To 3D Or Not To 3D: Buy The Right Immortals Ticket

By Eric Eisenberg 2011-11-11 15:48:02discussion comments
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Welcome to our 33rd edition of “To 3D Or Not To 3D.” Since we started this feature paired with the release of Clash of the Titans [shudder], we’ve analyzed some of the best 3D movies have to offer (like Legends of the Guardians) to some of the worst (like Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides). This week marks the release of Immortals, a new epic starring Henry Cavill, Luke Evans and Mickey Rourke. But is the 3D up to snuff?

We’ve run the new action movie through our thoroughly-tested grading system and have analyzed every little part of Immortals 3D. So should you spend the extra $4 on the experience? Find out below.

Does It Fit?
Immortals really is a perfect fit for 3D. It’s not just that it’s an action film filled with plenty of large-scale battle scenes, but it’s because of Tarsem Singh’s direction. As evidenced by both of his previous films - The Cell and The Fall - Singh is incredibly gifted when it comes to visual spectacle, and that’s a huge part of Immortals. The combination of the two makes for what, on paper, should be an amazing 3D experience.
Fit Score: 5/5

Planning & Effort
It should be noted right off the bat that Immortals was not filmed in 3D, but rather was post-converted. While the term immediately brings back memories of the terrible Clash of the Titans remake, the truth is that the new movie was actually shot with 3D in mind, just not with 3D cameras. Speaking with Tarsem Singh about the making of the movie (look out for my interview later today), I asked when 3D entered the conversation and he assured me that the movie was entirely planned in 3D and post-converted only so that he could move at his normal pace during production. Said Singh, “I will take calculations for everything and I will shoot with [3D] in mind.”
P&E Score: 4/5

Before the Window
While talking with Singh about 3D and his approach to using the technology he said, “In 3D most people are interested in putting things out of the screen, and I was just saying I would like it to have it have the depth back into the screen. Just give it that dimension and that’s enough. It’s not an eye-popping, drop your popcorn kind of movie.” Naturally, this approach hurts Immortals’ score in the Before The Window category. While there are some instances while things poke out at the screen, it’s really not the focus and doesn’t happen that often. It’s somewhat surprising given that there are so many pointy objects in the movie that can be shoved into the third dimension, like swords and arrows, but it just wasn’t part of Singh’s plan.
Before the Window Score: 2/5

Beyond the Window
So Singh admitted that 3D that leaps out at the audience wasn’t part of his purview while designing Immortals, so what about a sense of depth? To be honest, it’s kind of a mixed bag. While some shots are absolutely stunning, particularly those that are set in wide, open areas – such as battle or travelling scenes – the movie doesn’t utilize the technology well during scenes involving dialogue or set indoors. This is a case where the 3D is used where it is really needed, but not much everywhere else. It’s fine, but nothing really spectacular.
Beyond the Window Score: 3/5

Brightness
Watching the trailers and previews for Immortals, you’ve probably noticed that it’s not the most sunshiny movie around. The film makes intense use of brown and gold, a color pallet that typically isn’t that great for 3D movies, as the glasses make the screen muddled enough alone. Surprisingly, however, the folks behind the film have done a pretty good job in the brightness department and have compensated well. While it’s not perfect – there’s only so much that can be done – the movie is clearer than most dark, post-converted films.
Brightness Score: 4/5

The Glasses Off Test
Every so often during a 3D movie I will take off the special glasses and see how the movie looks without them. In a well-made 3D film, this will cause the screen to look incredibly blurry, as the stereographers attempt to send as many images as they can to each individual eye and make the 3D pop. In the case of Immortals, this is largely relegated to the background, as the film attempts to achieve a sense of depth, but it isn’t done as well in the foreground. In dialogue scenes the characters look clear as day, no matter what their positioning. In battle scenes this is improved, but not to an extreme extent.
Glasses Off Test: 2/5

Audience Health
There are some people out there who simply can never watch a 3D movie without feeling sick, but there are measures that can be taken to help members of the audience that only get queasy and headache-y during certain movies. This has to do with maintaining a point of focus, so that the audiences’ eyes aren’t constantly flying all over the screen and causing motion sickness. For Immortals this is never an issue. There was no point during the film that I was experiencing discomfort due to the 3D experience.
Health Score: 5/5

SCORES RECAP
3D Fit5
P&E4
Before The Window2
Beyond The Window3
Brightness4
The Glasses Off Test2
Audience Health5
Total Score25 (out of a possible 35)

Final Verdict: A score of 25 out of 35 may not seem that great (if you’re looking at that on a test you just got a C-) but the truth is that Immortals is actually on par with some of the better post-converted 3D movies. It’s not a masterpiece and it’s not a disaster – the best word to describe it is average. Basically, it comes down to your opinion on 3D. If you like watching 3D movies, grab a pair of glasses as you enter the theater. If not, you save $4 and don’t have to worry about it.

Will you see Immortals in 2D or 3D?

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For more 3D analysis, visit our To 3D Or Not To 3D archive right here.
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