Review: "Avengers: Infinity War" (2018, dir. Anthony and Joe Russo)

Should You See “Avengers: Infinity War” in IMAX?

Review: "Avengers: Infinity War" (2018, dir. Anthony and Joe Russo)At this point, there should be no question of whether you should see “Avengers: Infinity War” or not. It is a must-see, not only for the fact that the MCU has been building up towards this film for the past decade, but also for the fact that it is a badass superhero spectacle. If you’re not a Marvel fan just yet, “Avengers: Infinity War” might just be the movie to convert you.

“Every decision so meticulously made in this film culminates to one exciting promise: that Marvel is ready to rough itself up. In that case, I’ve no shame—bring it!—call me a fan,” our senior film critic, Armando Dela Cruz, in his review.

What some moviegoers find themselves asking instead, is whether they should see “Avengers: Infinity War” in IMAX or not. The film has been marketed to be shot entirely with IMAX cameras, but what does that mean exactly for the moviegoing public, and is it truly worth that huge jump in ticket price from a regular 2D screening?

“Avengers: Infinity War” is the first Hollywood film to be shot entirely with IMAX cameras.
"Avengers: Infinity War": Is It Worth Seeing in IMAX?

IMAX cameras have long been used to shoot plenty of films in the past. A few filmmakers have dabbled into it, including Christopher Nolan who shot parts of “Dunkirk” using IMAX cameras, and Michael Bay, whose “Transformers: The Last Knight”, was partly shot in IMAX 3D. However, IMAX cameras are generally more expensive and doubtless more difficult to shoot, that’s why these are often used only for key sequences, such as the airport scene in “Captain America: Civil War”. The rest of that film is then reformatted to suit for an IMAX viewing.

To this end, “Infinity War” directors Joe and Anthony Russo’s workaround was to use the IMAX ARRI 65, which is more flexible and easier to handle than traditional IMAX cameras. This allowed them to shoot the whole film with an IMAX framing in mind (IMAX shows 26% more image than the traditional film screening). This means that when you see “Avengers: Infinity War” in IMAX screens, what you see is also how the filmmakers envisioned the movie, and not the version formatted to 2D screenings.

“We look at all the different aspect ratios but the pure form and biggest form of all the information is the IMAX frame,” tells Joe Russo in a recent featurette for the film. ” So there are things happening above and below frame.” For short, you’re literally seeing more of “Avengers: Infinity War” in an IMAX screening.

See it in action below:

“Avengers: Infinity War” brings together plenty of the heroes we’ve seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far, and along with it a host of characters that vary in all shapes and sizes. Thanos, for instance, is monstrous  (towering at least 8″ tall), not to mention Hulk, the Hulkbuster, the Black Order, and a vital, new character that’s gargantuan in size (we won’t spoil who it is). The larger, taller image of IMAX works great for these characters, especially when you have them share screens with smaller characters like Rocket Racoon.

“We have characters in this movie, like Thanos, who are taller than normal human beings are,” points out Anthony Russo. “Having that extra verticality [using IMAX cameras] gives us a wider range of how we frame and how we shoot these characters, how we present them in the same frame together”

Image result for IMAX’ 1.9:1 aspect ratio works better for bigger characters of “Infinity War” gif

All of which is to say: if you can afford it, then yep “Avengers: Infinity War” is a must-see in IMAX. There’s a huge price difference (almost twice in the cinema I checked), but in this case, the extra price also means you get to see more detail in storytelling, therefore getting your money’s worth. To some degree, “Infinity War” is also historic, being the first Hollywood film shot entirely on IMAX cameras.

For a storyline this huge, it’s also only apt to see the film in the biggest cinematic format we have so far.

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