ENJOY THE SHOW
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!
Earlier today, news broke that Warner Bros and IMAX have partnered to continue to release more movies in IMAX (even if they weren't shot in IMAX). The two studios have been extremely successful so far with The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, and have struck a deal to "release up to 20 Warner Bros. films in the immersive IMAX Experience over the next three years, in an extension of the core partnership that began in 2003." Most of them are big "tentpole" movies like: Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim, Noam Murro's 300: Rise of an Empire and Peter Jackson's The Hobbit. But the others?
Here's the news you've all been waiting for, Star Trek fans. We haven't seen a teaser trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness, the sequel to J.J. Abrams' 2009 franchise reboot of the sci-fi favorite, but that's because Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot have been holding out for something better. When The Hobbit hits IMAX 3D screens on December 14th, 500 of those screens will have a 9-minute prologue for the sequel attached to it. Though The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises pulled this stunt before with regular IMAX screens, this is the first time a first look will be seen in IMAX 3D. That should hold fans over til May.
"What do they got in there - King Kong? Can anyone say gimmick? This is one of those classic movies that, while it does feature plenty of shots that would look great in 3D, doesn't really need a 3D re-release. But of course I could say the same about Titanic. Universal has debuted the first full trailer for Jurassic Park 3D, their updated 3D re-release of the dinosaur adventure classic, arriving in theaters next April. I was hoping we'd see Spielberg talking about the 3D conversion or a look at the behind-the-scenes process, but nope, nothing. It only has footage from the film (which is one of my all-time favorites) and that's it. Enjoy!
Regardless of what you thought about the story or performances in The Dark Knight Rises this summer, one thing thing that all moviegoers (well, most of them) can agree on is that Christopher Nolan and Wally Pfister's visuals were absolutely stunning. So in a move that should surprise absolutely no one, Warner Bros, Legendary Pictures, and director Zack Snyder have confirmed today in a press release that Man of Steel, their blockbuster take on Superman that Nolan himself is producing, will also show on IMAX screens when it drops on June 14th, 2013. Also not that big of a shock: they also confirmed it will be presented in 3D.
Celebrate the 20th Anniversary in 3D. Arriving in theaters next summer, as one of Universal's tent-pole releases, is Jurassic Park. Yep, the 1993 dinosaur Steven Spielberg/Michael Crichton classic, but it has been digitally restored and will be re-released in 3D next April. The Jurassic Park Facebook page has unveiled this brand new poster for the release, featuring the iconic gigantic wooden doors re-stamped with a 3D logo (hey that's not where it belongs!). This will definitely build interest, as it's a rather flashy and showy design, but how many will actually be sold into seeing this in 3D? That's yet to be seen. Check it out below!
If you're a regular reader of this site, you probably know what HFR stands for, mostly because we've talked about it plenty before (and even seen demos ourselves). However, the "regular" moviegoer, the casual viewer out there, doesn't know what it means. And it might be even more confusing given everyone is referring to 48FPS, and not the term "High Frame Rate" itself. But as we pointed out back in April, the HFR era is now upon us, and Peter Jackson's The Hobbit is the first film to debut theatrically in HFR 3D. Regal Theatres has launched a HFR page that features a FAQ sheet answering numerous questions about HFR technology.
"When Myth and Legend collide, the War of the Abyss begins." After the success of Avatar in China, the country when nuts for 3D cinema, creating the buzzed-about 3D Sex And Zen. Following in the footsteps of those two, another crazy creation was this, a
$100 $130 million 3D underwater epic called Empires of the Deep. The project was apparently a huge disaster, kept running over its budget, losing stars, and in the end was made, but not to great results. The Playlist has found the first trailer and it's rather trippy and epic and crazy, to say the least. Olga Kurylenko stars as a mermaid, joined by Steve Polites and Maxx Maulion.
Back towards the beginning of the summer we learned of a new Tarzan film that would use motion-capture animation to bring the jungle man to life. Kellan Lutz (The Twilight Saga) was taking the lead role with Spencer Locke (Detention) playing Jane. Yeah, it didn't sound too promising, but now we have the first trailer for the 3D project, and it's definitely lacking. We're not sure how long the project was in production, but this animation looks like it's about 10 years behind schedule. It's not completely terrible, but knowing what motion-capture technology is capable of, this looks like it belongs in a video game instead of movie.
Nearly two weeks ago, some frustrating news came to light reporting that Warner Bros. was forcing a post-production 3D conversion of Pacific Rim. This wasn't necessarily surprising, but what made it annoying and maddening was the fact that director Guillermo del Toro made a very prominent statement earlier this summer about why he didn't want to have the film shot or converted to 3D. The filmmaker said, "To force the 3D effects for robots and monsters that are supposed to be big you are making their [perspective] miniaturized, making them human scale." Well, now he's spoken out as to why this decision to convert the film to 3D is something that he's come to terms with, and it's slightly comforting on some level.
Earlier this summer, Guillermo del Toro talked about why he didn't want to make his sci-fi action flick Pacific Rim in 3D. The director firmly told Collider, "I didn’t want to make the movie 3D because when you have things that big… the thing that happens naturally, you’re looking at two buildings lets say at 300 feet [away], if you move there is no parallax. They’re so big that, in 3D, you barely notice anything no matter how fast you move. To force the 3D effects for robots and monsters that are supposed to be big you are making their [perspective] miniaturized, making them human scale" Apparently that wasn't enough to close the money hungry eyes of Warner Bros. who are forcing a 3D conversion of the film next summer.