9 Classics We Might See -- And Want To See -- In 3-D
3-D's sweeping the land! This week we've had almost non-stop news of projects to be filmed in the process (Spy Hunter, Popeye, Buck Rogers, Gulliver's Travels, Narnia), discussion of movies that're being converted (Clash Of The Titans , Sucker Punch) and the retro-stereoscoping of other recent hits (Titanic , 300). Three-dimensionality's even been in the gaming, TV, fashion-action film and religious broadcasting news, too. It's the wave of the future I tells ya! But also the past. Around the time we hear that Woody Allen's Untitled Spring 2011 Project will be filmed in the process, I'm betting there will begin a flurry of conversions of actual classics. As Anthony Lane wrote in The New Yorker recently, it's hard to not be curious about what Casablanca might look like in 3-D. But, apart from that and dead-certs (The Wizard Of Oz , Star Wars , Lord Of The Rings) what other hits (and a few box-office misses) would be too hard to resist watching with the glasses on?
1. The Thing (1982) -- John Carpenter's underrated reinterpretation of John W. Campbell's 1938 short story "Who Goes There?" was a flop on release. But it remains a landmark of special effects make-up, with recent CGI efforts laughable in comparison. Rob Bottin's whipping alien tendrils, spider-legged heads and amputated forearms have a solidity to them that'd look great in your lap. And you could get lost in Dean Cundey's widescreen cinematography of the icy wasteland.
2. Grindhouse (2007) -- A flop on release but enormously appreciated by an audience who've found it on disc and wouldn't mind seeing it on the big screen if a reward could be dangled in front of them. That'd be Rose McGowan, gyrating inches before fanboy eyes. And if ever a movie presentation was suited to a gimmicky re-release, it's this one. Bonus: New posters could proclaim, "From the director of Inglourious Basterds".
3. Alien (1979) -- The face-hugger's jump and its chest-bursting exit would be freaky, granted, but Ridley Scott's suspense is all about those dark, dark corridors. Being "in" them could be more than we could handle.
4. Fight Club (1999) -- Another high-expectation release that dudded theatrically but that has a stellar following on DVD. David Fincher's movies always look kinda 3-D anyway but this one's got all the whiz-bang executives would need to greenlight a conversion. Brad Pitt's still a star and, hey, UFC back then was nothing, now it's huge. Someone's even kinda had a go at marrying the 3-D style of Panic Room's credits with Fight Club scenes.
5. The Lion King (1994) -- On its 20th anniversary, the kids who loved this will be approaching thirty. Many will have children of their own. The grandparents will want to come, too. The last DVD release was 2004. A 3-D theatrical would be a logical lead in to a collector's Blu-ray, which, by then, would also be 3-D.
6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) -- You'd be hard-pressed to find too many fans able to resist the prospect of seeing the dawn of man opener with added visual depth. Same goes for accompanying Bowman into his star-filled fate. You might however power a small city by hooking leads up to the energy generated by Stanley Kubrick spinning in his grave.
7. Rear Window (1954) -- Alfred Hitchcock gave 3-D a whirl with Dial M For Murder the same year, but perhaps this one would've better suited the format. It's all about the act of looking, after all.
8. Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981) -- The rolling boulder, Indy reaching for the idol, the Ark's Godly laser beams, melting Nazis. Steve and George have been happy to tinker with past glories. Thirtieth anniversary's coming up.
9. Citizen Kane (1941) -- Deep focus and depth-of-field. Say no more (except -- two for two! -- spellcheck before you post to YouTube, kids.)