So I saw Batman Begins yesterday on the IMAX screen (at Loews by Lincoln Center). Seeing it in IMAX was breathtaking — particularly the iconic circling shot of Batman poised on a skyscraper and looking out over Gotham — but it did create some problems. One (minor) problem was that there were hardly any previews, so by the time I got back to my seat with popcorn, the movie had already started, and I missed the opening scene. The bigger problem involves some…
So at the climax, Batman is battling a villain on an elevated train headed for the heart of Gotham. If the train reaches the center of the city, Gotham will be destroyed. Okay, I guess technically that was a spoiler, but come on, it’s a Batman movie, you knew that was going to happen. Anyway, Batman and his enemy are flailing away, and suddenly the screen goes dark, and all you can hear are the thuds and grunts of hand-to-hand combat. This stretched for several seconds, and initially I thought it was kind of cool — obviously the train had gone into a tunnel.
But then this went on for ten seconds, and then fourteen. Then the sound stopped. Then the house lights went on, and en masse five hundred irate batfans swiveled to glare menacingly at the projection booth. The projectionist, who sounded like the teenage service-industry worker in the Simpsons (there’s only one), announced that there had been a big power surge, and he would try to get the movie started again soon. Here followed about a ten minute break, which significantly dissipated the dramatic tension of the movie, and went on longer, as it turned out, than the whole rest of the movie.