Should You See "Black Panther" in RealD 3D or IMAX 2D?

The first thing that should be noted is, yes, I am aware that a few IMAX theaters are showing Marvel's "Black Panther" in 3D.  I hunted down an IMAX 3D showing myself so I can confirm it exists.  This is obviously the preferred way to see the movie, but what was disappointing is that despite being formatted for IMAX 3D, very few IMAX screens showed it in the proper format.  The screen I went to wasn't even a real IMAX, but one of those up-converted ones (albeit, one that was bigger than your usual up-converted screen, but still smaller than you'd like).  Now that the movie is in its second weekend the movie is still out on all the IMAX screens, but finding a 3D screening is nearly impossible at this point.  There are still plenty of RealD 3D screenings however (as well as XD 3D for those interested), but the IMAX version DOES have 20% more of the image, so the question is this: Does that 20% difference make it worth giving up the 3D?

Unlike previous entries in this series, the answer is more nuanced than I would have liked.  Truthfully, the 3D is sort of a lukewarm experience.  It's clearly a post-conversion job and one that isn't even very impressive.  That said, there are three scenes where it really pops in a great way: The intro, the car chase, and the climatic battle.  In all these scene the IMAX version opens up to revel more image, and the 3D is given more room to breath as characters are so close to the camera (Editor's note: As much as I loved this movie, some of the close up shots were really weird and not helpful in three dimensions in the slightest).  Without the 3D though, these scenes are slightly less compelling to watch.  On the other hand...eh, the 20% extra image space also help the scenes, so it's not like I want to toss that aspect out the door either.  It would have been nice if IMAX had just let the movie screen the way it was intended (this is one of the few posters to explicitly advertise IMAX 3D), but I guess what's done is done.

Obviously the best choice would be to see "Black Panther" in IMAX 3D, but with so few screenings of it left (and none of them on the real IMAX's) that isn't really an option.  The 20% extra image is nice, but the 3D makes such an impact in the three scenes it works in that it would be a shame to pass that up as well.  In this case I think I'm going to have to award a tie, as I find neither version to be definitively better than the other.  I would have liked to be able to make a solid recommendation, but in this case you might want to whip out your Sinemia card and see the movie in both formats.  Thankfully, it IS worth seeing twice!  My only beef is that this is a situation where you practically need to if you want to experience the movie fully.


Those Wanting "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" on BluRay 3D Will Have to Import

Disney officially announced the release of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" on physical media today, and a 3D version was not in the cards (not even as a retailer exclusive).  This is disappointing for a myriad of reasons (and also frustrating when you know that Warner Bros. is releasing "Justice League" in 3D, which didn't have NEARLY as big an audience as 'The Last Jedi' did).  The title will be made available to purchase in Europe with a 3D steelbook, but there is no confirmation that will be region free.  Past experiences have led me to believe that it will, but until I have the disk in my hand I can't confirm that.  I'm sorry to have to report the news (I held off on the on chance there was a retailer exclusive waiting in the wings), but it is apparent even 'Star Wars' can't get Disney to release a 3D version.


Was "Peter Rabbit" Supposed to be a 3D Movie?

So...I saw "Peter Rabbit" today.  I'm not sure what disappoints me more; that sentence or the fact that I actually sort of liked the movie.  I know, I know, I'm probably losing a lot of you right now, but trust me: I have to see a LOT of kids movies each year, and considering this was a modern remake of a book many kids consider to be slow AND came from the studio that gave us "The Emoji Movie" of all things, I think you can admit that even if you don't like it (and there is enough here to dislike for there to be some caution attached with my recommendation), things could have been a lot worse.  That's not what we're here to discuss though (I'll have a full review tomorrow on my other site).  No, what I want to talk about is how while I was watching the movie, I was getting a strong sense that this was supposed to be a 3D movie at one point, yet we ultimately got was a 2D movie.

The questions I have are is this true (and if so...what happened to the 3D version)?  First of all, I need to mention that I combed through lots of pre-release material for this movie in order to see if my theory had any weight to it (which is not something I expected to do for "Peter Rabbit" of all things).  In my search I found no posters (either here or internationally) that advertises the movie in 3D.  There are no commercials saying this will be presented in 3D.  Wikipedia doesn't even give a hint that 3D was in the equation.  So, to make it clear right now: There is NO pre-release proof or interview I could find that suggests a 3D version was planned!  Normally that would be the end of the discussion, but it's not because there is one major source that suggests the 3D version was at the very least planned: The actual movie itself!  There are several moments where objects appear to be 'thrown' at the screen.

A couple scenes involving birds flying (while rapping...again, not a perfect movie) that involve a camera that moves and sways as if the scenery was supposed to surround you.  There are a couple of dance sequences where not only are the rabbits jumping toward the screen, but in two instances they appeared to be hovering.  Heck, many of these moments can be found in the trailer itself (pay attention to the porcupine getting electrocuted).  If that wasn't telling enough, there is a scene late in the movie where two characters are being told the events that happened during the first half of the film.  After hearing the story, the wife laughs and comments "why, that sounds like a 3D adaptation of a popular children's book."  The meta-joke may or may not strike a cord with you personally, but that is an oddly specific description for a movie that ultimately wasn't in 3D.  Also, it should be noted that this and "The Star" are the only Sony Animation movies that are NOT in 3D aside from "Surf's Up" (which was released in 2007)!

The question a lot of people might have now is if this was supposed to have a 3D version...what happened to it?  Answer: I don't know.  The most logical explanation is that the studio made the choice to forgo a 3D release altogether.  Judging by how certain shots are presented and the line of dialog being delivered the way it was, we can (probably) safely assume that this version was cancelled late enough into production that shots and script lines were filmed with it in mind, but early enough so that it wasn't a major focus in the advertising.  Now, does the 2D only version hurt the film?  It's hard to say.  The fact that I noticed some of the shots looked weird is an indicator that those scenes should have been reshot so as to not stand out as much, but I can also see why a studio wouldn't want to pour millions of dollars into commissioning reshoots for "Peter Rabbit."  Unless we hear otherwise, this is just a conspiracy theory though.  In the meantime, if you have kids who want to see this...eh, whop out your MoviePass.  It might not be great cinema, but I think most will be surprised at how charming it is at times.