AVS Forum Addicted Member
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Detroit, Michigan USA
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Maybe Peter has been right all along.
Last night my 17 year old went to her first general admission concert. So, I met my wife and other daughters for dinner near the concert hall after I dropped her off. Well, after dinner my wife left with my youngest and my 15 year old and I decided to walk around downtown waiting to pick up my oldest. We had another hour and a half until my daughter's concert was expected to end and we happened upon an Emagine theater. Ah, what the heck, lets see a movie and if we have to leave early, we'll get the rest of it on Blu Ray.
So, there was a 10:50 showing of Prometheus (Alien prequel) that was not quite sold out. I had read it wasn't bad, so it was that or Men in Black. Easy choice. All they had left was the luxury seating, so we took the seats and I was handed a pair of Real 3-D glasses. I didn't even know the movie was in 3-D (nor that 2 tickets could cost $32 -. that's how often I get to the theater). But what the hell, I was with my girl and we were having fun hanging out. Well the seats were huge, we had a waitress that could bring me alcoholic drinks and there was a lot of leg room. The $2.50 up-charge was worth it already.
So, we watched a few 2-D previews and they looked great (but the theater did not having masking in use). The projector showing the 2-D previews had a stuck pixel which I enjoyed pointing out to my daughter.
Now the fun begins... The the 3-D previews came on. I put on my glasses and immediately noticed that the light reduction was maybe 10%. Not bad I thought. Avatar was more like 25% when I saw it theatrically and it killed an otherwise great experience for me. I kept taking my glasses off during Avatar as I was craving light!
Great Gatsby in 3-D then lit up the screen... and I mean 'lit up' the screen. It was bright and the 3 minute preview was a spellbinding 3-D demo. What made it great is the filming was slanted towards depth rather than overt 3-D effects. But when effects were needed, they were skillfully subtle. I was completely enthralled by depth and detail in the picture all and when the finale came with a sea of confetti flickering accross the entire, monstrous screen, it was the knockout punch! I was so captivated and drawn in, I couldn't believe it! I can't wait to see it... in 3-D! Things have matured and the grandeur that this movie displayed in terms of colors, sets and just the spectacle of it had me floored. It reminded me of Titanic in terms of the rich sets, costumes. and 'bigness' of the production. I started thinking of how I could bring this experience home (new projector). DiCaprio looked like he was at his best. After that demo, I could've left the theater. I was totally satisfied and considered the $32 money well spent!
The other factor this great 3-D experience had going for it was the monster of a screen in this theater. Massive and engulfing your whole field of view...and did I say bright?! This may explain why I've been tepid towards 3-D: 1. My Avatar experience, though great, was marred by the dim picture and thicker glasses and 2. 3-D on a plasma, no matter how good or how many times I've seen it, is simply a joke. You NEED front projection and a big screen (and a seating distance in the neighborhood of what THX recommends). Close.
PROMETHEUS: Well done, great story and, again, a great, relatively bright 3-D picture. The dark planet and fact that the majority of the film was shot in caves or a dark spacecraft didn't yield what I saw in Gatsby in terms of brightness. Much of the film has little or no 3-D action going which was great as the 3-D was not front and center on my movie experience. It was tastefully done and though the big 3-D effects were nearly absent, the depth was there in spades (as were excellent black levels and shadow detail) and when 3-D effects were called for, they complemented the scene - not stealing it. A total winner (and a great film)!
A side note on he Emagine sound system. I think another factor that added to my gushing about the picture was the accompanying sound. They have a magnificent commercial system with bass that had my pants flapping. Some passages were so loud (with low bass), I was waiting for a failure. These guys run their subs nearly as hot and loud as I do at home. The ambient effects were first rate and the dialog was always front and center. An A+ system!
Overall, I can see how 3-D might make it - at least commercially. Plasmas won't do it. The glasses were light weight and practically translucent - not bothersome at all.
Long story but I really had an unexpectedly awesome experience! Fortunately, my daughter's concert went late, they went out for food and we got to see the whole film. I'll save my final judgement after seeing a couple more 3-D films and, of course, Gatsby but I was wowwed last night! Great night!