On Friday evening my friend and I attended a preview screening of the new Transformers: Age of Extinction movie at the brand new Showcase Cinema XPlus screen in Nottingham. XPlus has been labelled as ‘The Ultimate Cinema Experience’, with a wall-to-wall and floor to ceiling screen.
The red carpet was rolled out for me (and maybe the odd other person) and we very much enjoyed a few glasses of Prosecco and really nice canapés before the film. I could get used to being a VIP.
Here is what Showcase Cinema’s have to say about the XPlus experience:
“Showcase XPlus is our proprietary large format auditorium featuring Dolby Atmos™ sound and the most advanced digital projection and screen technology. XPlus offers a premium cinema experience with immersive sound, crystal clear projection and reserved seating.”
The Nottingham Showcase is only the second cinema in the country (the first was Leeds) to get an XPlus screen with more being rolled out soon.
The viewing experience is said to be ultrasharp, with vibrant colour accuracy, super-reflective screens for maximum brightness and the brightest and sharpest 3D experience. In my opinion, it did look really good; it was very bright and clear and the 3D aspect of it looked really good (Transformers is a good film to have in 3D), but I didn’t really notice a massive difference. I’m obviously not a big film buff but I feel like I would have to see an XPlus screen and a normal screen side by side to be able to tell the difference. I am sure there are big one’s, but as an ordinary viewer I am just absorbed in the film and not paying particular attention to the details.
The XPlus auditorium features Dolby Atmos sound which is apparently the most significant development in cinema since the arrival of surround sound. Again, we didn’t really notice a difference during the film. However, before the film started they showed us the power of Dolby Atmos by playing some heavy rain and a thunderstorm and that was amazing. The sound really enveloped us and it felt like we were part of a thunderstorm. It sounded really realistic and the placement of all of the many speakers used with this sound system obviously works very well. We both agreed that it sounded brilliant.
The Nottingham XPlus auditorium is having completely new seating soon, and having seen some photos of what that looks like I am sure that when they are installed that the overall experience will be much nicer than in a standard screening. Tickets to an XPlus screening are around £15 so it’s certainly not a budget option.
Regular film-goers will probably notice more of a difference and a higher standard with the XPlus but I just really ‘see’ the film rather than the details that make it.
Transformers: Age of Extinction was ok. It is not something I would really choose to go and watch (I have seen the first one), but I do think it’s quite an easy watch and I enjoyed most of it. The fight scene near the end went on for about half an hour too long and I got pretty bored and just wanted it to stop. Also (and I’m really not a big feminist or anything usually), the women in it were REALLY wimpy. I can take the ridiculously short shorts and the close-ups of them and the never-ending legs inside numerous times; but the main girl in it screamed at everything and was scared of everything and so were all-but-one of the other women. That kind of thing doesn’t normally bother me, but with this it was a bit too much and obvious that the girls were made to look really weak and pathetic.
Overall we had a really fun night (free Prosecco helped!) and it would probably be nice to have an evening at the cinema and a bit of luxury – if you reserve your seats, make a visit to the bar for some sparkles, lounge in the new comfy seating (that will be there soon) and relax and enjoy a film on the very high quality screen with incredible sound, and really make it an evening out – then you will probably have a great time and it will be worth the cost. If you just fancy seeing the latest film, don’t pay much attention to details, and want a cheap-ish evening out – then maybe just stick with a normal screening.