Monday, 13 May 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness - 3D Review (Is it worth it?)

This is not a review about the movie but rather a review about the 3D. For a full rundown on the film I'd advise checking out the pages of your local film critic as they have far more experience in telling you why you should/shouldn't like the movie. I'm only qualified to tell you how effective the 3D was.

[Note: Providing you have seen the latest trailers for the movie, the following won't contain any real spoilers. If you have however been keeping yourself in the dark, skip to the end verdict.]

Still thinking about whether to see it? If you have any regard for anything sci-fi then yes, you should be at the cinema right now. This is a sequel that lives up to all the promises that the reboot made and gives you something very compelling to watch too (though it should be noted that this is less of a 'The Dark Knight' style sequel as they originally hoped and more along the lines of 'X2' or 'Spiderman 2').

So, with that out of the way...3D or not 3D, for that is the question.

The Good

I was stunned to find out that this movie had not been filmed in native 3D but was a victim of post-conversion (and I mean that in the highest regard). Every single scene felt enhanced by the use of 3D, not in an obtrusive way (exempting one bit) but rather in the way that it should give depth to the setting and not come off as a gimmick. This they achieved in spades. As a result I cannot think of a single scene where it worked best because it worked for all of them.

If I did have to pick I would argue that the space set scenes were the ones that benefited the most. I personally love anything that's set in space and adding a third dimension to it can really work wonders, much like it did in this movie. There's a space jump segment that really looks the part and you get a real feeling of just wanting to leap into the screen.

Credit should also be given for making the enterprise feel vibrant and alive. The majority of the work was thanks to the set design, but that extra dimension really brought the ship to life. You could just imagine yourself walking through those corridors, sitting at the command deck with all those instruments beeping and flashing.

Kudos to JJ for adding in a sly 'pop-out-of-the-screen' moment that's fun but not too gimicky and is quickly forgotten.

The Bad

There's really not much to talk about here. As with most action set movies, the fast camera work and editing can result in the scenes blurring by and as a result the 3D can feel non-existent at times.

One thing I noticed was that the amount of detail on the screen was so excessive that at times the 3D became overwhelming. I particularly noticed this during a scene where a building is under fire from a ship and as a result sparks and bits of building go flying in all directions. I guess it's a bit harsh to call this a negative point, as it really helped to make you feel like you were there, however I did feel like I wanted to shield my face from these invisible particles, not exactly something I want to do in a movie.

Oh, and lens flares. There are lots and lots and lots of lens flares. And yes, they do pop out of the screen from time to time.

The Verdict

3D done right is a joy to behold and Star Trek nails it perfectly. The film is a visual feast and while the standard 2D format won't deprive you of any of the eye candy, the 3D really does its job in adding that deeper layer of satisfaction to the experience; so yes go and see it in 3D if you get the chance. Or even better, see it in IMAX 3D.
(One can only hope Star Wars VII will look and feel this good.)

A Little Extra

They showed the trailers (in 3D) for 'World War Z' and 'Thor' and this is the impressions I got from them.

WWZ did not feel right and reeked of post-conversion. It wasn't exactly 'Clash of the Titans' quality but I can only hope that they are still working on it. I was not impressed, which is a shame as the film looks like it could be a lot of [dumb] fun.

Thor on the other hand looked like your bog standard post-converted movie. I wouldn't rank it any higher than the Iron Man 3 job, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

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