Ebert pretty much seems to have nailed what the fanboys were also saying and why they didn't like it. Studio defied the material in an attempt to "broaden" the appeal (i.e. replace all the asians with caucasians), and the effects work apparently suffers from the 3-d post-treatment, instead of being enhanced by it.
[Mark Suszko]"the effects work apparently suffers from the 3-d post-treatment, instead of being enhanced by it."
The movie dramatically underperformed expectations, but here's the thing: 3D sales were EIGHT TO ONE over 2D sales.
Do not let the naysayers take your eye off the ball - people want to see 3D. They will pay extra for it.
The other ball not to take one's eye off of - post is post. There's good post and bad post. Where 3D was added has nothing to do with anything.
Now, the casting is a real issue. Inexcusable, especially for a filmmaker of Asian descent. What the hell was he thinking???
And turning a cracking action yarn into a muddled mess happens more often than it doesn't. After all, most movies live in the world between boring and hideous.
Additionally, fanboys hate most things. It's the nature of being a fan boy. They LIKE hating things.
And of course, people are free to like or dislike any movies or effects that they care to.
But it's our responsibility as people who KNOW BETTER to take the in-camera vs. post-ness out of the discussion. The problem isn't that the 3D was added in post. The problem is that the 3D was no good.
Or not. People like Ebert repeat the crap that "this movie was bad BECAUSE it was in 3D, and BECAUSE the 3D was added in post," and it gets repeated by people who really, really don't know any better.
We DO know better.
Even if this movie DOES bite...which I don't doubt that it does.
Has there ever been anybody who started so strong (actually, Sixth Sense was his third picture), and whose filmography went so far downhill so fast? You could almost throw Orson Welles in there (Citizen Kane was also his third picture). Of course, Welles did Touch of Evil 17 years after Kane, and MNS still has 6 years left on the clock....
Avatar, shot in 3D and which used 3D as a character in the film, will likely never be duplicated in its 3D-ness.
I think that any movie not shot in 3D should be reviewed as any 2D movie is reviewed, and the 3D should be a separate discussion. Clearly the studios are treating 3D as a gimmick to sell tickets - and as Tim has said, that gimmick is working.
But until the studios make an all out effort to produce a film in 3D from the get go, 3D should not be part of the movie's goodness or badness.
Saying "the BMW xyz model is an awesome driving machine, but the joystick navigation controls make it a worse car" is basically saying the same thing - decent piece of artistry with a poorly executed gimmick.
Now if a movie is done poorly regardless of the gimmick, then we can only blame the filmmakers. If a Scorsese film stinks (not likely) then we blame Scorsese. If an M. Night Shamalamadingdong film stinks, then we blame him and the Studio because I doubt he has complete control of a movie like this - I'll catch it on DVD.
That being said, I recently saw SIGNS in HD on my home tv, and it is a better movie than I remembered. Girl in the Water, however, will not be good in HD or 3D or IMAX or brain implant - that movie was just horrible.
Mike there is a crappy Scorsese film that was pretty crappy, "New York, New York". Not many people have seen it because it came out the same week as "Star Wars" and it was 3 hours long. It was re edited and people still didn't like it.
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