The final Saw movie came out in theaters this past weekend, promising to end the franchise with a giant, 3D explosion of gore and limbs. Unfortunately, the movie ended not with a bang, but with a whimper from Jigsaw's various mutilated victims, as they had their skulls pierced with sawed-off section of pipe and had their appendages torn off by science. There was no real sense of resolution, as the character deaths that were required of the film all felt quick and anti-climactic, and the ending was disappointingly left open for another installment with a new Jigsaw at the helm. Not that I expected The Return of the King, but even getting Jaws IV would have been nice.
After a long life as a cheap horror-movie gimmick, 3-D has experienced a second act as a way to add thrills (and box-office heft) to a big-budget event picture. But as the high-profile side of 3-D descends into political debate (to convert or not to convert?), Hollywood continued to crank out low-budget 3-D schlock like My Bloody Valentine 3-D and Piranha 3-D. Well, we've officially found something lower than 3-D schlock: Jackass 3-D has given us the world's first 3-D crap. Literally.
Producer Jon Landau hinted at this back in April, but now it's official: James Cameron will re-release Titanic in 3-D in April 2012. I'm hoping that when they convert the film to 3-D they go ahead and add some more scenes that take full advantage of the 3-D process. Because while sketching in cars and enjoying fine meals certainly makes for good cinema, it doesn't make for action-packed 3-D excitement. C'mon, Cameron -- let's Avatar this sucker!
DreamWorks has just acquired the rights to the Anime franchise Ghost in the Shell. Having made the jump from the pages of manga (Japanese comic books) to several animated films, television series, and video games, Ghost is now jumping even farther into reality, as DreamWorks plans to adapt the work as a 3-D live-action feature film.
The story, as it's been presented in the past, involves a futuristic task force known as Section 9, which fights technology-related crimes. At its center is Major Motoko Kusanagi, herself cybernetically enhanced and engineered. No word on whether she will figure into the new movie or not.
Of interest is DreamWorks' plan to humanize the franchise with flesh-and-blood actors (no doubt framed by state of the art CGI) while adding an element of surreality with the 3-D aspect. 3-D could be said to make something seem more realistic, but the "wow factor" often overwhelms the intended result. Plus, can anyone ever truly forget that they're wearing a pear of special glasses at the move theater? If you already wear glasses (from reading too much manga by the dim glow of a flashlight under the bedsheets) the result is doubly cumbersome.
There's also the lingering stigma of cheesetastic 3-D films of the past, as has been mentioned here just recently. New technology aims to bring 3-D into the digital age, although this time giving you the option of forty-dollar glasses instead of the flimsy disposables. (It's either that or wait until cybernetics advances to the stage where your eyes can simply be reprogrammed.) Will the new Ghost be a technological marvel, or a technological crime, deserving of Section 9's special attention?
I don't know how many of you hit the stores on Black Friday for the crazy deals and even crazier lines (personally, I can't get past the parking lot mayhem), but for movie lovers, even in this crap economy, this Friday may be the day you want to show up at Best Buy at 5 a.m. and get that Blu-ray player for $150 or whatever they're going for. It was just announced today that Japan's Panasonic Corporation has submitted a proposal to the Blu-ray Disc Association (the body that oversees the format's standardization, etc.) to create a "Blu-ray Disc standard to store three-dimensional imagery formed of left-/right-eye two-channel full-High Definition images (1920x1080 pixels)." And what does that mean for you? 3-D on Blu-ray, baby!
In many ways, Cleopatra was a woman ahead of her time. Through political machinations, she sought to secure her place in history, and if she could have seen into the future, she would have seen that her fame lived on, even if her empire did not. She would have also seen that she'll be getting the high-tech treatment as Steven Soderbergh plots to bring her story to the big screen. According to Variety, the director is planning to tell the story of Egypt's final pharaoah as a rock musical -- and it will be in 3-D. If she'd known this would some day be her fate, Cleo may have opted for a life of obscurity. [I think we're eight years beyond that. Have you seen Cleopatra 2525? - Zach]
I've just seen the future, thanks to James Cameron. He talks with The Hollywood Reporter about the future of 3-D movies, and specifically about his highly anticipated Avatar. In the process, he's given me a flash of insight about the future of humanity. Just as different species of human once co-existed on the planet, so it will be again. There will be a species that can see in 3-D and one that can't.
After Rob Zombie's Halloween 2 was defeated in its opening weekend by The Final Destination in 3-D, the producers of the Halloween franchise revealed that the just-announced Halloween 3 will actually be Halloween 3-D. While unsurprising, given the resurgence in 3-D's popularity, this particular 3-D-ification is a sly homage to the early 1980s, when it seemed like the third installment of a horror franchise -- Jaws 3-D, Amityville 3-D, Friday the 13th Part III -- was legally required to be watched through cardboard glasses. (The original Halloween 3, ironically, passed on the gimmick.) And that got us thinking -- what if all third installments of movies had to be released in 3-D? Some would be awesome, and some just plain ridiculous. Here's some quick takes.
Who ever thought we'd see the day that acclaimed auteur Martin Scorsese would direct a 3-D film? Granted, it's for his adaptation of the children's book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which apparently has a robot in it, but still! It makes us wonder how cinema would have evolved differently if only he'd embraced this technology earlier. We took a look back at his resume and picked out some appropriate movies to 3-D-ify when he inevitably gets around to converting his back catalog.
Time to test out the powerful magic skills I supposedly inherited from my West Indian and Native American ancestors. I summon, from the afterlife, Andre De Toth and John Ford! Rise, my fellow half-blind brothers, and help me stop Jeffrey Katzenberg's evil plan! Go forth and destroy the prediction that will ruin my opportunity to see movies! According to the Los Angeles Times, Katzenberg said in an interview that "I think in a reasonable period of time, all movies are going to be made in 3-D. When the audience experiences this... and the filmmakers understand how much greater an experience they can offer their audience and they can have as a filmmaking tool, I think 2-D films are going to be a thing of the past." "Oh, no!" screams this writer, sounding eerily like Saturday Night Live's Mr. Bill.