Posts Tagged '3-D'

Wick-Quoting #29: Megamind

“I was destined to be a supervillain, and we were destined to be rivals!  The die was cast!  And so began an epic enduring lifelong career… and I LOVED IT!”

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Hi everyone, I am a guest poster for Wick-Quoting, reviewing movies that Mr. Wicked hasn’t yet seen (or doesn’t want to see)!

For the past few years, movie theaters have been flooded with computer graphic animated films that often come with a 3-D option.  When was the last time any of you saw a traditional 2-D animated film in theaters?  The only high profile example I can think of in the States in recent years is Disney’s The Princess and the Frog.  Anyway, while the medium of computer animation has provided us with some great films – such as, of course, any Pixar film – the rest of these movies out there, with their similar witty banter, cool graphics, and feel good morals, all feel like part of one big series.  A couple examples of the kind of films I’m talking about here include Monsters vs. Aliens, Alpha and Omega, Legend of the Guardians, and so on and so on.  Of course, some of these movies are pretty good, but it doesn’t change the fact that their basic formula includes the requisite wittiness, graphics, and morals.

I wonder what's going on here

Megamind is no different.  The film is about the titular antihero Megamind’s endless battle to defeat his archnemesis and hero of Metro City, Metro Man.  But when Megamind finally accomplishes his lifelong goal, he suddenly faces the realization that maybe he was aiming for the wrong thing all along.  Oh, and just like a certain other anti-villain film that came out this year, a minion is featured!

MINION!!

The above is spoiler free Megamind in a nutshell.  Sounds a bit like the summary of some cheesy “how to change your life” book doesn’t it?

A notable aspect of Megamind is that it features a surprisingly robust lineup of voice actors from Tina Fey to Jonah Hill and Brad Pitt.  (Ben Stiller is in the mix too!)  However, honestly the usage of Brad Pitt and Tina Fey’s voices seems like a bit of a waste.  Both of them are talented individuals, but their talents aren’t really suited to voice acting since they sound pretty generic.  Whenever you hear Jonah Hill, on the other hand, you know unmistakeably that it’s him, and I must say I think his voice matches his character pretty well.

A famous cast has definitely helped the film's rep

Overall, just like Brad Pitt’s voice acting in this film, I’d say that the best word to describe Megamind is generic.  Sure there are cool graphics, witty lines, and a feel good plot with a few twists and turns.  For a mindless dose of decent entertainment, I’d say Megamind is just fine. But overall in this big overarching series created by the many other computer graphic animated movies out there, Megamind doesn’t particularly stand out.

7.0

Quoted by Sawazz

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Wick-Quoting #5: 3-D

“Modern life is so thin and shallow and fake. I look forward to when developers go bankrupt, Japan gets poorer and wild grasses take over.”

-Hayao Miyazaki

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I remember back when I was in middle school, my uncle took my siblings and I to see the new movie, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over.  I have to admit, I was pretty excited, considering the fact I watched the previous two of the series and that it was going to be my first movie in 3-D.  The experience was disappointing, however – the story was bland and the 3-D wasn’t as great as I imagined it to be…

FALSE ADVERTISING!!

3-D at the time was something more experimental than it is today.  The reason for Spy Kids 3-D‘s success was because it was considered to be something new and different.  Of course today, it’s a completely different story, as people can choose whether to watch a movie in 3-D or not.  My main problem with 3-D is that it allows filmmakers to get lazy with their plots.  It’s almost as if the 3-D images can make up for anything that the film lacks.  This was definitely true with Spy Kids 3-D, which influenced me to already have a negative impression of 3-D, 7 years ago.

Nowadays, after the success of several movies in 3-D (such as Monster vs Aliens, the 3rd highest grossing animated film of 2009, and of course, Avatar), films in 3-D are coming out of Hollywood like ants on a hill.  Avatar, pretty much the main cause for 3-D craze, made way too much money (as mentioned in my previous post) causing the money makers in Hollywood in becoming greedier.  3-D, something which was rare only a couple of years ago, is now entering mainstream interest.  Just look at all the films that came out this past month. 

This is one movie where you can tell it sucks by watching the trailer

Clash of the Titans, a remake of a 1981 film, is a good example of 3-D influencing moviegoers.  It opened with $63.8 million in the US and Canada.  Even so, the film has generally poor reviews, and some even mention that 3-D hinders the experience.  Other films with 3-D additions include How to Train Your Dragon and Alice in Wonderland.  Getting even Tim Burton to join the movement is astonishing to say the least.  Burton, the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas and Sweeney Todd, needs no extra help in enhancing the worlds he displays.  This only goes to show how successful 3-D is so far and how money-hungry Hollywood has become (not that it wasn’t before).

Would this be better in 3-D?

This is not to say that some good movies are coming out in 3-D.  How to Train Your Dragon, for example, has both a decent story, and nice graphics.  3-D does add to the experience, but is this what people really want?

Having a dragon beats having a dog.. any day, any time period

However, Hollywood does have a reason for all of this, with problems due to pirating.  With actors and writers striking, lots of productions are being shut down.  About 50% of industry heads gone, and some big companies, like Paramount, are only making “big” movies (Transformers).  3-D is just the savior Hollywood was looking for.  It’s no wonder so many companies are turning to 3-D – it is much more difficult for people to pirate and enjoy a 3-D movie.  3-D requires people to actually go to the movies and pay the extra 3 dollars or so. Now here’s the kicker: Why are people willing to pay extra to see a movie in 3-D, even though the plot is most likely crippled by the visual enhancements?  Do people really rather want to watch movies like Transformers 2 instead of movies like Memento?

OMFG, THIS IS BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!11one1!!!1

Because of piracy and other problems, similar to what the music industry faced (and is facing) earlier, Hollywood is unable to support the middle directors and filmmakers, resulting in only the big budget, 3-D filled, story-deprived movies to exit the gates of Hollywood and enter theaters and dvd/bluray.  What is going to happen to all the potential masterpieces that resulted from these middle filmmakers?  Sadly, we will be seeing a lot less of them in the decades to come for sure.

My main fear is the film industry permanently going down the path of 3-D and visuals.  I’m all for some good graphics, but 3-D is pushing it a bit too far.  Films are made to allow people to experience what they see on the screen, and maybe, even feel like they are a part of it.  In the future, people might actually end up being in the films with 3-D aspects surrounding them 360 degrees.  This is not watching a film.  3-D does all the work for a movie, engaging viewers with the characters and plot.  I can only imagine the wonders it’ll do for character development and plot twist.

Spy Kids 3-D has made over 197 million worldwide. It's no wonder Rodriguez is writing a Spy Kids 4..

With legit films like Fight Club making only 100 million, I guess it’s time to say goodbye to these good old types of films and say hello to flashy and ridiculous (not the good kind) films.

PS: If you ever go movie hopping, I suggest supporting the good films and movie hopping the “cheap” 3-D stuff.. oh wait, you can’t cause you need the 3-D glasses, oh shit!!


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