It seems like whenever a new blockbuster comes out, it’s on the cutting edge of movie technology. Just this month we had the premiere of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, filmed on 120-frames-per-second cameras, advertised as Ang Lee’s most realistic-looking movie yet. Doctor Strange is also attempting to get into the innovation game, with an IMAX 3D version of the film that, according to the stars, makes it feel like you’re actually there watching skyscrapers kaleidoscoping around you.

When the Ancient One opens Strange’s Third Eye, director Scott Derrickson chose to make the screen “pop wide,” enveloping the viewer in visions of Kathmandu mountains and cityscape fractals. In the featurette, Benedict Wong calls the film “a visual feast for the eyes,” and Strange himself, Benedict Cumberbatch, says it’s “another level for cinema.” What’ll happen in the movie if you see it in IMAX 3D, is whenever there are sweeping location shots or scenes where Strange is doing his thing, the screen will go from a standard 2:4:1 aspect ratio to the IMAX 1:9:1 frame — essentially, the picture widens at the top and the bottom, allowing you to see the stuff that would normally be obscured by the two black bars of traditional widescreen. You can watch it happen in the featurette at about 40 seconds in.

It’s rare when seeing a movie in 3D actually adds anything to it rather than being a gimmick (I still maintain that my first watch of James Cameron’s Avatar in an IMAX 3D theater was utterly stunning), but nowadays more and more filmmakers are figuring out how to use 3D to a film’s advantage, rather than converting it in post-production to make a few extra hundred-thousand dollars at the box office. In his review, our own Matt Singer called Doctor Strange “glorious to look at,” even if it does stick to Marvel’s familiar origin story formula. Regardless of where you stand on the plot after you see the movie, it may be worth shelling out an extra few bucks just to see those special effects in action.

Doctor Strange hits theaters November 4.


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