Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Memo to 'Fantastic Beasts' Audiences: Double Check Your IMAX Ticket!

 
I am still on vacation, but I need to issue this warning on this Thanksgiving day to anyone who may be considering seeing "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" in IMAX this weekend.  I went to see the movie at the Tropicana IMAX in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  I have seen several 3D movies in this IMAX before, and they have one of the best projections I've seen.  The last time I viewed a movie there it was with "The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies," which was actually being projected in 48 HFR projection.  So, obviously, this is a pretty good screen to see 3D movies in, and I was excited on seeing the new Harry Potter film (that didn't have Harry Potter) on it.  Alas, for some reason the movie was being projected in 2D only.  Since I was with a friend and was treating her to a vacation, I decided not to press the issue, but afterwards I double checked to make sure it was supposed to be in 3D in the first place.

Sure enough: it was.  I now have to see the movie again in a proper IMAX 3D presentation, but all the IMAX's I have near my home are oddly... inconsistent, with the projection.  Most of the them have half the screenings in 2D and half in 3D.  Some aren't showing the 3D version at all (despite being perfectly capable of doing so).  It is strange to see IMAX treading lightly on the 3D showings when they have just come off a very positive reception from "Doctor Strange" and it's great use of 3D.  Also, like 'Strange,' Warner Bros. made it a point to have 'Fantastic Beasts' on more 3D screens than 2D, sending a strong message to audiences about how the movie is supposed to be seen.  The good news is that some IMAX's are still offering 3D showings, but this is a troubling turn of events none-the-less.  It is especially bothersome since this is the only real IMAX in all of New Jersey (to my knowledge), and if you can't see the 3D version here, then you are pretty much screwed out of seeing the movie the best possible way.

Now the movie itself is pretty good.  I can easily recommend it.  Some of the shots looked weird, but, again, I saw it in 2D, so some of the warped images probably look fine when you add a third dimension to them.  Just make it a point to double check your ticket before you see the movie if the 3D is important to you, because this is one time IMAX is not only being coy about whether the movie is presented in 3D or not, they aren't being very upfront that this is what they are doing.  Hopefully this is just a one time thing they are trying, but we're going to be keeping a closer eye on the company from this point on to make sure.

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