Eclipse: To IMAX or Not To IMAX That is the Question

With apologies to The Bard, is Eclipse in IMAX the way to go? One reviewer from ABC gives the IMAX experience a thumbs down talking about how it magnifies flaws not seen on the smaller screen, and in that regard, ruins a bit of what could be called “movie magic” making it harder to suspend disbelief.

” I couldn’t help but notice that IMAX is very unforgiving. So much of “Eclipse” is close-up shots, meaning that Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson , Taylor Lautner and the rest of the cast had their faces magnified to the point where they were two stories tall. And, uh, it didn’t do such great things for them.

Kristen’s hair was so obviously a wig and it was driving me nuts. Really, would it be so hard to give that thing a part? Then it wouldn’t be so glaring. Ditto for Ashley Greene—can’t they use her real, gorgeous hair rather than that hacked-up wig? Homegirl looks like she cuts her hair herself with pinking shears.

Speaking of the Cullen clan, Edward and crew didn’t look pale; they looked like they had pan makeup congregating in the corners of their mouths. And they didn’t look like their eyes were crazy colors; you could actually see their contact lens lines.”

The admin team had both experiences and we are mixed in our reactions about the IMAX experience.  If you saw it in IMAX, did the story work in that format, why or why not? Also are you a regular IMAX viewer if you saw it in that format?


  1. I was going to see IMAX today but I’ll pass thanks !

  2. We were going to watch the premiere I-max,but we couldn’t get the times to work out, so we saw it regular. After reading this, I’m glad we did. I loved it don’t get me wrong as I did Twilight and New Moon, but you can see flaws in the regular version that drive me nuts, I-max may have just really through me over the…The wig was terrible, and if they can CGI the wolves, and everything else, you mean to tell me, that they couldn’t of CGI’d a little steam from their mouths in the blizzard and snow scenes..I mean really, sometimes the small details do matter…Loved it anyway, as I will Breaking Dawn…

  3. I saw it in IMAX, then went the next day and saw it in regular format, and I have to say, for me, IMAX was way better. The picture was sharper, and the sound was much louder and more defined. It was the kind of sound you feel, you know? Like how it is at concerts where the bass reverberates off your chest. I’m going to see it in IMAX again this week, and have no plans to see it in regular format till I get the dvd. :)

  4. I have not had the opportunity to view it cause the only theater showing it in IMAX is about one or two hours away… but I will go see it regardless of wat people say… I mean who wouldn’t want to c RPATTZ tat close or TAYS abs so u feel u can almost touch tat… am I rt o am I rt? Lol

  5. I saw it at the regular theater and IMAX and while I can understand the whole “seeing all the flaws” theory, for me there was nothing better than Edward up close and personal! So I guess it depends on what you want. I would definitely see at the IMAX again. ;-)

  6. I have seen it in both IMAX and regular version…and I think the IMAX was much better. I don’t know if it was because it was the first time I was seeing it, so I was literally bouncing around too much with excitement to notice flaws, but I absolutely loved it. I think the colors and sounds were much more vivid, and made the experience much better for me overall. Can’t wait to see it again!

  7. Hmmm now you all have me thinking hahaha .. I’ve seen it regular but the wigs and makeup and stuff like that don’t bother me that much. I just want bigger and louder and if IMAX is that then good I’ll catch it today.

  8. christine says:

    I couldn’t agree more about the horrible attempt to pass that wig for hair (you CANNOT tell me they didn’t have the ability to give Kristen realistic extensions), and the over-done makeup. Though Kristen’s follicle flaws were the most difficult for me to look at, I also have to chime in here about everyone else’s hair madness. The only exception seems to be Liz’s ‘do, but I suspect that’s because she didn’t need much altering to play her character. Poor Jackson actually looks uncomfortable in his hair, and Peter, Kellan and Nikki’s are okay, but they just look so unnatural that it’s not easy to see them in some shots (especially given that they are supposed to be so good looking that you can’t peel your eyes off of them). The killer part is that I noticed this all at a regular showing; not IMAX, and I was in the.last.row. Literally, under the projector. The Cullens are not supposed to be glaringly obvious to the every day folks, yet I can’t help but wonder (more like screaming in my head) who the heck wouldn’t notice something was up with their CU (Clown University) makeup?
    Alas, I am ending my rant, because I cannot believe I spent 5.5 minutes writing about it (but I admit I’ve spent thousands more thinking it).

    • christine says:

      I wanted to add that I am a GIANT fan, hope that goes without saying because I’m on the lexicon and posting, which is the reason I think I’m so disheartened at the lack of effort put into the final touches like hair and makeup. I also hope that enough attention is brought to The People That Matter (obviously not just from a few comments on one site) so that BD is represented in the fashion I know it’s capable of.

    • I just think that you all have some sort of obsession about the wigs and stuff. (pls, no offence!)

      I saw the movie and I just couldn’t care less about their hair. Yeah, I realized how poorly their acting was sometimes, and all the changes from the book (action, character’s personality etc.) and that made me crazy, but I just couldn’t understand what’s the point in all the complains about their hair.. it wasn’t good, but hello we have other problems here.

      And it’s not like it was perfect in the previously movies, it’s not like it’s not changed from before.. the producers just don’t give a damn about the flow between the movies.. the hair, the way they dress up, the colors, the music style.. everything changes from one movie to the other and this should be more annoying then all the simple “hair tragedy”..

      Grow up people.. a movie it’s more than that, and if the hair is the problem with this movie being crappy (sorry for the ones that disagree but this is my opinion), then this is just not the problem.

      I love (adore) the books but I just can’t relate to the movies. I wish so badly for better actors in the saga and for another screenwriter but for this is just to late :( Yeah, I can see some improvement here from the previous movies, but it’s just not enough.

      And finally, I really hope for you that in BD they will use better wigs (if this is the ONLY problem for you) so that at least you will be all happy :|

  9. At the midnight premiere I was dissapointed with the film quality picture, but I still loved the movie. I saw it again in digital presentation and it made such a huge difference, without the IMAX extra charge. My sister saw it in IMAX and she also mentioned that she noticed a lot of things she didn’t want to.

  10. melissa says:

    I saw it in IMAX too, and I have to say that while I did love drooling over seeing Edward up close & personal and the colors were definately more vibrant, the downside to me was that it was louder than a concert (and I’ve been to many concerts in my day) my ears were throbbing when I walked out and my eyes hurt a bit from the large, curved screen.

    But flaws…I really didn’t pay attention, just a few times with Kristin’s wig you could tell were the re-shoots (her & jacob hiking, one close-up it looked flat ironed, then the next shot it looked like a rat’s nest LOL)

  11. melissa says:

    oh and another shot, IDK if it was just me or if anyone else caught it, but when they panned out to Jake carrying Bella though the mountains, Jake is wearing those khaki colored shorts, I swear for just a second, he looked NAKED!! I had to do a double take and realized yes, yes he is wearing shorts LOL

  12. http://maliciousmandysmind.blogspot

    I felt similarly… As I posted on my blog, though giant Robward and Taycob was amusing ;)

  13. Just saw it in IMAX today after 3 times regular. I will admit that the close-ups showed imperfections that I did not notice before, but I loved the action and felt like I was IN the movie at times. Loved the score at the louder volume too. I am selective at what I see in IMAX, and overall I enjoyed the experience.

  14. Lori Ericson says:

    I saw Eclipse in both IMAX and on the regular screen and I have to say that I like the small screen better for the romantic scenes but when it comes to the scenery and the action sequences there is no comparison that IMAX is superior. It is even a little overwhelming to be there in the action but you totally feel a part of it and it is a great experience. I do agree that the human flaws are more visible but overall it’s a much better way to see the movie if you are going for the action and landscape. So I think it really depends on the individual and like me you can always see it both ways :)

  15. Danielle says:

    The wigs and makeup and contacts were distracting. Edward’s sideburns were so gnarly and bushy, his makeup was so pale it deterred from his beautiful face. Jasper’s wig looked nothing like it did in Twilight – so much for continuity. Why are the fans the only ones noticing?

  16. I saw it in IMAX the second time after seeing it for the midnight release. Personally, i LOVED it in IMAX. It was so beautiful. Everything was clearer and more precise. The fight in the snow with Edward and Victoria- I felt like I was actually there. I think everyone should see it in IMAX. There’s no comparison to the regular screen.

  17. I saw it in IMAX and it gave me a headache and just too loud. I don’t think Eclipse was a movie that need to be showed in IMAX and it does not help when some of the actors have RACOONS sitting on their heads. I swear to god at one point i thought birds were going to start flying out of Bellas wig. The Pancake Batter on their faces was not help by showing the movie in IMAX. I really really believe they are going to try to do Breaking Dawn in 3-D. That would be a disaster!

  18. We saw it in IMAX, but not yet on regular screen so i can’t really do a comparison, but i find all the magnified flaws on IMAX that people mentioned above (horrible wig, caked on makeup, contact lens lines). On top of that, the screen was so big that in some scenes my friend and i got nauseated… and unfortunately for me one of the dizzying scenes was actually the LEG HITCH scene damn. I couldn’t keep looking, but i didn’t want to look away!! my friend found the fight scenes nauseating, motion sickness. It’s hard to have to keep looking at all parts of the huge screen simultaneously to see the whole picture (we were in the second-last row), although i found that problem with the previous IMAX movies I’ve seen as well (can’t remember what the last one was though, it’s been a while. we saw Avatar on regular screen digital 3D not IMAX).
    that being said, the sound was awesome. Drowns out MOST Of other people’s laughing and commentary. But you bet i’m gonna go back and rewatch it on regular screen coz i want to rewatch the LEG HITCH!

  19. Danielle Heilmann says:

    I saw it in Imax for the midnight premier and didnt notice the flaws but maybe I was tooo hyped up and excited to see it in the first place to notice it. I loved the fight scenes in Imax and oh not to mention RPat so upclose and personal and TS’s abs.. yummmm… gonna go see it in normal theater tonight since don’t feel like paying the extra for Imax but sure it wont be able to compare to how wonderful it was in Imax.

  20. I saw it in IMAX and while I loved the movie, there was so much I missed. You can’t look everywhere at once and the movie just moves too fast for good IMAX viewing. I also agree with what they said about the close ups… it’s unforgiving. The one thing I did love was the sound! IMAX domes have awsome sound systems and that was a huge plus for the atmosphere of this movie. I would love to see the movie again in a regular theater.

  21. I saw Eclipse 4 times regular and then today in IMAX. The wig and makeup flaws were more obvious but not terribly distracting. Although the soundtrack was better in IMAX, I didn’t feel it was so much better that it was worth the extra $$. After all, I plan to see this movie MANY times, and I need to stretch my Eclipse dollars. The previews were deafening — I put my earphones on to keep from getting a headache, but the sound for the movie itself was fine.

  22. IMAX is way better. Yes you do catch onto flaws that you do not see in Reg. When I’m watching a movie I want to hear & see the Screen. While watching IMAX I could litterally only hear the movie not the popcorn ect. While watching it in Reg. I was hearing everything around me except the movie which was annoying. I love the fact that in IMAX the pic was so big which made the action scenes great. I think I even spoiled myself seeing it in IMAX first because I would rather see it in IMAX then Reg. My friends & I have even had the conversation that we love it in IMAX better then Reg. I also the love the picture quality & the fact that it is so close it doesn’t feel like you are to far away from the screen.

  23. Although I agree with some of the comments here about how unforgiving IMAX is of skin perfections, bushy hair/sideburns, etc. I loved seeing it in IMAX. Loved the whole massiveness of the feel and I like my music really loud. U get swallowed up in the sensory experience on IMAX. Will b seeing it again in IMAX.

    • I agree–I saw both regular and IMAX on the same night and I tried really hard not to look for flaws on either, but what I saw on IMAX, I had also noticed in the regular theater (mostly just facial hair issues). The thing I loved about the IMAX was how all encompassing it was. I saw, heard and felt nothing but Twilight all around me–just how I like it :) I probably wouldn’t pay the price to see it again on IMAX.but I’m so glad I did see it that way at least once.

  24. imax was the way to go for me!

  25. i saw the screener in IMAX. yes it was huge and loud and made the actors look like giants… i had to crane my neck from one side of the screen to the other to see what was goin on on the other side of the screen. i could see how Jane’s eye make up was applied… i was in awe at the Cullen’s golden eyes, because they looked a bit ruddy-red around the edges… all that was cool.

    but the screen looked grainy. if i had a remote i would have sharpened it. and i found a not-so-tale-tell error. MY FIRST TIME WATCHING. i’ve never found an error in a film watching it in theaters.. this was possibly due to the fact the screen was huge, which meant the blemishes as well as perfection was put on display x2.

    i saw it again at midnight on a regular screen. and though i would have liked for it to be louder. it was fine.

    i say to each his/her own. it was epic in IMAX just as well as on a regular screen.

  26. I saw the movie first on the regular movie scene and then again on IMAX. I really liked watching the fight scenes in IMAX. I wasn’t paying attention for any of the flaws that people saw. I thought the sound was much better and you really could hear the music in the background and it wasn’t overwhelming either.

    I would go see it again on IMAX but it is just too expensive to do it that way. It was worth my $18 to see it one time on IMAX.

  27. I went to a midnight show in the IMAX theatre and to be honest I will never see another movie like this in IMAX again. I saw a Harry Potter movie in IMAX and it was fine but Eclipse is def a regular screen view movie. People’s teeth are NOT white like I thought they were (I won’t name names but it rhymes with Faylor), the additions to Rob’s sideburns to make them longer were crazy and at times completely separated from the natural ones…I totally missed the leg hitch because seeing it on IMAX made me dizzy and I did NOT have that problem in the reg. theatre. Bottom line IMAX thumbs down.

  28. Lorrie and Brianna says:

    If you are a fan see both and decide what is best for your taste. We enjoyed regular screen and the IMAX. It is a little more expensive but we enjoyed both. We were just happy to see the film. Can’t wait for Breaking Dawn.

  29. IMAX all the way!
    I have seen it three times IMAX, one time regular. And I cannot see it again regular. Seeing (and hearing) golden bed/leg hitch/ proposal on a larger screen in 12,000 watts of digital surround sound is incomparable and worth the price of admission, and regular format can’t touch it.

    Regular format gave a nice soft focus so you couldn’t really see every skin flaw or hair out of place, but with IMAX it’s so clear and vivid and the sound is so much fuller. The experience really helps distract from the screaming tweens and helps the movie keep your attention.

  30. I have seen Eclipse 3 times now. Midnight on a reg. screen and 2 times on IMAX. I agree that you can see the imperfections on IMAX, but I noticed them in reg. too. The wig for Bella is horrible and K.S. has aready said she will have her own hair for the next two. And to say you can see the contact lens lines on the eyes is not that big of a deal. I’ve noticed them on K.S. since the first movie. I personnally enjoyed the fact that we see the eyes change from gold to black and back in this film.
    In my opinion the reg. screen makes the film feel more intimate, but IMAX is great for action and feeling like your in it. It helps to minimize distractions. I enjoyed both formats though, and will most likely see Eclipse in IMAX until it’s off the IMAX screen and then I’ll see it in reg. As a note, if you’re seeing the movie at an AMC theater go before noon the tickets should be cheaper at that time. I saw it in IMAX today at 10am and it was only $10 instead of 12.50(matinee after noon) or $16(after 4pm).

  31. I live in Atlanta and we have two sizes of the IMAX theaters. The really huge one in Buford GA and a smaller size at a couple of AMC theaters. I would say I usually see 4-6 movies a year on an IMAX screen. That being said, I first saw Eclipse on a regular screen at the midnight showing. It was so packed that several times I couldn’t hear some of the dialogue because of the noises the crowd (and me too!) made. I then went again to a morning matinee at a regular theater on Thursday. Friday I rent to the larger IMAX to see it and on Saturday I went to the smaller AMC IMAX (what can I say, I’m a Twi-hard!lol)

    Now that you have my viewing background, I will say that the IMAX’s sound made it WORTH EVERY PENNY. At the regular show, I couldn’t understand a lot of the dialogue between Bel & Ed when they were alone and talking softly to each other. Once I saw it on IMAX I heard everything CRYSTAL CLEAR! The fight/action scenes were fantastic on IMAX, wow! I agree that in the closeup you could see the details of the wigs and makeup that weren’t very complimentary and a better hair stylist and makeup artist should be hired for BD. But to get to see Ed and Jake as tall as a building is soooo worth it! Go see it on an IMAX screen before it goes away in another week or two. Totally regret I didn’t see IRON MAN 2 in it.

    I would recommend (to serious fans of the series) if an IMAX is in your area it is worth it to at least see & HEAR it at least one time on the BIG SCREEN.

  32. I saw Eclipse in IMAX. I took dramamine, just in case. It was the first real movie I have ever seen in IMAX and I didn’t like it. I feel like I missed a lot of the movie because you just can’t take in the whole screen. I didn’t feel like I was in the movie, either. I guess I just don’t get all that. I also do not want to see all their flaws. I want to see it on a regular screen now, so I can see the whole movie in front of my eyes without missing what is going on off to the sides.

  33. I saw it in a regular theatre and then IMAX. Loved IMAX!!! The wigs are just bad, regardless of how you see the movie. But the actions scenes wee fantastic in IMAX. Love, Love, Loved it!!!!

  34. Brittany says:

    There are different sizes for imax screens. so i guess it depends on which one you see. i saw it in the imax at my local theater and it was supremely perfect. i’ve seen it twice in imax and i’m seeing it again on wednesday! i’m a little disappointed it’s only showing for another week or so in imax. it’s SO worth the extra money! the action sequences are phenomenal and the sound is great!

  35. Ive been asking the admins to raise awareness about IMAX in the uk, as it isnt being released here(!). Im not the kind of person that would notice or even process a flaw like that, and its a shame if you are. But the benefits of IMAX FAR outway such cons. Im Pro-Imax all the way – quality matters, and if you cant focus enough on the movie to get your mind off such things, then maybe you should see it regular. At least you guys in America have the choice :(

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