WARNING: 'Terminator 2' 3D Release is Already Disappearing from Theaters!

Those who want to see James Cameron's classic science fiction action movie "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" in 3D may have to clear your plans for tonight, because starting tomorrow the movie will shed most of the theaters that have it booked.  That might suggest that the re-release was a failure, but the reality is that it likely was only in theaters to promote the upcoming UltraHD 4K release of the movie (the 3D version is only planned for Europe at the moment).  I say this because the release date of the movie was planned months in advance, but the day that was picked was a Monday of all things (the slowest day for movie theaters), at the end of a month where people aren't going to the theaters, and the film (at least in my area) was only shown in AMC Theaters.  Also, box office earnings were NOT reported, which basically means this wasn't done to make money!  For all intents and purposes, this is a Fathom Events release that got spread out throughout the entire week for multiple times a day.

Is that a botched release in my eyes?  Eh...if that IS what this was, then we should be grateful we got it in the way we did at all!  It means that Cameron (and the movie itself) has enough goodwill that one chain would dedicate so many screens to it as a 3D exclusive at all (during a time when theaters are having doubts about the future of the format).  Still, that wasn't a lot of time for people to see it, and despite the months of lead up it WAS released on a day most people simply didn't have time to go to the movies, and now they will have to scramble if they want to see it now!  That seems like a shame to me.  I'll be seeing it tonight while there are still plenty of showings of it playing, and I'll let you know what I think about it later.


The Weinstein Companies "Leap!" WAS Supposed to be in 3D!


I made a comment in a previous post that I was under the impression that The Weinstein Companies release of "Leap!" was going to be released in 3D, but must have been mistaken because when it finally did come out there was no such release available.  Upon further investigation, it turns out there WAS a 3D version made available internationally, and even one that is made for American audiences!  In fact, a random family owned theater in Oklahoma called Heritage Oaks Theater is showing it in 3D.  Likewise, Movie Tickets.com has a 3D version listed for selling tickets, which means it was intended for theatrical release in the states.  So what happened?  Honestly, it probably just has to do with The Weinstein Company themselves, who have historically had a TERRIBLE track record for releasing animated movies in the states!

While at Miramax, Harvey Weinstein botched the releases of Hayao Miyazaki's "Princess Mononoke" and two Pok√©mon movies.  A couple years ago he had "Underdogs" scheduled to be released in theaters (with the 3D version clearly on display with the poster) before the release was pulled altogether in favor of a direct-to-Netflix release (having seen it, this was a shame, as the movie was actually pretty good).  The only real success the studio has had in the field of animation was with "Hoodwinked" of all things.  Also, "Leap!" suffers from poor dubbing and an updated soundtrack.  Editing foreign films for an American audience is something Weinstein has also been known for (I had to suffer through a botched English dub of "Shaolin Soccer" many years ago), so, in some ways, losing the 3D version in the states isn't even the worst thing to happen.

The movie can be purchased in 3D from both Germany and Spain.  Neither disk is region free, but there are English versions on both of them.  I have no idea if its the updated dub or a more faithful dub though.  I think...I'm going to have to get a region free BluRay 3D player and start importing some of these movies and reviewing them for you guys.  That might have to be the next evolution for this site.  It's a direction I wanted to avoid, as having access to imports I feared would have lessoned my fight to bring the 3D versions to America, but with us getting fewer and fewer releases, American audiences are having little choice but to import these days, so I should probably be writing about what you can expect should you decide to do this.  Plus...it would be nice to see what "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2" looks like in 3D.  In the meantime, if you are one of the few who have been able to experience "Leap!" in 3D in the theaters, let us know what it's like!


"Terminator 2: Judgment Day" 3D Version is in Theaters NOW!!!

I'm still working on a follow up article on the whole "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" debacle, but it dawned on my that yesterday was August 28th, which means James Cameron's "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" is now in theaters.  There is no 2D version; Cameron REALLY wants you to see this in 3D (and future 3D re-releases he's also working on...like "Aliens")!  I figured I should make a blog post about this because while the release has been known for quite some time, I didn't realize it was opening on a Monday.  Why he decided to release this on Monday isn't clear (especially since NEXT week is Labor Day!).  That does make me concerned that the release might be overlooked, or that the movie will be gone from most theater come Friday, but in case you wanted to see it, it's out now.  I'll likely see it Thursday, and I'll have a full review written for Friday.

Also, it should be mentioned that "Leap!" is NOT in 3D!  I have no idea if it was projected in 3D overseas, but for some reason I was under the impression the movie was supposed to be in 3D.  Whether it was made that way or not, American's didn't get that version (if it existed at all), so we just need to make that clear.


YIKES: "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" BluRay 3D BACK IN STOCK at Best Buy!!!

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This morning I was in the middle of writing a follow-up post on my story of Best Buy not being able to produced enough "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" steelbooks to meet the demand from 3D owners who wanted to buy it legally (but couldn't).  I think I was halfway through before I got a comment on one of my posts sharing this news, and now I need to share it with you: If there is anyone reading this who wanted "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" on BluRay 3D, head on over to Best Buy's website right now because they officially have more copies in stock!  I have no idea if the company decided to make more copies or if these were being held back, but you now have a second chance to get the set.  I have e-mailed Best Buy to see if they will continue to produce the sets to meet the demand after the debacle this week, but have not heard back from them, so assume this is the last shipment (just to be on the safe side).

I will finish the other article I was writing, but I have to retool it now, so it will be delayed until Monday (I don't really believe in publishing non-time sensitive articles on the weekend, so I'll be at the beach with my girlfriend).  Again, I have no idea if the stock is going to last long or if we will get another shipment.  These might be part of the initial wave of releases and the company may have simply decided to hold off on them so that they could SAY they had it in stock throughout the week!  Either way, I'm REALLY glad people have a second chance to own this!

For those interested, my full review of the movie can be found here.


"Wonder Woman" Returns to IMAX 3D on Friday (And Why That Matters)


One of the best movies of the year is unquestionably "Wonder Woman."  I have no idea if that statement will stand when we head into Oscar season, but as far as summer movies go, this was a true highlight of the year.  It is also one of two reasons IMAX's claim that people "unquestionably prefer 2D movies" is utter bullsh!t.  Both this and "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" were HUGE hits in IMAX despite being in that evil, evil format known as 3D!  Likewise, "Despicable Me 3" and "Cars 3" were shown in largely empty IMAX theaters despite being shown in 2D.  "The Mummy" was an outright failure in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D altogether.  No one wanted to see it.  Period.  Same thing with "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell no Tales" and "Transformers: The Last Knight."  People didn't want to see bad movies.  "Wonder Woman" was a good movie, so people went to see it.

Now, IMAX is bringing it back on Friday for another run.  There is a 2D version available, but the company will screen it in 3D.  This is strange because you'd think their anti-3D stance would suggest that this release wasn't successful.  You'd think that they'd maybe bring it back in 2D.  Or pick another, more successful IMAX 2D experience to fill the void?  "Dunkirk" may have been a great movie, but it wasn't going to sell out showings for more than a month.  And, in fact, IMAX already TRIED to do a 2D movie that was meant to be in 3D!  A week ago "War for the Planet of the Apes" was given a full IMAX release.  This is, I should mention, CLEARLY one of the years best movies (and is likely to make my Top Ten list at the end of the year)!  It was also shot with 3D in mind and released as such.  IMAX, deciding no one wanted to see 3D anymore, screening the movie in 2D only.

From every bit of evidence we have, the experiment was a complete failure.  People didn't show up.  Heck, "I" didn't show up.  I have no interest in seeing the movie on a giant format if the (very good) 3D wasn't included.  I made an exception for "The LEGO Batman Movie," but I wasn't going to do that again.  Now, IMAX is re-releasing "Wonder Woman" in IMAX 3D.  If this re-release does better than "War for the Planet of the Apes" IMAX 2D release did, then that is going to be a VERY strong indicator that completely scrapping 3D movies is no recipe for success.  I would argue that 'Apes' didn't do well in IMAX for the same reason it was only mildly successful everywhere else: It was too smart for most audiences.  I know, I hate to say it, but sometimes when you give people a really good movie, they will ignore it.  Shedding the 3D didn't make people want to see it more.  If "Wonder Woman's" re-release is successful, that will be because people really like it.

Once that is made unquestionably clear, IMAX needs to stop this anti-3D crusade they are on.  People aren't shunning IMAX because they show most of their movies in 3D.  They are shunning it because the ticket prices are expensive.  Because the IMAX versions are coming out too late to care.  Because the screens are becoming smaller.  Because the movies they are showing are loud, CGI-fused monstrosities that are terrible to watch.  Shedding 3D would not have made "Kong: Skull Island" sell any more tickets, nor would it have resulted in less sales of "Beauty & the Beast."  People will see what they are or aren't interested in.  But by shedding the 3D, I can tell you one group of people who will NOT show up: The hardcore IMAX 3D fans who have spent years being loyal to your format! 

That, my friend, is an audience you don't want to piss off.


Best Buy's "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" Steelbook Shortage is Worse than You Could Have Imagined!


I managed to get a copy of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" on BluRay 3D at Best Buy.

I need to be upfront about that so that you understand that my frustration with the situation of getting the disk is real, I am passionate about it, and even though I managed to get a copy, I am still very upset with how Best Buy managed to screw virtually every fan of BluRay 3D in releasing this product onto the world.  You'd think we wouldn't be talking like this.  You'd think that since they went through the trouble to get the exclusive rights to the 3D version of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" they would have plenty of copies in stock to go around.  You'd think - since they thought this was a big enough deal to lure customers into their store - they would be well prepared to take care of those customers when the day came to purchase the item.  This is not the case, and I'm sorry to say the situation was much, MUCH worse than I could have possibly imagined!

For those who are new to the situation, it might be a good idea to read my previous post on the situation, but to summarize, Best Buy got the exclusive rights to the 3D version of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2."  The problem is, they decided to package in one of their limited steelbook editions, which are known for selling out very quickly and never seeing a second pressing.  I had hoped that since this would be the only way to get a 3D copy of the movie, Best Buy would make plenty of these to go around.  That, even though 3D TV's aren't really being sold anymore, they see enough value in the disks to have enough copies made available.  That turned out to not be the case.  In fact, Best Buy has actually gone out of their way to NOT meet what was very clearly a huge demand for this movie on BluRay 3D!  They put the steelbook edition up for pre-order months ago.  It wasn't long before the sets were sold out online.

Despite the heavy demand to make more pre-orders available, no additional sets were put into production.  The remaining sets would be shipped to stores.  Sadly, unless you were waiting in line early at most stores, you wouldn't receive it.  I went to a store in Huntington Beach.  I got there fifteen minutes early.  There were five people in front of me and assumed I would manage to get a copy.  I was dead wrong.  Turns out, the store received a measly TWO copies!  The first in line grabbed both copies and headed straight to the register.  He did a slick walk around the store, going to every spot the sets would potentially be.  It was pretty obvious he was buying as many of them as he could to sell on eBay.  He bought both copies...the stores ENTIRE inventory!  Most of us stood around baffled at the situation.  It was a complete waste of time for us to go there.  It was a complete waste of time for the store to even sell it.  One customer pointed out to an employee "You have this advertised in your ad and you only have two copies?!"

I felt sorry for the man who just wanted his movie and for the employees who were likely going to spend the ENTIRE day having to explain to people why things were handled this way!  I exited the store and called Best Buy at Long Beach.  When I inquired they told me they had gotten two copies and were sold out.  I called Costa Mesa and they only received one.  Irvine got five, but they were already gone.  The store at Orange claimed to still have some.  I got in my car and drove fifteen minutes to the store, hoping and praying that they wouldn't be sold old.  I got to the store and went to the movie display.  No disks.  New Releases?  Nope.  I went to every spot a new release would appear and there was none to be found.  I almost left in frustration but decided I'd ask customer service how many they have received.  Turns out, they had two copies left.  I asked for one and happily bought it.  Apparently, they had gotten closer to nineteen copies, but kept them behind the counter to not only inspire detectives who REALLY wanted it to look closer, but to also insure no one came in and bought all of them off the shelf!

I was partially happy that this form of quick thinking ensured that I got a copy, but I also cringed knowing a few people probably didn't get one of these because they simply didn't think to ask.  For that matter, the fact the employees were aware that this could happen, shows that the scalping market for steelbooks are HUGE (and with the only way to legally buy the 3D version in physical for, the value only goes up)!  Now...for me, the issue is not the casing.  I could honestly care less about it.  It's nice, but nothing to get too excited about.  My big issue was that the BluRay 3D was packaged in this case - and ONLY this case - which would make it almost impossible to find after the first day!  I never thought that we would be in a situation where this version of the movie was limited to so few copies.  Right now, this item has become a popular item to sell on eBay in two ways: The compete set, and just the 3D disk.

That goes to show that not only is the scarcity of the set related primarily to the steelbook casing, but it shows that most people who wanted the case didn't want the 3D disk.  Most fans of the movie would want a case to go with their movie, but if they have to buy it on the third hand market, they will do so.  That means Best Buy not only screwed their customers, they screwed THEMSELVES in the process!  By packaging the 3D version with a limited edition item that had a high demand separate from the disk itself, Best Buy released a product that most people only half wanted.  A good chunk of people who bought the set didn't care about the 3D, and people who want the 3D can no longer get the set.  This is...so messed up I can barely think of words.  Something tells me that someone at Best Buy saw how well the set was selling, assumed it was because of the casing, and decided to keep it rare because these items are more of a bait and switch then they are actual money makers.

In chaining the 3D version as this limited edition item they have pleased no one, and all but insured they have sent whoever might have bought a copy of this movie on BluRay 3D legitimately to the black market to get the disks from the steelbook collectors who didn't care about the disks so much as they cared about having really cool cases to display on their shelves.  Sadly, I don't expect Best Buy to understand what they did or the amount of damage they have done to their reputation by doing things this way, and I fear that they will get more 3D movies exclusively, only to package them in rare steelbook editions that will be gone before the real customers even realize they were there to begin with.  Oh, but on a positive note, you CAN buy the movie digitally in 3D on Vudu!  Um...good for us?  So, while I did end up getting my copy of the movie, I am still very upset by this and it gives me pause to buy from them again if this is how they want to screw with their customers.

For those interested, here is my full review of the movie.


"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" IS Coming to BluRay 3D (You Just Aren't Likely to Get it)!

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I have no idea if this was done by design or by accident, but it appears that many people are unaware that "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" is coming to BluRay 3D.  At first I didn't know how this was possible.  I mean, James Gunn himself (he's the guy who, you know, DIRECTED the movie) even assured fans it was coming.  When I went to search for it though I discovered why people were unaware it was getting released...and why most people are unlikely to get it at all: It is coming in an exclusive steelbook combo pack at Best Buy.  Now, that's not the reason people are unlikely to get it.  Going to a specific retailer because they have an exclusive is not the problem.  Best Buy was the exclusive home of Guns n Roses "Chinese Democracy" album for a few years, and most of those CD's wound up at the Dollar Tree Store (even though over half a million copies were sold).  No, the problem is that it is being sold as an exclusive steelbook edition that is likely to have very few quantities made.

First though, let's talk about the good: This is a great set.  I don't have it in my hands personally, but steelbook casing is very nice.  It's sturdy, lasts a long time, and looks cool on the shelf.  It's not cheap to produce though, which is why they are usually limited to a couple thousand copies.  The fact that they are great for displaying and are made in limited quantities is what makes collectors drool over them.  It's what makes new collectors go to eBay and spend hundreds of dollars on movies they missed just to have this specific type of case.  I have no doubt this won't be any different.  What's more, this is by far the most comprehensive set.  Included in it is the 4K UltraHD disk, a BluRay disk, a BluRay 3D disk, AND a digital copy that includes both standard and 4K (with Dolby Atmos) versions of the film!  Basically, the only people getting left out are old fashioned DVD owners.  If you want to have the option to watch "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" any way you want to, you have that option with this.

However, I have been buying these Best Buy exclusives for years.  I don't set out to get them, but I usually do since I usually buy my movies at Best Buy.  The steelbook edition costs the same as the regular edition, so I'll usually buy that.  However, in almost every case where I have had this option, there have usually only been about a dozen copies at the store.  Most stores will be lucky to get ten copies of this exclusive edition.  There have been days where I couldn't get to the store until noon, and those steelbook versions of the movie have been gone.  At that point I just get a regular edition because I don't care about the steelbooks as much as most do.  Heck, most of the time I sell the one I do have at a highly inflated price on eBay a few months down the road, and then rebuy the movie in a standard edition when the price has dropped from $20 to $10.  I'm not saying this is right, but when you buy a hundred movies a year you find ways to cut the costs that doesn't result in pirating.

What concerns me in this case is not that there is a steelbook exclusive to Best Buy, it's that this exclusive is the ONLY way to get the 3D version!  When this sells out, that's it.  There will be no way to legally buy "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" on BluRay 3D.  I've looked on all the online sites.  I even went to Amazon.  There is NO BluRay 3D edition that does NOT involve buying this steelbook, which is likely going to be selling out very quickly!  It might even be sold old already.  I tried to pre-order it on Best Buy the other night and...

...it's only available at the store.  I tried to select a store to pick it up, but there was no store within 250 miles of my location to safely pre-order and pick up at a time I was comfortable with (I'm in California by the way).  Chances are this will be your situation as well.  So, unless these are going to be made in higher quantities than usual, I predict most stores will get between ten to twenty copies of this edition, they will sell out in ten to twenty minutes, and after that you will have to import the disk from Zavii if you want it in 3D (because Europe still has a stand alone BluRay 3D in the cards).  That...is so not an ideal situation.  You know, I am aware of the fact that with the recent "Doctor Strange" problem I said something along the lines of "I guess I'll take something over nothing," but situations like these really test my feelings on that.  I know that there is a temporary cap on sales for these disks, but there are so many economic ways to release movies in 3D it's frustrating that they play these games with their supporters.

Packaging the disks with the already overpriced UltraHD combo's could be a way for 3D fans to buy that version of the movie and get them started on building a collection for their eventual 4K TV.  Putting a 3D version on a regular BluRay and giving people the option to switch between the two is not only doable, it looks VERY good!  I know money speaks, but the more I write about this topic the more I realize Hollywood never made a good attempt to sell this format to consumers.  They just EXPECTED people to:
  1. Go out of their way to watch everything in 3D (whether it needed to be in 3D or not).
  2. Buy a new TV JUST for 3D!
  3. Pay more for disks that would have a version they had no way of playing right away.
  4. When all this failed, limit the quantity of disks you release to make it hard to get the movie in 3D at all.
The fact that this combo comes with every version you could possibly want is a good thing.  I've advocated for just releasing one combo pack for every movie before, and I will do so in the future.  One product with multiple versions is a good system to me.  "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" should prove why this is the case, but the fact that they are burying this ultimate edition with an exclusive steelbook version that is going to be discontinued right away and sold out in minutes is the exact opposite of what they should be doing.  The only good things about this is that we are getting the 3D version at all and the fact that this set retails for $34.99, which, to be fair, is more expensive than everything else, which means it might give people pause before buying, which means some of the copies might be on the selves a little longer than usual.  Either way, if you want to buy "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" in America next Tuesday, either you or a family member need to get at a local Best Buy an hour before the store opens, and just pray that they have enough copies so you can get one.

It shouldn't be this way, but there you go.


Should this 'Justice League' Poster Concern 3D Fans?


This may be nothing or it could be something.  I will admit that upfront so as not to accidently spread misinformation.  I have no idea if this means anything, but considering some of the comments IMAX has been making recently about phasing out 3D, this certainly stands out.  To understand why I am concerned, below is the original image for Warner Bros. upcoming movie "Justice League":

A nice poster to be sure.  Here is another (more character specific) poster that was released:

That was also a nice image.  However, it's when we get to the latest poster that we have pause for concern:

So what is noticeable about THIS poster?!  Well, for starters, Superman isn't on it.  In fact, I have to give Warner credit: Considering it's pretty much a given that the character will be revived in the movie, the studio is at least going to great lengths to PRETEND this isn't going to happen!  We live in an age where spoilers are so prevalent in previews, that it's pretty refreshing to see some restraint.  That's not the thing that stood out most though.  Take a closer look at the bottom.  More specifically, check out the IMAX advertisement.  Notice something different between the first two posters and the latest one?  Yep, the first two advertise the movie as coming to 'IMAX 3D' where the third one merely advertises the film as coming out in 'IMAX.'

So does this mean "Justice League" is going to be on the chopping block as IMAX Corporation (mistakenly) continues their crusade against 3D films?  I have no idea.  As usual, IMAX Corporation did not respond to my request for comment, but be aware that 3D fans may have to settle for XD or RPX screening instead.  Again, this might not mean anything, but I figured I'd let you know anyway.


Michael Jackson's "Thriller" to be Released in 3D!

Well...this is a surprise to report on.  While I know he was controversial in real life, Michael Jackson is one of my favorite artists of all time.  "Thriller," Bad," and "History: Vol 1" (of which there was no Vol. 2 I'm sorry to say) are some of my favorite albums of all time, and though I was a 90's kid, I saw the iconic "Thriller" music video more times than I could count growing up.  For those unaware, this is a groundbreaking music video that is more of a short film, and it was one of the first music videos to truly make it main stream.  This was proof that the music video could be art.  Well, The Michael Jackson Estate has apparently remastered the short in 3D and will premier it at the Venice film festival.  Afterwards they will show it in theaters (likely before another feature, though what that feature is has not been announced...if the estate is reading this, may I humbly suggest you prep it as a pre-show to "Sing 2: The IMAX Experience").

The first thing that strikes me as interesting is that the estate decided to do this in the first place.  Michael Jackson had a long, complicated history with 3D during his career.  He loved the format so much he teamed up with George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola to make the 3D short "Captain EO" for Disney Parks (no, really), and was looking for ways to shoot more of his videos in the format.  The issue (of course) was that while Disney could afford the best 3D cameras to project bright, smooth images in their parks, most regular theaters could not do that and you had to use the red and blue set of glasses that made the image murky and green.  For that matter, if you played a 3D movie on TV in the same manner, you'd have to find a place to give out glasses to do it (which is why a 3D themed week for both ABC and Nickelodeon at the time both failed pretty miserably, and no one attempted 3D programing again until 3D could be built into the TV's themselves).

If the "This is It" movie proved anything it's that 3D had finally gotten to the point where Jackson was going to start using it in his concerts, and that film would eventually be released in one of the strangest BluRay 3D's I've ever bought (I'll write about that at some later date if you want).  So this is really the family continuing to work with the format the King of Pop had been exploring possibilities for until the day he died, and doing it with one of his most iconic videos.  What's really telling is how excited people seem to be to see this.  I've read so many positive articles about "Thriller" being remastered in 3D, that it makes me wonder if I dreamed all those journalists singing praises about IMAX (supposingly) getting out of the 3D business altogether.  It's just more proof in my eyes that the public likes 3D.  Journalists like 3D.  Artists like 3D.  The only thing they don't like is paying to see 3D and lackluster 3D experiences.  Give them something that sounds enticing though, and they WILL flock to it!