ENCOUNTER IN THE THIRD DEMENSION (3D)

on

1999

3/10

DIRECTOR(S): Ben Stassen & Sean MacLeod Phillips

PRESENTED IN COLOR CODE 3D

Produced in 1999, I suspect that this was intended to herald the new wave of 3D films into the Imax theatres. Imax is brilliant, there’s no doubt about that. Up to eight story screens, 50,000 watts of sound. What’s not to like? Well, the content can be a little disappointing. It’s sometimes hard to remember that we’ve not always lived in a time when feature films have regularly played on our local IMAX screen, a fact that’s only been the case for a few years.

Before that it was just documentaries and short ones at that. This was due to IMAX’s huge, cumbersome camera’s, which lack the versatility of a conventional 35mm rig. In later years, advanced DNR, Digital Noise Reduction,  technology was employed to allow the poorer quality of a 35mm negative to be upgraded to the massive screens.

But, back in 1999, this short film was deemed good enough to showcase IMAX’s 3D potential. It may have done at the time and the 3D isn’t half bad but the film is rubbish! It’s boring, poorly written and not the least bit as funny as it thinks that it is. The plot, if you insist on calling that, is a wraparound device with the sole purpose of showcasing the 3D segments contained wherein.

All in all, this may serve as an interesting insight into early 21st Century 3D in the future but as a film in its own right, it offers nothing except for some pretty nice 3D shots. But in the decade which has followed, they pale in comparison to the more modern innovations, such as Avatar, Tron Legacy and even Step Up 3D.

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