The BFI IMAX has Europe’s largest cinema screen and it’s right there, bang smack in the middle of a large roundabout on Waterloo Road. Access is by a network of subterranean walkways, each painstakingly, and quite possibly post-modernly, decorated with an assortment of fairy lights and bold paintings. But nothing can detract from the sheer amount of brutal concrete on display.
A cinema ticket (above).
So, we’ve got the location. Let’s set up the anthropological elements to this tale. Claire and I were in the early stages of courtship and a Monday afternoon trip to the cinema seemed like a good thing to do. I’d had the day off, Claire had spent the morning in Kent. (This isn’t relevant, really, I’m just trying to pad this out so there’s some sort of length-based justification for it popping up in my Twitter and Facebook feeds.) So, we rock up, pick up the tickets, and hit the cafe for a couple of soft drinks. They were really quite expensive but, not wanting to appear a tight arse (and ruin my chances of a snog), dutifully swallowed hard and paid up. And then drank every little bit of that Coke. Very slowly. Savouring every last drop.
And up to the auditorium. Bloody hell. That screen is big. Good job our seats are quite far ba… oh, no, they’re not. If you’ve never had twelve metres of cinema screen on a wall almost directly in front of you, it’s something you should try. Once. Briefly. And remember to not do again. Especially if it’s a 3D film. Which ‘Tron: Legacy 3D’ most certainly is. Well, certain scenes are. Others are just plain old 2D. In the IMAX, in fact, it’s a 70mm 1.78:1 blow-up p&s of 1080p HDCAM SR. Meaning you’d probably get better picture quality by watching it on a BluRay at home.
Anyway, it was my first time in an IMAX in about 20 years and also my first ever time of seeing a modern 3D flick. Neither convinced me; the IMAX screen is simply too big for a feature film, the cutting between 2D and 3D did my head in and the 3D effect was, at best, a novelty. In reality, it was nauseating and headache-inducing. And the 3D glasses just served to remind me that my ears are a bit lop-sided.
Anyway. Enough of me. Let’s end with Claire’s review the film: “Looks good – boring.”