Journey to the Center of the Earth

12 out of 13 nots
for thrilling family fun and 3D awesomeness

Nearly two months ago I was lucky enough to be able to go to an early screening of Journey to the Center of the Earth.  Rather than just simply retelling the Jules Verne novel in the present day, this movie takes the approach of “What if the character in the book had been real, had gone to the center of the Earth, returned, and told his tale to Jules Verne?”  So you wind up with a scientist (Brendan Fraser) whose brother vanished ten years ago while doing research on seismic activity, and now the same seismic pattern is appearing again, so he goes off in search of answers, with nephew in tow.

This movie is pure action adventure family fun.  And I highly recommend it to people with kids… and even people without kids.  Even as an adult I certainly was never bored.

One of the best things about this film, however, is that it is in 3D.  And it is not the old red/green blurry 3D.  This is the new digital 3D like you may have seen in last year’s Beowulf or the 3D version of The Nightmare Before Christmas or to some of the IMAX nature films.  Filmed with a pair of digital cameras that approximate the distance between your eyes, without the special glasses you’ll see two images nearly overlapping, but with the glasses on you’ll see the action almost literally jump off the screen.  And to top it off, the movie only blatantly abuses the 3D angle a few times at the beginning with shoving a couple of things toward the audience for thrills and laughs.  After that, you just feel like you are watching an enhanced film where many scenes just feel more real than you are used to.

Definitely, if you are going to see the movie, try your hardest to see it in a theater that is showing the 3D version.  It is worth it.  I just hope more movies get made in 3D, because it was a blast.

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