3D, or Not 3D (Harry Potter Imax)

So I wanna take Dweezil to see Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix in Imax.

We’re in the DC metro area, which means 4 Imax theaters within a reasonable driving distance (2 in the District, one out near Dulles, and one in Baltimore).

NONE of them are showing the 3D version of the movie. The only one that is showing it at all is Dulles, and their webpage says “Not the 3D version” or some such.

It looks like the Whitaker Center in Harrisburg PA is the closest place to show the 3D version. I’ve actually seriously considered going there… I grew up there, I know the area well, and I still have family who could be the ostensible reason for the drive.

But sanity is threatening to prevail and points out that a 30 minute drive beats out a “3D plus 2.5 hour drive” in any sane person’s world.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) I’ve never claimed to being sane.

So for those of you who’ve seen the film, whatdya think about whether the 3D portion is worth the crazy extra drive?

I can’t speak for Harry Potter, but when I saw Superman Returns I happened to get into the Imax theater for the 3D version.

As you went in they gave you the plastic glasses, and for 95% of the movie you kept them off. There were 4 or 5 scenes where the 3D icon appeared on the screen and you put on your glasses for the 3D effect.

My overall reaction? Meh.

I’ve now seen it in both IMAX 3D and “regular”

The 3D portion lasts about 30 minutes (thestral ride to the MoM through the battle scenes)

I really enjoyed it. The prophecies falling - neat in plain ol’, way cool in 3D.

(FWIW, I live 2 miles away from a normal theater, but we drove 35 minutes to the IMAX theater)

The only good 3-D shows I’ve seen have been at Disney World and Universal Studios. Once you’ve seen those, nothing else compares, so I vote against the 2.5 hour drive.

Are IMAX movies still getting clipped? There was something about the platters now allowing anything more than about two hours. I deliberately watched Attack of the Colones in an IMAX theater for this very reason, and missed the big-butt cows scene.

IMAX industry journalist here. (Really!)

I haven’t see the film, yet. I intend to see it next week, probably while I’m in Ohio on vacation.

But you’ve gotten a fairly representative range of reactions so far. I’m going to discount Red Barchetta’s comments because (no offense, RB), it appears he’s never seen a real IMAX 3D film, which are much better than any theme park 3D attraction.

However, HPOOTP is not real IMAX 3D. It was filmed in 35mm, not in the IMAX format, and then the last 20 minutes were digitally converted from 2D into 3D. As a result, I can tell you without having seen it that it’s not as good as if it had been shot in IMAX 3D.

Also, for various technical reasons, it is hard to make action sequences work in 3D. In Superman Returns, I thought the most effective 3D was in the early scenes in Kansas when he is discovering his powers. The fast-moving action scenes later didn’t work as well, IMO.

That said, lots of people liked the 3D in Superman and have reported, like MissTake, liking the 3D parts of HPOOTP.

My advice: if you are a really big HP fan and/or you can see your relatives or do something else in Harrisburg to make the trip worthwhile even if you find the 3D disappointing, then go for it. (BTW, if you haven’t already been, the Whitaker Center is just about worth a trip on its own.)

But if the plan is just to drive up and back, and if you’d feel you wasted the day if you didn’t like the 3D, I’d say go out and see it at Dulles.

ETA: DesertDog: Attack of the Clones was the last film to be edited to fit the capacity of the platter systems. Since then they have expanded the platters and all subsequent films have been shown in their entirety.

Well, you would be quite wrong. My point was that the gimmick of 3D, especially for a film that barely uses it, does little to actually enhance the film itself.

And while the method of Imax’s 3D may be “better” than a theme park attraction, I prefer the latter’s shows for the various other “3D” additions they employ aside from mere depth to the image.

Well, I saw it in 3D and wasn’t too impressed by the special effects. I think because I wear glasses, the 3D glasses never fit quite right. So I found the effects didn’t show up properly - it’s hard to explain, but they were kind of fuzzy around the edges. I was relieved when they were over, actually. I plan to see HP again in a regular theatre so I can get a better sense of the 3D scenes.

But hey, if you can make an outing of it and don’t mind the drive, why not?

The colons are coming! Hide your TP!

Okay, point taken, and my apologies.

BTW, they call the extra effects, water sprays, etc., “4D” when added to a 3D film.

That’s one of the technical problems I mentioned. To create the second “eye” of a 3D film, they basically have to pick up objects in the frame and move them slightly in relation to the background. In action sequences, those images are often blurred by their motion. This makes it hard to cut and paste them without looking a little fake.

Cool - definitely the voice of knowledge speaking!

Agreed on the Whitaker Center. I’ve been there several times while on visits to the area. It’s a fun place, pity I have to keep an eye on the kids instead of being able to play with the toys myself :D. That’s one thing the DC area lacks - a good hands-on kids’ science museum.

We’ve decided to go ahead and see the movie at Dulles. If it’s still playing at Whitaker when we visit the Harrisburg area later this summer (already-planned trip to Hersheypark), I may let Moon Unit have some quality time with her aunt and 2-year-old cousin while I take Dweezil to see the 3D version :slight_smile:

I didn’t know it was partly in 3D when I went. What was 3D was right in your face but everything in the backgound seemed really washed out and fuzzy.

It was neat, but not five hours away neat.

No 3-D for me. My astigmatism’s gotten to the point where putting the glasses on doesn’t really do all that much, as I discovered the last time I went to Universal Studios and went to the Terminator show. And I have enough problems with swooping camera actions in 2-D.

I’m going to have to go with Red Barchetta. The Disney and Universal experiences are better.

As mentioned above, only the last portion is 3D.
If your Imax seat is ideal–in the middle and toward the upper level, the 3D is OK. It’s not fantastic, and I agree that much of the 3D is fuzzy.
There weren’t any super super cool parts where sumpin’ is gonna bean you in the head and it didn’t seem to me like anything was floating out right in front of your nose where you can try to touch it.
Slightly worth it but not a make or break.

The IMAX screen for the rest of the movie is better than a regular screen, if you are like me and love the big screen.

I’d drive an extra 20 minutes and pay an extra five bucks. However a good seat in a regular theater beats a lousy front corner seat in a 3D IMAX for Potter in my opinion.

We were in Portland anyway so we saw the 3D. It was good, particularly the thestrals were fun. If I hadn’t had another reason I wouldn’t have made the 2.5 hr drive, but since we knew we would be in town we made it a point to wait and see it in 3D.
My final assessment? Meh. Fun to see, but NajaHusband thought it was distracting, and in retrospect I agree.

We were on vacation in Las Vegas last week and, on commasense’s recommendation (thanks, btw), we were able to grab tickets to the IMAX 3D at the Palms. I absolutely loved the GINORMOUS screen, as it completely pulled you in to the movie. However, the 3D portion was not as awesome as I had hoped, but still was good. Only Mostly Dead made the same comment as someone else in this thread did - his normal glasses prevented him from seeing the 3D portion clearly - everyone seemed to have a haze around them. IMHO, it would have been better if the 3D portion was simply shown regularly, as it wouldn’t have the interruption of the flashing glasses at the bottom of the screen to pull you out of the movie for a moment.

As for the OP, check that the IMAX theaters you’re referring to are showing Harry Potter. IIRC, the 2 in the District and the one at the Science Center in Baltimore only show the documentary-type IMAX films. I don’t know about any in Virginia.

It is definitely showing at the the Imax at the Udvar-Hazy Center (branch of Air and Space Museum) out near Dulles Airport:

We’ve got tix for this Sunday at 9:30. Of course, buying the tix online meant paying a 2.00 per person service fee, and we’ll have to pay to park there (12.00) but it’s still cheaper than going 140 miles to the Whitaker Center “just” for the film.