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IMAX on DVD... What's the Point?

Old 07-17-05, 10:41 PM
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IMAX on DVD... What's the Point?

Unless you have a 100 foot screen in your home, don't IMAX movies on DVD sort of lose their appeal?
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Old 07-17-05, 11:05 PM
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Without any knowledge on the subject, my guess is there are Imax movies that were only available via Imax. Therefore you are purchasing it for the movie and not to watch it on a giant screen.
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Old 07-17-05, 11:19 PM
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I have the Nascar dvd because I, hold on for a shock, enjoy the subject?

Saw the IMAX theater version too.....WOW.
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Old 07-17-05, 11:30 PM
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I own several IMAX movies and bought them because, for the most part, they are all well-produced documentaries.
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Old 07-17-05, 11:33 PM
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Exactly...there are several great IMAX films. Sure, they're better in an IMAX theater, but barring that they are still worth seeing.
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Old 07-18-05, 01:55 AM
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mbs and Groucho

Alaska - Spirit of the Wild has some breathtaking cinematography that still looks great on the small screen! There are lots of other outstanding IMAX titles available on DVD.
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Old 07-18-05, 09:20 AM
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not only are the well produced documentaries as mbs has noted but from a technical side the 5.1 mixes for the most are home theatre demo worthy. NASCAR, The Magic of Flight. Stormchasers are juggernaughts of surround sound, LOUD, and completely immersive.
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Old 07-18-05, 09:45 AM
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I saw the IMAX NASCAR disc in walmart at a decent price but it was fullscreen. Is that the OAR?
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Old 07-18-05, 09:57 AM
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Short answer: Yes. The aspect ratio of most made-for-IMAX films is 1.43:1.
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Old 07-18-05, 10:28 AM
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I love showing them to my kids (and me), anytime I want. I have a bunch of non-fiction disks, IMAX and others like natl geographic, for this purpose, with IMAX Space Station on the way. They are all just wonderful, educational, science (or history, etc)-oriented films. Great stuff! That's the point for me.
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Old 07-18-05, 12:26 PM
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And I will say that while being great at an IMAX theatre they look absolutely stunning on my 51" HD Sony Wega. Like said, they are also great Audio/Visual Home theatre demo DVD's!
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Old 07-18-05, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by THX7966
Unless you have a 100 foot screen in your home, don't IMAX movies on DVD sort of lose their appeal?
I own the recently released version of Apollo 13 (the two disc version that came out a couple of months ago). This set has two cuts of the film -- the theatrical cut, and also the IMAX cut. There are differences in running time, edits, a few extended scenes, deleted scenes, etc.

However, and more importantly, this is the curious thing...

The theatrical version has an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 (which is what it was in the original theatrical release, of course). It is anamorphic.

The the DVD of the IMAX version has an aspect ratio of 1.66:1. (This means it will perfectly fill any widescreen television, of course). It is also anamophic. Now, if you can follow this (and you understand aspect ratios), then it is important to recall that IMAX when projected is a very "tall" aspect ratio. It is not actually very wide, in comparison with "standard" films aspect ratios. It is what some call a "vertically oriented" aspect ratio. Some call this aspect ratio 15/70. So, it sould appear that the 2.35:1 original was (most probably) panned and scanned" for the IMAX version, which was then shown in many IMAX theaters around the country. I do know that director Ron Howard supervised the IMAX mastering.

Then, this DVD apparently took that IMAX cut, and did an anamorphic squeeze to it. Because this cut would have had so much vertical resolution to work with, and also because the film itself is so large that it can easily be projected on screens that are 10 times larger than 35mm and 3 times larger than 70mm.

*** The following was taken from a source on aspect ratios)****
A note about IMAX: IMAX movies are actually photographed on 70mm film turned sideways, and as a result a nearly square frame is achieved. Due to the size of IMAX screens, it is not necessary for the format to be widescreen, and this is why video transfers of IMAX material are not letterboxed.

"The IMAX image is ten times larger than a conventional 35mm frame and three times bigger than a standard 70mm frame."
*** End of snippet, from the IMAX page ****

Because of all of this, there is a LOT of vertical resolution to play with when a squeeze is done. In fact, there is a LOT of actual resolution to play with. period. Thus, in at least this case, the picture quality is a thing of beauty. It far surpasses the theatrical cut on the other disc. (Yes, I realize pursists will complain because a pan and scan job was done up front, prior to the IMAX projection). However, I have compared both, and the difference is stunning. This IMAX DVD version is one of my reference DVDs, and I would put it up there with "Fifth Element Superbit," or "Moulin Rouge" or "Vertical Limit Superbit." On my ISF calibrated CRT-based 65 inch monitor, it comes as close to looking like high definition as any DVD I own (and I do watch a LOT of high definition).

Just a few thoughts on the topic...

-Bruce

Last edited by BSpielbauer; 07-18-05 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 07-18-05, 12:40 PM
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The resolution of a good Imax film is ridiculously higher than DVD. Their film is 70x70mm. Considering that most Hollywood films were made on 24x36mm film and have far more resolution than HDTV, I think Imax may be just a bit better than DVD. Blowing a 640x480 res DVD version up to 100' would be silly.

But I can certainly see wanting copies of some of these for home viewing, they should look great on TVs if the DVDs are mastered well. Sounds like they are. They must lose quite a bit of detail, though.

Last edited by Spiky; 07-18-05 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 07-19-05, 06:47 PM
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SPACE STATION was awesome in IMAX 3-D. I won't bother with the small screen/flat version, but if you missed it in theatres you might still enjoy it.
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Old 07-19-05, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by BSpielbauer
...... Some call this aspect ratio 15/70. So, it sould appear that the 2.35:1 original was (most probably) panned and scanned" for the IMAX version, which was then shown in many IMAX theaters around the country. I do know that director Ron Howard supervised the IMAX mastering.
..........
The aspect ratio is not called 15/70. This form of 70mm photography is nicknamed 15/70. Regular Todd-AO/Super Panavision style 70mm film has a frame that is 5 sprockets (also called "perf's") high, as opposed to 35mm film which is 4 "perf's" high. With IMAX, they take 70mm film, run it sideways instead of vertical, and expose THREE Todd-AO/Super Panavision frames together to make ONE frame of IMAX. Thus a quick way of referencing what style of 70mm cinematography it is, is to say "15/70", meaning 15 perf's wide for just one frame.

The aspect ratio for IMAX is indeed 1.43:1, very close to the TV shape of 1.33:1

APPOLLO 13 was shot in Super 35, so they simply reformatted the Super 35 frame for the new aspect ratio.
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Old 07-19-05, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Spiky
The resolution of a good Imax film is ridiculously higher than DVD. Their film is 70x70mm. Considering that most Hollywood films were made on 24x36mm film and have far more resolution than HDTV, I think Imax may be just a bit better than DVD. Blowing a 640x480 res DVD version up to 100' would be silly.

But I can certainly see wanting copies of some of these for home viewing, they should look great on TVs if the DVDs are mastered well. Sounds like they are. They must lose quite a bit of detail, though.

and interestingly, there are these hybrid prtotype HiDef DVD IMAX features (Terminator 2 is also available).

http://www.wmvhd.com/

"Windows Media High Definition Video (WMV HD) makes it possible to watch stunning, high definition movies. Connect your PC to a high definition display such as a plasma television and a surround sound system for an incredible theater-like experience right in your home.

Pop a WMV HD DVD into your PC or download a WMV HD short from the web. Watch WMV HD movies in your den or dorm, on your next plane ride, or in a Windows XP-based home theater.


I can't wait to see what IMAX DVD's look like with the preposed Blu-Ray/HD-DVD specs
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Old 07-19-05, 09:50 PM
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There’s also the quintessential Home Theatre Demo Disc



Super Speedway: The Mach II: Special Edition
(1998)
Image Entertainment

"Super Speedway" (50 min.) - Fasten your seatbelt and get ready for the ride of your life! "Super Speedway" puts you in the driver's seat of an Indy-type race car tearing up asphalt at speeds of over 230 miles per hour. Follow the excitement and drama of championship auto racing with narrator and celebrated actor Paul Newman, and join racing star Michael Andretti and his legendary father, Mario, as they craft a state-of-the-art race car. Then, follow the pulse-pounding action of Michael's high-speed quest for victory as he pushes the limits of the new car at the PPG CART World Series. So start your engines--"Super Speedway" is about to begin! Ever wonder "how did they do that?" "The Making of 'Super Speedway'" (47 min.), shot on High-Definition Video, takes you behind the scenes.

Rating: NR
Length: 97min
Genre: Special Interest

Packaging:
Disc Format:
Layer Change:

Flipper: No
THX Certified: No
Region Coded: No

Retail Price: $24.99
Street Date: *9/18/2001

Video:
1.77:1
Anamorphic Widescreen/ Full Frame / Open Matte
Color
Audio:
English - DTS
English - Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:None

Cast:
Director:
Special Features:
Making Of (47 min.)
Bonus racing footage
Bonus widescreen version from High Definition Transfer


Yes… a 16X9 IMAX DVD – one wonders why I haven’t yet rewatched this on my 30’ Samsung Widescreen HiDef TV.

Here’s also a glowing review from movieweb.com

http://www.movieweb.com/dvd/reviews/...1809421&id=589
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Old 07-19-05, 10:01 PM
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oops, the movieweb review/link is for the NASCAR IMAX feature - sorry,
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Old 07-19-05, 10:37 PM
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There's also exclusive content

http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...light=godzilla

I'm pretty sure I'll want that for my collection.
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