James Bond in IMAX?!?! That's gonna be AWESOME!!! Or maybe not.
IMAX announced on Thursday that director Sam Mendes' 007 adventure, "Skyfall," would be shown on the company's massive screens across the globe. If you saw "Fast Five" or "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" in IMAX, you know just how jaw-dropping the format can be.
So why aren't we more excited about Bond in IMAX? Because Mendes and cinematographer Roger Deakins didn't shoot "Skyfall" with IMAX cameras. Instead, the film will be digitally remastered for the format.
If history (e.g. "Clash of the Titans") has taught us anything, it's that films look way better in their native format. You want 3D, shoot in 3D. You want IMAX, shoot in IMAX. Instead of an immersive IMAX experience, we're going to get a half-baked conversion.
This decision is pretty clearly a direct result of the announcement over the weekend that Vice President Joe Biden had convinced China to loosen their restrictions on non-Chinese films. In addition to the 20 regular films they've permitted annually for 20 years, China will now allow another 14 3D or IMAX films to be imported.
As we noted at the time, the inevitable result would be the conversion of films, and here we are. Hopefully, going forward, China's new rules will inspire directors and studios to shoot more in 3D and IMAX, rather than convert.