'Clash of the Titans' 3-D conversion gets a very lackluster review
There's been a ton of buzz about Warner Bros.' upcoming "Clash of the Titans," which the studio believes could be its next blockbuster release when it hits theaters April 2. But in the 3-D geek community, the film has been drawing fire ever since it became apparent that the Sam Worthington-starring film was getting the quickie 3-D conversion treatment, making it look like Warner Bros. was exploiting the explosion of moviegoer willingness to pay an extra $3 bucks to see big-screen extravaganzas in 3-D.
No less an authority than James Cameron has spoken out against 3-D conversions, calling it "typical of Hollywood getting it wrong," saying specifically of the "Clash of the Titans" quickie conversion: "If you want to make a movie in 3-D, make the movie in 3-D."
So there's a lot riding on audience reaction to "Clash." The movie is expected to open strong, but if it fades quickly in subsequent weekends, naysayers will put much of the blame on bad word of mouth about its 3-D effects. If it holds up, rival studios will no doubt assume that audiences were willing to accept a quickly converted movie -- and plow ahead with even more 3-D conversions of their own.
So I was eager to see an early review from ShoWest, where Warner Bros. screened nearly 10 minutes of "Titans" clips. And the reaction was -- extremely underwhelming. Slashfilm's Peter Sciretta, who was on hand, had this to say:
"I will be completely honest -- it did not look great. It looked passable. ... To me, the live-action post-converted 3D footage looked very unnatural. At times the characters appeared to stand out like cardboard cutouts, while other times they appeared to be graphed to a computer generated 3D model, and it just looked odd. The computer animated elements look a little better, but as a whole it was a subpar experience."
It will be interesting to see if rank-and-file movie fans are just as tough on the picture as Sciretta and other ardent bloggers and 3-D enthusiasts. Unless audiences start voting with their feet, we can expect more quickie conversions as studios continue their rush to cash in on the land-rush business movies like "Alice in Wonderland" have been doing in 3-D screenings.
Warner Bros. chieftain Alan Horn announced at ShoWest that all of the studio's upcoming tent-pole movies will be released in 3-D. And that's a lot: The studio, which already has five 3-D movies scheduled for release this year, will have a whopping nine movies slated for 3-D in 2011. Many of those will be conversions, so I'm betting that Hollywood's 3-D conversion mania will be in full swing for some time to come.
Photo: A scene from "Clash of the Titans." Credit: Warner Bros.