Star Trek Beyond has been specially formatted for the new immersive Barco Escape three-screen format. Wondering if you should spend the extra quatloos for the unique experience? Read our review to see what we thought.
Barco Escape has been heavily publicizing the release of Star Trek Beyond in their format, which combines three screens (one main screen in the center surrounded by two screens angled in toward the audience on either side). They say it will make you feel as though you are IN the movie. They say it’s the future of cinema. They say YOU should go see Beyond at one of the (very few) Barco Escape theaters.
Are they right? Here’s what we can tell you.
The Barco Escape trailer for Star Trek Beyond
The Look: Where it works, and where it doesn’t
For the most part, I found that the three Barco screens really did achieve an immersive look and feel. It wasn’t applied to the whole movie, but instead the most suitable scenes were selected for “Barco-ization”. It tended to work best for large, sweeping shots, and I found it worked spectacularly well for the scenes showing off the Yorktown. As the camera flew through, it really felt like being inside the space station – almost like being on an amusement park ride.
Other shots, like a closeup pan of the front of the Enterprise, didn’t work nearly as well. The straight lines of the Big E made it very obvious that the side screens were angled inward and really highlighted the seams between the three screens.
While almost all of the Barco-ized moments utilized the side screens to extend the scene, they took a slightly different approach in one particular instance. Toward the beginning of the film, Captain Kirk and Bones share an emotional scene in which they discuss Kirk’s birthday and Chekov’s choice in liquor. Outside the window is a beautifully rendered view of stars blurring by as the ship flies along at warp speed. For some reason, instead of using the two peripheral screens to extend the scene, they show the view outside the window, which ends up looking more like a couple of screen savers and really distracts from a touching moment.
Besides a couple of missteps, though, I actually really enjoyed the experience. I often found myself wishing more scenes – like a gorgeous shot of the Enterprise warping out of Yorktown station and some wide open establishing shots – had gotten the Barco treatment.
Overall, seeing Star Trek Beyond in Barco Escape definitely added something to the moviegoing experience. And, unlike the complaints that some people have about adapted IMAX and 3D films (oh, the headaches), it definitely doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of the film.
So, what’s the verdict? Should you see Star Trek Beyond in Barco Escape?
I’d say yes, particularly if you are going for a second viewing after first seeing Beyond on a standard screen. It’s worth seeing what Barco adds to your experience, and, although the majority of the film still plays only on the main screen, those little moments where it hits just right are worth the price of admission.
Pricing varies, but we’ve found that Barco Escape screenings only cost $2-3 more than a standard screening, on average. It’s a new and exciting experience, and the guys at Bad Robot did a fantastic job of adapting the film for Barco’s three screens.
I can’t stress enough how much I enjoyed seeing the Yorktown spread across three screens. The scenes really do surround you, and I got giddy at the feeling of being on the space station, as if I was experiencing the engineering wonder, along with Kirk and crew, for the very first time.
Find a Barco Escape theater near you
Looking to get in on the three-screened action? There are capable theaters in the US, Canada, Mexico, The Netherlands, Belgium, and the U.A.E. Go to ready2escape.com to find your local.