During a breakfast preceding the Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk premiere last Friday, producer Marc Platt explained that the full 3-D, 4K, 120 fps experience will an “exclusive” deal: Only two theaters, one in New York and another in Los Angeles, will be able to show the extent of Ang Lee’s technical experiment. That night, New York Film Festival audiences watched the movie in its intended form at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13, the film’s New York outpost.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the ArcLight Hollywood is “believed to be under consideration” to be the West Coast equivalent. THR also noted that theaters in Taipei, Beijing, and Shanghai will likely be outfitted. As we previously reported, Platt explained that many locations will be able to show the film with the high frame rate, but it will be “blended down” to fit with various capabilities. “Most every theater will have 120 frames, some will be in 2D, some will be in 60 frames but 3-D,” Platt said. “Every little market will be unique and the way Ang is delivering the story.” Lee said there are “all sorts of formats.“
The response following the premiere was not exactly enthusiastic, with the presentation in particular taking hits from critics. At Indiewire, Eric Kohn explained that, barring one sequence, the movie “barely looks more impressive than the possibilities offered by a high-end television.” The Guardian’s Benjamin Lee said: “Lee’s two-hour argument that this will be how all films should be viewed in the future is a failed one.” The A.V. Club can attest that the 3-D, 4K, 120 fps takes some time to get used to, and renders the affair both aggressively vivid and frequently monotonous.
Based on the book by Ben Fountain, Lee’s latest concerns a young soldier home from Iraq after some battlefield heroics, and mainly takes place at a football game where Billy (Joe Alwyn) and his squad are being honored. Though there are some moments of action, the film largely follows the protagonist as his wrestles with PTSD and the treatment he receives from those who do not truly understand what he endured.