Nearly three years since it was first announced, early next month (March 4) Robert Pattinson will finally appear on our movie screens in Batman, the latest film version of the caped crusader. While Comic Book Studio DC has had mixed success bringing its roster of “DCEU” superheroes to the screen, non-DCEU movies, like 2019’s The Joker, have enjoyed a greater critical and public response. Against the stage outside the DCEU, Matt Reeves’ vision of The Dark Knight looks set to be one of the biggest movies of the year with good ticket presales.
but if you haven’t reserved your seat yet, where should you reserve to watch it? Like a “tent” movie, a high-quality movie theater seems like a must.
so, imax as usual, right?
if you have one near you, a dolby theater will be a great place to see batman
Well, it’s not that simple. First, the movie was shot using digital cameras instead of imax film cameras. On the other hand, the camera in question, the Arri Alexa LF (Large Format), is “Filmed for IMAX” certified, having been used in movies like Dune, which features extended footage in a full 1.43:1 IMAX aspect ratio. On top of that, director Matt Reeves tweeted that he was done quality checking his movie at IMAX, writing that “it looked and sounded so amazing. what a beautiful and immersive format.”
then definitely imax.
well… something important is that the film was shot with anamorphic lenses, which excludes the imax frame. As such, Batman will not feature an enlarged iMax aspect ratio and the entire film will be screened in a standard 2.39:1 aspect ratio.
Furthermore, on the same day, Reeves also tweeted that he had “finally topped the movie in a stunning #dolbyvision with absolutely amazing sound from #dolbyatmos. Thanks @dolby for blowing my mind!”.
Cinematic format coverage bets at its best.
Of course, it makes perfect sense that Reeves would be excited about quality control of his film in the two premium digital film formats available today. As amazing as imax is, in absolute terms of picture quality, the dynamic range and colors displayed on a dolby cinema system even outperform imax, and without the benefit of the stretched aspect ratio, it gives dolby cinema advantage as the ultimate format to watch this movie in.
And there’s more than the quality that hits your eyes: you should also think about what’s under your butt. while imax seats are always comfortable, the amount of legroom varies, and is sometimes a bit lacking (cineworld leicester square, I’m looking at you), and with a potentially mind-numbing 2hr 55min runtime, you have to think about both your eyes and your butt. here again, thanks to its luxurious seats, the dolby cinema triumphs.
However, at least here in the UK, Dolby cinemas are sadly few and far between (there are two in Leicester Square, London) and Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham each have one.
this means you are more likely to have an imax screen near you. i have my tickets booked to an imax, but that’s because it’s 20 minutes away from me, rather than the hour-plus train ticket required to travel to london. look for a laser imax if you can, as it provides a brighter, cleaner picture and also pairs it with 12 channel sound, which always sounds fantastic.
the runtime will also bring a string like everyman into the mix. I don’t talk too much about all of them, as it tends to focus on experience, rather than technology, and while it doesn’t offer any Dolby Atmos cinemas, its AV quality is always solid, and it has very important proper couches to sit on. not to mention seat service. (but not during the movie, please).
If you can’t get to imax, dolby or everyman (where do you live, really?), look for a display with dolby atmos. cineworld offers this with its superscreen, empire with its impact, and odeon with isense. vue also offers screens with atmos like in leicester square, london.
then there are the usual outliers: 4dx, where the seats move and you’ll experience flashes of lights and splashes of water, and can be a lot of fun if you’re in the mood, and screenx, where you get the added image of the sides, which by experience doesn’t work as well.
Choose wisely with your format and you’re set to enjoy what we all hope is a movie worthy of the hype.