3D

The Love Parade

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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Evil Dead 2

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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houseofwax-commentary1

Long before Avatar and RealD broke new ground to bring a new version of 3D to movie audiences, Warner Bros. released the wildly successful major motion picture House of Wax in Polarized 3D. This helped launch the 3D craze of the 1950s, but that fad soon fizzled as the films released in this format rarely held up on their own once the gimmick wore off. Still, House of Wax has earned a long life for genre fans, shown with anaglyph prints and also flat on various home video formats. Now that 3D technology has reached home theaters, Warner Bros. has released House of Wax with its original stereoscopic presentation on 3D Blu-ray, just past the movie’s 60th anniversary. For the new Blu-ray, film historians David Del Valle and Constantine Nasr lend their voices to a technical and historical commentary, shedding some new light on the film that gave Vincent Price his first real step into the world of horror movies. Whether you appreciate the 3D of the film, or even if you’re a hater who won’t watch anything in 3D unless you absolutely have to, the new release of this classic horror flick gives unique insight into the cycle of 3D trends and how it emerged in the early 1950s.

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31 Days of Horror - October 2011

They said it couldn’t be done. A fifth year of 31 Days of Horror? 31 more terror, gore and shower scene-filled movies worth highlighting? But Rejects always say die and never back away from a challenge (unless you count that time Kevin Carr was challenged to stop hot-waxing his belly hair in public), so we’ve rounded up the horror fans among us and put together another month’s worth of genre fun. Enjoy! Synopsis: In 1910 New York, brilliant artist and sculptor Henry Jarrod (Vincent Price) uses his skills to creature exquisite wax statues of historical figures. His greedy business partner Matthew Burke (Roy Roberts) wants him to develop more exploitative pieces so they can turn a greater profit. When Jarrod refuses, Burke sets fire to the wax museum so he can collect on the insurance. Jarrod, whom many thought perished in the fire, returns months later in a wheelchair with horribly scarred hands. He opens a new wax museum, this time complete with the horrific elements that people expect from such an exhibit. Around the same time, a disfigured ghoul is carrying out mysterious murders around the city and stealing the bodies. A young woman (Phyllis Kirk) believes these missing bodies are being turned into wax figures for the House of Wax’s Chamber of Horrors.

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The great post-conversion war rages on, and even Guillermo del Toro and his already-epic-sounding Pacific Rim can’t win a decisive battle. Despite telling crowds at this year’s Comic-Con that he was resistant to the idea of converting his next film, a robots (human-controlled!) versus aliens (giant and monstrous!) adventure, del Toro has now been, in Variety‘s words, “strong-armed” into post-converting his film to 3D. The outlet reports that del Toro’s film will still be available in 2D, but that “the prospect of the 3D upcharge — especially overseas — was likely too much for Warners to resist.” The conversion is not expected to impact the film’s release date, though this news certainly impacts faith in the studio’s ability to make decisions based on artistic merit, rather than box office potential (who are we kidding? it’s always about the money!). You can watch del Toro and his Pacific Rim panel from Comic-Con HERE. Pacific Rim will open on July 12, 2013.

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Scott Adkins

Today, The Expendables 2 comes crashing into movie theaters across the country like a tank. With its Herculean roster of action legends, one name you might not yet recognize on the poster is that of Scott Adkins. We must stress, the “yet.” Adkins is currently fighting his way, literally, up the action cinema food chain. He appeared in such films as Ninja and The Bourne Ultimatum. He wowed many of us with his turn as vicious prisoner brawler Yuri Boyka in the Undisputed franchise. In Undisputed III: Redemption, he held his own with Mirageman himself, Marko Zaror. In addition to The Expendables 2, Adkins will again star alongside Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren in Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, the “fourth” film in the franchise that was just announced as part of the second wave of this year’s Fantastic Fest. Not one to slow down, Adkins also stars in the action movie El Gringo, which is currently available on VOD services such as Amazon Instant Video. We kick around all these subjects with Mr. Adkins and he reveals, among other things, the status of Undisputed 4.

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Mad Max 2 The Road Warrior

As Tom Hardy’s star power increases, so does the anticipation for George Miller’s new Mad Max movie, Mad Max: Fury Road. What with Mel Gibson being something of a touchy subject these days, is there any other actor out there who would be more fun to watch battling weirdos in crazy outfits over gasoline in the desert? Fury Road is a film that’s been plagued with all sorts of disasters and delays over the course of its pre-production though, and sometimes it’s felt like we’re never going to get our chance to see Hardy rev up his engines and do his thing. Well, there’s good news and bad news regarding the film’s production. After experiencing weather related problems with its original location – Broken Hill, Australia – Fury Road has been moved to the African nation of Namibia, where Hardy and crew are currently shooting. That’s the good news. The bad news is, despite Miller’s early insistence that the film was going to be shot with 3D cameras, that’s no longer going to be the case. Any plans to shoot natively in 3D have been scrapped in lieu of using a mix of ALEXA, Canon, and Olympus digital cameras.

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Boiling Point

3D has long been a viable tool in the filmmaker’s arsenal. Sure, it’s not a particularly awesome tool, but it can be a fun tool. My first theatrical experience was a neat showing of Night of the Living Dead 3D. I later really appreciated the in your face fun of My Bloody Valentine 3D. I mean, if you’re going to do something, you might as well do it, right? Plenty of people hate 3D and await its demise. I have never been one of them, but I’m slowly leaning their direction. I’ve previously said that one key to 3D remaining viable is to ditch the gigantic, heavy glasses – that’s still imperative. I hate those things. But really, I think 3D has to get more aggressive and in your face to justify the film being in 3D. I can’t get behind the sentiment that the 3D in Prometheus was good or added more to the experience. The 3D in Prometheus was unobtrusive. I think people liked it merely because it didn’t detract from the experience. Is the lack of failure the new marker of success? Not in my book. What does adding 3D do if you’re not going to exploit the technology?

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Piranha 3DD

Piranha 3DD wasn’t screened for critics, and a flood wiped out the showing I was slated to attend at the only theater featuring it in New York City. After the 45-minute round-trip subway ride for nothing, I returned to my apartment, sat down to order the movie on video on demand and had one of those brief moments of existential panic that befalls every film critic now and again: Is spending a half-day or more trying to see Piranha 3DD really what I should be doing with my life? Fortunately, I guess, I sucked it up, hit “buy,” and sat through the 71-minute feature, which is padded out to 81 thanks to 10 minutes of outtakes and David Hasselhoff jokes over the closing credits. Full disclosure: I don’t have a 3-D TV, so I can’t comment on what it’s like to see Katrina Bowden’s projectile vomit propelling toward you from a big screen. If you’re looking for an in-depth dissection of Piranha 3DD’s third-dimensional tomfoolery, you’ll have to go elsewhere.

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The Rock is a hype man, born and bred. I guess that’s kind of inevitable when you grow up in a house with a dad and a grandpa who are both professional wrestlers. So any talking up of his film projects the guy does on Twitter should be taken with a grain of salt; he is a carny at heart, after all. Still though, it should be noted that after yesterday’s announcement that G.I. Joe: Retaliation was having its June 2012 release date changed to a March 2013 one (so that it could be converted to 3D) disappointed pretty much everyone else on the planet, The Rock seemed to be the only guy who was enthusiastic about the news. Soon after the story broke, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson took to his Twitter account and had this to say: “Commitment to make GI JOE a massive world event just got bigger. New release 3/29/13. Rock + Ass kickins + 3D = #AwwwwShit” It seems that in Mr. Johnson’s mind, a finished film that’s already been heavily marketed and was  set for release in a little over a month getting pushed back nine more months isn’t a sign that there are serious problems with the finished product, it’s just a sign that the studio is more committed than ever to making sure that it’s the most awesome movie possible. Kind of like how Marvel just gave Iron Man 3 an extra $60 million to play with, only completely backwards.

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The flames are hot here in development hell, and there’s way too much cocaine. Way, way too much. So why wouldn’t we come back? When we first examined 8 Promised Movies That Still Haven’t Been Made, it was an exploration of the complex world of filmmaking where the smallest issue can derail an entire project potentially worth millions. Nervous executives, scheduling conflicts, hangnails. Getting a movie made is a miracle, and even those that get hailed in the press as moving forward are sometimes abandoned. Considering our national grand obsession with hypotheticals, here are 8 more movies we were told would happen that haven’t (including some that won’t).

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The Reject Report - Large

Cue the Don Henley, because the boys of Summer have arrived. The girls are here, too. We don’t want to sound like Moviefone over here. Boys, girls, aliens, piranha. They’re all being represented this Summer, and the first of many earth-shattering weekends is upon us. As with opening weekends of Summer’s past, the team over at Marvel have it all to themselves, this time with the culmination of years of tiring work. Will all the work be for naught? Hell naw. The Avengers is going to completely rule this weekend. The only question is what, if any, records will it be breaking. You take a look. We’re going back to Henley for the time being.

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The Avengers want you to see The Avengers in theaters.

It’s been open overseas for a week, already raking in more than $200m, and now The Avengers is landing on U.S. soil with one of the biggest summer openings in history. But does that mean you should see it now? Or do you wait for home video? Sure, there’s plenty of arguments as to why you can wait, including obnoxious crowds, high ticket prices, and the general hassle of getting your butt off the couch and driving to your local multiplex. However, here are seven ultimate reasons should convince you to, paraphrasing Shakespeare, “Get thee to a theater!” and witness Marvel’s greatest achievement in superhero movies.

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It’s gotten to the point where studio period and fantasy epics are as ubiquitous as sequels, remakes, and superheroes. This of course creates a paradox in that the entire reason for the existence of these films is their flash and spectacle. If Wrath of the Titans, a sequel to a remake focusing on a mythological superhero, has taught me anything, it’s that it might be time for these movies to vanish to the ethereal plains…at least for a little while. The latest in a string of underwhelming, despite themselves, period epics, Wrath is a tedious chore as messy in its visuals as it is frustratingly poor in its construction. The story here is that Perseus (Sam Worthington), having saved the world from both Medusa and the Kraken, is called into hero service again when his father Zeus (Liam Neeson) is taken prisoner by Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and Ares (Edgar Ramirez). The two conspirators plan to use Zeus’ power to release the sinister father of gods: Kronos. I use the word “story” loosely because whatever moments in the film aren’t the chapter distinctions in “How Not to Write to Write a Screenplay” are simply cribbed from Edith Hamilton’s “Mythology”; more accurately from someone reading “Baby’s First Edith Hamilton” picture book. The screenwriters flipped through it, carelessly flopping their fingers on the most eye-catching beasts, exclaiming, “this one, and this one, and this one…put them all in there.” At this point, one intelligent assistant offered, “guys, those aren’t even Perseus stories.” That […]

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At a Regal Cinema in Rensselaer, New York, the price for a regular showing of The Lorax is $7.75 while the price for the 3D version of the movie is $13.75. That’s a considerable up-charge, and it’s one that consumers and film fans have gotten used to. Either you swallow the bitter pill of renting plastic glasses for an addition six bucks or you stick with the traditional 2D model to avoid the headache. Now, according to Joe Paletta, the CEO of Spotlight Theaters – a regional theater that has a handful of operations in Georgia, one in Connecticut and one in Florida – has written a brief piece for Screen Trade Magazine in which he states that they’ll most likely be folding the price of 3D tickets into the regular ticket prices. “Among the bigger changes will probably see the 3D-upcharge disappear. 3D charges will help increase the overall ticket-price but, as an industry, I think we’ll see a blend begin to emerge in 2012, where patrons will have a single price for both 2D and 3D films. 2D prices will increase and 3D prices will decrease.” My emphasis there is meant to spotlight the reality of the situation. What this means is that instead of paying $14 for 3D tickets or $8 for 2D tickets, everyone will end up paying $11 per ticket to split the difference. Now, clearly this won’t be across the board change, and Spotlight isn’t a giant outfit but it’s certainly an idea that […]

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dresses up in his Jedi robes and grabs his lightsaber, heading to the theater to see the 3D re-release of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. While there, he faces a sea of estrogen as ladies of all type swarm into the multiplex to see Channing Tatum’s abs multiflex. After using his lightsaber to break through the wall of pre-Valentine’s Day ladies, he faces more obstacles with twentysomething dudes heading out to see Safe House and obnoxious families to see Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. Fortunately for Kevin, he is able to dispatch everyone with his Rock-inspired “pec pop of love.” It was an early Valentine’s Day massacre.

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Drinking Games

Sometimes, choosing the right movie for the weekly DVD drinking game is a tough decision. Other times, it comes as naturally as breathing. This week, we breathe in the Christmas goodness of the latest Harold & Kumar movie and enjoy its raunchy silliness. Yeah, we know Christmas was a couple months ago, but who says you need to have tinsel on your tree to watch this movie? These guys may not be known for following the rules, but here’s a slate of rules you’ll enjoy following while you watch the film. Just don’t try anything too strong, or you might end up like Thomas Lennon’s on-screen child. And no one wants that, do they?

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Do you like insane spaghetti Westerns? Of course you do, your eyeballs work. But I can personally guarantee that you have not seen anything until you seen an insane spaghetti Western…in 3D! During last year’s Fantastic Fest, our ocular cavities were lovingly assaulted by the tidal wave of extra-dimensional madness of 1981’s Comin’ at Ya! The film, which was made at the dawn of, and credited with contributing to, the resurgence of studio-released 3D films, is a nasty, gritty revenge story that works in a number of hilarious gimmicks designed to force-feed imagines from the screen into your consciousness. The film made such an impression that it was picked up for distribution by the young, but formidable, Drafthouse Films. Yes, as in The Alamo Drafthouse. Drafthouse Films has already helped spread the good news of Christopher Morris’ Four Lions and their recent acquisition Bullhead is nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Now they’ve given this little indie absurdity a fancy digital restoration for its Texas theatrical launch.

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr recovers from his colossal failure in getting any of his votes in the Critic’s Choice Movie Awards to count (except for A Separation for best foreign film, but who didn’t think that would win?) by engaging in therapy via multiplex. Unfortunately, it’s January, and his only choices were Marky Mark and the Smuggling Bunch or Queen Latifah going mano-y-mano with the robot Dolly Parton. He opts for the action film, but he may have also fallen asleep during it. How soon until good movies are released again?

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We all know the story. In a panic to find a spectacle that could provide a bit of magic and a higher ticket price for the cinema, the studios turned again to 3D. Thanks to technological advances and a long vacation from the third dimension, it all seemed fresh and new again (even if the bulk of it was put together with rushed post-conversion). Whether you believe it’s just a fad that’s on the way out or believe it to be grand revolution of the art, time is the only one who has the final word on it, but for now the truth (like in all things) probably lies somewhere between those two extremes. And it’s a lack of extremes that make Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese the wisest public speakers on the subject. Here’s Spielberg at Comic-Con last year: “I’m certainly hoping that 3D gets to the point where people do not notice it, because once they stop noticing it it just becomes another tool and an aid to help tell a story. Then maybe they can make the ticket prices comparable to a 2D movie and not charge such exorbitant prices just to gain entry into a 3D one, with the exception of IMAX, where we are getting a premium experience in a premium environment, but to show a 3D movie in a similar theater in a multiplex next to another similar theater showing a 2D movie. I’m hoping someday there will be so many 3D movies that […]

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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