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Nascar: The IMAX Experience

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NASCAR fans will learn nothing new in what amounts to a 40-minute infomercial, but nobody ever went broke endlessly re-packaging the sport to the faithful. And familiarity can only help with a film that jumps willy-nilly from track to track, is often remiss in identifying voices and interviewees, and always employs the front-office high-gloss spin. NASCAR nuts have long ago learned to glean the action from the extraneous packaging, and short of being at the track, Simon Wincer's film will provide a reasonable facsimile of the sights and sounds (but alas, not the smells) of race day. The exaggerated nature of NASCAR -- car speeds nearing 200 mph, sprawling track facilities, hundreds of thousands of ritually clothed fans at each event -- lends itself well to the super-sized IMAX format, and aficionados will thrill to some of the in-car and on-track footage, which is vastly superior -- visually and aurally -- to what television coverage delivers. But there is no money shot: no four-story-high, in-car IMAX footage of a wreck -- or even of a real race. The IMAX cameras are simply too big to be installed in a car without compromising the strict competition weight requirements. But lugnuts already know that; casual observers won't notice -- or care. Carnegie Science Center Omnimax. Two and a half

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