The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 3D review

Designed as a prequel to the Lord Of The Rings, The Hobbit is an epic-fantasy new trilogy fully shot in 3D, the film will be released in 2D, regular 3D and IMAX 3D. Future parts II and III, The Desolation of Smaug (2013) and There and Back Again (2014) of The Hobbit will also be filmed using 3D, each film has a budget of $150 million with Peter Jackson being the executive producer of the whole series. A game based on The Hobbit, called Guardians of Middle-earth is available for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, with Warner Brothers developing two online free to play games to promote the series, titled The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth and The Hobbit: Armies of the Third Age.

Set in the fantasy world of Middle Earth The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey starts with a necessary long preamble before evolving into action.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 3D

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 3D

The film was shot at 48 frames per second using a new technology called “High Frame Rate 3D” (HFR 3D), as opposed to a standard film of 24fps, this makes The Hobbit looks much more more realistic, with higher picture quality but one huge one drawback, the crystal clear image highlights too much the CGI fantasy elements, like superimposed animals and wigs, exposing them too much to the viewer. On the positive side the scenes really bring you inside Tolkien’s fantasy world, with something that looks similar to a pop-up storybook. The film execution, as you could expect from an Academy award winning director like Peter Jackson, was technically audacious, with the right angle shots, nicely paced and a spot on script and acting. This is a beautiful movie that will please Lord Of The Rings fans but will not leave them with an awesome taste of mouth and it might be found mediocre by new comers to the series.

Synopsis: The wizard Gandalf arrives to a quiet shire where a group of Hobbits live and convinces one of them, Bilbo Baggins, to join a group of dwarves on a quest to reclaim the kingdom of Erebor. The journey takes Bilbo through a path of treacherous lands swarming with orcs, goblins and other dangers.

Director: Peter Jackson
Starring: Martin Freeman, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Lee Pace, Richard Armitage
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 169 minutes

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Review Rise Of The Guardians (2012) 3D film

From the creators of How To Train Your Dragon, DreamWorks brings you a seasonal computer animated fantasy-adventure film for children based on William Joyce’s The Guardians of Childhood book series. Rise Of The Guardians might not have the most original characters, made up by Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny ( Hugh Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), Jack Frost ( Chris Pine) and The Sand Man, but it is easy to connect with the film cheme aiming at protecting children’s innocence all over the world.

Dreamworks assured Joyce that Rise Of The Guardians would respect his vision for the characters and he would be involved during production, he was the co-director for some years but left the position after the death of his 18yo daughter from a brain tumour and carried only assisted as an executive producer with Peter Ramsey taking over full direction of the film.

The Rise Of The Guardians 3D film

The Rise Of The Guardians 3D film

Children will love Rise Of The Guardians, it will capture their attention with amazing dazzling visuals and make them laugh with an hilarious dialogue, Rise Of The Guardians will put everyone in the Christmas spirit, this is definitely the right time of the year to watch a pleasing film featuring Santa Claus fighting evil. The 3D CGI effects of the sand and frost are breathtaking and the snowflakes appear to come right at you, this is a worthwhile 3D film that shows how this technology can capture audience attention. DreamWorks developed a new tool called OpenVDB to store volume data, this has now been released as an open source project with the hope to make it an industry standard.

The only things I was not too pleased about was meagre script consistency and seeing Santa Claus covered in tattoos, apparently it has to do with the original book series but it is not something one expects to find in a Christmas family film, despite that, Rise Of The Guardians broadcasts a good overall message to the children making it fun to watch and easy to understand. There is a plethora of elements in this movie to keep adults and children entertained and the few scary scenes with the Bogeyman are appropriate for all young kids.

You will not regret taking your children to watch this film, it is full of good heartedness and humour, I can predict that when this movie becomes available on Blu-Ray it will make for an awesome Santa Claus Christmas present.

Synopsis: A bizarre and fearsome group of heroes with supernatural abilities is assembled to protect children’s innocence around the world from an evil spirit assault on planet Earth determined to bring darkness.

Director: Peter Ramsey
Writer: David Lindsay, William Joyce
Starring:  Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin and Isla Fisher
Runtime: 1 hour 37 minutes

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Dredd 3D (2012) film review

Dredd 3D special effects

Based on AD2000 British comic series called Judge Dredd but unrelated to a 1995 film of the same name starred by Sylvester Stalone, Dredd 3D was shot using RED MX, SI2K, and Phantom Flex high speed 3D cameras in the South African cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg as well as studios, camera rigs were used with some elements converted to 3D in post production, the end result is a look and feel reminiscent of the gangster movies in urban settings with lots of gruesome and realistic shootings using a post apocalyptic world as a background. Dredd’s “Lawmaker” weapon was based on a fully operational 9mm firing system and his bike a modified 500cc motorbike with an added frame and machine guns.

The producers have opened the door to a second part of this film and even a trilogy, depending on its ticketbox success.

Dredd 3D film

Dredd 3D film

A rated R film due to violence, drugs and mild sex, the film contains lots of action with judge Dredd being the main focus, taking part in graphical and bloody gun battles, the acting is average but with the film appealing factor being shootings and explosions it should not matter much, you will not have time to get bored in Dredd 3D, fast paced action will move you from one dangerous situation to another. The special effects are surprisingly good, full of slow motion scenes that add realism to the film, if you have read Judge Dredd comics you will want to watch this film, the plot and characters are adjusted to the original storyline, an effective action B movie with impressive visuals that will keep fans of degenerate sci-fi worlds and shootings entertained. Dredd 3D will not win an Oscar but it is worth watching for a non family friendly enjoyable afternoon.

Synopsis: In a vast violent megacity where criminals rule the street the only force challenging them are the urban cops called “judges”, and they have the ability to act as a judge, jury and executioner. Feared through the city, Dredd is the most effective judge of them all and he is tasked with tackling a dangerous drug epidemic city wide.

Director: Pete Travis
Writers: Carlos Ezquerra, Alex Garland, John Wagner
Starring: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby and Lena Headey
Runtime: 1 hr. 38 min.

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Resident Evil Retribution 3D review (2012)

Resident Evil Retribution 3D

The fifth part of of these science fiction thriller series is a direct follow up of the previous Resident Evil Afterlife with many of the same actors and characters as well as plot, the film is heavily influenced by the video game of the same name and famous sci-fi films.

The effects supervisor Paul Jones stated that he wanted the zombies make up to look realistic and took inspiration from “Day of the Dead” for that, many of the scenes also contain slow motion and bullet time effects reminiscent of “Matrix“. Filming locations include Toronto in Canada, New York in the US, Tokyo in Japan and Moscow in Russia, the film plot takes Milla Jovovich (Alice) visiting all of those locations around the world.

Resident Evil Retribution 3D film

Resident Evil Retribution 3D film

If you liked the previous Resident Evil movies you will not disappointed,  you can also expect lots of flesh hungry zombies and blood spatter,  fans of action and violent sci-fi movies will enjoy this film, the dialogue isn’t great but shootings and destruction scenes are amazing to watch, the 3D effects in Resident Evil Retribution are admirable and allow you to appreciate slow paced bullets flying out of the screen and exploding zombie body parts

Synopsis: Umbrella Corporation deadly T-virus continues to ravage planet Earth transforming people into flesh eating zombies, the human race only hope, Alice, pursues those responsible for the outbreak around the world discovering a secret about her mysterious past that will change the perception she has about her own life.

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Writer: Paul W.S. Anderson
Cast:  Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory and Michelle Rodriguez
Runtime: 95 minutes

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The Amazing Spider-Man 3D review

Spiderman in 3D

 The Amazing Spider-Man is a new chapter in the Spider-Man saga focused in the untold story of Peter Parker trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Based on a Marvel Comic book by Stan Lee and Steve Dikto, the story writers have paid attention to detail, there are few things that irritate me more in well produced movies than a ridicule storyline, fortunately the dialogue is very realistic and everything makes sense.

The Amazing Spider-Man is a true 3D film shot in 3-D at 5K resolution with Red Digital Cinema Camera Company’s RED Epic camera, the first time these cameras have been used to shoot a major studio motion picture, it was thanks to them that it was possible to mount the cameras on rigs that could fly to the air and run to the streets in a certain pace, it would have been much more difficult to do with bulky and heavy 3D cameras.

The Amazing Spiderman 3D movie

The Amazing Spiderman 3D movie

Using 3D was an excellent choice for a superhero film where  acrobatics, wall crawling and fighting sequences are greatly enhanced, unlike others, this film will diminish its special effects on a 2D screen heightening the contrast with the 3D version if you have previously watched it, The Amazing Spider-Man 3D will leave you completely satisfied that this was what 3D was intended for and not a gimmick.

A highly recommend this movie, the casting is superb with a credible story line that is emotive, and mind blowing action scenes. There should be more like it coming up with the producer announcing that this was part of a trilogy exploring how Peter Parker was forged into Spider-Man.

Synopsis: After a break-in incident Peter Parker starts to learn why his parents disappeared, but filling in the missing pieces will put him on a dangerous collusion course with his father’s former partner.
Director: Marc Webb
Writers: James Vanderbilt, Albert Sargent
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans
Runtime: 136 minutes
Rated: PG-13

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Pixar’s 3D film Brave (2012) review

Brave 3D film review

From the creators of Wall-E, Up and Toy Story, Brave is an animated fairy tale from Pixar distributed by Walt Disney, a family friendly 3D production (except by some scary bear scenes) containing action, humour and girl power, this is the first Pixar film featuring a female as a main character featuring no romance. The soundtrack has been released as a CD and digital download, containing two songs of Scottish singer Julie Fowlis, except “Touch the Sky” , all of the music was composed by Patrick Doyle, .

Brave 3D film

Brave 3D film

Brave in 3D has great animation with stunning colours and a good storyline where the heroine is a girl with no prince charming in the picture to save the day, the movie did not have to be necessarily on 3D, you can watch the 2D version and enjoy it too but the 3D effects are excellent and there is no blurring or wayward shapes spoiling the film, something to think about is that the seldom 3D scary scenes will be amplified in 3D and they could frighten very young children.

Additionally, a video game based on the film has been published for all the main gaming platforms (PS3, Wii, Xbox360, PC) and mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, Android).

Synopsis: Set in the Highlands of Scotland, a courageous princess determined to carve her own path in life confronts tradition and destiny unleashing chaos in the kingdom as a result, she will have to harness her skills and resources to undo a beastly course before it is too late.

Directors: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, and Steve Purcell
Writers: Mark Andrews (screenplay), Steve Purcell (screenplay), Irene Mecchi and Brenda Chapman
Starring: Kelly Macdonald (Merida), Billy Connolly (Fergus), Emma Thompson (Elinor)
Rating: PG
Runtime: 100 minutes

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Marvel’s The Avengers (2012) 3D film review

The Avengers review

Marvel’s “The Avengers” brings together a team of super heroes comprised of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). The history is based on a comic series of the same name first published in 1963 by Marvel, the comic was created capitalizing in earlier Marvel characters. Avenger’s director Joss Whedon did an excellent job at bringing a comic to the big screen, as in previous stand alone Marvel super heroes films the script includes big egos, sarcasm and heroes hurling insults at each other in a comical way, gathering a bunch of superheroes that do not belong together adds to the entertainment and it is at the heart of the plot.

Filming began in Albuquerque (New Mexico), followed by Cleveland (Ohio) where they used the city’s East 9th Street as a double of New York’s 42nd street in battle scenes with real US Army Reserve soldiers featured in background action, ending in New York City where aerial footage was taken for three days, the images were used as framework to create computer generated CGI scenes.

The Avengers 3D film

The Avengers 3D film

The Avengers” was re-titled “Avengers Assemble” in some countries because a UK 1960s series, and 1998 film, with the same name appear to hold some of the rights to the name, the film is distributed by Walt Disney, it was converted to 3D in post-production, the director Joss Whedon pointed out that although not all films should be done in 3D being “The Avengers” an action film the scenes tend to race out of the screen and he was 100% behind the idea.

The first half of “The Avengers” while the super heroes team is gathered and action builds up is a little slow, once that is over everything evolves into a fast paced explosion blasting adventure with 3D bringing to life terrific special effects that position the viewer inside the action but it doesn’t appear as if the computer animated CGI images superimposed on real footage properly blended and some scenes look too fake, this can not be appreciated in 2D.

Overall it is not a bad 3D conversion but nothing flabbergasting taking you aback, I am on the neutral side slightly upwards about paying premium to watch “The Avengers” on its 3D version vs 2D, it is an awesome experience to feel the debris and explosions around you but not a must see in 3D film, the film itself is awesome in any format and one of the best Marvel productions.

Synopsis: The director of the international peace keeping agency, S.H.I.E.L.D, persuades a team of super heroes to fight for planet’s Earth survival when an unexpected enemy threatens global security with an alien army.

Director: Joss Whedon
Written By: Joss Whedon, Zak Penn
Starring: Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson
Rated: PG-13
Runtime:  2 hr. 22 min

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Film review – Titanic 3D

Titanic 3D effects review

An American epic romance film based on a fictional account of the sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic on April 15th 1912 in the Atlantic during her maiden voyage from Southampton (UK) to New York City (US). The 2D version production began in 1995, with a reconstruction of the Titanic built at Playas de Rosarito, Baja California (US), scale models were based on real blueprints and computer generated imagery was used to recreate the sinking scenes along with underwater sequences from the real shipwreck, filmed using a 35mm camera in a titanium case mounted on a remotely operated Russian submersible. The detail in which the ship and sinking scenes were reconstructed gives the film some historical merit.

Titanic 3D film

Titanic 3D film

At the time of release in 1997 it was the most expensive film ever made, costing $200 million, it was also a hugely successful film at the ticket box and film festivals, winning a record 11 Academy Awards (Oscars), including the Best Picture and Original Song awards, the famous track “My heart will go on“, performed by Celine Dion, has become an icon of the Titanic soundtrack.

Titanic remains one of best love stories ever told, the 3D post-production was overseen by James Cameron ,the original director,  the beginning of the film isn’t too different from the 2D version, it is once the disaster hits the ship that you can fully enjoy the 3D effects,  the scenes under water are particularly spectacular, but you might become a little desensitized after three hours of film thought. While some post-conversions are disappointing, this is not the case with Titanic 3D, you will not notice any green shades or ghosting, the 3D effects bring the thrilling experience up another level. Titanic appeals to all audiences, male and female, young and old, it is a movie that you can enjoy with all of your friends and family, soundtrack, acting and script are all as wonderful as ever, 3D facilitates the extra encouragement needed to watch this film once again.

Synopsis: A penniless passenger meets a girl from a higher social background in the RMS Titanic, they fall in love and find themselves fighting for survival after the ship they travel in suffers a big disaster.

Director: James Cameron
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and Billy Zane
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 3hrs. 15min

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Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax 3D (2012) movie review

The Lorax 3D

The Lorax is based on a seventies children’s book by Dr. Seuss, a Lorax is a tiny little fluffly animal with a moustache, the advocate for the forest, not only the trees, but also the creatures living in it. This movie from the makers of Despicable Me (2010) keeps intact the environmental message twisting the original history by adding modern cultural lifestyles.

The film colours are very vivid with all of the forest elements popping out of the screen, everything is nicely rendered, action scenes are thrilling and the woodland creatures cuddly and soft-hearted, this is a nicely made 3D film. I don’t know how you feel about 3D, but children are likely to have fun with the CGI cartoons popping out of the screen, and this is after all a kids movie.

The Lorax 3D movie billboard

The Lorax 3D movie billboard

A family friendly 3D film full of humour, music and sweetness with anti-corporate satire quietly promoting that the destruction of the environment for greed is bad for the world. The Lorax film is aimed at young audiences but parents will enjoy the humorous parts of the movie. If you would like to indoctrinate your kids with ecological messages Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax can do that from an early age, but do not forget that this is a capitalist film that has been used to sell “fuel efficient” Mazda cars, Universal Studios is not a charity and they want to make profits like everyone else.

Synopsis: A preteen 12yo boy needs something very special to gain the affection of the girl of his dreams, in order for him to find what his girl wishes most he must discover the history of the Lorax, a grumpy charming creature fighting to save this world.

Cast: Danny DeVito (The Lorax), Ed Helms (Once-Ler) , Zac Efron  (Ted), Taylor Swift (Audrey)
Director: Chris Renaud
Runtime: 1hr. 26min
Rating: PG

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