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Most people remain on the fence regarding the use of 3D in movies. The problem is when it's incorporated seamlessly, lulling viewers into a film and making them truly feel part of the action, it almost goes unnoticed. Unfortunately, people only really pay attention when it become too gratuitous and makes them feel queasy. So, I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive going into a special presentation of the brand new trailer for Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets on Monday (the trailer should land online shortly), which was being held in a cinema so that the 3D could truly sing. I'm pleased to say that it did just that, though, and it instantly reminded me of the power that this divisive cinematic enhancement can really have.
Set in the distant future and across a number of eclectic terrains, Luc Besson's adaptation of Pierre Christin and Claude Mezieres' sci-fi comic book series clearly contained the perfect material to fully utilize the 3D technology. In under three minutes, we zip from a desert landscape to a huge spaceship in the outer regions of space, then down into an underwater abyss, while there's a variety of foreign and alien objects and creations that provide the opportunity for prolonged depth of field, too. For the time being at least, there was a lack of items crashing out of the screen and making you cower. But considering how the use of this device is so often misused, that's probably for the best.
But it's not just the use of depth of field that truly impressed me with Luc Besson's Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets trailer. Because it was really the trailer's use of color, and how it went from blindingly bright to moodily murky, that truly beguiled, as it suggested that Besson and his Valerian team have done a pitch perfect job of juxtaposing the playfulness of the story and genre with a menace and terror that's inherent in films set out in space.
While it's obviously way too early to declare Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets a triumph, the success of creating a trailer that both sets out the stall of its plot and showcases its 3D in an eye-catching and gripping manner is worth celebrating. Speaking from my own personal experience, I've repeatedly found myself more than nonplussed with trailers that overzealously incorporate 3D. The first trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming genuinely made me feel like I was going to throw up my popcorn over the person sat in front of me. Sorry for that visual.
With 3D still proving to be so divisive amongst audiences, and Hollywood studios intent on releasing films with it at their fulcrum, it's well worth lauding the times when the technology is used proficiently. Even if it is admittedly only in a trailer. We'll get to see if Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets can build upon this success when it's released into cinemas on July 21.
Check out the first trailer for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets on the next page.