3D Movies

The Great Gatsby

If there’s one thing our culture never gets tired of, it’s tabloid news. Taking a promising young pretty person, anointing them with almost mythic stature, and then feasting on their misery like psychic vampires when they eventually succumb to scandal and fall from grace…that’s the name of the game! Seeing as the new trailer for Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby sticks pretty closely to this formula, and presents things with the flashy, kinetic visual style that the director has become famous for, chances are it’s going to do a good job of selling this story to a wider audience than was willing to read Fitzgerald’s novel in their high school English class. When it was first announced that Luhrmann was going to be tackling material as generally dry as Gatsby, and filming it in 3D no less, the entire notion seemed kind of absurd. But after watching this trailer, it starts to make a bit of sense. Leonardo DiCaprio’s character is getting what he wants by entering and mastering a world of artifice. The main drama in the story is generally concerned with who’s sleeping with who. Plus, this is a period piece that affords its director the opportunity to stage several lavish parties. All of that isn’t too far off from what Luhrmann has already done with Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge!

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G.I. Joe: Retaliation

When the first trailer for G.I. Joe: Retaliation hit about a year ago, expectations for the sequel were pretty low. That was due to the first film, G.I. Joe: The Rise of  COBRA, pretty much sucking. But a funny thing happened after everyone saw that trailer for Retaliation : suddenly people were talking about G.I. Joe again. This one didn’t look like a random, terrible action movie that just happened to be called G.I. Joe, it actually looked like an adaptation of the beloved property. That’s a real Cobra Commander mask! And the whole thing looked pretty epic and exciting, too. Mountain-climbing ninja action! There are conflicting reports as to why exactly the film’s release date was pushed back from last summer to this upcoming March 29, 2013. Some say they wanted to add a 3D element to the film, some say that they wanted to add more scenes featuring Channing Tatum – seeing as he became a bigger star almost immediately after this movie stopped filming. Whatever the case may be, Retaliation got pushed back, it is now going to be released as a 3D movie, and this new trailer certainly features more Channing Tatum than the first one (which seemed to be trying to wash him right out of the franchise). Check it out after the break!

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Unless you were living under a rock during the ’90s, the new trailer for Jurassic Park 3D probably seems pretty familiar to you. It’s basically just a trailer for Steven Spielberg’s ubiquitous 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park, with some stuff about the film being re-released in 3D tacked on at the end. But, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to watch it. Chances are it’s been quite a while since you’ve last watched Jurassic Park, and chances are you’ve forgotten how much a movie like this lends itself to making great trailers. The sense of grandeur, the big reveals, the breakthrough special effects, Jeff Goldblum draped across various things all shirtless and sexy, the ripple in the glass of water, Samuel L. Jackson saying “Hold on to your butts,” it’s all here. But, what strikes you about watching this trailer more than anything else, is the music. The second the first few notes of John Williams‘ iconic score for this dinosaurs run amok adventure start playing, you find yourself instantly transported back to being however old you were when you first saw this movie. And by the time the song gets to the soaring crescendo, well, it’s done its job of convincing you that you’re going to want to shell out some money to experience this classic up on the big screen one more time pretty effectively.

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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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Have you heard of this movie called The Avengers? Apparently it’s a team-up movie of a group of at least semi-known superheroes that is being directed by a guy named Joss Whedon, who may have already done some genre work in his past. There hasn’t been any news throughout the film’s production that Whedon and company were filming things with 3D cameras, so you probably haven’t been anticipating it getting a 3D release; but you would be wrong. Today Disney announced that come May 4, 2012, The Avengers will be hitting theaters both in 2D and 3D versions. What does this mean as far as the nuts and bolts of the filmmaking goes? It means that once the movie is put together, it will have to go through the 3D post-conversion process, which is controversial. Perhaps most famously, Clash of the Titans came out sporting post-converted 3D, and audiences were heard to unanimously groan at how subtle and non-existent the 3D effects were. The issue with this is that shoddy post-produced 3D movies sport a ticket price that is just as jacked up as films that are shot natively in 3D, and perhaps deserve the extra few bucks.

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The film world has recently experienced a bit of a backlash against 3D movies. Not only have film writers of all sorts repeatedly harped on what a needless gimmick adding a third dimension to an already perfectly fine two-dimensional image is, but regular moviegoers have been using their dollars to vote against the format as well, with more and more 3D pictures seeing less income coming from their 3D screenings and more from their standard two-dimensional screenings. Whether that means audiences are tired of the 3D gimmick itself, or if they’re just tired of paying the premium to see a movie in 3D over 2D is up for debate, but the end result is the same: it looks like the latest 3D fad is on its way out. There are a couple of very vocal and very influential supporters of 3D technology in the movie world, however, and they’re not going to go down without a fight. Perhaps most famously, Avatar director James Cameron is a huge proponent of filming things in 3D, so much so that he’s developed a lot of the technology that makes new techniques possible. He’s even gone so far as to predict that everything we watch in the future will be filmed in 3D, all the time, and that any needed 2D versions will just be extracted from the original 3D copy. That’s a pretty bold stance, but he’s not alone. Director of the upcoming 3D family film Hugo, and Hollywood legend, Martin Scorsese, has […]

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As the number of 3D  movies has ramped up over the past few years, have you ever had the feeling that you were getting away with something by only paying three or four dollars more for a 3D movie? Yeah, me either. Adding on about a third of the price of a regular ticket seems more than fair for just adding one more dimension, but the studios’ bottom line doesn’t agree. You see, it costs a movie studio an upwards of $10m to furnish theaters with the 3D glasses they need for a big tentpole 3D release, and with box office sales of 3D movies dropping like stones over the past several months, they’re starting to think that $10m isn’t worth it in the long run. So what are they going to do about it? Stop making 3D movies because the cost of production isn’t meeting the demand for the product? No, stupid! They’re going to raise the price of a 3D ticket even further so that we can pay for our own glasses. Or at least, this is the step that Sony Pictures is taking. In a letter sent out to exhibitors, the studio said they will no longer be covering the cost of the glasses for their upcoming 3D films like Men in Black III and The Amazing Spider-Man, and that theaters would have to take it upon themselves to sell glasses to the consumer. This will probably hash out to about another 50 cents a ticket, unless theater owners […]

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Thanks to companies like MasterImage, we will soon be able to watch 3D movies without having to put on those bulky, pesky glasses. They’ve come up with something called “cell-matrix parallax barrier” technology, which sounds like some sort of Lawnmower Man or Johnny Mnemonic-esque immersive Internet world, but is actually just a display screen that projects 3D images. They’ve already started licensing out their work, as Hitashi has used it to create the Wooo, the first ever glasses-free 3D mobile phone, and if VP and GM of 3D display Roy Taylor has anything to say about it, we could be seeing MasterImages’ 3D displays all over the place in coming years, including in cars and airplanes. “We weren’t looking at (airlines and car makers) initially,” says Taylor, “We were focusing on smartphones and tablets, but there turned out to be strong interest.” While cycles of production on cars aren’t quite as fast as cell phones and tablets, and production on new airplanes is even slower, it could be a year or so before we start seeing these 3D screens showing up in luxury automobiles, and a couple years before they’re installed by full service airlines.

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