Coming Soon: An older movie you once loved, converted into 3D for a new experience…

3Darth Vader

For the first time that I’ve noticed, three trailers in a row before Hugo were for older movies that have been converted into 3D presentations.  This isn’t 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 can’t help notice that virtually all movies that are released in 3D are also released in 2D… therefore, you always have a choice.  If you don’t 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 don’t like something, and it isn’t forced on you… what’s 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, 1991’s 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 don’t 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 it’s 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?  That’s a separate art all together and should be respected as such.  My two cents.

Second, is James Cameron’s 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, I’m 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 don’t 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 it’s 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 it’s 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 he’s 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… I’m 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 didn’t see them like that… and well, there are differences… and theaters aren’t the same as… oh, to hell with it… lightsabers in 3D!!!!

Now if they can convert Dicaprios acting from 1D to 2D I’d be impressed*,
Cornelius J. Blahg

* I lifted that joke from my friend, Alex… I’m not a comedy thief.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *