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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

More screens for Christie/AIX...More on `Superman' in 3-D...Paramount tries fiber optics in Japan

- Dallas-based Rave Motion Pictures has signed up with Christie/AIX to install digital projectors in 445 theaters. According to the release, "Total digital conversion of Rave multiplexes is scheduled for completion by mid-2007." The Rave multiplex chain is relatively young -- founded in 1999.

- Lee Gomes of the Wall Street Journal has a short piece on `Superman Returns' in IMAX 3-D; he also writes a bit about Real D and James Cameron's upcoming 3-D feature films. Gomes sounds unimpressed by the dimensionalized version of `Superman Returns':

    ...[T]he actual image on the big screen still suffered from a milder form of what has dogged 3-D from the very beginning: that you are looking at everything through a haze. This problem was compounded in "Superman Returns" by the fact that IMAX chose mostly action sequences for 3-D conversion. Because those scenes tend to be full of jumpy fast cuts, even in 2-D they can be a blur. In 3-D, it was impossible to tell what was supposed to be where.

    There was, though, one sensational effect, though it came when you would have least expected it -- when nothing was happening. A pre-teen Clark Kent is bounding across the Smallville landscape, ending up in a barn floating a few feet above and parallel to the ground. His legs are pointed straight at the camera, which is positioned as though at the foot of a bed. Because he is perfectly still, you can marvel at the way he floats magically in front of you.

- Warner Bros. and Sony have been experimenting since last October with delivering 4K digital movie files to Japan via fiber optic line. Now, Paramount is joining the test program. They're calling it the "world's first field test for digital cinema distribution via fiber optics."