‘Furious 7’ film shows off sharp new Imax laser technology

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By RYAN NAKASHIMA

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Deeper blacks, brighter whites, even bigger screens and better sound. When the high-speed action sequel “Furious 7” debuts this weekend, audiences at Hollywood’s famous TCL Chinese Theatre will see every tire skid and fistfight in Imax’s brand-new laser format.

Lasers are supposed to be able to heighten contrast. In laser-projected trailer footage of “Furious 7” shown exclusively to The Associated Press, details were noticeably crisper than images shown in a standard-sized auditorium with a regular digital projector. Deep blacks, one of the touted benefits of laser projection, stood out boldly, particularly in actress Michelle Rodriguez’s eyes and hair, a suit worn by actor Jason Statham, Vin Diesel’s tank top, black car paint and shadows in the grooves of tire treads.

“Furious 7” will mark the first time a film is being premiered in laser. Imax’s first laser projector just started operating in Toronto’s Scotiabank Theatre in December. The Chinese Theatre, one of the largest Imax theaters in the world, is one of more than a dozen locations that Imax expects to outfit with laser projection this year. Others include the AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 in Manhattan and Empire Cinemas’ Leicester Square in London. Tickets for laser-illuminated shows will be the same price as those shown in Imax’s standard format.

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