« The Girl Who Played With Fire trailer online | Filmstalker | Black Water Transit in more legal wranglings »


Men in Black III announcement selling 3D

MeninBlack.jpgWow, that was disappointing. I just watched the announcement for Men in Black III, and it was thoroughly not worth it. Will Smith standing there in a black suit proclaiming how he will make 3D look good and then putting on his shades. That's it.

Nothing about the film or the other stars, nothing other than telling us the film is being made and that it's going to be in 3D. Oh and that Smith will star. We've already heard it, so why the announcement teaser?

It's for the 3D. To hype the already well over-hyped format. We're even seeing television adverts in 3D and there's such a tiny minority of people with 3D TV's.

Frankly I'm not about to throw away the money I've spent building up a high quality system to spend even more money to throw that away on a format squeezing the bandwidth of two pictures into a place where there was just one, and then don physical glasses that interfere with the picture to fool my eyes into thinking it's a 3D image.

I want my high quality, high definition 2D image thanks, and I can get just as immersed into a film through outdated aspects such as script, acting, lighting, cinematography, direction.

I know these words sound antiquated to Hollywood and studios, after all, that's where their money is spent, not earned. They know that a rubbish film released on artificially inflated ticket prices for 3D screenings will earn them more. So let's make everything 3D, after all there's no knew innovation that can make the consumer buy a whole new system is there?

Okay, rant and cynicism out of the way, no I can't do that, because watching this teaser just made me think that Will Smith is pimping 3D over and above the film, and that's before there's even a script, and that's one of the things I hate about 3D, the fact that it is the driving factor for a film these days and that the scripts are written from the outset for 3D.

That's what I loved about Avatar (Filmstalker review), it didn't do that, it made a film and used 3D in it. However it never sold me on 3D being the future. Until I can watch a screen in 1080p without the need for fooling my eyes with physical glasses perched on the front of my existing ones, cutting out half the picture for each eye and darkening and dulling everything, I'm not interested.

I'm even less interested in a star of a film telling me how great he's going to make 3D look standing on a back lot, talking about a film that doesn't even have a completed script yet.

Okay, I've had my say, let's hear from Will Smith on how cool he is while wearing a black suit and shades:



It could be argued that the Men in Black franchise was never really about the "script, acting, lighting, cinematography, [or] direction", even when it was 2D. They were an hour and a half in the dark laughing at stuff then seeing it blown up.

What Sony have given their audience is a short little advert to plant the seed in the average cinema-goers head about a third Men in Black flick. Will Smith took ten minutes out of his no-doubt busy mega film star schedule to paraphrase one of those little quotable lines from the first film to get you thinking maybe you're gonna buy Men In Black off iTunes when you get home (£6.99).

Yeah 3D is a gimmick, especially in the home [recently tried the Samsung 3D LED units that have been filling up Currys and Comets, and I can't see myself sitting at home with the glasses on], and of course studios shouldn't push a film SOLELY because they can do it 3D. But that doesn't mean 3D doesn't have its place in cinemas. 'Zany' 3D effects will always be entertaining to children, and while they're ducking from explosions, I still want to see what Scorsese can do with the depth that modern 3D provides.

Well that is true Dougie, although I do think that the first MIB was a very entertaining and fun film, something the second failed to reach.

I agree, 3D does have it's place, but not as the main core of a film. Making a film all about the lighting before you've thought of or perhaps completed a script is a bit daft, so why with 3D.

Whatever people think of Avatar, it did the right way, and that's what I want to see more of. If we're going to have 3D and it's hear to stay, keep offering us choice and make it an added part of the film, not the main drive from conception.

Actually, having given it some thought. There is occasion where I can see 3D being the only reason to make a film. This summer brings up Piranha 3D. And yes the script will be practically non-existent, and the acting horrendous, but it'll be good fun. You can't really hang out with a bunch of mates then head off to see the new Jim Jarmusch film. Cause half of your party will probably be bored. But they'll all be up for sitting in the dark looking like fools for 90 minutes while body parts are hurtling towards them.

This loophole cannot be over-used though. Maybe I'd go see two or three films of this nature a year. I wouldn't be going every month. It needs to be kept as one of those rare moments where not only was the film memorable, but the viewing experience was too. Like Black Dynamite's UK premiere at last year's film fest. It was HOT night, Filmhouse 1 was jam-packed, it felt sweaty and muggy and it fit the tone of the film wonderfully.

So, yeah. A couple times a year I'd be okay with them pumping out a fun flick in 3D. The Piranha 3D budget seems to be around the same as the Death at a Funeral remake, so provided they don't do that again, and they shouldn't do it again, use that money.

But Piranha 3D is not just about the 3D, it's about the silly story, the prehistoric piranha and the terrible deaths, the babes in bikinis, and the big name actors in an old B movie directed by a pretty good horror film director.

Is there really a film that's just about the 3D? I'm not so sure, even the bad 3D films have a story to them, even if it is rubbish.

The problem is if the 3D is the driving factor, and I don't think it has been in Piranha, that was to recreate the old horror film and have fun with it, and it happened to be in 3D.

That space monkeys animated film is probably something closer to what I mean.

Piranha 3D may sell on those factors, but if it wasn't for 3D, that film would not be getting made in 2010. It's the script that got lost in transit when there was a resurgence in water-terror with Lake Placid, each one beating the other for Worst Cast, Least Plausible Dialogue, and Most Ridiculous Title That Isn't Croco-saurus or Alli-get-her. Script turns up 10 years later, a quick find/replace for CD-Walkman/iPod, slap a 3D camera to it and you're out the door.

Space Chimps 2 and any other CG movie are easy enough to put out in 3D, it's just moving the virtual camera and rendering again, but you can still tell the difference between that, and the care that Pixar took in the 3D conversion of the first two Toy Story films.

Of course the 3D-ness of the majority of the kids films are just for the money-grab, the parents take their kid to the cinema cause it keeps it quiet while the parent gets a quick nap in the dark, but there's silly things to put on your face, and the kid goes MENTAL for them, so you relent cause it's one of those battles you can let slide.

ODEON are being particularly cool and knocking a pound off the ticket price if you're bring your own 3D glasses, and if you buy the glasses with the ticket, they are yours to keep. I thought I'd be the one having to lecture the kid on keeping the glasses, but last I looked, hers are in perfect condition, and I've poked the lenses out of mine so that I can look like Ronnie Barker.


Add a comment


Site Navigation

Latest Stories


Vidahost image

Latest Reviews


Filmstalker Poll


Subscribe with...

AddThis Feed Button

Windows Live Alerts

Site Feeds

Subscribe to Filmstalker:

Filmstalker's FeedAll articles

Filmstalker's Reviews FeedReviews only

Filmstalker's Reviews FeedAudiocasts only

Subscribe to the Filmstalker Audiocast on iTunesAudiocasts on iTunes

Feed by email:


My Skype status


Help Out


Site Information

Creative Commons License
© www.filmstalker.co.uk

Give credit to your sources. Quote and credit, don't steal

Movable Type 3.34