Davis: Star Wars latest 3D to bust out

When I looked at the number of movies that were getting a 3D re-release this year, I rolled my eyes. We have already had Beauty and the Beast and upcoming are Titanic and Finding Nemo.

This weekend we see Star Wars: Episode 1–The Phantom Menace getting a 3D makeover.

My concern is the public perception that the movie companies are trying to make a quick buck on quickie conversions.  However, my dismay was short-lived for two reasons—1) there is a strong history of re-releasing movies in theatres and 2) 3D conversions are not necessarily bad.

On the latter point, James Cameron, director of Avatar, has stated that he would not do a 3D release of Titanic unless it met his exacting standards and Lucas had much the same attitude for his Star Wars movies.

As far as making extra money by re-releasing movies in theatres, prior to home video, movie companies would regularly reissue movies. I remember that I did not see Star Wars during its original run in 1977 but rather first saw it on a re-release a year or two later.  1939’s Gone with the Wind probably would not have become the highest grossing movie of all time (adjusted for inflation) if not for its reissues.

And even after home video, Disney continued to successfully release its classic animated movies theatrically.

Also, with theatres converting from 35mm film to digital projection, there is even more opportunity to bring back classic movies, not necessarily in 3D, to give people even more chances to see their favourite movies on the big screen.

The other major 3D release this weekend is Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, the sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth.  Josh Hutcherson is the only returning cast member from the original as Brendan Fraser had a scheduling conflict.

Dwayne Johnson, Vanessa Hudgens, Michael Caine and Luis Guzmán join the cast and, like the first movie, it is inspired by Jules Verne.

Not only does it take plot points from Verne’s Mysterious Island, but also from Treasure Island and Gulliver’s Travels.

Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds star in the spy-thriller Safe House in which Washington plays a dangerous CIA fugitive who, after a decade on the run, suddenly reappears.

When the South African safe house he’s remanded in is attacked by mercenaries, he and a rookie operative (Reynolds) escape and must stay alive long enough to uncover who wants them dead.

Film Festival

Next Thursday sees the return of the West Kelowna Filmtastic Film Festival series at the Capitol Theatre.

On Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. writer-director Emilio Estevez presents The Way, starring his father Martin Sheen.

Sheen plays an American doctor who goes to France to collect the remains of his adult son, killed in the Pyrenees in a storm while walking the Camino de Santiago (The Way of Saint James).

However, instead of going home he decides to embark on the historic pilgrimage himself to honour his son’s desire to finish the journey.

Go to www.westkelownamovies.com for more information about the Film Festival.

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