As for Jaws, my first thought was IMAX, as we do actually have an IMAX theater in the vicinity. It's 45 minutes away in Blacksburg (or is it Christiansburg? I never am sure of the difference between those two. Anyways, it's where Virginia Tech is...); but they weren't showing it at the IMAX cinema. Why? Who knows? But I decided I wanted to see it in 3-D anyways, as I love 3-D movies nowadays. It's kind of like they've managed to create the magical View-Master experience of childhood. I saw the 3-D retrofitted release of Titanic a few years ago and LOVED it. You wouldn't think they could take old two-D images and make them so magically three dimensional; but they can! Which brings us to this new version of Jaws.
I remember when Jaws came out back in the summer of 1975. I was nine. The hype was inescapable; but the hype was more word of mouth. People flocked to see it and then urged everyone they knew to flock to see it...again and again. It was the thing that year. I went to see it with my dad and my older brother and sister. My younger brother would've been five, so I'm thinking maybe he wasn't there. I recall being thrilled by every second of it. Not just the shark stuff, though. My inner-Artist and cinematic eye were getting a Moviemaking 101 tutorial at a tender age; although, of course, I wasn't aware of this at the time. But I was responding on a purely instinctual level: the compositions and the lighting. Jaws is a great filmic, visual mural from a young (at the time) man who had perhaps the greatest visual gift since Hitchcock. Of course, most people weren't experiencing it through the UCLA film-school viewpoint. Certainly not me, at that time. But this time...yes. (Oops, I meant the USC Film School, pardonnez-moi!)
Spielberg's camera is everywhere. It's below, it's above, it's under, it's over, it's tracking, it's along-side, it's beneath, it's above...it was supposed to take 55 days to shoot. They wrapped it up after 159. Oh, but wasn't it worth it!
For example, there's a scene shot from the top of the mast, looking down. I think it's Hooper's point of view:
I hadn't really seen the film in it's entirety since maybe, back in the 70's when it had it's first fun on network TV, which probably cut some of the gory stuff. Of course, I've come across it on TV and watched bits and scenes, here and there over the years. And, as it's a movie that has wend itself into the very fabric of American Pop Culture; through osmosis. But yesterday, here I was again, in a movie theater with a massive screen about to see it again. And that same excitement came flooding back. Most of it I remembered, vividly. But there were things, little details I hadn't caught before. Like when Hooper comes to visit the Brody's and has wine and then Roy Scheider opens the bottle and pours some red into what he's already drinking, to the brim.
So, we all know that straight up remakes of classic movies are usually disasters. Or things that do okay at the box-office but people are just kinda like, "Meh...it was all right...but who asked for this?" Something like Jaws. It's iconic. It's perfect. There's no need to remake it. However, I do think this 3-D re-do or IMAX re-do is something else. It's in a way re-making the original; and maybe even improving it; with-out changing it. It's like the movie gets to have its cake and eat it too! It's relatively inexpensive; and lucrative. Didn't the 3-D re-release of Titantic make a boat-load of cash? You bet it did!
So, here are some of my suggestions for movies that I would love to see re-released in 3-D:
Remaking The Exorcist would be folly. First of all, do you make it a period piece? You really can't set it in today's world. Why? Instantaneous communication. The smart-phone predicament. It's hard to have things happen off screen when Regan would have her own cell phone. Ahh, but the original in 3-D? (And I'm talking the dark, depressing original theatrical release). With that "you are there element"? Fuggedabout it! You'd have people fainting and puking all over again! Friedkin's camera in that movie is all over the place too...how about the levitation scene in 3-D? Yikes!
I know what you're going to say. How dare you! How dare you Chris, suggest that anything created by Stanley Kubrick be tampered with? Stanley Kubrick is infallible! If he wanted his magnum opus in 3-D, he would've filmed it in 3-D!
But would he have? The 3-D process when they were filming 2001 was still pretty crude. But nowadays, it's pretty miraculous. Could you imagine 2001 in 3-D and IMAX? It's like it's crying out for it. One of my frustrations with that movie, is, in fact, it's 2-Dness. Some of the spaceships appear to be paper cut-outs; so, ah, no. Stanley was not infallible. This again, is a movie where the camera is filming things from every possible perspective. In 3-D it would rock. It would come alive in a way it was meant to. This scene in 3-D would pop!
Lots of planes of vision in this one, that totally lends itself to great 3-D! Plus, the Xenomorph! And of course Sigourney Weaver!
It almost already is 3-D; let's take it to the next level!
The Wizard of Oz
Yes, I know what you're thinking; but it's still a great movie. And cancelling it is unfair to the sublime work of Hattie McDaniel. Or maybe I'm wrong.
Duh. And it's the original "Star Wars." The one we remember seeing back in the day. The one without George Lucas' misguided "tinkering." Yes, there is a new hope and it's just called Star Wars.
Another one with terrible cultural representation (it's kind of hard to avoid with vintage Disney). But I'd like to see this process applied to an old cartoon...and this one has all those magical flying scenes!
Lots of planes of vision and depths of focus and just a lot of plain fun!
Again with the politically incorrect subject matter. However, I'd love to see how a 3-D flick looks in black and white. And this one has perhaps the best B&W photography ever.
And so many more. Notice most are form the 70's. Hmmmmm.
And one last one.
This a case where, more than likely, it should be remade from scratch. I mean, follow the basic premise, but come up with some new characters and follow them through shaky-town; because let's face it: the script for the original, Mario Puzo or not, stunk. All I ask is that the special effects be practical. Models. No CGI. And that it of course be in 3-D! And IMAX!
And here's the cherry on the sundae: Universal brings back SENSURROUND!
Where can I buy a ticket?!!?