Sunday, November 25, 2012

Movie Review: Ang Lee's LIFE OF PI - 9 Stars!

What a visually stunning, stunning movie. If you haven't had a chance to see it yet, by all means get out and enjoy this masterpiece by director Ang Lee. And I mean Oscar worthy masterpiece. Lee hits on all the high points and seldom do you think that what you are watching is not an eye full of cinematic love for the audience.

I will say that at times the story was kind of slow in building up but when the moment hits and Pi's life is turned upside down - what a visual treat.

I want to talk about the 3D right away here. Amazingly well done. Ang Lee utilized native 3D through the rigs and services of the Cameron | Pace Group and you can tell that there just aren't many - if any - technical errors with the stereoscopic 3D. Some very cool and seldom used effects too - I won't go into details here as it may spoil your experience, but we can freely talk about them in the comments if you wish.

I'm so anxious to compare this cutting edge example of modern native S3D (through Cameron | Pace) to the upcoming sure to be masterpiece THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY because this project was shot using CPG's native 3D rigs and services competitor 3ality Technica and what we've all seen so far of that production has been jaw dropping too. Who will have delivered the top 3D goods?

Claudio Miranda's cinematography in LIFE OF PI is absolutely remarkable. Some shots are so intricate and well thought out that you just want to grab a screen cap of it and stare at it. So many scenes are desktop wallpaper worthy and that's no exaggeration.

So what was not so good about the movie? Well a few things. I thought the story was paced slowly at times in the beginning - still a visual marvel out of the blocks - but slow. So drink in the visuals while you wait for the action to pick up and then relax and immerse yourself. I am not a fan of character development accomplished through flashbacks (and I know there is not much choice here), thus the lower score (81 is still very good!).

Here's the storyline for the movie:

A man named Pi tells a story that occurred when he was 16. When his family decides to move their zoo from India to Canada, Pi winds up as the only human survivor of the tragic sinking of a cargo ship. On the sea in a lifeboat, he's accompanied by the other survivors—a zebra, a hyena, a female orangutan and a 450-pound aggressive Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

I did like the twist at the end of the movie. Even coming from a guy who considers himself much more aligned to science than religion, I found it to be moving enough to smile. That's an accomplishment in my books. I can imagine the impact on a more religious person.

So definitely a must see in my opinion and a must see in 3D. If you see it in 2D you are not enjoying the movie as the director Ang Lee intended you to see it and you will be missing out, I guarantee it.

9 out of 10 Stars.

Special thanks to Empire Theatres for the screening in RealD 3D. The screen was crisp and well lit as well as a perfect sound level! Outstanding customer service too.

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Jim Dorey
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