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Director Bryan Singer's take on Superman Returns in IMAX 3-D

Posted on Tuesday, June 20th, 2006 and updated on Tuesday, June 20th, 2006 11:39 AM

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On June 28th, audiences will be able to see the man of steel back on the big screen in Superman Returns. Audiences with an IMAX theater nearby will get an additional viewing choice, with the simultaneous release of Superman Returns: An IMAX 3D Experience. In this version, approximately 20 minutes of the movie have been converted to 3-D, requiring the audience to don special 3-D glasses to enjoy the full effect. I've been skeptical about this enhancement, especially since the movie wasn't filmed with 3-D in mind. The people at IMAX took a portion of the movie, converted it to the 3-D as a demonstration of what they could do, and pitched it to director Bryan Singer. According to an article that appears in the Los Angeles Times, Singer is thrilled with the result.
Earlier this year, the Imax people sent Singer a trailer that had been 3-D-ified and he was immediately on board. Last Friday, he got his second taste with the Universal City screening of scenes such as Superman rescuing a crashing, crumbling jetliner and Clark Kent bounding through cornfields on his own Kansas homestead. How did it look? Singer was thrilled but others attending the screening were put off by a distracting blurring effect that crops up when the action crosses the screen at high speed. Still, some sequences such as that plummeting plane have an undeniable gee-whiz factor. Hollywood is hoping that in the year to come that sense of wonder will keep people munching popcorn at theaters instead of joining the stay-at-home parade of DVD buyers. Singer was clearly a fan. After the screening, he was eager to call his director pal, James Cameron, a big proponent of 3-D and Imax, to chat about the new process. Singer also talked about adding some unique footage to the Imax version restoring some footage to the early part of the film (it showed Superman on the gutted husk of Krypton) that might be especially dramatic with the visual effect.
After reading this, I might have to do the road trip it will require since there aren't any flat-screen IMAX theaters in the Milwaukee area. At the very least, it sounds worth checking out. And, who knows, it could be ushering in a new era that other directors, especially James Cameron, have been talking about for a while now. Will 3-D reinvigorate going to movie theaters again? This 3-D version of Superman Returns may hold that answer.

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