IMAX, Is Bigger Better ?
Well it's nearing Christmas and that means the holiday movie releases are advertised and time to slow down and catch a movie with family and friends.
We decided to see THOR - RAGNAROK since my daughter and her boyfriend are THOR fans and I like THOR as well. Since I'm always stuck paying, I decided to see the movie in IMAX and share my thoughts for the December blog. As expected ticket prices were higher than standard Dolby Vision but I didn't mind due to the high cost of equipment and upgrades required to display IMAX. The IMAX Theater costs are passed on to the consumer.
When I walked in the theater, I stopped in my tracks and stood staring straight up at the HUGE IMAX screen. This 70mm Screen is TALL. Wow ! I thought. I am anxious to see the visual experience this screen can provide.
During the movie trailers I really liked the big screen but found the sound system to be very different from Dolby. Very different. The side speakers are very present and almost to a fault. Fast, powerful, and almost overbearing when compared with the front speaker array. The volume sounded as if it exceeded 100 DB or more. During the movie things balanced out a bit and I felt the sound was immersing me into the movie as the HUGE screen seemed to pull me toward it and the side speakers pushed me along for the ride. I seemed to be getting comfortable to this new theater sound and display.
The most appreciated experience with IMAX was the center channel. WOW! The perfect speaker(s) for dialog and voice timber. How I love the IMAX dialog . Quiet. Very real. No noise floor. Elegant. And I'm running out of adjectives. After 30 years, I've heard the best center channel ever. IMAX can really process discreet channels of information.
After the movie I asked the group what they thought of the audio video presentation. They thought it was nice but too loud and it didn't need to be that aggressive. I wanted to hear from them to ensure I wasn't biased toward this new format due to my experience with DolbyVision, Regal RPX, AMC Prime, and Cinemark XD.
Overall I was entertained, but frankly I'll pass on IMAX for now because I believe the IMAX local theater experience is different from the REAL IMAX Theater such as those in California (IMAX Corporate). Back in the early 1980's George Lucas discovered this disappointing realaltiy with his Dolby presentation. Many home-town theaters retrofitted to accommodate Dolby but in the end, the audio/video performance missed the standard. It took quite a while to build the new theaters correctly and phase out those elder theaters that couldn't match the standard required to keep patrons.
Im going to give local IMAX theaters time to become REAL IMAX. If you would like a more traditional review on IMAX, please see www.youtube.com and search " Is IMAX worth it " by movie university. It is well done.
Disclaimer* My blog is not a traditional "review". I prefer a conversation style blog. I share my thoughts and feelings based upon 20 years selling audio-video products and services to the general public. Thank you for reading my blog. Brian - Home Media Solutions of Charlotte.