Movies that deserve to be converted to IMAX

Movies that deserve to be converted to Imax.

Or, better yet, filmed anew in Imax solido (that’s using the Imax 3D system but with the frames composed for an Omnimax wraparound screen. It basically puts you in a goldfish bowl in the middle of the action.)

Now that Apollo 13 and Star Wars–Attack of the Clones and several Disney movies are being “digitally re-mastered” for the gigantic screen, let’s see if we can think of others that deserve to be Maxed.

I want to see Caesar’s legions and Cleopatra’s courtiers. I realize that the Elizabeth Taylor / Richard Burton film is much too long for and Imax projector to physically hold. This is why the Deity invented intermissions and multi-screen theaters. Release it in two parts: “Part I–Caesar and Cleopatra” and “Part II–Antony and Cleopatra”.

The same for The Lord of the Rings. In the extended version of The Fellowship of The Ring, the break between the discs occurs fairly close to the two-hour point. So If we build a theater with six screens and huge bathrooms, …

Superman and Superman II. “You will believe a man can fly.”

Any western filmed in Monument Valley. Yes, I realize that the Duke is gone, but Clint Eastwood is still alive, and Kevin Costner seems to like the genre.

Request Magazine suggested Boogie Nights. No, I really don’t need to see a 98-foot-tall Dirk Diggler. Heather Graham and Julianne Moore, however…

I want to see X-wings and TIE fighters dogfighting in outer space. (Or Vipers and Cylons. I’m easy.)

Just about any film by Peter Greenaway. Imagine Prospero’s Books in wraparound 3D, with a fancy sound system. You might die of sensory overload. But what a way to go!

Of course, the problem (other than the 2-hour time restriction) is that the aspect ratio changes from the original theatrical release, which means that any carefully constructed compositions from the originals are truncated, defeating the whole purpose of putting a visually magnificent movie on such a large format in the first place.

Any movie I really love is one that I wouldn’t want to have butchered. That leaves 1.33 films (aka pre-1953). Plus, the IMAX conversion process has gone untested on black & white films. What does that leave us? Hmmm, how about:

Meet Me in St. Louis
Henry V
Black Narcissus
The Golden Coach

None. IMAX is not going to improve any movie. It’s basically bright shiny lights that primitive brains can look at and say “ooh” and “ah.”

I agree with the statement if not with the sentiment that follows. While I have not seen either of the two films I know of that have been “upgraded” to IMAX, I have seen a true IMAX film, shot with IMAX cameras and intended from the start to be shown as an IMAX film, and it is an engrossing experience. There was nothing “bright shiny lights”-ish about the film I saw (Everest, if you’re curious), in fact the entire presentation was very low-key and let the spectacular beauty of the cinematography speak for itself.

I know I’m setting myself up here, but I’m curious, have you, RealityChuck, actually seen a real IMAX film?

I agree with Knead. For an IMAX presentation to have the proper impact, the original negative material has to have been photographed using the IMAX process. ( Nobody get persnickety here and jump in to correct me on the negative-not-ever-shot-Attack-Of-The-Clones bit, ok? I know that project is not a film, it was rendered through Panavision/Sony High Def Cameras directly to Hard Drive Storage ).

The IMAX System uses 15-perf, 70mm film exposed sideways, rendering an IMMENSE image field.

Blowing up a spherical or anamorphic 35mm negative to somehow fill that IMAX image doesn’t do much. Makes for a big, bent image. The bottom line is that your brain is not being fed information at a rate used by IMAX.

It’s a gimmick that abuses the gimmick of IMAX. I saw Attack of the Clones at the IMAX theatre ( wife and kids insisted…). It was rough on the eyes. Truly rough. I would be willing to see a presentation that originated on film stock, so I’d have a comparison but truthfully, it just is the Emperor’s New Clothes.


Wow, this seems to have gotten technical and fairly off-topic quickly. I am guessing that the OP was thinking of movies that have impressive cinematography already and would be just that much more impressive on a bigger screen.

Since this is CS and not GQ, I will have some fun and say:

Ben-Hur : the chariot race - oh my!

The Matrix : come on, admit it. You’d go see it at the IMAX, especially with the sequals coming out this year.

The Abyss : you can keep the lousy “director’s cut”, but give me the original version on the HUGE screen!

That’s all I can think of now.

South Park.
Beneath the Valley of the Ultravixens.
How to use Windows 95 (the video)

2001: A Space Odyssey (though I did see it on the Cinerama, which is fucking gigantic.)


I first saw 2001 projected onto an IMAX screen, although it was not converted to IMAX format. It was just BIG, with a black strip at the top and bottom (think HUGE letterbox format). It was freakin’ awesome.

What about Lawrence of Arabia?

I actually saw The Matrix at the IMAX. The bigger screen size was kinda cool, but what had me nearly creaming the chair was the sound.

After way too many times in theaters where some projector monkey thinks louder = better, listening to properly balanced sound was practically orgasmic. I have a hearing problem that normally renders loud movie scenes painful (gunfights, etc) when the volume’s way up, but I didn’t have to plug my ears at all during the IMAX Matrix. Great bass, treble not too sharp nor overwhelmed by the bass … nice.

My apologies, I didn’t mean to pee in anyone’s rice. What movies would I like to see huge?

**The Wizard of Oz.

How Green Was My Valley.

Citizen Kane.


2001: A Space Odyssey.

The Sound of Music.


Close Encounters of The Third Kind.

Lawrence Of Arabia.**

Debbie Does Dallas?


Apocalypse Now