I’m willing to bet this will absolutely make up for it. Thanks for reading this post! Next Monday, I’m going to have my review for “Thor,” which is going to start off my series of “Thor” reviews leading up to “Thor: Ragnarok.” Not really much else is happening, I might watch something and if it has some significance I’ll review it. So stay tuned for more great content! Also, I have a few questions. Are you planning to see “The Last Jedi” in IMAX 70mm? Are you seeing “The Last Jedi” in general? If you are seeing “The Last Jedi,” where are you seeing it? Leave your responses in the comments! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Is Dunkirk the Best IMAX Experience Ever?

mv5bmtu4mzaznzu3nv5bml5banbnxkftztgwndk1ndq2mji-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_

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.

Related image

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

mv5bmjm4odixotyxmv5bml5banbnxkftztgwndmzndq3mji-_v1_

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

mv5bndmynwy1yzetnjc3yy00ymfilwe0njktmjq1y2nhzmrimtfml2ltywdll2ltywdlxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvyndu3mjixnza-_v1_sy1000_sx675_al_

“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.

mv5bmtu4mzaznzu3nv5bml5banbnxkftztgwndk1ndq2mji-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_

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

mv5bndmynwy1yzetnjc3yy00ymfilwe0njktmjq1y2nhzmrimtfml2ltywdll2ltywdlxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvyndu3mjixnza-_v1_sy1000_sx675_al_

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!