ENJOY THE SHOW
Hooray! Wait, I shouldn't be cheering? A few years back, before we had any idea there would be more Star Wars movies on the way, the biggest news was that Lucasfilm and George Lucas would be converting the entire saga (all six movies) into 3D. The original re-release pattern was supposed to be one every year for six years, starting with Episode I: The Phantom Menace in February of 2012. While that first film got a modest 3D re-release and did fairly well at the box office ($102M worldwide), Lucasfilm has cancelled the other 3D re-releases to focus solely on "rebooting the franchise" with Bad Robot's J.J. Abrams at the helm.
"So you're the one?" Paramount has debuted a trailer for their upcoming 3D IMAX re-release of the 1986 action classic Top Gun, directed by the late Tony Scott. Starring Tom Cruise as Maverick, I revisited this movie when Tony Scott passed away last year, and it still holds up as an outstanding aerial combat fighter pilot thriller. Of course they had to go and upgrade it to 3D and put it out on IMAX to sell the experience, but is this really what this movie was made for? A 3D conversion? Maybe the flying scenes will be much more exciting, but what about the rest of it? Still, it's just cool to see this back in theaters anyway. Check it!
It looks like 2015 just keeps getting bigger. While we're just getting into 2013 now, Walt Disney Studios has announced a big set of new release dates for a few of their high profile projects two years out. Included among them are Marvel's new movies coming in 2014 and 2015, of course confirmed for "Disney Digital 3D", as well as Brad Bird's sci-fi 1952, plus the recently back-in-development Pirates of the Caribbean 5 sequel (writer news last weekend). Robert Stromberg's Maleficent, the Angelina Jolie fantasy action one, has been pushed back to the summer, July 2014. While The Muppets 2 is set for March 2014. Read on!
Briefly: If you're not already aware, Steven Spielberg's contemporary classic Jurassic Park is returning to theaters in 3D starting April 5th in both traditional and IMAX theaters. However, due to Universal also releasing their new sci-fi movie Oblivion with Tom Cruise exclusively on IMAX screens for one week on April 12th, that means Jurassic Park will only stay on IMAX screens for one week as well. While that seems like a bad move, audiences will likely be inclined to see a new movie in an exclusive engagement, rather than an older one. Plus, people will likely rush to see Jurassic Park 3D in IMAX before it goes away.
There was already a lot of promotion for G.I. Joe: Retaliation earlier this year, but that was before the film was delayed for a 3D conversion (and maybe some new scenes and more Channing Tatum) and slated for release in late March next year instead. Now some time has passed and it's time to get the hype machine rolling again. There's plenty of new lines from Bruce Willis, a new scene with Tatum too and word from Ain't It Cool's BNAT 14 said the ninja sequence in the mountains was incredible and the 3D conversion looked really good. Hopefully this delay was worth it and we'll have fun with the Joes in March.
Just last month we heard the gestating Top Gun sequel was likely not going to come together following the tragic death of director Tony Scott. In addition, the filmmaker's death also left the fate of a potential 3D re-release of Top Gun in limbo. Paramount Pictures wanted to pay tribute to the film and its director, but they didn't want to seem like they were cashing in on his death. Well, a decision has finally been made as Paramount has announced that Top Gun will hit IMAX 3D theaters for an exclusive six-day run starting on February 8th, 2013, and will also serve to hype the film's release on Blu-Ray for the first time. Read on!
Just recently, Ian McKellen, who stars in the first 48fps film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, teased that we might see the sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past shot on the new high frame rate format in 3D. Well, at least one of those elements has been confirmed as Exhibitor Relations (via Collider) has learned that Fox is planning to release the X-Men: First Class sequel in 3D along with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters and The Wolverine. Nowadays it's news if a blockbuster isn't in 3D, but in this case, we're interested because two of these films still may be shot natively in 3D. Read on!
"Get ready to take the ride of you life!" I love Boo. Disney & Pixar have put out a TV spot for the upcoming re-release of Monsters Inc in 3D, arriving on December 19th just before the holidays. While it's only 15 seconds of footage we've all seen before, my love for Monsters Inc is so strong, I have to share it anyway. Plus it's rather interesting to note how they're selling 3D nowadays, using black bars and animation outside the frame to illustrate an illusion of 3D even to 2D viewers. Kinda smart, but obviously not the same as the real thing. This is such an outstanding movie, and it builds even more anticipation for Monsters U next year.
In darkened movie theaters last Friday morning, November 30th, history was made. New Line/Warner Bros screened one of the very first movies shot in 48FPS 3D - Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first part in a trilogy based on the J.R.R Tolkien classic - to critics nationwide who were anxiously waiting to see it. I sat Friday morning inside the Dolby screening room in New York City, quietly, patiently waiting with a scattering of other members of the press around me for this landmark screening to begin. Would anyone like it? Would the person next to me get nauseous from HFR? Would the whole 48FPS experience be a revelation or a disaster? We were all about to find out. In a hole in the ground there lived…
Life of Pi might not make you believe in God, as a character in the film suggests. It does, however, make you believe in the power of story, the way humans use them to explain or overcome trials the world deems necessary to drop us in, one of the many things that differentiates us from the wild creatures of the animal world. Based on Yann Martel's award-winning novel and directed by the visually masterful Ang Lee, Life of Pi the movie is a banquet of beauty, a compelling story told through remarkable visuals. A million miracles align to make great film, and God, or whoever you believe in, was working overtime on this one.
"I ain't heard no fat lady!" No more Independence Day in 3D next year after all. Originally scheduled for a 3D update and re-release (like Universal's Jurassic Park 3D update) on July 3rd smack in the middle of next summer, 20th Century Fox has pulled the film from the schedule. The update comes from Box Office Mojo (via Cinema Blend), where they've changed the official date to "TBD" instead. ComingSoon is calling this a complete cancellation, but we have yet to hear that confirmation from Fox, however this isn't a good sign for the 1996 Roland Emmerich/Will Smith action classic getting a 3D makeover. Has it been cancelled?
"The most important thing is the relationship with the tiger." One of the most impressive elements of Ang Lee's Life of Pi is the tiger, named Richard Parker (you'll have to find out why in the movie), who was mostly a CGI creation. They used a few real tigers on set, but most of the time the tiger seen in the movie is completely CGI, and like the Apes in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, it's hard to tell which ones are or aren't real. He always looks that good, especially in 3D. A couple of new featurettes for Life of Pi, starring Suraj Sharma as Pi, have debuted online, including one on the tiger. The other one includes directors Ang Lee and James Cameron(!) talking about using 3D to bring this amazing story of hope to life. Check these out!