A 3D film preview of 2010

Following the success of ‘A Christmas Carol’ and ‘Avatar’, the new 3D boom is officially upon us, with 2010’s cinematic slate crammed full of 3D hopefuls. Time Out takes a look at the key titles and asks: is this eye-popping new technology a gift to filmmakers or just another marketing gimmick?

Battle for Terra (released Feb 12)

What’s the story? In a remarkably similar scenario to ‘Avatar’, this sees the peaceful inhabitants of a distant alien planet overtaken by technologically advanced humans searching for a new home.3D: gift or gimmick? As with ‘Avatar’, the 3D tech should assist with the creation of a remote alien world. But hopefully the producers of the animated ‘Terra’ have had the good sense to actually write a script beforehand…What’s flying out of the screen? Cheeky sentient tadpoles with hang gliders, evil humans in spaceships.

Alice In Wonderland (

Mar 5)

What’s the story? Tim Burton updates Lewis Carroll’s well-loved slice of kiddie psychedelia, as an older Alice returns to Wonderland on the brink of war.3D: gift or gimmick? For a director like Burton, 3D seems the ultimate gift. But judging from the lurid trailers it looks like his sole purpose may be to induce mass LSD flashbacks, so ultra-sensitive audiences may wish to exercise caution.What’s flying out of the screen? Giant mushrooms, candy-coloured clowns, purple haze.

Piranha 3D (

April 16)

What’s the story? A (very) loose remake of the John Sayles/Joe Dante classic, as a swarm of killer piranhas ravage an Arizona lakeside resort.3D: gift or gimmick? Director Alexandre Aja has become king of the senseless, gore-spattered horror remake, but this time he’s got a fine cast behind him: the thought of Elisabeth Shue, Ving Rhames, Christopher Lloyd and proven waterborne predator expert Richard Dreyfuss facing an army of three dimensional snappers has genuine appeal.What’s flying out of the screen? Teeth, blood, limbs, the usual.

shrek.jpg

Shrek Forever After (July 2)

What’s the story? It’s barrel-scraping time, as the producers resort to that classic sitcom chestnut: what would happen if the clocks turned back, and Shrek never met his one true love?3D: gift or gimmick? Are fart jokes funnier in three dimensions?What’s flying out of the screen? More pop culture references than an issue of Heat magazine.

Toy Story 3 (July 23)

What’s the story? Having successfully reworked the first two ‘Toy Story’ movies in the 3D format, Pixar unleash the latest adventure from Woody, Buzz and Co, who find themselves stranded in a daycare centre when owner Andy goes off to college.
3D: gift or gimmick?
Pixar can do no wrong: this year’s ‘Up’ proved their willingness to use the technology subtly when it served the story, but ‘Toy Story 3’ should give them an excuse to really let rip.What’s flying out of the screen? The chubby, descending hands of big-faced children.

Step Up 3D (Aug 6)

What’s the story? Miscellaneous lithe and forgettable teens engage in non-threatening dance combat.3D: gift or gimmick? The film’s target crowd of tweenage girls probably won’t care one way or the other, but for a secondary audience of middle-aged men this could be the start of a whole new phenomenon: lapdance substitutes for the terminally shy.What’s flying out of the screen? Lycra-clad limbs, sassy street slang.

Guardians Of Ga'hoole (Oct 15)

What’s the story? In this computer-animated feature, a plucky young owl sets off to find the titular Guardians, whom legend has it saved the owl race from the machinations of The Pure Ones.3D: gift or gimmick? Director Zack Snyder (‘300’, ‘Watchmen’) already favours flashy visuals over dramatic weight, so the sheer possibilities of 3D could cause him to go into the cinematic equivalent of a sugar coma. But the story sounds interesting.What’s flying out of the screen? Well, owls, obviously.

rapunzel.jpg

Rapunzel (Dec 15)

What’s the story? Princess. Tower. Hairway to heaven. You know the rest.3D: gift or gimmick? Another mainstream, non-Pixar CGI Disney effort, this should be along the lines of last year’s ‘Bolt’: likeable, funny and fast-moving, but more for the kids than the parents. Expect the 3D to add an element of visual zip.What’s flying out of the screen? Witches' wands, princes’ swords, over-excited six-year-old girls high on sugar.

Yogi Bear (Dec 15)

What’s the story? A documentary filmmaker on assignment in Jellystone Park runs into the titular talking bear and his lovable sidekick Boo Boo.3D: gift or gimmick? It’s a live action/animation hybrid inspired by an old cartoon, with Dan Aykroyd as a six-foot, food-obsessed bear and Justin Timberlake as his twitchy pal. The fact that it’s in 3D is probably the least bizarre thing about this movie.What’s flying out of the screen? Picnic baskets. Pine trees. The last vestige of sanity left in Hollywood.

Jackass.jpg

Jackass 3D (date tbc)

What’s the story? Story? Are you kidding? 3D: gift or gimmick? Hard to tell at this stage: the slapstick antics of Johnny Knoxville and his crew of hardcore self-harmers may spring to life in three dimensions, or the whole thing could be insufferably (and literally) in your face.What’s flying out of the screen? Skateboards, nail guns, broken limbs, saliva, male genitalia.

Author: Tom Huddleston



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