I've never seen a movie on IMAX 3D because I dismissed it from the get-go as a gimmick that doesn't really add much to movies as a whole. Also, I wear glasses and don't own and will never own a pair of contacts (I have an irrational fear of them) so for me it was it was just a mixed bag of minor inconveniences. However, last week I had the chance to see The Walk starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt at an advanced screening at IMAX headquarters and, of course, it was in 3D. While the experience didn't make me a total convert because of a few minor niggles, I did get a good look at what the technology could do if used well.
For those who don't know what The Walk is about, it follows the story of Philippe Petit and his insane walk across The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center back in the 70s. When I say insane, I mean insane in every sense of the word. It wasn't a publicity stunt for the towers themselves, it was just a dude who saw a picture of them in a magazine while chilling in France and then going "yup, imma put a wire across that and walk like a champion." To his credit, walk like champion he did because he did not one but eight passes across the Twin Towers.
So where does the 3D stuff come in? In giving you that sense of height and perspective. I found myself getting drawn in by the film and at certain points where stuff fell towards me, I actually flinched. Not only that, the scenes where he was high up was absolutely anxiety inducing. The camera panning down coupled with the 3D really helped give that sinking feeling and drove home that this French dude is carrying a whole bag of bad ideas wrapped with a string of no fucks given.
There were, like I said, a few little problems I had with the experience. I had to wear the 3D glasses over my own glasses because I'm blind and useless without them so that was a little inconvenient at first until I got used to it. Also, I had trouble getting into the movie in the beginning because I had trouble figuring out how to look at the screen. I realized that that makes me sound like I'm soft in the head, but the fact was that if you looked at the screen the wrong way, it kind of hurt your eyes. If I look at a certain object on screen, sometimes it'll throw off the other side of the screen because the image isn't hitting the glasses right. While I did get used to it by the end, my eyes were a little irritated as I walked out of the theater.
Overall though? It was a pretty fun experience and I was lucky enough to have my first experience with IMAX 3D through a genuinely enjoyable film. I'd say give it a try at least once and especially so for The Walk. Unless you have a crippling fear of heights. If you do, this movie is just nothing but bad news all around.