Friday, February 10, 2012

Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace 3D Impressions

Greetings, Internet!  The Bearded Bullet is here to talk about Star Wars.  Specifically, Episode 1 in 3D.  This won't be a full review - trust me, you don't want me to go on for pages about why this movie bothers me so damn much.  Instead I'll just briefly discuss the "3D-ness" of this re-release.

In short: Episode 1 did not need to be in 3D.  I don't say that because it was inherently just was not really even all that present.  Yes, there were scenes and images and sequences in 3D.  But I really couldn't tell most of the time.  Usually when I see a film in 3D I'll move the glasses a bit just to see how blurry the image is (so I can get a feeling for just how "3D" the film is).  I did this myriad times with Phantom Menace, and almost every time I did so the image was practically crystal clear.  No blurriness.  Hence, no 3D effect.  The one scene that this is quite evident in is the first scene in which we meet Queen Amidala in her main chamber, talking to Palpatine's hologram.  That entire sequence has little to no 3D.  Many of the scenes set in Mos Eisley had little or no effect.

Unnoticeable 3D is not inherently a bad thing.  Subtlety is key with most films.  Hugo is a great example.  The 3D is absolutely fantastic, yet is subtle in a way that you forget you're wearing big, dumb glasses.  With Episode 1 I also forgot that I was wearing those big, dumb (Darth Maul-themed!) glasses.  But in this case it was because I couldn't really even notice the effect most of the time.  I honestly cannot pinpoint any particular shot, scene, or sequence in which I was impressed by the implementation of 3D.  I thought the podrace looking fantastic...but not because of 3D.  The final lightsaber battle is still all kinds of impressive...but not because of the use of 3D.  It wasn't particularly bad - it just wasn't all that effective.

Maybe I'm being too nitpicky, but after having seen the likes of Hugo, The Adventures of Tin Tin, and Immortals last year, the standard for 3D in films has been raised quite a bit.  Granted, this film was post-converted and not shot in 3D, considering that it was filmed almost fifteen years ago.  Still, there are examples of good post-conversion (Harry Potter 8).  I just wasn't all that impressed with Phantom Menace.  That said, I do hope this re-release makes enough money to warrant post-conversions for the rest of the series.  I have a feeling that Episode 3 could look quite spectacular in three dimensions, especially the final confrontation on Mustafar.

Let me know what you think about the use of 3D in Star Wars.

Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace was underwhelmingly blah in three dimensions.

The Bearded Bullet is off to listen to Duel of the Fates...

No comments:

Post a Comment