Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Michael Jackson's "Thriller" to be Released in 3D!


Well...this is a surprise to report on.  While I know he was controversial in real life, Michael Jackson is one of my favorite artists of all time.  "Thriller," Bad," and "History: Vol 1" (of which there was no Vol. 2 I'm sorry to say) are some of my favorite albums of all time, and though I was a 90's kid, I saw the iconic "Thriller" music video more times than I could count growing up.  For those unaware, this is a groundbreaking music video that is more of a short film, and it was one of the first music videos to truly make it main stream.  This was proof that the music video could be art.  Well, The Michael Jackson Estate has apparently remastered the short in 3D and will premier it at the Venice film festival.  Afterwards they will show it in theaters (likely before another feature, though what that feature is has not been announced...if the estate is reading this, may I humbly suggest you prep it as a pre-show to "Sing 2: The IMAX Experience").

The first thing that strikes me as interesting is that the estate decided to do this in the first place.  Michael Jackson had a long, complicated history with 3D during his career.  He loved the format so much he teamed up with George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola to make the 3D short "Captain EO" for Disney Parks (no, really), and was looking for ways to shoot more of his videos in the format.  The issue (of course) was that while Disney could afford the best 3D cameras to project bright, smooth images in their parks, most regular theaters could not do that and you had to use the red and blue set of glasses that made the image murky and green.  For that matter, if you played a 3D movie on TV in the same manner, you'd have to find a place to give out glasses to do it (which is why a 3D themed week for both ABC and Nickelodeon at the time both failed pretty miserably, and no one attempted 3D programing again until 3D could be built into the TV's themselves).

If the "This is It" movie proved anything it's that 3D had finally gotten to the point where Jackson was going to start using it in his concerts, and that film would eventually be released in one of the strangest BluRay 3D's I've ever bought (I'll write about that at some later date if you want).  So this is really the family continuing to work with the format the King of Pop had been exploring possibilities for until the day he died, and doing it with one of his most iconic videos.  What's really telling is how excited people seem to be to see this.  I've read so many positive articles about "Thriller" being remastered in 3D, that it makes me wonder if I dreamed all those journalists singing praises about IMAX (supposingly) getting out of the 3D business altogether.  It's just more proof in my eyes that the public likes 3D.  Journalists like 3D.  Artists like 3D.  The only thing they don't like is paying to see 3D and lackluster 3D experiences.  Give them something that sounds enticing though, and they WILL flock to it!

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