What is the best movie format to see Venom: Let There Be Carnage?
The latest film in “Not Quite the MCU” is Venom: let there be carnage and is now to be found at a theater near you. But what a format to see it in I hear you cry!
Unlike some recent blockbusters like No time to die and Dune Director Andy Serkis hasn’t framed any movies for IMAX – so there’s no point in seeing it on a premium screen? Well, hold on to your symbiote, that might not be true.
The film was partially shot with the Arri Alexa 65 digital camera, which was used to shoot films such as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and all of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame which have been projected on IMAX screens in its larger aspect ratio of 1.90: 1. Not here though, as Venom 2 is framed in the “Academy” 1.85: 1 aspect ratio, (compared to the wider 2.39: 1 for the former). This is of course closer to the 1.78: 1 ratio of your widescreen TV – maybe this is the aspect ratio they thought they were optimizing for? (Judging by the reviews, maybe …)
Another point of difference with the first film is that it was finished with a 4K digital intermediate, compared to the 2K intermediate for the first, which means sharper and more detailed visuals, especially in theaters equipped. 4K projection.
Another point of interest in the technical specifications for Venom: let there be carnage is sound mixing options. These include Auro 11.1 which is a format (owned by Barco) that has a single “voice of god” speaker above the audience, rather than a series of overhead speakers. It was originally channel-based rather than object-based as in Dolby Atmos and DTS: X, but has now added height channels with “Auromax” – however, the 11.1 format uses conventional channel-based sound. , although three layers. Auro is much less well known than Dolby or DTS surround formats and is even available on some home physical media – namely 4K UHD Blu-ray discs and some claim is superior but I cannot comment as I did not have it. never heard in action. I have tried to find out if any cinemas in UK have Auro installed but so far they have remained pristine which is a shame as I would like to experience it. Go ahead, Barco!
Staying with the audio, although there is no IMAX optimized picture, there is a 6-channel IMAX sound mix, which you will hear when you see it in an IMAX theater. So if it’s not formatted for IMAX, what will you watch on an IMAX screen? The only answer is DMR scaling – which is IMAX’s proprietary scaling technology to fit a standard image on the IMAX screen – although like Venom: let there be carnage was filmed with the Arri Alexa 65 large format camera, it won’t have to work as hard.
So which format to choose? Without that extra IMAX image aspect ratio, the top of the tree for Venom this time around is a Dolby Cinema display, and as you might expect, a Dolby Vision digital print has been prepared which will give the best black levels and color intensity you can find in a movie theater, plus first class seating!
However, Dolby theaters are rare, so the format for film production seems to be suitable for are the “normal” premium formats – which offer a brilliant 4K projector on a larger than average screen combined with Dolby Atmos audio. Only major UK chains offer them in their biggest theaters, so to find one look for a Cineworld Superscreen, Empire iSense, or Odeon IMPACT display – their proprietary names for the same.
If you are a 3D fan, stereoscopic projections are available, but these will be on standard screen, with standard (non-laser) projectors. As these are particularly bright, they’re never ideal for 3D, which means I wouldn’t recommend them, although I do enjoy 3D when the system has the brightness to do it justice.
Of course, with a crazy movie like Venom, you might want to try a format like ScreenX. ScreenX projects additional footage to the left and right of the main image and judging by the trailer, that looks pretty cool. However, in real life the side projections are on the walls rather than dedicated screens and in my experience not that convincing.
In terms of additional film image, it turns out that Venom: let there be carnage actually contains a bit of Matrix 4 – because according to this story, this movie was filming at the same time as Venom, and they grabbed some of the helicopters used in the production of The Matrix in front of the camera and it just worked for the scene. A nifty idea to save money on production, if I ever heard of one.
With less-than-stellar reviews in some spots, the final choice might be to wait for her at home, but if you do go, it’s thankfully short at a relatively tight 1:37 minute. Sit back and at least enjoy the details …