THB #281: Revenge Of The IMAX Trailers
I went to the local bijou to check out what I had read were 2 IMAX exclusive trailers on Avatar: The Way of Water.
It turned out to be more (and less) than that.
The first unique trailer was a Creed III piece (not what is just above this) about how it was shot on IMAX, focusing heavily on Michael B. Jordan. So much so that I was waiting for it to be one of those LA Times “how it’s made” ads from a couple decades ago. Too much Jordan - of whom I am a fan - for me. But when he explains that IMAX lets you see more, hear more, feel more in his film, with visual and aural examples, I was completely with it. If the whole thing had been a minute shorter, with the IMAX element noted earlier in the piece, it would have been a home run.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse was much less overly dense on the big screen (maybe any big screen) than on the TV. Intimate AND over the top.
I read about Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part I having a special trailer. One piece I saw said it would be a “behind-the-scenes featurette.” It wasn’t. What we got seemed to be precisely the trailer that came out in May. Still cool in IMAX size.
Super Mario Bros… actually looked better on this large screen. But it’s still Super Mario Bros.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods… oy.
But then we got the spectacular trailer for Oppenheimer.
I really had no idea what to expect. And in some ways, a trailer is a trailer is a trailer. Who knows what the full film will be? But this trailer was remarkably cinematic for a movie about a scientist.
It’s the simple, clean visuals, the close-ups of the actors (Tom Conti as Einstein), and the music… oh, the music… Ludwig Göransson’s music.
Nolan manages to make the whole 2 minutes like a pulsing, inevitable journey to the deadly power of the atom bomb. An action movie. But the action is scientific creation and the stakes are, indeed, life on the entire planet.
Cillian Murphy looks a bit unlike himself… but not in a prosthetic way. Beautiful cinematography. We see some of the other actors in the film, but the only ones with more than a passing line are Matt Damon as the Lt. General in charge of the Manhatten Project, Leslie Groves, and Einstein.
This is not your father’s Atom Bomb movie.
Truly, a trailer that makes your heart race.
But there was more…
I was thinking, as I was sitting there, that Disney had not been represented by any of the trailers.
And then, Indiana Jones arrives.
Same trailer we’ve seen… but again, the imagery is so much better on the bigger screen.
So I guess that is Disney’s… wait…
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 3 trailer… in 3D.
Same trailer that’s been out. But in 3D. And the 3D was really beautiful.
I am not a fan of 3D conversions. But really, the 3D in this trailer really took it as step up.
And then, again, the same “old” Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania trailer… but it, too, seemed much cooler in 3D.
Really surprised. And I think part of it was the size of the IMAX screen, in both cases, opening up the image as much as the 3D did. Both trailers have a lot of dark-on-dark imagery and with the bigger screen and 3D format, images had enough separation to make it feel more like we were seeing everything more distinctly and clearly.
As I was watching this parade of trailers, with Creed III and Mission: Impossible 7 and the glorious trailer experience of Oppenheimer, 2 animated films, old Indy, then these 3D incarnations of Marvel, I felt more and more hopeful about the future of theatrical. And two of the nine films looking great on this giant screen are straight dramas. I couldn’t be more excited about seeing them with the best sound and image on the biggest screen possible.
It really felt like a murderer’s row of movies. “We dare you not to come back to the movies 5 times in the next 7 months!!!” Almost as though The Industry had done a sizzle reel. A pleading for survival. An exclamation of muscle.
The facts remain… the future of theatrical will be defined by a range of movies, not just blockbusters.
I had to get home, so I only watched the first 20 minutes or so of Avatar: The Way of Water.
Disney had screened the film for press - twice - in Dolby 3D. I am a huge fan of the Dolby premium rooms.
But damned if IMAX 3D was not a noticeable step better for this film. Not incrementally better. A lot better.
Back when the first Avatar landed, I was one of those lunatics that sampled the film in every one of the formats available. How you saw that film - the format - really made a difference. As in the case of the new film, it doesn’t completely change what you are seeing… obviously. But I’ve read reviews focused on the shifting in and out of High Frame Rate… that too is smoothed (if you’ll excuse the term) in IMAX 3D more than the Dolby 3D. I haven’t seen any other formats yet.
I had to leave before they got to the water sequences… but I am seriously curious about the impact of the format on that 2/3 of the film. I will go back to check those out in the next week.
A lot of movie experience in about an hour. Can’t wait to get back.
This button burns.