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TPM in 3D
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cheshire
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:05 pm    Post subject: TPM in 3D Reply with quote

I just got back from taking my girls to see the early showing of Star Wars Episode I, and I thought I'd share a few thoughts on the film. I'm not going to bother commenting on anything to do with the plot, character development, or anything of the sort. You've seen the movie. You've already formed fairly solid opinions about the way it was put together and probably either consider it a paragon of Holywood magic with a rich plot and interesting characters, or a massive train wreck of movie insanity. My commentary on those aspects is unlikely to change anyone's vision of the film.

The main question is whether it makes a successful transition into 3D or not. And my answer is the movie makes only a modest performance in the 3D theater. When the movie was originally released it was praised on its outstanding visuals (Jar Jar Binks not withstanding). Some of the things that made it such a wonderful thing to see in two dimensions actually work against it when it moves to three dimensions.

One of the things that I cannot abide is when I am renting a film that was quite obviously envisioned exclusively for 3D. Most of that has to do with the way the camera focus is directed. Visuals that were made for 3D leap off the screen. When watching them in the theater, you can see everything in focus, and you merely have to choose which of these dazzling things you want to cast your eyes upon. In 2D such things become awkward. When everything is in focus, and everything is there for you to behold it becomes awkward. Shots have no definitive focal point. Other objects are TOO much of a focal point as they stay on screen for longer than the ought to, just to dazzle you with it popping out of the screen (which it obviously isn't if you're renting it for a standard TV).

Now enter The Phantom Menace. I'll probably post a few stills later on to show some examples of what I'm talking about, but several times the foreground objects are not the focus of the shot. However, such foreground objects are put in their perspective as "closer" in 3D. This means that several objects are set right in front of your face, but are blurry. When Qui Gon is standing closer to the camera, and the camera is focused on Padme, you see Padme very crisp and clearly, but you have a massive blur of a Jedi sitting in your lap.

Further, there were several shots where they had difficulty rending that "3D experience." With the film intended for a traditional screening, things don't leap out. Things don't immerse the viewer in the 3D world that other films attempt to create. There are many scenes where you can forget that you're watching a 3D movie.

This is not to say that the transition was a complete failure. There are several scenes, particularly those which were almost entirely computer generated, that create a rich atmosphere. Further, Darth Sideous' hologram has never before looked more like a real hologram. Close up shots of Palpatine just look wonderful. There are scenes where it adds excitement, and enriches the experience of the film.

In the end, I would say that unless you already love TPM, you could probably save your money. The 3D doesn't add that much to the film's visuals and, of course, changes nothing of the other dynamics that make the film either wonderful or wretched to the viewer.
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Darth Ginzain
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gonna totally agree with you there Cheshire. It didn't wow me, but was nice just to see Star Wars on the big screen again in any event.
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Fallon Kell
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:47 pm    Post subject: Re: TPM in 3D Reply with quote

cheshire wrote:
When Qui Gon is standing closer to the camera, and the camera is focused on Padme, you see Padme very crisp and clearly, but you have a massive blur of a Jedi sitting in your lap.

Crying or Very sad
Cool as he is, Liam Neeson is not the one I want sitting in my lap.

All joking aside, one of the things I'm curious about is whether the 3D has the "cardboard cutouts" look that most 3D films not shot with 3D camera rigs have, or if they went to the expense of adding depth and roundness to the shape of the actors, not just the position?
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Kaloth Varsk
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:19 pm    Post subject: Re: TPM in 3D Reply with quote

Fallon Kell wrote:
All joking aside, one of the things I'm curious about is whether the 3D has the "cardboard cutouts" look that most 3D films not shot with 3D camera rigs have, or if they went to the expense of adding depth and roundness to the shape of the actors, not just the position?


A lot of it looks like cardboard cutouts, and as said in the original review, blurry ones at that.
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Ankhanu
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This pretty much puts a finish coat on my solid intent to not watch this film Razz

3D here is such an obvious money grabbing gimmick that it's kinda painful to think about Razz 2D to 3D conversion isn't normally done well, as outlined above, and the viewing experience is something of a mixed bag of good points and "this just doesn't translate"... looks like Lucas' efforts are no better than anyone else's... but I guess through the power of myth... no, I guess not. Was 3D part of Lucas' vision for the franchise? I doubt it... and even if it was, Lucas has proven that his continuing "vision" is misguided s*** and that he needs to be reigned in by nay-sayers to produce a good product... but he doesn't keep anything but yes-men around now.

Yeah, won't be dropping my money on this.
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Kaloth Varsk
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason I went is that my 2 year old has become a Star Wars fanatic (without me prompting it at all surprisingly) and it was an opportunity to take him. I know good films or bad, it will be fun to go to the theater with him the next 5 years to see the movies, giving him the full experience. (Ironically, I was 2 when I first went to the original starwars release, so he is starting right on schedule.)

Knowing how much he is into Star Wars and how excited he was to see this, I got more confirmation on my complaint about the number of slow moving parts in TPM. My son fell asleep in the big lull between the pod races and the final battle. That section of the film always bothered me, along with a couple other slow parts that drag on too long. Now I know I'm not the only one.
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Zarm R'keeg
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was surprised at how well this worked to me- depth in shots like TC-14's introduction, with a recessed hangar bay through the door, and specially how well it enhanced the podrace. Not a great 3D film- but I found it to be well done...
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Doomhead
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ugh, no comment. George is dead to me.
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