Originally Posted by Aras_Volodka
I'm curious to hear your impressions as well, including on your seating location.
There are definitely changes and improvements in most regards brought by Dolby Cinema. They're not revolutionary, but evolutionary. As you probably read in Scott's piece about his experience (Tomorrowland in Dolby Vision HDR and Atmos at El Capitan Theatre
), the laser projection system is top notch. Black levels are unparalleled in commercial cinema - subjectively as good or better than my plasma at home. The calibration and setup in these special Dolby Cinemas is very good - things that often get fudged, like the image geometry and zoom are spot on after what I assume was a few days of careful calibration by someone from Dolby (not just someone from AMC). Shadow detail is exceptional and the colors are vibrant and natural in the movie - obviously some of that has to do with the mastering and post-production in general, and some of is has to do with the playback system.
Tomorrowland presents a world that is intended to look real. It achieves this more than any movie I have seen before it. Still, this looks like a movie. For film fans of all but the youngest generations, there is a need for movies to look a certain way - depth of field and motion especially have a characteristic look which Dolby Vision does not disturb. In contrast, if you saw any of The Hobbit films in HFR 3D you have seen some emerging technologies which challenge the expectations of movie-goers. For this reason, Dolby Vision is probably the best way I know to see a movie in a commercial setting. For some films and film fans, IMAX may still represent a superior experience - but I think in terms of brightness and contrast Dolby Vision presents a more life-like image.
AMC Prime features Dolby Cinema, which includes Dolby Vision - the HDR laser projection technology - as well as Dolby Atmos. Atmos is used to great effect in Tomorrowland. Music vocals are directed from overhead in some scenes; distinct sound effects are presented from off-screen - even dialog; and of course plenty of crash and whiz noises from all around. Here is where AMC Prime has missed the mark, in my opinion. The seating is arranged with a very steep slope, and behind the heads of most of the viewers is a tall wall, atop which is the next row. In this way, a person in row E, where I sat, could stand up fully and leave without obstructing the view of someone in row F - so that's great. But the wall directly behind a listener's head interrupts the surround presentation - cutting off the rear dimension abruptly. Regal RPX cinemas don't have this, so for sound I prefer to forgo the recliners at AMC in favor of the rockers at Regal.
The recliners are quite nice, however. They recline in an unusual way - not like a traditional laz-y-boy. They have more adjustments with independent control. But they are missing head rests. They also include tactile transducers of some sort. That's not for me either, so I'll hope that Regal brings Dolby Vision to RPX. I'm not sure if I'll make the trek to the AMC for Star Wars or Spectre this fall, but I might. I think neither of those will be mastered with HDR, so I'll probably stick with Regal - your mileage may vary.