IMAX experience is larger than life

I FIND nothing more relaxing than letting my mind become lost inside someone else’s universe for a few hours. So an invitation to watch Hercules in all of its 3D glory as Ster-Kinekor’s IMAX theatre at Gateway was a welcome reprieve from my desk.

The Legend of Hercules, the first offering based on the fabled demi-god for this year, was headed by Kellan Lutz and followed the hero’s origin story, while the one I saw was lead by Dwayne Johnson.

The second Hercules outing for 2014 was as action-packed as one would expect and fared a lot better among the critics than the previous title.

Even though I only ever watched one film in the first IMAX theatre which closed down a few years ago, just knowing that I no longer had the option to watch movies in the larger-than-life format was slightly upsetting.

The new cinema however, is in a class of its own. It can seat more than 350 people at a time and the screen runs from wall to wall and from floor to ceiling. Sitting anywhere near the front of the cinema will have your peripherals working overtime as the screen is simply that large.

The best seating, in my opinion, would be in seats 10, 11, 12 and 13 from rows N to G, as they are situated directly in the middle of the seating layout and almost exactly in the middle of the cinema.

Any closer and you will be craning you neck and swinging your head from side to side to ensure a full view of the action. Any higher up and you will find yourself looking at what may appear to be a normal sized screen.

There’s one particular  feature that may seem insignificant to some, but was a most welcome surprise: the larger and cushioned armrests. Say goodbye to the awkward jostling with other movie goers for the armrest as there is now more than enough space for you to share, and share in comfort.

The visuals are crisp and clear, the sound is sharp and, if you are lucky enough to view a movie showing in 3D, prepare to have your mind blown.

Unlike in a normal 3D offering, the 3D effects seems to blend into the movie after the first 30 minutes, but in the IMAX theatre, and particularly in Hercules, the 3D seems to be ever present.

Blades fly out of the screen and spearheads seem to hover centimetres away from your face before being pulled back towards the character and into some poor extras torso.

If you’re looking for a great movie experience, IMAX (especially in 3D), is the way to go. At R99 a ticket the experience is a little bit pricey, so if you want the thrill without feeling like you’ve drained your bank account, go along with your gold Ster-Kinekor movie card every Tuesday for a half price special.

If you are watching and IMAX movie in 3D glasses are sold for R9.90 a pair. So hang onto them for future use.

Forthcoming attractions at IMAX:

The Equalizer, an action/thriller starring Denzel Washington, will premiere on Friday 26 September.

On Friday 3 October Dracula Untold, an origin story of how the infamous blood-sucker came to be, will grace IMAX’s larger than life screen.

Interstellar, an adventure/mystery movie which follows Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) and Brand (Anne Hathaway) as they, along with a group of others, make use of a newly discovered wormhole. This action-packed journey will start showing on Friday 7 November.

The much anticipated third installment in the ever-popular Hunger Games franchise, Mocking Jay – Part 1, will premiere on Friday 21 November.

The final movie in the gripping Hobbit trilogy, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, will start screening to audiences on Friday 12 December.

Lloyd Mackenzie

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