Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises IMAX review

Looking to see The Dark Knight Rises this week and wondering to see it in IMAX? Let me help. I've seen the movie in the regular format and IMAX. This review is to help you decide whether you should shell out the extra bucks for the IMAX version of The Dark Knight Rises. The extra money differs from city to city. Here in Cincinnati, Ohio, it costs five dollars more. For the general review of this exciting and thought provoking film, go here.

A little background about IMAX. IMAX screens are taller and bigger than most movie screens. You get better picture resolution. And the sound is crisper. I prefer IMAX 3D to the regular 3D at the cinemas. IMAX 3D gives better depth and pop than regular 3D. However, The Dark Knight Rises is a 2D movie.

As for The Dark Knight Rises, Director Christopher Nolan shot a whopping 72 minutes of IMAX footage for the film. (New York Times article.) If you see it in IMAX, the special footage will fill up the screen whereas the regular footage will appear as letter box. Don't worry the effect is seamless.

The problem with the film in IMAX is ironically the strength of the IMAX presentation. It's the sound. The Dark Knight Rises is one loud film. The musical soundtrack, even though its orchestral, is very loud. So loud, I don't recommend you take young children to this movie. The IMAX sound gave the film a kind of reverb or echo effect at times. While low level dialogue can be heard clearly, Bane's words can get lost in the volume.

But it's the picture that is usually the focus of any IMAX film. Nolan filmed the big action set pieces in IMAX. He also used the process for other scenes, some quieter ones and of course, beauty shots of the city of Gotham. The picture is so clear and crisp that you feel like you are seeing the scenes in real life. You're part of the picture. It's just gorgeous.

Since there is quite a bit of the film that was shot in IMAX, I recommend that if you are going to see The Dark Knight Rises, you see it in the IMAX version. There is a difference. But if you are cash strapped, you won't miss anything by seeing it in a regular theater.

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