Posts Tagged ‘2010’

Active 3-D’s Award Ceremony for 2010

January 3, 2011

Whilst donning my tuxedo, I must apologise for my absence of the last few months, sadly necessitated by the restructuring of my company. Let us, however, consider last year’s 3-D releases, blow some raspberries, and dish out out some trophies, shall we? Shhh… the lights are dimming…
[Some random dancing is followed by a respectful hush as the announcer is tracked to centre stage by a follow-spot. He isn’t famous, but that’s a budgetary issue… He begins with the evening’s announcements:]

First up, is the…

Active 3-D 2010 Award for the 3-D film that was:

NOT QUITE AS GOOD AS ITS REPUTATION

Tron: Legacy – it was heartening to see original stars Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner return for the sequel, and the film contained some eye-ticklingly fanciful virtual environments – and a strong, driving soundtrack by Daft Punk. Its storyline wasn’t up to much, however, and its premise – that software should be available to all at no cost – flies brutally in the face of the film studios’ fight against piracy. Uncle Walt would’ve been horrified.

"And this pedal here accelerates box office receipts..."

 

That wasn’t as classy as one had expected.

Here, then, the…

Active 3-D 2010 Award for the 3-D film that was:

NOT QUITE AS BAD AS ITS REPUTATION

A tie, ladies and gentlemen:

Piranha 3-D – sadly, it wasn’t the tongue-in-cheek tribute to animal horror flicks that I had expected, but its crass attempts to please the older teen market at all costs were frequently laugh-out-loud ridiculous. Unintentionally so, of course. Richard Dreyfuss makes a funny cameo upfront which has all the movie buffs commenting that “You’re gonna need a bigger boat”, and its gasp-inducing, outrageous and counter-intuitive last few seconds were worth the price of admission alone!

Shrek Forever After was an entertaining-enough romp. I really believed that it didn’t deserve the vilification it received from so many loyal Shrek fans, despite the fact that its plot premise – of Shrek’s midlife crisis – was a bit heavy for junior audiences, and probably a bit depressing for the parents that took their kids to see the film.

 

 

With some trepidation, we approach the

Active 3-D 2010 Award for THE CURSE OF 2010

Without a shadow of doubt, this goes to Post-production 2-D to 3-D conversion, which plagued titles such as Clash of the Titans and The Last Airbender. These were veritable crimes against humanity, whose stereoscopic cruelty was matched only by their godawful scripts and woeful performances.

 

Moving on to the …

Active 3-D 2010 Award for THE WORST 3-D MOVIE OF THE YEAR

Where do I begin? Jackass 3-D for its relentlessly juvenile celebration of bodily functions? It’s tempting, but then I’d be overlooking some other, even more depressing, screen-time wasters…

I’d love to choose the re-release (with additional yawn-inducing footage!) of Avatar, but I’ve already roundly slagged off that release (at length) in this blog.

Could it be that disappointing animated effort, Alpha and Omega? Close… but no cigar. Nope; the winner is a tie between… the envelope, please… The Last Airbender and The Clash of the Titans. Finding the biggest offender between them is akin to having to choose between Tuberculosis and Hepatitus…

Please insert brain here. (The Last Airbender)

 

And now… the big one; the…

Active 3-D 2010 Award for  THE BEST 3-D MOVIE OF THE YEAR


Without a doubt, Toy Story 3-D. This funny, moving and highly engaging franchise-closer was not only the best 3-D movie of the year, in this reviewer’s opinion, but it was one of the finest movies of the year, in whatever dimensional package!

To add to the thrill of it all, its release was preceded by reworked, now-3-D versions of Toy Story 1 and 2. Unlike post-production 3-D conversions of live-action 2-D movies, computer-generated animated movies are easy to convert into comfortably-viewed 3-D releases, as they are originated within a 3-D environment.

Toy Story 3-D beat out other strong contenders, such as the charming How to Train Your Dragon, the moving, very funny and stereoscopically exciting Despicable Me, and the dramatically sound Megamind 3-D.

This ref calls foul on 2010’s live 3-D World Cup screenings

July 6, 2010

Watch your favourite teams disgrace themselves in living, breathing 3-D!

It appears that FIFA is so busy blowing the whistle on other companies breaking FIFA regulations, that they haven’t kept their eye on the ball on their home ground. The monolithic soccer body was in charge of all the theatrical 3-D screenings of the World Cup matches, and these simply didn’t make the grade.

The biggest problem with these screenings was that the commentary was present enough for audiences to hear that there was a commentary, but it wasn’t loud – or clear – enough for us to hear what was being said. This was really irritating, as I found myself continuously bending my ear to catch the odd phrase. A cinema manager assured me that this problem had manifested itself at all live 3-D World Cup screenings internationally. “It’s the vuvuzelas,” I was told. How then are we able to hear the commentators when we watch the games at home? Whatever the TV stations are doing to ensure clear commentaries for the normal broadcasts can surely also be executed for the 3-D screenings?

Then there’s the problem of cinemas which aren’t performing to technical standard. NuMetro’s 3-D screen at Hyde Park, Johannesburg, was too tightly masked. In other words, the moveable black screen borders which enclose the picture, were tightened for a shorter, wider (so-called “Scope”) image, whereas the soccer picture was “squarer” than the masking allows. The result? The top and bottom of the picture were lopped off, depriving the audience of the match statistics that appear in the top-left and middle-bottom parts of the screen.

The Il Grande, or cinema 11, at NuMetro’s Montecasino complex, boasts the largest non-IMAX 3-D screen in the world. Sadly, its digital projector, which, when originally installed, delivered a crisp, clear image from corner-to-corner, seems to have slipped out of alignment – horizontally as well as vertically. Simply put, if the top left-hand quadrant of the screen is in focus, the other three quadrants aren’t. This unclear picture put a serious damper on my enjoyment – and certainly dulled the sense of reality that the format (and the ads!) promised. The third screen to come under random review was Ster-Kinekor’s 3-D theatre at Greenstone Mall. Here, the picture was correctly framed and perfectly in focus.

Was it a worthwhile experience, with prices ranging from R100 a ticket (earlier matches) to R200 (the final)? Decidedly not! Yes, the prospect of attending live 3-D screenings of the matches was an exciting one, but, the technical imperfections spoiled not only the enjoyment of the 2010 matches, but the reputation, going forward, of all live 3-D sports screenings.