October 28th, 2006


Our man Jack, King of the Pumpkin Patch...

I just saw the 3d-ized version of "The Nightmare Before Christmas".

You've seen the original movie, I presume. One of the more obvious morals of the story is "don't fix what isn't broken". Hmmm.

It certainly wasn't a BAD movie, and the fact that they had reissued it meant that I had to go to a theatre to see it - if they just put it on cable, I wouldn't have bothered. And I really loved the movie back in... yikes, 1993.

Plenty of people in the theatre weren't around in 1993, but were perfectly happy trying to sing along to the songs. "Halloween, Halloween. EEeeee!" For the most part, the parents kept the kids in line, so it wasn't all that bad.

The short subject before the movie was Pixar's "Knick Knack", the story of a snow globe snowman who lusts after a bikini-clad bobble-whatsit. I really enjoyed watching it in 3D, but we all know I'm a Pixar junkie, so my praise for it might be taken as read.

The 3D work on tNBC was pretty good - perhaps I was spending too much energy focusing on the 3D layering, and not enough watching the rest of the movie. But I've got the original movie burned into my brain, it's the 3D remastering that I'm paying $11 for, so that's what I paid attention to. Every now and then, I'd notice some glaring problems, like something coming out of a cauldron, where the 3d sorting put the item behind the cauldron. Or bits where the fake perspective of the original stop motion set construction made a 3d conversion difficult. Or watching characters' feet that didn't touch the ground. Also, actors have a way to "cheat" their facing - not actually look at the character they're talking to, if it helps the staging. That sort of burned the 3d conversion, because there were times that this "cheating" became distracting.

I think that my final reaction to the 3d post-processing is that the effort reminds me of earlier attempts to colorize classic movies. Perhaps a sliver of a new audience is gained, but on the other side of the Venn Diagram, a sliver of the purists are upset by the exercise. One of my concerns before going in was that things would be added to the detriment of the film. I didn't see Jar Jar Binks show up in the reissue, so those fears were thankfully unfounded.

So, the music's now stuck in my head - "Something's up with Jack!", which isn't all bad. Perhaps I'll coerce iTunes to play the soundtrack for me.