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Dark Knight Sizes

Friday 3 August 2012, 11:16

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

The Dark Knight Rises has been open for a couple of weeks now and breaking box office records all over... But what I want to know is which is the best format to see it in - Imax, 35mm or digital?

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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    his worst effort yet - an hour too long - awfully predictable ending - i will admit bane was amusing that was it - he needs a new formula and new actors

    and to give it a 9.0 rating saying it's more important then the star wars trilogy is insane but nolan fans are like bieber fans its crazy

    memento and inception were good films - inception would of beaten avatar if it was 3d - the dark knight was only good cos of the great heath ledger and his death buzz - prestige was a one view - face it he is the new ridley scott he has done 2 good films now he will probably just keep doing robin hoods for the next 10 years - i am happy to be proved wrong tho

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Saw it 3 times with both imax and standard prints and didn't notice any significant difference between them. both looked greatand i thought the movie was a solid 4 / 5. As for bane, I don't get why people are finding him hard to understand. His voice has been digitally enahanced so it's actually louder than everyone elses and has perfect clarity. Whether you see it on imax or 35, bane is no harder to understand than darth vader.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Mark - having seen it both ways (or rather, in normal digital projection and in the Glasgow IMAX) I thought it worked well and looked great in a standard cinema, but the IMAX sequences blew me away.

    However, there's something here you need to address, because very few critics are talking about it. Something terrible has happened to IMAX. There are 4 or 5 proper IMAX cinemas across Britain. There are now dozens of multiplexes which have converted one of their screens to 'IMAX.' But THEY'RE NOT IMAX - and what's worst is that the IMAX company has made no distinction, and most people don't realise there's a difference. I paid £13.20 to go to see Spider-Man in the 'IMAX' in Edinburgh. The first thing I noticed was that the screen wasn't the right size: it was roughly 1.85:1 rather than the 1.44:1 of a standard IMAX. So, seen in those screens, the full-frame IMAX sequences from TDKR will be cropped at the top and bottom. The next thing I noticed was the size - the screen was barely half the size of the old-school IMAX in Glasgow. The projection is digital, using two 2K projectors (not even the best available technology) projected onto the screen. With the best will in the world, digital projection isn't up to the image quality of 70mm IMAX film yet (I suspect that if shown on the huge IMAX screens the digital image would start to look crap). I later saw TDKR in the Glasgow IMAX on a screen twice the size, in the right ratio, and projected on the best film stock in the world, and it cost me less than a tenner.

    There's nothing wrong with offering people a better cinema experience, and the pseudo-IMAXs do give you a better experience than your average multiplex screen. It's bigger and brighter and offers better sound. Great. But don't call it IMAX, and don't charge me an extra £4.50 on top of the usual price to see it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Here, incidentally, is the list of IMAXs in the UK http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_IMAX_venues#U - the ones that say (15/70mm) are 'proper' IMAXs. A lot of people who say that they didn't think there was a huge difference will be saying it because they saw it in one of the IMAX-lites (I've heard them referred to as 'Lie-MAX' a few times). If people enjoyed the movie I urge them to go see it in one of those IMAXs; the image during the scenes shot with IMAX cameras will blow you away.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Whilst I was watching the film (in IMAX) I thought it was enjoyable enough though flawed but the more I thought about it after I left the cinema the more I realised how many problems it has.

    Overall I found it to suffer from the worst problems of The Dark Knight (overlong, convoluted plot) without any of that film's payoff (interesting villain with an excellent performance, dark underlying themes about morality and the nature of people). So much of it seems rushed such that I end up feeling very little for the character involved. I didn't even care about the twist at the end, I just accepted it and moved on.

    I was disappointed you didn't pick it apart more Dr K! What problems do you think it has, if any? I think the deification of Nolan may have made a few critics a bit blind to its flaws!

    I won't be going back to the cinema to see it again, so will never know if the 35mm print is superior. Interestingly, a friend of mine says she can't watch films in IMAX because of her tendency to get migraines and headaches. Do you or anybody else know of any other reports of this kind of thing? I'd heard about it for 3D but not IMAX...


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