You MUST Watch The Dark Knight's IMAX Short Film on I Am Legend
by Alex Billington
December 12, 2007
I have never in my life felt this excited after watching just a trailer. I'm a fanboy and I get excited for a lot of things, but the IMAX 7-minute short preview that Christopher Nolan made and is playing in front of I Am Legend is incredible. Dare I say it may even better than I Am Legend on a whole, or at least is worth sneaking into I Am Legend multiple times just to watch it over and over. And in other news, I Am Legend has been approved to play at midnight on Thursday night, so check your local theater listings, as that when you'll want to catch both the Dark Knight short on IMAX and I Am Legend. Though the short film is playing in front of ALL IMAX showings, not just the midnight.
I know we've been covering The Dark Knight excessively recently and I know you've all probably read the description of the short film anyway, but I couldn't live without writing about my own excitement. If you're unaware of what's going on, here's the breakdown.
Director Christopher Nolan has put together a 6-to-7 minute short film shot entirely on IMAX cameras that is playing exclusively in front of I Am Legend on IMAX screens. The short is a prologue to The Dark Knight and shows the Joker (played by Heath Ledger) robbing one of Gotham City's banks. The one-and-only William Fichtner has a great cameo in this short, too. It also features a few clips from the movie in trailer format, including of Detective Gordon breaking their Batman signal light with an axe and Batman riding his new BatPod through the city.
I literally had shivers down my spine the entire time. First things first, the visual quality was phenomenal. I'll admit, I hate watching 35mm movies converted to IMAX, as they just don't look as good on the giant screen, in fact they usually look like shit. The Dark Knight is the first movie in Hollywood history to use actual IMAX cameras to film. The difference is that IMAX film is 70mm versus 35mm in size and the cameras are much bigger and much heavier. Knowing how much I hate watching anything on IMAX, this is the first time in my life I was ever blown away by the visual and aural quality of the footage. It looked beautiful. "Good" doesn't cut it, this looked stunning. I have never said that before about anything in IMAX, not even Beowulf, but this time I am. Now I really can't wait to see the rest of the scenes that were shot on IMAX.
As for the rest of it, when I say I got shivers, it's true. Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard's awesome Batman theme was playing and this sweeping camera shot of Batman standing on the edge of a building came up and I almost screamed out loud with excitement. This is going to be THE movie of 2008, hands down. Not only is the footage going to look absolutely gorgeous, thanks to Nolan shooting on IMAX cameras, but the movie itself and Heath Ledger as Joker is all going to be amazing.
That said, everyone MUST go watch this short film in front of I Am Legend! You CANNOT see this online, you CANNOT see this in regular theaters, you MUST watch it in IMAX. I don't care if you have to drive 2 hours or more to find the nearest IMAX screen - do it! You will not regret it one bit. What you'll see may just change your life forever, like it nearly did for me. The Dark Knight is going to be the movie to see in 2008 and I cannot wait.