Sunday, 9 June 2013

Wrath of the Titans

Wrath of the Titans is an enjoyable, gritty bit of mythological hokum with CGI effects on the epic scale of Lord of the Rings. This is an excellent conversion from Prime Focus with the standout 3D scenes being in the labyrinth of Tartarus. At times the conversion looks almost native but overall it doesn't quite hit the heights of conversions such as "Titanic" or "Alice in Wonderland". It's a valiant effort though and by all accounts, a huge improvement on their conversion of Clash of the Titans.

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Sunday, 2 June 2013


Set in a Dystopian future, Dredd is an ultra violent and bleak, movie adaptation of the 2000 AD comic book hero...a kind of Dirty Harry (specifically The Enforcer) meets Robocop, meets Escape from New York, with a sprinkle of Blade Runner (the music of the slow motion drug induced scenes even having a Vangelis quality). I know it's only a movie, but while watching the two leads constantly battle it out, I kept thinking to myself, if this was a typical day in the life of Dredd, no amount of money or job satisfaction would be worth going through all of that for..unless your as psychotic as the very criminals that you are fighting. With regards Dredd, the jury (no pun intended) is still out on that one.
How's the 3D though? In a word..."Dredd-ful". I went into this movie with reasonable expectations (having read several reviews) but boy was I disappointed. I was under the impression that Dredd was shot natively but on viewing the movie, apart from a few scenes here and there, to my eyes Dredd is an obvious conversion and a poor one at that. Very rarely is there any sense of depth and characters and objects have that tell tale flatness so evident in poor conversions. Throughout the film, scenes look flat but with just a bit of added layering to selective objects. There is little, if no sense of space (between the characters and walls for example) and the overall shallowness of the film betrays the movie's 2D origins to my eyes. Yes there are a few scenes here and there, splattered (pun intended) throughout, but overall this is a weak effort at 3D. To all you 3D fans who have yet to see this...take my the 2D version instead. That way you want be disappointed and annoyed at the quality of the 3D throughout the movie.

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Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Madagascar 3 : Europe's Most Wanted

 Madagascar 3 : Europe's Most Wanted is an inventive, madcap, sometimes over the top animation aimed squarely at children. Although I found it occasionally irritating (one set piece is followed by another with alarming regularity) the 3D is a total winner and has an amazing quality throughout.  As soon as I saw the 3D displayed in the Bluray menu, I realized that the 3D in this would be special and I wasn't disappointed. The only drawback with having this type of strong 3D is that, throughout the movie, from time to time, some ghosting is visible. Having said that, I will take strong 3D and some ghosting anytime over weak 3D with no ghosting.

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Saturday, 11 May 2013



Frankenweenie is a kind of cross between Frankenstein (the story), Edward Scissorhands (the location design) and Ed Wood (the style and B&W photography). This movie could only come from the imagination of Tim Burton and in my opinion, it's one of his best movies of recent years and similarly, at times....genuinely sad and moving. The puppet animation is excellent and as you'd expect from Tim Burton, suitably quirky.  The story is a nice variation on Frankenstein and there are knowing winks to the kind of films that inspired Tim Burton as a kid....the television shows real footage from Hammer's Dracula (AKA Horror of Dracula) and the finale of the movie pays homage to 50's Monster movies such as The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms etc. Apparently, Frankenweenie was converted by Prime Focus and overall it is a sterling job with a nice sense of depth that is consistent throughout. The model puppets have a nice volume to them and we really get a sense that these are real, solid objects, rather than CGI. There's not much pop-out that I remember but that doesn't spoil the 3D, which is used very creatively to enhance the story.

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Thursday, 25 April 2013

Hotel Transylvania


While watching Hotel Transylvania, I was constantly reminded of Despicable Me. The style and presentation is very similar while Count Dracula's accent sounds a lot like Gru's. That's surprising especially when you consider that Despicable Me came from Universal Pictures while Hotel Transylvania is from Columbia and Sony.  Additionally, the 3D is also on a par with that movie...its consistently good with some stand out and pop out moments.

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Wednesday, 17 April 2013


Although ParaNorman is good fun, quirky and a bit different, overall I was disappointed with the 3D. Unlike Coraline (made by the same team) the 3D doesn't seem to improve much in the ghostly or "other worldly" moments. In Coraline, when she enters the alternative world, the 3D is really amped up to create lots of "wow" moments. In ParaNorman,, the 3D never really inspires or reaches the same level. Sure, there are a few nice moments (usually during scenes of confrontation) but overall the separation is quite narrow throughout the movie. Having said that, there is a definite volume to the excellent puppet characters even if it is only a shallow one. We never really get much sense of depth in most of the environments though.

With regards the 3D then, for a kid's movie that happily touches on subjects of death, suicide, homosexuality, alludes to the F-word and is full of creepy ghouls and zombies with frequently missing limbs, is it too much to ask for a decent and strong 3D throughout the movie too?
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Saturday, 6 April 2013

Resident Evil: Retribution


I loved the first Resident Evil movie, disliked the 2nd one with its fast editing and confused storyline, enjoyed the 3rd again while the 4th movie was just OK. Unfortunately, I was totally bored with the 5th movie of the franchise. Maybe its a generational thing, but 90 minutes of watching people shoot and fight does not for me, a good film make. Agreed, visually the film is excellent and creates a great Sci-Fi environment but the plot and character development is so poor, even non-existent that I didn't care much what happened within that world. As well as this failing, there was no suspense or fear throughout the movie...the zombies just seemed to exist purely as cannon-fodder for Alice and her cohorts to show off their fighting skills. Personally, I didn't feel any connection with any of the characters (unlike the first movie) for me, they were all just too two dimensional and seemed to exist just to make up the numbers for the aforementioned incessant fight sequences. An example would be in the relationship between Alice and the little girl. Just because she hugs her and shows a maternal instinct doesn't necessarily mean that the audience will automatically be drawn in emotionally to their supposed relationship. It's not enough. More interaction is needed to develop their relationship and make the audience really care. This was true of all the characters in Resident Evil: Retribution and, if anything the movie needed to be slightly longer (or have less fights) in order to explore more of the human bonds between the characters. Otherwise we just feel as though we are watching a Video game with computerized characters.
With regards the 3D, it was a slight improvement on the 4th installment but there were few "wow" moments and the 3D is least successful in the type of fast paced fight sequence that is so prevalent in the movie. Overall, another disappointment in the franchise.

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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter


A pretty good conversion with a mixed bag of 3D. The 3D is amped up for the action scenes and is usually flatter during moments of dialogue

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Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Dr Seuss' The Lorax


Universal Picture's adaptation of Dr. Seuss' children's book from 1971 centering around a cautionary tale of Corporate greed and the natural environment. Featuring the voices of Danny DeVito and Zac Efron, the 3D is excellent and consistent throughout
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