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post #211 of 386 Old 11-21-2014, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by RobertR View Post
IMDB is not the universe of theater goers and critics. Movies that are currently playing tend to get more attention than "old" movies. I've seen Internet comments along the lines of "I don't pay much attention to movies that are more than two or three decades old". Unfortunately, the "votes" of such people still count.
I enjoy IMDB and Interstellar is 12th right now, meaning it will drop more than likely over time. 8.8 rating out of 10 is a solid score.

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post #212 of 386 Old 11-21-2014, 01:30 PM
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Interstellar... We saw the first hour (and only the first hour) at the Pacific Science Center Imax Theater in Seattle. Sunday night 9:45pm show. Full house. One hour into the film and only minutes after "lift-off" (yes, it takes that long into the film before the set-up ends and the actual voyage finally begins ...) the whole screen & theater suddenly went dark & silent. The emergency exit lights came on, but we were all told to sit & wait - the power was out throughout half the building. They didn't know why. 15 minutes later we were all told to leave - the show would not be resumed. They still didn't know what happened, but whatever it was, it wasn't going to be fixed until Monday. Show over... Perhaps an homage to the old sci-fi serial cliff-hangers to get you to come back again next week? Perhaps just a cynical ploy to sell more overpriced parking & popcorn... Either way, there's a reason we prefer to watch movies on Blu-Ray - at home.
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post #213 of 386 Old 11-21-2014, 01:51 PM
 
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Apologies, Northsky. Thanks for punctuations here
Lol, cool man.
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post #214 of 386 Old 11-21-2014, 02:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RobertR View Post
IMDB is not the universe of theater goers and critics. Movies that are currently playing tend to get more attention than "old" movies. I've seen Internet comments along the lines of "I don't pay much attention to movies that are more than two or three decades old". Unfortunately, the "votes" of such people still count.
I concur; IMDb is the last place on the universe for stopping by and having a cup of coffee.

Even Rotten Tomatoes; check 'Snowpiercer' reviews. ...Another sci-fi flick, but this time on a train, and set around a dead/frozen world.
...Check the camera work from the violent action scenes on that one and tell me you don't have a headache.

Yeah, film critics, the best ones are right here, in this own very thread.
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post #215 of 386 Old 11-21-2014, 02:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by r-gordon-7 View Post
Interstellar... We saw the first hour (and only the first hour) at the Pacific Science Center Imax Theater in Seattle. Sunday night 9:45pm show. Full house. One hour into the film and only minutes after "lift-off" (yes, it takes that long into the film before the set-up ends and the actual voyage finally begins ...) the whole screen & theater suddenly went dark & silent. The emergency exit lights came on, but we were all told to sit & wait - the power was out throughout half the building. They didn't know why. 15 minutes later we were all told to leave - the show would not be resumed. They still didn't know what happened, but whatever it was, it wasn't going to be fixed until Monday. Show over... Perhaps an homage to the old sci-fi serial cliff-hangers to get you to come back again next week? Perhaps just a cynical ploy to sell more overpriced parking & popcorn... Either way, there's a reason we prefer to watch movies on Blu-Ray - at home.
Most likely the main circuit breaker blew off; from too high volume levels. ...Not the first time.
Theaters' owners need to lower the volume levels of their venues, and filmmakers need to raise the dialogue level, or record what the actors are saying with a working mic.
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post #216 of 386 Old 11-21-2014, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Gamecock24 View Post
Thanks for sharing your review. As I was reading what you wrote I was also wondering if maybe the theatre just had their sound system turned up until you said you talked to the manager about the sound.
After reading these reviews I am afraid I maybe going into this movie with a biased views and be too focused on critiquing the movie to enjoy it which I hope is not the case. I do have high hopes for this movie and going out of my way to see it in the 70mm format going for the best audio and visual presentation. On a positive note the Huntsville Rocket Centre IMAX is only a $10 admission, Woot!


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I was pretty successful this time in that I managed to stay away from almost all descriptions and reviews before I went to see interstellar... Hopefully the volume thing will be a YMMV thing like it seems to be for others....

Pete
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post #217 of 386 Old 11-21-2014, 03:10 PM
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I went to see Interstellar at our local IMAX theater last night with some friends. Having read it would be a bit loud, I brought earplugs.

The volume level was insane! Even with earplugs it was way too loud!
Yup, that's the problem with the "just wear earplugs if it's too loud" idea. Most theaters these days can and do produce prodigious bass, and earplugs don't help; it travels right along through your body/bone structure to your ear drum. No stopping it with earplugs.
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post #218 of 386 Old 11-21-2014, 03:50 PM
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I enjoy IMDB and Interstellar is 12th right now, meaning it will drop more than likely over time. 8.8 rating out of 10 is a solid score.
12th over all; #1 scifi feature
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post #219 of 386 Old 11-21-2014, 07:27 PM
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World's largest hi-def screen now in operation in Times Square, NY. Will be very interesting when/if they start showing movie trailers. Took this picture on my way in to work.


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post #220 of 386 Old 11-22-2014, 12:28 AM
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Thumbs up Loved Interstellar!

Great to read everyone's opinion of Interstellar. Shows how movies are very subjective and almost everybody has different opinions.

I saw the movie in 70mm IMAX at Universal Citywalk in Southern California (and then I went back a few days later since I enjoyed it so much!). Wanted to make sure I saw it in the native 15/70 format. I had seen The Dark Knight Rises and Mission Impossible in IMAX 70mm at this theater as well.

What an amazing film!! Such a great cinematic experience... in the best possible way. A movie that is meant to be seen on the 'big' screen! When I see this at home.. there is just no way it will be as impressive (Although I'm sure I will buy the BD the day it comes out).

The visuals were amazing. I do feel that the IMAX 15/70mm format is the most immersive and impressive way to see a movie. I feel it's superior to Digital, and also the 3D presentations (I've seen movies in all those formats). While yes, a few shots were a bit soft (usually the 35mm shots), it was only for a few moments and didn't bother me at all. I loved the organic feel of the image. Sometimes digital is too sterile and too clean. The texture of the film can add to the mood of the film in my opinion.

Space shots just took my breath away. Very stunning. Very much felt like we were on the journey with the crew.

I thought the sound was also very impressive! Yes it was loud at spots, but to me it made the film even more impressive. When the rockets took off. the seats were shaking and I really did feel like I was riding the rocket with them! I did notice that a couple of times the dialogue was a little hard to make out because the music was playing loudly at that moment. But honestly the audio mix felt right.. and was very powerful. I don't always need to hear every single word. Sometimes the mood and music are more important. Also in one spot where the dialogue was a bit hard to hear.. we heard the same lines repeated a minute or so later when the video message was played back. I didn't feel like I missed anything.. and I really enjoyed the sound and the sound mix.

I will certainly say the movie wasn't perfect (I'm not sure if there exists a perfect movie). There were a few plot points that didn't tie together as well as they could have. Also a few spots where the actors didn't totality deliver for me. Although there were other moments where I was getting choked up from the great acting and emotion on the screen. The friends I went with also enjoyed the film very much.

I say go and see this movie in the theater! 70mm IMAX if possible.. regular 70mm or 35mm if not. The film adds texture that I think adds to the film viewing experience (and it's how the director intended it to be seen. We don't like pan and scan movies since it cuts off the image. right?). Digital projection does not have the same quality as IMAX 15/70mm.. and until it is as good or better.. I hope they keep film as an option for filmmakers.

Great emotional journey and one of Nolan's best films (and one of the best sci-fi/adventure movies of all times).

-Peter
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post #221 of 386 Old 11-22-2014, 06:06 AM
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Going this afternoon after a quick hike! According to the theaters website (Picture Show, Prescott, AZ) it says "Standard", whatever that means. I'll give a report this evening or tomorrow. Picture Show is our newest theater with leather reclining seats, a bar which is only available in the evening, and a way more friendlier staff than our local Harkins. I will ask them what format they are showing this in. I think it's an all digital theater.

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post #222 of 386 Old 11-22-2014, 07:51 AM
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Interstellar in Imax 70mm Film

@prberg Great review from a positive prospective. I can already tell that I will be buying this one on BD when it comes out.


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post #223 of 386 Old 11-22-2014, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by NorthSky View Post
Most likely the main circuit breaker blew off; from too high volume levels. ...Not the first time.
Theaters' owners need to lower the volume levels of their venues, and filmmakers need to raise the dialogue level, or record what the actors are saying with a working mic.

Bob, you are probably correct in your assumption. A friend of mine reported seeing it yesterday at an Imax theater in Florida. She complained about the excessive volume and reported that the power there blew 1 1/2 hours into the show... though in her case, at least the staff got the power back on and the film up and running again after about 15 minutes.
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Films are a "transporting" experience. ...And any which way used to "transport" us is more or less valid depending of the viewer's perspective.

It is totally fine to be moved emotionally to the extreme, to be scared, to be happy and laughing our guts out, to feel unsecured, to cry, to feel desolated, to feel reunited, ...all what films have the power to emulsify in our human chords.

But, please no blackout!
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post #225 of 386 Old 11-22-2014, 03:18 PM
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Christopher Nolan's new space epic lives up to that moniker in the sheer scope of its visuals. But is the story equally impressive?

Last night, I saw Interstellar in Imax 70mm film at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, CA. Normally, I much prefer digital presentations, but this is a special case—director Christopher Nolan is a real filmophile, and this is the format he favors to present the movie exactly as he intended it to be seen. Unfortunately, only 54 Imax theaters worldwide are showing it in 70mm film (32 in the US), but it's also being presented in standard 70mm film, 35mm film, Imax digital (dual-projector), 4K digital, and 2K digital. It was not shot or processed in 3D, and the soundtrack was not mixed in any immersive-sound format.

First, the movie itself; I will offer no real spoilers here, only basic plot points that most people know already, even if they haven't seen it yet. In the near future (it's not clear just how near that future is supposed to be; I'd say in the neighborhood of 50 years from now), humanity is struggling to survive and grow enough food in an environmentally devastated world. Led by a mysterious message, ex-engineer and pilot Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) and his tween daughter Murph (Mackennzie Foy) end up at the secret headquarters of the remnants of NASA, which has discovered a wormhole that could provide a means for the human race to migrate to another world.

Cooper agrees to lead a small team to see if any of the potentially habitable planets near the other end of the wormhole will suffice as humanity's new home. Meanwhile, the elderly Professor Brand (Michael Caine) works to complete a formula to control gravity and thus lift massive cylindrical structures filled with people off the surface of the Earth. But in order to save the world, Cooper must leave his beloved daughter (Mackennzie Foy as a child, Jessica Chastain as an adult, Ellen Burstyn as a senior) and son (Timothee Chalamet as a teen, Casey Affleck as an adult) as well as his father-in-law (John Lithgow), possibly forever. On the plus side, his intrepid team includes Professor Brand's daughter (Anne Hathaway).

For the most part, the science of wormholes, black holes, and relativistic time dilation depicted in the movie is quite accurate as far as we understand such things—which shouldn't be surprising with CalTech physicist Kip Thorne acting as an executive producer and science advisor. I have a degree in physics, and I read about developments this field a lot, so I was pleased to see that Nolan made a real effort to get the science right.

As for the story, I found it to be somewhat simplistic, though there is some higher-dimensional time looping that might give some viewers pause along with the heavy-duty physics. And there are several major plot holes that I won't go into here. Emotions run very high, almost to the point of melodrama, and everything is relentlessly depressing—which, I suppose, is to be expected in an end-of-the-world story. The only respite is TARS, a wisecracking robot (voiced by Bill Irwin), whose design and persona seem highly improbable and incongruous. I'm really glad there are no alien monsters, but there are many sequences of growing intensity that reach a fever pitch and then suddenly relax—so many that I felt wrung out and exhausted by the end. Finally, the movie is simply too long with too much expository dialog; many scenes could have been shortened or even eliminated without compromising the story.


Cooper explores the surface of a frozen planet on the other side of the wormhole.

Even though the story is basically simple, many plot points were completely obscured by truly terrible dialog intelligibility. I've heard this complaint from several people, so I'm inclined to think it's in the soundtrack, not the theater's sound system. (In fact, the Chinese Theatre had installed additional acoustic treatments per Nolan's specifications at a cost of $600,000!) Contributing to this problem is McConaughey's mumbling delivery, but he's not the only one who can't be understood at least some of the time. Another problem with dialog intelligibility is that quite a bit of dialog is delivered amid very noisy conditions—dust storms, flying through the wormhole, etc.

Speaking of noisy conditions, the levels during the presentation were pretty outrageous. The average level (Leq) over the movie's entire length was 99.8 dBC, and the highest 1-second level (Lmax) was 117 dBC! The level remained above 101 dBC 10% of the time and above 79 dB half the time. Also, the subwoofers got a serious workout during the loud parts—32 Hz and surrounding frequencies reached 120 dBC near the end—shaking the seats almost like a ButtKicker! I brought my earplugs, but I ended up putting my fingers in my ears during the loud parts so I could better hear the dialog in the soft parts—not that it helped much in that regard.

By far the best aspect of Interstellar is the visuals, which are absolutely stunning. The scenes in space, near the wormhole and black hole, and on the surface of the extrasolar planets are gorgeous, well worth the price of admission alone. Amazingly, Nolan used very little CGI, building full-sized sets and intricate models instead. And I was surprised that the image was rock steady with no visible gate judder, and I saw only a few scratches in the film.

As he has done in several of his movies, Nolan uses different aspect ratios, including Imax film-native 1.43:1, "flat" 1.85:1, Imax flat 1.89:1 (which is mostly used in museum- and planetarium-based Imax theaters), and 2.39:1 for shots on 35mm film. The shots in space were mostly 1.43:1, providing an awesome sense of immersion, while many of the more intimate moments were in one of the wider aspect ratios. I noticed the switches sometimes, but it never bothered me—in fact, I thought it served the experience well. The image was mighty impressive on the 66x46-foot screen, which had been masked from its full size of 86x46 feet.

After the movie, I met up with the Chinese Theatre's head projectionist, Thomas Larsen (who has been a guest on my Home Theater Geeks podcast), and the onsite Imax projection specialist, Pat Caldwell, who gave me a tour of the projection room. I learned that the film itself weighs 600 pounds and stretches 10.67 miles. An Imax film projector had been installed for this movie, and its unique film-handling and shutter system are responsible for the lack of gate judder.


Unlike 35mm film projectors, in which the film is oriented vertically, the Imax 70mm projector orients the film horizontally. The film is drawn from the center of the spool outward and returned to the take-up spool in the same way, leaving it ready to be played again immediately—no rewinding necessary. Interstellar fills the spool so completely, there is no room for trailers, and the end credits are drastically shorter than in other presentation formats.

Larsen told me that the open-gate peak brightness for Imax is 22 foot-lamberts, whereas 35mm film and digital are spec'd at 16 fL. The movie was plenty bright, but the blacks were not all that deep; I found myself wishing for high dynamic range to deepen the blacks and reveal more detail in the shadows of some very dark scenes.

I've read some reports that put Interstellar in the same league as 2001: A Space Odyssey. I don't agree—I think 2001 is a much better movie. Granted, both portray space science as accurately as possible—a revolutionary idea in 1968 and still somewhat uncommon today—and both deal with existential issues in a sophisticated manner. However, whereas 2001 is uplifting and almost spiritual, I found Interstellar to be depressing and rather banal by comparison. That's not to say I was bored—as I mentioned earlier, the visuals alone held my attention for the entire two hours and 49 minutes.

If you decide to see Interstellar, I recommend seeking out an Imax theater showing it in 70mm film; click here to see if there's such a theater near you. Also, different presentation formats don't necessarily use the same set of aspect ratios as Imax 70mm film. In any event, be sure to protect your hearing one way or another and make a pit stop before finding your seat.

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I saw this at our Melbourne (Austraia) IMAX which has the world's 3rd largest screen at 32m x 23m, max ratio of 1:33:1, a GT 1570 projector that uses the 15 perf 70mm film stock, 2 x 15,000 watt water cooled Xenon lamps and 15,000watt, 60 plus speaker sound system. They also run 2 x Barco digital projectors (6500w) for other formats.

I too thought the movie could have been edited down to 2.5 or even 2hrs, but it didn't enter my thoughts as such until after the end, when I was leaving and reviewing the film in my head. Knowing it was a 3hr movie, I only thought about time about 2.5 hrs in, just checking as to where we were. The movie itself looked fabulous and I agree that the changes to the other screen formats was rarely visible and certainly not intrusive. I also agree with the comments about the unintelligible dialogue.

Sound levels were impressive and loud but not objectionably so, it was quite tolerable and I thought fitting to the scenes. We might have a more discerning projectionist team here in Oz.

Some of the screenplay came over as a little outrageous, more so because it was a Nolan film and he can stay 'realistic' while being fanciful. A planet covered in water only 2 feet deep, producing a 1000 foot tidal wave? I noticed many parts of the movie that were direct hints/reminders of 2001 and might have been a Nolan homage.

The part that turned me off was the end. I thought it was way too fanciful and a Kubrick-2001 style cop-out, creating an end point to a film (that while wild and fanciful - and sci-fi) had many 'believable' scenes, with one that of course would be impossible to imagine, but was more anti-climax than entertaining. I couldn't stay in the moment of the emotion because it was too silly.

I will buy this on BD and can't wait to see it in my HT. After paying $28 (seniors) for the seat, $30 for parking, plus petrol (I had to travel a 70Km round trip from home), it was a very expensive exercise, one I needed to do for the experience of IMAX and to see of Chris Nolan did in fact deliver the goods, but an exercise, definitely not worth even half the expense and one I would repeat only rarely.
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post #227 of 386 Old 11-22-2014, 05:23 PM
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Bashing film makers is too much work. Interstellar is the greatest scifi movie ever made and it happens to be Nolan's baby. You can't change that, no matter how much you hate the guy.
Interstellar is a good movie to be sure but "greatest scifi movie ever made" is clearly your opinion and not one that many will agree with. Hell, I'm looking at my shelf right now and can name you at least a dozen I'd put above interstellar-- not that i'm complaining about interstellar but you pulling 'greatest' places it in pretty rarified air!
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Thanks for sharing Northsky.
That's a whole lot of film they show in that first trailer.


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post #229 of 386 Old 11-22-2014, 08:07 PM
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Some of the screenplay came over as a little outrageous, more so because it was a Nolan film and he can stay 'realistic' while being fanciful. A planet covered in water only 2 feet deep, producing a 1000 foot tidal wave?
How about tsunami hitting a shore which has only ankle deep water?

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post #230 of 386 Old 11-22-2014, 08:34 PM
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So, I saw this at our local theater in Digital. Leather reclining seats a plus! I loved the movie, I loved the visuals and the story. As reported by most everyone here the volume was insanely to loud by A LOT! Parts of the movie you could not understand what the actors were saying, and some of those parts where the dialog was drowned out was by the music as well. I almost got up to tell the manager to turn it down. Hopefully, if Chris Nolan reads these forums he will do the Blu Ray justice and fix that problem? But I'm going to go back and see it again just so I can understand many things I couldn't grasp the 1st time, IF they will turn the volume down.

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post #231 of 386 Old 11-22-2014, 09:49 PM
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How about tsunami hitting a shore which has only ankle deep water?
Remember that tsunamis begin their lives in very deep water. Great volume and depth is required for the water to get the strength it needs to create the tsunami, to push it long distances and to maintain that push when it meets the shallows and shore.

I ain't no scientist, just your regular humble astrophysicist, (actually neither, just a photographer), so should't assume that the physics were wrong, like they were in Gravity (what a beautifully made and rendered technical mess that picture was).
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post #232 of 386 Old 11-23-2014, 10:00 AM
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Remember that tsunamis begin their lives in very deep water. Great volume and depth is required for the water to get the strength it needs to create the tsunami, to push it long distances and to maintain that push when it meets the shallows and shore.

I ain't no scientist, just your regular humble astrophysicist, (actually neither, just a photographer), so should't assume that the physics were wrong, like they were in Gravity (what a beautifully made and rendered technical mess that picture was).
This should go into the spoiler thread
Spoiler!

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post #233 of 386 Old 11-23-2014, 12:04 PM
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It sounded great at the big IMAX screen (not 70mm though) on I-Drive here in Orlando, FL. My old gripe was that the picture was soft, especially on the non-IMAX scenes, I sat right at the back and it was still a little blurry and the IMAX scenes were 'good' in terms of sharpness when they should have been spectacular like Dark Knight Rises was. I started off sitting about halfway down the theater and it was so blurry that it would have verged on unwatchable, at the back it was OK but visually not in the league of Dark Knight, perhaps the focus on the projector was slightly off . . . very good movie, of course not as good as 2001. I did have problems with silly plot points and unexplained parts of the story like (and this is not a spoiler) - his previously nice son acting like a jackass for the second half of the movie for no apparent reason and some of the scientific aspects verging on being totally silly. Very good movie though and I look forward to the video release.
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post #234 of 386 Old 11-23-2014, 12:07 PM
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Interstellar is a good movie to be sure but "greatest scifi movie ever made" is clearly your opinion and not one that many will agree with. Hell, I'm looking at my shelf right now and can name you at least a dozen I'd put above interstellar-- not that i'm complaining about interstellar but you pulling 'greatest' places it in pretty rarified air!

A million votes at IMDb says it is.
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post #235 of 386 Old 11-23-2014, 12:10 PM
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It sounded great at the big IMAX screen (not 70mm though) on I-Drive here in Orlando, FL. My old gripe was that the picture was soft, especially on the non-IMAX scenes, I sat right at the back and it was still a little blurry and the IMAX scenes were 'good' in terms of sharpness when they should have been spectacular like Dark Knight Rises was. I started off sitting about halfway down the theater and it was so blurry that it would have verged on unwatchable, at the back it was OK but visually not in the league of Dark Knight, perhaps the focus on the projector was slightly off . . . very good movie, of course not as good as 2001. I did have problems with silly plot points and unexplained parts of the story like (and this is not a spoiler) - his previously nice son acting like a jackass for the second half of the movie for no apparent reason and some of the scientific aspects verging on being totally silly. Very good movie though and I look forward to the video release.

The son lost a child and was totally stressed out coping with the farm. Did you notice the fields burning all around his land?
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post #236 of 386 Old 11-23-2014, 12:15 PM
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It sounded great at the big IMAX screen (not 70mm though) on I-Drive here in Orlando, FL. My old gripe was that the picture was soft, especially on the non-IMAX scenes, I sat right at the back and it was still a little blurry and the IMAX scenes were 'good' in terms of sharpness when they should have been spectacular like Dark Knight Rises was. I started off sitting about halfway down the theater and it was so blurry that it would have verged on unwatchable, at the back it was OK but visually not in the league of Dark Knight, perhaps the focus on the projector was slightly off . . . very good movie, of course not as good as 2001. I did have problems with silly plot points and unexplained parts of the story like (and this is not a spoiler) - his previously nice son acting like a jackass for the second half of the movie for no apparent reason and some of the scientific aspects verging on being totally silly. Very good movie though and I look forward to the video release.
See it at another IMAX. One thing this movie proves: not all IMAX theaters are the same.


Even the 4K Digital is awesome if seen in the right theater.
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post #237 of 386 Old 11-23-2014, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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This is an important article in the discussion; Nolan explains why he mixed the dialog low. I disagree with his decision, but at least we know it was intentional and part of the soundtrack.

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post #238 of 386 Old 11-23-2014, 12:39 PM
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I am with you Scott. In those scenes with loud ambient noises to convey the accurate sound of a launch or a speedy trip through a cornfield, just don't have dialogue. Seems simple to me. Dialogue in a film should actually mean something.
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post #239 of 386 Old 11-23-2014, 01:00 PM
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It's his artistic choice, Nolan also did this with Gary Oldman's hospital scene in Dark Knight Rises.
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post #240 of 386 Old 11-23-2014, 01:27 PM
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It's his artistic choice, Nolan also did this with Gary Oldman's hospital scene in Dark Knight Rises.
I get the artistic decision with regard to the relative volumes. The decision to make the ambient sound or the music louder than the dialog at strategic points makes complete sense to me. So, here is the question, what degree of control does an IMAX operator have over the TOTAL volume in the screening room? The physical and mental pounding that was inflicted upon me at the screening I saw was a result of absolutely unreasonable SPL. The manager said that the presentation was done at "Mr. Nolans's specs". What does that mean? I mentioned in a previous post that I am a rock musician - I LOVE great music played at high volume, especially by me.... I watched some of the best concerts of my life sitting somewhere in the first eight rows enjoying Grand Funk Railroad, Mountain, Slade, Hendrix and others in their heyday. These were all notoriously LOUD bands. I did miss Deep Purple though. Basking in sheets of excessively loud sound is something that can be orgasmic when the dynamics are right. Ther were no dynamics in the theater that day. Who controls this?

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