IMAX laser projection debuts with Furious 7

April 1, 2015 – 12:52 pm | Permalink

Yahoo! News reports:

Deeper blacks, brighter whites, even bigger screens and better sound. When the high-speed action sequel “Furious 7″ debuts this weekend, audiences at Hollywood’s famous TCL Chinese Theatre will see every tire skid and fistfight in Imax’s brand-new laser format.

Lasers are supposed to be able to heighten contrast. In laser-projected trailer footage of “Furious 7″ shown exclusively to The Associated Press, details were noticeably crisper than images shown in a standard-sized auditorium with a regular digital projector. Deep blacks, one of the touted benefits of laser projection, stood out boldly, particularly in actress Michelle Rodriguez’s eyes and hair, a suit worn by actor Jason Statham, Vin Diesel’s tank top, black car paint and shadows in the grooves of tire treads.

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Universal Pictures’ Furious 7 Poised To Ignite Worldwide Box Office With Widest-Ever Global IMAX® Release Beginning April 1

April 1, 2015 – 11:22 am | Permalink

IMAX to Debut New Laser Projection Technology at Furious 7 Worldwide Premiere Event

LOS ANGELES, April 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX) and Universal Pictures, a division of Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA), today announced that Furious 7 will receive the widest-ever IMAX release globally. The film begins its global launch on Wednesday, April 1, before rolling out domestically and in the majority of overseas markets on April 3. Throughout its global run, Furious 7 will screen at more than 800 IMAX® theatres, including approximately 445 international and 365 domestic IMAX locations.

Additionally, IMAX will be launching its revolutionary new laser projection system at the Furious 7 global premiere event to be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX in Los Angeles. This marks IMAX’s U.S. debut of the new technology as well as the first film ever to receive a global premiere with laser projection. IMAX has undertaken a significant R&D investment to develop its next-generation projection and sound system, which incorporates the laser digital intellectual property IMAX exclusively licensed from Eastman Kodak and Barco’s unique laser innovations. IMAX with laser represents a quantum leap forward in cinema technology – providing audiences with the sharpest, brightest, clearest and most vivid digital images ever, combined with a whole new level of immersive audio.

“Not only are we excited to be releasing Furious 7 globally in record-setting fashion, we are delighted to be partnering with Universal Pictures on the first-ever movie premiere event screened with laser,” said Greg Foster, Senior Executive Vice President, IMAX Corp. and CEO of IMAX Entertainment. “As the most action-packed Fast and Furious installment yet, Furious 7 deserves to be seen in the most awe-inspiring and intense way possible across IMAX screens worldwide.”

The IMAX® release of Furious 7 will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images, coupled with IMAX’s customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.

About IMAX Corporation
IMAX, an innovator in entertainment technology, combines proprietary software, architecture and equipment to create experiences that take you beyond the edge of your seat to a world you’ve never imagined. Top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX theatres to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, and, as such, IMAX’s network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe.

IMAX is headquartered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with offices in London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing. As of Dec. 31, 2014, there were 934 IMAX theatres (809 commercial multiplexes, 19 commercial destinations and 106 institutions) in 62 countries.

IMAX®, IMAX® 3D, IMAX DMR®, Experience It In IMAX®, An IMAX 3D Experience®, The IMAX Experience® and IMAX Is Believing® are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information about the Company can be found at www.imax.com. You may also connect with IMAX on Facebook (www.facebook.com/imax), Twitter (www.twitter.com/imax) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/imaxmovies).

This press release contains forward looking statements that are based on IMAX management’s assumptions and existing information and involve certain risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. These risks and uncertainties are discussed in IMAX’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and most recent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.

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BMZ Review: Journey to Space 3D

March 31, 2015 – 3:58 pm | Permalink

Journey to Space 3D
By Ann Coates

Giant Screen documentary, Journey to Space, is a 42-minute celebration of the now defunct Space Shuttle Program, as well as an examination of the next steps in deep space exploration. The film is particularly targeted at science and technology enthusiasts. Nevertheless, by focusing on humanity’s desire to explore — and by also having some magnificent images shot in IMAX — the film should have universal appeal.

The film opens in tribute to the recently terminated Space Shuttle Program. Some incredible shots of shuttles before, during, and after lift-off enliven the film. However, scattered among these exhilarating sequences is past shuttle footage in much lower resolution, unfortunately hampering an otherwise rousing intro. Nevertheless, the addition of historical footage provides a glimpse into the breadth and impact of the 30-year history of the Shuttle program.

Journey to Space only truly gets going when it examines the new innovations for space travel, and ultimately a human-landing on Mars. Reaching Mars looms ever closer with new technology not only in spacecraft, but spacesuits, habitats, and perhaps even future colonization of the Red Planet. Exciting CGI images showcase how humanity would get to Mars, particularly via Orion, NASA’s first spacecraft designed for long-duration deep space exploration. Beautifully rendered 3D enhances the voyage and eventual landing of Orion on Mars.

Appropriately narrated by Patrick Stewart (of Star Trek‘s Captain Jean-Luc Picard fame) rounds out the film, with a befitting musical score by Cody Westheimer. Although somewhat hindered by old footage (both of the IMAX and non-IMAX variety), the film still provides a depth and scope to our insatiable need to explore.

BMZ Review: Humpback Whales

March 30, 2015 – 3:40 pm | Permalink

Humpback Whales
By Ann Coates

Humpback Whales, the latest release from veteran Giant Screen company, MacGillivray Freeman Films, is a straightforward jaunt into the world of humpbacks. With no real storyline, the film teaches audiences about these whales in typical MFF fashion — fun and frivolous, but with always very pretty imagery.

The film launches with a compelling opening sequence of a humpback whale — the camera twisting and turning the audience right side up, then upside down, until we find ourselves wonderfully disoriented. All the while, a humpback whale swivels just below (or above?) the water’s surface. Crisp and blue, the film contains some amazingly detailed close-ups of these no less than majestic animals.

Onwards, the film hints at the complexity of these whales but doesn’t delve too deeply. Instead, the film offers a few interesting facts followed by some flashy musical interludes. Formulaic at best, the film nevertheless boasts some interesting shots, particularly of whales loudly breaching — leaping into the air to come crashing back to the ocean. A sequence involving a team of humpbacks working together to feed on a school of fish could very well have been frighteningly beautiful if not for the exceedingly melodramatic music that accompanied it.

Ewan McGregor tactfully narrates the film, boosting up the more common-place moments, aided in part by an expertly crafted sound mix. Despite the aforementioned hitches, the film is undoubtedly pretty, and manages to capture the inherent charm of these humpback whales. In addition, Whales certainly does not lack in wow-inducing shots, and will prove to delight most audiences, as long as you’re not too demanding of the film.

BMZ Review: Robots 3D

March 30, 2015 – 3:32 pm | Permalink

Robots 3D
By Ann Coates

National Geographic’s Robots 3D gives us a peek into the current state of humanoid robotic engineering, and it’s about as captivating as it sounds. An interest in robotics and/or engineering is probably necessary in order to care about this film in any meaningful way. An amusing subject at best, utterly dull at worst, the film lacks any sort of storyline, and merely gives us fact after fact about robots.

Hosted by a humanoid “robothespian” and voiced by Simon Pegg, the usually likable comedian can’t bring this film out of technological drudgery. We are introduced to a variety of complex robots currently being created and tested. All are in various stages of development, and all walk like they need to take a shit bad.

Much of the problem with building a humanoid robot is in the ability to make the robot act human. The film spends most of its time studying locomotion, not just how to walk, but how to adapt to the environment. The robot, Asimo, built by Honda, seems to be the most sophisticated robot to date, even having the ability to run (but just barely).

The possibilities of robots and what they can do seem endless, but the film doesn’t really capture that. It is limited by the infancy of robotic development. Perhaps one day, there will be documentary on robots that will captivate and inspire. It’s just not this one.

Teaser trailer for SPECTRE

March 30, 2015 – 2:12 pm | Permalink

Check out the teaser trailer for upcoming 007 film, SPECTRE.

Daniel Craig returns as the iconic British spy James Bond 007.

The film opens in IMAX theaters November 6, 2015.

BMZ Film Page >>

Ster-Kinekor Adds Two IMAX® Theatres To Circuit

March 30, 2015 – 2:08 pm | Permalink

IMAX Expands Partnership with Africa’s Largest Exhibitor, Bringing Number of IMAX® Theatres to Six in Under Two Years

NEW YORK, March 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX) and Ster-Kinekor Theatres, a division of Primedia (Pty) Ltd., today announced an agreement for two additional IMAX® theatres. The first IMAX theatre will be added to the exhibitor’s upcoming multiplex at the Baywest Mall in Port Elizabeth, with a second to be added to an existing multiplex at the Cradlestone Mall in Johannesburg. The deal brings Ster-Kinekor’s IMAX footprint to six theatres with three currently open in Durban, Pretoria and Cape Town and another slated to open in Johannesburg.

“It is our aim to pioneer the advancement of cinema across South Africa as well as Africa, to ensure that consumers get to experience movies the way they were meant to be,” said Doug Place, Marketing Executive, Ster-Kinekor. “IMAX is a key enabler of this strategy and we’re delighted to expand our relationship, which is directly related to our complexes’ incremental box office as a result of IMAX.”

“In just 15 months, Ster-Kinekor opened its first IMAX theatre and, building on its success, has since gone on to expand its IMAX commitment to six theatres in the very important South African market,” said Andrew Cripps, President of IMAX EMEA. “As the industry leader in Africa, with a presence in five countries, Ster-Kinekor is actively growing its network as evidenced by its new build in Port Elizabeth. As an extraordinary operator and IMAX brand ambassador, Ster-Kinekor is the perfect partner to help us grow our business in Africa.”

About Ster-Kinekor Theatres
Ster-Kinekor Theatres is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Primedia Group and is the largest movie exhibitor on the African continent. The company operates 54 commercial cinema complexes in South Africa, with five international sites based in Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The cinema chain’s sites house more than 450 large-scale screens, over 64000 seats and the largest 3D footprint featuring more than 120 state-of-the-art 3D screens across the country.

As the industry leader, Ster-Kinekor has pioneered cinema concepts such as Cinema Nouveau, one of the world’s largest dedicated art-house multiplex circuits, and the luxurious Cine Prestige theatres, the first ‘business class’ cinema experience in South Africa. It boasts one of the few cinemas on the continent that is fitted with the advanced Dolby Atmos sound system (at Gateway in Durban); and has headed the return of The IMAX® Experience, with the opening of the IMAX® Theatre at Gateway in 2013, and The Grove in June and Cape Gate in December 2014.. As one of South Africa’s most loved brands, it is Ster-Kinekor’s ongoing mission to become synonymous with the unrivalled magic of the cinema experience, by providing ‘Great Moments at Their Greatest’. During 2013, the company embarked on a massive roll-out project to convert and equip every cinema with the very latest in digital projection and sound technology. The result of this upgrade is that every cinema now boasts state-of-the-art cinema technology that encompasses 2K and 4K digital projection and 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound systems.

The award-winning SK App, which is downloadable on all smart phone operating systems, is interactive, user-friendly and feature-rich, and has recently recorded over 1.6-million downloads. The new-look SK Club loyalty programme rewards members with redeemable points when they swipe their card when buying movie tickets or catering. Combined with industry leading loyalty programmes from Edcon and Discovery Vitality, these give Ster-Kinekor a strong consumer value proposition and competitive advantage.

As the market leader, Ster-Kinekor aims to spearhead the advancement of cinema across both South Africa and the rest of Africa, to ensure that consumers continue to experience movies as they were made to be seen – on the big screen.

See more at: www.sterkinekor.com

About IMAX Corporation
IMAX, an innovator in entertainment technology, combines proprietary software, architecture and equipment to create experiences that take you beyond the edge of your seat to a world you’ve never imagined. Top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX theatres to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, and, as such, IMAX’s network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe.

IMAX is headquartered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with offices in London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing. As of Dec. 31, 2014, there were 934 IMAX theaters (809 commercial multiplexes, 19 commercial destinations and 106 institutions) in 62 countries.

IMAX®, IMAX® 3D, IMAX DMR®, Experience It In IMAX®, An IMAX 3D Experience®, The IMAX Experience®, IMAX Is Believing® and IMAX nXos® are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information about the Company can be found at www.imax.com. You may also connect with IMAX on Facebook (www.facebook.com/imax), Twitter (www.twitter.com/imax) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/imaxmovies).

This press release contains forward looking statements that are based on IMAX management’s assumptions and existing information and involve certain risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. These risks and uncertainties are discussed in IMAX’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and most recent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.

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Albert R. Broccoli’s EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, And Sony Pictures Entertainment To Release The Twenty-Fourth James Bond Film SPECTRE In IMAX® Theatres Worldwide

March 30, 2015 – 2:01 pm | Permalink

SANTA MONICA, Calif., March 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX), Albert R. Broccoli’s EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment today announced that SPECTRE, the twenty-fourth installment in the James Bond franchise, will be released in IMAX® theatres globally on Nov. 6, 2015.

In SPECTRE, from director Sam Mendes, Daniel Craig returns as the iconic British spy James Bond 007. Joining Craig are returning cast members Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny and Ben Whishaw as Q, along with a new cast, including Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci and Lea Seydoux. SPECTRE is produced by Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, from a script by John Logan and Neal Purvis & Robert Wade.

“We are thrilled to once again partner with IMAX for the next installment in the James Bond franchise. This is a spectacular way to deliver a film as anticipated as SPECTRE to global audiences,” said Gary Barber, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, MGM.

“After the record breaking global success of SKYFALL, we’re thrilled to bring the next chapter in this legendary franchise to fans in 2015,” said Greg Foster, Senior Executive Vice President, IMAX Corp. and CEO of IMAX Entertainment. “We look forward to working again with our friends and partners at MGM and Sony Pictures Entertainment, as well as Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli and Sam Mendes, to present their latest Bond picture in the epic way that only the IMAX Experience can deliver.”

Rory Bruer, president, Worldwide Distribution for Sony Pictures, said, “Everyone around the world loves James Bond and SPECTRE is one of the most highly anticipated films of 2015. The perfect complement to Bond is IMAX – it’s exciting to know that Bond will once again be taking his place on the IMAX screen, reinforcing SPECTRE as the movie event of the fall.”

The IMAX release of SPECTRE will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images, coupled with IMAX’s customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.

For more information about SPECTRE, visit Sony Pictures’ official website at www.sonypictures.com.

About Albert R. Broccoli’s EON Productions
EON Productions Limited and Danjaq LLC are wholly owned and controlled by the Broccoli/Wilson family. Danjaq is the US based company that co-owns, with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, the copyright in the existing James Bond films and controls the right to produce future James Bond films as well as all worldwide merchandising. EON Productions, an affiliate of Danjaq, is the UK based production company which makes the James Bond films. The 007 franchise is the longest running in film history with twenty-three films produced since 1962. Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli succeeded Albert R ‘Cubby’ Broccoli and have produced some of the most successful Bond films ever including CASINO ROYALE, QUANTUM OF SOLACE and SKYFALL. The twenty-fourth film, SPECTRE, is currently in production.

About Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is a leading entertainment company focused on the production and distribution of film and television content globally. The company owns one of the world’s deepest libraries of premium film and television content. In addition, MGM has investments in domestic and international television channels and is the majority owner of and distributor for United Artists Media Group (UAMG). For more information, visit www.mgm.com.

About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com.

About IMAX Corporation
IMAX, an innovator in entertainment technology, combines proprietary software, architecture and equipment to create experiences that take you beyond the edge of your seat to a world you’ve never imagined. Top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX theatres to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, and, as such, IMAX’s network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe.

IMAX is headquartered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with offices in London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing. As of Dec. 31, 2014, there were 934 IMAX theatres (809 commercial multiplexes, 19 commercial destinations and 106 institutions) in 62 countries.

IMAX®, IMAX® 3D, IMAX DMR®, Experience It In IMAX®, An IMAX 3D Experience®, The IMAX Experience® and IMAX Is Believing® are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information about the Company can be found at www.imax.com. You may also connect IMAX on Facebook (www.facebook.com/imax), Twitter (www.twitter.com/imax) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/imaxmovies).

This press release contains forward looking statements that are based on IMAX management’s assumptions and existing information and involve certain risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. These risks and uncertainties are discussed in IMAX’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and most recent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.

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BMZ Review: Antarctica: On The Edge

March 26, 2015 – 2:40 pm | Permalink

Antarctica: On The Edge
By Ann Coates

Though a popular subject in the Giant Screen genre, Antarctica: On the Edge nevertheless feels like a new, vibrant film which explores the current, desperate state of the continent. As the warming of the planet escalates, a continued study of climate effects on Antarctica proves necessary which is exactly what the film provides.

Filmmaker Jon Bowermaster leads us on this journey to and within Antarctica, reverently capturing the unique landscape of the continent. The images are sharp with well-rendered 3D, likely the best format to view the film. We come to know Antarctica also through the solid narration from Tilda Swinton who lends a sincere and thoughtful voiceover to the film.

Though the vast icy stretches are indeed formidable, the film demonstrates its fragility as well. Ravaged by global warming, the Antarctic landscape and ecosystem go through a drastic and rapid change. The collapse of a massive ice shelf — what should probably be a rare and extraordinary occurrence — happens now with enough regularity that the film is able to capture it before our very eyes.

A brief history on Antarctica shows its relationship with humanity — first a land to be explored, then conquered, but ultimately protected. Through an international effort, the continent has been devoted to scientific study only, with no country using the land for hunting, commercial, or military use. The film in addition takes a look into the endemic wildlife, demonstrating the accelerated decline in the population of various species.

Overall, it’s a depressing situation. Though only a brief glimpse into this remote world, the film nevertheless provides a firm understanding of the continent, and our fundamental need to protect it.

BMZ Review: The Great Apes 3D

March 26, 2015 – 2:31 pm | Permalink

The Great Apes 3D
By Ann Coates

From nWave Pictures comes The Great Apes 3D, a film that utilizes straightforward storytelling to introduce us to the world of chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans, and mountain gorillas. In truth, there isn’t much of a story here, merely an examination of each of these great apes. Nevertheless, the short 20-minute version of this film is an interesting, albeit succinct, jaunt into the world of primates.

Zoologist Holly Carroll acts as our guide, and through her we enter the various rainforest and jungle environments of these apes. Nice use of 3D uplifts the film, but likely most of the footage was not shot in the Giant Screen format. Though the colors are nice and vibrant, the sharpness and clarity typical of the Large Format is just not there. Rather the imagery feels just a little too soft.

We learn a little bit about the behavior, habits, and social structure for each of the apes in due time. But considering such a short running time, the film delves none too deeply. Our time with these animals ends a little too quickly. Still, the film stands as an enticing look into their world, and a solid introduction to our closest relatives in the animal kingdom.