Earlier this week it was announced that Top Gun will be converted to 3D and re-released. Today, The Lion King 3D is in theaters. The combined result: some cinephiles are blowing a gasket. It is, indeed, cineblasphemy to mess with a classic and Top Gun is a modern day classic along with other films slated for a 3D release: Titanic, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Wars.
Simmer down movie maniacs, the alternative may be worse. Hollywood is also on a remake bender. The Bodyguard, Dirty Dancing
and Point Break
are just a few of the films joining Footloose
(out Oct. 14) in getting a “reimagination.” So pick your poison: wearing glasses and ducking a giant rolling boulder with Harrison Ford, or ducking a giant boulder with, let’s say, a fedora-topped Sam Worthington and still wearing glasses (you know an Indiana Jones remake would totally be filmed in 3D anyway).
If it makes you feel better, think of it this way: 3D conversion is no different than downloading a Beatles song on iTunes. Sure, vinyl gives it the most pure sound but you’ll take the convenience that digital modern technology allows. You can still listen to “Penny Lane” in high fidelity if you have a record player and you can still see The Lion King in 2D on Blu-Ray or DVD (incidentally, available Oct. 4).
Additionally, a 3D re-release provides a reason to go see an old movie again. Let’s be honest, you’re probably NOT going to revisit Ghostbusters when it’s re-released. But Ghostbusters 3D…could you resist getting slimed along with Venkman? New releases are an event, something everyone will be talking about, something it feels you can’t miss it. It’s this “event” mentality which creates the best part of the whole 3D rerelease: roping your kids into seeing your favorite movie with you.
Think this through: imagine asking your tween or teens if they’d go see one of your favorite childhood films, like Romancing the Stone? Eyes are already starting to roll. But, now think about the same movie available in 3D, it’s modernized, it's "new and improved." Sure…they’ll bite. Who knows, maybe they’ll even love it?
I wondered how my kids would feel about seeing The Lion King 3D, a film they both “grew up with” but never saw in the theater. A shrug followed by a “meh?” Actually, I got an entirely different reaction. My kids rediscovered how great The Lion King really is. My 17-year old son became wistful for hand drawn animation. My 10-year old daughter remembered just how catchy the songs are. As for the 3D, well, they both felt they could have done without it, but that’s them – 8-year old Mika told me she liked seeing things “pop out at her.”
Either way, here’s the clincher: they loved seeing The Lion King on the big screen and, had it not been for the 3D, wouldn’t have gone to see it in the theater with me. Who knew stereoscopic vision could bring generations together?