Archive for 3D

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.

The Letters Column

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2019 by dcairns

It’s worth trawling through everything in an old films and filming, from the small ads to the letters column. My June 1962 edition, the earliest I own, has Bryan Forbes writing in to defend his anti-union picture, THE ANGRY SILENCE, and the producer — also the director — of THE MASK — that part-3D Canadian horror movie with Slavko Vorkapich dream sequences — agreeing with the poor review the magazine gave his epic ~

You will have no argument from me since I would guess from editorial opinion and articles published that I agree in the main with your point of view. I deplore the gimmich film and the spurious attempts to bring people into the theatre. I went along with the point of view that the 3D sequences might be interesting enough from a fantasy point of view to make the project worthwhile. Believe me, we did try to give some credence and feeling in the 2D sections to an absolutely shoddy story. My greatest error was perhaps in not insisting on a better story. Mea culpa. I sincerely hope that my next film will be enough to expiate my sin and something we can both be proud of for Canada’s sake and mine. JULIAN ROFFMAN, 3 Ridge Hill Drive, Toronto. Canada.

I like THE MASK, personally, but only really for the dream sequences. The 2D is only useful as a kind of wadding to separate the dreams. But I like the voice saying “Put on the mask! Put on the mask!” but really meaning “Put on your 3D glasses!” It wouldn’t be half as good if it were all in 3D. (I would like Tim Burton’s awful ALICE IN WONDERLAND at least 5% more if he’d been allowed to make the scenes in England flat, as originally planned.)

Let’s see, what did Julian Roffman make next? Well, he never directed another feature. As producer, SPY IN YOUR EYE, four years after THE MASK, starred Brett Halsey and Pier Angeli. Whether Canada would be proud is moot, since it’s an Italian production, an espionage romp in which the Russians are learning US secrets via a camera hidden in Dana Andrews’ artificial eye. Works on the same principle as Trump’s android phone, I suppose.

Then Roffman is back in Canada for EXPLOSION, then he makes THE PYX which I do kind of like, though not necessarily better than THE MASK. It has a goddamn beautiful and eerie Karen Black soundtrack (!). He finishes his feature career with THE GLOVE, so nearly all his films are about things that you wear, including Dana Andrew’s glass eye (but I’d give it a wash first). That one is about an ex-con (Rosie Grier) beating his former tormentors to death with a metal glove. John Saxon is the bounty hunter hired to bring him in, and Joanna Cassidy, Aldo Ray and Keenan Wynn also appear.

I stand by my assertion that any Rosie Grier movie in which he ISN’T wearing Ray Milland’s cranium on his shoulder ought to be titled THE THING WITH ONE HEAD. And I say that with all due respect.

Oh, before THE MASK he made The BLOODY BROOD, a killer beatnik movie with Peter Falk in a non-lead role. Come to think of it, he should have had Falk in that Dana Andrews role…

Julian Roffman’s dreams of making Canada proud lie shattered like a glass eye punched with a steel glove.

Stereoscopic Amphibian

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , on June 24, 2018 by dcairns

Put your glasses on now!

We rocked up too late at the Piazza Maggiore last night, hoping to see Emilio Fernandez’ ENAMORADA, but there were no seats, owing to the Scorsese Effect — the great man was introducing the movie and a lot of people came just for that. We ended up being among them as the idea of standing for the whole feature film was a little too much — it looked AMAZING though (shot by Gabriel Figueroa) so we’ll have to catch it another time at a less spectacular venue (probably our home), outwith this festival.

We tried to compensate by seeing REVENGE OF THE CREATURE in 3D at midnight, which is no substitute. If your heart is set on Maria Felix then no gillman, however charismatic, can take her place. And as for John Agar, you can see why they named a jelly after him. But it was worth it to see the amphibious protagonist raid a lobster house during a jazz performance — the close shot of the trombone player was suitably stereoscopic.


All the same, I can’t help feeling sorry for the creature.