This picture says it all.

A couple nights ago my wife and I went on a double date with some friends to see Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol at the local IMAX. The movie was stunning, fun and a successful transition for Brad Bird from animation to live action. He really knows how to build an action set piece that is clear and easy-to-follow and ratchets up the tension as it moves along. Amazing stuff.

The problem I’m having today is that we didn’t really see it in IMAX. We were charged the IMAX price and it was loud and it was marginally bigger than usual, but it wasn’t IMAX. IMAX is huge.

The fact is that most IMAX theaters are what has become known as LieMAX–a digital presentation that doesn’t come anywhere near the presentation of a true, 70mm IMAX. Fresno has LieMAX, and you could tell. The screen only got marginally bigger and a little bit clearer when the movie slipped into IMAX footage.

Don’t believe me? Check out this article on Slashfilm that explains the history behind this and why IMAX doesn’t bother telling anyone about the differences between their theaters. Also: a list of theaters that are actually IMAX.

I’m seriously considering driving to LA for The Dark Knight Rises. Sorry for bringing you out of the cave.