Readers, start your Mortal Engines! It's time to revisit one of this month's would-be blockbusters, and the film most likely to draw in folks that can't make it to Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. Another YA franchise looks to make itself into a fixture at the movies, and it's bringing along an old friend for the ride as well. We're not talking about multiple entries ready to be adapted, should the green light be issued. No, we're talking about the 3D conversion!
But is Mortal Engines worth the 3D ticket money, or are you better off donating the extra Quirks to the St. Paul's Energy Project? That's what we're here to determine today, as To 3D or Not To 3D braves the wastes of the Earth and helps you make the right decision. If you're interested in what we thought of the movie, head on over to the official review. Otherwise, it's time to get busy with running through if Mortal Engines makes the 3D grade!
If you don't think motorized cities with the ability to wage war aren't a 3D fit, you're probably not that big of a fan of the format. Mortal Engines has landscapes, locations, and events that are so built for 3D, it would be a disappointment if they weren't offered in such a manner. Not to mention, it's a big spectacle that's meant to help close 2018's box office season in grand fashion, so the extra splash is absolutely warranted.
Only some minor hiccups stop Mortal Engines from being a perfect 3D conversion, but other than that, this is a pretty well planned and executed 3D film. Brightness is where the film really takes its lumps, but other than that, there's some well thought out action in the film's third dimensional enhancements. The practice of 3D conversion started out as taking some serious guff from purists, but a film like Mortal Engines shows just how far it's come after all of these years.
You might not believe it, but it's extremely hard to get a 3D conversion that knows how to properly throw things out at its audience. But considering how much of a technical fanatic producer / writer Peter Jackson is, it's no surprise that Mortal Engines gets this factor absolutely right. It only takes a handful of minutes into the film before you know its serious about the 3D, with massive, flinching objects pushing their way out of the screen. Now take that sensibility, and expand it throughout a film where guns are pointed at faces, cannons fire causing debris to explode, and various chase scenes fly past your face, and you've got a good time.
Complementing the stellar work that the team behind Mortal Engines' 3D conversion did on the "Before The Window" factor is the absolutely gorgeous depth brought to the film's picture. The usual hallmarks are airtight, with characters well separated from their environments, as well as their co-stars. But on top of the spatial reasoning being solid, the depth factor is truly endless, making some scenes even more breathtaking in 3D than in 2D. One scene in Mortal Engines' third act even uses this effect to introduce a new setting in a most fantastic manner.
Hello darkness, our old friend. The brightness factor on Mortal Engines loses a point for the same old problem, no matter where you go. When you put on those grey/black glasses, the picture naturally dims a little bit. In the case of Mortal Engines, it mutes the mostly warmer color palette that the film snuggly find itself colored by. Your mileage may vary in terms of brightness, seeing as it also depends on how well your theater calibrates and maintains its 3D auditoriums. But as it stands, for the presentation we saw, the picture was only slightly dimmer than it was with the glasses off.
Since we've already got our glasses off, let's talk about the blur you might be seeing on the screen. You're going to want to lift your glasses up during Mortal Engines, not only to give your eyes a small break, but also to see what's going on without the aid of polarized lenses. That blur is totally natural, in fact, it's an indicator of how much the image on the screen has been manipulated to present a 3D image. The majority of the film is pretty blurry, with both background and foreground shots getting in on the action. But there are some instances where the picture isn't as blurred as others, giving almost a 2D look to certain aspects of the picture. Thankfully, those moments are few and far between.
Your eyes are important, and if the presentation isn't just right on a 3D movie, you might find them strained during the presentation of a film like Mortal Engines. But much like the majority of the factors covered in our To 3D guide, there's a lot of praise to be had in the audience health factor. The entire product is a smooth experience, with no eye strain or nausea to be had, and that's no small feat with the fast paced action presented on the screen. You're not going to need a steel stomach to watch Mortal Engines in 3D.
Mortal Engines is not only a 3D film well worth the audience's time, it's a film that begs to be seen in IMAX 3D, or any large format offering the same treatment. Its immersive storytelling is severely engaging in 2D, but becomes absolutely electric in the 3D presentation. While the brightness fudges things up a little, it doesn't sink the ship entirely. If you're only going to see it once, see it right and take the 3D journey to futuristic London!
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CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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