Nope – The DVDfever IMAX 1.43:1 Cinema Review – Daniel Kaluuya

Nope has an odd start to it. I knew the film involved horses, Daniel Kaluuya from Get Out and Psychoville, and potential strange things being afoot, which I won’t go into initially. However, I wasn’t expecting to see a monkey on a TV film set, rampaging about and putting the fear of God into a Chinese kid who’s now covering under a table.

At that point, the monkey, appeared to look directly at us in the audience… EEK!

As we later learn, the monkey is called Gordy, and that’s taking place on the set of a sitcom called Gordy’s Home, and took place in 1998.

NOTE: I will mention in this review certain elements which are in the trailer for the film.

Fast forward to almost now, and a load of random elements start falling out of the sky, apparently from a plane, injuring Otis Haywood Sr. (Keith David), father of the lead protagonist Otis, aka OJ (Daniel Kaluuya), who runs Haywood’s Hollywood Horses with his fellow animal wrangler sister, Emerald (Keke Palmer) near the Jupiter’s Claim theme park in the Aqua Dulce desert, Carlifornia.

Six months after this event, we next see them doing an audition on a film set with their horse, Lucky, and working with Donna Mills – albeit not as herself, but as actress Bonnie Clayton, but the audition doesn’t quite work out when someone gets too close to the horse.

Emerald Haywood (Keke Palmer), with OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Angel Torres (Brandon Perea).

Following a trip to the local Fry’s Shop, which has a fake UFO crashed into the front of it,the siblings buy a CCTV system given that they’ve encounter some extra terrestrial activity of their own, leading to Fry’s employer and installer Angel (Brandon Perea) setting it up, and getting involved in the story.

Although I will mention that OJ and Emerald have spotted a UFO – which are now called UAPs to force a loss of interest – this film is more about the journey than the destination, so it’s about what happens following this, and how everything plays out, which I won’t spoil.

Essentially, Nope takes forever to get going, but makes for a tolerable wait – resulting in a better second half, and it was amusing that as the UFO comes towards at one point, Angel says “It’s here…”, in the style of Carol Anne’s “They’re here…” from Poltergeist.

As an aside, the film is split up into chapters: Nope, Ghost, Clover, Gordy, Lucky, Jean Jacket… although, ‘Nope’ may just be the initial movie title credit, since ‘Ghost’ comes up after a passage of time has elapsed.

The poster with a horse up in the air…

Now, about the presentation of this film, since it’s showing in 1.43:1 IMAX at Vue Printworks Manchester, and after thinking both Get Out and Us were just so-so, I was here mainly for these IMAX visuals, which Vue confirmed runs for 47 mins during the film.

It does look fantastic, but when everything’s kicking off, that given the framing of the action is very tight, I wondered if they’d filmed those shots in 1.90:1 and this was cropped for 1.43:1? I know a similar thing happened with Dune Part One (in effect, since I know 1.43:1 was shot, and the 1.90:1 added stuff to the sides, so the top and bottom of 1.43:1 wasn’t cropped).

However, it was confirmed to me that the IMAX scenes were shot at 1.43:1. Hence, with 1.90:1 being just a basic crop of 1.43:1, then a lot of visual effects will be lost. I haven’t seen the trailer in the 1.43:1 version, and I understood from earlier posts on here that a UFO moment in the trailer was at the top of the 1.43:1 image – whereas in 1.90:1, it’s at the top of that one – they will have reconfirgured the CGI to suit the screen shape.

The IMAX screen. I was sat right at the back, almost dead-centre.

Also, according to Vue, only 2 cinemas are showing it that way in the UK. I know only about 4 have the technology, so I expected the other one was BFI IMAX as that’s just slightly bigger in height than this one. However, on Reddit, others speculated it may be the London Science and Industry Museum, as they weren’t sure about whether the BFI have a Laser IMAX setup.

That said, Vue’s most recent sponsored advert on Facebook claims that Printworks is the ONLY cinema in the entire UK showing Nope in 1.43:1.

The rest of the time the film was approx 2.20:1, although it’s difficult to be sure between 2.20:1 and 2.39:1. If it was Michael Bay’s Transformers: The Last Knight, it would’ve been more obvious. I remember him using 300 aspect ratio changes every 2 seconds, even mid-conversation! Utter madness, but I think he did that just to poke fun at the critics.

Oh, and BTW, I was sat at the back, almost centre, so that shows how big my field of vision was, for these particular images.

(NOTE: If Vue are reading this, these were the only pics I took. I did spot there’s a sort-of post-credits cartoony ad: “Come ride through Jupiter’s Claim, as seen in Nope, at Universal Studios Hollywood, only on the World-Famous Studio Tour”, and I tried to take a pic of this as well when I spotted it, but (a) by then, staff were starting to clean up, and (b) the damn flash on my phone decided to kick in, making it very obvious, so I just pretended I’d fumbled my phone, and by the time I could’ve sorted it out, the image was gone. Hopefully someone will be able to take a picture of it and put it online)

Additionally, trying to get any IMAX confirmation answers out of Vue was a tough ask, initially, so replying again to get clarification on the other venue was near-impossible. Most ‘customer service’ people just replied, “We don’t know. Go ask in the venue”, even though (a) if I don’t know something in my job, I go and find out the answer for them, and (b) There’s not a chance someone on the front line has that information, nor would the average sales clerk care, and (c) I wasn’t going down there until the day of the performance, anyway.

However, one guy eventually replied who could confirm Vue Printworks had it, and that it was 47 mins.

Nope is in cinemas now, and is available to pre-order on 4K Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and DVD.

Nope – Official Trailer – Universal Pictures

Detailed specs:

Running time: 130 minutes
Release date: August 12th 2022
Studio: Universal Pictures
Format: 1.43:1 (IMAX with Laser: 47 mins); 1.90:1 (Digital IMAX: 47 mins), 2.20:1, 2.39:1
Cinema: Vue Printworks Manchester
Rating: 6.5/10

Director: Jordan Peele
Producers: Ian Cooper, Jordan Peele
Screenplay: Jordan Peele
Music: Michael Abels

OJ Haywood: Daniel Kaluuya
Emerald Haywood: Keke Palmer
Angel Torres: Brandon Perea
Antlers Holst: Michael Wincott
Ricky ‘Jupe’ Park: Steven Yeun
Amber Park: Wrenn Schmidt
Otis Haywood Sr.: Keith David
Ryder Muybridge: Devon Graye
Gordy: Terry Notary
Nessie: Barbie Ferreira
Bonnie Clayton: Donna Mills
Fynn Bachman: Osgood Perkins
Buster: Eddie Jemison
Young Ricky ‘Jupe’ Park: Jacob Kim
Mary Jo Elliott: Sophia Coto
Phyllis Mayberry / Margaret Houston: Jennifer Lafleur
Tom Bogan / Brett Houston: Andrew Patrick Ralston
Kolton Park: Lincoln Lambert
Phoenix Park: Pierce Kang
Max Park: Roman Gross
Grizz: Alex Hyde-White
Hetty Chang: Hetty Chang
Commercial Makeup Artist: Liza Treyger
Sheriff Reyes: Ryan W Garcia
Mrs. Dolan: Courtney Elizabeth
Jupiter’s Claim Horse Wrangler: Caden J Lovgren
Jupiter’s Claim Outlaw: Malcolm Jae O’Shea