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It is very rare any more that I have an overwhelming desire to go see a movie while it is still in the theater. The Dark Knight was one of those rare occasions. There was a lot of hype about this movie which usualy means nothing to me. However the previews made the Joker look like the more sinister character he originaly was in the comic book series.

I found out that one of the local theaters was playing this movie on thier IMAX screen. I did some reading about the movie and found out that there were six sequences that were filmed with the IMAX camera.

My only previous experience with IMAX was when I was a kid and my family went to the Space Center in Huntsville Alabama. It was projected on the dome of the old planatarium and the only thing I took away from the experience was motion sickness.

The only times I go to the theater anymore is for date night with my wife...or with a group of friends for a big premier thats about it. I'm not as casual as I used to be...because my 30" samsung TV has better picture, and my surround sound is more dynamic than what is at the theater.

My wife thinks I'm weird for this but when ever I walk into a theater I pay more attention to the surround sound than I do to the gum on the floor infront of our seats. I always like to know what equipment they are using and how its setup.

As I walked in I looked around and only saw two surround speakers and they looked weird to me. They kind of looked like those home audio speakers that try to look like pro speakers...you know wrapped in carpet...the kind that are sold brand new at a pawn shop. The speakers had two horns, (I assume one was a tweeter horn and the other was a midrange horn) and a large woofer with a vent below that.

I was very skeptical about how good this theater was going to sound. Boy was I wrong. This was the best sounding theater I have ever been in. Absolutly crystal clear sound. No single channel over powered any other part of the surround sound. This is an example of what a perfectly equalized, surround sound system should sound like.

The subwoofers were amazing too. There are obviously some big drivers in there because they move alot of air. You can feel the concusion of the explosions and gunshots. I do think they had them cranked up a bit much because you could hear the voicecoils clicking against the back plates on prolonged explosions and low parts of the orchestration.

The soundtrack for this movie is amazing, and it contains alot of low brass instruments. If you have ever heard a brass horn played at a somewhat close distance you know that there is a lot of reverbaration in its sound, this was reproduced perfectly.

The screen was pretty remarakable...I was worried that the parts shot on 35mm would look like our tv when my wife uses the 16x9 stretch mode because she doesn't like the black bars at the top and bottom. My fears were aleviated when I saw that it was just smaller on the screen but still huge compared to other theaters.

I do not know if the local IMAX has the new digital projectors but there was a noticible difference between the the picture quality of the standard format and the IMAX scenes. The sheer size makes it a totaly different experience.

I'm not ruining anything for those who have not seen it yet but the opening scene is a bank robbery and there are two of the robbers who break out a window on another building and use a zip line to cross to the bank roof...as the camera pans out and down as they go out the window on the line my body has that quick rushed panicy feeling that you get when you have one of those falling dreams...I know that this was just due to the life like size of the image...wow!

Now for the movie itself...This is one of the best movies I have ever seen. It has a very good pace and even though many think its has to many endings, I feel that they were nessicary for the movie to be conclusive.

All the hype is about heath ledger...Its like the media forgets that morgan freeman and michael caine are two of the best actors ever.

Heath was absolutly amazing and I never liked any of his work before this. He added such depth to this character...that it seemed like you knew all about who the joker was even though who the joker was as a person before insanity is never really discussed. The storys about his scars kind of explains it a bit...but the different explinations are probably because hes out of his mind.

The prisoner transfer scene is one of the best chase scenes ever...however the initial bat bike part seems a bit choppy...because the building he rides through changes several times in aperance.

I highly recomend this movie even if there is no IMAX close by.
 

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Elite Shackster
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Thanks for the great review! I've always been impressed with the sound at IMAX theaters... now you make me want to see this for a 3rd time in IMAX.

And I agree, great movie, great actors, excellent special effects! (read... cg only when necessary)
 
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