Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Did You Know MGM Re-released "Creed" in 3D?


Chances are many of you have heard of "Creed."  The seventh installment in the 'Rocky' series was released late last year to big box office returns and overwhelmingly positive reviews.  Critics and audiences alike loved the film Ryan Coogler brought to the house, and Sylvester Stallone is looking to walk away with his first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal as the aging Rocky Balboa.  By now most of you reading this have already seen the movie.  If you haven't it will be on BluRay in a few weeks.  However, did you know that two weeks ago MGM re-released the film in theaters?  Not only that, but they re-released it in a brand new 3D version.  Seriously, check out my ticket stub.

 
 

That's right, while most cheap theaters have the movie as originally released, regular movies theaters have gotten this unconverted monstrosity to show.  I'm sorry, did I say monstrosity?  Well, so much for reviewing the 3D version properly.  I guess there was no beating around the bush with this one though.  If a 3D version had been planned all along we would have gotten it on opening weekend.  Instead the movie was hastily converted to 3D within a couple months and released into theaters without so much a penny spent on advertising.

So how IS the 3D version?!

As mentioned before, it is a monstrosity.  It is an un-Godly sin upon the art of film making.  I've seen terrible 3D presentations before.  When people think of how bad the format can be they normally think of "The Last Airbender" and "Clash of the Titans" as their prime examples.  Those were certainly bad conversions and some of the worst examples of 3D you could find, but now that I've seen "Creed" I can honestly say I've found a new "winner" in the war for worst 3D upconversion.  First of all, this is "3D" in the most basic of ways.  While great 3D pops out at the audience, most of this movie pops in.  That means the image always seems to be several inches inside the screen rather than seven inches out of it.  This doesn't give us a sense of being immersed in the film; it gives us a sense the film is farther away from us than it should be.  This was probably done so that the characters could always be popping out of us.

The problem with that is that characters themselves might be popping out of the image, but that is all they are doing.  They hover in front of the backgrounds but they never seem to actually be there.  They look flat and unconvincing.  If you need a good visualizer, the best I can say is to remember those old pop up books you liked to read as a child.  The pictures pop out but the images are still flat.  That is how the effects work in "Creed." There is a slight upside to the 3D when we get to the training montages and the final fight scene, as those have obviously been given more time and attention to.  Those are the only scenes that could have benefited from this conversion in the first place.  Somehow they still don't give off the fully three dimensional feeling that is required to make it worth spending the extra $3 on (or even wearing those silly glasses for that matter).  In short, "Creed 3D" is a total bust as a movie going experience.

The only question now is why did MGM bother with it in the first place?  There was no demand for this even when the movie first opened, so why now?  It is strange, especially when you consider it was dumped into theaters without so much of a peep from the studios.  Well, one of the things that could have prompted this is that MGM decided that with the Oscar nomination for Sylvester Stallone, it would raise interest in the movie, so having a 3D re-release would insure that any slow pokes who were late to the party would be forced to pay an inflated price for the ticket.  It's totally possible.  Another reason could be that this was made for China, who embraces 3D almost to a fault.  In fact, most of the time China will get a 3D version of a film when America doesn't get it (see "Furious 7" and "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2").  The movie hasn't opened in China yet, so there is a chance this was made primarily for the Chinese market.

If that was the case though, again, why did they bother to release it in America?  The final reason could be that it was being made for a BluRay 3D release... on the other hand, scratch that, we aren't getting it on disk.  The disk comes out in a few weeks, unless there is some last minute printing I'm pretty positive we won't be getting it.  So what is the reason?  Well... I don't know.  I'm sorry guys, I just don't.  I tried figuring it out on my own, I can't think of a justifiable reason for it.  I have reached out to MGM for comment and I will let you know what they say after I hear back from them.  Until then you can see "Creed" in 3D in about 1,000 or so theaters.  I can't really recommend it unless you missed the boat the first time around, in which case a bad 3D upconversion is still worth putting up with to see it on the big screen.

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