Is IMAX the new 3D? It's got the same higher ticket prices and opportunity to draw in people who wouldn't normally go to the movies, and given how genuinely spectacular IMAX films like Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and The Dark Knight Rises are, it stands a chance of surpassing 3D as the newest movie magic. Now Steven Spielberg is helping the giant-screen format take yet another bite out of the 3D pie. Whereas George Lucas plans to re-release all of the original Star Wars films in 3D, Spielberg is making a new plan to bring one of his classics back to the big, big, big screen.
Spielberg, Lucasfilm and IMAX have announced that Raiders of the Lost Ark, the seminal kick-off to the Indiana Jones franchise, will return to theaters for one week only starting September 7, just before the September 18 release of the full Indiana Jones box set. The film will be showing only on IMAX screens, so not only will many of us have the chance to see Raiders on the big screen for the first time, we'll be seeing it on the biggest screen possible. Here's how Spielberg explained his reason for the up conversion to the New York Times:
“For me, it’s always been the bigger the screen, the better. It’s the only marked contrast we have to the generations that are seeing our movies on phones and hand-held platforms. It’s a complete relief to be able to see a film that many people have just experienced on a palm-sized platform technology, suddenly hurled at that them on an Imax-sized screen.”
But before you start dreaming of seeing the Close Encounters of the Third Kind spaceship on the giant IMAX screen, Spielberg insists he's not planning to upgrade any of his other films, including the other Indiana Jones movies. "This isn't even something that I was dreaming about," he says about the Raiders release. "This is someone else's dream that I climbed aboard." And he's still planning to re-release Jurassic Park in 3D next year, so he's not off the 3D bandwagon entirely. But it's also kind of nice to hear about why Raiders is a special case for him; turns out Spielberg also understands why some people love this more than any of his other films.
“Raiders” is a movie of my own, that I can actually stand to watch from beginning to end. In that sense, it has a special place in my heart. I don’t rewrite it in my mind, I’m not kicking myself for what I didn’t do. I’m just going along for the ride like everybody else. It’s one of the few films that I’ve directed that I can sit back objectively and observe and enjoy with my family or whoever I’m with, or even alone>
You can find a list of theaters showing the Raiders IMAX release here. And if you're looking to experience another Spielberg movie like you never have before, the Jaws Blu-Ray is a great place to start-- you can read our review of that here.