movies: bolt

a hero is unleashedThree-D movies give me a headache... and I mean that literally. I don't know if it's because I have different focal ranges in each of my eyes (I can't remember which one is weaker... the left one I suspect), or what it is, but any time I've ever seen anything in 3D I've ended up with a vague headache.

The new "Real 3D" process is better than the old "blue and red" one, but not perfect.

So, obviously we went to see Bolt this afternoon... and it should also be obvious given my little lead-in, that we went to see the 3D version.

One thing that's definitely a big fat plus about going to see a 3D movie is that there aren't all the annoying ads beforehand, they just skip straight to the trailers (one of which was the teaser trailer for the new Pixar movie, Up... I think I'm going to have to risk the headache and go and see that one in 3D when it comes out... totally looks like it'll be worth it), and then MOVIE.

Now, I know this is usually the place where I rave about how GAWJUS the rendering is in whatever the CG movie of the moment is... and I will do that in a second, but I just need to add a caveat (caveat lector in fact) to my ravings. This movie (as I've mentioned about 100 times so far) was in 3D... so I'm not sure how much of the OMGing about the renders and texture I could be doing is due to the 3D and how much is just good CG. Okay, now that that is out of the way...

The movie is absolutely STUNNING... between the pettably soft fur on Bolt (both he and Mittens the cat are almost criminally cute to be honest), to grass, pigeon feathers and a plastic hamster ball and, well, pretty much everything... it's, in a word, lush. And when you add on top of that the pretty much flawless 3D work, it's one damn fine looking movie. Seriously, my hat goes off to everybody involved from that whole 3D, texture, lighting, render department.

And I'm guessing that those of you familiar with my movie reviews are sensing a "but" hovering around in the air.

There really isn't one though... okay, there kind of is, however it's only a teeny teeny tiny one...

Like any number of other kid's movies (and, if I'm being honest, a large proportion of Disney movies), the plot is fairly predictable (think any one of about a million buddy/road movies where Character X needs to get back to his beloved Character Y)... although I'll be honest, I think I was so caught up in how gorgeous the whole thing looked and that it was all three dimensional and whatnot, that unlike previous animated movies I didn't really stop and think about where the story was going to go, I just let it happen.

On the upside, it didn't actually make me cry, which is always a bonus (sniffling in a G rated movie is never a good look).

I will admit to a slight degree of confusion about how Bolt got from LA to New York at the beginning of the movie... Ma seems to think he was transported in a crate, I don't remember seeing any "crate related journey montage", so it will be interesting to see it again later and work out what the hell happened.

It's also one of the few movies with celebrity voices where I didn't really stop and analyse who was doing what voice and nobody's voice really pulled me out of the moment (okay, Malcolm McDowell as Dr Calico did a tiny bit, but that was only because I couldn't work out who the hell it was until the end of the movie)... even John Travolta as Bolt only made me go "oh yeah, Travolta" for a split second when Bolt first speaks, and then I never really thought about it again.

While I haven't really seen very many movies in 3D (specifically ones that were designed to be shown in 3D rather than having 3D thrust upon them after the fact), I did find myself wondering at several points throughout the movie whether it would be quite as interesting and engaging a movie in regular-D. Supposedly it was the "first Disney animated feature conceived and produced in 3-D", but I never felt like it had to fall back on the same tired old bag of tricks that the live action 3D movies seem to be hauling out (from what I've seen and read anyway)... there's never anything specifically flying at your face or racing towards camera for no good reason other than 3D... which is good, and the live action folks should take note... just make a good movie, make it in 3D and the people will come anyway.

yani's rating: 3 New York pigeons out of 5

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