Friday, July 24, 2009

Alice, TRON: Legacy, Carol, Final Destination + The Hole reactions!

Michael here with some stuff from yesterday's 3D panels.

A new Alice in Wonderland trailer, set to rock music, is leagues above the leaked one. We get some amazing glimpses of Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole, taking a shrinking potion, with the Mad Hatter, on a balcony with the White Queen, the Cheshire Cat, and an assortment of fantastic creatures. The overall style was great, and the trailer - which was shown three times - got the audience pumped.

A Christmas Carol masterfully incorportated its 3D, as can be expected by Zemeckis. We were shown an entire scene that progressed from Scrooge plucking the coins off the eyes of his departed friend's corpse, to his solitary walk back to his mansion, to his panic and fright when visited by the ghost of his departed colleague, who promises him visits from three spirits. The stylized CG works and the acting is great, but I must emphasize that there are some pretty dark and disturbing scenes and subject matter.

Lastly, TRON: Legacy looks like it will be a huge amount of fun. They just finished principal photography last Monday morning. They reshowed the test footage from last year's Comic-Con, but this time in 3D. They also showed off a very well-shot live action 2D scene of Sam Flynn (Jeff Bridges' son) entering the arcade, which has been closed for twenty years. Journey’s “Separate Ways” plays in the background as he explores the dated 80’s game machines. At the end of the clip he finds the TRON machine, pushing it aside to find a secret passage.

The movie's plot will involve Sam's search for his father. Olivia Wilde plays a confidante to Sam.

We were shown a lot of concept art from the virtual world, but what struck me as super cool was was that some of the martial arts /sports scenes were shot at 1000 frames per second with a Phantom camera, and then played back at regular speed for an amazing super slow motion effect. We were shown behind-the-scenes footage of martial artists (in 2D) performing amazing spinning flips and kicks. In finished 3D these scenes will be absolutely spectacular.

Here is a short clip to give you an idea of what this will look like:

The Final Destination and The Hole clips both caused many of the 6500 in Hall H to jump up in their seats or squirm in fear. The Final Destination is certainly not holding back in terms of violence and the creativity of its kills. And, other than Avatar itself, it has the best live-action 3D I have seen. Everything is bright, crisp, and framed to perfection to surround the audience with the action. The Hole isn't up to that level 3D-wise, but it definitely has a very strong scare factor: possessed dolls and clowns are always scary.

But The Final Destination footage - which included scenes at a car racetrack, in a mall, and in a swimming pool - was as seamless and immersive as any 3D to date. I could feel the years of knowledge and experience of PACE and the Fusion Camera System in both this and the live action Avatar footage.

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