(adapted from the review of Spider-Man 2: The IMAX Experience on blog, since no-one ever leaves comments there) What I'm about to say will probably irk a few folks on the HTF (especially remembering the initial furor over the IMAX release of Apollo 13), where the quest to have movies presented in their original aspect ratio rather than a cropped, pan-and-scan version is like a holy crusade (which I strongly endorse), but I must admit it passed through my head both while watching Spidey 2 last night and Harry Potter a week earlier. The IMAX presentation of these movies (like The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions before them) are matted widescreen presentations, in the movie's original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. That's a good thing, right? However, I did some math, based upon the stated proportions of the Simons IMAX Screen (65 feet high by 85 feet wide); the actual picture for these "scope" movies is about 36 feet tall. That's certainly bigger than most multiplexes, but not that much bigger than the "Screen Monster" at the AMC Fenway, the largest screen in the Boston area. The first of the "IMAX Experience" series was Apollo 13, and there Ron Howard and his cinematographer, in addition to editing the film down to two hours so that it could fit on an IMAX platter (since then, most IMAX theaters have upgraded to larger platters), he and his cinematographer also recomposed the movie to use the entire 1.44:1 IMAX frame; George Lucas did something similar for Star Wars: Attack of the Clones: The IMAX Experience. Some purists raised a stink over this, and apparently the studios have listened and responded. It's worth noting that these films no longer seem to be promoted as "The IMAX Experience", which is probably accurate - they don't really have the grand, immersive effect native IMAX films have, which Howard tried to duplicate by tweaking his film for the different demands and challenges of a giant-screen environment. Consider the final scene of Spider-Man 2, where Spidey swings through Manhattan, escorted by a pair of police helicopters. Looks great, as good as or better than it looked on the best 35mm screens. Now, think how amazing it would have been if they had zoomed in, used the whole IMAX canvas, let the city and the speed just completely fill one's field of vision. It would have been utterly jaw-dropping. Considering Raimi reportedly wanted to film at 1.85:1 rather than 2.35:1 anyway, I think he could have been convinced. Of course, the question is if he and Pope could have made an "IMAX Experience" version; they would have had to either been composing for both versions during filming, or been given time to figure out how to fit their footage to a differently-proportioned screen. Given that the Spidey 2 IMAX release seems like sort of an afterthought, neither is likely the case. It will be interesting to see how the 35mm and IMAX 3-D versions of Robert Zemeckis's Polar Express compare, as IMAX was apparently a consideration from early on. After watching the last three IMAX DMR blowups, though, I'm starting to wonder what advantage they hold over a top-line 35mm presentation if the filmmakers aren't given some license to make some changes. I've got no issue with Apollo 13 and Apollo 13: The IMAX Experience being slightly different, though closely related, works if it means the tools are used to their fullest.