Saturday, October 09, 2010

Harry Potter and the turning point in the fight against unnecessary 3D?


Actually, the photo above, of course, has nothing at all to do with the main topic at hand, but it's so epicly good that I really couldn't think of anywhere else to start today.

In case you can't tell, it's the great Michelle Williams (easily one of my favorite young actresses) as Marilyn Monroe, and the resemblance is strong enough that it almost borders on creepy. It's from a film, shooting now, titled "My Week With Marilyn" and directed by Simon Curtis. Using the diaries of Colin Clark, an assistant on the set of the 1956 film "The Prince and the Showgirl," it tells the story of the production, which teamed Monroe with Laurence Olivier. Definitely something to keep an eye out for.

But the main event here today is what I sincerely hope will indeed be a turning point in the battle against 3D, or at least against the kind of crappy 3D conversion that's simply tacked onto too many movies after they've already been shot.

The news: The first half of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," set to come out Nov. 19, will only be released in traditional 2D and IMAX, rather than being converted into craptastic 3D.

A victory against one of the most ridiculous film gimmicks of all time? Not quite. Warner Bros. is hardly making some kind of artistic stand here - according to the studio's news release on this, they simply ran out of time.

And, making this news even more of a mixed bag, the studio still plans to convert the second chapter, set for release July 15, 2011, into 3D, which just makes the whole situation very strange.

Still and all, any time a major release (and does it get much more major than Harry Potter?) backs away from the 3D madness, I have to smile at least a little bit, no matter what the reason.

The only case of I know of in which a big-time director has so far just said no to 3D for reasons beyond simple timing is Zack Snyder's upcoming "Sucker Punch," set for release in March 2011. Last I had heard, at least, he was resisting all entreaties to mess with the mostly or perhaps now completely finished film, so here's hoping he and wife/producer Deborah keep up the good fight.

OK, enough of that. Just one more bit of good news today and then an epicly awesome trailer, because I have a full day of errands ahead of me. My wallet clearly tells me I should drop HBO, but every time I'm about to, they come up with something strong enough to keep me hooked.

Currently, "Boardwalk Empire" is even better than all the critical hype built it up to be, and though they're clearly acquired tastes, I really dig the comedies "Bored to Death" and "Eastbound and Down" too.

And now comes word of an HBO movie pairing that sounds just about perfect. I normally can only take Al Pacino in small doses, because his usual habit of simply yelling all his lines just gives me a throbbing headache, but if you re-pair him with David Mamet to tell the crazy story Phil Spector? That should indeed be a wall of awesome once it all comes together.

Finally today is the first trailer I know of for Peter Weir's "The Way Back," and you can tell already from this short footage that the movie starring Colin Farrell, Saoirse Ronan (hah, I spelled that right without cheating) and Mark Strong will be on the scale we should expect from the director of "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" (and oddly enough, nothing else between that 2003 film and now.) As you'll see from the clip below, the movie, set to come out soon hopefully everywhere, tells the story of a band of prisoners who escape from the Russian Gulag and then go on an epic journey back to the rest of the world. Enjoy the trailer and have a great weekend. Peace out.

1 comment:

edgarchaput said...

WB's decision to release the first half of the Harry Potter film in 2D only is purely one of timing, as you wrote yourself. We shouldn't, even for an instant, believe that the studio executives are frowning on 3D conversions for tent pole releases.