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Alien Covenant Dolby Cinema Experience

May 19, 2017 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Alien: Covenant

So I recently reviewed Alien Covenant. My feelings of the film are what they are. I stand by my review, and I am not shamed or embarrassed of any of my views in the film. It has a lot of problematic elements, and it really reduces the classic and iconic elements for the Alien franchise in disappointing ways. However, I was invited to watch the movie again by Dolby Cinema for its special Dolby Cinema format at AMC Theaters. The format uses both the Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos technology for a high-quality, high-level, premium viewing experience

My opinions of the movie did not change, so I’m not really re-reviewing the movie. But, since the folks at Dolby Cinema were kind enough to let me see the movie again free of charge in their premium format, I wanted to provide a general overview of the experience. In this day and age, the theater exhibitors are struggling because a lot of people are sticking to watching movies in their own tricked out home theaters. Content is another issue. If there is a major problem in the film industry, I would say a lot of the more mid-budget movies or original type of movies aren’t really getting made anymore. Or, they aren’t really getting theatrical releases anymore. There’s a wide gap between the micro-budget films that get wide releases, or the bigger movies that tend to just be huge budgeted franchise pictures. And then there’s a big lack of more original ideas getting greenlit. All that aside, I do appreciate the attempt by exhibitors creating unique experiences that will encourage people to see new films in theaters rather than just waiting for the Blu-ray or VOD release. The Dolby Cinema format is one such experience that I approve of, in addition to genuine IMAX presentations.

Dolby Cinema as a format is a much more preferable type of theatrical viewing experienced as opposed to 3D or digital 3D, or even a standard digital 2D format. I’ve failed to see a lot of modern 3D film experiences really capturing what’s exciting and groundbreaking about the format. Not to mention, it forces viewers to wear darker sunglasses in an already dark room. What I like about Dolby Cinema is that it provides basically a comfortable, high quality viewing experience comparable to what you might find in a souped up home theater, but it can be found at an AMC multiplex. That means you get to enjoy the film with a high quality picture and sound along with very comfortable, reclining and cushioned power reclining seats.

In terms of Alien Covenant, in the movie’s favor, it’s a great looking movie. On a technical level, the film is pretty exceptional. Director Ridley Scott definitely does a great job of getting across his high production values onscreen. Dariusz Wolski’s excellent cinematography and Jed Kurzel’s fine score are vividly on display with the Dolby Cinema format. The sound design with the Dolby Atmos technology also sounds a lot more layered and provides for a more immersive cinematic experience. The sound design and soundtrack really fill up the room, so it really draws the viewer into the sci-fi world Ridley Scott has presented. So, the presentation has those positive elements going for it.

The Dolby Cinema format utilizes the Dolby Vision laser projection system, which presents the film with really sharp, pristine image. The color contrasts in this format are exceptional. The black and darker parters of the image are much closer to a genuine black. Meanwhile, the brighter parts of films look brighter with a sharper contrast. So, when something is set in the daylight, it doesn’t look like a dull or dimmed out color. The format offers no worries on the projection or lighting being too low.

I highly recommend checking out the Dolby Cinema experience if you can spare the funds. Dolby Cinema screenings at AMC tickets are actually cheaper than the IMAX format tickets. I am totally in favor of watching films in IMAX, but it has to be a genuine IMAX theater and not the pseudo-IMAX. It is probably one of the best quality and comfortable theatrical viewing experiences, where you don’t have to worry about picture brightness. I especially love the cushioned, reclining seats, since I enjoy putting my feet up at a movie theater, which can be a difficult process to arrange. Now, if these type of seats could be placed in a 4K DLP IMAX auditorium, that would be sublime.

If you aren’t so interested in checking out Alien Covenant using Dolby Cinema, a number of other major releases will be screened in the Dolby Cinema experience this year including Spider-Man: Homecoming, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, and Justice League. I’ve seen Deadpool and Star Wars: The Force Awakens both in this format and they looked and sounded immaculate. More details and ticket information on the Dolby Cinema experience at AMC Theatres are available HERE. Attendees for last night’s event were also given a commemorative pin of the Xenomorph facehugger as a gift, which was a nice piece of memorabilia for the event.