For the first time that Ive noticed, three trailers in a row before Hugo were for older movies that have been converted into 3D presentations. This isnt new but I think the volume of coming attractions that are conversions is new.
Before we get started, I should state my feelings regarding 3D in general I like it. For all the accusations of money grab or bad conversions, I cant help notice that virtually all movies that are released in 3D are also released in 2D therefore, you always have a choice. If you dont like wearing the glasses, or the darkened image, or simply have a distaste for the $3 upcharge watch the 2D version. Problem solved. Bitching about anything we volunteer for or have a choice about pisses me off to no end. If you dont like something, and it isnt forced on you whats the problem?
That said what were the three films advertised preceding Hugo?
First, after the success of The Lion King 3D, Disney made plans to convert many of its older movies, beginning with the first animated film to ever be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, 1991s Beauty and the Beast. It looks nice but this is where my one gripe with conversions does come in it is hand drawn 2D animation. I dont understand how that lends itself to 3D. I did not see The Lion King 3D, but my family did and they were somewhat ambivalent about the whole affair. I suppose the stampede scene was well done, but the rest meh.
There have been plenty of fantastic 3D animated films in the last few years, most notably Coraline but these were all either computer animation that is striving for that third dimension in its 2D form, or in the case of Coraline and a few others, claymation The Nightmare Before Christmas is another stellar example of the latter. But hand drawn? Thats a separate art all together and should be respected as such. My two cents.
Second, is James Camerons titanic movie from 1997 Best Picture winner Titanic. Cameron is a well known techno-geek. He loves his toys and he does his best to utilize those in the best way possible as was evidenced with Avatar. Can he direct actors into believable roles? No. Can he direct a camera and give us amazing images that will last in our minds longer than any performance he manages to capture incidentally while filming? Hell yeah! For that reason alone, Im intrigued by what his conversion may bring.
Full disclosure I like Titanic. No, I am not, nor have I ever been, a fourteen year old girl because from what I understood at the time, that is who made Dicaprio a star and Titanic a butt load of cash. I dont think Dicaprio could act his way out of a paper bag in that film (his performances since have change my opinion on him 180 degrees) and most actors in the film feel wooden and lame even the lovely Kate Winslet, whom I adore and consider one of the greatest treasures of our modern times, suffers from poor direction in this movie. But watching that ship sink is quite the experience and one I never had in a theater. Seeing that ship and its propellers on the big screen and in 3D, specifically, Cameron super-depth 3D (not an official title, I just made that up) that is enough for me to go check this out when its released. That, and a nude Kate Winslet in 3D
Finally and closest to my heart and my gag reflex Star Wars: Episode 1, The Phantom Menace. George Lucas he who cannot leave well enough alone, decided a few years ago that he would pump out one episode a year in glorious 3D. I am of very mixed opinions on this. Lucas has squandered a lot of good will with his tinkering and retouching and unnecessary cries of Nooooooo but hes George Lucas. The man who brought us Star Wars. The goodwill that is reserved for Mr. Lucas is a deep, deep pool so I will stomach yet another return to a galaxy far, far away.
So, what did I think about this trailer and the 3D conversion? For once, I was surprised that Lucas seemed to go a bit conservative. The depth in the scenes that were shown was a bit on the shallow side. I was shocked! I had figured he would go whole hog and do his best to make that depth as deep as the Sarlaac (sp?) pit but no there seemed to be restraint. For once, that was disappointing.
The scenes I did enjoy? That pod-race looks pretty sweet the underwater Gungan city looked cool lightsabers in 3-fucking-D!!!! YEAH!!! OK Im sold where do I buy my tickets?
Perhaps this was an early stage and more depth will be added who knows what I do know is that I am, and always have been, a super Star Wars geek to the nth degree. I did not see the Special Editions in the theater because I was annoyed with his tinkering, but I will take my kids to see these 3D presentations. Maybe that will be the key to getting my girls into these movies to see them in a way that I originally did although I didnt see them like that and well, there are differences and theaters arent the same as oh, to hell with it lightsabers in 3D!!!!
Now if they can convert Dicaprios acting from 1D to 2D Id be impressed*,
Cornelius J. Blahg
* I lifted that joke from my friend, Alex Im not a comedy thief.