‘Oppenheimer’ Coming

Director Christopher Nolan wants to take moviegoers inside the explosion of an atomic bomb. Yikes . . . I like movies, and I like science, but should I bring sunblock? The much anticipated ‘Oppenheimer’ hits theaters on Friday, July 21, and while we usually write up movies closer to the date, tickets seem to be selling quickly. When I clicked on some of the early dates the seats were almost all taken, and I personally can not spend over three hours in the front row of an IMAX screen. You make up your own mind.

The subject of the film is J. Robert Oppenheimer, the theoretical physicist who oversaw the development of the first atomic bomb during World War II. Nolan enthused about the IMAX technology, “From resolution and color to sharpness and overall quality, there is nothing compared to using IMAX film cameras.” These film formats will be especially pivotal in viewing the Trinity Test, the first detonation of a nuclear weapon.

Only one short review is available at the time of this writing, and it comes from historian Kai Bird, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography on which the movie is based, who was given a preview.

I am, at the moment, stunned and emotionally recovering from having seen it. I think it is going to be a stunning artistic achievement, and I have hopes it will actually stimulate a national, even global conversation about the issues that Oppenheimer was desperate to speak out about — about how to live in the atomic age, how to live with the bomb and about McCarthyism — and about what it means to be a patriot, and what is the role for a scientist in a society drenched with technology and science, to speak out about public issues.

And then we will all file out to food court in the mall contemplating the howling abyss.

The Providence Place Cinemas IMAX theater is one of only 30 theaters in the world showing the film in IMAX 70 mm — and this list would bear that out (the next closest is New York City) — except the Boston Museum of Science will also be screening the movie from July 21 to August 5 in its IMAX Dome.

Rated R. Running time: 3 hours, 20 minutes.

Go here to purchase tickets. There are screenings on Thursday, July 20, so I don’t understand why the opening date is July 21.



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