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Resident Evil Retribution 3d IMAX vertical posterSo, being either an optimist or a masochist (not sure which – you decide), I’m looking around for a theatre in which to see RESIDENT EVIL RETRIBUTION. The posters fairly prominently display the phrase “in IMAX 3D,” and since the RETRIBUTION EVIL films typically supply good eye candy but little else, IMAX 3D sure seems like the best way to see it.

Only one problem: Nowhere in the Los Angeles area is RETRIBUTION EVIL: RETRIBUTION playing in an authentic 3-D IMAX. Oh sure, there are a few theatres that say “3-D IMAX,” such as the AMC Burbank 16, but you know what? I’ve been there, and what they have is not IMAX; it’s “Faux-MAX” – basically, just a slightly bigger screen than usual, on which (presumably) the theatre projects an IMAX print.

In case you don’t know, the whole point of IMAX is that the 70mm film (which runs through the project horizontally, allowing an even larger image size than normal 70mm projection) yields an image that can be projected on a screen the size of a football field – so large that it literally takes up your entire field of vision, making you feel as if you are part of the action. Typically, IMAX theatres arranged their seats on a steep incline, so that your field of vision is never blocked by the heads of those sitting in front of you. The steep angle also increases the sense that you might fall into the vast image you are watching. That is not what you get at the AMC 16 Burbank.

You will get none of that during the run of RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION in Los Angeles. This is rather odd, considering that we are in the heart of Hollywood – the one market where you would expect the presentation to be at a premium. I was especially surprised to see that the Universal 19 theatres near Universal Studios – one of the major venues in the Hollywood area – is not not playing the film in IMAX (DARK KNIGHT RISES still occupies that screen); I was even more surprised to see that they are not playing the film in 3D. Apparently, all the 3-D screens are taken by FINDING NEMO and PARANORMAN – a rel-release and a film that has been in theatres a few weeks now.

Does this mean something? I’m not sure. But when a major studio such as Sony rolls out an IMAX 3-D movie, wouldn’t you think it would be playing in … oh, I don’t know … IMAX 3-D?