Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Triple Play

I took the opportunity this past weekend to go to a number of summer movies. On Saturday evening, me and Shanon headed to Rochester's newest theatre to catch a 3D screening of "Journey to the Center of the Earth".

Neither I nor Shanon had ever been to a 3D movie before, so were greatly looking forward to it. I'd heard the film didn't have the greatest story and was a bit of a kids' movie, but that wasn't gonna dissuade me from going. We went to the 10pm show so as to minimize the number of children we'd have to watch the movie with.

Shanon went up first to order his ticket and the box office attendant told him it was $10 to see a 3D movie, not 8. Shanon looked back at me and I said that was fine. Whenever I go to get my ticket, I always try to give the title of the movie I'm seeing a weird twist to try to get a reaction out of the cashier. Back in '98, I asked the lady for a ticket to see "Saving Ryan's Privates". When going to "Iron Man" earlier this summer, I told the lady I wanted to see "Steel Man". She laughed at this. For "Indiana Jones 4", I asked for a ticket to see "Illinois Jones". For "The Happening", I said "1 to What's Happening". For the "Spiderwick Chronicles", I said I wanted to see "Spiderman". For "The Bank Job", I shoulda said "The Blow Job", but I didn't come up with it fast enough.

Anyway, for "Journey to the Center of the Earth", I said, "I'll take one to Let's Go See the Earth". A bit weak, I know, but the one I did the following day was killa. After we got our tickets, we strolled over to the ticket-taker lady who ripped our tix and gave us the 3D glasses. They weren't red and blue and made out of paper like the ones they made back in the old days. They were pretty sturdy with black frames and when I looked at myself in the mirror wearing them, I could just barely make my eyes out (the area around my eyes appeared silvery). For a joke, I wanted to wear the glasses around the lobby and game area, but this one 20-something dude beat me to it.

We entered the theatre and rather than sitting close like we usually do, headed for the back since 3D would probably look a bit better if we were some distance from the screen. I don't know why, but Shanon put his glasses on before the previews even started. He was rarin' to go. There ended up being about 40 other people in the screening room, a few kids, but mostly people in their 20's and 30's who most likely wouldn't be seeing the movie were it not being shown in three dimensions. I felt sorry for the other two theatres in town which are not equipped for 3D nor are they even digital (talk about Stone age). It blows my mind that theatres that were state of the art 5 years ago are like shit now in comparison.

The previews started and even though they weren't in 3D, Shanon kept his glasses on. 10 minutes later, a sign flashed across the screen that said, Please put on your 3D glasses now. A preview was then shown for an animated 3D movie that was coming later this year. The 3D was quite sweet, I have to say, but I was looking forward to seeing live-action footage in three dimensions, not so much cartoons. I noticed Shanon raising his hand towards the screen numerous times over the next half hour. Guess he wanted to see if the images were as close as they appeared.

Brendan Fraser of "The Mummy" is the main star of the movie which basically consists of him, his nephew and a lady-guide traveling towards...wait for it...yes, the center of the earth. There were a number of good sequences in it, parts that actually made me flinch, like the bit where a prehistoric creature spits at the screen and it came awfully close to my face (for a minute, I thought I was in a porno). I could tell by various reactions I heard throughout the movie that the crowd was enjoying it.

There were a number of parts that really strained credibility, however. Like the scene where the three main characters are on a raft in an ocean in the center of the earth and the kid is actually able to converse with his mother via cell phone.

How the hell he had any bars hundreds of miles underground beats the shit outta me. Overall, I give it a B in 3D, but if I woulda saw it in 2D, I woulda been bored outta my gord. The 3D made the movie worth it, just barely. I'll give a rundown on the other two movies I saw this past weekend in the next couple days.


Rocketstar said...

Yeah, in the end it is all about the story. I saw JAWS 3 in 3D back when the dinosaurs roamed.

Thomas said...

Ah, yes, Jaws 3-D in 1983. I remember being a regular reader of Starlog (a monthly sci-fi movie magazine) back then and seeing ads in it not only for Jaws 3-D, but also Friday the 13th Part 3 in 3-D as well as Amityville 3D. There was also a rather obscure 3-D film called Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone. All of these films were released in 82 or 83. 25 years later, we're in the midst of another 3-D revival. It will be interesting to see if this one is more long-lived.

Mags said...

See, I saw this on Saturday and thought it was good. I mean, I didn't go into it thinking it was going to be fantastic-if you see a movie for what it is, you usually like it.

Thomas said...

I know what you're saying, Mags. The movie is geared more to kids, so my expectations were probably a tad too high. I'm glad I went to it, though. I can't help but think I'll get a greater level of satisfaction from Wall-E (the reviews for it have been outstanding).