As I stated first off, I didn't find this issue particularly 'distracting' I just wanted to get educated as to the technical issue.
That's why I figured I'd also point you over to AVSForum where a lot of discussion was had recently there. I didn't read through the entire threads, but enough to get the gyst of things.
I'll have to re-watch the movie with an eye toward which parts were choosen for IMAX and regular HD. I'm curious as to that difference. Is there some 'cost saving' element? I don't really get why that would be done that way. I'm no expert on HD/BR/IMAX movies but it strikes me as something that is akin to a compromise. Am I wrong?
Maybe an IMAX expert will jump in... but there are also a few tidbits in the Blu ray extras talking about the making of the film and decision to use IMAX cameras for some scenes.
IMAX film stock is larger than 35 or 70 mm film stock, so greater resolution can be had on the film. This is usually done for showing in those IMAX theaters with the super-large screens. I've never actually been to an IMAX theater so I can't say if the extra expense of shooting in IMAX format is worth it... but it definately isn't done to save money since the film costs quite a bit more, as do the cameras.
In traditional theaters, the Dark Knight had its IMAX scenes cropped to the 2.35:1 ratio that the rest of the film was framed as... so you could make the argument that people lost detail there and are now getting it back with the Blu ray release.
The IMAX scenes were pretty sharp, which is about as technical as I really went into watching the movie. I was initially afraid the changes might be distracting, which is why I made the point of posting that I didn't find them to be distracting at all... and with the extra detail, it was kind of nice.
Still I hold that BR disc as one of the best purchases I've made. Iron Man, Black Snake Moan, Transformers and Planet Earth are all superb DVD's in my collection. I just hope my eye's and ears don't fail me before my heart does. HD products are beyond my wildest dreams.
Iron Man and Transformers (particularly Transformers) were very nice indeed. I also liked Black Snake Moan, I just don't remember if the video quality was up there with these or not but it was sharp and clean.