Episode 1, version 2: The 3D Menace

Somewhat ironically, given my last post, I went to see ‘The Phantom Menace in 3D’ last night. My cousin is visiting and asked me if I would take him so off we went. It was jolly nice to have a night at the cinema with my cus and the parentals paid for it, too. 🙂

Without wanting to digress into another dissection of the film here are my thoughts:

    • Jar Jar Binks actually is a funny character if you are 10 years old.
      I mean he still ruins any integrity that could be built up by simply opening his mouth or, you know, being there, but the kids do like him.
    • Why are there so many amphibian-like delicacies on a desert planet?
      This one always bugged me.
    • CG Yoda works really well in this film.
      By replacing horrific-rubber-monster Yoda in all scenes with the CG version, Yoda is now a consistant character through the film. Also, the new performances are very good.
      However, scars take a while to heal and even though I was caught up in what, thanks to the new digital performance, is effectively a new scene (seems to be a trend in Star Wars films, nowadays) I couldn’t help seeing those scary bug-eyes looking at me from beneath the digital exterior.

Anyway, enough about the film. Of course the big … the reason to… the gimmick of this release is the 3D, and this is a great example of how you can take a film never intended for 3D and make it 3D.

I’m actually saying that without irony. The 3D is extremely well done. Often it’s odd things that pop out, like the control levers on the starship console, but even then it certainly gives a good 3D view. There was only one scene where I it looked like the character had been cut out and moved forward – the lighting jarred and he just looked flat – but on the whole it was awfy good.

Unfortunately, some of the best scenes in TPM are the lightsaber scenes and, if you’re anything like me, 3D glasses might bring depth, but they also bring a certain blurriness. Maybe it just takes my eyes a while to adjust, but the opening battle with droids and jedi was just a bit of a colourful blur.

The sound was impressively booming in full cinema mode and this is possibly the first time I’ve seen the quality of High Definition cinema (I may have seen HD cinema before, but I’ve never noticed the quality in it). I’m assuming it was, anyway; you could actually make out little scratches on Qui-Gon Jinn’s lighsaber.

In summary:
Good technical exercise for some techy folk, somewhere.
A prequel film, then.

Oh, one final thing, unless you stay in Livingston and have no other choice, try to see films somewhere other than the Vue cinema there. While this was one of the few instances where the projectionist didn’t visibly cock up the showing, we could hear the booming soundtrack of the film showing next door, the food is massively overpriced (normal, I suppose) and bad: overcooked bun and hot dog, badly frozen slushie.

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