Tuesday, March 04, 2008

"Journey To The Center Of The Earth 3D": Reader's Thoughts on the 30Min Preview

Here, word for word (except I censored parts for my younger readers - yes you, Hannah Montana lovers!) is some thoughts on the 30 minute "Journey To The Center Of The Earth 3D" preview that many have seen at industry shows. Hsu Paul of Japan, who is an avid reader of MarketSaw sent me a great little writeup about it and you can obviously see his passion about 3D.

Not only that, but it gives me insight into a movie that I was beginning to have serious doubts about based on the 2D trailer and production stills. Apparently I was hasty as this reader has some great things to say about it. First and foremost - don't expect "Avatar". Expect a theme park ride in a movie. That's it! Arrive at the theater ready for a theme park ride and it should be a thrilling time. It can't be that hard to ask of you - everyone does it - I know I have a completely different mindset before a horror movie than I do for a comedy or a non-fiction. So this time it is a theme park ride. Interesting! Based on this guys review, I am looking forward to doing this and of course seeing the Cameron / Pace technology being used for the first time in a live action. Without further ado - here is Hsu Paul's review:

Well, you know Journey 3D had been announced a long time ago, but there was never any news. Then of course, the teaser came out (wasnt that impressive). And people were like WTF is this cheesy crap. I saw it, and I thought the 2D render was not showing up very well in the teaser. I mean I never had any hope for it anyways.
So, anyways, I got invited to a special exclusive preview to the movie in Tokyo (Disneyland), with the director as a guest too. The preview was mainly for license related. To get people, or future business partners excited about the movie.
Before I write anything, I just want to say that I am a Amusement Park Attraction designer. My company owns every single 3D/4D titles ever made for parks. I have been making 4D attractions for the last 5 years. So, basically, I really know 3D pretty well.
So there I am, not expecting anything. Because, really, those 2D renders really sucked, like freaking PS2, Wii [resolutions].
Then boom, the movie (30min only) starts. [censored]. It is [really] COOL.
Surprisingly, the CG worked REALLY well in 3D. Absolutely beautiful. It is I can say State of the art, (to date, until Avatar opens) Best 3D ever. Clearness, no dizziness. Far better than Beowulf and other 3D releases to date.
And why? I was wondering about that. Until the director came out to speak to the guests. I didnt know who directed at first, until he came out. WTF, thats the dude who did CAPTAIN EO and Honey I shrunk the Audience! (Yeah, only attraction manic would know) Ah, I see, that is why 3D is [really] awesome. The dude is like one of the freaking 3D pioneers in the 80s. Captain EO, come on!
He is also the FX supervisor for Day after Tomorrow, etc, etc. In simple words, the dude know his 3D [stuff].
In his presentation, he said, this is the first (live action) movie that uses James Cameron's 3D Fusion Camera. It took this long, until it is finally ready, Theaters and all, then they can finally show it. He kinda said that he is like the camera TESTER for Cameron before Avator comes out. Seriously, this the preview for the system. It is bad ass.
Now, about the 30 min footage. it is 5 minutes of talking, then 25 min of non-stop action. And this is before they reached the inner ocean. It is crazy. I cant even call it a movie. Because it is a freaking Theme Park RIDE. Do anyone remember a [terrible] simular ride back in the 90s called DEVIL's MINE RIDE? which you go thru mines like temple of Doom. It is a replica of that but in Bad ass sick 3D. And it was in total POV, if the chair moved, you would be in a ride.
And, this movie is not Beowulf as in, "LOOK AT THE DEPTH" this is going with the classic, poking your eyes FUN type. But only 1 millions times better with the Fusion cams.
Ok, I am going run thru a bit about the scene.
-Brendon Frasier climbing volcanic mountain with this nephew (big brother from Zathura) and a blond chick mountain guide. Complete live action in Camron 3D documentary style.
-Some kind of lighting strike caused the 3 character to seek shelter in a cave which collapsed and trapping them in. This is the only 5 minute talking part.
-Then it is non-stop 3D, falling into endless hole, glowing birds, mine train ride POV style (Copied temple of Doom completely, including the jump and jump from mine cart to cart)
- Then it ends at when they reached the inner ocean and right before the mushroom caves.
So, I talked enough about the 3D part. How is the movie itself? Let me just say this. This was made (in Disney Park style) for families and kids. It is TOTALLY cool ass adventure. Light and fun. Definitely not cringe inducing. Let me give you a sample.
When they were climbing the mountain. The nephew said to Frasier "I call dibs on the guide" Fraser "What? you are only 15 years old, you cant call dibs" Then this just keeps running all the way until they are at hole into the center of the earth.
"I am a adult, I get dibs, etc, etc." You see how LIGHT it is...... so anyone who are expecting Pirates style Darkness, not here. It like the Mummy Lite version.
But it is definitely good, and not Night at the Museum cringe. It is more like 80s happy Joe Dante stuff, ie. Gremlins.
In the end, the Director said he wants to bring Theme Park rides to near your homes. So you dont have to go to a park, and wait in line for it.
He is right, it is a [excellent] ride. Aside from the [terrible] 2D teaser and absolutely CHEESE ball LOGO with big ass Brendon Frasier title, This movie could be Bad ass summer entertainment fun.
I mean, experience it like a attraction, not as a movie. I mean #1 movie is Indy 4 no matter what.
I am really excited about this movie, hopefully I get another full preview, once it is complete in May-June.
Captain EO dude cant go wrong, I freaking love that attraction!.
Cameron's Fusion Camera cant go wrong.
Yes, most of the budget went to 3D, that is why the whole movie has only 3 people, 2 probably got paid with meals, and 1 pseudo star? Frasier?
Before the Japan preview, they said they tested at LA with a bunch of families. Really successful. Because seriously, you totally feel you are in there. God, is this a appetizer for AVATAR?!?!? and this movie is only 90mins! IF AVATAR is at 3 hours, your mind will explode.

So it looks like its going to be a family affair and could be well received overseas - will that bring in the masses though? We shall find out this summer! :-)

Image courtesy of HDVideoPro

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