April 15, 2008

U2 3D

Movie theaters have been trying to find ways to drum up new business for a while. 3D movies seems like a neat way to draw in movie-goers by offering something that can't be replicated in a home theater (yet). Big blockbusters in 3D are coming soon. In the mean time concert films offer test-run for the technology.

Sure it'd be fun to go check out a 3D movie, but the thought of sitting through Hannah Montana In 3D was too painful to bear. So I was totally stoked when I found out that the U2 concert film from the Vertigo tour was being shown in 3D at the Living Mall Cinemark. Even paid the extra fee to pre-order the tickets for the limited run.

Each of us get a pair of special glasses when we enter the theater. The glasses cut down the light a bit due to the polarization effect, but otherwise don't cause any distortion or discoloration. The 3D effect kicks in right away as the opening credits seem to float out of the screen and the stadium crowds extends out into the distance. Before you know it, Bono's reaching out right at you larger than life, which is a bit disconcerting, at first. The wide shots are great in 3D, too, as there's always some chick in the audience sitting on shoulders to emphasize the sense of 3D depth.

Far as the songs go, the filmmaker stuck to the greatest hits, with only a couple of songs taken from the album Vertigo that was the nominal subject of the tour. The band tried to be a bit more adventurous with the standards, and the big backdrops and swooping camera angles kept things interesting. And it was all I could do to keep from jumping up and signing along. Was quite cool when they took a couple of the backdrop displays and redid them in the 3D effect to present them to the film audience in a more visceral way. Too bad they cut out most of Bono's standard stage banter about human rights, etc.

Only downside? It wasn't loud enough, compared to the real deal. For proof? The SO actually nodded off during the movie, although she did say she liked it. The bass, designed to fill open-air stadiums, created some unwanted resonance within the theater. But the vocals weren't quite as forward as I would like, and The Edge's riffs should always be blasted at 11. A nice Sunday outing.

Posted by mikewang on 04:28 PM