Home Box Office Hits the Silver Screen

The promise was big, and held-up for a while. But hours of
talking did not translate well to Imax.

The promise was big, and held-up for a while. But hours of talking did not translate well to Imax.

Hailey G. Boyle, Arts and Life Editor

Walking into that room is unforgettable. You see the biggest screen you have ever seen in your life. The sound is unbelievably crisp. The images are awe-inspiring. It is impossible to forget the first time you see something on an IMAX screen.

I didn’t want to go. Regular movie screens are hard enough. They’re loud and you get a crick in your neck from looking up too long. They give me a headache. 3D is a gimmick used by studios to make more money and it gives me vertigo. The 3D isn’t really three dimensional: the image is distorted the whole way and when you wear regular glasses over 3D glasses, it moves your glasses, thus moving the image. I wrote off IMAX as another vertigo/headache-inducing nightmare.

How wrong I was.

As a huge Game of Thrones fan (R + L = J for LIFE!), my inner fan-girl squeals at the mere mention of George R.R. Martin’s highly addictive book series and even more addictive HBO adaption.

So, when I heard that they were showing the last two episodes of season four in IMAX, my first thought was *cough* greedy corporation trying to get more money *cough* – that is, until I sat down and the immersive experience of IMAX theater sucked me in. Even though I had seen the two episodes before, I was not prepared for what graced the screen above me.

The first episode aired, season 4, episode 9, “The Watchers on the Wall,” takes place at Castle Black and the entire hour is devoted to the battle between the Night’s Watch and the Wildings. The music and sound were at a level that felt as if it was happening in my head and well-balanced. The battle was truly brought to life: flaming arrows, giants, exhilarating swordfights, a perfect introduction to IMAX. Then the next episode played.

“The Children”, the finale of season four, is not as adrenaline pumping as the battle of Castle Black. It features a lot of people sitting, talking, standing, talking, walking, eating —did I mention talking? Monologues are not fun when I can see blackheads on Cersei Lannister’s (Lena Headey) face.

Thankfully, this episode also includes the truly epic sword fight between Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) and the Hound (Rory McCann). This clash of the titans played beautifully on screen, along with sweeping shots of breathtaking landscapes and astounding CGI dragons and direwolves. Unfortunately, it was interrupted with long monologues that, while intriguing and highly emotionally on a TV set, don’t play well on an IMAX screen.

A public service announcement for all movie studios and TV channels: don’t put something on an IMAX screen if there’s nothing cool to look at. Survivor would have been better. That beautiful beach and those grinding challenges would have more fun to watch than Peter Dinklage aiming a crossbow at Charles Dance for ten minutes while he’s on the toilet. Thank you, that is all.

After the episodes, we got to see the season five trailer and GOD, can I not wait. When you set the image of a hot girl wielding a whip and Emilia Clarke saying lines like, “I’m not going to stop the wheel…I’m going to break the wheel,” to a darker version of David Bowie’s ‘Heroes,’ covered by TV on the Radio, yeah – I’m sold. How long until April?