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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Two from USA Today: 'Batman' in IMAX and Combatting Cinema Annoyances

Two pieces from USA Today (the official newspaper of hotel dwellers):

- Christopher Nolan will use an IMAX camera to shoot four action sequences for the next Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight,' due out July 18, 2008. From the story:

    "There's simply nothing like seeing a movie that way," Nolan says. "It's more immersive for the audience. I wish I could shoot the entire thing this way."

    Typically, the feature films that play in IMAX theaters are simply stretched out to fill the enormous screens. That can dilute the picture quality and give the movie a wide, squat look.

    Shooting on IMAX, Nolan says, will have a twofold effect. The four scenes will fill the IMAX screens, some of which are eight stories high. And in traditional theaters, the scenes will appear more vivid (think high-definition television over standard).

    Don't expect many movies to follow suit. Only 280 IMAX theaters are in operation worldwide, and fewer than 100 show feature films.

    And shooting in the format is difficult. IMAX film, which is 10 times the size of standard film stock, is costly and must be shot using bulky cameras.

- Regal Entertainment is offering some patrons at its multiplexes wireless problem-reporting device. Press 1 for a picture problem, 2 for sound, 3 for piracy, and 4 for "other disturbance." The systems will be available in 114 theaters this summer. My question: will a manager actually respond?

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