Well, well, well! Mrs. JediCole and I went to the Cinemark IMAX theatre today to see Apollo 13: The IMAX Experience. I was looking forward to this since we found out that one of our favorite films was being remastered for the GIANT screen of the IMAX theatre.
Well, when we got settled into our seats, a neighboring audience member got talking to us and revealed something we did not know. The film we were about to see was not only digitally remastered and reformatted for the 70mm IMAX print, it was EDITED FOR TIME!
Now bear in mind, I don't blame the folks at IMAX, given what I was told for the reasons behind the editing. It turns out that 120 minutes is the maxiumum running time for an IMAX film. Because the projector uses a single reel (not multiple reels like conventional, commercial movie theatres), a reel that is gigantic! Unfortunatly, it seems that the creators of these projectors never anticipated a time when traditional, big studio films of lenghts over 120 minutes (like Apollo 13 and the upcoming Star Wars Episode II) to be remastered for their screens. So as a result, there is no room on the reel for approximatly 20 minutes in the case of Apollo 13, and it appears, at least 23 minutes of Attack of the Clones come November!
I really posted this thread not so much to complain as to inform. Given the limitations of IMAX projectors, there is nothing to be done. I feel fortunate that someone happened to tell us that the film had been cut down by 20 minutes. If I had not known that ahead of time, I would have wondered what happend! I know Apollo 13 almost as intimatly as I do the Star Wars films. And I would have noticed at least the better part of what was cut, if not all of it! Knowing that things were going to be missing certainly made me mindful, but there were some scenes cut short that were painfully obvious if you are expecting to see something that is now gone.
In defense of those involved in bringing Apollo 13 to IMAX, the edits were, for the most part, well done. Not like the kind of thing you get when network television butchers a film for time, giving no thought to what they cut out, just that they cut out what they have no time to air. For the most part the film will not suffer much for those who have not seen it, or do not remember nearly every second of the original cut. However, if you do, you will find a few rather important aspects missing, at least from the standpoint of the big picture.