A Couple of IMAX Questions

Discussion in 'DVD' started by PatH, Apr 24, 2005.

  1. PatH

    PatH Second Unit

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    Why is the IMAX version of Apollo 13 missing 24 minutes? I noticed this on the DVD. Was it shown that way theatrically? If so, why?

    Researching this on HTF, I found a reference to Attack of the Clones IMAX being cropped and/or P&S. If so, why? Should I expect this on Revenge of the Sith if/when there's an IMAX version?

    And finally, if this is SOP for IMAX versions of movies, what's the point in going? A larger picture hardly makes up for some of the picture being gone.

    PatH
     
  2. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    IMAX is not a widescreen format. While I enjoy watching films that were shot specifically for IMAX, I have no use for the theatrical films that play in the IMAX format - for the reasons you mention.
     
  3. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    I honestly don't know why the blowup is needed. For films not specifically shot in IMAX, the compositions don't work, especially given the nature of the format.

    Besides... even if a 1.85:1 or 2.35:1 film was "windowboxed", it's still a HUGE image on the screen. Of course, in that case, they really ought to just use 5perf 70mm.

    It was rumored a while ago that Lawrence of Arabia would be adapted to IMAX...

    [​IMG]

    Tell me that wouldn't look impressive on a huge screen, with the proper AR.
     
  4. Harold Wazzu

    Harold Wazzu Supporting Actor

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    The IMAX version of Apollo 13 is missing 24 minutes because they had to trim it down so it would physically fit on an IMAX reel.
     
  5. PatH

    PatH Second Unit

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    Reply to Harold Wazzu:

    Gee, we've had two reelers since Mack Sennett. You'd think the folks at IMAX could adapt to that rather than edit (I really mean butcher) the movie.

    PatH
     
  6. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    It's not really the same thing... a two reels of 35mm are roughly 15-20 min. One reel of normal IMAX is about 45 min. long.

    One semi-strong person can carry The Return of the King in 35mm. It takes a forklift to move around a 40 minute IMAX reel.
     
  7. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    Yup. I believe one IMAX reel is in excess of 200 pounds.

    -Scott
     
  8. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    I think the IMAX folks have heard the aspect ratio complaints, because the last couple of films I saw were letterboxed at OAR on the IMAX screen, like POLAR EXPRESS in 3-D which was at the correct 2:35 to 1.
     
  9. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    Steve is correct, starting with the MATRIX RELOADED blow up to IMAX, the theatrical aspect ratio (in this case, 2.35:1) was retained "letterboxed" within the IMAX frame. I saw SPIDERMAN 2 in IMAX, and I gotta tell you, it was STUNNING. Yeah, it didn't fill the screen top-to-bottom, but it did fill it side-to-side, and watching this film over 100' wide was an awesome experience. While I agree that the "cropped" IMAX presentations were a bad idea, the "letterboxed" ones are really friggin' great. Their DNR blow-up process really looks amazing- there was a sense of depth and involvment to SPIDER-MAN 2 in IMAX that I've never seen in even the best, largest 35mm-presentaions.

    Oh, they've also installed larger platters now, so I'm pretty sure the practice of editing IMAX blow-ups to fit a 2-hour time slot has stopped, too. SPIDER-MAN 2 was definitely intact, and I'm pretty sure HARRY POTTER 3 was, too.

    Vincent
     
  10. Christian Behrens

    Christian Behrens Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, I too had the feeling the Matrix Reloaded was complete when I watched it in IMAX. [​IMG]

    -Christian
     
  11. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    We screened a standard 70mm print of LoA around 1990 at the IMAX theatre in Toronto. With the exception of some less than perfect glass, the presentation was superb.

    RAH
     
  12. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    Robert:

    Were you able to fill the entire width of the screen? I can only imagine how cool that must've been. I saw your restoration of LAWRENCE in 70mm during its last two re-releases in NYC and was blown away each time. I hope Columbia keeps up their apparent re-release of it in 70mm every five years so I can see it in 70mm again in 2007 [​IMG]

    Vincent
     
  13. Sean Laughter

    Sean Laughter Screenwriter

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    Yeah, the current commercial films being released on IMAX are uncut and not cropped. I've seen Harry Potter 3 on IMAX and it's stunning - and the sound is awesome too, better than any regular commercial theater I saw it in.

    We're running HP3 right now at the IMAX theater I work in (it's a test run apparentely to convince WB we can pull in the audience because talks on a contract to play HP3 when it originally released fell apart for that reason, or so I'm told).

    Of course, the IMAX I work in is a dome, so the image is all distorted, so if you plan to see these make sure you go to a flatscreen IMAX to get the true AR and non-distorted viewing of it (still looks stunning though).
     
  14. Jay Pennington

    Jay Pennington Screenwriter

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    I did not enjoy seeing Attack of the Clones in IMAX. The images were composed by the filmmakers with the assumtion that the entire frame could be taken in, albiet some it periferally, at a glance. In IMAX, I had to turn my head back and forth to read the opening crawl. In action scenes, with shots lasting less than a second, there was not enough time to "tennis match" the head around to comprehend the action properly before the shots were gone.

    I love IMAX when viewing a film made with IMAX in mind. But when it isn't....no fun.
     
  15. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    I disagree, Jay. So long as the proper running time and aspect ratio is maintained, give me an IMAX blow-up over a standard 35mm presentation anyday. Aside from the few true 70mm presentations I've been to ("true" meaning 70mm prints of films shot on 65mm negative- LAWRENCE OF ARABIA four times, and 2001 twice), the IMAX blow-up of SPIDER-MAN 2 as presented at the Sony Lincoln Square cinema in New York City was the greatest theatrical viewing experience of a movie I've ever attended.

    I say bring on more IMAX blow-ups! Maybe Robert Harris can convince Columbia to let him supervise an IMAX print of LAWRENCE? If 35mm blown up to IMAX looks as good as SPIDER-MAN 2 did, I can only imagine how stunning the 65mm LAWRENCE OF ARABIA would look in that format. One can dream...

    Vincent
     

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