Daily Archives: 12/22/2011

“Star Trek 2” is 3D. Sort of.

Have geek, will boldly travel.

In a move calculated to tick off the 3D evangelists of the world, nerd warlock J J Abrams has announced that his sequel to “Star Trek” will shoot in 2D and be post-converted to the 3D format.  And possibly IMAX, too.  Maybe even Super-8?

I admire Abrams for sticking to his guns and shooting in the format which he feels most comfortable with but I do find it disturbing that studios are now so devoted to the idea of having a 3D version of a blockbuster that they’re quite happy to have the original film retro-fitted in post production to have another box copy element to tick off.

Either make it stereoscopic or don’t – the halfway-house model of converting a film after the fact very rarely ends up doing anything other than piss off the devotees and annoys the less passionate section of the audience who just want to see a film and end up having to pay more for the privilege, wearing a crappy pair of knock-off Raybans into the bargain.

I’m all for 3D when it’s done well – “Avatar“, “Resident Evil-Afterlife” – so I’m not dead set against the format.  What I am dead set against is taking something and mis-shaping it so that it fits into a marketing strategy.

The idea that Abrams wants to post-covert to 3D and IMAX, citing the example of “Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows” as a good use of the process fills me dread as that film was a complete and utter train-wreck in IMAX 3D.  Badly ghosted images, out of focus and wholly destroyed compositions, a lifelessly dull, bleached-out picture which obscured details – this is not what you pay a price premium for and if the evidence of “Deathly Hallows Part 2” in IMAX tells me anything it is that I will never again step through the door of any cinema which offers this kind of craven money grab and tries to pretend that they’re offering a premium experience.

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Trailered: “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

Not going to lie, I'm indecently excited to see this next December...

In what has apparently become the week of the year when the movie studios unleash all of their biggest movie trailers at once – Bam! “The Dark Knight Rises”! Bam! “Prometheus”! Bam! “Wrath of the Titans”! – New Line, MGM and Warner Brothers have now thrown the first teaser trailer for the first part of Peter Jackson’s adaptation of “The Hobbit” into the mix.

So, small fry, then.

It's Ash - run away! Sorry, wrong returning, nerd-bait, 2012 franchise entry...

Though it would have been intriguing to see what once-incumbent director Guillermo Del Toro did with the Tolkien source material (he does get a credit, per the contractuals at the end of the trailer), this first look does a lot to establish that it’s poetic that Jackson gets to return to the worlds he so convincingly realised on film in partnership with Phillipa Boyens and Fran Walsh – it just looks and feels right.

Anybody else want to up sticks and move to Hobbiton?

There’s just the right balance in this teaser between story and visual candy – much of it is scene-setting stuff with Gandalf assembling his collection of Dwarves and other Middle Earthians (amazingly, the WordPress browser spell-check informs that ‘Earthian’ isn’t a word.  Who’d’ve thunk it?) with the odd blink-and-miss-it battle with trolls chucked into the mix.

I'm no scholar of the "Rings", but that looks like Sting to me.

The first film opens on December 14th 2012 with part two, “There and Back Again” following a whole bloody year later.   Give them to me, now – project them directly into my waiting eye holes!

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