Ster-Kinekor invited me to test out their brand new Dolby Atmos sound system which has been installed in their Gateway Cinema complex.
This is the only cinema in South Africa that has this sound system.
I tested it out while watching the movie 300: Rise of an Empire in 3D.
(Picture courtesy Ster-Kinekor)
This is an action-packed adventure film with an immersive cinematic experience as the Greeks and Spartans do battle with the Persians. 300: Rise of an Empire is a powerful film that certainly does justice to its release in 3D and audiences will leave the theatre feeling as if they too had been part of the war.
The crystal-clear images coupled with the Dolby Atmos sound system create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie and part of the non-stop action of the warring Greeks taking on the might of the Persian army.
The film is based on Frank Miller's latest graphic novel, Xerxes, and told in the breathtaking visual style of the blockbuster 300(released in 2006). This new chapter of the epic saga is a companion piece to the first film and takes the action to a fresh battlefield – on the sea, as Greek general, Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton), attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war.
300: Rise of an Empire pits Themistokles against the mortal-turned-god, Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), and Artemesia (Eva Green), his vengeful commander of the Persian navy.
View the trailer here:
(Video courtesy - Warner Bros.)
As for the Dolby Atmos sound system. Well this is something else. In case you are not familiar with it, this system features a redesign in cinema sound. What they have done is now put speakers on the ceiling. I kid you not. On the ceiling.
When you add the 3D element of this film it really is like you are in Greece, in that battle and when you add that crystal clear Dolby Atmos sound immersion you are entering a new world in cinema. Some directors see this system as a new character in the movie, other directors see it as a new tool that they can use to further enhance the movie for the audience. Either way Dolby has changed the playing field for the good.
So just what is Dolby® Atmos™?
(Picture courtesy Dolby)
As an advanced cinema audio platform, Dolby Atmos reinvents cinema sound by giving each speaker its own unique feed, enabling many new front, surround and ceiling-mounted height channels for the precise panning of select sounds. The result is a fully immersive experience, putting the audience right at the centre of the action.
"The interest we're seeing in Dolby Atmos in EMEA shows that the industry sees real value in offering immersive cinema audio. With more cinemas becoming equipped across the wider region, cinema audiences are set to experience first-hand the entertainment experience envisioned by both internationally-renowned and home-grown talent," said Andreas Spechtler, EMEA Regional Vice President, Dolby Europe. "The diversity of titles on offer also shows us that the creative community is already unlocking the versatility of the Dolby Atmos platform and we can't wait to see how directors and their sound teams make upcoming titles more thrilling, emotive and heartfelt in 2013."
Dolby Atmos introduces a hybrid approach to mixing that enables sound designers and re-recording mixers to direct sounds as dynamic objects that envelop the listener in a lifelike sound field. The system utilises adaptive rendering techniques to maintain precise artistic integrity to the film-maker's original vision across a wide range of cinema shapes, sizes and loudspeaker configurations. It is an end-to-end solution that takes into account the entire content pipeline and brings together mixers, studios, distributors, and exhibitors to create dramatic improvements in the audio experience.
To learn more about Dolby Atmos, visit dolby.com/Atmos.
To share an educational video on Dolby Atmos, visit https://vimeo.com/40699179.
For more info about Dolby Laboratories or Dolby technologies, please visit www.dolby.com
For more information on Ster-Kinekor visit www.sterkinekor.com.
Book online or call Ticketline on 082 16789, or you can book at the box office.
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Thank you to Ster-Kinekor for the experience. Try it out for yourself.
Review by +Fred Felton