REVIEW: Journey to the Center of BAD 3D

I was going to do a full review of this film.  Now, I can’t get myself to do that. This film was so monumentally bad, so devoid of anything redeemable, that it would be just unfair to all the good people who worked so hard on this movie.  Nobody sets out to make a bad film.  Everyone has great intentions and many compromises are made along the way.  Studios, directors, producers, all are fighting for creative control. I did not like the film and I cannot recommend it.  However the 3D fan boys are saying, “this is just a feel good fun ride, check your brain at the door.”

Not good enough. For years, comic book movies have been regulated to this thought process. Now in 2008 we have films like Iron Man, Hulk, Hellboy 2, and Dark Knight.  These films all show comic book films can be great films. There is no reason, that a film based on a great classic novel with a journey to the core of our planet, can’t be a great film that thrills, entertains, has great performances with solid acting and compelling characters. None at all, and shame on the people who think they had to re-invent a classic and didn’t trust this fantastic story. To Embrace this film just because its in 3D, is a disservice to the 3D movement. That’s a fan-boy mentality and it will not work here. This film fails as a story, fails at 3D, and fails to win me over. I love 3D, but I cannot accept this. Sure its making money at the box office, but imagine how much better it could do, if it was a better film.

Now we get to the 3D. This film was as I feared. The 3D in this film was GIMMICKY. No one wants to have their eyes poked at in real life. Its uncomfortable. No one wants this in there movies, its unbearable. Journey 3D does this no less than 22 times. Characters spit on you, jab you with a yo-yo, tape measures, pointy antennae, birds, and more spit. Ugh! The 3D also violates the frame in almost every single shot, and there is shallow depth of field that just do not work in 3D.


The use of the Cameron Pace Fusion cameras leaves me with little hope for Avatar. Both of Cameron’s 3D IMAX documentaries and now this have used The PACE cameras and the way they do 3D is headache inducing and un-natural. I experienced this first hand on Spy-Kids 3D which used the same camera. I fought hard in each composite to recompose the 3D space to feel natural on our shots. Now back to Journey 3D. I had to see this film at a Real D cinema and I love the fact that Real D seems to be catalyst for major changes in digital cinema. They are getting theaters to install Digital systems with 3D capabilities En Masse. Bravo! BUT can I ask Real D a favor? Can you fix your projectors brightness issues? When you have a film like Journey 3D in which half the film takes place in a dark cave, projection on one digital projector, polarizing the light, reflecting off the screen and going through another polarized filter (glasses on your head) You loose almost 80% of the light you started out with. In IMAX 3D, this isn’t an issue as you have TWO IMAX projectors and you get allot of light. In Real-D you get a very murky image. Double whammy if your film is dark to begin with.

The only way this film could get worse, is if they decide to release it in 3D anaglyph like the Hannah Montana disc. Oh my god, I feel an aneurysm coming on.


For a second opinion read this review here and here.

Watch this video about the director Eric Brevig, where he talks about how Journey wasn’t using 3D as a gimmick.

In this video, we see more information about the 3D process. Its disappointing to see Jim Cameron being involved here. It seems like they are getting allot of advice on how to do this right, they must have just ignored all of it.

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