10 Films That Deserve A 3D Re-Release
Older 2D films being converted into 3D for theatrical re-release is a new Hollywood trend that’s starting to pick up steam. Disney has been leading the charge so far with the first two Toy Story films, the recent Lion King release, and soon Finding Nemo. The Star Wars franchise begins its slate of six 3D reissues next month with the Phantom Menace. James Cameron has also been hard at work on Avatarizing his blockbuster Titanic film, set for release this year.
The following films have lots of potential for the 3D treatment, based on their overall visuals. In no particular order:
1. The Fifth Element (1997). Going beyond the famous Taxi cab chase scene from the film’s first act, there is plenty of shots that lend themselves to the 3D format. Plenty of people pointing weapons at the camera, in-your-face action, and not much shakiness that is the norm now. If you watch this film, it’s almost like the Director wanted it to be immersive – lots of medium shots and tight close-ups (especially in Dallas’ apartment). It’s almost as if this film was shot with 3D in mind.
2. The Incredibles (2004). With Disney already converting three Pixar films into 3D, the Incredibles is the most likely on this list to get the 3D treatment. Dash’s chase scene in the third act would shine, but there are plenty of other shots that are at home in 3D. The family falling from the plane explosion, Mr. Incredible jumping over the waterfall, the entire opening sequence, and so on.
3. King Kong (2005). This film should be like Tron Legacy. Everything in 2D until they reach Skull Island. All the dinosaurs and creepy bugs turn this period piece into a sort of thrill ride. Who doesn’t want to see a giant gorilla swat planes out of the sky in 3D?
4. The Matrix (1999). The strongest of the Matrix trilogy by far, it has plenty of set pieces and effects that are begging for the 3D treatment. The lobby shootout and bullet-time sequences would be worth the cost of admission. You probably could retrofit the sequels in 3D too, but those might be ignored by audiences. Speaking of which…
5. Independence Day (1996). Laugh all you want, but this is a film that looks great in HD, and I think it would benefit from 3D release – especially in IMAX. I recall seeing a making-of FX film in IMAX (Which featured a peek at the Star Wars Special Editions) way back when. ID4 was showcased, and it was awesome to watch the White House getting destroyed on a 4-story screen. A 3D coat of paint for IMAX would make those giant spaceships a sight. UPDATE (June 1st 2012): Now this film will also be getting a 3D re-release.
6. Jurassic Park (1993). Another 3D release that would be a hit in IMAX (heck, just a regular IMAX re-release would suffice). Looking up at the Brontosaurus munching on a tree, or being chased by a T-Rex in 3D would drive people to theaters. I suspect this film would have a successful re-release, much like Star Wars or the Lion King, just because of how good it is by default. It appeals to fans old and new. UPDATE: Universal announced this film will be re-released in 3D for summer 2013 – the 20th Anniversary. Yay!
7. Spider-Man Trilogy (2002 – 2007). If you look at a lot of Raimi’s films, you’d swear he was shooting them in 3D, but forgot to use a 3D camera. They are all very much in-your-face, with so many objects being thrown at the camera. Swinging through New York with the webhead in 3D is the primary reason to plunk down the cash. Fortunately we’re getting a taste of that with the new Amazing Spider-Man this summer. And yes I included Spider-Man 3…despite its faults it would be a fun experience in 3D.
8. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010). After exiting the theater for this one my first thought was “Why didn’t they make this in 3D?” Because all the visuals seemed destined for the third dimension. I’d like to think the 3D would’ve offered more incentive for audiences to come flocking, making the release a success instead of falling short of the production budget. At the very least the 3D price bump would’ve had this film breaking even.
9. Wanted (2008). Like the Matrix, this one was chock-full of bullet-time effects. I’d like to think with the 3D added, you too will feel like you’re shooting the wings off a fly. This also reminds me that Angelina Jolie was the lone highlight of the Beowulf 3D release. *Sigh!*
10. Kung-Fu Hustle (2004). This one is over-the-top when it comes to action, and the use of CG to escalate many fight and action sequences was brilliant. The upgrade to 3D makes this a can’t miss film.
Honorable Mention: Fight Club, Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, The Iron Giant, Men In Black, Starship Troopers, True Lies, Mission Impossible (1995), Labyrinth, Minority Report, and Star Trek (2009).