I have a very good theater near me that has both THX sound and a digital projecter. They have announced that they will be showing Attack of the Clones digitally four times a day as long as they have the movie.
The opening day digital projections are sold out, but I’m going as soon as I can. I’ve heard incredible things about the quality of the image and the sharpness of the sound.
Not a chance. Everything I’ve heard about digital projection says that it’s vastly inferior to regular projectors. Roger Ebert frothes regularly about it in his Movie Answer Man column. Sorry, Mahaloth, but I am precisely the opposite of jealous of you.
Film, in ideal circumstances, still beats digital. That is to say, if you’re looking at one of the handful of premier quality prints that are made (most theaters get a lesser quality print), and see it on one of the first few runs, in a theatre with a properly adjusted and focused projector, then you’ll get better resolution and finer color than digital will give. By the time you’re seeing a film based movie in Albequrque, NM, on its 400th showing, in the mega plex, you’d be better off watching it on video – scratches, jumps, dust, badly adjusted projector.
Also, even in the best situation, you’re looking at a 4th or 5th generation product: the actual negative (1), the positive used for editing (2), the “master” (3), the premier prints (4), the normal prints (5). 4 or 5 (or more) degredations of the image by the time it hits the screen.
Unless you’re in Los Angeles or New York, and get to watch the premier quality print in the first week, digital is better (IMHO). No scratches, ever. Extremely stable image. No reel breaks. Always watching a first or second generation image. The new projectors are getting into the billions in terms of separate colors. With a movie like Star Wars, that was shot digitally, the film version will have been made from the final digital version. So it’s automatically a generation behind what you can see in a digital theare.
shelbo: I hadn’t considered the degradation angle, which changes things, but it still sounds like you’re passing up the chance of seeing a good print for the certainty of seeing a mediocre one. Plus, considering how few theaters nation-wide are showing the movie digitially (a whopping eleven), if you live near a city big enough to have a digital projection theater, the cities probably big enough that at least some of the theaters are getting a decent print. And, speaking personally, I know I’m going to see a good print: I live half an hour away from Skywalker Ranch and directly across the street from Century Cinema, of which Lucas is part owner.
I just saw it today (Saturday) and it was on film. Several guards were present to protect the film, and make sure nobody got their grubby paws on it. Thus, this was a quality print, not many, if only one, generation.
If you asked me, it looked great! However, It would be nice to finally see the elimination of the “lab splice” and the film “markers” (the small ovals in the top right hand corner of the film). I swear they make me sick!
I hope the new world allows room from both digital and classic film.
“classic film”…did I just say that? Man,I’m getting old.