2013 has actually been an amazing year for 3D in film. Not only have 8 of the top ten grossing films of the year been 3D productions, but arguably the best 3D film of all time was released this year. With that in mind here’s my countdown of the top 5 3D films you should have experienced this year.
5. Jurassic Park 3D/Wizard of Oz 3D
Okay I’ve cheated here and squeezed two into this fifth slot, but such was the quality of the conversion and amazing results from these films they are both well worth seeing again for the added experience that dimensionalisation brings to them.
To see Dorothy exploring the technicolour land of Oz in three dimensions was truly astounding while experiencing the T-Rex chase and velociraptors on the rampage in IMAX 3D glory was awe inspiring.
If you didn’t see this pair of conversions in the cinema do yourself a favour and grab them on 3D bluray while you can!
4. The Great Gatsby
I have mixed feelings for The Great Gatsby; the 3D was beautiful and some of the performances were excellent, however Baz Luhrmann’s overly slick, hyper-polished, Jay-Z soundtrack driven, music video styling was a bit over rich for me.
Leonardo Di Caprio is as charismatic as ever and certainly the drink fueled scene in steamy New York city where Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton) confronts Gatsby (Di Caprio) was explosive, but this was one of possibly only two or three scenes that delivered any impact. Considering it’s classic source material I felt it lacked an emotional heart and ended up being a slightly vacuous, albeit stunningly visual, experience.
That didn’t stop me watching it twice for the sheer joy of the 3D, so in balance it’s one for your collection.
3. Despicable Me 2
How could anyone not love another visit to the world of Gru, Margo, Edith, and Agnes plus of course a cast of minions?
Despicable Me 2 features loveable characters and an entertaining plotline but it is definitely the minions who steal this show. The lightweight plot revolves around Gru’s recruitment by the Anti-Villain League to help hunt down super villain El Macho. It’s a kids film so not challenging but has a good heart and loads of great gags, well worth your entry fee!
If you haven’t seen this and get a chance remember to wait until the end as there’s some fantastic over the top 3D silliness during the credits as the minions attempt to outdo each other in the 3D stakes.
2. Oz The Geat and Powerful
Sam Raimi delivered a stunning film for Disney with this beautiful prequel to the 1939 classic Wizard of Oz.
From the very opening which plays out in 4×3 black and white, this film oozes quality. Raimi who has always been a master of originality understand perfectly the range of options he has when adding 3D into the mix and uses subtle 3D during this intro sequence and expands it gloriously as the film enter Oz in it’s panoramic rainbow burst of colour. Again mimicking the 1939 original he uses a bold and exaggerated technicolour palette with 3D being used in and out of the screen to great effect.
Needless to say as a fan of the original I loved every moment of this film, even though my interest in children’s films is minimal this genuinely felt like a film for all the family.
The best 3D film ever made. Need I say more?
Alfonso Cuarón has, in my opinion, created a 3D film like no other, in fact he has created THE 3D film. Watching Gravity was like being in space for 90 minutes; I felt myself shifting in my seat trying to help Sandra Bullock manoeuvre through zero gravity as she bumps and is thrown about in the vast and completely uncontrollable environment. A tiny human ragdoll lost in the vastness of space. The fact that after the first few minutes I was completely unaware of the film being in 3D was testament to the fact that it was used so perfectly – I was in space, I was floating alongside Sandra and George totally oblivious of this being an illusion and totally engaged. Its was as perfect as a great edit, a great soundtrack great grading – it added to the film but was invisible at the same time.
This isn’t to say the plot or film is perfect as a story, at times as a writer you can feel the process and see the next problem being manufactured as the tension is ramped up to drive our heroine to the edge of her ability, and beyond. However at just around 90 minutes you are blasted through it so fast you come out the other end exhausted, exhilarated and bizarrely appreciative of walking out of the cinema in one piece, on your home planet, on the ground, safe.
You must see this film, and must see it in 3D.
Cash vs Opinion
That’s my thoughts on the best of this years 3D output, for those of you interested more in the financials and in 3D box office figures Box Office Mojo has got a 3D specific chart on the top grossing 3D films from 1980 onwards.