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DID YOU READ

Can James Cameron save 3D from itself?

Can James Cameron save 3D from itself? (photo)

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This past summer Hollywood just utterly overdosed on 3D. No other way to say it. There were so many films that should have not gone down the way they did. “The Green Hornet,” for example. Or “The Smurfs 3D,” which can only be properly construed under the category of harlotry, comes to mind. “Smurf happens,” indeed.

Enter stage right: James Cameron. In many ways it is Cameron who deserves a lion’s share of the blame, for this unholy Hollywood orgy-spectacle. Eighty-five percent of the massive domestic box office for “Avatar” came from 3D. And Hollywood, of course, saw those numbers and got wood. Ironically, only Hollywood could turn three dimensional technology into one-dimensional dreck (for further reference see — or rather don’t — “Green Lantern”).

In his defense, Cameron urged caution where many studio executives saw naked, spread eagle profits. Cameron told USA Today, prophetically, in March:

“You know, everybody is an overnight expert. They think, ‘what was the takeaway lessons from ‘Avatar’? Oh you should make more money with 3D.’ They ignore the fact that we natively authored the film in 3D, and decide that what we accomplished in several years of production could be done in an eight week (post-production 3D) conversion with ‘Clash of the Titans.’

“If people put bad 3D in the marketplace they’re going to hold back or even threaten the emerging of 3D. People will be confused by differences in quality.”

Accurate, sadly. That was in March. By the summer, Hollywood was in a full blown 3D frenzy, summer tent-poles erect. But it got very little to show for its ardor. This very blog, by June, asked: Has 3D jumped the shark? Goddamned Michael Bay. Why didn’t they listen to James Cameron?!

Once again, this time with gusto, Cameron rides in to save the day. He wants to save 3D from its own overblown excesses. One of the most vocal proponents of 3D, Cameron is now taking his role as cheerleader to the next level. More hands on. Cameron wants, in effect, to create, collaborate and oversee best practices in the making of 3D entertainment. Cameron, if not the father of this latest incarnation of 3D, is at least its sober and responsible uncle. He aspires to put his seal of approval on the genre. From The Wrap:

“We want to be the Dolby of 3D,” (Cameron) said.

He said that RealD handles that function on the display side, but no one’s doing it for filmmakers.

A “Cameron-Pace Group-certified” stamp of approval would do just that, he said.
Cameron added that he wants the certification program to be a way for filmmakers to know that they’re using 3D technology in the best possible way.

“It’s about the planning, the acquisition … delivering it to display,” he said. “We want to work with the filmmakers, we want to work with the standards entities … to create a consensus about the best practices and standards on the way the set is run, the cameras are used and so on.”

Cameron’s proposal, though perhaps a tad ego-centric to most observers, has more than a little merit. He sees this nascent genre as his baby. It sort of is. And what “father” wants to see his child fail? The legacy of this particular form of 3D, for better or worse, will be tied to James Cameron. Who else better, bearing that in mind, to save 3D from itself than Cameron? And boy does this genre need some saving right about now.

(Related: James Cameron says “Avatar 2” will focus on the ocean, feature other planets)

Tell us your own thoughts on the future of 3D in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…