Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Only you can stop the virus that is 3-D

In the race to discover the most despicable use of 3-D technology yet, James Cameron's plans for a 3-D Black Eyed Peas concert movie (if that is still on) have now been surpassed by an even more ridiculous idea.

Now, before I spew any venom, let me say that I'm a very middle-aged dude, so far from the target audience for anything about Justin Bieber (though I really did enjoy that German TV clip in which when, asked to say something in German, he replied, "What is German?")

However, even a few of his most devoted teen and tween fans might scoff at this: A 3-D biopic about the 15-year-old singer's life, to be released next February and somehow be directed by Davis Guggenheim, who made "An Inconvenient Truth." Yes, really. Now, I suppose it's possible that his 15 years have been filled with enough drama and suffering to make a feature length movie work, but I somehow have my doubts.

As regards 3-D overall, and in case you couldn't tell already, I pretty much thoroughly hate it, The Wrap had an interesting set of numbers this morning about the gimmick's failing arc at the box office. Now, this isn't entirely fair, since I don't think anyone expected the "Cats & Dogs" sequel to make a ton of money, but the chart below is still very telling. Enjoy.



An $80 million opening for "Alice in Wonderland" (which, unlike a lot of people, I quite liked, IN 2-D) down to the dismal bow of "Cats & Dogs"? Now, that's a progression that has me hopeful, but The Wrap's article quickly doused those hopes with a big dose of reality. Here's an excerpt:

“I think the overall message isn't that 3D is a fad or that it’s going away, but I’m not sure we’re moving to a point where 50 percent of the box office is derived by 3D ticket sales as some of the bulls currently believe,” BTIG Research analyst Richard Greenfield told TheWrap.

With, as the New York Times noted Tuesday, nearly 60 3D releases queued up for the next two years, the “bulls” can still be found in herds back in Hollywood. In fact, the flurry will continue this weekend, when Disney releases “Step Up 3D.”


Now, I'm perfectly able to simply skip "Step Up 3D," and with "The Kids Are All Right" somehow opening at my local multiplex this week, I can even see a good movie, but 60 3-D movies in the next two years? Sheesh. All I can say is keep hope alive, because only you can stamp out the scourge that is 3-D, and it all starts with simply saying no.

OK, that was a lot of bile for a Wednesday morning, so why not some actual good news about a movie I really want to see instead? Edgar Wright's "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" finally drops next week, and I'm totally amped for it.

As part of the appropriately aggressive marketing push, Cartoon Network's [adult swim] will air a short animated film titled "Scott Pilgrim vs. The Animation" in two installments between midnight and 12:30 a.m. Aug. 12. The short will cover Scott's relationship with Sex Bob-omb drummer Kim Pine, and will feature the voices of Michael Cera and Alison Pill from the movie. And for those of you who, like me, are rarely up at that trouble-making hour on a school night, it will re-air on Friday the 13th (yes, again), the day the movie comes out, on both Adultswim.com and its facebook page. Nothing but groovy there.

And since I have a bit more time, there are some other TV tidbits out there today that are pretty juicy.

As "The Office" embarks on its final season with Steve Carell's Michael Scott as the boss of Dunder Mifflin, it seems he'll tangle with Timothy Oliphant, star of the great F/X Western of sorts "Justified" and just one of my favorite actors.

According to TV Guide, he'll have at least a two-episode run as a rival paper salesman who angers Michael and Dwight by stealing away their customers. In my mind, that's already funny.

And speaking of Westerns, they certainly seem to be getting new life on TV these days, and that's welcome news in my little corner of the world. AMC is now developing a period drama called "Hell on Wheels," which follows the story of a former Confederate soldier who ends up working on the transcontinental railroad in the Nebraska prairie as he hunts down the Union soldiers who killed his wife. Juicy. And in the latest casting news, Reel Fanatic favorite Colm Meaney has signed on for the role of Thomas “Doc” Durant, a businessman determined to make his fortune building the railroad.

The final bit of good TV news today is that FX has, somewhat surprisingly, picked up a second 13-episode season of "Louie," starring the comedian Louis CK. I'm only really surprised because, while I like it quite a bit, it certainly is a dark and bitterly funny brew, so not exactly designed to appeal to a broad audience.

And I'll leave you with this nugget from the latest Ebert Club newsletter, an enjoyable read every time it pops up in my e-mail box. It seems that BBC1 is either airing or has aired a series of three 90-minute episodes of "Sherlock," a take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories set in modern-day England (and hopefully more than a bit better than that mess with Robert Downey Jr. last year, and I have to assume, next year too.) In the best news of all, the series, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch (great name there) as Sherlock and Martin Freeman (of the original "The Office" - see, synergy) as Holmes, will be aired on PBS as part of its Masterpiece series early next year. Enjoy this short clip from the series, and have a perfectly bearable Wednesday. Peace out.

3 comments:

The Mad Hatter said...

I'm not so bothered by the 3-D fad at the cinema, since it's relatively easy to avoid.

What perturbs me the most is the electronic makers trying to push 3DTV on us. Sorry SONY - I'm not interested in sitting in my own living room wearing $200 goggles that require me to look at my set head-on lest I lose the effect.

On the bright side - ya gotta love the way it's made the cost of non-3DTV's drop dramatically!

I'm deferring complete judgement until they start filming more movies in 3-D...the post-processing 3-D sample doesn't give an accurate reading.

Bob said...

Death to 3-D! Long live the old flesh!

So "Sherlock." Yes. I'm there. Can't wait for it to show up on BBC America.

Reel Fanatic said...

The post-processing thing is indeed what bugs me the most too, Mad Hatter, and like you, I resolve to never, ever buy a 3D TV (and with the amount of scratch I make, it's really not an issue)

As far as filming in 3D, I don't mind it so much if it's on a movie like "Avatar" for which it was clearly designed from the start, but overall, I still would rather just see it go away altogether