Sunday, November 11, 2007

IMAX on Netflix

We just re-joined Netflix for the educational videos (and the back catalog of cable TV shows that I haven't seen in their entirety. ROME, Season 1! Monk!). Is IMAX educational? Well, sort of, I guess.

The first one we watched was Hidden Hawaii. It has a fair number of shots of volcanoes, as well as some interesting footage of underwater vents. We have two more IMAX films with semi-volcanic themes on tap, so you could say we're getting some geology study in.

Watching IMAX on TV at home, though, I noticed a few things about their format that hadn't caught my attention in the theater. Firstly, these movies are actually very short. Less than 45 minutes. That's actually good, in my book, if you just want to while away the brief period between dinner and bedtime with some TV.

Second, and more egregious, is the disjointedness of their screenplays. IMAX is all about creating sensation with their fancy projection. Fighting off motion sickness induced by their swooping camera segues, it's easy to forget that there is really no continuity between one scene and the next. In the theater, that is. At home, where our tiny TV screen is unable to give us that feeling of vertigo, the abrupt transitions are all too obvious. We're under the water looking at thermal vents; no, we're at the top of an enormous cliff pollinating rare plants by hand; no wait, we're skimming over a molten lava flow.

And lastly, I honestly had no idea how many IMAX movies were out there. I have ten in my queue right now, and there are plenty more where those came from.


Post a Comment

<< Home