I intend to spend most of July with a top-shelf margarita in each hand… wait, wrong column; that was from my piece for F This Liver! …(shuffle shuffle… okay, found it.) I intend to spend most of July discussing obscure 3D movies that are only just now being released on Blu-ray. My purpose, babies? So that readers with the requisite players and television machines can decide whether to seek out these releases, and readers without said equipment can decide whether what’s out there warrants the investment. I’m like a Terminator who helps you CHOOSE your own FOOTURE!
Flicker Alley’s recent release of 3D Rarities is a great place to start.
I love how associate producer Jack Theakston points out in his commentary track that some of the images (specifically, men pointing guns at the camera and women in swings) would become mainstays of 3D cinema—and then the disc proceeds to show us these tropes again and again across the span of 75 years of 3D filmmaking. After watching the disc in a single sitting, I felt vaguely as if I had been held hostage on a playground populated by barely clad ingénues.
For me, the highlights of the disc were the four original 3D trailers presented here for the first time with their original depth restored: coming attractions for the 1953 movies The Maze, It Came From Outer Space, the western Hannah Lee, and Rita Hayworth’s Miss Sadie Thompson. All of these are wonderfully produced (sorry, fans, the ICFOS trailer withholds the “money shot” of the comet crashing to Earth) and, except for the last film, feature unique footage shot expressly for the trailer. The gorgeous state of these trailers (again, with the exception of Thompson) begs the question: why are these films NOT being re-released on 3D Blu-ray? I expect that the answer is that the major studios’ home video departments secretly know that I am the only one who would actually buy them. The fact that Universal included a 3D version on the Blu-ray of Creature From The Black Lagoon was truly a bonus. Man, would I love to have a 3D copy of It Came From Outer Space.
Universal, you should give me what I want! I am an annual passholder at your theme park, dammit!
My absolute favorite part of the disc is the 3D Caspar the Friendly Ghost cartoon, "Boo Moon." It looks first-rate, features some great dimensional effects, and is really funny. This short served as a kind of celluloid hors d’oeuvre, whetting my appetite for more 3D shorts that I know were produced and am hoping still exist.
George Carlin famously observed that doing cocaine made one feel… like doing more cocaine. This new Flicker Alley disc made me crave more similar Flicker Alley 3D restoration discs. This first attempt, 3D Rarities, is highly recommended. Just say “no”…. to NOT seeing this Blu-ray! (Also, to drugs.)