3D Movie Reviews.
In April 1995, Lumiere Cinema in Perth, Australia had a 3D movie festival. In a fit of
3D madness I watched all of the movies and in a further fit of madness I wrote
reviews of all of the movies too. The reviews cover both the plot content of the films in question and also comments on the technical quality of the 3D - filming, composure, projection, etc. The reviews were originally posted to the internet 3D mailing list "photo-3d".
Fri 14 11pm Spacehunter: Adventures in Forbidden Zone (G) 3D Rating: 5
Sat 15 11pm Amittyville 3 (M) 3D Rating: 9
Sun 16 11pm Flesh for Frankenstein (R) 3D Rating: 5
Mon 17 11pm Metal Storm: The Destruction of Jared Syd (M) 3D Rating: 5
Tue 18 11pm Revenge of the Shogun Women (M) 3D Rating: 7
Wed 19 11pm Dynasty (M) 3D Rating: 4
Thu 20 11AM Starchaser: The Legend of Orin (G) 3D Rating: 6
11pm Silent Madness (M) NOT SCREENED
Fri 21 11AM Treasure of the Four Crowns (PG) 3D Rating: 8
11pm Fantastic Invasion of Planet Earth (M) 3D Rating: 7
Sat 22 11pm Comin' At Ya (PG) 3D Rating: 5
Sun 23 11pm Surfer Girls (M) 3D Rating: 3
Mon 24 11pm House of Wax (M) 3D Rating: 6
Tue 25 11pm The Stewardesses (R) 3D Rating: 5
Wed 26 11pm Rottweiler Dogs of Hell (M) 3D Rating: 6
Thu 27 11pm Friday the 13th, Part 3 (M) 3D Rating: 10
Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone
1983 [G] 90 minutes
A SciFi adventure about the rescue of three earth women whose escape pod
landed them on a quarantined planet (the site of a viral outbreak many
years earlier). Jack Wolfe is the typical odd-job-man of the universe
and when he hears about the reward being offered for their rescue, is on
his way. Soon after landing, Jack meets Nicki (a young Molly Ringwald),
a native of the planet, who helps him with directions to find the women.
They encounter all manner of weird creatures and humanoid factions and
finally make their way to where the women are being held. The women are
being held by a group headed by the Chemist - a half human half
cybernetic weirdo. The ending scene was very reminiscent of "Max Mad 3
- Return to Thunderdome". Captives of the Chemist's group had to make
their way through a killer maze of sharp implements to be set free (or
die). Jack and Washington (a friend of Jack's who is after the reward
too) save the women and they all live happily ever after.
This was the first movie of Lumiere Cinema's 3D festival and I was
particularly distressed when the movie started with about 15cm (6") of
vertical parallax evident on the cinema screen. I felt like getting up
and having a word with the projectionist or the manager or whoever would
listen but I couldn't pull myself away from the movie - I didn't want to
miss a second. Surprisingly this amount of vertical parallax was
tolerable to the eyes so I decided to stick with it. I could feel the
slight extra strain on my eyes though. Unfortunately no adjustment to
the vertical parallax was made during the whole movie.
- COMIN' AT YA RATING: 5.
- Not many "let's point things at the camera"
effects were evident in this movie. There was one scene where Jack
points a space age gun at the audience, err... the baddie. Lots of
laser gun and explosion effects which looked good in 3D but in
general the usage of the 3D was good but average.
I spoke to one of the projectionists on the phone the next day who
sounded concerned and I thought was going to do something but the next
3D screening "Amityville 3" wasn't any different (sigh!). I did find
out that all of the movies will be screened in Polarised 3D (YIPPEE!)
and Lumiere purchased their own 3D screen specially for this festival.
They want to have more festivals in the future. All of the movies are
on single reels either in the over-under or side-by-side format. This
eliminates timing problems which could occur with two reel systems.
1983 [M] 105 minutes
As you might guess, the third in the series of Amityville Horror movies.
I haven't seen any of the other Amityville movies so I didn't know what
to expect. The story centres around John (a Journalist) and The House.
John buys the house for song soon after doing an investigative story for
Reveal Magazine about a group of shysters using the Amityville House to
hold fake seances. Working for Reveal Magazine, John is not one to
believe all the ghost stories but the real estate agent is soon killed
by a horde of flies in the house. The flies are a recurring theme in
this and presumably the rest of the Amityville Movies. The journo's
photographer and also his daughter eventually meet their end. In the
crescendo of the movie, the house is monitored for psycho-physical
activity by a university scientist and his team. The house decides it
also wants John's wife and it calls her to the open well in the spooky
cellar. The creature in the well gets the scientist instead and all
hell starts to break loose. The house then starts to destroy itself
with fire and explosions everywhere.
As I mentioned before, this movie was also screened with massive amounts
of vertical parallax (about 15cm (6")). I spoke to someone behind the
counter after the show about the problem. He couldn't understand the
problem since he had just watched the movie too and his eyes were fine.
Anyway, I explained what the problem was and they said they'd have a
look into it. I think I'll send the Manager a fax before my eyes get
- COMIN' AT YA RATING: 9.
- In contrast to Spacehunter, this movie had
lots of things coming out of the screen (Not that this is
necessarily always a good thing). The two best 3D effects in the
movie were where the photographer's car crashes into a dumpster and
a long pipe comes projecting through the cars windscreen. The pipe
stopped just above the head of the person in front of me - great
stuff! The other great 3D moment was when a stuffed marlin (fish
with long spear on it's nose) comes off the wall where it was
mounted and spears its way towards the movie's characters and
directly out the screen. The guy next to me jumped to the side as
it came out. Some of the scenes seemed a bit 3D strange, maybe the
convergence distance was set wrongly, but it was a bit hard to tell
without taking my glasses on and off and/or stopping the film.
Andy Warhol's Flesh for Frankenstein
1974 [R] 97 minutes
What can I say... I guess most people are familiar with the usual story
of Frankenstein. Well this one is with a twist of blood, guts, body
parts and sex. Dr. Frankenstein (I don't think that's his name in this
version - he was just referred to as the Barron the whole way through)
plans to build a superiour race of human beings using only the best body
parts from the best specimens he can find in the local village. In this
version the Barron 'builds' both a male and a female specimens with
plans for them to procreate and continue the superior race.
Unfortunately the Barron's plan to obtain the head of a male stud who
would want to procreate the species until the cows come home is ruined
when he accidentally gets the head of a farm boy who isn't interested in
women and wants to become a monk - so his plan is ruined. In quite a
funny ending (in a sick kind of way) everyone dies - the Barron quite
spectacularly with a spear through his guts which projects right out of
the screen into the audience (with guts on the end of the spear).
As I mentioned the vertical alignment of this movie varied quite wildly
from scene to scene throughout the movie. I think the cinema had chosen
a fairly good setting but without the projectionist riding the vertical
control on this one, this movie would never be perfect. I think I
noticed the alignment being adjusted a few times. I spoke to the
manager again after the show, he told me they were provided with test
reels for some of the movies which I presume consist of a test pattern
which is used to align left and right images out of the projector. But
they didn't have test reels for all of the movies. Unfortunately, using
this sort of method to prealign the projector won't work if the
alignment changes from scene to scene throughout the movie. I explained
that they shouldn't need an alignment reel to get the vertical alignment
right. Unfortunately the horizontal alignment is not as easy and
requires a bit of background knowledge. The manager asked if I could
talk to the projectionist before tomorrow night's screening.
- COMIN' AT YA RATING: 5.
- There were quite a few good 3D bits (including
the impaling of the Barron) however there were also a few attempts
at making things come out of the screen which didn't really work
too well. The vertical registration of the movie also varied quite
wildly from scene to scene. If the projectionist was riding the
manual vertical alignment control throughout this movie, he would
have had a sore wrist by the end of it. Some scenes were really
tough on the eyes but this may have been partly due to the chosen
vertical adjustment setting of the projector - the alignment was
pretty good at the beginning and in quite a lot of the scenes.
(More on this later). The horizontal alignment also seemed to vary
quite wildly too (I'm really getting picky now aren't I...) with
quite normal shots being placed way out of the screen close to the
viewer - I guess a bad choice of camera convergence. The movie
loses a few rating points for these last two reasons.
Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared Syd
1983 [M] 84 minutes
This movie was absolutely pointless. A pointless script, pointless
scenes, pointless dialogue (when there was any) and pointless 3D. It is
basically a scifi story about a futuristic ranger (I forget his name) who
is out to destroy the evil Jared Syd. Why is he evil - who knows? There
are incredibly long and pointless driving scenes - OK the first few
minutes was good but after that it was pointless. The dialogue was sparse
and there were some very slow, long and extended boring scenes (obviously
trying to make up their time budget). And the really stupid thing is that
Mister Jared Syd didn't get destroyed as the movie title suggests - just
a big crystal which had some unknown significance. I wouldn't recommend
this movie to anyone.
The first few minutes of this movie was quite confusing. I think
somewhere along the line the film accidentally got caught in a mix master
and they didn't join it back together again properly: Driving scene,
driving scene with flying vehicle above, flying vehicle shoots at car, car
shoots at flying vehicle, flying vehicle hit and flies into side of
mountain, driving scene, flying vehicle shoots and hits car, car stops,
man inspects damage to car, man inspects wreckage of flying vehicle. I
assume it was the same flying vehicle throughout the whole lot. Why was
the flying vehicle shooting at the car - who knows... because he was bad?
- COMIN' AT YA RATING: 5.
- The 3D medium wasn't used very well at all.
There weren't many scenes which looked really good in 3D and a few
scenes where they had tried some special effect just didn't look
right. The vertical registration also varied quite a lot throughout
I had a chat with the projectionist before the show and got the low down
on the alignment situation. The setup uses a standard projector with the
only special thing being the lens. They have one lens for the over-under
films and another lens for the side-by-side stuff. Unfortunately, it
isn't possible for the projectionist to perform any alignment during the
actual screening because it requires a little screw in the front of the
lens to be adjusted with a small allen key which means that the
projectionist's hand would be obscuring the projected image. Therefore
the alignment must be done before the screening. Strike 1. They have
three test reels which can be used to align about 50% of the movies. The
test reel consists of a short loop of a test pattern which can be used to
align the left and right images. It is my guess that the test reel
doesn't provide the optimum setting for vertical alignment for some of the
movies anyway. In any case they don't have test reels for all of the
movies. Strike 2. For the movies which they don't have test reels I
suggested that they just run the first few minutes of each movie through
the projector to get some sort of alignment. Unfortunately, the film
can't be reversed back onto the first reel once it has gone through the
projector, therefore the whole film must go though the projector. Since
there is only a 4 minute gap between screenings this is not an option.
The only other option would be to perform the alignment after the last
movie of the day (12:30am) or before the first movie of the day (10am).
Not a very satisfactory option. Strike 3 - YOU'RE OUT!
I think the most logical situation would be to devise some mechanical
arrangement which would allow the lens to be adjusted while the film is
actually screening. I think I'll take this up with the company Lumiere
cinemas rented the films from. In the mean time I'll just have to cross
my fingers and hope that the alignment doesn't get too bad. A damn shame
Revenge of the Shogun Women (aka Revenge)
1983 [M] 98mins
This is a Chinese movie which has been dubbed in English. Lots of martial
arts, sword fighting and giant leaps - a trademark of chinese martial arts
cinema. Here is the background information from the beginning of the
"In 18th Century China, bandit hordes roamed the provinces pillaging and
plundering villages. Whole villages were decimated. Men, women and
children slaughtered and the women raped.
"According to the social customs of the times, the rape victims, because
they were no longer virgins, were sent to convents. Under the austere and
knowledgeable presence of the Head Shogun Nun, these girls were taught the
Revelations of the Budha and mastered the techniques of the martial arts.
They became Shogun women capable of defending themselves and others from
the bandit marauders.
(No I didn't remember this from the cinema screening - my memory isn't
that good. I have a tape from 3DTV corp which has a short for this
- COMIN' AT YA RATING: 7.
- Someone obviously told the people who made this
movie that you needed to point something at the audience every 10.3
seconds to make good use of the 3D. Spears, swords, rocks, hands,
poles, etc. Most of the effects were good but it got a bit too
laboured after a while. One of the good effects was filming through
one of those hanging bead curtains which are sometimes hung in
doorways. Worked very well in 3D. Image alignment was again a
problem, one of the images seemed to have a tilt with respect to the
other image (maybe the cameras were tilted) and as a result the
amount of vertical parallax changed from the left to the right of the
198x? [M] 94mins
I thought that nothing could be worse than Metalstorm. I was wrong. I
don't know whether it was just the late hour of the night, but I couldn't
identify any resemblance of plot through this movie. I can tell you,
however, that there was lots of sword fighting and martial arts again.
The technical quality of the screening of this movie was horrid as well.
For the first 40 minutes of the movie, the right eye was badly out of
focus. The quality of the 3D was still pretty good though since the other
eye was sharply in focus. You could see the hand of the projectionist as
the focus was corrected. About 30 minutes into the movie the left and
right images flipped. I guess the result of an incorrect splice of a film
break. I told the theatre about this problem but they didn't know how to
correct it. I just turned my glasses upside down. The rest of the
audience (~30) didn't seem to notice - or maybe they did notice something
wrong but didn't know what. The reversal lasted for about 30 minutes of
the film. There were also massive chunks of film missing from the movie
which caused massive story jumps. The beginning title was missing plus
lots of other jumps. Maybe this is why I had trouble following the movie.
The finale was badly affected by this too with three men fighting and then
suddenly the fight is over and two of them are dead. Very disappointing.
- COMIN' AT YA RATING: 4.
- I could see the vertical alignment being adjusted
throughout the movie. It wasn't being done by the projectionist so
it must have been done during the mastering of the final print of the
movie. As a result the vertical alignment was generally pretty good.
The main technical complaint about the 3D within the movie was that
sometimes the amount of positive/uncrossed parallax (things appear
behind the screen) were too extreme. If you want things to appear at
infinity they should be shown with 65mm of positive horizontal
parallax on the screen (eye separation is approximately 65mm). The
eyes can accept quite a bit more than that but too much and they go
eeek! This was either caused by the wrong choice of convergence or
having the cameras separated too widely.
Starchaser: The Legend of Orin
1985 [G] 107 minutes
This is an animated 3D movie. The story revolves around a young man
called Orin who lives and works in an underground mine world. The people
live and die to mine a special crystal. The baddie of the movie is Zygon
who is basically the underground peoples slave driver. Orin discovers a
magic sword which tells of a magical world above ground. Previously the
people thought hell was up. Orin escapes with the help of the magic sword
and eventually returns (after a mini adventure in itself) to free his
people. The movie is certainly full of plot - actually crammed full of
story line. Personally I would have given the movie a [PG] (parental
guidance) rating instead of a [G] (General) rating because there was a
little bit of bad language. I was a little bit sensitive of this since I
invited the boss to bring is son along to see the movie.
The technical quality of the screening of this movie was flawless.
- COMIN' AT YA RATING: 6.
- This was the first 3D animated movie that I've
seen and it was pretty good. The multiple layering showing how the
3D scenes were made up was pretty obvious. The vertical alignment
was pretty spot-on during the whole show. There were only a couple
of 3D scenes which made good use of things coming out of the screen.
In some scenes the animators got the depth levels mucked up and
therefore a little bit confusing to look at. A couple were totally
reversed. This movie also suffered from the problem of extreme
values of positive/uncrossed parallax (things appear behind the
screen). At my guess the uncrossed parallax reached a maximum of
about 1 foot (30cm). My eyes complained about this a little bit.
Treasure of the Four Crowns
1982 [PG] 97mins
This is basically an Indiana Jones type adventure movie where J.T.
Striker (I think that was his name) risks his life firstly to recover
the key and then two of the four crowns. The crowns (or actually what
they contain) have all sorts of magical powers which could be used for
the good of the earth (and not evil in the hands of their current
owner). The first 20 minutes is totally devoid of dialogue and shows
J.T. recovering the key from a booby trapped castle. Almost everything
(excluding the kitchen sink) is thrown at J.T. (and the camera) to
prevent him getting out alive with the key. The rest of the movie
revolves around J.T. organising a motley crew of characters to retreive
two of the crowns from the posession of a mad crazed pseudo-religious
In the start of the movie you could see the shadow of the
projectionist's hand making some adjustments to the lens. I didn't see
any problems (apart from the wandering vertical alignment problem) so
I'm not too sure what they were adjusting.
- COMIN' AT YA RATING: 8.
- This is a movie with a message and the message
is "DUCK!". Almost everything you can think of gets thrust at the
cameras and almost every 3D trick in the book is tried. Some
effects work better than others. I've come to the realisation that
the best response to 3D effects can be obtained when it is combined
with horror and suspence. If something spears out of the screen at
the audience just at the moment their hearts are pumping at twice
their normal rate, you are sure to scare some people out of their
socks. This movie again had the usual problem of vertical
registration changing from scene to scene. Depth and horizontal
registration seemed to be set pretty well.
p.s. Last nights screening of Silent Madness was cancelled due to a
blown bulb in the projector and not being able to get a spare. Doesn't
entirely make sense to me, but that's what we were told. As it turned
out, while we were waiting for the screening to start I bumped into Jon
Orovitz (a member of Photo-3D from Washington D.C.) who was showing off
his Realist slides. Jon read my original message on Photo-3D some weeks
previous about this festival and since he was visiting Sydney, he decided to extend his visit to
Perth. Some people will do anything to see a 3D movie - sheesh! :-)
Including me. :-/
Fantastic Invasion of Planet Earth aka The Bubble
1967 [M] 91mins
Cathy is very pregnant and with her husband, Mark, are being flown to
who knows where in a light aircraft. They land at what turns out to be
a lit street and catch a cab to the hospital where Cathy has her baby.
So begins a very strange movie. Mark, Cathy and pilot seem to be the
only people with all their faculties in a very strange town which looks
more like the back lot of a movie studio - all the people wander around
in a daze usually repeating the same sentence over and over. After a
week, Mark, Cathy and the pilot decide that it is time to leave this
strange place but a short distance out of town discover a plastic wall
which stops them going any further. A bit more exploring and they
realise that the wall is actually a bubble which surrounds them and they
are trapped. The story was generally quite slow moving and had a very
sudden and unexpected ending which seemed very out of place - almost as
if the money had dried up and the producer decided "let's finish the
Apart from problem of the vertical alignment continuously changing, the
theatre seemed to have used fairly good settings for the screening of
- COMIN' AT YA RATING: 7.
- There were a few screen piercing effects and
most of them worked very well. In one of the scenes a tray of beer
bottles and glasses suddenly levitates of its own accord and slowly
glides towards the camera and back to its starting point. The
effect really worked well but was totally out of place in the
scene. Vertical registration again changed from scene to scene -
max. about 15cm, min. zero. When I looked from underneath my
glasses, infinity was generally shown with zero horizontal parallax
(infinity appears at the screen surface).
COMIN' AT YA
1961 [PG] 91mins
This is a western about a bloke whose wife is kidnapped literally 20 seconds
after they exchange their vows. The bloke's wife and lots of other young
females are the captive of two bad dudes who take them all down to mexico to
be sold to the highest bidder. Incidentally the married bloke and first bad
dude I am sure were the two lead characters in The Treasure of the Four
Crowns. (Sorry to be so general with names but I forgot to take extra note
of the people's names). So the married bloke
tracks down the two bad dudes. Captures one of the bad dudes and gives him
a beating. He then tracks down the other bad dude and releases all of the
young ladies. Skipping a lot of plot, the young ladies are recaptured and
all killed except the married bloke's wife. The end of the movie is a
classic western shoot-out where the married bloke, despite being outnumbered
30 to 1 saves his wife. The lead bad dude is killed in a series of
spectacular explosions. How the married dude found the time to set up all
these explosives is beside the point.
The mysterious hand silhouette snuck in again during the movie. The
projectionist was obviously trying to fix the alignment but I couldn't see
much change but with the vertical alignment of the film actually changing so
much throughout the film, he didn't have much chance. What really did
require alignment was the horizontal alignment. The amount of positive
parallax needed to be reduced (moving the image closed in depth to the
audience) by movie the left eye image right and/or the right eye image left.
Unfortunately such technical issues are beyond the average projectionist
without any special 3D knowledge. I spoke to the Manager after the show but
I think he had a bit of trouble grasping where I was coming from - besides,
it was 1am in the morning. I think I'll try and dig up some documentation
on image alignment (maybe something from Lipton's book "Foundations of the Stereoscopic
Cinema") and fax the manager a copy.
- COMIN' AT YA RATING: 5.
- The movie has quite a lot of screen piercing
effects (as the name suggests) but not as many as I had expected. Many
of the effects didn't work very well however this may have been due to
image alignment difficulties. Vertical alignment varied greatly
between scenes throughout the movie - sometimes reaching approximately
15cm on the screen (I would however question the accuracy of my screen
distance estimates). The movie also had serious amounts of positive
parallax on the screen - probably about 60cm (2 feet) in some scenes.
Sometimes the background scene was unviewable. This could partly be
due the alignment of the projector however the amount of variation
between scenes again suggests problems with the actual movie. The
cheesiest part of the movie is that right at the end of the movie
before the end credits they repeated all the 3D effects in a surreal
sort of dream sequence.
1978 [M] 85mins
This movie is totally weird. The cinematography technique was extremely
strange with the entire film shot with a very narrow field of view lens,
very strange choice of shots (very rarely did the camera stay on a person
speaking for more than a few seconds), very weird framing (usually at the
surfer girls breasts), numerous obvious repetitions of the same segment of
film, etc, etc, etc. Deeply disguised throughout all of this madness I
think there was a plot. The movie is set in Hawaii although it may as well
have been in Africa since there weren't any wide shots. A group of Surfer
Girls tell a legend about an old Hawaiian man called a Kohuna. He was a
very randy old man who was hung for sleeping with the religious minister's
wife on the night after their wedding (He was also the magistrate). To cut
a very confusing story short, legend has it that the spirit of the Kohuna
now lives at the top of a mountain and will grant wishes. The surfer girls
go up to the mountain to have their wishes granted (and be seduced by the
Kohuna). Really the only excuse for the plot of this movie is the bare
flesh and sex scenes. :-/
The movie finished about 25 minutes early. Speaking to the manager after
the show, he said that one of the reels for the movie was missing. Truly I
don't think it would have made any difference to the quality of the film.
Again some of the alignment problems could have been reduced by some alignment
of the projector lens but I can say this till I go blue in the face.
- COMIN' AT YA RATING: 3.
- This was the first movie in the side-by-side
format and had a 4:3 aspect ratio (very much like television) instead
of the very wide aspect ratio (maybe 2.5:1) of all the over-under
movies. It is hard to not let the extremely bad cinematography of the
film cloud my opinion of the 3D quality but I think I'd be fairly safe
in saying the 3D quality was very poor as well. Vertical misalignment
was pretty bad and again excessive positive parallax (things appear
behind the screen surface) was a problem.
The fact that the image size was significantly smaller than the over-under
films, I think has ramifications on the amount of image mis-alignment which
the eye can handle. I suspect that the larger the stimulus (image size),
the easier the eyes/brain will be convinced into making eye adjustments to
correct for image misalignments. I visited a Professor Howard of York
University in Toronto, Canada who is a vision researcher last year. Did you
know the eyes are capable of rotating in their sockets (in the horizontal
axis directly projecting out the front of your face) to correct for
rotational image misalignment. Professor Howard had set up an experiment
which examined this effect and found that the effect really only worked if
the stimulus images filled a very large proportion of the observer's field
of view. Reduce the field of view and the effect also reduced. The analogy
this has to film is that the larger the image size, the easier the eye will
be convinced into adjusting for image misalignment. This would be an
advantage for IMAX-3D.
I noticed evidence of this effect in a scene from one of this series of 3D
movies. The scene had quite a bit of vertical parallax and parts of the
scene were being displayed with significant positive horizontal parallax.
The scene faded to black and for a few moments the only thing visible was a
kerosene lamp (the rest of the scene was black). While the rest of the room
was visible, I could fuse the two images, however after the fade and only
the lamp was visible (a very small stimulus) I had lots of trouble fusing it
and it appeared doubled.
HOUSE OF WAX
1953 [M] 88mins
Professor Jarad (Vincent Price) is a sculptor who specialises in wax models
of people. Jarad and his business partner jointly own a wax museum but the
business partner sees more money claiming the insurance money and lights a
fire which burns down the wax museum. Jarad eventually takes revenge and
kills his business partner. With the help of another rich businessman Jarad
sets up a new wax museum (The House of Wax) which will focus on violent acts
in history. Unfortunately, Jarad's hands were damaged badly in the fire and
he is no longer able to sculpt. He has therefore taken to casting real bodies
in wax to obtain the realism which he can no longer sculpt with his own
hands. The movie is fairly slow moving but considering the vintage of the
movie I guess this is to be expected.
Again I feel that some of the mis-alignment problems could have been
corrected by lens adjustment, but...
- COMIN' AT YA RATING: 6.
- This movie has very few screen piercing 3D effects
and made very subtle use of the 3D medium. I've heard people comment
on the paddle ball scene being out of place but I thought that it
fitted in quite well. I didn't think the actual effect worked that
well however with the ball frequently crossing/touching the window
border. Additionally, I think the ball was moving too fast for the
effect to work well. The effect which really did work well was when
Jarad's assistant, Igor, dashed out from underneath the camera in the
middle of a fight scene. It really did look for a few seconds as if he
had run up and out from the audience. The movie was worth watching
almost just for this scene. Again variable vertical mis-alignment and
excessive positive horizontal parallax were a problem.
---> Sign the House of Wax 3D DVD Petition!!! <---
1969 [R] 92mins
I won't even bother to describe the plot in this one since there wasn't
any. Maybe I exaggerate but really the only plot that was there was just
to tie together all the sex scenes - which there were lots of. Nudge
nudge wink wink say no more. 8-)
I could say that projection lens adjustment could have corrected some of
the alignment problems, but I'm starting to turn blue so I won't. The
manager indicated that he thought there was a problem with the lens since
they had problems getting the alignment right. I noticed several people
taking off their glasses and exchanging them with their friends at the
beginning of the movie - I guess because they were having trouble fusing
the images. A couple of people took off their glasses and gave up
completely but that could have been due to the content of the movie.
- COMIN' AT YA RATING: 5.
- It was 3D but I didn't think it took good
advantage of the medium, except of course for the curves. :-/ A
few legs stuck out of the screen but that was about it. I suspect
this print was in the side-by-side format because it again had the
rather limiting 1.3:1 aspect ratio. Again lots of vertical
disparity and excessive positive parallax were a problem.
With regard to the polarisation, the quality has been impeccable
throughout the entire festival with very little ghosting evident. I have
often checked to see whether the theatre has got the polarisation for
each eye at the correct angle and each eye at 90 degrees to the other. I
do this by closing each eye individually and then rotating my head to
choose the best extinction of the unwanted image. As I said the
polarisation alignment was always very good.
(Rottweiler) Dogs of Hell
1982 [M] 90mins
This was basically Jaws with four legs. A pack of army trained
rottweiler dogs escape and cause death and mayhem in a small town called
Lake Lure. Lots of people die with the wipe of a dogs claw in what is
basically a horror suspense thriller.
In a fairly irrelevant scene in the movie, I noticed a guy holding a
stereo camera - a Stereo Realist I think. And the more I looked at the
guy, the more it looked like Lenny Lipton. And it was even a speaking
part too. I kept an eye on the credits at the end of the movie and sure
enough he was listed as the 3D consultant for the movie. For those of
you not in the know, Lenny wrote the book "Foundations of the
Stereoscopic Cinema - A Study in Depth" which has been referred to quite
a few times on photo-3d recently and heads the company StereoGraphics
which sells and develops lots of stereoscopic video/computer graphics
- COMIN' AT YA RATING: 6.
- They seemed to be very held back in the use of
the 3D effects in this movie. What is the point of making a 3D
movie with a crumby plot and not make use of as many 3D effects as
you can. I don't want to give this movie too much of a hard time as
it still did have quite a number of screen piercing effects. Some
worked better than others. I suspect some didn't work too well
because of the camera lens separation being too wide. This was
particularly evident in a driving scene where the camera was looking
at the driver through the windscreen - It looked as though the
steering wheel was about 1.5 arm lengths away from the driver.
Again the vertical alignment changed quite a lot between scenes
throughout the movie, however the theatre had chosen a fairly good
setting. Initially the horizontal adjustment was pretty good too
until the projectionist adjusted the horizontal alignment so that
the beginning credits lined up (horizontally). Unfortunately I
think the credits were supposed to be seen in front of the screen
because this generated quite extreme positive horizontal parallax
for anything which appeared at infinity. Luckily the projectionist
adjusted the alignment back again a few minutes later. The
alignment in some of the scenes was impeccable. At one occasion I
took my glasses off, the scene looked almost perfect even without
the glasses. Objects in the scene were predominantly at the
convergence distance and the alignment was perfect. This movie
appeared to be in the over-under format and again had the ~2.5-1
Friday the 13th, Part III
1982 [M] 96mins
I guess this movie follows on from parts 1 and 2 but since I haven't seen
any of the others, I don't know. Basically a group of college types
spend a weekend at the farmhouse at which (I guess) horrible things
happened in the two previous movies. A guy, whose head looks as though
it has been microwaved, gradually kills about 8 people in various gory
ways. Just one girl survives (the one from the previous movie) in a
highly suspense driven ending - one of the audience of about 100 people
actually screamed. :-)
The movie had quite an interesting start for a 3D movie - it was in 2D.
An announcement at the beginning of the movie said "Ladies and Gentlemen:
The first few minutes of this movie is in 2D. You will still need to
wear the glasses". I guess the reason for this was that they were
showing the last few minutes of the previous movie which was obviously
shot in 2D. The effect was quite intriguing when the scene finally
sprung into 3D. It had most of the audience humming.
You might be all starting to think that I'm obsessed with the idea that
3D movies must have screen piercing effects. That is not the case,
however I do believe that if you have got all that real estate available,
you may as well use it. You must admit that the scenes which affect the
audience the most are usually the ones where images project out of the
screen. But the effect needs to be done well and I think the
scene/effect should fit quite naturally into the plot. It is quite
interesting to watch normal 2D films and notice how many of the scenes
would look really good if they were shot in 3D. Quite a number of screen
piercers as well. Screen piercers don't need to be the ultra obvious
spear thrown at the camera. Some quite natural and subtle things can
work very well too.
- COMIN' AT YA RATING: 10.
- I thought this was the best projected, filmed
and composed movies of the entire festival. I might be biased by
how well the movie was projected but genuinely the movie had a lot
of very good eye popping effects, quite literally! :-), and even
the general scenes were very well composed and the 3D effect was
quite remarkably natural. As I said, the alignment was very good
throughout the movie. The screen piercing effects which they used
worked very well too - pitch forks, hands, eyes, etc.
Well that was the last 3D movie of the festival and the last of my
reviews. I hope you've all enjoyed the reviews as much as I've enjoyed
seeing them - some of them classics. Finally after two weeks of getting
home at 1am I can return to a normal sleep pattern - Halleluiah. Lumiere
plans to screen more 3D movies in the future, but at the moment they say
that they will probably be one offs. At least that won't have such a
severe effect on my sleep pattern. Stay Tuned!
The Illustrated 3D Movie List
3D Video Equipment
Last Updated: 19th May, 1995
Maintained by: Andrew Woods.