January 23, 2011

Evangelion 2.0 US Theatrical Release Experience

I am a big Neon Genesis Evangelion fan, and I was very excited to find out that  the second re-imaged film “Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance” was released in US theaters this weekend. I happened to catch the news on the Otaku USA News page. The nearest showing to me was in Southlake TX, a suburb of Ft. Worth.

I have been lucky enough to have already seen this film. I saw it during its original theatrical release in the summer of 2009 in Yokohama Japan.

Even though I have seen the Evangelion 2.0 film already, I wanted to show my support to the US theatrical market by going this weekend. Plus I thought it would be cool to see it again on the big screen. Actually, it was a double-feature with “Evangelion 1.0: You are (Not) Alone” playing before it, which I also saw the original release for in 2007 in Japan.

I am not planning to write a review here. For that, see a link at the bottom of this post. Needless to say I greatly enjoyed seeing “Evangelion 1.0” and especially “Evangelion 2.0” in Japan and got excited at a another chance to see these movies on the big screen this weekend.

So with great anticipation, I made my way to the Harkins Southlake theater this morning.

When I first entered the theater, I choose a seat in the 5th row from the front, and then I looked up to the projection booth. I was VERY disappointed when I noticed a “portable” digital projector sitting in front of the regular projector in the projection booth. I got a sinking feeling that I wouldn’t get main-stream theater quality today, and I didn’t.

When the movie started my hunch was realized, and I could see the individual pixels. This immediately took me out of my “suspension of disbelief” as I was preoccupied by the little squares on the screen. Not only that, but the screen image didn’t fill the whole screen, and it was considerably dimmer than a regular movie theater digital projector would be. I am not sure, maybe it was just the fault of the projector they used.

So for today, Evangelion 1.0 and 2.0 were both shown from a Blu Ray player connected to a portable projector. At 1920 x 1080p, Blu Ray is great for home, but it doesn’t scale-up well to the movie theater experience, where the standard is full-screen 2048 x 1080 pixel resolution or twice that.

After the the first fight scene of Eva 1.0, I moved back to the middle of the theater, and could no longer see the individual pixels, so I could then relax and start to enjoy the films. But today’s presentation still was not as nice as seeing the regular full-screen cinema releases in Japan.

I wonder what the theaters in other parts of the country are showing for Eva 2.0?

I get the impression that Funimation is getting a license to publicly show the Blu Rays that they sell themselves, but they either can’t afford, or are not trying to get either the 35mm, or D-Cinema versions of the films they are showing in the DFW area.

In the end, I enjoyed seeing these two films again today, and it was nice seeing them on a big screen, but I hope future such releases by Funimation (or another licensee) can show these films at full-screen, D-Cinema quality.

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Filed under: Arts and Entertainment — Brad @ 11:39 pm


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