Film is, in the main, viewed in two-dimensions, akin to the printed page. Artists have, through shading, created an illusion of the third dimension; however, for filmmakers this visual experience has always been elusive. Though they have tried since the early 1900s and the first stereoscopes.
There was, however, during the '50s, a surge of movies created in the third dimension. But they never captured the audience: The glasses were awkward, the images tinged with red and blue and plagued by ghost-like shadows.
But now, given stunning leaps in moviemaking technology, there has been a renaissance in 3-D movies, free of the clumsy images of previous decades. Examples would be the blockbuster "Avatar" (2009), the remarkable "Hugo" (2011), and the converted "Titanic 3-D" (2012).
G.I. Joe: Retaliation
There is no better candidate for a digital conversion from 2-D to 3-D, using state-of-the-art technology, than "Jurassic Park." While it was remarkable when it was made in 1993 (it grossed $914.7 million worldwide), with scenes that took audiences to the edge of their seat, "Jurassic Park 3-D" has moved into an entirely different realm of tension and intensity. It's a wonderful ride, literally and figuratively.
Using 3-D also allowed the inherent wonder of the film to be more deeply appreciated: panorama shots of grazing brachiosaurs, lurking velociraptors and seemingly benign triceratops, all presented with greater depth and breadth.
And speaking of depth, there is a scene in the enormous kitchen of the theme park's central building that takes full advantage of the enhanced depth of field. It is chilling.
And not to forget the signature set piece when a Tyrannosaurus rex is chasing a park jeep, its enormous jaws reaching forward, into the audience, as the occupants look back in sheer terror. A breathtaking moment.
Regarding the story. It's simple and yet complex. And it has not been altered in this new release. Only made better.
There is a new generation of moviegoers — tweens and teens and older — who will have an opportunity to be introduced to this extraordinary movie for the first time. And the platform for the film still remains intriguing and contemporary — using found DNA of various species of dinosaurs and plants and then replicating them on an island.
It all seems eminently possible, allowing the screenwriters, one being the late author of "Jurassic Park," Michael Crichton, to create a startling sense of verisimilitude.
A word about this new generation of movie enthusiasts — call them the Millenials (born in 1981 or later). They should be reminded that films such as "Jurassic Park 3-D" are not meant to be watched on a small screen. Certainly not on an iPad. Steven Spielberg made this movie (in whatever dimension) to be viewed in a dark theater on a larger-than-life movie screen where the full impact can be felt. And with the conversion of "Jurassic Park" to 3-D, that is especially true.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation
Seriously? Another movie based on a Hasbro toy (not a book, not a comic, but a toy)? Fine, let's acknowledge that the "Transformers" franchise thus far has been a huge hit, earning a worldwide gross in the billions. Hence, it should come as no surprise that the "GI. Joe" series has been created from another action figure.
Now it's assumed that the fanboy base will have seen "G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra" (released four years ago). And loved it. And let's also assume that the base still remembers what the heck was going on.
Nevertheless, the studio returns with "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." This installment, once again, gives new meaning to nonstop action. But then why stop all things violent and frenetic for plot development or even conversation. This is about shooting and mayhem and a high body count.
And the Joes kill their share, led by Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson) who is really, really angry. He has, after all, lost his sidekick, Duke (Channing Tatum), plus other Joes, killed by … the U.S. government? Yep. Question is, why? This may be where retaliation comes into play.
Keep in mind that this movie wasn't made for clueless critics who are convinced that you need a program to know who the good and bad guys are. But keep in mind that the "G.I. Joe" movies are just one big comic book, made for kids with Joe posters on their bedroom walls and who are now waiting for "G.I. Joe: Resurrection of Duke." Or something like that.
— Chris Honoré