3-D movies can be done well and they can be done badly. Unfortunately, people have seen too many movies with the bad kind of 3-D and thus think that they hate the format when in fact they really don't know it. I am compiling a report of the quality of 3-D for every month. Some of the movies could still be in theaters so you could consider seeing them based on this, or watch these if you have a 3-D player when they arrive on DVD. Or at least read this years later when 3-D home viewing is easier to come by. Still, the biggest reason I write this is that I hope readers who have seen the movies in 3-D will know how that movies' 3-D compares to other movies' 3-D. Then there might be less of a negative view towards what is in truth a great new invention. Before reading this some people willlikely think "I hate 3-D because the glasses darken the image so much." Sometimes this is the case but I will tell you if it is. Now, obviously, if you watch the movie in 3-D and take off your glasses in the middle you will notice how much brighter the screen is. THAT DOES NOTE MEAN THE 2-D IS THAT BRIGHT--a well-made movie will lighten the 3-D version with the expectation it will be darkened by wearing glasses. It sounds simple but you would be surprised how many people think that a 3-D version viewed without glasses is the same as an out-of-focus 2-D one. The movies are presented in chronological order.
When you absolutely loath something, it’s difficult to see the good in it. So take this with a grain of salt.
Harold and Kumar 3 is not very good 3D. The depth perception is all wrong. It looks nothing like what real life does. Hard to explain, but if you see it, you will be annoyed.
Or maybe not. Its not the worst I’ve ever seen, and—as I said—my hatred for the film is probably affecting it. Still, I am frustrated by how the film is treating 3D as a gimmick. It uses it as a joke, and the effect is that 3D is only a gimmick for bad movies. When people like Martin Scorcese and James Cameron are working so hard for it to be a genuine art-form, it is annoying that a movie uses it in such an irreverent and poorly-made fashion.
Don’t judge 3D by this movie.*
*Please note this only applies if you have already seen the movie. If you haven’t, under no conditions watch it. Ever.
For all his obnoxious comments about how they “make this kind of movie all the time in India,” he does genuinely create unique and stunning visuals. In his first 3D picture, he uses the format to great effect.
There are no problems with focus or color. Whatever errors occur in depth don’t matter to much because everything is so surreal. And cool. With the dark imagery contrasted by bright red and gold, the bizarre costumes, and some of the weirdest settings ever, it’s riveting. The 3D adds just the extra touch of grandeur to keep you fixed on every scene.
The only problem is that, like every single fantasy for adults, every image has been digitally darkened. The 2D image looks the exact same as the 3D does when glasses are worn, but many people will see it as yet another example of 3D darkening the original image. Don’t be one of those people.
Happy Feet Two
Ever seen an old movie from the mid-30s and laughed at how obvious it was that the characters were on a stage with a giant painting behind them? It was because the cinematography and focus were so much better they showed far more detail than filmmakers were used to, and now the old backdrops looked dumb.
Happy Feet Two in 3D looks like that. It is pretty funny, since while the penguins are people in motion-capture suits, the backgrounds are almost entirely computer generated images. The 3D is great for about 300 feet in the (fake) setting, but then it suddenly loses most of its three-dimensionality. The effect
is that these penguins live on a little ice sheet surrounded by elaborately painted walls.
Other than that, the 3D is pretty good. There are no focus or color errors, and the depth is great in the close-up shots. And having no 3D background certainly beats The Smurf’s superfocus, where everything is so vivid and clear and 3D you have no clue what to look at.
This 3D isn’t quite the 3D on Kung Fu Panda and Cars 2 that leaves you flabbergasted by its beauty, but it is pretty great. Since everything is created on a computer, we have no error with color, depth, or focus. There are few moments where we really see they have 3D for a reason—nothing flying out at you, and no shots with an endless horizon. However, it does give an added touch that will get you more involved in the story. If you like 3D, you will like this. If you are a little less pleased with it, you can skip it.
I think I’ll just quote what I said in my review:
“Richard Richardson (Wall Street, both Kill Bills, The Aviator, Inglorious Basterds…) is cinematographer, and along with Scorcese does a great job. This is probably the most beautiful to look at live action film of the year. Just as importantly, Scorcese makes near-perfectly layered, near-perfectly focused 3D (the film was mostly shot in the format). At a time when most older and drama-orientated filmmakers are denying the benefits of the format, Scorcese is proving that this technique definitely has a lot to offer (and the high 3D percentage of the film’s gross shows people have notice).”
Yeah. It is amazing 3D. Incredible. A great movie too.
Well, that’s all. See you at the movies.