Saturday, July 12, 2008

3D or not, this weekend it's all about vision.

Whether you're lucky enough to have found a theater showing Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D actually in 3D, complete with the black "Real D" glasses and higher ticket price, or heading out to see director Guillermo del Toro's HellBoy II: The Golden Army, you'll be seeing a movie that is all about visuals. Since moviemaking is an art form based on telling stories with pictures, this weekend's releases may help bring the movie industry back to an old adage, don't say it if you can show it. It's interesting that these two films follow the release two weeks ago of Disney Pixar's Wall•e, an animated future classic that has been referred to as being a nearly silent movie, recalling the finest work of Charlie Chaplin. Interesting too that this weekend's films share the release date of a movie based on a singular visual joke, an alien ship in the form of a human being carrying aliens who look inexplicably like tiny human beings in the embarrassingly shallow Eddie Murphy comedy (attempt) Meet Dave.

Getting back to the headliners, both Journey and HellBoy offer a reason to part with some summer dollars and once again get out to the movies. 
Journey should only be seen, and I can't stress this enough, ONLY be seen in 3D. For two reasons. First, Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D was meant to be seen in 3D. The clue is the use of "3D" in the title. That "3D" was actually added to the title to convince the public that it was the 3D experience (the new advanced digital 3D experience) that is key. This is in fact the first live action film ever to be shot using this advanced process and for the big six studios, this was supposed to be the film that set the stage for a veritable onslaught of 3D films, both live action and animated, that is just over the cinematic horizon. Unfortunately for Warner Brothers and Walden Media, 3D ready theaters are lagging far behind in their readiness and Journey, expected to see a wide release 3D opening in some 1500 or so 3D venues, instead open in less than 850. In terms of a summertime wide release, a number far too small to generate the big opening marketing departments bleed for during the blockbuster summer release schedule.

And that would be the second reason to only see Journey in a 3D theater. You have the opportunity to let theater owners and movie studios know that they'll lose profits if they don't advance the state of the art of their theaters and that studios will suffer for making promises they can't deliver. Once again, as we've said so many times in these columns, if you haven't seen digital 3D yet, you really need to. If you are near a theater showing Journey, complete with 3D shades, go.

If you're nowhere near 3D, there's HellBoy. And here's the visual pitch: Pan's Labyrinth. Guillermo del Toro, a talented and capable storyteller in film, has become a top tier hot property because of his unique, sometimes arresting and always fascinating visuals. Intricately connected to his projects through his passion and diverse talents (that go far beyond the work of directing the film), Guillermo del Toro brings a vision to his work that is so confident and fully realized as to truly create an immersive world. The story and characters of HellBoy provide the perfect canvas for such a bold talent.

The journey through HellBoy II: The Golden Army is as much a trip through a fantastic adventure as it is through a riveting imagination, a showcase of an impassioned artist who revels in his task as a storyteller. As a director, Guillermo del Toro's talents are perfectly suited to his medium and the results are compelling and fascinating. Fans of HellBoy and fantasy films should be joined by fans of the visual arts, action adventure and big summer popcorn movies, to find themselves together in one group this weekend - fans of a visionary director who, like them, delights in visual storytelling.

Have a great weekend at the movies.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking a moment to comment. Please do so with respect to all of our readers. Thanks.