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You and your children are probably interested in seeing the animated film Storks in theaters this weekend, and we can't blame you. Even on just a visual level, the Nicholas Stoller directed / Andy Samberg starring animated vehicle looks to be rich in color and engaging in its visuals. However, seeing as it's a kids movie, it's naturally going to be released in 3D, which has us asking a very important question: "To 3D, or Not To 3D?"
It's time one more to take Hollywood to task, as we evaluate the 3D presentation of Storks! If you're looking for a review on the movie itself, head on over to our Reviews page to read why Storks may or may not be the right film for you this weekend. In the meantime, it's time to don our 3D glasses, and fly high into the sky with our review of Storks' 3D delivery!
While Storks isn't exactly the sort of film that needs to be in 3D, it's certainly not an awkward fit with the format. Flying animals delivering colorful packages through perilous circumstances definitely seems like the sort of film you'd want to see in 3D, so it's not like Storks was all that surprising a candidate for the third dimensional treatment.
Some scenes in Storks work better than others when it comes to the 3D elements. The most prevalent example of where the 3D works best is when Kelsey Grammar's Hunter abuses a flock of tiny birds to his personal delight, as he uses them as everything from golf balls to a paddle ball. Yet most other sequences barely seem to take advantage of the format, and considering 90% of kids' movies today release in the 3D format, this is a bit surprising... and upsetting.
Returning to the example of Hunter and his usage of tiny birds, that's probably the most extensive way Storks tries to convey objects coming off of the screen. There are some other elements here or there that might make you blink, but the film never approaches flinch-worthy levels of 3D realism of better examples of what the technology can do.
One of the categories that Storks seems to excel in with its usage of 3D is how its images go beyond the window. The depth, while not perfect, is pretty impressive in most scenes of the film. Objects have their own spatial permanence and have clear separation in frame, and in the warehouse scenes, there's a lot of fun to be had with the top down view Junior and other storks get to take advantage of.
Storks is supposed to be a brightly lit feast for the eyes, but the 3D presentation wouldn't convince you of that fact. While most films already have a bit of a "gray lens" covering the image when they're seen through 3D glasses, this movie also actually feels dim without the glasses on. Though your mileage may vary, as theaters may or may not have their 3D systems calibrated properly, the screening of Storks used to evaluate this film was pretty gray.
There is a surprising amount of blur present with Storks, which ties into the fact that the film's depth of vision is pretty solid throughout the film. A lot of the background action in the film tends to be blurred, with the central figures firm and tight, so as not to interfere. Though in some cases, the blur does come front and center, undoubtedly during the infamous "Hunter and his toys" scenes that are peppered throughout the film.
For all of the factors that Storks seems to get wrong in its presentation of a 3D film, it manages to ace the Audience Health test with flying colors. Not once did the 3D make me feel uncomfortable, and not once did the picture wonk out to the point where my eyes could feel the strain. If you see Storks in 3D, it's a pretty smooth experience.
Storks is a visually exciting film, but unfortunately the 3D attached to it is nowhere near as impressive. While the depth of the images presented is pretty decent, the brightness and the lack of action before the window are what really kill the drive to recommend this film be seen in 3D. You can still pay the extra ticket money and get an experience that won't screw with your vision, but at the same time you could save yourself some money and see a brighter version of the film we've just evaluated.
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