Archive for September 11, 2022

Dead in the Water

Posted in FILM with tags , on September 11, 2022 by dcairns

Major disappointment — though JAWS was advertised as IMAX and 3D, it was only a 3D showing that we’d booked tickets for. We weren’t really all that keen on the 3D, what we’d wanted was the IMAX. And then the film started at half volume. I had to leave my seat to find a staff member in the lobby to report this. I didn’t report that the opening night scene was too dark as it didn’t seem like they could do anything about this. Possibly the projector bulb was old and dimming.

Then daylight dawned upon the film and it looked soft. Just a hair out of focus all the time. Fiona went to the lobby this time. But nothing was apparently done so I went again. Got a staff member to look at it with my 3D glasses on. She went away to get her supervisor. And nothing, apparently, happened.

The audience was a bit disappointing too — some maniac let his phone go off with a blaring ringtone, handling the brightly illuminated thing without switching it off or answering it, until the cries for him to silence it took on a tone of threatening violence.

However. The audience quietened down. The film got louder. By the time the protagonists went out to sea I was enjoying myself — but still niggled by that slightly soft quality. We debated it afterwards — is it an unavoidable result of the original 35mm being specially processed and viewed through fancy shades? I doubt it — would welcome other reports from people who have seen 3D JAWS (as opposed to JAWS 3D). The tech involved is so impressive — the 3D was thoroughly convincing — that it would seem weird if they couldn’t get the grain in focus and the edges pin-sharp.

There were lots of incidental pleasures in the 3D — all the low angles aboard the Orca produced delightful vertiginous effects with the mast. But none of the 3D made any difference that I could tell to the suspense or drama. Occasionally it was distracting, as when an insignificant foreground detail, originally included to add depth to the flat version, suddenly popped out at you, demanding attention. And none of this is very surprising when you consider that the film was never intended to be 3D.

If you can find a venue that shows the film better than our Cineworld, it’s still worth it for the big screen experience. The eerie silence that descended during Robert Shaw’s SS Indianapolis monologue was EXTREMELY impressive, especially with this audience. The fact that the movie recovered from its bad start and ongoing issues, and became thoroughly diverting for the second half, is a kind of testimony to the skill of everyone involved.