WonderCon 08: Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D

bfraser01.jpgBrendan Fraser has seen better days. Unfortunately those days are about five years back when he guest starred on Scrubs. He looks to be trapped between successively crappy Mummy sequels and little movies no one ever sees. This summer he hopes to alternately continue and break that trend with the releases of both The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor and Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D.

Fraser was at WonderCon on Friday promoting the latter of those two films. I say promoting, but what he was really up to is anyone’s guess. Every question that got tossed his way (and a few he just jumped in on) resulted in a long, rambling “answer” about how 3D is going to revolutionize the film going experience or how bad the screenplay was when he first received it. I’m not kidding either.

“3D is the next step in cinematography, like when movies went from silent to talkies… 3D is going to return that feeling of what it means to go to the movies again.” Uh huh, and SmelloVision can’t be far behind…

“The screenplay was like a three day old smorgasbord… everyone’s had their hands in it… the script itself needed some work… I had to think what we can do to keep the audience interested.” Not let Fraser speak for starters…

Producer Charlotte Huggins and 3D expert Ed Marsh joined Fraser onstage, but they had little to add. I’m sure they’re very nice people though. New Line premiered some footage from the film, which also added very little. I know, it sounds like I’m being really harsh to this movie but nothing that was said or shown makes me even remotely interested in seeing the finished product. I’m not the target audience for one thing, as it seems to be aimed more towards the kiddies. For another thing, the footage just looked bad. The dialogue was painful (Fraser got that right), and the effects were humdrum. That said, the main hook of the movie is supposed to be its incredibly effective and awe-inspiring 3D technology… which couldn’t be shown in the screening due to technical restraints.

So I’ll wrap it up with some miscellaneous tidbits. Fraser took this opportunity to apologize for Monkeybone, an “$80 million art film.” When asked about Mummy 3 he said “it takes the genre to a new place.” (I don’t think he meant China.) James Cameron, who appeared in the making-of footage, is jokingly irked (read: pissed off) that this movie is the first to use his Cameron/Pace Fusion Camera system for true 3D brilliance. (He created it to use for his own film, Avatar, which should be released by 2018.)

Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D opens July 11th.

Rob is the Chief Film Critic of Film School Rejects. He doesn't eat cheese on weekdays.

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