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Big time movie re-releases should die in a fire.

jurassic park 3d I am sick of big time movie re-releases.  Absolutely sick of them.

This is going to be a bit of a rant, so I’ll keep it brief…

If you don’t live under a rock, you’ve probably been inundated by ads for Jurassic Park 3D. Besides Star Wars and Batman (the ’89 Keaton/Nicholson vehicle), Jurassic was the most important movie in my young life.  I love the original and still do.  But I will not be going to see the film’s return to theaters, because it will not be the movie I cherish.

This isn’t just because the movie has been converted to 3D–well, it is–but it’s also about integrity.  Integrity of art, integrity of vision, and integrity of the our relationship with the film, the director, and our memories.  Sweeping changes to the texture and content of the film damages all of those things.

I know that there are filmmakers out there who will disagree with me, and that’s fair.  Film, more than other mediums, has a history of remixing, director’s cuts, extended cuts, and so forth.  I’ve appreciated all of those to varying degrees over the years, but increasingly I find myself seeking out the original experience, and more and more, those are lost to “improved” versions that undermine the spirit of the original.

What kills me is when these so-called enhanced editions replace the original.  It’s like bullshit historical revisionism.  Those Secret Service mooks have always been brandishing walkie talkies at those kids.  Greedo always shot first.  These kinds of changes irrevocably alter the character of the film, and not for the better.

I want to caveat that I absolutely LOVE going to screenings of classic films, so this isn’t about films coming back after their prime.  Some of my fondest movie memories are times spent watching cult classics like Flash Gordon and the Goonies at the local beer-theater (I think the beer helped, but anyway…).  So suffice it to say, I’d love to see Jurassic Park in all it’s unadulterated glory, twenty years after it first blew my little brain.  It’s too bad that this isn’t the movie I remember.

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This entry was posted by Chris Avery.

7 thoughts on “Big time movie re-releases should die in a fire.

  1. Do you know specifically what they are changing/enhancing? Because I, for one, am totally amped to relive my favorite movie memory in the theater this weekend.
    Though I am not 3D crazy, I think it is a fun novetly to enjoy an old favorite in a new way. Maybe it’s just the fact of seeing this again in the theater that I totally love.
    I see your points about the movies you mentioned… and I don’t like them either. But I’m of the mind that I am not going to let them ruin the whole experience for me. It’s still Jurassic Park! And I’m still gonna let it blow my freaking mind! 🙂

    • In the case of Jurassic Park, I’m not aware of any additional changes besides the 3D conversion… But 3D is the devil, in my opinion. So far, the only films that have used it at all well are Dredd and Avatar (imo).

      My feeling is, if the studio thinks that there is an audience that wants to see Jurassic Park rereleased to theaters, then do it. But do screw with a classic to boost receipts. Parents are gonna bring their kids to see Jurassic Park regardless of whether or not it’s in 3D. People with fond memories will go see it, whether or not it’s in 3D. So why screw with a good thing? That said, I hope you enjoy it!

      Personally, I’m waiting for a fully remastered, 3D re-release of Citizen Kane. When Orson Welles’ hand drops at the end, it’ll be, like, coming right at me… 😉

      On Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 9:49 AM, Caffeineforge

  2. First of all, converting JP to 3D and not actually changing content or making enhancements is ok by me. It’s not like going forward, the only way to ever see the movie is in 3D. The changes they made to say… Star Wars and the fact that you cannot own the DVD of the originals is total BS and I LOATHE it. But that’s not the case here. The movie is keeping its original integrity. It’s just being shown – for a single week – in a new format.
    3D isn’t my favorite but it does have mass appeal. And, until you see it, you don’t know, it may hit the mark with the 3D. 🙂
    I think that the movies not specifically made for 3D (vs. the ones that had it in mind from the start) are pretty fun to watch. They are more subtle and it works fairly well. It’s a novelty, sure. It may or may not improve on the original in any way. But you can’t make a comment like “3D is the devil” and then site two examples of when it worked. That’s just silliness.

    “But don’t screw with a classic to boost receipts.” ??? Chris, this is an evil of capitalism that you should quietly accept by now. Like I said, they have mass appeal and will bring in huge box office dollars without the cost of actually making a new movie. News flash: they don’t make these movies and do these things for purist nerds like us.
    There are much more appalling things to rant about.

    Okay I love you, buh bye!

    • Personally, 3D makes me queasy (I’m not alone in that. Hell 10% to 15% of people can’t even SEE it). Also, as a bespectacled American, having to wear glasses over my glasses totes gives me headaches, and this crazy, impossible to scratch you’re-all-up-in-my-space itch at the tip of my nose…

      All that aside, I can totally say, “here are two examples where it was done well,” and then be like, “but the rest, like, totally suck.” In the case of Avatar, a metric fuckton of money was spent to make it work. In the case of Dredd, it was subtle, well integrated, and used in ways that hadn’t been tried and tired out (mainly, making a blood opera even bloodier. You could feel that shit splashing on you from the screen).

      Consider the Hobbit. There is a perfect example of a film where 3D added literally nothing to the film. Nothing. If anything, it detracted from the experience because 3D doesn’t handle certain kinds of motion well, so watching the aerials through the dwarf kingdom at the beginning was like watching an HD movie on a TV with a 60hz refresh rate. That is to say, janky-ass crap.

      Finally, my point about “screwing with a classic” stands. People would go see a limited engagement of Jurassic Park regardless of whether or not it is converted to 3D. You put a T-Rex on the screen, and every child in America is dragging mommy and daddy to the theater. I get that these films are engineered to make money, and the 3D conversion is a ploy to feed into that. It’s a great excuse to further inflate ticket prices. I just choose to vote with my $.

  3. I wish you had brought these points up in your original post. Though, I agree with some and disagree with others, it would have definitely made for a more entertaining and informative post.

    Also, I’m with you so hard about the glasses-on-glasses thing. Sucks.

  4. I haven’t seen a movie in 3D since the 90’s, with the old-school blue-and-red lenses. And even then, I think it was only once or twice. I don’t despise it or anything, but I also couldn’t bring myself to care less if I tried.

    3D technology is a solution looking for a problem. We can try to create new ways to experience media, but we have yet to come across a real downside to the way we’re currently producing (and experiencing) movies – as far as technology goes, of course. The video game industry is suffering from the same misguided assumption that technology is what’s holding us back from engaging media experiences (yeah, you heard me, David Cage). I don’t need a character’s face to be rendered with 1,000,000 polys anymore than I need a T-Rex to appear to be inches from my face to feel connected to the media I’m consuming. Hell, the best and most emotional game I played all of last year was by far the most technologically inferior game I’ve played in a long time. But it had heart. 3D glasses are for naught if all they allow me to do is peer more directly into a soulless money-grab.

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