Mind Your Business: To Pay for 3-D or Not to Pay for 3-D
I celebrated my birthday this past week. I took one day off and spent time with my family and geeked out with a few 3-D/Blu-ray movies.
I should clarify: I watched some of the 3-D movies with my family, including my twin 11-year-old boys, and other 3-D movies I most definitely had to watch without them.
I'll start with the fact that I am an advocate for 3-D production. I love it. Well, I love some of it. The bad ones just annoy me.
There's a lot to love about watching a great movie or TV show in 3-D. A lot to love… if it's shot well…and is shot in native stereoscopic (not converted).
The problem is there is a lot of crappy 3-D product out there. (If you have ever watched any of the free 3-D content on a RoadRunner cable system, or the Journey to the Center of the Earth movie, you know all about crappy 3-D) I want to talk about both.
My kids asked me what I wanted to do on the evening of my birthday. I told them I wanted to eat black forest cake (my favorite -- and I am willing to accept bribes of cake) and watch a 3-D movie. My choice of movies for the evening was Megamind.
Megamind isn't my favorite movie. I like it but I don't love it. I do love the character designs and a number of the sequences, but the movie itself is just OK. However, it was my choice because it's one of the best examples of fantastic 3-D depth I've ever seen in a movie. The depth and clarity are amazing.
Aside from Avatar, DreamWorks Animation is the best in the business in integrating 3-D into the telling of the story. Its images are clear, show a lot of depth, and the depth choices actually mean something. Megamind, How to Train Your Dragon, Monsters vs. Aliens and Shrek Forever After are all incredible in 3-D.
Over the last week I also watched Jackass 3D and Drive Angry (which comes out on Blu-ray on May 31st). I thought that the Jackass 3D pranks are a great use of 3-D. The practical jokes just work better in depth. I think the stars are all idiots for the pranks and pain they inflict on each other, and I'm gagging and laughing right along with them for 90 minutes.
Drive Angry is the first true grind house film I've seen in years. It's crude. It uses obvious 3-D in-your-face gags. It's gory. It's got lots of T&A. And it all looks great in 3-D. The biggest difference between this movie and most grind house movies, is this one has a budget and looks like it. I loved it.
Now all these examples were produced and/or shot in native 3-D. They are not conversions. I don't like conversions. I thought Alice in Wonderland, a conversion, was a travesty. I can't believe it made any money (and without the amazing designs and Johnny Depp, it wouldn't have). Everyone I saw it with swore off ever paying for a 3-D movie it was so bad.