When Iron Man 3 premieres in Japan this Friday (yes, a week before us, whatever), audiences there will have the opportunity to see the film — which is already being presented in 3D and IMAX — in “4DX.” And what the hell is 4DX, you may ask, with understandable hesitancy. Take it away, Wired: “This ‘fourth dimension’ experience will offer wind, fog, tilting seats, and odor effects.” Yep, you can’t just watch a movie anymore; you have to be knocked around and inundated with weather and smells. 4DX is already in use in China, South Korea, Thailand, Russia, Mexico, Israel, and across South America, and if you’re jealous of this nonsense, fear not — according to The Hollywood Reporter, the technology’s creators are “reported to be moving ahead with plans to bring 4DX to the U.S. this year, with a view to equipping 200 theaters over the coming five years.” Since the whole concept sounds like noisy, bothersome rubbish designed primarily to tack on even more ticket surcharges, here’s hoping 4DX is about as successful as these earlier, equally silly cinematic technical advances. … Read More
Today, moviegoers across the country will have the opportunity to see a 20-year-old movie on the big screen — and with an extra dimension to boot. Jurassic Park 3D is the latest case of a two-dimensional movie getting the three-dimensional (or “stereo”) treatment, following in the footsteps of several Disney titles and last year’s 3D re-release of Titanic. Since this is a new process, one that’s not yet been painstakingly demystified by DVD extras and behind-the-scenes reports, it seems, frankly, to be some sort of witchcraft; how do they take a movie that was finished two decades ago and transform it into a 3D experience? Luckily, we were able to get William Sherak to break it down for us. … Read More
As you probably know — whether out of personal interest, interaction with your favorite geek, or a glance at any delivery device for mass marketing — the first of Peter Jackson’s three-part (!) Lord of the Rings prequel series, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, is out in theaters this Friday. What may be less clear, at least to the casual observer, is what all this chatter is about “frame rate” and “48 fps” and other blather that have been floating around since the films went into production. So here’s a quick breakdown, to help communicate with the LOTR geek in your life (we’re a service-oriented site, after all!): what is all this talk about “frame rate,” and what does it mean to you? … Read More
It’s rare that a movie gets moved back on the release schedule because it’s just so amazing that studio executives want to savor their time with it. It’s also rare that a 3D movie doesn’t totally suck. So, while we can’t say that we’re completely surprised to hear that Warner Bros. has decided to move Baz Luhrmann’s 3D adaptation of The Great Gatsby from a prime awards season spot (Christmas Day!) all the way to an unspecified date next summer, we are curious what it could possibly suggest about the finished product. … Read More
If you’re a fan of original storytelling in film, the summer blockbuster season can be a bit of a downer, what with all the reboots, comic book movies, and reboots of comic book movies taking over the cineplex. Funny or Die riffs on this idea in a new video titled “Every 3D Movie Is the Same,” which features a rather impressive montage of very similar looking side-by-side shots from recent releases like The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Battleship. As Slashfilm notes, the clip isn’t entirely accurate, as it includes a handful of films that weren’t even released in 3D, but we still think there’s a very valid point being made here (and one that we’ve previously made once or twice ourselves). It’s not that we think 3D is inherently evil, it’s just a gimmick that far too often takes the place of interesting storytelling. How about you? … Read More
Welcome to Flavorpill’s streaming movie guide, a new feature in which we help you sift through the scores of movies streaming on Netflix, Hulu, and other services to find the best of the recently available, freshly relevant, or soon to expire. This week, we’ve got some newly streaming indies, recent favorites soon to be remade and sequelized, and a couple of classics that have been on our minds as of late. Check them all out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More
Your Flavorwire has made no secret, over the past couple of years, that we’re not exactly charter members in the 3D Fan Club. Most of the time, we’ve argued, it’s a gimmick—an irritating distraction that muddies up the frame, darkens the image, and gives you a headache, yet allows theaters to charge you a couple more bucks a ticket. And over the past few months, it’s started to seem that audiences agree; revenues from 3D movies dropped 20 percent between 2010 and 2011, and when the Clash of the Titans sequel Wrath of the Titans failed to deliver big box office last weekend (its $35 million opening weekend was far short of its predecessor’s $61 million), many commentators blamed lingering resentment over the original film’s shoddy, retro-fitted 3D presentation. (Of course, this week’s release of Titanic 3D may very well throw all of these arguments into the toilet — nobody gets people to pony up for for the glasses like Mr. Cameron.)
The unfortunate thing, if we may be just a touch contrarian, is that just as audiences are beginning to (slowly) back away from 3D, it’s starting to get into the hands of filmmakers who are actually doing interesting things with it, rather than merely slap in a few “look out!” gags and call it a day. And to clarify the position: it’s not that 3D can never work — just that it’s not a catch-all solution, and is more often than not ill-used. After the jump, we’ve collected ten films (in chronological order) from 3D’s 50-plus year history that were actually good films—and that put the technology to worthwhile use. … Read More
If you try to follow the business end of the film industry too closely, you can get some awfully mixed messages. (I mean “the business end” in the literal sense, although I’d imagine the sentence reads accurately the other way as well.) Perusing the Internet this morning, I found out that a) domestic box office is still on the decline and b) DVD and Blu-ray rentals are continuing to drop as well, though c) IMAX is booming, and d) ticket prices will probably go up, to make it seem like 3D is less of a rip-off. Oh, and e) The Hunger Games had one of the biggest opening weekends in movie history.
In other words, William Goldman was right: In Hollywood, nobody knows anything.
Of course, this whiplash-inducing confusion (are people going to the movies, or not? And if not, where are they seeing them?) is a natural byproduct of the cinema’s current state of transition, where people are as engaged and passionate as ever about movies, but changing the ways they watch them. And that’s why we’re curious about you, the Flavorwire reader: how do you see movies these days? … Read More
The pre-Valentine’s Day weekend was an unexpectedly big one at the box office, with four new movies bringing in over $20 million in receipts — only the second time in history that such an event has occurred, and the first time, as some outlets are reporting, that it’s happened on a non-holiday weekend. (We’ll let you decide whether a few days before Valentine’s Day counts as a “holiday weekend” or not. I’ll refrain from comment, in the interest of not upsetting anyone on the eve of said maybe-holiday.) What’s even more remarkable about this considerable fiscal accomplishment is that it was achieved with four movies that no one here at Flavorpill can actually imagine going to see. Neat trick, Hollywood! … Read More