Monday, February 13, 2017

James Gunn to Marvel Fans: See "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" in 3D


With all the bad news 3D has been getting in terms of distribution, people keep telling me that everyone has given up on the format.  I am here to tell you that is not the case.  First of all, I'm still around, and while I may not be the most popular film critic of all time, I see value in 3D and will continue to push for the format (so long as it is actually being used properly and not just as a method to overcharge on tickets).  You know who else stands behind 3D?  Film directors.  Editors.  Cinematographers.  Glenn Kean can be seen in a video using virtual reality to do animation (and yes...that counts).  So, while TV manufacturers and theaters might be cooling on the idea of 3D, it is the artists who are still using 3D to tell great stories.  Some artists admit that they've tried 3D and, you know what, it just wasn't for them.  And that's fine!  Really.  Just because one artist is good at painting doesn't mean everyone has to be.  Some are better at sculpting.

That said, there are tons of film directors out there, with many claiming that they love 3D and what it can do for their movies.  Robert Zemeckis has immersed himself in the 3D format, with only two of his films in the last ten years being 2D (those were "Flight" and "Allied"...movies that might not have benefited from the format anyway).  Steven Spielberg likes 3D but is taking it on a case-by-case basis.  Peter Jackson wants to go back and reformat his older movies into 3D (I've got mixed feelings about that which will be addressed in a future post).  James Cameron is obviously for the format, and Ang Lee made a 3D movie so ambitious most theaters didn't know what to do with it.  Now, these are all giants in the film industry, but there are small directors who are also in love with the format.  One of them is James Gunn.  His might not be a household name, but he did direct "Guardians of the Galaxy," which is cited by many to be one of the best Marvel movies out there.

Well, he's returning for "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," and he went to Twitter to revel what aspect of the movie he is currently working on:


So, there are a few things to take from this.  First, the movie is not filmed in native 3D (disappointing but not surprising).  Second, the conversion is coming along great and looks better than Gunn could have possibly hoped.  Third, the 3D version is the one he recommends.  Forth, see it IMAX.  I could be wrong, but this might possibly be the biggest shout out for 3D from a Hollywood figure I've heard in a long time.  Gunn is pouring over this movie and likely knows every frame of it very well (frame is still a term, right?).  I don't know what inspired him to make this tweet.  He could be concerned that the 3D version will get ignored because of all the recent news or maybe he just liked the way the movie was looking so much he decided to tell us about it.  What is clear is that he believes the 3D version is the way to see his movie.  He likes the effect it has.  He is an artist working on a movie and he has come up with a look that he is proud of (and he has every right to feel that way whether it ends up being good or bad).

Yes folks, the news on 3D is discouraging these days.  Sony and LG dropping production of the 3D TV's (whether that is temporary or permanent remains to be seen) was a huge blow.  IMAX not showing "The LEGO Batman Movie" in 3D despite being very capable of doing so hurts.  "Trolls" getting shunned on BluRay 3D hurts.  But I write this post to remind you that while there are number crunchers out there that say 3D won't work, there are artists out there who say it can.  There are artists that are going to use the tools they have at hand to make the movies they want.  Remember, this whole explosion of the format really took off because of "Avatar," and the reason was because James Cameron made a movie where it really shined and caught peoples imaginations.  That was one artist.  Will "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" have the same effect?  Unlikely, but it is still being made by an artist. 

Artists will continue to make 3D movies because they like the way the format makes their art look.  They like the way it makes their art feel.  Eventually, people will want to see that art in an uncompromised format.  The distributors will then have to find a way to deliver that content to them.  3D may be slowing but there is a reason this format keeps coming back.  Who knows how many times it will have to slow down before it picks up speed again, but it always picks up speed.  One of these days the traction won't go away, and then this blog will no long be needed.  Until then, keep fighting the good fight!

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