To 3D Or Not To 3D: Buy The Right LEGO Movie Ticket

By Kristy Puchko 2014-02-06 07:08:02discussion comments
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From Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the wacky minds that brought you Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, comes The LEGO Movie, a family-friendly animated adventure that brings a wide world of LEGO's mini-figures to life. Chris Pratt gives voice to Emmet, a common construction worker who stumbles across an incredible destiny to save all of the LEGO worlds from the nefarious plot of Lord Business! Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Charlie Day and Morgan Freeman also lend their voices.

Our theatrical review will weigh in on whether or not this new release is worth your time, while this column will focus solely on the film's use of 3D. Considering seven separate categories, To 3D Or Not To 3D evaluates the full scope of the 3D viewing experience. Think of it as a consumer's guide for your movie-going, complete with a viewers poll where you can weigh in on how you plan to see The LEGO Movie.

Fit Score
5/5
3D can go great with action, and truly sings in computer-generated productions. Stuffed with car chases, explosions and flashy battle scenes all constructed with CGI, The LEGO Movie is a perfect venue for the use of 3D.

Planning & Effort Score
5/5
Construction on The LEGO Movie began back in 2009, the same year that James Cameron's Avatar made 3D a game-changer. Nowadays its practically a requirement that a computer-animated movie offer a 3D version. With the years since spent carefully creating the animation, you can bet a good amount of that time went into the film's 3D, and it shows.

Before the Window Score
4/5
This is that element of 3D where it appears the movie is protruding into the theater. It's 3D's flashiest attribute, and The LEGO Movie uses it as such, adding punch to gunfights where the gunfire blocks seem to pop right out of the screen! Other actions sequences also allow us to get a bit closer to Emmett and the gang as they are thrown sky high and right at us.

Beyond the Window Score
4/5
Alternately, this is the portion of 3D that appears to extend back into the screen. The LEGO Movie has extraordinary sets, ranging from pirate ships to a sprawling LEGO city, the Wild West, and a fantasy realm known as Middle Zealand. The 3D definitely adds a deeper sense of dimension to all of the above. However, the movie is so fast-paced that the filmmakers have chosen to keep audience eyes focused on the foreground, presumably so they don't miss a key plot points. So, while the sets reach far into the background, Lord and Miller chose to have them mostly out of focus--pulling yours to their main players and the action. It's a smart technique, but it loses this category a point.

Brightness Score
5/5
This is generally a problem with moody action movies that are draped in night and shadows. The LEGO Movie is defined by its bright colors, and its makers were smart enough to compensate so that 3D glasses wouldn't dim them. It's such a vibrantly lit movie, I forgot I had 3D glasses on.

Glasses Off Score
3/5
This is a test where you pull off your 3D glasses to see how much blur is on the screen. Basically, the more blur you see, the more 3D you're getting. I ran this test several times, and found a fair amount of blurring to a good amount. Like I said up top, the out of focus background means Lord and Miller didn't make the fullest use of 3D they could have. However, it was aesthetically the right choice for the film by my count.

Audience Health Score
5/5
Bad 3D can be downright harmful to your health, causing nausea, headaches or eye-strain. Happily, I experienced none of the above during The LEGO Movie. It's only arguably negative side effect is I that I can't shake the song "Everything is Awesome" from my internal jukebox.
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