Sunday, February 12, 2012

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island IMAX 3D Review

In my effort to review Journey 2: The Mysterious Island in 3D, I ran into the failings of projection technology. The first theater I went to see this movie was not running it in 3D. Got my money back. Then I went to another theater that night and as I was watching it for about one hour, the right side of the screen had a distortion. Left and got my money back. I finally gave up on regular 3D and went to see it at an IMAX theater.

The Mysterious Island is a sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth. (2008) Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) is now a rambunctious teenager living in Dayton, Ohio with his mother and stepfather, Hank. (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) Sean and Hank decipher a radio message from a Vernian, a person who believes the novels of Jules Verne are fact. Sean believes the message is from his grandfather, Alexander (Michael Caine) and thinks that he is on the island in Jules Verne's novel, The Mysterious Island.

Sean and Hank travel to Palau. There they hire helicopter pilot Gabato (Luis Guzman) and his daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens) to fly them to the Island. As they approach the Island, they discover it's surrounded by waterspouts. The helicopter hits one and crashes on the Island. They discover it is indeed, the Mysterious Island.

Journey to the Center of the Earth was a pioneer film in 3D cinema. It featured live action actors filmed with 3D cameras. The result was one entertaining movie. The Mysterious Island 3D action exceeds its predecessor. Director Brad Peyton is no 3D snob and thankfully he shot the movie in 3D. Things are hurled at you. There's slow motion shots to emphasize the 3D effects. More importantly, he sets up shots to maximize the 3D medium. What you have are 3D shots of small things like flying glass, berries bouncing off Hank's chest, to giant birds ready to kill our heroes and one giant bad ass electric eel. The eel will literally have you ducking in your seat.

It's not all just eye candy. There are fine performances. Dwayne Johnson has come a long way from professional wrestler to actor. He gives a warm and funny performance. Josh Hutecherson again delivers a realistic performance as a teenager just like he did in The Kids Are All Right. (2010) Luis Guzman has the part of a buffoon but he really conveys the fun he has in the part. Michael Caine is just wonderful as the eccentric grandfather.

IMAX vs. 3D. Getting to view a large portion of this movie in 3D and watching the whole thing in IMAX 3D allows me to make a preliminary judgment on which is better. First, let me say the beauty of this movie is that it was shot in 3D. The effects pop and there's depth in both versions. But IMAX due to its large screen and greater resolution has the crisper picture. The 3D effects are enhanced. Like Avatar (2009) , and Tron: Legacy (2010), IMAX is the best way to view The Mysterious Island in 3D.

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is not the deepest movie. But it makes for a fun family night out. I strongly recommend you see it in 3D. The grade is B.

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