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Saturday, September 22, 2007

We saw TRANSFORMERS in glorious IMAX at the Exploris!

Yesterday was the premiere of Transformers in the IMAX format. The allure of watching the Autobots and Decepticons hash it out on what I call "the big-a$$ screen" was too much to pass up, so on Tuesday Lisa and I ordered our tickets for last night's 7 p.m. show at the IMAX Theater at Exploris in downtown Raleigh.

But this really is the kind of thing best shared with friends too. So Chad Austin also got him a ticket and we got in touch with Eric Wilson, a really good friend of ours who I hadn't seen in like 15 years. He drove a few hours to Raleigh and we all hooked up at Chad's place about 5 minutes from the Exploris. After a quick bite at the Armadillo Grill, we headed over to the theater.

The best part of going to see Transformers last night, without a doubt, was getting to see Eric's reaction to watching an IMAX movie for the first time in his life. The moment we entered the theater his eyes got as big as saucers when he saw that mammoth screen: it's been a way long time since I've seen utter astonishment like that. And then before a movie starts there's this little presentation that shows off the Exploris IMAX's capabilities, including the 12,000 watts of speakers. As Eric put it, "It's like being at a KISS concert!" I found myself turning to look at Eric quite a bit during the movie and there wasn't a time that he didn't look blown-away by the spectacle of it all. It almost seemed too much, for all of us: Chad said something about how overwhelming the screen was with all that action going on.

Transformers is the kind of movie that screams for the IMAX treatment. It's big, bright and loud! Easily the most 'splosive-sounding IMAX movie that I've ever heard. From the opening scene where we watch the Allspark majestically float through space as Optimus narrates over it, you know this is going to be a massive thing for both eyes and ears to behold. And then a few minutes later we see Blackout's attack on the Air Force base in Qatar and it's never looked so good: the IMAX image is so huge, you see every nuance of Blackout's movement as he works his way across the grounds of the base. That's one of the best things about the IMAX release, we all agreed: you really can make out details better than you can in the regular release.

Everything else in the movie is as magnificent as you can imagine Transformers in IMAX to be: the ground-pounding counter-attack on Scorponok, the "Autobots descent" (maybe the best scene in any movie all summer), and the final battle that goes from Hoover Dam to Mission City. How awesome is Transformers with IMAX-sized sound? Well the entire theater literally vibrated when Megatron awoke and declares "I am... Megatron!"

If you're a fan of Transformers you've probably heard that the IMAX release contains about 2 minutes of extra footage. That's true but none of it involves new material of the Transformers themselves (unless you count the scene where Sam is driving Bumblebee and he picks up his friend Miles just before the lake scene). All of the new footage focus on the humans, but I still enjoyed them. The best of the new stuff is a quick scene where Lennox is trying to persuade the gun-totin' owner of a pawn shop to give him some short-wave radios. A lot of the new material relates to Sector Seven and its long history, like how every President since Hoover - and Simmons names them all usually with their nicknames - has come to look at Megatron. Come to think of it, there's like six new scenes and Simmons is in three of those: curious, that.

Here's Eric, Chad, myself and Lisa (hey, all four of us are bloggers!) with the Transformers stand-up in the lobby of the IMAX Theater at Exploris:

After the show we went to Krispey Kreme for donuts. That's probably going to be worth noting in the months to come as a pretty fun project was conceived in the course of consuming the sweets. So I just wanted to put a marker here for when this thing kind of kicked-off. There'll be more to talk about that come January or so.

So we had a blast last night! And Transformers was definitely worth the drive to watch in IMAX. If there is an IMAX screen fairly close by, by all means do what you can to catch it while it's running: there's no better way to wind down the theatrical run of such a great movie than to see it like this! :-)


Suz said...

I'd have to agree, Transformers in Imax was amazing. The detail was great. I've already seen the movie a few times in regular theaters, but seeing it in Imax was a great experience. I'm glad I spent the money.

There was a lot of anticipation out there that the 120 seconds of new footage would include more shots of the 'bots, but unfortunately that's not true. I hope people aren't too disappointed. The extra scenes aren't anything special.

Matt said...

I would of have gone to see that, but it is an hour and a half away from High Point. We college students are kinda poor. :[