It's big, bad, and one of the reasons some folks dread going to the movies: a 3D remake of a genre classic! With Kong: Skull Island heading into theaters in early showings tonight, you're going to want to book your tickets smartly. After all, if you're going to see a gigantic gorilla fight off various beasties on a hidden island paradise, you're going to want to get your money's worth. Which means it's time for another installment of our handy consumer guide, To 3D or Not To 3D!
While we've already reviewed the film, this evaluation is solely determined to tell you whether Kong: Skull Island is worth the extra 3D money, or if you're better off booking passage to Skull Island yourself. If you want to know how we felt about this movie, then head on over to our official review here. Otherwise, gear up for our expedition to the land where God wasn't finished creating, as we look at Kong: Skull Island's 3D presentation.
Among some of the goodies to show off in 3D, things such as gigantic creatures fighting amongst each other, using exotic projectile weaponry, and pummeling humanity into submission as it tries to conquer untamed nature are some pretty safe bets. Kong: Skull Island not only ticks those boxes off rather handily, but if you manage to see an IMAX 3D screening, you'll get an added bonus of the sheer scope of Kong and his enemies being portrayed as close to life sized as possible.
For the most part, Kong: Skull Island planned for a lot of the usual 3D pitfalls. The only factors that really presented a problem were the Brightness and some sequences that pan a bit too fast for the 3D to make coherent sense. Other than that, the depth and projection of elements on the screen are rather impressive, all thanks to a post conversion effort from Prime Focus World. Much like Godzilla before it, Kong: Skull Island uses post conversion like a champ.
You would not believe how some of the stuff that Kong throws around in Kong: Skull Island plays out on the screen. Throughout the film various creatures launch attacks of all sorts in the jungle, as well as Kong himself flinging ship propeller rotors and trees at the camera. In fact, there's quite a bit of action that comes off of the screen. It's so impressive that if you're an arachnophobe, you'll probably want to avert your eyes for that gigantic spider sequence, as the beastie's webbing shoots straight into the audience, with some occasional shots of pincers coming to get you thrown in for good measure.
The depth shown in Kong: Skull Island's picture is subtle, but extremely immersive with the magic that it weaves. Characters and backdrops have clear delineations of spatial reasoning, with some fantastic atmospheric effects like smoke, embers, and rain adding to the picture. The first act is especially noticeable, as the lack of fast paced action lets you linger on certain details. Watching Samuel L. Jackson taking a call in a phone booth, and during a rainstorm, might not seem so fantastic in 2D; but in really good 3D, it's a sight to see.
Unfortunately, the most problematic piece of Kong: Skull Island's 3D presentation is a common problem with most 3D films: the brightness. While the color palette of the film is drenched in the greens and oranges of most Vietnam war films, it's unfortunately not complimented by the inherent grey wall that comes up once your glasses are on. Now keep in mind, this factor can be affected by where you sit in the theatre, as well as if the projector being used has been calibrated properly between 2D and 3D screening set-ups, so your mileage may vary.
Most of Kong: Skull Island is a feast for those of you who like looking at the blur effects of really good 3D. There's a strong level of blurred vision, which is usually a good indicator of depth in a 3D presentation. But while some films have mostly visible / slightly blurry effects anchoring their picture during less intensive moments, Kong: Skull Island uses what looks like straight up 2D elements to hold things down. It's not a game killer, but a little disappointing, to be honest.
Back to those helicopters, as well as all of the aerial camera thrills and spills that Kong: Skull Island provides, there are actually a handful of scenes that move so fast, your eyes may wonk out a bit. This could more than likely be hindered by the brightness factor of the film's ultimate print, but even if the brightness was bumped up a little more, I think the quick panning motions that some of the scenes in this movie exhibit would still give the audience a little eye strain.
Despite some flaws in the brightness and the motion elements to some of its scenes, Kong: Skull Island is a hell of a ride in 3D. But if you're going to shell out extra money for this fun joy ride, you should definitely go for the IMAX 3D version. The extra scope of the screen helps sell the immensity of Kong and company, lending even more magic to an already spectacular visual buffet.