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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are a lot of IMAX movies coming out lately. The best ones can really show off a Home Theater system. However, I've had some pretty bad ones too. It seems many are encoded badly and this really shows on a high res progressive scan system or HTPC. Deinterlacing combing issues, bad flags, MPEG artefacts and substandard sound can make a great film look like a cheap TV documentary.


The worst deinterlacing I saw was on an early transfer of Africa - the Serengeti. When I say the Zebras had stripes both ways, you may understand what I mean!! And in the aerial herd shots, the Wilderbeest were so blurred they looked like they were running into each other.


So what are the best IMAX DVDs. Firstly for content, and secondly for quality. It's a shame that films which were filmed on such a detailed source are transferred so badly! I thought IMAX was about quality?!? :confused:


To get us started:

My IMAX Ratings

Cosmic Voyage

Content 9/10 Transfer Picture Quality 7/10 Audio 6/10

Everest

Content 9/10 Transfer (Never saw it on HDTV but I understand it's one of the few very good ones!) Audio 8/10

Amazing Journeys

Content 8/10 Transfer 7/10 Audio 7/10 (The flock of birds taking off was full of de-interlacing artefacts - it really detracted from the scene.)

Blue Planet

Content 8/10 Transfer 8/10 Audio 7/10

Destiny in Space

Content 9/10 Transfer 5/10 Audio 7/10

Dream Is Alive

Content 8/10 Transfer 6/10 Audio 8/10

Fires of Kuwait

Content 6/10 Transfer 7/10 Audio 7/10

Into the Deep

Content 7/10 Transfer 6/10 Audio 7/10
 

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My favorite that is on DVD is

Magic of Flight - narrated by Tom Selleck, and some parts of the Soundtrack have some respectable music. The opening 5 minutes has some beautiful video - birds, flying through clouds, over Mountains, low over a river banked with trees.

Content 9/10 Transfer 9/10 Audio 9/10 DTS


My second fav is Super Speedway, content is a little more cheesey but some parts have a great surround workout. Opening scene with Mario flying an Ultralight is nice, some of the track work is decent video as well.

Content 7/10 Transfer 8/10 Audio 8/10 DTS


Dream is Alive has some nice scenes from outer space back at the earth, sound is the worst of my three. Content a little more documentary style.

Content 6/10 Transfer 7/10 Audio 6/10
 

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Is that for the whole Blue Planet series or is there a particular disc that stands out?
 

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Are any of these 16x9? I bought a couple, and they're 4x3. Granted it's IMAX, but it sucks to view it with black bars on my 16x9 screen.


- Chris
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Jules343
Is that for the whole Blue Planet series or is there a particular disc that stands out?
I think he is refering to the Imax film, Blue Planet, rather than the BBC TV show, Blue Planet.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by chrispy
Are any of these 16x9? I bought a couple, and they're 4x3. Granted it's IMAX, but it sucks to view it with black bars on my 16x9 screen.


- Chris


IMAX OAR is 4:3.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Are any of these 16x9? I bought a couple, and they're 4x3. Granted it's IMAX, but it sucks to view it with black bars on my 16x9 screen.
Precisely the reason I prefer 4:3 screens. I'd rather have IMAX full-size and 2.35:1 with wider bars top & bottom than watch IMAX with black side bars. 4:3 is the lowest common denominator.

I think that 16:9 Super Speedway release is one of the first 'pan&scan' titles that crops the top and bottom, not the sides!!

:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
I think he is refering to the Imax film, Blue Planet, rather than the BBC TV show, Blue Planet.
Right
 

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I just watched Grand Canyon: Hidden Secrets.


It's surely one of the better IMAX films I've seen. So good I just bought it. Pretty good PQ/SQ, but it's the content that really shines. I watched it alone and applauded at the end... it was that good.
 

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I haven't seen anyone yet recommend The Living Sea. It was nominated for an Academy Award, narrated by Meryl Streep, with music by Sting. I use it as a demo disk all the time (look at chp. 19!) Don't buy at an IMAX theater though; I've seen it as high as $45! I think I got mine at Half com or amazon for much less. Good addition to anyone's library, IMO, and good for all ages. JR
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've heard Living Sea is a good one. I picked up Into the Deep thinking it was this one, and, although interesting, was filmed for IMAX 3D, so there are some lingering shots which probably look great in 3D but just result in the film feeling a bit slow on DVD.


I know what you mean about overpriced DVDs. My wife bought Everest for me last Christmas. The only problem was that I happened to know that it cost over $50!

We took it back and replaced it with Cosmic Voyage for $20.


If anyone knows where I can get Everest for a similar price, I'm still interested...
 

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I would try DVDplanet.com, They usually have the IMAX and Superbit DVD's for about $20-$22 high end and I've picked up Imax for $15 there.
 

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I have to agree with Pronto Pup, Grand Canyon: Hidden Secrets is awesome. I bought this for my wife, and we have watched it more than any other IMAX we own. (We have quite a few).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
where1 (Paul) wrote:
Quote:
we have watched it more than any other IMAX we own. (We have quite a few).
Which other IMAX movies do you own and how would you rate them? (Especially for quality of transfer on hi-res progressive scan display.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If you're in Canada and into IMAX you might want to check out A&B Sound. They have a promo on at the moment where IMAX DVDs on the Slingshot label are CDN$14.79 and if you buy two you get a free IMAX sampler DVD.


I picked up Solarmax and Wild Australia today. All the titles claim to be "Digitally Remastered from the Large Format Film". Perhaps we can expect better quality from new IMAX transfers? The two I picked up have DTS soundtracks, but this is not true of all the titles. I'll report on their transfer quality as soon as I've scrutinized them in my Home Theater.

(I've already seen Solarmax at the Calgary Science Centre and I can confidently give it 8/10 for content. The 'close-up' live footage of the Sun's surface is amazing!)


Other titles of interest in this sale are Alaska, Amazing Journeys, Grand Canyon and Africa - The Seregeti.


You can see all the titles here:
http://www.slingshotent.com
 

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I just watched the Living Sea and was kind of dissapointed with it. There weren't any really breathtaking shots in it... you know how you get the flying feeling with a lot of imax movies? Well I didn't get that in this one. I suspect the much ado about it is because of it's environmentalist theme.
 

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I like Everest, Dolphins, and Living Sea. Whales was pretty good too. My least favorite was Hidden Hawaii.
 
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