Director: Eric Brevig
Writers: Michael Weiss, Jennifer
Flackett, Mark Levin, novel by Jules Verne
Cinematographer: Chuck Shuman
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Josh
Hutcherson, Anita Briem, Seth Meyers
Studio/Run Time: New Line
Cinema, 92 mins.
And lo, the voice of Movie Future did
say, “Let there be Real D!” And it was good. Maybe.
With major studios spending millions on
the latest 3-D process—called Real D—and theaters worldwide
spending millions more on retrofitting their projectors, the average
movie-going experience is about to change, and maybe not always for
the better. Real D’s latest fashion statement, Journey to the
Center of the Earth, is passable enjoyment for the same reason
the New York Times called the concert film U2 3D a work
of art. Take away the 3-D and you have a poor interpretation of Jules
Verne’s classic story and an okay rock 'n' roll movie.
In Journey, when new volcanic
evidence convinces research scientist Trevor Anderson (Brendan
Fraser) to take a sudden trip to Iceland with his nephew Sean (Josh
Hutcherson), they become entrapped, along with a lovely mountain
guide (Anita Briem), in a strange world miles below the surface of
the earth. The adventurers soon believe Verne’s book was based on
actual facts, but now have to find a way out because of an impending
disaster while also escaping giant piranha, people-eating plants and
the stereotypical tyrannosaurus rex. Fraser does his Mummy
best to save us from the true disaster—the script. The Real D
effects are admirable, but offer little respite when employing cheap
3-D tricks like yo-yos and roller coasters.
While films like U2 3D may be a
representation of the best use of this new digital medium, let’s
hope films like this onebecome the exception and not a
foreboding rule of what our journey to the center
of technology might hold.