Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Dark Knight Imax Experience

Ever since I first saw The Dark Knight and read about how parts of it were shot on Imax cameras, I wanted to see it on Imax. Last week I had my chance, and my screenwriter friend Chris, who had not yet seen the movie, came with me.

I wasn’t sure how exactly it was going to work. Would the Imax footage be the whole screen? Would it switch back and forth between aspect ratios? Would that be jarring?

My questions were answered almost immediately, as the entire opening bank heist sequence was shot in Imax. Yes, the imax footage was the whole gigantic Imax screen, and yes, it did switch back and forth between aspect ratios, but I hardly noticed it at all. They somehow seamlessly moved from one to the other. I’m not even sure I could tell you which sequences where in Imax because I was so immersed in the film, but I definitely noticed a few, like the sweeping views of Hong Kong, or flipping the semi.

Apparently when they release it on Blu-ray, they’re going to use the Imax footage because of it’s superior picture quality. Except, of course, they’ll have to crop it to fit the widescreen format.

Yep, that’s right.

Now that most TV’s have moved over to the widescreen format, movies are shifting more and more to the Imax aspect ratio, which is the same as your old square TV.

You just can’t win.


The movie held up to a second viewing with flying colors. In many ways it was more enjoyable as I was prepared for its grueling unrelenting pace. It really feels like watching about 4 movies in one. As I left the theater, thinking back on the opening sequences felt like a million years ago.

I also enjoyed watching the movie with someone who hadn’t seen it. Not only did I get the pleasure of seeing the movie with the foreknowledge of what happened, but I got to experience it for the first time through his reactions. The best part was when he turned to me and, speaking of Maggie Gyllenhaal, said “So she’s not a very good actress, is she?”


If you missed your chance to see The Dark Knight on Imax, it will be re-released in January. They might even re-release it on regular screens too. They're really pushing for it to win some Oscars. I could see a Best Picture nomination. Heath Ledger should at least get a Best Actor nomination, if not the win.

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In 1789, the governor of Australia granted land and some animals to James Ruse in an experiment to see how long it would take him to support himself. Within 15 months he had become self sufficient. The area is still known as Experiment Farm. This is my Experiment Farm to see how long it will take me to support myself by writing.