Terminator Salvation to Get IMAX Release

The Terminator Salvation news keeps coming, and if you trace the threads back, almost all of it is rooted in that big press event from Wednesday past. This bulletin tells us that the film is being released in the IMAX format, lately something of a box-office draw as well as some kind of badge of honor for a big budget action film. Most interesting factoid, however, is not that the film will be released upscaled and on the big-big screen, but that McG apparently would have had the movie filmed in the format, all but for one key creative decision.

Apparently, McG wanted the very fabric of the film to embody the distressed, post-apocalyptic aesthetic, so he and cinematographer Shane Hurlbut decided to use dead stock. I’m not sure there’s much dead IMAX stock lying about and, even if there were, I don’t personally think the IMAX folks would be too keen about Hurlbut running anything but the best of the best through their precious cameras, however little they’d actually have to worry about.

I can’t detect much of this beaten-down grain and “colour fail” look in the trailers so far, even in their most HD formats, but that could be down to my display or even the way the footage was digitized and treated in the preparation of the promos.

Either way, I’ll deliberately be skipping this film in IMAX and settling for a standard presentation, though – of course – on a decent sized screen. I’m not convinced by IMAX presentation at all. I don’t like the 1.44:1 aspect ratio nearly as much as 1.78:1, 1.85:1 or 2.35:1; I don’t want any of the screen to be outside of my field of vision at any time during the film; I don’t want to pay the premium; and I’ve seen some pathetically puny IMAX screens, anyway.

I appreciate the PT Barnum side of cinema, I really do, but I just can’t get it up for the IMAX sideshow at all. It does nothing for me.

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