Disney Screws Over Spielberg (But Good News for 'Kubo' Fans)


Disney is at it again.  Unless Marvel or Pixar is involved, they really, REALLY don't care about preserving movies in their original presentation!  I am now very convinced that "Zootopia" was more of a testing ground to see if they could sell enough BluRay 3D's to justify returning to the format, and whatever magical number they needed to hit simply wasn't.  Because not only did "The Jungle," "The Finest Hours," "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" get the shaft (although we are finally getting the latter this year), but Disney has decided another movie was not worth the effort to release in it's native 3D format: "The BFG." What makes this an especially insulting oversight is the fact that the movie was directed by the one and only Steven Spielberg, who takes how movies are made and preserved VERY seriously!  This is also a man who only directs in 3D when the format will benefit the movie.

To not release his film in 3D - the format he shot the movie in and intended to be seen in - is a slap in the face to one of our greatest living directors.  Of course... I know we will be able to import this and be able to watch it on out American BluRay players, but we simply shouldn't have to do this!!!  As if to twist the knife just a little bit more, the most intriguing special feature on the BluRay ("John Williams: Scoring a Dream") will be a digital exclusive; for absolutely no reason other than to make the digital purchase seem better.  They can easily place this special feature on the disk, so they are not only insulting Spielberg by not releasing his native 3D version on disk, but they are insulting people who buy physical media by not putting the most interesting special feature on the disk even though space isn't an issue.  They actually did something similar with their "Fantasia/Fantasia 2000" BluRay, where many of the classic DVD features were archived on the internet.

Which means you can watch those special features so long as the BD Live website still functions.  By continuing to do this Disney just insures that eventually fans will lose these special features to the winds of time, and I fail to understand how that benefits anyone (including Disney themselves).  This is the kind of blunder that made me made enough to create this site in the first place.  Well, the good news is that "Kubo and the Two Strings" WILL be coming to BluRay 3D in America, which was also shot in 3D and takes full advantage of the format, so... positive thoughts!

But seriously, bite me Disney.  This is a new low, even for you.


Ninja Turtles Sequel Comes to BluRay 3D Today ("The Huntsman" Still MIA)

Today's new releases features one proper 3D release and two non-releases.  The movie that did get it's native 3D release was "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows." This was shot in native 3D, so it is (visually speaking) one of the better 3D experiences you can have in the home.  The movie itself... well, it is likely going to become a guilty pleasure of mine.  The second major release is "The Huntsman," the sequel no one wanted in the first place.  The movie was released 2D in the states and 3D internationally.  Those who were hoping for a 3D home release in the states are out of luck, as it appears that version will remain an international exclusive.

The third release is sort of odd, as Disney has done another re-release of "Beauty & the Beast." As part of the Walt Signature Collection (even though Uncle Walt himself had nothing to do with the movie), this collection has been met with mixed reviews as lots of classic bonus features are dropped from previous releases.  Granted, there are a FEW new features, but they normally are not worth what fans lose!  In this case we are losing an entire disk of bonus features.  I think the special edition with the 'Human Again' sequence is not here either (nor is the work-in-progress edition).  Of course, the 3D version is also not on this new release.  Now, it should be noted that the movie was never made with 3D in mind, and when Disney was in a kick of re-releasing their movies in 3D the results were decidedly mixed.  Only the Pixar movies have made sense to upconvert, while the 2D movies look very fake.

So, with that said, this was probably no big loss in the long run, but it would still be nice to have a choice in the matter.  Ultimately though, when it comes to the releases today, while it would be nice to have 3D versions for all three films, we did get a 3D release for the one that actually mattered, so let's chalk that up to a win and focus on getting the other two another day.


"Finding Dory" Coming to BluRay 3D

Over the weekend Pixar has proven once again to be their own bosses from Disney by announcing that "Finding Dory" will be coming to BluRay 3D this winter.  The movie made a little more than "The Jungle Book" and a little less than "Zootopia." If this was a Disney movie it would give us a clue as to what constituted as "successful enough" for us to get a 3D release, but since this is Pixar (who pushed for a 3D release for box office flop "The Good Dinosaur") we know that this is more about artistic integrity than money.  In other news, Marvel is releasing "Captain America: Civil War" on BluRay 3D today.  Best Buy has an exclusive steelbook case that will likely fly off shelves, so hardcore fans might want to keep that in mind.  I guess it's nice to know that all the companies Disney owns are still supporting the format.  Now if only Disney themselves would get back on track to supporting the format.


"Ghostbusters" 2016 Getting 4K/BluRy 3D Combo Pack


First it was "The Angry Birds Movie" and now "Ghostbusters" is getting a 4K/BluRay 3D combo pack, ensuring that customers won't have to choose between two different versions to future proof their collection.  Unlike the other movie, "Ghostbusters" is something that I am interested in owning, and (should I have disposable income) I will be picking it up.  Having only been two releases of this sort of combo pack, I'm not sure what the criteria is for a movie getting these types of releases, but at the moment I'm thinking this is pretty much a Sony thing.  "Ghostbusters" is a Sony movie, "The Angry Birds Movie" was distributed by Sony, they still make 3D TV's, they make 4K TV's with 3D functionality, AND they own the BluRay 3D format!  Whether this is the case or not I don't know, but it is the only thing I have to go on.  If this is how it's working, then I am not very hopeful that other companies will adopt this practice.

They have less reason to put their weight behind a format that they perceive to be dying, even though I am fully convinced 3D will come back.  Heck, it never really went away in the first place.  We still get dozens of 3D films a year, eventually one of them will win Best Picture (the format came close with "The Life of Pi" and "Gravity"), and even TV manufacturer's are still developing new 3D technologies (the next step is to make the 3D glasses free).  Either way, a sale for one of these combo packs is a good thing, so if you liked this movie (I know there are a lot of you who didn't) pick this up to show your support!  Sales speak louder than e-mails do.


"Jason Bourne" Gets 3D Release in China (And Apparently it Sucks)

Labels: ,

In what has become something of a standard, while Paul Greengrass's "Jason Bourne" came to American cinemas in just a 2D form, a 3D version was created for the Chinese market.  And by all reports it's... pretty terrible.  I mean, it is so terrible, that not only are Chinese audiences protesting the 3D version, but many are insisting they get their money back.  What on Earth is it about this 3D version that is so terrible that even the Chinese (who - let's not kid ourselves - are a key reason the format is alive at the moment) are against it?  Well, I obviously haven't seen the 3D version, but having seen the movie itself I can wager a guess: Shaky camera.  Great 3D can come from anything, but there are a few things a movie wants to focus on to get maximum usage out of the effect.  Long shots help.  Steady camera work is a must.  If the movie has scenes where characters are flying or swimming, it will help (but make sure there is a wide open space so that characters can 'float').  Finally, it helps if the film was not only shot with 3D in mind, but with 3D cameras to boot.

"Jason Bourne" is pretty much the opposite of everything I listed above.

It was not shot with 3D in mind.  It has no long shots.  The editing is chaotic and fast paced.  Also, the camera shakes.  Like, it shakes a lot.  When you combine all these components and try to force them into a 3D experience, I can imagine why that would be a miserable experience.  The shaky camera is especially problematic for 3D, because if the image isn't smooth on some level, the image will be blurry and induce headaches.  For all intents and purposes, "Jason Bourne" was made to be a 2D film.  Last I checked, Greengrass has no interest in the 3D format.  And you know what?  That's perfectly fine.  Despite what this blog is about, I'm more interested in trying to convince studios to preserve ways to view films that were made with 3D options, not encourage all films to be made in 3D.  3D (like color) should not be forced onto a film if it doesn't fit, and if our Chinese friends are to be believed, the 3D version of "Jason Bourne" made them sick.

Of course, there is the OTHER issue they had with this, in the fact that apparently 90% of the screens were showing the 3D version!  I mean, isn't that just the cherry on top of this crap sundae?  How would you like to have a 3D version of a movie that makes the film look worse, makes you feel sick while watching it, is more expensive, AND is the only way to easily see it?!  See, as much as it annoys me that American theaters are making seeing 3D movies difficult in some situations, we could be in a situation where we are forced to see 3D movies that are made worse by the mere fact they are in 3D.  Now, this DOES raise the question of how it should be determined what 3D movies should be widely available and which should be hidden, made available only to the most hardcore of fans!  I will discuss this in a later post.  For the time being, it looks like we dodged a bullet by not getting the version of "Jason Bourne" in 3D.  And, since the movie is already bad, the last thing we need to do is pay extra to see a bad movie that will make us physically sick to watch it.