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Sneak Preview: The Top Five Completely Unnecessary 3D Effects in Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D

Last Friday night during WonderCon weekend, certified looney tune Brendan Fraser and producers screened 21 minutes of 3D footage from the upcoming film Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D.

And by “film,” I mean “amusement park attraction.” It’s the Captain EO of the 21st century, people. But with fewer kid-touchers in shiny pants.

Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D poster

Big shout-outs to Alex of FirstShowing.net, Peter of /Film, Vic of Screen Rant, and Mel of SFStation for whisking me into the ‘press’ section of the event. I might have torn off a pinkie finger in frustration if I had waited in line for over an hour only to experience 21 minutes of an overly-hyped bowl of not much to write home about.

This echoing, hollow shell of a movie is a bit like Ike Turner passing the time at a convention of ladies “just askin’ for it.” It incessantly beats you over the head with 3D gimmicks… just because it can. Meanwhile, the overused 3D effects–while a welcome distraction from the dialogue–failed to consistently wow me like the ones in Beowulf did.

5) A flock of little, glowing birds flying in a ponderous circle around the inside of a humongous cave.

Superfluous, much? This scene didn’t so much strike me with wonder as much as narcolepsy.

I think I was supposed to be impressed by Fraser’s character reaching out to touch the CGI birds. Listen, we all remember when Bob Hoskins grabbed Roger Rabbit by the neck. Everyone was all, “Oh, my god! He’s touching the cartoon! He’s touching it! Amazing!”

The shelf life on that bit of novelty lasted about three months. Which ended about twenty years ago.

4) Fraser casually tossing a paperback copy of the Jules Verne classic toward the camera (to his off-screen ‘nephew’).

Wait, did you seriously just try to make me flinch with a three-dimensional image of a flimsy paperback book flying toward me?

Journey 3D, all you’ve done is fan the flames of my disdain for Brendan Fraser and his wanton abuse of printed literature.

3) Worm’s-eye view of Brendan Fraser spitting toothpaste into a sink.

Rule of thumb: no one ever, ever needs to see Brendan Fraser spitting on them.

2) Killer, carnivorous fish leaping aggressively out of the ocean.

I haven’t seen an action scene so devoid of a sense of danger since Last Action Hero, which at least had the courtesy to be ironic about it.

1) Brendan Fraser’s huge head.

I do appreciate the special effects applied to his scalp to keep it from appearing in its natural “Chia Pet with radiation poisoning” state.

Brendan Fraser at WonderCon 2008

But no amount of Hollywood magic can hide the fact that Fraser’s goofy mug is much better suited to the acting range required for Dudley Do-Right and George of the Jungle.

2 comments… add one
  • Paul February 28, 2008, 10:18 am

    I thought the whole point of 3d movies was gratuitous and completely unnecessary camera work.

  • Great White Snark February 28, 2008, 1:48 pm

    Paul, I think that was true back in the 1950s, but now the technology has advanced to the point where it can genuinely and skillfully advance a movie’s entertainment value (Beowulf), or it can be a cheap, distracting gimmick (Journey 3D).

    To be fair, there were a couple of scenes (e.g., mine cars racing through a shaft a la Temple of Doom) that were mostly worthwhile in 3D. But I didn’t feel compelled to throw the movie a bone after Fraser had worked so hard to wear down my goodwill. If I had to hear one more time about the “connection” that had developed between the characters, I think my eyes would have gotten stuck rolling back into my brain.

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