Some of us who wrote disparagingly about older films being formatted into 3D have to eat our adjectives now that "Jurassic Park" has proven that a film at least 20 years old can still succeed with an added dimension. It also was a revelation that the first and best dinosaur thriller was years ahead of its time, perhaps even 20 years ahead considering the CGI looks better in 1993 than it does now. But can Hollywood treat it as a specialized case of individual cinematic greatness and not as a signal to release more classic films in 3D?
The chances are that Hollywood will dip considerably into the cinematic treasure chest during the next few years. Few have bristled that even "The Wizard of Oz" will have a 3D release this fall on Blu-ray and in theaters. Whether that makes Steven Spielberg change his mind about releasing more of his films in 3D is worth pondering.
Going by his past statements, he's already nixed any idea of his other iconic films being re-released in the 3D format. How can he resist, though, when Spielberg's cinematic quality seems to lend well to 3D and could be potential cash renewals? Let's take a look at three movies he produced and directed where 3D could possibly bring new life and understanding to their hidden analogies and visuals.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Alternate Ending Included)
Consensus is wide (ditto Spielberg) that the 1980 "special edition" of "Close Encounters" was a mistake in 2D, including the scene of Richard Dreyfuss seeing what's inside the mothership at the end. Regardless, in 3D, said footage could be cleaned up and made quite compelling as an enhanced spiritual experience for old and new fans of the film. That all could have been compelling right now considering it's the movie's 35th anniversary as of last December.
Let's also not forget that Douglas Trumbull's flying UFOs seemed ready-made for the 3D format back then. It makes you wonder if Spielberg had such a thing in mind during the film's production.
This one is so obvious, despite numerous scenes everyone knows by heart being potentially spectacular in 3D. Some might carp that 3D manifests more flaws in special effects from a different era. That doesn't necessarily make sense when the recent Blu-ray release of "E.T." shows nary a wire or any other reveals.
It goes to prove how special effects in the 1970s and '80s were much better in quality than we ever knew once we see them in 1080p and 3D. The flying bicycle scene alone in 3D would likely be worth the price of expensive admission.
Now at its 15th anniversary, a 3D release of this would increase the harrowing experience of war. For most people, that might be too much to take in. A new generation who missed it the first time, however, would never forget the experience of that much carnage in a 3D film.
While it goes against the grain of films usually released in 3D, we're likely on the cusp of dramas having routine 3D releases. "The Great Gatsby" will enhance that this summer, even if a "Private Ryan" added dimension would turn the drama of "Gatsby" on its ear.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Steven Spielberg