Life of Pi and Rise of the Guardians in Dolby Atmos - Have You Heard?
Life of Pi (Twentieth Century Fox) and Rise of the Guardians (Paramount Pictures / DreamWorks Animation’s) both open in Dolby® Atmos™ tomorrow, Wednesday November 21st with extraordinary soundscapes that transport audiences into the onscreen adventures.
Even the music sounds and feels different in Dolby Atmos. In the words of Life of Pi Composer Mychael Danna:
“Dolby Atmos is an incredible system. It is for music and sound what 3D is for visuals. For the music for Life of Pi, we were able to bring various elements separately out into the theatre: choir circling overhead, gongs on the back wall, harps running down the side walls…. In an organic way, the music envelopes the audience and better tells our story.”
A list of theatres selected to show Life of Pi and Rise of the Guardians in Dolby Atmos can be found here.
“The company announced a new sound system Monday called Dolby Atmos, which can move sounds around a theater in an entirely new and realistic way. Rather than pushing the sound out from the left and right side of the theater, as happens in movies today, the new Atmos system will also deliver sound from above in a theater and will be able to swirl sound around in any direction. ...“You can imagine watching a scary movie, and it’s a scene when someone is hiding in a basement and there are footsteps on the floorboards above,” Mr. Bowling said. “The Atmos system will actually play that audio from above people in the theater.”—New Dolby Technology to Make Horror Movies Scarier - NYTimes.com
Pixar's 'Brave' is First Film Featuring Dolby Atmos Audio
The new Dolby system does several things to improve movie theater sound. It makes every speaker individually programmable, so sounds can travel through the audience in a more life-like way. Previous systems allowed sounds to move, say, from the speakers on the left wall to the speakers on the right wall, or from the rear speakers to the front speakers. The new system also involves the installation of additional speakers on theater ceilings.
Brave opens in June, including a handful of theaters that will be equipped with the Dolby Atmos system. Hopefully, there will be a way to tell if a theater is using Dolby Atmos, because I would go out of my way to experience this. Again, 3D is kind of a gimmick, but this new sound system is a huge deal for movie geeks.
Dolby's Atmos technology gives new meaning to surround sound, death from above
I recently had an argument with a friend that I would rather go blind than deaf because sound is the most important of the five senses. My reasoning is that being blind is no big deal, but could you imagine not being able to listen to music? Further, sound provides all of the context for movies. You can turn a horror movie into comedy, or vice versa, just by swapping out the soundtrack. He didn’t agree, but I digress.
For the sound lovers out there, the news that Dolby Laboratories have invented a next-generation sound delivery system for movie theaters, named Dolby Atmos, should be exciting. Reports Nick Bilton for NYT:
In the new system, rather than sound being pushed out from the left and right side of the theater, as happens in movies today, the new Atmos system will also deliver sound from above in a theater and will be able to swirl sound around in any direction.
During a demonstration at Dolby’s San Francisco headquarters, Stuart Bowling, senior technical marketing manager for Dolby Laboratories, said the new Atmos speaker system is one of the most advanced technical jumps the company has made in 20 years and will create an entirely new viewing experience for theatergoers.
“You can imagine watching a scary movie, and it’s a scene when someone is hiding in a basement and there are footsteps on the floorboards above,” Mr. Bowling said. “The Atmos system will actually play that audio from above people in the theater.”
Fuck. Yes. Best news I’ve encountered all week.
Oz the Great and Powerful
As a prequel or sort of reboot to The Wizard of Oz (1939), Oz the Great and Powerful is not a very bad movie but it is also not very good. At 131 minutes long, the story is draggy and too thin. The opening sequence in black and white lasted for too long and has little impact on the overall plot, things only get started when Oscar Diggs (James Franco) aka Oz arrived in Land of Oz. Even the acting of the strong cast seems off as James Franco give his worst performance next to his Oscars hosting gig in 2011. It’s a pity as he is a good actor as seen from !27 Hours and can carry his own film (Rise of the Planet of the Apes). Maybe he is just a miscast. The two actresses as Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glenda (Michelle Williams) also fall short and their characters are bland. Luckily, Theodora (Mila Kunis) has some emotional scene and Mila has the skill and range to do them just right.
All in all, this is not a bad movie, just not as impressive as it should be. Who want to be good, when you can be great, right?
p.s. Akin to the 1939 film, the film’s opening sequence is presented in black-and-white and transitions into color when the protagonist arrives in Oz. Additionally, the film’s aspect ratio changes from 4:3 Academy ratio to 16:9 widescreen.