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Monsters vs. Aliens & the future of 3D 
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PITA Bred
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Post Monsters vs. Aliens & the future of 3D
I saw Monsters vs. Aliens on Sunday with the smaller components of the family. Cute. Those of you without kids, add it to your rental list for someday. It has quite a bit in it to amuse those of us old enough to appreciate '50s B-movie homages. It also has <tugs at collar, mops forehead> the, um, sexiest lead animation figure since at least Pocahontas.

I won't review the movie itself except to say that it's a pretty good story, pretty well done, and the adult asides come fast enough to fill in any kid-level stretches of celluloid. ([Character has not been outside in 50 years.] "The earth is getting warmer? That's a convenient truth!" Steven Colbert as the President. Etc.)

Anyway, I have to comment on the new generation of 3D technology. It is, finally, mature. Bright, sharp, excellent control of visual depth, and stops being intrusive after just a few minutes. The rest is in the hands of filmmakers, not to repeat the errors of prior generations (even Dial M for Murder has its overdone WOW! THREE-DEE! moments that look even more ridiculous in flatscreen). DWA did okay with this one. Things pointlessly jump out of the screen only once - in the beginning, what's clearly meant to be a jape at the old-school 3D technique. Very few instances of using deep depth just to push the Oh-Wow button.

The trailers for Up and a few other forthcoming 3D films were pretty impressive, too.

Anyway, I think 3D is really, truly here to stay this time. There's a veritable landslide of films coming this summer and I think by, oh, summer '11 it will be the accepted standard. I look forward to the first Oscar-worthy adult offering in STARTLING LIFELIKE THREE DIMENSIONAL TERROR!... sorry. I mean 3D.

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Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:39 am
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Post Re: Monsters vs. Aliens & the future of 3D
James Gifford wrote:
Anyway, I have to comment on the new generation of 3D technology. It is, finally, mature. Bright, sharp, excellent control of visual depth, and stops being intrusive after just a few minutes. The rest is in the hands of filmmakers, not to repeat the errors of prior generations...


What, you didn't find The Three Stooges in 3-D to be sublime pinnacles of the moviemakers' craft?


Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:59 am
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Post Re: Monsters vs. Aliens & the future of 3D
For me, it's not just the 3D, though that is spectacular, especially in IMAX. I think the whole art of animation is evolving rapidly and has achieved some amazing capabilities. I'm thinking specifically of hair, fur, feathers, and liquid. I think they also have reflections and translucency down.

Back to 3D. How are they going to deliver that to HD TVs?

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Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:17 pm
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Post Re: Monsters vs. Aliens & the future of 3D
Actually, there is a really good Three Stooges bit in MvA. Think the eye-poke routine... but with the four-eyed bad guy... :)

The only reason we haven't seen 3D telly until now is because there wasn't sufficient resolution. It was tried a few times, if you remember - at least, we had a creature-feature show that brought one or two to the small screen and passed out the glasses through local stores.

Now that we have high-definition, the 3D versions of these films will be sold right alongside the flatscreen versions.

I'm waiting for custom glasses you can buy. The freebies are still pretty awful in terms of fit, etc.


Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:21 pm
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Post Re: Monsters vs. Aliens & the future of 3D
When we saw Monsters vs. Aliens 3D IMAX at the Metreon in San Francisco, they charged us for the glasses and they were decent enough that we've kept them. The temple pieces fold in, and the frames are more substantial.

But can current HD TVs deliver differentially polarized frames to make the 3D effect work with current glasses (not the colored ones)? If so, then even my rudimentary understanding of display technology is woefully incorrect.

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Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:28 pm
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Post Re: Monsters vs. Aliens & the future of 3D
I believe it's an adaptation of the theatrical process. I have not looked into it for a couple of years and can't say right off hand which method they've chosen.

Then again, don't listen to me. I picked HD-DVD (for all the right reasons...)


Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:35 pm
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Post Re: Monsters vs. Aliens & the future of 3D
You called this one right. Just saw it in the theater and it was well worth the bucks.

James Gifford wrote:
I saw Monsters vs. Aliens on Sunday with the smaller components of the family. Cute. Those of you without kids, add it to your rental list for someday. It has quite a bit in it to amuse those of us old enough to appreciate '50s B-movie homages. It also has <tugs at collar, mops forehead> the, um, sexiest lead animation figure since at least Pocahontas.

Gotta agree with you there.
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Anyway, I think 3D is really, truly here to stay this time. There's a veritable landslide of films coming this summer and I think by, oh, summer '11 it will be the accepted standard. I look forward to the first Oscar-worthy adult offering in STARTLING LIFELIKE THREE DIMENSIONAL TERROR!... sorry. I mean 3D.


Why yes, adult movies in 3-D are clearly an idea whose time has come ;)

But yes, the 3-D technology was the best I've ever seen. I couldn't even get much blurring from tilting my head. Considering that for a computer-animated movie, producing a 3-D version is only a tiny extra cost (just rendering time, no labor time), there should be more of these on the way.


Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:22 pm
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Post Re: Monsters vs. Aliens & the future of 3D
I'm trying to figure out the pun in the TV station callsign, WDLH. It stood out immediately because a Modesto station would have to begin with K.


Sat Apr 25, 2009 5:00 am
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Post Re: Monsters vs. Aliens & the future of 3D
Peter Scott wrote:
I'm trying to figure out the pun in the TV station callsign, WDLH. It stood out immediately because a Modesto station would have to begin with K.

I'm stumped. I even skimmed the list of crew looking for a D.L.H. or a D, L and H.

There are a few exceptions to the W/K rule, most dating before 1930. I think Philly still has KDKA or something like that.

I also had to smirk in admiration at Susan's monster name - not just "ginormous" but "gyn-" as well. Very clever.


Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:09 am
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Post Re: Monsters vs. Aliens & the future of 3D
Peter Scott wrote:
I'm trying to figure out the pun in the TV station callsign, WDLH. It stood out immediately because a Modesto station would have to begin with K.

I dunno but that's the old cable destingation for Woodland Hills Calif. Maybe it's HoLlyWooD spelled sideways?


Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:44 pm
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