Favorite Films Shot In IMAX Format

Thursday, March 3 by Elle Bender

If you're going to see a movie in the theater, then see a movie in the theater; our favorite films shot in IMAX format are those you hopefully didn't miss on the (really) big screen. If you did, well, that's a shame. You'll just have to experience these IMAX films in all their dizzying glory using your imagination. Our favorites in no particular order are…

  1. "Chronos" (1985) – The use of time-lapse photography has never been so awe-inspiringly surreal. This wordless documentary explores our world with sweeping 70 millimeter shots of vast landscapes and rapid-moving cityscapes. Composer Michael Sterns' intense score punctuates these beautiful images as they mov faster and faster, at times nearly driving the viewer to an anxiety attack. But in a good way.
  2. "The Dark Knight" (2008) – Although not shot entirely in IMAX (much to director Christopher Nolan's chagrin), six of the film's scenes were, making it the first major feature film to be partially shot using IMAX cameras. Nolan's dark vision shines through with a vividness that only IMAX cameras can produce, which apparently is beneficial even when not viewing it on a huge screen—transferring an IMAX image to regular old 35 millimeter means you're seeing detail that wouldn't be there otherwise.
  3. "Everest" (1998) – If you're afraid of heights, it's a good thing you missed this one. This acclaimed IMAX doc follows a group of Canadian climbers on their treacherous and ultimately exhilarating journey to the top of the world's most famous peak just days after a deadly tragedy in 1996. The vertigo-inducing shots of mountaineers precariously crossing seemingly bottomless chasms and icy avalanches roaring straight toward the camera make you realize why the footage you're seeing is the first of its kind to make it back from Mount Everest.
  4. "Ghosts Of The Abyss" (2003) - Technophile James Cameron dives deep with specially designed state of the art equipment to explore the Titanic's final resting place. Cameron reunites with actor Bill "This ain't happening man" Paxton, who not only narrates but also participates in roaming through the rusty remains of where many of the Titanic's crew and passengers ultimately perished. The CGI "ghosts" may be a bit cheesy, but seeing a piece of history this way cancels that out. And it's James Cameron. C'mon.
  5. "Hubble 3D" (2010) - The shuttle Atlantic launches seven astronauts on a mission to repair the vital Hubble space telescope. With an IMAX 3D camera on board. There are only two words to describe their footage as they orbit the earth: absolutely stunning. Leonard DiCaprio delivers a less than stellar narration, but don't let that overshadow this phenomenal look at our universe. Awesome, even on your measly flat screen.
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COMMENTS

  1. March 3, 2011 9:10 pm

    Richard Gregory Wechsler III

    Ghosts of the Abyss was shot digitally with SONY 24P CineAlta cameras. None of his films have been shot in 15perf/65mm (IMAX standard film stock)