TO 3D OR NOT TO 3D
When Richard Donner's Superman was released in 1978, the posters and trailers promised the movie would make you believe a man could fly. 35 years later, audiences need a little more convincing-- so can 3D do the trick? With Man of Steel opening this weekend, we're getting our first chance to see Superman take to the sky in glorious 3D-- but is that extra dimension really going to make the difference on whether or not you enjoy the movie?
The next 3D feature we have this season is Epic, an animated adventure from Ice Age director Chris Wedge that hopes to plunge audience members into a miniaturized forest setting. In the past, 3D and animation have gone hand-in-hand. Is that the case with Epic? Letís put our glasses on and explore.
Unbelievably, J.J. Abrams' first Star Trek opened before Avatar, in a time when not every summer blockbuster was expected to come out in 3D, and before movies were put through the post-conversion wringer to cash in. Four years later things are surprisingly different, and Star Trek Into Darkness has succumbed to the spirit of the times, arriving with post-converted 3D and a whole lot of ads trumpeting the 3D experience. But is it worth it?
How is it possible that The Great Gatsby is Baz Luhrmann's first 3D film? The Australian director has defined excess with Moulin Rouge! and showed his willingness to play around with classics in Romeo + Juliet; he seems like exactly the guy who would embrace the new technology of 3D to make something new out of a familiar story, and now he's done exactly that with The Great Gatsby. If you're going to adapt F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel and put hip-hop and Lana del Rey on the soundtrack, why not put it in 3D too?
The first time we met Iron Man, back in 2008, he wasn't in 3D, and he didn't even glom on to the gimmick in his second movie. So why does he have to be in 3D now? A whole lot has changed in blockbuster movies in the last five years, including the fact that it's pretty much inevitable you'll have to don glasses to catch up with the summer's biggest movies (mine were novelty glasses in Iron Man's signature red and gold, at least). But is it worth the extra cost to see the extra dimension?
I still have vivid memories of seeing this movie in theaters when I was a kid. That's why I went to see Jurassic Park at a revival screening last fall, to see it if held up on the big screen 20 years later. It absolutely did, proving still frightening, fun and deeply satisfying. Having watched the T-rex scenes and horrifying raptor sequences in its original 2D, made me freshly intrigued for what 3D could add to this stupendous viewing experience. So, when I went to see Jurassic Park 3D for this column, I paid attention solely to how 3D was employed.
Your G.I. Joe Saturday morning cartoons were never in 3D, and neither were the comic books. So why does a movie based on them have to be? Well, the short answer is "because it's a big blockbuster, and nearly all of them in 3D these days," but you probably knew that already
Now Disney is back with Oz the Great and Powerful, which is kind of like a spiritual sequel to Alice-- a 3D movie set in a familiar fantasy world that seems to demand to be seen on the big screen. Given how far 3D technology has come in the last three years, Oz seems to be offering an even better experience than Alice, especially with the playful Sam Raimi-- who never misses an opportunity to make the audience jump in their seats-- behind the camera
Every time a remotely expensive fantasy movie comes to theaters, the studios seem to promise that the movie "must" be experienced in the 3D. But we've all been burned enough by crappy 3D transfers and flat scenes to know better. When is a big fantasy movie-- or any 3D movie, really?-- worth the ticket price?
After a lengthy delay (the movie first was expected in theaters in March 2012), Tommy Wirkolaís Hansel and Gretel 3D played IMAX screens starting this past weekend. (It actually won the box office with an estimated $19 million.) Word of mouth might have you wondering if the horror/fairy-tale hybrid is worth the price of the extra 3D ticket. Fair question. Hereís what we discovered
Whether you're looking to revisit the movie you loved as a child, or are planning to introduce to kids of your own to these kooky creatures, Monsters Inc. is certain to please. But is it worth the extra money for the 3D ticket? We break it down.
Perhaps the most significant point of contrast between Peter Jacksonís old trilogy and new is the way in which in which the movies were made. Taking a few big technological steps forward, the Kiwi filmmaker decided to not only make The Hobbit movies at a faster frame rate, but also in 3D. And just as we ask the question for every other 3D movie, we now ask it for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: is it worth paying the few extra bucks to see?
Life of Pi is being sold as this year's Avatar, the 3D movie explosion that must be seen on the big screen, that must be seen more than once, and that must be considered the holiday moviegoing event for the entire family. That's a whole lot of pressure, but with director Ang Lee behind it and a lot of critical raves
Wreck-It Ralph might boast some of the best 3D Iíve seen on screen in years. Donít be a stink-brain. Enjoy Wreck-It Ralph in 3D, as its creators obviously intended.
Apart from animation, Iím not sure thereís a single genre of film more suited to 3D than horror video game adaptations. Even staunch 2D advocates are usually willing to admit thereís something to the partnership beyond a shameless cash grab. When executed properly, the extra dimension really can add twenty to thirty percent more terror and make the extra three dollars worth it.
As a gritty, grimy and very bloody dystopian sci-fi movie, Dredd is a little bit of a weird choice for 3D, which usually accompanies children's films or the kinds of adventures that are supposed to sweep you away to another world, not disturb you to your core. When a movie is very deliberately aiming to be a midnight madness kind of thing, is 3D really going to enhance it?
Almost every major Hollywood release now arrives at the box office in two formats. When you show up to see Resident Evil: Retribution this weekend you can pay higher ticket prices to put on uncomfortable glasses and watch it in 3D, or view it on the cheap by opting for a 2D version of that same film.
When Finding Nemo was first released nine years ago, it drew widespread praise, not only for its touching story but also for its vibrant and hyper-detailed visuals. The ocean offered the animators an expansive playground to go nuts, and that busyness is present in almost every scene, save a carefully chosen few that use the background stillness to represent loneliness in a way words never could.
Now Laika is back with their second feature, ParaNorman, which is also earning rave reviews. But is the 3D as much of a slam dunk this time? Is it still the only way to truly experience the movie? To help you answer that question, here's our latest installment of To 3D or not to 3D, in which we run down the key components of any 3D movie experience
The original three Spider-Man movies directed by Sam Raimi were huge global hits, and not a one of them was released in 3D. But we live in a different time now, of course, and it would be crazy for Sony not to release The Amazing Spider-Man in glorious digital 3D