Spielberg 'Blown Away' By IMAX Conversion Of Raiders Of The Lost Ark
Steven Spielberg likes IMAX's Raiders of the Lost Ark conversion. He really likes it! In an interview with Yahoo!, the uber-director said that he was "dubious" when IMAX approached him about giving his 1981 action-adventure classic the 70 mm mega-screen treatment, but ended up being way more than pleasantly surprised.
"I didn't know if the 1981 print would stand up to a full IMAX transfer, so I came expecting a sort of grainy, muddy, and overly enlarged representation of the movie I had made  years ago," the filmmaker said. "And I was blown away by the fact that it looked better than the movie I had made  years ago."
From Sept. 7 to 13, Paramount will release the IMAX version of Raiders theatrically in conjunction with the Blu-ray DVD release of the epic. On Saturday, Sept. 15, AMC theaters will also present an Indiana Jones movie marathon that will show all four films beginning at 10:30 a.m. A collectible poster and lanyard are part of the $25 ticket price.
Spielberg, who'se now working on the fifth installment of the Indy franchise, even said that the IMAX conversion improved upon some of the original film's cinematic shortcomings. "All the shadows in the earlier scenes that we shot in Hawaii [were] always kind of muddy anyway on 35mm," he explained, "because we couldn't schlep all of our big arc lights down into this valley." When he watched the IMAX conversion, Spielberg said, "the shadows weren't murky and washed out; they were sharp as a tack."
"I sat there, I think, probably with my mouth open a little wider than it normally is," he added.
He was similarly impressed with how the IMAX transfer improved upon the sound quality of the 35 mm version. "When the giant boulder comes rolling down after Indiana Jones, Spielberg said, "You'll see it full size, and you'll feel it in your stomach."
Check out the IMAX trailer: