SHARK BOYS, LAVA GIRLS and more in 3-D

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Steve Phillips, Dec 16, 2004.

  1. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    It looks like Robert Rodriguez's next 3-D movie (ADVENTURES OF SHARK BOY AND LAVA GIRL in 3-D) will hit theaters on June 5th. Starring David Arquette, Kristin Davis and George Lopez....

    Besides the tired premise, silly title, and a release date way too close to STAR WARS III, it looks like Rodriguez is also unfortunately making a big mistake by opting for a red/blue anaglyph 3-D release again.

    The anaglyph system has always been shunned by Hollywood, having been used in only two major studio features (FREDDY'S DEAD and SPY KIDS 3-D) and a handful of low budget features, usually for flat movies with short 3-D sequences inserted.

    All of the major 3-D movies in the 1950's and 1980's boom periods (and in between) were shown in polarized, clear glasses format. A few have been (badly) converted to red/blue for midnight screenings and TV showings though. While much simpler to exhibit, these versions are real eyesores and are not at all representative of what the films are supposed to look like.

    Rodriguez is using Cameron's digital 3-D cameras, and the movie could easily be made available in the much higher quality polarized prints in a combination of both 35mm and IMAX formats instead of (or in addition to) the red/blue anaglyph version.

    With the successful IMAX release of THE POLAR EXPRESS showing the today's audiences what a 3-D feature is supposed to look like, I can't imagine anyone getting excited about another anaglyph film. Reportedly nearly $20 million of the $112 million box office take has been generated by just 66 3-D screens, while the rest has come from over 3000 flat screens. Do the math! People respond to quality 3-D.

    I think Rodriguez would be smarter to release his film flat in most theatres and do a high quality polarized 35mm/IMAX 3-D release in a couple of hundred theatres who can handle it. This number could easily be expanded to 1000 screens with a little bit of will and a moderate amount of expense in plenty of time for next summer's release. Disney could even re-release SPY KIDS 3-D in the higher quality format as part of a double bill, allowing auidences to see the film in full color good 3-D for the first time.

    James Cameron's BATTLE ANGEL is also coming in 3-D, and all reports show he will thankfully insist on polarized only presentation. There's been talk of FINAL DESTINATION 3-D, but I don't think that is official yet. It is likely that more CGI family films will get an IMAX 3-D version in the future as well.

    With some real 3-D features brewing again for the first time in 20 years (IMAX documentaries are fun but don't count!) I hope that filmmakers, studios and exhibitors realize it must be done right and that anaglyph is NOT the answer.

    Hopefully someone can get through to Rodriguez and tell him he got away with anaglyph once, but doing it again isn't smart and will only sour people to 3-D.

    See THE POLAR EXPRESS in polarized IMAX 3-D to see what Hollywood needs to be doing.
     
  2. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    Meh. TPM lost the #1 ranking after 3 weeks, AOTC after 2 weeks.
     
  3. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

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    Yep.. Full length anaglyph (red/blue 3-D) films were fine ..for the early 1900's. But it was far surpassed with polarized 3-D starting in the late 1930s(!) Anaglyph can still have it's limited applications, but using it for 1st run theatrical presentations is a dreadful step in the wrong direction. The same goes for 3-D home video. If Sensio follows through and releases Robert Rodriguez's "Spy Kids 3-D" using their proprietary home 3-D shutter glasses format, it will no doubt provide a 3-D viewing experience FAR superior to the original anaglyph theatrical and DVD presentations.

    Thanks for passing along this information Steve. IMAX has been doing very well with 3-D, as they are doing it correctly. Given their success with "Polar Express", we can only hope Robert Rodriguez strikes a deal with IMAX to allow polarized or shutter 3-D presentations of his upcoming features. It at least would provide the public a chance to experience a -quality- 3-D presentation. And if there was enough public awareness, perhaps the red/blue anaglyph film and video format would get the final stake in the heart that has been long overdue.
     
  4. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    Anaglyph is OK for 3-D comic books, but not for movies! We agree there! Let's hope Rodriguez comes to his senses!
     
  5. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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  6. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    People also respond to good stories. After the mediocre Spy Kids 3D, I'll be reluctant to see Rodriguez's next 3D movie. In that movie, the red/blue 3D worked pretty well in places. It was hampere, though, by the movie jumping in and out of 3D. This forced me to re-acclimate at the start of every 3D piece, diminishing the effect. (though, 90 mins of anaglyph might be tiresome, too)

    But, even if it is anaglyph, I will see it if it's a good movie.
     
  7. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

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    Anaglyph requires no additional modifications, hence it's continued appearances throughout the years. Superior 3-D projection methods should be considered, like the upcoming Mann's set-up mentioned by Steve. Even the 1950's 3-D features used the superior Polarized 3-D format and ignored anaglyph.

    Quality features and (non-anaglyph) 3-D projection systems are being worked on by Jim Cameron, George Lucas, Robert Zemeckis, and possibly Peter Jackson. From today's Digital Bits: http://thedigitalbits.com/#mytwocents

     
  8. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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  9. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    It's too bad they won't create a traditional double-system polarized print of this film, we'd love to play it in 3-D. I'll have to be content with playing the original House of Wax in 3-D again this October as part of our "Horror-Thon' at the Lafayette Theatre. [​IMG]
     
  10. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    Anyone who has the chance should seek out Peter's screening of HOUSE OF WAX.

    Peter, can you reveal any more details or the rest of the schedule?
     
  11. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Not yet, Steve. I'll have the complete lineup ready in June as we're trying to work in some celebrity appearances. But it should be October 22 & 23 and have seven features, including "Wax" in 3-D.
     
  12. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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  13. David Rogers

    David Rogers Supporting Actor

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    I understand paying the bills and all .... but Rodriguez has sold his soul or something. That movie looks ridiculously stupid, even for 8-12 year olds.

    Come back to us Robert. Join us in the land of the now ... your adult fans beg of you.
     
  14. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    This is the same Robert Rodriguez who did Sin City (and is already in pre-production on Sin City 2). So let's give him some credit.

    The thing is, these films are cute, and they hit their target audience. My 6 year old freaking loves all the spy kids movies, yep, including Spy Kids 3D. We've got a stack of the glasses so he wears when he wants to watch.. for him it adds to the laugh-happy factor.

    Is it going to be Oscar worthy cinema? No, but it does appeal to an audience, and all of the films have been money makers.
     
  15. Kevin Grey

    Kevin Grey Cinematographer

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    This movie look horrendously awful. I'm not a big fan of Rodriguez though, Sin City included.
     
  16. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    I think it's cool that Rodriguez makes movies for both adults and the kiddies. What's wrong with that? No one forces anyone to watch one or the other...

    The trailer is indeed ridiculous, but after all I am not 7 years old either. It does look far superior to the Willy Wonka remake at the very least.

    I do hope this is the last red/blue anaglyph 3-D release though. They should just wait for digital rollout or go with the 6 perf 35mm proposals so future 3-D movies will be able to be presented with the traditional and superior polarized (clear) glasses. Using the 1920's style red/blue format doesn't impress anyone....even the 1950's 3-D movies were polarized and here we are in 2005 using anaglyph?

    People won't accept it, especially after the jaw droppingly good polarized 3-D in POLAR EXPRESS.

    At least some screenings may be in polarized though, but I have yet to see any real confirmation of that.
     
  17. Bill GrandPre

    Bill GrandPre Cinematographer

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    If Robert Rodriguez was like Quentin Tarantino and he only made movies every 7 years I could understand the hostility towards this movie, but how can anyone complain about Rodriguez making kids movies when he released a movie that is arguably his best and undoubtedly his most adult less than THREE MONTHS prior to this one? His entire "Spy Kids" trilogy was released over the course of two years during which he produced "Once Upon A Time In Mexico" (which was completed prior to "Spy Kids 2" but not released until after "Spy Kids 3D"). Subtract the "Spy Kids" trilogy and "Shark Boy & Lava Girl" and his filmography is still impressive in terms of sheer output.
     
  18. Kevin Grey

    Kevin Grey Cinematographer

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    That's actually my problem with Rodriguez- too much quantitity too little quality. With the exception of Sin City all of his movies look cheap to me. I was pretty excited when he was talking up "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" as the TGTB&TU of his Desperado trilogy. That it would have all of the epic scope of a Leone film,etc. It didn't come close.

    I'm glad that he's found a business model that lets him make these movies at low cost and guaranteed profit. Unfortunatley I don't like the quality so the quantity means nothing to me.
     
  19. Bill GrandPre

    Bill GrandPre Cinematographer

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    Out of all of Robert Rodriguez's films, I would only put "The Faculty" and possibly "Spy Kids 3D: Game Over" in the "bad" category. His bad work still has a lot of merit (like Sam Raimi, who I would list as my favorite director without hesistation, even though he's made undeniably bad movies). In a time when we have truly awful directors like Paul WS Anderson and Uwe Boll floating by in the film industry with absolutely no ability as directors whatsoever, it's refreshing in a way to see talented filmmakers taking risks and playing against type. They may fail but I'll take a glorious failure over a mediocre, unremarkable failure any day of the week. I can't say that I'm counting down the days to see "Shark Boy and Lava Girl" but as a Robert Rodriguez fan and the brother of a ten-year-old girl I'll be there.
     
  20. Chris Dugger

    Chris Dugger Supporting Actor

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    Also....

    Keep in mind that the majority of theatres would have to be out fitted with lenses to do a polarized presentation and required to have a silver screen in the building...

    Dugger
     

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