Next Big Thing

An idea bulb went on when Jim Cameron yesterday mentioned a current project to dimensionalize Titanic — i.e., create a 3D version of it. Which he said would take about 12 to 14 months to complete. Peter Jackson, sitting right next to Cameron, was a bit more circumspect. He said he’d love to dimensionalize the Rings trilogy but that Warner Bros. is currently fearful of a shortage of 3-D equipped theatres. But Cameron was having none of it.

The Avatar director basically said “pshaw!” and explained that if major want-to-see 3D titles are in the pipeline, exhibitors will step up to the plate and audiences will follow. It’s basically a matter of the people in charge needing to grow a pair and roll the dice.

If Cameron can dimensionalize Titanic then obviously any film can undergo the same conversion. So why don’t distributors man up and start dimensionalizing all of the major big-format, big-spectacle movies made over the past 40 or 50 years? The first Star Wars trilogy, naturally. And Braveheart, of course. Ridley Scott‘s Alien and Cameron’s Aliens. 2001: A Space Odyssey. Ben-Hur. Gladiator. Spartacus. The Harry Potter films. Black Hawk Down. Platoon. Full Metal Jacket.

And of course, Lawrence of Arabia. Can you imagine how exquisite that film could look in 3-D if it’s done right? With those striking desert vistas? All right, that’s it — get to work on it now and have the 3-D Lawrence ready for the film’s 50th aniversary in 2012.

An hour ago I wrote Robert Harris, the blue-ribbon restoration master who worked with director David Lean on restoring Lawrence in the late ’80s. “Cameron is re-doing Titanic in 3D and made a case that this could be a new growth industry — the Next Big Thing,” I wrote. “I’d love to see Lawrence in 3D some day….y’know? And The Alamo? All the great large-format films.

“So would I,” he answered, “but it comes down to artists’ rights. Without the filmmakers, we really don’t have the moral right to make changes. Great idea however.”

And I wrote back, “Moral rights? Are you kidding? Are you telling me that David’s family and whomever else holds the rights wouldn’t be interested in making this happen if the price was right and if you were on board to 3-D it the way David would have wanted?

“You wouldn’t be messing with David’s film — you’d just be creating a dimensional version for commercial (and spiritual and aesthetic) purposes. Where would be the harm? Who would object as long as the original materials are intact and the flat version is as safe as it’s always been since the restoration? No one.

“I would do backflips if a 3D Lawrence could be created. Are you kidding? They need to do this for the 50th annniversary.

“And you’re the guy to do it, Bob. You’re the Lean link who worked with him, knew him, knew how he thought, what his aesthetic criteria was all about, etc. Lawrence would be breathtaking in 3D. And you must know David would be delighted if it was done right. He was no stuffy drawing-room elitist — he was an elegant showman who wanted to reach people in their theatre seats and make them swoon over their popcorn.

“Cameron said yesterday he’s very happy with the 3D Titanic test footage so far. Obviously with a will the same process could be applied to Lawrence. As O’Toole/Lawrence said, “Aqaba is over there. It’s only a matter of going.”

  • Baron Munchausen-by-Proxy

    Last year I was invited to a demo by a busy 3D conversion company, and watched 20 minutes of a 3D’d “Yojimbo”.

    Absolutely blown away. If the exhibition technology is built widespread, the content will come.

  • Jeffrey Wells

    Wells to Baron Munchausen: Write me privately and tell me who these guys are, where they’re located, how much the process costs, what other films they converted, etc.

  • Chase Kahn

    I just want 3D to go away.

  • Jeffrey Wells

    Wells to Chase Kahn: You would ignore or turn away from a properly dimensionalized Lawrence of Arabia? Bullshit.

  • Telemachos

    Why screw around? Scan a 70mm print in 8K and then release in IMAX-3D. Crazy….!

  • berkguru

    3D sucks. For the most part, it looks fake, tacky and is headache inducing.

  • Bilge

    It’ll probably happen, but I’m sorry, this is bullshit. It’s the same kind of bullshit they were saying around the time of colorization: “You wouldn’t be messing with the film, you would be ENHANCING it and people would have a choice.”

    I’m sorry Wells, but I fucking hate 3D. It makes my eyes and my head hurt. It’s impossible to get a decent image unless you’re sitting in the center of the theater at an optimum distance from the screen. Plus, the whole point of IMAX (which I love) is lost when it’s used with 3D, because you lose the scale.

    You can sit back and enjoy your 3D LAWRENCE OF ARABIA with all your fat-ass, low-thread-count buds. In the meantime, I’ll live with my memories. Sheesh. I can’t even believe I’m writing this.

  • DeeZee
  • DeeZee
  • alynch

    Sorry, but I’m not on board with this notion. Making 3D versions of films that were never intended to be in 3D without the artist’s consent seems pretty similar to colorization to me.

    And Jeff, you’re kidding yourself if you think that nobody would object.

  • Wrecktem

    When Wells says that artists rights aren’t important in a 3D version of Lawrence of Arabia, it shows he knows nothing about 3D rendering. He should actually be saying “My name’s Jeff Wells, and I know nothing about 3D except it looks cool. All movies should be 3D because it looks cool. Even though I know nothing about the process.”

  • Wrecktem

    Oh, and it’s interesting that Wells doesn’t even mention Disney, the industry leader in 3D distribution, and their attempts to do exactly what he’s advocating. The studio has already successfully released Nightmare Before Christmas rendered in 3D, and in the next six months will rerelease three more: Toy Story 1, Toy Story 2, and Beauty and the Beast. No props, Wells? Shame.

    All that said, audiences and exhibitors want new product, not reprocessed old crap.

  • rsgoald

    Two years ago I visited “In-Three” in Westlake Village, California and saw the test footage for “Titanic” in 3-D and I still remember the incredbible hat that dimensionalized the woman waiting to board the doomed vessel. It was an amazing experience.

  • DeeZee
  • Aladdin Sane

    Lawrence of Arabia is one of my all time faves, but I have no desire to sit and watch it in 3D. It’s already spectacular enough – releasing it in theaters for it’s 50th anniversary is a great idea – but there’s no need to augment it.

  • Irving Thalberg

    Move over, grainstorms, someone’s got a new preposterously ignorant crusade to bring to the unwashed masses! Forgetting for a moment the insanity (absurdity?) of Jeff’s position w/r/t those totally lame “artist’s rights,” can we just talk about the amount of time and money that would need to be sunk into dimensionalizing a 47-year-old 238-minute-long 70mm epic in time for release in 2012? Maybe we could start by discussing the scanning and roto work we’d have to do on 328,000+ frames at at least 8k resolution…

    Oh, that’s right. We can’t talk about that, because as per usual when anything technical comes up, Mr. Wells has absolutely no clue what he’s blathering about. Which is a shame, since he’s the pinnacle of refined taste and all.

  • DeeZee

    I guess I was right about the demand for HP dwindling, now that the novels are finished. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/daily/chart/?sortdate=2009-07-24&p=.htm

  • Thesilenttype

    DeeZee, do we need constant news flashes?

  • Rich S.

    Hasn’t Lucas been working on this already with the original Star Wars trilogy? I know he’s discussed it.

  • larry braverman

    They should re-do the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in 3-D.

    Obviously Michelangelo would be delighted if it was done right…and morally it’s the proper thing to do.

    I am right.

  • cwratliff

    I’m not on board with the 3D thing, either. Just seems like a gimmick to charge more at the the theaters, and ultimately distracts from the film experience.

    Rather than pulling you into the movie, it takes you out of it. I feel the same about how surround sound is used– a lot of times, when a movie puts the sound of a car door slamming all the way at the back of the theater, it just makes me think “Oh! Surround Sound Effect!” It ultimately has the same effect as someone’s cell phone going off, or the theater accidentally switching on the house lights for a second.

    Maybe when they start doing full virtual reality experiences, this 3-D stuff will be great. But that’s not movies. I’ve never felt like “Oh, those images on the screen are too flat, I wish they were kind of coming out at me.” I don’t think 3D is an aid to storytelling, which is what narrative films are fundamentally about.

    I know that the 3-D films so far have had some success, but I also get the feeling that this is a trend that’s being led by the industry pushing it aggressively rather than something that the movie-going public actively WANTS. I’ve yet to come across anybody who really, really likes these 3-D experiences– most everybody I’ve talked too has found them either annoying or fairly underwhelming.

    Cameron says in 20 years ALL films will be in 3-D, and 2-D will be like B&W films, you’ll have to get special permission to make them like Woody Allen or the Coens. I say if that happens it will be really sad, and you’ll probably be begging someone to screen a 2-D version of Lawrence Of Arabia…

  • Steven Kar

    Yes, Lucas wants to release all the Star Wars in 3D. Just when you thought he was done milking this franchise…

  • Chase Kahn

    “I know that the 3-D films so far have had some success, but I also get the feeling that this is a trend that’s being led by the industry pushing it aggressively rather than something that the movie-going public actively WANTS.”

    I agree. I’ve talked to more people who dislike 3D than love it. Even though I said I want 3D to go away earlier, I actually don’t completely hate it, but it’s comments like Cameron’s belief that in 20 years every film will be in 3D that scares me.

    Do we really need “Funny People”, “500 Days of Summer”, “No Country For Old Men” and movies of that ilk in 3D? And don’t we think that (if — and I mean if) there is a huge spike in 3D films over the next decade that less emphasis on the actual film and more emphasis on 3D pyrotechnics will be in order?

    It just scares me that the possibility of a studio exec saying to The Coen Brothers or P.T. Anderson 10-15 years down the line — “Look, we like the idea, but put in a central action piece and we’ll release it in 3D, otherwise, no sale”.

    Honestly, I think the IMAX format has more appeal to the public than 3D does, by far. I don’t hear anybody saying, “Hey let’s go see that in 3D!” — plus it does give you a fucking migrane, I don’t think I’d be able to sit through “Lawrence of Arabia” before my head exploding like the guy in Scanners.

  • corey3rd

    Isn’t this turning flat films into View-Master circles? And what about the moral right that comes from the pan and scan version of these films that air on TV? Long as you’re not destroying the original negative (Like Lucas did with Star Wars), why not give it a shot.

    And shouldn’t people be able to buy their own 3D glasses? There’s probably an upcoming outbreak of head lice about to sweep the nation from those reused 3D glasses.

  • Steven Kar

    Looks Titanic will be making a little bit more money when it’s released in 3D thus solidifying it’s place as the #1 B.O. champ of all time. That way, JC will sleep easy at night.

  • Jeffrey Wells

    None of you snorting harumphy naysayers have explained how a 3-D augmentation of a classic title would be any sort of signficant problem for anyone. I would imagine there would be an easy rote way to dimensionalize, and a more particular and artful way to do it. I’m saying that if the latter approach was applied, then a 3-D “Lawrence” could be effin’ phenomenal.

    Just dream this about for a few seconds. Imagine this and that scene and how each one might look. Oh, right…that requires a spirit of adventurism and a little too much faith. Better to stick to the storied and the familiar. Some of you guys remind me of the old bartender in “The Wild One” who, when asked what he thinks of movies, crinkles his face and goes, “Nooo, no pictures.” Some of you are just frowning and spitting tobacco at the spittoon and complaining about those dang-blasted whippersnappers.

    Irving Thalberg realizes, of course, that I haven’t claimed to know anything about the particular technical process of transferring “Lawrence of Arabia” to 3-D. I merely said that Cameron seems to know more than a little about it, and that he doesn’t see a huge problem in it. I’m merely stating the logical obvious, which is that if “Titanic” can be dimensionalized then anything can. If a 3-D company can render 20 minutes worth of “Yojimbo” how crushingly expensive can it be?

  • Steven Kar

    Looks like TITANIC will be making a little bit more money when it’s released in 3D thus solidifying its place as the #1 B.O. champ of all time. That way, JC will sleep easy at night.

  • Cde.

    I may be wrong, but I think I heard somewhere tha Cameron himself thinks the process should only take place with the original director’s involvement.

  • chris7crows

    Sigh. I watched 20 minutes of a colorized “Casablanca” once and it was a really amazing experience. Sure, it was done poorly, but think of the possibilities if it was done correctly! No more artificial black and white, but color exactly as the original filmmakers intended (with regards to lighting, set design, costumes, etc.) Really, why wouldn’t anyone want to colorize all black and white films? To do otherwise would be to surely ignore the wishes of those creators were they alive today.

    I have a feeling that if David Lean were alive today, rather than turning “Lawrence” into a 3D film, he would have gone out and made a 3D film. And it would probably blow us all away. But in the meanwhile, can we just leave “Lawrence” alone?

  • http://somecamerunning.typepad.com Glenn Kenny

    I’m just impressed that you finally managed to genuinely piss off Bilge, who is usually the soul of equanimity.

    I want a 3-D “Salo.”

  • Jeffrey Wells

    I want a 3-D Betrayal. Seriously.

  • stomp

    But what about my dream to see Cool Hand Luke in Smell-O-Vision.

  • Irving Thalberg

    How “crushingly expensive” could it be compared to a 20 minute test done on YOJIMBO (assuming such a thing happened). Well, let’s find out. We need to factor in running time (LoA is 12x longer than 20 minutes) and the added size of the work area involved (going from a negative dimension of .866″ by .732″ on YOJIMBO to 2.072″ by .906″ on LoA is a magnification of approx. 3x more detail)– Those numbers alone could conceivably put us in the ballpark of 36 times more expensive than your purported test. I’d say that’s not insignificant. And mind you, this isn’t even factoring in other costs that are more esoteric, like the added cost of scanning at 8k instead of 4k, the fact that you need to bandwith to carry color information (YOJIMBO is B&W; yes, that matters) and the fact that you’re talking about carrying a product through to final, creating a theatrical master, etc, instead of just to the point it can be presented as an in-house test. All of those things aren’t free.

    But let’s be clear that my personal objection to this isn’t cost-based. You grouse, “None of you snorting harumphy naysayers have explained how a 3-D augmentation of a classic title would be any sort of signficant problem for anyone.” Actually, Jeff, a number of commenters quite eloquently explained their personal disinterest in seeing 3D applied in this manner. And stop for a minute to think about the fact that if the vast majority of film lovers bothering to comment on this post think it’s a bad idea, how much interest is out there (aside from cutting-edge dudes such as yourself) in seeing classic movies rethought in this way?

    And it is a rethinking, Jeff. I love you’re throwaway sentence that in your fictional 3D presentation of LoA, it’s not going to be done in an “easy rote way.” No, it’s going to be “particular and artful.” David Lean is dead. F.A. Young is dead. So who do you presume is going to sit down and go shot-by-shot through this movie making particular, artful decisions about how many planes any given shot should feature, what elements belong on what plane, how much depth should exist between one plane and the next? These are all significant choices that can be argued about on such a fine-level of detail, and you’re more than happy to turn them over to people who had nothing to do with the movie?

    Am I the only one that finds it ironic that Wells can spend thousands of words preaching fire & brimstone about how our disconnected postmodern society of fast food, fat people and McMansions is ruining a once great land, but in the same breath sees no problem with suggesting that classic cinema be completely removed from its native context to be scrubbed clean (no grainstorms!) and dimensionalized (wouldn’t it be nifty!)? What a piece of work.

  • Bilge

    Thank you, Irving Thalberg. I hope to god that you’re someone in a position of actual power and not just some nerd with too much time on his hands.

  • Travis Crabtree

    Just the idea of “Beaches” in glorious 3D makes me tingle. Bring it!

  • Carl LaFong

    Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.

    Dr. Ian Malcolm: I’ll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you’re using here: it didn’t require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn’t earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don’t take any responsibility… for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could and before you even knew what you had you patented it and packaged it and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now
    [pounds table with fists]
    Dr. Ian Malcolm: you’re selling it,
    [pounds table again]
    Dr. Ian Malcolm: you want to sell it!

  • Deathtongue_Groupie

    I have to wonder if Cameron is also redoing most of the CGI work in TITANIC, because I can think of a few shots (the first flyover with all the little CGI bots milling around) that are going to fall apart in 3D.

    Jeff is forgetting the most germane fact to this “debate” – Lean’s thoughts on 3D for LAWRENCE . The process existed before, during and after production. Is there any record of him stating his desire to use it for the film? Or any? I read several articles about the ’89 restoration and am fairly certain in NOT ONE did Lean say, “My only true regret was not being able to see the picture in 3D as I always intended.”

    And why this late-to-the-bandwagon interest in 3D from Jeff? I don’t recall anywhere near this enthusiasm in the past for new crop of 3D flicks. Which suggests a theory that pretty much boils down to “Jeff’s entering his senior years.” And he wants a new twist to all the old favorites he will be spending most of this time with. But he doesn’t want to seem like all the rest of the codgers reliving their past cinematical glory days. With this, he can dodge that by claiming “Hey, it’s the 3D version now!”

  • EdHavens

    There were tentative plans in place early last year for Lucasfilm (via Fox) to release all six Star Wars movies in dimentionalized 3D this past Spring.

    My personal opinion about dimentionalized films is the same as my opinion about black and white films that are colorized, mono-soundtracked films that are remixed in 5.1 sound or so-called “director’s cuts”… if it is the filmmaker and their original collaborative team doing the work, I got no problem with it. When it comes to something like the late 1990s work on Touch of Evil, then we got a problem. ToE was not, as it had been advertised, restored to Orson Welles’ vision. It was someone else working of notes Welles wrote to the studio after seeing the studio’s cut, asking “If you guys aren’t going to release my cut of the film, can you at least make these changes to more accurately reflect my vision?” We will never know what Welles originally intended with ToE, since his cut appears to have been lost to time, but that restoration was at best someone else’s vision of a compromise.

    If it’s announced Steven Spielberg is supervising the dimentionalization of Jurassic Park or Jaws, I’ll be all for it. But if David Lean and Freddie Young aren’t overseeing a dimensionalization of Lawrence, then I want nothing to do with it.

  • Wrecktem

    Irving Thalberg absolutely pwned Jeffrey Wells, and Wells should man up and admit it.

  • corey3rd

    First let’s make Deep Throat 3-D.

  • cwratliff

    “None of you snorting harumphy naysayers have explained how a 3-D augmentation of a classic title would be any sort of signficant problem for anyone.”

    Well, the problem I have with 3-D is that there appears to be this growing Hollywood bandwagon that this is the wave of the future, and that it’s essentially unstoppable. That the latest version of 3-D is so good, so powerful, that someday ALL major films will be in 3-D, and all classic films will be re-jiggered to the 3-D format, all because it’s so “effin’ phenomenal.”

    Maybe Avatar will change everything– I’m sure that there are some films that could be designed so that 3-D is the best possible method for showing them. But it’s more of a thrill ride thing– I have yet to think of a single example of a 3-D movie where the effect really contributed to anything more than a kind of “ooh, neat” feeling.

    Interestingly, what Cameron said about videogames– that the experience never moves people to tears– applies to 3-D as well. It doesn’t make funny films funnier, it doesn’t make moving films more moving, and I’d argue that its effects in terms of how it makes thrilling films more thrilling is limited and potentially distracting. I can see it making a scary moment more intense– when something suddenly JUMPS out at you– or making action sequences more intense, or even the vast imagery of a film like Lawrence might be more awe-inspiring. I’m not arguing that it might not be “cool” in some ways.

    But I wish I’d seen UP in 2-D, and I think that this whole industry-led 3-D kick could have some ominous consequences a few years down the road in terms of further limiting the kinds of movies that get financed. I’m sure Cameron knows what he’s doing, but just as Terminator 2 led to most big films being filled with CGI, we’re likely to be flooded with crappy 3-D movies a few years from now, and Jeff will be bemoaning how the yahoos in the red states are eating it up.

    Again, I’m not saying a 3-D Lawrence might not be cool and fun, I’m just saying that this trend disturbs me. It’s like the transition to digital TV– no one was clamoring for this, a few people just made a decision a few years back, and now people are stuck with it, like it or not…

    I think it’s worth people voting with their dollars and going to see the 2-D versions INSTEAD of the 3-D ones if they’re so inclined. (If you want 3-D, knock yourselves out, but if you’re on the fence or just ho-hum about it, go for the 2-D. It’s cheaper and in most cases, it’s a better experience.)

  • TheJeff

    Bravo Bilge (Ebiri?) and Irving Thalberg. 3-D is an unpleasant toy which was played with until folks got bored with it 50 years ago. I thought it was safely hidden in the attic, but James Cameron & company just had to fish it out and play with it again.

    “Am I the only one that finds it ironic that Wells can spend thousands of words preaching fire & brimstone about how our disconnected postmodern society of fast food, fat people and McMansions is ruining a once great land, but in the same breath sees no problem with suggesting that classic cinema be completely removed from its native context to be scrubbed clean (no grainstorms!) and dimensionalized (wouldn’t it be nifty!)? What a piece of work.”

    EXACTLY.

  • PastePotPete

    The reason for the inexorable march to 3D is clear to me: tv.

    Just as the studios moved to widescreen when tv first rocketed to popularity, now tv is becoming available in widescreen, with hd quality images. With movie-going becoming a chore due to the horrible audiences, more and more people are avoiding the theatrical experience and just watching movies on blu ray on their 50″ widescreen hdtvs…

    3D is something that is not as easily replicable at home(yet) and would give audiences an incentive to go to the theater.

    I just hope they find a way to significantly improve the process. I watched My Bloody Valentine 3D and Beowulf and they did indeed give me headaches, quick cutting with cinematic lighting is tough on the eyes in 3D.

  • Mr. F.

    Wells, if you want to see the current state of the art in 3D conversions… you have to get out and see G-Force. It was shot 2D and the live-action converted after the fact. Plus it’s got your new comedy favorite, Zach Galifianakis… playing it totally straight.

    Do you dare?

  • Mr. F.

    As for 3D on TV: it’s just a matter of time, say, a year or two. Panasonic will have their 3D capable HD televisions out this Christmas. Hell, Samsung already *has* 3D TVs on the market. Good ones, too. It’s just a question of content — there’s not a lot on 3D movies at this point, nor a delivery system for them. But there will be a Blu-Ray 3D player soon, once the studios can agree on the tech specs (which will probably be the biggest hurdle, honestly).

  • wuchmee2

    First of all, nobody pwned anyone.

    It’s apparent that the overall opinion is that if the original director and, possibly, DoP is involved, then all is well and good. I agree. So far, so good.

    However, as 3D dimensionalization becomes more refined, it will be adopted and used more organically in the film making process. Just you watch.

    And comparing the new wave 3D to IMAX is specious. Just as not every movie is deserving of the IMAX treatment, neither will every movie be ripe for dimensionalization. At least in the near- to medium- term. Long-term, all bets are off.

  • Deathtongue_Groupie

    cwratliff – interesting that you bring this up because I did see this in 3D and like most this ilk it seems the filmmakers got bored with the effect about half-way through the film.

    3D Television – did anyone else see those in-theater TV monitor trailers for JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH last year? I was frankly blown away. I stood there in The Bridge for several repeats just to marvel at it. I wondered what happened to technology – over 20 years ago some folks at University of South Carolina developed a TV system for 3D and then it disappeared.

  • DeeZee

    I doubt anyone would want to see 3-d Lawrence of Arabia while dealing with more assholes with cellphones and screaming kids than they would in a 2-d venue. And Star Wars in 3-d making money is not indicative of the success of the medium in general. OTOH, I don’t think that people who bought those sets of the crappy editions of the OT would be pleased to see more effort to restore that sucker in 3-d than to put out a good home video transfer.

    As for Jeff’s opinion, I think he’s arguing that the potential for the 3-d medium allows people to appreciate a different type of film than they would normally watch. Sort of like how IMAX has helped documentaries expand beyond their aloof intellectual ghetto trappings to audiences traditionally more interested in visual stimulation. Likewise, 3-d would help classics like LoA bridge the generation gap. At least, theoretically, anyway.

    corey: Lucas didn’t destroy the original negative. He was just making excuses for his crappy “updates”.

    Steven: No one likes Leo enough anymore to pay for him again in 3-d.

    cwr: “But I wish I’d seen UP in 2-D, and I think that this whole industry-led 3-D kick could have some ominous consequences a few years down the road in terms of further limiting the kinds of movies that get financed.”

    I see the opposite problem: a studio bubble not experienced since the prior industry obsession with DV. Remember that time? A bunch of chains went bankrupt and the ones still standing actually lost more customers-because the format was basically window dressing to cover up for a lack of filters from the usual amount of crap being pumped out from Hollywood on a regular basis. The only reason there’s even been a turn-around in recent years is because the studios are actually trying to get more feedback from consumers again, rather than from Yes-men. But 3-d is just another case of “Screw the consumers and the economy, we’re going to milk this format for all it’s worth!” And I imagine the studios are gonna be severely disappointed by that mentality in the end. After all, the CG talking animal thing hit a dead end, eventually, too.

    “I’m sure Cameron knows what he’s doing, ”

    If he knew what he was doing, he wouldn’t bet a $230 million movie on the FX alone. You need a decent cast. If 300 cost that much, it’d be considered a total bomb. Hell, Watchmen made a ton of money, and it’s still viewed as a bomb. But just because Avatar isn’t R doesn’t mean it doesn’t suffer the same likely fate.

  • DeeZee

    Decent=recognizable.

  • cwratliff

    I simply meant that Cameron knows what he’s doing in terms of filmmaking, and that I’d expect his use of the 3-D effect will likely be as impressive as his use of CGI back when he did T2.

    But as for betting $230 million, I’d still argue that he knows what he’s doing. It’s the studio’s money, not his, and he’s getting to do what he wants with it. If the movie “bombs”, he’ll still be just fine. Maybe he won’t get to bet hundreds of millions of dollars of movie studio money again, but he’s already gotten to do that a couple of times now. How many chances do most filmmakers get to do that?

    I stand by my claim: Cameron knows what he’s doing.

  • bluefugue

    Well, more than most of us schmendricks do, at any rate.

  • raygo

    I’ve never seen a 3-D movie. Never. Not even interested.

  • DeeZee

    If he knows what he’s doing, why would he bet his reputation on a CG Cimino flick?

  • cwratliff

    I guess you’re right. I guess James Cameron doesn’t know what he’s doing. I must have been confused. Apologies.

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