How To Train Your Dragon may only be the second narrative feature to be released in 3-D this Friday, but Zeus knows it certainly won't be the last. Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland has been cleaning up at the box office all month and the redux of Clash of the Titans will be grabbing IMAX screens from it next week. But it doesn't end there. Disney's Rapunzel update, Tangled, along with Zack Snyder's Legend of the Guardians
and Christopher Nolan's will all be in 3-D. And let us not forget sequels to Harry Potter, Toy Story, Shrek, Tron, Jackass, Cats & Dogs, Resident Evil, Saw and Step Up. For Pete's sake, a Kenny Chesney concert will require glasses next month. The kind after you go blind. Inception
(NOTE: Christopher Nolan's Inception will be playing in IMAX but no word currently of being in 3-D.)
With the 3-D (r)evolution apparently here to stay, we are soon going to run out of ways to describe it. The traditional stigma of "comin' at ya" effects are being replaced with an emphasis on depth of field, a virtual Viewmaster of CGI images set to delight many and provide a splitting migraine for others. For me, the 3-D effects are an afterthought to the actual craft of the storytelling within. How many friends of yours wouldn't commit to calling Avatar a brilliant film, but commented on it still being a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience? A lot of critics are very much like those friends, making sure there's an emphasis on the spectacle in their reviews - or at least within the quotes taken from them. Take How To Train Your Dragon:
"3-D moviemaking at its best." - Leonard Maltin
"This rare animated film uses 3-D for its breathtaking and emotional possibilities." - Owen Gleiberman
"Funny and touching, it works miracles in 3-D." - Peter Travers
"Funny. Dazzling. The 3-D scenes would make even Avatar jealous." - Sara Vilkomerson, People
Rare. Miracles. Avatar jealous? Leonard Maltin sure changed his tune awfully quick after he had this to say about Coraline just over a year ago.
"The best 3-D movie I've ever seen!"
Does that make Coraline the best production in three dimensions in Maltin's mind or merely just the best movie he has seen that happens to be in 3-D? Avatar may indeed be the best 3-D ever produced, but quality-wise I would certainly be more partial to Up or Beowulf. That's just me though. I am sure you all have your favorites as well. But the ad junkies all want a piece of the pie as well. To tell you that this moment in film history is the one - THE FILM - to blow all others out of the water. Someone will get all giddy over the fourth helping of Shrek even if its visual dimensions are replacing that of the characters and you can be sure someone will blow a gasket over the remake of Piranha. Just to keep you up to speed, here is what you have been told so far.
"The 3-D is spectacular." (Up) - Jamie Graham, Total Film
"Put on those 3D glasses and ride, baby, ride." (Beowulf) - Peter Travers
"A visually stunning 3-D experience!" (Meet the Robinsons) - Mose Persico
"On a regular screen it's stunning; in 3-D, it's unbelievable! The next great breakthrough in Disney animation." (Meet the Robinsons) – Jim Svejda
"The future of filmmaking is now. Beowulf in 3D is a night at the movies you will never forget!" (Beowulf) - Ben Lyons
"The perfect movie for 3-D." (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) – Jacki Garfinkel, iVillage.com
"The coolest 3D experience of the year!" (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) - Shawn Edwards
"...is every bit of bloody fun that you could ever want from a 3-D Slasher Date Flick!" (My Bloody Valentine 3-D) – Harry Knowles
"An amazing 3-D experience with a good message for children!" (Coraline) – Jim Ferguson
"...a must-see in 3D for everyone!" (Monsters vs. Aliens) - Scott Mantz
"Exhilarating in IMAX 3D." (Monsters vs. Aliens) - Hugh Hart, Wired.com
"You'll find yourself dazzled by the impossibly breathtaking beauty in IMAX 3D." (Under the Sea 3-D) – Christy Lemire
"Magical, fun and dazzles in 3D." (A Christmas Carol) - Jeff Craig
"Fly Me to the Moon soars, taking the 3D experience to brand new heights." (Fly Me To The Moon) - Pete Hammond
"Mind-blowing 3-D animation." (Battle for Terra) – Pete Hammond
"Spectacular! An eye-popping, action-packed masterpiece!" (The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl In 3-D) - Earl Dittman
"A splendiferous fantasy more imaginative than the new Star Wars." (The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl In 3-D) - Kyle Smith, New York Post
"This phenomenally entertaining movie is better than front row seats!" (Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience) – Dan Jewel
Wonder if Dan Jewel from Life & Style Weekly has advance tickets to the Kenny Chesney film?