Official Summer 2008 IMAX Line-Up - Speed Racer Included!
by Alex Billington
March 3, 2008
I was talking with my local theater manager earlier today about this year's exciting summer line-up. He mentioned that Speed Racer would be one of the big movies showing in IMAX. At first I was taken aback, but then I realized, of course, all of the Wachowski's movies have played in IMAX, including V for Vendetta! So on top of confirmation that Speed Racer is coming to IMAX, I decided to run a wrap-up looking at three big IMAX features this summer: Speed Racer, Kung Fu Panda, and The Dark Knight. If you're a fan of the IMAX experience, you won't want to miss this.
I'm amazed that Warner Brothers hasn't officially announced this yet - but maybe they're waiting for the Wachowski's to actually finish the movie on time. Apparently IMAX prints need a full 6 to 8 weeks of advance time to be printed and made ready for distribution. It would make sense that they're waiting, incase they encounter an unforeseen delay, or just to better time the announcement with the film's release on May 9th. But that's all besides the point, let's get down to the line-up.
Featured below are the three (so far) IMAX experience movies that will be hitting theaters this summer. Get ready for one hell of a ride starting on May 9th.
Speed Racer: The IMAX Experience
Opens May 9th, 2008
Directed by Larry & Andy Wachowski
Plot: Based on the classic series created by anime pioneer Tatsuo Yoshida, the big-screen Speed Racer: The IMAX Experience will follow the adventures of the young race car driver Speed in his quest for glory in his thundering Mach 5. It will feature other characters that fans of the show will remember, including Speed's family and his mysterious arch-rival, Racer X. The new high-octane action film will combine the kind of revolutionary visual effects and cutting-edge storytelling that have become the benchmarks of the Wachowski brothers' films, bringing Speed Racer into the 21st century.
The Buzz: Despite the last two films in The Matrix trilogy weren't exactly the most beloved cinematic finales, The Wachowski's are back in action, this time taking us on the ride of our lifetime in a live action adaptation of Speed Racer. The first trailer looked promising, at least in the sense that the visuals could be revolutionary, and that's what counts the most in IMAX. If you're not excited yet, give it some time, as I'm sure we'll get another trailer that will show us what the finished product will actually look like - and I'm certain that will convince you it will be more than worthwhile to see in IMAX.
Kung Fu Panda: The IMAX Experience
Opens June 6th, 2008
Directed by Mark Osborne & John Stevenson
Plot: Enthusiastic, big and a little clumsy, Po is the biggest fan of Kung Fu around… which doesn't exactly come in handy while working every day in his family's noodle shop. Unexpectedly chosen to fulfill an ancient prophecy, Po's dreams become reality when he joins the world of Kung Fu and studies alongside his idols, the legendary Furious Five -- Tigress, Crane, Mantis, Viper and Monkey -- under the leadership of their guru, Master Shifu.
The Buzz: "Experience the Pandamonium in IMAX" as they say. While I don't think there is anything particularly unique to get out of seeing an animated movie like Kung Fu Panda in IMAX, at least it will be a much more vivid and enormous experience. And if this features lots of great kung fu action on top of a good, funny story, it could easily be a better experience on a whole in IMAX. Who doesn't love seeing 70 foot tall giant pandas!
The Dark Knight: The IMAX Experience
Opens July 18th, 2008
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Plot: In the new film, Batman, Lieutenant Jim Gordon, District Attorney Harvey Dent and Gotham City fall prey to a reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known as The Joker. The Dark Knight reunites director Christopher Nolan and star Christian Bale, who reprises the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne.
The Buzz: Do I need to even explain why this movie looks amazing? I all too often over hype movies, but this time that's not the case. The Dark Knight was filmed partially on actual IMAX cameras - the first live action feature film in cinematic history to ever do so. If you saw the footage in front of I Am Legend in IMAX, then you know what you're in for - the most visually stunning, groundbreaking, and entertaining superhero sequel in history. Director Christopher Nolan is going to pull off an experience that will change the way the world looks at IMAX forever.
While I'm not exactly the biggest fan of IMAX, I am looking forward to The Dark Knight quite a bit. The footage that was shown in front of I Am Legend was absolutely incredible. It was easily the most jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring footage I've ever seen in a movie theater. At the same time, give or take Kung Fu Panda, these movies all seem like great experiences in IMAX. It's definitely looking like another unforgettable summer.