Just when you thought The Smurfs were down for the count, Smurfs: The Lost Village is here to remind you of everything you loved about that very TV series, or to smurf trying! Whether you're dreading or looking forward to the latest adventure in Smurf Village and beyond, you have to agree on one important aspect: the film looks absolutely gorgeous. In fact, it looks like the type of movie that'd be fantastic in 3D... but is it?!
As sure as Azrael will figure out the clues before Gargamel does, we're back with another installment of To 3D or Not To 3D. If you're interested in our thoughts related to how good the actual movie was, you can read them here. But if you want to know whether bringing your kids to a 3D screening is worth the extra smurfberries, or if you should save them for a delicious Smurfberry pie, then you've come to the right smurfing place.
Even in the trailers to Smurfs: The Lost Village, the movie looked like it'd be a 3D buffet of delicious visuals. Sure enough, the film does not waste its opportunity to make the animated incarnation of Peyo's blue tinted society an eye-popping event. Not only are there some shots that make perfect use of the 3D, but the effect is also used in some fantastically subtle ways.
The team behind the 3D conversion of Smurfs: The Lost Village gets the fact that CGI animation makes the 3D process exceedingly easy to get right. With only a couple minor snags in its total presentation, the third dimensional treatment looks good on this film, as it remembers to be a visually stunning narrative, on top of being an actually cohesive storyline. This isn't just a slapped together transfer, as there's plenty of 3D life in Smurf Village.
This is, hands down, the most impressive aspect of Smurfs: The Lost Village's 3D visuals, as there is a king's ransom of sight gags that pop out at the audience. Magic Smurf energy, pieces of contraptions that break apart, and even some choice action photography are all thrown through the theoretical window and into your face, and it's all quite fantastic. But even more astounding is the fact that the facial details of the Smurfs stand out rather well, giving their distinct noses some 3D definition.
While we're on the subject of the Smurfs' faces, Smurfs: The Lost Village has a surprising amount of depth in the facial features of its characters. In addition to giving the film some well-defined face time, it's easy to see the throngs of Smurfs in Smurf Village as separately defined individuals. Crowd scenes can be hard to do in 3D, as spatial depth is sometimes hard to convey with a cluster of characters. Not in Smurfs: The Lost Village though, as those characters are easily discernible, and possess much depth. The only downside though, is that the film's backgrounds aren't as deep or lush as they can be. But with a lot of efforts on spatial reasoning and attention to detail, the visuals still pop.
For a film with as bright of a color palette as Smurfs: The Lost Village, the fact that the brightness is still just a little off is upsetting. There's a distinct difference between the film's coloring when you put on the glasses, as the bright & vibrant colors are dimmed and washed out. Though your mileage may vary on this factor, due to the fact that theaters don't always properly calibrate their projectors when switching between 2D and 3D presentations.
Smurfs: The Lost Village has a moderate to high amount of blurry imagery once you take your glasses off. This is usually your best indicator as to how much depth in picture you'll expect to see in a film, and it's pretty much spot on with this latest Smurfs film. While there's still some close-ups and other aspects that look positively 2D in some cases, there's a lot of blur in the background of most scenes, and even some subtle blurring for mid-distance shots.
While most of the action in Smurfs: The Lost Village are extremely easy on the eyes, there are still some moments that wonk out on the eyes just a little bit. Part of this could be how the scenes were converted, whereas another aspect that wears on the eyes is the fact that the film is darker than it should be. But for the most part, this film is a-ok for those who fear nausea and eye-strain.
Smurfs: The Lost Village manages to make great use of its 3D presentation, despite some pieces of the puzzle not coming together as well as one would hope. The washed out color is the greatest disappointment, but the visual flare of the film still lights up the screen. If your best option for showtimes is the 3D option, you won't be wasting your money taking the journey with the added facial furniture.