July 21, 2008

Thrilling Ride in 3-D

By Teoh Su-Lin

JULES Verne's classic Journey to The Centre of The earth springs to life with a 3-D (three-dimensional) adaptation.

Movie producers claim that Journey is the first motion picture to use the Fusion system, a hi-tech camera rig. The light and portable Fusion features dual ultra high-resolution 3-D video cameras mounted side-by-side to simulate viewers' right and left eyes.

The film-makers also incorporated "active convergence" feature which enabled adjustments in 3-D focal points. By changing lenses selectively, the screen depth can be adjusted to follow the on- going action. For scenes which needed the camera to be closer to the actors, a Pace compact Beam splitter camera rig was used as it allows closer spacing between the lenses. This translates into less eye-crossing and comfortable viewing for the audience.

The more than 1,400 CGI shots rendered throughout the movie promises audience a visual effectsladen feast. However, much as director Eric Brevig attempts to immerse the audience into the 3-D movie, yours truly don't really get the "in-your-face" feeling.

When the beautiful luminescent fireflylike birds flutter across the screen, I'm not compelled to catch them. And during the mine cart ride which looks really fast-paced onscreen, I do not find it exhilarating at all. The more exciting parts are when the protagonists managed to save their skins in the nick of time.

With the non-stop action, Journey is indeed a fantastic ride for adventure movie lovers. One can catch the 2-D version and be equally entertained. The 3-D glasses can be cumbersome if you are already wearing glasses. So for bespectacled moviegoers, do wear contacts should you opt for the 3-D version.

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