Why You Shouldn't See The Avengers in IMAX

Photo: Zade Rosenthal © 2011 MVLFFLLC. TM & © 2011 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

Another summer, another slate of movies trying to up-sell you on bells and whistles, like 3D and IMAX. First up on the blockbuster agenda is The Avengers, which, having not even opened on a single theater in the United States, has already grossed nearly $180 million worldwide. Iron Man & Co. doesn't need your 3D IMAX dollars—but should you give it to them anyway?

My answer: No. If you're planning to see The Avengers, just go see it on a regular 2D screen.

Here's why. First off: a quick refresher about IMAX theaters. (We've been over this before, but it's worth reiterating every summer.) IMAX has decided that the word "IMAX" refers to the entire projection system, not just the size of the screen in its theaters. As a result, the only theaters in Westchester with the so-big-it's-dizzying screens are the Regal New Roc City and the IMAX Theatre at Palisades Center.

However, for some reason, the IMAX Theatre at Palisades Center is skipping The Avengers for Dark Shadows the next week. So, if you really want the true IMAX experience, the only place you can get it nearby is in New Roc City—where you'll be waiting in line with everyone else looking to see The Avengers in IMAX. (Get thee to Fandango.)

Photo: Zade Rosenthal © 2011 MVLFFLLC. TM & © 2011 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

And all that waiting and elbowing for tickets and paying the trumped-up extra admission for 3D and IMAX not even be worth it. The Avengers wasn't filmed with 3D cameras. It was converted into a 3D film in post-production—which, as a general rule, doesn't make for the most impressive 3D experience (though there are exceptions).

The director, Joss Whedon, promises it'll be worth it. According to JoBlo, "Whedon knew from the very beginning his film would eventually be converted to 3D saying he thought about the format 'every second' while filming. Whedon is sensitive to the concerns of audiences admitting 'there definitely are movies that shouldn't be in 3D' while assuring fanboys 'The Avengers isn't obnoxiously 3D.'"

While it's definitely annoying when you go to a 3D movie and see things hurtling towards your eyes every second, is subtle 3D really worth an extra $4.50 (or $6.50 if you're also springing for IMAX)? Besides, Robert Downey, Jr.'s piercing wit is something no amount of 3D can capture.


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Marisa LaScala

Marisa LaScala
Elmsford, NY

Articles Editor Marisa LaScala joined Westchester Magazine in 2003, and ever since she's blown every paycheck at the Greenburgh Multiplex. She also staunchly defends Richard Kelly, doesn't mind spoiling the endings of trashy movies you're curious about but don't want to pay to see, wishes the Hold Steady would come and rock out Westchester, misses Arrested Development more than anyone can imagine, and still watches cartoons and Saturday Night Live. You can find more of her cultural criticism at www.popmatters.com, where she is a staff writer.

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