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Stop this 3D madness! December 13, 2010

Posted by pacejmiller in Entertainment, Movie Reviews, Technology.
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I’m so sick of watching a promising trailer for a new film, only to see in big letters at the very end, “Coming to you…in 3D”!!!

Here I go again.  I have been consistently vocal in my objection towards this current tidal wave of 3D films hitting our cinemas.  Sure, there are some movies that provide an enhanced experience in 3D — for example Avatar, or dare I even say Resident Evil: Afterlife, but ther vast majority of 3D films out there charge a hefty premium and give you a shitty time with the uncomfortable and darkening glasses and pointless 3D effects.

Worst of all, 3D films aren’t discounted at all, even on cheapo days, and even those that use movie money have to pay a few dollars extra.  For instance, if you go watch a 2D movie on cheapo Tuesday (in Australia), you can catch a film for around $10 (or less if you use movie money on any day of the week).  But if you watch the same movie in 3D, you can fork out up to $24 for an adult ($17.50 + $3.50 for 3D + $1 for Vmax + $1 for internet booking) and $19.50 for a child.  Enough said.

I thought after films like Clash of the Titans (where the 3D actually made the film worse) , the backlash against 3D will make studio execs think twice before making their latest release in 3D, but it hasn’t appeared to slow the trend at all.  According to this article from the Economist, 3D is relatively inexpensive, adding only a 10-15% to the cost of production, with a huge upside and low risk of piracy.  No wonder they’re even trying to re-release a bunch of old films in 3D to cash in.

Much of the blame of course rests with moviegoers that continue to go to 3D movies.  These days I choose 2D whenever the option is available, but I admit there have been times when I have wondered: will the 3D finally be good this time?  Needless to say, it never is.  I’m a frequent visitor to the cinema, but with a lot of people or families who only go a handful of times a year, 3D can seem like a real treat, especially if you haven’t experienced it before.  So I guess as long as people keep paying up to 240% the price of what they ought to be paying, the 3D rush will continue.

It was interesting, though, to see this New York Times article that discussed the backlash against 3D films in Hollywood.  Perhaps it is filmmakers who will take the charge to stop this 3D madness.

Hollywood’s Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: Mara Rooney August 17, 2010

Posted by pacejmiller in Entertainment.
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A day after reports stated that Scarlett Johansson was going to be a “shoo-in” as Lisbeth Salander, the titular character in the Hollywood remake of the Sweden book/film blockbuster The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, it has now been announced that the role will go to relative unknown Mara Rooney.

Yeah, I can kind of see it

I’ve seen Rooney in the A Nightmare on Elm Street remake, in which she was pretty decent.  She doesn’t necessarily have that dark intensity Noomi Rapace (the original Salander), though physically she does fit the role (skinny and not too tall).  I’m sure with the right make-up and outfit, she can make a decent Salander.

All I can say is that I’m glad Scarlett Johansson didn’t get the role.  Nothing against her personally but boy would that have been a horrible choice!  I know she’s lost some of her curves, but still.  Any of the other names mentioned before Rooney bagged the role — Emma Watson (a little too young-looking still), Ellen Page (too young and a little too small), Carey Mulligan (too classy?), Emily Browning (too young-looking?), Mia Wasikowska (could be good) and Natalie Portman (would be excellent) — would have been better than Johansson, who is just too clean/innocent/sweet to play the role.

Then again, this is a Hollywood remake, and as such, as expectations should be kept in check.  Is it going to be as dark as the original, or is it going to be sanitised for the US audience?  Will they remain true to the book, or will they make it more Hollywood?

Rooney is good in the sense that she is not a widely known name, so that will bring a sense of freshness to the film.  However, they have also chosen 007 Daniel Craig to play Mikael Blomkvist, so that defeats the purpose of trying to make it star-free.

In any case it’s still early stages — filming isn’t even set to begin until next month, with the release set for late 2011.

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