So I went back for a second helping of Inception on Saturday, this time at the IMAX in Manchester’s Printworks (one of the obnoxious buildings I’ve ever had the displeasure of stepping into … but that’s for another post). Much like Christopher Nolan’s previous puzzlebox films, Memento and The Prestige, a second viewing is really rewarding. I spotted a couple of dubious plotholes/contrivances, but nothing major. No, the big problem I had was with the IMAX format itself.
It’s just too big! Unless you’re sat slap bang in the middle of the auditorium, you’re going to get a distorted image. This doesn’t matter too much on the expansive wide shots (Nolan is particularly good at capturing breathtaking aerial shots of cities), but it ruins close-ups. I think he’s an amazing actor, but staring into Leonardo Dicaprio’s gigantic distorted nostrils really doesn’t add much to the viewing experience, you know?
So in summary: go and see Inception. It’s amazing. But only see it in GigantaVision if you know for certain that you’ve got the very best seats in the house.