'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' Special IMAX Event

Seeing as I was lucky enough to get a ticket to the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice special IMAX event (as well as a guest ticket for my friend), I figured I should tell you all about the experience. As you can imagine, I went to the theater with very high expectations. Since the studio was forced to release a high definition version of the trailer after a low quality version of it was leaked, director Zack Snyder promised the event would have brand new shots -- shots that no one else will allegedly see until the movie opens. Well, "no one else" as in people not working on the movie, but you get what I mean, right? Additionally, we were promised some kind of "swag." The director tweeted two pretty cool promotional images the other day, but it wasn't entirely clear if these would be posters or t-shirts. It was easy to assume the former because the latter would probably be more expensive and a total nightmare since everyone attending the event would need to say their t-shirt size before getting one. That would cause some major traffic as everyone is leaving. Thankfully, it turns out they were posters. I already have plenty of Batman and Superman shirts, but posters? Not many.
When I arrived at the theater an hour and a half or so early, the person at the booth asked me which poster I wanted. I quickly exclaimed, "Batman!" and was beyond happy that I managed to get it. I was concerned we'd only get one and it would be random. As much as I love Superman, the Batman poster is simply badass. So, with a rolled-up poster in one hand and a Dunkin Donuts coffee in the other one, I then joined the line with my buddy. Much to my surprise, there were only 10 or so people ahead of us. Before heading to the theater, I feared we would get crappy seats (e.g. somewhere in the front) and a bad spot would absolutely ruin the experience. Who wants to look up and not be able to see the entire screen with ease? Thankfully, it looked like the odds were in my favor and we'd have no trouble finding good seats. We then spent the next hour or so talking with a fellow fan and his mother in the line. You can't help but love talking with the people you meet at fan events and conventions. Everyone there is so passionate about the things you love, so it's fun to act like total fanboys in person. For me, that kind of enthusiasm is usually limited to the internet since a majority of my friends aren't all that crazy about the comic book genre. Anyway, we discussed what we like and don't like about Man of Steel, what we think of the future of the DC Cinematic Universe, and we even discussed Avengers. It was a good chat, especially since we were on the same page about a lot of things. If you're reading this, Jared, thanks for making the wait in line an entertaining one!

After quite some time, a security guard announced that our electronic devices need to be turned off (so they can hopefully prevent "The Leak Returns") and they began to let us in two at a time. Finally, my friend, Scott, and I walked up to get our tickets scanned. It was here we received an amazing surprise: not only are we going to get both posters, but we're also going to receive a free ticket to see the movie a week before it opens! Combine all of this news with being full of coffee and yeah, you can bet I was in a pretty great mood. Seeing as I'm currently unemployed (and oh-so-willing to write for your site), I have no shame in admitting the last few weeks haven't been the best around and all of this was an excellent way to simply escape all of the stress and concerns I've been experiencing.

My friend and I (along with the two people we met) snagged perfect seats and then we waited for about 15 minutes. During that time, the theater was full of commotion. People were talking, shuffling around, and making plenty of noise as they chomped on popcorn or sipped soda. But once the lights dimmed, the theater went silent and we all had our eyes glued to the ginormous IMAX screen. Then something went terribly wrong: the audio played, but there was no video! Before the trailer came an introduction from Zack Snyder. We heard him giving a basic teaser and many of us just assumed they only had an audio recording of it. So, no big deal. But then the trailer's narration began and there was still just a blank screen. That's when things got rowdy. Everyone began to make jokes. Some were just downright rude (this is a free fan event and there were quite a few kids present, after all), but many were lighthearted and legitimately funny. My friend claimed we were getting the Daredevil experience and I accused Marvel Studios of ambushing the event. The entire trailer played with no picture, and then it cut to more audio from Snyder. With still no video playing, we heard him talk about the new scene added to the trailer -- a sequence we didn't see -- and he said they were going to play it again so we could enjoy the new IMAX footage one more time. Then the trailer began to play again and finally the people in the theater were able to get the video working. Better late than never, right? To make it up to us, they restarted the screening right after it ended. So, I technically saw this new footage 3 times.
For the most part, this was the same trailer I've already seen multiple times. However, seeing it on the biiiiiiiig screen sure was enjoyable and the few IMAX shots were definitely appreciated. The sequence of armor Batman and Superman facing off? Seeing this formidable version of the Dark Knight on that screen was just surreal; it looked terrific. As for the new footage, my mind was previously racing about what it could possibly be. Would we see Wonder Woman? Additional stuff with Batman? Lex Luthor? Maybe even a minor Aquaman teaser? What we were treated to was a handful of extra seconds teasing the armor Batman and Superman fight. It begins with a close-up of Superman. His hair is wet and he doesn't look pleased. We then see armor Batman yet again, and then we witness a shot or two of the iconic heroes running at each other. It ends with a wide-shot of them racing towards each other and ends a split second before they clash. They were indoors, so this was probably shortly after their "tell me, do you bleed?" interaction. It seems like Batman must have smacked him into a building and then the fight continued from there. It looked great and it sure was one hell of a tease, but that was it for the new footage. Honestly, I couldn't help but feel somewhat disappointed. It's cool these few shots apparently won't be seen in any trailers until the movie is released, but the extra footage was maybe 5 seconds or so. On one hand, I loved it. I was able to see Batman and Superman on a freaking IMAX screen and they were about to go all The Dark Knight Returns on one another. On the other hand, I expected more. Maybe that's my fault; this is a free event for a teaser and the movie's a year away, after all.

Was this IMAX event worth attending? Hell yes. I'm disappointed by the lack of extra footage, but the opportunity to see this trailer on a huge screen and with such superb audio really filled me with happiness. Okay, maybe "happiness" isn't the right word since it's hardly an uplifting trailer, so I guess "awe" would be the more appropriate choice. While they didn't give us a substantial amount of new footage or really show anything drastically new, seeing the two charge at each other was kind of thrilling. It's such a simple group of shots, yet given how much I'm interested in these characters and the source material it's inspired by, I can't help but kind of love the fact I was able to witness it. Then there's fact I was able to talk with fellow fans and receive two solid posters and get a free ticket to see the movie a week early in IMAX! It's a bummer we weren't able to view more of the movie, but am I really in any kind of position to complain about that? They didn't have to create this event for the fans. They could have simply released the trailer on YouTube and called it a day. Instead, I had the opportunity to hang out with other excited fans and talk about DC's movies, walk away with sweet collectibles, and I left with the promise of seeing the movie before it opens... for free! It was incredibly cool of Warner Bros. to create this event. I may have left feeling let down about the lack of extra footage and the technical difficulties was a hilarious slip-up, but the experience was a good time and they sure made it worthwhile. This fan definitely appreciates it. So, thanks for that, Warner Bros.