Nightmare Before Christmas

Puff and I went to the Metreon last night, where we saw The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3-D. We had been wanting to do it for quite some time, and finally managed to organize ourselves enough on Friday night. Movies are so damned expensive here that it is a special occasion to go to one, and this seemed like a good choice.

The Metreon is quite a wierd place. It is next to Yerba Buena Centre, where we went ice skating last week. I remember going to the Metreon when it first opened—it is a sort of giant digital mall, and a little bit overwhelming. Most of the stores in the Metreon have something to do with electronics, and there’s a giant arcade and a multi-screen theatre, including an Imax. The theatre at the Metreon tends to get rather mainstream movies, but sometimes it is fun to see something in Imax, or in this case in 3-D.

Unfortunately, I was more impressed by the special effects before the movie, because they had been obviously designed for a 3-D presentation. The movie itself felt like it had perhaps more depth than usual, but things were not leaping out of the screen at us like they were in the previews. Everything did seem sharper and crisper, and the boogeyman scenes were a little intense, but that was about it.

I believe they achieved the effect through polarization, as inspection of our glasses revealed later. When I took them off during the film I just saw a blurry image, and I assume that the lenses were polarized differently to allow different parts of the image through to the eye, thus providing the 3-D illusion. It was amazingly well done in the teasers before the movie, where I really did feel involved with what was going on in front of me. After having objects fly out of the screen and seeing scenes with incredible depth, I was a little bit disappointed by the movie itself.

Now don’t get me wrong, The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my favourite films, and it was really fun to see on the big screen. Puff and I have been singing snatches of the songs for the last 12 hours, which I think is causing deep confusion to those around us. I suspect that to create a truly 3-D presentation, they would have essentially had to redesign the entire film, and in addition to perhaps compromising Tim Burton’s ideals, it would also have been really expensive.

Now that I’ve seen the potential of 3-D, I would love to see some films designed for the medium, because I have the feeling it would be a lot of fun. All we need is Wonkavision so we can eat along with the characters too.

[Nightmare Before Christmas]