REVIEW: Jackass 3D

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If I only said one thing about this movie, it would be telling you to go see it. Yes, it is worth paying to see in the theater. Yes, it is worth paying to see in 3D. It was everything I hoped it would be and more.

Jackass 3D opens today nationwide. If you have been jaded by the 3D overkill lately, this movie is for you. Johnny Knoxville, Bam MargeraRyan DunnSteve-O, Chris PontiusJason “Wee Man” Acuna, and Preston Lacy are all back along with many more Jackass favorites to present you with non-stop laughing and a mockery of the 3D everywhere nature of movies lately. Read more of this article »



Posted by under *mixed, Movies, Technology | Leave a Comment |

I avoided seeing Avatar for a number of reasons (including Angie and my own first hand experiences) but when I realized it would be leaving our local theater last month to make room for Alice in Wonderland, I thought I should give it a shot. I even declined a screening of Hot Tub Time Machine to give it a chance. With the DVD available this Thursday, I’m ready to talk about it.

I like most of James Cameron’s movies. Although I wasn’t crazy about Titanic, I have to give him credit for showing every recorded death from the event on screen. Unfortunately, Titanic has become something bigger than a movie and that turns a lot people off. The same thing happened to Avatar and I know it was part of what kept me (and Angie) away.

I had heard a lot of mixed reactions going in. I even had people telling me “you have to see it in 3D” or “you have to see it on IMAX in 3D,” so we went whole hog and saw it under the optimal conditions leaving no reason to think it wasn’t what it was supposed to be or any question about what it could have been.

Did it live up to the hype? I think that’s impossible after hearing it touted as the greatest achievement in the history of film. Was is good? I think I can say yes. It wasn’t great, it didn’t change my life, but it was decent.

Was it worth $30 for the two of us? That’s debatable. On one hand, we couldn’t see it on that screen in 3D any other way, so for the experience we had to pay that much. On the merits of the film itself, ignoring the technological marvel that it was, it wasn’t worth more than any other movie.

Coming out of the theater, five things stayed with me:

  1. Michelle Rodriguez in no way hurts this movie.
  2. “Papa Dragon” was perfect as a villain. He was vile, completely unredeemable and played masterfully.
  3. The exposition regarding the central conflict was incredibly heavy handed. “The people with the technology come in to an untouched paradise and want to take what’s under the ground and turn it into a parking lot after having destroyed their own world.” I thought it was a little on the nose until I heard the name for what was under the ground.
  4. Unobtainium. Seriously? Why not just call it “Can’t-get-it-ite”?
  5. I could have done without the 3D arrows. The majority of the movie used the 3D technology brilliantly, but they just couldn’t resist poking at the audience’s eyes in the final scenes.

I won’t be buying the DVD. I don’t know that I’d watch the movie again if the opportunity presented itself. I know for certain that I’m not interested in having 3D in my home. A lot of movies are going this route, but the technology’s just not there yet for any of them. Even Alice in Wonderland looked dank and grey through those glasses.


Avatar Sneak Preview: ML3D

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avatarA few months back, Kevin got us in to see a 15 minute preview of the new James Cameron film Avatar.  The event was similar to the Dark Knight preview we saw a few months before that premiere, but I have to say this was disappointing by comparison.

The problem I had with the preview was that none of the five scenes we were shown were in any way complete.  We saw enough to get the idea: the human military has some interest in a strange alien world, they send in operatives who have uploaded their consciousnesses into the bodies of the indigenous people, mayhem ensues.  The main protagonist appears to be a disabled marine who is made able to walk again in this new body and serves as the viewers’ guide to the alien world.  However, without any real context for the scenes, it was hard for me to get into.  The preview for The Dark Knight gave us the full bank heist scene, and I think anyone who saw it was completely on board for what to expect.

The real showcase for this event was the 3D IMAX technology used to produce the film.  It looks gorgeous when things aren’t really moving around, but the action scenes fell apart.  I struggled a bit having prescription glasses under the 3D goggles, but eventually found a configuration that worked.  Although it was amazing to see the way the scratches and imperfections of my lenses were intensified.

It was kind of interesting to see Sigourney Weaver (Aliens) and Sam Worthington (Terminator: Salvation) working with James Cameron given his success directing properties that made them sci-fi stars.  This movie may be great, but I wasn’t convinced enough to buy advance tickets for the December 18th opening as we walked out.

photophoto 2



Posted by under *mixed, Movies, Technology | Join The Discussion |

It seems like 3D has been everywhere the last few weeks. Some of the biggest news that came out of the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month was discussion about bringing 3D technology into our homes. Several different companies are pushing new technologies including 3D monitors for video games. Supposedly the industry is already working to avoid a format war similar to the Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD fiasco we all witnessed the last few years. We’ll see if they can pull that off.

But all of the reading I‘ve done lately about 3D being the future of television recently coupled with the way it’s also being heralded as the future savior of the motion picture industry… I admit I got kind of excited to see My Bloody Valentine 3D in a theater. Valentine is exactly what it’s advertised to be. A stupid 80’s inspired horror movie that embraces it’s 3D gimmick and runs with it. Eyeballs and blood seem to pop off the screen. A pickaxe gets thrown at the audience and a shotgun aimed at us. Basically all the horror movie stuff you’d expect. In general, it’s good fun I guess. You know if you like that kind of thing. It’s definitely not scary though and at the same time not funny enough to be a comedy either. The one thing I took from the film is that I’m not sure the 3D sex and nudity lives up to the way it’s advertised in the trailers. Seriously. Who advertises 3D sex anyway?

As fate would have it, Final Crisis: Superman Beyond in 3D (or is it 4D?) shipped the next day. And well… as much as I hate to hear people complain that Grant Morrison’s comics make no sense. This story makes very little sense and was so unnecessary. It basically serves to take Superman off the board during the main action of Final Crisis, but couldn’t he just as easily been in the future for Final Crisis: The Legion of Three Worlds? Oh wait, that’s right… he’s there TOO. How does that work? I dunno. Maybe they’ll explain it eventually or maybe they already did and just I missed it. Maybe I need to reread this two issue series, but I found the whole thing painful the first time. As for the 3D effects, they are kind of fun but it’s still just a gimmick.

So what’s the verdict about 3D in 2009? The glasses may not give people headaches as I hear they used to, but they still make the images slightly blurrier than I’d prefer. It’s a gimmick and unless James Cameron’s Avatar changes the game, I expect it’s always going to be a gimmick. Plus there’s no way the 3D gimmick is worth paying an extra $2 for in the case of MBV or an extra $.50 for Superman Beyond.

And let’s face it. Anyone who saw The Dark Knight knows the real future of the motion picture industry is Imax.