Chipmunks, 3D & Buttery Topping

Hey, lady in the middle back, white sweater, leopard skin hat…… why are you grinning? Everyone else seems pretty reserved and no one else is smiling, you are creepy, utterly inappropriate and I predict the remainder of your date will not go well…. Although you may want to get the number of the guy in the front row, he seems all amazed…. maybe you guys could go out afterwards and kick puppies……. freaks….

I’ve seen movies. Alot of movies. I couldn’t even begin to figure of how many in my lifetime. I’ve been alive for just over 15,300 days (hopefully this number will continue to climb for a long while yet) – conservatively I’ve seen 10,000 films. I went thru extended periods when I was in film school where we’d watch at least 4 movies in a day…. the 1 pm matinee, the 4 pm matinee, the 7 and then the 9… sometimes with people – sometimes alone…. foreign, domestic, hollywood, independent, classic, avant garde, experimental, documentary, animated, student, shorts and in most cases I remember almost everything about the movie, scenes, dialogue, specific shots, edits – directors, stars, writers….. it’s not something I did or do consciously… I just remember.

I guess that makes me a little bit like Rainman…… it’s one of the things I hope to pass along to my kids (not the Rainman part), a love of film, all kinds. I have a binder in which I have carefully placed every movie ticket to every movie they’ve ever gone to see… odd – maybe, but I’ve never been accused of being normal and it’s sort of neat to see and relive all those experiences & more buttery topping than I care to remember. Recently, 3D has been sweeping the screens, seems like everything is coming out in 3D. Movies that have no business being shot in 3D – it’s a bandwagon and it’s already full, those people with originality tickets, please disembark. Some movies are legit, good and truly enhanced by the 3D experience but the great majority… un-freakin-necessary – captivate and entertain your audience with a compelling story, well shot, written and acted. I’m going to go ahead, along with the Russian Judge, and keep your scores low – until you’ve proven the 3D was integral to the story OR you’ve really gone and pushed the boundaries and done something special with the technology…..

These people will TALK about this movie on the way out.... except the guy in the third row, I'm pretty sure he's having a massive coronary....

In most cases, the number of different “technologies – read gimmicks” crammed into the production process will be in direct proportion to how bad the movie is at it’s core – story & character. The very things time and again that have proven to be all that’s needed to capture an audience and make the movie memorable. Once they start loading up the fancy hooks & gimmicks – start looking for the exits. Movie lovers, they count on suckers like you and me, optimists – who in the face of countless letdowns, seeing all the best parts in the trailer or on commercials – we still hold out hope the movie will excite, entertain and educate. The number of times I’ve left a theatre disappointed, complaining “I really thought that would be better”, pains me, death by 1000 cuts… but I keep trying, cause every once in awhile I see something that smacks me in the face (if that can ever happen in a good way) and all is forgiven. Come, Hollywood, let me kiss your cheek in gentle appreciation, you’ve done well… now, do it again – and by that I don’t mean make the same freaking movie with a number after the title – I mean find the charm, the wit and all the elements that made it work so well and encourage those…. we don’t need another Chipmunk movie, I swear to God we don’t. Unless in the next Chipmunk movie it has both Predator and Alien paying a visit… I will pay to see that… I will pay alot…..

The first 3D movie I ever saw was a Warner Brothers movie with Vincent Price called, The House of Wax….

There was only one scene in the whole movie that was really 3D, a carnival barker is out front, spinning a yo-yo and he turns to camera and throws it into the screen and it was really coming right at me, I flinched. Since then, not so much, well not based on the 3D anyways, plenty of flinching at hackneyed dialogue, bad acting and stupid plot points. Lets take a recent blockbuster, the blockbuster of all time, little film called Pocahontas Avatar(check out the comparison here). OK, pretty good movie, didn’t change my life, the 3D try and pick out a single moment when you were struck by the 3D and the 3D alone – and not just the stunning visuals themselves….

Try new things, by all means – but I ask that you use them not because you’re trying to dazzle, delight and deflect us from the weak foundation you’ve built your film on – rather, engage, entertain and enhance our experience and we’ll never forget you.

Have a Great day. Happy Resurrection Jesus….. also Happy Easter for the forsaken…..

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