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U2 3D

The title is incomplete. It should have an exclamation point. It should be U2 3D! Because this is not just a movie, it's a SHOW.

U2 3D is a cinematic masterpiece. If you disagree with me, then you probably haven't seen the film.

There are two 3D concert films released in 2008, U2 3D and Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert. In terms of cinematic excellence, U2 3D wins hands down. Of course, one was produced by Disney, the other by National Geographic, so it's easy to guess which is the more serious film.

The whole movie is a work of art, and it will go down in history as a landmark film. Pre-production was well-planned, as the shots were designed to maximize the power of 3D technology. In 3D, the secret is depth. The full glory of 3D is realized when you have a distinct foreground, middleground, and background existing seamlessly in separate layers, giving the viewer one mind-blowing sensory experience. And every shot in the movie was designed to give maximum depth.

Now the production stage, which is, in essence, the whole performance, is a combination of several gigs from the 2006 Vertigo tour. Larry Mullen, Jr. on drums is a trip to behold, as the whole drum set shifts in perspective when the camera rotates around him. Adam Clayton plays the bassist with mystique, spitting out the steadiest chops in the world today. The Edge shreds out his trademark riffs, but probably changed guitars as many times as Queen Amidala changed wardrobes in Episode 1. You will admire the band for the excellent music, and you will admire Bono for...for just being Bono. All his advocacies, his political beliefs, and all that he preaches---these are part of him now. There's no separating them. So trust Bono to inject his messages every opportunity he gets, which, surprisingly, is not annoying in any way. That's because he preaches without any intent on personal gain. He wasn't nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for nothing.

But talking about the cinematic aspects of the production, one can't help but praise the effort put in to making sure that several elements, not just one, are utilized in a single shot. Thus you have camera movement, light and shadow, color, and composition all working together to enhance the 3D experience. Also quite noticeable is how the directors loved inserting the microphone stand in the foreground; in traditional 2D cinema, this is a no-no, as the mic stand is actually an obstruction to the subject. But in 3D, the mic stand adds depth, which will make you raise your hand and attempt to touch it.

What can you say about post production except that it was done by wizards? This film could be a possible Oscar contender for Best Editing. It experiments with simple editing techniques, like the seemingly ordinary cross-dissolve or superimposition, which in fact gives a totally different effect when rendered in 3D. Where the shots do not show much depth, the directors compensate by dissolving it with several layers of images, creating a more effective illusion of depth. Also, the film not only has 3D visuals, it also has 3D sound. The sound engineering was a work of art in itself (again, another Oscar contender), combining the music, the crowd, and the atmosphere to produce a very realistic concert experience.

Now I have already seen 3D films before this, but not on the big screen. Watching 3D films on a small screen will just make you feel like you're hallucinating. But watching 3D on a thirty foot-high screen---now that's the way 3D is supposed to be seen. U2 may not realize it, but it has actually stumbled upon the solution to piracy: give the audience an out-of-this world experience. They plan to market 3D technology for home use, but I say NO. I say keep 3D technology within the theaters. The viewers will only flock to the movie theaters if it can offer them something that home video cannot. And the U2 3D experience will set the standard for the ultimate cinematic theater experience.

Rating: Masterpiece.

One of the most important things I learned in film school is that the credits are part of the film. It is actually correct to stay in your seat until the credits stop rolling. That's why the filmmakers made sure to include animated graphics against the rolling text, to make the names stand out on a separate layer, thus stretching the 3D experience till the very end. With that said, please, do NOT turn on the lights while the credits are still onscreen. That's like telling us, "Get out of the theater, show's over," when in fact it isn't. That is just totally uncool.

And like I mentioned earlier, 3D is the future of moviegoing. It is a unique and exhilirating sensory experience created by man, to be enjoyed by the entire human race. Every human being should have the right to see a 3D film. The problem is, not every human being can afford it. So, after your regular theatrical run, wait a few months, then just before the Christmas season, release the movie again, but this time, charge only P150 for the ticket. That way, even the average working man who is actually a fan of U2 will finally be able to see them. You would get more groups watching together, which would create a more concert-like atmosphere, which in turn would result in more ticket sales. Don't worry about profits---even Bono didn't have that on his mind. Once you give the ordinary folks a dose of what 3D cinema is, they'll understand why it's so expensive, then they'd be willing to save up to watch a really good 3D film next time. By that time you would have jacked up the prices back to the way they were. Everybody's happy and everybody gets to see U2.


Unknown said...

grand review man!
agree that U23D is an out-of-this world experience.
agree that imax and 3D cinema's should keep the lights down low til the party's over. we like our Yahweh-chaser's in the dark.
and 3d being made for home cinema....i say we should adjust the building code accordingly. 40ft walls for every home! damn the expense...damn the heating bill...and bono can come round to change the light bulbs...


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