Avatar movie and 2D quality.

  gazzaho 07:00 24 Dec 2009

I went to see the Avatar film last Friday and I have to say the quality of the movie was atrocious!

I've read a lot of great things about the 3D aspects of the film, and it was certainly hyped a lot before release, but the 2D version was like watching a bad DVD pirate.

As I only have the sight of one eye 3D is lost on me and when watching a 3D movie/video game all I see is a blurred image. I suspect the projector in the movie house was not set properly for the 2D viewing.

The reason I left it until now to post is that I wrote the manager of the theatre an email and thought I'd give him time to respond, sadly he hasn't. I didn't complain at the time either as I'm not one for causing a scene, perhaps I should have. The movie industry complains a lot about piracy but as I've mentioned already I may as well have downloaded a bad pirate and watched it.

Has anyone had a similar experience?

  Awshum 10:33 24 Dec 2009

Not seen it yet, I wanna see it in 3d though. Just to check the hype, if it wasn't for all the adverts and "from the director of Titanic" etc I'd have certainly given it a miss. But yeah I wanna see it 3d.

  Hercule Marple 10:42 24 Dec 2009

It's £10 to see a 3D film at my local Odeon (Gateshead MetroCentre). £7.50 for other films. It's too expensive imo. I used to go to the cinema twice a week, every week, and I do enjoy seeing films on the big screen. This year I've been to see three films in total. The admission cost seems to creep up a little bit every few weeks.

I watch most new films on DVD now. I hire most of those from the library for £1 each.

  SimpleSimon1 11:03 24 Dec 2009

I've seen the 3d version and, as you can see from this post, (click here), I really liked it (weak script but stunning impact from the 3d tech).

Without the 3d glasses, a lot (but not all) of the images are certainly badly blurred. My understanding is that there are separate 2d and 3d prints - assuming that you were at a 2d screening rather than a 3d one, is it possible that the cinema showed the wrong print?

  Awshum 15:38 24 Dec 2009

Our Cinemas are "3D no fee" click here

  gazzaho 16:24 24 Dec 2009

It was definitely the 2D viewing I went to. As I said I've only got sight in one eye so 3D is out for me. I can only guess at how they show 2D and 3D but I'm guessing that the projectors are set to project a single image or double image using the lenses on the equipment. I can't see a theatre going out the expense of buying a separate projector for 3D as opposed to 3D, but as I said I'm guessing.

Hercule Marple

I paid £4.00 to see it, £7.50 is a bit of a rip off if you ask me, I've no idea how much it is for 3D but I'm guessing it's the same price.

As I said all in all, I would have had just as good, perhaps an even better experience downloading a pirate and watching in the comfort of my own home. I'll not be visiting any movie houses in the near future myself, I'll just wait until the DVD comes out in future.

  SimpleSimon1 16:42 24 Dec 2009

"but I'm guessing that the projectors are set to project a single image or double image using the lenses on the equipment. I can't see a theatre going out the expense of buying a separate projector for 3D as opposed to 3D, but as I said I'm guessing."

Dunno, how it all works but based on something I read, cinemas showing 3d defo need extra kit to produce the 3d effect. Might be extra projectors but could just as easily be special lenses. According to the article (Telegraph Colour Supp, if I remember), about 320 UK cinemas have now installed the appropriate equipment (I went to see it in a brand-new Vue cinema) and expect to be showing quite a few more 3d films in the future.

Personally, I'd say that if you can't see it in 3D, it's not really worth seeing. However, in 3d, the effect is absolutely awesome and much more intense than I ever thought it would be.

  [email protected] 21:24 24 Dec 2009

The vast majority of cinemas showing 3D films use Real D technology. It requires a single digital projector, with a resolution usually of 2048 x 1080, projecting the movie at 120Hz. Each frame alternates between the left eye's image and the right eye's image (which are slightly out of phase to create the 3D effect). A filter is placed in front of the projector's lense to polarize the light - in the anti-clockwise plane for one eye, and the clockwise plane for the other eye. The 3D glasses then filter out the appropriate images. The actual screen itself needs a silver coating so that the reflected light maintains its polarity.

gazzaho, I suspect that the reason for the poor quality of the projection you saw would have been due to a poor setup at your cinema. It will almost certainly have been a 35mm film projection, and there are a variety of reasons why it could have looked poor. Most probably, the projector wasn't in focus. Other reasons could be the actual film reel was damaged or scratched (any black/green vertical lines appearing across the screen?), the projector lense wasn't aligned properly or was dirty, or maybe the lamp needed replacing (causing the brightness to flicker substantially). If it had been reported immidiately to the staff, they would have probably been able to sort it out. The problem is not many people are (understandably) keen to walk out during the middle of their movie to report a fault!

I work part time at a local cinema, so on my next shift I will go in and look at the 2D showing of Avatar to see what it's like. I find it hard to believe that the most expensive movie ever produced would have been given a poor 2D conversion, and got away with it!

Hercule Marple, you may be interested to know that Cineworld offer a pass for £13.50 / month, to see unlimited movies for free (£1.30 for 3D movies). There is one at Boldon, which isn't too far from the MetroCentre.

  Bob The Nob© 01:57 25 Dec 2009

Try and get into the new iMax in the Yellow Mall, first HD cinema screen in the NorthEast! You will pay through the roof though.

I was shocked at how bad the quality was at the cinema when I went to see Men who stare at goats, I had not been to the cinema in many years and tbh, the money I spent on the drink and the ticket £15 just proves why people download a better quality movie, I could get dark night in imax HD and 5.1 surround before it was released in the UK, to see the same quality in the UK on release would have meant going to Manchester, from Newcastle and then paying the over pricedness.

so in summery gazzaho its probably not just Avatar that is rubbish quality, I find most films at the cinema bad now.

  Hercule Marple 10:14 25 Dec 2009

Thanks for the info. on the Boldon cinema. It's a bit of a hike for me to get to compared with the Metrocentre, but the pass is a good idea.

It would have been ideal for me a decade ago. I could have saved a shedload of cash with something like that. I used to go and watch any old rubbish back then, though! I'm much more fussy about which films I go to see now. Last one I went to see was 'The Hurt Locker'. However, if there were several films on release that I fancied seeing in a particular month it might be worthwhile getting one........... I'll keep an eye on that, cheers.

Bob, yeah I know, it's £10. It's too much!

  [email protected] 19:09 25 Dec 2009

I should have added that you have to sign up for a minimum of a year - you can't just buy it for one month unfortunately!

Bob The Nob©, I'm not sure what you mean by HD cinema. There are 2 formats for projection - film or digital. Film does not have a resolution as such, but a properly set up projector produces a very good picture when viewed from a normal distance. The vast majority of movies are shot using 35mm film cameras. Very occasionally, 70mm film is used and I believe only traditional IMAX cinemas have appropriate projectors to show it. Such films are very rare though and it is usually just a small number of scenes. The MetroCentre IMAX does not use a 70mm film projector.

Digital projectors have a resolution greater than that used by "HD" formats. And just about every large cinema in the North East have had digital projectors in some of their screens for some time now - the MetroCentre's Odeon was about the only one that didn't until the new one opened this month and is certainly not the first one in the North East. It does have the advantage in that every screen there uses a digital projector, unlike any other cinema I know of. The IMAX there probably uses two 2K projectors, but I don't know for sure. I will be interested to see what it's like.

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