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BMZ Review: Encounter in the Third Dimension (3D)
By Herb Lash

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BMZ Review: Encounters in the Third Dimension
Written by: Herb Lash
Source: Big Movie Zone
Date: Dec 2000

     

Category: Reviews

IMAX® format has proven to be the last refuge for the long surviving, but never quite thriving universe of 3-D movies. Technological advances paired with the massive Imax palette make for the greatest eye popping 3D effects ever to be seen. Encounters in The Third Dimension is a well-produced, wacky forty-minute history of 3-D films. The film is family friendly edutainment - not so much a satisfying story as it is a fun loving promise of things to come in the world of IMAX in 3-D.

An over-excited Mad Professor and his floating sidekick robot Max serve as screwball guides as they lead us through the history of 3-D films. The Mad Professor's retro-space age laboratory is a colorful 3-D home base for the history lesson at hand. The professor pulls up clips from the golden old days of 3D films and Max makes child friendly quips and explanations of the more recent technology. The Mad Professor/Max comedy reminds of a Nickelodeon style kid's show - obvious and goofy, but designed to keep fidgeting youngsters tuned in. The film gets interesting as we board a looping, roller coaster shuttle - all of the 3D stops are pulled out and there are few in the audience who don't duck, flinch or wince at least once during the furious ride. The film ends on an odd note as Elvira of all people crops up and is supposed to provide a final 3-D wow. She is a great deal less interesting than the sinister chrome spider (borrowed from Terminator 2) that probes and slashes out at the audience.

The film is most exciting for what it promises; the 3-D imagery now possible is simply amazing. Cumbersome cardboard glasses, blurry images and less than 3-D images have made for 3-D movies that never quite live up to expectations. Encounters in The Third Dimension makes it absolutely clear that the technology has arrived - now it's just a matter of waiting for the right filmmaker to tell the right story. The first great IMAX 3D movie is out there - build it and they will come...

IMAX® is a registered trademark of IMAX Corporation.

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