Dolby Cinema 3D: AMAZING (Alita Battle Angel)
Since James Cameron produced Alita: Battle Angel and I know he's been pushing Dolby Cinema to show the upcoming Avatar sequels in 3D, I thought I should check to see if one of my local Dolby Cinemas was actually showing it in 3D (if you're not aware, they HAVE the technology, they just hardly ever use it and typically opt for 2D showings.) Lo and behold, one of them was.
Synopsis: The best damn 3D I've ever seen anywhere, but with a relatively major caveat--those damned glasses. I'll get to the good stuff in a minute but the issue with those glasses is something I experienced in an IMAX theater a few years ago with Prometheus: they have this weird blooming effect with bright images on the screen. It's like there's fog in them or something. It was significantly distracting at first but I eventually was able to ignore it and it ceased to be a distraction, but it was obvious from when I put them on (after watching all the trailers in 2D without the glasses) that there was a detrimental effect to the picture quality. The picture wasn't as clear and the blacks weren't as black, not to mention there's significant "fuzz" in your peripherals.
However, even with that side effect, THIS is what 3D was meant to be and I hope when the world collectively revists 3D with the Avatar sequels, they watch it in a Dolby Cinema theater and realize how amazingly GOOD 3D can look. I had never experienced the standard Dolby 3D (as opposed to "Dolby Cinema 3D") systems so I don't know if this is a completely new technology of it's just a matter of it being used with their amazing Dolby laser projectors.
Anyhoo, the good stuff: 1) not only was the image significantly brighter (while retaining spectacular contrast levels) but there were 2) ZERO 3D related image artifacts. I'm severely annoyed by ghosting/crosstalk and I was actively scanning the image at times trying to find any cases of it occurring and never saw a single instance. (Thought I might've seen one solitary instance out of the corner of my eye but I'm not sure and honestly I doubt it.) I could turn my head any which way, sideways or up-down, and this never changed. (I've been a DLP 3D guy for years now BTW) 3) There was also no shudder or flickering. I honestly can't recall if all passive 3D systems are the same in this regard, but motion judder often bugs me even in 2D (especially with film projection) but the image here was completely smooth. 4) Depth and pop-out ability seemed to be about the norm. It's hard to compare in this regard since those factors are heavily dependent on the source material. There was a great overhead, over-the-edge-of-a-building-roof-top shot that really demonstrated the depth and few cases of at least some slight pop-out, but nothing really IN-YOUR-FACE.
Colors may have been slightly muted but it's hard to say, since the movie didn't exactly seem to be a cornucopia of bright vivid colors and those glasses... those damn glasses.
Overall, this was my best experience in a Dolby Cinema yet. At first I thought the volume might have been a bit low (usually it's too loud in Dolby Cinemas) but once the action kicked in, the movie and the system let their dynamic capabilities burst forth with explosive force. Very nice, engaging, and smooth atmos mix and bass and dynamics aplenty. Every time I go to a DC I'm like "WHYYYY don't I have butt kickers???!!" I'm pretty sure every other buttkicker experience I've had has been more distracting then anything else, but the levels, cross-over frequency, and timing--it's so seamlessly blended with the sound mix that they HAVE to be calibrating the timing on those by rows or groups of seats. The only audio-related downside of this particular theater is that it's right next to the IMAX theater and they obviously did not adequately soundproof between the two auditoriums.
Anyhoo, if you're a 3D fan, I highly recommend checking out a Dolby Cinema 3D showing, if it's an option for you.
Last edited by javanpohl; 02-20-2019 at 12:48 PM.