By ZS Roe
I love going to the movies, but not if those movies are in 3D. While visually interesting for the first fifteen minutes, a 3D movie quickly becomes old hat if its storytelling elements aren’t up to par. And then there’s the fact that those 3D glasses are a real pain if, like me, you already wear glasses. Come on—nobody should have to wear two pairs of specs at the same time.
These days, nearly every big budget Hollywood blockbuster is filmed in 3D or converted in post-production. But this is old news, and something we’re all well aware of. Lately, however, we’ve started to see older movies receiving the 3D treatment and being rereleased in theatres across the world.
A few months ago we saw the rerelease of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. This very weekend 1997’s super hit Titanic is finding its way back onto the silver screen. There are now talks of even bringing back Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film, Jurassic Park. In all of these cases, the only real change that has been made to the films is their conversion from 2D to 3D.
Nobody’s fooled, of course. I’m sure many of the Hollywood execs who green lit these rerelease projects were interested only in making some sweet moolah on their older titles. And, truly, I don’t blame them. I’d very likely do the same.
But, look, these occasions of 3D rereleases do not have to be eye-rolling, quick money grab scenarios. They can be meaningful, even powerful experiences—moments of reconsideration and changing perspectives.
Consider Jurassic Park. I’ve always loved that movie and have watched it countless times over the years. At the time of its original theatrical release in 1993, I was in Grade three and far too young to see the movie without my parents’ consent (which they would not give). To finally see the movie on the big screen would be a hell of treat. Plus, there’s something special about seeing a movie in a room full of other movie lovers—we’re strangers bonding through a shared experience.
But let’s take it one step further. For some people, a particular movie, TV show, or novel is something that is usually watched or read only once. As far as I’m concerned, however, repeat encounters with the same story can be an enlightening experience that results in new insights. This is especially the case if you first encountered the story in question when you were, say, eight, and then revisited it when you were twenty-eight. Your thoughts, beliefs, and opinions will have changed considerably since then (or, in the very least, have been expanded upon), and a second go at that story may very well serve to better illuminate those changes or broadening perspectives.
So, yes, these 3D rereleases are indeed thinly disguised cash grabs. But, since we’re all already in on the joke, why not enjoy these movies for what many of them are: great and enjoyable storytelling.
As far as I’m concerned, that’s worth my money.
Opinion is a bi-monthly column of just that, my opinion. While opinions are like noses and everyone has one, mine are especially snotty. Please leave a comment or question—all opinions are welcome, and all contributions are greatly appreciated. If you like what you read here, please subscribe.