Avengers Infinity War + Endgame IMAX Digital 1.9:1 aspect ratio - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 45 Old 05-08-2019, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by sage11x View Post
So, what you're telling me is that it is your opinion that IMAX just took some extra image at the top and bottom of the frame and slapped an IMAX logo on it and called it a day?
Well, yeah, that's the IMAX modus operandi in a nutshell.

Filmmakers today have a choice of composing their movies for either 1.85:1 or 2.40:1. For the most part, the studios don't care which they choose. The Marvel franchise is predominantly 2.40:1, but The Avengers and Ant-Man were both 1.85:1, and a few others had the variable ratio gimmick. So it's not like Marvel or Disney have any sort of aversion to letting its filmmakers shoot at 1.85:1. The movie's going to play in the same number of theaters regardless.

Outside of IMAX theaters, both Infinity War and Endgame, as well as all the movies with variable ratio, were projected at 2.40:1. This means that the overwhelming majority of the first run audience saw them at that ratio. By necessity, the movies have to be composed first and foremost for 2.40:1, with no crucial picture information outside those frame lines. The IMAX version then exposes some extra picture at the top and bottom that largely amounts to a lot of empty headroom and footroom.

Here's a comparison I made a while ago from Star Trek into Darkness:





The difference between these two amounts to this:





Yup, that's it. Nothing of consequence there.

In a proper IMAX theater, the screen is meant to be so large that those parts fall off into a viewer's peripheral vision anyway. However, on a typical theater screen size, and especially in home viewing, the extra headroom often makes the composition look weird because actors' faces are suddenly too low in the frame.

In the Star Trek example above, Spock's face is much better positioned in the 2.40:1 framing.

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There is just too much pointing to the fact that the Russos made these movies with both aspect ratios in mind.
I can believe that they composed for one ratio while consciously protecting for the other. It's up to you to decide which you believe is which.

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The Russos, marketing or not, have paid lip service to the IMAX versions having an advantage over the wide release DCI 2.35:1.
If you'd like, I can point you to an interview where William Friedkin vehemently asserts that he always intended The French Connection to be tinted purple, and anyone who disagrees with him is an f'ing idiot. The film's cinematographer had some choice words to say about that, and the movie was later re-released without the stupid purple tint. Sometimes you have to take the things directors say with a grain of salt.

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And none of this changes the fact that I'm the customer. Disney, I want the IMAX version. Take my money damnit!
Fair enough.

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post #32 of 45 Old 05-08-2019, 03:11 PM
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Everyone keeps arguing with me that the 2.35 is the intended version 'just because' while I'm posting links to articles and interviews that show that, yes, the IMAX version is not some bastard and perhaps is the definitive version of these films.
To be fair, the counter arguments are not "just because", but instead pointing to the fact that Marvel Studios has no problem with their filmmakers choosing to make movies (including Avengers movies) in taller aspect ratios, yet the Russos chose not to. There is no reason they couldn't have followed Joss Whedon's example with the first Avengers movie.

BTW, the director of Oblivion made similar comments about how his movie was composed specifically with the IMAX frame always in mind, only to have the 2.35 version seen by 99% of the theatrical audience and 100% of home video viewers. Universal Pictures wouldn't have stopped him from making the movie with a 1.85 aspect ratio. Despite what the director claimed, you can clearly see that his compositions were protected for 2.35 (just like the open matte scenes in his previous movie, Tron Legacy).

Again, I personally preferred the IMAX version of Oblivion visually (though preferred the Atmos soundtrack that accompanied the 2.35 version). But I'm not claiming my subjective preference = objective superiority (definitive version or less compromised version of the movie).

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post #33 of 45 Old 05-08-2019, 05:35 PM
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The 1.85 comment seems valid.

The actual IMAX DCPs aren’t really anything special. They’re just full container. So for 4K that’s 4096 X 2160. Compare that to flat (1.85) which is 3996 X 2160. So that’s a pretty tiny difference: 1.896 versus 1.85. If they wanted to, they could have composed for that and made the wide release Flat like Bumblebee (for example). But they chose to release it Scope. (That’s 4096 X 1716 at 4K.)

Certainly, saying you don’t care and you just want it 1.9 is a completely valid opinion. I’m just disagreeing with your thesis (from original post) that the niche audience would want it to fill their TV screen. I think the majority of the niche audience - the cinephiles that collect physical media - would want it to match the 99% of the theatrical release that the movie was shot for: scope.
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post #34 of 45 Old 05-08-2019, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Except here’s my issue with that argument.

If the movie was originally shot for 2.35:1 but they decided not to release that version and instead released the one that reached the majority of theaters with the edges cut off to make 1.85:1– I would want the 2.35:1 in my collection.

In this case the movie was shot 1.9:1. It was CUT down to make 2.35:1. If that extra material ended up on the editing room floor then maybe I don’t care. The problem is it wasn’t. It was released. It was released at 1% of theaters that are said to be the best theaters with the best picture and the best sound in the industry. I would like to be able to take that version home with me.

Good god this must be how all the 3D fans feel...

In either case I have some hope now that this wasn’t actually a creative decision and, instead, was a business decision. AV news outlets including our forum here are breaking news everyday that IMAX is making a big push to get into the home. My guess is we’ll be seeing the last two Avengers films re-released under the IMAX banner so Disney can rake in all that sweet sweet double dip.

I mean, why not? I’ve now owned Alien on five formats.

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post #35 of 45 Old 05-08-2019, 10:04 PM
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But all movies are shot with more picture info than the release. That’s how movies are made. This was true even in the film days.
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post #36 of 45 Old 05-08-2019, 10:32 PM
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First image I found on Google comparing the two versions. Which one is a more pleasing composition? Which one directs your eye where it is supposed to go? To me, it seems pretty clear that one has wasted / negative space that detracts from the image rather than adds to it. I know which version I prefer; I know which version they composed the shot for. Again, I totally respect why someone would prefer the image fill their screen. But if we’re talking about satisfying a niche audience (& I agree that’s what physical media is now), I believe that niche audience are the cinema nuts that prefer the scope version.
I will definitely be watching it again in Imax. I thought there was something off about the 3D version I saw.
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post #37 of 45 Old 05-09-2019, 05:31 AM - Thread Starter
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But all movies are shot with more picture info than the release. That’s how movies are made. This was true even in the film days.


Not in the film days but since going digital: sure. But the point is Disney, IMAX and the Russos spent money to bring an IMAX version of this film to market and said: this is the best way to experience the film. The IMAX version exists and it didn’t need to. To be blunt: I want the version of the movie released in 1% of theaters not just the version of the movie released in 99% of theaters. Especially after seeing Endgame 3 times and feeling, personally, that the IMAX version was definitely the superior version (despite having the most uncomfortable seats).

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post #38 of 45 Old 05-09-2019, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by sage11x View Post
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Originally Posted by magi1500 View Post
But all movies are shot with more picture info than the release. That’s how movies are made. This was true even in the film days.


Not in the film days but since going digital: sure. .
The film masters sitting on the shelf have more image than the release. This is how they were shot, cut, & graded. But you protect for the release AR. I remember Pee Wee’s Big Adventure was released in theatres flat (1.85) but the neg was full frame 1.33. They once mistakenly released it (on DVD maybe?) open matte & it ruined the joke with the endless chain coming out of the bike’s compartment because you could see the hole in the bottom & the chain being fed through it. Star Trek VI had a similar (accidental) open matte home video transfer that was flat instead of scope. Cameron used the open matte version of Titanic for the 3D conversion despite the original 1997 release in scope. Same thing happened with 3D conversion for I, Robot - they used open matte despite scope theatrical.These are all film examples... Actually, Titanic 3D & the home release of Avatar in 3D are additional examples of 1.78 transfers with dead space at the top & bottom of the image because they were composed for their original theatrical release in scope.

I agree with Josh. Maybe not so bad in IMAX where it is in your peripheral & intended for immersion. But the same AR on your TV at home feels unbalanced because those things are not peripheral anymore.

When people say, “Fill my screen / No black bars”, it brings back memories of the pan & scan days. I know you feel this is different because you want more picture and not less. And you believe this is the filmmakers’ preferred version so your heart is in the right place. But we disagree for the reasons mentioned in previous posts.

I want the OAR on physical media. And for me that is pretty clearly 2.4.
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post #39 of 45 Old 05-09-2019, 08:08 AM
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In this case the movie was shot 1.9:1. It was CUT down to make 2.35:1.
This is no different than countless other movies that employ matting to achieve their intended aspect ratio. When shooting 35mm, virtually every single 1.85:1 movie ever made actually exposes a 4-perf image on the camera negative that equates to 1.37:1. That's then matted down to 1.85:1. In the 1980s, the Super 35 format was introduced which had a negative ratio of about 1.66:1 intended for matting to 2.40:1.

Back in the pre-HDTV days, viewers watching on 4:3 televisions would demand to see the "full frame" versions that opened the mattes and filled their screens, even when doing so exposed production gaffes (like microphones and lights) that were never intended to be seen. More picture is not necessarily better picture.

With digital, filmmakers today frequently shoot at higher resolutions than needed, which allows them the ability to selectively crop and reframe individual shots in post-production if they aren't happy with the original composition. Even though the camera photographed more picture info, that doesn't mean the filmmakers actually want you to see it.

Movies like Infinity War and Endgame are protected for the open-matte presentation to keep production equipment out of the top and bottom of the frame. Nevertheless, because the majority of the viewing audience will see them at 2.40:1, by necessity that has to be the primary composition. The extra picture cannot contain any important visual information, or most of the audience will never see it. What you wind up with is a situation where most of the actors on screen are situated low in the open-matte frame with a lot of empty headroom above them. In an IMAX theater, this isn't too distracting, because those parts of the screen should fall into your peripheral vision anyway. But at a regular screen size, it can look very weird.

If the Russos had really wanted to compose for the narrower ratio, they could have released the movie as 1.85:1 to all theaters, just like the first Avengers (or recently something like Bumblebee). That a 2.40:1 version of the movie exists at all disproves their claim that they didn't compose for that ratio. If they didn't care for 2.40:1, there was literally nothing forcing them to use it. So why did they?

Something that may be worth keeping in mind is that the Russos come from a TV background, and had only made one other feature film (the very sitcom-y You, Me and Dupree) before signing on with Marvel to make big superhero blockbusters. It's quite possible that they're the type of directors who put all of their attention into the storytelling and performances while delegating other technical and artistic decisions (like photography) to the responsible department heads.

Some directors, such as James Cameron, as incredibly technically oriented and will micro-manage every detail about how their movies are made and presented. Others, such as Kevin Smith, have no idea how a camera works or even which direction it should be pointed to take a picture of an actor. The Russos may fall somewhere in between these two extremes. That they think the IMAX open-matte version is cool may not necessarily mean their cinematographer treated it as the primary composition.

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post #40 of 45 Old 05-09-2019, 08:24 AM
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AV news outlets including our forum here are breaking news everyday that IMAX is making a big push to get into the home. My guess is we’ll be seeing the last two Avengers films re-released under the IMAX banner so Disney can rake in all that sweet sweet double dip.
IMAX versions of movies can have different run times, different picture and different sound. These versions are shown in IMAX theatres for a couple of weeks and then end up sitting on a shelf forever. Two studios so far, Sony and Paramount, have agreed to allow the IMAX versions of some of their movies to be released on home video via the IMAX Enhanced program (though who knows when titles will actually show up). IF Disney joins the IMAX Enhanced program, that would be great. But I'm not holding my breath.
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post #41 of 45 Old 05-13-2019, 08:21 PM
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Imax is definitely the way to see it.

My Wife and I watched it again, but in Imax 2D, rather than regular 3D, and I have to say that I enjoyed it far more in the Imax 1.9-1 format, so the film was even more enjoyable the 2nd time round. This film's original format was Imax 1.9-1 and there's a lot more of each scene visible in the Imax format and 2D is much brighter than the 3D versions which enhances many of the special effects, IMHO.
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post #42 of 45 Old 05-15-2019, 01:36 PM
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[QUOTE=Josh Z;58018612]Yeaaaaaaaah... That sounds like a lot of horsepucky. If IMAX had exclusive ownership of the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, how is it that literally hundreds of movies are released at that ratio outside of IMAX theaters every year, and have been for decades before IMAX even existed?

Maybe because virtually none of those movies were shot with IMAX equipment or shown in IMAX equipped theaters. As sdurani says, IMAX has final say over whether or not films shot and exhibited using their gear can be transferred to home video formats in the 'native' (1.9:1) aspect ratio. But so far, has any non-doc movie shot in IMAX ever gotten a home video release using the full frame? I agree this may have more to do with branding than anything else. Perhaps someday we'll get IMAX licensed and mastered 4k (or 8k) discs.

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post #43 of 45 Old 05-16-2019, 07:49 AM
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Maybe because virtually none of those movies were shot with IMAX equipment or shown in IMAX equipped theaters. As sdurani says, IMAX has final say over whether or not films shot and exhibited using their gear can be transferred to home video formats in the 'native' (1.9:1) aspect ratio. But so far, has any non-doc movie shot in IMAX ever gotten a home video release using the full frame? I agree this may have more to do with branding than anything else. Perhaps someday we'll get IMAX licensed and mastered 4k (or 8k) discs.
The older IMAX 15/70 film cameras were too impractical (very large and bulky, very loud) to shoot an entire movie with. A number of movies shot partially in IMAX are available on disc with a variable aspect ratio that switches to full-screen 16:9 during the IMAX scenes: The Dark Knight, Interstellar, Dunkirk, Ghostbusters 2016, M:I Fallout, etc.

Arri's so-called "IMAX" digital cameras are still fairly new, so there haven't been too many movies shot entirely in that type of IMAX yet. Aquaman is supposedly about 75% IMAX, and the Blu-ray is full-screen for all of those scenes.

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post #44 of 45 Old 05-22-2019, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Imax is definitely the way to see it.



My Wife and I watched it again, but in Imax 2D, rather than regular 3D, and I have to say that I enjoyed it far more in the Imax 1.9-1 format, so the film was even more enjoyable the 2nd time round. This film's original format was Imax 1.9-1 and there's a lot more of each scene visible in the Imax format and 2D is much brighter than the 3D versions which enhances many of the special effects, IMHO.


I’m glad I’m not the only one who felt the IMAX version was the superior version. Besides the bump in image quality owing to the increased resolution and dynamics (IMAX uses a two laser projector setup), I really do feel the 1.9 aspect ratio felt more natural for the framing of the film. There is quite a bit going on in those margins and watching the movie for a third time back in the 2.35:1 aspect I felt looked a little squished. Now, if only we could get this version to take home...
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post #45 of 45 Old 05-25-2019, 01:43 PM
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Gotta say I agree with sage11x. I saw this at the Jordan's IMAX in Reading, MA which is a true IMAX screen at 80ft tall and it blows away the viewing at my local Cinemagic theater. The increased resolution and open aspect ratio made the action scenes less claustrophobic and much easier to follow. The final battle was just so epic in IMAX. I just wish the theater was closer to my house as I would have liked to have seen at least once more in true IMAX.
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