'Spider-Man' & 'Sing' Are Must-See 3D Events!

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These days (as any fan of 3D film will tell you) we are lucky if we have one 3D movie to see in cinemas.  We're doubly lucky if that 3D film is worth paying the extra money for, as movies like "Black Widow" and "Dune" don't make for very good "immersive" experiences.  That's why it seemed worth getting off my butt and updating this blog to report that there is not one, but TWO 3D movies in theaters that not only deliver on the promise of how good 3D can enhance a movie but are equally worth paying extra money to see!  There would have been a third, but "Encanto" was prematurely dumped onto Disney+ so...streaming!  Anyway, the two movies I'm referring to are "Spider-Man: No Way Home" and "Sing 2."  We'll talk about "Sing 2" first since everyone has likely seen Spider-Man (and this is the one that is likely to lose its 3D screens sooner despite being the later release).

"Sing 2" is the sequel to "Sing," the animated film from Minions factory Illumination that has the dubious honor of being the highest grossing film to never have achieved the number one spot at the box office (in fact, history seems to be repeating itself as "Sing 2" is poised to be a surprise hit while ALSO likely never achieving the number one spot at the box office)!  The movie continues the story of a bunch of animated critters who have dreams of making it big on Broadway/the music industry (though Seth MacFarlane doesn't return, so no Frank Sinatra cover this time around).  This time around though they are trying to convince a reclusive rock star (played by Bono) to come out of retirement to help put on a massive show in Vegas.  Like the first film, the story and the characters aren't great.  They are fine for what they are, but they aren't especially memorable.  Where the movie shines are in the performances at the end of the film, as the tunes, animation, and (obviously) singing elevate the material into something that is special!

This was the effect in the first film and its more so here.  Now that the animals have a stage on Vegas to play with, the visuals and sets are bigger and grander!  The characters fly through the air on wires!  There are even hundreds of tapping...um, to be honest, I'm not sure I what they are, exactly, but they ARE pretty stinking cool to watch!  Illumination burst onto the 3D scene in a BIG way with "Despicable Me," a movie that needs no introduction but one where readers may need to be reminded was a movie that leaned HEAVILY into the 3D effects!  That movie basically threw everything and the kitchen sink at the audience who paid the extra $3, and it was the definition of a '3D gimmick movie.'  Since then, Illumination still makes their films in 3D but is more pragmatic on how they use the effects.  The visuals still pop but they no longer distract.  "Sing 2" may be their best balance yet, with a movie that brings subtle depth throughout the film until the big show numbers come into the picture, at which point the effects are used to immerse the audiences in the performs with lots of pops and long shots,

Obviously, kids love this stuff (which is why Illumination continues to make them).  Sadly, since it IS a kid's movie (and parents seem to be especially tight on the wallet when it comes to paying for kid's films), there aren't a lot of theaters showing "Sing 2" in 3D.  Those that are showing it have limited showings.  The closest theater to me had one showtime at 3:05pm.  That showing was almost sold out (thank goodness), but it speaks volumes to the theater's confidence in their ability to sell 3D tickets to family films.  Obviously if you want to send a message that this needn't be a concern you'll need to go to the theater and support it with a ticket purchase yourself (as well as write letters to management expressing your desire to see more 3D showings for new releases).  That brings us to..

...the big one.  The red one.  The money printer that is almost single-handedly saving the theater industry itself: "Spider-Man: No Way Home!"  Truthfully, it almost feels futile to be writing about this.  As one of the most successful films of all time (!!!), "Spider-Man: No Way Home" is a movie that is being watched by people and watched again, and again, and again...heck, my brother-in-law even saw the movie, and this is a guy who feels streaming is a superior viewing experience because he doesn't have to leave the house.  But leave he did for Spider-Man!  Anyway, it was a forgone conclusion that "Spider-Man: No Way Home" was obviously going to be a good 3D experience.  With the action sequences and swinging all over New York, there was good reason for Sony to advertise this as a '3D event' experience (something few movies have been noted as in the last five years).  The fact that we're into week three of "Spider-Man: No Way Home" being in theaters and there are STILL 3D showings speaks volumes to the fact that audiences must be embracing the 3D format for this one!

The first week I could understand going to a 3D showing because it's the only one available, but for tickets to still be selling at a rate that makes multiple 3D screenings a day necessary shows that people are enjoying their 3D experience with the web swinger.  It probably helps that Doctor Strange plays a role in this film and transports Spider-Man to the Mirror Dimension.  "Doctor Strange" is one of the best 3D movies to come out in the last ten years, using 3D to great effect with turning buildings, gravity defying stunts, and a hero who float in midair!  Even if only fifteen minutes of that were brought to this film, it alone makes the 3D screening worth the price of admission.  Chances are I don't need to tell anyone here to go see "Spider-Man: No Way Home," but if you want to see it again and haven't seen it in 3D...well, it may provide a unique visual experience that makes seeing it again worthwhile?!

Will either of these movies be released on BluRay 3D?  Maybe.  "Sing 2" is the bigger question as imports of Illumination films in 3D have dried up, so the theater may be your one and only shot to see the 3D version for the foreseeable future (a fitting fate, seeing that Bono's other 3D film he was in - "U2 3D" - really hasn't been seen much since its release in 2008).  Despite my previous article about "Black Widow" potentially being the last Marvel 3D release, "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Seven Rings" also got a 3D release in Japan while Sony is actually pretty good at release 4K/3D combo sets internationally for most of their movies.  Thus, "Spider-Man: No Way Home" will likely get a BluRay 3D release you will be able to import.  None of this is set in stone though and with the unpredictable nature of the BluRay 3D format, if you want to ensure you get the full 3D experience for either of these movies it's best to hunt them down in theaters and see them there.