IMAX thrills and chills to debut

IMAX thrills and chills to debut

The thrills and chills of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup racing can be seen, heard and nearly felt in a new wide-and-tall movie that opens this Friday, March 12th: NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience. Filmed during the 2003 season at several different tracks -...

The thrills and chills of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup racing can be seen, heard and nearly felt in a new wide-and-tall movie that opens this Friday, March 12th: NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience.

Filmed during the 2003 season at several different tracks - Daytona, Talladega, Bristol, Martinsville, California Speedway, Richmond, Rockingham and Charlotte - this production from the Toronto-based IMAX group gives new insight into the workings of the fastest growing sport in the United States.

Poster for NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience..
Photo by Anne Proffit.
Using the only three 600-pound IMAX 3D cameras that exist to project the finished product on screens of up to eight stories in height and with 12,000-watt sound systems, this movie brings action into the lap of current NASCAR fans - anyone who sees the film will surely become a fan on the spot!

Narrated by actor and NASCAR fan Kiefer Sutherland and directed by Australian master Simon Wincer ("Lonesome Dove", "Free Willy", "Phar Lap", "The Young Black Stallion") and produced by FOX TV's Neil Goldberg, who produces all Cup races on the tube, the experience is compelling.

The movie traces the history of NASCAR stock car racing from beach to boulevard, shows what it takes to produce a race-winning stock car from tube frame to completion, acknowledges the difficult life drivers and crews lead as they march from track to track over 38 weekends per year.

Totally engrossing and seemingly far shorter than its 45-minute running time, NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience has plenty of race action to stir the soul and even gives viewers a look at a 43-car stop on pit road at California Speedway last spring. The intensity that is NASCAR NEXTEL Cup racing filters through each scene, both on the tracks, in the shops and through the infield cities on race weekends.

The use of large 3D glasses really propels race action right in your face and the use of historic filmed inserts adds complexity to the already heady film. Plenty of modern day NASCAR stars are used in the film and their race action shown in such high definition format makes even the drivers feel like it's realistic.

"The IMAX movie really represents what the teams go through," noted Kevin Harvick who came to Indianapolis for a special preview and to receive his ring as victor in last year's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "While it can't show 100% perspective, it sure comes close."

While you can't smell the fuels and oils used in NASCAR competition and you won't feel the dust of 43 cars an arm's length away, the reality of Cup racing comes home through this film.

The magic of 3D technology allows filmmakers to finally produce a movie worthy of race fans. As IMAX theaters tend to shuffle movies over a period of three to six months, an early visit to a local movie house is in order. It'll get you primed for the long NEXTEL Cup season and give you an even greater appreciation for what goes on out there.

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Series NASCAR Cup