I have now seen this movie twice. First in a conventional movie theater and then in an Imax theater.
Imax is the way to go. See it as the director intended it to be seen. It is a dramatic difference. The scenes that were filmed with Imax cameras are incredible. Scenes such as the Bank robbery at the beginning, the Hong Kong abduction, the truck chase, the hospital explosion, and the final fight at the end have so much more impact.
And it is not just the look of the movie that benefits greatly during an IMAX presentation. The sonic presention is greatly improved as well. The punches, the batpod, and the explosions just sound a lot better.
It is a win win situation.
Man, I am just remembering what a fantastic experience this was for me. I wll be seeing this movie again (for the third time) in Imax. It is just that good.
I'm curious if anybody else noticed edge halos during the IMAX presentation on any of the conventionally shot 35mm scope footage? It seemed like perhaps they tried to sharpen it when they transferred it to IMAX 65mm stock. I viewed the IMAX presentation yesterday at the Metreon AMC in San Francisco, CA. Apart from the halos and it being just too darn loud (the sound system is really good...I get it already), I did really enjoy the experience. The IMAX footage was spectacular and amazingly clear.
I saw it for the first time at the IMAX last night and i have to say it was jaw-dropping for me. Definitely the most immersive cinema experience I've ever had. I almost felt like i was there during the opening sequence and the stunning sound just added to it even more. I was a bit sceptical at first and wanted to go to a regular theater to see it but my wife really wanted to see the IMAX and surprised me with the tickets and i wouldn't have changed it for anything.
I did notice halos in one shot in particular and what looked like digital noise in some brightly lit indoor scenes. It just didn't seem to have the structure of grain so it's probable there was some sharpening done. I've no idea at what stage because supposedly Nolan and the photography crew inspected all the IMAX prints in real time. None of it detracted from the experience though.
I'll add a couple more things. If you suffer from motion sickness maybe you're better off going to a regular theater. My wife doesn't suffer from any form of car, boat or plane sickness but she was sick during Cloverfield and was a bit queasy during The Dark Knight but luckily not bad enough to have to leave! It was also by far the quietest theatrical experience I've ever had. You could have heard a pin drop when the movie started and it was like that throughout. Its probably helped by the IMAX no food policy but I really think it's that immersive that for once everyone is there to see the movie and are too engrossed to talk!
Saw it for the first time with my family in IMAX while I was on vacation and was just floored by the presentation especially the audio portion. The amount of palpable low frequency was unique and literally almost took my breath away in a couple places. My wife who is terrified of heights had real trouble with a couple of the scenes with him on the high buildings particularly in HK.
It's only the 3rd film I've seen in an Imax Theater (Fellowship of the Ring and Fantasia 2000 the others) and TDK was just spectacular. The new scenes from Fantasia 2000 I think benefitted from the size, ROTR probably not so much but it was still a fun thing to do.
My teens had seen it a couple each on regular screens and both agreed that the IMAX was far better experience.
Speaking of the DMR process and conversion to IMAX, you all have to know as well that the IMAX projector passes film through it in a very different way. 35mm projectors pass the film on the plates from the top of the projector down to the bottom. The process is so fast, it actually stops the film on each frame (24 frames a second)...and blasts 2 bursts of light onto each frame. So while there are 24 frames a second...there are 48 bursts of light each second.
The IMAX projectors pass the film horizontally from side to side. i.e...The images on IMAX film are created on the film negative "sideways"...if that makes sense. Because the screen is so big...the light bulb has to be A LOT brighter than a 35mm film projector. The IMAX bulbs are so bright, they can be seen from space and have to be water cooled. So...you not only have the re-mastering DMR process that makes the images much larger on the film negative...but you have the overall process of converting the frames into the IMAX format of having the frames side by side on the film...and not on top of one another.
As I said before, I believe Fantasia 2000 was actually shot on native IMAX stock, so that's not a surprise. I don't think FOTR had any kind of DMR conversion for IMAX so all you were seeing there was a regular 35mm print projected onto an IMAX screen - so obviously the detail wouldn't be there as something that was IMAX-native or even a film with a DMR transfer.